Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Today I'm thankful for my family, our family's (improving) health, friends, our jobs, the 2008 and 2009 Phillies, baseball cards, the remastered White Album, Doug's toys and Peter Pan's Flight in the Magic Kingdom.
May you and yours have a wonderful day and enjoy the turkey!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The New Bruntlett: Juan Castro, who played with the Dodgers last year, has agreed to a contract with the Phils to serve as the team's back-up infielder in 2010, pending a physical. The 15-year veteran hit .277 in 57 games in 2009. In Game 2 of the NLCS, Juan pinch-ran for Jim Thome in the 8th inning. Unlike his predecessor, Juan Castro does not sport an impressive beard.
Minor Matters: The Phils signed outfielder DeWayne Wise, formerly with the White Sox, and infielder Wilson Valdez, formerly with the Mets, to minor league contracts today with invitations to Spring Training. Wise is best known for his leaping catch to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in July.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Then I read this blurb from Bill Conlin's article in the Philadelphia Daily News this afternoon:
Wait a minute. Pedro led the team with a .336 average with runners in scoring position? And 82 RBIs is actually pretty darn good for a guy hitting behind Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibañez. Should the Phils have hung on to this guy?
There are 16 free-agent third basemen. The most topical for Phillies purposes is Pedro Feliz, who showed up in Charlie Manuel's starting lineup in 158 of 162 regular season games coming off back surgery. The rocket-armed veteran gave Ryan Howard letter-high throws at first and was the most productive No. 7 hitter in the NL with 82 RBI while leading the Phillies with a .336 average when batting with runners in scoring position. [Phillies GM Ruben] Amaro set off a lively debate among his front-office advisers when he declined to pick up Pedro's $5 million option for 2010. For a few days, I thought Ruben was crazy like a fox. With the glut of free agents at the position, it seemed unlikely Feliz would be offered a starting job for that kind of money. I envisioned a scenario where Amaro would sign good-fit 3B/utility jack-of-most-positions Mark DeRosa. Then he might be able to re-sign Feliz to play third and late innings for a lower number when DeRosa is plugging other holes. However, I'm told Feliz was so hurt by being dumped after playing for two World Series teams he would not consider returning.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Swish played the final five seasons (1949-1953) of his 16-season career with the Phillies, serving mainly as a left-handed power bat off the bench. He gained his nickname due to his penchant for seemingly either striking out or hitting a home run each time at-bat. Swish wore #12 during his days with the Phils - the number most recently worn by another Phillie, also a left-handed power bat off the bench, with a penchant for strike outs and home runs.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
During Nana's first summer, the 1920 Phillies were not a very good team. With a record of 62 and 91, the Phils finished last in the National League, 30½ games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.
One of the bright spots on the '20 Phillies was center fielder Cy Williams. Cy led the NL in home runs with 15 (that's right - 15), and finished fifth in the league with a .325 average. He played 19 seasons in the big leagues - 13 of those seasons with the Phillies from 1918 until 1930. In 1986, he was inducted posthumously into the Phillies Wall of Fame.
Other Cool Stuff: He attended Notre Dame and played football with Knute Rockne . . . Cy was the first National League player to reach the 200 home run plateau . . . Entering the 2008 season, Cy appears on the Phillies all-time top 10 lists for hits, RBIs, home runs and slugging percentage . . . His 41 home runs and 114 RBIs in 1923 are still the top marks in a season for a Phillies center fielder.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Yankees 7, Phillies 3
This is not a game I particularly care to remember or to recap. Suffice it to say, it was not an enjoyable game. The Yankees soundly defeated the Phillies in Game 6, winning their 27th World Championship.
The Damn Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd when Hideki Matsui golfed a Pedro Martinez fastball into deep right. In total, the eventual World Series MVP would explode for 6 RBIs on three hits in the game. The Phils got a run back in the 3rd when Chooch tripled and Jimmy Rollins drove him in with a sac fly. But that was pretty much the extent of the Game 6 excitement for a Phillies' fan.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Yankees started another rally when Shane Victorino misplayed a Derek Jeter fly ball, resulting in a single for the Yankees' captain. Matsui knocked in two more with the bases loaded in the inning, making in 4-1 Yankees. After the Yanks scored three more in the 5th, to give them a commanding 7-1 lead, it was all but over. Ryan Howard hit a 2-run homer in the 6th, but it wouldn't be enough.
Best Tweet: From beat writer Andy Martino at phillieszone - Robin Roberts in clubhouse. Would be fully rested for a potential Game 7.
