Monday, February 28, 2011
Random Past Game: July 17, 1988
Date of Game: Sunday, July 17, 1988
Location: Veterans Stadium
Opponent: Houston Astros
Final Score: Phillies 10, Astros 4
Winning Pitcher: Kent Tekulve
Losing Pitcher: Bob Knepper
Home Runs: Mike Schmidt, Ricky Jordan, Bill Doran, Glenn Davis
Phillies Starting Lineup:
Juan Samuel, 2b
Phil Bradley, lf
Mike Schmidt, 3b
Chris James, cf
Mike Young, rf
John Russell, c
Ricky Jordan, 1b
Jackie Gutierrez, ss
Mike Maddux, p
Astros Starting Lineup:
Gerald Young, cf
Bill Doran, 2b
Terry Puhl, lf
Glenn Davis, 1b
Buddy Bell, 3b
Kevin Bass, rf
Rafael Ramirez, ss
Craig Biggio, c
Bob Knepper, p
About This Game: The 1988 Philadelphia Phillies season was a memorable one for myself, as it was the first year in which I followed the ballclub from start to finish. I turned eight that summer and the understanding and appreciation of the game that had started to develop the previous summer had begun to evolve into the obsession that still exists to this day. Unfortunately for the ballclub itself, the 1988 season was an absolute disaster. The Phillies finished dead last in the National League East with a 66-95 record. Injuries, ineptitude, incoherence, and general incompetence plagued the team for pretty much the entire season. Woody Woodward had been hired to be the club's general manager (replacing the infamous Bill Giles-led "Gang of Six") the previous offseason, but was fired in June and replaced by Lee Thomas, who had been Director of Player Development for the St. Louis Cardinals. Lee Elia, who had taken over as manager after John Felske was fired in June of 1987, would himself be relieved of his duties with nine games left in the season. John Vukovich would finish out the remainder of the campaign as interim manager, with Nick Leyva taking over for 1989.
The Phillies entered play on July 17, 1988 in the NL East basement with a record of 37-51, while the Astros sat at 46-44, third in the NL West at the time. The teams would be wrapping up a four-game weekend series at Veterans Stadium on this Sunday afternoon. Houston had won the first two games of the series, but the Phils had taken the previous night's contest by a score of 10-6. Chris James delivered the big blow in that game, hitting what turned out to be the club's only grand slam of the season off Dave Smith in the eighth inning. The Phillies were also busy off the field coming into this game. First baseman Von Hayes was placed on the disabled list with bone chips in his elbow. His spot on the roster would be filled by Ricky Jordan, who had been the organization's first round pick in the 1983 Draft and would be making his MLB debut on this day. The Phils also swung a trade, sending infielder Luis Aguayo to the New York Yankees for minor league relief pitcher Amalio Carreno. To replace Aguayo, the Phillies called up Jackie Gutierrez, an infielder who had previously played for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.
Mike Maddux would be on the mound for the Phillies on this day, with the Astros sending out crafty lefty Bob Knepper. Both teams went down in order in the first, but Glenn Davis opened the scoring with a home run leading off the second. Bill Doran would add a solo shot off Maddux in the third to make it 2-0 and it looked as though the Phillies were in for yet another listless loss in a season chock full of listlessness. Things would turn around in the fourth inning, as Mike Schmidt opened the frame with a homer off Knepper. James followed with a walk and Mike Young would single to put runners at first and third with no outs. John Russell was called out on strikes for the first out, which set the stage for Ricky Jordan's date with history. After drawing a walk in his first plate appearance, Jordan connected for a three-run homer in his first official Major League at-bat to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The Astros wouldn't stay down very long, as they'd tie the game in the fifth thanks to doubles by Craig Biggio, Gerald Young, and Doran. On this day, however, the Phils had another big inning left in them as they put five runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Keith Miller drove in the first run of the big inning with a single, which was followed by another RBI single off the bat of Juan Samuel. Schmidt (who'd also doubled in addition his earlier homer) drove in two more runs with a triple, while James singled home the final run of the frame to make it 9-4. Phil Bradley would cap the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh. The last remaining bit of drama occurred in the seventh as Schmidt came to the plate having already doubled, tripled, and homered in the game. A cycle was not meant to be for Michael Jack, as he went down swinging against Larry Andersen. It was pretty much the only disappointment on the day for the Phillies, who cruised to a 10-4 victory. Kent Tekulve relieved Maddux in the sixth and got the win, with Knepper taking the loss after allowing eight runs in five and one-third innings.
The ten runs were quite an aberration for the light-hitting Phillies of 1988, as the July 17 game marked the last of just six times over the course of the entire season in which they scored in double figures. Interestingly, the Phillies reached double figures in consecutive games one other time in '88, as they notched 10-7 and 10-2 victories over the New York Mets on April 18 and 19. The two other double figure scoring games also came over a very short time span, as the Phils picked up a 10-5 win over the Montreal Expos on June 7, then outslugged the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 12-10 two nights later. Jordan's memorable debut was part of a sizzling first week in the big leagues that produced three home runs and nine RBI over his first five games. He'd hit .308 with 11 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games for the Phils that season. Schmidt would be lost for the season with a torn rotator cuff a little less than a month later and retired on Memorial Day of 1989. Michael Jack never did hit for the cycle, but his 548 career homers were the seventh-most in MLB history at the time of his retirement.
Personal Recollection: I'm fairly certain I've mentioned on here before that my family has had partial Phillies season tickets since 1979, which is the year before I was born. We had the Sunday plan from 1979-2001 before switching over to our current 17-game package. This game occurred on a Sunday and as you can probably imagine, I was there. It was an absolutely miserable season for the Phillies, but this game produced arguably the brightest moment of 1988 for the club. I was a little over a month away from my eighth birthday, very impressionable. Ricky Jordan wasted no time making an impact, and you could probably say Ricky Jordan Fan Club was born at the moment he sent a hanging curve from Bob Knepper to the seats in left-center for a three-run home run. It actually should've been a grand slam, as John Russell was rung up on a highly questionable 3-2 pitch with Jordan on deck. In an instant, Jordan became my favorite Phillie. When I was playing ball growing up, I always tried to get his number 17. Later on, people thought I wore number 17 because of Scott Rolen and had a good laugh when I told them it was for Jordan. I even tried to emulate Jordan's batting stance for a while, with the bat held way up over my head. Didn't work so well.
A cycle would've been a nice footnote for Mike Schmidt's great career. Looking at some other box scores, I came to realize that Schmitty's homer in this game was the last one I ever saw him hit in person. When you add that to the origin of Ricky Jordan Fan Club, it's pretty easy to see why this game holds a special significance for me.
That's my story on July 17, 1988. Do you remember this game? If so, feel free to share your own recollections!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Yeah...That's the Ticket
Well, we're finally getting a look at the 2011 version of the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida. This Spring Training all eyes are on the Phillies due to December's surprise Free Agent acquisition of Cliff Lee. On February 14, the day that Aces and Chooches were to report to camp, Brighthouse Network Field was invaded by the media. Not only were the usual local suspects there, but the national media were present, including ESPN, Fox and various print and Internet representatives. It was standing room only for the press conference with the starting rotation.
Speaking of standing room only, it seems that it will be the only way that some fans can attend games at Citizen's Bank Park. Fans are complaining all over the web, including the Phillies site, that they can't get the tickets to certain games. Please. Are you new here? The Phillies sold out every game for the entire season last year following the last half of 2009.
Let me start by saying that I have been a 17 game plan season ticket holder since 1990 where we could spread out and relax at the Vet. My plan is during the week so my weekends are free to go down the shore or attend to other social obligations. There is a plan that is for Sundays only. They are mostly day games and have give aways geared at children under 14, with the exception of Mother's Day and Father's Day. There is no way that I could be out in public that early after Saturday night, in the blazing sun with screaming brats. Most of these Sunday packages are the first to sell out due to the give aways.
