Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lee wins 10th behind the Big Piece and Pence’s Debut


Pence welcome

  Pence is welcomed by the fans and the Phanatic last night in Philly


The Phillies won their second game against the Pirates last night before another enthusiastic sold out crowd that welcomed Hunter Pence to the team with a nice standing ovation. Pence would have got his first hit as a Phillie, but the first base umpire, Angel Hernandez, called Pence out on the play when he was clearly safe. Hernandez had a perfect view of the play and just blew it.


Ryan Howard had one of those games, he was 4-4 with 3 RBI on the night. He also notched his 1,000th hit last night, when informed about it from the post game interview with Gary Mathews, Howard said, ‘oh, that’s cool, I didn’t know about that.’ Now that’s a ballplayer, he just goes out there and does his job and doesn’t worry about statistics, he’ll have plenty of time to look at those after he retires many years from now. Howard is continuing to evolve as an all around baseball player, not simply a home run threat.


The addition of Pence was what the Phillies needed to give a bit of spark to this batting lineup. Pence will start getting down to business and getting his hits soon enough. He also said he was ‘ecstatic’ to be here in Philly, and was really impressed by the way the fans welcomed him.


Lee start July 30


Cliff Lee was again not lights out last night, he showed that vulnerable side of him by giving up 8 H and 4 R over 7.2 innings, but this is baseball and Lee looks like he is trying hard but somehow is giving up the long ball. Lee has given up 5 HR in the month of July, in June he didn’t give up any home runs.


The Phils go for the sweep this afternoon in Philly, it should be a nice hot day out there and it’s going to be the second game for Hunter Pence and his new team.


  By the Numbers


Phillies record- 67-39
Phils Best BA as of 7/30 .305- Shane Victorino
Most 2B hits as of 7/30 23 – Ryan Howard
Most 3B hits as of 7/30 12 – Shane Victorino
2nd in RBI on the Phillies 7/30 55- Raul Ibanez  (Howard is first with 81 RBI)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pence sad to leave Houston but thankful to come to Philadelphia

Hunter Pence didn't want to bail out on his teammates in Houston, as he said last night after learning that he was traded to the Phillies. He acknowledged that he also had no choice in the matter and was really happy to be heading to Philly to start a new chapter in his baseball career. Pence will wear the number 3 jersey in Philly and will give the Phils a power, right handed bat in the lineup.

His trade to Philly really got the Phillies fans buzzing at the ballpark as it was officially announced that Pence was a Phillies player right around the time that the fireworks show started at the ballpark after the game against the Pirates. Talk about an awesome way to learn that Pence was officially a Phillie. This is indeed the Golden Era for the Phillies, there has never been a time that the Phillies have been so willing to sign and acquire free agents that will help this team toward winning another championship. Enjoy it, I can't imagine a time when it will be too much better than this!

The Phillies dealt two of the 'top prospects', that is a very loose term thrown around baseball and it means very little. That term means that a player may become good in the big leagues, we've seen a lot of those type players in the big leagues over the years and when they get called up to the majors, they can't live up to the hype. Will the Phillies minor leaguers, Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart, that the Phillies traded off for Pence be good? You never know and that is just it. Some players that aren't as highly regarded are the ones that blossom into the big stars. This is why I don't think the Phillies overpaid at all for Pence. You're getting a proven all-star caliber player with solid numbers matched up against the unknown future production of a few minor leaguers. 


Friday, July 29, 2011

Hunter Pence to Philly reports Jon Heyman from Sports Illustrated

It’s just been announced that Hunter Pence is a Phillie according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and other highly placed sources. Pence brings a big bat to the Phillies lineup and could be on the field as soon as tomorrow night at CBP vs. The Pirates.

Pence just was pulled from his game in Milwaukee and here is what some of his numbers look like from his Houston Astros career:

Year Age Tm AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA Awards
2004 21 HOU-min 199 36 59 18 1 8 37 3 .296 TRC · NYPL
2005 22 HOU-min 453 83 148 22 4 31 90 9 .327 LEX,SAL · SALL,CARL
2006 23 HOU-min 523 97 148 31 8 28 95 17 .283 CPC · TL
2007 24 HOU-min 95 17 31 11 1 3 21 2 .326 RRK · PCL
2007 24 HOU 456 57 147 30 9 17 69 11 .322 RoY-3
2008 25 HOU 595 78 160 34 4 25 83 11 .269
2009 26 HOU 585 76 165 26 5 25 72 14 .282 AS
2010 27 HOU 614 93 173 29 3 25 91 18 .282
2011 28 HOU 398 49 123 26 3 11 62 7 .309 AS
5 Seasons 2648 353 768 145 24 103 377 61 .290
162 Game Avg. 632 84 183 35 6 25 90 15 .290
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/29/2011.

Loss to Giants turns the heat up on Phillies for weekend facing the Pirates


Phillies heat cartoon

  The heat settles back into Philly for the weekend, be prepared!

thanks to Gary from 7th Inning Sketch for the cartoon


  The series loss to the San Francisco Giants was not how the Phillies wanted to start their weekend. From the start of the game against the Giant pitcher, Tim Lincecum, the Phillies just lacked that offensive pop that we’ve seen from them so much lately. The hitters on the Phillies couldn’t get started, and basically were shut down by the tough pitching of Lincecum. The 4-1 loss brings the curtains down on this series with the Giants until these two teams meet again out in San Francisco next week.


Another bit of bad news for the Phillies is that the oppressive heat is coming back to Philadelphia and today is when it starts. The Pittsburgh Pirates come to town for 3 games after they faced the tough Atlanta Braves down in Atlanta for 4 games, which they split with the Braves. The Pirates are a team that has found their groove. They’ve soared up toward the top of the NL Central and they seem like they have renewed interest in making a run at the division for now. The Pirates are now 5 games over .500 and left Atlanta with a win.


The press had a field day with the Giants acquisition of Carlos Beltran. That is an interesting thing about the baseball press, certain writers can jump on a bandwagon as quick as lightning as they have already proclaimed that the Beltran signing is a big success upon the first Giants win over the Phillies. A week from now when Beltran is 3-30 at the plate, they’ll jump off the wagon and make it sound like they were never on it. One thing is certain though, Beltran does add a bit of experience to the position, and he appears to be healthy. Maybe the Giants will get a lot more from him than the Mets ever did. Beltran’s career with the Mets had to be one of the most disappointing signings in mega-million dollar ballplayer history.


The trade deadline is ticking away, only 2 days and it’s all over. Hunter Pence remains the most pursued player by the Phillies. Will the Astros deal him? More teams than the Phillies are interested in him so we’ll have to see what happens. The Phillies could not make any moves and be fine, but with performances like last night they will not be alright. A team is not going to go out there and mow a team like the Giants down in three straight, but the Phillies showed their vulnerable side last night and couldn’t produce a win at home. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Phillies Talk Podcast - recorded tonight: Trade Deadline 2011

   Here is our podcast recorded earlier tonight, yes we faced Lincecum tonight and the result wasn't pretty, but listen to this show we recorded around 6 pm tonight on Phillies Talk.

Trade deadline debate: Trading Domonic Brown for Hunter Pence


Pence Bat

Pence would give the Phillies a deep threat after Howard


An interesting conversation popped up yesterday on their morning drive show from 7AM to 10 AM ET on MLB Network Radio, Rob Dibble and Jim Memolo talked about whether the Phillies should be looking to deal one of their top prospects, Domonic Brown, for the Houston Astros right fielder, Hunter Pence. MLB Network Radio is a 24 hour, 7 day a week radio station on Sirius/XM satellite radio that talks baseball all day and night.


Rob Dibble makes sense when it comes to the Phils getting Pence

Dibble actually would be for such a deal and his explanation was pretty simple. Pence is a proven player and a guy that is going to bring home close to 100 RBI on the season and 25 HR each year. Rob went on to say that Pence is going to give the Phillies a better chance to do what they’ve set out to do and that is a better chance to win championships for the next few years that this current team is intact.


Memolo says don’t gamble the future by dealing Brown

Jim Memolo took the opposing view, that Pence would cost the Phillies too much down the road and the young Domonic Brown hasn’t yet had the chance to blossom yet, so the Phillies don’t really know what will become of his play in a year or two.


Domonic Brown is really in the early stages of his career in baseball, he’s shown some promise with the bat and with his glove. That being said, we’ve seen a lot of players with some talent that just never took off completely and perhaps we’ll see that with Brown.


Fightin Phillies endorses a Pence for Brown deal as soon as it could happen!

The team that the Phillies has is crying out for the right handed bat that they lost with Jayson Werth. Pence would be just the kind of guy the Phillies need. The numbers are not arguable. Pence on this team could make it unstoppable. Pence is much better than Werth in my opinion and should be pursued at any cost.


Would the Astros just take a Domonic Brown in trade for Pence? That remains to be a good question. The Astros know what kind of player Pence is, and the Astros team has acquired a few of the ex-Phillies that are still on that team. Who knows Domonic Brown on the Astros could give the team some of his raw talents and with some time he could become a superstar in his own right. 


Check out MLB Network Radio on Sirius or XM Radio or follow them on twitter @MLBNetworkRadio

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Phillies beat Giants and don’t fear the beard!



Brian Wilson beard

   In this handy post, you’ll find why the Phillies won’t have to ‘fear the beard’ like most other teams do. Simply playing like they did in game 1 of the series against the Giants last night proves that. The Phillies got off to an early great start and never looked back. The ghosts of the 2010 NLCS are gone and this is a new season, and it was another Phillies win.

  Vintage plays by Chase Utley highlighted the night, including a thrilling ‘inside the park’ home run. Utley just slid in under the tag to score and sent CBP wild in the process. Plays in the field highlighted Chase again and along with the 3-run home run by Raul Ibanez, the Phillies easily handled these San Francisco Giants by a score of 7-2 tonight.A stadium of 45,704 fans paid to get the chance to see it in person.


