Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies Look Ahead to 2012

Guest Post By: Craig Kibler

The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies featured a roster full of talent and through 162 games they put the best team on the field. Day in and day out, the Phillies dominated opponents with their outstanding pitching rotation and solid yet disappointing hitting.

Offensive Affairs
Although the Phillies ranked in the top half of the NL in most offensive categories, their lineup had the potential to do much more damage.

However, it is important to mention that injuries did play a part in their slightly disappointing offensive performance last season. Most of the key injuries happened on the infield with the most major injury happening to 5 time All-Star second baseman Chase Utley. Not having Utley in the lineup for a good part of the season had a clear affect on the rest of the roster. Removing a great hitter like Utley can really disrupt a lineup and make the normally frightful Phillies’ hitters seem a little less scary.

Shane Victorino also missed some games and I think he has been the “table setter” the last few years that every good offensive team needs. Victorino saw a big dip in his steals last year going from 34 to 19, but he did successfully steal 88% percent of his attempts, which is a career high.

The offense has gone through little change this off-season. The only major loss was Raul Ibanez and his exit was expected and now we get a chance to see what highly touted prospect Domonic Brown can do as an everyday major leaguer…. maybe….
“He could wow us in spring training and then all bets are off,” Amaro said. “If we feel like he’s the best choice for us, I know he’s looked good in the mini-camps we’ve had. I know that’s a bit of a long shot, but we have to keep our minds open.” – NBC 10 WCAU: Philadelphia
~Ruben Amaro Jr.

Brown’s recent struggles have left the organization and fans wondering whether this “untouchable” piece of the Phillies farm system is worth the label. Right now John Mayberry looks to be the opening day starter in left field but like Amaro said, there is still a month of spring training so anything can happen.

Pitching Prospectus
It doesn’t take an expert analyst to tell you that the Phillies had the best top to bottom pitching staff in all of baseball last year. The Phillies posted a team ERA of 3.02 in 2011. Pretty remarkable stat and the lowest team ERA in baseball since the Orel Hershiser led ’89 Dodgers (2.95). None of the starters had an ERA over 3.43 that season for the Dodgers. Wow.

There were only 18 pitchers in MLB with an ERA under 3 in 2011 and the Phillies fittingly had 3 of those 18.

Not surprising with a record of 102-60 that Philly has 2 of the top four NL pitchers in wins and ERA (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee). Most teams pray to have one pitcher like “Doc” or Lee let alone two. I really hope Philly fans appreciate how rare it is to have two pitchers that could be considered the best at any given point in the season.

Fairly simple to see why the Phillies pitching was so dominant and why they won over 100 games last season. I haven’t even mentioned Cole Hamels yet. Hamels is just another home grown player that has come to be one of games’ best. 2011 was Hamels best season to date. All of his numbers were very good last year, but his WHIP is what sticks out the most to me. For many baseball enthusiasts this is one of if not the most important pitching stat. Usually owning a WHIP around 1.20 is a solid year. Getting below 1.10 means you had a fantastic season. Recording a WHIP below 1.00, Cole Hamels had a WHIP of .99, is historically a number that only pitchers like Maddux and Pedro have been able to accomplish. I don’t expect any decline from Hamels this year and once again the Phillies will have the best 1-2-3 punch in baseball.

No Oswalt this year for the Phillies. But you can’t expect to have a number 4 starter like Roy Oswalt for too long. Some fans may want Roy back but his 10 million dollar asking price is just too high.

For now the rotation will most likely be rounded out with Vance Worley and Joe Blanton. The Phillies front office has been trying to trade Blanton and his contract but there are no takers to this point. My guess is he will end up with the Phillies this season as their number five starter.

All in all this should be the best starting pitching staff in baseball and their bullpen should also flourish again with the signing of Jonathon Papelbon. The bullpen is young and has a lot of quality arms. Kyle Kendrick is at the top of that list and should project as a major league starter, although for 2012 he is slated for long relief in the bullpen.

2012 Outlook
In my opinion the Phillies are still the most talented team in baseball. Their first round exit in the post-season had people asking questions, but this team is in great shape. The MLB Playoffs are the hardest post-season to conquer and success cannot be placed on a 5 game series. Sure they didn’t play great, but after back-to-back World Series appearances in ’08 and ’09 I don’t see much room for complaint or a need for change. The Cardinals proved their value with their World Series victory last season, so the Phillies can hold their heads up high and use that loss as motivation this season.

The last four years I have picked the Phillies to win the NL and 2012 will make it 5 in a row. Baseball is so hard to predict and anything can happen in the post-season, but I truly believe that the Phillies have put themselves in the best spot to make a return to the Fall Classic after a 2 year absence.

Food For Thought
Howard’s health is in question entering the season and if my prediction is going to hold true for the Phillies then they will certainly need a healthy squad in 2012. Perennial injury Chase Utley will need to be as healthy as possible and so will Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. These players all missed time in 2011 so health will once again be key. Health is really the only question for the Phillies as they embark on the journey that is known as the regular season.

