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Quotes and Notes: Spring Training Day One

The first official day of spring training is over.  Pitchers and catchers reported to camp and took part in their first team workout.  Position players were also in attendance.  Here’s the stories from day one, including quotes:

  • “Being the perfectionist that [Cole Hamels] is, he took [his 2009’s struggles] to heart, and he did the work that he had to do. So he’s in a much better position right now. He could have gone home and sulked again and said, oh, what do they know. He didn’t do that. He went home and did what he had to do.” — Rich Dubee, Phillies pitching coach.

Hamels put a lot of work in this off season, and says that he did not stop throwing over the winter.  Over the break, Hamels experimented with a cutter, and even talked to Steve Carlton and Cliff Lee about the pitch.  During spring training, Hamels will work on improving his curveball.

  • “[Jamie Moyer]’s probably ahead of schedule in what we thought he might be able to do.” — Dubee

This is good news, especially if Jamie wants to keep the fifth starter’s job.  J.C Romero also felt that he was ahead of schedule.  A healthy team is always key.  However, rushing back from an injury can make it worse.

  • “I don’t necessarily expect myself to have ’08, but I expect myself to be a hell of a lot closer to ’08 than ’09, that’s for sure.”  — Brad Lidge, Phillies closer

That’s a confident Brad Lidge.  And that’s what he needs: confidence.  Over and over I have heard that Lidge’s problems were mental.  Perhaps he has his mind straight.  After all, “baseball is 90% mental — the other half is physical” (Yogi Berra).

  • “[ Placido] Polanco has quick feet at third base. Third base is a reaction kind of place. Polly definitely can do that. Polly does throw good. He is accurate. All around with the bat and everything, he’s a better player than [Pedro] Feliz. I don’t see where we’re going to get hurt there.” — Charlie Manuel, Phillies manager

I can’t argue that Polanco is an overall upgrade from Feliz.  He’s not going to be as solid defensively, but as Manuel said, he’s no slouch when it comes to defense.  His transition to third should not be a huge problem.

A Renewed Rivalry?

  • “We’re expecting to go out there and win the National League East, go deep in the playoffs and win a World Series.” — David Wright, New York Mets.

Ever since Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the Phillies to be the “team to beat” in 2007, there has been bantering back-and-forth between the Phillies and Mets.  An injury-plagued Mets ball club only won 70 games last year, and their rivalry with the Phillies fell apart towards the end of the season.  While this isn’t a direct shot at the Phillies, it still adds to the rivalry.

In the quote above, Santana, answered a question.  However, the question wasn’t “what’s your name?”  He was asked who the best pitcher in the National League East is.  He simply replied with his own name.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a renewed rivalry between these two teams.

94 Comments

94 Comments

  1. Manny

    February 18, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Roy Halladay, when asked the same question, said “Santana” too… No wonder why people hate the Mets….

  2. Steve

    February 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    no offense to roy, hes awesome, but the reason they both said santana is because it is santana

  3. Tomato Tim

    February 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Were you expecting Wright to say the Mets would finish last in the NL East? It’s almost like this is the Philly version of the New York Post.

  4. The Dipsy

    February 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Here is how big the rivalry is between the Mets and the Phils: We don’t care what David Wright says. Its barely a blip on the radar screen. If they were good, it might get a rise.

    The Dipsy

  5. Ed R.

    February 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Why do we need a renewed rivalry? Personally I enjoy watching the Phillies treat the Met’s like a minor league squad. It’s even more fun when the Met’s fans are in attendance at the Bank. Though admittedly not as awesome as when the Phillies smack them around at Citi Field, the home of Utley’s Corner.

  6. Ed R.

    February 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    No offense Steve but you are wrong, and it’s really not even that close. They are both great pitchers, both Cy Young pitchers, probably both HOFer’s when its all said and done but Santana had the luxury of pitching in one of the best pitchers parks in all of baseball while he was in Minnesota, facing a water down division that featured one, possibly two good teams a year in the White Sox and the Indians(sometimes). He also ran up some nice numbers against the Royals, and even the Tigers weren’t that great minus 2006.

    Meanwhile Halladay pitched great baseball in a division that routinely had the top two offenses in all of baseball in Boston and New York and he owned them both. Look at his record vs those teams, its so good it’s almost to the point of ridiculous. Halladay may not be as flashy as Santana, he certainly isn’t the power pitcher that Santana is but he gets the job done. Halladay is the ultimate craftsmen. You need someone to win you a big game, call on Doc. You need someone to end a losing streak, call on Doc. You want someone to go the distance and kiss babies foreheads in the dugout during games, call Doc. Ok I made the last part up but you get the picture.

    Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball. Put him in a park like San Fran, or San Diego and the guy would put up numbers that would make the Freak look like an average Joe.

  7. WFC010

    February 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Glad to hear about how hard Hamels is training, and hopefully we will hear about Happ aggressively trying to improve as well…and hopefully prove all of his naysayers to be wrong.

  8. Andrew

    February 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    the rivalry is dead the mets are a scond tier team. Wait for the nats to get good thats a better natural rivalry and they may be good the mets wont be any time in the near future. Nit until the get a GM and coach.

  9. Philly Texan

    February 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Seems like a right of spring that some Mets player boasts about winning the division and the World Series…..blah, blah, blah.

    Forget ’em. Our rivals right now are the Marlins, Braves and Dodgers.

  10. WFC010

    February 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Dodgers our rivals?

    Well kinda, considering we did play them 2 years in a row in the NLCS and everything. Should a 3rd straight Phillies/Dodgers NLCS occur this year, then that definitely would make them one of our most notable rivals in a long time.

  11. -The Bat Has Spoken

    February 19, 2010 at 12:28 am

    so yeh…Santana would say that…Santana is a confident pitcher, and one of the few Mets I like.

    Same wit wright…but seriously? It’s EXACTLY LIKE THE NYPOST. Are we talking about the Mets right now? The Mets biggest off-season acquisition was Bay and he wouldn’t even start if he came to philly and he’ll prolly be terrible in that big ass park playing defense, which is a major liability for the Mets already!…They have no pitching after Santana and they had to lower their walls 8 feet after just one season because nobody in a home uniform could hit the ball out of the park!!!! …Pause…LOL…This rivalry was fun while it lasted, but until they prove something, there’s only one NY team that matters, and that’s the Jets…(Yankees).

    The Phils biggest rivalry will be with LA since we’ve knocked them out of the World Series 2 years in a row in humiliating fashion! And I really like this one cuz we get to see “MANNYWOOD” and Fox TV sports coverage…Can it get more scandalous than that?!?

    However, I think we’ll be seeing LA or St Louis in the NLCS…then a bold prediction for the Seattle Vs. Philly World Series!!!

    -The Bat has Spoken

  12. Aaron

    February 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Hopefully Halladay can own the NL like Santana does. I can’t blame JS for answering himself. He is quite a beast.

  13. Brooks

    February 19, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Yohan did not disappoint, his answer was exactly what we have come to expect from a Mut.. The rivalry might be over from a logistic standpoint (we crush them) but, it’s always fun to shut up the whiners from the rotten apple. Especially when its a come from behind W.

  14. George

    February 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I like Santana’s confidence, but I also like Halladay’s modesty in naming several pitchers as possible “bests.” It’s not the “approach” to a question that matters, anyway. It’s the results.

    Wright’s statement shouldn’t even matter. Every player expects his team to do well, or they’d be demanding trades all the time.

    Let’s just concentrate on the Phils. So far, things look good. I hope things stay good.

  15. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

    The Mets rivalry isn’t dead as Andrew suggested. Look for the Mets to be better this year…probably around .500. They’re gonna be a pain in the ass and I think the rivalry will be there every time we play them…especially if they start out the season quickly.

    Nice to hear that Cole is taking things seriously…he needs to basically be joined at Halladay’s hip all season long.

  16. psujoe

    February 19, 2010 at 10:39 am

    New York and Philly hate each other so the rivalry isn’t dead it’s just dormant at this meoment. Mets don’t have a good enough rotation at this point. The team I’d keep an eye on is the Braves. great rotation and they have the young talent to pull off a trade for Adrian Gonzalez if it’s close at the deadline.

  17. Mike Smith

    February 19, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Phils Phans – go to the Washington Nationals online only individual game ticket pre-sale (http://tr.im/OU3V), buy your tickets to April 5th Opening Day Nationals vs Phillies. And help me boo Roy Halladay! j/k on the Halladay part. But this really is the only way you have 100% guarantee to see Halladay pitch!…the pre-sale ends Feb21 at 11:59PM and I think all you need is a generic password – Insider…Go Phils!

  18. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 11:27 am

    they are both among the BEST PITCHERS IN ALL OF BASEBALL . . . with CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum thrown into the arguement as well

    close 2nd has Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren…. Cliff Lee, Josh Johnson, Chris Carpenter,

    probably leaving some guys out.. of the top 10 . . . but then you have John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Cole Hamels, Mark Buerhle, . . . damn there are a lot of good pitchers in baseball


    I can’t believe that Charlie said flat out that POLANCO IS A BETTER PLAYER THAN FELIZ

  19. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

    im so sick of the notion that Hamels “didn’t take last year seriously”

    the dude throw 4,789 innings in 2008 . . . which was by far the most innings, in the longest season of his career… followed by media-blitz in the offseason because they won the World Series . .then a shorter than usual offseason because Spring Training started early with the World Baseball Classic

    when was his arm supposed to respond?

    He didn’t say that his arm was dead because then people would question his TOOLS going forward… instead he blamed it on himself not preparing.. so people were less worried about the physical- Cole Hamels . . .and everyone was trying to fix the Mental-Cole Hamels

    the dude is a competitor, wants to win.. has won.. and will win again . . . starting this year. He’ll be an All Star, and a Cy Young contender .no doubt in my mind

  20. Philly Texan

    February 19, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Don,
    Greinke and King Felix second tier? No way. Those were the two best pitchers in the AL last year….Hernandez doesn’t get a lot of pub out there in Seattle, but he’s a beast. I would take Greinke and Hernandez right now over CC. (Although, you can’t really go wrong with any of them)

    I would put Greinke, Felix, CC, Halladay, Lincecum, and Santana (if he’s healthy) in the first tier.

    I totally agree about Hamels and his innings increase, though. I think he’ll have a good season.

    Except I was alarmed to read this morning that Hamels said he was taking off-season workout advice from Mark Prior!!!!!

    that send chills down my spine.

  21. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Nobody knows how Greinke of Hernandez would do in a pressure situation . . . CC Sabathia thrives on that, so to me, he’s “more valuable” or “Better” or whatever . . . but thats just my opinion

    I guess the same could be said about Lincecum too, which is why if I had one game to win. . . i would take

    Halladay, Sabathia, Santana . . .in that order

  22. bfo_33

    February 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Grienke and Felix are 2nd tier, along with Lee and a few others because they don’t have years of consistency. If you could sign someone to a 3 yr deal today, it would be Halladay, Santana, Linecum, and Sabbathia (in whatever order you chose).

    Almost anyone else in Hamels position would have performed the same way, said the same things. You don’t nail the org for sending you out on promos, don’t admit weakness or injury. You suck it up, say it was your fault, but you fixed it and are ready to go this year. I think Hamels is actually treating it in a mature manner, instead of throwing the team under the bus.

  23. psujoe

    February 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Don M is correct. Hamels just ran out of gas last year because of the short off season and his record number of innings the year before. He’ll be fine this year just like he was for the first 50 pitches per outing last year.

  24. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    yea, fa sho .. B fo!!!

    I thought all along that it was him just trying to take blame for something that wasn’t really his fault

    his body never had a chance to pitch that much, so he didn’t know how it would respond. . . “The Verducci Effect”
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/02/16/verducci.effect/index.html

    on his list last year.. Hamels, Mike Pelfrey, Chad Billingsley, John Danks- White Sox,

    but he also had Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, and Jair Jurrjens on the list too and they all pitched well last year

  25. Paul

    February 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t know PhillyTexan, maybe Mark Prior told him what NOT to do.

  26. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Don M for President ? ? ? …this is the highest my comment-Approval Ratings have been in years!

  27. Bob

    February 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    There is nothing wrong with what Santana said. Even if he is wrong.

    He’s a great, great pitcher. Its not like and come out and said the Mets are the team to beat and something like that.

    He’s allowed to be confident in himself.

  28. bfo_33

    February 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Mark Prior’s first suggestion – don’t pitch for Dusty Baker.

    On the Met’s rivalry, I don’t hate NY, or even Mets fans (come pretty close to hating Yankees fans). I hope it is a back and forth battle all year, comes down to the last week of the season (well, maybe mid Sept, then the Phils take it away). I loved it when Rollins pronounced us the team to beat, and would think that is what any fan wants to hear from their team (not sure I’d watch a game if the Phils said the Braves looked improved, we’re just playing for the wild card).

    I’ve been to several games in Boston, Stl, and Yankee stadium. All are great atmospheres, but something special happens when the rivals to town. A few more drunks/fights, but for the most part it is good natured enthusiasm. CBP steps it up a notch when the Mets come to town, not quite where the other three are yet (I imagine the intensity is also there when Stl goes to Chi, or Giants/Dodgers). It doesn’t translate as well on TV, but when you are at the stadium, nothing beats playing a rival.

