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Why Ruben Amaro Jr. Should Be Fired Right Now!

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils should have faced the facts - and started dismantling their team before they lost any relevant value

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils should have faced the facts – and started dismantling their team before they lost any relevant value over the last few years.  Now players like Rollins, Burnett and Utley have had their Vesting Options all exercised – and with the exception of the 2nd baseman, none of them have any trade value. Add brutal dollars owed to Howard and Papelbon, and this team is headed for financial peril.

Why Ruben Amaro Jr should be fired

Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Organization Expert): 

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I believe that if any GM were asked what is the organization that they would least like to take over the answer would be the Phillies. This team is a train wreck and it starts with up top where a new general manager is needed.

The Phillies even with the money that they generate are a long-term project that won’t be easy to fix. Rubens tenure started November 3rd 2008.  The team had just won the World Series under the tutelage of Pat Gillick.

Amaro had a team that could have brought a dynasty type of run to the franchise.  After a slow-moving regression that went from World Series Appearance in 2009, to NLCS in 2010, and then NLDS in 2011, the team finally missed the playoffs.

The core began to grow older and become expensive.  It has been apparent the squad needed a rebuild on the fly, but the powers that be have sat on their diminishing assets too long, and now the apples have become rotten, and not useful to other 29 teams.  

It is a flawed way of thinking – and will set the organization back 3 – 5 years.  

Out of our entire staff here at MLB Reports, we all hold the same opinion about Amaro JR.  – and in this article, we have all added our 2 cents in some form. Be sure to listen to Sully’s great podcasts about the Phillies at the end of the blog.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – August 2, 2014

ALEX BRANDON/AP

ALEX BRANDON/AP

What were the Phillies thinking not rebuilding?

How could the Giants, Blue Jays and Royals stand pat?

Why were the Marlins more productive than contenders this year?

And oddly did the Rays make sense in the trade for David Price?

All this and more on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Jordy Mercer, Ryan Vogelsong, Justin Verlander, David Murphy, Sonny Gray, Doug Fister, Brian Dozier and Matt Carpenter all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

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The Philadelphia Phillies Prospects + Organizational Depth Charts For All Affiliates – 2014 (MLB + MiLB)

Among Amaro's staff of scouts and underlings, there must be some level of discomfort because no group of baseball men this large who evaluate talent for a living can make that many mistakes on a professional level. Unless, of course, these men are afraid to go against Amaro's will. If that's the case, it will be up to Phillies President and team ownership to hear that the citizens of Philadelphia have already figured out that the emperor has no clothes. It's time for Amaro to go.  It won't happen soon enough, and with Montgomery's latest proclamation, this club will set themselves back for a few more years by not selling off some players in a futile season.

Among Amaro’s staff of scouts and underlings, there must be some level of discomfort because no group of baseball men this large who evaluate talent for a living can make that many mistakes on a professional level. Unless, of course, these men are afraid to go against Amaro’s will. If that’s the case, it will be up to Phillies President and team ownership to hear that the citizens of Philadelphia have already figured out that the emperor has no clothes. It’s time for Amaro to go. It won’t happen soon enough, and with Montgomery’s latest proclamation, this club will set themselves back for a few more years by not selling off some players in a futile season.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth Chart + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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TRADE DEADLINE CHAT/Build your system by trading veterans and regroup for 2015.

I have a newsflash for David Montomery (President, part -owner of the Phillies), your fanbase already hates the team right now, and it is not like you won’t spend money on the club in 2015.

The Boston Red Sox were smart enough to realize that 2012 was a lost season.  Instead of riding it out, they made huge changes to the roster.

Deals that led to numerous Free Agent signings in that winter, that helped them win the 2013 World Series..

A lot of the trades they did were based on the team dumping payroll, becoming younger, and also not having lengthy contracts plaguing their franchises for many years to come.

The “Phigtins” are 8.5 Games the NL East leading Braves, and 8 behind the playoff bar, but here is the problem…. Read the rest of this entry

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

The Philadelphia Phillies Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Phillies slide down the NL East Standings all started at the end of the 2011 NLCS.  Gruesomely, Ryan Howard pulverized his ankle running down to 1st, and the team has not been right since.

A late charge in 2012 preserved a 81 – 81 record – to extend a decade of .500 or better baseball, however 2013 held a cruel fate of a 73 – 89 final mark.

Injuries to ‘now retired’ Roy Halladay and Howard helped plague the team to its first losing season in 11 years.

