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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

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Surprisingly, Milledge was sent to Triple A on the off day yesterday. The Nationals will have a new lead off man tonight.

Weitzel, I reported about a possible Delwyn Young acquistion too this morning, but that won't be happening as the Pirates just acquired him.

Okay, so I'm retarded, you stated in plain sight that the Pirates got him. Forget my above comment.

Now you give me Volstad, after he has already been picked up in all my leagues, but prior to the season you give me Lannan? You're killing me, Weitzel, killing me.

Stay patient with Lannan.

My problem is remembering to activate my starters. For example ... Volstad last night.

I am really nervous about our starters. At least one of them needs to settle down like right now.

I'd rather the Phils sign ESPN's Pedro Gomez, then the washed up Pedro Martinez.

The Phils starting pitching depth, makes this thought from Heyman, a moot one. Unless, he thinks Hamels arm is going to fall off.

This team needs another bench bat (that can hit right-handed). The starters will be fine. They started very slowly last year too.

Romero will come back fresh in May. Happ and Carrasco are waiting in the wings for a rotation spot and Kendrick could work his way back into the mix too later in the year.

The question will be, whether Park stays in the rotation or eventually ends up in that "Durbin-like" role in the pen, he probably would excel in. A few more stinker starts like he had in Colorado, will make this decision an easy one.

I followed Frank Thomas' entire career, and in my estimation, he is one of the greatet right-handed hitters to ever play the game. Only Ted Williams could see a pitch as well as Thomas and very few players could hit with power to every field, hit for average or hit in clutch situations as well as Thomas.

To be sure, his downsides are significant. His arm is erratic, especially in pressure situations, and he is limited to playing first base. Some feel that he concentrated more on himself and less on his team throughout his career but he was never considered a negative clubhouse influence. Some also criticized him for being the only major leaguer to meet with George Mitchell before the performance enhancing drug report was issued. For the record, Thomas always maintained that he never used PEDs.

All that being said, the very thought of the Phils acquiring Thomas for the $1 million he is said to be asking rachets up my enthusiasm for the Phils a whole bunch of notches. Admittedly, his only purpose with the Phils would be as a right-handed pinch hitter, but Stairs on the left hand and Thomas on the right hand would be one pair of cufflinks any team would like to have. Thomas would add to the Phils a righthanded bat that could get a clutch hit with frequency and power. Additionally, because of his tremendous eye and discipline, when he wasn't hitting balls out of CBP or driving in runs by the handful, he would be getting a lot of walks.

So far, the need hasn't arisen but the days are going to come when the Phils are in a hole and Miguel Cairo is the only option. Just as fans are glad to see Matt Stairs do little more than pinch hit, they will be equally happy to see Frank Thomas saunter up to the plate.

I know that there is younger and less expensive talent available, but there is also something to be said for having a future Hall of Famer on your bench. Next year belongs to the Donalds and the Mayberrys of the world. It would be great to take one more look at Frank Thomas, up close and personal, and watch him increase the souvenir collection of Phillie fans.

If Park struggles in 2 more starts I see the Phils pulling the plug on that experiment with Happ to rotation and Park to bullpen the way it should have been all along.

About starters "settling down". I think we saw that in Myers and Moyers' 2nd outings. Myers is prone to the longball so 7 innings 4 runs seems about what to expect from him in my opinion. Also, Moyer was outstanding in '08, but don't forget he had a 5+ era in '07, so 4 runs in 6 innings seems about right too. It's Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton that we need and should expect much better outings from.

It's a bit unfair to point out Park's "stinker" seeing as how pretty much the entire starting rotation has shown issues of concern thus far. I would be disappointed if Park is prematurely exiled to the bullpen. I think it would be far more beneficial to send him down to the Iron Pigs for a few weeks, if necessary, to address any issues and prepare for a return to the rotation (as was offered to Myers, Kendrick, Eaton, etc)

With the depth of our starting pitching, I'd be very (pleasantly) surprised to see the Phillies make a serious play for Halladay or Pevy. I don't see them guaranteeing 5 mil to a washed up Pedro. In fact, I don't see any team offering him half of that.

