Thursday, May 31, 2007

Emotional Roller Coaster

The "high", sweeping the Braves in Atlanta, reaching 26-24. The "low", getting swept by the Diamondbacks in Philly, falling to 26-27. The "good", Ryan Howard's return to the lineup and May OPS of 1.098, up from .786 in April. The "bad", Jimmy Rollins May OPS of .668, down from .979 in April. The "ugly", Rod "Fat-Ass-Piece-of-Poop" Barajas...enough said. The "hot", Gregg Dobbs and his scorching .349 average and 1.055 OPS in May. The "consistent", Chase Utley's fielding, hitting, and all-around great play making him the best 2nd baseman in all of MLB. The "return to normalcy", Aaron Rowand hitting .282 with a .741 OPS in May compared to his outrageous .378 and 1.084 in April. The "playing over their head", Abe Nunez and his .354 average and .850 OPS in May. The "sadness", two months into the season and still a losing record. The "injured", Brett Myers and Tom Gordon. The "banished", Fabio Castro and Matt Smith. The "instant fan favorite", Mike Zagurski. The "weak", Wes Helms and his ZERO homeruns. The "overpaid", Pat Burrell. The "mentally handicapped", Charles Fuqua Manuel. The "unjustifiably mistreated", Chris Coste. The "disappointment", Freddy Garcia and his 1 win through 2 months after 17 last season with the ChiSox. The "happy", Cole Hamels with 7 wins and a superb 3.74 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. The "useless", bullpen fillers Clay Condrey and Francisco Rosario. The "speedy but clueless", Michael "Happy Feet" Bourn. The "lost cause", the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies.

Would someone please save me from this dismal state?


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Broken Record

20-20, 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, 24-24, and now 26-26, looks like Manuel still isn't going to learn his "countin'" past the teens properly. Poor guy, must be tough growing up a useless idiot. Anyway, the Phils are back to the ultimate mark of mediocrity, .500 baseball. Bullpen, defense, and situational hitting has failed them the last two games. If that sounds like a broken record I apologize. I'm not in the mood to do a verbal beatdown on the deserving feces-flinger Ryan Madson, the overpaid playboy Pat Burrell, or any of the other buttmunches, so I'll leave you with a couple records that express my feelings.

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping.
And the vision that was planted in my brain,
Still remains,
Within the sound of losing.

They've lost that winning feeling,
Whoa, that winning feeling,
They've lost that winning feeling,
Now it's gone, gone, gone, wooooooh.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to...

Back to life, back to reality. Back to life, back to the present time. Back from a fantasy, yeah. (Back to Life by Soul II Soul)

Reality Bites! 3 game sweep of Braves over. Dominant offense vanished, as situational hitting rears is ugly head yet again. Phils ego-trip squashed. Relentless booing of Rod Barajas begins. Freddy Garcia finally pitches well and we still don't win. Ryan Madson shows his true form? Ryan Howard is swatting with authority. Greg Dobbs is on fire. Abe Nunez hits weak ground balls. Pat Burrell only walks. Chase Utley can't hit the slow hook from a lefty. Our bullpen is shaky.

What is the Phils reality? Their reality is blurred. This team is still mediocre record-wise, but has been playing exceedingly better since the first 3 weeks of the season. Things seems to be improving. The rotation has been pleasantly solid. The offense looks more formidable with the insertion of Howard. The bench is playing well (Werth, Bourn, Dobbs). Even the bullpen stands to get better when Myers and Gordon return. So, even though last night was a loss, I'm actually not mad. They almost fought back and won the game, showing some gumption. Garcia's performance was yet another strong outing from a Phillies starting pitcher. If he continues to pitch like that, he'll get some wins. 3 big spots in the game: 1) Utley striking out with Rollins on 3rd with 1 out in the 1st inning. 2) Garcia grounding into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded. 3) Madson giving up the two costly insurance runs in the 9th. I'm staying positive though, as it was only one game. Phils can still take the next 2 from Arizona and make the series a success.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Updates

Tom Gordon
Gordon's rehab from shoulder injury is going better than expected, and WSBGM's has the scoop. I was at the game the other night and watched Gordon throw some pitches in the bullpen. Nothing spectacular at first glance, but if you look close at the snapshot I took, it looks like they completely rebuilt that right arm. Impressive work. I wonder if it was Dr. James Andrews or the guys from American Chopper who did the job?

