Tag Archives: Philadelphia Phillies

JC Romero = .393 oOBA

26 May

Some times the most striking stats are the simplest. Credit Matt Gelb for statistics; Romero has allowed 22 of 56 batters to reach base.

Surely Zagurski would be an improvement.

Revisiting Acquiring John Mayberry Jr.

19 May

John Mayberry Jr. rounding first base after hitting the game winning single, Opening Day 2011.

The Phillies entered the 2011 season minus an All-Star right fielder, down a top prospect, and with a lot of question marks after Ryan Howard‘s place in the line-up. An unlikely hero was found Opening Day when John Mayberry Jr., the fourth or possibly fifth outfielder at the time,had a pinch-hit single in the 9th to start the Phils’ season with a win.

The 27 year-old Mayberry is a former first-round pick out of Stanford by the Texas Rangers. Drafted in 2005, Mayberry showed promising power in the minor leagues in four seasons with the Rangers, while displaying poor plate discipline and propensity to wiff.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2005 21 Spokane NORW A- TEX 71 302 265 51 67 16 0 11 26 7 3 26 71 .253 .341 .438 .779 116 1 10 0 1 1
2006 22 Clinton MIDW A TEX 126 533 459 77 123 26 4 21 77 9 3 59 117 .268 .358 .479 .838 220 7 9 0 6 2
2007 23 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-A+ TEX 132 548 489 82 115 25 1 30 83 16 2 48 126 .235 .311 .474 .785 232 13 7 1 3 2
2007 23 Bakersfield CALL A+ TEX 63 277 244 47 56 15 1 16 45 9 1 28 64 .230 .314 .496 .810 121 7 3 0 2 2
2007 23 Frisco TL AA TEX 69 271 245 35 59 10 0 14 38 7 1 20 62 .241 .307 .453 .760 111 6 4 1 1 0
2008 24 2 Teams 2 Lgs AAA-AA TEX 135 565 519 65 137 38 7 20 71 10 3 34 106 .264 .317 .480 .797 249 12 8 1 3 2
2008 24 Frisco TL AA TEX 21 90 82 16 22 8 0 4 13 4 1 4 21 .268 .322 .512 .834 42 3 3 0 1 0
2008 24 Oklahoma PCL AAA TEX 114 475 437 49 115 30 7 16 58 6 2 30 85 .263 .316 .474 .790 207 9 5 1 2 2
6 Seasons 681 2853 2543 394 655 150 15 110 365 68 16 240 625 .258 .330 .458 .788 1165 53 46 3 21 11
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 331 1380 1248 168 328 75 10 44 166 32 7 103 290 .263 .325 .445 .770 555 29 17 2 10 6
AA (2 seasons) AA 90 361 327 51 81 18 0 18 51 11 2 24 83 .248 .311 .468 .779 153 9 7 1 2 0
A (1 season) A 126 533 459 77 123 26 4 21 77 9 3 59 117 .268 .358 .479 .838 220 7 9 0 6 2
A- (1 season) A- 71 302 265 51 67 16 0 11 26 7 3 26 71 .253 .341 .438 .779 116 1 10 0 1 1
A+ (1 season) A+ 63 277 244 47 56 15 1 16 45 9 1 28 64 .230 .314 .496 .810 121 7 3 0 2 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/19/2011.

With a triple slash line of .258/.330/.458 in the minors entering his age 25 season, Mayberry, at 6’5 and 220 lbs., was a decent power threat and had a 80.95% success rate on the base paths. Entering the 2009 season, the Texas Rangers fielded an outfield of David Murphy, Marlon Byrd, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and Andruw Jones. While being a 25 year old in Triple A doesn’t mean your ancient, your chances become increasingly difficult to reach the Major Leagues if you haven’t gotten there yet. Unfortunately, baseball is a game of labels. And with 331 games played in Triple A through the 2008 season, Texas thought it had the book written on Mayberry.