Phillies 8, Yankees 6
No matter what the outcome, tonight's ballgame was going to be the last game played in Philadelphia in 2009. Staff ace Cliff Lee came through again, pitching 7 solid innings and ensuring the Phils would make a trip to the Bronx for Game 6.
Lee was erratic in the 1st, perhaps weighed down by the magnitude of this potential elimination game for the Phils. The Yankees scored first in the top of the 1st when Johnny Damon scored on an Alex Rodriguez double. The Phils would quickly jump back into things in the bottom of the inning. Jimmy Rollins singled, Shane Victorino was plunked and Chase Utley homered (the first non-solo home run for the Phillies this series) and the good guys led, 3-1.
The Phils chased Yankees starter A.J. Burnett in the 3rd, scoring twice more and taking a 5-1 lead. Chase Utley's solo home run in the 7th gave the Phils a 7-2 lead and landed Chase in the record books with his 7th career World Series home run. Phillies announcer Larry Andersen christened Chase as the first "Mr. Octember." Just to make sure the last few innings were comfortable for the bullpen, Raul Ibañez added a solo shot a few batters later to make it 8-2 . . . and they would need the cushion. The Yankees would score four times in the 8th and 9th innings, but the Phils hung on to force one more game.
He is the Man: Chase Utley's fifth home run of the 2009 World Series tied him with Reggie Jackson for most home runs in a single World Series. Reggie accomplished the feat in 1977.
Public Service Announcement: If you have a toddler and are weighing your dining options while at Disney's Animal Kingdom, you should steer clear of the Rainforest Cafe. Doug was terrified, terrified, of the swinging monkeys, roaring elephants, dangling snakes and the overall noise of the place. We switched tables a few times, but eventually made our exit. Earlier in the day, Doug loved the Kilimanjaro Safari. As we rode through the safari, he turned to me with a huge grin and exclaimed, "This is cool!" And of course, he loved giving Mickey a high five.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
CC's final pitch of the night resulted in a Chase Utley solo home run in the 7th, to make it 4-3 Yankees. With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the 8th, Pedro Feliz lined a solo home run to left off Joba Chamberlain, and I may have awakened a zebra. (More on that later.)
And then it all went horribly wrong. Brad Lidge retired the first two Yankees in the top of the 9th, and had two strikes against Johnny Damon. It all happened so fast: Damon bloops a single to left, Damon steals second, notices no one is covering third and steals third, Teixeira gets drilled, A-Rod doubles, Damon scores, Posada singles to left, scoring Teixeira and A-Rod, 7-4 Yankees, Mariano Rivera pitches 1-2-3 bottom of 9th, game over. Excruciating.
In the Jungle: We watched this game from our room at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Unbelievably, zebras, giraffes and gazelles were roaming the savanna during the game, viewable from our balcony. Earlier in the day, we grooved with Frozone and Mr. Incredible at the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party at the Magic Kingdom. Jenna's highlight was watching Doug react to the 4-D Mickey's Philharmagic movie, especially during the "Be Our Guest" segment.
Monday, November 9, 2009
He Said What?: Following Game 3, when asked to comment upon his disappointing 2009 season, Cole Hamels reportedly responded he "can't wait for it to end." This is not the type of quote that will endear you to Phillies fans, Cole.
MIA: After three games, Ryan Howard is 2 for 13 with 9 strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins is 2 for 10.Downtown Disney on Halloween: If you're considering spending Halloween in Downtown Disney next year - don't. The place was a madhouse since there were various free candy pick-ups scattered throughout the marketplace. And the heat (88 degrees) precluded Doug from donning his Buzz Lightyear costume. All was not lost as we made a pitstop at the Lego store and added a Lego circus train to Doug's growing collection.
Friday, November 6, 2009
The night before departing for our trip, my scanner died, perhaps overwhelmed by the Braulio Castillo baseball card I had forced it to endure. Fortunately, before it had fizzled out, I had scanned in a number of cards to post in order to celebrate each Phillies victory. Unfortunately, I was able to post just one celebratory baseball card following the team's Game 5 victory on Monday night. Presented here is one of my favorite Phillies baseball cards, which would have appeared had Pedro Martinez not been abused by Hideki Matsui in Game 6.
I'm disappointed in the outcome of the World Series - as are most non-Yankees fans. However, this is indeed a great time to be a Phillies fan, and there's a lot to look forward to during the Hot Stove season. I'm certainly not wishing away the winter, but it will be a happy day in February when the calendar tells us, "Pitchers and Catchers Report".
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The Glass is Half Full: A win Wednesday night will force a Game 7. A win Thursday night will give the Phillies a World Championship title for the second year in a row.
Phillies Probables: Pedro Martinez, Cole Hamels
Yankees Probables: Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia