It almost that time when we celebrate the begining of a new year
and invariably a new era in the successes of our teams. Before we jump forward
to what could be in 2011, here’s a small review of how my blog saw the Phillies
Here’s hoping you all have a very happy and safe New Year….
The GIBBY’s were handed out, I am sure like other award’s you
may not of agreed with some
of them, but that’s just the way it goes at least it seems the voting was evenly
For the Phillies, almost all the winners were no brainers, the
one that did surprise me was the Roy Oswalt for Oddity of the Year, after he
came in to play left field following Howards ejection. Obviously Halladay is
Halladay and there should be no surprises when he or something he is apart of
wins an award. Carlos Ruiz voted ‘X-Factor of the Year’ finally got some
recognition for his excellent performance during the 2010 season.
As we draw closer to the year end, we tend to look back at what
the year held for us, that’s when the anticipation of the 2011 season begins to
build, knowing its only 8 or 9 weeks before team members start arriving at
spring training gives us plenty of time to shuffle and re-shuffle the starting
lineup only to be surprised come opening day again.
In a perfect world the Red Sox would go broke and Liverpool
FC would be the owners main interest, in my brothers warped and sadistic mind maybe. A real perfect world would be in 20 some years, the Phillies would be debuting that years ‘Rookie of the Year’. My son however probably has
designs on him being a premier league football player, only time will tell how
much influence Grandpa can wield…
The Phillies do it again, win that is. It’s now 11 straight wins, giving the
Phillies a 93-61 record with 8 games left, and that was enough to make Chuck smile
a little more….
…. as even more good news came his way, when the Washington
Nationals closed out a win over the Atlanta Braves, making the Phillies magic
number ‘2’, could Carlie’s wish becoming true. Conceivably the Phillies could clinch on Saturday, like Charlie requested in his wish. They will know
before game time, if the clinch is possible, as the Braves and Nationals play an afternoon game on Saturday. The Yankees
fell short against the Red Sox and the Twins got demolished by the Tigers, the
Phillies now stand alone a top Major League Baseball with their 93 wins.
Bing Crosby’s wine cellar gave back Game 7 of the 1960 World
Series where the Pittsburgh Pirates managed a walk off win to defeat the Yankees
and win the ’60 World Series. See
the full story as reported by the New York Times.
One Game at a Time – GO PHILLIES….
Something I haven’t heard for sometime, recently changed, when I heard one of my all time favorite sayings – “Time is something to prevent everything happening at once” The game of baseball is testimony to that statement, with 162 games over 6 months to figure out which teams will play into month 7, although sometimes it seems like it all happens in month 6, it is just an accumulation of outcomes from the numerous WTF occurrences that have taken place during the season.
August saw it’s share of those WTF moments, from coast to coast baseball gave us some gems and as with other months most of those came from the umpires, from early in the month right through to the end. They never seem to have favorites or teams they actually really dislike, although at times your team is always the one getting the brunt of their wrath. With the ability to replay, slow down, freeze frame every pitch, play and call that can affect the outcome of every game the umpires are constantly under the spotlight, so this will constantly produce WTF moments from umpires everywhere..
The month also saw a couple of teams position themselves for this award, not because of the outstanding achievements they had as a collective body, but because they found the need to act like unruly children, NHL players even NFL players. You could say the heated moment between 2 teams fighting for the lead of a division can at times be explained, and is there such a thing as equal punishment, since both teams could have acted more like baseball players and not NHL players. The confusion was in Florida, although this happened on the first day of September, I decided to use it for August just so that we keep the fights together and keep them away from the post season run. We had 2 teams fighting to end the season better than the Mets, fighting each other, this wasn’t heated because the season depended on it, this was simply senseless and a definite WTF moment, but I will not reward those that are teaching our youngsters criminal behavior.
On a high note of the year for at least one team, they started the season off as, in my eyes, the worst team in the National League, they seemed to continue on that same line. In July they made some trades and things seemed to change in August, they had one of the best records in baseball for August with 17 wins, the managed 3 sweeps, yes one may have been against the Pirates, but they also swept the Cardinals and the Phillies. The LOLstros have acted like the worst team in baseball, but WTF have they been drinking in August, okay no chance of post season play unless the Cards continue to meltdown and the Reds follow suit.
Talking of meltdowns, I almost included the San Diego Padres in this list, they have managed to get swept back to back to back, but it seems to me there WTF moment is still ongoing. It would feel right if I didn’t include Lou in this months list, cause lets face it WTF was he thinking (insert retiring or staying this long).
I finally settled on giving the award to a man who has acted like a gentleman through hardship and adversity. His team started of the month in a divisional fight and a literal fight. It was difficult to find anyone worthy enough to present him with this award, but eventually someone who’ll do anything for a shot at being in the spotlight jumped at the chance. The WTF award for August 2010 goes to….
