whirlwind signing of the NEW number 33, Cliff Lee by the Philadelphia Phillies has
definitely brought out the reactions from fans all around baseball. It is safe
to say the reaction is mixed across the board from those that despise the
signing to those that really love it.
There are however something’s that Phillies fans need to keep
under control and that is over hyping the starting rotation, we all know the fan
base in Philadelphia can turn their love into hate on the toss of a coin. They
can deny it all they want, but deep down they know who they are and it’s those
fans that will be the first to call for Amaro’s head or Charlie to be replaced
when Phillies famous four get swept by a team like the Pirates or Astros.
One more note for the Phillies fans we don’t need a cutesy name
for these four guys, so enough with ‘Phour this’ or ‘that Phour’ the H2O was fun
but lets leave that as a thing of the past it really is ‘water under the
Should we be surprised at the general response from Yankee fans
who say what they will now, the majority thought they had Lee in pinstripes and
now of course the jibes at Lee for going back to Philadelphia are nothing more
than that of a spoiled little brat not getting that Christmas gift they wanted.
They are not the only group of fans that have shown that deep down they despise
Lee for wanting to go where he wanted to go and not where others thought he
For those that still seem to be bewildered by Lee leaving money
on the table to sign with the Phillies, ask LeBron James, he seems to think ‘when
your getting that much money $20Million is nothing, it wont change your life,
it’s about where you want to be after the first $100million’.
Just remember it’s not even January yet, hell any or all of them
could twist an elbow opening Christmas presents, or hurt a rotator cuff carving
the turkey. This is one Phillies fan that wants to enjoy the 2011 season with no
expectations other than to be truly entertained all season long by a
Philadelphia baseball team that has chemistry and energy with every start.
On a final note, what if the Phillies traded Blanton, Kendrick
and whoever could they still land Zack Greinke … ho!ho!ho!
The Phillies brief residence at Yankee stadium came to an end Thursday night.
It was clear when the Phillies entered Yankee stadium on Tuesday that the
Yankees were in the midst of a ‘anti-cold’ streak and the Phillies still
appeared to be enduring the ‘anti-hot’ period.
Some had heralded this inter-league match-up as a re-duel from the 2009 World
Series, even the front page of MLBlogs endeavored to blast us with images of the
Yankees and Phillies, while hoping to drive us to
blogs that could portray this
match-up as a spill over rivalry from last years post-season. The one thing it
did manage to do was show us that the Yankees enjoy a good comedy, they had
moved on from the normal images that would instill you with the need to label
them as the ‘Evil Empire’, moved on to more humorous aspects of being the
Empire’, it was Rick Moranis batting in the 8 hole for the Yankees. Joking
aside, in this time when appearance is normally more important than comfort or
sensibility, it’s good to see someone throw that out the window for safety,
especially someone in New York.
think to try and conceive some hidden rivalry between these two teams who have a
long way to go before either can even contemplate the possibility of a post season
where it would be a meaningful rivalry. This isn’t a rivalry some were trying to
create it to be, but more it seemed like mutual respect, we did see some firsts during these 3 games.
Lifetime first was game 2 with Jamie Moyer as the winning pitcher, this was a
first because no pitcher this age has beaten the Yankees before, but then as old
as Moyer is, each win is probably going to be a first for the teams that lose.
It was actually on this day 24 years ago that Moyer made his major league debut,
June 16th 1986, where he pitched for the Cubs against the
Phillies and got the win while Steve Carlton took the loss for the
Things weren’t what they seemed at Yankee stadium this week, Tuesday was
supposed to be a pitchers duel, but turned out to be one of Halladay’s worst
starts this year, Sabathia faired a little better for the Yankees, as he faced a
Phillies team that has struggled during the ‘anti-hot’ period. Even with the
lack of offense the Phillies still managed to get some hits, runs and put
Sabathia under some stress, but ultimately the Yankees took the game much to the
delight of the Yankee fans.
This 3 game series saw for the first time this year the return of the man who
hit the longest home run at the NEW Yankee stadium, last year a monster
homer was hit by the Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez, another first this
year was seen during game 2 as the Phillies launched back to back home runs,
something they’ve lacked since September ’09.
Game 3 had Kendrick pitching for the Phillies
and Pettitte for the Yankees, after
the Yankees sneaked a win from Halladay,
I am sure most fans were surprised that Moyer was able to fend off the Yankee
bats and get a win in game 2, game 3 was one that Yankee
fans must have felt confident about, with probably the best Yankee
pitcher taking the mound and the Phillies
default pitcher because Happ is stuck on the DL, anyone that knows
baseball would have given this to the Yankees.
This is still a sporting event and not all things are as we expect them, this
year is a prime example of how normal is not really normal, so much to
the pleasure of the Phillie fans Kendrick
faced off against the Yankees for the very
first time in his short career and got the win.
put my hand up and admit even as a Phillie
fan I was almost sure Pettitte was going to win this one, with the way
the Phillies have been playing and the way
the Yankees have been playing, there were a
number of Yankee fans, even before the first
game, laying it out in the comments section of a number of online articles on
how the Yankees would easily sweep the Phillies,
this ramped up even more after they beat Halladay, with comments telling Phillie
fans they don’t have any other pitchers after Halladay and with the lack
of offense the Phillies may as well concede
and go home without the major embarrassment that the Yankee
hitters will give them. Then after game 2, Yankee
fans seemed confused that a 47 year old had had the audacity to actually
beat them, now after Kendrick held the Yankees
to 4 hits and 1 run there is probably a few Yankee
fans telling Joe how to best re-arrange his line-up so that the Yankees
When it comes right down to it, the Yankees
have an impressive 41 wins which ties them with the Rays,
okay maybe Yankee fans are used to being on
top, but we still have almost a 100 games left and as we have seen anything can
happen. Of those 41 wins 22 are against teams with a below .500 record and 19
are against teams with a better than .500 record, okay so that’s fairly even,
until you look at the 25 loses, only 8 to teams with a below .500 record, which
really means they are almost a .500 club against winning teams. I am sure you
can look at this with any club and see similar things, but when you consider
they can only play the Orioles so
many times and I think they have played them some 12 times already this year, or
it certainly seems like it, and they’ve played the Astros in
inter-league with the D’Backs still
to come, as long as they don’t drown in self pity and lose to the Mets
this weekend they should at least be able to stay on pace with the Rays,
until they have to play a long string of games against winning teams that is,
then who knows.
The Phillies host the Twins
this weekend, but then the Tribe come
to Philadelphia, at least we get 1 club that’s not a winning team
this month, not that it seems to make a difference to the Phillies,
at least during the ‘anti-hot’ run anyone and everyone has a 50/50 chance
Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend and just in case you’ve been traveling
around with your eyes closed or surfing the interwebs with blinkers on, Sunday
is Father’s Day, so don’t forget, unless your the dad, then it’s
customary to act surprised and still have to break out the grill and cook for
everyone that stops by….
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.
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
….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,
Well maybe not from hell, but a weekend to move on from, one to let settle in the back of your mind till
one day you may need the knowledge to use as some stupid inconsequential pieces
of data. It wasn’t so much that the Phillies had a losing weekend against the
BoSox, obviously a losing weekend is never good, but inter-league play has not
been a National League strong point since it started. Also don’t forget, in
post of May 19th I had gone into details of why ‘it is that time of the
month’ and for those doubters, let it be known that between now and the end of
the month, the Phillies, will lose at least 4 more,
there is 7 games left in May all against division rivals, which means if they
prove me right could put the division lead back into tight contention, which
makes for some excitement as the season goes on.
News broke that the Phillies were scouting for pitchers, because they had
scouts at the ChiSox and Marlins
over the weekend. I am not sure the White Sox have much to look at, it is
possible they were looking at the Marlins, since
we will be meeting them this week. The Phillies
front office did acknowledge the fact that looking is part of the game, and as
any normal person would do the media asked what of Martinez, just because
the Phillies picked him up last year and it
worked out, doesn’t mean they’ll do it again and again. Amaro did
indicate that since Martinez, just casts them money and no talent then
they keep checking in with him, but they haven’t seen him throw or had any face
to face time with him.
Forewarned is forearmed, so Amaro, here is your warning, “You
got lucky last year with Martinez, regardless of how desperate you think you may
be this year, DON’T do it again”. I know I was not a big fan of
Martinez last year and I stand by that, I believe we would have had the same or
similar results had they not spent the time and money on Martinez. I
believe he had no influence on how things turned out and was at times more of a
distraction than an benefit.
Let’s face it the only real addition we may need is a solid closer, because
no matter what anybody says, if it’s Lidge out there then everyone is going to
be holding their breathe
for every pitch, knowing that this could be the pitch that blows the save. It’s possible
that Contreras could be converted to a closing role, he’s only had 1 save
in his career thus far, but I have to admit I was more comfortable watching him
close than I have been watching Lidge close.
