Friday, April 30, 2010

In Depth NY/Philly Series Preview

Location: Citizens Bank Park aka Brick Cit House
Bad Guys: New York Mets 13-9 in 1st place
Good Guys: Philadelphia Phillies 12-9 .5 games back


Game 1: Jonathan Niese vs. Kyle Kendrick
(0-1, 3.68/1.86) (0-0, 7.71/1.77)
Reason Mets will win: Kyle Kendrick sucks.
Reason Phillies will win: Jonathan Niese sucks.






Game 2: Mike Pelfrey vs. Roy Halladay
(4-0, 0.69/1.19) (4-1, 1.80/0.98)
Reason Mets will win: Umps have a soft spot for retards.
Reason Phillies will win: It's Modell's Kids Run the Bases day at the park, and all kids crossing homeplate will be credited runs for the Phightins.



Game 3: Johan Santana vs. Jamie Moyer
(3-1, 2.08/1.12) (2-2, 5.25/1.42)
Reason Mets will win: Darth Santana light-sabres the Phils every time.
Reason the Phillies will win: Reaching the latter stage of his career, Moyer is in crunch time for new endorsement deals...Depends?

Name That Player #31

Who is this Phillie?

*Andrew is the proud winner of an original WSBGMs t-shirt (whenever production finally happens) for the preseason Name That Player contest. Today's entry is just for fun and bragging rights.

What's the #?

A. Ross Gload's finish in the Rookie of the Year balloting.
B. Times number of positions played by Desi Relaford in his career.
C. Minus Glenn Wilson's single season career high in stolen bases.
D. Divided by wins Rick Wise had in first year with a West Coast team.
E. Plus the number of hits (cubed) Sid Fernandez had with the Phillies.
What's the #?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

(Un)Lucky Bastards & Howard Update

10 k's through 6 innings. Good. 4 runs allowed through 6 innings. Not good. Must just be "unlucky". Whatever. Cole Hamels is now 5 starts into the season with a 5.28 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 7 homeruns given up. That's a small sample size, but mix in last season's shitfest and you have a pattern of mediocrity borderlining on bad. I love me some stats, but there's a point where the "unlucky" excuse doesn't cut it and the "he's just not that good" explanation takes over...that point is now. He was "lucky" to get off the hook for the loss though, as the Phils rallied with 2 outs, down 3, in the 9th. So Hamels is lucky and unlucky all in one...see I told you luck equals out over the course of a season, so shove your BABIP up your ass!

Speaking of lucky/unlucky bastards, how about that deer-in-headlights Ryan Madson? Another blown save, but manages to pick up an undeserved win. Once again stat heads will argue that Madson's peripheral numbers suggest he would be a dominant closer if give an extended opportunity, but I beg to differ. Dude crumbles in the 9th and seemingly in other pressure situations too, be it in the 7th or 8th. But what the hell do I know, I just look at the results, why in the world would anybody ever do that?!
________________________________________________

The Howard:
Look who is leading the Majors in Howards...Ryan-fricken-Howard! Love when Howard notches a Howard and the Phils still win. Good times. He wasn't the only culprit yesterday, as Daric Barton, Adam Kennedy, and Even Longoria also put themselves on the board. Being only April, it seems the 2010 power/brickhanded/whiffing combo is ahead of 2009's pace.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Notes

Rehab
Brad Lidge pitched two innings last night for Reading. He recorded four Ks and threw 23 of 33 pitches for strikes.

Joe Blanton will make his third rehab appearance today. He has pitched five scoreless minor league
innings so far this season.

Cliff Lee pitched six scoreless innings for Tacoma a few days ago and is scheduled to make his 2010 major league debut on Friday.

What About Werth
From Jayson’s agent, Jeff Borris: "I've had dialogue with (Philadelphia general manager) Ruben (Amaro Jr.) since the winter meetings. I don't want to rule out the possibility of his re-signing with the Phillies, but it would appear right now we're at an impasse."

Slump
Chase Utley is now two for his last twenty.

The Phillies are one for their last 5. The Mets are now in first place.

NL East Stuff
Great quote from ex-Brave Brian Jordan about our often injured friend Chipper: “As you get older, you've got to work out a little harder to prevent injury and I'm not sure if he's really dedicating himself. He's so used to — you know, I played with him so long — just sitting around and waiting for the game, and take a couple jogs and go play. But as you get older, you know, you cannot do that. You've gotta go the extra mile to be ready to play.”

