Friday, March 30, 2018

No excuses, Phils should be 1-0

Embed from Getty Images

Markakis is all smiles as he sinks the Phillies dreams of winning on Opening Day

The Phillies looked like they were cruising on a path to an Opening Day victory in Atlanta yesterday. Well, sometimes there are a couple of bumps along the way even on a game that looks as if it was a solid victory on the part of the Phillies.

The Phils took a 5-2 lead from the bottom of the 7th and turned it into a 5-5 tie by the bottom of the 8th inning, then lost the game in the bottom of the 9th to a home run by Nick Markakis, the former Oriole, who is in his 13th season of playing professional baseball. The Phils lost the Opening Day game by a score of 8-5.

All I heard from the broadcast on 94.1 locally after the game is that "Kapler said the bullpen was the strongest part of the Braves team", ok, but no excuses. The announcer has a product to protect, and that is the Phillies. The Phillies have a broadcasting contract with that station, do you really think that the truth will be told on this after the game wrap up show?

There were a lot of questions about this Phillies team on Day 1 - mainly Nola only going 5 innings? The Phillies pitchers were on the field in Florida around Valentines Day, that should be a sufficient amount of time to get at least 7 innings out of a starting pitcher on Opening Day. How has this game evolved to a bunch of babying going on with these players? It's almost ludicrous to think that a player isn't ready to go and start playing from Day 1.

Defensive substitutions? We saw a lot of that too on Day 1. I was afraid of this, it sends the wrong message to a team. Pick your 8 fielders and stay with them. There is a reason they all have a job coming out of Spring Training. The players aren't prepared for it, they like to know their role with a team. If this continues, we'll see more miscues and follies in the field for sure.

Hector Neris looked good a while ago, that was a long time ago. We experienced a lot of his misgivings last year, in 74.2 innings pitched last year he gave up 68 hits, and had 6 HBP - that's a lot of bad news for a guy you are depending on. My prediction is Neris won't be here by the July 4th holiday, he's on an elevator down, and the Phillies shouldn't want to go there with him. They need a quality stopper, not a guy that is pretending to be one.

The Phils continue tonight, with a 7:35 PM start in Atlanta. Do you remember the times that the 7:35 start was a standard of Veterans Stadium? Wow, how times change. Well, Nick Pivetta will get the ball for the Phillies in his first start of the season. Nick will face Mike Foltynewicz, who has a career 4.87 ERA - can the Phils get a lead and keep it in this game?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Phillies Special - Season opener tomorrow - Live from Depace Sports Museum in Collingswood

The Phillies opener is tomorrow, we're live talking about that and the rich history of the Phillies from the Depace Sports Museum in Collingswood, NJ.

Tune in here on the Youtube channel or listen in on the podcast.

With only 1 day to go to Opening Day - I'm concerned

Embed from Getty Images

Maikel Franco was on the radar for doing great for the Phillies, this year is important for him

The great news is that we'll see baseball that counts in only 1 more day. The Phillies open up their season in Atlanta at 4:10 PM with Aaron Nola on the mound. Nola was named well in advance of the acquisition of Jake Arrieta - or the job for Opening Day may have gone to the veteran pitcher.

The talk since the Phillies hired new manager Gabe Kapler has been really loud, vocal, and upbeat. That is how Kapler got his job in this organization, he is a good talker. Can he produce the good results though? There are a lot of people who are good motivational speakers, and Kapler is most assuredly one of them.

With the signing of Scott Kingery, this organization has departed with the ways that it use to operate. Now, several other teams have thrown out offers to their top prospects, some have accepted and some haven't. It's kind of hard to turn down $24M or so before you have ever stepped foot on an MLB field for a game that counts. Heck, with incentives, the Kingery deal can go to $58M or so.

That's not totally why I am concerned. The talk from Gabe Kapler has been lately, having players move all over the diamond at different positions. I can see this quickly deteriorating into a position where a guy has a good game at one position in a game, then has a not so good game and is moved to a different position and suddenly you have players that don't really have a position on the team but a situation of musical chairs.

