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….
is experiencing ‘Doctober Halladay’s', Yes I know another cheesy play on names,
but it seems to be the preferred expression at the moment. It was his first post
season game, it would have been shear magic had he just won it, but the fact
that he won it with style was more than magic, it was history being made right
in front of our eyes as Halladay throws a no hitter in game 1.
I am sure the statisticians will be able to tell us how many
pitchers have thrown a no hitter in their very first post season game, I am sure
they will be able to tell us how many have thrown that no hitter in the post
season the same year they threw a perfect game. Yep there’s no taking your shoes
and socks off to add them all up.
Once again Roy Halladay gave most of the credit to Chooch
(Carlos Ruiz), for his outstanding performance, and emphasized the team winning
game 1 as the real story.
Game 2 for the Phillies is Friday, and phase II of the H2O trio,
Roy Oswalt, takes the mound. The question is, how does one follow Halladay’s
show, simply with a winning performance.
There has been plenty of drama during the final month of regular season play, the drama even continues into the few rest days before the 2010 post season gets underway. Today I have decided to issue the final WTF Award of the season for the month of September, there will be too many other things to bitch, complain, praise even be in awe of, during the post season to worry about which moment is the most deserving to get the WTF Award, it would probably be an umpire for a lack of judgment or an over analyzed split second decision.
September like other months gave us a lot of great action, lots of highs and lows, depending on which team you were supporting. One thing I have learned this year is that it is difficult to sit back and reflect on the month and remember every action, re-action or inaction that may deserve a mention or ultimately the award. Initially it was my intention to check out stupid things that players, coaches, umpires or even non-baseball people did that would make almost everyone except that person say WTF.
This award was supposed to entail a ‘light hearted poke’ at dumb things people do, it turned out that it wasn’t just stupid, inconsiderate things that made us go WTF, there are many non-stupid things that can cause that reaction, so I found myself having to include great accomplishments too, of which there seemed way too many to mention them all, in fact as much as we find things to complain about with the teams we follow and the umpires who try to keep order between them, the things these people and entities do for the good is considerably more.
So for one last time this ailing memory will try to capture some things from September that made me go WTF…
There were any number of clubs that could have made you say WTF, from the NL we had the Braves starting the month as a 3 game leader of the NL East and ultimately hanging on to a wild card spot by their finger tips, or San Diego who started as a 4 game leader in the West and ended losing out on any post season play. The cardinals had already become the new NL ‘Chokers’ by the time September started.
The American had less to choose from with all post season teams having established relatively good positioning, it was more the fact that the Yankees went 13-17 and still made it, albeit via the wild card and home field was clinched by a team playing .500 baseball.
Other news that jumped out at me was a former hooker, Irma Nici, made a choice to name David Beckham as someone she had had as a client. First off when does a hooker know she’s a former hooker, how long between being paid for favors does it take to become a former hooker. I googled it, but no luck, I am thinking a Filibuster question for RSBS, so are you up for the challenge Jeff or Allen, “how long after a paid favor does a hooker have to wait before she can claim the status of a former hooker”.
Long story short, innocent or guilty I don’t know, but I understand the Beckham’s have filed suite against her, the magazine (In Touch) and the parent company of the magazine Bauer in Germany for various slanderous acts. The funny part her attorneys have counter sued because she claims harassment because someone sat outside her hotel and waited for her to exit so they could serve her with the writ. Okay she’s probably not all there and will claim something related to on job illness.
The next contender that jumped into the lime light, it may have taken a few months for it to work it’s way around to my email address, but it was definitely someone somewhere in the MLB that made this news worthy. Now believe it or not this did come via an email, and it was a legit email marketing this product, I may have made some improvements to make it more fitting for this use. The point is without the highlight by MLB of this type of product I do not believe this would be finding it’s way into email boxes as if it was a 5 Hour energy boost. I am not sure if she has a high neck sweater to hide her ‘Adams Apple’ because of the side effects or if the ‘batting average’ and ‘strike outs’ has a double meaning. Oh and if you clicked to get a free trial, your ‘IP Address’ has been forwarded to the FBI for investigation (that’s just incase any players are reading this).
