Don’t Count Raul Out Yet

Imagine showing up to work every morning and having your performance appraisal plastered all over the walls in every hallway and as you walk to your cubical you overhear people in the other departments whispering about the contents of the evaluation.

It seems pretty farfetched that something like that would ever happen at your job, right?

034.JPG Now imagine being Raul Ibanez and every time you walk to the plate you see your less than stellar figures splashed all over the ballpark.

Sure he’s not the only player in baseball to have to see his stats every single time his name in mentioned either at the ballpark or otherwise but when you think about it in terms of your run of the mill office job, it can, for lack of better terms, really suck to have yourself shoved down your own throat at every turn.

That being said, let’s talk about Raul’s numbers and why I disagree that it’s time to start thinking about benching him just four games into the 2010 season.

When Raul Ibanez signed on with the Phillies for the 2009 season he (literally) came out swinging. In the first half of the year before making his first every appearance at the All-Star Game at the tender age of 37 Ibanez had 22 home runs, 60 RBIs, a .309 batting average and slugging percentage of .649. Not to get too sabermetricky on you but his OPS was an impressive 1.015 heading into the mid-summer classic, as well. In plain English, his hits were frequent and effective. During this time the Phillies record was 48-38 (and don’t forget about the 5-game win streak they had going into the break).

Immediately after the All-Star break Ibanez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury that he never quite seemed to bounce back from. In the second half of the season Raul hit 12 home runs, had 33 RBIs and was hitting just .232 with a slugging percentage of .448. Like everything else, his OPS also took a noticeable tumble to .774. During this stretch the Phillies actually enjoyed a slightly better record at 45-31 and, in case anyone forgot, played all the way up until the 11th hour missing the last game of the 2009 by just four runs.

So what does any of this have to do with anything Raul is doing (or not doing) in 2010?

Raul had a rough spring training. He started the 2010 season off going just 1-11 with a .091 batting average. If you’ve bought into the hype you’ve probably called for him to take a seat for a game or maybe even take a trip to Lehigh Valley to get himself back on track. If you think there is even a chance of either of those things happening, though, I have two words for you: Charlie Manuel. If Hamels was never sent down to AAA to get a handle on his emotions last year and the organization continues to give Moyer just one more chance to live out his dreams, Raul is going to keep on playing until someone comes up with a REALLY good reason for him not to.

Let’s all keep something in mind – it is only the FOURTH game of the season. And tonight Raul went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and a walk pretty much shutting EVERYONE up. Is his streak of bad luck over? Or is this actually the real Raul Ibanez and Philadelphia just picked him up right when he got?

Let’s review:

Lifetime, Raul has averaged 23 home runs and 95 RBIs per 162 games played. His BA averages .284, slugging percentage averages .479, and OPS is .825. When you look at his 2009 numbers combined he actually had a pretty – I’ll say it again – AVERAGE year all things considered: 34 HRs (which was rare for him, I’ll admit), .272 BA, .552 SLG and .899 OPS. Clearly his slugging percentage and OPS were beefed up a bit above average because of the number of home runs he hit but his batting average really wasn’t all that far off. Even his walks were right on par (55 in 2009 with a 162 game average of 54). The reason Raul’s abilities stood out so much and why we have tee-shirts printed up with “RAUUUUL” on the back is because he had such an imbalanced split.

Believe it or not, lifetime Raul has a pretty even split both before and after the All-Star Game. Pre-ASG Raul is batting .282, after he is .287 and his slugging percentage and OPS follow suit. Even from 2006-2008 when his stats took an upswing after the break it was very slight. Would we all be saying the same thing about Ibanez and his struggles had he not had two very distinct streaks in 2009? If he showed up in Philly doing the same thing he had been doing all along in Seattle and Kansas City the fans probably would not have even blinked an eye at him and saw him as just another left fielder.

Because he came out of the gates with such a fury the city took notice of him and when he stopped performing like a superstar they noticed him even more. Unfortunately he’s taking a little longer than the rest of the bunch to warm up again in 2010 and that’s leaving a lot of people skeptical.

Obviously it’s frustrating to go to work every day (or every at bat) and stare at sub-par stats that are yours and yours alone – all those zeros can become very intimidating very fast. Working in the sales industry I can tell you it’s easy to let bad numbers affect you but once you’re in a groove it’s pretty easy to ride high on a good streak, too. I’ve had days (months, years) that just weren’t going my way and no matter how bad you want to sell to that next customer there is something in that desperation that prevents you from doing what you need to do. Once you snap out of it though be it just through a stroke of incredible luck or you figure out what you were doing all along (which is usually just a matter of overanalyzing and trying too hard) it can turn everything around.

