My older brother Fred knows baseball. He played for the Phillies in spring training a few years back, when a guy named Roberts was the team ace; coached the game most of his younger life; and watches the team everyday like a hawk watches a mouse out for a Sunday stroll.
One day at the Vet, he knew Hurdle would use Walker for a pinch hitter late in the game before Hurdle knew it. Usually, he knows what Wheels will say before Wheels says it. He goes to Clearwater every year to check out the younger players.
Okay, so it’s time to check in with Fred and see what’s going on with the Fightins’.
“I think the Phillies are no better than last year…may not even be as good," he said. "They get a starter from the White Sox who starts the season on the DL. Another starter I saw in Clearwater has gotten bombed in his first 3 outings.
“Third base is about the same and catcher rests on the hopes of a young AAA catcher. The bullpen isn't a league winning bullpen and the closer who I love won't be around on the 4th of July.
“My feelings for this year are third place behind the Mets and Braves.
“NOW, if if if Pat starts hitting, Freddy comes back strong and the rookie Hamels has a half decent year I would love to see the Phillies prove me wrong.
“I think the front office is the first thing that should be replaced.
“BUT, my hopes are that I'm dead wrong and they will give the Mets a run for it.
“Again they send Coste back to the minors. When will they ever learn? OK, he's not a starting catcher for a world champion but he’s a great guy to have on the bench. He'll be back up after the Phillies realize his value.”