Friday, July 30, 2010

The Mets and My Testicles

I plan to have this be a recurrent theme for the DPF site. Now I realize that the headline may be a bit risqué. That is because it is. Now what do the Mets and my testicles have in common? Many, many things my loyal readers. In this article I plan to outline some of the commonalities.

1. We all know baseball is played in the summer. As the summer goes on, the heat intensifies and can play havoc on the crotch area in the dog days of August. The cream of the baseball crop rises to the top in this month usually. Now by the time August comes around, the Mets stink worse than a trash collection strike during a heatwave. My testicles also stink more than a pissed up diaper left in a closed car.

2. So what else is there?  Now I won’t say this about the entire Mets team (because I’d like to have David Wright play for the Phils one day), but my testicles and the Mets both have dicks for brains. Omar Minaya is completely clueless. The Phillies also finally got the better brother in Charlie Manuel. Jerry Manuel is a dunce with a ‘keen sense of eyeglass fashion’, Rivers Cuomo stated when asked his opinion.

3. 1973,1986…….The Mets, like my testicles, do get lucky sometimes.

4. The Mets, specifically Reyes and Beltran, are oft injured by minor things. My testicles also can be injured by just getting brushed the wrong way.

I welcome any other suggestion on why your testicles are just like the Mets. I also do not want to leave the ladies out, so you can tell me how the Mets are like your ovaries I guess. Thanks for reading and when you think Mets…think about testicles. Remember everyday is a great day to hate the Mets.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seriosuly, WTF?

Since the Phillies played a day game on Monday, I had some free time to check out some of the other action MLB had to offer. I tuned in the MLB network figuring the big story would be A-Fraud’s chase to 600 HR’s. (BTW a rough estimate has him at 254 juice free bombs) Instead, it was the dual No-No in St. Pete and Adam Lind was a triple short of the cycle north of the border. Score one for the good guys.  For me, it’s too hard to get excited about the possibility of a cycle until they get the triple. So when I found out the Rays and Tigers game was on ESPN I flipped over. An inning latter Max Scherzer self imploded with walks and then gave up a long ball losing the no hitter, shutout and bllgame with one swing. No fear though, Garza was still working on one too. And he never let up, and completed the fifth no hitter of the season; a season that has started to be called the year of the pitcher,

OK so now to my point, has pitching become so much better than hitting? Is it just a fluke that there have been 5 no hitters and a slew of other games were near misses? Some experts would lead you to believe it’s that the pitchers are just further ahead on the non-steroid learning curve. That they have adjusted better to playing without the chemical help.  That may be possible, but I offer a different opinion. Hitters are impatient and lack fundamentals. The pitchers, not named Roy Halladay, that have thrown the no hitters this year have a combined career record 147-145 and that’s with Ubaldo’s 15-2 mark this season. Frequently, you’ll hear that the key to winning is making the starter work and getting into the bullpen. Hitters, simply, aren’t making pitchers work. They aren’t hitting they are HACKING.  Jamie Moyer became the oldest player ever to throw a shutout when he tossed a two-hitter verses the Braves.  I’d think you’d want to make a 47-year-old WORK, yet Moyer had a three pitch inning.  That’s kind of amazing, but now factor in that inning was one of the innings the Braves got a hit and its ridiculous.

Everyone has their own strategy on how things work the best, like the guy who goes to the bar and hits on anything that moves (see JP circa 1994). Sure it works sometimes, but for just so long then the trannies start migrating his way, ya know?

Jay Wrizight

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Dale Murphy

Name: Dale Bryan Murphy
Position: Right Fielder
Born: March 12, 1956 in Portland, Oregon
Acquired: From the Atlanta Braves along with Tommy Greene in exchange for Jeff Parrett, Victor Rosario, and Jim Vatcher on August 3, 1990
Phillies Debut: August 4, 1990
Final Phillies Game: October 4, 1992
Uniform Number: 3
Career Elsewhere: Braves (1976-90), Rockies (1993)

About Dale Murphy: Regardless of the era, it seems as though the Philadelphia Phillies have always had a knack for acquiring star players on the downside of their careers. Perhaps fans of other teams can make the same claim, but the Phillies are obviously more noticeable to us since we follow them much more closely. Whatever the case may be, it seems like they've brought many players in who'd had great success elsewhere, perhaps trying to get one last hurrah out of them. More often than not, it is painfully obvious that their days as an effective player have long since passed them by. Some have their moments, though. Dale Murphy had his moments as a Phillie, though he came nowhere close to playing at the level that made him a two-time National League MVP as a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Murphy's journey in professional baseball began in 1974, when the Braves made him the fifth overall selection in that year's Draft. Breaking into the pro ranks as a catcher, Murphy had cups of coffee in the majors in 1976 and 1977 before sticking for good in 1978. He had his share of problems behind the plate, and primarily played first base in his first full MLB season. Murphy hit just .226 in '78, but did hit 23 home runs. A knee injury limited him to 104 games in 1979, but Murphy returned to health in 1980. He was also moved to the outfield full-time and his career took off. Murphy made his first All-Star team in '80, when he hit .281 with 33 home runs. He slumped to .247 in the strike-interrupted 1981 season, but in 1982 he established himself as a premier player. Appearing in all 162 games, Murphy hit .281 with 36 homers and a league-best 109 RBI for the NL West Champion Braves. For his efforts, Murphy was named National League MVP. Proving it was no fluke, Murphy was even better in 1983, hitting .302, again blasting 36 home runs, and again leading the NL in RBI, this time with 121, while playing in 162 games for the second of what became four consecutive seasons. Once again, Murphy was named NL MVP. He wouldn't make it a three-peat in 1984, but Murphy did hit 36 homers for the third consecutive season while driving in an even 100. He would have an even better 1985 season, batting .300 on the nose with 37 roundtrippers and 111 RBI. Murphy had a down season in 1986, hitting .265 with 29 homers and 83 RBI, but he bounced back in a big way in 1987, batting .295 while hammering a career-best 44 home runs, knocking in 105.

The Braves were unable to duplicate their 1982 success and were sinking to the depths of the National League, but in Dale Murphy they had arguably the best MLB player of the 1980s to that point and what appeared to be a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Perhaps the losing began to take its toll on Murphy, as his numbers nosedived in 1988, and he never really recovered from that point onward. In that '88 season, Murphy hit just .226 with 24 home runs and 77 RBI. It was no better in 1989, as he hit .228 with 20 homers and 84 RBI. Murphy's fall from grace continued in 1990, as he was hitting .232 with 17 home runs and 55 RBI through 97 games. The Braves were in a rebuilding mode by this point, and rumors swirled that Murphy's days in Atlanta were numbered. Though he wasn't moved at the 1990 trade deadline, he was able to pass through waivers. On August 3 of that year, the Phillies and Braves agreed to a deal that would send Murphy and a player to be named later to Philadelphia in exchange for pitcher Jeff Parrett and two players to be named later. Being a "10 and 5" player, Murphy had the right to refuse the deal, but he approved and became a Philadelphia Phillie. To complete the deal, the Braves threw in pitcher Tommy Greene, while the Phillies sent infielder Victor Rosario and outfielder Jim Vatcher to Atlanta.

It may have seemed odd for Murphy to accept a trade to Philadelphia. Though the Phillies were perceived to be on the right track after two consecutive last place finishes, they were still en route to their fourth consecutive sub-.500 season and weren't expected to do any serious contending any time soon. But it had become evident that Murphy needed a change of scenery, and he did pick things up a little after the trade, concluding the '90 season by hitting .266 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 57 games, adding some pop to a Phillies lineup that saw no player hit more than 17 home runs that year. The 1991 season would turn out to be Murphy's only full one as a Phillie. While not disastrous by any means, it wasn't quite the smashing success the ballclub had envisioned. In all, Murphy hit .252 with 18 home runs (his lowest total for any season in which he played in more than 104 games) and 81 RBI in 153 games. It was announced prior to the 1992 season that Murphy would get more days off in hopes it would benefit him and the team in the long run. Unfortunately, they never had a chance to carry out the plan. Murphy was hobbled with a sore left knee all spring and though he started the season on the active roster, it was immediately clear that the knee wasn't responding to treatment. He would head to the disabled list during the second week of the season. After missing three weeks, Murphy returned on May 8, but had to shut it down again ten days later, and would miss the remainder of the season save for one cameo at-bat on the season's final day. He ended the '92 season hitting .161 with two homers in 18 games. Needing two home runs to reach 400 for his career, Murphy went to camp with the Phillies in 1993, but was released before the season began. As the Phils embarked on a magical season that saw them reach the World Series, Murphy signed on with the expansion Colorado Rockies. After hitting .143 with no homers in 26 games for the Rockies, Murphy decided he'd had enough and called it a career on May 28, 1993.

