Saturday, March 31

Opening Day Countdown: Part 6 - Breakouts

The first game was played last night at Citizens Bank Park. And while the results weren't beautiful, the sound of bats and gloves in Philly was. Two days left. The countdown...

Monday: 7 players of concern
Tuesday: 6 reasons I love Chase Utley
Wednesday: 5 X factors
Thursday: 4 reasons the division title is ours
Friday: 3 gayest Mets

Saturday: 2 breakout performances to expect
Sunday: 1 biggest ass-munch on the team

The 2 Breakout Performances to Expect

I want to preface these two listings by saying one thing. By "breakout," I mean according to what each player has done already in his career. So in the terms I am using this word, it would be possible for Ryan Howard to have a "breakout" season if he hit 90 homeruns and 234 RBIs. But I'm not that unrealistic.

  1. Shane Victorino
    This almost seems obvious to me. In limited time last season, Victorino showed Philadelphia that he can perform on an everyday level, not just as a fourth outfielder. Speed, defense and contact are the three main ingredients that Shane brings to the club. Along with this, are his intangibles. His main ones being the energy and excitement he brings to the field. Seeing a RF of Abreu for the half the year then seeing one with Victorino for the other half was quite a contrast. Over a full season, I expect Victorino to be just as much of a catalyst to the Phillies' offense as Jimmy Rollins. And if you read this blog on somewhat of a regular basis, you will already know that I am sort of obsessed with the guy. To read a more detailed and far more intelligent analysis of Shane and 2007, check out A Citizens Blog perspective on him.

  2. Jimmy Rollins
    Now you may be saying to yourself, "Rollins? Breakout? Didn't he already have a breakout season?" Yes, maybe he did. But I honestly do not think we saw the best of what J-Roll has to offer. He has talked a lot of shit this offseason and seems capable enough to back it up. He leads the Grapefruit league in OBP, which was one of his biggest (and only) flaws. If anyone wants this team to make it to October, it's him. And if anyone has the most influence in the locker room, it's him. And if ANYONE has the ability to make the Phillies the best lineup in baseball, it's him. His base stealing should improve due to Lopes, he is taking more walks this spring, he has shown he can hit for power, his defense is always solid, and he is showing he has the drive and determination to WANT to win. I understand that everyone thinks Rollins is a great player, I just don't think many see just how great he ACTUALLY is. After all, according to this page, he is our General.

The Daily pump-up picture is our breakout boys doing what they will do best this season: score runs...

Friday, March 30

Opening Day Countdown: Part 5 - Mets

Only three days left. A measly weekend stands in the way of us and the start of the baseball season for Philadelphia. The countdown...

Monday: 7 players of concern
Tuesday: 6 reasons I love Chase Utley
Wednesday: 5 X factors
Thursday: 4 reasons the division title is ours

Friday: 3 gayest Mets
Saturday: 2 breakout performances to expect
Sunday: 1 biggest ass-munch on the team

The 3 Gayest Mets

I have been looking forward to doing this post since the countdown started. If you're offended by me using the word "gay", then substitute the word "lame" or "most-hated" or "fairy, sparkling fanny bandit" whenever it comes up. Actually, just don't continue reading this post.
  1. David Wright
    I actually used to like the guy. But since the offseason rolled around and he began his pseudo-modeling career with Jose Reyes, I can't take this kid seriously anymore. What modeling career you ask? (I posted these a couple of weeks ago, but they are just too classic not to put up again)

    Also, see David Wright talk about his workout routine at Men's Health.

  2. Jose Reyes
    See above. Need more proof? Okay:

  3. Billy Wagner
    I'm not even sure if I even need to write out an explanation for this one. Last Week, We Should Be GMs did a damn good job of pointing out his striking similarity to infant girls. Another fine example of his flamboyancies, when I typed "Billy Wagner" into Google's image search, this picture came up:

    ...that's the two guys from Wham!

The daily pump-up pictures are of Ryan Howard grazing two magazine covers. One being Philadelphia Magazine and the other being ESPN. No GQ or Men's Health for this deacon of heterosexuality. Only sports and Philly for Rhyno.

Thursday, March 29

Opening Countdown: Part 4 - Division

Four days left boys. I'm wearing Phillies red and ready to begin. I might start tailgating tomorrow. And on to the countdown...

Monday: 7 players of concern
Tuesday: 6 reasons I love Chase Utley
Wednesday: 5 X factors

Thursday: 4 reasons the division title is ours
Friday: 3 gayest Mets
Saturday: 2 breakout performances to expect
Sunday: 1 biggest ass-munch on the team

The 4 Reasons the Division Title Belongs to Philadelphia

Well, this is one of those overly optimistic posts that should leave you all feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Or leave you all with a feeling that I'm an idiot...
  1. What other team in the division has their own general?
    None. We have one in Jimmy Rollins, however. He has stated multiple times that the Phillies are the team to beat. That doesn't guarantee a division, but Jimmy and every other teammate believes it and none are going to back down. No white flags this season. He is the leader we have needed for so long to get us over that huge freakin' hump. And in case you haven't noticed, his spring stats are incredibly encouraging.

