It’s hardly worth the effort to launch Typepad and bang out a blog.
The great start by Brett Myers went to waste, of course. Bad swings outnumbered base hits 25-to-1 against Hiroki Kuroda, and the only thing I can say echos what I wrote last night. The worst thing the Phils can do is sit back and do nothing. It's past the point where it's just a slump. It's a defective, desperate offense, and it’s reached the point where the front office needs to change the mix. It’s going to be tough, because the time to do it expired July 31, but with the little wiggle room they have, they must do something.
We’ll get to Charlie Manuel in a second. Primarly, his hands are tied with a badly flawed roster. Here's a good example: Mike Cervenak batting with a runner on, close game, two outs in the eighth, and he has zero chance of helping them. None. Here's the kicker: Cervenak stays in the ballgame to replace Eric Bruntlett now that they’re in serious need of runs. Have there ever been two worse players to split a game at the hot corner in baseball history? This is the team that's supposedly serious about winning the East and reaching the World Series?
The stretch-run upgrade can't just be the return of a healthy Pedro Feliz. Get another bat. Get Kevin Millar. How would 18 homers look on the bench? He's cleared waivers and would cost little. Get someone, not because you want to, because you have to.
Manuel: Here’s a fun exercise. Run down the list of players who’re meeting or exceeding expectations, then consider their contract status. Interesting, isn’t it? How many are trying to hit paydirt?
Where does the motivation come from on the Philadelphia Phillies? What happens after Ryan Howard beats the organization in a $10 million arbitration hearing? What happens after Jimmy Rollins achieves the ultimate, individual honor of MVP? Where does the motivation come from for veterans signed to long-term deals?
This is Manuel’s toughest hour. Is he getting the most out of his players? It’s a good question and a tough call. Also, consider this: the first time Manuel asserted his authority this season was the first J-Roll benching two months ago, the exact time his offense went in the toilet.