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Friday, January 31, 2014
Could the Phillies be like an old sleeping Giant? Only to awaken this year and dominate?
The hoopla and front page making signings for the Phillies appear to be a thing of the past as this year, the Phils are soon heading to Spring Training minus a lot of the hype that we've heard and seen from them in previous years.
The departure of Roy "Doc" Halladay is one reason that the Phillies have lost some of that luster that they used to have around this time of the year, but also, the whole team is kind of different as well as there are no big predictions coming from Jimmy Rollins yet and just a mumbling of how things have gone wrong from a couple of other Phillies players over the winter season.
So what did go wrong with the Phillies last year?
Cole Hamels has echoed the sentiments of a few other players that know the difference of the way the Phillies played when they had a "winning combination" and now the past two seasons that they haven't. He said it's about chemistry and the club just did not have that optimism and chemistry that help you win ballgames sometimes.
Maybe all of that will start to change this year, the Phillies have been off the pedestal for the top spot in the NL East now for a couple seasons, they last won the NL East in 2011 and had reeled off 5 years in a row that ended in 2011 for the top spot in the NL East. The Phillies arguably had the best run in their history with the span from 2007 to 2011 and have a World Series championship to show for it and made it to the World Series in 2009 which they lost to the Yankees in 6 games.
The team lost a lot of the swagger that it use to have and players have gotten much older since the run that the Phillies put together for 5 years but it doesn't mean that they are finished. They still know what is needed to get the job done and it they are healthy and stay in contention, they just may have a lot of game in them to do that.
Some may say that the Phillies haven't got a chance to do well now, but perhaps they are that sleeping giant that can't wait to show itself once again, a return to the dominance where they were for many years, putting Philadelphia and the Phillies in an awesome light where players clamored to play here for the chance to win a championship, maybe those days just aren't over yet.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Looking over the schedule, you naturally see some match ups on the Phillies 2014 schedule that really interest you.
The Phillies start off 2014 on the road, they open up in Texas on the last day of March against Yu Darvish and the Rangers. Then they fly into Wrigley for a three game series before coming home to open up CBP on Monday, April 7, at 3:05 PM against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Opening Day is always one of the games a lot of fans look forward to seeing, and the Brewers just signed Matt Garza, so perhaps we'll be facing him during one of the games against the Brewers.
Right after the first three games at CBP, the Phillies welcome in the Marlins and Braves for the NL East rivalry that we're looking forward to. The Braves were really good last year, will they keep it up in 2014?
The Phils hit the road for a west coast road trip in mid-April and go visit the Rockies, Dodgers, and Dbacks. LA have really retooled for a bigger and better run in 2014, the first series with LA should be a real test for this Phillies team in the middle of April. If the Phils do anything this year, they will have to beat teams like the Dodgers.
The Phillies don't play the NY Mets for the first time until the end of April, on the 29th and 30th in Philadelphia. There should be a better rivalry this season against the Mets, they have signed the exciting Curtis Granderson and have a few other players that are expected to help them out this year.
Right after the short two game series with the Mets at home, we welcome in the Washington Nationals and Jayson Werth for the first time, the Nationals have become good rivals of the Phillies in recent years and this series will be on that a lot of fans look forward to seeing.
Two of the biggest games of the early season will have to be the Angels coming to Philly for a short two game series, and of course Mike Trout, who is from Millville, NJ will be a main attraction at the game. The Phillies will honor Millville Night for one of those games, and a lot of the people that were instrumental in Mike's early career will be there.
So tell us, what series are you looking forward to seeing?
Posted by Rich Baxter at 10:10 PM
Friday, January 24, 2014
It's getting closer and closer to the start of Spring Training. February 13th starts the 2014 Spring Training season off with pitchers and catchers reporting. The team moved one step closer to solidifying itself this afternoon, when it was announced that Ben Revere reached a deal with the Phillies for a 1 year deal at just under $2M for the season plus incentives.
Revere was the last of the arbitration eligible Phillies to sign with the team and now that completes the list for those that were eligible and that the Phillies wanted. The Phillies who were eligible for arbitration were: John Mayberry (1 yr.$1.587M), Antonio Bastardo (1 Yr. $2M), Kevin Frandsen (1 yr. $900K), and Kyle Kendrick (1 yr. $7.67M).
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
After recently reading that Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers signed or is going to sign a 7 year, $215M dollar contract, I had to scratch my head and wonder, whatever happened to baseball?
Just the other day, you read that the television contracts are being signed for teams in the billions of dollars, I thought America's love for the game was on the down swing? The stories have kept coming about America's youth being somewhat disenfranchised with baseball.
