Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TRADE - Pence to Giants

Giants get:
1) Hunter Pence - Pence is under team control for 1 more year and will likely make close to $14 million next season.

Phillies get:
1) Tommy Joseph - Joseph is a 21 year old catcher who hit 22 homers last season in A+ and is putting up respectable numbers in AA considering his age and position.

Quick evaluation - It became apparent through recent reports that the Phillies didn't want to pay Pence $14 million next season, but if this is the actual trade (still unconfirmed) I'm surprised Rube couldn't get somebody more ready for the majors since the team now goes into next year with a minor leaguer (Brown), a part-timer (Mayberry) and a mystery player starting in the outfield.

Update: Jon Heyman reports Nate Schierholtz plus another player will join Joseph in the deal. Schierholtz is unhappy in SF after losing playing time. He's nothing more than a fourth outfielder.

TRADE - Victorino to Dodgers

Dodgers get:
1) Shane Victorino

Phillies get:
1) Ethan Martin
2) Josh Lindblom
3) $3 million less in salary for the remainder of the year
4) John Mayberry in center field. Ugh.

Quick evaluation - Victorino was going to be a free agent and the Phils are out of the running, so any return is a plus. Martin is only 23, a former first round pick and strikes out over a batter an inning, so there has to be some upside.

Series Preview (Gnats) and Trade Deadline

Tuesday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. Steve Stasburg
Wednesday, 7:05 - Vance Worley v. Edwin Jackson
Thursday, 7:05 - Cole Hamels v. Ross Detwiler

The Phils are 16.5 games out of first in the NL East and 13 games back of the second Wild Card. So instead of predicting these meaningless games, let's focus on the Trade Deadline as the Phils should be active in the market today.

- Recent reports say that Cliff Lee is unlikely to be traded, which currently makes him the most likely Philly to go.

- The Dodgers acquired reliever Brandon League from the Mariners which makes alleged Phillies target Josh Lindblom more expendable.

- Earlier this week it was reported that the Phillies asked the Pirates for Brad Lincoln in return for the Flyin Hawaiian. Today, the Buccos flipped Lincoln to the Blue Jays for outfielder Travis Snider. Snider has been a AAAA player for the last three years, but he's only 24 years old with great minor league numbers. This is a great move for the Pirates. Lincoln was really good in the pen this season after the team finally gave up on him as a starter, but getting a young, cheap left handed outfielder is much harder than replacing a bullpen arm. Now the Pirates have to hope Snider breaks through the AAAA ceiling.

- Juan Pierre has to go. He's having a really good year and teams seem interested. Even if teams only offer a bucket of balls and a fungo bat the Phils need to cash in expendable resources. Ditto for Ty Wiggy...

- Joe Blanton's most likely destination is the Orioles. The B-more Sun reports the Phils would try to get Jon Schoop but probably won't be able to. They'll either get nothing and O's will take the majority of the remaining salary or they'll get Joe-Schmo Double-A and partial salary relief. I vote for the former.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Phillies on the move?

Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants?

Joe Blanton to the Baltimore Orioles?

Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers?

Are these Phillies and more on the move? Discuss....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bye, Bye, Bye

Calling all GMs, the Phillies are officially sellers, as per this blogger's decree.

Make us an offer for any of the following: Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre, Hunter Pence, Mike Fontenot, Ty Wigginton, Placido Polanco (take him for free), and Kyle Kendrick.

Friday, July 27, 2012

To Atlanta They Go: Brave Series Preview

Philadelphia Phillies (45-54) @ Atlanta Braves (54-44)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:35 Very Rich Hamels vs. Ben Sheets
Saturday, 7:10 Joe Blow vs. Mike Minor
Sunday, 1:35 Doc Halladay vs. Tim Hudson

Mohawks Offense:
R - 450 (10th)
AVG - .256 (17th)
OPS - .729 (15th)

Mohawks Pitching:
ERA - 3.98 (16th)
WHIP - 1.32 (19th)
BAA - .253 (15th)

Ryan Dempster doesn't want to go to the Braves.  Does he have a problem being overshadowed by Larry Jones swansong season?  Or is it that he finds the logo politically incorrect and offensive?  Either way, it doesn't appear the deal is gonna happen, so the Braves are still on the lookout for a starting pitcher.

Placido Polanco was a good bet to be traded, but now he's on the DL.  Dammit!  Guess he'll have to show he's healthy enough to be dealt before the August 31st waiver wire deadline now instead.  Blanton could possibly be making his last start for the Phils, while teammates Juan Pierre, Ty Wigginton, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence could be heading elsewhere before Monday's trade deadline.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Locked Up: Cole Hamels

Will he or won't he?  Depending on how the question was phrased, the answer could be yes or no.  Will Cole Hamels sign with the Phillies?  Will Cole Hamels be dealt at the trade deadline? 

He signed!  Now breathe a collective sigh of relief, because Ol' Girl Parts is a Phillie for the next 6 or 7 seasons.  6 years $144M to be exact with a vesting option that could push it to 7 years.

Honestly, I'm glad he's signed.  However, that is a ton of money locked up in not many players heading into the 2013 season (Halladay, Lee, Howard, Utley, Kendrick, Papelbon, Pence, Ruiz, Rollins, Nix, and now Hamels will account for roughly $150M).  If the Phillies intend on remaining below the luxury tax ($178M), they're going to have to get very creative with salaries/signings if they want to contend.  Or you could trade Cliff Lee to fill some roster holes and give some salary relief.  Hmm...how'd that work out before?  Whatever, let's just be happy Hamels is staying with us and worry about how Amaro will eff it up later. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Series Preview- Brew Crew (If you care)

Milwaukee Brewers (44-50) @ Philadelphia Phillies (42-52)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 7:05 Randy Wolf vs. Doc Halladay
Tuesday, 7:05 Zack Greinke vs. Unlucky Lee
Wednesday, 1:05 Marco Estrada vs. The Vanimal

Beer Makers Offense:
R - 415 (14th)
AVG - .244 (23rd)
OPS - .729 (17th)

Ryan Braun, with or without PEDs, is a beast (.309/.988, 61 R, 26 HR, 65 RBI, 16 SB).  Japanese rookie Norichika Aoki is batting .285/.787, A-Ram .277/.817, and he who wears his sunglasses at night Corey Hart .258/.810.  The only regular performing poorly is Rickie Weeks, who despite his .195 batting average still has a .649 OPS is still better than Placido Polanco's (.629).

Beer Makers Pitching:
ERA - 4.17 (20th)
WHIP - 1.37 (23rd)
BAA - .263 (25th)

The Wolfman isn't a quality pitcher anymore (5.60 ERA/1.56 WHIP), but the rest of his rotation mates are.  Greinke, who might be making his final start as a Brewer, and reliever turned starting pitcher, Marco Estrada are strikeout machines.  Their bullpen is in taters though, especially the back end with K-Rod and Axford struggling to keep leads late in games.  Sadly, they still have a better team ERA than the Phils.

What I'm Listening To:
Children bickering, whining, and being overly loud. (Currently residing at a beach house with 6 kids all 7 years old or younger).

What I'm Drinking:
"Apple Pie"- apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, dash of vanilla, and a lot of moonshine.  Goes down warm like apple pie.

Cliff will still be stuck on 1 win, Estrada K's 12, Phils lose series.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vintage Phillies, Vintage Beatles

Sticking with the "loser" theme of yesterday's post and pretty much the entire 2012 Philadelphia Phillies season, I bring to you vintage Beatles per forming "I'm a Loser" because the Phillies are performing like their vintage selves...the losingest franchise in sports history.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Drink This...

Hey, the Phillies lost...again.  Let's celebrate by drinking this...

Remember last season the Phils lost only 60 games all season, but in 2012 it's a different story with the total already at 53 with over a week to go in July.

Anyway, Elysian's "Loser" is an American style pale ale.  Elysian is out of Seattle, Washington, but is available in PA. In their words- "Celebrating 20 years of celebrating *Sub Pop Records, with beer. Specifically, this beer: Brewed with Carahell malts. Bittered with Sorachi Ace and finished with crystal hops."  With 7% ABV, a 6-pack will get you feeling good in one sitting (3 hours), which happens to be about the length of a Phillies game (that actually leaves you normally feeling bad).

Sub Pop Records All-Stars:
Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, and Flight of the Conchords.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Series Preview - Giants

Phillies (41-52) vs. (51-41)

Friday, 7:05 - Vance Worley v. The Freak
Saturday, 4:05 - Cole Hamels v. Matt Cain
Sunday, 1:10 - Oh no, it's Joe v. Barry Zito

We can only hope that The Vanimal does this again.

[.gif by Chad Moriyama]

The Difference Between Winning And The Phillies:
The reasons why the Phillies are in last place are obvious and numerous but I thought I would point out something about the first place Giants: their best players are their best players. Here's what I mean.

The offensive statistical leaders for the Giants are Cabrera, Sandoval and Posey. This allows the role players to perform like role players.

The Giants pitching staff has been good for years and Vogelsong, Cain and Bumgarner are pitching great. It allows Zito to be average and Lincecum to have an off year.

Compare this to the Phillies. Their two best players have been hurt all year. And among their other offensive leaders, only Chooch has been really good, while Pence has been good but predictably inconsistent and Rollins, Victorino and Polanco have been marginally better than an average replacement player. The result is the reliance on Galvis, Nix, Mayberry, Wigginton, and Fontenot to win games. That doesn't work.

I know this isn't new but it is important to realize what the expectations should be and what they should have been all year for this team - you cannot win when your best players give you nothing and you rely on past-their-prime veterans and role players to be statistical leaders.

What I'm Drinking:
Keystone Light - It's beach time for me which means it's Stones all day every day for the next week.

What I'm Listening Too:
Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten. Scheduled for release on Tuesday but you can get it early if you have no morals...like me. But regardless of how you get, just go get it. It's awesome.

If Blanton Played in France...
Subtitled - Salaries and Society

A football club in Paris (PSG) just bought Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic from a club in Milan. Ibrahimovic is one of the best forwards in the world and PSG, owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, will pay him roughly $18 million dollars. All's good in the hood, right? Well, not so much. The French leaders are in an "uproar."

French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac called the contract "indecent." Sports Minister (yeah, that's a job...) Valerie Fourneyron attacked the salary as "astronomical and unreasonable." Former sports minister Roselyne Bachelot also expressed her "indignation, almost disgust" at the transfer fee and salary.

Of course, the government will take the tax money. Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said there would no way for Ibrahimovic to "escape" the 75% income tax levied on those making over 1 million euros. 75%!!!

So in summary, the French are angry and disgusted that a collection of people are conducting completely legal and ethically sound business in their country that will net their coffers 10 million euros because it offends their socialist morality, despite the fact that is aids in the recovery plan being enacted by the newly elected president by "boosting taxes on the wealthy and spending to promote growth."

There's nothing like a self-righteous, intrusive, hypocritical government. I'm glad none of our leaders share this sort of ideology.

What do you think these Frenchies would say about Joe Blanton making 9 million dollars? The Phillies already have three players making more than Ibrahimovic and Cole Hamels could make four. Vernon Wells makes 24 million per year. Other players making roughly the same amount as one of the world's best players in the world's most popular sport include Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Josh Beckett, Carlos Lee and Toriiii Hunter. And last but not least, amnestied former Sixer Elton Brand makes 18 million per year.

Someday, when JP Aumont is making 15 million per year closing for the Fightins, I'll revisit our French friends...

Cliff will not put any distance between himself and Robert.

As for the Phils, they'll drop two of three.

The Brits Call It 'Holiday':
WSBGMs will be taking [separate] trips to the shores of Delaware next week. I mention this only so you loyal readers know why posting/commenting/tweeting will be sporadic at best.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Papelboner or Papelbum?

Through June 20th of this season Phillies fans had nothing to gripe about in regards to Jonathan Papelbon aside from his silly contract (not his fault, I'm looking at you Amaro!). He came as advertised- one of the best closers in baseball. He had been a perfect 17-17 in save situations and was boasting a pretty 2.28 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP over 26 appearances and 25.2 innings. That's worthy of a Papelboner.

Then came his first blown save of the season on June 23rd and it has been all down hill since them. Since that fateful day, he has made 9 appearances, covering 9.1 innings with a 6.75 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Papelbon has been unsuccessful in 3 of his last 7 save opportunities. That's what I call a Papelbum.

