I've read, heard and seen a lot over the last few days about Manager Charlie Manuel's "obligation," to play his best players against the Atlanta Braves in the final series of the regular season rather than giving them a rest as they prepare for the post season. The Braves are still hoping to punch their ticket to October baseball by winning the Wild Card.
Charlie does have an obligation. To me.
He has an obligation to keep me on the edge of my seat through two rounds of playoffs and the World Series. The Phillies have won the National League East title. They have nothing more to prove in the regular season. Play your starters? I don't think so. Let them rest. Play your bench Charlie. Don't risk injury and don't listen to those who say you have an obligation to win the final three meaningless games of the regular season.
On Wednesday, bench players Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and John Mayberry got a chance to start. All three homered in a rather convincing Phillies' win.
Football fans have faced a similar dilemma recently when teams rested their starters after clinching playoff berths rather than pursue an undefeated season.
It's the same argument that some make about playing ALL kids in a game, not just the good ones.
When "D+" students get a chance to compete on "Scholastic Scrimmage," then come to me and make the argument that all kids should play.
So rest your starters Mr. Manuel. And by the way, feel free to argue balls and strikes in the first inning of any of the final three games of the 2010 season and get yourself ejected. Take the rest of the day off.
You deserve it.