Thursday, August 10, 2017
Saving Philly: Nick Williams Edition
Since the 2011 season, you know, when the Phillies were actually really good, every year of Philadelphia baseball has been met with sharp disappointment, save for one player who, halfway through the year, decides he must singlehandedly save the team.
In 2012, it was Juan Pierre, who decided to have one of the best seasons of his career as heroes, like Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino were being traded, and other heroes, like Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, were heading towards career-ending injuries.
In 2013, it was Domonic Brown, who decided that the prospects had to be right for one year, and had an insane month of June, earning an All Star nod and, for a brief moment, making Phillies fans actually feel like they were right about him.
In 2014, it was Marlon Byrd, an old forgotten friend who'd made his way back to the top, and back to Philly, and proceeded to have the best year of HIS career, hitting 25 home runs, narrowly avoiding trade negotiations, and giving the fans something worthwhile to care about.
In 2015, it was Jeff Francoeur for most of the year, having an unbelievably fun season and getting some respect points before his 2016 final season. In August, someone usurped him for the title, as Aaron Altherr came up from the minors and subsequently started hitting like an absolute pro, phasing Francoeur off the title.
Last year it was Odubel Herrera, who had the best year of HIS career, and was literally the only player in Philly who did anything worth writing home about.
This year...Nick Williams, who came up in early July, has diverted all attention to himself. He's got a killer swing, can hit in the clutch, and has been farming in the minors for YEARS, finally getting a chance to show his worth (you know, after the Phillies have exhausted all of their aging free-agent pickup options). I say he's carrying the team because Aaron Altherr's injured, Herrera and Maikel Franco are having down years, and Aaron Nola can't carry the team if he's only there to do so every five games.
I still think it's frustrating as hell that we've GOTTEN to this point in Philly, that for the past six seasons the whole team's been on auto-pilot, and we have to rely on a single player to bring jolts of momentum and get everyone else to start working. This is an uninspired, less-than-boilerplate roster that's NEEDED to be great for a few years, and can't seem to get anything started. And as a guy who was really happy with this team at the turn of the decade, it frustrates the hell out of me. We were in a WORLD SERIES ten seasons ago! JUST TEN SEASONS, GUYS! I was hoping we'd hold out as a great team for more than a couple years.
Still, for right now, hopefully Nick Williams will keep it up for more than this one season. We need guys like him who can be on for a while.
UPDATE: Apparently the Phils have called up Rhys Hoskins. Maybe this team can be carried by more than one person after all...
Coming Tonight: One of the few major players on his team that was remarkably not traded, despite still being one of the most underrated second baseman in baseball.