One Athletic Team

After their win last night over the Orioles, which by the way was the Athletics 3rd walkoff win this season, has made the Athletics record 9 – 4. They are 1 of 2 teams in all of baseball with nine wins, while the other being the Minnesota Twins. The Athletics are leading the division over the Mariners by 2.5 games. Now over the winter everyone thought the Mariners, Rangers, and Angels would be battling it out over the division title. While it is still April, the Athletics might have that good balance of pitching and speed, that could make the unthinkable happen. The Athletics could win their division. On the offsensive side, the Athletics have a great catalyst. Rajai Davis is one of the fastest outfielders in the game of baseball, and he has already stolen 7 bases in 13 games this season.

sp-as01_davisph_0500542266.jpg Ryan Sweeney and Travis Buck have looked solid, and could provide some pop. If any of them fails, Michael Taylor is waiting in the wings of Triple – A. On the infield, Daric Barton has been off to a hot start, Eric Chavez is looking to rebound and play gold glove caliber defense, Kevin Kouzmanoff will hit homeruns, and Mark Ellis will be back in the lineup soon. Jake Fox should be solid at DH, while Kurt Suzuki is one of the better offsensive catchers in the league. Now to the pitchers. Brett Anderson has a new contract, Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, Dallas Braden, and Gio Gonzalez all round out a great rotation.
Brett-Anderson.jpg The bullpen is lights out, with Andrew Bailey, Jerry Blevins, Brad Ziegler, and Michael Wuertz should be back soon. So you think the Angels already have the division locked up? Think fast.

Unbelievable: A Thriller of A Night

Wow. Not only did Ubaldo Jimenez throw the first No-Hitter in Rockies history, but the Mets and Cardinals went 20 innings, and I can say I watched the whole game. Now it sure was funny to see Felipe Lopez pitch, Kyle Lohse play left field, and some great plays made by Albert Pujols, Allen Craig, and Brendan Ryan. The Phillies were blanked by Ricky Nolasco, but on the bright side, Jayson Werth hit his first homerun of the year.

ricky-nolasco.jpg While Jayson hasn’t shown much power early on, but he is still batting .343 on the year. Jamie Moyer is usually good at pitching against the Marlins, but he was showing his age last night. Back to the No-Hitter, Ubaldo looked great, but he also walked 6, and Dexter Fowler saved the game for him, much like Dewayne Wise for Mark Buehrle in last year’s perfect game.dexter-fowler.jpg Dustin Pedroia hit his 5th homerun last night in the Red Sox loss, which is notable because he didn’t hit his 5th homerun last year until after the All-Star break. Today’s birthdays include Miguel Cabrera, Billy Butler, and the All-Time leader in triples, Sam Crawford, who had 309 three sackers.

A Closer Look: The Phillie Phanatic

One of the most fun loving characters in all of Philadelphia is the Phillie Phanatic. The Phanatic was created by Harrison/Erickson of New York City, who had ties with Jim Henson’s Muppets. Dennis Lehman, a young executive, thought that the Phillies needed a mascot like San Diego’s Famous Chicken.


The Phanatic replaced ” Philadelphia Phil” and ” Philadelphia Phillis”, a pair of siblings that wore 18th century type clothes as nod to their revolutionary spirit.
Phil and Phyllis.jpg

The Phanatic debuted on April 25, 1978 at the Vet, when the Phillies played the Chicago Cub, two years before the Phillies won their first World Series. In a famous moment, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda assaulted the Phillie Phanatic during a nationally televised game after the Phanatic stomped on a life size dummy with Lasorda’s uniform.

Baseball News of the Day

This evening we will start with the current state of relief pitchers Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero. Both threw off mounds Sunday at the Carpenter Complex. Lidge is coming back from offseason knee and elbow surgeries. Romero is recovering from elbow surgery. Lidge has now thrown off a mound three times, but in 35 pitches, he has only pitched six or seven sliders. Romero threw off the mound for the first time this season, just throwing fastballs.

On the Chan Ho Park front, the Phillies were Park’s team of choice going into the offseason. The Phillies and Park couldn’t agree on a fair deal though. He signed with the Yankees this past week.
Lefty reliever Joe Beimel is considering accepting the rival New York Mets offer to pitch in the bullpen. It would most likely be a minor league deal. The 32 year old pitched 71 games for the Nationals and Rockies last year, posting a 3.58 ERA in 55.1 innings pitched. He wants around the $2 Million he earned last year, but the Mets might not want to spend that.
Jake Peavy told the White Sox he would love to have Adrian Gonzalez on board. Gonzalez is the big power bat the White Sox might need to break free and win their division. Their current first basemen, Paul Konerko, is a free agent after this year. The only problem for the White Sox is that they might have to trade rising star Gordon Beckham. Beckham could be an elite player in a couple of years. So what would you do? Contend now and go for Gonzalez, or possibly contend for the next couple of years? It’s your call.
Today’s baseball birthday is former Negro League player and manager, Jud Wilson. He was born February 28, 1894. He batted left and threw right, and played third base and first base. Satchel Paige said he was one of the hardest outs he faced, and Satchel Paige could of been one of the best pitchers of all time. Josh Gibson or the black Babe Ruth though that Wilson was a better then he was, and Gibson could have hit around 800 to 900 career homeruns, with a career batting average of around .380. Now that’s respect. He actually played for Philadelphia once, the Philadelphia Stars that is. He had a career batting average of .351, and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 by the Negro League Committee.
I will be posting an article about the Phillies biggest question mark. Check Back. 

Welcome to Philadelphia!

I posted an article a few days ago about the Phillies that left us this offseason. Now I will talk about the players we acquired that will hopefully lead the Phillies to another ring. Third time’s the charm right?

