I made Straight Cash Homey!

http://straightcashhomey.net/

Not nearly as cool as ozziecanseco’s Utley question, but cool none the less. Check out the Pratt jersey…opening day find!

Meaningless Predictions

It’s that time of year where anybody who posts anything on the internet feels the need to give you their 2008 baseball predictions. However here at AllSwings we like to go off the beaten path, not just giving you the regular “who will win what division, wild card, World Series, etc.”, but some more in depth predictions you just can’t find anywhere else. So without further adieu, lets get through the regular ones first.

AL East:

Bosox too deep. Yankees good, but too old and young at the same time (haha). Blue Jays got better but not good enough. Red Sox take this division with 97 wins. Tampa Rays will scare people but don’t have the depth. Baltimore…who cares.

AL Central:

Tigers=big hit happy body! Cleveland=most well rounded team in baseball. Minny=too young…but on the right path. White Sox=past their prime. Kansas City=Kansas City. Cleveland takes this division again this year…way too strong all around; 95 wins for them.

AL West:

Easiest division to forecast. Halos win the division, but its a bit closer than you’d think (Escobar really hurts them). Seattle pulls in 2nd, Oakland 3rd and Texas 4th. Halo’s get 92 wins, with Seattle nipping at their heels.

AL Wild Card:

Seattle! Seattle quietly made some ballsy moves this offseason, and I think having The King and Bed-tard at the top of the rotation is as good a 1-2 punch in baseball. If they can just get Sexson to hit at least. 250 this team can do some serious damage.

NL East:

Phillies have many question marks. New York Santana’s have the best pitching by far. Braves are getting lots of dark horse pub, but I’m not buying it. Florida and Nationals suck (but will be good, and soon). New York Santana’s take the division with 92 wins.

NL Central:

Brewers have the O but lack pitching depth (and lets see how well Gagne does). Cubs are an intriguing team and have made some nice additions this offseason. They’ll win the division with 89 wins. Cardinals will be a scrappy bunch but they don’t seriously scare anyone. Pittsburgh should be in AAA ball. Buster Olney best summed up Houston’s chances at the playoffs: “Roy Oswalt and pray for rain.”

NL West:

Now THIS is a division. Padres again have the arms but not the bats. With the departure of the Dragon Slayer I don’t see the Rockies doing it again this year. Dodgers will raise eyebrows but again will not have enough. The Diamondbacks are a frightening team with the best pitching in this division. They win the division with 91 wins.

Wild Card: Phillies! Best offense in the National League, with Myers back in the rotation and will have a very good year. I peg the Philzors at 90 wins.

World Series: Tribe over Cubs, with Steve Bartman pitching a scoreless 9th in game 7.

Milton Bradley Award (player due for awful karma based injury): I’d say Paul Lo Duca, but now that he’s off HGH and on the Nationals thats karma enough. I’ll say Elijah Dukes…beating your spouse isn’t looking kindly upon by baseball gods.

Scott Kazmir Award (player who was in an awful trade): Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mets keep it in the family with Lastings Milledge! Talk about a retarded trade…Lastings is a five tool monster who has the potential to be a super-duper star. Enjoy Brian Schneider and Ryan Church, because the Nats will enjoy Milledge for years to come.

Reverse Jack Elliot Award (New Japanese player most likely to have an impact): Gotta be Fukudome. Don’t look now, but the gap is narrowing between Japanese baseball and American baseball, and this guy can play. Had a dinged up 2007, but in 2006 hit 31 dingers with a .351 average and 104 RBI’s in generally bigger parks than American ones.

Brady Anderson Award (player with most precipitous fall-off): Curtis Granderson. I hate to say it cuz I love the guy but I think he struggles this year. That broken finger/knuckle he has will hamper him greatly (take it from somebody who’s had a very similar injury, your grip and strength is greatly compromised for a long time).

Hooked on Phonics Award (player who can’t read): Well…I think we all know who that is.

Play ball Mofo’s!

You Need To Watch This

Best. Commercial. Ever.  I strongly urge everybody to go over to ESPN.com’s fantasy baseball home page and watch all of these videos.  They’re all hilarious.

Memo to Cole Hamels and Prince Fielder: Eat My Ass

So I was enjoying my morning dump with the sports section of the Philadelphia Inquirer today and first thing I see is the Flyers lost but were pleased with their performance. Well not me. I demand victories over the god damn Rangers. Second thing is Cole Hamels is unhappy about his salary, and in the sidebar so is Prince Fielder. Jesus it’s starting to get ridiculous out there in Major League Baseball. Just kidding…it’s been ridiculous for a while now. But all the young stars bitching and moaning about how they’re so underpaid (even ones not arbitration eligible)…put a cork in it will you?

