Friday, July 31, 2009

Neighbors...They Talk

Links for today from around my bloggerhood...

Amanda talks about Ruben Amaro's top 10 moves as Phillies GM, over on PhilliesNation.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's got a good blog. Here they review funny names in the sport of baseball.

Minor league media head Mike Ashmore covered two double headers yesterday in NJ. Read his live blog from the quadruple header right here.

Not sure if it's streaming all day, but PhoulBallz.com is fully in the mix on Slugtrail Radio's podcast that was recorded last night. If you like prank calls, random discussion and sports talk...check that out here.

SI has a photo list of most recent MLB no hitters by team. Check that out here. Lakewood coach Bob Milacki was part of the Orioles' most recent no-no.

David Murphy's got some quotes from Jason Donald on being traded. The Indians' triple A team, the Columbus Clippers, are visiting Lehigh's Coca Cola Park, so the trio of Donald, Lou Marson and Carlos Carrasco had a fast initial move...from the home locker room to the visitors' locker room.

WSBGM's has a look at the first Phillie this season to accomplish something rather remarkable, and an update on the pile of crap that is Eric Bruntlett's 2009 offensive performance. Check that out here.

Braves fans hate umpire Bill Hohn. Crashburn Alley has an interesting look at why, and critiques their reasoning.

**Quick press release from the lovely store known as MODELLS SPORTING GOODS. Cliph Lee jerseys will be on sale tomorrow, August 1st! Their locations on Cottman Ave. and Chestnut St. will be the first stores to debut the goods. #34 jerseys priced at $99.99 and t-shirts at $17.99 will be ready to go. Call your local Modells for additional info.**

When I Think About You, I GOOGLE Myself

Actually, I use Yahoo as my search engine, but Google is the standard terminology. Anyway, while watching the Phillies game on Thursday night into Friday morning, I proceeded to do some searches on my site name. I've done it before, and found mentions of some of my posts and found other sites linking to me that I had not been aware of, so it's a cool practice I'll do from time to time. Below are some things I learned or came across.

Web site TableTennisCoach-"dot something" seems to be a BS site that tries to load malware via fake virus warnings.

Some guy named MaseMase on Twitter is cool and reads this page and has refered readers here and has gotten others to see this page and post links to it. He deserves a shout out.

ECheats.biz links to this site on a page for a Super Nintendo game called Ballz, thanks to keyword enhanced advertising.

MusicReportOnline.net apparently translates articles, that they link to, into to some variation of English. Check out their interesting sample below. Original interview with John Flynn here. That's SURREBUTTER, baby!




While learning that WereTheTeamToBeat.com has linked to this site in the past, I also learned that this girl got really fit rather quickly, from an ad.

Lastly, I also searched Sarge Cadillac Time. Here is the top result for the latest Phils catch phrase.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Looking Forward With Lee

Cliff Lee is expected to join the Phillies today in San Francisco. American League pitchers have somewhat of a track record of increased success when they initially join a new team in the National League. Here is a look at some excellent cross overs from recent memory.

CC Sabathia, 2008. After joining the Brewers midway through last season, Sabathia went 11-2 with 7 complete games, 3 shut outs and 128 K's over 17 starts.

Johan Santana, 2008. In his first full NL season with the Metropolitans, Santana posted a 16-7 record with a 2.53 ERA and 206 K's in 34 starts.

Bronson Arroyo, 2006. In his first three months with the Reds, Arroyo had a 9-4 record, with a 2.58 ERA and 89 K's in 17 starts.

Randy Johnson, 1998. When Johnson left Seattle for Houston, he contributed greatly with a 10-1 record, 1.28 ERA, 4 complete games (all shut outs), with 116 K's in 11 starts.

For further consideration, here is a look at those pitchers' statistics with the preceding American League club, just before getting traded.

Sabathia with Cleveland, 2008...6-8, 3.83 ERA, 18 games.
Santana with Minnesota, 2007...15-13, 3.33 ERA, 33 games (2nd half...5-7, 4.04 ERA, 15 games)
Arroyo with Boston, 2005...14-10, 4.51 ERA, 35 games (2nd half...7-5, 5.08 ERA, 17 games).
Johnson with Seattle, 1998...9-10, 4.33 ERA, 23 starts.

Cliff Lee with Cleveland, 2009...7-9, 3.14 ERA, 22 starts.

Lee's numbers look better than those other guys' stats just prior to crossing over. Lee's win-loss record would certainly be better this year if the Indians offered more run support. Cleveland averaged 3.73 runs per game this year in Lee's starts. By comparison, Roy Halladay (11-4) got 5.47 runs per game this year from the Blue Jays, prior to his latest start on Wednesday. If this history pans out, and Lee's season so far is any indication, we could be looking at quite a beastly remainder of 2009 from the newest Phillies pitcher.

Thanks to The Shore Sports Report gang for tips.

Columnist David Murphy speculates that Lee will make his Phillies debut on Saturday.
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I'd like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to PhoulBallz.com's favorite t-shirt model, Jason Knapp. Good luck to you, my man.




BallHype: hype it up!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cliph Lee is a Phillie


The Phillies and Indians have reportedly agreed on a deal which would send Jason Donald, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp and Lou Marson to Cleveland for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports on the agreement here.


BallHype: hype it up!

