My buddy texted me yesterday as I was driving home from my parents house, in Springfield (Delco), to mine, in Horsham. That’s about a 40-minute drive on a Sunday afternoon.
Ah yes, the classic video game cheat where bunting to exploit a pitcher-fielding glitch was effective yet crummy. Surely no Major League pitcher would fall for such a ruse… unless, of course, you’re Jake Diekman and have this Children of the Corn murderous hairdo:
His pathetic hilarity was just the start of a sixth inning that went like this, in order and placed on separate lines for effect:
Error (Midwestern Murderer) on attempted force on bunt.
Error (Susdorf, whom I literally never heard of until yesterday).
Pitching change. Luis Garcia (WHO ARE YOU?) replaces Diekman.
Error (Ruf) on attempted force.
Pitching change. Antonio Bastardo replaces Garcia.
ANOTHER OUT! THAT’S THREE!
In total: eight runs, all of them unearned. And if you’re keeping score at home, the Phillies who figured prominently in that inning were: Jake Diekman, Steve Susdorf, Luis Garcia and Darin Ruf. I drove from Springfield to Horsham during the bottom of the sixth inning. The Phillies!
Let’s hit it! [Or… just bunt it to Diekman.]
But first, a word from our sponsors:
The Dude. Meet Lenny Dykstra at the Sports Vault in the King of Prussia Mall on Saturday, August 17 from 2 – 4 p.m.
Right on. $5 from the sale of each of Philly Phaithful’s Dutch, Heart Soul Hair shirts will go to the American Cancer Society. Get one right here.
Great ticket deals. It is not too early to buy Philadelphia Flyers tickets.
Jonathan Papelbon hates his team. He told Todd Zolecki that if this continues, he’d rather be traded:
“I definitely didn’t come here for this,” he said.
Papelbon carries an influential presence in the Phillies’ clubhouse as the team’s closer, a nine-year veteran and World Series champion. Asked what he thought about the direction the organization is headed, he sighed.
“Oh, man,” he said. “We could be here all day.”
So then what about this team’s ability to turn things around, if not this season, then next season?
“It’s going to take, in my opinion, a lot,” he said. “And in my opinion, I think it’s going to have to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., declined comment.
Asked after the game if he wants to be traded, Papelbon said, “No, I would like to stay here. But if I’m going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don’t want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?”
You can’t really blame Papelbon for being a douchebag like that. But, you also can’t be surprised that he was a douchebag like that. His signing, in 2011, was probably the first true sign that the Phillies had jumped the shark and lost their way. Guys like Delmon Young and Carlos Zambrano (he was released last week) just continued the trend. What was once a strong clubhouse filled with likable team-first guys has seemingly turned into a mixture of strong personalities and apathetic losers, few of whom are actually any good at baseball.
There is a reason Manuel has been forced to run out lineups that would barely be legal in the Grapefruit League. Yesterday, it was Darin Ruf, Laynce Nix, Delmon Young, John Mayberry Jr., Kevin Frandsen and Steve Susdorf rounding out the order. There is a reason the Phillies are out of options in the bullpen. There is a reason you are forced to sit through sequences like the one that unfolded in the sixth inning yesterday, when the Phillies used everything except a clown car to hand the Tigers eight unearned runs. All of these things happen when a team does not have the depth to make it through a 162-game regular season.
Dating back to the Roy Oswalt trade in 2010, the Phillies have displayed a curious understanding of opportunity cost, the notion that for every dollar they spend in one area, they have one less dollar to spend elsewhere. For a couple of seasons, they acted as if their resources were limitless, as if they would simply keep on spending. But then they entered a season with Ben Francisco in rightfield, and another season with Mayberry, Juan Pierre and Nix in leftfield, and a third with an injured Delmon Young as their answer in right. All of those players had something in common besides their lack of qualifications for an everyday job on a contending team: They worked for cheap.
Meanwhile, this weekend Ruben Amaro handed out a deal worth up to $60 million to little-known Cuban Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. It might turn out to be a steal, so we’ll applaud it for now. But it could also turn out to be a financial disaster and yet another move that overpays one player whilst neglecting an entire segment of the roster.
And then there’s Jimmy Rollins, who hinted that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause. Not because he just loves Philly so much. Not because he wants to see this thing through. No. Because he wants records:
There has not been any buzz about the Phillies trading Jimmy Rollins before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, but even if there were, it would not be easy to move the veteran shortstop.
“There are still a couple of things I’d like to be No. 1 in for this organization, so until those things are done, I’m not going anywhere,” he said after Sunday’s 12-4 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Jimmy’s priorities now that he’s already accomplished so much (All-Star, MVP, World Series): individuals records, winning. In that order.
Hey, Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL. In case you missed that.
The Eagles practiced at The Linc yesterday. Which is probably a good thing. By late afternoon, the recently restructured practice field at the NovaCare Complex looked like this:Pic via Jon Dorenbos’ Twitter
Donovan McNabb didn’t wait long after Andy Reid’s departure to, all of a sudden, happily accept Eagles invitations. He’ll officially announce his retirement as an Eagle at a press conference this morning. He was cheered (dare I say) lustily yesterday:
Though not everyone was so kind. Jordan Raanan of NJ.com:
With fans like that, who moments later yelled profanities and a racial slur, it’s no wonder McNabb had a personal security guard following him around the stadium all day on Sunday.
Finally, interesting thing to watch here: [Philly.com]
Delmon Young, hitless in his last 13 at-bats, did not start Sunday. Young has accumulated 263 plate appearances in 2013. He will receive a $150,000 bonus if he reaches 300.
I smell an MLBPA grievance coming.