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
Here’s hoping you all have a very happy and safe New Year….
whirlwind signing of the NEW number 33, Cliff Lee by the Philadelphia Phillies has
definitely brought out the reactions from fans all around baseball. It is safe
to say the reaction is mixed across the board from those that despise the
signing to those that really love it.
There are however something’s that Phillies fans need to keep
under control and that is over hyping the starting rotation, we all know the fan
base in Philadelphia can turn their love into hate on the toss of a coin. They
can deny it all they want, but deep down they know who they are and it’s those
fans that will be the first to call for Amaro’s head or Charlie to be replaced
when Phillies famous four get swept by a team like the Pirates or Astros.
One more note for the Phillies fans we don’t need a cutesy name
for these four guys, so enough with ‘Phour this’ or ‘that Phour’ the H2O was fun
but lets leave that as a thing of the past it really is ‘water under the
Should we be surprised at the general response from Yankee fans
who say what they will now, the majority thought they had Lee in pinstripes and
now of course the jibes at Lee for going back to Philadelphia are nothing more
than that of a spoiled little brat not getting that Christmas gift they wanted.
They are not the only group of fans that have shown that deep down they despise
Lee for wanting to go where he wanted to go and not where others thought he
For those that still seem to be bewildered by Lee leaving money
on the table to sign with the Phillies, ask LeBron James, he seems to think ‘when
your getting that much money $20Million is nothing, it wont change your life,
it’s about where you want to be after the first $100million’.
Just remember it’s not even January yet, hell any or all of them
could twist an elbow opening Christmas presents, or hurt a rotator cuff carving
the turkey. This is one Phillies fan that wants to enjoy the 2011 season with no
expectations other than to be truly entertained all season long by a
Philadelphia baseball team that has chemistry and energy with every start.
On a final note, what if the Phillies traded Blanton, Kendrick
and whoever could they still land Zack Greinke … ho!ho!ho!
It may seem like I have been absent, but in truth I have tried
to migrate my blog from here to ‘philliesoutside.mlblogs.com’, unfortunately
after the first post at my new home I have been locked out unable to
perform any actions on the blog. The tech support dept tell me they are working
on it and that I am not forgotten. Hopefully I will be able to use my new blog
It’s that time of year when the Phillies organization pulls a
shocker out of the hat. Last year it was trading Cliff Lee and signing Roy
Halladay, this year it’s signing Cliff Lee and trading no one.
Now I know everyone was expecting him to be in either a Rangers
uniform or the Yankee pinstripes, but it was those who truly believed (beLEEved)
was always hopeful of his return to the Phillies and this I am sure has left
fans in New York and Texas seeing RED, yep Phillies RED.
Now lots of people will be saying told you so and they can say
that, even I stated in my blogs earlier in the year that Lee would be back with
the Phillies, as much as I would like to take credit for seeing into the future
it was nothing more than wishful thinking by all that made the claim. I know I
am one happy Phillies fan seeing LEE back in the Phillies uniform….
I am sure there will be those that will say we paid too much,
that we are trying to buy a World Series, but the truth be known the Phillies
are just putting together a group of players they believe will WIN the World
Series. Some fans will continue to use this as an excuse to trash the Phillies,
that’s okay they can do that, but to all those Phillies fans that were critical
of the organization for allowing Werth to go to the Nationals, I say before you
gloat about this you should issue a full apology to the Phillies organization,
because LEE on the Phillies team is considerably better than what the Nationals
got in Werth.
The ‘Mighty Media’ may have got tired of reporting
everyone else’s news this week and decided it was time to be the news. With
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, making demands and showing the
world he is the one with the power in the White House, threatening to pull the
POTUS from high level discussions while in a foreign country if he doesn’t get
his own way. I am sure he would have conceded to a visiting press secretary
pulling the same stunt in Washington, DC.
Then we have ESPN, who decided to listen to the millions and
millions, okay a dozen or so, regular viewers and oust the 20 plus year duo of
Sunday night baseball. Now if only Fox would concede to the sporting fans and
say bye bye to Joe Buck in time for next season.
The lack of instant trading and player acquisitions has given
the media to much time to create news instead of reporting it, I am sure if the
baseball season was in full swing the White House press secretary would have
been more concerned with Strasburg’s next start or which diamond to get the
POTUS on to throw out a pitch and ESPN wouldn’t have cared who was calling the
balls and strikes on Sunday night. It maybe time for the media to try a remedy
for the lack of baseball news….
….I am sure one of these is more than fitting for those media
people being the news instead of reporting it.
was expected the Yankees dove in head first and contacted Cliff Lee’s agent,
Darek Braunecker, just to let him know the obvious, that they were interested
and would be making an offer, also making contact was the Phillies, Ruban Amaro
jr. There were some other teams names being bandied about, but in all
seriousness Braunecker said they are just reviewing options and there is no rush
to commit. I think in reality the only serious contenders here are the Yankees,
Phillies and Rangers.
