Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wearing the Pinstripes – Phillies uniform from the 70’s and 80’s to be worn this year

 

 

   For most people, the uniform is a instant recognition for the team that they see on television or in person at the stadiums. The Phillies unifom has changed over the years but every now and again, the team will wear a throwback uniform just for the fun of it, and maybe to sell some other merchandise related to the older jersey. There was a special edition jersey issued last year by the team where the numbers and names of the players were highlighted in gold stitching on the home white jersey. The 2010 season, (on May 14th vs. Milwaukee in Milwaukee) will see the Phillies wear their ‘powder blue’ road uniform for the first time in many years.  The current lineup of uniforms looks like those in the graphic below:

 

NLE-Uniform-PHI                                                source:  Wikipedia

 

       For a lot of fans of the Phillies especially with all of their postseason appearances of late, it will be the first time that the fans see the team wearing their 1970’s colors that they wore right up until the mid to late 1980’s. These were the colors of the Phillies road jerseys for many, many years. The 70’s uniforms looked like this one with Steve Carlton (note is has the zipper instead of the buttons):

 

10105656bsteve-carlton-posters

 

     No official unveiling of the uniform that the Phillies will wear on the ‘retro’ night that the Milwaukee Brewers will host on the May 14 –16th dates in 2010 but we’re sure that it will amaze certain Phillies fans who have been longing to see their favorite players of today where the older style jerseys. This seems like something the Phillies should do at home to treat their own fans to a weekend of ‘retro’ uniforms. Here was the home Phillies jersey style in the 1970’ and 1980’s:

 

steve_carlton_autograph70's source: baseball-almanac.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Watch the Phillies on your new ‘iPad’

       I really haven’t ever been an ‘Apple’ guy. Sure they make good computers, they have their own operating system and are generally in a league of their own when it comes to computing. Today, Apple announced a new product in their lineup. It is called the ‘i Pad’ – and what it is may change how you connect to your online world. The iPad is a tablet computer that is going to be capable of going wifi or 3G and connecting to the internet, reading your digital books, and magazines, and everything in between.

      One of the new attractions that I’ve heard with the iPad is that your going to be able to watch the MLB.tv games on this device over a wifi connection. That really sounds awesome for baseball fans, it gives us virtually no excuse to not watch the games. There have been several Apple flops over the years, but this one seems to have everything going for it. This season you can watch the Phillies on your new iPad!



       Watch the story here....

          



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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Phillies Talk Podcast - "The upcoming 2010 schedule talk" on FightinPhillies.com

  On this show, we talk about the upcoming 2010 season schedule. Where the Phillies start out this season and where they end up. Join in the fun and listen to tonight's show. Jim is back from the sick bay and can't wait for the season to start as usual.


            








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No distractions with signing arbitration eligible

 

   

What looked so unpleasant with the filing of the arbitration eligible players on the Phillies has turned out to be so easy with the signing of the four players who filed just days ago. First done was Chad Durbin, then in quick order, Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, and Carlos Ruiz. All made millionaires over the length of their contracts and rewarding them for their jobs well done on the Phillies team.

 

   The GM, Ruben Amaro Jr, made it look easy. Not blinking and eye and just rolling out the signings as if they were the easiest deals ever done. Yes, it was millions spent, and as Amaro stated in jest about Blanton when he complimented the Phillies organization, “We paid him $24 million to say that.” The Phillies look set to begin another season, another year of memories for the players and the fans who watch them in only a few short months.

 

      Here’s the break down of the signings:

 

Chad Durbin $2.125 million – 1 yr
Joe Blanton $24 million – 3 yr
Shane Victorino $22 Million – 3 yr
Carlos Ruiz $8.5 Million – 3 yr

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rollins marries in awesome Grand Cayman Island



                                                             photo:  David Wolfe

    
                      If there is a perfect location to have a wedding, Grand Cayman Island would rank right up there with the best of them. Jimmy Rollins has tied the knot down there with his wife, Johari. Read all about it right here.


