Tuesday, April 10, 2007
A notable problem: the Phillies have made six errors in seven games this season. Ryan Howard has made 3 of the 6 on his own. Don’t think that this won’t become an issue in evaluating Howard, particularly given that his arch-rival, Albert Pujols, is a stunningly good defensive first baseman.
So what is a General Manager to do? The pressure is on Pat Gillick to find some answers to these riddles, particularly if the Phillies go 1-7 or 1-8 to start off the season. Making all of this extra-painful is the fact that these losses are coming to division rivals. These games are going to cost the Phillies in September. A few thoughts on what might be swirling around in Pat Gillick’s head:
-I wonder if Scott Linebrick-for-Aaron Rowand is still a possibility. Michael Bourn is up and looked good in spring training, so getting someone into center field won’t be an issue. His OBP is .367 because he’s actually bothered to attempt to draw some walks this season, so moving him to the Padres for Linebrick might be a good idea.
-Jon Lieber is back, so look for Gillick to start shopping Lieber for bullpen help as soon as Freddy Garcia is ready to take the mound, if not sooner.
-Poor Charlie Manuel’s head is in a noose. Manuel was hired under the old regime and he’s be the logical choice to punish for the Phillies soft start. Particularly given that Jimy Williams, someone who managed under Gillick in Toronto, and Davey Lopes, a high-intensity type of guy, are sitting on the Phillies bench. My money is on Lopes to succeed Manuel by April 30, based on the fact that teams often like to follow laid-back personalities with intense people. Lopes would fit that description.
The second week of April and the Phillies are in “must-win” games. Yeeshk.
I read back during the winter that John Schuerholz (can't spell his name!) was thinking about Linebrick, but the Padres wanted too much for him.
I like Rollins, because he is just a quality player.
I lived in LA in the 80's and heard alot about Lopes, but I'm a little concerned about how he would work as the man in charge...I don't know who I would recommend, but off the record I would call either Bobby Cox or Joe Torre and ask them to recommend someone for starters. I really like these two characters. BUT I truly appreciate your last comment. There is something to that contrast that can bring out the latent potential that wasn't getting anywhere in a laid back atmosphere.
If this franchise is ever to get on the right track, it will need new ownership. David Montgomery and his junta must go. They have shown that are either incapable or unwilling to produce a winning team.
Viva La Revolution!
Love your blog and plan on stopping by alot.