WTF Award for May goes to….

– PhilliesOutside –

It’s the end of the Month and since nothing really jumped right out at me and
said here this is it, I have to decide on the WTF Award
for the month of May.

As I reviewed things that came and went there were reasons why I held onto
the award this month. Some of the contenders that could have received it were….

Dallas Braden would be an obvious choice, for the perfect game
earlier this month. In all fairness to Dallas, he hasn’t done anything
before this event and the chances are he won’t do anything after this event,
other than be an average pitcher in the rotation of a ball club that struggles
to stay around the top when there being really good, but are normally fighting
to get off the bottom, in other words your destined to stay in Oakland
or at best move to Houston at some future
date when Oakland no longer wants you.
Actually the real reason is pure prejudice, I can’t give an award to anyone
named Dallas.

The St. Louis Cardinals team were
contenders for this award, last month they were the first team to allow the LOLstros
a win and this month they actually allowed the LOLstros
to sweep them, not on the road in Houston,
but at home in St. Louis. The reality is if
anyone should have got the award for this event it should have been the LOLstros,
which eliminates the Cardinals from even
being a consideration.

The LOLstros for sweeping the Cardinals,
no couldn’t do it, just can’t give anything to a team that has Ed Wade
connected to it, yep call it sour grapes, call it prejudice, I don’t care, just
not going to happen, unless he wants Lidge back.

Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles
Dodgers
, has been a contender for this award, no one can be out that
long with a little injury to your pinky finger, it’s like saying you’ve got to
sit the rest of the game out because your manicure needs touched up, and in his absence
they’re having a competition centered around Matt Kemp, you
can check this out courtesy of fellow blogger Crzblue’s blog,
unfortunately
Andre is eliminated from consideration because he’s on the same team as Manny
Ramirez
.

Shane
Victorino
and Jayson Werth were considered for their
togetherness in the out field while backing up the perfect game, but Jayson
had shaved, so I thought that news may have been leaked to them that I was still
in the hunt for a suitable candidate to receive the award, so I had to instantly
disqualifythem.

It was considered to go outside the world of baseball and give the award to Fox
News
host Greta Van Susteren
who thought it would be rewarding to
have uncontrolled people vote on her stupidity or intelligence or lack of it, Greta
the fact that you had to have a poll that pit you against  a fan that sent
you ‘fan mail’ with a spelling error tells us who is really the one with intelligence,
then of course we have to consider how many college degree’s you need to get
your job, and calling someone out on spelling, doesn’t that make Fox News like
the kettle calling the pot black. (can I use that expression, my mum always
did)
.

There were a number of other contenders, whom I could continue to ridicule as
I explain why they didn’t get it, but I’ll just get right to it. It is possible
that this is a little unfair, it is possible that there may be some bias
involved in this months award, but the award, I believe was given on merit, it’s
been given to a team who during the worst 10 days of this short season has been
shut out 5 times, a team that scored in just 1 inning out 50 innings, a team
known for home run hitting hasn’t hit a home run in 54 innings, a team that has
struggled to hit anything anywhere rallied behind their ‘ACE’ pitcher on
May 29th, 2010 to allow him to throw the perfect game, then went straight back
out there the next day to be shut out, yes my friends I give you the recipient
of this months WTF award Mr. Roy ‘The Doc’ Halladay of
the Philadelphia Phillies.

Due to other commitments I had to enlist some assistance in presenting the
award to Roy…..

….Joe was very helpful and seemed like a profession al
at the job.

Then later Roy got interviewed by Phillies
radio and tv analyst ‘Sarge’ on his great accomplishment….

….as you can see Roy was ecstatic on his great achievement.

Well done again Roy I am sure you will treasure this award, (if he knew about it), and keep it on prominent display, (if
there actually was one to display.)


The Perfect Game….

– PhilliesOutside –

Perfection is a hard thing to achieve, in baseball terms for a pitcher, it’s
throwing 9 innings and facing the minimum number of batters, just 27, without
giving up a hit, walk or anything else that may put a batter on the bases. It
was the end of the worst week of the Phillies
season so far, it was Saturday night in Florida, the Phillies
had set a record for innings without a run during the week, they were what could
only be described as having a case of hitlessness…..

