Tagged: Geoff Jenkins

Are Rumors Werth Listening To?

In the digital age, rumors fly much quicker than they used to.  It literally takes only seconds to post a rumor online and create a huge buzz over basically nothing.  The same applies to Phillies free-agent  right fielder, Jayson Werth. 
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Early this morning, a talk-show radio host mentioned that the Phillies had offered Werth a contract and that it was good enough for him to possibly sign.  Should you give credence to this rumor?  The simple answer is “No.”

Black Friday came and went and no “sale” on outfielders was ever advertised.  Tomorrow is Cyber Monday; for those awaiting a holiday miracle and second-chance sale on Werth, put it out of your mind.  It is not going to happen.  The odds of Werth returning to Philly are about the same as the possibility of a meteor landing on your house; for the record, those adds are about 182,138,880,000,000 to 1.

Did you know there is even a web site page on eHow.com dedicated to helping people determine if rumors are true?  One of the suggestions says, “Send at text to (CHA CHA) 242 242 with any rumor questions and they might be able to answer your question in just a few minutes.”  Is this not the basic equivalent to shaking a Magic 8-ball?

So if you prefer logic to magic text messages, just look at the facts.  The Phillies already have $143 million dollars committed to 2011 salaries.  Werth is going to aim for an average of $15 million a year.  Nearing the $160 million dollar mark does not leave room for improvements elsewhere, like in the bullpen.  Plus, while Domonic Brown may not be ready to take over full-time in right field, he is close enough.  The Phillies can find help elsewhere for the one year or so until Brown is ready.

Now think about some of the moves GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already made.  If Amaro was not willing to pay to keep Cliff Lee, $15 million a year for Werth seems even more like a huge, unsustainable amount.  The Phillies are also not afraid to platoon players to fill the spot, as evidenced by previous pairings like Werth and Geoff Jenkins.  While this will not improve the position at all, it is possible that the Phillies will settle for a platoon of Ben Francisco and Brown if all else fails.

Players will wait to get the best offer.  Remember after the 2007 season when the Phillies gave a solid 3-4 offer to Aaron Rowand to return?  The Giants came in with a 5-year deal and Rowand walked.  It will be the same with Werth; even if the Phillies offer a very good deal, odds are that another team will outbid them.

And if all that has not quelled your suspicions that this weekend’s rumor might be true, take it from Werth himself.  CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Werth said via text message about being close to signing, “Not at all. It’s very early. I will make an informed decision in due time.”  So you can choose to believe the magic CHA CHA eHow text message or the verified text message sent to Salisbury.  Magic or logic; you decide.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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Phillies Walk Away With Rings And The Win

I suppose I had better run out and buy a lottery ticket.  Yesterday, I predicted that Phillies would need to score exactly 12 runs to win today’s game; the final score?  Phillies 12, Braves 11.  Yes, all bow to the great, powerful and all-knowing Jenn; she is a genius.  ;O)  Now, in order for my prediction to be totally accurate, the score had to be 12-11 thus, necessitating 12 total runs for the Phillies.  But by the 9th inning, the score was 12-10 and Brad Lidge was in to close the game; after 1 out was recorded,  I told the guy next to me that Lidge was about to give up a home run to make the final score 12-11 and BAM!  Matt Diaz sent Lidge’s offering over the left field wall.  Lidge got Garrett Anderson out swinging and voila!  Clearly, I am psychic. ;O) 

And yet, this off-the-wall foretelling was not the strangest thing to happen today.  The Phillies were losing the game 10-3 by the seventh inning stretch.  Shane Victorino started the bottom of the 7th by grounding out and it looked like that might me the nail in the coffin for the Phils.  Apparently not.  A series of small miracles occurred for the Phillies starting with a Chase Utley bloop single that fell into no-man’s land and then Ryan Howard was hit by a pitch.  After that, the weirdest string of event I have even personally witnessed in a game, turned a 10-3 deficit into an 11-10 lead.  The Braves bullpen helped out with 5 walks plus the Howard hit-by-pitch; 4 runs scored off those walks.  The other 4 runs were the result of 3 singles and a fielder’s choice.  The Phillies advanced slowly along the base path in 90 foot increments until all 8 runs were in and the inning ended on a Jayson Werth fly ball.  Several words come to mind here:  Unbelievable; incredible; mind-boggling; implausible.  Call it what you will, but in the end, it is the greatest come from behind victory I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

Here are a few game shots; Raul Ibanez scores as Chris Coste tells him not to slide; Rollins tries to knock Feliz in; Utley makes a running grab:040809.jpg

