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

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
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

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

Sunday, April 5, 2015

‘Twas the Night Before Opening Day ‘15

by      cj hood

‘Twas the Night Before Opening Day ‘15

                     CITIZENS BOOZE PARK

‘Twas the night before Opening Day, when all through the park
Not a creature was stirring, not even a lark;
The bats were all hung by the helmets with care,
In hopes that the Phillies soon would be there;
The fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of a parade danced in their heads;
Mom in her Utley jersey, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long Spring nap,
When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to Citizen’s Bank I flew like a flash,
Tore up 476 and almost near crashed.
Phillies Bunts staff was blogging like there was no tomorrow
While Mets fans drank Schlitz; drowning their sorrows,
When, my wondering eyes saw the mound and the bases
An all new offense, don’t know their names nor their faces,
With a Hall of Fame coach, so lively and kind,
I knew in a moment it must have been Ryne.
More rapid than the Eagles his courses they came,
And he whistled, and shouted and, called them by name;
Now, Hamels! Now, Harang! And those other 3!
On, Howard! On Asche! And ‘the man’ Chase Utley!”
From the dugout! To the top of the wall!
They dashed away!  Dashed away!  Dashed away all!
As dirt kicked up before the wild hurricanes on,
Who’s that grabbing his nuts?  That’s Jon Papelbon!
Ben Davis and Stairs were calling the game
‘Boy we miss Harry’; Oh!  What a shame,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Hamel’s with his ‘game scruff’ took to the mound.
He was dressed in a throwback, from his head to his foot,
And the strength of his arm could throw a shot put;
The Marlins rebuilt and the ‘Gnats will not lose;
The Phils best acquisition? Our park now serves booze!
Three up and three down as Chooch made the calls!
Two strike-outs, a pop-out, and only one ball!
Las Vegas is saying we’re gonna get killed
If their play doesn’t kill us, a 9 patty burger certainly will
We traded J*Roll for some no-name go-getters,
The movie Philadelphia seemed to end better
We are the L-O-L of the M-L-B
Cuz half of our team is A-A-R-P
Amaro manages us like he don’t even care
And here come the Red Sox, loaded for bear
We’re the Walking Dead, this team will just scare ya,
Yet I’m really excited about Odubel Herrera
Last few years we’ve just stunk, just like a wet fart
I bet the 76’ers can’t wait til we start
If we played in October it would be such a shocker,
Maybe if Howard cleaned out his locker
But tonight we’re in first, like the rest of the teams
And all we can do is have positive dreams
Can’t wait til tomorrow; dress warm cuz it’s freezing,
“Good Luck Philadelphia, and to the fans a great-season,”