Monday, June 30, 2014

Soon 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game" and through the Metal Detectors

Soon going to a ballgame might be like this scene from an airport security line, what could be worse than this? Watching the play on the field by this year's Phillies team could include this by the end of July

Just announced, the Phillies will install metal detectors at the gates of entrances to Citizens Bank Park by late July in an effort to as they say, working with Homeland Security in accordance with providing security for the fans attending games.

This may be a noble gesture, but as most people know that have seen it, you can get virtually anything you want over the Citizens Bank Park fences that surround the park, many people even climb the fences occasionally to sneak in, so the effect of this may sound on the outset to be great, but I am sure it will be a major annoyance to the millions of peace loving fans that have attended sporting events for years in Philadelphia without a problem.

Not to mention the fans are fewer in numbers at the stadium already this year with the Phillies playing like they have been and many fans start adding up the annoyances that they are starting to find at the ballpark and just simply will elect not to go at all. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Parking is now at $16.00
2. Seat ticket prices are the highest they've been ever
3. Concessions are very expensive
4. Now, you'll feel like you're going through airport security to watch a ball game

Add all of those annoyances up, and it is little wonder that fans will start to want to stay away.

Why now, they have the good old fashioned pat downs by security, soon the addition of metal detectors will make a trip to the ballpark a laborious chore, and not an enjoyable experience.

Phils swept at home for 4 games by Braves, first time since 1964

Ryan Howard saw his glove betray him in this Atlanta Series, had two errors in the first game of a double header and could have made another in the nightcap but it was scored a hit instead

It's the first time the Braves swept the Phillies at home since 1964 in a four game series. That time, the Phillies did an epic collapse at the end of the season and the Braves were from Milwaukee then. The Phillies lost 4 games in a row to the Braves from September 24 through the 27th and then lost a three game series in St. Louis following that to come apart at the seems in 1964 and fall out of first place.

You had to figure that the Braves were coming back for revenge after the Phillies swept the Braves at home just a couple weeks back.

The Phillies are playing bad baseball and are in need of serious change, this combination of players is going no where fast.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Broadcasters in the Outfield on June 27

Tom McCarthy, Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer to Call Phillies game from Centerfield

PHILADELPHIA- (June 25, 2014) –  The Phillies broadcasting team of Tom McCarthy, Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer will call the game from a special centerfield location for this Friday’s game against the Atlanta Braves.  This special broadcast booth location provides the broadcasters a unique view of the game, the players and the ballpark.  This is the first time the broadcast has moved out of the position behind home plate for a full game in the 10 years at Citizens Bank Park. Friday’s 7 p.m. Phillies vs. the Atlanta Braves game airs on Comcast SportsNet.

“This centerfield broadcast location will provide a unique viewpoint for Tom, Matt and Jamie, TV viewers and fans alike,” said Comcast SportsNet’s Phillies producer Jeff Halikman. “We are always trying to find new and interesting ways to present games to our viewers and this location is completely opposite from where Tom, Matt and Jamie normally sit, which will offer a different vantage point for everyone.”

"We are all looking forward to seeing and calling the game from the fans’ point of view on Friday,” said Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy. “Citizens Bank Park is, by far, the best ballpark in baseball when it comes to atmosphere, proximity to the fans and sight-lines. To be in the stands with our fans for the duration of the telecast will be a different experience for everyone, and should bring an exciting new element to the game." 

*This special broadcast is weather permitting.

Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, part of the NBC Sports Group, is the leading regional sports network reaching more than three million homes in and around Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware.  Together with The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia provides local sports fans with the most sports coverage including more than 550  live game broadcasts of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies, MLS’s Philadelphia Union, plus NCAA coverage, as well as Emmy Award-winning sports news and analysis. Visit for more information.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 11 regional networks that deliver more than 2,400 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 43 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Houston, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, which serves Baltimore and Washington D.C., Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and SportsNet New York. For additional information, visit For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit 

Phils win on Gywnn Jr.'s return

Chase dropped this one, perhaps he was dreaming of his post game meal or something

It's been another tough week to watch this Phillies team. The homestand started with the Phillies getting shutout, it's the 8th time that the Phillies have been blanked at home this year. The record for this is 14 games that goes way back to 1969, there is still about half the season left, so we may see this team flirt with that dubious record.

