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….
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.
August 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..
The 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.
On 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.
Talking 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….
….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.
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
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’.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, itll 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.
What a weekend already, it’s almost the end of the month, July will be here
in the next few days and Independence Day celebrations will be upon next
weekend. All that to come and we still have this weekend to finish, the staring
role being out in Los Angeles and the headline hungry A-Rod, I am sure the media
make more of it than is there, I am sure we all add to the snowball effect of
hyping up a situation when it really is no big deal. It is difficult to look the
other way when it involves A-Rod, because lets face it, it’s probably not so
innocent, in fact it’s probably far from innocent.
got suckered like so many, way back in 2004 hailing A-Rod as the greatest player
in baseball, stating things about how Jeter should move to 2nd and let the superior
player take up at Short Stop, had someone then said, well it’s A-Roid not A-Rod,
they would have said you had sour grapes, you were a Rangers fan or even a
die-hard Jeterholic, the chances of agreeing with you were as slim as A-Rod
telling the truth to Katie Couric when she asked him point blank if he used any
PED’s, of course he said no, they all do.
He can give it but he can’t take it, ask Ashton Kutcher who punk’d him, ask
Dallas Braden who he dished it out too and finally ask his ex-wife who showed
her thought via a t-shirt at a ballgame. Now it’s Joe Torre’s turn, who A-Rod once
said he preferred playing under Joe than the Rangers organization chose to
ignore Joe at Dodgers stadium this weekend, when it was obvious others wanted to
say hi to Joe, A-Rod was uncomfortable when he got within 10 feet….
…..I didn’t set out to bash A-Rod, it just snow-balled out of
control, it’s just that A-Rod does so much and then denies everything, I am sure even when
he is in his 70’s he will still be saying “I’m young and stupid”
as someone I am sure has already pointed out, getting 1 out of 2 right is okay,
and trust me your not young anymore, and besides you lost that claim when you
chose to father children, I am sure you probably tried to tell everyone, you
didn’t know what you were doing then, the only thing left right now is to see who’ll claim the first use of
A-Fraud and A-Roid.
For those that have been following the FIFA World Cup, you must
have heard by now that the USA is a Ghana from the tourny, beaten by the little
country in Western Africa, a country which is younger than the USA, but one
where the kids play football barefoot from about 3 years old. I have to say I
have found out since being here that the knowledge of international geography in
the United States is somewhat appalling, so here is a map of the world with the
USA and Ghana indicated….
….this is the beauty of the FIFA World Cup, it doesn’t matter
how big you are or how much money you have, it’s a game of skill and talent that
comes about from practice. I am sure some pundits will tell you how the USA was
robbed and should be going through to play Uruguay, but I am here to say, the
USA was lucky to even go to extra time, Donovan almost missed the penalty kick,
which after the USA coach had made a big thing in the press of players that fall
down, there was a lot of it going on from the USA team during the 2nd half of
this game, especially near and in the penalty area. All in all Ghana out played
the USA and deserved the win, congrats to them.
England met with Germany, which is probably the biggest rivalry
between 2 countries in this sport, the young German players showed poise and
maturity, which had been promoted as being the advantage England should have
enjoyed. Germany advances to the next round and will meet the winner of the
Argentina v Mexico game later today. The biggest disappointment of this World
Cup was the over hyped Wayne Rooney who was a total non-issue regardless of who
England played. There wil be those who would say that if the goal England scored
had been allowed then they would not have left the defense so wide open as they
threw caution to the wind to try and win, that unfortunate is the name of the
game and crying won’t change the result, demanding rules change to accommodate
your teams needs is not how sports should be played. The England team will have
to endure the return home and suffer the full weight of the media,
Germany get to advance, well done to them.
The Phillies were on the road in Philadelphia, weird, road grays
at home, even the broadcasters changed locations, yet what of the dug out and
bull pen, why didn’t they change places, one of the mysteries we have to live
with like the rest of the G20 summit. Still not sure why all those countries
spend all that money to tell each other how sucky the world’s finances are
In Philadelphia, we had a weekend that saw….
…. Halladay take game 1 and Moyer take game 3, which put Moyer
over 4,000 innings pitched and the pitcher with the most homers hit off him, I
guess we’re going to see something every time he pitches now, so good and bad
records will be set, since he has pitched in 4 decades and is into his 25th year
in the majors.
It’s the end of inter league play as the Phillies head for a 1
week road trip closing June out in Cinci and opening July in Pittsburgh. I now
get a week of calling MLBTV to tell them I’m not in the blackout area for these
2 clubs, oh joy.