Tag Archives: philadelphia phillies

Predicting the Division Winners …… Oops!

And we're off to the races again!

Last March I wrote a blog entitled “2011 Postseason Predictions” and I’m here to say with all my opinions and wisdom in the world of baseball , I was able to correctly predict two teams, one from the National League and one from the American League.    That’s 25% folks, I say as I’m looking for those wet noodles and a carton of eggs to slather around my face.

I mean, who knew?  The only two teams that I predicted to win that actually won were the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Phillies, of course, were a no-brainer, but I was very proud to stick my neck out in prediction of the Tigers.  So be it.

If you were lucky enough to catch one or both of the games last night you were in for a real treat!   Whatta thrill!  Down to the wire!  Reminds me of last year’s Giants – Padres game, the 162nd game, 9th inning and last out.   I still get goosebumps remembering the thrill of it all.

In case you’ve been in a coma these past 24 hours or otherwise indisposed, here’s the 2011 Division Winners:

American League 

  • New York Yankees, East
  • Detroit, Central
  • Texas, West
  • Tampa Bay, Wild Card
National League
  • Philadelphia, East
  • Milwaukee, Central
  • Arizona, West
  • St Louis, Wild Card
So here we are six months later in post season.   Predictions?  I think I’ll wait a bit and get back to you on that……it’s hard to write with a bunch of egg on my face. 
Advertisements

2011 Postseason Predictions!

The off-season flew by this year didn’t it?  When you’re playing into November, it doesn’t take long for Spring Training to arrive, and now here we are counting down to the season opener in two days! 

My friends over at “Diamondhoggers” have a little contest going to see who can come the closest to predicting the 2011 World Series winner!   Here’s my contribution to the cause.  Why not play along and see how you compare .  For sure I’m not making any wagers on my predictions since last years turned out to be a bust!    Maybe I’ll have better luck this year.  Good luck on yours!

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

  • East Division Champions ~  Boston Red Sox *
  • Central Division Champions ~ Detroit Tigers
  • West Division Champions ~ Oakland A’s
  • Wild Card ~ New York Yankees

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

  • East Division Champions ~ Philadelphia Phillies
  • Central Division Champions ~ Cincinnati Reds
  • West Division Champions ~ San Francisco Giants *
  • Wild Card ~ Colorado Rockies

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS ~ SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS OVER BOSTON RED SOX!

 

 

Roy Oswalt ……. Luck of the Irish (Scots?)

Oh no!   Not Roy Oswalt!  This video just shows how close these guys are to disaster with every pitch!   This is scary stuff!   As you’re probably aware, Roy’s one of the Phab Four for the Phillies this year and expectations are high for them and also for the Phillies.    Back in the old days,  dad always said a pitcher was supposed to be ready to field after the delivery.  Get yourself  right back in position with your mitt in front of  you to protect from this very thing.   But back in the 40’s and 50’s, I doubt very much the pitchers were throwing with the same intensity and velocity they are today.   Who has time to do that; get back into position I mean?  Baseball’s changed.   They may have thrown just as fast back then, but the players now are huge in comparison and my thought is their reflexes are not as fast as the smaller pitchers.  I don’t know, I’m just saying, there’s a reason those old fashioned rules don’t seem to apply anymore.  Pitchers now aren’t expected to play the entire nine innings like they routinely did back in the old days.   They give it their best shot, and a reliever comes in to continue where the starter left off.   And then in comes the closer!   So I doubt very much dad’s thinking would apply now.   

Last reports are that Oswalt is doing well,  and except for the baseball-sized welt on the back of his neck he should be able to start the regular season as scheduled.   He’s lucky.   His teammate Chase utley is facing surgery after his bout this spring with tendinitis in his knee, and most likely will miss a good part of the season, after missing a majority of 2010.  Heartbreaking for the players and heartbreaking for the fans. 

Spring training!   A must for getting back into shape and letting the players gel with each other.  But what a price to pay for these guys!    The Giants closer, Brian Wilson, suffered a strained oblique muscle, and is looking at possibly sitting out just the first couple of regular season games, if he’s lucky.   It could be much more and Cody Ross caught what appeared to be a routine fly ball yesterday, only to limp off the field with a calf strain.   A visit to an MRI center resulted in a walking “boot” and crutches for Ross.  It’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll be out.  Here’s a list of a few other incidents this spring:

  • St Louis Cardinals starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright had Tommy John surgery last week and will most likely miss the entire 2012 season.
  • Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher, Shaun Marcum, suffered a “tight shoulder” after his last outing.  Whether he’ll be sidelined for the beginning of the season is questionable. 
  • Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher, Zach Greinke, broke a rib in a “basketball game” and remains on the disabled list this spring training.  (Okay, okay, probably not entirely related to spring training!)
  • Los Angeles Angels First Baseman Kendry Morales was sidelined with a broken foot for the majority of 2010, and spring training hasn’t been able to help Morales get back on “foot” still.   Looks like more rehab time for him before he’s back in the regular season.
  • Yankees lead-off hitter, Brett Gardner, is back in the line-up after suffering a bruised shin during spring training.

