Tuesday, August 11, 2015

WHO ARE THESE GUYS

  View From the Left Coast by a Lefty:  16-5? *WHO ARE THESE GUYS?*
 
 
Whoever they are, break'em up quick. No seriously, who are these guys who are sporting red pinstripes who were almost 40 games under .500 the first half? The answer apparently is pretty much the same guys who sucked major azz before the break. I admit, I am stunned and am not sure who to point fingers at and why. At the same time I'm almost afraid to drink the koolaid and hope that better time are on the way. Yet, here we are and NOT in the cellar.  :D
 
What is this phenomena that we are witnessing? One thing I know is there is now chemistry on this team. Each and every one of them has confidence, and loves the game and their teammates. It's the same type of chemistry our division title teams had. They may not have the talent those teams had(yet), but they don't lack for anything else including effort. A few things stand out to me:
 
1) Hernandez is here to stay, and after 2 years  is finally living up to his former hype.
2) Odubey is the real deal. His confidence grows daily. When he actually learns to play outfield watch out.
3) Franco has arrived. He's still a little anxious at times but aggressive is better than thinking too much.
4) Frenchy was a great add on. He just produces period.
5) Howard is getting caught up in the enthusiasm and playing much better.
6) Rupp keeps amazing me. Not just a placeholder anymore for Alfaro but a real MLB catcher.
7) Galvis is still outplaying expectations made of him before the season.
8) Brown is having another month of good baseball. Will it last or fade again?
 
 
The pitching still astounds me, at least starting. The bullpen is great. We'll miss Papelbum(not me) but 100 Mile Giles is the shiznitz. Utley and Chooch have settled into secondary roles and I think that's part of the glue keeping this team as it is. The best part... help is on the way! Alfaro could easily become a bigger, better Pudge Rodriguez. Nick Williams is ENFUEGO, and a big hard hitting RH corner outfielder is just what the Dr ordered. The Fightin Phils have charged into the playoff picture and the whole farm looks energized. *WHO ARE THESE GUYS?*
 
I really almost didn't want this to happen, because common sense says it can't last. But being a Phillies fan since 1958 is making me hope it's not an internet glitch or something. Honestly, I don't know what to think other than they will be here tonight in a few hours and I need to find a good bullshit excuse to miss work Wed for the lunchtime getaway game. Until then....
 
                                                Bill S aka/netfather


***EDITOR'S NOTE***** Bill wrote this yesterday. I'm to blame for the tardiness. Bill's to blame for the jinx.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Been a While

View From the Left Coast by a Lefty:  Been a While

 
As the season progressed, it became more and more difficult to write about my favorite team since 1958. I've seen the highs and lows over and over again. Right about now there are maybe 3 positives to dwell on: 1) Franco and Hernandez, but lately 16's come back to earth 2) Frenchie, and that's a stretch but he's enjoying every minute which dont suck 3) possibilities for Adam Morgan to do well. Come Tuesday we'll see if Nola is actually ready for primetime. Personally I think they should have waited til September but I don't sign the checks. Don't get me wrong I loved the pick of him and that he was the most ready for MLB pitcher in that draft. But seriously, isn't the front office grasping for straws because they can't deal Hamels or Papelbum or Revere? I think they finally this week realized they weren't getting the moon for Cole.... FINALLY. We'll see soon enough.
 
So instead I decided to go retro, back to what got me invited here. My first 3 pieces were about how I became a Phillies fan living 2500 miles away. If you're interested here are the links to them:
 
 
 
 
So now I regress to 1968-69, playing semi pro ball in South Jersey. Playing in the Camden City League my Cherry Hill team dominated from 69-73. We were the only back-to-back-to back champs in it's history. In our league we had 2 teams that were mostly Puerto Rican. Great players, but mostly choked when it counted so they never won. One of the managers invited me to play for them on Sundays in Philly. The two teams combined their best players into one team sponsored by Goya,  http://www.goya.com/english/ a major Latino food distributor with a giant factory in Philly. He said he'd pay me $25 every Sunday I showed up. They played double headers every weekend, and were only allowed to have 2 non-Latino players on each team in the league. Signed a contract and all so you couldn't jump from team to team. This was commonplace for semi-pro teams to sign a contract.
 
Now $25 doesn't seem like a lot, but at that time minimum wage was $1.25/hour so you do the math. On top of that, after every double header they broke out cases of beer and a few grills and it was like a big party. I had a blast with them.
 
Anyway, my first time going over was scary. We played on a shit field somewhere in SE Philly I think it was. Full of rocks, broken bottles, and other crap. The entire team showed up almost 2 hours early and scoured the field for debris. By the time we started it wasn't bad at all. Those guys lined the field like pros. Only major hurdle was my Spanish was next to nil lol.
 
So the first game I lead off and play RF. I had 3 hits and we won. But because the field was in such a shitty location(to me) I was more worried about my car than anything else. I had a 65 Impala SS convertible that I had just spent $250 on a brand new rag top. Most of the game I was watching out for it(parked as close as I could to the field). The manager noticed this but said nothing.
 
 
Between games he came up to me and asked me if I was ok, I seemed distracted. I told him yeah a bit. He said he noticed I kept staring at my car all game and I nodded. Then he busted out in this big laughing spell and told me he had two kids watching my car and not to worry about it anymore. I went from almost shitting my pants to laughing with him. Then he asked me to pitch the second game, and that's why they asked me to play. He knew I was all state and drafted by ATL. He was a very cool and smart man.
 
Almost forgot, he was one of the only people on that team who spoke English. I had to fess up and tell him I threw my arm out and couldn't pitch anymore. I offered to give him back the $25 he gave me before we started because the only non PR's were always pitchers for every team in the league. There just weren't enough Latino's who could pitch. He told me no I could keep it if I got 3 more hits and we won the second game.
 
Well I was 2 for 2 with two walks, we won, and I kept the money. He tore up my contract and thanked me for coming over and that they didn't need me anymore. Just think, 47 years ago and baseball was that important to them. There were at least 2000 people lining the field to watch us. They sure loved baseball. No wonder so many Latino's now are hooked and its almost a way of life.
 
If you got this far I'm impressed that you gave a shit about my past. I truly wish I could write as much about this Phillies team. I've tried more than once but my fingers get stumped as to which keys to hit to make it sound enthused lol. I do predict Hamels and Papelbum gone, both before the deadline. I'm going on record saying I don't think Nola is ready yet, but I hope I'm wrong. If he struggles I hope he has the mental strength to get through it. Hopefully Jesse Biddle has mastered his mental hump with the help he got from Doc, as his last game was outstanding. Wriz, if you don't approve of this piece you have a delete key and it won't bother me in the least. I'm still watching every weekend and chromecasting the games to my tv. We may suck but it's still my team. Thanks for listening, and let's get Bunted.
 
