Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oogie, Oogie, Oogie!!!

Everyone's favorite reliever turned machete wielding attempted murderer is back on the open market after 7.5 years in a Venezuela jail.  Ugueth Urbina, who last pitched in the Majors with the Phillies back in 2005, is already back on the mound after his stint in prison, currently hurling bullets for the Lions of Caracas.  Oogie wishes to return to Major League Baseball, and given his past success, the fact that he's hitting 90 mph on the radar gun, and amazingly only 38 years old after 7 seasons away from the game, he'll likely get a minor league contract offer from somebody.

Over 11 seasons with the Expos, Red Sox, Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, and Phillies he appeared in 583 games, saving 237 of them, with a 3.45 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and struck out 10.5 batters per 9 innings.

C'mon Amaro and give a guy a second chance.  Just make sure to hide the butter knife for the post-game spread if Michael Young boots a ball to cost him a run.
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New Year's Eve Brew of Choice:
Weyerbacher- Tiny.  If you're looking for the perfect combination of taste, warmth, and strength in your New Year's Eve beer, then look no further than Tiny, a Russian Imperial Stout with Belgian yeast.  It weighs in with a powerful 11.8% ABV that will be sure to warm your body and make you a jolly happy ol' soul.  The malt complexity is a brilliant arrangement of bitter coffee and velvety chocolate.  The subtle waft of vanilla beckons you in above the alcohol nose.  It pours motor oil black with a thin cocoa head that remains throughout.  This is a sipper.  Try it straight from the fridge and at room temperature to experience the differences on your palate.  Like many huge men nicknamed "Tiny", this too is an oxymoron for this beer giant.

Drink and be merry.

RateBeer.com- 98 out of 100

Friday, December 28, 2012

Name that Phillie- Phantasy Phootball Edition

Obviously a product of the 80's with that finely groomed stache and curly mullet, this former Phillie owns a perfect 1.000 batting average in the playoffs. Give it a whirl and name that Phillie...

2012 Phantasy Phootball Standings:
1. Outsiders
2. QB/C Love Connection (GM-Carson)
3. Dad Dicks
4. Fear Boners
5. Steegles
6. My Vick in a Box (Corey)
7. VicksDicks
8. Four TDs in 1 Game
9. Krazy Kratz
10. Under New Management

For the first time in 4 seasons, Corey did not win WSBGMs fantasy football league. Congrats to Outsiders, who pulled out a victory over my team in Week 16.  See ya next year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12 Days of Christmas- Phillies Style Volume VII

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Phillies gave to me...
12 Errors botched by Ty Wiggy
11 Million dollars paid to closer Papelbon
10 Bunted hits by pesky Juan Pierre
9 Seasons in beautiful Citizens Bank Park
8 Double plays turned by Mike Fontenot
7 RBI from WSBGMs darling Michael Martinez
6 Wins tossed by Cliff Lee ($3.6M per)
5 Wild pitches astray from Antonio Bastardo
4 Games started at 1st base by Jim Thome
3 Darin Ruf homeruns (2013 NL ROY)
2 Drug suspensions (thanks Gavlis & Chooch)
1 Relief appearance by Tyson Brummett
and Zero playoff games.

Previous Installments:
*2006- Volume I (Scrooge McCorey)
*2007- Volume II (Santa Carson)
*2008- Volume III (Santa Carson)
*2009- Volume IV (Santa Carson)
*2010- Volume V (Santa Carson)
*2011- Volume VI (Santa Carson)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thank God We Aren't British

So you know the reputation of Philadelphia sports fans, right? You know the routine: booing Santa, throwing batteries at JD Drew, booing star players (see: Schmidt, McNabb, et al), vomiting on children, killing people outside of bars, yada yada. It's the tried and true way to fill a column for an out of town writer or fill air time for some talking head on ESPN. And we know they are largely mistake. Philadelphians are a lot like other fans. For the most part. I agree that Philadelphia fans are generally more crude. More aggressive. (More passionate???) They are a little more likely to demonstrate uncouth behavior than some joker from Tampa. But I read a story recently and it got me to thinking about my favorite sports town and their fans.

Recently, during an English Premier League, a man was pictured (see inserted photo) making a 'monkey-like gesture' toward a player. [note: race relations in Europe are not so good...]

How would you describe this behavior? Stupid? Insensitive? Misinformed? Bigoted? Those were my initial thoughts. But Her Majesty's lawmen called this criminal. That's right. The guy was arrested. 

According to section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986 - " A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he: (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting

Now, raise your hand if you've ever used "insulting words" with "intent to cause a person distress" while attending a sporting event or some public place. Ever think you'd get arrested for it? Just think of the size of the jail the jail in Veterans Stadium if that were the case.  We should all thank God we're not British.  Unless, of you are British, and in that case...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mock Manuel Press Conference



This is "comedian" Kennie Thomas' impersonation of a Charlie Manuel post game press conference. If you ask me, he's too articulate to pull off Fuqua.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Welcome Aboard John Lannan

As you all know by now, John Lannan was inked to a 1 year deal worth $2.5M with another $2.5M available via incentives. The lefty is best known for beaning Phillies (11 of his 30 hit by pitches have been Phillies players) and breaking Utley's hand, but the lefy has been a solid back-of-the-rotation starter since 2008.  He's been with the Nationals his entire career, racking up 783.2 IP over 134 starts with a 4.01 ERA/1.42 WHIP and 42-52 record.  As a reader commented on yesterday's post- Lannan is 3-13 with a  5.53 ERA vs the Phillies and 39-39 with 3.80 ERA vs everyone else.

