Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Closer Look: Raul Ibanez

If the Phils are rumored to be interested in a free agent (no matter how far-fetched it sounds…) we are going to take a look him. Today’s candidate: Raul Ibanez.

Price – Ibanez made a modest $5.5 million in 2008, and at age 36, he can’t expect to get a longterm, high priced deal. It’s pure speculation, but 2 years at $10 per should get the job done.

He Can Hit – In the last eight seasons, Ibanez hasn’t hit less than .280, has hit 20+ homers five times, and driven in 100 four times.

Age – As I mentioned above, Ibanez is already 36 years old. Sure, he’s a spring chicken compared to Jamie Moyer, but I would be very hesitant to give a $20 million dollars to an old outfielder.

Lefty – The Phils have lefthanded power, but their righthanded power leaves with Burrell. Ibanez is a career .268 hitter against lefties, with a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio, and only 34 career homers.

Type A – The Phils have an unprotected first round pick, and with Ibanez’s Type A status, they would lose that pick.

I don’t think Ibanez would be a good play for the Phils. He’s old, he won’t come cheap (money and picks), and he doesn’t provide an option for the middle of the order when they are facing a tough lefty.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

1 Month Ago...

Just one month ago the Philadelphia Phillies fanbase was gearing up for World Series Game 5.5. This was after Game 5 came to a screeching halt two nights prior in the crappy field conditions of the Brick Cit House, and was postponed because of more inclement weather the following night. After the skies cleared, the Phillies took the field to finish off the upstart Tampa Bay Rays and win their second World Series Championship (1st World F**kin' Series Championship- thanks Utley!) in the franchise's existence. It may have seemed like an eternity ago, but it has only been one month...


Friday, November 28, 2008

Phucco Phlashback Phriday: Bob Walk

Robert Vernon Walk, better known as Bob Walk, was a critical member of the Phillies 1980 World Series Champion pitching staff. That was Walk's rookie year, and he finished 7th in the Rookie of the Year balloting, while going 11-7 with a 4.57 era over 27 games started. He even notched a victory in the World Series for the Phils over Kansas City. 1980 ended up being Walk's only season with the Phils, as he was shipped to Atlanta for outfielder Gary "Sarge" Matthews. Sarge went on to have 3 productive seasons with the Phils, while Walk found himself out of favor and released from the Braves after 3 seasons. For someone who was so highly sought out as an amateur (drafted 3 times), Walk found himself a man desperate for work, and what does a desperate man do...sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the Steel City, Walk found a home and set up shop there from 1984-1993. He was even named to the NL All-Star squad in '88, and won 2 games in the playoffs for Pitt from 90-92 (back when the Buccos were actually competitive). Walk has recently been honored by the Pirates organization with his likeness put on a bobblehead figurine as a giveaway, and currently does broadcasts for Fox Sports Pittsburgh. Walk's career line: 105-81 record, 350 g, 1666 ip, 606 bb, 848 k, 4.03 era, and a 1.37 whip. He only averaged 4.6 punchouts per 9 frames, but after all his name was Bob Walk not Bob Strikeout. That precisely groomed mustache and hair only add to his legend and lore.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Slide Show

Our boy Pat Burrell may be leaving via free agency. Chase Utley may be out until June. The Phillies biggest offseason move to date has been re-signing Scott Eyre and trading away Greg Golson. Don't be down though, the Phils are still World Series Champions, and that's plenty to be thankful for. Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy some random Phillies pictures.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's All Relative

Did you know that George Herman "Babe" Ruth's great nephew plays Major League Baseball? The player I refer to is none other that Phillie TJ Bohn. Yep, the young phenom slugging outfielder who has been passed from organization to organization and was recently given free agent status is of Babe Ruth's bloodline...okay, not really. Sorry TJ Bohn, but you suck, and the only thing you've got going for you is you pseudo-porn name. Some current Phillies do have MLB lineage though, with Jayson Werth being a shining example.