  29. j reed

    February 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Halladay = “gooey metal” Terminator > Santana = Schwarzenger Terminator

  30. RichieAllen

    February 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Wow Hamels spoke to Lefty and Cliff Lee about a cutter….I guess he IS Serious .

  31. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    As posted in LIVE CHAT WITH PAT GALLEN:

    but to bring the topic back around. . . I posted:

    its REALLY tough to win 20 games … luck plays a large role

    But i think Halladay will DOMINATE the National League this year..

    Hamels’ win total will likely stay low again, he seems to get little run support . . .possibly because he doesn’t work quickly, and players arent as into the game when he is on the hill ? . . . but I see him with a sub -3.50 ERA, and a win total at or around 15

    the closer he gets to 3.00 and 20 wins . . .he gets into the Cy Young arguement

  32. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Hamels WANTS to correct last season…anyone that actually thinks he’s “Hollywooding” it with he attitude towards preparing for this year doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    Cy Young contender?? Maybe..but not this year..but I can see it at some point, for sure.

  33. j reed

    February 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Actually Hamels is known as a quick worker…he might not get run support if opposing teams are throwing there #1’s or #2’s against him. I don’t know if that is the case…you’d have to check to see who is pitching against in the game logs

  34. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Hamels only works quickly when its brought to his attention that he’s working slowly . . . they talk about it all the time

    When he starts working slowly and leaving the channgeup high in the zone.. that’s when Charlie takes the ball

    I’ve never really watched the specifics of Halladay to see how he works.. I usually just watch him dominate in the manner that Clemens did when he was younger

  35. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Does Hamels perform better when he works quicker . . . less time over-thinking?

    or does he work quicker when he’s performing better ?

    sometimes he just goes out in the early innings and DOMINATES hitters but that usually doesn’t happen past the 4th inning with him

  36. SpinJamin

    February 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I love reading these articles about the Mets talking. In reality what those guys said really wasn’t bragging or anything like that, but if I were the Mets I would just shut my mouth and say all the right things and try to keep a low profile and let the field do the talking. Talking about winning on a team that has done the exact opposite is just something that shouldn’t even be mentioned.

    Just seems like its the same old Mets. Nothings wrong with their team and they have no clue why they don’t win. Go figure that logic.

  37. joedad

    February 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I think Halladay is a better pitcher but who cares…the Phillies are the better TEAM.

  38. joedad

    February 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Working quickly = more run support? Tell that to Moyer, the slowest worker in 2008 and the winningest pitcher.

  39. JeffS

    February 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I hope that by the time I get home from work, someone will have already asked one of the Phils for a response to Wright’s statements, and the Phil would just fall on the ground laughing hysterically. Now THAT would be funny – and a real statement.

  40. Jeff

    February 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    You said Cole did the right thing. LOL. Was there any other choice. He makes millions. I work in sales. My sales were bad last month. My manager took my head off. I guess I could of stayed home and cried but I got my butt back out there to make money for my family. 75,000 a year is alot less the princess makes.

  41. George

    February 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Hamels’ “mental problems” last year were not that he didn’t take things seriously, but that he took them TOO seriously. He tightened up in difficult situations, because he wanted so badly to succeed. As far as not dominating hitters after the fourth or fifth innings, even Cy Young winners fall off some after a certain number of pitches. Hamels only fell off too much in 2009; ’07 and ’08 he was fine.

    Run support has absolutely no correlation with the speed a pitcher works. Sometimes the defense behind him can be caught napping, but there’s no way team mates get so bored they don’t feel like hitting. Matching up too much with other teams’ aces is the more likely cause of Hamels’ run support problems.

  42. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Wait, so now we’re critical because he did his job this offseason??

    Give him props for being amazing in 2008 . . .trying his best in 2009 . . .and preparing himself as much as possible for 2010

    nobody is trying to give him a medal for hard work in the offseason, but maybe it will help stop people from trying to trade him and stuff…


    players routinely say that they are much more into the flow of the game when there isn’t 30 seconds between each pitch . . .one of the reasons they loved pitching behind that guy that isn’t here anymore (No, not Brett Myers.. the other one. No, not Clay Condrey, Park, or Eyre . .the OTHER guy, Travis Lee’s cousin)

    Hamels is at his best when he gets the ball, gets the sign, and throws . . .let the catcher call the game . . you just pitch.

