Saturday, April 29, 2006

So What'cha Want?

Now, here's a little story I'd like to tell,
About a team that you all know so well,
It started way back in history,
and the team still continues in futility!

That team being the Philadelphia Phillies. They have a long, long, long history of losing baseball. People talk about the "curse" of the Bosox, Chisox, and Cubs...well, what the hell do they call what the Phillies are experiencing? Misery!!!

The Phillies front office needs to "check their heads" because whatever they think is going work, wont! The current roster has proven time and time again that it will not get the job done. That job being a playoff berth. For example, the Phillies rarely take advantage of lesser competition or pitching. The trend over the past 3-4 seasons is that if a pitcher is struggling or is a no-name, he will appear to be an all-star versus the Phillies (Ian Snell & Billy Traber this season, and many others from years past). Corey and I have previously stated that Gavin Floyd is not a major league pitcher...I retract that statement. Gavin Floyd would be a Cy Young hopeful if he pitched every game against the Phillies.

So What'cha Want?:
1. A real manager, who has an actual strategy. Not a hard-ass (Bowa), and not your uncle/pal (Manuel).
2. A catcher who can call a game and has defensive tools, hitting is not as important from the catching position. Fasano and Lieberthal aren't the answer. Did somebody say Carlos Ruiz?
3. A 3rd baseman. Bell sucks, plain and simple, sucks!
4. A lineup that actually produces. If you look at the stats, they are misleading. Howard, Burrell, Abreu, Utley, Rowand, and even Lieby all seem to be having decent years...but they don't hit when it counts. They all manage to get hits when with nobody on or when there is already 2 outs. The Phillies are the kind of club who can knock out 12 hits in a game and only score 2 runs.
5. I want hope! This team leaves me feeling desperate, faithless, hopeless, depressed, drained, broken hearted, miserable, and the list continues!

Notes: *Chris Booker has 24 K's in 12 I.P. in the minors. *J-Roll has looked awful of late! He seems to have it figured out then goes back to popping every pitch up...disgusting! *Phillies are wasting a golden opportunity with the easy schedule they have. *The Mets have already won the NL East.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Split Personalities

Wow, can a baseball cards get much cornier than this? Seriously, is this Mike Williams' high school senior picture? Nice 'stache douche bag!

Anyway, I am constantly pondering how to fix the Phillies and Pirates, and I think I have a good idea. Mike Williams was down right horrible for the Phillies in 2 separate stints (beginning and end of career), but he was a decent closer for the Buccos, especially in '92 (46 saves, 130 overall). So here is my "good idea", get rid of the bad Mike Williams from the Phillies (i.e. Geary, Santana, Cormier) and add more quality Mike Williams to the Pirates. This is just another classic case of split personality.

Thoughts: *Power hitting prospect Brad Eldred out for 4 months...not good! *Phillies are getting some excellent starting and relief pitching from every level of their minor league system (Thome trade is looking good for both clubs). *Gavin Floyd, as stated by Corey in the previous blog, is not a MLB pitcher. He needs to go, enough with giving this headcase chances. *Pirates are pitiful, can't believe they are playing this badly. I actually had visions of improvement this season. *Phillies finally made a roster move, albeit Clay Condrey. *Looks like another losing April for the Phillies.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Gavin Floyd Experiment....

is over.

At this time, the Rockies are beating the Phils 4-0 in the second inning, mainly due to complete incompetence on the part of Gavin Floyd.

But this is nothing new, Floyd has been a disappointment, going from highly touted first round draft pick to now, when his value is so low, I doubt the Phils could trade him to Pittsburgh for Ronny Paulino. The reason, Floyd has not shown the physical ability, let alone the maturity and toughness, to be a major league pitcher.

