Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki reported that Chase Utley answered many questions about his injured left knee yesterday. He spoke about a new rehab program and stated that he would play again this year, although no time table was given.
Utley also stated that last year, it was the right knee that bothered him and this year it is the left. He is optimistic because the right knee feels fine now and the new program seems to be working on the left knee. But does this not beg the obvious question that no one has asked him? When the right knee was injured, why did he change his routine/program on only the right side?
Here is the quote from Utley regarding the two knees: “So we made some changes last year to my right knee. It worked because it feels strong. It feels good. Now I have to make similar changes to my left knee.”
Why was the program not changed for BOTH knees back when this issue originally started flaring up? What affects the right knee can also affect the left, especially when it involves impact movements like running and jumping. Still, no precautions were taken. Why? And who in the world was giving Utley training advice at that time? Because whoever neglected to state the obvious may have just cost the Phillies another half a season with no All-Star second baseman.
This could also cut Utley’s career short if the problem persists. Right now, he believes it will all work out. But a few years down the road, who knows?
As you may have heard, former Philles closer Ryan Madson needs Tommy John surgery, ending his 2012 season with the Reds before it even began. Worse than that, super agent Scott Boras managed to dig up only a 1-year deal for Madson which means he may have to beg for a 2013 contract after not having pitched for all of 2012.
The Wild Thing, former closer Mitch Williams, wrote an excellent article about Madson’s free agency this off-season. Williams discovered that Boras turned down a 3-year, $33 million counteroffer from the Phillies without ever consulting Madson, who did wish to return to Philly. Instead, Madson got stuck with a meager 1-year deal with the Reds.
Williams then posed the question, “What if he gets injured.” Well the Wild Thing’s crystal ball was correct. Madson got hurt and now his career may be in jeopardy.
Mad Dog Madson should be foaming at the mouth over the way his agent handled his free agency. If I were Madson, Boras would be fired. Then again, I guess the Phillies can thank Boras for doing such a crappy job. Had he not totally sucked, the Phillies would be paying Madson $11 million this year to do nothing except have surgery. Nicely done, Boras.
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Has anyone been watching the World Series? I have not been able to. Not because my TV blew up or squirrels chewed through my cable lines, but because it is just too depressing. The 2011 World Series without the Phillies? *SIGH* :O(
The only thing I think about right now is that there are approximately 124 days, 2,996 hours, 179,761 minutes and 10,785,690 seconds left until players report to Spring Training. That means I have ahead of me approximately 124 days, 2,996 hours, 179,761 minutes and 10,785,690 seconds of sheer boredom and misery.
I know, I should really get a grip. Perhaps join a 12-step program? But I simply cannot fathom what those 12-steps might be that would be able to lift me out of this funk.
To make matters worse, there are many impending decisions on the horizon that will greatly impact the future of this Phillies team. There are seven free agents the Phils have to make decisions on: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, Raul Ibanez, Brian Schneider and Ross Gload.
My thoughts are that the options on Lidge and Oswalt’s contracts will not be picked up nor will either player be resigned. Neither lived up to expectations this year and injuries were a huge problem.
Madson’s agent is Scott Boras. That being said, the Phillies will not be able to afford to resign him. Plus, rumor has it that Madson’s wife hates Philadelphia. He is gone.
As for the other four, Gload and Ibanez likely will not be back. This team needs to get younger and healthier. The Phils will probably resign Schneider at a discount as his offensive numbers are exactly that – offensive. And Rollins will hopefully return after some intense negotiations.
And all of that is also depressing. This team we have all come to know and love will be broken apart with holes likely to be filled with some new faces. Change is necessary here, especially after the final results of this season with the team ousted way earlier than expected. But that does not make it less sad :O(
I am currently in the process of peeling myself out of this dark, hopeless abyss where I am blubbering uncontrollably while cowering in a corner. This disappointing season has been difficult to cope with, but we must all make a commitment to try.
Although, if trying includes watching the Rangers and Cardinals, I may pass for now. It is just too demoralizing right now :O(
Stay tuned for Stage 5…
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Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies have hired ex-Phillie Juan Samuel to fill the void left when first base coach Davey Lopes walked after failed contract negotiations. Samuel started his 16-year big league career with the Phillies, playing second base from 1983 to part of 1989.
Later in his career, Samuel played both second base and outfield positions and was known as an extremely versatile player. More recently, he coached third base for the Orioles and also served as interim manager when Dave Trembley was fired in June.
Samuel will take over as third base coach and outfield instructor for the Phillies while Sam Perlozzo moves to first base. When asked about returning the Philadelphia, Samuel told reporters, “I couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic going back and joining an elite group of players and manager. It’s a dream come true.” Samuel was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2008 and has always been a fan favorite. It will be nice to have him back.
In other news, the Phillies have made a small flurry of insignifigant moves in the past week or so. They have signed Pete Orr, 31, to a minor league deal. The infielder has spent much of his baseball career lingering in the minors where he hit .264.
In the catcher category, the Phils re-signed Dane Sardinha who hit .205 in his time with the Phils last year and .207 in the minors. They also picked up Erik Kratz, 30, who hit .274 in the Pirates AAA system.
Continuing to add minor-league pitching, Eddie Bonine, 29, was added as well after spending time in the Tigers bullpen last year. Bonine had a record of 4-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 47 appearances and one start in 2010. His name indicates that he is good at preventing nausea, however, his stats indicate otherwise. Yuck. Well, at least they picked up one guy under 30….barely.
As for Jayson Werth, there is still little news. He and his super-agent Scott Boras are out and about trying to see who is willing to get serious about overpaying the outfielder. The odds of Werth returning to the Phillies lessen as each day passes. But truthfully, the odds may have been close to 1% to begin with. Don’t hold out hope…it is very unlikely that Werth will be back in red pinstripes.
In a press conference today, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed many issues including free agents, the “age” issue and the disappointing offense this year.
The hot topic of discussion centered around right fielder, Jayson Werth. Amaro did not close the door on the issue by any means, but it certainly seems like a long shot for Werth to return.
Werth stated in a later press conference that he was “looking forward to the experience of being a free agent” and that “Philly is one of the teams in consideration.” He also hired monster agent Scott Boras in September; the only reason to do this is if he is looking for a huge contract, which the Phillies likely cannot afford.
Amaro was quick to point out Werth’s struggles this year: “It wasn’t an extraordinary year. He had a tough time with men in scoring position. It wasn’t as productive a year as he’s had in the past.” In fact, Werth batted only .186 in these situations which ranks 215th out of 218 qualified players.
My gut feeling is that Werth will not be back. I predict he will be in Yankees pinstripes soon; New York is geographically in the same area plus his stepfather, Dennis Werth, played for the Yankees from 1979-1981. Not to mention that the Yanks may be one of the few teams who can afford to pay him what he wants.
As for the aging Phils, Amaro did not seem overly concerned saying that the team’s core players are “very productive players and they’re not beyond their prime years.” He also added that an injection of youth may be a good thing as well. If Domonic Brown takes over for Werth, that is one step towards getting younger.
While it was not discussed today, my thought is that moving Raul Ibanez who is owed $11.5 million next year is a good way to clear up payroll space as well as get a little younger. We love Rauuuuul…however, he has been streaky at best and will turn 39 in June. Then again, it will not be easy to move an declining player with a hefty salary so, this may not even be possible.
Also up for discussion was the lack of offensive production which prompted many questions about a possible shake-up. Amaro seems happy with the core of the team but did note that they “just didn’t have the right approach” at the plate. He also stated that, “Some guys may be looking at preparing a little differently for the 2011 season as they get older.” Amaro noted Jimmy Rollins in this category and said all the innings he has played over the years may be taking a toll.
I looked it up; among all active players, Rollins, age 31, ranks 32nd in career at-bats with 6291. Among players 31 years of age or younger, he has the 2nd most career at-bats behind only Adrian Beltre with 6874 at-bats. So yes, Rollins may need a different off-season routine to keep up this pace.
Mike Sweeney Needs A Hug
One of the most difficult moments after Saturday’s loss was watching veteran Mike Sweeney give a post-game interview. He was nearly in tears as he discussed the end of the season and contemplated his future:
Prior to the interview, Sweeney could be been seen in the background of a Ryan Madson interview, standing for a long time, still in uniform, with his head resting against his locker. After a while, he sat, clearly downtrodden, and put his head in his hands.
This was a heartbreaking scene. Sweeney has been praised by nearly everyone for his team spirit, positive attitude and for been an amazing and kind human being. His long, productive career aside, this is a quality guy and it was painful to see him in such agony after the loss, especially when he had only one at-bat the whole post-season. He did make the most it though, with a pinch hit in the NLDS.
If you would like to offer a virtual HUG to Mr. Sweeney, please visit my Facebook page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” and share your thoughts. I am going to see if I can get someone to direct him to the page in the hopes that our messages of support might lift his spirits.
Thank you to all the Sweeney supporters already out there for stopping by!
Werth photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
How do you spell relief? Not having to hear Cole Hamels complain about his salary anymore. :O) I kid. But seriously, I did breathe a huge sigh of relief when I heard that Hamels accepted a 3-year, 20.5 million dollar deal to lock him up as a Phillie through 2011. We love Cole and he has proven that he is the ace of the staff, so his guaranteed presence for the next 3 seasons is a huge ray of light for this franchise. This signing also avoids what likely would have been a costly arbitration process and the hard feelings that can along with that.
Hamels went 14-10 last season with a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts and 227 1/3 innings. He also scooped up the MVP awards for both the NLCS and World Series. When asked about his presence beyond 2011, Hamels responded with, “I’ll be here for a really long time…that’s something I really want to do,” according to The Philadelphia Daily News. Congrats to Cole! We are SO happy to have you aboard!
Greg Dobbs also signed a contract instead of opting for arbitration. Dobbs has agreed to a 2-year, 2.5 million dollar deal and he will likely play a similar role this year as a pinch hitter and sub at 3rd base. And all the female Phillies fans let out a collective, “Whooo Hooo!” as this signing was announced. :O) Even if the game is a total bust, we always have Greg’s adorable face, perfect hair and long lashes to gush over. And the view is just as nice when he turns around :O) But aside from Greg’s physical assets, he is also a monster at the plate, hitting .301 with 9 home runs and 40 RBI in 128 games last season. He also batted .355 as a pinch hitter and led the Majors with 22 pinch-hits, also a new Phillies single season record. Congrats Greg! Best wishes for another outstanding season.
That brings us to Ryan Madson; it has been reported that Madson has turned down a 3-year, 12.5 million dollar contract. Another Scott Boras client, like Kyle Loshe was when he reportedly turned down 3-years and 21 million from the Phillies in 2008, Madson appears to be holding out for more. More what, exactly, is the question. I think the offer he was given is more than fair for a reliever of his stature. And if we remember, Boras’ insistence that Loshe hold out for more back in early 2008, turned into a disaster for him. Instead of the 3-years and 21 million, Loshe got only 1 year and 4.25 million from the Cardinals at the last minute, losing a ton of cash in the process. He has since gotten a much better deal from the Cards after his performance, but the move he made in 2008 has to make you wonder about Boras and what he is telling Madson. Hopefully, something will be worked out as I’d hate to see Boras screw it up for Madson too.
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!
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