Sunday, March 30, 2014

Phils get ready to Open on the road on Monday at 2:05 PM on CSN Philly





For a lot of us working, the Phillies opener will be listened to on the radio or glanced on a smartphone as the Phillies open in Texas on Monday afternoon at 2:05 PM. The game will be well covered on Comcast SportsNet if you are lucky enough to get home to watch the game though. There will be a replay of the game starting at 6:30 PM on Monday night. Here's the schedule of the day's TV events on CSN:


2008 Phillies World Series Champions Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer Make Major League Broadcasting Debut on Comcast SportsNet on March 31
Opening Day Coverage on Comcast SportsNet Begins at Noon

 PHILADELPHIA- (March 19, 2014) – Comcast SportsNet debuts the new broadcasting team of Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs, Tom McCarthy and Gregg Murphy on Monday, March 31 when the Phillies take on the Texas Rangers in the 2014 season opener.  This will mark the first of 161 high definition broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet, The Comcast Network and NBC10.

Hall of Fame third baseman and Phillies legend Mike Schmidt also joins the Phillies broadcast team for the 2014 season.  The three time National League MVP will be on the air for all thirteen Sunday home games for special Sundays with Schmidt broadcasts. 

Schmidt, Moyer and Stairs will work as analysts for the 2014 season, working alongside play-by-play man Tom McCarthy and field reporter Gregg Murphy for games on Comcast SportsNet, The Comcast Network and NBC10.

In addition to Comcast SportsNet’s stellar broadcasting crew, two additional former Major League players Ricky Bottalico and Ben Davis provide expert analysis on Phillies pre and postgame shows, as well as the network’s news and talk programs throughout the season.

Bottalico returns for his sixth year as a Phillies analyst after playing 12 seasons in the major leagues, including seven with the Philadelphia Phillies and an all-star appearance in 1996.  Returning to the lineup this year is Davis, a catcher and first round draft pick from Malvern Prep, who played seven seasons in the majors.

Throughout the 2014 season Comcast SportsNet will provide comprehensive Phillies coverage across multiple platforms, including the network’s online home, CSNPhilly.com, and social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Comcast SportsNet Opening Day Schedule for Monday, March 31
12 p.m.                                    SportsRise
12:30 p.m.                               Phillies Focus
1 p.m.                                      Phillies Pregame Live
2 p.m.                                      Phillies at Rangers
5 p.m.                                      Phillies Postgame Live
5:30 p.m.                                 Philly Sports Talk
6 p.m.                                      SportsNite
6:30 p.m.                                 Phillies game replay on The Comcast Network


Here's the TV coverage for the Phillies Home Opener on April 7th at 3:05 PM - broadcasted on NBC10 Philadelphia.

Comcast SportsNet Home Opener Schedule for Monday, April 7
2 p.m.                                      Phillies Pregame Live
3 p.m.                                      Phillies vs. Brewers on NBC10
5 p.m.                                      Phillies Sports Talk
6 p.m.                                      Phillies Postgame Live
6:30 p.m.                                 SportsNite
7 p.m.                                      Phillies Clubhouse*

*Phillies Clubhouse makes its 2014 debut on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m., and features a special look back in conjunction with the team honoring  10 seasons of baseball at Citizens Bank Park. Exclusive video will reveal the top 10 moments from the first 10 years at the Phillies ballpark, all chosen by more than 43,000  fans through a phillies.com online vote held earlier this month.  

2014 Broadcast Enhancements

All Comcast SportsNet and Comcast Network broadcasts will be in high definition and will feature a new graphics package, updated score bug technology and enhanced statistical data.


All The Bases Covered
Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN), Marshall Harris (@mharrisCSN) and Leslie Gudel (@LeslieGudel) team up for comprehensive Phillies coverage during the 2014 season. As CSNPhilly.com’sPhillies Insider, Salisbury will report on the team both at home and on the road, providing feature stories, and Phillies chats for the website. Gudel and Harris will provide coverage on-air and online, including exclusive interviews and feature stories on the players, coaches and personalities that make the Phillies tick.

