Visions Part Deux …..

The National League managed an upset of the American League by taking the All Star Game victory, because of recent history showing the dominance of the American League this is a good way to move forward into the second half of the 2010 season for National League teams.

At the beginning of the season I laid out how I thought the season would progress and how teams would position themselves for October baseball, with just over half the games played it’s a good time to reflect and update my season ending visions.

The American League has shown some surprises, out West the Mariners have not faired as I thought so this has left the Rangers and Angels duking it out for a post season place. In the Central the Indians are not performing in the manor they could have been and in the East the top 3 are as expected, but the Jays are doing better than I had thought, as a mid way summary I now have the following possible outcomes.

AL WEST

Angels…………..88-93 wins

Rangers………..86-91 wins

The A’s will hover around the .500 mark and the Mariners will finish below .500 with about 70 wins.

AL CENTRAL

ChiSox… ……..84-89 wins

Twins …………..81-86 wins

Tigers …………..81-86 wins

The Royals and the Tribe will fight, but fail to reach .500 this year.

AL EAST

Yankees ………..93-98 wins

Rays ……  ……..92-97 wins

BoSox…… ……..90-95 wins

As you can see this could be any of these, I had considered the Yankees breaking 100 wins again, but recent history shows last time they had 56 wins in the first half they had a dismal second half with only 33 wins, so the Yankees number is a crap shoot, the Jays should end around the .500 mark and the O’s will probably break 64 wins, but no more than 70 wins.

 

The National League has also given us a couple of surprises, the Padres are the biggest one for me, kudos to them, I thought they would struggle to be a .500 team this year, but they proved me very wrong. The Pirates are more disappointing than anything, I really thought they could be a above .500 team this year, but not going to happen, the Reds are better than expected or are the Cardinals not as good as expected. The East is as expected a 3 horse race and will continue through season end.

NL WEST

Padres …………..85-90 wins

Rockies … ……..84-89 wins

Dodgers … ……..83-88 wins

Giants …… ……..79-84 wins

Arizona will struggle to reach 70 wins this year.

NL CENTRAL

Cardinals …………..85-90 wins

Reds ………… ……..85-90 wins

The Brewers and Cubs will struggle stay around the .500 mark on the year, the Pirates and Astros will have chance to play spoiler or helper in September as the Cards and Reds are on target to give us a game 163 this year, but as the Astros and Pirates play out the year they’ll both struggle to get over 65 wins.

NL EAST

Phillies …………..90-95 wins

Mets ……………..88-93 wins

Braves …………..87-92 wins

Still a close 3 team race and could go to any of the 3, it’ll be up to the Nats and Marlins to play spoiler, since both those teams wont even be knocking on the .500 door.

 

So these are my mid-term visions as far as the divisions are set, as for Phillies players and that dreaded date of July 31st, where teams negotiate to the wire to get the best possible deal, or they think is the best possible deal. The past few seasons the Phillies have faired pretty good at the trading deadline, this year I would say look to see Jayson Werth end up with one of 3 teams, Astros, Pirates or even the Reds, also movers could include, Dobbs, Castro or Ransom and maybe even Kendrick or Happ, I do not think anything major will occur, it is possible we could get Oswalt, but no breath holding here, or even one of the Reds pitchers, it maybe that the Dodgers decide they can lose Broxton, so the Phillies can lose Lidge, but that’s as farfetched as a straight trade of Pujols and Howard, or Werth and Ethier, dream on people ESPN’s got no inside track and the second half is just beginning. So tighten that safety belt, keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times and enjoy the ride, don’t forget to scream and raise your arms at the appropriate times, but most of all have FUN.

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King James and Tribe

– PhilliesOutside –

The Cleveland Indians head to Philadelphia, this must be the best chance

Philadelphia
is going to have to break out of the ‘anti’hot’ mode and actually
win a series that they should win, yes they won the series at Yankee stadium,
but the Yankees just got the hell knocked out of them by
Arizona.

