Jose de Jesus Ortiz drops some Spanish explorer knowledge on us, with Ed Wade the captain of the ship, heading to Florida, looking for youth.
And Wandy is the wizened veteran, talking to JJO, but apparently yelling loud enough for the young guys to hear:
"They just need to learn to locate and have patience and to study the hitters well. Remember, in 2007 and 2006 I'd lose games in one inning? I'd throw five good innings and lose it in one. But I learned to concentrate. You just have to learn it. People can tell you how to do it, but ultimately you have to learn it. These guys have great arms, and they'll learn.”
Let's stop here. With Roy popping off every so often, and becoming...shall we say, grizzled, is Wandy stepping up and assuming a leadership role in the clubhouse?
“We want to win as many games as we can. We want to finish on a high note, but at the same time try to take advantage of the opportunity to see Bud Norris and Paulino, Bazardo and some of the young position players, not to make definitive judgments on them but give them opportunities to get their feet wet and sort of experience what being in the big leagues is all about...
...“We're going to be younger. It's going to be necessitated by the economics. We're going to have to give every opportunity to the young players in our system to compete for jobs at the big league level, to win jobs out of spring training and begin to transition into a younger club.”
So, Eddie, is the left side set?
"Yeah, but that said we still have interest in exploring the possibility of bringing the veterans as well. You start talking about what Miguel and (Geoff) Blum have done for us, I don't think we can overstate the importance of their roles. We can't overstate what they've brought to our ballclub both off and on the field from the standpoint of talent, attitude, makeup, leadership, but again we're going to have to sit down when the season is over and continue to put pen to paper and see what's realistic and what isn't.”
What about Coop?
"I think we're always evaluated. As I've told you before, I don't get into those types of daily discourses on staff, whether it's front office or field staff. But we're always, all of us, are always in a position of having our successes and failures evaluated every day, both internally and externally.”
The starting pitching is pretty much set, but JJO drops a big If:
"If Oswalt can bounce back from the degenerative disk, he, Rodriguez, Norris and Brian Moehler could be the starters."
That's four. So unless they're winding back the clock to 1947, they'll need another one. What say you, Lance?
“It's hard to prognosticate for next year when you don't know what your personnel situation is going to be like. You don't know who's coming back or who's not. I think until you know from a personnel standpoint it's hard to say this is what's going to happen. The one thing I do like about our team next year is the fact that I think we're going to have Roy and Wandy and Bud and then Moehler. So I think we have four pretty solid starters that give you a chance to win, and that's where you have to start. That's the whole foundation of the team.”
So there's your "There's two weeks left, but we've checked out" story, and it's overdue. But who will be the captain? Ponce de Leon was killed by a poisoned arrow.