Seven Days and Counting ….

Some called it a hangover game, some called it the day after game, but it should have been just another game that we went out there and tried to win. The starting pitcher goes out there, albeit a shortened game of just 5 innings regardless of how he does, so for Roy Oswalt, yes I said Roy Oswalt, cause if you were listening to the Phillies TV feed you would be a little confused, they kept on calling him Roy Halladay, in fact they called him Roy Halladay more than they called him Roy Oswalt, so just in case T-Mac , Wheels or Sarge actually read anything that is written here maybe they’ll offer an apology to Roy Oswalt.

So there not totally confused here’s what Oswalt looks like….

howard, phillies outside, sex, xxxx, Yankees, nudes, naked, Phillies, MLB, bobby cox, swiffer, sweep, braves suck, iphone, worldseries, MLB, charlie manuel, president obama, whitehouse, potus, us america, chase utley, slide, hamels, world series, home finale, fans, espn, fox sports, eagles, mcnabb, red skins, nationals, mets, braves, manuel, NL Champions 2010, post season bound, winners, losers, biggest winner, clincher, nationals, washington, oswalt, passwords, free images, free passwords, xxxx passwords

….without wanting to point out the obvious, he’s the one with ’44’ and the name ‘OSWALT’ on his back.

The Phillies have selected the post season schedule already, and needless to say they have selected the one that allows them to go with a 3 pitcher starting rotation. The choice was somewhat of a no brain-er, and members of the press asking Manuel why he’s going that way, should not be covering baseball for any media outlet.

Just in case you missed it, they have been labeled H2O by a number of fans and some members of the Philadelphia press….

howard, phillies outside, sex, xxxx, Yankees, nudes, naked, Phillies, MLB, bobby cox, swiffer, sweep, braves suck, iphone, worldseries, MLB, charlie manuel, president obama, whitehouse, potus, us america, chase utley, slide, hamels, world series, home finale, fans, espn, fox sports, eagles, mcnabb, red skins, nationals, mets, braves, manuel, NL Champions 2010, post season bound, winners, losers, biggest winner, clincher, nationals, washington, oswalt, passwords, free images, free passwords, xxxx passwords, h2o

They have suggested that Halladay will start game 1, but this is speculation at this time, it is also an obvious choice. In keeping with obvious choices personally I would have Hamels then Oswalt, this would be just to break up the righties with a leftie in between, but it’s all about what Charlie thinks at the time.

I was dubious about constantly resting players from our starting line up between now and October 6th, but on reflection I think it’s more for Manuel to see what bench players and what bull pen members are going to make the cut. It’s a waiting game now, it’s like a second round of spring training in the fall.

Around Baseball:

The Yankees and the Tampa bay rays won last night assuring them both of play off spots, it’s just a case of who’s the division winners and who’s the wild card team.

The Reds beat the LOLstros last night to clinch the NL Central, kudos to them.

The NL West is a fight to the end and can only be decided when the Padres and Giants go at each other in the final series of the season. The Braves need to keep winning to keep them in the wild card, the series against the Phillies could be their do or die series. The Padres have the toughest road over their final 5 games.

7 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….


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).


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…..


Attitude at Altitude…

– PhilliesOutside –

Sunday was a day that companies had the opportunity to commercialize and reap the
financial benefits from all those feeling guilty about not having given enough
attention to their Mothers during the year, a time when that expensive,
worthless, tradition of sending or giving a piece of stiff paper with some words
created by someone paid not nearly enough to dream up such drivel, just so that
those doing the giving can feel good about themselves for having at least on
this day given some attention to the person that gave them life. Yes folks it
was ‘Mother’s Day’ here in America, this past Sunday. For those that don’t care,
it was not Mother’s Day in England, that was back in March and it’s true calling
is ‘Mothering Sunday’, which is actually different than Mother’s Day, as with
most things that are commercialized propaganda, it’s different because it’s
something to do with religion. I personally didn’t receive any cards or well
wishes, even though throughout the year I have heard the word Mother used
in conjunction with other words when referencing me or calling to me.

The Phillies celebrated Mother’s by giving away Phillies
scarves or is it scarf’s, does it matter, since those that got the
scarves/scarf’s wore them with pride, unless they were an Atlanta Braves
fan of course, then they probably kept them to remember the day they went to Citizens
Bank Park
to see Atlanta get beat.

Even though the Phillies offense had the Braves pitcher on the ropes
early  with hits and home runs by the start of the 4th inning the Phillies
were up 4 – 0, because guys like this….

….decided to show up and play ball, Polanco hit a homer in the
2nd with a pink bat, not that it matters too much the color of the bat, it’s
still a home run, no extra points for the bat being pink, probably extra cash
when it gets auctioned off for the charity.

The Braves pitcher, Kawakami, held his own
from the 4th and stayed in putting up respectable numbers through 6.2 innings,
even though he took the loss. The Phillies had Cole Hamels on
the mound, who during the first 4 innings looked as though he was going to be
cruising his way to a shut out and show Jamie Moyer he could do it too.
Alas it wasn’t to be, even after a major conflab on the mound…..

….somewhere the old ‘K’ Cole got lost and
confused about where to throw the ball….

