Sunday, October 29, 2006

Diff'rent Strokes

The homerun is a splendid spectacle for fans. I love watching a long drive over the center field fence, a blast into the upperdeck, a round-tripper dumped in the stands, a rocket sent into orbit, or a laser boring a hole through some poor fan. How each individual player accomplishes this act is as diverse as a New York City high school. Different strokes equal different pokes. Just ask Corey, his is short and quick with little power.

Ryan Howard's stroke is one of prodigious power, as evident by his 58 homers last season. Watching the Blaster Master bat gives the viewer a feeling of exciting anticipation and thrill. The ball explodes from his bat when he hits it and his ability to knock it out to all fields is simply awesome. I am very content to have him playing for the Phillies for the foreseeable future. He is a centerpiece for this organization, and will play a significant role in making the Phils a perennial playoff caliber team. He has the capacity to alter games in Bonds-esque proportions.
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Chase Utley's stroke is quick and mighty. Utley has swiftly become the best 2nd baseman in baseball. Last season Utley chased 32 balls over the fence. Utley plays the game with a passion that fans love and he wears his heart on his sleeve. When Utley comes into the batters' box you are about to observe something of high intensity. I would love for Howard and Utley (aka Legion of Doom) to collectively smack 100+ homeruns next season, and believe it or not with these two it's possible.
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Pat Burrell's stroke is long, unbalanced, but strong. His swing may look ugly on low and away sliders or even on fastballs right down the middle, but he still has the knack to hit the ball with authority. Burrell hit 29 bombs last season. Predicting when Pat will hit one out is like betting on who the next rapper to be shot is, you know it will happen just not when. I still like Burrell and think if healthy can return to 30+ homerun seasons with a better batting average, but that stroke will always remain an uneven lunge.
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Jimmy Rollins' stroke is an oxymoron because of it's aptitude to be both upsetting and pleasurable at the same time. J-Roll has little-man syndrome, where as he is small but tries to play big. We have all suffered through the Jimmy pop-up circus where he can't seem to hit anything that isn't a lazy fly ball. This past season, he managed to start to make those lazy fly balls carry a bit further...over the fence that is. Jimmy jacked 25 from the leadoff spot in the order, which leads to me to think he shouldn't be batting leadoff, but that's an entirely different debate. Bottom line Jimmy is a solid all-around athlete that discovered his power stroke and will probably continue to hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 for the next few seasons...good stuff from a shortstop.

All together this fearsome foursome thumped 144 homeruns last season. They all have a unique style of their own and will continue to delight fans with their slugging strokes. Jenna Jameson's stroke on the other hand is an unequivocally different distinctive thing of exquisiteness altogether.

~Carson

28 comments:

Maria said...

I'd love for Chase and Ryan to hit 100 HR's. 2 different strokes can power the same results. Pat has an ugly swing and has to learn to go the other way and not always try to pull the ball.

I think Jimmy is the most interesting. Lead off or not I really don't think it matters. Only because offensively the Phillies are fine. What they need is pitching. If Jimmy can put a whole season together, it'll really make them a better team. When Jimmy goes well, the entire team does. It bothers me that he tries to hit HR's sometimes, he should use his speed more like Jose Reyes does. bunting and stealing more.

All in all, I'm pretty content with the power in the Phillies lineup but they're missing an Aramis Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano.

Che said...

Just had to put the Jenna reference in, dint ya.

Good review of everyone's favorite part of baseball though. Howard has one of the best-looking home run strokes in baseball, tied perhaps with David Ortiz. When you see those guys hit a home run, it's hard to imagine them ever NOT hitting one.

GM-Carson said...

Che- without the Jenna Jameson reference the post would have had too much of a wholesome feel to it...I like laughs.

Maria- adding a Soriano or A-Ram to the group of Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Burrell would make the Phillies the best offense the organization ever had.

~Carson

Bob D said...

