Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hamels and Diekman to Texas, we get prospects

Still don't know why the Phillies have the need to jettison Hamels, but prospects are like mining for gold, it's not always going to work out

The term prospect in baseball is thrown around a lot, and it usually means just that. A baseball prospect is someone who may be able to play the game really well, but there is a wait and see attached to it.

The Phillies will announce today that Cole Hamels, longtime Phillies ace, will be dealt to the Texas Rangers along with Jake Diekman for a bunch of Texas Rangers prospects. The Phillies also will send $9.5M cash to the Rangers, as reported last night by Jim Callis, MLB baseball writer.

It hardly seems right to send cash along with an ace like Hamels and reliever Diekman, but that's what the Phillies are doing.

What do the Phillies get in return? A bunch of prospects and Matt Harrison. Harrison has a 6.75 ERA in 3 games along with 2 losses for the Rangers. Harrison also has a career 4.21 ERA so that isn't very inspiring to know. The prospects are: Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro.

The SF Giants made a late inquiry to get Hamels, according to Ken Rosenthal, but no deal was made.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Papelbon, though traded won't be a stranger to Philly

Pap will trade in his Phillies 'P' for a 'W' now down in Washington

Jonathan Papelbon finally found a new team that he wanted to be traded to, it's none other than the Phillies division rivals, Washington Nationals.

It's not unprecedented, quality closers have been traded before among division rivals, but the notion that the Phillies are now going to face one of the top closers of the game is now something that may happen often against Papelbon's old team.

The last time a relief pitcher of Papelbon's quality went between division rivals was when the Phillies saw Billy Wagner sign as a free agent with the Mets back in 2006. Wagner had a 1.51 ERA in 2005 for the Phillies and recorded 38 saves.

In 2006 with the Mets, Wagner was the closer deep into the playoffs, but in 3 game appearances in the NLCS for the Mets, Wagner faltered, and turned in a 16.88 ERA giving up 7 H and 5 ER in the process as the Mets lost to the Cardinals in that series that did go 7 games.

Another blockbuster trade between NL East rivals of course was the time when the NY Mets sent closer Tug McGraw to the Phillies. On December 3 1974, Tug was traded to the Phillies by the Mets and went on to have a great career that culminated with a 1980 World Series victory for the Phillies with Tug closing out the win for the team. McGraw's ERA in 1980 was 1.46 in 57 G with the Phils. In the 1980 World Series, Tug's ERA was a stingy 1.17 in 4 G and 7.2 IP, he did have 8 BB and 10 SO in the World Series for the Phils.

So Jonathan Papelbon will be travelling through Philadelphia at least a few more times this season, and many times next year as it was announced that the Nationals would be extending Papelbon's contract into 2016.

His act has now taken onto a new city, in the process of staying for just short of 4 years in Philly, he became the Phillies all-time saves leader with a total of 123. Ocho Cinco is not a member of the Phillies anymore, but we will be seeing him quite often and that's a bit daunting.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cole Hamels pitches only the 13th No-Hitter in Phillies History

Smiles again on the field for the Phils as Hamels goes into the history books with no-hitter

The No-Hitter is one of the rarest occurrences in baseball for a franchise. This is especially true in Phillies history as Cole Hamels fired the 13th no-hitter in the history of Phillies baseball that began back in 1883.

Think about it, it's only the 13th time this has happened in the past 133 years, that's pretty special indeed. Cole's game against the Cubs yesterday becomes an instant classic.

The last no-hitter occured last year, it was a combined no-hitter that was thrown by Cole Hamels, who pitched 6 innings, then the bullpen of Diekman, Giles, and Papelbon. That was the first combined no-hitter ever in the history of Phillies baseball on September 1, 2014 against the Atlanta Braves.

No-hitters can be elusive for a team, the longest amount of time to pass between no-hitter games for the Phillies was 58 years from May 1, 1906 when Johnny Lush pitched his left handed (the first lefty for the Phils to do it) no-hitter, to June 21, 1964 when Jim Bunning broke the streak of not having a Phillies no-hitter thrown.

The most no-hitters for a career were thrown by Nolan Ryan, he has 5 total no-hitters to his credit over the course of his career.

