Let’s agree not to do that again: Phillies Year in Review, Part Two


A tearful Phanatic has placed a pillow over the face of the 2013 Phillies, eyes clenched as they began to twitch frantically under his weight, and then lied still. The end is here.

And so, we at TBOH have come up with some general questions about what could go right next season and what so stupid about the recently completed one.

John Stolnis hits second, following Ethan Seidel.

What does Ryne Sandberg need to do to be the Manager of the Year? How will Kyle Kendrick ruin it for him?

Sandberg needs to strap Ryan Howard down to an EZ Boy lounger and force him to watch video of him swinging at low and away breaking pitches and high and inside fastballs from left-handers, all while Wally Joyner stands over him talking about the benefits of softening his hands at the plate and keeping his front shoulder in.

Of course, Kyle Kendrick will come along, after a mid-season trade by the always astute Ruben Amaro Jr., and proceed to lose his first 7 games as a Phillie. Because he’s special, you know.

Seriously, though, nothing short of a playoff birth will get Sandberg into the conversation.

Without Charlie Manuel, the Phillies see a dramatic drop in Folksiness%. What are the best ways a full year in Ryne Sandberg’s clubhouse will be different?

First of all, far less BBQ. And stories about horses and Japanese baseball. Players will apparently be forced to do a lot of infield work and be forced to *covers eyes* PREPARE for baseball games.

Can you believe that crap? Ryne Sandberg wants them to PREPARE??? What does he think he is, a Hall-of-Famer or something?

*Quickly clicks over to Baseball Reference*

Oh. Ok then.

Sandberg has talked of how important Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins’ roles will be next season. Why is he putting so much emphasis on the older, more injury-prone crowd? And did he not see Chase Utley? He’s standing right there, thinking about hitting mechanics. Wave to Chase, everybody! Oh, he looks mad. I guess he always does. Still, though; stop waving.

Don’t look at Chase Utley in the eyes!!! What are you doing???!!! What are you, new here? Seriously, we need to stop counting on Ryan Howard for things. Apparently, the dude hates to watch video of pitchers he’s about to face and is one more leg injury away from being taken to the vets’ office and put down.

And yeah, Rollins. Geez, I guess they HAVE to depend on Rollins, because they can’t trade him and he ain’t going nowhere.

All the older guys get the love because they have rings but, more importantly, have HUGE contracts. And you know what they say… “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.” AM I RIGHT!!!???

Someone hi-five me.

Darin Ruf’s role on the 2014 Phillies will be as a _______ly effective _______.

Hilarious-ly effective unused first base platoon mate.

Sep 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (34) looks on from the dugout during the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

How many miles away from Philadelphia will Roy Halladay spend next season?

Zero. He’s coming back. I can just feel it. At least, I think he’ll be there in spring training. Then, after posting an ERA over 8 in Clearwater, he’ll be released and probably sign with Milwaukee or something. Yeah, Milwaukee sounds about right.

850 miles

How many miles away from civilization will Roy Halladay spend the next season?

You’re assuming civilization doesn’t revolve around Roy Halladay. How can one person be away from something that is inherently a part of themselves? I hate stupid questions.

Assuming Hamels and Lee are retained, fill out the last three spots in the rotation. EXTRA CHALLENGE: Do it again, using solely arms from the farm system. Ha ha, no, don’t. Actually yeah, do it.

#3 Miguel “Chicken” Alfredo Gonzalez

#4 Masahiro Tanaka (at least, this is what I want) Matt Garza more likely, though

#5 Adam Morgan

As for arms solely from our farm system…

#3 MAG

#4 Jonathan Pettibone

#5 Adam Morgan

I don’t like that last exercise. Let’s agree not to do that again.

Kyle Kendrick showed a glimmer of dominance early in 2013, and is almost 30 years old now. Assuming someone else is now the ‘little brother’ of the team, who is it? Or do the Phillies not have the chemistry to establish jokey little roles like that anymore, choosing to brusquely pass each other in the hall and avoid speaking to each other?

I miss the days when every player in the locker room had a nickname. “J-Roll,” “The Big Piece,” “The Beard,” “Pat the Bat,” “Hollywood,” “Chase Utley,” those were some GREAT nicknames. I fear that losing, along with Ryne Sandberg’s dictatorial rule, were forever forbit happiness and joviality from ever entering the locker room again.

Just kidding. I like Sandberg and, if the team wins, they’re gonna have fun. I always like it when they just put a “y” at the end of a player’s name. Like Jones-y. Do we have a Jones-y on this team?

I think if Adam Morgan makes the team, he’s that guy. If not, it’ll probably be someone like Jonathan Pettibone. Ladies seem to like him and he’s kind of exactly like Kendrick in that he’s probably not a bona fide Major League starter, but seems naive and could likely be the butt of a lot of practical jokes.

How many Phillies problems were solved by the demolishing of the Vet Stadium tower?

Dude, hasn’t Roy Halladay suffered enough without you calling him “a tower?”

Sep 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Cody Asche (25) reacts to being tagged out at third base while trying to stretch a double into a triple during the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets defeated the Phillies 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley: Offensive leader and ideal example for young players to follow, or unkillable baseball cyborg who will stand amongst the smoldering ashes of Citizens Bank Park as the lone survivor of the End of Days? 

Michael Martinez once tried to ask Chase Utley a question about hitting. Chase Utley bit his face. After the first game in which Cesar Hernandez started at 2B for Chase, he found his locker filled with snakes. Chase Utley ordered a hit on Freddy Galvis (not really, which my lawyer said I need to make clear for legal purposes).

So, my guess is players will be following Chase’s example of hard work and focus, rather than go to him with advice. Unless they want advice on how to kill a man with your eyes.

Rank these young people in the order of their significance to the 2014 campaign: Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone, Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman.

#1 Cody Asche

#2 Jake Diekman

#3 Ethan Martin

#4 Jonathan Pettibone

#5 Cesar Hernandez

#6 Freddy Galvis

#7 Justin De Fratus

The big question for me is what they do with Cesar Hernandez. I like what he’s shown, but with Revere in CF and Utley at 2B, and the need for power in the corner OF spots, and Galvis occupying the super utility infielder role, I don’t know where he gets at bats on this team next year.

Will the Phillies do the responsible thing and start hunting for starting pitching to sign or will they do the ‘Phillies’ thing and immediately sign a 40+ outfielder who has to sew his arm back on between innings to be an everyday corner outfielder?

I think they will, but it’s not going to be easy. Many of them will probably get QOs. But I don’t think they believe Ruf is an everyday corner OFer. I’ll bet they go after Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz. A darkhorse candidate is Corey Hart, who didn’t play an inning this year because of leg problems. But if he’s healthy, he could be a stealthy free agent pickup, like Jayson Werth was before the 2006 season.