Well That SUCKED!!

Phillies Outside

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wasn’t quite the ending I had hoped for this season, but none the less it
happened, one of the beauties of baseball is the outcome is unpredictable. Once
gain the Phillies hurt themselves with too many missed opportunities, the blame
game is rife among Phillie fans, from the fact that they let Cliff Lee go at the
end of last season, to the money they gave Ryan Howard.

It’s a fact that Howard should not have stood with his bat on
his shoulder and watched a low pitch get called a strike, after all isn’t
hitting that ball why he’s paid mega bucks. The fact is it should not have come
down to that ball, the Phillies were a better team than that, they just didn’t
deliver.

For me, I just think they got too comfortable after the sweep of
the Reds, the 7 day rest, put them all into that non- aggressive mode we’ve seen
on and off all season long. It wasn’t just the hitters, the pitchers looked like
they were still in spring training. What’s done is done, it’s easy to sit back
and find fault with the things that went wrong, it’s a little harder to predict
them before they occur. Lets face it, most of the analysts had the New York Mets
and the Atlanta Braves as the 2 top teams in the NL East before this season got
underway.

With the end of the 2010 season comes the end of some players
roles with the Phillies, one in particular, Jayson Werth. Some think he may
re-sign with the Phillies, but my guess is he’s done. Amaro, doesn’t like
pressure from Boras, and with at least a 15 – 17 million dollar price tag, it’s
not going to happen.

A number of Phillie fans see Werth as someone to keep, someone
they invest good money with for the years ahead, which is nothing more than
being sentimental about the team of players. It’s time for him to go, he came to
the Phillies as a pretty Werth-less player and in my opinion he’s leaving a
pretty Werth-less player. He had a good year when he was being platooned in
2008, he had a good year in 2009, he first as a full time outfield player, but
this year, was not the type of year you would want to ride the free agent market
on.

I can hear all the whiners, but he hit….  he did this….
he did that….., maybe but he didn’t appear a team player most of the time, he
had too many lapses of concentration and he didn’t hit for **** with RiSP. So I
say, have fun on the free market Jayson Werth and maybe we’ll see you in someone
else’s outfield or maybe you’ll turn out to be just like Johnny Damon, taking
whatever is on offer just to play and fizzle out.

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Phillies going to Vegas ….

– PhilliesOutside –

The popularity contest is over, NL and AL rosters are set, okay not entirely,
there is still the opportunity to vote the final spot on each roster, my choices
are Votto (CIN) in the NL and  Konnerko
(CWS) in the AL, as for who
should be there and who shouldn’t it’s all about personal choice so now it’s set
the managers have to make the best of it.

The hype around  Strasburg continued, you have Charlie Manuel on national television and the best first
question you can come up with is “did you consider Strasburg an option” or words to
that effect. If you have any ounce of intelligence and slight knowledge of baseball,
you know the kid has made 6 starts is not going to the All
Star Game when so many other pitchers have accomplished so much more this
season. To those who claim his 100 mph fast ball is worth him being there, bullsh-it,
after seeing him against the Braves and the Mets, I am convinced the Strasburg
Hyper Interest Tension Syndrome
will dissipate
and die before the season ends, he will be ‘the kid that threw really hard’
for a season and a half maybe, who knows his agent may even be able to swing a
movie about him, cause he has obviously worn out his knee pads convincing the
media sheep to hype this kid up. Kevin Kaduk of the Yahoo Sports Blog “Big
League Stew”
is one of those who plays the reporter hidden inside a
blog, is a prime example of over hyping Strasburg, telling us ‘MLB is
missing out’
, this probably wouldn’t be so laughable if you weren’t actively
promoted by Yahoo as an authority on the MLB and sports.

The media sheep, they get one or two reporters to write it, the rest follow
and there go the bloggers
too
. Of course you have the bias
media
, yes that’s you Fox Sports, who will tell you that the AL won
the ASG voting because of who the fans selected, then there are those who have
chosen to publicly
mock Charlie
for a couple of his picks.

Lets see, Ryan Howard, yes we all know Votto has better
numbers, but he has better numbers than Albert Pujols too, and aren’t the
managers selections there for his amusement, to appease players on his team, after all
Joe Girardi chose A-Rod. Then we have Omar Infante and yes
on first glance I had a dazed look on my face and said “WTF!” then I
saw Chipper Jones’ comment about utility players never get selected, so
good for Charlie for doing his homework, now when a manager has spent
most of the first half of the season relying on utility players to maintain
contention in the division, then this choice makes sense, if indeed this game
does go the extra innings, he now has a player he can use when and where he
wants.

Inside sources, who do not wish to be named, said, the Phillies
organization is close to a deal with a large hotel consortium to appear in Las
Vegas
during the All Star Break, it seems they did such a good job
making the Pittsburgh Pirates look good over the weekend, the
Treasure Island Hotel Casino would like to use them to help increase awareness
of the Treasure Island pirates.

 


Twin Killing Weekend …..

– PhilliesOutside –

As we end a week that has seen the ‘anti-hot’ Phillies
take 2 from 3 off the New York Yankees,
one of the hottest AL teams of the month, we move into the weekend where a
number of people will enjoy the celebrations of Father’s Day or is it Fathers’
Day
, it doesn’t really matter, it’s a day to celebrate fatherhood, or it
could be a day to acknowledge that back in 1916 congress saw the future, it
maybe the only time that evidence points in that direction, but it’s true. In
1916 congress resisted the urge of President Wilson, and would not make Father’s
Day
an officially observed day in fear that it would be ‘commercialized’ didn’t
see that coming.

This weekend sees the Twins in town,
nope, not referring to Jedward, okay no one was thinking that because
like me you probably didn’t have a clue who they were, but if you ‘google’
them you’ll be glad the man in your house doesn’t have them calling him ‘DAD’
or that there not calling you ‘DAD’. It’s possible you may think
they look okay, or you may find them amusing in a sick kind of way, but that’s
probably because there not your kids. If ever there was a case for free
contraception these would get the staring role, these are simple product of an
age where a Playstation or an X-box was the mainstay of parenting and probably
the parents main means of exercise and entertainment, since these two are
obviously a product of the parents secondary means of entertainment or maybe
even an entertainment mishap.

Loose
as a connection as it may be these two are twins and the Phillies
are hosting the Twins this weekend, Friday
got off to a good start with what can only be described as a ‘Twin
Killing’
, after having had the worst month of the clubs history, well it
seemed that way, for the second straight game they got to the starting pitcher
early and knocked in enough runs to get them through the rest of the game for
the win. Staying with the twin format, for the second time this week the Phillies
hit back 2 back home runs, but it was the break out of the Howard Twin
that was the best event of the night, Howard went 4 for 4, 2 homers, a Triple
and a Double, he was a single away from the cycle, but honestly I’ll take the twin
homers
over a single and a homer any day.

The Phillies ended the evening with a 9-5
win, that was attributed to Blanton, who turned in a good start, throwing
5 shut out innings, until eventually surrendering to the power of the Twins
in the 6th and 7th innings, ending his outing on 7 hits and 3 runs.

Let’s
hope the Phillies can continue this
onslaught of new found energy and synchronized hitting and move on from the ‘anti-hot
period into a much more pleasing ‘anti-cold‘ phase or just a plain old scorcher.
For me this weekend will be a time to remember times past with my father,
the picture is 1973, that’s me, my dad and his mum.

It’s a time to share moments, even if they are via satellite, with my kids
and a time to enjoy hearing how my eldest son is preparing for his step up to
fatherhood, expected to occur sometime this coming September. We have already
sent the first round of Phillies baby
clothes to England to aid my future ‘grandson’ in making those
monstrous decisions as to what teams to follow and what colors to wear in
support of said teams as he grows.

The last time we had a via satellite gathering was for my mother’s 80th
birthday last February, it was kind of funny being on a laptop computer screen
moving around a gathering with a bunch of people gazing in at you as if they
were all blind, must be what a baby feels like, although it’s always good to see
how family members are doing, from nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters and even a
few people I had no idea who they were, these I knew exactly who they were…..

 …..from left to right, my eldest son (Dave), daughter-in-law
(Lucy), future daughter-in-law (Toni), Youngest son Tom
and me in the
bottom corner on a laptop screen. This weekend won’t be a mass gathering, it
will be like a lot of other weekends where I get to chat to my son’s and maybe
play a few online games too, (Lucy’s the pregnant one).


Strasburg vs Stanton ….

– PhilliesOutside –

I hear you saying Stanton wasn’t opposing Strasburg last night,
Stanton wasn’t the pitcher for the Pirates, and your right, it was
Stanton vs Strasburg in major league debut’s and although Strasburg
got the over-hyped coverage, personally I think Stanton will do more for
his club in the long run.

It was a day when the world would see the over-hyped Stephen Strasburg pitch
in his long awaited major league debut for the Washington Nationals at home to the
Pittsburgh Pirates, what more could you ask for, oh yeah, a sell out crowd, got that too.
The question is did everyone get their monies worth, most analysts, well
probably all of them will give a resounding ‘YES’ you did, on the night, you probably did, 14 strike outs through 7 innings, okay it’s not perfect,
he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and he threw a lot of pitches really fast. Now any
normal person knows that the majority are going to expect the same if not better
the next time, and the next time, and the next time, and so on and so on, etc.
etc.

This we don’t know if it will happen, we know that the chances are it won’t happen, cause he’ll
come up against a team that loves the fast ball and is hotter than hell at the
plate and he’ll be lucky to go 5 innings, but till then he can bask in his glory
and the Nationals can have the pleasure of knowing that the over-hyped major
league debut, much like most things in Washington, was very well controlled and
we got to see what they wanted us to see.

 

The media over shadowed the major league debut of someone who, I believe,
will end up giving
more to his team and more to baseball in the long run than the over-hyped Strasburg, if you didn’t know the under-hyped
Michael Stanton made his
major league debut for the Florida Marlins in right field last night. The
expectation is that he will give to the Marlins what
Jason Heyward is giving to
the Braves, a young talented outfielder with a bat that can knock them out with
the best of them. He had a really good outing last night, albeit against the
Phillies
pitcher that is in the rotation by default, the fact that J.A. Happ is
still on the DL means Kendrick is still in the rotation, but he is a major
league pitcher, and Stanton came out of the chute swinging and got himself a
base hit in his first at bat, I tip my cap to Michael Stanton, he looked
good and he was far from cocky about his talents, he paid a lot of attention to
the game and other players on the field while he was in the dugout, he should
have no problem keeping his head on
straight and doing what it is he does best, play ball. I’m thinking this year
the Home Run Derby should have a special section that sees some
rookies get in on the action, like, Stanton, Heyward, Donald, Desmond to
mention just some of them.

 

It was also a night that saw the Phillies do something’s that haven’t been
seen for sometime in Philadelphia, all those doubters that didn’t believe it was going to
happen, well it did, During April they ‘did it’ 9 out of 22
times
, during the first
17 days of May they ‘did it’, 8 out of 16 times, May 17th was the last time they
‘did it’, and last night they ‘did it’ again, they scored 7 or more runs in 1 game,
well last night they scored double digit runs, another first since May 17th,
with a few fielding errors the Phillies managed to pull out a win with a come
from behind 8th inning. Carlos Ruiz was the only starter that didn’t hit, but he
drew two walks so he’s forgiven, Ben Francisco had a couple of
fielding errors out in right field that cost the Phillies
runs, but made up for some of that with a timely hit in the 8th to drive in 2
runs, which was all the Phillies would
ultimately need to win, but he was followed by Ibanez who drove in the
final run of the night to give the Phillies
10 runs on 13 hits, Ibanez broke out with a 4 for 5 night, while Howard
and Victorino both hit homers. All in all it was like spring break, it
was…..

