As the Pitchers and Catchers reported to
, if you hadn’t already noticed, it became blatantly obvious. These aren’t you mother’s WFC Philadelphia Phillies. There’s no cool beards. Not Bruntlett’s nor Werth’s. No Stairs to use in an emergency. The AARP card carriers are gone. Both Moyer and the oldest rookie were no where to be found. Lights out for good this time. Lidge and the whole fucking bridge are but a distant memory. Burrell’s Budweiser parade float took him straight to the airport but now he’s hung up his bat for good. Even his replacement has done his time and moved on. Clearwater
Even though 2008 is only 3 seasons ago, there’s only 7 holdovers and that’s including Kendrick who wasn’t even on the postseason roster. Maybe you didn’t know the exact number but I’m sure you know the team has basically been overhauled. So why bring it up? First, to say that it’s a necessary evil to let go certain players no matter how much they were loved or productive to keep the team competitive. And secondly to defend those who “miss” or didn’t want to see certain players leave.
I get it. I feel your pain. When the Phillies shipped out Wilson Valdez for a warm body, he took a bit of my heart with him to
. Whether it was when he jumped up from the bench to celebrate a comeback walk off win or shaking off the catcher in the most impressive relief effort of 2011, or when he stepped onto the field with whatever the heck that was on his chin, he was “my boy.” Sure, I know he was a double play waiting to happen. But he also held the team together in 2010 when everyone and their brother were hurt. He played above average defense and put up offensive numbers while modest for most ML players were far beyond his skills. In fact, I gave him the Wriz nod for team MVP. Cincinnati
The fact the Phillies have been a MLB elite team makes these “break ups” even harder. You see, winning is like the great sex of sports. Nobody ever breaks up when the sex is good. Sure you may hate each other, but in the sex is great so you deal even though you know the relationship isn’t going to end in marriage. Luckily, we got RAJ. He makes the tough decisions to keep the team competitive year in and year out. He keeps the team and relationship focused on getting that ring.
Ultimately, my point is its ok to have your favorites but sometimes you need to let go to stay the team to beat, Well that and there’s no winning in the Champagne Room.
See ya at the Ballpark!