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Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm going to go out of the box and throw out another name as the MVP for the first half:

Cole Hamels: Yes he only has 9 wins, but that doesn't consider the number of games that the Phillies offense took a dose of "Hibernol" before the game. Hamels has consistently kept the Phils in close games all season. With all the Myers/Eaton/occasional Kendrick/Moyer blowup, Hamels has been the one constant. If you switched Kendrick's run support with Hamels', Hamels has about 14-15 wins and Kendrick has about 3-4. Hamels is my MVP, although Burrell's performance should definitely be lauded. Maybe if Burrell and the rest of the lineup had been awake during Cole's starts, then he would not just be the MVP of the Phillies, but would be starting the All-Star game.

Also, I'm predicting Josh Hamilton wins derby.

Here's my thing...

I'm fine with the catching situation. Frankly, we can't bring up Jarmillo or Marson right now. Jarmillo doesn't present a more potent bat and Marson, I believe, needs more time in the minors to work on his defense. It's hard to say if his bat would translate to the pros and if it didn't, are we really going to risk that behind the plate when our team ERA is so low?

Cholly might do the team well to decide who catches when and for what starting pitcher. An occasional switch-up might be used, but maybe handle them like an NHL goaltender tandem. That way they know ahead of time who they will be catching for and can prepare accordingly. If Ruiz does not catch fire (hell, even a flicker would be an upgrade), another option should be explored by the FO in the second half. The bottom half of the lineup after the 5 hole is the reason for the sharp decline in offense since early June. Coste knows his limitations and not being able to upgrade while keeping him as the backup would be a crime. Chooch faltering so badly this year obviously caught the FO off guard and they have no plan B. A little suprising, considering that many here at BL'er were not all that enamored with his past performance. Proving once again that we all seem to know more than they do!

Don't know if this has been discussed yet, but per MLBTR:

"Sherman notes a rumor around the game that has Pat Gillick becoming Mariners president next year, and Brian Cashman coming on as his GM"

As a poster here mentioned recently, I am a little concerned about our GM's possible conflicts of interest in making any deals with the M's this season. It would surprise me NOT to see PG return to some sort of front office position in his favorite rainy city next year..

If that is the case, then the Phillies need to go with 3 catchers. Maybe they could trade for a "hitting catcher" to be a pinch hitter/make the occasional start to give the guys a break. Hey, it can't be much worse of an idea than using Taguchi.

Great story about Hamilton's Derby pitcher. He is using a 71 year old American Legion member, who used to throw batting practice to youth baseball players in Hamilton's home town. Hamilton called him up out of the blue and asked him to pitch to him in the HR derby in Yankee stadium. Great story, IMO.

"If that is the case, then the Phillies need to go with 3 catchers."

I agree. If Coste is running on fumes right now from catching too much, why not bring Jaramillo up? Ruiz, for better or worse, could catch most days, and you could then use Coste (who can certainly hit; when he is fresh) as a pinch-hitter more often. And, if you can keep Coste fresher in July and August, then maybe you can use him more in September, should Ruiz still be hitting under his weight.

Jaramillo has been at AAA long enough, and would at least be competent as a backup catcher. And, he is on the 40 man roster, so that helps.

On HR derby...

I don't understand why they can only use 2008 all stars, as their participants.

For me, I would much rather watch the true big sluggers of the game (Howard, Fielder, Dunn, Miggy Cabrera, Carlos Lee etc....) take their hacks, then watching Uggla, Morneau and Longoria.

There are some really good hitters (Utley being one of them) in this year's contest. But, I don't see many true "sluggers".

Give me the big boys, who hit the HR's and hit them a long way, even if they aren't in the actual all star game. The Slam Dunk contest takes anyone who is in the NBA. So does the 3 Pt contest. Why not the HR derby?

This is exactly what people in the know (including himself) said about Chris Coste all along.. that he's a backup and his production would decline if he played more. But there were those who refused to believe that. Hope the Eaton story is correct.

Certainly sounded like Eaton was out based on the stories the last coupla days.

