Friday, February 26, 2010

Ryan Howard is half way to the Hall of Fame in only 5 years


Photo from fOTOGLIF



It's been 5 full seasons that we've seen Ryan Howard make his mark in MLB baseball as a Phillies player. He did get his start in 2004 with a scant 19 games but in only 5 full seasons, it seems that Ryan Howard is already half way to the Hall of Fame. The accolades and awards are still pilling up, and so are the home runs. If you look at Baseball-Reference.com, they have a "Hall of Fame Monitor" that they compile various statistics to come up with a number that a player has to reach to be Hall of Fame worthy. Howard is already well past half way toward reaching this goal, according to Baseball-Reference.

It's hard to believe that Howard was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the amateur draft in 2001. It took him a couple years in the minors to get his chance, but he's made the most of it so far. He's hit 222 home runs through last season. If he hits his current production of 45 or so this season, he'll have almost 270.

If you're a big baseball fan, I say you are seeing history being made with Howard, he's a player that is destined for the Hall, and luckily he's playing for the Phillies.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Madson remains the ‘bedrock’ of bullpen



Photo from fOTOGLIF

  Ryan Madson looks to improve even more this season

   Going back over the past few seasons, the bullpen for the Phillies has undergone some major changes. The one unshakeable part of ‘the pen’ has been Ryan Madson. Madson has been the go to guy over the past two seasons in particular. This will be Madson’s seventh season with the Phillies and his lifetime ERA is 3.83 as a Phillies pitcher.

    Ryan has a reputation of being a ‘go to’ guy who is setting up for Brad Lidge now, but could easily probably be a closer on any other major league team in the league. Madson was effective in the World Series last year also, he sported a 2.08 ERA in 5 games and 4.1 innings. In his two combined World Series appearances, Madson has a 3.38 ERA in 9 games and 8 IP, giving up only 1 HR and striking out 12.

   In this day and age, a pitcher being with one team for 7 seasons is a rarity in itself, Ryan Madson is one of few pitchers that haved stayed with the Phillies for so many years.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Phillies Talk - No predictions from Rollins

   Here's our show for February 24th 2010, the area is bracing for another snow storm, but it's warm down at Spring Training in Florida, Jimmy Rollins hasn't made any predictions yet. We talk about that and some teams that might contend in the MLB this year. All on this edition of "Phillies Talk" only at http://www.fightinphillies.com/ - you can download the show from iTunes each week, and we still need a show sponsor, so if you have a business or service that would like to sponsor the show, just drop us an email!

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jayson Werth – will the real Hollywood step forward?


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Werth portrays the 'Grizzled' Look at the start of Spring Training 2010



Photo from fOTOGLIF

          
Where did Jason Werth go this off season? The outback of Australia and forget to shave when he got back to civilization? He looks as if he ran into the Beatles from 1970 or something…

That’s not a bad thing is it? When I saw him, I thought of the Yankees and their strict code of ‘no beards, and neatly trimmed hair’ policy and to me, that’s just not what life is always going to look like. There are going to be some rough edges, some rugged resolutions. Everyone shouldn't look as if they've just stepped out of Business Week magazine like the Yankees!

          Last year, Jayson was going smooth in his “LA” actor motif, during the Phillies Phestival Charity event that I photographed him at. Could Werth be the real “Hollywood” of the team?


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Monday, February 22, 2010

Kendrick looks to stay in the Majors this year

3984960283_f9ccf37deb_b Kendrick looks to stay with the Phillies for the whole season this year
  

  Kyle Kendrick’s career in baseball has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride as it pertains to staying with the Phillies in the Majors. He’s been one of the players that the Phillies have seemed to stand by though, and despite Kendrick’s early success a couple seasons ago, he is still out to prove that he is a big league pitcher.

   There has been much said about a battle for the fifth spot in the Phillies starting rotation. There is a feeling that J.A. Happ will secure the fourth spot, which leaves open the fifth spot for either Kendrick or Jamie Moyer to battle out for. Jose Contreras has been a starter too, but it’s too early to tell if he will be a third horse in the race for the final starting pitching position on the team.

     Last season, it seemed that J.A. Happ was just lucky enough to stay with the team upon breaking camp in Florida, he took last year’s chance and almost scored the NL Rookie of the Year, which he was beat out by Chris Coughlan of the Florida Marlins. Kendrick is in a similar position as Happ was last season. He’s showed improved pitching after being sent down to the minors and now is out to prove he can stay up in the bigs.

