In preparation for the upcoming 2009 season breathing down the necks of the world, I will feature some aspect of the Phillies that can ultimately lead to a successful season.
Let's go with something a little more ambiguous and undefinable today since I am feeling a little undefined myself . What can be considered heart? We all know we "gotta have it" as sung by the ballplayers in "Damn Yankees." We know that it's a certain something that goes beyond talent and inculcates itself into a player's persona.
Hearts must radiate; they must pump vigorously to feed the rest of the organs with nourishment. Is it ability to perform under pressure? Is it a determination? Is it grind the bat and ball into your hands until enough friction is created to heat a Winnebago? Is it an attitude?
I think what heart is, in the sense I will describe, is the baseball lifeforce. This is in what the sense of the game transpires, the need to construct each play as they were intended, with mental focus and drive and physical ability.
How does one measure heart? Well, strictly, you can't. And it isn't about 100% vs. 110% effort, it is the bloodline of baseball coursing through the generations.
The Phillies' heart levels are listed below.
Miles and Miles of Heart: Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jaime Moyer
Franklin Institute Sized Heart: Greg Dobbs, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, Chris Coste
Fiery Thunderhorse Heart: Brett Myers, Brad Lidge, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth
Wild Hearts Never Broken: Ryan Howard, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz, Matt Stairs, Joe Blanton
New Adrenaline Inspired Heart: Raul Ibanez, Chan Ho Park, Jack Taschner, J.A. Happ
Outsized Heart: Scott Eyre, Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey