I think I'm going to make it my summer's goal to
track down this place where rubbing mud comes from!
- Dugout Phunnies Issue #4 is a mere one week away from release! Like most things that are awesome, I was in on the ground floor when it first came out. But if the first six pages, and all the comments on Twitter are to be believed, 2012 is the season that David Jablow and Jeff Goff blow up! So buy a copy and watch Doc wrestle space snakes!
- David Murphy's expanded explanation on the Chase Utley saga is really the best read on the piece. Despite the outrage you may hear, there are a number of caveats to this situation. It's been beaten to death over the last 24 months so I won't go into depth, but Ruben Amaro and Chase Utley are tiptoeing a three way line between lying, withholding information, and outright denial. Any way you shake it, it's disappointing to hear about this development so late in the Spring. I can't claim to know what Utley did the last few months to prepare for spring training and as a guy who's mildly athletic but has never suffered any significant injury, I can't say what the difference between weight room workouts, and live game drills. But I can't help but wonder if something couldn't have been done differently to come to this conclusion in February, rather than the last week of March. Interestingly enough, former major leaguer David Segui seems to have the perfect solution for Utley: HGH. I could probably buy into a scenario where HGH was allowed to extend the career of guys with chronic joint pains. Maybe some sort of MLB employed doctor that can prescribe the drug? Just a thought...
- Ryne Sandberg has put his Chicago area house up for sale proving that you can only be snubbed by a city (despite being one of its alltime greats) so many times! If I said it once, I said it 100 times, I think he's your next manager for the Phillies following a retirement for Charlie Manuel. Ivan DeJesus (the guy the Phillies traded away Sandberg for), on the other hand, is bouncing around the Cubs system. Sweet irony.
- Ken Rosenthal released his yearly kiss of death today which ranks the Phillies as the 8th best team in baseball and the 3rd best in the NL, but still predicts they'll continue the streak as NL East champs. It's tough to argue with the strength of the AL, but ranking the Giants ahead of the Phillies is a travesty worthy of a letter to your congressman. Buster Posey,
Carlos Beltran, and Pablo Sandoval: three guys that a stiff breeze away from their next trip to the DL. And a rotation that while good, is still a notch behind Philadelphia. Take to the streets people! I will not rest until Ken Rosenthal apologizes (mostly just for wearing those silly ties, not his predictions)!
- Consider me fully behind the move to put Cole Hamels in the #4 slot to start the season at home. The Phillies have had a quite a bit of success with splitting their lefties and righties, Vance Worley matches up favorably with James McDonald of Pittsburgh, and Cole can handle his own with either Carlos Zambrano or Mark Buehrle depending on how the Marlins line things up. And while I'm looking at it, isn't it a little strange that the Marlins are opening up with a single game against the Cardinals on Wednesday, then hit the road for a 3 game series against the Reds? Why just one game?