Archive for October, 2009

Pick the Score Contest

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Win tickets to 2010 BlueClaws Opening Day (4/16 when we raise the 2009 SAL Championship banner). All you have to do…predict the score from game three of the World Series.

Send it over either in the comments here, on Twitter or Facebook.

1. Winner, 2. Score.

That’s it, good luck!

We’ll be at game three so back Sunday w/ recap and random thoughts.

Blanton Game Four/Letter to Hamels

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

New York papers are excited that Charlie Manuel will pitch Joe Blanton on Sunday in game four, a likely matchup with Yankees ace CC Sabathia.

Manuel’s response:

“He’s at 265 innings and he’s never pitched on three days’ rest, although I talked to him and he told me he had,” Manuel said of Lee. “I also like him in Game 5. I don’t think he is ready for [Game 4] on three days’ rest and I think you are really pushing him, and we definitely don’t want to hurt him.”

Makes sense to us. Lee would likely be available for use out of the bullpen in game seven. Blanton has an 8 ERA against the Yankees in four career starts but in one of those he gave up nine runs in just over 2 innings, skewing the numbers.

Lee did throw 120+ pitches in game one. Remember too, if you pitch Lee in game four, you have to use Blanton in game five anyway, since Pedro Martinez is not going to come back on three days rest.

Letter to Cole Hamels, from Cole Hamels. Neat piece in today’s Philadelphia Daily News.

You probably already know what I’m getting at, since the Yankees are in town. But I’ll ask you anyway: Remember that night in spring training 5 years ago when you and I first burst on the scene? The night that you said earlier this week “put me on the map”?

Off Day Fun: Line of Demarcation

Friday, October 30th, 2009

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ds/newjerseyyanksphils.jpg” alt=”newjerseyyanksphils” width=”200″ height=”333″ />A boring off day in the World Series, so let’s take a look at our great state. Where would you say the breakdown of Phillies (and Philadelphia) sports fans meets the Yankees (and New York) sports fans?

Interstate 195? Or does it stretch down into Ocean County a little bit? I would say it does dip down into Ocean County, and it’s probably a blurry line.

One other thing, often times if Fox does not have an NFL double-header, or the Eagles and Giants are playing at the same time, you can see how the media breaks it down. And two weeks ago, when the Giants played the Saints and the Eagles played the Raiders, Ocean County got the Giants game, so that provides an interesting perspective from a television standpoint.

Here’s a cool video on the subject:

How Travel Has Changed

Friday, October 30th, 2009

When the Yankees and Phillies met in the 1950 World Series, the two teams traveled together by train from one city to the other. Bill Madden in today’s NY Da

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ily News passes along this gem:

Whitey Ford said the 1950 Series was especially fun for him because the two teams traveled by train together from New York to Philly and he was accompanied by his pal, Toots Shor, the legendary New York saloon-keeper. “Toots brought along Dizzy Dean with him,” Ford said, “and I remember after we beat them the first two games in Philly, coming back on the train I said to Dizzy: ‘Now I know how you won all those games in the National League!’ Dizzy got real (ticked), but Toots laughed like hell.”

On Pedro: Still Got It

Friday, October 30th, 2009

pedromoundHe might be closer to the end than the beginning, but the 38 year old Pedro Martinez showed last night that he still can put on a show, on the mound or at the microphone.

First, on the mound…he didn’t have to come out for the seventh inning, when he gave up another run. Mark Teixeira hit a hanging change-up for a home run in the 4th, and Hideki Matsui hit one off his shoe-tops for a home run in the 6th. 

Look at the first inning…strikes out Jeter, strikes out Damon, and fooled Teixeira, getting him to pop-up. Like Cliff Lee the night before, you saw early he had it.

Was he as good as AJ Burnett? Nope. Burnett was brilliant. But Pedro, for a guy who wasn’t on a team until mid-July, was pretty darn good.