  2. The Mets are NOT as good as everyone thinks
    There... I said it. They aren't. I'm not saying they suck or anything close to that, but they are not a 95+ win team. There lineup is the same as 2006, their bullpen is worse than 2006 and their rotation is nothing compared to 2006. Valentin won't hit nearly what he did last season. Alou and Green aren't the most reliable players. Their top 5 in the lineup, however, is horribly scary. It's not going to be easy against them, but it won't be complete domination on their part. It's the Braves we should truly worry about.

  3. Age is on our side
    Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Carlos Ruiz, Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, Matt Smith, Adam Eaton, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs, Aaron Rowand. That is 15 players on the better side of 30. And while age doesn't make a player great, it does have its obvious advantages. Jamie Moyer, however, does sort of cancel out most of these players. (Players in blue are keys to the season)

  4. The Law of Averages
    This states "the view that eventually, everything evens out." Based on probability, it is only a matter of time before the Phillies win the division. We have been waiting very long and not so patiently for it to happen. Isn't it about time we get there? Don't we deserve it? 93 wins or bust...

And staying with the theme of 93, the pump up picture...

Wednesday, March 28

Opening Day Countdown: Part 3 - X Factors

Five days left. That's roughly 120 hours until Brett Myers gets his first of, hopefully, many opening day starts. Onto the countdown...

Monday: 7 players of concern
Tuesday: 6 reasons I love Chase Utley
Wednesday: 5 X factors
Thursday: 4 reasons the division title is ours
Friday: 3 gayest Mets
Saturday: 2 breakout performances to expect
Sunday: 1 biggest ass-munch on the team

The 5 Phillies X-Factors

In February, I posted about what I thought the major X-Factors were going to be for the 2007 season. While those five listed then are still relevant, some things have changed over the past month.
  1. Tom Gordon
    He was the number one cause of concern on Monday and could be the biggest X-Factor. With the condition our bullpen is shaping out to be, Gordon going down with an injury would cause me to have a near stroke every 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

  2. Pat Burrell
    Another cause for concern player. I love the guy and honestly believe he will produce and come back with a 30/100 season. But if Howard struggles at the plate and Wes Helms' spring is just a fluke, Burrell will be responsible for knocking in some runs. Also, I listed him because when discussing this with my roommate, Muller, he called Burrell a Sex-Factor, which is just hilarious.

  3. Shane Victorino
    In his first full season, Shane is going to have to provide a lot to the Phillies. He will take over a position occupied by Abreu for the previous eight seasons and will have to become a productive 2-hole hitter. And if Rowand is traded or breaks his ass running into another wall/player, Victorino will be called upon to cover center field. I debated listing him because I literally have no doubt that he will produce. I love this dude.

  4. Freddy Garcia
    Brought to Philadelphia as a "sure thing" to give us 200 innings and take pressure off the bullpen, Garcia is starting to look more like Vicente Padilla than a reliable pitcher. If Freddy sucks or goes on the DL frequently, we will be less willing to use Lieber as trade bait. Also, Garcia better produce for the sanity of us fans. We gave Gio up for him and if Gonzalez goes onto become Johan Santana and Garcia goes on to be Kevin Millwood, how quickly will it be until Gillick is hung at City Hall?

  5. J.A. Happ, Eude Brito, Fabio Castro, Joe Bisenius, Zach Segovia or Michael Bourn
    Something tells me that at least one of these players will be called up this year and will (hopefully) shine.

The daily pump-up picture...

How many players in this picture are not still on the team? Michaels, Abreu, Pratt, Bell, Lofton, Padilla, Lieberthal, Martinez, and I think I see a little Tomas Perez afro.

Tuesday, March 27

Opening Day Countdown: Part 2 - Utley

Six days left now. It is officially under a week until opening day. Continuing with the countdown...

Monday: 7 players of concern
Tuesday: 6 reasons I love Chase Utley
Wednesday: 5 X factors
Thursday: 4 reasons the division title is ours
Friday: 3 gayest Mets
Saturday: 2 breakout performances to expect
Sunday: 1 biggest ass-munch on the team

The 6 Reasons I love Chase Utley

You would think I would list the six reasons I love Ryan Howard, after all he is number 6. But Howard doesn't rank nearly as high to me as Utley does and I think Chase is a far superior player. So here they are.

  1. He clearly hates the media
    Well, maybe 'hate' is too strong of a word, but he isn't a Jimmy Rollins type of player who strives to be in the spotlight. Many might think it makes Utley arrogant or selfish for not wanting to indulge the media with every facet of his life. Not me, because guess what.... I hate the media too.

