Saturday, August 31, 2013

Birthdays too fast for some Phillies, Lee turned 35 will face Cubs today

Cliff Lee's stoic look at New York's Citi Field for the All Star Game 2013 was a classic!

Time waits for no man, that is a popular quote that we've heard a lot of the years isn't it?

Cliff Lee just celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday, and though that isn't old by any means it is getting up there for a Major League pitcher. Lee is enjoying a great pitching year with the Phillies this year and he seeks his 13th win of the year this afternoon in Chicago.

His pitching ace teammate, Roy Halladay, who is 36, made his second start since he landed back in the big leagues after his shoulder injury was healed. He may have benefited from a couple more starts in the minors before he returned to pitch for the Phils, but Halladay is more than happy to be back on the Phillies but probably upset that he was charged with 5 runs in yesterday's game that raised his ERA to 7.94 on the season.

The Phils will look for another win this afternoon, as they stormed back to win Sandberg's return to Chicago 6-5 behind some great efforts from Michael Young, Chase Utley and Kevin Frandsen. Jonathan Papelbon closed the door on the Cubs and the Phils picked up a much needed win, and made Ryne Sandberg a very happy manager.

Here's a list of the Phillies and their ages at the start of the season, a few players on this roster who we are probably seeing for the last time in their careers this year:

Rk Pos Age
1 C Carlos Ruiz 34
2 1B Ryan Howard* 33
3 2B Chase Utley* 34
4 SS Jimmy Rollins# 34
5 3B Michael Young 36
6 LF Domonic Brown* 25
7 CF Ben Revere* 25
8 RF Delmon Young 27
Rk Pos Age
9 OF John Mayberry 29
10 IF Kevin Frandsen 31
11 C Erik Kratz 33
12 UT Darin Ruf 26
13 IF Freddy Galvis# 23
14 RF Laynce Nix* 32
15 3B Cody Asche* 23
16 C Humberto Quintero 33
17 CF Roger Bernadina* 29
18 UT Michael Martinez# 30
19 2B Cesar Hernandez# 23
20 UT John McDonald 38
21 OF Casper Wells 28
22 OF Ezequiel Carrera* 26
23 LF Steve Susdorf* 27
24 C Steven Lerud* 28
25 UT Pete Orr* 34
Rk Pos Age
26 P Kyle Kendrick 28
27 P Cole Hamels* 29
28 P Cliff Lee* 34
29 P Jonathan Pettibone* 22
30 P John Lannan* 28
31 P Tyler Cloyd 26
32 P Roy Halladay 36
33 P Ethan Martin 24
34 P Raul Valdes* 35
35 P Zach Miner 31
36 P Michael Stutes 26
37 P Joe Savery* 27
38 P Luis Garcia 26
39 P J.C. Ramirez 24
40 P Cesar Jimenez* 28
41 P Chad Durbin 35
42 P Antonio Bastardo 27
43 P Mike Adams 34
44 P Jake Diekman* 26
45 P Justin De Fratus# 25
46 P B.J. Rosenberg 27
47 P Phillippe Aumont* 24
48 P Jeremy Horst* 27
49 P Jonathan Papelbon 32
Team Totals 30.4
Rank in 15 NL teams
Non-Pitcher Totals 30.5
Pitcher Totals 29.0
Rk Pos Age
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/31/2013.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Why did the Chicago Cubs let Sandberg walk?

Here is how the Iowa Cubs were thrilled to have Sandberg hired as the Iowa Cubs manager for the 2010 season

The Phillies don't really play the Chicago Cubs all that much anymore like they used to before the myriad of interleague games crept into the baseball schedule. This Labor Day weekend series in Chicago for the Phillies is 4th time that the Phils and Cubs play this year and it will also end the season series between the two teams with 6 total games after this weekend. The Phillies hold a 2-1 lead in the season series with the Cubs.

The return of Ryne Sandberg to Chicago is the topic of conversation now more than ever since he was elevated to manager of the Phillies after Charlie Manuel was fired after the Phils posted a 53-67 record.

One of the major reasons the Cubs never hired Ryan Sandberg is a guy named Theo Epstein. Epstein had just taken the job of GM in Chicago in 2011 and immediately passed on Sandberg as the manager of the Cubs, even after Mike Quade was fired from the job in the Epstein regime. Quade did an admirable job in the taking of the Cubs reins in 2010 from Lou Pinella. The Cubs went 24-13 in the 37 games that Quade took over in late 2010 and the 1 year extension for Quade produced a 71-91 record in 2011 with a team that didn't have many superstars. Quade was shown the door by Epstein and thought to be not the guy that he was looking for to manage the Cubs after 2011. Sandberg would have been an obvious choice by Epstein and one that would have made Cubs fans ecstatic, but Epstein's enthusiasm for Ryno wasn't there yet.

