Monday, December 30, 2013

The BBA weighs in on Hall of Fame Voting

The blog is a member of the BBA, and recently the Baseball Bloggers Alliance had a vote for the election of players to the Hall of Fame. The real vote has yet to be revealed that is done by the Baseball Writers Association of America, or BBWAA. Their official results are known to all on January 8th 2014 but until then, check out the BBA results.


              Maddux, Thomas, Glavine

 Recommended by Blogger Organization for Cooperstown

December 30, 2013: The Baseball Bloggers Alliance today recommends three players from the official Hall of Fame ballot to be inducted into Cooperstown this summer. Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, most closely associated with the Atlanta Braves, and long-time Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Frank Thomas reached the 75% threshold when BBA members cast their ballots.

Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner for the Braves, pitched from 1986 to 2008 and won 355 games while posting a 3.16 ERA and striking out over 3,300 batters. He had a career WHIP of 1.143 in just over 5,000 innings and an ERA+ of 132 over that span. His best season was 1995, when he fashioned a 19-2 record with a 1.63 ERA, good for a bWAR of 9.7 that year.

Thomas played from 1990 to 2008, all but the last three season on the south side of Chicago. He has a career slash line of .301/.419/.555 and fashioned an OPS+ of 156 during his playing days. He put up his highest single-season bWAR in 1997, when his 1.067 OPS and 35 home runs played a large role in his mark of 7.3.

Glavine’s career spanned roughly the same time frame as Maddux’s, with Glavine starting in 1987. He won the Cy Young in 1991 and 1998 and finished runner-up two other times. His career ERA was 3.54 and he won 305 games during his tenure with the Braves and the New York Mets. Glavine had a 1.314 WHIP for his career and an ERA+ of 118.

The voting of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has often been close to what the baseball writers eventually decide, though the correlation is stronger with the year-end awards. A quick look at the past few years:

In 2010, no player reached the 75% mark in BBA voting, while the writers inducted only Andre Dawson.

In 2011, the BBA selected Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven and both were inducted into Cooperstown that summer.

In 2012, Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell were selected by the BBA, but the writers only took Larkin.

Last year, the bloggers again picked Bagwell, while the writers could not agree on anyone to honor.

Bagwell lost support in this year’s voting, coming up roughly 10% shy of recommendation. The final vote totals are as follows:

Greg Maddux 94.51%

Frank Thomas 80.22%

Tom Glavine 75.82%

Mike Piazza 72.53%

Craig Biggio 70.33%

Jeff Bagwell 64.84%

Barry Bonds 60.44%

Roger Clemens 59.34%

Tim Raines 54.95%

Edgar Martinez 41.76%

Curt Schilling 39.56%

Mike Mussina 32.97%

Alan Trammell 30.77%

Jack Morris 25.27%

Mark McGwire 21.98%

Larry Walker 17.58%

Jeff Kent 15.38%

Lee Smith 14.29%

Don Mattingly 9.89%

Fred McGriff 8.79%

Rafael Palmeiro 7.69%

Sammy Sosa 4.40%

Moises Alou 3.30%

Eric Gagne 2.20%

Luis Gonzalez 2.20%

Sean Casey 1.10%

Kenny Rogers 1.10%

Richie Sexson 1.10%

J.T. Snow 1.10%
Armando Benitez 0.00%
Ray Durham 0.00%
Jacque Jones 0.00%
Todd Jones 0.00%
Paul Lo Duca 0.00%
Hideo Nomo 0.00%
Mike Timlin 0.00%

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was established in the fall of 2009 for the purpose of fostering collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball. The BBA currently has approximately 240 blogs in its membership, including some of the most prominent blogs on the Internet, spanning all major league teams and various other general aspects of the game.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year- Phillies Talk podcast special

Wishing all of our readers and listeners of the Phillies Talk Podcast a Merry Christmas, here's a special show we recorded just for the holiday and you, Big Baseball Organ Sounds with Matthew Kaminski, the Atlanta Braves organist.

We talk to Matthew about how we miss a live organist at Citizens Bank Park, and the important role that Matthew plays down in Atlanta for the Braves fans. Hey Santa, if you're listening, we'd love to hear a real organist down at the Citizens Bank Park... and I'm sure a lot of other fans do too!

Listen to the show - just click on the player!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Citizens Bank Park is 10 years old

The Phillies will start their 11th season at Citizens Bank Park as the stadium is celebrating it's first ten years of use that ended at the end of the 2013 season. 2004 - 2014 - the Phillies stadium has seen a lot of fans too.

