It’s been a tough year to be a Phillies fan. I love the Phils, but between the injuries and other mishaps and conundrums, it’s been rough.
There’s been suspensions (Ruiz, Mojica, Abreu), injuries (it would almost be shorter to list who wasn’t injured at this point) and all the other difficulties that a team would usually face…this year was unbelievably tough. Add to that the problems we have with the salary cap and players with huge contracts that are not attractive to trade and you have a recipe for disaster.
The problems are almost system wide and no team in the Pharm system looks like they’ll even come close to making the post season…save one…
The Gulf Coast League (GCL) Phillies
This team has battled back from a 2 and 10 start to take the lead in their division in the Gulf Coast League. Granted, with today’s win, it was a half game, but it IS A LEAD!
With players like JP Crawford, Wilmer Oberto, Cord Sandberg, Jan Hernandez, Herlis Rodriguez, Feliberto Sanchez, Ranfi Casimiro and Ricky Bielski we have a team that has heart and never seems to give up. It took them a while to get started and the turn around has been dramatic. I’ve seen them come from six down in the 7th and come back to win.
They’re like the Goonies, they never say die and THAT is what makes them so much fun to watch. It’s not easy with the majority of their games held at NOON in the Florida heat and humidity and many, if not all, of the practice fields where they play lack shade. Most have little creature comforts like water fountains, soda machines and at a few, it’s hard to find a restroom. Yet, despite all that, there are a group of die hard fans of rookie ball that manage to tough it out and it IS worth it. I’ve enjoyed these games more than any others I’ve seen this summer.
Being at so many games, Baseball Ross and I have been lucky enough to meet a good many of the players and they seem to be some great kids. A friend of ours is a locker room attendant at the Carpenter Complex and has worked there for fourteen years and he has said that this is the nicest bunch of kids he’s worked with.
The next two days could very well decide the season, with a home and home series against the GCL Pirates who are 2nd in the division. Ross and I plan to travel down to Bradenton tomorrow to root on our friend Ranfi Casimiro.
On Thursday, the Pirates cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to the Carpenter Complex where a rehabbing Roy Haliday will start.
These two games are key in how the rest of the season will go and IF the GCL Phils can take these two games, they will be poised to head into the playoffs.
Cross your fingers!