Monday, May 07, 2007

The Matador

When Wes Helms was signed to be the Phillies 3rd baseman this past offseason I was admittedly excited. Why the excitement? I was happy-slappy because that meant the Phils weren't bringing back David Bell and weren't going to hand over the hot corner to a man who cannot hit, Abe Nunez. I saw last season's .329 AVG, 10 HR, and .965 OPS in only 240 plate appearances and figured that would translate well at Citizens Bank Park and into the Phillies lineup. I have been wrong so far. He has a hollow .284 batting average accompanied by .661 OPS...what the hell happened to your pop? Not only has he disappointed with the stick, his glovework (or lack thereof) and arm have lead to 6 errors so far and many other botched plays. I knew he wasn't going to be Brooks Robinson at 3rd, but I didn't expect him to be a matador either. Every time a ball is hit his way, I hold my breath hoping that he doesn't "oley" another one off to the side of him. If he actually manages to field it cleanly, I'm still holding my breath ready to turn blue, because his arm has worse aim than a liquored-up hick with a sawed-off shotgun.

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Listen Up:
*Burrell may have lost his power/mojo thanks to his engagement (6 doubles and 1 Hr with a .368 slugging %), but he is still getting on base a ton (4 walks last night and 30 walks with a .449 on base % on the season).

*Ryan Howard went deep over the centerfield fence last night. Now we're all wondering, "Is this the game that everything starts to turn around for the Blaster Master?".

*Shane Victorino was amazing in the Giants series- 10 for 17, 1 double, 1 homerun, 7 runs, 4 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. Message to Manuel- keep Vic in the lineup, as he is a table setter (.392 on base %), has awesome speed (13 sb's), plays great defense with a rocket arm (screw Roger Clemens), and has enthusiasm for the game.

*Major letdown, Freddy Garcia, is supposed to pitch tonight, but his start is in question because of an unfortunate incident where he was shagging fly balls during batting practice and ran into a cart in the outfield. Are we ever going to have a healthy Garcia?

~Carson

33 comments:

fans said...

Who could they put in if Garcia is out tonight?

GM-Carson said...

Abe Nunez is pitching tonight and batting in the 9 hole. I heard he has one helluva knuckle-curve.

michael said...

me.. i'm catching a flight to arizona right now. wish me luck.

GM-Carson said...

I was going to suggest Corey pitch tonight, but I think he's on call.

Bob D said...

Howard has quietly hit a few HRS this last week, he is showing signs of turning this around.

Maybe Michael will pitch tonight since he is flying out there.

michael said...

haha. i wish. honestly they'll probably just shift the rotation up so eaton most likely since he was scheduled to start tomorrow but they haven't said definately if garcia will miss todays start, i guess its too early to tell right now.

GM-Carson said...

From Buster Olney- Phillies right fielder Shane Victorino ranks third in the big leagues in stolen bases, in his fourth season in the big leagues. We e-mailed him questions; he e-mailed his answers.

1. You face highly touted pitching prospect Tim Lincecum in his major league debut tonight. What do you know about him, and what have you been told?



SV: There is some info on DVD that I am going to look over this afternoon. Heard a lot of good things about the kid. I heard that he is a Roy Oswalt-type pitcher. He is firm [throws hard] with a very big breaking ball. There is a lot of hype about him so I am sure that he is good. We shall see what tonight brings.


2. Normally, how do you prepare for an opposing starting pitcher?


SV: I go to the video room to see if we have footage of the opposing pitcher. I look at what his out pitch is, and if he has any tendency that I can pick up. I also ask the others on the team that have faced the pitcher about what he likes to throw, and if they have seen anything that might help.



3. Where are the toughest lights for outfielders, either because of the angle or the glare?



SV: I have to go with Florida. The lighting there isn't very bright and also the balls tend to always go into the lights because of the height that the lights are at.


4. Which hitter has the most unique style, and why do you think so?


SV: Our leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins. The reason I say this is because he has some power for a little guy. His power comes from putting good swings on the all, letting the ball get to the hitting zone and letting his hands work from there. He also has a nice stroke from both sides of the plate. Being a switch hitter you have to work twice as hard to keep both swings going.


5. As one of the best base-stealers in the NL, which right-handed pitcher is the toughest to steal against?


SV: John Smoltz would be one of the toughest righties to steal off of. He is extremely quick to the plate and has a good quick pick-off move to first.


6. When positioning yourself in the outfield, how much do you rely on the scouting reports, and how much do you freelance, based on what you've seen in the game that day?


SV: When playing in the outfield I go off of the scouting reports. A lot of time reports show how guys have hit off the pitcher and how they are swinging the bat. From there I make my adjustments at how the batter is swinging the bat that day.


