‘Tis the season to buy lots of crap! Black Friday, Cyber Monday….here we come! The Phillies began shopping early when they signed Kevin Frandsen earlier this month to a 1-year, $850,000 deal. If Frandsen plays the way he did last year, that small chunk of change could wind up being the bargain of the year.
But the Phillies have a much longer shopping list than that. Unfortunately, even on Black Friday, not everything is on sale. Even if Ruben Amaro Jr. camped out in front of All-Star Josh Hamilton’s house all night, I am pretty sure someone with more money would be camped out in front of him in line. Fold up the tent, Ruben, and let’s work on a more realistic shopping list.
– The first item on the list should be a centerfielder. I hear our old pal Shane Victorino may come at a descent discount. But the Phillies seem to be more focused on B.J. Upton, who could rival Ryan Howard for strikeouts. They both strike out around 30% of the time and neither hit for average. Regardless, this team needs to shop for an outfielder!
– Bullpen help is needed….badly. Maybe the Phillies need to look back at a few guys they previously tossed in the trash? Here are some oldies, but goodies: Our old pal Chad Durbin had a 3.10 ERA for the Braves last season. And how about Jason Grilli, who was with the Phillies minor league system until they dumped him…he went on to record a 2.91 ERA for the Pirates last season. But my #1 oldie would be Ryan Madson. He is coming off Tommy John surgery so the bidding for him should not get too high.
– Third base: Personally, I feel a combination of Frandsen and a drug-free Freddy Galvis can handle the hot corner. But if you are the type who MUST buy during holiday sales whether you need to or not, here is who might deserve a look: Kevin Youkilis will be 34 in March, but the guy can still hit for power. At 36 years, Michael Young is not exactly young anymore….but he would be a solid veteran to keep the spot warm for a much younger Cody Asche in 2014.
– While the team is stocked with starting pitchers, maybe a few small upgrades could help? You know…get Roy Halladay a bionic shoulder to replace the bum one. Buy Kyle Kendrick an “All I Want For X-Mas is You” tee-shirt to keep his confidence high. And for Cliff Lee, donate to his favorite charity and make a pledge to get him more than 6 wins this year.
– Buy baby-faced Darin Ruf a pair of big-boy pants and put him on the big-boy team. That gamble may really pay off. What have they got to lose? And J.C. Penney has a great Black Friday sale on pants right now…
– And the final big purchase for the Phillies should be a stand-up comedian. When things start to go downhill for the Phils, the comedian can jump in and tell jokes between innings to keep spirits high. Because as a fan base in 2012, we have all lost a bit of our sense of humor. You cannot blame us though…losing is just not funny. Help us all remember how to laugh and smile again! And if the wins start coming, you can trade the comedian to a more needy team.
Happy shopping, everyone!
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Amaro photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
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 got 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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PHOTOS from my All-Star Week excursion have been posted, but I thought I would highlight a few fun ones for you here as well. Let’s begin with my favorite of the week! As you may know, Dan Uggla committed like 3 errors in the All-Star game on Tuesday. Well, I am calling this one “UGGLA ALL-STAR ERROR #4” and you will see why. Yes, this is Dan Uggla grabbing Chase Utley’s butt as he walks back to the dugout after getting his award at the Home Run Derby for earning the most All-Star votes in the NL. He totally gooses him! And then, check out the on-lookers, who are horrified by what they are witnessing! Thank goodness it looks like Uggla’s son is sleeping through the ordeal J
More Utley…I’m calling this one, “Diggin’ For Gold.” Did he not realize that I was RIGHT THERE! I mean, if he needed help with this, all he needed to do was ask me. Geez. Another opportunity passed me by… J But seriously, what the heck?? He couldn’t go in the dugout which was like 1 foot away to handle this?? OMG.
And finally, we have all heard about the Chase Utley expletive before the Home Run Derby at the introduction (the “Boo, @#@# You!” remark)…well, here is a photo I took right as he said it. You can see Dan Uggla’s reaction…he was quite amused J And frankly, when I saw it, so was I J We should all have a sense of humor. Enough said.
Hope you enjoyed…have a happy day! J