Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Phillies and the Hoskins phenomena


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The fans have been through one of the worst seasons ever so far in Phillies history this season. We're reminded on a daily basis that this current team and last year has been an utter flop. The fans didn't retreat into a dark dusty cave though as Phillies fans may have many years ago. This time the slide has been a bit different.

What could this team do to improve itself was the cry from the fan base this time around. In this day of instant media, you don't have to wait for the headlines the way you use to when your primary source of news from a baseball team arrived on your porch in the morning, or if you like the Bulletin, in the late afternoon. No, it's very different now, blogs, podcasts, many different sources. A myriad of angles, you don't have to settle for just a news statement here or there or how about the Howard Eskin  question? Asking Matt Klentak about his options a few weeks ago, with the fact that certain players he brought in won't be here for the end of the season? What kind of pressure is Klentak under to make things happen? This is modern baseball in the city of Philadelphia.

Back to the fan base, they called for some action. 'Bring up the AAA guys", is what the cry was from a lot of fans that saw an avalanche of talent waiting to be picked of the fruit tree of the Phillies minor league system. This is something that has been happening for a while, but with each year or few, we would be introduced to a player who has been highly touted to do well. The Phils didn't always allow themselves to bring up younger talent especially with the run of greatness that the team experienced from 2008-2011, they tried to keep what they had in place.

Let's go back a couple years to revisit some names that we thought would really make an impact.

Going back to 2003, which was the last season of Veteran's Stadium, we have Marlon Byrd, who as a 25 year old rookie, finished 4th of ROY voting and started us thinking that he may in fact be the best upcoming player to make a big impact with this Phillies baseball team. Bobby Abreu, a guy that I still think to this day really wasn't ever considered one of the best Phillies players ever, was the top offensive slugger on the Phillies team at this time with an audacious 5.3 WAR if you like that saber stat number. Plus the fact that this 2003 year team had Jim Thome and his 4.9 WAR (he put up 47 HR in the season for the Phils in 2003) brought in for good measure on a team that finished in 3rd place at 86-76 for scrappy manager Larry Bowa.

The next year, of course Citizens Bank Park opened up for it's first season. Let's look at someone from a more modern era that had offensive pop prowess. For that player, I think we would have to look at Pat Burrell, he seemed to own the city of Philadelphia when especially in 2005, he parked 32 HR and drove in 117 on the season. The love affair with the home run and Phillies fans have always existed. Players that hit them were like old friends, you could rely on them to come though for you. Oh and that youngster back then the Phillies brought up in 2005 as well, Ryan Howard, with his ROY win that year and a big 22 HR on his first offical MLB season, ahh the memories.

So lets look at today. The Phillies have a new bright spot of the team. Things are much different though with the rest of the team, perhaps ever the presence of Babe Ruth wouldn't make an impact on this team. But all of a sudden there is a player named Rhys Hoskins, and he's been on an offensive tear lately. In the record books for the fastest first 10 HR ever to be hit in a career (Hoskins 10 HR in first 17 GM). The man is trying to make up for lost time! It's something that is great for him as a player and it's giving a lot of fans a reason to keep their interest in a team that isn't going anywhere this year, but there is still plenty of baseball left to play.

What will become of the Hoskins phenomena? What will Phillies management do for next year in regards to free agents, this newly tapped talent and what's to follow for 2018? We'll see when that gets here but for now, we've still got the World Series champs in town with us, and they reminded this young Phillies team just who they are with a 17-2 trouncing of them at Citizens Bank Park last night.


Friday, August 25, 2017

The afternoon that got away - now Player's Weekend express yourself!







Yesterday afternoon was a textbook at a lot of things that have gone wrong with the season with the Phillies. Nick Williams and Cesar Hernandez took the wrap for a day game pop-ups that just drifted away in the Philly sun, I was listening to the first inning on the radio and Larry Anderson nearly lost his composure on the radio broadcast within the first couple of plays in the game. He just keeps stressing what the Phillies aren't doing, executing the fundamentals of the game.

It's hard to watch at times, especially for ex-ballplayers who have played the game and they know what is expected on players on the field. There are no excuses, even though Pete Mackanin explained that 'he lost it in the sun.." Well, that's stating the obvious. Get a bit more mad at times, Pete, it's ok.

The Phillies wrapped up the series of 4-games with the Marlins. No, we didn't get Stanton in any trades and as I've written here, I don't think we need him. We have a guy named Hoskins now. Thank you very much. I can see Matt Klentak now going back to his trusted group of numbers punchers somewhere embedded into the deep recesses of the CBP thnk tank room. By the way guys in that think tank area, that was the 80th loss of the season for the Phillies this year. Do you think you can get anymore usable data from that?