7. What's the longest home run you've seen Ryan Howard hit?


SV: It might be the one he hit off Mike Mussina that went into the upper deck in right field at our place. It was only estimated at around 470 feet, but the height it landed at was unbelievable. The second the ball left his bat you were thinking, "that is far," and as it came down I thought it was going into the second deck in right. I said to myself: "That is high and far," and it landed in the upper deck at our place. Whoa!



8. As an outfielder, you probably hear a lot of flak from fans when you play on the road. What's the most amusing thing anybody has said to you?



SV: Fans have their way of trying to get under your skin, but for the most part you need to just focus on the game. The best line I have probably heard was, "Go back to Hawaii, you pineapple!" I thought that was pretty interesting.



9. When you tell people you're from Hawaii, what's the first question they ask you?



SV: The first thing is, "Do you surf?"



10. OK, do you surf? Or are you a boogie-boarder?



SV: Being from the beautiful island of Maui, I boogie-boarded as a kid, and do on occasion when I get back home. I was never a big surfer; I actually never really surfed. The biggest waves I caught in my life were about six feet. That was enough for me. I'm not trying to get much bigger than that, and trying to get much daring than that. The largest waves I have seen have been up to 30 to 40 ft. at Jaws on Maui. That is extreme.



11: If somebody visits Maui, what would your must-do-this recommendations be, as someone who lives there?



SV: Definitely the Road to Hana. This is probably one of the prettiest drives in the world. You can go from rain forest to beaches to dirt roads to back country. The restaurants that I would recommend would be Mama's Fish House, known for its seafood. For local cuisine, I would say Da Kitchen, known for its big portions of Hawaiian food, like lau lau and kalua pig. Another local favorite of mine is Sam Satos, which has the best dry mein in the world.



12. If you weren't playing baseball, what do you think you'd be doing?


SV: I would probably like to have been playing another professional sport. What sport would I have chosen, I really don't know. But if not for that I would probably be doing something back home. I would like to have been a longshoremen. Loading and unloading barges like my older brother, Michael Victorino Sr., does. He works at Kahului Harbor on the island of Maui.

icarus236 said...

Interesting stuff.

Jarex said...

Victorino is a super charged super freaky computer machine - he needs to reboot once in a while. Next time he goes into a 1-for-15, Charlie should do right and sit him down for a game or two again. Without the rest there's no way he has the series he just had in San Fran.

GM-Carson said...

I agree that Vic should be sat every once in a while. Example- against a tough lefty, give him the night off and let Werth play.

By the way, has anyone noticed that Rowand has been taking horrible angles on balls and allowing many to skip by him for extra-base hits instead of singles?

GM-Carson said...

Phillies righthander Freddy Garcia opened the season on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right biceps and is 1-2 with a 6.05 ERA in his first four starts. Then yesterday during batting practice at AT&T Park, he ran into a maintenance cart that had stopped unexpectedly on the warning track and suffered a bruised left shin. There is some doubt as to whether Garcia will make tonight's scheduled start against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix. "I'll see how I feel tomorrow, but right now I feel better," Garcia said after last night's 8-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants. "Who expects to get hit by a cart during batting practice?" Who expects to get hit by a cart, period? "There's no fracture of any kind," Phillies general manager Pat Gillick said. "We've got him iced down. We just think we'll have to wait and see how he feels after the game and how he feels tomorrow. Basically, it could stiffen up overnight and get sore overnight, so we'll have to see how much soreness is there tomorrow."

Randy Johnson and Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer will make more major league history if they oppose each other Wednesday, as scheduled. They would be the oldest pair of left-handers by combined age to start against each other, eclipsing the record Johnson and San Diego’s David Wells set here April 24. Johnson and Wells were a combined 87 years, 200 days. Johnson and Moyer will be a combined 88 years, 48 days.

furiousBall said...

I take offense at this comment, "his arm has worse aim than a liquored-up hick with a sawed-off shotgun"

You obviously haven't played Redneck Rampage, because if you had, you'd know that just like in barroom pool, the more you drink the better you play (to a point). Then you just vomit on the zombie chickens, but that's awesome too. What I'm saying is, can we get some chickens at third for Wes to hurl on? That would fucking rock.

Bob D said...

Furious, maybe his comment was not meant as a offensive but rather a comment, and where do chickens come into play? I believe Luzinski would catch them and BBQ them up there in his restaraunt.

Bob D said...

I mean a compliment on the quote "I take offense at this comment, "his arm has worse aim than a liquored-up hick with a sawed-off shotgun""

I should proof read better

GM-Carson said...

proff reedin is four pussies...ok, enough of that.