The Red Sox jumped into the Hot Stove with interest in an
outfielder, which could be Werth, since they contacted Boras. However how
serious can the Red Sox be this off season, since the owners have spent some
good money on acquiring the Liverpool Football Club and have made a commitment
to build that club back up and make it the top club in the Premiership, and if
you think baseball players salaries are high, then google some of the top
Premiership players salaries. I believe as far as teams with high payrolls, the
premiership has the most teams in the top 10, but I could be wrong.
It’s going to be a wait and see for the most part with some of
the top names on the free agent market and I am not convinced anything will be
solidified with the top names till later in December, even early January. Except
for those given to be re-signed by the Yankees.
Those of us who are baseball addicts are engrossed in the events
of the Worlds Series and as it stands now the thoughts are varied, will the
Giants sweep the Rangers and force their total fade out or will the Rangers go 3 for 3 at home and take it back
to San Francisco, who knows, that’s the beauty of baseball.
While all this headlining play by play unravels the remaining 28
teams have their own soap operas going on, moves being made to set up an off
season of player movements, operations and I am sure controversies.
In Philadelphia some actions involving players have already
taken place and as always the right things are being said, the team says things
like, ‘in order to give the player a chance at free agency’, when they
really mean, ‘we don’t want you back so we’re letting you go as early as we
can’. The players say things like, ‘it was great playing with a good
bunch of guys and a manager like Charlie’, when they really mean, ‘I’ll
miss you guys it was fun and thanks for nothing Amaro’.
So in Philadelphia, we could see Werth buddy up with his new
agent and head to Chicago to try on some White Socks, maybe. We could also see
other players held in a state of frozen animation until the club finds it’s
off-season direction. They have already managed to get the Phillies
beat writer to plant the seed of a return to the Phillies uniform by Cliff Lee.
Pie in the sky? Maybe, but it’s baseball stranger things have happened.
There are obviously a few players in the World Series making
impressions on possible future teams, who’d have thought after his stint in
Tampa Burrell would have found a team willing to give him a shot, and when
Florida unloaded Ross, who would have said by accident the Giants would be
putting him in the outfield every game. So yes strange things do happen in
baseball more often than we realize, who would have guessed back in 1945 that
October 30th would see the Brooklyn Dodgers sign a player from the Kansas City
Monarchs and make a resounding change in history.
With Halloween a day away and mid-term elections 3 days away,
strange things will happen more than ever. Mid term elections actually tend to
bring out even stranger happenings than Halloween, scarier people come to the
surface, it just gets totally weird, all in the name of ‘Vote’ getting. So when
your at the polling booth remember the 5 key issues when making your selections:
There is no Santa Claus.
The WWE may not be real, but the t-shirt’s are and you
can wear them to vote.
You’re not choosing the Cy Young or MVP.
It’s not a Fantasy League.
Politicians LIE, again and again and again and
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….
….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.
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.
Sunday was a day that companies had the opportunity to commercialize and reap the
financial benefits from all those feeling guilty about not having given enough
attention to their Mothers during the year, a time when that expensive,
worthless, tradition of sending or giving a piece of stiff paper with some words
created by someone paid not nearly enough to dream up such drivel, just so that
those doing the giving can feel good about themselves for having at least on
this day given some attention to the person that gave them life. Yes folks it
was ‘Mother’s Day’ here in America, this past Sunday. For those that don’t care,
it was not Mother’s Day in England, that was back in March and it’s true calling
is ‘Mothering Sunday’, which is actually different than Mother’s Day, as with
most things that are commercialized propaganda, it’s different because it’s
something to do with religion. I personally didn’t receive any cards or well
wishes, even though throughout the year I have heard the word Mother used
in conjunction with other words when referencing me or calling to me.
The Phillies celebrated Mother’s by giving away Phillies
scarves or is it scarf’s, does it matter, since those that got the
scarves/scarf’s wore them with pride, unless they were an Atlanta Braves
fan of course, then they probably kept them to remember the day they went to Citizens
Bank Park to see Atlanta get beat.
Even though the Phillies offense had the Braves pitcher on the ropes
early with hits and home runs by the start of the 4th inning the Phillies
were up 4 – 0, because guys like this….
….decided to show up and play ball, Polanco hit a homer in the
2nd with a pink bat, not that it matters too much the color of the bat, it’s
still a home run, no extra points for the bat being pink, probably extra cash
when it gets auctioned off for the charity.
The Braves pitcher, Kawakami, held his own
from the 4th and stayed in putting up respectable numbers through 6.2 innings,
even though he took the loss. The Phillies had Cole Hamels on
the mound, who during the first 4 innings looked as though he was going to be
cruising his way to a shut out and show Jamie Moyer he could do it too.
