Extra Innings

Let’s try and hold on to some of the magic of Florida Spring Training as the Phils transition with their two game “On Deck Series” against the Pirates from Pittsburgh tonight and tomorrow prior to the opener in Texas on Monday.  I understand the psychology of the on-deck series.  Let the fans get their baseball fix to tide them over until the home opener – which won’t be until April 7 this year.  And more importantly, let the players practice for a couple of games under harsher weather conditions than what they trained in during the month on Clearwater.


The irony is that the Phillies will open up the season this year in Arlington, Texas, where the weather next week for the three game series is predicted to be exactly what it will be in Clearwater.  So if the schedule makers had been thinking ahead they could have kept the last two games in Florida.  But I suppose the on-deck mini-series at the Cit has now become a tradition of sorts, and they won’t change it back.  I suspect no one thinking of a last minute ticket to the game tonight or tomorrow will have any trouble getting one.


It’s interesting to consider the plight of the Phils in light of the just-released announcement that the Eagles released talented WR DeSean Jackson outright.  What reportedly troubled the Eagles about Jackson was his attitude.  Can’t send a stronger message to the remaining players in the locker room that this kind of “I am what I am you’ll just have to accept me as is” attitude doesn’t benefit the team.

Perhaps Ryne Sandberg will take a page out of Chip Kelly’s management playbook and send a similar message to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard.  I’m fully aware they aren’t exact parallels, but he has to take more definitive action than his bench manager did in his former lifetime as manager of the Phillies.  You may recall reports such as this, that petulant Bowa squared off with petulant Scott Rolen by complaining that the middle of the order was killing the Phillies.  Here’s the message I’d send:  If you continue to pop up instead of getting on base and moving runners over in the #2 spot, Jimmy, you’ll either ride the bench or be down in the #8 spot.  If you continue to flail at marginal pitches from lefties, Ryan, you’ll platoon with Mayberry at first base.  Period.

Will the Phillies have the baseballs to emulate Chip Kelly?

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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7 Responses to Extra Innings

  1. doctuhdon says:

    in MLB the players have guaranteed contracts and no-trade clauses. In the NFL, most players (as was the case with Desean) do not have guaranteed contracts. Makes all the difference in the world.

  2. Yes and no. It depends on the coach/manager and in turn their influence on ownership. While there are no-trade clauses in baseball, it isn’t uncommon for cash-abundant teams (who are the ones offering these absurd $ contracts in the first place) to want to get a player out of the clubhouse badly enough that they will eat some of the guaranteed money. Consider for a moment if Rollins’ self-centered attitude was a big enough cancer for Sandberg to want him out of the clubhouse. Sandberg might then convince Jr. and Ownership that they don’t have to trade Rollins. My hunch is if they either benched him for a longer period or put him in the 7th spot in the lineup he’d probably just sulk. But we don’t know. If need be, they could simply release him. To be clear, I don’t want to see this happen. I want Rollins to rise to the occasion. But when a player is defiant and in essence says I’m going to do things my way and the heck with this “leadership” or “veteran” role … well, at some point you cut ties. Just like you created this mess with the contracts and clauses, you can set a precedent and say no individual player is above his impact on the team.

  3. Robert Nurisio COVT says:

    As much as his skills are admirable, the Jackson release seems to be addition by subtraction in the minds of the Eagles brass. The common thread on championship teams across all sports seems to be their unification within the locker room. The perception that Jackson became a cancerous tumor who was severely and negatively impacting their closed door environment apparently won out. Interesting to me that despite the ridiculous contracts these athletes are offered in the name of successful business ventures, at times humanity and good behavior still win out. Time will tell if this move was truly one of benefit. Go Phils 😉

  4. Agreed, Robert. And if he does sign with the Redskins, there will be two very interesting games on the Eagles’ schedule this year!

    • Robert Nurisio COVT says:

      Signing with the Redskins would make for good theater, but my sense is he’ll end up with a team teetering on ineptitude whose main focus is luring fans into their stadium by any means necessary – a la Terrell Owens to the Raiders – even if it means signing a malcontent to spark interest in their fan base. Cleveland anyone?

  5. Good point … and does make for high drama.

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