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….
The GIBBY’s were handed out, I am sure like other award’s you
may not of agreed with some
of them, but that’s just the way it goes at least it seems the voting was evenly
For the Phillies, almost all the winners were no brainers, the
one that did surprise me was the Roy Oswalt for Oddity of the Year, after he
came in to play left field following Howards ejection. Obviously Halladay is
Halladay and there should be no surprises when he or something he is apart of
wins an award. Carlos Ruiz voted ‘X-Factor of the Year’ finally got some
recognition for his excellent performance during the 2010 season.
As we draw closer to the year end, we tend to look back at what
the year held for us, that’s when the anticipation of the 2011 season begins to
build, knowing its only 8 or 9 weeks before team members start arriving at
spring training gives us plenty of time to shuffle and re-shuffle the starting
lineup only to be surprised come opening day again.
In a perfect world the Red Sox would go broke and Liverpool
FC would be the owners main interest, in my brothers warped and sadistic mind maybe. A real perfect world would be in 20 some years, the Phillies would be debuting that years ‘Rookie of the Year’. My son however probably has
designs on him being a premier league football player, only time will tell how
much influence Grandpa can wield…
is experiencing ‘Doctober Halladay’s’, Yes I know another cheesy play on names,
but it seems to be the preferred expression at the moment. It was his first post
season game, it would have been shear magic had he just won it, but the fact
that he won it with style was more than magic, it was history being made right
in front of our eyes as Halladay throws a no hitter in game 1.
I am sure the statisticians will be able to tell us how many
pitchers have thrown a no hitter in their very first post season game, I am sure
they will be able to tell us how many have thrown that no hitter in the post
season the same year they threw a perfect game. Yep there’s no taking your shoes
and socks off to add them all up.
Once again Roy Halladay gave most of the credit to Chooch
(Carlos Ruiz), for his outstanding performance, and emphasized the team winning
game 1 as the real story.
Game 2 for the Phillies is Friday, and phase II of the H2O trio,
Roy Oswalt, takes the mound. The question is, how does one follow Halladay’s
show, simply with a winning performance.
Braves beat writers, coaches, players and fans have all been telling us of the
Phillies offensive woes when facing pitchers for the first time. This concerted
effort even have the TV analysts convinced to the point they are spewing the
same ‘Bull Sh-it’ in an ever increasing web of deceit.
Lets put our rookie pitchers against the Phillies ‘Aces’ cause that’ll give
us the best chance to win and make up ground on the division leaders. If you
believe that then you also probably believed the Mets were the team to beat in
the NL East this year.
The ‘Atlanta Braves True Lies’ appearing at a stadium near you,
if your a Braves fan that is. What was the real reason behind the need for
Atlanta to pit rookies against some of the best pitchers in the league this
Who did the Braves stand the best chance of beating with their ‘Aces’ on the
- option 1 New York Mets
- option 2 Philadelphia Phillies
So why not be Brave and honest and tell the truth, they could
almost guarantee wins against the Mets with their ‘Aces’ on the mound, but
against the Phillies it was a crap shoot. The ‘truth is’ it’s better to beat
the Mets with Aces and lose to the Phillies with rookies instead of losing to
the Mets with Rookies then losing to the Phillies with Aces on the mound.
Good luck with the rest of the season with that mentality Atlanta, you may be
handing a Wild Card to a West coast team, or maybe that’s the plan, maybe Bobby
Cox has his retirement housing all picked out in Florida and can’t wait to move
‘The Doc’ Halladay clinched his 20th win of the season against the Atlanta
Braves, making him the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 in a season since Steve
Carlton in 1982.
Roy joined CC from the New York Yankees as the only 2 pitchers this season to
reach the 20 win mark, with Jimenez and Wainwright close behind on 19 wins.
The biggest differences between the two 20 win pitchers, about 50 or 60 LBs
of blubber, that’s one stat I’m happy CC has more of than Halladay.
With Halladay’s 20th win the Phillies moved 5 games ahead in the NL East.
After being 3 games back on September 1st, the Phillies are certainly giving
themselves a chance at a 4th consecutive post season.
Even Jayson Werth seems to have gotten a new lease on life, we hope that his
joining forces with Boras has nothing to do with his sudden spark of enthusiasm.
The fact that he joined with Boras means he must have completely accepted the
fact that he’ll not be with the Phillies next year.
Tonight is the last of 3 at home with the Braves as Roy Oswalt takes the
mound for the Phillies against Tommy Hanson for the Braves.
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.