Why should Howard or anybody who's not in the game show up for the HR derby? They get one real break between Feb. and Oct., they are actual human beings who might just want to have a few days off.

Maybe the commish will decide in future games to add players to the AS team to liven up the derby, not on pure ballot stuffing, and Howard would make the team every year he does something like lead the league in HRs and RBIs.

Wonder how Howard would have done in the extra man balloting had he been in it?

A lot of people are bashing this year's HR Derby as "lackluster." That may be true, but it is probably the first steroid free derby in about a decade. Baseball has, wisely IMO, decided to showcase some of its brightest young stars. It is definitely in MLB's interest to make these guys household names, instead of using the same old juicers (Giambi, Glaus, etc.) There are probably some guys that were juiced and still in the league that I'm not thinking of. Either way, cheers to baseball (for once) for getting at least getting the right guys in the Derby. Now if they would just shorten the damn thing.

BTW: I'm all for an early exit for UTS. Love to see him in it, but I don't want to see any future slump get blamed on his participation.

A lot of Met fans at the HR Derby? Utley got a lot of boos...

I just don't want Chase to put up a donut; just think of all the sh*t we'd hear if he gets none out.

I'm thinking Hamilton or Braun here.

hahaha chase after being introduced says under his breath to the boo-birds (probly mets fans), "booo? f*** you"

Redbeard: Yeah, I had to rewind it to make sure I heard it right, but he did say that. Hilarious.

short porch in Right Field. Pick a left hander.

Did anyone hear what Chase said when they introduced him at the Home Run derby? I think he responded to some boos from the NY crowd by saying; "boo? fu k you" He got a chuckle from Dan Uggla, who was standing next to him. Good stuff.

Damn it, came here to post the Utley quote, and was beaten to it. Three times!

Definitely getting the Utley jersey now, that decision has been made for me. Thanks Chase, I didn't need that $100.

Howard was in the 07 derby, right? Despite not being an AS, he was invited to defend his title.

if Utley were smart he would've asked Brett Myers to pitch to him in the derby

Sophist: Yep, he only hit 3 in the first round and had an early exit.

I just rewound it on DVR. It was NOT under his breath. they boo and Chase says "boo? F-ck You" Nice :)

Good one, mb.

Sizemore is winning this thing.

Rick Reilly, Joe Morgan, *and* Chris Berman. This is nearly un-watchable.

low quality, but its already on youtube

Thanks, BB. Love it.

Chase should have brought Eaton to pitch for him.

utley's pitcher is terrible!

cutting into utley's turn to interview wright? what a giant FU to philly.

Please take David Wright off my television.

Interviewing Wright while Utley's hitting?!? Are you fing kidding me?!?!??!

5 is respectable; I wish he had tied the first 2, but it's more than the rookie hit out.

Yeah, that was awful. Wright while Chase was hitting. Wright, "Yeah, I never want to stop playing the Rockies. Wish the break never came."

5 HR is alright. Probably not enough to move on. His pitcher threw everything inside.

espn loves to fan the flames

Only 2 need to hit more than him or he's done.

ESPN loves any reason to suck the collective phalluses of any team from NY or Boston. And maybe Chicago or LA...

I see the Phils players are as classy as their phans. You're all happy you have an unintelligent bafoon manning second? Ha, losers.

Btw: I like the Wright interview taking up practically the entire AB. Hahaha No one cares about Philly or that rube.

LOL Utley....He Probably misses CBP Most of those Line Drives pop outs would be homeruns...hitting in that Band Box

Eaton is 'out'? Out where?

I missed the last thread, but for once I'm not going to be contrary. Burrell is the accurate choice as first-half MVP, and if Manuel hadn't deprived him of dozens of innings, his numbers surely would have gotten him onto the all-star squad.

He's unintelligent because he thinks it's stupid to be booed at the HR Derby? Whatever. It's good to know that NY has fans that are just as classless as Philly's are...

Kind of amazing Abreu hit 41. Will these guys hit 41 total through the whole thing?

I've heard rumors that the balls from the Derby Abreu hit in were juiced.

Ding Dong, the D*CK is GONE!


