Monday, April 30, 2007

Hooray for Grand Pappy Moyer

Good golly, Buddy Holly! Jamie Moyer is our staff ace? In fact he currently is, as he's the only one that we can trust to give us a quality start every time he takes the mound. Yesterday he pitched 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Marlins and finished the day with 7 1/3 scoreless innings with only 2 hits surrendered and 5 strikeouts...added bonus 2-3 with a double at the plate (picture above shows him gliding around the bases). Overall stats- 3 wins, 34 IP, 24 K, 2.65 ERA, and a 1.15 WHIP with amazingly only 1 homerun given up. I don't care if he's 44 years old or 24 years old, the man knows how to pitch.

Coming through in a pinch- Greg Dobbs. The Phillies were 2 for their last 3,298 at bats with the bases loaded before Dobbs hit a bases clearing double in the 8th inning to give the Phils some breathing room. It may have not seemed like a big deal, but it may have meant the difference between seeing Alfonseca and another blown save in the making by Tom Gordon.

Jayson Werth has been getting a lot of criticism throughout the Phils blogsphere, but he really hasn't been that bad. He already has 4 pinch hits, made a nice run saving catch in the alley yesterday, and has been performing well for a bench player. I still don't agree with guaranteeing 1 million dollars to a player coming off a season and a half of injury, but he's our best bench player right now, so maybe we should cut him some slack. Then again, my wife says he looks skeezy...does kind of look like a scuzzball doesn't he?

Donut-Eater tries to start another winning streak tonight against the Braves and the Hotlanta starter Tim Hudson. Lieber has pitched marvelous in his 2 starts this year giving up only 2 runs in 11 2/3 innings, and his overall ERA is 3.21 with a sparkling .93 WHIP. Hudson has been very impressive, coming into the game with a 1.22 ERA, .97 WHIP, and 3 wins. Pitchers duel? I'm going with the Donut King, so scarf down a couple jelly-filled pastries for our brother-in-arms this morning.

~Carson

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Where Are They Now?

We are almost a month into the season, I thought it would be interesting to see where some players are who helped (or hurt) the Phillies cause the last few years.

Bobby Abreu - Abreu continues to suck at hitting homeruns. He has 1 in 21 games. Of course, looks like now he sucks at hitting (.262) and although it might be blasphemy to say, getting on base also(OBP of .363.) He has the hottest hitter in baseball (A-Rod), a former AL MVP (Giambi), a former Japanese league MVP (Matsui), and two other All-Stars (Cano and Posada) hitting behind him, and that is all he can do. If this continues, it could get ugly for Abreu. Luckily he handles fan criticism well...

Gavin Floyd - Speaking of calm under pressure...former Phillie phlunky Floyd is 1-1 with a 3.24 EAR for the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox AAA squad. He has 25 K's to 10 BB. Pretty good numbers. Luckily for Chicago, Floyd's AAA numbers usually translated well into the Majors...

Tomas Perez - Perez has landed in the Dodgers oragnization with the Las Vegas 51's and continues to do what he does: provide middle infield versatility, switch-batting (like Abe Nunez, I will not call him a switch-hitter), and the occasional pie-in-the-eye. Basically, he's worthless.

Marlon Byrd - Let's continue our trip through AAA and stop off in Oklahoma City, where Byrd roams the outfield for the Redhawks. So far this year, Byrd is hitting .344-0-6 with 3 steals. When Byrd hit .303 for the Phils in '03, after he hit .297 for the Red Barons in '02 and was Eastern League MVP in '01, I thought he was the centerfielder of the future for the Phils. Then he hit .228, got traded to the Nationals (for Endy Chavez, ugh) and is now wasting away in Oklahoma. What a disappointment.

Tim Worrell - after a temultuous (for whatever reason) half year with the Phils, Worrell took his 7.41 ERA on leave for "personal reason." Basically, he took the "Operation Shutdown" for mental midgets, now referred to as the "Greinke Holiday." Worrell is out of baseball now, but has opened the "Tim Worrell Rehabilitation Center For Overpaid Relief Pitchers Who Have Lame Excuses For High ERA's" in his hometown of Pasadena, California. Mariano Rivera checked in 2 nights ago...