Ruben Amaro Jr., another Stanford graduate, took over as Phillies’ General Manager following Pat Gillick’s retirement in November 2008. While some may think taking over a championship ball club is easy, Amaro faced a number of challenges in his first off-season as GM. His first decision would be whether or not to re-sign Pat Burrell, who the Phillies had drafted first overall in 1998 and had been a Phillie since 2000. Burrell was the Grand Marshall of the 2008 World Series parade and amongst the primary right-handed power threats for the Phillies for nine seasons. Amaro also had to decide whether or not to offer arbitration to players like Greg Dobbs and Eric Bruntlett, key reserves on the 2008 squad. And most glaringly, Amaro had to find ways to plug holes on the Phillies’ bench and upper minor league systems that were patrolled with names like T.J. Bohn, Mike Cervanek, and Brad Harman; with a bullpen that relied at times on Les Walrond, RJ Swindle, and 39 year old Rudy Seanez. One of Ruben’s first moves went under the radar: Amaro traded once promising speedster Greg Golson for Mayberry.

The trade at the time did not get tremendous amount of press other than the obligatory line in the transaction column on November 20, 2008. Phuture Phillies blog, which continues to this day to be the top site for news, analysis and daily box scores of all Phillies’ prospects, was just about the only link I could find that has reflected on the, at the time, seemingly inconsequential trade. Responses to the trade at the time ranged from upset Phillies fans who saw Golson as the future in the outfield, after all, Golson’s slash line was .263/.309/.398, averaging over 31 steals a season with a 79.01% success rate on the base paths in 5 minor league seasons with power that increased each year, to promise that Mayberry would provide right-handed power off of the bench and the capability to spell Howard at first base. Other responses inspired indifference.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2004 18 Phillies GULF Rk PHI 47 201 183 34 54 8 5 1 22 12 2 10 54 .295 .345 .410 .755 75 2 5 1 2 0
2005 19 Lakewood SALL A PHI 89 409 375 51 99 19 8 4 27 25 9 26 106 .264 .322 .389 .711 146 4 6 2 0 0
2006 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-A+ PHI 133 593 546 87 127 26 6 13 48 30 10 30 160 .233 .277 .374 .651 204 5 5 9 3 2
2006 20 Lakewood SALL A PHI 93 419 387 56 85 15 4 7 31 23 7 19 107 .220 .258 .333 .591 129 2 2 8 3 1
2006 20 Clearwater FLOR A+ PHI 40 174 159 31 42 11 2 6 17 7 3 11 53 .264 .324 .472 .795 75 3 3 1 0 1
2007 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA PHI 136 607 571 86 156 32 5 15 68 30 8 23 173 .273 .305 .426 .730 243 4 5 3 5 2
2007 21 Clearwater FLOR A+ PHI 99 449 418 66 119 27 3 12 52 25 8 21 124 .285 .322 .450 .772 188 4 4 2 4 2
2007 21 Reading EL AA PHI 37 158 153 20 37 5 2 3 16 5 0 2 49 .242 .255 .359 .614 55 0 1 1 1 0
2008 22 Reading EL AA PHI 106 470 426 64 120 18 4 13 60 23 5 34 130 .282 .333 .434 .767 185 3 1 4 5 0
8 Seasons 774 3344 3073 436 808 145 43 61 314 159 42 185 860 .263 .309 .398 .706 1222 33 29 34 23 4
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 263 1064 972 114 252 42 15 15 89 39 8 62 237 .259 .306 .380 .686 369 15 7 15 8 0
A (2 seasons) A 182 828 762 107 184 34 12 11 58 48 16 45 213 .241 .290 .361 .651 275 6 8 10 3 1
AA (2 seasons) AA 143 628 579 84 157 23 6 16 76 28 5 36 179 .271 .313 .415 .728 240 3 2 5 6 0
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 139 623 577 97 161 38 5 18 69 32 11 32 177 .279 .323 .456 .778 263 7 7 3 4 3
Rk (1 season) Rk 47 201 183 34 54 8 5 1 22 12 2 10 54 .295 .345 .410 .755 75 2 5 1 2 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/19/2011.

In their analysis of the deal, Phuture Phillies declared the trade a win for Amaroand praised his “outside the box” thinking in a rare prospect for prospect move. They cited Golson’s ceiling as a hitter and his even higher propensity to strikeout as glaring weaknesses in Golson’s game. They projected Golson as a 4th or 5th outfielder, one whose value became his abilities on defense and the basepaths. Meanwhile, Phuture Phils’ cited Mayberry’s improving walk rate, plus power, and his ability to hit left-handed pitching as preferable moving forward for the team.