  2. He hustles every single play
    I was debating on whether or not to put this in here because we have heard it sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many freakin' times. But I can't hide from the truth.

  3. "My plan is to stay a Phillie for life"
    He said this.

  4. He saved my life
    Last July, when the Phillies were giving away their players for scraps and we were told to wait until 2008, Chase and his 35 game hitting streak was the only thing keeping me away from a noose.

  5. He is good looking
    Now, before you call me gay, hear me out. His good looks attract plenty of female fans to the ballpark. This fills CBP with college girls (some of whom are decent looking) and gives me more opportunities to strike out with them. This is one of those "baseball intangibles" we often hear about.

  6. When the Phillies are playing baseball deep into October...
    He will be a major reason.

And the pump up picture for today...

...this is Utley attempting to kill someone for trying to steal second base. Utley owns second base.

Sunday, March 25

The Opening Day Countdown

Seven days and counting... And this will be the longest week of my life. Ever since Danny Sandoval committed an error allowing the Marlins to walk off with a win on October 1, I have been craving more Phillies baseball. Sure the Spring Training games somewhat satisfy me, but only as much as a fat girl can. Real games that mean something are right around the corner and to keep myself from going crazy, I have a little countdown/list/boredom-killer planned for the week.

Monday: 7 players of concern
Tuesday: 6 reasons I love Chase Utley
Wednesday: 5 X factors
Thursday: 4 reasons the division title is ours
Friday: 3 gayest Mets
Saturday: 2 breakout performances to expect
Sunday: 1 biggest ass-munch on the team

Today: Seven Players of Concern

  1. Tom Gordon
    Every good team should have a good closer. Someone to nail down a "W" in the ninth inning every time he (or 'she' in the case of Billy Wagner) is called upon. Gordon was good in the first half of 2006 then faltered after the break. A healthy Gordon will drastically improve the state of our crap-hole (see right)

  2. Freddy Garcia
    He may be the biggest acquisition of the Gillick-era and was brought here to be our "ace." Well, he isn't... Myers is. But he is still a very important key to our rotation. Will his velocity be an issue, is his health an issue, can he survive at CBP, will he give us 200 innings? The optimist in me says "yes." The pessimist isn't allowed to comment.

  3. Adam Eaton
    Another pitcher with injury concerns. I don't expect anything spectacular from Eaton, but multiple trips to the D.L. will be very damaging to the Phillies's staff.

  4. Pat Burrell
    He is my boy and I have always been a huge supporter of him. And while I still know he will have a monster season, he has been horrible at the plate this spring and needs to re-create 2005 or 2002 for us. Could you imagine a 3-4-5 core made up of a "2006-Utley", a "2006-Howard" and a "2002-Burrel"l?

  5. Ryan Madson
    A very important part of our bullpen. Struggled last season but we all gave him a free-pass because the Phillies used him like a cheap French whore. Will a full season used only the Port-O-Potty be beneficial to Ryan?

  6. Aaron Rowand
    Another hitter who can't make contact this spring. Rowand's play has been disastrous this past month. I love the guy (not nearly as much as half the city) but he will not be a fan favorite to me if he can't hit above .250. I don't care how many walls or players he runs into.

  7. Charlie Manuel
    He isn't a player but this should be self-explanatory. His bullpen management, ridiculous lineups and inability to know who to pinch-hit has cost the Phillies quite a few games the past two seasons. And we all know it is only a few games that have kept the Phillies out of the postseason. We need Manuel to step up his game. Don't count on it though.

And I will also post an awesome picture each day to pump us all up for the season:

Thursday, March 22

The thoughts that are driving me mad

It has been an eventful week for Phillies phans everywhere. Our 'pseudo-ace' went down with tightness, our 6th starter/relief pitcher is a bit disappointed with his situation, our future catcher is down because the poor baby was "feeling a little sore," and our port-o-potty is still... well... shitty. There isn't really one topic I think I can narrow down today, so I will just list the things that I can't get out of my head.

  • Why do I feel like we have a ton of options at catcher? And why is Werth always talked about as an option behind the plate? WE HAVE NO DEPTH IN THE OUTFIELD! Please don't make this man a catcher. Chris Coste anyone...
  • It has struck me as peculiar that Lieber will be the in bullpen. He is a starter, however, the circumstances require him to shift. But to what role? He is getting paid too much for long relief and the 6th and 7th belong to Madson/Geary/Smith. Set-up? Makes sense since we don't have diddly-poop there.
  • And sticking with the Lieber-shift, I am sick and tired of hearing the Phillies front office and psycho Manager talk about what it takes for someone to be in the bullpen: "He throws strikes" is all I hear. Is that really all it takes to be in a Major League bullpen? So let me get this straight, relievers throw strikes and starters throw...what...balls?
  • Pat Burrell has been wretched. He looked ugly at the plate yesterday striking out 3 times in 4 at bats. Of course, this is Spring Training and once the season starts, he will bat .450 with a .770 OBP.
  • If you add up our left fielder and center fielder's batting averages, they still don't equal that of our right fielder.
  • Opening Day cannot come soon enough

Also, for a hilarious bashing of a fellow blogger, click here and read Corey rip Carson a new asshole.