With Rollins I picture him as a Mighty Mite or that little cartoon mouse with more strength than an elephant (Mighty Mouse)!
With Utley I see the next Pete Rose but with more power (Charlie Hustle).
Burrell lets all hope if he is with the team he puts up numbers to shame us all for talking of trading him. And he CAN do that!
Howard is the Howitzer.

GM-Carson said...

I should go back and edit this post and add Nunez to the list, as his stroke is a thing of sheer enjoyment and it strikes fear in pitchers all around the Majors...deadly axe he wields.

~Carson

BloodStripes said...

Maybe Jenna can help Pat with his stroke in the off season. Whatever it takes.

Bob D said...

If Nunez can swing an axe I have a pile of firewood outback to split. It would be like Rocky vs Boris and he would have muscles next spring.

BloodStripes said...

Those four swings are gonna get us to the playoffs.

GM-Carson said...

Those 4 strokes might just lead us to the playoffs if we can actually support them with a half way decent rotation. We now have 4 decent starters, and Gillick will sure up the 5th spot. Get some adequate bullpen arms and we're good to go. Remember last season the pitching is what really failed us. Just remember Madson and Floyd starting and you'll be very happy we have Moyer and Player X instead. Just remember Ryan Franklin and Art Rhodes and you'll be happy we have Player Y and Player Z instead.

~Carson

GM-Carson said...

"getting Chris Wheeler gooey while mostly making the rest of us sick." from a poster on BeerLeaguer who was describing the possible signing of Mark DeRosa to play 3rd and how Wheels slob-knobs players like him and H-Mo Bell...because you know they do "all the little things".

~Carson

Bob D said...

I see a few articles today of the Phils interest in that 3B from Japan Iwa-something??? Also Gillick is still interested in Soriano whether they can trade Burrell or not. If they do trade him it makes it more likely.
Gillick also said he wants another arm that can step in incase Gordon gets injured again. He mentioned Borowski from Florida as an example. It would be good if they can add 2 quality arms to the pen for next year.

GM-Carson said...

I also read that the Phils are interested in Miguel Batista as a starter/reliever.

In my opinion, because of the unpredictability of relievers, it is important to stocke pile arms and ship them in out out of the minor and cut them as need be.

Borowski is very unpredictable, but he had a decent season last year.

Soriano to the Phils still seems like a dream to me. I'd love to keep Burrell and have Soriano too...Victorino would really have a lot of group to cover in the outfield then between the two of them.
~Carson

BenJah said...

derosa would be a good player to add to the team, but giving him an everyday role and expecting him to be "the man" is just charliemanual.

i hate when people praise jroll for what he shouldn't be doing. if he could put his little-man pride away for 2 seconds and stop gunning for 30 homers, he would probably add 50 points to his OBA, easily. how would that look at the top of the lineup? honestly, if he were part of a trade w/ or w/out burrell that brought back pitching and other parts, i would not be opposed.

GM-Carson said...

Benjah- Jimmy Rollins simply may not be the leadoff type guy, that just happens to be where he bats for the Phillies. I wish he'd draw more walks and hit more singles/doubles and probably score more runs, but he may not have the eye to do so. If we had a TRUE leadoff hitter and allowed Jimmy to bat 2nd or further down in the order he would get a whole lot more praise. He is a very good shortstop, just not a very good leadoff hitter. I am glad he's on this team.

~Carson

BenJah said...

he also hosted the annual phillies holloween party for kids w/ cancer. i may have issues w/ his play ON the field, but he gets big points for his play OFF the field.

Los said...

Pat was probably one of the main reasons that Howard didn't get to 60.

GM-Carson said...

Los- that is an excellent point "Pat was probably one of the main reasons that Howard didn't get to 60."

