Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’
Here are some highlights from the last 2 Phillies Spring games:
3/7 vs. Tampa Bay; final score 5-3, Tampa: JA Happ started the game and went 2 1/3 scoreless innings; he did walk 2 batters, but overall looked good. But even better news was that newbie Phillipe Aumont recovered from his Phillies debut, which was a 5-run pounding in less than inning against Florida State. Against the Rays, he went 2 2/3 scoreless innings with 1 walk and 2 hits. Time for Aumont to exhale; he is back in top prospect form.
Joe Savery, on the hand, has a rough inning where he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits. Savery is a former first round draft pick of the Phillies but sadly, The 6’3″ lefty has never looked comfortable on the mound. He has a 4.14 ERA in 3 years of minor league play.
The polar opposite of Savery has been young outfield propect Domonic Brown; he continues to impress this Spring and went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI against the Rays. He also threw a runner out at home, just for good measure. New bench piece Ross Gload also went 3 for 5 in the game in the DH role.
3/8 vs. Yankees; final score 7-5, Yanks: Kyle Kendrick is putting the pressure on Jamie Moyer in competition for the 5th starters spot. Kendrick went 3 solid innings allowing just one hit and no runs. But more than that, he looked comfortable and confident. I suppose sporting that Roy Halladay look-alike beard has given him an ego boost ;o)
And then in the opposite category, Jose Contreras looked horrible today. He could not seem to throw a first pitch strike, worked behind almost every batter in the count and as a result, he allowed 6 runs on 3 walks and 6 hits over only 1 2/3 innings. Luckily, the Phillies have very little invested in the righty so if he does not shape up, no big deal. Then again, Contreras was supposed to be an upgrade over the departed Chan Ho Park; do I smell a huge disappointment on the horizon? Hmmmm….
Incidentally, Contreras began his career with the Yankees and his signing in 2002 is what precipitated the Yankee nickname, “Evil Empire.” It is said that the Red Sox were so intent on signing Contreras that they booked every hotel room in the area of Cuba where Contreras was to keep the Yanks away. In the end, they still lost out to the Yankees and the Sox owner allegedly threw a chair through a window in anger. This is just a rumor, of course :O)
As for the bat today, Ryan Howard finally got his first, and then second, hit of Spring against the Yankees. Whew! But the big blast of the day came off the bat of Jimmy Rollins. Pitcher Javier Vazquez made his return to the Yankees today since departing in 2005 and his very first pitch was taken out of the park by Rollins. 1 pitch, 1 homer – nice.
Rollins had 2 hits in the game as did Howard, Chase Utley and John Mayberry Jr., who knocked the second Phillies homer of the game in the 6th inning. But while the bat were popping, the outing by Contreras put the Phils in a hole they could not climb out of.
Shane Victorino was still missing from the line-up, but it appears he may make his Spring debut tomorrow against the Braves at 7:05pm. His sore shoulder has been an issue so far this Spring and the Phillies are playing it safe with him. But hopefully the Flyin’ Hawaiian will take flight again tomorrow night.
And congratulations to reader “blueferret” who was the first person to find the mistake on the new Cliff Lee Topps trading card from Saturday’s blog. Topps photoshopped an old Phillies card to change the Phillies uniform to a Mariners uniform but they forgot to remove the “HK” patch from the new Mariners version. The “HK” patch was a Phillies-only items that the team wore in 2009 in honor of the late Harry Kalas.
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Photos by ESPN.com
The first official Spring Training game for the Phillies ended with a 3-2 win over their World Series foes, the New York Yankees. Not that spring games mean anything, but it was fun to watch. Roy Halladay pitched two innings and lived up to the hype. He did not allow a hit in 2 innings and threw 21 of 24 pitches for strikes. It did not look like even one of those pitches came near the middle of the plate. He had amazing movement on the ball, pinpoint control and he painted the corners, making it look effortless.
Kyle Kendrick and new pick-up Jose Contreras impressed as well. Each threw 2 innings and looked solid. Kendrick appears to be serious about grabbing the 5th starters’ spot. Kendrick spent extra time this off-season working out to prepare and during camp, has been following Halladay around like a lost puppy. The extra effort appears to be paying off.
Another anxiously awaited debut was that of former 2nd baseman, Placido Polanco at third base. The first batter of the day hit it right to him and Polly handled it well. Later that same inning however, he made a fantastic scoop but overthrew to first for the first error of spring. It was basically smooth sailing after that minus a pop-up that the wind took away. Polanco started his career at third and it is expected that he will progress quickly in his return to the position.
So it was all positives for the Phillies in their 1st official spring game. Yesterday’s exhibition against Florida State however was a bit more challenging for one new Phillie. Top prospect Phillipe Aumont who was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade had a memorable outing on the mound, although it won’t be a good memory for the young pitcher.
Obviously shaken by the pressure to show he was worth the trade, Aumont gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning including 3 walks and a 3-run homer. Previously touted for his excellent control, that skill went right out the window as nerves got the better of him. And all that was against a college team…ouch. This poor kid needs a hug….bad. The Phillies still won 13-6 so no worries. Besides, things can only get better from here. Aumont should bounce back now that he has purged the nervous energy. I wish him luck!
So the Phillies will play a game every day until their one day off of the month on March 18th. Tomorrow they face the Blue Jays in Dunedin and Halladay will make his first visit back to his old spring stadium. Cole Hamels is scheduled to start and we will also see J.C. Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Antonio Bastardo in action as well. Game time is 1:05pm.
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Photo from ESPN.com
The Phillies take to the field tonight for the first real action of Spring Training in an exhibition game against Florida State. JA Happ will be the starting pitcher followed by Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, Joe Savery, Jesus Sanchez and David Herndon. All eyes will be on Aumont as he was one of the prospects the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade. Many are anxious to see if the risk will pay off.
Shane Victorino has been left off the starting line-up for precautionary reasons.
Victorino has been suffering from a sore shoulder and the team will likely not want to push him. It does not seem serious, but it is usually better to be safe than sorry. John Mayberry Jr. will fill in at center and Greg Dobbs gets the nod as the DH. But as is usual in Spring games, the starters will probably not play long, giving the team a chance to look at some prospects. Game time is 7:05pm.
The game everyone is waiting for though is tomorrow’s match up against the Yankees with Roy Halladay on the mound. It will be the team’s first look at their off-season prize in live game action. The talk about Halladay’s work ethic, poise and electric arm has been non-stop since he signed. Finally, it is time to see some results. Tomorrow’s game starts at 1pm and will be carried on Comcast Sportsnet and then replayed on The MLB Network at 7pm.
And now for the disturbing news of the week: Phillies fans know Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning as the man who pitched the only perfect game in Phillies history on June 24, 1964 which happened to be Father’s Day as well. Considered one of the best Phillies players in history, Bunning is also one of only six pitchers ever to throw both a perfect game and a no-hitter in his career. So as a baseball player, Bunning gets two thumbs up. As a politician, not so much…
Bunning has served in the Kentucky State Senate since 1998 and in 2006, Time magazine dubbed him one of “America’s Five Worst Senators.” He routinely misses Senate floor votes and on Christmas Eve 2009, he was the only senator to skip the vote on the historic health care reform bill. Adding more fuel to the fire this month, Bunning single-handedly blocked a 30-day extension of federal unemployment benefits when more than 200,000 unemployed Americans were set to lose benefits. The proposal of unanimous consent on any legislation like this is generally reserved for situation where no one is going to object. Essentially, the proposal is thought to be a no-brainer….that is, for everyone on the planet except Jim Bunning.
The Senate was attempting to avoid a massive hit to the economy and considered the extension an emergency. After receiving public spankings from both Democrats and Republicans, Bunning finally relented on Tuesday night and the legislation was passed, but not before Bunning made a total as*s out of himself. Wait a second, I though the “as*s” was the symbol of the Democratic party?
We still love you in Philly Jim, but please, do America a favor and get out of politics while you still have some dignity left. Let us all remember you as the guy who tossed the only Phillies perfect game and not the guy who tried to make 200,000 angry, unemployed people storm his house, tie him and up and force him to watch tape of the 1964 Phillies collapse; they dropped 10 consecutive games at the end of the season and lost the Division after being in first place with a 3-game lead. This type of torture is cruel and unusual punishment. Please, don’t make us do it…we don’t want to remember that year either.
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Photos by Jenn
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that relief pitcher Chan Ho Park wanted to remain with the Phillies in 2010. Instead, Park wound up signing with the Yankees for 1.2 million, a great deal less than the 3 million the Phillies had offered earlier in the off-season.
Park stated, “Philadelphia was the No. 1 choice. I had a tough time leaving there. I had much support from fans and community, and I had the best teammates there…”
The question then becomes, why did he and his agent, Jeff Boris, turn down the Phillies offer if he wanted to stay there? Park made 2.5 million in 2009, so the 3 million was not only a raise, but likely to be the best offer he received. In the recent past, there has been what appears to be a string of mismanaged deals by baseball agents who become greedy and over estimate their clients’ value. This certainly looks like one of them.
By the time Park and Mr. Boris realized this deal was a gift from an appreciative team who liked Park very much in 2009, it was too late. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has a no-nonsense style of dealing with contracts. If he feels a player is not committed, he moves on. Amaro was not going to wait for Park to change his mind and quickly signed Danys Baez and Jose Contreras.
And if we believe Park was sincere in wanting to return, then why would Mr. Boris not jump on the one year deal? Another agent notorious for his hard-handed tactics is agent Scott Boras who recently took outfielder Johnny Damon on a fairly stressful ride through free agency. Damon wanted to stay with the Yankees but Boras handed down a $13 million dollar ultimatum to the Yankees, which frankly, was a lot more than Damon was worth and he should have known that. The Yankees scoffed at the gesture and Damon wound up signing with the Tigers for $8 million.
Damon told the NY Daily News, “I let Scott do his work…That’s why he’s there. In the end, I think he did a great job. It’s funny, though. Every time I’m a free agent, I’m always on a new team.” He said a mouthful there. Mr. Boras has a habit of burning bridges and this latest stunt was no exception.
Another player who may or may not have been burned by his agent this off-season is former Phillie Cliff Lee. Although agent Darek Braunecker denied any wrong doing back in December, the fact that the trade happened so quickly and right after talks with Braunecker makes you wonder if he did give some sort of indication that Lee would not accept certain terms (ie: less than 2 years, a certain dollar amount, etc…). Again, this is only speculation, but knowing the Phillies GM Amaro’s straightforward style, if Braunecker said anything at all to make Amaro question Lee’s commitment to the Phillies, it is easy to see why that could have triggered a fast trade.
Obviously, the depletion of the farm system played heavily into the trade, but was that the only consideration? What happens behind closed doors, we will never know, but it does make you stop and wonder. How much input each of these players had in the conversations with teams and their agents is also unknown, but based on the players reactions, maybe these agents need to think more about their clients well-being and less about their own pockets? But again, this is just one gal’s humble opinion :O) We will miss Park and Lee and I wish them the best!
In other Phillies news, both Brad Lidge and JC Romero threw off the mound during Spring Training on Sunday. Each pitcher is taking it slow, but making descent progress. Lidge appears to be slightly ahead of Romero as far as being ready, but both are still hopeful about Opening Day.
As for the rest of the pitching crew, here is the week’s schedule for when games begin on Wednesday:
– Wednesday vs. Florida State: J.A. Happ, Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, Joe Savery, Jesus Sanchez and David Herndon.
– Thursday vs. Yankees: Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick, Jose Contreras, Andrew Carpenter and Sergio Escalona.
– Friday at Toronto in Dunedin: Cole Hamels, J.C. Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Antonio Bastardo.
– Friday at Toronto in Dunedin (B GAME): Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson and Scott Mathieson.
– Saturday at Pittsburgh in Bradenton: Joe Blanton, Danys Baez, Ehren Wasserman, Mike Zagurski, Bill White and B.J. Rosenberg.
– Sunday vs. Tampa Bay: Happ, Aumont, Naylor, Sanchez, Herndon, Flande and Savery.
Thanks to Todd Zolecki at The Zo Zone for posting the list!
Photos by Jenn
Avoiding arbitration totally for the second year in a row, the Phillies signed Carlos Ruiz, their final arbitration eligible player. Chooch will be manning the back-stop for at least three more years with a contract worth 8.85 million, plus a 5 million dollar option for a 4th year. Ruiz has been the little engine who could at the end of this Phillies line-up for some time now. Keeping him on board with the rest of the crew through 2012 adds even more stability to the team.
Earlier this week, the Phillies also signed veteran right-hander Jose Contreras to a deal worth about 1 million for one year. The deal is pending a physical, of course. A starter most of his career, the 39-year old Contreras has a lifetime 4.61 ERA which includes time spent with Colorado last year and the White Sox and Yankees before that. He won the World Series in 2005 with the Sox. Another fun tidbit; Contreras will join pitcher Danys Baez as the second Cuban defector to be acquired by the Phillies this offseason.
