Thursday, March 20, 2008

Check Your Head: Carson of WSBGM's

This offseason has been a long one, anytime without baseball is a bad time. To help pass the countless days between watching the Phillies succumb to the Rockies in the 2007 playoffs until the 2008 Opening Day pitch from Brett Myers, I began an interview segment on the blog called Check Your Head. After many great Q&A sessions, I've decided to wrap it up with an interview of myself. Yep, I'm going to sit down and ask myself some questions...I just hope I can type as fast as I think.

1. Statistics aside, who is your favorite non-superstar Phillie of the past?
Wes Chamberlain hands down. He played for the Double A Harrisburg Senators when they were a Pirates affiliate and I remember going to the park and watching him thinking he was going to be an absolute stud some day in the Bigs. When the Phils acquired him in a trade with the Buccos I was ecstatic. I envisioned him putting up 30+ homeruns a season and leading the Phils to championships. He had the body of a linebacker, and was built for speed and power...neither really ever materialized in the Majors, but he was an integral member of the ’93 squad.

2. Why the hell are you a Phillies fan anyway?
I never remember not loving the Phillies. Quite honestly, some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around me worshiping the Phils, trying to watch them on tv every chance I’d get, and wearing that awful maroon cap (which I’ve since lost in a McDonald’s) and satin maroon jacket (which I’ve since out grown). Also, my Grandpa’s friend, Nevin (God rest his soul), was a huge Phils fan and guided me along this path of despair.

3. What is your favorite aspect of baseball- pitching, offense, or defense?
All of it! I love baseball, and I truly mean that. I enjoy watching a masterfully pitched ball game, or sitting there tickled pink while the offense completely obliterates the competition, or gazing in awe at Web Gems. Like Corey, I think the strategy of the game is also very intriguing. There are so many intricacies in baseball that make it a thinking man’s game, and therefore it tends to move at a slower pace than other sports, but during those moments that are seemingly just “down time” a lot of stuff is actually going on- defensive arrangement, pitch selection, base running, batter’s intent, etc.

4. Describe your overall impression/opinion of the Phillies fanbase.
Nucking Futs. They are crazy s.o.b.’s and proud of it. They like to boo, cheer, drink beer, and back a winner. Some call us fickle, but I tend to describe it as over the top passion. Sometimes it amazes me that the Phils have so many loyal fans considering all the years of disgust and failure with so few years of excitement and success mixed in. The Phillies are all I know, and I will never change allegiance. I feel like I’m like most Phils fans, ready to go psycho if they win 3 in a row and ready to go psycho if they lose 3 in a row. There’s no even keel with us, it’s all or nothing, and we want it all!

5. Discuss the evolution of WSBGM's.
It’s hard to imagine that nearly 2 years ago Corey and I started this as a fun little thing to do. I never expected people to come and read my opinion, and at first nobody did. Over time people slowly started stumbling upon the site and liking it for some odd reason. That odd reason is probably the fact that we speak our mind, don’t sugarcoat things, and try to keep it amusing while thought provoking. I take pride in the blog now; it’s really turned into something that is good in my opinion. I like the fact that you can log-on to our page and not read a bland post of what the newspapers and other Phillies sites around the web have already reported..that’s boring, and that’s merely taking someone’s ideas and trying to spin them as your own. Rather we try to come up with our own ideas, some good and some bad, but nonetheless they’re our ideas. After all, baseball is entertainment, so I try to be entertaining and not take myself so seriously. I’d still love for the site to become more popular, not for recognition, but for the sake that it drives me to continue to improve and be more creative.

6. Give Patty G a rating on a 1-10 scale (11 being the highest) of the job you think he's done thus far.
I’d give him a 4. Why? Rod Barajas was a dumb signing. Wes Helms a total bust. Adam Eaton is a crippling signing. Getting no value in return for Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle was and still is nauseating. Failing to bolster the bullpen the past two seasons with quality or even mediocre arms is unforgivable. Yes, it is true that he was GM while the Phils made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, but they did it in spite of him, not because of him. If they draft solid players with all these draft picks they have accumulated then I’ll look at him more favorably, but right now I see Grand Pappy Moyer as the one significant asset he’s collected during his time here. Jeff Conine, Kyle Lohse, David Dellucci were all short-term “fixes”, but are they helping the Phillies now? *By the way, props to you for the Spinal Tap reference in the question.

