Just a few thoughts for Phillies Nation to consider. Two concern a subject that is little mentioned here on Phillies Nation, but I promise it does relate to the Phillies. I am speaking of the little publicized (at least in this country) World Baseball Classic. Bud Selig’s baby seems to be generating buzz worldwide, but many of the major American players (most notably Barry Bonds) are dropping out like flies.
The Phillies seem to have a conondrum with both Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins being invited to try out for the team. Why is this a dilemma you ask, they play different positions. Well with the likes of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez already occupying the SS position the brain trust for team USA want J-Roll to try out for second base; therefore competing directly with Chase. The only other American second baseman invited was Jeff Kent. Well the Phillies have decided to solve this problem for team USA. They have forbidden J-Roll from even attempting to play second base. They are worried because this is not his natural position and fear he will get injured trying to turn double plays from the second base side of the bag. The reasoning behind this decision is that second is a totally differnt pivot with the second baseman’s back to the runner often. Do not misunderstand me, I do not totally disagree with the Phils decision here, but this is why I believe the WBC may be doomed for mediocracy.
Now if that little tid bit has soured you on the American team, I invite you to root for team Australia. 10% of the Aussie’s invited to try out are made up of players from the Phillies farm system (who says the Phils do not scout internationally?). Phils minor leaguers trying out for team Australia include RH Scott Mitchinson, OF Tim Autey, 2B Bradley Harman, P Mark Kelly, 3B Tim Kennelly, and C Joel Naughton. Go team Aussie!
Finally, lets move away from the WBC for a moment. There has been alot of talk about Mike Piazza. I understand that he is most likely not coming here, and I am OK with that, but allow me to make a case for why it was not such an outlandish idea. If you can get Piazza for something like 2 million for 1 year and have him as a RH bat off the bench/back-up first baseman if Howard struggles against LH pitching/back-up catcher for Lieby why not take the chance. I mean if he regains his offense power (which I admit is not likely, but could happen) then doesn’t he become one of the most dangerous pitch hitters in the NL. I mean even if he stays at the level he was last year isn’t that ten times better then the Thomas Perez/ND Chavez’s of the world? Speaking of catchers, if we cannot get an ace, why not go after Molina, who is still available? To make any pitcher better just give him a good catcher. I doubt he is affordable for the Phils, considering we already have 7.5 million wrapped up in the catcher position, but hey, I can hope right?