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



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