Tonight the Phillies ‘ACE’ Roy
‘The Doc’ Halladay
turned the tables and threw the perfect game, not just a
no hitter, a perfect game, the 20th in baseball history, 27 Marlins
came up and 27 Marlins went down, including
3 straight pinch hitters in the 9th inning.

Roy Halladay, definitely imprinted himself in the Phillies
history books and it is well deserved. A man of class, saying he just followed
Ruiz from the 6th inning on, so to the pair of them congratulations.


A Halladay Weekend?

– PhilliesOutside –

A sweep is supposed to be sweet, because your team should be doing the
sweeping, when your being swept it’s definitely just a bad taste in your mouth.
The other teams and their commentators will constantly tell you how wonderful
their team is and that they
have finally started to play real baseball, which is why they are able to beat
the Phillies. If that makes you and your
teams fans feel better then go right ahead and continue to kid yourselves, we all
know the Phillies aren’t hitting, because
they’re not, it’s not an assumption it’s a fact. Some would say it’s the
opposition pitchers that have got better, after all look at the Boston
Red Sux,
they beat the Phillies
then went on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays,
that’s nice for the Red Sux, but then they lost
to Kansas City Royals, and who was on the
mound, yeah that guy that almost no-hit the Phillies.

It really doesn’t bother me too much, because for all the loses the Phillies
have suffered, they are still top of the division and that has to be eating at
the rivals in the division. In fact they can still lose again tonight and still
be on top. As I pointed out in previous posts, I expected this, I even predicted
this, maybe not the hitlessness, but certainly the loses and there is still
one more to come this weekend, so eat it up rivals and enjoy it while you can, because
it’s going to come to an end, and then you have to endure more of the same as
the Phillies build another division lead during the month of June.

This weekend though will see the end of the hitlessness and it will truly be
a ‘Halladay Weekend’ and the only person anyone should remotely feel sorry for
is the pitcher that is on the receiving end when the Phillies
finally unleash themselves from the hitlessness, they have loaded up for way too
long to not completely devastate at least one pitcher and team, the question is:
Who will it be? and When will it be?

Hope everyone is already locked and loaded like the Phillies
for the Memorial Day weekend.

 


Good, Bad or just some of the Same

– PhilliesOutside –

Same sh-it different day…. Yes the Phillies are in the middle of
that time
of the month
‘, actually they are now on the tail end of it, with just 5 days
left, they have to get through the last few days with minimum damage to the
players and their psych, they have a couple of wins to bag before the end of the
month, then it’s all new, the month of June arrives and it all starts again.

In this time of phunks and stupidity, they have nearly been no-hit, they have
struggled to score runs, they
have even struggled to get hits. Jimmy Rollins has struggled to stay off the DL,
Ryan Madson is still wishing he hadn’t kicked that chair, while Brad Lidge is
thankfully still on the DL, although he keeps telling everyone his elbow is
fine, Really? isn’t that what you said last year.

Charlie Manuel has been keeping his cool, with a few changes here and there
to the line up, sometimes not making any sense to me, but that’s what baseball
is all about, being able to find those things that the manager does that doesn’t
seem to jive with the rest of what’s going on. It’s also good that you can see
things that you feel you would have done differently, lets face it, if you agree with
everything someone does all the time then you have to be brainless or just plain
stupid
, yeah okay you could be a (insert political party of your
choice)
,
but
we are talking baseball and that means June will see the world of fastballs,
sinkers, sliders and change-ups get a strange jolt in the equilibrium which will
see the baseball planets align once again and settle into a more balanced
universe.

At
a time when the All Star voting is well under way, the Phillies catcher
Carlos
Ruiz
suffered a knee injury earlier this month, is now back off the DL, but is
still suffering from some aches and pains, in an effort to try and change things
around he tried out a new catchers mask, going from the traditional to the
hockey style, needless to say by inning 3 he was back to his original style
mask. Charlie Manuel even sat him out of last nights loss, just to give him a
rest.

