Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Memo to JC Romero and all the other tired, aching, rundown major leaguers out there:

Don't know? Don't take!

There were many missteps and, apparently, some misinformation involved in the Romero suspension but in the end the Phillies lefty has only himself to blame. The key is he had to ask if it were OK to take an OTC supplement and he sought the advice of people who weren't experts. Now the Phillies are left to pick up the pieces, scurrying to find a replacement for their key lefty setup man until June 1st, 2009. Dare we remind ourselves wins and losses in April and May count in the final standings?

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Of all the slots for designated hitters in all the AL, Pat Burrell happened to walk into the one in Tampa Bay, FL, signing a two-year deal for $16 million. Hard to know if the fans there will boo or cheer him in his first plate appearance given recent history. Since the signing there have been reports, unsubstantiated of course, the Phillies offered him a better deal (more money, same time) prior to the end of the season and he rejected the offer.

As long as Raul Ibanez remains healthy and doesn't butcher everything hit his way, he will remain an upgrade over Burrell, whose long periods of futility punctuated by occasional bursts of power, made him an erratic performer at best and a maddening one at worst.

The biggest worry for the Phillies remains the absence of a right-handed bat in the middle of the batting order.

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As of this writing it doesn't appear any team in the NL East has dramatically improved its fortunes. Nor does it appear any team not located in Philadelphia has seen its fortunes decline. Yes, sports fans, the Phillies are worse off than they were a year ago. Speculation notwithstanding, Chase Utley will not be playing in April or May. Neither will Romero. Jamie Moyer will be a year older and no wiser; just a year older. Pedro Feliz is coming off of back surgery and while his recovery is expected to be in time for Opening Day, back problems have a way of being chronic.

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A little digression here....

The Eagles' bandwagon certainly has gotten crowded with their win over Minnesota. Given how the defense has been playing nearly all season, there is no telling how deep into the playoffs this team can go. That said, the offense still sputters and can fall apart at any moment. Just remember the following:

1. The defense played well against Washington but the offense was pathetic. Ditto vs. Cincinnati.
2. The defense scored two TD's against Dallas.
3. The defense scored against Minnesota.

Defenses have carried a lot of teams to the Super Bowl so the Eagles are certainly legitimate on that front. The offense, meanwhile, is one game of disproportionate reliance on passing and/or one game of more mismanagement of the clock from undermining that defense. To suggest this is a premier football team is nonsense but should they continue to win plenty of people will do so.


Doc said...

Why don't we just ask the people that go to Rays games if they plan on booing or cheering him? How long can it take to do that? 10-15 mins?

As for the Eagles, I've been noticed how much their D is scoring too. Can you continue to count on that?

Tom Goodman said...

I doubt it would take that long...unless we ask the ushers and vendors, too.

They will go as far as their Defense will carry them. Frankly, the secondary is playing like it is constantly looking for the take-away.


Ibanez is a definite improvement.

You guys want to link exchange? and