Just another reason it is stupid to pay top dollar for a reliever that only works 60-70 IP a year. $13M a season? GTFO!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Take 5?

Can the Phillies stake claim to their fifth win in a row this afternoon with Mr. Unlucky (aka- Cliff Lee) on the mound? It would complete their first 3-game sweep of the season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Howard Wins Ball Games & Other Stuff

The Howard- when a player hits a homerun, strikes out, and commits an error all in the same game.

J-Roll was the first Phillie to do it this season, Chooch did it over the weekend, and now Ryan Howard (the stat's namesake) laid claim to his first Howard of 2012 last night.  All three times the Phillies won the game.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Karmic retribution, baby!

It was The Big Piece's first E, HR, and RBI of the season.  Welcome back!

Other Stuff:
*Perennial Howard leader Mark Reynolds committed his third of the season last night too, tying him with teammate Matt Wieters.  Oh, those O's.

*Todd Zolecki wrote a nice piece on the future of Cole Hamels and some other Phillies. He gave some real insight/opinion that may not sit well with fans, but that is his job as a writer.  Truth is, Hamels is going to get very expensive and the Phils may not be able to afford/retain him, so trading him for a "can't miss" prospect might be the way to go, so that they're not left empty-handed when he signs elsewhere this offseason.  To hell with public relations, this season is dead, and if they want to contend again in 2013, trading some players like Hamels, Victorino, Pierre, and Polanco could be the best route to take.  Wouldn't hurt to listen to offers for Rollins either, assuming a near MLB ready SS would be in some package coming from another swap.

*Joe Blanton has been very good in about half his starts this season and very bad in the other half.  There seems to be no middle ground with him.  He's 8-8 with a 4.79 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, and he's on a pace for 210 innings pitched.  Does he have any trade value?  It sure would be nice if he did, because Tyler Cloyd deserves a 2 month tryout. In 19 starts, he's 12-1 with a 1.93 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 85 K in 121.1 IP.  That's friggin' awesome!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Onward to La-La Land

Philadelphia Phillies (39-51) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (48-42)

Pitching Match-ups:
Monday 10:10, Please Go Joe vs. Nate Eovaldi
Tuesday 10:10, Return of Halladay vs. Undecided
Wednesday 3:10, Unlucky Lee vs. Clayton Kershaw

The Get-Out-The-Ways Offense:
R - 342 (27th)
AVG - .249 (19th)
OPS - .684 (26th)

They started the season setting the world on fire, but the have cooled off since.  Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are both back and healthy, so that will help (help them, not the Phils).

The Get-Out-The-Ways Pitching:
ERA - 3.30 (2nd)
WHIP - 1.25 (6th)
BAA - .236 (2nd)

Kershaw is awesome, their bullpen is solid, and this "Undecided" guy pitching on Tuesday has a helluva knuckle-curve.

Their Michael Martinez:
Juan Uribe doesn't belong on a MLB roster, but because he's currently in the middle of a foolish 3 yr/$21M contract he continues to play.  His .193/.525 batting line suggests otherwise, but just like Mini-Mart who remained on the 25-man roster all of 2011 (due to Rule 5 status), Uribe continues to do so for the Dodgers.

Their Danys Baez:
Rookie Shawn Tolleson is not making a good impression- 5.68 ERA and 1.89 WHIP over 8 appearances.  However, that's about that same shit stats that half the Phillies relievers post.

What I'm Drinking:
AleSmith- Speedway Stout.  A huge Imperial Stout that weighs in at an impressive 12% ABV. With added pounds of coffee for a little extra kick. Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full-bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel.

Phils win 1 in Doc's comeback. Hamels decides to bypass the offseason free agency fever and trade himself to the Dodgers and sign an extension with them in the process.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chooch Goes Howard

In an otherwise dismal season, Carlos Ruiz has been a godsend. If the Phils were in contention, Chooch would be a buzz name for NL MVP. As it turns out, wins have been few and far between in 2012 for the Phillies, but *twice this season a Phillie has performed The Howard (homerun, error, and strikeout all in same game) and the Phightins have gone onto win the contest. Last night Chooch pulled off the feat and of course the Phillies won.