7. What is your honest opinion of Charles Fuqua Manuel?
I think he’s a horrible in-game strategist. Loyal readers of this blog know we enjoy making fun of Charlie’s speech impediment, but that really has no bearing on his managerial skills. However, his inability to properly make the double-switch, continual lapses of judgment when making pitching changes, and repeated unsuccessful Aprils do make put up the red flag as a cause of alarm. Sure he keeps the guys loosey-goosey in the clubhouse, but that doesn’t always translate to winning on the field. He seems like a nice enough guy, and I won’t deny his aptitude for hitting, but as a manager I feel he falls short in the brains department.

8. Which opposing team and player do you dislike the most?
I hate the Mets. I’ve always disliked the Yankees, but they don’t really affect the Phils other than their free-wheeling spending habits. The Mets and Phils have the makings of a great rivalry right now. Each team is good, they have proximity, the players are smack talking, and their fans hate each other. Therefore, I hate the Mets, and take pleasure in doing so. Also, I feel this rivalry is good for baseball, because too long has the BoSox/Yanks thing been the focus of Fox and ESPN; it’s time for a new thrill ride at the amusement park. Player I hate the most- Paul LoDuca. That gaytastic fairy jig he pulled last season on the Phils after belting a homerun made me want to inflict pain upon him. I never believe in showing up the other team, and his antics were far past the line of being appropriate.

*Yes, I gave myself props.



Lake Fred said...

Here's my answers in checking my head:

1. Del Unser.

2. When I was a young boy and the Phillies always lost games, I asked my dad, "The Phillies are a bad team. Why do we follow the Phillies?" He told me that he was born in Philly and we lived in the Philly area, so they were our team and that we had to root for them no matter how bad they are." When your dad tells you that, it's settled.

3. Offense. I hate watching games when the other team is batting. If you like pitching or defense, you can only watch it when the other team is batting.

4. Phillies fans are the way they are because of years of being battered and abused by fans of other teams. Phillies fans are sheltered shell-shocked psychopaths.

5. Don't know.

6. 4 sounds about right to me, too! It's a shade worse than average.

7. He's got a tough job. He's okay for me. As Randy Jackson would say: "He's just alright for me, dog, nothing special."

8. Hated team - Mets. Hated player? When he was with the Mets - Piazza. Last few years - Barry Bonds. This year - Billy Wagner.

JohnDewar said...

I'll steal the previous commenters idea:

1.) Sixto Lezcano. Great name. I am planning a Sixto Lezcano tribute this summer.

2.) Dad made me.

3.) Clutch hitting.

4.) Fatalistic. The other shoe is always ready to drop.

5.) N/A

6.) 5. Abreu was addition by subtraction. Gillick should get credit for making over the coaching staff. Lohse was a good patch trade; JC Romero a good pickup. Love the Lidge deal and admit it: you liked the Garcia deal when we made it.

7.) As long as they keep Manual in the role of team figure head/grandfather figure, I'm fine with him. Jimy Williams and Lopes are there to help with the heavy manager lifting.

8.) The Mets. I hate them and their fans. LoDuca is a punk.

furiousBall said...

this link would have been more meaningful if you guys were eating cheesesteaks in that picture

Dan said...

Have you guys seen the hour-long retrospective of last season that was put together by the Phils' video guy and narrated by J-Roll? It's been on Comcast Sportsnet a few times recently - it's pretty awesome, I highly recommend it. It goes through all of the incredible moments of last season (peaking with the magical four-game sweep of the Mets).

The reason I bring it up is because it's got a great clip of Lo Duca, after that sweep (Utley's walkoff single off of Wagner, which followed the Jayson Werth Ex-steal-aganza), uttering the immortal line: "They're dancing around the field now, but we'll see who's dancing when the time comes." Absolutely classic stuff.

GM-Carson said...

Lake Fred- thanks for doing your own "Check My Head". I like that idea in the comments section.

The assholes at ESPN just ruined my day as they showed the Joe Carter '93 World Series ending homerun while I was watching the Yanks vs. Jays...dammit!

Lake Fred said...

Another answer for no. 1 would be Pete Incaviglia. I also liked Eisenreich. Further back, Wes Covington and Don Demeter. I can't think of any starters because, they either win and become stars, or they lose and you hate them for losing. Some relief pitchers can gain your affection, but they also become forgetable, too. Some I liked that I can remember were Jack Baldshun (Spelling?) and Gene Garber.

Los said...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but a lot of the success of the Phils goes back to Wade. Gillick hasn't done too much good, and he's certainly not improved the pitching. He brought in such classics as Ryan Franklin, Wes Helms, Freddie Garcia, and Adam Eaton. Not a good scorecard.

BloodStripes said...

Top series of head checks.

As far as being on the path of despair.........we are with you all the way mate.

The Phillies are the greatest. Nucking futs!

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