Beating Yourself …..

Phillies Outside

It’s always that time of year when every game counts, early in the season
there is less emphasis placed on making every game count. When you look at the
games ahead and see 150 or 135 to play, you’re always thinking ‘plenty of time to
make that up’, the problem is come August it almost seems like it’s almost too late.
Every opportunity to gain ground on your opponent or to increase your lead on
the next placed team is important, which makes the thought that every game counts more
important all year long.

The biggest problem for teams, not just the Phillies, is loses to teams you
should really win. When errors or lack of offence is your downfall then all you
are doing is ‘BEATING YOURSELF’. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that if your
chasing a team in a close race the games you lose will coincide with a game lost
by the team your chasing, which makes the loss all the more disappointing, since
the idea is to win those so you catch the team ahead, or extend your lead on the
chasing teams.

When ‘BEATING YOURSELF’ it can be a team effort, which will include some
talented errors, even some possible web gems, it’s when you can attribute an
above average amount to one player it becomes an issue. With the Phillies, early
on after the All Star break it was Wilson Valdez, who without fail would hit
into a double play. This however is now a benefit since they will walk a player
to get to Valdez, who in clutch moments is actually getting those hits now. On a
slow incline, since the All Star break,  to become a clear leader these
days for the most assists in getting the Phillies to play ‘BEATING YOURSELF’ is
Jayson Werth. He has actually got some good numbers at the plate, but the
important stat that really helps the team win is where he has really su-cked of
late, ‘hitting with RiSP’. Hopefully he’ll get this out of his system and
September he’ll be hitting like Choooch.

 

Useless stats 101 – The Phillies 2010 starting line up has appeared in
just 6 games this season, those 6 game were all early in the season, tonight,
(8-24-2010) along with the ‘Chooch Bobblehead’ the Phillies starting line all
appear together again.


The RETURN …

Phillies Outside

The Giants came to town on Tuesday and will stay until after the
game Thursday, giving the 2 teams the opportunity to mix it up 3 times and
between them one of the teams will go into the weekend the wild card leader.
These games should the Phillies dominate, also help the Cardinals and the
Braves, should the wild card be needed by these teams.

The return of ‘Pat the Bat’ to the Bank was a warm
welcome by many fans, Pat also honored his return with a run long ball in the
1st, but was quieted by Oswalt after that…….

 …..but was kept busy in left field his normal hunting
ground when he was with the Phillies.

The other player in a return to the Bank was the
Phillies 2nd baseman Chase Utley…..

…..he may have been dormant in his return, but it’s good to
see the familiar moves at 2nd base and the ease in which he slipped right back
into his role, although tonight should see him batting in his regular 3 spot
against Matt Cain.

Useless stats 101 – Tuesday’s game against the Giants saw
the Phillies start a 24 game stint with out a day off till September 9th, in the
middle they have a double header against the Marlins. The 24 games will see the
Phillies play at home then travel to the west coast with no travel day, then
after 6 games travel back to the Bank stopping in Colorado on the way. Get ready
for some jet lag at the plate…


FRIDAY the 13TH – Part 28

werth-friday-13th-500.jpg

The weekend is just beginning, and obviously Werth was concentrating on after hours activities and not the first game. Stay out of the shadows and away from Werth’s bat for a safe weekend, or not….

Phillies take game 2

Phillies Outside

Game 2 goes to the Phillies, much different from yesterdays game
just 2 runs scored by the Phillies who shut the Dodgers out and gave Oswalt his
first win in a Phillies uniform.

A catch is a catch is a catch, only in baseball ? or only in
this game ? it didn’t affect the outcome except maybe the number of runs could
have been more, who knows, but a was it a catch ?

…if it had had more crucial repercussions maybe it would have
been a big deal, you know like a fair or foul ball over 3rd base.

Raul Ibanez continues with his hot bat…..

….18 straight games, another hot hitter, Gload ended up
with a strained groin while running into second base after he hit a double. Soon to hit the DL I am sure, the Phillies have already used as many players this
year as they did for the whole of 2009, and we haven’t got to the expanded
roster yet.

Other items, found this which was more for the guys, if your
going to get a car with this speed and appeal, don’t paint it ‘PINK’ cause
that’s a crime, unless Barbie is gonna live in the passenger seat.

