Good, Bad or just some of the Same

– PhilliesOutside –

Same sh-it different day…. Yes the Phillies are in the middle of
that time
of the month
‘, actually they are now on the tail end of it, with just 5 days
left, they have to get through the last few days with minimum damage to the
players and their psych, they have a couple of wins to bag before the end of the
month, then it’s all new, the month of June arrives and it all starts again.

In this time of phunks and stupidity, they have nearly been no-hit, they have
struggled to score runs, they
have even struggled to get hits. Jimmy Rollins has struggled to stay off the DL,
Ryan Madson is still wishing he hadn’t kicked that chair, while Brad Lidge is
thankfully still on the DL, although he keeps telling everyone his elbow is
fine, Really? isn’t that what you said last year.

Charlie Manuel has been keeping his cool, with a few changes here and there
to the line up, sometimes not making any sense to me, but that’s what baseball
is all about, being able to find those things that the manager does that doesn’t
seem to jive with the rest of what’s going on. It’s also good that you can see
things that you feel you would have done differently, lets face it, if you agree with
everything someone does all the time then you have to be brainless or just plain
stupid
, yeah okay you could be a (insert political party of your
choice)
,
but
we are talking baseball and that means June will see the world of fastballs,
sinkers, sliders and change-ups get a strange jolt in the equilibrium which will
see the baseball planets align once again and settle into a more balanced
universe.

At
a time when the All Star voting is well under way, the Phillies catcher
Carlos
Ruiz
suffered a knee injury earlier this month, is now back off the DL, but is
still suffering from some aches and pains, in an effort to try and change things
around he tried out a new catchers mask, going from the traditional to the
hockey style, needless to say by inning 3 he was back to his original style
mask. Charlie Manuel even sat him out of last nights loss, just to give him a
rest.

All the favorites seem to be in the running for the All Star Voting, but is
this proving it’s just a popularity contest and teams with fans that attend home
games actually punch that ticket, or they have fans that go online and vote.
Recently on the front page of the MLBlogs
(it’s gone now) they promoted the All Star voting and some blogs that
appeared to have relevant posts about the voting, one in particular, which I
will not name, due to probably selfish reasons, but the point being this blog
had 1 post, no bio, and looked as though it had been set up just for that
specific post, the post indicated views and selections the poster had made for
the All Star game, this was not an objective review, but a promotion of Yankees
and Reds players, where am I going with this, just trying to show some elements
of things where this has become nothing more than a popularity contest, or at
the worst a contest where players get selected because the fan base for that
team is larger, i.e. Yankees in the AL, the NL has a little more even
distribution of fan base amongst some teams, although teams like Florida,
Milwaukee and Washington will always lose out. 

Am I someone who sees a conspiracy in everything, maybe not everything, but
in today’s world probably most things that include some type of opinion based decision
has an ulterior motive, but that’s a whole new post, maybe even my next one.

We all think we know which State has some type of mojo working
against it, well I am here to tell you that the worst has to be Ohio, not
because I live there, although that maybe the problem, because they really can’t
win anything. The Cavs should have been in the NBA finals, with the players they
had, they were definitely the hot favorites to take it all, and some saw it
again last night, or those people that had nothing better to do with their
lives, saw what I am told was a guaranteed win for a girl from Ohio lose to some
guy with less talent in the final episode of American Idol with the only judge
who offered a real opinion. So for all people and teams Ohio based why bother,
oh okay.. it’s all in the fun of competing… yeah right…

 

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Weekend from Hell ….

– PhilliesOutside –

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
my
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.

 


Phillies leave Brewers Drained….

– PhilliesOutside –

The Phillies left Milwaukee
after sucking the life out of the Brewers,
the sweep was a back to back the Brewers
suffered at the hands of the National League East. It was a little cooler
last night in Brewer Town or were the Milwaukee
Brewers
just trying to change their luck at home by closing the roof,
either way it made for a pleasant atmosphere, gave the pitchers a comfortable
environment, but it didn’t change the Brewers
luck as the Phillies completed a 3 game
sweep in a 4-2 win.

The game aired live on ESPN, who as usual showed their lack of up to
date knowledge of teams and players, other than the advanced scouting reports,
which at times are grossly out of date or inaccurate at best, given to them so
they could show some elements of knowledge about the 2 teams that were playing.
They pounded the commercial breaks with the information on the upcoming FIFA
World Cup
, which is great for me, but I just hope they really do their
homework on the countries and the players, and don’t just go at it with the
minimum information on the players and the countries abilities and
accomplishments. It’s a little more insulting when you get information about a
country wrong than a home grown city or town.