Physically, he obviously is/was gifted. His fastball has average velocity, sitting at 89-91 tonight. His curveball is a sharp-breaking 11-7 yacker that often leaves right handed hitters bailing or bending their knees. His changeup....well, rumor is he has one, but not many have seen it. The problem is, he cannot control any of these pitches. Because of a lack of control, he walks a lot of hitters, and batters sit on his fastball. And his reluctance to throw a changeup is based on his lack of control. A change is innefective when batters will not chase balls out of the zone and are sitting dead red. I feel his lack of control is related to an inconsistent delivery. He often times changes his arm angle, causing his pitches to be released at different points. The second major problem with Floyd is his composure, difficult situations, poor umpiring, etc. bother him. Acceptable behavior for a rookie...

Floyd struggled last year, was sent to the minors, and wasn't much better. His numbers in S/WB looked like this: 6-9 6.16era 97k 66bb. He has been conistently bad over the last 2 years, and it is time to get him out of the rotation until he proves he can be successful at least in AAA. Might as well give Ryan Franklin a shot, or get Miguel Asecio back, he looks like Cy Young.


We didn't start the fire...

but the Phillies and Pirates been burnin', since the world's been turnin'! And the organizations don't seem to have any water, so I guess they're gonna let the mother f**kers burn! Seriously, what the heck is up with the Pirates to start this season? They're actually playing worse than the Phillies, and the Phillies are playing pretty poorly themselves. Pitching, defense, hitting, base running, and managing has been less than desired thus far.

Update: state of PA is an abysmal 12-26 on the season...nice!

Q: Who to blame?
A: Everybody! Off with their heads!

The way I look at it, is that the Buccos can't possibly get much worse, that would be K.C. level futility! They should be able to start playing better baseball soon. The offense and the pitching has got to come around at some time, or maybe not. The Phillies on the other hand aren't exactly playing top caliber teams early in April here, except the Cardnials, yet their record would indicate otherwise. Let's just sit back, continue booing the hell out of the product on the field, and hope that the organization decides to make some moves (good ones that is).


Friday, April 21, 2006

Operation Crackpipe

Derek Bell has obviously completed Operation Shutdown and moved on to other missions, specifically smoking crack rock. Bell was arrested yesterday and charged with possession of cocaine and a crack pipe. Seeing his last few years with the Pirates, I'm amazed Bell had the hand-eye coordination to operate the lighter and the pipe at the same time.


In Typical Phillies Phassion

I went to the Nationals-Phils game last night with a friend of mine and had a disheartening experience. We had tickets for the upper deck between third base and the left field foul poul. Not good seats, but the price was right. Before the first pitch, we noticed that there were empty sections in the upper deck area closer to area between the dugout and home plate (sections ~420-422 if you are familiar with the Cit), so we decided to move for a decidedly better view. However, despite the almost complete emptiness of the the section, the gentlemanly usher told us we could not sit there, because it was not our section. I asked him why and he said because they were very expensive seats (upper deck!) and we cannot use seats that we did not pay for. After I showed him my ticket and explained that my seat was the exact same price just 4 sections down, he told my friend and me that we simply couldn't sit there and that "people like you that try to do this are the type of people that shouldn't even come to the ballpark" and that we shoud be "ashamed" of ourselves. I told the usher that it was people like him associated with the Phillies that keeps people away from the ballpark.

Luckily for us, another usher overheard our complaining as we exited the upper deck. When we told the whole story to him, he offered us seats in a much more expensive section as apology for the treatment we recieved. We ended up with good seats and although the game was horrible, had a good time the rest of the game. However, I will think twice before I head back to Citizens Bank Park, it's alot friendlier in my own living room.


The Blame Game

Through 15 games of the season, the Phillies have limped to a 6-9 record and stand 5 games back of the Mets in the NL East. And without surprise, the Phillies phaithful are up in arms, spitting fire at any and every person associated with the team. Seems there is plenty of blame to go around, with some of the more popular targerts being:

