Monday, December 22, 2014

Polanco continues to star

Polanco continues to star

Placido Polanco congratulates Chase Utley after Utley hit a home run in the fifth inning today. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Placido Polanco congratulates Chase Utley after Utley hit a home run in the fifth inning today. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Moments before Placido Polanco delivered yet another big hit with runners in scoring position, they announced that Roy Halladay had been named National League Player of the Week.

Not pitcher of the week.

Player of the week.

Which begs the question: What's a position player have to do to get considered?

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Specifically, what does Placido Polanco have to do?

Today, Polanco drove a two-out single to centerfield to flip a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead, igniting the Phillies to a 7-4 victory in their home opener.

Polanco has reached base in all seven Phillies games this season. He is hitting .500 with runners in scoring position, has driven in 10 runs and scored nine.

His grand slam and six runs batted highlighted Halladay's opening-day victory. This time, he helped Cole Hamels scrape to his second victory.

Which begs the question: Who's a better Player of the Week choice, the new ace who throws pills every fifth day or the new third baseman who drives in and/or scores multiple runs every single day?

When he was acquired the first time, it was in exchange for Scott Rolen, once a popular Phillie who had become a malcontent and a centerpiece for debate.

He was dealt to Detroit during a season in which his combined average was the second-best in the major leagues.

He was dealt so the Phillies could promote a promising young player named Chase Utley and because they were unwilling to bench their well-paid and ailing third baseman, David Bell.

This time there was no conflict of interest or emotion. Phillie fans forgave Pedro Feliz because of big hits in each of the last two Octobers, but his low average and penchant for strikeouts maddened them over the summer months.

In two stops here, Polanco has never left them that frustrated. But only now, with no downside, is he feeling the love he should have the last time around.
 

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For more, check out tomorrow's Daily News.

Sam Donnellon Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Donnellon's career began in Biddeford, Me., in 1981, and has included stops in Wilkes-Barre, Norfolk, and New York, where he worked as a national writer for the short-lived but highly acclaimed National Sports Daily. He has received state and national awards at each stop and since joining the Daily News in 1992 has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press Managing Editors of Pennsylvania and the Keystone Awards. He and his wife of 26 years have raised three fine children, none of whom are even the least bit impressed with the above. E-mail Sam at donnels@phillynews.com
Reach Sam at donnels@phillynews.com.

Sam Donnellon Daily News Sports Columnist
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