It's hard to believe that the beloved Veteran's Stadium, a baseball shrine that a lot of people grew up with has been gone out of our lives for as many years as the new stadium has been open.

The memories of standing on the Vet's massive walkways that led to the entrances while you looked over at the builders assembling the new stadium that would be designed as State Of The Art.

Yes, it's been a few years since the Phillies have moved into the 'new' stadium, it's not so new anymore.

Trivia:  What player currently on the Phillies also played at the Vet?

Answer:  Jimmy Rollins

CBP and the Phillies record while calling this stadium home:

Rk Year Tm G W L W-L% Finish Playoffs
1 2013 Philadelphia Phillies 162 73 89 .451 4th of 5
2 2012 Philadelphia Phillies 162 81 81 .500 3rd of 5
3 2011 Philadelphia Phillies 162 102 60 .630 1st of 5 Lost LDS (3-2)
4 2010 Philadelphia Phillies 162 97 65 .599 1st of 5 Lost NLCS (4-2)
5 2009 Philadelphia Phillies 162 93 69 .574 1st of 5 Lost WS (4-2)
6 2008 Philadelphia Phillies 162 92 70 .568 1st of 5 Won WS (4-1)
7 2007 Philadelphia Phillies 162 89 73 .549 1st of 5 Lost LDS (3-0)
8 2006 Philadelphia Phillies 162 85 77 .525 2nd of 5
9 2005 Philadelphia Phillies 162 88 74 .543 2nd of 5
10 2004 Philadelphia Phillies 162 86 76 .531 2nd of 5
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/23/2013.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Roy Halladay's legacy with the Phillies

Halladay was a big part of the Phillies success since signing with them

Roy Halladay may have retired as a Blue Jay a few days ago, but his legacy as a Phillies pitcher will be remembered for a long time by the many Phillies fans that were able to see him pitch here in Philadelphia.

Halladay's career was something special, pitchers like him aren't seen in the major leagues very often. Roy Halladay was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 1995 amateur draft and Roy made his debut on September 20, 1998 for the Blue Jays as a 21-year-old pitcher. Halladay pitched 14 innings and had a 1.93 ERA to start off his major league career in two games.

It was a promising start for Halladay, the next year he put in a full season with the Blue Jays and started 18 games for them, Halladay appeared in 36 games overall in his first full major league season. Roy finished with an 8-7 record with a 3.92 ERA.

In the year 2000 Halladay struggled as a 23-year-old pitcher he only pitched 67 innings and finished up with a 10.64 ERA. That would hardly be the type of season that would make you think that Roy Halladay would win a Cy Young Award in just three seasons from that point. That is exactly what happened to Halladay though, and in 2003 Roy finished up with a 22-7 record and pitched an astonishing 266 innings to win the Cy Young Award for 2003.

Despite winning the Cy Young Award just the year before though Halladay fell back to earth the following year and finished up with an 8-8 record, in 2004 with a 4.20 ERA and 133.0 innings pitched. Halladay slowly regained his prominence with the Blue Jays over the next five years he would stay with them.

We have to remember that Halladay was in the AL East and facing some of the toughest batters on the Yankees and on the Boston Red Sox for most of his career, those two teams practically owned the AL East during the years that Halladay pitched most against them.

The Blue Jays were a team that did win it all in 1993, but during Halladay's years in Toronto, the best finish they were able to do was a second place finish in 2006 in the AL East. The Blue Jays never even made the playoffs the whole time Roy Halladay pitched for them. Halladay thirsted for the chance to appear in the playoffs and postseason. That is what led him to come to Philadelphia, which by the time he was ready to leave Toronto the Phillies were commanding the National League East and had just won the World Series in 2008.

Halladay could have probably signed for more money somewhere else he didn't necessarily have to come to Philadelphia but the mood back just after 2008 and 2009 was one that the Phillies would be winning and in contention to win for the next several years and that's what led Halladay on his path to Philadelphia. The Phillies assembled possibly the highest caliber rotation that's been seen in the major leagues in years in the 2010 season.

The 2010 season was one that Phillies fans will remember for a long time they hadn't seen a Cy Young award winner on the team for many years, the last Cy Young Award winner for the Phillies was Steve Carlton, Carlton won the coveted pitching award four times in his career and the last time he won it with the Phillies was in 1982 when Carlton pitched an incredible 23-10 in 283.0 IP. Roy Halladay would bring that feeling back to the Phillies as he won the Cy Young Award in 2010.

