Monday, February 29, 2016

Hank Aaron documentary tonight at 8 PM Eastern on Smithsonian Channel

Got this in late in the afternoon from MLB, a great special will air tonight on the Smithsonian Channel at 8 PM on Hank Aaron. A brand new Major League Legends series on Hank Aaron. Celebrating the best players in major league history.

I remember when Hank hit the record breaker, I was watching the game. Babe's record stood for a long time, but eventually all records fall, and this one was a huge feat. Can't wait to see the show tonight.

Smithsonian Channel and Major League Baseball have teamed up for the “MAJOR LEAGUE LEGENDS” series to tell the stories of four players who transcended the National Pastime and left legacies as true American icons: Hank AaronBabe RuthTed Williams and Lou Gehrig.  Each of the specials is narrated by Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Martin Sheen. The stories take an in-depth look at the history, psychology and mythology of each of the Baseball Hall of Famers. Providing context throughout each of the programs are a host of journalists, academics, sports figures, and even a mythologist.

The first film in the series, MAJOR LEAGUE LEGENDS: HANK AARON, (also titled “The Hammer of Hank Aaron”) premieres tonight on The Smithsonian Channel at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.  Clips (both appx. :60 second and :20 second versions) and information on the Aaron film are below.  The “Hammer of Hank Aaron” film includes Deadspin founder Will Leitch, ESPN’s Howard Bryant, National Museum of African American History and Culture curator Damion Thomas and author/mythologist Phil Cousineau.

This special Black History Month presentation features extensive newly-captured interviews with Aaron himself, as he discusses his upbringing in Mobile, Alabama and the challenges that he faced growing up in the heart of Jim Crow. “The Hammer” would continue to battle bigotry and racism throughout his life and baseball career. As he sought to unseat Babe Ruth as the all-time home run king, Aaron received numerous death threats and hate mail, making his feat all the more impressive. It seemed justly symbolic that he hit number 715 on April 8, 1974, in Atlanta, the epicenter of the Civil Rights movement.

Phillies Talk Podcast: Phillies notch win against University of Tampa

It's the Phillies Talk Podcast back for another show and this week, we're talking all about the first appearance on the playing field in a game for 2016 that the Phillies played against the University of South Florida that ended in a win.

We're looking forward to another great year of talk on the team, with guests and a lot of entertaining talk.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Phils to take on the Spartans today in Clearwater

Phils fans, meet Jeremy Hellickson - your starting pitcher for today's game

The University of South Florida Spartans are off to a great start at 11-1 already in their season. Today they will take on the 'new' look Phillies in an exhibition game in Clearwater, Florida at 1:05 PM

It didn't take long for the Spring season to start up for the Phillies, it seems like Phils just reported to Spring training the other day, and now today will mark a start to the schedule that has them officially starting the 2016 Spring Training season on Tuesday, March 1st against the Toronto Blue Jays with newly acquired Domonic Brown on the team for the Jays.

Jeremy Hellickson is scheduled to make his debut for the Phillies, and other Phillies pitchers will be getting into the game as well including Aaron Nola, who will be in for a least an inning. A healthy Hellickson and Nola combination could be one of those surprises that Phillies fans would love to see blossom into something great to kick of the 2016 regular season which starts up April 4th in Cincinnati against the Reds at 4:10 PM local time.

Phillies prospects will be getting a chance to show their stuff today, Roman Quinn, who is an outfielder, and catcher, Andrew Knapp, will be playing. Also, J.P. Crawford, Phillies shortstop prospect, possibly will be getting some playing time as talked about in the article by Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly that was released by the Phillies earlier today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Howard just wants a little respect - Press conference called bizarre

Ryan Howard broke his silence yesterday at Phillies training camp. It didn't take long for the first fireworks display to take place with the Phillies, but it was a fireworks display in the press conference room, as opposed to on on field display.

Howard told of a situation that he didn't think the media was dealing with him fairly. He reminded them of the MVP season that he had, and the winning of the World Series win that the Phillies had. He also sighted a year that he did real well according to him, but said, "What was it two years ago, something like that..", again stumbling for facts to support his statement.

Howard was very forthcoming in the reasons why he remained very silent last season. His lack of candor about his decline in his play though wasn't evident during the press conference though.

 In some ways, press accounts of this media event, were described as 'bizarre.' Howard started off rambling away at different situations. He said, maybe he could 'hit .300' this year, then 'what are you going to say' in reference to the media.

Howard addressed ineffectiveness against left-handed pitching, but sort of glossed over it like it doesn't exist. He also mentioned the PED's scandal that he claimed not to know where that story came from but that he would settle that in a different venue, a court of law.

Maybe Howard just needs a hug and a pat on the back, oh yeah, that $25 million dollar per year paycheck is pretty good for a season of playing baseball too.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Phillies Talk Podcast - We're Getting Spring Fever 2016

Well, it's finally here, Spring has sprung, at least in Florida anyway.

It's such a joy that Jimmy is actually stumbling for words about it in the beginning of the podcast.

