Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Check Your Head: Jason Weitzel of BeerLeaguer

Corey and I are looking for some inventive and interesting ways to waste time this offseason in between speculation of trades, free agents, and the Rule V draft. Therefore, I brewed up the idea of doing some interviews this offseason. First on the docket is writer of Phillies super-blog BeerLeaguer, Jason Weitzel, as he was kind enough to do an interview with yours truly...

1. Statistics aside, who is your favorite Phillies non-superstar of the past?
Dave Hollins, without hesitation. My favorite Phil from the ’93 team. Named to the All-Star team and did a lot of things right besides brute force, like base-running and drawing walks. Great intensity. An understated, tough intimidator. Stone hands at third, but certainly one of the key components of the pennant winning team. Greg Gross was another childhood favorite.

2. Why in the hell are you a Phillies fan anyway?
Geography. Grew up on the mean streets of Reading for six years, then moved east to Kutztown through high school. Reading is a Phillies town second only to Philadelphia, but in eastern Berks, you're a stone's throw from Yankees territory. If I grew up just 15 minutes east, our antenna would have picked up channel 11 and I would have latched on to the Yankees during the 80's. Admittedly, I probably followed the Yanks as closely for one or two seasons at a time when the Phils gave fans Phil Bradley and such.

3. Since you are the BeerLeaguer administrator, what beers fit the occasions of a) horrific Phillies loss, b) losing streak, c) Blowout victory, and d) playoffs?
I'm more of a wine drinker, so I'll give you a few options. Jacob's Creek is a nice, full-bodied Shiraz to drown out the horrific losses quickly and it is always on special at State stores. For losing streaks, stock your fridge with a case of Lionshead pilsner, because it's a cheap, decent beer and made locally in Scranton. It's not good enough to truly enjoy, just like the dog days of a losing streak. It's the Jason Michaels of beer. Just OK and affordable. Let's do winning streaks - How about Straub? It's very flavorful, made with fresh ingredients, local and won't knock you on your can, so you can keep drinking during the win streak and pay attention/blog at the same time. Makes you pay attention. Taste is too good to ignore. For a blowout victory, it would need to be something cheap and plentiful - my favorite light beer is Bud Light (most people, in my experience, prefer Miller Light). Playoffs - I'd have to go with Dogfish Head, the best beer served at Citizens Bank Park.

4. Discuss the evolution of BeerLeaguer and your desire to conquer the Internet.
I don't know where the readers came from, but they found it and stayed. You have to put in the work, but longevity and a good clientele is a key. Another key is to write in a journalistic way. It gains trust. I'll let my personality shine through selectively. I'm playing straight man to the comedians in the comments thread, basically. Oh, and those comedians know their stuff. That doesn’t hurt, either.

5. What is your honest opinion of our Special Olympics manager, Uncle R-Tard?
A super nice R-Tard whose passion for baseball clearly rubs off on the team. Sometimes I get a feeling he has pretty good baseball instincts, but a gut reaction alone isn't good enough, as we saw in the NLDS. He's 2/3 of the way there. He keeps his players lose and keeps the focus on the field. That's one part. The other part is baseball street smarts – which he has when it comes to hitting. I watch him behind the cage in batting practice and I know he has the pulse of his hitters. The results would back it up. Offensively, the Phils are hard to beat. The downside is he lacks technical execution and understanding of his opponent, and he isn't the best handler of pitchers.

6. What is your favorite aspect of baseball- pitching, offense, or defense?
I'm becoming more and more drawn to relief pitching, how it works, where good relievers come from and who makes the ideal reliever. The Myers to the pen debate was a top attraction on Beerleaguer. We're seeing an evolution in middle relief. It's not good enough to hand the ball to the Clay Condreys of the world and expect success. Baseball's new middle relievers are often top prospects with pretty good stuff, or guys who could just as easily be starters.

7. Describe your overall impression/opinion of the Phillies fanbase.
The level of mistrust toward Phillies ownership is what stands out most. It's practically universal. Out at the park, you find a mixed bag: Drunk meat heads, families who treat games like a day at the beach, old codgers, etc. But all of them -- to a man -- has no love loss for this ownership. The greatest trend is a growing love for the players. They love this group. And they love the park.

