With phenomenal 1st base coach Davey Lopes out because of prostate cancer surgery the Phils have turned to former outfielder Jerry Martin to fill the void (guess Vic and J-Roll are temporarily Jerry's Kids). Hopefully Lopes heals quickly and returns to the diamond because he did a tremendous job working with Phillies baserunners last season. However, Jerry may have some tricks up his sleeve too, or possibly cocaine. See, Martin was busted with his Kansas City Royals teammates Vida Blue, Willie Wilson, and Willie Aikens (Clay's dad) back in October of 1983 for possession of the "nose candy" and actually served a 90 day jail sentence while being suspended for part of the '84 season. Naturally this is the go to guy in Lopes' absence, as he can slip some of the powder to the runners to help them get a better jump...pure genius! The Phils aren't the only ones to employ this strategy, why else do you think the Mets brought Darryl Strawberry back. And this goes back to the age old question- what are the baselines really lined with?
Jerry is the son of former Reds pitcher Barney Martin, although Barney only pitched in 1 game for 2 innings (that's not even a cup of coffee, that's an espresso) back in 1953. Back to Jerry, he was signed as an amateur free agent in 1971 by the Phillies and played outfield for them from 1974-78. He later went on to Chicago with the Cubs, San Fran, Kansas City, and New York with the Mets. All in all, 11 seasons in the majors accumulating 666 hits (evil!) for a .251 average but nothing really spectacular besides his ability to snort coke. Carry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are done!
*The competition for the 5th spot in the rotation is fierce. Adam Eaton is doing his best to make sure he's not the man chosen pacing the Grapefruit League with a tidy 15.75 era. Dos Durbins aren't picking up the slack either, JD- 7.50 and Chad- 7.20; we're in trouble! Then there is the Aussie Rule V pick Travis Blackley who has yet to allow a run, but I'm quick to remind myself it is only spring training after all. Eaton has yet another excuse for his lovely performance- back pain...more like pain in my ass!
*Besides Blackley, there are some other Phillies chuckin' well down in Florida: Jamie Moyer, Brett Myers, Carlos Carrasco, Joe Bisenius, and Francisco Rosario. All probably figure into the Phils plans sometime during the '08 season.
*The .400+ batting average club: Ryan Howard, Eric Bruntlett, Carlos Ruiz, Greg Golson, and Casey Smith. Some of these guys don't even matter, so don't get too excited.
*The sub .200 batting average club: Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Jason Jaramillo, Ray Olmedo, Pete LaForest, Pat Burrell, TJ Bohn, and Valentino Pascucci. Some of those guys are regulars and better get the motors running.