2016 Phillies Are Easier on My Nerves

All last season I could barely bring myself to blog about the Phillies, because it was too painful. Everything about last season was painful. I don’t want to even think about it.

But now in 2016 there is a glimmer of hope and expectation that surrounds Phillies fans. Each game has possibility. Each pitcher might have a strong game.

There are young players that have won far more than we dared dream they would win. Although the offense is weak, it’s not as weak as last year. They have won a fair share of the games they’ve played.  Best of all, when the other team takes the lead, I am not tempted (too much) to turn off the TV.

Today the Phillies are playing the Cubs, who are the hottest team in baseball just now.  Tho I feel a lot of trepidation, I’m not despairing. They just might be able to win a couple of games in Chicago, if our pitchers are strong.

We’ll know soon.

Cole Hamels Leaves Philadelphia

It’s hard to watch Cole Hamels wear a Ranger uniform.

Until yesterday, he was our home grown pitcher from the Phillies system, a 10 year Phillie who won MVP in a cold rain during the 2008 World Series.

Over recent years, Hamels was much better than his numbers indicated; all too often the Phillies offense did nothing for him. Over and over again.

We’ve seen the Four Aces come and go. Now, with Hamel’s move to the Rangers, they’re all gone.

We are holding our breath, hoping that Amaro Jr got enough for him. Time will tell.

Time For Another Rant About Tom McCarthy

It’s time. It’s been a while since my last complaint about Tom McCarthy, after all.

The Phillies organization did us a favor when they found other pastures for Chris Wheeler and Sarge. It was good that they left the TV booth, addition by subtraction, as they say.

But why they also didn’t clear house totally just boggles the mind.

It’s hard to know where to start one’s list of McCarthy Annoyances:

We could start with his constant talking. McCarthy is not like Franzke and L.A., who would be fun to spend time with. I love their banter. I love everything about them. Tom McCarthy? No. I like when he gives the very rare moment of silence, and yearn for more such moments.

Of course there is his truly awful laugh, and the high screech of his voice. (Please…someone tell him to moderate the level of his voice. Lower…is good.) There is his smirk. There is the way he elongates the final ‘s’s of words. There is his inability to tell if a ball is going yard or not. He makes them sound like they’re going out – and it annoys me no end when he does that, and then the ball is caught anyhow. There is the way he fills the time with endless facts, just like Wheeler did.

There are the inaccuracies, too, in his play by play, like his call of pitch types, etc.

But the worst is his constant spiel of facts, his voice an endless high-timbered deluge of information, so very much of it unneeded. Oh, if he’d just let the sounds of the game be heard.  We don’t NEED you to tell us he swung and missed. We saw it. It’s television, not radio. We don’t NEED you to tell us every fact your fact finder digs up.

I like to hear what Matt Stairs has to say. He was a good player, and I respect his opinions. But McCarthy? No.

So please, Phillies Organization, please complete the house cleaning and get rid of McCarthy.  Maybe he is a really nice guy – but he is NOT suited for play by play of a major league team.

Long Time, No See

After over 400 posts, the Phillies have been too disheartening for me to write about.

But the love of them hasn’t left me, nor the interest, nor even the hope that they will find their spark in these new young players they are starting.

Right now, Cole Hamels is tied at 5 with the Marlins – in only the 3rd inning, no less.  Cole needs a new home, OR for the trade rumors to go away. It’s mental, more than likely. I feel bad for the MVP of our World Championship.

The Phils scouting system needs an overhaul.

Ruben Amaro has to go.

And the Phillies have got to finally start paying attention to analytics and numbers like most of the other teams are already doing.

But for now,  I watch each game with the tiniest bit of hope that they might possibly win, but more than that tiny hope, I watch to see how the news guys are doing.

And that is what keeps this Phillies fan going til they are good again.

Phillies: It’s Doable.

The Phils just swept the Astros, and they did it with style.

The team usually finishes strong – and if they do it this season, there’s a chance they could catch Atlanta – only 6 games ahead of them.

With series coming up with the Mets (tonight) and the Nats, the chance is there, the opportunity is there for the Phillies to pass the Braves. Especially if the Braves keep losing. They just need to take advantage of it.

Roberto Hernandez is a loss, however, tho it made good sense to trade him IF Amaro gets something worthwhile in return. That remains to be seen.

Howard is hitting again. Revere is out of his mind with his hitting – and so what that they’re singles? His fielding is excellent lately, too.  Asche is hitting. Marlon Byrd hits. Utley is always a threat.

It is possible…..

