Phillies fans love their players, but sometimes they love them a bit too much
The That Balls Outta Here staff looked at some of the most overrated Phillies in franchise history. By overrated, we set the standard as “remembering them too fondly and thinking they were better on the field then they actually were.”
Here are three names that came up
Ethan Witte: Larry Bowa. Easily
Mike Azzalina: In terms of an overrated guy…Aaron Rowand. I also think Cliff Lee gets too much credit but that’s more contract based and not talent.
Larry Bowa was an interesting name to bring up. Bowa is beloved by the majority of Phillies fans for his days as a player, manager, and coach.
In Bowa’s 12 seasons as a player, he hit .264, earned five All-Star selections, won two Gold Gloves, and won a World Series.
I’m personally a bit bullish on calling Bowa overrated, but on the other hand I never saw him play live.
Aaron Rowand earned love for crashing into a fence. Philadelphia fans love the blue-collar players who literally run into a wall to win a game. Rowand was with the Phillies from 2006-2007, earning his only All-Star nod and Gold Glove. He hit .290 with 39 home runs with 136 RBIs during his two seasons in Philadelphia.
The era in which Aaron Rowand played was the start of my Phillies fandom. The days of Rowand, Rollins, Abreu, and Burrell were great despite the group not all making the playoffs together.
Cliff Lee, like Rowand, was in Philadelphia for a short period of time but had a large amount of success. Between his two stints across five seasons with the Phillies, Cliff Lee won 48 games and had a 2.94 ERA. He posted 813 strikeouts in 827 innings of work in red pinstripes.
He nearly won the 2009 World Series on his own, and chose Philadelphia in free agency despite taking less money.
Ultimately, Cliff Lee will be remembered for two things: his ups and his downs. His 2011 season in which he finished third in the Cy Young voting and the final season when he fell apart physically are stamped into our minds. If he had won in 2009, this might be a different story.