All the favorites seem to be in the running for the All Star Voting, but is
this proving it’s just a popularity contest and teams with fans that attend home
games actually punch that ticket, or they have fans that go online and vote.
Recently on the front page of the MLBlogs
(it’s gone now) they promoted the All Star voting and some blogs that
appeared to have relevant posts about the voting, one in particular, which I
will not name, due to probably selfish reasons, but the point being this blog
had 1 post, no bio, and looked as though it had been set up just for that
specific post, the post indicated views and selections the poster had made for
the All Star game, this was not an objective review, but a promotion of Yankees
and Reds players, where am I going with this, just trying to show some elements
of things where this has become nothing more than a popularity contest, or at
the worst a contest where players get selected because the fan base for that
team is larger, i.e. Yankees in the AL, the NL has a little more even
distribution of fan base amongst some teams, although teams like Florida,
Milwaukee and Washington will always lose out. 

Am I someone who sees a conspiracy in everything, maybe not everything, but
in today’s world probably most things that include some type of opinion based decision
has an ulterior motive, but that’s a whole new post, maybe even my next one.

We all think we know which State has some type of mojo working
against it, well I am here to tell you that the worst has to be Ohio, not
because I live there, although that maybe the problem, because they really can’t
win anything. The Cavs should have been in the NBA finals, with the players they
had, they were definitely the hot favorites to take it all, and some saw it
again last night, or those people that had nothing better to do with their
lives, saw what I am told was a guaranteed win for a girl from Ohio lose to some
guy with less talent in the final episode of American Idol with the only judge
who offered a real opinion. So for all people and teams Ohio based why bother,
oh okay.. it’s all in the fun of competing… yeah right…

 


Weekend from Hell ….

– PhilliesOutside –

Well maybe not from hell, but a weekend to move on from, one to let settle in the back of your mind till
one day you may need the knowledge to use as some stupid inconsequential pieces
of data. It wasn’t so much that the Phillies had a losing weekend against the
BoSox, obviously a losing weekend is never good, but inter-league play has not
been a National League strong point since it started. Also don’t forget, in
my
post of May 19th
I had gone into details of why ‘it is that time of the
month’
and for those doubters, let it be known that between now and the end of
the month, the Phillies, will lose at least 4 more,
there is 7 games left in May all against division rivals, which means if they
prove me right could put the division lead back into tight contention, which
makes for some excitement as the season goes on.

News broke that the Phillies were scouting for pitchers, because they had
scouts at the ChiSox and Marlins
over the weekend. I am not sure the White Sox have much to look at, it is
possible they were looking at the Marlins, since
we will be meeting them this week. The Phillies
front office did acknowledge the fact that looking is part of the game, and as
any normal person would do the media asked what of Martinez, just because
the Phillies picked him up last year and it
worked out, doesn’t mean they’ll do it again and again. Amaro did
indicate that since Martinez, just casts them money and no talent then
they keep checking in with him, but they haven’t seen him throw or had any face
to face time with him.

Forewarned is forearmed, so Amaro, here is your warning, “You
got lucky last year with Martinez, regardless of how desperate you think you may
be this year, DON’T do it again”
. I know I was not a big fan of
Martinez last year and I stand by that, I believe we would have had the same or
similar results had they not spent the time and money on Martinez. I
believe he had no influence on how things turned out and was at times more of a
distraction than an benefit.

Let’s face it the only real addition we may need is a solid closer, because
no matter what anybody says, if it’s Lidge out there then everyone is going to
be holding their breathe
for every pitch, knowing that this could be the pitch that blows the save. It’s possible
that Contreras could be converted to a closing role, he’s only had 1 save
in his career thus far, but I have to admit I was more comfortable watching him
close than I have been watching Lidge close.

We still need Happ to return from the DL healthy and give us a solid last two
thirds of the season, and then if we could convince Seattle to let us get Lee
back before July 31st, then we would be in good shape. Lets face it, we don’t
have many prospects to trade, but I don’t think Lee will stay in Seattle
after this year and there is a chance the Phillies
could unload 2 or 3 players, like Kendrick, Dobbs, Bastardo, or mix them
up and throw in a couple of minor leaguers, who knows what Seattle
would do, and Lee would probably sign with a 3 year deal where both Lee
and the Phillies would be happy. A dream
maybe, but after the weekend that’s all I have today, a dream.

