Sunday, May 3, 2015

AT LEAST THE WEATHER IS NICE

AT LEAST THE WEATHER IS NICE

Bill S watches this Weather girl everyday. He know ZERO Spanish

It’s good to start with something positive.

Saturday afternoon the Phillies lost another one.  For those counting at home, this is the 8th road series they have lost and brings them to a 5 game skid mark.  So far, this season has been full of embarrassing streaks.

I was lucky enough to not watch the game on TV.  Instead of sitting inside on a beautiful Saturday, I took the kids into the back yard and listened to the radio broadcast.  It is really nice to sit outside, have a beer and watch the kids play all while listening to a ball game. 

Baseball is the only sport that is just as good to listen to as it is to watch.  If you haven’t, or it has been a while, give it a try sometime.   The Phillies radio broadcast is a fun listen – even for a team that can’t find many wins.

Larry Anderson calls the Phillies hitters 1 dimensional.  Opposing defenses set their players up in perfect position for each hitter because they know where the ball is gonna be hit.

Ryan Howard could be batting .400 if he would only smack a ball down the 3rd base line every now and again. Friday night the Marlins had 4 infielders on the same side.

Chase Utley is hitting the ball hard and has nothing to show for it.  He hits the ball hard to the same places all the time. 

Darrin Ruf still gets to sit on the bench and have an at bat here and there.  It’s a shame he’s not allowed to play every day.

What does Grady Sizemore’s bat bring to this team or lineup?  Why is he even here?  

Cole Hamels didn’t do much to help himself get out of Philadelphia.  A strong outing versus the Marlins would have had Rubens phone ringing off the hook.  Instead, once again, he made the big mistake pitch prolonging his quest to break free to the land of a contending team. 

A strong outing by Cole could have led to a big offer. 

The Red Sox lost their everyday catcher on Friday night.  Their everyday catcher who is not really an everyday catcher.  A team looking to win a World Series needs an ace on the mound and a solid catcher behind the plate.

The Red Sox have a lot to offer.  Hamels and Ruiz could bring a nice return.

At this point, Ruben would be smart to make a Hamels deal happen now just in case his May, June and July aren’t as strong as the Phillies hope.

What if his trade value goes down?  Rubens has said all along he needs a big win from the Hamels trade. What if by holding on to him too long leads to a big loss?

I like Ruben as a guy but as a GM I am not sure he has the vision to know when to make the deal and who to take in return.

The biggest thing we’ve learned this week is that while the Phillies haven’t been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention theoretically they have been.

The best part about baseball is another day another game.  Even though this Phillies team is tough to watch I still find myself tuning in.

I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to!

Erik Whitacre

@erikwhitacre

Friday, May 1, 2015

Growing Pains

Hoodwink’d       by cj hood
Growing Pains
 
 
SHOW ME THAT SMILE AGAIN PHILLIES FANS!
 
The following is a true story.  The other day at dinner my 10 year old son (in the most solemn way) tells me that he wants to ‘make a major change in his life.’  He goes on to tell me that starting next season he’s going to start routing for the Yankees.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because he’s at that age now where he’s starting to come into his own.  As a Dad I was ready for the growth spurt, the deeper voice and the hair in naughty places, but ceasing to be a ‘Buntamaniac?  Maybe it’s because he was drafted by the Yankees for his first year in Majors or maybe it’s because Utley’s batting under .200.  Irregardless (not a real word), the empty stadium, the losing record, the who’s who of players doesn’t really give you an appreciation for how far this team has fallen.  It’s not until a ten year old boy (who’s still on the fence about Santa Claus) decides to support another MLB team that you realize how far 2008 is in the rear view mirror.  On that note, let’s focus on the few positives…
 
-Dropping Howard in the lineup took the pressure off and it shows.
-Revere’s bat is coming around.
-Joanna Kerns was a MILF.
-Galvis is producing as much as Rollins is in LA.
-I can’t believe Chelsea Noble buys into all of Kirk Cameron’s shenanigans. 
-Harangatuan is still holding his own.
-Leo DiCaprio sunk Growing Pains quicker than the Titanic.
-I’m finally starting to like Pap….he will be missed.
-Buchanan has nice hair.
-If you’re adding a kid to sitcom and it’s not Cousin Oliver then don’t even bother.
-Herrera was a great pick up.
-Asche’s healthy.
-RIP Boner
-I wouldn’t mind seeing Ryno blow a gasket or two.
-I hear Francoeur is very polite.
-DB29 has ‘Thicke of the Night’ Season 1 on Beta.
-Severino Gonzalez and Chooch seem to be the best of friends.
-D*Boogie getting demoted to Lehigh Valley and pulling a no-show was G to the OLD.
-Ben ‘the good time guy’ was my favorite GP episode of all time!
-Meet & Greet V is next month….let’s get ‘bunted!