Bobby Abreu
Just to update the futility that is Bobby Abreu: Homerun Hitter. Last year I wrote on a few occasions about the impending fall of Abreu and how he should have been traded early last year (ie winter or spring training) due to the trends in his statistics that predicted a fall from greatness. I focused mainly on his severely declining power numbers and dropping average. Well, Charlie No-Hustle hasn't disappointed this year (unless you're a Yanks fan...) He is batting .235, which is far lower than Abe Nunez, getting on-base at a mere .316 (who's afraid to pitch to Abreu now?), and is on pace to hit...wait for it...7 homeruns. SEVEN! That is disgraceful for a superstar, OBP-Machine, Hall-of-Famer-T0-Be like Abreu. He's been dropped to bottom of the Bombers' order, is getting booed at home, torn apart on blogs and generally speaking, having an awful year. Meanwhile, CJ Henry is hitting .200 in LowA and Matt Smith just walked another batter...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPat Burrell
Burrell is looking to break a record this year. He narrowly missed the record for "Called Third Strike With RISP and Less Than 2 Outs" last year. Now he's after a better one, "Thrown Out At Second After Hitting It Off The Wall." He has asked the Phils to change left field to the Fenway/Baker Bowl configuration of a very high wall closer to homeplate to increase his chances. Although, he should break the record at the stadium's current setup, so don't look for a change.

Jon Lieber
I dont' really have an update on Jon Lieber, just a picture of him delivering a donut to homeplate, which I think is enough...

Have a pleasant Memorial Day, and if you don't have to work today, I hate you.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Stuff

Don't look now, but the Phillies just became a winning baseball team. Who knows how long it will last, as they could uncerimonously slip back to .500 this afternoon and below again next week. However, as of this moment this morning, all is good in this hood as the Phils sit at +1 in the victory column (25-24), same spot as they were in last year through 49 games.


Fabio Castro and Matt Smith are officially on notice, because left-handed reliever "Fat Mike" Zagurski just came up from Double A Reading and pitched back-to-back games without issuing a walk. In fact, he's pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Supposedly Zagurski's nickname is "Bronko", which isn't bad by any means, but I perfer the NoFx lead vocalist/bassist "Fat Mike" reference myself.

"Friday night we'll be drinkin' Manashevitz. Goin' out to terrorize goyem. Stompin' shagitz, screwin' shicksas. As long as we're home by Saturday mornin', Cause hey we're the Brews. Sportin' anti swastika tattoos. Oi, Oi we're the boys. Orthodox, hesidic, O.G. Ois." (The Brews by NoFx)


Shiver Me Timbers:
The Pirates may only be 21-27, but in the weak NL Central that's not too shabby (they currently are 3rd right behind the Cubs). I don't expect them to contend with Milwaukee this season, but a record close to .500 would be a huge step in the right direction. Things have been shaky for the Buccos all-around this season. Key offensive players (LaRoche, Sanchez, Paulino) haven't contributed like expected, the bullpen has been poor much like their state buddies the Phils, and the rotation has suffered their lumps as well. Things will get better, as LaRoche is starting to hit again and join forces with Jason Bay and X-Man Nady to form a solid middle of the order, Sanchez will show that his batting title was not a complete fluke, and Zach Duke and Paul Maholm will settle down and help stabilize the rotation with Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny. A ray of light- the offense has produced 19 runs in the last 2 games.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Strangely Familiar

20-20, 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, and now...24-24. .500 baseball at its finest. That my friends is the definition of mediocrity. There's an old saying "you win some, you lose some", but this is getting ridiculous. Today is the perfect opportunity to break down that "wall" and make this a "winning" team as the Phils face Buddy Carlyle (career 7.41 ERA) and the Braves. When manager Charlie Manuel was asked about his team's constant seesawing record, he had this to say, "It's nice to win then lose, 'cause I'm tryin' to learn my countin' past the teens, and it's been real tough on me, that darn 2nd grade teacher never gave me a fair shake."


