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.


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.


Triphillieslugas Walkoffhiticus

Making history in Philadelphia again, in all the years the Phillies have been a baseball team it is hard to imagine they have never had walk off’s in extra innings in three consecutive games, it’s hard enough getting three consecutive extra inning games at Citizens Bank Park….

triplewalkoff.jpg

….Thursday we saw Brian Schneider the back-up catcher hit a walk-off home run, then Friday it was Ryan Howard swinging the big bat, going deep for a walk off home run, then Saturday it was Jimmy Rollins who drove in Carlos Ruiz from second to score the winning run.

All 3 games have been tight finishes and some freaky things have been happening, Thursday and Friday we saw 9 inning heroics to drive the games into extras, and Saturday we saw a pitchers duel go all 9 innings, in fact Halladay I am sure was seeing himself way back in 1998, when in just his 2nd major league start he went 26 outs with a no hitter, before it was broken up with 2 outs in the 9th inning. It was eerie how similar the effort from Travis Wood was, his 3rd major league start, went into the 9th inning, nobody out before Carlos Ruiz broke up his no hitter, however as a young rookie he can be proud in the knowledge he went pitch for pitch with one of the best in the business.

Other Stuff

Cliff Lee is in Texas, who’d of thought that the city of New York could miss out twice in one week, for top trades in a sport. Just when everyone thought Lee was going to be a Yankee, after being beaten to the draw last year by the Phillies for Lee, this year it was a matter of tradeable merchandise, it didn’t pass inspection.

Then we had to endure what was created, when for a few years the media force fed everyone about how great someone is, and constantly fed that persons ego, add to that huge amounts of wealth and you crown yourself King then hold the sports world ransom for your own egotistical endeavor to spit in the face of the fans you spent so much time ripping off with your over priced merchandise.

The Yankee way of life rubbed off on at least one of it’s players, who managed to buy his way into the All Star Game, or so it would seem with all the advertising purchased etc, and yet you have to wonder, who would they have got to fill the Home Run Derby spot if he hadn’t made it.

One game left for the half way break, and time to reflect on how teams have done and how they may do in the second half, or rather the 74 or 75 games that fills the 2nd half.

 


Migration …

This is a short post, as I do not know when I will be back at this fully, soon I am hoping.moyer-24yrson[1].jpg

My graphics computer decided to make all sorts of demands about getting assurance that it wouldn’t be traded before season end, I wanted more work out of it, faster processing and a smoother online experience and had over the years managed to maintain a healthy upgrade process to keep him and the team happy. Mr. XP to me is kind of like Jamie Moyer to the Phillies, you know sooner or later something’s going to give, but you just keep hoping it won’t be today, well my hopes ran out. 

It was invest more or move newer talent into the front line, unfortunately Mr. XP has been the heart and sole of all my imagicalating since the conception of XP, until know I have resisted moving my imagicalation software bundles from Adobe over Mr. W7, mainly because that costs more than the computers. My long time friend and holder of my total software solutions Mr XP, decided to tank and will only perform basic functions for me at the moment, I am keeping him alive by way of careful data management and a lot of curse words. Now I have no alternative but to migrate as much of my work load to Mr. W7, it will just take a little more time to completely acquire my full range of imagicalating software packages and make Mr. W7 fully integrated into the prime function slot.

This will hopefully have no adverse affects on the Phillies performances or the outcome of the ASG, it will just place some added pressure on the relationship with team Adobe cause they are very demanding about getting paid for stuff.