Morning Wood: I… I’ve Never Had This Happen To Me Before

Screen Shot 2011-09-23 at 10.11.21 AMBalls

To give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here, I received a few suggestions from you, the reader, last night:

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Nice one, Mike. But I’d argue for something different: The Kris Versteeg Game:

The Phillies look blasé, indifferent, lethargic, and if they keep playing this way, will see their season end in playoff disaster (you might want to check out our Flyers season allegory to see what I’m talking about). Now, if we wanted to get real literal with this one, Ruben Amaro would step into the Phillies’ clubhouse at the conclusion of the season and shoot Chase Utley and Hunter Pence dead, and next year sign some foreign closer in an effort to mask new holes in the offense. But hey, we’ll just stick with this: They stink right now and are in danger of backing into the playoffs in a way that might prove unrecoverable… just like the Flyers.

Oh, what’s that, Scoob? You think it’s just the because the Phillies have John Bowker* playing right field?

Think again, dog.

In the four-game series against the Nationals, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Chase Utley went a combined… wait for it… hold your nuts… clench your cheeks… THE OTHER CHEEKS!... inhale… OH-FOR-THIRTY SIX.


Sorry, I know, that was like removing a band-aid. It’s over now.

Or is it? That’s cause for real concern.

There’s more.

Our friend Steve Bucci passes along this nugget: Utley has one home run in September (his only RBI) and hasn’t hit a double since August 26th. Gewww.

The Phillies have lost six straight and 9 of their last 13. Somewhere, a pony weeps.

*We’re all with the basic understanding that John Bowker is the most generic looking baseball player in the history of the sport and is used as inspiration by folks from Sony when designing unlicensed call-ups in The Show, right? Right?!

Speaking of crying – for all the right reasons – Victorino broke down at the dedication of a new Boy and Girls Club. Video via 6 ABC:

Shane also spoke with MLB Network's Intentional Talk about Hunter Pence's fashion:

Chickie’s and Pete’s will be giving away FREE CRAB FRIES on Monday:

The Fan Appreciation Event is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at the Chickie’s & Pete’s location on Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and will feature special appearances by Philadelphia athletes, cheerleaders, mascots and pep bands.

At 6:30 p.m., Chickie’s & Pete’s will offer free crab fries for one hour. Customers will have opportunities to win great prizes throughout the evening, including autographed sports memorabilia. There will drink specials all day, including $1 draft and bottled beer.  


That’s the same day as the Flyers BBQ at CBP and preseason game against the Rangers.

Dom Brown is scheduled for the instructional league.

A guy from New Jersey is suing the Phillies and StubHub.

Moneyball came out this week, much to the delight of geeks everywhere. Slate has my favorite review (though it looks like a good movie):

But the main reason the A's were successful in the early 2000s was that four of the high draft picks they were awarded after lousy seasons in the late 1990s all turned fairly quickly into top-notch players. Hudson, Mulder, and Zito I've mentioned; the fourth was Eric Chavez, a third baseman who was the 10th player drafted in 1996 (like Hudson, he was signed by Oakland before Beane became general manager), when he had just finished high school and was widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the country. Oakland got another big boost from Miguel Tejada, a Dominican player signed by, yes, a scout, when he was 17. (Tejada, meanwhile, got a boost from performance-enhancing drugs, and he wasn't the only one.) In 2002, those were Oakland's five best players—according to advanced statistical analysis (specifically, Wins Above Replacement). Oakland could afford these five because Major League Baseball's salary structure severely limits how much young players can make.


Finally, Devils beat reporter Tom Gulitti took several unwarranted shots at CBP yesterday. I defended our lovely park…

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Screen Shot 2011-09-23 at 9.46.52 AM
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Screen Shot 2011-09-23 at 9.45.38 AMThere's a lot more on Twitter… Basically, Tom thinks, if the NHL was going to go with a baseball stadium, it should have some historic charm. Um, what other options are left? Fenway and Wrigley were already used.

He’s also completely wrong on the stadium attendance numbers and the assertion that there was nowhere else to play the game- the Eagles were willing to work with the NHL to make it happen, because, ya know, they like money.


31 Responses

  1. Tom Gulitti’s picture leads me to believe that:
    A)he has never been laid and,
    B)He is a tool satchel.
    CBP is awesome and widely regarded as one of the nicest ballparks with some of the best food in the bigs. That douche can go kick rocks.
    Also, I’m extremely worried about the Phillies. EXTREMELY. It’s not like they even saw Strasburg in this series either. It was all scrub pitching and they still can’t hit.
    It pisses me off that they’re so complacent. I wanted this team to chase history, and now we’ll be lucky if they even break the club record for wins in a season. They should’ve won at least 108-110. Ass holes better get it done in October. If this lineup screws Doc out of a ring again this year, I think he should be allowed to personally punch every single position player in the face.

  2. Fuckin idiots. They are meaningless games where Triple-A players have pretty much dominated the lineup and the regulars are making sure they don’t get hurt. We see now how important the HR and RBI man(Howard) are to the lineup now, right? Fuckin relax. How can they be expected to come out with any intensity when they have clinched EVERYTHING there is to clinch? They fucking know how to play ball in October.

  3. Wait- triple A players explain rollins, victo, and utley going 0-for-36 how? i don’t expect them to be going first to third on singles… but getting a few hits? yeah, that’d be nice.

  4. whatever is going on with them, they better get it out of their system now. i really hope they’re just fucking with us. hahahahhaha april fools?!?!? i’m never ever ever ever ever going to hear the end of it if they manage to fuck this up.

  5. I’d much rather them slump now than next weekend, wouldn’t you? So, you’d rather have them hitting lights out during this absolutely meaningless stretch so they can win 105 games and then flame out in the NLDS. No way Jose! When the regular 8 are out there, we’ll see how fast they come around.

  6. A Devils beat reporter is complaining about playing at a location without “charm”? Guess we’ll never see a Devils Winter Classic if charm is a deciding factor… unless they want to play it in some random parking lot in beautiful Newark, NJ.

  7. One other thing though in sort-of agreement with the panic – where is the hitting guru manager in all of this? This has been a 2.5 year long problem now during the meaningless and non-meaningless games….

  8. There’s no excuse for the way they’ve been playing. Like Kyle said, I don’t need to see them going mach 2 with their hair on fire, busting first to thirds on single’s and what have you, but the fact that they’ve not only lost 6 in a row, but played like absolute dog shit through that whole stretch is disheartening.
    They sure knew how to turn it on in October last year…wait…

  9. …I agree about Manual though. He needs to get a handle on what the hell happens to these guys when they disapear for weeks at a time.

  10. I do agree that these last few games show how much the line up needs Howard. He may not have the greatest avg. but he protects the players in front of him in the line up.

  11. Yeah, they did turn it on. They swept the Reds first. And if it wasn’t for Bochy outmanaging the hitting guru, we’d have beat the Giants. How is it disheartening? I just don’t get it. These games are completely meaningless. This team is at its best when it is playing with their hair on fire. I don’t want them with their hair on fire just to get them to 106 wins or whatever still wouldn’t be enough for these front runnin’ fans. Everything is clinched. Tough to put in any kind of intensity after that. They’re going to be fine, when the games start counting again, they will be absolutely fine.

  12. I think it would be easier to watch if the Flyers didn’t do what they did in the playoffs after crapping out at the end of the season.

  13. Look, I understand we want them playing well going into October. That’s totally acceptable. But, still, they have 6 games to get the regular 8 out there for maybe half of them and at the same time, I am sure no one wants to put in absolute effort so they don’t get hurt. This team’s been the most injured team in baseball history it seems the past few years. When you are playing not to get hurt, you don’t win. I’m fine with that right now.