Werth's stepfather was Dennis Werth, who played 1st base, outfield, and catcher for the New York Yankees and Royals in the early 80's. Jayson has two Dicks that played professionally in his family too, grandfather John Richard "Dick" Schofield and uncle Richard Craig "Dick" Schofield. The older Dick is a veteran of 19 seasons (1953-1971), playing with the Cardinals, Pirates, Giants, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Brewers. It's amazing he hung around for all those years, because he's a lifetime .227 batter with only 699 hits to his credit (that's only 36.8 hits per season). Old Dick was predominantly a shortstop, but dabbled around the rest of the diamond as well. The younger Dick followed in his father's footsteps as low impact middle infielder that stuck around for over a decade. In 14 seasons, young Dick batted .230 while playing for the Angels, Mets, Blue Jays, and Dodgers from 1983-1996.

Loogy Scott Eyre, has a brother named Willie Eyre that has pitched for the Twins and Rangers. He had a successful 8 seasons in the minors, but couldn't hold down a job in the bigs with his 5.23 era and 1.63 whip. Scott is a lefty, which keeps him making the big bucks, Willie is like the majority of the population (right-handed) and therefore is out of work.

Premier setup man (*circa 1996 Mariano Rivera according uber-agent Boras)Ryan Madson has an uncle, Steve Barr, who pitched for the Red Sox and Rangers back in the mid-70's. Madson had outshone his uncle after his rookie season winning 9 games and posting a 2.34 era, as his uncle Steve only won 3 games in his entire career with a 5.16 era.

Gold Gloving shortstop Jimmy Rollins' cousin Tony Tarasco had a productive MLB career spanning 8 season (1993-2002) with the Braves, Expos, Orioles, Reds, and Mets. The outfielder made a career out of being the 4th outfielder, batting .240 with a .710 OPS. Tony Tobasco, as nicknamed while in NY, is best known for attempting to catch the fly ball hit by Derek Jeter in the 1996 playoffs that youngster Jeffrey Maier interfered with and was ruled an undeserving homerun.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Preview & Review - Vol. 8

Ryan Howard
Review: Did you know that Ryan Howard struck out a lot last season? Sure, he hit 48 homers and drove in like 300 runs or so, but we didn't have a "watch" for those stats...

Memorable Moment: With the Phils holding a one run lead in Game 4 of the World Series, Howard crushed a three run shot to left giving the Phils a commanding four run lead.

Preview: Ryan Howard will strike out many times in 2009. He will also hit 40+ homers and drive in well over 100 runs. There are some question marks hovering over Howard, however. How much will he earn in '09? Will the Phils lock him up long term this offseason? And does he rent his skank out for parties?
Jayson Werth
Review: Werth had an outstanding season for the Fightins. Werth took over for the hurting Victorino in the early part of the season and for the struggling Jenkins in the later part of the season. Along the way, he compiled excellent numbers: .273-24-67 and 20 steals. Sixteen of those homers came against lefthanded pitching, a stat that lead the league.

Memorable Moment: On May 16th at home against Toronto, Werth went 3-4, slamming three homeruns and knocking in eight. That performance narrowly beat out his memorable performance in World Series Game 2...

Of course, his mom was pretty memorable too...

Preview: Werth played in 130 games and got to the plate over 400 times in 2008. Geoff Jenkins, if healthy, will get some time in a rightfield platoon, but Werth should still see most of the starts. (Even though he's only a career .250 hitter against righties...) Also, given the uncertainty of leftfield and the tenuous injury status of the cannonball that plays center, Werth will get plenty of opportunities to duplicate or exceed his 2008 numbers.
Ryan Madson
Review: Madson ended the year with a 4-2 record, 3.05 ERA, and 1.23 WHIP. He was 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in the playoffs, too. Yet for the majority of the season, I thought Madson sucked. For a while, it seemed that every runner he inherited, scored. I don't have stats for that, though, and he only blew 2 saves during the regular season. In fact, I don't have any stats that say that he sucked. You'll just have to trust me, I guess...

Memorable Moment: He pitched a scoreless 8th in Game 1 of the World Series, setting the Rays down in order. For a set-up man, it doesn't get much better than that. But I don't remember that, I remember this:

Preview: Madson's agent, Scott Boras, compared him to a circa 1996 version of Mariano Rivera. [Pause, so everyone can chuckle...] In 1996, Rivera had a 0.99 WHIP. The following year he saved 43 games and had an ERA under 2. Ryan Madson is not Mariano Rivera. Maybe Saul Rivera or Ben Rivera, but not Mariano Rivera. Expect more of the same from Madson in '09 - an ERA over 3 & plenty of holds...and me only pointing out the negatives.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Preview & Review - Vol. 7

Brett Myers
Review: Not even Kafka could have predicted the metamorphosis Brett Myers went through this season. He went from Opening Day starter to demoted egg-laying headcase to dependable starter to feared batsman and ended up a World Champion.