 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Puzzling Dilemma

So Saturday night is Autism Awareness night at Citizens Bank Park. We were thinking about taking our daughter and discussed it for a few weeks.

As a lifelong Phillies fan it has always been my dream to take my daughter to her first Phillies game.  Maybe she could see the Phanatic and go home and sleep with her Phanatic doll instead of the stinky dog she has slept with for the last few years.  We could get her a hot dog (which she wouldn’t eat) and a cotton candy.

Emma knows the Phillies.  She knows it is on our TV every night during the season.  She would probably recognize the field from all the times Caillou has been vetoed and we have turned on baseball.

Ultimately, we decided not to go. We were fearful the large crowd and cheers when the Phillies did well might lead her to meltdown.

Maybe we were wrong.

 The stadium is less than half full.  The Phillies offense has brought little to no cheers.  Perhaps this Autism Awareness Night would have been the perfect night to take her to her first game.

It is kind of sad.  Having attended many Phillies games in my life I am certain they will go out of their way to make it a fun night for all fans who attend the game and take extra care to assure those there for Autism Awareness Night have everything they need.

I doubt we will but maybe it is time to consider getting walk up tickets for the game.

What’s the worst that could happen?  She may go home wondering why fans in the stands started chanting E.A.G.L.E.S. EAGLES!!!

On a related note I can’t stop thinking about how my son wore a hand me down Victorino shirt on opening day.  My favorite Phillies player is Cole Hamels.  How much longer will he be here?  If I bought my boy one of his jerseys will he still be here when the shirt no longer fits?  What player on this team is worthy of the $20 bill for their name on the back?

On an unrelated note – why can’t they play Ruf every day for a month? Let’s see what he can do with a regular start.  Switch his position but daily at bats may show us what he can do. 

On a similar unrelated note – why is Franco still in the minor leagues?  Is anyone on the big club doing better than the players on the smaller club?

On a horrible note – The Mets are in first and the Phillies are in worst.  That’s sad.

As I finish typing this the Phillies beat the Braves 1-0.  SWEET!!!

Erik Whitacre 

 I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to.

@erikWhitacre on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The House of Pain


 
It’s funny for all the crying CJ Hood has been doing that the Wriz hasn’t blogged this year, its not like anyone listens anyways.

The Wriz said RAJ didn’t deserve an extension after the 09 season.
The Wriz said trade Chooch when he was hitting .350
The Wriz said don’t resign JRoll.
The Wriz said trade Hamels & then try to resign him.
The Wriz said trade Utley & Dom Brown when they were tearing the cover off the ball.

It’s not just the Phils that don’t listen. It’s you clowns too.

The Wriz said Papelbon is a competitor and possibly the best on the team. But you still bash him.
(Well, at least Erik was listening.)

And now you want more knowledge from the Wriz? Well the Wriz never disappoints so fuck it. Here’s what to expect in 2015: Pain! That’s right CBP might as well be called the House of Pain for 2015 and its not the good Jump Around one either.

Its not going to be an easy year to be a Phillies fan. The only thing that will make this year watchable should be Hamels but it’s quite possible he’s gone before the trade deadline. After that, it’s hoping to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe a prospect that shows he’s quite capable of being a Major League player or to cut ties with the bags of shit like RAJ or Howard. (That’s for you Captain Poopypants, who happens to be our most consistent commenter so if the rest of you want more blogs better start leaving feedback)

As for the rest of the infield, Utley’s best days are behind him. For the past 2 years, I’ve been saying he needs more days off. Word is this will be the year it happens. Outside of last night, it might be too late. Asche and Galvis are off to hot starts but I see Asche as a quality bench player or platoon player at best at the ML level. Galvis has a gold glove but a tin foil bat. Neither can sustain what their doing now.

In the outfield, Imma give Herrera the benefit of the doubt as he’s learning a new position I think he will get his bat going before long. Revere’s been doing his best Jesse Barfield impression and gunned down another runner. The Phillies have been dangling him as trade bait but I’m ok with him in LF until he proves otherwise. I know he’s got no power but he can hit .300 Right field is where it gets interesting. You’ve got Jeff Francoeur, Grady Sizemore and Dom Brown vying for 1 spot. The way I see it you HAVE to play Dom. I don’t like it, but it’s the teams only play to get value (whether on the field or through a trade) on a guy who was once one of the best prospects in all of the MLB.