Ruben Amaro Jr. and the brass steadfastly approach this season like every other campaign in the last few years, “we will be better in 2014, and still have enough to compete.” Read the rest of this entry

Updated Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series As Of Right Now: Tanaka Could Influence These Later

Masahiro Tanaka has finally been posted by his team from the NPB (Golden Lions).  Mark my words, with the exception of a crazy bid coming from the Dodgers way out West, no one will outbid the Yankees for this guys services.  Based on his age and wherewithal, the Pinstripers can alter their immediate future by landing the 25 Year Old Japanese Phenom.  If they spend the $125 MIL - $140 MIL for a 6 or 7 year total ($20 MIL post, plus player contract, look for them to blow their $189 MIL budget out of control in 2014, - and opt to reset in 2015 instead.)

Masahiro Tanaka has finally been posted by his team from the NPBL (Golden Lions). Mark my words, with the exception of a crazy bid coming from the Dodgers way out West, no one will outbid the Yankees for this guys services. Based on his age and wherewithal, the Pinstripers can alter their immediate future by landing the 25 Year Old Japanese Phenom. If they spend the $125 MIL – $140 MIL for a 6 or 7 year total ($20 MIL post, plus player contract, look for them to blow their $189 MIL budget out of control in 2014, – and opt to reset in 2015 instead.)  Tanaka was 24 – 0 – with a miniscule 1.27 ERA in 2013.

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

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Since nothing has changed since last week, I have two bets for you to take – and one for you to avoid.

As I mentioned last Saturday, the Rangers have confirmed on the Shin-Soo Choo signing.  In my expert opinion this should have moved the line on Texas.

Instead, they are still the 3rd favorite to win the World Series coming out of the AL.

This is not right.  Maybe I could see the Tigers still ahead of them based on the Division they are in, but the Red Sox have no business being ahead of them.

The Best Of Masahiro Tanaka

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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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2 And A Hook Podcast #15: AL Wild Card Race Breakdown, NL Central Chat + The BallPark Pass-Port Inventor

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 7 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) - Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 8 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) – Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

‘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 )

Guests On The Show:

On today’s show, brought to you by www.mlbreports.com 

& yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I start it off with talking about the Yankees chances of getting the 2nd Wild Card Spot & giving them props for having a good season no matter what happens..

CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or CLICK PAST THE MLB REPORTS LOGO

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The Philadelphia Phillies Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

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 has the team playing better.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise restock for another kick at the can in 2014?  Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

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 has the team playing better. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season?  Or maybe  the franchise restocks for another kick at the can in 2014? Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Phillies have posted winning records since 2001.  While the year may be getting away from them in 2013, there are some extremely encouraging signs for the future.’

Ben Revere was excelling at his position at CF and at the plate before he went down with a season ending injury.

The emergence of Domonic Brown in the 1st half, and 1B/OF Darin Ruf, have given the team a cost conscious alternative to combat huge salaries like Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard, that combine to be over $50 in the next 3 years, the latter, has been injured the most of the last 2 seasons.

You add high priced Veterans like Jimmy Rollins, and $22.5 MIL a year Cole Hamels, and you are talking about a lofty payroll for the next several years.

However, the team also extended franchise face Chase Utley, for 2 YRs/$25 – 30 MIL – that should see him possibly retire a Phillie.

The club has played much better since Ryne Sandberg assumed the helm as manager.

The team also has traded several veterans away in the last few years, to accrue Minor League Talent back in return.  Among the departed have been Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Michael Young.

The question going forward is to what this team will do with Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz.  Somehow, I think that Ruben Amaro JR, will find a way to re-sign these two guys for a limited years, and possibly incentive laden contracts this coming winter.

Whatever the case, it should be an interesting ride in Philly the next few years.

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Phillies Organization click here.

For the 3 Part Historical Series I did on the  Phillies organization, click here.

Chase Utley Highlights

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

42 - 8, 25 - 3, 19 - 1, 10 wins in a row.  These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988.  No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez.  Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

42 – 8, 25 – 3, 19 – 1, 10 wins in a row. These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone for park attendance, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988. No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez. Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions (AL East, AL West and NL Central are starting to tighten up, while the NL West, AL Central and most notably NL East are looking to be foregone conclusions

The Braves have rattled of a 18 – 3 stretch, and have been ousted by the Dodgers for the #1 spot in the MLB Rankings .