Memorable Moment: "The Walk." has the video.

Preview: Myers will make $12 million in the final year of his contact. What he will give the Phils is anybody's guess (and we'll have our guesses in about 3 months). Everyone's hope is that he continues his late-season form and slots in behind Hamels for 30-some starts.
Kyle Kendrick
Review: History will not look fondly at Kyle Kendrick's 2008 season. He ended the year down in the instructional league in Florida working on a change-up and trying to find his lost sinker. He was out of the rotation and off of the playoff roster. Let us not forget however, in Kendrick's defense, that he did make many positive contributions to the champion Phillies. For instance, in May through July, Kendrick was 7-3 with an ERA around 4.5. On August 6th, he was 10-5 with a 4.37 ERA. When other pitchers (Eaton, Myers) were struggling in these months, Kendrick was solid. Sure, his August was bad and his September was atrocious, but we can't have all bad memories and feelings for Kendrick.

Memorable Moment: He went 8 innings, giving up four hits and no runs in a win at Oakland back in June.

Preview: When Kendrick rolls into Clearwater in a few months, will he be throwing a good sinker again? Will he have an effective change-up? Will he have a place in the rotation?

Needless to say, Kendrick will be one of the biggest question marks of spring training, but regardless of his exact place within the Phils plans, he should provide some value to the team. If he isn't in line to start, I would not be surprised to see him traded this off-season. He is a young, 24 year old starter who has two double-digit win seasons in the majors. I can think of about 20 teams that would like to have Kendrick...
Pedro Feliz
Review: Of anyone on the team, Pedro Feliz was the player that came the closest to performing exactly the way everyone predicted. He played great at third. He struck out a lot, hit into a ton of double-plays and batted around .250. The only surprise is that after moving away from the spacious AT&T park in SF, his homer numbers actually dropped, hitting only 14 in 2008.

Memorable Moment:

Preview: after spending a month on the DL with back problems, Feliz is having surgery soon. According to reports, Feliz will rehab for 2-3 months, meaning he should be back for the start of the season or close to it. He'll then proceed to hit into lots of DPs, strikeout, field well, hit .250 and this year get close to 20 dingers.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ain't Nothing but a GM Thing

One, two, three and to the four,
GM's, Carson and Corey are at the door.
Ready to make an entrance, so back on up,
'Cause you know we 'bout to rip it up.

Give us the keyboard now, so we can bust like a bubble,
Phillies and the Internet together, now you know you in trouble.

Ain't nothing but a GM thing, baby.
Two smart-ass GM's going crazy.
Phillies front office is the organization that pays me.
Unpredictable, so please don't try to predict this...

But, back to the lecture at hand,
Perfection is perfected, so we're a let 'em understand.
From a young GM's perspective,
And before we dig out a trade we have to a find a prospect to give.
You never know he could be a late bloomer man,
And still learning man, like another Gavin Floyd man.
Now you know we gotta find a good deal lieutenant,
Ain't no swap good enough to get burnt while we're up in it.
Now that's realer than real-deal Holyfield,
And now all you wanna be GM's know how we feel.
Well if the free agents good enough, break him off a proper chunk,
And none of that b.s. Scott Boras funky stuff.

It's like this and like that and like this and uh.
It's like that and like this and like that and uh.
It's like this and like that and like this and uh.
'Bout to creep to the winter meetings like a phantom.

Well we're peeping, and we're dreaming, and we're scheming.
Damn near got a righthanded bat, 'cause our beeper kept beeping.
Now it's time for us to make our impression felt,
So sit back, relax, and strap on your seatbelt.
You never been on a ride like this before,
With a GM who can soothe say and control the maestro.
At the same time with the dope contracts that we writ,
You know, and we know, we built an offense to hit.
To add to our collection, another 1st round selection.
Mets are a joke, that always choke.
But we never do, 'cause we have a clue,
Of what what a winning organization is supposed to do.

