Archive for April 7th, 2011

Phillies at Braves Preview

April 7th, 2011 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Phillies at Braves Preview | Filed in General

The Phillies wrapped up their second series of the season with an 11-0 rout of the Mets. They also took the series, winning two of the three contests. Friday, they begin a weekend series with the Braves, which is the second of four straight series of NL East opponents. The Phillies could definitely separate themselves a little from the rest of the division by winning these next few series. Let’s take a look at how the Phillies match up against the Braves. (more…)

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Lidge out until All Star Break

April 7th, 2011 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Lidge out until All Star Break | Filed in General

Today, a report on Phillies.com revealed that Charlie Manuel does not expect Brad Lidge to be ready until the All Star Break. Lidge is currently on the 15-day disabled list for a strained right rotater cuff. He is supposed to rest the arm for 3-6 weeks before being re-evaluated and potentially starting a throwing program. Jose Contreras has been named the interim closer in the mean time.

Having Lidge out for an extended period of time must be a relief for the Phillies decision makers. At this point, it is all but a formality that the Phillies will NOT pick up Lidge’s 2012 option and they may look to a potentially very deep free agent class for closer type relievers. If Madson would sign at a team friendly price, the Phillies could look to a player like Mike Gonzalez. While Gonzalez has lost the role in Baltimore, he did have much success while in the NL East. 2012 should be a transition year for the Phillies bullpen. I would think Romero, Baez, and Lidge all head to different teams in 2012, and players like Schwimer, Mathieson, Stutes, and De Fratus get the opportunity to take over.

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“If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying”

April 7th, 2011 by Mike H. | Comments Off on “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying” | Filed in General

I'm not stealing signs, I'm checking out the hot blonde behind the dugout!

Last May, the Phillies were invited out to Colorado for a three game series. Unfortunately, the split and rainout will never be associated with the trip. During the telecast of the May 10th game, the Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was caught looking in from the bullpen with binoculars while the Phillies were batting. For the remainder of the series, and for a portion of the season, the Phillies were constantly being referred to as cheaters and that they were trying to steal signs. The Mets had also accused the Phillies of stealing signs earlier in the month after Johan Santana was knocked around to the tune of 10 earned runs over 3.2 innings while allowing 4 home runs. MLB investigated the incident and found the video inconclusive. At the same time, they notified the umpire’s union of the situation and basically put the Phillies on “double secret probation.”

Now, less than a year later, another case of sign stealing has been alledged. You may not have heard about it though. Unless you are a follower of Keith Olbermann’s twitter feed or a subscriber to to the Star Ledger. On April 1st, Olbermann attended the Yankees-Tigers game at Yankee Stadium. During the game, Olbermann noticed, and photographed, Yankees’ coaching assistant Brett Weber sitting roughly five rows off the field, wearing a microphone and head set, making gestures to Yankee players in the batter’s box. The photograph of Weber shows him gesturing to the batter’s box, holding up four fingers.

Derek, it was a changeup....I mean.....Beer man, four more beers!

Doing so is a direct violation of baseball operations bulletin C-4, which states that coaches are prohibited from using hand signals to communicate pitch speeds and/or types. Yankees GM Brian Cashman explained the reasoning behind the gestures was that the scoreboard was reading 912 MPH during the first inning. So does that mean that Weber was indicating the pitch was four miles per hour? Then, while Olbermann was doing an interview, Cashman intervened joking that Weber was ordering alcoholic beverages.

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