 
                                                Bill S/aka netfather

Bill's Prized Possesion

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bad Biz

Hoodwink’d                         by cj hood
Bad Biz
 
I gotta be honest, I thought my life would be a helluva lot better when Pete Mackanin took over last week:  Air would be fresher, beer would be free-er & the Phillies would be winning.  Kind of the same way I thought I felt when Ryno took over for Chollie a few seasons back.  However, that is definitely not the case.  As a collective phanbase of ‘Buntamaniacs we all the share the same depression over this ballclub, the disdain for Ruben and the rich love for more free-er beer.  Yet, this excrement that trots out onto the diamond day-in and day-out also represents something else that only a few of us could understand.   For the Phillies bloggers all over the world including the #1 blog, these Phillies Bunts, this team also represents bad biz.  It’s like when superstore Pails & Nails nearly ran Cunningham Hardware out of business.  It’s difficult to sell a hammer to someone who’s not interested in hammering, but in this case the ‘hammer’ is positive news about this team.  Hence, when the Phillies franchise suffers…so does this blog.

 
F’ THIS SHIT!
 
The truth is, this blog started 2 years too late.  The World Series win & appearance were long gone when our faithful CEO Wriz contacted the original group about starting a blog.  That crew (Wriz, DB29, Kornhole, DiamondGirl & myself) came together like Voltron and took over the City of Brotherly Love with informative and (might I say) witty retort about our Phightans.  However, as the Phillies started to fall so did our bloggers and hype over this fine institution.  Despite the fact that DB29 came out of retirement and wrote a blog that only makes sense if you’re drunk or high, output from this corporation has been weak at best.  Yet, it isn’t our fault.  Do our legion of ‘Buntamaniacs want to read how our team sucks every week?  I doubt it.  The truth is if it wasn’t for Erik the ‘Bunts might have folded months ago.  Besides running a successful blog & Facebook page, we also manage Twitter& Instagram accounts.  We now use Twitter to do play-by-play instead of the FB page.  The Instagram is mainly used for posting embarrassing pics of the Wriz.   Irregardless (not a real word), none of these outlets generate much heat cuz the Phillies suck and when they suck it’s bad for the blogging business.  Case in point, I run an Eagles FB page (Ray Didinger Superfans) that get’s 5-7 Likes a week  AND IT’S NOT EVEN FOOTBALL SEASON.  And because it’s not football season I only give it a tenth of the attention I do the ‘Bunts, but it’s still getting mad love.  Why?  Cuz the Eagles are good (as of today).  I know older fans like Netfather Bill are more patient than I am because they’re used to these waves of shittiness, but those waves happended BB (before ‘Bunts).
One thing that really ‘grinded my gears’ is when I shared the story of the Dad who took his son to the Gnats doubleheader which coincidently took place the same day as Meet & Greet V.  Sure it was a good story, but the amount of views, comments & shares on that one post trumped most of what we posted all season.  Just like Cunningham Hardware, Phillies Bunts is a business that was built from the ground up….blood, sweat & tears bro!  It’s hard work!  Try breast feeding twins and writing a blog every 4 months…don’t believe me, ask Wriz!  So if it’s sappy my fellow ‘Buntamaniacs want, then sappy they will get.  Break out the tissues wussies for the sappiest Hoodwink’d ever sapped…..sap…
 
-We bought new brown rugs for our kitchen that perfectly camouflages doggy doodoo.  I stepped in poop twice.
-Billingsley, Correia, Harang, O’Sullivan et.al.
-Robin brought pretzels to Meet & Greet V that she originally bought for Meet& Greet 1.
-Our manager quit on us.
-DB29 tips 9%.
-DiamondGirl’s cat Chase had the sniffles.
-I'm not as hot in my online pics as I am in person.
-Some people thought Galvis and Herrera were All Stars.
-The dad that took his kid to the double header thinks Jim Korhan is funny.
-Timmytheleg hasn’t been seen since he got married.
-Wriz promised my friends and I Hall Of Fame seats & then we got denied at the elevator.
-Not only does Harang sound like Orangutan, but he looks like one too.
-Netfather Bill broke a toe when he dropped his high school yearbook on it.  (It’s made of stone)
-RAJ saw his shadow in a Schmitter which means 3 more years of incompetence. 
-The Phillies are now selling tickets with gift receipts.
-With a name like McPHAIL how could anything go wrong?
-Meet & Greet VI might take place at a Union game…let’s get ‘bunted!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet & Greet during Defeats

It's finally here, Meet & Greet V: The Return of the Wriz. The annual event that Phillies fans long for. It used to be up there with Opening Day. Now? Not so much. It was a star studded event, The Netfather, CJ Hood, Diamond Girl and Jay Wrizight. Right up there and surpassing Wing Bowl as the premier event of the year. Bands like AC/DC and the Foo Fighters taking the stage in front of a raucous crowd. Today someone may have a radio on in their car. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Our organizer, Robin, ran a wild event with a megaphone and a bull whip. Gourmet food, craft beers flowing, and world class entertainment. Throngs inside the K Lot and scores more trying to get in. This morning she will say, "Park over there, I think I have a bag of Doritos in my trunk".


And the stars have fallen on tough times. At one event in years past, The Netfather parachuted in and was swarmed by a bunch of dancers from Cheerleaders. I heard he can't make it this year, he's in the middle of his 7th divorce and he can't leave the state of Arizona. Judge's orders. CJ Hood was appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. He was a headliner in the same breath as Chris Rock and Dane Cook. I hear he is hosting the Open Mic Nite at the Chuckles in Scranton. He's there the second Tuesday of the month from 6 to 10. His career has taken the same trajectory as Louis CK's tv show. What happened there? That brings us to Diamond Girl. She was dating 'The Man' Chase Utley. She was competing with Kendra Wilkerson and Heather Mitts for the title of  'It' girl of the city. Well...3 restraining orders later, she can't come within 1,000 feet of Citizens Bank Park. Against the advice of counsel she may appear at this year's event. We will see. Last but not least, our fearless leader, Jay Wrizight. Who am I kidding, he's like Bernie Parent in this town. He can't go anywhere without a fan asking how the lil' Wrizlets are doing? 

Like the Phillies, the Meet & Greet may have seen better days. We can look on the bright side, the Phillies found a stud in Maikel Franco, maybe Phillies Bunts have a star in Erik Whitacre. I can't believe The Wriz is making him watch every Phillies game, talk about hazing the new guy!

Keep It Classy Philly!

DB29

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why?

So Long Suckas!
 
Why would Ryne Sandberg, the manager of a big league ball club, “resign” mid-season? 

He has to know this means he will most likely never get a chance to manage in the big leagues ever again. Any General Manager now has to see him as an unreliable guy who may leave them hanging when the going gets tough.  How comfortable would the players on a team with a losing record feel with him as their manager?

Could be he would wanted leave on his own terms rather than being unexpectedly fired like his predecessor Charlie Manuel. Ryne’s big day came at the same time Phillies Favorite Uncle Charlie was blindsided.