JP's Holla' Day Has Passed

Roy Halladay rumors will continue to swirl throughout the week, even though Toronto GM JP Ricciardi's self-imposed trade deadline for Halladay of July 28th has passed. More teams are becoming players in the Halladay sweepstakes and have begun to make their offers. With the asking price seemingly a steady set of the following- 1 major league ready player (preferably a pitcher), 1 top pitching prospect and 1 much touted offensive prospect...teams like the Red Sox offering Clay Buchholz and the White Sox offering Gavin Floyd seem to be taking over as the more serious contenders to get a deal done with the Blue Jays. With the Phillies apparently stuck on not giving up Toronto's top wish list item, pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, they are rumored to be moving deeper into negotiations to acquire Indians lefty and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. If the Phillies can get Lee without giving up Drabek, that would be their more ideal swap.

My opinion on Drabek being the piece that holds the Phillies back from making a deal is like this...What's the best projection for Drabek's career? He becomes a Roy Halladay calibre pitcher, right? Okay, so if you're trading him and get back ROY HALLADAY, what's the problem? Halladay is an annual Cy Young Award contender and one of the best pitchers in the game. This type of talent would certainly help the Phillies in their pennant chase and post season this year and next season. Kyle Drabek most likely will not assist the major league Phillies this year. Make the deal happen.

Ricciardi may need to consider how 23 days of being the main topic of North America's trade deadline discussions will leave Halladay feeling, if no trade is completed. He's their best player. Could all the chatter leave him with a sour taste in his mouth? Perhaps. And maybe next time around Halladay won't wish to deal with all of this again and won't cooperate with the Blue Jays and agree to wave his full no-trade clause.

The Blue Jays are 11 games behind the Yankees in the AL east. Halladay makes 17% of Toronto's payroll. The Indians are 12 1/2 games behind the Tigers in the AL central. Lee makes 7% of Cleveland's payroll. Both teams have similar deficits in the standings, but with over sized contracts like Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and Kerry Wood on Cleveland's roster, Lee, who actually earns his salary, might not be an urgency for the Indians to part with or get a return for. Thus, the Indians may require an equally impressive offer, to what Toronto is wishing for, to let go of their ace, who will make just $8 million next season.

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The Phillies improved to a ML best 19-5 (.792 winning percentage) in July with their win over the DiamondBacks on Tuesday night. Consider that the Phillies began the month 0-2, and they've won 19 of their past 22 games.

Raul Ibanez is hot on the road. This season, in 37 road games, Raul is hitting .325 (51-for-157) with 15 homers, 41 RBI and 32 runs. Raul has also safely reached base in 20 straight road games. Last season with the Mariners, Raul's batting average was 33 points higher on the road than it was at home.

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And here is a reminder that it's PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday on The Shore Sports Report. The show is on daily from 3-6pm, and I'll be on at 3:30 to talk about the World Champions. Click here to listen.

The show also has its own message board...you can find that here.

BallHype: hype it up!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eyes Closed Again

Congratulations, Wild-haired Asian Kid. While all of your Brewers fan cohorts attempt to lunge and catch a homerun ball with their eyes closed, you prevail as the toughest fan in your section. The guy with cap in hand, right in front of you, surely will not be successful in his blind attempt to catch a ball. The orange haired pot head right next to him certainly resembles someone doing the wave in his sleep and not a fan trying to grab a souvenir. The goateed tongue ejector, toward the right of the picture, definitely is in the best position to make the grab, but failure awaits him. Open your eyes, not your mouth, Gene Simmons.


Additional props go out to the folks behind all the reaching fans, as they excitedly await the broken hand bones of some seat neighbor with his/her eyes closed.
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Once again, Cardinals fans, you are not skilled at catching homerun balls. PhoulBallz has dealt you a blog bashing before, and you've still not learned a lesson. I am disappointed in you. Next time, you guys need to move your tight red shorts and fresh jean shorts with high white crew socks out of the way, to make room for the child who would, no doubt, keep his eyes open and embarass you both with a heroic snag.

BallHype: hype it up!

Coach Bob Answers a Few Questions

I spoke with Lakewood pitching coach Bob Milacki recently. Just a couple quick questions, mainly about his visit to the double A all star game and the BlueClaws' pitching prospects. Here is what Coach Bob had to say.


Coach Bob, can I get some comments on your experiences at the Double A all star game in Trenton this month?

It was fun. It was fun. I went over there, they called me, 'cause I was born in Trenton...and threw out the first pitch. And they also wanted me to participate in the home run derby (Coach Bob threw pitches to Phillies minor leaguer Michael Taylor in the derby), which is different for me. But, it was fun. I got a chance to see some guys who I coached in previous years with the Pirates, so it was kind of neat. Big crowd.


Were you a choice of Michael Taylor's at all, or did the organizers assign you to pitch to him?

He didn't know I was going to be throwing. He probably would have wanted somebody else. But he did hit one homerun, so it was nice. It was a bomb. I talked to him afterwards. I (asked), "Was it hard seeing me?", because I was coming out of a sign out there in centerfield, 'cause I throw from a high angle. He goes, "Nah! I knew I wasn't winning anyway. I hit one homerun. I usually don't hit that many homeruns in (batting practice) anyway. I may have hit 12 all year." So, he was a really good sport about it.


The guys on the pitching staff with Lakewood...who might you be extremely confident in to have the abilities to pitch at higher levels sooner than later...aside from an obvious name like Jason Knapp?

(BJ) Rosenberg, for sure. He's gonna pitch at higher levels. (Justin) DeFratus. He's gonna pitch at the next level. You got (Trevor) May...probably spend some time here next year, 'cause he didn't start (this season) here, but if he finishes strong, he could (see time early next year) at the next level, 'cause he's learning at a rapid rate. (Jesus) Sanchez has done a great job this year. So, I mean, there's a lot of possibilities. I don't know how many jobs are going to be open next year, so some of those guys who are younger might spend half a season here.

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Check out PhoulBallz.com's previous interview with Bob Milacki here.


BallHype: hype it up!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jealous Ones Envy

Joe Blanton continues to excel and prove his worth in the Phillies pitching rotation. In his latest outing on Sunday, Blanton threw 8 strong innings, striking out 6, while walking just 1 and surrendering 2 earned runs, improving his record to 7-4. This season in July, Joe is 3-0 over four starts with 22 K's, 5 walks and a 1.21 ERA.

Over his last 6 starts, Joe's ERA is 1.94. As a member of the Phillies, Blanton has a 3.84 ERA after the all star break with a 5-0 record. The Phillies are 20-12 (.625 winning percentage) in games that Blanton has started, since being acquired last July.

Combined this season against other National League playoff contenders St. Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles, Blanton has a combined 1.67 ERA in 4 starts with a 2-0 record.

Blanton is on such a sizzling run that the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a Tampa Bay Rays farm team, will host a Joe Blanton bobble head give away tomorrow. Bowling Green will host Joe's mother, father and sister for the event, as Joe's recent greatness apparently builds up his relatives' celebrity status. A guy really has to be some kind of special stud to have the team he beat in the World Series allow their affiliates to give away promotional items based on him...especially after they c-blocked that opponent's local affiliate from giving away promotional bobble heads based on their own franchise's players.
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More July hotness...

Jimmy Rollins in July- 22 games, 4 HR, 18 RBI, .333 avg. (31-for-93), 1.003 OPS, 20 runs, 7 steals.

Shane Victorino in July- 22 games, 2 HR, 12 RBI, .402 avg. (37-for-92), 1.041 OPS, 20 runs, 4 steals.

BallHype: hype it up!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday School: Keep the Peace

Your usual dose of Sunday School is preempted, for now, to remind you that we are all baseball fans.

From the DelCo Times...

According to several reports, homicide detectives are investigating the death of
a man fatally injured in a Citizens Bank Park parking lot melee while a Phillies
game was in progress.Police say it began at McFaddens Restaurant at the ballpark
around 7:00 p.m.Officials say there was a bachelor party going on at the
restaurant when the trouble began.The fight, involving as many as 30 people,
went outside to Lot M at 7th Street and Pattison Avenue.Police say a 22-year-old
man was assaulted in the parking lot outside the ballpark.The game between the
Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals was in the 8th inning when the assault
occurred.The man was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
where he was pronounced dead.

Link to story here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Holliday- Card

Dear Oakland A's,
You couldn't have waited till Monday to make this trade?! What the eff-hole?
Sincerely, PhoulBallz.com


Matt Holliday joined the Cardinals in Philadelphia on Friday, following a trade that sent prospects Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen to Oakland. St. Louis has upgraded their team with three trades this month adding Holliday, Julio Lugo and Mark DeRosa.

Holliday quickly proved to be the impact player that Cards manager Tony La Russa has been wanting to add to the team's offense and contributed for the Cardinals, as he got 4 hits, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base in the 8-1 defeat of the Phillies on Friday.

The Phillies go back at it today, at 4:05pm on the Fox national(/regional) broadcast.

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Saturday links...

PhilliesNation has an article about genius and Blue Jays general manager JP Ricciardi.

PhilliesFlow reviews the Phillies performances during the 10 game win streak compared to the rest of the season.

The IronPigPen has reviews of your Friday double A and triple A happenings from the Phillies system and more.

Sirius XM Radio has coverage of the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this weekend. Check it out on MLB Home Plate, XM channel 175 and SIRIUS channel 210

More Hardball's got the goods on Jonathan Papelbon, suggesting he's possibly the best ever. They do this while quoting Vanilla Ice. It's GOLD, Jerry!

BallHype: hype it up!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekend Series Preview: Cardinals @ Phillies 7/24-7/26

St. Louis visits Philadelphia for the first and only time of the season this weekend. The Central division leading Cardinals (52-46) will face the East division leading Phillies (54-39) for three games. Pitching match ups and other notes below.


Friday, 7:05pm. Joel Pineiro (8-9, 3.09 ERA) vs. "Jay" Happ (7-0, 2.68 ERA). Pineiro has made 3 career starts against the Phillies and is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 19 1/3 innings pitched. In 10 road starts this season, Pineiro is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA. Over his last 3 starts, Pineiro has a 1.56 ERA. In 12 appearances at home this season, Happ is 3-0 with a 4.04 ERA. Over his last 6 starts, Happ's ERA is 1.67. Happ as a starter is 5-0 with a 2.74 ERA.


Saturday, 4:05pm. Kyle Lohse (4-6, 4.21 ERA) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (2-0, 2.60 ERA). Lohse returns to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since surrendering the infamous grand slam to Kaz Matsui in the 2007 playoffs. In 7 regular season games at CBP, Lohse is 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA. RoLo has made all of his Phillies starts at home and has still not surrendered a homerun this year. In his career, Julio Lugo is 11-for-29 (.379 avg) with a homer and 3 RBI against RoLo.


Sunday, 1:35pm. Todd Wellemeyer (7-8, 5.68 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (6-4, 4.24 ERA). In 7 career games against the Phillies, Wellemeyer is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA. Wellemeyer is 3-3 on the road this season with a 6.14 ERA in 9 games. Chase Utley is 4-for-8 (.500 avg) against Wellemeyer in his career with 2 homeruns and 4 RBI. Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth are a combined 0-for-13 against Wellemeyer in their careers. Blanton has two career starts against St. Louis- 13 innings pitched, 1.38 ERA, 0.92 WHIP. At home this season, Blanton is 3-2 with a 4.26 ERA. Blanton's ERA over 6 day starts is 5.80.


