I’ve waited a day to respond since reading the article by Bill Conlin, a writer I generally respect given his long history in the profession and although I don’t always agree, I can see where he is coming from. However, his bashing of Domonic Brown, and his already taking to calling him a bust is ridiculous. Not sure why Conlin is so cranky already- looks like a fairly relaxed atmosphere for him down there. His story didn’t even make sense as he compared Brown to Mike Anderson, a1973 prospect who was only a bust because he got beaned and became afraid to stay in on curveballs. I’m definitely a Brown supporter, but recognize he might have to go to AAA this year to start- even Brown himself said that. But that doesn’t make him a bust- and to make that judgement based on early, early at bats- ridiculous and does a disservice to Brown as it feeds into the minority of Phils fans who for some reason enjoy player’s failures rather than providing him support in what is certainly a disappointing and uncomfortable early March. I anticipate that this weekend or early next week Brown will start to hit the ball again, and in a couple weeks everyone will be wondering what the concern was about- but if not, and he has to go back to the minors to start the year- no big deal and it doesn’t make him a bust, just a young player still learning to make the most of his incredible talent.
Haven’t had a chance to write in a few days and now don’t know where to start given the numerous items of note from this past weekend. The best part was of course seeing the Phillies back out playing baseball- nothing better than the crack of the bat or a great play in the field to get one thinking of spring weather. However, it wasn’t all roses. I’m sure, like everyone, concern only heightened regarding Utley- given the numerous injuries over the last couple of years, and knowing how important good legs are to a major league player, any diagnosis involving knees and tendinitis is not good. From personal experience, tendinitis never seems to go away completely, and while it feels better after some rest it tends to keep coming back again. I know Utley has a high pain tolerance, but I’ve got to believe that the best-case scenario is he takes a week or two off, backs off on his workouts once he is back, and gets a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain. Phils don’t really have a viable option at 2b, so gotta hope Utley is back soon.
Now, I’m a big backer of Domonic Brown, and certainly too early to panic- but the beginnings of panic have set in- not so much because he struck out in all three at bats on Sunday, but because of the comments by Manuel about Brown not holding his hands up high- I thought holding them up high was the problem they were trying to correct from last year. Given my belief that Manuel is looking for a reason to start Francisco, and Francisco’s hot start, I’m starting to think we are looking at Brown being sent to Lehigh Valley to work with Sandberg for a couple months. I hope not, but…
Finally, not sure if Werth really said he hates the Phillies, or if he did, the real context of it. I know GM Rizzo, who was also quoted as saying that says the reporter (Boswell) got it wrong, so perhaps he did, but, unless Werth comes out and addresses that type of comment, I hope he hears about it in a Scott Rolen/J.D. Drew sort of way upon his first return to Philadelphia. Certainly his right to want to beat the Phillies (good luck with that Jayson) but to say he hates the Phillies- come on, grow up Jayson, and stop letting your bitterness that the Phillies and Red Sox didn’t jump at the ridiculous idea put out there by Boras that you were worth $126 million and you had to go play for the last place Nationals in a park where if they get 20,000 fans during the week they are lucky- and a good deal of those fans sit on their hands throughout the game- that stadium, except when Phillies fans show up to cheer, is abnormally quiet.