Now is the time for us all to consider Charles Joseph Menard. He was good at what he did, studied things in detail, and produced analyses that people regard with awe centuries before computers were able to do stuff like you find at the fantasmagorical Flip Flop Fly Ball.
I am enamored of synthetic thinkers; they are wondrous to behold. There are quite a few who write and comment here. Give yourselves a pat on the back. If you're still following this team with 24 games to go, in fact, do yourself one better: Go lick your mirror. You. Have. Earned. It. Beautiful.
Because if you watched tonight's game, as I genuinely did, you strapped an M-80 on three hours of a lovely Tuesday night and lit the fuse. Now the neighbors have called the cops. And I can't blame them.
Oh, fine. Cody Asche had a nice game. Chase Utley came off the bench and did what Chase Utley does. But damnitall, seven of the nine players in tonight's lineup were minor leaguers. You may think what you will of John Mayberry Jr.
Don't misunderstand; I love minor leaguers. I am genuinely interested in seeing guys like Cesar Hernandez. Hell, even B.J. Rosenberg now emits a whiff of mild intrigue. It's nice to see old pal Freddy Galvis roaming the infield, don't you think? And while it's painfully obvious to everyone except the Phillies that Ethan Martin is miscast as either a bullpen pitcher or a minor leaguer, or possibly both, I watch him go through the opposing lineup a second time hoping that his steam engine repertoire will somehow vault the Grand Canyon this time.
Please don't misunderstand. The critiques I make are independent of how generous a tipper these men are, or if, or how much, their mothers love them. They are only chasing a dream they have chased the majority of their lives.
But what does it profit anyone to trot out Michael Martinez out in the glare of major league halogen stadium lights? What questions need to be answered? What dead cat ever has bounced so high that a non-sociopathic eyebrow was raised? Gentle readers, the cynicism the Phillies have displayed on tonight's lineup card overwhelmed me and near drowned me in unctuous rageahol. That the Nationals obliged with crappy baseball of their own merely points to the gravitational pull of the wretched stank that emanates from this once-proud field.
The crops may leave out some crucial details, so here's the mashup I did. Bon appetit!
For you newfangled types, here's what your fancy pants computer spat out: