Monday, January 31, 2011

Philly Sports Writers dinner ushers out January 2011

The annual sports writers dinner was held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey tonight. The banquet featured many prominent Phillies players and coaches. This year the dinner banquet was held on the last day of January 2011.

Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, and GM, Ruben Amaro anchored the Phillies management representation at the event which is one of the oldest of it's kind in America. The foundation banquet started in 1904, and it's a rare opportunity for even fans to take part in a dinner with their favorite local sports stars. The event is open to the public, though it is mostly attended by members of the media.

Roy Halladay, receives the 'Athlete Of The Year Award', he appeared with Shane Victorino, who was there promoting his foundation called the Shane Victorino Foundation, which helps underprivileged youngsters in Hawaii and Philadelphia.

Here's the lineup of awards from the PSW's website:

* Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay, Phillies ace and National League Cy Young Award-winner, gets the Pro Athlete of the Year Award!
* Team of the Year goes to the Philadelphia Flyers
* Shane Victorino, the popular ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ and star centerfielder for the Phillies, is our Humanitarian Award-winner
* The Native Son Award will go to soccer star Bobby Convey who went on to World Cup and Major League Soccer stardom after his days at Penn Charter
* Bill Bergey, the standout middle linebacker of Dick Vermeil’s Eagles teams, will take home the Living Legend Award
* Elton Brand, of the 76ers, gets the 2011 Good Guy Award
* Sheila Reid, who led the Villanova to the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross County Title, is Amateur Athlete of the Year. Reid also won the Honda Award for the Top Female Athlete in Cross County.
* Other honorees include: Ian Laperriere, Flyers; Herb Magee, Philadelphia University; Al Bagnoli, Penn football; Fran Dunphy, Temple Basketball; Jack Childs, Drexel werstling; Matt Hoffman, Rowan football; Wyatt Middleton, Navy football; Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro, Phillies.
The banquet is always a highlight for local sports fans, and this year promises to be yet another awesome evening.

  Here is some of the history of the event also from the PSWA website:

“It all began back on May 12, 1904 when a group of 43 writers got together in the Majestic Hotel, reportedly to talk about improving working conditions at the area sporting events. At some point in the session, one of the members raised a half-filled stein and suggested the writers hold a party to honor the top sports performers from the previous season.
“‘I’ll drink to that,’ a colleague shouted, and before long the idea developed into a plan. The sports writers of the Philadelphia area and their ‘most loyal fans in the country’ have been drinking together ever since.”
After the first PSWA dinner, in 1904, “A headline in the Public Ledger the next morning read: ‘The Sporting Writers Entertained and Their Guests Are Filled With Hot Air and Other Things.”
“This was a big event in the era of the horse and buggy, unpaved roads and just 45 states. It was two years before the invention of the radio tube and almost a half century before television. Newspapers were king.”
“When the writers’ association began in 1904, baseball was king, boxing was second best. Football was struggling to prove it wasn’t a ‘game for fools’ and basketball wasn’t even in the picture.
“there were 10 daily newspapers in Philadelphia in 1903, selling for a penny a copy. Competition was stiff.”
Over the years, some of our illustrious honorees included:
Connie Mack, Rube Waddell, Mickey Cochrane, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Lefty Grove, Chuck Klein, Joe Louis and Jimmie Fox.
Knute Rockne, Jesse Owens, Eddie Arcaro, Joe DiMaggio, Robert “Tiny” Maxwell and John Heisman.
Babe Ruth.
‘Babe’ Didrikson Zaharias, Billie Jean King, Cathy Rush and Theresa Shenk Grentz.
Boby Clarke, John Cappelletti, Howard Cosell, Jersey Joe Walcott, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins.
Bob Hope.
Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Happy Chandler, Ford Frick, Branch Rickey and Pete Rose.
Joe Paterno, Greasy Neale, Sid Gillman, Buck Shaw, Steve Van Buren, Jimmy Brown, Johnny Unitas, Norm Van Brocklin and Chuck Bednarik.
Jim Thorpe, OJ Simpson, Hershel Walker, and Otto Graham.
Wilt Chamberlain, Tom Gola, Bill Russell, Paul Arizin, Red Auerbach, Larry Brown, lou Carnesecca, John Chanely, Chuck Daly, Julius Erving, Hal Greer, Harry Litwack, Jack Ramsay, Dolph Schayes and Bill Walton.
Marty Liquori, Carl Lewis, Bobby Clarke, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Julie Kronse, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Tug McGraw, Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn.
Mickey Mantle, Dizzy Dean, Monte Stratton, Pete Gray, Jim Piersall, and Jim Abbott.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fan Appreciation Day moves to mid-week in 2011

