Saturday, February 28, 2015

Springtime sees the Phillies as longshots to do well in '15

The Phillies have been on the downward slide for a few years now. That isn't news anymore, it's just the truth. A combination of players that haven't been able to produce when needed, injuries, and pitching problems have all added up to the place that the Phils find themselves in 2015.

Recently there was the release of the news with the PECOTA ratings for 2015 that the Phillies would be near the bottom of the league for wins in those predictions. Some fans have a hard time believing that kind of news.

Beyond that there are the Vegas odds which also list the Phillies as longshots to win much this year. Even the William Hill Betting site lists the Phils as 150/1 to win the 2015 World Series, they are tied with the Colorado Rockies for the longest odds in baseball to win it all.

2015 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Phillies, but very little rebuilding has begun. A couple of players have been moved in the off-season by the Phils, but not the wholesale sell-off that a lot of fans and press expected.

Just about everyone on this current roster was at some point offered up in trade negotiations including former World Series MVP, Cole Hamels. Now Cole Hamels let it be known that he wants out, and he might have to wait to a team in contention actually has a need for him due to another player having an injury or someone on their staff just not pitching all that well.

Beyond Cole, there is Jonathan Papelbon, who the Phillies would love to move and Ryan Howard still on the team, again who the Phils would love to move. So far though, it seems like a tough sell for a lot of these players. The Phils even had to pay the Reds $4M of the salary of Marlon Byrd just to take him. That's just bad business, and it shows how poorly Ruben Amaro has been spending up the Phillies cash. No team wants these players at the prices that their contracts are with the Phillies, 

Diekman battles batters and intestinal problems

Jake Diekman is one of my favorite Phillies players. He is a reliable pitcher on the mound, he is also battling a disease he has had since he was 10-years old.

Here's a report that aired on the local Channel 6 Action News from Spring Training in Clearwater.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Howard gets praised by Ryne after rough year

If you're Ryan Howard, you probably don't know what to make of things this year.

Ruben Amaro Jr., Phillies GM, says in the off-season that the team is probably better off without him and now Ryne Sandberg is flattering him with compliments.

All the while, Howard isn't talking to the press all that much because he knows that all they want to ask him about his why his family sued him to get a chunk of money in the off-season.

Sandberg has said that he is impressed with the improved 'quickness' of the big guy.

Howard hasn't been home brooding about the lawsuit or his apparent loss in stature with Amaro. Ryne and his wife have even released a book that is for children and you can buy it at your local independent book store, or right here from the Fightin Phillies blog:
Little Rhino #1: My New Team

Check out the tweet Howard sent out a couple of weeks ago talking about the book that should be in a series:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Phillies Talk Podcast - Pitchers and Catchers return for '15


 It's that time of year again, Pitchers and catchers have returned and this week the full squad reports down to camp for the start of the 2015 Spring Training season. Cole Hamels expresses his displeasure with being on the team, and who can blame him?

 We talk about that and a whole lot more on this edition of PhilliesTalk Podcast

 Did you know we are now listener supported, you can sponsor us with a small monthly donation for the price of a small coffee! Check it out right here!

Friday, February 20, 2015

No surprise, Comcast chooses Ben Davis for open color analyst job

The mystery is solved.

Jamie Moyer chose not to return to the broadcast both this season after only 1 season of calling games as a tv color analyst. Moyer wasn't ready to do that job anyway, he lacked a lot of emotion in calling a game but gradually warmed up to the job by the season's end.

Moyer's out so Comcast had to rustle up someone new for the job, and to very little surprise, they named Ben Davis, former MLB player, local product, and studio analyst for the Phillies pre- and post game shows on the local Philadelphia Comcast Sportsnet.

Matt Stairs stays on to assist in the color analyst role as well, hopefully he has worked on his mumbling in the off-season. At times it was extremely difficult to follow what he was saying. He too wasn't ready to assume a full season of baseball game commentary and at the end of the year, Moyer had become a better announcer, but Stairs is still lagging behind.