I'll stick my neck out and say that I expect Park to settle down.

Coors is it's own animal, and has not been kind to Park, even before his last start there.

I don't expect him to pitch the way he did in ST, but neither do I expect a complete meltdown.

We'll find out some more on Saturday.

That would seem pretty cool--having Stairs and the Big Hurt just staring out into the bullpen eyeing up their respective handed soon-to-be-lunches.

And what you can probably say about any single move out there to make... its better than Miguel Cairo.

The problem with bringing in the Big Hurt is he is looking for more AB than the Phils could likely give him.

He really wants to DH in the AL.

I would love it if it happened.

anybody see the article about Howard wearing a mouthpiece that reduces jaw tension so he gets more "blood to the head?". apparently inspired by Manny's use of such a retainer.

my question is - does a hitter really want more blood going to the head during an AB? Of course it depends on the hitter, but i wonder, on balance, which is more important, the gut's instinctual fight-or-flee response, or a hitter's ability to process the situation and respond cranially to the pitch.

that said, i could use one of those retainer things if it really does reduce jaw clenching and improve blood flow to the head...

TNA, which "head" are you hoping for increased blood flow to?

Zing!

Nicely done, GM-Carson!

Carson - bad boy! (And no jokes about holding one's bat with a firmer/looser grip either!)

I was traveling yesterday and so missed out on the plural of RBI discussion. (My kind of nonsense.) I wanted to point out that, properly, some abbreviations use a double letter to signify plurality (like pp. and vv. or vss.). Maybe the plural ought to be RRBI or RBII. I suggest using one of those for a couple weeks - by which time everyone will be hankering for the vernacularly acceptable RBIs.

Also: RSB, though ending with an "s" is a singlular form which stays the same in its plural version. You get "the blues" but cannot get "the blue." The plural of "the blues" is "the blues." In its possessive form, of course, you would not add an extra "s," though. So to quote from Mr. Blues, you would say (for instance) "I disagree with RSB' (not RSB's) assertion that Pedro Feliz' (not Feliz's) defense is worth a half dozen runs per game.")

Thanks Andy - only you could have spelled that out for me.

I think the Phillies would love to have Frank Thomas, but reports are that they're planning to contact Jeff Jackson's agents first.

The Fish have a nice easy road trip for the next 8 games ... two at Atlanta, three at Washington, three at Pittsburgh.

They'll probably have a nice record early in the season before they get the Phils at home and then three in New York and three in Chicago.

I'd rather have Ruben Gomez than Pedro Martinez

Don't vote for Pedro Martinez. His arm was gone two years ago.

One last Harry Kalas related post. I watched the tribute to him on CSN last night and they replayed his call of Wagner giving up the homer to Biggio. I'll never forget that game because of 1) Harry's reaction and 2) It cemented the disgust I had (and still have) towards Wagner. (How he had the gaul to criticize the team for not wanting to win after choking on that save, as well as some other crucial games, is beyond me.) Anyway, my favorite line is, "The runs are all unearned, but who cares?!" Classic Harry.

Obviously standings mean nothing after 1 week but has anyone looked at the current division leaders:

AL East: Baltimore
AL Central: KC
AL West: Seattle

NL East: Marlins
NL Central: Cubs/Cards
NL West: San Diego

Outside of the NL Central and the Marlins, those are more or less the teams everbody has been picking to finish last.

If we get Jeff Jackson, think we could re-sign Brad Baisley, too?

Thomas is definitely looking for more ABs than the Phils may be willing to promise right now. However, as time marches on and Thomas is still unemployed, he will probably be willing to settle for one shot a night at the friendly fences of CBP as well as an occasional few innings relieving Howard at first in blowouts. Given the option of retiring or playing for a defending world champion, Thomas might realize that he has never actually played on a world championship team before (although he was on the DL when the White Sox won)and try his hand at pinch hitting.

