26 games into the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Phillies are hitting .256/.300/.361. It’s not the worst OPS for major league teams — the Marlins, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Nationals and A’s all fare worse — but it is pretty bad, particularly since the Phillies play in a better hitter’s ballpark than most of those other clubs. Their isolated slugging percentage of .105 is next to worst in the majors, barely ahead of the Nationals at .104. Even the light-hitting Padres are at .114 despite their Petco Park time.
So, I thought it’d be fun to take a glance at some of the players who compare best with these 2012 Phillies…. those who hit closest to .256/.300/.361 over significant careers.
Joe McEwing – .251/.302/.355 in nine seasons
Tom Pagnozzi – .253/.299/.359 in 12 seasons
Luis Sojo – .261/.297/.352 in 14 seasons
Gerald Laird – .242/.301/.360 in his 10th season
Billy Martin – .257/.300/.369 in 12 seasons
Jose Macias – .256/.298/.371 in seven seasons
So, yeah, the Phillies are even getting outslugged by Jose Macias. On the plus side, they’re not too far away from hitting like a Hall of Famer. Bill Mazeroski came in at .260/.299/.367 during his 17-year career.
Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.
Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.
The big item, though, is this one:
It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.
Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.
Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.
[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.
He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.
Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.