The Dip: The Prodigal Pitcher Returns

Posted by The Dipsy, Fri, September 04, 2009 10:33 AM | Comments: 23
Posts, The Dip

This is The Dip, a weekly column penned by our own commenter, The Dipsy. Agree or disagree with what he says? Tell us by leaving your comments.

When Brett Myers is activated today, Phillies fans will have a month to watch one of the most vexing personalities in recent team history.  It seems like yesterday Myers was a 21-year old kid that perplexed the Chicago Cubs on a sunny day at Wrigley Field.  His stuff was electric in his debut – his fastball was fast, and his curve dropped off the table. I was convinced that the Phils had an ace for years to come.   But a funny thing happened on the way to greatness.

What exactly that “funny thing” was, is still unclear.  Through his first five years, Brett was just an “OK” pitcher.  Sure, he always sported the nice fastball and that great curve (the 12-6 curve that, when thrown properly, was one of the best pitches in baseball).  But for some reason Brett stopped evolving.  At first he was viewed as a prodigy. Then an enigma.  And lastly, after seasons of seeing one hanging curve or misplaced fastball too many, Phils fans seemed to accept Brett as the guy that would never put it all together; but hey, he wasn’t that bad either.  In short, he was a great talent and an average pitcher.

And the personal issues:  hitting his wife,  calling a reporter a “retard,” and just generally acting like a child.  Look, we all knew Brett was rough around the edges, but if he was going to act so boorishly we at least wanted him to pitch better.  Brett was on his way to becoming an underperforming jerk.

Then 2007 came along and Billy Wagner went down for the season.  Brett, with his new three-year contract in hand, volunteered to fill the bullpen spot.  He sacrificed and then he thrived.  And maybe Brett wasn’t so bad after all.  The next season however, was more of the tale of 2008A and 2008B.  The disaster of A saw him demoted to Reading and the attendant embarrassment.  When he returned he was the best pitcher in the NL (season 2008B).  Phils fans were impressed to say the least.  Perhaps finally the light had been switched on.  His at-bat in last year’s playoff game against C.C. Sabathia – where each ball he fouled off was followed by a roar from the capacity crowd – was a great postseason moment.  In the wake of the World Series victory, I think it would be fair to say that we were all starting to like Brett.

Injured at the start of this season, Brett has returned ahead of schedule from hip surgery.  Some will say he’s coming back to pitch for a contract.  I like to think it’s because he wants to help his teammates win.  And I’m a cynic! Looking ahead, maybe Brett will tap into that wellspring of talent and become that great pitcher we’ve seen glimpses of. And maybe it won’t be here.  In any event, here’s to a great potentially last month as a Phillie.  If he helps us win another World Series, he can fall out of an SUV everyday for the rest of his life if it makes him happy.

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About The Dipsy

The Dipsy has written 29 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Craig

    2007 Wagner went down for the season?

    Don’t you mean Flash went down for the season?

  • Posts: 0 Doug

    We didn’t have Billy Wagner in 2007. Tom Gordon was the closer. He actually got hurt then came back to help us get to the playoffs in 2007.

  • Posts: 0 Richie

    I dont care what Brett does off the field because quite frankly that isn’t really my business but when he is on that mound he gives me 110% and I love him for that!!! Even when he is getting hit around a little it is not by lack of effort and heart. When he is on that mound he looks like he wants to throw the ball threw the backstop…sometimes on the verge of lunacy, but I love every second of it and I appreciate all he has done and hope he gives us a hometown discount because he will be sadly missed if not.

  • Posts: 0 Pat Gallen

    Wouldnt say he would be sadly missed, but he’s a decent middle of the rotation guy in the majors when pitching has become increasingly thin. All I care about is if he gives us decent production into the playoffs. Thats all you can ask for.

    As for next season, I’m not sure there is a choice but to let him go, unless the Phils decide they have more money to mess with. There will be other options.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Well we know 4 rotation spots are locked in next year barring trades. And I doubt Hamels, Lee, Happ, or Blanton will be traded. Myers would occupy the 5th spot if he returned as a starter. But I think the organization has reserved that for Kyle Drabek. If Drabek isn’t ready to begin the season they will find a temporary (like half-season) fix until he is ready.

    I still think they should make an honest, good faith effort to bring back Brett Myers at a discounted rate and try to convince him it is in his best interest to pitch out of the bullpen for us. I would like to have his power arm and closing stuff to be used at Charlie’s discretion in relief.

    He DOES appear to like the bullpen, and he DID say his primary choice is to remain in Philadelphia for his next contract, so can we possibly think Myers will accept that?

    I have GOT to assume some DESPERATE team will offer him AJ Burnett money to be a starter because thats how free agency always works.

