Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Game number two of 162

Last night (April 7) I was down at Citizens Bank Park for the second Philadelphia Phillies game of the season.

It was a cold one.

Temperature gauges read 35 degrees, but in all reality it was really five to 10 below once you factor a 20 mph breeze and 35 mph wind gusts.

Now I saw a crowd of roughly 41,000 to 43,000 (10,000 to 20,000 by the seventh inning) last night froze their you-know-whats off to watch some baseball. It was a marquee match-up. The young flamethrower versus the ageless veteran.

It could not get much better than that.

If you were a Braves fan, that is.

The Braves' bats came alive early; actually on the very first pitch of the ball game. Kelly Johnson launched a Jamie Moyer slow pitch into section 106 out in right field.

After giving up another run in the first, Moyer seemed to settle down—until the fifth when Chipper Jones launched a Moyer pitch for a home run. You can try to judge how a pitched did by his stats, but you have to see how he did physically on the mound.

Did he keep his emotions in check?

Did he sulk after giving up a home run?

Did he bounce back and get the next guy out?

Did he maintain composure?

The Fightin' Phils bats seem to have come alive last night, despite not scoring any runs. There big three left-handed hitters combined for five for 12 with four singles and a double.

The Phillies were hitting the ball well, I guess it was a combination of the wind knocking a lot of the balls down, or they were just hitting them at people.

The bullpen once again proved to be a strong point, has the bullpen shut down the Braves potent offensive attack for four innings, and the rest of the game.

Last night, new reliever/ spot fifth starter, Chan Ho Park got his first taste of Philadelphia, coming in to pitch in the sixth inning. Park pitched a perfect sixth, and was followed by Jack Taschner, who tossed two scoreless innings.

Clay Condrey followed Taschner in the ninth inning. Condrey pitched a perfect ninth inning. It looked like Condrey had gained a little weight from last season, but nevertheless the big Texan struck out two in the ninth.

Am I worried about the Phillies losing the first two games of the season? Hell no. Everyone knows the first two weeks of the season, players are just trying to get back in the swing of things. I am not worried at all.

No. What worries me is the lack of true fans. This may be a small rant, but what gives fans the right to boo their own team? I don't care how much you paid for your ticket(s), you boo the play—not the player.

Brett Myers did not deserve to get booed. Yes, granted he gave up three home runs, but he struck out seven or eight and settled down after those home runs.

I guess those fans who are booing within 17 minutes of the first pitch of the 2009 regular season were the ones that used to boo Pat Burrell in left field.

Also, what worries me is the fans who are leaving in the fifth, sixth, or seventh innings to beat traffic home or to go get drunk at McFadden's, rather than sit outside in the cold and support their team.

Next I go down to catch a Phillies game, I'm starting a new chant. Okay, well it was stolen from the "Bleacher Creatures" up at Yankee Stadium. But I never saw or heard about any copyright or trademark on it! So intellectual property is null and void here.

Yes it is the famed "Roll Call", only with Philadelphia Phillies players.

I am not worried about the Phillies at all.

Next game: vs. Atlanta, today, 4/8/2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Recap of Opening Night for the Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies quest to repeat as world champions started off rough last night (4/5/2009). I will recap what each team did: on the mound, in the box, next games, records, and standings.

Atlanta Braves 4 Philadelphia Phillies 1. WP: Derek Lowe (1-0, 0.00 ERA)LP: Brett Myers (0-1, 6.00 ERA)

Atlanta Braves

On the Mound: Derek Lowe proved why he is one of the most dominate and crafty veteran pitchers out there. Lowe pitched a masterful game, pitching eight solid innings of two hit ball. In those eight innings of two hit ball, Lowe struck out four while walking none and giving up no earned or unearned runs.

In the ninth, Atlanta turned to left-handed flamethrowing closer, Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez gave up a lead-off double to the bearded wonder, Eric Bruntlett. After securing the first out, Gonzalez gave up a single to Jayson Werth which scored Bruntlett.

Next came Chase Utley who walked. Ryan Howard looked at a 93 mph fastball right down the pipe for strike three after looking foolish swinging at two sliders out of the zone. Finally, new leftfielder Raul Ibanez struck out swinging on high hard heat to end the game, stranding runners on first and second.

Philadelphia Phillies

On the Mound: Brett Myers proved once again Opening Day games just are not "cup of tea". After getting two easy outs in the first inning, Myers gave up a double to Chipper Jones. The came Brian McCann. McCann smacked a high, hanging change-up to the second deck of Citizens Bank Park for a two-run home run.

Myers' troubles were just beginning. In the second, a revamped Jeff Francoeur crushed a fastball to left field for a solo home run. After retiring Casey Kotchman to secure the first out of the inning, Myers gave up another home run. This time to rookie centerfielder Jordan Schafer.

Notable: Schafer became the 99th rookie in the history of the MLB to homer in his first regular season major league at bat.

Myers threw three home run balls within five batters. Positives: Myers hit 95 on the radar gun. Negatives: the home runs, the decrease in velocity, the usage of said heat, etc.

The Phillies bullpen proved why it is a strong point. In his Phillies debut, lefty Jack Taschner pitched a scoreless seventh inning, striking out one. Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre combined for a scoreless eighth inning, each striking out one. Closer Brad Lidge in a non-save situation threw a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one.

The Phillies bullpen combined for roughly a third of a perfect game, with three perfect innings thrown.

Atlanta Braves

In the Box: Three Braves had home runs. McCann, Francoeur, and Schafer respectively. Chipper went 2 for 4 with two hits and two strikeouts. Schafer was the stand out of the night. Schafer in his major league debut from AA, went 2 for 3 with a home run, single strikeout and walk.

As a team: 8 for 35, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 10 SO, BB, 9 LOB, .229 BA

Philadelphia Phillies

In the box: Ugh, words can even describe the disdain that I have right now for the Phillies hitters. Swinging at first pitches, taking wild hacks at bad pitches, not making Lowe work hard at all. Jimmy Rollins, Werth, Carlos Ruiz, and Bruntlett collecting hits. The big left-handed three of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez went a combined 0 for 11 with 3 K and 1 BB.

As a team: 4 for 31, RBI, BB, 6 K, 8 LOB, .129 BA

Regular season records: Atlanta: 1-0, Philadelphia 0-1

National League East Standings (through 4/5/2009)

1. Atlanta, 1-0, --

2. New York, 0-0, 0.5 GB

3. Florida, 0-0, 0.5 GB

4. Washington, 0-0, 0.5

5. Philadelphia, 0-1, 1.0 GB

Next Game: Atlanta (1-0) vs. Philadelphia (0-1): Jair Jurrjens (0-0) vs. Jamie Moyer (0-0)

My Commentary: I wonder why Myers' threw a 3-2 change-up to McCann in the first inning. Worse yet: it hung up there, looking like a high school baseball hitter could crush the thing. It's a 3-2 count, you know he's going to be swinging, don't help the guy out by throwing something 83 mph up there.

A high-and-inside fastball or a curveball would of worked just as well in that situation. The problem that I had with Myers' outing was that he did not establish the fastball well enough. When he his fastball was not called a strike he went back to his assortment of crap pitches; outside of that curveball.

Also the sharp decrease in velocity, has me thinking. Myers' fastball in the first inning was clocked at 94-95 mph. By the third inning he could barely hit 90 on the radar gun. You would think that losing that extra weight he would gain back velocity.

I guess not.

I'm not just focusing on Myers' outing on the mound, oh heck no. Them bats have some explaining to do. I don't know whether it was nervousness, pre-game celebrations/ ceremonies, or what but how could a powerhouse lineup like that be silenced by a pitcher who they beat in the postseason last season.

Rollins 1 for 4

Werth 1 for 4

Utley 0 for 3

Howard 0 for 4

Ibanez 0 for 4

Victorino 0 for 4

Top six batters a combined 2 for 23, 4 K, BB, 1 RBI

It seems that the guys you would think would not produce, produced something measurable.

Ruiz 1-3

Bruntlett 1-1 albeit off the bench in a pinch-hitting role.

The bats better come alive on Tuesday night no matter what the weather is. Snow showers, cold, windy, the bats better be ready to hit and make Jair Jurrjens work. Make Jurrjens work hard, possibly work up a swear, unlike what Lowe did Sunday night.

I guess not signing Lowe four years ago bit them in the (insert strong expletive) butt. So not signing Lowe this past off-season will come back to haunt them as well.

Stay turned for Tuesday night's wrap up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

5th starter and April Fools

Well we know who our fifth starter is...

Wait a minute, this just in! I have just received reports that states the Phillies are naming Adam Eaton fifth starter. Yes, the same one whom they released a month ago. He is on loan from Baltimore

April fools everyone. Sorry, just had to do it.

The race for fifth starter has ended. The real winner of the race is crafty veteran righty, Chan Ho Park. He beat out lefty J.A. Happ for the starters job.

In other news: the Eagles have just traded Donovan McNabb for Broncos QB Jay Cutler, the news stemming from certain rumors saying that McNabb wanted more offensive weapons.

Nah, I'm just bullshitting you again. April Fools.

No word from the Eagles yet.

See you all this Sunday baby. Opening Night Baby! Braves-Phillies, 8:05 PM @Citizen's Bank Park. Derek Lowe vs. Brett Myers in the return to MLB Baseball and the returning World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Temple Baseball

This will be my second college sports article and my first within the "College Baseball" community. I have no idea what to expect, so here goes.

The Temple University baseball program does not get the recognition it should, along with the rest of the A-10 baseball teams. They are overshadowed by the bigger baseball programs of the southern and western schools. But, I am not here to rant about it.

No. I am here to talk shop about Temple baseball. Temple started off 2-2 in their first four games. With wins coming against Central Michigan University and Florida Gulf Coast and losses against Wichita State and High Point.

Temple's next game would not be until March 6th. Prior to March 6th, Temple had a sting of four games cancelled starting with a February 28th match-up against High Point, including match-ups against George Mason (3/3), two more against High Point (2/28, 3/1), and their home opener, March 4th versus Maryland Eastern Shore.

Temple University record: 2-2

Temple would then go on a seven game slide. Highlights of that seven game slide include: a weekend sweep by Liberty (3/6,3/7,3/8). The series against Liberty was highlighted by Liberty's 11-1 blowout and sweep of a weekend doubleheader.

Temple University record: 2-6

Temple returned home and did not really find much luck either against Rutgers on March 10th: Temple's home opener. Temple lost to Rutgers in a 11-8, extra innings affair. The week also losses against Manhattan (3/13), Niagara (3/14). But the week did include Temple's first win since February 22nd's win at Florida Gulf Coast. On Sunday March 15th, Temple beat Cleveland State 5-1.