For a manager to quit mid-season is a clear lack of respect to the leaders above him.  Maybe Ryne wanted to let Ruben know exactly what he thought of him.  Sure, Ruben hired him but afterwards what did he give him?  All Sandberg has had since he took the job is a disaster of a roster.  No manager could win with this group of players.

It had to be frustrating when The Big DomBrownski was promoted from a lackluster minor league showing to being the right fielder again.  It’s pretty clear, Ruben is determined to prove Brown is an everyday player.  Ruf demoted and Brown promoted.  As a manager with no say over the team he fields, this had to be infuriating.

(Did you see the end of the Friday night game? Way to be a coachable player Dom!  Mackanin, please bench him for Sundays game. I have tickets)

It’s possible the final straw was being forced to start Phillippe Aumont.  Everyone said the same thing when they heard he was being promoted to the big leagues again – Seriously!?!?  He has never produced in the Majors and his performance in the Minors has been underwhelming to say the least.  This guy is not and will never be a Major League Ballplayer.  Admit it was a bad trade and move on.  The fans and Sandberg knew when he was named the starting pitcher the game would result in a loss and an unnecessary burden on the bullpen.

Or maybe...

As a Hall of Fame player, from the Chicago Cubs, who endured many losing seasons he got to see firsthand what a manager losing respect of the club house was like.  It is more than reasonable to assume that Ryno saw the players no longer listening to him and playing their way rather than his.

Anyway...

It was pretty clear Sandberg would not be back next season as manager.   It was more than possible he would have been dismissed before the end of the season.  With rumors of Andy MacPhail being hired, changes are sure to be made.  First move would hopefully be a new General Manager immediately followed by a change at manager.

But....

No matter what the reason, Ryne Sandberg is a great baseball man.  He is a Hall of Fame player who worked his way from the lowest level of the Minor Leagues to realize his dream of managing a big league ball club.  Good for him.  How many people his age and with his resume are willing to start on the bottom and work their way to the top. 

At this point, the only R(h)yno my son will ever care about is the villain from the Spider-Man comics but I hope he gets the same drive and determination as the Hall of Fame Second Baseman.

Who will be the next full time manager of the Phillies?  I am still predicting Chase Utley will be filling out the lineup for the 2016 Philadelphia Phillies.

I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to!

Erik Whitacre  @erikwhitacre

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Good, The Sad and The FIRE RUBEN

The Good, The Sad and The FIRE RUBEN.

At this point it is obvious there will be no playoff baseball for the Phightin Phils this season.

There has been some good.  Not a lot. Just some.

Mikael Franco is finally here.  He brings something the team hasn’t had in a long time – Personality. He looks happy when they are winning and mad when they are losing.  It’s a big change for the “baseball is a business and show no emotion” team we have watched the last few seasons.  Franco has a ton of potential. If he lives up to the hype, he is going to be the new favorite player for many Phillies fans.

Get your Franco T-shirts or jerseys and wear them to the games.  Don’t boil your kids hot dogs for lunch make them Phillies Francos. 

Cole Hamels looks great every time he takes the mound.  He is the definition of an Ace.  When he is pitching the Phillies have a chance to win.  It’s a shame the offense refuses to score any runs for him.

Remember in the 90’s when Curt Schilling was pitching lights out baseball every fifth day and the team wasn’t scoring?  Had they scored a few runs and added some wins to his lifetime record he would have easily been a first ballot Hall of Fame player.  He should have been elected first try anyway and it’s just wrong the he still missed on his second try.

When Hamels retires, and voters are on the fence about his career, the way he has pitched these last few seasons won’t be remembered but the losses will be.

On the rare occasions Papelbon gets the ball, there is confidence he will get the job done.  The Pirates loss wasn’t his fault.  He hasn’t even done or said anything stupid in a while.

Asche looks like he is ready for his opportunity to be the everyday left fielder and do his best with it.  He is a Phillies player to follow and root for.  He loves the game and works hard at it.  That’s a guy who could be exciting to watch over the next few years.

There has been plenty of sad.

Back to Cole Hamels who will miss his Friday night start with a strained hamstring.  It isn’t certain if he will need to go on the disabled list.  What a hit to his trade value if he goes on the DL.

One wild thought - is he is being shut down while some negotiations take place over the weekend? Doubt it but have we seen the end of an era?  That truly would be sad.

Utley and Howard are still every day players in Sandberg’s line up.  It is time for them to sit more than they play.  The Phillies will owe them both huge salaries next year no matter what happens for the rest of this season. If the team really is trying to see what young talent they have to build around for the future it is time to stop worrying about hurting feelings and letting someone else try to get a hit.

Darin Ruf was sent back to the minors to work on the game he was never allowed to work on in the majors.  What a shame.  He should have been given the opportunity to play every day to see what he could do.  Mike Schmidt is a big fan of Ruf and spoke of this on every Saturday and Sunday home game broadcast.

The Big Dom Brownski was called back up to the big team to take his place.  It seems pretty obvious at this point his six week tear last season was primarily due to big league pitchers not knowing how to pitch him.  As soon as teams got an accurate scouting report, pitchers and defenses made adjustments, his numbers decreased and he became the below average player we all know he is. Dom Brown is a 3 time loser – 1) He took his time reporting to the minors because he was upset he wasn’t going to be with the Phillies.  2) He is a Cowboys fan and not afraid to let Philly know it. 3) HE CAN”T HIT!  How many opportunities will this guy get? 


There has been plenty of FIRE RUBEN

Ruben needs to be fired before the trade deadline.  The opportunity to move Hamels, Papelbon, Francouer, Harang or anyone else who can bring a return of some young talent is too important to be lef to a GM who has proven beyond a reasonable doubt he doesn’t have a realistic strategy or vision for the future of this team.

The great GM’s have a strategy.  Billy Beane finds a way to get young players with massive potential. Because the A’s have a low budget he plays them until they are on the verge of costing too much and then trades them for more low priced young players and starts all over. The A’s may be in the AL West basement but Oakland fans have confidence it will only be a matter of time before they are contending for the division again. Are there any Phillies fans who think Ruben has the skills to build a team this way?

Jeff Luhnow (who replaced Ed Wade) and the Astros have built a team from the ground up. They are young, fun to watch, and have a real chance to hold on and win the AL West.  Do any fans think Ruben has the skills to build a contender in the next few years via the draft? With the Phillies unwilling to bring up young players, it might take 10 years.

Remember when the Red Sox had a fire sale of high priced players and finished last in the division only to be followed by a rebuild that led them to a World Series the following year?  The Red Sox knew when to unload their high priced players while they still had something to offer.  Do any fans have confidence Ruben could turn a team around in 1 season?  (To be fair the Red Sox tried to do an extensive rebuild again and this time it looks like they made some bad choices. Pablo and Hanley should have stayed out west.)

Not only has Ruben failed to make one trade this season he has created a massive jam for the outfield position.  The remainder of June and all of July should be Asche in left, Herrera in center and Brown (because it obviously won’t be Ruf) in Right.  Let Francouer play once or twice a week as a gift to the fans who don’t want to watch Brown underwhelm every night.