Seriously I considered many things and kept coming back to the same group of people that I believe should get this award, so for those that actually stuck around to see who has won, the WTF Award for September 2010 goes too…..
….the fans, not just the Phillies fans, but to fans everywhere and fans of all teams. Through thick and thin, through good and bad, the true fan sticks with the club. The true fan spends money, sometimes money they can’t really afford, for brand name merchandise, player merchandise, travel to and from games, entry into ball parks, concessions etc, while inside ball parks, lets face it without fans the multi-million dollar payouts wouldn’t happen. Without baseball fans no one would be reading this blog, assuming they are of course and it’s not some sick joke being played on me, making me believe people are reading this……
What who’s insecure, nope, not me….
Enjoy the post season everyone
1 Day to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
It’s over, as much as we all would have liked to see single game deciders, it was not to happen, the Giants beat the Padres, there was no 9th inning rally to send it into extras, or even make the Giants sweat in the chilly bay air, they just got it done.
The Yankees fell to the Red Sox in the same fashion they have in 7 out of their last 10 games, which made the Rays game mute, all the same the Rays beat the Royals as if they wanted to be the division champions.
The Braves finally won a game against the Phillies, 1 out of the last 6 isn’t that bad I guess, although Cox had to get Wagner in from the pen, who eventually got the final out after giving up a couple of hits and a run, it was still just enough to give the Braves an 8-7 win.
The teams all know there places….
…. who’s wild, who’s not, where to be and what day.
We know who’s playing who, and at least initially we know when for the first 4 days anyway, then who the hell knows. MLB seems to have sold all post season rights to Fox, since it appears they are the ones calling start times. Sunday is listed as ‘When NFL Sunday Ends’ so everyone has to be in the dug outs ready to go when Fox tells them to go, or maybe it’s when Joe Buck can switch locations.
I am sure this is the first of many bash Fox moments between now and the crowning of the 2010 World Series Champions.
2 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
This weekend is what makes baseball a great sport, not a good sport, a GREAT
sport. With something on the line for 6 teams going into the final day of the
regular season, it is without a doubt, tense and nervous for some, exciting and
fun for others.
Just when you thought those teams that are comfortable will just sit back and
watch, along comes Charlie Manuel….
…. to place credibility back into the last weekend of the season. Initially
yesterdays line-up may have appeared a little weak compared to the last time the
Phillies and Braves met, but the game became a fight to the end with the
Phillies rookie Vance Worley giving a commanding performance thru 5 innings and
then the Phillies bullpen blanking the Braves thru the final 4 innings to give
the Phillies a 7-0 shut out on the day the Braves honored Bobby Cox.
Today I believe the Phillies may have jumped past Michael Vick to become the
most hated entity in Atlanta. Some Braves fans feel since the Phillies are in
why they don’t lay down and let the Braves get to the post season, as Charlie
Manuel said, "How is that fair to the Padres and Giants", so suck it
up Atlanta and win because you can, not because the Phillies let you.
The Yankees had a double header, while the Rays tried to find a way to beat
the Royals. The Rays managed to shut the Royals out in a 4-0 win, while the
Yankees took game 1 from the BoSox and looked like they may even sweep the
double header, except it was AJ on the mound and sometimes his cry baby attitude
gets the better of him….
….AJ’s mind went like this: let me check to make sure the
umpire called that play correctly, cause we all know, if I argue he’ll change
his mind, oh and while I argue let me see if I can trick the BoSox into thinking
it’s a dead ball. DOH!
It seems the only guy he tricked was Berkman, who just stood
there and looked dumb. Now I would like to know when AJ entered the dug out and
went down the steps, what the hell did AJ say to Girardi, it almost looked as
though AJ was blaming Girardi, and Girardi had this look on his face as if to
say AJ your just fu-cking crazy.