We still need Happ to return from the DL healthy and give us a solid last two
thirds of the season, and then if we could convince Seattle to let us get Lee
back before July 31st, then we would be in good shape. Lets face it, we don’t
have many prospects to trade, but I don’t think Lee will stay in Seattle
after this year and there is a chance the Phillies
could unload 2 or 3 players, like Kendrick, Dobbs, Bastardo, or mix them
up and throw in a couple of minor leaguers, who knows what Seattle
would do, and Lee would probably sign with a 3 year deal where both Lee
and the Phillies would be happy. A dream
maybe, but after the weekend that’s all I have today, a dream.
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
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
What determines a professional and what determines the right to freedom of
speech and the right to freedom of the press.
Why do I ask?
A "blogger", someone regularly showing intent to provide an
element of news and/or information to the public via any legal means available
to them and allowing the public access to that information for a reasonable
length of time.
A "Member of the Press", someone paid to obtain and report
information or someone paid to report information previously obtained, by any
legal method that is provided by the company for which they are paid, or if
freelance, by any legal means available to them.
In my happy world or "Idiots Guide To Things" you know the big
yellow books without phone number lists, this is how I see the difference
between a reporter and someone, say, like myself. With this in mind there are a
multitude of questions, but here are the ones I am interested in for now.
1 – If I get unknown information from a source within a company or government
and I choose to disclose this information via the means I have to the public, or
in plain terms, if I write about it in a blog post, am I allowed to claim the
same privilege as a reporter and not have to disclose my source if compelled,
since at the time I was acting as reporter?
2 – If a "Member of the Press" writes a blog is that still
classed as reporting, are they still bound by the same rules of verification of
information as they would be if it was written for a newspaper column?
3 – As a "blogger" are you bound by those same rules of
verification, or do you truly just have to ‘in all good faith believe what you
are writing is the truth’?
4 – or can both parties write what ever they like with the appropriate
Still the question – Why Do I Ask?
Some of you may or may not have seen recently a reporters column, John
Gonzalez, for the ‘Sports’ section of the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer‘
which is found online at Philly.com,
columnist handled the mailbag on April 28th, 2010 the day in question
and received a question from someone named ‘Alex’, you can read the
question and answer here
remember this was mail bag day so all questions are sent in by readers. (image
of John Gonzalez linked from his column on Philly.com)
May 1st, 2010 another reporter, Mike
Goldstein, (not the ex-scientologist, or at least I don’t think it is) who writes a blog for ESPN760
and also broadcasts the Saturday morning ‘Sports
Page Show’ chose to target John
Gonzalez and his mail bag post, notably the question from ‘Alex’ and
in doing so he not only questioned the abilities of John
Gonzalez he also questioned his livelihood as a reporter in a post on his
blog titled "This
isn’t journalism, but it’s still not ethical" , if you take the
time to read this great, if you skim over it and get the general census, that’s
okay too, if you do neither, then here’s the key points, Mike accuses John of plagiarism
while fabricating a question to suit his own means.
May 2nd, 2010 the same reporter, Mike
Goldstein, wrote another post in his blog titled "The
Joke’s On Me" where he is supposedly making a retraction of his
previous claims about the ethics of John
Gonzalez, but in my opinion he doesn’t, he just excuses himself as a radio
show host and not a reporter. Claiming he just writes a blog and it is not meant
as journalism. (image of Mike Goldstein linked from his column on
I also understand that exchanges via ‘Twitter’ took place as well as other
possible communications and they have to some extent resolved the issue at hand.
We get back to the question, can people of the media
pick and choose when they are covered by the ‘Freedom of the Press’ and when
they are just trying to make a name for themselves.
I as a blogger, who at times wants to believe I can be a member of the press
would like nothing more than for some big media company to pick up on one of my
stories and start paying me for something I enjoy, or anyone to start paying me for
something would be nice, but again I digress, back to the real question.
With the creation of blogs can members of the press pick and choose when they
are press, and can you and I pick and choose when we are reporters.
I say to you big media sports companies, how about a reality show that
represents the amateur blogger, and less of the ‘so called’ professional sports
reporter playing at being an amateur blogger.
All this and I have to ask, does anyone really care unless it effects them in
someway shape or form, probably not!
