If you are actually reading this it's because A) Wriz decided to post it and B) there is no other Bunts content lol. First let me say that JV scrimmage with Tampa was just that, a scrimmage that didn't mean squat. Luckily I was home today and able to snag a primo stream to chromecast the first game to my tv. I had no clue as to what I might see, but this is my reaction(s) to what transpired. If you are geographically handicapped as I am(2500 miles away) let me suggest to you the web site http://www.strikeout.co to get a decent stream to watch all baseball, let alone my Phils. During the season the majority are stolen from mlb.tv which has quality streams. I then use google chrome and chromecast to my 52" tv, the results are great. If you do chromecast make sure you have Adblock Pro as an addon to get the game. This will save you 129.99 over using mlb.tv and we all know we could use 129.99 for better use.
Firstly, WELCOME BACK BASEBALL. I have loved baseball since I learned to play as a young'un in the 50's. Here in AZ we've had baseball weather for weeks. After watching the game at Brighthouse today I have come away with some revelations which are all mine. Listed below in no particular order are my takes from the game.
Announcers: Ben Davis is a 200% upgrade over Jamie Moyer. While he didn't speak all that much, when he did he was articulate and the sound of his voice against the monotone Moyer was a no brainer. Can't help it, I love Matt Stairs' perspective. TMac was TMac.
Howard: to quote Gomer Pyle SU-PRISE SU-PRISE SU-PRISE... he looked good. Thinner, stance a little more closed(how many years have I said this), and weight and elbows back in his stance. Two major contributors to this IMHO... first a healed achilles. He can now stay back and push off his back foot = mo'power. Second, mommy don't got power on my money no'more! Mentally that should free him to focus on each AB. I seriously didn't think, until retrospect, how much it could affect him daily. *ADDED BONUS* he looked outstanding in the field today, moving well and actually stretching for throws. Wowsa.
Sandberg: looks and sounds more in control than last year. I honestly think the coaching staff has a better overall feel for the talent. We will not overpower any team with pitching and offense this year. They remind me a lot of my high school teams that won back to back State Championships in 67-68. Not a lot of power, but smart base running and good defense and timely pitching. Well, the pitching the verdict is out on lol.
POD control: this year we have taken a stance on guiding "pods". The team has been broken down into groups of 6-8, each with a "mentor" when it comes to hitting etc. For example Howard is one of 7 under the control/guidance of Charley when it comes to hitting. Other pods are under control of Schmidt and more. Sorry I didn't screencap the graphic in the 2nd inning but I like it. You can't have enough mentors, but I'm hoping it has a positive effect.
Infield: we definitely have enough really good infielders. Whether or not they can hit will take bou coup time to realize.
Outfield: Bleh. Will be a season long work in progress. We do not have one OF that admittedly is worth a shit.
Catching: Chooch, and then the rest. He can only catch maybe 102-112 games effectively. Is there anyone else on the horizon? I mean seriously.
Pitching(starters): We actually won the WS with this amount or less truth be told. The question is will Cliff return to form, will Cole be Cole, is Jerome an innings eater, is there anyone else who can get outs?
Pitching(bullpen): to me the one plus going into this season. Biggest question is can Papelbum handle being an 8th inning guy to Giles closing?
Lastly, we need answers to these questions... 1) Will Wriz show up for Meet'N'Greet V? 2) Will David Anderson really give us a complete pictorial accounting of spring training? Will Nancy Edwards Johnson ever come back to AZ? Will CJ Hood make his way into the Last Comic Standing? Will Rick Austin ever sell enough paint to retire? Will DiamondGirl *EVER* write again?
Bill S/aka Netfather