Howard’s getting killed for not elaborating on this Tweet, and though there are few things I enjoy more than skewering Eskin, he’s probably right-on here. Let’s unpack it a little:
Jonathan Papelbon: Least surprising thing ever.
Cliff Lee: I’m sort of a Cliff Lee fan, so admitting this is… difficult for me, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything positive about him as a person, from locker room to out-and-about encounters. I reached out to a few folks who would know better than me (or Howard), and one of them used the phrase “borderline clubhouse cancer” to describe Lee. Now, whether his teammates feel that way is unknown, but still, that’s disappointing.
Marlon Byrd: His name was most surprising, if only because you didn’t hear or read much negative about him all season. He also had a pretty good year. But the consensus from the folks I talked to was that his demeanor got progressively worse as the season went on. Of course, that could also be a side-effect of playing for the Phillies.
While “bad guys in clubhouse” may not be the best way to describe them, at the very least it doesn’t sound like they’re the type of guys the Phillies want around their younger players. Whatever happened to that famed great clubhouse of the late-oughts?