By and large I am happy with the decisions you have made. Trading Cliff Lee, as you’ve said, seemed like the only way the acquisition of Harry Leroy Halladay III was possible. A perfect game is all the proof the detractors need, to say nothing of the consistency we expected and he’s delivered. Placido Polanco was a shrewd move, and he’s certainly proven the Chone Figgins camp wrong. Jose Contreras for $1.5M? Brilliant.
But look at this team right now. The monthlong funk is marching into the Interleague portion of the season which the Phillies always dread. Things seem really tense, Charlie seems uncharacteristically troubled, and the team is mired in second place with only the occasional sign of life. Something has to give, and that something is probably Greg Dobbs. But the point is this:
Domonic Brown deserves to be on the Philadelphia Phillies right now. I don’t want to hear a thing about his service time and team management’s contractual policies. In the face of this slump, that is nonsense. Call up Domonic Brown, and now.
Look around the National League — it is a rookie feeding frenzy. Right here in our own National League East, Jason Heyward has become a contributing insta-star in Atlanta. In the past week alone in New York, Ike Davis hit a walk-off homerun, and Jonathon Niese pitched a complete game, one hit shutout. The Marlins? Maybe you caught that 6’5″ fella in rightfield the last few days, the guy who had three hits in his MLB debut, right here in South Philly. What’s that other team in the division? The Expos? I believe I heard something about an impressive rookie in Washington.
Jason Heyward will not be of legal drinking age until August 9th, yet he has become a star in his hometown. If memory serves, he greeted his first chance against his division rival Phillies with a two-out, ninth inning homerun to tie the game.
Ike Davis is 23 years old. I thought the Mets were foolish to not re-sign Carlos Delgado, but after Tuesday, it’s going to be hard to ignore this guy. Jonathan Niese is also 23, and he’s already solidified himself in a five-man rotation in Queens.
Mike Stanton is 20 years old. He had more homeruns (21) than his age already this season when the Marlins called him up this week.
Stephen Strasburg? He’ll be 22 on July 20th. He’s going to be making plenty of visits to Citizens Bank Park — starting in August. And he’s also important enough that the Phillies’ scheduled national broadcast on Sunday against the Red Sox has been bumped; TBS deems Strasburg’s start in the otherwise highly sought after Nationals-Indians ticket takes favor over a matchup featuring two of the last three World Series champions.
And for what it’s worth, Mike Leake is 5-0 with a 2.68 ERA in Cincinnati. He’s 22. If it wasn’t for Ubaldo Jimenez, Cardinals rookie Jaime Garcia would be leading the National League with his 1.47 ERA. He’s 23.
There is a youth movement assailing baseball’s gentry. With the team struggling so mightily, especially from lefthanders off the bench (Dobbs? Schneider? ugh), there is no reason whatsoever the Phillies should not get in on the action.
Domonic Brown will be 23 in September. Raul Ibañez is 38 and has $23M left on his contract. There have been more than a few recent reminders that Jayson Werth is a free agent to be. They could both use a couple days off — and maybe a little fire under their asses. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were stuck behind Placido Polanco and Jim Thome, and I think we can agree they’ve proven themselves worthy of replacing their predecessors. But they also each got a late start.
Why not let Domonic Brown do his thing now? He was the one blue chip you would not part with. He’s already older than Heyward, Stanton and Strasburg. Let him prove you right.
This team needs an injection, something to rally and get excited around. The fans are getting restless, too. And you know as well as I do that Reading is not where Domonic Brown belongs. Nor Allentown.
Every single other team in the division has a star rookie in the making. Why can’t us? The season is practically already sold out — give the fans something else to look forward to, a little positive boost in this streak of ugliness. Think of the jersey and t-shirt sales. Think of the left handed bat off the bench not named Dobbs and Schneider. Think of the run production. And the excitement. And the buzz.
Come on, Rube. The time is now. Call up Domonic Brown.
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