Pre and Postgame Coverage
In addition to live game coverage, Comcast SportsNet delivers pre and postgame coverage and analysis. Before every game on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network, viewers can catch the latest team developments, game previews and opposing team analysis on “Philly Sports Talk,” “SportsNite” and “Phillies Pregame Live.” 

Following each match-up, Phillies fans get a game breakdown with stats and highlights, and a look ahead to the rest of the season on “Phillies Postgame Live.” Other features include manager Ryne Sandberg’s press conferences and reaction from the clubhouse. Phillies Postgame Live analysis will be provided by former Major League ball players Ricky Bottalico and Ben Davis.

Phillies Clubhouse
Completing Comcast SportsNet’s Phillies lineup is the weekly 30-minute feature series Phillies Clubhouse. “Phillies Clubhouse” illustrates the deep bond between the Phillies and their fans with in-depth player interviews and behind-the-scenes stories about fans and the people who make the team run. We’ll look into the future of the game with regular minor league updates. The show will also feature in-depth breakdowns by analysts Ricky Bottalico and Ben Davis, giving viewers new insights into what happens on the field. “Phillies Clubhouse” debuts on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m. with a look back at the top 10 moments in Citizens Bank Park.  “Phillies Clubhouse” will air most Mondays at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.

CSNPhilly.com
Digital/Social Media
CSNPhilly.com’s Phillies Insider Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) will provide exclusive player, coaches and management interviews, plus breaking news and in-depth features on CSNPhilly.com. He will also provide live reports for “Philly Sports Talk” and “SportsNite.” CSNPhilly.com columnist John Gonzalez (@GonzoCSN) will also contribute to the site throughout the season.  

CSNPhilly.com’s popular Phillies-themed online show, “Phightin Words” returns with Bottalico and Davis discussing the Phillies and responding to trends, answering fan questions from Twitter and Facebook, and dissecting upcoming series and player performance.  Fans can join the conversation by using the hashtag #PhilliesTalk.

Fans can also follow all games online with CSNPhilly.com’s “In-Game Live” feature, which allows fans to follow the game live with play-by-play, stats and Comcast SportsNet tweets.
  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Welcome back home Phillies 2014


Had a great time at Citizens Bank Park yesterday afternoon and then for the game.

The Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event to welcome the team back to Philadelphia. A great time was had by all.

The Phillies lost the game with the Pirates, 3-0 and rain looks like it may wash this afternoon's game out but we'll see what happens, next stop will be Texas for the Opener on Monday at 2:05 PM













Friday, March 28, 2014

Phils take on the Pirates for 2 game "On-Deck"


The Phillies take on the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at CBP for the first of two scheduled "On-Deck" series games.

The Pirates have a strong showing so far in Spring, and these two games will count towards the Spring Training totals for both teams.

The Pirates have an energized team built around Andrew McCutchen, who was the NL MVP in 2013. McCutchen has been on fire in Spring with a .560 BA going 14 for 25 so far.

Here's some players on who they think the best player in baseball is today, and McCutchen's name comes up a few times with some of them:

 


Abreu didn't have all that bad of a spring training




 Bobby Abreu did not make the Phillies team out of Spring Training. His Spring wasn't all that bad, he ended with 3 doubles, a triple, 10 total hits in 41 AB with working 10 walks. Abreu was showing patience at the plate. In contrast, Ryan Howard has 25 strikeouts and and 15 hits in 63 AB for the team in Spring Training.

As a hitter coming off the bench, Abreu would have been pretty good, almost like a Jim Thome of a few years ago.

The team only has 25 roster spots out of Spring Training, and some tough cuts were made, Abreu was just one of them.

In case you missed it, here's Ruben Amaro's explanation of Abreu not making the team:




Thursday, March 27, 2014

Phils gear up for On-Deck Series




The Beer will be cold, the hot dogs hot on Friday night at CBP, but will this Phillies team have success in 2014 when it counts





Spring Training in Florida is over for the Phillies and now it's on to Philadelphia for two games with the Pirates for the On-Deck series that a lot of fans get an early look at the team.

The Phillies team that will be on the field on Friday night has taken some dramatic changes in the past couple days as a few players that we thought would be with the team at the start of the season will not be with them.

