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John E.
Queen Village - Philadelphia, PA
Recent Activity
Charlie blows more bubbles after homeruns (Getty Images) Since the finale of the Braves series, the Phillies offense has been struggling, posting scores of 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 0, and 4. In those nine games, they have gone 5-4, which is a testament to how good the Phillies pitching is. But even with good pitching, asking them to hold the opponent below three runs to win most games is a tough task. There is no reason to panic. However, their lack of extra base hits, particularly HR’s, has been an issue since the middle of last season.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Hamels - the one Ace with a ring (Reuters) So perhaps you had a rough day at work yesterday, which was only tolerable because of the Phillies game you looked forward to going to last night. You paid good money for tickets, parking, and concessions on a rather miserable April night. And then just as you were getting into the game, your day was topped off with one of Cole Hamels' worst starts of his career, going 2.2 innings, allowing six runs, while surrendering two hits to pitcher Chris Young in the same inning. I can understand how some fans,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Let's be real, even when the Phillies weren't horrible, the Vet would draw 30K on average in a good year. So new stadium and championship caliber team have combined for all of these sellouts. In 1993 they led wire to wire and drew a little over 3M, which is still less per game than they draw now. CBP is the hip place to be. I'm a lifer, who has a complicated relationship with the team over the years, sort of like an old married couple who argue a lot. I started following the team as a kid just before they won it in 1980...and then saw 20+ years of mostly bad baseball before this most recent era. And I sort of hate the bandwagoners. But at the same time I know there aren't enough lifers out there to fill CBP 81 times a year, so we need the bandwagoners to have this payroll. So I've made peace with it I guess. It's still annoying though to be at a game and listen to the people around you discuss their family, their job, etc....everything but the game.
Dave Sheinin, shown here with Pablo Sandoval of the Giants The Phillies are older and have some injury problems. So now a lot of baseball pundits think, "I'll be a contrarian and pick the Braves to win the NL East. And if I'm wrong, nobody will remember in 6 months anyway." Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post is another recent example. Look, I get it. It's boring to pick the Phillies to win the NL East. Just like it's boring to pick the Patriots to win the AFC East or the Lakers to win the Pacific Division every season. Boring...and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Raul has seemed to have a split personality offensively the last 2 seasons. Even with Utley expected to be healthy, a good year from Raul Ibanez was thought to be crucial. And now with the likelihood of Utley missing significant time, Raul's bat will be needed even more, as he will likely bat 3rd in the order without Chase. But his two seasons here have been tales of two halves with great disparities. He had a great 1st half of 2009 and was probably the team MVP of the 1st half of that season. And then he went on the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Nobody seems to know when Utley will take the field in 2011 Another week has passed and still nothing definitive on Chase Utley. Like many other fans, the potential seriousness of Chase Utley's knee injury has put a little bit of a damper on the season for me so far. And Wilson Valdez hasn't even hit into any rally-killing double-plays yet. But then I recalled the hot streak the Phils went on from late July to mid-August last season, with Chase out of the lineup. As Rich Hofmann noted recently, it turns out the Phillies actually had a better winning... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Durbin during Game 3 of 2008 World Series (Source: Getty Images) Chad Durbin is rumored to be close to inking a deal with the Cleveland Indians. The Phillies showed only minimal interest in Durbin earlier this offseason, but they showed renewed interest in him this past week when he was still available. And Durbin had stated in the past that he preferred to remain a Phillie and might take less money to do so. The Phils already have financial committments to plenty of right-handed relievers. And as consistent as Durbin has been for them, they figure to have much less... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Source: ESPN.COM After having a few days to digest the Eagles playoff loss and reflect on the season, I think it's fair to say, with apologies to Dennis Green, that the Eagles are who we thought they were back in August. Even though I was frustrated with some of their decisions in the off-season, I figured they had no urgency to plug all of their holes because the Eagles brass viewed 2010 as a rebuilding year, in spite of what they stated publicly. But then Kolb got hurt, Vick played great, and the Cowboys got off to a hideous start.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2011 at Crossing Broad
