Carlos Ruiz has been exported to an island prison, where is forced to sit on a cliffside, staring out at the crashing waves of the ocean, and wonder how things all went so, so wrong.
That island is in Clearwater, Florida, which is part of a greater island called North America. When he’s not looking wistfully out at the endless waters of the mighty seas, Carlos is sneaking in some baseball-playing to prep for his glorious return.
Opening Day was more than just the beginning of baseball. It was the beginning of the end of Chooch’s 25-game suspension. That puts his return in the “April 28″ range; a day game in Flushing in which the Phillies look to beat up on the Mets some more after a torrid win streak that had them roaring through Miami, Cincinnati and an especially impressive seven game homestand.
Ruben Amaro says “All reports are thumbs up,” regarding the catcher’s health, so all we have to do is assume he isn’t snorting Adderall with a hollowed out pen in the back of the bus in front of horrified children who just wanted to ask for an autograph anymore.
The Phillies left a legion of young prospects with ambiguous futures down there after spring training, so Chooch is hanging around with them as the amble about, getting at-bats in, and consider quitting baseball forever and just marrying Sally Jenkins from down the street. I wonder how Sally’s doing these days. I hope she didn’t marry that awful Craig McMichaelsan.
As Jim Salisbury pointed out, the real challenging catching is coming now, as Chooch wrangles young pitchers who are sort of all over the place. By the time he gets back, he’ll be a seasoned barrier. In the mean time, Erik Kratz will keep gunning a-holes down from his knees.