• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...
  • Josh BeckettYesterday, I watched Pat Burrell AND Ryan Howard leg out triples. This was Howard’s fifth career triple and Burrell’s 12th, though only his third since 2003. There is almost nothing more enjoyable than watching slow guys leg out triples. I remember watching Sean Casey go from home to third last year for his first triple since 2004. When he got there, gasping for breath and grinning from ear to ear, his teammates mocked him from the dugout. You would have thought Casey was wearing his underwear outside his pants for all the grief he got. Glorious.
  • My friend Kevin is a Red Sox fan. I’m a Phillies fan. I asked him who was pitching today and he looked it up on his computer. “John Lester and Jamie Moyer,” he said. “Oh, good,” I said. “Moyer’s old, but I love him. He almost threw a no-hitter his last time out.” “You know who did throw a no-hitter this season?” Kevin asked. What a jerk.
  • Chase Utley is in a funk. He’s 0 for his last 12. You can tell, he’s just not swinging the bat with any confidence. Yesterday he went 0-5. He did pick up an RBI, but it was on a check-swing ground ball. Fortunately, Ryan Howard picked up Utley’s slack, hitting two homers and a triple. That’s what is so dangerous about this Phillies team. They’ve got four guys who are legit stars (Howard, Rollins, Utley and Burrell) and on any given night one or two of them can carry the load.
  • Watching the Phillies play the Sox, I couldn’t help but think that there’s much less of a talent gap between the two teams than there was as recently as last season. Philadelphia has improved with the addition of Brad Lidge and Pedro Feliz. And Boston, minus Big Papi, just isn’t the same offensive juggernaut. Right now, I’d still give Boston an advantage in a seven game series, because I think their starting pitching is a little stronger. But that could change if the Phillies acquire a pitcher like Rich Harden or Erik Bedard.
  • Brett MyersI’m starting to think the Phils should trade for Rich Harden or Erik Bedard (preferably Harden, because Bedard seems like he is no fun). This Phillies team is good enough to win now. And there’s no guarantee that next year’s team will be as strong. Burrell is a free agent and while he says he wants to stay, it’s unclear if the Phils will be willing to spend $15 million a year to keep him. Lidge will be a free agent, and he’ll probably go where the money is. So why not go for broke? It would probably mean trading one of the team’s promising young starters (Carasco or Outman), but Harden is one of the most dominant pitchers around when healthy. It would be a gamble, but one that could pay huge dividends.
  • My dad asked an interesting question the other day: would a team like the Oakland A’s or Cleveland Indians be willing to take Brett Myers as part of a trade for Harden or C.C. Sabathia? I don’t know the answer to that, but my instinct is no. Myers comes with too much baggage and he’s scheduled to make $12 million in 2009, so the Phils would probably have to eat a lot of his salary to make him appealing to another team. I don’t see that happening. Also, Myers is a free agent after 2009 and teams will be looking to acquire younger guys who will be under team control for much longer than that.

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