Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brown Bomber

Last night while I was at work, a colleague in his 60s found a silly, yet mostly mundane moment hilarious (trust me, it's not even worth repeating), and he wondered why the 23-year-old in the next cubicle wasn't laughing with him. The younger employee simply replied, "I found it funny, but not as much as you did." The old man shot back with sarcasm, "No, you just don't have a sense of humor," followed by a Santa Claus-like chuckle. It occurred to me that the younger man and I didn't laugh because we've been differently conditioned by "The Office," "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy." Our grandkids won't get the humor in those shows either. That might have made both of them laugh had it dawned on me to say it quickly enough for it to be timely to their brief conversation. Oh well...I share it with you all now.

The rookie spoke calmly and confidently (I'm paraphrasing): "You guys print whatever you want, but I'm just here to do what I can to help the team."

What resolve. What conviction. I doubt A-Rod will think to say that after he ends all the speculation with his 600th home run.

Phillies fans finally got what they were looking for, as rookie Domonic Brown made the seamless transition from Triple-A to The Show, and the Phillies made a similar transition from one outfielder to another, stretching their winning streak to seven games in the process.

Brown's two RBI's against the Diamondbacks were enough by themselves to win the game, and Roy Halladay made sure of that. He was his usual brilliant self, and he's got to be thrilled with the incredible run support he's gotten over his last two starts. The Phillies have been scoring a ton of runs no matter who is on the hill, which is what we expect.

Not even the best players in the game can say they started their career with an extra-base hit, and Brown's double was a few feet short of souvenir land in right field. While I was still at work, keeping an eye on the game, I added the rookie to my Fantasy team after his double. It's the most impulsive buy I've made in four years of playing, and wholly unnecessary with three other Phillies sitting in my starting lineup. But I must show respect to the peak of the future of which we all are getting a preview in the next few weeks.

As I watched him during Spring Training, I already felt as if Brown was a part of the major league squad. The spotlight didn't bother him and neither did all the talk of his potential getting stifled by Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez (much like people said about Ryan Howard and Jim Thome). The kid took it in stride like he did with the deafening noise inside Citizens Bank Park Thursday night.

Shane Victorino's injury is a tough break for the team, but it's the break a young star needed, and no offense to Wilson Valdez, Greg Dobbs and Brian Schneider, but Brown is much more than a reserve filling in for a starter. He's getting the exposure at the right time, and it will let the Phillies know how he handles the pressure. Arizona and Washington are small potatoes, but the Marlins and Mets will provide good tests for the kid. Even if he finishes his stint in a slump, it's good to see his name in the lineup. It'll be there for good before we know it.

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