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Philadelphia Phillies State Of The Union For 2014

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 - 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008.  The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad - or to give it one more go at it.  Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties.  Ryne Sandberg had the team playing better to end the year, but has had issues already with Veteran players.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise play good enough for another kick at the can in 2014?  .

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 – 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008. The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad – or to give it one more go at it. Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last year when he was let go from his managerial duties. Ryne Sandberg had the team playing better to end the year, but has had issues already with Veteran players. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season. Will the franchise play good enough for another kick at the can in 2014? .

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Last year was the 1st losing campaign for the Fightins in over a decade.  It was a mediocre season to be sure, and followed the 3rd straight year of regression.

Since Ryan Howard went down in a heap of pain during the 2011 playoffs, it has ravaged through the fans perception of the club.

2013 wasn’t going to end nicely, however the aging veteran Chase Utley gave the brass and fanbase a nice exiting thought by inking a 2 YR deal.

Ryan Howard has not recovered to his former status, and now makes $25 MIL year. Read the rest of this entry

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The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with Read the rest of this entry

Finally, Some Worth While Free Agents Sign In The MLB 2013 Winter!

With his career winding down and Tim Hudson being 38 years old, will he be able to recover from a gruesome ankle injury in 2014. Should the Braves resign him for depth in the rotation - or cut ties outright? Mr. Hudson will need   He was 114 - 72 (.611) in 9 seasons with the Braves.

With his career winding down and Tim Hudson being 38 years old, will he be able to recover from a gruesome ankle injury in 2014 with the SF Giants?  Mr. Hudson was 114 – 72 (.611) in 9 seasons with the Braves – with a 3.56 ERA.  He will make his return to the Bay Area in California, where he started his 1st 6 years with the Oakland A’s.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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After playing Baseball Stars 1 and 2 on my old Nintendo Entertainment System for 3 weeks, I was happy to receive my baseball fix from the MLB once again..

Yesterday, a slew of Free Agents signed.. Okay… not true….2 noteworthy players inked deals to prolong their careers.

I am talking about Tim Hudson signing a 2 YR/$23 MIL with the Giants, and Carlos Ruiz, signing a 3 Year Deal worth potentially $26.5 MIL, with a Team Option for a 4th year at $4.5 MIL.

Tim Hudson’s 2013 Season Ending Ankle Injury – Not for the weak of heart!

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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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Phillies 2014 Preview: How To Handle Halladay

Roy Halladay is still the Active Win Pctg Leader among Pitchers with  a W - L Record of 203 - 105 (.659), and he also owns the most Complete Games at 67 Currently for guys still chucking.  This is despite battling a litany of injuries in 2012 - 2013, posting 15 - 13 Record, while carrying an ERA well north of 5.  Can he reinvent himself at 36 (about to be 37 in May of 2014).  Can the Phils afford to give him a new contract?

Roy Halladay is still the Active Win Pctg Leader among Pitchers with a W – L Record of 203 – 105 (.659), and he also owns the most Complete Games at 67 Currently for guys still chucking. This is despite battling a litany of injuries in 2012 – 2013, posting a 15 – 13 Record, while carrying an ERA well north of 5 in the last 2 campaigns. Can he reinvent himself at 36 (about to be 37 in May of 2014)? It may just be the Phils can’t afford to give him a new contract?

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via  http://www.oldcitybaseball.com – visit his website here

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Uncertainty. It’s an extremely ominous word among Philadelphia baseball fans because throughout the Phillies organization, there seems to be plenty of it.

Sounding the word out syllabically slow brings about an uncomfortable feeling flooding through my brain and because its plague-like presence is felt when pondering the Phillies future, the reality sets in that it may be a few years before this team can rise to an elite level once again.

The starting staff, the bullpen, the first baseman, the closer, and the outfield are all enormous question marks as the 2013 season comes to a close today.

