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I Wish My Brother George Was Here—So Do We
2003-12-11 00:50
by Mike Carminati

The Phils acquired Tim Worrell the other day as free agent. Worrell has been one of the better setup men in the NL since 2000 and did a fine job last year subbing for Robb Nenn as the Giants closer (38 saves, fourth in the NL, 2.87 ERA). However, he will return to his setup role for the Phils, who also acquired premier closer Billy Wagner this offseason.

Either Worrell could not find a job as a closer elsewhere or the wanted to return to the setup role. Or he just followed the call of cash in Philly, one of the few teams willing to spend a some dinero of late.

Whatever the reason, Worrell is a fine addition to the Phils bullpen, a major sore spot for the club down the stretch. And I have to say, it's about time they got him...

Why? Because Philadelphia is truly the city of brotherly love. Or to be more exact, it's the city of inferior brother-ly love. In almost every pair of baseball brothers, the Phils have gotten their hands on the runt of the litter almost every time.

Worrell is a fine pitcher, but his brother Todd was an All-Star. Joining him on the Phils rolls are lesser brothers Ken Brett rather than George, Mike Maddux rather than Greg, Mark Leiter rather than Al, Jeremy Giambi rather than Jason, Tom Barrett rather than Marty, Ron Roenicke rather than Gary. They had Mack, not Zack, Wheat. The didn't have Joe Dimaggio or even Dom. They had Vince Dimaggio. OK, they had Granny Hamner, but ruined it with a year of Garvin Hamner (which is preferable to Marvin Hamlisch). I'm surprised they never signed up Tommie Aaron, Ozzie Canseco, and Billy Ripken. At least they got the right Delahanty brother (Ed) and there were five to choose from. Well, they did give Tom a try as well.

Even in fathers and sons, they get screwed: Bob Boone was never as good as his father Ray nor his sons Bret and Aaron. David Bell has been less than revelatory since signing with the Phils. Why couldn't they have gotten his dad, Buddy, in his prime? (Though they had a pretty good third baseman in those days.) They even had the inferior Terry Francona, not Tito, manage the team a few years ago.

I think it all goes back to being managed so early on (1884-1893) by Harry Wright. I know he's a Hall of Famer and the founder of the late great Cincinnati Red Stockings, but as a player he could never hold a candle to his brother George.

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