Sunday, March 10, 2019

Get them now before they are gone! Harper's Topps Now Limited edition

Just got an email from Topps about a limited run production Bryce Harper baseball card called "Topps Now" with his Phillies debut! - and it's only available for 24 hours from 11 AM Eastern today on Sunday March 10th, 2019.

TOPPS NOW started in 2016 and has showcased great moments on cards, and it will chronicle Harper's first year in Philadelphia and every other great MLB moment this season.

Find the card here to order!

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Sold out crowd welcomes Harper to the baseball diamond in Clearwater

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An extra spark was added to the air with the addition of Bryce Harper, who made his Phillies debut today at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. Phillies pitcher, Jake Arrieta got the call for this game on the mound, his second of the Spring Training season.

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We also got to see an old friend on the Blue Jays by the name of Freddie Galvis, who joined the Jays in the off-season. Galvis previously played for the Padres, he signed with the Blue Jays for one year at $4M with a team option for 2020 for $5.5M or a $1M buyout. Freddie was with the Phillies for 6 seasons before being traded to the Padres on 12-15-17 for Enyel De Los Santos.

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Harper batted third in the game, with Rhys Hoskins in the clean-up spot. A sold out crowd filled Spectrum Field to bear witness to Harper's first official baseball game appearance on the Phillies, even though this is Spring Training. Bryce strolled to the strains of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme music for his first at bat. What did he do on his first AB as a Phillie? Well, he walked of course. Last year Harper walked 130 times, his most of his career. Rhys Hoskins promptly homered him in, with his first AB. B Harp would go on to have 2 BB in the game with the 1 R scored on the Hoskins HR.

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The Phils poured it on today coming from a 7-0 deficit, but ended up losing this game 8-7, but with all the substitutions that were made in this game, it only reminded fans that this is Spring Training. Arrieta only pitched 1.2 innings, he was followed by 6 pitchers. The Phils record went to 8-6 with the loss so far this Spring Training season.

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Brian Dawkins, a fan favorite Philadelphia Eagles player, spoke to the Phillies players for an hour prior to game time. He stressed that the game is in the player's hands, not to rely on the manager to make things happen. B Dawk also introduced the Phillies to the sold-out crowd at Spectrum Field.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Harper to debut on Saturday with Phillies

Harper launches one in preparation for the real thing on Saturday

A new era will take shape tomorrow for the Phillies, as the debut of Bryce Harper is expected for a Spring Training game. Harper's signing was covered by the press as perhaps the biggest signing of the off-season and the Phillies just happened to be the team to end up with him.

I was very doubtful that Harper would end up here, for one thing he'll be staying in the National League East and playing his old team upwards of 19 times this season. Last year the Phillies faltered badly against their NL East opponents. They finished up the season with a losing series record against the NL East winner, Atlanta Braves, with a 7-12 record, and the Washington Nationals with a 8-11 series record. This must improve if the Phils are to to better this season. The Phils even ended up with an 8-11 record against the NY Mets.

Last year, the Phillies recorded a blazing first half record of 53-42, then the wheels fell off in the second half of the season for some unknown reason. Can the addition of Bryce Harper improve on this for the Phils? The Phillies organization thinks so and sunk a ton of money into Harper long term assuming that will happen.

What can we expect from Bryce Harper this season? The teams that he has been on in Washington were very close to doing great things but it just didn't happen with them. There was talk about Dusty Baker possibly being a reason for the 'can't get over the hump' ways of the Nats, and the previous managers, Davey Johnson, and even Matt Williams. In the end it was the players on the field though, and Harper was a part of that.

Harper is projected to bat .265 this season, I hope that number will be higher. The HR projection is 27 and 87 RBI for this year. That number would be fine, but again I think there should be more. We'll see what happens. Harper is one of those rare players that was brought up at a young age. He's been in the league for 7 seasons and is still only 26 years old, he turns 27 on October 16th.

Harper is no Mike Trout, let's not forget that. He's an above average player that can do a lot of things, maybe he'll be the catalyst that the Phillies need to get them on an even offensive field and get them to be consistent. Maybe he'll be the leader in the clubhouse, the Phillies have needed someone like that as they really didn't have a real leader with experience. Bryce Harper even did a little scouting on his own and probably didn't mean anything by it, but ended up in trouble with the MLB with his comments about the Phils possibly adding Trout in the future.

The new era of the Phillies starts tomorrow, with Bryce Harper, I am kind of happy about it, even though if I were the owner of the Phils, I probably wouldn't have signed Harper for that much money. I am not though, just happily typing my opinions out at this blog and a longtime Phillies fan. What do you think about the signing and the future of the Phillies with the Bryce Harper era? Send me your thoughts via the Speakpipe link! Or type me a comment about it here!

Thursday, March 07, 2019

NBC Sports Philadelphia to broadcast 147 games this season

Shame on you if you don't get the NBC Sports Philadelphia channel, as they will be airing 147 games this season with some of the familiar names that we have been familiar with over the past couple years. Of course Tom McCarthy is joined by John Kruk, Ben Davis, and Gregg Murphy (this is the third season for this crew). Mike Schmidt will be back for the home games on Sunday, the "Sundays with Schmidt" will feature the Hall of Famer in the booth.

