Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Parade of Links Vol. II

Some quick business before getting on to a whole bunch of links. The Daily News confirms the Phillies interest in Texas Rangers OF David Dellucci, Tomas Perez has cleared waivers and can now only sit and await his fate, and RPs Yoel Hernandez and Aquilino Lopez have both been sent down to the minor league camp thereby being eliminated in the battle for that last bullpen spot.

(1) It seems that Phillies fans are increasingly willing to say goodbye to play-by-play man Harry Kalas after his contract runs out. The reasons for this (mainly pro-HK reasons - letting a Phillies icon go out with class) are solid, but I ultimately disagree. My opinion on this issue could change by the day, but as of right now, March 28th 2006, I think Harry Kalas should be in the Phillies broadcast booth for as long as he feels he can do the job. Happy belated birthday, Harry.

(2) This rumor is now two days old, but it serves as a decent follow up to the Rheal Cormier to Detroit rumors talked about last week:

The Nationals and Tigers were in trade discussions, with Washington almost trading left-hander Joey Eischen to Detroit on Saturday afternoon, according to two baseball sources...According to published reports, the Nationals were interested in outfielder Nook Logan, who has a lot of speed, but doesn't have much patience at the plate. If he came to Washington, Logan would be a reserve.


Nats GM is a big fan of fast, toolsy players that can't hit enough to make all their talents worth a damn. Logan seems to fit that mold, though he really isn't that bad a player and should make a fine fourth outfielder for a good long time. Eischen is a better pitcher than Cormier and would also cost less (he is working on a 1-year deal worth $1.3 million), so the Tigers should jump at the chance to add him if they are as hellbent on acquiring a lefty reliever as it seems.

(3) Something I didn't realize...

Although there are no formal records, the last Spring Training no-hitter was March 27, 2003, when Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano, Brandon Backe and Jorge Sosa no-hit the Phillies in an 8-0 win in Clearwater, Fla.

The Cubs just no-hit the A's through nine innings in a spring game (the A's got their one and only hit in the 10th)...figured I'd provide some context for the otherwise random note above. I don't really have much of a recollection of that game, but it is interesting to note that all three pitchers for the Rays that day have turned out to be useful major leaguers. Zambrano, by far the biggest name of the three at the time, is now coming off arguably the least successful season of the three...though I'd argue the order goes Sosa, Zambrano, Backe personally.

(4) Interesting article from the Philadelphia Business Journal that was picked up by MSNBC.com.

In recent years the Philadelphia Phillies have sought to expand their fan base among women, Asian-Americans and the region's Latino community. This year, the baseball team has a new target: college students. "With something like 57 colleges to cater to in this area, we figured why not take advantage of that," said Robb L. Kazenski, a Phillies sales representative and one of a group of under-30 front-office staffers leading the initiative. "College kids are always looking for something to do. It seemed like a logical fit."

...

"We think Citizens Bank Park is a hip place to be," said John Brazer, the Phillies director of fun and games. "We also have a group of young players, like Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, our younger fans are excited about."

I'll admit that I am biased about this idea from the start (I approve), but I think the Phillies need to be careful and keep the balance of college kids, families, and crotchety old baseball fans (that'll be me someday) in mind when making decisions. Gearing the experience towards college kids should work in the short-term, but you never know what kind of long-term ramifications something like this could have (if any).

(5) Jimmy Rollins has been getting plenty of attention over the past couple days and deservedly so - his 36 game hit streak makes for a great story heading into the 2006 season. Unfortunately, as Rollins finds himself in more and more featured stories, he also finds himself in front of a lot more microphones and tape recorders. This isn't necessarily an unfortunate situation for all players and, quite honestly, didn't figure to be one for a player as well liked by teammates and well spoken to the press as Rollins. He may still be well liked and well spoken, but he sure as heck ain't the brightest ballplayer to ever live...

Rollins never has walked more than 57 times in a season, and his on-base percentage was only .325 before last season, when it was still a modest .338.

"They love to make a big deal out of that," Rollins said. "That's fine. They've got to have something to criticize. Better to be talked about than to be forgotten about.

"I had my best two seasons the last two years. They talk about I'm not on base enough. Well, I'm still in the top three in runs scored, you know what I mean?

Looking at the important categories, looking at the numbers that really count, I'm doing my job as a leadoff hitter. You can get on base, but does it help your team win? But if you don't score runs, if your score doesn't move, your record probably doesn't get better."


That's the thing I don't get about baseball - how can somebody who is paid very well to do a job, have such a horrible misunderstanding of some of the very basic ideas of said job. I realize it is pointless to compare the world of sports to the real world, but this kind of attitude would not be acceptable in any other profession. I wonder if Rollins thinks he would still score as many runs if Jason Michaels/Kenny Lofton, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Pat Burrell weren't hitting behind him. Think they had something to do with Rollins piling up the runs? Maybe if the guy can get on base even more than he has, he'd have more opportunities to do the one thing that "really count[s]."

(6) The Boston papers covered the whole Josh Beckett-Ryan Howard spat very well. The Globe story was solid all around, but two lines from the Herald jumped out at me as I was reading it yesterday morning while eating my Raisin Bran...

“I’m kind of about respecting the game,” said winning pitcher Beckett, who allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, while striking out six batters. “Even if it is a home run, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. I’ve never been the type of guy to not saying anything, so that’s where it kind of started, when he was jogging in after it was a pop-up.

...

Howard, who has the reputation of being a thoughtful and gentle young man, was perplexed by the reaction.

"I'm kind of about respecting the game"...what does that even mean? Maybe I'm just jumping over his use of "kind of," but he sounds like a dope. The description of Howard is great. Come to think of it, he is a "thoughtful and gentle young man"...just seems like a funny (though true) description of big Ryan Howard.

By the way, I really don't care about who is to blame in the incident. It doesn't matter to me. I would like to rip the Red Sox though...just for fun. I can't stand the Red Sox. I detest Terry Francona. And it doesn't surprise me at all to see this went down in yesterday's game.

(7) If you made it this long, fear not, your faith in me has been rewarded. There is plenty of good stuff in the two links below if you are willing to do a tiny bit of reading:

Good news for the Phillies if you believe the statistical simulators

and

Five Questions answered about the Phillies by the Beerleaguer himself

1 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

I guess I am old school. I agree with Josh Beckett. I am sick and tired of players watching their hits/homeruns. However, Beckett has two, who are penchant for doing it, right on his team (David Ortiz and his bat flip, Manny Ramirez and his watching trot). There is no room for that in baseball.

I remember one of my first games at Veteran's stadium, when Barry Bonds hit a long fly ball and started to trot. It wasn't a homerun, but instead hit off the left field wall. A typical player would have at least a double on that hit. By the time Bonds recognized it was falling, he could only keep a single. (It was the same game where Bonds with his inability to play defense and attempt to be a showboat, slapped at a ball with his glove and didn't catch the ball. Ironically, the Phillie at the time, whose name I cannot recollect, had reached second base on the play).

It seems as though the Homerun watch has become custom in the game. How many fans supported Sammy Sosa and his Homerun jump? I think McGwire (though I believe he might have used improper means to become stronger) was the only true sport when it came to homeruns (though he still didn't run the bases, he did not watch the ball, either).

I say give me Steve Carlton or the likes of the 80's Phillies. I would love to see a player do what Ryan Howard did. Not only would the following batter be beaned in the head, but Ryan Howard would at the next at bat as well. Though most likely this results in suspensions, today, it would teach a player to not show up the other team.

Like I said, I guess I am still old school.

9:05 AM  

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