Saturday, August 25, 2012

LA Dodgers/Red Sox

If the Dodgers don't win the World Series this year or next year, and they won't due to their massive lack of pitching depth, they will live to regret today's blockbuster with the Sox.  The Sox on the other hand will be able to invest their money, go young, and will come back strong.

Steve Van Buren

Just feel it is necessary to note his passing as he was quite possibly the greatest player to put on a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sign Juan Cruz

Juan Cruz, the holder of an era under 3.00, was released by the Pirates and is now a free agent.  He is a strikeout pitcher who would come cheap and seems like the kind of bullpen arm the Phillies are looking for.  Obviously I am not a proponent on spending money for relievers, so getting Cruz now on the cheap seems like a good call.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is it the Nick Foles era yet?

As promised, we'll follow last week's quick-hit analysis of the Eagles first preseason game with another breakdown of Monday's match-up against the Patriots.

Rather than stay with last week's up/down drill, I want to do a couple of bullet point observations and then get into something that is, right now, going to seem over-reactive. It's also something that, by the end of the season, I guarantee will gain a lot of traction among this fan base:

The new most important thing we will learn about the Eagles this season is whether Nick Foles is the quarterback of the future. Mike Vick's near-guaranteed injury will almost certainly give Foles a chance to showcase his stuff during a couple of regular season games, and if he shows the Eagles anything, the front office should use it as an opportunity to unload Vick for what would surely be a nice haul of draft picks next offseason.

I'm not kidding, and I'm not overreaching. But we'll get there. First, the bullets.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why you shouldn't pay for relief pitching

The Phillies trade of Shane Victorino for Josh Lindblom and a prospect was supposed to help fix a beleaguered and underachieving bullpen.  Just 2 weeks later, Lindblom has already been responsible for at least two losses and looks to be no better, if not in fact worse, then the Phillies previous options.  For any longtime Phillies fan, Lindblom's poor results should be no surprise.  The Phillies have traded for and signed relief pitchers year after year, and year after year, these relief pitchers have failed to put up consistently good performances.  To be arbitrary, let's go back to one of my favorite relief pitching deals, the Turk Wendell/Dennis Cook extravaganza, and evaluate the Phillies higher profile relief moves/performances since then:

Turk Wendell/Dennis Cook - Wendell and Cook were brought in as mid-season acquisitions from the Mets to fortify the bullpen for a playoff run.  Problem was, Wendell went from a workhorse who put up a sub-4 ERA over 4 seasons with the Mets, to an albatross who put up an ERA over 7 following his acquisition by the Phillies in 2001, then missed the entire 2002 season injured before actually putting together a decent season in 03.  It appears the Phillies paid him about 7-8 million $ for his efforts.  Like Wendell, Cook put together a sub-4 ERA in 4 years with the Mets.  Cook then pitched a whopping 19 games for the Phillies compiling an ERA well north of 5.  Another multi-million dollar player, the Phillies likely only had to fork over about $1 million to Cook.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where do the Sixers rank in the East?

Some of you may recall my extreme disdain for the Sixers' roster as previously constructed, and the complaints I laid out in extremely bitter fashion only recently.

Well, one inexplicably incredible trade later, the Sixers have placated me. The gift of a trade that the Sixers miraculously stumbled into, in which they essentially packaged a guy (Iguodala) who would be the third-best player on any real contender for the best true low-post offensive center and second-best center in the league overall (Bynum), and managed to pick up a real outside shooter (Richardson) to boot, has undoubtedly moved the Sixers up the ranks of Eastern Conference contenders. The question is, how far?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wait, What?!?!

According to SportsCenter, Hunter Pence is tied for the league lead in (I believe it was) hits to take the lead in games in the 8th inning or later.  Maybe I have a selective memory, but Pence being un-clutch is one of the main reasons the Phillies are having such a terrible year.  Go figure

Phillies finally make the right call

A little late on this post, but the Phillies are doing right by a player that they have been screwing over since I was still at Penn State.  Dom Brown.  How quickly we forget that there was a time when Dom Brown was the #1 ranked prospect in all of baseball.  Not Mike Trout, not Bryce Harper.  Dom Brown!  Trout is now a bonafide MVP candidate and Harper is looking like a star in the making.  In the mean time, Brown has been up and down, injured as much as healthy, and nothing short of an abomination in the outfield.  A player that was once untouchable in the Roy Halladay trade had turned into a player that seemed to be a lost cause.  In what is now looking like a lost season (despite my hopes of a miracle turnaround), the Phillies are giving Brown everyday major league playing time, without fear of hitting the bench, for the first time in his career.  As an organization, the Phillies have been notorious for moving slowly with their top minor leaguers (Howard and Utley come to mind).  Doing so in the past was never a big deal as the team was always succeeding.  Presently however, with the team so far out of contention and the core aging, it makes sense to give the young guys a legitimate chance.  Apart from Brown, Tyler Cloyd (14-1, 2.07 ERA at AA-AAA this year) should be claiming Kyle Kendrick (or the injured Vance Worley's) rotation spot any day now.  But that is beside the point.  Brown is finally getting his shot and he has been playing at a high level.  Though his sample size is incredibly limited, Brown has shown great patience at the plate (5/4 k:BB ratio), an ability to consistently hit the ball hard, and a strong arm in the OF.  The Phillies are still not doing him a service by moving him all over the OF, but it is encouraging that he has the ability to play in CF.  As neither the season's most disappointing player (John Mayberry) or career #4 OF Nate Schierholtz appear likely to be the answer in CF next year, Brown is certainly an option.  However, if I am the Phillies, I stick Brown in left field (where he has been predominantly playing in the minors), let him focus on his hitting in August, and then if his fielding remains strong, try him in CF in September.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ups and Downs: Eagles Preseason Game 1

Calm down, everyone, Mike Vick's thumb is NOT broken. But for the love of Ben Franklin, do you think he could go more than two preseason series without giving us an injury scare?

Doomsday scenario aside, I'd like to explore a couple of observations from Thursday night's preseason win against the Steelers. I'll do so with typical humor and sarcasm and my usual world-is-ending-pessimism, and if it goes well, maybe we'll continue to do it in the coming weeks.

Without further ado, your kudos and not-so-good-os.