I wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight on a couple issues we’ve been having.
I made some unsavory comments at the beginning of the season. I know I was cruel, and I’d like apologize for calling you Charlie from Mayberry, a bumbling fool, the Incredible Melting Man, or anything else I said.
When you botched the double switch, I’ll admit, I would have botched it, too. When my readers second-guessed decisions that actually worked – like the platoon -- for that, you have my deepest regrets.
I still don’t like they way you wear your hat military-style, or that your personal hero is Ronald Reagan, but those are issues for another day.
Today is your day, Charlie. Today is your day.
The purpose of this letter isn’t to lavish credit for this small turnaround. You’re not the one with the bat in your hand smacking two-out RBIs like Chase Utley, or game-winning homers like Ryan Howard.
The real purpose is to thank you for a couple of subtle choices that have made this club better:
Sticking with Vicente Padilla: He’s a former all-star recovering from health issues. Why didn’t I think of that?
Making Robinson Tejeda a starter: More out of necessity than anything else. You had the guts to insert a rookie into the starting five just like the Braves would, and the move paid off big during a rough patch.
Assigning strict bullpen roles: I’ve always been a fan of this. Since the Phils acquired Ugueth Urbina, the bullpen assignments have been Ryan Madson or Rheal Cormier for the seventh, Urbina for the eighth and Billy Wagner to close – and the regiment is working. I blame Tim Worrell for throwing the whole thing out of whack.
The new lineup: I dig it. Is it because they’re scoring more runs? Yes. Yes it is. I also like Utley higher in the order. Why not throw a weapon like Chase at a pitcher early? Put the fear of god in him.
I hope I’ve set the record straight, Pops. I know you're not as sophisticated in your thinking as we are, but you're doing OK for yourself lately. Good luck with the rest of the season, and in your words last night in the post-game, here’s to “keeping staying after it.”