Archive for September 18th, 2012

Ruben, Stop Blowing Smoke Up My A**!

September 18th, 2012 by Mike H. | 8 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Does Ruben Amaro Jr. really think that people believe anything he says in regards to the Phillies? It’s clear as day that the plan is to go with Chase Utley at third base in 2013. Both Charlie Manuel and Amaro acknowledged that the Phillies are better defensively with Rollins and Galvis up the middle going forward. So Utley has been taking pregame warm up drills at third and even has gotten defensive advice from Mets third baseman David Wright.

Unfortunately, Amaro opens his mouth and makes comments that he thinks Utley will do well, but he won’t have a large enough sample size to determine if Utley can do it regularly. Really? Why would you realistically put the thought into Utley’s mind to work out at third? To boost his trade value? Considering he’s yet to play one out as a third baseman and that he’s missed almost the first two months of each of the last two seasons, I’d say there’s very little the Phillies can do in regards to building his value.

Amaro says that the move also gives the Phillies more options as the market for third baseman in both the free agent market and via trade are slim pickings. While I agree with his assessment, who in their right mind foresees Amaro making a SMART baseball move to acquire a third baseman because I sure as heck don’t. I’m just sick and tired of hearing Ruben Amaro’s double speak. To be honest, I don’t want him to open his mouth at all. Don’t tell me, just show me.

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148 Down, 14 To Go

September 18th, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on 148 Down, 14 To Go | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis

April through August, with few exceptions, was a nightmare.  The Phils’ sellout streak ended, many fair-weather fans broke their ankles jumping off the bandwagon, and we all went through massive frustration.  The Phillies needed true leadership (looking at you, Charlie), and they didn’t get it.  Manuel is a very laissez-faire manager whose mentality is “It’ll all work out.” At least, that’s the message I get – who the hell knows what he’s saying half the time.  If the team is doing well (see 2008, 2009), that type of guidance is fine; when things unravel, though, we need someone to take charge.

In 2012, we saw gaping holes in our lineup – Utley’s and Howard’s absences had an enormous impact on our offense.  We watched Blanton, Pence, and Victorino leave Philadelphia.  Our bullpen, for the most part, has been a disappointment.  Okay, I was being conservative and generous with that statement … Our bullpen has been masterful at flushing winnable games directly down the shitter.  I’ve been frustrated as hell, and I’ve yelled and cursed a lot, but I’ve still attended games, watched, and cheered for my team.  Two of my favorite highlights of 2012 were Cliff Lee getting in Shane Victorino’s face in the dugout, and Cole Hamels intentionally beaming Brycey-Poo in the back and not apologizing for it.  Each of these incidents showed a starting pitcher giving a shit and playing baseball like he means it.

I’ve wondered many times this season, “What the hell is going on with this team?” The Phils looked sloppy and apathetic.  I wanted to see some fired-up players looking as if they were ready to eat an opponent alive.  It became very clear that the days of the 1993 Phillies are far behind us.  We all remember that crew – not pretty or refined, but they fought like hell.  One of my favorite John Kruk quotes is, “I’d rather fight Mike Tyson without his medication than fight Dave Hollins.” The ’93 Phils took nothing for granted, and they made it no secret that they’d gladly fuck your world up if you got in their way.

Fast forward to the ’09, ’10, ’11 Phillies … our team was expected to own the NL East.  Our pitching staff was in place to essentially control the division, and they did just that.  There wasn’t a need to claw their way to the top; the Phils have been defending champions for several years.  Did our lineup grow complacent? Maybe.  Injuries for Philadelphia, an “off” year for Cliff Lee, and off-season acquisitions for Washington certainly didn’t help matters, either.

It seems, though, that we’ve seen a change this September.  With the exception of the Astros series (I don’t want to talk about that abysmal performance or the Phils’ tendency to make Houston look good), I’ve been happy with the month of September.  We’re finally seeing players show up and hustle with some desire to win.

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Contenders Or Pretenders?

September 18th, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Contenders Or Pretenders? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Contenders??

With just sixteen days left in the regular season, and the Phillies making their playoff push, are they legitimately contenders, or just pretenders? They currently sit 3.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who occupy the second wild card spot. It may not seem like a huge obstacle to overcome, the Phillies will be score board watching as the Pirates, Brewers, and Dodgers are currently ahead of the Phillies in the wild card standings. So while many will recall being seven out with seventeen to play, how realistic is 3.5 out with fourteen to play?

The Phillies remaining schedule consists entirely of National League East opponents: The Mets (2), Braves (3), Marlins (3), and Nationals (6). The Phillies have already lost the season series to the Mets, having won just six of sixteen meetings. With two games left, it is very possibly the Phillies sweep, split or get swept. The same goes for the final Braves series, as the Phillies have won just five of fifteen meetings. The Phillies have played well against the Marlins this year, winning eight of fifteen meetings, but let’s be real, the Marlins have folded up for the winter and are making tee times. Ironically, the team the Phillies have played the best against have been the class of the league. The Phillies have won seven of twelve meetings against the Nationals, including six of the last seven.

With Atlanta basically locked in to that first wild card spot, the only real chance of the Phillies making the post season is to take that second spot. The Cardinals play their next nine games against NL Central cellar dwellers. Six against the Astros (6-3) and three against the Cubs (8-6). After an off day, the Cardinals close out the season with three against the Nationals (1-3) and three against the Reds (6-6). Despite their recent struggles, I can see the Cardinals winning nine of their last fifteen and finishing with a record of 86-76 on the season.

The Dodgers, who sit just one game out of a playoff spot, have a little tougher road to finish, but definitely have the talent to finish strong. Their biggest hurdle will be the loss of staff ace Clayton Kershaw, who is expected to be out until May of 2013. The Dodgers are really going to need Hurang, Capuano, and Beckett to step up if they are to finish strong. The Dodgers finish the season with three against the Nationals (3-0), three against the Reds (2-1), three against the Padres (9-6), three against the Rockies (7-8), and finally three against the Giants (6-9). The way they’ve been playing recently, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dodgers lose every series minus the Rockies series. I’ll say the Dodgers fade losing eight of their final fifteen and finishing with a 83-79 record.

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