If Howard misses time this spring it might not be so bad for Illinois native and Philly favorite Jim Thome. This season Thome enters what in all likelihood will be his final season in a Hall of Fame career. Really would bring things full circle as Howard got his chance to become a star when Thome went down with injury while playing for the Phillies in 2005. Jim is a true HOF’er and is one of the great people in baseball. Should be an emotional year for Jim and the Philly fans, and especially so if he can go out with his first World Series title.

Thome Milestones To Watch For:
* 5 home runs from passing Sammy Sosa for 7th all-time

* 2 RBI from passing Gary Sheffield for 25th all-time

* 21 RBI from passing Cal Ripken for 24th all-time

* 28 RBI from passing Reggie Jackson for 23rd all-time

* 30 RBI from passing Frank Thomas for 22nd all-time

* 58 RBI from passing Honus Wagner for 21st all-time

About the Author:
Craig Kibler is the lead blogger for Sports Traveler a leading sports tourism site specializing in providing customized MLB travel packages.

Ralph Miller- Leap Year Baby

Ever heard of Ralph Miller? No, I'm not talking about your high school Civics teacher, rather the ball player of the 1920's. Okay, to be fair, until yesterday I never heard of him either. The only reason he's being featured on the blog is because he was a leap year baby and today happens to be that special day that only comes around every 4 years- February 29th. Miller played for the Phillies for 2 seasons (1920-1921) and later with the Washington Senators in 1924. For his career he hit .248/.584 while playing mostly third base and shortstop. In 1921 he did hit .304/.724 for the Phightins, so he did experience some success.

Thanks to Broad and Pattison for the info on Ralph's birthday.

Don't forget to send us your "Ode to We Should Be GMs" via email ( if you'd like to win this Phillies key ring/bottle opener. Winner will be selected at the end of the week. We want flattery, self-deprecating humor, and knowledge of the blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Past 5 Seasons

The Philadelphia Phillies have dominated the National League East each of the past 5 seasons, winning the division each year. Courtesy of I compiled the Phils offensive, pitching, and fielding MLB statistical rankings over that time span. Below you will find evidence that the offense did its fair share of the work, but the pitching and fielding are likely the reason for continued success. The Phils are also arguably the best team in the Majors over this stretch.

AVG - .260 (16th)
OBP - .335 (7th)
SLG - .430 (6th)
OPS - .765 (5th)
R – 3996 (4th)
DBL – 1477 (14th)
TRPL – 184 (7th)
HR – 970 (3rd)
SB – 597 (6th)
BB – 2915 (5th)
K – 5565 (17th)
WAR – 161.5 (1st)

W – 473 (2nd)
ERA – 3.90 (5th)
WHIP – 1.32 (3rd)
K/9 – 7.11 (13th)
BB/9 – 2.96 (2nd)
BB:K – 2.40 (1st)
SV – 220 (3rd)
CG – 49 (1st)
SHO – 23 (1st)
WAR – 81.5 (15th)

E – 412 (1st)
FLD% - .987 (1st)
PB – 41 (3rd)
WP – 157 (1st)
UZR – 108.0 (4th)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Scott Mathieson Interview

Today is Scott Mathieson and Matt Stairs birthday, two former Phillies born in Canada. Mathieson, now 28 years old, was a right-handed pitcher for the Phils in parts of 3 seasons spanning from 2006-2011. In 15 games, he pitched 44 IP with a 6.75 ERA and 1 career win. He's now moved on to Japan to play for the Yomiuri Giants. He was kind enough to answer some questions for We Should Be GMs over the weekend. Here's the interview...

1. Did you watch "Mr. Baseball" in preparation for baseball culture in Japan?
Yes, I watched it a few times before coming over here. The movie is pretty close to what it's like here. Just 20 years old.

2. Baseball games in Japan end after 12 innings, what is you opinion on this?
I haven't experienced that yet, seems weird. I hate how hockey games in the NHL end in ties, so I'm sure I will not like it.

3. So, your team doesn't have a DH, are you hoping to get some hacks in?
I love hitting and was always very excited when I got to hit back at home. I'm hoping to be the closer over here, so I don't think I'll get many chances.

4. Are you excited to see a sumo match?
Yes, very much so. I got to meet the world champion sumo wrestler about a week ago. He came and hung out with us one practice and tried throwing a bullpen and took some swings in the cage. It was pretty neat seeing how fast and flexible he was for being such a big guy. I always just thought they were just big fat guys that pushed each other around, but this guys was an athlete. He was able to hit off a live bp pitcher and wasn't that bad. Plus he could throw and catch the ball. He also went through our warmup with us, which takes over an hour to go through.

5. How are your chopstick skills coming along?
My chopstick skills get the job done. The food here is so good that if you can't use them you learn fast.

6. Charlie Manuel was a Japanese League great, did he talk about the good ol' days?
He never talked to me personally about Japan but he would tell the team stories in spring training and always spoke very highly of his time in Japan.