 

Useless stats 101 – Thanks to the Phillies stat guys that
feed the commentators for this one, Ibanez made baseball history for having the
longest hit streak for anyone ever in Major League Baseball that has their
family name start with the letter ‘I’.


Phillies get Burried by Dodogers …..

Phillies Outside

Even with the Phillies offence producing 9 runs the pitching and defense was
considerably sub-standard. The game saw over thrown cut off men, J-Roll fell
over 2nd base, missed double plays, and some bloop hits from the Dodgers that
Phillies fielders couldn’t seem to find any coordination in their bodies to make
plays on.

If your a Dodgers fan your probably thinking Padilla’s the saving grace, well
the ‘soap bubble pitch’ he’s had for sometime, it just got slower, for some
reason he still manages to constantly secrete flesh fluid….

…..it was a shortened outing for Padilla, the Phillies hitters
were obviously starting to get to him, and so the Dodgers bullpen played out the
final 4 innings.

With the Dodgers in town as a courtesy to those younger female
fans and some guys with that kind of inclination here’s the obligatory pic of
the Dodgers pin up boy…..

….who had a good night at the plate, going 4 for 4 with 3
RBI’s and a walk.

Tonight Roy Oswalt has his home stand debut, I guess we’ll see
how Oswalt fairs inside Citizens Bank Park, with it being as warm as it is the
ball has a tendency to fly off the bats and into the stands, as we saw last
night with Domonic Brown hitting his first major league homer.

The Phillies have to get back to basics tonight with motion
coordination and try not to fall over their own feet again.

Useless stats 101 – In 11 seasons Padilla has only had 4
with 14 or more wins and 2 of those were with the Phillies.


From New York to Los Angeles …..

Phillies Outside

The Phillies and the Mets conclude there weekend of fun in the
sun. The Mets as usual were a tough opponent for the Phillies, but with players
like Ibanez and Ruiz swinging hot bats at the moment the advantage went to the
Phillies. This weekend was the first time this year the Phillies saw Beltran and
as a special treat, Beltran got to taste….

….the cushioning placed on the center field fence, he can
thank former Phillies center fielder, Aaron Rowand for soft get together with
the fence. If you didn’t see this as a web gem you should hunt it down, he back
tracked hoping to catch a ball that just kept going back and he wasn’t expecting
the fence to be there. Obviously it wouldn’t have been so humorous had the fence
not been padded, Beltran suffered no ill effects, just shock of the moment.

Elsewhere
in baseball the trading took a curious turn when instead of players on the move
we saw the Pirates finally came to their senses and moved the pitching coach,
Joe Kerrigan, to the long list of unemployed. I have made it no secret that I
have a complete and utter dislike of Kerrigan. The Pirates now need to find
themselves somebody who can help develop the pitching staff into what they
should be, someone like a Duncan, Anderson, McDowell or even a Hickey style
pitching coach, all these guys have different styles yet are very good with
young upcoming talent and can assist the more seasoned pitchers as and when they
need it too.

 

The Phillies welcome the LA Dodgers to town for a 3 game stint.
Although just 4 games over .500 and currently sitting 4th in the West division,
they are never an easy mark and should be looked upon as if they are running
away with it like last year. Hopefully they’ll leave Manny Ramirez in
California. I guess we can’t do anything about having to endure the onslaught of
Padilla’s constant flesh fluid secretion dowsing the mound on day one of the 3
days, at least it’s Kyle Kendrick sharing the mound with him and not Hamels or
Oswalt or even Halladay, that could scar them for the rest of the season. Lets
see what the Phillies make fo the os called ‘Soap Bubble’ pitch.

Useless stats 101 – This time last year the Phillies had
just experienced umpire Ed Rapuano’s ever changing strike zone and his ability
to to throw out Shane Victorino in center fielder from home plate for throwing
his arms in the air, when an obvious strike was called a ball.


Phillies catching Braves ….

The baseball madness continues, after a road trip that saw the Phillies lose the last 2 games of July to the Washington Nationals, since August began the Phillies haven’t lost, they took the last of 3 from the Nationals, sweeping the Marlins in Florida and now back home taking the first of 3 from the Mets. I think enough has been said of the Marlins game, without a perfect over head shot it’s going to be debated for ever, fair or foul, regardless of everyone’s opinions, it was called foul, and as we know there’s no changing the call.