                      Congrats to Number 11 and his new bride, and good luck to them.


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Phillies Trivia

                                                                    
Win a Phillies prize with the correct answer to this question, all winning answers are eligible to win the prize, you must twitter your answer to @fightinphillies on Twitter - all winning answers will be considered ( there is a 6pm today deadline on winning responses) with one picked at random from for a cool Phillies wall pennant with the 2008 World Series victory on it (Phillies bloggers excluded):   You can also submit your answers in the comments section of this post if your not on Twitter  
 Question:
   This Phillies pitcher won the first game of the 1983 World Series for the Phillies, name him and his regular season record that year in 1983?



  Your twitter answer must include, ‘Phillies Trivia answer is’ and your response
                                           
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gary Matthews Jr. is a Met, but Sarge says “Go Phils”


Photo from fOTOGLIF

                              Gary Mathews Jr. now is a Met

      Gary Matthews Jr. is a star in his own right, now he is a Met. The son of Phillies broadcaster and all around good guy, Gary 'Sarge' Matthews, will be facing the Phils this year many times. I wondered at first if Sarge would be rooting for the Mets, but he made it clear in a Twitter post yesterday that ‘this is still a business: Go Phils!” Here’s a reprint of this twitter message:

G_Sarge_M: Let me be clear: "Sarge" loves his son, but this is a business. Go Phils!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Could bullpen be a key to Phillies success this season?

jose-contreras 

    The Cuban Connection of Baez and Contreras on the Phillies this season  

 

The Phillies haven’t thrown open the gates for Spring Training yet, but looking ahead, could the bullpen be the source of the Phillies success or lack of success this season? The acquisitions of Danys Baez and just announced possible signing of Jose Contreras is an indication of the direction the bullpen may be going. Just looking over simple numbers put up by these two pitchers aren’t anything to get excited about.

 

     Contreras was 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA last year with the White Sox and Colorado Rockies as the Phillies seem to have scouted far and wide to come up with this signing. Is this a quality relief pitcher or a relief/starter on occasion should one or more of the starting 5 go south this season? On the surface it looks like the answer is that Contreras will be in the pen. Last year, Contreras started 23 games in 131.2 innings pitched. In 2005, he won 15 games for the White Sox and he’s been in the league for 9 years, this will be 10 for him. A lot of us who follow the Phillies haven’t heard too much of him because he’s been in the American League all except last year’s brief appearance in a Rockies uniform.

 

       Contreras is 38 years old, and Baez is 32, both are originally from Cuba. They will be pitching for the Phillies this season and hopefully they will have a positive impact on the team. A lot of the talk has been on how great the Phillies will be this year, I wouldn't be all that excited yet though as things on paper can look great until you actually start playing and we find out it isn’t all that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blanton inks for 3 years and $24M

       

Photo from fOTOGLIF


               Big Joe is uncorking a patented fastball down the plate last year

  Remember when there used to be a show on TV years ago called, “The Six Million Dollar Man”? Well Joe Blanton does that a few million better, he’s going to rake in $8 million a year from the Phillies for three years to pitch for the Fightins. Blanton has pitched very well for the past two seasons and now his reward is here, a three year deal.

        This keeps the nucleus of the pitching starters with the Phillies together for some time. Blanton, Happ, Halladay, and Hamels… sounds like a law firm doesn’t it? We’ll see if this bunch can bring home another NL East title this season which is now closing in on us faster than we realize.


        Here's Big Joe by the numbers as a Phillies pitcher:

16-8 / 4.09 ERA / 44 starts

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rollins continues plan to marry in Caribbean despite earth trembling



 Jimmy Rollins will not be deterred in his plans to get married this weekend in the Grand Cayman,  despite a 5.8 earthquake shaking the island yesterday. Rollins quickly texted to Phillies spokesman that he was ok, but the danger in this area seems not to have gone away.