Interestingly, the totally hypocritical Jordan played only 150 in two of fifteen major league seasons due to football commitments and frequent injuries. Glad to see Brian Jordan making totally unsubstantiated criticisms. He’d make the perfect blogger.

The Eaton Watch
WSBGMs will be giving out another yearly award, the Adam Eaton Award, given to the Phillies worst starting pitcher. We'll be tracking the contenders randomly. In the first edition of the Eaton Watch, it seems to be a two man race:
      2-2             0-0       W-L
5.25 7.71 ERA
1.42 1.77 WHIP
.293 .316 BAA
-1 -1 Luck Factor
Today’s Matchup
Cole Hamels versus Tim Lincecum at 3:45 on MLB Network. Shit. Of course, Cole did throw a 2-hit shutout versus the Giants last season so maybe he has some confidence. But then again, even if he throws a great game Lincecum likely won’t give up more than a run or two. Remember, Lincecum is the luckiest pitcher in baseball (aka Cy Young winner.) Prediction – sweeeeeep…for the Giants.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On The Howard Deal

So the Phils have Ryan Howard locked up for the next 6+ seasons and it only cost them the second richest contract in MLB history in terms of $/year. My first thought was, "Wouldn't that money be better spent on some decent pitching, like maybe Cliff Lee?" But I don't want to turn this into a Cliff Lee argument, although I can do that with about any topic. ["Hey, what do you think of the 12 district House seat that's up for election" Me: "Cliff Lee would win that election if he still lived in Pennsylvania."] And even though my first instinct is to be totally against this deal and rant for paragraph upon paragraph about they gave too many years to an aging slugger, I won't do it. I fully understand that this signing cannot be judged until about 4 years from now when Howard is still not hitting lefties and is only hitting about 30 homers and the Phils still owe him $60 million. So instead of needlessly ranting years before I have to, I'm just going to show what similar hitters, in terms of modern day large, power hitting corner infielders, have done once they've reached their thirties.
Age David Ortiz        Mo Vaughn
30 .287-54-137 .337-40-115
31 .332-35-117 .281-33-108
32 .264-23-89 .272-36-117
33 .238-28-99 DNP
34 .160-1-4(2010) .259-26-72
35 .190-3-15

Age Cecil Fielder Troy Glaus
29 .267-30-117 .252-38-104
30 .259-28-90 .262-20-62
31 .243-31-82 .270-27-99
32 .252-39-117 .172-0-0
33 .260-13-61 .186-2-8(2010)
34 .233-17-68

Age Jim Thome Jason Giambi
32 .266-47-131 .250-41-107
33 .274-42-105 .208-12-40
34 .207-7-30 .241-32-87
35 .288-42-109 .253-37-113
36 .275-35-96 .236-14-39
37 .245-34-90 .247-32-96
38 .249-23-77 .201-13-51
The only player on this list that put up decent numbers after 35 is Jim Thome but do you think he would have hit over 30 homers at age 36+ if he wasn't a DH? Since his age 34 season, Thome has played only 4 games at first. Five of the six guys on this list finished their careers as designated hitters which probably extended their careers...yet by the time they hit their mid-thirties they were essentially all overpaid mediocre players. The only player comparable to Howard who was able to hit for power and average into his late thirties was Frank Thomas and I use the term "comparable" very loosely. Thomas was arguably the greatest hitter of the 90's who hit lefties and righties and struck out infrequently. Again, comparable? Not really.

So what do the stats of these players tell us about the Howard deal? Nothing. He won't necessarily end up like Ortiz or Vaughn. He could go out and hit 40+ homers for the next 7 seasons and prove me wrong. It just doesn't seem very likely.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Know Your Enemy - San Francisco

Do You Pay Property Tax On This Park Bench?
I love San Francisco. It’s a city full of great views, great food and great beer. Alcatraz is really cool. And it’s only a short drive to Napa or Monterey. But there are also some negatives, first of which is the ridiculously high number of homeless people. The city almost has as many homeless as New York City even though the size and population of San Francisco is considerably smaller. You can’t really enjoy the parks in the city because they are basically “homes” for the homeless. One Saturday at the small park where Market St. meets the Embarcadero, every single bench was adorned with at least one shelterless ex-hippie. I would call it a homeless problem but I don’t think the residents of San Francisco think it’s a problem. Hell, at one time the city was giving the homeless cash handouts. Food? Water? Clothes? No, straight cash homey! They had to create a program, "Care Not Cash," to stop giving money handouts to the homeless. Not to be completely insensitive to the plight of the homeless, but these acid wasted hippie freaks ruin the city in many ways, almost worse than the flocks of transvestite hookers that crowd the Tenderloin.

