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.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! (ie Chris Wheeler is gone.)

Philadelphia woke up this cold morning to the news that Comcast has fired Chris Wheeler.

Immediately, this January day’s bitter cold seemed to melt away before the basking glow of well being’s warmth. Finally, after all these years of listening to Wheeler’s endless verbage, he will be gone from the Phillies broadcast booth.

It took a long time to get it done, but done it is.

No one denies Wheeler knew the game, but his likability quotient was too low. One didn’t want to spend Hundreds of hours each season with Wheeler.

It remains to be seen who will replace Wheeler. Among the names mentioned  to replace Wheeler in the booth are Wild Thing Mitch Williams, Chris Coste, Ricky Bottalico, Brad Lidge, Larry Bowa and John Kruk.

Michael Young Leads Off for Phillies

For years in his early career, Michael Young was leadoff hitter for the Rangers. Last night, Young was leadoff hitter once again, having not done so since 2004.

Was he successful at leadoff? How about hitting 3 out of 5? Now…that’s a leadoff hitter. (Domonic Brown was also 3 for 5, continuing his red hot ways.)

Last night the Phils rose a game over the .500 mark, and with Cliff Lee pitching tonight, chances are good they will be 2 games over .500 by the night’s end.

Ben Revere was notably absent from the game last night, and that’s as it should be. He hasn’t been contributing as he should. And the first inning failed steal of third with nobody out the other night? Not a pretty picture, that.

Cole Gets Two

Cole Hamels, pitching ace for the Phillies, won his second game of the season yesterday.

How does a pitcher keep resentment out of the mix, when his team so often failed to garner him any run support in the past 11 games?

But now he has two wins out of 11 games. It’s not a glowing statistic – but it sounds a lot better than 1 – 10.

So we are thankful for small favors – and Cole must be too.

Meanwhile, Domonic Brown is a sideshow all by himself, leading the NL in homeruns, cranking out at least one every game now.

How does he handle the pressure of 42,000 screaming fans expecting a homerun every time he strides to the plate? He seems to be handling it, at any rate. Maybe the away games with the Brewers, the Rockies and the Twins will give him some relief from the expectations, and from the pressure.

He is a delight to behold, tho, and that is a fact.

Lee Pitches All Nine Innings

Cliff Lee continues to be a pure pleasure to watch. Tonight he pitched the entire game, leaving a bunch of Marlins in his wake.

And Delmon Young is beginning to wield his bat in winning fashion. He had another home run tonight. It comes at a time when the Phils need all the offense they can get.

Of note is that Delmon is doing good in the outfield as of late. He threw a solid throw from the outfield to Rollins, to get a man out at second.

The Phils won the game 3-0, and won the series.

Now at one game under .500, they are off to battle the Nats in Washington, DC.


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