The Point Is….

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 30-11-2009

Tagged Under : Adrian Beltre, Alex Gonzalez, Andruw Jones, Chicago White Sox, ESPN, Ken Griffey Junior, Roy Halladay, Sports Illustrated, Toronto Blue Jays

I have decided on the title of my running article which I hope will continue to run on this website. As there were no comments on my previous article, I will assume that a) No One Cares or b) I am the only person reading it.

Where have you gone Mr. Jones?

Where have you gone Mr. Jones?

I dont blame anyone. At this point in the baseball season, nothing is happening. Minor free agents are signing meaningless contracts, i.e., Andruw Jones & Alex Gonzalez, and teams are posturing. Many “sources” provide fodder for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and the like. Will the Blue Jays trade Roy Halladay? Who knows, but it is better to speculate about it then write nothing at all. Hell, if all ESPN and SI can put out is conjecture what the hell am I going to say.

The point is, there isnt much to say. Until the first domino falls, no one knows how this offseason will shape up.

How about Andrew/Andruw/Andru Jones? Remember when he hit 2 HR’s in a World Series game against the Yankees? What happened to him? Did he just lose confidence? Did he not try hard enough? Did he eat his way out of baseball? Or is he a casualty of the steroid era? I mean at this point, how could you at least not speculate that a guy who was productive and durable came crashing to the earth at around the same time steroids became a big deal. I am not saying that he took steroids. The point is that he could have taken steroids or some other performance enhancing substance. Or his career could have simply followed a bell curve, who knows. I certainly dont. However, that is what a blog is for, to voice an opinion and let the people decide one way or another.

For example, from 1997 until 2006, Jones averaged 33.7 HR’s a season. In 2005 and 2006, he managed to hit 51 and 41 HR’s respectively. In 2007, he dropped to 27 HR’s. Now, he is signing a minor league deal worth $500,000. Jones never hit for average, but I do not recall a debilitating injury (Jones did not go on the disabled list in his career until 2008) or anything else that would have slowed his career.

Look, more likely than not, Jones is just a victim of a downward career spiral. He put on weight and might not have had the discipline to maintain his status as an elite player. He never got a huge payday, ala, Adrian Beltre. (I mention Adrian Beltre not because he took steroids but because he had a curiously productive career year which coincided

I would be smiling too if I robbed a Major League Baseball Team

I would be smiling too if I robbed a Major League Baseball Team

with his free agency year. Beltre has not come close to duplicating those numbers.) It is worth noting that Adrian Beltre had his huge season, .334 AVG and 48 HR’s in 2004. Jones’ best seasons came in 2005 and 2006. Despite being poised to receive a huge payday in free agency, Jones fizzled. One has to wonder why this occurred.

It is a shame because Jones could have been the Griffey Junior of his era. Now he is hoping for at-bats on the White Sox.

I know the steroid angle is played out and that no one cares anymore because most people assume all baseball players are guilty of something. However, any player whose career was productive and who has a rapid decline is under suspicion. Plus, it should be noted, Jones is only 32, which means his career derailed in his late 20′s. A little early for a guy who was pretty consistent over a 10 year span to suddenly lose the ability to hit a baseball, especially when he was never injured.

The Hot Stove

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 21-11-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Adam LaRoche, Andy Pettite, Atlanta Braves, Austin Kearns, Ben Sheets, Benny Agbayani, Billy Wagner, Bobby Howry, Brad Lidge, Brett Myers, Brian McCann, Bruce Chen, Carl Pavano, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Dan Uggla, Darryl Hamilton, Derek Lowe, Eddie Guardado, Edwin Jackson, Eric Bedard, Fernando Rodney, Florida Marlins, Hank Blalock, Hideki Matsui, J.A. Happ, Jarrod Washburn, Jason Bay, Jason Kendall, Jason Marquis, Javier Vazquez, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Joe Crede, John Lackey, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Jorge Cantu, Jose Contreras, Justin Duchscherer, LaTroy Hawkins, Marco Scutaro, Marlon Byrd, matt holliday, Melvin Mora, Miguel Olivo, Mike Cameron, Mike Hampton, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Octavio Dotel, Orlando Hudson, Paul Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Randy Wolf, Rich Harden, Rocco Baldelli, Russell Branyan, Ryan Madson, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Podsednik, Shawon Dunston, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Hudson, Todd Pratt, Tommy Hanson, Vicente Padilla, Washington Nationals, Yunel Escobar

I never knew why it was called the Hot Stove, and I suppose in the age of Google and Wikipedia, I could easily find the answer to that question. Ultimately, it does not matter so I will simply continue on in blissful ignorance. Sports has become a 24 hour a day, 365 investment. Baseball is no different. As soon as the season ends, whether your team won or lost the World Series, the question is the same, what about next season? It does not take long before everyone wonders where free agents are going, how much money they are going to get, and who is the favorite next year. The Yankees are already facing questions like, are they going to resign Johnny Damon? What about Matsui? Is Pettite going or coming back? What about Holliday, Bay, and Halladay? I mean this team just won the World Series. I am going to be honest. I do not have any inside information. No one at any of the NL East teams is feeding me information.
Here is what I do know and it has been said by much smarter and more eloquent people than I. You cannot win in the offseason. So let’s take a stab at some of the more popular off season rumors and take the opposite position and see where that gets us.