Albert Pujols is the Cardinals' stolen base leader with 10. Pujols is just 1-for-8 combined off of the Phillies 3 starters in this series. Pujols is a .367 hitter in 15 career games at CBP with 9 homers and 19 RBI.

Raul Ibanez's batting average is 41 points lower at home than it is on the road (.286/.327) this season. In 13 career games against the Cardinals, Ibanez is a .320 hitter with 2 homeruns and 5 RBI.

Only 1 of Brad Lidge's 6 blown saves was at home this season. Despite that, Lidge's home ERA is 6.86 this year. At 5.87, Lidge's July ERA is his best month of the season thus far.

In 16 career appearances (25 1/3 innings pitched) against the Cardinals, Ryan Madson's ERA is 1.78.

In his career against St. Louis, Ryan Howard is a .376 hitter with 13 homers, 37 RBI and a 1.310 OPS in 27 games.

Cardinals team runs scored- 428
Phillies team runs scored- 503


BallHype: hype it up!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mark Buerhle= Curt Hennig

The Chicago White Sox's Mark Buehrle threw the second no hitter of his Major League career, a perfect game, against the Tampa Bay Rays today. Buehrle is now 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA on the season. Tampa sent 27 batters to the plate and did not get a single base runner all day long.

This was the 18th perfect game ever thrown in the majors. Fox Sports has more on the story of the day in baseball here.

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PAUSE? Since it has become American League day here on PhoulBallz, let's take a glance at all the man-love that went on in the Rangers game last night. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Jeopardy 4


For $250 in the category of Shameful Fans, the answer is: Kansas City Royals fans love to do this at games they attend. It helps them stand out as deserving a really great franchise that always contends for pennants and world titles.



Question: What is PARTY?

CORRECT! Wow, just look at that lively group of Royals fans partying. They really get rewarded with the team they deserve, don't they?



BallHype: hype it up!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eric B Needs to be Cut (and My Name is Rakim)

While the Phillies are on a hot streak this month, one player on the team is not. Eric Bruntlett is 1-for-12 in July. Since the start of May, Bruntlett's apex in batting average has been .167 on June 14th. Bruntlett's ineptitude can be tolerated no longer. Get rid of this guy NOW!

Eric B. is the 2009 Endy Chavez. Remember Endy...the guy who in 2005 managed just 2 hits in his final 42 games played as a Phillie? That is about the sort of output the Phillies are getting from Bruntlett, and it's time to fix this void.

Julio Lugo was designated for assignment last week by the Red Sox and is expected to become a free agent. The Metropolitans are rumored to be interested. Why wouldn't the Phillies be interested in a guy who could surely outhit Bruntlett? Lugo was hitting .284 through 37 games played this season with Boston.

Suspended Lehigh Valley IronPig Pablo Ozuna is eligible to return next Wednesday. Ozuna is batting .294 through 51 games at triple A. Miguel Cairo is also still hanging around with the IronPigs and is batting .300 through 55 games played there. Perhaps either player could outperform Bruntlett, at this stage.

Another option in the system is the Reading Phillies' all star third baseman Neil Sellers. Might the ML Phils be doubtful in Cairo, because he had a shot already, and be hesitant to promote Ozuna after his drug suspension, and possibly get beaten to the punch on Lugo? Well, Reading manager Steve Roadcap thinks Neil Sellers could perform at higher levels. The righty hitting 27-year-old Sellers is batting .316 over 93 games played this season at double A.

More ideas to replace Eric B. are welcome. Please forward them to the Phillies' front office.

The fact that this guy, who is batting .128 through 50 games played, got to score key runs in the post season last year bothers me to no end. Imagine if Endy Chavez was immortalized in Phillies history by scoring game winning runs in the World Series. Yeah, that's Eric Bruntlett.

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Other notes...

Today marks the one year anniversary of Joe Blanton's Phillies debut against the Metropolitans.

Zach Collier made his season debut with Class A short season Williamsport on Tuesday, after being sent down this week, and went 0-for-4 in his journey to finally slug his first professional homerun.

Lakewood catcher Travis D'Arnaud is hitting .400 (18-for-45) in his last 10 games with 7 doubles, a homer, 7 RBI and 12 runs scored.

Wednesdays are always PhoulBallz Phillies days on Fox Sports 1310's The Shore Sports Report. The show is on daily from 3-6pm and you should be checking it out. I'll be on at 3:30pm today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PhoulBallz Q&A With Jim Murphy

Lakewood BlueClaws first baseman Jim Murphy was a 17th round draft selection in 2008. Over his time with three Phils minor league teams last year, Jim hit .281 with 5 homers and 30 RBI. Murphy is currently batting .289 with 9 homers and 48 RBI with an .874 OPS this season through 78 games with Lakewood. I had a chance to speak with Jim recently and here's how that went down.


Jim, can I get you to speak a little about your draft experience last year?

Yeah, I thought I'd probably be between the 15th and 20th round. I figured I'd get picked up somewhere around there. And I was driving back home, across the state- I went to school in the eastern part of Washington State- and I was driving back to see my family. I actually got the call when I was driving across the mountains, from our sports radio guy. And he was actually the first person to call and tell me. I didn't hear from the Phillies till after her called. That was kind of interesting.


How did you celebrate, once you got to your family?

I just went out to dinner, with my immediate family, then went out with some buddies afterwards down in Seattle...it was a pretty good time.