Pitching wise. Hamels will the announcers talking about the “walk up ticket sales” again well until he’s traded. I’m not as down on Harang as most he’s not great but he’s an innings eater. Hell, it looks like he’ll eat most anything. Same as Burnett tho I don’t understand putting the money out there for him. The difference in wins between having Harang and Sean O’Sullivan in your rotation is probably no more than five. Chad Billingsly is a low risk/high reward guy, but he’s coming off offseason surgery and that worked out so well with Mike Adams. The pen is the brightest spot on the team and if they continue to improve can be one of the best in all of baseball.

“Tanking” had become one of the most overly used and misused words by sports fans but yeah its going look like that. The Wriz says 98 losses and add 5 more if Hamels is dealt.

See ya at the House of Pain!

Jay Wrizight
jaywrizight@yahoo.com


Monday, April 13, 2015

Musings after Week 1

           View From the Left Coast by a Lefty:  Musings after Week 1

 
So, 3-3 to start the season, and could easily be 4-2 or even 5-1. This Phillies team has gone from <shrug> to interesting. It reminds me of my high school team, scrappers who can't really be counted out. The similarities about... can't be counted out, never give up, do the little and fundamental things to win a game. They also don't have much power just like my teams; besides me we had very few people who could leave the yard but it wasn't over til it's over. We were solid in fundamentals and created opportunities on offense and defense. For the uninitiated,

my high school teams were back to back State Champs and had a 37-10 record during that time. One thing this Phillies team will never see is 37-10 though.
 
While it's early, the prognosis from spring training hasn't changed much. .500 seems like a lofty goal for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng season. My reasons are listed below:
 
Revere: last year was a freak, if he hits .280 he'll be lucky. Can't lay off outside and high or the inside and low RH slider. Shocked the hell outa me throwing out that runner from 2B like he did.
Utley: meh, he usually starts fast and fades a bit. If he fades from here just add him to the coaching staff.
Galvis: one plus. if he can come close to hitting .275 the whole year he's a plus over JRoll, minus Jimmy's power. *BONUS* he won't pop out 34% of the time.
Howard: meh-, in mid season form. He just may break 200k's this year. Why he opened his stance back up astounds me. I no longer think I can help him, he's counting his days and guaranteed dollars already, paying off the $7MIL new house.
Chooch: still 100% effort but no longer the arm or hitting ability he once had. If Rupp is our best option at backup C we're up shit's creek. Is Choo Choo Coleman available?
Odubel: a plus, great Rule 5 pickup. How did he get stuck in the Ranger's farm system so long, especially last year when they played a JV team?
Ruf, Hernandez, Francouer: not major leaguers, by June they will be stuck in Lehigh with Franco for eternity.
Brown: should have added him above. Outright him.
Asche: love him, your 3B for the foreseeable future. Should play every day, Blanco can go back to TOR where he belongs.
Sizemore and Danks: someone has to be on the bench I guess.
 
Starters - Cole: while he hasn't been awful at his present rate will give up close to 70 HR's. C'mon man.
             - Buchanan: wake up young man, you know you can do better than this.
             - Williams: since last year has been very serviceable and I have no problems with him.
             - Harang: could be the pickup of the year if he doesn't get hurt like he normally does
             - O'Sullivan: if he's #5 we're in deep shit. Decent today but there's 23 weeks left in the season
 
Bullpen - plus for the most part. Don't care much for Gomez, love Garcia, Defratus I'd like to see stretched out into a starter maybe, Diekman dude quit dropping your back shoulder when you push off it makes you throw high and outside to righties, Giles quit tightening into a ball before your release it's costing you 3-5mph off your fastball but your slider is still killer, and Papelbum you're still an asshole but getting the job done.
 
Sandberg: seems to be back in his element with a team that isn't power laden and has to make things happen otherwise. What he was used to as a AAA manager.
 
All in all things could be worse. This team went from ugh to interesting in one week. The last 2 games I had great streams to watch that I Chromecasted to my 52" tv and it looked great... the things you have to do when you live 2500 miles away. I guess we'll see how successful grinding games out are, and how long it lasts. We have no choice Bunters, do we? Wish I could stay home tomorrow, game is on MLBN. Too bad my escape local team is the Dbacks... only team in MLB predicted to be anywhere near as bad as us. was nice seeing them beat Kershaw yesterday though.
 