….without the boobs.

 

Finally the MLB Draft, I hope one of the best picks this year
will turn out to be Perci Garner, Pick #77 by the Phillies.
Good luck to Perci on his MLB career, from the small town of Dover,
Ohio
.

 


You Can’t See Me ….

– PhilliesOutside –

I guess the rivalry between the BoSox and
Phillies has built somewhat over the last
few years, not to the same extent as between other teams. The stage was set
however for the first game of this weekend series, the opener to inter-league
play for the Phillies, and almost every
major league team.

Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phillies,
although he has pitched well in his last few starts, there is still some
elements in the back of your mind, asking who will show up to pitch tonight. The
fears were dispensed after the first inning hiccup, as he gave up a home run to V-Mart,
who by the way doesn’t look right in a BoSox
uniform, from then on he shut the Red Sox
down through 7 innings allowing just the 1 run on 3 hits and a walk, while he
picked up 8 strike outs.

John Lackey took to the mound for the Red
Sox,
some of the media in Philadelphia
had labeled him as somewhat of a Halladay clone, when he is on his game.
It appeared as though Lackey was on his game and the Phillies
were in trouble through the first 3 innings. Then the bottom of the 4th inning
came and so did Ryan Howard, who started the Phillies
offense with a home run to left field, then it was like the Boston
Red Sox
outfield was playing a game of….

….‘now you see me now you don’t’ or was it WWE‘s
John Cena’s ‘You Can’t See Me’ they lost a fly ball from Jayson
Werth
somewhere in the night sky and lights, from then on it was all Phillies
who as a team ended the day with 5 runs on 9 hits, winning the first game by a
score of 5-1. The big set back for the Phillies was that Jimmy Rollins disappeared
into the dressing rooms half way through the game after feeling a twinge from
his right calf muscle. Rollins has just returned from the DL after the strain to
his calf put him there earlier in the season, Rollins will be day to day at the
moment.

Tonight the Phillies send Kendrick
to the mound, Kendrick has had a number of shaky starts this year, but
his last 3 have been fairly strong, inline with most 5th place rotation guys.
The Red Sox have the right handed Matsuzaka
who has really only had one good outing this year against the Blue
Jays
, he has given up more hits than innings pitched and in 4 games
has served up 19 runs to the opposition.

We all expect our teams to win, but after the was the Phillies
offense failed to produce against both the Pirates and the Cubs,
we must realize you can’t win them all, just be nice to win the more than the
other teams.

 


Howard Slams Pirates ….

– PhilliesOutside –

The Phillies hosted the Pirates in the first of 2 games during this weeks mish mash of
games, this year the Phillies are lucky, previously they have been on the road
for these stupid series that are only 2 games, this year they get to play host
all in the same week.

There was no great revelations last night, Kyle Kendrick, did well
pitching a good game, but then can you really judge how good or bad a pitcher is
against the Pirates, okay you can judge how bad a guy pitches. Now I have
no intention of knocking the Pirates and their abilities too much this
year, because I would like them to do well, yes I would like them to end the
season above .500 this year. This however doesn’t change the fact that a pitcher
who when performing slightly above average or better should be able to beat the Pirates,
providing the teams offense play along.

