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Monday, April 03, 2006

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Can't believe it. A repeat of the 2004 opener, in which I fly in from Arizona only to have all the excitement ripped away by ugly reality: gloomy, wet weather, and a lousy game. This one was probably worse, which is hard to fathom considering how abyssmally disappointing the CBP opener was.

10-0 in what seemed the blink of an eye. It was small consolation that it was Scott Rolen, a player I still very much like (I know, I know: I like Chris Wheeler, too, what kind of fan am I) who drove the stake through the jealous hearts of the jeering crowd. I might have enjoyed that moment if the bases weren't full, and if it wasn't already 6-0. Albert Pujols, meanwhile, is just a monster. That homerun off Aaron Fultz was predictable but no less incredibly impressive for being so.

Before the game I mentioned to my friend that the Cardinals' lineup didn't look all that impressive to me. So Taguchi? Aaron Miles? Juan Encarnacion hitting second? Well - so much for that. I still don't think they're world class. But enough about St. Louis.

It was just one game, and aside from the emotional letdown of having your opener be an embarrassing blowout, it's really not such a big deal. But one point was driven home that made everyone more than a tad less optimistic: Jon Liber is not a number one starter. And while he is generally solid, the reality that there is no real top-line pitching on this team becomes a newfound concern.

Don't worry Rick, I don't have a problem with Rolen either. And think what kind of team we'd have with him still onboard...*sigh*

Enough dreaming. Really, the only things I am worried about based on this game (one out of 162, remember!) is John Lieber and Julio Santana. The rest of the team fared well enough, especially the offense considering that Carpenter and the Cardinal's bullpen are both pretty tough. I think that we know what to expect over Lieber throughout the course of the season and he'll give it to us; the real variables are Myers, Madson, and Floyd. I think we'll win on Wednesday, and Rollins' streak will go to 38.

The thing that got me was how fast Lieber went to crap. All of a sudden the Cards started hitting him at will. And Elmer was caught flat footed. He was slow to get the pen up and slow to get Lieber out of there.

I wanted to yell at the people around me when they booed Rolen to stop, I also like the guy after watching him in Reading and all. Sure enough, came back to bite us in the dupa when he hit the salami.

Pujols is an animal, he doesen't even look like he swings hard and the ball really jumps off his bat.

At least we were under the overhang!

Jason, I agree with your sentiments about Burrell. Was it just me or did his swing look terrific yesterday? Quicker than I can remember seeing.

I think the Cardinals are a team that should win the NL Pennant, but to say they should win the World Series is a little much IMO. The Cardinals offense will be right up there with the Phillies and the Mets as the best in the league, but their bullpen has holes and after Carpenter and Mulder, their rotation isn't spectacular. I think the Phillies' 2-5 starters matchup very well with the Cards' 2-5 starters (that's more an indictment of the Cardinals staff than it is praise for the Phillies'). There are at least 5 AL teams (As, White Sox, Indians, Yankees, Red Sox) that are as good or better than the Cardinals (or any other NL team).

Anyone see Phil Sheridan's doom-and-gloom column today? After his glowing assessment of the team in the Inquirer baseball preview, that has to be the quickest about-face I've ever seen from a sportswriter.

It wasn't a pretty sight, true. But c'mon. The only thing I'll agree with him about is how dispriting it is to hear so many boos for people like Abreu and Lieberthal. Anyone ever heard of a clean slate? Besides, I got my hands on a media guide yesterday, and people ought to be aware of how prominently those two rank on all-time Phillies offensive categories. We're not talking about an exxpansion team here, either. I think it's a joke to actually boo Abreu on opening day. I wouldn't have been crying my eyes out if he'd been traded, but show a little respect. The only guy I felt moved to boo yesterday was Tony LaRussa, but after reading about how he got upset when his pitcher went 3-0 on Rollins in his last AB, I wish I could even take that one back.

Is it too early to rip foghorn leghorn?

- Should have went with Myers opening day.
- Should've had Fasano catch Lieber.
- Didn't get Santana up quick enough.

At least he did start Nunez att 3b, but you get the feeling he didn't really want to.

All that said, I still think the Phils will be ok in April and this year, but Uncle Charlie is gonna cost this team some wins.

the boo birds were overly embarressing yesterday, despite how bad the game was. booing scott rolen is one thing - he ripped us and we don't forget it. but showering boos on lieberthal, abreu, and bell during pre-game -- during the LINEUPS -- is altogether different and ridiculously childish. why come to the park if you're going to go out of your way to not enjoy yourself before the game even starts? on the other hand, first pitching change of the season and manuel forgets to buy time for his reliever to warm up.

i don't think you can really blame him for being too slow with santana. it's game one - you've got to expect your #1 starter [sic] to go more than four innings, even if it's a rough start.

As usual, Phils fans totally over reacted. I am glad they booed Rolen (he trashed Phils fans at various points) but booing Phils players was ridiculous. If Bell is hitting .200 around Memorial Day, then you can boo him but at least give him a chance.

Seeing Lieber on the rebroadcast was worrisome. He threw up some real meatballs and didn't have his good offspeed stuff today. He is also at the age where pitchers can suddenly "lose it" overnight. If he doesn't win at least 14 games this year, Phils have no chance at playoffs.

