Take a knee, gang. Let’s huddle up here for a second. Talk some shop.
Now, I know we’ve all got full plates this summer. We have to tell people we’re going to the beach for the weekend, then just sit at home and claim the beach traffic wouldn’t have made it worth it. We’ve got a full docket of sports journalists to send hate mail for perceived wrongs that we will convey with shattered English, a language we supposedly speak fluently, and while typing with our shoes on our hands. And, as always, there’s an endless list of people to kiss.
I would have kissed Teuvo if he was on the Flyers. I would have.— FGSB (@FlyGoalScoredBy) June 15, 2016
So adding another task may sound like something that taskmaster Chip Kelly would have requested of you - he was always sneaking into our homes at night and adding stuff to our to-do lists on the fridge to try and make this a more productive city but we FIGURED HIM OUT, DIDN’T WE - but the problem is, the Phillies need you.
No, not the “Phillies” as in the franchise; the people who stop having Dollar Dog Nights in June, fight to keep bloggers out of the press box, or charge you $11 for what they call a “super premium beer," which sounds less like a menu item and more like a phrase that someone for whom English isn’t their first language would describe a beer they liked. I’m talking the Phillies who wear the word “Phillies” on their work clothes every day and, like, are the actual team.
Every year, the All-Star Game serves as a reminder that not every team has a good player. We can't all be Cubs or Royals or Orioles; some of us have to be Padres or Braves, or even Phillies. The last ASG voting update revealed that the only Phillies player on anyone’s mind is Aaron Nola, who, to his credit, has been great.
But what about Odubel Herrera, the exuberant walk machine that refuses to be turned off? What about the guy producing in the aspect of the game the Phillies understand the least?
I’m talking about offense, something for which Odubel Herrera appears in the top 20 of the entire sport. Think about that; this team that would be among the leaders in leaving RISP if they could actually get a guy to second or third base actually has a player who is dominating at the plate. He is among the leaders in BA (.311), OBP (.415, 5th in NL; 1st among outfielders), and has logged 71 H, 39 BB, and 1155 pitches seen during PA. I know “patience” isn’t the sexiest baseball quality, but the man is getting on base. Which we can all agree is pretty sexy.
We clearly can't rely on other fans to see how effective a player Herrera has been. That’s a lost cause. Fans of certain teams would rather vomit ballots into the box with unworthy players’ names on them than see that Herrera has developed a bat flip and trot for drawing a walk. It’s like a home run for which he only gets to go to first base and not score. Which doesn't sound as cool now that I’ve put it like that, but you know what I mean. The first step to scoring is getting on base, and with a lineup of NL all-stars around Herrera instead of the Phillies for one night, the league’s best outfielder at doing so is far more likely to cross the plate. But you can't depend on a Cardinals fan spouting Yadier Molina-love through a bullhorn out of the sunroof of an Uber to notice that.
I touched on this yesterday in the Emergency Tuesday Gush, actually, and invoked the image of past all-stars on the bubble who wanted ever so desperately to arrive at the Midsummer Classic donned in Phillies red.
Remember way back when a couple of guys stayed up for like 48 straight hours or something, voting for Pat Burrell to make the ASG around the clocks (Even though that action is exactly what probably caused Burrell to think they were nerds and want to beat them up)? Remember when Shane Victorino went door-to-door in South Philly with the mayor to stir up support for his own campaign? Well, hopefully your enthusiasm for Phillies baseball is just as high now as it was when Burrell and Victorino were around, because it’s 2016, and a new fringe all-star needs your votes.
So it only makes sense that Herrera, as plucky, cocky, and horned as any Phillies all-star before him, should get in there as well.
This is exciting not just for Herrera, but for you! You have something to do that can help! We have to squeeze the pleasant moments out of seasons like this until our grip weakens and we pass out from the stress. Remember when the Phillies were bad, but Jonathan Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz got to fist bump to end the 2012 All-Star Game? Didn’t that just make your week? No? It barely registered, given the magnitude of your life’s problems? All right, let’s just skip over you.
I know, I know; “But I have better things to do than click a mouse 35 times in a row!” But here’s the thing: No you don’t. You act like you do; perhaps hinting at the awesome, active, fulfilling life that you’ve always dreamed of being real by casually mentioning your outside interests on social media. “Oh man, am I the only one who hates people who don’t pick up their litter on trail runs?!” or “I am just too sunburned from volunteering at the urban farm to get out of my bed!! :-(“ or “I worked too hard today; do I REALLY have to go to my adult kickball league tonight??” or “Ugh, I have to write an appeal for a player who doesn’t know me personally to receive an honor for a web site I write for! #deadlines.”
No one’s buying it. You’re jamming those thumbs away on Twitter too often to have as exhausting a life as you’re trying to convince everybody you have, so maybe just re-channel some of that energy into getting Odubel Herrera the spot he deserves on the National League All-Star team. Without him, we may not get to see a Phillies player provide a key walk on the way to giving the Cubs home field advantage in the World Series. You don’t want to get in the way of the Cubs, do you? Because they will find out where you are and show up there; they won’t do anything to you, you’ll just have 25 large adult bodies clogging every room you stand in. You won't be able to get anything done! Not that you have anything to do anyway.
All right, that’s all I’ve got. Good talk, gang. I can tell by your sweating, infuriated faces that this was a productive meeting. Now let’s get out there and herd El Torito into the All-Star corral he deserves! Hands in the middle!