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.


WTF Award for June goes to …..

– PhilliesOutside –

June the month of ‘VOTE FOR ME‘ is finally over and July the month of
WE WANT HIM‘ begins, it’s also time for the June 2010 WTF Award.
I had already given my we wants back in May, to close out a post entitled ‘Weekend
from Hell’
, all of my suggestions are still viable options.

The group of Mr. Popularities
will all gather in Los Angeles in a few days and pretend like they give a sh-t
about each other, for some it’s more a time of networking, a time they can meet
those that may be able to mention their name to the right person that may give
them a shot at getting on a post season team, for others it’s another chance to
screw the fans out of more money.

Mr Selig,  different twist for next years All Star Game,  consider
this, the NL manager
selecting the AL starting lineup
and the AL manager selecting the NL starting lineup, with obvious restrictions
like the player has to have had so many starts in that position during the
season, this would truly make the managers work on selecting the players
they would want to face and then have to work with players that may not be the
very best of the best and may not be very popular either, they would have to
select 1 player from each team. The pitchers could be selected in a similar way,
not only would this, I think make things a little more interesting it would give
some of those less popular players a chance to be in the camera eye and have a
national stage.

I hope everyone has used up those 25 votes per email address and if you have
the time you can get more email addresses. I also wonder why we don’t have text voting yet, you know text such ‘n’
such
number to this number if you want to vote for so ‘n’ so. They
could again restrict it to so many votes per mobile number per player.

This may seem like a post about prompting you to vote, but actually deep down I think the popularity contests should be reserved
for beauty pageants, dog shows, celebrity apprentice and American Idol, since
the voting is always fixed (according to my secret sources) it shouldn’t
matter to them how the voting goes.

Unlike the WTF Award, where the voting is fair, it’s uncomplicated, there is
no room for cheating, and everyone has an even chance of winning.

WTF Award for June 2010, nominations are:

Jim Joyce is nominated, not because he made umpires seem almost
human by showing tears in his eyes, not because he stood up like a man and said “I
got it wrong”,
the nomination for Jim Joyce is based
purely and simply on the fact that he F-CKED UP.

New York Mets Front Office for those who are thinking, what the
hell did they do to make the list, well it could be that despite having all the
Miller Highlife removed for abusive pricing they still manage to have patrons consume
huge amounts of adult beverages, no that wasn’t it, it is of course the giving
up of Jerry Seinfeld’s personal box to Lady GaGa.

Adidas, if you’ve seen any of the news you’d know that
Adidas
re-invented the ball, as with every World Cup anything new everyone has
to have their say and the complaints of the ball not moving right or flying
through the air like it’s a drunk driver, truth is if your a professional a ball
is a ball is a ball, get over it, Adidas however, well done on
adding to the world a perfect round spherical object that people kick.

Detroit Tigers what other team could say that the last call of
2 different games in one month were totally wrong, yes the game against the
Indians should have
been a no hitter and the game against the Braves should have gone to extra
innings, but nothing in the world of baseball is really perfect, which is why
when this happens we say WTF.

Florida, the whole damn state, why, because only Florida as a
state could have it’s baseball teams in the media for being no hit 3 times, for
firing a manager, and site searching for new ball park locations, yet a tourist
map giving a sporting look at Florida doesn’t show anything remotely
related to baseball.

There were a few others that could have been on the list, but the final
winner of June 2010 WTF Award, goes to an individual who, during June took his
life to a new level, showed everyone he can be more than anyone ever thought
possible, in an instant this person stepped up and became a man in front of the
whole world, he’s by no means the first to show everyone what he’s capable when
it’s needed, this person could be a true great friend to those that need one,
this person went above and beyond their normal routine, this person made me
say WTF.

….you guessed it, RSBS co-host
Allen Krause, who during the
month of June came out of the closet and showed everyone he does know how to use
the comment feature at MLBlogs. You can see how I originally reported the incident
here
, or alternatively you can visit the actual WTF happening here
and scroll down to the 5th comment.

The image with Al accepting his award, was stolen from an RSBS
video
and imagicalated by moi.


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

 


Yankee Doodle Andy …..

– PhilliesOutside –

The Phillies brief residence at Yankee stadium came to an end Thursday night.
It was clear when the Phillies entered Yankee stadium on Tuesday that the

Yankees
were in the midst of a ‘anti-cold’ streak and the Phillies still
appeared to be enduring the ‘anti-hot’ period.

Some had heralded this inter-league match-up as a re-duel from the 2009 World
Series, even the front page of MLBlogs endeavored to blast us with images of the

Yankees
and Phillies, while hoping to drive us to
blogs that could portray this
match-up as a spill over rivalry from last years post-season. The one thing it
did manage to do was show us that the Yankees enjoy a good comedy, they had
moved on from the normal images that would instill you with the need to label
them as the ‘Evil Empire’, moved on to more humorous aspects of being the
‘Evil
Empire’,
it was Rick Moranis batting in the 8 hole for the Yankees. Joking
aside, in this time when appearance is normally more important than comfort or
sensibility, it’s good to see someone throw that out the window for safety,
especially someone in New York.

I
think to try and conceive some hidden rivalry between these two teams who have a
long way to go before either can even contemplate the possibility of a post season
where it would be a meaningful rivalry. This isn’t a rivalry some were trying to
create it to be, but more it seemed like mutual respect, we did see some firsts during these 3 games.

Lifetime first was game 2 with Jamie Moyer as the winning pitcher, this was a
first because no pitcher this age has beaten the Yankees before, but then as old
as Moyer is, each win is probably going to be a first for the teams that lose.
It was actually on this day 24 years ago that Moyer made his major league debut,

June 16th 1986
, where he pitched for the Cubs against the
Phillies and got the win while Steve Carlton took the loss for the
Phillies.

Things weren’t what they seemed at Yankee stadium this week, Tuesday was
supposed to be a pitchers duel, but turned out to be one of Halladay’s worst
starts this year, Sabathia faired a little better for the Yankees, as he faced a

Phillies
team that has struggled during the ‘anti-hot’ period. Even with the
lack of offense the Phillies still managed to get some hits, runs and put

Sabathia
under some stress, but ultimately the Yankees took the game much to the
delight of the Yankee fans.

This 3 game series saw for the first time this year the return of the man who
hit the longest home run at the NEW Yankee stadium, last year a monster
477′
homer was hit by the Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez, another first this
year was seen during game 2 as the Phillies launched back to back home runs,
something they’ve lacked since September ’09.

Game 3 had Kendrick pitching for the Phillies
and Pettitte for the Yankees, after
the Yankees sneaked a win from Halladay,
I am sure most fans were surprised that Moyer was able to fend off the Yankee
bats and get a win in game 2, game 3 was one that Yankee
fans must have felt confident about, with probably the best Yankee
pitcher taking the mound and the Phillies
default pitcher because Happ is stuck on the DL, anyone that knows
baseball would have given this to the Yankees.
This is still a sporting event and not all things are as we expect them, this
year is a prime example of how normal is not really normal, so much to
the pleasure of the Phillie fans Kendrick
faced off against the Yankees for the very
first time in his short career and got the win.

I’ll
put my hand up and admit even as a Phillie
fan I was almost sure Pettitte was going to win this one, with the way
the Phillies have been playing and the way
the Yankees have been playing, there were a
number of Yankee fans, even before the first
game, laying it out in the comments section of a number of online articles on
how the Yankees would easily sweep the Phillies,
this ramped up even more after they beat Halladay, with comments telling Phillie
fans they don’t have any other pitchers after Halladay and with the lack
of offense the Phillies may as well concede
and go home without the major embarrassment that the Yankee
hitters will give them. Then after game 2, Yankee
fans seemed confused that a 47 year old had had the audacity to actually
beat them, now after Kendrick held the Yankees
to 4 hits and 1 run there is probably a few Yankee
fans telling Joe how to best re-arrange his line-up so that the Yankees
won’t lose. 

When it comes right down to it, the Yankees
have an impressive 41 wins which ties them with the Rays,
okay maybe Yankee fans are used to being on
top, but we still have almost a 100 games left and as we have seen anything can
happen. Of those 41 wins 22 are against teams with a below .500 record and 19
are against teams with a better than .500 record, okay so that’s fairly even,
until you look at the 25 loses, only 8 to teams with a below .500 record, which
really means they are almost a .500 club against winning teams. I am sure you
can look at this with any club and see similar things, but when you consider
they can only play the Orioles so
many times and I think they have played them some 12 times already this year, or
it certainly seems like it, and they’ve played the Astros in
inter-league with the D’Backs still
to come, as long as they don’t drown in self pity and lose to the Mets
this weekend they should at least be able to stay on pace with the Rays,
until they have to play a long string of games against winning teams that is,
then who knows.