Rotation:
1. Cole Hamels
2. Roy Halladay
3. Cliff Lee
4. Kyle Kendrick
5. John Lannan
6. Tyler Cloyd- always need at least six starting pitchers over an entire season.

Bullpen:
1. Jonathan Papelbon- closer
2. Mike Adams- setup
3. Antonio Bastardo
4. Phillippe Aumont
5. Jeremy Horst
6. Justin De Fratus
7. Some mix of Michael Schwimer, Raul Valdes, Michael Stutes, Jake Diekman, and BJ Rosenberg.

Amaro's four additions this offseason (Young, Revere, Adams, and Lannan) will cost the Phillies roughly $15M next season.  That's cost effective, but whether it will be winning effective is yet to be determined.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Welcome Aboard Mike Adams

Finally, Ruben Amaro did something good this offseason in signing Mike Adams to a 3 year $18M contract.  The 34 year old right handed reliever has a career 2.28 ERA/1.06 WHIP over 363.2 IP in 8 MLB seasons with the Brewers, Padres, and Rangers.  He's been exceptionally awesome since 2008 with a sparkling 1.98 ERA.

This move now allows all the youngsters in the Phillies bullpen to slot into less pressurized roles as Mike Adams with be assuming 8th inning setup man duties.  Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, Phillippe Aumont, and Justin DeFratus will be better because of it.

I should note that he did have surgery to relieve the pain associated with his thoracic outlet syndrome, but reports have him being good to go for spring training.

Friday, December 14, 2012

More Stupid Contracts...

Ty Wigginton/Cardinals - 2 YR/$5M - sucks defensively at every position he plays, doesn't really hit all that much anymore (.235/.688 last season), and was worth -1.7 WAR in 2013 (that's negative!!!).  They just traded away Skip Schumaker, who is more versatile, a better fielder, runner, and hitter and is making less money.  Um, what?

Jack Hannahan/Reds - 2 YR/$4M - a career .234/.671 hitter that is set to turn 33 years old that can only play 3rd base.  At least he plays quality defense, unlike Wiggy.

Kevin Correia/Twins - 2 YR/$10M - apparently going 24-22 over 325 IP with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP while striking out only 4.6 batter per 9 innings in the past 2 seasons with the Pirates is worth a lot.

Ichiro Suzuki/Yankees - 2 YR/$13M - no power, extremely low OBP, has been roaming the Earth since Noah saved him on his ark.  Ruin Tomorrow Jr. offered him 2 YR/$15M, sothank goodness he opted for NY instead.

*Josh Hamilton's 5 YR/$125M pact looks like a bargain considering Ryan Howard has the same contract and they were the same age when the contract began.  Last three seasons Hamilton has posted a combined 15.3 WAR to Howard's 0.8.  It is clear that Hamilton is the superior player.  He plays better defense, runs the bases better, hits for just as much power and knocks in as many runs.  If they're not equals, then why equal contracts? Once again, I absolutely LOATHE Ryan Howard's contract.   

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Your Current 2013 Philadelphia Phillies


Lineup:
1. Ben Revere/CF
2. Michael Young/3B
3. Chase Utley/2B
4. Ryan Howard/1B
5. Carlos Ruiz/C
6. Jimmy Rollins/SS
7. John Mayberry/RF
8. Domonic Brown/LF

Bench:
Erik Kratz/C, Kevin Frandsen/UTL, Freddy Galvis/UTL, Darin Ruf/OF/1B, and Laynce Nix/OF.

*Humberto Quintero will serve as 2nd catcher while Chooch serves 25-game suspension.

*Nix and Ruf would likely platoon with Mayberry and Brown.

Rotation:
1. Cole Hamels
2. Roy Halladay
3. Cliff Lee
4. Kyle Kendrick
5. Tyler Cloyd

Bullpen:
Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, Phillippe Aumont, Jeremy Horst, Just DeFratus, Michael Stutes, and Raul Valdes.

Thoughts:
The Phillies selected speedy outfielder Ender Inciarte in the Rule 5 draft, but he's not played above Single-A, so him making the 25-man roster is an extreme long shot.  The lineup is void of power aside from Howard, unless Ruf is able to continue working his magic into next season.  Amaro is still searching for a set-up man, corner outfielder, and now possibly a back of the rotation pitcher.

Power on the free agent market doesn't really exist outside of Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher.  Each will be expensive and that's something that Amaro might not be able to do.  Reliable 8th inning relievers have been snatched up already, with only Mike Adams remaining, and he's coming off of surgery.

