Thursday, November 08, 2007

Show 64 - Philly Sports Talk Now! (Nov 8 2007)

This week in Philly Sports, the Phillies pick up a closer and it's Brad Lidge. Is he the real deal? Time will tell, we talk about his stats and the big deal. The Eagle drop the ball against the Cowboys and with this week's game they find they are in a must win situation.

All this and more, with Show 64 with Rich Baxter and James Jimmy Dogg.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Phillies 2007 Review - Philly Sports Talk Now! (Oct 8 2007)

Here's the season's end look back for 2007 for the Philadelphia Phillies by Rich Baxter. On this show we look back at the Phils season which was a great one. Stats, records, and more on this show of Philly Sports Talk Now!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Extra Saturday - Philly Sports Talk (Sep 29)

The Nationals and the Phillies square off again as the Phillies continue their charge to get into the playoffs. Here's an in game podcast on what is happening in Saturday's game. Join Rich Baxter and Rick Nuzzolo for another edition of Philly Sports Talk Now!

Extra- Philly Sports Talk Now! (Sep 28th 2007)

The Phillies take first place... with only two games to go! We are going for it all in the next two games! With a win on Saturday and a Mets loss again, the Phillies would take the NL East in the most wild, unbelievable comeback that I've ever seen... Here's an extra show to take you back to before the season started for the Phillies and the show of predictions with Rich Baxter, Jim 'Sports Dog' Mulry, and Mike Berquist from March before the season started.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Show 57 - Philly Sports Talk Now (Sep 13 2007)

The Phillies are teasing us fans again, they are so close to the playoffs. Can they get in this year? We think it's possible. Rich is more optimistic than Jim the Sports Dogg on this one. We look at the Philadelphia Eagles and what went wrong last week in Green Bay. All this and more on show 57 of Philly Sports Talk Now!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Will the Phils make the 2007 playoffs

Will the Phillies make the playoffs? They don't think so on Fox Sports main internet page for MLB baseball! With over 29,000 votes cast, 51 percent say 'No' they will miss the playoffs.

Why do you cast your vote?

Click here and cast you vote near the bottom of the Fox Sports Site

Let those Fox Sports site readers know that the Phils will be there next month for the playoffs!

Rich Baxter

Thursday, August 30, 2007

World Series starts in 54 days, the Phils are playing like they'll be there!

Baseball's playoffs begin in only 34 days on 10-03-07 and the World Series starts in only 54 days but the Philadelphia Phillies are playing like they will be there in the post season and maybe the World Series. I know it's just me getting carried away because the Phillies look like they are going to sweep the Mets this afternoon, but the level of play has been picked up tremendously by the fightins' in the past few days.

Pat Burrell continues to impress against the Mets, he rarely gets booed anymore so that's a good thing. Ryan Howard in between a few bad strikeouts is shaping up his homerun total and RBI scoring stats.

One has to wonder will the Phillies be there on October 23rd when the World Series starts.....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Awesome win, felt like a playoff game!

The Phillies pulled a rabbit out of the hat last night. I just got finished talking with a friend who was at the game last night vs. the NY Mets, and he said that place was electric! I was watching the game from home, and it almost looked like a playoff game to me. The Phils played this one brilliantly and as much as I didn't like their play against the Padres, this game made a lot of people want to believe that there is hope for the post season.

The Fightins go for more tonight and then again on Thursday afternoon. So let's go Phillies!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rich's Phils Broadcast Audio 8/26/2007

This is a broadcast that I recorded 'in game' at the Phil's Citizens Bank Park at the Broadcast Dreams booth along with my friend Rick Nuzzolo from Sunday's game 8/26/2007. We got to do a little extra thanks to the the supervisor of the dreams booth. We called the 4th inning of the game and it came out really well because the Phillies were scoring great, we call Howard's slide at home - moving the earth in the process - and it was a lot of fun at the ball park on this great Sunday.

Phils Rout the Pods

Nothing more I like then a Sunday rout at home by the Phillies! I went up to the ballpark today a bit afraid that I may see the fightin's get swept. I treated a friend of mine to the game, he has never been to a Phillies game, and he went home almost a big Phillies fan after this great win today 14-2 at Citizen's Bank Park.

Time to order the playoff tickets? I still don't know the answer to that one. The Phillies play so great for a while, then they play like they couldn't beat the high school team in Philly let alone any major league team.

Hopefully this kind of play continues for the Phils, it was a joy to see today. The Mets come in for 4 next and this could make or break the Phils for the season. They must string together a group of wins now or it will be a long off season for the players, the fans, and J Roll who assured us earlier that they were the team to beat this year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Phils stay ahead of the Padres in Wild Card chase

As of last night there were 7 teams chasing the wild card within 3.5 games of the lead. That puts the Phillies right in the thick of things as August is quickly coming to an end. Playoff ticket packages to season ticket holders were mailed out and now the wait begins to see if the Phillies can stay afloat in the National League wild card standings.

With last night's win, the Phils have again landed tied for the wild card spot with San Diego. The news of Cole Hamels being injured slightly could be a set back, but the Phils have pulled together in the past few weeks to answer to the challenge of putting out a healthy team quite well, so all things going well the Phils should overcome this.

Game 2 vs. the Dodgers tonight, the skies look like rain again, we'll see what the game time weather brings.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fightin Phils Audio Show (July 29 2007)

The Phillies finish off the Bucs at home, now they head off to Chicago to face the surging Cubs. This is the Fightin' Phillies 2007 podcast for July 29, 2007.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Phils still teetering on .500

The Phillies road trip out west could have been much worse. The Dodgers were a tough opponent and the Phils almost took the series from them. 'All most' doesn't count of course and the NY Mets took three of four with their series in Dodgerland over the past few days. The Phillies played really well against San Diego, and the Padres are hot on the heels of the LA Dodgers and have been getting the job done out there in the NL West.

500 is a number that the Phillies just can't get away from. They win two, then you think they have something going and they string together a losing streak to match. They have three games against the Nationals at home coming up starting Tuesday. Kendrick, Hamels, and Eaton will throw the series for the Phillies. You would figure the Phillies should sweep the series from the Nats but that is where you can't rely on the Phillies to continue to play well enough to win. Something is lacking and I think it may be from the dugout. This team can play well, they have showed that, maybe what they need is a different manager to spark them on.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

10,000 losses later, we're still fans!

We were honored by being in attendance for the 10,000th loss!

It occurred to me after Friday night’s game that I had a chance to be present at what didn’t seem to be that big of an achievement. I have a Sunday plan that gives us an opportunity to get out to the ballpark at least 14 games a year with the Sunday game package. Saturday night’s big win over the Cardinals was my signal that we could indeed be in attendance for the game that everyone has been talking about this first half of the year of Phillies baseball. It could have been a sweep of the Cards or it would go into the record book as the big loss that the stats people have been keeping since 1883.

The Phillies looked really deflated after their two monster wins of the Cards. I knew after the third inning that this was going to be the night. Adam Eaton would find his name etched in Philly history if he made it far enough into the game before he would be pulled out. He didn’t disappoint, I am not really a big fan of pace of which Eaton pitches. He takes forever to pitch on the mound, and between pitches he wonders off the mound and generally doesn’t have a good command of the proper cadence of a game. I knew this before this game, but seeing him pitch this game solidified my opinion of this. The fielders get itchy out there standing around for so long, and it just seems like he goes off onto his own slow pace which hasn’t been all that successful this season, despite he has 8 wins. A lot of those games has just been the offense going out and outscoring the 5.69 runs a game that Eaton has been giving up.