Perhaps the donning of the World Series rings prior to the game had a bit to do with the unorthodox come-back win?  The biggest ring I have ever seen holds 3.84 karats of diamonds; 103 in total, to represent the Phillies 2008 win total.  The base is 14-kt white gold crowned with a Ruby inlay, topped with the Phillies “P” logo.  Take a look:

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Each player was called up one by one to receive their ring, including ex-Phillies Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins and yes, even Adam Eaton.  Burrell received a huge ovation and Pat Gillick, formerly known here as Grumpy Gillick, broke down and cried as he hugged Burrell.  Jenkins received a warm welcome also but Eaton was booed mercilessly with chants of “Give us our money back!” heard around the stadium.  Taking it in stride and obviously expecting the greeting, Eaton smiled and waved both arms around in the air in a sarcastic and unaffected manner.  Below, you will see Eaton waving to the crowd; Burrell & Gillick hugging; Chase Utley getting his ring:

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In the next few days, I will put together a photo album with all the Ring Ceremony pictures and a few shots from the game and post it.  I have pictures of ALL the players getting their rings!  Right now, I need to get some sleep :O)  But stay tuned!  More to come…

And now for the Photo(s) of the Day; Shane Victorino was goofing around during his pre-inning catch with Ibanez and nearly whacked himself with the ball in, um, well…I think the picture tells the story:

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Off day tommorow; Phillies take on the Rockies Friday at 4:10pm EST.


(Photos by Jenn, except ring close-ups – Philly.com)

 

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Geoff Jenkins Released; 5th Starter Determined

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In a surprise move, the Phillies released Geoff Jenkins today, content with eating the over 8 million dollars they owe him.  The Phillies are trying to find another right handed bat to balance out the line-up and Jenkins is a lefty, so he does not fit into the plan for 2009.  However, picking up Jenkins to begin with was not a great move, which I stated way back when that happened.  His numbers were steadily declining with his age and the Phillies more than overpaid for him.  What I did like about Jenkins though throughout 2008 was his personality, his work ethic and they way he fit into a tight knit clubhouse.  Jenkins is a super nice guy with a great sense of humor.  He will be missed.  I have a few photos of Jenkins for you throughout this piece to remember him by.

And now on with my rant; Todd Zolecki has reported that the Phillies may now be interested in Gary Sheffield who was just released by the Detroit Tigers.  Let me state for the record that as much as I opposed picking up Jenkins in 2008, I am even more convinced that Sheffield is a far worse idea. 

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I’d rather have 2 Jenkins’ than one Sheffield.  And here are the numerous reasons why:

In 2 years with the Tigers, Sheffield played in a TOTAL of 18 games in the field.  Yes, 18 out of like 324 games; he served as the team’s DH.  Therefore, at 40 years of age, it is obvious Sheffield can no longer field.  Not to mention Sheffield himself said publicly that he wanted to go to the Rays, an America League team.  Apparently, he knows he can no longer play outfield and thus, prefers the DH role.  So, if the Phillies pick up Sheffield, are we then saying we believe Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, who have been injury prone in the past, will stay healthy ALL year long?  Not to mention Raul Ibanez, who is 36 year old.  Someone please hire us a Geriatric Nurse, quick!

So you say Sheffield can hit?  Sure, 20 years in the majors and he stands at 499 home runs.  Great.  But his numbers in the last 2 years, as he has gotten older, have declined.  He hit .265 in 494 at-bats in 2007 and then hit .225 in 418 at-bats in 2008.  You cannot say he did not get his AB’s, because as the regular DH, he did.  How can the Phillies, or any other team, expect improvement if he gets to hit off the bench only once every 2-3 games?

And then there is my favorite issue: personality.  Sheffield is the same guy who picked fights with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter of the Yankees; two of the MOST respected guys in baseball.  He called Torre a racist and then turned around and said Jeter  “ain’t all the way black.”  Hypocritical, if you ask me.  Not to mention, Joe Torre is one of the best managers in the game and wouldn’t hurt a fly. 

Not convinced yet?  How about the steroid allegations?  Sheffield admitted to using steroids, P2232711 Jenkins.jpgexcept that he says he did not know they were steroids.  How many times have we heard players say that now? 

Do you believe it?  Read the article here about Sheffield’s issues, and former relationship with Barry Bonds, and judge for yourself.  And even if the man is innocent, do the Phillies really need that kind of distraction in their clubhouse?  Again, I’d rather have 2 Jenkins than one Sheffield.

