Grantland.com’s Jonah Keri hates the Phillies. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the facts. Since the offseason Jonah Keri has written a preview for every team in baseball, and writes a weekly column called “The 30,” in which he gives his weekly power rankings. Mr. Keri has rarely, if ever had anything good to say about the Phils. The same Phils that have been a top three team in baseball since 2008.
Let’s start with the offseason. On March 20th, Keri wrote an article titled, “The Phillies’ Offense is a Rising Concern.” in which he bequeathed upon the Phils the honor of worst offense in baseball. Now, one could see how he could maybe, kinda sorta, possibly make that claim, but that’s pretty hard when you consider the Phillies haven’t missed the playoffs since 2007. The Phils’ offense hasn’t been the same since pitchers realized Howard can’t hit anything low and away, or off-speed and Utley has stopped putting up league leading numbers. Still, the worst offense in baseball? Keri’s biggest points were the loss of Utley and Howard from the middle of the Phillies’ lineup. I guess Keri hasn’t been watching a lot of Phillies because Utley has been hurt every year since 2007 and Howard hasn’t faired much better. Not to mention Victorino and Rollins who are equally injury prone. Without these players the Phils have still managed to dominate the NL East, granted that they have great pitching. Keri again ripped the Phils offense in his season preview for the team, and ripped their decision to sign Jonathan Paplebon to a $50 million deal. (Ok the last one might be warranted.)
Keri’s track record shows a certain distaste for the boys in red pin stripes. It comes out even more in his weekly column “The 30,” since the first week of the season, the Phillies have yet to crack his top 15 teams. This is kind of hard to believe when the Phillies are 28-27 and playing the the hottest division in baseball. In fact the Phillies’ last place spot in the NL East wouldn’t hold in any other division – it wouldn’t even be close. Among his main arguments, are of course, offense. So how does Keri account for the fact that the Phils had the fifth best offensive numbers in baseball in the month of May? Well luck of course. That’s right, Keri attributed those good numbers to luck. Rather than credit the Phillies for making due with a banged up pitching staff and makeshift line up, rather than give Carlos Ruiz credit for having his best season ever, Jonah Keri thinks that luck is the Phillies’ best hitter.
I don’t know what he has against the team. Maybe he’s a Mets fan. In that case congrats on your first (bogus) no-hitter anyway. This season hasn’t been ideal for the Phightins so far, but it’s only June, and we’ve been here before. Keep calm, and fight on Philadelphia – we’ll be there in October.