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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Bad News Iron Pigs

The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Phillies AAA affiliate based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, are 6-30. That is not a typo.

The Iron Pigs heralded their new stadium as the 31st best stadium in baseball (presumably next to the 30 that are situated in the majors). That's great, but they probably have the worst record in all of organized baseball, a feat that the Phillies -- notorious for underwhelming us with their farm teams -- couldn't have planned if they tried.

What is frightening for the Phillies is that should a few players go down, there isn't much help on the farm. When Jimmy Rollins went down recently, the Phillies called up an infielder (Brad Harman) from AA Reading.

But the Iron Pigs have the new stadium and an enthusiastic Lehigh Valley (comprised not only of Allentown, but of Easton and Bethlehem) going for them.

And, so it seems, little else.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not there yet, but gaining rapidly. The US under 21s had a great showing at the WC. And the squad is deep, with many cutting their teeth in Europe. Freddy Adu is with Benfica in Portugal; Danny Szetala is signed with Racing Santander in Spain but on loan to Parma in Italy's Serie B; Sal Zizzo is in Germany.

And don't underestimate the MLS as a proving ground. Tim Howard went from MLS to Man U. And, Brian McBride spent his career in MLS and is now captain of a Premiership team (yes, Fulham pulled it out).

Contrast that with 10 years ago when it was unusual for an American to even play in Europe. Now, we're looking for Americans to star at top teams. If we continue on this trajectory, we could be competitive at the highest level by 2014.

Not there yet, but progressing rapidly. Much as the rest of the world has done to the US in basketball.

2:35 PM  

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