Well, the 76ers have had the past few days off, so I’m like a frightened baby deer wandering through some recently developed suburban houses. I’m scared. Alone. Nothing is familiar to me anymore and car lights resemble burning flames that threaten my very existence. Just when I’m about to give up all hope, I’m presented with an alternative that seems strangely familiar and comforting. Baseball season is coming.
Opening Day is 9 days from now. The hell that our pitching staff is about to bring will be unleashed, sending batters cowering to their hitting coaches searching for new “mechanics” to battle the unrivaled supremacy that is the Philadelphia Phillies starting lineup. It feels good. We are still a force to be reckoned with.
Every year a survey is taken determining the most loyal fans in baseball. Whom do you ask won it this year? The Yankees? The Red Sox? Nay, I doth correct yee… tis the Phillies. For the first time in 10 years, the giants of baseball have been overthrown on the Sports Loyalty Index (yes that is real.) The Yankees are now pushed to 2nd, and the typically highest ranked Red Sox are now bumped down to 3rd. Even better, the Mets who commonly ranked among the top 10, are now ranked 23rd alongside the Washington Nationals. The Nationals play in a city that’s almost foreign to everyone, so what’s your excuse New York?
Naturally though, there are some concerns. Most notably, Chase Utley. Just two days ago the Phillies sign Luis Castillo after the Mets released his old ass and he was cleared from waivers. This just helps add to the concern that our infield situation is not looking so hot, and Chase Utley might be sitting out longer than anyone else had expected. I’m cool with Valdez. He played great last year, looked good this spring, and he’s a nice youthful addition to a lineup many are criticizing to be too old.
Castillo is mainly there to back up Valdez for the disastrous situation that he happens to be hurt. But Castillo is old. Older than dirt. He’s 35, older than a majority of the infield, and he sucks. Last year he was notoriously on the ‘Not Top 10′ for dropping routine infield pop-ups. Dear God. Plus he’s a Met. They have no souls. The Phillies are considering contacting a witch doctor to perhaps revive the spirits in Luis to ensure that he is not in fact a scum-sucking, plague-ridden, uncanny pile of death who happened to rise to the elite ranks of professional baseball player. Fingers crossed.
Good news is he was scheduled to start today, giving everyone a chance to scout him before the season starts. Let me just hop over to the Phillies’ website to confirm that.
Oh god no.
They don’t know where he is!! He was scheduled to arrive yesterday for a physical and enter the lineup today, but he hasn’t shown? Apparently his agent is citing some sort of ‘confusion’ for the deadline. Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manual are not happy about it.
“If it was me? I would have been here two days ago,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “But it’s not me. I ain’t upset about it or anything. Really. When he gets here, we’ll suit him up and see what he can do.”
Calm down Charlie!