Amaury Telemaco - I have no idea where Tele is. If anyone has seen Tele around, let me know.

Sal Fasano - I feel your loss, Syracuse. Ol' Sal was hitting .317 with 5 homers (all solo, by the way) before he was recently called up to replace Greg Zaun. The International League and upstate New York just lost one hell of a mustache...and to Canada, of all places. They'll understand the mullet, but the goatee may confuse them (Party in the back and the front?)
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Last Nights Game
It's 7:36, I'm typing my post now, and the game is over. Thanks Eaton, you piece of crap.

Geez, it's too bad the Phils don't have a potential front end starter, maybe hard throwing with a good curve, sitting in the bullpen pitching in the seventh inning and in 7 run ballgames, to replace the garbage-chucker Eaton...

Corey

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Former Phillie and current St. Louis Cardinal, Josh Hancock, was killed in an automobile accident early Sunday morning, he was 29 years old. He was acquired from Boston for Jeremy Giambi, and after 2 seasons in Philly, traded to the Reds for Todd Jones. He has pitched, mostly in relief, for the Red Sox, Phillies, Reds, and Cardinals over his 6 seasons (all teams that wear red). Career stats- 9 wins, 102 games, 177 2/3 IP, 110 K, 4.20 ERA, and a 1.32 WHIP. R.I.P.

~Carson

WSBGM's Salute: Aaron Rowand

Aaron Rowand is on fire! Well, not literally, but he probably would run through flames to catch a baseball. The man is still idolized by some in Philly for "the catch", and that is something I will never forget. During the offseason, Rowand's stock plummeted and fans were hoping Gillick could spin him into a setup man, namely Scott Linebrink. I'm here to admit my wrongfulness and apologize to Rowand, as this team obviously needs him right now. He's had nicknames such as Fence-Face and A-Row, but today he's going as Long Neck.

Long Neck is an term of endearment, as I am on the Aaron Rowand bandwagon. The man has no shoulders and is shaped like and arrowhead, but right now that neck of his has superhero-like strength. He is batting .390 with 5 homeruns and a Bonds-esque 1.109 OPS. I do not expect him to flirt with the Splendid Splinter's, Ted Williams, .400 mark, but he has had a similar season of excellence at the plate before ('04- .310 AVG, 24 HR, .905 OPS). We all know about his defense, and the hype is actually better than the real thing, but he is a good center fielder instinctively. His lack of shoulders leads to a lack of arm strength, but hey, Lenny Dykstra's arm sucked too.

Long neck bottle, let go of my hand.
Hey jukebox don't start playing that song again.
'Cause there's a girl at home who loves me.
You know she won't understand.
Long neck bottle, let go of my hand.
(Garth Brooks)

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Kickin' Mad Flava In Ya Ear:

*Homeruns: Utley 5 + Howard 3 + Burrell 1= 9. Jimmy Rollins 9...holy shiitake mushrooms!

*Tom Gordon- 3 blown saves, 5.40 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, .333 AVG against. Don't let him Joe Table our season.

*Has Ryan Madson found his niche in the bullpen, or is this the calm before the storm? 3.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .243 AVG against, and unscored upon in last 8 2/3 innings pitched.

*Carlos Ruiz for NL Rookie of the Year- .322 AVG, 10 RBI, .819 OPS. I said if given the opportunity to start, he would be a future All-Star. Probably not this season, but Chooch can hit, and that's huge for a catcher.

*Pittsburgh is above .500 (11-10). The Buccos continue to get excellent pitching from some of their starters, as Ian Snell pitched 7 scoreless frames last night to lower his ERA to 1.59. I know the Pirates won't be an offense powerhouse by any means, but their offense will improve, and when it does this club might be able to contend in that weak NL Central.

*D-Train vs. Eaton Beaver...Phils win 'cause I say so.

~Carson

Friday, April 27, 2007

Promote and Demote

Promote- Fabio Castro. The Legend & Lore of Thee Model Dictator is set to return to the City of Brotherly Love. We desperately need a lefty in the 'pen that can throw strikes and get batters out with more regularity than someone who has been on a 3-day cheese eating binge.