As far as Park is concerned, I posted from spring training that Happ seemed to be the better candidate for the 5th starter position than Park. Park's recent performance showed why. He throws too many pitches and he gets behind in too many counts. He still throws high and hard, but a hittable high and hard. In contrast, Happ keeps the ball low, he has had better velocity and he has shown better control. The Phils management is probably doing the smart thing by giving Park the starting opportunity he wanted, but after one more start where he throws 50 pitches in the first inning and returns to the bench down 4 runs, Park will probably thnk management for the chance and then settle in as the Phils long reliever and spot starter. Madson and Durbin wanted to be starers but they've come to realize their true value to the team as relievers.

The reason Park isn't getting a free pass for one bad start while other guys are is that he has a track record that suggests struggling like this isn't an aberration. The last 4 years he was a regular starter, his ERAs were 5.75, 5.46, 5.74, and 4.81.

Doc, I appreciate your analysis of Park, but one start does not a season make.

Unless, of course, you're ready to send Joe Blanton with his 15.75 ERA, and Cole Hamels, with his 17.18 ERA, down after their last starts?

It's this simple guys and gals:

Let the guy (Park) pitch. If he blows up he can be moved to the 'pen and replaced with Happ.

If he doesn't blow up the team is better off for it, you'll be happy, and it could help translate into another WFC!!!

Unless, of course, you think the first seven games make a season?

OBP Machine!

Feliz recorded his 5th walk in his 26th PA. That didn't happen until his 61st PA in 2008.

Young would have been a nice fit. I believe the Phils are standing pat. There ARE better options out there than Cairo, but the Phils haven't made a move. That tells a lot about improving the team. Why couldn't the Phils get Young for the price the Pirates paid? Because they didn't want to.

It's the same thing with the Eagles. Peters and Boldin are out there, but they don't want to pay the price. They've got all these draft picks and they may try to move up. But they'll screw it up as usual. And when we find out what these players are traded or signed for, it's makes us scratch our heads and wonder, doesn't it?

Back to the Phils, I said 2 weeks ago that I thought Wily Mo Pena would be a good fit. For only 400K, why not? He's Yound RH, and can play the OF. Works for me. But the Phils don't seem to be interested.

I'd rather Cairo than WilyMo - he is really that bad.

DomP, the Bucs and Dodgers had talked about Young before. It's also possible that the Dodgers like the minor league players in the Bucs' system better than the Phils'.

Lastly, if you were the Dodgers, assuming both trades were equal, and you had the choice of helping another team get better by trading Young to the Bucs, who will likely have another losing season, or to the Phillies, who beat you in the NLCS last season and you might face again in the playoffs, which would you do?

My point is the Phillies do not always act independently in these things. (And I am NOT an FO apologist!)

phaithful: You mean the guy hitting .364/.464/.500 against 6 righty starters so far this season? Crazy.

Also, as long as the schedule starters stay the same the next two nights, we will have faced 2 lefty starters in our first 9 games. Last year, we faced 2 lefty starters in our first 9 games as well. Remember that Clout insisted we would see way more lefty starters this year because Ibanez replaced Burrell.

Things I don't understand:

- This absurd notion that Park should be "given an opportunity to pitch." He deserved to compete for a starting spot in the rotation in spring training. That's it.

He won the job based on his spring training performance. It is up to him to prove that he deserves to stay when the Phils have a ready viable alternative. If he struggles again over the next 2-3 starts, he's should be pulled out of the rotation.

In a division that is likely to be tight, you can't afford to give Park until Memorial Day (9-10 starts) to figure it out. Potentially giving away too many games and I don't think he has nearly that long though. Dubee and Cholly realize that 3-4 inning outings by a starter do big damage to your bullpen over the course of a season.

- Why Cairo on still on this team. Phils don't have a natural OF on the bench. Forget the "right-handed bat." Especially perplexing when the Phils already have a superior version of Cairo in Bruntlett. Maybe Cairo is somewhat marginally faster at this point but not enough to warrant keeping a roster spot for him.

I would rather have the Phils pick up a no-hit, natural OF who can replace Ibanez late if needed vs a no-hit INF who is pretty miscast as a corner OF.