Mayberry did not make the big club out of Spring Training in 2009. The Phils signed Raul Ibanez in the off-season, retained the services of Matt Stairs, and acquired right-handed hitting Ben Francisco in the Cliff Lee trade. He did, however, make a splash in his Major League debut with the team at Yankee Stadium, going 2-3 with a 3-run home run and a double. Perhaps the most memorable moment for the fans watching at home, however, was Fox incorrectly identifying John Mayberry’s father in the stands.

It is now 2011. Mayberry saw limited action in 2009 and 2010 with the Phillies. With the departure of Werth and injury to Dom Brown, Mayberry cracked the big club out of the gate on opening day. He had a walk off-single and has hit .255/.359/.418 with 2 home runs and 4 steals in 31 games across all three outfield positions and first base.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that Amaro said it’s not a matter of if but when Brown is called up to the Phillies as he rehabs.  Hidden in the piece was a line from Charlie Manuel regarding John Mayberry: “He’s shown me enough he gets to play tonight.”
Will Mayberry remain hot, or at least consistent, enough to continue to patrol the outfield for the Phils? His main competition at this time, Ibanez and Francisco, have .225/.281/.338 and .218/.327/.346 triple-slashes respectively against Mayberry’s .255/.359/.418 in similar sample sizes. At the very least, Mayberry looks like a bigger threat to lefties than Francisco and provides a better arm and greater defensive range than Ibanez. Even with Brown’s call-up looming, I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie kept Mayberry in the line-up due to his versatility, plus power, and smarts on the base paths. And even if Mayberry should remain a role player, it is clear that Amaro got the better end of his first trade as a Major League GM.
Golson through this date has not seen action in the Major Leagues in 2011 and is now with Yankees’ Triple A affiliate Scranton-Wilkes-Barre via an even less talked about trade that sent Yankee farm-hand Mitch Hilligoss to Texas. In 30 Major League plate appearances, including 6 with the Phillies in 2008, Golson has a triple-slash line of .200/.200/.267 going 1 for 3 on the base paths, with only 2 extra base hits and 2 RBIs. Golson’s stats since the trade in Triple A are as follows:
Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2009 23 Oklahoma City PCL AAA TEX 123 500 457 46 118 17 8 2 40 20 4 29 114 .258 .299 .344 .642 157 8 0 8 6 0
2010 24 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA NYY 116 454 415 51 109 23 5 10 40 17 4 25 99 .263 .313 .414 .727 172 7 6 6 2 0
2011 25 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA NYY 24 110 100 17 25 2 2 3 9 2 0 8 24 .250 .312 .400 .712 40 0 1 1 0 0
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 263 1064 972 114 252 42 15 15 89 39 8 62 237 .259 .306 .380 .686 369 15 7 15 8 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/19/2011.

versus those of Mayberry:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2008 24 2 Teams 2 Lgs AAA-AA TEX 135 565 519 65 137 38 7 20 71 10 3 34 106 .264 .317 .480 .797 249 12 8 1 3 2
2008 24 Oklahoma PCL AAA TEX 114 475 437 49 115 30 7 16 58 6 2 30 85 .263 .316 .474 .790 207 9 5 1 2 2
2009 25 Lehigh Valley IL AAA PHI 89 358 316 44 81 20 2 13 43 6 2 34 94 .256 .332 .456 .788 144 6 4 0 4 0
2010 26 Lehigh Valley IL AAA PHI 128 547 495 75 132 25 1 15 65 20 3 39 111 .267 .328 .412 .740 204 14 8 1 4 4
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 331 1380 1248 168 328 75 10 44 166 32 7 103 290 .263 .325 .445 .770 555 29 17 2 10 6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/19/2011.

Mayberry has Golson beat in the triple slash and BB:K ratio, even when adjusting for his time outside of the hitter friendly PCL and appears to be a better player at this point in their respective careers. Golson remains two years younger, but at this point, Amaro’s shot in the dark at acquiring Mayberry looks like it may be a slam-dunk.

Don’t forget to follow @MaGelb and @phuturephillies on Twitter for the latest in Phils and Phils’ minor league news.

Chooch Bobblehead = Thank You Chris

14 May

You know you have really good friends when you’re unable to go to a Phillies’s game a year prior and they remind you that they picked you up an extra Carlos Ruiz bobble-head stadium giveaway and give it to you without asking for anything in return. Thanks Chris!