The Phillies host the Twins
this weekend, but then the Tribe come
to Philadelphia, at least we get 1 club that’s not a winning team
this month, not that it seems to make a difference to the Phillies,
at least during the ‘anti-hot’ run anyone and everyone has a 50/50 chance
of winning.

Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend and just in case you’ve been traveling
around with your eyes closed or surfing the interwebs with blinkers on, Sunday
is Father’s Day, so don’t forget, unless your the dad, then it’s
customary to act surprised and still have to break out the grill and cook for
everyone that stops by….


Virals and Conspiracies ….

– PhilliesOutside –

There are something’s happening in baseball that just don’t compute, if
baseball was a computer game you’d be running some virus protection or a seek
and destroy program, because you’d be convinced there was a virus of some kind
affecting the program.

It’s not just the fact that the Phillies are probably in the worst stretch in
the history of the club, it’s not that they gave up 12 runs in 3 innings
to the BoSox last night, but when you look at everything going on you’ve got
to question the reality of the situation. When normally the Phillies bats launch
balls into oblivion, you’ve got opposing players that do that and Phillies balls
seem to die as they reach the warning track. It’s not just the Phillies either,
how does the St. Louis Cardinals get swept 2 times in 2 months, and not just
swept by contending teams, we’re talking Astros and Dodgers.

There is actually a long list of divisional things that have happened or are
happening that seem just out of place, one or two of them okay but every
division there is at least two things going on that seems out of place. Ask the Giants
fans or the ChiSox fans or even the Rays
and Yankees fans, everywhere there is just
something a little odd.

I have watched
the Phillies and I have watched other teams
games and it seems like the same thing
going on, the teams that have been leading things all of a sudden are hitting
weak fly balls instead of homers, and balls that look as if they are a weak fly
balls go deep into the stands. Doubles by one team score runs yet by another it
puts players on 2nd and 3rd or turns out to be a long single. This, I understand
is how baseball can be, and from time to time this will appear somewhat odd,
like the fans of some teams have just a little to much go juice at times and
appear over-hyped as we saw at the Rays v Marlins
game last night.

There is one thing I have noticed with the Phillies this year, the
bats, they aren’t shattering like they have done over the last few years, is
this the norm across baseball or is it just certain bat suppliers or makers that
links this occurrence. I know it sounds like the ‘BAT CONSPIRACY’, that’s
because it probably is a conspiracy.

Then we have the ‘INTER-LEAGUE CONSPIRACY’, I know everything
is a conspiracy today, just asking is all how does the two New York teams
draw probably the best inter-league schedule. You know the place where MLB
makes everything happen, the place where the officials of MLB get
drunk with the folks from the Yankees and
the Mets (if it’s dark and they can’t be
seen),
yeah, that city, the city where everyone plays fair, the city where
nothing happens under the table or in a dark corner of a deserted underground
parking garage, you got it, the place umpires call if they have any doubt
about a home run ball, the city where everyone is unbiased because they don’t
have a favorite team, okay I made my point, maybe, unless your a New York
fan then you think I am being petty, I probably am, after the BoSox
v Phillies game last night I am entitled to
be petty.

Where was I, oh yeah, ‘INTER-LEAGUE CONSPIRACY’ and the New
York
schedule, so the Yankees get to
play Arizona and Houston, yeah there
tough ones, and the Mets get to play, Baltimore
and Cleveland, again tough scheduling, all
we can hope for is that the ‘unknown happening’ in the baseball
universe happens during those series.

Back to today and the World Cup is off and running with 2 games
gone and both games ended in a draw, don’t forget at 2.30 est today the long
awaited match-up of…..

…then it’s straight into the next round of the Phillies
and Boston demolition derby.


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.


The Perfect Game….

– PhilliesOutside –

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.


A Halladay Weekend?

