Archive | July, 2006

Abe Nunez Era: 3-0 and Charging

31 Jul

Playoffs here we come! Since Abe Nunez has been inserted into the starting lineup, and bums like Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle haven’t seen the field, the Phillies are 3-0 and we’re only 5 games out of the wildcard. Look at this offense since he’s been penciled in: 12 runs, 9 runs, 11 runs. The former Buc is getting it done. Nunez’s contract, first thought to be a bad one since he had previously only ever had half of a slightly below-average season in his entire 10 year career, but Pirates fans certainly miss his grit and glory. He’s now gotten his average to a stellar .165 and is OPS is almost nearing 450!

Long live Abe Nunez! Or should we call him the Babe?

And don’t forget! We have him for two years, so we get to enjoy him all next year as well! Pat Gillick really doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he said yesterday he doesn’t expect us to contend in 2007. Babe will lead the way to the promised land!

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Boy Meets World Monday!!!

31 Jul

Holy shit! 8 minutes of the 2nd to last episode of Boy Meets World! Commercial free, courtesy of me!

LINK HERE

Michael Bourn Called Up, Let The Bad Puns Commence

30 Jul

Yep, Michael Bourn, he of the 333 average and 425 on-base percentage at AAA Scranton, has been called to Philadelphia inbetween the doubleheader.  The Phillies also recalled Scott Mathieson for his second go-around with the big club.  The Phillies now will go with an outfield of Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, David Dellucci, Shane Victorino and Bourn.

Headline writers are going to have a field day with Bourn’s last name.  Look for ‘supremacy’ ‘identity’ and other glorious puns to grace the sports dailies, as Bourn makes their jobs a little easier.  Surely the Philadelphia Daily News will have the best.  It’s what they do.

But this all brings up an interesting question…are the Phillies done trading outfielders?  Because if they aren’t, then bringing up Bourn is silly.  He’s 90 atbats at AAA and has done great, but there’s no telling if he’s quite ready just yet because of how average his AA stats were this season.  Also, where does he crack the lineup?  Certainly not over Pat Burrell, he of the home run power, good eye and big contract.  David Dellucci is not likely to sit unless a lefty is pitching.  And folk-hero Aaron Rowand won’t be sat for a rookie mid-season.  So does he steal time from Shane Victorino as the #1 bat off the bench?  Does he get the Chris Roberson treatment, despite his younger age and better talents, in that he becomes the pinch-runner and pinch-fielder for Burrell?  Something has to give, and one of the above could still be dealt before the end of the trading deadline.

Read about Bourn’s promotion to AAA Scranton here: linkage

The Phillies Just Dealt Bobby Abreu, My Favorite Player

30 Jul

The sad day finally came. I’m going to write more about this in the coming week, but I just wanted to say that the Philadelphia Phillies just traded Bobby and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for 4 minor leaguers, none of whom are that special. It was a salary dump, but even that makes little sense because Lidle was only due about 1.5 million for the rest of the season(to which they paid Abreu to waive his no-trade clause and 2008 option).

It was a sad thing to see Bobby shaking hands and hugging guys in the dugout, and then to see the interview after the game with Harry and Wheels. He will always be my favorite player, the guy knew how to hit, and always showed up with class. Even to the end, he said he wanted to play in Philadelphia. How many players in sports can say that, even after the abuse that was sometimes heaped onto him?

Great player, great guy, and he’ll be greatly missed. Especially since we didn’t get jack for him. For now, check out the Abreu archive on this blog and try and tell me that a small part of you won’t miss him roaming right field and working the count.

The Phillies also won today, and won big, and there were several good signs. Randy Wolf looked decent after he initially allowed some walks, Ryan Howard walked FIVE times, and Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 30 games. Even Abe Nunez had 2 hits and a walk. Perhaps the team will be better off in the long run without Bobby, but somehow I doubt it, especially with what we got back for him. CJ Henry? 1st round pick in 2005 (ironically the 1st rounder we gave up to the Yankees to sign Jon Lieber) but is hitting 230 with no power in single A and has 25 errors. Matt Smith? Good year in AAA as a reliever, but is 27 and never had a decent season before this. The other two? Organizational filler.

And it’s not like Cory Lidle was chopped liver either.

A quick and dirty summary of the 2006 Phillies campaign

28 Jul

We could recount the wins, the losses, the highs and lows, but sometimes a picture says a thousand words.  And it seems like this one says it all.  Have a good weekend, let’s hope for some good deals, some good games, and a good team by Monday:

The Curt Schilling Trade, 6 Years Later

26 Jul

It’s rare to see an ‘ace’ be dealt, unless they are not thought of as such, or they are dealt for money concerns. And so goes the Philadelphia Phillies. Six years ago they dealt Curt Schilling to the Arizona Diamondbacks for LHP Omar Daal, RHP Vicente Padilla, 1BTravis Lee, and RHP Nelson Figueroa. It is a Wednesday that will be remembered because of the blockbuster nature of the deal, and also because Schilling has gone on to have great success. It’s hard to see how good or bad a deal was without actually going back and seeing what the Phillies got from it and what they gave up. Let’s go back and check, year by year:

