To which the Phillies, fans and NY teammates respond “Who cares?”
Brett Myers stole the words out of my mouth in this morning’s paper when he said the “Team to Beat” original was better than the sequel. “Sequels are always terrible,” he told Jim Salisbury. Actually, I wrote almost the exact same words a few months ago when Rollins followed up his “Team to Beat” by predicting 100 wins. Two thumbs down.
“Team to Beat” was a nice plotline in 2007, and it ended happily for the Phils, but as a fan, who needs the artificial motivation? The season series produced unbelievable drama, and it unfolded naturally. The two sides fought tooth and nail. The Aug. 30 game – the 11-10 win over Wagner – might have been the best single Phils game in a decade. The Phils nipped them for eight in a row. The Mets’ collapse set a historic precedent. How could borrowed statements made in February top that? The players understand and know it exists for fans. If you read between the lines, there’s mutual respect between these clubs. They're anxious to settle it on the field.
Players forming an identity: Keeping with that Salisbury piece, it’s a worthwhile study of player personality, which is surfacing more since the Phils are becoming the best sports attraction in town. No matter what you think of him personally, Myers is interesting copy. Notice the writers tend to lean on him for a different perspective. He doesn’t pull punches. I find myself drawn to his viewpoint, no matter how tactless. Cole Hamels is also quoted in this piece. He’s quotable, intelligent for his age, but also gifted at avoiding controversy.
On the other hand, there’s Chase Utley, who’s an all-star in every facet of his game except producing interesting copy. Dull, hollow, cliche. Never particularly revealing or intriguing. In the same category as Pat Burrell, it seems. If I were on the beat, I’d hit up Myers, Moyer or Rollins over Utley, who comes up small in the post-game clutch.