Ron Costello

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Just How Loose Are you?

One-two rotation NL East

  • Mets — Matt Harvey and the National League Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom. 

  • Nationals — spent big to get 2013 Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to complement Stephen Strassburg

  • Miami — Jose Fernandez,  the NL Rookie of the year in '13, but had Tommy John surgery last season, and Henderson Alvarez

  • Atlanta — one two punch Julion Teheran — a 14 game winner the past two seasons — and Alex Wood an 11 game winner in '14 with a 2.78 ERA

  • Philadelphia — chopped liverwith Chad Billingsley maybe ready by June

The '93 Phillies broke camp with Curt Shilling and Danny Jackson as one and two at the top of the rotation. Shilling in '93 was a nobody and 11 years away from the bloody sock. In '92 with the Phillies he went 14-11 with a 2.35 ERA. Okay numbers for sure but nobody was nominating him for the baseball Hall of Fame.

The Phillies acquired Danny Jackson prior to the '93 season for a couple of promising minor league players who never panned out. Jackson's high point came in '88 when he won 23 games for the Reds. But since that season, the 31 year old lefthanded had dismal numbers and was fighting shoulder problems.

No, in spring training '93, the Phillies rotation didn't offer much hope and surely their one-two punch of Shilling and Jackson didn't size up to Hamels and Lee. Not even close.

Now you and I both know that the '93 Phillies had other intangibles; that goes without saying.

But here's the thing you should consider: Is Junior planning to blow up this team by trading Lee, Hamels, Paperbon, or Utley, before the team breaks camp in the first week of April? Does Junior not agree with Ron that this teams isn't chopped liver, and has enough talent to get lucky and repeat the '93 season?

But if Junior waits until July 31 to push the plunger — like in the roadrunner cartoons — he'll get more in return and Ron will have more time to ride his bandwagon.

Is Ron by himself on his maddening push to put hope in the '15 Phillies? Only to be smacked down by a mid-March trade to get the club ready for 2017, or beyond?

2017 or beyond?

Come on, this club isn't chopped liver. Sure, they lost 89 games the past two seasons, but the '93 team lost 92 and 84 in its  previous two seasons.

Lookit, there are two things the '93 team had: They were loose and they believed in themselves.

The '15 club has a nice mixture of players who've been there — Utley, Ruiz, Paperbon, Hamels, Lee — and hungry guys who want to get there. It's got confidence, but is it loose?

It should be. Nobody — except for 'ole Ron — expects anything.

How loose can that get you?

Pretty loose!

I know I'm loose! How about you?

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