Tagged: Jason Donald

Cliff Lee Joins The Phillies

Lee.jpg

No more worries about Roy Halladay, trade deadlines and who is going where…the Phillies sealed the deal today with Cy Young award winning pitcher, Cliff Lee.  Lee comes to the Phillies from the Indians sporting a 7-9 record and a 3.14 ERA; his record is tainted though due to lack of run support from a struggling Indians team.  And last year, Lee won the AL Cy Young.  Without giving away either JA Happ or Kyle Drabek, the Phillies made the trade and also received outfielder Ben Francisco who will likely take John Mayberry’s spot on the bench and help to relieve Raul Ibanez.  Off to the Indians are pitcher Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitcher Jason Knapp. 

While I am thrilled with this deal, and even more thrilled that we did not lose Happ or Drabek, I will miss Marson and Donald.  I had the opportunity to chat with them both over the last few years and they are really nice, down to earth guys.  Not to mention, they are both adorable :O)  Ok, so I guess I will get over it. ;o)

A few more reason this is a GREAT trade; Lee will cost considerably less than Halladay next year; his option is 9 million, where Halladay’s is 15.75 million.  In addition to keeping Happ and Drabek, the Phillies also retained top prospects Dominick Brown and Michael Taylor.  Essentially, the farm system will not suffer.

And a few more odd reasons this is a good trade:

         Lee’s name is easy to spell.

         Cole Hamels will get less attention from the media, thus, we do not have to hear as many weird things come out of his mouth.

         Our bullpen will have someone new to play with :O)  Not sure who that will be yet…

         Lee looks good in red.

         Lee is from Arkansas!  Actually, I am not sure why that is good, but maybe he knows President Clinton?  Just a thought…

The final game of the D-Backs series is about to begin…Go Phillies!

Photo: umpbump.com

 

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D-Back Series Starts With a Win

P4137079 jmoyer.jpg

Last night, the Phillies took game 1 against the D-Backs in Arizona with Jamie Moyer pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings.  They were not easy innings; Moyer worked his way in and out of trouble again and again.   But Moyer has been doing this a long time and knows how to make adjustments when he needs to. 

The offense took a while to wake up after the long haul out to the West Coast, but finally in the 4th, Ryan Howard got things rolling with a 2-run home.  Raul Ibanez had 2 hits and 1 RBI in the game as well. 

Ryan Madson did allow 2 runs in the 8th, but the Phillies still went on to win 6-2.  With the 6 hits and 4 walks allowed by Moyer, the D-Backs left 11 runners on base and committed 2 errors in the field.  You have to wonder if ace pitcher Dan Haren was looking on and wondering what it might be like to play in Philadelphia?  Haren is one of 3 pitchers that the Phillies are rumored to be interested in adding to the club and he will face Cole Hamels tonight in the 2nd game of the series at 9:40pm.

However, the most likely names on the horizon as the trade deadline approaches are Roy Halladay of the Jays and Cliff Lee of the Indians.  The Jays reportedly rejected an offer from the Phillies which included JA Happ, Michael Taylor, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald so, it is looking less and less like a deal for Halladay may be realistic.  But, stranger things have happened.

The countdown to July 31st continues!  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Fried Fish & Iron Pigs

This team sure loves playing from behind; all 8 wins this year so far have been comeback wins, including yesterday’s 10-inning 6-4 win over the Marlins.  Losing 3-4 in the 9th inning, Eric Bruntlett stepped in to pinch hit and hit a chopper up the third base line well enough to score Jayson Werth from third and tie up the game.  In the 10th, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Werth all singled, plus a stolen base from Victorino, and the Phillies took the lead, 6-4.  Brad Lidge tried to give us all a tummy ache in the bottom of the 9th as he loaded the bases full of Fish, but managed to escape unscathed.

Chan Ho Park had a better game this time around; he started off red-hot, but cooled a bit in the 4th inning when he gave away back-to-back home runs.  The first was a 3-run homer to Jorge Cantu and then a solo shot to Dan Uggla.  But Park did keep the Phils in the game and even accidentally ran into an opposite field home run of his own in the 3rd inning.  It was Park’s first home run since 2000.

The bullpen including Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson held the game at 4 runs for the Fish and ultimately, gave the Phillies an opportunity to come back and win.  Great job from the pen! 