When Pete Orr plays, the Phillies win.

12 May

Phillies' Success When Playing Pete Orr

Or maybe not, actually. By winning tonight, the Phillies are 24-12 and likely would not have won without Pete Orr’s two key doubles. The stat that amazes me is that the Phillies are 9-11 when Pete Orr plays and just 15-1 when he doesn’t.  This is obviously due to a number of factors: game is already out of hand when Pete Orr enters the game, i.e. April 5, 2011 against the Mets, or even that Orr is brought in in a close game and the Phils just cannot muster a comeback despite Pete Orr getting a hit (I’m looking at you May 8, 2011 versus Atlanta). Being the Pete Orr super-fan I am, I hope to see more of number 5, but I have a feeling his time will decrease even more when number 26 returns. Particularly considering the stat Matt Gelb dropped today on Twitter:

That’s right: the Phillies currently have a .666 winning percentage, and the best record in the Majors, despite getting the lowest production in the league from second base and catcher. Ruiz and Utley cannot return soon enough.

I’m sorry Phillies’ fans. I’m the reason we lost on Tuesday.

12 Aug

No, this is not a blog about me going to the game and some how messing up their mojo, although, I am 1-3 this year at CBP, the one win being an away game against Toronto. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to catch a game at the Bank for at least a few weeks. No, this is something far more sinister. The Phillies did not win on Tuesday night. In fact, they got pounded. It was all my fault.

The rubber bands that fueled my addiction. The alligator is pretty worn out. Sarah and I traded: I got him, she got a triceratops.

On Saturday July 24, Sarah and I ventured to the Quakertown Farmer’s Market, scouring tables at the flea market, enjoying the smells of kettle corn and fresh deli meat, and discussing the nutritional values of almond butter and apple butter. We wandered into R.A. Sports, a nice little sports collectibles store with awesome posters, tons of Phillies’ gear, and cool trinkets. The week before, Sarah and I ventured to Toys R Us to pick up prizes for her campers and so that I could look at the clearanced video games. We both decided that her campers might really like Silly Bandz, the rubber wrist bands that always maintain their original shape. Long story short, we both also decided that WE would like some. I got dinosaurs, Sarah got African safari. We were hooked.

So at R.A. Sports, I walked up to the counter and asked tongue-in-cheek if they sold Phillies’ Silly Bandz. Well, Phillie Phanatic Logo Bandz. And they are

The best $5 I ever spent? Perhaps.

awesome. In addition to the T-Rex, Brontosaurus, Mammoth, and Alligator, on July 24, I started to wear a Green Phanatic, blue Phillies P, white Phillies P, and red Harmon Killebrew/MLB logo. On first glance, the Phillies’ luck since July 24 has been unfortunate: Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard hit the DL. But those things were not enough to keep the team down. Riding a two game winning streak into July 24, the Phils would win 6 more in a row, sweeping the Rockies and Diamondbacks. Only July 29, they acquired former ace Roy Oswalt. They would win 12 of 15 since I purchased and religiously wore my new Phillies’ bands. And then disaster struck.

On the afternoon of August 10, 2010, I went to the gym. It was a pretty good workout, lots of back work, some cardio, and abs. I felt great. I had my dinosaurs on the right and the Phillies’ on the left. I came home and took them off to take a shower. I got out of the shower to take a call from Jay. Jay wanted to go down to the park and shoot hoops, maybe run the floor a little bit. I agreed; I didn’t have that much energy left, but I had already exhausted my other entertainment options. He told me to meet him down at the park in 5, so I just threw on a shirt and walked down. Without my Phillies’ bands. That’s ok, though, right? I mean, it wasn’t the bands that were keeping them going was it?

It must have been. I didn’t return until about 7:30 and by then the Dodgers were on the board. I didn’t really put two and two together, though, until it was too late. Once I had my bands on? Gload hits his second home run, Brown his first career home run. But the damage was done. Ay. Lesson learned. I have my Phillies’ bands on right now. I gave Sarah and Chris a Phanatic, easily the coolest of the bands. Hopefully yesterday’s 2-0 win will put them on the right track again.

Phillies' Logo Bandz. Pretty awesome. I will never take you off again.

Why Mike Lieberthal should be on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame.

10 Aug
The First Lieby Card

Look how young he looks. Crazy.