  43. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    If you’re caught napping AT ALL in a game.. that means that you aren’t really into THAT game . . . . all phases of it

    2008 they used to talk all the time about how they need to keep the bats going when Hamels (their ACE) was on the mound, and not just take it easy, etc…

    They used to go out and try to score as many runs as possible with Moyer on the mound, because he usually can’t hold the other team to 2 or less ..the way Hamels did

    When Cole was the starter, they went into the game with the mindset that 4 runs will win it. . . . . I wish I was making this stuff up, but has nobody else ever read the interviews and articles of the past few seasons??

  44. George

    February 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Jeff, go away. If you want Hamels’ money, go pitch in the majors, don’t whine about someone else. I personally don’t give a rat’s @$$ what ANY salesmen thinks, because they’re in such a twisted profession. It was the SALESpeople hyping bogus mortgages and stock portfolios that tanked the economy in the first place.

    So you had to work hard? Well, I guess it IS hard to convince people to buy things they probably don’t need, and definitely can’t afford.

  45. Jeff

    February 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    First off punk I dont sell mortgages. Dont blame the sales world for people buying home they cant afford. You can also blame your boy Clinton. People come to me because they need what I sell. No I will not go away because you love princess. I can state the facts that he should be working so hard that tears flow. When you make that kind of money and dont save lives or teach our children. No break time is over George punch back in and get back to your register. Punk

  46. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Jeff, mikemike and Just Crushed are all related somehow… all complainers and crybabies that NEVER have anything good to say about the Phillies.

  47. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Trust me…I wouldn’t come to you for any of my needs.

  48. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Are the above comments even real ??

    Are people really, seriously fighting on a blog?

  49. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    In re: Johnny Damon…The Tigers reportedly are offering him $7M.. Seriously, the dude’s worth 7M??? I would have thought somewhat less…like 5M.

  50. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I bet its less… with incentives that could make it worth $7 M or something . . .

    He’s still a very good player, on a one-year contract its good.. and he can DH at times too.. hit a number of spots in the lineup

  51. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Apparently, Scott Boras is pushing for a second year as well as asking for none of the money to be deferred. Wow!! That guy is something. I just can’t see Damon getting a contract like that THIS late in his career…from the Tigers.

  52. Griffin

    February 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I actually think the Yankees are still mad at Boras for A-Rod opting out of his contract a few years back. They told A-Rod that they wouldn’t negotiate with him if he opted out and then when A-Rod opted out but had no other bidders, he had to come crawling back to the Yankees who told him they wouldn’t talk to him with Boras in the room. (They then proceeded to bid against themselves and give him the largest contract ever, but that’s a whole other story).

    I think the Yankees realized early in this off-season that Boras was going to be difficult (in the Damon negotiations) so they just moved on and signed Nick Johnson and Randy Winn. The White Sox pulled their offer today, so the Tigers are pretty much bidding against themselves at this point.

  53. Griffin

    February 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I’ve heard rumors that Damon may only want a 1 year deal and then search for a long-term deal next year but next year’s free agent list is stacked: Werth, Crawford, Manny, H. Matsui, Brad Hawpe, etc.

    I think Damon should take that 2-year deal from Detroit.

  54. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    That’s if Boras can even get Detroit to go for 2 years. If he can…then, yeah…he should definitely take it.

  55. Manny

    February 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Don, you’re absolutely right on Hamels not getting enough run support in 08… it happens a lot to the ace of a team, players think they don’t need to score too many runs to win those games… and that’s how several 8 IP, 2ER performances end up as ND or L.

    I actually have a small hunch that Halladay might be the victim of that this time around…

  56. Don M

    February 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Halladay is much better than Hamels.. and our lineup seems to be much better now . . . so if we score 2-3 runs with Halladay on the mound, it should be a win every time . .

    I seriously think he’s going to flat-out DOMINATE the National League

  57. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    The expectations on Halladay are immense…he is essentially “replacing” Cliff Lee (in a lot of people’s minds that is)…and besides that he’s expected to be dominating..

    It’s good that he’s as strong mentally and physically as he is…I think he’s up to the challenge..

    We’re in for a real treat!!…and I CAN”T FREAKIN’ WAIT!!!!

  58. Griffin

    February 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Roy Halladay is better than Cliff Lee but he has to stay healthy and dominate in the postseason in order to convince people.

    Much like Chuck, I also can’t wait. Roy F’ing Halladay.

