TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: December 2009

Bozied and Baez

Bozied and Baez: sounds like a bad comedy routine from the 50’s. Well this duo is Tagg Bozied, a firt baseman, and Danys Baez, a reliever. Reports all over Twitter have said the Phillies signed the Bozied, a once highly regarded prospect with the Padres who suffered a torn tendon in his knee. He was in the Pirates’ Triple-A club last season where he batted .288 in 240 plate appearances.

The mystery pitcher that we heard about last week turned out to be Baez, who the Phillies are now close to signing. The 32-year-old righty pitched 71.2 innings for the Orioles last year, allowing 59 hits and 22 walks. He struck out 40 for an ERA of 4.02.

Both are solid signings. The Phillies needed a veteran specialist to replace Scott Eyre and they got that in Baez. They also got a prospect who still has a lot of potential but had a major injury a couple years ago in Bozied. Bozied could make a run at a spot on the roster eventually during the season and could maybe (big maybe) be the replacement for Matt Stairs.

Season’s Greetings

I’m sorry for the lack of updates. Like many of you, this time of the year is extremely exhausting. I will complete the Player Report Cards and Dan will finish the remaining four top moments of 2009 most likely when the new year hits. As for the rest of you, have a safe and happy New Year and I can’t wait to post some more as Spring Training looks to be only two and a half months away!

For now, watch some quality college football, the Eagles, Flyers, and Sixers. We have the Flyers playing the Bruins in the Winter Classic and the PSU/LSU Bowl Game on Friday, another huge football game for the Eagles versus Dallas that will determine playoff seeding, and the Sixers battle for the top draft pick.

Phillies Worst Decade Team

So we had the decade team; the cream of the crop, the best of the best. Well now we have our loveable losers. Guys that made you want to drop your head in your hands and ask, “Why is this happening?” Here is our 25-man roster that, if they played on one team, you wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry:

nondecadestarters.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Manager – Terry Francona (2000): This was hard because Francona only managed in 2000 of this decade (1997-2000 was his tenure) and Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel were both good managers. In 2000, the Phillies were 65-97 under Terry. Francona no doubt is a great manager seeing that he won two World Series’ with Boston in 2004 and 2007.

C – Todd Pratt (2001-2005): This was a tough choice because there were a lot of decent but never truly awful catchers except for Sal Fasano who is our back-up. Pratt was never a great hitter nor a good fielder. He was never a true starter seeing that the most he started in a year was 49 times.

1B – Travis Lee (2000-20002): He was disappointing. The decade was filled with good first basemen from Rico Brogna to Jim Thome to Ryan Howard but Lee was just terrible. He batted .258 in his 2 1/2 years in Philly and never amounted to anything he was supposed to be.

2B – Eric Bruntlett (2008-2009): He was brought to Philly to be a good utility fielder and solid bat off the bench. He wasn’t even close to that. He batted .202 in Philly including a putrid .171 in 2009. Yea he had the unassisted triple play but that came after he made two errors to put those guys on base! Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.

3B – David Bell (2003-2006): He was a huge disappointment. He was brought here to be a 15-20 homer guy and only reached that mark once (18 in 2004). He was a terrible fielder and a washed up hitter. He retired after the 2006 year with Milwaukee.

SS – Desi Relaford (2000): He was the only guy to play short other than Jimmy Rollins. But he played with the Phillies from 1996-2000 and he was awful. He was a career .243 hitter but was a .234 hitter with Phillies. In 2000, he .221 in 83 games before he was dumped to San Diego.

LF – Kevin Sefcik (2000): Like Relaford, Sefick did most of his wasting space prior to 2000. He was a career bench player and was terrible when he played. He had one good year in 1998 but was never more than an okay pinch hitter. He had one at bat in 2001 with Colorado and never played an inning again.

CF – Marlon Byrd (2002-2005): He was never bad but the pickings for outfield were slim. He blew up in 2003 but then sunk to disgusting lows. His Philly average was a .271, which sucked for a lead off hitter (Rollins can get away with it because he does so much more). Byrd has in fact improved a lot as he is starting in Texas.

RF – Endy Chavez (2005): He was a bench guy brought in to be a defensive replacement and a late innings pinch runner. He barely got on base enough to do any damage, stealing only two bases and getting caught once. Like Relaford Chavez didn’t see much action because Bobby Abreu, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth have all started in right the entire decade.