I’ve collected baseball cards as long as I can remember. It’s definitely something I picked up from my brother. He used to collect Phillies’ fan favorite Lenny Dykstra, now known more for his problems off the field than for his brief streak of dominance and near-MVP miss on the field and I couldn’t get enough of the Kid, Ken Griffey Jr., with his backwards hats, beautiful swing, and baseball cards blowing bubble gum. I hadn’t quite got the whole local loyalty thing down until age 10 or 11 but I could pick out Phillies’ players cards from a very young age. One card we always used to take with us was the card to the left, a 1990 Classic Yellow Mike Lieberthal card.

My brother and I had some luck over the years getting autographs at the ballpark. He got Steve Avery when Steve Avery was the hottest pitcher on the planet, in recent years I’ve gotten Chase Utley and Shane Victorino. We’d root through his cards before games and take who we thought would be at the ballpark. Mike Lieberthal was always in that stack. We didn’t know who he was, we’d never seen him play, but this was before we, or I at least, had any concept of minor league players. From the time this card came out until our parents stopped regularly taking us to games, 1995 or so, we brought Mike Lieberthal just in case. We never saw him play.

Lieby would burst on to the scene in 1997, a 68-94 finish for the Phils, good enough for dead last in the NL East. But Lieby, at age 25, put up 20 HRs and 77 RBIs. Injuries, as would become the story of his career, slowed him down in 1998, but his 1999 season, a 77-85 finish for the Phils good enough for 3rd in the tough NL East, earned him his first of 2 consecutive All-Star births, a .300 average, 31 home runs, and 96 RBIs. Lieby would make the All-Star team again in 2000, but the progress the Phillies had made under manager Terry Francona could not be sustained, as they finished last, with a 65-97 record. But these seasons by Lieby were important. They gave us someone, a seemingly hard-nosed, determined backstop to root for.

Lieby, in 1997, replaced long-time Phils’ backstop Darren Daulton, whose 1995 injuries forced a 1996 move to the outfield and whose 1996 injuries limited him a trial run in 1997 at first base for the Phils and later the eventual World Champion Marlins. Lieby had gigantic shoes to fill; to this day Dutch remains

Dutch Daulton with a chest fro, a mullet, and a convertible.

one of the most beloved Phillies players of all-time, playing parts of 13 seasons for the Phils, leading the NL in RBIs in 1992, earning 3 All-Star selections in 4 years, and leading the Macho Row Phillies wire to wire to the 1993 NL Pennant. Dutch is still a very visible figure in local media, appearing on both Comcast Sports Net and 97.5 FM the Fanatic. And the ladies love him. To this day.

Mike Lieberthal’s legacy was forever cemented in my mind as the guy whose card I had but never saw play until the really lean years happened. He, Scott Rolen, and Curt Schilling were our only players of real name value in those weird years where every other team in the division was better than us. And of those three players, he was the one who was the least vocal about wanting to skip town and play for a contender.

Lieby lost most of the 2001 season, which was very unfortunate due to the Phillies’ amazing come-from-left-field run at the NL East crown. They finished the year 86-76, their best finish since 1993 and only 2 games behind the dominating Braves. Lieby only played 34 games that year, hitting .231 with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs. I have no doubt Lieby would have out hit Johnny Estrada‘s line of .228, 8 HR,  and 37 RBIs if healthy. Sadly, this became Lieby’s MO. He faced a string of minor and major injuries, had an excellent 2003 where he hit .312 with 13 HRs, but could never fully recapture his All-Star form. As a high schooler and then college kid, I heard crowds voice their displeasure with Leiby. There was anecdotal evidence tonight on 97.5 the Fanatic that Leiby was booed on opening day 2006. Many Phillies’ fans remember him as the guy who always got hurt, who never played a full season. But what if I told you that perception was different from reality?

Bob Boone: Defensive Whiz, early Mizuno adapter.

