Monday, March 02, 2015

Jerome Williams gets the ball in Spring opener Tuesday

 photo:  ESPN

Jerome Williams is a journeyman baseball player who has been with many teams before the Phillies. The Phillies are the 7th team that he has played for in his Major League career. If you count the minor league contracts with Major League teams,  he's been with 10.

Jerome was born in Hawaii in 1981. Last season,  he became the first pitcher ever to defeat a team (Oakland Athletics) while playing for three different teams in the same season,  Williams beat the A's while pitching for the Astros, Rangers,  and with the Phillies.

He pitched a fairly good season last year for the Phils, in 9 games in which he started,  he finished with a 4-2 record and a 2.83 ERA. 

Williams lost his wife to cancer in 2001 and uses a pink glove in her honor.

Spring Training season starts today faces Frankenstein monster

They used to call the Yankees the 'Evil Empire' but this player has earned the title all by himself, a disgrace to the Yankees and baseball

The Phillies have the dubious task of opening their Spring Training season today in Florida. It's not so dubious because of the reason that they aren't predicted to do well this year.

The real dubious part of the first game of the Spring Training season is the Phillies will have to play one of the despised players in baseball, in Alex Rodriguez, and the Yankees today in Florida.

Rodriguez has done just about everything you can do to get banned from baseball for life, but he just keeps on ticking like a Frankenstein monster. His apologies fall on deaf ears to anyone who cares about the game, yet he's back.

Baseball should have made this player the first in the game who doesn't deserve to play in the majors anymore do to his repeated use of steroids and lying to everyone about it. He's a classic case of someone who doesn't deserve to put on a uniform on a major league field.

The person who Rodriguez was paying $12,000 per month to administer steroids to him just got sentenced to 4 years in prison for his deeds, but Rodriguez skates away and again seeks the spotlight of the MLB game. It just doesn't make any sense, baseball is the loser in letting A-Rod step back on the field again. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Springtime sees the Phillies as longshots to do well in '15

The Phillies have been on the downward slide for a few years now. That isn't news anymore, it's just the truth. A combination of players that haven't been able to produce when needed, injuries, and pitching problems have all added up to the place that the Phils find themselves in 2015.

Recently there was the release of the news with the PECOTA ratings for 2015 that the Phillies would be near the bottom of the league for wins in those predictions. Some fans have a hard time believing that kind of news.

Beyond that there are the Vegas odds which also list the Phillies as longshots to win much this year. Even the William Hill Betting site lists the Phils as 150/1 to win the 2015 World Series, they are tied with the Colorado Rockies for the longest odds in baseball to win it all.

2015 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Phillies, but very little rebuilding has begun. A couple of players have been moved in the off-season by the Phils, but not the wholesale sell-off that a lot of fans and press expected.

Just about everyone on this current roster was at some point offered up in trade negotiations including former World Series MVP, Cole Hamels. Now Cole Hamels let it be known that he wants out, and he might have to wait to a team in contention actually has a need for him due to another player having an injury or someone on their staff just not pitching all that well.

Beyond Cole, there is Jonathan Papelbon, who the Phillies would love to move and Ryan Howard still on the team, again who the Phils would love to move. So far though, it seems like a tough sell for a lot of these players. The Phils even had to pay the Reds $4M of the salary of Marlon Byrd just to take him. That's just bad business, and it shows how poorly Ruben Amaro has been spending up the Phillies cash. No team wants these players at the prices that their contracts are with the Phillies, 

Diekman battles batters and intestinal problems

Jake Diekman is one of my favorite Phillies players. He is a reliable pitcher on the mound, he is also battling a disease he has had since he was 10-years old.

Here's a report that aired on the local Channel 6 Action News from Spring Training in Clearwater.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Howard gets praised by Ryne after rough year

If you're Ryan Howard, you probably don't know what to make of things this year.

Ruben Amaro Jr., Phillies GM, says in the off-season that the team is probably better off without him and now Ryne Sandberg is flattering him with compliments.

All the while, Howard isn't talking to the press all that much because he knows that all they want to ask him about his why his family sued him to get a chunk of money in the off-season.

Sandberg has said that he is impressed with the improved 'quickness' of the big guy.

Howard hasn't been home brooding about the lawsuit or his apparent loss in stature with Amaro. Ryne and his wife have even released a book that is for children and you can buy it at your local independent book store, or right here from the Fightin Phillies blog:
Little Rhino #1: My New Team

Check out the tweet Howard sent out a couple of weeks ago talking about the book that should be in a series:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Phillies Talk Podcast - Pitchers and Catchers return for '15


 It's that time of year again, Pitchers and catchers have returned and this week the full squad reports down to camp for the start of the 2015 Spring Training season. Cole Hamels expresses his displeasure with being on the team, and who can blame him?

