Sunday, February 24, 2019

Back to the diamond, hard to believe Spring Training is underway

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Jake Arrieta looks to a better season with the Phillies this year

The Phillies are back on the field in Clearwater and within the blink of an eye, we are on the doorstep of yet another baseball season now that the Spring Training season has kicked off. Does it feel like a whole off-season has went by already? This was one of the fastest times for me between the end of the season and today.

What we saw today was a very different Phillies team with some exciting players that aren't named Harper or Machado. The Phils really picked up some good players with promise with
Realmuto, McCutchen, and Segura. Do the Phillies need anymore upgrades? Tonight, the wild rumors persisted, the Phils were still pursuing Harper with the owner John Middleton apparently still courting Harper late today.

One thing that I really like about the Spring Training of baseball is that there isn't a long wait until games actually begin. Unlike football, where there is a long period of training and conditioning before games generally start, baseball is kind of an opposite of that. Players are expected to be in playing condition upon reporting and the games just get underway.

Hearing John Kruk, Tom McCarthy, and Ben Davis call the game was good as well. Kruk grew his hair just a bit and of course we had to put up with Murph's interview, that may be a bit interesting but has no place going so long during a game. We are tuning in to hear and watch the game. Save that interview stuff with people in the stands for Phillies Weekly that they run on occasion.

Well, let's take just a bit about the game. It was the Phillies taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates, or my old buddy and friend who started off the Phillies Talk Podcast, Mr. James Mulry, would refer to as 'those pesky Pittsburgh Pirates who seem to always play pretty good despite not having a roster of superstars. Yes, they did beat the Phillies today.

We'll see some players on the team that don't make it on the team, this could be the closest they ever come to playing for the big club. So, it's always interesting to take note of those things as well when these 'meaningless' games are played. It's just more than a month from now when the games will count and the long road from late March to the end of October begins for a new baseball season.

A lot to talk about so, I hope you'll stop back frequently and even leave a comment or two this season. Check out the offer below for ESPN+

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Do the Phillies actually need Machado or Harper?

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The story is getting so old now it's a shame. Everyday for months now, we've been hearing about the saga of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper and the possibility of them joining up with the Phils this year.

What is the benefit of getting either player? Well, they are very good ballplayers. Are they actually worth all of the money that we're hearing they will be paid? In the long term deals that each are seeking, it probably will be a negative thing years down the line.

The Phillies aren't really ready for either player in my opinion. They haven't been in contention for a while and even though they have showed some promise last year, the likelihood of adding a superstar player and ending up with a playoff team is possible, but not guaranteed. Look at Mike Trout and the Angels, they are a team with perhaps the best player in baseball but they can't make the playoffs.

A superstar player sometimes comes with a lot of baggage. In my opinion, Harper and Machado will both bring a lot of baggage to any team that they go to. Both players have been in some high profile situations that haven't been all that endearing to them.

Take Machado's "I'm no Johnny Hustle guy" comment, that is an instant red flag for Phillies fans. He's one of the pampered guys of the game. You hustle each and every play, we don't need a player like Manny with an attitude like his.

If I were John Middleton, I would withdrawal any offer to either of them, the Phils have a fairly solid team built for 2019, I don't think that the addition of Machado or Harper make them that much better. I'd rather go out and get a decent starting pitcher to add to the rotation and the impact of that might even be better for this team.

Soon, the Machado Harper circus will be over, and the baseball season will begin, the story will fade and thank goodness, I for one, am so tired of hearing about both players and where they will end up at this point.

Friday, February 15, 2019

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hearts on Fire - Phillies look to build on '18

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Soon this will be the scene from Spring Training, baseball will be back and the passion is reignited again for Phils fans

It's another Valentines Day and yup, the wait is over for pitchers and catchers as the guys are back in camp for yet another upcoming baseball season. I've been away from this blog for sometime now due to a deeply personal life changing family event that had me taking a long break from writing about Phillies baseball and searching my soul for answers.

When a piece of your heart is torn away from you, it's not that easy to recover and get back up and see the world in the same light.

On the baseball diamond, the Phillies showed some real promise last season. The team played like they were on fire up through the All-Star break last season. Lineup changes and all, night after night, it looked like a shoe-in that the Phillies were going to coast into the playoffs by the mid-summer classic. Well, things happen as they say, and things for the Phillies took a drastic change last year just after the All-Star break.

The Phillies added a few veterans to the mix before the trade deadline last year, but it may have had an overall negative effect on the team. They had changed a winning combination and went with some longtime veterans that added some excitement to the team, but didn't necessarily make it a better team overall.

Gabe Kapler, the young Phillies manager, was being mentioned by some as 'Manager of the Year' for the way the Phillies seemed to be turned around, that changed when the Phils took a turn after the All-Star break after the team looked like it was coasting it's way into a playoff spot. Even Kapler himself was talking about the closeness that the Phils were possibly going to be getting into the playoffs at certain points.

What happened? There are different opinions as to the exact whys these things happened to the Phillies last year. It was just short of an utter collapse which was very noticeable. Being able to move players around like puzzle pieces just wasn't working. There was a call for some sort of uniformity. Have a more steady lineup every night, stop with all the changes all the time.

We have all season to look back and wonder why, but now it's Valentine's Day- a start up of yet another season of hope starts down in Clearwater, Florida for the Phillies and for the fans that like to follow the team.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Phils early Spring Training 2019 schedule

Here's an early look at the Spring Training schedule for 2019 - check back for updates!