Ron Costello

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Members of the Faithful still genuflect when they hear the late
Harry the K's name.
On this blog, I call them 'the Faithful.' The men, women, and children who are diehard Phillies' fans. Some grew up listening to By Saam and Bill Campbell; or Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler. Members of the Faithful still genuflect when they hear Harry the K's name.

Personally speaking, I can still imitate the batting stances and swings of Dick Allen, Johnny Callison, Wes Covington, Schmidt and Bowa, and Chase Utley. Many other card carriers of the Faithful can do the same and more.

Some are season ticket and game plan holders. Some just only hold Xfinity seats in their living room. It doesn't matter, they all love the Phillies and aren't afraid to speak out.

My last three posts — on changes in the game, manager Gabe Kapler, GM Matt Klentak, and third base coach Dusty Wathan — drew nearly 15,000 viewers and hundreds of comments on Facebook. Plus about 40 shares.

The Faithful are not happy. Below are some of the comments I received on my last three posts. Some were positive, but most were not. And they pulled no punches.

Don Fergeson: This team got worse in every category this year on offense besides walks and had 9 more wins than last season, they were also worse defensively this year than last. I've been to 32 games this year, I think this is one of the worst teams I've ever seen and I'm and 45 years old

John Wilson: This Phil's team will not win with Kapler as manager. Players clearly quit on him, and for good reason.

"I've been a Phillies fan for plus-35 years and the duo of Matt Klentak and
Gabe Kapler is the worst of the worst."
Phl Rhoades: I’ve been a Phillies fan for 35-plus years and the duo of Matt Klentak/Gabe Kapler are the worst of the worst! If it wasn’t for Aaron Nola the Phillies would've been battling the Marlins for the best seat in the basement. Gabe Kapler has ruined watching Phillies baseball for me as well as a huge chunk of the Phillies fan base. 

Randy DeCampli: Ron, enjoyed your article. Management was not very good it started with the hiring of Kapler. When he was announced how many folks (fans) scratched their heads and said, "who is this guy?" From the start, he was over his head and lacked experience.

Terry Algier: Dusty is a fabulous coach and if the Phillies don’t realize that, I wish him well as other organizations appreciate his talents. This current ownership favors analytics over baseball know-how. That doesn’t always work and doesn’t always fill the stands. A cohesive spirited team is what fills the stands. Winning is important, but how fans view the team's spirit is vital.

Norman Basilone: Absolutely correct — on the money — the Rangers should hire the man on the spot. As for Gabe, he is the National League equivalent to the Yankees' Aaron Boone.

Jerry Arnken: Neither Harper or Machado will sign with the Phillies, why would they want to play for this manager? He would probably bat them at the bottom of the lineup, then take them out for defense with a one-run lead, then lose that lead. I can’t even watch them anymore. Tired of 10 run losses.


"I didn't like the veteran pick-ups at all."
John Hamer: I didn't like the veteran pick-ups at all. Messed up the team, but Go Phillies! 2019 Playoff bound!

Kevin Shire: Enjoyed the blog post, Ron. Very insightful. One problem, though. You said John Hamer is the man. I thought I was?

Bob Suskin: It would be more enjoyable to watch if they started hitting again.

Duane MeyersYoung team young manager. Be patient. They shouldn’t have brought in those late-career players. Things went downhill when they arrived


Fred Gaskins: Ron, you seem to be one of the few who understand what has happened this season; and hold out hope for a promising future with the core that we have. You know I write on occasion. I've been a fan since the late 50s but ... Still cheer, root and hope every year. I have never booed at a game. Never!!! I am looking forward to 2019. Thanks for keeping all of this sane!

Bradley Ferrell: Machado will resign with the Dodgers because he is enjoying the west coast and Harper will stay in Washington, especially since the Nationals are going to finish in front of the Phillies. Kapler did a decent job and deserves another year.

Paul Roberts: I do not like all of the shifting. They are out of position when a DP is in order. I hate that he doesn’t care a bit about defense. I bet every pitcher on the staff hates that, too. I do agree wholeheartedly that all the moves hurt the team.

Linda Kegel: No way he should get another year. I’ve said this before, the team ended last season on a high note and the future looked bright! A year later, look how the season is ending. No sign of life. Kapler ruined the rebuild and he managed to ruin the confidence of the young players. Thank you Mr. Klentak.

Kenneth Keller: Wathan should be the manager, but hey, if he goes somewhere else he is probably better off.

