New Day Dawning

Those Philly boo birds: Oh where, oh where have they gone? — Ron Costello


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Papelbon Wants to Win

Grady Sizmore — will he be joining the Phillies soon?

Grady Sizmore — will he be joining the Phillies soon?

This morning’s Inquirer quoted Jonathon Papelbon and the paper came to the conclusion that he wants to leave and play for a contender — not a team ten games out.

I read the quotes several times and came to a different conclusion: Papelbon was giving Junior a message: The season isn’t over yet.

Okay, here’s what he said: “Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That’s mind-boggling to me. I think it’s a no brainer.

“You know, I came here for a reasonand I say that because I’m with a group of guys in the bullpen that can do very special things in the future. I’ve been waiting for that, you know what I mean?

“We are finally with our bullpen. So that aspect of it would kind of stink to leave. But at the same time, winning is the cure-all of cure-alls.”

I think he’s saying what I’ve been saying all season: The club needs one or two players to get back in this thing.

Is Dom Brown ready to lead?

Is Dom Brown ready to lead?

Ten games back — lots of  clubs come back from ten games back. It’s not impossible and this team has good players.

Like Papelbon and he’s tired of losing!

Grady Sizemore, hitting .289 at Lehigh Valley, is one. Darin Ruf , on his way back from the DL — could be two. Perhaps a trade here and there before the deadline could shore up this team for a second half run.

Can he have a great second half? Utley is finding his stroke.

Can he have a great second half? Utley is finding his stroke.

Then Dom Brown comes alive to be the Dom Brown he was last May. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Utley goes on a tear.

Howard finds his power stroke.

Lee returns healthy and strong.

Chooch comes back and has a strong second half.

Am I dreaming?

Ron, wake up, wake up!

Lookit, anything’s possible. You know, the mother of all cure-alls.

Note: Got lots of comments about my thoughts on firing Sandberg. Most said Amaro is the one who should be fired, not Sandberg.

Comments to: Philly@Ron-Costello.com

Mr. Terry has a new post and Dr. Seuss doesn’t  mind!

New blog: Mr. Ron’s Neighborhood.

See Ron’s first book.


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Papelbon Watched Bastardo Melt Down From the Bullpen

With a 4-1 lead, Bastardo, not Papelbon closed in the ninth.

With a 4-1 lead, Bastardo, not Papelbon closed in the ninth.

Who’s running this team?

Ready to sweep the Mets on Mother’s Day Sunday, the Phillies rolled into the ninth up 4-1.

If you’re Sandberg who do you bring in to close and sweep the series, sending the club back to Philly at .500?

A no brainer, Papelbon.

Not so fast. Sandberg brought in Bastardo.

It was a disgrace — and I bet after the game there was some grumbling in the Phillies’ clubhouse.

Why was it a disgrace? Because Papelbon was “resting” in the bullpen.

Papelbon closed both Friday and Saturday against the Mets.

Friday night he threw seven pitches.

Didn't Sandberg have the cojones to tell Sandberg to close?

Didn’t Sandberg have the gear to make Papelbon close?

Saturday night he threw 14 pitches. That’s 21 pitches if math isn’t your strong point.

Of course, he warmed up before both appearances, throwing what? Maybe 50–60 pitches at variable speeds? Thirty hard? But warm up throws are no where near the intensity as live game action.

Usually, in warm ups, they get loose and ready to go in.

The Phillies said Papelbon was tuckered out from throwing 21 pitches in two night games. He needed to rest — wait, rest? With two off days this week — Monday and Thursday —and another off day the following Monday?

In the 9th, Utley went to the mound to tell Bastardo to not pitch around Abreu.

In the 9th, Utley went to the mound to tell Hernandez to not pitch around Abreu.

That’s three days off over the next eight games.

He had to rest?

But in the same game, after Barstardo’s melt down, Sandberg brought in Roberto Hernandez — a starter who threw 99 pitches against the Mets on Friday.

So here’s the thing.

Just how did Sandberg approach the two pitchers? And, was money a factor?

Hamels threw 133 pitches to Papelbon's 21.

Hamels threw 133 pitches to Papelbon’s 21.

Papelbon is paid $13 million, Hernandez, $4.5 million.

Or didn’t Sandberg have the squeekers to tell Papelbon, “You’re closing.”

I’m starting to wonder.

Can he save this club?

Can he save this club?

One more thing.

In the ninth, when pinch hitter Bobby Abreu came to the plate.

Chase Utley went to the mound and told Hernandez not to pitch around Abreu.

Where was pitching coach Bob McClure? Where was Sandberg?

Utley, the second baseman, made the decision to pitch to Abreu?

Who’s running this team?