Temple University record: 3-9

The week of March 16th started off for Temple with a 10-5 win at Lehigh on March 17th. Temple would then drop their next game at home against Big Five rival Penn by a score of 11-6. Temple would then release their pent up frustrations against conference foe Duquesne. Highlighted by the weekend sweep of conference foe Duquesne and a Sunday 17-5 blowout by Temple.

Temple University record (overall): 7-10

A-10 Record: 3-0

Big Five record: 0-1

This would be Temple's first winning streak of the season. The steak would last into the next week with a 8-7 win against Monmouth on March 24th. But of course all good things always come to an end. Temple the next day lost to in-state foe Penn State 7-4.

Temple University record (overall): 8-11

A-10 Record: 3-0

Temple continues it's home stand against conference foe and fellow Big Five rival, La Salle. Temple is currently finished a weekend series against La Salle, with Temple winning the doubleheader on Friday March 27th, by scores of 11-9 (first game) and 5-2 (second game), and a 10-3 rout today (3/28).

Today's game vs. La Salle University: Temple 10 La Salle 3. WP: Ryan Thomas, 3-1 (Temple) (6.2 IP, 7H 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) LP: TJ Chism 0-2 (La Salle) (3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER 3 R, 3 BB, 4 SO) SV (3): Matt Blackburn (Temple) (2.1 IP, 1 H).

Temple has finished the weekend series against La Salle. The Owls are off to their best Atlantic 10 start since 1984. The last time Temple got off to this kind of start in conference play, current Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jamie Moyer, was pitching for conference and Big Five rival Saint Joseph's University.

Temple currently is first in the A-10 Conference and leads conference foe Dayton by half a game.

Temple University record (overall): 11-11

A-10 Record: 6-0

Big Five Record: 3-1

Upcoming/ remaining regular season games for the Temple University Owls baseball team:

3/31 at Villanova**

4/3, 4/4, 4/5 at UMass*

4/7 Liberty Bell Classic

4/8 at Rider

4/10 at St. Joseph's***

4/11 doubleheader at St. Joseph's***

4/14 at Delaware

4/17, 4/18, 4/19 vs. Charlotte*

4/21 vs. Villanova**

4/24, 4/25, 4/26 vs. Xavier*

4/28 at Villanova**

4/29 vs. Lafayette

5/1, 5/2, 5/3 at Richmond*

5/4 at St. John's

5/6 at Delaware

5/8, 5/9, 5/10 vs. Saint Louis*

5/14, 5/15, 5/16 at Fordham*

* denotes A-10 conference game

** denotes Big Five game

*** denotes Big Five AND A-10 conference game

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mac Attack: Spring Training edition

As the waning weeks of spring training come to a close, we are reminded of the openings in the starting rotation, and bullpen. A lot of players' major league lives are on the line. A bad outing here, a bad game there, and the next thing you know is that your down in triple-A trying to figure out what exactly went wrong.

Whose jobs are on the line? The Phillies need a fifth starter, two relievers, a back-up catcher, and fill some openings on the bench. I will try to profile and answer, in a sense, the Philadelphia Phillies most burning questions.


While the Phillies' first four spots are locked up, the fifth spot is up-for-grabs. Like children playing that game: "jackpot", where they throw a football up in the air and call out random points; the Phillies fifth starting rotation spot is like a game of "jackpot", in that who catches the job, gets the "jackpot".

It's a role you can't ignore.

And you can turn your back... but it won't go away
And you don't look scared... but you should be afraid
You can shut your mouth... but you still have a say
And you just don't care... for tomorrow, today
- Billy Talent, Turn Your Back

Up for the fifth rotation spot are: Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, Chan Ho Park, and Carlos Carrasco.

Kyle Kendrick: As much as I wanted to see him pitch himself into the fifth starting rotation spot, he kind of, uh, pitched himself out of the job and pitched himself right into triple-A. I was, no. I am still a Kyle Kendrick fan. 21 wins in two seasons since coming up from double-A, that's impressive. According to guys on both MLB Network and Baseball Tonight, it takes roughly two to three seasons to figure out the "book" on the pitcher.

2009 Spring Training stats: 1-3, 4 Games, 4 Games Started, 9.20 ERA, 14.2 IP, 8 K, 5 BB, 15 R, 16 ER.

Optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley on 3/23/09.

J.A. Happ: I was a big fan of both Happ and Kendrick when they came up. I almost figured Happ to eventually be the "Ageless Wonder" Jamie Moyer's replacement. Happ has been impressive this spring training.

2009 Spring Training stats: 0-0, 6 Games, 3 Games Started, 3.15 ERA, 20.0 IP, 14 K, 6 BB, 8 R, 7 ER.

My opinion on J.A. Happ's chances of making the rotation: I believe that Happ is now the front-runner for the fifth starting rotation spot. But, we will wait and see.

Chan Ho Park: After coming over from Los Angeles, Park is looking for a starting job. Although Park is familiar with both the rotation and bullpen, I believe that the Phillies would rather have Park in the bullpen. Park even skipped the World Baseball Classic, just to compete for the fifth starting rotation spot.

2009 Spring Training stats: 1-0, 3 Games, 2 Games Started, 1.54 ERA, 11.2 IP, 11 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER.

My opinion: Chan Ho Park makes the 25 man roster through the bullpen. But, as always, we will wait and see.

Carlos Carrasco: The Phillies top pitching prospect fared better than Kendrick. But not much better. Carrasco hasn't quite lived up to the "top pitching prospect" title. But I believe that will come with age.

2009 Spring Training stats: 2-1, 5 Games, 3 Games Started, 5.52 ERA, 14.2 IP, 10 K, 5 BB, 13 R, 9 ER

My Opinion: Like Kendrick, I believe he will be assigned to triple-A later this week. Carrasco will be back in September unless Park, Happ, and Kendrick (when and if they returns) crap out.

The Phillies bullpen last season was nothing more than just plain dominant. The Phillies will have some open spots to fill, not just on the bench, but in the bullpen as well. There will be a spot open that was "vacated" by J.C. Romero, once he starts his 50-game suspension.

Pitchers up for a spot in the bullpen:

Chan Ho Park

Robert Mosebach

Mike Koplove

Gary Majewski

Not a left-hander in the bunch, huh? Anyway, there are ten "locks" in the pitching section for Philadelphia. Those ten are: Brad Lidge, Jamie Moyer, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, and Clay Condrey. Plus you can pencil J.C. Romero in when he returns from his 50-game suspension.

So that's eleven pitchers total that are locks.

My opinion on who gets the bullpen jobs: If J.A. Happ earns the fifth starting rotation spot, when Chan Ho Park will be in the bullpen. Joining him will be either Majewski or Mosebach. Most likely Robert Mosebach because Majewski and Koplove signed minor league deals, while Mosebach is a Rule 5 Draft pick.

The Bench(warmers): Infield Edition

As for bench players, you can do two things: one is pencil utility and bearded wonder, Eric Bruntlett in as an automatic lock. The second thing is pencil Greg "The Natural" Dobbs in as another automatic lock.

So the infielders that are locks are: Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs, and Eric Bruntlett.

The Phillies need another right-handed bat coming of that bench, badly. The wild cards here are Marcus Giles, Pablo Ozuna, Miguel Cairo, and top prospect Jason Donald.

Jason Donald was reassigned to triple-A Lehigh Valley 3/24/2009

My opinion: If the Phillies need another infielder on the bench, Giles would be my pick.

The Bench(warmers): Catcher Edition

You can automatically pencil Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz in as the starting, everyday catcher. So who is the backup catcher? Good Question.

The Phillies had three players competing for the backup catcher role as of, March 24th 2009. Those three were: Ronny Paulino, Chris Coste, and Lou Marson.

As of March 24th 2009, the Phillies reassigned catcher Lou Marson to triple-A Lehigh Valley.

That leaves two players remaining: Ronny Paulino and Chris Coste.

My opinion: I believe the Phillies will stick with Chris Coste. The Phillies know Coste well and while none of the candidates for backup are hitting well this Spring Training, but like I said; the Phillies know what Coste brings to the table.

The Bench(warmers): Outfielder Edition

The Phillies have three "locks" in the outfield: Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth. The uncertain of a job future are: Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins, and John Mayberry Jr. While there are rumors* are abound over Jenkins and Stairs, the Phillies are not, I think, going to able to trade or release both Jenkins and Stairs.

As of this typing Mayberry has not been sent down to triple-A Lehigh Valley.

So who gets the last two bench spots? Another good question.

My opinion: The Phillies wind up keeping one of them on the bench, at least Jenkins and keep either Cairo or Giles on the bench as well. As for Stairs, the Canadian, slugger, will either be traded or released to make room for somebody. But, I will let time tell the story: there are less than two weeks from Opening Day, I should say Opening Night in the Phillies case.

That is it for the Spring Training Roster moves edition of the Mac Attack. Stay tuned for the Opening Day edition of the Mac Attack. So until then, keep on truckin' people; keep on reading and writing them articles. Peace.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Temple University Sports Update

I think now is a good time to give everyone an update on the Temple University sports scene for the week of March 9th through the 15th, and my first college sports article for BR. First off congrats to the Temple Men's Basketball team. They have clinched a spot in the 2009 NCAA Tournament with a win over the Duquesne Dukes in the A-10 Championship Final.

Temple (22-11, 11-5 A-10) has won there second A-10 title in as many years.The Owls have won back to back A-10 title, ending Duquesne's first NCAA tournament bid since 1977.

Other Temple Basketball facts: Temple is 5-0 against Duquesne in A-10 Tournament action.

In Dionte Christmas news: Dionte Christmas led Temple with 29 points, becoming the fourth Owl in history to score 2,000 career points, just one day after becoming the first Temple player to score 600 points in three straight seasons.

Prior to the Men's A-10 Tournament, Temple had finished fourth in the A-10.

Other Temple University Basketball news: the Women's Basketball team lost to Charlotte in the Women's A-10 Tournament Semifinals.

It is that time of year, the smell of fresh cut grass, the fresh and new aluminum bats, and the the sound of the sizzle of a 95-MPH fastball: it's college baseball time. The boys of summer (and the books) return to the field. Temple's Baseball has got off to a rather slow start.

Temple is in a bit of a slump. This past week, Temple lost to Rutgers: 11-8 in 12, Manhattan: 9-2, and Niagara: 5-3. Their current record is 2-9. They look to rebound this week.

Temple Softball: Temple softball is also in a bit of a slump. They look to rebound this week. Their current record is 2-8.

And that's it for the Temple University sports update.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ten Phillies You Never Knew About: Part Four

Number One: There's a catch, I could not decide on a clear cut number one "unknown" Philadelphia Phillie. So I will leave it up to you, the readers. Which one should be number one? I'll provide you the stats for each ballplayer listed below, en which you can make your decision.

