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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

6/29/21 : Here’s My Take

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

It’s easy when things are going bad to pile on with the criticism. The Phillies are certainly not playing good baseball, they are more often than not doing things that allow their opponents to defeat them. Both physical and mental mistakes have been very noticeable and certainly stand out. Blaming the manager for decisions becomes the easy way out for many. “Accountability” becomes the buzz word of the discontent.

After playing 76 games and posting a 36-40 record the 2021 Phillies certainly are not what the fan base hoped for. I get to watch the post game zoom calls and after each loss the content of the remarks is consistently about needing to play better, believing that they can and showing a resiliency to bounce back after each disheartening defeat.

Rhys Hoskins made an emotional statement the other night in reaction to a costly fielding error he personally made. He stated that the good things that happened in the game shouldn’t be overlooked while also stating his own accountability for his error. It was fodder for folks to jump on … many hear only what they want to hear and discount the rest. From watching these sessions over the past year I believe Rhys is one of the fellas who truly takes things to heart. He certainly has his defensive short falls … that’s never been a secret and fielding errors, like walks come back to haunt teams more often than not.

That being said it’s easy to point out the short comings of the team. It’s easy to say there is “no trade-able talent” in the minor leagues when you’re the superstar of the team. It’s easy to hammer the manager as one who “relies on data rather than instincts”. It’s easy for a commentator to point out on TV about not taking a secondary lead off of third base by a player who the commentator has noticeable disdain for. Going on contact was the play with the predominant outcome in most cases being to force a throw home for one out and avoid a double play, yet the announcer focused on the secondary lead rather than the batter not being able to deliver a hit or fly ball in the situation which was the bigger misstep. All that allows for pile on remarks and negative bias … which generally come in droves when teams don’t play well and lose consistently.

The 2021 Phillies are currently a mediocre team, they are flawed in terms of both chemistry and talent. They are not executing the fundamentals they practice over and again. They have been hampered by both injuries and inabilities to perform in big moments. Every team has shortcomings, when losses mount they are more evident. From my perspective and history of watching sports one of two things will happen from here on out this season … they will either bond as a team in a “Us against the World” mindset else continue down the path of mediocrity. Changes seem likely to be made in personnel regardless.

So I’ll continue to watch, as I’m sure most Phillies fans will. I’ll hope that they somehow find a path to success and will ignore the “realists” that bemoan failures as they continue to occur, yes even in times of success there will be failures mixed in. I’ll continue to watch and write about the minor league system and inform folks about the talent I see developing and yes there is talent in the organization whether you want to believe it or not. I’ll continue to encourage the developing players and coaches/administrators that work with them regardless of whether they acknowledge or want to hear from me. I’ll continue to be in the present and look forward rather than dwell on the past while also being respectful and attempt to learn from the history it provides.

Baseball mirrors life and life reflects memories … after the year we’ve been through it’s not such a bad thing that blown saves are the topic of the day.

That’s my take anyways … Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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