State of the Phils: Three Games In

Brett Whitehead
April 5, 2013

Brett Whitehead and Boomer Augustine are good friends who also happen to be Phillies season ticket holders. Periodically, Brett and Boomer will share their thoughts on the season, and how it relates to unrelated anecdotes of when they got drunk more often together.

What are you feelings about the Braves Series?

Brett: Going 1 for 3 against the Braves in their home stadium is nothing to cry about. The Braves are a strong team, and while you need to beat them to make the playoffs, it is entirely acceptable to win one out of three in their ballpark. Cliff Lee also proved that you can beat them decisively with good pitching, which puts a ceiling on their win potential. So I respect the Braves, but I’m not ceding anything just yet. You?

Boomer: I think the Braves series provided some positives and left a few question marks. Winning 1 of 3 isnít ideal, but they avoided a sweep and came home with a win. Cliff Lee got his first win this season in his first start, as opposed to July of last year. He looked great, Papelbon at the end was solid as well. Ben Revere as a leadoff hitter looks to be working as well and of course Chase looks 3 years younger and more handsome than ever.

Brett: The Chase Utley triple is probably the highlight of the weekend, but I think there are other positives to take away. The Phillies struck out 33 Braves this weekend. One could point out that 14 runs were scored, but thatís just being a dick. Once the Phillies find their sea-legs, I think this will be a more competitive series. Do you remember a few years ago when we got chased by security in Vets Stadium because we were yelling curse words at Chipper Jones? Iím looking to do the same this summer with the Upton brothers. Hating on brothers who play on the same team makes me feel like Iím booing the Fabulous Freebirds.

Boomer: That triple was fantastic, i believe that singular play convinced an entire town he was the man again. Now hopefully he can continue at or near that level, and not break down. The strikeouts were impressive, but the Braves series also showed a lot about the braves, they are basically an all or nothing team, homerun power and a ton of whiffing. I think the fact that Bossman Junior was 0-fer the series is also a great positive.

Brett: Not for those of us who have him on our fantasy team . . .

Three games, how are you enjoying the Michael Young experience?

Boomer: The Michael Young experience is one of the question marks still remaining, I want to think that the cold and awful conditions combined with an older player caused some tightness and he’ll round into form. He needs to start hitting better to offer some protection for Howard and I think it will turn around. I kept hearing how much of a professional hitter he is, but currently he has just 1 professional hit in 2013.

Brett: I am OK to say that I am not enjoying the Michael Young experience. My best case scenario at this point is it plays out like Pedro Feliz, in that I only remember the two walk off homeruns he hit and forget the sabermetric abomination that apparently he was every day at third.

Boomer: I just feel that 3 games is too small of a sample for Michael Young, and much of that is blind faith, Iím sure. I want him to be 2010 Michael Young and will hold out hope that he can be. I still think, even if he is only marginally better the rest of the year he is an upgrade on the Abe Nunez, Greg Dobbs, Michael Martinez, Placido Polanco, Pedro Feliz, other bums we’ve had at third since David Bell left.

Brett: Iím not sure that six years is enough time for us to be looking back on David Bell with whimsy.

Hypothetically, I need a T-shirt jersey. Who do I support?

Brett: I believe in the Dom Brown experience; however, I think you’re best off going Hamels, Lee, or Utley. As a person who had to throw out a perfectly good Billy Wagner jersey after he signed with the goddamn Mets actually, you gave it to my wife, who wears it as pajamas -ed., those guys are the most assured not to go anywhere or fall off a cliff. Otherwise, what are you feeling on novelty t-shirts this year? Too cute when you’re trying to win back the division or a sign of true confidence?

Boomer: The t-shirsey is a difficult call, for my 30th birthday, a year and a half ago I was gifted not 1, but 2 Hunter Pence shirseys. At the time I was excited for these as he was our outfielder of the future. As we know, that experience was short lived. I think the solid shirsey choices in 2013 are Hamels, guaranteed to be here for awhile, and a quality player or Ben Revere. I believe Revere will be our centerfielder for a few years and by the end of this season a player the city loves. As for novelty t-shirts, I am ALWAYS a fan of something fun and unique. I have 2 already purchased for the season, one for opening day specifically.

Brett: Hereís the thing about a Ben Revere shirsey. Last year I went to a game and saw someone wearing a custom-made Greg Dobbs jersey. In 2008, Iím sure that seemed like a great idea, but in 2012, that jersey really shouldnít be worn in public. Isnít there a good chance that Revere is put in that same category? Also, is it OK to get a Papelbon jersey? I say no. Heís a mercenary and will always be a Red Sock. I feel like thatís a jersey that points out people who werenít fans before 2008.

Boomer: Papelbon is out, always a Red Sock, unless he goes Brad Lidge and goes 48 for 48 in saves and wins a World Series here. I feel like the Dobbs custom was trying too hard, but a player like Revere is similar to dudes who got Juan Pierre shirsey’s last year: Sure it was 1 year but he was a good dude and occasionally fun to watch!

BONUS!!! If a friend bails on the Phillies now for a team of current credibility, can that friend ever root for the Phillies again?

Boomer: It’s a travesty. I have sat through and watched with season tickets numerous Phillies teams from 1989 -1995. While ’93 was a great ride, those prior teams were garbage and I still stuck with them. That loyalty led to one of, if not the greatest sports moment of my life when the Phillies, my Phillies, won the World Series in 2008. If I had given up on them once Bruce Ruffin, Steve Jeltz, Dickie Thon and others provided some of the worst baseball I have ever seen I would have never enjoyed that World Series. So bailing on your team should never occur, but once you leave you can never come back.

Brett: Two years ago, Ray and I considered bagging the Eagles and becoming either Ravens or Redskins fans. The conversation took only like twenty minutes before we realized we were stuck with the hand we were dealt with, blown time-outs and all. Treason lasts forever, ya know?

Boomer: I’ll end with this in regards to bailing on your team. Hustle, Loyalty, Respect. Loyalty is as important to me as it is to John Cena.

brett.whitehead@brutalhorse.com
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