Sunday, November 30, 2008

Phillies Talk - the podcast for Thanksgiving Weekend 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What is the Rule 5 Draft anyway?

  Major League Baseball is full of confusing terms and the way they do their daily business is just as confusing. Here's a primer on the Rule 5 Draft and what it is exactly.

The Rule 5 draft is a Major League Baseball player draft that occurs each year in December, at the annual Winter Meeting of general managers. The Rule 5 draft aims to prevent teams from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliate teams when other teams would be willing to have them play in the majors. The Rule 5 Draft is named for its place in the Professional BaseballCollective Bargaining Agreement. The June Rule 4 draft, known as simply "the draft" or the "amateur draft", is a distinctly different process in which teams select high school and college players.

here's an example of the Rule 5 draft and Johann Santana also from wikipedia:

To prevent excessive turnover in the minor league levels, each draftee costs $50,000. If the draftee does not stay on the selecting team's 25-man (major league) roster all season, the player must be offered back to his original team at half-price. Organizations may also draft players from AA or lower to play for their AAA affiliates (for $12,000) and may draft players from A teams or lower to play for their AA affiliates (for $4,000).

The Rule 5 draft has opened opportunities for teams to take other team's top prospects who may not be ready for the major leagues. A prominent recent example is Johan Santana, who was chosen in the 1999 Rule 5 draft by the Florida Marlins when the Houston Astrosdeclined to put him on their 40-man roster. After the Marlins traded Santana to the Minnesota Twins for minor leaguer Jared Camp, the Twins kept him on their roster for the 2000 season, despite the pitcher's subpar performance that season (6.49 earned run average) which was unsurprising given his youth and inexperience.

Having kept Santana in the major leagues for all of the 2000 season, the Twins subsequently had the right to option him to their minor league system. By 2002, the more fully developed Santana had returned to the major leagues and established himself as an above-average pitcher. From 2004 to the present, Santana has been considered by many to be the best pitcher in baseball, winning two Cy Young awards. Had he not been chosen in the Rule 5 draft, Santana likely would not have made his major league debut until the 2001 or the 2002 season with the Astros.

        So that is a little bit of info on this draft and what it is for, there are exclusions to the draft as well. Read all about it at wikipedia here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Should Phillies pursue Randy Wolf?

The Phillies have been reported to have interest in a couple pitchers, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe. How deep is the interest? That is a good question. One pitcher that may be available as well is the old Phillies pitcher, Randy Wolf who just finished last season with the Houston Astros.

Wolf pitched for the Houston Astros last season coming over from the Padres and did really well for them going 6-2 in 12 starts for the 'Stros with a 3.57 era. He finished 2008 with a 12-12 record. Houston is interested in Wolf, but as of yet, no ink is dry on his deal so he is still a free agent. Wolf is trying to get a better deal than Houston is willing to offer. Should the Phillies be interested in Wolf?

Here are the 2009 Pitching Free Agents:

Starting pitchers
Kris Benson (33)
A.J. Burnett (32) - Type A
Paul Byrd (38) - Type B
Roger Clemens (46)
Matt Clement (33)
Bartolo Colon (36)
Shawn Estes (36)
Josh Fogg (32)
Freddy Garcia (33)
Jon Garland (29) - Type B
Tom Glavine (43)
Mike Hampton (36)
Mark Hendrickson (35)
Livan Hernandez (34)
Orlando Hernandez (43)
Jason Jennings (30)
Randy Johnson (45) - Type B
Kenshin Kawakami (34)
Jon Lieber (39)
Braden Looper (34) - Type B
Rodrigo Lopez (33)
Derek Lowe (36) - Type A
Greg Maddux (43) - Type B
Pedro Martinez (37)
Jamie Moyer (46) - Type A
Mark Mulder (31)
John Parrish (31)
Carl Pavano (33)
Brad Penny (31) - Type B
Odalis Perez (32)
Oliver Perez (27) - Type A
Andy Pettitte (37) - Type A
Sidney Ponson (32)
Mark Prior (27)
Kenny Rogers (44)
Glendon Rusch (34)
C.C. Sabathia (28) - Type A
Curt Schilling (42)
Ben Sheets (30) - Type A
John Smoltz (42) - Type B
Koji Uehara (34)
Kip Wells (32)
Randy Wolf (32) - Type B

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Utley was hurt, to have surgery

Chase Utley was rumored to be hurt about a third to the end of the season. He never winced too much during that time but the rumor was he was hurt and just this afternoon ESPN Radio 950 in Philly put out a text message with knowledge that Utley will need a hip operation and need 5-6 months to heal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Poll; Should the Phillies resign Pat Burrell ?

What more could a player do for a team? Pat Burrell has to be one of the most unappreciated players ever of the Philadelphia Phillies. Here's his numbers:

Drafted Number 1 in 1998

251 Homeruns as a Phillie since 2000

827 RBI's since 2000

1166 games played in Phillies uniform (reg season)

This is in 9 seasons as a Phillies player for Burrell, compare this to Michael Jack Schmidt's career numbers:

Schmidt: 18 years as a Phillie
548 career homeruns
1595 RBI's
2404 games in Phillies uniform

What do you see in this comparison, Burrell's numbers, if continued, may equal Schmidt's if he stays healthy and can play another 9 years. I consider Schmidt to be the greatest Phillies player that I have ever seen outside of Pete Rose, who played just a short time for the Phillies. Schmidt took it on the chin from the Phillies fans and so does Burrell, they have a lot in common. Schmidt is in the Hall of Fame for Baseball though and Burrell is still working toward that goal.