More Phillies Pain; Philes Lose to Giants

The season is half over; the pain continues.

Papelbon blew a save last night. It was an ugly loss.

Now there are rumors that Ruf will be playing first base, along with Ryan Howard. It would be a good thing. They need to know Ruf better. They already know what Ryan Howard did in the past, and what he is doing now – and that is a bitter pill to swallow.

What magic wand will bring renewal to this team? What pieces should be kept, which ones traded? Lee traded? Hamels kept? Papelbon traded? Howard let go? Burnett the Magnificent traded? Ruiz traded? Rollins traded? Scouts let go? Yes, for sure, do SOMEthing about the scouting system.

It’s a season of pain. Maybe there will be balm in the decisions made in the next week.

For those who love the Phillies, we wait for the front office to do something meaningful to improve this situation and give hope to Phillies seasons yet to be.

Phillies Are Tough to Watch

We all know it: the Phils are tough to watch these days. They might win. We figure they probably won’t.And in everyone’s mind is the question: Are they going to break up this team?

Then what will it be like to watch? It doesn’t bear thinking about too much.

But something has to be done. The steady downward spiral isn’t going to stop.

So do they get rid of the high salary players? Do they rework their scouting system? Do they get rid of Amaro?

For anyone who gloried in their 2008 season, it’s Heartsick City to watch them now. But if one loves the Phils, one has to hope. One just has to.

Phillies: It’s Probably Not As Bad As It Feels

Some of the recent Phils games have been hard to watch til their end. It’s not fun to be on the brushy sweeping end of the broom.

But the Phils are not too far back yet. It’s something to remember.

Hopefully the team will get their offensive act together. Til then, it’s good to remember the bright spots:

AJ Burnett

Marlon Byrd

Jon Papelbon

It’s a short list, but they are worth remembering when things are not going right.

Freddy Galvis is problematic. He needs to play, to be ready to give the infield routine rests, but every time he hits it is an almost certain out. It’s painful to see it.

The offense in general is hurtful to watch, but in their case it needs to be remembered that they warm up  as the weather warms up.

May it be so, ’cause the team as it is now is not easy to watch.

New Phillies TV Broadcast Team

That there would be new faces in the broadcast booth in 2014 was welcome news to almost all Phillies fans. It was time for something better. Far better.

That one of the news faces would be Jamie Moyer’s was met with more puzzlement than joy. Jamie Moyer, whose name evokes images of him in the dug out, jawing non stop into the ear of some pitching newbie,  might have had good things to share with those young pitchers – and he probably did – but Moyer is not known for witty verbal excitement.

Matt Stairs is a different matter. He is funny. He’ll zip some amusing anecdotes in there, and Phils Fans will like spending time with him. It’s Moyer that remains the question mark.

Yesterday was the first Spring Training TV broadcast.

Admittedly it must take time for a team to meld, for new broadcasters to feel confident in their new jobs and comfortable with each other, but even so, we listened with interest to how the announcers would do calling their first game together.

They did pretty good in their first foray. Tom McCarthy, never a favorite of mine, seemed more relaxed without Wheeler next to him. He seemed more comfortable listening to the opinions of former players than the opinions of….well…Wheeler.

Matt Stairs delivered some funny lines and stories, as we knew he would. And he had good things to say.

Jamie Moyer seemed comfortable in the booth, although many times it felt like he was giving a very long pitching lecture, with a bit too many of his comments  centering upon himself.

Overall, tho, it was a good first effort. Hopefully in time they will keep improving, and likely they will.

Not Moyer!

The Phillies gave Philadelphia a lovely Christmas present: Chris Wheeler is out of the broadcast booth. That is good. That is wise. (Try not to grovel with gratitude…)

Now we hear rumors of whom will replace Wheeler. Of course, there would be rumors.

But one name has psyches screaming, ‘Nooooo!’ That name would be Jamie Moyer.

We’ve just gotten rid of one guy who talked and talked and talked…and talked…about all that he knew, about all that he could possibly know. Would Moyer be too similar to Wheeler in that regard?

Moyer is a talker. He talked in the dug out. He talked and talked about what he knew – you could see him practically chewing on the ears of the young pitchers.

That’s not to say that Moyer doesn’t know a few things about pitching. He does. But, again, we just got rid of one non stop talker in the booth. Strong intuition says do not replace one rather boring avid talker with another one.

There are some great possibilities out there: Mitch Williams, Larry Anderson, Matt Stairs. They’d all be great. They’re interesting. They would be fun to spend time with, all those hours of games every season.

Just…not Jamie Moyer, please.