Ben Doto: Not at all he’s doesn’t relate to the Philly fan, need somebody with more balls and less moving players every game; that can make ballplayers not get comfy with the position and his batting order is atrocious, not enough experience and as far as I’m concerned definitely not qualifies.
"I'll drive both Kapler and Klentak to the airport."

Rick Morello: Embarrassing! I'll drive both Kapler and Klentak to the airport. Horrendous.


Andy Kennard: He made some rookie mistakes in the beginning for sure and recovered, he doesn’t bat, pitch, or field so there’s only so much he can do. They were right in the mix until about three weeks ago, that’s not on the manager.

Lou Fumo: No, he’s not a manager. Stinks. Never holds the players accountable; lets them run the ship, never can win like that, he's got to go and take the GM with him

Jack Lutes: Why don’t we let Congress decide, they get involved in everything else and screw it up.

Bill Keith: Give him a plane ticket back to his hometown.

John Camp: Ron, great column and right on target.

Steve Cunningham: Keep Dusty!!

Todd Schafer:  (Dusty) is smart to leave.

Robert Petitti: I’m done with the Phillies. After the end of the season useless chatter by both Gabe and Matt it appears they’re running the show and it is what it is. But the big questions are? Will this hinder big name free agents? I think the Phillies won’t sign anybody. 

Paul Roberts: The young starters were worn out by season’s end. Hoskins and Herrera slumped at the wrong time. Franco and Williams were hurting. I agree the acquisitions didn’t get it done but it was far from all their fault that the team imploded.

Bruce Pergament: You cannot ruin chemistry and keep moving players to different positions on the field and in the batting order then expect them to perform. You perform as you train. If you do not know your job, how do you prepare for it?

George Pellegrino: Get Mike Trout. They will sell a ton of tickets.

Ernie Quatrani: If you don’t play defense you don’t win championships. Santana at 3rd and Kingery at short is a recipe for mediocrity.

"I am dying for the days of Dallas Green and Larry Bowa and any other
manager with the guts to stand by his players without playing musical chairs."
Susan Wood: I turn 60 in 16 days & I love the Phillies. That said, I am dying for the days of Dallas Green and Larry Bowa and any other manager with the guts to stand by his players without playing musical chairs. If you screwed up, you heard it and we knew it. But those position players were not put through the magic blender to see who plays first today and who’s a good boy? You can hit clean up! I’ll give it to Kap, it’s his first year ever managing but that’s it GO PHILLIES.

Gary Doyle: I agree. BORING. I wonder how many times this season the Phils got shut out for 3, 4, 5 innings playing this type of ball? How f-ing boring can it get? No wonder attendance is down.

Howard Royer: Analytics is ruining the game of baseball. Whatever happened to strategy? Whatever happened to both teams playing their best players and may the best team win? They've lost me as a fan.

Ben Doto: Let’s get a petition up to get rid of Kapler, have no idea what this organization thought when they brought him in. Inexperienced man and awful decisions moving players all over every game, nobody can get comfy in one position, let’s get a real manager in there.

Joe Merlie: Kapler is a classic over thinker. I see value in analytics but not to the extent he does. This micromanaging disorder is in opposition to the soul of baseball. This taking pitches approach for example... you see a pitch you can hit then you go at it. 

Dan Higgins: I love the Phillies and never missed a game but I can’t watch this team with this guy totally ruining the game I love.

Lip Dip Ferzetti: Hate Kapler since Day ONE! I've never watched him in an interview! He's an embarrassment to Philly, send him with CHIP! We'll never get a big contract player here who would want to play for him KRUK AND RICKY BO tell it like it is!

Mike Guzman: Kapler is a bad manager and he isn't going to get better either.

Tom Hans: They (Phillies) were a lot better than anyone expected.

Matthew Ingeni: No matter who or how you manage, you need good players to win

John Wilson: I was A season ticket holder for 25 years. This guy is the worst manager I have seen in A Phillies uniform. The lineup juggling never works in MLB. Using 6 and 7 pitchers in a game will wear your bullpen out Midway through the season. Starters don't even get a chance. Most are pulled in 5 or less even when not pitching badly. Franco has been his highest average batter as well as best Fielding third baseman and he hardly ever plays. Nothing he does makes any baseball sense and certainly doesn't lead to wins.

"I  hope Klentak and Kapler find a computer that lets them buy one-
way tickets out of town."
John Isaac: I hope Klentak and Kapler find a computer that lets them buy one-way tickets out of town. The 162 different lineups, the bad shifts, the 8 pitchers used per game are all bad ideas. They won because the young guys started to gel and immediately they added Bautista and Cabrera and while they played okay it killed the momentum. 

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