Results tagged ‘ Joe Torre ’

Mayberry’s Big Night & More Umpire Follies

The last two or three years have been strange ones for Phillies outfielder John Mayberry Jr.  He has gone though spurts of looking like a solid ballplayer and even more spurts of looking totally lost at the plate.  While see-sawing between the two extremes, Mayberry has been unable to stick as an everyday player.

But last night against the Marlins, Mayberry had probably the most memorable night of his career and he did not even start the game.  He hit a solo homer in the 10th to tie the game back up after Antonio Bastardo surrendered a run to the Fish in the top of the inning.  Then in the 11th, Mayberry whacked a game-winning grand slam home run.

There were a number of ‘firsts’ for Mayberry in this game:

-          Mayberry’s first career grand slam

-          Mayberry became first player in major-league history to hit two home runs in extra innings with one being a grand slam

-          Mayberry also became the first Phillies player to hit a walk-off grand slam since Dale Murphy on Aug. 6, 1991, against the Cubs

Those are some pretty impressive statistics.  And with Delmon Young still underachieving (he is hitting only .220 in 100 at-bats), perhaps it is time to hand right field over to Mayberry for a while.  Mayberry’s defense is significantly better than Young’s and his offense cannot possibly be any worse than Young’s. 

Young has actually cost the team runs with his defense and I cannot imagine the Phillies putting up with that for much longer.  And he is not making up for it with his bat either.  30 games played and 100 at-bats should be nearly enough for them to pass judgment.  We shall see…

As for the umpire follies, Bob Davidson strikes again!  How this ridiculous man still has a job is beyond me.  Last year, Davidson was actually suspended after ejecting Phils skipper Charlie Manual for his bad “situation handling,” according to MLB.  What actually happened was he interfered with the catcher on a play and then cussed out Manual for arguing the point.

Davidson’s animosity towards the Phillies is still going strong, because last night he made one of the worst calls I have ever seen.  Davidson called interference on Ben Revere who slid head first (not spikes first) into second on a ground ball hit by Michael Young.  Young was called out due to the imaginary interference; Davidson claimed he saw Revere grab the leg of the Marlins 2nd baseman.  It was clear to both the naked eye and on the replay that Revere did no such thing…it was not even close.

Revere did not grab anyone; he did not roll into 2nd; he did not even go out of the basepath or miss the bag.  Davidson literally just made up the call.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Bernie Miklasz, “…if I listed every call that Davidson got wrong I’d be typing for the next 48 hours at least. He’s a disgrace to the game and has been for many, many years. Baseball people laugh at him.”  It seems everyone hates Davidson…and with good reason.

After the game, both Revere and Manual made some very amusing comments about the bad call. Revere said, “I know [Davidson] was standing right there, he said he did see it, so I’m just like, man needs some glasses or something.”  And Manual interjected, “Bob’s kinda getting a little old.”  Plus, the crowd at Citizens Bank Park booed Davidson relentlessly for the remained of the game.

And yet, no one can say why this man still has a job.  MLB has made a habit out of ignoring the total incompetence of some umpires.  Even with their reputation being continually tarnished, MLB has done nothing to redeem themselves.

In fact, Joe Torre, who is in charge of MLB umpires, on-field discipline and other areas, was actually at Saturday’s Phillies-Brewers game where a huge umpiring mistake was made in the bottom of the 9th inning.  Kyle Kendrick was called out at second base even though the fielder dropped the ball.  The next batter doubled, which would have scored Kendrick and tied the game up.  Instead, that blown call cost the Phillies the game.

The crew chief acknowledged the error after the game, but to my knowledge, Torre said nothing.  Granted, this was a far less egregious error than the blatant, BS call by Davidson.  All of these bad calls are screaming for additional replay, but is anyone listening?

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil…get nothing done.  *Sigh*

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Phillies Bats Return In Win Over Dodgers

It appears that the Phillies bats have cut their vacation short.  Perhaps they ran out of those froofy umbrella drinks and decided to leave the island that they were apparently hiding on.  Whatever the case, it is nice to see them again.


P7265877X.jpgNo one was happier than Ryan Howard who had not hit a home run the entire month of August.  Finally last night, he blasted a 3-run shot to left center.  Back-up catcher Brian Schneider also hit a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning to give the team an early lead, which is another thing they have not had much of lately.  Most starters had at least one hit in the game except for Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, although Victorino walked twice. 

With a 6-4 lead going into the 7th inning, the Phillies sent Carlos Ruiz in to pinch hit for Schneider and Joe Torre countered with pitcher Jonathan Broxton.  Ruiz and Broxton have quite a history; on August 12th this year, the Phillies rallied back against the Dodgers from a 9-2 deficit and a Ruiz double off Broxton capped the victory at 10-9.  Last night, Ruiz smacked Broxton around again, this time for a 2-run single to give the Phillies a nice 8-4 cushion.

