At the Phillies home opener this week the fantastic Phillie Phanatic revealed his inner pop star, showing the 45,000+ fans on hand his love for Lady Gaga.
The Gaga approves.
I don’t know what I could possibly write to add to the awesomeness that is Jayson Werth and his beard. You know, perhaps I stated that wrong. I wouldn’t doubt that a beard this epic may in fact be self-aware. Perhaps I should have said Epic Beard and his Jayson Werth. Well, no matter the semantics yesterday was media picture day for the Phillies after they took their first live batting practice sessions.
Roy Halladay took the mound for the first time at the Carpenter complex against live batters. After the session the clubhouse was abuzz with the players and writers marveling over Doc’s signature sinker. Catcher Carlos Ruiz told CSN’s Michale Barkann that the sinker had more movement on it than any sinker he has ever caught and that Roy told him he is only throwing around “40-50 %”.
As if we needed another reason to laugh at the lowly Mets, here is a great little piece of info brought to us by Phils beat writer Andy Martino on his philly.com blog.
4. OK, yes, get angry about paying Geoff Jenkins $1.25 million this season. But think about this: Beginning in 2011, the Mets will pay Bobby Bonilla $1.19 million in deferred money every July 1 until 2035. Seriously.
That’s right, the Mets payroll still includes 6 time all-star Bobby freakin’ Bonilla. He retired in 2001 and he hasn’t played for the Mets since 1999. Could you imagine the Phillies still having Greg Jeffries or Danny Tartabull on the payroll for the next 25 years. I decided to dig a little into the story to find out whether Bonilla just happened to have the greatest agent in the history of the world to essentially give him an additional pension or if the Mets just botched something up. Not surprisingly, I found out yet again why the Mets hold the title of the most inept franchise in baseball.
Bonilla’s second stint with the Mets turned out to be just as disastrous as his first. After a knee injury sidelined him in March, he gained weight and hit just .160 in 60 games with the team. His lumbering ineptitude in the field earned him sarcastic ovations from Shea Stadium crowds whenever he fielded the ball cleanly. Unhappy with Bonilla’s play, the Mets placed him on irrevocable waivers in June. Not surprisingly, he went unclaimed.
For his part, Bonilla was angry that he wasn’t given more at-bats, often clashing loudly with manager Bobby Valentine over his lack of playing time. He was kept on the post-season roster, but struck out twice in his four at-bats as a pinch-hitter. As the Mets were eliminated by the Braves in the eleventh inning of a gut-wrenching NLCS Game Six, Bonilla reportedly sat in the clubhouse with teammate Rickey Henderson — playing cards.
“I’m not going to stay quiet again next year,” Bonilla announced in December. But by that point, it was clear that Bonilla had no future in New York. He was finally released in January after reaching an unusual agreement with the Mets: Instead of picking up his $5.9 million salary for the 2000 season, the team pledged to pay him $1,193,248.20 each July 1st from 2011 to 2035 — nearly $30 million all told. Less than a month later, Bonilla signed with the Braves. link
How great is that? Instead of shelling out $6 million at once, the Mets organization decided to pay $1.2 million 24 times. Who could have made such a moronic decision you ask? None other than deposed ESPN analyst Steve Phillips who was the Mets general manager from’ 97-’03.
You may remember Phillips name from the headlines a couple months ago where he got caught fooling around with an obsessive 22-year-old production assistant which lead to his divorce and firing at the sports media giant.
The story wasn’t just your average rich guy cheating on his wife story. Allegedly the mistress in question Brooke Hundley, facebook stalked Philips’ son and made several phone calls to his wife Marni repeating intimate details of their relationship, including some really personal information about a birthmark. The former Mrs. Phillips made a frantic phone call to Miami police in September after Hundley dropped a letter off at her home in which she proclaimed…
“I’m the woman he’s been seeing for a while now…I’m not just some random girl he had sex with in parking lots.”
