Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day After...

It's the day after Christmas
and all through my brain
is that Halladay song
And it drives me insane

It's a pretty cool tune
that I almost could love
About a boy who wants
a Roy Halladay glove

I'm humming the melody
cause i don't know the words
For this rocking chick
Country music's absurd

I love Springsteen, The Killers
Red Hot Chiles and Green Day
But it's a country song that was written
for our ace, Roy Halladay

So how do I get this song
outta my head?
I'm just gonna roll over
and go back to bed

Happy New Year Loads

Katie Casey

Not to worry. I woke up and the Sound of Music was on, sew a needle pulling thread...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

‘Tis the Season

Sorry that I’m a little late with this weeks article. The Wriz had some important shopping to do. Everyone knows it’s much better to give than receive. Well, not really, but that’s what they say.  I suspect after this past year, I will end up on most everyone’s naughty list. So, in an attempt to buy forgiveness and friendship, the Wriz will be playing Santa.

Jimmy Rollins. I gift you an injury free year.

Chase Utley. You get a seven second delay. Your potty mouth is costing you endorsements.

Placido Polanco. You get a cool Kangol hat. Unfortunately, it will be a little late as it needed to be special ordered. You understand.

Domonic Brown. You already got your present. Cliff Lee’s signing takes almost all the pressure off of you needing to immediately show why you were baseball’s number one prospect.

Carlos Ruiz. You get the respect you deserve in the form of an All-Star appearance and Gold Glove.

Shane Victorino.  You get as many one-on-one sessions with the Wriz as you’d like. I was born with baseball smarts and hardly a lick of physical ability. You, my friend, are my complete opposite.

Raul Ibanez. My gift to you is I will remind you where that fountain of youth is that you seem to find for 2 months of the season, but then forget about.

The Rotation. Your present is that I will refrain from resorting to calling you by some ridiculous nickname. If I need to refer to you collectively, I will simply say, “The Greatest Rotation ever assembled.”

The Bullpen. I am sending some crossword puzzles and new PSP and DS games. You will have plenty of time to kill as you will have 4 out of 5 days off.

Charlie Manuel. You get a thesaurus.  Nice, delightful, respectable and proficient are just a few suitable substitutions for good.

Jayson Werth.  Even though you took the money and ran and wound up on the naughty list, you still get a gift. Six hundred and seventy nine tissues. That’s one for each loss you’ll suffer through in Washington.

Well, the Wriz’s bag of Christmas cheer is now empty. I didn’t forget Ryan Howard. He gets the bag, so he can sack up and swing when the game is on the line.

Merry Fucking Christmas!

See you at the Yule log.

Jay Wrizight

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Enough with the Nicknames

As a lifelong Phillies fan no one in the Fightin' Phils Nation is more excited about the reacquiring of Cliff Lee. How many years have the Phils started the season with no legitimate number 1 pitcher? Floyd Youmans, Bruce Ruffin, Robert Person ect. Youmans and Ruffin were in back to back years, ouch! Now we have 4! I the words of the great Tom McGinnis "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?". You got to give it up to Tom, anyone that can get that excited about this sorry Sixers team deserves props. We are all excited I get it, but can we stop with the nicknames?

Why is everyone so quick to give this rotation a nickname? Let them earn it like Garry Maddox earned 'Secretary of Defense' or Lindros, LeClair and Rendberg earned 'Legion of Doom'. Let them happen naturally. This staff is going to be amazing but how stupid will you look in August with an R2C2 shirt if they shit the sheets?

About 'R2C2', may be the silliest nickname I have heard. Are all Phils fans Star Wars geeks? Absolutely terrible. Phantastic Phour? The Star Wars geeks make fun of the Comic book geeks. Totally lame. In the euphoria of the Cliff Lee signing I suggested 'Quad Aces'. Most fans aren't hip enough to play poker so having to explain it to someone makes it dumb. Quad Aces is an almost unbeatable hand though, let's just hope the Yankees don't pull a straight flush on us in October.

Keep It Classy Philly!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Endings

Man, I can’t tell you how much Jay Wrizight loves a happy ending.  They make you feel soooo good. It’s easier to jump outta bed and go to work. In fact, most any task is easier after a happy ending. You feel alive. Oh wait, c’mon now. This is a baseball blog.

Just last week, our very own Drunk Phils writer, Katie Casey, wrote a great piece. She used the analogy of us fans being the creepy stalker who can’t let go of a vacation fling. I thought it was very fitting. Over the past year, outside of Phillies players, the number one player mentioned to me in person, over the phone or on Facebook was Cliff Lee. Not Tim Lincecum who got busted for pot then helped the Giants bust the Phillies right out of the playoffs. Not Albert Pujols, the best position player in baseball, who played 8 games verses the Phillies. Not David Wright who plays for our mortal archenemies, the Mets.  The Fightins had to deal with Wright 18 times. Nope. Cliff Lee who played exactly ZERO games against the Phillies. Sure, he played here earlier in his career. The year prior, or actually, half the prior year.

Seventeen games are all Cliff Lee played here. Seventeen. Yet, he is a Philadelphia legend. Legend. People will tell their grandkids about the Great Clifton Phifer Lee. How he was pinpoint accurate and a playoff beast. Books will be written about his nonchalant catch in the World Series or how his Phillies cap was missing the metal beanie. (Ok. I know I’m probably gonna have to write that one.) Then, the unthinkable. Ruben Amaro Jr. traded Cliff to Seattle on the same day they acquired Roy Halladay.  I was always able to find comfort in the belief that the Phillies were never going to have both. It wasn’t their intention when the made the move for Halladay. Lee’s contract was up at the end of the year and since Seattle was trying to set the record for most inept offense in history, Cliff was sent to Texas. Texas made the World Series. Two in a row for our boy, Cliff.  It just added to the clamoring for his return, but it was like the time you went to the car show and saw the Bugatti Veyron. You said you wanted one but you had no chance of getting it. It seemed like a two horse race between the Yankees and the Rangers. Then outta nowhere, it gets announced Cliff Lee is taking less money to play for the Phillies. LESS. The legend grows.

So maybe we’re not the creepy stalker but rather the awkward dorks that unrealistically get the smoking hot chick only to lose her. Only to, even more unrealistically, woo her back. Just remember, this is baseball and you still have to play the games. The happy ending comes when the fairy god G.M. slips a huge fucking ring on the fingers of Big Roy, Cole, Little Roy and our high school crush, Cliff.

See ya at the washy-wash……uh I mean ballpark!

Jay Wrizight

Friday, December 10, 2010

Top 9 Reasons J-Dub WASN’T overpaid

9. He is a World Fucking Champion.

8. Unlike most mega paid played players, the Nationals won’t have to pay hefty extra baggage fees toting around all his individual player awards.

7. He can play all 3 OF positions. Unfortunately for Washington he can only play one at a time.

6.  The Mets were going to pay him a similar salary but more if he announced he’s actually Hispanic. But then they inexplicably fired Omar Minaya.

5. He will make Bryce Harper feel more at ease since neither one shaves.

4.  The Nationals hope to recoup most of his salary with “My BF plays RF” merchandise.

3. When he is washed up in 3 years, he will continue to earn his salary by carrying Steven Strasburg’s jock.

2. The Nationals are pissed at Ryan Zimmerman’s poor defensive play down the stretch, so they want to stick it to him by letting Jay Werth stick it to his wife a la Jen Utley.

1. They paid him one million for each point of his batting average with RISP.

See ya at the winter meetings!

Jay Wrizight

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brokenhearted Phils Fans

Okay guys, remember when you were on vacation or maybe just a party weekend out of town? You were relaxed, perhaps partied a bit too much. You met some chick, who you thought was hot, at the time. She came back to your place and you both had a wild night. It was great. You're both loose. You're on vacation, a break from your normal boring daily routine. She hangs with you for the remainder of your time there. It's a great hookup, but let's face it, when you go back home, she'll be a foggy memory. It was a vacation, not your real life. You're normally not that wild at home, at least not on typical weeknights.

Now you're back home, back to the daily grind. You resume your normal routine, you're a responsible, mature adult. Yeah, you still party but not to that extent, into the wee hours of every night. You have a career. You're a professional. Before your tan starts to fade, the phone rings. It's her. That crazy broad has tracked you down via google, facebook, whatever. What does she want? Doesn't she get it. Yeah, you had fun but it's back to real life now. If you wanted to start a "real" relationship with her, you would have exchanged information. You figured it was understood. It was just a vacation fling. The expiration date has past. You wonder how nuts she is for going to all of that trouble to track you down.