It was the 126th game of the season for this team. Still trying to stay somewhat positive and if you follow me on twitter @fightinphillies - you probably know that I've been tuning out of a lot of these really bad games by the Phils, it's just a waste of time to watch paint dry sometimes.

Here comes the weekend before Labor Day weekend, oh look, the MLB players will be wearing silly uniforms with their nicknames on the back on them for this weekend. That should be a whoot in Philly, there's a young bunch of players here though, they aren't that far removed from their youth and doing this kind of thing. Still it should be interesting to see what it all looks like on the field.


The Phils take on the current World Champions of baseball this weekend at the ballpark. The Cubs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

They are home - What is Phillies upper management planning for this Phillies team


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From what we've heard about Matt Klentak, and his connection to the Los Angeles Angels, as an assistant GM, a lot of people were really excited about what he may bring to the future of this Phillies team. Interestingly, he was passed up upon as GM of the Angels when he had an interview for the job and lost out to Billy Eppler back in 2015.

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Is Matt Klentak telling a player that he once stepped on the field for a Dartmouth Baseball Game?



Klentak did get a GM job in baseball when he was hired by a man named Andy MacPhail. MacPhail had been a long time name in baseball, with his father and grandfather both lifers in the game, but Andy walked away from baseball and disappeared from the baseball scene after he stepped down from his President's position with the Orioles back in 2011. A guy who worked with him in Baltimore was named Matt Klentak. Was MacPhail just burned out with the game, and somehow when the Phillies contacted him, he got a yearning to get back into it?

MacPhail's greatest accomplishment in Baltimore may have been bringing Buck Showalter on board as Oriole manager, but he's been criticized that his skill in acquiring quality free agents was something he really lacked in.

Who is calling the shots here in Philly? Is this something that Klentak has a big say in with need to bring a quality free agent of two to Philly. Or is this something that his hands are tied on, and it's actually MacPhail up in the cat bird's seat overlooking and approving?

Pat Gillick seemed to be a master of acquiring free agents. But of course that era is over with this team. Right now the Phillies are not an attractive place for a player to even want to land with the promise that they have been showing the last few seasons even.

There have been articles that have surfaced.. one just yesterday that just want to make you smile. Articles that say what we've heard for a few years, just wait until next year, we're going to be pretty good.. Oh just wait until next year...

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Neris gets no respect, I'll tell ya.....

From the 'no respect' department to add to the list of Phillies embarrassments this year, ex-post facto Phillies closer Hector Neris was called 'an idiot' by Giants player Buster Posey during the game and that comment was then backed up after the game by Giants manager, Bruce Bochy. Now, doesn't that put the topping on this season.

I'm glad that I didn't watch too much of this West Coast road trip that the Phillies took.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Phillies now with Hoskins as the experiments continue for Phils


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Is Klentak suitable as a GM in the MLB?

All a lot of long time Phillies fans have been talking about this season is bringing up some of the players in the minor leagues that have been doing quite well for the AAA affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Usually, the Phillies will not be bringing the younger players on until September, when the rosters expand and the team can add them the way they'd like to on the Phillies roster. Questions of service time and rookie status all play a part in the decisions of calling up players.

Apparently, the Phils succumbed to fan and media pressure, because they did add a couple of higher profile players to this team despite the fact that even though they were doing well in the minors, they are on the major league roster today.

Has this made a significant improvement for the Phillies? The answer to that would be at this point not really all that much. It's given some fans a reason to buy a ticket to ballgames to see these new players on the field, but I would say that nothing significant has been changed as to the outcome of the games in regards to winning.

That leaves some more questions about the Phillies rebuild? What is going on with this? We've already seen the money wasted that was spent on two acquisitions on Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders. These two were unlikely to remain with the Phillies after this year and were an odd paring. Down deep I really think the only reason the Phillies GM added them to the roster was to boost up the payroll. It was very low if no free agents were added fans would have been vocal about that, this was an experiment that really makes you wonder about Matt Klentak.

Did Klentak have the credentials to become a major league GM? I really don't think this is the case, yes, he may have been employed in some capacity in the upper management level with the Angels and before that with team President, Andy MacPhail, but what have these two brought to the Phillies table?


The Phils take on the Mets this afternoon in a battle for mediocrity in the NL East, my suggestion, get outdoors and skip hanging near the TV watching this, as Mike Schmidt said yesterday at the alumni night gathering at the stadium, "Live every day like it's your last, be a beacon of light and spread love at home and in your community."



