Friday, December 31, 2010

Phlashback Phriday: Name Those Phillies

Lucky you, today is a 2fer. To officially win, and by win, we mean bragging rights because we sure ain't forking over any prizes, you must name both players.

Clues- Player A (left) was a MLB coach for multiple teams. Player B (right) is deceiving because he's best known for a card gaffe more so than his playing days. So, go ahead, name those Phillies.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

WSBGMs Phinal Phantasy Phootball Standings

Congratulations to my fellow co-blogger Corey in his triumph over the 12 man field in this year's WSBGMs Phantasy Phootball league. His team, My Vick in a Box, snuck into the playoffs with a 7-6 record, but whopped ass all the way to the final defeating Four TDs in 1 Game to finish in 1st place. This is Corey's 2nd league championship in a row, while my squad, Polish My Kolb, finished in a sorry 11th place for a 2nd consecutive season.

Finals Standings:
1. My Vick in a Box
2. Four TDs in 1 Game
3. Jerry's Kids
4. bulwarkbradley
5. Philadelphia Stars
6. 1-800-BooHoo
7. Damn Dirty Apes
8. Dick Yuengling
9. Child Plz Str8 Cash
10. Raul Raiders
11. Polish My Kolb

Thanks to all that participated, and for those that didn't win, just like a Cubs fans since the early 1900's - "There's always next year."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Philadelphia Phillies 25-Man Roster

Here's how I envision the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies 25-man roster shaping up, given that there are no further additions.

*2010 stats listed
Starting 8:
Carlos Ruiz/C- .302/.847, 43 R, 28 2B, 8 HR, 53 RBI
Ryan Howard/1B- .276/.859, 87 R, 23 2B, 5 3B, 31 HR, 108 RBI
Chase Utley/2B- .275/.832, 75 R, 20 2B, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 13 SB
Placido Polanco/3B- .298/.726, 76 R, 27 2B, 6 HR, 52 RBI, 5 SB
Jimmy Rollins/SS- .243/.694, 48 R, 16 2B, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 17 SB
Raul Ibanez/LF- .275/.793, 75 R, 37 2B, 5 3B, 16 HR, 83 RBI
Shane Victorino/CF- .259/.756, 84 R, 26 2B, 10 3B, 18 HR, 69 RBI, 34 SB
Domonic Brown/RF- .327/.980 in 93 minor league games.

Brian Schneider/C- .240/.729
Wilson Valdez/UTL- .258/.667
Ross Gload/1B/OF- .281/.813
Ben Francisco/OF- .268/.768
John Mayberry/OF- .232/.810 in 73 MLB plate appearances in 09-10

Roy Halladay 21-10, 250.2 IP, 219 K, 2.44/1.04
Cliff Lee 12-9, 212.1 IP, 185 K, 3.18/1.00
Roy Oswalt 13-13, 211.2 IP, 193 K, 2.76/1.03
Cole Hamels 12-11, 208.2 IP, 211 K, 3.06/1.18
Kyle Kendrick 11-10, 180.2 IP, 84 K, 4.73/1.37

Brad Lidge 50 G, 45.2 IP, 52 K, 27 SV, 2.96/1.23
Ryan Madson 55 G, 53 IP, 64 K, 5 SV, 2.55/1.04
Jose Contreras 67 G, 56.2 IP, 57 K, 4 SV, 3.34/1.22
JC Romero 60 G, 36.2 IP, 28 K, 3 SV, 3.68/1.61
Danys Baez 51 G, 47.2 IP, 28 K, 5.48/1.64
Antonio Bastardo 25 G, 18.2 IP, 26 K, 4.34/1.50
David Herndon 47 G, 52.1 IP, 29 K, 4.30/1.61

Special Notes:
*Joe Blanton to be traded.
*Vance Worley battles for 5th spot in rotation.
*Mike Zagurski, Scott Mathieson, Justin De Fratus, Dan Meyer, and Eddie Bonine compete for bullpen with David Herndon being the likely casualty.
*Michael Martinez (Rule 5), Pete Orr, Josh Barfield, and Jeff Larish try to bump Mayberry off the roster for final bench spot.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rendell- STFU!

We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game?
~Ed Rendell, PA Gonvenor
This quote is in regards to the Eagles Sunday night game being postponed until Tuesday due to the snow storm that hammered Philadelphia and much of the East Coast. If Vince Lombardi would have said this, then it would be a different story, but Rendell is a government official, a politician that should know better than to pop off at the mouth like this. Then again much of Pennsylvania would say this is just another nail in his coffin of stupid shit he's said/done over the years. Speaking of wusses, nice sweater there tough guy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2 JC's in 1 Weekend

While all over the world one JC's (Jesus Christ) birth was being celebrated on Saturday, another JC's (Juan Carlos) return was a belated Christmas present a day after to Phillies fans. Yep, JC Romero remains a Phillie, and technically he never left. The Phils bought out his $4.5M option, but he's coming back for the 2011 campaign on pay cut (like Derek Jeter, but to a lesser extent). He's wild and injury prone, but the southpaw is still quality against lefties (.174/.278/.251 over the past 3 seasons). Since joining the Phils in 2007 Romero has gone 6-6, with a 2.60 ERA, and 1.37 WHIP in 213 game over 148.2 IP. He joins a bullpen that already includes Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, Danys Baez, and likely David Herndon and Antonio Bastardo.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Phils Gear Did You Get For Christmas?

It's the day after Christmas and WSBGMs is wondering what Phillies gear Phanatic Claus put under your tree or stuffed in your stocking this year. Me- 3D coasters for the bar and a nice cup. In past years I've been gifted jerseys, plaques/pictures, ornaments, bumper stickers, a license plate, a flag, apparel, fleece blanket, and a PEZ dispenser. It's difficult to buy me t-shirts that I don't already have seeing that my collection consists of half Phillies other half brewery/beer themed.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Harry Kalas Reciting 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas from WSBGMs. Figured a lil' Harry Kalas reciting 'Twas the Night Before Christmas would be a nice gift.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Dennys Reyes Contract

Remember when the Phillies signed Dennys Reyes to a one year, $1.1 million deal before it fell through? Reports are that he failed his physical, although Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock would only say that, "We were not able to finish it off." And Reyes' agent Oscar Suarez merely said the deal "hit a snag."

We here at WSBGMs decided to get to the bottom of this and deployed our Investigation Team. What did they find? Nothing...but the doctor's note from Reyes' physical.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Phillies Style Volume V

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Phillies gave to me...
12 points in the MVP voting for Chooch
11 man hugs from Mike Sweeney
10 smug smiles from Amaro
9 DL stints for J-Roll (guesstimate)
8 lame Affliction Victorino shirts
7 wins from Roy Oswalt
6 straight winning seasons by Charlie Manuel
5 blown saves by Lidge (big improvement!)
4 pitching aces
3 homeruns from Dane Sardinha (really?!)
2 crying teams over not getting Lee (suck it NY!)
1 Cy Young, perfect game, and playoff no-hitter from Halladay
and no more corkscrew swinging strikeouts from Jayson Werth.

Previous Installments:
*2006- Volume I (Scrooge McCorey)
*2007- Volume II (Santa Carson)
*2008- Volume III (Santa Carson)
*2009- Volume IV (Santa Carson)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Would You Wear This?

By all rights this is a hideously ridiculous shirt. And for that reason alone, I would rock it to a game and look like a total toolbag.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Starting Pitchers in MLB

The older I get the more I enjoy listening to baseball talk shows. Recently the topic of many conversations/debates is the worth of Cliff Lee and whether he's the best pitcher in baseball. I decided to rummage through every teams' roster and comprise a list of pitchers that have been consistently great/good over the past 3 years like Lee has been.

Criteria- Must have a 3 year track record of a sub 4.00 ERA and a minimum of 75 games started.

Reasoning- 3 years is a solid sample size, so it disqualifies any flash-in-the-pans or injury prone types. Real "aces" should average at least 25 games started a season and have a reputation built upon more than 1 or 2 good years.

Stats-Win/Loss Record, Games Started, Complete Games, Innings Pitched, Walk to Strikeout Ratio, ERA/WHIP, AVG Against/Opponents OPS, WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

1. Roy Halladay 58-31, 98 GS, 27 CG, 735.2 IP, 104:633, 2.67/1.07, .246/.644, 21.5 WAR.

2. Felix Hernandez 41-28, 99 GS, 10 CG, 689 IP, 221:624, 2.69/1.18, .232/.634, 16.8 WAR.

3. Adam Wainwright 50-22, 87 GS, 7 CG, 595.1 IP, 156:516, 2.68/1.14, .237/.640, 14.1 WAR.

4. Tim Lincecum 49-22, 98 GS, 7 CG, 664.2 IP, 228:757, 2.83/1.15, .223/.615, 20.8 WAR.

5. CC Sabathia 57-25, 103 GS, 14 CG, 720.2 IP, 200:645, 3.07/1.15, .236/.644, 19.1 WAR.

6. Cliff Lee 48-25, 93 CG, 17 CG, 667.1 IP, 95:536, 2.98/1.12, .255/.651, 20.9 WAR.

7. Johan Santana 40-25, 88 GS, 7 CG, 600 IP, 164:496, 2.85/1.18, .238/.660, 11.0 WAR.

8. Josh Johnson 33-12, 75 GS, 4 CG, 480 IP, 133:454, 2.94/1.17, .241/.638, 14.0 WAR.

9. Jon Lester 50-23, 97 GS, 6 CG, 621.2 IP, 213:613, 3.29/1.24, .240/.661, 17.1 WAR.

10. Zack Greinke 39-32, 98 GS, 10 CG, 651.2 IP, 162:602, 3.25/1.19, .249/.673, 19.6 WAR.

11. Matt Cain 35-33, 100 GS, 9 CG, 658.2 IP, 225:534, 3.27/1.21, .235/.682, 11.2 WAR.

12. Clayton Kershaw 26-23, 83 GS, 1 CG, 483 IP, 224:497, 3.17/1.27, .221/.639, 9.8 WAR.

13. Ubaldo Jimenez 46-32, 100 GS, 6 CG, 638.1 IP, 280:584, 3.43/1.27, .227/.644, 16.3 WAR.

14. Dan Haren 42-30, 101 GS, 6 CG, 680.1 IP, 132:645, 3.47/1.14, .247/.681, 17.0 WAR.

15. Justin Verlander 48-35, 101 GS, 8 CG, 665.1 IP, 221:651, 3.84/1.24, .214/.669, 18.1 WAR.

16. Ryan Dempster 43-27, 98 GS, 3 CG, 622 IP, 227:567, 3.49/1.28, .244/.695, 12.4 WAR.

17. Cole Hamels 36-32, 98 GS, 5 CG, 629.2 IP, 157:575, 3.46/1.18, .245/.700, 11.9 WAR.

18. Roy Oswalt 38-29, 94 GS, 8 CG, 601.2 IP, 144:496, 3.52/1.14, .243/.673, 11.2 WAR.

19. Chad Billingsley 40-32, 95 GS, 2 CG, 588.2 IP, 235:551, 3.58/1.31, .245/.686, 12.2 WAR.

20. Wandy Rodriguez 34-31, 90 GS, 1 CG, 538 IP, 175:502, 3.36/1.28, .251/.703, 10.2 WAR.

21. Jair Jurrjens 34-26, 85 GS, 519.2 IP, 187:377, 3.45/1.31, .253/.709, 8.8 WAR.

22. Jered Weaver 40-30, 97 GS, 4 CG, 612 IP, 174:559, 3.65/1.19, .239/.689, 13.1 WAR.

23. Ted Lilly 39-30, 91 GS, 1 CG, 575.1 IP, 144:501, 3.63/1.12, .233/.701, 8.8 WAR.

24. John Danks 40-31, 97 GS, 2 CG, 608.1 IP, 200:470, 3.61/1.24, .243/.685, 12.5 WAR.

25. Carlos Zambrano 34-19, 78 GS, 2 CG, 487.2 IP, 219:399, 3.71/1.36, .244/.684, 9.0 WAR.

26. Derek Lowe 45-33, 101 GS, 1 CG, 599.1 IP, 169:394, 3.95/1.33, .273/.721, 10.3 WAR.

27. Hiroki Kuroda 28-30, 82 GS, 2 CG, 497 IP, 114:362, 3.60/1.18, .247/.656, 10.0 WAR.

28. Mark Buehrle 41-35, 100 GS, 5 CG, 642.1 IP, 146:344, 3.97/1.33, .284/.751, 11.8 WAR.

29. Matt Garza 34-31, 94 GS, 6 CG, 592.1 IP, 201:567, 3.86/1.25, .242/.702, 7.9 WAR.

30. Randy Wolf 36-31, 101 GS, 2 CG, 620.1 IP, 216:464, 3.89/1.29, .249/.724, 5.8 WAR.

31. Gavin Floyd 38-32, 94 GS, 3 CG, 586.2 IP, 187:459, 3.99/1.29, .253/.713, 11.4 WAR.

Honorable Metions:
Andy Pettitte, Jonathan Sanchez, Erwin Sanatana, Joe Saunders, John Lackey, Bronson Arroyo, Joel Pineiro, Scott Baker, Edwin Jackson, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Garland, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Carpenter, Tim Hudson, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Shaun Marcum, David Price, Tommy Hanson, Mat Latos, Clay Buchholz, Ricky Romero, and Trevor Cahill.

*Clearly Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball.
*Good ERA doesn't always mean good win/loss record (see Kuroda, Cain, Kershaw, Hamels, and Wandy Rodriguez).
*There are only 31 pitchers in all of baseball who fit the listed criteria.
*When ranking I weighted ERA/WHIP and IP more heavily than win/loss record, although wins are important.
*The Phillies have 4 of the Top 31 starting pitchers in their rotation based on this criteria.
*Playoff stats were not included, because not every pitcher has that opportunity.
*This is my arbitrary system of ranking the starting pitchers in baseball. Therefore, I know it's open to scrutiny and debate.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baseball-izing of Cricket

Even though Baseball is considered to be a very American sport (widely regarded as “the national pastime”) it has a far reaching influence and has a huge following in Canada, Latin America and East Asia. In England however, it still falls behind Cricket in terms of popularity. Cricket also has a far reaching influence, mainly in former British Colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, The Caribbean and especially India where its fan base almost worships the game as a Religion.
The whole world sees Cricket as a rather boring, time heavy sport for people that enjoy the socializing (drinking) side of the sport than the actual sportsmanship elements. However inviting social aspects of cricket such as cricket betting is one thing that has helped the popularity of the sport grow, as well as the booze of course.
But why are these two highly regarded yet similar national sports considered so different to each other?
At first look the differences look epic, helped not in part to the mythos surrounding each sport. Baseball exciting, loud and vibrant. Cricket, slow with the only noise being that of the occasional hand clap or odd shout from the players.
Wouldn’t it be better if Cricket took on some of the qualities of Baseball?
The first thing to address could be making the Cricket pitch bigger. What’s the point of having a giant green field with only a small horizontal strip in the middle of it being utilized? This gives us our first Baseball quality that could help Cricket; Big video screens so people can see the action from anywhere they sit!
Secondly, get rid of the boring Cricket commentators that sound like they are trying to stay awake themselves “and……yep….Flintoff hits the ball…..”, bring in some young enthusiastic people to jazz up the proceedings “Bam! Flintoff has just satellited it out of the park! Woohooo”.
Thirdly, add an air of event to it. There’s no reason why it can’t get hyped up and promoted like a major event, it would even help more British people get behind it. Make the Cricket stadiums bigger with more seating, bring in mascots, ball girls and cheerleaders to warm up the crowd and get the energy going before the big match! Obviously some of the existing traditions of Cricket are quite cool and don’t need changing, so let’s keep the socialized polite drinking and cake eating.
And finally, give the Cricket outfit a makeover, imagine how cool it would look if all those protective pads were built into the actual clothes? It would look like a team of robots playing and who would ever complain about that happening?!
The campaign to Baseball-ize Cricket starts here!