I’m hoping that tonight’s game against the Astros is enough to turn Raul around so that he can put the past behind him and focus on the task at hand. He has one mission – to not be “the hole” in the Phillies lineup (which, frankly, there really isn’t). Today alone raised his batting average to .267 and we’ll know tomorrow night if he’s really on his way to stabilizing himself for the long run. The Phillies are obviously capable of moving on without him should they choose with Mayberry in the wings and Domonic Brown on deck after that, but for now Charlie will stand by him faithfully, as he always stands by his players, until he is left with no other options.

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Phield Trip! Thousands of Phillies fans invade Nationals Park

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Notice the two Nationals fans? Yeah that’s all I could find, too.

The Phillies could have opened the 2010 season in San Diego and their fans still would have found a way to pack the stadium just to witness Roy Halladay’s first official start for Philadelphia.

A “Phield Trip” to Washington, D.C. was easier — and it worked out just fine.

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If giving high fives to a thousand strangers to make them seem like your closest friends wasn’t enough to set the tone for the day, once we got into the park there was an energy I certainly had never felt before — especially as a visitor to another club’s stadium.

The atmosphere was nothing short of electric — it almost felt like a home game. Fans were on their feet for practically every at-bat. Jimmy Rollins(notes) lays off the first pitch? A standing ovation. Chase Utley(notes) walks three times? Three standing ovations. Halladay gets a hit? Another ovation. Placido Polanco(notes) hits a grand slam giving him a career-high six RBIs in one game? The crowd goes ballistic.

Phillies fans (perhaps 25,000 or 30,000 of them) were witnessing something special, and not just Halladay’s big debut — which went as smooth as butter after he settled in.


Hours earlier, about 1,500 Phillies fans had departed Citizens Bank Park in 27 charter buses. About the same time, I was beginning my drive north on I-95 from Virginia Beach, Va. Thousands more made their own way to Nationals Park.

The streets of D.C. near the ballpark soon were a sea of Phillies red — and even a few Nationals fans showed up. The Navy Yard lot filled up with one of the most familiar and comforting sounds a Philadelphia native can hear — music of a Mummers string band.

Phillies fans marched up N Street, finding a way to kick off the 2010 season with the only thing that was missing for Philly at the end of 2009 — a parade.

The area near the park became so congested that security opened the gates early, at 9:30, attempting to keep the entrance lines manageable. Considering that President Obama was set to toss out the first pitch in 3 1/2 hours, Nationals security and the Secret Service should pat themselves on the back. It could have been a much worse situation.


As the Phillies piled up runs, the crowd started to taper off (mostly Nationals fans that had little faith in their rally caps). But Nationals Park was still over half-full in the late innings, with mostly Phillies fans hanging around.

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All-Star outfielders Raul IbaƱez, Shane Victorino(notes) & Jayson Werth(notes) seemed to get a kick out of the fans’ enthusiasm and rewarded a section by waving or tipping their cap on more than one occasion. Little things like that get people to spend half of their day in a car (or a bus, or a train, or a plane) just to go to a baseball game.


Once the game ended, we expected the usual D.C. rush-hour traffic to be awaiting us outside, but we weren’t expecting this:

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It was like watching another parade, and it reminded me of why I took time off work, made the three-hour drive into the city, suffered the sunburn, battled the limited view around a foul pole and made the 4 1/2-hour return crawl to southeastern Virginia. These fans keep me going.

It’s easy to love a team like the Phillies — they are no doubt a group of very classy guys, have fantastic characters and that they’re among the best at what they do sure doesn’t hurt. But Phillies fans are a subculture all of their own.

By the end of the ninth inning, I had a whole new family — one that shared my obsession enthusiasm for doing crazy things such as traveling 200 miles to watch a baseball game with a bunch of people they had never met before.

Phillies fans have every reason to believe there will be a parade into Citizens Bank Park this fall — and they can talk to you about it intelligently and at length (as the phenomenon known as “The Phield” has recently shown).


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There is no more looking back on 2009. This year’s focus is clear: the Phillies have unfinished business and the fans are going to be at their side every step of the way — even if that means planning a road trip to San Diego if they have to.

