Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas!
In the spirit of giving, I teamed up with TBOH staff writers Alex Chemereteff and Emily Gruver and we came up with some gift ideas for a few members of the Phillies organization. Hopefully, when they went downstairs this morning, here’s what they found under the tree:
Jonathan Papelbon – A muzzle
When things are going poorly for a baseball team, and a large part of the problem is the closer’s inability to close out games, the last thing that fans want to hear is quotes from that closer like, “I didn’t come here for this.” The best thing he could do is to keep his mouth shut – or even better – take some responsibility for his role in the failure.
I might also get Papelbon another Christmas sweater, because the goofy picture he recently posted was about the most endearing thing he’s done since becoming a Phillie.
Awkward family photo. pic.twitter.com/7b3F9MRAUr
— Ashley Papelbon (@ashpapelbon58) December 9, 2013
Ruben Amaro, Jr. – An analytics department
Since our general manager still resides in the late-20th century, what better gift to offer than a staff of capable ‘baseball geeks’ to usher him into the second decade of the 21st century. Mr. Amaro still seems to think that teams are strictly assembled with good, old-fashioned scouting and player development.
He may also need a shiny, new computer and smartphone, since he probably still uses a Commodore 64 and first-generation BlackBerry. Change is good!
Jimmy Rollins – Hustle
Over the years, Jimmy Rollins has been criticized for his lack of hustle down the first base line. He didn’t always maximize his ability to run and beat out infield singles. Now that his power stroke seems to have abandoned him, new manager Ryne Sandberg has spoken with Jimmy about using his speed more. Hopefully with a little more hustle, Rollins can become the on-base machine that we have long wanted him to be.
Chase Utley – A thighmaster
I’m not sure what Utley did to get his chronically sore knees in better shape last year, but he needs to make sure it continues. And how better to strengthen his legs than by using Suzanne Somers’ world-famous exercise equipment? It might not actually help Utley hit more home runs, but he’ll almost undoubtedly look good when he does hit them.
Ryan Howard – The fountain of youth
In 2014, the Phillies lineup is going to be dependent on Ryan Howard’s ability to crush home runs. Unfortunately, Howard hasn’t been at full strength in a while, and as he gets older, it seems more and more unlikely that he will ever regain his old form. It would be great if he could recapture his pre-2010 form, but even a return to his 2011 numbers would help considerably.
Does anyone else have any gift ideas for the Phillies? Feel free to share them below. And I hope that each and every one of you found exactly what you were hoping for under the tree this morning!