The Phils may be a sub-.500, last-place ballclub, but there was one bit of good news in the last week: Phillies fans appear to have finally come around to the notion that the the Ruben Amaro-led Phillies are an organization of lying, propagandistic monsters. I've been saying it for years.
Not only have the Phils spent the last few months both changing their story and outright lying about the injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but now we hear that they wouldn't let the Inquirer's Bob Brookover into their facility in Clearwater? Outrageous. This is Watergate-level stuff.
Newspaper reporters are representatives of the fans. Therefore, not only should reporters be let in to see Howard's rehab, but fans should be, too. There should be a 24-hour video feed of Howard's rehab, on Phillies.com. What does this team have to hide?
The Phillies have been getting a pass for way too long. When Howard had his surgery, why were reporters not allowed in the operating room? Why weren't the surgeons made available to the press during and after the surgery? If Charlie Manuel can give a dugout interview in the fifth inning, I think Dr. Mark Myerson can put the scalpel down for five minutes to give the fans the information they deserve.
And I don't want to hear about medical ethics or privacy. When you sign a $125 million contract with a team, especially one in Philly, you forfeit that.
Now we hear the Phils "remain in contact" with Cole Hamels' agent- why hasn't there been transparency about the negotiations? Ruben Amaro needs to come out and tell us the exact amount they've offered, and the exact amount they're willing to pay as a final offer down the road. We fans pay so much for tickets and jerseys, that we have a right to know that information.
Not to mention, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay seem to have forgotten how to win, Jimmy Rollins is coasting on that big contract, and the bullpen is a joke. It's been left to Juan Pierre and Freddy Galvis to carry the team.
Instead of stonewalling the media, Ruben Amaro needs to go out and make some trades. Worley for David Wright. Nix, Wigginton, Contreras and Domonic Brown for Mark Trumbo. Put Chooch in the cleanup spot and Hector Luna fifth. They've got this kid, Tyler Cloyd, who's 7-1 combined at AA and AAA? Trade him for bullpen help, right away.
Once the Phils do all these things- and start actually admitting the truth about injuries- maybe fans will start showing up to the ballpark again.
Other Philly sports takes:
- There have been violence all over the place in sports the past few weeks- a parking lot beating outside Dodger Stadium, Pirates fans attacking a security guard and severing his finger, Blue Jays throwing beer at an umpire, shots fired in Oklahoma City- yet it's Philly fans, over and over again, who get called the worst in sports. Even Don Draper thinks so- Jon Hamm called Phillies fans "horrible, horrible, mean-spirited people" in a recent interview.
- Bryce Harper wants to be booed when he comes to Philly? If he wants boos, bring heckles. He wants batteries, bring bats. That's the Philly way!
- Sure, the Sixers played to unenthusiastic, half-full crowds for the better part of the last ten years, before the fans showed up for this year's playoffs. But shame on Kevin Garnett for calling us "fair-weather fans."
- Yes, the Eagles extended LeSean McCoy. But this is yet another case of the Eagles signing a young guy to a below-market contract, so he'll be underpaid in two or three years. Joe Banner greed, in action again.
- Claude Giroux playing beer pong, days after surgery, with casts on both of his wrists is the greatest achievement by a Philadelphia athlete since Roy Halladay's NLDS no-hitter.
- Friday night, when the Phillies beat the Red Sox while the Sixers were coming back to beat the Celtics across the street, was a great night in sports, and further proof- in case there was any doubt- that Philadelphia is a better city than Boston. That Boston won the next two games in both series is totally immaterial.
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