Free Agent closer Papelbon signs record deal with the Phillies.
By Cam Cain 11-12-11
This just may be the missing link to Philadelphia’s championship. Ruben Amaro Jr. has just added another name to a lengthy list of free agent acquisitions as the GM of the Phillies. This deal makes Jonathan Papelbon the highest paid closer of all time. Him and the Phillies have agreed to a 4 year deal worth $50 million dollars. This is a risky move due to Papelbon’s inconsistence. This also is a huge case of overpaying for a player. We’ve seen it last year with Jayson Werth and the Nationals. The Phillies will still be paying Papelbon over $10 mil. a year 4 years from now. I wouldn’t have paid more than $25 million for him. Jonathan was never the best closer in his time with the Red Sox. Amaro Jr. felt that he needed this large sum of money to lure Pap away from Beantown.
This now widens the gaping hole in Boston’s bullpen. Flamethrowing Daniel Bard is very inconsistent. Bobby Jenks could close but he hasn’t pitched well since 2008. There are many more viable pitchers out there. Jonathan Broxton is only 27 and has had a 36 save season only 2 years ago. Or, if they decide to go the route of Jenks, which is what I would do, Mike Gonzalez, who spent last year with Baltimore and the Rangers, is available and is a left handed reliever who would be a good fit.
In other news…
Kidnapped Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been rescued on Friday after over 50 hours. Venezuelan authorities rescued him in a 15 minute gunfight. Ramos and his family have been provided bodyguards by Venezuela’s government.
The Florida, now Miami Marlins have switched to the official worst logo and uniform set in baseball history. You can view them here. They remind me of a three star hotel chain. The Miami Gardens Marlin Suites. They even got rid of their iconic teal. Oh when will people learn IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT!? They do move into a nice new stadium this year. I do agree with the name switch. There is another team in the state. It’s not like Minnesota. Florida Marlins had a nice ring to it. I’m sure these new uniforms will grow on me eventually. I hope they’re not just an eyesore until they’re gone.
His Hall-of-Fame career is nearly done, but there’s one thing missing, a World Series ring
By Cam Cain 11-5-11
Last year, we thought Jim Thome’s career was over when he decided to return to the Indians, the team in which he spent his first 12 seasons. We thought it was nice for him to return to the team where he started his career. Well, it turns out he’s coming back and now in the City of Brotherly Love where he spent 3 seasons from ’03 to ’05.
Who can blame him? There are two things missing from his outstanding career. (You and I both know he’s not winning an MVP anytime soon.) The other is a World Series win. Yes, he’s been very close twice in Cleveland twice (’95 and ’97) but Thome thought that his best chance to win a ring was in Philly. Thome will primarily be a bench player and pinch hitter.
Philadelphia has also shown interest in Minnesota utilityman Michael Cuddyer. The Phils like Cuddyer, a right handed bat, who has spent his first 11 seasons with the Twins. Cuddyer can regularly play any of the three outfield positions as well as the corner infield positions and second base. He will most likely play first with Thome while Ryan Howard is ailing a left achilles injury. Then, he will move to left.
In other news…
Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux has met with the Cubs. He has recently dropped out of the race for the same job in Boston for inconvenience reasons. Sandy Alomar Jr. is interviewing sometime soon.
The Giants and Royals completed a trade in which San Fransisco received Outfielder Melky Cabrera and sent Pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. This was a great trade that filled the needs of both teams, Kansas City’s need of pitchers and overabundance of outfielders, and San Francisco’s desperate lack of hitting with an overabundance of starting pitching. Cabrera had a breakout season, setting career highs in every category besides triples en route to 201 hits, 4th in the American League. Sanchez has never had stellar numbers but he has promise, pitching well in key games as well as a no-hitter under his belt.
Who has the edge between division rivals?
By Cam Cain 10-8-11
Last night, approximately 8:15. Brewers CF Nyjer Morgan steps up to the plate in the bottom of the 10th. Speedy Carlos Gomez on first. One out. Following a passed ball, Gomez is on second. Everyone in the stadium knows what’s running through the mind of the anxious batter. So when Morgan took a 2-2 J.J. Putz pitch and drove it up the middle, scoring Gomez, it was the perfect ending to a perfect evening in the Cream City. The Brewers had not won a playoff series since 1982; the Robin Yount days, the County Stadium days, back when they were in the American League. The Angels were their victim; the California Angels! But that is the past. “The fans deserve this because they haven’t seen it since ’82” said Prince Fielder following the game. Morgan also doubled and scored in the 4th. The win did not come easy, however. Closer John Axford blew a 2-1 lead in the 9th and had his first blown save since April. He pitched a 1-2-3 10th and came away with the win.
And on the other end, the team Milwaukee will be facing had a much more difficult path even to get the wild card. At one point, the St. Louis Cardinals were 10.5 games out of a playoff spot. The valiant Cards beat out the Braves for the final spot in the playoffs in game 162; and then had to play the 102-win Phillies with their 4 aces in the NLDS. But the never-say-die Cardinals never said die and fought their way into a game 5 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where former Blue Jays teammates and close friends Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay, currently aces of their respective teams, squared off in the deciding game.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first and it was all they would need. Carpenter tossed a 3-hit shutout in the 1-0 victory.
“It was some kind of fun” said Carpenter following the game.
To many, this is a huge surprise. Most thought that Philly would cruise their way by St. Louis and onto a second World Series win in 4 years.
“I know that we’re capable of going farther in the playoffs,” said manager Charlie Manuel. ” Our goal was to get to the world series. It’s been that way for two years now.”
This year’s NLCS will be a rematch of the 1982 World Series, back when the Brewers were an American League team. The Cardinals won in 7 games. The Brewers have never made a World Series before or since.