7. You're in a new land and playing a different style of baseball, are there any American and/or Japanese players helping you with the transition?
There are a few Japanese guys on the team that have spent some time in the states and speak a little English that have been helping us out. DJ Houlton is one of my teammates here and has spent 4 seasons in Japan now I believe, he has been a big help. Everyone here has been awesome, though all the Japanese guys are great and make sure we are in the right place at the right time and try their best to help out.

8. Describe your role on the Giants.
Well, I'm hoping to be at the back end of the bullpen for them this year.

9. Best memory of time with the Phillies...
This is a real hard one. I have many great memories over the last ten seasons with the Phillies. Getting to call my dad after my first big league call up has to be the best memory, followed by my first game. I also will never forget walking into the GCL clubhouse for the first time in 2002. I got caught swimming in a golf course lake in Clearwater in 2002 by our field coordinator and 3 coaches. Cole Hamels was one of my roommates then and he borrowed clubs from older players and one slipped out of his hand and went into the lake. So he offered to pay my share of the gas money for the rest of camp if I went in and got it. I didn't get in trouble, but I did get the nick name "Canadian Goose" after that, which then got shortened to "Goose". Even last year, 10 seasons later there were a few coaches that still called me Goose. Living with my host family in Lakewood was a lot of fun. I could go on forever about great times I had with the Phillies.

10. How was it growing up in Canada?
Canada is a great country. I grew up in Aldergrove BC, which is about 45 minutes from Vancouver, which is above Seattle. Aldergrove is a smaller town where you pretty much know everyone and no one locks their doors. I believe growing up in a small community like this really helped me become who I am today. I played hockey and baseball and every other sport I had time for, as well as being an avid skier. I gave up hockey for baseball when I was 15. We didn't have high school baseball. We did have the BCPLB, which is the best baseball league in Canada and many kids from the rest of Canada come to play in this league. I played for the Langley Blaze, which is by far the best team in the league and in Canada. They have had more kids get drafted than any other team has ever had in Canada ( From there I played for team Canada and then was drafted in the 17th round by the Phillies.

11. Have you been to a McDonald's there yet, if so, is there McSushi?
No, I haven't been to McDonald's here yet, but I was just given a 1000 yen gift card to there (1000 yen = $12 us). I'm not the biggest McDonald's fan though. I have had some awesome sushi here though. John Bowker and I tried blowfish the other day at a sushi restaurant, which was very scary since if prepared wrong can kill you. The beef over here is also better then any steak I've ever had at home and I've had some very high end steaks.

12. Is your plan to eventually come back to the States and play in MLB?
My plan as of right now is to try and stay here long term. So far I love it over here. The team I'm with is the biggest team over here and they treat the players great and go about the game the right way. Lots of hard work, I've fielded well over a 1000 ground balls already and we are just about half way through spring training.
I would like to play in the states again, but not in the near future; my goal is to stay here for awhile. Hopefully I can learn a few things while I'm here and if I come back to the states I hope the Phillies would give me a look. I would love to play for them again. I really have nothing bad to say about them. I loved my time with the Phillies. I was a little frustrated that I didn't get more of a chance to pitch at the big league level with them, but I do realize it's tough to give guys many opportunities when you're a WS contending team and every game is a must win.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Still Only February...

Are you excited for the Phillies annual game against Florida State on Wednesday?

Are you worried about Justin DeFratus' elbow, Cliff Lee's abdominal discomfort, or Ryan Howard's seroma (clear fluid filled pocket that is common after surgeries)?

Yeah, sorta, but not really. It's still only February (and this year it even has an extra day), so and it's hard to get worked up over anything that seems so minor with Opening Day still looming more than a month away.

If Cole Hamels develops irritable bowel syndrome, it's not really news worthy, only would be because it's Spring Training and there's nothing better to report. This has been a very drama-less offseason for the Phillies, and there's both good and bad to that. The bad part has been insufficient daily blog fodder. Whatever, I'm sure I'll be bitching about Polanco's batting average or Bastardo's ERA in no time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Phillies Bottle Opener/Key Ring Contest

Would you like to be the winner of this Phillies bottle opener/key ring? Of course you would! Well, here's how to get your mitts on it- write an Ode to We Should Be GMs. Yes, we want flattery. We want self-deprecating humor. We want knowledge of the blog. Email us your best effort at and we'll pick the winner sometime next week. Now get to the butt kissing...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday Morning Bench Coach

Continuing the "Charlie in the Movies" theme with his starring role in Forrest Gump...

Pirates in the News
Consistent with the Pittsburgh Pirates of the last 20 year, their president is facing four charges related to a DUI arrest. Frank Coonelly describes his "actions," specifically getting liquored up and driving around in car, as "irresponsible and wrong."

We here at WSBGMs in no way condone driving while intoxicated. However, I can't help but point out that the managers of the 2011 World Series participants both had run-ins with the law related to substance. LaRussa had a rather famous DUI and Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine. So, in other words, get to work Clint Hurdle....