Cole Hamels now has two no-hitters for the Phillies, he ties Roy Halladay who has two no- hitters (one was a perfect game) for the Phils in 2010. Roy had the Perfect Game (which is the most rare no-hitter that includes no walks) in May against the Florida Marlins, then in October of 2010 in his first postseason start, he threw a no-hitter against the Reds that was only the 2nd postseason no-hitter ever thrown.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Should Phillies fans cut Jonathan Papelbon a break?

Smiles as the Phillies win 5-4 in extras today

We've heard it all too much, the Phillies fan base are apparently fed up with the All-Star closer, Jonathan Papelbon.

It's true that Jonathan Papelbon wanted to come here to win, he came to Philadelphia for a lot of money also. But where did things go all wrong with someone who has the most Phillies saves ever?

Well, to start off, J Pap has his peculiar ways. You could even go as far to say strange ways. He looks as if he just stepped off of another planet sometimes in interviews after a game and just in general, he's a bit odd.

He gets the job done on the field though, and with all of those saves, he has earned the all-time record for the total amount of Phillies saves now at 123 as of today's win at Citizen's Bank Park. So I am still examining why we don't as fans see eye to eye with a great Phillies pitcher like Papelbon.

There was the incident, with the fan or fans who heckled Pap from the stands. It never was reported what was said, but if you've ever sat around them, some baseball fans can get very abusive when they hurl insults in the direction of a player on the field. There was a grab by Pap towards the fan, and of course the grab was described as being one that was obscene in nature as well.

That move wasn't directed at every Phillies fan, mind you, but it was taken out of context by fans who didn't appreciate it. From that moment on, Pap was in a different league among fellow Phillies players.

Back up to the All-Star weekend now, Papelbon was very vocal in the press, he wanted out, and he was willing to listen to other teams that he may want to be traded to. Still more uproar from the fan base, how could a Phillies player want to leave this team?

Can you honestly blame him? he demostrated today that he wants to win, he tackled Odubel Herrera like a linebacker after Odubel got the game winning hit. The guy thrives on winning, you can see that today more than anytime.

So is it about time, we start to take Papelbon for the player he is, and understand that the man just wants to win?  

Nola takes the hill for the Phillies, brings new excitement for fans

Nola's line from his debut:

IP -  6.0  / H-  5 / R -  1 / SO -  6 /  ERA 1.50

Last night was the Major League debut of Aaron Nola for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was drafted in 2014 as the 7th pick of the June Amateur Draft, and his start last night brought some renewed interest in this Phillies season that there has been very little to cheer about.

In the end Nola pitched really well as the Phillies ended their 4-game win streak with a tough 1-0 loss, but this start was promising for Nola.

The social network twitter, was all aglow with plenty of comments concerning Nola's start last night. Best wishes, and people tweeting out their photos with their Nola jerseys on to welcome him to the big leagues took over the Phillies tweets for most of the night.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

4 wins brightens season after All-Star Break

Some smiles have broken out on the field for the Phillies this season, finally

It seems the Phillies team has left behind all of the losing it did in the first half of the season, and now in the second half, the winning has been a little easier to come by.

Now, the Phils have reeled off 4 victories in a row and tonight, it's the much anticipated debut of Aaron Nola, a first round pick by the Phillies in 2014 as the 7th pick in the 2014 June Amateur Draft. Nola has been rated as the 39th overall best prospect by Baseball America prior to this year.

Maybe the Phillies have felt the need to bring fans out to the ballpark, as they are running a 2 for $27 ticket promotion with the debut of Nola tonight. Just a short time ago, the notion of bringing up younger players like Nola was dismissed by Phillies GM, Ruben Amaro, but now apparently things have changed with this.

The Phils finish up this series with the Rays tonight and Wednesday afternoon, they have an off-day on Thursday and then settle into Wrigley Field for a weekend series against the Cubs, this one is the first trip there without Ryne Sandberg at the helm after the quit the team on June 26th, citing the fact that he didn't like to lose.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Phils win 1st game in 2nd Half

Pap was back on the hill for the Phillies last night, he earned his 121st save as a Phillie, of course he heard boos

The All-Star Break probably gave this team a good chance to rest and get ready for the final 71 games of the season. The season is a little more than half done, but we'll still call it the '2nd Half'.