Personal Recollection: When I was just starting to follow baseball, Dale Murphy was one of those players you'd love to have on your team. Of course, it ultimately happened. Unfortunately, his best days were long past by the time he wore a Phillies uniform. I guess I was a little too young to be overly critical of Murphy, it just always seemed cool he was playing for the Phillies. Murphy was also known for being a devout Mormon, which seemed to clash with the Phillies of the day, as the seeds for the eventual Macho Row 1993 team were being planted. In John Kruk's book, I Ain't An Athlete, Lady, he has a lot of good stories about always trying to get under Murphy's skin. Though Murphy would often get angry, Kruk felt that deep down Murphy enjoyed being treated as one of the guys after being tiptoed around for much of his career in Atlanta. The Phillies did play on that squeaky clean image, though, most notably when they gave away a "Dr. Dirt and Mr. Clean" poster featuring Murphy and Lenny Dykstra. The interesting thing about the Murphy trade is that the Phillies got the better end of the deal, and not because of Murphy. Tommy Greene was thrown in, and he would win 13 games in 1991 while throwing a no-hitter. Then, in 1993, Greene went 16-4 for the NL Champs and got the win in the NLCS clincher against the Braves.

As far as on-field performance, I would say my best memory of Murphy would be when he hit an 11th inning walkoff grand slam against the Cubs during that amazing and somewhat inexplicable 13-game winning streak in 1991. Murphy was kind of cursed in his career, as he just missed out on a lot of team success. The Braves struggled for the majority of his years in Atlanta. He was traded to the Phillies during the 1990 season. The Braves came out of nowhere to win the NL Pennant in 1991 and would participate in every postseason through 2005. We know what happened with the Phillies in 1993. While there was no 1994 postseason, the Rockies won the NL Wild Card in 1995. I think a lot of people would tell you, if anyone deserved to be part of a winner, it was Murphy. He never got to play in a World Series and a sudden, sharp decline will likely cost him a spot in the Hall of Fame, but all in all, Dale Murphy had an excellent career. While he wasn't nearly the player he once was, I would still say we were pretty lucky to have him around for a couple years.

That's my story on Dale Murphy. Feel free to share yours.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Let's All Drink Some Haterade

This week when I heard that Roy Oswalt held up a trade to the Phillies because he didn't want to come to a team with an 'aggressive media' my first thought was what a sissy. He sounds like a guy who wants all the benefits of being a professional athlete with none of the consequences. He wants his 12 million a year but doesn't want to be asked the tough questions when he stinks up the joint. You wouldn't make it here Roy, we have passion for our teams, stay in the Midwest where sports are a pleasant distraction. It also got me thinking there are a few people in baseball that I wouldn't pee on if they were on fire. Here is the list and reasons I would spit in their eyes if I ever met them.

5. Tony LaRussa - He thinks he's smarter than anyone else in baseball, so smug. The constant pitching changes, batting the pitcher 8th to get more people on in front of Pujols. I still don't understand that one. Whining about umpires. I think he's the most overrated manager in history. He has 2 World Series wins. The A's in 89' and the Cardinal's in 06'. He should have won at least 3 in Oakland with McGwire and Canseco in the steroid enhanced primes, Rickey Henderson and a great pitching staff. The Cardinals have had very little competition in the Central the last few years, plus he has the greatest player of this generation in Albert Pujols. He has 1 more World Series win than Charlie. Overrated.

4. Scott Rolen - Another 'I like the Midwest' pansy. He hated Larry Bowa because he was too hard on him. He didn't like the media asking the tough questions. He just didn't like it here in Philadelphia. I get it. I just didn't need to hear St. Louis is baseball 'Heaven'. I was so glad to see him go 0 for 16 in the 04' World Series and make the last out. The silver lining of Rolen leaving was the Phils were able to sign Jim Thome.

3. Jose Reyes - He's a nice player, I wouldn't say great. My main issue with Reyes is his jive, chicken dance, high five theatrics after a Home Run. Why do today's pitcher let him get away with that garbage? If there was ever a player who needed one in the ear hole its Reyes. Where is Dickie Knowles when you need him? You would think won of his teammates would tell him about it, oh yeah I forgot the Mets are all crumbs.

2. Billy Wagner - I caught Wagner's act in July the first year he was here. The Phils were batting in the top of the 9th in Chicago and scored a run to put them up by 4. He was caught on camera slamming his glove down because it was no longer a Save situation. That's a 'Me' player move. He bashed the fans here by saying they would boo him if he only hit 99 on the gun. He didn't get us I guess. He also dissed Pat Burrell saying he had 'A one plane swing'. Larry Andersen had the best line ever when Pat took him deep the following year, "I guess he threw that one in the wrong plane". Love L.A., he should be on TV, but that's an argument for another day. Wagner also had the stones to say by signing with the Mets it gave him a better chance to make the Hall of Fame. Hate to break it to you Billy but the only way you are getting into the Hall is if you buy a ticket.

1. Alex Rodriguez - A-Rod, A-roid, A-Fraud, we all know now he's a juicer. That's not even my main complaint about the jerk. My main issue is he's such a great player and still pulls bush league moves. The Dallas Braden thing was just the latest of a list of 'He Should Know Better'. The pop up in Toronto where he yelled 'I got It' as he passed the third baseman making him drop it. The slap of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 04' ALCS. The announcing he was going to 'Opt Out' of his contract with the Yankees during the 07' World Series. It's sad that the person who will probably break Bond's Home Run record is also vying for title of world's biggest jerk.