View Larger Map

   Grand Cayman Islands is just south of Cuba in the Caribbean


         Several Phillies are expected at the wedding, some big names like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Shane Victorino. I suspect the management of the Phillies are very nervous about the event with so much earthquake activity in the Caribbean in the past 10 days. Haiti is not too far away from the Grand Cayman Islands which is the spot of the devastating earthquake that changed Haiti in a blink of a second.


          Rollins will wed longtime girlfriend Johari Smith, who used to be in the Phillies organization. That is how he pair met, and Rollins decided it was time to tie the knot. Which is the plan sometime this weekend in the Grand Cayman.


        Check out Jimmy Rollins Flickr photo site here

Arbitration figures for the Phillies

The numbers are out for the arbitration of the eligible players on the Phillies. Chad Durbin already settled with the Phillies at 2.125 million for this season and here’s what the other players want and what the Phillies want to offer them:
Player               Last Year        Requests        Phillies offer
Ruiz
$475,000
$2.5 Million
$1.7 million
Victorino
$3.125 Million
$5.8 Million
$4.75 Million
Blanton
$5.475 Million
$10.25 Million
$7.5 Million


       It must be nice to be a ballplayer and make all of that money. It almost sounds like monopoly money when you read about it in newspapers and magazines. How about Alex Rodriguez and his salary of $33 Million a year? It’s really crazy that any team would pay that kind of salary.

     Thanks to Scott Lauber and his blog “Philled In” for these numbers


    Here's FightinPhillies take on what the players want and what the Phillies are offering:

      FightinPhillies blog thinks Big Joe should be about an $7.5 million dollar pitcher - I’d only want him for a year if I were the Phillies.

Chooch Ruiz is worth every bit of $2.5 million, how can you pay his backup more than the starter? He’s been a gem for the team in the postseason. He may be selling himself short.
Victorino is an interesting case. He’s a bit on the flakey side if you ask me. He can play ball but he’s not putting up monster numbers, but leads the Phils in Batting Average. $4.75 million should be more than sufficient for him. Interesting what he’ll get if it goes to arbitration.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ruiz and three others file for arbitration

 

carlos_ruiz_autograph

       

 

   Carlos Ruiz and three other Phillies players filed for arbitration yesterday. The other Phillies were Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, and Joe Blanton. Carlos has been the Phillies full time catcher for the past three seasons and it seems like it may be time for him to start getting a better piece of the pie from the team. Carlos has put up some awesome numbers in the two World Series that the Phillies have been in the last two years and also in the playoffs. Here’s some of his stats:

 

Regular season Career Avg. .246 BA 480 AB 61 RBI 10 HR
NLCS – 2 series .345 BA 5 RBI 6 BB 7 R
World Series – 2 .353 BA 34 AB 9 BB 4- 2B, & 2 HR

 

       Simply put, Carlos Ruiz is just about as close to being “Mr. October” than you can be for the team. His numbers in the clutch situations and key World Series games are off the charts.

 

        The other players on the arbitration list should do well also. Shane Victorino has been a fan favorite, he turned in an awesome season last year with 39 doubles, and 13 triples with 10 homeruns and 25 stolen bases. Chad Durbin and Joe Blanton both had good years also so it should be a win for all involved players with the arbitrations.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Favorite Phillies Commercials thanks to Youtube















   I like all these commercials, the 'Goosebumps' one is a classic !!!





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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Phillies Talk Podcast - McGwire's Plea for forgiveness

On this edition we talk about Mark McGwire and his confession of steroids. We talk about the Phillies of course as well on this shortened version of our show, Jimmy had the flu bug, but joined us anyway... is he tough or what!












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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MLB attendance drops over 5 million fans from 2008-2009

          Call it a recession or call it what you will, but baseball has been hit pretty hard by the economy last year, with over 5 million fewer fans in attendance from the previous year in 2008. Around Philly, we hardly notice it with how well the Phillies are doing in the past couple of years, but everywhere else it’s a much different story.

