Friday morning musings

Here’s one from a columnist named Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he writes that it could be worse for the Cardinals and their fans during the current losing skid — they could be Phillies fans. Yeah, ouch.

Either way, Gordon doesn’t shed new light on anything. It’s included here because I thought it was interesting how the Phillies and their organization are viewed outside of the vortex of the Delaware Valley. Judging from the column, it’s safe to say that it’s not very different.

Meanwhile, the Phillies have won three games in a row, six of their last seven and eight of the last 10 games to climb out of oblivion to just 2 1/2 games off the pace in the wild-card race. That makes the Phillies and the Yankees the hottest teams in baseball.

And to think, all it took was a little trade for both teams.

Ex-Phillie watch
Vicente Padilla, who general manager Pat Gillick shipped to Texas for, well, nothing, during the off season, was picked up for a suspected DUI last night.

Soapbox time: As a father of a two-year-old boy and uncle to three kids all under the age of three, irresponsibility while driving is very troublesome — and this has nothing to do with Padilla because he hasn’t been indicted and is only a suspect. Nevertheless, it’s hard to have any sympathy for jackass drivers who could do damage to themselves or a child. I’ve lost one too many friends because of car accidents that could have been avoided.

Rant over.

Back to Padilla — now does everyone understand why the Phillies cast him out for nothing? Certainly, Padilla’s habits in Philadelphia were no secret and this doesn’t take into account his fitness, or lackthereof. In fact, a bunch of writers knew that the team was going to let him walk as early as last September when the Phillies were still in the wild-card race and Padilla was pitching quite well. But whether he pitched well or not, the enigmatic Nicaraguan just wasn’t worth the trouble.

Padilla definitely has a few demons brewing beneath the surface. After all, he was in the car during a car accident in his native Nicaragua where his best friend was killed a few years ago. Through it all, the Phillies always denied — at least officially — that Padilla had a problems. It always seemed as if the Phillies were more concerned about touting Padilla’s potential as a pitcher than anything else. Yes, he was very talented — actually, there was a time when hitters feared Padilla like no other pitcher. I still remember Padilla coming four outs away from a no-hitter in a game at the Vet against the Diamondbacks.

But Padilla, from a severely rural and poor upbringing in Nicaragua, never really knew how to fit in with his teammates on the Phillies or the media. He spoke English and could communicate with teammates, but often refused to do it. Sometimes it seemed as if he was from another planet.

Lets hope the Rangers are less worried about what Padilla can do on the mound and help him get himself together.

More Abreu trade fodder
In today’s edition of Baseball Prospectus, Jim Baker wrote a story about how Bobby Abreu and his penchant for drawing a walk per game makes the Yankees almost unbeatable. Almost.

Here’s a graf from the opus:

I’m not saying that Abreu in and of himself makes the Yankees unbeatable, but he assures them of having more of the type of individual games where the records show teams have a much easier time winning. Ideally, that is what all deadline deals should do for those in competition.

Abreu had another multi-hit game for the Yankees last night and the Bombers are undefeated since his arrival. Based on wins and losses it appears as if the trade worked out well for both clubs.

Reading:

  • Lidle’s First Win as Yankee Comes With a Sweet RewardThe New York Times
    Looks like the Yankees like ice cream, too.
  • Best Hitters Still Chasing Yankee ClipperThe New York Times
    Every one is taking notice of Chase Utley.
  • Abreu Is Just the Latest to Get in Line for a RingThe New York Times
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