Sunday, September 30, 2012

Phillies Weekend Roundup

*Ryan Howard will finish the 2012 season the same way he started it, injured.  The big oaf dropped the weighted bat he uses in the on-deck circle on his toe and broke it. 

*Jimmy Rollins surpassed the 100 runs scored mark for the 6th time in his career. 

*Pete Orr is batting .321, Kevin Frandsen .330, and Michael Martinez .173.  Why, oh why, does Charlie Manuel insist on playing Mini-Mart when he clearly has better options?

*Hunter Pence collected his 100th RBI of the season, setting a new career high.  Of course, only about half of those came when he was wearing a Phillies uniform.

*Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 38th save of the season in the Phils 80th victory of the season.  Gotta take two outta three in Washington to secure a 10th consecutive winning season.

*In his season finale, Cole Hamels, notched his 17th win, a new career high.

*Roy Halladay will end the year with a bad taste in his mouth due to a 4.49 ERA...yuck!  He's probably just been incredibly unlucky.   Ha.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The End of Agony

Roy Halladay takes the mound in Miami for his final start of the 2012 season.  Thank Jeebus!

2010: 21-10, 250.2 IP, 219 K, 9 CG, 4 SHO, 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, CY, AS, 6th in MVP balloting.

2011: 19-6, 233.2 IP, 220 K, 8 CG, 1 SHO, 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 2nd in CY balloting, AS, 9th in MVP balloting.

2012: 10-8, 151.1 IP, 125 K, 4.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP.

I certainly hope this is not the beginning of a rapid downward spiral for Doc.  Both the Phillies and Roy claim there is nothing structurally wrong with his arm.  Then please tell me, what the hell is wrong?!

*Interesting stat- Doc has a 3.00 ERA with Kratz in 7 games, a 2.61 ERA with Schneider in 2 games, and a horrific 5.32 ERA in 16 games with Chooch. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Series Preview- Is It Over Yet?

Philadelphia Phillies (78-78) @ Miami Marlins (66-90)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:10- Cliff UnluckLee vs. Big and Buehrle
Saturday, 7:10- Bad Version of Doc vs. Tabasco Nolasco
Sunday, 1:10- OGP vs. Eovaldi the Classic Composer

What a craptacular  season for both teams, more so the Marlins than the Phils.  Ozzie Guillen is proving to be a horrible hire.  Heath Bell is proving to be a horrible signing.  This series is meaningless, unless you want to try and put meaning into finishing the season with a winning record, which the Phils would have to go 4-2 over the last two series to secure.

In fact the Marlins games have become so meaningless that they signed a guy to a 1-day MLB contract as a publicity stunt.  I do appreciate their kind gesture though. Adam Greenberg was once a promising young outfielder in the Cubs organization who got beaned in the head in his only MLB plate appearance.  Might as well get a little feel good story out of an otherwise miserable season.  Side note- it was a Marlins pitcher who beaned him back in 2005.

The only thing I'm interested in over the next 6 games is how Darin Ruf plays.  He's made all the plays in the outfield and hit so far.  Extremely small sample size, but something to feel good about nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crazy Idea- Ryan Howard for John Lackey

Two mighty teams have tumbled from supremacy this season, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox.  Each team has been winning for the better part of the last decade, but has fallen upon hard times this season due to injuries and bad contracts.  How about helping each other out?

To Boston- Ryan Howard and his 4 years and $105M remaining on his contract.

To Philly- John Lackey and his 2 years and $30.5M remaining on his contract.

Ryan Howard is an overpaid miscast first baseman.  Sending him to the AL where he can primarily DH and occasionally play 1B might keep him healthier and possibly more productive.  This would also give the Red Sox a DH to replace David Ortiz, and rid them of Lackey's contract.

Lackey hasn't pitched since 2011, and ended that season with a ghastly 6.41 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.  He's missed this entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery.  He can't be counted on to be productive ever again.  He'll be 34 years old next season and has been a below average starting pitcher the two years prior to this one. Essentially the Phillies would be acquiring deadweight, but some salary relief.

Salary Relief in both 2013 and 2014 for the Phillies- $9.75M.  Overall salary relief- $74.5M.

Estimated Payroll for Phillies (minus Howard, plus Lackey) for 2013- $138M.
Includes: Lee, Halladay, Utley, Hamels, Papelbon, Rollins, Ruiz, KK, Nix, Lackey, Worley, Lindblom, Kratz, Aumont, Ruf, Frandsen, Bastardo, Horst, Mayberry, Galvis, and Brown.

That leaves roughly $40M to spend until the luxury tax threshold. 

