Four-for-Four: The ‘Talking the Talk’ Edition

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Apr 8, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere (2) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. Milwaukee Brewers defeated Philadelphia Phillies 10-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


The 2014 Phillies will probably have very few stretches where all, even several of their key contributors will be dialed in at the same time. That said, if one or two of their core group is swinging a good bat and driving in runs, Philadelphia should be able to stay in contention throughout the season. In the early going, it was Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins stirring the pot. Ryan Howard had a stretch where he was a home-run threat every swing of the bat and, though his power numbers are not remarkable, Domonic Brown is all the sudden the toughest out on the team.

Against the Dodgers, however, that honor fell on the lap of catcher Carlos Ruiz. Chooch had a tough time getting going this season and was not his normal dependable self with runners on base. In fact, it was not until April 21st (less than a week ago) that Ruiz recorded his first RBI of the season. Apparently that, plus a series with the Dodgers, was all the loveable Phils backstop needed to be the latest veteran to pace the offense.

Ruiz looked very much the 2012 version of himself, where extra base hits and long at bats were the norm. As a right-handed hitter, Ruiz’s importance to the team goes beyond his superb defensive play. He was arguably the biggest reason for the team beating the Dodgers in three of four games. Let’s hope he can continue to maintain a favorable level of play for as long as possible.


Speaking of catchers, the Phillies backup to Ruiz found himself in a very peculiar position this past week as his involvement in the fast-growing world of instant-online dating surfaced on the internet. Wil Nieves, a 36 year old MLB veteran, is apparently involved in the mobile app Tinder, used for quick, accessible dating options. Though the app is more common in today’s youth, there are users of any and all ages involved in the popular program. That being said, Nieves could probably use a few pointers on how to make his profile a bit less creepy.

This looks more like it belongs on the Nieves family Christmas card then a Tinder profile. Interesting choice from Nieves.


In addition to a pair of strong performances since being diagnosed with a hernia, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett appears to have added some light-heartedness and fun into the Phillies clubhouse. The righty is extremely active on Twitter (wudeydo34) and seems to be bringing more character to the team as the season continues. Here are a few classics from Burnett’s account in the last stretch of time.

Burnett seems like a pretty cool guy. If he keeps pitching well, his addition will be among the most important of the offseason.