Del Ennis, Outfielder, 1946-1956

About Del Ennis: A natural outfielder from birth. Played the majority of his career in Philadelphia as a Phillie or back in those days, as a Philadelphia "Blue Jay". Born in Philadelphia in 1925, started his career in Philadelphia in 1946. At one point held the Phillies all-time Home Run record with 288 Home Runs, which was later surpassed by the great, Michael Jack Schmidt.

Career numbers with Philadelphia: 1603 Games, 6327 AB, 1809 Hits, .286 BA, 259 HR, 1160 RBI, Three time All-Star.

Career (Overall: 14 seasons): 1903 Games, 7254 AB, 2063 Hits, .284 BA, 288 HR, 1284 RBI,

Billy Hamilton, Outfielder, 1890-1895

About Billy Hamilton: William Robert Hamilton known as "Sliding Billy", invented the modern day stolen base. Played during the "Dead Ball Era" of baseball. Born in 1886, in Newark, New Jersey. Hamilton started his career as an amateur with the Kansas City Cowboys of the now defunct American Association.

Career numbers with Philadelphia (6 seasons): 729 Games, 2993 AB, 1079 Hits, .361 BA, 23 HR, 367 RBI, 508 SB

Career (Overall: 14 seasons): 1591 Games, 6268 AB, 2158 Hits, .344 BA, 40 HR, 736 RBI, 902 SB. Hit over .400 once (.404 in 1894), Hall of Famer (1961)

Ed Delahanty, Second Baseman, 1888-1889, 1891-1901

About Ed Delahanty: Edward James Delahanty known as "Big Ed" started his career with the Phillies in 1888. Played during the "Dead Ball Era" of baseball. Born in 1867, one year after the United States Civil War (or in the South, "The War of Northern Aggression) had ended. Had four other brothers, all of which played baseball.

Career with Philadelphia (13 seasons): 1555 Games, 6359 AB, 2213 Hits, .348 BA, 87 HR, 1286 RBI, 411 SB. Hit over .400 three times with the Phillies (.407 in 1894, .404 in 1895, .410 in 1899). Hit over .370 six times.

Career (Overall 16 seasons): 1835 Games, 7505 AB, 2596 Hits, .346 BA, 101 HR, 1464 RBI, 455 SB. Hall of Famer (1945).

And there you have it. You are now richer in the knowledge of the Philadelphia Phillies history of baseball and their ballplayers.

Of course what do I know? I am just a knuckle headed 19 year old kid.

Thanks for reading.

10 Phillies You Never Knew About: Part Three

Number Three: Lonnie Smith, Outfielder, 1978-1981

I did know a lot about him until now. According to my Pops, he was an "adventure" in the outfield. What mistakes he made in the outfield could be made up by his speed. Could of been more useful if the Phillies allowed him to run.

In four seasons with the Phillies, Smith hit .321 with 163 Hits, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 60 SB

Career Stats: 1613 Games, 5170 AB, 1488 Hits, 98 HR, 533 RBI, 370 SB, 140 CS (73 SB%), .288 BA

Number Two: Dick Stuart, First Baseman/Left Fielder/ Corner Infielder, 1965

Who? Personally, I have never heard of Dick Stuart until now, when I ran out of Phillies to use. Who exactly is Dick Stuart? Known as "Stu" or "Dr. Strangeglove", he was vilified by the Philadelphia sports press for committing 17 errors.

Hitting numbers with the Phillies: 149 Games, 538 AB, 126 Hits, 28 HR, 95 RBI, .234 BA

Fielding numbers with Phillies:143 Games, 1119 PO, 98 A, 17 E, 100 DP, .986 FPCT

Started or part of 100 double plays? And your vilifying him for 17 errors? Those people in the Philadelphia sports press, must have overlooked his 1119 Put Outs and 98 Assists. So according to the Philadelphia sports press, they were mad because of the strikeouts and errors.

Honorable Mentions

Jimmie Foxx, First Baseman/ Pitcher, 1945

Pancho Herrera, First Baseman, 1958-1961 (1958, 1960, 1961)

Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones, Third Baseman, 1947-1959

"Choo Choo" Coleman, Catcher, 1961

The next group of players to don a Phillies uniform are hall of famers (Bender all the way down to Alexander that also includes Foxx and Bender above)

Chief Bender, Pitcher, 1916-1917

Joe Morgan, Second Baseman, 1983

Ferguson Jenkins, Pitcher, 1965, 1966 (non- consecutive years)

Kid Nichols, Pitcher, 1905, 1906 (non- consecutive years)

Nap Lajoie, Outfielder/ Infielder, 1896-1900

Eppa Rixey, Pitcher, 1912-1920

Sparky Anderson, Second Baseman/ Manager, 1959

Dave Bancroft, Short Stop/ Second Baseman, 1915-1919

Casey Stengel, Outfielder, 1920-1921

Hack Wilson, Outfielder, 1934

Chuck Klein, Outfielder, 1928-1933, 1940-1944

Tim Keefe, Pitcher, 1891-1893

Sam Thompson, Outfielder, 1889-1898

Elmer Flick, Outfielder, 1898-1901

Tommy McCarthy, Outfielder, 1886-1887

Tony Perez, Corner Infielder (First Baseman and Third Baseman), 1983

Dan Brouthers, First Baseman, 1896

Hughie Jennings, Infielder, 1901-1902

Llyod Waner, Outfielder, 1943

Hugh Duffy, Outfielder, 1904-1905

Roger Connor, First Baseman/ Outfielder, 1892

Grover Cleveland "Ole Pete" Alexander, Pitcher, 1911-1917, 1930

Granny Hamner and Garvin Hamner, 1944-1959 (Granny); 1945 (Garvin)

10 Phillies You Never Knew About: Part Two

With number eight that brings to our next segment: the brothers of Hall off Fame ballplayers, in which after giving a brief description of their time with the Phillies, I will then compare them to their brother(s) or other family members.

The Brothers/Family Segment

Number seven: Frank Torre, First Baseman, 1962-1963

Yes the Phillies have always had the wrong brother, Torre, Dimaggio, Giambi, Leiter for some odd reason. Number seven brings us to: Frank Torre. Played two seasons with the Phillies. In those two seasons, Torre hit .286 with 1 HR and 30 RBI.

His brother is none other than former Major League catcher, New York Yankee manager and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Joe Torre.

The argument could be made that Phillies had the wrong brother, in this case I do not know the answer.

Comparing the two Torre's career numbers:

Played two seasons with the Phillies. In those two seasons, Torre hit .286 with 1 HR and 30 RBI.

His brother is none other than former Major League catcher, New York Yankee manager and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Joe Torre.

The argument could be made that Phillies had the wrong brother, in this case I do not know the answer.

Comparing the two Torre's career numbers:

Joe Torre (18 Seasons) 3B, 1B, C

2209 Games, 7874 AB, 2342 Hits, 252 HR, 1185 RBI, 779 BB, 1094 SO, .297 BA

Frank Torre (7 Seasons) 1B

714 Games, 1482 AB, 404 Hits, 13 HR, 179 RBI, 155 BB, 64 SO, .273 BA

If you look at the numbers, yes Joe Torre was the better brother. But Joe, struck-out a lot. But Frank only played 7 seasons. (No 1961 season for Frank was given at any place I looked at)

Number six: Vince Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1945-1946

As always in pure Philadelphia Phillies fashion, we brought in the wrong brother. This time it was brother to the Legendary Yankee Clipper, Joltin' Joe Dimaggio; Vince Dimaggio. What? You thought I was going to say Joe or Dom?

Vince was the eldest of the three Dimaggio's of baseball. Vince in two seasons with the Phillies hit .258 with 19 HR and 85 RBI. All of the Dimaggio family were blessed with a thunderous bat.

Comparing the three Dimaggio's of baseball:

Joe Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1936-1951

In 13 seasons: 1736 Games, 6821 AB, 2214 Hits, .325 BA, 361 HR, 1537 RBI,

Vince Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1937-1946

In 10 Seasons: 1110 Games, 3849 AB, 959 Hits, .249 BA, 125 HR, 584 RBI

Dom Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1940-1953

In 11 seasons: 1399 Games, 5640 AB, 1680 Hits, .298 BA, 87 HR, 618 RBI

In my own opinion, I'd take all three Dimaggio's. Joltin' Joe in Center, Vince in Right, and Dom in Left.

Number five: Jeremy Giambi

Steroids or no steroids, number five brings us Jeremy Giambi, brother of current Oakland Athletics Designated Hitter: Jason Giambi.

In one season, actually half a season Giambi hit .244 with 12 HR and 28.

His stats don't even compare to his brother, Jason... so it's not even worth an effort on my part to compare the stats, but! I will anyway, because I'm that kind of guy.

Jeremy Giambi, First Baseman/ Designated Hitter, 1995-present

In 14 Seasons: 1850 Games, 6332 AB, 1812 Hits, 396 HR, 1279 RBI, .286 BA

Jason Giambi, Outfielder/ First Baseman, 1998-2005

In 6 seasons: 510 Games, 1417 AB, 372 Hits, 52 HR, 209 RBI, .263 BA

Number four: Mark Leiter, Pitcher, 1997-1998

In two seasons with Philadelphia, Mark went 17-22 with 23 Saves in 271.4 Innings Pitched and a ERA of 4.61. In those two seasons, Mark had an ERA+ of 99 and a WHIP of 1.401 (1.4095 rounded up).

Comparing the two Leiters Career stats:

Al Leiter, Pitcher, 1987-2006

In 19 Seasons: .551 WPCT, 162-132, 2391.0 IP, 1974 SO, 1163 BB, 3.80 ERA, 4.27 lgERA, 112 ERA+, 1.386 WHIP

Mark Leiter, Pitcher, 1990-2001

In 11 seasons: .471 WPCT, 65-73, 1184.1 IP, 892 SO, 424 BB, 4.57 ERA, 4.22 lgERA, 92 ERA+, 1.375 WHIP

(lgERA and ERA+ are adjusted values)

So who is the better pitcher? I'd take Al over Mark any day. Al won a World Series, no wait! TWO World Series rings! One in 1993 and one in 1997.

And that concludes our family segment.

10 (or more) Philadelphia Phillies You Never Knew About: Part One

Since the dawn of the Philadelphia sports in 1883 with the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia has been blessed with great and hall of fame athletes. Many of those athletes who have played for the Phillies, are not known about. Here are ten Phillies you may not of known about.

From the comically bad to the legendary in their own time, these ten should bring to light more about the Phillies past players. So, after hours of tireless research and question asking... without further posturing, here are ten Philadelphia Phillies that you never knew about.

