Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I love it when you call me Big Papi

I think it's safe to say that David Ortiz, aside from being someone who I would clearly love to hug, is almost certainly the best clutch hitter of our time and perhaps of all time. He won two of the three games against the beloved/hapless Phillies in extra innings. Hurrah. He has some of the mostr memorable hits in the recent history of the game. And aside from all that, look at those threads.

Also, let me be the first to congratulate the Phillies on losing their division for certain. Thanks to the man I like to call Brett "The Hit Man" Myers. And now the nickname will finally stick.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Write your caption

From today's AP photo-wire, write a caption for this picture in the comments.

Friday, June 16, 2006

flags at half-mast

Is it too early for me to do a State of the Phils address? I don't think so. This week was a perfect time to start complaining, and as a Philadelphian, it doesn't take much, does it?

The boys in red got swept by the division rival Mets, who are like 9 games ahead of them now and look to have stopped underacheiving on their big-name, big-budget lineup. Philly is not going to catch them... unless they do something. As in, make a move. Will they do it?

Right now Philly is right at .500 and there's a bunch of teams in front of them in the NL. I really doubt the Reds or all those NL west teams who've started off well will hold up, but the Astros and Braves always might come on. The division looks lost, but it's early and the Mets could be peaking (although, they will likely add people if they can, cough, ahem, Alfonso Soriano, ech). So... it wil be a rough road to the playoffs, but they can do it. IF THEY ADD SOMEONE!!

This is a good year for management to prove they care about winning. They can send a message to fans that their nice new ballpark is giving them reason to spend more cash, that they're not going to dick around and hope the farm system comes through. Last year, it looked lost, with them dumping Kevin Millwood early on and falling behind early in the year. When BIlly Wagner said they were done, we believed it. But they came on strong and finished just one game out.

Based on that strong finish, they would do it in the offseason, right? Get the job done with free agents and stuff? Nope. Even though they brought in a new GM, Wagner still left to the Mets - a real killer this year - and they dumped Jim Thome, hero for the past few years, thinking he was dead. Well, Thome is not dead, although I don't argue the logic of the trade. They needed a centerfielder who could hit at the top of the order, and Ryan Howard did great at first and cleanup. But isn't there a way they could have put Howard in the outfield? Wouldn't you rather have him and Thome, even with bad defense, than him and Pat F-----g Burrell? By the way, if they swing a trade, is there any possible way that Pat the (weak) Bat can be a part of it?

Oh, and they didn't pick up a front-line starter, instead going with youth and some guy named Cory Lidle. Their pitching staff might have potential, but for now it ranks as the least intimidating out of all the NL teams trying to make it. I don't want to give up on these guys too early, but if you could get a known commodity like Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis, why not? They still have some years left.

So, Pat Gillick, it's up to you. You walked into a situation where they never paid money and waited for the farm system. Well, you can change that. You can use some of those prospects to get good players for now and for the immediate future. I assume that's what you were hired for... to change things. You need to get a good starter for the stretch run. Wolfpack coming back isn't going to cut it. Ryan Madson certainly is NOT cutting it. Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, and Gavin Floyd mgiht make a good rotation someday, but again, stop waiting.

I'll be watching the transaction page for the Phils as much as I watch the scoreboard and standings. If they don't make a move, soon the new ballpark will be just like the Vet, only more costly.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Turning Japanese

In a deal that stunned baseball pundits around the nation, the Mets traded top 2nd baseman Kazuo Matsui to NL West juggernaut, the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies were so overwhelmed at this accquisition of top talent that they immedietly did the right thing and assigned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Remember the 90's when people actually got excited about newcoming Japanese players? Reality has set in, especially for Mets fans. The Mets have always been the first people to acquire mediocre Japanese talent from Kazuo Matsui to Masato Yoshii to Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Although I can't really complain about Shinjo just because he was hilarious. He wore these gigantic orange arm-guards and his nick-name in the New York media was "Mr. Sparkle". Became first player to complain of "funny bumps" in the outfield at Shea (each bump signifies a dead body).

I kinda wish someone would tell these Japanese players what's going to happen to them when they leave behind their multi-million dollar contracts and legions of silent fans in the far-East. That people will talk about them for a few months and bandy about exciting terms like, "The next Ichiro?" for a few months until they're forgotten. Maybe that should be Bobby Valentine's responsibility as manager of the Chibba Lotte Marines.

Anyway, always be skeptical of hyped players from Japan. The talent pool is no where near Major League level. Think of it as Triple A plus One. That goes for GM's too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Closing the deal

So yeah, it's been about a month since my last post. I blame the negative chi of my New York home. When I'm using the computer, I'm no where near a cable equipped TV, so I can't watch baseball while I do something else, and baseball is the perfect background sport. So if you're gonna blame something, blame feng shui. But my sister lleft her laptop out tonight, so here I am: computer, tv, and provolone hummus mix, raring to go.

And that's all I have to say about that.

I was watching the Mets play the Dodgers out in L.A. tonight, and the Mets lost 8-5. The Dodgers brought in Cy Young award winner Eric Gagne to seal the deal, and he earned his salary AKA got three batters out. I'm not even going to get started on the irony of giving a closer an award named after a guy who pitched nine innings every day. That's ancient history. What I noticed at tonight's game was how the crowd reacted.

They were absolutely electric, everyone on their feet just for his walk from the bullpen to the pitcher's mound. You'll notice this is a typical reaction for closers. They always get the biggest cheers and the most applause. I first noticed it for Mariano Rivera on the Yankees, but it works that way for almost any closer in the majors.

They're really lucky bastards.

For one, they only come in to a game when their team is winning. So right away they benefit from the good vibes of a winning home team crowd. Then, assuming they don't blow it, they're the ones on the mound when the game ends. So no matter how great the starting pitcher was or how clutch the hitting, there's an isntant association between the closer and the win.

You can probably tell by now I don't have a terrible amount of respect for the position of closer. John Smoltz proved to me that any good pitcher can close. I mean, compare it to the starting pitcher role. Would you rather pitche every five days for as long as you can until you mess up and get a stat that labels you as the loser or would you rather just get three outs every few days and only get a stat if you win.

So what's the gist of what I'm trying to say? Ummm...closers aren't that great, yet they get a lot of adulation anyway? Yeah...I guess so.

Maybe I should've just written that

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Domo origato, Mr Leo

J. Leo has enough chutzpah for this entire blog. I like your moxie, kid. And other such generic old-timey motivational phrases.

Yes, it's true - The Dough Boy is back, and he generously accepted a $22 million prorated salary. Thank goodness he's not charging for a full season. Oh, and just to stick it to the league a little bit more, he tacked another 22 bucks on the end of the figure so it could all match his uniform number. $22,000,022. For maybe 20 starts. Dick!

The AL East is indeed a good-looking race once again. If the Jays ever get a decent pitching staff, or at least something to match their bats, the Yanks and Sox had better watch out. Rios is leading the league is batting? WTF? Wasn't he Troy Glaus' bat boy last year in Arizona?

And yes, still don't care about Bonds. Can't stand him. Can't stand the League dancing around the issue and the man himself playing it up. He loves this shit. At least ESPN finally cancelled his infomercial show. Again: Dick!

And as a personal addendum, my hiatus has been due to little more than excessive heat in the loft of my apartment, where my computer is. It's unseasonably cool right now, which rocks, so I'll try to update as much as I can while I have things to say/it's not ungodly hot up here.