The team earned it's 4th win of the 18 games that Pete Mackanin has managed last night in the first game of a three game series with the Miami Marlins.

Jeff Francour helped seal the victory with a 3-run homer in the 8th inning and All Star reliever, Jonathan Papelbon got the save in this game for his 121st save of his Phillies career last night. Of course the fans let him hear it for saying that he wanted to be traded off of this team.

This team doesn't need the talent of Jonathan Papelbon anymore. Management has known about this for a long time, the Phils aren't going to contend for anything this season and didn't contend for anything in the last couple seasons, so why have a big salaried guy like Papelbon on the staff? His talents are really being wasted, but instead of staying quiet, like a few other players have been on this team that are making millions and not even producing, Papelbon has stated that he'd like to move on.

Papelbon is very close to vesting a contract that would keep him in Philadelphia for another contract year, though the team can even trade him under those circumstances so maybe the vesting portion of Papelbon's contract is not an issue anymore with the team.

It was nice to put a 'W' in the win column last night, is this the start of better things for this team?

On the horizon, Aaron Nola is scheduled to debut on Tuesday for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Phils start rest of season for 2015 tonight

Papelbon is at the All Star Game in Cincinnati talking with AJ Burnett who turned in the worst season of his career for the Phillies last year at 8-18

The Phillies have had their worst ever run to the All-Star Break at 29-62 in the history of the franchise. That's a long history. To be the worst at this point really says something about this team that can't be ignored.

There are 71 games left in the season, the Phillies would have to win 75% of the remaining games just to finish near .500 on the year.

If they lose 38 or more games of the remaining 71, they will stand at 100 losses or more this year.

Pete Mackanin has a 3-14 record for this team since he took the reins from Ryne Sandberg. Incredibly, the Phillies have won just 3 games since Ryne decided to call it a day after their was a change in the upper management in the office was announced a couple days after Sandberg quit the team.

You can't blame Papelbon for requesting a trade during the All-Star break, but he should have been traded from this team a long time ago. Papelbon has long wore his welcome out here in Philadelphia and with a season like this now in the books, there is really no reason to carry a player like him.

 The status quo of being awful on this team has been the same for months now, and no one currently in the top management of the Phillies have even tried to change anything.

This team in last in walks, last in runs scored in the National League and it shows. They are also near the bottom in OBP and SLG.

Maybe the best prescription will be to just avoid watching this type of team all together for the remaining games of the season. It's painful to watch most of the time, but it all begins again tonight against the Marlins if you like to see pain.   

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Phillies Talk Podcast: Interview with Mitch Nathanson on his upcoming Richie Allen book

It's the latest Phillies Talk Podcast, our All Star Break edition, we're talking with Mitch Nathanson, baseball author, on his book that is coming out in March of 2016 about former Phillies and Chicago White Sox player, Richie Allen.

It's all on this edition of Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich and Jim talking Phillies baseball on the longest running independent podcast talking about the Philadelphia Phillies.

Monday, July 13, 2015

All Star Game auctions look to capture moment with huge sale

The All-Star Game is a great time for baseball fans, and this year is no different. Plenty of events have been held already and it's almost time for the big game itself on Tuesday night at 8:15 PM Eastern.

One of the interesting things going on is a huge online auction that you can bid on items of baseball history. Better have some deep pockets for this auction though as it's auctioning off some real gems from the history of the game.

This auction, 2015 Live Auction at T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, will be on July 14, 2015, at 10:30am EST, and will feature a selection of noteworthy auction lots.The sale will feature more than 450 lots of rare baseball memorabilia, including a select grouping of items from the Johnny Bench Collection, which will headline the auction. Items being offered as part of the sale include:

Lot 286: Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award

Estimated Price: $175,000 - $200,000

Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award. A star player in both the Negro and Mexican Leagues, Campanella transitioned into the Brooklyn Dodgers Minor League system in 1946 and would ultimately join Jackie Robinson in the Major Leagues in 1948. A fixture in every All-Star Game played from 1949 to 1956, Campy was the National League's Most Valuable Player (3) times in that same span of seasons. In 1953 he set then records for home runs (41) and RBIs by a catcher (142) hitting .312 in the Dodgers effort for a second consecutive National League Pennant. Important original award measuring 16" across has octagonal Sterling Silver placard affixed at front. A gold colored bust of K.M. Landis sits below the second base position of a baseball diamond which also holds "Roy Campanella" engraved nameplate below "Most Valuable Player National League" titling, "Brooklyn Dodgers" team name, and a crossed bats/baseball applique which notes year, "1953." Front is marked, "Sterling Dieges & Clust" and their tacked on metal tag remains on back below an eyelet for hanging. Very clean overall with a few minor scattered imperfections. One of the most high profile pieces of its' type to have entered the marketplace. Includes letter of provenance from the Campanella Family: EX/MT

