Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My 2 Blogs: 2009 MLB Preview - The Philadelphia Phillies

Not content with barraging their own respective audiences with dick jokery, the authors of Why's My Head Growing? and 3:10 To Joba are working together. The goal? To provide 30 team previews slathered in truth sauce and degrading humor. Yes, that is the world trembling. Previews will be posted on both sites. Wear a cup.

Today your author is AK-47, read him during the week here.




2008 Record: 92-70, 1st in the N.L. East, World Series Champions
Last Season as an Allegory: You're a hobo that lives under an overpass near a garbage dump (Philadelphia). You stick to your daily routine of collecting cans, recycling them to get spare change, and buying cheap vodka from the corner liquor store. Because you're deranged, however, you complain all the time that doing the same thing over and over again doesn't present different and better results. Then, right out of the blue, you decide to invest all your loose change in the stock market rather than distilled spirits, suddenly striking it rich, all the while, still living under the overpass near a garbage dump.
Offseason Moves: Signed Raul Ibanez to replace departed Phan Phavorite Pat "The Bat" Burrell, signed SP/RP/Ninja Chan Ho Park, and resigned 146 year-old Jamie Moyer to two-year contract. Chase Utley once told me, "He'll pitch forever if he wants to." I mean it. He said that to me in person. I'm not kidding.


State of the Union


It's no secret - I hate this team. More than the team, I hate the inhabitants of the city in which they play. What's made me hate the team even more recently is that they've taken on some of the characteristics the inhabitants are famously known for. Dirty (Ryan Howard - Assuming), stupid (Pat Burrell - Obviously) and loud (Jimmy Rollins - C'mon!).

They're a good team - not a great team - but a good team. They've been able to mash with the best of them for the last two or three seasons, but their pitching has always been, at best, suspect. Last offseason, they took a different approach, and made one intelligent personnel move, changing a team that was not-quite-good-enough during the regular season into a dynamic short-series team. They made their first good decision in years by taking a "chance" on Brad Lidge, who came back stronger than he's ever been, seemingly recovered from the shell-shock he absorbed during the 2005 NLCS, courtesy of an Albert Pujols' moonshot. Lidge helped the team click on all cylinders, and eventually helped them become the world champs.


Outlook

Good. The Phillies will obviously be competitive once again, boasting a solid core of players and a new-found swagger. Talent like Howard, Utley, Rollins, Hamels and Lidge doesn't grow on trees. But, being that they're basically unchanged from last season (Ibanez for Burrell should be a wash), in my opinion, does not bode well for them. Lidge didn't blow one single save last season. Not one. That will absolutely NOT happen again. And the rest of their bullpen pitched above and beyond their career averages, so we should assume they will come down to earth this year. What people tend to forget is, the only reason they got into the playoffs last season is because the Mets completely blew it. There's no way around this, if the Mets don't choke, Philly has nothing to celebrate. This team is good, but it's very reasonable to think that a better team could outlast them during the regular season.


2009 Projection

More of the same. They will continue to be successful, but will only go as far as starters 2-5 will take them. Are Old Man Moyer, Brett "Eyebrows" Myers, Fat Joe B, and Chan Ho Ho Ho, up to the task? Or can Davey, Jose, Johan, K-Rod, J.J. and Billy the Kid (yes, he will be back in August and we'll have three closers in the 'pen) finally shake the September swoon of the past two years? Dammit I hate the winter, let's get this show on the road!

1 comment:

Cutter said...

The major flaw with your "The Phillies only made the playoffs because the Mets choked" argument is that even had the Mets not pulled their usual September choke job, the Phils still win the wild card.

World F'n Champions!!!