In fact, I already am

We Are Fans

When I first started this blog last summer I led off with an entry about why I am a Phillies fan for life. As time went by and we got into the playoffs and the off-season I got to know so many of you through Twitter and it really made my heart swell to feel that brotherly love reach all the way down here to Virginia Beach. I grew up in the Philadelphia area and I was always surrounded by the team spirit that comes with that but I can’t help but feel incredibly lonely in a city that is such a hodgepodge of cultures. Living in the home of the largest naval base in the world I meet tons of people every day that are from all walks of life – but not many of them hail from Philly. I recently discovered the woman who sits on the opposite side of the cubical wall from me at work is a big enough Phillies fan to wear a Victorino jersey (complete with WFC patch on the sleeve) on a casual day and I nearly hung up her phone while she was talking to a customer just to have a conversation with her about baseball. I’ve slowly but surely gotten my husband’s wardrobe to include a couple of team shirts and I’m pretty certain he’s learning to tolerate my “enthusiasm” better and better every day.

So that brings me back to my Twitter family. I love knowing day or night, winter, spring, summer or fall you guys are there to talk about our national past time. You are some of the most dedicated, hardcore fans I have ever known and for that I thank you. I cannot wait to see you all at the Phillies Nation tailgate before opening day and to cheer on Doc & the rest of our Fightin’ Phils as they take the field for the first time in 2010.

The other day I asked you all to tell me what the Phillies mean to you, what your favorite Phillies memories are, or just why you love baseball in general. The response was overwhelming and I must say – you made me love baseball even more than I thought I already could. So with that here is why YOU are fans, why YOU love your team and why YOU continue to make Philadelphia the best sports city in the WORLD!


“My favorite memory was making last minute plans with my dad to see Ashburn & Schmidt get inducted. Had to stay in Scranton.” – John Cruice (@phi162)

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“Phillies getting beat by the Reds in a meaningless 1990 game – it was the first time I saw them at the Vet (from the 700 level).” – @soundofphilly

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“Three rows from the top of the 700 level… pennant clincher vs. the Braves in 1993 with my dad… the whole Vet mocking the tomahawk chop… never forget it. I also remember the ‘96 All Star game at the Vet. I had box seats on the field for the HR derby. 115 degrees on field that day. Hot as hell.” – Ian Dixon (@dixonij)

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“Driving in the car with my dad back when I was a kid, I remember we would get to our destination on more than one occasion and we would just sit in the car and listen to Harry and Whitey because we had to find out what was gonna happen.” – Michael Hendricks (@JudeNewcomb)

“Cliff Lee’s ‘you bore me’ catch in the World Series.” – PJ Gillam (@pjgillam)

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“Phillies = Love! Favorite moment has to be the 2008 World Series title!” – Amanda Orr (@amandax23)

“In ‘93 I realized for the first time that the world sucks. In ‘08 I remembered that sometimes it’s not that bad.” – Mike Mader (@mikeonthephils)

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“Harry’s final out call of 2008 World Series.” – @DurtyBirdz

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“What baseball means to me: the feeling that anything is possible. Favorite Phillies Moment: Game 6 NLCS 1993. Bright eyed & bushy tailed. I felt sure they would win it all.” – Jessica Quiroli (@heelsonthefield)

“Walking around my house carrying a broom for every sweep in ‘93 – I was 8.” – @seeley2

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“As of right now my favorite Phillies memory is being at game 4 of the 2008 World Series with game 5 of the ‘09 NLCS a close second.” – Tommy (@TommymacWFC)

“When I was four, my mom lost me at Sears because I stopped to look at a Phillies hat. She found me, and I got the hat!” – Valerie Duhaime (@valerieduhaime)

“The only game I saw with both of my parents was in 1972. It was the game that Steve Carlton won his 20th of 27 that year!! Cy Young!!” – Todd Schmitt (@tfs27)

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“My favorite Phillies memory has to be seeing Kevin Millwood’s no-hitter in 2003 from the upper deck, right behind home plate.” – Max (@uublog)

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“When Maine’s own Matt Stairs launched the Broxton pitch into the seats in the 08 NLCS. Best. Moment. Ever.” – Matt Boutwell (@CMSBMatty)

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“Simply stated the Phillies are the first team that I feel has ever given back as much as the fans put in.” – Brendan Mooney (@BrendanCMooney)

I couldn’t agree with you more, Brendan. I couldn’t agree with you more.