Alas it wasn’t to be, even after a major conflab on the mound…..
….somewhere the old ‘K’ Cole got lost and
confused about where to throw the ball….
….he managed to give up 3 runs in the 5th inning, that was
enough for Manuel who let the bull pen finish the game, led by Chad Durbin who
threw 2 scoreless, the bull pen was un-hittable, literally, they struck out 5
over the 4 innings of work and never allowed a base runner, even Lidge pitched
the 9th without giving anyone a mild seizure.
As with any day when the Phillies play at CBP, there is always at
least one creature that gets onto the field, no tasers needed on Sunday it was
….doing his duties, or should I say trying too. Yes, he’s been
reportedly hailed as the best mascot in sports and I understand you either love
him or hate him, but it has become clearer that most hate him because of the
team he’s associated with, not for what he does, because lets face it, no matter
who you are, if he was your teams mascot you’d think he was the coolest mascot
ever, or at least your kids or grand kids or great grand kids would think he was
So the celebration of Mother’s is over and the Phillies
headed to Colorado where the air is thin and they use some kind of machine
to make the balls stay in the park, or so they say.
There was something in the air, maybe it was moisture of some
sort, but Charlie was trying to figure it out….
….as the Rockies made some accusations of
someone spying on the game from the Phillies bullpen, not sure
what it was all about and I’m not sure Charlie was to sure either, but it
prompted Victorino to use the bullpen phone and tell them to stop clowning
It certainly wasn’t the bull pen the Rockies
needed to watch, it was the Phillies catcher, Carlos Ruiz….
….who went 4 for 5, one of them a homer, and it wasn’t a fluke
or the thin air or altitude or something they put in the bottled water in Colorado,
he’s actually been hitting that good of late, with a.354 avg, he’s got himself a
little ‘on base’ streak going, I think he’s actually been on base in all but 1
of the games he’s played this season, he’s picking up more walks and now he’s in
the number 7 hitting slot, he’s getting more hits, lets hope he can sustain this
for the year or majority of it anyway.
The Phillies defense were showing off some quality
….but that still didn’t stop Colorado, with Hawpe
back off the DL and going 2 for 4 on the night, the Rockies managed
to get it all tied at 5 going into the 9th inning. In fashion of the last couple
of years the Phillies put up a 4 spot in the top of the 9th and
the Rockies where unable to find a way to answer, with Contreras pitching
the 9th, who seems to be solidifying himself as a late inning guy that Manuel
can depend on, the Rockies went down on just 1 hit in the 9th, giving the
Phillies game 1 of this series.
Brad Lidge has a sore elbow, waaaaaaaaaa!!! go back on
the DL then don’t tie up a roster spot if your going to keep whining all year so
you have an excuse when you blow your first and subsequent saves this year.
Dallas Braden, who became news worthy earlier this month
when he accused A-Rod of being a ‘dick’, which by the way Braden,
we all knew this before you accused him, just threw a perfect game. So congrats
to him, but you did sour your win somewhat by both you and your Gran-Ma
referencing A-Rod when talking of your perfect game. As much as A-Rod
will take credit for anything good and nothing bad, this I am sure he played no
part in, so let A-Rod go back to denying PED use and not have to
deny knowing unwritten rules of baseball. He’s a Yankee player,
those unwritten rules don’t apply, that’s another unwritten rule.
Milton Bradley is still a bigger ‘dick’ than A-Rod.
Cliff Lee goes for his first win of the season tonight,
the question is if he gets it, will it count, since it’s against Baltimore.
Roy Halladay goes home for first ever start in Colorado,
hard to believe that a guy like Halladay never pitched in Colorado.
This homecoming should be sweet for Halladay and not so sweet for Rockies
fans as Halladay goes for win number 7 and the Phillies try
and clinch the series tonight.
This World Series has been given a few diferent names, as in every year the media look for catchy phrases to brand the series.
The Liberty Series – in reference to the Statue and the Bell
The Amtrak Series – in reference to the short train ride
I even heard it called the I-95 Shoot Out due to the quick Interstate drive
Whatever you want to call it, tonight it was the domination of Cliff Lee and the power of Chase Utley.
As excited as I am at the victory, I am still well aware that it is only game 1 and there is lots of baseball left to play, but it is a win on the road which in reality removes the homefield advantge of the Yankees.
With Pedro Martinez scheduled to pitch game 2 against AJ Burnett, you can be sure the fun is just begining.
Just in case any Yankee fans actually decide to read this a little reminder the score was Phillies 6 Yankees 1
Chase Utley reached base in his 26th consecutive post season game producing a new MLB record and he also joined Babe Ruth as the only 2 left handed hitters to hit 2 home runs off of left handed pitching in a World Series Game.