Post-game…This is why you have to love him. Watch his post-game press conference here…Some of our favorite Martinez quotes from his two pressers (one after the game, one the day before…

  • “I know they really want to root for me. It’s just that I don’t play for the Yankees, that’s all. I’ve always been a good competitor and they love that. I’m a New Yorker, as well. If I was on the Yankees, I’d probably be a king over here.”
  • “I remember one guy sitting with his daughter, and saying all kinds of nasty stuff…It’s a shame you’re saying all these things. I had to stop and tell him becasue I am a father myself…What kind of example are you sitting?”
  • “I’m older and wiser. The game remains the same, the game doesn’t change.”
  • “I don’t know if you realize this, but becasue of you guys (the media), I might be at times, the most infulential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium.”
  • “I have all the respect in the world for the way they enjoy being fans. Sometimes they might be giving you the middle finger, just like they will be cursing you and telling you what color underwear you’re wearing. All those things you can hear when you’re a fan. But at the end of the day, they’re just great fans that want to see the team win. I don’t have any problem with that.”

Here’s some more from his presser on Wednesday before game one.

Ultimately, he’s still Pedro. You can see what that meant to BlueClaws players when he was here in August. And if this series goes six games, and you have to figure it will, then we should see him one more time. Can’t wait.

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Catching Up With Troy Hanzawa

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

hanzawa-jumpHad a chance to chat with 2009 BlueClaws shortstop Troy Hanzawa earlier today. He’s currently out in the Arizona Fall League with Scottsdale and a number of other Phillies prospects. Hanzawa hit .267 with 2 home runs and 47 RBIs for the BlueClaws this year while playing an excellent shortstop. He played in all but 12 games as Lakewood won the 2009 SAL Championship.

Some thoughts from Hanzawa, 24, who is on the team’s taxi squad, which means he can only be active one day per week…

  • When asked if he looks back now at the 2009 season…“Definately. It’s great, there were 16 teams in the league and we came out on top. I’m thinking about what the ring looks like too.” (He won’t find that out for a few months).
  • When did you think the team was good enough to win the whole thing…“We felt early on we were good enough, once we played a little bit we felt we had as good a shot as anyone. About 3/4 of the way through we stumbled a bit, but we got some guys to come in and help. It was all good.”
  • What he’s taking from his time in Arizona…“The biggest thing is just watching the caliber of players out here. You try to learn a little from everyone. I haven’t gotten that many at bats or innings so you really try to make the ones you do get count.”
  • With most of the other players from AA or AAA, he talks about the difference in experience…“It’s significant, but really on any given day if a hitter is feeling good he can hit. So I’m just trying to pull from them, and learn what they’re doing and different approaches to the game.”
  • Now basically in his seventh straight month of baseball, how does he feel physiaclly…“Right now I’m allright. I take BP every day, take grounders every day. I think my body has recovered from the season. Afterwards, I’ll probably just go straight into workouts and get ready for 2010.”

Game One Thoughts

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Some random thoughts from game one…

  • You felt really good about the Phillies after five minutes…After CC got the first two hitters out, walk, double, walk, and it was 24 pitches in the first inning.
  • Then Cliff Lee goes out there, strikes out Jeter on three pitches, and gets though an easy first inning. By that point it was clear that he was in a zone and you didn’t know what you were getting from CC.
  • CC was behind hitters all night, walked a few, but those didn’t hurt him. Chase Utley did.
  • What a great play by Jimmy Rollins on the double play in the 5th. He had Matsui completely fooled, but the 2B umpire correctly called Cano out because Rollins did in fact catch the ball.
  • The place was dead save two instances…At 2-0, Jeter got a hit w/ 1 out in the 6th, and they got into it when Damon came up (he popped up to Lee)…And again in the 8th when they showed Bernie Williams on the scoreboard. That was about it.
  • For all the talk about the Phillies bullpen, the Yankees have major issues in their bullpen too.
  • It’s amazing to think about the fact the Phillies got Lee and Kyle Drabek, Domonic Brown and Michael Taylor are all still in the organization.
  • Everyone figured you give up a little less to get Lee, who is not as good as Roy Halladay. But Cliff Lee this postseason takes a back seat to nobody.
  • When they announced the umpires, they said on the PA that Joe West was in RF. Which was correct. But the video board noted that the RF umpire was (Basketball Hall of Famer) Jerry West. Oops.

