I really enjoyed watching the Phil's take a win over the New York Yankees today. It was good to see the boys out there on the field as the game unfolded, all of my baseball info thus far this spring has come from live updates on MLB.com or ESPN.com. It was great to actually see how each player was performing rather than just reading about it.
Moyer looked solid going five innings and only giving up one unearned run after two shakey defensive plays. Utley looked good, despite making the error that lead to the unearned run, he was swinging the bat well and extended his spring hitting streak. Ryan Howard made a fantastic stop on a ball hit down the line by Giambi, they didn't finish the play but the stop was highlight material.
All in all the team looked pretty good for this stage of the spring. Don't get me wrong, there are still some kinks that need working out but they've got two more weeks to get their bearings and to figure out why Howard is, all of a sudden, pulling off the ball at the plate.
It wasn't anything I saw on the field that had me feeling funny, it was a comment I heard from the broadcast booth. When Pat the bat steeped into the box for his second AB, Chris Wheeler said that Burrell knew how important he was in terms of what the team was going to accomplish this year, and then "Sarge" Gary Mathews chimed in that Rowand was going to be integral in terms of the team's success as well, of course not as important as Pat, the organization was really counting on Burrell, but Rowand was going to be instrumental as well.
Let me get this straight, this team's success depends on one guy who doesn't really seem to want to play here anymore, and who, if he can't be traded before the end of the season is going to stroll back to Chicago as a free agent once the year is done; and another guy who the Phil's have desperately been trying to trade for the last three seasons. Call me crazy, but that seems like putting all your eggs in the wrong basket.
The Flyin' Hawaiin said before the spring began that Pat Burrell was going to have a big year in '07. I hope he does, I hope Burrell has everything to do with the Phil's not only getting into the playoffs, but going deep into the playoffs but I don't know how comfortable I am relying on him for the team's success. I'm not going to bash Pat, he puts up some decent offensive numbers, but I'd like him to be a little more consistent, I want to see his batting average floating around .275 not .255.
I'll root for Pat the Bat all day long, just like I will for any other guy in a Phil's uniform, all I'm saying is: If there are men on second and third with two out in the bottom of the ninth and the Phil's are down by one, Pat is probably about the sixth or seventh guy I want to see coming to the plate.
And as far as Aaron Rowand is concerned, I think he could be a very reliable guy - in the past he's been pretty consistent at the plate and, at times, beyond amazing in the field. I want Rowand to be a Phillie, but I won't feel comfortable really counting on him either, at least not until I know he wants to be a Phillie.
Hey Pat and Aaron, I'll make you a deal: Prove me wrong this year and I'll be happy to count on you next year.