That wasn't all that Halladay would do in just his first season with the Phillies. Roy Halladay would do something that Phillies fans haven't seen in years, in 46 years to be precise and that of course would be a perfect game. The last Phillies pitcher to pitch one was Jim Bunning in 1964 for the Father's Day game June 21, 1964, that season was Bunnings first season with the Phillies as well. Roy Halladay started the game on May 29th 2010 for the Phillies against the Miami Marlins who were then called the Florida Marlins. Halladay retired all 27 batters with no runs, no hits and no errors. He struck out 11 batters before the 25,086 fans at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

It was only the 10th no-hitter in Phillies history (only the 2nd perfect game in Phils history) and the 20th perfect game in MLB history. The difference between a Perfect Game and a no-hitter, is with a perfect game, no batter can reach a base during the game by either a walk or an error, or hit by pitch. A pitcher can still pitch a no-hitter if a walk or walks are issued or if a fielder makes an error allowing a base runner to reach base. The perfect game is one of the rarest occurrences in baseball.

Halladay wouldn't be finished with the season that was perhaps his best ever as a professional. After all it was Halladay's first season with the Phillies and the first season in the playoffs as the Phillies faced the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the playoffs. It was Game 1 in the NL Division series, on Wednesday, October 6, 2010.

"I just wanted to pitch here, to pitch in the postseason. To go out there and have a game like that it's like a dream come true." That is what Halladay said after pitching a no-hitter in the playoffs, just the 2nd time that a pitcher has ever done that feat. Halladay came to Philadelphia to make the postseason and 2010 was perhaps one of the best seasons for him, and his pitching career. According to some latest odds info from Mobile MLB Odds, the Phillies may still not make the playoffs with or without him in 2014. The Phillies could have brought Halladay back for another chance, but the recent announcement nullifies that idea.

The Phillies lost a chance to three-peat back to the World Series in 2010 by losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS in 6 games, the Phils did manage to come back and win the NL East in 2011 but failed in the playoffs and ever since the team has been sliding down a slope in regards to regaining the prominence that they've seen for perhaps one of the best streaks ever in franchise history and Roy Halladay contributed to that even though his intended realization of winning a World Series championship with the team never came through.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez’s Value In Year One


The Philadelphia Phillies are doing their best to put together a solid pitching staff in 2014. They have gone out and signed a few free agents, most recently Roberto Hernandez, but the hope is that newcomer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will be able to step in right away. The Cuban righthander is expected to make the Opening Day roster, and that means he could provide value in fantasy baseball 2014 right away.

When the Phillies signed the 27-year old to a three-year, $12 million deal, many thought they obtained a gem. There are concerns about his throwing elbow right now, so that is why they received a discount on the talented pitcher. He is not in need of any type of surgery at the time, so that is good news for a franchise trying to get back into the playoffs as soon as next season.

Ideally, Philadelphia would love for Gonzalez to slide in the #3 spot after Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. He certainly won’t be able to replace a peak Roy Halladay, but having a healthy Gonzalez could certainly be very beneficial.
From a  fantasy baseball 2014 perspective, most people see him as a late round pickup with some nice potential value. He could pitch above expectations early on since few hitters will be familiar with him. He has four solid pitches, including a fastball in the mid-90s that can help him post some nice strikeout numbers. With both Hamels and Lee being more about control at this stage of their career, a hard-throwing righthander could complement them well.

Look for him to go in the 60-70 range among starting pitchers in fantasy baseball 2014. That is the range where people begin to take chances on some younger prospects, or veterans bouncing back from injuries or disappointing seasons. If Gonzalez can stay healthy all season that is.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What more can Ruben Amaro do for this Phillies team?

Ruben Amaro Jr. probably sits back and wonders with all the things he's done for this Phillies team over the past few years, what more can he do to assemble a winning team.

Amaro has gone out and signed huge contracts over the last several years with big-name players. These players wanted to come to Philadelphia to play, and perhaps add a world championship to their resume.

That just isn't how it's gone so far though and in 2014 the Phillies will now be six seasons removed from their World Series victory in 2008. Despite having one of the highest payrolls in the league, the Phillies have floundered miserably the last two seasons. You have to wonder how much more of this mediocre type of finish the Phillies front office will stand for.

It's the players themselves that have really let the Phillies down, they have grown much older over the years since the World Series victory and really this team has not seen a whole lot of fresh talent coming out of the minors.

Ruben Amaro always seems to know what to say when asked what he thinks the chances of the Phillies getting back into the playoffs and getting back on track to winning. "This is a team built to win now," is a handy catchphrase that he's learned to lean on when asked about this team and their struggles. Perhaps a better question to ask of him would be what are the missing ingredients that would make this team better that haven't been added yet.