It was a smart move to release Sizemore.  He never added anything to a team in a rebuilding mode and not many fans were buying tickets just to see him.

Revere needs to be traded for someone with potential. There is no future for him in a Phillies uniform.  Ruben should have looked for a trade in the off season when he actually had value. He hit well last year and on a team that could use a fast center fielder who can slap the ball he might have been worth a decent player. 

Sandberg was Rubens pick for manager.   All time Phillies fan favorite Charlie Manuel was fired mid-season to give Ryno his shot.  Hiring the right manager is just as important as choosing the right players.

When Ruben goes Sandberg needs to immediately follow.


Let Larry Bowa manage the team for the rest of the year.  He will sit the players who aren’t playing and light some fires under the ones who need to be doing more.

The Phillies need to do something to show the fans they care.  The longer Ruben stays in charge and continues to underwhelm the more fans they will lose.

If you stopped watching this team don’t feel bad about it.  The bandwagon has been destroyed.  It’s not being a fair weather fan to have given up at this point. The players have given up on us and the GM thinks we are idiots!  When the wagon is rebuilt and ready to roll again there will be plenty of room.

Yes, I’m still watching the Phillies so you don’t have to! 

Ugh!

Erik Whitacre 
@erikwhitacre

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Birthday Musings

View From the Left Coast from a Lefty:  Birthday Musings
 
I woke up today feeling a bit sad. Today, I qualified for Medicare. If that's not enough to shake your tree then phuck you; you have no soul. I fully expected the Phils to automatically comply with my wishes and kick some Rockies ass. But no, it's like.....hey Bill, hell with your bday we're gonna play like crap. Damned if they didn't.
 
I have no illusions people. I've been a Phillies fan since 1958. I've seen better and worse. If you didn't live through 1972 you missed the low and high(Carlton Cy Young 27-10 when Phils were 59-103). Today's Phillies are merely a step towards the future. For the most part, I like the future even though our farm has been bad mouthed. I like Franco, I like Cody in LF, I love Odubey. Whoever put Revere in RF needs to be shot. RF is where your best outfielder and arm belong. I know this because that is where I played and also batted 3rd. Enough of this here, I verifed myself lol.
 
We were all giddy when they won 6 in a row. Now it's -7 on the other end. Folks, this is to be expected from a team projected to be under .500. I hate having to write about a team that sucks but guess what, it's what we were dealt. I'm not happy either. To Erik: I'm glad you watch them so I don't have to because they basically make me sick. No fundamentals whatsoever, take fastballs down the middle and swing at low inside breaking stuff, on and on. I've said before half this team could not have played for my high school coach because we were taught better than they were. So where does the blame belong?
 
Mr Wriz not sure how much longer I can do this. Maybe Medicare has sapped me of all potential hope. Or maybe it's Rube. Whichever, I'm quickly approaching DB29 or DGirl status and I apologize. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning but chances are prolly not. At least I don't have to work  in the morning and may only spend 4 hours at the SSA. Excuse me while I try to wade through all that bullshit and see where I land tomorrow. At least it's only 1 more day
until the Stanley Cup Finals.
 
                                                Bill S aka/netfather

Monday, May 18, 2015

How Sweep It Is!

Hoodwink’d                       by cj hood
How Sweep It Is!
 
 
 
IT SAYS RIGHT HERE ‘REMOVE ASCHE & REPLACE WITH FRANCO’
 
Oh snap!  Don’t look now, but someone rang the CB Park’s doorbell and left a Swiffer Sweeper
right next to the Mike Schmidt statue.  My goal here is to pen this piece, email it to the Wriz and get it on da blog spot before this glorious win streak ends!  Our legion of Buntamaniacs didn’t think O’Sullivan could deliver a win, but low & behold you ‘doubting Thomaseses’ he did!  A 5 game win streak including a sweep of the D*Backs!  Granted the two Pirate wins were our faux Aces vs their duds and the D*Backs play like d*bags, but irregardless (not a real word) we got it diz-one!!!  Now off to Colorado where the mountains are high and so are their residents.  Will the streak hit 6?  Will there be another sweep?  Or will Ryan ‘Lloyd’ Braun get higher than Snoop Dog at a Denver Pot CafĂ©?  Time will tell, but with Galvis’ hot bat and Franco ‘Everything But’ American on our side…the sky is the limit.  (Assuming the sky is like my man cave ceiling #6fttall).  But next week, when T*Mac announces the Phillies Star of the Week, he won’t be doing it with tongue planted firmly in cheek.  This week was real, almost parade worthy.  For a team still sitting in last place we need to appreciate the small stuff, so let’s celebrate good times…come on….


 
YOU KNEW THIS PIC WAS COMING.

-Why do they call Francoeur ‘Frenchy?’
-I hope they gave Cody Asche one of those whiffle ball bats before he left.
-They were about to rename this team Amtrak prior to this win-streak.
-The thrill is forever gone.
-Why did I just here about the Schmitter?
-I went to Weather Day just for Sheena Parveen!
-DB29 is 5 pounds away from never having to tuck a shirt in again.
-Chase is still the man!
-How ‘bout my man Howard!!!
-Remember Wriz Wednesdays. #flashbackmonday
-Did Rioter win the Preakness?
-The Marlins will collapse in T-Minus 3, 2, ……
-The ‘Dad-bod’ is now in! Where was this 20 years ago?
-Congrats Pap!
-Don’t throw the ball to someone unless they’re looking.  #LittleLeague101
-The Kardashians have more ‘Daddy issues’ than the Skywalkers.
-My Phillies Mt. Rushmore:  Schmidt, Carlton, Chase, Pete Rose. #comeatmebro
-Remember Netfather Bill.  #throwbackmonday
-Wonder if the Poop Bandit has a Bunts tshirt?
-My son got up at 6:30am on a Saturday to do homework.  Waiting on paternity test.
-Meet & Greet V is one month away….let’s get ‘Bunted!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Different Black and Yellow

THE PIRATES ARE NOT THE PENGUINS OR THE STEELERS

The Phillies and the Pirates meet for four games this week at Citizens Bank Park.  While the best case scenario is the Phillies win the series, it is then O.K. to begin rooting for the fans of Pittsburgh to hope their hometown Pirates regroup and begin their journey to an N.L. Central Championship.

Besides the Pirates basically owning the Phillies over the last several seasons there is no real rivalry here.

Flyers vs. Penguins, now that is a hope for multiple 5 minute majors, a few misconducts and Flyers must win rivalry.  Sidney Crosby is the most irritating Canadian to come to the USA since Caillou.  If you have kids and watch hockey, you can appreciate why they are both awful, lame and should be deported!!

Eagles vs. Steelers, this is an every few season match up where Philly fans hope we win so we don’t have to hear and be jealous about their 6 Super Bowl rings.  Enough! We Know!  We all watch and enjoy Terry Bradshaw, the greatest Steelers quarterback ever, on Sunday mornings and his countless ridiculous commercials.  Have Pittsburgh fans taken notice of the Eagles best quarterback ever also working for Fox?  Never mind.  Let’s hope they haven’t.  Keep reading.