And there you have it sports fans, til next time. I hope they can inspire me again soon.
 
                                                Bill S aka/netfather

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Phils Awaken

Hoodwink’d   by cj hood
The Phils Awaken
 
 
 
CAN’T WAIT FOR CHOOCHBACCA
 
This December I get to relive my childhood when the new Star Wars movie drops.  The only thing I’ve read online more than Phillies tweets is Star Wars leaks.  Hence, I know when I enter the theater 8 months from now that it’s not going to be all about Luke, Han & Leia.  It only makes sense that the elder statesmen take a backseat to the new generation of Jedi.  This is the same approach my fellow ‘Buntamaniacs need to take with this 2015 Phillies team.  It’s not all about Chase, Howard & Chooch anymore.  It’s not even all about the rusty trombone.  Instead it’s all about Blanco, Hernandez & Herrera.  I tweeted (@PhilliesBunts) last week that I didn’t believe the Phillies would be the horror show that Vegas is predicting.  Winning breeds winning…we have our first winning record since May of last year.  With that being said, I hope that Wriz get’s this piece up before 1pm.  Let’s kick some old school Hoodwink’d in honor of back to back come-back wins shall we…
 
-We’re in 2nd place in the NL East.
-Ben’s gotta arm.
-At least Howard’s making contact.
-I’m in the process of getting ‘Harangutan’ patented. 
-Wriz Wednesdays:  Now written in invisible ink.
-I got winded watching Chase go from first to third.
-Jabba the Hutt > Carrie Fisher
-Weekend home games are the Schmidt!
-What up with the Bravos?
-Buchannan was a bigger let down than the Soprano’s Finale.
-I think Hamel’s let the ‘everybody wants me’ talk get to his pretty little ego.
-Sometimes Pap feels like a Phil; Sometimes he don’t.
-We should have kept Byrd.
-I bet Wriz in the Phillies 5K
-We could have and should have won the Sox series.
-Harrison Ford doesn’t know the meaning of DL.
-I asked DB29 to send me pics from Opening Day; he sent me 1 selfie.
-Fun Fact:  If Harang starred on Walking Dead he’d need zero makeup.
-I’d sooner ask Wriz for diet tips than fantasy baseball advice.
-Erik Whiticare is the Odubela Herrera of the ‘Bunts staff.
-J*Roll is my best fantasy player.
-Meet & Greet V is on June 28th!!! #whosgoing
-We’ll learn who this team is this week. 
-We’re tied for first in the Wild Card….let’s get ‘bunted!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

No Hope. No Fear.

A Team Without Hope Is a Team Without Fear.


So Daredevil made its debut on Netflix Friday preventing a few nerds from tuning into the Phillies game.  While the Daredevil reviews are awesome, the Phillies looked great.

This season has been referred to by many as hopeless. Well, a team without hope is a team without fear.

A 7th inning 4 run offensive explosion led to a fun Friday night victory over the ugly uniformed probably won’t go very far in the playoffs again this year Nationals.

If Howard, Ruf, Utley, Ruiz and Francoeur can get hot, this team will score a lot more runs than the experts predicted. 

Minus the leadoff hitter, Jerome Williams looked like a good #4 pitcher.  The bullpen shut a potential playoff team down for a second night in a row and Papelbon pitched a perfect 9th for his second save of the season.

 
So Papelbon made another dumb comment the other night and he is even more hated now than he was on Tuesday (if that’s even possible) but he still goes out on the field and brings it every time he gets the ball.  The two things Papelbon does best:

save ball games and say stupid things.

Jimmy Rollins is too smart to be suckered into answering such a question but don’t we all hope he will always consider himself a Phillie?

The Phillies found a way to win the game and every player on the field did their part when the game was on the line.

Maybe it is silly to be optimistic for a team in the process of a tear down and rebuild but why not?  Make the season fun.  Find positives in every game.   I know it is fun to goof on them when they lose but they are still the Philadelphia Phillies and we are lucky to have them.

I know it may not happen that often this year but I love it when the Phillies win. 

With Hamels on the hill for Saturday Night there’s a good chance for 2 in a row.  Go Phillies!

Erik Whitacre 

I will watch the Philles so you don’t have to!!

Follow me on Twitter @ErikWhitacre