A few years ago, I was in Sacramento at a Triple-A Rivercats game. My sister and her husband had taken me, and we sat a few rows back on the third base side; laughing, catching up, and taking advantage of minor league concession prices.
It was a wild ride, up until Michael Taylor’s name was called out over the PA system. The chortling stopped, and I slowly turned to the field to see the stout, burly prospect stroll to the plate.
It was awkward.
Being Phillies fans, we knew he’d recognize us from his days in our farm system. But here we were, laughing and carrying on, as if having Roy Halladay on our team was all we needed to find happiness. Meanwhile, Michael was struggling through the A’s Triple-A schedule.
Fortunately, we were able to sneak out of there without having to force small talk with him while he stood in the on deck circle. But it was a sickening relief to know that he wasn’t in the middle of becoming The Chosen One, making us think even twice about the Roy Halladay deal that put young Michael in Sacramento.
But now here we are, several years removed from the deals that burned the talent out of our minor leagues, shuddering at the notion that anything we’ve done in the past could be a mistake.the Phillies can’t help but gaze wistfully
And right on cue, the Phillies dial Travis d’Arnaud’s number and hang up. Like Taylor, d’Arnaud was shipped away to bring us names that didn’t need five or six years of development before performing at their highest level. Now, the 22-year-old catcher is ripping it up offensively, and any baseball person will tell you, its pretty neat when a catcher can do that.
This is how it starts. Is now the age of Phillies sadly dialing the number of the prospects we used to preen just to hear their voice on the answering machine? Are we here already?
Let’s all just caress the framed pictures we’ve all got of Jim Thome and pretend he’s the answer.