Quick Prediction

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Phillies in six. Remember, the Phillies will not make the mental errors or the physical ones, that made the Yankees first two series seem much easier than they actually were. Figure a split here, then the Phils up 3-2 and beat Burnett in game six. Who knows? Could go either way. And we’re looking forward to a special Fall Classic.

Must Reads for Game One

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

When you get home from work tonight and sit down to get ready for game one of the World Series, here are a few of what we thought were “must-read” articles. Enjoy…

  • Sam Donnellon in the Philadelphia Daily News on Ryan Howard meditating before at-bats. Charlie Manuel:  ”I’ll never forget we were in Japan, in these country vs. country games in Nagasaki. Willie [Davis] was in the outfield by the centerfield wall and I ran by him and said something to him and he didn’t answer me. I ran by him again and he was still humming. Finally I passed him and he wasn’t humming anymore. He said, ‘Hey Charlie, how’s it going? I didn’t mean to blow you off. I was meditating.’”
  • The Phillies got their famous Ballentine scoreboard from, wait for it, the Yankees.
  • Since Mariano Rivera’s first save, 42 Phillies have recorded one. Some blasts for the past in here.
  • Great article in the Inquirer here by Andy Martino on the faith of Brad Lidge.
  • The perks of winning, from the 2008 Phillies.
  • Mike Lupica in the NY Daily NewsIt is the best possible World Series, the defending champs against the Yankees. It is the two best teams in baseball and the two most entertaining teams and the two toughest outs and what would be every bit as good as the Yankees vs. the Red Sox if we did it more often…It is two great sports cities and the first Series at the new Stadium and CC Sabathia against Cliff Lee, a couple of star lefthanders who used to be teammates inCleveland, in Game 1. The last two Super Bowls have been the best of all time. Maybe we are due for a World Series like that, one that we’ll talk about forever, a Fall Classic that really is one. One that only Mets fans don’t want to see.

Enjoy it folks…your blogmaster is going to game one, so we’ll be back to wrap it up either late tonight or more likely in the morning. It’s going to be a fun series.

Five Former ‘Claws on World Series Roster

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

When the Phillies get introduced at about 7:40 before game one of the World Series,

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there will be five former BlueClaws that get the call, and two will be in the starting lineup tonight.

  • Ryan Howard (2002): Coming off his NLCS MVP, Howard enters the World Series with a .355 post-season batting average and 14 RBIs in the nine playoff games.
  • Carlos Ruiz (2001): One of the first BlueClaws catchers, Ruiz hit a big home run in game one of the NLCS and has made a big impact in each of his first two post-seasons.
  • Cole Hamels (2003): It hasn’t been the best post-season, or season, for the lefty, but he did win the World Series MVP last year and is certainly capable. He’s on track to start game six or game seven should this go that far.
  • JA Happ (2005): The lefty went 12-4 this year and was named, by his peers, NL Rookie of the Year in a Sporting News survey. Should the Phillies use four starters (and since Pedro is unlikely to throw on three days rest, they probably will), Happ figures to be that guy. But in games one and two, he’s a late-inning lefty for Hideki Matsui or Johnny Damon.
  • Antonio Bastardo (2007): He went 9-0 with the BlueClaws in 2007 and was pitching in Instructs a week before the playoffs began. He’s only faced two hitters in the post-season, striking out Jason Giambi in the DS and allowing a double to James Loney in the CS.

