The Daily Rant
Rant archives
RSS feed for The Daily Rant RSS Feed
Streaming Daily Rants
Podcast/MP3 Daily Rants
About me
Home Turf
Pave the grass
My news clips
Contact me
Pa. gambles
Pa. pay raise
Pa. papers
Pa. poliblogs
Pa. columnists
Pa. AP news
N.J. papers
N.J. AP news
Good reporting
White House
GAO news
Iraq war
Peak oil
For Men
News feed
Warp Stock
Site map

as seen on phillyBurbs.com

Should Larry Bowa get the boot?

So there I was yesterday at my neice's first communion party, and while the rest of my rapidly expanding family is chatting away after eating brunch in a Manayunk restaurant, I'm leaning on the bar watching Vicente Padilla and the Phils self-destruct in the sixth against the hapless Expos.

When will Larry Bowa be fired?

May 1
May 15
June 1
June 15
Aug. 1
Aug. 15
Sept. 1
Not this year

Current Results

No score. No one on, one out. Orlando Cabrera singles to left. Catcher Mike Lieberthal comes out to settle Padilla down. He's thrown more than 80 pitches now and getting wild.

The next batter confirms it. Padilla throws it right over the plate and  Brad Wilkerson grounds out to first, moving the runner to second. At this point, any other team manager would have given his starter the heave-ho. Thanks for the start, let's protect the score and get a fresh arm in there.

Then, there's the Phillies.

Padilla stays on the mound, with no movement in the dugout or bullpen and proceeds to walk Tony Batista, who's hitting a measely .206, on five or six ugly throws. That brings out pitching coach Joe Kerrigan for a short talk with Padilla. I can't believe he hands him back the ball.

Up to the plate stands Matt Cepicky, who's slugging a healthy .313.  The wind up, the pitch. Cepicky smacks it into right field.

Cabrera scores.  Batista rounds third and he scores. The throw to the plate is not in time, but Lieby catches Cepicky trying to stretch the double and throws him out at third to end the inning.

Too late, the damage is already done. And the Phillies' bats, which have only come alive this spring when facing Expos pitchers, remain silent. I didn't even bother to stay at the bar for the seventh inning stretch.  The outcome was already certain. Stick a fork in 'em. Game over.

And Jose Mesa isn't even pitching for us any more.

Geez, a $97 million payroll and the fighting Phils look worse than the Mets, who have shed most of their payroll. (The next person who tells me Spring Training isn't a true predictor of what's to come is going to eat a fist, I swear.)

I'm not saying I hate Larry Bowa, far from it. He's built a heckuva team this year and expectations are deservingly high. It's just that I've seen Bowa do far more with a lot less.

Remember his first year here as the Phils' skipper. A team of no names. No expectations.  Another dismal season in the offing. Somehow, some way, Bowa brough that team to life and kept them in contention all the way down the stretch against the dreaded Atlanta Braves.

Bowa needs to reach back to those days and remember what made that team such a success in order to fix this high-priced failure. Until then, he needs to stop being so thin-skinned when some reporters question his strategy, or why he yanked or failed to pull a pitcher at a critical moment.

It's either that, or heads will soon be rolling further than Cepricky's hit. And I'm not talking bobbleheads.


Sorry folks, but looks like I'll have a fuzzy face a little longer.

With just 15 votes casts, the people have spoken. I'm keeping the beard, because at least seven of you like it. Five said shave the monstrosity off. And four people want me to grow it to ZZ Top-length and then flip it up to cover my face.

Thanks dad.

Dave Ralis' Pave The Grass column appears on Mondays. You can send him an e-mail at  or call him at 215-269-5051. To read his previous columns, click here.

Apil 26, 2004