Thursday, June 14, 2007

Phillies Phlashback Phriday: Juan Samuel

With the Phils set to open a series against the Tigers, I decided to phlashback to a great Phillie and a great Tiger: Juan Samuel.

Samuel was signed as a free agent out of the D.R. in 1980. He was the starting second baseman by 1984, playing the next 5 1/2 years in Philadelphia. In each of his first four years, he hit over .260 with at least 15 homers. He made two all-star teams, finished 2nd in the ROY voting in 1984 (losing to super-rookie Dwight Gooden, but finishing ahead of Terry Pendleton, Orel Hershiser and super-mullet Danny Gladden), and won the Silver Slugger award in 1987 when he hit .272-28-100.

Despite his fine hitting stats (especially as a second sacker), many phans remember him for his high strikeout totals and horrendous fielding. An NL manager, when asked whether Samuel or Gooden should win the ROY Award said, "I don't know, they're pretty close in strikeouts, aren't they?"

Samuel was moved to CF in '89 (to the glee of Phillies pitchers) and later that year was traded to NY for Len Dykstra and Roger McDowell. (Dykstra helped the Phils win the '93 pennant and McDowell was later traded for Braulio Castillo, both important pieces of Phillies history.)

Samuel bounced around the majors after that, playing for LA, KC, Cincinnatti, Detroit and Toronto. After his playing days, he coached for the Tigers for a few years, then managed the Mets AA team. Currently, he his coaching for the Orioles.

Kyle Kendrick
I hate to sound like a pessimist, but the praise laid upon young Kyle Kendrick may be a little shortsighted. Kendrick did a fine job of keeping the Phillies in the game on Wednesday, but that is about it. Yet he's being annointed the savior of the 5th spot in the rotation after only one start. said he was "impressive." Benjah called him "awesome." Carson listed him as one of the "reasons the Phils stand a chance to keep winning." What did I miss on Wednesday? The guy was one missed diving catch by Jason Werth away from giving up 5 runs in the first five innings. I'm not going to rip the guy either, he pitched well enough given his situation, but he was far from awesomely impressive and he's as much of a savior at this point as Joe Table. His next start is against Cleveland, who unlike Chicago can score runs. He will more than likely get lit up. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not on the Kendrick Bandwagon yet. I think everyone is just glad somebody was out there that looked better than Freddy Garcia. I also like what Whiz With had to say about the game.
Tonight's Game
Lieber gets the ball tonight for the series opener against the Tigers. The Donut-Eater, along with our other two starters for this series, Moyer and Gavin Eaton, better bring their "A games." Not only does Detroit have a very potent offense, the three pitchers the Phils will see are a combined 15-2 with the highest ERA being 3.63. Ouch. This could be a long series.



goDuke said...

mmmm dunkin donuts. I'm not on the Kendrick bandwagon until HE wins the ROY. My favorite Juan Samuel memories, are the famous check swing drop the bat thing he used to do sometimes... like if he dropped the bat he didn't go past halfway... brilliant!

GM-Carson said...

From FoxSports- Asked to rate today's center fielders, Andruw Jones quickly came up with a top five, which included himself, Minnesota's Torii Hunter, Toronto's Vernon Wells, the Mets' Carlos Beltran, and a surprising choice — Philadelphia's Shane Victorino. He plays right field, but moved to center when Aaron Rowand was hurt in 2006. "He impressed me, he really did," said Jones, who added that he'd rate Victorino fourth, ahead of Beltran. "Victorino would be playing center field for my team." But what about Jones? "If I owned the team, I wouldn't be playing," he said.

*Andruw Jones is a smart man.

Into that breach of dubious valuations, the Padres repeatedly have gleaned value, never more so than their March acquisition of Justin Germano – a $20,000 waiver-claim find whose ordinary fastball continues to pay dividends for San Diego. All five of Germano's victories have come against teams that twice allowed him to pass by waivers in March. Four of those teams – St. Louis, Washington, Tampa Bay and Seattle – rank at or near the bottom in ERA. Claimed on March 19 after the pitching-poor Phillies waived him, Germano went through waivers again before the Padres recalled him from Triple-A to replace the injured Clay Hensley.

*I'm hoping for the best with Kendrick, but I'd much rather have Germano.

The Phillies said that team physician Michael Ciccotti and James Andrews agreed that Freddy Garcia's injury stemmed from his logging so many innings as a starting pitcher. Garcia, who opened the season with tendinitis in his right biceps, has thrown 200 or more innings in seven of his first eight seasons in the majors.

*He won't be reaching 200 innings this season, or probably next season either.

BenJah said...

i may have been a little overzealous in calling him 'awesome.' mostly i was just happy he wasn't 'horrendous.' i guess i expected his performance to be the pitching equivalent of fuqua's managing, and instead he came up w/ a quality start. and diving catches are part of that.....only werth and burrell would have had to dive for that ball anyway. WHATEVER!

ride the wave, corey....surfing the ups and downs is more fun than just being a grouch

Jacobin said...

