2010 Phillies Year in Review

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
during 2010….

 

Here’s hoping you all have a very happy and safe New Year….

 


Visitng Cy Young – finale

Phillies Outside

My last stop on the small excursion to find out more on the life
and times of Cy Young took me to Newcomerstown, Ohio. A small town that is still
within Tuscarawas County, Ohio and sits at the intersection of Interstate 77 and
State Route 36.

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first encounter with this town would include 3 gas stations and a McDonalds, it
was at the McDonalds that you first see signs of Cy Young, where they have
images hanging on their walls, for McDonalds that’s a nice touch.

I headed into the town and discovered somewhere there was a
museum/room dedicated to Cy Young, but locals I spoke to, either pointed me to
the baseball field or looked confused as to who I was talking about.

I chose to head to the ball field I had been directed to, and
this is where I found the State Historical Marker. This was the site of a Little
League ball field, since it was off season and the weather had turned very cold
the field was looking a little worse for wear, although it was mostly leaves and
wind assisted debris that had blown into the area.

At the entrance of this ball field was a nice monument to the
late great Mr Young….

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….as you can see the monument was set at what would be the
pitchers mound of a fake baseball diamond, the white stone in the ground closest
has the words ‘Home Plate’ etched into it. This Little League field is over
looked by SR 36 and is right at one of the main entrances to the town.

I further later discovered the town has a ‘Cy Young Day’ once a
year with a festival that celebrates the life of this great man, I will try and
find out when this is for next year and may make the effort to visit the
festival.

 

Hot Stove – RumorMill

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fact that Jayson Werth is still a free agent is giving media and bloggers
a like the ammunition to claim he is close to a deal with the Phillies, where as
I my unnamed sources tell me this is not going to happen. The problem is Werth
and Boras think he is a 6 or 7 year signing with a $16M to $20M price tag, this
would be like paying a designer price for a Walmart product. It would be good
for a year, maybe, but then you may as well throw it away.

The only club who should be looking to pay over the odds, or
current designer prices for last years model is the Yankees, it’s not that Jeter
is that good of a Short Stop, I think every non Yankee fan knows his Gold Glove
Award this year was without question a joke, don’t get me wrong, he is a very
good Short Stop, but the Yankees aren’t looking to sign him just as a Short
Stop, they are looking to sign a Yankee icon, someone who will help the team and
the ‘Yankee brand’ on and off the field.

When you compare these two free agents, then signing Jeter is of
greater value to the Yankees than the Phillies signing Werth. The Phillies need
to use their resources elsewhere, the bull pen needs help and maybe another SP
instead of Kendrick.

 


Mighty Media !

Phillies Outside

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….

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….I am sure one of these is more than fitting for those media
people being the news instead of reporting it.

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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.


Hot Stove is here ….

Phillies Outside

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agency is officially here, players are now out there looking for a new location,
or rather, their agents are doing all the work while the players actually do
nothing. It seems like it maybe a tough concept for some fans to grasp, the off
season and free agency can after all be very complex.

There is free agent players, quite a few and there are not so
many ball clubs, some clubs will seek out some players, while other players
agents will be having to actually earn their money to find them a new position.

We get those fans complaining that they should keep certain
players, while releasing others. These are the fans that believe the club can
choose which players get to go into free agency, it seems they don’t grasp the
concept of current contracts and no contracts, so just cause you don’t like a
player you cant automatically put them into free agency and keep the ones you
like, this isn’t ‘fantasy baseball’.

Let the games begin, let the fans get their highs and lows from
the rumor mill of who’s going where and let the Buster Onley’s of this media
frenzy be exposed, so us bloggers can have a new target of ridicule. In the
meantime it’s Boras and his juggling act, how much he wants to make this off
season.

For us simple people, it’s hitting Monster, mailing resumes,
pounding the streets and hoping some hiring manager actually reads a resume
instead of looking at the pictures. It’s okay for people to say Jamie Moyer is
past his prime and should retire, but in the real world working past the age of
48 is normal, so just because someone is in their 50’s or beyond applies for a
job don’t automatically disregard them, age doesn’t automatically mean your
washed up. Although I guess you can’t be picky like the ball players, being a
gofer for peanuts is better than nothing, insulting it may be, but better than
nothing.

Enjoy your winter blues and the anticipation of baseball’s Hot
Stove….