I propose signing Angel Pagan (3 YR/$24-$27M) for CF, Eric Chavez (1 YR/$3M) or Jeff Keppinger (2 YR/$8M) for 3B, Torii Hunter (2 YR/$20-$24M) for RF, and a setup man.

1. Angel Pagan/CF
2. Chase Utley/2B
3. Torii Hunter/RF
4. Carlos Ruiz/C
5. Jimmy Rollins/SS
6. Darin Ruf/1B
7. John Mayberry/Domonic Brown/LF (Platoon)
8. Kevin Frandsen/Eric Chavez/3B (Platoon)

1. Erik Kratz/C
2. Laynce Nix/OF/1B
3. Freddy Galvis/UTL

1. Cole Hamels
2. Cliff Lee
3. Roy Halladay
4. Kyle Kendrick
5. Vance Worley

1. Jonathan Papelbon/Closer
2. John Lackey/Long Reliever
3. Antonio Bastardo
4. Jeremy Horst
5. Josh Lindblom
6. Phillippe Aumont
7. One of Michael Schwimer, Justin DeFratus, Michael Stutes, David Herndon, Jacob Diekman, and BJ Rosenberg.

*I obtained the contract information from Cot's Baseball Contracts.  I've seen all sorts of projected payroll figures, but most of them fall within a $5M range. 

*Handing over full-time duty to Darin Ruf, he of only 2 MLB hits, is a bit crazy.

*Boston would likely never go for this deal and Amaro isn't crafty enough to devise it.  I was merely having some fun.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Series Preview- Who Gives a Damn?

Washington Nationals (93-60) @ Philadelphia Phillies (77-76)

Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday- Ross Rottweiler vs. OGP
Wednesday- Triple-A Lannan vs. KK the Great
Thursday- Germany Jackson vs. Pitcher Formerly Known as Roy Halladay
*All game times 7:05

What to Watch For:
*Fans not giving a crap.

*Utley possibly playing 3rd base.

*The Nationals to make a fool of the Phillies.

*The Phillies giving up and mailing in the rest of the season.

Who gives a damn?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Brendan Ryan and The Howard

The Howard- the feat accomplished by a player who hits a homerun, commits an error, and strikes out all within the same game.

Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan is one of the finest defensive players in the game.  He's a regular on Web Gems and has one of the highest Defensive Wins Above Replacement (aka- DWAR) over the past four seasons (12.4 DWAR).  His bat on the other is atrocious.  He's currently batting .193/.553 and is only a career .244/.633 hitter.  However, when he has connected for the long ball this season, he's regularly turned it into The Howard, which is ironic considering his superior fielding. 

Yesterday Ryan hit only his 3rd homerun of the season and committed only his 9th error, yet it was his 2nd Howard.  That's noteworthy.

Phillies Stuff:
*How much does Halladay's 4.40 ERA and 2012 performance overall with lengthy DL stint worry you?

*The Phils have to win 5 out of the last 9 games to ensure their 10th consecutive winning season.  The Phillies have not had a losing record since moving into Citizens Bank Park.

*14 homeruns and 55 RBI in 67 games is pretty good.  However, when you're paid like one of the best players in baseball, your defense is horrible, base running is even worse, your OBP is below .300, you're batting .225, and you have a negative -1.0 WAR, that isn't good at all, that's bad.  That's Ryan Howard.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Big Money Contracts- Don't Do It!

Big money contracts = BFI.  Bad f'n idea, or bad f'n investment.  Either way, they're a waste of assets.

Let's take a look at some of the highest salaries in baseball for 2012.  You'll see a bunch of past their prime, overpaid "superstars".

Top 25:
*Based on average annual value (per Cot's Contracts)
1. Alex Rodriguez/NYY - $27.5M
2. Ryan Howard/PHI - $25M
3. CC Sabathia/NYY - $24.4M
4t. Cliff Lee/PHI - $24M
4t. Albert Pujols/LAA - $24M
6. Prince Fielder/DET - $23.8M
7. Joe Mauer/MIN - $23M
8. Johan Santana/NYM - $22.9M
9. Mark Teixeira/NYY - $22.5M
10. Adrian Gonzalez/LAD - $22M
11. Matt Cain/SFG - $21.2M
12. Carl Crawford/LAD - $20.3M
13. Tim Lincecum/SFG - $20.25M
14t. Roy Halladay/PHI - $20M
14t. Matt Kemp/LAD - $20M 
16. Miguel Cabrera/DET - $19M
17. Carlos Zambrano/MIA - $18.3M
18t. Torii Hunter/LAA - $18M
18t. Ichiro Suzuki/NYY - $18M
18t. Vernon Wells/LAA - $18M
18t. Jayson Werth/WSH - $18M
18t. Barry Zito/SFG - $18M
23. Jose Reyes/MIA - $17.7M
24. Jake Peavy/CHW - $17.3M
25. Matt Holliday/STL - $17.1M

RED = Oops

Half the contracts are bad contracts.  Others are too early to tell, but have the potential to become bad due to age/injury risk (ie- Pujols, Fielder, Reyes, Mauer).  Cain, Kemp, Hunter, Cabrera, and Holliday seem like the only good deals.  Sabathia is a sturdy top of the rotation pitcher, but he shouldn't be the top paid pitcher.  Halladay only has one season left on his contract, but he's declining quickly.  Lee's contract seems okay so far. 

Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Adrian Beltre, and Felix Hernandez didn't make it due to annual average salary, but have been good investments thus far.

Carlos Lee, Jason Bay, AJ Burnett, John Lackey, Travis Hafner, Alfonso Soriano, and Josh Beckett's contracts missed the cutoff, but they've been poor investments.

Cole Hamels, Joey Votto, Ryan Braun, and Andre Ethier's extensions haven't kicked in yet, but they are risky.  Votto is signed through 2023 (holy shit!), Ethier is not an elite outfielder, but is compensated as such, Braun is signed through 2020.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Phillies Wild Card Chances Nearly Impossible

2nd Wild Card Standings:
St. Louis Cardinals 80-71
Milwaukee Brewers 78-72, 1.5 GB
Los Angeles Dodgers 78-73, 2 GB
Philadelphia Phillies 77-74, 3 GB

Remaining Schedules:
Cardinals- 2 against the Cubs, 3 against the Astros, 3 against the Nationals, and 3 against the Reds.
Brewers- 3 against the Nationals, 3 against the Reds, 3 against the Astros, and 3 against the Padres.
Dodgers- 2 against the Reds, 3 against the Padres, 3 against the Giants, and 3 against the Rockies.
Phillies- 2 against the Braves, 6 against the Nationals, and 3 against the Marlins.

I do believe the Phillies are Effed in the A.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Series Preview- Do or Die

Atlanta Braves (86-64) @ Philadelphia Phillies (76-74)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05- Not a Hanson Brother vs. KK the Great
Saturday, 4:05- It's Minor not Major vs. Doc Halladay
Sunday, 1:35- Hudson Hornet vs. Suddenly LuckLee

Here's The Deal:
The Phillies are in do or die mode, and even if they do, they still might die.  12 games remain in the season and their shot at the playoffs dwindles with every passing day and every loss.  Even if they win all 12 games, that still might not be enough to takeover the Cardinals.  Stupid birds.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Make-Up Game Tidbits

*Justin DeFratus has the most innings pitched out all MLB pitchers with a 0.00 ERA.  Of course, that's only 6 IP, but still...

*Cole Hamels (4.0) and Cliff Lee (3.6) are in the top 20 for pitchers in WAR.  Hell, Cliff's actual win total barely eclipses his Wins Above Replacement.

*Melky Cabrera is likely to win the NL batting title.  Bullshit!

*Miguel Cabrera (no relation to the aforementioned cheater) has a chance to win the Triple Crown.  He's currently 1st in batting average- .333, 2nd in homeruns- 41 (1 behind Josh Hamilton), and 1st in RBI- 130.  I want to see it happen in my lifetime, so now is as good as time as ever.

*Jimmy Rollins is 2nd in homeruns among MLB shortstops with 22, and tied for 4th in stolen bases with 30.  He's still an elite SS.  I just wish he hit for a little higher average and got on base more.

*The Cardinals are 9 games above .500, Dodgers 5, and the Brewers 4.  At 75-74 with only 13 games left to play, it's nearly impossible to grab the 2nd Wild Card.  St. Louis is taking care of business against the Astros, unlike the Phils did this past weekend.  I'm still pissed!

*Tyler Cloyd has only pitched 7 innings total in his last 2 starts.  I'm hoping for at least 6 quality ones tonight.  BTW- shocking to see him striking out a batter an inning (20 K/20 IP), because I was told by the omnipotent people of the Internet that he didn't have the "stuff" to make it in the Majors.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MLB - The Model of Inconsistency

So I'm sure you've all seen that the bigot that plays shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays got a three game suspension for writing a derogatory message about homosexuals on his eye-black. I'm glad he got suspended. These sort of things have no place in society, let alone a baseball field. I hope Escobar learns a lesson, but seeing that he went out on a Major League baseball field with this garbage on his face for the world to see, it's likely he doesn't care because he's a horrible person or so incredibly stupid that the situation is beyond comprehension. Honestly, it might be too much to ask someone who advertises his bigotry to then be introspective...

