Saturday, September 30, 2017

Who will be the next Phillies manager?

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Mickey Morandini or even John Kruk may make a good next manager for the Phillies

Speculation is abound on who will be the finalists for the job of manager for the Philadelphia Phillies for 2018 and beyond. The local media have been talking about who will succeed Pete Mackanin for the job after the Phils finish up the 2017 season.

Some of the names circulated around in this article by CSN Philly's Corey Seidman and Jim Salisbury have Brad Ausmus, Joe McEwing, Buck Showalter, and more offered up as possibilities being thrown around. I don't know that any of these names would be a good fit with the Phils, although Showalter has connections to team President Andy MacPhail. So if anyone, he may have an edge with that connection. Showalter has a curious claim to his managerial fame, he's been name AL manager of the year on 3 occasions, and all in 10 year intervals. Buck won this coveted title in 1994, 2004, and 2014 when he was with the Orioles for his 5th season.

What has Showalter accomplished though in the postseason with teams that he has managed? He took the Dbacks to 100 wins in 1999, that team lost in the NL Division Series to the Mets in a 3-1 series loss. No teams that Showalter has managed have went far into the playoffs

If none of these candidates are selected, perhaps the Phillies will draw inside the organization as they have in the past. Who would be a good choice? How about Mickey Morandini? It's hard to believe that he played his last major league game now 17 years ago, on October 1, 2000. He's been rising through the ranks of Phillies minors in the last few years, and seems to have been groomed for this job.

One thing is for sure, though GM Matt Klentak isn't or shouldn't be in any hurry to name a manager for 2018, the rumor mill will be in full swing in the Philly area for some time now until the manager is named. That's good for the business of Phillies baseball now that the season is drawing to a close, the Phils news will still be on the front burner in the news media.

Follow me on twitter  @fightinphillies for the latest rumors and info on the Phillies - and subscribe to the blog here at - don't miss a post! Listen in to the Phillies Talk Podcast - on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and   

Friday, September 29, 2017

Reaction: Phillies let Mackanin go as manager, but hire him in front office

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Pete Mackanin may have been stunned to hear this news, but he may just prosper more in his new role with the Phillies

This was a pivotal day for the future of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Some managers would have been fired a long time ago for 'steering' a team into the basement of the MLB like what happened to the Phillies this season.

What happened to Pete Mackanin with the announcement from the Phillies that he wouldn't be the manager in 2018 actually helps Mackanin as he has resigned as a member of the front office in a role that will offer him a better opportunity to advise the younger GM, Matt Klentak, and assume a role that had been previously had been filled by Pat Gillick though he was not named as a Vice-President as Gillick had been.

This isn't a bad move by the Phillies and it's not a bad move for Mackanin, it's actually a good opportunity for the Phillies as a team to take the next step in their now long-term rebuild which has spanned several years now. Who will the Phillies select though? The best thing for the Phils to do is probably see who will be available after the season rather that rushing into a decision.

It may have come as a surprise to some, a lot of fans and players support Pete Mackanin with the great job he did with this ball club. Mackanin did a great job, stepping up from the void left from the departure of Ryne Sandberg (who ended his playing career in 1997) after he abruptly left and quit the manager's job for the Phils after the team went 26-48 in 2015.

It was a very good move by GM Matt Klentak to retain Mackanin, who was disappointed by not being the Phillies manager as he has been accustomed to doing, but a great opportunity for him to see the game from a different perspective and a 'new light' so to speak than at the field level. He may actually like it better being a part of the decision making process in advising Klentak with what he thinks about certain players and how they may fit into the organization.

Time will tell after we know who the new Phillies manager will be, this group of players seems like they are ripe to mature in 2018. The Phillies have been rumored to be in the market for a couple bigger free agents in '18 and this seems like it may be a time where the Phillies actually improve, that's not too hard to accomplish when you are on paper, one of the worst teams in baseball for 2017.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Is Philadelphia ready for an American League team now?

Jimmy Foxx, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Al Simmons

I was having a conversation the other day with a good baseball friend of mine about whether or not the city of Philadelphia was ready for the return of an American League baseball team?

The American League was formed back in 1900 when it was renamed from the Western League. The American League declared itself the second major league in 1901. League president, Bancroft Johnson, created new teams in the east, and eliminated some teams in the west.

The Philadelphia Athletics birth into existence was a very interesting story, former catcher, Connie Mack was tapped to manage the club. Nap Lajoie, who used to play for the Phillies, jumped over into the new league onto the newly formed Athletics. Lojoie won the AL batting crown with a .426 BA the first season, but it was to be shortlived for him as the PA Supreme Court ordered his contract with the Athletics be invalidated, and they ordered him back to play with the Phillies.

