I figured now would be a good a time as any to take a look at the Phils’ 2005 schedule. We all know Opening Day is this Monday against the Nationals. It should be a fun launch for the new team, but I expect (read: hope) the Phillies to sweep the series. The rest of April entails a heavy dose of NL East action, so it would be a great time to get hot and build an early lead in the division. Later in the month (April 25-27), the Fightin’s make their first trip to RFK and if anyone’s planning a road trip, let me know I have extra tickets. Fortunately, the Phils will have a good chance to not repeat last season’s mid-year collapse as 34 out of 54 games are at home during the months of June and July. Interleague play against the AL West starts during a 13 game home stand in the begining of June when Texas comes to town. Then it’s off to Seattle and Oakland before returning home to battle the Red Sox June 24-26. (This brings up an interesting point as to whom will be the new interleague geographic rivals of the Phils. Previously, this role has been split between Boston and Baltimore, but with the Nats in Washington, DC, Peter Angelos should be able to regularly beat up on his beltway bretheren, this time on the field. Most likely, this will leave the Phillies with Boston and the remaining Canadian club, Toronto, as interleague rivals. Then Toronto would have to split rivals with the Phils and the Orioles other former “rival” Colorado. This is all speculation of course, we’ll see what happens when the ’06 schedules are released.) This year’s All-Start Game is July 12 at Detroit’s Comerica Park. Is it too early to pencil in Bobby Abreu and Randy Wolf? Haha yes, of course it is; maybe Thome, but even that’s a question mark with his reoccuring back issues. The waning days of the season, as always, have the Phillies focused on their NL East counterparts in 25 of their remaining 31 games. My prediction for the season: 89-73, finishing 3-5 games out of the wild card. Of course, I hope they prove me wrong…
Archive for March, 2005
I had the chance to hang out at the ballpark this weekend, in what is becoming an annual Easter weekend tradition (pictures of last year’s tour coming soon). The one noticable different at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark this year is the new Citizen’s Bank logo. Not yet unveiled on it’s website, the logo looks rather like an two #s and more importantly looks kinda funny. Maybe it was just the first time seeing it, but just be aware on Opening Day. In player related news, the Yankees cut Doug Glanville this weekend. Our buddy was signed as a non-roster invitee to compete for a centerfielder spot with Bernie Williams. I guess he lost. Fortunately, the Phils are in the market for a centerfielder that can start the season. Update: March 28 – Phillies Press Release announces logo change with picture.
If you haven’t already, check out the new pictures of the Phillies – Red Sox game from Labor Day 2003. It was one of the best games I attended in recent Vet history, quite a shootout. Watching Jose Mesa blow it with a grand slam to Trot Nixon only solidified that place. Boston at Philadelphia – Labor Day 2003
On Saturday, Phil Sheridan published a piece in the Inquirer entitled, It’s time for Fehr, Selig to go. He basically chastises them for reigning over two of baseball’s biggest black eyes: the strike of ’94 and the current steroids conflagration. This is definitely warranted, but is not sufficient rationale to call for their sacking. Rather, these two issues arose due to systemic deficiencies within the management of MLB and MLBPA. Both individuals are only the latest incarnations of baseball royalty, a lineage that is so detached from the day-to-day workings of baseball that it is no wonder these problems have surfaced. Last year, in commenting on the impending NHL lockout, John Kruk argued that Donald Fehr runs the union more like a dictatorship than a democracy. It’s known the commissioner wields broad powers backed by baseball’s anti-trust exemption — guaranteed in 1922 and implicitly again in 1998. Therefore the apparent incompatibility of Bud Selig and Donald Fehr should not be surprising. The two are nothing more than the latest example of baseball’s structural dilemma. Their replacements will inevitablity follow in their predeceor’s footsteps.
CSPAN has a live feed of the House’s steroid hearing. If you watch now, you can catch former Phillie, Senator Jim Bunning accuse baseball of building smaller parks to increase the number of home runs. He is also exclaimed “no one is bigger than the game” several times. I think he wants to fight someone.
After starting Spring Training a dismal 0-4, the Phils are heating up down in Clearwater. Winners of their last four, six out of the last seven, the offense has really turned it on. Phanatic Phollow Up can tell you how important and telling Spring Training is for the Phils. But more than Spring Training, I think the real measure of success for the Phils in 2005 will be attendance. If they can hit 3 million again, it should be a good season. By the way, the comments are working again.
If you did, you might have seen Bill Conlin’s article. He reins in on the steroid controversy and talks about a clubhouse shield: “What you see here, what you hear here, let it stay here.” Presumably, this assumed code will never allow the full truth to be exposed. But I wonder if he purposely gave examples of Phillies encounters with the substances as a way for the fourth estate to shed some light on the shield’s shadow. He seems to chastize Tom Bosewell for writing down the contents of Lefty’s locker; but ironically Conlin commits the same sin. On a related note, Canseco, Schilling, and Selig and the only ones willing to testify on Thursday. The rest have requested their subpeonas be withdrawn. Check out Thursday’s Hearing Agenda or the House’s letter to MLB attorneys. I’ll report back, if it’s open to the public. If any one else is planning to go, let me know – we’re planning a tailgate party next door at my house.
We all expected the Cardinals to sign Placido Polanco after he was up for free agency at the end of last season. But when Polanco unexpectedly accepted arbitration, you would think the Red Birds would give up. Today the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Polanco is unhappy with his new role and is looking to resign with his old club in St. Louis:
He said he has asked to be traded, but he was told by the Phillies that they wanted to wait to make any move. Still, Polanco said he doesn’t expect to be with the Phillies all season long. Ideally, he would be dealt to a contender, but he said, “I can’t be too picky now. “I would have never accepted arbitration if I knew I was going to be in this situation.”