If there is anyone in baseball that I missed let me know.

Keep it Classy Philly!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Four Scores and Seven Shutouts Ago

The Civil War has begun.

It has mostly been a one sided war….. so far. You see it’s between the diehards and the so call bandwagon fans. I was hoping the sweep of the Reds would put the kibosh on the feud, but the Phillies lackluster performance to start the second half has only intensified things.  The weapons in this war, however, are not guns or cannons, but taunts, sarcastic remarks and disgusted outbursts.

“C’mon, get a clue!”
“Hey Buddy, better hurry up and beat the traffic.”
“ Don’t worry, we’ll see you next time they make the playoffs”

These phrases can be overheard at most Phillies home games these days when they are on the short end on the scoreboard. I have 2 problems with this situation. And you might be a little shocked that as much an instigator as I am; I am going to play the role of the Swiss in the battle.

First, I was there during the lean years. When you’d go to an afternoon game and see the likes Steve Lake, Kim Baptiste and Stan Javier take the field, not for an at-bat but in the starting line-up. But I also remember going to the Vet on May 26, 1990. The Phillies got trounced 12-3. Why do I remember this brutal beat down? Because Don Carmen got lit up? No, because it was Mike Schmidt night and it was my first experience with a packed stadium going nuts. I’ve been to my fair share of Phillies games but until the final year of the Vet, I could count on my hands the number of times I was at a game that was near capacity. I want the stadium FULL. Full of PHILLIES fans.  I don’t care if it takes bus trips from day camps or the senior center and most of them have never been to a game before. If they are supporting the Fightins then I will welcome them anytime.

Second, is the use of the term “bandwagon fan.” To me a bandwagon fan is someone who trades their “favorite team” like they are a fantasy baseball asset. One year you’re all about the Phillies and now you like the Yankees. To me, these are the scum of the earth….lower than Mets fans even. I think the correct term is fair-weather fan. You only show up or support your team when they are doing well. I’d say more than half of the average attendance on any given night at CBP falls into this category. I don’t mind these folks as long as they know their place. Like you don’t need to jump up on every fly ball like it’s a homerun. Seriously, if Shane calls off Jimmy Rollins at the last second to make a catch, you’re a tool for jumping out of your seat. If you don’t know the game well enough to make witty jabs at the opposition or insight comments, then just shut the hell up. You might learn something. And then probably my biggest pet peeve of the fair-whether fan is this: I know misery loves company, but when the Phillies get whooped on the night before don’t make that the one time a month you talk to me.  When I respond back, “Do you think they should have put the rotation on or just played the infield in?” And you’re comeback is “Ummm….yeah” or “Uhh..huh” You have no business talking baseball with the diehards. I don’t say “Wow, your kid was really cute before they got cancer” (I know its very Dwayne Wade-esque, but it makes my point.) Save the baseball talk for the book club or your Dungeons and Dragons meeting.

So for now I am a peacemaker. We all want the same thing: the Phils to make a run at this thing and play like I know they can. But my mind is sharp and ready for battle so don’t test me or the other diehards you will feel the wrath of someone who had to see Pat Combs, Don Carmen, Darrell Akerfelds and Jeff Parrett all pitch in the same game.

Jay Wrizight

Monday, July 19, 2010

Citizens Bank Park is the Greatest Sports Bar in the World!

Citizens Bank Park is the Greatest Sports Bar in the World!

What makes a great sports bar? A bunch of TVs so you can see sports action. There is plenty of sports action at CBP. Great food? We all know there are many tasty delights at CBP, probably the best food selections in baseball. That's an article for another day. Since this is 'Drunk Phils Fans' the most important factor for a great sports bar should be beer selection and CBP delivers. Before you mistake this piece for investigative journalism just know I did all my research walking from section 112 to section 103. I made my an amazing discovery last Sunday will walking to my seat to see the Phightin' Phils take on the Reds. Heineken on tap! You heard me right, Heineken on tap. I loves me some Heineken. Most bars do not have Heineken on draught and as a Heineken lover I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I was blind, now I see! Amen! Total score. I decided to see if any 'Brewery Town' between section 112 and 103 also had it on draught. What I discovered was wide variety of beers that would make any watering hole proud. The beers I found are as follows, Flying Fish, Otter Creek, Pixland Pils, New Castle Brown Ale, Victory and Leinies Seasonal Summer Shady. That assortment can be had in a small section between center field and the right field foul pole.