 We talk about that and a whole lot more on this edition of PhilliesTalk Podcast

 Did you know we are now listener supported, you can sponsor us with a small monthly donation for the price of a small coffee! Check it out right here!

Friday, February 20, 2015

No surprise, Comcast chooses Ben Davis for open color analyst job

The mystery is solved.

Jamie Moyer chose not to return to the broadcast both this season after only 1 season of calling games as a tv color analyst. Moyer wasn't ready to do that job anyway, he lacked a lot of emotion in calling a game but gradually warmed up to the job by the season's end.

Moyer's out so Comcast had to rustle up someone new for the job, and to very little surprise, they named Ben Davis, former MLB player, local product, and studio analyst for the Phillies pre- and post game shows on the local Philadelphia Comcast Sportsnet.

Matt Stairs stays on to assist in the color analyst role as well, hopefully he has worked on his mumbling in the off-season. At times it was extremely difficult to follow what he was saying. He too wasn't ready to assume a full season of baseball game commentary and at the end of the year, Moyer had become a better announcer, but Stairs is still lagging behind.

Comcast had this to say about the Davis hiring:

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben, a former major league catcher and Delaware County native, to our Phillies broadcast team,” said Comcast SportsNet President Brian Monihan.  “Ben is a true student of the game and has provided valuable insight to our Phillies Pre and Postgame coverage.  We are confident in Ben’s ability to inform and entertain fans with his distinctive analysis and easy-going style during our game broadcasts.”

Ben Davis is capable of doing this, and his enunciation is very good, so for some people who were sitting home and wondering what some of the commentary was beyond Tom McCarthy's announcing, they should be much more satisfied at what kind of commentary they will hear now.

Davis said this about coming on board for the position, “Growing up a Philadelphia Phillies fan, this is a dream come true,” said Davis.  “I look forward to working with Mike, Matt, Tom and Gregg in the booth, and I thank Comcast SportsNet and the Phillies for this opportunity.”

Find out more about the Spring Training and Regular season broadcasts from Comcast right here:

Spring Training Games
Comcast SportsNet will air six Spring Training games, including the opener on Tuesday, March 3 at 1 p.m. against the New York Yankees. The Comcast Network will air 12 Spring Training games including games against the Yankees on Friday, March 6 and Friday, March 27.  Other highlights include games against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, March 7 and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, April 4

2015 Phillies Season
In 2015, Comcast SportsNet will air a record 142 regular season games, with The Comcast Network airing seven games.  All games airing on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network will feature “Phillies Pregame Live” and “Phillies Postgame Live” programming.
NBC10 will air 12 games in 2015, including the season opener against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, April 6 at 3 p.m.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Carlton's Twins WS ring for sale in April

This is a ring that was sold previously from the Twins championship win, the ring was from a front office person who pawned it, Carlton's was his ring that he was awarded

It would have made a great trivia question, what other team did Steve Carlton win a World Series ring with? The answer is the Minnesota Twins back in 1987 when the Phillies were really a horrible team.

This is the Carlton ring that will be up for auction

Now the better part of this trivia would have been, how Carlton was left off of the postseason roster all together by the Twins because at this point in his career, he was out of gas. The Twins awarded him a ring anyway, which is a nice touch of class for a guy like Carlton pitched like throughout his whole career.

The ring will be auctioned at SCP Auctions here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Down to the wire of start of Spring Training, rumors still flying about some players moving

No team has given the Phillies reason to trade Hamels yet, has the off-season moves by the Phils been a bust?

It's hardly time for hot stove talk, but lately that's about all the news you hear coming out of the Phillies soon to start camp.

Will Cole Hamels be dealt to a different team? The most recent talk has started again with Jonathan Papelbon being mentioned again in possible trade scenarios.

The talk is that Cole Hamels is still an ace and he should be bringing in a great trade for any deal but so far that hasn't happened. Maybe some teams are still on the fence about the greatness of Cole Hamels. Phillies management still thinks he's great, but maybe that doesn't translate over with other teams that have seen the Phillies go 6 full seasons now after their World Series win to last year's last place finish.

The one player that no one is talking about so far in the near ending off-season is Ryan Howard. Howard's contract is still one that no team would entertain picking up. It's weighed down the options of the Phillies for a long time now, and it's been so bad, it isn't even talked about anymore. Amaro has said the Phillies would probably be better off with out him just a few weeks ago, wasn't he the person that signed Howard on the West Coast to the multi-million dollar deal in a surprise move that was announced on the road?

It's been said by ESPN and others that the Phillies off-season has been a bust, and yes it has. No significant moves have been made and the Phillies still carry a bloated payroll that they can't seem to decrease.