The supposed “grand dynasty” that is the Philadelphia Phillies appears to be wavering to this point in 2012. Inconsistent bullpen work, aging players and awful defense have resulted in their resting at the bottom of the NL East 30 games into the season. Some teams would mope and continue to free fall, others would rise up and return to glory, but the Phillies have had a different approach so far; win, by any means necessary.
Just look at the past week, starting with Cole Hamels plunking star-prospect Bryce Harper on the back as an “initiation” to the big leagues. Harper of course later showed up Hamels by stealing home off of him later in the inning. After the game, Hamels later admitted to purposely hitting Harper and is currently serving a five game suspension as a result.
Then fast forward to Monday night against the Mets. Hunter Pence hits a groundball with Shane Victorino on second and Victorino goes basically laterally to slide tackle Daniel Murphy to break up the doubleplay. Luckily however, an interference was called on him and the inning was over.
Then came the worst out of all their recent questionable plays. With Ty Wigginton blazing home and the relay throw coming in, Thole tagged out Wigginton but not before taking a shoulder across the face, giving him a concussion and forcing him to the DL. Whether intentional or not, the play did not look 100% clean.
Over the past few seasons, the Mets have had more than their share of injuries, collapses and stuggles. But one thing they can say, is when these obstacles occur, they don’t resort to dirty play, which Charlie Manuel and his Phillies cannot.
From sign stealing accusations in 2010 to dirty slides and unprovoked intentional plunkings, the Phillies haven’t, and continue not to be any example of the right way to play the game of baseball.