Thursday, July 01, 2004

Worry Up

After abusing Montreal pitching for two games, the Phillies' offense ran out of gas last night. In their 6-3 loss to the Expos, the Phils left 13 men on base and were a completely futile 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. So while Tim Worrell's eighth-inning implosion will earn him lots of pointed fingers, the bats played an equally significant role in the defeat.

(An aside: D.C.-area residents salivating over the prospect of the franchise's move to the capital may insist on calling them the Senators, but that name is so burdened with a losing legacy it's hard to imagine anyone embracing it. Maybe the legislature's lower house would prove to be a stronger good-luck charm. Okay, then: the Fairfax Congressmen it is.)

Meanwhile, amidst All-Star hand-wringing -- Phillies management crying about Jim Thome's lack of support, Salon's King Kaufman advocating for Bobby Abreu -- more substantive concerns about the team are beginning to appear, and not just in the perpetually glass-half-empty blogosphere. Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross, for example, is worried about team's tendency to loft soaring, but catchable, fly balls, while the Daily News's Sam Donnellon hangs his qualms on inconsistent starting pitching:

Said [Randy] Wolf, "I'd rather have four or five starters who give you a chance to win every night" [instead of a single ace].

Theoretically, at least, the Phillies have that right now in [Eric] Milton, Wolf, [Kevin] Millwood and Brett Myers. All have the stuff to keep their team in games, and yet 30 times already this season, including last night, the Phillies' starters have failed to finish the sixth inning.

An ace like [Randy] Johnson would help those numbers.

A second half of the season in which the staff pitched to its potential would, too. The Phillies shouldn't need an ace to reach the postseason.

Then again, they shouldn't score 31 runs in two games against the Expos, yet still manage to be playing only .500 ball against them over the last 9 days.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who's worried.


11 Comments:

At July 1, 2004 at 10:28 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Yeah, Greg Gross should be concerned. First, the starting centerfielder and cathcer have been in slumps all year, and just until recently it looked like Burrell was going back to his own ways. Add to that, Polanco starting off slow, he should be concerened about his job. Today its so easy to say the players dont listen, but it's time people like Wade, Bowa, Gross, and Kerrigan take another look at themselves.

About all those lofty balls...yeah they only look bad when their caught, but how bout the 44 in the last 26 games that where caught by Joe Blow in his tenth row outfield seats? People on the Phillies staff are too concerned about hitting the ball on the ground, rather than letting it do what it does best, hit the long ball.

 
At July 2, 2004 at 9:24 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Hmmmmm.

1) I take your point about the Senators being "burdened with a losing legacy," but the name is the only link we have to the history and tradition of baseball in DC. I mean, if the Phillies -- the losingest franchise in professional sports, right? -- were ever to relocate and rename themselves, and some years later a new team came to town, would you ever want them called anything else?

2) Re Fairfax Congressmen: Nice try, tourist boy, but the most recently unveiled plans of the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority call for the team to be located in Loudon County, near Dulles Airport -- nowhere near the city or county of Fairfax.

3) The Expos better frickin' not relocate to Loudon County. You may as well call them the Dulles Gridlock. With Arlington off the table, it's either downtown DC or nothing.

 
At July 2, 2004 at 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from what i've been able to catch sort of half-heartedly following this DC/Expos thing, if the team comes to the area, it will almost definately end up out in dulles. selig is pretty close to peter angelos and won't screw him. angelos is convinced a DC team would kill his revenue base, so much so that he has gone to great lengths the past couple years to wipe away most references to Baltimore and present his team as a more regional franchise, not a one-city franchise. Notice they took "baltimore" off the dugouts and the scoreboard. he even asked the guys in the booth to say O's and refrain from saying baltimore (seriously, there's a memo on that somewhere).

a team way out in dulles would be death for nova traffic for sure, but would be a slightly more agreeable case for angelos/selig, plus they seem to have more money and more autonomy as to how the facility is built (try working with the DC City council sometime). biggest problem right now for both DC and Dulles is there's no place to play in the near future except (ack!) RFK. see above comments on Angelos.

personally, it pains me to see arlington get dropped as a site; i could have walked to the park from my house.

greg

 
At July 2, 2004 at 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, i think the texas rangers guy still owns the washington senators name and won't give it up or wants an arm and a leg. i think the proposed name was northern virginia diplomats or nationals or something like that.

greg

 
At July 2, 2004 at 11:52 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Greg-- I hear you. The Arlington sites were a few Metro stops from my neighborhood; when I first saw them, I had visions of deciding to see a game at the last minute and hopping off the Metro on my way home from work. Seeing a game out in Dulles would be no more attractive to me than driving up to Baltimore. In fact, it would be less attractive, because at least in Baltimore the park is right in the middle of a nice little city.

 
At July 2, 2004 at 12:43 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Shallow Center -- Uniting baseball fans from Philadelphia to Northern Virginia. . . .

 
At July 2, 2004 at 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chris - where do you live? i reside in courthouse. that whole dulles area blows and louden town center or not, going out there would most definately be craptastic. maybe i could drive out the toll road, paying dough for the privilege of paying for parking so i can sit in a seat i paid for. what is this, the EU all of a sudden?

greg

 
At July 6, 2004 at 10:11 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Greg-- I live in Waverly Hills, a block or two from the intersection of Glebe Road and Lee Highway. It's a 15-minute stroll from Ballston and a five-minute bus ride from Rosslyn. A ballpark in Loudon would make me physically ill; it's like a "Twilight Zone" ending to this whole thing: "Yes, Washington, you'll finally get your own baseball team -- but for all intents and purposes it will be as far away as Baltimore! Bwahahahahaha!" Anyway. Whereabouts in Courthouse are you? My wife used to live at the corner of Rhodes and Clarendon Blvd. I think her old apartment building is now a townhouse cluster.

 
At July 8, 2004 at 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chris -- The Bromptons! That's the new townhouse cluster across from el riddiccio (or however its spelled). is that name supposed to be a cross between Brand New, Hamptons and Compton? the further bethesda-zation of northern virginia can only be helped by a ballpark in dulles. i feel myself become more against the idea with every passing day. i live in one of the townhouses at lee highway and north adams, in front of that big apartment building overlooking 66.

 
At July 12, 2004 at 10:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Greg--

Sounds like you live a block or two from my old apartment -- corner of Lee Highway and N. Cleveland. Across Lee from 7-Eleven, and across Cleveland from Mrs. Adams the psychic. I probably pass by your house every day on the bus -- I take the 3 line home most nights. Small world. Let me know if you want to get together the next time the Phils are on national TV. Re the Bethesda-fication of Arlington, well, it's better than the Tysons-fication of Arlington. At least they're keeping the density, not building tons of parking lots, and forcing people to take the Metro....

 
At July 14, 2004 at 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chris-

yeah, that's the 7-11. what was the deal with all the fire trucks tonight? i didn't see any fire or smoke. maybe somebody like me was protesting late-90s style townhouse clusters and big box development.

we gotta hang sometime. preferrably before le phils are out of le playoff picture.

greg

 

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