Popular Theory #1

The Phillies are only looking to add a third baseman and complimentary pieces. Otherwise, they are still the team to beat.

I have to be honest, despite the nausea that ensued from watching the World Series as a Mets fan, I was envious of the way the Phillies were constructed. However, that same World Series exposed a lot of problems that the other NL East teams were not in a position to capitalize on last year. Cole Hamels is a question mark. Can Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ be counted on to perform as well as they did last season? Jayson Werth a 40 HR guy? Did Brad Lidge turn into a pumpkin? The least of the Phillies problems is 3rd base. With the Phillies lineup, they need someone slightly better at the hot corner than, say, Roger Dorn. The Phillies though could use a Randy Wolf type starter or try and catch lightening in a bottle with Eric Bedard. Rafael Soriano is available and if he can stay healthy, he would be a great setup man, push Madson to the 7th inning and also serve as insurance should Brad Lidge regress further into pumpkin pie. (Hope you appreciate the seasonal reference.) I understand that the Phillies will not overspend for John Lackey, but pitching wins. You cannot outslug everyone, especially in the playoffs. The Phillies need to find find a wily veteran to play third base, like the Marlins did with Jorge Cantu, and hope for the best. The rest of whatever money is available should be poured into the starting rotation and the bullpen.

Free Agents to Target: Joe Crede, Marco Scutaro, Rafael Soriano, Ben Sheets, Randy Wolf, Billy Wagner, Melvin Mora, Adam Kennedy, Jason Marquis.


The Braves should look to unload salary by trying to dump Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez.

I am going to say it, the Braves could be on the short list for the Wild Card next year. Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, Adam LaRoche and Brian McCann create a pretty competitive lineup. Lowe, Hudson, Vazquez and Hanson are not a bad front 4. With the Mets and Phillies looking vulnerable, why would the Braves start bailing? While I dont think the Braves should make a run at Holliday or Bay to try and “go for it”, I do think they should look to invest their money. I am thinking Mike Cameron. I think they try to bring in Randy Wolf, or make a trade for Edwin Jackson. Speaking of trades, make an offer for Dan Uggla, I bet it would take less than you would think. The Braves can compete and though Lowe and Vazquez are huge contracts, can you really consider trading them? The Braves knew what they were getting into when they signed Lowe. Might as well make the best of it.

Free Agents to Target: Mike Cameron, Scott Podsednik, Marlon Byrd, Bobby Howry, Octavio Dotel.


The Mets need to sign Matt Holliday and/or Jason Bay and/or John Lackey.

As a Mets fan, it would be great if the team could be run like fantasy baseball team. It cannot. While a left fielder would be great, and the Mets could sorely use the power, this team needs to be more artfully constructed then just plugging in Holliday. Now, the Mets could have a Yankee moment and burn money by signing Lackey and Holliday/Bay and turn the baseball world on its head, but that wont happen. This team needs a more focused approach. The Mets have won before with the likes of Darryl Hamilton, Benny Agbayani and Todd Pratt. The Mets need quality top to bottom. They need a solid rotation. The bench was exposed last season. The Mets should not have players on their team that might appear on a 1998 baseball card. Signing one big free agent will not solve this problem. There is better ways to invest money than in Holliday.

Free Agents to Target: Austin Kearns, Rich Harden, Adam Kennedy, Jarrod Washburn, Fernando Rodney, Jason Kendall, Jon Garland, Miguel Olivo.


The Nationals should….

Eek. I dont know where to begin. The Nationals need to establish a winning culture. Right now, they are about inspiring as East Germany before the wall fell down. (Again, another culturally relevant point, Google it if you dont know why.) However, there is hope. Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman. Stephen Strasburg. A mildly intriguing starting rotation. The fact is, Washington, right now can neither afford nor attract top talent. So it needs to continue to build like it did when it signed Adam Dunn. In this market, given the fact that bigger teams are reluctant to give up draft picks and pay out top dollar, teams like the Nationals can sign players like Adam Dunn and thereby become competitive.

Free Agents to Target: Orlando Hudson, Justin Duchscherer, Hank Blalock, Ben Sheets, Brett Myers, Carl Pavano, Paul Byrd, Jose Contreras.


Marlins? Marlins? Bueller?