The list goes on and on.  But wait!   Believe it or not, there’s actually some good news for the rest of us.   The 2012 Regular Baseball Season begins next week!   So it’s time to clean up the barbecue, get out those scorecards, stock up on popcorn and hotdogs, and get out the gear.   Makes me all emotional just thinking about it.  

And cross your fingers for all those guys on the disabled list so they’ll be able to join us soon.   Let’s face it.  It’s just not the same playing a game with one or more of your guys sitting on the bench with a disability!   Too bad we can’t just go from post season to regular season and skip the Spring Training!    Save us all some headaches!

Those Phooey Phillies ….. Just Won’t Go Away!

Well, to be honest with you, I’ve always liked Roy Halladay, even if he is a Phillie!   I saw this video for the first time today and wondered if all Major League pitchers feel the same way about their catchers as Roy feels about his.   I can see Lincecum and Cain showing Buster a little love, but all bets are off when it comes to Wilson.  Can you just see Brian Wilson in the kitchen, making pancakes while  discussing the morning with a balloon replica of Buster Posey? 

I saw an interview  with Buster Posey after the season was over, and as I recall, Buster said at one point he started to go out on the mound to talk with Wilson, took one look at those dark green eyes glaring off into space, promptly turned around and went back behind the plate.  Later he explained, he just thought it was something he should do, not that Wilson wanted it or needed it.  Posey didn’t say he was intimidated, but that was the implication.

One can only hope  Roy Halladay spends a lot of time in the kitchen talking to blow-up dummies for the next  six months.   Is it post season yet?

An Overdose of “Philly-Itis”…….

Hank Aaron, Wikipedia Image

Philly Schmilly …….Don’t you just love it when someone in the know has the guts to speak what’s on his mind instead of jumping on the eternal pundit bandwagon?   That’s just exactly what Hank Aaron did yesterday.   Hank’s predicting a 2011 World Series between the Giants and Red Sox.   Whew ~ where did that come from?  Hasn’t he been listening to the pundits and bloggers and baseball experts? Could it be that Henry knows something the rest of the baseball world doesn’t?   Could it be these so-called experts have fallen into the same trap they did last year and have totally overlooked the obvious?  In other words, they didn’t learn a thing.  I’m not talking about the regular season.   I mean, for pete’s sake, I’m a Giant’s fan and there’s no way I would have imagined, say, in August,  the Giants would end up taking their Division.  So what do you think Hank Aaron might possibly be thinking?  

For one thing, Aaron’s predicting 2011’s going to be  a hitters year, unlike the pitcher’s year of 2010.   Well if that’s true  it sure takes the wind out of the sails for that $120 Million contract the Phillies signed Clifton Phifer “Cliff” Lee to in the off-season.   I’ve never understood the reasoning that  the Phillies are now unbeatable, invincible, the next undisputable World Champions, just by virtue  of having Cliff Lee on their roster.    Uhhh, seems to me the unbeaten Cliff Lee was beaten TWICE by the Giants in this year’s World Series.   So please tell me what Cliff Lee has done recently that would make him now “unbeatable”?   It just doesn’t make sense.     He was unbeatable last season and the Giants whooped the stuffing out of him, not once, but twice,and now he’s wearing a Phillies uniform, and he’s once again unbeatable?  

Is it possible the Phillies might be able to pull it off and win the Division?  Oh sure.  Is it possible they might go on and win the World Series?  Maybe.  But it’s not a foregone conclusion.  Thank you,   Hank Aaron,  for bringing some good old fashioned  common sense to the subject.   It’s a lot more fun letting the teams play out the season instead of  letting the self-proclaimed pundits and experts crown the Philadelphia Phillies  the anointed ones in February.   It’s obvious the only reason Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies is he sees it as his only chance to vindicate himself from the embarrassment he obviously felt (or should have felt) of not only being outpitched in the World Series, but of being so “mouthy” about it before hand.  

Philly Phanatic

 To say the Phillies might be my least favorite team is probably a huge understatement.  Go ahead, ask the teams and  players who’ve had to endure the wrath, anger and profanity of the Phillie phanatics on and off the field.  I’m just saying, when it comes to baseball, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is definitely NOT the city of brotherly love. 