  For years, the Phillies have always held fan appreciation day on the last Sunday home game of the year for the Phillies. It was really part of the draw for the Sunday plan fans that paid for their 14 game Sunday plan, which includes an 'On Deck Game' that is preseason.

 In 2011, the fan appreciation day will move to a Thursday as the Phillies close out the regular season during the mid-week this season. Now, the Sunday plan folks get to finish out their plan with a Sunday game with St. Louis on September 18th as the final home game of the year is Thursday, September 22nd. September 18th will be the only game on Sunday that the Phillies will play at home in September.

The majority of the games for the Sunday season plan holders will be in May and July when there will be three games in each of those months.

Father's Day is officially on June 19th but the Phils are away in Seattle on that date, so the team will celebrate Father's Day in Philly on June 12th when the Phillies play the Chicago Cubs. The time for this June 12th game is still to be announced.

Mother's Day has the Phillies playing at home against the Braves on May 8th in an ESPN night game at 8:00 PM.

The Texas Rangers will appear in Philly this season for the first time since 2005. Maybe this will be a series to have Cliff Lee face his old team and bring out his 'nasty' on them! In 2005, the Phils swept the Rangers in Philly in three straight games June 7-9, 2005. In 2008, the Phillies visited the Rangers from June 27-29, the Phillies only won 1 of the 3 game series there, so the Phils have an overall record of 4-2 against the Texas Rangers.

The Phillies will travel to Seattle for the first time since they played there in 2005. In the 14 years of interleague play from 1997 -2010, the Phillies and the Mariners have only met for 6 games against one another. In 2003 the Mariners faced the Phillies at home at Veterans Stadium. The winner for the Mariners in Game 1 of the series? Jamie Moyer, who beat Kevin Millwood for the Phillies 4-0 on Tuesday, June 3rd 2003. The Phillies in that series were swept by the Mariners in three straight games played from June 3-5th 2003. Top players in '03 for the Mariners: Edgar Martinez, Brett Boone, and Ichiro.

 In 2005, the Phillies traveled to Seattle for a three game series against the Mariners from June 14-16. The Phils only won 1 of those games. The Phils won the last game of the series on June 16th when they beat the Mariners 3-2. Brett Myers started the game for the Phils, and Geoff Geary got the win. Believe it or not, Kenny Lofton was in center field for the Phillies, and Endy Chavez was in left.

Interleague opponents this year for 2011: 

Texas @ Phillies May 20-22
Phillies @ Seattle June 17-19
Oakland @ Phillies June 24-26
Boston @ Phillies June 28-30
Phillies @ Toronto July 1-3

Other interesting quirks of the 2011 season schedule for the Phillies:

 Giveaway Highlights:

  McDonalds Opening Week T-Shirt 4/5/11 - all fans 15 and over
 Carlos Ruiz T-Shirt night  5/22/11 - children 14 and under
 Toyota Roy Oswalt Bobble Figurine 5/24/11 -  All fans
  xpedx Beach Towel  6/26/11 - children 14 and under
  WB Mason Collectible Truck 6/29/11 - children 14 and under
  Placido Polanco Bobble Figurine  8/16/11 - all fans

  Fireworks for July 2011 at Citizens Bank Park:

  The Phils will be on the road for July 4th and for much of the first three weeks of July. The Fireworks shows are late in July this year at the park, Comcast will sponsor the event on July 28 and 29 for two nights. The first night, the Phillies play the final game of a three game series with San Francisco, and the next game against Pittsburgh Pirates on July 29th.