You have to hand it to the Phillies Marketing Department. In those final empty sad years at the Vet, they started having more give aways during the week. The firework games always sold out. These games are to be avoided at all costs. These are the games the amateurs attend with their entire family. They walk around aimlessly and don't get me started on the parking. This is the only game of the year that they go to and they go every year. While the firework display is magnificent, the aftermath is excruciating. Other than Playoff and World Series clinchers, this is the only time that the entire venue departs simultaneously, and remember, they're amateurs.
Dollar Dog Night is another fan favorite for some reason. While I'm not opposed to hot dogs, I don't care for beef franks which is what is served at CBP. These nights are overrun by young guys, high school - college aged, who are usually drunk and/or low on funds. They have their competitions to see who can eat the most $dogs. Good for them. They're just having fun, boys being boys.
I'm not even going to get into the Bobbleheads, but the increase of week night promotional items, the CBP experience and a championship team will probably continue to sellout CBP this season. Those kids from the 700 level with their Schil-o-meter and their flotillas are now grown. They were there during the lean years, hanging with their buds and enjoying the game. Do you really think they cared about a freebie?
My point here is not to dis the free shit. The quality has improved over the years. It's about the casual fan bitching about not being able to get tix to "premium games." The Phillies are selling six packs and three packs that would include such games, but only one. These particular fans are whining because they can't go to the Mother's Day game, Firework Night and the Fan Appreciation game. These fans are a step above Bandwagon fans. Whatever happened to just enjoying the ballgame? We have one of the best ballparks in all of MLB, top rated food and a championship team that may be the best in their history. Why do they need anymore incentive to go to a game?
*FYI: A good option for Firework Night is to go to the Philadium on Packer Ave. Good beer selection for a tiny corner bar and great food. Huge menu with tasty mussels and bread for dipping. I highly recommend their cheeseburgers, 1/2 pound homemade, served on a kaiser roll. Get a good load watching the game on their big TV, have a burger in the seventh, grab a six pack to go in the ninth and head down the Lakes to watch the Fireworks. Hop back in the car and beat the traffic home.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The Franchise Speaks on Spring Training...
While all of you saps are sitting back in Philly dealing with 40 degree weather, rain, snow, wind, piss, shit, and corruption...The Franchise is living it up in sunny Clearwater, Florida. As I am writing this, I have a Whipped Creme Vodka and Cream Soda drink in one hand, the view of the Gulf of Mexico and tons of bikini clad broads in his eyes (The Franchise is probably in these chicks eyes as well), and a game to see at 1 o'clock today. I want to give a shout out to my man BL Chris, who set me up down here as the DPF representative for Spring Training. To be honest, I don't know if I am even going to make the game today. There are all these girls on Brajole Patrol and The Franchise is willing and able to make one lucky ladies day and night. All night. Now I don't want to get my female readers more hot and bothered, so I will chose to move on...
I wanted to make some predictions today about the upcoming season. Not the usual how many wins nonsense, but more in depth predictions on stats, DL bound players, and do a Cy Young/MVP for the Phillies team themselves. I will start of talking about some stats.
I see there being two 20 game winners on the Phillies staff this season. Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay. Hamels was ridiculously good down the stretch. In his last 16 starts, he posted a 2.07 ERA with 107 strikeouts while allowing just 25 walks and seven home runs in 104 1/3 innings. Roy will be Roy and have a great season. I see him with a 23-7 record. He works as hard at pitching as The Franchise works on his abs. He is a true professional that can be counted on every 5 days to give you 6 plus innings of stellar work. The knock on Cole was that he was a two pitch pitcher. He has developed and refined his cutter that will elevate his game to the next level this season with a 25-6 record, sub 2.50 ERA, and close to 300 K's. Even though his wife is a skank that The Franchise wouldn't even look twice at, Hollywood Hamels is the real deal(OK...I'd throw one in her if I was all Jager-ed up).
