Does it even count as “baseball” if Chase Utley isn’t playing it? No. The answer is it does not. Fortunately, Chase gave cortisone a self esteem boost by allowing it to inject itself into his knee, therefore proving that while the Phillies may be aging faster than ever, medical science allows to delay/deny the process as furiously as we can.
Domonic Brown arrived back home in Philly to that accosting crowd of three vigilant reporters whose job it is to harass athletes literally the second their feet touch the ground. It’s a classless, thankless job, but somebody’s got to do it. Apparently.
Domonic had the face of a young man far and away more mature than I was at his age. There has got to be several decades worth of questions clattering around in that head right now; questions he probably had a fun enough time asking himself, without the bright lights of a camera and the pointing and shouting of the press.
- Can you replace Jayson Werth?
- Can you be worth holding onto as your minor league cohorts disappeared in trades?
- Why can’t you hit?
- Why did you get hurt as soon as you did hit?
- Remember that monster home run you hit last season? When are you going to do that again?
- Domonic, we can’t help but notice you aren’t immediately spectacular. Are you considering retirement?
A Braves blog this morning guesstimated that, even with this injury, Dom will pop up in mid-April and nab that starting right field job without so much as a bone a fracture. They also theorized that, prior to current events, the Brown-Francisco platoon notion would be over by June, with Domonic ruining Ben Francisco’s 2011 with unstoppable badass-five tool-dude-itude. Which–with Dom’s quiet work in the Dominican and silence in Spring Training, along with Ben’s new offensive strategy (“Just keep hitting”), does not seem all that plausible.
The injury to Dom’s hamlate is perhaps a sign from the gods that Dom wasn’t yet meant for eternal glory; that such things will be rationally delayed for a moment while he puts a cap on his development and fills Philadelphia headlines with exclamation points. Until then, I find Benny Fresh an adequate replacement. But I see your point. This isn’t a town that’s kind to underdogs or anything. So maybe we should just stick with the sure thing. Once he gets out of surgery.
Meanwhile, Chase’s status just keeps declining, based on the whispers and posture of people wandering around the Phillies clubhouse.
Logic dictates, if this should continue, an Opening Day start for wild card/groundball wizard/general bad ass Wilson Valdez. His ability to fill in for an All-Star infielder was proven last year, when pulled his defensive weight hard enough to negate his offensive woes (which never bad enough to stop us from having the most wins in baseball and the second most runs in the NL).
So, with a weakness bearing down on us, let’s milk the strengths: that rotation. Yeah, I said it. Hopefully, with the unexpected improvements to it, the absence of one of the game’s best players won’t have as horrifying of a repercussion. Obviously, we’ll miss Chase if he’s not there, but hopefully the pitching keeps the opposition stifled enough that “Wilson Valdez” offense is enough to win.
Nothing–>general soreness–>patellar tendinitis–>Is it worse than that, Ruben? “Perhaps.”
I’m no medical expert, but you’d think they’d at least have stopped the bleeding by now. One thing’s for sure, though. God help you if you try to take that bat out of his hands.