All the signings this month mean that 7 of our 8 starting position players are now signed at least through 2011. The lone wolf in the bunch is right fielder, Jayson Werth who is signed only through this coming season. It is thought that, unless he gets hurt or has a very bad year, the Phillies will be unable to afford Werth after 2010. While Jayson is certainly Werth-Y of big bucks, there are just too many youngsters, like highly-touted prospect Dominic Brown, waiting in the wings to justify the additional expense. Rumor has it that Werth may command a salary near 16 million a year. The Phils budget simply will not be able to hold him.
Anything can happen, of course. That is, anything except for the Phillies budget jumping to Yankee-like numbers. That being said, Werth being with us long-term does not look very likely. Well, we will just have to worry about that next year…
Photo by Jenn
Good things come in three’s for two Phillies players this week; both Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton have been signed for three years each, keeping them in the red pinstripes until the end of the 2012 season. The only other arbitration eligible player not yet signed to a deal is catcher Carlos Ruiz. With the quick progress on the first two, Ruiz may not be far behind.
Victorino had asked for 5.8 million a year prior to this deal. What he wound up getting amounts to an average of over 7 million a year; the total contract amount is 22 million. Obviously, the Phillies were committed to keeping the Flyin’ Hawaiian for some time to have gone well over his offer. Shane told many of us on the Phillies Cruise that he was extremely nervous during trade talks in July of last year where his name kept popping up. He wanted very badly to stay in Philly. He got his wish and I am very, very happy for him and for the Philadelphia fans. Congrats, Shane!
Joe Blanton’s deal was similar; 3 years for 24 million. Blanton, 29, has been a consistent starter for the Phillies, going 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 2009. My only real question about this deal is, if Blanton is getting 8 million a year, was not Cliff Lee worth maybe 9 or 10 million a year? I am happy for Blanton of course, but this does raise more questions about why we could not afford Lee. I understand the baseball aspect and getting the prospects, but prospects can be attained other ways. In fact, if Lee had left after 1 year, the Phillies would have gotten 2 draft picks out of it.
So yes, many of us are still grumbling about Lee. It was, and still is, a bit of a shock to see him traded away after the ½ year he gave us. Manager Charlie Manuel gave an interesting take on the trade as well saying, “As a manager in the big leagues, I look to put the best team on the field that’s possible at that moment. That’s where Lee comes into play. The financial part, I have nothing to do with that. I want to put the best possible team on the field. I don’t know if that makes me selfish, but that’s how you play the game. That’s how the Yankees do it.” Ouch. I think the reference to the Yankees expresses how most of feel. They should have kept Lee and Roy Halladay…the Yankees certainly would have.
It is hard not to dwell on what could have been, especially given the Blanton signing. But, I will try my best. It is either that, or my head might explode. ;o) Wish me luck!
At any rate, I am thrilled to see Victorino get his due and look forward to Blanton eating some innings for us. And now we await word on Ruiz…
Photo by Jenn
During the official introduction of Roy Halladay yesterday, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. explained further why he chose to ship Cliff Lee off to Seattle. He backed off the idea of not being able to sign him past one year and moved on to replenishing the farm system. Amaro admitted this move was a risk, but one he was willing to take in order to keep the franchise winning for years to come, rather than just putting all their eggs into the 2010 basket.
As for the fans, we are all very excited to see Roy Halladay in a Phillies uniform! But many wish the ultimate pitching dream of Halladay & Lee could have been a reality. Here is a synopsis of how it all went down for the Lee fans:
5 Stages of Grief In Losing Cliff Lee:
– Denial: This cannot be happening! Lee was the only pitcher to win a game for us in the World Series!
– Anger: Noooooo! Ruben Amaro Jr., you stink!
– Bargaining: Hey Ruben, how about we keep both Halladay AND Lee? Come on….please? I’ll be your best friend :O)
– Depression: I am going to crawl in a hole; wake me in the Spring.
– Acceptance: Oh, ok. I guess it was a good business decision. I still love you Ruben :O) Thank you for a Happy Halladay!
Mr. Amaro may be the happiest person on the planet right now; he has wanted Halladay for a very long time and finally got his wish. During the press conference, Amaro referred to the acquisition of Halladay as “intoxicating.” Well, that does explain a lot about the trade I suppose. Clearly, he was drunk on Halladay Juice and made some very creative decisions. I’ll give him an A+ on getting Halladay. As for letting Lee go in exchange for the prospects, the jury is out until we see how he handles the hangover. ;o)
Well, it is the Halladay Season, so drink up Mr. Amaro! Just sober up in time for Spring Training.