Kevin Frandsen was expected to be on the team off the bench for the Phils, but he was demoted and refused the assignment down to the minors and promptly announced that he would seek another team. That other team is the Washington Nationals who quickly signed Frandsen to a deal that he had with the Phillies, a 1 year contract for $900K. Frandsen was good insurance for the Phillies if they had an injury at the corners this year, first and third base. Now, he is not an option.

Bobby Abreu was given a chance to make this Phillies team, he too was battling for a bench spot. Abreu didn't disappoint, he hit 3 doubles, 1 triple, and had 10 BB and chipped in 10 RBI with only 6 SO for the Phillies, but somehow, that was not enough. Should have Abreu made this team with those numbers and being so hot in the Winter League last year. He should have made this club as well with the numbers he put up, but didn't.

A lot of Phillies moves lately aren't adding up.

What added up for the Phillies in a bad way has been their Spring winning percentage, at present they are the worst team in the MLB on a winning percentage basis. The team is 9-17 with a .346 WP, the Boston Red Sox are just above them with a WP of .360 so far. The Phillies can still try to avoid being the worst team in the league by winning the two games against Pittsburgh that will be played on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Maybe the pundits are right about this Phillies team, they've predicted the team to be one of the worst teams in baseball this year. ESPN had the Phillies finishing 29th of 30 teams. We can't really count Spring but plenty of Phillies fans are nervous that things just aren't right with this team anymore.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Howard slugs 2nd homer of Spring, tries to regain home run momentum





The Phillies sent out a social media message on Twitter, Google + and Facebook yesterday. It said, Big Piece, swing away to 6 days until we head to Texas.

Ryan Howard must have read that yesterday, as he smacked just his 2nd HR of the Spring Training season. The Phillies blanked the NY Yankees by a score of 6-0 last night in Tampa.

Howard is trying to regain that special swing that he possessed for many years with the Phillies. His strikeouts have been many in Spring so far with 21 SO in only 56 AB.

It's essential for the Phillies to have Howard do well, if the team expects to go anywhere in 2014. Howard holds the key to propelling the Phillies. We'll see how his progress goes when the season officially starts in just a few days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Frandsen not travelling North with Phillies






Frandsen was versatile for the Phils, at first and third base, but won't be with the Phils in a surprise move


Surprises just keep on coming from the Phillies in reference to personnel, but the combination of a Phillies injury and a decision to possibly develop a younger player has sent Frandsen outright from the Phillies. He can now accept his assignment from the team or seek another team to start up the season with, if he can find one.

Frandsen has been a solid utility player with the Phillies, he's stepped in and filled the roles of a couple players when they were down with injury before for the team, at first base and third base.

This Spring Frandsen had 17 hits with the team, in 61 AB's. He seemed like he was making the most of Spring Training with that can do attitude that has made him a fan favorite for some time now. Frandsen even had 10 RBI to his credit at the time of his demotion.

Latest word has Frandsen not accepting the Phillies move to have him go down to the minors and he is a free agent available to sign with any team now.

A bit disheartening for the many fans that liked the way Kevin Frandsen played the game.




Sunday, March 23, 2014

MLB season opens down under





The LA Dodgers have an undefeated record of 2-0 in the early MLB season as they have beaten the Arizona Diamondbacks in their first two official games of the season. The games kicked off this year in Sydney, Australia at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground stadium.

Vin Scully opened up the broadcast by telling the listeners about this stadium, the designers were able to keep the old portion with the original part of the building when they incorporated it into the newer design of the remodeled stadium.

There has been 28 players from Australia to make the Major Leagues, and the 2 games played in Sydney delighted large crowds that came to see it.

MLB Baseball has opened up 4 times in Japan and once in Mexico and Puerto Rico. It's the first time ever for the game to open in Australia. 

Odds against the Phillies, with 1 week to go to Opener




The odds say it will be LA and Detroit to make it to the World Series, so far before the season starts. That shouldn't be a surprise to most, especially with all of the improvements that the Dodgers have done in the off season.

That's the what the odds makers see as who will make the grade this season, but as we all know, the games actually have to be played on the field and there is a long season of 162 games in baseball before the playoffs start. Sure, some teams are in much better positions to win.