    Kendrick’s early success seemed to disappear in a fast few games he pitched in 2008 after he was called up and went a tremendous 10-4 in 20 starts in 2007. In 2008, he continued his success and appeared to be very steady before it all came unglued for him on a West coast trip in August of 2008, and continued with terrible starts in September. The Phillies didn’t even make him a member of the postseason roster which means he didn’t get to pitch at all in the playoffs or World Series in ‘08. He was then sent to the minors for much of 2009 before being called up again to the Phillies team last season when he showed improvement again.

     Kyle’s lifetime record as a Phillies pitcher is an impressive 24-14, but he still has a lot to prove. It’s really important for him to make this team to continue his quest to stay in the bigs, time will tell.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Toronto won't forget Roy Halladay too soon -

                    
         Griffin: Roy Halladay found in a strange-looking uniform - thestar.com




Photo from fOTOGLIF



The Toronto Star newspaper catches up with Roy Halladay wearing a different uniform than the writer is used to seeing. See what they have to say about Halladay's move to the Phillies. Click the link above the photo to read the article from the Canadian newspaper.

The article even mentions the possibility of Halladay getting booed at home. See what a great reputation we have in the world media, Phillies fans? They are already writing about the time when we'll boo Halladay.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Contract year for many Phillies in 2010


Photo from fOTOGLIF

 Seeing Rollins in another team's jersey is almost unthinkable


The Phillies regular season hasn’t started yet for 2010, but fightinphillies.com is looking ahead to players on the Phils that are in their final season under contract with the team. The final year on a contract may mean that we longer will see the player after this season, if the Phillies don’t offer a deal to keep them that is accepted.

 Here is a list of Phillies regulars who are in their ‘Contract Year’:

Jason Werth
Right fielder, had awesome ‘09
Jimmy Rollins Shortstop extraordinaire
Jamie Moyer Can he pitch till 50?
Greg Dobbs Utility backup specialist
J.C. Romero Relief

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phillies Talk Podcast - Live tonight at 6:30 pm- Spring Training Starts for 2010

Phillies Talk - Spring Training Starts for 2010 with Pitchers and Catchers









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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome back Pitchers and Catchers!


Photo from fOTOGLIF


     A lot of ballyhoo down in Florida and Arizona this week, as the boys of summer are making their return to Spring Training homes to begin yet another year of baseball for the millions of fans who look forward to the start of the season.

    Some talk in the days leading up to the first day of Spring Training on XM Radio this week, talked about the reasons that pitchers and catchers are the first players to report to Spring Training. The reasons are many. The main reason is that pitchers have more work to do loosing their arms and getting ready to throw and another is that this is the tradition. Many years ago, the teams could only bring in the pitchers and someone who they could throw to for money reasons. The teams have to start paying players and in a couple of days the rest of the team reports. That of course was years ago, before the age of mega-million dollar contracts and even more millions in TV revenues.

    The boys are back in camp and pretty soon, they’ll be playing on the field, but first it’s down to jogging, throwing, stretching, and getting some exercise to get into playing shape. Chase Utley is the only player outside of the pitchers and catchers to report very early. Does that tell you something about the work ethic, and leadership of Utley?

      A lot of fun and games are ahead of us, this Spring will be the most televised Spring Training that the Phillies ever had. Before, there were very few games that were broadcast from Spring Training, but this year will have the most games on the air. In fact the Phillies games will be all over the airwaves this year, as the back to back team of the World Series again will see what it’s future holds.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2010’s Fantasy Baseball magazine season is underway – get a free 2010 Season Guide book here!

 

YahooSportsMag2010

 

        The snow storms of a week ago made me postpone a weekend trip to my local Borders Bookstore to get a peek at all of the 2010 Fantasy Baseball preview magazines that usually are out a couple weeks prior to Spring Training, but I finally made it just a few days ago and once again the racks were full for the upcoming fantasy baseball team owners.

 

      Pick your favorite, or buy a few of them. The big names are there in colorful magazine glossy covers. Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball Guide, Rotowire, Beckett, and many more are now on display at your favorite bookstore. I purchased the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball 2010 draft guide. It gives you a nice look at each team in a graphical display of their depth charts and much more. Yes, you can find this online, but it’s much easier to have a publication at hand for better overall viewing of some fantasy information.