Many people talk about Rollins having a MVP type year since his contract is up. This guy is just too selfish and ego-centric to be a team player and do what is required of a lead off hitter. (The Franchise knows his own). Rollins has had a combined .304 OBP over the last two seasons. He loves popping up the ball more than I like mirrors. The MVP of the Phillies will be the man who manages the pitching staff and will hit over .280, knock in 60 plus runs, and throw out better than 50% of attempted base stealers. The one and only Carlos Ruiz. The Franchise is a big Pana-maniac.
People who will spend time on the DL : Ibanez, Polanco, and to no ones surprise, Cliff Lee. Everyone is on this guy's yam bag, and he did have a great 2009 playoffs, but he was mediocre at best for us in the regular season. He was 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 2009 for the Phils and 4-6 for the Rangers with a 3.98 ERA last year. Get him to the playoffs and he is Sandy Koufax, but his regular season numbers are more similar to Teddy Higuera.
The final thought I want to leave you and BL Chris with is this: Remember in 2006 when all of you lunchboxes wanted to run Charlie Manuel out of town? Well putting the 'Should The Franchise Stay or Go' poll on the website is the same moronic thinking. The Franchise is entertaining. The Franchise is knowledgeable. The Franchise is to DPF what Charlie is to the Phillies. THE MAN!
I would go on, but right now this beautiful honey baby just took the lounge chair next to The Franchise and I am about to have her get me a drink and ask her what she plans to make me for breakfast tomorrow morning. Sweetheart, you can't be the first, but you sure can be next!
Boom Boom Pow!
* Special Thanks to Candy(Lunch) , Tiffany (Dinner), and Ashley(Dessert) for posing for The Franchise
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The Franchise spoke first....
Monday, February 21, 2011
Random Past Phillie: John Wockenfuss
Shout out to BL Chris for the suggestion of this Random Past Phillie
Name: Johnny Bilton Wockenfuss
Born: February 27, 1949 in Welch, West Virginia
Acquired: From the Detroit Tigers along with Glenn Wilson in exchange for Dave Bergman and Willie Hernandez on March 24, 1984
Phillies Debut: April 6, 1984
Final Phillies Game: August 15, 1985
Uniform Numbers: 15, 14
Career Elsewhere: Tigers (1974-83)
About John Wockenfuss: In baseball and life in general, we all want to make our mark, to be remembered in some way. Sometimes it takes unorthodox methods to do just that. The road less traveled was the one taken by Johnny B. Wockenfuss, a career backup best remembered for his unusual name and unique batting stance. His acquisition was one of two unfortunate deals made by the defending National League Champion Phillies during the spring of 1984 that put an end to the franchise's first Golden Age and sent the club spiraling into a malaise that (aside from the glorious 1993 season) lasted the better part of two decades.
Like many players featured on Random Past Phillies, the professional baseball career of John Wockenfuss began without fanfare as he was selected in the 42nd round of the 1967 Draft by the second incarnation of the Washington Senators, who would relocate to Texas and become the Rangers following the 1971 season. Wockenfuss would spend six years in the Senators/Rangers organization, never reaching the big leagues. During the 1973 season, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal that sent pitcher Jim Bibby (whose brother Henry was a point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1976-80 and later served as an assistant coach for the team) to Texas.
Wockenfuss spent the remainder of the '73 campaign in the St. Louis system, but was on the move again in the offseason that followed, as the Cards shipped him to Detroit. He would finally make his MLB debut as a member of the Tigers on August 11, 1974. It wasn't exactly the stuff legends are made of, as Wockenfuss would collect just four hits in 33 at-bats during his initial callup. He would appear in 35 games for the Tigers in 1975, hitting .229 with four home runs and 13 RBI. Wockenfuss would eventually settle into a utility role for Detroit, as he saw action behind the plate as well as both corner positions in the infield and outfield. Wockenfuss had some pop, hitting nine homers in 53 games in 1977, then going deep 15 times in 87 games in 1979. His best season was 1980, when he hit .274 with 16 homers and 65 RBI in 126 games, the only season in which he appeared in more than 100 games. After three more seasons in Detroit, Wockenfuss would become a Phillie late in Spring Training of 1984.
The spring of 1984 was a busy time for the Phillies, who had been defeated by the Baltimore Orioles in the previous fall's World Series. As the season approached, the club decided to tinker with its roster. On March 24, they sent outfield prospect Alejandro Sanchez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for first baseman Dave Bergman. The Phils then flipped Bergman and reliever Willie Hernandez to the Tigers for Wockenfuss and outfielder Glenn Wilson. Two days later, the Phillies dealt reigning NLCS MVP Gary "Sarge" Matthews along with outfielder Bob Dernier and reliever Porfirio Altamirano to the Chicago Cubs, receiving reliever Bill Campbell and first baseman/outfielder Mike Diaz in return. The deals proved disastrous for the Phillies, who fell to 81-81 in 1984, finishing in fourth place. Hernandez would go 9-3 with 32 saves and a 1.92 ERA in 80 games in '84, taking home both the American League Cy Young and MVP awards for the World Champion Tigers, while Bergman would spend nine seasons in Detroit as a key reserve. Matthews and Dernier were valuable contributors for a Cubs team that won the NL East and came within one win of reaching the 1984 World Series. Campbell would spend one unmemorable year in the Phillies bullpen, while Diaz spent two seasons in the minors for the Phils without a callup to the parent club. Wilson had the most productive stint in Philadelphia of that group, driving in 102 runs and making the National League All-Star team in 1985, while twice leading NL outfielders in assists and coming in second one other time in his four seasons as a Phillie.
As for Wockenfuss, he turned in a decent 1984 season, hitting .289 with six home runs and 24 RBI in 86 games. The bulk of his playing time came at first base, a position where a huge void had been created thanks to the departures of the ancient Pete Rose and Tony Perez along with the quick realization that the "First Baseman of the Future" experiment with Len Matuszek wasn't going to pan out. Wockenfuss also made 21 appearances behind the plate during the '84 campaign. Unfortunately, 1985 would be a much different story as Wockenfuss hit just .162 in 32 games and was released on August 19 of that season. The Phillies would go 75-87 in '85, their first losing season since 1974. Wockenfuss was finished as a player following his release from the Phillies. He would coach and manage in the minors from 1987-97, spending time in the organizations of the Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates as well as the independent leagues.
Personal recollection: When I do these profiles, I'm usually able to produce an anecdote or two. Usually some obscure moment from a game I attended or something of that nature. When John Wockenfuss played in his final game as a Phillie, I was eight days away from celebrating my fifth birthday. So I'll have to come clean on this one and admit that although I'm aware of Wockenfuss, I have no recollection of him playing.
That said, Wockenfuss is a pretty damn cool name. He was a fan favorite during his years with the Tigers, and maybe he would've been the same with the Phillies had he played with them just a few years earlier. I do remember looking at an old Phillies yearbook, and the picture of Wockenfuss showed him in the batting cage during Spring Training. Nothing special there, although I noticed that in the picture, there were several balls behind him in the cage. Now, who knows if all those were from him, but it was obviously not a very flattering picture. Wockenfuss played in an era where many players had closed batting stances, and he took his to the extreme, holding the bat high in the air with his back seemingly turned towards the pitcher. I also thought the graying hair and big bushy beard made Wockenfuss look a like a werewolf. Hey, whatever works.
That's my story on John Wockenfuss. Not much from a personal recollection standpoint, so feel free to share your own
Friday, February 18, 2011
The Franchise Speaks on Obesity
I will break down position by position why the Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball. The Franchise always keeps it real for his fans and haters alike. I will start with Catcher. The Phillies take the nod here. Barely. Carlos Ruiz is better than the Italian Stallion Saltalamacchia in Beantown. Ruiz hit .302 last year. Jarrod is a never will be who hit .158. Phillies 1 – 0.