Tim Lincecum has flu-like symptoms and gets a late scratch in Game 1

Tim Lincecum was a late scratch and Barry Zito took over the starting pitching for the Giants in Game 1. Lincecum is still possible for Wednesday’s game vs. Cole Hamels, but it will probably be a decision made towards game time, unless Tim feels worse into the night and early morning tomorrow.


What if some of the Phillies pitchers adopted the Brian Wilson style? What would they look like and how would they do?


Cole-Hamels-beardCole Hamels looks too boyish to carry ‘the look’

CliffLeeBeardCliff Lee Could possibly carry the ‘fear the beard’ motif, he looks a bit more serious out there than Hamels would.



From the medical reports:


  Joe Blanton may not return this year for the Phillies. He still has nerve swelling around the right elbow and if he returns at all, it could be to the bullpen. So it was reported from tonight.

  That means we have Vance Worley with us for the rest of the season, barring any blockbuster trades near the last few days of the month. Worley has been spectacular for the Phillies so far, and you wouldn’t expect him to get traded.

Phillies to face World Champions at home tonight




Remember last year’s 2010 NLCS, not what we want this year




  The San Francisco Giants aren’t a team filled with stars. Their payroll blossomed up to $118M from last year’s payroll of around $96M according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The Giants have a group of players that can play the game of baseball, they have a nice mix of older and younger players and were a big surprise to a lot of people who haven’t been watching the Giants play over the last couple of years.


Lincecum wins 2 Cy Young Awards early in his career

The Giants have a decent starting pitching staff. Timothy LeRoy Lincecum is one of the Giants starters who have made an early indelible mark on the game of baseball. He burst onto the MLB scene by winning 2 Cy Young Awards in the first three years that he’s pitched (he’s currently in his 5th season). Last year he finished 10th in voting for the Cy Young and this year he is 8-8 with a 2.90 ERA. It is safe to say I don’t think he’s a candidate for the Cy Young this season.


The Phillies connection in the outfield for the Giants

The Giants have a couple of ex-Phillies on the team. Aaron Rowand left the Phillies after the 2007 season, and is in the 4th year of his $60M, 5 year deal with San Francisco. Pat Burrell must be the best bargain in baseball, he resigned with the Giants after the World Series victory for only $1M for the 2011 season.


Cody Ross was the 2010 NLCS MVP, can the Phillies contain him this year

The orange and black also have a guy on the team named Cody Ross. He was the most important cog in the Giants wheel that beat the Phillies again and again in the 2010 NLCS. It was largely the Phillies inability to deal with Cody Ross that cost them a chance to get into the World Series last year. Part that responsibility lies with Charlie Manuel. Ross was hot during the whole series, but wasn’t walked once and was given the opportunity to just keep on going out there and doing damage to the Phils in the NLCS last year. Ross was even good in Philly when he was with the Marlins, hopefully now there will be some strategy when dealing with him from the dugout. We’ll have to see in this series.


The best series of the season in my opinion starts tonight in Philly

The Giants are for real this year again, they have an awesome bullpen that can keep a lead for the team. The series starts off tonight at 7:05 pm at Citizens Bank Park. Forget the Boston Red Sox series, I think this is the one that the fans have been waiting for, the rematch from last year’s 2010 NLCS and the Phillies should have a score to settle with the Giants starting tonight.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Phillies win 64th game, eclipses the 1976 and 1977 win total by this date




Phillies win 64th Game on July 24th

The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies won their 64th game this afternoon in another oppressive heat day down at Citizens Bank Park. The win is signifies the Phillies as the team with the best record in baseball, and it brings them closer to breaking records for the franchise.


The Phillies today won their 64th game, and this team now beat the win total on July 24th that the 1976 Phillies had, which was 63 wins. The ‘76 team went on the win 101 wins on the season. In 1977, the Phils won a total of 101 games on the season and had only 55 wins at this point on July 24, 1977. The 1993 team had 97 wins overall on the year and on this date, the ‘93 team had 62 wins. The 1983 team had only 45 wins on July 24th, they went on to have 90 total wins on the ‘83 season and made the World Series that year against the Orioles.


Halladay notches his 12th win of the year today


4651044847_98e60313cdRoy Halladay did well despite the heat, he didn’t look nearly as bad as far as his comfort was concerned this afternoon in Philly. Maybe it was being at home in his own environment that helped him? He won his 12th game of the year. The homestand against the Padres is going real well, and

tomorrow afternoon could make it a 4 game sweep, it all starts off at 1:05 PM ET, of course it will still be very hot! Cliff Lee goes for the Phillies in the Padres’ series finale. He will seek win  number 10 on the year with his 2.83 ERA.



SAn Francisco Brings their best to Philly in next series at CBP


The San Francisco Giants come to town on Tuesday night for a NLCS rematch that will see the Giants bring the heart of their rotation to town. The Giants will be featuring: Lincecum vs. Worley on Tuesday, Zito vs. Hamels on Wednesday, and Cain vs. Kendrick on Thursday. The Giants are sporting one of the lowest bullpen ERA’s in July for the MLB with a 2.11 ERA prior to this afternoon’s game they are second in the whole league (first is the Chicago White Sox 1.29 ERA as of the end of play on 7/23/11).