 

     Yahoo Sports has Jayson Werth as their #36th pick out of the Top 300 picks in the MLB. That is very bullish for Werth, it may have signaled that he has arrived on the map as a superstar. The signing of Shane Victorino in the off season has signaled to some that Werth may not be resigned as a Phillie player after this season, but Werth’s stock will be high whatever happens, and he will be in a Phillies uniform this season and that’s what matters. According to this Yahoo publication, they have projected that Roy Halladay will have 18 wins this season. Cole Hamels is also projected to have 15 wins.

 

      Here’s a free bonus for our readers here at FightinPhillies.com, SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research, is offering the baseball public a free downloadable 2010 Baseball Season Guide. The press release emailed to us reads like this:

The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is giving away The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2010 to the world baseball community. Developed in the spirit of the classic guides published by the Sporting News, Spalding, and Reach, The Emerald Guide includes all pitching, hitting, and fielding statistics for every player active in the major and minor leagues during 2009. Other features include team histories, up-to-date team contact information and schedules, an extensive Year in Review essay, team day-by-day game logs, All-Star Game box score and play-by play, post-season box scores and play-by-play, transactions, debuts, first-year player draft, and major and minor league necrology.

EmeraldGuideToBaseball2010v1b_Page_001

         So here it is for free! as a PDF download or you can purchase a hardbound copy of the book at Lulu.com. Get your free down load here:

 The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2010 is available as a free PDF download from http://sabr.org.

        

       I downloaded my free copy, and it is a wealth of info to say the least at more than 600 pages of info.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Phillies Talk Podcast - Todd Zolecki from MLB.com joins us on tonight's show

       We're back on Phillies Talk - the podcast after a 2 week hiatus, and this week we are joined by MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, who writes daily about the Phillies. Todd's new book is coming out soon and it's called 'The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies. Heart Pounding, jaw dropping, gut wrenching moments from Philadelphia Phillies history."

         We also talk with Todd about the upcoming Spring Training season and 2010 upcoming regular season for the Philadelphia Phillies.




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Hamels & Halladay- will they lead the Phillies to the Postseason in 2010?

 

Photo from fOTOGLIF

      Hamels is becoming a seasoned veteran sooner than later!

  Pundits are speculating on starting rotations as every day draws closer to Spring Training. The Phillies combo of Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay is going to be scrutinized and looked at by the best baseball writers out there and they will be rated against other team’s best starting pitchers. How they pitch this year, may lead the Phillies into the playoffs again, and yet another appearance in the World Series.

    Cole Hamels struggles of last year were well documented. He is going to get a fresh start in 2010 and the stigma of being 2008’s World Series MVP is behind him. Players will still try extra hard to hit him, and he’ll have to try harder to get them out this year. Will fantasy baseball fans draft him high this year? Before we get too far with questions about Cole, let’s look at a couple of facts.

              1. This will be Cole Hamels 5th season as a Phillie, he has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. 
              2. He is still very much a young pitcher, he’s 27 years old
              3. His awards earned so far: 2008 NLCS Most Valuable Player and 2008 World Series MVP.

      Hamels has to find his confidence level and as was mentioned at the end of the season, another style of pitch to throw in addition to the pitches he already throws. I think he bounces back and has a win total approaching 15 games or more.

        Halladay is another story. He’s a guy that could take the Phillies to new heights if he is healthy all year. There’s no reason not to believe he’s going to win 18-20 games this year. The Phillies should be firing on all cylinders again this year with the awesome offense that they can produce. Halladay has never been in a World Series, just like Cliff Lee wasn’t ever in one either, but we see the kind of perfomance that he turned in, out there on the mound for the Phillies. Lee may be one of the best pitchers the Phillies ever ended up trading for minor leaguers as well. But that's another blog post.

