Phils' Brown still learning as season progresses


Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Posted: 12:10 a.m.

By Jay Greenberg Contributor

Domonic Brown is truly sorry for not running out the ground ball that Oaklands Jemile Weeks botched on Saturday night. And not only are Phillies fans happy to forgive the rightfielder when he homers and doubles in a 5-0 win over Josh Beckett and the Red Sox, but they'll also ultimately learn a lesson from the kid, too.

A true Philadelphia fan always busts it all the way to third with his anxieties and rarely apologizes for them, too. He wants a second World Series championship in four seasons to be won at full April-to-November sprint, in a bulletproof vest, no time allowed to watch one of the best prospects in baseball to mature into one of its better players.

But Brown needs time. With a 175 million payroll and the Phillies on a lot of nights hitting like they could go down in any round, unfortunately the only time seems to be the present.

Even on June 29.

A lot of people who havent played the game really dont understand it, said Brown. Talking to my Dad and Mom about it, they dont really understand.

They are used to me hitting .600 like in high school. Thats not going to happen. You have to work yourself up to being a good player and I understand that. The other day, it just got to me.

So when Brown came into Tuesday nights game batting .208, hitless in his last 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position and got to a 2-1 second-inning fastball, it sure beat having things continue to get to him. Almost as exciting as the ball clearing the 398 mark in right center for a 2-0 Phillies lead was Brown being at first base when it did.

With Jacoby Ellsbury out there you never know, he might climb the wall," said Brown. I just made sure I was coming hard out of the box.

Lesson learned? Well see.

To have it happen a second time, thats not good, said Vance Worley, without revealing the first time.

Back to that 2-1 count. Getting ahead in the count is nothing new for Brown. But this time he took advantage.

I am getting in good counts, he said, just not capitalizing on those hitters counts.

If they are going to give you a walk, take a walk. If they are going to give you a ball you can take a single on a hit the other way.

Voila. In the fifth, Brown took a 3-1 outside fastball from Beckett deep into the leftfield corner and didnt even have to hustle into second, although he did.

Go with the pitch, exactly what Im talking about, said Brown, which is exactly what Charlie Manuel talks about to all his hitters, not just the rookie trying to replace Jayson Werths 80 RBIs on a team on a 100-win pace that Philadelphia thinks should be a 120-win pace.

Theres a lot of positive stuff out there and a lot of negative stuff as well, Brown said. I just take it for what it is and keep battling.

I just knew I had to do better. So I got here earlier so I would prepare the right way, look at some video. I usually get here early but I had to change something up.

For the record, he did not mean changing speeds on the way to first base, taking a little something off one of his five tools.

The brain cramp definitely was a wake up, said Brown. I wasnt even thinking about it until I talked to Charlie and I was like Man you know what thats not my style of play. Without naming names, teammates got on me and they should have.

I rely on everything about my speed and how I go about things the right way. Not hustling, not running balls out, thats not Domonic Brown.

I hit the ball on the screws and I look up and it's right to second baseman. It was just frustration. Nine times out of 10, they are going to make that play but thats the way God does it. You show him up, hell show you up.

So that's who gave Dave Montgomery all this money to build the perfect pitching staff, one that should be producing the perfect season with the first rookie to ever fail to get frustrated and forget to run hard to first base.

You take The Bible literally, the world was created in just seven days. So to Phillys way of thinking, why should Domonic Brown need any more than that to become a star?

E-mail Jay Greenberg at

Related: Lee throws third straight shutout in Phillies' winPhils GM Amaro seeks to survive with young 'pen

Contact Us