The San Francisco Giants have a very important off day on Monday as they make their way towards Philadelphia. They will be visiting the White House in Washington DC to Giants Brian Wilsonmeet the President and be officially congratulated by him on their World Series victory last year. No word if the Giants closer, Brian Wilson, will shave for the event or attract the closer scrutiny of Secret Service agents that will probably mistake him for some covert spy or something worse.



This series with San Francisco should be more interesting for the fans, as the Phillies will be facing much better pitchers than the Padres have been throwing at the Phils in this current series. 

Halladay set to take on Heatmagedon II


The last time that Roy Halladay took the mound, he had a lot of people worried for him. Right from the start of the game, Halladay looked whipped and in need of medical attention. It was just his actions during the game, it was even more about the way he looked and battled the heat and it was so clear that the heat was winning. That game was in Chicago, now we fast forward to his next start and the heat has followed Halladay to Philly. Not just an ordinary hot summer day, but a prolonged heat wave that has settled in the Philly area and has made life pretty miserable outside of air conditioned confines.

The debate raged on yesterday on Philly sports talk radio, should the Phillies rest Halladay today. I think the answer is undoubtedly, yes. The Phils don’t look like they are going to do this though. Maybe bringing up Brad Lidge as fast as they did wasn’t a great thing as a guy like Danys Baez could have got the start in today’s 100 degree game in Philly this afternoon. Baez is gone on ‘assignment’ though, and if the Phillies were thinking correctly, they would have brought him back from his assignment and put him in this ballgame today in South Philadelphia.

The fans have endured the heat of this series, it’s been ungodly and horrible at the park the last few games. There were over 4,300 tickets for sale a few days ago as the Sunday crowd knows how bad it can be in the heat of the early afternoon at the ballpark. A lot of them will be no shows, as plenty of tickets remained for sale on StubHub as of this morning. The Phillies even are offering free water for the fans and doing everything that they can to make the fans somewhat comfortable.

The temperature in Chicago the last time Roy Halladay started for the Phillies was 91 degrees, and Halladay has said that he’s never felt heat like that before and had no idea why the heat affected him so badly. Today it will be closer to 100 and the heat will be worse. The side of precaution would be to rest Halladay.

Despite the heat, Roy didn’t pitch all that badly. Roy did give up 7 hits over 4 IP and gave up 4 ER, but doubled over and couldn’t continue in the 4th inning. I think the Phillies should take note and have removed him from the game sooner. The indications were all there that something was really wrong, and if they expect a healthy Halladay towards the end of the season, the natural thing would be to notice times when he is in trouble. That didn’t happen in Chicago, by the management of the Phillies team. Pitching coaches and managers should know when a guy is in trouble out there on the field.

So, it goes Halladay will head right back into the heat. Hopefully all will be well with him.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Phils handle Padres in heat on 1980's Night at Citizens Bank Park

  The Heat in CBP was 145 degrees at the seats says Channel 6 WPVI

The local news in Philly had it’s handheld thermometers going at the ballpark yesterday afternoon as the fans started to arrrive for the 7:05 PM match between the Phillies and the Padres. It was a very hot day in Philly yesterday, the air temperature reached 105 in the city, and it was just a terribly hot day all around the area. The surprising thing was that the thermometer that the news services had could take surface temperatures of certain objects, and the surface temperature at some seats reached 145 degrees, that’s downright horrible.

The good news is that the Phillies won last night and picked up their 62nd win of the season by a score of 3-1. Cole Hamels also picked up his 12th win on the year, and it leads the NL as of last night. Cole deserved the victory and it was great to see some offense for him last night. (C.C. Sabathia leads the MLB with 14 wins as of 7/22)

The Elias sports Bureau had this to say about Hamels pitching:

From Elias: Cole Hamels fanned 10 Padres batters in his 3-1 victory on Friday night, marking the second time this season and the 18th time in his big-league career that he has recorded double-digit strikeouts in one game. With that total, he moved past Chris Short, who had 17 such games, and now has the second-most 10-K games of any left-hander in Phillies history; all he needs is another 52 such games to tie Steve Carlton's team record (for lefties or righties) of 70.

Now that it is toward the end of July, we start to think win totals and how many we might see a Phillies pitcher have. Hamels is the youngest of the Phillies ‘aces’ that they have on the team. Hamels is still only 27 years old and is projected by to have 20 wins on the season this year. We’ll see what happens. Incidentally, the other two aces that are healthy are predicted to do well too: Halladay 18 wins and Lee 15 wins.

If you’re going to the ballpark this afternoon (4:10 PM start) or Sunday, please remember to bring some water with you, and stay hydrated in the hot sun. In fact, if your seats are in the direct sunlight, get up and move around and seek shelter from the sun several times during the game.

