Friday, August 31, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thirsty Thursday

We're having computer issues in the WSBGM's camp- Carson's is not working properly and I'm stuck in a crap-tacular apartment in Delaware and don't even have access. I just bum-rushed a hippie in a wi-fi coffee house and am literally typing this as I run down the streets of Wilmington, hippie in pursuit...Anyways, posting/commenting may be a little slow for a while, but on to the Thursday Thirst.......

Wes Helms - Stroh's - Back in the day, Stroh's was good. It along with Schlitz, Schaeffer, Schmidt's, were good, honest American beers brewed with quality and excellence. However, somewhere along the way things changed. They were bought my different companies, recipes were changed to brew them on the cheap, and they became cut-rate, horrible tasting beers that have become nothing more than a beer to throw in your trunk to drink when you get the shakes. Also at one time, Wes Helms could hit. 23 homers one year, .328 average another. Then he comes to the Phillies and plops down something in the .250 range. Another lost cause, except this one gives you the shakes instead of relieving them.
David Bell - Schmitts



Random Sh*t:
Via tele-conference from Delaware, Corey and I were able to collaborate on some thoughts about the game and the Phillies in general.

*Happy friggin' birthday Aaron Rowand. Poor Fence-Face found out the hard way that it's all down hill after 30, as he struck out all 4 times he batted last night.

*3-2-1 Whiff! After yesterday's piece on Ryan Howard making contact, he failed to do so in his first 3 at bats, but then did connect for a double in his 4th trip to the plate.

*Chris Wheeler called Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Francis "a good looking left-hander". I wonder what he would think of the right-handed non-baseball playing Brad Pitt.

*We've come to a 2-man consensus that Charles Fuqua Manuel is a retarded hick with a speech impediment after listening to far too many of his interviews.

*I'm not sure why, but Corey and I both feel former Mets Tim Teufel and the Hairy Monkey Nipple himself- Sid Fernandez (also a Phillie) deserve a shout out. Corey had some beers in him and I was laughing too hard to truly understand the relevance (if any) of this. Honestly, we love the monkey nipple!

*Marlon Anderson is secretly still a Phillie, that's the only explanation I can offer for his stupid attempted tackle on Iguchi that lead to the automatic double play to end the game due to interference (the correct call by the way).


3-2-1 Contact

In case you didn't know- Ryan Howard has power, and a lot of it. When his bat meets the ball the sound of a choir of angels rings through the summer air...or for you that are more traditionalists- "crack". Howard became the fastest player to reach 100 homeruns in terms of at bats earlier this year, has the single season homerun mark for a Phillie, won a Homerun Derby, was the NL Rookie of the Year, has a MVP Award, made an All-Star appearance, and has come back to life since Chase Utley has returned to the lineup. I'd like to thank Ryan Howard for making contact last night in the 10th, walk-off homeruns are the best.

When it comes to Ryan Howard, contact is the only thing that matters. The man is always going to strikeout at a high rate, but this season his whiffs have been crippling to the offense at times. However, when he makes contact, good things happen, especially when he starts taking outside pitches the other way. Contact for Ryan Howard is different than contact of almost all other Major Leaguers in my opinion, because Howard possesses the most raw/natural power in all of baseball. Basically, any contact Howard makes has the likelihood of being a bullet that is either difficult to catch or is uncatchable via homerun.


Out of the Basement:
With yesterday's double-header sweep over the Cincinatti Reds the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally gotten themselves out of the dungeons of the NL, and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. At 59-72 their record is not pretty, but it is better than the Marlins, Nationals, and Astros, and if they win tonight Cincy too. At the beginning of the season I had high hopes for the Buccos with their young pitching staff and improved offense with Adam LaRoche slotted into the lineup as a power threat. However, for the 1st half of the season some of the young pitching faltered, bullpen fell apart, and LaRoche and company didn't generate hardly enough run support and the Pirates found themselves in the basement of the NL Central. Things have recently started to turn around and they're climbing the stairs out of the cellar as the offense is on a roll, the rotation is solidifying (Snell, Gorzelanny, Maholm, and Morris), and Matts Capps and Damaso Marte are doing a good job in the bullpen.

Hey, Daddy-o,
I don't wanna go down
to the basement.
There's somethin' down there.
I don't wanna go.
Hey, Romeo,
There's somethin' down there.
I don't wanna go down
to the basement.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chase Utley is Awesome!

