Archive for May, 2012

A Damn Shame

May 31st, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on A Damn Shame | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

2,09 ERA in NDs. 5.79 ERA in 2 losses.

Thru eight starts in 2012, Cliff Lee is winless. He’s compiled an 0-2 record with an even 3.00 ERA. The Phillies offense just can’t seem to get it going while Lee is on the mound. While Cliff Lee has been the current pitcher in any of his starts, the Phillies offense has put up an anorexic 1.9 runs per nine. The Phillies offense in games that Cliff Lee starts, including any scoring after Lee departs, is 3.4 runs per nine. So the Phillies are averaging an additional 1.5 runs per nine after Lee leaves the game. Cliff Lee is averaging 7.1 innings per start, so thru the first seven innings the Phillies are averaging just under two runs, but from the seventh inning on, they are averaging an additional 1.5 runs. Now in the current state of baseball stats, the Quality Start is a flawed stat as it allows a pitcher to have a 4.50 ERA  and be considered quality, but in four of his six quality starts, Lee has allowed two or less earned runs, including a ten inning shut out against the Giants where he wasn’t a factor in the decision. In fact, in the six starts where Lee has received a no decision, his ERA is 2.09. Furthermore, Lee has only departed a game with the lead once this season. He has left four games with the score tied and three games down an average of just over three runs. Hopefully the offense can pick him up a little bit going forward and get him a win or two before the All Star Game.

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Here We Go Again

May 30th, 2012 by Mike H. | 5 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Not again!!

Today the Phillies announced that Doc’s “cranky” shoulder was actually a strained right latissimus dorsi aka lower back. So which is it? Does Doc have a shoulder problem or a back problem? The right lat will sideline the Doc for 6-8 weeks. What happens if the lat is better, but the shoulder is still cranky?

Why does it always seem like the Phillies are ALWAYS trying to hide medical information? We also got updates today on Chase Utley and Ryan Howard from Phillies Assistant General Manager Scott Proefrock. As far as Chase is concerned, it was laid out simply, “”When [Utley] tells us he’s ready to go on a rehab assignment, that’s when he’s going to go.”




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Phils Win Despite Blanton’s Blunders

May 25th, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Phils Win Despite Blanton’s Blunders | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis

Last night’s game in St. Louis was a great example of why I love baseball.  After just two innings, the Phils had a six run lead; the Cardinals’ offense started to heat up just as Joe Blanton started to unravel, though, and soon enough, the lead was gone.  Just like that – gone.  I’m happy to say that our offense kept up, and the two teams went quid pro quo each inning.  When it was all said and done, Phils won 10-9.  Heading into the bottom of the ninth, Papelbon was set to face Freese, Molina, and Boggs.  Yes, I cursed when I figured that out.  Papelbon shut it down, though, and picked up his 13th save.

During the bottom of the third inning, when Big Joe started to go downhill, I thought to myself, “And there’s Charlie, doing nothing about it.” I needed to face facts, though.  What could be done at that point? Go to the bullpen? That would have had “disaster” written all over it.  I suppose keeping Blanton in was the lesser of two evils.  St. Louis’s lineup is no joke.  We saw homers – the kind of homers that, upon contact, you say, “That’s leaving the park.” – by Freese, Molina, and Holliday.  I can’t see our bullpen surviving six innings of the Cards’ offense.  It wasn’t Blanton’s best performance, by a long shot, but things could have been worse.  Let me put it this way: Joe Blanton is not my biggest concern with this team.

Right now, the issues that need to be addressed – and fixed, for shit’s sake – are the bullpen and this “let’s strand every runner possible” crap.  What the hell is going on in our bullpen? Is Mick Billmeyer seeing the same thing I’m seeing? Maybe his binoculars would help.  I have very little confidence in our relief pitching.  As for our offense, the Phils seem to be getting runners on base but leaving them there.  I hate this pattern.  I should probably say that louder.  I.  HATE.  THIS.  PATTERN.  If I see much more of it, I might lose my mind.  Shitting the bed with 2 outs and RISP isn’t a trend I enjoy watching.