The Phillies returned home, arriving in the very early hours of Friday morning. The Phillies haven’t lost at home since before the ASG, and even then the last series was a sweep of the Reds, so with the Mets in town the Phillies were trying to extend the 11 game winning streak at home to 12.

At CBP the weekend is the alumni weekend, it kicked off with the induction of Darren Daulton into the Phillies Wall of Fame….

….Daultons plaque resides on the wall next to the late great Vuk.

The game got under way and it wasn’t too long before the hot hitting Carlos Ruiz……………..

……..proved that he’s still swinging a hot bat, much to the delight of the ‘Chooooooch’ screaming fans.

The fans also got to see the debut in a Phillies uniform of the most recent acquisition……….

…….Mike Sweeney, I have heard good and bad of Mike, the bottom line is he has to fill a roster spot and not the shoes of Howard. Last night he came through, showing he hasn’t forgot how to play 1st base and he can swing a bat. His only downfall may be that he picked up the number 5 shirt. It will take more than one game to prove critics wrong or right, so we’ll see how he has made out come September.

The 3rd and 4th innings saw the Mets take the lead and silence a lot of the Phillie fans, the 8th inning managed to turn that around as the Phillies sent 11 to the plate and scored 6 runs. The Mets came back in the 9th and scored 3 causing Manuel to bring Lidge in for 1 out, it was again one of those occasions where you could feel it slipping away, fortunately for Phillie fans Lidge managed to get the 1 out needed. It was this guy you may have felt sorry for…..

…..he had a great seat at CBP, but was surrounded by Phillies fans, as most of the Mets fans left by the end of the 8th inning this guy stuck it out to the end and the TV camera crew for some reason seemed to single him out and show his changing emotions, so not only did he have to suffer the onslaught of celebrating Phillie fans around him, I am sure he would find out lately he got his 15 minutes of fame at the cost of a Mets loss. As for feeling sorry for him, naaaa, being a Mets fan surely he has to expect embarrassment and disappointment….

Phillies are now 1 game back in the NL East with a long home stand ahead.

Useless stats 101 – The Mets and the Phillies have been sparing rivals on and off since ’62 over 827 games, both team shave had 10 game winning streaks on each other, largest victory 26-5 Phillies over Mets in ’85. My favorite exchange Tug McGraw in ’74.


WTF Award for July goes to …..

It’s that time again, during July we saw the All Star Game, various trades and a lot of good baseball that made the division races closer and harder to call. What we didn’t see was very much in the way of players, officials doing the deed that makes you wanna scream WTF, there may have been a few isolated incidents here and there, but some of those are regularly occurring in a lot of games. So, July was a tough month to really select any one event that jumped out more than other individual events. I must say I did have some fun sorting through things that happened, with the FIFA World Cup closing out early in July, there was a few gaf’s that could have made the list, but the better ones from that event were in June and made the list then. In July the ASG and trade deadline seems to distract from other things, so unlike other months July made us really have to consider what actually happened in July to make us go WTF.

 

Our illustrious government is always doing things I know and this isn’t by any shot of the imagination the strangest things or the most ridiculous that would make you go WTF, but it made the list because in other countries the news did make them go WTF…..

…..it may seem normal and part of everyday life, and maybe it wasn’t reported in the correct fashion abroad, but that is no different than our media does to other nations when reporting there inner workings here, so the government was a contender when they chose to take legal action against one of it’s own states, Arizona,  for trying implement a law that is actually a federal law, one can only say the normal reaction, we know ‘Tax Payers Money at Work’…..

I would definitely be remiss if I didn’t touch on the July trades, some may say there team had the best, some will have there own opinions of the worst, some may even say there wasn’t any that made me say WTF, I have to say for me there was, I personally am used to a certain type of player wearing the Yankee pinstripes and yes as hard as it is to admit they normally have some quality that puts them aside from others, what that quality is, is up to everyone to decide for themselves, but when you hear names like Jeter, Mo, CC and A-Rod you kind of know inside yourself that there is that particular quality……

…..but when you hear names like, Berkman, Kearns and Woods, out of 30 teams the Yankees are probably in the bottom 5 you’d pick that they went too. So, I used this cheese and tissue picture in my season predictions and I think these trades are when Yankee fans will need them most, because lets face WTF were the front office thinking.

