Well, look who's back in town!
Some folks asked me about writing the Phillies blog. But when my friend at the Reading Terminal said he missed reading it, I figured it was time to eat or cut chicken. Or maybe that's fish or cut bait. Whichever, it's baseball season and time to get excited.
I took some time off to concentrate on a new book I'm writing. The book is 60 percent, maybe 70, so I think it's okay to return to the blog, as long as I don't go crazy with it. If you wish not to receive this, email me and I will take you off the mailing list. Believe me, you won't hurt my feelings. If you know somebody who would like to read it, send me their email address. So here goes...
Some things change, some things stay the same. So let's take a look at 'some things' since my last post in the fall.
Just when Brad Lidge brought to mind visions of Danny Tartabull and Freddy Garcia--and a few in between--with a spring training first-day-knee injury, the Phillies good fairy sprinkled some Phillies gold dust. Or did she?
In 1997 the Phillies paid $2.3 million for Tartabull's seven at bats, but mild in comparison to the Freddy Garcia trade and a one year deal for $10 million...for pitching 58 innings, a 1-5 record, and a 5.90 ERA.
Making matters worse, the Phillies traded Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez for Garcia. Floyd is currently 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA with the White Sox.
But Lidge ain't no Freddy Garcia: Except for a rocky save Tuesday night, Lidge has been unhittable with that nasty slider. But think about this: With a one year contract for $6.35 million (Billy Wagner is makinig $10.5 million this season), if he continues to pitch the lights out the Phillies won't be able to afford him and maybe he'll end up in New York next season.
Then there's Barry Bonds. He was charged Monday with a new indictment with 15 felony counts for denying using performance enhancing drugs. Also that he tried to disrupt the federal investigation, or what is called obstruction of justice.
In simpler terms, he's again accused of lying to a grand jury when he said his personal trainer Greg Anderson never supplied him with steroids. He's also unemployed at age 43 because no major league team would sign him. Meanwhile the Major League Players Association, one of the strongest unions in the world, is considering whether to file a collusion grievance against teams for not signing Bonds. We having fun yet?
Meanwhile, Roger Clemens continues to deny he had any sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. "I did not have sex with that young woman," the Rocket was quoted as saying. At least I think it was him who said that.
Was at the Phillies game Wednesday night with two engineers, one from Wales, who was attending his second baseball game and the other from Ukraine, who was attending his first. Two pretty smart dudes if you don't mind me saying so. About the second inning, the engineer from Wales leans forward and says, "Ron, don't you think the chap pitching is a bit out of shape?"
Our of shape? It's appalling how out of shape and overweight Phillies pitcher Bret Myers is; he looks like he was recruited off the street, handed a uni, and sent to the mound. And Myers, who will turn 28 in August and is sporting a 5.91 ERA, wonders why he's getting hammered and says he's going to work his way through this. Hey Bret, lose some of the baby fat and get back to us.
But the Phillies continue to insist that his weight has nothing to do with the speed of his fastball, which is dropping faster than Eliot Spitzer's..., no, I'm not going there, this is a family website.
Did you read where President Bush said if he was starting a major league team and had to pick one player to build around, it would be Chase Utley? I'm not sure Utley needs that endorsement. After all, didn't Bush declare victory from an aircraft carrier in the Gulf about...five years ago? Besides, chances are Utley's a liberal, after all he and his wife Jen saved that puppy. Have to be a liberal to do that, right? You can read about that and see the news report . (click on the play symbol on the puppy)
And motor mouth Angelo Caltadi is still raking Charlie Manuel in the free newspaper The Metro. I see lots of people reading The Metro on the buses and subways so its got to be eating into the Inquirer and Daily News' circulation. Plus add home delivery of The USA Today and the New York Times and you wonder how long the two Philly papers will stay in business.
Here's what Caltadi says about the Phillies skipper in The Metro. You can make up your own mind, and I don't agree with every move Charlie makes, but I'm not on board with Caltadi. Might be that the Wild Thing, a frequent quest on Caltadi's radio show, may be feeding him stuff, along with some other disgruntled know-it-alls.
Scott Bruce Rolen is coming to town this weekend. I'm sure you saw that Rolen had a little tizzy fit with Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa and consequently was shipped off to the Toronto Blue Jays in the off season. The Jays come to town for a three game series starting tonight and the boos will rain down on Scottie boy. Poor Scott signed an eight year, $90 million contract with the Jays. What's that? You wonder how he's doing?
He missed the first few weeks of the season with an spring training finger injury but through 19 games and 70 at bats is hitting .300 with 2 taters and 9 ribbies.
Which brings me to J.D. Drew. The Boston slugger is hitting .296 with 3 taters and 17 ribbies, through 33 games and 115 at bats.
If you are wondering how these two compare to Mr. Pat Burrell, stop because I'll show you. Burrell, who my father-in-law is trying to trade like crazy, well...you decide: .299, 9, and 31, through 41 games and 134 at bats. As I tell my father-in-law, a pretty good athlete for the North Catholic Falcons and semi-pro football, you can't look at individual at bats, you've got to look at the overall numbers.
But when you're 90, you can look at any damn thing you want. Oh, sorry about that, family website, remember? It looks like Mr. Burrell might just stick around next season.
Pat, here's hopin' that you do.