So why am I posting this soap opera on a Phillies themed site? Because the studly guy in this tale is Cliff Lee and the crazy broad is you, the Phillies fans. Get over him! He played here for a little over two months. I just don't understand how the fan base has such undying loyalty to a player who was here for such a short time. Sure he was great in his brief stint here. Yeah, Ruben screwed him over in a moment of temporary insanity, but Lee has moved on so why can't you? In fact, he's moved on twice, first to Seattle and then to Texas. Do you think that the Mariner's fans are still going crazy because he's gone or that they are anticipating his triumphant return via free agency during this hot stove period. NO!

Cliff Lee stated that he wanted CC money, once it was his turn for free agency. Lee and Sabathia came up together through the Cleveland Indians organization where they pitched until CC was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 7, 2008. After the 2008 season, CC became a free agent and signed with the New York Yankees for 7 years at $161million, the largest contract for a pitcher in MLB history.

In July 2009, Ruben wanted Roy Halladay but was having difficulty trading for him with the Toronto Blue Jays. He settled for Cliff Lee who won the 2008 Cy Young Award. Lee was to become a free agent after the 2010 season and Cleveland knew that they wouldn't be able to afford him. Cliff Lee pitched brilliantly for the Phillies during the remainder of the season and during his first postseason. The Phillies only won 2 games in the 2009 World Series, both of which Lee started. The fans were in love, sporting 34 Lee jerseys all over CBP. Most fans didn't mind missing out on Halladay since Lee was so dominant on the mound. Not Ruben. He still had a hard-on for Halladay.

After the 2009 Winter Meetings, Ruben got his man. Toronto now had a new GM and a trade was made along with an extension, to keep Roy Halladay in Philly until at least 2013. Wow, what a staff! Huh? Oh, no! Lee gone? Ruben lost his mind. I mean really!!! The Phillies could have had a starting rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Happ and Moyer for the 2010 season. Sure, Lee still would have been a free agent at the end of the season, but who knows. Perhaps he would have loved the city and his teammates so much that he would have forgotten about his goal of CC money. Maybe after winning a World Series, he would be so overwhelmed by the passion of the fans at the parade that he would be willing to give a home town discount. Ah, but we will never know because Ruben prematurely eradicated that opportunity.

As I stated earlier, Ruben had a moment of temporary insanity. I don't know how else to explain it. It made absolutely no sense to trade Cliff Lee. Ruben is smooth, very smooth, but no one was buying the restocking the farm excuse. Baseball analysts from every medium questioned this Stanford grad's reasoning. How could you throw away an entire season of Cliff Lee after the effectiveness that he had in the short time that we had him. For what? Prospects? Yeah, like we'll ever see any of these guys. I mean really, it's not like any of them are Ryne Sanberg!

The fans are pissed. Ruben loses some credibility and it's not even Christmas. Snowstorms come, the fans are still complaining. February arrives and I don't think many fans sent Ruben a Valentine. March came in like a lion, with fans still roaring about Lee's sudden departure. The season began and the fans were still bitching: at the ballpark, at the corner bar, at work, down the shore, on talk radio, on the Internet (People, his name is Ruben and although I find him quite yummy looking, he is not a deli sandwich), Fourth of July Barbecues. Wait. What? Seattle traded Lee to the Texas Rangers? OMG! One of MLB's most premiere pitchers has been with four different teams in a one year period, passed around like some down on her luck party girl. Who'd a thunk it?

By July, Seattle was out of contention and intelligently traded Lee to Texas because they knew that they would lose him to free agency after the season. For the second year in a row, Lee lands on a contender at the end of the season. Phillies fans are now rooting for the Rangers. While Roy Halladay is having a terrific year, including a perfect game, fans are thrilled with his professionalism, yet they are still grumbling about Lee and what could have been. Fans who were smitten with Lee's arrival in 2009 are now modifying their jerseys to HAL LEE DAY.

*A little shopping tip: Don't spend major bucks for an authentic MLB jersey unless the player is signed to a long term contract i.e. Ryan Howard, or is in the Hall of Fame i.e. Mike Schmidt. You can also have your own name customized.