 


You Can’t See Me ….

– PhilliesOutside –

I guess the rivalry between the BoSox and
Phillies has built somewhat over the last
few years, not to the same extent as between other teams. The stage was set
however for the first game of this weekend series, the opener to inter-league
play for the Phillies, and almost every
major league team.

Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phillies,
although he has pitched well in his last few starts, there is still some
elements in the back of your mind, asking who will show up to pitch tonight. The
fears were dispensed after the first inning hiccup, as he gave up a home run to V-Mart,
who by the way doesn’t look right in a BoSox
uniform, from then on he shut the Red Sox
down through 7 innings allowing just the 1 run on 3 hits and a walk, while he
picked up 8 strike outs.

John Lackey took to the mound for the Red
Sox,
some of the media in Philadelphia
had labeled him as somewhat of a Halladay clone, when he is on his game.
It appeared as though Lackey was on his game and the Phillies
were in trouble through the first 3 innings. Then the bottom of the 4th inning
came and so did Ryan Howard, who started the Phillies
offense with a home run to left field, then it was like the Boston
Red Sox
outfield was playing a game of….

….‘now you see me now you don’t’ or was it WWE‘s
John Cena’s ‘You Can’t See Me’ they lost a fly ball from Jayson
Werth
somewhere in the night sky and lights, from then on it was all Phillies
who as a team ended the day with 5 runs on 9 hits, winning the first game by a
score of 5-1. The big set back for the Phillies was that Jimmy Rollins disappeared
into the dressing rooms half way through the game after feeling a twinge from
his right calf muscle. Rollins has just returned from the DL after the strain to
his calf put him there earlier in the season, Rollins will be day to day at the
moment.

Tonight the Phillies send Kendrick
to the mound, Kendrick has had a number of shaky starts this year, but
his last 3 have been fairly strong, inline with most 5th place rotation guys.
The Red Sox have the right handed Matsuzaka
who has really only had one good outing this year against the Blue
Jays
, he has given up more hits than innings pitched and in 4 games
has served up 19 runs to the opposition.

We all expect our teams to win, but after the was the Phillies
offense failed to produce against both the Pirates and the Cubs,
we must realize you can’t win them all, just be nice to win the more than the
other teams.

 


Interview with Ryan Howard

– PhilliesOutside –

A week in any other year you would be happy to have come out of with an even
record splitting both the Pirates and the Cubs series evenly, but not this year,
the Phillies should have swept both teams, but it wasn’t to be, now we head into
the inter-league weekend and the Phillies host the
Red Sox, so I thought it was
time I went back onto the interview circuit, which allowed me to meet up with Ryan
Howard
, this is how it went…

http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/jwplayer.swfhttp://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/embedded-xnl-stats.swf

 


The Halladay Blues

– PhilliesOutside –

Well that was a given, I blew it, I jinxed them, at the end of my last
post
I had to go a say that Halladay would leave the Pirates
with all zero’s. What happened, I can only believe it’s that time of the month
again, before all the women jump up and down and start screaming like banshees,
I am not making some veiled reference that attempts to draw humor from your
pain, or is it our pain, juries still out on that one, I am referring to that
time when the last month the Phillies went
from dominating play to only managing to win 4 out of 12.

It’s like the Phillies offense just takes
a vacation and when they show up, the bull pen is on vacation. Unfortunately
last night the person that got the raw end of the deal was ‘The Doc’, Roy
Halladay
, he threw another complete game, I can only believe he was
expecting the offense to come through at the end and get him the win, instead
the Pirates ended up taking it 2-1 in a pitching duel. Halladay
went all 9 innings on 132 pitches, giving up 9 hits and 2 runs, that should be
worthy of a win, but all it turned out to be was the ‘Halladay Blues’....

….the Phillies have the chance to turn things around tonight
as they take on the Cubs in the start of a 2
game series, on the mound tonight is Jamie Moyer, ironic because he started his career
with the Cubs, his major league debut for
them was against the Phillies, way back when
most of the other players were either un-thought of or getting their diapers
changed.


