I swear, the All-Star Break gets longer every year. By 2030 it’ll probably last about three and a half weeks. But tonight, tonight! tonight baseball is back.
So we get the Phillies, and it’s A.J. Burnett versus Ervin Santana. I won’t go so far as to guarantee victory, but I was in Philadelphia last Sunday to see them lose 10-3 to the Washington Nationals, and it is frankly staggering how bad a team they are. They can’t hit or field, which is one of the things that happens when your entire roster is on the wrong side of 30 — except for Domonic Brown, who’s a DH playing in the wrong league, for a franchise that seems determined to crater his value. They are essentially a test tube for what the steroid era had been like if none of the 36-year olds who put up career years had actually been on steroids.
It’s sort of sad to watch Rollins, Utley, and Howard, three of the best players of their era — Utley is a dark-horse Hall of Fame candidate — flop around on the field, drop the ball, and try to poke the occasional single. On the other hand, they’re the Phillies, and so it’s also sort of funny.
Burnett is, from time to time, a really good pitcher, and Santana is occasionally a staggeringly bad one, so it’s not like this game is automatically in the bag. But if we lose, it will be unbelievably embarrassing.
UPDATE: The Braves are releasing Dan Uggla.