  More on the schedule as we look at other interesting aspects of the 2011 Phillies schedule in future posts here on

Here is what Jamie Moyer had to say after his victory against the Phillies in 2003:

 The way I look at pitching, you’re only as good as your offense and your defense,” Moyer said. “I have to rely on my defense a lot. I’m not a power pitcher. I’m not a strikeout pitcher.”


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Phillies Talk podcast - 2011 Schedule talk, and will Manuel Get His

 Here's the latest show for Phillies Talk, it's only 6 or so weeks till Spring Training. We're talking about the schedule and much more on this show! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Defending 'The King' about Halladay Media Flap

I now know that I don't follow the media so closely in Philly as perhaps I should. Recently, it's come to my attention of a flap between Howard Eskin, a Philly sports media legend,  and the Phillies ace, Roy Halladay. Eskin had accused Halladay of not being available for media interviews recently and after the season ended.

Does, Eskin, who also goes by 'The King', in some circles, have a bona fide argument? I think you could answer: yes. Halladay has been given some 'hit them outta the park' interviews where all he does is basically comment on certain things that aren't that difficult to talk about. When it comes to tough questions I don't think he has been interviewed all that much really, but I don't think Eskin is talking about any tough questions, it's more like there can be no questions because he doesn't make himself available.

In a week, there will be the Philadelphia Sports Writers annual dinner in Philadelphia. Actually it is held in New Jersey, but for argument's sake, this dinner has been one of the longest fund raising events of it's kind for the media folks. Roy Halladay was invited, but didn't really jump at the chance to attend and mingle with the local writers. In fact, he had to be really convinced that he should be at this dinner. He will be, and that's a good thing. Let it be known though that he was kind of cool about the idea. The reasons could be many. An excuse for breaking a 'training regime' shouldn't be one of them. As a guy that is earning the kind of money that Halladay is, he should be more than happy to reach out to the community who supports him.

Whatever your opinions are about Howard Eskin is your own business. Some people like him, and some people don't. He isn't the guy that's going to just let you off the hook all of the time, and that's a little bit of what a free media in a free society should be like. An interview that looks like it's dreamed up from the Phillies PR department is not what the media should be. Be glad we have guys like Eskin around that care enough to say, "Excuse me, but something isn't right here." 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Will the Phillies miss Jayson Werth this season?

Werth's move to Washington may have brought money, but will he be happy?

I came across this subject while reading some posts elsewhere on the internet. I think it's a subject worth, pardon the pun, exploring a little bit. Will the Phillies miss the contributions of Jayson Werth this season?

The obvious answer is yes. I think the Phils will miss the attitude and swagger that Werth was starting to cultivate so well when he was on the Phillies, particularly the last season that he played in 2010. Werth had real good reasons to do well, namely getting a new contract from a ballclub that was willing to pay the price for his successes that he's had at the plate.

What Jayson often brought to the game was a willingness to do well. He tried his best, and Phillies fans recognized his strong desire to succeed and appreciated it. That will probably always be a part of what Jayson brings to the game.

Will Werth be as successful as he was when he was a Phillie? Now that one is up to great debate. The Phillies, in the past three seasons in particular, have been a team with a mandate. That mandate is to make the playoffs and then go as deep into the playoffs as possible with a World Series appearance being the ultimate goal. Will the Nationals team of 2011 inspire a guy like Werth to do better knowing that they may not have that great of a chance to even make the playoffs in 2011?

This is a dilemma that Jayson will have to deal with. The Nationals may not lose 100 games this year, but they surely appear not to be in the driver's seat to win 100 games either. That fact has to hit home on a player like Werth, so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Phillies Talk webcast - Replay Rob Maaddi's book on Mike Schmidt interview

We took the week off this week, but we still have a show for you. It's our interview with Rob Maaddi, the AP sports reporter, who wrote a great book about Mike Schmidt. The show is from April of last year, we hope you like it.

