2010 Phillies Year in Review

It almost that time when we celebrate the begining of a new year
and invariably a new era in the successes of our teams. Before we jump forward
to what could be in 2011, here’s a small review of how my blog saw the Phillies
during 2010….

 

Here’s hoping you all have a very happy and safe New Year….

 


WTF Award for August goes to….

Something I haven’t heard for sometime, recently changed, when I heard one of my all time favorite sayings – “Time is something to prevent everything happening at once” The game of baseball is testimony to that statement, with 162 games over 6 months to figure out which teams will play into month 7, although sometimes it seems like it all happens in month 6, it is just an accumulation of outcomes from the numerous WTF occurrences that have taken place during the season.

xxxx, nude, naked, phillies, mlb, pujols, cards, obama, wtf, whitehouse, sex, scandal, nfl, teens, iphone, droid, whitehouseAugust saw it’s share of those WTF moments, from coast to coast baseball gave us some gems and as with other months most of those came from the umpires, from early in the month right through to the end. They never seem to have favorites or teams they actually really dislike, although at times your team is always the one getting the brunt of their wrath. With the ability to replay, slow down, freeze frame every pitch, play and call that can affect the outcome of every game the umpires are constantly under the spotlight, so this will constantly produce WTF moments from umpires everywhere..

xxxx, nude, naked, phillies, mlb, pujols, cards, obama, wtf, whitehouse, sex, scandal, terrrorism, angry, fight, scream, scary, hoaxThe month also saw a couple of teams position themselves for this award, not because of the outstanding achievements they had as a collective body, but because they found the need to act like unruly children, NHL players even NFL players. You could say the heated moment between 2 teams fighting for the lead of a division can at times be explained, and is there such a thing as equal punishment, since both teams could have acted more like baseball players and not NHL players. The confusion was in Florida, although this happened on the first day of September, I decided to use it for August just so that we keep the fights together and keep them away from the post season run. We had 2 teams fighting to end the season better than the Mets, fighting each other, this wasn’t heated because the season depended on it, this was simply senseless and a definite WTF moment, but I will not reward those that are teaching our youngsters criminal behavior.

xxxx, nude, naked, phillies, mlb, pujols, cards, obama, wtf, whitehouse, sex, scandal, houston, astros, lol, texting, appsOn a high note of the year for at least one team, they started the season off as, in my eyes, the worst team in the National League, they seemed to continue on that same line. In July they made some trades and things seemed to change in August, they had one of the best records in baseball for August with 17 wins, the managed 3 sweeps, yes one may have been against the Pirates, but they also swept the Cardinals and the Phillies. The LOLstros have acted like the worst team in baseball, but WTF have they been drinking in August, okay no chance of post season play unless the Cards continue to meltdown and the Reds follow suit.

xxxx, nude, naked, phillies, mlb, pujols, cards, obama, wtf, whitehouse, sex, scandal, iphone, att,verizon, cubsTalking of meltdowns, I almost included the San Diego Padres in this list, they have managed to get swept back to back to back, but it seems to me there WTF moment is still ongoing. It would feel right if I didn’t include Lou in this months list, cause lets face it WTF was he thinking (insert retiring or staying this long).

I finally settled on giving the award to a man who has acted like a gentleman through hardship and adversity. His team started of the month in a divisional fight and a literal fight. It was difficult to find anyone worthy enough to present him with this award, but eventually someone who’ll do anything for a shot at being in the spotlight jumped at the chance. The WTF award for August 2010 goes to….

xxxx, nude, naked, phillies, mlb, pujols, cards, obama, wtf, whitehouse, sex, scandal

….Albert Pujols, and so we had the chance for the POTUS to award the PUJOLS. Even though he has brought his game and played well enough to give him consideration as the NL’s MVP his team has let him down as they slowly loose contention and could possibly give the chance of the 2010 MVP award to his counterpart at the divisions winning team. A pending free agent at next seasons end, he hasn’t demanded movement to a club that could give him another WS ring, he’s kept smiling and playing the game like the true sportsman that he is, this to some may not be a true WTF moment, but to me its a  WTF must he be thinking.

Useless stats 101 – In 2003 Detroit had the least amount of wins in a season during the last 10 years, and they were eliminated from the race by August 21st, the earliest of any team in the last 10 years, Mike Maroth a Detroit pitcher lost 20 games that season. On the bright side they weren’t the 1962 Mets.


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…..


Miley Cyrus ?

Okay, so it’s not about Miley Cyrus, but as she progressed from Hannah Montana to the big leagues of music, so Wednesday night Dominic Brown entered the world of big league baseball and like Miley he did it with some pop, his was in his bat though not his song choice.

Brown has been the Phillies untouchable prospect in all the trades over the last few years, he is a skilled outfielder, with lots to learn and a bat reminiscent of that from Ryan Howard when he made his debut as a rookie. He helped the Phillies last night and proved that he can swing the bat, he just has to learn to run hard from the hit and not assume it’ll go out of the Bank, his running speed could have got him a triple last night but he ended with a double, regardless he still came into score in the inning.

Well the Phillies landed Oswalt. It seems the local Houston Fox station laid it’s claims and scooped the deal claiming it was all up to Oswalt to accept or decline, that was yesterday, today Oswalt accepted the deal and told Amaro Jr that he would be available to pitch against the Nationals on Friday in Washington.

For some unknown reason there are still people out there that don’t pay attention to things unless the media highlights it, so the repetitive question of “Why trade Lee and now get Oswalt “? has become as repetitive as Two and half Men re-runs, the question has been asked and answered a number of times, so I would suggest all those still in the dark about Lee being traded, do your homework before trying to re-hash this same old question.

Further claims that the Phillies front office and Amaro Jr’s in-experience is driving the Phillies into oblivion or at best a status currently reserved for the Mets, is nothing more than the bull sh-it Mets fans seem to be knee deep in at CitiField, just because the over-hyped Mets team is starting it’s now all familiar season ending collapse, doesn’t mean other teams will do the same.

The Phillies move within 2.5 games of the Braves as we approach August, last nights win gave the Phillies an 8 game win streak and an 11 game home win streak, plus it’s 3rd home sweep in succession. Today the Phillies take the show on the road to Washington, where Roy Oswalt will take the mound for the Phillies, hopefully Philly fans will make the quick trip to DC and give Oswalt a home feeling in an effort to help him keep the winning streak alive.

Just a distraction and a face saver for Bautista a Nats pitcher, Miss Iowa will throw out the ceremonial pitch before tonight’s game, she is definitely much better on the eyes than either Bautista or the guy he replaced, Strasburg, and if you know the story she apparently has a great sense of humor too.

 Useless stats 101 – Last year in August the Phillies acquired Lee which gave them a rotation with Lee, Hamels, Happ and Moyer, 4 lefties in the rotation, this August the Phillies now have more Roy’s in the rotation than lefties.


Tire Kickers ….

Phillies Outside

Anyone
who has participated as an exhibitor at a trade show of some kind will be all to
familiar with Tire Kickers’, although not specific to
trade shows, since it’s origin is from used car lots, it is where we have seen the most concentration
at
any given event over the years. I am sure, some will disagree and claim they have seen
more together in one place somewhere else. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that ‘Tire Kickers’ exist
everywhere is enough.

This time of year baseball has it’s own brand of ‘Tire Kickers’,
the front office people for some clubs transform into these at this time of
year. All the ranting and raving as fans will change none of
that, yes we are all armchair GM’s at some time and we all know what
is best for the teams we help through the season by cheering for them relentlessly
regardless of how they actually perform.

Not every team’s front office can legitimately transform, the Phillies
front office has transformed and can on occasion be seen ‘Kicking Tires’ in
places like Houston, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Washington, and rumor has it even
Florida.

The Phillies of recent years have done relatively well by
‘Kicking Tires’ till the deadline makes them transform back to actual decision
makers, lets hope this year is Werth the wait. There are those Phillie fans who
think some players are Werth keeping, regardless of performance or contribution,
I think this year the Phillies should make a stab at a good starting pitcher to
assist the teams continued run at post season and if the offer a Werth-while
everyday player then so be it.

In an effort to curb some disdain by the fair weather booing fans, or just to
show they are action minded, they decided Milt Thompson should join the over
crowded list of unemployed in this country. In just the few days since this
occurred the ever drivelous incoherent commentator booth add on of Gary ‘Sarge’
Matthews has pointed out pertinent hitting features for players that apparently
weren’t there two or three days ago, after weeks of telling us what they were
doing wrong at the plate, yet insists he doesn’t want another hitting coaches
job. If you’ve been watching the Phillies for a number of years now you’ll all
remember similar style of added information from non other than Joe Kerrigan
when he was on the Comcast post game show, right before he weaseled his way into
the pitching coach job for Bowa.

Since I’ve missed a few days or more, the Phillies, after the
ASG break have….

….given 3 out of 4 to the sCrUBs and given 3 out of 4 to the
Cards, while on the road, back at home they currently have won the first 2 of a
4 game set against the Rockies with game 3 being played today at CBP. They actually
managed to knock Ubaldo Jimenez out of the game in 2 plus innings, but
today is another day and it all starts again, especially for JA Happ who is back
with the club, his last start was in April and has been on the DL, rehabbing and
just plain getting back into the swing of things.

Just a Thought:

If a player can have specific balls put into the game when
it’s his at bat, what stops teams from rotating balls in and out for home team
hitters and away hitters. I know a ball is a ball is a ball, but if the Rockies
can process their balls to reduce flight, why can’t teams do that for visiting
teams and process for increased flight for home hitters. I know many will
dismiss this as just another conspiracy with no substance, but isn’t anything
possible in this day and age, and won’t teams grab every advantage they can fair
or foul…. the big prize seems to cloud the judgment of people in and around
sports, no matter what the sport.


Visions Part Deux …..

The National League managed an upset of the American League by taking the All Star Game victory, because of recent history showing the dominance of the American League this is a good way to move forward into the second half of the 2010 season for National League teams.

At the beginning of the season I laid out how I thought the season would progress and how teams would position themselves for October baseball, with just over half the games played it’s a good time to reflect and update my season ending visions.

The American League has shown some surprises, out West the Mariners have not faired as I thought so this has left the Rangers and Angels duking it out for a post season place. In the Central the Indians are not performing in the manor they could have been and in the East the top 3 are as expected, but the Jays are doing better than I had thought, as a mid way summary I now have the following possible outcomes.

AL WEST

Angels…………..88-93 wins

Rangers………..86-91 wins

The A’s will hover around the .500 mark and the Mariners will finish below .500 with about 70 wins.

AL CENTRAL

ChiSox… ……..84-89 wins

Twins …………..81-86 wins

Tigers …………..81-86 wins

The Royals and the Tribe will fight, but fail to reach .500 this year.

AL EAST

Yankees ………..93-98 wins

Rays ……  ……..92-97 wins

BoSox…… ……..90-95 wins

As you can see this could be any of these, I had considered the Yankees breaking 100 wins again, but recent history shows last time they had 56 wins in the first half they had a dismal second half with only 33 wins, so the Yankees number is a crap shoot, the Jays should end around the .500 mark and the O’s will probably break 64 wins, but no more than 70 wins.

 

The National League has also given us a couple of surprises, the Padres are the biggest one for me, kudos to them, I thought they would struggle to be a .500 team this year, but they proved me very wrong. The Pirates are more disappointing than anything, I really thought they could be a above .500 team this year, but not going to happen, the Reds are better than expected or are the Cardinals not as good as expected. The East is as expected a 3 horse race and will continue through season end.

NL WEST

Padres …………..85-90 wins

Rockies … ……..84-89 wins

Dodgers … ……..83-88 wins

Giants …… ……..79-84 wins

Arizona will struggle to reach 70 wins this year.

NL CENTRAL

Cardinals …………..85-90 wins

Reds ………… ……..85-90 wins

The Brewers and Cubs will struggle stay around the .500 mark on the year, the Pirates and Astros will have chance to play spoiler or helper in September as the Cards and Reds are on target to give us a game 163 this year, but as the Astros and Pirates play out the year they’ll both struggle to get over 65 wins.

NL EAST

Phillies …………..90-95 wins

Mets ……………..88-93 wins

Braves …………..87-92 wins

Still a close 3 team race and could go to any of the 3, it’ll be up to the Nats and Marlins to play spoiler, since both those teams wont even be knocking on the .500 door.

 

So these are my mid-term visions as far as the divisions are set, as for Phillies players and that dreaded date of July 31st, where teams negotiate to the wire to get the best possible deal, or they think is the best possible deal. The past few seasons the Phillies have faired pretty good at the trading deadline, this year I would say look to see Jayson Werth end up with one of 3 teams, Astros, Pirates or even the Reds, also movers could include, Dobbs, Castro or Ransom and maybe even Kendrick or Happ, I do not think anything major will occur, it is possible we could get Oswalt, but no breath holding here, or even one of the Reds pitchers, it maybe that the Dodgers decide they can lose Broxton, so the Phillies can lose Lidge, but that’s as farfetched as a straight trade of Pujols and Howard, or Werth and Ethier, dream on people ESPN’s got no inside track and the second half is just beginning. So tighten that safety belt, keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times and enjoy the ride, don’t forget to scream and raise your arms at the appropriate times, but most of all have FUN.


King James and Tribe

– PhilliesOutside –

The Cleveland Indians head to Philadelphia, this must be the best chance

Philadelphia
is going to have to break out of the ‘anti’hot’ mode and actually
win a series that they should win, yes they won the series at Yankee stadium,
but the Yankees just got the hell knocked out of them by
Arizona.

The Indians are currently number 2 in the
American League‘s bargain basement,
if you don’t understand that expression then check out the standings, basically
it means for National League teams there are just 4
American League teams that
you should expect to either win the series against or even sweep, the prime
number 1 team everyone wants to play are the Orioles, then you have the
Indians
,
then the Royals and finally the Mariners, any other
AL teams would on paper be a
tough opponent for any of the National League teams.

This
isn’t to say the American League is better than the
National League, because
during inter-league play I am sure there are just 4 NL teams that the AL would
like to play, they being, Pirates, Astros, D’Backs and the
Brewers. Sometimes
though the alignment of baseball planets and good and bad karma just don’t allow
what should be, to be. Take the Yankees, please take the
Yankees, or at least
prevent them making headlines because of Lady GaGa,  for instance, they
should conceivably sweep the D’Backs, lets face most people thought it, most

Yankee
fans expected it, but yesterday they got what could only be looked upon
as the playground bully being smacked around by the nerdy loser kid, doesn’t
happen often, but when it does, we all root for the loser nerdy kid, even now I
find myself thinking, wouldn’t it be good if they actually swept the Yankees.

I was kind of hoping when the schedule was released for 2010 that the
Phillies
would actually play the Tribe at the
‘Jake’, yep I am told to call it
that up and coming insurance name is some kind of insult to true Clevelanders, I
am not sure why cause no one actually goes to the games anyway. Maybe if they
could encourage a celebrity to turn up in underwear and flip everyone the bird,
maybe it would draw more fans in Cleveland, probably not, what about if they had

‘King James’
make an appearance, again probably not since he’d show up as the
final pitch was being thrown and then only if there was a chance he’d be
supporting the winning team. Lets face it the great ‘LeBron Day’ that was supposed
to show support for him staying in Cleveland, that was held at the University of
Akron’s
campus, was a wash out, some 4,000 people showed up to claim a free
t-shirt and then went double time so it appeared like 8,000 people were in
attendance. Yes, the chances are good once again New York will wield it’s mighty
check book in a different sport and land ‘King James’ although for this sport in
question it does seem as though Chicago’s check book could be bigger than the
Knicks, but it’s all speculation as is the content of the little chat between

James
and Curry.

Off track a little, well it is a sporting event and it uses a ball and it has
ties to Cleveland, who are playing the Phillies, in
Philadelphia for 3 days,
whooopi, I get to watch it all happen on some Cleveland Indians
sports channel
that is about as lame as the Dodgers,
Kansas City and the Astros winning skills at the moment.

Notable occurrences, the Indians got swept by the
Mets, then lost 2 of 3 to
the Pirates and the answer to the Tribe fans prayers during the off season, the

Nationals
manager, Manny Acta moving to Cleveland, and after being handed a 5-3
loss Sunday what words of wisdom do the Indians fans get from Acta “We
weren’t able to pick up the ball and throw it to first base. That’s why we
lost.”
WOW, I see Manny has come a long way since playing the staring
manager’s role in Washington DC, although you’d think it was
DC Comics with
the way he managers the Tribe.

Lets just hope tonight the Indians are
nothing more than a comedy of errors and the Phillies
are able to use it to their advantage, with the return of J-Roll it
should be an interesting 3 days.

Just a minor gliche in the online voting system, they seem to have Pat
Burrell listed as a DH for the Tampa Bay Rays, when he’s actually in San
Francisco, and his numbers are already better in San Fran than they were in
Tampa, so here’s the dilemma, has anyone got voted onto the AL roster and actually
being playing for an NL team at the time of the All Star game, or visa versa…

Happy
Voting All