Buster Olney quotes an anonymous executive on all the Roy-Oswalt-to-the-Phillies hype:
“They’ve got real holes over there, and I know they need a starting
pitcher, but I think their lineup is as much of a
problem now. If they got two Roy
Oswalts, I’m not sure it would make a difference.”
Ouch. I mean, I hate on the Phillies a lot, but I don’t even think it’s quite that bad.
The most annoying thing about all of this for Phillies fans is that at some point they’re going to get Chase Utley back and at some point things are going to start breaking right for them. When that happens, they’re going to look like one of those NFL teams that “no one wants to play” late in the season but that isn’t going to make the playoffs because this slide has been so bad. And because the Braves keep winning two of three like clockwork, but that’s not going to continue forever either.
Like I said this morning, the primary motivator around Philly right now seems to be panic. That rarely leads to good decisions. My gut tells me that, rather than ship off Jayson Werth and bring in Roy Oswalt, Philadelphia would be better served by trying to weather the current storm as best they can, wait for Werth to bounce back and try to patch their pitching holes with some spackle that is less expensive than Oswalt.
The Nationals were expected to activate outfielder Bryce Harper from the 10-day disabled list in advance of Monday’s series opener in Philadelphia, but they did not because Harper woke up with flulike symptoms, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports. It doesn’t have anything to do with the knee injury which sent him to the DL last month or the ensuing rehab, he adds.
Rain had fallen in Washington, D.C. on August 12 ahead of the Nationals’ game against the Giants. Harper attempted to beat out a ground out to first base but slipped on the wet first base bag and was later diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Harper was in the midst of a great season prior to the injury, perhaps one that would have led to an NL MVP Award. When he comes back, he’ll do what he can to pad his .326/.419/.614 slash line along with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. The Nationals are just concerned with getting him back in the flow of things in time for the playoffs. They have seven games remaining in the regular season.
Rays pitcher Chris Archer doesn’t see himself joining Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell‘s protest any time soon, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports. Archer said, “From the feedback that I’ve gotten from my teammates, I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me, at this time. I agree with the message. I believe in equality.”
Archer continued, “I don’t want to offend anybody. No matter how you explain it or justify it, some people just can’t get past the military element of it and it’s not something I want to do, is ruffle my teammates’ feathers on my personal views that have nothing to do with baseball.”
Archer did express admiration for the way Maxwell handled his situation. The right-hander said, “The way he went about it was totally, I think, as respectful as possible, just letting everybody know that this doesn’t have anything to do with the military, first and foremost, noting that he has family members that are in the military. It’s a little bit tougher for baseball players to make that leap, but I think he was the right person to do it.”
Maxwell recently became the first baseball player to kneel as the national anthem was sung, a method of protest popularized by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. As Craig explained yesterday, baseball’s hierarchical culture has proven to be a strong deterrent for players to express their unpopular opinions. We can certainly see that in Archer’s justification. Archer was one of 62 African Americans on the Opening Day roster across 30 major league clubs (750 total players, 8.3%).