Number Ten: Bob Uecker, Catcher, 1966-1967

That's right the comedic genius of the color commentator from The Major League movies was a Phillie. Was he any good? Uecker makes Mario Mendoza look like a hall of fame caliber hitter. The only thing more funnier than his acting was his hitting.

Career with Philadelphia stats: 96 Games, 242 AB, 49 Hits, 37 RBI, .202 BA

But not all was bad with Uecker. He was a solid defensive player behind the plate. Here's a quote of comedic value by Uecker on catching a knuckleball: "I always thought the knuckleball was the easiest pitch to catch. Wait'll it stops rolling, then go to the backstop and pick it up."

Career fielding with Philadelphia: 73 Games, 481 Total Chances (TC), 435 Put Outs (PO), 8 Errors (E), .972 FPCT

Number Nine: Julio Franco, Short Stop/ Second Baseman/ Infielder, 1982

One of the "5 for 1" players traded for Von Hayes. It was said that Julio Franco had problems turning the double play. But if you look at Franco's career fielding numbers at turning the double play, you will see that he had no problem turning it.

Comparing Von Hayes to Julio Franco

Julio Franco career offensive numbers (23 seasons): 2527 Games, 8677 AB, 2586 Hits, 1194 RBI, 173 Home Runs, 281 SB, .298 BA

Von Hayes career offensive numbers (12 seasons):1495 Games, 5249 AB, 1402 Hits, 143 Home Runs, 696 RBI, 253 SB, .267 BA

You tell me who got the better of that "five for one" deal.

Number Eight: Tito Francona, Outfielder, 1967

Yes, the father of current Red Sox and former Phillies manager, Terry Francona. He did not play many games with the Phillies. Francona was later released by the Phillies in 1967 and his contract was purchased by the Atlanta Braves.

Career with Philadelphia: 27 Games, 73 AB, 15 Hits, 3 RBI, .205 BA

Career (total): 1719 Games, 5121 AB, 1395 Hits, 125 Home Runs, 656 RBI, .272 BA

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bold predictions from a bold man

B-Mac, here with your bold Phillies prediction for the 2009 regular season. Currently I am predicting the Phillies to win 101 games this season. Not bad... considering the win totals for the Phillies have gone up in the past couple of seasons. 2006 the Fightin' Phils won 85 games. In 2007 the Fightin's won 89 games. Last season the Fightin's won 92. The precedent is there.

In other bold predictions... I am predicting Cole "Hollywood" Hamels to win 24 games and earn his first National League Cy Young Award. Precedent? Who needs precedent? Because he's Cole Hamels! Cole Hamels will win 1 Cy Young... and 11 Cole Hamels.

Ryan Howard prediction: .275, 61 HR, 175 RBI
Chase Utley prediction: .312, 30 hr, 112 RBI: National League MVP

Overall Record: 101-61
Starting Rotation 2009 prediction
Cole Hamels: 25-7
Brett Myers: 14-14
Jamie Moyer: 18-13
Joe Blanton: 16-13
Kyle Kendrick: 17-7

Bullpen 2009 prediction
Brad Lidge:
3-1, 42 SV 45 SVO
Rest of Bullpen: 8-6

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tale of the Tape

Playstation 3, XBOX 360, Wii, PSP, Playstation 2. These are some of the Video Gaming consoles necessary to play MLB 09: The Show and MLB 2K9. I went a little bit nerd on this but, I figured it had to be done with the release of these two games on Tuesday, March 3rd.

This is a comparison between Playstation Network's MLB 09: The Show and 2K Sports' MLB 2K9.

Now everyone who has been playing baseball on a video game console knows that the short lived, EA Sports MVP Baseball (2003, 2004, 2005) was graphically and technologically the best baseball series of video games out there. Once EA Sports lost it's exclusive rights to publish Major League Baseball games, two new series took hold.

These two series are: Sony's MLB (Year): The Show and 2K Sports' ESPN Baseball 2K (Year), now known as MLB 2K (number). The MLB 2K series started in 2004, where as the MLB series has been around since 1999, and The Show Series has been around since 2006 with MLB '06: The Show.

The Features of MLB 2K9

  • Living Rosters – Active roster updates guarantee your game is current. Rosters are automatically updated behind the scenes, so you're never late on a trade and always have the hottest players in your starting lineup.
  • More Signature Style – 2K Sports adds to its impressive library of player–specific animations with more than 300 new signature animations, bringing players to life at the plate, on the mound and in the field, allowing you to play ball like never before.
  • Next-Gen Controls – Right stick pitching, batting and responsive fielding bring your virtual baseball experience into the next generation. Improved two-step Precision Pitching controls, deeper Swing Stick batting and quick fielding responses round out your control of the game.
  • Franchise Mode – Take charge of your franchise and enjoy the all-new presentation style, a new level of CPU customization, multi-player functionality, and real player ambitions.
  • Swing Stick Advanced – Now you can really Play Ball. Improved batting controls give batters the ability to influence hits with timing and aim. Improved hit distribution and variety deliver more hit types including spray shots, pulls, line drives and long bombs.
  • Inside Edge 2009 – Inside Edge produces remarkably accurate player tendencies. With more than 6 years of scouting reports infused into the action on the field, Inside Edge ensures that players react to in-game situations as they would in real life.
  • 2K HD/Real-Time Atmosphere – An all-new Virtual Director brings in-game broadcasts to life in real-time with smart camera placement, angles, and cuts. Real-Time Atmosphere adds to the presentation package by bringing nuances to life throughout the duration of a game. Lighting, umpires, ball boys and coaches all move and progress naturally and seamlessly for a true-to-life ballpark experience.
  • New Broadcast Team – Gary Thorne provides the play by play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving a new perspective and more depth for a true-to-life, insightful broadcast. With improved sound effects including real time crowd noise you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the park.
  • New Postseason Mode – Jump right into the postseason without having to play through 162 regular season games. And if you win it all, experience a World Series celebration in true championship style.
  • Team 2K – An online competition lasting 10 weeks to compile a team of the best online players. Just play Ranked Quick Matches to compete and win prizes.
  • 2K Share – How do you play ball? Create, upload, and share rosters, sliders, and even players created with the all-new Player DNA feature. This also includes the newly added Reelmaker, where you can now direct your own digital video highlight reels and post them on for all the world to watch and admire.

System Exclusive features of MLB 2K9

Wii Features:

  • Pinpoint Pitching – Use the Wii Remote to control every pitch. A Flick of the remote, as you pitch, will increase velocity and movement on your pitches.
  • Precise Hitting – Use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk for total control of your hitting. The Wii Remote allows you to place your hits in relation to your swing timing, swing speed and swing angle.
  • Signature Style – Individual MLB player-specific batting stances, step-ins, step-outs, home run celebrations, windups and deliveries create a real life game experience.
  • New Broadcast Team – Gary Thorne provides the play by play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving more depth and realism for a true-to-life conversational broadcast. With improved sound effects including real time crowd noise you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the park.
  • New 2K Beats – Featuring Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Coheed & Cambria, Ted Nugent, SR-71, The Romantics, Boys Like Girls, and Europe.

PlayStation 2 Features:

  • GM Career Mode – Control up to 4 different franchises simultaneously. Achieve goals set by franchise owners, simulate seasons and attempt to bring home a World Series Championship.
  • Updated Rosters – Capitalize on the past winter's biggest moves with updated rosters and Inside Edge data.
  • 2K Sports Online Play – Think you got what it takes to Play ball against the rest of the world? Go Head-to-Head against the best players on the planet.
  • New Broadcast Team – Gary Thorne provides the play by play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving more depth and realism for a true-to-life conversational broadcast. With improved sound effects including real time crowd noise you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the park.
  • New 2K Beats – Featuring Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Coheed & Cambria,Ted Nugent, SR-71, The Romantics, Boys Like Girls, and Europe.

PSP system Features:

  • True to Form Fielding – Real life fielding structure brings a Big League experience to the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. Allowing you to play ball anywhere.
  • VIP System – Unique user profile for each and every gamer creating individual tendencies for pitching, batting, fielding, baserunning, and managing style.
  • New 2K Beats – Featuring Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Coheed & Cambria, Ted Nugent, SR-71, The Romantics, Boys Like Girls, and Europe
  • The Farm System – Practice your skills at scouting and evaluating Minor League talent by playing full games with Triple-A Clubs.

Ha... MLB 09: The Show gets it's own page of features

The Features of MLB 09: The Show

  • Road to the Show 3.0– Now includes interactive training, new settings, a new steal/ lead-off system, presentations and coach interactions. Interactive training will consist of a set of mini-games designed to improve a player's ability and performance in various areas of baseball.
  • Franchise Mode 2.0 – Improvements include the long awaited 40-man roster! The latest Franchise Mode improvements will also offer Salary Arbitration, Waiver Transactions and September call-ups.
  • Online Season Leagues – Along with improvements to the traditional Online Leagues, MLB 09 will offer major additions to Online Season Leagues! New Online Season Leagues will allow you to hold a fully functional draft and utilize a Flex Schedule, allowing players to play games ahead in the schedule.
  • Training/Practice Drills – In MLB 09 users will have the ability to choose from a number of different Training/Practice drills. The drills will be of various concentrations of the game. These drills are a perfect way to polish and improve your baseball skills in The Show!
  • Details & Subtleties – Details and subtleties play a huge role in legitimizing a game and helping you lose yourself in the suspension of disbelief. MLB 09 The Show sinks it's teeth into the details with realistic stadiums and signage, wear and tear on field, dusk to night lighting transitions, stadium Jumbotron animations and even crowd atmosphere – reaching up for foul balls out of play and home runs in addition to crowd rivalries and weather appropriate clothing.
  • Custom Music, Fan Yells and Chants – Using our My MLB Music feature, store all of your favorite music for play on MLB 09 The Show. Once you have your music on your PS3 hard drive, edit any of your tracks and assign a batter walk-up to all of your favorite players. Along with Custom Music, MLB 09 will also offer Custom Fan Yells and Chants. Record a yell, with your own voice, and assign it to play for the player and situation of your choice.

