Couch Commentary

Thoughts from an outspoken American

Category: MLB

For The Phillies, If It’s Not Broken Don’t Fix It

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 agree.

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.

SB Nation Philly

A Realist’s Opinion On The Bruce Feldman/ESPN Saga

Okay, we all (or not) heard about the drama going on between college football writer Bruce Feldman and ESPN. Apparently, Feldman contributed–along with former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach–to a book which had some ESPN-slandering stuff in it. I can agree with ESPN if that were the case because an employee of a company shouldn’t be contributing to a book that makes them look bad.

I think ESPN didn’t know there was any slanderous writing in the book, but they heard there was so they figured why not suspend Feldman until a thorough investigation was carried out. That seems fair. The media decided to architect a story which made Feldman look like a victim of a ridiculous “power play” by ESPN.

At this point, I side with ESPN. However, the next piece of information slightly pushed me to neutrality.

According to TheBigLead, ESPN kept quiet about the Feldman incident until 16 hours after the news leaked. Tons of journalists, agents, and athletes poured their emotions about the situation onto Twitter and Facebook accounts. A Twitter hashtag was even created — #FreeBruce.

Why did ESPN wait so long to explain what happened? I realize the information and subsequent investigation about the case is sensitive, but couldn’t ESPN release a short statement. In my mind, it would read like this: “ESPN has decided to place Bruce Feldman on temporary leave, pending an investigation of possible slanderous acts directed toward ESPN and written in Swing Your Sword, a novel authored by Mr. Feldman and Mike Leach.” 

Of course I’m not a lawyer so my legal verbiage may not be up to the standards of Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, but you get the point.

The bottom line is that Feldman obviously did something that caught ESPN’s eye and made them want to double check some things before they allowed him to continue submitting stories.

I have no problem with that cautionary measure.

Rays Pitcher David Price Loses Credibility As a Competitor/Man

Usually if you’re a pitcher and you give up a home run, you have an incentive to work harder in practice to prevent that from happening again. David Price of theTampa Bay Rays gave up the home run that gave Derek Jeter his 3,000th hit. Okay, shit happens. No big deal.

The thing that gets me is that David Price was either provoked by Steiner Sports or he went crawling to them to secure a memorabilia deal in which him and Derek Jeter would co-sign a ball that says “I Gave Up DJ’s 3K.”

You can disagree all you want, but that’s absolutely whack. By signing that ball with that inscription, Price is basically bending over and allowing the proverbial shaft of Derek Jeter to enter his rectum. You would never see Roy Halladay co-signing a baseball with Alex Rodriguez after A-Roid hit his 500th home run.Halladay would grab that baseball, as well as the memorabilia contract, and wipe his sacred ass with it.

Good job, David Price, you’re officially a sellout.

(H/T HardballTalk)

Derek Jeter Isn’t Attending The All-Star Game…So What?!

I really don’t understand all the hype behind this topic. Yes, Derek Jeter hit his 3,000th hit just the other day and the fine folks of Major League Baseball wanted to “honor” him in Arizona at the All-Star Game.

How exactly were they going to honor him?

I doubt anyone can honor Jeter more than Christian Lopez, the fan who decided to give DJ the #3,000 ball. That’s a HUGE honor and took a lot of balls from Mr. Lopez. I applaude you, sir.

But, anyway, Jeter is tired. He wants to use the All-Star break as a rest period. No problem in that. No harm, no foul. I actually commend him for being able to walk away from playing in an All-Star Game. I’m not a pro baseball player, but I imagine choosing to not play in a game like that would be a tough choice to make.

So, to all those Jeter haters, get a life. The guy still has more hits (and girls) then you.