The most common thread of the Phillies offseason was “Sign J.T.” Those initials are probably the most popular in Phillies history.
All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto was a free agent. Fans and J.T. teammates became teammates in campaigning to keep him in Philadelphia. Signs, social media and Bryce Harper chants led the way. Fans weren’t permitted inside Citizens Bank Park paving the way for the birth of the Pandemic Krew outside the Ashburn Alley gates. They became the sign masters.
As popular as Realmuto is, there’s another set of initials that are despised by Phillies fans, J.D. (Drew). He refused to sign with the Phillies after the first player they drafted in 1997. He wound up playing 14 years in the majors and brought out Phillies’ finest Boo-Crew every at-bat in the city.
All this leads to the introduction of the Phillies “All-Initials Team.”
There is no manager but that can be solved because Hinch is the current Detroit Tigers manager. We’ll borrow him as need be.
Second base: Chatham was on the 40-man roster in spring training and is currently on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs roster. So, he qualifies…somewhat.
Bohn? No, not Alec Bohm. Mr. Bohn played in 14 games for the Phillies in 2008, some in right and some in left. Yes, he got a World Series ring.
Rivera? Well, we may be cheating a little bit. He was in the Phillies league camp at Carpenter Complex in 2020. That’s his only claim to wearing a Phillies unform. T.J. played in the majors with the Mets (2016-17), 99 games. But the great news, 3 of those games were in the outfield. So, we have the only “T.J.” outfield in baseball history! With a two-man outfield we will need major assistance from the analytical department in defensive positioning.
We need a broadcaster. That’s easy, H of K. Color man? LA. Just think, Harry Kalas and Larry Andersen back in the booth again.
Mascot? O.K. Phanatic.