Wednesday, March 21

I am here to help take your mind off the pain

I had a very nice post lined up for today that talked about the different scenarios that could come up this season concerning Jon Lieber, the bullpen and the trade market. That has been scratched. If you are a Phillies fan, you know why...

Okay... So... Garcia is temporarily out with elbow stiffness. The length of the injury (as of midnight, Thursday) is uncertain. Also, our young catcher with some promise was also scratched from last nights game. I am not here to cry about this situation or predict a horrible 2007 season. I am here to attempt to keep your spirits high. I have three things to say:

  1. We have considerable depth at both positions. If Garcia starts on the DL, Lieber can step up. If Ruiz starts on the DL, Coste can fill in. Both are possible step-downs, however, both will still give us chances to win games.

  2. Both injuries could be nothing. Garcia had stiffness and Ruiz had soreness. There was no mention of the words "pop" "crack" "snap" "tear" "tommy john" or "erectile dysfunction." Any mention of those words could be very bad...especially the last one.

  3. Carmen Electra...

I hope Carmen and I helped to ease the pain. If you are a religious man, pray for the best...

Tuesday, March 20

Consistently Inconsistent

"Consistently Inconsistent." This phrase has been used a countless number of times to describe the Phillies' play throughout a season. It is also one of the truer statements you can use when talking about the Phightins. They go on ridiculous hot streaks (May 2006, June 2005) that make you realize why you are a baseball fan. And of course, they go on those cold streaks (All of June 2006, the year 2000) that force your mother to tape up your wrists so you won't damage yourself. Slow starts are painful, slower finishes could be even worse. Injuries can kill your season and poor coaching is never something that a team wants to deal with. These are all ways to help ensure a difficult path to October, however, playing inconsistent baseball throughout an entire season is unbelievably demoralizing and incredibly difficult to get over.

What has made me think of this? Well, let me answer that question with another one... Where has our offense gone?

The first ten games of the spring, the Phillies offense scored five or more runs every game. They average 7.7 runs per game. It was encouraging because it is known that the Phillies offense should be in the top of the league. They stayed on a relatively high-scoring path the next six games, then fell off the last five. In that most recent stretch, the Phillies offense has averaged 2.2 runs a game after being shut-out last night by freakin' Yankees. Howard isn't hitting anything, Burrell has fallen off and Rowand doesn't know how to swing a stick anymore. Where did the bats go? Thank God for Victorino, Rollins and Utley.

This isn't a cry for help for the Phillies offense. The lineup is probably our strongest point this season and will give us plenty of leads that hopefully the Port-O-Potty can hold. This just got me thinking that the biggest non-roster related issue with Phillies should be to play consistent baseball... consistently winning baseball. If they can somehow manage that (above .500 ball each month), I'll print my playoff tickets tomorrow.
And yes, I know. Spring stats mean nothing, blah blah blah. I'm just bored.

Monday, March 19

Jon Lieber...The Next Ryan Franklin?

Remember Ryan Franklin? Of course you do. He was the big free agent signing of 2007. When the Phillies were starved for starters, Gillick worked his magic, let Padilla go for nothing and signed this old friend of his. No one was happy but we were all willing to wait it out and see if he could produce in the National League. All we read about was how his record was so poor due to his lack of run-support on the Mariners (I believe he lead the league). The Phillies brass also shoved the "he is a workhorse who will give you 200-plus innings" down our throat. We tried to overlook his horrid 5+ ERA and put the fact that he is a fly-ball pitcher in the back of our minds. We were patient and hopeful. His spring stats with the Phillies would further boast our optimism. We knew we didn't have gold on our hands, far from it actually...but we all hoped he could give us a chance to win every night he threw the ball. Our offense was massive enough to give him the run-support he needed to rack up some W's. We weren't asking for a Cy Young candidate.

So there it was. A 4th or 5th starter with the ability to help our team win every 5th game. And what happened? Franklin, a pitcher who spent roughly 3/4 of his career starting games, was sent to the bullpen, something he hasn't done in over four years. And I don't need to remind anyone reading this how that experiment ended. He struggled...and it wasn't for the better because his replacement, Gavin Shit, sucked just as bad as him.

And where are we two weeks before the 2007 season starts? Back in 2006, with talks of putting one of two starters who can give you a chance to win every 5th day in the Port-O-Potty. I don't know if this is the right move or the wrong one, but I cannot sit here and be comfortable that this will work. I have always considered myself a very optimistic person, especially when it comes to the Phillies. I give our owners, GMs and players every chance to make something work. This has me on edge, however, because history has shown us that an experiment like this may not work. And it isn't ancient history either, it was almost exactly one year ago.