Demote- Matt Smith. The Ace of Walks struggles have been well documented on this blog. I truly hope he goes to Ottawa, works on his pitching mechanics, rediscovers his release point, and finds his way back to Philly because he does have decent pitches, just no control over them right now.

Promote- Chris Coste. Look at this goofy North Dakotan. We need a a respectable backup catcher to compliment Chooch Ruiz, and one that batted .328 as a rookie would seem like a perfect fit to me. Then again, I'm only a self-proclaimed GM, Patty G makes the real decisions unfortunately. How much longer must we wait for our Disney trademarked boy to make his return to the Bigs?

Demote- Rod Barajas. Mr. Anti-Hit is batting a buck-sixty with an Abe Nunez-like .504 OPS. Why the hell did we sign this guy again? Oh yeah, Gillick is a top-notch talent evaluator, much like Wheeler is a Hall-of-Fame bound broadcaster...spare me!

Demote- Abe Nunez aka No-Hit Nunez or Bag-of-Crap-Nuni (that's a new one). This man gets less hits than a hand of 21 in a game of blackjack. Then again, Manuel would probably split and hit that...he's not very good with numbers.

Promote- Pie Guy. Everyone loves Tomas Perez, because everyone loves to get white creamy stuff splattered all over their face...wait, what?

Don't push me, 'cuz I'm close to the edge. I'm trying not to lose my head.

~Carson

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Alfonseca has got it covered

The typical person would be unable to count past 5 on one hand. Have no fear, Antonio Alfonseca is here. Our plump setup man is ready to break out Finger #6. This afternoon Cole Hamels and company take the field at the Cit in an attempt to complete their first sweep of the season, extending the winning streak to 6 games. So, get ready for the ungodly looking extra digit to be waved in the air after the Phils are victorious. Hell, Alfonseca has enough fingers and toes to count up to 24...now that's a winning streak!

From commenter Jacobin- "Coming up with something for six shouldn't be that hard, I mean there are plenty of things containing or relating to the number six. Six is Bert's favorite number (from Sesame Street). According to Genesis, God created man on the sixth day. James Bond is part of MI6. A coffin is traditionally buried six feet under the ground. There are six dots in a braille cell. Six degrees of separation...or six degrees of Philadelphian Kevin Bacon. There are six Australian states (for our Aussie Phillies fan). The Latin prefix for six is SEX!!! But perhaps the two most important sixes to Phillies fans would be a SIX PACK (as in beers to consume in the parking lot of CBP) and our number SIX- Ryan Howard."

Thanks for the number six references, as I was going to stick with the lame gimmick razor joke, because the Fusion actually does have a 6th blade. Anyway, I don't care that the Phils are playing lesser competition during this current 5 game ride, wins are wins, and they need plenty of them. Lets take a look at 6 positives- Utley now has 13 doubles and 5 hits last night, Rollins has 8 homeruns, Rowand is batting .365 and Burrell .344, Lieber has only given up 2 runs in 2 starts, and the bullpen is improving.

Another positive, our #6 is starting to stay on the ball when he swings and that means hits and most importantly homeruns will follow. I've seen a different Ryan Howard since returning from the 3-day break. He's made some nice defensive plays and his approach at the plate seems more disciplined. When this offense has Utley and Howard clicking in the middle with the others doing their jobs...yikes!

The Phightins' record stands at 9-11, meaning a winning April is still possible. I'm not crazy enough to think it will actually happen, but it sure would be sweet. A week ago I was worried about being 10 games out of the NL East lead by mid-May, but things are turning around. Fact remains that the Phils dug themselves into a big hole early and now have to keep winning by playing fundamentally sound baseball in order to get out.

Speaking of getting out of a hole...the Phils need to bury their competition in one. Through the first couple weeks of the season, the Phils had one foot in the grave, but now have done a Lazarus act, so our attention is on putting the opponent six feet deep...and Cole Hamels is the henchman sent to do the execution today.