  59. George

    February 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    No, Jeff, I don’t love “princess,” as you so rudely call him. I just think that people who throw about such vicious names have some serious issues with their own personalities, possibly including inferiority complexes and homophobia.

    No, maybe salesman aren’t entirely to blame for people buying homes they couldn’t afford, but an honest salesmen wouldn’t be encouraging them to do it, either, nor would he present that buyer with an unsupportable loan offer.

    If a person truly has needs, he’ll buy what he needs and only wants a salesman around to write up the receipt. Salesmen are full of themselves, and think their jobs are important, but I’ll do without them, thank you, because everyone of them I’ve ever met has fed me stretched truths and bald faced lies. Relying on a salesmen to steer you right is like relying on a zombie to do your brain surgery.

    I ask, finally, is a job which doesn’t “save lives or teach our children” worth $75,000? I haven’t met ONE SINGLE school teacher, lifeguard, policeman, or ambulance driver who makes that much.

  60. George

    February 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    To everyone else: I apologize for going off on a tirade about salesmen (there are some honest and decent ones), when I should be saying something about the team. Some people are so demeaning toward others, though, that I do occasionally EXPLODE.

  61. Brooks

    February 20, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I cannot figure out where this neo-political conversation is headed but I did see a string I’d like to comment on.
    There was an entry or 2 discussing the top tier pitchers in the NL –
    Lease we forget to add Brandon Webb to that list? Although he was injured in 09, he was the CYA winner in 06, runner up in 07 & 08. He still plays for AZ and is only 31.
    Down the list, why exclude Roy Oswalt? He will be 32 this year. In his first 7 years he won 20 games 2 times, finished in the top 5 for the CYA voting. He is just on a bad team that got worse in the off season. Oswalt is a beast.
    Carpenter – he will be 35 this year. The 05 CYA winner finished 3rd in the voting in 06 then was injured in 07 & 08 – he was 2nd in the voting this past year – the man plays on a legit team.
    There are some others: Jake Peavy (injured in 08 & 09, now playing for the White Sox) and perhaps Carlos Zambrano?
    I would place this small list in the same category as Santana & Lincecum.

  62. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 8:19 am

    OK Brooks. If you gave me me my pick of pitchers for 2010 ONLY, they would be in an order something like this (if all healthy).

    1. Lincecum
    2. Halladay
    3. Santana
    4. Carpenter
    5. Jurrjens

    The Dipsy

  63. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 8:31 am

    And after this year…hopefully you can flip Lincecum and Doc!! Jurrjens at #5….see, that’s why the Braves could be scary..

  64. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

    The Braves ARE scary. Jurrjens. Both Hudson and Lowe have the potential to go 15-8, 3.40. But the real wild card is Hansen. He could go absolutely mental. I think he’s a year away from being a flat out stud but he’s gonna be their second best pitcher this year. That’s: One great starter and three very good starters. It might….might…..turn out to be the best rotation in baseball this year.

    The Dipsy

  65. Brooks

    February 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Good that we keep it in the NL – I don’t understand why you left off Webb? And especially put Carpenter ahead of Webb (if he is in your scope). Are you thinking that Webb is done?

    JJ (Jurrjens) has 1 accomplished year behind him, if you call 14 wins for a mediocre team an accomplishment – but a sizzling 2.60 ERA. I’d say he needs more years experience and more W’s to be on this esteemed list.

  66. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Brooks…I would agree…but Jurrjens is a stud….he can flat-out deal…I think this guy is definitely a future Cy Young winner.

  67. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Brooks – Check out my preface. These are the first five pitchers I “would pick” going into this year. Webb has just been hurt way too long and Jurrjens has had more than one good year. I have watched the guy pitch. He’s going to be a monster and I think its gonna be this year. He ALWAYS keeps the ball down. I also really love Zambrano but I think he needs a change of scenery.