~Nick Johnstone

Friday, December 17, 2010

Phlashback Phriday - Cliff Lee Trade

Hey, remember when the Phils traded Cliff Lee to re-stock their farm system? How'd that work out, anyway? Well, Baseball America released their Top 10 Phillies prospects earlier this week. Here it is:

1. Domonic Brown, of
2. Jonathan Singleton, 1b/of
3. Brody Colvin, rhp
4. Jarred Cosart, rhp
5. Trevor May, rhp
6. Sebastian Valle, c
7. Jiwan James, of
8. Jesse Biddle, lhp
9. Domingo Santana, of
10. Aaron Altherr, of

Nice list, I guess. I’ve seen Domonique Brown play. He seems pretty good. And I’ve looked at these guys stats, which also are pretty good. Of course, I couldn’t differentiate Jiwan James from Juwan Howard. Or Jarred Cosart from Jarred from Subway. Basically, I don’t really know much about this list except the superficial. But there is one thing that I definitely know by looking at this list: the Cliff Lee trade really sucked.

Where’s Frenchy? Where’s Deafy? [Oh yeah, he’s face first into a mirror full of coke.] Where’s…the other guy who I’ve already forgotten about?

Trading for Halladay? Awesome. Getting Oswalt? Super. Letting Werth walk? Had to be done. Signing Lee out from under the nose of the Evil Empire? Nothing short of pure genius. But that Lee trade. Oh me oh my, that one was a stinker for Rube.
Werth has a transcript from a recent Jayson Werth interview. You can read it here.

It's nothing special. Like every other word he's said since signing for the Gnats, he's trying to convince everyone that he's not there just for the money, even though everyone knows he is.

There were a few things I chuckled at, though. First he said he was looking forward to playing with "guys like Ian Desmond, Espinosa." Who? Espinosa? Is here referring to .214 hitting Danny Espinosa?

It's going to be long year for Jayson. At least he'll get to play in front of Phillies fans, who dominate that ballpark a few times a year. Or will they? "I think that is going to change soon as we fill the seats with Nats fans those people are going to go away and we are going to regain homefield advantage and I am looking forward to that day too."

Danny Espinosa a good player? Gnats fans filling the ballpark? Werth is trippin' worse than Sal Alosi. Luckily he can now afford some good psychiatric help...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Werth an Elf?

Is Jayson Werth an elf? You be the judge. One thing I know for sure is that Cody Ross and Dan Uggla are definitely members of the North Pole guild.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Q&A- Genevieve (New Phillies Ball Girl)

Genevieve Haney is the newest Phillies Ball Girl, as she became such by winning an online poll, for which she marketed herself quite well. WSBGMs was luckly enough to get in some quality time with this cutie to ask some questions I'm sure you're all dying to know the answers to. Enjoy...

1. What did you do to celebrate after becoming the newest Phillies Ball Girl?
It is a continuous celebration for me, I don’t think it has really sunk in that I won, but after I found out I won I was stressing over the 2 weeks of work I missed because I spent every other minute marketing out to every possible person, group, and company I could. I ended up just going out in the city that weekend with some close friends and some co-workers.

2. Who is your favorite Phillies player?
You mean besides the Phanatic right? He hands down has my vote, and I can’t explain why I just have some weird obsession with Mascots. As far as a player, Utley is my favorite. His defensive plays are awesome, he turns great double plays, he has a sick backhand flip, and over all he is just clutch. Defense has always been my thing, so I respect the athleticism of all his plays.

3. You're in a movie about softball "How Do You Know", starring Reese Witherspoon. What's it all about, how much of a role do you play, and did you get to talk with Reese at all?
Well, to make a long story short, it is a love comedy and Reese is an All-American softball player who is cut for a younger, blonder girl. Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson also find themselves in life crises and the questions they ask themselves are “How do you know” when you are in love, luck, trouble….. all the above.
I am Reese’s Olympic teammate, and I guess I will find out if I make the cut this Friday when it comes out. We spent about a week and a half with Reese and she is one of my favorite actresses so all in all it was an unbelievable experience. I filmed a movie as a softball player, and I am now a Ball girl. I can die a happy girl.

4. How badly do you want to get on Baseball Tonight's snagging a Web Gem?
That would be awesome, I kept telling my friends that I imagined jumping off the chair catching a line drive and falling into the stands. Highly doubtful that would happen, but never know. I need to practice fielding baseballs for sure, they will be coming down the line a lot quicker then what I am used to and I don’t plan on getting out of the way unless I have to.

5. You come from a family of 5 brothers/sisters (including yourself), how was it growing up in your house?
There are 5 of us total, I am the only girl and I have 3 older brothers and 1 younger. Besides not being able to date, or even talk to a guy until I was about 21, it was great. I learned how to have tough skin, protect myself, and how to play every sport (better then all my brothers...Ha). I grew up around sports, every family holiday consisted of wiffle ball, football, street hockey, and runing the bases. And the fact that my mom made me wear a dress to these functions, didn’t faze me. I think by the time I put a hole in my 15th dress my mom gave up, and I could wear what I wanted. My brothers, parents and the rest of my family are definitely my biggest supporters and where I am today, is because of them.

