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Category Archives: CC Sabathia

Talks Between Phillies, Cole Hamels Intensifies

The Phillies want Cole Hamels.

They want to sign Hamels so bad that the Phillies, ”are really not even entertaining (trade) offers at this point,” according to a source of Jayson Stark’s. Their goal is to sign Hamels before the July 31 deadline.

More from Stark:

Another source said the Phillies are now willing to sign Hamels to a six-year contract, a first for any starting pitcher in club history. For months, length of contract has been the No. 1 sticking point in the negotiations. The Phillies initially offered Hamels a four-year extension last offseason, but they came to the conclusion they had no alternative but to soften that stance as Hamels draws closer to becoming a free agent this fall.

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One-on-one battles highlight MVP and Cy Young races

Brewers 1B Prince Fielder (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NL MVP
Matt Kemp: There have been two bright spots for the Dodgers this season, who are in the middle of a financial rut and baseball abyss. One of those bright spots is Matt Kemp (the other is in the Cy Young race). Kemp is having a Willie Mays-ian season (yes, I compared him to the Say Hey Kid), combining a rare mix of elite fielding, speed on the base paths, hitting for a high average and power while driving in runs on a terrible team.

Kemp is in the top four of all three Triple Crown stats: 4th in average (.320), 2nd in home runs (31) and 2nd in RBIs (102). He is only one homer and RBI behind the NL leader but sits .016 behind the injured Jose Reyes. If Kemp does go on one more hitting tear, a Triple Crown is a possibility. Kemp is one of a very small handful of players in baseball who are threats to do that every season and the fact he’s doing that this year makes him a top candidate for MVP.

Prince Fielder: Prince Fielder is right up there with Kemp statistically. Hitting .293 with 29 homers and 102 RBIs, Fielder is enjoying another one of the best seasons he’s compiled as a Milwaukee Brewer. Kemp has the advantage on Fielder for playing a more skilled position but Fielder has an advantage in another area that could be more important.

When voters look at Fielder, they will see that he’s raking on a team with the third best record in the NL, putting the Brewers in the position for the #2 seed in the post season. By being a “valuable” asset to one of the best teams in the National League, Fielder has made himself a top MVP candidate

Sleepers: Shane Victorino (Philadelphia), Ryan Braun (Milwaukee)

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Doc, C.C. sharp in Phils rout

Once the starters left, the flood gates opened. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the flood gates never opened on the Phils end.

Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia battled with some shut-out ball before the Yankees bull pen surrendered seven runs as the Phillies won, 7-0.

Halladay looked really sharp, allowing four hits and striking out two in six shut out innings of work. Sabathia allowed three htis and struck out two in five innings of work.

Michael Stutes, J.C. Ramirez and Michael Schwimmer all pitched an inning of perfect ball each to preserve the shut out. All three of them are battling for a bull pen spot.

Stutes has been really impressive so far. He has a 1.50 ERA in six innings of work this spring while striking out eight. David Murphy on Twitter said his fastball has a lot of movement to it. It will be interesting to see how much he will be considered for a bull pen spot, if not on Opening Day but during the season.

On the offensive side, John Mayberry hit his third homer of the spring, a two-run shot in the sixth. Ben Francisco had a two-hit game, including a double, as he is working on solidifying his Opening Day starting job in right field.

2B: Polanco (1), Francisco (3). 3B: Barfield (1). HR: Mayberry (3).

WP: Halladay. LP: D. Robertson.

Boxscore.

Christmas Buying Guide for MLB Players

Oh I am in a Christmassy mood. It must be because feeling kinda Christmassy or it must be that time of year again. If you could buy your favorite Major League Baseball players something for Christmas, what would you buy? After a lot of careful scientifical research and some loose thoughts running wild, here is a list as to what I would buy selected MLB players for the holidays.

Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies Ace 1): A small nation in the South Pacific, Eastern Bloc, or South Atlantic

I would buy Roy Halladay a country. That’s right, a country. Why a country? Halladay already owns everything except a World Series ring. And you can’t buy a World Series ring…. wait never mind, the Yankees proved you could. But I digress. So I would buy the reigning NL Cy Young winner a country. He already leads a team, in the Phillies, and commands a nation (the Phillies Nation). So what better gift than a small country. I’m thinking something in the Eastern Bloc, like Crimea or maybe Latvia or Estonia. Hell, maybe not even a small country, I might just go for broke and buy him Russia; seeing as his eyesight is so good he can see Russia from his house….in FLORIDA.

Kyle Kendrick (bag of baseballs the Phillies run out every fifth day): Pitching for Dummies and MLB 10: The Show for PS3

For those of you don’t know one of my favorite players is Kyle Kendrick. Don’t ask, long story that I am saving for another time. Since he has some “issues” with pitching “consistently” I would buy him Pitching for Dummies (if they actually make that book). He could learn a thing from it: consistency. Consistency of the paper, that is. As a stocking stuffer, I’d buy him MLB 10: The Show for PlayStation 3. Why? That way he can see how much virtual KK is better than real life KK.

Joe Blanton (Pitcher for the Phillies) and CC Sabathia (Ace for the Yankees): A restaurant/fast food chain/IHOP and maybe weight watchers

“Oh wow Bmac, fat jokes, really? Come on you’re better than that!” Yeah but I only speak the truth! That is what I get both Blanton and Sabathia; some form of food empire to manage/eat at. Both are big guys, so both have mighty appetites. So why not buy them both a food empire to eat at/manage. And as a stocking stuff I’d give CC a five-year membership to Weight Watchers. 310 pounds at 6’7” CC? Damn son. Blanton not so much, I think he is more just a big guy. But CC? Oh definitely the Weight Watchers.

Danys Baez (Overpaid reliever for the Phillies): One way ticket back to Cuba.

He can take his almost 5+ Career ERA and almost 2+ Career WHIP with him. He can go back and dominate Cuban ball, but his days of dominating MLB hitters (if he even did that) has past him. I mean come on Danys, you can’t win when you get two outs and then allow 4 runs to cross before you get lifted or get the third out! That may* work in Cuba, but not here in the States.

*Sidenote: yes… okay that MAY work when your leading by six. But I’m just saying.

Jayson Werth (Outfielder for the Nationals): A box of tissues for his issues

I buy Jayson Werth, the newest National, a box of tissues. No not because I’m cheap, well okay yes I am, but because of all the crying he will be doing when Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, and maybe Kendrick strike his ass out. Not only that, the tissues will come in handy for when he is also crying his eyes out at home; which is where his butt will be come every October of his seven year, eleventh billion dollar contract. There’s no crying in baseball, unless Roy Halladay is pitching and you’re a Met or Yankee… or Jayson Werth.

Brian Wilson (Closer for the San Fran Giants): An electric or straight razor

I don’t fear that beard. Hell, I’m more afraid of him blowing a bomb up than him dropping a slider on 3-2 with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth of Game 6 of the NLCS. That beard is hideous and it makes him look like terrorist. Rumor has it that he has been through the new TSA pat down several times because of the beard and suspiciousness of it. Rumor also has it that he liked it, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, I’d buy him a razor. Dude, you have to shave the beard, if you do, I may buy you a beer (probably not). I’m sorry, Brian Wilson… but Roy Halladay’s beard is better than yours. Also, Roy Halladay doesn’t fear Brian Wilson’s beard. Brian Wilson’s Beard fears Roy Halladay.

Logan Morrison (Marlins OF and somehow a Philly fan favorite): A “Facebroke” shirt from the ZooWithRoy T-Shirt shop

Logan Morrison, the Malrins left fielder and somehow a Philly fan favorite. How that is, I don’t know. But I do know that I would buy him a “Facebroke” shirt. Why? Because he will face broken by the end of the season from facing Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels (maybe Kendrick too, doubt though). It is said that for a person to be canonized for sainthood by the Catholic church, proof of at least one miracle needs to be established. Of all the miracles recognized, it can be said that no saint has ever gotten as much as a foul-tip off of a Roy Halladay pitch – and it may never be achieved. Now imagine trying to do that against the other three (and Kendrick). Yeah… thought so. LoMo will be using Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” as his walk up music because it is actually a song to give hope to all those who face Roy Halladay. Needless to say, the song is lying.

