Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Read my interview with Tomahawk Talk, the Atlanta Braves blog

   This interview with FightinPhillies blog appeared on Tomahawk Talk, the Atlanta Braves blog just today:

Tomahawk Talk recently had another opportunity to run a few more Braves, Phillies, and NL East related questions by Rich Baxter of FightinPhillies.com (a GREAT Philadelphia Phillies blog!), and with the Braves and Phillies currently playing a three-game series in Atlanta, the timing couldn’t be better!
Here’s a look at what Rich had to say in response to our latest questions:
Tomahawk Talk: The first All-Star voting results were released last week and the fact that five Phillies (Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth) are leading at their positions and two others (Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz) are in second place created quite a stir and touched off some controversy.
The Phillies are widely considered the National League’s best team and are certainly one of the best teams in baseball, of course, but five All-Star game starters does seem a little high. What is your reaction to the Phillies doing so well in the early voting results?
Rich Baxter: I think it’s great that the hometown fans are voting for the Phillies, but I don’t think that a lot of the early leaders will top the list in the end as there are a lot of fans out there that haven’t voted yet. We just talked about the All-Star Game voting on a podcast that we do on FightinPhillies called “PhilliesTalk”. I don’t think that all of the Phillies that have an early lead will stay on top in the voting, but the Phillies do have several players that deserve All-Star recognition.
Tomahawk Talk: Gotta ask about what happened in last week’s Phillies/Mets series. The Phillies have one of the best offenses in baseball and the Mets certainly aren’t known for good pitching these days, and yet, the Mets shut the Phillies out in three straight games.
Is that cause for concern or just one of those crazy things that sometimes happens       over the course of a long 162-game season and can’t really be explained?
Rich Baxter: I think it’s more like the latter. It’s a long season and there will be times when a team sweeps the Phillies and this time it was the Mets. The next time the Mets come to Philadelphia, it might be them that gets swept. Hopefully, the Phillies won’t have many five-game losing streaks, but every team will have some of those over the course of a long season. No cause for alarm just yet.
Tomahawk Talk: The series sweep at the hands of the Mets and the Phillies’ recent slump has suddenly made the NL East race much closer. Does that concern you or        do you think the Phillies will re-establish a comfortable lead?
Rich Baxter: It has made the NL East race more interesting and I really like that. It makes the game more interesting for me. I know that the Phillies would rather be 8-9 games in front, but they haven’t played well recently and that is starting to show in the standings.
Can they turn things around? I think they will, but they have to start moving baserunners, playing team baseball, and doing what it takes to win. The Braves have surged, and the Mets and Nationals have too. We’ll know in another month or so if the Phillies’ slump      has just been a fluke or if there is more to it.
Tomahawk Talk: You have expressed concerns about the Phillies’ starting rotation in our recent interviews, and Roy Oswalt, one of the National League’s best pitchers, has now requested a trade – any chance the Phillies make a major play to get Roy-O?
Rich Baxter: Almost none in my opinion – Oswalt makes too much money and I don’t think the Phillies are that interested in him. The Astros’ GM is an ex-Phillies’ GM though, so a deal could probably be worked out between the two teams, but the cost would be high and I am not sure it would be worth it.
Tomahawk Talk: What would you like to see the Phillies do to improve their team?
Rich Baxter: The Phillies can’t seem to score runs and it’s Charlie Manuel’s job to find out why. They need to do a better job of getting hits and moving baserunners. You need to score some runs!
Tomahawk Talk: Great stuff as usual, Rich. Thanks for doing the Q and A!

   I want to thank Scott Humphries for the interview too on his fine Atlanta Braves blog, stop by and give it a look!

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