The Braves beat the Phillies on Monday in 10 innings, 5-3. You’d think it was game seven of the World Series.
Journalists from both towns are jumping to insane conclusions, based on that one game.
Let’s start in Atlanta, where AJC columnist Terrence Moore says the Braves have shown they are the team to beat this season:
Simply put, the Braves are back as the bogeymen of the division. They haven’t a glaring weakness, and they have more than a few strong points. They also have a chance to go 162-0 after resembling some of their forefathers by finding ways on Monday at Citizens Bank Park for a 5-3, 10th-inning victory over the supposedly improved Philadelphia Phillies.
Not to be outdone, Stephen A. Smith, who is usually so understated, wants GM Pat Gillick and team president Dave Montgomery to take responsibility for the Phillies 0-1 record:
How difficult can it be to make sure Ryan Howard gets his at-bats? For Jimmy Rollins to be patient at the plate and run the bases? For Chase Utley to remember he was signed for $85 million to produce? These aren’t hard tasks for Manuel.
It also should not be hard for Gillick to know he should get Howard some help in the lineup, especially if it’s at Burrell’s expense, and give Manuel something to work with in the bullpen.
“We love Charlie,” Howard said. “I think we all know he does a great job.”
What about those above Manuel? What kind of job are they doing?
Let’s try asking that for a change.
No, Stephen, how about instead we try taking a deep breath and waiting a month to see how things shake out?
The amazing thing about people who second guess the Phillies’ front office is that these were the same people who jumped up and down and clapped their hands when the Phils traded Johnny Estrada for Kevin Millwood. These folks were totally stoked when Philly signed Jim Thome, David Bell and Billy Wagner.
The fact is, the Phillies have barely missed the playoffs the last few years. We’re talking a handful of games. That isn’t front office ineptitude, it’s a couple of ground balls that find their way through the infield. It’s couple of iffy strike calls from the umps.
The fact that people are jumping to conclusions one game into the season is insane. Isn’t that right, Terrence?
Suddenly, Philadelphia was blue. As in the Braves’ dominant colors. As in those lovely boo birds watching the Phillies already losing to the team to beat in the NL East this season.
Oh shut up, Terrence.