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Phils can't solve Mets - on what would have been Pete Rose Bobblehead night


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Darren Daulton's jersey hangs in the Phillies locker room

There should have been a promotion handed out last night. It's something a lot of Phillies fans were waiting for all season. It was supposed to be Pete Rose bobblehead night at Citizens Bank Park but 'do to recent events' this plan was cancelled.


Here's what the giveaway would have looked like


Let's go back a week in time and look at what the recent events were. Pete Rose is in a protracted lawsuit against John Dowd, a person who over the years has been going out of his way to continually drag Pete Rose's name down to the depths of areas normally reserved for people who are very much more concerning that a guy like Pete Rose is.

Out of that litigation came a claim from the Dowd side, he claimed that he had someone who was saying that over 40 years ago, this person admitted that as a teen, she supposedly sleep with Pete Rose. Rose said she was 16 years old, which is the legal age for consent in the state of Ohio. She now states she may have been younger than 16. Rose refutes this and now even it's a mute point.

That's where the story started to get the radio airwaves going and people on social media throwing around their two cents, many of whom have never seen a Phillies games, nor would ever be going to the ballpark. Somehow after listening to a lot of rhetoric, the Phillies decided they didn't want to go through with the Pete Rose events that were planned.

What has changed with the outcomes of legalities surrounding Pete Rose? Absolutely nothing. There is nothing that has changed with the status of Rose. Perhaps there is a bit of a judgement against him by people who think they are very close to god, all of those twitter folks that profess to be close to near perfectness (just ask them and they'll tell you) but nothing significant has changed in the Rose story.

Back to baseball, and the Phillies are starting to pile up losses again. The team just isn't playing well against the Mets. The Phils are 11-2 on the season against the Braves but only 3-8 against the Mets. Last night, the Phils dropped their 8th loss to them by a score of 7-6.

Darren Daulton was honored in a moment of silence last night. Daulton was a very popular player from the incredible 1993 team, who made it from out of no where to the World Series. Team chemistry plays a lot in baseball and that team has plenty of chemistry. A lot of players who played team baseball, not the individuals that seem to dominate the baseball news scene of today.

Alumni weekend rolls on minus Pete Rose tonight, rain is in the forecast though, we'll see how that possibly affects the game. The Phils have two more games left in this series with the Mets and then they hit the road again, in a very strange Phillies schedule this year. I don't remember this many quirks in a schedule ever for the Phillies.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Daulton's death adds to Phillies list, but still no connection


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The death of Darren Daulton the other day from brain cancer was a very tough event on longtime Phillies fans. Dutch was a very popular player among his peers and the fans really loved him too.

His death is the 4th player that has been from the same aggressive brain cancer, Gliboblastoma, that has taken Tug McGraw, John Vukovich, and John Oates from us over the years. It is also the cancer that politician John McCain has.

The common denominator is that all of these players played in Veterans Stadium for some time, and other Astro Turf stadiums that were popular in the mid-1970's and into the 80's and 90's and in Philadelphia's case, right up until 2003 when Veterans Stadium closed up after that season.

What I remember as a fan from back in the Veterans Stadium era, that when we had heatwaves, the heat on the field was unbearable. The temperatures could be as high as 130 on the field when it was in the 90's. There would need to be a larger study of more people that know someone who perhaps worked at the stadium for years and came down with this or something similar.

Here's an article link that goes back to 2011 on more players that have come down with this type of cancer.

Is there a connection between what is a mystery that may never be solved? This was a question that was posed to a doctor, John Lee of the University of Pennsylvania hospital, area recently by CBS 3,

“Although we’re getting a rash of Phillies baseball players, it’s probably just the statistical anomaly and probably nothing we would be able to prove scientifically,” Lee said. 

and

“We currently have very little info or science to prove there’s any kind of association with brain cancer with anything that you’re exposed to,” Lee said.


 

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Phillies Talk Podcast live: Pete Rose talk live with Baseball sportscaster/ Attorney Ed Kasputis from Ohio








Tune in on Friday at 5:30 PM for a live special edition of the Phillies Talk Podcast, the longest running independent podcast show on the Philadelphia Phillies.

On this edition, I am talking with longtime sports commentator and Ohio attorney, Ed Kasputis from BaseballPHD.net on the latest Pete Rose story/ scandal that the Phillies organization and Rose himself thought it better that he didn't appear to have his name enshrined on the Phillies 'Wall of Fame' for Alumni night originally scheduled for August 12th.

What are your comments?

Phillies: Pete Rose, shrouded in yet another controversy must stay off 'The Wall' for now


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Pete Rose shown here with his wife in Cincinnati still has plenty of support, he'll be vindicated is what a lot of long time fans believe, but he isn't the one on trial even



Well, talk about a storm that brewed up and blew across the country in record time, fanning flames of different opinions about the latest controversy that has managed to circle around the hitter that has the most hits in baseball history, and one of the best players to ever play the game.

