Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bleacher Report Round-Up: Bold Predictions, Role Model Players, and Spellbinding Teams

As teams gear up for the 2012 season, there has been no shortage of surprises this winter. Perhaps the biggest surprise has been the ineptitude of super agent Scott Boras, who was forced to settle for a one-year deal for former Philadelphia Phillies' closer Ryan Madson (with the Cincinnati Reds) and has yet to find homes for two of the winter's top talents: Prince Fielder and Edwin Jackson.

But the free agent log jam runs much deeper than that. Powerful first baseman Carlos Pena has yet to find a home, and Roy Oswalt is still looking for the right opportunity. Brad Lidge is out to prove he still has something left in the tank, as the baseball world waits to see whether or not the Texas Rangers have their ace in Yu Darvish.

The moral of the story: Stay tuned. Normally during this time of year, we're trying to figure out which budget conscious free agents are going to find new homes, but there are still big fish to fry. As you wait and wonder, here are a couple of slideshows that I wrote for Bleacher Report during the week.

1.) Bold Predictions For Every Phillies' Player

This slideshow kicked up a bit of a stir, as we debate what actually constitutes as a "bold" prediction. Is a bold prediction an outlandish statement with a remote possibility of coming true? Perhaps a bold prediction is a statement that shows change in a player. Maybe a bold prediction is a reason to be cautiously optimistic or prepared for the inevitable failures of a certain player.

So in this slideshow, I've made predictions for every player that projects to be on the Phillies' 25-man roster, including why I believe that Chase Utley is still an elite second baseman, and why Mike Stutes still has a lot to prove at the MLB level.

2.) 25 Philadelphia Phillies Your Kids Can Look Up To

The title says it all. This slideshow features 25 players that your kids should be looking up to for various reasons, including building character, learning how to play the game, and showing passion for the game of baseball.

This list features a wide range of players, from current stars to Hall of Famers, and from fiery, pesky shortstops to a future United States Senator.

3.) Philadelphia Phillies: 25 Most Spellbinding Teams in Franchise History

If you want to take a look at some of the great moments in Phillies' history, I would suggest scrolling through this slideshow, were I take a look at 25 of the best teams in franchise history, and give you ample reason as to why the fans couldn't peel their eyes away from them.

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