The A's were a powerhouse with or without Lajoie, they stormed into the newly formed American League (which merged officially with the National League in 1903) this newly born A's team won the AL pennant 6-times, (1902,1905,1911,1913,1914) and won the World Series 3-times in 1910, 1911, and 1913.

Is Philadelphia a big enough sports town to carry both leagues in the city today?

Imagine a city where we didn't have to wait for interleague play to go and see the Red Sox or Yankees play in the city of Philadelphia. Like Mike Trout? He would be playing here at least more than he does now. Aaron Judge? ditto, all the American League stars would be travelling through Philly if we had our own American League baseball team.

Franklin Field, at University City - and home to U. of Penn would be ideal for AL baseball
photo  © 2017: 

What would we name the team? Well, the A's are still Oakland, and will be for some time apparently. The new Philly American League team would have to be newly named. I've recently been around  the University City area in Philadelphia, the area where esteemed colleges churn out bright minds into all types of occupations around the world. The setting would be perfect to house this new Philly American League team. My vote would be, "The Philadelphia Quakers" - let this team occupy Franklin Field, the stadium is rarely used and is still in great shape. Once home to the Philadelphia Eagles, from 1958-1970, this field would be a perfect location to Center City and the college setting that it flourishes in currently.

Baseball is ripe to expand, the stars seem plentiful, and there are cities that are clamoring to get back 'into the game.' Montreal wants back in, and other startup cities in the South such as Nashville, would be an ideal expansion for MLB to add a few more teams to the mix.

Time will tell, partnerships would have to be formed in the case of Philadelphia obtaining an American League franchise, but I really think it would take off here. It wouldn't necessarily compete with the Phillies either, we have really become a baseball town here in Philadelphia. It would be interesting to see an American League team in one of America's greatest cities!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pete Rose banned for individual sales at CBP memorabilia stand

Pete Rose has been convicted of nothing in his recent blowup in the press surrounding allegations that he did inappropriate things with a underage woman in Ohio back in the 1970's, but you wouldn't know that unless you were asking to buy his signed cards and memorabilia at the stadium at Citizens Bank Park.

Rose, who guided the Phillies to their first World Championship in 1980, apparently has earned a scarlet letter, as his items that have been signed have been cleaned out of sight and it seems like he a man who didn't exist for eager Phillies fans looking to purchase some piece of memories that connect Rose with the Phillies first ever World Series win.

Just a few months ago, I purchased an awesome signed card with Rose's autograph at the Hunt Auctions booth at CBP, to me seemed like a great deal. It was a few months prior to Pete's date with the Phillies to be put on the Phils 'Wall of Fame' - the induction for Rose onto the Phillies 'Wall' never happened of course. It was cancelled upon a firestorm of allegations and insinuations that was a result of Rose's lawsuit against long time detractor, John Dowd.

The whole sordid affair seemed to unfold like a soap opera in the Philadelphia press, and the news pressured the Phillies to cancel the whole event based on the court of popular opinion. News stories surfaced on the TV and radio concerning Rose just a week or so before Rose was supposed to be honored on-field by the Phils.

The facts remain though, that Rose has never has been charged with a crime in relationship to this, and will never be. The statue of limitations in Ohio for any such allegations or charges is 20 years, going back to the 1970's would 40 years or double the time that anyone could be held accountable for a crime like this, if committed, could face any punishment for.

Getting back to the Pete Rose memorabilia ban,  I spoke with an unnamed employee recently at the Hunt Auctions company, who has a sales booth at Citizens Bank Park, and they told me that there was a memo circulated that there would be no placing of Pete Rose items for sale at the booth, unless he was 'part of a group' of players. Meaning that you can't buy a single signed item that featured Rose, but you could probably buy an item that he signed if there were more than one player on a card or photo item. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but apparently Hunt Auctions thinks that it does.

History speaks for itself in regards to Pete Rose's contributions to the first ever winning of the crown of baseball that took this team until 1980 to do. If you do the math, that's almost a 100 years since the Philllies came into existence in 1883 to the time that the franchise won the first ever coveted World Series win. Peter Edward Rose was signed to the Phillies back in the early 1980's to do just that, bring a World Championship to the city of Philadelphia, his brash, swaggering style swept into the city of Philadelphia with Rose's big fur coats and driving the best Cadillac available at the time, and he delivered along with his teammates, a memory that will never be erased no matter what happens from now till the end of time.