       There needs to be a name for this duo of Hamels and Halladay, like ‘The Founding Fathers” or something like that, with the recent occasion of Cole becoming a dad, and the tie into Philadelphia history. We’ll see how well this duo performs when the season starts, but until then, it’s going to be interesting to hear all the talk about which team has the best 1-2 starters in the game.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

VORP, EqA and the folly of numbers, baseball stats that go nowhere

        


    I am a baseball fan who kind of likes box score stats. Not that stats say everything about a team or player but it is a natural to want to keep watching a stat like batting average or home runs or with a pitcher, earned run average, or how many times a team has beaten another team in a given year. Those are the stats that I like to keep track of and it is what has made fantasy leagues more appealing as well. Fast forward into the recent days of ‘new age’ stats, these are stats that a lot of people who are fans of baseball have never heard of. Advanced stats that use complicated methods of math to come up with numbers that are supposed to mean something. Bill James has made a lot of money each year publishing books full of numbers and stats that would make your head spin, and a lot of it seems like snake oil numbers to me.

     New coined stats such as VORP, which means: (from baseballprospectus.com)
Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense.

        Ok, I can sort of follow what that stat might tell me. How much better a value of a player a certain guy is over another player on offense. I’ll buy this one in a way. I’ll look at the number VORP a player has though and wonder what all went into making it up. Consider me at this point, very skeptical at what the stat and quality of it’s makeup actually means.

          Then you have the ‘way out there’ ‘new age’ stats like this one:

  EqA – the meaning and computation goes like this (also from Baseball prospectus.com)

EqA
Equivalent Average. A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense. The EqA adjusted for all-time also has a correction for league difficulty. The scale is deliberately set to approximate that of batting average. League average EqA is always equal to .260.
EqA is derived from Raw EqA, which is
RawEqA =(H+TB+1.5*(BB+HBP+SB)+SH+SF-IBB/2)/(AB+BB+HBP+SH+SF+CS+SB)
Any variables which are either missing or which you don't want to use can simply be ignored (be sure you ignore it for both the individual and league, though). You'll also need to calculate the RawEqa for the entire league (LgEqA).
Convert RawEqA into EqR, taking into account the league EqA LgEqA, league runs per plate appearance, the park factor PF, an adjustment pitadj for not having to face your own team's pitchers, and the difficulty rating. Again, you can ignore some of these as the situation requires. xmul can simply be called "2", while the PF, diffic, and pitadj can be set to "1".
xmul=2*(.125/PF/Lg(R/PA)/pitadj)
EQAADJ=xmul*(RawEqa/LgEqa)* ((1+1/diffic)/2) + (1-xmul)
UEQR=EQAADJ*PA*Lg(R/PA)
To get the final, fully adjusted EqA, we need to place this into a team environment.
This is an average team:
AVGTM=Lg(R/Out)*Lg(Outs/game)*PF*Games*(DH adjustment)
The DH adjustment is for playing in a league with a DH. "Games" is the number of games played by this player.
Replacing one player on the average team with our test subject:
TMPLUS=AVGTM+UEQR-OUT*Lg(R/Out)*DH*PF
Get pythagorean exponent
pyexp=((TMPLUS+AVGTM)/Games)**.285
Calculate win percentage
WINPCT=((TMPLUS/AVGTM)**pyexp)/(1+(TMPLUS/AVGTM)**pyexp)
Convert into adjusted space, where the Pythagorean exponent is set to 2.
NEWTM=(WINPCT/(1-WINPCT))**(1/2)
Fully adjusted EqR:
EQR=.17235*((NEWTM-1)*27.*Games + Outs)
Fully adjusted EqA
EQA= (EQR/5/Outs)** 0.4



             Now this stat is deep, but it’s one that I wouldn’t give a second glance to, it’s too complicated and what does it prove? Do you see the computation above? This isn’t rocket science, it’s baseball. I don’t care for Algebra and am not a fan of these type of wild computations. It sells books, but in reality, it’s a bunch of useless computations that go nowhere. There are many, many, more of these zany brainy computations with names that go with them. There have been recent reports of teams that have bought into the value of some of these numbers and stats.I don't see how you can give much credence to this.