It's like this and like that and like that and uh.
It's like that and like this and like that and uh.
It's like this, than who gives a damn about those?
So just chill, 'til the next webisode.

Falling back on our laurels with a hellified gangsta lean,
Getting funky with trade proposals like knuckle-curves of Tyler Green.
It's the capital G, oh yes, the fresh M double C,
GM's Carson and Corey ya see.
Showing much flex when it's time to work it right,
Pimpin' Danny Sandoval in a straight up trade for David Wright.
Yeah, and from there we don' quit,
Because, just like Hammer we're too legit.

So Phans. [What up Dogs?]
We gotta give y'all what ya want. [What's that, GM?]
We gotta break ya off something. [Hell yeah!]
And it's gotta be bumping. [City of Philly!]

It's where it takes place so we're going to ask for your attention,
No freewheeling like Steinbrenner, have a budget we can't mention.
Dropping the sucky players that's making fans mumble,
When we're at the podium, it's like a cookie, they all crumble.
Try to get close, and your ass'll get smacked,
Loyal WSBGM's readers got our back.
Never let us slip, 'cause if we slip, then we're slipping,
But if we got Pat Burrell, then you know we're straight pimping.
And we're continue to put crap down, put the Mets down,
And those bitches talk trash, we'll have to put the smack down.
Yeah, and it don't stop,
Told you we're just like a clock when we tick and we tock.
But we're never off, always on, 'til the break dawn,
G-M-C-A-R-S-O-N, and the one referred to as Corey,
Putting the championship team together,
And ya'll know, no one can do it better.

Like this, that and this and uh.
It's like that and like this and like that and uh.
It's like this, than who gives a damn about those?
So just chill, 'til the next webisode.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bench Coach, the Vet, & Washers

Pete Mackanin
has taken the spot of Jimy Williams and will be Charlie Manuel's trusty sidekick next season under the title of bench coach. Thus, recently hired Sam Perlozo officially becomes the new 3rd base coach. Mackanin has been an interim manager twice in the Majors ('05 with Pittsburgh and '07 with Cincinnati). Pete was also a player, and actually was with the Phillies from 1978-1979; 3 hits in 17 at bats is nothing to brag about though. All in all, he played 9 seasons with the Rangers, Expos, and Twins as a weak-fielding weak-hitting utility infielder.

The Vet Immortalized: is releasing its annual Ballpark Art by Andy Jurinko calendar. With Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field on the cover, the 2009 Hallowed Ground calendar also features Jurinko paintings of Crosley Field (Cincinnati), Griffith Stadium (Washington DC), Sportsman’s Park (St. Louis), Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles), Fenway Park (Boston), Comiskey Park (Chicago), Tiger Stadium (Detroit), Polo Grounds (New York), Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia), and Forbes Field (Pittsburgh). The 2009 edition of Hallowed Ground is available at for $17 plus $6 shipping and handling, or by calling 1-800-321-4633.


Check out this spiffy set of custom made washers loyal reader and noted Mets fan Scotty created for my family as a token of his appreciation for our awesomeness. Washers is a game played by 2 teams of 2 while standing on a wooden stage (shown to the side) and tossing washers (not the ones for laundry, the ones for bolts) and trying to land them in the 3 holes (1st hole = 1 point and so on). The stages are separated by 11 feet, and although it seems relatively easy, it is not (especially after drinking lots of Yuengling). I went with old school Phils on mine, but if you so wish, you too can have a custom built washers set with team emblem or other design of your choice. If interested email Scotty.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh, (insert expletive)!

By now you have heard the terrible news of Chase Utley's injured hip that will require surgery and a 4-6 month recovery period. Most of us speculated that Chutley was playing hurt, because his numbers began to drop, but I doubt many us of suspected he was playing this hurt. The dude is one gutsy s.o.b. and the fact that he still played at a level higher than any other secondbaseman in the game while being substantially hindered by a bad hip cements his place with the best Phillies of all-time. Remember that heads up play he made in Game 5.5 of the World Series to nail Jason Bartlett at homeplate? I'll never forget!