The Indians are currently number 2 in the
American League‘s bargain basement,
if you don’t understand that expression then check out the standings, basically
it means for National League teams there are just 4
American League teams that
you should expect to either win the series against or even sweep, the prime
number 1 team everyone wants to play are the Orioles, then you have the
Indians
,
then the Royals and finally the Mariners, any other
AL teams would on paper be a
tough opponent for any of the National League teams.

This
isn’t to say the American League is better than the
National League, because
during inter-league play I am sure there are just 4 NL teams that the AL would
like to play, they being, Pirates, Astros, D’Backs and the
Brewers. Sometimes
though the alignment of baseball planets and good and bad karma just don’t allow
what should be, to be. Take the Yankees, please take the
Yankees, or at least
prevent them making headlines because of Lady GaGa,  for instance, they
should conceivably sweep the D’Backs, lets face most people thought it, most

Yankee
fans expected it, but yesterday they got what could only be looked upon
as the playground bully being smacked around by the nerdy loser kid, doesn’t
happen often, but when it does, we all root for the loser nerdy kid, even now I
find myself thinking, wouldn’t it be good if they actually swept the Yankees.

I was kind of hoping when the schedule was released for 2010 that the
Phillies
would actually play the Tribe at the
‘Jake’, yep I am told to call it
that up and coming insurance name is some kind of insult to true Clevelanders, I
am not sure why cause no one actually goes to the games anyway. Maybe if they
could encourage a celebrity to turn up in underwear and flip everyone the bird,
maybe it would draw more fans in Cleveland, probably not, what about if they had

‘King James’
make an appearance, again probably not since he’d show up as the
final pitch was being thrown and then only if there was a chance he’d be
supporting the winning team. Lets face it the great ‘LeBron Day’ that was supposed
to show support for him staying in Cleveland, that was held at the University of
Akron’s
campus, was a wash out, some 4,000 people showed up to claim a free
t-shirt and then went double time so it appeared like 8,000 people were in
attendance. Yes, the chances are good once again New York will wield it’s mighty
check book in a different sport and land ‘King James’ although for this sport in
question it does seem as though Chicago’s check book could be bigger than the
Knicks, but it’s all speculation as is the content of the little chat between

James
and Curry.

Off track a little, well it is a sporting event and it uses a ball and it has
ties to Cleveland, who are playing the Phillies, in
Philadelphia for 3 days,
whooopi, I get to watch it all happen on some Cleveland Indians
sports channel
that is about as lame as the Dodgers,
Kansas City and the Astros winning skills at the moment.

Notable occurrences, the Indians got swept by the
Mets, then lost 2 of 3 to
the Pirates and the answer to the Tribe fans prayers during the off season, the

Nationals
manager, Manny Acta moving to Cleveland, and after being handed a 5-3
loss Sunday what words of wisdom do the Indians fans get from Acta “We
weren’t able to pick up the ball and throw it to first base. That’s why we
lost.”
WOW, I see Manny has come a long way since playing the staring
manager’s role in Washington DC, although you’d think it was
DC Comics with
the way he managers the Tribe.

Lets just hope tonight the Indians are
nothing more than a comedy of errors and the Phillies
are able to use it to their advantage, with the return of J-Roll it
should be an interesting 3 days.

Just a minor gliche in the online voting system, they seem to have Pat
Burrell listed as a DH for the Tampa Bay Rays, when he’s actually in San
Francisco, and his numbers are already better in San Fran than they were in
Tampa, so here’s the dilemma, has anyone got voted onto the AL roster and actually
being playing for an NL team at the time of the All Star game, or visa versa…

Happy
Voting All

 


Phillies Playing Blankety Blank ….

– PhilliesOutside –

Memorial Day weekend is now behind us, it was a time we honor those
that paid the ultimate price so that we may enjoy our
freedom. Some little known facts a place in Ohio, Ironton lays claim to
the longest running Memorial Day parade, they have been holding one since
around 1868, as far as I can find out, I wasn’t there then so I can’t confirm
it. Ironton sits on the Ohio river a stones throw from Kentucky
and West Virginia.

