Good News Is Pitchers & Catchers Are Officially Rolling In Clearwater, Bad News Is Nothing Positive Can Happen In Spring Training
Phillies pitchers and catchers officially reported to Clearwater this morning. Pretty much the entire roster showed up early and everyone is pissing positive down there about the team’s chances to rebound this season. And that’s fine–every team every season does this. But the thing about spring training is that nothing good can possibly happen. Bench and middle relief spots can be won or lost, but stats in spring training rarely ever matter. Placido Polanco hit .429 last spring but then couldn’t get the ball out of the infield after March. The good things that happen don’t even matter.
For instance, the best-case scenario for Delmon Young this spring is to not further his rep as a piece of shit. Like it’s not about his defense or ability to protect Ryan Howard—it’s his ability to not get shithoused and taunt some transplanted Floridian Jew about the Holocaust. That’s gonna be an uphill battle, I think.
Chase Utley? “He looked great taking groundballs yesterday.” Totally pumped the team’s three hitter was able to stand up for 15 minutes without needing a cane after the past two springs, but if you don’t see him sitting on a fucking footstool this spring that’s reason to celebrate. What’s the upside here?
And then there’s Roy Halladay, the guy who had a 6.00 ERA over his final 20 starts last season. He’s 35-years-old, his shoulder failed him last season, and then told reporters today it was actually his lower back. Whatever. Doesn’t matter now. But every writer down there is going to scrutinize every pitch the guy throws. Over under on the term “diminished velocity” from Phillies beat writers is 600 this season.
I buy the Phillies this year, I think they did enough to compete. I’m pretty excited—but not for spring training. Nothing good ever happens.