I want everyone reading this to repeat a phrase to themselves. “It is only spring training.” I understand that Chase Utley’s knee is making you uneasy. I understand that the number one prospect in the known Phillies universe just broke his hand and is out for 3-6 weeks. I understand that ace number three just was beaten soundly by notable head-case A.J. Burnett. I understand that you hate the Yankees. I understand.
My father is a Yankees fan. He grew up in northern New Jersey during the prime of the Mickey Mantle era. I was always regaled with stories of the most storied franchise in baseball history. I love my Dad, but I fucking hate the Yankees. I hate their manager’s stupid braces. I hate their third baseman. I hate the fact that they have all those hall of famers. I hate that they have been good for the majority of my life. I pine for the days of Melido Perez, when, despite a gigantic payroll, the team was not competitive.
Any time the Phillies play the Yankees, all of the vitriol welled up from my entire life of watching the Yankees win bursts forth in a torrent of swearing and screaming. Spring training is no exception. I know that the games do not technically count (see my mantra above), but it still makes me crazy to watch the Yankees win.
Today at George Stienbrenner stadium the Yankees sent A.J. Burnett to face off against Roy Oswalt. During the 2009 world series, I was convinced that the Phils would tune this piece of walking garbage up in every start. I was sent into a blinding rage when he was fantastic in his first start. He looked really good today and regardless of the amount of rationalization I attempt, I am still angry.
To complicate matters, the Yankees tuned up Oswalt for five runs in 2 2/3 innings. Roy Oswalt is a fastball pitcher. If he can not command his fastball, he is quickly rendered ineffective. Oswalt struggled with his fastball command today. I suppose that we, as a fanbase, can not expect perfection in every start. I do not expect perfection, I just beseech the baseball Gods to not let A.J. Burnett out pitch ANYONE. (Editors Note: I am breathing into a bag in a failed attempt to calm myself down)
I beleive that this post will spin out of control pretty quickly, so I will make this one short. The Phils were beaten 7-1 scoring their one run on a Wilson Valdez solo home run.
If you run into my Dad, don’t let him rub it in.
Next up, Cole Hamels faces former Yankee manager Buck Schowalter’s Baltimore Orioles.