Monday, December 31, 2007

An Anti-Mets Post

Happy Hangover, oops, I mean New Year! I hope 2008 has a repeat playoff appearance in store for the Phillies, ending with a World Series trophy this time. As is tradition, many people make new year's resolutions- my pledge being to hate the Mets more than ever before. Rivalries are fun and with only an hour and a half of highway between the two teams accompanied by increased contention for the playoffs, Mets and Phils fans are reaching an apex of hatred towards each other. My first post of 2008 is dedicated to extending and heightening that hostility...Boo Mets!


Cage Match- Moyer vs. Monahan


Shane Monahan pissed Jamie Moyer off. Who is Shane Monahan? Nobody! Unless you're a real box score junky, like myself, you probably don't even remember Monahan in the late 90's. He played for the Seattle Mariners from 98-99 batting .235 over 226 at I said- Nobody! However, he's making his name infamous with the steroids scandal as he claims "that the clubhouse culture led him to use steroids and amphetamines with the hopes of lengthening his major league career." Grand Pappy Moyer, who was a member of the M's back then, is not too thrilled about these allegations- "I choose not to get involved with all of that stuff. We're all grown men of many different ages. If he's throwing people under the bus, that's his choice, but it disappoints me. I can tell you that I was there for 10 years and I never saw anyone take steroids. This will be my 20th year in the major leagues, and I don't even know what a steroid looks like. If I have to start relying on those things, after so many years in the game, then it's time to pack it in. That's the way I look at things." Later in the interview, off record, Jamie added- "If he wants to spout off about his former teammates painting a misconstrued picture, then I challenge the pussy to a cage match. I'll show him that you don't need steroids to beat someones ass." If Monahan accepts the fight, word has it that Comcast will be airing it on pay-per-view February 16th at 8 pm, with the undercard being Manuel vs. Eskin.

By the way, for future reference Jamie, here's what steroids look like.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Black & Pink

Back in Black:
Back in black, I hit the sack.
It's been too long, I'm glad to be back.
Yes, I'm let loose from the noose,
That's kept me hanging around.
I've been looking at the sky,
and it's gettin' me high.
Forget the hearse 'cause I never die.
I got nine lives, cat's eyes.
Cruisin' every woman, never wonderin' why.

'Cause I'm back, yes, I'm back,
Well, I'm back, yes, I'm back.
Well, I'm back, back,
Well I'm back in black.
Yes, I'm back in black!

Back in the back of a Cadillac.
Number one with a bullet, I'm a power pack.
Yes, I'm in a bang, with a gang.
They've got to catch me if they want me to hang.
Cause I'm back on the track,
And I'm beatin' the flack .
Nobody's gonna get me on another rap.
So look at me now, I'm just makin' my play.
Don't try to push your luck, just get out of my way .

Well, I'm back, Yes I'm back.
Well, I'm back, Yes I'm back.
Well, I'm back, back,
Well, I'm back in black.
Yes, I'm back in black!

Pink it´s my new obsession.
Pink it´s not even a question.
Pink on the lips of your lover,
'cause pink is the love you discover.
Pink as the bing on your cherry.
Pink ´cause you are so very.
Pink it´s the color of passion,
`Cause today it just goes with the fashion.
Pink it was love at first sight,
Yeah pink when I turn out the light,
And pink gets me high as a kite,
And I think everything is going to be all right.
No matter what we do tonight.
You could be my flamingo.
´Cause pink is the new kinda lingo.
Pink like a deco umbrella,
It´s kink, but you don´t ever tell her.
Pink it was love at first sight.
Pink when I turn out the light.
Pink gets me high as a kite,
And I think everything is going to be all right.
No matter what we do tonight.
I want to be your lover.
I wanna wrap you in rubber.
As pink as the sheets that we lay on.
Pink is my favorite crayon,
Yeah pink it was love at first sight.
Pink when I turn out the light.
Pink it´s like red but not quite,
And I think everything is going to be all right.
No matter what we do tonight.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

NL East Outfields

The NL East has experienced much player movement this offseason, and every team has gone through a transformation in the outfield. Gone from the East Coast to the West Coast is Andruw Jones and Fence-Face Rowand. A position of strength for some of the NL East clubs has now become a question mark for all five teams as there's a mixture of unproven youngsters, aging veterans, and platoons to be sorted out come spring training. Let's take a look at how each clubs' outfield is shaping up for 2008.

