Monday, April 16, 2007

Keeping It Real

We are eleven games into the season and I've been sitting back and taking in all the action...and reaction. The Phils have, as their nature entails, started out very slowly in April. And also according to nature, Phans across the globe are up in arms about the state of affairs. Many have already started blowing up the life rafts in preparation to jump ship. I've saved my rant until now, and here goes:

Some things are not worth complaining about, like:
1. The Phils offense has started very slowly (save for the hitting machine Pat Burrell and slugger Jimmy Rollins) which is unfortunate and relatively unpredictable. Fine. It will pick up. Victorino, Utley, and Howard will not hit less than .220 all year. The team OBP is awesome, which should make the Abreu-lovers out there very happy, because as they know, OBP is most important factor in scoring runs. Unless of course the team batting average with RISP is lower than Kris Kross' wasteline. But remember, this lineup has proven to be able to score plenty of runs without being spectacular with RISP. It too has to get better. It's just too early to complain.
2. The starting pitching has been okay. Bad starts by Eaton and a minor-league pitcher (can't complain about AA pitchers getting hit) are offset by some decent outings by Myers, Hamels, and Moyer. With at least competent hitting with RISP and average bullpen work, this starting staff would have some more wins.
3. The bullpen. I know what you are thinking, "But the bullpen sucks." And you are right. But complaining about the sucking bullpen has to stop. This pen has been atrocious for three years. And we all knew that they would pitch accordingly again this year. Blowing late inning leads and losing extra inning games should be expected, yet everytime it happens everyone seems shocked. Expect it.

Of course, some things are well worth complaining about, like:
1. Pat Gillick's job of putting together this year's bullpen and making it better, or the lack thereof. I give him credit, Philly hasn't seen a starting pitching staff with this much potential in over a decade. The lineup looks solid enough to score plenty of runs to win games. Overall, a solid job. But that bullpen. No excuses in not acquiring bullpen arms this off-season. And very few excuses for not trying to make this pen better now. (Bauer and Rosario don't count. They are AAA pitchers.) I'm asking the question, do they want to win this year? If so, they need to give up some players (Rowand, Lieber, anyone in the minors) for quality relievers. Nothing is going to happen now because no team wants to give up good players yet, this early in the season. We just have to pray in two months the Phils are still in it when the bullpen arms race heats up, and that Gillick does what is right.
2. Chris Wheeler. Listening to him is almost as nauseating and frustrating as watching Ryan Madson warm up in the bullpen. He is a disgrace to broadcasting and to the Phillies.
3. The lack of a Charlie Manuel firing . Relatively speaking, he's getting a free pass. Especially on the topic of batting average with RISP. If you shake out the cobwebs, you may remember that was one of the biggest complaints against the Great Larry Bowa was that he was such a red-ass that the players were too uptight to produce in pressure situations. Well, in comes Uncle Charlie Retard and his golly-gee-shucks approach to clubhouse management, and all will be better. Wrong. As I wrote a year ago talking about the first two years of the Manuel Debacle, "His ineptitude at managing a baseball team, is frustrating to no end...His strong point, being a "players manager" that will maximize player potential...is a myth. Players that struggled under Bowa continue to stuggle, regardless." This has not been a popular opinion. Despite being more screwed up than Tara Reid's plastic surgery, there were people who supported Manuel for "Manager of the Year" the last two years! But recently I see a change. Over at Beerleaguer, author Jason Weitzel wrote, "if the Phillies can’t play loose, focused baseball, Manuel’s alleged specialty...isn’t it naive to expect anything more than the same results again this season? Isn't the best word to describe Manuel's status something close to "pointless?" Welcome to the Dark Side, grab yourself a beer and stay awhile. Overall, he provides nothing for this team and has somehow managed to stay around longer than anybody who has underachieved this badly in this City.
4. People who complain too much. I've been purposely avoiding the Bipolar Phlogosphere for the last week, because I don't have enough money to afford my own lithium. Whine, complain, pout...repeat...then rejoice like it's a party for one win, yeah...then whine, complain, pout the next day when the bullpen blows one.

Rant over.
----------------------------
Tonight's Game
Freddy Garcia v. John Maine
The long awaited debut of Garcia was delyaed one more day by the rain. And could be delayed again by rain. Freaking rain.

Corey

31 comments:

GM-Carson said...

I've decided to heed your advice Corey and stop going down, down, down, up, down, down, up, down...you get the point. As I stated the other day, this team needs to show me they can play consistently solid baseball over a stretch of games, not just a game here and there.

Charles Fuqua Manuel needs to be fired!

Corey said...

i'm thinking of doing a ghandi-esque hunger strike until manuel gets fired...

GM-Carson said...

Dude I'm with ya. I could stand to lose 240 pounds, because that's my weight and this stupid ownership/GM probably don't have the balls to axe Manuel's no-good backwoods bumpkin ass!

BloodStripes said...

LOL...too funny.

We are in a catch 22 situation. If Charlie goes its most likely the Phils are having a bad year. If he stays the Phils are good, which is what we want but we are stuck with him.

If the Cubs can get Pinella. The Phillies can get Girardi. Baseball smart and well spoken. No two-headed hick comments like Fuqua.

Corey said...

bring back bowa. (although i'm joking, there's part of me that would actually like to see bowa come back.)

GM-Carson said...

I'd like Bowa back (but I think that's impossible because he's currently employed by the Evil Empire), same with Terry Pendleton and the Braves. Girardi is available, so is idiot Dusty Baker, or even Davy Johnson.

Moe Ville said...

Kriss Kross' waistline??? I've got that "break like the wind to be free again" song running through my head and it's ruining my Monday morning hangover. If it's not pouring and 20 below, let's hope Garcia gets off to a good start.