It's hard to believe that Citizens Bank Park is already going into its 11th season that we've seen some great baseball being played there. The ardent fans who supported this team have been there with them even through last year, but the rumblings of discontent are getting louder and louder and this year it could be Ruben Amaro himself that pays for the Phillies demise if they can't turn this around in 2014.

As of today, it's 106 days until Opening Day 2014 for the MLB.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Amaro: "Prices are running high" Phils sign Roberto Hernandez aka Fausto Carmona

A story about the using of 'fake names' from ESPN in the Fausto Carmona story

If you or I used a fake name in preparing official documents that get filed with the United States Federal Government, we'd be probably not in the same shape that Roberto Hernandez is today, and that of course is signing an agreement to pitch for the Phillies. Read a little about the run in with the law, that apparently holds little weight in his career here in the states. Read some reaction from the Cleveland Indians who were shocked to find out about Carmona's name fraud.

No, we'd be worse off for that I'm sure. But just about 1 year ago, that's exactly what happened with the 'then' pitcher named Fausto Carmona. An interesting name there, but it wasn't the right name that was used to get the young Roberto Hernandez a visa to come to the United States to pitch. Money and time can work wonders though, and today Mr. Hernandez is going to be signing a reported deal for $6M (4.5M with the possibility of earning $1.5M in bonus money) to pitch for the Phillies, and the 'name game' with the Feds is only a distant memory. All is forgiven.

Hernandez is our new starting pitcher as the Phillies and GM Ruben Amaro have thrown in the white flag in getting any pitcher that was worth anything at a somewhat decent price at the 2013 Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.

We have to look back at last year though, when Hernandez started 32 games with the Rays, he hung into that rotation, but didn't have too much good results, his lifetime stats are 59-82 with a 4.67 ERA. Last year for the Tampa Rays, he was 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA, hardly worth a $1M dollar contract in this writer's opinion. I would have rather seen the Phillies promote a guy like Tyler Cloyd and let him get in a groove then pay someone $6M that isn't worth it. But that's just me, and obviously someone in the Phillies organization believes that Hernandez is worth $6M for a season of bliss.

Yes, this 2014 is getting more and more interesting as time goes on, it's not even close to Spring Training and a lot of fans have been clamoring over the lack of decent moves by the Phils in the offseason. Let's hope we're all wrong and Ruben can tell us all that 'we told you so' about the Phillies making the playoffs in 2014. If your feeling lucky and looking to get into the green for the holidays, you can now head over to the casino and even play a game of roulette, maybe you'll be luckier than the Phils in the last 2 seasons!

Hernandez is entering his 9th season of MLB service in 2014, here's a look back: (note the 4th place finish in the Cy Young Award for 2007)

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA IP Awards
2006 25 CLE AL 1 10 .091 5.42 74.2
2007 26 CLE AL 19 8 .704 3.06 215.0 CYA-4,MVP-23
2008 27 CLE AL 8 7 .533 5.44 120.2
2009 28 CLE AL 5 12 .294 6.32 125.1
2010 29 CLE AL 13 14 .481 3.77 210.1 AS
2011 30 CLE AL 7 15 .318 5.25 188.2
2012 31 CLE AL 0 3 .000 7.53 14.1
2013 32 TBR AL 6 13 .316 4.89 151.0
8 Yrs 59 82 .418 4.67 1100.0
162 Game Avg. 10 14 .418 4.67 190
CLE (7 yrs) 53 69 .434 4.64 949.0
TBR (1 yr) 6 13 .316 4.89 151.0
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2013.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Papelbon is all dressed up for Christmas, it's that time of year

It must be interesting in the life of Jonathan Papelbon. He could probably have walked all around Philadelphia or anywhere for that matter and no one would have recognized him.

Ashley Papelbon, Jonathan's wife, sent out a humorous but entirely proper holiday photo via twitter the other day, and here Jonny Paps looks like he's got the holiday spirit. Much happier than he looks on the field, even after a game, he's got some strange smirk on his face usually. Is Papelbon just an award winning actor where he can turn different personalities on or off at will?

Hopefully Papelbon will be staying in the Phillies fold for at least another season. It's the holiday time, let bygones be bygones and let's get this team fired up as Ruben Amaro said yesterday that the Phillies are 'Built to Win' and yes they are! Now, they just have to go back on the field and show us. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Will the 2014 MLB Baseball season be a season of discontent?

No more selling a play to an ump, there's a new sheriff in town and he's digital!

The game of baseball is changing forever in 2014.

Gone are the days when an umpire makes a ruling on the field, that it actually means something.

