The ‘Mighty Media’ may have got tired of reporting
everyone else’s news this week and decided it was time to be the news. With
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, making demands and showing the
world he is the one with the power in the White House, threatening to pull the
POTUS from high level discussions while in a foreign country if he doesn’t get
his own way. I am sure he would have conceded to a visiting press secretary
pulling the same stunt in Washington, DC.
Then we have ESPN, who decided to listen to the millions and
millions, okay a dozen or so, regular viewers and oust the 20 plus year duo of
Sunday night baseball. Now if only Fox would concede to the sporting fans and
say bye bye to Joe Buck in time for next season.
The lack of instant trading and player acquisitions has given
the media to much time to create news instead of reporting it, I am sure if the
baseball season was in full swing the White House press secretary would have
been more concerned with Strasburg’s next start or which diamond to get the
POTUS on to throw out a pitch and ESPN wouldn’t have cared who was calling the
balls and strikes on Sunday night. It maybe time for the media to try a remedy
for the lack of baseball news….
….I am sure one of these is more than fitting for those media
people being the news instead of reporting it.
was expected the Yankees dove in head first and contacted Cliff Lee’s agent,
Darek Braunecker, just to let him know the obvious, that they were interested
and would be making an offer, also making contact was the Phillies, Ruban Amaro
jr. There were some other teams names being bandied about, but in all
seriousness Braunecker said they are just reviewing options and there is no rush
to commit. I think in reality the only serious contenders here are the Yankees,
Phillies and Rangers.
The Red Sox jumped into the Hot Stove with interest in an
outfielder, which could be Werth, since they contacted Boras. However how
serious can the Red Sox be this off season, since the owners have spent some
good money on acquiring the Liverpool Football Club and have made a commitment
to build that club back up and make it the top club in the Premiership, and if
you think baseball players salaries are high, then google some of the top
Premiership players salaries. I believe as far as teams with high payrolls, the
premiership has the most teams in the top 10, but I could be wrong.
It’s going to be a wait and see for the most part with some of
the top names on the free agent market and I am not convinced anything will be
solidified with the top names till later in December, even early January. Except
for those given to be re-signed by the Yankees.
Those of us who are baseball addicts are engrossed in the events
of the Worlds Series and as it stands now the thoughts are varied, will the
Giants sweep the Rangers and force their total fade out or will the Rangers go 3 for 3 at home and take it back
to San Francisco, who knows, that’s the beauty of baseball.
While all this headlining play by play unravels the remaining 28
teams have their own soap operas going on, moves being made to set up an off
season of player movements, operations and I am sure controversies.
In Philadelphia some actions involving players have already
taken place and as always the right things are being said, the team says things
like, ‘in order to give the player a chance at free agency’, when they
really mean, ‘we don’t want you back so we’re letting you go as early as we
can’. The players say things like, ‘it was great playing with a good
bunch of guys and a manager like Charlie’, when they really mean, ‘I’ll
miss you guys it was fun and thanks for nothing Amaro’.
So in Philadelphia, we could see Werth buddy up with his new
agent and head to Chicago to try on some White Socks, maybe. We could also see
other players held in a state of frozen animation until the club finds it’s
off-season direction. They have already managed to get the Phillies
beat writer to plant the seed of a return to the Phillies uniform by Cliff Lee.
Pie in the sky? Maybe, but it’s baseball stranger things have happened.
There are obviously a few players in the World Series making
impressions on possible future teams, who’d have thought after his stint in
Tampa Burrell would have found a team willing to give him a shot, and when
Florida unloaded Ross, who would have said by accident the Giants would be
putting him in the outfield every game. So yes strange things do happen in
baseball more often than we realize, who would have guessed back in 1945 that
October 30th would see the Brooklyn Dodgers sign a player from the Kansas City
Monarchs and make a resounding change in history.
With Halloween a day away and mid-term elections 3 days away,
strange things will happen more than ever. Mid term elections actually tend to
bring out even stranger happenings than Halloween, scarier people come to the
surface, it just gets totally weird, all in the name of ‘Vote’ getting. So when
your at the polling booth remember the 5 key issues when making your selections:
There is no Santa Claus.
The WWE may not be real, but the t-shirt’s are and you
can wear them to vote.
You’re not choosing the Cy Young or MVP.
It’s not a Fantasy League.