Was there any kind of adjustment period or transition for you, coming from out west to play on the east coast last year?

Not specifically. Ya know, playing summer ball and college kind of gives you some of the experience already....playing 2-3 months somewhere away from home. Coming out of college too, it helps- you're not really used to being home anyway. It wasn't that big of a transition for me.


Do you participate in the BlueClaws' rain delay dance routines and can you speak on those?

I try not to. I let the other guys try to do that. It's pretty fun, man. They kinda figured the game was going to get canceled. We got a lot of guys in here that like to dance around the locker room...so when it came on, they started a dance off and we were shocked when Greensboro did the same. It was pretty funny.


Is there any advice that you might give to teenage players who hope to play beyond high school age?

Yeah, you never know who's watching or when it can happen. Every day, do something to try and make yourself better. It could be anything from running to taking extra ground balls. That extra stuff you're doing, some other guy might not be doing, and that's can be the thing that separates you later.



What was your favorite team and player growing up?

I was a big Mariner/Red Sox fan. My dad's from Boston and I grew up in Seattle. I liked Jay Buhner a lot in Seattle. He was always one of my favorites.



What is your favorite baseball movie?

I'd say For Love of the Game. I really like Kevin Costner and there's a lot of stuff in there that kind of relates...



What kind of music do you like?

Country and early hip hop, like 90's hip hop. Notorious B.I.G....Big Poppa's my walk out song, I like that a lot.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Series Preview: Cubs @ Phils, July 20-22

The Chicago Cubs (47-43) make their only trip of the season to Philadelphia (51-38) starting tonight. The three game series will pit the World Champs against the team many people thought should have been the World Champs.

Below is a look at the pitching match ups for the series and other game notes.

Monday, 7:05pm. Ted Lilly (9-6, 3.18 ERA) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 3.18 ERA). Lilly has a 2.11 ERA over his last 3 starts. In 4 career starts against the Phillies, Lilly is 1-3 with a 4.88 ERA. On the road this season, Lilly is 3-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 9 starts. Pedro Feliz against Lilly is 4-for-13 with 2 homers and 7 RBI. RoLo will be making his third start of the season for our Phillies. In 4 2/3 innings (1 start) in his career against the Cubbies (a June 2007 start), RoLo gave up 8 earned runs (15.43 ERA). Alfonso Soriano is a career .343 hitter (12-for-35) against RoLo with 3 homers and 5 RBI.

Tuesday, 7:05pm. Rich Harden (6-6, 5.06 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (6-4, 4.44 ERA). The former teammates with the A's face off for the first time. In 2 career starts against the Phils, Harden is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 16 K's in 13 innings pitched. On the road this season, Harden is 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 6 games. Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth, Paul Bako and Greg Dobbs are a combined 1-for-33 (.030 avg) against Harden. In his last 11 starts, Blanton is 5-1 with a 3.26 ERA. Blanton's ERA in his last 4 home starts is 2.33. Reed Johnson is 5-for-10 in his career against Blanton with a homer and a walk.

Wednesday, 1:05pm. Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 3.36 ERA) vs. Jamie Moyer (9-6, 5.58 ERA). Zambrano has only faced the Phillies once in the past two seasons. In that one start, last season, Zambrano got the loss when he allowed 5 earned runs over 6 innings pitched. In 7 career starts against the Phillies, Zambrano is 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Moyer has won 5 straight starts and has a 3.68 ERA in those games. Moyer is 4-4 at home this year with a 6.79 ERA. Aramis Ramirez is 0-for-10 in his career against Moyer.


Alfonso Soriano is a .296 career hitter at Citizens Bank Park with 3 doubles, 5 homers and 8 RBI in 16 games.

The Phillies have not lost a home series to the Cubs since April 2001.

Jimmy Rollins has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games. In that span, Rollins is batting .397 with 13 runs scored.

The Phillies had lost 10 of their previous 11 games prior to their current stretch of winning 12 of the last 13 games.

Cubs team batting average- .250
Phillies team batting average- .261

BallHype: hype it up!

Hot in July

The Philadelphia Phillies are movin' on up. Since losing the first two games of July, the Phillies are 12-1 this month and have improved to a season best 13 games over .500. The Phillies are the only team in the NL east above .500 and have a 6 1/2 game lead over the second place Braves.

Let the Rookie of the Year talk prevail this week. The Blue Jays trade talk is stale at this point. If it happens, great...but if not, "Jay" Happ has been excellent! After Sunday's win over the Marlins, Happ is now 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.15 WHIP this season. Over his last 5 starts, Happ is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA.

By comparison, other ROY contenders likely don't match up. St. Louis's Colby Rasmus has posted a .270 batting avg. with 11 HR and 34 RBI in 85 games this season. Washington's Jordan Zimmermann and Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami aren't close at all. However, the Braves' Tommy Hanson, who is 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA over 7 starts thus far might be Happ's best rival for the award.

The last three Phillies to be named Rookie of the year were Ryan Howard in 2005, Scott Rolen in 1997 and Dick Allen in 1964.

Now back to the "hot in July" topic...other Phillies who are wrecking it this month are-

Jimmy Rollins- 15 games, .377 avg, 1.062 OPS, 6 steals, 13 runs and 11 walks!
Shane Victorino- 15 games, .361 avg, .968 OPS, 3 steals, 12 runs, 8 walks.
Joe Blanton- 2 starts, 14 2/3 innings pitched, 0.61 ERA, 11 k's.
Chan Ho Park- 4 games, 7 1/3 innings pitched, 1.23 ERA, 2 k's.
Greg Dobbs- 10 games, .353 avg, .880 OPS, 7 RBI, 3 runs.
Chase Utley- 15 games, .345 avg, 1.003 OPS, 2 steals, 6 RBI, 12 runs.
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Link action for you-
MoreHardball's got some fun content talking all about the Icon, Ruben Jr. Check it out by clicking here.