*Greg Dobbs continues to hit. I don't know about the rest of you, but I like it when our players get hits, that to me seems successful. Then again, the organization obviously doesn't think too much of it as Chris Coste was sent packing to Double A Reading...what a kick in the balls.

*Our defensively dumb slugger is back with vengeance. Ryan Howard helped seal the victory last night with a 2 run double, but also cost the Phils 2 runs on a throwing error. This man has DH written all over him. I know I'm being overly critical of him, but I hate bad defense.

*Novel Idea- a left-handed reliever that throws strikes. All hail Mike Zagurski. First off, awesome last name. Secondly, he was spotted chilling with Burrell in the dugout after working a perfect're alright in my book kid.

*Since surrendering that homerun to the first MLB batter he ever faced, Yoel Hernandez has calmed down and pitching respectably. I'm not suggesting he's a long term solution, but I like to point out positives when I see them.

*Brett Myers has been DL'd and his arm in devastated. WSBGM's tried to reach "The Arm" for comment, but it was too saddened to speak to reporters. The Arm did give a visual gesture which seemed to be the middle finger waiving at Rod Barajas though...hmm?

*I'm not a huge Jayson Werth fan, or a fan of his at all, but the man is a decent bench player. He can do spot duty at all 3 outfield positions and is a quality pinch-hitter.

*Solid effort from Grand Pappy Moyer last night, and he needed that after last weekend's slugfest against him.


Friday, May 25, 2007

An Open Letter To Rod Barajas


As you may not know since you weren't here last year, I have to attend therapy sessions for some "issues" that I have and an "incident" I was involved in last year. My therapist really has helped me and I'm a better appendage for it. But now you have caused me great grief that I am struggling to deal with. My therapist recommended writing you this letter, so here goes.

I hate you. I've disliked teammates in the past - Dave Doster was kind of a tool, Doug Glanville thought he was smarter than everybody else just because he went to The Pen or whatever, and Paul Byrd pissed me off with his religious garbage about Jeebus and MaryJane - but I've never hated anybody. Until now. You hurt me, man. Not metaphorically, but physically. Your decision to confront that runner - with 2 outs in the 9th of a 1 run game no less - like France confronts an opposing army, is deplorable. Why didn't we just have Christy the ballgirl behind home plate? It probably wouldn't have been the first ballplayer to try to slide between her legs...she probably could have stopped this guy too. Your catching style is less Ray Fosse and more Rachel Ray. Bullfighters think you got out of the way too quick. I might find Dutch Daulton and Astral Travel back in time so I can punch you in the face before I threw myself out. But until then, go punch yourself in the nuts, you contact-avoiding loser.

Oh yeah, and Rod is a gay name. Why not just change your last name to Johnson, get into the "male adult entertainment" business and leave the back-up catching to Chris Coste.

Brett Myers' Arm

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fat Lazy Dog

Phillies fans around the globe were disgusted by Rod Barajas cowardly play last night that nearly cost them the game. You know the one where the ball got there a full 18 seconds before the runner, yet the runner managed to slide under the tag. Charlie Manuel being the "players' manager" he is, decides to give Rod the start behind the plate tonight to try and redeem himself. Well, we all know Charlie is half-wit, so needless to say this didn't work out. As I type, the Phils are losing 4-3 with that extra Marlins run coming from a dropped ball on a play at the plate. This time Chris Coste threw a perfect throw home to nail the runner, but that lazy fat-ass-piece-of-sh*t Barajas nonchalantly reached back with only his glove hand to tag the runner and then as the ump was about to call the guy out the ball slowly trickles from his mitt. For those of you that are on a Manuel math level, that's retard by the way, that's 2 horribly pathetic plays in 2 nights. I'm appalled, I'm sickened, I'm revolted. Yesterday I wanted him released, tonight I want to kick him in the balls.