Aubrey Huff Might Be Special
“It makes it even more amazing what Barry Bonds did. I just can't believe someone can hit 73 homers here. It's mind-boggling.” Mind-boggling? What, you can’t comprehend how massive amounts of steroids can make a guy so strong he could hit a ball 600 feet? Every time I hear quotes like this I’m amazed at how quick people forget, or want us to forget, about how all those home runs were hit. I wish he would have said, “I’m going to do a hell of a lot of steroids to hit homeruns here."

If You Live Here, You May Be An Asshole
I’m know this is a drastic generalization and completely unfair to the majority of people in San Francisco that I’m sure are very nice, but I’ve never encountered as many assholes as I did in my two visits to the Bay Area. And I visit Long Island like seven or eight times a year.

Spelt Rong


Team Stat Comparison
SF - .270-15-70, .803 OPS, 5 steals
Phil - .279-20-99, .747 OPS, 5 steals

SF - 2.78 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, even Luck
Phil - 3.85 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, -2 Luck

Surprisingly, the offensive stats are fairly even. You would expect an decisive Phillies advantage but some power bats have been relatively quiet (Howard, Ibanez), Rollins has been on the DL, and the Giants have gotten homers from eleven different players. Given how hot the Phils were to start the season, this offensive comparison shows you how much they've struggled recently.

It's not surprising that the Giants have better pitching numbers. They've built their team around pitching while the Phils are content to trade away Cy Young award winners. However, if you look closely, the Phils have a -2 Luck Factor, so as soon as their luck changes, they'll have much better numbers...

Salumi
We love advertising on this blog: gambling websites, books, DVDs, t-shirts, etc. We usually get paid or compensated in some way but there is a place in San Francisco that I’m going to advertise for free because it is that awesome – Boccalone Salumeria at the Ferry Building Marketplace. The sign above the store says “Tasty Salted Pig Parts” and that's exactly what it is. Just the absolute tastiest cured meats and sausage. If you like pig meat, please visit this place if you go to San Francisco.

Probable Starters
Matt Cain
Jonathan Sanchez
Todd Wellenmeyer

The good news for the Phillies is that they avoid the two hottest pitchers on the Giants, Lincecum and Zito. The bad news is that Cain and Sanchez are also pitching very well.

Prediction
Halladay is pitching this series, right? They'll win one then.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Herndon Experiment has Failed

There's a reason not many Rule 5 draftees survive on a Major League roster all season, they're usually just not that good or not nearly ready. Case in point- David Herndon, today's loser. Many relievers have high ERAs early in the season due to a bad outing or two and limited innings, so 7.04 isn't anything abysmal. Delve into the stats and you will find horribleness though, like a 2.61 WHIP. Now, before someone goes and cries "unlucky" on me, I will just kindly flip them the two-fisted middle-finger salute and headbutt them into understanding things my way. See, Herndon has allowed 18 hits and 2 walks in only 7.2 innings pitched. That's bad, no defending it. He's out of his league. When Brad Lidge returns, it should be Herndon going to the minors or back to the Angels if they want him. The David Herndon experiment has failed, so please end it.

Hello Homerun, My Old Friend

Hello homerun, my old friend.
I've come to watch you fly again.
Because a baseball violently creeping,
Flew across the screen awoke me from sleeping.
And the baseball that was planted in seats.
Still remains,
Within the sound of victory.

3 runs on 3 homeruns. Tells you a little about the Phillies offensive struggles of late (averaging 3 runs per game over the last 7). Jayson Werth's blast in the 2nd inning was the Phils first homerun in a week, which was also a homerun by Werth against the Marlins last Saturday. Werth launched 2 into the Arizona dry heat and Ibanez contributed his first round-tripper of the year as well. Thanks to a gutty spot start by Nelson Figueroa and some fine bullpen work, the Phils were able to pull out the victory 3-2.


*Image stolen graciously borrowed from Back She Goes.

Rubber Match:
Kyle Kendrick opposes Rodrigo Lopez in the swing game of the series this afternoon. KK was "unlucky" *cough*BULLSHIT*cough* like Cole Hamels in his first 2 starts, but was able to go 8 shutout innings last outing. RoLo rolls into the game with a 3.50 ERA, and with the way the Phils bats are swinging that number seems safe to stay consistent. Make sure to tune in and see Wilson Valdez make the start at shortstop as J-Roll remains DL'd and Juan Castro is now ailing with a bad hammy...really Valdez?!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Unlucky?