I got home after the game and reviewed the ESPN game coverage of the game that was the featured game on Sunday Night Baseball. Announcers Joe Morgan and John Miller discussed the 10,000 loss mark and what it means if anything. They even brought ex-Phillie John Kruk into the discussion and they all agreed that Phillies fans like players that give it a full effort. I agree with that, but it goes further than that. A lot of great players have been booed by fans, maybe it’s just a way for the fan to take out their own frustrations with the team, I am not sure. Morgan said that the Philly fans like a great effort from their players and he tried to give that to them despite it being late in his career.

The ESPN coverage started out right from the opening of the broadcast though, they put up numbers of losing seasons, and number of times the team finished in last place, and so on. That coverage was unfair, it really looked like some sort of smear campaign for a minute or two. That’s the difference between having fun with a number like this and making a team look like a bunch of losers.

We left after the seventh inning stretch, I started thinking about how many Phillies games I’ve been to. I remembered Mike Schmidt’s winning walk off homers, Greg Luzinski’s blasts into the seats in Veteran’s Stadium, Steve Carlton’s magnificent strikeouts and other memories that I have. So thanks for the 1,000,000 memories that I have, I never even noticed the team had 10,000 losses and now that the record has been passed I am glad that it will never come up again probably. Thanks for the memories Philadelphia Phillies, me and my Mrs. are still Phillies fans!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fightin' Phils Audio Show (Jul 7 2007)

The Phils go into the All Star break in two days. They are playing Colorado tonight. Today's show is about the all star game and can the Phillies make it further into the season? Also, the Home Run Derby 2007, anyone want to bat? All this and more on the 07-07-07 show!

Friday, July 06, 2007

1 game over .500, the Phils take on the Rockies

Only one game over .500 is not where I wanted to be going into the All Star break. The Phillies can win a couple over the next few days and impress me with a better record. All is not lost though, it could be worse. We could like the Cincinnati Reds or the Houston Astros.

The Phils are now in Mile High Country. The land of Coors Beer and former home of Mork and Mindy. The need to come through out here. I don't mean a sweep of the Rockies but I want 2 out of three from them! The Rockies are a game under .500 and I suspect they may have had some similar problems that the Phillies faced over the last 2 months.

The Phillies that are going to the All Star Game only have a short trip to get to San Francisco, so good luck to them as they make their way to the midsummer classic.

I hope to do a couple of podcasts this weekend for this blog, so stay tuned!

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phillies 2007 blog

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Phils get help from Mets

I snapped this photo of Hideo Nomo in 2004 when I saw the Dodgers play out in L.A.

I was worried after the Phillies dropped the first game to the Astros by such a convincing margin. The Phils got it together in the second game and as I write this they are ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. So if they can hold on here, they'll hold some ground against the Mets as the Amazin's are getting their butts kicked in Colorado by the Rockies.

The Mets seemed to be on cruise control against the Phillies for their 4 game set at Citizen's Bank Park. The Mets team has had a terrible problem of looking terrible as well after they win a few games in a row just like the Phillies. Colorado has amassed 17 hits already against the Mets on Tuesday night. The Phillies next stop will be Coors Field so I hope the Rockies are getting all of their hits now and will be tired out by the time the Phils get to town! :)

I am listening to a game as I write this on my MLB Radio subscription online, a familiar name 'Randy Wolf' is pitching out there in LA, and I can't help but remember how much I liked to see Randy pitch for the Phillies when he was healthy and pitching great. Mike Lieberthal even catches his games when he pitches for the Dodgers. I was lucky enough to go out to Dodger Stadium a couple of years ago and saw 'The Tornado', (Hideo Nomo) pitch for the Dodgers. He was one of my favorite pitchers in the mid 1990's. I love listening to Vin Scully on the radio feed as well for the Dodgers, he's always bringing up cool stories that keep you entertained.

Happy 4th of July, the Phils play a special 2:05pm (in the east) game for the holiday and Cole Hamels goes again for the Phils as he tries to find his previous success that he enjoyed his first 12 starts or so. The last couple of outtings he has looked a little unsettled on the mound. His record is now 9-4 with a 3.87 era.

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils 2007 blog

Monday, July 02, 2007

No sweep, that's good up Houston

We were at the game yesterday at Citizen's Bank Park and all I could think about was the Phils possibly being swept at home. The Mets fans were thick around the park, many making the trip to see their own favorite team play on this beautiful afternoon. It was great to see how many fans the Mets actually draw to see them play in Philly. The Met fans couldn't wait to get to the cheesesteaks and crab fries out in Ashburn Alley.

The game started and Kyle Kendrick looked a little shaky at first but he settled down to pitch a great game. Good enough to keep the Phils into the game. That is all you can ask for from a pitcher, especially a rookie just up from the minors. The Phils pulled away and Kyle picked up his third win for the Phillies, Aaron Rowand noted that he had some 'poise' on the mound like Cole Hamels did when he came up.

The Phils have fallen back in the standings a few games, but that's ok for now. I'd love to see them get a marquee name before the trading deadline like a Dontrelle Willis perhaps. He may be the missing piece of the puzzle. I hope the Phillies get on a win streak again starting tonight, because they will fall out of contention if they don't watch themselves.

Here's some facts from the ballpark where the Phillies play tonight at 8:05pm:

1. Minute Maid Ballpark the home of the Houston Astros opened in 2000
2. HOK Sports Facilities Group was the architect, they were the same company who helped design Citizen's Bank Park
3. It's only 315 feet to the homerun mark in left field, but the wall out there is 19 feet high!
4. The capacity is 40,950 at Minute Maid Ballpark
5. Union Station is a train station that is integrated right into the ballpark, over 60 percent of the fans arrive via Union Station in fact. The entrance way from the train station features old style decor from the early 1900's.

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils 2007 blog

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mets take 2 from Phils

The Phillies dropped the first two games of this important series against the NY Mets at home on Friday. It was a day/night doubleheader that threatened to fuse together as the first game lasted 3 hours and 13 minutes and the Phillies almost tied the game to send it into extra innings. I am not a fan of these day/night doubleheaders, imagine the calamity as the Phillies tie the game here and send the game into extra innings to a five plus hour, 16 inning game. You have a full or mostly full stadium and parking lot and you also have thousands of people arriving for the night game on top of that. In the not to distant past, you would schedule a 5:05 pm first game and then the second soon afterwards. Two games for one price. Not these days though, it's all about money and squeezing them into the ballpark even if it turns into the situation I mention above.

J.D. Durbin (Joseph Durbin) got a rude welcome to the bigs as a starter, but facing a potent squad as the NY Mets are, it could have been worse! His era is a lofty 21.94 but if he has a couple more starts we will be able to see a better picture of his abilities. The Arizona Diamondbacks outright dropped Durbin in 2006. J.A. Happ (James Happ) starts tonight for the Phils, another first time starter. This business of first time starters going against the Mets is terrible for the Phillies. They should have made a better move by now but it appears the upper management doesn't care if the Phillies slide back into the standings because the ballpark is full perhaps. Make money, fill the seats. Pat Gillick and his sidekick Ruben Amaro have this team on autopilot and whatever happens, happens. Strategy is not playing a big part upstairs at Citizen's Bank Park.

The Phils now slide 5 games back and suddenly the surging Braves are back in the picture. The remaining games against the Mets remain crucial. This is no time for the Phillies to fall flat on their faces. Let's give them the support they need at the ballpark by cheering them on!

Pat Burrell is back in the lineup. I know why. He seemed to have played the Mets well over the past couple seasons. What the Phils are doing to Burrell is almost as bad as what the Phillies did to Brett Myers. Here you have the highest paid player on the team who is struggling a little and you outright bench him. I don't understand this logic. Despite his 8 games benched in this recent past 11 games I bet he will still have a decent year. I didn't hear all this bad publicity when Ryan Howard struggled with the mendoza line. No, that wasn't even an issue. Howard has had 220 at bats with 85 strikeouts already this season. Burell has had 212 AB's with 54 strikeouts but his current average is .203. I don't think that is just cause for benching a player that still has great explosive power as Burrell has. Support Pat Burrell through his struggles Gillick, don't just try to embarrass him. Just for giggles here is Albert Pujols numbers so far this season: 279 AB's with only 34 strikeouts.