Gonzalez gets the nod at first base. He is a Mexican, but despite his racial handicap, this guy hit .298 with 31 bombs in a pitchers park of Petco Field. He may hit 45 over Fenway’s short porch in left. Now Howard was close with a .278 average and 31 HRs, but the numbers do not lie. Tied up 1 – 1.
You have to go with Pedroia at second base. He played almost half the games that Utley did and put up comparable stats. Dustin played 75 games, hit .288, had 53 runs scored, 12 HRs, and 41 RBIs. Utley played 115 games, hit .275, scored 75 runs, hit 16 HRs, and had 65 RBIs. Utley needs to spend less time in front of a mirror and more time in the batting cage a la Greg Dobbs. Boston 2 – 1.
Shortstop unequivocally goes to Rollins. It is not even close. I will not bore you with stats. Jimmy is no longer an MVP caliber player, but he is leaps and bounds better than Scutaro. Tied again 2 – 2.
Third base goes to Youkilis in a landslide. Polanco is a nice player, but Kevin puts up huge numbers. The only thing Placido on Youk is hat size. Bosox 3 – 2.
OF is all Boston. They have two outfielders widely ranked in the top 10 for the position. Crawford and Ellsbury are studs and both could be true leadoff hitters. Drew is a jerkoff, but he is still better than whatever slop the Phillies will put out there in RF this year. Boston 6 – 2.
Starting pitching is way closer than you may think. The Philly 5 just nudge out Boston’s tough rotation of Lester, Lackey, Beckett, Bucholz, and Dice K. Boston still up 6 – 3.
The relief situation is not close. I will agree both closers blow. Papelbon and Lidge both had horrendous ERAs for closers. Boston wins because they have an entire back end of the bullpen that were closers and have closer stuff. Bard, Wheeler, and that gelatinous blob Jenks (he got on a scale this spring and it said To Be Continued) are much better than the Phils back end of Madson, Romero, and Baez/Contreras. Boston 7 – 3.
The final category I will use is Coaching/Bench/Intangibles. This is a complete wash. Both benches blow. The Phils have Gload/Mayberry/Schneider/Valdez where Boston has Ortiz/Cameron/Lowrie/Other assorted border jumpers. Boston wins 8 – 4.
The Phillies need to decrease the strikeouts, beef up the bullpen, and upgrade the corner outfielders. Boston better hope their Catcher can handle a pitching staff, because he can't hit a lick. The Franchise could see how you homers could say Howard and Utley are better than Gonzalez and Pedrioa, but the stats show otherwise. The NL is a complete joke. The worst team in the AL East just may be better than the second best team in the NL. So pray for a miracle Phillies fans, because Boston would clean Philadelphia’s clock in a 7 game series (more like a 4 game sweep).
Boom Boom Pow!
-Sent from my iPhone
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Legal Opinion
Hey, I'm Miiiiiike, the newest writer at Drunk Phils Fans. I have seen the good Phillies teams from the late 70's to the early ‘80s. The mediocre to bad teams of the late 80's and early 2000‘s (except for the wonderful blip that was '93) was painful, but now we get to watch the greatest Phillies teams in their 128 year history. It’s been a bumpy road. I thought 1980 was wonderful with all four Philadelphia teams making it to their respective finals. My seven year old mind thought “this is great and I can’t wait for this to happen every year.” Boy was I wrong! I once had to explain to someone who grew up outside of Philly, how huge it was for the Phillies to win the World Series in ’08. I told them it had been a hundred seasons. Let me repeat that… A HUNDRED since a Philly team had won a championship. New York, Chicago, Dallas, and L.A. all won multiple championships in that time.
I think everyone reading this realizes that this is a great and unique time in the Phillies team history. My Dad used to say how agonizing it was to go through the collapse in ‘64. Now we can tell our kids how we saw 4+ years of great championship baseball in Philadelphia and the best starting rotation EVER!
Starting at the beginning of the season I’m going to bring, The Legal Opinion, a weekly recap of the Phillies action and other interesting happenings in the majors. Not only will I bring some stats, but my thoughts on how the team is doing and where they are going. We all know where it’s going to end, but let’s not forget, the journey is more important than the destination.
