Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Sox It to Me | The Phillies traded punches with the White Sox last night, but in the end it was the Pale Hose who had more firepower. Emergency starter Ryan Madson didn't make it out of the first, and Chicago withstood a late Phillies rally to emerge from the slugfest -- or, as Exile in Wrigleyville aptly termed it, a "beer-league softball game" -- with a 14-11 win. The Phils now are three games behind the Marlins and just a half-game ahead of Atlanta and a game and a half up on the Mets.

Meanwhile, the Daily News's Bill Conlin has a message for those of us who have been rattling our cages for a managerial change: Save your breath. Conlin observes that fan disenchantment and media complaints have little effect on this Phillies regime; rather, what gets managers sacked is disloyalty to the front office and wanton disrespect in the clubhouse. That still doesn't stop him from taking a poke at Bowa for micromanaging last night's fireworks show:

One thing Bowa should have learned from [Jim] Fregosi was the art of taking one bullet to avoid a hail of them. Sometimes, he said, you've just got to let a starter get pounded, eat some undigestible innings so the bullpen can lift its arms the rest of a series, particularly a bullpen already frazzled by injuries. Forget for one game the knee-jerk double moves, the left-right-left-right charades and shut it down. "There's nothing wrong with winning two out of three," Fregosi would say.

Interestingly, while Bowa hooked Madson early, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hung with his starter, Mark Buehrle, and was rewarded with seven innings. The Phillies used four relievers, the Sox just two. I realize that Madson, making his first start, wasn't going to pitch very long anyway, but still. It's a damn shame incompetence can't be added to Conlin's list of fireable offense.


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