What does this mean for the team? According to GM Ruben Amaro, the surgery will be exploratory as doctors do not know the full extent of his injury. While under the knife they will repair any bone and cartilage damage. The less wrong, the quicker Utley is back rehabbing and on the field. Best case scenario, he's back sometime in April; worst case, he's out the first few months of the season and doesn't take the playing field until June. Even when he returns he'll likely be rusty from missing spring training, and slowed by the hip. In fact...take a deep breath...he may never be the same player again. We've become accustomed to watching him go balls-out every game all game, and I'm sure his demeanor won't change, but the hip could keep him from playing at the level he has the past 3 seasons. Lets not get ahead of ourselves though. Short term solution- Eric Bruntlett and Jason Donald split time at secondbase. Bruntlett has no bat, but can field. Donald has no MLB experience, but has hit a ton in the minors, but hasn't played much secondbase. Look for Rube to sign a relatively cheap utility infielder as an insurance plan. *Jerry Hairston Jr., rumored to be on the Phils radar as a righthanded batting outfielder, has played a lot of secondbase in the past.

More News:
*Pedro Feliz will also be having surgery to fix his broken back. Okay, it's not really broken, more like bulging discs or something, but you get the point. He spent time on the DL last season because of the injury, but came back and helped the Phils win the World Series with a clutch hit and some fine fielding. I'm not a big fan of his because he's an all-around out-making machine, but he is an important part of the team's plan for next season, so I hope for a speedy and full recovery for Pete Happy.

*Mr. Toolsy, that's former 1st round pick Greg Golson, has been swapped for another 1st round pick. Amaro got his trading feet wet by exchanging minor leaguers, as huge disappoint Golson was sent to the Texas Rangers for John Mayberry Jr.. Mayberry has power potential, but his minor league line has been mediocre over 4 seasons- 105 dbl, 82 hr, 275 r, 257 rbi, 42 sb, .255 avg, .802 OPS. He is big, 6'6" 230 lbs, plays outfield while batting righthanded, and is the son of former player John Mayberry who was in the Majors from 1968-1982 smacking 255 homeruns. I could care less that Golson is gone, I just hope Mayberry isn't Rube's solution in the outfield. *Both Amaro and young Mayberry went to Stanford.

*Upon further review, it has been decided that Mayberry Jr. looks a lot like a young Chris Rock. Rock is funny, but he can't hit a fastball.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Q&A- Eric Valent

Kicking off the offseason interview series is former Phillies 1st round pick Eric Valent, who was nice enough to do a Q&A session via email with WSBGM's. Valent was selected with the 42nd pick of 1998 amateur draft out of UCLA (Pat Burrell was selected 1st overall). He made his MLB debut in 2001 with the Phils and also saw action with them in 2002 before being traded to Cincinatti for Kelly Stinnett. He spent 2003 with the Reds then was drafted by the Mets in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft and went on to play with them from 2004-2005. He signed with the San Diego Padres in 2006, but was later released. Eric spent 2007 playing Japanese ball for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In 2008 he become a minor league coach for the Williamsport Cross Cutters. Career line- 205 g, 50 r, 95 h, 20 dbl, 13 hr, 37 rbi, .234 avg, and a .696 ops.

1. Describe the feeling of being selected in the 1st round of the 1998 draft after passing up the Tigers in 1995 in the 26th round.
Coming out of high school, I pretty much knew I was going to college unless I was taken in the first or second round. Out of high school, I was projected to go in the fourth or fifth round if I was signable. Instead, I took my scholarship to UCLA and I knew that was the right approach to take both academically and financially in the long run. It was a great feeling getting a call from the Phillies and being taken in the supplemental first round. All the hard work from when I was a kid, and up until then paid off.

2. Growing up, which team did you follow and who was your favorite player?
My favorite team was the Yankees and Angels. Growing up in Anaheim, CA, the Angels were my hometown team. I was a Yankees fan because my dad was born in NY and my grandfather gave me a Yankee hat when I was like 6 years old and I wore it all the time. Don Mattingly became my favorite player and I used to read the box scores of him every morning before school. I collected his cards and everything else. When I was with the Mets in '04, I met him during interleague in the batting cages at Yankee Stadium. He signed one of my bats for me. It was pretty neat. He was somebody I admired because he seemed to work hard and he wasn't a big guy either.

