Tagged: Alex Rodriguez

A Sweep In San Diego / Hip Injuries On The Rise

P2230585 Dobbs.jpg

Greg Dobbs is a magician.  Just ask JA Happ.  While Happ pitched very well in last night’s 5-1 win over the Padres, he gives credit to Dobbs for turning his night around after a dicey 2nd inning.  Dobbs made a running, over the shoulder grab in right field to get Happ out of an inning where he had given up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases.  After the game, Happ said, “Dobber really turned the game around and gave me some confidence and made me focus in there more.”  Ultimately, Happ got through 7 scoreless innings with only 4 hits total surrendered.  He now has a record of 4-0 and a 2.48 ERA.

JC Romero returned to the mound tonight after that ridiculous 50-game suspension.  JC, welcome back!  We missed you!  Romero pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up 2 hits, a walk and one unearned run.  He was likely very emotional in his return, but he got the job done.  It must be a huge relief for him to finally get that first game out of the way.  By the way, Happy Birthday to JC who turns 33 today!

As for the offense, Ryan Howard belted a 2-run homer in the 1st to get the game off to a great start.  And Dobbs was a magician at the plate, as well as in the field, with 2 hits, including a double.  Pedro Feliz, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth each knocked in a run and Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 8 games.  Every starting position player had a hit in the game except Chris Coste, but he walked twice.

This win in San Diego marks the Phillies 2nd sweep and 6th victory in a row!

Shooting From The Hip

The New York Times did an article this week on the recent rise in hip injuries, which have included Phillies’ Chase Utley, Brett Myers and now, Shane Victorino, who left the game last night with a left hip problem. 

hip.png
Other big names like Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Carlos Delgado of the Mets have suffered the same injuries this year to their hip labrums.  Are they putting something in our water or is there another explanation?

While the theories vary, it seems many doctors think it may be a combination of kids who start playing at young ages before their bones are fully developed and strength training that focuses on knees and other areas, thereby putting more strain on the hips.  In my own personal experience, I can tell you both may be true.  I was diagnosed with the same hip injury over a year ago.  I chose to avoid surgery (for now) because it is very risky and in my case, it was possible that it may make things worse.  Being that I do not have a physical job like a professional athlete, I can get away with hobbling around when I need to.

In my case, I started playing baseball when I was 6 years old; plus, I have an underlying genetic bone deformity that is not helping the situation.  But I played anyway, because I wanted to feel like a normal kid.  Doctors were always worried about my knees and sure enough, a knee injury ended my playing days half way through high school.  In the years that passed, I spent countless hours building leg strength to protect my knees, as instructed by the doctors.  Now you can use my calf muscles to hold up a coffee table, but my hips are shot.  Coincidence?  They say hindsight is always 20-20.

When you focus on one part of the body, how can you expect the rest not to suffer?  This seems to be the case here.  Ten years from now, we may have the answer.  For the time being, all that can be done is to treat the issues as they arise.  I will keep you updated on Shane’s condition as the information is published.

Up Next

The weary eyes of all those intent on following this west coast trip will get no rest this week.  The play continues tonight in Los Angeles, which begins a 4-game series with the Dodgers.  And no sleep in sight for the East Coast fans…

But since you will be awake anyway, why not keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars?!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Dobbs Photo by Jenn

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Lidge Saves A Nail Biter

Brad Lidge allowed 2 base runners with only 1 out in the bottom of the 9th in a 4-3 game tonight; just as Phillies fans everywhere were ready to throw in the towel again, Lidge buckled down and got the next 2 batters out to save the game.  Whew!  Does he have to make every save a tummy-turner?  Oh well, at least he got the job done.

Cole Hamels did his job too; 6 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed.  Not super, but good enough to win the game.  And the offense only had 7 hits in the game, including a Ryan Howard solo home run, but it was also enough to win the game.  They faced a very tough pitcher, so we will take it.

And while Hamels is our pitching Angel, Chan Ho Park has been the Devil.hamels park.jpgAfter Spring Training, many thought JA Happ should have been given the 5th starters spot, but instead, the Phillies went with Park.  That turned out to be a big mistake as Park limped through April and the first part of May with a lousy 7.08 ERA.  The Phils finally came to their senses and sent him to the pen where he belongs.  Happ will take over the 5th spot starting this Saturday against the Yankees.  Talk about a trial by fire…this poor kid has to be shaking in his boots.  He finally gets the job he deserves and now he has to face A-Rod and Jeter.  We wish him luck!

The series with the Reds will continue tomorrow at 7:10pm.  And keep VOTING for your All-Stars!  Utley, Ibanez, Howard, Werth…get them to St. Louis!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photos by Jenn

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Sounding Off For JC Romero

With JC Romero’s impending 50 game suspension, Bud Selig came out yesterday and said absolutely nothing about it.  What he did say was how he’d like to be remembered as the guy who tried to clean up baseball and talked about how the criticism affects him.  In an article on MLB.com, Selig was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to hear the Commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig said in a telephone interview with Wallace Matthews of Newsday. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism. The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible.”  Selig also said that he would “would have to think” about suspending Alex Rodriguez, who admits to steroid use from 2001-2003.