So where does that leave the Phillies? Well if you've been reading the preseason rankings from top networks like ESPN, and The Sporting News, it doesn't seem like the Phillies have much of a chance according to them.

Bwin currently has the Phillies at 10/1 at making a trip to and going on to win the 2014 World Series. That doesn't sound like they has given up on the Phillies just yet, they have about the same odds as the Toronto Blue Jays and other teams are a lot worse according to the real odds makers. Thanks for Jimmy at propspr.com for the updates on the Vegas line!

We'll have to see how that changes the closer we get to the start of the season. Yes, the Phillies have been losing a little more than we'd like to see early in Spring Training, but there is a lot of players moving around to different positions and getting used to playing. Certain players are playing that won't even make this team so we can't dwell too much on the early losing.


Spring Training wraps up in a week for the Phillies, and then the team opens up the season in Texas on March 31st. Cole Hamels is progressing well, and is currently projected to be able to pitch in early May. We'll be able to see the Phillies in their last two training games next weekend at CBP, Friday night at 7:05 PM and Saturday at 1:05 PM vs the Pittsburgh Pirates.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rollins caught in crosshairs for reasons unknown






Jimmy Rollins has been a long time Phillies player, he was the NL MVP in 2007 but recently it's been reported that he may be on the trading block for reasons that are unknown to him.

Just a few days ago, Rollins sat the bench for 3 straight games, and the explanation from new skipper, Ryne Sandberg, was that he just wanted to see Freddy Galvis play 3 games in a row. That might be the case, but Rollins has went public to say that he thinks this goes deeper than that explanation and he doesn't have a clue as to why he's the guy singled out so far in the 2014 season.

Last night, this story went viral amongst sports news organizations. Most of these pundits say that Rollins is on the trading block and could be traded real soon.

Jimmy Rollins has at least 10 years service with at least 5 years with one team, and that gives him certain rights of not being traded to certain teams. It's not clear who if any teams have been interested in Rollins, but it's been reported that he doesn't want to go to Detroit.

Rollins has had his run ins over the years with former Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, but it's not clear that those issues are still bothering Sandberg, or that the team is just wanting to move in a different direction. A shortstop is generally not the main generator of offense, and the fact that the Phillies weren't successful last year shouldn't fall on Rollins' shoulders, if anything the Phils should look higher up the salary chain to find those problems in a player named Howard, but that is a different story.

We'll see how this story shakes out over the next couple of weeks, it's the Phillies first somewhat sensational event to happen out of Spring Training and it's got the press on fire with rumor.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Phillies Talk Podcast: 2014 MLB Picks Show



It's the St. Paddy's Day edition of Phillies Talk Podcast, and also our 2014 MLB Picks show edition. We give you our picks for the best teams in baseball for the new season.

We also talk about the Phillies and what's been going on in Clearwater so far. Jim is thinking the Phillies have a lower number of wins that Rich has them winning in '14, listen in and tell us what you think.

We value your input, send us an email of leave us a voicemail with our Speakpipe that you can see on the right side of the FightinPhillies website. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ruf leading Phillies in RBI so far in Spring Training




Darin Ruf is leading the Phillies in RBI's about half way into the Grapefruit League but still won't be a starter on Opening Day.

Ruf, who has been trying to gain a spot on this Phillies team has been a potential diamond in the 'rough'' for a while now, but the Phillies don't have a starter's role for him.

Ruf is tied at the top with a couple other Phillies for most hits in Spring Training so far with 10, he's been patient at the plate with 5 BB's as well. In the last 2 years, Darin Ruf has played in only 85 games as a Major Leaguer despite smacking 38 HR for Reading on the Phillies AA team in 2012.

I think if the Phillies had Mike Trout in their minor league system, he'd still be in AA the way the Phillies don't want to promote young talent. This is where the Phillies have gone wrong in the past couple years. Despite this, Ruf remains optimistic and feels good in his second year in Phillies Spring Training camp.