8. Give Patty G a rating on a 1-10 scale (11 being the highest) of the job you think he's done thus far.
Probably a 4. His offseason was a worse mess than 2006, between Lieber, Eaton, Garcia and neglecting the bullpen the way he did. I'd give him points for Rowand, Moyer, Iguchi, Dobbs, Utley's contract, but how much praise should we really give him for someone like Iguchi? Kenny Williams threw him a bone there. Romero was a move born out of a desperation he created. He's been a below average GM for two seasons. Not useless, not failing, but in danger of it.

9. What are your other favorite Phillies related sites to frequent?
The standards - all linked on Beerleaguer. Philly.com is the first place I check for news, then go from there. *Of course WSBGM's is good for a laugh and an interesting perspective, plus Carson & Corey are comical baseball geniuses.

*=Not actually part of Weitzel's answer, but implied.



GM-Carson said...

As reported by MLBTradeRumors.com, here is Curt Schilling's "short" list of teams he'd consider pitching for in '08-
Red Sox

SirAlden said...


SirAlden said...

"Riske had a 2.45 ERA, four saves and a 1-4 record in 65 appearances primarily in a set-up role.

Signed last year as a free agent, Riske had his customarily rocky April with a 6.97 ERA in his first 10 games. Then he reeled off 18 straight scoreless innings and was tough the rest of the season."

Have him come to work in May.

GM-Carson said...

I'd like David Riske on our staff, perfect 8th inning guy in my opinion. That would push Gordon to the 7th inning, and then I suppose Myers still as closer, although I'm holding out hope we acquire a closer via trade or free agency.

SirAlden said...


Lefty from the Organization
Righty from the Organization

GM-Carson said...

Shopping list- set up man, left handed specialist, closer or starting pitcher.

We need a solid guy for the 8th inning (the 1st closer if you will), and someone who can get out left-handed batters consistently. A closer would mean Myers can go to the rotation with Hamels, Moyer, Kendrick, and unfortunately Eaton, or acquiring a starter would mean Myers stays at closer.

An every day 3rd baseman is needed as well. I'm not looking for a superstar, but he will need to be able to handle the stick and glove adequately.

furiousBall said...

Please Patty, no Geoff Jenkins.

GM-Carson said...

FuriousBall- why no Geoff Jenkins? He would make an excellent platoon partner with Jayson Werth in RF. Let Rowand and his big contract complaints leave, and put Victorino in CF, keep Burrell in LF, platoon Jenkins/Werth with Bourn used as trade bait or pinch-runner/pinch-hitter.

Jacobin said...

Yes, that's not really a short list. I'm glad to see Curt is really focused on where he would like to continue his career.

GM-Carson said...

Ruben Amaro Jr. said they are keeping dialogue open with Abraham Nunez and Antonio Alfonseca. The Phillies have no real utility infielders in their organization, so they will need somebody to replace Nunez, who can play second, third and shortstop.

*Oh my god, please stop the insanity! No-Hit does not need to come back. In the NL you need guys that can pinch-hit, Nunez has PROVEN to be absolutely horrible in that aspect of the game, I literally hate him!

SirAlden said...

Shopping list- set up man, left handed specialist, closer AND starting pitcher.

SirAlden said...

Shopping list- 3rd Baseman, Lefthanded Platoon Rightfielder, any Bench Middle infielder aside from he who shall remain nameless.

If you keep mentioning his name GM-Carson you will messing with the hex and he will be resigned. be careful.

Bob D said...

Yes Carson definitely broke some blogging law with mentioning that name. If he resigns we will blame it on Carson and not Gillick. I'd rather have some rule 5 draftee or a non-tneder guy.

shopping list: Closer, set-up RP, SP, OF, RP, middle IF, bread, milk eggs, tobasco sauce, and dog food.

furiousBall said...

Jenkins is Russell Branyan except more expensive - no glove, lots of Ks, decent power.

Los said...

The Phillies fans have every right to mistrust management ... we really haven't had much good management in our entire history, with the exception of the late 70's and early 80's.

SirAlden said...

Correct LOS but make it from 1972-83.

GM-Carson said...

And there you have the "City of Brotherly Love"...quite poetic.

Where's BloodStripes?