We're back talking Phillies baseball for the 10th season on the podcast and we couldn't be happier!

We would like to hear from you this year, tell us on our voice mail on the blog here or send us an audio file and tell us your comments, we would like to air them on a show!

We're listener supported as well, just go to our Patreon site and click the button to support us with a small donation! 

Everyone is at Clearwater now, first game 8 days away - Phillies Spring Training TV schedule

Spring can get here pretty fast, at least if you're in Clearwater, Florida that is.

All the players are set to be in Clearwater for today with workouts starting Tuesday and it seems like baseball is just around the corner with only 8 days until the Spring Training season starts up.

You say you're not going down to Clearwater this year? No worries, this year there will be a record amount of games being televised from Spring Training from Comcast Sportsnet Philly, here's the schedule of those games:

CSN Schedule of Spring Training broadcasts 2016

Date Opponent Time Channel

3/1/2016   Toronto 1:05 PM CSN
3/3/2016   Houston (SS) 1:05 PM TCN
3/4/2016   Atlanta 1:05 PM TCN
3/6/2016   New York Yankees 1:05 PM CSN
3/8/2016   Pittsburgh 1:05 PM TCN
3/9/2016   Baltimore 1:05 PM TCN
3/10/2016 Detroit 1:05 PM TCN
3/12/2016 Toronto 1:05 PM CSN
3/17/2016 Tampa 1:05 PM TCN
3/18/2016 Pittsburgh 1:05 PM TCN
3/20/2016 Houston 1:05 PM CSN
3/22/2016 Minnesota (SS) 1:05 PM TCN
3/25/2016 Toronto 1:05 PM CSN
3/26/2016 Detroit 1:05 PM CSN
3/29/2016 New York Yankees (SS) 1:05 PM TCN
3/30/2016 Houston 1:05 PM TCN
3/31/2016 Futures Game 6:05 PM TCN
4/1/2016   Baltimore 6:05 PM TCN
4/2/2016   Futures Game 1:05 PM TCN

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Is Herrera that great of a prospect?

Herrera looks to see if 2016 can be more productive for him and the Phillies

A lot has been written and said about Odubel Herrera's first full season in the Major Leagues. He's highly touted by many, but in 147 games last year, he scored 64 runs and had 8 HR and 41 RBI, despite his speed, he only stole 16 bases last year.

The upside is the further potential we're possibly going to see from him, and his batting average, but that didn't translate to all that much in terms of a team contribution last year.

The Phillies traded Ben Revere, who wasn't an offensive powerhouse, but gave you more stolen bases and has a career BA of .295 over 6 seasons. There are a lot of similarities between Revere and Herrera.

Ben Revere has gone on to be a Blue Jay and now this year will be back in the NL East with the Washington Nationals.

Both Revere and Herrera have shown tremendous potential, with Revere having a lot of seasons under his belt now, he has delivered a consistent batting average near .300 or over, and is a scrappy lead off hitter. We're still waiting to see how Herrera develops this year, it should be interesting.

The one thing that Obudel has to realize is that he isn't that superstar yet, he has to put his game face on and get out on the field and start making things happen.

Baseball Prospectus has released it's 2016 Pecota ratings, it has the Phillies in last place this season with a 65-97 prediction for them, I think they are going to be better than that.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Let Spring begin!

Aaron Nola looks to anchor this staff this year, he has some interesting company joining him though

The talk about the beginning of Spring Training is in full swing, a new crop of pitchers have been assembled to revamp the bullpen and perhaps even some starting roles with the team. Matt Harrison, the pitcher that the Phillies got from Texas in exchange for Cole Hamels won't be one of them though.

Harrison was included in the deal and he's owed $26M through 2017 but it's doubtful that he'll even be able to make it to the mound for the Phillies. I am no math wiz, but I think I would have rather had Cole Hamels stick around rather than paying someone that won't pitch and still has a bad back despite a long layoff from the game.

Anyway, so glad it's finally here. The first day of pitchers and catchers. Yes, I know we're not going to contend in 2016 so says all of the pundits, but it's baseball and it's back!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tomorrow starts up Spring for Phils

Pete Mackanin is ready to open up his first season ever as Phillies manager from Spring Training

No, it's not Spring yet around the Philadelphia area, that's in a month or so on March 20th, but it will sure feel a lot warmer once we see the reports from Phillies Spring Training down in Clearwater, Florida when pitchers and catchers officially report on Wednesday.

The Phillies will certainly have a ton of pitching down at camp this year. More pitching is going to be down there than starting spots available, and we may see a few surprises coming out of camp with regards to the starting rotation.

The Phillies have shaved nearly $100M off their payroll for this team, the payroll reached a high of $177M in 2014, it's down to $77M now, a shadow of what it used to be.

The Phils could have gone out and got a much needed offense producer in the outfield this year, but didn't. That was what was lacking in the team last year, a spark to generate more offense.

We'll have a whole lot of time to talk about that, but for now, I'm glad it's spring even if we're rushing the calendar a little around the Philadelphia area!