But, I do have a problem with the suspension. It's too short.

Consider the case of John Rocker. We all remember Rocker, the mind-numbingly dumb 'roid-head from Atalanta that got suspended for making insensitive comments to an SI reporter. As a refresher, here are his comments:

He allegedly called Randall Simon a "fat monkey." He said that "Asian women" were "bad" at driving. And he disliked New York because of the fans, all of "the foreigners" and that riding the train was like "riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids."

Those comments are pretty bad. Although, in hindsight, not as bad as the media firestorm that followed. And not as bad as the initial punishment - suspended for the entire pre-season and the first 28 games of the season. He later won an appeal and the suspension was reduced significantly to only 14 games. However, that was still almost five times longer than Escobar's, who wore a gay slur ON HIS FACE DURING A GAME. [Sorry about the CAPS but I had to point out again how absurd this is...]

Of course, this isn't the first time MLB has ignored or excused some bigoted remarks.

Ozzie Guillen got suspended five games this year for saying, "I love Fidel Castro ... I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that motherf**ker is still here." We all know Castro is a monster, but suspended for potentially having an incorrect political opinion? Done solely to appease the Cuban population in Miami. This was a PR suspension. I mean, Guillen called reporter Jay Mariotti a [f-word] [other f-word] and didn't get suspended. Huh?

Torii Hunter said that dark-skinned Latino ballplayers were "not black" and that they were "impostors" who will work for "a bag of chips" so they take roster spots from African Americans. That's nice. Of course, Hunter didn't get suspended because he's a nice guy, or something.

White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham wrote "Getz is gay" on the infield dirt earlier this season. No suspension because, you know, he was sorry, or something.

So, Rocker gets a 2 month suspension for being an insensitive, narrow-minded a-hole while giving an interview. Cole Hamels gets 5 games for hitting Bryce Harper. Ozzie Guillen gets 5 games for friend requesting Castro on Facebook. But Escobar only gets three games?

C'mon MLB, get your act together. Sit this guy down for 10 games and show your players that you're not going to accept this type of behavior.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ambivalent Series Preview- Mets

Philadelphia Phillies (74-74) @ New York Mets (68-81)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday - Hey, I'm Finally Winning Lee vs. Cy Dickey
Tuesday - Rookie Cloyd vs. Better Rookie Harvey
Wednesday - OGP vs. Hugh Hefner
*All times 7:10

Metropolitans Stats:
R - 595 (24th)
AVG - .250 (17th)
OPS - .702 (22nd)
ERA - 4.08 (20th)
WHIP - 1.29 (15th)

I honestly didn't even know the Phillies played last night until I heard the score on the way into work this morning.  I was so disgusted with the weekend's debacle in Houston that I became temporarily ambivalent.  I can understand losing 1 game out of the 4, but to only win 1 is pathetic.  The players should be ashamed.  The coaching staff should be ashamed.  Amaro should be ashamed.  Are they though?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Phillies Season in Purgatory Limbo

How is the hunt for the playoffs in the National League shaping up? Well, the Nationals are going to win the East, the Reds got it in the Central, and San Fran has the West. At 20 games above .500 (83-63), the Atlanta Braves have essentially assured themselves one of the NL Wild Cards. The second Wild Card, well that's a cluster-you-know-what. The Dodgers and St. Louis are currently tied, with Pittsburgh 2 games back, Milwaukee 2.5, Philadelphia 3.

The Phillies certainly aren't doing themselves any favors by losing 2 out of 3 so far to the worst team in the Majors in possibly the last 20 years. Seriously, the Astros are that bad. I understand that baseball is unpredictable and shit happens, but to get skunked last night with the arms Houston ran out to the mound is inexcusable. They need to salvage the series with a win this afternoon and then regroup for the remainder of the 2012 schedule. They're not out of it, but this weekend has not put them in it either. This is the equivalent to purgatory, smack dab between heaven and hell.  

Today's matchup: Roy Halladay toes the slab in search of his 199th career victory. Jordan Lyles goes for the 'stros, he of only 6 MLB wins and a career 5.34 ERA. In other words, if the Phillies don't win this game, then they don't deserve a shot at October baseball.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

J-Roll with The Howard, Phillies with the Win

The Howard- a strikeout, error, and homerun all wrapped up in a nifty lil' package by one player in the same game.

And for some uncanny reason, the Phillies seem to win any time one of them does it.

Latest hero- Jimmy Rollins.  This is J-Roll's 2nd time with The Howard in 2012.  He's the club leader in homeruns and RBI (20 HR/61 RBI).  He's also been on a tear lately with the long ball (5 HR in September). 