So we have the AL East all tied up again, but today it will be
decided, the winner of the east will also get home field advantage, the Yankees
passed the advantage back to the Rays yesterday, because now the Yankees need a
win and a Rays loss to clinch, so do they stay in Boston to find out or do they
grab everything and rush back to New York to see if they can celebrate.
The NL is a little more screwed up, the scenarios are bountiful,
the bottom line is the right wins and loses and there could be baseball everyday
till the post season starts. So we know the Phillies have home field in the NL,
but who will they play, we don’t know, since we could have 4 teams with the same
record at the end of today.
The introduction of video replay on the possibility of a home
run ball was supposed to make things right, everyone keeps saying we need more
video replays, to many errors by the umpires. What if the video replay shows one
thing yet they still make the wrong call after seeing it….
….there you have it fan interference, wait they’re playing in
Ohio, okay that means it must be a home run ball then. If you didn’t see this
then it’s worth a look, no matter how many time I replay it I still see the fan
reach over the fence touch the ball with his glove at the same time he hits the
fielders glove. The ball could have been caught by the fielder, if it wasn’t
caught it appears it may have hit the top of the wall and come back into play.
So how then will video replay prevent the umpires from getting in wrong, okay
it’ll involve someone in New York who’ll review it, lot of good that did.
This the last day of regular season is probably one of the most
exciting final days since they went to divisional play. We will at least know
the outcome of the American League battles and who the AL East champions are, as
for the National League, this could be done today or it could take till the end
of Tuesday for us to know.
3 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
The Phillies are on a day off today, like a number of teams. For the Phillies
they should be contemplating the series against the Braves in Atlanta, I know
it’ll be another sequence of audition games and I guess Charlie has earned that
right to set the starting line up the way he thinks it will be most beneficial.
was checking in on other teams, those that we could face in the post season at
some point and the Reds seemed to amuse me the most. First off when they
clinched the division, I am not entirely sure the front office was convinced
they would, it seems they scrambled around in the dungeons to get the
celebratory liquids ready.
It was also news worthy today that Dusty Baker could be signing his extension
as Reds manager before the end of regular season.
Its interesting that the article covering the news of Dusty Bakers contract,
they explain that for 2 years under him they were a below .500 ball club and
that this year he managed to turn things around and is currently 88-70, this is
very good no doubt, but truth
be known, if the stupid dumb-a-ss Cardinals had played to their potential that
88-70 record would put them in the wild card fight with San Diego and Atlanta.
The Reds owners, GM etc, should consider that next year the Reds will just be
another, also ran, middle of the road, central division team wondering why the
Cardinals and sCrUBs are the focal point of the division.
There is more for them to consider before signing this guy, with the pending
investigation into the deliberate disregard for the Ohio indoor smoking ban
during celebrations, do they want to
be in the middle of a major sex scandal like the Catholic Church and the altar boys,
because I am fairly sure this is some kind of harassment, the boss making
advances at a younger employee.
The negotiations for Baker’s contract have been ongoing since mid-August and
today I found out why, he was holding out for a special concession for his lunch
snacks. Only in Ohio folks does McDonalds offer Cherylls Cost Cutter….
….yep, it’s a huge Triple Cheeseburger, it would have to be
huge for $150 and of course to satisfy Dusty Baker’s appetite, the ultimate
question of course is who the fu-ck is Cheryll and is Ronald getting some.
Around Baseball -
The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Royals making the AL East
officially in deadlock, the involvement of a team from Florida could be cause
for concern, but I have officially been told that there will be no delays while
endless re-counts take place.
