You remember Davey Lopes, don’t you? From the before time?
Davey coached first for the Phillies, back when they were a feared juggernaut, plowing through the league with sinister base running. With the help of a stop watch in his pocket, Davey timed pitchers deliveries and the Phillies racing to second with the frequency and aggression of a first base coach trying to win the game from his often unnoticed position.
These days, the base running is… weaker.
Regardless, Davey, like most people from that era, looks back on his time with the Phillies fondly, probably. Except for the part at the end when he felt we worth more than they felt he was worth. That probably didn’t feel too good.
But now, as the Dodgers’ first base coach, he is someone we can turn to while on a road trip and get sound bytes from about how great this team is, when you and I both know this team really ain’t so great.
“They can still play. [Ryan Howard] is always dangerous. When I was there, we had guys at short, second and third hitting 30 bombs. That team had great pitching and were very smart, with an intellect for how to play the game — [Chase] Utley and J-Roll [Jimmy Rollins], especially. They’re head and shoulders over a lot of players. They were at that highest level those four years.He was the MVP for a reason. Those guys are strong mentally. I’ve got tremendous respect for those players and Charlie.”
–Davey Lopes, via Todd Zolecki
Well, that actually sounds more like he’s saying “Boy, that team back then. That was a ballin’ ass team. They’d come into your house and just rob you blind and then you’d thank them on their way out the door.”
But if you read carefully, you can see that he never actually compliments any Phillies not from 2007-10, he pretty much just daydreams for a paragraph. And in that vein, he is just like the rest of us; dreaming away, trapped in the past, as Kevin Frandsen grounds out to second.
Hey, whatever happened to Steve Smith? I’ll be he’s got some great memories about sending every runner that ever touched first base. I think David Wright casually toed the bag while playing third once and Steve started windmilling him in.
Can there be a thing where a bunch of former Phillies coaches sit around and drink whiskey and talk about beating the Mets? That should really be a thing.