N. L. Central Crystal Ball….

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The National League Central is probably the easiest of the divisions to select a winner, but could also be the one where it all goes wrong. This division could hinge on the performance and health of just 2 players, I will make clear those players when I get to the team they relate too. As always we’ll start with the team I think will end up in a heap of trouble this year.


The Houston Astros fans should consider the latest fashion accessory…

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…these NEW Ray Ban sunglasses will be needed to hide the Phillies glare on the players Ed Wade seems to think will work better in Astros uniforms when they didn’t work in Phillies red pinstripes. Ed Wade can be very good for the Astros, he just has to get over the fact that some players aren’t as good as he thought. It will be a tight race at the bottom of this division, but I think till Ed Wade gets over the fact that the players he really liked when he drafted them into the Phillies aren’t what he needs in Houston then the Astros will struggle to get out of the bottom spot, which is a shame, because the Astros are normally a very tough team especially in the final few weeks of the season.

The Chicago Cubs fans need nothing more than high speed internet and a wonderful download…

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…courtesy of our friends at RSBS they have explained it all for me and made it clear to the rest of the world as to why the Cubs will this year be a below .500 team. It’s true see for yourselves the video doesn’t lie, it’s from a very reliable inside source.

The Pittsburgh Pirates fans will be able to do some serious….

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…partying this year, no they’re not going to win the division or the ‘Wild Card’, but they will be a .500 or better team this season. They have everything going for them, a double McCutchen and believe it or not Milledge will be the player the Nats hoped he would be, just in a Pirates uniform.


The Milwaukee Brewers fans need a trip to Europe to visit….

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…my Brewers, okay so it’s not the same type of brewers, but still a worthwhile event especially in October, they have tours of this Kölsch brewery in Köln. It’s still a family run brewery, or it was when I was there last which is a few years ago now. Why this one because it’s got my name, it’s not actually my brewery. If you go around October time you’ll be able to hop a brief train ride to München and enjoy the Oktoberfest celebrations, as there will be no reason to celebrate for Brewers fans here in October.

The Cincinnati Reds fans may already have just the thing to help their season…

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…their very own easy button. No not because your going to walk away with the division, but because it’s going to be such hard work to stay up with the leading team, you’ll need something to make the occasional day seem easy.

The St. Louis Cardinals fans are going to enjoy another runaway year, the biggest problem for the STL fans is their unfortunate grasp on reality, so for that you will need your very own…

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St. Louis Cardinals ‘Virtual Reality’ machine, because of the delusions of a World Series you will need this machine to fulfill that fantasy, otherwise there may be suicidal tendencies, when a team from the East crushes your dreams as they move into the World Series. Now obviously this is all predicated on the fact that the player known as ‘Poo-hole’ doesn’t end up on the DL with back problems and of course that the now highest paid ‘butterfingers’ can actually catch a fly ball to left field.

any sarcasm is not meant to offend,
unless it does, then consider the possibilities of more during the
season.

trademarks,

trade names,
copyrights and patents are the property of their respective owners.

 

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It’s Time….

…to spring into action, players
have had a chance to wipe away the cobwebs, meets old friends, get
introduced to new ones, have their memories jogged on which base is
which, and figure out which shoe goes on which foot.

This week is the week that interaction
between teams begins, this week is the start of old and new rivalries.
It may only be spring training games, but it will give us a hint
of what’s to come, it will let us see who’s here to play and who’s here
to wing it.

The Phillies bring a core of
players which in essence is the strongest it’s had over the last few
years, some new additions, even a re-addition to what was already a
solid base of players. This is definitely the start of what should be an
interesting year all around baseball.

For the Phillies, question marks
will surround the likes of Lidge and Hamels, not just at
the start of the season, but all season long. The media will be waiting
to pounce on the first sign of anything that may show a reduced
performance, in my opinion Hamels will do just fine, for me the
one to watch will be Lidge, even though he will have a better
year than last year, (which shouldn’t be hard to do), he will
have just a mediocre year and hopefully Charlie will have him on
a shorter leash than he did last year.

