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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

5/17/21 : My Take

Athletes with short memories have the longest careers. In professional baseball where games are played almost every day that certainly applies. Whether the current day’s results were good or bad moving on to the next day is a necessary mindset.

I watch Phillies baseball religiously throughout the organization. This past weekend we were in the stadium at Dunedin to observe a three game series against the Blue Jays. First it should be stated that the field layout there in regards to the sun is brutal. There is no way that players on the left side of the field and in some instances up the middle can see balls hit either high in the sky or as low liners ... the glare is ridiculous. It’s likely a major reason why night games there are 7:37 PM starts,so that the sun is down before games start. Sunday afternoon contests have been and will continue to be adventures in what projects to be sloppy play for those unaware of conditions ... just saying ya can’t catch it if ya can’t see it.

The Florida heat isn’t something to be messed with either. We intentionally sat near the top row of the bleacher seats in right field on Sunday to be in the shade. Numerous fans moved up during the game, one Phillies fan was so beet red the usher not only made room for him in the shade but got him water and asked if a paramedic was needed. Neither team took the field before the game started for BP ... they both waited till the last minute to come out and do their pre game stretches. It’s not a conducive environment for baseball and yet when the Gulf Coast League starts up near the end of June the younger fellas will play in noon games every day and this old boy will be there to watch ... go figure 🤪.

Now ... with that being said. Major League players are held to the highest standard as they should be, they are paid well and expected to perform. They are also subjected to the highest levels of praise and criticism ... it’s all part of it. Typically internal team “discussions” or “corrections” are kept from the public. In my opinion they should be, no organization of any sort excels by airing their dirty laundry for all to see. What happens in the clubhouse or on the bench is privileged intel for those who are part of the club itself. What happens on the field however is an open book.

Jean Segura has played exceptionally well this season, he’s hit and fielded like an All-Star and it has been noticeable that he’s enjoying playing by his friendly banter with other players both on his squad and the opposition. “Old school” philosophers probably dislike the interaction with the opponent but times past are gone and it’s not absolute that every “old school” method was the right way. If we never evolve we never grow. Jean was wrong in not coming to the mound for the skipper’s visit in the second inning ... the frustration of missing a low semi liner shortly before that certainly weighed it seems ... what ensued in the dugout afterwards was also frustration on both the skipper and the players part. They need to settle it and move on ... fans and the media need to move on as well. Jean didn’t play after that with his interactive enthusiasm ... he seemed to sulk a bit. A short memory of the sequence of events is needed for all.

Showing up a teammate on the field either intended or not is a bad baseball taboo. If you’ve ever played this game at a higher level that’s embedded in your mindset or at least should be. It’s something that the manager shouldn’t have to address as team leaders should pounce on it. I witnessed such an occurrence yesterday that was aside from the Segura/Girardi sequence ... I won’t call it out but am hopeful that it’s addressed. I had my binoculars on the dugout shortly after it occurred and believe words were said immediately to do so ... by a player. Hope so.

Hanging your head when things aren’t going well is not uncommon however it’s also not productive if it lingers. We have witnessed that this season also by some of the younger fellas, the game will adjust to a player’s success ... the player has to adjust to the failures else it’s a short lived spotlight. Throwing out the F bomb every now and again isn’t necessarily a bad thing but learning to keep the head up and adapt to what the opponent is doing to combat you is the true solution ... Athletes with short memories have the longest careers.

The roster situation is indeed a mess at the moment with multiple players unable to play but with hopes being that their setbacks are shorter term than an IL stint. It certainly has handcuffed maneuvering within recent games. That being said I believe that Matt Joyce is ready to return as is Archie Bradley and perhaps even Roman Quinn whom we spotted in the outfield during BP on Friday and Saturday and running bases with Didi and Andrew Knapp before Sunday’s game. Knappy may have been trying to get loose before ultimately being scratched before the game started with reportedly oblique like soreness.

In our opinion there’s a viable and valuable bench option at triple A in the person of Luke Williams. He’s a multi position defender and over the past couple seasons and big league camps has shown he can hit consistently at the upper levels. Luke’s also a right handed hitter which the team lacks off the bench. Ronald Torreyes is also an option but we feel as if folks were surprised by Nick Maton ( they shouldn’t have been if they read our reports 😂) then Luke Williams could be a similar surprise. Just saying that giving Scotty Kingery an extended chance to get back into a good baseball position at the AAA level and Williams a chance to show what he can do in the show makes a great deal of sense ... if the logistics of managing the 40 man roster can be addressed.

It’s easy to cast stones at glass houses ... some fan’s tend to overreact without understanding. It amazed me how folks in the right field bleachers shouted to the world yesterday as if those on the field could actually hear them 🤪 ... it was kind of funny actually ... I guess akin to shouting at the TV set at home 😂. Patience isn’t something that we are collectively good at, as Phillies fans we want prospects to instantly develop and transactions at the highest level to be magically made ... criticism is easy to do but frankly most who criticize do not have the capability to do the job, at least that’s been my experiences in life. Just sayin

So ... the boys are back home for a six game stint ... record is now 21-20 which slots them just a half game out of the division lead ... somehow finding a way to win four out of six would be ideal ... better than that would be gravy.

Athletes with short memories have the longest careers. Perhaps that should apply to we baseball fans as well 🤓 ... a mentality that we’re all only as good as our next game.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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