6. What perks are there with the distinction of being a Phillies Ball Girl?
Besides having the best seat in the house, dancing on the dugout, and being at Citizens Bank Park a lot more than a usual fan, I will be meeting and working with people that I might not even have had the chance to. I have recently been involving myself with community service around the area and the overall feeling of helping people is great.

7. Anyway way you can get two GMs into a game for free (myself and Corey)?

Let me see what the inside scoop is, if not...Will Villanova Basketball be a good substitute? HA

8. How much training is there and/or do you anticipate for your upcoming gig shagging foul balls down the right or leftfield lines?
Probably a lot more then I expect...I don’t want to be the girl that touches a fair ball and then just messes up everything in the game. That is not cool at all. There will be a lot of rules as to what we can and can’t do as far as fielding and I want to be able to get out there as much as possible, so I want to do everything right.

9. Other than Phillies baseball, what else excites you?
That’s a simple question...The Eagles beating the Cowboys last night, DeSean Jackson falling backwards into the end zone, oh the Eagles and the Flyers. I have really gotten into snowboarding so I plan on making that a part of my winter routine as much as possible. Besides that, I have the best seat in the house for Villanova basketball games as I sit mid-court at the scorer’s table running the game from media time outs to promotions and presentations. Doing that in front of almost 20,000 fans is a bit exciting as well.
Non sport related things would be being a beach bum, sleeping when I have the time and if I am not doing any of those? I am probably out dancing or making a complete fool of myself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Facebook Excited Lee Back in Philly

From the looks of things, Facebook is excited about Cliff Lee's reunion with the Phillies. The following was found via WSBGMs' friends...

Merry Cliffmas, Happy Halladays, Roy to the World and Cole in your stocking.

Skip Bayless should kill himself, or at the very least sever his tongue from his mouth.

Cliff Lee Loves the Phillies

Ruben Amaro Jr. is some sort of evil mastermind. Since becoming the Phillies GM he's been able to accrue aces Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cliff Lee (twice!). Yep, Clifton Phifer Lee is back in Philly. He never wanted to leave and came back as soon as he got the chance. He turned down more money and more years from the Rangers and Yankees to come back to the City of Brotherly Love. He loves Philly and we love him.

The contract is reportedly for 5 years and in the $120M range, with a vesting option for a 6th season. This gives the Phillies the best rotation in baseball without question- Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, and Hamels. Because of money constraints it appears Joe Blanton will be dealt (rumored to the Red Sox). That Amaro is one crafty bastard. That leaves Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley competing for the 5th spot in the rotation. If I were Rube, I'd trade away most of the bullpen too, because with those 4 workhorses anything earlier than the 8th inning becomes obsolete.

This Lee deal sends shockwaves throughout baseball, as it seemed a foregone conclusion that he would sign with the highest bidder. Well, turns out Lee wanted well paid, but he also wanted to go somewhere he knew he'd thrive. Yankees fans must be thinking this is some sort of practical joke or an effed-up episode of the Twilight Zone. Phillies fans have to be ecstatic (I know this one is).

*Special Note- Back in the 1920's there was another Cliff Lee who played baseball, and he too was a Phillie.

*Picture stolen from Facebook

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beat That Dead Horse- Howard's Contract

Here at WSBGMs we're known for finding a dead horse and beating it, because that's what we do. No rhyme, no reason. It's our site and if we feel like carrying on and on about something we'll do it. Anyway, I know the Ryan Howard contract has been hashed out previously by both Corey and myself, but I just can't let it rest. Recently I read a post on UmpBump that resparked my anger/annoyance with the contract. Let's look at the facts and you decide if it's undeserved or fair.

The contract in question- 5 years $125M.

*Ryan Howard is 31 years old. Still well within the age range of typical quality production, but likely has already maximized his growth/potential.

*He was set to become a free agent following the 2011 season. Same offseason that other slugging firstbasemen Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and Prince Fielder were to hit the open market for bidding. The Yankees already have Mark Teixeira locked up long term at 1st, the Angels have Kendry Morales, and the Mets with Ike Davis. That leaves the Dodgers and Red Sox as big market teams that would bid on all 4. Essentially Amaro jumped the gun on the Howard extension and bid against himself.

*Since his magical MVP campaign of 2006 in which he clouted a 1.084 OPS, we've witnessed his OPS steadily drop over the past 4 seasons ('07- .976, '08- .881, '09- .931, '10- .859).

*Ryan Howard's WAR (Wins Above Replacement Player) was only 2.6 in '07, 2.8 in '08, and 2.1 in last year. Over the past 3 seasons he doesn't even crack the top 70 in the majors for WAR (this includes both batters and pitchers and takes into account position scarcity and fielding).

*Ryan Howard's defense remains subpar, mostly because of his inability to start a double play by throwing to 2nd base.

*Ryan Howard is below average against lefties- .232/.766.

*Ryan Howard is getting paid like a top-5 player. He has the 2nd highest contract in all of baseball by annual value, after only Alex Rodriguez’s bloated 2008 pact with the Yankees, and he has the 8th-largest contract by overall value. (Borrowed from UmpBump article)

*Slugging 1st basemen are a dime a dozen, just look around the Majors and you'll find a plethora of them- Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Fielder, Morneau, Huff, Dunn, Miguel Cabrera, Youkilis, Votto, Butler, Konerko, Teixeira, Pena, Berkman, and Morales that all have better or very similar OPS to Howard. And that's just players of his same position. Put him in the mix of every position and Howard's OPS hasn't cracked the top 15 in baseball any of the last 3 seasons, and ranks 19th overall during that span.