….Albert Pujols, and so we had the chance for the POTUS to award the PUJOLS. Even though he has brought his game and played well enough to give him consideration as the NL’s MVP his team has let him down as they slowly loose contention and could possibly give the chance of the 2010 MVP award to his counterpart at the divisions winning team. A pending free agent at next seasons end, he hasn’t demanded movement to a club that could give him another WS ring, he’s kept smiling and playing the game like the true sportsman that he is, this to some may not be a true WTF moment, but to me its a WTF must he be thinking.
Useless stats 101 – In 2003 Detroit had the least amount of wins in a season during the last 10 years, and they were eliminated from the race by August 21st, the earliest of any team in the last 10 years, Mike Maroth a Detroit pitcher lost 20 games that season. On the bright side they weren’t the 1962 Mets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, itll 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.
Phillies v BoSox ‘Demolition
Derby’ turned out to be just that, Boston
demolished the Phillies in the first 2
games, the Phillies did however manage to
scrape out a win on the final day, by way of a Raul Ibanez homer and some
inventive base running by Jayson Werth.
The crowd continued to express the desires to ‘Beat LA’ even
though they were referencing a different sport. The Phillies
get a day off, before heading to Yankee
stadium, Charlie Manuel managed to play switcheroo with his starting
rotation so that Halladay and CC match up, not sure if this was
all Chuck’s doing or if there were any financial or other compensations
involved. Did I just infer that there may be some kind of bribing going on,
naaaa, I would never do that, but Sony Online Entertainment might
or at least that’s how I read it, might infer that money should make a difference
to official controlling bodies of sports.
How about a headline “World Cup Needs America, Like It Or
Not”, is this just someone trying to encourage the development of a
sport, or encourage the involvement for financial gain.
This head line was the headline of a blog post from the “Senior
Director of Global Public Relations” for “Sony Online
Entertainment”, yep way to go with the public relations there ‘Mr.
Big Shot’ actually I don’t know the guy, he may be a very nice person and
his name isn’t really Mr. Big Shot, it’s Mr. Scott Gulbransen,
and some of what he says maybe perfectly true, but it’s the end of his post that
my concern is with, he says:
“With a global recession, Americans and their wallets –
including the large television networks – throw more money at the
tournament than everyone else combined. FIFA and the World Cup
increasingly need American interest and money to keep the expensive show
afloat. Yes, it might be the world’s most popular sport, but America is
its richest and most important benefactor.”
This is why players of the sport stay in this country to play the game, so
they can benefit from all the big bucks that are invested so readily and easily
into the sport. (note the sarcasm).
I would probably agree that most Americans are going to say, ‘yeah and what’s
wrong with that statement’, to someone who was not born here, who has
experienced how people have over the years perceived Americans, this does
nothing more than play into the typographical role of the rich arrogant American
who believes throwing money at it will get them preferential treatment, the same
way a lot of Americans have seen the Yankee
organization. The humorous part of this post was the closing statement, where he
“For once, this non-soccer fan will be rooting for our US
team to kick some arrogant international soccer booty. Even if that
means I have to wake up at four in the morning to watch it.”
Something like this from an everyday person, would probably be excusable,
even laughable, after all it is a free country with freedom of speech, but let
me remind you this came from someone claiming to work for what could be
considered a very large global corporation and their job is high up in global
public relations for that corporation, so to me this sounds more like a gripe
from a company that wasn’t able to ‘BUY’ it’s own way, or even rights to a FIFA game, say World Cup 2010.
Yes my post also sounds like a gripe, but I am not associated with a large
corporation, my post will not receive preferential promotional treatment from a
website that seems to pay attention to the bigger names, now it’s grown, and
honestly it just goes to show that corporate is in the belief that it can buy whatever
or into whatever it wants whenever it wants. You can read the
full post from the man from Sony Online Entertainment here
Perfection is a hard thing to achieve, in baseball terms for a pitcher, it’s
throwing 9 innings and facing the minimum number of batters, just 27, without
giving up a hit, walk or anything else that may put a batter on the bases. It
was the end of the worst week of the Phillies
season so far, it was Saturday night in Florida, the Phillies
had set a record for innings without a run during the week, they were what could
only be described as having a case of hitlessness…..
Tonight the Phillies ‘ACE’ Roy
‘The Doc’ Halladay turned the tables and threw the perfect game, not just a
no hitter, a perfect game, the 20th in baseball history, 27 Marlins
came up and 27 Marlins went down, including
3 straight pinch hitters in the 9th inning.
Roy Halladay, definitely imprinted himself in the Phillies
history books and it is well deserved. A man of class, saying he just followed
Ruiz from the 6th inning on, so to the pair of them congratulations.
