The rumors flying about all week in regards to Roy Halladay have been worse than a group of middle-aged women sipping coffee and debating who in their neighborhood may have slept with Tiger Woods. The non-stop barrage has included the Phillies being ready to part ways with pitchers like JA Happ, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton to clear up salary space. With as many times as each of these players has been supposed trade-bait, the imaginary frequent flyer miles are piling up.
Still, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to downplay the rumors and perpetuate the idea that they have no money to spend. This is either posturing to put people off the scent of a trade or in reality, the Phillies cannot find a way to work out a Halladay trade without breaking the minor league prospect bank. Either way, I feel bad for all these guys whose futures seem so up in the air right now. What actually happens may turn out to be a great big nothing.
The Phils have also expressed interest in John Smoltz as a possible bullpen guy. Why? Well, Smoltz is likely a future Hall of Famer with a proven track record and, at this stage of his career he may be very cheap. Oh, and also, the Phillies love senior citizens ;o) I kid…
As for the young folk, the Phillies picked up two of them in the Rule 5 draft which, for those unaware, is where players like Shane Victorino came from. Right-handed pitcher Kenneth David Herndon went 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA and 11 saves in 50 appearances last season with the Dodgers AA team. And right-hander Angelo Sanchez, from the Twins rookie club, went 5-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 starts.
For Spring Training, the Phillies have invited seven non-roster players. Infielder Andy Tracy, who has been with the Iron Pigs for some time and was a September call-up, will join the team. And you may also be familiar with catcher Paul Hoover, also from the Pigs and spent a short time with the big club this past year. The others are outfielder Chris Duffy (Milwaukee), infielder Cody Ransom (NYY), outfielder DeWayne Wise (CWS), infielder Wilson Valdez (NYM) and lefty Bill White (Texas, 2008). Interestingly, 6 out of 7 players are in their 30’s. Mr. Duffy is the youngest at 29.
Will any of these players actually make the team? Probably not. But hey, they get a free trip to Florida and can hang out with people like Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. I would totally take that. Seriously…please pack me in your suitcase. Thank you in advance :O)
Player photos by Jenn
In part 2 of my off-season “strange baseball” series, I give you the most entertaining baseball injuries of all time:
· We’ll begin with my personal favorite: Adam Eaton, when he was with the Padres: Adam accidentally stabbed himself in the stomach with a knife while trying to unwrap a DVD in 2001. And the Phillies later signed this genius to a three-year deal worth $24 million because…???
· Relief pitcher, and former Phillie, Larry Anderson strained a rib muscle getting out of a Jacuzzi. I am guessing because he did not want to sit down his beer first… J
· John Smoltz burned his chest while ironing a shirt that was ON him at the time. Who irons clothes while wearing them? Wow.
· Chris Brown missed over 250 games between 1984 and 1988 due to supposed injuries. He once claimed that he slept on his eye wrong and could not play as a result. He also used the “bruised tooth” excuse once as well. That’s his story and he’s stickin’ to it.
· Wade Boggs injured his back while trying to put on cowboy boots; he apparently lost his balance…and his dignity.
· Aaron Rowand hurt his left shoulder while playing tag with his kids. Really, I could think of more interesting ways to accomplish this…and it does not involve children. J
· Glenallen Hill, plagued by nightmares, once fell out of bed and onto a glass table after dreaming that he was covered in spiders. Serious arachnophobia gone wrong.
· Bret Barberie missed a game after accidentally rubbing chili juice in his eyes. A budding chef, no doubt.
· Kevin Mitchell strained a muscle while vomiting. No more drinking games for him… J
· Phil Niekro injured his hand after shaking his hands too hard. What??
· Jose Cardenal missed a game in 1972 because he tired. He said the crickets chirping in his hotel room kept him awake all night. He also missed a game 2 year later after claiming to have slept funny and, as a result, his eyelid was stuck shut.
· Nolan Ryan was once bitten by a coyote pup that he tried to take home with him after finding two of them wandering the countryside. Lesson? Leave Mother Nature alone.
· Cal Ripken Jr. broke his nose while posing for an All-Star Team photo. He was “accidentally” elbowed in the face by Roberto Hernandez.
· Sammy Sosa went into back spasms after sneezing too hard. Benadryl anyone?
· Brandon Inge strained his oblique while trying to move a pillow for his son. Was the pillow made of bricks?
· Steve Sparks dislocated his shoulder trying to rip a phonebook in half. The Incredible Hulk would have been impressed.
· Ricky Henderson missed several games in August of 1985 because of frostbite. He left an ice pack on his foot a tad too long. Another genius.
· Ricky Bones injured his lower back trying to get out of a chair while watching TV in the clubhouse. A real “bone” head move.
And now for the truly sick and “twisted” – The Bad Balls Club (warning: men should not read if you have a weak stomach) –
· Felix Pie missed time during 2008 spring training with a twisted testicle.
· Chris Snyder was on the 15-day DL in July 2008 with a fractured testicle after getting hit with a foul ball. Foul balls, indeed.
· And last, but not least, Ken Griffey Jr. missed a game after he pinched his right testicle between his leg and his cup.
Feel free to add your own favorite baseball injuries in the comments section below. And please, do not try any of these feats at home.
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose, Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!
Cole Hamels is back in All-Star shape after today’s complete game shut-out of the Reds, giving up only 3 hits and 3 walks with 4 strike outs. He looked more than comfortable, even giving a wry smile when Ken Griffey Jr. missed home run #600 by inches off him late in the game, flying out to Shane Victorino in center who caught the long ball right up against the padded wall. Cole wasn’t rattled. He just grinned and kept right on pitching. So, now he can sit back and celebrate a job well done and give his tired arm a well deserved rest J
Bit of a slowdown offensively again, with just 5 hits and 2 earned runs; the other runs came off of errors. One thing to point out though is that Geoff Jenkins has been quietly bringing his average up. He is at a .285 right now and the home run today puts him at 6 for the year, which is an area I think when he was brought in, he was really expected to put up some numbers similar to what Rowand did when he was here. So, this is a good sign that he may have found his comfort zone in this park and with the team. Victorino had another hit today too, which continues his streak of consistent hitting and getting on base. He is batting a .283 right now and has 12 stolen bases. It’s good to see some of these guys that had been struggling look like they have found their groove.
On to Atlanta now to face the Braves who have recently been rocked by the loss of veteran pitcher John Smoltz to surgery. I would pretend to be saddened by this news, but then you might scroll down my blog and see my Braves voodoo doll and realize that I am so not telling the truth J Well, in all honesty, I wish pain and surgery upon no one; but a really good opposing pitcher is welcome to take a vacation from his team any time he likes, especially when they are about to play the Phillies!
And since I forgot to mention it in the previous entry, if anyone has an odd fear of squirrels, stay out of sections 145 and 144 in Citizens Bank Park. That is where my friend the squirrel was wandering about yesterday J But seriously people, they are so cute! Just toss him a french fry and let him be… Have a good one!