So far this season some teams, like every year are struggling, and media,
bloggers and fans in general start to call for the coach to be ousted, I read
recently that teams such as the Cubs, ChiSox,
Royals and even the New
York Mets
have fallen into this category, however I believe all to
quickly the pressure is applied to the manager. There is evidence to suggest
that in some cases this is true, as is the case with the Washington
Nationals
, see then now and with the old coach, this may not be the
best litmus test but it proves the manager can have some bearing on the matter.
I also believe other coaches play a
role, and for me the biggest role of the other coaches is the pitching coach, 2
guys I believe should be ousted and be replaced while the season is young enough
to salvage would be Joe Kerrigan of the Pirates and Rick
Peterson
of the Brewers, I don’t think I
have made it a secret that I detest Kerrigan as a pitching coach, I never
liked him even when he was an analyst on Comcast and then when he wormed
his way into a job with Bowa at the Phillies I liked him even less
and rumor has it that he wasn’t much liked by any of the pitchers at Philadelphia
either. Just last night is a clear example, I know there arguments for this and
against, but a lot of coaches seem to do it when they don’t need too. Everyone
knows Taschner was with the Phillies
and at times he had a love/hate relationship with them, so why would you punish
him and send him to the mound at time when your down 8-2 and lets face it a
situational leftie isn’t going to make any difference, and what happens, yep,
the same as always the guy loads the bases and gives up a slam to the one guy
who has difficulty hitting lefties. So I say this to the Pirates get rid
of Kerrigan before he does so much damage to you pitching staff you have
to completely rebuild your pitching capabilties.

The
Brewers, I think know they have a problem,
but are probably having issues on how to fix it, which is replace Peterson. I
mentioned Peterson in yesterdays post, because it seemed like the catcher
Zaun, has issues with him, I don’t know if he does or doesn’t, but there
is just something strange about the guy and it didn’t look as though he had much
respect in the dugout during any of the games against the Phillies.
The fact that he was with the A’s and the Mets
with Macha and Randolph respectively tells me he is there because
these guys employed the management 101 rule of surrounding yourself with those
you know and that are going to have your back in a time of crisis, cause i don’t
think this guy would get a pitcher coaching job on an open market with just his
resume from the A’s and Mets.
I say the same to the Brewers, dump this guy
before you have to dump your pitching staff for a new one.

There were something’s that came out of last nights game for the Phillies,
with Jimmy Rollins returning so his energy returned to the club as well,
the guys were energized before, but this was like adding the energizer bunny,
the running game started again, hitting in the 3, 4 and 5 spots. Chase Utley
came up missing, he developed flu-like symptoms and went home, hopefully he’ll
be back today or tomorrow. Carlos Ruiz returned to the line-up behind the
plate, it doesn’t matter how good the back-up catcher maybe, there is something
about having your regular guy behind the plate, you get used to the things he
does and the timing of when he does things. Wilson Valdez, was designated
for assignment, after doing a great job filling in for Juan Castro and
ultimately J-Roll, his services were no longer required so he drew the
short straw as they say.

As I mentioned earlier Taschner gave up a slammy to Philadelphia‘s
slammy king….

…his 9th slam in the bigs, it’s almost to the point where
managers will start to walk in a run than pitch to him with the bases loaded,
regardless of his performance against lefties or righties on the mound, this all
goes out the window when the bases are loaded. He also showed he can play small
ball last night too, I just wish people would stop talking about how much
influence Barry Bonds has had on his hitting, because quite frankly,
after the Bonds assist Howard went into a slump, so leave Bonds
out of any accomplishments that Howard has this year.

All zero’s for the start of tonight’s game and if Halladay has
anything to do with it the Pirates will still be on all zeros at the end,
okay now I probably jinxed him, damn…..


Full Moon or Just Weird….

– PhilliesOutside –

The weather in Colorado wasn’t quite the weather one would expect for May
time baseball, so we still have one make up game to play after splitting what
turned out to be a 2 game series with the Rockies. Roy Halladay didn’t get
his
homecoming/birthday win, I am sure the weather being the weather he and all the
Phillies
players are happy to see Colorado disappear as their plane
climbed to
altitudes worthy of leaving Colorado.

I started this post on May 11th, then changed it and changed it and on May
13th got a little further, it’s now an hour before game time on the 14th, so we
are going to change some of the future, present and past tense expressions so
that I can keep most of the post, at least the next 3 paragraphs, after that we’ll try
and jump to current thoughts and hopefully have this posted by
midnight or early Saturday morning.

The Phillies have arrived in Milwaukee for the weekend  and a 3 game series
against the Brewers, at Miller Park, a stones throw from the
Harley museum, a
hop skip and a jump from Chicago or a good 9 to 10 hour drive from me, and yet I
am still not going, sigh!

