Nothing kills it for this blogger more than an ill-timed Monday day game. It was a buzz kill for the Phils, too, as they dropped the last game of series 10-8 to Arizona.
I should be hooked up to an IV coffee drip on Mondays. I forgot about yesterday’s game until the third inning, clicked on Yahoo! and saw the Phils were down 7-1. Then I forgot about the game again until the ninth, but remembered in time to listen to the call on Chase Utley’s bases-loaded, two-out single while driving home in a hail storm. Weird scheduling. They were off Memorial Day last week but played yesterday?
So this morning’s post calls for bulleted points, which are easier to write, and in most cases, easier to read. And if I knew how to format bullets, they'd be bullets and not little stars.
* Good points raised by George S. in my last post: Do the Phils need another starter, and what are their options?
To ask that question, one must first find out what the team has planned for Vicente Padilla, who’s been their weakest starter thus far. The more I watch Padilla, the more I think he’d fill a nice void in the bullpen. Cormier isn’t cutting it as a plan-B setup man and is better suited as a strictly situational lefthander. I could also see Charlie Manuel using Padilla the way Larry Bowa used Ryan Madson last year.
Jim Salisbury wrote an article on it yesterday, verifying there’s talk in the front office of trading for a veteran starter and moving Padilla to the pen.
“One baseball man who has watched Padilla pitch for several years and knows him well believes the righthander might pick up a couple miles per hour on his moving fastball coming out of the bullpen and pitching an inning at a time.”
Here’s a link of possibilities from the list of pitchers that are free agents after the season, including A.J. Burnett, Jeff Weaver, Matt Morris, Jarrod Washburn and Brad Penny.
I’d be cautious of a guy like Morris because he can give up the longball, and Weaver is so dramatically inconsistent. The best pitcher in this group is Burnett, but will the Marlins trade within the division, and do they need a player like Placido Polanco in return? They might, but they certainly don’t need Ryan Howard with Carlos Delgado locked in.
I might rather see the Phils trade for a top prospect at the Triple-A level to come in a package with a catching or a third base prospect. Gavin Floyd could also reemerge later this year. Charlie Manuel did Floyd a great disservice by using him out of the pen. That was a very stupid move, and he’s only starting to recover from it now. I think Manuel listened to the fans and media too much and should have sent him to Scranton as soon as Padilla returned from the DL. It was too early in the season to start messing around with Floyd.
* On the book front, I finished reading “The Bad Guys Won” by Jeff Pearlman about the 1986 Mets. It’s a quick read and I got what I wanted from it – a look at some of the wacky personalities on the most hated team in baseball.
There’s good stuff about Gary Carter being seen by teammates as a phony, and I like some of the depictions of Keith Hernandez and his pre-game ritual of crosswords and cigarettes. For Phillies fans, there’s also good stuff on hyper-competitive Lenny Dykstra and his habit of betting on everything, and a brutalizing look at an over-the-hill George Foster. I also have a new appreciation for Bob Ojeda, who was the Mets best pitcher that year, not Doc Gooden.
It’s a quick read and newly available in paperback. It’s worth checking out.
* Check out yesterday’s Balls Sticks & Stuff blog interview with A’s pitcher Dan Meyer. Nerds and jocks together at last.