“TEXAS CAN’T HOLD EM” ~ Game 1. Rangers and Pundits Lose!

Whodathunk it?  I had almost as much fun watching the sports pundits after the game than watching the game itself.  Well, almost.   The Giants had no chance, nada, zilch, zero, of beating Cliff Lee in game one of this World Series.  None!  I mean, after all, Cliff Lee had never lost a playoff game.  Won 10, Loss  0!  Whew, who wants to go up against those odds?   I almost believed it myself.  So after the game, when the pundits came slithering out from under the rocks, it was just a lot of fun to listen to their enlightened jibberish.   I believe it’s called “eating crow”?   As Joe buck said in his post-game commentary, “Don’t listen to us folks.  We don’t know anything!”  

The thing that puzzles me about the  Giants getting absolutely no respect before the game, and still now, even after the  game, is the  way they made it to the World Series in the first place.    This is a team of self-proclaimed misfits and oddballs, picked up from the trash heaps of other teams, a couple of rookies, and one helluva pitching staff.    In August, this team was 6 1/2 games behind in the NL West, but they scratched and clawed and fought off not only the San Diego Padres, but also a very good Colorado Rockies team to prevail.  They willed their way to the NL West Championship.    They were the underdog as they advanced to the NLDS against Atlanta, under the leadership of  Bobby Cox, destined to extend his career a few more games.   But, once again,  against the odds, the Giants won the National League Division Series against Atlanta!

So now the pundits had a ball!   I mean now the Giants had to face the Philadelphia Phillies, defending National League Champions, two years in a row, and World Series Champions only a year ago!   Their ace, Roy Halladay, as good as it gets, pitched a “no hitter” against the Cincinnati Reds,  enroute to the NLDS this year, and the Reds were no pansies.  To solidify the belief, earlier in the year Halladay had thrown a perfect game!   And it wasn’t just Halladay, they also had to face Roy Oswalt, a fastball pitcher who the Phillies acquired from Houston specifically for this reason, to dominate in the playoffs.   Again, Phillies fans lost a lot of money through their bookies over this series.   Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies and won the National League Pennant in 6.

So what’s it going to take?  Headlines all over the country projected the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.  Everywhere except in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Even the Los Angeles papers ….. (whoops forget it, that’s Dodger country, doesn’t count!  i.e., LA Times article today by “Bill Shaikin ~ San Francisco takes advantage of a less-than-sharp effort by the highly regarded left-hander on a night when Tim Lincecum is not exactly crisp.”)  Cracks me up, but you know what?  He’s right!   And that’s baseball folks!  And you know what else?   The SF Giants may NOT win the World Series.  But if they do, it will be because they WILLED it, and not because of anything the Rangers and pundits have to say.    Baseball, don’t you just love it?

Day 6. Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates!

Thursday, 7/1/2010.     Long day on the bus to get to a great ballpark and a great game!  Pirates won 4-2 as I remember.  We left this morning at 8:00AM   and arrived at PNC Park at 6PM after a couple of quick 20 minutes stops, rushed into the stadium to find our seating.  Whew!  Grueling day for most but honestly I slept most of the day so was ready to go once we got there!  The park itself was set on the river and directly opposite the Steelers football stadium.  We could stand at the concessions and look out over the river.   Really great views! 

This was the most accessible and user-friendly park to get around of all the parks we’ve been to so far.  Took about 5 minutes off the bus to our seats which is pretty amazing when you compare it to some of the marathon walks we’ve been through!   As far as ballpark food goes, the Fermenti Bros sandwich lays claim to the best food at PNC and they’re probably right!   This sandwich sure makes carrying it back to your seat “easy”.   It not only loads the bread with lots of deli sliced roast beef, but also layers the coleslaw, condiments AND french fries on the sandwich.  No kidding!   And they were lined up to get it!   The Quaker State BBQ Chicken looked great but had an awful sauce.  Big mistake so I was glad I got the smallest order.  It pays to listen to the locals!    As far as the game went, Pittsburgh has one of the worst records this year, and the Phillies are doing great.  But we were all compelled to cheer for the Pirates which I wanted to do anyhow.  So it was fun to hear the cheers and enthusiasm when they pulled it out in the end.  They were ahead the entire game but it was one of those “you score – I score” games and was never really comfortable until the end!   This is a great ballpark.   The backdrop looking out from the 3rd base line toward Right Field is spectacular, resembling a Hollywood backdrop of high rise buildings that look super-imposed, not the real thing!    We arrived here at our hotel after the evening game at 1:30AM and leave 7AM for Chicago.   It’s now 2:45AM so goodnight all!  Next stop Wrigley Field in Chicago!