Who else is there to cheer for in the Pirates division?

Does anyone really want to see the St. Louis in the playoffs again?  Ever since that horrible 2011 October night with the Chris Carpenter shut out and the awful Ryan Howard Achilles injury the Cardinals have to be among the most hated teams for Phillies fans.  Let’s not forget J.D. Drew deciding against signing with Philadelphia to go on and become an underwhelming over paid Cardinal. Not enough reason for ya?  ROLEN!! (I was a big Scott Rolen fans so I won’t rip him)

How about the Cubs? The only thing in Philly more irritating than meeting a “life-long Cubbies fan” is a Red Sox or Dodgers fan. Sure, the Cubs are finally building a team that will eventually contend for a series but rooting for a Pennsylvania team is way better than a team from IllAnnoy.

The Reds are fine.  They do a good job of trying to win every year but boring is boring and the Reds are boring.  Griffey left years ago and they’re still in search of a personality. (Homer Bailey is the best name in baseball and one time he did get me a free Dominos pizza with his no-hitter.)


Who is left?  Oh yeah, the Brewers.  Eww.  Ever since Burger Prince Fielder went to the Tigers this team has gone from “I don’t care” to “Nobody outside of Wisconsin cares”  Ryan Braun used to be a great player and an even better role model until he got outed as a cheater and now the Brewers shouldn’t win anything until he retires.  Once again – Eww!!

Let’s be honest – the Phillies are tough to watch. 

There is still a lot of great baseball being played around the league. The Pirates started off a bit slow but are picking things up and have a real chance to be the National League representatives in the 2015 Fall Classic.  Root for them.  If you have the chance watch them.  They are an energetic team that loves playing baseball.  Remember when the Phillies were like that?

The Pirates have great uniforms and the second most awesome stadium in the league. AAARGH!!!

Chances are this won’t be a Red October so why not cheer for Black October?

On a related note – Phillies fans have not jumped off the bandwagon.  While the fan turnout at Citizens Bank Park is not overwhelming, each night it looks similar to many other teams around the league.  The White Sox, who are hoping to win the A.L. Central, played to an almost empty stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Phillies rank 19th in the league for fans in the stands. Washington and New York average about 4,000 more a game and the Braves about 4,000 less and the Marlins 6,000.

Every fan that has attended a game this season knows the organization goes out of their way to make it a great time and even with a last place team it is a fun night at the park. 

If you haven’t been to a game this season, get some tickets.  Even if it is just for the Phillies Bunts Meet and Greet on June 28th. If you want I will sign your ticket and you can show it to your friends and they can make fun of you!

I will watch the Phillies (and Pirates) so you don’t have to!!Erik Whitacre



@erikwhitacre

Friday, May 8, 2015

Best Ticket in Town

FRIDAY NIGHT BASEBALL IN PHILLY

If you’re only planning to watch one Phillies game this season make it Friday Night.

Phillies. Mets. Citizens Bank Park.

 Cole Hamels. Matt Harvey.

Forecast is for a perfect night.

 
The best pitcher in Phillies recent history versus the best pitcher in all of New York.  This has the makings of a one hour fifty five minute duel for the ages.

Sure, Hamels has had his ups and downs so far this season but against the rival Mets he is sure to bring his A Game. The biggest problem Cole has had this year is losing focus and making the mistake pitch. For those of you who have been watching, his mistakes have been big ones.  When he’s not making mistakes, he looks like a legitimate ace.  For most teams in the league, he is better than their current opening day starter.  His name is mentioned daily on MLB Network Radio as the top available pitcher who will be traded this season.  This week they’re thinking Red Sox or Blue Jays but knowing he can and most likely would decline a trade to Toronto, they are predicting Boston as his landing spot.

Matt Harvey, coming off Tommy John surgery, is 5-0 and has to be considered one of the best pitchers in the game so far this young season. Last week he outdueled the 200 million dollar man from the Nationals. He is legit and a lot of fun to watch. A New York without Derek Jeter is looking for a fan favorite and I predict Harvey will be the newly crowned King of New York Baseball by seasons end.

The best chance either team has to win this game is to take advantage of a mistake and hit the long ball.

Hopefully, the Phillies will realize this and start all their power hitters.  Sure, there haven’t been many long balls this year but Howard is starting to heat up while Ruf and Francouer have the ability to pop one at any time. Utley will be back from his benching and you can rest assured he will get at least one hit. This is a guarantee.

It is going to be a long summer for Philadelphia baseball fans. The opportunity for a great game won’t come around that often which is why this Friday night should be Baseball Night in Philly!!

Let’s Root Root Root for the Phillies!!

On a side note – even though we hate the Mets and hope everything they do turns out poorly they should be commended for their salute to the fallen NYPD officer on Tuesday Night.  Brian Moore, a lifelong Orioles fan (so much cooler than being a lifelong Mets fan) had tickets for the Tuesday game. His family attended for him.  The Mets flew all flags in the stadium and half-mast, wore NYPD hats during batting practice and a moment of silence for Officer Moore took place before the game. Some things are bigger than baseball and good for the Mets for being a class act and honoring a fallen hero.

I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to!! Even though you should watch the Phillies even if it’s just this one time.

Erik Whitacre   

@erikwhitacre

Sunday, May 3, 2015

AT LEAST THE WEATHER IS NICE

AT LEAST THE WEATHER IS NICE

Bill S watches this Weather girl everyday. He know ZERO Spanish

It’s good to start with something positive.

Saturday afternoon the Phillies lost another one.  For those counting at home, this is the 8th road series they have lost and brings them to a 5 game skid mark.  So far, this season has been full of embarrassing streaks.

I was lucky enough to not watch the game on TV.  Instead of sitting inside on a beautiful Saturday, I took the kids into the back yard and listened to the radio broadcast.  It is really nice to sit outside, have a beer and watch the kids play all while listening to a ball game. 

Baseball is the only sport that is just as good to listen to as it is to watch.  If you haven’t, or it has been a while, give it a try sometime.   The Phillies radio broadcast is a fun listen – even for a team that can’t find many wins.

Larry Anderson calls the Phillies hitters 1 dimensional.  Opposing defenses set their players up in perfect position for each hitter because they know where the ball is gonna be hit.

Ryan Howard could be batting .400 if he would only smack a ball down the 3rd base line every now and again. Friday night the Marlins had 4 infielders on the same side.

Chase Utley is hitting the ball hard and has nothing to show for it.  He hits the ball hard to the same places all the time. 

Darrin Ruf still gets to sit on the bench and have an at bat here and there.  It’s a shame he’s not allowed to play every day.

What does Grady Sizemore’s bat bring to this team or lineup?  Why is he even here?  