Politicians LIE, again and again and again and
It’s always that time of year when every game counts, early in the season
there is less emphasis placed on making every game count. When you look at the
games ahead and see 150 or 135 to play, you’re always thinking ‘plenty of time to
make that up’, the problem is come August it almost seems like it’s almost too late.
Every opportunity to gain ground on your opponent or to increase your lead on
the next placed team is important, which makes the thought that every game counts more
important all year long.
The biggest problem for teams, not just the Phillies, is loses to teams you
should really win. When errors or lack of offence is your downfall then all you
are doing is ‘BEATING YOURSELF’. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that if your
chasing a team in a close race the games you lose will coincide with a game lost
by the team your chasing, which makes the loss all the more disappointing, since
the idea is to win those so you catch the team ahead, or extend your lead on the
When ‘BEATING YOURSELF’ it can be a team effort, which will include some
talented errors, even some possible web gems, it’s when you can attribute an
above average amount to one player it becomes an issue. With the Phillies, early
on after the All Star break it was Wilson Valdez, who without fail would hit
into a double play. This however is now a benefit since they will walk a player
to get to Valdez, who in clutch moments is actually getting those hits now. On a
slow incline, since the All Star break, to become a clear leader these
days for the most assists in getting the Phillies to play ‘BEATING YOURSELF’ is
Jayson Werth. He has actually got some good numbers at the plate, but the
important stat that really helps the team win is where he has really su-cked of
late, ‘hitting with RiSP’. Hopefully he’ll get this out of his system and
September he’ll be hitting like Choooch.
Useless stats 101 – The Phillies 2010 starting line up has appeared in
just 6 games this season, those 6 game were all early in the season, tonight,
(8-24-2010) along with the ‘Chooch Bobblehead’ the Phillies starting line all
appear together again.
It’s that time again, during July we saw the All Star Game, various trades and a lot of good baseball that made the division races closer and harder to call. What we didn’t see was very much in the way of players, officials doing the deed that makes you wanna scream WTF, there may have been a few isolated incidents here and there, but some of those are regularly occurring in a lot of games. So, July was a tough month to really select any one event that jumped out more than other individual events. I must say I did have some fun sorting through things that happened, with the FIFA World Cup closing out early in July, there was a few gaf’s that could have made the list, but the better ones from that event were in June and made the list then. In July the ASG and trade deadline seems to distract from other things, so unlike other months July made us really have to consider what actually happened in July to make us go WTF.
Our illustrious government is always doing things I know and this isn’t by any shot of the imagination the strangest things or the most ridiculous that would make you go WTF, but it made the list because in other countries the news did make them go WTF…..
…..it may seem normal and part of everyday life, and maybe it wasn’t reported in the correct fashion abroad, but that is no different than our media does to other nations when reporting there inner workings here, so the government was a contender when they chose to take legal action against one of it’s own states, Arizona, for trying implement a law that is actually a federal law, one can only say the normal reaction, we know ‘Tax Payers Money at Work’…..
I would definitely be remiss if I didn’t touch on the July trades, some may say there team had the best, some will have there own opinions of the worst, some may even say there wasn’t any that made me say WTF, I have to say for me there was, I personally am used to a certain type of player wearing the Yankee pinstripes and yes as hard as it is to admit they normally have some quality that puts them aside from others, what that quality is, is up to everyone to decide for themselves, but when you hear names like Jeter, Mo, CC and A-Rod you kind of know inside yourself that there is that particular quality……
…..but when you hear names like, Berkman, Kearns and Woods, out of 30 teams the Yankees are probably in the bottom 5 you’d pick that they went too. So, I used this cheese and tissue picture in my season predictions and I think these trades are when Yankee fans will need them most, because lets face WTF were the front office thinking.
The one thing that has occurred more this year, besides shut out’s and perfecto’s, it’s injuries from celebrations, these are senseless and in my opinion a player should be made to go on the DL without pay or pay a heavy fine that gets donated to some very good charitable cause, because lets face it, clowning around in the work place is frowned upon by workers comp and normally they won’t cover it, plus I am not sure OSHA approves of it either, but of all of them…………
……. the one in Florida, by Chris Coghlan was the stupidest that made me go WTF the loudest, yep a finely tuned athlete rips his knee up smashing a cream pie in team mates face, dude you guys aren’t even in the running, you think the celebration was worth it.