*Ryan Howard is a large man (6'4"/255), and by the time this contract is up he'll be 37 years old. Other big men of recent memory (Troy Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder, Mark McGwire, Jim Thome, David Ortiz, and Frank Thomas) have not been able to remain offensive forces while playing the field (which Howard will have to do being in the NL), as they were able to DH or hardly play.
"This contract means that, over the first 10 seasons of his career, Howard will earn approximately $190.5 million. No player -- not A-Rod, not Mauer, not Derek Jeter, not Albert Pujols -- has equaled that number, in this or any other era."
~Jayson Stark

Ryan Howard's contract...
Fair free polls

Writer's Note- I enjoy watching Ryan Howard play this great game of baseball, especially in my favorite team's uniform. However, my fanaticism doesn't blind me and keep me from looking at things objectively.

*There's even been a blog dedicated to ridding the Phillies of Howard- Trade Ryan Howard.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

MLB's Top 20 Pitching Leaders

As promised, here's the active players who've managed to put themselves in the Top 20 pitching leaderboard of Major League Baseball's history.

13. Mariano Rivera- 2.23


3. Mariano Rivera- 1.00
7. Trevor Hoffman- 1.06

Win %:
16. Roy Halladay- .663
18. Johan Santana- .658

9. Trevor Hoffman- 1035
17. Mariano Rivera- 978

Games Started:
16. Jamie Moyer- 628

1. Trevor Hoffman- 601
2. Mariano Rivera- 559

Homeruns Allowed:
1. Jamie Moyer- 511
14. Tim Wakefield- 393

Hit Batters:
9. Tim Wakefield- 178

Strikeouts Per 9 IP:

2. Kerry Wood- 10.35
5. Trevor Hoffman- 9.36
7. Oliver Perez- 9.12
8. Jake Peavey- 8.93
10. Johan Santana- 8.85
11. Arthur Rhodes- 8.82
12. Scott Kazmir- 8.76
18. Josh Beckett- 8.51

It's clearly difficult to crack the Top 20 in the pitching departments. Aside from strikeouts per 9 innings, this will remain the case for decades to come. They just don't pitch enough anymore to rack up the win totals or yesteryear's pitchers. Also, looking at the strikeouts per 9 innings makes me laugh- Ollie Perez, Rhodes, Kazmir...ha!

Notes- Billy Wagner was disqualified due to retiring (not active). Jamie Moyer was included due to his statement of wishing to make a comeback following Tommy John surgery.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

MLB's Top 20 Batting Leaders

In the offseason things can get pretty boring baseball-wise here at WSBGMs headquarters. Aside from a blockbluster trade involving Blanton and Ibanez to Seattle for King Felix or the Cliff Lee signing to a Philly-friendly contract of 3/$45M there won't be much excitement until spring training rolls around...and I use the term excitement liberally there. What to do to pass the time? For me, stats. The following is a list of offensive categories that active players rank in the Top 20. You'll notice many PED users (A-Rod, Manny, Tejada, Cameron, Giambi) and 1 current and one ex-Phillie. Enjoy...

Games Played:
15t. Omar Vizquel- 2850

20. Alex Rodriguez- 1757

17. Alex Rodriguez- 1831
18. Manny Ramirez- 1830

6. Alex Rodriguez- 613
8. Jim Thome- 589
14. Manny Ramirez- 555

9. Jim Thome- 1679

2. Jim Thome- 2395
10. Mike Cameron- 1842
11. Alex Rodriguez- 1836
13. Manny Ramirez- 1809
20. Jim Edmonds- 1729

On Base %:
12. Albert Pujols- .426
15. Todd Helton- .424

Slugging %:
4. Albert Pujols- .624
9. Manny Ramirez- .587
12. Ryan Howard- .572
13. Alex Rodriguez- .571
16. Vladimir Guerrero- .563
19t. Jim Thome- .559

5. Albert Pujols- 1.050
9. Manny Ramirez- .998
11. Todd Helton- .979
17. Jim Thome- .963
19. Alex Rodriguez- .958
20. Lance Berkman- .954

Hit By Pitch:
5. Jason Kendall- 254
14. Jason Giambi- 170
19t. Derek Jeter- 152
19t. Alex Rodriguez- 152

Ground Into Double Play:
2. Ivan Rodriguez- 331
20t. Miguel Tejada- 261

It's obvious that baseball has evolved into a hitting first mindset over the past couple decades. Pitchers used to dominate, but with PEDs, better conditioning, and smaller ballparks the batter appears to have the upper hand. Hence the offensive leaderboard being riddled with players from this generation, especially in the power department. C'mon, Lance Berkman is a good sometimes great ball player, but to have the 20th best OPS in the history of the game...really?

Notes- Carlos Delgado was disqualified due to not holding MLB employment last season. Ken Griffey Jr. was disqualified for retiring mid-season. Both are not currently active.