The Losing Win

Let me make this perfectly clear- I despise Charles Fuqua Manuel. The man has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not mentally fit to be a Major League manager. During his 3 seasons with Philadelphia he has shown that he cannot handle a bullpen, cannot execute double switches, cannot speak without needing a translator fluent in retardish, and cannot do his job requirements to a satisfactory level. When someone is that terrible at doing their job, usually they are handed their walking papers. However, in Philly we have a soft spot for the mentally challenged and are pro incest. Seriously, how can anyone make excuses for him time and time again? Latest blunder- bringing in Brett Myers with the score 7-3 Phils in the 9th inning. He's our closer, use him in save situations. "Jars of Clay" Condrey, Rosario, or Hernandez would have been viable options. If they get into some trouble, then bring Myers in. Oh, almost forgot the outcome- Myers sucked (that was his fault), but he's also hurt with a "strained shoulder". Good move Manuel, you're so smart, wanna cookie?

Unka Cholly isn't the only one receiving my verbal venom this morning...Rod Fat-Ass-Piece-of-Sh*t Barajas is horrible. We knew coming into the season he really couldn't hit all that well, and he's living up to that reputation (.208). However, he was being hyped as a defensive specialist behind the plate...that rumor has been dispelled. On a perfect throw to the plate by Jayson Werth with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th with the score 7-6 in favor of the Phils, Barajas stood up and allowed Hanley Ramirez to slide under his tag. The Phils website has him listed at 230 pounds, so why the hell is he pussy-footing around a dead-out at the plate? I hate him! Like I said this offseason, Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste should be handling the catching, no need for a 2.5 million dollar sack-of-crap. The big wuss had this to say following the game, "I caught the ball down low and wasn't sure what [Ramirez] was going to do. I didn't want to get down low and have him get a good shot at me and maybe knock the ball out. I wanted to make sure I was in a strong position."

Oh wait, there's more...Greg Sideburns Dobbs, why in the hell did you throw to home on that bunt attempt by Ramirez? First, your weak-armed throw to the plate wasn't even close. Second we need outs, that run didn't matter. As mentioned above, Ramirez came around and scored the tying run. That was an inexcusable play and you and Barajas should now be publicly flogged. Dobbs had this to say about his mental error, "I feel tremendously responsible for that inning because we should've had three outs. I should've taken the ball and either tagged Ramirez or gone to the bag, instead of being way too aggressive. It was just stupid. And now all those extra pitches for Brett. I'm praying to God that he's going to be OK. I'm praying that I didn't aid in him being out for an extended amount of time because of how important he is to us. I haven't talked to him yet, because I'm sick to my stomach. I want to eat, but can't."

After reading my tirade, you probably thought the Phils lost. No, those ass-hats managed to win the game 8-7 in 10 innings. Condrey did a decent job for the win, and the slumping Rollins came through with a hit and scored the winning run on a Sometimes-Hit Nunez single. Once again, we sit at .500 (23-23). Does it really matter? Manuel will continue to lead this team to failure, our bullpen still sucks, Myers is hurt, and our offense is inconsistent. This is the worst win I've ever witnessed.

For good measure, I'm throwing other players under the bus too: Rollins .265- start hitting again you silly slap-nut. Victorino .260- drive the ball, not slap it you hyper stick figure. Burrell .242- you don't get paid 13 million to watch called third strikes. Geoff Geary- "Gas-Can" is supposed to be a term of endearment but not if you continue to give up homeruns and doubles. Freddy Garcia- keep your pitch count lower so your whiny butt can actually pitch past the 6th inning.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Suck, Sucky, Suckness

Last night's loss sucked all-around. Aside from Ryan Madson and Jayson Werth, everyone else was worthless. Please humor me as I rant for a bit...