Talking of being worth it, my next consideration was touch and go, but I finally decided on adding him to the list. It must have been a bout 7 to 10 days before the trade deadline and the words came out of his mouth like he was some ‘prima donna’, “What trade talk? I have other things going on, you know. My focus isn’t to go home, go on mindless blog sites, watch TV. I watch TV, but I haven’t heard. Whatever I’m watching isn’t talking about that, that’s for sure.” , yep that made me say WTF…….
……..he also managed to say he knew he wasn’t going to be traded the moment Victorino was injured, this from a guy who verbally abused a fan for catching a foul ball. You weren’t traded cause no one wanted a player that is slumping as bad as you, the Giants are going to come to town and fans are going to think they should have kept Pat Burrell instead, so take a trip to WV or where ever it is you recharge your batteries cause they look empty here, Yes Werth, WTF were you thinking or WTF are you thinking.
Unfortunately I had to move outside the realms of baseball to give the WTF award this month. This event is a one of a kind and should never be repeated, the recipient was debated, the debate was not over the event but over who should receive the award. It was close between the person and the TV network that allowed it to be seen, in the end the person got the award…..
…..LeBron James, with the assist by ESPN, LeBron managed to waste an hour of prime time television and in the process get the people of one City and a good portion of Ohio to say in unison WTF, I for one am happy I wont have to listen to the media in Ohio continue to over-hype your value to Ohio sports.
Useless stats 101 – I think the Phillies are the only team to wear the players number on the back and left sleeve of home and away uniforms. The left sleeve I believe was the first location for a number to appear on a baseball uniform.
If I’m wrong I am sure someone will tell me…..
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
….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
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
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
….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.
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.
What did we miss in the last few days.
Nationals Sneak a Win
Thursday, April 15th, 2010 – Philadelphia,
The Phillies tried to sweep the Nats, but as we saw last year
on those days that the Phillies decided to have some type of ceremony
the team didn’t meet the expectations on the field. This
year seems to be going that way too, with the presentation of the 2009 NL
Championship rings on Thursday before the final game against the Washington
Nationals, this laid down the jinx and the Phillies failed
to deliver. It was not a very fitting end to a day that honored Jackie
Robinson and saw 19 current Phillies receive the rings.
All seemed to be good up to the 8 inning, Baez came in to pitch the 8th
and hold a 3 run lead, for Madson. Unfortunately the reason Baez
was acquired did not pan out in this game he gave up 3 runs, which allowed the Washington
Nationals to tie the game at 5-5, then in the 9th Madson gave up
a couple giving the Nationals the win.
The good news was that Happ pitched 5 good innings, although his pitch
count was high, he only gave up 1 run on 3 hits. Utley managed to hit his
5th home run of the year and his 3rd in consecutive games. Polanco is
still hitting at a plus .450 clip and doesn’t look like slowing down soon.
Halladay has Fish on Friday
Friday, April 16th, 2010 – Philadelphia,
Roy ‘The Doc’ Halladay faced the Florida Marlins
Friday, some say after facing less than dominant teams, this weekend against the
Marlins would be the real tell for the Phillies. Halladay
stepped up like an old time mailman and delivered through rain and sleet, well
okay no sleet, but he delivered regardless of the weather conditions, which
seemed to bother the Marlins manager.
Halladay was all business, even when it came to the 8th
inning and he had an 8-1 lead, and was holding the Fish to just a
hand full of hits, the intensity he showed was that as if it was a tied game in
Even though the umpires let the game go on through the rain,
it was clear that the Marlins manager was doing all he could to
try and get a delay, primarily to get Halladay out as early as
possibly, since his players were going nowhere fast against him. In fact Halladay
was the main reason Florida’s Cantu had his record run of
It wasn’t just Halladay that caused the Fish
to have a slow day, even though I am told fish like the rain, believe it or not
the empty bench in the picture of Halladay, does not infer that the rest
of the players took the day off, Halladay had some very good defense
behind him too, even Raul Ibanez got into the act, showing that age
hasn’t stopped him taking the needed dives to make a catch, obviously events
like this, especially in the rain draw comments from his fellow team mates, I
think it took another 2 batters for Victorino to stop poking fun at Ibanez
for his attempt at gaining as much air time as an NBA player.
It’s still early in the season and with a 6 run lead going
into the 9th Manuel didn’t want to tax Halladay too much, so after last
it was time to see if the Pen could step up and show that they could hold
a 6 run lead.