He is going to “think” about it?  Romero.jpgIt is my impression that Mr. Selig “thinks” about very little these days, except for saving face on his part.  As for his sensitivity to criticism, perhaps he should channel that emotion into something more positive?  Say, doing the right thing instead of crucifying a man who has done nothing wrong for fear of looking soft?

The only thing JC Romero is guilty of is not dialing some vague 800# to triple and quadruple check on the supplement he took.  After Romero’s suspension, the drug company came out and apologized, saying the supplement would cause a false positive for steroids.  Then, a few days later, the FBI shut that company down for illegal practices.  Not to mention that the MLB Players union told Romero it was ok to purchase supplements, such as the one he took, at GNC.  He had multiple people check the label and all agreed nothing in it was a banned substance.

A 50 game suspension is the same punishment that would be given to an actual cheater;  someone like Alex Rodriguez, who DID take a banned substance.  And yet, Romero gets 50 games while Selig has to “think” about whether to suspend A-Rod?  Mr. Selig’s moral compass has clearly gone astray.

Not only does this hurt the Phillies as a team, but that is really the least of the issues.  What about Romero’s reputation and good standing in the community?  What about his family and friends?  What about the fans who support him?  Mr. Selig seems to take a stance of ‘screw them all, I will do whatever I want.’  Who is Selig accountable to?  Can the fans protest and have HIM suspended?  Why are some men held above the law of the land and others must pay for someone else’s mistakes?

Bud Selig has one chance to redeem himself and gain the credibility he so obviously desires; reduce the suspension on Romero.  Do the right thing.  Someone once told me that it was not hard to do the right thing; knowing what the right thing is becomes the actual challenge.  Once you know, it is easy to do what is right.  Mr. Selig:  You know.

 

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This Week In Phillies Land…

Injury Updates

Although Pedro Feliz insists he will be ready to go for Opening Day after undergoing back surgery, it seems his manager is less certain.  Charlie Manuel has divulged that Feliz has suffered a slight setback and may not be ready to go.  However, the Phils have plenty of back-up with Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, and possibly, Chris Coste.  If Manuel decides to keep Coste, which he should, Coste can play a variety of positions, including 3rd base.

More concerning will be the progress of Chase Utley after hip surgery as his recovery time was expected to be longer than Feliz.  However, all reports indicate that Utley is in great shape and even ahead of schedule.  He has taken ground balls, done some light running and taken some dry swings.  If there is a delay in Utley’s return, back-up should not be a problem here either, especially with the recent signing of utility man, Miguel Cairo.  Cairo will likely serve as an insurance policy if all else fails.

Big Losers

A couple of the Phillies players have begun camp this year as big losers; Ryan Howard and Brett Myers
Brett Myers.jpgboth lost a considerable amount of weight in the off-season while preparing for Spring Training.  While most never imagine Howard being light on his feet, 30 fewer pounds may give him a bit more speed and flexibility.  Myers, admitting that his body is starting to feel older, decided the move to lose was necessary in order to keep healthy.   Kudos to them both!

Moyer Speaks About A-Rod


Jamie Moyer.jpgJamie Moyer, former teammate of Alex Rodriguez, expressed his disappointment today with A-Rod’s use of steroids.  Moyer recounted on Comcast Sportsnet how their son’s used to play together and now that the children are teens, he worries about how this news has affected them.  Here is Moyer’s stance on the issue: “It’s about respecting the game,” Moyer said. “I’d be disappointed in anybody in that situation. When people have had an impact on your life, you want to feel for them. But how can I feel for him? To me, if you’re doing it, you know it’s illegal. I commend him for coming out and saying it, but why didn’t he say it seven years ago?”

Mo’ Money

And with a World Championship comes mo’ money…  This year’s season ticket sales for the Phillies have increased by more than 4,000 tickets last year.  The club has already sold 24,000 season tickets in a ballpark with a capacity of 45,000.  John Weber, vice president for ticket sales and operations, say that sales of season tickets will be capped at around 27,000 to 28,000, giving the Phillies the potential to sell-out season tickets. 

As a result of the boom in sales, individual game tickets will be much harder to come by.  This is great news for the team as a whole, as they can sign more players and keep those around who are of higher quality.  More games will sell out, adding to the excitement and atmosphere.  But it is bad news for the average fan, who will be slowly priced out of the live game experience, opting to stay home and avoid the expense.

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Steroids: Look On The Bright Side

Before I get to the steroids fun, just a quick update on Chase Utley’s hip surgery recovery; Comcast Sportsnet reported that Utley began fielding grounders and doing some light running in Clearwater yesterday.  This means he is ahead of the projected recovery schedule and could be ready for Opening Day.  I will be in Clearwater in only 8 days and will continue updating his progress for you from there.