Charlie Manuel - his ineptitude at managing a baseball team, which has been on display since he was hired over 2 years ago, is frustrating to no end. Double -switches, pinch hitters, starting lineups, pitching changes - he struggles in every area. His strong point, being a "players manager" that will maximize player potential in a way the red-ass tactics of Larry Bowa could not, is a myth. Players that stuggled under Bowa continue to stuggle, regardless.
David Bell - a sure-handed, average-hitting, "character guy" has become an offensive and defensive liability, yet continues to play almost every day, despite the signing of two players (Abe Nunez and Alex Gonzalez) that are 3B capable.
Mike Lieberthal - a promising career for a "hit first, catch second" catcher was derailed by a knee injury, and the club is left with a weak hitting catcher who obviously cannot handle a pitching staff. He has one year left on his contract, and we are seeing the last of him, albeit 4 to 5 times a week.
Pat Burrell - he will never live down his awful years of 2003-04. He is back to being a .270-30-100 guy, but for many fans, it is not good enough. He takes the blame in many instances for the Phillies lack of consistency and poor performance with runners of base.
Bobby Abreu - a fake gold glove cannot fool fans of team. His apparent lack of hustle and inability to make moderately difficult plays in the OF has not endered him to fans. That plus hot/cold streaks, last seasons second half collapse, and "unclutch" hitting has him taking much blame.
Pitching - it has been horrible, starters and bullpen both. They HAVE lived up to preseason expectations.
Bill Dancy - continues to get runners thrown out at home with reckless abandone. Where is Vuckavich, anyways?
Mike Arbuckle - lack of minor leagues prospects, both pitching and hitting, is troubling.
Pat Gillick - has done NOTHING to make this club better yet. No one is asking for miracles, but a improvement would be nice.

The ire of fans is being directed in so many directions, because there are so many things wrong and because there is not one single thing or person you can blame for the Phillies terrible season. It is obvious that club wide improvements need to be made, from the bottom to the top. That being said, I'm really not that upset. Why? Because as I pointed out in the "Pitching" assessment above, I feel that this team is for most parts living up to expectations. The pitching staff was not strong going into last offseason and the addition of Franklin, Rhodes, Gordon, and subtraction of Padilla, Tejeda, Wagner did not make them better. So why should anyone expect anything but a subpar performance. As far as the offense goes, is Rowand better than a Lofton/Michaels platoon? Are Dellucci, Nunez, Fasano, and Gonzalez importanct to this team at all?

Moreover, I said before the season started to my fellow blogger Carson that it was my opinion that the Phillies had no intention to win this year, but rather there goal was to wait until next year, when Lieberthal, Bell, and Wolf will be gone along with their combined salary of $21.2 million. Then, it seems there objective is too spend little on a catcher (interest in Ronny Paulino, etc) and use the $20 million to improve the pitching staff and 3B in next year's free agent market, which should be much stronger than last year. Some names of possible interest include Mulder, Zito, Schmidt, Escobar, Lilly and Melvin Mora.

That being said, I am disappointed by the play of Phillies and agree with most fans on most issues surrounded their failure. They may come back, win 90 and take the wild card, but I doubt it. That doesn't mean I'm giving up, though. I'm merely objectively viewing there chances, which just are not promising this year.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Oh, so painful!

"Ouch, that fricken hurt!" I'm sure that's what Andy Van Slyke thought as he roamed CF for the Buccos back in the late 80's/early 90's while passing kidney stones. That's right, the dude was tough. I remember reading in a magazine how he used to fight back tears while he passed a kidney stone during a game. Now that's what I call a "tuff nut"! The Pirates could use him right now too, as they're struggling out the gate to a 4-11 record. Ouch...that's painful too!

Not all is bad in Pirateland though, Craig Wilson is getting the chance to play and killin'. It'll be interesting to see what Tracy does with C. Wilson when the "Mayor" comes back to town. The young pitching staff are suffering their share of poor outings right now too. Keep in mind the opportune word being "young". Duke, Snell, Maholm, and Perez have a lot of learning to do as pitchers and will mature as the season progresses. No, the Pirates aren't going to contend this season and are still going to be a sub .500 club. However, they could be a surprise team in the 2nd half of the season much like the Rockies last year and the Indians a few seasons ago. By the way, Jason Bay hasn't unleashed yet this season, and when he does the offense will look completely different.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Big Pimpin'

