Getting to know the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies 2015 baseball season is all about who they trade and what they get in return.

This team isn’t going anywhere soon for at least the next few years, and they need to move their veteran players and salaries for blue chip prospects. If you’re a Phillies fan, you’re actually in a pretty good position because you can rebuild and when you assemble a good team eventually with your draft picks, you have the resourses to keep those players and begin a new legacy.

There’s the old saying General Managers have when trading players: Do it a year too soon and never a year too late.

Translation: Trade the good players when they are assets and you know are in decline. Not when they move past their peak and you can’t trade them for anything worthwhile. That was the Phillies problem in 2013-2014. They needed to move their aging playing and start rebuiling. But emotions towards their 2008 World Series championship and feelings for Jimmy Rollins etc… gave them the notiion that these players had one more good year in them.

So now they need to trade Cole Hanels, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ryan Howard (even though with his salary, no one will take him). And whomever they get back for these trades is how you chock up whether 2015 is a success or failure for the Phillies.

Getting to know the 2015 New York Mets

I have a soft spot for the Mets. In 1986, when I was 10 years old, my dad woke me up from my deep sleep on the couch to witness the Boston Red Sox finally winning the World Series. The game was basically in the bag as the Sox were up by 2 runs with 2 out and no one on base in the final inning. But the Mets had other plans and won a miraculous game that made me a baseball fan for life. Then after I read the book “The Bad Guys Won” about the 1986 Mets and their “unique” players, I realized how good it was to be a child and see things in such black and white terms. I wished I never read that book, eventhough it was a very good read.

Then in 1998, as I finished up my last year in schooling in New York City, I attended more than a few Mets games in their September pennant drive. I might have been bad luck because they blew their division lead and lost every game I watched them play in person. To make matters worse, the old Shea Stadium was a dump. Sorry Mets fans, but it was. But Shea is now gone and replaced by an underrated new stadium.

Presently, the Mets haven’t had a winning season in 5 years, and that’s shocking considering that they garner so much revenue being in the most populated market in North America, plus having reaped on all that new stadium money every team gets for the first few years. It’s that new stadium smell that drives new fans to the ballpark! You can only chock up their losing ways to mismanagement.

That will change in 2015 as the Mets have a solid pitching rotation to go with their average lineup. They just need some more power in their lineup to push them ahead, which they’ll get in a mid-season trade for one of their many pitching prospects.

They won’t win the division, but they will be battling in that Wild Card game. And that’s good for baseball. As the Yankees swing downward, the Mets go up. Baseball is always better when they have a winning New York team.

Gottta get on Sports Jeopardy!

They both played Left Field and First Base, had the same first name and went to the Hall of Fame 2 years apart with a 81.4% and 82.4%

That was a recent Final Jeopardy (Sports Edition) answer. Tough one. I couldn’t come up with it in time and neither did any of the 3 contestants on the shows.

What is the question to that answer?: Willy Stargell and Willy McCovey

Very much a Baby Boomer type question. I went blank on giving an answer because I had no idea Stargell also played left field for a time.

But, watching a few episodes of Sports Jeopardy on Crackle TV, which is hosted by my favorite Dan Patrick, I had to admit that I probably would do well on this show once I get through the nerves on being on that stage. I answer about 60% of the questions right away, plus I’m a long time fan of the original Jeopardy and I know what strategies to use when Daily Doubles come up.

I also downloaded the APP and have whipped the computer competition. Baseball and Football I’m a master at as I’ll answer 90% of any of those sports related questions. I’m better at Hockey than I thought too. I just need to get better at Basketball and any of the fringe sports like Volleyball, Horse Racing, Olympic events etc… that always come into play in every game.

I have realized that I know a lot about sports. Too bad most of the knowledge I have is really pointless and there’s really no use for it in today’s world. Except if you’re a contestant on Sport Jeopardy.

Go to http://www.sportsjeopardy.com/ to watch episodes and to be a contestant on the show.

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Matthew Toffolo

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes, Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Go to http://www.wildsound.ca and submit your film, script, or story to the festival.

Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com and watch recent and past winning writing festival readings.

Joe Madden is Great

The new manager of the Chicago Cubs is Joe Madden, and this is very good for baseball, by far my favorite sport and I root for whatever is the best way to bring more popularity to this game. And having the Chicago Cubs winning is was is easily the best thing for this game. When the Cubs are in the playoffs, the ratings go up and people pay attention. That’s the bottom-line. And if they do ever win the World Series, something they haven’t done since 1908, the ratings will be so high and there will be so much attention paid to this game, that I think FOX TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman’s heads will explode!

The Cubs are probably the 2nd most famous franchise in the league. The Yankees are first and the Red Sox and Cardinals are a close 3rd and 4th. What makes them interesting is that you can’t help but root for them. They are like when the Red Sox faced the Yankees in the 2003/04 ALCS, New York City was rooting for the Yankees as the rest of the world was rooting for the Sox. The Cubs are everyone’s favorite team with the exception of White Sox and Cardinal fans. We are desperate for them to win because it’s a great story.

Joe Madden is a great manager. I witnessed him manage my Blue Jays 19 times a year and the things he pulled off were truly amazing. I saw how he managed a series. He’s always looking for pull off at least 2 out of 3 games. Sometimes he’ll blow a game in the series to set up the other 2 wins because that’s what he needs to be a winning baseball team for 162 games. He’s always thinking 10 steps ahead and you can tell his players love playing for him.

Like Belichick in the NFL, you don’t know what you’re going to see on a given game. Of course some will argue that baseball managers have the least amount of influence on a game, but watch Madden manage for 162 games. He’ll change the outcome on at least 10 games a year. Just watch the Cubs this year. And now Madden’s in the National League, the non-DH league. Exactly where he belongs.

As a Blue Jay fan, I am SOOO happy he’s out of our division. The guy is great. Just see the Cubs begin to shine in the next couple of years. And it will be good for baseball.