Mangels in the outfield
First things first: you too can be a sportswriter! Seriously, I don't know who Nick Browne is and I don't care, but because I have a forum to spout off, let me just offer this little bit of advice to the Nickster: don't drop out of dental school, OK? Obviously, you're a natural at pulling teeth because my whole head is feeling the effects after wading through this cesspool of a column. I used to either (a) scrap or (b) totally re-write stories better than this for my college paper and my writers back then were scribbling what amoount to distress codes in between hangovers. Not one sentence in this column can boast the depth of the reflecting pool on the Mall in Washington D.C. and if that reference makes no sense to you, re-watch Forrest Gump. Get a clue or stick to covering junior high field hockey, OK, babe?
Now that we're done, it's time to marvel at just how much has happened in Philsland in the past 24 hours. To wit:
1. Phils interview media-annointed and common-sense choice frontrunner for GM
2. Phils consider moving left field fence back
3. Phils will essentially let Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez walk, completing another fantastic long-term trade by Ed Wade
4. Ryan Howard is attributed to as saying that he doesn't mind learning to play left field
5. Marcus Hayes incorrectly asserts that Phils fans will be universally pleased by a re-signing of Billy Wagner
While CL has a strict policy aginst getting too worked up about routine happenings (#1), time-honored ineptitude (#3) and some items on here aren't really even out of the ordinary (#5), the true jaw-dropping moments on here are #s 2 and 4.
First, for the Phils to actually consider, let alone act upon, an idea that is founded in their admitting to some extent previous errors really does suggest that the front office is not as inept as we all generally feel they are deep down inside. Personally, such a move seemed inconceivable a few months ago. Think about it: they are saying (a) this park is not as good as it could be, (b) we need to make this change to get better, (c) we don't mind robbing ourselves of some revenue generation to avoid being the east coast version of the punchline to the Coors Field joke. It's still to early to say how significant this move would actually be -- that is, how much difference is it going to make to pitchers, and certainly, there are many some season ticket holders muttering to them selves for the next few months, sweating out the details -- but the fact that it's even on the table is weirdly encouraging. Since this blog was considering checking the books and trying to move some money around for a Sunday only plan in that neighborhood, this development will be followed with great interest.
The other item, moving Ryan Howard to LF to accommodate scapegoat of the year Jim Thome is not necessarily doomed to fail as quickly as it did last year. There are a million reasons out there to consider this move and almost as many to not do it. For instance, moving the fences back combined with a large, inexperienced left field may re-establish CBP as a doubles hitters park. Another one is that an outfield of Howard, Burrell, and Abreu (unless one is moved in the offseason) will instill in every major league slap hitter the confidence to be the next Jackie Robinson. But one very real reason to do it would be for the exact purpose of moving a healthy Thome at the right time next season, after spring training, during the season, when another team realizes a need and feels the pinch to make a move.
Imagine how things will be when we have a GM. See if you can keep up, Nick Browne.