The Potential Rise of the Phillies is Scary

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Six

Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies inked free-agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta to a three-year deal worth up to $75 million. The 2015 CY Young Award winner was the best arm available entering the off-season according to anyone that watched Yu Darvish spoil my life-long dream of missing work to witness a Los Angeles Dodgers World Series parade while enjoying an offseason-long celebratory bender. (I wasn’t making it into work the next day, regardless).

You should love this signing for a few different reasons.

  1. The NL East is sneaky interesting/fun and will have a say in the NL wild-card game.
  2. The Phillies will be a major play in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes this winter.
  3. Every competitive move made by an NL East team makes Derek Jeter’s tear down of the Miami Marlins that much worse.

Best believe either the New York Mets or Phillies will be one of the teams playing in the NL wild-card game. The Mets lineup will be dong happy with Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, and Jay Bruce in the middle of it. For whatever its worth, Noah Syndergaard is throwing 1000 MPH this spring and looking like a potential CY Young candidate. A healthy Jacob deGrom and Thor make for one of the best 1-2 combos in baseball. A lot has to go right but beating up on the young Atlanta Braves and mercy-rule Marlins will be an asset in September.

The Phillies now have a viable 1-2 punch in their own right. Aaron Nola is coming off a career-year in 2017 and now has a CY Young winner with a postseason pedigree to learn from. It’s baffling that this aspect of the signings of guys like Eric Hosmer and Arrieta don’t get nearly enough credit. This team is on the opposite end of the spectrum than the Mets. Philadelphia will be relying heavily on a youthful offense, although, the addition of Carlos Santana to the lineup will help. Rhys Hoskins, Maikel Franco, and Odubel Herrera have shown flashes of carrying the load. If the Phillies are indeed in the hunt in late September and make a postseason run let’s not forget what advantage Citizens Bank Park could be.

It’s clearly the Nationals division to lose but it won’t be a cake walk.

Speaking of the Nats…they lost out on the Arrieta sweepstakes to a division rival. We don’t know how close the two parties came or if it was close at all. We do know that Washington’s superstar Bryce Harper mentioned how nice it would be to add a piece like Arrieta at the start spring training. The Nationals adding Arrieta would’ve made for an absurd postseason rotation but Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg is already one of the best. One could say that if you’ve underachieve as much as Washington has it doesn’t hurt to keep adding. Continue reading “The Potential Rise of the Phillies is Scary”

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Mets’ Flores Appoints Himself as Chief of Baseball Police

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The New York Mets have been outscored 30-8 through the first three games of a four game series at Dodger Stadium and currently sit 11.5 games out of first place in the NL East with a piss poor 31-40 record for the lack of a better word. It’s safe to say that this team, two years removed from a World Series appearance, has seen better days.

Mets’ infielder, Wilmer Flores, who was once known for breaking the most unwritten rule in all of baseball by crying on the field took exception to the way the Los Angeles Dodgers’ right fielder admired his work on Wednesday night.

In the fourth inning, Yasiel Puig was at the plate sitting dead red, when Mets’ starter Tyler Pill grooved a 91 MPH sinker in a 3-1 count that ultimately ended up halfway up the left field pavilion for a three-run homer. Puig watched with admiration as the ball took flight and then gracefully made his way around the bases angering a few Mets’ players in the process. Flores had a few words for Puig between first and second base and Mets’ catcher Travis d’Arnaud got in his two cents at home plate approximately 30 seconds later. Even fellow Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a showboat in his own right, along with Jose Reyes were seen chatting up Puig between innings.

The Mets decided not to retaliate in Puig’s next two plate appearances but Flores let it be known afterward how upset he was by reverting back to his old ways.

By Flores’ logic, the Mets are playing horrible, so Puig or anyone for that matter is not allowed to play better because apparently you might hurt your opponents feelings by doing so. Flores is playing the worst card possible here. He’s acting like the girl who just got dumped and goes out her way to spend the rest of the night making sure none of her friends hookup with anyone. You know Flores is bitter about how much fun the Dodgers are having, especially at the Mets expense.

The Dodgers have now won 12 of their last 13 games and extended their winning streak to six in a row to take a 0.5 lead over the Colorado Rockies for first place in the NL West. The Mets sit on the opposite end of the spectrum and Flores is making it clear how miserable that entire situation is by trying to bring others down with him. Flores might want to take a look at a few of his teammates before calling someone else out for respecting the game or just take a look at the organization he plays for, the one that decided to sign Tim Tebow for every reason that doesn’t involve baseball.

Puig couldn’t have responded to the entire incident in a better way.

In years past Puig has had his fair share of these incidents but something stood out that made it seem different this time around. Puig kept a smile on his face in the dugout after the home run and seemed not at all bothered by the offense taken by the Mets’ players. Teammates Andre Either, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and hitting coach Turner Ward huddled around him breaking out in laughter, instead of a lecture. It seemed as if his actions finally might’ve been accepted, finally, or at least for the time being because winning makes everything better.

Someone just needs to pass that secret on to your newest Chief of Baseball Police, Wilmer Flores.

 

 

Dodgers’ Stars Shine on ESPN

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The Los Angeles Dodgers 12-0 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday night was win number of 11 in their last 12 games, fifth win in a row and the game was on ESPN for the world to see. By world, I actually mean the West Coast, because god forbid the East Coast have to stay up to watch anyone not donning pinstripes or red sox.

The Dodgers 23-year-old shortstop, Corey Seager, couldn’t care less who was watching. He carries himself as if he’s been in the big leagues for a decade already, Jeter-esque in many ways. The reigning Rookie of the Year finished the night going 4-for-5 with three home runs and six RBIs. It’s the second time in his young career that he’s homered three times in a single game and his fifth multi-homer game overall. Seager had his chance at a fourth home run with the bases loaded in the sixth inning but instead flew out loudly to left field as 47,000-plus fans hopelessly attempted to cheer the ball over the wall. Those fans can’t even be blamed for watching with their hearts instead of their eyes, not right now, not with the way 21-year-old Cody Bellinger is swinging his bat.

Seager’s three-dinger game came one day after Bellinger homered twice on Monday night, the fifth multi-homer game of his career already as he became fastest player in MLB history to reach 21 career home runs in 51 games. It was more of the same on Tuesday after another home run in the first inning, his now NL leading 22nd homer was his 10th in the span of 10 games, becoming the first rookie in history to accomplish that feat and first Dodger to do so since Shawn Green in 2002. This is all happening on the same team that has three-time CY-Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw taking the mound every fifth day. (The fact that America doesn’t approach Kershaw days the same way they do “The Bachelor” as far as appointment viewing goes is beyond me).

The combined age of Seager and Bellinger (44) doesn’t even equal the age of the man at the helm, Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts (45). The Dodgers will play the Mets on Wednesday night again on ESPN and right now there’s no telling what the Dodgers’ superstars might do but what we do know is that the East Coast will probably be asleep for it.