I am sure it will not take Polanco
long to get his footing at 3rd base and become a dominant 3rd base
player, he is a familiar figure to the organization as are they to him.
It’s looking as if Polanco will be the only addition to last
year’s starting line-up in the field, the rest of the infield and
outfield should be more than accustomed to each other by now. We should
get a chance to see the new additions to the bench during this month and
some of the potential prospects, even though the farm system is a little
depleted with the acquisitions over the last couple of years.

We will definitely get a chance to see
the star acquisition Roy Halladay as he is set to square off against CC
in the opener against the Yankees this week, as with all spring training
games, we shouldn’t expect too much from him, after all we’d like to see
him still throwing maximum innings come October.

Around Baseball

Not too much to say at this point, just
waiting for the St Louis Cardinals to announce Pete Rose
as the players investment coach, following the announcement of McGwire
as the hitting coach, I am sure Pujols and Holliday will
be looking to him for inspiration.

 any
sarcasm is not meant to offend, unless it does, then consider the
possibilities of more during the season.

 


Final Countdown…

 

Since my last post some
things happened that should have happened and some things happened that
were unlikely to happen. They are almost irrelevant since they all would
have happened eventually.

If you understood that psycho
babble then you need read no further, alternatively, just for the hell
of it you could keep on reading just to find out if you analyzed and
decoded my psychotic ramblings about the weeks changes in the divisions.

AL East

As much as it pains me to
read the constant joyous writings of my preferred Yankee
bloggers
, I have to admit, I have all week continued to torture
myself by reading the constant jubilations of such bloggers who have
shown their humor, while proving a contagious sickness exists among Yankee
fans, blogging of their unambiguous support during a week which has seen
the Yankees clinching a playoff berth, to actually winning
the AL east division
,  while enjoying a 5 game winning streak.
When less than a week ago the Yankees magic number was 9
and it looked as though it may take them into the middle of this week to
finalize the division, they did it all in 6 days and I am sure that
there are some Yankee fans who will become even more
delusional about 6 days of work and a day of rest.

AL Central

The Detroit Tigers
are probably the only divisional leading team that while reducing the
magic  number have also managed to reduced the division lead and
with a series starting against the second place Twins, the
Tigers are in jeopardy of losing that slim lead and being
classified as the American League’s choke artist’s much the same as the New
York Mets
are in the National League. The Tigers are
just a .500 team at home this year when facing the Twins
which could mean they will stay as is, in the division, unless the Twins
have a little more desire and fight than the Tigers.
This is definitely going to go down to the last couple of games of the
season. With the Tigers being 5-5 over their last 10
games
and the Twins being 8-2 over their last 10
games
, I have to say the edge goes to the Twins.

AL West

Although the Angels
haven’t clinched yet their magic number is down to 2 and like Detroit
they start a 4 games series against the second place team. This series
is a little different though, the Angels only need to take
1 out of 4 to win the division, in fact they only need to take 2 out of
their last 7 games. Now you wouldn’t think that would be too much of a
challenge, however some Angels fans must be biting their
nails this week, since the Angels lost the mid month make
up game to the Yankees they have been on a somewhat
downward spiral. Still I think 2 games out of the next 7 is a comfortable
task for the Angels and will become division
champions before the end of the week.

NL
East

The Phillies
having completed a 10 game road trip going just 5-5, due to more bullpen
woes, they have managed to reduce their magic number to 3 and
eliminated the Marlins from the divisional race, however
the Braves are still hanging around. The Phillies
have their final 7 games at home and although they close out the season
hosting the Marlins who are sure to be looking to extract
revenge, I believe the Phillies will have clinched the
division before that series gets underway.