Other Key Features

  • Replays to Hard Drive via Replay Vault – If you've ever played MLB The Show you've seen some spectacular fielding and dramatic hitting. New to MLB 09 is the ability to store any of these replays to your PS3 hard drive as its own movie file. Enjoy the ability to playback any of your movies at your leisure.
  • Mascots – MLB 09 The Show will offer all your favorite team mascots. Mascots will appear a few times a game and may perform "signature moves" at certain points of the game as they attempt to pump up the crowd and in turn rally the team. The inclusion of mascots will add to the realism and help fans truly connect with their team.
  • End of Game Replays – The premise behind this idea is to give the user an instant post game visual replay of the most exciting and important plays of the game. This will offer the user a reminder of the depth and quality of our game and leave them with a taste of excitement that will encourage game after game.
  • Roster Vault (upload/download/rate) – This gives users the ability to create their perfect roster offline by adjusting player attributes, appearance, accessories, etc... Users can then save this Roster to their PS3 Hard Drive. Once online users can upload them from where they are stored to allow others users online to download, use and rate their Roster. The new Roster Vault feature lets the The Show community share and judge any Roster.
  • Build Your Own Customized Soundtrack With My MLB Music – Ever wanted to create your own video game soundtrack? Now you can. With MLB 09 The Show you can to take music you have on your system, import it from the XMB and add to the list of music played in the jukebox.
  • Never Miss A Single Play Again With In-Game Saves – Ever needed to save your progress in the middle of the game or an inning? This season, instead of losing your progress, you'll be able to save their Career, Franchise or Season at any point in the middle of the game. If the pressure is getting to you, walk away in the bottom of the 9th and pick it up later to see how clutch you really are.
  • Review Your Own Personal Highlight Reel From The Replay Vault – If you've ever played MLB The Show you've seen some spectacular fielding and dramatic hitting. With the new Replay Vault, you can now go back to that spectacular diving, behind the back double play in the 1st inning and show your friends. Replay any part of the game from any inning within that game.
  • Pitch Grips / Ball Rotation Detail – MLB 09 The Show details the different pitch grips and arm angles that a pitcher has when throwing each pitch. You'll be able to draw distinction between 17 different pitch types (4 Fastball variations: four-seam, two-seam, cutter, and split; 6 Breaking Pitches: 10-4 curve, 12-6 curve, slider, sinker, slurve, and screwball; 4 Change-Ups: straight, circle, palm and fork; And 3 Specialty Pitches: Knuckle, Knuckle-Curve and Gyro)!
  • Catcher Called Games – Ever heard that good pitching beats good hitting? The Show pushes the envelope for realism by incorporating catchers calling pitches. You'll really know what it feels like to stand on the mound and nod or shake a pitch from the catcher. It's up to you – just don't make a mistake pitch. The catcher's setup also acts as a guide to your decisions on where to locate a pitch. Are you a Cy Young or a Robin Roberts?
  • SportsConnect Live GameCast – Using SportsConnect technology, users can view the status of any game in progress in The Show. New for MLB 09, along with a 2D user interface representation, users can hear the play-by-play and color commentary of the announcers.
  • Make Educated Decisions With The Improved In-Game Pitcher and Batter Analysis – Stats and match-up analysis are a baseball fan's dream! The Pitch Analysis is a breakdown of all the pitches thrown during the current game being played. You'll be able sort by pitcher, LHB or RHB, pitch type and result. This is also available for Batters. The batter analysis allows for a breakdown of how each batter has performed based on LHP or RHP, pitch type and the result. The pitcher and batter analysis is available for both in-game and post-game. The analysis will appear in the batter / pitcher status screen and the post game pause menu. This information is available for every game played, as well as your Road to the Show career.
  • Track Batters Throughout The Season With New Progressive Batting Performance – Superior performance will earn you rewards and slumps, but will require a little extra effort. Specific to each batter, you'll be rewarded with slight contact bonuses for each batter who performs beyond his statistical ability under your control. Conversely, if your performance takes a dip, you'll see slight decreases in contact for each batter that performs below that statistical ability. Performances will be based roughly on each batter's last 20-30 ABs (w/ recent ABs weighted heavier).
  • SportsConnect Online User Tracking (SCOUT) Makes Online Matchups Easy – If you've ever had a difficult time finding someone online with the same gameplay setting as yours, the SCOUT system is for you. SCOUT allows you to set your game preferences, store them on the server and look for a Quick Match with an opponent that fits your criteria.
  • Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API) really puts you on the bump. MLB 09 The Show is the only baseball game to ever give you the choice to trust your catcher or shake him off. With API, catchers will call the game for you based on the strengths and weakness of each pitcher. And beyond that, catchers will also analyze tendencies of the batters to know if a batter is susceptible to chasing a high heater out of the zone or off-speed low and away.
  • Pitch Command System (PCS) delivers unsurpassed authenticity and strategy to pitch selection in a baseball videogame. A pitcher's "pitch comfort" will be predetermined based on a best pitch to worst pitch scenario. Now it's up to you to decide if you should try to "work on a pitch" or just go with what is working. The more you work on one pitch, the better it becomes. Conversely the more you neglect a pitch; the more challenging it becomes to work the zone.
  • Online League Play – Providing you with the ability to set up leagues with up to 30 teams offering full stat tracking, point benefits and rewards. Customize as you see fit; choose your players, teams, length, rules and much more. Whether it's you and a couple buddies or 29 of your closest friends, bragging rights are on the line.
  • Umpire Personalities – This year umpires will have unique tendencies and animations. But most importantly, each umpire will have his own definition of the strike zone. It's up to you to figure out if they're calling the zone high, low or giving you the corners. The quicker you figure it out, the more successful you'll be.
  • Multi-Branch Fielding takes Branch Point Technology to a new level. Now you can take full control of fielders and break out of any animation in the process. Change your fielding decision and branch out of any animation after the first branch point. With Branch Point Technology you'll pull off unbelievably smooth, fluid transitions for seamless double plays and relays.
  • 3-Man Booth with Rex Hudler bringing additional energy to tell it like it is. Hudler joins Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell for the most comprehensive commentary you've heard in any baseball game. MLB 09 The Show sets the bar high with progressive commentary that changes you progress through the game, adapting to current actions and situations.
  • User Controlled Slides let you control base runners down to the last detail. Split-second decisions are the difference between a win and a loss so as you round the bases, you decide when it's time to get dirty.
  • Rivalry Mode allows you to set up and maintain multi-game rivalries between multiple gamers or versus the CPU. Follow everything from wins to Ks and see who has the winning edge every time you challenge your rival. Whether you play offline or online, you'll be able to keep track of all your rivalry stats and bragging rights.
  • Game Time Decisions bring more depth to Franchise and Season Modes. Only MLB 09 The Show provides the ability to take full control of your team when you're forced to make the tough decisions. An injured player on the roster or a pitcher who needs more rest – the decision to play them is yours. If you ever thought you could be a big league manager this is the year to test your skills.
  • Progressive Broadcast adapts and utilizes game-specific presentations tailored to your career spotlight player as the season progresses.
  • SportsConnect Headline News lets you stay on top of all the news around the league. Receive all the current happenings in sports today. Information will be updated a few times each hour with news, trades and events from 31 different feeds, each containing 25 unique items. You can also select General MLB headlines for updates from all 30 teams in the league so no important news is missed while online with MLB 09 The Show.
  • Enhanced Career Mode incorporates a New Career Spotlight underscoring all of the accomplishments and failures during your career and showcases them in the limelight. You still call the shots but now the ramifications of your actions are documented. It's up to you to determine whether your reel consists of highlights or miscues.
  • Enhanced Franchise Mode gives the critics more to rave about extending the functionality where performance and player morale are tracked on virtually every level – salary, playing time, batting slot, team performance, you name it – you control it.
  • Unique Stadium Ambiance for every MLB team specific to their stadium with coordinated crowds, team colors and audio that catering to each team and specific players.
  • Release Point Pitching takes video game pitching to a whole new level utilizing a timing mechanism you must learn realize pitching pace and release point which varies from pitcher to pitcher.
  • The Pitching Confidence Meter plays a key role your ability to hit spots. Your frequency of mistake pitches will impact the confidence level of your hurler making it more difficult to hit your spots and paint the corners.
  • Guess Pitch tests your ability to master "the sweet science". Check out the pitch history and sit on what you think the pitcher will throw next. If you sit on the right pitch your power attribute is increased. For the ultimate reward sit on pitch and location and leave the yard in a hurry.
  • PlayMaker Fielding at its core is based on fielding attributes but it's ultimately up to you play to your team's strengths and weaknesses. Excellent fielders will track them down for you while sub-par fielders will require some concentration from you.
  • Unassisted Fielding Control allows fielding freedom with the ball in hand. Take advantage of more realistic barehanded flips and the ability to dive with the ball in the fielder's bare hand for the putout.
  • Hundreds Of Personalized Animations shows you recognizable, personalized player animations for everything from walk-ups, rituals, stances, swings – even emotions. All told more than any other baseball game on any platform. Guaranteed!
  • Unprecedented Online Options featuring head-to-head gameplay, 30-team leagues, King of the Diamond, live sports tickers, message boards, buddy lists, headset functionality, downloadable rosters, chat, and more.
  • Authenticity, Subtleties & Nuances like drag bunts, wild pitches, broken bats, check swings, off-line throws and much more.

The problems of MLB 2K9

Graphics: This has always been a problem with the 2K series. If EA Sports had been granted an exclusive right to publish MLB games, it would be no doubt that the MVP series and it's advanced graphics and games system would of blown the 2K series out of the water.

Commentary: Personally I had no problem with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. But for 2K9, they gave Miller and Morgan the ax and brought in Gary Thorne and former Mets GM and current Baseball Tonight analyst, Steve Phillips.

Price- who has $59.99 for one game?

The Problems of MLB 09: The Show

Exclusivity- The Show is a Playstation Network exclusive series. So unless you own a Playstation 3, Playstation 2, or Playstation Portable: guess what? You can't play the game.

Commentary- The Show has used Matt Vasgersian, former Major League utility player Rex Hudler, and Dave Campbell. I would at least prefer the two commentators from the MVP series... what were their names again? Oh, now I remember their names: Duane Kuiper and former Major League 20 game winner, Mike Kukrow.

Price- again who has $59.99 for one game? Let alone the system

The Edge:

MLB 09: The Show

The Show continues to push the button of real-life physics of baseball (Pitching Mechanics, Hitting Mechanics, Base-running, and Fielding). Not mention the additions of customized walk-ups, motions, true-to-life fielding, custom walk-up music, etc. The addition of a dynasty mode, 40 man rosters and September call-ups take the cake (and the win) for MLB 09: The Show.

Coincidentally, here are the sites for each game. Decide for yourself which one is better.


MLB 09: The Show

Look here for the article used

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rollins to be the next Happy Gilmore?

Check this commercial for Nike and Dicks Sporting Goods.

Somebody please tell me that Jimmy Rollins is not going to sign a big contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mac Attack: Lights Out, Bullpen Special Edition

The Phillies bullpen, last season and in the postseason, was lights out. The combination of Chad Durbin-Ryan Madson-J.C. Romero-Brad Lidge rivals that of Rivera-Wetteland of the mid-1990s New York Yankees fame. Not to mention guys like Clay Condrey, and the midseason acquisition Scott Eyre stepped up big time and keep the majority of the games close.

So, in the traditional spirit of things and the rule of threes, lets review, then preview the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen.

