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.