Pete Rose, who is apparently defending himself from these accusations from a person that seemed to have been after him for years, now faces another storm of public opinion fanned by the flames of a rampant social media platform in the USA that apparently presumes that you are indeed guilty until proven innocent.

Here's the facts as reported that surfaced in the past couple days:

From Cincinnati.com

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Wednesday that they've canceled a ceremony to honor Hit King and former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose and induct him into the Phillies Wall of Fame on Aug. 12. The team also won't distribute a bobblehead figurine of Rose as it had planned as part of a giveaway at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 11 in light of testimony accusing Rose of statutory rape, included as part of an ongoing defamation lawsuit Rose filed last year against John Dowd. 


Meaning, that Pete Rose is suing a person for defamation of character. This person happens to be a lawyer and a person who is adept at using some really nasty dirty tricks to attempt to fend off Rose's lawyers from this case. All of a sudden, after all these years, there apparently someone in the wings that is saying that Pete Rose illegally had sex with a minor back in the 1970's. 

No, this wasn't an investigation, it's part of another matter of litigation. The accusation isn't new either, for all the people out there that have been hearing about this for the first time. It's understandably not pleasant to think about. 

Did Pete Rose have an affair while he was married back in the 1970's and have sex with a willing person who was 16 years of age? Apparently, the Hit King is saying yes, he did have an affair and the person was 16 years old, which according to Ohio law, wasn't a crime at the time. Yes, he's admitted to this according to documents filed in court on Monday.

John Dowd, the lawyer that Pete Rose is suing for defamation has asserted for years that Pete Rose use to run around and have a fascination with young women who were underage, had sex with them, and made it seem in radio interviews and elsewhere that Rose in fact did this regularly. He didn't have any proof apparently, but now somehow on que, this 'proof' has surfaced just in time for this lawsuit. Talk about odd timing for this to surface.
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Pete Rose shown next to an awesome statue of him with that famous head first slide, many fans didn't get see him play so they don't really know what they missed 

The news spread like wildfire on social media, the usual loose cannon sports writers, sent their cannons into full fire mode on Rose, condemning him as the worst person on earth behind this very 'loose' information on the court document that purports to have a witness, conveniently named, "Jane Doe" on the court document. This is legal speak that essentially means that this person may or may not exist. You put in a bunch of "Jane Does" and "John Does" in a lawsuit in hopes that something will materialize out of it. 

Poor unsuspecting fans that don't really know what is happening, really let loose too. Understandably, not many people are in favor of sexual deviants that find it joyful to take advantage of minors in a quest to have sex with them. It's morally and legally wrong and just plain bad. 

Is Pete Rose a sexual deviant? He acknowledged an affair, and he was married at the time, if someone had an affair with an 18-year old in today's world, it's classified as an affair which is what the situation was with Rose back in the mid-1970's with a person who was then able to decide for themselves that this was ok. The only difference is now the person that Pete Rose is suing for defamation is now alleging again what he's been accusing him of for years. 

It's amazing that people will bash and come to various conclusions in high profile writing jobs that would even take a side in this issue. That just shows you what kind of people they are. I am not going to even bother to name the names, you've read the articles already. These writers and commentators have already declared the Hit King guilty. Imagine that, they are now the judge, jury and use their silly foil of readers to buffet their claims. Only in America in 2017 can this be something that is happening. It's not just with this issue, it's with many issues of today. 

Please don't jump to conclusions. The Phillies fans have voted, they voted the Hit King onto the Phillies Wall of Fame. Big deal, a wall in a stadium to honor a guy that we've already known is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He happened to put a few good years of his career on the Phillies team. No, he won't be on The Wall on August 12th due to the flame of social media pressures but think about the implications of this. A man accusing someone else of defaming him in court and now he's defaming him again in the same court (not surprisingly). It's surreal, hopefully one day we'll see him honored up on The Wall, Rose is getting another round of battering from an unsubstantiated source at this time. It's something that a lawyer in a defamation case probably loved to do, the unsuspecting people take the bait and run with it. The Phillies organization in in the middle of it all, tried to give the fans what they voted on. The Hit King at Citizens Bank Park being honored by their own.

Stay tuned to this blog for info on a special live Phillies Talk Podcast show this Friday at 5:30 PM Eastern talking the legal points on this with an Ohio lawyer and baseball podcaster as my guest.. tune in live right here at FightinPhillies.com or live via BaseballTalkRadio.com via the worldwide radio stream at http://radio.baseballpodcasts.net