Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It May Be Cold in Philadelphia ... 

... but there is baseball being played in Florida! The Phillies kick off the 2008 Spring Training Schedule with a game against the Reds at 1:05 today. The baseball season was actually supposed to have been kicked off last night as the Phillies were set to play an exhibition game against Florida State’s baseball team but the weather intervened. Joe Savery was to have gotten the start.

Today’s game with the Reds features Jamie Moyer taking the mound for the Phillies. The Phillies want Ryan Madson, Clay Condrey and Travis Blackley to take the mound as well today. Obviously Moyer and Madson will be on the Phillies 25-man roster when the team heads north to Philadelphia in a month, but Condrey and Blackley are on the fence. For Blackley, a Rule 5 Draftee from this past off-season, these are going to be the most critical days of his MLB career. Will he make the Phillies roster? What as? A starter or as a reliever?

Coming up … Thanks to the rain-out minor-leaguers Savery and Josh Outman, a pitcher I am very high on, are now slated to pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow and Friday. Adam Eaton makes his first start since being left off the Phillies playoff roster on Saturday in Clearwater against the Mighty Yankees, although the rain-out might change the Phillies plans a little.

In other Phillies news, The Phillies named Brett Myers their Opening Day starter, a wise move given all of the talk swirling around about Brad Lidge’s injury. Just remove any talk of Myers going to the bullpen, keep him focused on being a starter this season.

A brief word about the craziness of yesterday … I posted a brief piece yesterday arguing that the Mets acquisition of Johan Santana doesn’t make them the team to beat in the N.L. East. Usually those who post comments on my blog post a handful of observations that are interesting and informative. To my stunned amazement, I got somewhere around 120-130 comments on my blog after a Mets Blog posted a link to my post and the majority of the comments were exceptional in their nastiness and their anger towards me. Many of the comments were vulgar and contradictory. In one particularly bizarre moment, after I commented on the profanity of Mets fans, one commenter assailed me for not censoring the comments and stated the profanity was actually MY fault (i.e., I allowed it to be posted) and that I shouldn’t blame Mets fans for a profanity laden comment a Mets fan posted. Wow. Only in New York … Or maybe the Soviet Union …

I’ve bristled over the years at the suggestion that Phillies fans are a bunch of loud-mouthed brutes. The booing of Santa Claus all those years ago, for example, is an incident constantly thrown back at Philly sports fans as prima facie evidence of their idioticy. Well, there are Philly sports fans who are calm and friendly people. I count myself as one of them, so I resent the stereotype. I will try to resist the temptation to believe that all Mets fans are boorish nuts, but their comments on my blog leave me with little alternative.

That said, some of the better reasoned comments revolved around my criticism of John Maine. Apparently my main sin in my post was to argue that John Maine isn’t a good pitcher, or more accurately, that Maine isn't the great pitcher that Mets fans seem to think he is. Jeez, fellas. He’s pitched just 324 innings in his career so far. He had a decent season last year, but he was hardly the world-beater that Mets fans have built him up in their minds. He’s a young pitcher with a lot to learn. The Bill James Handbook, for example, predicts Maine will go 12-11 with a 4.05 ERA in 2008. You’re assailing me for believing that a pitcher with a single full season of experience is going to struggle next year. Disagree with my conclusions, but don't call me an idiot for not seeing the world from your perspective.

Which leads me to another point. Disagree with me people, but don’t be disagreeable about it. That's really what bothers me about the flame war that erupted on my blog yesterday.

I realized, and felt a little sorry for them when I did, that the psychosis of Mets fans is on display here: for not agreeing with the conventional wisdom that Johan Santana guarantees the pennant to the Mets before the first pitch of spring training (that is why games are played on grass, not on paper), I was angrily savaged by a bunch of guys who live in their parents basement in Long Island. There is an angry desperation in their words. They HAVE to believe that Johan Santana makes them into the best team in baseball. They HAVE to beat down everyone who disagrees with them. They HAVE to have the world agree with them … Why? Well, I think the collapse of the Mets last season was so tragic and the acquisition of Santana so dramatic, Mets fans NEED to feel that their team is the best team there is. It is reassuring to them. They’ve had heartbreak before: 1989, when the great late-80’s Mets teams cracked up, ’02, last season … I don’t think Mets fans could, emotionally, survive another collapse. That's why they attacked me.