….he managed to give up 3 runs in the 5th inning, that was
enough for Manuel who let the bull pen finish the game, led by Chad Durbin who
threw 2 scoreless, the bull pen was un-hittable, literally, they struck out 5
over the 4 innings of work and never allowed a base runner, even Lidge pitched
the 9th without giving anyone a mild seizure.

As with any day when the Phillies play at CBP, there is always at
least one creature that gets onto the field, no tasers needed on Sunday it was
just the…..

….doing his duties, or should I say trying too. Yes, he’s been
reportedly hailed as the best mascot in sports and I understand you either love
him or hate him, but it has become clearer that most hate him because of the
team he’s associated with, not for what he does, because lets face it, no matter
who you are, if he was your teams mascot you’d think he was the coolest mascot
ever, or at least your kids or grand kids or great grand kids would think he was
pretty cool….

So the celebration of Mother’s is over and the Phillies
headed to Colorado where the air is thin and they use some kind of machine
to make the balls stay in the park, or so they say.

There was something in the air, maybe it was moisture of some
sort, but Charlie was trying to figure it out….

….as the Rockies made some accusations of
someone spying on the game from the Phillies bullpen, not sure
what it was all about and I’m not sure Charlie was to sure either, but it
prompted Victorino to use the bullpen phone and tell them to stop clowning
around.

It certainly wasn’t the bull pen the Rockies
needed to watch, it was the Phillies catcher, Carlos Ruiz….

….who went 4 for 5, one of them a homer, and it wasn’t a fluke
or the thin air or altitude or something they put in the bottled water in Colorado,
he’s actually been hitting that good of late, with a.354 avg, he’s got himself a
little ‘on base’ streak going, I think he’s actually been on base in all but 1
of the games he’s played this season, he’s picking up more walks and now he’s in
the number 7 hitting slot, he’s getting more hits, lets hope he can sustain this
for the year or majority of it anyway.

The Phillies defense were showing off some quality
glove work…

….but that still didn’t stop Colorado, with Hawpe
back off the DL and going 2 for 4 on the night, the Rockies managed
to get it all tied at 5 going into the 9th inning. In fashion of the last couple
of years the Phillies put up a 4 spot in the top of the 9th and
the Rockies where unable to find a way to answer, with Contreras pitching
the 9th, who seems to be solidifying himself as a late inning guy that Manuel
can depend on, the Rockies went down on just 1 hit in the 9th, giving the
Phillies game 1 of this series.

Other News:

Brad Lidge has a sore elbow, waaaaaaaaaa!!! go back on
the DL then don’t tie up a roster spot if your going to keep whining all year so
you have an excuse when you blow your first and subsequent saves this year.

Dallas Braden, who became news worthy earlier this month
when he accused A-Rod of being a ‘dick’, which by the way Braden,
we all knew this before you accused him, just threw a perfect game. So congrats
to him, but you did sour your win somewhat by both you and your Gran-Ma
referencing A-Rod when talking of your perfect game. As much as A-Rod
will take credit for anything good and nothing bad, this I am sure he played no
part in, so let A-Rod go back to denying PED use and not have to
deny knowing unwritten rules of baseball. He’s a Yankee player,
those unwritten rules don’t apply, that’s another unwritten rule.

Milton Bradley is still a bigger ‘dick’ than A-Rod.

Cliff Lee goes for his first win of the season tonight,
the question is if he gets it, will it count, since it’s against Baltimore.

Roy Halladay goes home for first ever start in Colorado,
hard to believe that a guy like Halladay never pitched in Colorado.
This homecoming should be sweet for Halladay and not so sweet for Rockies
fans as Halladay goes for win number 7 and the Phillies try
and clinch the series tonight.

 


Blogger vs Press – Who’s Who?

– PhilliesOutside –

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
disclaimer?

 

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 thePhiladelphia Inquirer
which is found online at Philly.com,
this particular
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
ESPN760.com).

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!

Baseball:

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
for Kendrick
to prove to Manuel that keeping him in the rotation is the right thing to
do.

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
quality.

 

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.


Patience is a Virtue…

– PhilliesOutside –

Monday morning the Phillies had to be feeling good, they took the
weekend series away from the Mets who had come into the Bank as
one of the hottest teams in baseball, demolishing the Phillies in the
opener on Friday night, but the backlash of this from the Phillies saw Halladay
shut out the Mets then the offense took the Mets number 1 Santana
into uncharted territory knocking 8 runs off him in the 4th inning, which would
end up being a 9 run inning, which was all the Phillies would need in the 11-5
win Sunday.

So Monday morning would have had a feel good look about the club house, with
eyes set on the pending 4 game series against the St. Louis Cardinals,
the Redbirds have the best record in the National League, so this
is going to be a tough series, but as always would be a well fought series.

The game gets underway and as expected it’s a tight close fought game to
start, then the umpires have to get involved. They didn’t show any favorites
they just seemed to spoil what would have been a really good game without there interference,
as it happened the Phillies showed lots of patience at the plate against
a very good young Cards pitcher, unfortunately the umpires caused Manuel
to loose his patience and found himself being ejected….

….the home plate umpire definitely had a very bad game causing
players on both sides to question his abilities at calling balls and strikes, in
addition to both managers questioning his abilities at calling plays at first
and third, I just hope the umpires have had their day in the spotlight for this
series and can now let the teams get on with it and battle it out.

Kudos to the Cards for taking game 1 of this series.

 


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….