BaseBRAWLING. Yep I know, super original right? Pro-wrestler and huge baseball fan decides to use a pun so you will read his blog...*crosses finger* Hope it works!
This weekly (or hopefully bi-weekly) blog on my thoughts on the baseball world will consist on my bias opinions, my crazy life playing OOTP baseball, and an overwhelming sense that I love the Philadelphia Phillies (even when I get frustrated and threaten to put on my Blue Jays hat!).
With Spring Training less than a month away, I am more excited for the upcoming 2013 season than I ever have. I blame the MLB Network!
I want to say that the first time I watched MLB Network was in 2009. Literally the first day it launched if I am right. I didn't even realize it was on my basic cable package. Needless to say, I became glued to the channel the way I became glued to pro-wrestling in 1981.
Hot Stove has replaced Sports Center in my morning viewing schedule. And yes, I watch it multiple times (Have to see if I missed something the first three times!). The staff from top to bottom not only is informative, but make baseball fun. You get the feeling that these are guys that just love to BS about the game.
Little know Steve Corino fact: MLB Network staff member Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams once managed me at a UWF professional wrestling event in Philadelphia against Dustin Rhodes (WWE's Goldust).
As a die hard Phillies fan, I won't lie and tell you I wasn't concerned after the team ended 81-81 in 2012.
The injury bug caught up to a team that went to the playoffs five straight years, including the World Series appearances in 2008 and 2009. Truth be told, the team is older now, but that doesn't mean they can not be a power house. It is going to take Ruben Amaro Jr. to be more like Pat Gillick and less like...well Ruben Amaro Jr.
That is not to say I think Ruben has done a bad job at all, but there are moves that I think he should have considered before using the cop out "I don't want to disrespect him."
Case being Chase Utley. Utley, a main cog in the surge of this era of Phillies success, missed the first 45 games in 2012 due to a bad knee. At 34 years old and playing the kick ass style that he plays, he is going to break down. The range will start to deteriorate quickly. Why the idea of Utley moving over to 3B wasn't entertained more baffled me.
This guy has 199 career home runs and 3-30 HR seasons when he is healthy. Wouldn't you want to move him over to the hot corner so that he can give you 140 games as opposed to 115, 103, or last years 83 is beyond me.
Many times over the winter, I wanted to jump on Twitter or even start this blog and shout out how the Phillies should be Freddy Galvis a chance at 2B and move Utley over to 3B. I was even hotter when Amaro said on MLB Network that he didn't want to disrespect Utley by asking him to move to third WHEN Utley, himself, pitched the idea.
Disrespect? Utley will make $15 million dollars this year. His last year of a seven year deal. Lets break that down.
That is a lot of zeros. And Utley's job is to perform at the best of his ability and help this team reach and WIN the World Series. And it is Amaro's job to put on the best team possible. Why would moving Utley and his 25-30 home run potential to a spot that will help extend his career and chances of the Phillies returning the World Series be disrespectful?
$15,000,000.00 / 83 games = $180,722.89 per game
$15,000,000.00 /140 games= $107,142.86 per game
That is what the Phillies pay per game for Chase Utley.
Chances of winning more games? Much better with a healthy Utley in the lineup.
But the Phillies shut me up temporarily when they traded for Michael Young. Not only did they get Young, but they basically got him for nothing! OK, Ruben Amaro Jr., you sir are back on my good list.
Here is a guy that is an every day player, rarely hurt, and has a career average of .301. But, once again, I have to bring up the question: Why can't Utley play third and Young play second?
I am going to watch it play out and feel the Phillies have a chance to go 90-72 in 2013. World Series winners? Maybe not, but definite playoffs.
During an argument on Twitter this past, a fan of both wrestling and baseball, turned me onto a computer game called Out Of The Park Baseball.
I had never played a computer sim game before. I usually bought a copy of MLB The Show for either PS2 or PSP every year and I grew up on the old APBA baseball board game, so this was new.
After sitting on the idea for a while, my fiance told me on Thanksgiving to download it. What the heck right? It was a $20 gamble.
Two months later, I am 138 games into my season! You want to talk about obsessed, then this game will make you a believer that you can be obsessed. I would say every night I will play between four and six games (I am playing one as I write this).
There are a ton of options. You can play with a fictional team. You can play from a different era. You can play with a draft that you control. This game is just amazing.
My team is the Emerald Isle Bull Sharks of the National League East.
The back story is that my "owner" won $400 million in a Powerball lottery and purchased controlling rights to the Philadelphia Phillies and moved them to Emerald Isle, North Carolina (which is actually where I live). The Bull Sharks name is a joke that Belle and I share. We live on an island on the Atlantic Ocean and we regularly gp to the local pier and look for sharks. Me, being a "shark expert" (aka trying to impress my love), told her that I thought the sharks were "bull sharks" and she said "yeah, maybe bull sh*t sharks"!
Now being the General Manager and Manager of a simulated team seems easy right? Nope. Stressful. Guys getting hurt, complaining, streaking, and budgets have me busy. I can't imagine what a real GM goes through, when I am having panic attacks about Ryan Howard going down for the season with a torn ACL. Or Cliff Lee asking for a 7 year deal.
My team is currently 70-68 and my owner is pissed. If you are wondering, yes, you can be fired! Yikes!!! I could go on forever about Out Of The Park baseball.
I recommend every baseball fan to go to click on the OOPT link and download this game. You will not be sorry!!!
Next week I will discuss the Hall of Fame and my pitch for an overhaul of the system. Until then, PLAY BALL!