Two reasons why the Phillies will win the NL East: Outfield and bullpen. I know you’re thinking: “Ron, are you smoking something? They look worse than the ’62 Mets, with a 4-11 spring training record, next to last of 30 major league teams.”
Only Texas stinks worse.
Lookit, lifetime.300 hitter John Kruk said, “Spring training should last one day. We should have our golf outing and then go north.” Fine for Kruk to say. He could roll out of bed at 3 a.m. and go 3 for 4.
I’m not smoking anything and haven’t since I bummed one off Dave Sikorski in the Mansfield High School faculty room, back when Michael Jack and the Bull took turns making security deposits in the left field seats.
Wonder where Dave is now. Dave, you readin‘ this?
Hellooo, it’s only spring training. The 2008 Phllies — you might remember them, right? — broke camp in Clearwater heading north, third up from the bottom with a 12-18-8 spring training record. Wait, wait, wasn’t that the team that won it all?
That’s why they call it spring training…
I love the outfield, and Sandberg is cerebral enough to use a four man platoon, two righties, Ruf and Bryd, and two lefties, Brown and Revere. Since Bryd can play center or right and Ruf can only play right — shakily, at best — Sandberg will have to mix and match, giving each one enough at bats to produce. Mayberry, who can play anywhere, will figure in there too.
Oh, you didn’t read that in the newspapers? You think I get my stuff from newspapers? Hell, I don’t believe anything I read in the newspapers. I’d trust Vladimir Putin before I’d trust newspapers.
Newspapers? Give me a break.
Here’s something else. The 4-5 man platoon will put just enough pressure on each outfielder to produce, or end up a pine-rider. And Sandberg has shown — if he’s not afraid to bench Rollins for three games in spring training, think what he’d
do if Brown doesn’t hustle or Revere gets in a slump.
Pine-rider. You like that? I thought that up myself. Go look in the newspaper and see if you find it.
This outfield will get on base and drive in runs, while playing better defense than last year’s Delmon Young led defensive catastrophe. Wonder where ole’ Delmon is this season?
Hey, Delmon, you readin‘ this? He probably reads the newspapers.
Now the bullpen. What’s that you say? Is this a mistake? The Phillies bullpen has had lower approval ratings than Congress. But it’s different, now.
There’s plenty of potential here and plenty of options. These “kids” are ready to take over — left-hander Jake Diekman and righties B. J. Rosenberg and Justin De Fratus.
De Fratus’ 93 MPH fastball and 83 MPH slider will keep Phillies fans smiling all season.
The off season trade (Kratz) for right-hander Brad Lincoln added another good arm (Ron thinks that was a good trade). The 28 year old right-handed Linclon could be a cornerstone — if he pitches anywhere near how he pitched for the Pirates in the first half of 2013.
And Antonio Bastardo? Is he the eighth inning guy the Phillies have sought since Adams? Who knows, perhaps Adams will come around in the second half and earn the $7 million the Phillies are paying him.
Adams, who’s had more surgeries than Joan Rivers, might be the next Wally Pipp. By the time he’s ready — if ever — Bastrado will have the 8th sewed up.
Don’t worry about Bastardo getting hammered and blowing games. That’s ancient history.
Jeremy Horst and Ethan Martin will figure into the pen, too, once Martin gets over his sore arm. (Ron thinks Martin is good.)
So here’s what I’m saying. The Phillies outfield and bullpen will be exceptional. Bryd, Brown and Ruf — they can go yard. Revere runs like the wind. He’ll get on base and play stellar defense. The Papalbon-led bullpen is ready to punch their ticket.
Don’t believe what you see in spring training and don’t believe what you read in the newspapers.
What? What about the rotation?
Okay, all right, one thing at a time.