SP – Adam Eaton (2007-2008): He earned “Bust of the Decade” in my books. He killed the Phillies long after they got rid of him because they still had to pay his salary in 2008-09. In his two years, he was 14-18 with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. He got a ring because he was somehow a part of the championship team and was booed by the Phillies crowd at the ring ceremony in April 09 because they know for a fact he didn’t do a damn thing to earn it.

nondecaderotation.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Rest of the rotation:
SP – Freddy Garcia (2007)
SP – Bruce Chen (2000-2001)
SP – Jon Leiber (2005-2007)
SP – Brandon Duckworth (2001-2003)

nondecadebench.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Bench:
C – Sal Fasano (2006)
3B – Wes Helms (2007)
IF – Abraham Nunez (2006-2007)
OF – Eric Valent (2001-2002)
OF – So Taguchi (2008)

nondecadebullpen.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Bull Pen:
RP – Tim Worrell (2004-2005)
RP – Amaury Telemaco (2000-2005)
RP – Antonio Alfonseca (2007)
RP – Arthur Rhodes (2006)
RP – Ugueth Urbina (2005)
RP – Tom Gordon (2006-2008)
CL – Jeff Brantley (2000)

Merry Christmas

happyhalladays.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Phillies All-Decade Team

So as 2009 winds down, so does the rest of this past decade. So how about we look at the best Phillies of the last 10 years. And this won’t be just your regular team, it will be a full 25 man roster with a starting line up, batting order, and starting pitcher. I will then fill out the roster with four more starting pitchers and 13 bench players and bull pen arms.

Here is your 2000-2009 All Decade Team:

alldecadestarters.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Manager – Charlie Manuel (2005-present): This was obvious. He became the second manager in Phillies history to win three straight divisions and is the only manager to lead his team to back to back World Series appearances. Oh and he also earned a ring in 2008. He’s a players coach but knows how to keep the team disciplined and together.

SS – Jimmy Rollins (2000-2009): He is the only player to play the whole decade with the Phillies. He is the team’s captain and is a sports figure in this city as a player and as a role model. He won the NL MVP in 2007 and was a key contributor to their World Series win in 2008. He was also the player who wanted Harry Kalas’ jacket and shoes to be brought with the team for every game this past season, a classy tribute. He averaged about 15 homers a year, which is a lot for a lead off hitter, and has a career average of .273.

CF – Shane Victorino (2005-2009): The Flyin’ Hawaiian has given the Phillies a lot of character. After earning himself a starting spot in 2006, playing right field, he switched to center when Aaron Rowand left for San Francisco and was one of the key parts of all three division winning seasons. He was picked up by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft in 2005, practically a steal. As a Phillie, he’s batted .289 and has led the league in triples in 2009 with 13. He has won a couple gold gloves in center and made his first all star appearance in 2009 as a starter.

2B – Chase Utley (2003-2009): Harry Kalas couldn’t have said it any better: Utley certainly is the man. His career .295 is due to his injury plagued last two seasons but he has still been the best second baseman of the past decade. If he continues to be the player he is, he could potentially be a hall of famer and the greatest second baseman of all time.

1B – Ryan Howard (2004-2009): He’s been another incredible player and is possibly on his path to Phillies greatness and a hall of fame career as well. Howard has led the league in home runs twice and RBI’s three times. He also shattered Mike Schmidt’s home run record in 2006 with 58, his NL MVP year. Rollins dubbed him the “Big Piece” and he has shown it, especially when he had his power outage in the World Series versus New York. He batted .278 and averaged almost 50 homers and 143 RBI’s a year the last four years.

LF – Pat Burrell (2000-2008): Pat the Bat had an up and down career in Philly. After exploding with his monster year in 2002 with a .282 with 37 homers and 116 RBI’s, he fell off, dropping his career average with the Phillies to .257 but still averaged 28 homers and 92 RBI’s a year. In fitting fashion, he led the parade down Broad St. in 2008 on top the Budweiser Clydesdale carriage. He will truly be remembered as one of the best Phillies ever.