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
A week in any other year you would be happy to have come out of with an even
record splitting both the Pirates and the Cubs series evenly, but not this year,
the Phillies should have swept both teams, but it wasn’t to be, now we head into
the inter-league weekend and the Phillies host the
Red Sox, so I thought it was
time I went back onto the interview circuit, which allowed me to meet up with Ryan
Howard, this is how it went…
The weather in Colorado wasn’t quite the weather one would expect for May
time baseball, so we still have one make up game to play after splitting what
turned out to be a 2 game series with the Rockies. Roy Halladay didn’t get
homecoming/birthday win, I am sure the weather being the weather he and all the
Phillies players are happy to see Colorado disappear as their plane
altitudes worthy of leaving Colorado.
I started this post on May 11th, then changed it and changed it and on May
13th got a little further, it’s now an hour before game time on the 14th, so we
are going to change some of the future, present and past tense expressions so
that I can keep most of the post, at least the next 3 paragraphs, after that we’ll try
and jump to current thoughts and hopefully have this posted by
midnight or early Saturday morning.
The Phillies have arrived in Milwaukee for the weekend and a 3 game series
against the Brewers, at Miller Park, a stones throw from the
Harley museum, a
hop skip and a jump from Chicago or a good 9 to 10 hour drive from me, and yet I
am still not going, sigh!
The first game tonight sees Jamie Moyer take the mound for the Phillies, on a
little extended rest, and a former
Phillies favorite Randy Wolf for the
Brewers. This will either be a pitchers duel in slo-mo or a home
run derby, neither guy has dominating stuff, but when location is close to
perfect either can be un-hittable, unfortunately if they are missing their spots
or if the offense is on key then the ball will be flying everywhere and we could
see, if not both one team hit double digits in runs or at least hits. I guess
this we will see before the nights out, since they are due to start in about
55 minutes at 8:10 pm (EST) or to those 24 hour clock buffs, 20:10 hrs (EST) or
if your adventurous and dealing in global military time then 00:10 hrs Zulu, or
if you were being military and local to the game it would be 19:10 hrs Sierra.
Not sure how I got onto time zone ramblings then, but there does seem to be
some things that just aren’t right with the world as we think we know it.
British elections ended in what can only be described as a ‘hung
not going to explain that one, so google it, but make sure you read the right
answers if your really that interested, cause there are some US American takes
on what it means that are not very accurate.
Some US sports analysts, on the upcoming FIFA World Cup, think that
Beckham has been aligned with the England team to help them defeat the
Guys, Beckham is one of the best England players to have graced a soccer field,
if not for his injury, he would more than likely be on the England squad as an
active player, his presence alone will help the team, however, I am not sure his
purpose is to give England an advantage over the USA on June 12th, because quite
honestly if they can’t beat the USA, then they don’t deserve to be in the
More natural disasters have occurred in the first 4 months of this year than
I can remember, with earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and volcanoes all causing
more than enough destruction to last us the year.
Even baseball has some freaky things still going on even as we come to the
end of week 6 of the season, so tell me how do these things happen and it not
cause us to wonder if something weird is happening this year to everything.
How does the St. Louis Cardinals get swept at home by the
Houston Astros, who
had this seasons worse start of the year, when they went 0 – 8 and ended the
first 10 games 1 – 9.
The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to scrap together enough wins to reach .500
and still could drop below .500 before the weekend is over, as they play 3 in
The New York Yankees are playing second fiddle to the
Tampa Bay Rays, who
have the best record in baseball at 24 – 10 as they finish the week out at home
The New York Mets, Florida
Marlins, Atlanta Braves are all left in the dust
as they trail the Washington Nationals, who
have managed to match the Phillies
with 20 wins at the start of Friday, and while the Mets
and Marlins go at each others throats the Nats
are in Colorado hoping for no postponements.
Chicago looks as though it has a double curse, with the White Sox struggling
to have as good a record as the Cubs, who themselves are one of the few teams
living up to expectations, or down to them.
The BoSox, but for the O’s would be the laughing stock of the
AL East, except
they have been making an effort and are now above .500 and a good weekend could
make them challenge for 3rd place, if Toronto continues to suck at home,
especially as the Texas Rangers are in town and riding high a top the
Well it’s almost game time so now I’ll watch the Phillies and
completing this post….
came closer to a home run derby than a pitchers duel in slo-mo, with 3 homers from
the Phillies and 3 homers from the Brewers and it all started in the first
inning with 1 on and 2 out Howard hit a bomb deep to give the Phillies a 2 run
lead, after the Phillies scored again to
make it 3 – 0, it was the Brewers turn with
3 home runs in
one inning off Moyer to tie the game up, after that the Phillies never
looked back with Victorino on fire in the lead off spot and Ibanez and Utley
both going deep the Phillies took this first one by a final score of 9 – 5. We
do it all over today on Fox and tomorrow on ESPN, but they won’t be wearing the
70’s uniforms. The only one who really looked at home was Moyer, who actually
made his major league debut against the Phillies when they were still wearing