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