EDITOR’S NOTE: So you obviously saw my sob story the other day (yesterday?) about how I’m busy and can’t update every time I want to, even though my attempts at using my brain to write a blog post from across the room are getting stronger every day. No sooner had I posted my pity party, and young squire Pat O’Donnell drops this guest post in my inbox. So here are his thoughts on Benny Fresh taking the reins in’11.
In 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies were in on the CC Sabathia Sweepstakes, and when they had to settle for Joe Blanton instead some fans may have packed it in early… but urgh, they may have had to jump back on a few months later when that same Heavy B went 4-0 in the regular season for his new ballclub and that same team was pulling the Easter Bunny himself out of their collective magic hat as they swept the Brewers in 4 games to go from 4.0 GB of the Wildcard to tied for the lead WITH the tie-breaker.
I don’t need to explain what happened next.
They won their second consecutive, come-from-behind NL East and this time went 11-3 in the 2008 playoffs, en route to their 2nd ever franchise World Championship.
In 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies were in on the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes, and when they had to settle for Cliff Lee instead some fans may have… been a little upset, but they were happy nonetheless because, shit, the guy won 22 games the season before and just had no body to friggin hit behind him.
Well, we ALL know what happened from there.
Cliff Lee won us over with great regular season play, an unbelievable post-season play and spurned the Yankees not once, but TWICE in the World Series—in a losing effort, no less and even said he’d be willing to come out on 2 days of rest to pitch in relief in a possible game 7 that, unfortunately never happened because Pedro Martinez, in all seriousness, sucks a lot.
I don’t need to explained what happened next.
Cliff Lee was shipped off when the aforementioned Roy Halladay was brought in, Roy Oswalt was brought in to right the Cliff-Lee-trade-wrong, and then Cliff Lee decided he liked spurning the Yankees and signed with the Phillies for less money, thus assembling what has the potential of becoming the greatest starting rotation in the history of the sport.
In the meantime, the Phillies lost a World Series at the hands of the ever-hated New York Yankees and then an NLCS shocker as H2O became nothing more than H2Oh-No against the upstart soon-to-be-champion Giants. The city of Philadelphia simultaneously became enamored with the man who is Clifton Phifer Lee and the beard of one Jayson Werth… and, oh yeah, the right handed power bat the beard’s body dragged with it.
In Two-Thousand and Eleven, one of them will return. The other will not, and thus leaves a void in our hearts and minds (and right field and middle of the lineup).
And we are left to question: Who will fill the void in right and behind the $125 Million Man?
In 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies were in on the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes, and when they had to settle for Cliff Lee *and Benjamin Francisco.* Sorry, forgot that little tidbit.
See, here’s the thing. In 20-oh-9, the Phillies were also talking about acquiring recently-moved ex-National Josh Willingham—a power right handed batter. Instead, they did as RAJ always does and settled for an ace pitcher… and, oh yeah, the Cleveland Indians were also nice enough to toss in a little garden salad on the side of our entrée, a meaty little power right handed corner outfielder named Louis Ben Francisco.
At the tender age of 27 he hit 15 homeruns in 121 games started, 499 at bats. In 125 games played for the Phillies (in 301 at bats) he’s hit 11 homeruns. Ben is 2 years older than Jayson Werth, but at the tender age of 27, Jayson Werth was hitting exactly .000 at the Major League level, because he was in the farm. I am in no way, shape or form trying to say that Ben Francisco is better than Jayson Werth (because he’s NOT). But the general consensus among Phills fans has been to platoon Francisco in RF with Domonic Brown.
But what if Brown isn’t ready? What if he’s NOT prepared for the big time and DOES need a little more time in AAA? Maybe we should consider just slipping Ben in where Jayson once was and let see where the chips fall?
I find this to be a very controversial topic to bring up, one with people immediately accusing me of comparing a bench player with the Beard that is Werth OR saying that Domonic needs to come up, his time is now, The Future is here. But I feel it should be brought up. Domonic Brown is the future of this franchise, assuming he blooms to full fruition. No doubt. But if he’s not ready and the organization is as strapped for cash as Ruben Amaro Jr. has stated we are, why try to force Dom into the lineup when you can use what you have to fill your needs?
Ben was brought in to be a power right handed oufielder at bat, available for use off the bench. Jayson Werth at one point was nothing more than Geoff Jenkin’s platoon brother. All I wanna know is why is no one considering the perfectly reasonable option of Benjamin Francisco as the answer to the organization’s shave?