Kyle Kendrick... sounds like a NASCAR name, doesn't it? He wasn't "awesome," but I thought he did pretty well for his major league debut when he wasn't even invited to spring training. Other than maybe some isolated instances, this guy never had exposure to the this team. If he can throw strikes and eat some innings, he'll give the team a chance to win. I don't know how long the Mets will be free falling or how many more times the Braves will do a 9th inning choker, but I do know that this team needs to get all the ground on those teams while it can.

Up next is the Tigers. Jim Leyland (the manager we could have had) versus Uncle Charlie (the manger we wish we didn't have). Beat Detroit!

GM-Carson said...

Benjah- I agree, go ahead and ride the waves of ups and downs, because in my opinion that is far more enjoyable than being a grumbling grump.

I don't think anybody really believes Kendrick is going to pitch that well every time out, but it's okay to hope for it. I even said 6-7 innings with 3-4 runs...I know that's shooting high, but that's what I'm hoping for nonetheless.

Bonderman, Miller, and Verlander all throw right-handed gas, and the Phils like fastballs and righties, so maybe this will be a slugfest. Then again I'm hoping Donut-Eater notches some donut-holes on the scoreboard tonight.

Anonymous said...

The Samuel for Dyksta/MacDowell trade has got to be one of the best in team history. What were the Mets smoking when they pulled the trigger on that one!

I also love the '88 Fleer card. That was the first complete set I ever bought, and man did I feel cool after that. Chicks dig the '88 Fleers.

Well, not really....but they should!

GM-Carson said...

Other good trades in the Phillies history: (in not particular order)

1. Getting Curt Schilling from the Astros for Jason Grimsley in '92.

2. Getting Bobby Abreu from the Devil Rays for Kevin Stocker in '97.

3. Getting Steve Charlton from the Cardinals for Rick Wise in '72.

4. Getting John Kruk and Randy Ready from the Padres for Chris James in '89.

5. Getting Terry Mulholland, Dennis Cook, and Charlie Hayes from the Giants for a player to be named later and a washed up Steve Bedrosian in '89.

6. Getting Danny Jackson from the Florida Marlins for Joel Adamson and Matt Whisenant in '92.

That's ones I could think of quickly, as I'm sure there's more.

Maria said...

Pessimism doesn't help anybody. The only thing it does though is keep you away from disappointment since expectations remain low. Either way I still think the Phillies are going to sweep...well kind of but not really.

GM-Carson said...

Game started off awesome, J-Roll and Howard with upperdeck shots, but then turned to shit right after.

Aaron Rowand gets thrown out by a mile trying to stretch a single into a double. Then he misplays a ball in the outfield that bounces out of his glove for a double. Then Donut-Eater chucks a ball over to first on a pickoff move, but Howard was playing off the runner. Score is now promptly 2-2 and the Phils stopped hitting Bonderman. C'mon!!!!

GM-Carson said...

Yep, the Phillies are pieces of shit. There goes the infamous Lieber "big inning". This game sucks tonight...pathetic.

GM-Carson said...

It's going to be a long 6 game stretch against the Tigers and Indians. Their lineups are too good for our shitty pitching staff. Just when we thought we were ready to make a move, here comes the pain.

I know this is only one game, but I'm being realistic at looking at the next 5 games...we'll be lucky to win 2.

GreggyD said...

That really was a shitty performance tonight, but at the same time I can't help but be sort of impressed that they put up 8 runs even though they were relying on the long ball. The offense came through again tonight, but Donut and Rosario Dawson were not even close to taming the Tigers' bats. Grand Pappy Moyer will hopefully slow things down to a grinding pace for the Tigers tomorrow and give the Phils a chance to put together a win. If the Phillies take 1 out of the next 2 I will honestly be satisfied, but if they can somehow find a way to pull 2 wins out of their asses it will be even better.

And those damn Yankees! One of the only times I cheer for them and their white hot winning streak is ended by the Mets in a 2-0 snoozer. I despise the Yankees even more now.

Jacobin said...

When the team puts up 8 runs, you can't hang the loss on the offense. We can't win every game, and I'm not going to panic over this one... that said, let's see what happens with the next two!

GM-Carson said...

The offense did exactly what they are supposed to do, which is score runs. Our pitching staff quite literally is one of the worst in MLB...that's Gillick's fault. Garcia was a huge bust, Gavin Eaton's erratic, our bullpen is a port-o-potty...screw you Patty G!

Antsal said...

How 'bout that Juan Samuel. There was nothing like Sammy hitting a ball in the gap and Harry Kalas yelling out, "Watch Sammy Run". Before the camera had a chance to focus he was on Third Base standing there like he'd been there for five minutes. If he were playing today he'd be an absolute STUD!! I'm sure you can say that about alot of players of that era. His strikeouts wouldn't be an issue today. It's almost cool, and expected, to whiff 150 times now. The trade was a good one for the Phils. It was even more special knowing how much the Mets fans hated it.

P.S.- goduke the drop the bat "check swing", classic!!