Monthly Archives: December 2009

2010 reSOLUTIONS

 It’s been one hell of a year for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.

There’s no denying this.

Dare I say this is arguably the greatest era, even decade, for the Phightin’s.

But this isn’t about what the team accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) in the year that was. We’re looking ahead to 2010.

And as it is a New Year tradition we must make some resolutions.

This year however I’ve put my own aspirations aside- getting a six pack while still being able to finish an entire case of beer; not ponies but pounders, and listening to my girlfriend for more than 15 seconds, since they’ll only last about a week (let’s be honest yours won’t last much longer.)

Instead, in 2010 I’ve taken the liberty of putting a list of resolutions together for the Phils as they enter the next chapter of their illustrious franchise.

6. The “Chasedo”

Nothing says slick fielding second baseman like the slick back and no one has perfected the “do” like Chase Utley. It’s right up there with Elvis and Conon O’Brian in the hairdo HOF. The Chuck Norris of hairdo’s if you will. The damn things flawless, the way it glistens in the light, how the gallon of gel never lets a hair break free. It’s quite possibly the eighth wonder of the world. With the success Chase has had throughout his career maybe some of the other guys should jump on the wagon and slick it back already.

 5. The Death of Comcast SportsNet

For the love of Chuck, please stop the monopoly! Comcast cable is trash. High prices, crappy free movies and the only provider that offers Phillies game. Sure there’s the occasional PHL 17 ballgame but come on, why can’t I see the Wild Thing or Ricky Bo on Direct TV? As a potential resolution to actually save some money next year, don’t make me drop it before the first cable bill.

4. The Bridge to Now Where

Really Brad? There’s so much I want to say but you’re such a nice guy it makes it too hard. Just get your damn pitch back, or any pitch for that matter.  It was like watching Henry Rowengartner out there. One minute you’re untouchable the next you’re 0-8 with a rock bottom 7.21 era. At least if you broke your arm we’d have some sympathy. Heaven help us if we face King Albert in the postseason. Come on brotha. Let’s get it together.

3. Cole Hamlet

Cole Hamels was like a Shakespearean tragedy in 2009. It was a horror story of self pity, blame and a flat fastball. You had the chance to be an ace, at 24-years old! Not saying you still can’t but you’ll have to wait four years. First step in regaining your confidence, take a glob of Chase’s gel, slick your mane back and rock and fire. You’ve been all the way at the top and all the way to the bottom and we liked you better on top. I think you did as well.  If the Mummers can avoid having their balls batted around for wearing dresses while prancing on Broad Street, you can hit the hill once every five days and avoid getting yours batted around too.

2. Halladay Swap

We’ve heard the reasons and we’re still confused with the trade. No lies this year, but promise us Roy Halladay will be as badass as Cliff Lee. No lies just promise us.

1. He can “make a Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.”

Hardly Hova. Although Jay-Z is the self proclaimed King of New York, Derek Jeter and the Yankees proved without a doubt they are the kings of the Big Apple and Major League Baseball. Unfortunately that crowning came at the hands of the Phillies. That’s it. That’s the last decade of success. Next year the Phils will start their run as baseballs bad boys. So we don’t have a theme song  or  a Parrot mascot that sells cocaine to players or juice options in the dugout that don’t come in a Gatorade cup but my God were still the King of Cheese Steaks so why can’t we be the Kings of baseball, again?

So please Phils, do it for all the fans who have already given up on our own resolutions because it’s easier to put the burden on you.

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Halladay Season?

No it wasn’t a dream, the Philadelphia Phillies are still haggling a deal to get righty ace Roy Halladay.

Yet going into day two of discussions over whose going where, the whole situation’s turning into a nightmare, at least for everyone not getting Halladay.

After speculation from various sources that the Phillies would not part with beloved prospect Kyle Drabek the tides have shifted and it appears both Drabek and Cliffy Lee will both be shipped out of Philadelphia.

As it stands, the Phils would receive Halladay from Toronto, pending a physical on Tuesday and $6 million from Toronto to help cover the $15.75 million due to Roy Boy in 2010. It is also being reported that he will sign a 3-year extension worth another $60 million with a 1 to 2-year option after that.

It is also speculated that Phillies will also receive  Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and  pitcher Juan Ramirez from Seattle who will receive Lee.

General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. made it clear last July and throughout the winter meetings in Indianapolis last week that the Phils would not send Drabek north of the border while corner outfielder  Dominic Brown would become major trade bait but it appears that Brown will be staying in Philly while the untouchable will be manhandled in the trade.

Drabek will join Michael Taylor and catcher Travis D’Arnaud in Toronto.

But why get rid of Lee?

Halladay and Lee, both Cy Young winners would give Philly the best 1-2 punch in baseball but like all things in this dark world it comes down to cash.

Simply put- Halladay wants to sign with Philadelphia for below market value while Lee wants to try to get Sabathia money on the market and honestly if you could rock $100 million, who’d go elsewhere too.

The Phillies also couldn’t get rid of the $6.5 million owed to Blanton to clear room on their $140 million budget to keep both pitchers for 2010.

Finally the trade for Halladay doesn’t go through unless the Phils give up Lee to Seattle.

Watch out! The underlying key to the trade is Dominic Brown. Shane Victorino and Jayson   become free agents after next season. Keeping a powerful and promising Brown is key in the scheme of the Phils as they look to move the prospect into a corner outfield spot because let’s face it, one of those free agents will be outta here.