Cole Hamels didn’t do much to help himself get out of Philadelphia.  A strong outing versus the Marlins would have had Rubens phone ringing off the hook.  Instead, once again, he made the big mistake pitch prolonging his quest to break free to the land of a contending team. 

A strong outing by Cole could have led to a big offer. 

The Red Sox lost their everyday catcher on Friday night.  Their everyday catcher who is not really an everyday catcher.  A team looking to win a World Series needs an ace on the mound and a solid catcher behind the plate.

The Red Sox have a lot to offer.  Hamels and Ruiz could bring a nice return.

At this point, Ruben would be smart to make a Hamels deal happen now just in case his May, June and July aren’t as strong as the Phillies hope.

What if his trade value goes down?  Rubens has said all along he needs a big win from the Hamels trade. What if by holding on to him too long leads to a big loss?

I like Ruben as a guy but as a GM I am not sure he has the vision to know when to make the deal and who to take in return.

The biggest thing we’ve learned this week is that while the Phillies haven’t been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention theoretically they have been.

The best part about baseball is another day another game.  Even though this Phillies team is tough to watch I still find myself tuning in.

I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to!

Erik Whitacre

@erikwhitacre

Friday, May 1, 2015

Growing Pains

Hoodwink’d       by cj hood
Growing Pains
 
 
SHOW ME THAT SMILE AGAIN PHILLIES FANS!
 
The following is a true story.  The other day at dinner my 10 year old son (in the most solemn way) tells me that he wants to ‘make a major change in his life.’  He goes on to tell me that starting next season he’s going to start routing for the Yankees.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because he’s at that age now where he’s starting to come into his own.  As a Dad I was ready for the growth spurt, the deeper voice and the hair in naughty places, but ceasing to be a ‘Buntamaniac?  Maybe it’s because he was drafted by the Yankees for his first year in Majors or maybe it’s because Utley’s batting under .200.  Irregardless (not a real word), the empty stadium, the losing record, the who’s who of players doesn’t really give you an appreciation for how far this team has fallen.  It’s not until a ten year old boy (who’s still on the fence about Santa Claus) decides to support another MLB team that you realize how far 2008 is in the rear view mirror.  On that note, let’s focus on the few positives…
 
-Dropping Howard in the lineup took the pressure off and it shows.
-Revere’s bat is coming around.
-Joanna Kerns was a MILF.
-Galvis is producing as much as Rollins is in LA.
-I can’t believe Chelsea Noble buys into all of Kirk Cameron’s shenanigans. 
-Harangatuan is still holding his own.
-Leo DiCaprio sunk Growing Pains quicker than the Titanic.
-I’m finally starting to like Pap….he will be missed.
-Buchanan has nice hair.
-If you’re adding a kid to sitcom and it’s not Cousin Oliver then don’t even bother.
-Herrera was a great pick up.
-Asche’s healthy.
-RIP Boner
-I wouldn’t mind seeing Ryno blow a gasket or two.
-I hear Francoeur is very polite.
-DB29 has ‘Thicke of the Night’ Season 1 on Beta.
-Severino Gonzalez and Chooch seem to be the best of friends.
-D*Boogie getting demoted to Lehigh Valley and pulling a no-show was G to the OLD.
-Ben ‘the good time guy’ was my favorite GP episode of all time!
-Meet & Greet V is next month….let’s get ‘bunted!

 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Puzzling Dilemma

So Saturday night is Autism Awareness night at Citizens Bank Park. We were thinking about taking our daughter and discussed it for a few weeks.

As a lifelong Phillies fan it has always been my dream to take my daughter to her first Phillies game.  Maybe she could see the Phanatic and go home and sleep with her Phanatic doll instead of the stinky dog she has slept with for the last few years.  We could get her a hot dog (which she wouldn’t eat) and a cotton candy.

Emma knows the Phillies.  She knows it is on our TV every night during the season.  She would probably recognize the field from all the times Caillou has been vetoed and we have turned on baseball.

Ultimately, we decided not to go. We were fearful the large crowd and cheers when the Phillies did well might lead her to meltdown.

Maybe we were wrong.

 The stadium is less than half full.  The Phillies offense has brought little to no cheers.  Perhaps this Autism Awareness Night would have been the perfect night to take her to her first game.

It is kind of sad.  Having attended many Phillies games in my life I am certain they will go out of their way to make it a fun night for all fans who attend the game and take extra care to assure those there for Autism Awareness Night have everything they need.

I doubt we will but maybe it is time to consider getting walk up tickets for the game.

What’s the worst that could happen?  She may go home wondering why fans in the stands started chanting E.A.G.L.E.S. EAGLES!!!

On a related note I can’t stop thinking about how my son wore a hand me down Victorino shirt on opening day.  My favorite Phillies player is Cole Hamels.  How much longer will he be here?  If I bought my boy one of his jerseys will he still be here when the shirt no longer fits?  What player on this team is worthy of the $20 bill for their name on the back?

On an unrelated note – why can’t they play Ruf every day for a month? Let’s see what he can do with a regular start.  Switch his position but daily at bats may show us what he can do. 

On a similar unrelated note – why is Franco still in the minor leagues?  Is anyone on the big club doing better than the players on the smaller club?

On a horrible note – The Mets are in first and the Phillies are in worst.  That’s sad.

As I finish typing this the Phillies beat the Braves 1-0.  SWEET!!!

Erik Whitacre 

 I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to.

@erikWhitacre on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The House of Pain


 
It’s funny for all the crying CJ Hood has been doing that the Wriz hasn’t blogged this year, its not like anyone listens anyways.

The Wriz said RAJ didn’t deserve an extension after the 09 season.
The Wriz said trade Chooch when he was hitting .350
The Wriz said don’t resign JRoll.
The Wriz said trade Hamels & then try to resign him.
The Wriz said trade Utley & Dom Brown when they were tearing the cover off the ball.

It’s not just the Phils that don’t listen. It’s you clowns too.

The Wriz said Papelbon is a competitor and possibly the best on the team. But you still bash him.
(Well, at least Erik was listening.)

And now you want more knowledge from the Wriz? Well the Wriz never disappoints so fuck it. Here’s what to expect in 2015: Pain! That’s right CBP might as well be called the House of Pain for 2015 and its not the good Jump Around one either.

Its not going to be an easy year to be a Phillies fan. The only thing that will make this year watchable should be Hamels but it’s quite possible he’s gone before the trade deadline. After that, it’s hoping to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe a prospect that shows he’s quite capable of being a Major League player or to cut ties with the bags of shit like RAJ or Howard. (That’s for you Captain Poopypants, who happens to be our most consistent commenter so if the rest of you want more blogs better start leaving feedback)

As for the rest of the infield, Utley’s best days are behind him. For the past 2 years, I’ve been saying he needs more days off. Word is this will be the year it happens. Outside of last night, it might be too late. Asche and Galvis are off to hot starts but I see Asche as a quality bench player or platoon player at best at the ML level. Galvis has a gold glove but a tin foil bat. Neither can sustain what their doing now.