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phillies 2007 Blog

Friday, June 29, 2007

Phils take 2 from Reds, thanks J Roll!

Jimmy Rollins is my favorite player on the Phillies. I think with last night's win over the Reds that he may become the favorite Phillie of a few more fans. From the start of the year Jimmy Rollins has brought some spark to this otherwise kind of dull team.

Yes, there's been highs and lows for Jimmy this year, this will happen to most of the players in the MLB, but I do believe that Rollins wants this to be the year for the Phillies to make the playoffs. He's a great professional that hustles everytime out there.

So, bring on those Mets! It's less than an hour away from game time as I write this, the skies in South Jersey are sputtering with rain so I hope the weather is better in Philly!

Chris Coste is returning back from the minors and this could be another chance for him to shine in some limelight! Coste will answer the call again for the team, I think that is one of the worst moves that the Phillies did this season in not bringing Coste up with the team this year. It just doesn't make sense to me that a fan favorite and a guy that came through big time with the Phils last year, gets sent back down in order to bring in someone who is unproven to the Phils like Barajas was.

Rich - Fightin' Phils 2007 blog

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Poll: Will the Phils make the Playoffs

I know it's early but I am looking ahead to the Playoffs! Will the Phillies be there? Here's a cool poll to cast your vote, the Poll will be open until the All Star Game on July 10th 2007.

Phils coast into second place!

The Phillies have moved into second place, that's the good news! Thanks to a four game losing streak by the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies have found themselves in a strange position of second place even though they have only won 1 game of each the last two series since sweeping the White Sox. The Phils have mustered only one win against Detroit, and one against the Cleveland Indians with both wins coming on the middle game of the 3 game set. This ended the Interleague series for this year and now the Phils are back to their regular league opponents.

The news was not good either as Jon Leiber will probably miss the rest of the season. So two of the Phillies pitchers who were originally penciled in as the starting rotation are now missing. Kyle Kendrick has moved into the starters role from the minor league and so far he's done a great job to keep the Phils in ballgames. Adam Eaton had another of those 'rough outtings' yesterday as he gave up near his era of 5.67 with 6 runs given up to the Cards in 5 and 2/3's of his innings pitched on Saturday. It is tough for a team like the Phils to have to score more than 6 runs a game when Eaton pitches just to get even with the other team. Maybe the Phils call ups will produce another Cole Hamels type pitcher that is in the Phils minor system when they get their call up to the bigs. That is the best we can hope for now, as the Phillies have said that they will fill Lieber's spot internally.

Lieber hasn't been a 'lights out' pitcher for the Phils so far this year, he's 3-6 with a 4.73 era at the time that he is going on the DL. So the prospect of having a decent minor leaguer doesn't really scare me all that much. I would like to see the Phillies change direction with both Lieber and Garcia and go with a younger pitcher that has great stuff. I feel both Lieber and Garcia have already pitched the best games and I'm not impressed with either of them.

The Mets funk appears to be over for now, their slide over the past 15 games has been dramatic compared to the way they started off. The Mets just beat Oakland again yesterday and go for the sweep of Oakland today even with those wins the Mets June record going into today 6/24 is: 6 - 14 . That is incredible that the Mets have held onto first place and the Phillies haven't been able to capitalize on this. Is the Mets slide over? Or is Oakland just a terrible team?

After today's game with St. Louis, the Phils head home with an off day on Monday, then the Reds come to town for three games and those NY Mets come into Citizens Bank Park for a four game set, a series that can great possibilities for the Fightin' Phils!

Rich Baxter / Fightin Phils 2007 Blog

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bring on the Indians, the Tigers wore us out!

The game yesterday was one of those classic days at the ballpark, hot, humid, and full to capacity. There was an excitement in the air. It was Father's Day 2007 and the second largest crowd ever to see the Fightin' Phils play at Citizen's Bank Park showed up. I knew it was going to be close to a record crowd early on, we arrived at the ballpark over an hour early for the game and already the Ashburn Alley was crowded to capacity. There were only 2 small lanes where people could navigate around the people that were lined up for cheesesteaks, burgers, and pizza at Ashburn Alley.

The heat tested the stamina of the fans that was for sure. The game proceeded along with a game where the ball was lively early on. Neither pitcher would get a 'no hitter' today. Jason Verlander was poised to become only the second pitcher to pitch a back to back no hit game, but it wasn't to be. I thought to myself when watching Verlander pitch, what a great delivery he has to the plate. I was comparing his delivery to Freddie Garcia's and it really struck me on how confident and the way that Verlander approached batters as opposed to the slow, disorganized method of Garcia. The Phillies got to Verlander early enough to show that he was hittable and it looked as though the Phils might be sending home all the Dads, there cheering them on, home happy.

Detroit had other plans though, they stayed at arms length of the Fightins and got to Eaton in the 7th but most of the fans wanted Eaton to stay and try to pitch out of the trouble. He certainly looked mad at coming out of the game as well, perhaps Manuel didn't want him to be the losing pitcher. Geoff Geary came in to game for a cup of coffee and he got the loss, then Manuel continued to change pitchers much to the chagrin of the fans. Pitching seemed to lose the game for the Phils but also another stat that didn't look too good was Ryan Howard going 0-5 and leaving many runners on base, and J Roll who is normally relied upon to produce only mustered to go 1-5. So those two batters go 1-10 and left plenty on base for the Phils. Howard is getting scary, yes he has hit some homeruns lately but I don't know if Howard will ever get back to his form of last year.

The Cleveland Indians are up next, but we have Cole Hamels going for the Phils tonight.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fightin' Phils Audio Show (Jun 17 2007)

Special Father's Day edition of Fightin' Phils Audio blog. The Tigers and The Phillies face off this afternoon on Father's Day and they face Jason Verlander who is coming off his 'No Hit' game on June 12th. Hear the preview of the game and 'No Hitter' history of both the Tigers and the Phillies. All this and more on the June 17th Father's Day Fightin' Phils Blog podcast.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Take me out to the ball game.... Another stadium rant!

Check out my 'larger seat' find in Section 319 at Citizen's Bank Park

I just watched the Phillies on tv have the bases loaded at Citizen's Bank Park against the Detroit Tigers during the bottom of the first on Saturday night. They looked like they were about to break the game open. To start off, Chase Utley hit a massive drive to deep right center, it appeared to be a homerun. Wrong, a fan reached out and made a great catch but pulled the ball up and over the fenced area along the front row of right center. Ground rule double it is ruled, and that fan probably felt like a complete idiot, and the fool of the ballpark for doing it. Welcome to Citizen's Bank Park... Up close and personal. I'll continue on with the inning. Ryan Howard walks and goes to first base. Pat the Bat is now up and this looks serious. Pat's up there looking at a couple pitches but what I notice isn't anything to do with the game on the field. I am thinking about the fans, here's a great opportunity and there is nothing but silence coming from the fans in a full looking Citizen's Bank Park. They're quick to boo, but do you think we can make some noise when the Phils have something going on? Nope, nothing ... Zilch, you can hear a pin drop! I don't entirely blame this on the fans and this may be the very reason that the Phillies are doing terrible at home. In the not to distant past, at Veteran's Stadium that place would have been rocking. The Veteran's Stadium crew would have had the 'clapping hands,' if your old enough to remember those, out on the scoreboards at the Vet! going crazy along with some cool organ music that made you want to clap and cheer and see your team succeed. Well, not at Citizen's Bank Park, not a peep from an organ, no sir nothing. To finish the inning Aaron Rowand gets hit by a pitch goes to first and loads the bases, then Abe Nunez promptly looks at called strike three and the inning is over! No music, no clapping hands before the pitch, no nothing. This is the problem at Citizen's Bank Park!