Rotation options aren't that enticing either because of the price they'll cost.  Edwin Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse, and Shaun Marcum are the big names remaining and likely out of the Phils price range.  After all, far less SP like Jeremy Guthrie (3 YR/$25M) and Joe Blanton (2 YR/$15M) stuck gold.

Jair Jurrjens, Chris Young, or Jeff Karstens would be worth a 1 year investment on a low base salary with innings pitched incentives to challenge Cloyd for the 5th spot in the rotation.

Jon Rauch, Matt Capps, LaTroy Hawkins, Matt Lindstrom, Brandon Lyon, Chad Durbin, and Scott Atchinson are free agent relievers that might be worth a 1 year deal on a low base salary with incentives for appearances (because that would mean they were good enough to stick around and be used, unlike Chad Qualls).

As you can see, Ruben still has work to do.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Phillies Trade

Phillies get:
Ben Revere

Twins get:
Vance Worley
Trevor May

Details and analysis later. But my first reactions is:

Would You Rather- Young or Frandsen/Galvis?

Apparently Ruben Amaro Jr. is hot and heavy for the Texas Rangers Michael Young to fill the Phillies 3rd base vacancy next season.  Young has full no-trade rights and is owed $16M in 2013.  He's coming off a season in which he only hit .277/.682 and is now 36 years old.  Rangers are rumored to be willing to eat at least half of his salary, but that's still a steep price for diminished goods.  See, Young is one of the worst defensive infielders in the game.  He has no range, arm has weakened, and he doesn't even make all the routine plays anymore. This is a move of desperation and a bad one at that.

I am not a fan of a Kevin Frandsen/Freddy Galvis platoon at the hot corner next year, but I have to wonder if it would be as effective or better than what Young would do (and we know it would be millions cheaper!).

Michael Young has had a fine career in Texas- .301/.791, 2230 hits, 1085 R, 415 DBL, 177 HR, 984 RBI, but his glory days are behind him.

Also, this isn't a free agent signing, the Phils have to send something in return to the Rangers to facilitate this swap.  Rumor is it will be a MLB ready reliever and a low level "prospect". 

I pray that Young doesn't waive his no-trade rights.  Then again, Freddy Galvis sucked at hitting while on PEDs, imagine him off them...

Who would you rather have at 3rd base in 2013?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Crazy Stupid Money

Check out some of the contracts being signed by free agents so far this offseason. Kinda scary...


Scott Baker/Cubs - 1 YR/$5.5M - didn't even pitch last season.

Scott Feldman/Cubs - 1 YR/$6M - 5.09 ERA last year and only 11 games pitched in 2011.

Jeremy Guthrie/Royals - 3 YR/$25M - 17 losses and a 4.33 ERA in 2011 and 12 losses and a 4.76 ERA last season. 

Jason Marquis/Padres - 1 YR/$3M - 5.22 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over 22 starts last year.

Geovany Soto/Rangers - 1 YR/$2.75M - .198/.613 is pathetic for a starting catcher.

Jeremy Affeldt/Giants - 3 YR/$18M - good reliever, but this is a silly use of resources for a non-closer.

Brandon League/Dodgers - 3 YR/$22.5M - he's a good reliever too, but not a closer.  This is a closer's contract, not set-up man.

Russell Martin/Pirates - 2 YR/$17M - past 2 seasons as Yankees catcher .224/.723 and hasn't reached 100 hits in a season since 2009.

Andy Pettitte/Yankees - 1 YR/$12M - 40 years old and only pitched 12 games last year after sitting all of 2011 out.

Mariano Rivera/Yankees - 1 YR/$10M - the greatest relief pitcher of all-time has my respect, but the 43 year old only pitched in 9 games last year.

*KK would get 6 YR $90M on the open market.  Yikes!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Create the Caption- HK's Last Beer Edition


Some buddies of mine thought Harry looked a little thirsty, so they hooked him up with a quick remedy. Go for it, give it your best caption...
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What We're Drinking:
Weyerbacher's Winter Ale- if you've taken notice, over the past few months we've blogged about Weyerbacher quite a bit.  That's because they brew some fantastic beers.  Their Winter Ale is fitting of the holiday season, with its taste predominates that has a warm, roasty flavor, balanced out with a slightly dry finish. It’s smooth but not cloying, with a warming belt of alcohol (5.6% ABV).

Although winter ales predate history, they are believed to have their origin in the pagan celebrations of winter solstice. Later, when monasteries produced the local brew, winter ales were made each year to commemorate the birth of Christ. Back then, winter ales were brewed full-bodied as a source of nutrition for the upcoming winter months. Today, winter ales are typified by their seasonality, their rich, malty flavors and by their deep, dark coloration.

Generally available November through February, Weyerbacher Winter Ale is the perfect libation for a winter meal, with good friends, or beside a warm fire fending off a cold winter night.  Perhaps Santa might prefer this to the typical milk and cookies.

A microbrew aficionado on RateBeer.com had this to say:
Appearance: dark with ruby highlights, whispy tan head
Aroma: rich sweet malt aroma with notes of ripe plum
Flavor: dry malt flavor, hint of spices
Overall: largely a satisfying winter ale with a very promising aroma