San Francisco won their game and the San Diego Padres lost
theirs, which puts the Giants 1 win away from a divisional clinch, tonight’s
game between the Padres and Giants will be heated and full of tension I am
5 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
The final regular season game against the Nationals, although the Phillies
are playing spring training type baseball at the moment, they have to consider
who they want in the first series of the post season when they head into Atlanta
for the final weekend. If they play ‘FALL’ training games in Atlanta it will
undoubtedly give the Braves the advantage over the Padres on who gets the wild
card slot. If Atlanta get the wild card then it would depend on how the Reds and
Giants finish out the season. This is of course speculative on the basis that
the Giants clinch in the West, stranger things have happened and the Padres
could still leap frog the Giants and grab the division.
The guy they call Big Joe Blanton took the mound tonight, some say
it’s ‘Big Joe’ cause he’s a ‘FATtee’, others say it’s cause of his
….me I’m just glad his name isn’t Richard. The bench players
got another start tonight and went back to back with homers in the top of the
2nd inning added to it in the 4th and 5th to give Joe a cushioned lead to pitch
off. When the start of the bottom of the 7th inning came around the Phillies had
just back up players on the field except for Blanton, I am sure the 7-1 lead the
Phillies were enjoying played a part, in addition to this being post season
auditions for the back up players.
A day off today gives everyone a rest and time to consider the
Braves series, do they continue auditions or go to Atlanta and make a statement.
The Phillies get home field advantage, which means they get to
play at home at the start of each series while they are in the post season. With
this in mind there is at least one change they should consider making before
post season play begins….
….the 2nd base bag, this has been the culprit of injuries and
has even come completely out and into the hands of sliding runners. This base
pad is responsible for a Valdez injury, Utley injury and a
Rollins injury and is suspected of being part of some bad judgment calls by
Werth, Ruiz and Victorino, so what do you say ground crew, lets replace this bag
with one that is more reliable and a little more favorable to the Phillies.
The Yankees lost to the Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the O’s,
so no changes there.
The NL West is still a fight to the end with both San Diego and
the San Francisco winning.
The Braves won again keeping their lead in the Wild Card and the
Phillies still uncertain of who will be the team they face in the first series
of post season play.
6 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
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….
….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….
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.
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….
A picture I came across not long ago, reminded me of how close it was that maybe I could have become part of the evil empire, it wasn’t to be, I saw the passage to the good side and followed the light. In defense of the fact that I had managed to wear a Yankees hat without my head burning, it was sometime in the 80′s and I had yet to see my first Phillies game. It wasn’t long after this I was resident down the 1st base line at Veterans Stadium enjoying the sight of the Philadelphia Phillies playing the New York Mets. It was early in my understanding of the game, so I was more into why this or why that, than any rivalry.
The brief visits over the next 10 years gave me more of an understanding of the game and an increased passion for the Phillies, even though during those early years in my baseball life L’s were a premium for the Phillies and the W’s could be something of a rarity. I learned that wins and loses aren’t necessarily what get you hooked to baseball, it definitely helps to have a post season visit at some point in time, but right down to the last game before elimination there is still hope and the knowledge that any team could and at times does collapse giving way to the unexpected.
The National League East is definitely heating up, with both the Phillies and the Braves playing only teams within the division through season end, with a 3 game set against each other in Philadelphia next week, the season will end on a 3 game series in Atlanta between the two clubs. I say tighten your belts it’s going to be an up and down roller coaster final couple of weeks for both Braves and Phillies fans.
Some have already written the Cardinals off, but with a couple of shots at the sCrUBs and the Pirates in the final weeks and the Reds having to play double duty with the Brewers and the LOLstros, in my opinion they could be in for a bumpy season end, it only needs the Reds to continue at the 3-7 pace and the Cards to improve with a spurt of wins, after all this is baseball anything can happen and it could be that Texas is the only team that appears safe at the moment, but even they could collapse and make the final weekend full of games that shape the post season.
Useless stats 101 – The year I got the Yankees hat and ultimately became a Phillies fan, there were just 2 divisions in each league and the Phillies finished 26 games back of the Cardinals, in the NL, with a 75-87 record.
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.