This marks the 5th Howard committed by the Phillies this season, and the 5th time they've won (Others by Chooch, Kratz, and Howard).

Side Notes:
*John Mayberry Jr. is showing us what made many speculate this would be a breakout year for him.  Unfortunately, he stank in the 1st half, but has rebounded nicely in the 2nd half with a .292 batting average and  .854 OPS.

*Who would have thought Juan Pierre would be so productive?  .311 AVG with 35 SB, this man deserves a starting gig somewhere in 2013.

*This could be the first season since 2000 that Roy Halladay has not pitched a complete game.  In 2000 he only started 13 games.  He has 66 complete games in his career.

*Since the All-Star break Kyle Kendrick is 7-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 15 games, 8 of which have been starts. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Manuel- WHY?!

During his tenure in Philly, Charlie Manuel has been criticized for many things.  The worst, his bullpen management.  Since the team is not as strong as it has been over the past 5 seasons, his use of relievers has become a glaring problem.

Exhibit A:
With the Phillies winning 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning, Manuel chooses to bring in Phillippe Aumont (Bastardo, Rosenberg, and Lindblom were already used).  It marked his 5th appearance in 5 days.  A gun only has so many bullets before it runs out of ammunition.  To the common fan, it was clear that Aumont was gassed from the get-go, and needed to be removed after the first batter he faced (shouldn't have been in the game to begin with!).  However, Manuel let him in to face 4 batters, 2 of which scored, and it could have easily been worse had Kratz not gunned one down trying to steal.  Then Manuel called upon Jacob Diekman.  No offense to the young reliever, but he's just not any good.  Manuel had Justin DeFratus and Jeremey Horst that he could have elected to use instead, but that would just have made too much sense.  Diekman is a timebomb, ready to exploded at any second, allowing base runners here, there, and everywhere.  In 22.2 innings, he allowed 17 runs (12 earned) and has a WHIP of 1.68, while DeFratus sports a 0.00 ERA/1.00 WHIP and Horst a 1.19 ERA/1.24 WHIP.  You know who else was still available in the bullpen? The 50 Million Dollar Man (aka- Jonathan Papelbon).  Why not use him for a 4 out save.  Just saying...

I do not question Manuel's desire to win.  I do question his "gut instincts" when it comes to bullpen management.  This was a game they should have won and most likely needed to win.  This was a bad loss that ruined the positive momentum the team had steamrolled into Houston with.  Not to mention, they're now 4 back of the Wild Card.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seires Preview- Get Ready Houston

Philadelphia Phillies (72-71) @ Houston Astros (45-98)

Pitching Matchups:
Thursday, 8:05 - Rookie Cloyd vs. Astros Only Good Pitcher (Harrell)
Friday, 8:05 - OGP vs. Chuck Norris' Nephew
Saturday, 7:05 - KK The Great vs. Minor League Vet Edgar Gonzalez
Sunday, 2:05 - Doc vs. Dallas Sucks Kuechel

Neil Armstrong Wannabes Stats:
R - 510 (30th)
AVG - .237 (28th)
OPS - .670 (29th)
ERA - 4.65 (27th)
WHIP - 1.44 (29th)

This is a Quad-A team, not MLB.  The Astros have very few players on their roster that belong in the Majors (Jose Altuve, Justin Maxwell, Brett Wallace, Lucas Harrell, Wilton Lopez, and Wesley Wright...that's it).  They've traded away everything over the past 5 seasons and what is left is a steaming pile of poop.

What To Watch For:
Jimmy Rollins earning his paycheck. J-Roll is 16-for-51 since being benched for not hustling on August 30th, with 9 R, 9 RBI, 2 DBL, 4 HR, and 2 SB.  He's a big part of this offense, and when he's going well, the team is also usually doing well.

Also, by the end of Friday night the Astros should suffer their 100th loss of the season.

What To Root For:
The Dodgers and Cardinals to split their series 2-2.  Take a deep breath...the Mets to take at least 2 outta 3 from the Brewers (I know rooting for the Mutts is a tough pill to swallow).   The Nationals to continue domination over the NL by taking at least 2 outta 3 from the Braves.  The Pirates to continue their downward plummet.  Oh, and for the Phillies to pull off a huge 4-game sweep of the Astros.  I expect all of you to be sending good juju the Phils way while damning the others.