David Wright (New York Mets Third Baseman): shorter fences and some legal “Testosterone”

Since no one can hit a homer in Bailout Bank… I mean CITI Field. I would buy David Wright some shorter fences or some legal Testosterone because he can’t hit a homer in this park. I mean, if I can hit one [A home run] in MLB 10: The Show, what makes you think it’s possible to it in real life. Unless you’re Chase Utley and hit it into his corner out in right center. Either that or I’d buy him some legal “stuff” to help him hit something, cause he hits like a pu…. I mean woman.

Johan Santana (Mets Ace and resident sad-sack): A better offense/better team

And finally we come to our final MLB player on my list: Mets Ace and resident sad-sack, Johan Santana. I’d buy Johan some offense…. CORRECTION a BETTER offense than what he has now. I kind of feel sorry for the guy. He has a lousy offense and plays for a lousy New York team (not the Bronx team either). I mean I thought if Pittsburgh was baseball Hell then Washington and the New York (Mets) must be baseball Purgatory. With a better team he could pitch like the ace he is without worrying about run support. Then again… I do like to laugh at the Mets.

Spankee’d

Roy Halladay was spanked mercilessly by the Yankees on Tuesday night. The veteran righty, who statistically was a Yankee killer, got roughed up for six runs as the Yankees won 8-3.

C.C. Sabathia bested Doc with his strong seven-inning, three-run performance in which he sat-down seven Phillies. He only gave up five hits and three walks, all coming in his final four innings. Halladay only lasted six innings, allowing his six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five.

Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Brett Gardner each had a pair of hits. Granderson, Swisher, and Mark Teixeira all homered tonight, the latter barely leaving the yard. Chase Utley had the only mult-hit game for the Phillies. The entire Phillies line-up mustered only five hits and none were for extra bases.

The Phillies got all three runs in the fourth inning to make it a 5-3 game before Sabathia bore down. The Phillies couldn’t say the same for Halladay who allowed two runs in the second inning thanks to a Gardner triple before giving up a solo homer and two-run shot the following inning. Tex then hit his sissy pop-fly homer down the first base line that barely left the 314-foot mark in the fifth to make it 6-3.

I would have written more but I’m trying to forget about witnessing an ass kicking in person. You’ll hear more about how over rated Yankee Stadium is within a couple days.

WP: Sabathia (7-3). LP: Halladay (8-5).

Boxscore.

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Jimmy Rollins went 0-for-3 in his first rehab start with Clearwater on Tuesday. The All-Star shortstop is rehabbing his strained calf while on his second stint on the DL with the same injury. Todd Zolecki added to the report that Rollins is expected back this weekend. Hopefully that short time frame isn’t too short as the reason Rollins was back on the DL was because the Phillies rushed him back.

Series Preview: Yankees

Phillies (32-29, 3rd in NL East) at New York Yankees (40-23, 1st in AL East)

Where: Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Tue:
Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96) at C.C. Sabathia (6-3, 4.01)
Wed: Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.80) at A.J. Burnett (6-4, 3.86)
Thu: Jamie Moyer (6-6, 5.03) at Andy Pettitte (8-1, 2.46)

Broadcast
Tues
: 7:05, MyPHL 17
Wed: 7:05, CSN/ESPN
Thurs: 7:05 pm, MyPHL 17

Hot (last 7) – Raul Ibanez: .333 (9-for-27), 2 R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI.
Not (last 7) – Chase Utley: .167 (4-for-24), 3 K

Player to Watch – Robinson Cano: Cano has been an absolute monster this season thus far. He’s leading the league with a .371 batting average while hitting 13 homers and driving in 47 RBIs. The second baseman, who’s a career .312 hitter, is on pace to have a career season, shattering his career high in batting average and on pace to surpass his run, homer, and RBI totals. He’s also been on a seven-game hitting streak.