- This notion that Myers has pitched "well." Reality is that Myers is no-longer a power pitcher. Still can be very effective but he has been hanging his changeup and leaving his fastball up in the zone that has resulted in a boatload of HRs early. Only reason it hasn't been worse is because Myers hasn't been working batters and has been fortunate that there weren't runners on base.

If Myers keeps giving up 2 and 3 HRs a start, his ERA is likely going to be north of 5 again this summer and he will have his share of Ls to match.

Wily Mo?! Wily Mo?! The same guy who recorded the last out when we won the 2007 NL East?

What's with our fascination with our dammed? First we wanted Nomar, who was the last out of the 2008 NLCS, next thing you'll know we'll be knocking on Eric Hinskie's door in Pittsburgh!

I love how the organization feels compassion for those who committed the final outs in our many celebrations, but if anything it just shows their not clutch...unless...UNLESS this is all a huge conspiracy and we've bribed all these guys to get out and promised them a future fat contract! It all make sense now, how else could the Phillies actually win a World Series?!?!

I know everybody is interested in Hamels' start but frankly I am just as interested to see what Blanton does.

Blanton was an upgrade from Eaton last year (insert punch line here) but he really didn't pitch that well if you look at the peripheral numbers (mediocre WHIP, below average BB/K ratio, little over 5 IP/start).

Blanton really did look good in spring training and the Phils need him to be a guy who likely picks up some of the slack from Moyer's numbers this year. Moyer likely will give the Phils another year of 180+ IP and 30+ GS (and in the process owe him $10-$11M next year) but I can't see Moyer settling into a groove like he last for the final 3 months of the year. Likely more of a 5-6 IP/start guy who gives up 2-4 runs each time out.

Back to a Harry Kalas question: I was definitely listening to the game on the radio in 1987 when Schmidt hit his 500th. 9 years old at the time, I remember exactly where I was. But was Harry's famous call for radio or TV? Eskin was talking about hearing it on the radio while he was in the car watching his son's little league game, but others have reminisced about hearing Harry on the TV broadcast.

Thicket - It might have been both but an interesting question. I was sweeping the floor in my parent's kitchen and definitely remember hearing it on the radio at the time.

MG: If Park puts up the same performance where he can't make it out of the 4th and giving up 5+ runs, then I agree he needs to get yanked.

But if he pitches less than desireable for two more starts, but can at least get you to the 5th with 4ER, I think its safe to give him a few more starts to improve.

Even if his history does not indicate he will not be that good, you still have to give a player more than 1 start to figure out how he will do.

If someone with good numbers pitches well their first start, do you run out and sign him to a huge deal? No, you wait to see his body of work. Obviously its easier to wait and see while someone is pitching effectively, but the same patience must be taken in Park's case as well.

AWH -

I agree that one outing a season doeth not make. However, if you read my latest post carefully, you'll see that I posted from spring training that Happ looked a lot sharper than Park. I also posted back then about Coste taking Park yard in a simulated game and Feliz in his first simulated game back from back surgery nearly taking Park's head off with a line drive.

I like Park as a long reliever and spot starter. I like Happ a lot better as a starting pitcher. ERAs have very little meaning this time of the year and none of my posts have ever entertained the notion of comparing Phillie pitchers according to their ERAs.

Take it for what it's worth, but I predict Happ being the Phils' 5th starter for the majority of the season. Park may very well return to start but it won't be as a replacement to Happ who, I've often said doesn't get the respect he deserves.

The Phils gave Park the first shot at the starting job because they said that's what they were going to do. They didn't want him mentally anguishing for the entire season about what life would be like as a starter. As soon as Park gets his chance as a starter and there's little doubt about his value as a reliever, Happ will enter as the new Number 5 Stage Left. Having watched both pitchers in person, Happ clearly outpitched Park in spring training. The Phils did what they did because it was the smart thing to do and because the decision wasn't written in stone.

Doc, you may be right about Happ, but will he be replacing Hamels (injury), Moyer or Park?

(Yes, I am a seditionist.)

doc: Happ did look good in ST, but c ho p was just flat out better in every way possible during their time in Clearwater.

No i was not there to see it with my own eyes as you have, but unless you went to only Happ starts and none of c ho p's, i dont see how you can make that statement.

Maybe your man crush for Mayberry distorted your view of the pitcher's mound.

Jack: Just to correct you, I said the Phils would face more lefties this season because of Ibanez, ASSUMING THE SAME NUMBER OF LEFTIES ARE IN NL EAST ROTATIONS as last year. Obviously, if there are 4 or 5 fewer lefties in regular rotation the math doesn't work. In any event my point was that Ibanez presence makes the Phils more vulnerable to lefties, both starters and relievers.

Schmidt's 500th home run call was 100% Harry Kalas, both on tv and radio. When Schmidt reached 499, every time he came to bat Harry's voice would override whomever was calling for tv or radio.

Clout I guess you don't understand that since the Phils will face the same amount of Lefties after the first 9 games this year as last that means that there is no way that they will face more lefties over the entire season. I thought you were intelligent enough to understand that.

From The Zo Zone:
The Phillies have announced plans for Friday's tribute to Harry Kalas, who died Monday at 73.

Fans are urged to arrive early for Friday's game, when the Phillies play the San Diego Padres at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

It will be the first home game since the Hall of Fame broadcaster death four days earlier.

The Phillies will honor their legendary voice prior to the game with several tributes:

* The television booth in which Harry broadcast since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004 will be named the Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth, "That ball's outta here!" A plaque will be hung to officially name the booth. The neighboring radio booth is named the Richie ("Whitey") Ashburn Broadcast Booth, "This game's easy, Harry."
* The ceremonial first ball will be thrown by Harry's three sons, Todd, Brad and Kane.
* Prior to the National Anthem, to be sung by Harry's son Kane, there will be a moment of silence.
* All fans will receive an 8"x10" color photograph of Harry.
* Harry's signature will be displayed on the field during the seven-game homestand beginning on Friday.
* Also for the seven-game homestand, a black drape will appear in front of the Phillies radio and TV booths and the Phillies flag in Ashburn Alley will be hung at half-mast.
* A video of Harry's career will be aired on PhanaVision.
* During the seventh-inning stretch, a video of Harry singing "High Hopes" will be shown on PhanaVision. Fans will be encouraged to join in.

Other acknowledgements include:

* During the first half-inning of the game televised by Comcast Network Philadelphia (formerly CN8), there will be no announcer commentary.
* Throughout the remainder of the season, a billboard honoring Harry will be displayed on the outfield wall.
* As previously announced, an HK patch will be worn on Phillies uniforms this season.
* Throughout the 2009 season, following every Phillies home run, Harry's legendary "Outta Here!" home run call will be played over the PA system as the Liberty Bell lights up.

Lets split the difference here: Park should get more than 2-3 more starts, but far less than 9-10, to prove himself as a starter. So let's say 4-5 more starts for Park and then we decide whether to switch him for Happ, okay?

JW: Regarding Lannan, I will keep him on my roster, but I am going to have to wait until he has a good start before I put him in my lineup again. And since his next start is against the Phils, it makes my decision to sit him even easier. I hate having conflicting rooting interests.

About forgetting to set my lineup, I am guilty of that as well. Missed out on Johan Santana's excellent outing last week. Generally what I try to do is on Monday set my lineup for the whole week. So I don't have to worry about signing on once a day. If I need to make changes during the week due to match-ups, injuries, whatever, than I can do so, but at least I have my default lineup set up all week.

timr: i'd gage it on effectiveness. If he goes 3.1IP 5ER or worse the next two starts, I don't see how you can leave him in there much longer.

During the first half-inning of the game televised by Comcast Network Philadelphia (formerly CN8), there will be no announcer commentary...Throughout the 2009 season, following every Phillies home run, Harry's legendary "Outta Here!" home run call will be played over the PA system as the Liberty Bell lights up.

I love this.

