|The ballpark remains packed.|
Such is life with the Phillies. They lie about injuries consistently, and sometimes painfully badly. Remember how Chase Utley was fine in 2008, while he went from MVP level to kind of average through the middle of the season? Yeah, right after the World Series he had hip surgery. We found out after last season how hurt Polanco was, and that Hamels needed his elbow cleaned out, and on and on. Chase Utley was going to be playing in a week or two this spring, right?
The Phillies lie about injuries, as does almost every team in the sport, just that they lie badly, and their players lie too, it would seem. It can drive the hardcore fan nuts, especially one who goes to ball games by the dozen, and has minor league tickets too (this guy). You want to know everything, and get to play GM on your blogs and Facebook, because well, it's fun. It's actually fun to say the Phillies should trade player X, and hear ten people call you stupid, and ten others call you brilliant, knowing darn well that what you wrote probably has no impact on the General Manager, and knowing your only sway over the owners is to not go to the game, which you damn well won't do, because you're a die-hard. The Phillies propensity to lie drives you nuts, and makes you worry even more that Roy Halladay is throwing 89 instead of 91 on a given night, and that Ryan Howard's cortisone shot may or may not have caused his ruptured achilles (remember folks, he missed a solid half of September last year, then tore his achilles). It's not the easiest to be a fan of a team who doesn't tell you the truth.
Here's the cold, hard truth though: it doesn't matter at all. If Ryan Howard's workouts are open to the reporters or not, if you know how bad Utley's knee is or not, if you know if the Phillies plan to try and re-sign Cole Hamels or not, none of that matters, because you knowing won't change the final decisions. The Phillies' team chosen doctors will decide if $15-20 million players are allowed back on the field, the GM will decide who to invest long-term in, and the Manager is the only person who really knows if Dom Brown (or any other player) has a good attitude or not, and I'm sure nothing we write will change their opinion. Does it mean you shouldn't write it, or shouldn't care? No, of course not. That's part of being a fan of the team, and if the team is really screwing up, writing it can lead to other fans agreeing with you, and massive action (like not going) taking place. The best use of time is to cover what we know, in the majors and minors, and to save the opinions for the times it matters, which do tend to happen more when your team is good. The truth be told, we don't need to know every time that Ryan Howard's foot aches. We don't have any use to. Should we know if he's out for the year? Sure. Out for another month? Sure. Do we need to know every time his rehab doesn't go well though? No. It won't change his timeline to get on a field.
Frankly, not knowing won't even keep me out of the stands. So while I do care, and don't like the lying, I do understand the value in both sides of this issue.