It’s the Halladay Season

Unbe-LEE-vable.

The past day and a half has left the baseball world scratching its head. Personally I was reeling at the thought of trading Clifton Phiefer Lee for anything less than Cy Young reincarnated. I distinctively recall throwing a small object or two and stifling a few four-letter words from the ears of my co-workers when the rumor mill started churning. I went to bed in my #34 t-shirt and tried to dream it all away.

After having the chance to sleep on things and sort through about one hundred Twitter updates per hour I realized something very startling – I am totally and completely in love with the deal.

Let’s discuss.

So you’re upset that Cliff Lee will no longer be a Philly. Understandable. He did great things for Philadelphia in the three months he was in town. I am not embarrassed to say the only game of the 2009 World Series that I downloaded on iTunes was game one just so I could watch him work his magic against the biggest empire in baseball over and over and over again. But run a Google search or two and you’ll see that Cliff Lee had made mention of wanting to test out the free agent market post-2010 long before this whirlwind began. And let us not forget that Cliff Lee was a back-up plan to begin with.

There are some reports out there in which Lee’s agent has implied Philly basically ran him out of town just to get their hands on Halladay after only discussing options for about an hour at the Winter Meetings. Even if that’s true you have to look at this from Amaro’s point of view. If Lee decided against signing an extension with the Phillies past 2010 (assuming he put up the same numbers he had the past two seasons) he could have potentially been picked up by another team anyway. If the Phillies never looked ahead and just relied on the farm system to produce a “like kind & quality” replacement the franchise have the potential to be left upside down in their investments and possibly have to scramble to fill the rotation back up again.

So you think we could have waited it out and gotten Doc after 2010 if Lee decided to walk. Understandable. Except it has already been reported that the Yankees & Red Sox have been spotted Halladay shopping. As we have all taken note of this week the Phillies have a strict $140 million payroll limit they have placed on themselves. If they wait until the Kings of the AL East start whipping out their checkbooks they put themselves in a sitting duck position. I mean lets all be honest with ourselves for a second – who wouldn’t want to be on the New York Yankees payroll? Amaro & crew would have been outbid on someone they could have gotten for much less had they made their move sooner.

“But Cliff Lee wanted $23 million per year and Roy is getting $60 million for three years plus vesting options – isn’t that practically the same thing?”

Now I’m not an MLB accountant (yet) but I’m pretty sure even when we’re talking in the millions that’s a pretty big gap. The deal to get Doc pretty much evens itself out to pay his $15.5 million for 2010 between the $6 million the Phillies get in “cash” and the money being freed up by sending Lee to the Mariners. It’s hard to argue that Moyer tying up $8 million of Philadelphia’s payroll is what kept them from having the ultimate starting rotation. Moyer signed a 2-year $13 million contract in December of 2008 which works out to $6.5 million each in 2009 (which has already been earned) & 2010. Lee was to receive an $8 million club option with a $1 million buy-out in 2010 bringing his paycheck to $9 million for the season. The $23 million per year that Lee wanted (and refused to discount) would have started in 2011, a year Moyer has not signed on for yet effectively washing out the entire theory past that season. Sure you could argue that if you kept Lee and signed Halladay with his money bags and didn’t forget to throw Moyer (or Blanton & his $7 million arbitration deal) into the mix the Phillies aren’t exactly blowing the lid off their salary cap – but that doesn’t make them any better than a certain well-to-do team we have all lamented over for their liberal check-stroking abilities. Looking at the numbers (and just the numbers) the move makes sense to free up enough payroll to pay for a comparable (better) player that is clearly (key-word) willing to stay for a while even if only for “slightly” less. That’s the technical explanation and I’m sticking to it.

“But we gave up all of our prospects!”

I was going to get technical with stats and analysis but I like how Shane Victorino said it on ESPN Radio this evening. First of all he said as a player he loves the deal, that he will miss having Lee in Philadelphia but will love playing behind Doc. He went on to note that he was never a “top prospect” like a Drabek, Brown, Taylor, etc. There were plenty of guys ahead of him that were glorified for their potential and plenty of them never got their call. In other words there are a lot of players in the minors that look great on paper but will never see Major League playing time and sometimes it’s better to make a move on proven rather than prospect. Besides that, who is to say the Phils will never see some of those players on their rosters again? Drabek wasn’t slated to start game one of the 2010 season and unless the franchise is forced to play musical chairs in their bullpen again he may not have even seen the inside of Citizens Bank Park (at least from a seat nestled between Chan Ho Park & Ryan Madson). The same goes for all the youngsters being shipped cross-continent both to AND from Philadelphia. Don’t ignore the fact that the Phillies are getting some top-notch prospects in return for their wheeling and dealing who also may or may not ever get face time on a 40-man roster.