Here's the press announcement with links to the games that will be broadcast and other pertinent information:

PHILADELPHIA-(March 6, 2019)– NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Home of the Authentic Fan, announces the Philadelphia Phillies regular season broadcast schedule with 147 games on NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Philadelphia+, with an additional 12 games airing on NBC10. The broadcast team of Tom McCarthyJohn KrukBen Davis and Gregg Murphy return for their third season calling games. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt returns for Sunday’s with Schmidt during Sunday home games this season.

When Bryce Harper and the 2019 Phillies take the field for the first time on Opening Day, NBC Sports Philadelphia will air a special hour-long Phillies Pregame Live from Citizens Bank Park with Michael Barkann (@MBarkannNBCS) and Ricky Bottalico. Fans can catch the latest developments, interviews, and game preview starting at 2 p.m. Immediately following the game, Phillies Postgame Live will give viewers an in-depth game breakdown with stats and highlights, clubhouse interviews and a preview of the next game. 

NBC10 will air the Phillies season opener against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, March 28 at 3 p.m.

NBC Sports Philadelphia+’s first game broadcast is on Saturday, March 30 at 4 p.m. against Atlanta. Phillies Pregame Live airs at 3 p.m., with Phillies Postgame Live airing immediately after the game.

Key games and dates can be found on, and the full broadcast schedule on

For the first time ever, Phillies game broadcasts will be available via live stream for authenticated subscribers on the new MyTeams app.  In addition to live game coverage, the new MyTeams app provides comprehensive Phillies coverage from NBC Sports Philadelphia’s team of Phillies insiders, writers, producers and game talent including Jim Salisbury(@JSalisburyNBCS), and Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS). Download the app here: MyTeams.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s At the Yard: A Phillies Podcast from Salisbury and Seidman features exclusive interviews, analysis and insight on the Phillies. At the Yard is currently listed in Apple Podcasts Top 200 sports/recreation podcast lists.  Download the podcast here.

Phillies fans should follow @NBCSPhilly on all social media channels for exclusive articles, videos, podcasts and photos all-season long. 

Monday, March 04, 2019

Harper takes the Phillies into "The Show"

We're taking the stage along with Bryce Harper as Phillies fans, not only does Bryce have an impact in the Philly area, but with all of his product endorsements, it serves as a way to possibly add to the Phillies fan base by just Harper's appearances with certain products.

Sony Playstation has officially released what the "MLB The Show" video game will look like when it is released by the end of the month just in time for the start of baseball.

What other products does Harper lend his name to in exchange for the big bucks? Under Armour has Bryce Harper under contract for the next several years, it was one of the biggest signings that was reported to be one of the highest paying endorsement contracts ever for a baseball player.

Harper also pitches for Gatorade and New Era among a few others.

Harper already was in the running for top paid baseball players, here's an article with last year's highest paid players in the game.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Harper already does the right thing on introduction

Bryce Harper's number 34 was synonymous with his own brand for many years, when the possibility existed of him joining the Phillies, a guy who wasn't a Phillie for too long but had left an endearing mark with the team just happened to share that number jersey.

The late Roy Halladay swooped into Phillies history with astounding performances and a tremendous work ethic that lasts and has a special place in the hearts of Phillies fans forever. Halladay's tragic passing in a plane crash was a real shame, Roy's work after he retired from the game, was just starting when it came to baseball after his career.

Roy Halladay's numbers career:

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA GS IP Awards
16 Y16 Y16 Y203105.6593.383902749.1
162 162 162 179.6593.3833232
TOR TOR TOR 14876.6613.432872046.2
PHI PHI PHI 5529.6553.25103702.2
AL (AL (AL (14876.6613.432872046.2
NL (NL (NL (5529.6553.25103702.2
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/3/2019.

When Bryce Harper was introduced officially yesterday, he acknowledged Roy in a way that really touched the hearts of Phillies fans and helped pull him closer into the section reserved for other Phillie players that will be loved forever by the fans. A classy move by him in taking the number 3 jersey for his first year as a Phillies player went a long way to fans who were on the fence about what they perceive to think about Harper.

Harper's signing went down to the wire, many teams were in the running for him, but the Phillies ended up signing him for the rest of his career. Where does Harper sit though among the superstars of baseball? Yes, he's a very good player but let's take a look at his stats so far in his career:

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI Awards
7 Yr7 Yr7 Yr927330661092218318184521
162 162 162 1625781071613233291
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/3/2019.

The next few years of Harper's career should even better what we've seen from him so far, and the Phillies plunked down $330M for 13 years based upon that assumption. Yes, Harper is one of the top tier players in the game, but looking at his numbers, they don't overwhelm you with out of the stratosphere type of play like Mike Trout's would. It will be interesting to see what happens in the 2019 season, the forecast is for 27 HR and 87 RBI this year - but some other things that the Phillies needed was a bona fide leader in the club house, maybe Harper will be that guy. He's got plenty of experience and he's got a strong will to win.