You've got a multi million dollar facility that basically doesn't have a soul. It's a nice place don't get me wrong, but very short on things to get the fans pumped up and moving a little. Have the Phillies brass forgot about all those wonderful things that used to make going to a ball game and watching the Phillies at Vet's Stadium such a treat. How about Phanavision? Did they forget that and all those cool things that used to be baseball in Philly? You had cool organ music and other things going on when the Phils got some offense going to get you excited and I think even the players got into it more at the Vet. I've already ranted about the seat size at the new ballpark, the seats are just too small, look on tv the next time you get a chance at a Phillies game then remember how close the people in the 'regular' seats are to one another, then watch an out of market game on ESPN and see the difference. In Kansas City last week, it looked as though if people had a least 1 1/2 times as much room as you do at Citizen's Bank Park. It's just not right. A couple weeks ago I sat up in Section 318 and I noticed a group of seats amongst the 'regular' sized seats that were the size of the premium seats there was quite a difference. In the middle of all these seats was 3 larger sized seats that looked so much more comfortable I just couldn't understand why they were located where they were. I was so moved by it that I took a picture of them before the game.

People are going to continue to go to games, they are going to continually going to be squeezed into small seats at Citizen's Bank Park, but can we have a little entertainment while we're knee to knee and shoulder to shoulder? It's not too much to ask is it?

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils Blog

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fightin' Phils Audio Show (June 14 2007)

Happy Father's Day! Back with another show in time for the Detroit series. I talk about how great the Phillies are playing, with some previews on this weekend's series against the Tigers. Join me on Fightin Phils 2007 audio blog for the June 14, 2007 show.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Winning is a good thing!

I can get use to this, the Phillies dominating night after night and getting the job done! Cole Hamels turns in another gem as he coasts in with 9 wins and leads the NL in wins. A sweep of the Sox would be great today, but even if it doesn't happen I like the way things have been going for the Phils lately.

Freddie Garcia finally found his problem of why he couldn't locate pitches and get good velocity on the ball. He may be finished for the season, and for his Phils career, but at least he's not out there costing the Phillies games. He looked like he had promise, and I wish he had worked out but it is not to be or at least at this time it looks like Garcia may be done for the season.

Thome may come back to haunt us in this game today for the businessman's special. As of the time I am writing this Thome had just come up to bat and tipped his helmet in appreciation to the standing ovation he received.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Phils return home on ESPN vs. The White Sox

I like watching the Phillies on ESPN. There you get an honest viewpoint on what other broadcasters that aren't being paid by the Phillies feel about the team. The question was brought up of what exactly has been the reason for the ups and downs of the Phils lately. The answer was a 'lack of intensity' by the team to go out there and play hard all the time. A reference was brought up that the team played with great intensity against the Mets and the Braves and then seemed to let that hustle of agressiveness slip away. That is an easy answer in hindsight to answer that question that has hounded many of the fans of the Phillies for the last couple weeks.

The most popular player on the Sox, Jim Thome, will not see action in the first two games. That was announced prior to game time, I am sure everyone who bought tickets expecting to see Thome in action has been disappointed. It's almost like going to Rome and finding the Pope will be away for the month on other activities! Here's some numbers on Thome: in 2006 after leaving the Phillies, Thome played in 143 games for the Sox he had an incredible 490 AB's and 42 homeruns for the Sox while batting .288. He was voted as an All Star in 2006. So far in 2007 he has played in 39 games for the Sox and hit 8 HR's so he has trailed off a bit this year. He is projected to hit at least 29-30 HR's total for this season though on ESPN's projected totals section of their player bios. Thome has been a DH for the Sox, so he isn't playing the field like he had to do with the Philadelphia Phillies. He may be moved to first base soon, says some reports from the White Sox team.

The broadcast team of Rick Sutcliffe and Dave O'Brien made some objective comments compared with some of the comments by our own Phillies broadcasters who are paid by the team. Our guys are great don't get me wrong, we should still have a campaign to bring Scott Graham back too!, but in 2007 the MLB doesn't black out the game locally anymore so you can tune in to get that national broadcast opinions that aren't really influenced by the Phils.

Adam Eaton has pitched 6 strong innings as of the time I am writing this blog entry, and Burrell and Howard have gone yard already. Is this the start of a long winning streak at home? Speculators have guessed that the Phils make make a trade this series with the Sox, or some other team. I think the Phils stand pat here, they keep this bunch of players for now. No moves in the next 10 days at least concerning a trade.

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils

Friday, June 08, 2007

2nd sweep of the season, Phils thump Mets

Pat the Bat, saves the sweep with a 9th inning HR!

The Phillies played a great series against the Mets at Shea. Despite many dubious calls from the umpires the Phils handed the Mets a three game sweep and moved within 5 games of first place. The Mets have to be a bit unsettled over this. The Mets bullpen allowed the Phillies to creep back into 2 games that the Phils eventually ended up winning. What seemed to be a lost season, is now looking much better now with the Phillies going into KC with a day's rest for a weekend series in Kansas City. The beer and steak dinners have got to taste better to the Phillies players out in Kansas City who are no doubt probably impressed with what they did to the Mets!

Chase Utley had to be the series MVP during the Mets games, with Jimmy Rollins a close second. Let us not forget how Pat "The Bat" Burrell has pummelled the Mets either, say what you will about Burrell but he's still a guy that I like playing for the Phillies! He's not Babe Ruth, but he's been much better this year even though recently it looks as if 'The Bat' has slipped in his numbers.

The Phillies will play the next 12 games on an American League swing, they could even find themselves in first place at the end of the Interleague matchups if they continue to get the job done like they have been doing. Clutch hitting, great pitching and a big will to win, have gone a long way for the team. A lot of local Philadelphia sports talk shows had basically written the Phillies off, here's egg in their face! Howard Eskin said that they were "done" just the other day, I guess he and others will be singing a different tune now that the Phils have sweep the Mets like they did.

Hopefully, I'll get back to doing some audio podcasts for this blog. I've got so much to say about the Phils and not too much time to do it.

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phillies 2007 audio blog

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Phils take game 1 from the Mets ... Stadium rant

The Fightins took on the mighty Mets last night and actually impressed me with the way that they hung in the game and came out with the victory thanks to great play by Chase Utley and others. As have been noted in several media stories, the Phillies need to play tough and win this series. Jamie Moyer kept the Phils in the game and Ryan Madson and Geoff Geary kept the wheels on going into extra inning to give the Mets their first extra innings loss this year.

I used to really like the Mets and have been to Shea many times. I couldn't help but think about Shea Stadium as it is nearing the same fate as Veteran's Stadium after the 2008 season. I looked at the seating areas on television and appreciated all the room that the fans have in the first level and throughout the stadium for that matter. Shea Stadium was built with some comfort for spectators in mind. Citizen's Bank Park is another matter, except for the Diamond Club and Hall of Fame level, fans are literally packed in like sardines. The stadium areas apart from the size of the seats themselves are first class, but when it came to making the seat size someone goofed! I am around 6 feet tall and a bit on the heavy side so when I sit down I am literally shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee with the person in the next seat. Take a look at the next home game on TV, you'll see that people are packed in like fish and are way too close to one another. That's a major problem in a stadium where your paying more money than ever to see a ballgame. Give us some room please !!! The Vet was much roomier than these seats at Citizens Bank Park and I would assume, the new seat size at Mets Stadium , to be called Citi Field. So another big part of baseball that I grew up with is going to be blown to smithereens, the famous Shea Stadium.