         In New York the two MLB clubs have lost 1.4 million plus fans last year over 2008, and that accounts for a lot of the 5 million plus that didn’t go to a game in ‘09 like they did in ‘08. The Yankees and Mets both had new stadiums go up in New York and still they couldn’t out due the final year of both the original Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium in 2008. One of the reasons for this is prices at the new ballparks are out of reach for a lot of fans and the option to them is just to stay away.

          In 2008 MLB baseball attracted 78,541,458 fans to ballparks around the USA, and in 2009, the number dropped to 73,430,580. In all of the MLB, only 9 clubs experienced an increase in fans. The biggest drop in fans were from the New York Mets, they dropped 873,456 fans attending games from ‘08/’09, again the price was a leading factor in this. Coming in a close second was the Detroit Tigers who lost 635,489 fans going through the turnstiles. The Yankees won the World Series last year, but they also dropped the third highest amount of ticketed fans from 2008 to / ‘09 with 579,297 lost to the outrageous fees that the Yanks charged for tickets.

           The 2010 not being exactly a recovery year yet, it could lead to even a bigger drop this season when families will choose to stay closer to home and pocket the extra money that they maybe would have gone to a game or two this coming season. Time will tell if that happens but it’s no surprise that rising ticket prices have soured a lot of people who just simply won’t go anymore.

            Here’s a graphic from Baseball Reference with the attendance figures with the most lost fans from 2008 to 2009




Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hall of Fame voting needs no tuning

              

 

 

     1936 was the first year Baseball Hall of Fame elected class

       The Baseball Writers Association of America recently voted on their picks for the induction into the Hall of Fame for 2010. It was a controversial result as the writers only elected one player to the Hall, when several looked like they may make it into the baseball hall this year. It’s strange that despite all of it’s failings on the election process, it actually seems to work. Everyone nominated to the Hall of Fame will not make it in. It couldn’t be that way, to let just anyone in because it would not be an award that is held with such great esteem.

                The process of election into the Hall of Fame is long and arduous for many players, these writers that elect the players often have a terrible time of choosing who should be in and who shouldn’t. The truth comes out when the elections are announced. Several years, there is more than two players who get in, then others like this year in 2010 when there is only one. Andre’s wait was 9 years.

                 When a player’s choice isn’t as obvious to get into the Hall, the writers have to deal with several factors. Some players just teeter on the edge of the Hall qualifications. Some are less obvious to get an easy election and for one reason or another, some that look obvious aren’t elected very quickly at all. A first ballot Hall of Famer is usually reserved for a true ‘superstar’ or one who dominated the sport.

 

                Roberto Alomar was a player who accumulated a lot of awards. HIs batting wasn’t necessarily Hall of Fame material though. Should he be in the Hall? He spent 17 seasons in the majors and was very good at what he did. Will he get in? Probably yes, he has 14 more years of eligibility. Should he been elected on the first try? I am not so sure of this. He wasn’t a player who totally dominated the sport in a way that should be recognized by a first ballot Hall of Famer should have.

 

                Let’s leave this to the guys and gals who really cover this sport inside and out. Yes, it isn’t perfect. There could be a million other ways to elect players to the Hall of Fame, but it’s worked well for this long and it should continue in this manner. The Hall is a sacred ground, not a place for the ‘popular vote’ by armchair reviewers of the sport.                

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The $20,000,000 question: How many wins will Halladay have?

 

 

    Roy Halladay is the first $20,000,000 a year player ever paid for by the Philadelphia Phillies. The sum of money now just seems like another number. Millions here, millions there and it all sounds so easy. The fact is $20 million dollars is a lot of money. Despite what we read in the papers and online that say Halladay is a bargain for that, it is a boat load of cash.

 

    I was thinking of the salary in terms of how many wins that the Phillies will see from Halladay this season. If he turns in a 20 win season this year, you could easily break it down to a million dollars for a win. What if he doesn’t have a good season? Time will tell and then the pundits will wonder about this deal and if it was worth it. Roy Halladay won the Cy Young award in 2003, that’s a long time ago.