I do hope my rant has been a waste of time and that the Phillies do not go anywhere near the problem child, Sheffield.  But as in life and baseball, stranger things have happened.  Crossing my fingers and toes that this will NOT be the case here…

UPDATE:  The Phillies have contacted Sheffield’s agent.  UGH!  No word yet on what will happen next.

Also, in a day filled with weird news, the Phillies also just announced that Chan Ho Park has won the 5th starters spot!  JA Happ’s future is uncertain except that he, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach will now compete for 2 bullpen spots.

 

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Outta Here!

Many baseballs left the ballpark today, as well as many players.  Marcus Giles, who batted only .167 this spring, was given his release today.  This was the best option for Giles who would not see a lot of action in the minors; this way, he has a chance to move on to another team.  P2222389 Mayberry.jpgJohn Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Carrasco were both optioned back to the minors.  Mayberry started off hot in camp this year, but struggled as the pitching became more difficult.  He needs some more work to be big league ready, as does Carrasco.  Three other players were told officially they would not make the team’s 25-man roster, but they will stay with the Phils until Saturday to give Charlie Manuel a few more options during the On Deck Series.  The three players are Philadelphia native, Mike Koplove, RHP; 2nd baseman Pablo Ozuna; and outfielder Jason Ellison.

This leaves Miguel Cairo as the only extra right-handed bat, unless a trade is pulled off in the next few weeks.  Cairo has not hit as well as Ozuna this spring, but he can play multiple positions and has a great deal of experience.  Also, the Phillies are required to release Cairo if he does not make the 25-man roster, which may play into the decision.  Rumor has it also that Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins are up for grabs; however, the Phillies are going to have a hard time getting rid of either as Stairs is nearing retirement and Jenkins is well over-paid.

Also still up in the air is the 5th starter’s spot.  Chan Ho Park has made this a very difficult decision; today he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 walk and only 1 earned run.  Park also struck out 7 and now has an ERA of 2.53 in 21 1/3 innings.  Lefty JA Happ currently stands at 20 innings with a 3.15 ERA.  Things being fairly even, Happ is still the best choice to start as Park has a proven track record as a reliever and Happ is not so comfortable in that role.  Plus with the addition of lefty Jack Taschner, there is less need for Happ, also a lefty, in the pen.  Park would be horribly disappointed in the decision if it goes that way, especially since he gave up pitching in the WBC this year, so does his mental status play into this as well?  That remains to be seen…

The Phillies bats are heating up in preparation for Opening Night as evidenced by four home runs today from Jimmy Rollins, Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. 

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7 of the Phillies 13 runs in the 13-3 victory over the Astros came off the long ball.  And Bruntlett in particular had a fun day against his former team, going  3 for 4 with 4 RBI.  With all this power unleashed, it makes you wish these guys would save a bit for the real thing.  Only 6 days left!

Brett Myers, now scheduled to start on opening day, will pitch tomorrow against the Blue Jays at 7:05pm.  Cole Hamels got into a minor league game today and said he felt no discomfort.  Hamels is tentatively scheduled to start with the Phillies on April 10th against the Rockies.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Blown Away

The Phillies fought through 30 mph winds today in Bradenton against the Pirates; winner?  The wind.  Many, many balls had some help flying over the outfield fence and others simply blew right past the outfielders grasp unexpectedly.  A few guys looked like they may lose their jersey’s as they were blown about in the stiff gusts of wind.  But the only thing the Phillies lost today was the game, 10-4.

Jamie Moyer was not thrilled about the weather conditions as he gave up 11 hits, 7 runs and 1 walk and was even called for a balk when his glove flinched, likely because of the high winds.  Moyer argued with the ump, but to no avail.  Even Brad Lidge ran into trouble when Garrett Jones hit a long fly ball that the airstream helped carry over the fence for a 3-run blast.

P3024896 Howard.jpgRyan Howard did not mind the situation too much; Howard hit a bomb to straight away center field in the 4th inning that some estimate travelled over 500 feet.  It went so far, the ball was completely out of sight; the cameras never picked it up as it went out of the park.  Right before that, Howard had hit a screaming foul ball towards the Phillies dugout, which nailed Geoff Jenkins in the leg as he waited in the on-deck circle.  A brutal shot, Jenkins jumped up and down in pain.  He shook it off and looked to be ok.  As Howard trotted home after the 500 footer, he stopped to greet Jenkins at home plate, gave him a big teddy-bear hug and apologized for whacking him with the foul ball. 