HAPPY NEW YEAR…

Happy New Year to all, yes even
Yankee fans… It’s a new year and spring training is just around the
corner, which means everyone is back to even, well for the first day of
baseball anyway, after that it’s anyone’s guess as to who ends up where.
It’s to early for predictions, for me anyway, but I have already had a
glimpse into the future as this picture was taken at 12:48am January 1st
2010 and I actually received it at 7:48pm December 31st 2009, so here is
my son, Dave and daughter-in-law , Lucy as I saw them in the future, as
you can see a small amount of motion blur from traveling through time,
that or the celebratory New Years beverages had gotten the best of
them…

 …it’s a little soon
for me to look further into the future and come up with predictions for
the coming season, but it’s not to late to have a glimpse of how I saw
2009, a few images I used in my blog during 2009
(images
in no particular order)

 

 

 

 


Seasonal Stuff….

The holiday season is on us and Christmas
Day is almost here, some people are feeling charitable, some not so and
others are in full swing of the holiday season.

For
the Philadelphia Phillies fans it’s been a wonderful Halladay
time. I admit it, I didn’t think the Phillies would be able to swing the
deal and thought that the Red Sox and Yankees would be in a bidding war
for Halladay, it was also my contention that this bidding war
would make Toronto hold onto Halladay till July 2010. How
wrong was I, and I am happy to say I was wrong,
the fact that Roy
Halladay
even signed an extension for what appears to be below
market value for his talents shows that he has the Christmas spirit and
gave the fans in Philadelphia an early gift…

…Thanks Roy… and a Merry Christmas to
you too, here’s hoping you get your long sought after ring at the end of
the 2010 season.

 

The Yankees have added some
outfielders and made the team for 2010 just as formidable as the one
that won it all in 2009. The player that didn’t resign though, Johnny
Damon has some time to reflect on what he will do in 2010, in just a
couple of months he has gone from a entertaining fans in the World
Series to the World Wrestling Entertainment, I am guessing this was to
be expected, since he was dreaming of this during the World Series,
using a dominant WWE superstars entrance music when he would come to the
plate during the World Series, if you didn’t know or didn’t hear about
it, he was using the music of Batista from the WWE, apparently
Damon
is an ‘avid‘ member of the ‘WWE Universe’. Seen here
with Batista, it’s amazing how small Damon actually appears, almost as
small as his mentality.

 I am sure that Johnny
will get to play somewhere in 2010, even if it is in the WWE…

Other little known news items that caught
my eye over the last couple of weeks….

Apple – If you own an Apple product,
beware, it seems that some authorized service locations have refused
warranty work due to the appearance of possible contamination by
cigarette smoke, Yes under the rules laid out by OSHA the residue left
by cigarette smoke is a biohazard, as is talc and calcium. A word of
warning be careful with your laptops, iPhones or any other Apple
product.

Microsoft – Yes you’ve all heard
it, Word and Office will cease to be sold on January 11th, due to a
court ruling, based on some patent infringement for ‘xml coding’, dream
on, it’ll never happen, you know Microsoft will resolve the issue with
time to spare.

Verizon – Tells the FCC the
additional charges added to the ETF (early termination fee) are due to
‘because they want to’ and the reasoning for charges by accidentally
opening a web browser on a phone, without the browser package, are ‘in
the agreement’, ‘if you don’t like it go else where’ that’s when the ETF
becomes more apparent. (just glad I have AT&T)

Santa
Claus –
Is in as much trouble as the rest of us, it seems the
economy is even affecting the guy that has the abilities to deliver
faster and further than UPS and Fed-Ex combined. Santa dropped by the
Sun Trust bank in Nashville, Tennessee and made a withdrawal with the
aid of a gun, claiming he needed the money to pay his elves, he promptly
stuffed the money in his red sack and fled, no eye witnesses saw a
sleigh and reindeer though…

Great
Britain
has banned the use of Photoshop when used to make models
appear improved in and advertisement and claim it’s due to the product
they are trying to sell, i.e. weight loss, face creams etc.

Some ‘THANKS’ and ‘Seasonal Wishes’

I would like to give my sincere thanks
and seasonal wishes for a safe Christmas and New Year to all the members
of both the US and British Armed Forces serving their respective
countries with honor (honour).

Finally
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my
fellow bloggers, eat, drink and be merry, just don’t drive too.

I
leave you all with another special Christmas song, the chorus I have
used for a few years now as a ring tone this time of year, if you
haven’t heard this one it’s freakin hilarious (I think so anyway), it’s
done by an Australian comedian, Kevin Wilson… I tried to find one with
him actually singing the song live, but was unable, this video that
someone put together, I though was kind of fitting. WARNING – The
contents of this video contain language not suitable for minors.

HO, HO, HO….


A Time of Confusion…

 

The last few weeks have been a confusing
time for a lot of people, with talks of players going here and there, we
now have to make sense of the moves that have happened and look to see
if teams will continue to confuse with more moves before
spring training places are set.