In Great Britain the last Monday of May is a different holiday, there
equivalent to Memorial Day is normally the second Sunday of November,
although a 2 minute silence is observed on November 11th, in remembrance of
those that paid the ultimate price. Many of my ancestors have been members of
the British military for as long as I know, my father was in the Royal
Air Force
, which is the same branch of military I served my country.

I hope everyone had some good memories of this past weekend, we may complain
about the beer not being cold enough or it may have been the burgers over done,
or the weather stopped you from lighting that grill. I am sure many sat around
with a beer or 2 and righted all the wrongs in the world, some probably
disagreed with the current conflicts overseas, it’s your right, that’s the
beauty of ‘Freedom’ I trust you all remembered that if nothing else this weekend
and just maybe you did something nice for at least one person, you never know
what fruits it may produce in a world where the ‘pay it forward’ program mostly
comes naturally for those that enjoy the true free world.

———————–

It’s June we are as good as 1/3 of the way through the season, I was going to
evaluate the current standing with regard to how my predictions are working out,
but decided it’s not worth doing that till at least July, when teams start
dumping or finding players based on their chances for postseason. Since there
has been many conversations started and ended with the fact that Philadelphia
has more zero’s in May than a lot of teams see in a season, I thought I would
try and put some of it into perspective, even the Phillies
own analysts are starting to ask, where’s it end, when does it end. Well I say
it end’s now, this week, maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow night, but by
this weekend the Phillies will be either
back on top of the division or at worst by the time the weekend its over.

How do the Phillies compare to the rest
of baseball, in May they went 16-12, the best team in baseball went 20-8 in fact
2 teams did that and both those teams moved from the bottom of their respective
divisions to the top or almost.

The
top 2 teams of each of the American League divisions is the same on June
1st as it was on May 1st, those top 2 teams of each American League
division  were on average winning between 15 and 17 games and losing
between 12 and 14 games, the only one of the 6 teams to have a losing record was
the Detroit Tigers they went 12-14 for the
month.

The top 2 teams of each division in the National League saw 2 teams go from
top to bottom or almost anyway, the Giants
dropped down in the West and Mets in
the East, those 2 teams were replaced by the best 2 teams in baseball the
Dodgers and Braves
respectively. The Phillies had the same
record as the Padres, a better record than
the Cardinals, in fact on the 1st of May the
Phillies were a 1/2 game out of 1st place in
the NL East and on June 1st they are a 1/2 game out, before today’s game.

More of how the Phillies performed, from
the 17th of April to May 1st the Phillies
went 4-8 and from the 17th of May to June 1st the Phillies
have gone 5-9, yet for the most part they lead the division in both April and
May. How about runs I hear you say, well during the same time period April 17th
or May 1st, they went 38 runs for and 57 runs against, from 17th May to 1st June
they went 34 runs for and 54 against, so the numbers are similar again.

I’ll admit there were more zero’s on the board in May, but it’s wins and
loses that count, so if at the end of June the Phillies
are still putting up zero’s then maybe I will start to ask, what is going on,
how do we fix this, but at this moment in time it seems all the players have hit
that down turn at the same time, so as I said before when the bats wake up, even
some almighty, visible only in the mind of those that choose to have imaginary
friends in adulthood, won’t be able to help the pitcher of the moment.


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.


On Reflection….

Just in case no one even noticed, the name changed from ‘Outside the
Phillies Looking In
‘ to ‘Phillies Outside‘ as part of a concerted effort
to make everything a little more unified, in other words, most
everything else is labeled Phillies Outside so is this blog now, so it’s easier for me, not
that anyone gives a crap, and yes you will still find the same
rambling, sarcastic, drivel as always here, unless I am feeling
particularly friendly then I may up the sarcasm a little more, no it’s not always like a kindergarten playground where you punch the ones you really like, sometimes you actually have to smack the crap out of someone cause they deserve it…

On
to the post at hand, a review of my past predictions and I can assure
everyone that there is absolutely no bias on these predictions, there is
no hatred targeted at any team, and just because some see a certain
blue team as the ‘Evil Empire’ and the fact that some Philadelphia
Phillies
players have inferred a wish to exact revenge on that said evil empire,
I would like to assure everyone that none of that was taken into
consideration when constructing my predictions.

