Phillies Find Their Bats In Atlanta

There they are!  Those pesky little wooden sticks were hiding in the peachy state of Georgia!  14 hits, 2 home runs and 6 walks later and the Phillies wander off tonight with an 8-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.  Kyle Kendrick did a nice job, going 6 innings and giving up 3 earned runs, 2 walks and striking out 2.  Shane Victorino had a huge night with 4 RBI, 2 of which came off a home run in the 3rd inning.  He was so scary, in fact, that Bobby Cox, Braves manager, intentionally walked him in the 8th inning to load the bases for Chase Utley!  It paid off actually, as Chase struck out, but wow, what a move.  The Phillies, although coming away with the win, still left 13 men on base.  They also left the bases loaded twice with 1 out, without scoring.  Now, although I am always elated by a Phillies win, I do have a small rant to go off on…

I just can’t hold it in any longer!  I was hoping by the half way point of the season to see some really defined leadership on this team, but it just has not happened.  You see, the one area I think all major league clubs tend to ignore when making decisions is spiritual and emotional leadership.  They don’t see it as an important factor and therefore, it never enters into business decisions.  But team chemistry can make or break a team, and one or two people in a clubhouse need to serve as the glue that hold that bond tightly together.  We saw it last year when the Phillies thrived, despite being riddled with injuries.  It was the bond between teammates and the chemistry in the clubhouse that kept them motivated.  We saw the Mets self-destruct, because they did not have that special ingredient.  And it shows again with their team in 2008.

This year, the Phillies let Aaron Rowand go, which many saw as a good business decision.  Personally, I saw it as a huge mistake for all of the reasons I outlined above.  I agreed with the business end of it; however, he was the glue that held this team together and no one else has stepped forward to take over that role.  You know a bright light when it enters the room; he is one of those people and the Giants are now the beneficiaries.  Can’t dwell on what is done though, but who will be the next leader for the Phillies?  I thought maybe Jimmy Rollins would have stepped up, but at this point in the season, it has become clear that his role will be limited.  When a major slide happens as it did the last 6 series, someone needs to step up and hold these guys accountable for their own actions, like Aaron did last year.  I don’t want to see interviews the next morning where multiple players are saying things like, “Well, we ran into some good pitching…”  After 4, 5, 6 games, that gets old fast.  Not to mention, it is not stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility, like they would have in the same situation last year.  That is where I see a major difference between the 2007 and the 2008 team right now, and it is a little worrisome.    

We do have a lot of guys who can lead in smaller ways….Chase Utley leads by example; Shane Victorino leads with attitude; Pat Burrell seems to lead behind the scenes quietly; but we need someone who will not be afraid to grab hold of a guy and shake him when he does something stupid!  Who is going to throttle  Geoff Jenkins for swinging at a pitch today with a 3-0 count, bases loaded, 1 out that was NOT right P6222020 myers cr.jpgdown the middle of the plate?  Incidentally, he popped out and that was one of the 2 times the Phillies left the bases loaded with 1 out today.  Someone needs to say something to him and hold him accountable.

Ok, ok, so many will not agree with me on this, I know.  Such is life.  I just see such potential for this team this year, you hate to see it go to waste.  Especially if a guy like Brett Myers can get his act together and take one for the team like he did today!  Kudos to Brett for accepting the assignment to AAA J  That took a lot of guts and we should all be proud of him!  It was the best move for the team and very selfless on his part.  Now, let’s get this clubhouse in order so when he comes back, all will be well!  Another sweep of the Braves would certainly be a nice start to that…

2 Comments

Actually, I agree about 150% with you!! Someone needs to start shaking this team up when they do something wrong and take the blame, not just saying they faced good pitching (even though they did, but they still should be able to hit especially in key situations.) Especially with Geoff Jenkins…someone needs to help him out with this slump that he’s going through. So before I start MY rant of losing Aaron Rowand…I’ll just end this comment now lol =)

I also agree. Somebody among them need to take the guys aside and tell them that they’re stinking up the joint and that they need to make the other guys’ pitchers start suffering for all of those other pitchers making them look bad.

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