*Career OPS in parentheses

Atlanta Braves:
LF- Matt Diaz (.830), CF- Josh Anderson (.816), RF- Jeff Francoeur (.782). Reserve-Brandon Jones (.401). The Braves are looking as skimpy as a mini-skirt on a 300 pound momma, as they've lost Willie Harris and Andruw and Anderson/Jones are still wet behind the ears.

Florida Marlins:
LF- Josh Willingham (.832), CF- Cameron Maybin (.473), RF- Jeremey Hermida (.811). Reserves- Cody Ross (.829), Alejandro De Aza (.574), and Brett Carroll (.435). Willingham and Hermida are injury prone, Maybin is a superstar waiting to bust out, and Ross is a terrific 4th outfielder. Enjoy this picture of the Marlins Mermaids...nice!

Washington Nationals:
LF- Wily Mo Pena (.788), CF- Lastings Milledge (.740), RF- Austin Kearns (.809). Reserves- Elijah Dukes (.709), Willie Harris (.639), Ryan Langerhans (.704), and Justin Maxwell (.796). Pena is a baseball player in a linebackers body full of power potential, Milledge is a cocky young prospect yet to live up to expectations, Kearns a.k.a. Sloth from the Goonies is consistent but not anything spectacular. Dukes has promise, but that promise could be future jailbird or all-star.

New York Mets:
LF- Moises Alou (.886), CF- Carlos Beltran (.850), RF- Ryan Church (.810). Reserves- Endy Chavez (.686) and Carlos Gomez (.592). Alou is old and cannot be counted on everyday, Beltran seems to get injured every season, and Church sucks against lefties. Both backups, the "ez" brothers, are speedy but nothing more.

Philadelphia Phillies:
LF- Pat Burrell (.849), CF- Shane Victorino (.741), RF- Geoff Jenkins (.843)/Jayson Werth (.782). Reserves- So Taguchi (.727), Chris Snelling (.737), and Chris Roberson (.515). Burrell returned to being "The Bat" for the 2nd half of the season, Vic is a high octane player, and a Jenkins/Werth platoon should do well. Gooch2 is a versatile thrifty pickup and Snelling and Roberson will likely find themselves in the minors.

Who has the better outfield?
Phils free polls


Friday, December 28, 2007

Phillies Phlashback Phriday: Scott Ruffcorn

Not only do the Phillies have poor judgement when it comes to drafting in the 1st round, they also calculate incorrectly when obtaining other teams' miscast 1st round picks. Scott Ruffcorn is a classic miscalculation of ability, as he was the ChiSox 1991 1st round pick. It didn't take 'corn long to ascend to the MLB level as he was pitching in the Windy City by '93. Of course, I use the term "pitching" loosely, as he was more or less serving up batting practice to the American League. He had brief stints with the White Sox from 93-96, never pitching in more than 4 games in any given season and compiling era's of 7.88, 8.10, 11.37, and 12.79...hell, even Gavin Floyd isn't that craptastic. Needless to say, Ruffcorn had worn out his welcome in Chicago, so naturally the Phillies purchased his contract from them in January of '97. Since the Phillies view themselves as an equal opportunity organization, they decided to give Scott every chance to succeed, seeing that he was a former top pick and all. In 1997 he appeared in a career high 18 games, including 4 starts, while pitching 39.7 innings to a career best 7.71 era with a lovely matching 1.97 whip. That's bad, really freakin' bad! However, take a second to gape at these career stats with bewilderment- 0 wins, 8 losses, 70.3 ip, 70 bb, 46 k, 8.57 era, and 2.22 whip. He walked 24 more batters than he struck out. That's quite possibly the worst career line I've ever seen...and I'm damn glad he wore Phillies pinstripes! By the way, I would hate to eat rough corn, as it would really hurt coming out the cornhole.


I Think We're Alone Now:
Running just as fast as we can,
Holdin' on to one another's hand.
Tryin' to get away into the night,
And then you put your arms around me,
And we tumble to the ground,
And then you say...

I think were alone now.
There doesn't seem to be anyone around.
I think were alone now.
The beating of our hearts is the only sound.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thirsty Thursday: Beer Keg

Mike Zagurski fits the mold of chubby ratty-haired frat boy, his body actually resembles a beer keg. The hefty-lefty burst on to the scene when the Phils were in dire straights for relief help, and badda-bing badda-boom, Fat Mike came in and rocked the house and quickly gained fame. Mike zig-zagged his way through the competition for 2 games without surrendering a run, so naturally the pitching-starved Phils fans were ready to crown him the new jewel of the bullpen. This reminds me of parties in college where we'd be stoked to have a keg of beer all frothy and chilled. We'd start off guns blazing gulping down as much of the brew as we could, but by the end of the night the beer was getting warm and flat and many party-goers had already passed out and puked...much like what happened to Zagurski after those first 2 appearances. MLB hitters proved to be too much for Mike and he ended his rookie campaign all sh*t-faced with a 5.91 era and injured. Fear not though, there's a lesson to be learned- beer is good and evil...pace yourself so you can stick around and enjoy the party; Mike Zagurski will be back to help the 'pen some day.