Gillick won't trade Lieber without getting back what he feels is a "fair trade." I also want a "fair trade," but Gillick must understand that Jon Lieber isn't a name that makes teams say Hallelujah. You want to hear something that will make you come close to vomiting? It is entirely possible that we will get more back from Jon Lieber than we did for Bobby Abreu. The best thing we got from Abreu (so far that has produced in the Majors) is Matt Smith. Gillick is clearly asking for a better player than Smith. How sick does that make you? Jon "I pulled my hamstring running from the mound to first base last season because I am a fat, out-of-shape shit" Lieber might get us more than Bobby "I am one of the best outfielders the Phillies have ever seen" Abreu. I can't even write anymore about this...

P.S. I will gladly eat these words if I am proved wrong and a transition is successful. I'd rather be wrong than right on this scenario. I have no problem admitting when I was dumb and I pray I am the one making a mistake here, not the Phillies.

Sunday, March 18

The SPRING in Myers' Step

The Bullpen is still very Port-O-Pottyish and will only get me frustrated if I write about it. So the other part of our pitching ensemble, the rotation, will be the focus of today's conversation. After watching Sunday's game, I was inspired and extremely impressed by Myers' 6 innings of domination and thought that he and the other 4 (err..5?) should be the focus of today. After all, they are our biggest reason for optimism, right?

What the boys did thus far this spring...

Brett Myers
11.2 IP
13 K's
5 BB
3.09 ERA

Cole Hamels
9 IP
5 K's
5 BB
7.00 ERA

Freddy Garcia
7.2 IP
2 K's
5 BB
9.39 ERA

Jamie Moyer
14.1 IP
10 K's
5 BB
2.51 ERA

Adam Eaton
6.2 IP
5 K's
1 BB
4.05 ERA

And for good measure...
Jon Lieber
6.0 IP
5 K's
1 BB
1.50 ERA

So if spring stats were an actual indicator for the future, we can determine that Lieber will win the Cy Young, Jamie Moyer is 25, Cole Hamels is the same thing as Gavin Floyd and that trading Gio Gonzalez for Freddy Garcia was the worst trade since swapping Polanco for Urbina. So the fact that Garcia and Hamels look like they belong in our bullpen shouldn't be a cause for panic. Garcia's velocity is an issue but all 6 of these pitchers belong in a Major League rotation and we should be thankful they are in ours.

And everyone, meet your opening day starter:

Manuel for some reason is playing little kiddy games with the world and is withholding the starter for opening day. Why? The only reason I can give on why our manager would be doing this is "He IS Charlie Manuel." If Myers does stay on this schedule and pitch every 5 days, however, he will be ready to go on April 2. And aside from him being our best pitcher, he deserves it. Garcia isn't an ace anymore and has been here only 4 months. Hamels still needs to develop and it would be putting way too much pressure on a 23 year old. Moyer and Eaton are both 4 and 5's. And if we do keep Lieber, does anyone want to relive April 3, 2006 again? Brett Myers is thinner than last season and seems to finally have his priorities (pitching) together. He will dominate on the 2nd. Over the past 2 seasons, he has earned the title of ace.

I also love the attitude of Myers. He is cocky and somewhat of a hot-head on the mound, which is exactly what an ace needs. When asked about facing the Devil Rays he responded "I was tricking them. My curve was brutal." said he was being hard on himself but I read it as "My curve was the best thing since sliced bread. I was destroying those pussies." At least I hope that is how he meant it. Here is Myers inadvertently telling Wagner he is a queer who couldn't last in Philadelphia.

And here is how I believe the rotation should shape up:
  1. Myers
  2. Garcia
  3. Hamels
  4. Eaton
  5. Moyer

Splitting up Myers and Garcia might be a good idea, but I'd rather Hamels go up against other teams' number 3's instead of 2's. And the reason for not pitching Myers and Garcia back to back was to split up the hard-throwing righties, but is Freddy still considered a hard-throwing pitcher. Has he hit 90mph yet?

Still though, I'm not worried about our starters. It's the guys chilling in here that worry me:

...and I should note, that is a drunken midget peeing on the Port-O-Potty.

St Pattys Rant

It is a little after 3 in the moring, I just got home from a st. patty's celebration and i want to tell the world the few things that are on my mind
  • The Phillies are cooler than the Mets, who suck
  • Yuengling is better than the mets, who suck
  • Chase Utley is better than you
  • You are better than manuel
  • I just got the new "mens health" (Im gay I know) and David Wright is on the cover. I quickly burned it and threw it off the Walt Whitman
  • I wish Moyer was my father
  • 5, 6, 8, 11, 26, 35, 38 are the best numbers to watch for this season
  • Carson sucks for making the fantasy draft the morning after st. Patricks day. seriously though, who does that???????????????????