Add all of this up with the recent baseball doping scandals and you wouldn't think that the industry is roaring like it appears to be.
The money flow seems endless, like a runaway train on a track that has no return. Baseball has really started to spiral up like a South American country that has a serious problem with inflation.
Who's going to be paying for all of this? I don't know about you, but for the price of a baseball game in a decent first level seat these days for a family of 4, it's going to set you back some serious money. I am talking the kind of money that you could buy a nice TV set or something and that's just to buy the tickets. Don't even count the money that it takes to park, and think about a hot dog and a soda for the family. Wait, baseball is a family type of game still isn't it?
This year will be different in the MLB as well in regards to umpiring. Gone are the days of bad calls, well maybe the calls will still be there by the umps but now there will be instant replay. Now managers won't have to get all mad at the umpires, they will just have to challenge the play. The teams will get 2 plays per game that they can challenge, thus changing the course of baseball forever. Remember the times that a bad call would stand? Well, with instant replay that all may be history, as umpires will be corrected if it can be proven on video that they were wrong. Inevitably, there will be stats made about umpires now, and how many bad calls they make and how many calls they have overturned.
Can you imagine 4 calls being overturned or even challenged on the field, I think you might call for at least another 40 minutes to that ballgame. Records for the longest games now will probably fall in 2014, as the video generation now gets to judge whether or not an umpire got the call right.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Reports are saying that Bobby Abreu will be returning to his roots with the Phillies. The Phillies have apparently signed Abreu to a minor league deal that could possibly see him make the big club.
#53 was a mainstay for the Phillies for many years, before the big name free agents dominated this game. Abreu was a force to be reckoned with, he will be 40 years old on March 11, 2014,
Bobby probably won't be the same as he was when he was younger, but could possibly contribute to this Phillies team.
Bobby Abreu hasn't played since 2012, but that isn't to say that he couldn't make a comeback. Several teams apparently were interested in an Abreu comeback attempt, but apparently the Phillies are the team that will give Bobby the chance.
Abreu just made some noise in the Venezuelan League with a grand slam that won a game for his team, and apparently impressed the Phillies to invite him to Spring Training with the Phils.
Snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour setting up now over the I-95 corridor and much of south Jersey. pic.twitter.com/H3TOLv1DCm
— Chris Sowers (@chris_sowers) January 21, 2014
The calendar days are flying by, it's hard to think about Spring Training in the Delaware Valley today because of an inbound snow storm that could leave a foot of snow on various parts of the area. Nevermind the snow though, because in only a few weeks, it will be pitchers and catchers reporting down in Clearwater for another baseball season.
What can we expect from this year's Phillies team? For one thing, they should be healthier than ever. Ryan Howard has been a non-factor on this team for a long time now, his presence should be felt more this season, and hopefully so because the Phillies have been paying him a boatload of money and really haven't seen the return in Howard for that windfall.
It will also be the first season that the Phillies new skipper, Ryne Sandberg, gets to show how well he will manage in the big leagues. Will he prove the Cubs were very wrong in not giving him a manager's job well before he got the chance with the Phillies?
The Phillies again this offseason signed a few players, one of them was supposed to be a superstar many years ago, in Marlon Byrd. For Byrd, it's probably like something out of a movie. His career seemed finished at 35 years old as the Red Sox let him go, and then the MLB suspended him for 50 games for violating the league's banned substances list. It would have been easy for him to fold up and call it a day. He didn't though, the following season (last year) the Mets invited Bryd to their Spring Training and in November of 2013, the Phillies paid him an unbelieveable $16M for 2 seasons when he was just making above league minimum for all of the 2013 season.
So there are a lot of stories in the mix here for the Phillies 2014 season. The Phillies lost the services of Doc Halladay, but kept Carlos Ruiz by giving him a new contract. The Phillies certainly must have the most veterans of any team in the MLB as starters.
Chase Utley has been quoted as saying that he thinks the Phillies can contend in 2014, but this contending is getting to be sort of a cliche now, as the Phillies have been saying that for the past couple seasons and don't really have the results to back that up.
Check out the new Phillies Reporter.com blog that blogs the latest news on the internet on the Phillies, and follow the blog on twitter, @philliesreportr
Monday, January 13, 2014
Chase Utley with the 2014 mantra that 'the Phillies can contend' - hmm. sounds more like a PR announcement with last year's showing
After staying somewhat the same for the last several years, you can suddenly see some big changes within the Phillies team and organization in the broadcast booth. It all started with the announcement that Chris Wheeler and Gary 'Sarge' Matthews would no longer be on the broadcast team that brings us almost daily games to our homes and over the radio from April to October.