Thanks Phanta Claus

I found this underneath the tree for me...

Thanks Phanta Claus!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I Prefer Cheese Steak

When I think of Philly, I think of cheese steaks...not meatloaf. It's cool to have celebrity fans of our squad, but Meatloaf hasn't been cool since the Rocky Horror Picture Show days...I'd much rather have the ever-popular Will Smith bringing in some extra Phillies PhanPhare. Besides that, meatloaf is a very sketchy meal and is probably best washed down with a tall mug of Schlitz.

Now it's midnight and I'm completely boofy blitzed.
A six of Schlitz and the brew Manischewitz.
With my beer-tinted glasses I'm ready to bitty battle.
I'm hungry like the wolf but I'll end up tending cattle.
Cause you're pretty when I'm drunk.
Bloodhound Gang- You're Pretty When I'm Drunk


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Phils Sign Gooch, The Other One

So Taguchi, one year, $1 million-ish.

This essentially finishes the bench for the Phightins: Werth, Taguchi, Coste, Bruntlett, Helms/Dobbs.

I'm not excited by this signing, but I'm not against it either. It gives the Phils a veteran (37 years old) guy that can play all three outfield spots who has proven that he can consistently hit major league pitching at above-Nunez rates. He provides versatile outfield depth that every contending team needs.

The alternative for the 5th bench spot is young outfielder Chris Snelling, who has been injured very frequently in his short career. He's a promising youngster that could be a real asset to the Phils in the future if he stays healthy. But competing for the playoffs with unproven rookies is a risky proposition, and doing so with one with durability concerns is even worse. Chances are, a sixth outfielder will be needed during the '08 season, and Snelling hopefully will be able to contribute when his time comes.

Ken Mandel wrote in his piece over at "Taguchi's greatest value to manager Charlie Manuel is his ability to play all three outfield positions, and be a longer-term solution in center field should Shane Victorino suffer an injury."

I have a little problem here. At 37, with limited offensive punch, Taguchi should NOT be an option longterm in centerfield. If this situation arises and the Phils need a centerfielder for longer than 15 days, sirGillick would need to find a more suitable replacement. But we can burn that bridge when we get there because I think Mandel is just talking out his ass...

I also like the idea that siralden and bloodstripes both mentioned in yesterday's comment section that Taguchi could be an "Otsuka carrot," another piece along with playoff contender and Japanese fluent manager to lure the free agent pitcher to Philly. Hell, why don't they hire a giant Pokemon to ride on the back of the Phanatic's ATV and make boxes of "Mr. Sparkle" one of the giveaways. If it can help the bullpen, I'm all for it...


Things I Hate About the Phillies: Carson's Volume 2

I love the Phillies, you love the Phillies, we all love the Phillies...but you know they have quirks about them that you hate too. I ran Volume 1 back in early November, and I'm now ready to air some more disgust...

*I hate that the Phillies have grey uniforms and white uniforms. Grey and you're really rocking my socks off with that. Where the hell is the pizazz? I want the powder blue jersey to make a comeback, the red warm-up jersey to become game worn, or that seldom thought of maroon jersey to become their interleague attire. If the Phils can make that ill-advised blue/red combo cap part of their "special" game garb, why not breakout the throwback every now and then?

*I hate that Gavin Floyd, Greg Golson, JD Drew, Adam Eaton, Reggie Taylor, Carlton Loewer, Wayne Gomes, Chad McConnell, Tyler Green, Jeff Jackson, Pat Combs, Brad Brink, Trey McCall, Pete Smith, John Russell, Johnny Abrego, and Lebo Powell have been 1st round draft picks of the Phillies since 1980...and we wonder why this club seems to stumble upon such dismal times. Don't get me wrong, there's been some success thrown in there- Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Mike Lieberthal, and Pat Burrell, but overall that is despicable.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Check Your Head: Phuture Phillies

On this glorious Saturday morning I bring to you the 4th installment of the Q&A session Check Your Head. This time I targeted James Moyer of Phuture Phillies, a blog that focuses on the Phils minors (minors being farm system, not Pat Burrell's underage lady friends). So, take a breather from that last minute holiday shopping and read what Jamie Moyer's offspring has to say...