By the way, the This Year In Baseball awards are in and some Phillies, plus a few of their fans, won awards. Ruben Amaro Jr. was voted Best Executive; J.A. Happ, who should have gotten the Rookie of the Year award will have to settle for the TYIB Best Rookie prize; Jayson Werth won Best Unsung Star; and the father-daughter pair who were shown all over TV after Dad caught a ball and his daughter tossed it back, were named the season’s Best Oddity.
Congrats to all!
Amaro photo by Jenn
The Phillies made it official this afternoon; Cy Young award winning pitcher Roy Halladay is now a Phillie :O) Some say he is the best pitcher in baseball. This is a huge pick up for the Phillies and an exciting day for the fans. Halladay has signed a 3-year extension, keeping him in red pinstripes through 2013 for around 20 million a year after his 1-year Jays contract is fulfilled in 2010.
So the Phillies have swapped one Cy Young winner for another and three prospects for 3 different prospects. The casualties for the Phillies include Cliff Lee, who went to Seattle plus 3 of our top 4 prospects; pitcher Kyle Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis d’Arnaud who all went to the Jays. In return, the Phillies will get 3 prospects from Seattle to restock the farm system; pitchers Phillipe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies.
The Cliff Lee trade is disappointing, but it makes sense from a business perspective as the Phillies were nearing their payroll limit and they knew for sure that Lee would be only a 1-year pitcher, testing the market after 2010. From a fan perspective, it is sad to see Lee go and one cannot help but wish we could have had both Lee and Halladay even for just the one year.
And to all the yahoo’s out there who want to shout obscenities and declare that Phillies fans do not appreciate Roy Halladay, get over yourselves. It has nothing to do with appreciating Halladay and everything to do with losing Cliff Lee. If the Yankees got Halladay and had to ship off CC Sabathia to do so, tell me Yankee fans would not be shouting from the rooftops? It is the same thing. And yes, Lee and Sabathiha have comparable stats.
We are very, very happy to have Halladay and excited to see him pitch in a Phillies uniform. But it does seem sad to lose other good players in the process, especially Lee and the three prospects. You feel like a kid at Christmas that got exactly what you always wanted, but had to give back all your other presents to do so.
I have personally spoken to Michael Taylor, as an example, and he is not only a great player, but a great person as well. One cannot help but feel disappointed to see these guys leave. And I saw Lee pitch his first game with the Phillies in San Francisco; he pitched a complete game and made it look easy. We are entitled to be upset over losing our best pitcher, as I am sure Jays fans are upset over losing theirs. Are we getting a better pitcher in return? Absolutely. But wouldn’t both be so much nicer?
That being said, Phillies fans are thrilled to finally get the big prize! Happy Halladay’s to everyone in Philly! I cannot wait until Spring Training :O)
It appears the Phillies are going to land Roy Halladay. However, in an unbeLEEvable twist, it is said that Cliff Lee will be shipped to the Seattle Mariners as part of a 3-team deal. Shock and awe have overcome me….Cliff Lee???
Really??? Our ACE miracle pick-up of 2009 traded away? A few acronyms come to mind here; mainly OMG and WTF.
Ok, so apparently Lee is dead-set on testing the free agent market after 2010 and Halladay is agreeable to a multi-year deal; plus, Halladay really wants to come to Philly. The Phillies are looking to keep the core of this team intact for at least 2 more years and I suppose, with Lee not being a possibility past 1 year, they feel he is disposable. But we would be basically trading and ace for an ace instead of keeping TWO aces. Ugh.
Halladay may be a slightly better pitcher than Lee, but he has also pitched nearly twice as many innings as Lee at almost the same age. Halladay is 1 year and 3 months older and has pitched 2046.2 innings; Lee has pitched 1196.2 innings.
Also take into consideration that Lee was amazing in the playoffs and is super steady mentally. He may be one of the calmest players under pressure anyone has ever seen. Halladay on the other hand was rattled in July and August over the trade rumors and it affected his performance. This does not mean Lee is better than Halladay; clearly the numbers show otherwise. However, Lee has advantages that Halladay does not. The innings pitched and Halladay’s age (he will be 33 in May) are causes for concern in signing a long-term deal.
