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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Q&A with Phillies Nation

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Brian over at Phillies Nation about our division rivals in Philadelphia. We also answered a few questions about the Nationals for Phillies fans. Check it out!

What grade would you give the Phillies in terms of their actions around the trade deadline?

D. Although Kyle Lohse was an ok pickup, the Phils are in desperate need of relievers. I would have liked to see them pursue Eric Gagne.

Do you think there are any holes in the roster that you would like to see filled?

Relief pitching definitely. Add a few more arms to the bullpen, including a legitimate closer will allow Brett Myers to return to the rotation and bolster that area. Hamels, Myers, and Moyer will return, but the fate of Kyle Kendrick, Adam Eaton, Kyle Lohse are still up in the air. Offensively the Phils are set, though it would be nice to have an everyday third-baseman that can hit 10-20 homeruns.

Looking ahead to the offseason, what deals do you anticipate the Phillies making?

I think there might be a trade or two involving one of their youngsters, perhaps Michael Bourn. It depends on if they can resign Aaron Rowand who has been playing every bit like he’s in a contract year. Also not many people realize, that manager Charlie Manuel’s contract is up at the end of the season. A lot of fans dislike him, but players have always responded to him.

What impact has Utley's absence had on the team heading into the most important stretch of the season?

Surprisingly it has not been as bad as everyone thought. Tad Iguchi has been contributing offensively while adequately manning second base. The Phils have so many offensive weapons - Rollins, Howard, Rowand, and even Burrell - that subtracting Utley and his .336 average from the lineup hasn’t been a total disaster. However, Utley is one of those intangible players that brings something extra to the ballclub. As we approach September his leadership could be missed significantly.

What has been your favorite Phillies moment of the 2007 season?

I think it has to be when Shane Victorino provided the game-winning home run in extra-inning on Shane Victorino day. The Phils were giving away bobble-hip figurines of the Hawaiian-born Victorino and there were all sorts of festivities. As Harry Kalas said, “You couldn’t have scripted it any better.”

Who is your favorite player and why?

Cole Hamles. When kids go to bed they wear Superman pajamas; when Superman goes to bed he wears a Cole Hamels jersey.

What is your favorite Phillies moment of all-time?

The 1993 season was one I will never forget. The Phils don’t make the playoffs very often but when they do, it’s an amazing experience to be in Philly. The team had so many fun players that people could relate to like Kruk, Dykstra, Daulton, and Mitch Williams. Even though it ended in the most horrible of outcomes courtesy of Joe Carter, following them over that fun season was well worth it.

Which game do you prefer...AL or NL?

NL. I’m not a fan of the DH.

What are your thoughts on interleague play? Do you think the Phillies had a fair schedule?

They definitely had a fair schedule…well at least in that they finally produced a winning record in interleague play. I was kind of bummed we didn’t play the Red Sox this year though, that had started to become a fun tradition.

Would you like to see more interleague play in the second half of the season?

Nah, I like that the teams play a lot of divisional games toward the end of the season. Those are high-stakes and make for some quality baseball watching in August and September.

The Phillies are just 3 games behind the Mets and a half a game ahead of the Braves - what are your predictions for the rest of the season? How do you think the Phillies will finish?

2 games behind the Mets, but they will win the Wild Card

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