So last night Cole Hamels got win number 4 and put him at 4-2 on the
year, coincidence that matches last nights score, it means about as much as Mick
Billmeyer using binoculars in the bull pen in Colorado, absolutely
nothing. It was a relatively okay performance by Hamels, nothing earth
shattering, he managed to get a RBI hit, but then left the bases loaded twice,
still ESPN felt he did enough to warrant being player of the game, personally I
don’t think he did, I am not sure anyone player jumped out at me, everyone
seemed to do their thing and no one really screwed anything up, except maybe Weeks,
should have had the out, on the Victorino base stealing, but let the ball
fly into centerfield instead, and he just didn’t seem focused, and
as good a game as Zaun called for the Brewers,
I was a little concerned at how when he went to the mound with the pitching
coach, he just stood there gazing into the air, paying absolutely no attention
to what was going on, does he not like, Rick Peterson, the pitching
coach, because he had that same attitude each time he came to the mound during
all 3 games.

The Phillies are utilizing back-ups for back-ups, with Ruiz out
and 3rd string catcher Hoover working everyday, Ruiz should be
back Monday, maybe. Valdez filling in at shortstop while JRoll
rehabs, Valdez is also filling in for Castro who is also out of
action, Rollins should be back on Monday, then we have Madson out,
Happ out the good news is that Lidge is also back on the DL, the
list goes on a bit, but really the Phillies
have managed just fine and when these guys return it should only be an
improvement, except for Lidge of course.

Last year we saw the images of Lidge where each time he came into a
game you had
to hope that for just this game he was able to hold it together long enough to
close the game. Unfortunately that didn’t happen to often, it was like a Holiday
Inn commercial, where Lidge is on the mound and Dubee comes out
cause Lidge is struggling and you know the conversation, Dubbe to Lidge
“Lidge you good, your our closer, right, you can do this” then Lidge
would reply “Yeah sure, I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night, no
problem”.
We all know how that worked out.

This year I think we should stay with the Holiday
Inn commercials, you must have seen the new ones, where people are sometimes
doing dumb things, like being total idiots, yep that’s it, we’re going to work
with that this year for Lidge.

The Phillies return home to face 2
against the Pirates, and 2 against the sCrUbs,
then it’ll be on to that stupid thing they call inter-league play. I think we
should get one of those hidden dog fences to keep American League teams out of
the National League games, I am still not sure why there pitchers are such prima-
donnas that they can’t pick up a bat. The
Philles
get to host the Boston Red Sox as
the first of what will no doubt be long drawn out inter-league play.


Mets (Muts) Pound Phillies

– PhilliesOutside –

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
reassuring.

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
break.

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.


Phillies Bullpen Donates in Atlanta…

philliesoutside 41

They say charity begins at home, but last night it was a charitable event at Turner
Field
, the recipients were the Atlanta Braves and the donators, by
default were the Philadelphia Phillies. I say by default because they
were less than willing participants, it was forced upon them by the baseball
teams equivalent of the chain-letter/email that says if you don’t do this or
this then something bad will happen, when you know doing those things will
result in something bad anyway, yet some still falls prey to the doing.

Last night it was a disease that spread through Phillies
bullpen, nothing could be done, there was no blaming it on Lidge, it was
a case of the……

…..there is no explanation for the collapse of a game, after a
extraordinary 8 innings of work from your starter, the temporary closer comes in
gives up back to back homers to make it a tied game, then in the 10th another
bullpen pitcher comes out to hold the game at a 3-3 tie and gives up a homer….
3 homers lose the game.


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.

 


HOUSTON we have a PROBELM….

Houston we have a problem… and it appears that Charlie is going to stick by that problem regardless…

Bench control to closer Lidge
Bench control to closer Lidge
Take your jacket off and put your ball cap on

Bench control to closer Lidge
Commence your warm up, tosses now
Check in mirror and in gods sake get the save

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five,
Four, three, two, one, lights off

This is bench control to closer Lidge
You need to get three outs
And the papers want to know who really cares
Now its time to save a game if you dare

This is closer Lidge to bench control
I’m stepping from the pen
And I’m walking in a most peculiar way
And the fans look very different today

For here
Am I standing on a pitchers mound
Far above the field
Players shirts are blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’ve walked two guys to base
Im feeling very ill
And I think this baseball knows which way to go
Tell my fans I really suck, they know

Bench control to closer Lidge
Your arm is dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, closer Lidge? 
Can you hear me, closer Lidge? 
Can you hear me, closer Lidge? 
Can you….

Here am I wallowing in self pity mode
Far above my skills
Players shirts are blue
And there’s nothing I can do.

 

I would have sang it on a video with images of Lidge and Charlie, but I cant sing, so sing it in your heads and picture another blown save from Lidge, and in case you don’t know the song, here it is, it’s only part of the song so you have to figure out where in the song the words fit….

 

Yes I admit it, I spent my teenage years in the 70’s and this guy was one of my favorites….