Roy Halladay’s Perfect Game 2009

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A Phillies 2014 Forecast, Part I: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013's Song of the Summer, "Get Lucky", coincidentally captured the embattled GM's philosophy for this year's Phillies. When the song's lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, "We've come too far to give up who we are", I can easily see Ruben's head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro's stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013’s Song of the Summer, “Get Lucky”, coincidentally captured the embattled GM’s philosophy for this year’s Phillies. When the song’s lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are”, I can easily see Ruben’s head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro’s stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via  http://www.oldcitybaseball.com – visit the website here

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“I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not quite sure how I got there.” - Steven Wright, Comedian

Sounds about right.

It should be obvious to most that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s ego has been waging war against his own rational sense of decision-making and his ability to consider the future of this Phillies franchise since he was handed the keys to the palace back in November 2008.

A speckled and spotty track-record ripe with big-splash acquisitions along with several transactions banking on a player’s abilities of yesteryear–each of which left the cupboard mostly bare down on the farm–is all he has to show during his tenure as the big boss man.

Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia fans (including myself) now envision the Phillies ship as a tired, rudderless old vessel drifting through uncharted waters without a compass. How did it ever come to this?

Ryan Howards Injury 2011 NLDS


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Phillies Getting Downright Offensive

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Friday, June.07, 2013

Domonic Brown remains hotter than a pistol, and it is almost a surprise when he doesn't hit a HR these days.  In his last 13 Games Played, the man from Stone Mountain, Georgia is batting .400 (20 - 50), with 10 HRs, 1 - 3B and 1 - 2B and 19 RBI.  His Slugging Percentage is 1.060 and his OPS is 1.494 - while actually having Walked 3 times in the last week.

Domonic Brown remains hotter than a pistol, and it is almost a surprise when he doesn’t hit a HR these days. In his last 13 Games Played, the man from Stone Mountain, Georgia is batting .400 (20 – 50), with 10 HRs, 1 – 3B and 1 – 2B and 19 RBI. His Slugging Percentage is 1.060 and his OPS is 1.494 – while actually having Walked 3 times in the last week. A slight adjustment of moving closer to the plate – and inviting the inside pitch to turn on – is credited for the remarkable turnaround.  He was recently named MLB Reports Player Of The Month.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The Phillies arrived in Milwaukee last night having won their previous four games by scoring seven runs in each of the first three games during this streak and finished the home stand with a six-run outburst on Wednesday afternoon.

Tack on another five runs in last night’s solid win over the Brewers and we have ourselves an offense that is officially getting hot in five consecutive wins. 

But it’s not just the bats talking the talk, the Phillies are finally walking the walk to the tune of 37 free passes in their last 10 games. That’s 16 more walks drawn than in the previous 10 contests.

Setting the table for the meat of the lineup has been Jimmy Rollins, who has drawn 11 bases on balls in that same period along with Ryan Howard strolling for five.

D.Brown’s HRs  versus the Red Sox

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2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #6: Fantasy, Phillies And Rangers Expert Interviews + Notes

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Friday, May.31/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

People in this Podcast:

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & The Bench Warmers Show (thebenchwarmers.podomatic.com), I started by paying respects to a follower of mine on twitter (the great late Kiley)   who passed away last week…not only she was a great Yankee fan who loved Derek Jeter – but also was the most sweetest giving person ever, R.I.P….

I start to talk about the Subway Series then I interviewed my first guest Derek Jackson (10 Minute Mark  – 20 Minute Segment.   who is a fantasy expert for MLB Reports! We talked about which callups to watch midway through the season,a look at the rookie crop of players & second year players…check out his latest fantasy article here Read the rest of this entry

Forget About The Ryan Howard Contract: Philly Fans Should Respect Him

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Monday May.06, 2013

Ryan Howard will need to remain healthy and be a force in the Phillies lineup. Howard is owed a Minimum of $105 MIL over 4 years (He is paid $20 MIL in 2013, and $25 MIL from 2014 - 2016 - with a $23 MIL Team Option (or a Buyout for $10 MIL)

Ryan Howard will need to remain healthy – and be a force in the Phillies lineup for the club to make a charge in the next 5 months of the year. Howard is owed a Minimum of $105 MIL over 4 years (He is paid $20 MIL in 2013, and $25 MIL per year from 2014 – 2016 – with a $23 MIL Team Option – or a Buyout for $10 MIL).