This is where we get to the meat of this post. Darren Daulton was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame this past Friday. Daulton patrolled the backstop for parts of 13 seasons in the Phils’ pinstripes, catching 1018 games, hitting 123 home runs, with 525 RBIs, with a triple slash line of .244/.423/.777 as a backstop. He is currently one of two catchers currently on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame; similarly beloved Bob Boone, who also made 3 All-Star games at catcher for the Phils, catching 1112 games for the Phils, was a member of the 1980 World Series championship team, perennial Gold Glove contender and seven time winner, and part of the coolest Phillies’ play/advertisement of all time. Boone hit 65 HRs in a Phils uniform, with 456 RBIs, and a .259/.325/.370 triple slash line. Disclaimer: Boone played 13 games at positions other than catcher that were included in the triple slash line. Both Daulton and Boone are and were very popular, as the city of Philadelphia seems to take to catchers. See: Ruiz, Carlos. Would it surprise you to know that Lieberthal had better numbers than both of them?

As a Philly, Lieby had 150 HRs as a catcher in 1174 games behind the plate with 609 RBIs. His triple slash line was .275/.338/.788, out-pacing offensively both Daulton and Boone in a similar number of games. Lieby caught the most games in Phillies history, which should count for something, or at the very least begin to soften the blow retroactively that he did miss a number of games throughout his career.

Lieby spent his final season, 2007, as a Los Angeles Dodger, serving as a back-up for upstart Russel Martin. The team went 82-80, good enough for fourth place in the suddenly explosive NL West. Coincidentally, the Phillies would break their 14 year playoff drought that year. Lieby had played on all 13 of the teams that missed the playoffs in that span. In 2008, there was a slightly happy ending. Lieberthal signed a brief contract with the Phils in 2008 and officially retired as a Philly on June 1, 2008, mimicking the actions of Doug Glanville in 2005. Is Lieberthal Phillies’ Wall of Fame worthy? Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives.

Positives:

Lieberthal played the 2nd hardest position to field, according to the Bill James’ Defensive Spectrum, won a Gold Glove there, and made two All-Star games.

Lieberthal had better stats than the two other Phillies’ catchers on their Wall of Fame.

Lieberthal caught more games for the Phillies than any other player.

Lieberthal struck out very rarely, an overlooked fact of his career. His career high was 86 K’s in 1999 and averaged a strikeout per 7.39 ABs as a Phillie.

Lieberthal was a home grown player, drafted, came up through our system.

Lieberthal was a key piece of the teams that helped get the new ballpark built.

Negatives:

Lieberthal’s perception with the fans is nowhere near as positive as it is with Darren Daulton or Bob Boone.

Lieberthal never played on a Phils playoff team and, in fact, might be damaged by the fact that he played on teams that came up just short of the playoffs for five out of his last six seasons.

Lieberthal was never the best player on his team even in periods of extreme weakness for the team. This award goes to Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreu, or Jim Thome, depending on the year.

Mike Lieberthal, in short, is a really puzzling case of a guy who put up pretty numbers for his position for a few years but gained the fans’ eyer at the end of his run for inability to stay healthy late into his career. His case for the Phillies’ Wall of Fame is muddled by the dark ages that were the late 1990s, years Lieby really began to come into his own. He received a large ovation on Saturday, so Phillies’ fans may be beginning to soften their stance on him. His numbers and presence as the literally one player who survived as a Phil all thirteen years in between playoff births should be recognized but it likely won’t be. Unfortunately, Lieby doesn’t carry a whole lot of popularity and his name isn’t referenced very often unless its in a conversation about how beneficial it was in 2007 that his $7.5 million per year contract expired or how he likely could have helped us win the 2001 NL East if he would have been healthy the whole year. I think he should be up there, but it is unlikely he will be featured. Only time will tell.

Two reasons to give up Halloween.

1 Nov

I love Halloween. The candy, the costumes, the customs. I think one of the reasons I’m so big into Halloween these days is because I never seemed to enjoy it when I was younger. I always picked a costume with a mask, like Batman or the Riddler. The one year, I dressed up in a homemade British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith outfit, complete with sparkly cape and overblown chest plate. But I didn’t really like it. But now, now I love it. This year, I willingly gave it up though. On Thursday, October 30, Katie and I traveled from Penn Station to her home in Burlington, NJ. After she pried me away from Rock Band 2 long enough, we picked up Dan in Allentown. Yesterday, we were among the 2 million who helped usher in the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies back to Citizens Bank Park.

That was reason number one to skip Halloween. Reason number two? The cheap tickets we scored on eBay for the Philadelphia 76ers v. the New York Knicks. Big, early season win for the 76ers. Playoffs this year? I think so.

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Nothing says "We just won the World Series!" like a gigantic American flag! USA! USA!

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