Bringing back the 1980's last night at the ballpark in Philly in the popular Phillies 80's night -

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hall of Fame Weekend 2011– Pat Gillick and Bill Conlin

The official HOF promo poster

July 24th is Hall of Fame Day, the day when the halls of baseball open it’s door to new arrivals. This year, it’s more of an odd couple making it into the Hall. It’s Roberto Alomar on his second try and Bert Blyleven on his next to last try getting into the Hall of Fame. The Hall vote deserves some scrutiny though, as Dave Parker was allowed to drift away and not enter the Hall of Fame upon reaching his 15th try in getting in.

No disrespect to either Alomar or Blyleven for making it to the Hall, but I just think Parker deserved to be voted in and didn’t. Everyone can’t make it to the Hall but I thing that some of the process needs to be better examined and not to include certain players is a shame for fans of the game.

Parker to me is a Hall of Fame player. He personified the great hitter and power hitter of the late 70’s and early to mid-80’s and into the early 90’s like no one else. His numbers are astounding and to think he never made it to the Hall is something short of miscalculation. Even on his Baseball-Reference page, Parker’s most similar batters by his type of hitting were Hall of Famers, including Tony Perez, Billy Williams, and Andre Dawson. Parker was the MVP in 1979 of the league and the numbers he put up that year were astounding, he had 215 H, 44 2B, 88 RBI, and batted .338 on the season. In 1985 at age 34, Parker had 42 2B, and 125 RBI on the season. Why isn’t Parker in the Hall, that is the question?

Philly connections to the Hall of Fame 2011

Local connections are made with the Hall of Fame inductees this year. Pat Gillick is a well deserved addition to the Hall. He has made an impact on baseball that has been positive and did his job with a bit of class, which is the way it ought to be. Gillick has the connection of being the current Phillies senior advisor, and has spent 50 years in the MLB. He is just the 32nd Executive to be elected into the Hall of Fame. To list all of his accomplishments would take a lot longer than this blog can devote itself to, but here is some of them right from the Hall of Fame inductee fact sheet:

Gillick, who built playoff teams with the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies, began his major league career with the Houston Colt .45s/Astros from 1963-73, before joining the New York Yankees as scouting director from 1974-76. Gillick joined the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1977, building five division winners from 1985-93 and consecutive World Series championships in 1992-93. In three seasons with Baltimore from 1996-98, the Orioles made two postseason appearances. In four seasons shaping the Mariners from 2000-2003, the Mariners won 90 games each season, including an American League record 116 in 2001, with two postseason appearances. In building the Phillies from 2006-2008, Philadelphia won the NL East twice and the 2008 World Series. Beginning in 1983, teams under Gillick's direction as general manager posted winning records in 20 of 22 seasons.

The Hall of Fame honors the writer Bill Conlin from Philadelphia this year

1970 Phillies press  Here is a page from the 1970 Phillies yearbook, with a ‘Who’s who’ of early 70’s Philadelphia media with the Phillies. Conlin started out in the mid 1960’s as a writer for the Philadelphia Daily news. (He isn’t pictured on this page) Thanks to Roger for sending this to the blog!

  Another local connection to the area and the Hall of Fame would be baseball wrconlin.bill_iter, Bill Conlin. Conlin hasn’t always been the most popular of sportswriters in terms of people agreeing with him, but he’s been writing about the game for a long time, and has earned the respect of his peers and baseball itself. Recently, Conlin has written about baseball since the early days of b.c. (before computers) and the ‘age of information’ that we live in today. He’s kind of a throwback that really made you want to buy a newspaper just to read what he had to say, whether you agreed with him or not.

Phillies 1971 yearbook writers

The Phillies Press beat writers in the early 1970’s – I see many writers here with Conlin that went on to make a great impact on readers.  Thanks to Roger for this again!

Here is the press release by the Hall of Fame with Bill Conlin’s selection to the Hall of Fame and how he got there:
Conlin received 188 votes from the 434 ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years' service. He became the 62nd winner of the award since its inception in 1962, when the award was named for its first recipient. Spink was a driving force of The Sporting News, known during his lifetime as the "Baseball Bible."
Bob Elliott, whose writing career is considered strongly influential in the growing popularity of baseball in Canada, received 160 votes. Joe Giuliotti, who for 30 years in Boston was a voracious reporter on all matters concerning the Red Sox, got 83. Three blank ballots were among those submitted.
The candidates were selected by a three-member, BBWAA-appointed committee and announced at the All-Star Game meeting July 14 in Anaheim, Calif. Voting was conducted in November through a mail ballot, a process that began in 2002.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Conlin returned to the city of his birth to attend Temple University, where he won the Sigma Delta Chi Award as Outstanding Graduate in Journalism in 1960. He practiced his trade first at the Evening Bulletin and since 1965 at the Daily News.
Bill was the Phillies beat writer from 1966-86 and for a good portion of that time was also the National League columnist for The Sporting News. Conlin maintained his focus on baseball after becoming sports columnist in 1987 and has covered 43 spring trainings and 38 major league postseasons. He also covered numerous major golf, tennis and boxing events as well as several Olympics.
Conlin's published works include Rutledge Book of Baseball and Batting Cleanup, Bill Conlin. He was a regular panelist on ESPN's "The Sports Reporters," appearing on more than 300 shows, and a contributor on a variety of radio programs.
His many honors include induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame; Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association; First Prize in 1979 E.P. Dutton Best Sports Stories, News Story (The Ghost of Clemente) and multiple Keystone Press Awards for column writing.