"Unlucky" was Cole Hamels label last year with support from a funky little stat (BABIP). His BABIP was uncharacteristically high last season which lead to an elevated ERA. Well, the only thing elevated last night were those 4 4-baggers, and that my friends has nothing to do with luck. Reading through some comment sections of other sites had people blaming Rich Dubee and Brian Schneider for Hamels disaster. Really? Cole Hamels was mediocre last year, and at times terrible, but his excuse was he was unlucky. Now that he's had 4 starts this season with similarly poor results (1 good and 3 bad) the apologist are coming out again and making excuses for him. Just stop! Luck evens out over the course of a season. The pitcher needs to mix his pitches and locate them, that's what makes for an effectively consistent pitcher. Cole Hamels is not that. He's shown brilliance in the past, but rarely since 2008. Can he return to dominant form? Yes, we'd all like to think so. However, major adjustments in his approach need to be made before that brilliance/dominance returns, because until then we'll continue to see varied results ranging from awful to good.

Stuph:
*Ryan Howard has 3 hits in his last 25 at bats (.120 avg) and only 3 walks this season.

*Joe Blanton (3) and Brad Lidge (1) worked the first 4 innings of the Reading game last night while allowing no runs.

*J-Roll will not be activated from the DL on April 28th when he's first eligible.

*Figgy gets the spot start tonight. My prediction- he pitches better than Hamels, but Charlie pulls him after 4 quality innings because "that's all they really expected of him".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Know Your Enemy - Arizona

Border Patrol
Arizona is having a terrible time with illegal immigration; specifically violent drug trafficking aliens. Originally the increased border-running was attributed to the signing of Thalnepantla’s own Rodrigo Lopez causing a stir among Mexican baseball fans clamoring to get glimpse of their national hero. Turns out, it’s more about the drugs… and the fact that Mexico is a wasteland devoid of value outside of agave plants and donkey shows. In response to the increased trouble of border crossers, Republican senators McCain and Kyl have called for federal funding for 3000 National Guard troops to man the border. Meanwhile, Democratic representatives from the state have set up ACORN-operated voter registration booths.

Name That Player Connection
Look for Diamondback rookie utility player Rusty Ryal to make an appearance. You may know Rusty from his father, Mark, who was a Philadelphia Phillie in the 80’s and recently made an appearance on that popular WSBGMs piece “Name That Player.”

Hold Your Batteries
If you plan on attending a game this weekend with a plan to hit Diamondback shortstop JD Drew with a battery, don’t do it. It’s actually Stephen Drew that plays for Arizona, not JD. Although, Stephen is JD’s brother, so bring the batteries, but nothing over a AA.

King of “The Howard”
Mark Reynolds, who tied Adam Dunn for the 2009 Howard Champion will be on full display for Fightins fans for three games. He's not only last years c0-champion but the odds on favorite to win the 2010 title also. [By the way, Ty Wigginton, he of the Wiggy Hat Trick, didn't commit a single Howard in 2009.] I'm thinking about starting a campaign that would convince Phillies management to allow Carson and I to present Mark with an official Howard Champion trophy when the D-backs visit Philadelphia later this season. Any suggestions as to what The Howard trophy should look like? Maybe this?

Closer Watch
The Phillies aren't the only team in this series with questions about their closer. Chad Qualls has been less than spectacular this season: 10.80 ERA with a loss and two blown saves. A few days ago there were rumblings that Juan Gutierrez might get some save opportunities and he promptly went out and give up six runs in his next two appearances. Both teams hope this series does not become a battle of the bullpens.

What Am I Missing Here?
The D-back blog AZ Snakepit did post a little ago titled “Luis Gonzalez: should we retire his number?” My first thought is “no” but I’m sure it’s a valid topic, especially when you are trying to fill blog space in the offseason. Then I saw the poll results: 75% of voters said his number should be retired at some point. 75%.Really? I know he had that bloop single to score the winning run in a World Series but so did Pedro Feliz and no one is retiring his jersey. Gonzalez’s overall numbers aren’t that great with Arizona either. He roided-up and hit 57 homers one year but only hit over 30 one other time. He leads Arizona in most career offensive statistics but they aren’t that old of a franchise and his biggest competition is Steve Finley who played only 5+ seasons in Arizona.

Down On The Farm
The following mascot incident happened in Reno which has the Diamondbacks AAA farm team. It doesn't have anything really to do with the D-backs or Arizona, but it is a freakin' wolf moonwalking off the dugout. Nice.