NL
Central

The Cardinals
had the least amount of work to do last week to clinch the division and
although they only went 5-5 during their last 10 games managed to seal
the division championship, however one noticeable thing has come to
light during the celebrations the Cardinals enjoyed…

…this picture of Holliday
and Pujols, who else thinks this makes the pride and joy of at
least half of RSBS
look gay, it must raise the question "What is Albert’s right hand
gripping or fondling?"
. If you didn’t know they were in the clubhouse
celebrating then you would think they were just exiting a club somewhere
in San Francisco, maybe. Okay, as unlikely as this maybe,
since he’s married with 3 kids and a devout
Christian,
he certainly has that look.

AL
West

The Dodgers
having clinched a post season place are still looking to win the division
this week. In fact they should be able to seal the deal with the
breakfast meeting against the Pirates today.

AL
Wild Card

The BoSox have
all but taken this, with the few games they have left the Rangers
will find it very hard to make a run now even with the Red Sox at
the start of a losing streak, they themselves are doing no better. The Red
Sox
should have this clinched by the end of the week.

NL
Wild Card

Like the AL Central
race this is a close one, and will probably go down to the final weekend
of play. The Rockies may have the upper hand, but are only
2 1/2 games up on the HOT Braves at the moment.
While the Rockies play host to the Brewers,
which will be tough, especially as the Brewers just
completed a good series against the Phillies, the Braves
are hosting the Marlins, who have just been ousted from
the division race by the Mets. Look for the late charge
from the Braves to come through and clinch this Wild
Card.

 

Streaks
Win
streaks
Braves with 6 games  and the Yankees
with 5 games. Losing streaksBaltimore with 10
games.

Spoilers

the Mets have killed what was left of the Marlins hopes
the CWS have prevented the Tigers
from getting any kind of lead built up…

Race… the
tightest race is still the AL Central, with the Tigers
poised to crumble against the Twins. The NL Wild
Card
should see the Braves over take the Rockies
and clinch this coming weekend.

My message to the Phillies:

 


Phils take series finale from Cards 9-2, Jays reject Phillies counter offer…

For me the important part of today was another win, which in reality is what gets you to another post season, and without getting to the post season you can’t win another World Series.

In a game that had a freaky 1st inning, yes for me it was freaky, it’s not often you see the top of the 1st score a run and move a runner from 1st to 2nd on a fly ball, well it happened, but that wasn’t the freaky part, the bottom of the 2nd, it all happened again, exactly the same, it was like one of those if you can do it so can wee things from the movies. it looked as though it would be a very nail bitting game, by the end of the top of the 5th inning. It was just 3-2 Phillies, but the bottom of the 5th inning produced the 2nd 2 run homer from the Phillies by way of a deep to centerfield shot that hit the top of the center blanton.jpgfield batters-eye wall from Ryan Howard, at that point I felt with Joe Blanton on the mound the Phils were on there way to a victory. The game had the Phillies hitting 4, 2 run homers from Utley, Howard, Rollins and Ibanez….coupled with the first inning run it gave the Phillies another hard hitting win.

Even with the long balls and the double plays, for me the guy that made today was Joe Blanton he came into todays game with an ERA of just 0.83 for the month of July, and today he showed us why, he continued to get his pitches in the right location, keeping hitters off the bases. He went a solid 8 innings, giving up just 7 hits and 2 runs, while walking 1 and striking out 6…. The last 3 batters he faced just put an exclamation point on his perfomance, striking out in order, Lugo, Pujols and Holliday to end the top of the 8th. This is the type of trade deadline acquisition that has helped the Phillies. He’s not a media man, he’s not a look at me type guy, he goes out there and gets the job done and he works hard between his starts. I am not saying he’s better or worse than anyone else, my point is as far as acquiring someone, this guy was one of the better mid-season acquisitions the Phillies have made over the past few years. Well Done Joe keep it going through August….

 

So the Blue Jays turned down the counter offer the Phillies made for Roy Halladay, that is understandable, you see there are other teams still making offers and they want to get the maximum they can for him, the fact is other teams now know what they won’t except, so they have a lead role to offer something better than the Phillies offered. There are also reports that the Angels recieved a list of demands from the Jays for Halladay to go to them, it is reported that they like the Phils believe the asking price is too high.

I have read a lot of comments on blogs lately regarding this subject, me personally I am at the point where I say if they don’t like what we are prepared to give then walk away from the deal. Lots of people think Halladay is going to bring us another World Series, well he won’t, it’s a team thing, yes he does have the stats that say he will help the Phillies in acheiving that goal, but for me any trade is risky, regardless, some say the risk is minimal for the Phillies, on paper that maybe, but in reality, no one knows for sure, because there are no guarantees.

It would be nice to add to our starting rotation, in a manner that will improve it, not just add to it with more #4 and #5 rotation pitchers. I would like to see a serious consideration given to Lee at Cleveland, no he’s not Halladay, but he’s more affordable and would still increase our chance of another World Series.

So for all those commenters on the Halladay stories that say the Phillies blew it by rejecting the Jays outlandish request, I say this —- now you’ve got more days to whine, complain, attack management and continuously comment as if it was your discision and that you believe you are the almanac and crystal ball of baseball, and when others dont agree with you, you still have time to turn your frustrations out on them and start bad mouthing each other in the comments of a news story that most people have read and moved on from, sometimes days, but definately hours before you’ve started insulting each other.

It’s off to Arizona for the Phillies, and then onto the west coast for a road trip that will take us into August and past the trade deadline, so who will join the Phillies on the road, anyone or no one???


Phillies Slam Cards, Tie Series 1-1…

Yesterday the Phillies posted 14 runs, but the Cards out hit the Phillies 14-15. It is clearly evident the Cards are team on a mission, and that mission is to get to the post season.

The bottom of the 1st is when the Phillies started the onslaught, driving in 3 runs off Kyle Lohse, the former Philly. The Cardinals, like the Phillies never give up without a fight, top of the 2nd inning they started their come back run at the Phightins, Lopez was able to hold them to just 1 run, the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings saw the Cardinals post runs to the board giving them a 4-3 lead, it caould be that something was said in the dougout, or could be that the Phils players just get their jroll.jpggroove back, bottom of the 6th with a hit and a couple of walks the bases were loaded for J-Roll, who had been running an O-fer with bases loaded this year, today would be different, with his short swift swing, Rollins launched the ball to right field and it just kept going over the fence and into the stands…. GRAND SLAM HOME RUN JIMMY ROLLINS… things were going right for the Phillies and when J-Roll is hot the Phillies are hot, Motte had that,’Ican’t believe I threw that pitch’ look upon his face… a fiercesome looking pitcher that Motte is, pitched to Victorino, while Jimmy was still taking his congratulatory cheers from the crowd, and then the unthinkable happened, Victorino lauched the ball deep to right center field for back to back home runs off Motte, the Cards somehow managed to quieten the Phils bats and get out of the inning leaving the Phils with a 4 run lead.

Top of the 7th with Chan Ho Park on the mound and Lugo at the plate, some one in the stands decided to play the fool and shine a green laser pointer at Lugo, this is one of the worst things you can do to a hitter, take his clear vision away,
greenlight.jpgthe results can be nothing more than deadly
Lugo was eventually struck out on a good breaking ball from Park, but it certainly doesn’t take away the fact that there would have been some part of him still looking for that green light. It didn’t stop there, with Pujols at the plate the light re-appeared, this time the umps put a halt to the game and confered with the Phillies dugout who had security trying to locate the fan responsible… This does nothing more than add to the already tainted reputation of Philadelphia fans, regardless of the sport, not only should this person be barred from sporting events in Philadelphia, but anyone with him that allowed it to happen should suffer the same fate. My suprise was that with all the cameras there, and the fact that Lugo had made people aware of it, was that no one was able to spot who was doing it, the search seemed to have the effect of stopping this person from doing it anymore, still they should be found and punished.