Join us on the Philly Sports Talk Now! Blog later tonight after 10 pm for the next edition of our podcast where we talk Philadelphia sports!

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phillies Audio Blog 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bonds and 'The Juice' - The MLB Steroids Scandal

Barry Bonds has landed again in Philly, despite his cloud of suspension of steroid haze that follows him, nothing has happened to him and even some Philly players mingle with him like he's the best thing since sliced bread!

Bonds and the ‘Juice’ Why Hasn’t Bonds Been Suspended?

It seems like an old story now. The story of Barry Bonds using steroids stretches back to 1998 when most experts and testimonies of people who know about Bonds use of steroids agree that ’98 was the start of Barry’s use of illegal substances to enhance his performance on the field. The matter has been dragged in front of the US Congress, played out in front of many courts, employing many experts, and spawning many books about this, and exposed this use to a nation of baseball fans that have acted upon the information like they are waiting on a higher power perhaps the commissioner of the MLB to come out and say something to them. We’ve been waiting for years for someone in charge, someone who can make a ruling, or tell us all, that 'yes' this did happen and here’s the penalty for it. There is a strange silence on this issue from Major League Baseball. The MLB doesn’t like negative attention, in fact they probably wish that this whole situation just sails into the future under the present day situation where not much is said or done about this issue.

It’s not only Bonds that could be punished in this ‘juicing’ – there are a lot of players that could or should be punished, although some are already retired. This has been a tremendous ‘black eye’ to baseball, perhaps when future generations look back at this it may well big the biggest scandal of the MLB’s history. We don’t have any suspensions, no ‘lifetime bans’ as Pete Rose received for being honest in saying that he bet on baseball, not much of anything happened to the players as this controversy developed and encircled them in this cloud of substances. As the scope of the Congressional investigation of doping in the MLB played out, many players were called to testify and it really brought this situation to the front living rooms of fans of baseball. Sosa, McGuire, Palmiero, Giambi, and these are only the bigger stars of the game that we were familiar with, there were or are probably hundreds more of lesser known players that were doing it too. To date though, not too many penalties or fines, or any repercussion of the player’s use of these substances have been handed out.

The official word from the San Francisco Giants is basically silence. They simply don’t comment on it. That is really an ignorant response. You have a player that 99.9 percent positive that he has used steroids, and you say ‘no comment’. So now you have a team that covers this up for a league that appears to want to sweep it under the rug, a player that says “No Comment” about the situation and this whole controversy appears to just roll through the atmosphere unscathed. Baseball fans go to the ballpark, they boo Barry outside of San Francisco, and I suspect even some San Franciscans may count themselves amongst the fans that are telling the MLB that what went on with this situation is wrong, it’s criminal, and without saying so directly want a ‘final answer’ on this sometime before the year 2050!

Bonds got away with the use of steroids with this very same cloak of secrecy and silence. He brought his own personal trainer who supplied him with steroids as a paid member of the San Francisco Giants staff, and despite the Giants knowing that something serious was happening here, they just went along in silent mode letting Bonds get away with anything he wanted to. Why? The supplier who supplied the trainer Greg Anderson with steroids who eventually got them to Bonds plead guilty to distributing anabolic steroids and got a sentence that a shoplifter may have received. He distributed these growth enhancing drugs to more than just Bonds though. A street drug dealer that peddles his drugs would have been sentenced to many years behind bars for doing this. So the story continues, it’s now almost 10 years old, and the MLB probably wishes it would go away. Well the story won’t go away anytime too soon, the All Star Game is even going to be in San Francisco this year, and maybe this is a way for the MLB to punish the San Francisco Giants for their role in the Bonds scandal? Award them a national classic game, maybe somewhere down the road we’ll see if someone is ever held accountable by the MLB for this, or maybe money, power, and politics will smooth it over and keep the real truth from happening.

Rich Baxter / Phillies Audio Blog 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Don't look now, but it's the Bond's Circus

Barry Bonds survived the media up in New York and just in case you didn't read any of it, here is some selections of what he had to say while up in the Big Apple:

Here's from New York Newsday:
written by Bob Herzog

" The juicier the questions, the drier the responses were. But unlike Tuesday night, when Barry Bonds blew off the media, the Giants' controversial slugger agreed to a pregame session in the visitors' dugout at Shea Stadium last night.

With steroids a taboo topic, Bonds was grilled about his pursuit of the all-time home run record. He is nine short of Hank Aaron's 755.

When asked about commissioner Bud Selig's noncommittal stance on attending the potential record-breaking game, Bonds said, "I don't have any comments on Bud. Bud's his own man."

Asked about Aaron's flat-out refusal to attend, Bonds added, "I don't have any comments on that, either."

Pressed about Selig being there for Mark McGwire's record-breaking 62nd home run in 1998, Bonds said irritably, "Why do you guys want to keep repeating the same stories every day? Let's just talk about the team, talk about us playing baseball. Can we do that? Can we help educate kids about the sport, or is this all we're going to talk about forever?"

Maybe not forever, but controversial topics rather than conventional ones were clearly on reporters' agendas. When asked about the meaning of the home run record, Bonds replied, "We're not there yet. We're not even close enough to even discuss it at this moment."

A reporter shouted a question from the back of the pack about Bonds' place in history, and the Giants' star didn't hesitate to give a one-word answer. "No."

Of Bobby Bonds Jr.'s recent remarks in the Newark Star-Ledger that he was annoyed about the responses of Selig and Aaron, Bonds said, "I love my brother. That's my blood."

So what he said wasn't too revealling, it's more of the same from Bonds sort of like a dog chasing it's tail- after a while it's just plain easy to do!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Phillies: Sweep or be swept

The Phillies are in the good position of just having swept the Atlanta Braves and now facing a bad position of being swept themselves at home at Citizen's Bank Park by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Just when things were looking up, suddenly we are back at .500 and looking like we may fall through that percentage.

The matchup for tonight's game has Randy Johnson going against Jamie Moyer once teammates in Seattle and now the oldest matchup of leftie vs. leftie in the history of baseball. As I write this blog entry, the Phils are trailing in a pitcher's duel, 1-0 as both Moyer and Johnson are showing off with pitching great games for their teams.

Next up for the Phils will be the San Francisco Giants and the Barry Bonds saga. No rest for the weary with Bonds coming into town and his quest for the Homerun King status. Regardless if you feel that Bonds deserve the record, he brings a an aura with him although most people believe it is a tainted one. The Phils have a much needed off day on Thursday, they'll collect their thoughts and try to regroup for the weekend series with San Fran. I thought Bonds might have a chance to break the record in Philly, now they are pointing towards mid to end June for the time when this will happen. It certainly would have made the fans for into the game if Bonds were going for the record here in Philly.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Garcia at 1-4, how did he land in Philly?

The Phillies came home off the 10 game road trip full of steam and questing to move up the ladder from third place. The Arizona Dbacks, who are a worthy opponent all of a sudden, play some inspired unselfish baseball. The Diamondbacks are successful getting on base, and moving runners. That is as simple as this game is. Get runners in scoring position and get hits to score them, and hopefully out score your opponent.