It used to be that when a call was made on the field, right or sometimes wrong, that call usually stood. A close play at first base, a shoestring catch, a ball that just looked foul. Those days are probably gone forever from a game that practically lived on those calls. Professional Baseball in the MLB is the last of the major sports in America where the call of a human being usually was good enough to stand up.

Yes, over the years there have been plenty of reason for an examination of whether or not using cameras for instant replay will indeed help a game like baseball get it right.

This instant reply opens a lot of questions, maybe more questions that the problems that it will solve. Namely, whenever there was a close play on the field, it almost certainly wasn't shown on the stadium jumbotron TV, whether it favored the home team or the away team. It's usually never done at most stadiums, now all that will probably change. Can you say that a stadium of fans shouldn't be able to watch a  challenged replay on a  play that the manager throws a flag on? The baseball fans have payed good money, to drive to a stadium, pay a  lot of money to park, get into the ballpark and eat an overpriced hotdog and soda, and now they won't even see replays on challenged plays? You have to wonder how this will play out.

Think of the poor umpires that are involved in this now, they become instant mocking targets from fans if the play is determined to be not in the hometown team's favor, or even if a play is deemed right for the home town crowd, it's the umps that will suffer.


All baseball talked about during the last few years is how to speed this game of baseball up a little. Now, in the year 2014, it's all about slowing it down. Adding many minutes time to a game just so there can be a call made and by whom will it be made, the baseball gods in New York? The Commissioner of Replays, perhaps or will it still be a call by local umps that have to huddle down in the clubhouse and figure it all out.

Baseball could have done this years ago, they didn't choose to then, why are they choosing it now? The game of baseball existed for over 100 years without the meddlesome hands of instant replay but that will all change in 2014, will it become the season of discontent with fans, players, and umps alike?  

Monday, December 09, 2013

Halladay to retire as a Blue Jay it's official

The speculation is over apparently as Roy Halladay is going to retire as a Toronto Bluejay. The bombshell was dropped at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida just minutes ago.

He had his greatest accomplishments as a Philadelphia Phillies player though, and for that the fans should be thankful that Roy choose to come to Philadelphia and he did accomplish the most here!

Is Papelbon being shopped?

Players that don't care just remain silent, Papelbon has a voice and he knows how to use it

You've probably heard that Jonathan Papelbon is on the trading block for the Phillies.

Papelbon has been in 131 games for the Phillies in the first two years of his $50M, 4 year deal that the Phils were so happy to sign him to just a short time ago.

The Phillies haven't been the same team since signing Papelbon two years ago, it's not all Papelbon's fault and despite him getting a lot of work in during the last two seasons for the Phillies, he hasn't been all what the Phillies thought he would be, or was it more a question of what Papelbon was talking about to the press last year?

Papelbon got really vocal last year, as a lot of players did. These players want to win ballgames, and to win ballgames it takes a team that goes out there and plays well, and plays hard, hopefully ending up with a winning combination.

Last year's Phillies team was a constant flow of changing lineups and positions, and that didn't make for a very good team atmosphere. Players that are constantly juggled around, and playing different positions on almost a daily basis isn't the best idea when you're running a payroll like the Phillies have been lately. A payroll like that should have permanent players in their positions for the better part of the season. The way the Phillies ran things last year was more like a season of Spring Training, continually moving players in and out of positions. How can a team find it's groove when you're making moves like that.

The second problem on the team last year was an anemic offense. Perhaps the constant shuffling of players had something to do with that, and then you had Domonic Brown, who came out of nowhere to have a career year, and looked as if he was going to 'own' the MLB the way he was playing at times. Yes, it was a strange year for the Phils.

Enter Mr. Papelbon again into this story, and he made it quite clear that he didn't like what he was seeing on the field with regards to 'hustle' and good play. Why not? Should he stay quiet and just humbly accept his large contract and sit idly by when things aren't going well. If he cares about winning and accomplishing things, he wouldn't stay quiet and he didn't. Other Phillies players on the team did the same thing, and nothing was made about their comments, but Papelbon seemed to be singled out for voicing a few concerns about the situation. He's still an All-Star and he can still pitch.

Cole Hamels was recently quoted as saying there was a lot of finger pointing last year, and well there should have been. A lot of what happens behind closed doors stays with a ballclub, if the general public knew what went on in daily basis in a clubhouse they probably would be surprised. Every team has it's internal strife and stresses.