             Give me a team’s press notes, some stats from the box scores, and I’m good to go, What do I care if Player A’s numbers are 1.2354789 and Player B’s numbers for the same thing is 1.2235647 – am I supposed to think less of Player B with these Sabermetrics? I don’t think so.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

1980 Phillies phlashback…

   The Phillies team waited a long time for the first World Championship to be brought home to Philadelphia. 1980 wasn’t the first World Series the Phillies were ever in, but it’s the team that won it first. Isn’t it odd that the losers of the World Series aren’t held in the same esteem as the team that wins?, but that’s the way it is. Last year’s appearance for the Phillies was a great milestone of back to back, but sadly it won’t be held in the same regard as the 1980 or 2008 team. The first World Series the Phillies were in was in 1915, a very long time ago. The Phillies played the Boston Red Sox and lost to them 4 games to 1. Players such as Grover Cleveland Alexander and a young 20 year old kid named Babe Ruth played in that World Series, and it was the first World Series that a President of the United States threw out a ceremonial first pitch to start off the series.

   The second World Series attempt by the Phillies came 35 years later, in 1950. The team the Phillies would face in that World Series was the powerhouse New York Yankees. The Yankees fielded players named: Joe DiMaggio, Phil Ruzzuto, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. The Phillies had their own stars: Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, Dick Sisler, and Jim Konstanty  It would be the 15th World Series win by the Yankees up to that point, and only the second World Series appearance by the Phillies. The Phillies lost the 1950 World Series, 4 games to 0. The regular season had the Phillies drawing more fans than any other team in baseball of the 8 teams, 1,217,035 saw baseball that year in Philly’s Shibe Park. Fast forward 30 more years, and the stage was set for yet another run at the elusive World Series championship for the Phillies and their fans.



vlcsnap-2010-02-07-11h54m01s36           The 1980 Phillies celebrate as they head toward the 1980 World Series

Games 1 and 2 in Philadelphia

   The year of 1980 wasn’t that great of year in the Philly area, the US was at odds with Iran this year, and with Russia. There are no PC’s around and certainly no cell phones called iPhones. Information came from your local newspapers and television. The Phillies were in the World Series just four years after Philly celebrated the Bicentennial year of the birth of the United States. Fans were anticipating the Phils winning but the games had to be played out first. Tug McGraw came into Game 1, and saved the first game win for the Phillies at home with an impressive 7-6 win over the Kansas City Royals before 65,971 fans at Veterans Stadium.


vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h03m40s190 Tug McGraw stares in for the signs in Game 1 of the 1980 World Series



     The Kansas City Royals in 1980 wanted to win in the worst way, their team had a lot of stars of the day in their own right. Dan Quisenberry, George Brett, Willie Aikens, Amos Otis, and Willie Wilson. The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series, with a Game 3 victory at home. The Phillies won the first two at home, with Steve Carlton getting the win in Game 2 by the score of 6-4 before 65,775 fans. “Shake and Bake” McBride was a hero in Game 2 as well as Game 1 for the Phils, Mc Bride got keys hits in the first two games leading to Phillies wins.


vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h20m35s104
“Shake and Bake” Bake McBride was a hero for the Phillies in 1980


Game 3 and 4 in Kansas City

     The Phillies had an all star lineup that included Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Greg Luzinski, and Garry Maddox. The Fightin’s stumbled on the road in Kansas City, as the Royals came back strong to win Games 3 and 4 in Kansas City with impressive wins. The Series was all tied up for Game 5 to be played in Kansas City during the late afternoon. This afternoon World Series is something you don’t see anymore. In the age where television revenue rules over baseball proper.


vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h31m09s45      George Brett and Willie Aikens weren’t about to go down quietly in Games 3-4 for Kansas City


Game 5 in Kansas City

          Game 5 was a pivotal one in the series, at this point it was any team’s to win. The series was tied 2-2. In Game 5 it was Mike Schmidt who put a two run homerun over the fence, again Bake McBride was a hero, he was called safe on a bunt that Willie Aikens couldn’t handle the throw from. Schmidt layed into the pitch from the Kansas City pitcher, Larry Gura. It was Schmidt’s second homerun in this World Series.


vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h39m22s112 vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h39m30s184
Bake is called safe at first in Game 5 and then Mike Schmidt puts a long fly out of the park for the Phillies early lead

  Game 5 would be a battle though, and the Royals battled back to take control of the game. The Phillies were down 3-2 in the 8th inning and it looked as though they would lose this game in K.C. as well.  Willie Wilson smacked a long fly into right center, Bake McBride’s relay throw to Manny Trillo was perfect and the Royals runner, Darrell Porter from first base, was thrown out at the plate and ended the inning for the Royals. The momentum of the game shifted, but the Phillies still had a lot of work to make things happen for them.