The bright spot, the Phillies won last night, but this team is in serious need of help. Forget the talk of blowing up this team, it's already blown up right here in front of our eyes in 2014. They just don't have anything left in their tanks to salvage this season.

Tony Gywnn Jr. returned last night, to a standing ovation. His statements about honoring his father's name resonated well within the ears of Phillies fans, he came up to be a pinch hitter and wore his father's old number, 19. Gwynn Jr. then grounded out and the Phillies were able to hold on to this game for a much needed win.

There was 24,860 at the ballpark last night, as the Phillies plummeted to the basement of the NL East, so did the fan attendance. We're seeing something historic on the field from the Phils this year, it may be their worst year since coming to the new stadium in 2004, their worst season of 73 wins was done last year, and they may break that record this year. You'd have to go back many years to find the Phillies in the 60's for their wins column, the last time that happened was 2000, with 65 wins on the season.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

GQ Magazine: Camden tries to keep kids focused with baseball

The coaches, from left: Danny Calo; Aaron Streater; Bryan Morton; Frankie Rosado; Julio Ruiz.


…originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of GQ Magazine

Camden, New Jersey, is one of the poorest, deadliest cities in the United States. A once proud place now ravaged by addiction and poverty and guns and decay. It’s also a really unlikely place to start a Little League. But Little League here has not just survived, it’s thrived. GQ’s Kathy Dobie spends a season of heroism and survival with the coaches, players, moms, dreamers, retired gangbangers, and wised-up ex-cons who believe in baseball’s power to transform the hood. Excerpts from the story below:

On Bryan Morton, the founder and president of the North Camden Little League:
“When an addict tries to enter the park, Bryan blocks his path. ‘The park is for kids and their families today,’ Bryan says. The man looks flummoxed. ‘Where am I supposed to go?’ There’s absolutely no light in Bryan’s eyes when he says, ‘Not my problem.’ What incenses Bryan is that the children of North Camden are invisible to men like this. They must be, because how else could these junkies decide, again and again, that it’s okay to shoot up in front of 5-year-olds on slides, toddlers plucking at the grass?”

“Bryan’s philosophy in a nutshell: Don’t let circumstances dictate your behavior. Reverse that dynamic. Fill the parks with kids and families and eventually the junkies and the dealers will drift away. Pretend that you live in a safe place and maybe it will become one.”

“As soon as the dealers had sauntered out of the park (they didn’t want to look too accommodating) and Bryan set up his folding table, arranging the sign-up sheets in a neat pile, children began to stream in through the gates, on bicycles, scooters, running on sneakered feet. Word had gone out: The park was safe. It was like watching spring bloom in a minute.”

“One evening in May, the light lingering, Bryan had called me to proudly announce, ‘We covered the hood. Baseball is being played on every field in North Camden tonight.’ Dope City was alive with the sounds of bats cracking balls, runners tearing toward second, third, shouts!, bodies thudding, sliding across home plate.”

“Bryan says the toughest kids are the most vulnerable to the street, because those are the kids the dealers favor, the aggressive ones, the smart-asses, the kids with the dog who just can’t stand to lose.”

“’This is what small-town America values,’ Bryan says. ‘That’s quality family time. And you know what? I made that shit happen in the hood.’”

“Camden County has signed off on a $3 million transformation of Pyne Poynt—the most ambitious public project in North Camden since the building of Riverfront State Prison in 1985. The park will have brand-new baseball and soccer fields, a drainage system, basketball courts, restrooms, night lights, bleachers, and a concession stand, all of it due in no small part to the persistent presence of Bryan Morton’s North Camden Little League.”

On assistant coach Joey Polanco:
“He’s a true child and soldier of the street, having entered the life at 11 years old, having sold drugs, having been shot (twice), having lost his father to a heroin overdose, having spent many years in juvie and adult lockups (‘state college,’ he calls it).”

 Photo credit: Doug DuBois/GQ. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Phillies try to build momentum

Ryne Sandberg has to wonder if the Phillies have enough gas in the tank to keep this winning streak going

The Phillies hit the road a couple of days ago, and a lot of people thought it may be a long road trip for them. They were mired in last place with not a lot of things to be happy about, nearing the middle of June.