Probable Starters
Kris Benson
Ian Kennedy
Rodrigo Lopez

What luck. No Dan Haren. No Edwin Jackson. And they get to face Kris Benson. As for the fans, we get the possibility of frequent gratuitous "wife with big knockers cheering from the luxury box" shots on TV. It's like Christmas in April.

Prediction
Two of three with a "Howard" for Mark Reynolds on Saturday night.

By The Time They Get To Arizona

By the time the Phillies get to Arizona they'll still be in 1st place in the NL East with the best record in the NL and best run differential (+35). One pitcher gets knocked down (Happ) but one resurrects (Romero) with another likely on the way (Lidge). Things could be better, but things could be worse. So, enjoy some Public Enemy blasting through you crackly laptop speakers until the Arizona installment of Know Your Enemy is posted later today. *Bloodstripes- my Australian homey, this one's for you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happ-hazard & Romero Reuniting


You never would have guessed it, but JA Happ is heading to the disabled list. At first murmur of his boo-boo we all knew time laid up on the inactive list was inevitable. His DL stint is supposed to be a short one, but who the hell really knows. All I know is that somehow a Mets castoff has now been thrust into the starting rotation. Yep, Nelson Figueroa will be getting the nod on Saturday in Happ's place. Is this some sort of cruel joke? Are the baseball gods pissed off at the Phillies or something? Well, probably not entirely, because JC (Juan Carlos, not Jesus Christ) has been activated from the DL and is joining the team tonight in the final game of the series with Atlanta. Here's to hoping we don't get news of Polly's elbow being dislocated by that Hudson fastball or Chooch coming down with a case of dysentery.

Dear Roy

My beer's gone warm I'm wondering why I,
got out of bed at all.
The morning rain clouds up my window,
and I can't see at all.
And even if I could it'd all be gray,
without your baseball card on my wall.
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad.

Dear Roy,
I wrote but you still ain't callin,
I left my cell, my pager, and my home phone at the bottom.
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must notta got 'em.
There probably was a problem at the post office or something.
Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot 'em,
but anyways; screw it, what's been up man? How's your arm?
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan,
This is Carson

My beer's gone warm I'm wondering why I,
got out of bed at all.
The morning rain clouds up my window,
and I can't see at all.
And even if I could it'd all be gray,
without your baseball card on my wall.
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad.

Dear Roy,
You still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance,
I ain't mad, I just think it's messed up you don't answer fans.
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside the stadium,
You didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Collier.
That's my oldest son man, he's only 2 and a half years old.
We waited in the blistering sun for you,
four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man, you're like his baseball idol.
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do.
You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose.
Sincerely yours, Carson
P.S. We should be together too.

My beer's gone warm I'm wondering why I,
got out of bed at all.
The morning rain clouds up my window,
and I can't see at all.
And even if I could it'd all be gray,
without your baseball card on my wall.
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad.

Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Call-Or-Write-My-Fans,
This'll be the last package I ever send your ass.
It's been six months and still no word, I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two letters,
I wrote the addresses on 'em perfect.
I hope you know I ripped all of your baseball cards off the wall.
I love you Roy, we coulda been together, think about it.
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it.
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you scream about it.
I hope your conscience eats at you and you can't breathe without me.
Well, I gotta go, almost at the bridge now.
Oh shit, I forgot!
How am I supposed to send this shit out?

My beer's gone warm I'm wondering why I,
got out of bed at all.
The morning rain clouds up my window,
and I can't see at all.
And even if I could it'd all be gray,
without your baseball card on my wall.
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Punisher

Tim Hudson is a great pitcher. Lifetime 149-78 record, 3.48 ERA, 1.26 WHIP. When it comes to facing Ryan Howard though power prevails. Howard has punished Hudson, taking him deep 5 times in 34 at bats, batting .353 with an outrageous 1.287 OPS. If Doc Halladay is on his game tonight, The Punisher may single-handily provide enough offense for the win.

Offensive Insight:
*The Phillies who have routinely been among the MLB leaders in stolen bases still have only 3 this season (tied for worst in the majors).

*The Phillies who have routinely been among the MLB leaders in strikeouts have struckout an MLB low 71 times.

*Despite a severe 3-game drought, the Phillies offense still leads the majors with 81 runs scored.

All is Lost, All is Well

In a 162 game season there are bound to be infuriating losses. Last night was just that, infuriating. At 8-5 the Phillies are still in good standing. Dig a bit deeper and there is cause for concern.

All is Lost:
Injuries- JC Romero, Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, Jimmy Rollins, and JA Happ.
Bullpen- Danys Baez and Ryan Madson.
Rotation- Kyle Kendrick (minus last night's stellar 8 shutout inning no decision) and Jamie Moyer.
Struggling Bats- Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez.

All is Well:
However, there is reason for optimism to ward off despair.
Popping Bats- Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth.
Ace- Roy Halladay.
Bullpen- Chad Durbin.
An offensive onslaught and a precise surgery of the Braves lineup by Doc tonight will make everyone feel all warm and cozy inside once again.

If not, then piss on that with a Peter North size hose and prepare for Photoshop of Ryan Madson and Cole Hamels skipping through a field of daisies hand-in-hand.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No More Madson!


Sorry Scott Boras, but your client Ryan Madson will never be Mariano Rivera. Hell, he can't even be Geraldo Rivera. He sucks. He is one of the biggest pussies in the majors. Go curl up in the fetal position while sucking your thumb with a box of Kleenex.

Know Your Enemy - Atlanta

Where My Hookers At?
The Braves released minor league pitcher Deunte Heath a few days ago. Don't know my man Deunte? He is pictured below getting taken away by the police this spring after getting busted in a prostitution sting. He was the "john," not the prostitute, as he is a Brave, not a Met. I feel bad for Deunte though, first he gets arrested trying to get a little pay for play and now he lost his job.


Their Sports Suck:
The Braves have been really successful in the last twenty years with five World Series appearances and numerous division titles. But after that, it’s slim pickins in the A.T.L. The Hawks, while they have a young exciting team capable of winning a playoff series of two, haven’t won a championship since 1958. The Atlanta Falcons have never won a Super Bowl. When they made it to the Super Bowl, not only did they get beat, but their starting safety was arrested the night before for soliciting an undercover police officer for oral sex. They also traded Brett Favre, which might not have been a good move. The hockey team sucks. I bet you didn't even know they had a hockey team. And they have a WNBA franchise which is never good for any city.

All About Larry:
Just some interesting things you might not know about our good friend Chipper.
1) He named one of his kids "Shea." Like the stadium, not like the Hillenbrand. If he has another kid, which is totally dependent on how much time he spends in Hooters over the next few years, I hope he names it Citizens Bank Jones.
2) He had a kid with a Hooters waitress while he was married. I alluded to this in my first point, but I just wanted to make it clear. Chipper + Hooters = Baby.
3) He likes killing animals, specifically deer and fish.[Picture evidence below.] As a fur coat wearing card carrying member of both PETA and the NRA, I find myself severely conflicted about this.


Brave In A Bottle:
A California wine company has partnered with professional athletes to sell wine for charity. Below are the Atlanta Braves (past and present) that have participated. CURE Children’s Cancer, The Miracle League and the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research benefit from the sale of these three wines. It's a good cause so I'm not going to make any jokes about drinking Chipper Jones.


Making Comic Con Look Cool Since 1987:

Every year, Atlanta hosts Dragon*Con. What is Dragon*Con? Well, from Wiki:
The 4-day event comprises approximately 3500 hours of panels, seminars, demonstrations, and workshops, with over 30 specialized programming tracks that include writing, art, anime, gaming, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, comic books, costuming, space science, online media, independent film, podcasting, Asian cinema and culture, robotics, filk, scientific skepticism, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, X-Files, Joss Whedon creations, apocalyptic themes, Anne McCaffrey's Pern, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, British and American SF television, the Dark Fantasy track, the Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival, and general programming which specific Guests of Honor attend.
Online media? You mean, like blogs? I know where I'll be in September!

An Odd Thing To Be Proud Of:


Probable Starters:
Tommy Hanson
Tim Hudson
Derek Lowe
Prediction:
Sweeeeeeeeep! No, not really. Phils take two of three.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's the #?

A. The difference between Steve Jeltz double and triple totals.
B. Plus the amount of career wins from the pitchers that came to Philly in the Scott Rolen trade.
C. Divided by the number of seasons spent in the NL by the player the Phils sent to Houston in the Curt Schilling trade.
D. Times innings pitched by Billy Brewer in 1998.
E. Minus Mike Lieberthal's minor league triples.
What's the #?

Monday Mumbles

The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros are two of the worst clubs the National League has to offer, and they just so happened to be the Phillies first two opponents of the season covering the first 9 games. Naturally, the Phils bent them over Deliverance-style and sprinted out the gate to a 7-2 record. This weekend brought the first real test to the Phils and they failed. The test- the Florida Marlins, a real team, real competition. Does this mean Good Competition = Bad Results? Probably not. This is the Phillies, and you know their offense is going to cower into the foxhole at times, then come back guns blazing. Trust in the process.