Monday, March 10, 2014

Get your inside pass to the 2014 Phillies on March 28th








All photos from last year's event courtesy of Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce


Here's a special offer for readers of the FightinPhillies.com blog to get inside and personal with the 2014 Phillies. The Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring this special event that is unlike any other you'll find on the Phillies schedule this year.

Your afternoon will start on March 28th at 2:00pm at Citizens Bank Park in the Diamond Club with food and drinks being served starting at 2:30 PM, this is included in the price of the ticket. A question and answer session with Phillies coaches and players along with autographs will then start from 2:45pm to 3:45pm.

You will then go on the field from 3:50pm to 4:30pm for an on-field presentation (weather permitting) and then the program is adjourned. Your ticket also includes a game ticket that features the Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates in an exhibition game that starts at 7:05 PM.

It's all for a special price of $95.00 - but if you use our special code that is for readers of this blog, you can save an extra $5 off each ticket price, just use PhillyBlog1 at checkout and you'll save $5.00 each ticket, order your tickets from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce here.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Howard is still struggling with breaking pitches



 Ryan Howard is still struggling with left handed pitching when they throw him a breaking ball. It's been something that he's struggled with for his entire career. Why doesn't he practice this all the time? Very strange that he hasn't been able to figure this out so far.

Here's an at-bat from yesterday against the Astros, I think you can predict what is going to happen next.

Howard will have to be in a position to lead this team this year, he's making $25M for 1 season to play baseball for the Phillies but hasn't solved one of the things that he should have by now. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The oddsmakers seem to think Phillies not that bad






The odds say it will be LA and Detroit to make it to the World Series, so far before the season starts. That shouldn't be a surprise to most, especially with all of the improvements that the Dodgers have done in the off season.

So where does that leave the Phillies? Well if you've been reading the preseason rankings from top networks like ESPN, and The Sporting News, it doesn't seem like the Phillies have much of a chance according to them.

Las Vegas currently has the Phillies at 33-1 at making a trip to and win the 2014 World Series. That doesn't sound like Las Vegas has given up on the Phillies, they have about the same odds as the Toronto Blue Jays and other teams are a lot worse according to the real odds makers. Thanks for Jimmy at propspr.com for the updates on the Vegas line!

We'll have to see how that changes the closer we get to the start of the season.

Yes, the Phillies have been losing a little more than we'd like to see early in Spring Training, but there is a lot of players moving around to different positions and getting used to playing. Certain players are playing that won't even make this team so we can't dwell too much on the early losing.









Saturday, March 01, 2014

Miguel Gonzalez gets chance to impress today against Yankees



New Yankees catcher Chris McCann has always played the Phillies tough, he's excited to be a Yankee


Today is the start that a lot of people are looking forward to for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. He came to the Phillies as a highly touted prospect that escaped a communist Cuba for a chance at big league success and the freedom of America. Gonzalez, who is a 27 year old right hander, gets his first start (as a reliever) for the Phillies in Spring Training this afternoon against the New York Yankees. Early reports in the press locally in the Philadelphia area had reports of Gonzalez struggling. We'll see if that assessment still holds true after the start today.

A lot of preseason reports have the Yankees doing much better this season according to services that deal with MLB Futures Odds, and the acquisitions that the Yanks have made might help them get there.

The Yankees have spent a boatload of money in the offseason, they've added Chris McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Jacoby Ellsbury. This is Derek Jeter's last year as well, so the Yankees have a potent lineup waiting for Gonzalez and the Phillies. The Yanks belted 4 HR's yesterday, with McCann hitting one of them against the Detroit Tigers split squad.

The Phillies will also be facing CC Sabathia, who is the Yankees ace, today in Tampa.

The Phillies had some injury news yesterday, pitcher Ethan Martin has been shut down for up to 3 weeks or more. The diagnosis is a strained shoulder. He'll undergo further tests on his shoulder and be reevaluated pending those results. Last year Martin was 2-5 with a 6.08 ERA on the season for the Phillies.

If Miguel Gonzalez has a great outing today, he could move up the totem pole to perhaps gain a spot on this roster after the team heads north to Philadelphia. He'll still have chances to gain that even if he doesn't do that well today but a great start here will start to help some people believe the hype that we've been hearing about concerning Gonzalez.