...they induct a player into their Wall of Fame who was merely a two time All Star, one time Silver Slugger award winner, and hit less than .270. Moreover, Samuel had two good years ('84, '87) and then parts of 5 others that were nothing short of mediocre. He led the league in strikeouts 4 times, outs 3 times, and had a horrible on base percentage for a top of the order hitter (less than .310 five times.) I'm not here to hate on Juan Samuel, he was a nice player, apparently a nice guy, and was fun to watch for a few years. But is he really Wall of Fame worthy? With selection criteria like this, that wall will be full in another few weeks, because guys like Hayes, Dykstra, Kruk, Daulton, Lieberthal, Schilling, Williams, Bedrosian, Rolen, Rollins, Abreu, Utley, Howard, Burrell have had equal or better Phillies careers compared to Samuel. Heck, Jose Mesa is the team's all time saves leader...
Joe Blanton Still Doesn't Suck
Blanton's performance was Eaton-esque, if Adam Eaton pitched like a player earning $24 million over three years...
The Manager Makes Me Angry
Is Charlie Manuel the most inflexible, uncreative, and borderline incompetent manager in baseball? It's games like last night that make me yearn for a different manager. Here are my issues with his decisions last night.
- Howard and Utley have not fared well lately against left handed pitching and didn't do too well they last time the saw Paul Maholm. The Pirates also have tough lefties Burnett and Grabow in their 'pen. Yet Manuel will not shake up his lineup. Having Utley-Howard constantly facing lefties back-to-back following the switch hitting "table setters" Victorino and Rollins is frequently hurting this team, as it did last night. Against lefties last night Chase Utley hit with a runner in scoring position three times and once with a runner on first and no outs. He went 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. Howard was 0-4 with two K's against the lefties. Why can't Burrell bat 4th and split up those lefties against lefty pitchers? Or why can't Burrell at least hit third preventing a southpaw from coming in as soon as the Phils get a runner on in the later innings?
- Why the hell was So Taguchi pinch hitting for Blanton in the 8th inning? There was a runner on first (Bruntlett) with one out and Rollins on deck. I prefer a bunt in this situation but if Manuel wants his guy to hit, then why not use Cervenak instead of Taguchi. I don't know if Cervenak can hit, but I do know that Taguchi can't. He sucks. Please get rid of this guy and find another right handed bat.
- Bullpen decision #1 - Manuel got lucky as hell with how he used JC Romero last night. He replaced Durbin in the middle of the 9th inning with Romero with the pitcher's spot coming up fourth the following inning. So, instead of having Durbin finish the inning and then use Romero for the next, he was willing to risk that the Phils would be sent down in order and he wouldn't waste his best setup man for less then an inning. The luck came when Eric Bruntlett rolled into a double play to end the inning just before Romero's spot was due.
- Bullpen decision #2 - Are they that scared of Steven Pearce? Two out and no one on, yet Romero has to give way to the closer to get the third out. Why? Did they really need that right vs right matchup? My theory is that Charlie Manuel just wanted to prove again that he's finally figured out how to make a double switch. Problem is, Lidge hasn't thrown more than one inning this whole year, meaning he's not had to pitch, sit for a half inning, and then come back out and pitch again. Was last night the first game for that? Nope, Les Walrond came out in the top of the 11th. So Manuel's idiotic change meant that 1)Lidge would only be used for one out 2)Ruiz would replace Coste and bat first next inning instead of using Cervenak to pinch hit and 2)the pitcher's spot would come up sooner!!!!! I guess he hasn't figured out the double switch...
- Bullpen decision #3 - Lidge can only get one out and they can't get more than 4 outs from Durbin or Romero, but Les Walrond, a guy who has recorded one major league out in 2 years before this game, is expected to go two innings. This shit makes no sense...
23 And Counting
When will the Phils get their next run? And will they still be in first place when they get it?