Comcast had this to say about the Davis hiring:

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben, a former major league catcher and Delaware County native, to our Phillies broadcast team,” said Comcast SportsNet President Brian Monihan.  “Ben is a true student of the game and has provided valuable insight to our Phillies Pre and Postgame coverage.  We are confident in Ben’s ability to inform and entertain fans with his distinctive analysis and easy-going style during our game broadcasts.”

Ben Davis is capable of doing this, and his enunciation is very good, so for some people who were sitting home and wondering what some of the commentary was beyond Tom McCarthy's announcing, they should be much more satisfied at what kind of commentary they will hear now.

Davis said this about coming on board for the position, “Growing up a Philadelphia Phillies fan, this is a dream come true,” said Davis.  “I look forward to working with Mike, Matt, Tom and Gregg in the booth, and I thank Comcast SportsNet and the Phillies for this opportunity.”

Find out more about the Spring Training and Regular season broadcasts from Comcast right here:

Spring Training Games
Comcast SportsNet will air six Spring Training games, including the opener on Tuesday, March 3 at 1 p.m. against the New York Yankees. The Comcast Network will air 12 Spring Training games including games against the Yankees on Friday, March 6 and Friday, March 27.  Other highlights include games against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, March 7 and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, April 4

2015 Phillies Season
In 2015, Comcast SportsNet will air a record 142 regular season games, with The Comcast Network airing seven games.  All games airing on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network will feature “Phillies Pregame Live” and “Phillies Postgame Live” programming.
NBC10 will air 12 games in 2015, including the season opener against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, April 6 at 3 p.m.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Carlton's Twins WS ring for sale in April

This is a ring that was sold previously from the Twins championship win, the ring was from a front office person who pawned it, Carlton's was his ring that he was awarded

It would have made a great trivia question, what other team did Steve Carlton win a World Series ring with? The answer is the Minnesota Twins back in 1987 when the Phillies were really a horrible team.

This is the Carlton ring that will be up for auction

Now the better part of this trivia would have been, how Carlton was left off of the postseason roster all together by the Twins because at this point in his career, he was out of gas. The Twins awarded him a ring anyway, which is a nice touch of class for a guy like Carlton pitched like throughout his whole career.

The ring will be auctioned at SCP Auctions here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Down to the wire of start of Spring Training, rumors still flying about some players moving

No team has given the Phillies reason to trade Hamels yet, has the off-season moves by the Phils been a bust?

It's hardly time for hot stove talk, but lately that's about all the news you hear coming out of the Phillies soon to start camp.

Will Cole Hamels be dealt to a different team? The most recent talk has started again with Jonathan Papelbon being mentioned again in possible trade scenarios.

The talk is that Cole Hamels is still an ace and he should be bringing in a great trade for any deal but so far that hasn't happened. Maybe some teams are still on the fence about the greatness of Cole Hamels. Phillies management still thinks he's great, but maybe that doesn't translate over with other teams that have seen the Phillies go 6 full seasons now after their World Series win to last year's last place finish.

The one player that no one is talking about so far in the near ending off-season is Ryan Howard. Howard's contract is still one that no team would entertain picking up. It's weighed down the options of the Phillies for a long time now, and it's been so bad, it isn't even talked about anymore. Amaro has said the Phillies would probably be better off with out him just a few weeks ago, wasn't he the person that signed Howard on the West Coast to the multi-million dollar deal in a surprise move that was announced on the road?

It's been said by ESPN and others that the Phillies off-season has been a bust, and yes it has. No significant moves have been made and the Phillies still carry a bloated payroll that they can't seem to decrease.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Is Gillick trying to sour Phils chances before they start 2015 season

Instead of a sea of fans at the stadium this year, it may be time for the fans to visit the sea instead

All we hear from Phillies President, Pat Gillick these days is how far out the Phillies are to they become a winning club again.