Tomorrow we'll unveil MLB's Top 20 Pitching Leaders.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Phillies Phlashback Phriday- Art Mahan

Art Mahan passed away this Tuesday December 7th, 2010. Art had the distinction of being the oldest living Phillie and fourth oldest living Major League player at 97 years old. He may have only played 1 season in the big leagues, but that wasn't for lack of talent. During that lone season back in 1940 he sported a Phillies uniform and batted .244/.615 in 146 games at firstbase, with one of those games coming as a pitcher in which he tossed a scoreless inning. The reason for Art's brief career was due to his service to this country, as he served in the US Navy during World War II. He did spend one season in the minor leagues following his MLB debut (1941) before shipping off to war and then another minor league season upon his return (1946), but never got back to the majors. Instead he turned his attention towards coaching at his alma mater, Villanova. Mahan was the baseball coach there from 1950-1973 with a 236-169-5 record and 4 trips to the NCAA tournament. Despite his abbreviated career, Mahan often received requests for autographs.
"One guy sent a box of 12 official major league baseballs and wanted him to sign each one. And he sent a check along with it. My dad signed every one, but he sent the check back with the balls. He never took one penny for signing."
~Edwin Mahan, Art's son

Art also apparently had a sense of humor too...
"The Augustinian priests kept telling me to have faith in the saints and to ask St. Jude for help when I would step up to bat. After trying this, it was quickly obvious that St. Jude couldn't hit a curveball, either."
~Art Mahan in reference to a minor league slump he endured

*Alex "Spunk" Pitko now becomes the oldest living Phillies at age 96, and the 5th oldest living former major leaguer.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dennys Reyes = Newest Phucco

The Phils signed lefty reliever Dennys Reyes to a one year contract worth $1.1 million.

The 33 year old Reyes has played for LA, CIN, COL, TEX, ARI, KC, SD, MIN, STL and PIT, making Reyes the latest in a long line of Phuccos. He also may be one of the chubbiest Phuccos of all time. lists Reyes at 6'3" and 250 pounds. Bullshit. With a gut like that, he's maybe 6'1" 250 or 6'3" 265 but hell, his giant fat head weighs at least 50 pounds.

Besides eating, Reyes didn't do anything very well last season. A lefty specialist, he allowed lefties to hit .307 and get on base at a .409 clip. Both number are well above his career averages of .238 and .332, respectively. He also walked 12 batters in only 38 innings in 2010. Yikes.

Here's hoping Reyes puts 2010 behind him and reverts to his prior form. But if he doesn't, here's also hoping the Phils cut their modest loss early and don't let Reyes walk batters well into September...
Free Agency C.R.E.A.M.
Just a quick update on free agency.

Jayson Werth, a 30+ outfielder with three years as a starter and numbers buoyed by a (not likely to be repeated) season with 46 doubles, got seven years and $126 million.

Carl Crawford got seven years and $142 million from the Red Sox. Best outfielder on the market got the best contract. But is CC worth $20 mil per year?

Old, slow, deteriorating shortstop Derek Jeter got $51 million and three years. $17 million per year to hit .270 and watch grounders roll into the outfield unmolested? Yeah, great deal.

Carlos Pena got a year and ten million dollars from the Cubs. Pena hit .196 and slugged only .407 last year.

What recession? MLB still following the "cash rules everything around me" business model. Proceed to obligatory Wu Tang photoshopped picture...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Philadelphia- Truly City of Brotherly Love

A few seasons ago I did a post on the Phillies misfortunes of seemingly always having the wrong brother (ex- Mike instead of Greg Maddux, Ken instead of George Brett, Vince instead of Dom and Joe Dimaggio). The brothers Robb and Tom Quinlan were featured in that post.
Excerpt from 1/9/09- Tom Quinlan played parts of 4 seasons in the majors collecting only 9 hits total, 7 of those hits coming in 1994 with the Phils. Robb Quinlan is still plugging away with the Angels and has collected 275 hits so far. Tom was also a helluva hockey player, being drafted in the 4th round in 1986 by the Calgary Flames...maybe he should have went that route instead.

Well, fear no longer, the better brother has finally joined the Philadelphia Phillies. Amaro, who has been a busy boy inking players to minor league contracts, signed Robb to one yesterday. Thing is, Robb, who will turn 34 next season, has really fallen on tough times since that post going .216/.554 in 77 games over the past 2 seasons. The good news, he can play first, third, and outfield and adds depth in the minors. By the Phils throwing this washed-up/has-been a bone they truly are acting as the City of Brotherly Love.

Name that Phillie: Traded Edition

This player came to the Phillies via trade and left them the same way 4 months later. Go ahead, name that Phillie.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Rumors, HoF & Bass

With Jayson Werth officially gone, the Phillies have turned their attention to signing a righthanded batting corner outfielder. Targets- Jeff Francoeur, Juan Rivera, and Matt Diaz. Francoeur is a swing-a-holic (and I don't mean key parties) that hasn't posted quality numbers since 2007. Luckily for the Phils, the Royals are also in heavy pursuit of Frenchy and their GM Dayton Moore is far stupider than Amaro. Rivera is under contract with Angels for $5.25M next year. Maybe Rube could work some magic and swap Baez for him and eat the remaining part of Rivera's contract. Then there's Diaz, who is a career .301 batter, and he mashes lefties (.335/.907). Of the 3, Diaz is my choice.

Oh yeah, Cliff Lee's name is still hanging in the air. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman reports the Phils are still serious about trying to lure the top free agent back to Philly. Not gonna happen.

Hall of Fame:
The engineer of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies was elected to the Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Pat Gillick. Wonder if his crowning achievement will be the Adam Eaton deal.

