The Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that relief pitcher Chan Ho Park wanted to remain with the Phillies in 2010. Instead, Park wound up signing with the Yankees for 1.2 million, a great deal less than the 3 million the Phillies had offered earlier in the off-season.
Park stated, “Philadelphia was the No. 1 choice. I had a tough time leaving there. I had much support from fans and community, and I had the best teammates there…”
The question then becomes, why did he and his agent, Jeff Boris, turn down the Phillies offer if he wanted to stay there? Park made 2.5 million in 2009, so the 3 million was not only a raise, but likely to be the best offer he received. In the recent past, there has been what appears to be a string of mismanaged deals by baseball agents who become greedy and over estimate their clients’ value. This certainly looks like one of them.
By the time Park and Mr. Boris realized this deal was a gift from an appreciative team who liked Park very much in 2009, it was too late. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has a no-nonsense style of dealing with contracts. If he feels a player is not committed, he moves on. Amaro was not going to wait for Park to change his mind and quickly signed Danys Baez and Jose Contreras.
And if we believe Park was sincere in wanting to return, then why would Mr. Boris not jump on the one year deal? Another agent notorious for his hard-handed tactics is agent Scott Boras who recently took outfielder Johnny Damon on a fairly stressful ride through free agency. Damon wanted to stay with the Yankees but Boras handed down a $13 million dollar ultimatum to the Yankees, which frankly, was a lot more than Damon was worth and he should have known that. The Yankees scoffed at the gesture and Damon wound up signing with the Tigers for $8 million.
Damon told the NY Daily News, “I let Scott do his work…That’s why he’s there. In the end, I think he did a great job. It’s funny, though. Every time I’m a free agent, I’m always on a new team.” He said a mouthful there. Mr. Boras has a habit of burning bridges and this latest stunt was no exception.
Another player who may or may not have been burned by his agent this off-season is former Phillie Cliff Lee. Although agent Darek Braunecker denied any wrong doing back in December, the fact that the trade happened so quickly and right after talks with Braunecker makes you wonder if he did give some sort of indication that Lee would not accept certain terms (ie: less than 2 years, a certain dollar amount, etc…). Again, this is only speculation, but knowing the Phillies GM Amaro’s straightforward style, if Braunecker said anything at all to make Amaro question Lee’s commitment to the Phillies, it is easy to see why that could have triggered a fast trade.
Obviously, the depletion of the farm system played heavily into the trade, but was that the only consideration? What happens behind closed doors, we will never know, but it does make you stop and wonder. How much input each of these players had in the conversations with teams and their agents is also unknown, but based on the players reactions, maybe these agents need to think more about their clients well-being and less about their own pockets? But again, this is just one gal’s humble opinion :O) We will miss Park and Lee and I wish them the best!
In other Phillies news, both Brad Lidge and JC Romero threw off the mound during Spring Training on Sunday. Each pitcher is taking it slow, but making descent progress. Lidge appears to be slightly ahead of Romero as far as being ready, but both are still hopeful about Opening Day.
As for the rest of the pitching crew, here is the week’s schedule for when games begin on Wednesday:
– Wednesday vs. Florida State: J.A. Happ, Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, Joe Savery, Jesus Sanchez and David Herndon.
– Thursday vs. Yankees: Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick, Jose Contreras, Andrew Carpenter and Sergio Escalona.
– Friday at Toronto in Dunedin: Cole Hamels, J.C. Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Antonio Bastardo.
– Friday at Toronto in Dunedin (B GAME): Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson and Scott Mathieson.
– Saturday at Pittsburgh in Bradenton: Joe Blanton, Danys Baez, Ehren Wasserman, Mike Zagurski, Bill White and B.J. Rosenberg.
– Sunday vs. Tampa Bay: Happ, Aumont, Naylor, Sanchez, Herndon, Flande and Savery.
Thanks to Todd Zolecki at The Zo Zone for posting the list!
Photos by Jenn
Disappointment: The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest. It is a source of psychological stress. Synonyms: failure, defeat, frustration (courtesy of Wikipedia).