I'm going with a purely positive posture today. Phils may still be 5 back of the Mets in the NL East and 3 back on the Padres for the Wild Card, but Mr. Awesome himself Chase Utley is back and everything is suddenly happy again. Seriously, Chase Utley is friggin' amazing. I love the way he plays the game and he makes the game worth watching for me. The man is a great all-around player- pure hitter, power, speed, defense, and leadership. Welcome back Chase, lead us to the playoffs and that MVP could still be yours.

Other Positives:
*JD Durbin pitched well. I still have hopes that this kid will be able to find some stability on the mound and become more consistent with his pitches and slot into the rotation next season. I know he still has a lot to prove and much progress to be made, but he's done a decent job for us this season.

*Jayson Werth looked worthless most of the season, but he's be red-hot in August. The man is 9 for his last!

*Iguchi, now regulated to bench role or what Manuel calls "utility", went yard in a pinch-hitting appearance last night.

*Our bullpen managed to not give up a run in 2 2/3 innings of work last night.

*Pat Burrell continues to hit well and with his 2nd half resurgence is piecing together an acceptable season.

*Adam Eaton returns from the DL tonight...oh wait, I was being positive, scratch that.

*For fun, flashback to this Tag Team Tuesday, where I featured Chase Utley and Ryan Howard as MLB's equivalent to the WWF's Legion of Doom.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kentucky Fried Phillies

I was in Philadelphia this weekend on a "weekend getaway" type visit, and because it was supposed to be a relaxing trip, I refrained from hopping on the Orange Line to catch one of the debacles down in south Philly. I did watch a good bit of Phillies action though. Problem is, the freaking Doubletree charged 10 bucks a day for internet access so I wasn't able to throw down any words until now. Here is my take on the weekend action.

First, Milton Bradley. Lots of things can be said about his actions on Friday and Saturday. Words like arrogant, selfish, inappropriate and disrespectful come to mind. But regardless of what you, I or anybody else thinks about his infuriating performance, what he did do was come in to Citizens Bank Park and dominate. He made Philadelphia - the fans, the team, the cheesesteaks, everything - his bitch. I wouldn't want Bradley on my team, but just once I would love to have a Phillie stick it in the face of the opposing team like that. Was there any doubt the Padres would win the game after his 8th inning shot? No way. Bradley had won it with his bat and his mouth.

Of course, Bradley can pose and jabber all he wants, because the Phils aren't going to stop him. The title of this post isn't in reference to the Phils' playoff chances, but rather their unwillingness to stick one in Bradley's ribs. With two outs in the top of the 5th and the Phils holding a 10 run lead, Bradley flew out to centerfield. No way should he have gotten a chance to swing. The Padres made sure to impress upon Carlos Ruiz their feelings about his slide into second on Friday, yet Bradley's actions go unpunished. It shows a lack of heart, a lack of fight, and a lack of leadership. I don't mean to bring up 1993 for every topic, but would this have happened then? Would Hollins, Kruk, or Daulton be satisfied by the Phils' response? Probably not, they would be as disappointed as I am now..
Bob Ford Is Retarded
Bob Ford, "writer" for the Inquirer, is described on their website as a "general assignment writer with a specialty in Olympic sports." I think they meant to write that he participates in Special Olympics, because Bob wrote a piece for Sunday called, "Believe it: Manuel is manager of the year," that is truly "special." Here are the reasons Ford gives for Manuel as Manager of the Year:

1. He has "[held] together a team that should be splintered and sinking."
2. "They have played every game hard."

That's it. Twenty paragraphs. One thousand words. Two crappy arguments. One giant cliche.

His points against Manuel are better. "Charlie Manuel hasn't become more adept this season at public speaking. He hasn't trimmed the wild hairs of his in-game strategies...He hasn't challenged his team publicly." So he's an unintelligent, poor game manager who's laissez-faire attitude has seemingly created a team susceptible to intimidation without the fire and fortitude to fight back? Okay, I buy that a little more.

And just in case you do see how ridiculous his article is and may want to disagree, Ford preempts your alternate viewpoint by mocking you. He says, "This won't sit well with the howling hyenas of this town, who, right this moment, have gone to the kitchen drawer to find crayons so they can scrawl their e-mails on the screen of mom's computer." What a pompous ass. What's worse than insulting your readers, is recycling an old blond joke (white out on computer screen, yadda, yadda...) to do it. Weak, Bob, very weak.
Also from the Inquirer: "General manager Pat Gillick said the Phils had no interest in the Braves' Bob Wickman (3-3, 3.92 ERA, 20 saves in 26 chances) or the Dodgers' Brett Tomko, who were designated for assignment. "We just can't fit them on our roster," Gillick said." Is Wickman better than Tom Gordon? Yes. Okay, found a spot for him. Seriously though, they can't find a roster spot for a veteran reliever with a sub-4 ERA and a chip on his shoulder? Is John Ennis that valuable? I just don't get it.