Phillies Talk is looking for sponsors for 2011, we are looking to put your business or service out to our listeners! Contact us to get the info on the great opportunity of reaching a wide listening audience.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Phillies News: In review


There is not a whole lot to write about the Phillies right now, so the blog hasn’t been that active lately but it doesn’t mean we haven’t been monitoring the news and events surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, so here’s a review of the previous couple week’s news.


1. Charlie Manuel is in the final year of his contract with the Phillies. Some news surfaced that the Phillies have been quietly dealing with this, and expects a deal to be done in late January or early February at the latest. The Phillies want to keep Manuel and it’s just a matter or time before a deal gets done. I think it’s a three year extension for Manuel, anything else would signal a change which could mean that the Phillies are looking for a change at the helm. It will probably be a two year contract in the $7M range with an option for a third year. In 2011, how much do the Phillies pay Manuel? He is rumored to have a salary in the $3M range this year.


2. Ben Francisco avoided arbitration, he signed a one year deal with the Phillies for 1.175M including bonus incentives.


3. JC Romero was not really high on the Phillies list for resigning. Some thought he was gone for good. He signed a one year deal with the Phils for $1.35 million on Jan. 6, after the Dennys Reyes deal fell apart. I don’t think Romero did all that bad last year, but the Phillies were fully prepared to part ways with him. Romero earned $4.25M last year but the Phillies didn’t exercise the option of bringing him back and got him back for a fraction of what they paid him over the past three seasons.


4. Kyle Kendrick is the only player left for arbitration. He’s pitched very well for the Phillies in the past couple of seasons, despite having a few setbacks. His overall record with the Phillies though is 35-24 and he is still only 25 years old with his 26th birthday coming up this August. He made $480K last year, and I expect he’ll command at least $2.5 million or more for this season unless he settles for something less.


5. Domonic Brown still on Phillies radar for greatness despite poor showing in Winter ball. Brown took part in the MLB Rookie Career Development Program. The program is sponsored by the MLB to help some players adjust to their new found career with some fundamental rules to live by to help these rookies deal with different situations effectively. The program was a several day program held in Washington DC.

6. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard spoke to Bob Costas recently on the MLB Network. The interview talked about the lack of African Americans that are playing baseball. See the interview here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Phillies Talk webcast - Rich Westcott Philadelphia Sports Writers Association President

Rich Westcott joins us on tonight's show. We talk about the upcoming Philadelphia Sports Writer's Association Dinner. We also chat about the 2011 season. Check out Rich's books at

It's Rich Baxter and Jim Mulry bringing another edition of Phillies Talk to the internet airwaves. We are looking for new sponsors for 2011, if your business or service is in the Philly/NJ/DE area, we are looking for you! Write us for the details of joining our show as a sponsor. Last year we had over 12000 downloads of Phillies Talk and it keeps growing.

Phillies Talk webcast tonight live at 6:45pm with Rich Westcott

Join us on the webcast live tonight at 6:45 pm, we'll have Rich Westcott on with us. Rich is the author of many Phillies books, and the President of the Philadelphia Sports Writers association. He also had a lot to do with planning the Phillies history section of Ashburn Alley at the stadium.

Want to ask us a question, just call in or use your computer with a microphone and join in on the fun.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Granddaughter of former Phils manager Dallas Green killed in Arizona shootings

We are all saddened this morning to hear the news that granddaughter of former Phils manager Dallas Green was killed in the Arizona shootings...our thoughts and prayers go out to our former skipper and his family....

Perhaps this story from the Arizona Star will put it in perspective...

Born, died between 2 tragedies

Born, died between 2 tragedies Aspiring politician Christina-Taylor Green was born in the midst of tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001, and died Saturday morning while trying to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The strong-willed 9-year-old third-grader had gone to meet Giffords with a neighbor when she was shot. She died later at University Medical Center.

Her neighbor was shot four times and was recovering from surgery Saturday evening.

Christina-Taylor had just been elected to the student council at Mesa Verde Elementary School and had been interested in politics from a young age, her father, John Green, said Saturday night.

"She was a good speaker. I could have easily seen her as a politician," her father said.

The brown-eyed athletic girl had one sibling, an 11-year-old brother named Dallas, and the two loved to go swimming together.

She'd already told her parents she wanted to attend Penn State one day and have a career that involved helping those less fortunate than her.

She also loved animals and was a passionate dancer who loved ballet, hip-hop, jazz and gymnastics and was the only girl on her Canyon del Oro Little League baseball team, "The Pirates." She played second base.

Christina-Taylor came from a family of baseball players. Her grandfather, former major-league pitcher Dallas Green, was team manager for the Philadelphia Phillies when they won the World Series in 1980.

"She kept up with everyone, she was a strong girl, a very good athlete and a strong swimmer," said her mother, Roxanna Green. "She was interested in everything. She got a guitar for Christmas so her next thing was learning to play guitar."

Christina-Taylor also enjoyed singing in a church choir at St. Odilia's Catholic Church, where she had received her first Holy Communion in the spring.

"'Let the children come to me,' Jesus said (Matthew 19:14). Christina is with Him," Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas wrote in a letter to parishioners sent from Jordan, where he is attending a bishops' meeting.

Already aware of inequalities in the world around her, Christina-Taylor often repeated the same phrase to her mother: "We are so blessed. We have the best life."

Her birth date no doubt helped inspire Christina-Taylor's interest in politics, Roxanna Green said. She was one of 50 9/11 babies featured in a book called "Faces of Hope."

"She was born back east and Sept. 11 affected everyone there, and Christina-Taylor was always very aware of it. She was very patriotic and wearing red, white and blue was really special to her," her mother said.

"She was all about helping people, and being involved. It's so tragic. She went to learn today and then someone with so much hatred in their heart took the lives of innocent people."

Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at or 573-4134.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Phillies Talk webcast - Hall of Fame Winners 2011 show

First show of the New Year for Phillies Talk! We talk about the Hall of Fame Winners that were just announced, and who was left out of the Hall for now. The baseball writers who elect the players into the Hall have been a bit shy to rally around any players that have been in the steroids controversy. We'll be writing about that subject in future posts here on the blog at Fightin Phillies.

Would your business like to be a sponsor on our show? We need a couple of sponsors to round out the advertising for the year on the show. We had over 12,000 downloads of the shows last year, so jump on board for an opportunity to be our partner in bringing these internet webcasts to the listeners.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Phillies Under Pressure To Deliver This Year

The Phillies have added one more of the best pitchers in the MLB with the acquistion of Cliff Lee. This was one of the best moves the Phillies ever made to solidify their pitching rotation, but it also comes at a price. This price is not just the salary they will be paying Lee and the other pitchers, but also the price may be that the Phillies will be expected to win it all this year.

Will anything less than a World Series victory be sufficient?

The finishes by the Phils in the last ten years:

Rk Year Tm G W L W-L% Finish Playoffs
1 2010 Philadelphia Phillies 162 97 65 .599 1st of 5 Lost NLCS (4-2)
2 2009 Philadelphia Phillies 162 93 69 .574 1st of 5 Lost WS (4-2)
3 2008 Philadelphia Phillies 162 92 70 .568 1st of 5 Won WS (4-1)
4 2007 Philadelphia Phillies 162 89 73 .549 1st of 5 Lost LDS (3-0)
5 2006 Philadelphia Phillies 162 85 77 .525 2nd of 5
6 2005 Philadelphia Phillies 162 88 74 .543 2nd of 5
7 2004 Philadelphia Phillies 162 86 76 .531 2nd of 5
8 2003 Philadelphia Phillies 162 86 76 .531 3rd of 5
9 2002 Philadelphia Phillies 161 80 81 .497 3rd of 5
10 2001 Philadelphia Phillies 162 86 76 .531 2nd of 5
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/4/2011.

Let's hear what you think about this in the comments section.