Remember back in training camp when we thought Vick would just be running the Wildcat this year? The season is in the final stretch, and somewhat unexpectedly the Eagles have put themselves in position to win a division title and hopefully more. Back around week three, I noted the similarities between the 2010 Eagles and 2007 Giants. Both were written off as being in rebuilding years prior to the start of the season, and then somewhat surprisingly they contended. Luck plays a big part in NFL success, much more so than most coaches or fans would care to admit. Often... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2010 at Crossing Broad
Vick and the Eagles starting their run toward the playoffs (Source: Getty Images) I may be getting ahead of myself talking playoffs (Playoffs? Playoffs? Yes, playoffs), but since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, the Eagles have been 5-3 or better after eight games a total of 15 times prior to this season - 1979, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009. And in those 15 seasons, they qualified for the playoffs 14 times. The lone exception?: 1994 when they started 7-2 under Rich Kotite and then lost out. At this point, I'd... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2010 at Crossing Broad
Oswalt and Phillies hoping to slide past Giants again tonight (source: Reuters) The winner of tonight's Phillies-Giants game will win the series. Recent history backs that up. It is rare for a team to go on the road for the final two games in a seven game series with a 3-2 series lead and lose Game 6 and then come back and win Game 7. The 1975 Reds did it in the World Series that year, the night after losing Game 6 in Boston on Carlton Fisk's dramatic walk-off HR. The only other time it has happened since then was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source: World Anthems) The Giants appear to have all of the momentum now with a dramatic walk-off win and a 3-1 series lead. They are poised to close out the series tonight. Then again, when asked about momentum in baseball, legendary manager Earl Weaver dismissively said, "Momentum? Momentum is the name of the next day's starting pitcher." (Weaver also said lots of other colorful things, like this). But according to Jayson Stark, before 2010 there were 72 occasions where a team trailed 3 games to 1 in a 7-game series. And only 11 came back to win the series. However,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at Crossing Broad
Phillies looking for some Joe-mentum tonight (Source: Reuters) I sense a lot of second-guessing around town whether or not to pitch Roy Halladay tonight on 3 days rest. And it really makes little sense to me. First of all, the problem so far has been hitting, not pitching. They will probably need to score at least 3 or 4 runs today no matter who is pitching, which seems like Herculean task lately with this team. Second of all, unless Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels can go on 3 days rest in Games 5 and 6, and Halladay again in Game... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source: SI) The Eagles and Browns have swapped disappointing backup running backs. My gut reaction is Harrison seems a little better at this point than Bell, which makes me wonder why Cleveland would do this deal. Oh well, more to come on this. But at least the Eagles have some insurance for Shady McCoy now. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source: AP) There isn't much to really be concerned about after a dominant 4-0 win and a no-hitter, when you outhit, outpitch, and out-field an opponent. I'm sure it'll be a boring few days on sports talk radio around here, since there really aren't any "issues" to discuss and there is really no other angle to the story of how great Roy Halladay was last night. Some say the glass is half empty. Some say the glass is half full. I usually say it's half empty and almost time to order another beer. So here are a few things to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2010 at Crossing Broad
Remember this fine moment in Philadelphia sports history: Well, resident carnival barker Angelo Cataldi of 610-WIP is still apparently not embarrassed about being so wrong about Donovan McNabb vs Ricky Williams and is staying classy by organizing one final booing of McNabb during the pre-game festivities on Sunday afternoon. And it's become national news. Sure enough, there's a warm Philly welcome in the works. Angelo Cataldi, a talk-show personality and the leader of the so-called "Dirty 30" — the 30 hardcore Eagles fans who led the boos at Madison Square Garden when the Eagles drafted the Syracuse star over Texas... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source: AP) Donovan McNabb held his weekly conference call with reporters today. In the typical overly-guarded McNabb fashion he seemed to go out of his way not to really say anything of note beyond the usual cliches. But there were a few things that stood out. On Kevin Kolb: “It’s a tough situation. When a guy gets hurt, you would expect him to get an opportunity to step back in, but concussions are things you can’t really play with. It’s one that’s been a topic of conversation all year and all offseason. I’m sure they were really second guessing the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2010 at Crossing Broad
