Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day 2008

We've been waiting for this day since the 3 game flame-out last October...and it will be over before many of us get home from work. The challenge for many phans today: avoid the internet or sports radio until the game can be watched on DVR this evening. Good luck to all.

As for the game: Brett Myers vs. Matt Chico. The last time Chico took the mound, Sept 29 2007, he threw 6 innings, gave up only one earned run and beat the Phillies. Lightening can't strike twice. And I'm expecting a letdown after the excitement of opening up their new ballpark last night against the Braves. Predictions:
Corey - Phils big, 9-3.
Carson - Phils barely, 6-5.
Last week, we predicted the 2008 stats for the Phils main players. Today, we go beyond the numbers and lay out our final predictions and expectations for the 2008 Phillies.

DL Leader (Player) - Shane Victorino. He'll be out of right field, so he should be able to avoid bullpen mounds, but many steal attempts, a new position with a centerfield wall that has already claimed one Phillie outfielder, and injuries last year make me think he's due for some DL time. Runner-up: Geoff Jenkins (Brett Favre never missed a start, but he ain't no Favre.)

DL Leader (Pitcher) - Tom Gordon. Mathieson and Zagurski don't count and even though Lidge is starting on the DL, I don't think he'll be able to match the total days Gordon will accumulate. Gordon will also lead in "Days Not Available" due to minor injury/fatigue/etc. These days are also known as "Billy Wagner Days."

Day I'll Want Manuel Fired - Friday, April 11. The Phils finish up a 3 game series with the Muts on the 10th. If it goes bad and the Phils haven't taken care of Washington and Cincy in the first two sets, it could get ugly around here.

WSBGM Posts About How Bad The Bullpen Is - It will get mentioned almost daily, but posts with that as the primary focus will hopefully be limited to fifty or sixty...

Day I'll Give Up On Pat Burrell - Never! Not this year....or maybe June 25th at Oakland, when Burrell's slump is so bad Maneul puts Jayson Werth in LF and Eric Bruntlett as the DH.

Day Carson Dramatically Declares The Season A Failure And We Have To Talk Him Off The Bridge - Probably tomorrow.

Record - 82-80, and a 3rd place finish in the NL East behind the Mets and Braves. I know that's going to make me unpopular, but that's what I'm forecasting. This pitching staff is quite possibly worse than last year with less depth leading to more blown games that even our league-leading offense can't continually bail us out of. *Note- during Manuel's tenure the Phils have a 31-42 record in his 3 Aprils, and I foresee yet another losing one this year.

Day I'll Want Manuel Fired - 3 seasons ago.

Most Hated Phillie - Adam Eaton will defend his title from last season (although, he narrowly beat out Rod Barajas). Contenders to battle Eaton for most hate cast their way: Tom Gordon and the revolving door of the last spot in the bullpen.

Song For The Year - Pennywise's Fight Til You Die: Go ahead and try, Or kiss your ass goodbye. People of society are running for their lives. Get up now and go, Or you're never gonna know. Never gonna make it in your houses lying low. Give it one good try, Give it all and fight till you die!

WSBGM Posts About How Disgusted We Are With Gillick - Once again, it will get mentioned nearly daily, as it goes hand-in-hand with Adam Eaton and the atrocious bullpen, but I'm hoping to only mention it days after losses, so around 80.

Day I Give Up On The Season - Despite my apocalyptic prophecy of only 82 wins, I will not discount what this team is capable of. I love the Phillies, and I'm fully prepared to eat my words and embrace yet another playoff drive. I'm going to sit back and enjoy the highs and get pissed and rant about the lows, but no giving up the season this year; I'm going to stick it out.

*Post your prediction for the Phillies 2008 record in the comments section, and tune in come game time to cheer on our boys here at WSBGM's.

*A handful of phloggers joined forces for a roundtable discussion, I managed to wiggle myself into this exclusive set of higher minds.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Need of a Pick-Me-Up

With the real baseball season about to start tomorrow (screw that Japan series and the fake 1-game series in Washington tonight), I find myself in a sour mood. Why? I'm extremely pessimistic about the Phillies for the first time in 6 seasons. However, this is normally my favorite time of year (yes, beats Christmas), so I need a pick-me-up to get back in better spirits. Thus, I turn to Chase Utley...


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Go Phillies, Oh Phillies!

The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies are going to be like Batman and Robin. We all know Batman is the Dark Knight who kicks ass with his karate, gadgets, and futuristic vehicle. Robin is the the tag-along that gets in the way and hinders Batman's pursuit of superhero greatness. Batman is awesome, Robin sucks.

The Batmen- With a nucleus of talented superstars like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins any offense is going to be good. Mix in Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins, Pedro Feliz, and Chooch Ruiz and you got the best offense in the NL. There's some talent on the pitching staff too, as Brett Myers and Cole Hamels are a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation and Brad Lidge has been a great closer in the past, but other than that no real excitement in the pitching department.