*Jimmy Rollins went Howard earlier this year.

Now, I believe, is the time for the stat's namesake to do the deed. Let's root for a bomb in the thin Colorado air today from Ryan Howard, then his customary K and E to accompany it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Series Preview [not really...] - Rockies

Phillies (37-50) v. Rockies (33-52)

Friday 8:40 - Lee v. Friedrich
Saturday 8:10 - Worley v.Guthrie
Sunday 3:10 - Hamels v. Pomeranz

The Rockies suck. They only let their starters throw 75 pitches. They wear purple.

Okay, that's it for the preview...

New Twitter:
Want to follow somebody else on twitter? Can't get enough of other people's useless rantings? Well, then follow "angryFRANZKE" a new twitter feed from Phillies broadcaster Scott Franzke.* It promises to show what celebrated Phillies announcer Scott Franzke* is really thinking...

[*Not really Scott Franzke, in case you didn't know.]

On Booing... and stupid writers:
So the Kansas City fans booed Robinson Cano during his entire HR Derby failure because he didn't pick Billy Butler to be in the derby. Big freaking deal. But, it's a slow sports time so every writer in the freaking country had to pretend this was relevant and do a piece on it. So, I guess I might as well. Here's my take:

1) I love it. The more booing the better. I know it's an All Star event and everybody should be nice and smile for the TV cameras, but the fans were pissed because they spent good money on those tickets and wanted to see their hometown player. Makes sense to me. Let them boo.
2) Cano should have known this was going to be the reaction. Did you really need to pick Mark Trumbo? Nobody even knows Mark Trumbo. Poor decision, Robby.
3) John Paul Morosi, and other idiot writers, are idiots. Morosi said the booing was "needlessly tart and probably unwise." Needlessly tart? Studied at the Andy Martino School of Douchey Sports Writing, eh. But "unwise." How's that John Paul? Well, it was "foolish" to let "negativity seep into Kauffman Stadium" because it hurt their "marketing power" in competing for "top tier free agents." Seriously. That's what he said. This guy thinks a top player would turn down huge money because the fans booed the opposition in support of their own. He really, honestly got paid to write that.
4) You want to see effective booing then watch this little clip:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Funny Scott Franzke NSFW Audio

I was just listening to the garbage drivel of Joe Buck and that old catching climatologist Timmy Mac and thought, "How lucky are we to get to listen to Chris Wheeler?" No, not really. But we do have Scott Franzke and he said some naughty words about Scott Hairston lighting up the the Phillies. Awfulannouncing.com posted this clip. It's NSFW, as the title implies. So avoid if children are around or if you are offended by 'potty talk.'

Monday, July 09, 2012

You Guys Are Incorrigible

We are at the point in the season where the Phils can't lose a game for 1/2 a week. Phew! Those people are right, baseball is a marathon. A painful, arduous marathon. I would say that it will be nice to take a break for a few days, but there's no rest for the wicked. Which brings me to today's topic: people are idiots. Specifically, the 'mainstream' media and Phillies fans.

In case you were living under a rock yesterday, here's how the afternoon went down. Some 'bag' from the Delco Times* tweeted that "Looks like Victorino is ticked and that's why he's scratched. Walked into clubhouse, soon say he was No. 7 in lineup, walked out wordlessly." NBC's baseball blog reported this tweet in a story calling Victorino's actions a "temper tantrum." Phillies fans then performed their obligatory duty of bashing Victorino for a few hours... until it was reported that the tweet was completely bogus, with the Delco Times guy calling it "dumb speculation."

[*Is the Delco Times a real newspaper? And if so, how does a guy who openly admits to "dumb speculation" get a press pass but this blogger can't even get the game on television occasionally? That moron completely destroyed any credibility he might have had.]

Well, here's the "legit" media at it again. Nobody asks difficult questions. They're all afraid of losing their precious access. They constantly use their platform to slander guys like me, you know, because I'm dumb and live in my mom's basement with nothing better to do than irresponsibly make up stories/rumors. Yet, time after time, they do the same thing. They ask needless questions in order to annoy players to possibly get a quote. They create rumors then assign the info to a "source" which magically justifies anything they write. And sometimes they just make stuff up, like this stalwart of journalistic integrity at the Delco Times just did.