Speaking of pens, I was actually sitting in the “pig pen” at Coca-Cola Park watching the Phils game on my phone while watching our AAA club, the Iron Pigs play the Pawtucket Red Sox.  And yes, everything in this park is “pig” themed.  From the mascots, to the game program, which is called “Pork Illistrated.”  Besides the “oinking” from the crowd and other silliness, the park is beautiful, has comfortable seating and it was a really entertaining time overall.

The Pigs game actually mirrored the Phillies game through the 9th inning; both clubs were tied 4-4 and went 1 extra inning!  Sadly, the Pigs game had a different result, as they lost to the Sox, 5-4.  But I did get to check out Carlos Ruiz in his first rehab assignment.  Ruiz was the DH; he went 0-3 at the plate, walked twice and scored a run.  The good news is, he looked ok swinging the bat.Kendrick Ruiz Pigs.jpg

I also saw former major leaguer, Kyle Kendrick pitch; Kendrick went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  Not good.  He looked like a minor league pitcher and appears to have a long way to go before cracking the majors again.  We wish him luck!

Spring training stand-outs John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Donald each smacked a home run in the game and were impressive defensively as well.  Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy collected the other 2 RBI’s, which were hard to come by as they faced pitchers who were throwing in the 40’s and 50’s.  I am so not kidding; it looked like a tee-ball game.  One pitcher for the Sox was being clocked regularly at around 41mph!  Wow.  Most AAA players are not used to such slow deliveries and it will mess up their timing.  Hey, maybe the Sox would like to sign me up?  Pretty sure I can top 41mph.

Jason Donald HR.jpg

Here is the Photo Album of the Iron Pigs game; I have included more shots of Ruiz, Kendrick, Coca-Cola park, the mascots and many others!

Back to the majors: Don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address. 

And tune in now to the Phillies-Marlins 3rd game of the series which had a very early start at 12:10pm.

Photos by Jenn

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Phillies Opening Day Preview

Quick recap of the last 2 Spring games:  The Phillies beat the Rays yesterday, 3-2, thanks in part to a Jason Donald walk of RBI single.  Today, they lost 9-7.  Cole Hamels, still rehabbing his sore elbow, pitched 5 innings, allowing 6 hits, 6 runs and a walk.  Not a great outing, but he got his work in and should be able to start against the Rockies next week.  Pat Burrell led the game off for the Rays in his only appearance today, greeting former teammate Hamels with a shot to left field that, even against the strong wind, flew into the seats.  A nice exit from Philly for Burrell who was visibly emotional after the rousing applause he received from Phillies fans over the past two days.  We will miss him!

Tomorrow the REAL games begin!!  So, have you seen the Phillies Opening Day/Night Schedule?  Here are the highlights:

5:05 p.m. – All gates open

5:28-6:28 p.m. – Phillies batting practice

6:28 – 7:18 p.m. – Braves batting practice

7:23 p.m.Cardinal O’Hara High School marching band will perform as the 2009 Phillies enter the ballpark, greeted by Mayor Nutter and Charlie Manuel.

7:38 p.m. – America the Beautiful will be sung by the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Chorale, directed by Jeffrey R. Smith, as members of the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard unfurl the American Flag. State Flags will be carried onto the field by the Philadelphia Police and Fire Department personnel.

7:42 p.m. – Introductions start

7:53 p.m. – National Anthem: Will be performed by Katie Stam, Miss America 2009.

7:56 p.m.U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Parachute team will parachute onto the field (weather permitting), bringing the first balls.

8:00 p.m.NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, who wore a Phillies jersey in space, will present the jersey to Charlie Manuel.

8:01 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Will be thrown by former Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick and Ben Lo, representing Modell’s Sporting Goods.

8:09 p.m. – Play Ball!

seal.jpgLet me just note a few things here:  The Phillies, the reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS, are having the Philadelphia Boys Choir sing America The Beautiful, like they do every year.  We will then have Miss America sing the National Anthem; but seriously, should I be excited about a pageant queen?  Maybe some of the men are happy, but I just don’t get it.  The Boston Red Sox, according to our friend Julia at Julia’s Rants are getting Grammy Award winner, Seal, to sing for them on Opening Day!  SEAL!  Where, or where, have the Phillies gone wrong??  I am so depressed. 