There seems to be a double standard when it comes to Park and Happ on Beerleaguer that translates to a grudging acceptance that Park was better in ST, followed by a declaration that ST stats are meaningless (despite an open competition for the fifth spot).

I'm puzzled as to why one bad start from Park, an established veteran who has had several very good seasons and looks to have regained a bit of his former self last season, results in a debate on whether or not to demote him, despite the fact that our ace delivered a horrible outing, our #2 has already given up half a dozen HR, our aging hero is looking like he did in the LCS and NLCS and Blanton's ERA is in the stratosphere.

I'm puzzled by the confidence that a man with VERY limited major league experience who failed to win the job in ST should be given the ball over his superior, more experienced teammate after one or two starts.

Frankly, I fear that if Happ replaces anyone in the rotation, it'll be Jamie Moyer. I fear that it will be his contract (not Ibanez) that we will discuss in September as the financial folly of the off season.

BL'ers have a habit of pointing out Happ's disastrous seasons away from LA, but ignoring his seasons in which he posted higher win and strikeout totals than Cole Hamels and Bret Myers in any season. While Park will likely not top his career best, all indications since the 2008 season show that he's not likely to implode either.

So...someone explain it to me. Is it because he's the new guy? Is it because he's Korean? Why are we waiting with baited breath for Park to fail so we can "put things the way they were supposed to be" with Happ despite his inexperience and the reality (sorry Doc) that Park CLEARLY outpitched Happ?

correction to first line of second to last paragraph:

BL'ers have a habit of pointing out PARK's disastrous seasons away from LA...

thephaithful -

I saw Happ start one st game and Park one simulated game. I also watched them working out. It remains my strong opinion that Happ is the better starter of the two. I base this not on st stats but on personally observing both pitchers in games and workouts and looking for the kind of strengths and weaknesses that don't always show up in stats.

As far as a man crush on Mayberry, my only man crush, was yelling, "MAN, did you see him CRUSH that ball," when he hit one from Clearwater to Indian Rocks.

That having been said, write this down in your book and remember who said it and how early in the season it was said:

1) In the very near future, Happ will be a mainstay in the Phils' starting rotation and draw comparisons to Cole Hamels,

2) In the not too distant future, Mayberry will be a star outfielder for the Phils and draw comparisons to Ryan Howard,

3) Chris Coste, who started off slow in 2007 when he hit over .300 and is starting off slow again this year, will hit over .300 this season,

4) Raul Ibanez will hit .300, have at least 30 HRs and and least 100 RBIs this year, and

5) The Phils will make at least one major and one minor trade or acquisition before midseason.

i heard over on the 700 level that the phils are going to play Harry's outtttaaa hearrrrr after every phils home run, its going to be nice to hear harry call more home runs

I did suggest that 'outta here' on the PA deal in the previous thread. Maybe they read this blog? Or good minds thinking alike?

can the Ibanez vs lefties/Burrell/Abreu talk subside until meaningful stats have been accumulated? i don't even understand how that discussion is still relevant unless you're talking about the lineup.

Rev: Huh? The amount of lefties we face in the first 9 games dictates the amount we face in 162 games?

Clout: With Glavine hurt and Jo-Jo Reyes replacing him, by my count I got 6 lefty starters in the division to begin the season(Santana, Lannan, Oliver Perez, Andrew Miller, Scott Olsen, Reyes).

Last year I have 10 that started more than 5 games (Santana, Olsen, Lannan, Oliver Perez, Odalis Perez, Mark Hendrickson, Miller, Reyes, Mike Hampton, and Glavine).

Obviously a lot of those guys came up midseason, so my guess would be the number of lefty starters in the division will be very similar this season. Either way, I will be keeping running count to make sure everyone here is well aware of how we're doing against lefty starters, and whether we're actually facing more of them or not.

Sam: I think that's an internet rumor based on Victorino's recorded thoughts after Harry's passing.

Doc: Just out of curiosity, what are you basing the Happ/Hamels prediction on. For that matter, what are you basing the Mayberry/Howard prediction on? As much as I want to believe, I'd be surprised if Mayberry draws comparison to Glanville, and Happ has a hell of a lot to prove on the major league level.