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

On Friday night, Phillies First Baseman, Ryan Howard, honored his favorite teacher as the Phillies celebrated Teacher Appreciation Night at Citizens Bank Park.

This is nothing out of the ordinary for “The Big Piece”, a nickname he acquired for obvious reasons other than its metaphor which tells us just how important he is to this team and this city.

After all, Ryan Howard is one of the team’s most charitable athletes and most visible volunteers in the community. His dedication to his adoptive city of Philadelphia has been felt through several charities such as Ryan Howard’s Celebrity Servers, his work with the Police Athletic League, and his pride & joy,The Ryan Howard Family Foundation.

The list of donations and events this charity has raised and participated goes on and on. Athletic equipment to city schools, scholarships to student athletes,Winter coats and warm meals for the hungry and indigent during the holidays just to name a few where Howard has touched the hearts of so many in our fine city, like this sweet, young boy this past Friday.

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Kyle Kendrick Should Have Earned Your Respect By Now

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Saturday April 27, 2013

Kyle Kendrick 2007- Present  56-43 (.566)  with a 4.22 ERA:  Kyle Kendrick came onto the scene in the middle of the 2007 year and finished 5th in Rookie of the Year Voting, by posting a 10-4 record with 3.87 ERA.  He has since had 4 straight winning seasons as the 5th man out of the rotation - before narrowly missing a 5th straight year last campaign (11 -1 2, 3.90 ERA). Kendrick has also seen some spot duty in the Bullpen for the franchise in his days

Kyle Kendrick has a Career Record of 56-43 (.566) with a 4.22 ERA: He came onto the scene in the middle of the 2007 year and finished 5th in Rookie of the Year Voting, by posting a 10-4 record with 3.87 ERA. Kendrick had 4 straight winning seasons as the 5th man out of the rotation – before narrowly missing a 5th straight year last campaign (11 -1 2, 3.90 ERA). Kendrick has also seen some spot duty in the Bullpen for the franchise in his days.

 

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

Kyle Kendrick is only 28 years old. Seems like he’s been here forever and probably unfairly to many fans, it’s kind of the same as when the office know-it-all or socially inappropriate joke-teller never gets fired and continues to work next to you for a few years.

It feels like an eternity because he just won’t go away and probably doesn’t plan to anytime soon, collecting his weekly paycheck and pouring the dollars on top of his 401k. 

Naturally, the only thing left to do during every work day is to talk about that guy behind his back relentlessly or maybe mockingly doing an impersonation of him from time-to-time.

Kyle Kendrick Was Fake Traded to Japan!

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Review of Stadium Journey’s Latest Issue: 4 MLB Ball Parks To See – Top 10 Park Quirks, The 2 Best Parks and Japan

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Wednesday Apr.24/2013

Stadium Journey is both a website and a magazine that thrives in rating and reviewing Sporting Venues around the World.  Among those sports is MLB.  Co - Founder Paul Swaney informed me that the recent magazine is fully geared to help the avid baseball fan visit their favorite ballpark

Stadium Journey is both a website and a magazine that thrives in rating and reviewing Sporting Venues around the World. Among those sports is MLB. Co – Founder Paul Swaney informed me that the recent magazine is fully geared to help the avid baseball fan visit their favorite ballpark.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

There is not a bigger marketing in all of baseball than all 30 MLB Parks of the game of baseball.  As someone who has dedicated their lives to visiting ballparks the last 7 years, I will pass along information that will help the general masses when it comes to my attention.