In steps Herndon, a rule 5 pick from the Angels,
who won this spot fair and square at spring training, I just hope that this was
just a glitch in his capabilities, because he managed to give up 4 runs and only
get out 1 hitter, now this is a little unfair to him, because the rain was still
coming down and everyone that came up to bat seemed to hit a little bloop in the
infield or to a spot where no one was and everyone kept going point to point. So
Charlie had seen enough, made his AT&T call to the bullpen
using up those roll over minutes, although by now he was on his unlimited nights
and weekends minutes. This time it was Madson called upon to find out if
the Pen is mightier than the Sword, or Sword Fish in this case.
As it happens ‘Mad Dog’ Madson was mightier, it took
just 6 pitches to get the final 2 outs and give Halladay his 3rd win as
the Phillies ace.
WTF Saturday all around baseball
Saturday, April 17th, 2010,
Jamie Moyer took the mound for the Phillies
and Norlasco for the Marlins, the 1st inning was the Moyers
achilles heel, he gave up 5 runs, and that was it, after that he struck out 7
through the next 5 innings. Norlasco for the Marlins was
just as devastating and held the Phillies bats in check, he was on
target for a shut out game except for Jason Werth’s 9th inning home run,
ironically his first of the season. The Fish went on to win 5-1
against a Phillies offense that seemed to be sleeping all night.
Boston Red Sox has been hosting the Tampa
Bay Rays this weekend, Friday nights game got rain out and since it was
tied up at 1-1 they postponed it till Saturday, hoping to squeeze it in before
the start of the scheduled Saturday game, I am sure no-one expected this to go
to 12 innings, but it did and the Rays came out on top, the
scheduled game started late, obviously, but only went 9 innings and also saw the
Rays squeeze another win at Fenway by a score of 6-5, I am sure
there are some Tampa fans with brooms in hand for Sunday’s game.
Well this was one of those games where even the commentators
were wondering if anyone had the capacity to end this game, I’m guessing that
the Mets bench figured the only guy that could possible end it
would get walked and so he did 4 times, although in 20 innings and 9 times at
home plate with a bat in his hand, 4 walks wasn’t bad, and as it also turns out
he got the only Cardinals run in the 19th. Both these teams were
suffering from some variation of the ‘canthitaball-phobia’, both teams
posted a lot of ‘zeros’, over the 20 innings of work, this was definitely
a marathon no-one expected, just like the outcome, Mets finally
won it 2-1.
There has been a lot of hype in spring training and early on in this season
about how good the Atlanta pitching
staff is, personally I think hype is all it is, yes they are good, but it’s more
about the only thing the Braves can push in order to try and make Bobby
Cox’s final year a pay off year. Anyway during the Phillies
game the commentators started to mention a no-hitter going on in Atlanta,
I thought okay, maybe I was wrong, so I flicked to the Atlanta
game to see the Rockies up 4-0 and Jimenez for the Rockies
throwing the no-hitter, okay so he had 6 walks, but he also had 6 strike outs, I
have to admit he wasn’t the first pitcher I would have selected to throw a
no-hitter this season, in fact I didn’t expect a no-hitter before mid May from
anyone in baseball, so to see one this early, by a guy who obviously needed all
the stars to align for this to happen, and for it to happen against a team who
has been hyped for it’s pitching staff, in my eyes definitely wins the ‘WTF’
award for April. I know there’s still lots of playing time in April, but it
would take a Kyle Kendrick to throw a no-hitter to beat this ‘WTF’.
No major entry here, it’s just the first game of the series and the predicted wind was supposed to produce a long ball extraviganzer… but the only player to tame the wind was Jimmy Rollins, who managed to capture 2 fly balls that went from the outfield and almost came back into the infield.
Cliff Lee started a little shakey, but after the 2nd inning managed to send down 16 straight and hold the Rockies scoreless through 8 2/3 innings, finally gave up a run in the 9th with 2 outs, then went on to close the game for a complete game in his first post season game. Lee threw 113 pitches 79 for strikes. He also got a hit, sac bunt and stole a base.
Phillies won 5-1 with RBI’s from Ibanez (2), Ruiz, Howard and Werth.
Game time tomorrow is 2:37, Still not sure what genius came up with the game times, because they seem to be odd times for home field fans at every game.