And now for some fun!  In this very sad and depressing time with roid rage running rampant, I felt some good cheer was in order.  Watch and listen:

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Funny Money / Steroids Discussion

Funny Money

The Phillies 2009 payroll has skyrocketed after a 2008 World Championship has them flying high.  With about $104 million dollars last year to play with, 2009 will bring an additional $27.5 million in, giving the Phillies around $131.5 million dollars.  This still pales in comparison to the $222.2 million of the Yankees in 2008 or the $143 million of the Mets, but for a team that has won its first championship in 28 years, it is not too shabby.

This kind of play money, however, brings a new level of pressure to the team to contend again in 2009.  Failing to do so would be a disaster of extreme monetary proportions.  New GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has done an excellent job so far in the off-season signing players, but he still has a hole to fill in the bullpen with JC Romero’s bogus 50-game suspension and this team is in desperate need of a right-handed bat.  He’s got the cash, now where are the players?

In addition to filling team needs, I personally hope Amaro will add some new fan-friendly features to the ballpark.  My wish list includes a play area for “big” kids, including the old “Dress Yourself as the Phanatic” area they used to have at the Vet; a water slide – it is always raining in Philly anyway; and of course, I’d like to see batting practice held outside before every game, especially Sunday’s!  If they are going to bleed the fans dry by hiking prices, they can at least entertain those of us who religiously show up to the ballpark when the gates open.  The last few years, BP has been seen less and less.  I have had better luck at away games. 

Ok, so the water slide is asking a bit much, but batting practice is FREE.  And how about getting these guys out on the field to sign some autographs before the game?  I mean, aside from Jamie Moyer.  Again, also FREE and makes the fans very happy.  And with all this money saved, Amaro can now afford that “Rent Your Favorite Player for the Day” program I have been waiting on for a decade now.  I get first dibs and I call Chase Utley :O)  Sorry ladies, my idea, my choice.

A-Rod Discussion

I have spent days thinking about this whole steroid issue and have mixed feelings on the subject, as many of us do.  Of course, I do not condone drug use of any kind and really believe this abuse has not only done individual harm to the players, but has irrevocably damaged the reputation of America’s favorite pastime. 
P3014206 A-Rod.jpgMany fans have been alienated as accusations of cheating attached to the biggest names in sports have been steadily spit out into the open.

On the point of Alex Rodriquez, I am angered, frustrated and sympathetic all at the same time.  The anger and frustration are obvious.  The sympathy?  First, why is he being singled out?  Where are the other 103 names?  And then, let’s go back to 2003: Steroid use in baseball was NOT illegal at this time.  And the tests that have given us this phantom list of 104 players were voluntary and supposed to be confidential with the results getting destroyed afterwards.  This was a poll of players just to see what substances were being used and with what frequency.  It was to assist in the development of a proper drug program.  Again, I stress the word “voluntary.”  Who in their right mind would volunteer for a drug test, knowing they may test positive, if they truly thought they had done anything wrong?  Knowing they were not, at the time, breaking the rules that MLB had set forth, they did not shy away from the request.  For this reason, I do feel a bit sorry for players on this list.

Everyone makes mistakes; some bigger than others.  As fellow human beings, are we really in position to judge?  Is your house clean as a whistle?  Take a cue from our friend at Rays Renegade; he courageously admits to making the same mistake with performance enhancing substances.  He quickly realized the error in judgment and turned his life around.  He should be commended.  Has A-Rod turned the same corner?  He has admitted his wrong-doing and feels regret.  I think we should cut him at least a little slack.  Remove those 3 years from his stats when it comes time for Hall of Fame judging, if you feel you need to, and move on.

Maybe it is because I work with disabled children on a daily basis that I feel the need to forgive more easily; I see the challenges they face every day.  Maybe I am just a hippie child who missed the 60’s.  I cannot be sure, buy my heart is heavy right now and I do not have the strength to persecute anyone.  Except maybe, Bud Selig; Mr. Selig has made a three-ring circus out of all this and failed, starting earlier on in his tenure to secure a solid drug prevention and awareness program.  Education is paramount, especially with young players under tremendous pressure to succeed.  MLB and Mr. Selig flat out failed; they have not gotten the job done and players and fans around the world are paying the price.

Yes, we are all responsible for our own actions.  And yes, I am deeply angered and also feel betrayed by the actions of the 104 players on this list.  In my eyes, they cheated.  But their cheating was born of a lack of education, lack of management, pressure to win and just plain stupidity.  It makes it no less wrong, and it does not take away the fact that their reputations will be tarnished forever; but let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

 

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Roid Rage

I don’t know about all of you, but this latest MLB steroid leak has got me in a RAGE!  I totally feel like throwing a Snow Globe at Bug Selig.  Need some inspiration…

I think Christian Bale must have gotten the news before all of us, because as you will hear, he was more outraged that anyone.  Talk about having a bad day (WARNING: The F-Bomb is about to fly…):

104 MLB Players tested positive for steroids back in 2003 during what was supposed to be a confidential survey.  So what happens now?  Some freak decides to leak possibly the biggest name in baseball; Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez.  I am sick to my stomach with this news.  And on top of that, now will all have to sit here Thumbnail image for screaming2.jpgand wait for the other 103 names to be announced.  It is a sad, sad day in baseball. 

Everyone say it with me now:  Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh! (insert your own F-Bomb here)

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