April 28, 2009

Baseball - No Place For Old Men?

Late bloomers. That’s what the Phils seem to be. They’ve bloomed late in a season, in a game, and in an inning. I know how they feel. I’m a late bloomer. Some of us take a while to catch on but that doesn’t mean we won’t find our stride. Like the past season’s Mr. September, Ryan Howard, it takes me some time to warm up too.

Growing up I always thought the inflated number at the top of the holy trinity (34-24-34) was a genetic lottery. I thought you were either had it or not. But then I figured out it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it.

Ask Jamie Moyer.

Strategy goes a long way. He knows how, what, when, where, and why to throw to whom. And if the ump stretches the strike zone a micrometer and a few rookie hitters step to the plate, Jamie’s the man.

With a little underwire and some padding, I’m the babe. The older babe.

But age isn’t something that’s coveted in our society and some would argue baseball’s no place for old men. But I think Susan Boyle is a symbol that age isn’t the culprit – it’s aging. The Phils get this, Jamie Moyer understands this, Matt Stairs has a grasp, and Raul’s like fine wine, getting better with time. Personally I favor experience over talent and patience over speed. Old guys tend to have a little stiffness but I know how to take care of that too.

And as we’ve seen, success isn’t achieved simply by buying the best. The Yankees are a good example. Success is about chemistry, timing, and patience, and all that comes from experience. Sure we let Pat Burrell go but look where he went. Tampa Bay needed an experienced leader and they got it. In turn, we got Raul Ibanez. His timing has been perfect. Raul and the Phils have chemistry. My only problem is I’m impatient – good or bad, I can’t wait to see how this season plays out.

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