After several intense weeks without devastating injuries to any key players, the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans were grateful to see a return to normal as both back-up infielder Kevin Frandsen (stress fracture to left fibula) and reliever Raul Valdes (arthroscopic surgery on right knee) went down for possibly the year.
Many scoffed at the team when they took on a new, “consistently annihilated” style of play in the twilight of a golden age. But it is difficult to say that the Phillies aren’t a changed team after bringing devastating, horrible injuries onto their roster to play an important role. However, vicious bodily harm had recently stopped appearing in Philadelphia on a regular basis, raising alarm that perhaps the team was reverting back to its previous state.
The city went into a panic when beloved catcher Carlos Ruiz, whose treasured status amongst the fan base made his addition to the disabled list a nightmarish inevitability, returned after rumors that he would not do so until 2013.
“Like any rational person, I have an intense fear of change,” says Phillies fan Michael Broderick of Norristown, PA. ”When the Phillies trotted out that new team this year, I bought in. But when the injuries stopped, I couldn’t even recognize them anymore.”
“It was like, who are these people? And now that they are sticking around for more than four or five games, should I start forming hateful, generally flawed opinions about them?”
It is true that the Phillies roster has been essentially unrecognizable to fans this season, as even both Frandsen and Valdes would probably have not seen a lot of Major League action had it not been for injuries to Placido Polanco, Michael Martinez, Michael Stutes, David Herndon, and Jose Contreras. But with both of their hideous calamities in the past few days, the team has seen a return to it’s seemingly ludicrous focus on self-destruction.
“This is the team I know,” says Broderick. ”A talented group of aging stars who would still have more to contribute if they weren’t being constantly ravaged by exploding body parts. This is what I imagine when I think about summer.”