Monday, June 07, 2010

Memo To Charlie

Charlie, I know you check in each morning so I am going to save you the trouble of a phone call and offer you some advice here.

Bench Raul Ibanez or at the very least start platooning him with Ben Francisco. Ibanez is bringing nothing but popups and foul balls to the table at this point. His bat is now as slow as his feet. Francisco may be a good hitter, but how would we know? You cannot expect production when he gets an at bat once a week if he's lucky.

Sit down with Ryan Howard and remind him, no, tell him, how precious at bats are. I've never seen such a well paid guy throw away at bats as he does. As much as I hated Pete Rose as a player and person I have to give him credit for taking every at bat seriously, as though he were batting for the last time in his life and wanted to get a hit. Howard can go up there, take a strike, swing over another pitch and then give one of those half-swing-I-didn't-mean-it swings to end the at bat and whimper back to the dugout.

Give Chase Utley another day off while he's not suffering from the flu. Just a day off to decompress. He has never looked more lost at the plate than he does right now and clearly he isn't swinging his way out of this funk.

Placido Polanco is one of my favorite ball players, a real pro who comes to play hard every day. But he could use a few continuing ed courses in base running having made not one but two bad plays yesterday either one of which could have cost the game. He needs to brush up on when to go and when not to go. While you're at it, have Sam Perlozzo sit in, next to Placido, not behind the desk.

Admit to yourself Joe Blanton's problems are not the late start he got this season due to injury. It looks to me like he's relying too much on a fastball that isn't challenging hitters. Does he recovery have something to do with it or is this a question of intelligence? Guess which one I believe!

Could Paul Hoover possibly be worse than Brian Schneider? Based on his short tenure as backup when Schneider went down I can hazard more than a guess the answer is NO! Schneider's 2-4 day on Sunday doesn't change my mind, either. He is cooked.

In case Ruben Amaro is nearby, tell him the trade of Cliff Lee looks even more pathetic with the news Phillipe Aumont has been demoted from AAA to AA. I don't care how he spins this one, Amaro made a very poor decision that will haunt this team now and in the immediate future. Not only did he get rid of a premier pitcher who loved playing here, he got a kid whose future isn't so bright.

That's all for now, Charlie. You can go back to talking about hitting.

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