PhilliesNation talks about Halladay's value and the Mets fading.

IronPigPen oinks about Lehigh Valley's player-coach David Newhan...click here.

FanNation has a featured review of the new MLB video game The Bigs 2.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday School: History Lesson 24

Elmer Flick was an outfielder with the Phillies from 1898-1901. In 1898, the Phillies signed the 22 year old rookie free agent, after he had played 2 seasons of minor league ball. In Flick's first training camp, he arrived with a home made bat he created on a lathe by himself. A week into the season, an injury to everyday rightfielder Sam Thompson allowed Flick to get a shot at some playing time. In his first start, Flick had two singles and never looked back. He ended the season with a .302 batting average, drove in 81 runs and stole 23 bases.

Over the three following seasons, Flick continued to use his speed to his advantage and stole 96 total bases. His quickness also allowed him to cover much ground in the outfield. Elmer Flick's best offensive season came in 1900, when he led the league in RBI with 110 and total bases with 297. He also finished second (to Honus Wagner) in batting avg. at .378.

In 1901, the newly formed American League established a new baseball franchise in Philadelphia called the Athletics. They began luring veteran players, with higher salaries. After the season, Flick accepted a contract offer from Connie Mack's Athletics and crossed over to play in the American League. The Phillies, however, went to court and got an injunction that prohibited any player under contract with the Phillies to compete in Pennsylvania for another team. The A's, faced with the restriction of playing all their home games without Frick, were forced to trade him away. Frick went to play for Cleveland in mid-May. The contract dispute lasted till September of 1903, when the leagues makes peace.

With Cleveland, Elmer Flick would bat over .300 four straight seasons, lead the AL in triples three straight seasons and he won a batting title in 1905. Flick was valued so highly that the team once turned down a deal with the Tigers that would have swapped Flick for a 21 year old Ty Cobb. By 1908, Flick developed a stomach ailment that would limit his playing time and eventually halt his career. By 1910, he was out of the Major Leagues at the age of 34. Flick would hang on and play two more years in the minors before retiring. In 1964, Elmer Flick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

BJ Rosenberg Q&A With PhoulBallz.com


BJ Rosenberg is half of the closer tandem for the Phillies class A Lakewood BlueClaws. BJ splits the duties with Ryan Bergh. A 13th round selection out of the University of Louisville in 2008's amateur draft, Rosenberg was one of six all stars from the Lakewood team this season. Through 29 appearances this season, Rosenberg is 7-2 with a 1.15 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 14 saves in 39 innings pitched. BJ took time to answer some questions for me the other day and here's how that went down...


Speak a little about your success so far this season, including your all star experience.

Right now, I'm kind of on a roll for a little while. Been pitching pretty well. I've been working on some things, like, fix my mechanics a little bit. Been going good. Gonna keep it going, and the season's just over half way done, still a long way to go. The all star game was fun. I didn't get to pitch, but I guess they were saving me for extra innings, since it was such a close game. It was a great experience (going with my teammates).


Was there any advantage for you coming into this year having spent time with your current manager Dusty (Wathan) at Williamsport last year?

I had a good year last year too and he kind of knew what to expect from me already, coming into this year....and I guess, with a lot of confidence. I love him as a manager. He's a great manager and I'm just happy to be here with him.


Is there any kind of competition, whether for fun or otherwise, between you and Ryan Bergh at all, out there in the bullpen?

No, not really. It's just like, he'll pitch, then I'll pitch. It just depends on whether it's a save opportunity or not. We haven't openly talked about (going at it) or anything.


What's your pitching repertoire like and what's your routine like preparing for an appearance?

Fastball, slider...change up very rarely. And I mean, I just prepare the same way every day. First few innings- kind of watching the game and looking at the batters. About the 6th inning, I'll start moving around a little bit. 7th I'll just get my arm going...maybe play catch with the outfielders (between innings). I just take every game- get the same routine going.


What do you think your strengths are and how would you describe your own style?

I think my strengths are just command. I feel really confident in my fastball and my slider. I feel like I can throw them any count, any time, any batter. So, just command of both my pitches. Not to say I'm a power pitcher. I just keep the ball low in the zone and try to get ahead of hitters. That's really just how I do it.


Browsing the internet there are phans that are very interested in you, mainly because you have very solid numbers, but a relatively low buzz factor about you. What could you tell fans about yourself?

I don't know. I'm a pretty low key guy, so I kind of just try to stay out of the lime light. I don't know what I would say. I just try to go about my business and try to keep going every day.


Who was your favorite pitcher growing up?

Nolan Ryan and John Smoltz. Nolan Ryan because of how dominating he was. I didn't get to really watch him growing up, but I saw clips of his no hitters and he just dominated the hitters that he faced. John Smoltz...basically, I was a Braves fan growing up, and he can take over a game easily and he has electric stuff. I found myself really liking him.


Were you more into Smoltz as a starter or a reliever?

Kind of both. I was a starter growing up, so as a starter. But when he started closing, he did so well. I guess that versatility made him more appealing too.


Is there anyone in the system who you think has really contributed to helping you excel thus far in your career?