  14. where is that poster that was talking about her ass????? I need some help with this morning wood.
    Jesus the Phillies are coooooooooolllllllllldddddddddd i understand them not playing anyway but may the fielding is just pathetic. Well it is almost sunday and we have the eagles opening up at the Linc this week. Can’t wait till philly live opens so at least i will be able to go down and soak up the atmosphere

  15. NONE of this in NEW
    by my count – and I did this quick
    Phils were shutout 7 times this year
    1 run 19 times and they won 3 of those
    2 runs 22 times and they won 9
    3 runs 23 times and they won 17
    71 games with 3 runs or less –
    48 games 2 runs or less
    26 games TWENTY_FUCKING_SIX games 1 run or LESS…
    if the pitching isn’t lights out – it will be LIGHTS OUT

  16. Well here’s hoping you’re right, I’m not arguing a moot point or opinion. It’s disheartening because watching these games is brutal. I know they’re meaningless, but seeing these guys play this bad is disheartening, regardless if it’s exibition or not. Front runnin’ fans? Aren’t you, yourself, a Philadelphia fan? I’m entirely too confused by your senseless anger. Thanks for calling us “fucking idiots” too by the way. Classy.
    Bottom line: I’d like to see them show some signs of life before the playoffs start, and they damn well better not screw this up. Rube has assembled in my opinion one of the greatest baseball teams in the history of the sport. If I had my way, they would’ve rolled into the playoffs an angry, revenge starved juggernaut, coming off a season ending sweep of the Braves. We’ll see.

  17. 2000 yankees lost 13 of their last 15 games after clinching. They won the world series. Yes having triple A players doesn’t explain the slumps of utley etc. but are trying to say that not having Howard, Pence, and last night Polanco doesn’t have a factor on the lineup? The Flyers analogy is also Stupid, because the Flyers were still playing for something like home ice advantage, and backed into the playoffs. That analogy would be more in line with the Red Sox who are losing at the end with games that matter. Is their some cause for concern? Yes their is, but lets not get carried away. Do you want them to go out their and play balls to the wall and then someone get injured. Didn’t you whine that Cliff Lee was out there too long in a MEANINGLESS game? You can’t have it both ways.

  18. I’m not worried about our starting pitching. To be honest, I’m not even worried about the bullpen this postseason. It’s the bats. The bats did us in against good pitching in ’09. It’s the bats that did us in against the Giants last year. You don’t start the postseason trying to build momentum… it’s something you already have and continue with. We need the spark to have happened against St. Louis and trounced the Nationals. If this crap continues against a Met’s team that’s looking to save some face against a division rival and a Brave’s team that NEEDS to win, it really doesn’t matter who we face in the first-round, cuz the Fightin’s will be watching the NLCS from the sidelines. They need the bats to wake up. Plain and simple.

  19. @Chuckgagjr
    “One other thing though in sort-of agreement with the panic – where is the hitting guru manager in all of this? This has been a 2.5 year long problem now during the meaningless and non-meaningless games….”
    The team is sixth in the NL in runs scored. Have is REALLY been a problem all year? The team has 98 wins… I don’t think inconsistent offense has really been a problem this year (except 2-3 two week long stretches).
    Kyle, I get being upset that Chase, Jimmy, and Shane were 0-36. You definitely want to see better. But, remember how this team has handled the “big” games. That stretch vs. the Brewers and Braves was the last real test the Phils had. They passed it with flying colors. At that point, they know it’s all but assured of homefield. They go to Houston and get beat. Now, they’ve clinched everything they can. They are playing without their 4 and 5 hitters. The edge just isn’t there. Don’t panic.
    If there was a 4 game series where Howard and Pence drove in a run a game each and the Phils won 3 out of 4 and Chase, Jimmy and Shane went 0-36, it might not even get noticed.
    We all wanted to see this team win 110. They have a different goal. This team knows how to play in October, they know how to turn it on. Last year, they ran into a hot Giants team. We just have to hope the Braves win and the hot Cardinals don’t get in. As long as that happens, a World Series trip is about as good a lock as you ever in baseball.
    They have two series left- if they continue to play this way through all the remaining games, then I worry a bit going into the playoffs. If they win even 2 of the 6, and score more than one run a game, I’ll still be confident in the best team in baseball.

