Didn’t think that was a title I would ever write.
Anyway, Doug Pederson threw a strike, Gabe Kapler was greeted with boos, and the Phillies rolled to a refreshing 5-0 win in their home opener. All in all, I would say it was a drama-free day for the team. Now, let’s enjoy the off day tomorrow before they resume their series with the Marlins on Saturday night. Things are looking up!
Nick Williams does not understand why he's been out of the lineup so much. "I guess the computers are making it." https://t.co/7KBDWu4AhV
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) April 6, 2018
Now, you would think the headline here is that Nick Williams is pissed off at Gabe Kapler over a lack of playing time. I mean, this is a pretty juicy quote:
I guess the computers are making it, I don’t know. I don’t get any of it but what can I do? I’m not going to complain about it because I have zero power. I’m just letting it ride.
But no. That is not the story here. That a player is pissed off or doesn’t understand Kapler’s methodology is, at this point, completely unsurprising. Earlier in the day, an anonymous player told Jon Heyman that the manager needs to “get out of the way.” The real story here is this little gem unearthed in Breen’s story:
Williams arrived to Citizens Bank Park on Thursday already knowing that was out of the lineup. Kapler has texted him his playing schedule in advance. Williams said he’s never had a manager text him like that. The one bonus, Williams said, is Kapler’s alerts allow him to stay up late playing video games without feeling guilty about it. Williams does not know when he’ll play next, but he said he will prepare as best he can.
Holy shit. This screams, “This guy is a maniac, I’m not buying into his bullshit. Whatever. I’ll just play some Fortnite, because who fucking cares?”
Williams has only one hit in 11 at-bats this season, but he’s coming off a solid rookie campaign in which he hit .288 and logged an .811 OPS. It is understandable why he would be miffed about starting only two of the Phillies’ first six games.
It’s hard. I’m 24. I don’t have crazy experience but at the same time I don’t need to prove anything because of what I did last year off of great pitchers. For me, I don’t go out there thinking I need to prove anything, first off. But I don’t know. I’m just hanging with them, I guess. I can’t do anything. I’m just along for the ride.
If you are keeping track at home, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Nola, Hoby Milner, and Nick Williams have each, to some extent, expressed displeasure with Kapler. Is Williams Heyman’s anonymous source? Are one of those guys Heyman’s anonymous player? Maybe, but probability suggests otherwise. Also remember that Heyman was ahead of other reporters on Jake Arrieta’s offseason saga. I’m not saying Arrieta was the source, but it’s not that far of a stretch. Regardless, that is five different players who have made less than flattering public remarks regarding their manager. We are eight days into the season.
Drama aside, the Phillies can even their record with two wins this weekend over the Marlins. Cue the…fog machines?
It's a whole new Phillies clubhouse. Victories now include fog machine, lasers and strobe lights. "It's not just a business, it's a game," J.P. Crawford said. "You've got to win and when you win you've got to have fun," Tommy Hunter said.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 5, 2018
We have officially arrived in Crazytown, USA.