Howard Slams Pirates ….

– PhilliesOutside –

The Phillies hosted the Pirates in the first of 2 games during this weeks mish mash of
games, this year the Phillies are lucky, previously they have been on the road
for these stupid series that are only 2 games, this year they get to play host
all in the same week.

There was no great revelations last night, Kyle Kendrick, did well
pitching a good game, but then can you really judge how good or bad a pitcher is
against the Pirates, okay you can judge how bad a guy pitches. Now I have
no intention of knocking the Pirates and their abilities too much this
year, because I would like them to do well, yes I would like them to end the
season above .500 this year. This however doesn’t change the fact that a pitcher
who when performing slightly above average or better should be able to beat the Pirates,
providing the teams offense play along.

So far this season some teams, like every year are struggling, and media,
bloggers and fans in general start to call for the coach to be ousted, I read
recently that teams such as the Cubs, ChiSox,
Royals and even the New
York Mets
have fallen into this category, however I believe all to
quickly the pressure is applied to the manager. There is evidence to suggest
that in some cases this is true, as is the case with the Washington
Nationals
, see then now and with the old coach, this may not be the
best litmus test but it proves the manager can have some bearing on the matter.
I also believe other coaches play a
role, and for me the biggest role of the other coaches is the pitching coach, 2
guys I believe should be ousted and be replaced while the season is young enough
to salvage would be Joe Kerrigan of the Pirates and Rick
Peterson
of the Brewers, I don’t think I
have made it a secret that I detest Kerrigan as a pitching coach, I never
liked him even when he was an analyst on Comcast and then when he wormed
his way into a job with Bowa at the Phillies I liked him even less
and rumor has it that he wasn’t much liked by any of the pitchers at Philadelphia
either. Just last night is a clear example, I know there arguments for this and
against, but a lot of coaches seem to do it when they don’t need too. Everyone
knows Taschner was with the Phillies
and at times he had a love/hate relationship with them, so why would you punish
him and send him to the mound at time when your down 8-2 and lets face it a
situational leftie isn’t going to make any difference, and what happens, yep,
the same as always the guy loads the bases and gives up a slam to the one guy
who has difficulty hitting lefties. So I say this to the Pirates get rid
of Kerrigan before he does so much damage to you pitching staff you have
to completely rebuild your pitching capabilties.

The
Brewers, I think know they have a problem,
but are probably having issues on how to fix it, which is replace Peterson. I
mentioned Peterson in yesterdays post, because it seemed like the catcher
Zaun, has issues with him, I don’t know if he does or doesn’t, but there
is just something strange about the guy and it didn’t look as though he had much
respect in the dugout during any of the games against the Phillies.
The fact that he was with the A’s and the Mets
with Macha and Randolph respectively tells me he is there because
these guys employed the management 101 rule of surrounding yourself with those
you know and that are going to have your back in a time of crisis, cause i don’t
think this guy would get a pitcher coaching job on an open market with just his
resume from the A’s and Mets.
I say the same to the Brewers, dump this guy
before you have to dump your pitching staff for a new one.

There were something’s that came out of last nights game for the Phillies,
with Jimmy Rollins returning so his energy returned to the club as well,
the guys were energized before, but this was like adding the energizer bunny,
the running game started again, hitting in the 3, 4 and 5 spots. Chase Utley
came up missing, he developed flu-like symptoms and went home, hopefully he’ll
be back today or tomorrow. Carlos Ruiz returned to the line-up behind the
plate, it doesn’t matter how good the back-up catcher maybe, there is something
about having your regular guy behind the plate, you get used to the things he
does and the timing of when he does things. Wilson Valdez, was designated
for assignment, after doing a great job filling in for Juan Castro and
ultimately J-Roll, his services were no longer required so he drew the
short straw as they say.

As I mentioned earlier Taschner gave up a slammy to Philadelphia‘s
slammy king….