Lot 254: Important Ted Williams 1960 All-Star Game autographed professional model bat used for his final All-Star game appearance and base hit (Ted Williams Collection Provenance)

Estimated Price: $100,000 - $150,000

We were honored to conduct the Ted Williams Collection live auction event on behalf of the Williams family in 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston. Within that sale was included Ted’s other 1960 All-Star Game bat which also exhibited fine overall use indicative of regular season use after the All-Star Game similar to the offered specimen. The offered bat was only recently discovered within Ted Williams’s former personal residence in Florida along with an incredible handwritten note by William’s own hand. The note is written in pencil by Ted Williams on the back of a local safe company note paper and reads, “1960 Last Bat used single NY Kansas City”. Williams went 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance in the first 1960 All-Star Game played in Kansas City. In the second game played in New York, Ted collected a single in a pinch hit appearance which was also his final base hit in his All-Star Game career (14 total in his career).

Lot 253: 1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat

Estimated Price: $75,000 - $100,000

1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat (Direct Team Employee Provenance, PSA/DNA "GU 9"). Significant bat as issued to Mickey Mantle for use in his second All-Star Game appearance is one of the earliest dated examples, which can be definitively dated, to have surfaced. Louisville Slugger 125 model bat has Mantle facsimile signature burned into the barrel along with "All Star Game Cincinnati 1953" in block letter. Model "K55" is factory stamped in the knob and the bat measures 35" long and weighs 33.2oz. An expected level of mild but well defined use is evident throughout with ball and stitch marks visible on the hitting surface along with some rack streaks. The offered bat was obtained directly from Mickey Mantle by the former equipment manager of the Washington Senators continuing with the Minnesota Twins. The young man had worked to earn Mantle�s trust by assisting the player while in town for visiting games. In return, the young man asked Mantle for his bat after he was done with it at the 1953 All-Star Game. Mantle obliged and the bat has remained in his personal collection until its current offering. Hitting for both average and power through all of his (18) seasons in baseball Mickey Mantle is firmly established as one of the games' greatest sluggers. Named Most Valuable Player of the American League (3) times, he won the Triple Crown in 1956, and played on (7) Championship teams. In total Mantle enjoyed (20) All-Star Game appearances, a feat topped only by Aaron, Musial, and Mays. Statistics aside, there is a lore which surrounds his name that few others can conjure up. Mantle simply had �it�, intangibles which cannot be charted in box scores or accounted for in comparison to the standard measure of pure athletic ability. Includes full LOA from PSA/DNA (graded "GU 9"),LOA from Hunt Auctions, and letter of provenance with related photo (see catalogue image) from the equipment manager: EX

Lot 156: Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for Outstanding Batting Achievement

Estimated Price: $50,000 - $75,000

Pete Rose "Babe Ruth Crown" for "Outstanding Batting Achievement." Highly visual award piece done in the fashion of the "Sultan of Swat Award" which was an honor bestowed each year, starting in 1956, to the player with the highest slugging percentage. The roster of recipients read like a who's who of great hitters to include Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, and even Joe DiMaggio whom was honored in 1956 for his 1939 season statistics. This later period piece, awarded by the same organization, offers similar display value with some subtle differences in text/design. Done in brass with affixed placard at front that reads, in both applied block letter and engraved text, "Babe Ruth Crown Presented to Pete Rose, For Outstanding Batting Achievement, Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association." The (6) points are each done to resemble a baseball diamond with colored jewel fitted at center. Ringing the body are applied crossed bat/ball decor pieces alternating with engraved career related statistics/notations. In fine overall condition with hint of light tarnish/wear mentioned for accuracy. Includes signed letter of provenance from Pete Rose: EX/MT