Thursday, November 09, 2006
-The Phillies have apparently said that Alfonso Soriano and Garry Sheffield are at the top of their wish lists. I doubt the Phillies are serious about Sheffield, who will be 38 next season and played just 39 games for the Yankees last season. After the initial word about Sheffield I haven’t heard anything, so I am assuming it is not going to happen. He’s a bit of a prima-donna who wouldn’t fit in with Philadelphia.
The enticing prospect of Alfonso Soriano in the Phillies lineup has apparently seduced Pat Gillick, and Gillick wants to give him a mega-deal. I’m actually kind of intruiged by the idea of Soriano hitting behind Ryan Howard: it would put four guys with well over 100+ Runs Created into the lineup. He and Howard hit a combined 104 home runs in 2006, so it would probably solidify the Phillies as being the most potent offensive force in the N.L. And Soriano is still young: 31. He’d be a force for the next three or four more seasons.
Apparently Soriano, despite some bad moves here and there, rates high as a defender in left field, so there wouldn’t be any sort of a defensive drop-off from Pat Burrell. If the Phillies can pull the trigger and bring Soriano to town, I think it would be a smart deal, although you have to wonder about the price-tag. Are we talking a lengthy deal, like six years and $60 mil? In that case you have to wonder about the wisdom committing so much money to one player. Isn’t that the trap the team is in with Burrell?
-The Phillies have apparently gotten Pat Burrell to agree wit waive his no-trade clause to the San Francisco Giants. Moving Burrell and his salary would open up left for Soriano, so dealing Burrell makes sense.
-As usual the Phillies are making a lot of noise about pursuing middle relief. Why does this team make a fetish out of middle relief? The Phillies bullpen was actually pretty good in 2006, so this isn’t a major need area. Protecting Ryan Howard, third base and upgrading the rotation are all bigger needs, but the Phillies continue to obsess over middle relief.
-Disturbingly, the Phillies have elected to not make bids for the services of Yakult Swallows third baseman Akinori Iwamura. Iwamura is a pretty decent hitter and fielder and would plug a fairly massive hole at third being filled right now by Abraham Nunez, the hitless wonder. I wonder what the logic is in this. The team needs a third baseman and the prospect of luring a Japanese star to the team would go a long way to increasing the team’s presence amongst Asian fans. The Seattle Mariners practically became Japan’s national team when they signed Ichiro. Bringing Iwamura aboard can’t help but increase the awareness of the Phillies in the Far East.
By the way, a shout-out has to go to Balls Sticks ‘N Stuff’s Tom Goyne for his mention in The Hardball Times for his work on the Akinori Iwamura issue. Well done Tom!
C’est la vie. The Phillies apparently want Nunez to split time with two free agents they are pursuing: Mark DeRosa, who hit .275 GPA and/or Wes Helms, who hit a strong .319 GPA with the Florida Marlins in 2006. I would actually love to see the Phillies sign both Helms and DeRosa and give Nunez his walking papers, but that won’t happen. I think Helms would be a good fit for the job: he’s young, seems to swing a good bat, had a nice season in 2006 …
-Art Howe’s stay as a Phillie was short. Howe left the other day to join the Texas Rangers.
-The Democrats victory in the ’06 Midterms was utterly unexpected and more than a little shocking. Their apparent +33 margin in the House and apparent victory in the Virginia Senate race utterly surprised me. The bright futures of Rick Santorium and George Allen are gone, expect the Republicans to cluster around John McCain for the 2008 Presidential campaign. There is a strong streak of royalism in the Republican party, so expect their ’08 primaries to be more of a coronation than a race.
Tomorrow, back to the Wiz Kids. I hope everyone has enjoyed the Wiz Kids series, because I have just three posts left. I might post Part II of my Season in Review on Monday, although that is not likely.
The showcase event for Asian athletes, the Asian Games are back. Held every four years, Asian Games 2006 is coming up in Doha, a beautiful city in Qatar.
Since the year 2000, Qatar has been vying for this prestigious quadrennial event, trying to surpass other Asian cities. Finally, Doha gets to host the 2006 Asian Games from 1st to 15th of December.
The history of Asian Games reveals that Qatar is only the second country in West Asia to hold this event since 1974, when Iran were the proud hosts.
The Asian Games 2006, Doha will be the 15th Asian Games since the inception of the event way back in 1951. The first Asian Games were held in the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Qatar is a small country spread over 11,437 square kilometers. For a progressive economy like Qatar, the Asian Games is a massive event, something that'll augment the nation's development.