Take a stroll around the park, there are really good beers available. You can get the old stand-bys in your seat I know, but quality beer is just a few steps away. It will also keep you in check since it's tough to walk back to your seat with one for your buddy if you're completely smashed. Think of it as a public service, you won't puke on a little girl or run on the field to get tasered. Drunk Phils Fans unite, we do not have to be slaves to the Coors Lite, Miller Lite, Bud Lite or God forbid Bud Lite Lime anymore. If you're a dude and you're drinking Bud Lite Lime you should hand in your Drunk Phils Fan t-shirt.

Keep it Classy Philly


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What to do? What to do?

The All-Star Break has left me without much of anything to do. No Phillie’s game until Thursday. The Home Run Derby was a bore and the hours and hours of sports coverage on Lebron and Steinbrenner have left me in search of something to do. I know. I can check in on my friends on the social networking sites. And by friends I mean the Phillies, and by the Phillies I mean the real deal ones with fancy cars, hot wives and big paychecks. You see Jay Wrizight is one of the quasi-celebs. You know the kind I’m talking about. The guy you have no idea who he is but shows up in tons of paparazzi photos with big name celebrities. Yes, I’m THAT GUY.

It started a few years ago when I ran into Jason Michaels and Pat Burrell at Top Dog in Cherry Hill. The Bat got a kick out of my stuttering. He thought it was because I was in awe of his celebrity status, but it was really because I was afraid he’d find out I was hitting on his arm candy while she was waiting in line for the bathroom. J-Mike and Burrell have both left town but I had my foot in the door.

Unfortunately, I can’t share all the updates with you. Some things should be kept private (like what Blanton likes to do with mayonnaise) and some things are too risqué (like what Mick Billmeyer “allegedly” did with that eighteen year old, a bottle of Mad Dog and a goldfish.) Also Jose Contreras de-friending me for my questioning the legitimacy of his age and J.A. Happ did the same because he thought I has making fun of his receding hairline. In my defense, it was taken out of context and I myself cannot boast of a full head of hair. But here is the rest:

Roy Halladay It was weird pitching in a game when my team scores more than one                                                                        run.
Jay Wrizight Don’t get used to it.
Roy Halladay Haha I know.

Charlie Manuel It was good to be at the All Star Game. It was real good we won the game. That catcher done real good for us.

Ryan Howard Damn I wish I got a hit. It was going to be my coming out party on a national stage as a singles hitter.

Chase Utley Rehab is going fucking awesome. I’ll be back hitting the fuck outta the ball in no time.

Wilson Valdez I wish I batted more with 2 outs.

Jayson Werth I know there is a lot of rumors going around, but she just wanted to caress my beard for a bit. That’s ALL.

Ruben Amaro I hope the recent trade will get everyone off my back.
Jay Wrizight I doubt it.
Ruben Amaro You’re one of my FB friends? You’re an asshole.
Jay Wrizight It will get worse ya know. Lee was an All Star.
Ruben Amaro So is Aumont in Double A
Jay Wrizight No he’s not.
Ruben Amaro I didn’t think you’d check.
Jay Wrizight I didn’t have to.

Jimmy Rollins Listening to Jay-Z and eating some KFC
Jay Wrizight yo young james you are a walking stereotype
Jimmy Rollins I just do me.

Carlos Ruiz Estoy tan emocionada. Tengo un caso de mi muñecos que voy a vender en eBay para que pueda comprar más helado.

Translation: I’m so excited. I just got a case of my bobbleheads, which I’m going to sell on Ebay so I can get more ice cream.

Jamie Moyer Sweet! I got the senior discount when went to the movies.

Cole Hamels Is having a lousy day. Heidi keeps nagging me and I can’t coordinate my shoes with the shirt and tie combo I want to wear.
Jay Wrizight since you can coordinate, maybe you’re not as gay as I thought.
Cole Hamels Whats that supposed to mean?
Jay Wrizight You know. Gay=happy. And your not happy.
Cole Hamels You know me so well. Thanks for being a good friend.

Brad Lidge It hurts when they boo.
Jay Wrizight They’ll never forget 48 for 48.
Brad Lidge I think they already did.
Jay Wrizight I know. I was just trying to make you feel better.

I hope you like this little insight and I hope my friends don’t mind me sharing. And for Christ’s sakes let’s make up the deficit I mean we do have home field for the World Series now.

Jay Wrizight

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Buy the ticket...Take the Ride!

This is the 36th Phillies season I have been on this Earth for. During that time the Phillies are 2963-2760 for a .518 winning percentage. There have been 19 winning seasons with a current streak of 7 winning seasons (not including the current season). So is this all about me and how much luck I have brought our team? To put it bluntly..NO!

The Phillies franchise is 9084-10207 for a .471 winning percentage. So to put it into perspective, the Phillies would need 28 consecutive 100 win seasons to become a .500 franchise. Now I will get to the point. Stop complaining people! Those of you over my age, you know how dismal it has been. Those of you under my age, soak up every minute you can of this current high point. These are probably the same people who go to Citizens Bank Park because it is the 'cool' thing to do. They are also the jerks that can go root for the real loser franchise in Philadelphia. Yes, the Eagles of course (the Platinum Standard of Futility). For you ass monkeys who insist on doing the E-A-G-L-E-S chant at September Phillies game...Stay home, put on your wife beater, crack a Budweiser, put your hands down your pants, and chant away.

I can remember when you went to baseball games to watch the game. Not stand in line at some horseshit crab fry stand, walk the concourse, or grab a Schmitter. Stay the hell home. You go to the game to watch the game. You don't go to play grab ass at Ashburn Alley, talk shop in the seats, or leave in the seventh. Stay home too. The Vet may have sucked, but you went to watch baseball. You talked baseball in the stands. Granted, you did then go home and slice your wrists after the Phils trotted Joe Cowley, Freddie Tolliver, or Tom Hume as the starter, but you went for the game and I really miss that.

I will leave you with this. Love your team always. Be passionate, but stop jumping on and off the bandwagon. Enjoy the ride of the hills, peaks, valleys, and plateaus as a career fan. Stay the whole game too folks. There will be that one magical play or miraculous comeback you will never miss when you stay.

Welcome to DB29!

Hello Drunk Phils fans, I want to give you a little background about myself, my only qualification for writing to you is I love the Phillies and the greatest game on earth, baseball. Does anything beat a day at the ballpark? My fondest childhood memories are days at the Vet with my Dad. He would take me to a bunch of games every year. His biggest score was in 1980 when he got tickets to game one of the World Series. I remember him telling me to savor it since the Phillies were usually bad and a World Series appearance was rare. I was 12 at the time so I proceeded to tell him we had Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Pete Rose ect., so we are going to the World Series every year. Sorry to say my Dad was right, they won in '80 as we all know but the glory years were few and far between. I did turn my back on the game from 1994 to 2003. The strike hurt me deeply. The World Series being canceled was like a death in the family to me. I refused to go to a game till my good friend Jon told me I was mad long enough and invited me to a game. Ok I'll go. Next thing I know that fat turd Kevin Millwood pitches a no hitter and as Michael Corleone says "Just when I think I'm out...They pull me back in." I have been back ever since. I am such a baseball geek that I can honestly say I have seen at least 4 games of every Major league team this year. A word to the wise, watching the Royals, Orioles or Pirates is down right painful. We know the Phillies have been frustrating so far this year but take it from someone who has seen Joe 'Can't get 2 outs in a' Roa pitch, it could be a lot worse. These are the glory years, like my Pop told me many years ago, savor them.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Yoel Hernandez

Name: Yoel Alejandro Hernandez
Position: Relief Pitcher
Born: April 15, 1980 in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela
Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent on November 5, 1998
Phillies Debut: May 5, 2007
Final Phillies Game: August 19, 2007
Uniform Number: 44

About Yoel Hernandez: The term "prospect" is not an unfamiliar one when it comes to baseball and sports in general. We see many players at a young age and many like to project their potential. Some prospects are more highly regarded than others. Some exceed expectations, some fall short for a variety of reasons. Then there are some who always seem to be at the doorstep, but can never quite get in. The latter would seem to be the case for one Yoel Hernandez. While never given a "can't-miss" label, Hernandez performed well enough in the minors to make his way onto various lists of top ten Phillies prospects while working his way through the chain. It took the better part of a decade, but Hernandez would finally reach the big leagues in 2007. Unfortunately, he failed to make an impression good enough to keep him with the Phillies or any other MLB organization for that matter.

Hernandez was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent following the 1998 season and made his pro debut the following year with the organization's Venezuelan Summer League club. In 2000, Hernandez appeared in ten games (nine starts) for the Phillies' Gulf Coast League farm team, going 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA. Skipping short-season class A ball, Hernandez moved up to mid-A Lakewood for the 2001 season, where he went 6-9 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 starts. He would endure some hard luck at high-A Clearwater in 2002, going 7-16 in 28 starts, though his ERA was a respectable 3.54. For the 2003 season, the Phillies decided that Hernandez would best be suited for the bullpen. Spending the majority of the '03 season at AA Reading (along with two appearances for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre), Hernandez's shift to the bullpen yielded mixed results, as he went 6-3 with two saves in 45 appearances with a 4.32 ERA. He would also split the 2004 season between Reading and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he went 1-2 with a 4.21 ERA in 34 games. Hernandez would again see time with those two clubs in 2005, with a stop back in Clearwater mixed in. In 53 combined '05 apperances, Hernandez went 9-5 with a 3.62 ERA. While he had yet to get the call to the parent club, it appeared to be only a matter of time as the 2006 season got underway. In that '06 season, Hernandez went 1-0 with six saves and a 1.74 ERA in his first nine appearances for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Unfortunately, the 2006 season ended for Hernandez at precisely that point, as a shoulder injury shelved him for the remainder of the campaign. For the 2007, the Phillies temporarily shifted their AAA affiliation to Ottawa, where Hernandez began the season. While Hernandez's shoulder injury cost him a potential callup in May of '06, it was a shoulder injury to Tom Gordon that got Hernandez a call to the majors in May of '07.

