Everyone wants to talk about Rollins’ being benched yesterday and while I’ll get to that, I think everyone is ignoring the other more concerning issues with this team. Here’s what I’d discuss:
- Charlie Manuel should be benched – In the 8th inning yesterday, the Phils had the bases loaded and two outs with Jason Werth facing Oliver Perez. The Mets bring in Aaron Heilman a side-winding righty; Manuel had 3 left-handed bats on the bench – Rollins (reigning MVP), Greg Dobbs (leading pinch-hitter in the majors), and Geoff Jenkins. All three remained on the bench and watched Werth fly out. I don’t care what the reasoning, that roles is for Dobbs, he’s supposed to be in in that situation no matter what.
- Chase Utley and Ryan Howard go a combined 2 for 24. Take away the 9th inning in the first game of the Mets series and the Phillies have scored 10 runs in the past 5 games. I am so tired of seeing easy runs die at 3rd base. I don’t care what the talent is, this team can’t hit anything other than a home run – no way to get to the playoffs like that.
- Lost in this is how well Jamie Moyer, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Kendrick are pitching. I’m afraid that when the hitters finally come around, the pitching will be in a rut.
Now the Rollins’ situation. Totally mishandled by the Phillies. Alright, yes he was late and deserved to be punished. You don’t do it in that situation in that game. Bench him today. Fine him. That does two things – it keeps the issue in the clubhouse and not in the press and it keeps him in the game. Everyone wants to say you treat MVPs like everyone else – BULLSHIT. Yes Jimmy let the team down yesterday, but all Uncle Charlie did yesterday was cut off his nose to spite his face. If this is the playoffs, you think Charlie benches him? If he does, I’ll rub my face in Howard Eskin’s greasy mane.
I don’t know what you can do to fix this. Rollins, Utley, and Howard hitting would fix a lot of things, but there’s nothing you can do to get that done. Maybe they need to start playing for one run all the time – bunting, squeezes, hit and run (when have you seen Charlie do that)? It’s time to put the players in situations where they don’t have to think – they just do.