   It was the top of the 9th inning and Dan Quisenberry was on the mound for the Royals, and Mike Schmidt led off, he scorched a ground ball off the Royals third baseman, George Brett.


vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h53m36s195 vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h54m23s162
 Schmidt scorched one off of George Brett to reach base in Game 5, 9th inning
   
    Phillies awesome pinch hitter Del Unser was next, he smacked a double down the right field line to score Schmidt and tying the game. Unser was sacrificed to third and Manny Trillo  drilled a line drive off of Quisenberry to score Unser and give the Phillies the lead. This wouldn’t be all though. The Royals still had to bat in the bottom of the 9th and they loaded the bases on Tug McGraw. McGraw then struck out Jose Cardinal to win the game for the Phillies as the Royals left them loaded at home in the important Game 5. Phils win this one, 4-3.

Game 6 at Veterans Stadium


        At 11:29 pm, the Phillies won the World Series after winning Game 6 on October, 21st 1980. The team that needed 98 years to win their first World Championship had done it. Steve Carlton again gets a win for the Phillies for his second of the series, and McGraw earned the save before 65,838 at Veteran’s Stadium.
        Of course the road wasn’t all that easy again. Remember the play that is etched in the minds of many Phillies fans of the team that saw the game in 1980 and again in replays for those who didn’t see it live? The play was when the Royals had the bases loaded, and though down, they remained a threat in this Game 6, there was a fly ball hit foul off of the bat Royals player, Frank White. It was chased down by Bob Boone, and also pursuing was Pete Rose who miraculously caught the foul as it bounced out of Boone’s glove.


vlcsnap-2010-02-07-13h08m20s80 The Boone bobble and then Rose grabbing it and running away with his caught foul ball was classic that rivals a lot of great Phillies momentsvlcsnap-2010-02-07-13h08m47s90    


     The Phillies were finally World Series Champs after a long, long, wait. It would be repeated in 2008 with a new crop of stars and players who wore the Philly pinstripes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Phillies beat reporter Todd Zolecki's new Phillies book coming soon






           "The good, the bad, and the ugly". The Phillies new book, coming soon to a bookstore near you. Mr. Todd Zolecki has been with the Phillies for some time now, following the team for the Philadelphia Inquirer for a few years and now with MLB.com covering the Phillies. Along the way, he has put together some interesting stories of the team. I am looking forward to this book, I like Todd's writing and think this may become one of the most favorite books with Phillies fans.

         Hopefully, we'll get to have him on an upcoming edition of "Phillies Talk" to talk about the book, and the Phillies chances in 2010.



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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fans can help future generations remember Kalas

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      A grass roots effort has been formed and the push is on for a fan’s ‘paid for’ statue by donations of the late great Harry Kalas. An email was sent to all the Phillies blogs and now you can participate in this unique way to remember the guy that was as much a Phillie as many of the players. Read our blog post from just a month after Harry passed away here: http://www.fightinphillies.com/2009/05/month-without-harry-kalas.html

The website to participate is:  http://harrykalasstatue.com/

     Here’s the story from the Press release in November of 2009:

Harry Kalas, whose Hall of Fame baritone voice was silenced on April 13, 2009, touched the lives of millions of Philadelphians for nearly forty years as the play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies. Kalas, with fellow Hall of Famer Richie “Whitey” Ashburn, formed what is arguably the greatest announcing team in the history of baseball.


While Harry’s colorful delivery expressed his love of baseball, his call of a game became a pure expression of love for the city and fans of Philadelphia. And, as much as Harry loved the people of Philadelphia, they remain wild about Harry.


In a heartfelt demonstration of that affection, a group of Kalas admirers has kicked off a plan to fund and build a permanent monument to the beloved broadcaster.


The day after Kalas died, Philadelphia Phillies fan, Antonio Jose started a petition on Facebook seeking support for a statue to be erected in Kalas’ honor and memory. One of the Facebook members that signed the petition was Philadelphia native and acclaimed sculptor, Lawrence J. Nowlan.


Nowlan, a Philadelphia native with a studio in Windsor, Vermont, is one of finest figurative bronze sculptors working today and is often on the short list for commissioned memorial sculptures. Most recently the artist created a heroically sized action scene of Nile Kinnick for the University of Iowa, a larger than life Ralph Cramden installed in New York City’s Port Authority and a series of intricately detailed bas-relief sculptures commemorating winemakers at the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame.


