Come in off the Lidge...
"It's only one game."
"It's a long season."
"One game does not a season make."
OK, now that I've dispensed with the obligatory sports cliches, let's get into this, this being the debacle that was the Phillies opener, which is becoming redundant for sure.
And no, for the record I am not overreacting, although some (MQ?) may think otherwise after reading this.
Ok, so what did we have?
We had the reigning NL NVP go 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored, 1 HR. We had the MVP in waiting (Chase Utley) go 2 for 3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored, 1 HR. Overall the offense did its job, 8 hits, 6 runs.
So far so good.
The defense? Well I'll give Rollins and Ruiz a pass for their gaffes due to the fact that they are usually very sound defensively so I will consider this an early-season aberration.
Pitching? No aberration here kids. Sorry, Charlie. I mean that literally as in sorry Charlie Manuel but Stand Pat dealt you a pretty bad hand to play... again.
Let's apply a football analogy for splits and giggles. Let's say you have an All-Pro running back, an All-Pro receiver and All-Pro tight end, 3 of the best talents in all the league, all in their prime. Unfortunately you didn't pay any attention to your quarterback and what you have is a cross between Jeff Kemp and Koy Detmer. Yeah, you may win a few games and be competitive in most. But you're not hoisting any trophies at the end of the year.
Collectively, the Phillies pitchers are that quarterback. They will have some good games, they will have some bad. But collectively they will not be able to produce the results commensurate with the talent around them. The danger in all of this is you will essentially be wasting the prime years of these 3 All-Pro players.
Mark it down, kids. Unless the Phillies surround their 3 All-Pros with the pitching talent (not named Hamels) befitting their talents, the Phillies will never win the World Series. And we, the fans, will have seen another Philly sports team fail to bring the necessary pieces together to win that elusive championship.
Overreacting? I'm just getting warmed up.
You know I hate to say I told you so, but... as I mentioned right here in these very pages, coming into this season, opponents are hitting .347, have a .409 on base percentage and .567 slugging percentage from the 4th inning to the 6th off one Ryan Madson.
Now I only bring all this up as public service of sorts because you know... those who forget history are doomed to repeat it or something like that. Oops, too late.
How'd my buddy Ryan Madson fare on Monday?
Let's see here...
1 IP (the 6th)
2 H (including a HR)
This gem adds up to an opponents BA of .400, a .400 OBP and a perfect 1.000 Slugging Percentage.
It's nice to see some things in life stay the same, isn't it?
And speaking of staying the same, Tom Flush Gordon (he's no longer a Flash unless you add "in the pan" to his name) added to his stellar spring by going all of 1/3 of an inning and yielding 5 earned runs on 4 hits and a walk.
Wednesday of course brings the Phillies chance for redemption and a chance, albeit an early one, for Cole Hamels to set the bar this year by pitching well, and deep into the game, thereby establishing himself as the guy the Phillies can count on every 5th day.
I know it's only one game, spare me those emails, please! I get it. But don't tell me that despite it being only one game there were some things that not are cause for concern.
May have missed this one...
A few weeks ago there was a horrific accident in New York City in which a crane collapsed, killing seven people. What you may not be aware of, and I was not either until today when I happened upon this side of the story, that one of seven killed was a member of the Phillies family.
Santino (Santy) Gallone, spent the years from 1989 to 1992 as the starting second baseman for the Fordham College Rams. Known as an unflappable hard-nosed player, he still holds the school records for hits (222), at-bats (601) total bases (354) and most times hit by a pitch (42). He was inducted into the Fordham Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
Despite the success he achieved at Fordham, Gallone was not drafted by any Major League clubs. He was eventually signed by Sal Agostinelli, a Philadelphia Phillies scout.
Gallone eventually signed on with the Phillies organization after a successful stint in Sioux Falls, and he spent the 1994 season with Class A Spartanburg. Over 100 games he batted .282 with six home runs and 37 RBIs. He was promoted the next year to Class A Clearwater, where he hit .244 with six homers and 40 RBIs over 93 games.
During the '94 and '95 seasons he played with someone you may be more familiar with, Scott Rolen, who said after hearing of Santy's passing, "I feel terribly for his family and friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the two years we spent together as teammates and friends."
Santy Gallone was just 37 years old and he leaves behind his wife Jessica, and a 18-month-old daughter, Giuliana.
'Til next time.