*I hate the Marlins. I hate watching Dontrelle Willis dance around like a buffoon in the dugout while celebrating. I hate Miguel Cabrera because he's a real 3rd baseman and we don't have one. I hate that sawed-off twit Dan Uggla whom the Marlins practically got for free via the Rule 5 draft. I hate Reggie Abercrombie because he's missing Fitch. Most of all, I hate Scott Olsen for talking trash about the Phils and being the biggest knob-jockey in MLB.

*Why did Charles Fuqua Manuel intentionally walk Aaron Boone with 2 outs in the 6th with the score tied 3-3? Oh yeah, he's a RETARD! I hate it when managers give the free pass to batters that aren't all that good. I understand he was forcing the Marlins to pinch hit for Olsen, but I'd have rather had Olsen stay in the game as we were having some success against him. Oh, I almost forgot...Boone came around to score.

*Somebody please take Aaron Rowand back to high school and teach him a basic geometry lesson so that he doesn't keep taking the wrong angle to balls in the gap. His defense is vastly over-rated. Sure he's one of a handful of players that will run face-first into a fence, but the man misjudges balls to the left and right of him horribly...cost Cole Hamels the win last night.

*Contrary to popular belief, Cole Hamels in fact is not God. He wasn't even a king last night, more like a jester, as his 6th inning was a joke. I still love him, but that was a huge letdown yesterday.

*You Stink: Remember when Jimmy Rollins lead the league in homeruns with 9 and was batting over .300? Well, he's still stuck on 9 and is now batting .268 while going 2 for his last 19. Remember when Carlos Ruiz hit that walk-off homerun? Well, he's had only 1 hit since then, a span of 15 at bats. Remember when Wes Helms had that pinch hit rbi single to seal the win against Milwaukee? That was his last hit, as he has no hits in his last 9 at bats.

*Stat to keep track of- number of errors committed by our 3rd basemen in comparison to their homerun output. Season totals- Nunez and Helms each with 6 errors a piece while manning the hot corner and ZERO homers.

If you're looking for inspiration today, sorry.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Reel Big Fish

It's time to hurdle this obstruction of a .500 record. The Phils started the season off miserably (4-11), but since that inexcusable beginning they've played better baseball to the tune of a 18-11 record. They've been winning series, but have yet to pull of a sweep. Roll out the red carpet for the King, as Cole scales the hill tonight to finally push the Phillies over the brink to "winning baseball". We're going to reel in some big fish this week, as Hamels (6-1, 3.30 ERA) takes on Scott Olsen (3-3, 4.80 ERA) in the series opener for win #1 in Florida today.

On Wednesday for win #2 will be Freddy "Chief" Garcia against Ricky "Tobasco" Nolasco, and finishing up the sweep on Thursday will be Donut-Eater Lieber opposed by Byung-Hyun Kim. You're my boy Burrell, you're my boy...he looks to continue his sizzling supremacy (5 homers in 10 games) from the homestand and torch the Marlins pitching. The season series between the Phightins and the Fish is all evened up at 3-3. This is a big 3 game set against Florida as the Phils then travel to Atlanta for a 3 game weekend series. As mentioned above, enough with this hovering around mediocrity (.500), it's time to break on through to the other side, the positive side.

Here's some inspiration..."What the Kruk?"


Monday, May 21, 2007

Screaming at a Wall

Stuck on .500, that's what we will be at least until Tuesday with a much needed off-day today. The Phils have been seesawing back-and-forth over the past 5 games. Last Wednesday they won to reach the elusive "even ground" mark for the first time all season and were 20-20, then they lost on Thursday. Have no fear, the Phils evened things back up on Friday at 21-21, but then again faltered to eclipse .500 by getting blown out on Saturday. Then of course yesterday they win again, leaving their record at 22-22.

