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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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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

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

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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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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