About six months ago, Gillick said the Phillies could reload for a run at the division for 2017 but at a stop on the winter tour this year, he said it may be even longer than that.

So, that's just what Phillies fans want to hear. All right everyone, you can make those summer plans to be elsewhere. Why spend your hard earned money on a team like this, is about what Gillick's comments amount to. It's probably looked upon like a nightmare from the ticket sales department viewpoint.

I have to look back to 2008 and the Phillies team that won it all to debunk some of the mentality that the Phillies couldn't make a run at something before a 2018 time frame. The 2008 team wasn't exactly 'built' to win a championship. They had a team of players that believed in themselves. Yes, they were a whole lot younger then.

The Phils have failed to get some youth on this team that has a lot of talent. You can only look in one direction for that, and that is the failure of Ruben Amaro to make it happen.

Gillick is the team President now, he should be looking to give the Phillies new vision for the future and thank Ruben for all he did for the team, but sadly it's been on a steady decline for years now.

Look at the most recent signing. Chad Billingsley has pitched great for the Dodgers, now he is older (only 30 still though) and coming off of a serious injury (didn't pitch at all in 2014) but there is Amaro right there looking for some of that old magic to return.

Yes, Gillick may be right, the beach maybe a better option for Phillies fans this year, you can lay down on the beach and bank all of that money you'd be spending at the stadium while you listen to the team on your transistor radio that you can turn off if it gets too ugly or you just want to dip your toes in the ocean.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Montgomery OK's more pain for Phillies fans

If there is one thing that David Montgomery has done in the last few years is stuck by Ruben Amaro Jr.

Just today he has done that again. Endorsing Ruben Amaro Jr. with "We think we have a quality guy in that role" when asked about how Montgomery felt about the job that Amaro has done with this team.

That in effect says that all of the things that Amaro has done poorly with this team will continue for some time to come. The team has been in a  downward slide with seemingly no end in sight.

Does this mean that newly named President, Pat Gillick has to stay with the status quo? Or is it that Gillick is too himself a part of this status quo and life goes on merrily at the Phillies helm while they drift aimlessly into another iceberg this season?

Gillick himself said at the end of the season last year, that the team wouldn't contend for years to come. Now just the other day, he said he thinks the Phillies team could contend in 2015? This is horrible doublespeak by a man who is respected in the baseball community.

It's going to take the voice of the fans to change things in Philadelphia, the less times they show up to the ballpark and let the boo birds in the stands take over, then things will change. But for now, it's all roses in the eyes of present Phillies management, and I don't think a lot of people are buying into this.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Kendrick goes to Colorado

Kyle Kendrick finally hooked on with a team, he signed with the Colorado Rockies for a one year deal and $5.5M.

KK has a lifetime record of 74-68 with the Phillies, and that's not really too bad, despite a lot of people that were saying that he wasn't really a good pitcher.

Kyle's overall record finished better than Gavin Floyd when he was with the Phillies. Kendrick finished 5th overall in voting in his first year for Rookie of the Year.

Read more about the Rockies new acquisition here in this Denver Post article.

Kendrick's career Phillies numbers

Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO IP Awards
2007 22 PHI 10 4 .714 3.87 20 0 0 121.0 RoY-5
2008 23 PHI 11 9 .550 5.49 30 0 0 155.2
2009 24 PHI 3 1 .750 3.42 2 0 0 26.1
2010 25 PHI 11 10 .524 4.73 31 1 0 180.2
2011 26 PHI 8 6 .571 3.22 15 0 0 114.2
2012 27 PHI 11 12 .478 3.90 25 1 1 159.1
2013 28 PHI 10 13 .435 4.70 30 2 1 182.0
2014 29 PHI 10 13 .435 4.61 32 0 0 199.0
8 Yrs 74 68 .521 4.42 185 4 2 1138.2
162 Game Avg. 12 11 .521 4.42 31 1 0 188
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 2/4/2015.