Here we are, sitting around, looking for emotional highs and lows as baseball gets around to being played again. In the mean time, we’re making predictions like we did in the preseason, only this time with actual evidence! It’s like taking an exam you’ve actually studied for. Or, cheating. It’s like cheating.
The thoughts of Ben Horrow follow. (Check out the work of Alex Christy and John Stolnis, to get alternate viewpoints on these identical topics).
The Phillies are .500 at the break. This makes me (choose one): Confused/angry/pleasantly surprised/pleasantly confused/hungry
I’m a bit torn here in that if the Phillies had a worse record the team might be more seriously looking towards future improvement in tandem with immediate improvement. Still, this is a big market team with a rabid fanbase that is still riding the playoff high, so keeping the team winning about half of its games, hopefully more at home, could keep more revenue coming in. The team’s endured some serious injuries and some just awful play at times. To have a .500 record at this time is nice, the hope is that despite their current status, the team decides to at least make logical and progressively thinking decisions going forward in an attempt to improve the team down the road.
“Ruben Amaro will find a suitable replacement for center field.” Is this a true belief, or something muttered over and over again by someone rocking back forth in the dark?
More the latter, since the current roster has no suitable replacement. Revere going down could be taken as a legitimate symbol that this is a good time for the Phillies to move some parts.
Amaro could find someone on the market, it’s not impossible, but with the way the outfield was constructed to begin with, losing the glue surrounding Brown and Young hurts more than we might think. I’m so excited for a combination of Tyson Gillies and Michael Martinez in center field moving forward.
The most exciting thing about Phillies baseball in the near future:
The unknown. The continual improvement of Brown and a healthy Ben Revere are the only legitimate things about which to be hopeful right now. Mostly, I’m excited to see Jessie Biddle improve to the point at which he forces his promotion, and I’m interested to see what the team has up its sleeve this offseason.
The most unwatchable portion of Phillies baseball in the near future:
Most likely, it’ll continue to be the Phillies TV broadcast, but as far as on field action, it’s the continual mismanagement of the bullpen, tied with anything having to do with Delmon Young and a fly ball.
The bullpen will get (choose one) better/worse/depressed/hungry
I expect one pitcher to make strides forward, but overall it’ll become a mix of mediocre pitchers, some with potential and some without. Depressing is more the word I’d use.
Charlie Manuel’s job security – stronger than ever, like Utley’s knees, or weakened and fragile, like Ben Revere’s foot bone?
As long as Utley/Lee/Halladay remain with the team so will Manuel. It’ll be interesting to see if anything significant changes if/when Sandberg takes over though.
Ruben Amaro will do (choose one) something/everything/nothing and it will be (choose one) brilliant/terrible/emotionally exhausting
RAJ will do something, and it will be emotionally exhausting. I usually end up punching pillows instead of walls when he does anything, but his track record is littered with failures as well as successes, so it could be more of an emotional rollar coaster than anything else.
NL East: Braves
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wild Cards: Pirates, Diamondbacks
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
NL Cy Young: Adam Wainwright
NL ROY: Yasiel Puig
AL East: Orioles
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Rangers
AL Wild Cards: A’s, Red Sox
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
AL ROY: Jose Iglesias