This has not been a good couple of days in the injury department for the Phillies. Here is a quick look at the damage:
– Jose Contreras was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season with elbow inflammation. Lefty Juan Perez was called-up from the Triple-A Iron Pigs to take his roster spot. Perez played for the Pirates in 2006 & 2007 for a short time, but has spent most of his seven-year career in the minors.
– The Phillie Phanatic suffered an injury as well. While entertaining atop the first base dugout at an Iron Pigs game, the Phanatic was hit in the neck with a foul ball. For the Phanatic’s best friend Tom Burgoyne, the neck area was actually Tom’s face.
The Phanatic went to the hospital; I am not sure whether they called a doctor, a veterinarian or an environmental biologist, but the Phanatic will not be joining Contreras on the DL. He should be ready for the weekend series at CBP.
– And finally, Roy Oswalt was pulled from today’s game against the Cardinals after two innings where he allowed four runs. After about one out in the second, Oswalt began teetering sideways off the mound after his delivery. It got worse as the inning went on, where he began hopping and stumbling after pitches while grabbing his lower back.
Why no one else saw this is curious. I was screaming at the TV, but sadly, no one heard me ;o) Oswalt was left in to finish the inning and reports are that he has back spasms.
I suppose the spasms are no surprise; Oswalt has a history of back issues and has been on the DL once already this season with the same issue. In his last four starts, Oswalt has allowed 15 runs in only 21.1 innings.
As for the new bullpen piece, Perez pitched the seventh and walked two batters, but did not allow a run. Kyle Kendrick pitched the 3rd-6th innings and gave up two runs, adding to Oswalt’s four.
So with 6 runs, the Cardinals were ready to run away with the game as the Phillies offense was lulled to sleep. It did matter too much though as Danys Baez put the game well out of reach for the Phillies in the 8th inning. He walked in a run, gave up a 3-run homer and ended up with six earned runs handed over to the Cards. You could say he added insult to all the injuries.
The Phillies went down in flames by a score of 12-2. They travel back home tonight to go back to Interleague play. The Athletics are first on the schedule; Vance Worley will pitch at 7:05pm.
An NL East Update
This has been a weird week overall for the NL East. First, the Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez suddenly quit after the Fish went on a real bender, losing 18 of 19 games in the month of June.
Not to be outdone, the Nationals manager Jim Riggleman one-upped Rodriguez. After the Nationals WON 11 of their last 12 games, the opposite of the Marlins month, Riggleman gave the Nats an ultimatum. He told his GM in a meeting they needed to extend his contract then and there or he would not get on the bus for the Nats next game.
Riggleman quit, just like that. And just like that, he will probably never work in baseball again. Who in their right mind would hire a guy who just quits when he does not get his way? It was unprofessional and just plain stupid. I do not care how disrespected he felt that his contract was not extended sooner. If the team felt it should wait until the end of the year, then he should have just waited it out. Abandoning his team like that is just wrong. Nats fans should be livid.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
I almost forgot to show everyone my favorite photo from the cruise! It is me, wearing Ryan Madson’s World Series ring :O) Ryan was amazing on the cruise; friendly, shaking hands with everyone and chatting away like we were all old buddies. And he gets extra bonus points for this:
If anyone missed my slideshows or Photo Albums from the trip, check out THIS entry for all that fun as well :O)
And now for the video! The first one is the player introductions from the first day of the cruise, an appearance by the Phanatic and part of movie day, which had a few hitches. They could not get the movie to play (Phillies 09 Yearbook), so Tom Burgoyne, friend of the Phanatic, took the stage, more than once, to entertain the crowd during the delay:
The next 2 videos are the Q & A session where Greg Luzinski, JC Romero, Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson and Tom/Phanatic answered questions from the fans:
And finally, this video is the Farewell cocktail party and dinner. The players and a few of the wives each spoke to the fans during the party and the dinner consisted of a waiter parade, “rally towels,” “Let’s go Phillies!” chant and the singing of “Take me out to the Ballgame.”
And for those who have been following the earthquake in Haiti, you may be interested to know that right before the quake, our cruise ship was sailing from Grand Turk to Puerto Rico, right past the island, on the eastern most side closer to the Dominican Republic. DR is the east side of the same island that Haiti is on. That night, the sea was a bit rough, which may have been an indicator of what was about to hit the area.
In a related story, Jimmy Rollins and his fiancée are currently on the island of Grand Cayman, where an earthquake hit this morning. They had to evacuate their hotel for a short time but Rollins texted the Phillies to say they were ok and that the wedding, scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, is still on. If you ask me, there were far too many Phillies far too close to natural disasters this week.
I would like to send my best wishes to Jimmy and Johari; may their wedding go off without a hitch…or an earthquake ;o) On a more serious note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti. This terrible tragedy reminds us all that we need to take better care of our planet and all the people in it. If anyone is able to donate to the cause, please visit UNICEF for details.
One final note regarding Phillies arbitration; Chad Durbin signed a one-year, $2.125 million contract, ensuring he will avoid the hearing next month. No word yet on whether deals were done with the other 3 eligible players, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz.
And if anyone from the former Duck Pond fan group is reading, you will happy to know that your favorite player is back. Brandon Duckworth signed a minor league deal to bring him back to the Phillies organization. They also signed Jason Standridge and Nate Bump to similar deals; none of the 3 will be invited to Spring Training, but do not let that stop you from quacking with delight :O)
Photos / Video by Jenn
I have arrived home from the Phillies Phantastic Voyage and have sorted through most of my photos. Joining me on the cruise were 270 Phillies fans, JC & Erin Romero, Shane & Melissa Victorino, Ryan & Sarah Madson, Greg & Jean Luzinski, Scott Palmer, the Phanatic, the friend of the Phanatic, Tom Burgoyne and his wife and Phillies Sales Manager, Scott Nickle and his wife, Jenny. Everyone had a blast!