I'm addicted to blogging, both posting and reading. In some Phillies blogs I have noticed an uprising in Pat Burrell bashers. People are claiming that the man ain't clutch, or that he strikes out too much or misplays too many balls and in essence hurts the team. This is pure lunacy. I will say that for 2 seasons I was all over Pat Burrell, and deservingly so (2003-04 weren't so great). However, his 2002 and 2005 seasons were excellent, and I'm expecting much of the same this season. No, he isn't Manny Ramirez or Jason Bay, but he is one of the top LF's in all of baseball, so all his nay-sayers need to back on up and give the man his due. He will hit homeruns, drive in plenty of runs, strikeout 150+ times, play solid defense, and scare baserunners with his rifle arm. Pat Burrell is a straight up pimp, in his professional and personal lives. And for those who think he hurts the Phillies, then I guess you're willing to hand back all those Rbi's from last season then right?...thought not!

Things to think about: *I for one liked the David Dellucci trade, but is he really going to help the Phillies? *Alex Gonzalez, Shane Victorino, Abe Nunez, and previously mentioned Dellucci on paper should be a far better bench for the Phillies, but when the hell are they going to produce? *Ryan Franklin is being over used. If Manuel continues to march him out to the mound and such a frequent rate, then expect more homeruns. *Ryan Howard needs to relax. The whole world knows he can hit, so he doesn't have to prove it on pitches 6+ inches off the plate!

By the way, I whipped up a batch of my "Recipe for Disaster" and was miraculously visited by the ghost of Whitey last night. He told me to chill on my warlock like brews and just invite Lieberthal, Bell, and Manuel over for a Royal Rumble handicap match. I'm pretty sure the tag team of Dr. Corey and Mr. Carson could kick their asses!


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gorzelanny Is Hot.....

In 2004, the mulleted-one Craig Wilson, seen here with two of his lady friends, led the Pirates with 29 homeruns. In 2005, he had an injury plagued year. So naturally, in 2006, the Buccos spend money they don't have on a K-machine RF and make Wilson a benchwarmer/trade-bait. Well, to the surprise of Dave Littlefield, Wilson has started the season .350-4-7 in 20 AB (thanks only to Sean Casey's bruised ribs).

Freddy Sanchez was a careers +.300 in the minor leagues in the Boston organization. The Pirates thought so much of him, they traded LH RP Scott Saurbeck (a personal favorite of mine because he came out of the bullpen to Pennywise tunes) and SP Jeff Suppan. Sanchez struggled with injuries in 2004, started 2005 on the bench, but became a starter for the last 2/3 of the season, playing mostly at 3B and putting up respectable nuimbers of .291-5-35. So naturally the Pirates signed Joe Randa for 4 million, with the theory being they needed power from the corner infielders. But Joe Randa has never hit over 16 HR in a season. He hit 13 in 92 games with Cincy, but only 4 after being traded to San Diego, whose park most resembles PNC.

Both of these players are having great beginnings, and given past performances, it is not unexpected. Hopefully, Sanchez will see more time at 3B. Problem is, teams do not want to pay a guy 4 million to platoon (ask the Phils what they are doing with D Bell.) As for Wilson, Jim Tracey said last night, "He's got himself a backer here. I've made him aware: 'You will find yourself on the field."' Great, information that would have been usefull 2 months ago, when Littlefield was wasting money on Burnitz!

In minor league news, Brad Eldred has 3 HR in 7 games, which I believe constitutes "corner infield power." Despite the goofy picture, Tom Gorzelanny has pitched 9 inning with 0 ER and Sean Burnett went 5 without giving up an ER in his only start. If Snell, Maholm, Santos continue to struggle, at least there are other options.


Strange Brew

Finally, the state of Pennsylvania has a winning streak thanks to the Pirates. Buccos showing some pop in the bat, gotta like that! Phillies even managed not to throw away a game. I'm still vastly disappointed in Manuel's insistence to run David Bell out on the field regularly. But hey, a win is a win.