Seething Sunday

*Did I miss something, but when the hell did Brett Myers become one of the elite closers of the Majors? I'm tired of Phils announcers and commenters on blogs suggesting this. I don't know about the rest of you, but I reserve that distinction for the likes of Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez, Billy Wagner, Trevor Hoffman, and a few others...not Brett Myers. Myers and his 5.10 era and career 12 saves do not belong in the same sentence as the above closers. I understand Brett is probably this teams' best option at closer right now, but he doesn't belong there, he's a starter and should be starting. Myers seems too wrapped up in the image of being a closer (ridiculous facial hair, what music he comes out to) instead of just focusing on getting batters out. Also, since going to relief he tries to strike everyone out, and that leads to over-pitching and hanging some pitches that then become meatballs in the seats. After last night's debacle Brett took his frustration out on a reporter, calling the homeruns "pop ups" and the reporter questioning him a "retard" and had to be restrained by Pat Burrell...Myers' wife was thankful.

*Speaking of retards- Charles Fuqua Manuel, one of the highest paid R-Tards in America, showed once again last night why he is indeed stupid. He pulled Kyle Lohse after only 84 pitches of 1-run ball in the bottom of the 7th. He must think he can defy the law of averages because relying on our bullpen to get that many outs is crazy. If you limit the amount of outs the bullpen needs to get in a game you then lower the amount of chances they have to screw up. I understand this, why can't someone on the Phils coaching staff?! Why the hell did he HAVE to pitch Tom Gordon in the 8th? "I liked Romero there and we had our bullpen set up," Manuel said. *What exactly was our "bullpen set up" to do...blow the f'n lead?! While I'm bitching about Fuqua, why the hell did he pinch run Nunez for Burrell? The stupidity never ceases.

*I'm not a fan of violence unless it's funny- like senseless beating of bums (just kidding), but Milton Bradley deserves a pitch in the ear-hole of his helmet. His theatrics during this homestand have been appalling. He has talent and his homeruns have been shots, but the whipping of the bat, bowing, trash talking, and all other nonsense needs to stop. He had this to say in his defense, "I'm just having fun. They're telling me I'm no good, I'm telling them I am that good. It feels good to come through and help this team win. I'm not trying to entice the crowd. I'm just living in the moment. This has the atmosphere of a playoff game and I love that. I'm at my best in situations like that." Note to Milton- shut the F up, after all it's only a game.

*Did anybody else hear the ump yell, "That f**king ball was down!", to the Padres bench? Classy move boy in blue, real upstanding guy you are.

*After watching the bullpen implode yet again, and witnessing the lineup strand 726 runners yet again, and painfully sitting through our manager making dumbass decisions yet again, here's my solution...


Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Game That Never Was

That was truly a beautiful game of baseball last night with two crafty veterans pitching for two teams in the thick of the playoff race. Luckily for Philly, Grand Pappy Moyer came out with the upperhand over Greg Maddux, as the Phils beat the Padres 8-2 pulling within 1 game of the NL Wild Card. Ryan Howard finally was awakened from his prolonged slump with 2 homeruns and 3 rbi. Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell contributed solo shots, while Shane Victorino had a pair of rbi, in what was an excellent display of offensive execution from the lineup top to bottom. Moyer went 7 strong innings while allowing 2 runs, and then 6-Finger-Ant came in for the final 2 innings and pitched brilliantly...then I woke up and saw the Phils lost 14-3 to the offensively challenged Padres. I guess this answers the question about the battle of the flawed- crappy hitting beats crappy pitching. Phils are now 3 games back of the Wild Card and playing some of their worst baseball of the season. Hope is disappearing and desperation is setting in while the chokers are rearing their ugly heads once again.

Clubhouse leader and Mensa member Charlie Manuel had this to say following the defeat, "We got to win some games. Everybody in the clubhouse knows that. We're playing the teams we have to catch. When they're beating you, no good can come from that." *He's so smart that he makes me feel like a lesser being. How does he come up with these clever quotes?

By the way, for those of you keeping count like me, that was the 14th time this season that our prestigious and highly lauded pitching staff has surrendered a 10 Spot.


