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.

 


A Time of Confusion…

 

The last few weeks have been a confusing
time for a lot of people, with talks of players going here and there, we
now have to make sense of the moves that have happened and look to see
if teams will continue to confuse with more moves before
spring training places are set.

Its not just baseball that has had confusion,
lets face it if your not already tired of hearing about Tiger Woods then
you should be, it’s so much what happened as the number of women that
have come out of there hiding places to claim notoriety. Woods has been
crucified more than Clinton, so it seems that we hold sports
personalities to a higher standard than any of our politicians. The
media give no consideration to the truth of anything, if a woman that
can place herself in close proximity to Woods at anytime over the last
few years, lays claim to an affair with him or a one night stand then
she must be telling the truth. Lets face it, nothing is 100%, even voice
messages and text messages are no guarantee, anyone with any ounce of
knowledge can fake any type of electronic transmission as easily as some
of these women are sure to have faked orgasms and stories.

I am sure there would be more women
coming forward if only Google was more positive with the search
responses, because what we haven’t heard of, is those women who googled
Tiger only to find there pending claim to fame would be a character from
a cereal maker.

Yes they’re the women who are confused
why the others who actually came forward would want this character on
their resume of conquests.

There’s confusion in the NFL,
Bill Belichick sent players home for arriving late to practice, yep
that’ll teach ’em, give ’em the day off. The Browns
actually beat the Steelers, how is that not confusing, and if that
wasn’t enough for sports fans in Cleveland, the powers to be decided to
replace the Indians manager with someone no better, in comes Manny Acta,
now there is something very confusing about Manny, allegedly,
according to Roger anyway.

 

 

The Phillies, however haven’t confused me
too much, they seem to have gone through the winter meetings with the
kind of laid back approach we are used to seeing over the last few
years. Its almost a mirror of the way Charlie Manuel has led the ball
club to it’s current high standards and it looks as though Ruben Amaro
Jr, is moving in the right direction to get the Phillies back to the
World Series for the 3rd year in a row.

Yes I know it’s only December and spring
training is some way off, and yes, we have to endure the rants and raves
of the NFL before we even see arrivals at spring training camp, but I
have no doubts at this point that the Phillies will be in a position to
make a run at the ultimate goal again in 2010.

So far they have managed to secure an
excellent player for 3rd base at the expense of the Tigers,

(Detroit Tigers not Tiger Woods or
Tony the Tiger)
the
welcoming back into the Phillies club house of Placido Polanco was a definite
step up, although Pedro Feliz was a good solid 3rd baseman, I believe
Polanco will be better and will definitely produce more offense.

With bench players Ben Francisco and
Gregg Dobbs already proven to be great assets for the Phillies, the
additions of Brian Schneider, Juan Castro and Ross Gload have given the
Phillies a group of bench players that can be called upon when needed
with confidence.

The only confusion would be the lack of
moves to build a bullpen suited to support the strong lineup of
players that are now assembled. Yes, there is still plenty of time, but
players are beginning to become unavailable. I had thought a favorite of
mine may be in a position to return to the Phillies, but it seems the
Brewers have already made a deal to prevent that from happening by
signing Randy Wolf, whom I think would have been worthwhile back
in a Phillies uniform.

The Roy
Halladay
saga continues, with pundits still placing the Phillies
near the top of the list of possibles, personally I still think Halladay is too
pricey and will still be on the trading block come July.

It
looks as though Chan Ho Park will move on to another team, since
talks seem to have stalled with the Phillies and Scott Eyre is doubtful.
The Phillies still have issues with Lidge, Moyer and Romero to resolve
with regard to injuries and performance so they need some assistance in
the bullpen that is not already there.

Some
suggestions for the front office to consider…

Joe
Beimel, Kiko Calero, Josh Fogg, Jon Garland, John Smoltz,
Russ Springer and Luis Vizcaino, all of which have their own issues, but
any of them could be of assistance to the Phillies bullpen which was
badly beaten up at times in 2009. Although non of them jump out at you I
think Beimel is a good lefty and can be used in situations left open by
Eyre and Romero.

(Getty
images)

Smoltz is obviously a good
addition to any pitching staff and I think will have a good 2010 given
the chance, he also has the mentality to start or close given the
chance, he is over his injury and showed good stuff for the Cards at the
end of 2009, the others you could almost just pick a name out of a hat
and get something similar from, although some may be a little more
durable than others.

It’s 2 weeks to Christmas and this
time of year that brings back memories and creates new ones for
everyone, some good and some bad obviously, but I hope everyone can
focus on the good ones. For me one there is always one song that makes
me realize Christmas is actual here, it first hit the UK charts in 1973
and is probably the greatest Christmas single in the UK, has been
re-released every decade since then and covered by a number of different
artists over the years. For those who weren’t even thought of back in
1973 here is a glimpse of the number one music show in the UK in ’73
with what were the two most popular radio DJ’s as presenters. Freaky how
times change, but I still love the song.

Now it feels like Christmas
is getting close….


Spell Check for the Phillies…

This week is going to be
a struggle to stay on top of things, work has become an issue, or rather
a time consuming event at the moment, so let me apologize in advance if
I miss commenting some of your blog’s, I will try and catch up at the
weekend, with that said my own blog will suffer and I may not get
another post in till the weekend, we will see how things transpire, so I
leave with these thoughts on the closers situation in Philadelphia.

How successful can a team
be with a 74% chance of your closer giving you a successful finish. At
this time it means you could be 4 1/2 games up in your division with 47
games left to play, with more than 50% of those against division rivals.
How important will your closer be during this final stretch. Well it’s
all a numbers game and if you make the math work for the worst scenario
then you could find yourself 1 game back at the end of the season, best
scenario is you will win the division by a sizeable margin, but we all
now that is less likely than worst scenario. It’s time to look at
alternatives to try and make sure we are going to have a better chance
to win the division and get to the play offs, after all isn’t that why
Pedro Martinez is pitching tonight, which is currently in a rain delay.

If we review Brad Lidge’s
stats we can decide if we should be at least trying to utilize someone
else, or restricting the situations when he actually comes into the
game. Recently, both Manuel and Amaro, expressed their confidence in
Lidge, with Charlie saying "he thinks Lidge needs just one clean
inning to get back on track"
, sorry Charlie, but I think he’s
missed that boat.

Career, Lidge averages
about 17 pitches per inning, 2008 he averaged 18 pitches per inning,
2009 he’s averaging 20 pitches per inning, this stat tells you he’s
losing something.

Career, Lidge saves about
84% of save opportunities, 2008 he was at 100%, 2009 he’s at 74%, again
says he’s losing something.

Career, Lidge averages
1.3 base runners per inning, 2008 he averaged 1.2, 2009 he is averaging
1.9, again says he’s losing something.

Career, Lidge averages 0.42
runs per inning, 2008 he averaged 0.24, 2009 he is averaging 0.88 runs
per inning, again says he’s losing something.

With all this in mind I
propose that if the Phillies will not look into other options than they
should at least consider a spelling change.

Lets face it a closer with attitude is
going to strike out more than he lets his fielders assist, so if you
can’t strike them out your going to be in greater jeopardy of BLOWING
the save as well as your hand.

The recommendation, try Chan Ho Park a
few times, what can he do that Lidge isn’t except save more games. If
Park is doing okay, send Lidge to ‘AAA’ to work out his problems, be
them physical or mental.