RF – Bobby Abreu (2000-2006): Abreu was with the Phillies since 1998 and has been their most consistent player of the decade. Though he was never known for his glove in the outfield, he made that up with his bat. Heading into the decade, he had seven straight years of at least 20 homers and led the league in doubles with 50 in 2002. He batted .298 in his tenure during the decade. He was traded to the Yankees in 2006 for a bunch of players that never amounted to anything.

3B – Scott Rolen (2000-2002): Though Rolen’s run in Philly ended with an ugly divorce, he was still their best third baseman this past decade. He started his career here in 1996 and won the NL ROY in 1997. He won three Gold Gloves and made an All Star appearence and won the Silver Slugger in 2002. He batted .284 and hit 68 homers during his 2 1/2 years in the decade. He was ranked 11 in ESPN’s Top 100 players of the decade seeing as most of his success came with St. Louis where he won his only World Series.

C – Mike Lieberthal (2000-2006): He started his career here in 1994 and played all but one season in Philly. Definately a Philly favorite and captain of the team until his departure, Lieby posted some good years as a catcher like his All Star year in 2000 and career best .313 average year in 2003.

P – Cole Hamels (2006-2009): Though he’s only played four years so far, he’s turned into one of their best pitchers. He had a rocky 2009 but his 2008 season and post season earned him World Series MVP and a ring. He’s 48-34 with a 3.67 ERA. He’s young and with a veteran pitcher like Roy Halladay to assume the ace role, he can focus more on being a dominant pitcher than having the stress of being an ace.

alldecaderotation.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Rest of the rotation:
SP – Brett Myers (2002-2009)
SP – Randy Wolf (2000-2006)
SP – Vicente Padilla (2000-2005)
SP – Jamie Moyer (2006-2009)

alldecadebench.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Bench:
C – Carlos Ruiz (2006-2009)
1B – Jim Thome (2003-2005)
2B – Placido Polanco (2002-2005)
CF – Aaron Rowand (2006-2007)
RF – Jayson Werth (2007-2009)

alldecadepen.jpg picture by SpartanC63

Bull Pen:
RP – Ryan Madson (2003-2009)
RP – Rheal Cormier (2001-2006)
RP – J.C. Romero (2007-2009)
RP – Aaron Fultz (2005-2006)
RP – Clay Condrey (2006-2009)
RP – Billy Wagner (2004-2005)
RP – Jose Mesa (2001-2003, 2007)
CL – Brad Lidge (2008-2009)

2009 Phillies Moment #5: Ring Ceremony Game

Is this moment more memorable because it was Harry’s last appearance at home?  Is it because it brought ‘closure’ to the 2008 World Series Champions and announced 2009 was underway?  How about the crazy game that followed the ceremony?  It was all of these.

The Phillies trailed 10-3 to Atlanta going into the bottom of the seventh when they exploded for eight runs to take the lead for good.  In the process they picked up their first win of the 2009 season.  Not only that, but none of the runs scored came on extra base hits.  Eight runs on three singles, four bases loaded walks and a ground out.

The ring ceremony was one of the highlights of the day, most of the current Phils got their rings from 2008.  Guys who weren’t even with the club at the time came by. Former Phil Pat Burrell made a quick appearance to pick up his ring and get one final salute from the Phils fans.  Unfortunately for Adam Eaton he did show, and the fans let him know how much they appreciated his 2008 efforts (or lack thereof).

But the biggest story was the final public appearance of Harry Kalas.  None of the fans at the game or watching on television knew it at the time, but as HK threw out the first pitch, that would be the last time we’d see him at Citizens Bank Park.

-Real Deal

I was at this game. Such an unbelievable day. Like Dan said, we didn’t know at the time that this was going to be HK’s last home game. I had to be back at school to turn in a paper and planned on leaving after the seventh because Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard were due up. Me and my brother went downstairs and watched the game from the first base side and we were in awe watching the come back. We left after the eight-run inning, listening to it on the radio.

-Roose

Halladay Honors Jays Fans

In a true act of class similar to Pat Burrell did this past season, Roy Halladay took up a full page ad in the Toronto Sun thanking the fans. The ad had Roy Halladay across the top and a letter in it reading:

“My wife Brandy, sons Braden and Ryan, and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, its incredible fans, and the City of Toronto.