What To Drink:
Weyerbacher's Merry Monks.  This is a highly acclaimed beer.  Michael Jackson, the world reknowned beer aficionado, not the dead King of Pop, says it is one of the best Abbey Tripels in the world.  That's some serious respect.  Weyerbacher, located in Easton, PA, describes the brew as "a Belgian Tripel without limitation. We use premium Pilsener malts, candi-sugar, and yeast strains- all imported from Belgium. To be true to the style, our Trippel is bottle conditioned. This means we add a bit of candi-sugar and yeast just prior to bottling. This imparts a special effervescence to the beer, a creamier carbonation, and also extends the shelf life. The on-going fermentation inside the bottle will change the character of the beer as it ages, and you'll find it becomes dryer with age. You may want to lay down a few bottles for future evaluation."

All I know is that this beer tastes fantastic, packs a nice punch with a 9.3% ABV, and makes you merry.  Pair its merriment effectiveness with the Phillies chances at the playoffs and you're in for a good night.  For those of you dabbling in craft brews, this is a great opportunity for you to try a new style that might just get you hooked on Belgians (or their American counterparts).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do You Believe In Magic- Phillies Remix

Do You Believe In Magic- Phillies Remix
Do you believe in magic?
In the Phillies hearts
How Cole Hamels wins
Whenever he starts

And it's magic
If the team is in a groove
Makes you wanna be like Young MC and bust a move
I'll tell ya about the magic
It'll free your soul
It's how these Phillies got on this amazing roll

If you believe in magic, don't bother to choose
If it's between Doc or Cliff
There's no way we'll lose

Just go and watch
It'll start with a smile
It won't wipe off your face no matter how hard you try
Your heart starts thumping
And you can't seem to find
How you got there
So just blow your mind

If you believe in magic
Come along with me
We'll party until morning, celebrate with the team
And maybe, if the moment is right
They'll be 3 games back by tomorrow night

They'll go streakin', baby then you'll see
All the magic's in the Phillies is fulfilling dreams
Do you belive in magic? Yeah.
Ohhhh, talkin' bout magic
Do you believe like I believe?
Do you believe in magic?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Will They or Won't They?

Despite being proclamined dead after they flatlined in July, the Phillies have been reanimated and are looking to play the roll of comeback kid. A lot of breaks would have to go their way in order for this improbable story to end happily, but there is a possibility, there is a pulse.

*Comeback Kid - Wake the Dead

Monday, September 10, 2012

Series Preview- Miracle at Broad & Pattison

Miami Marlins (63-78) @ Philadelphia Phillies (69-71)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 7:05 Stand in White Water (aka- Wade LeBlanc) vs. KK
Tuesday, 7:05 Nate Eovaldi vs. Doc
Wednesday, 4:05 JJ vs. Unluck-Lee

The Guppies Stats:
R - 547 (27th)
AVG - .246 (21st)
OPS - .698 (25th)
ERA - 4.14 (21st)
WHIP - 1.35 (22nd)

Mike Giancarlo Stanton is a beast, but the rest of the lineup is largely bleh.  Their rotation and bullpen isn't much of anything either.  A sweep for the Phils is written in the stars.

What To Watch For:
Darin Ruf's Phillies debut.  Hopefully it comes tonight in the form of a start in LF.  Who knows, maybe DMX will be there to promote his new CD and recruit members for Darin's fan group- Ruf Ryders. Stop, drop, shut 'em down, open up shop.  Oh, no!  That's how Ruf Ryders roll. That's gangsta son!
What We're Drinking:
Oskar Blues- Dale's Pale Ale.  These guys make it cool to drink beer outta the can.  This brew has some accolades as well- named top Pale Ale in America by the New York Times and won the gold medal at the 2010 World Beer Championships.   They describe it as- "America’s first hand-canned craft beer is a voluminously hopped mutha that delivers a hoppy nose, assertive-but-balanced flavors of pale malts and hops from start to finish. First canned in 2002, Dale’s Pale Ale is a hearty (6.5% and 65 IBUs), critically acclaimed trailblazer that has changed the way craft beer fiends perceive canned beer."  My take- pure awesomeness enclosed in aluminum.  I'm an IPA fan and although this is merely a pale ale, it delivers on the full hop experience (aroma and taste). scores it a 98, which means it is fan-freakin-tastic!  Go get some.  BTW- if you really want some and you're at the game, I've been informed that you can quench your thirst by visiting one of the various beer venues located throughout the park, as they carry both Dale's Pale Ale and Mama's Little Yella Pils by Oskar Blues.