“But Roy Halladay is only marginally better than Cliff Lee! What’s the point?”

I’ll keep this one short and sweet – Doc’s numbers are better and he did it against the AL East. Bring that kind of talent to the NL East, get the Phillies to a third consecutive World Series, and you have a serious advantage.

“But I love Cliff Lee!”

So do I. I guess we’ll be watching a lot more Mariners games this year.

Empire State of Mind

bring it.jpgIt’s not as though the city of Philadelphia expected anything less. After all, they were chanting “Bring on the Bronx” after the Phillies snatched up their second NLCS win in as many years before it was even official which American League team would be moving on to the next round with them.

A few days and a rain delay later the city could celebrate. The Philadelphia Phillies were going to be taking on the giant empire of Major League Baseball: The New York Yankees.

After the Phillies won the World Series in 2008 there was a sense of entitlement throughout the city of Philadelphia. After 28 years they had finally made it to the big show again and more importantly they had won it. They played (almost) every game in 2009 as if it was theirs for the taking. Keep in mind no one has repeated as World Champion since the Yankees of yore and more dramatically no National League team has repeated since the Cincinnati Reds circa the Bicentennial.

And the Phillies just shrugged it off. No big deal. It can be done again.

It was a roller coaster ride of a season, too. Even though the Fightins filtered onto one field or another 162 times and for the most part had their game faces on, they had their fair share of shake ups. Coming down to the last day of the season the Phillies never really had a handle on their pitchers. The starting rotation rotated their way in and out of the bullpen and on and off the disabled list. At one point Charlie & Ruben found themselves with literally eight start-worthy pitchers and only five slots. They had Cy Young award winners, a Rookie of the Year candidate, a World Series MVP and a Brad Lidge they couldn’t shake the sillies out of.

I can’t even remember how many times I saw J.C. Romero pitch and when exactly they took the ball from Chan Ho to hand to J.A. Happ. I don’t recall the day Park stopped acting out as a resident of the bull pen and blossomed into a stellar long relief guy. I had completely forgotten about Chooch being out for the first part of the season until just now. I remember Jamie Moyer’s reaction to being deleted from the rotation and the city full of fury that we did not get Roy Halladay. And where the heck did Pedro Martinez come from?

I remember Cliff Lee pitching us all stupid. That’s it. He got on the mound, he pitched and we sat there with our mouths hanging open. Roy Halladay who?

I remember Pedro Martinez going 130 pitches against the Mets that cast him off with an intense look of fury and passion in his eyes you only get with pitchers of his caliber. I remember Cole Hamels, last year’s NLCS and World Series MVP get bumped to third in the rotation. When Cole Hamels is your number three guy you know you really are a terrifying team to face.

I also remember defending how great a pitcher Blanton was, and still is, and how it’s such a shame he never seems to get the run support he needs to be a 20-win pitcher. Mark my word he may be in the same class as a Cliff Lee & Pedro Martinez one day – and not just taking turns on the mound with them.

We managed to get by almost without a scratch. Ibanez took some time to rest when he pulled his groin, and Myers and Moyer wound up needing surgery. But for the most part the heavy hitters stayed healthy – Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth. And who knew about Chooch?

It’s funny to look back on the season now as one entity. There were so many unique parts that got the Phillies to where they stood last night – toe to toe with the New York Yankees in game one of the 2009 World Series.

We all knew it it: The Phillies HAD to beat the Yankees in the World Series to gain recognition for their talent. They may not be a 26-time World Series Championship franchise like the Bronx Bombers, they may not be as revered as the Red Sox or the Dodgers – but the Phillies held their own all season. They were consistently in the top five teams by win percentage for the entire six-month roller coaster ride. But why were they never looked at as GREAT? They had their ring after all, all shiny and new. But they won it by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays – an expansion team that had one miraculous season. Sure they had to beat the Dodgers to get to the biggest stage in baseball but they didn’t get to face an everyday heavy hitting team. It was looked at as an anomaly.