1. Statistics aside, who is your favorite Phillies non-superstar of the past?
Probably has to be Terry Mulholland. I remember being 9 years old and watching his no hitter. At the time, I was pissed at Charlie Hayes for making that error, thinking at the time it was a hit. Then I realized it was scored an error, so he still had a no hitter going. I liked his weird thing he did with his glove in his pitching motion, and his snap pick off move. My family had Sunday season tickets from '88-'91 or so, so a lot of those guys. Charlie Hayes, Wes Chamberlain, Kevin Jordan. Man those teams were bad.

2. Why in the hell are you a Phillies fan anyway?
I was born into it. No use trying to make it go away I suppose.

3. How do you go about evaluating the Phillies minor league talent?
I try to go to a couple games a season, even if it's to see non-Phillies prospects, because you read about the guys, and then you see it live and it gives you a better idea of what scouts are talking about. I read lots and lots of articles, I have a few contacts in the talent evaluation circles, and I also look at key peripheral numbers that give you some indication of what a guy has done, and what he might do in the future.

4. Discuss the evolution of Phuture Phillies.
I started the site about a year ago on a whim. Minor league baseball is fascinating to me on a lot of levels, and I've always had an interest on that level. I used to live close to Reading, so I'd get to see guys like Rollins and Burrell before they became the players they were today. I went to college in North Carolina, so it was tougher to follow the Phillies, but I went to a few Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay 3A Affiliate) games, so I had that connection to minor league baseball. I kind of realized there weren't many sites out there devoted to just Phillies prospects. Lots of general prospect sites, but few devoted to the Phillies, so it seemed like a good match. A year later, the site is pretty popular, so I keep on keepin' on.

5. Are you a bigger fan of minor or major league baseball?
It's a lame response, but I don't like one more than the other. Both have their charms, both have their frustrations, especially as a Phillies fan.

6. What is your favorite aspect of baseball- pitching, offense, or defense?
I think all three are really interesting, but to me pitching is the most fascinating. The actual pitching motion is very unnatural, which is why you see so many hot shot pitching prospects never make it above AA, just the shear attrition of the job. You also see so many different ways of accomplishing the same thing, different pitching motions, guys who throw 95, guys who throw 85, guys with great control, guys who can't hit the broad side of a barn door, but so many guys get the job done in so many different ways, it's pretty amazing.

7. We all know about Carlos Carrasco and Joe Savery, tell us what lesser heard of Phillies down on the farm we need to make ourselves familiar with.
Lou Marson would be near the top of my list. 21 year old catcher, handled some of our best pitching prospects this year at Clearwater after doing the same at Lakewood in 2006. Good defensively, his bat is developing nicely, and he's a pretty good athlete for a catcher. He could be the starter at some point in 2009 or 2010. For a pitcher, I'd say keep an eye on Drew Naylor, one of our many prospects signed out of Australia. He lit up the New York Penn League this year, and likely will anchor the rotation at Lakewood. Good hard fastball, good secondary stuff, still just a little raw, but could turn himself into a middle of the rotation starter. *Another name to be aware of is Gookie Dawkins. He's always been a slick fielder, but has never really been given the chance to succeed at the MLB level. I look for him to displace Jimmy Rollins some time in August or September next season.

8. Give Patty G a rating on a 1-10 scale (11 being the highest) of the job you think he's done thus far at building/repairing the farm system.
This is tough, but I'd probably say a 5 or 6. The farm system was in the bottom 3rd in baseball when he took over, and it remains in the same neighborhood today. Cole Hamels graduated to the majors on Gillick's watch, but the system hasn't replaced him. We lack the true blue chip star, and our second tier prospects all have fairly big question marks attached to them. His drafts have been a mixed bag, he's taken some good risks on guys like Savery and Drabek, but also gone on the cheap in the early rounds and taken low ceiling talent. Some of this appears mandated by ownership, and of course the GM relies heavily on his scouting network, so it's not just him. He traded for Gio Gonzalez, a great move, but squandered that asset for Freddy Garcia. The prospects he got in minor deals were pretty bad, and none have really made any difference in our system. On the flip side, he's only traded one real good prospect in Gonzalez, and one fringe guy in Matt Maloney, and that deal helped us make the playoffs. So, yeah, a real mixed bag.

*= He didn't really say this, but I knew he was thinking it.