Series Overview: This is a rematch of the World Series in which New York won in six games. The Phillies will hopefully be motivated playing in New York, where they saw the Yankees celebrate their 27th championship… Last season, the two teams met for the first time in years as the Phillies won that series 2-1… New York is in the middle of a series battle with the Tampa Bay Rays for the division mid-way through the season while the Phillies are 3.5 games back in their division, hoping to get back into the mix… With their three pitchers going, New York seems to have the advantage this series on the hill but the Phillies have Roy Halladay going against C.C. Sabathia on Tuesday, possibly the pitching match-up of the season so far.

Phils Snap Skid Heading Into NY

Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia leaps after forcing out Chase Utley. Both players are regarded as the best two-baggers in their respective leagues. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Phillies did not want to go into a tough Yankee Stadium any more down in the NL East than they already were. They prevented that by scoring early and holding on to win by a score of 5-3 in Boston to prevent the sweep and snapping the three-game skid.

Tim Wakefield gave the Phillies a lot of problems when he faced them three weeks ago in Philadelphia. But the knuckle-baller was bested, allowing four runs in 7.1 innings. After that bad inning, he settled down and pitched great for Boston. If it weren’t for those early runs, this game could’ve been trouble for the Phils.

Cole Hamels was fantastic in his outing, allowing a run on five hits and two walks in seven innins of work while striking out eight. The lone run he allowed came off a solo homer in the second inning by Adrian Beltre. Brad Lidge pitched 2/3 of an inning to get his fourth save of the season.

While trailing 1-0, the Phillies got four runs in a huge fourth inning where Raul Ibanez hit a two-run home run to snap the 1-1 tie. Ben Francisco then doubled and was driven in by Juan Castro to make it a 4-1 game. The Phillies added a run in the top of the ninth when Ben Francisco drove in Jayson Werth on a sacrifice fly. Boston scored two in the bottom half but Lidge stopped the bleeding to shut the door on the come back.

The Phillies will have the day off Monday before heading to the Bronx to face the Yankees in a three-game rematch of the World Series. I’ll be in attendance for Tuesday’s games with six more to invade Yankee Stadium and watch Roy Halladay take on C.C. Sabathia.

Doubles: Howard (11), Francisco (4), Polanco (13). HR: Ibanez (4).

WP: Hamels (6-5). LP: Wakefield (2-5). S: Lidge (4).

Boxscore.

Doc to Face Shrek Tuesday

The Phillies decided it was best to adjust their rotation for their upcoming series with the New York Yankees. Roy Halladay and Kyle Kendrick will be trading spots in the rotation because coach Rich Dubee wants Halladay to have six more starts before the All-Star Break and not five. The move will pitch Halladay on Tuesday against Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia and line him up to pitch against the first-place Minnesota Twins instead of the last-place Cleveland Indians during the Phillies’ stretch of interleague play.

“I ain’t worried about who we’re getting him against,” Dubee said. “I’m just getting him six starts instead of five.”

Dan MacNeal, myself, and five others will be thrilled with the move as the seven of us will be invading Yankee Stadium on Tuesday to see the classic battle between Doc and Shrek.

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ROLLINS TO REHAB — Jimmy Rollins will begin his rehab process Tuesday according to Todd Zolecki on Twitter. He was supposed to begin on Monday but it got pushed back a day for unknown reasons. Hopefully the Phillies won’t rush him back this time so he can last longer than a week in the line up.

5 Teams to Watch in the AL

Yankees – They’re the 2009 World Series champions and still kept intact the solid nucleus that got them there. They traded top prospects to land centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a much better defensive asset than Johnny Damon. They also traded Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez to bolster the starting rotation. With guys like C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Brunett, and Andy Pettitte, the Yankees boast a very good pitching unit. Mariano Rivera is still the best closer in the game and the aging offense led by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira can still put a ton of runs up on the score board. If things go right, they could have another parade down Broadway.