I've been doing some thinking on how to get the Phillies out of their funk, and I thought of Shakespeare. Yes, that Shakespeare, he of Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and Merchant of Venice. I thought of the 3 sinister sisters, the witches, from Macbeth creating that weird concoction, so I came up with one of my own to help render the Phillies' woes.

Recipe for Disaster:
1 lock of Mitch Williams' hair, 1 smashed Chris Wheeler microphone, the threads from the Joe Carter homerun ball, Danny Tartabull's contract, a clump of Rheal Cormier's hemorrhoids, the Julio Franco, Ryne Sandberg, and Curt Schilling trades, Mike Lieberthal's glove, 1 Dave Hollins' spider bite, a pinch of John Kruk's and Lenny Dykstra's chew, 2 Tomas Perez whipped cream pies, a slathering of pine tar from Jim Thome's batting helmet, Jose Mesa's blown saves, and a dash of Doug Jones' "filthy" array of changeups. *Season to taste with salt, pepper, and plenty of sarcasm.

That should exorcise those demons!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On tap tonight.....

if I was back in London, maybe a tall pint of John Smith's Extra Smooth or whatever ale or bitter was being served. But instead, I'm in Central PA awaiting tonight's keystone state hardball showdowns while enyoing some Diet Mountain Dew......

For the Phils, Cory Lidle faces off against the Braves' Jorge Sosa and his 23.14 ERA and 4.29 WHIP. Sounds good. But the way the season is going, I'm skeptical. After all, Sosa was notorious last year for putting many runners on base but stranding them (1.40 WHIP but only a 2.55 ERA). By comparison, Lidel had a lower WHIP (1.35) than Sosa but carried a 4.53 ERA through last season. Given this information and the Phils inability to hit with runners on base, I predict a very frustrating evening.

The Buccos run out rookie Paul Maholm to face the Dodgers and Brett Tomko, who beat the Phils last Friday with 6 inning of work. The Bucs are coming off a night where Burnitz, Doumit, J Wilson, and C Wilson all hit their second homers in a come from behind win. And they need all the HR they can get, because Chris Duffy still can't get on base (.182 OBP), so manufacturing runs is just not happening. Maholm, like the other Pirates rookie/soph starting pitchers, is struggling, and it's anybody's guess when things will turn around. Jose Cruz is sick, so we'll have another Ricky Ledee sighting in LF tonight. FYI, Ricky Ledee is second all-time in PH homeruns for the Phillies, behind only Cy Williams, who as a dead pull lefthander fit perfectly into the short RF of the Baker Bowl in the 1920's.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Diggin' Holes

Wow...Holy Crap...You gotta be kidding me!!! The Pirates and Phillies are digging themselves into unfillable holes to begin the season. It really hurts to watch these teams. I love the Phillies so very much, and root for the Buccos. Therefore, I'm used to getting my heart broken every season. However, I never expected it to start out this painful. I want to think that each team is going to magically turn it around and string together a series of wins, but I just don't see that happening right now. The Phillies are horrible with men on base...actually horrible probably isn't a strong enough word to describe how utterly pathetic they have been in those situations. Manuel may be a poor coach, and he is, but the players need to start producing. As for the Pirates...well, they are young and still developing, but they too need to pick it up.

I'd like to have something funny or positive to say right now, but I don't. So, just like my favorite announcer of all time, Whitey, I'm going to just say "They stink!", and then sit here and wait for something good to happen...could be waiting for quite some time.


Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm Not Here To Judge.....

but Darren Daulton is insane.

This is not a new story, but seeing that ESPN and that MTV-reject Chris Connolly did a piece on SportsCenter this morning, I felt it was worth mentioning.

Some hilights from the interview:
- the world "as we know it" will end Dec. 21 2012 because that is the last day of the Mayan calendar and apparently the Mayans are the foremost apocalyptic prognosticators
- when asked if he beat his wife, he responded "I slapped her, yeah..."
- "astral travel....everyone does it,they just don't realize it."