The last we heard from the Phillips camp was that after his dismissal from ESPN he was admitting himself into an inpatient rehab for sex addiction. I for one will absolutely miss him and sincerely wish he was still running the Mets.
Over the last 21 hours or so, many Philly faithful have glued themselves to either their computer or radio in hopes of getting to the bottom of this whole Halladay/Lee mess. Well I got it for you, this is the absolute latest deal as reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney who actually reported this as a possibility a week and a half ago, so thumbs up to Buster. Well here goes…and oh yeah there is a 4th team involved…yeah I know…
Philadelphia sends top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, outfield prospect Michael Taylor and catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and 6 million dollars. (The 6 million is the difference between Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay’s salary for 2010)
Roy Halladay signs a 3 year contract extension with the Phillies through 2013 with an option for another year.
In a separate deal, Toronto will send Michael Taylor to the Oakland Athletics for corner infield prospect Brett Wallace.
In ANOTHER separate deal the Phillies will trade Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners for their top pitching prospect Phillipe Aumont, centerfield prospect Tyson Gillies and another prospect arm JC Ramirez.
So when it comes down to it the Phillies could not afford to keep both Lee and Halladay in their rotation because of their self-imposed budget. Ruben Amaro felt that he would rather replenish the farm system that he just depleted by turning the 5 month investment in Cliff Lee into 3 prospects. It’s depressing just because of what the rotation could have been…and just how much of a beast Cliff Lee was in the playoffs.
Even with that the biggest thing that can be overlooked here is that the Phillies just acquired THE best pitcher in baseball over the last decade. A sure-fire first ballot hall of famer and a Cy Young award winner. The league leader in shutouts and complete games. A guy noted as being the hardest working and most prepared hurler in the sport. Doc Halladay is a Phillie…it’s just a shame Cliff Lee wont get to be apart of it next year.
The best video on youtube of what Roy Halladay can do to opposing offenses…
Rumors are absolutely everywhere but here is the absolute latest per ESPN’s Jayson Stark who is the most reliable voice on the Phillies…
NOT 100% done yet. Phillies trade Lee to Seattle for 3 prospects. Phillies move Michael Taylor, Travis D’Arnoud to Toronto. Phillies keep a Seattle prospect and get Halladay. The holdup is getting Halladay to sign an official extension.
Moving Lee hurts, but keeping our two top prospects Kyle Drabek and Dom Brown would be outstanding. It’s a shame we wont have that 1 year of the dream rotation but Lee simply would not sign an extension and Halladay is willing to commit long-term to come to a winning organization. It’ll be really interesting to see what kind of prospects we keep from Seattle.
Well in about an hour or so, Game 6 of the Fall Classic will be under way in the Bronx. For the Fightin’ Phils’, they have the self-proclaimed “most influential player to ever step foot in Yankee stadium” taking the mound with full rest against Baseball’s all time post-season win leader and self admitted steroid user, Andy Pettite on 3 days rest.
There are so many things that I could say that have been mentioned repeatedly over the last couple of days but this game really comes down to one simple thing…
Can the Phillies bats, specifically Ryan Howard carry them into a 7th game?
I have never seen anyone go from supernova hot to Bruntlett-esque, in such a short period of time. Howard’s been off-balance the entire series. He’s been taking fastballs for strikes and lunging at outside breaking balls. The most frustrating part about his struggles is even an armchair manager such as myself can clearly identify his problem so you know Ryan is well aware of the issue, it’s just all about execution. Stay back on the ball, trust your hands to catch up to a fastball and react to the breaking ball. DO NOT TRY AND PULL EVERYTHING!
If you see Ryan rip one opposite way for a hit you will be able to hear his sigh of relief all the way down in the Delaware Valley. All it takes is one and “The Big Piece” could be back. It’s time for the big man to pray to Jobu and carry his team, like he has so many times before.
Between fighting in digital wars, raising a new child and making sure his hair looks perfect at all times, it’s no wonder Hamels focus seems to drift occasionally.