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Mike Celizic has no idea what he’s talking about

25 Jul

Mike Celizic does not think things through. He’s an MSNBC.com contributor who basically talks about the New York Yankees in every column, and also slobbers over Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter’s having a very good year, sure, and he’s going to likely be a hall-of-famer, but that doesn’t make the fanboy love for Jeter any less sickening. Celizic speaks of intangibles, ‘clutch hits’, postseason heroics, and other bullshit. Sportszilla and the Jabber Jocks already broke down the myth of Jeter’s clutchness compared to Alex Rodriguez’s ‘lack’ of marbles in the clutch and the postseason. The Fire Joe Morgan blog has been harping on him for a while now.  Plus, ol’ Mikey wears a freaking fedora in his MSNBC.com picture. Who does that anymore? Is he cracking cases and solving mysteries on the side?

And now Mike has completely lost it. He suggests that Rodriguez has ‘lost it’, and that his fragile psyche will never recover enough to be a good Yankee. So he’s had some throwing errors and now the guy is longer able to be a Yankee eh? Let’s look at his season.

Alex Rodriguez is having an off-year, it’s true. This is his third season wearing the Yankees uniform, and he’s hitting 279 with a 379 OBP and a 500 slugging percentage for his lowest OPS in his career at 879. That’s 9 points lower than 2004, his first season as a Yankee. His second year? All he did was win the MVP while sporting a 1031 OPS. He also set the Yankees home run record for righthanded batters(48). That was his 7th season with at least 40 home runs. He probably won’t get his eighth this year since he only has 21 so far, nor will he set any career high in any category really. He also had his worst month of his career in June, hitting 213 with 3 home runs, but walked enough to salvage his play somewhat. His 694 OPS was the worst since May 2003 when he had a 778 OPS.

His defense has also been suspect recently. He has 18 errors this year already, and by far the lowest fielding percentage of his career (.929).

So he’s struggling. For him. But let’s look at Captain Jetes’ OPS for the year: 898. A good OPS for a shortstop, to be sure, but it’s all of 19 points higher than Rodriguez’s! They’re having very similar years, though Jeter’s OPS is slightly more OBP-heavy. There’s also nothing to suggest that Rodriguez will continue to struggle defensively, unless one ignores 9+ years of good defense at two positions. Even with the off year, he’s still ranked 8th out of 24 qualified third basemen in OPS. He’s having his worst season ever, and is still ranked in the top third of his position. That’s not too bad.

Celizic also suggests that A-Rod almost deserves the booing, by pulling out the ever popular money card:

It’s not fair, but that’s what selling yourself as the greatest ballplayer who ever lived and coming to town with all that money gets you. Players never think of that end of the bargain when they’re demanding an emperor’s ransom as free agents. The never stop to realize that when you make that much and make such claims, the fans are going to expect you to live up to the hype and the numbers on your paycheck.

OK, would you turn down 252 million? Would you turn down an offer that was over 100 million more than the next best offer?? If you do, you’re an idiot. And booing someone because they are slumping and paid a lot is lame. Period. Just lame, and it ignores all the great things that Alex has done, as though he won’t do it again. The guy is slumping, he’s not done. And he’s only slumping FOR HIM. His slump has dropped him down to a player of Jeter’s level!!! Yankees fans, and Mike Celizic, love Mr. Captain Jetes don’t they? And he’s making 180 million!

Celezic ends his piece by motioning back to something he stated in the first paragraph (it’s what all good writers do! closure!):

He really doesn’t have much of a choice. He can go somewhere where the demands aren’t as high and the fans friendlier, the sort of place in which he’s always thrived. Or he can continue being Ed Whitson.

I know which option I’d take.

Yeah, and you’d be a retard. Why would Alex want to leave a chance at a championship in the next 5 years for what would certainly be no chance??? The guy has the money, the acclaim, the hall-of-fame numbers. The only thing left, for his OWN satisfaction and no one else’s, is that ring. He has nothing to prove to idiot fans who boo or moron sportswriters who can’t see more than one week into the future. Celezic compared Rodriguez to Ed Whitson! Ed Whitson?! Boy ol’ Eddie Whitson….who? Apparently he had a bad year with the Yankees in 1985 and was gone early the next season. Alex is already in his third year as a Yankee, and has won an MVP wearing their uniform. So the guy’s comparing what turns out to be a league-average pitcher to what will surely be one of the greatest players of all-time, whether he plays third or short? Genius.

This entire booing thing makes NO SENSE. The Yankees starting rotation is one of the worst in baseball, with only Mike Mussina being any good. Randy Johnson truly HAS ‘lost it’, Chien-Ming Wang is a mirage (44Ks and 34 walks in 139 innings doesn’t exactly thrill), and Jaret Wright and Sidney Ponson are horrible. Maybe concentrating on your HOF third basemen isn’t the way to go.

Phillies fans will gladly take Alex off your hands. In return you can have a firey competitor who gives it all in Aaron Rowand. He’s got those intangibles and that ring. He’s got it all!