It's like we're treading in cold water, just trying to keep from going under, but too afraid to actually emerge because of shrinkage. We've been getting quality starting pitching, aside from Moyer's mishap Saturday, and the offense has been punchy scoring in bunches. We're screaming at a wall (.500), but it seems like it's never going to fall. Someone who could help knock down that wall- Ryan Howard, as our power threat may be coming back to the lineup by this Friday to help with consistency. The bullpen remains the team's Achilles Heel, but a healthy Ryan Madson is better than a wild Fabio Castro, who was just optioned to Reading. Tom Gordon will be returning in a couple weeks as well, and maybe he'll be better in less pressure situations and getting more rest in between outings now that Myers is the closer. Here's to hoping those 3 reinforcements are enough to make that .500 barrier come crumbling down like David Hasselhoff did on the Berlin Wall.

"I'm gonna knock it down, Any way that I can. I'm gonna scream, I'm gonna yell. I don't want to have to use my hands. It's like screaming at a wall. Someday it's gonna fall. You're safe inside and you know it. 'Cause I can't get to you. And you know I resent it. And my temper grows! It's like screaming at a wall. Someday it's gonna fall!" (Screaming at a Wall by Minor Threat)


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kick Me

Ouch, that hurt! Suffering a 13-2 drubbing is only enjoyable if there's a bench clearing brawl and and a bullpen pitcher comes in and lands a haymaker on an unsuspecting player from the other team. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but the Blue Jays did kick our butts nonetheless. Today is the rubber match, with Adam Eaton taking the mound for the Phils while Toronto counters with surprise rookie success Jesse Litsch.

As pointed out by yesterday's post, we were lucky to win the first game of this series by scratching out 5 runs on only 3 hits. Last night the offense didn't do much better while managing to muster 4 measly hits. It's not like the Blue Jays were throwing Cy Young's Roy Halladay or Pat Hentgen at us, rather Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum. In fact the Phils lineup has been slumping lately, with Rowand (5-24), Victorino (5-24), Rollins (5-32), Utley (1-11), Burrell (4-19), Helms (2-14), and Ruiz (4-22). Collectively that's 26-146 for a pitiful .178 batting average.

I think it's time to summon the spirit of Lenny Dykstra of the '93 World Series and bowl over the Blue Jays this afternoon. If the Phils would have won the Series, Nails would have surely been the MVP, as he absolutely destroyed the Jays' pitching, batting .348 with 9 runs, 4 homeruns, 8 RBI, 4 stolen bases, a .500 on base %, and a .948 slugging %.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Getting Lucky

Lucky- scoring 5 runs on 3 hits.
Lucky- allowing zero runs with the bases loaded in the 9th inning.
Lucky- we didn't trade Donut-Eater Lieber (2.50 ERA as starter).
Lucky- we didn't trade Fence-Face Rowand (.338 AVG .932 OPS).
Lucky- we're .500 (21-21) after a horrendous start to the season (4-11).
Lucky- Patty G traded for Grand Pappy Moyer.
Lucky- that as horrid as our minor league system is, it has produced Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Geoff Geary, Carlos Ruiz, and Pat Burrell.

*It's nice to have Lady Luck on your side sometimes.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Phillies Phlashback Phridays: Bobby Munoz

Bobby "Big Boy" Munoz stood 6 foot 7 inches tall and weighed in at 252 pounds. He came to Philly via the Yankees in a trade that netted the Phils esteemed utility man Kevin Jordan and prospect flop Ryan Karp for our old friend Terry Mulholland. He pitched for the Phillies from 1994-1997, his best year being '94 where he went 7-5 with a 2.67 ERA in 21 games and 14 starts while pitching 104 and 2/3 innings. Munoz was a helluva hitter too, batting .206 with a homerun and 6 RBI in '94. Each season thereafter, he continued to worsen until the Phils granted him free agency after the '97 season. During his career he made appearances for the Yanks, Phils, O's, and Expos, compiling an 11-22 record accompanied with a 5.17 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Is it me, or does Bobby look like Charles Fuqua Manuel's retarded offspring?