As with the Nationals, the Marlins are a total mystery as to what direction they will take. They are rumored to be looking to move pieces. I just dont know. I dont even know what to say. It wouldnt surprise me if the Marlins found a way to finish below the Nationals next year or if they won the World Series. What I do know is that they have cheerleaders. Yes, you read it correctly. Rivaled only by the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders for “Fewest Fans to Entertain”, the Marlins have decided cheerleaders are a good way to get people to the ballpark. They have been around for a few years and it always surprises me when I see them. Is this the UFL? What happened to this baseball game? How much are they getting paid? How much could a ticket possibly cost to sit directly behind them? Anyway, the Marlins will probably have one signing that makes you go, oh yea, remember when he was good for that one season? The Marlins should give out an award to that guy. Call it, the Ken Bottenfield Award and it should be written into the contract.

Free Agents to Target: Mike Hampton, Vicente Padilla, LaTroy Hawkins, Shawon Dunston, Russell Branyan, Bruce Chen, Eddie Guardado, Rocco Baldelli. (Although to type this list makes me feel like I am wasting my time).

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see who the teams in the NL East decide to sign and/or trade for, but there are always some surprises.

NL East 2009 Season Video Review

Filed Under (Braves Baseball Blog, Centerfield Gate blog, Fish Guts blog, NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Video Recap) by mrnorthjersey on 10-11-2009

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals

Checkout a Video Review on this year’s NL East teams courtesy of MLB.

Just Click On Your Team’s Thumbnail To Watch Video.

Hungry For More Baseball? Watch The Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars Game

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Video Recap) by mrnorthjersey on 09-11-2009

Tagged Under : Arizona Fall League, Atlanta Braves, Braves, Craig Kimbrel, Domonic Brown, Drew Storen, Florida Marlins, Ike davis, Marlins, Matt Dominguez, Mets, Nationals, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Rising Stars Game, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Centerfield Gate Blog, The Fish Guts Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Washington Nationals

Want to see the NL East’s Rising Stars players like the Mets Ike Davis, the Marlins Matt Dominguez, the Braves Craig Kimbrel, the Phillies Domonic Brown, and the Nationals Drew Storen?

Then watch The Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game courtesy of MLB.

Just click on Thumbnail to Watch Video.

World Series Video Recap Game 6: PHI 3, NYY 7

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom, Video Recap) by mrnorthjersey on 05-11-2009

Tagged Under : New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series

W.S. Logo

Here is your NL East Chatter Video Recap Edition courtesy of MLB.

Just click on Thumbnail for Video Recap.

Box Score

For more on the Phillies checkout The Phillies Phandom Blog.

Phillies Champions No More…

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom) by mrnorthjersey on 05-11-2009

Tagged Under : New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series

The 2009 World Series Champions

“The New York Yankees”

For more on the Phillies checkout The Phillies Phandom Blog.

World Series Video Recap Game 5: NYY 6, PHI 8

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom, Video Recap) by mrnorthjersey on 03-11-2009

Tagged Under : New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series

W.S. Logo

Here is your NL East Chatter Video Recap Edition courtesy of MLB.

Just click on Thumbnail for Video Recap.

Box Score

For more on the Phillies checkout The Phillies Phandom Blog.

Macy’s tries to corner market on Phillies “2009 World Series Champion” Shirts

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom) by mrnorthjersey on 02-11-2009

Tagged Under : Macy's,, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series championship T-shirts

Apparently someone jumped the gun over at the Philadelphia Inquirer or did they? showed a Macy’s ad in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer that is selling Philadelphia Phillies back-to-back World Series championship T-shirts.

According to “The ad features a T-shirt from Majestic that has a giant logo, with “Philadelphia Phillies 2009 Back-to-Back World Series champions.”
It was unclear if the ad ran prematurely.
The same T-shirt is not for sale on Macy’s Web site.”

What if this is an attempt to rally the Phillies?

World Series Video Recap Game 4: NYY 7, PHI 4

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom, Video Recap) by mrnorthjersey on 02-11-2009

Tagged Under : New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series

W.S. Logo

Here is your NL East Chatter Video Recap Edition courtesy of MLB.

Just click on Thumbnail for Video Recap.

Box Score

For more on the Phillies checkout The Phillies Phandom Blog.

World Series Game 4: History Won’t Repeat Itself

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Phillies Phandom) by mrnorthjersey on 01-11-2009

Tagged Under : Alex Rodriguez, Instant Replay, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series

W.S. Logo

In response to the first ever video review by umpires in World Series history that after review awarded AROD a two-run homer. Phillie fans will not have to worry about AROD hitting another camera and getting a Home-run awarded.

According to A.P. Major League Baseball and the Fox network took steps to make sure history won’t repeat itself. “As a precaution, we’ve moved the right-field foul pole camera back slightly so that the edge of the lens is completely in line with the top of the wall,” Fox spokesman Lou D’Ermilio said Sunday before Game 4.