Wow, I've never heard of a "line drive pop out" before? How is the score kept for that one?

Duh, here's a thought. Who's fans do you think booed Utley in New York? Could it be the Mets' fans who were classless enough to boo a player during AS week?

Make that "whose."

I'll believe the Eaton rumor when he's actually gone. Will it be a DL move?

Don't feed the trolls.

Anyways, not surprised Utley didn't do all that well, he's not a home run hitter, he's a hard line drive hitter who happens to sneak balls out.

And that Wright interview made me want to call ESPN and just yell at them for 20 minutes. What the hell was that crap?

No stronger statement of respect/acknowledgment of how good a player is than to have the opposing fans boo them. Especially when it doesn't even matter. On that note, real classy Muts fans. Why are they even in Yankee stadium? They must want to know what an organization with some class (ok maybe a stretch) and tradition feels like.

Knight, that certainly seemed to be what happened. He hit lots of line drives early that didn't have enough under them to get out. Howard should be in this. I'd think Burrell would be the next best Phil.

What did Dobbs supposedly say to the Rat after the big comeback? If that was true, that was an all-time classic.

The people who boo during the home run derby are calling utley classless?

No wonder Braun is not hitting HR, he has his agent throwing him the pitches. If ever there was a conflict of interest....Oh yeah, nevermind.

With how hot Howard has been recently, if he was in this I think he'd win it hands down. If it has been getting anywhere near where he wants it, he's been belting it deep. With BP pitching, he'd be smashing them up into that upper deck like it was a grounder into the shift.

Oh well, silly Home Run Derby rules prevent that.

Knight: Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste would figure out a way to hit into a DP in the HR derby.

If the situation was reversed and we booed Wright during the derby in Philly, we would have been crushed by the commentators - and it would have been followed up by 60 seconds of flashbacks to overblown "incidents" from the last 40 years.

In Re Adam Eaton pitching for HR Derby:

I would put my money on Randy Johnson winning.

That was a huge shot. Wow!! Wow!!

Well, if there was someone standing on second, Utley would probably hit 10 ground balls to the 1st base side.

Parker: What did Dobbs say to the Rat? I don't think I heard that one.

I knew there was a reason I picked Hamilton. Wow.

more class from new york fans... with their Ahole chants... nice.

doubleh: I think it was something like, "Take that you F-in Rat!"

"Supposedly" he said it after Wagner blew the game last season in the ninth. I think the Phils came back from like 5 runs down. I don't remember the exact run total.

I can't fault them for chanting at the umps; we'd do the same thing. I just don't want to hear from Met fans about our players/fans having no class when they do all the same d*mn things.

And you find me one rational Met fans that wouldn't be totally po'd if, say, Chase Utley were being interviewed during David Wright's at bat. I'm still mad about that. Pick anyone else--from another team besides the NL East--and it's a different story.

Are we sure that Hamilton's not still "on" something? Geebus. He hits 'em faaaaaaarrrr.

Lol, cops going for the choke hold on some fans.

This is absolutely amazing.

Good grief. unbelievable.

@doubleh- there's a difference at real ball game... this is a home run derby... there's a difference...

Ya this 71 year old guy pitching to him is awesome.

- "ESPN loves any reason to suck the collective phalluses of any team from NY or Boston. And maybe Chicago or LA..." - doubleh. Classic and true. Couldn't have said it better myself.

- I also agree with RSB. I have often though that PtB has been given the short end when he is replaced for the pinch hitter. Those extra AB's, whatever they might amount to, could translate into better possible numbers that could have gotten him his first All Star appearance.

- I personally think that the All Star ballotting is a joke, especially when you consider that the voting begins in May. It is a boring and contrived contest anymore, compared to what it was and what it meant to either league years ago. I can't put a finger on when the "feel' of the AS game changed for me, but I am sure that these guys playing for pride is part of distant baseball lure now. I can't imagine anyone playing is running over a catcher or banging into a wall chasing down a fly ball so the BoSox or Cubs (any club actually) might gain the homefield advantage in October.