One thing I would like everyone to do is, since group is called The Drunk Phils Fans, give the rest us your best Phillies themed drink or what you like to drink when watching the Fightin‘s. When you submit a drink, don’t just give us a name, but also the recipe. For instance, See-Through’s - a Gin and Tonic (Harry‘s favorite) or an I Heart Chase (from ALFA American Tavern) - 1½ oz of Gin, 2 oz of Cranberry Vodka, Sour Mix and ice. All of us that have been to a Drunk Phils Fan event know the official unofficial beer of DPF is Miller High Life with Jameson whiskey, but I want you to come up with your most creative and fun concoctions we all can enjoy. Just to get everyone started let me throw out some names and have everyone come up with the recipes:
An Outta Here
A Phanatic Phizz
I’ll post the best and give you the credit. From time to time I’ll give some rants, such as “Why did we always get the other brother?” or “Did we really have that guy and let him go?”. Thanks and I’ll see you throughout the season.
Written by Miiiiiike
Responding to Speculation
If you listened to sports talk radio at all yesterday you probably heard discussion of this article by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The article speculates a few scenarios for what the St Louis Cardinals can do if they cannot re-sign Albert Pujols. One of them is trading Pujols for Phillies first basemen Ryan Howard. If a deal like this were ever to happen, and I don't believe it would, Pujols could end up with a contract of 10 years $300 million dollars. Howard currently is signed to a contract that ends in 2016 with a club option for 2017. He would end up making $158 million total from 2011 to 2017 if that club option is picked up. Pujols is a phenomenal player and is considered one of the best ever so it would be rather foolish to not want to have him on your team. One of the knocks about this fantasy trade is that Pujols would be 41 when the deal is over. You might get another 5 quality years out of him and for the rest of that contract he could be eating up salary not performing to a level at which he is paid. However, I would gladly take 5 years on the back end of Pujols being "lousy" because the prospect of winning multiple World Series within the next 5 years got just that more attainable. The thing that doesn't concern me that much about Pujol's age is that he has never finished a season with a batting average under .300. (His lowest was actually last year with .312) Howard has a career average of .279. If Pujols' average dips down to .279 when he is older that would still be an improvement over an aging Ryan Howard. If offered that deal I would do it in a heartbeat. Money comes and goes but championship wins stay with you forever.
Written by Ballgame
Friday, February 11, 2011
The Franchise Speaks on Losers
The Franchise was not always the man. It took a lot of Muscle Milk, pumping of iron, hair gel, and self-tanning solution. The Franchise loves the club scene in Philadelphia, but there are many losers out there. Many of you ladies have actually dated some of them. If you are still in the club when the lights go on, then you are a loser. If you wear a black hat with a yellow P you are a loser. Yes, I am talking about the armpit of Pennsylvania and the MLB - The Pittsburgh Pirates.
A lot of these nut rags out there in the national media spout off about how terrible the Phillies were and how the Phillies were the first team to 10,000 losses. Philadelphia baseball was in fact a city of losers pre-1980. It just so happens that The Franchise was also born Valentine’s Day in 1980. Coincidence? I think not. I researched the top 26 worst seasons in MLB history and found out that 9 of those 26 season seasons were in fact played here in Philadelphia:
A’s – ’15, ’16, and ‘19
Phillies- ’28, ’38, ’39, ’41, ’42, and ‘45
So why is The Franchise picking on Pittsburgh? It is like making fun of bum selling flowers next to the on ramp to I-95. Well I wanted to exorcise the demons of Philadelphia being a losing town. The Phillies had 16 consecutive losing seasons from 1933-1948 (P.F. – Pre-Franchise). Well the Pirates have eclipsed that mark with 18 consecutive losing seasons and counting from 1993-2010. I have to tell you I do not think things are looking good for the Bucs in 2011. They just lost an arbitration case to Ross Ohlendorf. Ross had a stellar 2010 record of 1-11.