Then they landed in Atlanta. The Phillies reeled off 3 straight victories against the Braves and suddenly, they are out of last place and looking a lot better as they get ready to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis for a first game of a four game series against the red hot Cardinals.

The Cards are on fire, they are 8-2 in their last 10 games and in 2nd place behind the equally hot Milwaukee Brewers who have been in first place for a very long time in the NL Central.

For the Phillies, they are just beginning what is going to be a long streak of games for them. Once done in St. Louis, they come home to Philly and play the Mariners for 4 games and then the Braves for 4 games straight at home. The Braves will be looking to get even with the Phillies for sweeping them in Atlanta, but it's also a great opportunity for the Phils to gain even more ground against the Braves, who fell out of first place behind losing to the Phillies.

For the Phillies, it's David Buchanan on the mound, who is coming off a win in his last start. He'll face Shelby Miller, who has had his struggles so far in this season.

Can the Phillies continue to build some momemtum as we chug into the All-Star Break?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Important road trip has Phillies prevailing in first game at Atlanta

Paps can get emotional after a blown save, does this look tell you how much he cares about that, from last night's game?

This is an important road trip for the Phillies. The team is just under a month to go to the All-Star Break, they haven't played too well all year, but they are still within reach of the first place Atlanta Braves, a team in which they beat last night in 13 innings.

It wasn't easy for the Phillies, they clung to a 1 run lead all night practically, but when it came time for Jonathan Papelbon to put the game in the win column, he just couldn't get it done. The Braves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, and the Phillies needed four more innings to eventually end up winning this game. They blew it open by a score of 6-1.

Papelbon has been walking players in bunches this year, with only 26 innings pitched, he's walked 9 batters and that hasn't been good. That was Papelbon's 2nd blown save of the year, which isn't too bad, you are going to have those games occasionally but the important thing is the Phillies were able to rally back and win the game.

Paps 1.65 ERA is still one of the best in the league for relievers, and we should be counting ourselves lucky that we have him.

Game 2 continues tonight in Atlanta, the Phillies have reached the 30 wins mark but are still in last place in the NL East.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Baseball Historical Insight: The '64 Phillies' Perfect Father's Day

Great story here by Brian Soderholm, written for the SABR, click the link to read the whole story.

Baseball Historical Insight: The '64 Phillies' Perfect Father's Day: The Phillies' trade acquisition of Jim Bunning in December was expected to bolster their starting pitching and contribute to building to...

How Comcast Sportsnet ruined the Phillies TV broadcasts in 2014

Both Ryne Sandberg and the ump should be tossing the Phillies TV broadcast out of the game!

You have to admit, it's been tough watching Philies baseball this season.

Let alone the way the team has been playing, the TV broadcasts have suffered with the firings of Chris Wheeler and Gary 'Sarge' Matthews. In their place, Comcast Sportsnet, who recently signed a $2.5B extension for 25 years to broadcast the teams games, signed two ex-Phillies to fill the shoes of Wheeler and Matthews. The Phillies of course signed Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs, who are really loved as ex-players but haven't sounded good at all as TV baseball announcers.

Some vocal fans used to poke fun at both Matthews and Wheeler to the point of complaining about them on social media. Apparently CSN follows these social media comments and threw both of these veteran announcers to the curb before the 2014 season started.

Most of the time now, the broadcasts sound like the Tom McCarthy show, as there are very few comments by Moyer and Stairs for much of the broadcast and some of the comments they make refer back to them being players. We loved them as players, but do we care to hear about things that happened to them similar to what is going on in the game on just about every play? Of course not, but that is what the Phillies TV broadcast has become.

Stairs is particularly hard to hear most of the time, either he is mumbling or his mic is way too low, but his contributions to the game broadcasts are seriously lacking.

Lets hope CSN Philly realizes that they made a mistake with the tandem of Stairs and Moyer and they go in a different direction next year, but for now this is a long season to watch this team that is just playing bad baseball and has a TV broadcast booth to match that.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cubs come to town

News of possible changes to Wrigley and radio and TV changes have Cubbies fans a bit nervous

The Cubbies visit Philadelphia as their fans are still trying to cope with the news that the Cubs will no longer be on the radio station that they've been on for 90 years which is WGN, and then they are also dumping the WGN TV station contract after this season as well.