Also i do not like how everyone thinks they are irish on March 17, when they are clearly italian or mexican or german or australian (bloodstripes) or something else. Take off your "kiss me i'm Irish" shirt because you're ugly and no one loves you. Leprechauns are not real

Thursday, March 15

A Picture, A confession & A Prediction

The Picture:

...found on as the header for the Hall of Fame Club Seating Section. If the picture is too small, click on it to get a better look at Rowand's face.

The Confession:

...While I listened to the game on the radio last night, Hamels' second consecutive poor outing almost made me cry. I guess since I just assume that he is so invincible, my world gets turned upside down when he shows signs of being human. Up was Down, Left was Right, Gavin Floyd was my father. It was scary.

The Prediction:

...By May, there will be a significant trade. I won't say by opening day since injuries are a concern and we should see how this team fares in the first month. If, however, they stumble, Gillick will not be a seller this year. The moves made in the offseason are evident that Pat is going for a win-now attitude in 2007. This is not a rebuilding stage for Philadelphia Baseball. The team now is good, but the few holes we have may be too big to ignore. Bottom-line: I'll say it again, our bullpen looks like the inside of a Port-O-Potty.

On this site, until it is fixed, the Philadelphia Phillies' bullpen will be now known as "the Pen-O-Potty." Or maybe "the Port-O-Philly?" I can't decide which is better. Or which is worse...

Wednesday, March 14

How to truly promote the Phillies

Yesterday, I was looking over the Press Release regarding the 2007 Phillies promotions schedule. And while some are nice and would easily entice me to go to a game (Shane Victorino Hula Skirt Figurine Night...), I thought I would make up some of my own.

  1. Easter Egg Night
    This isn't as gay as it sounds. Every fan gets half a dozen red-painted Easter eggs and during the 7th inning stretch is allowed to throw them at any player on the field. No Phillies players are to be hit with the exception of Abraham Nunez, our manager and whatever bullpen member is horribly sucking at the time...this player would be Arthur Rhodes last season. This date should be held on April 16. It may be 8 days after Easter, but it is against the Mets. I would have a field day with Reyes.

  2. Heidi Strobel Bikini Fun Day
    I first mentioned Bikini Fun Day back in February and still think it would be an amazing event for Citizens Bank Park to hold. What is Bikini Fun Day? Simple... it is a day where ladies can come to the Bank and have fun in their bikinis. And of course, Cole's new wife would have to be present promoting all the various aspects of bikini fun. Sprinklers will be provided. This day of fun can be on Thursday, July 26 at 1:05 during the hot days of summer.

  3. Pat Burrell AIDS Test Night
    Well... I don't really have to explain the reasoning behind this one, do I? We all know of Pat's uncanny ability to pull in any piece of tail he wants. It is quite impressive. And while I am sure he is never a fool and wraps his tool, AIDS is still out there. Every Fan entering the park on this day will get a free AIDS test to let them know that Burrell cares about his manlihood.

  4. Charlie Manuel Bobble Stomach Giveaway
    Sure, the Shane Victorino Hula Skirt thing will be fun. But how great will an eight inch figurine of Charlie Manuel be, where his fat old stomach shakes and bobbles like the bowl of jelly it is? Fun for all ages and can also be used as a educational tool for the young ones. Parents can show their kids that no one ever wants to grow up and look like this. It will promote diet and exercise and can help keep America beautiful...not fat.

...I'm heading to the Phillies front office tomorrow to make sure these promotions happen for the good of this country, particularly the Phillies phan base.

Tuesday, March 13

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

And for once, it is the Phillies who are getting to experience a treasure chest. The saying presented in the title basically says that if their is something crappy for one party, another party can still reap the benefits of it. In the case of the Phillies, I am talking about the injury concerns for their N.L. East rivals. These injuries and instanced are a few days old, but still relevant. And I should note that I wish injury on no one (except maybe Gavin Floyd). I am just simply looking at the positives of everything.

Mike Hampton
I considered him the sleeper in the Division and said that a comeback year from him would equal a comeback year for the Braves. But as reported last week, Hampton experienced extreme pain in a batting practice and will have to be sidelined until at least May. This is vital to the Phillies for a few reasons. For one, they will not have to see Hampton the opening week and month of the season. Second, this delays Mike's return and progress which will further hurt the Braves as the season goes on.

Josh Johnson
The number 2 starter for the Marlins will be out for at least 2 months with nerve irritation. Johnson did excellent last season and would have progressed this year, but is now a huge setback for the team. And since the Phillies play the Fish 6 times in April, that bodes well for our chances against them. No Johnson in the rotation is a good thing for any competitor

Guillermo Mota
This happened awhile ago, but Mota was suspended 50 games for violation of the steroid policy. That is 50 games the Mets will have to find someone to fill a void in their bullpen. Last season, he posted a solid 1.00 ERA for the Mets and was a partial reason to why they had such an outstanding bullpen. The Mets are still a dangerous force and still have one of the game's best pens, but this isn't something any team wants to deal with.