I hope you're right about Coste and I think you're right about Ibanez. I suppose we'll have to see.

As for my predictions:

I predict that Jamie Moyer has given all he has to give to this game as an active player, and that he will not finish the 2009 season with wins in the double digits.

I predict that they will experiment with Victorino leading off and Rollins batting third, and I predict that this will be a success.

I predict that when Romero comes back, he is going to disappoint.

I predict that Howard's strikeout totals will not decrease.

I predict that Feliz is going to start impressing people at the plate.

I predict that Lidge does not blow a save in 2009.

Clout: I believe he was being sarcastic and the derision was meant for me, not you.

Jack: I doubt Reyes lasts and certainly there will be mid-season callups. Let's also keep a running count of the team's scoring vs. all LHP.

baxter: You're right, stats are pretty meaningless until about June 30, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate. I think it's fair to say that if the Phils do as well or better vs. LHP this year than they did last year, the Ibanez trade was a big success.

Clout: Yeah, I expect Hanson to replace Reyes by mid-May or June at the latest. Sounds good on scoring.

I predict that Pedro Feliz could hit for the Triple Crown this year and a collection of Beerleaguers would still scream for a Feliz/Dobbs platoon.

Living in the Lehigh Valley, I've seen enough of Mayberry to discourage anyone from expecting much from him this season. He could turn it around, sure, but he doesn't look MLB-ready right now.

Keep an eye on Michael Taylor. He's crushing the ball in Reading and is a better all-around ballplayer. He could end up passing Mayberry on the depth chart before too long.

Zolecki at the Zo Zone has the rundown on all the things they are going to be doing for Harry at Friday night's game and throughout the season and the "Outta here" call is absolutely going to be played over the PA system.

Also, "High Hopes" will be sung during the 7th inning stretch on Friday night. I would like them to do it for the entire season. Would be nice to get our own tradition started at CBP, not unlike some other teams that need no mention. The song isn't any cornier than "Sweet Caroline" for Pete's sake.

Then somewhere down the line years from now, my son will ask "Why do we sing this song every game, Mommy?"

If you guys haven't been reading Doug Glanville's excellent occasional column for the NYTimes, today is a good day to start: a great tribute to HK.

Wes, I wouldn't be surprised. There was a bunch on here that thought Ryan Howard should be platooned last year.

Happ is left handed and his last name starts with "Ha". They are the only two things I can compare the two with.

Wes: Heck, all Pedro has to do to make me happy is hit around league average vs. RHP. The rest of his game is fine, but even a dunce like you has to admit he was a liability on offense vs. RHP last season.

Supragenius - re: Harry calling Schmidt's 500 HR on TV, I don't think that's correct. I think his call was only on radio.

Prism carried the game that day, and there's an Andy Musser call of Schmidt's 500 HR as well, the main difference being Musser adding at the end of the call, "...and what a spot!", since it gave the Phillies a late 8-6 lead.

BB

One more thing, they are both tall and thin.

Kyle Drabek today: 7 IP, 4H, 0R, 9K, 0BB

Even a dunce like me can admit that Feliz does not hit RHP.

However, that weakness is mitigated by his fine defense, the fact that he hits in the bottom of the order and his knack for getting big hits at important times.

Gramps: APBA was my game for many years. You bought new player cards every winter based on last year's results. I played the entire NL schedule(only 8 teams back then),kept full stats for every player,and updated them after every game. This was before calculators,and I had a circular cardboard device for BA,ERA,and W-L pct. I bought a miniature dice cage which really speeded up the game. My brother-in-law was a printer,and he made pads of scoresheets for me by the hundreds. The best part was that I sold everything years later for what I thought was a small fortune. The company was from nearby Lancaster,and they would send me free tickets to their box,front 2 rows behind the home plate glass at Connie Mack Stadium.

Clout Jack was correct that it was a sarcastic comment. I sometimes forget that sarcasm does not always come across as such when written. I guess that is the unintelligent poster in me.

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