3. Out of all your college teammates at UCLA, (Troy Glaus, Eric Byrnes, Chase Utley, Garrett Atkins, and of course yourself), who was the most talented back then?
I'll give you my take on all of them because they all have special qualities. During college, Troy Glaus had the most raw talent because of his size and athleticism. Eric Byrnes is a tremendous athlete with natural strength and hand-eye coordination. He's also the most upbeat and positive player I've ever been around. Chase had a great swing from the day he arrived and the work ethic to go with it. He gradually got better, year in and year out, and still works just as hard today. Garrett was the best pure hitter I've seen walk on to a college campus and hit from day one. As a freshman he had a 33 game hitting streak and hit .380 in the conference. That was great competition as well against teams such as Stanford, Arizona State, and USC. For myself, I had great power and was pretty savvy in the field as well. I wasn't that great of a hitter because my career average was around .340, which isn't that high in college. But, my power was really good and I never missed a pitcher's mistake.

4. What have you been up to lately baseball-wise?
I now coach in the Phillies minor leagues and will be going on my second year. In the offseason, I run hitting camps for young players and also do individual and team hitting camps. I teach players about the things I wish I would have done better to become more successful. I keep it simple with them and tell them things that I really didn't realize until the end.

5. Describe what the Phillies did for you and other alumni during the 2008 playoffs.
The Phillies invited every full time employee and guest to Philadelphia for games 3,4,5. It was great. We stayed in New Jersey. We did some sightseeing during the day, game at night, and then an after party after every game. It was nice to see everybody and watch the Phillies players live out their dreams on the field.

6. Which was the bigger thrill- playing in the College World Series in 1997, or winning the 2008 World Series as a Phillies minor league coach?
We didn't win the College World Series. We lost the first two games and were eliminated. It was an awesome experience though because that was something I wanted to experience as a college player and was fortunate to do so. The outcome wasn't successful, but the experience was something I'll never forget. As a coach, it's just nice to be a part of a great organization and see their hard work payoff. When I was drafted in 1998 by the Phillies, that's when they started to really work on getting to where they are at now. It shows that the process has paid off and the Phillies have been a competitive club for the last 4 years or so.

7. Aside from your debut (vs. BoSox on June 8, 2001), what was you most memorable MLB game?
Definitely hitting for the cycle with the Mets in 2004. It took some luck and it will be nice to share that with my kids as they get older.

8. Compare American and Japanese baseball.
Night and day. I'll just hit on a couple things. In Japan, you hit batting practice and take infield before every game no matter what. If the teams can't take infield before the game on the field, the game will be canceled. Not once, will a team ever not take infield before a game. Also, the games can end in a tie at 12 innings as well. Japan is stuck in some old traditions and they are losing some fan base. The best players keep migrating to the U.S. and the game needs some tinkering to keep the fan base strong. Some other different things are in Japan you wear your uniform back to the hotel after a road game and it gets laundered there instead of the locker rooms like the Majors, and when you fly it's commercial and not chartered like the Major Leagues.

9. Which players do we need to keep an eye on as far as being close to making a MLB impact?
I've only been with the Phillies for one year, but from what I've seen and what everybody hears about are names like Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Carlos Carrasco, and Greg Golson. These are all names that the Phillies fans can hear next year at some point and time who could help the Phillies along the way. I'd say watch out for a guy like Michael Taylor. He made a serious impact last year and put up some impressive numbers. If he can continue to perform like that in Double AA, he will be one to look out for.

10. Funniest clubhouse story.
I don't think this is a pay website, so I'll keep it presentable. Funny things in the clubhouse are when guys tape up a player's whole locker, from shirts to shoes, to the opening of the locker. I've seen guys use a ton of white athletic tape and the locker looks like a mummy when it's done.

11. Any superstitions?
Not really. I'd just try to stick to a routine everyday when I played. Tried to take my early work the same way, batting practice, etc. The baseball season is so long that as a player you just want to keep yourself in a good routine that can last the whole year. The routine helps keep players physically, and more importantly mentally strong.

12. What was your best position on the diamond (RF, LF, or 1B)?
Definitely RF. I had good instincts in the OF and a strong, accurate throwing arm. I took pride in my defense and I had to because my offense would shut down for awhile during the season. Strong defense shows that you respect your teammates and are focused for whatever pitcher is on the mound.