Walkie-Talkie:
Matt Smith is the Ace of Walks. Every time he takes the mound his stats worsen, now standing at 9 games, 4 IP, 11 walks, 3.75 WHIP, and 11.25 ERA...Oh Canada! That's right, he should be immediately optioned to Ottawa to work out his control problem, because right now he makes me sick. His erratic-ness is not limited to the strike zone, as he botched an easy double play by almost throwing the ball into centerfield...thankfully J-Roll was able to at least get the out at 2nd. In a more positive walking fashion, Adam LaRoche came through with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 16th inning to help the Pirates win.

~Carson

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quattro Ok, Fusion Better

Smart base running, solid defense, decent pitching, and timely hitting will win you ball games. Case in point, the Phillies 6-3 win over the Nationals last night. Chase Utley and Pat Burrell read a looping liner to center off the bat of Wes Helms to score from 2nd and 1st respectively (Burrell forced a throwing error). Helms also played some sparkling defense at 3rd last night (even with his error) and Ryan Howard made a nice grab on a ball down the 1st base line in the 9th. There was nothing spectacular about Grand Pappy Moyer's 6 innings of 3 run ball last night, but it kept his team in the game, and Ryan Madson, Antonio Alfonseca, and Tom Gordon came on in relief to shutdown Washington's offense. Aaron Rowand had a 2-out RBI double and a game tying homerun, and as mentioned above Helms has the single that gave the Phils the lead and Chooch Ruiz followed him up with an RBI single of his own. That my friends is good baseball, and it's a beautiful thing to watch. Yesterday the Phils accomplished Quattro, but it's time to graduate to the Gillette Fusion 5-blade system...feels so good.

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Splendid Smatterings:
*Patty G has been taking a lot of flak from Phillies fans, and rightfully so, but last night was a showcase of two good things he has done- Jamie Moyer and Antonio Alfonseca. We all know Moyer is a consistent starting pitcher, but his clubhouse presence and tutoring of the pitching staff is one of those unmeasurable intangibles that needs to mentioned. 6-Fingered-Ant is turning into the setup man we desperately need- .94 WHIP and .77 ERA.

*The Phils record is now 8-11, still not good, but improving nonetheless. The crazy thing about how crappy this season started is that they technically can still leave April with a winning record or at least a better record than their past 2 Aprils (10-14).

*The Pirates (8-10) are scuffling along too, but in the weak NL Central anything is possible. They've gotten some nice pitching performances from some of their young starters (Tom Gorzelanny, Paul Maholm, and Ian Snell) that have gone wasted due to lack of offense. Power pickup Adam LaRoche apparently hasn't gotten his shipment of bats from his former team Atlanta yet because he's batting an Abe Nunez like .098...ouch!

*There are rumblings that Ace of Walks, Matt Smith, may be optioned to Ottawa with Thee Model Dictator being summoned. If indeed Fabio Castro is in the bullpen when the WSBGM's tailgate/game takes place, we need to get long blond wigs, cigars, and military green caps to form his fan club...do you think Harry Kalas, Chris Wheeler, or Sarge will get the joke/reference?

*Speaking of Sarge, he hit an all-time low last night. We all know the man can't pronounce names (J-Row, Mo-Zis Alou), but he was questioning Manuel's reasoning for bunting Nunez, thinking the Phils took the lead...the score was tied moron and Wheeler actually had to point that out to him after he continued to ramble on aimlessly. Then later in the game Kalas asked him a question 3 times in a row and he never did respond. Why the hell is he in the booth?

~Carson

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quattro

Looks like the season finally started for the Phils offense, as they decided to show up two games in a row (9 runs Sunday, 11 last night). We now have a nice little three game winning streak going on that should actually be five games...thanks a lot Gordon (blown save Friday). There's no looking back now, to hell with three, we need four! I think you could all agree with me that the single blade razor sucks, and actually agitates the skin more so than ridding your mug of facial hair. I started shaving with a two-blade razor, good for the puberty peach fuzz, but not for a manly beard. Few years ago I upgraded to the three-blade system and noticed that my cheeks can actually be smooth again. Since then I've tried out the Quattro- as if 4 blades is magically better than 3...holy Siegfried & Roy it is! So after our win tonight against the gNats, will we be going for the ultimate sensation of 5?