We've seen this before from the Phillies, the platooning of players. I am not a fan of it. Can you imagine a Ryan Howard at first base for a couple games then moving him out to right field? Or a Chase Utley at second base for a few games, then move him to the shortstop position? It just doesn't work. Let a player get comfortable at one position and keep him there. He's won the job, and a set position is what a player is expecting. It's one thing to talk about being versatile by moving players around, but it's quite another to put it in practice on a major league club and have it be successful. Take every successful team for example, there is not a lot of movement with players asked to play different positions. Keep it simple, stupid is an acronym that I wish Gabe Kapler would adopt, don't try to reinvent the wheel. For now, with one one day to go till opening day, I am excited but concerned.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Phillies sign Kingery but why?

Embed from Getty Images

The Phillies Scott Kingery cashes in early on Phillies early Easter gift

The Phillies made a decision to sign Scott Kingery for a deal in advance of him playing a first MLB game. It's these kind of moves that make you wonder who is actually in charge of the Phillies. On the outside, it sounds like a really nice move. The Phils offer a player who they have high hopes for a bundle of money, when they didn't have to, and the player accepts because he would have had to wait several years to get this kind of money from the Phillies.

What's wrong with that?

Well, plenty is wrong with that. It's just not how a baseball team does business. It does more seem like a typical millennial type of knee jerk reaction to how to go about something though. Imagine if all deals went this way with players on any team that had some promise of being a really good player. Money would be flowing around like a river, all of this money going to players who really haven't put the time in yet to deserve it.

On the outside, there is a 'feel good' type of mentality to this, and if you don't really think about it too much, the Phillies may have hedged the future by signing Scott Kingery to a deal that is beneficial to them on a financial stand point. They have eliminated the need for Kingery to really dazzle us in order to receive this much money without the benefit of having a great season and seasons to back it up.

Don't get me wrong, I am on the side of the player most of the time, but the way the MLB goes about rewarding players after they have good years have been working fairly well. Look at Mike Trout for example, he's just now starting to enjoy a return on the many years that he has had such a success in playing the game of baseball. The Angels offered Trout a $1M deal to have him play on the team for 2014, a deal that at the time eclipsed Ryan Howard's 900K that was offered to him in 2007 (a number that matched Albert Pujols back in 2003). Trout was arguably the best player in baseball at the time, and still may be. Mike Trout had a little more than 2 years of service time in at the time of the signing. The Angels didn't rush right out and just hand him the keys to a multi-million dollar contract because they thought it would be a good deal, they worked the way baseball is structured to work.

The details of the Kingery deal: (from

The Phillies and Kingery signed a six-year, $24 million contract Sunday that will carry him through the 2023 season and includes club options for '24-'26 that could make the deal worth $65 million, a source told If Kingery becomes a superstar like the Phillies believe he will, it will be a marvelous, club-friendly deal.

We've heard that the Phillies may want to go after such big names in the free agent market soon. Trout will become free agent available in 2020 at this point. We've heard that the Phils may be interested in another player by the name of Bryce Harper, who has accomplished a lot as a player as well. What have the Phillies so far accomplished as a team though? They have been really bad in the last couple of years, and now we have another 'rebirth' of this team under new manager Gabe Kapler. Kapler was a single A manager in the Boston Red Sox system in 2007. A lot of years have elapsed since then and Kapler wasn't in position or even promoted to manager another team since. The Phils hired him out of nowhere essentially to take over this ball team. I happen to like the rhetoric at times that we've heard from Kapler, and his 'rah rah' personality. Will that translate to wins on this ballclub though?

Strange announcements like this Kingery signing are testimony perhaps to a sign of the times, in a world that now has baseball changing with the whim of people who are trying to make it seem like baseball has a problem. Take the extra innings proposal that will take affect in the minor leagues this year, if the game goes to extra innings you put a runner on 2nd base to start off the extra innings portion of the game. Why? This stands as a ridiculous rule, and one that isn't necessary (much like this advanced signing of Kingery by the Phils) and who is actually saying that an extra inning game needs to end sooner? The game hasn't, and the players haven't, and to my knowledge the fans haven't either. It's someone sitting up in the MLB office that feels he is solving an artificial problem. Baseball with all these rule changes risks upsetting the very fans that still are putting out a lot of money to watch the game.