Should the Phillies shop a guy like Papelbon? Not in the least, if they are paying players like Marlon Byrd to play for the Phillies $8M per year, it makes Papelbon's salary look like a bargain at what they have. Papelbon is a 5-time All Star and one of the feared closers of this game of baseball. This would be a huge mistake in trying to dump Papelbon, and short of just giving him away for no one, would be another of Ruben Amaro's short sighted and misguided moves of late.

Kratz and Rasmussen out, Lincoln in, Who got the best deal?

So who got the best deal, the Phillies or the Toronto Blue Jays? We saw catcher Erik Kratz and southpaw Rob Rasmussen bought up by the Blue Jays, but we got right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in return.

Maybe this is our way of playing money-ball? But who got the best deal will take time to play out. Kratz came on in 68 games us last season, posting a .213 batting average, hitting nine home runs, with 26 runs batted in. This was a little below the 33-year-old’s career average of .220 and 18 home runs - and 53 RBIs over his four seasons with the Phillies and, previously, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The younger Rasmussen was a different proposition entirely, though, and this makers the move even more “interesting”! The 24-year-old combined to post a 3-11 record, with a 4.11 earned-run average over his 28 games, 24 starts between the AA and AAA affiliates of the LA Dodgers. At just five feet nine inches and weighing in around 160 pounds, Rasmussen struck out 113 batters in the 135.2 innings he pitched last season. He had only been brought in to the Phillies as a swap for Michael Young at the end of August. The 28 year-old Brad Lincoln, meanwhile, played 22 times for the Toronto Blue Jays during 2013 and was 1-2, with a 3.98 ERA. This 6-foot right-hander weighs in at 225 pounds has a career record of 9-11 - with one save and a 4.66 ERA played out over 97 games, with 22 starts for Toronto and Pittsburgh. If you’re a gambling man, the move may change things, but which way is the key. A bet on the baseball can be a great way of generating an interest in the sport if you aren’t already a fan, or if you’re an international fan where gambling laws are less restrictive than in the US. The world’s largest betting exchange Betfair, for example, is seeing ever greater interest in our sport.

In many European countries where legalised gambling is huge business, baseball has barely scratched the surface so far. But that may change given the moves to loosen the legislation surrounding gambling here – and with ever-increasing efforts to popularise our sport over there.

With Betfair, there is no bookie, as such; it’s simply an exchange between backers and layers. This could play into the hands of baseball aficionados here where the expertise truly lies. So what do you think; with Kratz and Rasmussen out and Lincoln in, are we stronger or weaker?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Thx to for the photo here

As Phillies fans, we know that there is only about 70 some odd days until the team starts reporting to Spring Training, but for now, we'll take delight in watching some good 'old time' football.

A lot of great scenes here at Lincoln Financial Field which is just across the street from Citizens Bank Park where the Phillies play.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Phillies patch some holes with transparent players trying to right the Phillies 'Manship'

At least the Phillies will spell his name right on his jersey

The Phillies latest moves have been very much like some of the recent moves we've seen by them. The have acquired a couple players that are very much under the radar when it comes to great play, but serviceable and very reasonable on the salary scale.

Will this be enough to fill the voids in the Phillies needs though?

Will Nieves is a familiar name, we've seen him recently with the Diamondbacks and previously with the Nationals. If you can believe these stats, Nieves has 8 HR and 103 RBI in a 10 year career. He'll be the back-up to Carlos Ruiz in 2014.

The Phillies also invited Jeff Manship (who?) to camp. He is equally is a longshot to make this team, he's a 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA pitcher in 11 games last season.

You wonder what goes through the heads of the Phillies player acquisition team lately. Not very inspiring, and not very forward thinking.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Fans kind of underwhelmed at Phillies offseason moves so far

A survey of the mood of the Phillies fan on Twitter is a mood that isn't very impressed with the upgrades that the Phillies have made to this team.

In fact, a small minority of fans are steadily calling for the Phillies to fire Ruben Amaro Jr., there is a lot of people who are saying that Ruben's moves have steadily caused the Phillies to decline to where they were the last two seasons.

The Phils did re-sign the passionate player, Kevin Frandsen to a deal. That's a plus, he seems like a player who gets the job done and doesn't look for a lot of accolades. The Phillies need more of these gutsy type of players.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Phillies Black Friday deals

FightinPhillies blog has scanned the baseball horizon for Black Friday to get you the best deals, so you don't have to!

Get 30 % off your order - some exclusions apply at

And introducing just in time for the Black Friday deals - the store

The store is loaded with everything that you or your favorite Phillies fan would like for the holidays

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - Is Byrd the Word?

A Happy Thanksgiving to all of the readers of the blog here and to the listeners of the Phillies Talk Podcast, the longest running independent show that covers the Philadelphia Phillies.