Duaner Sanchez
Another key piece to the Mets' bullpen. Word from Mets camp is that all is good in the hood, but I wasn't shedding tears when I heard that their was turmoil going on between the two concerning Sanchez's rehab. In 49 games last season, Sanchez posted another solid ERA of 2.60 before getting injured by a dumbass drunk driver. Another thing to note here, it is possible that Duaner won't be as solid as he was last season due to injury concerns, which would further weaken a very strong bullpen.

Alay Soler
Soler just got released from Mets camp yesterday after a poor spring. Nothing major here but it doesn't pain me to see that the Mets didn't strike lightening in a bottle with this kid. Their rotation is an absolute mess.

Washington Nationals
...Just an unfortunate team that seems to be in absolute shambles

And one last unfortunate event that, of course, no one benefited from: the passing of John Vukovich. His funeral was yesterday right here in South Jersey. I wish I could have gone to pay my respects...

Lock and Key?

This rant started on the We Should Be GM's comment section then continued when I wrote a diary on The Good Phight. It is about Matt Smith, and while he is probably not high up on the list of things to be really concerned about for 2007, I want to express my distaste for people saying that Matt Smith is a "lock" for the bullpen. Due to laziness and my need for sleep, I will just copy/paste my post from the Good Phight...

A lot of relievers are struggling this spring. It isn't cause for panic just yet, since there are still 3 weeks until opening day. But one reliever has got me thinking: Matt Smith.

He was said to be the best thing we got out of the Abreu trade and looked good last year for the Phillies. During the offseason, when talks about our need for arms in the bullpen arose, Smith was considered a lock to be our 'lefty specialist.' I never gave it much thought until now (and it's possible that if he wasn't struggling with an ERA in the 16's, I wouldn't be thinking about this at all), but should Smith be our main southpaw out of the pen?

To guarantee someone with only 20.2 innings pitched in his entire career a spot in a major league bullpen seems a bit extreme. Sure he pitched really well for both us and the Yankees, but if I recall correctly, Chris Coste did a hell of a job last season and he is guaranteed a spot in 2007. Also, Smith only pitched 8.2 innings in Philadelphia. And while he was great for us, the two earned runs he gave up in 2006 were against left-handed hitters. Not so great for a man called upon just to get lefties out. And I do understand that it was a small sample size.

I am willing to give him a chance and I completely understand the need for solid (lefty) arms in our incredibly shotty bullpen. But should Matt Smith get a free pass due to the 20.2 innings he pitched in his entire career? If he continues to have a horrible Spring, should Smith still be in our bullpen? Or will he just be there because we simply have nothing better?

I am probably just making a big deal out of nothing and hopefully he will succeed for us. I just hope the best possible players break camp in April because as of right now, our bullpen looks the inside of a Port-O-Potty. And Gordon's suspect trip up north isn't helping.

And because I don't like depressing or negative posts, here is a very funny picture to brighten our days... bathroom ever.

Monday, March 12

My Man-Crush on Shane Victorino/Caption Contest

I am really no in the mood to discuss trade rumors that won't amount to anything. And talking about our horrid bullpen will only make me depressed. So I want to further express my (hetero-) love for our only American Phillie not born in the Continental United States: Shane "I am the coolest dude ever" Victorino.

Spring Training is basically meaningless. I actually just got into a squabble with a female friend of mine who happens to be a Yankees fan. She was trying to get under my skin by saying the Phillies sucks because they are 5-7 and the Yankees are 8-2. I told her she is a "dumb Yankee snob" and then showed her my pimp one talks trash on the Phillies!! And all while Spring Training rarely shows how good a player truly is or how good a team actually will be, watching (or in this case listening) to Victorino's play has been quite a treat.

We all know about him: Great arm, Great speed, Great on defense, A lot of heart, A lot of hustle, Hawaiian...there is very little to NOT like about his character and ability to play the game. But look at his stats thus far: 9 games, 29 at bats, 7 runs, 13 hits, 2 doubles, 2 stolen bases, 1 strikeout, .448 AVG. Simply amazing. We can't expect this ALL year but it is becoming apparent that Victorino is going to be a huge factor in the Phillies playoff push. If he does over a full season what he did when he was covering Rowand's reckless ass last year, I'll be satisfied. I honestly expect a remarkable season though.

I say over .300 with 13 homeruns and 60+ RBIs. He is still two years from his 'prime' and if last season and this Spring is any indicator of our future with this man, I see great things. As important as a leadoff hitter is, so is a good man for the 2-hole. Someone who makes contact and can move the runner. With Rollins and Victorino on the bases, pitchers will undoubtedly have a tough time focusing on Utley and Howard. Shane is a key component for the Phillies in 2007 and beyond. I don't ever want to hear trade rumors involving him.