In the 6th inning, some confusion ensued as Eric Bruntlett and Marcus Giles could not seem to decide between the two of them who was covering what area.  A routine ground ball turned into a base hit for the Pirates, as Moyer was not in time to cover first base during the turmoil.  That inning turned into 4 runs for the Pirates and the Phillies fielding resembled something like this:

Today’s Phillies Word of the Day is: Doo-Doo.  Yes, thanks to pitcher Scott Eyre, Phillies fans everywhere were treated to a barrage of “Doo-Doo” remarks in the 7th inning during an interview by Phillies broadcaster, Tom McCarthy.  When asked about his rough outing against the Yankees a few days ago, Eyre responded with, “It was a day where I warmed up and felt like doo-doo and so I pitched like doo-doo.”  And it didn’t end there, folks.  He used the doo-doo remark again when discussing what his next outing may look like.  Let us hope doo-doo does not make any future appearances, unless it is by The Police:

 

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Fun Fact of the Day
:  Ronny Paulino, who was just yesterday traded to the Giants in exchange for lefty Jack Taschner, has been traded yet again!  The Giants sent Paulino to our NL East rivals, the Florida Marlins, presumably so Phillies fans would not miss him too badly.  Although, Paulino may want to keep the wheels on his cart for now, just in case…

The Phillies will take on the Red Sox tomorrow at 1:05pm!  The game will be broadcast on My PHL 17 – check your local listings.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Happ-Y Days Ahead?

In yesterday’s game against the Tigers, JA Happ tried to back up my claim that he would be the winner of the 5th spot in the rotation.  Happ pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 7 batters with a mean fastball.  He allowed only 2 hits.  Things are looking Happ-Y for JA who is battling Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park and Carlos Carrasco for the starters spot this year.  But, it is still early…

Also feeling the love is John Mayberry Jr., who has been keeping pace with Ryan Howard this spring.  Both Mayberry and Howard hit 3-run homers in the game, propelling the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Tigers.  Mayberry continues to impress and, as a right-hander with power, he may be the leading candidate for a bench spot to even out the heavy left-handed line-up.

Jayson Werth saw his first official action of spring and went 1 for 2 with a walk.  Think Werth read my call for action yesterday?  Here’s hoping!  Geoff Jenkins, also aware of his own precarious situation, collected an RBI in the game on a sacrifice. 

Phillies in the WBC

Team USA won their World Baseball Classic opener yesterday against Team Canada, 6-5.  Shane Victorino P3035753.JPGgot the start in center and went 2 for 4 at the plate.  Jimmy Rollins came in as relief for Derek Jeter at short and hit 1 for 2 in the game.  The big blasts for Team USA came from Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Brian McCann, who each hit home runs in the game.  For Team Canada, Matt Stairs started in right field and went hitless in 3 at bats with 2 strikeouts.

Team Panama lost to Team Puerto Rico, 7-0 yesterday; Carlos Ruiz started at catcher, going 1 for 2 with a walk, but was pulled from the game early due to a neck strain after a collision.  Reports so far are that it is not serious, but no word yet on whether Ruiz will play in today’s game against the Dominican Republic. 

 

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The Battle Continues…

Chan Ho Park had a shot at impressing the Phillies yesterday against the Blue Jays; the prize he was aiming for is the 5th starters spot in the Phillies rotation.  Park did well and surrendered only 1 run on 3 hits in 4 innings of work.  He seems very determined to win the job.  JA Happ will pitch today at some point in the game against the Tigers, and later in the week, we should see some more action from Kyle Kendrick and Carlos Carrasco.  It is still early and the job is up for grabs, but I will state again for the record, I think Happ will win it in the end.  Kendrick has not looked good so far and is too emotional; Carrasco too young; and Park, too useful in the bullpen, rather than starting.  However, I have been wrong before :O)

Speaking of battles, it is interesting that while Jayson Werth is getting off to a slow start, Geoff Jenkins seems to be picking up the pace.  Before spring training began, it was basically a no-brainer that Werth would be the official starter in right; however, if he doesn’t catch up soon, there may be some controversy again.  Sure, they can platoon, but I think it is about time Werth just stood up and claimed the spot.  But yesterday, Jenkins had a 2-run double and a sac fly for an RBI, giving him 3 RBI on the day.  Werth, who had his first live game action this spring in the “B” game against the Jays, went 1 for 4, with a single.  Werth has complained of a sore right shoulder, but now says he is nearly back to normal.

Brett Myers had a rough outing in the “B” game; he gave up 5 runs in only 3 innings with 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 homers allowed.  Then again, Myers says he is using this time in spring training to work on his much under-developed change-up.  So, this will continue to be a work in progress.

Well, I am home now and have put together an album of some of my Spring Training shots.  Some, you may have seen, others I did not post.  So HERE IT IS!  Enjoy!

 

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