Ron Costello

Friday, October 17, 2014

Junior — You've Got to Keep Brown

Part five: How to fix the Phillies

Remember that old NRA slogan? "I'll give up my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hand."

That's how I feel about Domonic Brown — "I'll give up on Domonic when they pry him from my cold,  dead hands."

Junior. Don't get rid of Brown, you'll regret it for the rest of your professional life. Give him another year, which will cost you peanuts and a roster spot on the 25-man. I know you're rebuilding the outfield, but Brown is 27 and he's too young to give up on.

Marlon Bryd, 37, sure, trade him if you can. But not Domonic Brown. And don't laugh, I bet you can get something decent for  Brown because you  know why? There'll be other baseball people who think like me and will give him a whirl — for practically nothing.

Ok, ok, I know he hasn't produced much other  than his magical month. But the man has shown flashes of raw power and I know he can do it.

How do I know?

Gut instinct. Plus the fact I've been pulling for him since he came to The Show in 2010. Excuse me, but I can't help going to to look at those 27 dingers.

That's right: 27 years old and 27 home runs. Wait. Right there — that's a sign. Whooa, I didn't think of that. Junior, you can't buck a mathematical prophecy. It may be some ancient sign from the Sphinxlilke civilization.

Don't ignore it — 27 and 27.

I know it's his first arbitration year, and he'll get a raise from his current $500,000 salary. What? Somewhere between $1 and 2 million? Give or take some change? Come on, that's poker money.

I thought you made a mistake by playing Sizemore over Brown. It cut down on Brown's at bats. Might have demoralized him, too. Some guys are sensitive. You were like that, if you remember. Besides, where are you going with Sizemore? Granted he's a gamer, but he'll test the market and go where he's promised the most playing time.

You can't afford to play that game. You've got to young and hungry.

You and I both know you'll trade Cole for two, young racehorse outfielders. You will trade Bryd — and please, don't make the mistake of putting Ruf in a corner outfield spot. He doesn't fit there. It will be embarrassing. You tried that with Delmon and where did that go? Down the drain, that's where.

Like I told you — I'll say it again — Franco, Galvis, Hernandez, and Ruf. And let 'em play.

So here's what you do. With my suggested infield — Franco, Galvis, Hernandez, and Ruf — you've got two pretty good players for your bench, Rollins and Utley. Those two can be dynamite coming off the bench, and spot starting. But you know what else? They can mentor Domonic Brown.

They can help Brown grow offensively and defensively — God only knows he's made some defensive blunders. J-Roll and Utley have a baseball future after The Show, so you might as well get them started now. Project number one: Domonic Brown.

You trade Brown now and it will come back to bite you in the you know...well, let's not go there.

Oh, speaking of that, did I mention that I've noticed you are gaining weight? Could be the pressure, you know, going from first to last in just a few years.Or, putting up with Papelbon. Could be you have a sweet tooth, too. You know what they say, goes from the mouth to the butt.

Two things: Push back from the table after one serving and get some exercise.

Hey, don't mention it. We're friends.

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