Some things are just fact: Jayson Werth can do anything he wants to me with that arm, Shane Victorino is the MVP of my dreams, and Raul Ibanez continues to be as hot as a Charlie Manuel bobblehead on a desert dashboard.
And some things are good news: Carlos Ruiz is back. Every now and then Chooch comes through with a big play that helps me answer the question people pose when I say, “I love him.”
Answer: “Did you see Saturday’s game?”
He’s as under-appreciated as the elastic on a 42 triple D. Not that he should be compared to a woman’s undergarment, but I’m a chick—I write what I know. My point is, you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.
That brings us to the bad news. The reader poll in the Inquirer today asked if Chan Ho Park should be kept in the rotation. No contemplation was needed when I clicked NO.
I don’t have anything against Chan; he may be quite lovely in person, and I know no one on the Phil’s pitching staff has been banner. It’s as if there’s a virus going around, like the swine-pitching flu—it just makes them stink.
So much so that after the second inning of Phils/Mets Episode I, my son said, “Where’d we get Park anyway?” My husband said, “It doesn’t matter, they won’t want him back.”
With pitchers who throw innings like Park, it’s no wonder we’ve got the best fielding percentage in the MLB—we get a lot of practice. Man, did I just say that?
I know that’s not nice, but here’s something about professional sports that irks me: players who don’t play up to their paychecks. Now I’d like to believe it’s not intentional but that’s a lot of freaking money.
Take Adam Eaton for example. In 2006 the Phils signed him to a three-year $24 million contract that was chocked full of candy like a Halloween basket. Then Adam stunk so badly in year two that they released him from his obligation this year with a $9 million parting gift.
So what happens if they don’t perform?
Nope. I got a contract. Right there in black and white it says, “Go screw yourselves.”
I think if there was a performance clause, we’d find out if the proverbial slump really exists. Maybe it’s a motivation thing. I mean it is 180 games. I haven’t even heard a teacher happy with working that number of days a year. I guess I’d get a little overwhelmed too, but if I only got to shop if I performed, my husband would be a much happier man.
What’s the problem? Have we raised wimps? What happened to the good ol’ days of baseball? The Daily News recently wrote a blurb about two pitchers who long ago both threw complete games—of 21 innings each!
It’s one thing to be in a slump. REM said it best—everybody hurts sometime, but to fail to take steps to rectify it is about as attractive as a cat that stops covering his dumps in a litter box.
Let’s look at it this way. Say you can’t get it on—batting, pitching, or fielding (what’d you think I was gonna say?), and you’re sitting on the bench re-evaluating your life. “Should I keep stressing myself out or should I maybe take that cool 16 million I have saved and hit the beach?”
I’d consider the sand. Nobody goes to work all day, every day once they win the lottery—even if they say they will. But some of them continue to contribute and the best of them learn how to give back.
Like Jamie Moyer.
If there was ever a guy who seems more gracious for his stint in the MLB, it’s Jamie.
Sure watching him run the bases is like watching the bobblehead race on Phanavision, his pitching is as therapeutic as watching fish, and he hasn’t surpassed many MLB milestones outside of longevity.
Wait. Did I say longevity? Endurance is a big turn on for me and I’m certain for baseball babes everywhere. Sure the Phils can’t win ‘em all with bad pitching and ‘come from behind’ wins but Jamie’s pleased a lot of win-hungry fans with an unremarkable fastball and a ‘nothing to write home’ about ERA.
I guess what I’m trying to say is if the Phil’s fight their way to a winning percentage that’s comparable to the one of that other under-appreciated player, we’ll be okay.
Get your act together, Chan Ho.