We're talking turkey here on the show for Thanksgiving, no not any player in particular. It's a great holiday, and we hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

Is Byrd the Word today?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Phillies shopping for pitching? Brown rumored to be shopped

Dom Brown warms up    / wikipedia

The rumors are that the Phillies are still looking for a quality pitcher, and lately the hottest rumor is that possibly Domonic Brown is a name that is being circulated as someone that the Phillies would be willing to trade.

Rumors are a dime a dozen, and certainly this one seems like a far fetched notion. Domonic Brown came into his own last season, and the Phillies have him for the 2014 at a bargain if he continues the pace that he had last year. Why would the Phillies want to trade someone like Brown that is a rising star for a pitcher, they've carried four pitching aces and that didn't seem to do the job.

I would say that this rumor is completely false. Brown isn't going to garner a type of trade that the Phillies would be interested in at this point anyway. He made it to the All-Star team last year in his 4th season, but the jury is still out on whether he continues that All-Star play or was it just Domonic getting into a serious groove?

When Brown remains with the Phillies in 2014, we'll get a chance to see.

Here's a list of the Top 100 pitching free agents still available:

Rk Age From Team WAR W L W-L% ERA
1 Roy Halladay 37 PHI 65.86 203 105 .659 3.38
2 Andy Pettitte 42 NYY 58.29 256 153 .626 3.85
3 Mariano Rivera 44 NYY 54.62 82 60 .577 2.21
4 Johan Santana 35 NYM 51.42 139 78 .641 3.20
5 Roy Oswalt 36 COL 51.02 163 102 .615 3.36
6 Bartolo Colon 41 OAK 39.11 189 128 .596 3.94
7 Barry Zito 36 SFG 35.55 165 143 .536 4.02
8 Freddy Garcia 37 ATL 35.18 156 108 .591 4.15
9 Chris Carpenter 39 STL 34.52 144 94 .605 3.76
10 A.J. Burnett 37 PIT 25.11 147 132 .527 3.99
11 Bronson Arroyo 37 CIN 23.73 138 127 .521 4.19
12 Joe Nathan 39 TEX 23.68 57 30 .655 2.76
13 Darren Oliver 43 TOR 22.38 118 98 .546 4.51
14 Dontrelle Willis 32 LAA 20.28 72 69 .511 4.17
15 Francisco Rodriguez 32 BAL 19.91 41 36 .532 2.70
16 Aaron Harang 36 NYM 17.95 110 116 .487 4.28
17 Jamey Carroll 40 KCR 17.62 0 0 0.00
18 Ubaldo Jimenez 30 CLE 17.16 82 75 .522 3.92
19 Erik Bedard 35 HOU 17.01 67 76 .469 3.94
20 Scott Kazmir 30 CLE 16.66 76 70 .521 4.16
21 Scott Baker 32 CHC 16.06 63 48 .568 4.14
22 Octavio Dotel 40 DET 16.03 59 50 .541 3.78
23 Gavin Floyd 31 CHW 14.86 70 70 .500 4.48
24 Hiroki Kuroda 39 NYY 14.69 68 70 .493 3.40
25 Rafael Betancourt 39 COL 14.61 36 33 .522 3.19
26 Jake Westbrook 36 STL 13.62 105 103 .505 4.32
27 Chien-Ming Wang 34 TOR 13.09 62 34 .646 4.37
28 Paul Maholm 32 ATL 13.05 76 95 .444 4.28
29 Ervin Santana 31 KCR 12.89 105 90 .538 4.19
30 Matt Garza 30 TEX 12.65 67 67 .500 3.84
31 Matt Thornton 37 BOS 11.30 32 42 .432 3.53
32 Carlos Marmol 31 LAD 11.13 23 32 .418 3.46
33 Jair Jurrjens 28 DET 11.05 53 37 .589 3.63
34 Jeff Francis 33 COL 10.90 70 78 .473 4.94
