World Bleeping Champions: 2009 Phillies Preview
The goal today will be to not take any cheap shots at the New York Choking Dogs Mets.
The Phillies are going to repeat. Let’s get that out of the way now. Of course, I say they are going to win it all every year, but this time I have actual facts to back it up.
PITCHING: Cole Hamels is clutch. He is as cool as that hotel in Sweden made totally out of ice. Yeah, yeah, I know about Johan Santana. Let’s see him throw a changeup in the middle of a typhoon in the World Series. That is clutch. That is Cole Hamels. Also, his wife is hot.
Brett Myers is an angry dude. He channels that anger into striking out a lot of people. Oh, and he figured out how to hit in the postseason too. For Mets fans, the postseason is what other teams do after your team has its annual September meltdown.
Joe Blanton is the other guy. I think he hit a home run or something in the World Series. For Mets fans, the World Series is…ah, never mind, ask your cousin, the Yankee fan. Wait, he might not remember either, it’s been a while for them, too. Look it up.
Jamie Moyer is old. Somehow he continues to get people out with his 43 MPH fastball.
Chan Ho Park (really?) is the fifth starter.
I never thought I’d say this: The Phillies starters are scary good. For the first time in, well, ever, they are not the weak link on the team. I know, I know, I have been looking for pigs over head all winter, but it’s true.
The bullpen took a hit with JC Romero being suspended for 50 games for taking an over the counter supplement that he bought at GNC and that the players union said it was cool for him to take. Seriously. Why do they even have a union? Other than that, they are money. JA Happ is available for long and middle relief, and can fill in if a starter gets hurt, or has to leave early to get back to the old folks home in the case of Moyer.
The Mets got Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez from Anaheim, along with JJ Putz from Seatlle to bolster their bullpen, as it was a big reason they choked like George Bush on a pretzel finished second to the Phils the last two years running. K-Rod broke the single season save record last year, and Putz was great for Seattle.
K-Rod was outstanding. He had 62 saves with a 2.24 ERA. It was a year for the ages, which is why he won the Relief Man of the year award. Oh, wait, no he didn’t, that was the Phillies’ BRAD LIDGE.
Lidge was perfect last year, 48 for 48 in save opportunities including the postseason. Ryan Madsen, the heir apparent to the closer job, flirts with triple digits on the radar gun. Romero gets back in June. Scott Eyre can hold it down till then.
K-Rod broke Bobby Thigpen’s save record. How about this? Both were 26 years old at the time. Thigpen never saved more than thirty games again. His ERA almost doubled the next year. He was out of baseball 3 years after saving 57 games.
I’m just sayin’.
OFFENSE: The first baseman has one MVP, and finished second in the MVP voting last year. The shortstop has an MVP, and stole 47 bases on a bad ankle last year. The second baseman hit 33 home runs with a bad hip, and has played in 3 straight all star games. Raul Ibanez is much, much better than you think, a significant upgrade over Pat Burrell. Shane Victorino was a Gold Glove centerfielder last year. Jayson Werth is no longer looking over his shoulder for a platoon. The bench is so strong that they cut Geoff Jenkins and ate $8 million dollars on his contract.
This team is deep. It is primed for a long run. They have an arrogant swagger that I would like to say comes with winning, but frankly, they had it before. It is why they win while the Mets don’t.
The Mets have added some big guns to their bullpen. They think they now have what it takes to beat the Phillies.
The Phillies know they have what it takes to beat the Mets.