The Phillies were at one point tasked with playing their final three games of the season this weekend. But the three-game series to try and solidify their standing as the worst current representation of modern baseball isn't even really about baseball anymore. It's about survival.
A roaring gale so forceful even the NFL can't stop it is ripping its way up the coast with Philadelphia in its torrential crosshairs. Will the Phillies even play another game this season? When you eventually find someone interested in answering that question, they probably won't be able to.
All of these conditions - another season ending, saying goodbye to teammates, the possibility of being sucked into the sky at any moment - have made things pretty emotional around the Phillies clubhouse. After watching Jerad Eickhoff turn from a rookie into a full blown major leaguer this afternoon with a seven-inning, 10 strikeout performance of the least-hungover Mets, Jeff Francoeur could no longer hold back.
Jeff Francoeur, on Jerad Eickhoff: "I’ve got a man crush. If none of the other guys (in Hamels trade) ever pan out, he’s worth it alone."— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) October 1, 2015
Let's soothe Jeff's chief concern here immediately and point out that with the performances from the likes of Nick Williams and Jake Thompson alone (as well as encouraging signs from all players involved in the deal), there's no reason to even suggest that "the other guys" wouldn't "pan out" yet. So let's stop forming thoughts like that immediately. Thank you.
Francoeur is hoping to get to personally see how things go for the Hamels return, at least over the course of 2016. Already he has made it known his interest in returning to the Phillies, pretty much just because somebody asked him. He's an open book, that Jeff Francoeur. Not a lot of mystery there. And that's okay! The Phillies could use a guy who feels feelings a little harder than others, given the team's flat line that beeped without stopping over the course of a few more complacent-looking months since 2012.
Here's to you, Jerad Eickhoff. You earned another fan today. When you look up from reading this, he might be nodding and smiling right now. Give him a nod.
There you go.