One of the people I have met through my baseball travels is Paul Swaney.  I am doing this review and talking about this magazine because I endorse it 100% – and no one spends more time in studying the MLB Ballparks than the fine folks at www.stadiumjourney.com

From the Website:

Stadium Journey is a web venture with the goal to become a world-class community resource for sports fans, built around optimizing the experience of attending live sporting events.

About SJ “We provide tips and information through reviews of pro and college sports stadiums. We also rely on fans to provide tips and information about their favorite home stadium, or a first time impression. By sharing our knowledge, we can make every trip to the ballpark, stadium, or arena the very best it can be. Enjoy the journey!” Read the rest of this entry

Fixing The Phillies Offense: All Good Things To Those Who Wait

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Friday April 19, 2013

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years  In his MVP year (2006) - he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP.  He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008.  2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 - .353, 2011 - .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP.  This year he is not much better at ,303.  Howard's Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years In his MVP year (2006) – he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP. He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008. 2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 – .353, 2011 – .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP. This year he is not much better at ,303. Howard’s Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The late, great Harmon Killebrew, author of 573 Home Runs during his Hall of Fame career, was also exceptionally talented in another skill when he stepped to the plate: drawing Walks.

Charlie Manuel knows this better than most because he played alongside “Killer” for four years as a member of the Minnesota Twins in the late 1960’s. Over dinner, in the clubhouse and on the bench they’d talk baseball quite a bit, mostly about the art of hitting. Manuel said of Killebrew:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 1:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 2:

“Killer used to preach to me that the most important thing was getting strikes [to swing at]. He said he didn’t like to walk, but that he had to take pitches to get good strikes.”

- MLB.com / Hal Bodley, May 17, 2011

Killer was an 11 Time All - Star and an 7 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 7 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career.  The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew's patience...He Walked 1559 times  in 2435 Games Played.  His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Killer was an 11 Time All – Star and a 6 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 8 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career. The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew’s patience…He Walked 1559 times in 2435 Games Played. His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Amen to that. Killebrew didn’t need to say much at all on the matter as his patience did all his preaching for him. He led MLB in free passes four times in his career – with a high mark of 145 drawn in the 1969 season. It’s not a coincidence that he went on to hit 49 Home Runs and drive in 140 RBI that Summer. 

And in his best seasons, Killebrew would crack the 100-Walk plateau seven times while reaching 90+ Bases on Balls in three other campaigns.

Killebrew’s 1969 MVP season totals:

Year AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1969 555 106 153 20 2 49 140 145 84 .276 .427 .584 1.011

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/19/2013.

Returning to present day, the Phillies are mired in a severe slump where they’re finding runs are about as hard to produce as water from a dry sponge.

Our boys of Summer have been as impatient as children at church with little to no plan or approach at the plate, swinging their bats like orchestra conductors at a dubstep concerto.

Show a pitcher you’ll offer at a ball outside the zone and they’ll pitch it outside the zone. 

Too many Phillies batsmen have been all too eager to flail away in undisciplined fashion, such as Ryan Howard (3 Walks), Ben Revere (4), and even Chase Utley (4).

Of those three, only Utley is producing with two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI, but with a very un-Utley-esque .339 OBP (career .379). Impatience has begotten impatience among the Phillies’ brass:

“Who wants to go for a walk?”
Courtesy of DelawareOnline.com

Please take note of that quote having been tweeted about two hours before game-time last night vs. St. Louis, a one-run loss which would also see the Phillies earn a big, fat zero in the walk column.

For those keeping score, that’s zero walks in four straight games. Clearly with no change in plans at the plate, our boys have forgotten that sometimes the best things in life are free.

The translation is quite simple, really, even in today’s game. So far in 2013, three of the top four National League teams in drawing walks (Reds, Rockies and Mets) are also the top three teams in runs scored.

And while the Phillies are ranked sixth in hits as a team, they are 14th (of 15 teams) in seeing ball four which again translates to scoring runs, where they rank 11th in the National League. Combine all of this with a third place ranking in Strikeouts (126), they currently sit 13th in the NL with an OBP of just .291.