Polls closed, your pick for 'Mr October'

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Cole Hamels, your pick for the "Mr October" of the Phillies 2008

Phillies slow in commiting to 2009 Upgrades

The World Series buzz is just under a month old, but already there is speculation that the Phillies new GM isn't in any hurry to acquire any free agents that would make the Phillies instant '09 contenders for a repeat.

Just by following the recent press interviews, it seems as if Amaro is taking the 'company line' in all negotiations. That is not saying anything about who the Phillies may or may not be after in the free agent market. Amaro is in some ways a step back for Phillies fans who wanted a really experienced GM that is his own man, and not one who simply follows orders from the owners.

Amaro's recent comments about Geoff Jenkins are a case in point:
From Yahoo Sports and

Amaro said he thought Jenkins could rebound in 2009.

"Absolutely," he said. "I think more than anything else he was getting adjusted to a new team. This was a guy that had played for one club for 10 years. He was making an adjustment to being in a new environment, probably trying to make an impression and do a lot of different things. Maybe it got him out of kilter, but we believe he can come back and be a productive offensive player."

These type of comments worry me. Look at Jenkins numbers, and his age. He's not a prime time every day player anymore in my opinion and to keep juggling Jason Werth is a crime. He should be the everyday player, he's earned the right. So the days march on to the start of 2009's opening day. Amaro continues to sound like a dud to me, he doesn't have anything eloquent to say about anyone the Phillies are looking at and he sounds as if he is still playing the role of understudy instead of the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies GM.

Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Phillies Talk - 2008 Season stats review

The only Phillies only podcast that is independently produced, rolls right on with the 2008 Season stats review. Join Rich Baxter on this internet broadcast as he talks about the stats that were compiled for the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies during the regular season.

You can participate in this show and blog send your emails in, and you can call the show live when it is being simulcast over the internet all over the world!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Phillies raise prices amidst worst economic times

$10 Jump in Single Seats per game from Section 115 to 132 for non season tickets from $50 to $60 per ticket

If anything was said to be recession proof it would have to be professional sports events. In the most terrible economic times this country has ever seen, ticket prices to see a baseball game will raise again for the 2009 Phillies. The biggest jump occurs to anyone wanting to sit from first to third base and buying the ticket as a single game. Prices also have creeped up everywhere else in the ballpark. Parking crept up to $11 during the last couple weeks of the season at the ballpark as well. The last 'affordable' sport to see a game just got pricier.

The fact of having a World Series Championship team on the field doesn't hurt the Phillies front office at all with their quest for more money from the fans. So you'll have to dig a little deeper for that ticket next year. It doesn't seem that long ago that a $22 ticket was top price at the Vet to see a game, but with the smaller venue at Citizens Bank Park, the reduced number of seats means that ticket prices have to spike up to amounts we didn't think we would spend on a baseball game just a few years ago. The ticket face value of World Series tickets this year in the better seating areas was $225 in 1983 you could have seen a World Series game at the Vet in the stadium for $25 in the outfield. Let's see if I made $20,000 in 1983, I should be making $200,000 a year now with that kind of math..... I am not mind you, inflation is a cruel reminder to all of us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Phillies new GM getting an early test & new 'Opening Day'

Bench coach Jimmy Williams resigned without explanation the other day, a few people were at a loss to explain it. GM Ruben Amaro is just getting his first test on his position with only a couple days on the job. Now he must get two coaches, a third base coach and the bench coach. Can we read anything from Williams departure? He hasn't said anything publicly. Perhaps he is just yearning to move on.

The Phillies 2009 season will kickoff on Sunday night at 8pm instead of Monday afternoon as originally announced. Opening Night will April 5, 2009 - vs. The Atlanta Braves. It will be the first telecast for ESPN Sunday Night baseball of the year.

Scott Eyre signed a lucky deal in what he thought was probably his last year in the majors. He is said to be very happy, and who wouldn't be? The Phillies season should be fun to watch in 2009, now can we get another decent starter added to the rotation?

Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Phillies Talk Podcast - World Series wrapup show

Listen to this week's show here or download our show via iTunes!

Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Time moves on, changes already for the Phils

Winds of change already blowing towards the Phillies

The World Series victory is just days old, but even those short precious days can't stop the winds of change that continually blow in a professional baseball team. The Phillies declined to have Tom Gordon and So Taguchi on the club next year. Don't feel too bad for Gordon, he'll be getting a $1,000,000 buyout to not play for the team! So much for a golden parachute.

The Phillies also seem to have appointed Assistant GM, Ruben Amaro, Jr., to the post of GM according to the Philadelphia Daily News, Paul Hagen. This is being reported on as a fact. So here comes the change that is inevitable to a team. Mike Arbuckle, who has been with the team for many years and made plenty of great player acquisitions, was in a two man race for the GM job but appearently lost out to Amaro who I remember played for the Phillies but wasn't a real stand out player. His father also played and coached for the Phillies, so the 'keep it in the family' style of baseball rolls right along.

Time will tell what a Amaro GM legacy will bring to the ballclub. I can't say anything but 'Good luck, and bring us another championship!' and please a little sooner than the 28 year drought from 1980 to 2008.

The Phils will have to wield a big check book this year, they've made millions and now they will have to spend millions with Howard, Hamels, and do you give a little extra to Jimmy for good measure here too? Look for that hotdog and soda to go up again to help pay for all of this! I want to see what happens with ticket prices, now that the Phillies have the whole area under their spell. We may have to pony up with our checkbooks too!

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY will have a nice display of the Phillies Championship 2008 season ready by November 14, 2008 and remember any of us that have a ticket to the induction day of 2008 for the Hall of Fame gets free admission to the Hall just by bringing your ticket stub! Cole Hamels Game 5 jersey will be there, and some other cool items. Read more about this here.

Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog