By Jake Mintz
FOX Sports MLB Writer
The furry-faced 24-year-old — who, with his scraggly beard, looks as if a go between an eccentric yoga teacher and a desert-island castaway — both heads right down to the toilet sink in the tunnel or fills a bunch of plastic cups with water from the dugout cooler, which he then dumps on his head.
“It’s called having some f—ing edge,” Phillies backup catcher Garrett Stubbs replied when requested why his teammate’s luscious locks had been ceaselessly wet. “That guy knows how to find his f—ing edge.”
But despite the fact that Marsh wets his hair a minimum of 15 instances a day, he has washed it handiest as soon as in the previous month. His most up-to-date haircut was once over the All-Star smash, a few weeks prior to his industry to Philly, which means Marsh has but to get a trim since shifting to the City of Brotherly Love. Hair product? He makes use of 0, who prefer to let the elixirs of the wildlife do the process.
Across baseball, there are a collection of so-called “wet guys,” a time period lovingly coined via the indomitable David Roth. The thought is discreet: There are a ton of baseball gamers, however the wet ones stand out. Think Brandon Crawford or Colby Rasmus or Clay Buchholz, guys who, while you turn on the TV, are all the time inexplicably soaking wet. Marsh, whilst a relative newcomer, suits completely into that wealthy tapestry of baseball moisture.
But every time the Phillies middle fielder — who etched himself into native baseball lore with a essential, three-run moonshot in his crew’s emphatic, series-clinching W — ends an offensive inning stranded on base and doesn’t have the needful time to re-dress the lettuce, he’s compelled into a scratchy, suboptimal, desert-like risk zone.
“If I don’t wet it,” the Medusa of the Phillies defined, “it gets super bristly out there. I don’t like it that way. I like it wet.”
If this entire scenario turns out a little extraordinary, smartly, that’s baseball. Or perhaps it’s simply the Phillies. In a recreation stuffed with offbeat characters, the Phillies have assembled a in particular ordinary team of dudes. It’s a crew that impeccably mirrors the power of the town it performs in. And that’s now not an twist of fate. Veterans comparable to Rhys Hoskins, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos have labored laborious right through the season to foster a crew tradition that empowers gamers to let their freak flags fly.
And past the just right vibes and the dewy ‘do, Marsh has contributed elite center-field protection, a burst of velocity on the basepaths and the occasional huge blast. Drafted via the Angels in the 2d spherical of the 2016 draft, the lean Georgia prime schooler slowly evolved into the group’s consensus best possible prospect. But in his first 162 video games with the big-league membership, Marsh struggled to make an have an effect on in Anaheim, with a mediocre .653 OPS in that span.
But in 41 regular-season video games with Philly, he posted an above moderate (in particular for an elite defender) .773 OPS. He’s additionally now not shy to voice his critiques, in particular on the subject of song.
“I hate country music,” Marsh stated when requested about his tastes, a in particular fiery opinion for a man from Georgia. “Country music bums me out, man. All the songs are about a girlfriend who left you or something. I don’t wanna think about that. I want to punch my locker and bang my head on the ceiling while I listen to Lil Uzi Vert.”
It almost certainly is going with out announcing that after Marsh was once got at the time limit in trade for Philly’s most sensible position-player prospect, Logan O’Hoppe, the bearded firecracker fit proper into the Phillies’ quirky environment.
“Before we traded for [Marsh], we did a ton of research on who he was outside the lines in addition to who he was as a player,” Phillies GM Sam Fuld instructed FOX Sports after Game 4. “Everyone loved him, spoke highly of him. We knew he’d fit right in and continue to improve our culture.”
“There’s a real camaraderie we have as a team,” Castellanos stated Saturday. “When Marsh came over here, we told him, like we tell all our guys: Come in, be yourself, whatever that may look like or sound like. No one is going to judge you in this room.”
‘You can see how a lot amusing we are having’ — Rhys Hoskins on Phillies
Rhys Hoskins spoke with Ken Rosenthal after the Philadelphia Phillies complicated to the NLCS, praising the younger gamers and control for setting up this crew.
While Phillies gamers got down to induce that funky vibe from the bounce, it did not manifest till former supervisor Joe Girardi, who introduced a a lot more heavy-handed and critical presence, was once given the heave-ho in early June. New skipper Rob Thomson prefers a extra hands-off way, one who has helped engender an environment during which Bryson Stott feels cool with sprinting round the clubhouse with a cardboard Bud Light case on his head whilst taking footage of everyone. (Stott, for the report, does now not drink.)
“I feel like this year, we’ve done a better job of creating an environment where guys feel comfortable, feel comfortable being themselves,” Hoskins stated.
Team chemistry in sports activities is incessantly a nebulous, manufactured dynamic. Team with nice power have fallen brief in October — or now not even reached the postseason. And golf equipment with poisonous dugouts stuffed with gamers who despise one some other have captured the greatest prize. More incessantly than now not, it is a overall crapshoot.
But simply because just right vibes can’t be quantified doesn’t imply they don’t topic. Whatever the Phillies have nurtured is obviously running. Any overachieving underdog crew has to have an edge. And Stubbs already defined the place Marsh unearths his.
“We love Marsh, man,” Hoskins gushed. “He’s a weirdo, but we all have a little bit of weirdo in us, right?”
Jake Mintz, the louder half of of @CespedesBBQ is a baseball author for FOX Sports. He’s an Orioles fan residing in New York City, and thus, he leads a lonely life maximum Octobers. If he’s now not observing baseball, he’s nearly indisputably using his motorcycle. Follow him on Twitter @Jake_Mintz.
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