To drive the point home, this is only slightly better than the cellar-dwelling Chicago Cubs and the lowly Miami Marlins. Yuck.

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 and took home the Trophy in 2008.  The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002.  However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end.  Now that they have started slow at 6 - 10 - can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series  in 2013?

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 – and took home the Trophy in 2008. The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002. However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end. Now that they have started slow at 6 – 10 – can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series in 2013?

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post..  Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a  proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at  http://www.warroomphilly.com .

Chris says:  “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here !  You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter or the WarRoomPhilly

a war room chris

Please e-mail me at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Howard And Utley: Healthy And Ready For A Huge 2013

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Friday, March. 1/2013

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard guest starring on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” I love this show and this episode, but it is wildly inappropriate and I would not suggest it for children. Chase and Ryan were awesome in it.

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard guest starring on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” I love this show and this episode, but it is wildly inappropriate and I would not suggest it for children. Chase and Ryan were awesome in it.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have played for the Philadelphia Phillies their entire careers to this point. They have been holding down the right side of the infield for the Phillies consistently since 2006 – and have been tearing apart pitching from the 3-4 slots in the lineup for equally as long. They each played in 100+ games every year since the 2006 season, until an injury plagued 2012 campaign for the duo.

Howard managed to play just 71 games, and Utley only 83. Maybe age is starting to catch up with the 33 year old Howard and 34 year old Utley, and if it is, that is a terrible sign for the Phillies playoff aspirations because their offense has been built around the two (plus standout Shortstop Jimmy Rollins). I think the Utley – Howard combo still has productive seasons left with in Philadelphia, and 2013 should prove that. I expect them to be bright spots in the lineup for a team that has become largely reliant on their starting pitching to achieve success.

Baseball Friends Utley and Howard:

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Philadelphia Phillies: Brotherly Love and the Upton Brothers

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

 

Can Phillies Phans fathom having these big-league-brothers manning the outfield at Citizen’s Bank Park?

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):  Both B.J. Upton and his younger brother Justin will be available this offseason.  Bossman Junior (B.J.) will be a top centerfield free agent option, and Justin signed a lucrative 6-year deal just two years ago, is widely known to be on the trading block from Arizona.  The Upton brothers are the two highest drafted brothers in sports history.  B.J. was a second overall pick in 2002 and Justin, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft.  They have both had ups and downs in their young careers, but both have performed extremely well and shown glimpses of brilliance.  Justin has already cashed in on his first big major league contract, and B.J. is looking to so this offseason.  Where B.J. will sign, we will find out over the next months.  But one thing that is clear…he makes since for just about any team out there.

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of those teams that could envision B.J. Upton gracefully patrolling centerfield for 162 games.  As a premier center fielder facing free agency, B.J. as become far too expensive a commodity for the Rays to retain going forward.  He plays top-notch defense in centerfield and has a cannon for an arm.  All he did in 2012 as 27-year-old (in his 8th year in the MLB) was hit 29 doubles, 28 home runs and steal 31 bags.  Yes, with this amazing tool set that combines defense with speed and power comes a lifetime .255 batting average and about 150 strikeouts a year.  There are weaknesses in every player’s game, but B.J. Upton’s strengths make him a very attractive target for any team that doesn’t have Joe DiMaggio manning centerfield.