So, the next time you see Buzz Bissinger or Bob Costas or some other pompous ass in the media blast the "bloggers" for whatever reason, just remember the Delco Times reporting information known to be false and NBC exaggerating a lie (temper tantrum?) for a few page hits.

Now, on to the Phillies fans. What am I going to do with you guys? I know it's been a tough season. I know you are all in a bad state of mind. But is it too difficult to wait until you know a guy did something wrong before calling him out for every bad thing he's ever done then running him out of town? I know your excuse, that you should be able to trust the "mainstream" media. But let me tell you a little secret, you can't. They're all liars.
In Other News:
- Vicente Padilla said that Mark Teixeira has a "problem" with Latin players and suggested that he should play a "women's sport." So, Padilla's decided to speak out about perceived racism by being obviously sexist. Stay classy, Vicente.

- The Phillies still have a better record than four NL teams, so they have that going for them.

- The home run derby is tonight. Here are my derby predictions: 1) Chris Berman will be so annoying I'll turn the channel before anybody even hits a homer 2) Andrew McCutchen's swing will get "messed up" and he'll start the second half of the season 0-20 and 3) that Sports Science nerd with the bad haircut will do a segment describing how the ball flies further in hot, humid air.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Charles Fuqua Manuel- Stay or Go?

All blame does not deserve to be placed upon the Manuel, just a third. Other two-thirds to Amaro and the Players. This team is bad getting badder. Things need to change. Change is likely to happen in the form of players being traded. However, I am curious, if you, the reader, also would like that change to include relieving Charles Fuqua Manuel of his duties. Vote below...

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Depress Yourself

The Phillies are literally one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball.  This is not hyperbole of a blogger that is infuriated by their beloved squad's play.  At 37-48, they are 11 games under .500, 13 back of the Nationals in the NL East, and 9 out of a Wild Card spot.  The vaunted pitching staff- 4.23 ERA, 22nd in MLB.

The reinforcements?  They've won only 1 of the 9 games since Utley has returned, and lost last night in Howard's.  Halladay is supposedly coming back shortly after the All-Star break, but it doesn't matter.  This team is dead, this season is over.  The sooner Amaro admits this, the better.  Anybody that is set for free agency should be made available on the trade market in hopes of retooling the team for next season.  Hamels and Victorino have the most value and should be able to get good talent in return.  Players like Pierre, Blanton, Wigginton, Polanco, and Fontenot might net the team some minor league depth in the form of a "prospect" that could pan out down the road.

It is clear that the current cast of characters is not winning, which includes manager Charlie Manuel.  If overhauling the team is in the works for the last 2 months of the season and some youth are being given a chance to play, then Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg would be my preference to man the helm.  What's the worst that could happen, they continue to lose?  Yeah, that's already the case.

This team might still be historic though- going from 100+ wins to 100+ losses in the matter of one season.  Yikes!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Amaro is Stupid with Money

Was Jonathan Papelbon the best free agent closer on the market this past offseason?  Yes.

Ryan Madson, Joe Nathan, and some others of lesser pedigree were available, but Ruben Amaro decided to blow most of his allotted money on Papelbon.  Not smart.  Thought Stanford grads were supposed to be intelligent.

Personally, I advocated for Nathan, thinking he'd be cheaper and nearly as good.  Turns out, he was cheaper and has been markedly better.

Papelbon '12: 32 G, 31.1 IP, 38 K, 2-3 W-L, 18 SV, 2 BS, 3.45/1.15.

Nathan '12: 34 G, 33.2 IP, 42 K, 0-2 W-L, 18 SV, 1 BS, 1.87/0.89.

Contracts: Papelbon- 4 yr/$50M, Nathan- 2 yr/$14.5M.

This isn't a one time mistake with Amaro either.  The Howard and Blanton extensions are bad, the Baez contract was almost unforgivable, signing 2 pitchers to $20M+ per year contracts was questionable, Polanco's contract hasn't worked out that well, Ibanez's contract was 1 year too long and a few million per season too much.  Amaro is reckless with the Phillies money. Am I missing anything?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Breaking News: Cliff Lee Wins!!!

On the day that celebrates our nation's Deceleration of Independence, Cliff Lee finally won his first game of the 2012 season, thus shaking the shackles that bind him. Congrats Cliff!  You and your teammates should pop some bubbly in the clubhouse, because you won't be doing it in October.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Series Preview- Mets...Again

Philadelphia Phillies (36-45) v. New York Mets (43-37)

[Look at those damn records. Sheesh.]

Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday, 7:10 - Vance Worley v. Jon Niese
Wednesday, 1:10 - O-fer Lee v. Chris Young
Thursday, 7:10 - Cole Hamels v. RA Dickey

Muts Batting:
Runs - 365 (8th)
Avg - .257 (14th)
Slug - .394 (19th)

Jason Bay is back! Of course, he's 2-25 since his return and .187 overall for the year. Ike Davis is still only batting .203.

Muts Pitching:
ERA - 3.86 (11th)
WHIP - 1.28 (13th)
BAA - .248 (12th)

What I'm Drinking:
Dark n Stormy - Gosling's Dark Rum and ginger beer. When it's 90 degrees, you need rum drinks.

All Star Snubs?:
The top two players in NL batting, Carlos Ruiz and David Wright, will both be playing for the NL All Star team. But they won't be starting. They both were beaten in the voting by Giants, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. Both players are having good seasons but not nearly as good as Chooch and Wright. Yet somehow, players from New York and Philly were beaten in fan voting by players who play in a city with a population of only 800k. There's only two plausible explanations: 1) some Silicon Valley hacker rigged the online voting or 2) there was a local referendum for legalizing weed and/or same-sex marriage and to vote you also had to cast ballot for Kung Fu Panda and Posey.

Trade Idea/Rumor of the Series: 
Placido Polanco to the Tigers. The Tiger do not have a second baseman. I mean, they do. They have a few. It's just that none of them are any good. Ramon Santiago is hitting .227. Ryan Raburn is hitting .182. Danny Worth and Don Kelly are also hitting in the .180's.

Magic Number:
The Phils magic number just rented a house at the shore. It might not be around this summer...

Lee gets a win!!!!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Cliff Lee Win Watch

You've asked for it. You've got it - The 'Cliff Lee Win Watch' is here.

I thought for a long time about what would be an appropriate sidebar widget to track and commemorate the historically 'unlucky'* season that the winless Cliff Lee is having. [*Don't even begin to argue that he's not unlucky. I don't want to here about the hits and runs and whatever. This isn't the blog post for that and if you don't think Cliff Lee is just as awesome as ever, you are a moron. End of story.] But I couldn't quite come up with the right idea.

I thought about comparing him to another superstar pitcher, like Roy or OGP or Verlander, but I realized that this would be an unfair comparison given the terrific luck that these guys have had in 2012. Then I decided to compare him to a bad pitcher, like KK or Blanton or anybody that pitches for Colorado, but again, these guys have been far luckier.

So, the only logical comparison would be another unlucky Lee. I have a few suggestions below. You guys tell me which unlucky winless Lee we should compare to our unlucky winless Lee too.

How about Motley Crue dummer Tommy Lee? He has hepatitis C, which I'm sure is by no fault of his own, so that's pretty unlucky. Or maybe keeping with the music theme, Rush bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee. Rush is pretty awesome but unfortunately Geddy Lee sings like a castrated chipmunk and he's Canadian. That's a double dose of bad luck.

How about film maker Spike Lee. He roots for the Knicks, a team that's done everything right in the last few years but just can't catch a break. Or maybe busty Food Network Sandra Lee, who hosts the worst show on the network. I mean, she's great, but 'unluckily' most people think the show is garbage.

Comic book creator Stan Lee and professional billiards player Janet Lee are both searching for their first winning start this year. However, I don't think these two are unlucky enough. But I'll still leave them here for consideration.

Now here are two unlucky Lees. Confederate general Robert E. Lee lost the Civil War and martial arts master Bruce Lee died at the young age of 32.

These are your choices. Tell us which should be in the right sidebar to track Lee's win(s) or lack thereof.