 

     The other thing a $20 million dollar salary says to the other players is that this team has plenty of money. Suddenly, Jimmy Rollins salary looks small to this at $8.5 million, and forget about Carlos Ruiz who is still making minimum salary at $450,000. Brett Myers just signed a one year deal for $5 million dollars to pitch for the Houston Astros. Is a Halladay baseball card worth 4 Brett Myers cards if you were trading them like you used to do as a kid?

 

     Roy Halladay’s final start for the Toronto Blue Jays at home in Toronto was a shutout on September 25, 2009 – the team he shut out? Seattle Mariners. CBS Fantasy Sports does a stat projection for the coming season on their website. It is fun to read it and see what it says from all the stats that go into making it. Here’s what it says for the projections on Roy Halladay in 2010:

 

Wins 17
Losses 9
ERA 3.13
SO 200
Innings 230.0

 

      As I am writing this post, I am watching Doc’s last game at home for the Blue Jays, he just struck out Ichiro and made it look pretty easy. I am now starting to get excited to see Halladay in a Phillies uniform. It will be interesting to see the first group of fans that jump on Doc’s Phillies career, and what they will call themselves in the stands.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Eyre retires, Park will not be resigned and Phillies pitching still top concern


Photo from fOTOGLIF


Chan Ho Park seen here at his health club in Korea in the offseason

 
   Scott Eyre will be retired when the 2010 season starts in April for the Phillies. They won’t have the services of Eyre or Chan Ho Park as January rolls on closer to the start of the new season. Don’t feel too bad for Chan Ho though, he’ll have his spot in Phillies history for his clutch pitching in relief for the Fightins over the past year.

    Chan Ho also owns some health clubs in his native Korea and may still end up somewhere on an MLB club this season. He’s kept himself in great shape, so even as he is past his prime as a starter, he still could contribute to a club in some form. Little known by most Phillies fans is that Chan Ho’s wife who is Korean but grew up in Japan is a full fledged chef and the daughter of a guy who is the 76th richest person in Japan. Chan Ho is very lucky to say the least.

    Pitching still is a concern for the Phillies as we move towards the 6 more weeks mark till spring training mark. Here’s a look at the Phillies starting pitching rotation as it may look in April:

 

The Phillies starters as Fightin Phillies.com sees it:

Roy Halladay
Should be the marquee name this year for the Phils
Cole Hamels
World Series MVP 2008
Joe Blanton
Looks to stay steady in 2010
J.A. Happ
Happ should be a starter this year, we are still troubled about him not starting in the World Series.
Kyle Kendrick and/or


Jamie Moyer
Should get another chance at starting this season

The ageless wonder continues this season.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Who needs Danys Baez? Only the Phillies came to call on him

 

 

      The 2010 season may be a couple months away, but with the Phillies most recent signing, Danys Baez leaves at lot to be desired. Baez is coming off of a three year contract with the Orioles that was a waste of time for the O’s as Baez was not all that he was advertised to be, and he was getting pretty good money to play for them.

 

       His name is Danys (pronounced Danny) Joseph Baez, he was born in Cuba, and defected as a ballplayer who was playing in the U.S. some years ago. Last season he was in 59 games for the Orioles and pitched 72.1 innings. He gave up 59 hits and 32 earned runs as a set up man, and gave up 8 home runs. He had ‘0’ saves and 2 blown saves on the year. The year prior, in 2008, he was injured and did not play.

 

        Earlier in his career, he was more reliable, but you can’t lean back and think that the form he had years ago will return. If anything, it may make for a long season in the bullpen for Baez and for fans that expect something great from him. I could be wrong, but we’ll see as the season starts and he gets some work in.