As for starter Kyle Kendrick, he ended the month of August with yet another unimpressive outing.  In 6 starts for the month, Kendrick allowed 21 earned runs, pitching at an ERA of 5.79.  Last night’s start consisted of 4 earned runs over only 5 innings.

The bullpen pitched the final 4 innings and held the Dodgers down.  Chad Durbin, JC Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge capped off the 8-4 victory.  Even former Phillie Rod Barajas, who is hitting over .500 against the Phillies since 2008, was held to just one hit.

This afternoon at 3:10pm is the final game of the series and Roy Oswalt will face Clayton Kershaw.  If the Phillies can hit Kershaw tonight, we may be able to announce the official return of the Phillies offense.  If not, then last night will be chalked up to bad pitching by the Dodgers.  The Phillies are 3 games behind the Braves going into September.  Now is the time to put their collective feet on the gas pedal and not let up.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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Geoff Jenkins Released; 5th Starter Determined

P2242975 Jenkins.jpg

In a surprise move, the Phillies released Geoff Jenkins today, content with eating the over 8 million dollars they owe him.  The Phillies are trying to find another right handed bat to balance out the line-up and Jenkins is a lefty, so he does not fit into the plan for 2009.  However, picking up Jenkins to begin with was not a great move, which I stated way back when that happened.  His numbers were steadily declining with his age and the Phillies more than overpaid for him.  What I did like about Jenkins though throughout 2008 was his personality, his work ethic and they way he fit into a tight knit clubhouse.  Jenkins is a super nice guy with a great sense of humor.  He will be missed.  I have a few photos of Jenkins for you throughout this piece to remember him by.

And now on with my rant; Todd Zolecki has reported that the Phillies may now be interested in Gary Sheffield who was just released by the Detroit Tigers.  Let me state for the record that as much as I opposed picking up Jenkins in 2008, I am even more convinced that Sheffield is a far worse idea. 

P7261028 JENKINS.jpg
I’d rather have 2 Jenkins’ than one Sheffield.  And here are the numerous reasons why:

In 2 years with the Tigers, Sheffield played in a TOTAL of 18 games in the field.  Yes, 18 out of like 324 games; he served as the team’s DH.  Therefore, at 40 years of age, it is obvious Sheffield can no longer field.  Not to mention Sheffield himself said publicly that he wanted to go to the Rays, an America League team.  Apparently, he knows he can no longer play outfield and thus, prefers the DH role.  So, if the Phillies pick up Sheffield, are we then saying we believe Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, who have been injury prone in the past, will stay healthy ALL year long?  Not to mention Raul Ibanez, who is 36 year old.  Someone please hire us a Geriatric Nurse, quick!

So you say Sheffield can hit?  Sure, 20 years in the majors and he stands at 499 home runs.  Great.  But his numbers in the last 2 years, as he has gotten older, have declined.  He hit .265 in 494 at-bats in 2007 and then hit .225 in 418 at-bats in 2008.  You cannot say he did not get his AB’s, because as the regular DH, he did.  How can the Phillies, or any other team, expect improvement if he gets to hit off the bench only once every 2-3 games?

And then there is my favorite issue: personality.  Sheffield is the same guy who picked fights with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter of the Yankees; two of the MOST respected guys in baseball.  He called Torre a racist and then turned around and said Jeter  “ain’t all the way black.”  Hypocritical, if you ask me.  Not to mention, Joe Torre is one of the best managers in the game and wouldn’t hurt a fly. 

Not convinced yet?  How about the steroid allegations?  Sheffield admitted to using steroids, P2232711 Jenkins.jpgexcept that he says he did not know they were steroids.  How many times have we heard players say that now? 

Do you believe it?  Read the article here about Sheffield’s issues, and former relationship with Barry Bonds, and judge for yourself.  And even if the man is innocent, do the Phillies really need that kind of distraction in their clubhouse?  Again, I’d rather have 2 Jenkins than one Sheffield.

I do hope my rant has been a waste of time and that the Phillies do not go anywhere near the problem child, Sheffield.  But as in life and baseball, stranger things have happened.  Crossing my fingers and toes that this will NOT be the case here…

UPDATE:  The Phillies have contacted Sheffield’s agent.  UGH!  No word yet on what will happen next.

Also, in a day filled with weird news, the Phillies also just announced that Chan Ho Park has won the 5th starters spot!  JA Happ’s future is uncertain except that he, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach will now compete for 2 bullpen spots.

 

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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