…his 9th slam in the bigs, it’s almost to the point where
managers will start to walk in a run than pitch to him with the bases loaded,
regardless of his performance against lefties or righties on the mound, this all
goes out the window when the bases are loaded. He also showed he can play small
ball last night too, I just wish people would stop talking about how much
influence Barry Bonds has had on his hitting, because quite frankly,
after the Bonds assist Howard went into a slump, so leave Bonds
out of any accomplishments that Howard has this year.

All zero’s for the start of tonight’s game and if Halladay has
anything to do with it the Pirates will still be on all zeros at the end,
okay now I probably jinxed him, damn…..


Phillies leave Brewers Drained….

– PhilliesOutside –

The Phillies left Milwaukee
after sucking the life out of the Brewers,
the sweep was a back to back the Brewers
suffered at the hands of the National League East. It was a little cooler
last night in Brewer Town or were the Milwaukee
Brewers
just trying to change their luck at home by closing the roof,
either way it made for a pleasant atmosphere, gave the pitchers a comfortable
environment, but it didn’t change the Brewers
luck as the Phillies completed a 3 game
sweep in a 4-2 win.

The game aired live on ESPN, who as usual showed their lack of up to
date knowledge of teams and players, other than the advanced scouting reports,
which at times are grossly out of date or inaccurate at best, given to them so
they could show some elements of knowledge about the 2 teams that were playing.
They pounded the commercial breaks with the information on the upcoming FIFA
World Cup
, which is great for me, but I just hope they really do their
homework on the countries and the players, and don’t just go at it with the
minimum information on the players and the countries abilities and
accomplishments. It’s a little more insulting when you get information about a
country wrong than a home grown city or town.

So last night Cole Hamels got win number 4 and put him at 4-2 on the
year, coincidence that matches last nights score, it means about as much as Mick
Billmeyer using binoculars in the bull pen in Colorado, absolutely
nothing. It was a relatively okay performance by Hamels, nothing earth
shattering, he managed to get a RBI hit, but then left the bases loaded twice,
still ESPN felt he did enough to warrant being player of the game, personally I
don’t think he did, I am not sure anyone player jumped out at me, everyone
seemed to do their thing and no one really screwed anything up, except maybe Weeks,
should have had the out, on the Victorino base stealing, but let the ball
fly into centerfield instead, and he just didn’t seem focused, and
as good a game as Zaun called for the Brewers,
I was a little concerned at how when he went to the mound with the pitching
coach, he just stood there gazing into the air, paying absolutely no attention
to what was going on, does he not like, Rick Peterson, the pitching
coach, because he had that same attitude each time he came to the mound during
all 3 games.

The Phillies are utilizing back-ups for back-ups, with Ruiz out
and 3rd string catcher Hoover working everyday, Ruiz should be
back Monday, maybe. Valdez filling in at shortstop while JRoll
rehabs, Valdez is also filling in for Castro who is also out of
action, Rollins should be back on Monday, then we have Madson out,
Happ out the good news is that Lidge is also back on the DL, the
list goes on a bit, but really the Phillies
have managed just fine and when these guys return it should only be an
improvement, except for Lidge of course.

Last year we saw the images of Lidge where each time he came into a
game you had
to hope that for just this game he was able to hold it together long enough to
close the game. Unfortunately that didn’t happen to often, it was like a Holiday
Inn commercial, where Lidge is on the mound and Dubee comes out
cause Lidge is struggling and you know the conversation, Dubbe to Lidge
“Lidge you good, your our closer, right, you can do this” then Lidge
would reply “Yeah sure, I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night, no
problem”.
We all know how that worked out.

This year I think we should stay with the Holiday
Inn commercials, you must have seen the new ones, where people are sometimes
doing dumb things, like being total idiots, yep that’s it, we’re going to work
with that this year for Lidge.

The Phillies return home to face 2
against the Pirates, and 2 against the sCrUbs,
then it’ll be on to that stupid thing they call inter-league play. I think we
should get one of those hidden dog fences to keep American League teams out of
the National League games, I am still not sure why there pitchers are such prima-
donnas that they can’t pick up a bat. The
Philles
get to host the Boston Red Sox as
the first of what will no doubt be long drawn out inter-league play.