*Raul Ibanez continues to prove me right, and I wish nothing more than for him to prove me wrong. .171 avg, .538 OPS. Please Raaaauuuullll shut me up!

*The Phils have only swiped 3 bags. I understand that J-Roll isn't in the lineup, but Vic, Werth, and Utley still should steal.

*With today's off day the Phils may have been inclined to skip the disappointing Kyle Kendrick's turn in the rotation and keep JA Happ on regular rest, but Happ has a bit of soreness in his pitching arm and needs the extra day to recuperate.

*Things you wouldn't expect: 1. Pudge Rodriguez leads the NL in average at .444, and 2. Livan Hernandez leads the NL in ERA with no runs surrendered through 2 starts.

*Harry Kalas Cialis (Corey) and Lidge Ledge Leapers (me) currently sit at #1 and #2 atop the WSBGMs Phantasy Baseball League standings.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Big Bad Inning

To the naked eye Jamie Moyer has been what Niecy Nash refers to as a hot mess. With a 7.50 ERA, that would be a fair assessment. However, dig a bit deeper and it's not as bad as it seems. Moyer has pitched 12 innings and 10 of those innings have seen the opposition go scoreless. For you math geniuses that leaves 2 innings that haven't been scoreless, and in those 2 innings the opponent has scored 10 runs. In his first start the 3rd inning smacked him around like Chris Brown on Rhianna, and last night it was the 1st inning making him his bitch. If Jamie can just get rid of that one big bad inning, he might actually help this team.

Speaking of pitchers that need to step up their game, Cole Hamels goes for the Phils this afternoon in his 3rd start of the season. Can he muster at least a quality start (6 ip with 3 er or less) or will he peter out and smile gaily in the dugout like he did his job because he's in line for the W after barely escaping 5 innings?

I'm a dick, why do I make fun of him? The man is clearly awesome, he does Comcast commercials after all.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Mighty Castro

A 38 year old utility infielder by trade has thrived in the absence of an All-Star caliber regular. Juan Castro has filled in admirably for Jimmy Rollins thus far, batting a cool .400 through the first 4 games of J-Roll's DL stint. As a lifetime .231 hitter, it's highly doubtful that Castro continues this torrid pace and challenges Ted Williams modern day batting average. However, he's almost outperformed his predecessor Eric Bruntlett. Castro 15:6 ab/rbi, Bruntlett 105:7. Yeah, Bruntlett sucked.

Warm Gushy Feelings:
Is it gay if I'm dreaming of Roy Halladay feeding me grapes in a cabana on the beach, with intermittent giggles, and suntan lotion involved in an unnamed manner? If so, I'm totally homo! Seriously though, Doc is amazing. 3 games started, 3 wins, 1.13 ERA, 24 ip (avg 8 ip per start). Enough said.

OhNO He Didn't:
It seems the Phillies celebrate every heritage at the Brick Cit House nowadays. Irish, Asian-Pacific, African-American, White Anglo Saxon Protestant, Latin, Mongolian, Norwegian, Peruvian, Gay...you name it, they celebrate it. Way to be multi-cultural. Now even Angelina Jolie's adopted rugrats and Apolo Ohno have a place to kick it.


Tonight:
Grand Pappy Moyer, he of a 13-4 record and 2.93 ERA against the Marlins, gets the ball in hopes of notching career victory #260. He's also looking for his first career homerun, so we can all cross our fingers for that.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Know Your Enemy - Florida (aka Miami)

Holy Freaking Crap:


The Airport:
I’ve only ever been to Miami twice and both times I didn’t leave the airport. I’ve heard from friends that the city is a good time. An expensive, overly-trendy, gawdy, plastic, humid good time, but still, a good time. The airport, on the other hand, is the National Zoo of flight hubs, a hellish, God forsaken wasteland of air travel. My biggest complaint? No food! I had a 2 hour layover once and walked all over that place searching for a decent bite of grub. What did I find? A small diner-like lunch counter that was so dirty Mets fans likely wouldn’t eat there, a Pizza Hut and a large machine that dispensed sandwiches from Ruby Tuesday. It was bad. C’mon, Miami this is unacceptable and not a great first impression for a city with a decent tourist reputation.

Cameron Maybin
You won't hear it this weekend because the games are in Philadelphia, but Maybin's intro music is Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA." I honestly never heard the song so I went to youtube. Wow. I'll never look at Cameron Maybin the same way ever again.