Hernandez made his MLB debut on May 5, 2007 against the Giants in San Francisco. He was greeted rather rudely, surrendering a three-run homer to the very first batter he faced, future Phillie Pedro Feliz. He'd settle down after that, and was unscored upon in nine of his next ten appearances. Back-to-back rough outings would get Hernandez sent back to Ottawa, however, as he allowed three runs in one-third of an inning against the Detroit Tigers on June 17 and a run in two-thirds of an inning against the Cleveland Indians on June 20. He would make his way back to the Phils in August after Mike Zagurski went down with a season-ending hamstring injury, but in his first game back, Hernandez himself went down with a season-ending shoulder injury. In 14 appearances for the Phillies in 2007, Hernandez had no record and a 5.28 ERA, striking out 13 batters in 15 and 1/3 innings. He walked just one batter, an intentional pass given to past and future Phillie Placido Polanco. Hernandez was granted free agency following the '07 season and spent 2008 pitching in Mexico. He'd return to the Phillies on a minor league deal for the 2009 season, but was released in Spring Training and returned to Mexico, where he is still pitching.

Personal recollection: As I've mentioned on here before, I always try to keep tabs on who is doing what in the Phillies' farm system each year, so I can get an idea on who might be able to make a contribution to the big club. Yoel Hernandez was a name you'd often see popping up. It took some time, but he did eventually make the majors. It wasn't a huge sample size by any means, but I actually thought Hernandez had decent enough stuff and good enough control to stick around for a while, but it didn't work out that way. I'm surprised he never signed on with another organization as a Spring Training invitee or even just as minor league filler. Of course, Hernandez is only 30 years old as of this writing, so maybe it's still possible.

That's my story on Yoel Hernandez. Feel free to share any of yours.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An Open Letter to Ruben Amaro Jr.

Dear Ruben,

You may not know me but I certainly know you. First, a little about myself, I’ve been a life-long Phillies fan and a season ticket holder for the past eight seasons. I currently am a writer for the Drunk Phillies Fans Blog. It’s blowing up huge! We just got T-Shirts made and they are way better than any one of the giveaways you have authorized. I’ll get you one. What size do you wear?

Now, what I know about you. And it’s more than you being the Phillies current G.M.. You see, in 1992, my friends and I conducted our annual Fantasy Baseball draft a week after the season started. “Bob” (I won’t give away his real name as to protect him from more public humiliation than he has already endured) spent $18 of his $260 payroll on you. For comparisons sake, I got Ryne Sandberg for $14. You were batting .304 with 3 HR and 6 RBI’s at the time of the draft. You then went 2 for 43 and ended April without hitting another homer and managed only one more RBI finishing the month batting .138.  We still laugh about it every year.

You might say that’s old news, but a popular saying goes some thing like “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. It seems like your career as GM is following the same pattern as your playing career: a great start and then less than mediocre from then on.

I know what you are saying. You can’t judge a GM on a year and a half on the job and you most certainly are correct.  You have gotten a lot of credit for guiding the team back to the World Series, but to be honest Pat Gillick and even Ed Wade are more responsible for that. Your 2 major moves for 2009 were signing Raul Ibanez and trading for Cliff Lee. Ibanez started out like a man possessed and Phillies fans joked, “Pat Who?” But looking deeper, Ibanez battered a poor Nationals pitching staff for 8 homers and 21 RBI’s. Without those stats, he batted .247 with 26 HRs and 72RBI’s in 116 games or averaged over 162 games he’d have .247 with 36 HRs and 100 RBI’s, which is very Burrell-like. Then there is Lee. Simply put, this is where I lost all respect for you. I don’t think I’ll ever believe it was about replenishing the farm system and not about the money. But even if it was, dude, you got hosed in that trade. Then, to make it worse, you screwed up Aumont by starting him in AA while asking the 21 year old to convert from reliever to starter and use 4 pitches instead of 2. He got lit up.