Its not just baseball that has had confusion,
lets face it if your not already tired of hearing about Tiger Woods then
you should be, it’s so much what happened as the number of women that
have come out of there hiding places to claim notoriety. Woods has been
crucified more than Clinton, so it seems that we hold sports
personalities to a higher standard than any of our politicians. The
media give no consideration to the truth of anything, if a woman that
can place herself in close proximity to Woods at anytime over the last
few years, lays claim to an affair with him or a one night stand then
she must be telling the truth. Lets face it, nothing is 100%, even voice
messages and text messages are no guarantee, anyone with any ounce of
knowledge can fake any type of electronic transmission as easily as some
of these women are sure to have faked orgasms and stories.

I am sure there would be more women
coming forward if only Google was more positive with the search
responses, because what we haven’t heard of, is those women who googled
Tiger only to find there pending claim to fame would be a character from
a cereal maker.

Yes they’re the women who are confused
why the others who actually came forward would want this character on
their resume of conquests.

There’s confusion in the NFL,
Bill Belichick sent players home for arriving late to practice, yep
that’ll teach ’em, give ’em the day off. The Browns
actually beat the Steelers, how is that not confusing, and if that
wasn’t enough for sports fans in Cleveland, the powers to be decided to
replace the Indians manager with someone no better, in comes Manny Acta,
now there is something very confusing about Manny, allegedly,
according to Roger anyway.

 

 

The Phillies, however haven’t confused me
too much, they seem to have gone through the winter meetings with the
kind of laid back approach we are used to seeing over the last few
years. Its almost a mirror of the way Charlie Manuel has led the ball
club to it’s current high standards and it looks as though Ruben Amaro
Jr, is moving in the right direction to get the Phillies back to the
World Series for the 3rd year in a row.

Yes I know it’s only December and spring
training is some way off, and yes, we have to endure the rants and raves
of the NFL before we even see arrivals at spring training camp, but I
have no doubts at this point that the Phillies will be in a position to
make a run at the ultimate goal again in 2010.

So far they have managed to secure an
excellent player for 3rd base at the expense of the Tigers,

(Detroit Tigers not Tiger Woods or
Tony the Tiger)
the
welcoming back into the Phillies club house of Placido Polanco was a definite
step up, although Pedro Feliz was a good solid 3rd baseman, I believe
Polanco will be better and will definitely produce more offense.

With bench players Ben Francisco and
Gregg Dobbs already proven to be great assets for the Phillies, the
additions of Brian Schneider, Juan Castro and Ross Gload have given the
Phillies a group of bench players that can be called upon when needed
with confidence.

The only confusion would be the lack of
moves to build a bullpen suited to support the strong lineup of
players that are now assembled. Yes, there is still plenty of time, but
players are beginning to become unavailable. I had thought a favorite of
mine may be in a position to return to the Phillies, but it seems the
Brewers have already made a deal to prevent that from happening by
signing Randy Wolf, whom I think would have been worthwhile back
in a Phillies uniform.

The Roy
Halladay
saga continues, with pundits still placing the Phillies
near the top of the list of possibles, personally I still think Halladay is too
pricey and will still be on the trading block come July.

It
looks as though Chan Ho Park will move on to another team, since
talks seem to have stalled with the Phillies and Scott Eyre is doubtful.
The Phillies still have issues with Lidge, Moyer and Romero to resolve
with regard to injuries and performance so they need some assistance in
the bullpen that is not already there.

Some
suggestions for the front office to consider…

Joe
Beimel, Kiko Calero, Josh Fogg, Jon Garland, John Smoltz,
Russ Springer and Luis Vizcaino, all of which have their own issues, but
any of them could be of assistance to the Phillies bullpen which was
badly beaten up at times in 2009. Although non of them jump out at you I
think Beimel is a good lefty and can be used in situations left open by
Eyre and Romero.

(Getty
images)

Smoltz is obviously a good
addition to any pitching staff and I think will have a good 2010 given
the chance, he also has the mentality to start or close given the
chance, he is over his injury and showed good stuff for the Cards at the
end of 2009, the others you could almost just pick a name out of a hat
and get something similar from, although some may be a little more
durable than others.

It’s 2 weeks to Christmas and this
time of year that brings back memories and creates new ones for
everyone, some good and some bad obviously, but I hope everyone can
focus on the good ones. For me one there is always one song that makes
me realize Christmas is actual here, it first hit the UK charts in 1973
and is probably the greatest Christmas single in the UK, has been
re-released every decade since then and covered by a number of different
artists over the years. For those who weren’t even thought of back in
1973 here is a glimpse of the number one music show in the UK in ’73
with what were the two most popular radio DJ’s as presenters. Freaky how
times change, but I still love the song.

Now it feels like Christmas
is getting close….