The Robins- Clay Condrey, Tom Gordon, Adam Eaton, Tim Lahey, and Chad Durbin could quite honestly threaten to drop this team to .500 level. Mix in questions about Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer, JC Romero, and Ryan Madson and you got yourself the classic "you're only as strong as your weakest link" scenario.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Welcome to Terrible Twos

Happy birthday WSBGM's, March 28th 2008 marking the 2nd anniversary of our inception into the blogsphere. Last year we recapped the site's 1st year of existence, but this year we going more low-key and simply giving a shout out to the two phenomenal specimens who started this entire thing. No, not Corey and me; rather Steve Jeltz and Rick Schu, now those two are some true old school gangsters! Welcome to the terrible twos...

There, was that low-key enough?


Cause for Concern:
The Phillies pitching staff is in shambles. We're all crossing our legs, toes, arms, fingers, and whatever other appendages that can be crossed in hopes that Brad Lidge returns healthy sometime soon. Interim closer Tom Gordon isn't exactly instilling faith in this fan's heart with his 12.38 spring era. Here's to hoping mending starting pitcher Kris Benson is ready by May, because resident shitcicle (yes, that's a frozen turd still attached to the bunghole) Adam Eaton is doing his best impersonation of a batting practice pitcher. Seriously though, I'm worried about the state of our pitching staff. Currently there are only 10 active pitchers and 30% of them suck (Eaton, Condrey, and Gordon being the 3 out of 10). Let's not forget Chad Durbin, Kendrick, and Moyer are mediocre/questionable too. Who to blame? Pat Gillick. He's the GM, he knew this was a problem, and yet he signed Pedro Feliz and So Taguchi rather than truly addressing the pitching. Don't get me wrong, Feliz and Taguchi are welcomed additions, and should help the club, but not at the expense of pitching. Patty G could still swoop in and get lucky with some table scraps that other teams are about to push down the garbage disposal (Fultz, Seanez, etc.), but that's yet to be determined. Either way, living off of supposed trash is no way to live, unless of course you're a freakin' hobo. It's a shame that the pitching of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies could be the death of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. Sorry for being a Negative Nancy today, but I'm only being honest.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Phillies & Pirates Roster Extravaganza

*Another spring training gone past and yet more Rule 5 causalities for the Phils. The forever dumpster diving Pat Gillick tried to find cheap "talent" via the Rule 5 draft again this offseason, but alas Lincoln Holdzkom and Travis Blackley proved to not be talented at all, much like their counterparts Ryan Budde and Jim Ed Warden from 2007.

*Lefty journeyman Vic Darensbourg and Independent Leaguer Gary Knotts were assigned to the minors. Personally I think Vic would do better than Condrey, JD Durbin, or whatever trash Gillick plugs into the final bullpen spot, but I suppose he'll have to prove himself as an Iron Pig first.

*Youngsters having a go of it this spring- toolsy outfielder and 2004 1st round pick Greg Golson posting a .429 average and a 1.143 OPS. Shortstop Jason Donald with 7 at bats, 2 homeruns, 6 rbi...not too shabby. Rising pitching prospect Drew Carpenter 4 shut outs innings against the Yankees yesterday.

*Chris Snelling (out of options) and Wes Helms (out of talent) are still battling for a roster spot. Right now the roster looks to be set with positional players: C- Ruiz, Coste, 1B- Howard, 2B- Utley, SS- Rollins, 3B- Feliz, UTL- Bruntlett, Dobbs, and, OF- Burrell, Victorino, Jenkins, Werth, Taguchi. I don't quite understand carrying either of these guys on the roster, especially not in the case of giving up a 12th pitcher.

*Speaking of 12th pitcher, here's the staff right now: starting rotation- Myers, Hamels, Moyer, Kendrick, Eaton, and relievers- Romero, Gordon, Madson, Condrey, Chad Durbin, and JD Durbin. That's correct, that bloody wanker JD Durbin looks to be heading north with the club, that same JD Durbin of 4 losses, 8 homeruns surrendered, and a 12.33 era this spring. Gillick WTF?!?!?!? Of course when Lidge, Benson, and Rosario get healthy things will really be flipped then.

*There are rumors swirling that Patty G could make a last minute move and swap Wes Helms to the Giants for lefty Steve Kline or to the Reds for lefty Mike Stanton. Waiver wire possibilities include lefties Aaron Fultz and Tim Byrdak and righty Rudy Seanez. Personally I'd take any of them over JD Durbin.


*Reliever Tyler Yates was acquired from the Braves for minor leaguer Todd Redmond. Redmond will likely become a 20 game winner for the Braves in the future, while Yates will continue to suck despite the change of atmosphere.

*Apparently Tyler Yates is God's gift to the pitching kingdom, because following the trade pitchers Juan Perez and Byung-Hyun Kim were both released with Jaret Wright being reassigned to the minors.

