Now, I'm not going to suggest that Bill Conlin pilfered my idea or that he even took it, modified it a bit and ran with it, but his column today sounds an awful lot like my idea from Friday, albeit much more well-written.
I'm pretty sure Conlin doesn't even read blogs, let alone my tirade-inducing site, so I'll just chalk it up to great minds thinking alike. Seriously though, his column is brilliant today, and I'm not just saying that because I had the same general idea. Check out some of the highlights:
Phils wear gray roadies and bat first. They have the third-base dugout, visitors' clubhouse and top-shelf bullpen, the one where fans can give lefthanded reliever Jack Taschner advice on how to throw strike one. And if deep reserve catcher Paul Bako happens to be catching down there, well, the journeyman called up from Lehigh Valley so Charlie can use Chris Coste to pinch-hit might be hearing helpful hints such as, "Hey, meat, get the donut off your bat."
Not to belabor the obvious . . . But going into battle without injured Raul Ibanez, very ill Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins - .216, .261 OBP - impersonating a leadoff hitter, is like giving your opponent a three-run spot. Charlie Manuel was wearing a brace on his left wrist yesterday after a player ran into him in the dugout Thursday. Or, did Chuck injure it trying to play baseball with one hand tied behind his back?
The man knows his baseball, so if I'm even remotely on the same page, I feel honored. Well said, Bill. Well said.