Saturday, February 24, 2018

It's Play Ball! time in Spring Training! Episode 3.1 - Live Stream The Baseball Talk Radio Show

Everyone on probably knows about the Phillies Talk Podcast, one of the earliest internet broadcasts to follow the Phillies, it was originated about 12 years ago.

I'd like to invite the readers of the blog and listeners of Phillies Talk to listen and watch my other show that I do on baseball with the great Gary Mack, from Long Island NY. We're going live with the show at 1 PM today!

Have a question about Spring Training or baseball in general, we'd love to have you send in your comments!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Phils drop Grapefruit opener, may be in running for Arrieta

Embed from Getty Images
Scott Kingery - The Phils have high hopes for him in 2018

The Phillies did really well against their yearly match up with the local college, the University of Tampa, that is the first test of the year for this new Phillies team. This years Phillies team went onto the diamond for the first time and were able to bring away a win. Today, however was the first official game of the Grapefruit League and the Phils lost vs. the Blue Jays 2-1.

You can't look at wins and losses in the first couple weeks of Spring Training, or even more because of the constant subbing of players by management who need to evaluate many different players who are auditioning for a spot on the roster.

A glaring deficiency in the Phillies roster has been a bonafide ace, there was a report that the Phillies are thinking about a deal with Jake Arrieta. The usual disagreements have surfaced though, and those are usually money and length of contract. The money issue doesn't seem to be the issue this time around but the time of contract may be. The fact that Arrieta is even considering signing with the Phillies is encouraging. The team has been on the bottom of the pile for so long, it's hard to believe there would be interest by a marquee player such as Jake.

We'll see how that works out, if a deal can be made and for how long. Will it add up to sparking some much needed veteran leadership with this team is also a factor in picking up someone with success and some years on the mound.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Waiting for the season to start!

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Nothing better than seeing this picture from Spring Training year after year.

With the advent of all the social media outlets, it is a really great thing for fans!

Games to start up tomorrow vs University of Tampa and then the Grapefruit League starts up on the 24th!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Depace Sports Museum in Collingswood to merge collection with The Sports Museum

There is a small sports museum in Collingswood, NJ that you probably haven't heard of. That place is called the Depace Sports Museum, it was started by a local cardiologist, Nicholas L. Depace, who has a passion for collecting sports memorabilia to the tune of a $40M treasure trove of Philadelphia connected and other sports memorabilia. Depace has had a close connection to many of the local legends of sports in the Philadelphia area with his physician's office, no one is immune from health troubles with the heart. For Dr. Depace, collection sports memorabilia has been a lifelong passion for him and something that outside of his own profession, really brings him an inner peace well after the hours of his normally demanding schedule of visiting patients and caring for sick people.

For several years one of the biggest area collections of awesome sports memorabilia has been housed in Collingswood, NJ - it still is. The Depace Museum is still open there and will be open for the foreseeable future as yesterday's press conference at the Jetro Warehouse, in the shadow of Lincoln Financial Field, announced a much larger project using a lot of the items that Depace has collected over the years and a merging of dreams started by such notable names in Philadelphia sports like Ed Snider, Lou Scheinfeld - who founded Spectacor (before it became Comcast Spectacor) among other local sports endeavors, and has been trumpeting a museum such as this for the last 6 years, Ed Rendell - Philadelphia mayor and former 45th Pennsylvania Governor (2003-2011), former Democratic National Chairman, and passionate Philly sports supporter and fan (and lead Treasurer chairperson for The Museum of Sports), Ken Goldin, whose New Jersey company handles millions of dollars in Sports Memorabilia auctions. All were speakers yesterday at the press conference announcing this project that is being trumpeted as 'for the fans'. It will be something that fans can help develop and build much like they did with the Harry Kalas Statue project that took place back in 2011 and was started by fans in the business name of 'Dear Harry Inc.' - that all paid for by generous donations from fans.

Some of the best things which includes buildings, inventions, and more that have ever been developed have started out with a dream. It's the dream of fans or collector's to have a lot of what they like to accumulate be it memories in the mind or tangible items like baseball glove for example. The satisfaction of collecting leads to some sort of emotional fulfillment. That is the message of The Sports Museum.

 I found myself at the press conference yesterday like I was at the beginning of something that may be a part of the Philadelphia sports legacy for many decades to come, a dream that has been sharpened into a realistic vision with purpose. Many millions of dollars still have to be raised in this project to make it a reality. The Museum of Sports isn't something that is being funded by the Super Bowl champion Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Sixers, or the Philadelphia Union. It's going to be a place, call it a shrine of local sports treasures - a treasure trove that will feature interactive displays and a rotating schedule of events with local sports talent who now will have a venue of their own to interact with fans that are perhaps some of the best fans in the nation. Still as I sat in the cold venue that will eventually house a gleaming museum, I could only think that all of the dignitaries and media, and fans alike present at this ceremony where embarking on a grass roots movement ' an old school style', just outside the stark fence around Lincoln Financial Field remained locked to our cars just across the street - as we all were parked illegally up and down the street near the future home of the museum, we were like some vagabond neighbors moving in next door to a multi-millionaire (and in the case of the Eagles, a billion dollar franchise), the tattered red carpets that led to the front steps of the warehouse and soon to be museum were from rented rugs that probably made their way there from some South Philly restaurant, after all, South Philly isn't Hollywood. The cold blowing air inside the event reminded me of the struggle of dreams like building a project like this, I talked with a sharply dressed Asian woman who had a very nice dress on but like others in the room, she said she was very cold (she filmed the press conference and beamed it to Facebook Live), my own friend with me covering the event and Phillies Talk podcaster Mike McCabe aka "The Mayor of The Boardwalk" had just been released from the hospital with pneumonia the day before, but he and people like us were there in this chilly environment. And me, sitting there in awe not at the big names of some of the people present at the announcement: Jerry Blavat, Ed Rendell, Philly councilman Kenyatta Barnes, Dr. Nicholas Depace, but I could only sit there and stare at the projected video of legendary performances from our prior sports teams, Julius 'Doc' Erving sailing through the air fed by Mo Cheeks, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Brad Lidge celebrating the World Series win back in 2008, Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent with the Flyers glory days back in the 70's, Chuck Bednarik (Eagles great and someone who played well before my time of watching the game), and even a story told my Lou Scheinfeld about his watching of Philadelphia professional baseball back in 1948 - that all held my interest and I can't wait for this project to open!

The Sports Museum  (join them on Facebook here) is a dream with purpose. Contribute to it today!

NBC Sports story on the Press Conference announcing The Sports Museum:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spring has sprung.. at least in Florida it is!

Spring Training has begun in Florida with pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater today (on Valentines Day) to an enthusiastic manager who would like the team to really do well this year. Isn't that the goal of every manager. Spring dreams of baseball teams, a fresh start in a new season that is starting up soon.

We'll have to see if the hype around this team is something that will bring some excitement but more important winning to this team that has seen itself decline to the depths of the MLB in the last couple of years.

A lot of fans say that the Phillies should have added a star pitcher this year and that's something that they really seem to need. So far, it hasn't happened though. The Phils remain committed to be uncommitted to any sort of superstar for the time being.

So it goes, another reporting day is here, a brand new season on the horizon, and the Phils are back! Full squad workouts on the 19th - then the Grapefruit League starts a few days after that on the 23rd.

If you missed the podcast with some comments from Phillies new manager, Gabe Kapler, check out the podcast for right here, the show is called Phillies Talk Podcast. I will also post the whole commentary by Kapler from the Phillies College Summit 2018 in a few days for a podcast of it's own. Great that baseball is back and ready to go. 

Of course in the Philly area, every time Spring Training starts up in Florida, it seems like we get snow in the Philadelphia / NJ / Del area, and this year is no different. A possibly large snow event is headed this way for what appears to be a weekend happening for us, who are not as lucky to be in Florida!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Forget about Rhys Hoskins at first base, MLB Right Now! ranked Carlos Santana in Top 10

Ok Phillies fans, it's only less than 10 days till Spring Training officially opens it's doors to the Phillies! That means we're going to see a team that should be an improvement over the past couple of years with the Phils finish in last place.

Rhys Hoskins was one of the big reasons to get back into Phillies baseball last year, he smacked 18 HRs while appearing in 50 games last year, he played first base. The Phils moved Tommy Joseph out of the first base bag to accommodate Hoskins, now the Phils brought in Carlos Santana for first base, and will apparently move Hoskins to left field this year. A lot of fans were concerned at this move, but don't fret, MLB Network ranked new Phils first baseman in the Top 10 First Basemen Right Now!.. Here's more from MLB Network:

New Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana ranked tenth on MLB Network’s annual Top 10 First Basemen Right Now! program this past Saturday. Santana, who makes his first appearance on the countdown since being ranked tenth on the 2015 list, finished one spot behind the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter. In addition to Santana, the Phillies’ Cesar Hernandez ranked tenth on the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now! two weeks ago.
Hosted by MLB Network’s Brian Kenny alongside MLB Network analysts, each Top 10 Right Now! ranking takes into account player performance over the last two seasons, a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced Statcast data and traditional numbers, and expert analysis by the MLB Network research team.
On Saturday’s countdown, MLB Network analyst and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Jim Thome said of Santana, “Across the board, what he brings for the whole package, I think you’ve got to reward him no doubt. He’s a guy that’s just a consistent baseball player and you know what, let’s face it, he can play first base, he can go to the outfield, he needs to be rewarded for what he’s done on the whole package. …When you think of a solid, everyday first baseman, Santana’s that guy for sure.”
The complete ranking for MLB Network’s top-10 first basemen is listed below and an embeddable recap on Santana can be seen here:
Top 10 First Basemen Right Now!
1.            Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
2.            Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
3.            Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
4.            Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
5.            Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
6.            José Abreu, Chicago White Sox
7.            Edwin Encarnación, Cleveland Indians
8.            Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
9.            Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
10.          Carlos Santana, Philadelphia Phillies