Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Bell Towers

Maybe it was the ass-kicking I gave them yesterday. Maybe it was the presence of the missus and her sis at Citizens Bank Park. Maybe it was attendance of my brother, who happened to be at Veterans Stadium the last time a Phillie hit for the cycle. Whatever caused it, the end result was an its-about-time 14-6 spanking of the Expos last night. David Bell hit for the cycle, Kevin Millwood got enough run support to mitigate his location problems, and the Phils enjoyed a laugher, making CBP a very happy place to be. Or so I'm told.

Meanwhile, both papers dutifully report that Ed Wade has been working the phones to try to land some help for his underachieving team. The Phillies are standing firm in their refusal to deal uber prospects Gavin Floyd and Cole Hamels, and Wade is confident that the market will ease as the July 31 trading deadline draws closer.

He'd better hope so. The Phillies simply cannot afford not to make a major move; whether that means a managerial change or a significant trade is for Wade to determine. Larry Bowa looks more in over his head with each passing day, and if Wade truly thinks -- as he said yesterday -- that "this team has the ability to play at a higher level," he will have no choice but to sack him. Bowa, after all, would be the variable to explain why so many players are underperforming to such a high degree. If he thinks Bowa's not the problem, then he needs to get better players.

But if Ed Wade thinks that his manager and his current roster are sufficient to carry the Phillies into the playoffs, then he should be looking for a new job come November.


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