All the Difference:
*With the various 173 disabled players the Phillies currently have on the DL naturally someone would be doing a rehab. Spotlight of Chase Utley and Adam Eaton as they each played for Double A Reading last night. Utley is a difference maker and was possibly on his way to this season's MVP award until and errant pitch broke his hand and put him out of action for a month. He went 1-6 in the double header, and as much as I love Chase, I'm afraid the Phils are digging themselves into a hole that even he can't get them out of. Then there's Adam Eaton, who went 2 innings and gave up 2 runs...sounds like what he does at the MLB level. In fact when Sarge saw Eaton's line he laughed and said, "Well, looks like he's already back in form."...damn, got dissed by Sarge! Honestly, Eaton will fit in perfectly with our current rotation as it's arguably the worst in baseball.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Phillies Phlashback Phriday: Mel Roach

The Phillies performance against the Pirates and Dodgers really bugged me. The defense had more holes in it than mosquito netting, the pitching was about as effective as Dollar Store bug repellent, and the offense seemed to be in their cocoon stage of their metamorphosis from awesome to crappy. Speaking of bugs I recently flashed back in time on a Monday rather than Friday, because of an episode of My Boys showing a brief glimpse of a 1962 Mel Roach card. Mel Roach wasn't good, in fact he was bad. He looked goofy and had a goofy last name...possibly why he got an obscure reference on a tv show. Mel Roach's life-time stats are good for a laugh much like the comedy series My Boys (I recommend- Mondays at 10 on TBS). Roach started his career in Milwaukee in 1953, where he played until getting traded mid-season to the Cubs in '61. His stay in Chicago was brief as he went on to end his career as a Phillie in '62 when he batted .190. With a .190 batting average, you may think the Phils got the shaft, but Roach actually stunk his entire career- 8 seasons with only 119 hits and a .238 average while playing some outfield and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base. Essentially he's utterly forgettable except for that name.

Papa Roach offers these calming lyrics for a tortured Phillies Phan's soul.
Cut my life into pieces,
I've reached my last resort.
Suffocation, no breathing,
Don't give a f**k if I cut my arms bleeding.
Would it be wrong, would it be right?
If I took my life tonight, chance are that I might.
Mutilation out of sight,
and I'm contemplating suicide.
Cause I'm losing my sight, losing my mind .
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine.
Nothing's alright, nothing is fine!


*Despite playing terribly over the last two series, the Phils still remain in contention. They are 5 games back of the Mets in the NL East, and 2 games back of the Padres for the Wild Card. No doubt they've screwed themselves lately, but they have an opportunity to make up ground with a weekend series at the Cit with San Diego. In my opinion, our only hope at the playoffs is via the wild card, so this series could determine the fate of our season.

*Chase Utley begins his rehab assignment for Reading tonight, but I'm not counting on him to save this team. I don't think inserting a rusty or even blazing hot Utley into this lineup is going to fix Ryan Howard and his clueless approach at the plate. I know Chase doesn't pitch, so his return doesn't change the fact that we're screwed with the worst starting rotation in baseball and a pile of poop for a bullpen to boot. I'm glad Chase is coming back, but there's a lot wrong with this team right now that even the team MVP can't change.

*Following 5 innings of 1-run ball, thee Model Dictator Fabio Castro was optioned back down to Ottawa for Brian Sanches...oh, playoffs here we come!


Thirsty Thursday

For this week's Thirsty Thursday post, I decided to feature two players who figured prominently in last night's total crapfest. One good, one not so much...

Chris Coste - Miller High Life - Deciding which player I would assign the High Life to was a tough call. I'm a High Life Soldier and appreciate the Champagne of Beers to the utmost, so not just any player would be deserving. After deliberation, I chose Coste, and here's why. I feel the High Life may be the most underappreciated beer around. You'll hardly ever find it on tap. It's even tough to find a bottle of it at the local watering hole. It's openly put down and mocked by beer drinkers "in the know" (represented in this analogy by Pat Gillick) as inferior. Yet, when it's hot outside and you've been playing golf, lounging on the deck, or busting your tail with a "honey-do" list, nothing is more refeshing than a longneck Miller. It never disappoints. Also, it won't kill your budget, as a case could run you as cheap as $11 or $12. High Life at Genesee and Schaeffer prices, although you won't pay much, you get a superior product. That is Chris Coste, an underappreciated, productive, inexpensive American product that is loved by true fans.

Jose Mesa - Colt 45 - My friend Gut once said to me, "Colt 45 makes you angry. You drink that stuff, you might end up fighting somebody." Well, that's kind of how I feel when Joe Table comes jogging in from the bullpen, a little bit angry and definitely ready to fight someboy. And don't believe a word Billy Dee Williams says about the Colt in the commercial below. He sold out his boy Han Solo and gave him up to Boba Fett. For what, Cloud City? Not a man to be trusted. [Also, if I were casting Return of the Jedi with Phillies, Mesa would get the part of Lando.]


