Phillies Opening Day 2008
Gone in a Flash! Gordon, that is. Ok, well, I am going to go all out on a limb here, get crazy and say, hey, it’s not all Tom Gordon’s fault people! Yes, he can take his share of the blame, but let’s go back, way back to the 5th inning…Myers looked ok through 4, but only really had like 2 pitches working and was just getting lucky for the most part. Fast ball, curve ball…that’s about it. By the 5th, they had him figured out and just like that, 4 runs are in. A rare and not so pretty J-Roll error did not help much either.
Ok, so Rollins makes up for it with a 2 run homer in the 7th…but wait a sec….rewind! If you recall, right before that, with pitchers spot up in the batting rotation, one man on 2nd, time to put in a pinch hitter, who does Charlie Manual call on? Geoff Jenkins? Are you serious? I sooooooo saw this coming… Charlie feels bad about starting Jayson Werth over Jenkins, so he goes to Jenkins at the first opportunity instead of thinking it through and using his brain. I knew as soon as they announced Jenkins, they’d pull the righty and put in a lefty, who Jenkins can’t hit! And if I know this, doesn’t Charlie? So, why not go with someone like Greg Dobbs in this spot who usually hits well against both righties and lefties? Then, maybe advance the runner…maybe get 2 men on base…then J-Roll’s 2 run homer is 3 run homer. Ya know?
Hate to be so picky but it is little decisions like this that worry me. I love Charlie and all, but he needs to worry less about what his players think and more about what makes sense. He has already earned their respect…he needs to stop trying so hard. Imagine what a difference one more run would have made going into the 9th inning in the mind of Tom Gordon? The mindset of a long time closer is way different when the score is 7-6 as opposed to 6-6. At 7-6, you are in a save situation and somehow, a little light goes on in the “closer” brain and it’s go time! For whatever reason, you see more closers blow games when the game is tied than not…it’s like some weird mental voodoo / brainwashing. Like someone in the stands is pointing an invisible laser at Gordon’s head and chanting, “You will not throw your curve ball….you will not throw your curve ball…” What is up with that?
Poor guy…you gotta feel for him though. I’ll tell ya, I never heard such heartfelt boos in all my life like I did at the end of that game. Wow! It was truly awful. I just sat silently and waited for it to end…I personally do not like to boo anyone. I leave that up to the louder fans to handle. But certainly, I could not ever scream obscenities at another person like some do…it’s just not right. I always think to myself, that is someone’s son, father, friend, etc… It’s one thing to sit here and critique a performance or a decision or even to boo…we are all entitled to our opinions. But, it is way uncalled for to be shouting cuss words at people and calling them names. They so do not deserve that. Just my opinion…
Anyhow, what a 360 from the last game of the year on 9/30/07. Was there on that day, and then to be there again yesterday for the opener and hear the screams was just unreal. But like I said, you can’t lay in all on Gordon. Let’s give 3 runs to Myers, 1 to the J-Roll error, 2 to the Madson oops!, 1 to Carlos Ruiz’s horribly botched attempt to pick off a guy at third base, and Gordon, Manual and the rest of the gang can share the last 4. It was a team effort, I’d say. But ya know, it’s only one game. And as with anything else in life, we must take it one day at a time….tomorrow will be a new day! Go Phillies!