Red Sox – The pitching is truly phenomenal. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka form the best top-four in baseball. The offense is led by top young stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Marco Scutaro is hoping to end the revolving door at the short stop position and Adrian Beltre is an offensive upgrade at third. Offensive depth is the only thing that should concern the Sox but they have the pitching to get the job done. David Ortiz is a shell of his old self but it still the DH.

Twins – It’s safe to say that Joe Mauer is the scariest hitter in the AL. The reigning MVP is one of the reasons Minnesota is buzzing prior to the 2010 season. Along with a new outdoor park and a very dangerous lineup featuring Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer, the fans and Twins have high expectations for this year. The only problem with them this year though is pitching. If their starters can have decent years, they could beat out Detroit for the division.

Mariners – Seattle is truly going to be a serious contender in the AL. The addition of Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley will revamp a pitching staff and offense in need of fire power. Lee became a hot pitcher again after his last season transformation with the Phillies and will look to create a formidable 1-2 punch with Felix Hernandez. Figgins will add speed and Bradley will look to add power to a Mariners lineup that hit 160 homer (12th in the AL) last season.

Angels – Surely they make their case for a serious playoff contender every year but there has to be a breaking point. They improved an already solid lineup with Hideki Matsui and bolstered their bull pen with Fernando Rodney but the team still doesn’t jump out at anyone. The core of the offense is aging in Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Matsui and they lost Figgins to the division rival Mariners. Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders, and newly acquired Joel Pineiro will need to have season like 2009 to give the Mariners a fighting chance in an AL crowded with contenders.

East: Yankees
Central: Twins
West: Mariners
Wild Card: Red Sox

Pennant: Yankees over Mariners

19th?

As some of you saw last week, Sports Illustrated, a once great magazine whose letting-go of Rick Reilly still puzzles me, layed another egg. In Tim Marchman’s rating, they said Ruben Amaro, Jr. was the 19th best GM in all of major league baseball.

19th?

NINETEENTH?

You have got to be kidding me! Before I completely rip this post apart, here are some of the GM’s considered better than Amaro:

5. Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners – Marchman rips Amaro for only being a GM for one year and winning a pennant but considers Zduriencik, who has little over a year of experience under his belt with nothing to show for it as a top-five GM. Zduriencik also acquired Cliff Lee in a trade for prospects like Amaro but his 14 spots higher than Rube. Hmm.

6. Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers - “There’s a lingering air of unfulfilled potential…” Potential is a fancy word for “Ain’t done nothin’ yet,” (had to clean it up). By failing to hold onto C.C. Sabathia, arguably the best pitcher in the game, I don’t see him deserving of #6.

12. Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles – I don’t care who you are or what you did in the past. If the team you GM has been so awful for such a long time, I don’t think you’re doing anything right.

That’s just a few. Now here is his take on Mr. Amaro:

So you’re telling me that trading Lee to sustain a farm system and allow the Phillies to be a serious competitor for many years makes Amaro unworthy of not being in the top half of baseball? 

Let’s break this down:

The Phillies trade for Halladay and keep Lee. After 2010 Lee is a free agent and signs with another team. The Phillies are left with only Dom Brown as the only legit prospect in the system. Or the Phillies trade Lee and get Tyson Gillies, Phillippe Aumont, and Juan Ramirez in return to give the Phillies two note-worthy pitching prospects and another good OF prospect along with Brown when they see Jayson Werth and/or Ibanez walk.

Now let’s talk about Ibanez. I didn’t know three years were considered long-term. And if I’m nost mistaken, if it weren’t for a groin injury that is healed now, Ibanez would have had an MVP-candidate season insteasd of tailing off after his All Star selection.

How about holding onto Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Joe Blanton? What about letting go expendable arms like Tyler Walker, Chan Ho Park, and Brett Myers. What about revamping a bench that finished near the cellar? If he successfully signs Jayson Werth after the 2010 season, will Amaro maybe move up to 17th?

The only thing I can see towards a dropped rating for Amaro is his youth and him only having one year under his belt. But then again, why is Zduriencik #5?

John Gonzalez is right: Sports Illustrated lost a lot of credibility in my mind with that statement. But the credibility lost goes to Marchman for being an idiot and to the magazine for hiring one.

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