“I feel blessed to have been part of the Blue Jays since 1995 and am extremely grateful for the opportunities it has provided. Throughout this past 15 years, there have been so many people within the organization that have made a wonderful and significant impact in my life, it would be impossible to name them all.

“I am sincerely grateful for the incredible support and compassion the Blue Jays fans have always shown me. I am in awe of your overwhelming passion and devotion.

“Toronto will forever have a special place in my heart.

“The memories will last a lifetime and so will my gratitude.

“Best regards,

“Roy”

Mets Interested in Pedro

I don’t know who is crazier: Pedro Martinez thinking he is worth $7.5MM or the Mets for considering him as a pitching option for 2010. Though the Mets are interested in Martinez, they do not feel he is worth that price. He would join Chris Coste as the second recycled Phillie to join the Mets.

It looks like the Mets are interested in another washed-up over the hill player that is subject to injury. He, Carlos Delgado, and Louis Castillo can all share the same suite in the retirement home next year. Well I guess one team’s half-season semi decent pitcher is another team’s desperate answer.

PRC: Carlos Ruiz

Player: Carlos Ruiz
Number: 51
Position: C
Bats/Throws: R/R

Consistency: Chooch had another solid year by his standards. For an 8-hole hitter, his .255 average and .355 OBP were very good. He started out batting .304 after May but batted .173 during June and July, dropping his average to .223. He then heated up tremendously, batting well over .300 for the remainder of the season to bring his average back up

He carried his hot bat into the playoffs, taking the nickname “Senior Chooch-tobre.” He batted .341 in the playoffs with six extra base hits and nine RBI’s.

Regular Season Stats: 107 G, 322 AB, 32 R, 82 H, 26 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 3 SB, 47 BB, 39 K, .255 AVG, .355 OBP, .425 SLG

Post Season Stats: 15 G, 44 AB, 8 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB, 12 BB, 4 K, .341 AVG, .491 OBP, .591 SLG

Fielding: He has established himself as one of the top fielding catchers in the game. He is so quick to drop to the dirt and get to past balls. He had only three errors and a .996 fielding percentage. 61 bases were stolen on him and 23 didn’t quite make it.

Health: He hurt his hand late in the season, missing a couple weeks but was obviously healthy enough in the playoffs.

Intangibles: His fielding his exceptional and his bat is much better than your average 8-hitter. He handles Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels the best. It’s going to be interesting to see his relationship with Roy Halladay, who pitches low and forces a lot of ground balls.

Overall Grade: B. His stretch from August to October really brought his grade back up. He’s a good catcher and very vital to this team’s success defensively and in the bottom of the order.

PRC: Jimmy Rollins

Player: Jimmy Rollins
Number: 11
Position: SS
Bats/Throws: S/R

Consistency: I should give two reports for J-Roll: one for the beginning of the season and then one for the latter half. Rollins started out so poor that Charlie Manuel tried benching him and then dropping him in the batting order. He stuck him back in the lead-off spot and stayed with him until he became the MVP he once was. After batting .167 in June, he turned it on, batting .313. From June to the end of the year, he maintained a .280 average and brought his average up from .207 to .250, a solid increased.

In the playoffs, he went back to his old self, failing to get on base often. In the World Series, he drew five walks after not drawing any in the NLDS and NLCS. His lack of production in the playoffs eventually killed them versus the Yankees.

Regular Season Stats: 155 G, 672 AB, 100 R, 168 H, 43 2B, 5 3B, 21 HR, 77 RBI, 31 SB, 44 BB, 70 K, .250 AVG, .296 OBP, .423 SLG

Post Season Stats: 15 G, 64 AB, 9 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB, 5 BB, 10 K, .234 AVG, .306 OBP, .281 SLG

Fielding: He fielded well enough to earn himself his third straight Gold Glove award. His six errors were the lowest in his career and his .990 fielding percentage was his highest.

Health: He was never hurt.

Intangibles: He’s the captain of this team in my opinion. He had an off year, turned it on mid-year and played his steady-ball throughout the end. He came up short in the playoffs, something that cost the team in World Series. He will definitely need to be a better lead-off hitter next year. He has to get his OBP higher (around .330 would be nice) and keep it there the entire year.

Overall Grade: C+. He had a bad year in regards to what he can and should do every year.

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