Conlin paid his dues and now will be forever enshrined in the Baseball Writers section of the Hall. Here is the info on Conlin’s induction ceremonies:
Bill Conlin, Roland Hemond and Dave Van Horne have each been honored with awards symbolizing their professional excellence. And on Saturday, July 23 in Cooperstown, their legacies will be celebrated at the inaugural Hall of Fame Awards Presentation at Doubleday Field.
The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on July 23 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting to Van Horne, the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to Conlin and the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award to Hemond, as well as the performance of singer/songwriter Terry Cashman on the 30th anniversary of his baseball classic, Talkin' Baseball.
The Awards Presentation is free and open to the public and will feature the appearance of more than four dozen returning Hall of Famers on the Doubleday Field stage, along with acceptance speeches by the award winners as well as video tributes to the honorees.

  Conlin has battled bloggers unmercifully in the past couple of years, he’s beyond the stage of understanding the nature of blogging in itself, and doesn’t acknowledge that these type of writers are anyone that matter when it comes to writing about baseball. Of course Conlin was really wrong about that, but I don’t personally hold anything against him as he deserves an amount of respect for his writing and I’ll give him just that. Writers have people that agree with them, and another side of an audience that totally disagrees with them sometimes but at least they had something to say and that is the kind of guy I remember Conlin being when he was writing for the newspapers.

Going to the Hall of Fame ceremonies this weekend?

Visitors to Cooperstown for the 2011 Induction Weekend, including the Saturday, July 23 Awards Presentation and the Sunday, July 24 Induction Ceremony, are advised to utilize several parking and transportation options in an effort to alleviate potential delays and traffic problems.

Visiting the Hall of Fame for me has been awesome, I need a couple of days to take it all in, and you can’t even really do that on just one trip. It’s somewhere that every serious fan of the game should visit at least once. If you just can’t make it to the Hall of Fame in person, don’t worry there are plenty of great things online to make your Hall of Fame experience a great one! Start here in the ‘Plaque Gallery’ Hall online!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trade deadline deals start to heat up


Though Ruben Amaro said that he doesn’t expect any blockbuster deals to be made by the trade deadline of the end of July, the rumors persist that the Phillies are interested in a few players. Charlie Manuel went public and said he’d like to have a right handed bat and someone in the bullpen who may be ‘better than they have right now’. Now that isn’t exactly the words you’d expect to hear from Manuel especially given the fact that the Phillies are in first place and have the best record in baseball. That is what he said though, and tonight the rumor mill kicked it up a notch.

MLBTraderumors have reported that the Phillies may be interested in a couple players. One of them is the Houston Astros’ Hunter Pence. Pence may be available from the Astros too, but he may come at a price that is too high for the Phillies.

Other names have surfaced as well, one of them a very unlikely Carlos Beltran. Beltran would probably not want to come to a team like the Phillies who would only be interested in his services for the stretch run to and through the playoffs. Maybe Beltran would be interested though given the fact that he has a chance to win a World Championship with the Phillies and he may add some offensive pop if he was to stay healthy. For that very reason of health, the Phillies should probably stay far away from Beltran.

Another player the Phillies have supposedly asked about is Melky Cabrera. Melky would probably be the best fit for the Phillies as he’s batting .296 and has 54 RBI and 12 HR as of last night’s totals. He is also only going to be 27 next season. He never quite blossomed as well as the Yankees thought he would, but he is still young and has decent numbers so far this year. What price would be paid for him though? That would be what the Phillies would have to see if it were worth it or not.

The Braves added Cabrera in 2010, but jettisoned him after the season in October. One would have to wonder why? In December of 2010, Cabrera signed a free agent deal with Kansas City at a lower salary that he was making with the Yankees and Braves in 2009 and 2010, it was only a one year deal. Melky also has some postseason experience which also makes sense to add him to the Phillies.

The Braves also are interested in a few of the players the Phillies may be interested in, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I don’t think the Phillies want to give up much for anyone they acquire. This will be the sticking point with any deal that is made.

More on this as the rumors and details come out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Late rally brings Phillies victory in Chicago, start is 2:20 PM today


Vance Worley Philadelphia Phillies Photo Day

Worley gets the start with the Phillies this afternoon in Chicago



The bats went silent again last night for the Phillies, the key hits that the Phillies got came late in the 8th inning to tie the ballgame and in the 9th inning to seal the win behind the closing of Antonio Bastardo. The Phils won their 60th game of the year by a 4-2 score.


Cliff Lee didn’t have the best game of the year for himself as he got a couple fastballs up in the zone, he scattered 8 H in 6 IP on the night and gave up 2 ER. That allowed the Phillies to stay in this game though. The Phillies offense couldn’t score the whole time Lee was in the ballgame, so the win didn’t do to Lee, instead Michael Stutes gets the credit behind the Phils late comeback win.


The combination of Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo has been a great surprise for the Phillies bullpen, as they have been the most dependable of the relief staff for some time now. Who would have thought that these two would be a set-up and closer at the beginning of the season?


Roy Halladay looked recovered on the bench following a scary start for him on Monday night. Halladay looked heat exhausted on the mound from the very start of the game and some were surprised that the Phillies kept him in for as long as they did as it was easy to see that something was really wrong with him early in the game. The news is good that he looks recovered, but the heat will follow the Phillies and intensify for the next Halladay start in Philly when it’s supposed to be around 100 degrees when the Padres come to town for a 4 game series this weekend. It’s been announced that Halladay will not miss his next start, which should be on Sunday. The Padres have yet to announce their Sunday starter.


The Phils wrap up the road trip and their final game of the series with Chicago this afternoon, with a 2:20 PM start. Vance Worley gets the ball for the Phillies, he’ll face Ryan Dempster for the Cubs. There is an off-day on Thursday and this is how the 4 game series looks with the Padres for the Phillies starters (probable):



Game –Phillies starter  Padres starter
Fri: Cole Hamels (11-5) Corey Luebke (3-3)
Sat: Kyle Kendrick (5-4) Mat Latos (5-10)
Sun: Roy Halladay (11-5) TBA
Mon: Cliff Lee (9-6) TBA

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Phillies survive Sunday game with Mets 8-5







Cole Hamels wife was on the tv show, Survivor. That is sort of what the Phillies did in New York today before an 80 percent full Citi Field. In the Phillies half of the 8th inning, they led this ballgame by a score of 8-1, they survived to win it by a closer score of 8-5. Kyle Kendrick pitched a very good game only giving up 6 scattered hits and 1 ER on the day.


If anything this win put a bad spotlight again on the bullpen, arguably one of the weakest parts of the Phillies team at the moment. Juan Perez, Phillies relief pitcher, promptly came into the game and walked his first three batters he faced.


Talk about wanting to give the Mets a fighting chance? Ryan Madson followed him and quickly gave up 2 runs to the Mets, they were tacked onto Perez’s ER total, and then added another run for his own ER total before Charlie Manuel graciously lifted him. Madson has said that he wants to ‘quietly’ work back into the bullpen, but the quietness is all over now.


Three of today’s runs came courtesy of a Michael Martinez home run, then Martinez had another RBI with a Sac Fly in the 7th inning. It was Martinez’s first ever home run of his career. It couldn’t have come at a better time. It was the 47th time Martinez was in a game for the Phillies this year. Martinez has 2 triples, and a double and 13 RBI on the season now.


The Phillies road trip continues to Chicago on Monday night with an 8:05 PM start for Monday and Tuesday’s games and then a 2:20 PM afternoon game on Wednesday. The Phils then return home for an off-day on Thursday and then a 4 game weekend series (including Monday) at home vs. the San Diego Padres and then San Francisco comes to Philly for three games.


Phillies rotation in Chicago:

Game Day, Phillies starter  Chicago Cubs starter
Mon: Cliff Lee (9-6) Rodrigo Lopez (1-2)
Tue:  Roy Halladay (11-3) Matt Garza (4-7)
Wed: Vance Worley (5-1) Mat Latos (5-10)

Phillies sloppy in loss to Mets, wrap up today in NY

Howard 001

Howard Call 01

Howard Calls 02

Anatomy of a miscue, Howard calls, looks, and then just before the ball drops he glances at Utley



To say the Phillies were sloppy in yesterday’s loss to the Mets would be an understatement. It probably caused Cole Hamels to pitch using his ‘mad’ side. When Cole visits his ‘mad’ side the results are almost never good. Starting the the maddening day for Cole was Ryan Howard and his calling for a fly ball and then watching it fall to the turf between him and Chase Utley. Hamels let Howard know what he thought of that play in a really loud way, something you don’t see all that much from a fellow player. Even a fan sitting at home had a bit of trouble seeing Cole uncork his displeasure at Howard, but this is baseball and sometimes emotion can get the best of you.


Another play had Raul Ibanez trying to find the grip on a ball hit to right field, he couldn’t find the grip at all while two runs scored and the Phillies were starting to help the Mets dig a big hole. The papers will say it was Cole getting ‘roughed up’ but really this was a big team effort on getting roughed up in the end.


All of these defensive miscues and combined with the Phillies not even being able to put a run up on the board until the 7th inning, spelled defeat for them on Fox Saturday baseball. As good as the Phillies look sometimes, they still remind you of their ‘other’ side on games like this at times. Cole Hamels falls to 11-5 on the day.


The two teams will battle it out again this afternoon at 1:10 PM from Citi Field.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mayberry Jr turns up the heat on the Mets


Mayberry Jr.



John Mayberry Jr. earned some serious respect last night from opposing teams. Who is this guy? They must be thinking, as he turned into a guy who has gone from relative obscurity to the highlight films on ESPN. He knocked in 5 RBI’s last night for a career high.


