Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Freebee for RAJ

I know. I know. The Wriz should have definitely written something by now. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t put even one sentence together that explained how I felt, what the Phillies did wrong or where they should go from here.

Last year, I didn’t watch one out of the World Series. For references sake, I’d watch a Mets/Yankees game if it were the only game on. Hell, I couldn’t even turn on the radio or TV because it just hurt too much to hear them mention the Phillies. They were down 3 games to 2 in the NLCS and I never doubted them one bit, even when Giants went ahead in game 6. Stunned was probably the best way to describe how I felt after Big Brown took a called strike three. Maybe it was just as much about Howard not swinging as it was about the Phillies losing. I don’t know. But a few weeks later, I was back eager to talk Fightins baseball with whoever would listen.

This year has been different. I even watched like 3 innings of the Detroit/Texas series although I still can’t bear to watch the NLCS. Maybe it was different because I wasn’t convinced they could do it. The ghost of a Philadelphian sports fan who I thought I left behind on October 29, 2008 showed up during the Cardinals series. He’s the one that endured 25 years of futility. He’s the one that knows when the game is on the line Howard will strike out. McNabb will throw to Rhonde Barber. And Leon Stickle will call a phantom offsides. He’s the one who sits back and laughs when I get my employment evaluations and time and time again I’m referred to as “the most negative person they’ve ever met.” Usually, I just blow it off as my boss doesn’t have many employees who will speak their mind and say when something is screwed up. I’ve been told to come up with a solution that will fix the problem. My response? “Pay me Bitch!”

Do I feel somewhat responsible for the Phillies loss due to my lack of faith? Nope, while I may be superstitious enough to wear my lucky red striped socks to every playoff game I attended. I know the Phillies game would have the same outcome no matter what I did or thought. If it did, I love the Phillies enough to see a therapist to change my attitude.

Next year, the Phillies will still be a good team although they could have a different look and even a different attitude if the team Swag generator aka Jimmy Rollins leaves for greener pastures.

Seriously, I love the Phillies. I love them enough to give some free advice.

First, the post season medical report rivals the length of War and Peace. Give the players and particularly the stars more days off. I’d rather see the Phillies clinch closer to October anyhow. They need to be healthy and ready to play at game speed for the playoffs.

Next, Charlie has been a fan favorite since they hoisted the WFC trophy in ’08. While the Wriz likes his personality, his managerial skills not so much. Maybe the players “want to play for him,” but when push comes to shove a shrew in game move can go a long way. Manuel puts out his line-up and lets the players and worse yet the opposing manager dictate the game.

Finally, the biggest conversation has been about how and where the Phillies should spend their money. Let’s be realistic, the Phillies have always been about turning a profit and while they have been spending more money each season they do have a self-imposed cap. Hamels should be your #1 priority. Then Madson and then Jimmy. I love Jimmy as much as the next guy but a 5 year contract for a shortstop when he has battled leg injuries the past 2 years is a bad deal. I have no problems with some of the veterans returning if the come back at a reduced rate. Ibanez has long been written off as “good as gone.” But does Howard’s injury and a possible temporary move to first for Mayberry open the door back up for Raul?

While I offered some free advice, Ruben, you could offer me some free Opening Day Tickets. There is  more where that came from.

See ya at the ballpark L

Jay Wrizight


  1. I too have my problems with Charlie. Never looked at the bench. Left his "Star players" in when by the 7th inning it was known to everyone but him that it was time to look to the bench. Please tell me why he coached Howard at 3 and 0 the way he did that costs us the series and cost him his ankle. I would like to see a young Jose Reyes join us. Rollins (aka heart of the team) made it clear this is business. Not his heart.

    Thanks for the great blog as usual.

    Robin Lysek

  2. It was not a bad year, but let us hope they do better.