Buzz: Phillies seek Ace to Replace Myers

The Phillies announced yesterday that Brett Myers will miss the rest of the season recovering from hip surgery.

As such, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com believes the Phillies will look to acquire a ‘top-of-the-rotation type,’ such as M’s LHP Erik Bedard or Astros RHP Roy Oswalt, since they do not have the money to pursue multiple mid-level pitchers.

…i know the Mets need a bat, especially if the Phillies are hell-bent on getting an ace, but i wonder if Omar Minaya will redirect his mission and look to get in the Phillies way by seeking a pitcher as well, you know, Epstein-Cashman style… given Citi Field’s play, and the Mets ability to play small ball of late, i believe it makes more sense to focus on improving the pitching staff, bench and defense, than the offense anyway

To keep up with Phillies trade rumors, check out MLB Trade Rumors.

Read: The Other Manuel

In an article for the New York Times, David Waldstein relays Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel’s thoughts on the Mets and being in first place.

Before yesterday’s game, Charlie said, “I think if we can put a few whippings on them, it would be good, I think that will bring out the best in everything.”

On being in first place, he is quoted by Weindstein saying, “If you notice, sometimes a team will get a five-game lead in our division, they’ll get caught real quick.”

…i really don’t understand why the Phillies are always ribbing the Mets…it’s like the league has sour grapes against a team who hasn’t even been to a world series in nine years…

Added to by Mike Nichols…

…i’ve noticed the Phillies fans, and even their players to a certain extent, are for more concerned about the Mets, than we are about the Phillies…which is funny, because they have gotten the best of us the last two years…Phillies fans love to talk trash, but are never confident in their ability to beat the Mets on a head-to-head basis…

…i heard from many of my friends that are Phillies fans this week, and none of thought they would win a game against the Mets this week and even thought the Mets would have taken two-of-three last weekend…which is odd, you would think it would be the other way around with the Phillies being the reigning champs…

Quote: Madsen says Mets and Phills are Oil and Water

In a post to his blog for the News Journal, Scott Lauber relays a conversation he had with Phillies reliever Ryan Madsen regarding the Mets and Phillies.

Madsen, as quoted by Lauber:

“Some of the guys on their team just wouldn’t fit in our clubhouse, and some of the guys here just wouldn’t fit with their guys.  That’s just how it is… It’s one of those things where it’s like two totally different mentalities, two different attitudes, everything.  We just don’t believe in the same things. Our two teams, it’s like oil and water.”

According to Lauber, “Madson didn’t come right out and say it, but the implication was clear.  There is just something about the makeup of this Phillies team – call it ‘heart,’ call it ‘mental toughness,’ call it whatever you want – that the Mets simply don’t seem to have.”

…i believe the word you are looking for ryan is ‘edge,’ or lackthereof, like Omar Minaya alluded to on Friday, here, then backtracked from later that night, here

Health: Utley confident about Opening Day

According to MLB.com, Phillies 2B Chase Utley is optimistic that he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Utley went 2-for-4 with a double in a minor league game on Saturday, felt fine the next morning, and played in his first Grapefruit League game on Sunday, going hitless in two at bats.

“I think we’re right on track,” Utley told reporters on Sunday.  “The more I play, the better I feel, the more optimistic I am.  As long as we continue to have no setbacks like we haven’t had so far, I don’t see why we won’t be ready for Opening Day.”

Utley had surgery on his hip last November.

News: Tatis's Hand, Cole's Comments, Media, etc.

According to the Associated Press, Fernando Tatis was scratched from yesterday’s intra-squad game due to a sore right hand.

Tatis said he expects to be ready to play Tuesday, though he is not in either starting lineup.

Phillies RHP Cole Hamels had the following to say on WIP Radio in Philadelphia, when asked to define the word ‘choke,’ as it pertains to sports:

“The word ‘choke’ means you weren’t able to fully come through when you were supposed to… I think the Mets had the top teams [the last two seasons].  They pretty much had the championships in the bag and they weren’t able to come through… A lot of guys will perceive them as choking in the end and not fulfilling their end of the bargain, because they should have taken it.  You know what?  It really does show the strength and hard work, and I guess the deep down guts that we have to take it away from them.”

3306500836_b4ecb3d2c1In a post to his blog for the New York Post, Joel Sherman says Oliver Perez has become Johan Santana’s ‘special project,’ since the end of last year, according to Dan Warthen.

“Maybe for the first time in Ollie’s life he’s ready to listen and Johan is there to help,” Warthen told Sherman.

yesterday, i watched santana and perez throw dueling bullpen sessions under the watchful eye of warthen… after which the three talked off the mound in private for some time

Ben Shpigel of the New York Times writes a profile of Mets 3B coach Razor Shines, who has been hard to miss this spring as he broadcasts jokes, encouragement and criticism from behind the pitching machine.

“His enthusiasm, energy and knowledge are critical in what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Manuel told Shpigel about Shines.

Lastly, speaking of Manuel, in Newsday, David Lennon does a great job of explaining how Manuel uses the media to his advantage, which Steve Popper adds to on his blog for the Bergen Record, pulling from his days covering Pat Reilly and the Knicks.

Note: Phillies "Exclusive" Tix Pre-Sale

If you are interested, the Phillies are currently holding an exclusive pre-sale for single game tickets.

You can purchase tickets during this exclusive sale until 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, February 18, by clicking here.

…last april i had the opportunity to meet up with cerrone, ted berg, and several readers from the blog at a Mets-Phillies game in philly and it was pure entertainment…it’s nice seeing a visitor’s stadium full of Mets fans, especially in philly, even if you’re fearing for your life…

Note: Phillies can Talk all They Want

Paul Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer had choice words for the Mets, and Phillies RHP Bret Myers responded to Francisco Rodriguez’s team-to-beat statement, according to the Adam Rubin of the Daily News.

… i can tell from the e-mail people send me that they expect me to be all hot and bothered by this stuff… but, the fact is, i just don’t care… the Phillies can say whatever they want… and we, and the team, need to take it… the only way it stops is by the Mets winning… end of story… so, K-Rod, and whomever else wants to talk smack from Tradition Field, zip it… please, prove your value on the field with actions, not words…

Outfield: Phillies agree to deal with Ibanez

The Phillies and outfielder Raul Ibanez have agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal, reports Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com.

According to Rosenthal, and multiple reports throughout the week, the Mets, Cubs, Nationals and Angels had also expressed interest in signing Ibanez.

In November, ESPN’s Jayson Stark wrote that at least 12 teams had been interested, including every team in the NL East.

On Tuesday, Rosenthal wrote that members of the Mets front office had been spotted meeting with Ibanez’s agents at a restaurant inside the Bellagio.

Ibanez played in all 162 games this season, and hit .293 with 23 HR, 110 RBI and a .358 OBP.

He has hit at least .280 with 20 HR and a .350 OBP during each of the last four seasons with the Mariners.

Stark also quoted a team official as describing Ibanez by saying, “Character. Proven run producer.  In better shape than a lot of 25-year-olds.  And he’ll play hard every day, every game, every second he has the uniform on.”

In November, however, Rosenthal said Mets officials wanted to add ‘a right-handed bat,’ instead, adding, ‘The Mets are not high on Pat Burrell, and Ibanez is not an ideal fit.’

Quote: Cole Hamels says Mets are Choke Artists

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, when asked if the Phillies believe the Mets are ‘choke artists,’ said the following, during an interview with WFAN in New York today:

“Last year and this year we did believe that.  I think three years ago we didn’t, because they smoked everybody and I thought that was the year they would go to the World Series – and unfortunately that didn’t happen.  But, you know, that’s kind of what we believe and what we’re gonna always believe until they prove us wrong.  Yeah, over the last two years they’ve been choke artists.”

Darryl Strawberry, regarding Hamels’s quote, while co-hosting today on WFAN’s Mike’d Up, said:

“That’s sad… If we had a team say that about us – oh, no – they were gonna be in trouble… I mean, it would definitely be hard if, in the days us playing, if somebody said that, I mean, we’d have stuck one right in his neck.  We’d be fighting.  There’s no way any one would be allowed to disrespect us like that, and that is what has happened to the Phillies.”