Pujols- Classy?
The California Angels recently promised Albert Pujols $250 million to play baseball. You'd think they could market him however they want. Not so fast, muchacho.

Pujols is not thrilled that the Angels have put up billboards of him and the words "El Hombre." (That means "The Man" for those of you who took French.)

Apparently, while in St. Louis he did not want the the Cardinals to use the nickname out of respect for Stan "The Man" Musial. This makes sense to me. I appreciate players giving respect to those that came before them, especially a WWII veteran and Medal of Freedom winner. But news flash Albert, you aren't in Missouri anymore. How many people in LA will relate Albert "El Hombre" Pujols, the Angels first baseman, to Stan Musial? I'll take it one step further. How many people in LA even know Stan Musial?

By refuting the nickname and asking the Cardinals to not use this most obvious marketing campaign, he came across as humble and classy. Now, he looks like at chump pandering to a fanbase that he walked away from for a few extra dollars. Own your greed, Albert. And take your $250 million and let the Angels market you the way they want.

In the video associated with the ESPN story linked above, Mike Greenberg (gag...) asks, "Is Pujols a class act or what?" I'm going with "what."

Speaking of Drugs...
Ronald Belisario of the Dodgers will serve a 25 game suspension because he tested positive for cocaine. Okay, I understand that people do drugs. This isn't surprising. What is surprising is what Belisario said after he got caught.

"I don't have a problem with any drugs."

Classic case of denial. Maybe a support group with Josh Hamilton could be helpful. But then he said some even more ridiculous things.The article says that Belisario "only used the drug once, but doesn't remember when he tried it, when he tested positive or who administered the test."

Could any of you middle aged readers out there imagine trying cocaine for the first time, then randomly taking a drug test, failing said drug test, then completely forgetting all of the aforementioned events? Then could you imagine trying to sell this story to your employer?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring Training Updates

*Ryan Howard took batting practice yesterday and continues to progress in his rehab back from that ugly left Achilles injury. He's also been taking ground balls from a stationary position on the field, but hopes to increase baseball activities in the coming weeks. Estimate for his return to the lineup still remains towards the end of May.

*Placido Polanco says he's "good to go" this season, after undergoing 2 hernia surgeries this winter. Phils need a healthy and productive Polly in the lineup and on the field. He plays quality defense, but his offense has been in steep decline. Hopefully he's able to boost the batting average back up to around .300 and be a positive force on this team.

*With Howard's injury, the question is who will man 1st base in his absence. Many people suspected John Mayberry would get some of the time there, but Charlie Manuel wants him mostly in LF. Wigginton, Thome, and Nix can all handle 1st, so letting Mayberry roam the outfield and play regularly instead seems like a good idea to me.

*Both Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels are free agents at the conclusion of the 2012 season, but they're each hoping to remain in Philly. Hamels is set for a huge payday, and the Phillies would be smart in extending him an offer before he officially hits the open market (5 years $100M perhaps?). Victorino on the other hand is a high-energy CF that makes a living off his speed. He'll be 32 in November, so extending him now doesn't seem prudent. Wait and see how his health is this year and then evaluate his worth over the next few seasons before investing millions in him. Don't get me wrong, I want him to remain a Phillie, but eventually the Phils are going to run out of money and have to cut costs somewhere. Who knows, maybe Mayberry proves that he is an everyday player and Dom Brown tears it up in Triple-A and they decide to move Mayberry to CF next year and let Brown play LF.

*Jose Contreras is mending well, and had a successful bullpen session yesterday according to Rich Dubee. A healthy Contreras is a valuable weapon in the bullpen, so this is a story to follow this spring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Victorino Hawaii Five-0 Video

Here's the Philadelphia Phillies All-Star center fielder and newly famed television actor Shane Victorino on Hawaii Five-0...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kendrick 2 Year Deal & Blanton-Abreu-Burnett Swap

KK Deal:
2 years $7.5M to a 6th starter/bullpen longman. I'm confused, but that's exactly what Amaro doled out for Kyle Kendrick. KK was set to make $3.585 this season, and under the new contract his 2012 salary is yet to be announced. I like KK and think he has value, but there's a point when salary outweighs usefulness. However, with Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton both becoming free agents after the season, having KK's salary already set for the 2013 season could be a positive. Of course, maybe the Phillies plan is for Kendrick to step into the 5th spot in the rotation this season, as will be discussed in the next section of this post...