If there is any way possible to keep both pitchers, it should be done. The Phillies with both Lee and Halladay may be unstoppable. In fact, for only 2-3 million more, the Phils could trade Joe Blanton instead of Lee. Why would they NOT do this? But the money is the big issue, as it usually is; even a mere couple million apparently is too much for them to handle. I can tell you this; teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, a few of MLB’s richest teams, would not have to make such a decision. They would keep both players without question. And that is what makes this idea hard to swallow.
Not that the Phillies are poor; they ranked 7th in payroll for 2009. But a lot of money is tied up in big name players like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The window for this group of players to score another World Championship is probably about two years. With that being the case, I would like to see the Phillies throw everything and the kitchen sink at this 2010 team. But the kitchen sink is Lee, and it looks like he will be gone.
Do not get me wrong, I will be thrilled to have Halladay. But the price does seem a bit steep, which puts a damper on the celebration. And now what about the bullpen? Is there money left to fix that gaping hole? That is the other thought that worries me. It will not matter how good the rotation is if the pen blows games, like they did a lot in 2009. That solution or lack thereof is yet to be determined.
And on top of all this, it is also rumored that the Phillies top pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek, will be sent to the Jays. This is the player the Jays have been asking for since last July. So tell me, WHY exactly would the Phillies wait until we LOSE the World Series to give up Drabek when we could have had Halladay in July had they traded him then?? This makes me very, very, very angry. Of course, we do not know the details of the deal yet, but usually, where there is smoke, there is fire.
And so we all wait with bated breath for the decision to come down from above…
Photo by Jenn
Is there a doctor in the house? Apparently, there are a few very busy doctors in the Phillies clubhouse since the season ended. It had already been disclosed that Scott Eyre was pitching the latter half of the season with bone chips in his elbow, so the fact that he will have surgery tomorrow is no surprise. Eyre performed admirably despite the injury and ended the regular season with a 1.50 ERA in 42 appearances and a 2.08 ERA in the post-season. His future is uncertain though; the Phillies may offer him a spot if surgery goes well, but he also may simply choose to retire and be home with his family. It will be a while before any decisions are made.
But the fact that Raul Ibanez was hurt the entire second half of the year was not disclosed until Sports Illustrated broke the story in late October that Ibanez was playing through both a sore groin and an abdominal tear. Ibanez will have surgery Monday as well for a sports hernia. But this begs the question, had the Phillies carried on without Ibanez and gave the playing time to a healthy Ben Francisco, would that have helped their chances to win the World Series?
Ibanez was hitting .312 before the All-Star break; afterwards, he hit only .232. And in the post-season, he managed only a .259 average and a .481 slugging percentage. Whether or not Francisco could have been a bigger producer if he was given the playing time prior to the post-season, we will never know. But the Phillies had other options and instead left Ibanez in; it appears that may have hurt the team’s chances. We all admire Ibanez for his determination, but the decision is questionable based on the results.
And then the big X-Factor, Brad Lidge. The decision to keep Lidge on as the closer for the post-season may have single handedly destroyed the Phillies repeat hopes. Because as it turns out, Lidge also had serious injuries for most of the year. He will have surgery on Wednesday to remove loose bodies from his elbow and may also have damage to his right flexor tendon. Whether or not the Phillies were aware of this before or during the playoffs has not been announced. But it does raise eyebrows.
The Phillies were on the verge of a huge comeback in Game 4 of the World Series when Pedro Feliz knocked a game-tying homer in the 8th inning. Had they won the game, the Phillies would have been tied 2-2 with the Yankees and momentum would have been on their side, especially with Cliff Lee pitching the next day. But Lidge blew any chance of that happening when he allowed 3 runs in the 9th and dashed the Phillies hopes. I strongly believe that was the turning point that handed the series over to the Yankees.
So the question then is, with such injuries plus his entire 2009 history, why was Lidge allowed to pitch? Obviously, Lidge knew something was wrong. If he did not tell, then shame on him. If he did and the Phillies choose to let him go out there anyway, shame on the management. Either way, the Lidge experiment, along with the Cole Hamels experiment and other injuries, took down the Phillies this year.
And the real shame here is that there were other pitchers who could have filled in; JA Happ for Hamels, Ryan Madson or Chan Ho Park for Lidge. You know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, what is it IS broke? That is a question the Phillies will be asking themselves all off-season.
In other news, Brett Myers was told he will not be with the Phillies next year. He is currently a free agent. Pedro Feliz is still in limbo with the status of his contract option.
Player photos by Jenn