Long Relief

Clay Condrey

2008 record: 3-4, 1 save, 1 save opportunity, 56 games

2008 ERA: 3.26

2008 Strikeout and Walk totals: 34 K, 19 BB

2008 Innings Pitched: 69 IP

Middle Relief

Chad Durbin

2008 record: 5-4, 1 save, 7 save opportunities, 71 games

2008 ERA: 2.87

2008 Strikeout and Walk totals: 63 K, 35 BB

2008 Innings Pitched: 87.2 IP

Left Handed Specialist(s)

Scott Eyre

2008 with Chicago (NL) record: 2-0, 1 save opportunity, 7.15 ERA, 14 strikeouts, 4 walks, 11.1 IP, 19 games

2008 with Philadelphia record: 3-0, 1 save opportunity, 1.88 ERA, 18 strikeouts, 3 walks, 14.1 IP, 19 games

2008 totals: 5-0, 4.21 ERA, 38 games, 32 K, 7 BB, 25.2 IP, 2 save opportunities

J.C. Romero: See Set-Up Men

Set-Up Men

Ryan Madson

2008 record: 4-2, 1 save, 3 save opportunities, 76 games

2008 ERA: 3.05

2008 Strikeout and Walk totals: 67 K, 23 BB

2008 Innings Pitched: 82.2 IP

J.C. Romero

2008 record: 4-4, 1 save, 5 save opportunities, 81 games

2008 ERA: 2.75

2008 Strikeout and Walk totals: 52 K, 38 BB

2008 Innings Pitched: 59.0 IP


Brad Lidge

2008 record: 2-0, 41 saves in 41 chances (7 postseason saves for 48 total), 72 games

2008 ERA: 1.95

2008 Strikeout and Walk totals: 92 K, 35 BB

2008 Innings Pitched: 69.1 IP

2008 All-Star stats: 0-1, 0.2 IP, 1 game, 13.50 ERA, walk

2008 Cumulative Postseason stats: 0-0, 0.96 ERA, 9 games, 7 saves in 7 chances, 9.1 IP, 13 K, 3 BB

The Phillies' bullpen has not changed much from last year. Durbin-Madson-Romero-Lidge combined for 44 saves, 244 innings pitched, 274 strikeouts, 101 walks, and a combined ERA of 2.66 during the regular season.

Everyone loves lists, so it's time to reveal the projected 2009 numbers for the Philadelphia Phillies Relievers.

Long Relief

Clay Condrey

2009 Projected record: 6-5, 3.95 ERA, 40 K, 21 BB, 50 games, 72.1 IP

Chan Ho Park*

2009 Projected record as a reliever: 4-4, 4.50 ERA, 60 K, 29 BB, 61 games, 89.0 IP

J.A. Happ**

2009 Projected record as a reliever: 5-0, 3.95 ERA, 70 K, 39 BB, 53 games, 101.2 IP

Kyle Kendrick***

2009 Projected record as a reliever: 5-0, 4.00 ERA, 80 K, 40 BB, 53 games, 102.1 IP

Middle Relief

Chad Durbin

2009 Projected record: 5-1, 2.53 ERA, 50 K, 21 BB, 70 games, 73.1 IP, 2 saves in 3 chances

Robert Mosebach (Rule 5 draftee)

2009 Projected record: 2-5, 3.34 ERA, 49 K, 27 BB, 50 games, 50.2 IP

Left Handed Specialist

Scott Eyre

2009 Projected record: 6-5, 3.67 ERA, 45 K, 17 BB, 49 games, 73.2 IP, 1 save in 1 chance

Set Up Men

Ryan Madson

2009 Projected record: 5-2, 2.99 ERA, 71 K, 25 BB, 80 games, 91.2 IP, 3 saves in 5 chances

J.C. Romero

2009 Projected record: 3-0, 1.99 ERA, 59 K, 30 BB, 50 games, 67.2 IP, 2 saves in 3 chances


Brad Lidge

2009 Projected record: 3-0, 1.01 ERA, 93 K, 33 BB, 61 games, 101.1 IP, 45 saves in 48 chances

*If Happ or Kendrick take Fifth Starting Rotation Spot

**If Kendrick or Park take Fifth Starting Rotation Spot

***If Happ or Park take Fifth Starting Rotation Spot

Because as the old baseball adage goes, "Good Pitching beats good hitting; pitching and defense wins championships."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mac Attack: "the Howitizer Edition", Reviewing The Phillies Starting Rotation

And I cant see the Hand no,
That pulls me to my knees,
But when I meet my shadow
I see gravity,- Embassy, Gravity

Another edition of the Mac Attack here, reviewing the Phillies starting rotation. Gravity seems to love the Philadelphia Phillies rotation, by keeping the ball in the ballpark for the most part. The Phillies franchise has never really been blessed with "hall of fame" caliber pitching, outside of select few: Alexander, Carlton, Bunning, I dare say Schilling.

The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation had its bumps and bruises. Brett Myers being demoted. Eaton... uh yeah forget Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick shelled out of the rotation, replaced by lefty prospect, J.A. Happ.

The bright spots all so included Cole Hamels' 14 wins and postseason MVP performance, Jamie Moyer's god-like CY Young caliber performance at 16-7, Joe Blanton's 4-0 and playoff performance, and Kyle Kendrick's 11 wins.

So, reviewing the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies Starting Rotation:

Cole Hamels

Record: 14-10 2008
Postseason Record:4-0, 1.80 E.R.A., 30 SO, 9 BB, and 35.0 IP
E.R.A. of 3.09 196 SO, 53 BB, a career high 227.1 IP
Hardware: Two MVPs (NLCS and World Series)

Brett Myers

Record: 10-13
2008 Postseason Record: 2-1, 4.74 E.R.A., 12 SO, 10 BB, and 19.0 IP
E.R.A. of 4.55
163 SO, 65 BB, and 190.0 IP
Notable: 4-5, 3 RBI, 4 H, 1 BB in 2008 Postseason

Jamie Moyer

2008 Postseason Record: 0-2, 1 ND, 8.49 E.R.A., 10 SO, 4 BB in 11.2 IP
E.R.A. of 3.71
123 SO, 63 BB, AND 196.1 IP

Joe Blanton

Record (overall):9-12, 4.69 E.R.A., 197.2 IP, 111 SO, 66 BB
Record (with Oakland):5-12, 4.96 E.R.A., 127 IP, 62 SO, 35 BB
Record (with Philadelphia):4-0, 4.24 E.R.A., 70.2 IP, 49 SO, 31 BB
2008 Postseason:2-0, 1 ND, 3.18 E.R.A., 18 SO, 6 BB in 17 IP
Notable: hit first career home run in game four of the World Series

Kyle Kendrick

Record:11-9 E.R.A. of 5.49

68 SO, 58 BB, in a career high 155.2 IP

Notable: 21-13 in two Major League seasons since being called up from AA Reading

Other Starting Pitchers Used in 2008:

Adam Eaton

2008 Record: 4-8, E.R.A. of 5.80, 57 SO, 44 BB in 107 IP

J.A. Happ

2008 Record: 1-0, E.R.A. of 3.69, 26 SO, 14 BB in 31.2 IP
2008 Postseason Record: 1 game, relief, 3.00 E.R.A., 4 IP, 2 SO, 2 BB
Notable: first career win against Atlanta

Team Starting Stats (win, loss, E.R.A., SO and BB total from PHILLIES SEASON, not other team):

2008 Starting Pitchers record: 60-47
2008 Starters E.R.A.: 4.25
2008 Starters SO and BB Total: 671 SO, 328 BB

And we be...
Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way- Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Takin' Care of Business.

Projected 2009 Regular season numbers for the Philadelphia Phillies Starting Staff as well as the projected fifth starter, according to the Mac Attack staff:

Cole Hamels:

21-7, 3.01 E.R.A., 220 SO, 50 BB, 230 IP

Brett Myers:

17-9, 3.59 E.R.A., 200 SO, 70 BB, 220 IP

Jamie Moyer:

16-10, 4.00 E.R.A., 170 SO, 70 BB, 210 IP

Joe Blanton

10-10, 3.75 E.R.A., 132 SO, 60 BB, 250 IP

Projected Fifth Starter: Kyle Kendrick

16-8, 3.96 E.R.A., 100 SO, 40 BB, 200 IP

Other Possible Starters:

Chan Ho Park

Projected 2009 Starting numbers for Park (if Kendrick, Happ, or Carrasco don't take the fifth spot): 15-14, 4.50 E.R.A., 110 SO, 65 BB, 150 IP

J.A. Happ

Projected 2009 Starting numbers for Happ (if Kendrick or Park don't take fifth spot): 16-8, 3.50 E.R.A., 110 SO, 60 BB, 170 IP

Carlos Carrasco

Projected 2009 numbers for Carrasco (if Park, Happ, or Kendrick don't take the fifth spot): 13-4, 4.05 E.R.A., 120 SO, 50 BB, 120 IP

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mac Attack: "Locked and Loaded" Edition, Reviewing The Phillies Lineup

Locked and loaded, voices screaming
"Let's go! Come on, do it, here we go!"
-Offspring, Hammerhead

The Philadelphia Phillies lineup has not changed much since the postseason. Other than the fond farewell to Pat "The Bat" Burrell, and jolly good welcome to Philadelphia for Raul Ibanez. The Phillies traded offensive stats if you think about. 30 home runs, 90 RBI, and roughly 100 BB for .290-.300 batting average, 200 hits, and 110 RBI.

We will be reviewing the 2008 lineup and previewing the projected 2009 defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies lineup and projected offensive numbers.

So without anymore posturing, let's begin the Attack.

Reviewing 2008's lineup. Each spot varied certain games, and order varied from game to game to spark offense when it would start to slump.

1. Jimmy Rollins

2. Shane Victorino

3. Chase Utley

4. Ryan Howard

5. Pat Burrell

6. Jayson Werth

7. Pedro Feliz/ Greg Dobbs

8. Carlos Ruiz/ Chris Coste

9. Pitchers

Reviewing the Players 2008 season. Offensive numbers only.

1. Jimmy Rollins. The 2007 MVP had sort of an off-season offensively. Benched twice. He hit .277 with 154 hits in 556 at bats. 2007 for Rollins also saw a dip in hits (154), RBI (59), and average (.277). He was injured in the beginning of the season. He did have 47 stolen bases though and was caught stealing only three times.

2. Shane Victorino. The Flyin' Hawaiian had a break out season. Victorino hit .293 with 167 hits in 570 at bats. Victorino who, smashed a grand slam off of C.C. Sabathia during game two of the NLDS, hit 14 home runs during the regular season. Victorino also stole 36 bases and drove in 58 Runs.