Hey, I have an idea...let's walk the bases loaded to pitch to Scott Rolen. Oh wait, Charlie from Mayberry already made the retarded call! Can't Philadelphia get an actual manager that is such a hard-ass (Bowa) and not in a coma (Manuel)? At least Rollins continued the hit parade. I'd love to see him bypass Molitor for best modern day hit streak. Let's hope Myers gets some fire under his arse and burns them Cards!

WOW! Those of us posting nothing but negative, let's take a little bit of a breath. It's one game against one of (if not THE) best teams in the NL, the reigning Cy Young winner, and a terrific offense. True, allowing 13 was bad, but it's not like it's unimaginable, or as if we started against the Pirates or something like that.

There was a lot good to take away from the game, and I for one don't believe jumping on the Charlie, Lieber, Santana, whomever after one lousy game. Even the 1927 Yankees put up the occasional stinker (losing 14-4 against Detroit in 7).

BTW, how did Barry Zito, hero of all the Abreu-bashing, wish-we-could-trade-our-best-hitter-for-him crowd do yesterday? PLEASE, folks! It's one game!

I think before you start bashing the bashers you should read what we are saying. Ofcourse one game is not a statistically valid sample size, but the things that went wrong yesterday were wrong last year...

Over the top loyalty to vets (Lieby)
Poor in game management (Liber to Santana)
Poor starting pitching

it's frustrating, all the said I think we all think this wont be how the season goes, but it is what it is....

As to booing Lieberthal and Abreu, I think for Lieberthal it's relatively fair considering his performance to pay and with Abreu people are READY TO LOVE him, if he would just show even the slightest bit of hustle.

Maybe we are getting carried away here, but this thing with gamesmanship is not gonna go away as long as Charlie is the manager.

It is a recurring theme with him. And I'm worried that one game in September or heaven forbid, October, he will be outmanaged and we will be prevented from making it to the promised land.

I personally did not boo anybody on the Phils except Lieberthal, I'm sooooooooo tired of him.

Just so typical for Phillie fans, and I use the term loosely, to boo their players on opening day. What a freakin disgrace. I'd guess that most of the boo birds were so drunk that they probably were passed out for the last 3 innings. God, it's tough to be associated with these losers (fans). There is no such thing as a clean slate in Philly. Funny that they're the last Philly team to win a title.

Hey Drac u gotta be kidding me right?

That Dude--are YOU kidding? Stay home, please.

"BTW, how did Barry Zito, hero of all the Abreu-bashing, wish-we-could-trade-our-best-hitter-for-him crowd do yesterday? PLEASE, folks! It's one game!"

Agreed. Heartily. I don't even think Manuel's moves should be criticized too much. At the same time Manuel has a poor history, I think this game would've gone just about the same way no matter what. Give it a break.

Plus, it's not just players like Lieber who are getting bombed in their first start. Andy Pettitte, owner of a picturesque 2.39 ERA last year, just allowed 10 runs (7 earned)...to the MARLINS.

Whatever Scott Rolen had to say about Philly fans - and I don't remember him saying anything half as inflammatory as Mike Schmidt ever said - he had every damn right to. It's an inexcusable disgrace for any city not to embrace Rolen, who in my mind is the ultimate blend of competiveness and multi-dimensional talent - *let alone* bother to understand that his frustration in this town was the same as everyone else's - the chintzy, staleate organizational non-maneuvers of Montgomery Wade!!! Who else among you would not have agreed that the Phillies, during the years he was here, did not appear to have a commitment to winning? For Rolen to be booed makes absolutely NO sense to me, and it never will.

Likewise, it is beyond absurd to level any criticism against Manuel for anything that happened yesterday. You want to get on him for sending up Endy Chavez in the ninth with the tying run on third? Okay. But now you want to blame Lieber's performance on Manuel's decision to start Mike Lieberthal? You actually think that walking a strong left-handed hitter with a base open is a 'retarded' move? I'd start by saying you have far less of a clue than Charlie. Leyland's in Detroit. Live with it. Get over your biases and try being objective.

"That Dude--are YOU kidding? Stay home, please. "

Uh ok, thanks Dad. You get a clean slate by EARNING it , not be virtue of a new season.

That Dude, what good does it do? IF anything, it just applies more pressure on the shoulders of players you're supposedly rooting for. They're obviously struggling so you just make it worse. Funny how when Burrell was horrible 2 years ago, he didn't get booed. Look at him now. Gee, do you think it would have helped to boo him out of Philly? Get behind the team or don't go, period.

The Phillies fans do not forget and in my opinion Scott Rolen is rightly booed. He was always complaining about his bad back and how he hated playing at the Vet. He complained about Bowa. He cried when the Phils didn't pay his parents airfare. He turned down $140 Million, since he disliked Philly so much, but was in "heaven" in St. Louis. Why should Philly fans cheer him when he obviously disliked it here so much ? This has nothing to do with him being a great player, but being a crybaby and winer.

In the last post, I meant to type "whiner" as in malcontent.

"Funny how when Burrell was horrible 2 years ago, he didn't get booed. Look at him now"

Pat didnt get booed for 2 interrelated reasons:

One, Bowa day after day vouched for Burrell busting his ass and trying to make things better.

Two, he publicly gave effort and the fans recognized that.

Why he gets shit now is due to the fact he appears not to give effort or that he doesn't care. It may not be true, but perception is reality. Add to the fact that he gets called out looking in big siutations alot hurts him.

That Dude: the correct term on burrell is "caught looking" for no other reason than it gets us free advertising.

Free for now. I'm going to start charging.

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