“Look!” I say to my girlfriend, who is Jewish, whenever Rosenberg comes out of the pen. “It’s the Phillies’ only Jewish representative!”
“Yaaaay,” she replies nonchalantly. She’s a good sport.
Then Rosenberg gives up nine or ten singles and leaves the game.
And that was the B.J. Rosenberg experience for a while; pointing out who he was, watching my girlfriend humor yet another meaningless comment, then watching the game continue to be ruined. He was not a guy you’d want to build around; just another overcooked noodle-arm, spilling out of the pot and into the fire. We had dozens of ‘um this year; young guys who, after evaluation from afar in the preseason or winter ball or a few innings here and there for six different teams, could maybe be the crackling hurler we can rely on next year.
May 24, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher B.J. Rosenberg (53) throws during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
But they were not. The Phillies bullpen has been rancid for the better part of a baseball season, and now it’s time to start figuring out who will be asked to leave and who will be told there’s something we have to show them outside and then lock the door behind them.
B.J. Rosenberg, however, is thinking of sticking around. B.J. Rosenberg fancies himself a roster spot in 2014. B.J. Rosenberg… might not be insane.
Rosie made his 2013 debut in May, logging appearances in three different games, and immediately ballooning that ERA up to a healthy 12.00. In the second half, he’s appeared in over three times the games, hurled 8.2 innings, and hasn’t allowed a run. He also only has one walk more in 10 appearances than he did in three appearances before the All-Star break. In 13 games this year and 11.2 total innings, opponents are hitting .227 against him (.133 in the second half).
This is the paragraph where I tell you how small of a sample size that is and how it’s nice to see but boy nothing is going to tell us how this goes except the way it goes. Oh hey look, it was just a sentence. Welp, two now. Three.
Which is weird, because I casually lumped him in there with the rest of the relievers who have at different times been labeled “shaky,” “inconsistent,” and “undependable” all year. But here he is, using more than just one personal factoid to define himself. Hopefully next year, my girlfriend will be rolling her eyes because I’ll be leading a fan section, wearing a crown of Roses and drunkenly hurling petals onto the field as Rosenberg is called in.
Then I am arrested and police remain unmerciful while I explain that I am the baseball nymph whose spirit guides B.J. Rosenberg’s success. Then there’s a restraining order and stuff. Baseball!