Even the Marlins have won a couple of times, right?

Charlie said in a press conference on Tuesday “We need to play the Yankees.” More interestingly the media bobble heads that were present asked “why?” Well, before Clifton’s brilliant performance last night almost every station you switched to had begrudgingly picked the Phillies to win, but were still openly cheering for the Yankees. And why wouldn’t you cheer for the Yankees? It just makes sense. Just like you’re supposed to cheer for the Lakers, the Cowboys and whoever the NHL puts on a pedestal. I’ve made my thoughts on the clear bias pretty well known on my Twitter feed lately (including one tweet made in very bad taste to @MLBPulse which was promptly deleted in shame and guilt and a nudge from Mark) so I’m not going to get into it again here. But I would just like to take a poll of who everyone USED to root for before they had to move to NYC for their big media job. I’m just wondering.

Anyway – the Phillies HAD to play the Yankees in the World Series to be taken seriously and they HAVE to beat them to be considered among the greats. God love John Kruk but we need more than one media figurehead standing up for our city. If the Phillies wound up playing Detroit, Minnesota or the Angels the story would probably have been very similar to last year. They most likely would have won (especially if Mike Scioscia continued with his managerial meltdowns) and the city would still be thrilled to have two titles under their belt in as many years. ESPN and Fox Sports may have given them credit for being the first NL team since the Reds to score back to back pennants. But it would have died down again and the Phillies would have to come back in 2010 swinging and vying for a THIRD title to prove themselves. It’s just the way it is.

capt_ws20010290317_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws200.jpgClifton Phifer Lee put on a hell of a show last night. The Yankees were stunned. The Phillies were giggling in the dugout (and on the field after a couple of those plays). The umps weren’t just handing wins away to whoever they felt like handing them to. Everyone came with their gloves on, and the Yankees left KO’d.

Tonight we see Pedro Martinez face “his daddy,” apparently, and AJ Burnet. I’m willing to bet we will see some offense tonight – how much and from which team, I’m not sure. What I do know is that if Derek Jeter continues to be the only Yankee showing up to the party and A-Rod gets whiffed all night again the mood will have officially been set for the rest of the series. I still stand by Phillies in 5, and I feel bad predicting that Saturday will be the day the Yankees see the light of victory, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Philly next Friday morning with the rest of you on Broad Street as the parade passes me by.

“God, I Hope I Wear This Jersey Forever”

Today, September 11, 2009, Derek Jeter became the all-time hit leader for the New York Yankees. For the past few weeks I scoffed and puckered my lips at any mention of a number two seeded Lou Gehrig and had my mind set that I would never place Jeter in the same class as a Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Cy Young, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, etc. I was prompted to actually look at the numbers this evening and prove myself wrong. If you’re an avid reader of this blog (or even if you’re skimming through it for the first time) you already know I have a penchant for stats so bear with me through this:

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I couldn’t help but notice the obvious – Derek Jeter is not only going to enjoy his place on the record boards for a long, long time but he is just going to continue to widen the gap between himself and the legends of Yankee Stadium. His playing time is comparable to Babe Ruth’s and yet his hits still outnumber the Babe’s by over 200 (well above a season average for any player).

Let’s break Jeter’s number down for just this season (mainly because now that I’m into this entry I’m curious):

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I suppose if you’re going to be “out played” by 46 other players and still absolutely dominate the stats that actually matter you deserve to be considered among the greats.

We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet: Derek Jeter is only 35 years old. Now I don’t know if it’s the economy & the fear of being the next Lenny Dykstra living out of his car or if physical therapy is so advanced that playing baseball professionally can be close to a life-long career anymore, but if players like Jamie Moyer, Roger Clemens & Randy Johnson can play into their mid-forties surely Jeter can squeeze a few more years out of that jersey and one day be considered the greatest Yankee of all-time.

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Drive Me to Drink…

A tee shirt I saw at Target today reminded me of an excerpt from my letter to Brad Lidge a couple entries ago:

There was a time when “Brad Lidge Time” meant you could start packing up your belongings and getting the kids ready for the drive home. “Brad Lidge Time” meant you could shift focus from the television to getting the dog ready for one last walk before bed. “Brad Lidge Time” meant the game was over, the Phillies notched another win and all was well with the world. Now “Brad Lidge Time” sends us fans to the fridge for beer before turning the lights down and curling up under blankets as if preparing to watch a scary movie.

Here is the shirt:

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