Ron Costello

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Team Looks Good


It's not easy writing a piece about the Phillies in Rome.

I mean, look at what I have available to do here, visiting the Eternal City with my wife: The wine and pasta, the Roman buildings, the Pope to see, more wine and more pasta, and with such beautiful weather — sunny and 73 degrees every day. Lookit, if you love red wine and pasta, you come here and you think you died and went to heaven.

I mean, who would stay indoors and write about the Phillies?

You can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy.

And when I saw that Pete Rose was elected to the Wall of Fame and will be at CBP on August 12th — a game for which we have tickets — well, I got all misty-eyed and knew right then I had to go to the laptop.

Lookit, the Phillies look good. Exciting. The two guys they picked up in the rental deal will help drive their offense: Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick. Both good players who may be unloaded at the trade deadline to some worthy team with a shot at the Wild Card. Unless...maybe that team will be the Phillies.

If so, if they are in contention for a Wild Card spot, maybe Matt Kentak's computers will spit out these numbers:

K-e-e-p-e-m!

Doubtful, I know, with the prodigies staring down from the Northeast Extension. But Kendrick and Saunders could make the prodigies a little nervous and in baseball nervous is good.

Now I know what you're thinking, what about the bullpen?

Not worried. The Phillies bullpen is like a Reality Show, as the season progresses somebody will emerge as closer and the rest will fall in line. Either that or Klentak will get to use some of that money they use to give to Ryan Howard.

My son Matt texted me and said, "Dad, can you imagine with Trout in the lineup?"

Matt's talking about THE Mike Trout, who happens to be locked into a $144 million no-trade-clause-deal — through 2020. After that, he'll go to the highest bidder and John Middleton would have to get a part-time job to afford him. I heard Pat's Steaks is hiring.

But you say, Trout is from nearby Millville, NJ. Trust me, the only thing people from Millville want to do is to never to go back to Millville. Have you ever been to Anaheim, California? Okay, forget it, this is a ridiculous conversation. Mike Trout is NEVER coming to Philly. In six weeks he'd die from air pollution.

Talk about affordable, there's always the spoiledus braticus kid in Washington, D.C., who is demanding a $400 million, ten-year deal from the Nationals, who are coughing on it. He'll be free agent eligible in 2019 at age 26 and there ain't enough Brinks trucks available to carry the money the Yankees will give him. Or the Dodgers. The Cardinals aren't poor, either, once they unload Albert, or does he have a lifetime contract? Seems like it.

No, cross those two off the list. Sorry, Matt.

But here's the thing.

That power bat superstar may very well be at Reading or Lehigh Valley right this very moment, or lower. Forget about spoiledus braticus and Trout and think Mike Schmidt or Ryan Howard. The bat will come from within. I could make a list for you right now, but this is a quickly from Rome. Got to move on. Right now my leading candidate is the hard-hitting catcher at Lehigh Valley, Jorge Alfaro.

So while I'm out of the country, the Phillies just have to keep 'steady as she goes,' and not do anything foolish.

At least until I get back.

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Oh, the Romans? They never heard of the Phillies. Imagina that!

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