 

      Most recent Phillies are not going to be back in 2010:

Clay Condrey Signed with the Twins for 2010
Scott Eyre Unlikely to return now
Chan Ho Park Wanted more than the Phils would pay him for 2010
   

  Add these names to the longer list of players not on the 2010 team:

Cliff Lee Traded to Seattle
Eric Bruntlett Signed with the Nationals
Pedro Feliz Signed with Astros
Pedro Martinez Not resigned
   

 

         This 2010 team is a very different team from when we went from the championship team in 2008 to the World Series appearance in 2009. I’ve said it before, Cliff Lee got that team motivated and set to be in the World Series, without him I don’t think the Phillies would have made the series. Can Halladay deliver that to the Phillies? We’ll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Phillies Talk Podcast - Hall of Fame results 2010 show


Photo from fOTOGLIF


         The ballots are in, and it's Andre Dawson being elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. A few others didn't quite make the cut, and we talk about it. Also, the other topic we are most interested in of course the Phillies! Join us for the first show of the new year hear on "Phillies Talk" with Rich Baxter and Jim Mulry talking Phillies baseball.


            



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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Why the Phillies need Brett Myers

 

   IMG_7601    

 

 

   Brett Myers is still a pitcher without a home. The Phillies saw something in him years ago to sign him to a hefty contract that earned him over $12 million dollars last season alone. Myers has been a Phillie his whole career, and despite him not being signed by the Phillies again up to now, I don’t think we’ve seem the last of him yet.

 

      When the Phillies won the Division Series last season, I remember watching the TV as the players celebrated and the TV crew from Comcast Philly was interviewing Ruben Amaro Jr. in the locker room. Amaro was waxing poetic about the win, basking in the glow of victory when out of no where, Brett Myers emerged and popped over and drenched him in champagne. “Relax a little” he said to Amaro Jr. as he poured cold champagne all over his head and his nice suit he was wearing. That was the moment I thought that we wouldn’t see Brett again. All of his antics, his misdeeds, and misgivings were culminated in that stunt I thought.

 

       Was Myers the worst type of player to have on the Phillies team though? In the past, I’ve bashed him for getting into trouble, cursing at the press, and things like that. He is very rebellious and headstrong at times, but doesn’t the Phillies team need someone like that? He stormed off the mound and had words with Charlie Manuel when he was taken out of a game a while ago, if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t have done that and he just merely could have shrugged it off and returned to the dugout counting his millions along the way.

 

      Myers has started the Phillies seasons for the past three years, he has been moved to the bullpen and dropped down to the minors in the past. He’s paid his dues and then some. He’s a connection to the ‘old’ type of baseball player, one who battles and battles and fights for things that he feels is right. When Cole Hamels said what he did last year, he chided him for it, joke or not, and put Hamels in his place for saying what he did. No one else did.

 

      The Phillies invested a lot in Myers, and he has returned a lot to the Phillies. I think the team should give him a second look, he is still out there, and a force in the National League. He is what stirs Phillies baseball, the passion and traditions.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New stats experience coming to MLB fans, fantasy leagues, and the MLB

    


  Happy New Year once again to all! Hope everyone had a great holiday season. The new baseball season is right on our heels and with it brings new technology items to the sport of baseball. One of the greatest parts of last season for me was the improved technology of MLB.tv. MLB.tv came a long way with the quality of their broadcasts and the new features that were included with the whole package that they offered. Just the chance to be able to go back and watch games that you missed or wanted to view again and the quality that the broadcast was online made it worth it for me. In previous years, the MLB.tv package that you watch on your computer was a grainy experience that only worked well some of the time, and the quality wasn't there, but that all changed now.


      Starting this year is a brand new experience that both fans and the MLB will be able to use, it is called BloombergSports.com. If you're familiar with the stock market and financial news, you may be already familiar with the name, Bloomberg. They have an excellent website about stocks, and financial trading, and a television network devoted to the same. They are now offering their statistical expertise to sports, and the MLB will be using their stats on a professional basis this year, along with a healthy dose of stats for fans and fantasy leaguers. We'll have much more on this service in the coming weeks, it looks like it's going to be a great tool.



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