I feel bad to Dutch. He made millions of dollars for playing baseball. He was married to a Playboy playmate and Hooters spokesperson [he later was divorced, but the ends justified the means in that one]. And now he is emotionally unstable and absolutely psycho. When giants fall, they fall far and hard.

A link to a similar story on is here.


A [Long] Day at the Park

I spent over 8 hours at the ballpark yesterday, and here are some my thoughts:
- First off, I want to thank the Phillies box office for their incompetence. When we traded in Saturday's tickets for Sunday's game, the tickets STILL said Saturday. This we found out only when we tried to enter the park. The result, another trip to the ticket window, worse seats, and missing the first inning (which wasn't a bad thing, considering the Phils D in the top of the first).
- Dollar Dog Day is fantastic. A++ for the rotating onion machine too. The same cannot be said for the mustard dispensers though. Half were out of mustard by the second inning and the one's that weren't delivered the mustard at an unacceptably slow pace. Poor form, condiment managers.
- Madson showed nice poise in game one. The last time he started consistently was in the minors, and considering the AAA lineup that the Dodgers roll out, that might explain his comfort level yesterday.
- David Bell had a good first game. 0-4 with 3 LOB, but no strikeouts, putting the ball in play all three times. He does all the little things....
- Aaron Rowand collects two hits in the first game. He looked to carry that momentum into game number two, but had to wait until the 9th inning to get in the game.
- Burrell rested in game two. Given the uncertainty of his durability, we might see Dellucci in LF more often, which would sicken me. I was okay with trading Rod Tejeda to get Dellucci, but not if it means he is our starting LF. The guy is batting <.250 over the last 4 years, with 2 of those years coming in hitter friendly Arlington Stadium while batting in front of Soriano, Blalock, Teixeira, and Young.
- The Phillies and Citizens Band Park management need to re-train there ushers. Most fans, I am ashamed to write, left after the first game. The staium was about 20% full after 4 innings of game 2, with most of those fans in the outfield and upper deck seats. This was because stadium security refused to allow spectators to move into the lower level seats, despite entire SECTIONS of empty seats. The area behind the visitor's dugout was particularly sparce. Very disappointing.
- All those "fans" leaving early didn't improve my seat, but the drive back 76 sure was a lot easier. Thank you, pseudo-fans.
- One HR in two games. Those 5 feet in LF really do make a difference.
- The Phils lost game two to a Dodgers team that collected 15 hits while having Rickey Ledee batting clean-up, James Loney batting 5th, and a 40 year old catcher. My fellow blogger said the Phils "gave away" game two with their lineup, but it looks like the Dodgers pretty much did the same thing. I guess the Phillies just wanted to lose more.....


Today was a good day...

Well, actually it was yesterday, and it really wasn't all that great. The Buccos and Phillies finally got off the schneid and won a game. It had been much better if the Phillies swept the double header. However, Charlie Manuel decided to play every bench player in the 2nd game and practically hand the game to the Dodgers...good going!!! Seriously, what the heck was Manuel doing? I understand sitting Lieberthal and Bell for the 2nd game, I'd sit them most of the time. But putting Howard, Burrell, and Rowand on the bench too? I truly believe Manuel is a horrible manager and will cost the Phillies more than a handful of games this season. Yes, the players are responsible for producing, but Manuel makes horrible decisions that lead to losses. I want to be optimistic and believe the Phillies and Pirates actually have a shot this season, but they don't. The Pirates are still a maturing team a year or two away from contention. The Phillies are an aging team, slowly slipping back down to sub .500 land...far from playoffs.

Here is some things to think about: *David Bell has more errors (2) than base hits (1). *Why would Ryan Howard sit against a righty (Penny) or need a break this early in the season? If they were worried about him wearing down, then they shouldn't have played him every spring training game. * Alex Gonzalez is still hitless. *The Phillies were one of the best fielding clubs in recent seasons, now to have it all fall apart this season (6 games 7 errors, plus numerous miscues that don't appear in box scores). *The Phillies were officially the last team to win a game this season (Pirates eked out their win minutes before the Phillies on Sunday). *The Phillies have scored the lowest amount of runs (21) for teams playing 6 games.