During June and July, the Phils were out of first place. The fans were still all over Ruben about Cliff Lee, however the problem was not the pitching but lack of offense and a revolving door to the disabled list. Ruben will never admit that he was wrong, yet he did pull off a major coo by obtaining Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros for JA Happ, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. While it was a good deal, it wouldn't have been necessary had Ruben kept Cliff Lee. It seems that just as things settle down a bit, a trade like this sends all the antiAmaroists into a 'if we only still had Cliff Lee' frenzy.

It looks to be a good deal plus we got some cash. Upon his arrival, Oswalt was undefeated at CBP, and as we've come to find out, he plays a mean left field. My only issue with this is it came at the loss of JA Happ. I love this kid. Yeah, he may walk the bases loaded but he usually gets out of it unscathed. Plus he has dreamy blue eyes and gorgeous eyelashes that a drag queen would covet. There is just something special about him. He's mature, shows no fear and possesses a quiet intensity in those sparkly baby blues. I intend on following his career because there is a nameless quality about him that can't be taught, you have to be born with it. As long as he can remain focused and not get caught up in any of Brett Myers' off-field antics, I think Happ will have a bright future.

The season ends as the Phillies win their fourth consecutive National League East Division title with the best record in the Major Leagues. This is this first time they have accomplished such a feat in their 127 year history. The Texas Rangers win the American League West. Fans are rooting for the Rangers because of Cliff Lee or the Yankees for a rematch. In the end it didn't really matter since the Phillies didn't get passed the Giants after sweeping the Cincinnati Reds.

The Winter Meetings are over and it looks like Cliff Lee will get his CC money. He is handcuffing teams until he signs with someone. He wants a 7 year deal and two teams reportedly have agreed to that. The Yankees supposedly will go no higher than 6 years. Word is that one of 7 year teams is Boston but with a low dollar amount as to drive up the Yankees bid. The other 7 year team could be Washington or Texas. Washington surprised everyone with their acquisition of Jayson Werth on Sunday and Texas is waiting to see if they could land 'Lee or they will go with Zack Greinke. A deal is expected to be made by the weekend.

There has been no recent mention of the Phillies in the pursuit of Cliff Lee but with Ruben Amaro Jr, you just never know. He can be slick. I just don't see it happening mainly because of what it would do our payroll. It would also be a full admission of Ruben being wrong by sending Lee to Seattle in the first place. So come February will Cliff Lee be in Florida or Arizona? Will a 7 year contract finally help Phillies fans get over Cliff Lee? Cmon folks, this obsession can't be healthy. It's like that party girl who went out of her way to track you down, only to find you with your wife.

****If anyone had found Evan Longoria's cap, please return it. Leave your information in the comment section below to claim reward.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Werthless in Philadelphia

While many of you were watching an Eagleless football game, I was settling in for my obligatory Sunday nap. I checked the Twitter on my iPad before laying down on the couch (official naps are on the couch or a recliner, never a bed). I must be really tired because my brain is not processing the information. Jayson Werth signed with the Washington Nationals for 126 million for 7 years. NATIONALS....126....7 YEARS!!! In 2002, the Nationals franchise was purchased for 120 million! Who would have thought that a mere eight years later they would pay more than that for one player.

 It was 4:32pm and no mention of this on any site yet. I texted a fellow season ticket holder, and we exchanged opinions of my sanity and soberness. No, I swear it's true, I told him. I even posted it on facebook. Big mistake. My phones were ringing off the hook, texts were beeping, emails were filling up my inbox. I am supposed to be napping, I have to work tonight. I told everyone to put on the MLB Network at 5:00pm. They have been giving updates every hour on the hour. By 4:50pm, word was on the Internet, and by 5:00 on TV. The baseball world was shocked. The Nationals! Of all of the rumored teams interested in Werth, the Nats were never mentioned. I figured that he'd end up with the Red Sox and I was fine with that.

 Many women were furious. If you listened closely enough,you could hear their hearts breaking all over the tri-state area. I'm sorry. I don't get it. He's too tall, too lanky, too hairy and has no personality. He's just not my type. I did love how he would make a pitcher work with his long at bats, fouling off pitches. This whole popularity with the chicks, I never quite understood.