Where Will Ronny Paulino And Cody Ross Be Next Year?
Most likely it won't be the opening day starting catcher and right fielder for the 2011 Marlins. In the last eleven years, the Marlins have had nine opening day starting catchers: Mike Redmond(2), Charles Johnson, Ivan Rodriguez, Ramon Castro, Paul Lo Duca, Miguel Olivo(2), Matt Treanor, John Baker and Paulino. In the last thirteen years they have had eleven opening day right fielders: Gary Sheffield, Todd Dunwoody, Brant Brown, Eric Owens, Kevin Millar, Jaun Encarnacion(2), Miguel Cabrera, Jeremy Hermida, Joe Borchard, Luis Gonzalez and Cody Ross (2).

Sellouts:
The Teal Monster in left field (c’mon, really?) has a new look this year at Joe Robbie Pro Player Dolphins Land Shark Sun Life Stadium. Out is the electronic out-of-town scoreboard. In are advertisements for MLB network.

Marlins president David Samson said the stadium was no longer willing to pay for repairs and the Marlins were not willing to pay for them either. "It couldn't be serviced in an economical matter,'' Samson said. "It broke all the time.''

A major league baseball team can’t afford to maintain a scoreboard. High schools have electronic scoreboards. Either the economics in baseball are either a lot worse than we all suspect or the Marlins are lying sellouts who just want a few extra dollars. And for the record, it’s the lying part that I don’t like. I love ads on outfield walls. It’s old school. It’s Life Buoy at the Baker Bowl. It’s American. [Singing] God bless America...

The University:
What is Miami University most known for? The football team? That duck mascot thing? Pat Burrell? No, easily the greatest thing to come from the “U” is the 7th floor crew. You remember, the Miami football team rap group that created the worst best worst rap in the history of university dorm room vulgarity. I can’t reprint the lyrics here because they are that bad, but I’ll link if you are interested to the lyrics and a video. I don’t think I’ll send my daughter to the “U.” My son can go, though.

Uni Watch:
Things you won't see on the Marlins uniform this season: The "F" logo that used to be on the sleeve and "Florida" across the away jersey. In preparation for changing their name to the "Miami Marlins" when they move into their new stadium they are separating themselves as much as possible from the name "Florida."

Retired Numbers:
No Marlins have had their jersey number retired (keep those fingers crossed Bryan Harvey) but they did retire jersey number 5 in honor of former team president Carl Barger who died just prior to their first season. They picked 5 because Barger's favorite player was Joe DiMaggio.

I want to go on record now, if I pass away while this blog is still in operation, I want to be added to the WSBGMs Hall of Fame wearing a Phillies cap, not a Pirates one, and with the number 47. It's the proof of a bottle of Beefeater gin. Mmmmm, gin.

Probably Starters:
Ricky Nolasco - He gave up three homers in his last start versus Cincy.
Anibel Sanchez - 2-4, 5.60 career against the Fightins.
Nate Robertson - Long time American Leaguer Robertson has only two relief appearances against the Phils, giving up four runs in two innings.

Prediction:
Sweeeeeeeeeeep!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Save Us JA Happ

Roy Halladay- superb (8 ip per start, 0.56 ERA). Bullpen- astonishingly effective (27.2 ip, 1.30 ERA). Hamels, Kendrick, and Moyer- bad (4.5 ip per start, 8.87 ERA). JA Happ- ? Happ only managed 5 innings in his first start of the season, but those were 5 shutout innings. 5 innings isn't even a quality start though. With Hamels, Moyer, and Kendrick failing to go deep into the game, the Phillies need another starting pitcher to step up and log some meaningful innings to save the bullpen from overuse.

Game time- 3:05. Pitchers- Drunk dickbag Scott Olsen vs. the prematurely bald JA Happ.

Shocking Stats:
*Chase Utley has 9 walks to only 1 strikeout.

*Placido Polanco leads MLB with a .486 average.

*Pitchers have more hits (6) than our entire bench does (3).

*Opposition has stolen 7 bases and only been caught stealing once.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sh*t!

Jimmy Rollins is heading to the disabled list...shit! Amaro believes Jimmy will be back in 2-4 weeks, as it's only a mild to moderate strain.

No matter who they plug into shortstop and the lineup, they will not adequately cover his defense and offensive production. Juan Castro is the likely starter, with Triple-A trash Wilson Valdez being called up to take Jimmy's active spot on the roster. A month without Jimmy is bad, really friggin' bad!

No Jimmy + Castro/Valdez = Less Wins