Game Thoughts:
*Pat's bat has come back to life. Now we need to jump start J-Roll's so the offense can get rolling.

*Wes Helms is a disappointment, taking an 0-4 collar yesterday with 3 k's. He has played shoddy defense at 3rd, shown no power, and has caused to me to rather see Abe Nunez's name penciled into the lineup instead of his...that's the ultimate in pathetic.

*Freddy Garcia may have only given up 2 runs yesterday in 5 and 2/3 inngs, but he was supposed to be a workhorse for this staff. So why is he tiring in the 5th inning?

*Taking 3 out of 4 from the Brewers, who entered the series as the best team in the NL, is a success. Now we move on to stupid Inter-League play against Toronto, and on that note- Screw Joe Carter!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

I can see clearly now...

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright), sun-shiny day.

Yesterday was an interesting day...Phils win their 20th game of the season to even their record at 20-20, reaching .500 for the first time all season. After an hour and 32 minute rain delay, the skies cleared and suddenly everything started to seem clear, this team is going to the World Series. Do I really believe that? No, but I've been wrong before. Things are really starting to come together for this club, and hopefully now that they've reached level ground they can break on through to the other side (positive side +.500-land) and stay there the rest of the season. Forget the Braves and Mets, just worry about winning.

Perfectly Positive:
*Fence-Face Rowand continues to hit. Honestly, I didn't think he had this in him. Sure, he could get hot for a week or two, but he's been steadily making the baseball his play-thing for a month and a half now, batting .340 with 50 hits, 6 round-trippers, 26 runs, 20 RBI, and a eye-popping .943 OPS. To think some idiot (ahem, GM-Carson) wanted to trade him for a relief pitcher.

*King Cole won his 6th game of the season while flirting with perfection. The King is now on a pace to win 23 games, as he went on record before the season began and said he expects 20 wins from himself. Accompanied with his 6 wins are 70 punch-outs and a 3.30 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

*Although I strongly disagreed with Brett "Right Hook" Myers move to the bullpen, it has been a successful transition. Finally, we have someone that we can trust. Hopefully Manuel doesn't trot him out there every game though...wait for save situations Fuqua, Brett's arm isn't Lego replaceable.

*DL- Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Tom Gordon. If these guys return healthy it will be a big boost to the team, especially Howard being inserted back into the middle of the lineup ready to inflict damage. I'm not high on Madson, but I'd rather him pitch than Yoel Hernandez or Francisco Rosario. Gordon won't be the closer, at least he better not be, when he returns, so maybe a switch to setup man will be a good thing for him.

*Chase Utley is quietly having a monster year- .312, 36 runs, 19 doubles, 7 homeruns, 31 RBI, 3 stolen bases, and an impressive .967 OPS. He's still my pick for the 2007 NL MVP.

*The rotation as a whole is starting to perform well. Grand Pappy Moyer and Hamels are the foundation, and Donut-Eater Lieber has been putting donuts (zeros) up on the scoreboard in many of his innings pitched so far. Freddy Garcia and Adam Eaton are even beginning to last longer into games and give the team a chance to win.

*J-Roll, Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell, Chooch Ruiz, and even Sometimes-Hit Nunez are all doing their part to win games. The bench now has two decent hitters in Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs, along with speedster Michael Bourn, and the skeezy Jayson Werth. The bullpen is still a mess, but I'm staying optimistic and thinking the healthy additions of Madson and Gordon will give Myers and Gas-Can Geary a boost and 6-Finger-Ant starts pitching better again and "Jars of Clay" Condrey proves to be reliable.

*I'm sipping on the Kool-Aid...want a glass?