Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
Debates and Last Call
The Gavin Floyd vs. Paul Abbott Debate
Thankfully, much of the print media that covers the Phillies is being realistic about Gavin Floyd after two good starts. It would be very easy to point to Floyd as the pitcher that should have been inserted into the rotation earlier in the summer, rather than Paul Abbott. Balls, Sticks, & Stuff has been quite clear about our perception of Abbott's skills as a pitcher and we've been quite clear about our thoughts on Floyd as well, but Kevin Roberts of the South New Jersey Courier-Post surmises correctly:

Bringing up Floyd might have been a disaster, and it might have saved the season. You can't know.

Every time Floyd pitches well, there will be more raised eyebrows and second-guessing. And that's OK; it goes with the territory. Besides, the Phillies would rather Floyd pitch well, build confidence and lay the groundwork for success next year - even if every swing of his arm makes the Paul Abbott decision look worse and worse.
Anyone that's followed the Phillies this season knows that Paul Abbott is not the only reason the team has floundered. Gavin Floyd has some control over the number of opposing batters he strikes out, but he has no control over the poor situational hitting displayed all season long. He also has no control over the inconsistency of Kevin Millwood, the glass elbow of Randy Wolf, the Genesis Space Capsule-like performance of the bullpen, or Larry "Tom Smykowski" Bowa.

Last Call
Speaking of L-Bo, everyone was mildly amused when he joked about getting through the long nights this summer with the help of scotch, but I am beginning to think he was serious. Here is a recent quote from Bowa regarding the recent series with the Braves (also in Kevin Roberts's column):
"You would've thought this series would be different," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "But because of circumstances beyond our control, it is what it is.
Circumstances beyond our control? The scotch is beginning to cloud his judgment if he thinks the entire season can be blamed on injuries, but that is apparently the stance he is taking. I can't wait to see Bowa in a Mets uniform next year. What excuses will he have then? "Well, after a shot of J├Ągermeister, it really came to me, it's beyond our control that they traded away Scott Kazmir...I wasn't even here then, so it can't possibly be my fault."

No, Bo', it can't possibly be your fault...Another round?

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