Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29 should be a holiday in the Philadelphia area

The stadium went wild after the 2008 Phillies World Series victory

The Phillies won the World Series back in 2008 on this day, October 29. Maybe we should petition this day to become a holiday in the Philly area.

The time when area baseball fans were so filled with joy, it was hard to measure. Phillies fever swept the area and made fans out of people who were long out of the baseball scene but for this time, they would be drawn back into the fandom now the the Phillies were the team that was on top.

It wasn't only the fans that jumped on the Phillies bandwagon, it was the baseball players themselves. Now suddenly, there were players that wanted to join the team as a player and perhaps have a chance to get into the World Series, and win another one.

Well, we did get to another World Series, the very next year in 2009, but that year isn't as nearly as memorable as the one that the Phillies won it all. You very seldom hear people talk about that series from 2009, even though the team made it just about as far as you could go with winning the NL pennant. Fans love a winner, and sometimes the loser gets forgotten.

Will the Phillies be a team that ever makes it back to the World Series any time soon? It seems like we've been rebuilding for a very long time. We still haven't found the winning combination or even a spark of that winning combination despite now changing management and getting in some new names on the field.

It's a special chemistry that isn't one that is bought or manufactured, it's a kind of magic when it all comes together for a team like the 2008 Phillies. This team wasn't a heavy favorite to win it all early on in the season, but they pulled together and made magic happen.

Should October 29th get a special mention as a holiday of sorts around the Philly area.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Why the Phillies should be looking to add Mike Trout to the team

Trout in a Phillies uniform would sell at least 10K extra tickets to each game

This question is one that many people have been asking, Will the Phillies be adding any free agents to the roster anytime soon?

How about going after the best player in baseball, Mike Trout?

Trout was in Philadelphia for the Eagles vs. Vikings on Sunday. He's a local guy and he spends a lot of his off season in the area.

Here's some reasons to do that:

Trout is still only 25 years old, he's well on his way to Cooperstown already.

The Angels have had a really disappointing season after losing 88 games and being 21 games out in the AL West. If there was ever a time to consider trading some big names, that may be now for the Angels.

Trout is a local guy, he's from South Jersey. Maybe he'd like to play for the home town baseball team in the Phillies. Matt Klentak used to work with the Angels, he knows them personally and would be the best person to swing a deal for the Millville Meteor.

Some reasons you may not want to trade for Trout:

Trout's salary this year starts to climb, he signed a $144M dollar deal a few years ago, but it isn't until the 2017 season that Trout starts seeing the bulk of this contract kick in. In '17 he's getting $20M and then the next three seasons, he is getting $34M each year. So for 4 seasons you'd be looking at around $120M for his services.

Like the Angels learned, just because you have some big named players on the team, it doesn't always add up to a winning team.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Familiar faces on the field for tonight's Game 5

Puig would like to come up with a big hit tonight for the Dodgers for sure

It's come down to a Game 5 for the battle in the NL Division series, the Dodgers and the Nationals will square off in Washington tonight to settle who will be going on to the NLCS.

We will see a couple familiar faces as Phillies fans tonight. Jayson Werth with the Nats, who helped the Phils win the Championship back in 2008 and also, Chase Utley, now playing for the Dodgers, who also was on that same 2008 Phillies team and is a longtime favorite with Phillies fans.

Who will triumph tonight? Will it be the home team? The Washington Nationals have been tasting a chance to move onto bigger and better things in the playoffs for the last couple of years. They have the talent but they lost the division series both times in the last couple attempts to move on. The losses in the DS occurred in 2014 and in 2012. This is only the third time in franchise history that the Nats have been in the playoffs.

The Dodgers on the other hand have made the playoffs each of the last 4 years including this year. They haven't advanced to the World Series in those attempts. The closest the LA Dodgers came to the Series was in 2013 when the lost the NLCS to St. Louis.

Both teams are thirsting to advance to better things. Both teams have newly hired managers for this season, so that is very interesting. Both teams have a lot of stars on them. Both teams went 18-12 in their last 30 games of the regular season and both went 11-9 in their last 20 regular season games. The similarities are amazing.

Where things differ are the regular season head-to-head matchup what goes to the Dodgers, these two teams have played 10 times in both regular and postseason play, the Dodgers have won 7 of those games.

It's Hill for the Dodgers vs. Scherzer for the Nats. Both pitchers have high ERA's but the Nats are the Vegas favorites. Who will win this match up?

Here's the latest Vegas odds thanks to Jimmy Shapiro!

