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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

9/30/21 : Culture

On Saturday my family and I experienced the very rare treat of sitting in a suite at CBP to watch a Phillies game. Ranger Suarez tossed a complete game shutout to lead the Phillies to a 3-0 victory over the Pirates.

The following day the team played extremely flat in a loss which carried over to another two losses in ATL on Tuesday and Wednesday. In essence a snapshot of this season’s inconsistency in playing winning baseball.

2021’s version of the Phillies has been a club that has hovered around the .500 mark all year, the 81 wins they’ve posted to date insures a non-losing record but with just four games left it also reflects the mediocrity they’ve continued to perform at.

This club was built on star power … a heavy investment in Realmuto, Harper, Wheeler, Gregorius, Segura and McCutchen. Harper, Wheeler and Segura played up to their contracts … the other three not so much. Folks can clamor about the minor league development or lack thereof as they see it, the bullpen struggles once again and the other very consistent targets of disdain like the center fielders ( boggles my mind at times … yet in two games in ATL who had four hits 🤷‍♂️ ) but it comes down to stars not being stars, especially when the spot light shined. That’s the bottom line as to why this team remains basically a .500 ball club.

It’s my belief that winning is a culture and in order for this team to become a playoff team once again that culture has to be embraced. There needs to be a further influx of players who don’t accept losing as readily, that are willing and do the little things that often go unnoticed … picking up a teammate, sacrificing an AB to move a runner up, building a comradarie that isn’t just played in front of the fans and cameras.

There also has to be a willingness to accept younger players energy and yes youthful mistakes but also a leadership ability to adapt and overcome when needed. There has to be an open mindedness that there are more ways to win than just the old standards and a surrounding crew that endorses that inclusive of those who’s job it is to message to the public that mindset. “Old School” gospel should certainly be heard and appreciated but new concepts and techniques shouldn’t be discounted either and must be incorporated. Nothing improves without evolving … never has and never will.

The new Player Development Director has been described as a “baseball rat” akin to the phrase a “gym rat” in basketball … one who loves the game, absorbs it and looks to ways to improve and incorporate. As a fellow baseball rat ( how many other idiots are there who go to the complex most everyday to observe and absorb 🥸) I can relate … it’s the convincing of others that is difficult. Personally I’m at the brink of just giving up …

Winning is indeed a culture, can talk about it forever however embracing it, living it and absorbing it requires a complete commitment. When the spot lights shine stars must be stars … when the lights are low stars must be stars and when no one is watching stars must be stars. There are different levels of stars ( all should strive to be a star within their role ) but all have to align else mediocre results ensue … until we fix the culture that will be a continuous outcome. As minor leaguers used to say “It’s all Part of it” … has to be more than just words … just sayin.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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