I got a call from Beerleaguer's senior correspondent tonight. He was concerned I was starting to lose my way.
He called to say the Bible had arrived. That's our term for Baseball America. It was a good issue, their Major League preview. Every year, this particular issue hangs around the kitchen table for months until the pages start to curl and wine stains blot the cover. This year's prediction: Division: Phillies. Pennant: Phillies. World Series: Red Sox vs. Phillies. Hallelujah. The Bible has spoken.
Then came his sermon. "Your readers are awfully down lately," he said. "You're being too conservative. If I can offer one piece of advice, it's that the Phillies take only the best players north."
Keep it simple, he said, in so many words. Keep it loose. If Bourn is better than Garcia, take Bourn. If Coste is better than Ruiz, take Coste.
If you're excited by the Phillies, allow yourself the pleasure.
Freddy Garcia vs. Josh Towers in Dunedin. Eude Brito, Fabio Castro and Tom Gordon are also scheduled to pitch.