  20. Break it down, has no charm? ridiculous,baseless, cbp is a top notch venue, no history? in it’s 7 years of existence it’s hosted 3 nlcs and 2 ws, not to mention the greatest most passionate fans in sports will be booing the rangers! I suppose the game should have been held in the parking lot at the meadowlands? and since when is havin more than adequate parking a bad thing? Dude’s bitter, i may tailgate for 3 days, a say we start new years eve.

  21. face, im sorry, im not literally calling people idiots. I’m not like that at all. But I do get mad that this is the best baseball team we have seen in a long time around here and people really don’t seem to appreciate what we have. They jumped on board in 2007 and act like lifelong Phillies fans. I know we’re not all like that, and for that I apologize if I offended you cause you are right, saying fuckin idiots isn’t classy. But I get pissed when I see people destroying this team for losing these past 6 games when, frankly, guys like Brendan Moss and Bowker have been out there. If the regular 8 were getting shutout every night right now, even I may panic a little. These guys have been waiting for October redemption for a year now. I’m sure when it starts, they will start to play again.

  22. Shane Victorino is a class act.
    They did a great job on the youth rec center in Nicetown.
    Vic will be the World Series MVP.

  23. @MPH – maybe you misunderstood my post – my post was not meant to be comforting — I’ve been worried about the offense all year – just like last year – this team (for 2 years now) has a tendency to go bat-dead for 3,4 5 games in a stretch –
    that’s all is takes to put them on the golf course – just like last year –
    if memory serves, the Big Piece had ZERO RBI in 9 playoff games last year – so his return is also not making me relax – the Big Piece also holds the record outright for Ks in the World Series and he co-owns the record for Ks in the NLCS
    right I’m clinging to the fact that a few weeks ago we played ATL and MILW back to back and those games mattered and we trounced them both –

  24. The Big Piece also had a .308 average in the postseason last year and no one was hitting in front of him for him to knock in anyone. 2009 NLCS MVP, carried them in the ’08 World Series in Games 3-4, carried them in the ’09 NLDS. There’s good with bad.

  25. People need to chill, this slide is meaningless, when October 1 comes around we will hit the switch. I also applaud the people defending the Big Piece.

  26. At 52, I’m old enough to remember some truly horrible periods in Phillies baseball, so I greatly appreciate what we have right now. That said, it’s highly irritating to watch what’s happening at present, regardless of whether or not the regulars are playing or if the team’s in cruise control after clinching the division and home field in the playoffs. What’s more, getting swept by the gNats under ANY circumstances is grossly unacceptable!
    In addition to that, I don’t believe in teams simply turning the switch to the “On” position and going from stumblebums to juggernauts. That just doesn’t happen. I want to see this team start winning again and build some momentum as the season ends and not just rely on muscle memory to storm through the postseason, because we’ll be seeing other playoff teams go for the Phils’ throats. Am I worried right now? No. Am I concerned? Yes. That’s not being idiotic, that’s being rational.

  27. While this has been BRUTAL to watch, weren’t we all concerned less than a month ago about them playing 33 games in 31 days? Remember how last year they absolutely caught on fire at the end of the season then slumped in the NLCS? No matter what happens in the post season, this has likely been the greatest Phillies team we will ever see. Of course, I’d like them to get to the WS, but it’s not even here yet. Let’s just try to enjoy what we have while we have it. We may be back in the basement in ten years, saying, remember when we won 5 in a row? You will tell your grandchildren about this phillies team. Enjoy the ride.

  28. You can’t rationalize getting swept by the Nats and there is no On switch. I’d rather see the greatest Phillies team ever steamroll into the playoffs than go in with an extended losing streak.
    @Chuck: Fuck you, idiot, go suck a big bag of wet dicks. Then brag about how you were sucking dicks way back before it was cool.

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