The Cardinals did manage to score another run in the top of the 7th, but the bottom half of the 7th brought on another onslaught from the Phillies, with hits a plenty the Phils drove in another 6 runs making it 14-5.

St. Louis tried to start a comeback in the 9th, but was finally held to just 1 run, giving the Phillies a 14-6 victory.

There were moments in this game when, personally I thought Ankiel
 
ankiel.jpgwas going to single handedly prevent the Phillies from winning this game, he made 2 tremendous catches, 1 tight against the outfield wall and the other where he saved a home run off the bat of Werth. Following the last series between with Cards and Phils, we all know how hard he plays.

As usual both Holliday and Lugo hit the Phillies well, if the Phils hadn’t recieved some of the same luck the Cardinals experienced Friday, they could have very easily lost this one.

The Phils and Cards go at it again today, and to be honest, it’s anybodys game. Wellemeyer is on the mound for St. Louis looking for his 8th win to give him a .500 record on the year, while the Phillies have the workhorse Blanton starting and he’ll be trying to keep the Phil’s with an above .500 record at home this year, while looking to remain unbeaten in July. He is currently running a 0.83 ERA in the month of July through 21.2 innings of work.

With less than an hour to first pitch, it’s time for me to get ready for the ball game, lets hope it’s another Phillies win


Phillies Trumped by Cards…

As a Phillies fan there is not much you can say about this game, it wasn’t that anyone didn’t play hard, it was one of those games where everything was going right for the opposition. If anything, the only negative was we left 10 men on base.

Happ actually pitched very well, he didn’t make very many bad pitches, if any, the 6th inning turned into one of those innings where, broken bat hits, bloop hits all fell in just the right place for the Cards. Every team gets those games, last night it was the Cards turn to enjoy one.

The funny thing about that game was that the score was 8-1 and yet the Cards actually drove in 9 runs, evidently they must have felt they couldn’t score enough of their own runs, so they brought a Phillies player in from 3rd base on a pitch that just got away from Molina.

In light of the fact that there was nothing really exciting and nothing that really stood out in that game I thought I would offer a welcome to the 2 newest players on the Cards team, just to help them out in getting acclimatised with the new ball club they have joined….

Luckily for the Cards, Holliday was in New York, so a quick train ride was all he needed, and he was actually the main drive of their offence, Lugo also somehow found his way to CBP and managed to pick up a couple of hits and runs.

Personally I am not sure the cost to the Cards for what is probably a 2 month bat for for hire will be worth it in the long run, but we will see as the last couple of months of the regular season is almost upon us.

To help at least one of them get to know the club they have joined, here are some helpfull facts they will need to know and learn…..

 

First you will need to understand that no longer will you be seen as a GOD amoung players, you will never get the #5 shirt in St. Louis, you will not be allowed to stare up into the sky and pretend you are summoning the almighty…

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That job is only allowed by the person you will now refer to as GOD, he is the only one allowed to wear the #5, anyone else caught trying to wear the #5 or summon the Almighty will be traded, here is your NEW GOD get to know him

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You will be required to learn the art of the Cardinals congratulatory hand shake, this will be practiced at all times, it is part of the Cardinals way of life and has been practiced for years.

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Once you have learned this, the Cardinals method, and you are as good at this as you are hitting, you will be rewarded, if you become exceptional at this and help the Cards to the post season you will be rewarded by your new GOD, you will be required to SMILE and enjoy your reward.

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We hope you enjoy you 2 month rental agreement with your new club…

This blog was made with the intent of light hearted humor, no animals were hurt in the making of this blog, some images may have been slightly altered to give the effects of the story, in no way does this blog imply anything about anyone, we ask you to draw your own conclusions and hopefully laugh or smile, if at anytime a Cardinal fan has been offended while reading this blog then…. okay, really we don’t give a flying ……:-)