I put together a slide show of some key moments from the trip as well as some island shots. In addition, there are also Photos Albums which include these photos plus many more. I put together a Phillies Events album and also an Island Events album, which is non-baseball in nature. Click on either name to view each album.
To view the Photo Slideshow CLICK HERE and it will take you to the video.
As you can see, everyone, even the Smurf, had a great time. I will be posting video later today or tomorrow in addition to the photo slideshows where you will get to listen to the players talk during the Q&A session and the cocktail parties, plus much more!
A few other notes; while I was away, Scott Eyre announced his retirement. He will be missed :O( I wish Scott the best in his future endeavors!
Next up, Brad Lidge had knee surgery…again. He had some loose bodies and debris removed and is expected to make a full recovery within 2-3 weeks. No word on whether he will be ready for opening day or not.
This past Friday, four players filed for arbitration; Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Shane Victorino. Really all this means is they will negotiate their salaries with the team and if no consensus is reached, they will have a hearing to decide the amount next month. Last year, the Phillies avoided arbitration with all 10 players who filed.
Next I would like to address a question I was asked a few times while I was away in regards to JC Romero and his arm surgery. JC is recovering well; he looked healthy and happy all week on the cruise. As for his recovery time, it is too soon to tell. Until he begins a regular throwing routine to see how the arm reacts, it will be difficult to make any educated guesses. However, when he had the surgery in October, he was given a 5-6 month recovery window. This means he likely will not be ready until after the season begins. But as with most injuries and surgeries, anything is possible.
Photos by Jenn
It is day 6 of the Phillies Phantastic Voyage and we are sailing around the Caribbean on our way to the Bahamas. Yesterday, after a sunny day on the island of St. Thomas, the Phillies group engaged in a trivia competition. Here are a few of the questions we were asked…see how many you can answer! I will post the answers at the end of this entry.
1. How many times in his Phillies career did Steve Carlton strike out 300 batters or more in a single season?
2. What 3 team names have the current Phillies team gone by?
3. Which Phillies pitcher struck out 300 batters or more in a season, 2 seasons in a row?
Today the Phillies held the autograph session for the fans. Shane Victorino, Greg Luzinski, Tom Burgoyne (Phanatic’s friend), Ryan Madson, Scott Palmer (broadcaster) and JC Romero all signed:
At the end of the autograph line, a few of the AAA reps, Holland America staff and JC’s wife Erin got in line to get autographs for themselves. When Erin Romero reached JC who was at the end of the autograph line, she handed her husband several items to sign. In the photos below, you will see her handing him a head shot to sign. After that, he leans forward to sign HER instead. Her reaction is in the photo below:
JC & Erin are not only the cutest couple, they are super nice and lots of fun. We have all been blessed to have them aboard with us :o)
And here are a few photos of what I have been up to besides the baseball stuff. The photo to the left is the rainforest in Puerto Rico (El Yunque); then you will see a close-up shot of an iguana and a photo of me and two others preparing to scuba dive in St. Thomas:
That is all for now! More photos and video are to come…tomorrow we are in the Bahamas and then Saturday we are heading home. Talk to you all again soon!
Photos by Jenn
1 – One
2 – Phillies, Blue Jays, Quakers
3 – Curt Schilling
As the Phillies Phantastic Voyage continues, we are currently on our way to San Juan, Puerto Rico. On Sunday, each Phillies fan was treated to a photo session and Q&A with the players. Everyone had a group photo taken and then individuals with each person which included JC Romero, Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino, Greg Luzinski, Scott Palmer (broadcaster) and the Friend of the Phanatic, Tom Burgoyne.
Here are some photos of the guys getting ready for photos:
After the pictures were done, everyone sat down for a question and answer session. Some of the questions people asked were a bit surprising. For instance, one person asked Shane why he had a tendency to swing at the first pitch. Ryan Madson interjected some humor by saying Shane was stepping to the plate already down with an 0-2 count ;o) Ryan later gave his opinions on how umpires should be “sent to the minors” just like players when they perform badly. Funny stuff…
I will post video of the Q&A and a few other events once I get home. For now, here are some photos of the Q&A session. The one with the jersey in mid-air is my favorite. They were raffling off a Victorino jersey and JC was not so impressed; he tossed the jersey on the floor behind him!
Yesterday, we all gathered for a screening of the Phillies 2009 Video Yearbook. Due to a technical issue with the ships DVD player, there were a few breaks in the action. Tom Burgoyne was gracious enough to hop on stage and entertain the crowd during the pauses. He even performed the Phanatic belly roll for us, sans costume. Again, I will post video when I get home.
Later that evening, a bunch of us sat down to watch magician James Cielen perform. The show was outstanding and included some Phillies fun as well. JC, Shane and their wives were sitting in the front row when Mr. Cielen brought two toy poodles on stage to help with some of his magic. At one point, the magician picked up a dog, pointed him at the front row and, I assume using a water pistol, made the dog appear to pee on the JC, Shane and their wives. Mr. Cielen then ran off the stage and wiped them all off with a silk scarf, although it looked more like he was trying to buff the top of JC’s head. Everyone had a nice laugh over that. These guys all have great senses of humor and enjoyed the prank. In fact, at the end of the show, Shane was the first person out of his seat to give Mr. Cielen a standing ovation.
So today we will land in San Juan and I will go explore the rainforest :O) Tomorrow night, we will have a Phillies Trivia event and then on Thursday, the players will sign autographs for us. I will post another update when I get a chance.