Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring Bouquets

Another season like the last two and the current Phillies infield, third base notably excepted, will have to be counted among the greatest ever assembled. Speaking of legendary infields, did you know the great Tinkers to Evers to Chance combo produced a grand total of eight double plays in its signature season? Of course, in those days turning a double play on an infield ground ball was almost unheard of.

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Now that the FBI is investigating Roger Clemens to determine if, heaven forbid, he lied to Congress, one has to wonder not how much by why the Rocket is paying his legal/pr team. Recent history tells us that nearly every player who was counseled to look straight into the camera, point a finger and forcefully deny any wrongdoing did not end up well while those who sought the sporting public's forgiveness by and large received it. The best defense may be a good offense, but not necessarily in jurisprudence.

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Did you read this funny quote from Ryan Howard in a piece by Todd Zolecki in the Inquirer?

Ryan Howard crushed a three-run home run to right field in the third inning, the ball easily leaving the ballpark.

"I was looking for a fastball, and I just put a good swing on it," Howard said.

"For the record," Jimmy Rollins interrupted, "let the record reflect the size of the earrings in his ear."

"I enrolled in 'I want to be Jimmy Rollins' classes," Howard joked. "This is one of the prerequisites."

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Count me among those who agree the naming of Brett Myers as the Phils opening day starter was more a psychological ploy than an attempt to set up pitching matchups. Frankly, Myers needs all the psychology the Phils' alleged brain trust can muster. This will be his make-or-break season to finally deliver as a top of the rotation pitcher. The bet here is he will not. Myers lacks both the brains and the discipline to be a reliable number one or two.

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The results of Spring Training games aren't entirely meaningless...except for the final scores. At least that's what last year's first round pick Joe Savery hopes after he was roughed up pretty good yesterday by one of the weakest lineups in MLB. I've always held the superstitious belief that a sub-500 Grapefruit League record augured a successful regular season. Note I wrote "superstitious belief". I cannot offer any proof one way or another.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just paid for my subscription, and suddenly the Phillies have burst forth back onto my computer monitor - the first of dozens upon dozens I'll watch this year.

The first inning is underway, and already it feels instantly familiar - Adam Eaton has given up four hits and a 3-run homer, while Harry Kalas just declared that Joe Girardi had led those Florida Marlins to a World Championship.

Ah, but so what. Spring is here!