Monday, April 21, 2008

A Great Sports Weekend

A lot of things happened this weekend. The Sixers upset the Pistons to go up 1-0 in the playoffs, the Phillies battled back against the Mets to prevent a sweep, and the circus came to town.

I could only pick one thing to write about, and if you were watching the late innings of the Phillies 5-4 win on Sunday night, you would know exactly what I am talking about. The kind of once-in-a-lifetime moment that has the ability to be greater than a playoff win, a 2-hr day by Chase Utley, and a high-wire trapeze act combined.

That's right, I'm talking about the Philadelphia debut of one T.J. Bohn.

In the game of baseball, you get used to seeing a lot of faces pass through a team during the course of a grueling 162 game season.

Some are hot-shot rookies who get called up from AA ball at the age of 19 and never go back to the minors.

Some are journeymen catchers, who battle back and forth between AAA ball and the Show, eventually earning a roster spot on the way to becoming a 33-year-old rookie.

Some make memorable first impressions - guys like Sal Fasano and Mike Zagurski. You remember the first time you saw them play, because of the extreme facial hair or the fact that a professional athlete still has his baby fat.

Others are not so memorable, but end up playing a big part in that team's future, a guy like Kyle Kendrick for example. When he first got called up, he was part of a group of young pitchers all trying to help the team during an arms shortage. I don't remember anything that stood out about Kendrick compared to some of the other guys, but fast-forward a few months later and he's a 10-game winner.

I can definitely tell you I was more excited about Zagurski than Kendrick, but right now I am definitely feeling better about Kendrick.

So these first impressions can be a lot of things - misleading, a sign of things to come, not very important at all, or maybe even life-changing.

The reason I am bringing all of this up, of course, it because last night could very well have been the most important moment in the history of the Philadelphia Baseball Phillies. The introduction of one T.J. (Thomas Joseph) Bohn. Now before you get all excited about a guy named T.J. Bohn, please keep in mind that it is not pronounced 'Bone,' but is pronounced to rhyme with 'swan.' Still, the guy has a mullet.

He took a couple good hacks and looked at a ball right down the middle of the plate to quickly get his first Phillies at-bat over and done with. I like that, no need to make a big deal of it and spend a bunch of time fouling off pitches. No, just get up there, take your cuts, and get back to that dugout, Bohn. Time to grab some sunflower seeds and relax.
So who knows what to expect of this T.J. Bohn. He's got a great name, a great mullet, and he takes great hacks. What you do know is that some guys get an opportunity and never let go (Victorino, Shane) others get multiple chances and never take advantage of them, or at least wait until they are on another team (Floyd, Gavin). Still others just end up robbing you (Garcia, Freddy).
Only time will tell.
So picture yourself on a hot day in late August. The Phils are battling back against the Mets and the pitcher is due up. When you find yourself asking, "Is T.J. Bohn available to pinch-hit," remember this day, remember me, and, above all else, remember that Bohn was sent back to the minors less than 10 days after making his debut and has not been heard from since.

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