Why didn't Epstein want Ryne Sandberg as manager of the Cubs? Maybe he didn't want to be overshadowed by a Hall of Famer like Sandberg, who carries a big "Hall of Fame" cloud around with him? A move to Sandberg at that time could have made Epstein's watch as Cubs GM a fairy tale story, instead he chose to keep Ryno under wraps and continued onto hire Dale Sveum. Sveum managed the Cubs to a 101 loss season last year, and this year is managing the Cubs to a 56-77 record (as of this morning), this Cubs team again who don't really have many groundbreaking position players.

Ryne Sandberg was putting his managerial duties again at Philadelphia's farm system in 2011 at the AAA level after Sandberg left the Cubs organization in a similar managerial role with the Iowa Cubs, with perhaps a promise of taking over the Phillies someday. The Cubs wanted Sandberg to return to the Iowa Cubs for the 2011 season after his '10 season but he chose the Phillies opportunity instead.

Sandberg didn't suddenly rise to the top of the Triple-A Cubs farm team, the Iowa Cubs. It was a long journey that lasted 4 years for Sandberg. Ryne Sandberg was a manager from the very bottom of the Cubs organization to his hiring in late 2009 for the 2010 season to AAA and the Iowa Cubs.

Sandberg endeared himself to the AAA job for the Cubs, he often signed autographs for 10-15 minutes or more before all of the Iowa Cubs home games. He is now the skipper of the Phillies though, and it's the friendly confines of Wrigley today, but the Phillies want to win and so does Sandberg. If the Phillies can do anything right this season, they will go out and sweep this series with the listless Cubs.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Phillies beached by Mets batting storm

Hey, is that us on the Phillies game screen from the beach?

The Satellite truck was parked right on the beach in Atlantic City

A wide variety of fans sported new and old Phils jerseys on the beach in AC today

The Phillies needed to get out of New York with a win as they continue onto Chicago for the weekend series at Wrigley. It was not to be.

This game on Thursday afternoon was being televised on the beach in Atlantic City, NJ by the local Philadelphia Comcast Sportsnet and the Phillies, the Phils just couldn't get that much offense going against a New York team that found a way to even up this series with the Phillies to a 2-2 split in the 4 game series.

The final score of 11-3 suggested that perhaps the previous wins by this Phillies team as being on the road to something better, may have taken another step back.

Sandberg and the Phils now go to Chicago, for hopefully better play by this Phillies team. The uncertainty in which this team plays on a daily basis isn't good. It got Charlie Manuel fired before the end of the season, and that kind of play hasn't left this team when Charlie left.

If nothing else a large group of Phillies fans did have fun on the beach today in AC, and a good time was had by all, this team though is reminding me of those teams in the mid-1980's when baseball was not king in Philly, and certainly not down by the shore.

Ruben has to have seen this, Pence goes out of Rockies Stadium with a lunar home run

 Ruben Amaro has to look at the MLB highlights from around the league. I hope he saw this one, and in case you didn't get a chance to see it- here it is. Hunter Pence hit one of the longest home runs in baseball two nights ago in Colorado. It hit off the concession stand building outside the seating area in Colorado.

 Pence was carrying the Phillies two seasons ago, but for some unknown reason, the Phillies let him get away. This is the kind of mismanagement of this Phillies team that we've been seeing. Keep signing the strange, bizarre and somewhat incapable players and trading guys away like Pence and Mr Victorino, who both have been having great years.

 Hunter Pence career numbers:

Year Age Tm Lg G AB R H HR RBI SB BA
2007 24 HOU NL 108 456 57 147 17 69 11 .322
2008 25 HOU NL 157 595 78 160 25 83 11 .269
2009 26 HOU NL 159 585 76 165 25 72 14 .282
2010 27 HOU NL 156 614 93 173 25 91 18 .282
2011 28 TOT NL 154 606 84 190 22 97 8 .314
2011 28 HOU NL 100 399 49 123 11 62 7 .308
2011 28 PHI NL 54 207 35 67 11 35 1 .324
2012 29 TOT NL 160 617 87 156 24 104 5 .253
2012 29 PHI NL 101 398 59 108 17 59 4 .271
2012 29 SFG NL 59 219 28 48 7 45 1 .219
2013 30 SFG NL 132 518 68 144 16 66 19 .278
7 Yrs 1026 3991 543 1135 154 582 86 .284
162 Game Avg. 162 630 86 179 24 92 14 .284
HOU (5 yrs) 680 2649 353 768 103 377 61 .290
SFG (2 yrs) 191 737 96 192 23 111 20 .261
PHI (2 yrs) 155 605 94 175 28 94 5 .289
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/29/2013.