Other Phillies that BlueClaws fans have seen at FirstEnergy Park:

  • Pedro Martinez: threw a bullpen session here in August
  • Brett Myers: threw a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance in August, the same day the BlueClaws hit 4-million fans
  • Greg Dobbs: Went 1-3 in game one of the SAL Championship Series on a rehab appearance with Lakewood.
  • Shane Victorino: Rehabbed in Lakewood in August, 2007.

BlueClaws & Thunder Make World Series Bet to Benefit One Lucky Fan

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

choosechampwebIt’s the first Choose Your Champ contest. As part of the first Turnpike Series, or in the case of NJ’s two affiliated Minor League Baseball teams, the 195 Series, the BlueClaws and Trenton Thunder have entered into a wager through which one lucky fan will win an all-expense paid trip to Opening Day 2010!

To enter, all you have to do is email chooseyourchamp@trentonthunder.com with the following:

  • The World Series winner
  • Number of games the series lasts
  • The MVP

We’ll take all the winners, and one will be randomly selected…Here’s the kicker…

  • If the Phillies win, the Thunder will pay for the winner’s trip to Opening Day 2010 in Philadelphia.
  • If the Yankees win, the BlueClaws will pay for the winner’s trip to Opening Day 2010 at Yankee Stadium.

Good luck!

Group Theme in Focus: Education Days

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

We’re going to put one group theme night in focus every week leading up to the start of the 2010 baseball season, and today we start with Education Days (not just for students).

  • Basics: Choose from one of four types of education days at FirstEnergy Park, benefitting students and teachers both.
  • Contact: Tracy Davis at 732-901-7000 ext 106

The breakdown of each…

  • Education Days…May 5, May 26…these 11:05 am games are getaways for students and feature educational info at the ballpark. Tickets are just $7 for students and $9 for adults.
  • Teacher Appreciation Night…May 7th…Nominate your favorite teacher to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at this Friday night fireworks game.
  • Most Improved Student Program…April 19, April 20, April 21…Teachers nominate their most improved student, who gets a free ticket to one of these three games. The students then get to come on the field and announce their name and school in front of the crowd.
  • Buster’s Book Program…Students read five non-required books and receive a free ticket to either the May 10th or May 23rd game (kids will eat free at both games).

Flyer here

Pedro in Game Two

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

whosyourdaddyCharlie Manuel announced this morning on his radio show that Pedro Martinez will get the start in game two on Thursday night in Yankee Stadium, where he will be the subject of many “Who’s Your Daddy” chants, among others. Pedro, in 2003, called the Yankees his Daddy in 2003, and you can be sure they haven’t forgotten. (Boston Globe photo, 2004)

Anyway…Pedro in Game two potentially sets the series up in some of the following ways for the Phillies (analysis follows):

  • 1. Cliff Lee, Pedro, Cole Hamels, Lee, TBA, Hamels, Lee…in this scenario, Lee goes 1-4-7, Hamels pitches on three-days rest in game six, but Pedro probably can’t do three-days rest so you’re looking at JA Happ or Joe Blanton in game five.
  • 2. Cliff Lee, Pedro, Cole Hamels, TBA, Lee, Pedro, Hamels…in this scenario, a straight four-man rotation, where Lee would be available in game seven out of the pen, just in case. Happ or Blanton in game four.
  • 3. Cliff Lee, Pedro, Cole Hamels, Lee, TBA, Pedro, Lee…in this scenario, Pedro goes 2-6 and Hamels only gets one start. Possible if Pedro well in game two and Hamels struggles in game three.
  • 4. Cliff Lee, Pedro, Cole Hamels, TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA…most likely. Anything can happen and it should be fun.

Here are some photos from Pedro’s August 2nd bullpen session in Lakewood.

From the Freeholders

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The BlueClaws were presented the following by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders last week: buy levitra online

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The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Commends the
Lakewood BlueClaws
Not Only Are You
South Atlantic League Champions
in Baseball, but You Are
Truly Champions in the Community

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