Mid-March is about the time when I begin to find Spring Training dull and get anxious for the real games to begin. Ok yes, Joe Blanton had a good outing against the Tigers today after a shaky spring start. Cole Hamels looks like he is in good shape with two solid performances so far. The bats are jumping and as a team, the Phillies are hitting at an average of .301 with 7 homers and 36 RBI. And still, I am a bit sleepy about the whole thing.
In my boredom today, I decided to scan through this week’s MLB headlines to see what was going on around the league. Here are a few fun tidbits I came across in my search:
Yankees shortstop and baseball God, Derek Jeter, sat out of a Spring Training game with flu symptoms. And then an Angel lost its wings :O(
Come on Opening Day! Get here….quick! if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘23806c5d-27e5-4f04-a300-94a868417e13’); Reyes photo by Jenn Garciaparra photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
The Mets Jose Reyes may not be ready to play on Opening Day. His thyroid hormone blood levels are elevated and he is not supposed to do anything that could raise his heart rate. You know, things like showboating on the base paths or talking to Federal agents about his Canadian doctor’s link to performance-enhancing drugs…stuff like that.
Come on Opening Day! Get here….quick!
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Reyes photo by Jenn
Garciaparra photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Reportedly, the Dodgers have offered Manny Ramirez
, super-slugger and future Hall of Famer, a one-year, 25 million dollar deal which he turned down. It seems he wants a 2 or 3 year deal. In the midst of the Phillies’ struggles to find an affordable right handed bat, it annoys me to see good players turn down extraordinary offers like this.
Just imagine all you could do with 25 million dollars?
– Send both my kids to college. Well, maybe I should re-think that one…after this recession, college tuition may spike to 15 million a year…
– Hell, with 25 million, I could probably afford to toss Derek Jeter in there too…
– Discover your own planet and name it. You are super-rich! Who will argue with you? Buy them off…
– Sleep. Sleep all I want without anyone disturbing me or telling me that I have to get up and do anything!
– Travel the world; see lions in Africa, tortoises and the Phantic’s relatives in the Galapagos and eat unusual foreign foods until I vomit.
Ok, you get the point. Seriously, who cannot live on 25 million dollars? How is this not enough? Does he plan on buying the large island instead of the small one? Has he set his goals too high? Say, Julia Roberts high?
The only logic I can see is that he wants the extra year or two in the deal because he fears an injury may hurts his chances in 2010 or 2011. But this only makes sense if you think 25 million dollars is NOT an acceptable sum of money to live on. Not to mention the millions he has brought home already! Does he not realize that if he performs well again in 2009, that another 25 million will basically be handed to him in 2010? Where is the logic?
As for the Phillies, no right-hander yet in sight. Lots of names being tossed around, but so far no bites. The most recent rumor is Nomar Garciaparra, but he may choose to retire or go to a team where he will get more playing time. Moises Alou, Mark Grudzielanek and Rich Aurilia have also been discussed, but same situation; lack of playing time may keep them away. Hey, if all else fails, I am still available :O) Call me…
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!
If it wasn’t blatantly obvious that this bullpen was overworked before, it sure is now. Chad Durbin, who has been great all year, blew a 2-run lead in the eighth inning to tie up the game, eventually leading to a 7-6 loss to the Dodgers. It was his second blown lead in two days. Clay Condrey put the nail in the coffin, giving up the walk-off homer to fresh off the DL, Nomar Garcia-Parra.
But this game started to go downhill with the starter. Joe Blanton, I believe, showed his true potential in this game and that is not good. Yes, he had two good starts before this one, but one was against the Pirates, who are not so great, and the other was on basically 10 days rest, because the outing prior he only went 2 innings due to rain. This was the real test against a real team on normal rest and he failed. 5 innings, 9 hits, 4 earned runs and 3 walks – not good. When your team puts up a 5 run lead, you can’t just give the other team back those runs.
But that brings me to the next issue; where did the offense go after the second inning? Guess they figured they had worked hard enough for the day and decided to take a nap. Actually, this has been the issue for a long time now – NO situational hitting; they are not getting hits in key spots and everyone is swinging for the fences instead of trying to put the ball in play. Think I am crazy? Look at the scoreboard – all 6 runs came on 3 home run balls: Howard,
Dobbs & Werth. And the guys that were on base for them to rack up the RBI’s? Two of the three were walks (one HBP-Utley) – not even hits. Well, this team is good at two things – drawing walks and hitting homers; that is apparent. But right now, the rest of their game is in the toilet.
And how many times are we going to see Phillies at bat with 2 strikes on them not protecting the plate? They either just stand there and watch it for strike 3 or they swing away without attempting to locate the pitch (guessing at the pitch). You need to try to foul it off if you don’t like it or try your best to put it in play. Isn’t anyone teaching them this? Granted, these are things they should know, but perhaps they need a reminder? When things are going bad, it is time for the coaches to step up and do some actual coaching.
And then to top off a lovely 3 game losing streak, Jimmy Rollins has to infuriate fans by speaking out on The Best Damn Sports Show Period last night. Here is the video clip (UPDATE: 8/14 PM I added a new video feed which includes Jimmy’s post-show response to the fan uproar):