    The Dipsy

  68. Brooks

    February 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Let’s put this Braves myth to rest.
    Yes, the Braves pitching staff has 4 starters who might win more than 15 games and if there was some hitter support behind them, who knows?
    Jurrjens has been discussed and as far as I am concerned, is still unproven.
    Lowe – possibly 15 wins, don’t foreget he will be 37 this year.
    Hudson – possibly 15 wins, he will be 35 this year.
    Hanson – 1 year under his belt with 21 starts, 11 wins and a very decent ERA under 3. So what?
    The #5 starter – here comes – Kawakami – 35 years old, second year here in the states and extremely average.
    That is the pitching – oh yes, lets not forget the closer – the cancer himself, Billy Wagner (need I say more?).
    Starting with 3rd base, Chipper Jones will be 38. He has not had a full season due to injuries since 04, has not had 30 hrs since 04 – definitely showing his age.
    SS – Escobar – average, mediocre power –
    2nd – Prado – very average player, No power
    1b – Troy Glaus – I think Troys better days are behind him
    C – yes, that Philly killer (I hate seeing him come to bat) McAnn – I like this guy (ergo the hate) he kills the Phils all the time.
    OF is a joke!
    Melky in LF .269 career BA, no power
    McLouth in CF – .260 career BA, no power
    RF is Diaz, decent average, never saw more than 371 official atbats (last year) no speed – his top hr performance has been 13 hrs.
    Now I ask you are you digging for competition? Cause it will be a stretch to see our fiercest division competition from the Peach state.

  69. Brooks

    February 20, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Dipsy, I think your top 5 picks are awesome – but, I disagree with anointing Jurrjens based on his first 2 seasons (he won 13 then 14 in his 2 seasons). I’ve seen him pitch too.

    And please, Webb was out last year only = (
    The idea that he (Webb) has been hurt too long, he was runner up in the 08 NL CYA voting (in 07 he was runner up, in 06 he won).

  70. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Alright Brooks – I’ll take you up on this. McClouth is a good offensive player. Expect 25/90/.270/20 out of him. Chipper is too hurt. 20/77/.305 McCann. Martin Prado – Decent offensive player for 2B. Escobar – Stud! Watch this guy this year. After Cox benched him last year he was one of the best SS in baseball. In the OF, the rookie won’t make it but the Braves will trade for a good OF or sign Damon or Dye. Glaus – 30/95/.250. There is power on this squad, and like all of Cox’s teams, the whole is always more than the sum of its parts. They are gonna finish ahead of the Mets and they are gonna win 87-92 games. Bulleedat Boyeeeeee!

    The Dipsy

  71. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

    And Cabrera is fine. Their rotation is better. Call the pens even. Their D in the OF is better unless they sign Damon. Our infield D is better. Our offense is better. We’re 5-7 wins better than that team. I think the Phils go 94-68ish.

    The Dipsy

  72. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I don’t see the Braves winning 92 games…they COULD be good but not that good. Let’s just say that if the Braves win 92 games…then the Phillies will be sweating it…because the Phils will probably win something like 95-98 games.

    Brooks…just your argument alone…with the analysis of all the players wouldn’t suggest that they have 92 wins in them. I see something like 84-86 wins and a second place finish. They will flip-flop for that position in the standings all season long with the Mets and the Marlins.

  73. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Chuck – That rotation is the bomb.

    The Dipsy

  74. psujoe

    February 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

    The Braves only concern me if they hang around and pick up a big bat like Gonzalez. Lineup just isn’t strong enough.

  75. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Agreed…rotation’s good…and the lineup is questionable.

  76. WFC010

    February 20, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I think that this season is going to be more of a rollercoaster than last season was, and I can only hope the Phillies come out on top…but who knows?

    Even if we fail to win the division, we should still have a really good chance of getting the WC.

  77. Don M

    February 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I think the Braves lineup is pretty legit . . . they were all injured and it was a different lineup every other game to try to make something happen

    To me, the Braves are the 2nd most dangerous team in the NL EAST

    and I think they are better than the Dodgers…

    Cardinals should be good, and I think the Rockies are really good this year too

    so I guess my 4 playoff picks are:
    Phillies, Cardinals, Rockies.. Braves as the Wild Card

  78. WFC010

    February 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Ugh… a Braves VS Phillies NLCS could be pretty scary 🙁

    Also I wouldn’t count out the Dodgers as a playoff team, but I guess we’ll see how their season goes. Say what you want about Joe Torre, but he is VERY GOOD at getting his teams into the Playoffs, and he isn’t the type to just ride out the last year of his contract without making a serious push for the playoffs.

  79. Don M

    February 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I just think they are worse than last year.. .Manny off the steriods didn’t scare anyone

    Kemp and Ethier are good, but not yet anywhere near an Utley-Howard combination

    Russell Martin sucks.. Casey Blake is older.. Furcal still their SS ?

