A Slice of Baseball History

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Excited as always about heading to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, I make the hour and a half journey via I-90. Cubs and Phillies. Arrieta vs. Hamels. The Cubs are in playoff contention, the Phils own baseball’s worst record. What could go wrong?

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Well, we all know how that worked out.

Having had a day or two to digest the historic game when soon-to-be ex-Philly Cole Hamels twirled the first no-hitter against the Cubs since Sandy Koufax was perfect against them in September of 1965, two things are forefront in my mind. First, if my beloved Cubs are to lose a game that I go to, witnessing history is a pretty good consolation prize. Second, with Philadelphia still dangling Hamels, he came up with a hell of an audition. [Read more…]

One Series Down for the Texas Rangers

By Bob Cole
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

The Texas Rangers completed their first series by taking the Philadelphia Phillies two out of three games in Arlington this week. After Opening Day, some fans, including one in my household, were wondering if the curse of Ian Kinsler would come true. However, the beauty of baseball is that they play 162 games every season. It might be better to evaluate them series after series.

Some got down on the Rangers because they lost the Opening Day game to the Phillies 14-10 with a score that looked like they needed a touchdown to win. These folks failed to look at the bright side of that game, and, with some reflection, there was a bright side. Despite giving of 14 runs, the Rangers scored 10 runs in a game started by former Ranger and Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee. One must examine the positives here. Plus, the big take-away from this series is not the Opening Day loss, but that the Rangers bounced back two nights in a row, and that they did not ever quit by lack of effort in any of the three games. [Read more…]

2013 MLB Team Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

Philadelphia Phillies
Founded: 1883*
Division Titles: 11
National League Pennants: 7
World Series Titles: 2 (1980, 2008) 

2012 Record: 81-81, 3rd Place in the NL East

Key Losses: Trevor May, Placido Polanco, Juan Pierre
Key Additions: Ben Revere, Michael Young, Mike Adams, Delmon Young

The 2013 Phillies seem to be the National League mirror for the 2013 Yankees (minus the M*A*S*H Unit jokes currently being made about the Bronx Bombers). They’re old. Really, really old. Not only are they old, but they also didn’t really do anything besides getting Ben Revere to get any younger.

There were expectations for Phillies fans that the team would at least try to transition to getting younger while preserving their old core to make another run at the World Series. Unfortunately, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro must not have been given the keys to the coin purse, because signing Michael Young and Delmon Young doesn’t do much to fill the need for youth. Don’t let their surnames fool you, neither one of those players are young or near the former primes of their career. When you’re looking at up at two young teams in the Braves and Nationals who finished 13 and 17 games better than you in the win column, only bringing in a young guy like Ben Revere is not enough. Also, who the hell is going to play in left field?

[Read more…]

Why the NL East is the Best Division in MLB

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

I know ESPN, and even more reputable entities like Yahoo! Sports want you to believe the AL East or perhaps the NL West is the best division (or best two divisions) in baseball going into this year, but I’m here to tell you that is patently false and driven by hallow reasons like TV ratings and big-money free agents. The best division in baseball is the NL East, and much like the SEC in college football, they’re the best because they have two of the best teams in baseball leading from the top. What’s at the bottom (Miami) doesn’t matter, because what’s at the top (Atlanta and D.C.) is so good.

Think about it… is the AL East really the best division in baseball? Yes, everyone is saying Toronto is better (seriously, signing a pitcher closer to 40 than 30 is that big a deal?), but don’t they say that every year? Yes, Baltimore could perhaps make another run at a Wild Card, but do you trust that franchise with that owner to hold up under the strain of 162 games? Yes, Mo is back to close out games in the Bronx, but what is he now, 900 years old? Even Methuselah never had to come back from an ACL tear at that age!  Tampa Bay will do as Tampa Bay does: tease with great prospects, possibly make a run at the postseason, and then sell those young players for more, albeit younger and cheaper, prospects. And Boston, well, Boston still has insane chemistry problems and a question mark at manager. Ownership let Larry Lucchino chase away Theo and Tito and any other driving force that could take credit away from Larry Lucchino for those two World Series titles. They may have Dice-K’s money off the books, but they’re on the hook for something much worse: replacing the talent they shipped of last year.  In this division, the only real threat to actually win the World Series is the Yankees. And Mo isn’t the only old guy on the team. They’re all old and creaky, and dropping like flies in Spring Training. One team with a chance to win does not the best division in baseball make. This division is like Big Ten in college football. A lot of 10, 9, and 8 win teams that will beat up on each other and make it look impressive, but when they step outside of their own confines, they’ll have absolutely no chance of winning a title. [Read more…]