Phils non-roster invitees for Spring Training 2016:

66 Mark Appel R-R 6'5" 220 Jul 15, 1991
38 Andrew Bailey R-R 6'3" 235 May 31, 1984
61 Greg Burke R-R 6'4" 215 Sep 21, 1982
73 Zach Eflin R-R 6'4" 200 Apr 8, 1994
41 Ernesto Frieri R-R 6'2" 205 Jul 19, 1985
56 Frank Herrmann L-R 6'4" 220 May 30, 1984
65 Gregory Infante R-R 6'2" 215 Jul 10, 1987
Bobby LaFromboise L-L 6'4" 225 Jun 25, 1986
63 Chris Leroux L-R 6'6" 225 Apr 14, 1984
Yoervis Medina R-R 6'3" 245 Jul 27, 1988
44 Edward Mujica R-R 6'3" 220 May 10, 1984
67 Reinier Roibal R-R 6'3" 210 Jan 9, 1989
40 James Russell L-L 6'4" 205 Jan 8, 1986
75 Jake Thompson R-R 6'4" 235 Jan 31, 1994
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
19 J.P. Arencibia R-R 6'0" 205 Jan 5, 1986
80 Andrew Knapp S-R 6'1" 190 Nov 9, 1991
83 Gabriel Lino R-R 6'3" 200 May 17, 1993
84 Logan Moore L-R 6'3" 190 Aug 22, 1990
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
15 Emmanuel Burriss S-R 6'0" 190 Jan 17, 1985
77 J.P. Crawford L-R 6'2" 180 Jan 11, 1995
21 Ryan Jackson R-R 6'3" 180 May 10, 1988
78 Angelys Nina R-R 5'11" 165 Nov 16, 1988
78 Brock Stassi L-L 6'2" 190 Aug 7, 1989
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
David Lough L-L 5'10" 175 Jan 20, 1986
79 Nick Williams L-L 6'3" 195 Sep 8, 1993

Friday, February 12, 2016

Phils heading south for Spring Training

A lot of warm fuzzy feelings that the Phillies truck is packed and heading South for the start of Spring Training.

Just what goes into that huge truck anyway? Well just about everything you could imagine for the Phils to be able to play baseball.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Phils to be on Local broadcast for record number of games

A record number of Phillies games will be broadcast this season thanks to Philly's Comcast Sportsnet, here are the details:

Comcast SportsNet announced today the network will air a record 145 Phillies games during the 2016 season, including the season opener on Monday, April 4 at 4 p.m.against the Cincinnati Reds. NBC10 airs 10 games, including the home opener on Monday, April 11 at 3 p.m. against the San Diego Padres. The Comcast Network will carry seven regular season games.

Spring Training broadcasts begin on Tuesday, March 1, with Comcast SportsNet carrying six games and The Comcast Network airing 13. 

Broadcasters Tom McCarthy, Matt Stairs, Ben Davis and Gregg Murphy return for their second season in the booth.  Mike Schmidt will also return for home weekend game broadcasts.

Starting in Spring Training and going throughout the season, Phillies fans can catch the latest team developments and analysis from Comcast SportsNet, NBC10, The Comcast Network and anchors, reporters and Insiders during “Breakfast on Broad,” “Philly Sports Talk,” “SportsNet Central,” NBC10 newscasts, and online at Fans can interact with every show on Twitter by using the hashtag #PhilliesTalk.

May I also invite you to listen to the podcast that produces called Phillies Talk Podcast, which is an independent show that talks all about the Phillies.

Phils foray into Sabermetrics stats is not elementary

It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that the Phillies have been flat out terrible, is it because they have ignored Sabermetrics, or is this just an expensive distraction for the millennials 

When the Phillies hired new GM Matt Klentak, the talk was all about how the Phillies would now embrace the wave of sabermetrics stats that you can look at until your all so sick of numbers that you'll wonder why you've been looking at them in the first place.

There was an article in the media that the Phils would now have a secret weapon called PHIL that was the repository of all info regarding a player's ability to play this game of baseball (custom made for the Phillies baseball team). As told by Matt Klentak, "Basically it’s a place to house all of our information and synthesize it and try to manage it and pool it and bring all together." 

Oh happy days, wow, you have a collection of numbers that tell you how great or poor a player is and then everything is magically ok. That's what I get from that kind of talk. It's amazing how much people actually buy into this nonsense. It must be the latest generation that really have thrown all of their allegiance to this sort of crap. And, it's not cheap, all this talk about numbers actually costs a lot of money.

Maybe Klentak and his new number crunching guru, Andy Galdi, who was previously employed by Google, (that's supposed to be impressing by the way) and that kind of resume don't come cheap. In this article from the The Morning Call, it is explained why the team picked up Peter Bourgos. Something about his great numbers on Fangraphs, any armchair stats guy could have told you that.

Maybe these new gurus can explain why the team hasn't sold out Opening Day at the stadium yet. In numbers form of course. Can they come up with a new way to sell more hot dogs or beers using these magical sabermetric numbers? Maybe they'll raise the price of parking again to pay for all of this grand numbers extravaganza.