It wasn't the Phillies organization that made the decision about Wheels and Sarge, it was the broadcast entity of Comcast Sportsnet that made the decision not to rehire the two veteran broadcasters. Could they have handled this a bit better? That without question would have to be yes, a veteran broadcaster like Chris Wheeler should not have been shown the door so disrespectfully. If anything he could have had a meeting with CSN Philly and perhaps asked if he would make this 2014 season his last year. Showing him the door in such a public way for no apart reason was abrupt and not called for.
People have opinions when it comes to broadcasters. Just about every Phillies broadcaster has his fans and his people who aren't so happy with some of the things they say. It's just about people's opinion of them, it doesn't reflect anything about them personally because the fans who would say they don't like a broadcaster don't even know them.
The new Phillies broadcast package was awarded to CSN Philly and has taken effect immediately, they have wasted no time in upsetting a lot of fans that really liked both Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews, and the Phillies games without them now will in some ways never be the same.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
It's the first show of 2014 for Phillies Talk, the longest independent show that talks about the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.
Jonathan Papelbon was giving an interview to WEEI radio the other day, he is still speaking his mind about the problems that the Phillies had, is he wrong? We're talking all about that and the latest Phillies news and opinion of our first show for the new year.
Check us out at BaseballTalkRadio.com
Stitcher Smart Radio
Saturday, January 04, 2014
In 2013, it was Cole Hamels that got the job as Opening Day pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Hamels said at the time that he is not all taken away with stats that are kept on a player, he said that sometimes too much is made about the many stats that can be crunched about a player.
Hamels approach is just to go out there and pitch and get the job done and not worry about stats so much. That is what he said in an interview before the start of the first Phillies game in 2013.
Believe it or not it was only the first time in his career last year that Hamels got the opening day job, in past years that honor went to Roy Halladay and for one reason or another Cole Hamels never did start an opener for the Phillies until 2013. Hamels would have probably started in 2009, but he was on the DL and wasn't able to step in and start that season off for the Phils.
Who will be the Opening Day pitcher for the Phillies in 2014? You could certainly make the case that Cliff Lee should be the guy that opens the season for the Phillies as he had the best record and pitched the best for the team.
As far as opening day pitchers are concerned for the Phillies, the pitcher with the most starts for the Phillies for opening day is Steve Carlton, he made 14 starts for the Phillies on opening day. Robin Roberts is second on the list with 12 opening day starts.
Here's some stats from the 2013 Phillies pitching staff, who is deserving of getting the start for Opening Day in 2014, when the Phillies will open the season on the road in Texas at 2:05 PM on March 31st.
|Rank in 15 NL teams||13||3||14||3||15||15||14|
Thursday, January 02, 2014
25 years seems like a long time, and it is. The Phillies have reportedly signed their next television contract with Comcast SportsNet that starts off after the 2015 season. The contract was reported as a 25 year deal, some media outlets put it at 20 years, but both are long term for sure. More details will be emerging from this deal in the next couple days.
The LA Dodgers have led the way with a multi-billion dollar deal ($7B) earlier in 2013 to start for the 2014 season, the Phillies deal won't be for that much. The deal will be for a whole lot of money though.
Todd Zolecki and other media outlets first reported this, no financial terms were disclosed yet, but it appears that Comcast Sportsnet and the parent company, NBC, will benefit as NBC10 in Philly will be getting some Sunday games, and apparently, WPHL 17 is out as they didn't have the deep pockets needed for the huge increase in money in the tv deal.
Ryan Lawrence had a nice article, talking about the next Phillies tv deal last season, you can read that here.
Todd Zolecki looks at this question and the answer may surprise you, Asche won't make the cut for the 2014 team out of Spring Training, what do you think?
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
It's a brand new year, and just thinking about last year, we could probably guess that these will be some of the Phillies team resolutions for the 2014 season.
- Score more runs in 2014, the Phils scored 610 runs for the season, it was good for 27th in the MLB, the same amount of runs scored as the Houston Astros for the season.
- The Phillies starters and relievers had a combined ERA that was 27th in the league at 4.32 (there are 30 teams) another spot that the pitching staff occupied was 27th for batting average against Phillies pitching which was .265 - pitching must improve in 2014.
- Have a healthy season for the key players on the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins lead the way last year, he was the healthiest of the Phillies stars, he did happen to turn in his worst season in the pros though with only 6 HR and 39 RBI with 600 AB, Jimmy and company must improve in 2014.