Looking at Joe Blanton, I suppose I don’t see why so many fans hate him so much.  Okay, he’s not stellar, but even the Pope would pale in comparison to the Doc-Cliff-Cole trifecta.  He’s generally pretty competent, and I think he’s a decent #5 pitcher.  It’s not fair to compare him to our three aces.  Their stardom sort of eclipses him, anyway.  Remember that press conference last season with Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt and Blanton? Big Joe was pretty quiet.  He had that “I don’t really belong here … can I go get lunch?” look on his face.  Cole had to remind reporters that he wasn’t the only one with a ring – Blanton has one, too.  Even through all the talk, though – unload him and eat some of that salary, just get rid of him – he stayed quiet.  He did his job.  I’ve always liked Blanton’s attitude, and last night’s performance notwithstanding, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by him this season.  Sure, his W-L record is 4-4, and sure, he has a neck that has those bulldog wrinkles.  We all know that a W-L record isn’t an accurate picture of a pitcher’s performance, though, and I for one don’t give a shit if Joe Blanton is fat.  I care more that his ERA for the season is 4.55 and his WHIP is 1.256 – both of those numbers are better than what they were the past two seasons.

This is going to be a tough series in St. Louis, and not because Joe Blanton isn’t a contender for Cy Young.  It will be tough because our bullpen is a trainwreck and our offense likes to get on base and stay there.  The good news is: Cliff Lee is on the mound tonight.  The bad news is: our lineup gives him no run support … and Kyle Lohse is pitching for St. Louis.  If last night is any indication, though, then anything can happen.  That’s one of the great things about baseball.


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Utley In The Outfield?

May 25th, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Utley In The Outfield? | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

The New Left Fielder?

Thursday afternoon, Phillies beat reporter David Murphy tweeted that Chase Utley was working with Juan Pierre and John Mayberry Jr. in left field before the crooked number fest in Game 1 of the NLDS rematch between the Phillies and the Cardinals. You know what I say? Why the hell not? Left field has been a defensive adventure for the best part of the last decade in Phillies baseball. Both Raul Ibanez and Pat Burrell both played the same defensive style, catch the ones you can get to, even though you can’t get to most of them. Playing the outfield would definitely be a hell of lot easier on Utley’s knees than playing the infield also.

The Permanent Second Baseman?

When Utley got into a groove in 2011, he hit about .300 for two solid months before the wear and tear on his knees started affecting him. So if playing him in the outfield can put less strain on his knees, I say let him do it. Hell, Roy Oswalt can play left field, why can’t Chase Utley? It could possibly help shore up a questionable position and spot in the lineup while keeping Freddy Galvis’ glove AND bat, yes I said bat, in the lineup. After going thru what I’d like to call “an adjustment period” aka April where Freddy struggled mightily at the plate (.191/.225/.294), he has been one of the Phillies mainstays in May (.300/.325/.500) albeit hitting predominantly out of the eight hole.

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NBA News, Notes, and Trade Rumors

May 25th, 2012 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on NBA News, Notes, and Trade Rumors | Filed in Basketball, General, Sports

Orlando Saying Goodbye To Dwight?

Magic Have Decided That They Want To Trade Dwight Howard:

In the past week reports have come out that Dwight Howard “desperately” wants to be traded from the Magic. Well it seems that the feelings between Dwight and the Magic Owner Rich DeVos are mutual, the Magic will try to trade Dwight Howard. This also comes after the firing of Stan Van Gundy and the buyout of GM Otis Smith. It turns out that those moves weren’t made to keep Howard, but rather to “clean house”. The Magic will start to look at the trade market and take calls for Howard after next week’s NBA Draft Lottery. Dwight would like to go out west, his preference would be to go to the Clippers or Lakers.

Deron Williams Free Agency Order Preference Is Nets, Lakers, Mavericks:

Deron Williams has spoken about where he would like to play next season, and his choices really aren’t surprising. He has said that he would like to stay in Brooklyn, but for him to do so he would like to see the roster improved. The Nets already have acquired another scorer in Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline, but after those two players the only other player who is worth mentioning is Brook Lopez (who is very injury prone). His next choice of destination would be to go to the Lakers, but that would have to come via sign-and-trade. That is where it gets interesting because the Nets have already made it clear that they are not interested in a Pau Gasol for Deron Williams swap. His third choice is to join his hometown of Dallas, where the Mavericks have been cutting cap space all year to become big players this summer. They already have a superstar in Dirk Nowitzki, and they will try to lure in Deron Williams plus one more good player to ensure they will be title contenders again.