So now it’s 2010, and what have you done? I really liked the Polanco signing, but you have yet to address the bullpen issue and that is a major issue and it was last year too. Maybe ignore it long enough and it will go away?  This team is struggling in a major way. This team has the best SB % but more than half of the MLB teams have more steals than the Phillies have attempts. The Phillies have scored 3 runs or fewer 41 times this season.  Since only 2 pitchers on the roster have an ERA under 3, I’m guessing this is not a recipe for success.

All that I’m saying is prove you can learn from your mistakes and stop by some time we’ll have a beer, talk baseball, and laugh about “Bob’s” eighteen-buck blunder.

Your Friend,

Jay Wrizight

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Greg Legg

Name: Gregory Lynn Legg
Position: Infielder
Born: April 21, 1960 in San Jose, California
Acquired: Selected in the 22nd round of the 1982 Draft
Phillies Debut: April 18, 1986
Final Phillies Game: June 15, 1987
Uniform Number: 11

About Greg Legg: All Random Past Phillies are not created equal. Some are more forgettable than others. But there are some names that just stick out. When you've got a name like Greg Legg, well, that's pretty tough to forget. Though it was an extremely small sample size, this Phillies "lifer" compiled a pretty impressive career batting average of .409, yet toiled away year after year in the minors while a seemingly endless parade of players came and went with the parent club. Through it all, Legg remained a good soldier and stayed loyal to the Phillies' organization which still employs him to this day.

Legg was a 22nd round selection by the Phillies in the 1982 Draft out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He made an immediate impact in his first pro season, hitting .343 in 44 games for Peninsula in the single-A Carolina League. Legg moved up to AA Reading in 1983, where he hit .306, but slumped to .241 in 1984, splitting that season between Reading and AAA Portland. He would rebound to hit .283 at Portland in 1985, and when Juan Samuel went down with a rib injury early in the 1986 season, Legg got the call to the big leagues. Legg's initial stay filling in for Samuel was brief, as he was sent back to Portland after appearing in just three games. He would go on to hit .323 at Portland for the remainder of the '86 season and earned a callup when MLB rosters expanded in September. Overall, Legg would appear in 11 games for the Phillies in 1986, collecting nine hits in 20 at-bats for a .455 batting average. While no one was mistaking Legg for a superstar in the making, it's hard to overlook someone hitting .455. In 1987, the Phillies moved their AAA affiliation to Maine, which was where Legg began that season. Legg would get another call to the majors in late May, again because of a rib injury to a regular, in this case Mike Schmidt. Legg's impact was much less significant this time around, as he would have two hitless at-bats in three games. Legg would be sent back to the minors in mid-June, where he would spend the rest of the '87 season. In fact, he would remain in the minors through the 1993 season without getting called up by the Phillies. With the exception of 84 games at Reading in 1988, all that time was spent at the AAA level. Legg would call it a career after the '93 season, but he stayed in the family as a coach for single-A Clearwater. The farm system would be ravaged by injuries early in the 1994 season, and with their options limited, the Phillies called on Legg, who came out of retirement to fill in at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He would hit .298 in his final season as a player, finishing with a .308 batting average in 1184 career minor league games, 902 of which were played over parts of 11 seasons at the AAA level. Legg returned to Clearwater as a coach in 1995, and has been part of the Phillies' organization as a coach or manager ever since. He is currently on the coaching staff for single-A Lakewood. Should Legg still be in the Phillies' system in 2011, it will mark his 30th consecutive season as a member of the organization.

Personal recollection: While there isn't an exact day and month to pinpoint, I would have to say my obsession with the Philadelphia Phillies began sometime during the 1987 season. I began playing t-ball that spring and turned seven that summer. My family had already had partial Phillies season tickets since 1979 (we had the Sunday plan until 2001, then switched over to our current 17-game plan), and I was at an age where I could start to develop an understanding of the game. So I guess I took what was already instilled in me to another level. Given that timeline, however, it becomes apparent that I just missed out on Greg Legg. That's unfortunate, because I probably would've been a big Greg Legg fan, given the name and his trials and tribulations through the farm system.

Though I don't have any real memories of Legg as a player, I do remember hearing Dan Baker announce Legg's name on the PA. It isn't often the announcement of a player's name produces a ton of laughs (though I'm sure Rusty Kuntz and Dick Pole among others have generated some snickers), so that's something that sticks with you at such an impressionable age. Legg's loyalty to the Phillies is quite commendable. He always put up decent numbers in the minors, and I often wondered why he never got called back up, especially considering some of the players the Phils were sending out there. It's sort of been the same way since Legg has been a coach in the system, a lot of times when changes were made to the parent club's staff, I wondered if he would get any consideration. But some people are meant to be in certain places, and maybe the minors will always be Greg Legg's calling. Not glamorous, but one could do a lot worse.

That's my story on Greg Legg. Feel free to share any that you may have.