The first is our new third basemen Placido Polanco. The 34 year old bats right and throws right. He played in red pinstripes from 2002 – 2005. After he left the Phillies Placido played second base for the Detroit Tigers, and fairly well, winning gold gloves in 2007 and in 2009. He also won a silver slugger in 2007 and was awarded his first all star nod the same year. He has a career .303 BA, and he has scored 826 career runs. Mike Schmidt says he thinks Polanco will make a smooth transition to third base.
The next player is the Phillies biggest offseason acquisition, Roy Halladay. The 32 year old righty pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays his whole career until he was traded to the Phillies for a group of prospects. Halladay has pitched in the hitter friendly American League East his while career, and has been dominating. He has posted starts in Fenway and Yankee Stadium.  Now instead of having to verse a DH, Roy will get to play with unsuspecting National League pitchers. He won the Cy Young in 2003, and is a six time all star. He is a ground ball pitcher, which is perfect for Citizens Bank Park. He has a career 3.43 ERA, and he has struck out 1,495 with a record of 148 – 76.
The next player is expected to replace Matt Stairs. Ross Gload is 33 years old and plays first base and outfield. He bats and throws left handed. In his 10 year career, Ross has been on six major league teams, including the Phillies. The Phillies signed Gload to a 2 year, $2.6 million deal this offseason. On May 22, 2009, Gload made his pitching debut, pitching a scoreless ninth inning frame against the Tampa Bay Rays. He has a career .283 BA.
Another player is former New York Mets catcher Brian Schneider. Schneider is 33 years old, and bats left handed. He signed a two year deal with the Phillies this offseason. He has hit 56 career homeruns, and knocked in 336 runs. He seems to like the NL East, starting his career with the Expos/Nationals, moving to the Mets, then signing with the Phillies.
I know I left out a few players such as Juan Castro, Danys Baez, and Jose Contreras. What player that we acquired do you think will have the biggest impact? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Baseball News of the Day

Mike Schmidt thinks that Placido Polanco will make a smooth transition to third base this upcoming season. Schmidt, who won ten gold gloves, was upset to see Pedro Feliz go, saying he was one of the best defensive third basemen he had ever seen. Polanco won a gold glove at second base last year, but hasn’t played at third since 2002. Mike Schmidt also said he wishes he was playing today. He loves the atmosphere of Citizens Bank Park, and the Phillies whole team.


Roy Halladay threw live batting practice to players such as Chase Utley and top prospect Dominic Brown. Utley didn’t swing, he just watched the pitches locations, as well as Raul Ibanez. Brown on the other hand tried to swing, but it didn’t turn out to well. He fouled off two pitches, but whiffed the rest. Halladay is looking as good as ever.
The Nationals purchased the contract of righty Rafael Martin from his Mexican League team, Saltillo. Martin, 26, pitched his way to a 4.12 ERA in 63 1/3 innings for Satillo last season. He struck out 65 last year, and he could eventually set up Drew Storen in the National’s bullpen.
Today is the birthday of baseball great Grover Cleveland Alexander, born February 26, 1887. He pitched for the Phillies, Cardinals, and Cubs in his career. He was a righty, and made his first and last start in the majors as a Phillie. He is third on the all time wins list with a career win – loss record of 373 – 208. He recorded 2,198 K’s in his career, and posted a career 2.56 ERA. He was voted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938 with a vote percentage of 80.92%.
I will update if anything notable comes up. I will be posting another article later. Check Back.

Saying Goodbye to Former Phightin’s

I’m going to be looking at the players that moved on from the great city of Philadelphia to move onto other ballclubs.

First let’s look at Pedro Feliz. The 34 year old third basemen has been regarded as one of the best defenders in the NL the past couple of years at the hot corner. Pedro hit 12 dingers and knocked in 82 runs last year. He batted .266 with no stolen bases. He was replaced by gold glove second basemen Placido Polanco.Pedro signed a deal with the Astros this offseason.
The next player is big man Matt Stairs. The Canadian signed a minor league deal with the Padres, but he shouldn’t have trouble getting on the San Diego bench. Stairs is 41 now, but he can still hit towering homeruns. Last year, he hit 5 homeruns off the bench, and knocked in 17, while batting a meager .194. His power should be hampered by Petco’s big stadium. He was replaced by 1st basemen/outfielder Ross Gload.
Chan Ho Park signed a one year deal with the Yankees this past week. Park won the 5th rotation spot out of spring training last year, only to lose it to J.A. Happ. Park preformed well in the bullpen, posting a 2.70 ERA in 46 appearances, while calling Citizens Bank Park his home.
Scott Eyre retired this offseason at the age of 37. Eyre posted an impressive 1.50 ERA out of the Phillies pen last, with 22 K’s. Scott pitched in 617 career games, posting a career 4.23 ERA and 537 strikeouts. He won 28 games while losing 30 in his big league play.
And last but not least, we have none other then Cliff Lee. Lee was a great addition for the Phillies in the second part of the year. He was dominating in the postseason, and Phillies fans won’t forget what he brought us. He posted a 3.22 ERA last year, and struck out 181 batters in the American League and National League. The Phillies traded the 2008 AL Cy Young Winner to the Mariners this offseason so they could acquire Roy Halladay. The Mariners home ball park, Safeco Field should help his stats, and also having a couple of great outfielders in Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez.
I realize I left out a couple of Phillies like Tyler Walker, Paul Bako, Rodrigo Lopez, and others. All these players will be remembered for what they did. The city of Philadelphia thanks you. 
I will be posting an article later about the players we got this offseason. Check Back.