Most of you probably hadn't noticed, but I last generated an original post on this blog Nov. 6th. And I thought it was going to be my last. This blog thing is a young man's (or old man's) game. And despite the popular characterization of the lame-stream media, I'm not a middle aged loser living in my mother's basement. I a middle-aged loser with my own damn house and many necessary, time-consuming things in my life. Long story short, I'm back to throw down some more hatred toward my beloved Phils. (I'm sure that confused a lot of the Kool-Aid drinking fly-by-night Phillies fans that have mass-replicated over the last few years. But don't worry Phools, you still look cool in your [player] + [funny catch phrase] t-shirt.] Special thanks to Carson for holding down the fort while I was on sabbatical. Now, on to the 'good' stuff...
Roy Halladay is Done
On the bright side, the Phils only owe the guy $40 million dollars...
In the last few years, there have been multiple stories about how Kyle Kendrick was trying to emulate Doc's training, style and general approach to pitching. Well, somebody get KK the eff way from Doc, because things have gone horribly wrong. It seems the script has been flipped and Doc is becoming the $20 million dollar per year version of Kendrick.
I'm sure some will try to go Milli Vanilli and 'blame it on the rain' in Atlanta last night, just like they blamed the heat in Atlanta last season. Or maybe they'll just completely ignore the atrocious 2012, the equally bad 2013 spring, or the continually declining velocity and blame location or 'bad luck.' Our fearless leader is one that will. After last night's game, Charlie said, "His velocity is starting to come up. Location is how you win games. That's what hurt him early. I thought after the first inning he was OK."
Here are some pitch data from last night that supports my case. Notice the majority of 'fastballs' sitting in the 88-90 MPH rang (average 89.6). Halladay must know he has nothing on his heater because he threw 50% fastballs (2-seam + cutter) last night. In 2012, he threw those pitches 60% of the time. In the 8 years prior to 2012, the lowest yearly fastball percentage was 68%, with most years between 70-75%.
Sure, I acknowledge that I may be jumping the gun here a little. Hell, I may be the only runner on the track. He did strike out 9 in only 3 innings and the sabermetricians can use that to make an argument about what the pitcher can and cannot control, yada, yada...
But here is what I know for sure - it's been a year and a half since Roy Halladay has been anything more than a below average pitcher. He'll be 36 years old next month. His velocity is declining. He's relying on off-speed pitches more and more. He's done being a $20 million a year pitcher.
If Rube is worth is salt as a GM, he'll convince some team that Doc isn't done and get him off the books in the next few months.
Hey Rookie, Watch Your Head
In only his second Major League at-bat, Evan Gattis took 'BP Roy' deep and did a little showboating.
Cliff Lee, I'm looking in your direction...
Andy Martino - A True Inspiration
If there's one thing that can bring me back to blogging, it's reading an Andy Martino column. Here is the title of the recent Martino alphabetical seizure that he calls a column - "Shane Victorino, distracted by free agency last year, took less money to taste Boston Red Sox-Yankees rivalry; Mets, Blue Jays."
First off, holy crap Andy, are they paying you by the number of characters in the title? That's longer than a James Joyce tweet. [I know Phools, James Joyce is dead and can't tweet. Good job using Wikipedia to understand a reference...]
Secondly, the reported offer by the Indians was 4 years and $44 million. That's $11 mil per year. The Red Sox offer was 3 years and $39 million, which is $13 mil per year. So over the course of the next three year, Vic will take in an extra $6 million compared to the alleged deal with the Indians. It also doesn't take into account whether the fourth year in Cleveland was guaranteed or not, which is kind of important. It also doesn't mention whether Victorino even sees himself playing four years from now. Less money in Boston? Maybe. It just seems like a flimsy proposition to base an article and only constructed as such in order to talk about the Sox-Yankees, which is all New York writers seem to be able to do.
And about that rivalry, Victorino had this to say: "When [the Phillies] played the Mets, they talked about that rivalry, and I’m like, ‘dude, that’s nothing,’ It was created by the media, created by the fans. And don’t get me wrong, it had a year or two of that adrenaline. But (Yankees/Red Sox) is the biggest rivalry in sports. Not just baseball. Sports. So to be a part of that, yeah, I am very excited. You grow up as a little kid playing in the back yard, that’s the kind of stuff you strive for.”
Hey, Shane, all rivalries are created by the media and fans. The fervor and excitement of a rivalry is generated and propagated by the media and the fans. Because the players don't give a shit! Otherwise, Kevin Youkilis wouldn't be playing for the Yankees right now. And because of the fact that the players in the rivalry don't care nearly as much as the fans, the Sox-Yankees is not the best rivalry in sports. It just happens to the be easiest and most bountiful storyline for ESPN and the MLB network. Try Army-Navy football, Duke-UNC basketball, Barcelona-Real Madrid soccer, or international rivalries (USA-Mexico soccer, India-Pakistan cricket) if you want real rivalries.
Cliff Lee v. Kris Medlen - 7:10 - tv: TCN
Medlen was 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA last season for the Braves, starting the season in the bullpen before finishing up in the rotation. His last start against the Phillies was in 2010. Despite his terrific season a year ago, he had an ERA over 8 versus the Phillies and his career ERA against the Fightins is over 5. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.
As for the weather, it looks like the game will be played. Bummer...
[Gattis .gif aboved borrowed without permission from notgraphs.com]