Nowlan had started sketching and sculpting Kalas over the summer and seeing the groundswell of support demonstrated on the Facebook page, inspired him to reach out to Jose. After explaining his background and vision of a Kalas monument to Jose, the originator of the petition invited Nowlan to share administration of the Facebook page.


Next, Nowlan gathered a group of friends to strategize a way to turn this dream into a reality. The goals– raise the money, sculpt the memorial and deliver the finished sculpture to the Philadelphia Phillies.


Greg Veith, an attorney in Norristown, and Nowlan’s childhood friend, recommended forming a non-profit entity so that all donations would be used for the development of the statue. Veith incorporated the organizational entity, Dear Harry, Inc. whose current singular mission is to promote, fund and execute a memorial to Harry Kalas. Dear Harry, Inc. is in the process of registering for 501(c)(3) status.


Nowlan’s college roommate, Todd Palmer, volunteered the services of the advertising agency at which he is Creative Director, Virtual Farm Creative, Inc., located in Phoenixville. Virtual Farm Creative developed a brand for the mission, a website and other promotional materials.
Rounding out the team is another friend of Nowlan’s, Suzanne Downs Norris of Paoli, who enthusiastically encouraged Nowlan to jump at this chance.


“No one is more perfect for this task,” reflects Norris. “He is the most amazing sculptor, an ultimate Phillies fan and the best choice to immortalize the voice of my summers, Harry Kalas.”


Indeed, Nowlan is a huge sports fan and an even bigger fan of all Philadelphia teams. Everyone involved in this project are die-hard Philadelphia sports fans and they have initiated the promotion of the proposed memorial by donating a lot of time and talent.


Palmer, whose Chester County agency works with a number of non-profits, became inspired when Nowlan approached him with the scale model of Kalas.


“I remember (Nowlan) sculpting Pelle Lindbergh in college,” says Palmer. “Then Eric Lindros and Walter Peyton– he was always creating amazingly accurate sports figures and he’s a rabid Philly fan.”


“(Nowlan) created a clay sculpture following Harry’s death while he was watching the Phils try to repeat,” remembers Palmer. “Then we saw the petition and it was serendipity. 20,000 Harry Kalas fans can’t be wrong!”


The vision for this project is to raise enough money (as much as $100,000) to fund the development of an original and permanent, seven-foot tall bronze likeness of Kalas. Nowlan estimates that, if all goes as planned, the sculpture could be unveiled at the beginning of the 2011 season.


“Harry was not your run-of-the-mill broadcaster,” adds Nowlan. “He was a fan watching in our living rooms with us, rooting for the team that held our hearts.”


Everyone involved in the Dear Harry, Inc. project agrees that, if they’re able to raise enough money, Richie Ashburn should be added to the memorial.


“If only half of the people that signed the petition donated just $10 each, we’d have enough,” muses Nowlan who is in the process of creating a bronze version of the scale model.


The petition that Jose started now includes nearly 20,000 signatures many of which are accompanied by memories of Harry. “Philadelphia has a Rocky Statue,” ponders Jose. “Don’t you think Harry has done more for this city than Rocky did?”


To learn more about Dear Harry, Inc., visit the web site devoted to the promotion of a “Harry the K” monument at www.harrykalasstatue.com.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Where are they now? Keeping an eye on former Phillies


Photo from fOTOGLIF

   Once a Phillie, always a Phillie? I am not so sure of that, but here’s a look at where some of the former Phillies will be in 2010 who used to be in the red pinstripes.

    
Brett MyersHouston Astros – 1 yr deal
Randy WolfMilwaukee Brewers- 3 year deal
Pedro FelizHouston Astros– 1 year deal
Jim ThomeMinnesota Twins
Vincente PadillaLA Dodgers– 1 year deal
Marlon ByrdChicago Cubs– 3 year deal
Matt Stairs San Diego Padres – 1 year deal
Chris Coste New York Mets
Greg GolsonNew York Yankees- minors
Von HayesCamden Riversharks- Manager
Jack TashnerPittsburgh Pirates
Pat BurrellTampa Bay Rays
Aaron RowandSan Francisco Giants
Bobby AbreuLos Angeles Angels
Michael BournHouston Astros