Sunday, August 29, 2004

Sweeps Weeks
I got home from the United for Peace and Justice rally in Manhattan today to read that the Phillies had inflicted a 10-0 beating on the Milwaukee Brewers, sending the Budsters to their 11th straight loss and re-scaling Mount .500 at 65-65. Cory Lidle, probably the dumbest acquisition of Ed Wade's "look, I'm doing something" trades, threw a shutout and hit a home run; Marlon Byrd, one of the team's biggest disappointments, hit the team's first grand slam of this miserable season. The victory marked the fourth straight Phils series to end in a sweep; no idea if that's any kind of team record outside of a long winning or losing streak. In this case, the Phils lost three at home to Houston, swept the Brewers in Milwaukee, got broomed again in Houston, and then placated some home fans by waxing the Brewers again. In other news, Randy Wolf's disappointing season is likely over with an elbow injury, and touted--but evidently tiring--pitching prospect Gavin Floyd will make his big-league debut next Friday night against the Mets. Going nowhere in dramatic style: your 2004 Phillies.

But at least it looks like Larry Bowa is going somewhere after the season: to the unemployment line. Randy Miller reports that the decision has been made, though Dead Weight's announcement yesterday that Bowa will serve out the season (with no mention of 2005) suggests that there's a thin line between showing the guy respect and just hanging him out to dry. Also gone, according to Miller, are hitting coach Greg Gross, pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, and third base coach John Vukovich, who had been coaching with the team since Reagan was in office. In an accompanying article, Miller offers some early favorites to replace Bowa, including Jim Thome confidant Charlie Manuel, former Astros skipper Larry Dierker and the ex-Mets, Reds and Dodgers manager Davey Johnson--my hands-down first choice. Until someone competent is actually named, though, I'll remain fearful that the Cult of 1980 will resurface once again and inflict the hideously inept Bob Boone upon us. At least Mike Schmidt was so bad at the helm of the team's A-ball affiliate in Clearwater that we probably won't see him in the dugout... unless Dead Weight really feels the need to sell some tix. Another column on, by Mike Sielski, rightly takes Wade to task for not dismissing Bowa a month ago, when it might have done some good.

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