Friday, April 07, 2006


As depressing as it gets. That's the only way to describe the start of the baseball season here in Pennsylvania. The Buccos are 0-4 and the Phils are 0-3. Von Hayes would never have let this happen. But who's O-fer is worse?

The Buccose are nil-four, with all losses coming on the road and two of them coming by only one run, and in the game with the largest margin of victory (3) they lead going into the ninth inning. They have a young pitching staff. Three of the 4 starters so far have never started the season in a major league rotation. In addition, because I live in the Harrisburg area and do not have the MLB package on the dish, I haven't seen any of the games, so I have to the give the young Pirates the benefit of the doubt.

What I have seen is the Phillies debacle. Even though the Cardinals are the NL favorites, the Phils O-fer is worse because 1)the games were played at home 2)the opening day loss was by 8 3)3 veteran starters worked a combined 13.1 innings 4) the lack of clutch hitting seems to have carried over from the last 3 years.

However, today I'm feeling positive. I don't think the Buccos or Phils will go 0-162. The Pirates will get better as the season progresses, as Axl Rose would say, "All we need is just a little patience." The Phils get LA, ATL, COL, WAS, FLA, COL next. The will win 5 of those 6 series. They ran into a Cardinals buzzsaw: offensive explosion in game 1, tought lefty in game 2, and a rejuvinated Jason Marquis in game 3 (Phils hit it hard early, but he was as tough as I've seen him in years). I see Fasano playing more, stictly for defensive purposes. I see Nunez getting more time at third versus RHP and batting second, moving Rowand down to the 7/8 slot. The offense will start to score runs, despite the back end of the lineup, because the top is the problem right now. Our number two hitters, Rowand and Nunez, OBP are .273 and .167. Rollins' OBP is .233, so I think the end of Rollins' hit streak will benefit the team, as he ~should~ be looking at more pitches and drawing more walks (zero in 12 AB), getting on base more for the middle of the order.

I know, it's early, and that's my point. You can't win the pennant in the first month, but you can lose it. But you can't do anything in the first week except panic and I'm not about to do that. If the Phils are swept by LA and the Buccos are swept by CIN, I'll consider it.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Who's Your Favorite Little Rascal?

Good ol' Mike "Spanky" LaValliere. Played 6 games as a rookie with the Phillies then went on to fame with the Pirates. I'd take his bowling ball body over that non-producing piece of crap catcher the Phillies have right now. Seriously, how many times has Lieberthal been up in his career with the bases loaded and crapped the bed? Charlie "from Mayberry" Manuel, use a pinch hitter for him!!! Pirates on the other hand actually look set at catcher for the time being with Cota, Doumit, and N. Walker on the way.

Well, it's been a horrendous start to the season in PA. The "State" has a 0-5 record...ouch! Can't say that this bodes well for the rest of the season. I know they've only played 5 games, but not having a win between them *hoovers (*nice way of saying sucks). I don't have much positive to say right now, so I'm keeping most of my thoughts quiet....NOT: Win an f'n game already!!!!!!! I know the Cardnials are probably the best team in the NL, but if the Phillies are going to contend this year, then they need to beat them. The Brew Crew on the other hand are not a top tier team, a rising team yes, but not top of the head, so the Pirates should not be getting swept by them at the beginning of the season.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Only in Dreams

Only in Dreams, by Weezer, should be the theme song for this season's Phillies. Why? Because the playoffs are a mirage, fantasy, a magical happy-land that doesn't exist in the Phillies world. So, here is my breakdown of what to expect from our Phightins:
SS: J-Roll is what he is. Great glove, deserving of a *platinum Glove (*Gold Glove has been tarnished by Abreu and Jeter). Hit streak ends at 41 games. Pops out more than a teenager's woody while having wet dreams.
3B: Bell, Nunez, Gonzalez all pretty much suck in their own way. Look like a 6+ million dollar rip-off! Bell being worst of all; more queer than Liberachi.
RF: Abreu is solid, but lazier than a dead dog.