3. Chase Utley. Chase got off to a rip-roaring start prior to the All-Star break. After the All-Star game, that same scorching bat practically fell silent. Chase knocked in 33 home runs, and batted .292 for the season. Not much off of his career average of .298. Last season, Chase drove in 104 RBI and scored 113 Runs, while raking 177 hits.

4. Ryan Howard. The "Big Dog" got off to a slow start in March (and April... and May... and June) but picked up his slack and started to hit the ball. Despite hitting .251 and striking out 199 times, Howard managed to crush 48 home runs. As well as drove in 146 RBI and scored 105 Runs. Howard slapped 153 Hits as well as stole a base. In the month of September alone, Howard hit .352 with 11 home runs, two triples, seven doubles, and drove in 32 RBI.

5. Pat Burrell. "Pat the Bat" got off to a blazing start much like Utley did, and carried the team throughout Howard's slow start. Prior to the All-Star game, Burrell hit .275 with 23 home runs, 57 RBI, and slugged .575. After the All-Star break tough, he cooled down much like Utley, a lot. After the All-Star break, Burrell hit .215, with ten home runs, 29 RBI. During the 2008 season, Burrell was in the top ten in walks with 102.

6. Jayson Werth. Werth had a "breakout" season, if you could call it that. He hit .273 with 24 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and slugged .498. Werth was one the four Philadelphia Phillies hitters with 20+ home runs (Utley 33, Howard 48, Burrell 33, Werth 24). Prior to the All-Star break he hit .271 with 12 home runs, and 36 RBI. After the All-Star break, he hit .275 with 12 home runs, and 31 RBI.

7. Pedro Feliz. Another Phillies hitter that got off to a hot start and cooled of, drastically I might add. Prior to the All-Star break: Feliz hit .270 with 12 home runs, and 45 RBI. After the All-Star break it's a different story. After the All-Star break, Feliz hit .189 with two home runs, and only 13 RBI. 2008 season for Feliz: .249, 14 home runs, and 58 RBI.

8. Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz had an off season hitting, while only hitting .219, with four home runs and only 19 RBI. Ruiz came up clutch when it really mattered especially in the playoffs. Prior the All-Star break, Ruiz hit .202 with two home runs and 20 RBI. After the All-Star break, Ruiz picked it up hitting .244 with two home runs and 11 RBI. 2008 Postseason stats: .261 (.375 in the World Series alone), one home run, and four RBI along with one stolen base.

9. Pitchers: (Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, Kendrick): The Philadelphia Phillies pitchers last season hit .107 combined with Cole Hamels leading in the average category with a steely .224. Next it was Kyle Kendrick batting .100, and so on. Big Boy, Joe Blanton hit his first career home run during Game 4 of the World Series.

10: The Bench. 2008 numbers for Chris Coste (catcher): he hit .263 with nine home runs and 36 RBI. 2008 numbers for Greg Dobbs (utility): he hit .301 with nine home runs, 40 RBI and three stole bases. 2008 numbers for Eric Bruntlett (utility): he hit .217 with two home runs, 15 RBI, and 15 stole bases. 2008 numbers for Geoff Jenkins (outfielder): he hit .249 with nine home runs, 29 RBI and one stolen base. 2008 numbers for Matt Stairs (outfielder):he hit .252 for the season (.294 with the Phillies) with 13 home runs (two with the Phillies), 49 RBI (five RBI with the Phillies) and one stole base. 2008 numbers for So Taguchi (outfielder): he hit .220 with nine RBI and three stole bases.

If you've got a match then we've got the gas
Let's start a fire and have ourselves a blast- Airbourne, Stand Up For Rock And Roll

Team totals for 2008: .255, 214 home runs, 762 RBI, 586 BB, 1117 SO's, 136 SB. Led Majors with 214 home runs. Second in Majors with 762 RBI. Tenth in Majors with a .255 batting average. Seventh in Majors with 1117 strikeouts.

2009 Projected Numbers for the starting lineup according to myself:

1. Jimmy Rollins- .285, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 49 SB

2. Sane Victorino- .291, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 45 SB

3. Chase Utley- .300, 25 HR, 80 RBI

4. Ryan Howard- .275, 53 HR, 152 RBI, 200 SO, 100 BB

5. Jayson Werth- .293, 30 HR, 29 HR, 75 RBI, 21 SB

6. Raul Ibanez- .310, 30 HR, 110 RBI

7. Pedro Feliz- .250, 15 HR, 50 RBI

8. Carlos Ruiz- .275, 13 HR, 56 RBI

9. Cole Hamels- .230, 2 HR, 13 RBI

Bench players projected 2009 numbers

10. Greg Dobbs- .310, 11 HR, 60 RBI

11. Matt Stairs- .263, 11 HR, 40 RBI

12. Eric Bruntlett- .250, 7 HR, 31 RBI

13. Chris Coste- .264, 10 HR, 41 RBI

14. Geoff Jenkins- .270, 11 HR, 30 RBI

Possible bench players prjected 2009 numbers:

15. Ronny Paulino- .267, 5 HR, 30 RBI

16. Lou Marson- .279, 11 HR, 25 RBI

17. Jason Donald- .281, 9 HR, 30 RBI

18. John Mayberry- .275, 11 HR, 20 RBI

Starting Pitchers projected 2009 hitting numbers:

19. Brett Myers- .175, 0 HR, 5 RBI

20. Jamie Moyer- .155, 1 HR, 7 RBI

21. Joe Blanton- .245, 4 HR, 15 RBI

22. Kyle Kendrick- .133, 0 HR, 3 RBI

Possible starting pitchers projected 2009 hitting numbers:

23. J.A. Happ- .133, 0 HR, 5 RBI

24. Chan Ho Park- .137, 0 HR, 5 RBI

25. Carlos Carrasco- .131, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Monday, February 16, 2009

Five for Fighting

The Phillies and Mets (of all teams) have a similar problem that has to be addressed. Both teams number five starting spot is up-for-grabs. As Richard Marsh, explained in his slide-show about the New York Mets five rotation issue, the Philadelphia Phillies have one of their own that has to be addressed.

As of right now, it is a four man slug-fest for the fifth starting spot between Rookie and top prospect Carlos Carrasco, 2nd year lefty J.A. Happ, third year righty Kyle Kendrick, and veteran right-hander Chan Ho Park. Sub-par veteran right-hander, Adam Eaton has ultimately been "eliminated" from the running; due to his sub-par performance throughout his tenure in Philadelphia going 14-18 in two seasons.

The fifth starting spot has always been a problem for the Phillies.

During the 2008 season the Phillies used a number of different pitchers down the stretch when Kendrick ran out of gas and Eaton just imploded.

Onward to the pitchers fighting for that coveted fifth spot.

Kyle Kendrick

In the green corner: Kyle is returning from a season which featured both his high and low points. At the crux of the season, he was removed due to a number of problems. The 2008 season saw him have a career high in wins, but a career high in losses, E.R.A., walks, etc.

2008 Season:

11-9, 5.49 ERA, 68 SO, 52 BB in 31 games, 30 of which he started with 155.2 Innings Pitched.


21-13, 4.78 ERA, 117 SO, 82 BB in 51 games, 50 of which he started with 276.2 Innnings Pitched

Keys to regaining the fifth starting spot: show he can command his slider, show he's willing to use his changeup and show that he can get left-handed hitters out better. Has to regain his confidence, throw his changeup more and show the Phillies that he is every bit as capable of being a consistent winner like he was in 2007 and early in '08.

James Anthony (J.A.) Happ

In the red corner: J.A. (pronounced: JAY) Happ saw his first career win last season The Phillies won the four games he started, including two games against the Braves in September, when Happ replaced Kendrick in the rotation. Happ proved he can compete in critical situations. He finished strong. He made the postseason roster. So he enters Spring Training with plenty of people feeling good about him.

2008 Season

1-0, 3.69 ERA, 26 SO, 14 BB, 31.2 IP in eight games, four of which he started.


1-1, 4.54 ERA, 31 SO, 16 BB, 35.2 IP in nine games, five of which he started.

Keys to earning the fifth starting spot: outshine all other candidates for the job.

Chan Ho Park

In the blue corner: Park, came here to Philadelphia to do one thing: start. I don't think he expected there to be competition for the fifth starter's job, though. In 280 career starts, Park is 112-85. And last season went 4-4 in 54 appearances, going 1-0 in four starts. But since the 2001 season Park has gone 34-34, 5.48 ERA in 104 starts with L.A.

2008 Season with Los Angeles Dodgers

4-4, 3.40 ERA, 95.1 IP, 79 SO, 39 BB, 2 SV out of 5 SVO in 54 games, five of which he started.


117-94, 4.34 ERA, 1590 SO, 858 BB, 1846.0 IP, 2 SV, in 378 games, 280 of which he started.

Keys to earning the fifth starting spot: prove that veteran know-how is better than youth. As an accomplished starter user the experience to earn the spot.

Carlos Carrasco

And finally in this corner, the Phillies top Minor League Pitching Prospect. He will be pitching most likely for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. He is highly-toted, and looks forward to breaking into the rotation sometime soon.

2008 Season in Minors

7-7, 4.32 ERA at AA Reading; 2-2, 1.72 ERA at AAA Lehigh Valley; 3-0, 2.11 in 11 starts in a Venezuelan Winter League.

Minors Career

27-20, 3.93 ERA, 510 SO, 240 BB, 581.1 IP in 108 Games, 103 of which he started.

Keys to earning the fifth spot: prove the hype about you is right. Don't expect anything other than most likely a full year at AAA. But be ready if none of the other three don't perform. Show unbelievable poise for someone at his age (21).

Let the fight begin. Let the debating begin.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How to survive a season, the Mac Attack way.

0-16, 31-131, 2-33, the list goes on. Does your team fall under this category? Is your team a stinker, not even worth the effort to press the power button on the television remote? You can't even GIVE away the tickets! Or do you just walk out at the 4th inning, halftime, etc.?


16-0, 101-61, 33-2, and so on. Does your team fall under this category? Is your team a dynamic powerhouse that shreds its competition in half, and their tickets are more prized than both gold and oil put together? Do you sit through the elements just to watch your team win or lose?

Well, with the new year comes the crushing depression of being a fan of the first category. Surviving these team's seasons are like combating the plague: hard and and it just gets harder and it pains you to call yourself a fan of that team. Likewise, does watching your team play gives you indigestion?

Can you ask yourself: "Hey! Is my local high-school or college team better than these so-called 'players'?"

Whether your team goes perfect or imperfect, B-Mac will be here to guide you through your team's season (regardless of sport, league, conference, division).