    Randy Wolf carried them for a while last year, he’s gone . . . . they ned Kershaw and Billingsley to be “All-Star good” for them to contend, and I dont think they will

  80. WFC010

    February 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Losing Randy Wolf was a serious blow for the Dodgers, and they didn’t do a very good job at finding somebody to take his place either…

    BUT I still think they have a fair shot of making the Playoffs, especially if they make some smart mid-season trades.

    Also the Dodgers handled themselves fine last year despite Manny being pretty awful/suspended for a lot of the time.

  81. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Joe Torre had tremendous success in New York because of the Yankee teams he managed. It was a hell of a run in the late 90’s-early 2000’s and he gets the credit for those championships..at least in part.

    This Dodgers team doesn’t have NEAR the talent or depth of those Yankee teams….and Torre can only do so much with them.

    I like Joe Torre…but I think he’s overrated as a manager.

  82. Manny

    February 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Oh man Braves – Phillies NLCS would be really scary…

    We gotta play 162 + NLDS first, but damn that scenario would suck.

  83. psujoe

    February 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Keep in mind if Rollins can just have an average year with Polanco at the top of the lineup the Phils are going to be a run producin machine. Should be more consistant as well. It’s all good!

  84. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    The Braves will pick someone up – they always do. Plus, this is Cox’s last year so I think ownership will give him the horses.

    The Dipsy

  85. Philly Texan

    February 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Dodgers are coming back to earth. Love their lineup, but the pitching is suspect. They’ve got Padilla in the rotation, for god’s sake. We all know he can’t get it done consistently. They need a big year from Kershaw and Billingsly.

    The Rockies seem like the team to watch in that division. Ubaldo Jimenez is sick. He might have had the best stuff of any pitcher the Phils faced in the postseason last year. And that includes CC.

    Chuck,
    give Torre his props. he’s a great manager. There’s only so much a manager can do if he doesn’t have the talent.

    Torre has a clear record–give him a good team and he’ll get it to the playoffs. He’s been in the postseason every year for a decade. That sounds like the very definition of a good manager to me.

  86. Don M

    February 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Joe Torre OVER MANAGES all the time. . . It cost the Dodgers playoff games the past two years with his pitching changes-every-7 pitches

    I’m pretty sure that any one of us could’ve lead those yankees teams to World Series titles too

    Dodgers are strapped for cash with their married-owners going through a divorce and not sure what will happen with the team, and the finances..

    Braves always seem to have above-average players coming through their farm system too . . I just think they are really,r eally good this year

    I had them pegged as a playoff team last year, but injuries, and thus a lack of offense hurt them early

  87. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I have nothing against Joe Torre…and I said that the run in New York was at least in part because of him…

    I just think he’s somewhat overrated, that’s all.

  88. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Torre ccompletely OVER MANAGED and OVER THOUGHT the pitching in the NLCS….right from the start….by pitching Kershaw in Game 1..

    If he would have gone with the more experienced pitcher in Randy Wolf…the outcome could have been different.

    Kershaw got bombed in that game and never recovered…by the time Game 5 came along…he was mincemeat at the hands of the Philly fans at CBP.. His confidence was shot.

    That’s the kind of stuff that can really mess with some young pitchers…they have all the talent in the world…but because of one or 2 really bad outings in pressure situations…they never fully realize their potential.

    I’m not saying that will happen with Kershaw..but I’ve seen it before.

  89. Philly Texan

    February 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Don,
    I agree there were questionable moves by Torre in the postseason. But I give the guy credit for his track record.

    True, any of us can make the in-game decisions. But a bigger part of managing in this day and age is managing personalities, keeping the club house together, keeping guys focused for 162 games. This is where Torre excels.

    Same could be said of Charlie. We all know he’s not a master strategist during games. But he’s terrific at handling the players, knowing what buttons to push. Look at the way he handled Lidge last year.

    I don’t think Torre’s the greatest manager of all time. But he’s top 5 in the game today. The guy just wins.

  90. WFC010

    February 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    The reason Charlie is so successful is because he loves his team, and the team loves and respects him in return.

    Larry Bowa was more in the Dallas Green mold, where the only way his team would excel is because he pissed off the players enough to unite against him, and win out of spite. And as we all saw, Bowa’s strategy clearly made them a BETTER team…but not good enough to make the post-season.

  91. WFC010

    February 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Anyway, my point is that Charlie Manuel is clearly a far better manager for this group of guys than Larry Bowa was.

  92. Brian Sr. of CO

    February 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Is this really a rivalry anymore? Dont both teams need to be good to be a rivalry, LOL

  93. Troy Natal

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