Good luck fellas.

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for not agreeing with the conventional wisdom that Johan Santana guarantees the pennant to the Mets before the first pitch of spring training (that is why games are played on grass, not on paper), I was angrily savaged by a bunch of guys who live in their parents basement in Long Island.

Wow, dude, you really upped the level of discourse with that comment.

Face it - you put up a post based on rather silly arguments. You made an assertion about John Maine that can be proven wrong simply by reminding you of the next-to-last game of the season, where Maine nearly threw a no-hitter. Is he a top-of-the line starter, no, but how many teams have a better third starter than Maine? Certainly not the Phils.

And despite all the noise, several posters did indeed point out - relatively civilly - the flaws in your other arguments. As many mentioned, Johan doesn't replace Glavine - Pedro does. Johan Santana, the best pitcher in baseball, is basically replacing the fifth starter on the Mets. On top of that, Santana relieves the pressure in the bullpen as he provides somewhere around 70 additional innings pitched than whoever would have taken his spot in the rotation.

Meanwhile, you gloss over the fact that your team hardly made any improvements. Pedro Feliz is a great fielder, but he is a terrible offensive performer. Oh, sure, he'll hit 25 homers, but the rest of the time he's busy making outs. A .280 on-base percentage for an every-day ballplayer, and a third baseman at that? Come on, that's pathetic. Lidge could be a useful pickup, but what did the Phils do to replace Aaron Rowand? Geoff Jenkins? Umm, yeah.

The only legitimate argument you made was that perhaps the Phils would be the in the Mets' heads. Perhaps.

And no one's giving the Mets the division. But it's hard to take a look at the NL East and say the Phils are the front-runners. Hell, the Braves might be more of a pain in the thorn this year.

But we shall see.
I'm sure there are some Mets fans who are not angry, profanity spewing haters, but they were definitely in the minority here.

If you do point out that Maine's final two months were indeed, kinda sucky, you'll get the "But he was tired!" excuse. It's all about the one game vs Florida where the Mets, for the lone game in the final week, played like a decent team. Funny how that one game came when they had dropped to second. Soon as they were back in first, with all the pressure, they folded.
The thing is....Mets fans who flame here are useless (*&##. BUT your blog is delusional and fanboyish.

FACT: The Mets should be favored by EVERY projection system available.
FACT: The Phils have starters that project below average starters at the 3,4 and 5 slots.
FACT: The Mets are much more worried about Chipper and the Braves.
Well, Metsblog did a poll of who the biggest rivals were and Phils and Braves were in a virtual tie without counting the votes for the Phillie Phanatic...

And, of course, the Mets were favored last year.

I thought they would have left the anger stage of mourning behind by now and be into 'acceptance' but looks like not.
Pedro Feliz does not change the lineup or expectations of a team like Santana does, but what does he do? Feliz is a dependable, very-good-defensively, every-day start that relieves the platoon from last year so that Dobbs is fresh off the bench most games. Also, we don't have to worry about Wes Helms anymore. To think that Feliz isn't a huge improvement for the Phils, or to go farther and say we haven't made any improvements in the offseason, is ridiculous. Further, different Giants fans I've talked to consistently feel he under-performed in the shadow of Barry Bonds - and that he will be a huge force at the bottom of the line-up.
How many times did the Phillies sweep the Mets last year? Three. Two of the sweeps were at Shea stadium and the Phils swept the final 7 games they played against one another. The fact of the matter is that the Phillies are the more gritty team and the Mets, while they may gain a slight bit of confidence with the acquisition of Johan, will completely deflate the first time the Phillies tag him for 4-5 runs. Don't think Johan is some untouchable God. The Phillies lineup is stellar and relatively unchanged from last season when we blasted through the Mets rotation and especially your bullpen. Remember Pat the Bat's 9th inning homer to tie it off Wagner. Remember Wagner's collapse when the Phillies won 11-10 in extra innings? We have your number and this season will be no different, Mets' fans.
I am a Phillies fan that lives in Manhattan, and would like to make a point about the reaction of a lot, but not all, Met fans. Most of this isn’t due to a reinvigoration of our rivalry because of the historic collapse of the Mets last year. Rather, it has to do with the fact that for a brief moment in time, Met fans get to act like Yankee fans because their team made a Bronx-esque acquisition. There is nothing original about this, it is identical to the vitriol spewed by Yankee fans towards Beantown.

