Starter. Closer. Fat. Thin. Majors. Minors. Pitcher. Hitter. Winner. Loser. Hero. Zero. Just a few words that come to mind when describing the career of Brett Myers.
This morning on WIP radio, host Brian Startare asked listeners to summarize Myers' career in Philadelphia. No disrespect to the average WIP listener, but even Bill Lyon would struggle to extract meaning from Myers' career. In my five years of blogging about the Phillies, Myers has been the toughest player to write about. Eight seasons have simultaneously felt like too much and not enough. For a pitcher who constantly looked uncomfortable in his own body, he's still regarded as a 28-year-old work in progress, just two shocking years older than J.A. Happ. Still considered a front line starter by some, mounting evidence suggests otherwise. He never won more than 14 games, setting his career high six years ago.
But before his career is painted in a broad brush of disappointment, recall the spotlight moments, including two of the loudest Citizens Bank Park moments in history: the 2007 division clincher against Washington, and his amazing at bat against C.C. Sabathia in the NLDS. Ironically, neither had anything to do with starting pitching, yet he earned his World Series ring - baseball's crowning achievement - based on the two postseason wins and a stretch-run surge that guided the Phils to October.
And before we completely eulogize his tenure, know that he genuinely loves playing in Philadelphia, a town that shunned him after the incident in Boston, and know that the Phils have extended his stay once before. Today, the decision to keep him fittingly amounts to a coin flip, just like every other part of his career.