And disappointment is what Philadelphia is left with after their failure to repeat as World Champions. Instead, with a 3-7 Phillies loss tonight, the Yankees brought home their 27th World Series title. The Phillies are left with the consolation prize as National League Champs.
After winning Game 1, the Phillies looked poised for a repeat. Game 2 went to the Yankees in a relatively fair battle. Game 3 was the real turning point as Cole Hamels did not perform well and the offense could not bail him out. But things got much worse in Game 4 where Brad Lidge gave up 3 runs in the 9th after the Phillies had battled to tie up the game prior to that. The Hamels and Lidge killer combo made for two gut-wrenching losses and a serious turn in the tide.
Cliff Lee won his second game of the series in Game 5 and kept the Phillies alive for one more day, along with the bat of Chase Utley which appeared unstoppable. But back in New York for Game 6, Utley and the Phillies were stopped.
Pitching wins ball games and the Yankees had better pitching. Andy Pettitte was spectacular on only 3 days rest. Pedro Martinez, on the other hand, had a full 5 days rest and still gave up 4 runs in 4 innings. All 4 of those runs, plus 2 more later in the game, came off the bat of Hideki Matsui. After hitting a homer off Martinez in Game 2 and then again tonight in the 2nd inning, why Martinez was left in the game to pitch to Matsui again in the 3rd is a mystery. JA Happ was up and ready in the bullpen, but Charlie Manuel left Martinez in to pitch to a guy who clearly had his number. That mistake was the back-breaker as Matsui hit a 2-run single.
The bullpen gave up 3 more runs and the 7-1 deficit looked to be near impossible to erase for the Phillies. The offense attempted to battle back; Ryan Howard knocked a 2-run homer in the 6th but then Pedro Feliz left his 5th base runner of the night stranded as he grounded out to third base. In the 7th, the previously clutch Chase Utley struck out with 2 outs and 2 men on base. That put the nail in the coffin.
So the Phillies came up short, which just plain sucks. But they put up a good fight and overall, the season was a great success. To have made it back to the World Series two years in a row is quite an accomplishment. And while that does not make us feel any better right now, remember you will not be suffering alone. It’s me, you, a bottle of Vodka and a tiny dancing bear wearing a pink tutu…oh sorry, I digress… Just find your happy place, go there and do not come out until Spring Training. At least that is what the voices in my head keep telling me…
Congratulations to the Yankees and their fans, especially my Yankee friends here in the MLBlogs community. Enjoy the moment.
By the way, as luck would have it, there was an article printed about me in the local newspaper today about my Phillies-fandom. So, not only do the Phillies lose today, but the reporter totally spelt my name wrong. What does this mean? Tomorrow, total strangers who recognize me from the paper will either console or harass me over this loss. If you see me wandering about with that target on my back, please be kind ;O) Thank you in advance…
If this were the circus, the Ut-Lee Show might replace Ringling Brothers as the Greatest Show On Earth. For the second time in this World Series against the Yankees, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley have joined forces to win a crucial game for the Phillies. Game 5 was a must win as a loss would have sent them home empty handed. The Phillies pulled off an 8-6 win and this series will head back to New York for Game 6.
Chase Utley set the tone in the first inning. Jimmy Rollins led off with a single and then Shane Victorino took a wicked hit to his hand with a pitch that got away from AJ Burnett. Utley made the Yankees pay by smacking a 3-run homer off Burnett on the first pitch he saw. Utley homered again in the 7th inning and ended with 4 RBI, 2 hits, a walk and 3 runs scored. And those 2 homers gave Utley 5 total for this World Series, a total previously matched only by Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Utley did it in one less game. Move over, Mr. October!
As for the non-Utley offense, Raul Ibanez woke from his slumber and hit a solo shot in the 7th. Ibanez had another RBI on a single earlier in the game too. But Ryan Howard is still slumping; he walked twice and did not have a hit in the game. Then there is Cliff Lee, who has the highest average on the team for this series; he had another hit last night and is batting .333.