In the outfield, Imma give Herrera the benefit of the doubt as he’s learning a new position I think he will get his bat going before long. Revere’s been doing his best Jesse Barfield impression and gunned down another runner. The Phillies have been dangling him as trade bait but I’m ok with him in LF until he proves otherwise. I know he’s got no power but he can hit .300 Right field is where it gets interesting. You’ve got Jeff Francoeur, Grady Sizemore and Dom Brown vying for 1 spot. The way I see it you HAVE to play Dom. I don’t like it, but it’s the teams only play to get value (whether on the field or through a trade) on a guy who was once one of the best prospects in all of the MLB.

Pitching wise. Hamels will the announcers talking about the “walk up ticket sales” again well until he’s traded. I’m not as down on Harang as most he’s not great but he’s an innings eater. Hell, it looks like he’ll eat most anything. Same as Burnett tho I don’t understand putting the money out there for him. The difference in wins between having Harang and Sean O’Sullivan in your rotation is probably no more than five. Chad Billingsly is a low risk/high reward guy, but he’s coming off offseason surgery and that worked out so well with Mike Adams. The pen is the brightest spot on the team and if they continue to improve can be one of the best in all of baseball.

“Tanking” had become one of the most overly used and misused words by sports fans but yeah its going look like that. The Wriz says 98 losses and add 5 more if Hamels is dealt.

See ya at the House of Pain!

Jay Wrizight
jaywrizight@yahoo.com


Monday, April 13, 2015

Musings after Week 1

           View From the Left Coast by a Lefty:  Musings after Week 1

 
So, 3-3 to start the season, and could easily be 4-2 or even 5-1. This Phillies team has gone from <shrug> to interesting. It reminds me of my high school team, scrappers who can't really be counted out. The similarities about... can't be counted out, never give up, do the little and fundamental things to win a game. They also don't have much power just like my teams; besides me we had very few people who could leave the yard but it wasn't over til it's over. We were solid in fundamentals and created opportunities on offense and defense. For the uninitiated,

my high school teams were back to back State Champs and had a 37-10 record during that time. One thing this Phillies team will never see is 37-10 though.
 
While it's early, the prognosis from spring training hasn't changed much. .500 seems like a lofty goal for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng season. My reasons are listed below:
 
Revere: last year was a freak, if he hits .280 he'll be lucky. Can't lay off outside and high or the inside and low RH slider. Shocked the hell outa me throwing out that runner from 2B like he did.
Utley: meh, he usually starts fast and fades a bit. If he fades from here just add him to the coaching staff.
Galvis: one plus. if he can come close to hitting .275 the whole year he's a plus over JRoll, minus Jimmy's power. *BONUS* he won't pop out 34% of the time.
Howard: meh-, in mid season form. He just may break 200k's this year. Why he opened his stance back up astounds me. I no longer think I can help him, he's counting his days and guaranteed dollars already, paying off the $7MIL new house.
Chooch: still 100% effort but no longer the arm or hitting ability he once had. If Rupp is our best option at backup C we're up shit's creek. Is Choo Choo Coleman available?
Odubel: a plus, great Rule 5 pickup. How did he get stuck in the Ranger's farm system so long, especially last year when they played a JV team?
Ruf, Hernandez, Francouer: not major leaguers, by June they will be stuck in Lehigh with Franco for eternity.
Brown: should have added him above. Outright him.
Asche: love him, your 3B for the foreseeable future. Should play every day, Blanco can go back to TOR where he belongs.
Sizemore and Danks: someone has to be on the bench I guess.
 
Starters - Cole: while he hasn't been awful at his present rate will give up close to 70 HR's. C'mon man.
             - Buchanan: wake up young man, you know you can do better than this.
             - Williams: since last year has been very serviceable and I have no problems with him.
             - Harang: could be the pickup of the year if he doesn't get hurt like he normally does
             - O'Sullivan: if he's #5 we're in deep shit. Decent today but there's 23 weeks left in the season
 
Bullpen - plus for the most part. Don't care much for Gomez, love Garcia, Defratus I'd like to see stretched out into a starter maybe, Diekman dude quit dropping your back shoulder when you push off it makes you throw high and outside to righties, Giles quit tightening into a ball before your release it's costing you 3-5mph off your fastball but your slider is still killer, and Papelbum you're still an asshole but getting the job done.
 
Sandberg: seems to be back in his element with a team that isn't power laden and has to make things happen otherwise. What he was used to as a AAA manager.
 
All in all things could be worse. This team went from ugh to interesting in one week. The last 2 games I had great streams to watch that I Chromecasted to my 52" tv and it looked great... the things you have to do when you live 2500 miles away. I guess we'll see how successful grinding games out are, and how long it lasts. We have no choice Bunters, do we? Wish I could stay home tomorrow, game is on MLBN. Too bad my escape local team is the Dbacks... only team in MLB predicted to be anywhere near as bad as us. was nice seeing them beat Kershaw yesterday though.
 
And there you have it sports fans, til next time. I hope they can inspire me again soon.
 
                                                Bill S aka/netfather

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Phils Awaken

Hoodwink’d   by cj hood
The Phils Awaken
 
 
 
CAN’T WAIT FOR CHOOCHBACCA
 
This December I get to relive my childhood when the new Star Wars movie drops.  The only thing I’ve read online more than Phillies tweets is Star Wars leaks.  Hence, I know when I enter the theater 8 months from now that it’s not going to be all about Luke, Han & Leia.  It only makes sense that the elder statesmen take a backseat to the new generation of Jedi.  This is the same approach my fellow ‘Buntamaniacs need to take with this 2015 Phillies team.  It’s not all about Chase, Howard & Chooch anymore.  It’s not even all about the rusty trombone.  Instead it’s all about Blanco, Hernandez & Herrera.  I tweeted (@PhilliesBunts) last week that I didn’t believe the Phillies would be the horror show that Vegas is predicting.  Winning breeds winning…we have our first winning record since May of last year.  With that being said, I hope that Wriz get’s this piece up before 1pm.  Let’s kick some old school Hoodwink’d in honor of back to back come-back wins shall we…
 
-We’re in 2nd place in the NL East.
-Ben’s gotta arm.
-At least Howard’s making contact.
-I’m in the process of getting ‘Harangutan’ patented. 
-Wriz Wednesdays:  Now written in invisible ink.
-I got winded watching Chase go from first to third.
-Jabba the Hutt > Carrie Fisher
-Weekend home games are the Schmidt!
-What up with the Bravos?
-Buchannan was a bigger let down than the Soprano’s Finale.
-I think Hamel’s let the ‘everybody wants me’ talk get to his pretty little ego.
-Sometimes Pap feels like a Phil; Sometimes he don’t.
-We should have kept Byrd.
-I bet Wriz in the Phillies 5K
-We could have and should have won the Sox series.
-Harrison Ford doesn’t know the meaning of DL.
-I asked DB29 to send me pics from Opening Day; he sent me 1 selfie.
-Fun Fact:  If Harang starred on Walking Dead he’d need zero makeup.
-I’d sooner ask Wriz for diet tips than fantasy baseball advice.
-Erik Whiticare is the Odubela Herrera of the ‘Bunts staff.
-J*Roll is my best fantasy player.
-Meet & Greet V is on June 28th!!! #whosgoing
-We’ll learn who this team is this week. 
-We’re tied for first in the Wild Card….let’s get ‘bunted!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

No Hope. No Fear.