The one thing that has occurred more this year, besides shut out’s and perfecto’s, it’s injuries from celebrations, these are senseless and in my opinion a player should be made to go on the DL without pay or pay a heavy fine that gets donated to some very good charitable cause, because lets face it, clowning around in the work place is frowned upon by workers comp and normally they won’t cover it, plus I am not sure OSHA approves of it either, but of all of them…………

……. the one in Florida, by Chris Coghlan was the stupidest that made me go WTF the loudest, yep a finely tuned athlete rips his knee up smashing a cream pie in team mates face, dude you guys aren’t even in the running, you think the celebration was worth it.

Talking of being worth it, my next consideration was touch and go, but I finally decided on adding him to the list. It must have been a bout 7 to 10 days before the trade deadline and the words came out of his mouth like he was some ‘prima donna’,  “What trade talk? I have other things going on, you know. My focus isn’t to go home, go on mindless blog sites, watch TV. I watch TV, but I haven’t heard. Whatever I’m watching isn’t talking about that, that’s for sure.” , yep that made me say WTF…….

……..he also managed to say he knew he wasn’t going to be traded the moment Victorino was injured, this from a guy who verbally abused a fan for catching a foul ball. You weren’t traded cause no one wanted a player that is slumping as bad as you, the Giants are going to come to town and fans are going to think they should have kept Pat Burrell instead, so take a trip to WV or where ever it is you recharge your batteries cause they look empty here, Yes Werth, WTF were you thinking or WTF are you thinking.

Unfortunately I had to move outside the realms of baseball to give the WTF award this month. This event is a one of a kind and should never be repeated, the recipient was debated, the debate was not over the event but over who should receive the award. It was close between the person and the TV network that allowed it to be seen, in the end the person got the award…..

…..LeBron James, with the assist by ESPN, LeBron managed to waste an hour of prime time television and in the process get the people of one City and a good portion of Ohio to say in unison WTF, I for one am happy I wont have to listen to the media in Ohio continue to over-hype your value to Ohio sports.

 

Useless stats 101 – I think the Phillies are the only team to wear the players number on the back and left sleeve of home and away uniforms. The left sleeve I believe was the first location for a number to appear on a baseball uniform.

If I’m wrong I am sure someone will tell me…..


The Dark Ages ….

Phillies Outside

It was a strange feeling, there was nothing, it was an
emptiness that had indescribable feelings, you could sense the knot in the pit
of your stomach without knowledge of why it was there, there was no explanation
of why you felt this way. You had been in this place before, hell you even grew
up in it, yet now here you were again with totally new feelings, you checked
your surroundings to make sure your hadn’t fallen into some unexplained time
warp and drifted back to the middle ages……

……you even scan the horizon, look around every corner,
making sure there isn’t crowds of unexplained people waiting in the wings, even
though it feels like you’ve been hit with some kind of EM communication canon as
part of some……

…….Hollywood propaganda stunt to promote a new movie, no
matter how much people want to believe that a technology induced ‘fire sale’
could only happen in the minds of  movie moguls, their wrong, it’s easier
than some may think to induce panic and genocidal tendencies with the use of
technology….

…..having used and abused technology for the greater ‘good and
evil’ over the last 30 years, I can safely say it’s definitely for younger blood
these days, anyone who has doubts should have visited Vegas last week, what
happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it’s following this conference,
I hear even the government may have been trying to enlist some green horns
there, one things for sure…..

……AT&T wasn’t there, they were here, inflicting all
kinds of cruel unimaginable technological genocides on a small out of the way
village and some surrounding areas in Ohio. For some unknown reason this company
seemed to have blacked out communications of all kinds from Friday till today,
no explanation, no storms, no unexplained meteor showers, no foreign or alien
life forms dropping out of the sky, and even the iPhone 4 couldn’t do this much
damage.

It’s funny how we evolve, even 10 years ago this wouldn’t have
mattered to much, life would have go on, my technological dependencies were
almost all work related back then, the occasional access to the office network
from home, or the occasional client calling the cell phone nowadays things are
different, with no way to communicate with the outside world, it’s hard to
fathom what we did before the likes of Smart Phones, high speed DSL, Skype,
MLB.tv, now it seems for the most part things are back to normal, as normal as
it gets round here anyway, which to most isn’t very normal.

I can now take some time and review my WTF Award for July, which
will hopefully be digitally awarded in the next couple of days.