Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has a story today about the camaraderie of the Phillies’ bullpen. How they do things together and bond and all of the stuff that people inside the game say that successful bullpens always do.
The leader of that pack is Jonathan Papelbon. Who, as Salisbury notes, isn’t always thought of as a leader type. But he is. Indeed, he’s kind of like the leader of The Horsemen. The Ten Horsemen:
Papelbon is a pro wrestling aficionado. Over the last few weeks, he has given his mates in the bullpen nicknames to go along with pro wrestlers.
Diekman is Jake the Snake Roberts.
De Fratus is Goldust.
Giles is Diamond Dallas Page.
Martin is the Iron Sheik.
Hollands is Eddie Guerrero.
Mike Adams is The Hulk.
Antonio Bastardo is Rey Mysterio.
B.J. Rosenberg is Stone Cold.
Jeff Manship is Mankind.
Bullpen catchers Jesus Tiamo and Bob Stumpo are The Bushwhackers.
Bullpen coach Rod Nichols’ nickname is a classic — Vince McMahon.
Papelbon, of course, is Ric Flair.
What, you thought Jeff Manship would be the stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun?
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim