If you’re a regular reader of our partner blog The Good Phight (I’m not quite sure why you wouldn’t be), you would’ve had the pleasure of reading a great post written by David Cohen about how the Phillies are the best team in baseball and they really don’t need to make any moves unless absolutely necessary.
I was always taught to look back on history to find out the future. In this case, that cliché rings true. The Phillies could look across the street to the Flyers and observe what happened to them this past season when the Orange and Black tried to “fix” their lack of defense by trading a third-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kris Versteeg. The Flyers were on top of the Eastern Conference and were ranked second in the NHL in points behind the Vancouver Canucks. After trading for Versteeg, the Flyers’ offensive spark and overall team chemistry seemed to disappear right before their eyes. How could this team collapse in this way all of sudden? They were the best team in the Eastern Conference. What gives?
I chose to use unconventional journalistic tactics to answer that question. I decided to check in with my best friend who is currently a U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan.
Members of the armed forces go into battle with their platoon. Each soldier in that platoon knows one another and they are comfortable together and trust each other. Imagine taking a couple of soldiers from that platoon right before battle and replacing them with random, unknown soldiers. The overall chemistry and trust around that platoon will drop because of the newcomers. The soldiers in the platoon may adapt quickly to the newbies because “all Marines are brothers and sisters in blood,” but in the MLB, a New York Met (Beltran) or Kansas City Royal (Cabrera) will have to earn his respect and that takes time. And it’s that amount of time that could determine a World Series victory or early exit from contention.
Sure, there are no guns or war in baseball, but in a baseball clubhouse, friendships and trust reign supreme. If a player like Domonic Brown or any other Phillie is traded at this point in the season when the Phillies are at the top, the team chemistry is likely to drop (I used to be a poet).
As Dave Cohen asserts:
“What is it that you want from this team? Because what we’ve gotten from this team — with the current right field situation, with no big right handed bat, with the bullpen made of Iron Pigs andRyan Madson, witih Raul Ibanez, with the bench, with injuries galore — is the best team in baseball and one of the best Phillies teams ever.”
If it’s not broken, there’s no reason to fix it. Pigs get slaughtered.