"Joe, I'm doing my best here as coach, but you and that personnel guy, Andy Reid, are killing me." (Source: Getty Images) In spite of my angst over Andy Reid the coach - mainly his end of half/end of game strategy, clock and timeout management, and his aversion to running the ball, I generally think he's done a pretty good job as coach over the last decade. His teams almost always finish strong and at least up until recently, whenever backups are forced into starting roles for a extended period of time, they generally do pretty well. That speaks to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Phillies celebrate a walk-off win, source: AP) On the morning of July 22, the Phillies woke up and found themselves at 48-46, seven games behind the first place Atlanta Braves. Things looked like they were slipping away. Since the All Star Break they had gone just 1-6: 1-3 vs Chicago and 0-3 in first 3 games vs St. Louis. And five of the six losses were ugly. If they had another bad week, they might have even been sellers instead of buyers at the trade deadline, possibly dealing Jayson Werth. Cole Hamels, back in top form, stopped the bleeding by... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source The main focus this week will surely be on how poorly Kevin Kolb played and how much better the offense was with Michael Vick under center. That is legit when your starting QB goes 5 for 10 for 24 yards in a half and has three passes that probably should have been intercepted. And then the backup moves the ball and scores in the 2nd half. Just skimming box scores from 2000 to 2009 last night, I could only find about four halves in McNabb's career where he may have thrown for less than 25 yards and didn't... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source: AP) All signs point to Vance Worley starting one half of the day-night doubleheader vs Florida on Monday. He was removed from his start in AAA on Friday after just 1 inning. Roy Oswalt is scheduled to start the other half of the twin bill. They haven't officially announced that Worley will start, nor which of the two games Oswalt will start. They may be waiting to see who Florida's announced starters are first It's hard to believe someone like Worley would be starting any key games for them in September, but I suppose they don't have any better... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2010 at Crossing Broad
Chase Utley watches HR in Game 1 of 2009 World Series (Source: AP) As the Phillies' offensive woes continue, even after getting Utley and Howard back from the DL, I think it's probably time to consider this is just who the 2010 Phillies are. We keep waiting for that switch to be flipped and for them to start hitting like 2008 and 2009 again. It's the end of August now. If you had told me prior to the season that Hamels and Lidge would be better than they were in 2009 (much better in the case of Hamels), you'd get... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2010 at Crossing Broad
"Long time no see" (Source: Getty Images) 1. Rollins SS, 2. Polanco 3B, 3. Utley 2B, 4. Howard 1B, 5. Werth RF, 6. Ibanez LF, 7. Victorino CF, 8. Ruiz C. That is tonight's Phillies starting lineup. Unfortunately, it is newsworthy since that is the first time since May 21st that the original opening day lineup have all started together. And pretty much since the 2nd week of the season, at least one of these eight players has been out with one injury or another. Just scanning box scores, I believe April 5, April 7, April 9, April 11, May... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2010 at Crossing Broad
(Source: AP) The story of the 2010 season continued for Cole Hamels last night. He did not pitch well in this outing, but again received literally no run support. Here are the results since his start vs the Reds on July 11th: 7/11 - 1-0 win vs Reds on 7/11 - Win for Hamels. 7/17 - 4-1 win vs Cubs on 7/17 - No Decision for Hamels. 0 runs scored while he was pitching. Phils rallied for 4 runs in 9th inning. 7/22 - 2-0 win vs Cardinals. No Decision for Hamels. Phils won in extra innings. 7/27 - 9-5... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2010 at Crossing Broad
Tim Lincecum Watching the game last night, when they kept cutting away to the dugout to show Tim Lincecum, it finally hit me who he reminded me of: MItch Kramer (played by Wiley Wiggins) from Dazed and Confused. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2010 at Crossing Broad