I sat in the third deck right over the home plate during the opening game of the series against the Dbacks and here is what I observed. Freddie Garcia moved as slow as molasses. His control has so-so. Many times during the game Garcia simply bounced pitches 58 feet from the mound. I was amazed that not that many of these type of pitches from Garcia got past the catcher. Garcia seemed to want to lull his opponents to sleep with his pitching style. Yes, he didn't surrender too many runs in the game, he gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and stuck out 9. The Phillies offense didn't get going until late in the game. If I could offer any advice to Garcia if would be simply to speed up his game a little more. After he was done pitching he walked so slowly off the mound that practically the whole Phillies outfield beat him back to the dugout. Show some spunk, get a bit energized. I don't mean like a Dontrelle Willis but give us some emotion out there on the mound!Garcia was an All Star in 2001 and 2002 while pitching for Seattle.In 2004, Seattle sent him to Chicago with Ben Davis for Jeremy Reed, Miguel Olivo, and Mike Morse. I am going back to look at the 2005/2006 White Sox team that Garcia pitched a lot of wins for, and I am wondering was it Garcia who was dominant or was it the White Sox offense that carried him. In 2005, Garcia led the American League in wild pitches with 20, a feat that he tied fellow White Sox pitcher Jose Contreras in that year. Chicago let him walk away despite Garcia pitching 40 wins for the Sox and only 21 losses during his tenure in Chicago. The Sox traded Garcia to the Phillies for Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez. A move that had everything to do with Pat Gillick who had been the GM in Seattle when Garcia had his all star years. It was a gutsy move by the Chicago Sox GM Kenny Williams who had said that he wanted to make room for some younger phemons that the Sox were grooming. How can you possibly want to trade a guy that has 40 wins for a team in 2 and 1/2 seasons?

The Memorial Day crowd was huge and the Phils had an 8,000 fan walkup to buy tickets to the game for the opener of the series. As I write this, the Phils are playing the second game of the series on Tuesday night and Jon Lieber gave up a quick 5 spot to the Dbacks and it is late in the 7th inning and it remains 5-1 so this isn't a great start to the homestand. Lieber and Garcia seem to be the soft spots in the rotation that much is for sure. Let's see what happens when Hamels, Moyer and the resurgent Adam Eaton, fill out their spots in the rotation.

Here's an article by that reported that Garcia had tested positive for marijuana use during the World Baseball Classic in 2006 as reported by a Venezuelan Newspaper:

A Venezuelan newspaper is reporting that White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia tested positive for marijuana during the World Baseball Classic. Major League Baseball, knowing that three-quarters of every pitching staff in the game would test positive, doesn't test for weed, but Garcia could receive a suspension from international play for as long as two years. But no problems with MLB ... or with the White Sox, for that matter.
"Freddy has done the tests with us and Major League Baseball, and he's clean," [manager Ozzie] Guillen said. "If something involves you with the club and with Major League Baseball, you do something about it, but it has nothing to do with that.

In other words, since MLB has no policy about weed -- and why should they, really? -- Garcia should have no problems, should be able to keep all his money, keep his job, everything. That sound you hear? Ricky Williams, bashing his head against the wall.

Sox Downplay Garcia Report [Chicago Tribune]

Could this be the reason that Garcia is so slow on the mound?

Rich Baxter

Monday, May 28, 2007

Smoltz tells it like it is... what's wrong with that?

Finally someone has put Brett Myers move into perspective. It might not be popular but it still makes a statement. Smoltz wasn't being anything but honest when he told the media that he never remembers that an Opening Day pitcher gets moved to the bullpen within a month of the opening day game.

On a day to day basis, we Phillies fans can get a jaded view of what's really going on with our ball club. The Phils had more starters than they needed going into Opening Day that is a fact. The team originally penciled Jon Lieber into a relief roll early into the season. He didn't care for it, and made it known that he was a starter. When the Phillies ran into many bullpen problems through April including poor pitching, injuries and the like, they then made the decision to take Lieber out of the pen and put Myers into a roll of setup man in quick fashion. Myers seems to be ok with that, he isn't moaning and complaining about it publicly yet.

Your Opening Day pitcher is supposed to be your marquee name. Your 'go to' guy on the mound. The Opening Day pitcher that is hopefully going to lead the club to the world series. That is the context in which I think John Smoltz meant. You don't just shove your number 1 guy into to bullpen, it just isn't done in the MLB. It's like an insult in a lot of ways. I am glad Myers didn't have that big of a problem with it, because he has been real good in the bullpen but I don't expect him to stay there and I hope the Phillies don't either. Some of the moves the Phillies make have you scratching your head sometimes... They let Randy Wolf walk away, he's making around $7.5 million pitching for the Dodgers this year and he is 6-3 and we bring in Freddie Garcia who never wore the Philly pinstripes and throw $10 million at him and he's been a bust.

So on this Memorial Day I say, let's honor our country and the soldiers who protect it. Let free speech shine, even some comments by John Smoltz! Let's get ready for Phillies baseball tonight because it's dollar dog day and I can't wait for that home plate umpire to shout, "Play Ball!"

Rich Baxter

Sunday, May 27, 2007

First sweep of the season, let's go Phils!

Howard: Two HR's and 4 RBI's on Sunday's win in Atlanta

The Atlanta Braves were home in the friendly confines of their own Turner Field and the Phillies came into town and swept the Bravo's in 3 straight games over the Memorial Day weekend! Now the Phils head home for a short homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks and then they welcome Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants into Citizen's Bank Park for a 4 game set that starts on Friday June 1st and runs through the 4th of June.

This sweep of the Braves returns the favor to the Braves who had swept the Phillies for their first three games to open the season back in April. The Phils started the season 0-3 thanks to the Braves who looked unbeatable for a couple weeks. This win on Sunday afternoon came courtesy of Cole Hamels who earned his 7th win of the season and a couple of homeruns by Ryan Howard who just rejoined the team on Friday night. Even better that the win is the fact that the Phils are now 2 games over .500 and look to be on a steady path coming into Memorial Day at home on Monday night.

I'll be up at the stadium to see Freddie Garcia hopefully pick up his second win of the season as he has been slow to start off for his new team so far this year. Garcia was originally looking like he may be the ace of the staff back in March when Spring Training was being played down in Florida, but that hasn't been the case yet as Hamels has led the team in pitching so far up to this point of the season.

The Diamondbacks are doing well themselves, going 7-3 in their last 10 games. The star of their team seems to be the second baseman, Orlando Hudson, and the left fielder, Eric Byrnes who are both anything but household names in baseball but they are getting the job done for Arizona. The Dbacks have been feasting on the Astros all weekend taking the first two games and as of the time I am writing this are in the lead for a sweep of the 'Stros in the 7th inning on Sunday.

Welcome home Phils! If we keep on like this, then we have our sights on second place by the time this homestand is over! Atlanta is suddenly in reverse after staying hot for 6 weeks or so and they face two red hot teams in the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs in their next two series of games. The Brewers are leading the National League Central and the Cubs are 4.5 games off of the Brewers lead in the division.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Phils go onto Atlanta, then home for Memorial Day!

If the Phillies can win down in Atlanta, that would keep them at arm's reach of the red hot Braves and Mets. The loss last night in Florida was a tough one, the Phils had the chance to win it, with runners on base but they couldn't covert the go ahead run.

The Phils have had a set back with some injuries of late, that is to be expected during the course of a season. I would have thought the Phils may have thought ahead and had some contingency plans in place. They can still win with what they have but a little luck must go along with that. Francisco Rosario is 0-3 with last night's loss against Florida, he is teetering on a patch of thin ice and his value on the team is greatly diminished when he keeps getting beat up and giving up the game like he has been doing.

Let's go into Atlanta and show them who's going to take this division!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One step forward, two steps back ....

This time of the season could define the whole Phillies season. They play inspired ball for a couple games, and they get you feeling good about them, then they slip back into a cocoon of errors and losing. We are 45 games into the season now, and the Phillies are teetering back and forth on a see saw of wins and losses. They win big one day, then drop one, win one and drop one. 7-3 in thier last homestand but now they are on a short road trip and 7-4 in their last 11 games doesn't sound as good.

The Phillies need an acquisition, a big name to come into the bullpen at this time! The bullpen is the area that most fans and experts on baseball will agree that the team needs the most help. Without any moves like this, the Phils appear to be destined to be a .500 ballclub throughout the year.

Ryan Howard will be back soon, and hopefully he'll be back on track. He needs to get back into a groove and start hitting. Pat Gillick must get on the phones and make something happen for this team, bring us a reliable bullpen pitcher Pat!

p.s. I got to 'high 5' the Philly Phanatic last Sunday at the ballpark! The Mrs. and I were walking the concourse behind homeplate, when out of the blue a large furry green creature ran up to us and slapped our hands as he ran past us.

Rich Baxter / Phillies 2007 Audio Blog

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Phillies go 7-3 at home, land at .500

The homestand stretching back 10 games has been very, very good for the Phils. They didn't sweep anyone, but took all three series at home during the past 10 games with the Cubs, Brewers, and the Jays. The team has fought it's way up to .500 baseball with a day off on Monday, then onto the short road trip to Florida and then Atlanta.

The team seems to have jelled a bit better of the last 10 games, and Ryan Howard has been out for all of the games. Pat Burrell has been coming through for the Phils along with Aaron Rowand who has been getting on base better than most and is in the NL's top 10 leaders for batting average. Starting pitching is starting to carry the game, and when it comes to relief, the team is still in great need of some better consistency.

Cole Hamels is 6-1 and is on fire, he'll get the start for game one in Florida.
Jamie Moyers and Adam Eaton are 4-3 and John Lieber is 2-2. Freddie Garcia is a most disappointing 1-3, he should turn it around soon or the boo birds at Citizen's Bank will be on him soon! Geoff Geary got shelled against Toronto, three homeruns in a matter of a few minutes. That team is scary! On paper the Jays look very intimidating, they have a lot of power on that team. When they get their pitching together they will be contenders.

The Phillies have the ALS Charity event at Citizen's Bank Park on Monday. It will be nice for the fans to get some autographs and have some fun and donate some money to charity all at the same time.

That 's all for now for the Phillies 2007 audio blog, I'll get back to my audio posts when I get some more time to do them! For now, it's just blogging as usual. Be sure to check out one of my favorite Phillies blog, A Citizen's Blog
for some interesting thoughts on the team by Mike Berquist.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day! Phils may sweep today!

The Phils are back home and on fire coming into Sunday, Mother’s Day with the afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park scheduled for 1:35 pm. The Fightins are 5-5 in the last 10 games so these two wins at home against the Cubs have been real important to them. Even as they are winning, the Phils are still 7 games back from division leading Atlanta, the NY Mets are 1.5 games back of the pace that Atlanta is setting. Atlanta is coming into Sunday’s play on a 5 game win streak and 8-2 in their last 10 games.

It was a wild one on Fox on Saturday afternoon. The game went back and forth and really was entertaining. I think Fox really selected a great game for the fans of baseball to watch in this one. Greg Dobbs was the star of this one going 4-4 in his replacement of Ryan Howard who has been added to the DL with a strained left quad, Howard can rejoin the team on May 25th – Chris Coste is again joining the Phils team being called up from Ottawa. Freddie Garcia worked a good game, it wasn’t his best game he’ll pitch this year, but he didn’t get the win as the Phils let the Cubs back into the game with a 5-5 tie that was restarted after a brief rain delay. The Phils managed to pull this one out though with a two out and nobody on base barrage that happened right after Aaron Rowand hit a single and Utley came up and doubled Rowand home, and the star of the game Greg Dobbs lobbed a triple down the right field corner. The rest is history, Carlos Ruiz, played a great game, he added a two run HR just for good measure to seal the Phils 11-7 wild victory. I’ll take these wins anytime! It feels good to win a game like this, instead of losing it.

Time will tell if anyone brings any brooms to the ballpark today, it is Mother’s Day – it’s Chase Utley blanket day for the ladies- Chase will be batting with a pink bat… I can’t wait to get to the park to see this one!

Here is some quick Phils stats before I wrap this one up:

Jimmy Rollins still leads the team in HR’s with 9, he also has 5 triples to lead in triples

Chase Utley has 31 RBI's to lead the team

Aaron Rowand leads the team with a .358 batting average

In Pitching:

Cole Hamels has a 5-1 record to lead the staff, he also leads with 59 SO’s

Brett Myers has mowed down 41 with about ½ the amount of innings that Cole has pitched

Jamie Moyer’s 3.00 era leads the staff for the lowest ERA on the staff

Thanks for joining me on the Fightin Phils audio blog, look for another audio post here real soon!

Rich Baxter

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fightin Phils Audio Show (May 6 2007)

We still battle the quest for .500 with the Phils, they are in San Fran tonight for ESPN Sunday night baseball. Cole Hamels pitches for the fightin's. Why has Ryan Howard slumped through April and now into May? Listen to the latest edition of the Fightin' Phils Audio Blog show!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I don't blame this loss on Alfonseca...

Tough loss with the Braves last night.

You have got to walk Andrew Jones in that situation! You don't just pitch to a guy like that, he'll kill you everytime. This loss I think gets credited to Charlie Manuel. You have to use a little strategy at times in this game.

At least go out there to the mound before Andrew Jones gets his 3-2 pitch. Andrew Jones should have been walked, in that situation.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fightin' Phils Audio show (Apr 29 2007)

The Phils win another at home against the Marlins. They move into third place tie with the Marlins now with the Nationals fading fast in last place. Now onto Atlanta!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fightin' Phils Audio Show (Apr 27 2007)

The Phils were red hot in the last couple games, 6-3 to be exact. The Marlins are in for the weekend, can the Phils keep this up?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Phil's unleash the Juggernaut!

juggernaut n 1: a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way [syn: steamroller]

The juggernaut was unleashed on the Houston Astros last night for the Jackie Robinson Day celebration, and at the same time the Phillies celebrated their big win. Despite Adam Eaton giving up a first pitch homerun to Craig Biggio and getting behind in the counts constantly throughout the night. Eaton hung in there though and the offense exploded to the point where no one could have beat them last night!

It was dollar dog night last night at the ballpark, and I scooped up a couple along with the Mrs., but upon chomping down on those franks we both found that the dogs were ice cold, and nothing is worse than a cold dog! I wouldn't give them a quarter for another dollar dog day, that is for sure. Well, back to the game. Rollins again had a great game, I didn't realize it until I was listening to the radio broadcast while at the game that Rollins had gone 4-24 or close to that on the road on the last trip. He seemed like he was playing better than that to me, but according to Larry Anderson this was the case.

Seeing everyone in the same number all night was a little confusing, but after a while Dan Baker's announcement of "Now batting #42...." became very familiar. So the Phil's seem to have some things going great for them at the moment. One thing I noticed at the game but don't know if it was talked about at all on the television broadcast of this game was when Ryan Howard struck out the last time, he banged his bat on the ground so hard he broke it in half! He looked really mad at himself for striking out, but at that point the team was up over 6 runs on the 'Stros. Ryan should just settle back and have fun, he'll break out of his funk, he needs to just take it easy and concentrate on getting a hit.

Moyer takes the mound tonight, and the Phils should win this one as well. That's what I predicted last night, and that's what I see again tonight. Let's go Phil's ! Extend this win streak all the way to May!

I'll get back to my audio posts later in the week, when my time isn't so short!

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils 2007 audio blog

Monday, April 23, 2007

Phil's make turnaround..

The Phils should have swept the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, but two out of three isn't bad! I am trying not to let my enthusiasm from the wins over shadow Tom Gordon's terrible performance on Friday night, and he is reminding me of Mitch Williams. Williams was the best when he was on, but the worst at times as well. When I heard Harry Kalas announce, "It's Flash Gordon Time" after the commercial, I got a sick feeling and thought, oh know! True to form, he blew the game which was a great 1-0 game at the time and Manuel left him out to dry and exposed him to be the pitcher that he is. He would be an ok mid relief pitcher in my opinion, but he shouldn't be the closer at this point in his career. He throws predictable pitch's that batters are just waiting on.

Brett Myers came into the game for one inning and he was blazing, Manuel should've brought Myers back for the 9th and the Phil's would have had a sweep of Cinncy but he didn't. So let's not forget! Gordon shouldn't be the closer on this team. He is well past his prime, and he's not a dominant pitcher anymore.

All that aside, it was nice to be on the winning side for a change. Chase Utley was heating up, and of course Cole Hamels pitched a gem with 15 strikeouts, and came within a hair of tying Steve Carlton who had 16 strikeouts in a game. Hamels posted his first CG which compared to Carlton's 185 CG's for the Phillies over his career. So Hamels is on his way to hopefully a great season as on the post game interview, he told Harry Kalas that there is more to come from him in reference to his great game he pitched in Cincinnati on Saturday night.

It's gonna be a hot night at Citizen's Bank Park with Jackie Robinson Day, or Night as it will be later on. I am predicting another Phillies win tonight as the wheels keep on turning! Phils win again tonight, Howard is going to go deep twice! I can see it now!

I'll be up there at the ballpark to see this one in person, so I hope they come away with a win...

Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils 2007 Audio Blog

Friday, April 20, 2007

Phils Audio 006 .. They go onto Cinncy, needing more wins

Here's the first mobile audio blog recording for the season. It allows me to post 'on the go'. The Phils go into Cinncy and keep fine tuning their offense and pitching as they go. 4-10 isn't the worst place they could be and they are on their way to tying last year's April record.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Phils vs. Astros washed out for Sunday

The Phils Sunday game at home has been rained out as of 9:15 am, Jackie Robinson Day will still be celebrated on another day to be announced later today by the Phillies. This is the first rainout of the year for the Phillies. April hasn't been a good month for the Phils in the past two years after getting off to a 3-8 start so far this year, last year in 2006 during April saw the Phillies going 10-14.

Pat The Bat is on fire and he needs only 11 homeruns for 200 in his career and 77 hits to reach 1,000 according to the Phillies press notes.

Phils Audio 005 (Apr 15 2007)

1,2,3 it's really that easy, as the Phillies win the third game of the season against the Houston Astros at home. Cole Hamels gets his first win, and Rollins leads the league in the NL for homeruns. Things are looking up for the Phils.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Phils Audio 004 (Apr 12 2007)

Phils limp out of NY with one win and two losses, they'll look for the third win of the season at home this weekend. Freddie Garcia is slated to return, let's go Phil's 2-7 isn't exactly a great start.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Now up for the Phils, number 42 ... the whole team!

Now this will be fun, just got a news flash about 45 minutes ago that the entire Phillies team will wear number '42' in honor of Jackie Robinson this Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. For that matter, the Phils PR dept should go into high gear and give all the fans entering the park that day a free number '42' shirt for themselves! Talk about a marketing idea, that would go over big for all. I know I should be in the Public Relations dept at the Phils instead of what I do for a living! :)

Well, it should be interesting on Sunday especially since the forecast is for rain. I have to side in with some other baseball writers that have called for the commish of baseball to release the number 42 that all teams in the MLB had to retire, be given back to the players to wear to further honor Jackie by actually wearing the number. We'll see how this progresses. I'll have my voice back soon, so look for another audio post real soon.

As I write this, the Phils are ahead 5-2 in the 9th, I think they are well on our way to the second victory of the season!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Don't abandon ship on the Phils just yet!

The Phillies are off to a less then promising start here in April, but that's no reason to get all rammy. The team will pull it together and hopefully get in the swing of things soon. This isn't a time to play the blame game. I was listening to WIP 610 this afternoon and all I heard was negativity. Yes, there was some mistakes, errors and things we wished wouldn't have happened over the past couple games but it's no reason to overreact as some of the callers were doing on the off day 4/10/07 for the Phillies. Everyone was looking to blame someone, it's a team game, so the blame is spread around to someone else with every passing game. People were questioning and second guessing Charlie Manuel's moves. If the Phillies would have won, people would have said 'that was a great move by Manuel" but the way some things have been going for the team it is easy to look at things that have already happened and second guess things.

Charlie Manuel has guided the Phils to two second place finishes, no they didn't get to the playoffs, but they were a thread away from them and just faded at the end for the past two seasons. A lot of pressure was placed on the Phils by comments made by Jimmy Rollins. Now the newspapers are having a field day with those comments.

My point is don't give up hope yet, obviously we need some wins and they will come. The bullpen hasn't been rock solid for a couple years now, and that shows evidently. We need to shore that up a bit, and then things will get back to normal. The season is long, the team can recover from this. It's only April 10th and everyone is calling for Manuel's job, give me a break. Manuel's been on the field for too many years to just want to sack him now, the Phils need him greatly. Howard is having a rough April, but it's not the end of the world. I'll be back to my audio posts soon, I am clearing up a cold and sore throat so as soon as this is cleared up I can resume my audio posts.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

First win of the season, it was a fish fry. Burrell has a breakout game, slump? What slump! Way to go Pat! Phillies vs. The Marlins preview for Saturday 4/7/07. Here's show 003 of my season long audio blog.

MP3 File

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Phil's get swept, are the fan's to blame too?

My first game in attendance for 2007 was today's BPS at 3:05 pm, and hats, mittens, and scarves, where really needed! The wind whipped around the stadium in the lower level concourse areas so badly your teeth chattered, and that was before the Phil's took to the field! It was 43 degrees at game time, but with the wind chill and overcast skies it felt like 32 degrees. As strange as that was, the game followed suit. The Phil's looked listless, like they couldn't fight their way from a paper bag. The bright spot was Pat Burrell today, he got a small amount of boos here and there upon a strikeout but when he hit the ball, he ignited the crowd! A double off the Southwest Airlines sign in center sent the fans into fits, they clapped cheered and all of his 'sins' if you can call them that were forgotten.

I also heard something today, I didn't think I would hear from the crowd, booing last year's MVP Ryan Howard. Can this be possible? Even on the radio broadcast, Larry Anderson couldn't believe it, and mentioned this on the air. Are people that critical in Philly? They boo Santa, so they would boo the King of Homeruns too? I saw Howard angrily react after a strikeout in the dugout by throwing a cup in disgust. This is not good. Is this why the Phillies only won 1 more game than they lost last year at home? They wouldn't get this bad a treatment on the road for crying out loud. I can see being disappointed as a fan but to boo your own players in their home stadium is beyond me. The fans should stand by their players, maybe their in a slump, maybe they had a bad day at home, whatever! I am sure anyone reading this has had bad days and for someone to kick you when your down, that is inexcusable.

The Braves had a losing record against the Phils last year, so maybe they had a score to settle. Many writers have pointed to Jimmy Rollins claim that the "Phil's are the team to beat" proclaimation have spirited on teams to play extra tough against them. That may have some merit. The Bravo's go meet the buzzsaw called the Mets down in Atlanta so, I don't think the Braves will be undefeated soon, but I do know the Phils are getting themselves buried a bit quickly and they need to find a win and find it soon.

Yes, the Phils got swept at home. The first three games are history. Now they go down to Florida to play the hungry Marlins on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thank god, there is only 6-7 thousand people in that stadium and chances are they won't be booing the Phillies. Something is wrong, I don't know if is all the players fault. It does speak volumes when you go .500 at home but you win more games on the road that much is for sure.

I'll be doing a podcast on Sunday to sum up what goes on down in Florida where the Phil's need to come up with a 'fish fry'!

Rich Baxter // Fightin' Phils 2007 Audio Blog
Game 2 for the Phils finds them in extra innings and another tough loss! This isn't too good for the Fightin's. Hear some of what I saw on the Phillies Citizen's Bank Park ballpark tour, I highly recommend this to all Phil's fans - it's the tour of tours!

MP3 File