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Mishmash:

*Jimmy Rollins meant what he said "the Phillies are the team to beat in the NL East this season." He can't help the fact that the rest of his team didn't show up for the first 2 and a half weeks of the season. His line- .313 AVG, 19 R, 4 doubles, 2 triple, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB, 8 BB, 1.071 OPS. Finally his boys are starting to back him up and the Phils are trying to come out of April within spitting distance of the Mets and Braves.

*Shane Victorino is a spark plug (.319 AVG, .407 On-Base %). If he and Rollins can manage to bat .285+ for the season and get on base at a .345+ clip, this offense is going to be flippin' sweet! We all know the Flyin' Hawaiian is fast, and he's transferring that speed into being a nemesis and distraction on the base paths. I'm also absolutely enamored with his defense.

*I'm still not sold on Adam Eaton. Last night's performance (4 runs in 6 innings) is about what I expect from him (Cory Lidle-like). Eaton could do better if he managed to cut out some of the free passes he gives away (11 walks in 23.2 IP). Overall, for a 5th starter, he's not that bad, but don't confuse my words...he's not that good either.

*Grand Pappy Moyer takes the mound tonight against Washington. He pitched 8 beautiful innings against them last Thursday, so lets hope he took his arthritis medicine and chugged some prune juice, because we need him to lull the Nationals' hitters to sleep again this evening.

*One thing that Corey and I strongly agree on is the sayings, "he needs work" or "since he's already warmed up, may as well bring him in" are bogus and retarded. Brett Myers was unavailable to pitch last night because Fuqua used him in a 7 run game Sunday afternoon (luckily we didn't need him). Chris Wheeler, the brown-nosing organizational puppet that he is, said it was the right move. Baloney! I'm not a MLB pitcher, but I know tossing some warm-up pitches in the bullpen is entirely different than facing batters in an actual game, plus it equals more total pitches. Please never confuse Manuel for a mathlete, or Wheeler for an actual baseball analyst.

~Carson

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Return Of...

You make enough predictions and some are bound to come true. Example- I called Aaron Rowand's homerun on Saturday. I also forecast Tom Gordon's blown save on Friday (even Ray Charles from the grave saw that one coming). In addition, I said the Phillies would yank Jon Lieber in the neighborhood of 75-80 pitches even if he's pitching well (pulled after 77 while throwing a 1-hitter). Furthermore, I said Ryan Howard's injury, if not serious, could be a blessing in disguise because he needs a mental and physical break. Guess what? His injury is not serious, only missed 3 games. His mental health restored- 1 homerun, 3 RBI, and 1 walk yesterday...the return of Oracle Carson. Then again I'm the optimistic fool who predicted 92 wins (only 86 more to go) and a World Series championship from this club.

Going with the theme of predictions, I will also want to point out that I said the Phils needed one solid game of production offensively or a big inning to get this offensive monster kicking and screaming. 9 runs yesterday, capped off by a 4 run 9th inning ought to do it. Chase Utley is hitting the ball again, and as mentioned above Howard is back in the lineup and looks to be taking a better approach. The rest of the regulars have respectable batting averages- Rollins (.280), Victorino (.297), Helms (.286), Burrell (.302), Rowand (.355), and Ruiz (.283). Now if Fuqua could manage to keep No-Hit Nuni and Anti-Hit Barajas out of the lineup, we may actually see the Phils get on an offense roll and begin winning with regularity.

J-Roll is no stranger to foretelling of future outcomes, "The Phillies are the team to beat in the NL East this season.". Here are some more predictions from the omnipotent one- If Uncle Cholly continues to use Brett Myers in pointless relief situations (see yesterday's 9th inning of a 9-2 game) he will wear him out by July. If you're a betting man, it's safe to lay some money down on Matt Smith walking at least 1 batter per outing (8 games with 8 walks in only 3.1 IP). Patty G is an intelligent man, as he picked Antonio Alfonseca off the scrap heap, and not just because he's pitching outstanding, but because I see him as a great draw at the Ringlin Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus...extra revenue! He could chill out under the big top with the bearded lady, the kid with lobster hands, and goatboy.