On the mound, Lee became the first Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton in 1980 to win two games in the same World Series with his performance last night. Lee allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings, although he got into trouble in the 8th and 3 more runs scored. But Lee probably should not have been sent out for the 8th at all if the Phillies were considering using Lee on short rest for a possible Game 7. And in the post-game conference, Charlie Manuel and Lee indicated that the Game 7 scenario was a possibility.
The move to leave Lee in is telling; first, it shows confidence in Lee. But more importantly, it also shows that Manuel is still unsure about his bullpen, which is not surprising. Brad Lidge blew a tie in Game 4, which the Phillies then lost. Ryan Madson has been shaky and allowed 3 hits and 1 run before saving the game last night in a nail biter of an inning.
The rest of the starters have been inconsistent as well. No one is sure what to expect from Pedro Martinez tomorrow; Joe Blanton has not had a good post-season; and Cole Hamels will likely not pitch again after several disasters and his diarrhea-of-the-mouth episode in which he wished for the season to be over. Lee cannot pitch every game so Martinez will need to come up big if the Phillies are to have a shot at repeating.
The good news is, the Phillies have momentum with the win last night. The bad news is, the Yankees are not going to give in and will have their home town crowd to support them. Andy Pettitte will be on 3 days rest, but Pettitte is better on 3 days rest than many pitchers on full rest. And so the battle begins at 7:57pm on Wednesday night.
Here is the full Photo Album from Game 5; the last game of the year at Citizens Bank Park. Go Phillies!
Photos by Jenn
Last year, the Phillies won the World Series behind the strength of Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge. This year, they are likely going to lose the World Series because of the failure of those same two players. What was a dream World Series match-up for many has now turned into a nightmare for the Phillies.
The Yankees are up 3 games to 1 in the series and there is no tomorrow for the Phillies. Winning 3 games in a row is not impossible; the Phils did that many times this year. But against this Yankees team, it appears to be an insurmountable climb. But it is not over until it is over and Cliff Lee will pitch tonight.
As for last night’s 7-4 loss, Joe Blanton had a Blah-anton-like performance, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings on 5 hits and 2 walks. Overall, he did not have a good post-season at all and ended with a 6.00 ERA, assuming he does not pitch again. Much like Cole Hamels the day before, Blanton looked good for about 3 innings after a horrible 2-run 1st inning. If he had held it to those 1st two runs, that would have been great. But, no such luck.
The offense scratched and clawed at CC Sabathia to get back into the game and did manage to score 3 runs off him, including Chase Utley’s 3rd solo homer off CC this post-season. But two hottest hitters this week, went hitless: Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz. And Raul Ibanez continues to be worthless at the plate; he is batting .188. Pedro Feliz had suffered as well, but came up with a 3 hit night, including the game tying home run in the 8th inning.
But the heroics by Feliz, which at the time felt like a real positive, were quickly squashed by another Brad Lidge disaster. Lidge came into the 9th with a 4-4 tie and got the first two outs in the blink of an eye. But that 3rd out still eludes Lidge, as it has all year long. He gave up a hit to Johnny Damon who then blew the game wide open.
The Phillies put the shift on for Mark Teixiera, so Feliz was covering 2nd base. Now, we all know that every base runner steals on Lidge, right? Well, we all know that except maybe Lidge, who appeared confused by what has become routine for him. The problem here is that no one was covering 3rd base and Damon kept right on going. After the game, Lidge was asked who should have covered 3rd and he said, “I don’t know.” News flash: it was you, Brad! Ugh.
Then with the runner on 3rd, he proceeded to hit Teixiera with a pitch. This is where I believe it really went to hell; Teixiera had ONE hit all series long. This was not the guy to screw up with. If he was going to get out of the inning, Teixiera was the guy to go after. BIG mistake. After that, the rest is history; an A-Rod single scored Damon and Jorge Posada knocked in two more. And Lidge walks off with an ERA of 27.00. Yikes!
I am going to the game tonight and hopefully, I will not have to witness the Phillies going down in flames. But it does not look good right now, except for the fact that Cliff Lee will pitch. Lee has been the only bright light thus far in the World Series for the Phillies pitchers, but he cannot do this alone. I wish him (and me) luck tonight!
Photo by Jenn