35 Joaquin Benoit 36 DET 10.35 44 35 .557 4.11
36 Scott Downs 38 ATL 10.23 38 36 .514 3.48
37 Joe Saunders 33 SEA 10.15 89 81 .524 4.30
38 Chris Capuano 35 LAD 10.09 73 83 .468 4.27
39 Bruce Chen 37 KCR 9.85 80 76 .513 4.49
40 Jason Marquis 35 SDP 9.70 121 114 .515 4.56
41 Jesse Crain 32 TBR 9.44 45 30 .600 3.05
42 Daisuke Matsuzaka 33 NYM 9.24 53 40 .570 4.52
43 Ricky Nolasco 31 LAD 9.21 89 75 .543 4.37
44 Jamey Wright 39 TBR 8.73 92 126 .422 4.82
45 Zach Duke 31 CIN 8.68 50 76 .397 4.57
46 Mike Gonzalez 36 MIL 8.50 17 24 .415 3.14
47 Grant Balfour 36 OAK 8.43 28 17 .622 3.27
48 Luis Ayala 36 ATL 8.27 38 47 .447 3.34
49 J.C. Romero 38 CLE 8.06 34 28 .548 4.16
50 Oliver Perez 32 SEA 7.90 62 75 .453 4.53
51 Matt Guerrier 35 CHC 7.82 27 34 .443 3.51
52 Chad Cordero 32 LAA 7.46 20 15 .571 2.89
53 John McDonald 39 BOS 7.27 0 0 0.00
54 Joba Chamberlain 28 NYY 7.18 23 14 .622 3.85
55 Phil Hughes 28 NYY 7.03 56 50 .528 4.54
56 Hideki Okajima 38 OAK 6.86 17 8 .680 3.09
57 Kyle Farnsworth 38 PIT 6.47 43 63 .406 4.26
58 Jason Hammel 31 BAL 6.39 49 59 .454 4.80
59 Joe Beimel 37 ATL 6.17 24 32 .429 4.21
60 Brian Wilson 32 LAD 6.10 22 21 .512 3.10
61 Pedro Feliciano 37 NYM 5.83 22 21 .512 3.33
62 Colby Lewis 34 TEX 5.78 44 44 .500 4.76
63 Eric O'Flaherty 29 ATL 5.76 20 9 .690 2.85
64 Kevin Gregg 36 CHC 5.56 30 44 .405 4.07
65 Mike Pelfrey 30 MIN 5.55 55 67 .451 4.48
66 Joe Smith 30 CLE 5.50 27 16 .628 2.97
67 Jeremy Bonderman 31 DET 5.49 69 81 .460 4.91
68 Fernando Rodney 37 TBR 5.38 29 44 .397 3.70
69 Sean Burroughs 33 LAD 5.37 0 0 27.00
70 Frank Francisco 34 NYM 5.35 20 22 .476 3.93
71 Joel Hanrahan 32 BOS 5.23 22 18 .550 3.85
72 Roberto Hernandez 33 TBR 5.12 59 82 .418 4.67
73 Ramon Ortiz 41 TOR 4.99 87 86 .503 4.95
74 Alfredo Aceves 31 BOS 4.88 30 14 .682 3.69
75 Peter Moylan 35 LAD 4.55 21 9 .700 2.80
76 Mark Hendrickson 40 BAL 4.54 58 74 .439 5.03
77 Nate Robertson 36 TEX 4.53 57 77 .425 5.01
78 Rafael Perez 32 BOS 4.38 21 12 .636 3.64
79 Rich Hill 34 CLE 4.37 24 22 .522 4.74
80 Chad Qualls 35 MIA 4.08 45 37 .549 3.79
81 Jeff Niemann 31 TBR 4.08 40 26 .606 4.08
82 Micah Owings 31 MIL 3.98 32 33 .492 4.86
83 Jonathan Sanchez 31 LAD 3.96 39 58 .402 4.70
84 Mike MacDougal 37 PHI 3.94 18 23 .439 4.00
85 Manny Delcarmen 32 BAL 3.90 11 8 .579 3.97
86 Pat Neshek 33 OAK 3.83 16 9 .640 3.07
87 Juan Carlos Oviedo 32 TBR 3.77 18 20 .474 4.34
88 Ryan Vogelsong 36 SFG 3.75 41 44 .482 4.52
89 Scott Feldman 31 BAL 3.69 51 56 .477 4.62
90 Dave Bush 34 TOR 3.67 56 69 .448 4.73
91 J.P. Howell 31 LAD 3.58 25 24 .510 4.10
92 Zach Miner 32 PHI 3.52 25 22 .532 4.25
93 Nick Masset 32 CIN 3.41 16 14 .533 3.78
94 Edinson Volquez 30 LAD 3.33 53 52 .505 4.75
95 Nick Blackburn 32 MIN 3.27 43 55 .439 4.85
96 Jeff Karstens 31 PIT 3.19 26 40 .394 4.44
97 James McDonald 29 PIT 3.18 32 30 .516 4.20
98 Edward Mujica 30 STL 2.98 19 19 .500 3.75
99 Jose Veras 33 DET 2.84 19 22 .463 3.84
100 Kyle McClellan 30 TEX 2.84 19 24 .442 3.79
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/27/2013.