Spring is in the air!
OK … not so much today with temps in the 30s. But somewhere they are playing Major League Baseball, and that should be close enough to prove that the Spring has sprung.
With this baseball season, comes many conflicted emotions for Philadelphia Phillies fans. After two seasons of barely watchable baseball, the organization has turned over a good chunk of the roster, including highly-respected, World Series contributors (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley); opened the gates to its minor leagues prospects of the Future; and hired a manager – Pete Mackanin – befitted to let the Future develop under an appropriately watchful and instructive eyes.
Led by an infield of Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernendez with the compromise platoon of Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf, the Phils should bring the enthusiasm and hunger of youth ready to prove to all they belong in The Show. And at some point this season, the Phillies look to get even younger and – as a result – LESS experienced.
As Phillies fans, we just have to be patient, understanding, resisting the urge to be overly critical or incessantly accommodating like Little League helicopter parents. There will be bumps, lumps, and frustrations along the way.
The Future looks bright if the organization’s prospects pan out, especially on the pitching mound. And the Phillies will have to find out who can play, who can hit, and who can pitch. It’s a process that can alternate between Promise and Disappointment.
Now, the 2016 Phillies might just surprise us all and jump out to a fast start … Yesterday’s come-from-ahead loss aside. They could make a run at contending or at least make a run at looking like contenders. But those odds are long and smaller than a Kerwin Danley strike zone!
For the 2016 season, Phillies fans should fall back on the tried and true concepts of baseball as the best way to spend a Summer’s evening or a Saturday afternoon. Harken back to days when you visited minor league stadiums and marveled at how hard hungry young men playing a kid’s game can be as you watch this young flock of Phillies go through their growing pains. Maintain perspective when young mistakes and journeyman veterans kick away a Win. Look at each Loss as a learning opportunity that just might make 2017 or 2018 a bit more interesting … and promising.
As the saying goes, it takes a few broken eggs to make omelet.
And who knows, maybe these kids might surprise us all!