Win, lose or draw we'll have Scott Kingery as a well paid member of the Phillies, and he made the team travelling north to Atlanta for Opening Day too. A fact that would have been just fine with most Phillies fans. Yes, the Phillies loaded him up with 2 suitcases filled with cash.. to the tune of $12 million a suitcase (less taxes of course) and yet another millionaire baseball player is in the game.  

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thome disses Chief Wahoo and requests 'C' on his plaque

The world has changed in a short period of time in the USA. Special interests have now become controlling interests as the Chief Wahoo logo on the Cleveland Indians uniform has gone the way of the dinosaur.

People who have nothing better to do than say that a logo is unflattering or insulting to a particular group of people now have a voice that is drowning out a large majority of fans who think just the opposite. I for one have never viewed the Chief Wahoo logo as being in anyway offensive. In fact, I think it has helped keep the Indian heritage in front of the view of people every time you see the logo displayed. I have nothing but respect for people of Indian heritage now in this country as well as many years ago.

Jim Thome apparently is siding on the politically correct side that currently views the logo as unflattering. He said that he'd rather not have the logo on his Hall of Fame plaque and the Baseball Hall of Fame now has jumped on the bandwagon. Shame on you Cleveland Indians, shame on you.

Well, why stop at Chief Wahoo? Why not rename the Cleveland Indians? Maybe the Cleveland Rock and Rollers? Yes, let's take the 'Indian' name off the uniform completely. Why should a baseball team be named after an ethnic group anyway? How about the New York Italians or the Los Angeles Chicanos? Would that fly in a politically correct world?

No, this is the age of trying to right all the wrongs of civilization according to certain people. We're such terrible people in this great country. How on earth did this country survive all this time with the ways that we have had? Don't like Confederate statues? They've been on display for years and years, but oh now that it's 2017/2018 it's a really bad thing? Maybe I'm missing something. Don't forget your past or it may affect your future is a saying that is very old in itself. The present generation of 20-30 somethings act as they have been on a different planet and just arrived on earth- attempting to change just about everything that doesn't suit their fancy.

Baseball is changing more everyday, the rule changes passed lately threaten the very core of the game. It would have been blasphemy just a few years ago to put a runner on a base in an extra innings game so you can get home faster for dinner. I don't know about you, but with all these changes, I am going to start questioning whether or not baseball is all that important to me anymore?

Somewhere the Chief Wahoo logo is still on a few hats and jerseys and now they will probably never been seen again. (The Indians say it will end being placed on hats and jerseys after this season) What a shame. Baseball has been changed again.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Phillies Talk Podcast Live! Tonight at 7:30 PM

Couldn't make it for the live show? Listen to the replay on Youtube or download the show on iTunes or listen in at - on the Phillies Talk Podcast page there!

Real first day of Spring brings snow to Philly

Ok, tomorrow is the first day of Spring officially on the calendar. Don't tell mother nature that, as with the prospect of the Phillies starting their season in just 10 days on March 29th, the Philadelphia metro area is bracing for another snow event. The Phillies start off the regular season in Atlanta thankfully, the Phils home opener is on April 5th at 3:05 pm.

The Phils lost in the bottom of the 9th this afternoon to bring their Grapefruit League record to 9-15 with the loss against the Boston Red Sox this afternoon. The Phillies faced Chris Sale, who is one of the best pitchers in the AL, and fared very well against him, bringing the game lead into the 9th but ended up losing.

In 5 innings vs. Sale the Phils were able to gather 5 hits and score 4 runs, while working 3 walks against the former AL Cy Young runner up.

Here is how Sale has finished in the last few years in the Cy Young race with his record of W/L:

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G Awards
8 Yr8 Yr8 Yr8 Yr91582.98260
162 162 162 162 1492.9840
CHW CHW CHW CHW 74503.00228
BOS BOS BOS BOS 1782.9032
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/19/2018.

Phillies pitcher Tom Eshelman (BS 1 - 0-2) gave up 5 R on 7 H (3 R were Earned) in relief of Phils starter Drew Hutchinson who had a great day only giving up 1 run on the day.