What To Root For:
Interesting September baseball.  For most of the season the Phillies have seemed destined to finish under .500 and out of the playoffs.  Not so fast...if everything falls into place the Phils could be looking at a miracle comeback for a Wild Card.  Root for the Brewers to take 2 out of 3 from the Braves, the Padres to take at least 2 out of 3 from the Cardinals, the Pirates and Dodgers to keep playing the crappy brand of baseball they've been, and for the Phils to go on a crazy winning streak.  6 games back with 23 to go, dare to dream.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Two-Headed Creature Double Feature

Yeah for double headers! Hamels goes first and Cloyd follows. 

Boo to Charlie Manuel for continuing to play Michael Martinez.  That sack of suck is at 3rd base yet again in Game 1 (hopefully Pete Orr or Ty Wiggy gets Game 2).  Part of the reason is Keven Frandsen has a stress fracture in his fibula and Polly is on the DL, but the other part of the reason is because Uncle Cholly is dumb.

Thanks to Raul Valdes for a nice season on a minor league deal.  The journey man left-hander's year is now over, as he needs surgery on his knee.  Hopefully Amaro retains his services for next season as Triple-A insurance.  Valdes 2012- 27 G, 31 IP, 35 K, 2.90 ERA, 0.74 WHIP.

Root for the Reading Phillies to come back from their 1-2 deficit against the Trenton Thunder in the first round of the Double-A playoffs.  Of course, the sooner they're eliminated, the sooner Darin Ruf can presumably join the Phils.

Think about sending Juan Pierre to the Orioles.  Why?  They just lost their leadoff hitter, Nick Markakis, for 6 weeks, and Pierre has already has passed through waivers.  Give Pierre a few weeks in a playoff hunt and maybe the O's send us something of use in return.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Pollypalooza Farewell Tour

We may have just witnessed the farewell tour of Placido Polanco in Major League Baseball, as he was placed on the DL yet again.  He certainly didn't garner the same amount of fanfare as Chipper Jones has this year in his final season.  Of course Polly hasn't called it a career yet, that's merely speculation on my part.

Polly's second tour of duty with the Phillies did not go as well as his first.  Old age, injuries, and diminishing skills have left a bit of a sour taste in some fans mouths (blame Amaro for the contract).  However, I would like to take this time to acknowledge the good that Polanco did during his career.

AVG - .299
OPS - .747
H - 2044
G - 1809
YR - 15 
AS - 2
GG - 2
WAR - 38.7
FLD% - .993

Polly has been one of the best fielding players in the history of the game.  He's as sure-handed as they come, having only committed 36 errors, Jose Offerman botched more plays than that in one season.  It's not like he was camping out left field either, he primarily manned 2nd and 3rd base (error prone positions).  Polly currently sits atop the career leaders for fielding percentage at both 2nd and 3rd base. He ranks 67th all-time in DWAR, tied with Mike Schmidt.

Side note- he should always remain in Phillies lore for 3 reasons: 1) the catchphrase "All Polly does is hit.", 2) He became the starting 3rd baseman when Rolen was shipped outta town, and 3) he was traded for the machete-wielding jailbird Ugueth Urbina.

Here's a little ditty I wrote in honor of Polly a few years ago...

Ode to Big Dome
(A Ballad for Placido Polanco)

Such grace is played with an enormous head,
Batted ball to third and the runner is dead.
Slick fielding, bat wielding, our beloved Polly,
Your big dome is quite beach-bally.
The specially stitched XXXL hats are no price,
You shave that melon, so there won't be lice.
Second stint in Philly is truly a blessing,
Your luscious noggin we wish to be caressing.
I pity your wife should she birth vaginally,
Unless the doctor can shrink that head magically.
Nevertheless, your baseball skills are bountiful,
And for this we are eternally grateful.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Series Preview - Rockies or whatever...

Friday, 7:05 - Cole Hamels v. Jeff Francis
Saturday, 7:05 - Cliff Unluck-Lee v. Jimmy Chitwood
Sunday, 1:35 - Tyler Cloyd v. Drew Pomeranz

Here's what the Phillies have done recently. They swept the team with the best record in the NL. They won a series against the team leading the NL Central. They won a series against the team leading the Wild Card. And they lost a series against the Mets. Go figure...

What I'm Parodying:
It Was a Good Day - Phillies Season Remix

Just wakin' up in the mornin' gotta curse Schmidt
I don't know but this season is full of sh*t
Lots barkin' from Wheels, few steals
And Ruben's still making some bad deals
I got my hopes up, but didn't wig out 
Can't believe that Charlie's still roamin' the dugout
Checked the lineup for later as I hit the do' 
Thinkin' "Is Martinez hitting better than one-oh-fo'?" 