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Camels, Metacarpals and Lies

The straw that stirs the drink, may have just broke the camel's back.

There are no positives to take from the news that King Cole Hamels will be getting an MRI today for a sore elbow and is likely headed to the DL. He joins Brett Myers (bullpen/shoulder), Donut Eater (random Bear Claw injury), Chief Garcia (shoulder), and Adam Eaton (fake injury) as starting pitchers lost from the rotation.

The extent of the injury will obviously not be known until after the MRI. But what we do know is that our Wild Card hopes now rest with Kyle Lohser, JD Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, an 87 year old Jamie Moyer and...JA Happ? Fabio Castro?

Manuel's words of wisdom? "I think he's going to be OK, really. Stuff like this is kind of natural." Oh, well, I feel better then...
Other Injury News
Chase Utley's metacarpal must be healing nicely. The AP reported that he took BP and is looking for a return to the lineup next week. In the report, they had this funny little exchange between Chase and the skipper.

Utley: "Put me in the lineup!"
Manuel: "Yeah, he's in the lineup. He's hitting 10th."

What a master of wit and humor. He should have his own blog...

Other updates from the article: Shane Victorino (calf) could rejoin the team on Wednesday; OF Michael Bourn (ankle) might be back in two-to-three weeks; LHP Mike Zagurski (hamstring) is likely out for the season; RHP Ryan Madson (shoulder) might return for the final week of the season; and RHP Adam Eaton (shoulder) will throw in a bullpen session on Wednesday.
Gavin Eaton
Eaton may throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. Hamels has arm pain and the "injured" Eaton is throwing in the pen the next day. Hmmm, I'm starting to think he may not have been hurt as bad as they say. They wouldn't have made up an injury to take a struggling pitcher out of the rotation, would they? Maybe his arm has hypochondriosis. If Myers' arm can talk, Eaton's could fake an injury. Or maybe the Phillies have Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy. Gavin von Munchhausen, I like the ring of that one...


Monday, August 20, 2007

Phillies Make Me Crazy

A man with spare time is a dangerous thing. A Phillies fan with a blog of his own and spare time is almost scary. Without further ado, I bring to you...

All right stop collaborate and listen.
GM-Carson is back with my brand new edition.
Phillies got a hold of me tightly,
Seem to be losing both daily and nightly.
Will it ever stop? Yo, I don't know.
We do have a manager that is a bit slow.
To the extreme I rock a keyboard like a vandal.
Light up a monitor and wax Gillick like a candle.
Rant, go rush to the stadium and boo.
They're killing playoff dreams like a poisonous mushroom.
Deadly when you hear Nunez's at bat melody.
Better hope Myers doesn't commit another felony.
Love 'em or leave 'em, Alfonseca keeps gaining weight.
You better close your eyes, because some of them can't play.
If there was a problem, Yo I'll solve it.
Check out the hook while DJ Corey revolves it.

We should be GM's baby...too true, too true!

The Phillies make me crazy, that's the only explanation I can offer for this.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Phils Get Phucco'd

Phucco Matt Kata got a HUGE three-run, 2-out double in the 7th inning to bring the Buccos within a run. The Pirates then rattled off 3 more hits for 4 more runs against Romero and Alfonseca, the best (ugh) the Phils have to offer in the 7th/8th innings.

I'm not blaming the loss on Fuqua, but...

He again used three defensive substitutions before the 7th inning. And one of them, leftfielder Jayson Werth, fielded a hard hit single off the bat of Xavier Nady but was unable to even throw a ball home as the second runner scored uncontested from second. What a defensive substitution that was.

Fuqua was able to use every bench player except the backup catcher before the end of the 8th inning. With a bullpen as bad as the Phillies, is it so hard for Manuel to comprehend that the opposition may score 4 runs in 3 innings? Using up the majority of the bench in situations like this is inexcusable. It didn't cost the win this time, but it didn't help the cause and it's not good baseball.
Back to 1 game behind in the Wild Card after a San Diego win. Up next is a big homestand with LA, NYM and SD coming to town. Losing 2 of 3 to Pittsburgh (somebody predicted that before the series...) is painful. Not taking the series against a last place squad is not the best way to make the playoffs. In fact, it's a very bad way to make the playoffs. .500 on this homestand won't cut it. It's a lot to ask, but they need to win each series, with obvious special emphasis on the SD games.