I read something fairly depressing today at The Good Phight. The Phillies, as a team, are hitting like Steve Jeltz. For those of you don't keep track of light-hitting shortstops of yesteryear, he was the Phillies shortstop from 1985-1989 (more or less). His best single season OPS was .694. He once had a season (in 148 games) with a slugging percentage of .237. He is now remembered for three things: his hairstyle, being born in France, and hitting a home run from each side of the plate in this crazy game in 1989. I listened to that one on the radio since the game was probably aired on the cable station Prism and therefore, inaccessible.
This brings us back to today's version of the Phillies....their lineup is bad and has only a slight possibility of getting better. Their starting pitching has a duct-taped rotation and is performing reasonably well, which may or may not continue. Their bullpen is also adequate with some breakout potential. Unfortunately, baseball is a game of wins and losses predicated on run differentials...it is hard to win if you hardly ever outscore the opponent. It is very difficult to rely on a 1-0 or 2-1 result every evening. It's also hard to hit under .200 for the season with runners in scoring position, though it seems like they're going to try.
(On a side note, for all this stressing about fundamental baseball, I have not seen sloppier play on both sides of the ball in years....it looks like there's a cloud above this team, and not the cumulus kind. It's one of those mind sucking clouds that bombards you with trivia while you go about your daily business, and then threatens to zap you if you get a question wrong....that must be it, their bodies are threatened from the astral plane and are unable to concentrate on catching the ball or deadening the bat to put a bunt down.....)
It might sound like there's no hope, but there always is.....until Memorial Day at least for this fan. And then again until July 4....ok, I will hope until Labor Day.....irrational dreaming and all that.
Let's see what could happen with some of the major players on the team this year. Since we're 10% of the way through the season (give or take), it's easy projection from this point out because we all know a baseball season and player performance is completely linear and will never, ever deviate from that path that started on Opening Day (not true).
Current Status: First baseman of record and symbol of the decline of all civilization. .526 OPS, 1 home run, 5:1 K:BB ratio.
Future Linear Projection: 10 home runs, 40 RBIs, too many Ks.
To Change the Future: Must become a platoon player at this stage of his career, though his batting splits from last year until now are worrisome. Also, breathe-right strips, lots and lots of those.
On the Card Side: This card is awesome! I love 2012 National Treasures! That's my next thesis topic.
Current Status: Embattled ace who caught a mini home run bug, needs to seek the old man by the fire in Legend of Zelda to be cured. 0-2 with 3.75 ERA, 8.63 K/9
Future Linear Projection: 0-20 with 230 K in 240 innings
To Change the Future: Pitch as you always have this year, besides W-L record, the rest can turn....also invest in cloud seeding to lower atmospheric pressure.
On the Card Side: This card is from the first set of Topps Tier One, 2011. It is so memorable I spent the last three minutes looking up which year it was from.
Current Status: Left fielder who makes cameos in center. Had one great outfield assist this year, matching a pre-arranged quota with the telecom industry. .472 OPS, 4 SB and 3 3B
Future Linear Projection: .172 BA, 40 SB, 30 3B, and 60 R.
To Change the Future: Must bat in leadoff and start shoulder strengthening exercises. Can only hit slow rollers to 3rd base to artificially inflate batting average
On the Card Side: This is a 2007 Tristar Prospects Plus auto back when he was just drafted. It's interesting that he was one of the players from the set that made the majors.
Current Status: 2nd baseman slumping due to the presence of the cursed necklace of Antioch. .450 OPS, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Future Linear Projection: 4 home runs, 36 RBIs, a lot of grit.
To Change the Future: He needs to rest every 5th game at this point in his career and also block out the distractions of losing. He must channel every utterance of "Chase Utley is the man" by a fan or announcer into a double or turned double play.
On the Card Side: 2012 Bowman Ice sparked a parallel revolution in the Bowman line, portending the wave and bubble editions. I was lucky to pull this out of a blaster. Notice there was no necklace in this photo.
Current Status: Catcher of pitches and framer of strikes. .482 OPS, 0 HR, 1 RBI.
Future Linear Projection: 0 home runs, 10 RBIs, 1 extra base hit by luck.
To Change the Future: Must visit the Louvre this year to practice proper framing and also needs to make more solid contact, line drive percentage is a thing.
On the Card Side: This card is from one of those confusing issues of the mid-2000s. First look, it's a 2006 Upper Deck purple parallel....first look at a checklist says no, there are no purple parallels. Instead it's 2006 Upper Deck Special F/X, which is a 1000 card counterpart to 2006 Upper Deck! Like Topps Chrome except impossible to collect.
Well, that was more depressing than I intended. I should try to say something positive.....Cut the camera, it's time for a bagel.