– PhilliesOutside –

A sweep is supposed to be sweet, because your team should be doing the
sweeping, when your being swept it’s definitely just a bad taste in your mouth.
The other teams and their commentators will constantly tell you how wonderful
their team is and that they
have finally started to play real baseball, which is why they are able to beat
the Phillies. If that makes you and your
teams fans feel better then go right ahead and continue to kid yourselves, we all
know the Phillies aren’t hitting, because
they’re not, it’s not an assumption it’s a fact. Some would say it’s the
opposition pitchers that have got better, after all look at the Boston
Red Sux,
they beat the Phillies
then went on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays,
that’s nice for the Red Sux, but then they lost
to Kansas City Royals, and who was on the
mound, yeah that guy that almost no-hit the Phillies.

It really doesn’t bother me too much, because for all the loses the Phillies
have suffered, they are still top of the division and that has to be eating at
the rivals in the division. In fact they can still lose again tonight and still
be on top. As I pointed out in previous posts, I expected this, I even predicted
this, maybe not the hitlessness, but certainly the loses and there is still
one more to come this weekend, so eat it up rivals and enjoy it while you can, because
it’s going to come to an end, and then you have to endure more of the same as
the Phillies build another division lead during the month of June.

This weekend though will see the end of the hitlessness and it will truly be
a ‘Halladay Weekend’ and the only person anyone should remotely feel sorry for
is the pitcher that is on the receiving end when the Phillies
finally unleash themselves from the hitlessness, they have loaded up for way too
long to not completely devastate at least one pitcher and team, the question is:
Who will it be? and When will it be?

Hope everyone is already locked and loaded like the Phillies
for the Memorial Day weekend.

 


Weekend from Hell ….

– PhilliesOutside –

Well maybe not from hell, but a weekend to move on from, one to let settle in the back of your mind till
one day you may need the knowledge to use as some stupid inconsequential pieces
of data. It wasn’t so much that the Phillies had a losing weekend against the
BoSox, obviously a losing weekend is never good, but inter-league play has not
been a National League strong point since it started. Also don’t forget, in
my
post of May 19th
I had gone into details of why ‘it is that time of the
month’
and for those doubters, let it be known that between now and the end of
the month, the Phillies, will lose at least 4 more,
there is 7 games left in May all against division rivals, which means if they
prove me right could put the division lead back into tight contention, which
makes for some excitement as the season goes on.

News broke that the Phillies were scouting for pitchers, because they had
scouts at the ChiSox and Marlins
over the weekend. I am not sure the White Sox have much to look at, it is
possible they were looking at the Marlins, since
we will be meeting them this week. The Phillies
front office did acknowledge the fact that looking is part of the game, and as
any normal person would do the media asked what of Martinez, just because
the Phillies picked him up last year and it
worked out, doesn’t mean they’ll do it again and again. Amaro did
indicate that since Martinez, just casts them money and no talent then
they keep checking in with him, but they haven’t seen him throw or had any face
to face time with him.

Forewarned is forearmed, so Amaro, here is your warning, “You
got lucky last year with Martinez, regardless of how desperate you think you may
be this year, DON’T do it again”
. I know I was not a big fan of
Martinez last year and I stand by that, I believe we would have had the same or
similar results had they not spent the time and money on Martinez. I
believe he had no influence on how things turned out and was at times more of a
distraction than an benefit.

Let’s face it the only real addition we may need is a solid closer, because
no matter what anybody says, if it’s Lidge out there then everyone is going to
be holding their breathe
for every pitch, knowing that this could be the pitch that blows the save. It’s possible
that Contreras could be converted to a closing role, he’s only had 1 save
in his career thus far, but I have to admit I was more comfortable watching him
close than I have been watching Lidge close.

We still need Happ to return from the DL healthy and give us a solid last two
thirds of the season, and then if we could convince Seattle to let us get Lee
back before July 31st, then we would be in good shape. Lets face it, we don’t
have many prospects to trade, but I don’t think Lee will stay in Seattle
after this year and there is a chance the Phillies
could unload 2 or 3 players, like Kendrick, Dobbs, Bastardo, or mix them
up and throw in a couple of minor leaguers, who knows what Seattle
would do, and Lee would probably sign with a 3 year deal where both Lee
and the Phillies would be happy. A dream
maybe, but after the weekend that’s all I have today, a dream.

 


Howard Slams Pirates ….

– PhilliesOutside –

The Phillies hosted the Pirates in the first of 2 games during this weeks mish mash of
games, this year the Phillies are lucky, previously they have been on the road
for these stupid series that are only 2 games, this year they get to play host
all in the same week.