He's gotta go back to the Iron Pigs
To hit like that and not pitch, won't cut it in the Bigs

Had to stop, got a blog to write
Lookin' at standings, not a playoff spot in sight 
But everything is alright
I got the signs from  Perlozzo and he gave me the green light
Called up Carson and I'm screamin' mad
Why's the team playin' so freakin' bad? 
But get me on the blog and the Twitter
Not Bobby V, not gonna be a Philly Phaithful quitter
Losin' games every day like they play at Shea
I can't believe, today is not a good day

What I'm Drinking:
I'm rolling down to Charm City to watch some meaningful baseball and you know what you have to drink when you're watching the O's right? Natty Bohs!! It might not be the best beer in the world (that would be Genessee Cream Ale, I guess...) but they go down smooth and they do have the best beer logo in the word. Love that Mr. Boh.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Victorino Owns his ADHD

Old buddy, Shane Victorino, made this public service announcement/ad spot when he was still with the Phillies. I had a hard time finding the video that allowed embedding, but here it is. BTW- pretty sure Corey and I have ADHD...the test said so!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Michael Martinez- Worst Player in the History of Major League Baseball

Starting at third base for the Philadelphia Phillies and batting 8th, Michael Martinez.

Charles Fuqua Manuel, the strategic managerial genius that he is, went with Mini-Mart over Pete Orr, Ty Wigginton, Placido Polanco, or Kevin Frandsen.  Although none of them are world-beaters, they're a boatload better than Martinez. He rolls into today's game with a career batting average of .177 and .499 OPS (.122/.380 this season).  He does not belong in Major League Baseball, and I honestly don't understand why he remains.  He's versatile, but so are thousands of other players throughout the minors and they'll never sniff a MLB roster.  Yet, here we are in year 2 of the Michael Martinez shit show, and it's getting horrible ratings.  When will Amaro cancel it and yank it off the air?

Now watch that sack of shit go 3-4 with a homerun. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

J-Roll Collects 2000th Hit

Congratulations to Jimmy Rollins for collecting his 2000th career hit.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Series Preview - Reds (Labor Day Shorty)

Monday, 1:10 - Tyler Cloyd v. John Cueto
Tuedsay, 7:10 - Oh no, it's KK v. Matt Latos
Wednesday, 12:35 - Roy Halladay v. Mike Leake

A week or two ago, this would have been an important series to help the Pirates. But the combination of some skidding Buccos and some red-hot Reds has made this series meaningless for the Buccos. And some recent failures by the Phils has made the series meaningless for everybody.

Consider this, one more win against the Mets and a win yesterday against the Braves would have the Phils six games out of the last Wild Card spot. The odds would have still been stacked against the Phils, but now at 8 back with less than 30 games to play, there's really no hope...

What To Watch For:
- Tyler Cloyd gets a tough matchup in his second start, but let's see if he can shake off those first-game jitters he had and put in a good effort. It's likely that Cloyd's one-point-whatever AAA ERA translates into a 4.50 career MLB ERA, but like Carson and I've said before, the guy has earned a few starts to prove he can't do it.
- A Darin Ruf sighting? Maybe?
- Michael Martinez is horrible. Still. His average and OPS are down to .122 and .380 respectively. Can he get his average below .100 for the season?
- Can KK continue his success? Will the internet explode when the previous sentence is published?
- Can Phillies catchers continue to be the best in baseball. Besides the excellent defense, Chooch and Kratz have combined for a .300+ average, 22 homers and 79 RBI.

Fantasy Football:
If you're in the league, don't forget the draft is tonight at 9:45.

Short One:
That's what she said. But hey, it's Labor Day, you shouldn't be wasting time reading blogs anyway! Go drink some cold ones, eat some grilled meat and enjoy the weather...

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Legend of Erik Kratz Grows

We Should Be GMs has been at the forefront of the "Erik Kratz for backup catcher" campaign for the past two season.  The first chapter of his legend was written during a brief stint with the club last September, but that served as merely a teaser.  In the offseason, Amaro insisted on re-signing the washed-up Brian Schneider, thus forcing The Kratzkin back to Triple-A. Then an injury opened up a spot for him during the summer of this season and *BOOM*...Chapter 2 currently in progress.  Over 34 games he's hit .290/.967 with 7 doubles, 8 homeruns, and 18 RBI.  He leads the Majors in AB to HR ratio (minimum 75 plate appearances). He has played tremendous defense, gunning runners out Benito Santiago-style from his knees, having thrown out 50% of base thieves.  Simply put, if he's not the backup catcher next season, I'm starting a petition to remove Amaro from GM duties and replace him with the dynamic duo of GM-Corey & GM-Carson.

*Side note- 2nd to Kratz in AB:HR is Brandon Moss, who was a Phillies farmhand last season.  Good job letting him go...dumbasses!