The Little Brother in the Big Apple actually trumped Big Brother in the off season for the first time since they went out and signed Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn. As a Phillies fan, I can only hope this signing turns out the same way.
Further, different Giants fans I've talked to consistently feel he under-performed in the shadow of Barry Bonds - and that he will be a huge force at the bottom of the line-up.

And you believe them? You really think that Pedro Feliz put up abominable non-power numbers merely because ole' Barroid was keeping him down?

Hey, whatever floats your boat.

The Little Brother in the Big Apple actually trumped Big Brother in the off season for the first time since they went out and signed Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn.

Hmm, I seem to remember the Mets and Yankees both pursuing Carlos Beltran. The Mets offered more money, and he landed with them. But yeah, your psychological analysis is spot on.
I'm as big of a Phils fan as they come but there's no way the Phils should be favored to win the division this year. And that's the way it should be. The Mets went out and signed Santana. The pressure will be squarely on their shoulders.

The pressure being all on the Mets is perfectly fine with me. We saw up close and personal how well they managed the pressure last year.

The Mets are more worried about Chipper Jones and the Braves? That's the funniest thing I've heard all day.
Ridiculous the Phils are not going anywhere this year they may probably win 84 games which I doubt. Or 70 games this year there is no way Moyer should have been the Phils Opener for this year.
Philly voted ugliest city in America last year fact.

Philly has the longest streak of every city in the U.S. to not have a championship in any of it's 4 major sports! (beer chugging and hot dog puking don't count.)

Eli 4 years Super Bowl, Mcnabb ???

The mets and phillies hardly have a rivalry, the mets and braves... that's a rivalry.

To be honest I'm not even trying to be a ahole. I think friendly feuds are fun and I encourage both teams fans to show up at each other stadiums. I've never been to a game in Philly, but I've gone to plenty of phillies - mets games in shea. My reason for being disgusted with phillies fans is the display that I saw at this game by them. Getting excited and drinking is one thing. But throwing things at people wearing a Piazza shirt who were quietly enjoying a baseball game is quite another. Not to mention the little kids this person had with them that almost got hit by things.

I also was disgusted by the 450 pound man in a wife beater and shorts that pretty much were pants. This man had not seen a razor in years, let alone his penis due to his rolls. Yet in front of children, women, his fellow fans he chose to grab his private area and started thrusting the air forward with it. No one, NY, Philly, Ukraine, etc. should have to witness this.

met fans are not angels, just ask yankee fans. And this is unfair I guess cause I have not seen my fellow fans in Philly. But I've gone to plenty of met philly games in shea, and I never saw anything like this one particular game.
dude come on you think youre god....admit the truth you arent good at all and cant hold a candle to cerrone & co. you think youre hot shit...if you cant handle met fans dont leave your comments open to whoever wants to comment. and dont give philly false hope...its just cruel. (not that anyone reads this other than from a metsblog link)
Ahhh Spring has sprung. Maybe not on the calendar, but now that Spring Training is here I feel an overall warmth despite it being 32 degrees here in South Jersey.

The Phils came out to play yesterday, Mets fans please take note.

If you'd like to listen to a nice show on 'Ghosts in Baseball' please make you way to my blog.. www.phillywebcast.com .. at 6:45pm tonight where we will interview the author Dan Gordon - of "Haunted Baseball". There is a lot of new stories with some Yankee players and former Mets, and a few former Phillies players run in with 'ghosts'!
interesting read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you guys know that some chinese hacker had hacked twitter yesterday again.
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