This guy has more life in his arm than Gordon.

1. chase is awesome for saying that.

2. batting practice hr's just don't get me excited.

3. why do they pay these guys to announce? why not just use a soundboard?

@mike: I hear you--I just think a lot of Philly fans would do the same. But I definitely think it's unwarranted at an exhibition game.

He just killed Abreu's record. How many is he going to hit in a row? Will he stop before 30???


It's all this old guy.

Hamilton is incredible.

28 and counting.


Ahh he jammed him.

It'll be amusing if Hamilton doesn't win now because he crushes so many in the first round.

Ok, Erin Andrews qualifies as the best part of the ESPN coverage.

Mr. Mack - I'll agree right back at you. The All-Star game is something that's unfortunately been totally ruined. Not merely 'compromised' or 'tainted'- I mean, ruined. I can't even sit through it anymore.

Parker: Oh, the game that we ended up winning 11-10 on the hit by Utley off of Wags? I remember Dobbs running into the dugout yelling "F*** Yeah!" or something to that extent, but nothing directly about Wags.

Good times.

Better quality video of Chase Utley's statement about booing fans.

Josh Hamilton has got to be exhausted. He might be thru for the season after that exhibition. Great moment for him and his PC Claybon Counsil. Great name too! He is the only pitcher who has thrown more HR balls than Myers so far.

"I only got one vote. And that was Josh."

Reds get Hamilton, Phils get Warden

doubleh: Yeah, that was it. There was a rumor that he directed that towards Wagner, but it was never substantiated. However, I'll always have that as my memory regardless....One of those stories that gets better every time you tell it.

This whole All Star Game thing has become a must-miss event to me. On a more interesting topic, if this is true about Myers, then what happens if he stinks it up in his last AAA start? If he goes 2 innings and allows 5 runs, are the Phillies still going to bring him back? I doubt it will happen, because I think a guy like Myers can dominate minor league hitting pretty easily. But what if?

Dang Eaton should have subbed in with 9 outs. Hamilton could have gotten 40.

Did the Phils have a chance to take Hamilton?

no the rumor was they were trying to trade up to get him but couldn't.

TK: I hear you, but I think Myers' stuff gives you a better chance than Eaton does. Eaton, even when he's good (which isn't often) isn't dominant. Myers, when he locates his fastball and can throw his curve for a strike, can dominate a lineup.

They still need a #2. But I can live with Myers in the lineup if they add someone else. Myers and Eaton together I can't take.

Parker, I assume you don't mean when he was first overall in 99.

The Cubs got him in the Rule V in 2006, and the Reds bought him from the Cubs.

Sorry, I meant to address my last post to BAP.

Too much wine. These things are waayyyy too long.

I guess I'm in the minority, but I actually like the AS Game. I go through baseball withdrawl during the winter and AS breaks.

Hamilton was 3rd overall in the Rule V:

Joakim Soria was drafted #2.

Phils had the 10th pick and drafted Adam Donachie. I guess they could have bought him like CIN did.

Oh, and like Dave X said. Phils picked Warden 18th.

- Any reaction to the Trolls will mean they will not go back into hiding under the bridge they came out from under. Ignore them and they might go away.

- Too bad that Howard isn't here to hit the short porch. That would have been something to see him and Hamilton squaring off tonight. On the plus side, it's just the NY fans that are denied the thrill of it all. As much as I hate the whole contest and the way it is run, it would have been one for the ages. Unless of course Ryno whiffed.

I wonder if Rick Reilly knows that Hamilton used to be a drug addict.


If I didn't like Utley enough, he is the only player to wear his team cap in this derby. He such a gamer.

Utley strikes me as the type of player who doesn't like anything changed about his approach, uniform/equipment/routine. And he is repping the "P" in NY. Good for him.

boy I gotta tell you Chris Berman really makes this event.

Strike that. Reverse it.

Parker: I believe the exact words Dobbs said were "Take that motherf***ers". Great line.

@mike -- agreed. Since the end of that game is in "Save Until Delete" status on my Tivo, I went back and checked.

Well, saw that coming.

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