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The Four U’s

May 24th, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on The Four U’s | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Being that we are already less than ten weeks from the non-waiver trade deadline, I’d like to throw out my opinion on how the Phillies should approach buying and selling. With the Phillies struggling as mightily as they are, one would think it would take a considerable run over the next couple of weeks for the front office to want to pursue adding pieces. It definitely appears that they should be sellers, albeit with very few chips to sell. We can break down what the availability should be by breaking the players down into three categories: Untradeable, Untouchable, Unlikely and Useful.

Leading by example. Showing you what NOT to do!

Unfortunately, the Phillies have a lot of untradeable players. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, and Jonathan Papelbon all have contracts that would make trading them hard to move, be it from lack of health, lack of production, or just inflated salaries. Together they make up roughly half of the payroll. While the pitchers have performed admirably, albeit Lee hasn’t gotten the results, the position players are what is really hurting the team. Utley’s offseason work out regimen has apparently made his overall condition worse as he officially won’t be making his season debut until long after he made his debut last season. Despite the “updates” the Phillies have provided, I am still under the impression that Howard won’t be making his season debut until after the All Star Game.

The Baby Aces may not be the answer, but they should be a part of the solution.

As far as untouchables go, there really shouldn’t be many, if any at all. I can understand wanting to hold on to the “Baby Aces” and some of the position players, but depending on the deal, just about every player should be made available. The Phillies really need to succeed at determining which players within the organization can be viable contributors moving forward.


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My Open Letter to Gary Cederstrom

May 23rd, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on My Open Letter to Gary Cederstrom | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies, Sports

Dear Mr. Cederstrom,

In the third inning of last night’s game at Citizen’s Bank Park, you ejected Carlos Ruiz.  This caused a little uproar amongst us Phillies fans for two reasons: 1) No one ejects Chooch, and 2) No one ejects Chooch in Philadelphia. The Phils finished the game without Ruiz, who is not only an amazing catcher; he leads the team with 29 RBIs this season.  He was the first catcher to knock in seven runs in one game … does any of this ring a bell?  He’s a beast.  Not to mention, when his boy Halladay is off his game, Chooch provides the run support.  My friend Scott said about last night’s loss, “I blame the ump for booting Chooch.”  I’m OK with that.  I wasn’t happy last night and I hope that for your sake you requested a police escort to your car after the game.

We saw the game.  We saw Ruiz turn and tell you that it was a strike.  Suddenly, he was sent home.  If I wasn’t happy last night, then I’m not even sure what to say about how I feel today.  It turns out that because Ruiz made eye contact with you, you tossed him.  He didn’t swear, approach you physically, or lose his shit.  He looked at you.  I’m not sure how to say this other than … really? Really, Cederstrom? Since when is that offensive? As a matter of fact, where I come from, looking at someone when you speak to him or her is considered good manners.  Even my three year old knows not to whine “She’s looking at meeee!!!” in an attempt to get one of her sisters into trouble.

So, which is it, Gary? Were you acting like a bratty preschooler who doesn’t know how to act? Or were you asking like an arrogant asshole MLB ump with a God complex? I certainly can’t decide.  To be honest, I see arguments for both.  I suppose it’s the cool thing to do – all the umpires are doing it.  It’s super fun to make bullshit calls and not be held accountable by anyone.  Why not abuse your powers of calling strikes and balls and start tossing players on a whim? Sounds like a good time to me.  Remember my three year old I mentioned? She’s legally blind.  She could do a far better job in your position than you and your colleagues do.  Hell, maybe I’ll get rowdy and in someone’s face while in line at Starbucks today.  Ya know, if they dare to look at me.

My advice to you – and you might want to pass it along to your ump buddies – is to get the hell over yourself.  It’s a slippery slope and karma’s a bitch.



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