Posts Tagged ‘philadelphia phillies’

MLB Preview Bonanza: NL East

Much like its American League counterpart, the National League East hasn’t been home to too much flux. Since 1993, the Braves have won the division 11 times, the Phillies four times, and the Mets once. Of course, the Marlins still lead the division in World Series won in that time, with two. The NL East boasts the two-time defending and presumptive NL champion in Philadelphia, two teams that contended late in the season for the Wild Card in Atlanta and Florida, a big-budget team that can’t be any worse than last year in New York, and the Nationals. And even after a down year last season, it’s hard not to call the Phillies-Mets rivalry the best in the National League. Can the Mets rebound and contend in 2010? Can the Braves catch the Phillies? Or is Philadelphia still the team to beat in the division and the league?

Continue reading

Aught Lang Syne: Franchises of the Decade

After running through the Teams of the Decade this morning, it’s time to rank the Franchises/Programs of the Decade—those that have consistently churned out competitive and championship-winning teams. My criteria included things like regular-season record, number of playoff appearances, conference titles, and championships into the equation, alongside less quantifiable measures such as historical imprint and landmark players.

NFL

(all information prior to Week 16 of 2009 NFL season)

WORST: Detroit Lions (0 playoff appearances, 0-16 season, 42-116 record)

5. New York Giants (1 title, 2 conference championships, 6 playoff appearances, 6-5 playoff record, 88-70 regular season)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (1 conference championship, 8 playoff appearances, 10-7 playoff record, 102-55-1 regular season)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2 titles, 2 conference championships, 6 playoff appearances, 10-4 playoff record, 101-56-1 regular season)

2. Indianapolis Colts (1 title, 1 conference championship, 9 playoff appearances, 7-7 playoff record, 115-43 regular season) Continue reading

MLB Postseason Preview: The World Series!

After about as many off-days as game days, we’re finally down to two teams in Major League Baseball: the last dynasty against a team hoping to build one. It’s Yankees-Phillies in what many expect to be the most exciting World Series since 2001.

Resident Yankee fan John S. and Phillie hater Tim break it down.

THE LINEUPS

LEADOFF: ROLLINS V. JETER

TIM: So, John, make the case to me that Derek Jeter is not only a better leadoff hitter than Jimmy Rollins (which he is), but that he’s the best leadoff hitter the Yankees have had during this 15-year run. Am I forgetting somebody better?

JOHN: As for why he’s better than Rollins, do I need to say more than that Rollins OBP this year was .296? That’s 110 points less than Jeter’s. As for in the last 15-years of the Yankees, that’s similarly obvious. NY has basically had 3 lead-off hitters since then: Chuck Knoblauch, Alfonso Soriano and Johnny Damon. Knoblauch was good his first 2 years, but never as good as Jeter’s been this year. Soriano was always miscast in the leadoff role, and Damon’s best years were in Boston. Jeter wasn’t actually new to the leadoff spot this year, as many people thought him to be; he did it for pretty much all of 2005, and he’d done it over 400 times in his career before 2009.

Continue reading

The Mets Fan’s Nightmare

So it’s come to this. We didn’t only have to endure losing hundreds of millions of dollars to a Ponzi scheme, we didn’t only have to endure injuries to our five best players, we didn’t only have to endure a dropped pop-up to lose a game to our crosstown rivals, we didn’t only have to endure our general manager blaming his own firing of a team executive on a newspaper reporter and then having to apologize—twice—for it, we didn’t only have to endure a 92-loss season.

Now we have to endure this: a World Series between our two most hated rivals that appears, on paper, to be one of the most compelling matchups in decades.

Things, as they say, have been better for Mets fans.

Continue reading

MLB Postseason Preview: NLCS Rematch!

Philadelphia Phillies

at Los Angeles Dodgers

OVERVIEW

It’s the most anticipated NLCS rematch since Cardinals-Astros ‘05! Will this one finish what that one started, and officially put the nail in Brad Lidge’s coffin?

The Phillies are coming off a very entertaining four-game NLDS victory over the Rockies (seriously; it was one of the best NLDSs in a while) while the Dodgers swept the Cardinals in a direct and reciprocal refutation of my prediction for the series. The Phillies dispatched Los Angeles in five in the NLCS last season, with the series turning on a big Matt Stairs pinch-hit home run in Game 4. This one appears more evenly matched, as it’s the Dodgers with the home-field advantage.

LCS rematches have been fairly memorable over the last two decades, including the 2004 series between the Yankees and Red Sox and the 1992 rematch of the Braves and Pirates.

Continue reading

MLB Postseason Preview: Rockies vs. Phillies

Colorado Rockies (92-70) at

Philadelphia Phillies (93-69)

OVERVIEW

The (sigh) defending champion Phillies open with a rematch of the 2007 Division Series, when a red-hot Rockies squad swept them out of the playoffs with surprising ease. To me, this is the most intriguing division series and has a chance to be one of the best we’ve ever seen. These are the two best offenses in the league (the Phillies led the NL in runs; the Rockies were second. The Rockies led the NL in OPS; the Phillies were second), and each team boasts a deep rotation. I think these are the two best teams in the National League, and that this series goes five games.

THE LINEUPS

As mentioned like three sentences ago, these are the two best offenses in the league. Everybody knows about Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Ibanez for Philadekphia; they might be less aware of how important Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino are to the Phillies’ offense. Werth had 36 home runs this season. Jayson Werth!

Colorado, meanwhile, is spearheaded by Troy Tulowitzki, who you could make a strong case deserves to finish second in the NL MVP race behind Albert Pujols. Tulowitzki has made the leap this season and is, in my book, the second-best shortstop at the plate in the NL (behind Hanley Ramirez) and probably the best all-around shortstop in the game right now when you take into account his Gold Glove fielding. Todd Helton has bounced back to his usual .325 form, and the top of the Rockies’ order is formidable now that Carlos Gonzalez has found his swing the last two months.

Continue reading