A Team Without Hope Is a Team Without Fear.


So Daredevil made its debut on Netflix Friday preventing a few nerds from tuning into the Phillies game.  While the Daredevil reviews are awesome, the Phillies looked great.

This season has been referred to by many as hopeless. Well, a team without hope is a team without fear.

A 7th inning 4 run offensive explosion led to a fun Friday night victory over the ugly uniformed probably won’t go very far in the playoffs again this year Nationals.

If Howard, Ruf, Utley, Ruiz and Francoeur can get hot, this team will score a lot more runs than the experts predicted. 

Minus the leadoff hitter, Jerome Williams looked like a good #4 pitcher.  The bullpen shut a potential playoff team down for a second night in a row and Papelbon pitched a perfect 9th for his second save of the season.

 
So Papelbon made another dumb comment the other night and he is even more hated now than he was on Tuesday (if that’s even possible) but he still goes out on the field and brings it every time he gets the ball.  The two things Papelbon does best:

save ball games and say stupid things.

Jimmy Rollins is too smart to be suckered into answering such a question but don’t we all hope he will always consider himself a Phillie?

The Phillies found a way to win the game and every player on the field did their part when the game was on the line.

Maybe it is silly to be optimistic for a team in the process of a tear down and rebuild but why not?  Make the season fun.  Find positives in every game.   I know it is fun to goof on them when they lose but they are still the Philadelphia Phillies and we are lucky to have them.

I know it may not happen that often this year but I love it when the Phillies win. 

With Hamels on the hill for Saturday Night there’s a good chance for 2 in a row.  Go Phillies!

Erik Whitacre 

I will watch the Philles so you don’t have to!!

Follow me on Twitter @ErikWhitacre

Monday, April 6, 2015

5 for 2015


5 for 2015

1) Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels will be playing in the World Series this year.


Jimmy Rollins was traded to a team ready to finally win the series. Leadership and experience is
what the Dodgers have been missing all this time. Say what you want about JRoll but he has
seen it all and knows the game top to bottom. If it wasn’t for him, I question whether the Phillies
would have won in 2008. He has seen the horror of the 90’s and early 20’s and the

awesomeness of being on a contender. In the twilight of his career surrounded with AllStars, he
knows time is running out and there is a chance for a second ring. Yasiel will be Yasiel but
Jimmy will help him do it in style. Hamels WILL be traded. When the trade deadline approaches, I see 3 teams calling the Phillies –the L.A. Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and the San Diego Padres.

Based on what I have read the likely spot is the Red Sox. The Sox have put together a major
renovation and are only missing a legitimate #1 starter. Put Hamels on that team and they are
right at the top of the American League. The Padres have shown interest and want to win now. They may put together the best package for a #1 like Hamels.

The Dodgers will see the Padres have interest in Hamels and put together their own offer. Even
if the offer is not as good as San Diego Ruben will take it because the idea of being in every Los
Angeles newspaper and mentioned on L.A. talk radio will be too much to pass up on. The name
Ruben likes to hear most is Ruben!

So let’s forget the Padres. The Red Sox and Dodgers have legitimate chances to be in the 2015 World Series and Cole Hamels (my favorite Phillies player ever) puts them front and center to achieve this goal.

2) Papelbon will save 10 in a row and be booed mercilessly when he blows number 11.

So maybe Papelbon is a jerk. Maybe he is just a guy who with talent who doesn’t fit in and is always misunderstood. Who am I to judge?
In 2014 I think he was the MVP of the Phillies team. The bull pen was the bright point and I believe that his guidance to the young pitchers was a big part of it. How many saves did he have last year and how many losses did he have? Do I really need to look it up and add it? When I started writing this I didn’t realize this would actually take work. 39 Saves 3 Losses. 2.04 ERA. I threw in the ERA because I looked it up.
The Phillies won 73 games!! Had they been a contender he would have saved more. Maybe save the boo’s for a guy who isn’t trying 100% every time he takes the field.

3) Ryan Howard will hit 30 home runs and have 120 RBI’s and still be hated.
 
Somewhere along the way Phillies fans turned on Ryan Howard. The Ryan Howard who has that
nasty reputation of being one of the nicest professional athletes in the history of Philadelphia.
The same Ryan Howard who has awed Citizens Bank Park with monster home runs. The same
Ryan Howard who filled Philly with pride when he won the Home Run Derby. Remember that
night? It was awesome. Ryan Howard earned a monster contract and in my opinion had and still has every intention of living up to it.

Is it really his fault he tore his Achilles? I bet he would have preferred to not tear his Achilles. I
had inflammation in the bursa sac in my knee and didn’t even want to take out the trash. Ryan
Howard tore his ACHILLES and worked and worked to come back sooner than expected all to
become a villain who stole the big contract.
Last season, we saw flashes of the old Howard and this season I think I have confidence he will show that power again all the way up to the point when he is traded to an A.L. contender who
needs a DH. (Side prediction – Seattle Mariners – not sure why just a hunch.)
4) Dom Brown will not start the season or end the season on the Phillies roster.

The Dom Brown experiment is done. He just doesn’t get it. Being a big leaguer is not the most
important thing in his life. You can say he is full of talent and I will disagree with you. Talent
comes with knowledge and respect for the game. Raw talent comes with ignorance and a sense
of entitlement.
I see The Big Dom Brownski on a career path similar to Marlon Byrd. Marlon Byrd has had a nice
career but it has taken until its twilight for him to realize how special being a big league baseball player is. The big difference between Brown and Byrd is that Byrd has always been a likeable guy.
5) If Ruben goes Sandberg follows.
 
Ruben fired Charlie. Ruben promoted Sandberg. In my opinion, Ruben was afraid Sandberg was
going be taken away by another team and if he didn’t promote him when he did the Phillies
would miss out.

If this season turns into disaster and a new General Manager is hired, the first move to be made
is hiring a new manager. I like Ryne Sandberg. I hope he succeeds. I am old enough to remember how awesome it was to get a Sandberg card when I bought my Burger King meal or when a pack of Topps was still affordable.
I also respect how a Hall of Fame player was willing to start at the lowest level of the Minor
Leagues and work his way all the way to becoming the manager of the big club. How many
people these days have the patience to start at the bottom and stick it through to get to the
top?

My Prediction – Chase Utley will be the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016. Players
with no managerial experience is happening now and the Phillies won’t want to let Chase Utley
get away.


Hope you’re still reading. If you are I plan to write more this year.

I will watch the Phillies so you don’t have to!
Erik Whitacre