Tis’ the month of formulating a business plan and the Phillies have certainly done that. Where others see the disgust inducing spending of millions on already rich baseball players, I see a work of art. I am a General Manager in Training (well GM hopeful at least). So, when a string of moves is made, one to complement the previous, I see the Venus De Milo being constructed before me (that is before all the breaking etc.).
The explanation for the following series of moves involves conspiracy theory on the part of the Phillies. I only use this as an explanation because of the wishful thinking on my part that general managers are now coming to the realization I came to when Johan Santana was traded from the promise land to the abyss (I know I said I wouldn’t be biased but it’s so hard when you experience such awfulness on a daily basis). I realized that an unhappy but loyal player could work out a way to stay with a team he likes and yet help them.
I asked, “Dad, couldn’t a team just: trade a player with one year left on his contract, get the prospects from the trade, then resign him the next off-season, and have a team with both prospects for the future and a great player now.” I needed no answer in return to realize yet another idea, besides Animal Baseball patent pending, had come from too much boredom and a radio with New York sports talk radio on. I had created the ideal momentum turner in a league.
I thought no one would dare to even attempt something similar… until now. Well, let’s drop the story telling mood and add some actual baseball to this entry. The deal was indeed pure genius, conspiracy or not. For the sake of argument, we will say there was no conspiracy:
There were a series of four transactions that enabled the current pitching rotation of the Phillies to exist. The numbers next to the names are where those players were ranked as prospects in 2010, that would be overall.
The obvious Roy Halladay trade:
Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies and P Kyle Drabek(15), OF Michael Taylor(38), and C Travis D’Arnaud (UR) to the Toronto Blue Jays. So you see they gave up some pretty good talent, need I explain further?
Next came the Cliff Lee trade:
Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners and P Phillippe Aumont (29) and OF Tyson Gillies (50) to the Philadelphia Phillies. An important note is that the Phillies would have had to give up their #1 prospect at the time, Dominic Brown, had they not traded Cliff Lee.
The conspiracy, if in existence, would be that the Phillies agreed that they would trade Cliff Lee and try and trade for a Pitcher i.e. Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, or Zack Greinke, and he would come back to them for less money if this was done. To me, this was indeed pure genius, conspiracy or not.
I know I haven’t written anything in a while. I started a world series preview but this was as far as I got by the first game
I personally prefer a good pitcher’s duel to a shoot out. That’s why I love this series. Four good pitchers for the Giants, three for the Rangers, it will be amazing.
MVP: Matt Cain-
This may seem strange as a choice for MVP. Now, I am not saying that he will be voted MVP of the series or even that he will be the best pitcher on his team. I do not think Cain’s scorless streak will last the world series but will pitch close too that quality. I predict Tim Lincecum will pitch almost as well as Cain if not as well. However, Tim Linceucum is going against Cliff Lee two, possibly three times. I think that Lee will pitch better than Lincecum and beat him in at least one of those games. Cain on the other hand, is pitching against C.J. Wilson twice and will not have to pitch as well as Lincecum to win a game. I think the Giants will get two wins out of cain, which is pretty valueable in a best of seven series.
Cy Young: Tim Lincecum-
“But mister, why would you have one pitcher as the most valuable player and the other as the Cy Young while they are on the same team?” Well young grasshopper, the logic behind this is that I predict Lincecum will pitch better but Cain’s preformance will be worth more because he will get more wins out of pitching to the quality that I think he will pitch to. Thus, he will be more valuable to his team than Lincecum. If Lincecum wins 2/2 or 3/3 games in this series against Cliff Lee than this all changes but I think winning 2/2 games is more valuable than 2/3.
Silver Slugger: Tim Lincecum!!! … Or maybe Buster Posey/Pat Burrell
Some of the old with some of the new. Pat Burrell will get many more at-bats with the DH spot in three out of the first five games. He had the second highest slugging percentage on the Giants despite being close to the end in batting average. Buster Posey has shown only improvement under pressure and shouldn’t stop now.
X-Factor: Brian “fear the beard” Wilson
This article is not about that. This article is an end of the year review of my ballhawking. This one will be interesting for the fact that I only blogged about one game but here it is.
Avg: 2.8 balls per game
Retriever: 0 (no retrievers allowed in NYC) but for those who are wondering I will use both a cup and a glove trick. For some things I have a really unimaginative mind.
Hit: 0 ( At the end of September I went to games in which bp was rained out and stayed in the habit of getting thrown balls into October which you can see on my mygameballs.com profile http://www.mygameballs.com/baseballdata?db=fischerm )
Avg: 4.33 ( wow how’d I do that)
Competition factor for the year: 1,985,159
I will blog about the off-season moves of the different teams but the volume of articles will pick up very much in the spring and summer when baseball starts up again.
When has this ever happened? By my count, (whatever that’s worth) we have eleven potential aces and four of the best pitchers in baseball heading the four different teams.
1. Cliff Lee
-Twenty-one strikeouts without a single walk in Rookie ball is impressive much less the playoffs.
2. Christopher John Wilson
-Now he may not be the most obvious ace but out of his thirty three 2010 starts, TWELVE were of seven innings or more and two or fewer runs allowed, EIGHTEEN were of six innings and two runs or less.
New York Yankees
1. Carsten Charles Sabathia- I watched this guy throw what should have been a no-hitter two years ago in Pittsburgh.
-For a good part of the year, this was the best pitcher on the best team in the Majors.
1. Roy Halladay
-One Postseason start, One postseason no-hitter. It is scary to think what would have happened had he been with the Phillies for the last five years. His sinker, cutter scissor effect rules supreme.
2. Roy Oswalt
-Is one of the most accurate fastballs in the game supported with an absolutely hittable curve (opponents are hitting just .125 off of it) makes him an ace wherever he is if not the number one pitcher.
3. Cole Hamels-Remember, he was the star of the playoffs just two years ago
and with the same nasty change and a rejuvenated fastball he is ready to regain that spotlight.
San Francisco Giants
1. Tim Lincecum- Scouts were impressed with the fact a 5’11″ kid could hit 100 mph.
Lincecum showed a curve that was even better. The MLB hitters couldn’t hit him, he then added a change up that could dive to either side of the plate. He won a Cy Young in his first full year in the MLB.
Everyone thought he couldn’t get better, he added a slider and won his second Cy Young.
2. Matt Cain- Is something like 48-0 in games where he is given four runs or more of run support. Of course, the Giant’s offense is not know for that.
3. Jonathan Snachez- Like Wilson, he won’t pitch a shutout every game but who could forget he pitched a No-Hitter last year
and could any day with an amazing slider.
4. Madison Bumgarner
-He is the reason I pick the Giants for the World Series this year. He had some difficulty in adjusting to the Majors but in his last seven starts he has an ERA of 1.78. If he stays healthy, I predict another Matt Cain waiting in the wings.
Well, I just love this because I prefer pitchers above hitters by a sizable margin. However, this is just my opinion. If anybody has started reading, first thank you, but secondly give your opinion of who is an ace or not and why.
P. S. just to preview I will most likely be going to Yankee Stadium for Game 4 of the ALCS