There was no great revelations last night, Kyle Kendrick, did well
pitching a good game, but then can you really judge how good or bad a pitcher is
against the Pirates, okay you can judge how bad a guy pitches. Now I have
no intention of knocking the Pirates and their abilities too much this
year, because I would like them to do well, yes I would like them to end the
season above .500 this year. This however doesn’t change the fact that a pitcher
who when performing slightly above average or better should be able to beat the Pirates,
providing the teams offense play along.

So far this season some teams, like every year are struggling, and media,
bloggers and fans in general start to call for the coach to be ousted, I read
recently that teams such as the Cubs, ChiSox,
Royals and even the New
York Mets
have fallen into this category, however I believe all to
quickly the pressure is applied to the manager. There is evidence to suggest
that in some cases this is true, as is the case with the Washington
Nationals
, see then now and with the old coach, this may not be the
best litmus test but it proves the manager can have some bearing on the matter.
I also believe other coaches play a
role, and for me the biggest role of the other coaches is the pitching coach, 2
guys I believe should be ousted and be replaced while the season is young enough
to salvage would be Joe Kerrigan of the Pirates and Rick
Peterson
of the Brewers, I don’t think I
have made it a secret that I detest Kerrigan as a pitching coach, I never
liked him even when he was an analyst on Comcast and then when he wormed
his way into a job with Bowa at the Phillies I liked him even less
and rumor has it that he wasn’t much liked by any of the pitchers at Philadelphia
either. Just last night is a clear example, I know there arguments for this and
against, but a lot of coaches seem to do it when they don’t need too. Everyone
knows Taschner was with the Phillies
and at times he had a love/hate relationship with them, so why would you punish
him and send him to the mound at time when your down 8-2 and lets face it a
situational leftie isn’t going to make any difference, and what happens, yep,
the same as always the guy loads the bases and gives up a slam to the one guy
who has difficulty hitting lefties. So I say this to the Pirates get rid
of Kerrigan before he does so much damage to you pitching staff you have
to completely rebuild your pitching capabilties.

The
Brewers, I think know they have a problem,
but are probably having issues on how to fix it, which is replace Peterson. I
mentioned Peterson in yesterdays post, because it seemed like the catcher
Zaun, has issues with him, I don’t know if he does or doesn’t, but there
is just something strange about the guy and it didn’t look as though he had much
respect in the dugout during any of the games against the Phillies.
The fact that he was with the A’s and the Mets
with Macha and Randolph respectively tells me he is there because
these guys employed the management 101 rule of surrounding yourself with those
you know and that are going to have your back in a time of crisis, cause i don’t
think this guy would get a pitcher coaching job on an open market with just his
resume from the A’s and Mets.
I say the same to the Brewers, dump this guy
before you have to dump your pitching staff for a new one.

There were something’s that came out of last nights game for the Phillies,
with Jimmy Rollins returning so his energy returned to the club as well,
the guys were energized before, but this was like adding the energizer bunny,
the running game started again, hitting in the 3, 4 and 5 spots. Chase Utley
came up missing, he developed flu-like symptoms and went home, hopefully he’ll
be back today or tomorrow. Carlos Ruiz returned to the line-up behind the
plate, it doesn’t matter how good the back-up catcher maybe, there is something
about having your regular guy behind the plate, you get used to the things he
does and the timing of when he does things. Wilson Valdez, was designated
for assignment, after doing a great job filling in for Juan Castro and
ultimately J-Roll, his services were no longer required so he drew the
short straw as they say.

As I mentioned earlier Taschner gave up a slammy to Philadelphia‘s
slammy king….

…his 9th slam in the bigs, it’s almost to the point where
managers will start to walk in a run than pitch to him with the bases loaded,
regardless of his performance against lefties or righties on the mound, this all
goes out the window when the bases are loaded. He also showed he can play small
ball last night too, I just wish people would stop talking about how much
influence Barry Bonds has had on his hitting, because quite frankly,
after the Bonds assist Howard went into a slump, so leave Bonds
out of any accomplishments that Howard has this year.

All zero’s for the start of tonight’s game and if Halladay has
anything to do with it the Pirates will still be on all zeros at the end,
okay now I probably jinxed him, damn…..