Tomorrow the Phils will face the Blue Jays in Clearwater, Florida at 1:05 PM, then the next day it's the same matchup that moves to the Jays home field in Dunedin, Florida. At the time of this post, both pitchers are list To Be Determined for both games.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Phillies to play on MLB Network on Sunday


March 16, 2018 – The Philadelphia Phillies at Minnesota Twins Spring Training game on Sunday will be available on MLB Network in the Philadelphia television market live at 1:00 p.m. ET.
MLB Network’s complete Spring Training game schedule, which features nearly 200 games and at least one live Spring Training game every day through Tuesday, March 27, can be viewed here. MLB Network’s MLB Tonight, featuring highlights, news and analysis, will air at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. Local channel listings can be found

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Phillies Obtain Arrieta - this could be great for Phillies

The Baseball Talk Radio show recorded March 11, 2018

The Phillies landed Jake Arrieta after what seemed to be one of the latest holdouts in recent memory for such a superstar. Arrieta has landed with the Phillies for a 3-year deal and $75M, that seems like it's a lot of money but pitcher's such as Jake Arrieta are few and far between.

Look at what he's done, a Cy Young Award winner in 2015, and an 18-8 record the following year in 2016. Arrieta really found himself in Chicago after spending some really mediocre years in Baltimore, where he amassed a 20-25 record and had a 5.46 ERA.

A quick look at Jake's numbers in Chicago tells you that he was a big part of the success of the World Series champions of 2016 when the Cubs beat the Indians 4-3 in a hard fought series. He's an 8 year veteran at the age of 32 this year, and just what the Phillies need to possibly lead them to a better finish this season.

Arrieta's Career Numbers:

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA GS IP Awards
8 Yr8 Yr8 Yr8856.6113.571911161.0
162 162 162 1510.6113.5733203
CHC CHC CHC 6831.6872.73128803.0
BAL BAL BAL 2025.4445.4663358.0
NL (NL (NL (6831.6872.73128803.0
AL (AL (AL (2025.4445.4663358.0
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/11/2018.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Latest Phillies Talk Podcast - 20 Days until Opening Day

Will the new lineup of players and new manager spell a success for this year's Phillies team? Matt Veasey joins me to talk about the Phillies infield, we'll take a look around the horn at the infield,

Carlos Santana has the first baseman's job, but does it come at the expense of Rhys Hoskins?

 Fans have been very patient with this Phillies management with the really poor showings that this team has been going through, I think that this may change if things with the team doesn't do well, we talk about this.

We take an early look at the first few series on the Phillies schedule as well rounds this show out!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Latest Baseball Talk Radio Show Podcast - Depace Sports Museum and more!

It's The Baseball Talk Radio Show for this week, my other show other than Phillies Talk Podcast that I do on baseball.

This week we're talking all about the free agents still on the baseball market, what's changed with ownership this year? We're talking about that.

Also, my trip to The Museum of Sports press conference, which was a couple weeks ago. I am still in awe of holding the bat that Babe Ruth used, oh yeah, did I mention it was worth $1.4M too? Before the bigger museum opens in Philadelphia, you can visit the catalyst for the musuem, the Depace Sports Museum and Library in Collingswood NJ. A vast collection of sports memorabilia for you to see!

All this and more, Opening Day pitchers, what plans do you have this upcoming season for baseball, and of course we mention baseball and the 'entertainment dollar'. Tune in and subscribe on Youtube, you can get notifications of new shows if they aren't posted here. This show is also on iTunes and Stitcher Radio and

Check out the home for great baseball talk shows here, Baseball Talk

Monday, March 05, 2018

Hard to believe, it's the 10 year reunion of the Phillies '08 WS team in Clearwater

It's funny how fast time flies, and it's been 10 years since the Phils won the World Series. Let that sink in, yes, it's been a full 10 years since that has happened. A great celebration of that time has been undertaken at Spectrum Field in Clearwater.

On Sunday in Clearwater, there were autograph signings by the Phillies most winning manager, Charlie Manuel, a skipper that guided the 2008 team to the World Series victory, Rich Dubee, the Phillies longtime pitching coach (2005-2013), and Jimy Williams, who was the Phillies bench coach during the 2008 season, Williams was hired on October 16, 2006 and left after the World Series winning season. There were other players on the field as well including Jimmy Rollins, Brett Myers, Pedro Feliz, and Scott Eyre.

The fun continues at CBP later this year with a special appearance by more of the 2008 team at the stadium on Sunday, August 5th.