The Rangers are trying to ricochet off of a couple of great deals, in order to flame down the Oakland Athletics.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 26, 2013

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Today on the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, In a day full of controversies, what better time to talk about the latest A-Rod episode?

Dustin Pedroia, Chris Sale, Kyle Kendrick, and Rickie Weeks all owned Baseball on June.26/2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 26, 2013
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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June 25th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Dustin Pedroia drove in runs in the first, second, third and seventh inning, sparking the Red Sox to an 11-4 drubbing of the Rockies.

Chris Sale allowed only 3 hits over 8 innings, striking out 13. The bullpen prevented him from getting a decision but he set up the White Sox 5-4 walk off win against the Mets.

Rickie Weeks went 3-4 with 2 homers, a double and 4 RBI as the Brewers blasted the Cubs 9-3.

And Kyle Kendrick let up only 2 runs over 8 innings, walking none, as the Phillies came from behind to beat the Padres 6-2.

 

They all owned baseball on June 25th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 6

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Monday May.13/2013

The Rangers have opened up a 6 game lead over the Athetics - prior to their series with Oakland that kicks off tonight.  They have also only played 15 Home Games - as opposed to 22 Road Games.  Steady veteran hitting - and great Pitching all around has paved the way.  They are the only team in the Division over .500

The Rangers have opened up a 6 game lead over the Athletics – prior to their series with Oakland that kicks off tonight. They have also only played 15 Home Games – as opposed to 22 Road Games. Steady veteran hitting – and great Pitching all around has paved the way. They are the only team in the Division over .500

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

The Rangers are #1 again based on the Division lead they currently possess, plus the fact they play all of these teams a total of 76 Games this year.

St. Louis Cardinals have one hell of a pitching staff – and it is downright scary for the rest of the National League that they have played this well without the offense really clicking.

The Giants continue to streak.  I like their offensive makeup – because players like Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence all tend to be streaky.

The Boston Red Sox have begun to slow down recently.

The Tampa Bay Rays seem ready to make their charge.

Josh Hamilton and his 1 AB back in Arlington:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 4 of 4: Team Payroll 2013 And Contracts Forward (Mar.1)

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Friday, Mar.01/2013

Since Roy Halladay missed almost 2 months of baseball in 2012, his 2014 (20 Million Dollar contract will only become exercised if he pitches 225 Innings in 2013) – Otherwise he becomes a Free Agent.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner):  

The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013.  I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise).  What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and  Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars.  2013 looks a lot  better than the years after.  Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.  

I am predicting  the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season.  The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive.  The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.

The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma.  You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013.  I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.  

The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well.  You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.  

Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons.  I wrote an article about this some time ago here.  The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it.  It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.

Ryan Howard highlights are below.  He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.

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 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here

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

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Philadelphia Phillies Player Roster in 2013: State of the Union Updated Mar.1/2013

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Update: Friday March 1, 2013

If the "Big 3" in the Phillies rotation could repeat their 200+ IP and Sub 3.00 ERAs from 2011, the Phillies will be a force to be reckoned with.  If all of they duplicate their Career Win Percentages - they could net the team 60-70 Wins from just their 100 starts whether they are around for the decision or not.

If the “Big 3″ in the Phillies rotation could repeat their 200+ IP and Sub 3.00 ERAs from 2011, the Phillies will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.  Also, if Halladay, Lee and Hamels duplicate their Career Win Percentages  for their Careers (415-234, – .635) – they could net the team 60-70 Wins from just their 100 starts.  If the other 2 starters just go .500, you could see a 90-100 Win Season.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

2012 was a disappointing year for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they saw their stranglehold on the NL East diminish to the point that they missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2006. In fact 2012 was the 1st time since ’06 that someone other than the Phillies won the NL East. The team is also not that far removed from a World Series championship which they won in ’08. In 2012 with the emergence of the Washington Nationals, and the re-emergence of a very capable Atlanta Braves organization, the Phillies found themselves finishing with an 81-81 record, only good enough for 3rd in the division.

The Phillies saw themselves selling at the trade deadline, moving OFs Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence, followed by a waiver induced trade of Joe Blanton. Make it clear though, Philadelphia plans to compete for the NL East again in 2013, made evident by their off-season moves. They are an aging team of veterans, with a depleted farm system, so this year might be their best chance to get back to the promise land and play some October baseball. The Phillies have a lot of money committed to players, so hopefully what they have on their current 40 Man Roster is enough.

Philadelphia Phillies Highlights 2012:

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MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! 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:

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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

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