‘it will be who it will be’
Cliff Lee made his debut in Philadelphia at CBP, the anticipation of the crowd was high, all things considered, the pressure on Lee must have been huge. After his shut out in San Francisco, would the fans be expecting to much and could Lee deliver another solid game in front of what is now his home crowd.
The first inning, he seemed to show a few nerves, but that was to be expected, what wasn’t expected was for J-Roll to miss-judge a ball and let it go into the outfield. This allowed a runner to be on 3rd with 1 out, setting up a fly ball RBI in the 1st for the Rockies. Yes it was a tough play for Jimmy, but he has made that play many times before, he sets his own standards and that wasn’t quite it.
It didn’t take Jimmy Rollins long to correct his earlier miss-judgment, he was hitting and running bases straight out of the gate. He didn’t need his red/orange shades to make himself look cool, he was doing that just by his actions.
His first 3 at bats he hit a single, double and triple, yes a cycle would have been nice, but for someone who less than 8 weeks ago was hitting right around the .200 mark and was struggling to even get to first base, was now producing multi hit games, stealing bases and scoring runs and that is the driving force leading the Phillies offense.
The Phillies scored in the bottom of the 1st Utley’s sac fly, driving Rollins in, then Bako hit a home run, his first of the year, in the 5th, followed by Victorino’s RBI hit to drive in Rollins again. Rollins finished 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored.
Lee may not have been the domination machine he was in San Francisco, after all, we had that from Happ last night, but he did give the Phillies a solid 7 innings, with 112 pitches, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits and a walk while striking out 9, great job Cliff Lee and I am sure the fans in Philadelphia will soon make you a fan favorite, it seems almost everyone else on the team is anyway.
The bullpen did there thing… HOORAY!!!… Madson pitched a solid 8th inning giving up just 1 hit, Lidge came out in the 9th to close the game out and collect his 21st save of the year, and do so giving up just 1 hit.
Phillies win the series with the Rockies 2-1 and since the Marlins chose to give the Nats a 4 runs in the 8th inning and go on to lose the game in Washington, the Phillies go to a 7 game lead in the NL East, of which I might add is currently the largest divisional lead, over a 2nd place team, in the majors, that may change by nights end.
The Phillies welcome Florida to won for a weekend series, and tomorrow night the Phillies workhorse Joe Blanton takes the mound in a bid to keep the Phillies winning home stand moving onward and upward.
Around the majors, well not around, around, just in New York, this for me is an interesting month, the Yankees and the Red Sox duel it out 7 times this month, why is that so interesting for me, well I have suggested, or maybe even predicted, a repeated October World Series match up between the Phillies and the Rays, therefore the need for the Yankees and Red Sox to beat each other up and give the Rays a chance to make up ground is crucial to my prediction becoming a reality…
Cliff Lee made his debut as a Philadelphia Philly last night in San Francisco, he was acquired this week by the Phillies as a top addition to the Phillies starting rotation, this was his first start for a National League team having spent his major league career with the Cleveland Indians.
This was a chance for the fans and the Philly players to see what Ruben Amaro Jr. had acquired for the team, before the game Dubee and Manuel had said ‘they would sit back and watch, mostly, so they could see what he could do’.
Now before everyone gets overly excited and thinks that he is being put on a pedestal with expectations way above what he could possibly deliver, we all must understand it’s his first game and this cannot be expected every time he goes to the mound… you can hope… but don’t expect it. With that said Cliff Lee came out last night and looked like a natural born NL starting pitcher, the Phillies wanted a pitcher and they got one.
He showed poise and confidence….
He showed he could field his position…
and the Kung-Fu Panda was no match…
and this was just the 1st inning…
What we didn’t know was, could he swing a bat?…
he showed us…
not just once but twice…
he hit a single and a double, with a short sharp swing, you’d almost think he had been through an intense Utley hitting course.
and he was enjoying it…
but how would he fit in with the other Philly players?….
How couldn’t you fit in with the guys in the dugout….
Cliff Lee is officially a Philly….
Yes there was other players on the field, and they all played their parts with the normal characteristics that the Philly players have, this may have only been a 5-1 win for the Phils, but if they had really hit with RISP, it could have been double digits for the Phil’s.
Ben Francisco had another start in place of the injured Victorino, who by the way, probably wont be back till Tuesday is my guess, had another good game with hard hits at each at bat, he picked up a hit and an RBI.
Well done!! the front office for the new players, initial showings make them an excellent fit for the reigning World Series Champions.
Joe Blanton the Phillies work horse, goes today against Lincecum, Phillies have had a tendancy to come alive when facing the Ace of the opposition, lets hope this happens tonight…