Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Death Watch

As of this posting the Phillies are an easy team to evaluate. Only one guy is performing better than expected, second half man Cole Hamels. Pat Burrell is also surprising to the upside, as is his wont in the early going, but he'll soon fall back to earth. Shane Victorino is hitting as is Carlos Ruiz. The rest of their mates are laboring through various states of catatonia.

There's little to be gained by obsessing about the bullpen. Suffice it to say manager Charlie Manuel is even pleading publicly for some help. Speaking of Manuel, the death watch has begun though the suspicion here is things have already gotten out of hand and secretly GM Pat Gillick is nodding to himself and saying, "I knew this would happen." Manuel is forever being given credit as a players' manager for creating a positive attitude in the clubhouse. That and a $93 million payroll will get you second place.

Meanwhile, poor Jimmy Rollins is the literal toast of the town in New York after declaring the Phils the team to beat in the division during Spring Training and then failing to walk the walk. His first appearance in the Big Apple was a disaster as he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and then booted a ball that opened the flood gates to a Mets' 7-run inning. Frankly, all of the pre-game brouhaha over his remarks is just predictably good old fashioned hype. He remains the engine that drives this team. Unfortunately, the Phils 1 - 6 April start is also predictable.


Oisín/Wizlah said...

Just when I thought jimmy had a lousy day yesterday, someone pointed out that he *still* managed to get on base twice.

A few fun and exciting jimmy facts:

he's on 8bbs - in the last 3 year's he's managed 8bb's in total twice.

He leads the NL in BBs, and is second only to Nick Swisher (he's got 9) in MLB. He's second in pitches per plate appearance for guys with a minimum of 25 ABs. Adam LeRoche is currently first.

If he could do an innings relief, he'd be the perfect player right now.

Oisín/Wizlah said...

And yeah tom, I agree that the Cholly deathwatch has started. The only way it could not be so is if him and gillick have already had the discussion that more bullpen help is urgently required.

RickSchuBlues said...

That eighth inning was one of the most demoralizing and embarrassing moments I've ever suffered as a Phillies fan - and that's saying something. The Mets fans weren't just chanting 'Jimmy Rollins' - they were mocking the hopes of Philadelphians everywhere. Damned if I didn't see that moment coming the instant I read his 'team to beat' quotes a few months back. It'd be nice to dream the Phillies could have the last laugh, but they won't.