Ok, enough of Jimmy's envisions, here's one of my own- Phils beat the Ass-tros tonight to extend their "winning streak" to a mind-bottling (it's when your thoughts are all mixed up and stuck like in a bottle) 3 games.

~Carson

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mixed Nuts

Stat Attack:
Phillies Batting- .251 AVG, 67 R, 14 HR, 8 SB, 111 K, 86 BB, .356 OB%, .390 SLG%, .746 OPS.
NL Average- .254 AVG, 73 R, 14 HR, 9 SB, 107 K, 60 BB, .330 OB%, .391 SLG%, .721 OPS.
Basically, our monster offense is putting runners on base, just failing to score them, which equates to below average production. Situational hitting has been a pitfall for this club for quite some many years now, and it doesn't look to improve.

Phillies Pitching- 4.77 ERA, .266 AVG against, 64 BB, 111 K, .801 OPS against, 18 HR, 15 SB, 1.46 WHIP.
NL Average- 3.82 ERA, .252 AVG against, 60 BB, 107 K, .716 OPS against, 13 HR, 9 SB, 1.36 WHIP.
Our pitching staff hasn't exactly been helping their cause, as they've performed well below what is to be expected. The rotation and bullpen have each experienced ups and downs so far this season, rarely turning in a solid effort together in the same game.

Overall this season has been one enormous letdown. Defense has been sub par failing to make the routine plays and coming up short on the spectacular ones. The offense strands runners on base leaving the already piss-poor pitching to the wolves. Oh, I almost forgot, our manager isn't exactly a genius either.

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WSBGM's Phantasy League Standings:
1. Jobu's Rum- apparently Jobu can hit the curveball now.
2. Rico Suave- I disliked Rico Brogna and Gerardo.
3. Skeet on the Mets- Lil' Jon called, and he wants his slang back.
4. Honey Nut Ichiros- Ichiro is pissed about the pub Dice-K is getting.
5. Master Batters- masterbators?
6. FuriousBall- this is the Phils' version of "Moneyball".
7. BloodStripes- should have never named your team in reference to a bunch of losers.
8. MVPs- Most Viral Penises, better get that checked out.
8. No-Talent-Ass-Clowns- I suck, where's Danny Sandoval when I need him?
10. Brett's Wife Beaters- it's all good now, he's in the 'pen, fear not Kim.
11. Fuquas-Wife-Hates-Me- and I hate Fuqua.
12. The 700 Level- oh the good ol' days of the Vet.
13. Baltimore Bums- Baltimore Blows!
14. BALCO Bombers- steroids shrink testicles and ruin lives...just say no!
15. GodisaWoman- I beg to differ.

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Game Thoughts:
*Victorino is awesome. I love watching him play the outfield. He gets amazing jumps on balls and then has a gun for an arm. He's still developing as a MLB hitter, but we've already seen progress this season with his base stealing instincts. I honestly believe if Manuel, or whatever schmuck ends up being the manager, trots Shane out to RF every day, the league will notice his defense and reward him with a Gold Glove. Then again, maybe they'll still give it to Bobby Abreu despite him being in the AL now.

*I predicted the Rowand homerun. I saw him standing in the on deck circle and I said to my wife, "Look at him. His lack of shoulders is so pronounced that he actually appears to be in the shape of an arrowhead. He's going to come up and Robin Hood one out to leftfield."

*The Boys in Blue can't hold us down! The umps sucked last night. Rod Barajas, actually stole a base, but was called out. Shane Victorino displayed his rifle and fired a shot to third gunning down a runner, but he was ruled safe. I really hate umpires some times.

*King Cole- complete game WIN with 15 k's...need I say more?

*Watching Barajas, Burrell, and Helms run is painful. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them thrown out by the rightfielder at firstbase when they hit a ball between the 1st and 2nd basemen. They are nearly as slow as Charles Fuqua Manuel at a Mathlete competition.

"I hate myself for loving you. Can't break free from the the things that you do. I wanna walk, but I run back to you. That's why I hate myself for loving you."

~Carson