GM-Carson said...

Kriss Kross'll make ya jump-jump,
the Mack-Daddy make ya jump-jump,
Daddy-Mack'll make ya...uh-huh, uh-huh...believe that!

Corey said...

look at how low these pants are drooping

if dusty baker ever becomes phillies manager...nope, i'm not even going to consider that doomsday scenario.

Moe Ville said...

Wrong Kross, But it doesn't matter. The song is still there. Wheeler aside, does anyone know what happened to Scott Graham. Was he shit-canned?

GM-Carson said...

Wrong Kross?

and yes, Graham was indeed shit-canned so the Phils could hire Sarge Matthews to do an even shittier job in the booth.

goDuke said...

Well at least someone still has some faith in the Phillies (from philly.com):

As Phillies fans lose faith in their team, it's good to know that Playboy remains confident in the Phils.

The May issue, featuring Holland, Bucks County's Shannon James, who was Shannon O'Brien at Council Rock South, predicts the Phillies will win the NL East this season.

Jacobin said...

I may be in the minority, but I liked Scott Graham.

Oh well...
Kriss Wheller'll make ya jump-jump (of a bridge)

michael said...

I say Giardi or noone... or all of us here rock/paper/scissors tournament for who gets to be the manager.

GM-Carson said...

Scott Graham was a dofus, but way better than Sarge.

I just want to be the GM so I can fire any of your asses for not performing as manager.

furiousBall said...

We sealed our fate when we didn't hire Jim Leyland.

I'm optimistic about Utley and Howard, but the Flyin' Hawaiian's numbers are bothering me. When J-Roll comes back to earth and stops hitting everything out of the park, we're gonna really depend on Victorino to push the runner over

Moe Ville said...

I read your blog when I get in to work and I only have about 5 minutes untill people start pestering me with stupid questions. Somehow I confused Kross with Cross. Christopher Cross of the 80s airwaves made some of the most nausiating music ever. The damage was done. I went temporarly insane and slashed my seat with my car keys. Chris Wheeler has the same effect on me. Sarge isn't far behind.

GM-Carson said...

I'm hoping the Phils play tonight, because any more rainouts will start to be a problem with scheduling down the road. Double-headers may be fun for fans, but they put a toll on the team.

michael said...

i picture some billy martin/steinbrenner blowups if carson was gm and one of us was manager..for that alone we should be hired.

BenJah said...

girardi would be good.....he didnt get along w/ florida's management, but the players seemed to like him. he actually splits the difference between the fire-faced bowa and the re-re manual as well as any. either that, or i'd like to see some guy we never heard of...just b/c he's new.

if no one else wants the job, i know this guy living in north jersey who might be interested. he burns a bit, and most of his managing experience is in little league, but hey: could he do any worse?? ;-)

GM-Carson said...

Benjah, is this guy you are referring to- you?

Manuel is most likely here for the season, because I expect the Phils to start winning some games...enough to prolong the riddance/purge of Fuqua. They should have axed his ass with the 1-6 or 2-8 start...now they'll win some games "buying him time".

GM-Carson said...

Tonight's game rained out. I hate this freakin' weather!

GM-Carson said...

Random stuff from ESPN.com- their video game prediction system see the Phils winning over the BoSox in the World Series.

Jayson Stark came up with this tastey tid-bit- "When Phillies leadoff man Jimmy Rollins hits a homer, should we even be allowed to call it a big fly? Rollins, all 5-foot-8 of him, leads the National League in homers, with six. So this just in, for future reference:

Only three guys that short (or shorter) have ever hit 30 home runs in a season: 5-foot-6 Hack Wilson (four times), 5-8 Kirby Puckett once and 5-7 Yogi Berra (twice). And the only guy that diminutive to lead the league in the live-ball era was the Hack Man (1926-27-28-30)."

Skeeter said...

I heard some guy call up the radio today and suggest moving Rowand up to the leadoff spot and move Rollins down to 7th. His reasoning was more balance in the lineup.

...I almost crashed my car when I heard this stupidity spew from this man's mouth.

furiousBall said...

Hack Wilson's numbers in the 1930 season...

2B 3B HR RBI SB BB BA
35 6 56 191 3 105 .356

Jacobin said...

I heard that call Skeeter. It was indeed moronic and painful to the ears. It was the last radio tidbit I listened to before turning on the CD player. I really cannot handle too much of the Burger King on the radio.

goDuke said...

I can't deal with the Burger King either. I switched to Jodi Mac on 950 in the afternoon. Howard annoys the crap outta me, I don't think I've ever heard such a know it all.

GM-Carson said...

Is Freddy Garcia ever going to pitch for the Phils? Starts season on DL, gets activated Sunday to have 2 games in a row called due to the weather...omen?

das411 said...

Hahaha Freddy Garcia has been makin it rain, I guess he is pickin up the slack now that Burrell is engaged right?

And have you guys seriously not noticed that Ryan Howard's batting stance, which is damn near identical to our former homey JI
JIM THOME's batting stance (the Jim Thome who, let's not forget, made this team respectable in the first place)...was taught to him by none other than Charles Fuqua Manuel?

BloodStripes said...

Thats exactly why fuqua should be the hitting coach and not manager. Be a part of the team by all means because he is a tip-top hitting instructor, just not the best manager.

GM-Carson said...

I highly doubt Manuel would accept a demotion to hitting coach (replacing Milt Thompson), but if he would then I'd be willing to keep him on the staff. I've said it many times before, I'm sure Charlie is a nice guy and has a good "hitter's mentality", but as far as being the manager, he does not have the brain power to do the necessary moves/decisions.