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Fishing for Free Agents

The Winter Meetings are officially wrapping up in Indianapolis and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is leaving with a little more luggage than what he arrived with.

During the meetings, which has been more rumor based than anything else, Amaro Jr. did pull the trigger on free agent Ross Gload as the week came to an end.

Gload is a decent addition to Philadelphia’s bench, leading the majors in 2009 with 21 pinch hits. The 34-year old hit .261 overall with six diggers and 30 RBIs for Florida.

The Phillies will sign the first base/outfielder to a two-year deal pending on a physical.

Gload joins three other Philadelphia offseason additions in Juan Castro, Placido Polanco and Brian Schnieder.

But the question remains, what’s the deal with the pen?

Grab the bull by the horns and make a move already.

Slow your roll fellow bloggers, it’s not that easy.

The team had their eyes set on righty reliever Brandon Lyon but Houston snatched him up in a three-year deal. Free agents Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre are possible suitors for the Phils and a big part of the Phillies second World Series run last season but Amaro Jr. said the team is looking externally for help.

And let’s not keep it under the rug. Yes, the Phillies are still in the mix for ace Roy Halladay, but so are the Yankees. Sources are saying the Phils are still at the top of the hunt to get the heavily sought after starter but the organization isn’t talking trade details.

Not yet anyway.

After capping the 2010 budget at $140 million, the team isn’t making any fast moves on Halladay who is owed over $15 million next season by Toronto.

Possible trades would include lefty J.A. Happ and possibly Joe Blanton along with several prospects.

Philadelphia has a very solid farm system but they have to consider running it dry. Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard also become free agents at the end of the season so the organization has to consider their spending if they look to bring the two heavy hitters back.

 Here’s the kicker- Halladay also becomes a free agent after next season. Is the future really worth the present?

Right now the Florida Marlin is nodding yes.

Amaro, Jr. however is not a fish out of water and so far so good during the off-season. Yet after last seasons World Series it has become evident that the Phillies need another solid starter in the rotation.

Although the conservative play of the team has been succesful in past three years, wouldn’t it be nice to see Ruben reel in the big one?

And not just the Gload-fish.

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Same Old Answers

Whoever said change is good wasn’t a professional sports franchise owner.

And as a mater of fact, they lied.

At least that seems to be the case in Philadelphia of late.

Headlines surrounding the city’s sports teams free agent signings have been overwhelming even overtaking the likes of Mr. Woods tiger like attacks.

With the return of Placido Polanco to the Phillies and Allen Iverson to the lowly 76ers the city has apparently realized that they have been searching for answers in all the wrong places.

Think about it.

The resigning of Polanco, the Phils former second baseman, who has agreed in A-Rod fashion to switch positions and man the hot corner where he hasn’t played regularly since 2002, fills a gap that hasn’t been solidified by a player since the days of Scott Rollin, who was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in July 2002 for non-other than Polanco.

The emergence of God’s gift to Philadelphia in the form of second baseman Chase Utley, left Polanco the odd man out and trade bait when the Phils shipped him off to Detroit for Ugieth Urbina and infielder Ramon Martinez.

The only problem for the Phils was Martinez wasn’t any good and while Urbina was rotting away in a Venezuelan prison for beating farm workers like American League hitters on his fastball, Polanco was busy winning two Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger and making All-Star and World Series appearances.

Yet another Philadelphia second baseman that got away. Since the departure of Rolen at third, the Phils went through three brutally horrific and nearly non-existent offensive third basemen in David Bell, Wes Helms and most recently Pedro Feliz.

 This should all change with the readdition of Polanco who is a career .303 hitter with 90 homers, 579 RBIs and 71 stolen bases in 12 big league seasons.

And chew on this, as a No. 2 hitter he should create some exciting controversy for Chuck Manuel in an already potent Phillies lineup.

Across Pattison Ave the Sixers- that’s for all you fans who can’t remember where they play because you haven’t been to a game since 2005- have finally found there answer to filling more than 5 percent of the arena and guaranteeing a double digit wins this season in the Answer.

After shunning away the former MVP Iverson in hopes to build, rebuild and re-rebuild, a mediocre and lifeless franchise, GM Ed Stefanski has finally come to some senses in resigning the supposedly retired point guard.

Go figure, for the first time this year and since who knows when, the Wachovia Center will be sold out for Monday nights second debut of Allen Iverson and you better believe it won’t be Sammy Dalembert jerseys filling the seats.

The city is finally talking professional basketball again and once again Iverson is the one to thank. Whether you believe the move is to boost attendance or help the team, which he’ll do both, the fact remains Iverson is still one of the best point guards in the NBA and he’s going to prove it.

So perhaps change isn’t what this city needs maybe it’s second chances.

Just ask Mike Vick who helped the Eagles by scoring his first two touchdowns since he changed his favorite animal on his facebook bio from pit bull to wildcat, as the Be ages routed the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta to claim a three way tie for the division lead.

Or an aging Jeremiah Trotter who was cut by the Eagles for losing a step only to gain tow more, getting resigned by the club and continuing where he left off, stuffing opponents running games with more beef than Donovan McNabb’s chunky soup.

 So once again sports has taught us some key values to live by, especially during this holiday season, always be grateful for what you have and people deserve second chances- but only if it helps you win.

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