Rumblings throughout Cubs Land also has rumors of major changes at Wrigley Field in a bid to upgrade the stadium to more modern amenities.

We'll see if the Phillies can continue their winning ways against the Cubs, who now have the dubious distinction of the 2nd worst record in baseball.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Two wins against Padres distance Phils from worst record in baseball

The Phillies broadcast has become almost like a Vin Scully one, as McCarthy now does most of the talking = does anyone miss Sarge and Wheels?

The Phillies have now won twice against the Padres, that's encouraging. The team has rescued itself from having the worst record in baseball. Hard to believe that we're talking about the Phillies and the worst record in baseball in the same sentence, but that's what the Phils were as this week started.

What happened to this team, and how did it evolve into a team that is one of the lowest winning teams in the game?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Latest Phillies Talk Podcast: Rollins Approaches Hits Record

Jimmy Rollins approaches the All-Time hits record for the Phillies, and much more talk about the Phils on this edition of Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich and Jim.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Phils slip to 10 games under .500

Rollins offers his take on the current situation with the Phillies

It's been a bad 10 days for the Phillies. The team seemed to be righting some of the wrongs and they had climbed out of last place for a brief time, and now within the last 10 days, the team seems like it has become completely unglued.

The Phils are on a 6-game losing streak, and there is no end in sight. Currently, the Phils are a full 10 games under .500 and have slipped to 7.0 GB from the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.

The team now travels to Cincinnati, where the Reds haven't had it easy either at 27-31 on the year.

What is the answer for the Phillies? It's obvious that this group isn't going to recover from this downward trend anytime too soon. For the Phils, they need to do something to shake up this team, but exactly what remains a mystery. Ruben Amaro doesn't seem to have the right answers, and each night that Ryne Sandberg explains why the team didn't do well, he seems like he isn't too sure what's going on either.

One thing is for sure, there is a lot of season left in the schedule.  

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Amaro keeps saying Phillies rebuilding, who is he trying to fool?

Ruben probably wants to blame Ryne here, but no, this is all Ruben's mess now

Ruben Amaro Jr. is trying to be a convincing spin master on why the Phillies aren't doing well and haven't done well for many years now.

He's been saying that the team is constantly rebuilding, but who is he trying to fool? Is he thinking that whatever he says that people will nod their heads and believe that stuff?

Amaro has been dodging the reason the Phillies are the way they are because he is at the cause of it all. Bad personnel moves and signings have left this Phillies team in a shambles. The poor Phillies play are the likes of which haven't been seen in Philadelphia in years now, but the blight is back and Ruben can't deny that.

Amaro has even been named as the last place finisher in moves by any GM in the MLB by the Sporting News right here. This proving the fact that Ruben is no Billy Beane or Brian Cashman - no, he's just run this Phillies team down into the depths from which will take them years to recover.

Ruben, must go.

Phillies hit rock bottom, get trounced by Mets

 Colon looked like Cy Young against the stumbling Phillies last night

The Phillies are a team that are struggling worse than an expansion team at this point in the season. They went out on the field and embarrassed themselves last night in a makeup game at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets went out there and whipped the Phillies by an 11-2 score.

This team has not succeeded in one measure of becoming a good team. In fact, they can't even execute the fundamentals of this game properly.

Pitcher Roberto Hernandez (formerly named Fausto Carmona) looked like a fish out of water up at the plate when he was asked to lay down a bunt for the team. Other examples of simple things on the field not being done are what is happening as well, every game.

Ryne Sandberg and Ruben Amaro have to accept some of the responsibility for what we see on the playing field. This team hasn't looked this bad in years, and now it's showing. What is the reason for this? We can't blame Charlie Manuel for being too lenient.

This whole team looks like it needs to be changed, and I think it all starts with GM Ruben Amaro, his moves have cost this team everything. His inability to get younger with this team, and make changes where they needed to be made is something that should be looked at very closely by ownership.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Back to back 14 inning games new record

The Phanatic dumps a load of popcorn on this "Mets fan" in this skit last night

Last night's back to back 14 inning games set a new franchise record last night, it was the first time since 1883 that two games in a row went at least 14 innings. The Phillies lost last night's game though. That loss put them back in the basement in the NL East.