Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf Create Odd Logjam of Emotions


The Phillies have played in more than one spring training game, meaning we can let loose our dramatic reactions, pent-up from a winter of canned food knowing god damn well the dog cheats at Scrabble.

The two strongest emotional points on the Phillies roster are Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown, for reasons moving swiftly in opposite directions.

Domonic Brown

5-for-11, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1.806 OPS

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, righteous day!  Domonic Brown has arrived; the Domonic Brown we were promised years ago when he first RBI doubled off Edwin Jackson and Tom McCarthy clunkily crooned, “Welcome to Phil-a-del-phi-a!

It doesn’t even matter where he’s been all this time, or how badly we could have used him, or how now that he has seemingly proven himself he will probably be traded for an old reliever recovering from shoulder reattachment surgery.  All this time, assuming Ruben Amaro hated the kid’s guts, and now we can see that this was part of his plan all along.

Can Domonic still qualify for Rookie of the Year since this is the first year people will actually be aware he is in the league?

I know, only nine at-bats, but two home runs!  One was really far!  And I’ve seen at least ten home runs in my life; I think I would know whether or not a player has potential to have a sustainably monstrous season in Major League Baseball.  In fact, I was the first and best fan of Domonic Brown, ever since he got here!

Yes, if you Google “Domonic Brown” and “hate” you’ll most likely find that “Domonic Brown Human Garbage Manifesto” I wrote over the course of 16 hours and read, well, screamed mostly, during a call in to WIP that got me banned from the airwaves in six states.  But isn’t hate a form of fandom?  I’ve checked with myself and determined that yes it is.

Dom Brown should be batting clean up and if you disagree you are not a real fan like me!

Darin Ruf

2-for-12, 1 2B, 2 SO, 1 RBI

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Why isn’t Darin Ruf hitting all the home runs yet?  Is he mad at us?  Is he hurt?  Is he getting enough rest?  Are we sure his bats work?  What kind of tree are they made out of?  Is it a type of tree known for failure?  WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE CHECK AND SEE IF DARIN RUF’S BATS ARE MADE FROM CALIFORNIA FAILURE PINES?!

There’s a reason the Phillies have a squadron of outfielders to choose from, ranging from mediocre-if-platooned to catastrophic-if-given-glove, but it all matters what they do in this month and a half window.  Darin Ruf was supposed to be the next great Phillies slugger, homegrown and blue collar and underdog and Rocky and cheesesteaks and police corruption.  But his spring is not indicative of somebody that’s going to save us all.

So what’s going on?  Nerves?  Lack of focus?  Is the kid not getting enough dirt on his uniform?  Maybe don’t wash it for a few days.  Let some grit build up.  That’ll learn him.

In either case, maybe we should compose a schedule of shifts so we don’t all block the lines to sports talk radio shows to explain why we all never believed in Darin Ruf even though a few months ago we were all blocking the lines to describe his positioning at our dinner table with our family when he inevitably accepts his invitation to dinner.