There is no doubt that B.J.’s speed and power will fit very nicely into the Phillies lineup along with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard.  We have to also consider what it is going to take to get B.J. signed to a contract.  Right now, we know that the Tampa Bay Rays have offered B.J. a qualifying offer.  While the chances of B.J. agreeing to this are virtually ‘zero’, it does mean that whoever signs B.J. is going to have to sacrifice their first round draft pick next year to Tampa.  For a team like Philadelphia that can afford to sign top free agents, giving up a top prospect is an acceptable part of doing business. Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 3 of 4: The Pitchers

Saturday September.01/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles here.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   This team has played for almost 130 years.  As such, they have a great deal of history, so there are going to be several more hitters than pitchers as is the case with most Franchises.  For the first seasons as the Quakers, they had some decent pitchers.  It wasn’t until Pete Grover Alexander joined the club, that Philadelphia Phillies fams got to see a Hall of Fame pitcher before their very eyes.  From Alexander, to Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons, to Jim Bunning, Rick Wise and Chris Short, to Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw and Jim Lonborg, to Curt Schilling and Mitch Williams, to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Phillies Pitchers have been improving in each generation.

Last year when the club won a record 102 games for the Franchise, they had the best 4 starters they had ever assembled in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Roy Oswalt to take the mound.  Having Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton as your 5th starter is an option most teams would love to have.  The Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League since 1975.  They have appeared in 9 NLCS’s and 5 World Series while winning 2 of them.  That is an impressive 36 year run.  Going forward, the clubs pitchers still look solid.  Cole Hamels just signed a 6 year extension, Cliff Lee is around for 3 more years and Roy Halladay still has 2 more years left after this.  The club also signed Jonathan Papelbon up until the end of the 2015 season before 2012 began.  Papelbon may have a chance to make this list when someone else chronicles the best pitchers in Phillies history one day 25 years from now.

If you ask me to have a Mount Rushmore of Pitchers it would be: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Grover Alexander and probably Cole Hamels because of his instrumental pitching since the 2007 season. 

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here

Steve Carlton Highlight Reel:

Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series:  In 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

Read the rest of this entry

The End of a Baseball Journey in 2012(30+6)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Monday May.7/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini @ Yankee Stadium 5/1


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- The road baseball games are done for the year.  Sure I will still see about 5-6 more games at Safeco Field, but nothing beats going to games on the road!  It is has been 10 days since I officially broke my own Guinness Book of World Record by going to all 30 MLB Parks in 23 days.  After the streak, I decided to slowly wane myself off of baseball by watching another 5 games in 4 Parks during 8 days.  Those parks were Citizens Bank Ball Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for 2 games.  We are talking about 4 awesome places to watch baseball. Lest we forget the Season Opener I also went to at Citi in case of a retro-active decision. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Ballpark Traditions: National League

Sunday December 25, 2011



Doug Booth-  Guest Baseball Writer:  The entire baseball community is looking forward to the ‘New Marlins Ballpark’ in 2012.  This new opening will give some of extreme ballpark chasers a chance to tack another ballpark to their viewing history.  I will be attending the opening of this Ballpark in April and that will make it 35 Major League Stadiums for me, 5 that are defunct and this park in Miami will help me re-establish the 30 current MLB Parks.  We all assume that Oakland will have a new baseball park eventually so I will have a few years before attending a new baseball park again.  These traditions only help the folklore of baseball.  I believe it helps distinguish the sport from the other major sports leagues.  

Here are the National League Parks Traditions:

Wrigley Field

1.  7TH inning stretch-made famous by Harry Caray and kept up by guests now.

2.  They started throwing the ‘opposition’s’ home runs back onto the field and have not stopped even though it is illegal to throw the baseballs back on the field.

3.  They have their own song “go Cubs go” which they play after every win.

4.  Of course they have the curse of the ‘BILLY GOAT’ and also have not won a World Series in 103 years.

Minute Maid Park

 1. They have a train that goes from side to side whenever they hit a homer.

 2. They play the song “Stars at Night” right after 7th inning stretch

 3. They play all their games indoors and only open up the roof when the park is cleared.

Miller Park

1. They do 2 really cool waves. One is a reverse wave where the goes clockwise all around the ballpark and then change direction. The other one they do is a slow motion wave which is hilarious.

2. They have the sausage race!!!

3. The sing the song “Over The Barrell” after “Take me out to the ballgame”.

4. ‘Bernie Brewer, (Brewers mascot) goes down the slide in upper left field bleachers-and has recently started throwing t-shirts from there.