2B: Utley is the man. Best *2-sacker (*that was a ballsack reference) in the league.
LF: Burrell - Ladies love him, men envy him, and pitchers give him fastballs for some reason.
1B: Howard is a mammoth...dude is awesome!
CF: Rowand is a balls-to-the-wall defender who is going to be loved in Philly.
C: Lieberthal sucks. I can't stand him. As my fellow blogger states, "Lieberthal is an offensive catcher that can't hit" and he sure as hell can't call a game or throw anybody on the basepaths out.

Bench: Delluci and Fasano are solid. I'd rather have Pratt back, but hey we need to move on. Nunez, Victorino, and Gonzalez round out what actually doesn't seem to be a pathetic bench this season. Good bye Tomas Perez!

Starting Pitching:
Leiber: not a #1 starter...on the decline.

Myers: is going to be a legitimate #1, who isn't afraid to back someone the f' up!
Lidle: seriously, why am I even writing something about this guy?
Madson: if he holds up health-wise, will look like a genius move into the rotation
Floyd: spring was a fluke, he's screwed in the head

Closer: Flash is no Flash any more, in fact I look for a stop on the DL assorted with blown saves
Santana, Geary, Fultz, Cormier, Rhodes, and Franklin are mediocre. Rhodes is good when healthy, other than that, they're all huge question marks.

Very pissed off fans. 85-86 wins, and that's my optimism coming through. Team will score plenty of runs, but will surrender even more. No playoffs yet again...only in dreams.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Breaking Down The Buccos

CF Chris Duffy - reminds me of Lenny Dykstra, without the steroids or car washes
SS Jack Wilson - will bounce back to '04 numbers; appendicitis derailed '05
1B Sean Casey - about 1/4 of the power of Brad Eldred, 4 times the contact
LF Jason Bay - .300-30-100
RF Jeromy Burnitz - why the "O"in Jeromy? It stands for "O" - 4.
3B Joe Randa - why is he always smiling? Because he got $4 mil from the Buccos
2B Jose Castillo - look for big jump here .280-15-70 is not out of the question.
C Ryan Doumit - plenty of power; should practice RF to make way for Neil Walker

RF/1B Craig Wilson - probably just got traded for a SP
IF Freddy Sanchez - not enough power for 3B? Randa hit 8 in '04....
IF Jose Hernandez - strikes out more than me at the Frog Pond
C Humbeto Cota - can't hit
OF Nate McLouth - better hitter than Duffy, might take the job from him soon

SP Oliver Perez - velocity improving?; either way, ERA will be at least 1.50 lower
SP Zack Duke - "Soph Slump" is played-out and cliche...I still think he'll have one
SP Paul Maholm - like Snell, will struggle at times; will take anything close to 4.00
SP Ian Snell - Ian Oquendo was a good pitcher, but Ian Snell is better.....
SP Victor Santos - waiting to get reassigned once Craig Wilson gets traded

CL Mike Gonzalez - at least Joe Table isn't closing anymore, he killed PA for 5 years.
RP Matt Capps - 6'3" 230lbs and and a 95mph new favorite Bucco
RP Solomon Torres - 2 year, 6.5mil extension....35 years old.....shoot me.
RP Roberto Herandez - good last year; look for '04 Phillies numbers this year though
RP Demaso Marte - will probably be traded at the deadline
RP Ryan Vogelsong - 3 stright years of ERA >6.5 before last year; dependable long relief

Assessment/Prediction - Not much power except for Jason Bay, which is why I think Brad Eldred at first with Sean Casey platooning with Craig Wilson in RF would be a better opton than Casey/Burnitz. And why Joe Randa? Jose Bautista should be playing 3b. The loss of Kip Wells hurts. Plug him into Santos' spot and it is a much more impressive staff. Bullpen is decent mix of youth and experience, Gonzalez is the real deal. Overall, plenty of young talent and getting rid of master game strategist Lloyd McClendon is worth at least 5 wins; I'm predicting 80-82 in the Central.