The first game tonight sees Jamie Moyer take the mound for the Phillies, on a
little extended rest, and a former
Phillies favorite Randy Wolf for the
Brewers. This will either be a pitchers duel in slo-mo or a home
run derby, neither guy has dominating stuff, but when location is close to
perfect either can be un-hittable, unfortunately if they are missing their spots
or if the offense is on key then the ball will be flying everywhere and we could
see, if not both one team hit double digits in runs or at least hits. I guess
this we will see before the nights out, since they are due to start in about
55 minutes at 8:10 pm (EST) or to those 24 hour clock buffs, 20:10 hrs (EST) or
if your adventurous and dealing in global military time then 00:10 hrs Zulu, or
if you were being military and local to the game it would be 19:10 hrs Sierra.

Not sure how I got onto time zone ramblings then, but there does seem to be
some things that just aren’t right with the world as we think we know it.

The
British elections ended in what can only be described as a ‘hung
parliament’
,
not going to explain that one, so google it, but make sure you read the right
answers if your really that interested, cause there are some US American takes
on what it means that are not very accurate.

Some US sports analysts, on the upcoming FIFA World Cup, think that
David
Beckham
has been aligned with the England team to help them defeat the
US squad.
Guys, Beckham is one of the best England players to have graced a soccer field,
if not for his injury, he would more than likely be on the England squad as an
active player, his presence alone will help the team, however, I am not sure his
purpose is to give England an advantage over the USA on June 12th, because quite
honestly if they can’t beat the USA, then they don’t deserve to be in the
tournament.

More natural disasters have occurred in the first 4 months of this year than
I can remember, with earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and volcanoes all causing
more than enough destruction to last us the year.

Even baseball has some freaky things still going on even as we come to the
end of week 6 of the season, so tell me how do these things happen and it not
cause us to wonder if something weird is happening this year to everything.

How does the St. Louis Cardinals get swept at home by the
Houston Astros, who
had this seasons worse start of the year, when they went 0 – 8 and ended the
first 10 games 1 – 9.

The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to scrap together enough wins to reach .500
and still could drop below .500 before the weekend is over, as they play 3 in
San Diego
.

The New York Yankees are playing second fiddle to the
Tampa Bay Rays, who
have the best record in baseball at 24 – 10 as they finish the week out at home
to Seattle.

The New York Mets, Florida
Marlins
, Atlanta Braves are all left in the dust
as they trail the Washington Nationals, who
have managed to match the Phillies
with 20 wins at the start of Friday, and while the Mets
and Marlins go at each others throats the Nats
are in Colorado hoping for no postponements. 

Chicago looks as though it has a double curse, with the White Sox struggling
to have as good a record as the Cubs, who themselves are one of the few teams
living up to expectations, or down to them.

The BoSox, but for the O’s would be the laughing stock of the
AL East, except
they have been making an effort and are now above .500 and a good weekend could
make them challenge for 3rd place, if Toronto continues to suck at home,
especially as the Texas Rangers are in town and riding high a top the
AL West.

Well it’s almost game time so now I’ll watch the Phillies and
Brewers, before
completing this post….

It
came closer to a home run derby than a pitchers duel in slo-mo, with 3 homers from
the Phillies and 3 homers from the Brewers and it all started in the first
inning with 1 on and 2 out Howard hit a bomb deep to give the Phillies a 2 run
lead, after the Phillies scored again to
make it 3 – 0, it was the Brewers turn with
3 home runs in
one inning off Moyer to tie the game up, after that the Phillies never
looked back with Victorino on fire in the lead off spot and Ibanez and Utley
both going deep the Phillies took this first one by a final score of 9 – 5. We
do it all over today on Fox and tomorrow on ESPN, but they won’t be wearing the

70’s uniforms
. The only one who really looked at home was Moyer, who actually
made his major league debut against the Phillies when they were still wearing
this uniform.