5. They give out fridges for who has the best-“Tailgate Party”.

Busch Stadium

1.  Easily the most respectful fans in baseball.

2.  They cheered the 2004 Boston Red Sox even when they lost the World Series, so they are classy.

PNC Park

1.  They have the pierogi races.

2. Between every inning they have text messages posted on-screen from people.

3. They have one of the coolest beginnings where they have a pirate ship full of pirates and they take over the opposing team’s ship on the scoreboard.

Great American Ball Park

1. They have fireworks that explode from the ship in center-field when there is a home run.

2. The Reds Museum is the best “Hall Of Fame” out of all the teams.

Dodger Stadium

1. The beach balls are still being thrown around.

2.  It is routine to show up 4 innings into the game and leave at the 8th inning-Last year I watched a game that lasted only 2 hours and the parking lot was jammed because people had arrived late and did not leave early because the game was so quick. I still love the replay of the ‘KIRK GIBSON’ homer because of all the tail lights in the parking lot that were leaving.

AT&T Park

1. The Kayaker’s in McCovey Cove are fun to watch.

2. The hecklers in center-field always are after the opposing outfielders with this chant’ “What is the matter with (insert player here)? The answer is: “He’s a bum!” They do this all game.

3. They have a Panda Bear now because of Pablo Sandoval-(Kung-Fu Panda.)

4. They chart the splash hits that go into the cove.

Coors Field

1. They sell food and beverages outside the ballpark with their own vendors for a good price.

2. They use the ‘humidor’ to reduce the flight of the baseballs by 8-10%.

Chase Field

1. They sing “Sweet Caroline” like the Boston fans do.

2. They are the only park that plays a second verse of “Take me out to the Ballgame”.

3. They are very fanatical at security about you operating camera/videos so watch out.

Petco Park

1. There is a picnic area where you can watch the game for 5 dollars.

2. They are the most pet-friendly stadium as pets are allowed into the game a lot.

Turner Field

1. ‘The tomahawk chop’ is the worst tradition in baseball, but it is here to stay-routinely sections of people will get up and stand while doing the chop.

2.  Skip Caray and Mark Lemke do the pregame show from the media gondola in center-field every home game.

3. They routinely have ‘concerts’ on weekend night games free of charge and are decent groups. I saw Arrested Development there last year.

Citi Field

1. The ‘BIG APPLE’ still comes out after every homer is hit (unless it is stuck which has happened at Citi Field).

2. There are planes that come over every five minutes–I find this very disrupting to the game and that is why I have the park ranked 11th overall.

Sun Life Stadium coming soon/New Marlins Ballpark in 2012!!

1.  You can buy a parking pass that will work for any home date online-which is convenient.

2. The mascot is always featured on the big screen throwing fake pies at people in the stands who have on opposing gear.

Nationals Park

1. The president’s race is a definite highlight of every game-and one of them always falls flat on their face–usually it is Teddy Roosevelt.

2. They shoot t-shirts into the crowd-that have chili-dogs wrapped up in them–just ask the 20 people or so that were pelted with the contents when they failed to wrap the t-shirts tight enough with the food.

Citzens Bank Ballpark

1. The Phillie Phanatac is always in trouble with the ‘grounds crew’ because he whips around in the ATV.

2. There is about 4,000 S.R.O’S for every game and most hang out in ‘Ashburn’s Alley’.

3. They boo the home players more than any other team including Boston and both NY clubs. That is understandable considering they booed Santa Claus–and cheered when Michael Irvin was knocked unconscious at the old ‘VET’.

4. They have the biggest fine in the league for jumping on the field.

 

 Click here to view  Part 1 of Doug Booth’s Ballpark Traditions feature on MLB reports, with a look at the American League Traditions. 

*** Thank you to our Guest Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for joining us today on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Doug Booth, you can follow Doug on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here for Doug’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com*** 


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