Mayberry Jr. has been used very sparingly by the Philadelphia Phillies, they’ve brought him up, and sent him down too many times. I think with these types of games, he is proving that he deserves to be playing. If the Phillies aren’t going to play him, they should trade him because Mayberry is just waiting to get his chance, but the Phillies seem not to want to bring him up for a whole season.


The Phillies won their 58th game of the season last night in New York, and Cole Hamels pitches for them today at 4:10 PM ET on Fox.


Interesting fact from the Press notes yesterday about the Phillies 14-1 victory just before the All-Star Break:


ELIAS SAYS: Raúl Ibañez (6 RBI), John Mayberry Jr. (4 RBI) and Domonic Brown (2 RBI) drove in 12 of the Phillies' runs in a 14-1 win over the Braves on Sunday ... That was the highest RBI total by Philadelphia's three starting outfielders in 88 years, since Cy Williams and Johnny Mokan drove in seven runs each in a 20-14 win over the Cardinals (May 11, 1923) ... Curt Walker, the third Phillies outfielder in that game, went 1-for-4 without an RBI. Courtesy: Elias Sports Bureau

Friday, July 15, 2011

The rest of 2011 season for Phillies starts tonight

Phillies start off in New York this weekend

The vacation is over, the All-Star Game is history and tonight starts the rest of the season for the Phillies in New York. Now there is only 2 weeks remaining for the trade deadline that could mean some moves by certain players on teams that don’t have a chance to make it to the postseason.

Teams that are in contention for the playoffs and feel that they need someone additional will be shopping and some teams will be dealing players in this time period. One such move already occurred just after the All-Star Game when the New York Mets sent Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers in the first major move in the time that they call the ‘Hot Stove.’ Who is moving where, and when?

One of the sites on the web to hear about this news is MLB Traderumors – this site has a run down of all the whispers and deals that they can gather. They report that a guy named Brett Myers may become available from the Houston Astros and you never know who might be interested in a veteran like Myers.

There have been no rumors or information that the Phillies are looking to either deal someone or acquire someone yet. That is subject to change though as the clock starts ticking towards the end of the month and depends on what happens with the team in the next two weeks.

The Phillies bring their 57-34 record into tonight’s game, the Phils are still owners of the best record in baseball. The NL Central is an interesting division, the Cardinals are on top by a half game, followed by the Brewers and Pirates. Who would have thought the Pirates would be 1.0 GB at the All-Star Break?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Win World Series Tickets from State Farm and the MLB

Learn how you can win tickets to the 2011 World Series and help your favorite charities at the same time! It's the State Farm "Go To Bat Program"

Here's the info on the program:

State Farm® Go To Bat™ Program Drives Home Support for Charities That Matter Most

Fans swing for the fences to help their favorite causes get to a better state and take shot at winning tickets to the 2011 Fall Classic

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (July 11, 2011) /PRNewswire/ — For the second straight year, State Farm and Major League Baseball (MLB) are giving fans from coast to coast the chance to deliver a big hit for their favorite charitable organization. Through the Go To Bat program, an online, charitable initiative driven by State Farm’s commitment to helping communities get to a better state, fans can support the causes that mean the most to them and take their shot at winning one of the $18,000 weekly donations for their favorite charity and a trip for two to the 2011 World Series.

Fans can visit, select one of the designated charities on the website, then swing for the fences in the State Farm Go To Bat game to increase the batting average of their selected charity. Once a week, for 10 weeks, State Farm will make a donation of $18,000 to the charity with the highest Go To Bat game batting average. Also, an individual winner who goes to bat for the winning charity will be randomly selected and receive a trip for two to Games 3 and 4 of the 2011 World Series. A total of 10 winners will be drawn during the Go To Bat program, which stretches through the second half of the MLB season and concludes on September 26.

“State Farm has been, and continues to be, committed to helping our customers and their communities get to a better state,” said Todd Fischer, manager of national sponsorships for State Farm. “The Go To Bat program is a natural extension of State Farm and our commitment, giving fans the opportunity to go to bat for a charity that matters most to them.”

Fans can increase both their chances and their charity’s chances of winning by returning to and playing the online State Farm Go To Bat game on a daily basis. Players can earn additional entries and increase their chances to win by sharing their participation on Facebook.

As part of the program launch, State Farm and MLB will partner together in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and other selected charities to raise money for each home run hit in the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby® tonight, July 11, at Chase Field. State Farm will pair up one member from eight Phoenix-area BGCA chapters with each Derby participant for the opportunity to win $50,000 for his or her individual club. State Farm will also award a $10,000 donation to each of the other seven participants’ clubs. All of the State Farm Home Run Derby festivities will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. PDT.

The Go To Bat program will culminate during the 2011 MLB World Series with a pre-game ceremony showcasing its collective impact and recognizing the individual winners and their chosen charities. Also, State Farm will announce and present a $25,000 donation to the charity that finishes the promotional campaign with the highest Go To Bat batting average.

Fans can get more information and enter the Go To Bat program online at

About State Farm:

State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit® or in Canada®.

About Major League Baseball Properties

The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Club’s agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rights holders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information on Major League Baseball, log on to