  • Posts: 0 Burt Lavallo, friend to all

    he also wasn’t the best pitcher in the NL in the 2nd half of 2008. cc sabathia was, by a country mile.

  • Posts: 0 Amazinsux

    CC huh? Tell that to Victorino.

  • Posts: 0 Pat Gallen

    If someone offers him Burnett money, they are downright stupid. Burnett throws gas and when he is on, he has no hit stuff. Myers, not so much. He’s a respectable 3rd starter and is good out of the pen, so the two dont really equate to Burnett money. I though the Yanks overpaid him anyway.

    I’m sure the Phillies will lowball him and hope he bites, but he will get an opportunity to either start or close somewhere else for bigger bucks. You can bet on that.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    And where does the “old goat”, Pedro Martinez fits in? It’s a problem Charlie Manuel don’t mind having. Jamie Moyer will be heard from too.

  • Posts: 0 Burt Lavallo, friend to all

    yes, victorino in the playoffs. but let’s not forget that brett myers was not exactly lights out in the NLCS.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Yeha probably. He will be one of TEH most interesting guys in FA this winter. Because he really could start or close depending on what he wants to do.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I meant Tom Gordon. Sorry.

    The Dipsy

  • Baseballbriefs.com tracking back The Dip: The Prodigal Pitcher Returns…

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  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I’m not a huge Brett Myers fan… I’ve always viewed him as a lazy primadonna. Much like Dipsy noted, he never lived up to his potential and he has no one to blame but himself. This year, he comes into camp determined; 15-20 pounds lighter with a fresh appetite to win. Why? Like Deion said, must be the money… right now, he’s making $12 million and that’s a far cry from what he has actually produced. Healthy and motivated, Brett Myers might be worth that but, like Dipsy said, he never progressed… and you have to blame that on Brett Myers. He talks a good game but his actions speak louder than his words, for sure. He’s a little bit selfish and very childish… if they bring him back, I would be very surprised.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Hopefully Brett Myers can contribute in the middle to late innings of some games down the stretch and earn some play-off work, after that don’t let the door hit you in the ass (or the face…) Brett.

  • Posts: 0 Joey

    Chuck, I have to disagree. Myers is one of the best interviews on the Phillies. he doesnt BS. When he sucks he says i suck, when hes good hes not that humble either (which im ok with if your winning ball games). My favorite was when TMac asked him about a hit he got and he said deadpan “im just seeing the ball so well right now.” then laughed and said im kidding thats like my 3rd career hit. I cant call a guy selfish who went to A ball to figure is game out last year. (the holy moyer would not have done that). I think he never had as good of stuff as we thought. he had a few good starts in his first few months before the book was out on him, declared him an ace in progress and we threw a fat contract at him when in reality hes a 2 or a 3. i dont want to see him go but unless its a 1 year deal its kinda inevitable.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I guess it all comes down to perception… I think that his interviews are kind of “showy.” He says what he thinks people will want to hear… now, I did admire the fact that he spent much needed time in the minors but I don’t know what his options were at that point. I think that he always had the stuff that we thought he had but he was unwilling to prepare himself to position his talent for success.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    And anyone that hits a woman is a coward in my book…

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Will Myers be a type A Free Agent by the end of the season? If so, they might let him walk… either way, keeping him wouldn’t be a bad idea, as long as it’s *cheap*.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Myers isn’t a type A free agent and might not be a type B either, either way it’s irrelevant as he’s a no doubt non-tender candidate at $12m which is what it would take to claim the draft compensation.

    I hope the Phils aren’t tempted to make him an offer more than a 1 year very low base salary deal to pitch as a middle to late innings reliever.

    In my book getting punched out in a bar the day before he’s about to make his first rehab appearance shows his lack of respect for the game and the Phillies organisation that’s not a guy you want around.

  • Posts: 0 Philly Geoff

    I love the guy. The fact that he came back from this hip injury to play this year, even it is motivated by his pending FA status, is commendable whether you like him or not.

    I am glad to see the founder of the Redneck Wrecking Crew back in action!

    And I thought the “retard” comment, while not PC correct, was hilarious.

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    i think its kind of funny, the media or the beagles p r dept used to say how andy reid only wanted players with class for his team, then they let one of the classiest players ever to play in philly walk and bring in a real punk. lot of class there andy. the phils i think really do have a character team, with alot of class, which translates to really good chemistry, ruben amaro is a genious. i think myers is a total scumbag who is only playing for a contract, and will be gone after this year much like that primma donna burrell.

  • Posts: 0 karen

    I saw Brett pitch both games in Lehigh Valley, and while that was AAA, he had good stuff. He had no real trouble…a few balls that should have been strikes in the first game but took care of business. Brett may be whatever in his personal life, but I definately respect his desire and determination to get back to help his team in the end of the season/playoffs….regardless of him having a degree of motivation due to contract situation

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