Listen in to a recent audio show from the Phillies Talk Podcast concerning Rose's saga with what happened in his lawsuit against John Dowd in Ohio 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Phils put up valiant effort and win 3 of 4 from LA

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Kenta Maeda started for the Dodgers in this game, he reminds me a little of 'The Tornado' Hideo Nomo

The Phils put up a very good fight today against the playoff bound Dodgers. Then poise that this team showed is amazing and they almost pulled something off that really seemed a bit impossible just a few weeks ago.

The Dodgers looked more like the team that's headed to the playoffs in this game than the team that lost 3 to the Phillies.

The star today for the Phillies again was Mr. Rhys Hoskins who made his MLB debut on August 10, has joined the likes of players like Votto, Judge, and Mike Trout in the BB stat. He has walked 31 times up to the start of this game. He has also been one of the most productive players in the game as well, with 43 total RBI since he was called up. Well, that is going to make a lot of Phils fans happy.

Suddenly for the Phillies, they can't seem to get out of the footprint that they have been in since the beginning of the season when they ended up in last place. Their home record is 35-40 now at home, they should be better than that.

Now, the season has dwindled to just 9 more games on the year. Some solid conclusions have been made towards the end of this season. Several players have impressed. Hoskins, Williams, Altherr, and to a certain extent, Herrera. Freddie Galvis is almost a certain player to return for 2018.

The Phils head out to Atlanta for a very brief 3-game series then come back to home to close out the season.

At least it seems like the Phils won't lose 100 games this year. They do have 92 with the loss today though.

Phils crawl out of basement of the worst team of baseball

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Aaron Altherr has been on a tear for the Phils, who is the best offensive player on this team now?

The Phillies have made the transition from the worst team in baseball to the second worst baseball team in the MLB behind the win last night against the LA Dodgers. The San Francisco Giants now have the dubious honor of being at the bottom of the totem pole in the MLB.

Does this mean better things for the Phils in 2018? That is very much a mystery at this point, but it's something that is being talked about in the media and some optimistic fans. Maybe it's the late surge that the Phils have been experiencing and the success the team has been having makes it seem like they have found an interesting combination of young players who seem to be firing on all cylinders.

What's this team missing? Maybe a pitcher or two? The pitching staff, led by Aaron Nola's 12 wins on this season that the Phils looked as if they would lose 100 games, is one that could use an upgrade. It will be interesting to see what moves GM Matt Klentak makes over the off-season. Nola has had an awesome season for the team, he's notched 175 SO and has a 3.56 ERA to lead all of the Phils starters. Overall though, the pitching staff needs improvement, it's currently ranked at 21st in the MLB in ERA at 4.64. The BAA for team pitching is .266 which is 25th in the MLB.

The Dodger series has been good for Phillies fans and the team alike! A chance to sweep the Dodgers today at CBP with the matinee 1:05 PM start. The Dodgers are cruising into the playoffs anyway, and they head out to LA after the game, and Friday night in LA will see the Dodgers and their fans celebrate the 90th birthday of Tommy Lasorda with an on-field ceremony.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Phils might be in last still but are they are showing signs of what's to come?

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The Phils have now beat the Marlins twice in this series, but you have to admire Ichiro, who keeps himself in tip-top shape, hustles every play, and lives each moment to play this wonderful game of baseball

The Phillies seem to have a new attitude as the season is winding down here in 2017 - only about 3 weeks left in this baseball season for them, but it promises to be an exciting postseason for the other teams in the lead and still in the hunt for wild card spots.

The Phils seem to have found a connection to find ways to win against the Marlins last night with an awesome comeback to win in 15 innings, then a convincing win against them tonight. Is it something great they have found or is it a bunch of players who are trying to earn a spot on next year's team and they just happen to be producing well?

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Odubel Herrera hit his 13th HR of the year on Wednesday night (even though he forgot to run in the game before tonight's in a ball that was in the dirt.. Odubel is just not one to pick up on learning these things and that is frustrating to watch a professional athlete do), and oh yeah, that guy named Hoskins hit another one, this was 17 on the year for him.. One has to wonder would he have cranked out 60 HR's if he had a full season.

Is this what the future holds for the Phillies? Hitting and scoring and good pitching? In only a few more weeks, there will be volumes of pages written about the Phils plans for the offseason, and the hopes and dreams that they aim to fulfill for a successful 2018. But, there is so much to talk about this team in the off season, who will the Phillies pursue in the off season to augment this team?

Aaron Nola notched his 11th win of the season, he has 10 losses, but we are talking about a team that has been a very poorly performing team this year. So you have to look at this with a plus. Could he have won 20 or so with a better offense? I think that it's a great possibility.