I then further researched losing streaks to see if I could find a baseball team that had more consecutive losses than the Phillies in a season. The 23 game losing streak in 1961 still bothers The Franchise. Someone had to be worse than my hometown team right? Well just like with the ladies, The Franchise does not disappoint. The 1889 Louisville Colonels lost 26 straight that year. So that streak is now officially off our city’s back.
The Franchise then wondered who the other losers were in the four major sports. In the NFL, the 1976-1977 Tampa Bay team was a horrendous 0-26 over two seasons. The Sharks (92-93) and the Capitals (74-75) share the NHL’s record with 17 straight losses. The current NBA streak is ongoing with Cleveland now losing 26 straight.
There should be a movement to change the best pitching award in the MLB from Cy Young’s name. This fat tub of goo lost 316 career games. Why not name it the Anthony Young Award? Anthony Young lost 27 consecutive games in which he was involved in a decision from 1992-1993 for those gnutes (The Franchise’s own word) who played in Shea.
In preparation for this article, The Franchise did watch the reality show called ‘The Biggest Loser’. The Franchise did not like watching big fat animals on scales. It made The Franchise sick. It also had no fist-pumping. There were some breasts jiggling all over the place, but that was from the disgraced Olympian Rulon Gardner’s chest. I will leave you with this thought though…Sometimes losing is not so bad. Sometimes a friend, or co-worker, or teammate is such a cancer that you actually are better by losing them or letting them go.
Nota Bene (which is Italian and means note well for all of you non-paisanos)
In honor of those lost… The Franchise’s Top 9 Self Tanners:
· Guerlain's Terracotta Self-Tanning Spray for the Body
· L'Oreal Sublime Glow for the Body
· Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel for the Face
· Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Cream-Gel for the Face
· Jergens Natural Glow
· Decleor Self-Tanning Milk and Gels for Body and Face
· St. Tropez Whipped Bronze Self-Tanning Mousse for Face and Body
· Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanner for the Face
· TanTowel Self-Tanning Towelettes
Monday, February 7, 2011
Phillies Hate Season Ticket Holders
I was hoping you could be a bit more transparent as to how this process for the postseason will work. Is it lottery for partial season ticket holders? Is it by plan? By years invested in season tickets? By how fast you pay for the playoff tickets? I realize it is February, but I was unbelievably disappointed when the 2010 postseason tickets came in. I did get to see a NLDS game, but no NLCS because I had Game 7. I was even more aggravated when a friend and partial season ticket holder (2010 was his first year) got to go to a guaranteed game of the NLCS and I got left out. I understand supply and demand and the need to cut from 3 guaranteed games to 2. I do not understand how the process will work for those two games. I look forward to your response, albeit I expect a canned response that uses double talk and the all too popular "We do not know yet" response from Phillies brass. Just be honest.
Partial Season Ticket Holders will have the opportunity to purchase a minimum of two potential* postseason home games. The Phillies will determine the specific postseason games assigned and the specific series assigned. The World Series is not guaranteed to be part of any potential postseason ticket offer to Partial Season Ticket Holders. All postseason ticket locations will be determined by the Phillies and will differ from regular season seat locations.
* Potential postseason home games include Division Series Game 5, LCS Games 6&7, and World Series Games 6&7.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Franchise speaks on his heritage and baseball
Yea that’s right, it is Franchise Friday. The Franchise will not disappoint his loyal fans and haters! There is no denying I am Italian, so I wanted to honor my heritage by breaking down the best Italians at each position. I am sure BL Chris will want an all Irish/Polish team, DB29 will want an all homosexual team, and The Wriz will want an all Dick team (Dick Pole, Dick Ruthven, etc). So here are the best Eye-talians because the Franchise said so:
OF--J. DiMaggio, Conigliaro, Piniella
SP-- Maglie, Mussina, Zito, Viola,Cicotte
RP-- Franco, Righetti
Short and sweet this week. Hit me up on Facebook at :
Boom Boom Pow!