Phillies

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 07: Alec Bohm #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Kyle Schwarber #12 and Bryce Harper #3 following a solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning at American Family Field on June 07, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

By Bob Cooney

Often times when a team is underperforming on the court, field or ice, here in Philly, and it has happened quite often, we beg for the firing of a coach or manager and demand the presence of someone who will “come in and kick some butts and throw chairs.”

Sometimes we aren’t wrong. We’ve seen many teams on the field, court and ice in this city who seem to practice, and sometimes even perfect, a laissez-faire attitude. More times than not, though, our thoughts and The natural reaction among us here in Philadelphia when a team is underperforming – and we’ve had beliefs are as bad as the product we are loathing at the time.

It is never a given that a coach or manager is going to be the immediate answer upon their hire. And I’m not here to convince myself or you that Rob Thomson is the missing piece that this highly-priced Phillies needed after they shipped out Joe Girardi and his analytics-driven style last Friday. But after the past few years of dealing with the managerial styles of Girardi and, before him, Gabe Kapler, maybe, just maybe, having fun playing your profession is something this group of Phillies is finding again. And, as I often say, fun is the best thing to have.

I’m not here to say the likes of young players such as Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm, Mickey Moniak and so on are suddenly going to reach their expected potential under Thomson, but his apparent patience, as opposed the lack of that by Girardi, seems to be playing early dividends.

Sometimes to get the most out of a player you need to kick an ass or two. Sometimes you need to pat a back or two. For the past few seasons it appeared the head of the Phillies dugout couldn’t read that fine line. Early indications are pointing towards Thomson, a veteran of 28 years in pro baseball with jobs spanning almost every aspect, having just the right demeanor to handle both veterans and young players. Sometimes, it may be just that simple in a game that is often times described by it’s simplicity – throw ball, hit ball, catch ball.

We’ll see. But unlike the past few seasons, don’t look at the shifts and the matchups and all the analytically driven components of the past two managers. Just keep an eye on how much this group of players is enjoying the game. It may be a bigger part of success than anything else.