Thursday, June 10, 2004

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire | As the Phillies and White Sox sit through a rain delay in Chicago, I find myself more and more bothered by yesterday's revelation that Amaury Telemaco had been pitching since spring training with an achy shoulder and elbow. Last year's reliable long reliever and spot starter has spent 2004 looking entirely out of sorts, as the Inquirer's Todd Zolecki points out:

Telemaco went 0-2 with a 4.88 ERA in 20 appearances. One major-league scout said in spring training that it looked like he was pitching hurt. But Telemaco never said a word to anybody.

Isn't Telemaco's silence something of a breach of trust with the Phillies? If he was hurting for the last three months, shouldn't he have told someone so that he didn't enter games without his best stuff? I realize he was locked in a pretty fierce battle for the staff's last spot, but he did nobody any good -- not the team and not himself -- by concealing his health problems. Instead of taking the time to heal properly, Telemaco selfishly kept on taking the ball, knowing that he wasn't right and putting his own interests before his team's. To cite just a single example of the negative impact of Telemaco's actions, imagine if Ryan Madson on Tuesday had been relieved by a healthy pitcher instead of a nicked one; perhaps the Phils would have remained closer to the Sox, with those late runs enabling them to take the lead instead of merely making the score respectable.

Now the Phils are stuck with Paul Abbott, impelling Bill Liming to lament what he sees as "guaranteed garbage innings" when he starts Sunday in Minnesota. I don't know enough about Abbott to make too many judgments, although it is telling that he was released earlier this season ... by the Devil Rays.

UPDATE: Tonight's game has been rained out, with no makeup date yet announced.


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