Things have been headed steadily downhill for the Phillies this season. A loss to the Mets last night by a 5-2 score simply added emphasis to that fact. Roy Halladay had a solid start, allowing just 2 runs in 7 innings. But the offense left 10 men on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
In a tie game in the 9th, closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up a 3-run homer to a rookie, Mike Nickeas. It was his first major league hit. You cannot pin the loss on Papelbon, however, I am tired of the excuses for closers in a non-save situation.
I understand the mental part of the game, the lack of adrenaline in a non-save situation, yada, yada, yada… Whatever. But for the amount of money these guys get paid, I personally feel I could overcome any mental obstacle thrown my way. These guys want an adrenaline boost? Tell them to look in their checkbooks before taking the mound. That would certainly fire me up.
Before the game, Cole Hamels was suspended 5 games for hitting Nationals rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch and then admitting he did it on purpose. Let me get this out of the way: Hamels was honest, but it was the wrong thing to do for his team. Entertaining maybe, but still wrong.
However, as wrong as he was, many others added to the pile of wrong-doing afterwards as well. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo blasted Hamels saying, “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball.” Really? Isn’t publically calling someone a classless, gutless chicken via the media just as classless and gutless? Be a man and tell it Hamels’ face. Rizzo is just as “fake tough” as he proposed Hamels is.
And how about the retaliation when pitcher Jordan Zimmermann hit Hamels with a pitch? Was that not also childish, classless and gutless? Zimmermann refused to admit he did it on purpose, so he did not get suspended. But everyone involved knows the truth.
These guys are like children in a sandbox. And all of them are wrong. Their mama’s must have missed out on teaching them some important lessons.
So just for fun, here is the conversation I imagine between Hamels & Rizzo, spoken solely in “old school” parental clichés:
Hamels: If you keep frowning, your face will get stuck like that!
Rizzo: This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.
Hamels: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Rizzo: You bit off more than you can chew.
Hamels: No use crying over spilt milk.
Rizzo: One bad apple spoils the bunch.
Hamels: You are full of piss and vinegar.
Rizzo: Revenge is a meal best served cold.
Hamels: Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Rizzo: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Hamels: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Goodbye.