Blanton-Abreu-Burnett Swap:
Buster "Rhymes" Olney reports that prior the AJ Burnett + money to the Pirates for 2 prospects deal went down that the Phillies were aggressively pursuing a 3-team swap. The trade would have sent Joe Blanton to the Angels for Bobby Abreu, then Abreu to the Yankees for Burnett. It's a shame this didn't go through, because it would have saved the Phils money this season, plus netted them a starting pitcher at a reasonable salary for next year too (assuming NY would have eaten $20M of his salary like they did for the Buccos). Who would you rather have, Blanton or Burnett? Me- Burnett, because of durability and the ability to strike batters out.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Under Pressure- Papelbon Remix

"I like pressure. That's what makes me tick, man. I'm excited."
~Jonathan Papelbon

Under Pressure- Papelbon Remix
Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on Jonathan Papelbon
Under pressure - that burns deep inside
To close and inning or two
Gotta put batters on their seats
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da - that's o.k.
It's the terror of knowing
That the game's on the line
Watching the Philly fans
Screaming "Strike him out"
Pray tomorrow - in the standings we're higher
Pressure on Papelbon - batters on their seats
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
Runnin' around - kick opponent's asses around the floor
These are the days wins don't rain but they pour
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
Batters on their seats - ee da de da de
Batters on their seats - ee da de da de da de da
It's the terror of knowing
That the game's on the line
Watching the Philly fans
Screaming "Strike him out"
Pray tomorrow - in the standings we're higher high high
Pressure on Papelbon - Batters on their seats
Turned away from it all like a blind ump
Stood on the mound but it don't work
Keep coming up with determination
but it's so slashed and torn
Why - why - why ?
Wins wins wins wins wins wins
Insanity laughs under pressure, I'm not cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more championship
Why can't we give wins that one more chance
Why can't we give wins give wins give wins give wins
give wins give wins give wins give wins give wins
'Cause win's such an old fashioned word
And wins dares you to care for
The fans on the edge of the ninth
And wins dares you to change your way of
Caring about only ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last chance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

ESPN Player Projections

Starting next week (hopefully) Corey and I will be introducing an over/under projection for the Phillies players. We will average our statistical projections then ask you, the reader, over or under. Below are ESPN's player projections for the 2012 season. Many of them are in line with what I am predicting, but a bit are skewed. See for yourself...

Starting 8:
Carlos Ruiz/C - .284/.778, 47 R, 7 HR, 46 RBI.

Ryan Howard/1B - .268/.872, 57 R, 23 HR, 78 RBI.

Chase Utley/2B - .277/.832, 80 R, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 18 SB.

Placido Polanco/3B - .280/.687, 53 R, 5 HR, 48 RBI.

Jimmy Rollins/SS - .272/.747, 86 R, 15 HR, 66 RBI, 29 SB.

John Mayberry/LF - .246/.706, 47 R, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 10 SB.

Shane Victorino/CF - .275/.806, 93 R, 15 HR, 63 RBI, 24 SB.

Hunter Pence/RF - .289/.813, 85 R, 23 HR, 91 RBI, 11 SB.

Laynce Nix/OF - .259/.771, 32 R, 12 HR, 36 RBI.

Jim Thome/1B/PH - .255/.889, 42 R, 22 HR, 59 RBI.

Ty Wigginton/UTL - .252/.720, 49 R, 14 HR, 50 RBI.

Brian Schneider/C - .230/.638, 17 R, 3 HR, 18 RBI.

Michael Martinez/UTL - .218/.573, 15 R, 2 HR, 13 RBI.

Domonic Brown/OF - .242/.705, 32 R, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 10 SB.

Juan Pierre/OF - .277/.653, 36 R, 21 RBI, 18 SB.

Roy Halladay - 19 W, 238 IP, 212 K, 2.68/1.07.

Cliff Lee - 18 W, 235 IP, 218 K, 3.10/1.09.

Cole Hamels - 16 W, 216 IP, 201 K, 3.04/1.12.

Vance Worley - 10 W, 170 IP, 140 K, 3.92/1.30.

Joe Blanton - 9 W, 152 IP, 123 K, 4.20/1.34.

Joel Pineiro - 9 W, 172 IP, 82 K, 4.50/1.36.

Jonathan Papelbon - 5 W, 40 SV, 66 IP, 85 K, 2.73/1.08.

Kyle Kendrick - 8 W, 102 IP, 49 K, 3.26/1.32.

Antonio Bastardo - 5 W, 12 HLD, 55 IP, 66 K, 2.62/1.09.

Michael Stutes - 4 W, 11 HLD, 63 IP, 62 K, 3.57/1.30.

Jose Contreras - 2 W, 3 HLD, 33 IP, 28 K, 4.09/1.33.

Dontrelle Willis - 1 W, 3 HLD, 27 IP, 19 K, 4.67/1.59.

Chad Qualls- 4 W, 19 HLD, 66 IP, 43 K, 3.55/1.35.

Brian Sanches - 3 W, 4 HLD, 50 IP, 41 K, 3.78/1.34.

Justin De Fratus - 3 W, 51 IP, 60 K, 3.18/1.24.

David Herndon - 3 W, 3 HLD, 55 IP, 36 K, 4.42/1.38.

For the most part, these seem fair. However, I disagree with the following- John Mayberry will have a much better season, no way Thome gets that many plate appearances, Dom Brown will get stuck in AAA, Pineiro will not be pitching 172 innings in a Phillies uniform, KK is not repeating a low ERA, Willis won't be that bad if used properly, and De Fratus is not getting a shot at 51 IP.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday Morning Bench Coach

Yeah, I know, it's Thursday. Let's begin with another "Charlie in the Movies" picture. The Fuqua abides.

Burnett and the Pirates
The Pirates can't beat the Yankees on the field. But they have the opportunity with AJ Burnett to take a win off of the field. They have the opportunity to get Burnett for essentially nothing and have the Yankees pay the vast majority of his salary. Of course, they could also pay $6-7 million a year for two years for a pitcher who produced a negative WARP last season.

If the Pirates we're shrewd (ha!), they'd tell the Yankees, "You give us $23 million and AJ Burnett and we'll give you those two Indian fellows we found on television. Take it or leave it."

The Yankees can't afford to keep Burnett. Well, they can in the literal sense, but they have seven or eight starting pitchers and Burnett's already outstayed his welcome. The fans don't want him back. Management seemingly doesn't want him back. They have to move. Good news for the Pirates, nobody really wants him or any part of the $33 million remaining on his contract. And why should they. Take a look at his stats over at and try to find something in the numbers that points to a return to form for Burnett. His hits and walk are up. His strikeouts are down. He's lost 3 MPH off of his fastball since 2007. This isn't "bad luck." It's bad pitching. (The xFIP told me so...)

Heck, maybe they should ask for more than $23 million...

More after the jump...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Phillies Spring Training TV Schedule

Date - Game - Network:
Saturday, March 3 - Phillies vs. Yankees - Comcast SportsNet

Monday, March 5 - Phillies vs. Yankees - The Comcast Network

Wednesday, March 7 - Phillies vs. Astros - The Comcast Network

Thursday, March 8 - Phillies vs. Pirates - The Comcast Network

Saturday, March 10 - Phillies vs. Orioles - Comcast SportsNet

Wednesday, March 14 - Phillies vs. Twins - The Comcast Network

Thursday, March 15 - Phillies vs. Braves - The Comcast Network

Saturday, March 17 - Phillies vs. Blue Jays - The Comcast Network

Monday, March 19 - Phillies vs. Tigers - The Comcast Network

Friday, March 23 - Phillies vs. Yankees - The Comcast Network

Monday, March 26 - Phillies vs. Red Sox - The Comcast Network

Tuesday, March 27 - Phillies vs. Pirates - The Comcast Network

Thursday, March 29 - Phillies vs. Rays - The Comcast Network

Monday, April 2 - Phillies vs. Pirates - Comcast SportsNet

*All Game Times 1 PM except for April 2nd @ 7 PM

*Leslie Gudel will also be reporting on the Phils during Spring Training for Comcast SportsNet.

*Thanks to Maureen Quilter of Comcast SportsNet who sends us these email updates.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

WSBGMs Hall of Fame 2012 Results

Congratulations to Adam Eaton, the newest member of the WSBGMs Hall of Fame. Eaton received 37% of the votes. Eaton will now have his photo-plaque enshrined in the widget in the right sidebar.

Jayson Werth and Baez Sucks got slightly less than 30% each and will return next year for a shot at glory.

Bea Arthur, unfortunately, will have to rely on the very finicky Veterans Committee for enshrinement.

Congratulations again, Adam. Your complete ineptitude got you something besides those tens of millions of dollars...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rheal Cormier to Hall of Fame (Canadian)

Congratulations to Rheal Cormier for his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. I can still remember him missing time during spring training with the Phillies due to hemorrhoids. What a pain in the ass! Anyway, Frenchy spent 6 of his 16 MLB seasons pitching in Philadelphia where he experienced the most success during his career- 28 W and 3.62 ERA in 363 G. In 2003 he posted an 8-0 record with a 1.70 ERA/0.93 WHIP in 84.2 relief innings. Very impressive. Cormier owns a .650 OPS as a hitter with the Phils too, more than Michael Martinez can claim. The lefty also pitched for Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Montreal posting a 71-64 record over 683 appearances and 1221.2 IP.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


*Winter has not had its typical frigid temperatures, but the blustery cold will whip in this weekend. Go to Lancaster Brewing Company and get a growler full of their delicious Double Chocolate Milk Stout to help warm you soul.

*We still have some free bumper stickers left. If interested, just shoot us an email at with your name and address.

*If you're looking for something to do in the doldrums of winter, may I suggest playing some fantasy sports on DraftStreet. Invest as little as $20 and play wisely enough to cash out at over $200 like I have.

*Phillies tickets are hard to come by, especially if you don't wanna put out the loot for season tickets or a 6-pack of games. If you're hunting for individual tickets, visit WSBGMs site sponsor GoTickets.

*Become our Facebook friend and/or follow us on Twitter @GMCarson and @GM_Corey.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Michael Schwimer is a Conflicted Man/Fan

From pop culture/sports blog- Grantland:
My dad was born and raised in the heart of New York City. He is a diehard fan of the Yankees, Giants, and Knicks. Just like any other kid with a diehard New York sports fan dad, I was brainwashed from a very early age to live and die with New York sports. My dad and I bond the most over sports and going to events. We went to Lambeau Field for the 2007 NFC Championship game, and now to this Super Bowl.

Long story short, I got drafted by the Phillies, and got called up for a month and a half this past season. My love for the Yankees has disappeared but my love for the Giants and Knicks is as strong as ever. I also have fallen in love with the city of Philadelphia and truly believe they are the best baseball fans in the country. The last thing I ever want to do is lose support from these fans, but I love the Giants. So am I allowed to outwardly root for the G-MEN or do I have to keep that to myself because I happen to be employed by the Phillies?

— Michael S

"Michael S" is none other than the Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Michael Schwimer. Question 1- What the hell is he thinking professing his love for New York teams while in the Phillies organization? Question 2- the Knickerbockers...really?!

It's obvious Schwimer is a conflicted man/fan and wants to remain in good graces in Philly while still supporting teams from the Evil Empire. Step 1 to ensuring that happens is to pitch well when given the opportunity. Step 2- don't speak another word of affection towards the state of New York, the city of New York, and especially any New York teams. God speed Michael Schwimer, may the ire of Philly not begrudge you for your lack of better judgement.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The 1987 4-Man Rotation: End of an Era

The 1980's witnessed the end of the 4-man rotation in baseball. Starting pitchers were becoming pricey and valued fragile commodities, not to mention bullpen specialist were starting to be used more frequently (thanks a lot LaRussa). Days of guys pitching 7-8 innings on 3 days rest became a thing of the past, as a quality start was defined as 6+ IP with 3 runs or less allowed. 1987 was the last year the Phillies employed a 4-man rotation, and the workhorses shouldering the load had nearly identical seasons (see below). Shane Rawley, Don Carman, Bruce Ruffin, and Kevin Gross were the end of an era. Although Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels certainly take the ball and pitch deep into games, they still get the luxury of 4 days rest.

1987 4-Man Rotation:
*Stats- Record, Games Started, Innings Pitched, ERA/WHIP, BB:K.

Shane Rawley 17-11, 36 GS, 229.2 IP, 4.39/1.46, 86:123.

Don Carman 13-11, 35 GS, 211 IP, 4.22/1.25, 69:125.

Bruce Ruffin 11-14, 35 GS, 204.2 IP, 4.35/1.51, 73:93.

Kevin Gross 9-16, 33 GS, 200.2 IP, 4.35/1.46, 87:110.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Phillies Themed Graffiti

Yesterday is was Phils themed cartoons, today graffiti...

Monday, February 06, 2012

Phils Themed Cartoons

Hey, it's the Monday after the Super Bowl and nothing is happening in Phillies land. Hell, nothing is really happening in baseball, unless you want to talk about the blockbuster trade of Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel. Yeah, didn't think so. Since pitchers and catchers are about 2 weeks from reporting to Clearwater, I leave you with a collection of some Phils themed cartoons.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Reuniting the 4 Aces?

Roy Oswalt remains unemployed. Many teams would love his services, but don't have the money and/or roster space to sign him. Roy2 wants to pitch for the Rangers or Cardinals due to those teams' proximity to his Mississippi home, but Texas and St. Louis aren't biting at the 1 year $8-10M price tag Oswalt is commanding. The Red Sox, Reds, and Phillies have also been keeping tabs on the righty. The Phils already have a gluttony of starting pitching with Blanton, Kendrick, and Pineiro in the 5th, 6th, and 7th slots of the rotation. Oswalt would reunite the "4 Aces" and increase the Phils chances at repeating as champions of the NL East for the 6th consecutive season. Up against the luxury tax threshold at the moment, the signing would certainly put the Phillies into uncharted waters for them, but it might be something they're willing to do given the reward. Trading Blanton would make this so much easier, but his contract ($8.5M) and questionable health (how's the elbow?) prohibit that move.

Sports Illustrated Power Rankings:
#3. Philadelphia Phillies- The Phillies won't win 102 games again in 2012 as they did in '11. The rotation took a small hit in losing Oswalt and first baseman Ryan Howard, who injured his Achilles making the last out of their season-ending loss to the Cardinals in the NLDS, likely won't return to the lineup until May or June. The bigger issue, though, is that the NL East is emerging as baseball's new super-division, as the Braves, Nationals and Marlins should all be better in 2012. That'll affect Philadelphia's win total but shouldn't change their place in the standings.

Others: Texas Rangers- #1, New York Yankees- #2, Atlanta Braves- #10, Washington Nationals #12, Miami Marlins- #14, and New York Mets- #25.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Jose Reyes Sheds Nasty Hair

It's no secret the level of disdain this GM has towards Jose Reyes. His smile, his hair, his handshakes, his dancing, his annoying antics...ugh! The new Miami Marlins shortstop will no longer be donning those nasty-ass dreds anymore though, due to a team rule.

"One thing that I do, I wash my hair once a month. Every time I went to shower, I put a plastic bag on my hair, and David Wright always making fun of me because of that. I don't get my hair wet. It's going to be a little bit emotional because I spent three years with this hair. But at the same time, I understand this rule of my new team. I'm a team player, so I have to cut it off."
~Jose Reyes

Once a month?! That's disgusting. Take a moment and think about the amount of sweat and dirt caked into those frizzy snakes protruding from his noggin. Yuck!

The haircut was televised on MLB Network last night. Must see tv?

Friday, February 03, 2012

WSBGMs Super Bowel Preview (Who To Root For?)

The Super Bowl is unfortunately going to happen this week. And most of us will watch it, or at least be at a party where the game will be shown. So we each need a team to root for. But these teams are so unlikeable, right? Well, don't worry. WSBGMs is here to help you pick the lesser of two evils. With science! Remember, the numbers never lie, so let's go to the Tale OF The Tape!

Schadenfreude (City)
NE - Boston has been waaaaay too successful lately. All four major professional sports teams have won titles recently. That's not acceptable.
NYG - I don't like that city or the people who live there. I don't want any of their teams to win. Ever.
Disadvantage –New York

Schadenfreude (Team)
NE - I know the Patriots have won a bunch of Super Bowls, but now most of those players are gone. And frankly, this team isn't that despicable. They have a tight end who hangs out with porn stars. That's some good mojo. The coach isn't fun to root against, because despite being an incredible knob, he never changes his expression which deprives us of some of the joy of reveling in his misfortune. Check out the pics below. One is of him winning the Super Bowl and the other is of him losing. Which is which?

NYG – Most of the Giants act like classless idiots. There’s way too much dancing and showing-off, for my liking. Someone should tell them they don’t play for “The U” anymore. So I’d like to see those fools get their comeuppance. Post-game tears would be verrrrrrry satisfying. But even more fun than that would be watching the many faces of an unhappy Eli Manning. Every time something bad happens, the camera immediately goes to Eli and he rarely dissappoints. I'm not the only one who enjoys documenting and laughing and the Manning misfortune and the subsequent "golly-gee, oh-shucks, dad-gum" faces that follow. Check out this site.
Disadvantage - New York.

Likeable Coaches
NE – Bill Belicheat - Dick
NYG – Tom Coughlin – Dick
Disadvantage – Push

Quarterback Hobbies
NE - Brazilain supermodels. Getting haircuts designed to look like he didn’t just get a haircut. Ugg boots.
NYG - Long, drawn-out words. Huntin’ and a fishin’.
Disadvantage - Push. The Gisele cancels out all the other negatives. And Eli, by his Southern backwoods nature, likes ties... or at least the feelings they invoke.

Did They Beat My Team
NE – No.
NYG - Yes.
Disadvantage – New York

Verdict - The numbers say you have to root for the Patriots. Hey, you can't argue with science.

[Super Bowl gambling side note - Want a fun prop bet? Go to a Super Bowl party and bet some money on who will be the first person to say something like, "I just watch the Super Bowl for the commercials." It happens at every party so you know there's going to be a winner. Also, if the person who makes the comment is man over the age of 16, you're allowed to hit him in the face.]

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Name That Phillie: Smoking Edition

Puff, puff, give. Who is this former Phillie smoking on a cancer stick?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Chad Qualls Added To Phillies Bullpen

With Jose Contreras' health in question, Amaro saw a need for a veteran arm in the bullpen. A bullpen that is built with youth aside from Papelbon needs someone capable of taking the ball on regular basis. Chad Qualls is that man, he is one of the most durable relievers in the game and certainly fills the "veteran" role. The Phillies signed him yesterday.

The Stats:
33 years old
Right-handed relief pitcher
Most appearances in MLB since 2005 (512)
8 MLB seasons with Astros, Diamondbacks, Rays, and Padres
Contract- 1 year $1.15M
Career ERA- 3.78, WHIP- 1.27
Has been a solid reliever every year of his career with the exception of 2010, which was disastrous (7.32 ERA, 1.80 WHIP).
Saves- 51, Holds- 130

Phillies 2012 Bullpen: Jonathan Papelbon/Closer, Antonio Bastardo/Set-Up, Chad Qualls/Set-Up, Kyle Kendrick/Longman, and Dontrelle Willis/LOOGY. Hopefuls- Michael Stutes, Joe Savery, Raul Valdes, Brian Saches, Michael Schwimer, Justin De Fratus, David Herndon, David Purcey, and Phillippe Aumont. Health Concern- Jose Contreras.

My Take: I don't see the point in Qualls. Essentially this was a Valdez for Qualls swap, and I'd rather have Valdez. Most of the hopefuls on the list above would likely do as well as, or possibly better than Qualls will next season. Michael Martinez, who is Valdez's replacement, is less likely to do as well as or better than Valdez next season. So I don't understand paying Qualls $1M+ to do the job some kid making league minimum could do that is already in the Phillies system.