Pump Up the Bass:
28 year old righthanded reliever Brian Bass was signed to a minor league deal who is fresh off a 12.27 ERA with the Pirates last season. He owns a career 5.16 ERA over 3 MLB seasons and gives the Phils depth at Triple A. Plus he's a possible future Phucco.

Monday, December 06, 2010

On The Werth Deal

For Werth: The last thing I want to see when reading about this situation is anything about "greed" or "money being greater than rings" or anything that implies that it is wrong to value a huge contract over the chance at winning a World Series.

The objective of major league baseball players is to maintain employment for as long as possible and earn as much money as possible. That's it. It's a job. A World Series ring? It's nice if you can get it, but it's not why they play the game.

Sure, occasionally a player will take less money to stay with a certain team for a reason other than money, and occasionally that reason is a better chance to win, but players never significantly reduce their contract by years or money just so they can play on a winning team. It would be stupid. And although the "baseball romantic" that lives in all of us would love to believe these players value winning or team/fan loyalty or anything else more than money, it just isn't the reality.

So I say congratulations to Jayson for turning his talent and hard work into what everyone one of us strives for professionally, a lucrative contract to do a job that he loves.

For the Phillies: They knew this was happening. Dom Brown needs to step up and the Phillies need to sign a mid-level talent, right handed, corner outfielder to pseudo-platoon with Brown and Ibanez.

The Phillies will receive the Gnats second round pick and the very high (first?) "sandwich round" pick, giving them three picks between picks 30 and 50. Not bad.

Yeah, and I guess we'll all miss the beard.

For the Gnats: They overpaid. Obviously. Luckily I don't give two shits about the Gnats. If the Phillies would have made this deal I would have ruptured a brain aneurysm. Want to read more about the Gnats and their new star player? Didn't think so...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Ryan Madson Sushi Roll?

A Ryan Madson inspired sushi roll? Wonder if tastes great initially then chokes at the end too.

*Thanks to The Zo Zone for the heads up on this one.

Video of Howard & Utley on Always Sunny

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Davey Lopes Update

As you all know, Davey Lopes left the Phils about a month ago because he didn't feel he was being "adequately compensated" for his "value."

Well, Davey didn't stand on the unemployment line very long. He was hired this week by the LA Dodgers to be their....wait for it...first base coach! Yeah, congratulations to Davey for really moving up in the world by taking the exact same position with a worse team.

Could he be getting that much more money from LA? I doubt it. He just thought Philadelphia owed him more because of his great coaching contributions. Remember, he said he left because of the "principle," after all.

So I got to thinking, besides satisfying his "principles," is coaching first base for the Dodgers better than being in Philly? There's only one way to answer that question: Tale of the Tape.

World Series Likelihood?
Philly: Very good.
LA: Unlikely.
Advantage: Philly

Fan Abuse
Philly: Fans rarely boo first base coach.
LA: Fans rarely attend games before fourth inning.
Advantage: Philly.

Main Job
Philly: Sending Victorino to second.
LA: Babysitting Matt Kemp.
Advantage: Philly, even if Kemp brings Rhianna around, because she's always autotuned and frankly, kind of homely.

Job Appreciation
Philly: Multiple blogs mourn your departure.
LA: Multiple people laugh because they think the equipment guy misspelled "Lopez."
Advantage: Philly.

In-game Entertainment
Philly: The Phanatic.
LA: Alyssa Milano in the stands.
Advantage: Philly. Unfortunately for Davey, Milano only gives it up to current players. He has a better chance with Mrs. Phanatic...

Post Game Chatter

Philly: Who should start Game 2 of the playoffs?
LA: The McCourt divorce. Oooh, gossipy!
Advantage: Philly.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Art Rhodes Part 2- Don't Do It!

Multiple outlets are reporting Ruben Amaro Jr.'s affection for Arthur Rhodes. You may recall before Rhodes was an All-Star setup man, notching back-to-back impressive seasons with the Reds (135 G, 2.35 ERA), he was a terrible reliever for the Phillies back in 2006 (55 G, 5.32 ERA). The Antique Rhodes Show will be 41 years old next season and has been extremely successful over the past 3 years since missing the 2007 campaign rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. However, signing him to be the top lefty out of the bullpen would be a mistake. Yes, it's true that Amaro should be combing the free agent bin for a second southpaw to team up with Antonio Bastardo next season, but Rhodes is not the solution. With a ghastly 6.57 ERA at Citizens Bank Park and a 7.32 ERA while pitching at home since 2006, it's simply a recipe for disaster.

Lefty Alternatives:
(AVG/OPS vs. LH Batters over last 3 seasons)
*Brian Fuentes (.192/.493)
*Joe Beimel (.252/.692)
*Tim Byrdak (.176/.604)
*Scott Downs (.197/.580)
*Randy Choate (.178/.474)
*Pedro Feliciano (.212/.583)
*Dennys Reyes (.234/.626)
*Hisanori Takahashi (.217/.544)
*Hideki Okajima (.207/.574)

Amaro doesn't want to lose a draft pick, so signing Downs seems unlikely. He and Fuentes would both likely be out of the Phillies price range anyway. Reyes, Byrdak, and Okajima could probably be had on the cheap (1 year $1-2M). Takahashi only has 1 year of American ball experience and still wants to be a starting pitcher. Choate is very interesting, and I would love to see him welcomed aboard at the right price (2 years $4.5M).