Now let us move on to the first pitch:  Former GM, grumpy man and Nationals mascot look-alike, Pat Gillick, Gillick mascot.jpgwill toss the first pitch.  Is this seriously the best the WORLD F*@%# CHAMPIONS could do?  I had heard rumors all week that maybe President Obama would visit Philly for the occasion, but he will toss the first pitch on Wednesday in DC when the Phillies take on the Nationals in their home opener. But what about Will Smith, who is a huge Phillies fan?  Or even Jamie Foxx, who was just in Philly filming a new movie?  Heck, I would settle for Patti LaBelle at this point.  But noooooo…we get Pat freakin’ Gilick!  Don’t get me wrong, I love Grumpy Gillick and all, but this is not exactly a treat for Phillies fans; we see him every day!  We want… no, we deserve, a special treat for Opening Day!  The Phils had no issue with raising the ticket prices, but could not be bothered to get anyone more interesting to toss a pitch??  Again, Gillick brought us a World Championship, but I think even he would agree that his sheer entertainment value is a tad less than Seal.  UGH!

Ok, maybe I am over-reacting.  You know how we redheads get sometimes.  But take a look at a few other teams, who did NOT win the World Series, and see what they are doing for Opening Day:  Both the Yankees and the SF Giants have HERO Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully landed a plane in New York’s Hudson River this past January, saving the lives of everyone on board, to toss their first pitch.  The Reds have musician and former husband of Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey to throw their first pitch.  And they are in OHIO, folks!  That’s right, Ohio out-did Philly.  The Houston Astros have 4-time Grammy winner, Lyle Lovett, to sing the National Anthem.  And of course, the Nats get the Prez.  Okay, I think you get the picture.

Philly will have the traditional Army Parachute Team and the NASA astronaut is a nice touch as well; but is it asking too much to add a little pizzazz to the ceremonies?  Well, if it has to be Pat Gillick, how about we at least dress him up a bit?  You know, just to add some Philly flavor to the guy:

Rapper Gillick.jpg

And then, let’s invite this cute rapper kitty to handle the music for the National Anthem.  Not a Grammy winner, but still entertaining:

KittyRapper.jpg

Well, the show must go on, with or without the Rappin’ Cat, and so it will.  Sunday night, first pitch at 8:09pm – I will be back with photos!  See you there!

Photo Credits:

Seal – http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/images/2007/09/22/arjanwrites_seal2.jpg

Gangsta Dude – http://hoppingintopuddles.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/hip-hop_gangsta-rap_lil_john.jpg

Kitty – http://media.photobucket.com/image/rapper/boo_boo221/KittyRapper.jpg

 

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Bobblehead Babble & Medical Mysteries

Kyle Kendrick got the start today against the Twins in Spring action and surprisingly, did not do half bad.  While a decent performance today will not likely put him back in the running for the 5th starters spot, it at least shows that he is still capable of getting the job done, like he did in 2007 and the 1st half of 2008.  Kendrick lasted 5 full innings and gave up 5 hits, 1 walk and 2 earned runs.  Clay Condrey, Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge also pitched in the game, none of the 3 surrendering a run; Lidge looked solid, had a wicked slider and appears to be in good health.

Today’s game was aired on Comcast Sportsnet, giving the baseball starved locals something to watch on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  Sadly though, the offensive production on both sides of the diamond was lacking with the only scoring occurring in the 1st and 9th innings.  The game ended in a 2-1 Phillies loss and that one run came off the bat of Eric Bruntlett in the 9th, who shot a ball over the left field fence.  Beyond that, broadcasters tried to make the game interesting by showing sample of the Phillies’ upcoming game giveaways which included a World Champions t-shirt, a Jayson Werth blanket for the ladies, a bucket cap and various other items.  The item which seemed to interest everyone the most was the Charlie Manuel bobblehead doll.  Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins had their reactions to the new doll taped; Rollins, always the comedian, went so far as to make the doll “talk” about his infamous benching last year by Manuel.  You cannot make this stuff up; see for yourself:

So, what do you think?  Will Rollins behave this year or, will he get benched again and toss the bobblehead across the room?  The jury is out…

And since the game was a tad on the boring side today, I spent my free time in between batters setting up an ER for the wounded Phillies players.  Yes, more reports came in today about Greg Dobbs being scratched from the starting line-up due to some sort of muscle “tweak”; Jason Donald did not play either as he has a mystery ankle ailment; Cole Hamels’ progress after the sore elbow has been down-played.  Looks like these guys just need a stand-by, 24-hour emergency room.Phillies ERoom.jpg

We wish them all a pleasant and speedy recovery :O)

 

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Friday the 13th?

It was a real Friday the 13th today for pitcher Blaine Neal, who likely pitched his way into the minors forever, losing the Phillies’ 2 run lead in the 9th against the Pirates.  The Phillies lost 6-5 and Neal, who has not seen action in the majors since 2005, likely will not again.  But really, that is the least of the worries for the Phils.

For the second day in a row, the Phillies could not muster any offense until the 6th inning, when it exploded into a 5 run gain.  Prior to that, it was nappy-nap time for the Phils.  Jason Donald and Ryan Howard led the mini-stampede; Donald went 2 for 5 in the game and Howard whacked a 2 run homer in the 6th.  For the most part though, the offense has been quiet; they are obviously saving it up for April.  Chris Coste, however, needs to get the monkey off his back and soon; Coste has not gotten a hit yet in grapefruit league action.

Injury News

Great news at 3rd base!  Pedro Feliz is back in action and said he is ready to go.  So, Opening Day?  No problem!  And no Friday the 13th woes here either.  As for Chase Utley, he began sliding drills today and so far, so good.  He hopes to get in a live game next week sometime.

Burrell Bleeds Red PinstripesPatBurrell thankyou.jpg

And in former-Phillie Pat Burrell news, Burrell took out a full-page ad in both The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News today to thank the Philadelphia organization and the fans for his 9-year run.  And if you did not love Pat before, you have got to admire him now.  A very classy move; hopefully, once he decides to retire, he will return to Philadelphia and go out as a Phillie, like Mike Lieberthal did last year.  The ad is in the photo to the right; click on it to enlarge and read the whole thing.  Best of luck, Pat!

 

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For The Girls…

I hear ya ladies…after I posted a photo of a Hooters girl yesterday at a Spring training game, I received many request from the ladies for some female entertainment.  So, here it is, Phillies-style:

First of all, no Phillie will ever top this photo of former-Phil, Pat Burrell:
Burrell p.jpg

Although, Cole Hamels gave it the college try:

cole_hamels.jpg

And Shane Victorino jumped in on the action during the Phillies Cruise in January:

Shane diving 2.jpg

But the rest of the team seems to be a bit modest.  So, I decided to help them along…meet the Phillie-Dales!  Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins (with a new hair-do), Chad Durbin and Greg Dobbs:

Phillie Dales.jpg

And the scary part is, they probably all look even hotter than that in real life :O)  *Sigh!*

Ok, back to reality!  The Elder, Jamie Moyer started the game today against the Rays; Moyer went 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk.  Moyer has looked great all spring.  JA Happ took over in the 6th inning and after the first 2 batters were out, he suddenly gave up a solo home run and a single.  But Happ recovered quickly and got out of the inning with a ground ball.  Happ pitched 3 innings of 1 run ball.  To me, this has been the difference between Happ and Kyle Kendrick or Carlos Carrasco; Happ can make a mistake and move on.  The other two seem emotionally unable to cope.  Chan Ho Park is an experienced veteran who also does not seem shaken easily, so keep an eye on Park as well over these next few weeks.

In the poll I posted yesterday on who will be the Phillies 5th starter, Happ ran away with the contest, getting 100% of the votes.  After Kyle Kendrick’s horrible outing yesterday, this picture is becoming clearer.

The most exciting things that happened offensively for the Phillies in the first 6 innings were Jason Donald getting a walk and Miguel Cairo getting the only hit in those six innings.  After that, Ryan Howard came through with a sac fly with the bases loaded to score the Phillies first run.  The only other offense in the game was a 9th inning home run from Andy Tracy, and the Phils went on to lose 3-2.

WBC Highlights

Team USA lost to Team Venezuela yesterday, but the game really did not mean much; both teams will advance to Round 2 of the Classic.  The other teams who made the cut are Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands.  Round 2 will begin on Saturday; Rollins and Victorino with Team USA take on JC Romero and Team Puerto Rico at 8pm in Miami.

 

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