I see the American
League like this:

NOny.jpg

…Yes much to the pleasure of some and displeasure of others I did not select the Yankees to make the post season this year, there jump to the top of the leader board for most global denominated currency spent on average per player for a sports franchise for last year, (in case you didn’t know, the most spent per player on average is normally monopolized by English Premiership Football Teams or soccer teams to those less edumacated, last year the Yankees jumped into the top 10 at number 1), this will come back to bite them this year, as it has with other sports franchises before them in there respective sporting championships. The American League playoff picture will look like this:

Seattle Mariners vs Chicago White Sox – Mariners win
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays – Rays win

ALCS Mariners vs Rays – Mariners win

I see the National League like this:

NOny.jpg

…No I didn’t make a mistake with the picture, this is just a reminder that the Yankees couldn’t even buy there way in via the National League, although inside sources inferred that they tried, by way of offering Mr. McCourt some under the table assistance with the silencing and/or gratifying of the soon to be ex-Mrs McCourt. The National League playoff picture will look like this:

St. Louis Cardinals vs Colorado Rockies – Cardinals win
Philadelphia Phillies vs Los Angeles Dodgers – Phillies win

NLCS – Phillies vs Cardinals – Phillies win

The World Series – Phillies vs MarinersPhillies win in 5

For all those skeptics out there, in the words of Dwayne Johnson “It doesn’t matter ,,,,,,,” as (what appears to be a couple of suited jabronees) find out…




N. L. West Crystal Ball…

NLwestcrystalball.jpg

The National League West is probably the hardest of the divisions to predict a winner and loser, not because the teams are so good, more because the teams are more evenly matched than the other divisions or in technical terms ‘more sucky’. So with this in mind, the division can change on the win or loss of a couple of key games or even players hitting the DL, or hitting something other than a baseball this year.

The San Diego Padres fans, like most in this division don’t need to spend much this year, but….

petcopark.jpg…should enjoy what they have, while they’ve got
it. Who knows how long PetCo Park will actually be PetCo Park, and lets
face it there is not much going to happen here over the next few years,
with Jeff Moorad needing another $145 million in 4 years to secure
ownership, he and his financing buddies will have essentially spent $290
million to own a $200 million debt that has almost no chance of winning
anything anytime soon.

The San Francisco Giants fans, should also enjoy more time at home this
year and do nothing but…

sanfran.jpg…try and enjoy the sounds and sights of your town and be thankful that Alcatraz is no longer operational, otherwise that’s where you’d have to go to watch games, because this year it’s going to seem like the Giants players and organization are nothing more than criminals taking your money for no return, the biggest disappointment for these fans will be the lack-luster performance of their star freak, Lincecum.

The Arizona Diamondbacks fans, should like so many others…

grandcanyon-2.jpg

…stay close to home, go visit the Grand Canyon if you haven’t already, because by the end of the season it’ll feel like the D’Backs have left a huge gaping hole in your life with the almost but not quite season.


The Los Angeles Dodgers fans, are going to have to spend the most in this division and trust me when I say you’ll need to find the perfect…

therapistcartoon.jpg
…therapist. The reasons will become many and varied as the season progresses, but at the start of the season you are going to need a therapist, to get past the waring parents of the Dodgers as they go through a bitter divorce knowing the only ones to suffer are the kids or in this case the fans, then the fact that knowing you have another shot at the post season, by way of the ‘Wild Card’ spot, so you can be counseled for what can only be described as ‘PhilliePhobia’, the undying need to lose to the Phillies in post season play, and of course the Manny virus will hit this year and fans will need therapy to maintain there undying love for a guy that is trying to get his bobble-head night changed to a male version of Raggedy Ann dolls…


The Colorado Rockies fans, need to take lots of pictures so they can…

mountains.jpg

…enjoy their trip to the top of the (Rocky) NL West Mountain this year, because the trip on this rocky road to the top of the division will result in a long hard fall early in post season play.

any sarcasm is not meant to offend,
unless it does, then consider the possibilities of more during the
season.