Series Prices
Toronto Blue Jays                      -145     (20/29)
Cleveland Indians                      +125     (5/4)

Los Angeles Dodgers                +140     (7/5)
Washington Nationals                -155     (20/31)

Series Correct Scores
Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland Indians
Toronto Blue Jays 4-0                9/1
Toronto Blue Jays 4-1                5/1
Toronto Blue Jays 4-2                4/1
Toronto Blue Jays 4-3                7/2
Cleveland Indians 4-0                 20/1
Cleveland Indians 4-1                 13/2
Cleveland Indians 4-2                 5/1
Cleveland Indians 4-3                 5/1

Odds to win the 2016 World Series
Chicago Cubs                           8/5
Toronto Blue Jays                     9/4
Cleveland Indians                      15/4
Los Angeles Dodgers                9/1
Washington Nationals                9/1

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Release of 2017 schedule helps Phillies look towards a brighter future

If you are a Phillies fan then you probably felt a sense of both joy and trepidation when the 2017 schedule was released by the MLB. Each season gives the opportunity for a fresh start and the hope for some improvement. The Phillies are definitely going to need fresh blood in the playing ranks if any improvement is to come though. The fact is that, although 2016 has been marginally more bearable for fans than the disaster of 2015, the team is not currently strong enough to climb the ladder substantially.  

This does not prevent fans from living in hope though, and the release of the new schedule gets minds and hearts focusing on a future that they hope will be a little brighter. Let’s take a look at what the 2017 schedule is set to bring and what needs to improve as far as the Phillies are concerned.

Starting and finishing in the same place

It remains to be seen whether this is a good or a bad thing, but the Phillies are starting and ending the 2017 season in exactly the same way as they did the 2016 season. Their opening game is due to be played against Cincinnati at the Great American Ball Park on April 3. This is exactly the same fixture with which the Phillies started the 2016 campaign. Also mirroring 2016, the Phillies will close the season with a home fixture against the New York Mets. Hopefully these matching games at the start and finish of the season are not a bad omen.

What needs to change?

Every Phillies fan has their own opinion about what changes are needed. The one thing that there is little debate over is that the quality of players in the Phillies line-up is not good enough. There is a real dearth of class in depth. Even in pitching, where there is arguably most strength, there is the worry of Nola’s injuries. If real improvement is to occur player strength needs to be greater.

The highlights of 2017

No matter what the result of the 2017 season there are some real highlights to look forward to along the way.
  • The visit of the Seattle Mariners in May.
  • The visit to Los Angeles in April.
  • The West coast visit in August which sees the Phillies visit the Angels, Giants, and Padres.

These are just a few of the interesting games Phillies fans have to look forward to during the 2017 season. If you are a fan you may want to make things more interesting and place a bet on some of the fixtures. If you are new to placing a bet then it’s important you understand the legalities of placing a bet online. There is actually a lot of misinformation online, so we recommend the following site to learn the truth about legal online gambling in Pennsylvania. Online betting aside, one thing every Phillies fan is hoping for during the 2017 season is more wins for the team. It remains to be seen if this actually happens.  

Sunday, October 02, 2016

2016 season comes to a close, Howard closes book on Phillies career

Ryan waves and acknowledges the fans, after they send him on his way to end his Phillies career

What a day for a Phillies fan. It's a day that ended the season and what a long season it's been with the Phillies playing the way they have been playing all season. It all ended with a win at Citizens Bank Park earlier this afternoon. It probably didn't matter either way, as the Phils had dropped 9 of their last 10 games anyway but it feels good to at least end the season with a 'W'.

We said goodbye to Ryan Howard. It was the final series that the fans could come out to see him. This wasn't an event that was planned for a long time, in fact, it just came about within the last 10 days of the season, the Phils would play Ryan all weekend to end the season, and give the fans a chance to come out and see him. Maybe a marketing ploy that the front office thought up, and it worked. The good Phillies fans turned out, not a sellout, but a good number of fans on a Sunday to see Howard off turned up and really told him how they thought about him. The last 'piece' from the glory years of just a few years ago was leaving after today.

Ryan will still be getting a check from the Phillies in 2017, it's going to be a very big one as well at $10M to buy him out of the season. That's not to hard to take to the bank. It will take his earnings as a Phillies player to just about $165M, not too bad for playing baseball.

This writer preferred to recall the memories that Howard left with the city and the team that were from a few years ago on the last day of the season. It was in 2007 when all the good things started happening for a team that would go on to win it all in 2008. But, on that last day of 2007, we edged out the Mets to claim the title of NL East Champs, and that was a thrilling time to be a Phillies fan.

A total team effort was in place to do that feat, many of the players from that 2007 team were the same guys that won it all for themselves and the city in 2008. From 2007 on, Philadelphia earned a reputation as a 'baseball' town. Players wanted to come to Philadelphia as the money was good, and the spirit and chances of winning with the team were high.

Now, in 2016 a lot of that spirit has left. The last piece of the World Championship team is gone, as is the last connection to the winning times that this team has had as well. The end of an era, we're promised a return to greatness, but it's taking a very long time. We're now 5 full seasons without a postseason appearance and finishing as poorly as we have the last couple years, it's hard to see that we'll be back in contention anytime soon.

Maybe we'll all have to follow the words of Vin Scully when he said, don't be mad that it's over, just smile and remember cause you were part of it. The winning in baseball will return to this city, it's just a question of when.

Spring Training in 2017 is a long way away, we'll see where that takes us for next season.