Let’s start off with Princess Fielder. Had a great year last year–50 dingers, lots of RBI’s, blah blah blah. Last year he made $415k; only his second year in the league. The Brew Crew Management gives him a salary boost up to $670, which you’d think would make him at least sort of appeased. Technically the Brewers don’t have to give him any raise at all…I mean lets face it, it’s only his second year in the league and he still has consistency to prove. Players moaning over salary is nothing new, but when you’ve been in the league less than 2 years and groaning over that much money…seriously shut your trap.

Which brings us next to Cole Hamels. When healthy he pitched very well last year. And he might actually have a bit of a bone to pick with Phillies management–Kyle Kendrick has a bit over 100 days more experience than Hamels and is making only $55,000 less. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see Hamels is the drastically better pitcher. Bottom line is he’s still 24 years old making half a million dollars (with monster paydays right around the corner).

What it comes down to is both these guys could go to their respective organizations and say “I’d like to get some security, forego a few years of free agency, and get paid now.” Take a look at what Jose Reyes, David Wright, and most recently Troy Tulowitzki and Curtis Granderson have done. They all decided they enjoyed where they were, wanted the peace of mind to make multi-millions now, and didn’t want a contract squabble every 12 months (although with David Wright I think Minaya pulled a fast one on him and told him if he signed this “piece of paper” he’d give him a new coloring book.)

On a more serious note, best wishes and hopes go out to Davey Lopes with his battle with prostate cancer. Brilliant baseball mind and a great coach. I’m not worried though; rumor has it Chase Utley and Shane Victorino plan on out hustling the cancer until it is in permanent remission. Then Burrell will do bicep curls until it’s hypnotized by his amazing muscles, at which point ManChild will hit it 500 feet and eat 4 Subway sandwiches.

Brad Lidge: I’m Gonna Straight Up Murder Your Ass

And I quote myself exactly ten days ago:

“The only person with a real health issue is Brad Lidge who had off season surgery…but who needs a closer?”

Ha…ha…ha. Of COURSE the Phillies couldn’t have an injury or drama free camp. With the first pitch, THE FIRST GOD DAMN PITCH HE THROWS OFF A MOUND, Brad Lidge winds up getting his cleat stuck and tweaking his knee. Now, he’s getting his knee scoped today.

Is all hope lost? Of course not. In the past two seasons Tom Gordon has collectively thrown one great season of baseball. In ’06 his first half was fantastic (All-star worthy) and in ’07 his second half was just as good (maybe better). It’s just those parts of the other two seasons I’m worried about (you know, where his ERA was somewhere around 37). Like ozziecanseco said earlier: Brad Lidge, this is a good way to have yourself murdered in the city of Philadelphia. And not by the fans, but by your second basemen and center fielder.

i asked, chase answered

phillies beatwriter todd zolecki recently invited his blog-readers to submit questions for his sitdown Q&A with chase utley. yours truly submitted a question. not only did zolecki choose my question, it was his favorite

Question: There are two cages over a pit of lava and both are descending. In one cage there are blueprints for revolutionary emissions-free technology. In the other is Shane Victorino. You can only save one. Which one do you save? – Greg G., Washington, DC.
Answer: OK … I’m going to have to save my centerfielder. I’m saving my centerfielder, yes. I have his back. Hopefully he’d do the same for me.

The look on Utley’s face when I asked that question was priceless. If he thought I was crazy before, he certainly thinks so today. But give the guy credit, he rolled with the punches and answered the questions well.

the full transcript of the Q&A is here. audio is here.

seems that zolecki and utley both got a kick out of the question. makes me wonder if i should have sent them my follow-ups:

in all seriousness, i have victorino tied up in my basement. what are you prepared to do to get him back?

also, why won’t your sister accept my facebook friend requests?

i think i made the right decision.

***

note: this post also appears on my personal blog, beisbol, etc. check it out.

Howard satisfied with arbitration ruling; allowance stays the same

Chalk up a victory for Manchild in the courtroom today, as he took the Phillies to the cleaners in arbitration for ten MEEEEELLLLIIIIOOOONNNNN DOLLLARRRSSSS. I for one am happy for him; the Phillies substantially low-balled him last year in doling out a paltry 900k for his services, all the while he stood firm in believing he was worth more. The popular defense from the Phillies for that 900k was, “well that was the same thing they gave Pujols!” Yeah you tight-fisted bastards, in 2004. With baseball inflation (Barry Zito’s contract…hahahahahah), a good faith move by the Phillies to give him even an even million would’ve been the just thing to do (especially after the guy wins ROY and MVP in back to back years!). Continue reading