Other News:
A-Rod once again managed to avoid the face to face with the FBI, by ‘mutual’ agreement, yeah okay that’s about as believable as that other New York teams Reyes having a magical quick recovery from the thyroid imbalance or did that HGH just get flushed from his system.

trademarks,
trade names,
copyrights and patents are the property of their respective owners.


MOUNTAINS to CLIMB…

 

A million dollar hole in one
(Golf), a $25,000 message on shoes (NFL), mountains to climb (MLB)…

 

American
League Mountains…

 

Yankees – without
question lead the AL east 6 games up on the BoSox with
just 14 games left to play, at the extreme they have to play better than
.500 ball for the rest of the season. The last week of the regular
season is going to be the easiest week for the Yankees and should have
no problems winning this division.

Detroit – are
currently the AL central leaders, I say currently, because
they are the team most likely to blow their post season chances, having
just a 3 game lead and still 6 games left against the Twins. Detroit
has a 4-8 record against the Twins this season, which puts
the odds in the favor of the Twins to clinch the division.

Angels – are
favorites for the AL west, holding a 7 1/2 game lead,
although they have 6 games left against the Rangers and are only
4-9 against them this season, they should be able to hold a lead in the
division based on the other teams they play. Still with 15 games left
they have to play better than .500 ball through the end of the season.

Boston – look set to
clinch the AL wild card, with 16 games left they have what
should be the easiest schedule left in the season of AL
teams, still they will have to play better than .500 ball to get a post
season spot.

 

National
League Mountains…

 

Phillies – sitting on
an 8 game lead in the NL east have 8 games left against
division rivals, with 16 games left to play just 1 game better then .500
ball will give them a third division title in a row.

Cardinals – with the
largest divisional lead in MLB currently at 10 games, they
are odds on favorites for the NL central. A fairly safe
schedule left for the Cards, they are now fighting for
home field advantage and of course pride against the Cubs.

Dodgers – still have
the hardest challenge in the NL to clinch their division,
they are in a much better place now than they were a week ago and so are
now looking like favorites for the NL west, especially
since they probably have the easiest schedule left of all the NL
division leaders.

Colorado – sit on top
of the NL wild card at the moment, but with just 4 1/2
games covering the top 4 teams this is the race that should be where the
excitement is right down to the last couple of days of the regular
season. The 4 teams in the hunt for the NL wild card
probably have similar schedule strengths, with maybe Florida
having the hardest and the Giants having the easiest.

More…

Streaks… I
have decided that 5 or more games in a row are the only ones worth a
mention under streaks, so the current streaks. Win streaksPhillies
with 6 games  and the Twins and Oakland
with 5 games. Losing streaksIndians and Mets
with 6 games and the Astros and Rangers with
5 games.

Spoilers
the Royals have killed what was left of the CWS hopesthe
Mariners
are currently trying to do as much harm as they can to
the Yankees… the Reds are trying to end the hopes of the
Marlins… the D’Backs are beating up on the Rockies…

Race… the
tightest race is now the AL central, with the Tigers
looking as though they are about to crumble under the pressure, when
your website’s slogan is: "The Pennant Race Is On"
you know you have problems. The NL wild card has the most
teams locked in a battle. This will heat up next week and I believe we
will see the Giants and the Braves emerge as
the two fighting for the winning spot.

 

My choices at this time
still put the Angels and the Yankees in the ALCS and
the Cards and the Phillies in the NLCS.

It is September ball and we
all know that can change in a matter of a week….

For the
Phillies and Charlie this week Thanksgiving comes early…

…being
thankful for what you’ve got …  Got Phillies !!!