Dusty- big time and especially Bob Milacki. I worked with everybody pretty equally down in Clearwater for spring training. Their pitching coordinator, Gorman Heimueller...he just worked with me. And really just Bob Milacki has helped me out a lot.


If you could face any batter in baseball, who would it be?

Probably Manny Ramirez. I say Manny 'cause...I haven't necessarily been his biggest fan with his antics and stuff, so I'd like to face him.


What's your favorite baseball movie?

The Sandlot. I watched it a lot when I was younger. I just think it's an awesome movie. I could probably watch it every day and never get sick of it.


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Zach Collier Talks With PhoulBallz.com

Zach Collier is pictured on the right, beside teammate Anthony Gose.


Zach Collier is an 18 year old outfield prospect in the Phillies system. Collier was a supplemental 1st round pick in the 2008 amateur draft. Baseball America ranked Collier as the 8th best prospect in the Phils' system, earlier this year. Currently batting .226, with 16 doubles and 13 steals for the Lakewood BlueClaws through 79 games, Collier has yet to hit his first professional homerun. I had a chance to speak with Zach on Thursday night after the BlueClaws' loss to Tampa's Bowling Green affiliate and here's how that went down.


You hit a deep fly ball that hit off the top of the wall for a double tonight. It barely missed going out. How much did you want that homerun tonight?

Maaaan, I thought it was going out, but...once it hit the fence, you know, it's happened before, so I just had to get to second base. Don't want to get caught- think you have a homerun and just get on first base. You just gotta hustle every time until YOU KNOW you've got a homerun.


Is getting your first one something that's on your mind at all?

Yeah. (But) everyone's gonna hit that homerun some time in their career, so I mean, when it comes, it comes. I'm not going to keep trying for it.


When publications or web sites rank prospects in the Phillies' system, are you aware of what they say about you and how do you feel about those rankings?

Yeah, I'm aware. But I just really don't look into it or read it. I just do what I have to do. Just trying to make my way to the top, and do what I gotta do.


You've been talked about as a Garrett Anderson type of player. How would you describe your own game or your own skills?

**SWAGGER ALERT!!**
I've heard that a lot. We're very similar. But I just like to compare myself to no one else. I am who I am and when I get to the big leagues, I want people to be compared to me, not me be compared to anyone.


Is there any specific aspect of your game that you're working on improving right now?

Just my hitting....and, well, everything. You can improve on everything. Hitting- just more of, ya know, what pitchers look for in certain situations, getting runs in and (situational hitting). I'll get all the information I can from (coaches) Bob (Milacki), Dusty (Wathan) or (Greg) Legg, you just gotta ask questions and get what you can out of everything.


Can I get an overview of what your draft experience was like last year?

My whole attitude was just, "I'm signing, where I'm signing. Where ever I go, I'm just gonna sign." It's something I really want to do. I was with my agent and I sat there and watched it on TV. I didn't really know where I was going to get picked. I wasn't nervous before the draft, but they started announcing names and I started getting nervous. Finally, when my name was called it was just a big relief.


What do you like off the baseball field?

I like movies. But it's gotta be something I have an interest in. Like, Transformers and X Men, I definitely had to go see those movies.


What's your favorite Michael Jackson song?

That's a hard one. I grew up listening to Thriller, but there's just too many (to pick only one).


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eastern League's Showcase

The Double A Eastern League All Star Game took place Wednesday night in Trenton. The evening included a homerun derby that pitted prospects like the Twins' Rene Tosoni, Boston's Lars Anderson and the Phillies' own Michael Taylor against the likes of two local high schoolers. Mike Fassl, a New Egypt High School senior, won the contest by besting Toronto's Brian Dopirak (19 homers so far in the regular season) 1-0 in the final round. And yes they got 10 outs. The entire Derby was difficult to watch. Futures Game MVP Rene Tosoni put up a goose egg (zero) in the first round. Michael Taylor laid on some drama, going 9 outs into his session before blasting one out to left-center. He ended his round with 1 total homerun. The Indians' Carlos Santana put down his guitar to participate in the derby as well, and slugged just a single shot also. Fassl's father, Mike Sr., was his pitcher for the event.

In the game itself, the Southern Division won the game, led by Miguel Abreu, who was named the game's most outstanding player, or whatever they call their MVP honor. Abreu, the second baseman, had two hits, 2 steals and scored twice, including the go ahead run for the Southern All Stars. Joe Savery started the game for the Southern Divisioners, and he threw a scoreless inning to start the team off properly. Reading's Vance Worley was the winning pitcher, as he pitched a scoreless 7th, and was still the pitcher of record when the team went ahead for good in the top of the 8th inning on a Jason Delaney (Indians) RBI hit. Michael Taylor drove in an insurance run in the 9th inning with a single, and when a second runner, Reading CF Quintin Berry, was waived home, Berry was gunned out by 5 feet, by CF "Goose Egg" Tosoni.

Here is how the Reading players fared-
Taylor...1-for-4, 1 walk, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 K
Berry...1-for-1, 1 walk, 1 SB
Neil Sellers...0-for-2, 2 K's
Savery...1 inning, 1 hit allowed, no walks or strikeouts
Worley...1 inning, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, got the Win

Former Trenton Thunder broadcaster and assistant GM, T-Mac, was in attendance to report for MyPHL17 and to conduct some pregame ceremonies

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was in attendance and is seen here chatting it up with with 19 year old prospect Jesus Montero

Michael Taylor is seen here not doing so hot in the homerun derby with pitches from Lakewood coach Bob Milacki

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Charlie Speaks on Pedro

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spoke with the MLB Home Plate channel, on SIRIUS XM Radio, hosts Seth Everett and Jim Duquette, about newly signed pitcher Pedro Martinez, on Wednesday. Here is a look at some of what they spoke about.