Rule No. 1 to surviving a season: Hopes and Expectations

First off, keep your expectations low, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Believe that your team will win at least half their games. If/when/once they win half their games during the season, then think about the claiming the wild card spot. Or if they have enough wins, think about claiming the division. Don't think about the playoffs or who's going to win the division at the beginning of the season. Also, don't get your hopes up. Because if you get your hopes up, you are only setting yourself up to be crushed further down the line.

Rule No. 2: Become a "Die-Hard"

Become a "Die-Hard fan", meaning that you try to weather the storm that is your team's season. Buff yourself up with knowledge, facts, and trivia about your team that no else would know.

For example, for a Phillies fan, "Can you name the former Phillies' pitcher to throw two no-hitters; one in both leagues?" Of course, the answer to that question is obviously the Senator, Jim Bunning.

If your team is really bad, go to games anyway. It's called a show of faith, most people would begin to lose hope.

Rule No. 3: The Sports Section, ESPN, and you

If you read the sports section of the newspaper, watch the "talking-head" shows on ESPN (PTI, ATH, ESPN First Take, Baseball Tonight, etc.). Keep an open mind. Don't believe everything that is written about your team or the season that your team goes through, especially when your hometown team is in a major market (NYC, L.A., Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia).

Rule No. 4: Curses?

There are no such things as curses. Curses are just stuff made up by the sports writers to cover up the fact that your team has bad players, bad management, or bad ownership. So Cubs fans, you are not cursed. You just have one of the above. The Red Sox were not cursed by that trade of the Babe, they just had bad teams or management, or ownership.

Same goes with the professional teams out of Philadelphia: you are/were not cursed by that building (One Liberty Plaza) or William Penn. You just have had lousy teams, players, management, ownership, etc.

Addition to Rule 4: The only thing if it is a curse, is the funk that the NCAA D-I Men's Basketball team at NJIT is in. I haven't checked lately, but I believe their winless streak was at five or six seasons, and at one point went 0-51.

Rule No. 5: As Tug McGraw once said, "Ya gotta Believe!"

Above all, believe in your team. If your team is a perennial stinker, believe that this is the year that we get out of the cellar and become champs. Or believe that this is the year that we turn that 0-16 into a 16-0. Or if your a Pirates or Royals fan: believe that this is the year that we finish above .500, and someplace other than last or second-to-last place in our division.

That's it. If you can survive an 0-16 season or a Pittsburgh Pirates season and make it out without killing yourself or your team, you can survive just about anything.

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Lights Out: Preview of the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Bullpen

With the Super Bowl over, millions of people who were hunkering down for the winter, are now returning to their natural calling: baseball. It is almost a week away from the perennial calling of pitchers and catchers to head down to Florida and out to Arizona.

That means the Phillies are returning to Clearwater once again, only this time to defend their World Series title.

But the Phillies are coming into Spring Training with some burning questions: Who is going to get the fifth starting spot? What about the bullpen? Is it going to stay the same dominant form?

Well I'll cover one of these pressing issues, primarily the bullpen. This is the 2009 Spring Training profile of the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen.

The Phillies bullpen last season and postseason, was lights out. The combination of Durbin-Madson-Romero-Lidge rivals that of Rivera-Wetteland of the mid-1990's New York Yankee fame. Not to mention guys like Condrey, and the midseason acquisition Scott Eyre stepped up big time and keep the majority of the games close.

So, what is the outlook for the 2009 bullpen? It is looking the same as last year: a strength. One of the biggest potential strengths of the Phillies 2009 bullpen is: that is majority intact from last season.

The Phillies' bullpen has not changed much from last year. Potential strength No. 2: the back-end of the bullpen. Durbin-Madson-Romero-Lidge combined for 44 saves, 244 innings pitched, 274 K's, 101 BB's, and a combined E.R.A. of 2.66.

The other relievers: Condrey and Eyre pulled their own weight as well, coming into games in pressure situations and either keeping it close or keeping the lead intact.If Chan Ho Park losses out to Kyle Kendrick for the fifth starting rotation spot, he can be used as a tool in the bullpen.

Adam Eaton, I believe will not be returning to the bullpen at all this season, and will be release before the end of Spring Training. If Park does get the fifth starting spot in the rotation, Kendrick and J.A. Happ could be utilized as long relief pitchers.

Some of the biggest concerns: what will happen to J.C. Romero when he comes back from suspension? It is only a matter of: when will "Lights Out" Lidge blow a save? And if he blows a save, how many might he blow? What's going to happen to the right-handers in the bullpen when Romero ends his suspension?

One of the biggest concerns is J.C. Romero. He was key in that 7-8-9 combination of last season. When he returns from suspension on June 1, he will have not of pitched since either Game Five of the World Series or whenever the last game for Puerto Rico is in the World Baseball Classic.

For the Phillies bullpen that is a big chunk of games. Most likely of those 50 games that Romero will miss, he would have been in 30 of those.

For the Phillies bullpen, that is a huge chunk of innings as well for their lefty set-up man not to appear in. Which in turn, puts a strain on the right-handers and Eyre. They may go after lefty fireballer Joe Biemel to fill his spot.

Another concern is; When will Lidge blow a save. I hate saying this but, Brad "Lights Out" Lidge will eventually blow a save. Will it be in the beginning of the season? Will it be the middle of the season? Or will it be in the home stretch of the season when Lidge blows a save? Or in a key game?

I can't say when Lidge will blow a save. Only time will tell.

The Phillies can count on Durbin, Madson, Lidge to get them out of pressure situations this coming season. They did it last season well, they should do the same this year. The Phillies can count on Romero to return to his set-up role, once he returns.

Expect Eyre and Condrey to step up even more than last year.

So which pitchers have something to prove? I would have to say Ryan "Mad Dog" Madson, Brad Lidge, Chan Ho Park, and/ or Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ.

Madson has to prove he is worth the $4 million a year that his new contract says he gets.

Lidge has to prove that staying perfect last season was not a fluke, even though the majority of fans know that Lidge last season was not a fluke.

Park has to prove he was worth the Phillies to pick him up. By either starting or assimilating into the bullpen. He has to prove that he can compete with the big dogs of the National League East Division.

Kendrick has to prove that he can return to his 2007 form. If not, he has to prove that he can assimilate into the bullpen and provide long relief.

Happ is in the same boat as Kendrick is, except he can be used as a another lefty in the bullpen.

How vital is the Phillies bullpen to their chances of returning to the playoffs and the World Series in 2009? The bullpen is as vital as the starting pitching: the lifeline of the team. If the bullpen can avoid injuries they will play a key role in the Phillies title defense this season.

Because as the old baseball adage goes: Good Pitching beats good hitting; pitching and defense wins championships.

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Surviving Philly

Think you can play, coach, or manage in Philadelphia?

Can You?

To be one of the longest tenured players in Philadelphia sports history, like Dawkins and Burrell; takes skill. So random 76er, Flyer, Eagle, and Phillie, it begs the question: think you have what it takes to compete down at One Citizen’s Bank Way?

This is your comprehensive “player” survival guide to surviving in Philadelphia.

1) Performance Matters: first off before you can win, you have to perform. If you don’t perform up-to-snuff, you may just be that key throw-in that sends a big name player here, and your ass goes far away.

Or if you don’t perform well, your position on the team may just be: bench-warmer or worse; bye-bye Philadelphia, hello Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater, Williamsport, Lakewood, the practice squad (Eagles and Sixers), Phantoms.

So above all, perform well and up to YOUR AND YOUR team’s expectations, not the press’ or the fans.

2) Stay away from the press: stay away from the press; they are not your friends. You could be hitting .450 one week and the press’ favorite person; the next week you could be mired in a slump hitting .150 and the press are calling for your departure.

1. Amendment 1 to Rule 2: The “Cole- Rollins” Amendment: Don’t give the press anything to write home about. Comments, thoughts, stats, and trash talk: keep them to yourself, unless a situation warrants it.

Watch out for phrases like: “We’re the team to beat” or “Choke Artists”. Don’t say said phrases (or other phrases), unless you can back up said phrase, taunt, or insult. Also watch out for baited hooks, phrases like: “Do you think that the Mets are choke artists?” or “Did you know about the overtime rule?”

3) Win: Winning is important, but not that important when compared to rules one and two (as well as amendment one to rule two). Win and you are a hero. Lose and you’re life will be a living hell.

When you win, don’t over celebrate. When you lose, don’t cry about it. No one likes a crybaby. Do not under any circumstances accept ties. Never settle for anything better than a victory.

4) If benched in the middle of a game: Don’t sulk about it. And don’t cry about it either. Realize that the coach or manager may have benched you in order to one: “fire-up” the team and/or two: you are really just playing poorly so maybe a benching might help.

Just remember- it’s only one game, don’t read anything into it. Also, remember: that you can always go after it the next game.

5) Know the Rules of the Game: If you don’t know the rules of the game then you should not be playing. If you’re a baseball player, know the ground rules; know what would be called a home run and what would be called a foul ball.

Also, know the rules about balks, infield flies, and foul balls. If you’re a football player, know what is legal and illegal (pertaining to passes, formations, eligible players, hits, and tackles), also know where the boundary lines are. This applies to all sports and is retroactive, applies to rule 2 and rule 2.1

1. The Donovan Amendment to Rule 5: Know the rules of your sport. This pertains to ties, overtime, ties in overtime, extra innings, and shootouts. There is no excuse for not knowing your sports’ rules about overtime, ties and ties in overtime, shootouts and extra innings, as well as rain delays.

6) Pay Attention to the Game (The Kolb-Coste Rule): Know the situation of every game, because you never know when you might just get into a game.

7) Always know the rules of your team (The Rollins Rule): plain and simple- know the rules that your head coaches and managers set. That means show up on time and hustle every game, all the time or be ready to ride the pines.

8) Never be seen with Celebrities: Off days, holidays, off seasons, travel out in Los Angeles: never be seen hanging with the likes of: T.O., Plaxico, Madonna, Britney Spears, K-Fed or any other Hollywood A-List celebrity. These people are no good and nothing but distractions.

9) Never Carry a Concealed Weapon: Rule is self-explanatory

1. Never Shoot Thyself with Said Concealed Weapon: Self-explanatory as well. Rule 9 will be known as the “Dumb-ass Plaxico Rule”, Rule 9.1 will be known as “Dumb-ass Burress Amendment”. Together these two rules will be combined for one overall rule 9.

10) Win a Championship (will be known as the Mitch Williams Rule): Most importantly, play hard and win a championship. Because no one will remember all those achievements, records, strikeouts, and wins without a championship.

Win one and be hailed as a hero. Lose one or don’t win one and become public enemy number one. Remember the tag-line for EA Sports: “If it’s in the game; it’s in the game.”

These are the 20 rules that should live by here in Philadelphia. Win and these streets and stadiums will welcome you home as a hero, lose and these streets and stadiums will become your own personal hell.

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