Spike Eskin: For The Phillies, Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Every sports related website in Philadelphia has the same poll: “should the Phillies be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.”
This is where we are… in May. We’re probably going to be looking at the same poll for a little while.
We’re discussing whether to dismantle a once great team, in about two and a half months. To dismantle the team by the way, for probably less value than many of us would care to address.
So while we’re asking the “buy or sell” question now, the reality is that this group of players still has a couple of months to show that it can compete. This might very well be the last gasp of the core of players that brought the city a World Series championship in 2008.
If this was a football game, we’d be going for two points after a touchdown and kicking on-sides kicks. If it was basketball we’d be down nine with 30 seconds left, and shooting three pointers every trip down the court. If it was hockey, we’d have pulled the goalie.
For the Phillies, how about trying to do things differently for these last couple of months. What the hell, right?
Let’s put Jonathan Papelbon into a tie game in the 8th inning. He happens to be the best reliever on the team, and it seems like he’s never on the mound. He’s making $13 million this year so I figure he might as well pitch.
I know it sounds crazy, but how about sitting Ryan Howard and Chase Utley down versus some left-handed pitching. Yes, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are making a lot of money, but they’re making that money whether they’re in the game or not. Might as well give it a shot.
Let’s put the guys who get on base most at the top of the lineup.
Delmon Young is bad in right field. Let’s not stick him out there anymore.
It’s quite possible that none of these things will matter in the end. That the loss of Halladay, the regression of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the age and the lack of hitting will ultimately prove too much for the Phillies to overcome.
But I say before we say “mercy,” we make sure we’ve exhausted every possibility, just to say we did.
Even crazy things like putting your best relief pitcher in the game regardless of whether the team is up three runs in the ninth inning or not. Insane things like putting guys in the lineup who have the most success against left-handed pitchers, when they are facing left-handed pitchers.
We can tell the evil stat nerds that we’re not doing this because they said so, but because we want to. SABR schmabr, we thought of this on our own.
There will be plenty of time to talk about the Ryan Howard contract and the lack of a farm system, I swear.
What do we have to lose? Games I guess, but the Phillies seem to be doing quite a bit of that anyway.