What the hell are we going to do about 3rd base? Helms can't field and his hitting sucks. Nunez can field, but getting hits does not come easily for him. We have nobody in the minors ready to play...we suck at 3rd! Michael Jack Schmidt is currently dusting off his glove and cleats.

GM-Carson said...

Supposedly Ryan Howard's quad has been ailing him. What's up with players now a days? They can't just say "I suck" and move on, they have to blame their struggles on an injury. I hate that.

Jacobin said...

I don't think we can call Burrell, Pat "the Bat" anymore. Last night he had four walks, which is great that he's getting on base. But in those four walks did his bat leave his shoulder twice (I can only recall him swinging at one pitch). I know he's getting married and when you do that you are supposed to stop swinging... but c'mon, that's a different kind of swinging the bat! It's not just the walks, when he strikes out it seems like it is always when he's looking (and not swinging). All of these walks have not translated into his having a higher average (hell, we could be talking about Ryan Howard here too). Burrell isn't cutting out dumb outs by walking so much (he still does that), it seems like he's cutting out hits by not driving the pitches he could hit.

Oh well, I shouldn't pick on Pat. It's not like he's Helms, Nunez, Eaton, Madson, Gordon, Gillick, or Manuel.

goDuke said...

At least Myers is 2 for 2 in saves.

GM-Carson said...

Burrell has been disappointing so far, but I'm cutting him slack because of the other butt-nuggets that are more disappointing (Madson, Gordon, Eaton, Garcia, Howard, Helms/Nunez). He needs to get hits though. Walks are great, but some hits, especially ones of the extra-base variety would be much appreciated.

goDuke said...

Yea Burrell has been weak. I expect HRs outta him... homers and strikeouts and outfield assists, not walks. And I think the big problem with Ryan Howard is the stress in trying to live up to Blaster Master, or Master Blaster... whatever you call him... I think you should work on a better nickname... thats the real issue.

Bob D said...

Master Blaster sounds like something you do on the porcelin pot.

goDuke said...

Yea its a sucky nickname.

McD said...

I agree that Burrell has not produced as expected this year. His on base percentage is great, but he is not paid the big bucks to get on base. He is paid to knock in runs.

That being said he is way down on the list of things that are causing this horrible start to the 2007 season.

Is anybody else starting to get the feeling that Freddy Garcia's time in Philadelphia is doomed?

GM-Carson said...

I went with Blaster Master for Howard's nickname because of the Nintendo game. It is a lame one though.

Suggestions?

Skeeter said...

Guys, I have the solution to third base. In 1991, I was hanging out with Steve Urkel (yes, THAT Urkel) and he showed me a machine that can transform biological matter into a new specimen. If you remember, Steve Urkel could become Stephan Urkal. When he became Stephan, he had the looks and charisma to finally bang Laura.

Well, Steve told me that if you mix two life-forms into this wacky machine, you would combine the two into one human. So I thought that if we send Helms and Nunez in there together, you get Wes Nunez. It would be Nunez's average to above average glove AND Helm's average to below average bat... Wait, shit. That's David Bell isn't it? Fuck! I just wasted 5 minutes typing this.

No one this bad should be legally allowed to wear a Phillies uniform and play the hot corner...the previous home of the best 3rd baseman of all-time, Mike Schmidt.

Skeeter said...

And yea, Carson. I'm sorry, I didn't want to say anything about Master Blaster because you seemed to enjoy it so much. But...since others are coming out against it, I'll join in.

How about Blue Balls? Since he got us all excited about what he can do last season, then left us all hanging.

Los said...

Wes Helms makes Nunez look like an all-star ... not an easy thing to do.

Bob D said...

Skeet, I remember that episode -awesome idea wrong people.

Burrell has not stunk up the joint and has been decent, lacks the power so far but not bad.

Howard is showing life lately so just hang in there for the Master Blaster.

3B has been bad - why not play Dobbs, he may actually hit better and be decent in the field. I feel he is the best option with Chris Coste the 2nd best option there.

Bob D said...

Uhg I looked at the lineup and Helms and Nunez are in there! And they are batting 6th and 7th before Ruiz! Skeet please throw Manuel and someone with strategy abilities in that machine and please hurry.

Skeeter said...

I'll throw Manuel and the board game "Stratego" in the machine. Possibly that will work.

Jacobin said...

Best start of the year for Garcia! Maybe he should run into things more often... but then the bullpen continues to pitch in the fashion we've come to expect -- Francisco Rosario (0-2, 6.75 ERA) sucks!

This sucks, we're in the era of pitch counts and we need our starters to go 8 or 9 innings if they want to get wins.

das411 said...

How soon until our 44 year old stopper takes the mound again?

GM-Carson said...

Screw you guys, I'm going home!