*All of America was gravely concerned with the battle for PNC centerfield, and the winner has been named Nate McLouth. Nice try Nyjer Morgan, but McLouth has potential McDonald's advertising campaign written all over him shall he become a star.

*Masumi Kuwata, a Japanese import last season, decided to hang up his cleats and call it a career. No offense to him, but the Pirates won't be missing him.

*What does every low-budget team need in order to rise out of the ashes like the phoenix? A can't miss pitching prospect. No! A slugging position player who can put the offense on his back and carry the team. No! A light-hitting glove-sturdy firstbaseman. Hell Yes! Doug Mientkiewicz has officially made the Pirates squad...please hold your applause.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Phils Predictions - Pitchers

Cole Hamels
Carson - 16-8 3.55 - He has amazing stuff, there's no questioning that. However, I do question his motivation and fortitude sometimes.
Corey - 15-6 3.67 - Won't pitch enough games (back? elbow?) to win 20. Will lead the team in complaining about non-issues and chiropractic visits.

Brett Myers
Carson - 17-9 3.88 - He's the staff's workhorse and will prove to be the guy they rely on to stop a losing streak and begin a winning one.
Corey - 15-9 4.09 - Phils need big years from Hamels and Myers to get back to the playoffs.
Myers' Arm - 22-4 2.34 - I have what it takes...

Kyle Kendrick
Carson - 12-11 4.76 - I loved what the kid did for us last year, but I expect growing pains this season.
Corey - 13-9 4.22 - Expect a solid but unspectacular year...for the next 4-5 years.

Jamie Moyer
Carson - 10-11 5.16 - Grand Pappy's last season won't be particularly pretty. Between Jamie, Eaton, and Cole's token DL stint, I foresee Benson getting plenty of opportunities to start.
Corey - 11-10 4.97 - Last hurrah for Moyer. He's my leading candidate, not Eaton, to get replaced by Kris Benson in a few months.

Adam Eaton
Carson - 11-8 4.92 - Won't be nearly as bad as everyone is expecting, but still won't make more than 30 starts.
Corey - 12-9 4.67 - Will exceed very low expectations.

Brad Lidge
Carson - 3.23 42 Sv- Lidge will be fine this season and the Phils will begin contract extension plans with him come July.
Corey - 3.60 40 Sv - If Joe Table can save 45 for the Phils, Lidge can bounce back and get 40.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Phils Predictions - Position Players

Carlos Ruiz
Carson - .271-10-61 - I see him becoming a reliable backstop in terms of defense and handling the pitching staff, as well as turning into a quality 8-hole hitter. He has decent speed for a catcher, so mix in 5 steals and 65 runs scored.
Corey - .277-9-57 - With more big league at-bats, should see average eventually climb to the .280 range. I don't see the power developing this year.

Ryan Howard
Carson - .287-60-150 - Return of the king in 2008; Howard will be the MVP again.
Corey - .284-56-142 - Another monster year. Will strike out less than 180 times, also.

Chase Utley
Carson - .307-33-111 - He's my favorite and will get MVP votes for the next 5 seasons, but he'll have to settle for only being the game's best 2nd baseman rather than it's most valuable player.
Corey - .312-26-101 - Phils 3rd MVP candidate? I don't see it happening. Won't put up HUGE numbers.

Jimmy Rollins
Carson - .295-21-79 - His career year was last year, but J-Roll will still score plenty of runs and I foresee he and Vic swiping over 100 bags collectively.
Corey - .286-24-85 - No repeating of gaudy '07 numbers, back to Earth for J-Roll.

Pedro Feliz
Carson - .259-28-84 - Double plays await Pedro both defensively and offensively. Phans will come to like his ability to handle the hot corner while bringing consistency to the 7th spot in the lineup.
Corey - .251-26-81 - Lots of swings and misses. Small park will increase power numbers slightly.

Pat Burrell
Carson - .249-25-87 - Begin the slow downard spiral. I see Werth and Taguchi getting more playing time because of the sporadic tendencies of Burrell's bat.
Corey - .257-30-96 - Another typical frustrating year from Burrell. We shouldn't expect more at this point. I predict June 3rd as the day I give up on Burrell this year.

Shane Victorino
Carson - .301-16-71 - Huge season for the Flyin' Hawaiian, with 50+ steals and 110+ runs scored...oh, and a Gold Glove too.
Corey - .291-15-58 - Also look for close to 50 steals...if he stays healthy, which I don't think he will. He'll battle Jenkins for leader in DL time.

Geoff Jenkins
Carson - .267-19-73 - He'll do nicely against righties, but Charlie will find some way to F-up the platoon and expose Brett Favre to lefties more than need be.
Corey - .274-22-86 - He'll bounce back from that .255 average last year and be a Phan phavorite by May...or he'll get hurt and we'll see Jayson Werth for 120 gamess.

Tomorrow, the pitchers.