Sidenote: He will not steal that many bases this season. Not because he isn't fast or sucks at it. It is just illogical for someone to steal second in front of a left-handed Utley.
Two reasons:
- It takes the hole away on the right side of the infield, thus taking away an advantage for Utley to pull the ball
- Consider this scenario: Rollins pops up, Victorino singles, Victorino steals 2nd, Utley strikes out. Guess who isn't getting pitched to next?

My Shane prediction of 2007: hits for the cycle

My Shane nickname: Volcanarino...a mix of Volcano and Victorino AKA the most cleverest thing ever!
Other names suggested by my roommate/team member, Muller: Hawaiian Gold, Pineapple Punisher, Volcano Penis (I didn't get that one), the Pacific Pounder, the Sandy Speedster, the Tanned Torpedo, the Maui Madman, the Honolulu Horror, Volcanic ASHole, and of course..."Fuck Alaska" Victorino. I would love to hear Harry Kalas use that one on a homerun call.

The Shane Victorino Caption Contest
What is he saying to this lucky fan that is making her so happy? I hope someone can top Corey's response in our last Caption Contest. If you're clever, leave it below.

Saturday, March 10


I always try my best to keep everything on this site strictly about the Phillies. With the exception of my Rubik's Cube rant and pictures of Carmen Electra, I think I do just that. Today, however, I will say one quick thing that is not Phillies related, but everyone should hear:

GO SEE 300!

Trust me...

Thursday, March 8

Why is SIX afraid of SEVEN?

There is a lot to be happy about going into the 2007 season. Our pitching seems to be stellar, our offense is tops in the league and the attitude is exuberant. While all of this is great, there is an aspect of our team that I feel is being overlooked by many. Remember that black hole the past two years? It was that feeling we all got deep in stomach after our sixth man in the lineup batted. We all knew what came next: David Bell, Mike Lieberthal, pitcher. Bell might have been good in 2004 and Lieberthal is probably one of the Phillies' best catchers ever. But in 2005 and 2006, we all knew that if the top of our lineup did not get it done, we were screwed by the end. Not this year...

Here is a question for you all: How many double plays did Bell hit into the past two years?
- 24 in 2005, 2nd most in the NL
- 18 in 2006, 9th most in the NL
And I don't hate David Bell, but he seemed to constantly be the ultimate rally killer. And he ran like a fairy.

Lieberthal was no better and while he didn't ground into nearly as many double plays, he wasn't the best at merely getting on base and turning the lineup over. His speed, along with Bell's, also was a huge cause for concern for the bottom of lineup. It wasn't easy for pitchers to move them along with a bunt and they always clogged up the bases if Jimmy came up after them.

Phillies pitching (including bullpen) hit for a whopping average of .091 with ZERO homeruns and 11 RBI's. We shouldn't expect too much from pitchers when it comes to offense, but this is downright disgusting. They also struggled getting down a bunt when they needed to with 29 sacrifice hits. All in all, the last three hitters were always cause for panic.

But it is a new year now which brings new hope and light to a recent hole of darkness. At our seventh slot this summer, either Rowand or Helms will be hitting. Both whom I'd pick in a heartbeat over David Bell. Rowand has the speed that Bell didn't have and Helms has the power. Actually, both have more power and should easily be considered an improvement. Rowand has come up with some key hits with the Phillies in 2006 and Helms seems to have finally found his swing this late in his career.

Our catcher will once again be hitting 8th and, once again, should be an improvement over Lieby. Barajas is best known for what he brings on defense, however, just a few years ago he did hit 21 homeruns. The scariest thing about him, however, is his horrid OBP. Only once in his entire career did he have an OBP over .300...and that total was .306. He doesn't hit for a high average and doesn't walk nearly as much as you would like an eight-hole hitter to. The main reason for optimism here is Ruiz. I thoroughly believe he is going to become our everyday catcher by the end of the year and will be at least average with the bat, which after all is all I would like to see. His speed, while not great, is also far superior to that of lieberthal and that fat bastard Fasano. (pictured above)

And finally, our pitchers should be much improved this season. I bolded 'should' because this spring training, we have heard talks on stressing fundamentals and improving the pitchers offense. The least we can ask for is a freaking sacrifice bunt when it is called upon. To ensure this, we all know of the coaching changes Gillick made. Hopefully it pays off.

Overall, the key to a good lineup is balance. Great 3-4-5 hitters are wonderful, but what happens if neither of those guys can get it done? The Phillies have had one of the most explosive offenses in the National League the past 2 years, however, most of this was due to the top of our lineup. Imagine how good this team can be if our 1 through 8 hitters ALL hit and not just 1 through 6.

And the answer to the title of this post: Because Seven Eight(ate) Nine. GET IT?!?!

I DID IT!!!!

Awhile ago I posted about how my life was overtaken by a rubik's cube and that I was going to go crazy until I solved it. Well...


...My life is complete