Resolutions

As the year 2003 winds down, and the calendar flips to 2004, we all are patiently awaiting the start of another season of Phillies baseball. And what would the New Year be without resolutions? Here are a few resolutions I'd like to hear from some members of the organization.

Bobby Abreu: I resolve to play defense with 100% effort, and to play to the best of my abilities every game. I know I have the talent to be a major star in this league, but sometimes I don't have the desire; that will change in 2004. I also resolve to do what is best for the team and hit leadoff, where my stellar on-base percentage will be put to better use than the number three hole.

Pat Burrell: I resolve to put my disastrous 2003 season behind me, and to concentrate on regaining the form that got me my mega-contract to begin with. I can improve by not trying to crush every pitch into those inviting left-field seats at Citizens Bank Park, and by trying to emulate Mike Schmidt and go opposite-field every once in a while.

Kevin Millwood: I resolve to not only get off to the same start I had last year, but to keep it up after the All Star break (it is a contract year for me, you know). Oh, and the "glove thing" in the last game; let's please forget that, OK?

Jimmy Rollins: I resolve to try to get on base more often, because with my speed, things would really happen. I'm really not an A-Rod or Derek Jeter-type hitter, so I'll stop trying to be like them. Also, I'll lay a bunt down more often to get Bobby Abreu, the new leadoff hitter, over.

David Bell: I resolve to not try to play when my back is acting up. I know that's what caused me to have a sub-par year in 2003, because I was under pressure to perform. Just my presence in the lineup, a .260 average, and a steady glove should enable us to have quite a good season in 2004.

Marlon Byrd: I resolve not to let the "sophomore jinx" take me over; I'm out to show everyone that the real Marlon showed up in the last half of 2003, not the first half.

Billy Wagner: I resolve (with Tim Worrell and Rheal Cormier) to make the bullpen as strong as it was in the late 70's and early 80's, when Tug McGraw, Gene Garber, and Ron Reed were the triple threat in the bullpen (Hey, it can't be any worse than last year, right?).

Jim Thome: I resolve to continue to thrill the fans with my steady play at first and my frequent "moon shots" at the plate. But you have to realize, with my big swing comes a bushel of strikeouts, but I'll try to cut down on those, too.

Brett Myers: I resolve, as the fifth starter, to take everything that my pitching coach, Joe Kerrigan, has to offer and put it to good use. I have to remember that I've only been in the bigs now for about two years, and that Joe knows a little about pitching.

Larry Bowa: I resolve to let the team play, and only fix something when it's broken. I've got a great nucleus now, one that doesn't need much tinkering unless somebody gets hurt. No more rotating Polanco, Bell, Perez, and Utley between second and third bases anymore; no more bullpen carousel; no more "lineup of the day" situations.

And from the Phillies fans: We resolve to show our support for the Fightin's each and every day, win or lose. We will cheer great plays and boo bad ones, but in the end, we will still love our team. It's been a long ten years; let's enjoy the ride.

Happy New Year to all!!

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