In all honesty though, Howard started to press and instead of letting the pitches come to him over the last week, he went out of the zone because he was trying to do everything himself. Still wouldn't have gotten to 60, but would have been on base a bit more. I'm not faulting Howard for anything, just pointing something out. I LOVE having Howard on our team, and only wish he plays better defensively and starts to make a bit more contact...but I'm not complaining, I'd gladly take another 10 seasons just like his '06 season.

~Carson

Eric said...

I don't love the home run as much as most people I think. To me the two most exciting plays in baseball are triples and plays at the plate. Theres nothing better than being in the stands and seeing a speedy guy hit one in the gap in left center and watching him run because every player on the field is in motion, it would look like total chaos to someone who doesn't watch baseball but it's totally awesome

GM-Carson said...

Eric- I'll one-up ya, inside-the-park homerun (best of both worlds).

GM-Carson said...

I made this point on another blog that I want to share on here too- "Go look at Soriano stats and Pat Burrell's stats. People on here say Soriano is awesome, and others say Burrell is bad. Besides stolen bases they are very similar. Defense is a push, Soriano slightly better power, Burrell better on base skills. Yet we'd have to eat some of Burrell's contract (5-6 mil) then pay Soriano (15-17 mil). So Soriano would essentially be costing the Phils (20-23 mil) and if we kept Burrell only (12-13 mil). So is Soriano worth 8-10 mil more than Burrell...to me...NO!"

~Carson

Bob D said...

Lead off hitters- ther are very few who are better than Rollins right now in baseball. I am not saying he is a good one, but almost every team has the same problem as the Phils. Lead off hitter with low OBP and doesn't walk much.
Want a better OBP at lead off put Utley there, even if he is the best hitter on the team.

GM-Carson said...

Bob D- as far as leadoff hitters go, J-Roll sadly is one of the best. There's not too many high on-base % guys batting 1st in the order anymore. Therefore I'm glad our leadoff guy has a bit of pop too, good bit of pop last year (25 hr). The days of Rickey Henderson are gone. Johnny Damon and Grady Sizemore are the elite leadoff guys, the rest of just like Jimmy if not worse (i.e. Juan Pierre).

~Carson

BenJah said...

most leadoff men are bad b/c teams value speed too much there...speed is more important at the bottom of the order where hitters are not as good, so speed becomes the equalizer. utley would be a better leadoff hitter b/c he's a better hitter, period.

jimmy has more pop than most SS or leadoff men. jimmy is better defensively than many SS. that doesn't mean he isn't overrated and/or overpaid.

jimmy would be better batting 7th, and maybe maybe 6th.

BenJah said...

i have a somewhat blasphemous question to propose:

are there any good 2nd basemen available through free agency or trade??

would moving utley to 3rd and getting a good 2nd baseman be better than picking up a mediocre 3rd baseman like derosa or helms??

GM-Carson said...

I read somewhere that Utley was tried at 3rd for a bit in the minors and failed miserably. Just my opinion, but his arm isn't meant for 3rd. I like your creative thinking Benjah, but I don't foresee that even being a remote option.

The free agent market isn't anything spectacular this offseason. There are some big guns (Bonds, Zito, Soriano, Big Hurt, Carlos Lee) but others aren't really anything to get excited about. Our Phils are pretty decent right now. We have missing links at backend of rotation, bullpen, and 3rd, and possibly outfield (depends on who you ask).

~Carson

BenJah said...

thanks for the clarification!

das411 said...

Wait, can't Soriano still play 2B?? As much as I don't like him as a ballplayer, an infield of Utley, Rollins, Soriano, and Howard would be so all-time sick that it would quite possibly make up for the awful awful outfield that would be all the Phils could afford.

GM-Carson said...

Soriano can still play 2nd, but that means moving Utley to 3rd. In this highly unlikely scenario of Soriano being added to the Phillies and even more unlikely as an infielder, I would prefer him at 3rd and keep Utley at 2nd. Utley is left handed and Soriano right, that makes a difference when on throwing angles across the diamond from 3rd to 1st.

~Carson