Host, Jim Duquette: “What are your feelings on where [Martinez] fits in the rotation and what are your expectations of him?”

Charlie Manuel: “Basically, the things I was told were that he’s throwing the ball much better than he did last year, he’s in tremendous shape and that our people definitely think that he can help us. And what we’ll do: he’ll work out, have a couple of throwing sessions with [pitching coach] Rich Dubee and probably even throw to some hitters, and then we’ll send him out and let him pitch in a game a couple of times and then bring him back and we’ll plug him in our rotation.”


Host, Seth Everett: “Do you guys have the sense of any real expectations from him? What was the report that you got from the people that went down to the D.R. and saw him?”

Manuel: “They were very encouraged with him. They like him. They said he’s throwing the ball better, his velocity’s better and he was in tremendous shape, and that he had been working out ever since the World Baseball Classic. And they felt like that with his experience and the fact that he is throwing the ball better, that he could help us and that he can pitch anywhere from five to seven innings for us.”


Everett: “So the earliest he can probably return is August 1, right?”

Manuel: “Yeah, I’d say that’s close to the timeline for him, yes, because if you think about it, somewhere along in there, yeah.”

“Power Alley,” with Seth Everett and Jim Duquette, airs weekdays from 10 am – 1 pm ET on MLB Home Plate (XM channel 175 and SIRIUS channel 210 with the “Best of XM” programming package).


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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

EL All Stars, Pedro and "Jaydio" Plug

The Eastern League All Star Game takes place tonight in Trenton at Waterfront Park. Five Reading Phillies are on the Southern Division team. 3B Neil Sellers, CF Quintin Berry, RHP Vance Worley, OF Michael Taylor and LHP Joe Savery all hope to help their team win. Michael Taylor, New Britian's Brian Dopirak and the Futures Game MVP, Twins prospect Rene Tosoni, will headline the Homerun Derby that takes place prior to the game. Also competing in the Derby will be two local high school players, who are allowed to use aluminum bats. Plans to have former Major Leaguer and current Trenton Thunder hitting coach Frank Menechino participate in the HR Derby have been nixed.


The starting lineup for the Southern Division team is as follows...

Miguel Abreu, 2B, Bowie
Deik Scram, CF, Erie
Michael Taylor, RF, Reading
Carlos Santana, C, Akron
Marvin Lowrance, LF, Harrisburg
Neil Sellers, 3B, Reading
Jason Delaney, DH, Altoona
Beau Mills, 1B, Akron
Brian Friday, SS, Altoona

Joe Savery, SP, Reading

Check back tomorrow for a full review of the evening's Eastern League events.


The speculation has begun regarding where Pedro Martinez will go for his "rehab" starts in the Phillies system. Some have even begun projecting when Pedro will start for the Phillies and have gone as far as when he'll face the Metropolitans. There is still no official word on any of this, as of this writing.

It's PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday on Fox Sports 1310 AM. The Shore Sports Report begins at 3pm, and I'll be on around 3:30. Check it out every day!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Done Deal

Many sources are reporting that Pedro Martinez has officially singed a 1 year/$1 million contract with the Phillies, that includes additional incentives worth up to $1.5 million. The team is expected to officially introduce Pedro as a member of the organization on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, Martinez is expected to begin a "rehab" or conditioning assignment in the minor leagues immediately. As Pedro is already in the Philadelphia region and all the local minor league clubs are home, it might seem unlikely that Pedro would be assigned to Clearwater at this time. The Lakewood BlueClaws are presently in the midst of a home stand that ends Monday the 20th. The double A Reading Phillies, currently on their all star break, are home starting Thursday with games through Sunday the 19th. The triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs are home Thursday through Sunday also. Stay tuned to learn where to see Martinez.

It's Phantastic, Baby

This art work was submitted by Phriend of PhoulBallz, MVR Joe, recently. It celebrates the Phantastic 4 for becoming the first National League foursome on the same team to slug 20 or more homers by the all star break. All four of the pictured Phils are all stars. My issue with the picture was Rauuul as the Invisible Woman. Surely we could go the John Cena catch phrase route and say that the opposition "can't see him", but Rauuul with Jessica Alba's body still doesn't sit quite well with me. The others are all fitting. Ryan Howard is a big individual, much like The Thing...plus he kicks crazy butt like Michael Chiklis did for years, starring in The Shield. Chase Utley as Mr. Phanstastic is undoubtedly spot on. And Jayson Werth as The Human Torch, as we documented last week, is accurate, as his bat has been hotter than sun burnt herpes.

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Scott Lauber has the latest on Pedro Martinez's physical exam as well as a brief Q&A with manager Charlie Manuel.

Amanda & Rolf review the MLB Mascots vs. Minor League Mascots softball game. Check out Swing and a Long Drive and The IronPigPen for those articles.

And don't forget that The Shore Sports Report Forum is out there waiting for you to check it out, and to join in the conversations going on there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Dude's Troubles

Former Phillie Lenny Dykstra has been all over the news lately, after the self made stock expert fell on hard times. After reportedly making millions of dollars trading stocks, Dykstra began a venture, a magazine called The Players Club, that was designed to help athletes and former athletes spend, invest and manage their wealth. Last year, Dykstra began being hit with many law suits from people, including some who had worked for the magazine, that charged they were owed money from Dykstra. Dykstra recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Below is a video that shows the drastic change in Dykstra's lifestyle in just one year.




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