The Phillies managed to sneak a win last night in extras from a walk
off by Ruiz, Cole Hamels pitched an outstanding game as did Wainwright
for the Cardinals, the series all tied up tonight will be a good night
to prove to Manuel that keeping him in the rotation is the right thing to
The Howard contract has caused a stir around the bloggers, mostly
those whose team has a 1st baseman due to renew a contract in the next year or
so, they question the value of Howard and say the Phillies paid to
much, I say, someone has to be first and if anyone thinks that it has set the
bar high for others then they are wrong the bar was already high, Pujols
was due to get around $30M a year and anyone who thinks he would have
settled for less is mistaken, just because he gave the Redbirds a cheap
deal last time, doesn’t mean he would have done it again. Suck it up Cardinal
whiners you can’t keep expecting to pay Walmart prices for the very best
UPDATE:(6am May 6th, 2010)
In another pitcher duel last night the Phillies over came Brad
Penny and the Cardinals bullpen to win the 3rd game of the series in
a shut out win 4-0. Well done to Kyle Kendrick for pulling out an
extraordinary night of pitching. Halladay is up today in a day game, the Cardinals
have Lohse on the mound.
It is clearly obvious to anyone who has been watching the Phillies that the
offense has been on the 15 day DL along with Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton and now
Ryan Madson. Blanton is scheduled to reappear this weekend with the possibility
of being back in the rotation this coming Monday against the ST . Louis
Cardinals. Pitchers made it back into the bullpen, J.C. Romero last week, which
didn’t seem too successful and Brad Lidge yesterday, which was also not very
The offense though has been the most absent, after an excellent start to the
season there has been a distinct reduction in output since April 16th, there was
a brief appearance, a glimmer that maybe they were heading back on the right
track around the 22nd of April, but since then nothing, zero, zilch, nada,
nowt, stuck somewhere between spring training and now in a twilight zone for
baseball, the offense is scheduled to make an appearance anytime during the next
few days and from there slowly pick up speed and increased numbers till the All
Start Break then it will be time to see if they make it back from the mid-term
This offensive malfunction doesn’t however excuse all the errors
and mistakes that have been made in selecting which player does what and when
they do it, I know we’ve lost a few so it has to be the managers fault, wrong, that’s
not what I am saying, but he does have some role to play in the events that lead
up to the losses. Last year we saw Charlie Manual in a situation that
allowed this type of graphic….
….this year however, unless more thought is applied to
situations things will be very different, and I want to be fair to Charlie,
it’s not all his fault, he relies heavily on Rich Dubee for up to the
minute information on members on the pen and listens to recommendations on who
should be utilized and when, but there are times when even a novice such as
myself can tell that certain pitchers shouldn’t be used in certain situations. It
has to be the only time a major league ball club manager can safely say, it was
down to the Dubee.
We have in the bullpen a pitcher who is a rule 5 draft pick, who
we keep in the pen because if we don’t he
has to go back to where he came. In reality he belongs in the pen, he serves a
role and he’s good at it, but put him in the wrong place or situation and he’ll
have a bad day as would most of the pitchers out of the pen. Last nights game
against the Mets was a key example of right and wrong pitchers for the
scenarios, Baez is not a 2 inning guy, why was last night the time to try
and find out, it wasn’t, it shouldn’t have been, cause we already new the
answer, but for some unexplained, x-file type reason we had to confirm something
that we already new, after he pitched in his second inning and didn’t get any
outs, but gave up 4 runs, it was time to bring in the rule 5 guy, Herndon,
who went on to pitch 2 scoreless innings, he did let a inherited guy score, but
nothing against him.
Today the Phillies and Mets go at it nationally on
Fox, oh whoopiii, we get to listen to a bunch of no knowledge numbnuts a-sssswhipe’s
ramble on about how good or bad players are when they don’t even know anything
other than what they read in the columns from the biased reporters of either FoxSports
or ESPN. Talking of ESPN, we get the joys of watching and
listening to all the action from them on Sunday night.
Anyone who has any interest saw or heard the Mets pound
the Phillies last night, the rivalry makes it hard to stomach, but I have
to say the Phillies made it easy for the Mets. There was signs of
talent back in the Mets lineup, sorry all you Mets fans, but I
dislike Reyes with a passion, not because he’s a Met, but
because he gives the appearance of having an arrogant, holier than thou
attitude, his actions indicate that he believes he is bigger and better than the
game itself, so for me, he is not one of players with talent on the Mets,
however Jeff Francoeur and David Wright showed up to play and play
they did, Jason Bay also made the right choice and opted out of the BoSox
for the Mets in the off-season. Rod Barajas, okay he hit 2 homers
last night, but guys he’s a 3rd rate catcher at best and should be kept on the
bench for emergency use only, preferably behind a glass, with ‘break in case of
emergency’ on it.
So it’s big pat on the back for the New York Mets, but
it’s still early in the season, so no breath holding hoping you’ll go all the
way, we don’t want a rush of people turning blue in New York,
cause I think that’s happening in LA at the moment and it’s not
from breath holding.