Ticket sales jumped upon the signing of Harper, the cash register has already started to ring for the Phillies. They've made some important moves this off-season and if starting pitching holds up, there is no reason to believe they will ascend to first place in the league as they did last year. It's an exciting time for Phillies fans no doubt, the season is a few weeks away from starting but the excitement is starting to build. 

Friday, March 01, 2019

Now that we have Harper on the Phillies

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Yesterday was a very important day in Phillies history, the Phils going out and getting perhaps the most sought after free agent on the market, Bryce Harper. It's a departure of the management style of the Phillies, who for years had been controlled by a group of limited partners. One of these partners has now taken the wheel of the Phillies ship, John Middleton. Middleton's moves have been fairly bold since he appears as the part owner who is calling the shots. Yes, we've had free agents of high stature before, but none signed for as long as Harper's reported 13-year deal for $330M dollars.

Bryce Harper will be an exciting Phillies player, that is no doubt. His commitment to baseball and the way he approaches the game is exactly the kind of player that the Phillies need. A player who grinds it out and has a deep desire to win. Harper had come close with the Nationals to being on a team that was a winner, but there were things missing. Is his addition to the Phillies the thing that the Phillies have been missing the past few seasons?

Yesterday morning I sent out a tweet from my FightinPhillies twitter feed on the Phillies odds of winning the World Series from the betting halls. The odds at 7 am yesterday were 14-1 for the Phils, I am thinking those odds just took a hit. The Phils have moved closer to assembling a mega team with the additions they have made in the off-season.

Hear all about the signing of Bryce Harper on NBC Sports Philadelphia, this was yesterday's lineup of talk about it, and more info will be forthcoming on the press conference of the official announcement:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Back to the diamond, hard to believe Spring Training is underway

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Jake Arrieta looks to a better season with the Phillies this year

The Phillies are back on the field in Clearwater and within the blink of an eye, we are on the doorstep of yet another baseball season now that the Spring Training season has kicked off. Does it feel like a whole off-season has went by already? This was one of the fastest times for me between the end of the season and today.

What we saw today was a very different Phillies team with some exciting players that aren't named Harper or Machado. The Phils really picked up some good players with promise with
Realmuto, McCutchen, and Segura. Do the Phillies need anymore upgrades? Tonight, the wild rumors persisted, the Phils were still pursuing Harper with the owner John Middleton apparently still courting Harper late today.

One thing that I really like about the Spring Training of baseball is that there isn't a long wait until games actually begin. Unlike football, where there is a long period of training and conditioning before games generally start, baseball is kind of an opposite of that. Players are expected to be in playing condition upon reporting and the games just get underway.

Hearing John Kruk, Tom McCarthy, and Ben Davis call the game was good as well. Kruk grew his hair just a bit and of course we had to put up with Murph's interview, that may be a bit interesting but has no place going so long during a game. We are tuning in to hear and watch the game. Save that interview stuff with people in the stands for Phillies Weekly that they run on occasion.

Well, let's take just a bit about the game. It was the Phillies taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates, or my old buddy and friend who started off the Phillies Talk Podcast, Mr. James Mulry, would refer to as 'those pesky Pittsburgh Pirates who seem to always play pretty good despite not having a roster of superstars. Yes, they did beat the Phillies today.

We'll see some players on the team that don't make it on the team, this could be the closest they ever come to playing for the big club. So, it's always interesting to take note of those things as well when these 'meaningless' games are played. It's just more than a month from now when the games will count and the long road from late March to the end of October begins for a new baseball season.

A lot to talk about so, I hope you'll stop back frequently and even leave a comment or two this season. Check out the offer below for ESPN+

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Do the Phillies actually need Machado or Harper?

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The story is getting so old now it's a shame. Everyday for months now, we've been hearing about the saga of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper and the possibility of them joining up with the Phils this year.

What is the benefit of getting either player? Well, they are very good ballplayers. Are they actually worth all of the money that we're hearing they will be paid? In the long term deals that each are seeking, it probably will be a negative thing years down the line.

The Phillies aren't really ready for either player in my opinion. They haven't been in contention for a while and even though they have showed some promise last year, the likelihood of adding a superstar player and ending up with a playoff team is possible, but not guaranteed. Look at Mike Trout and the Angels, they are a team with perhaps the best player in baseball but they can't make the playoffs.

A superstar player sometimes comes with a lot of baggage. In my opinion, Harper and Machado will both bring a lot of baggage to any team that they go to. Both players have been in some high profile situations that haven't been all that endearing to them.

Take Machado's "I'm no Johnny Hustle guy" comment, that is an instant red flag for Phillies fans. He's one of the pampered guys of the game. You hustle each and every play, we don't need a player like Manny with an attitude like his.

If I were John Middleton, I would withdrawal any offer to either of them, the Phils have a fairly solid team built for 2019, I don't think that the addition of Machado or Harper make them that much better. I'd rather go out and get a decent starting pitcher to add to the rotation and the impact of that might even be better for this team.

Soon, the Machado Harper circus will be over, and the baseball season will begin, the story will fade and thank goodness, I for one, am so tired of hearing about both players and where they will end up at this point.

Friday, February 15, 2019

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