13. You have an Eric Valent Fan Site, it's pretty weak, any chance you want WSBGM's to be your new place of homage?
It is pretty weak, but yet again I was a pretty weak MLB player. I'll definitely take the new sponsorship by WSBGM's. I think it's kind of funny that a guy like me has a website out there. He probably bought the name and was hoping I made it bigger and could sell me the rights to the site. That's something I probably won't ever try and negotiate to buy.

14. What are your future aspirations in terms of baseball?
If I stay in coaching, I'd definitely like to become a hitting coordinator in the future and a big league hitting coach. I feel that I can connect well with today's players and have a good philosophy to hitting and helping players become the best hitters they can be. I also have interest in baseball administration, but the opportunities for those are hard to come by. I went to UCLA for 3 years and am now finishing my college degree through University of Phoenix in Business Management. I'll be done this August. I want to have this background to give myself more options in the future. I can then say that I had a good playing career and took the time out to finish my education as well.

15. Do you read blogs at all? If so, which ones, and what is your general viewpoint on blogs?
I read yours of course and BeerLeaguer. That's about it. I mainly go to,, things like that to see what's going on in the baseball industry. As far as blogs go, I think they're great. They are done by people who are passionate about something and who are not necessarily in it for the money. Of course it would be great to have tons of hits and sell advertising, but bloggers just enjoy writing about their opinions and different stances on different subjects.

16. How much do you miss playing the game?
I don't miss playing that much. I always said that when I was 30, if I wasn't in the big leagues for good I'd hang up the spikes. That was always my thought when I was starting my baseball career at age 21. I knew that if I stayed healthy that I was going to have the chance to play in the Majors. After that, it's up to the player to make the most of it. I was fortunate enough to play 2 full seasons in the majors out of 5 MLB seasons. I picked 30 because that's an age when if you're not on a 40-man roster, the road back to the bigs is tough and you need some luck. I had my opportunities and felt that I would start the next phase of my career.

17. Biggest regret as a player.
I wish I would have had more fun and enjoyed more of the moments in time. At times, I think I worked too hard at baseball because I wasn't blessed with the prototypical body, great running speed, or great hand-eye coordination. That's it though. It's nice being able to walk away saying that, rather than saying I didn't get the most out of my ability and having real regrets.

*Eric has offered his services for a "Coach's Corner" where you can email us at WSBGM's and we'll compile a list of questions for him to answer about MLB and minor league baseball life and fundamentals of baseball. We'll then post his answers with the "Ask the GM's" post that we plan on doing for any equestion you have for Corey and I.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WSBGM's Offseason Preview

WSBGM's will continue to churn out posts daily throughout the entire offseason. Trades, signings, and rumors will be discussed. Also on the agenda are some interviews (Eric Valent being first on the docket) and a new installment called "Ask the GM's", where you, the readers, can email Corey and/or me various questions about the Phillies, baseball in general, or even which beer tastes best with Papa John's pizza (toppings sway answer). Of course there will be zany posts about current players, managers, and prospects that are sure to get a chuckle from you, as that's our mission statement. So start emailing us some thought provoking questions and enjoy the autumn weather, because the Phillies are World F*ckin' Champions and it's a long way away from the end of February when Spring Training starts.

*Gary "Sarge" Matthews has co-authored a book, Phillies Confidential: The Untold Inside Story of the 2008 Championship Season. No offense to Sarge, but I hope the other co-author, Scott Lauber did most of the writing.

*Phils farmhand Jason Donald is really becoming a "buzz name" as a prospect. Great season with Reading, best hitter for Team USA in the Olympics, and now a standout in the Arizona Fall League where he's a finalist for the Stenson Award. From "A shortstop by trade, this third-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2006 has been working on his third-base skills in the AFL, as the World Champion Phillies already have a strong double-play combination in the big leagues. Donald batted .307 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs at Double-A Reading this season and represented the United States in the Summer Olympics. Though the Stenson nomination isn't necessarily about level of play, he is also hitting .422 with four homers and 16 RBIs, along with a .747 slugging percentage, for Mesa in the fall campaign."