 Now I was expecting J-Dub to be gone when he hired Scott Boras as his agent. The Phillies made him an offer during the season, he declined and then hired the super agent. If he was planning on staying with the Phillies, there was no need to hire Boras. The amount and length of the contract is what's surprising. He's a good player, but not a superstar. He's been in one All Star Game, and that was because Charlie selected him. He's been in a very potent lineup with MVPs, Silver Sluggers and a Home Run Champion. How will he fare with only Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup? Will they pitch around Werth now?

 Baseball executives cannot be too pleased with this deal. It just raised Carl Crawford's value and he is two years younger and more talented than Werth. What a way to start off the Winter Meetings! You can't blame Ruben for not retaining Werth. What were the Nats' front office thinking? 126 Million dollars is more money than all of the free agents put together in franchise history. I don't want to hear that they're up and coming. They're still a long way off to contend. Strasburg is out for the season with Tommy John surgery. The Nationals need pitching. They always have. Their offense has always done well and their defense is suspect. What was Werth thinking?  
This is what is disappointing, the lack of integrity. It's entirely too obvious, going to the worst team in the division, just for the money. There is no other way to justify him going to Washington. He already has his ring. I guess he doesn't care about winning anymore. Is this the same guy who asked Charlie to play him every day in right field in July 2008? Once the offer was made, Scott Boras didn't even give the other interested teams a chance to make a counter offer.

Many fans are supportive of Werth, stating that if it happened to us, we would take the job with the highest salary. While that may be true, most of us have less commas in our paychecks.

According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, $126,000,000 is an unlucky number, i.e. Barry Zito, Vernon Wells.

 Good luck Jayson, nice playing with you.

 Katie Casey

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ding Dong! Cooperstown Calling!

The US Postal service was inundated with mail this week. While most of it was headed towards the North Pole, Jay Wrizight could care less about Kris Kringle. (By the way, thanks for forgetting my Lonnie Smith Flip-down sunglasses, yet again, Fat Man.) I’m most concerned with the ballots which were mailed out to all 10-year members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) also known as the Hall of Fame Ballot.

Most years, I’m content with finding out casually who made it in. Unless, of course, a player I’m fond of might be getting voted in. But this year is different. Why? Because we should get a clearer (although not definitive) answer how the writers are going to handle the “Steroid Era.” Joining Mark McGwire on the ballot this year are first timers Raul Mondesi, Juan Gonzalez, Brett Boone, Jeff Bagwell and Larry Walker. Bagwell, Walker and Gonzalez all won MVP’s. All have had whispers about steroid use. And, oh yeah, I forgot the crème of the crop, finger-waving Rafael Palmeiro.

Typically, being a member of the 500 Home Run Club or 3000 Hit Club makes you a lock for Cooperstown. Palmeiro has both. He also has a cycle on his record, but his wasn’t for a single, double, triple and home run. It was for sticking a needle in his ass, when he was suspended for steroids in 2005. Of the 48 members of either club (Palmeiro is one of 4 who accomplished both) Mark McGwire is the only one who is HOF eligible and not enshrined.

Also, I’d like to see if Bert Blyleven finally gets in. In my opinion, he is by far the best player not in the HOF. He fell 5 votes shy last year. His downfall is his W/L record, 287-250 for his career. Some say he is merely a .500 pitcher. Only Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens had more in a career.  He ranks 9th all-time in shutouts with 60. Of those who careers started in 1970, his rookie season, or later, Clemens comes closest with 46 or 26th on the all-time list.

Unfortunately, Jay Wrizight no longer gets a HOF ballot as the committee takes exception to doodling Bud Selig and Billy Brewer in compromising positions on the ballot. But if I did here it is (In no particular order):

Bert Blyleven
Lee Smith
Tim Raines
Jack Morris

You may vote for up to ten players.  I, by no means, follow some misguided writer guideline that you cannot vote for a player in their first year of eligibility. I also considered Bagwell, Robbie Alomar, Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. The “character” issue was why I left Alomar and Palmeiro off. Otherwise, I’d have voted for them. Players have 15 years of eligibility, I have more time for details to come to light and make a better informed decision on whether to vote from them at a later date. While Bagwell may or may not have a character issue, both him and Martinez are borderline and I’m not ready say they are hall of famers.

I hope when they have a Bloggers Hall of Fame, Character isn’t one of the criteria as I’d probably be left off the ballot completely.

See ya at the winter meetings!

Jay Wrizight