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A commentary on character...and Ryan Howard
by Scott Butler 4/16/14

Now that Monday's loss to the Braves has mostly scabbed over, I wanted to look back at the game through a different lens.  Monday could have been a harbinger of things to come and a loss that will send the Phillies down an inevitable losing path or it could be used as a character builder.  Supposedly high character teams would view such a devastating loss as an opportunity, exploiting it to create unity and developing the personality of the club. Low character teams would collapse and begin an early tailspin.

Let's continue the theme of character and examine the character of the Phillies. 

The Phillies watched the Braves transform a 2-1 lead to a 5-1 lead in insulting fashion with back-to-back-to-back jacks and another close game was given away by a dreadful bullpen.

But the Phillies showed tremendous character in the following “shut down” inning. Gwynn worked a walk, Rollins lined a single to left, and Utley laced a single to right to load the bases with nobody out. When Ryan Howard struck out (more on him later), it took a little more air out of the balloon. 

But Marlon Byrd displayed his character by picking up his teammate with a sharp single of his own to make the game 5-3. 

Then Domonic Brown belted his first home run in the biggest of moments, giving the Phillies the lead and sending the fans to their feet. Brown showed character with the timing of his blast as well as the way he handled the big moment. There was no bat toss, no slow-motion trot around the bases, no showing up the pitcher, and no mocking his opponent. Dobo allowed the results speak for themselves, truly acting like he had been there before.

And the rest, well, this video should sum it up for you.

Keep reading...

Phillies/Braves series deserves some hype
by Scott Butler 4/14/14

It is difficult to hype a series just 12 games into the season, especially with a Phillies team with low expectations. But if such a thing is allowed, this upcoming 4-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park is one to hype.

In many ways, this series could be a measuring stick for the entire season. After an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Brewers, the Phils dug themselves out of a hole by sweeping the Marlins and worked themselves back to a .500 record at home and for the season as a whole. Now they face a Braves team who swept a Washington Nationals team who many feel should win the NL East.

Keep reading...

Winner announced for Phillies tickets!

Kathy Matkowski is the winner of a pair of tickets to see the Phillies play the Mets on April 30!

Thanks to everyone for playing and congratulations Kathy!

Phillies splits per inning and the 7th inning nightmare
by Scott Butler 4/13/14

The Phillies took a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning of last night's game and left with the game tied at four. It was the sixth time in 11 games the Phillies allowed at least one run to score in the seventh inning and the Phils have surrendered a total of 10 runs in the seventh this season. With only 1 run scored on the offensive side, that puts the Phillies at a net loss of 9 runs in the seventh inning.

Four relievers have allowed runs in the 7th inning: Diekman (twice), Rosenberg (twice), Manship, and De Fratus.

These problems, of course, are not limited to the seventh inning. The Phillies have allowed 23 runs in innings 7-9 while scoring just seven.

Keep reading...

Respond now for a chance to win Phillies tickets!

Last week, in anticipation of Opening Day, Phils Baseball offered the chance to win a pair of Phillies tickets by Liking Us on Facebook.

The winner has not come forward, so now is your chance to win Phillies tickets!

For your chance to win, all you have to do is respond through our Contact page with a message heading of "Phillies Tickets" before Sunday's game at 1:35. Anyone who responds will be automatically entered into the contest to win a pair of tickets to the Phillies/Mets game on April 30th at Citizens Bank Park. The winner will be announced during the game.

Good Luck!

Bullpen and defense responsible for all Phillies losses
by Scott Butler 4/11/14

Why are the Phillies in last place after being swept in their first home series against the Brewers?  The answer, without a doubt, is the bullpen and defense. Stop it right there.  Don’t bother looking any further.

Here are a couple of the ugly numbers, courtesy of The Zo Zone:

--The Phillies lead baseball with 10 unearned runs. No other team in baseball has more than seven (Padres and Marlins).

--They are fourth in baseball with nine errors. Only the Dodgers, Marlins and Rangers have more with 11.

It goes much, much, further than pure statistics, however. The bullpen and/or defense has directly caused three of the Phillies’ six losses and had a major impact on every loss this season.

The best way to explain the extent of their impact is to go somewhat play-by-play through all six losses. I will take you through the specific plays involving the bullpen and defense in each painful loss followed by a brief overview. Feel free to read the details if you like, but you might be better off just skipping to the overview.

Keep reading...

What to make of the Phillies through 7 games
by Scott Butler 4/9/14

The Phillies have played 7 games, which is less than 5% of the 162 games that make up a baseball season. Cole Hamels has yet to pitch, Mike Adams is still rehabbing, the Phillies have played just three teams, enjoyed only a single home game, and “hitting season” is still about a month away. In other words, it is early.

Seven games is hardly enough for any proclamations, but it gives an indication, if not a prediction, of what path this story will follow. In my opinion, there are more reasons for optimism than not.  

Keep reading...

Phillies rumors week of March 30-April 8
by Scott Butler 4/8/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of March 30-April 8:

Keep reading...

With Ryne Sandberg, "Everybody hits! Wha Whoo!
by Scott Butler 4/6/14

Watching Ryne Sandberg in the first week of the Phillies season is kinda like getting a brand new wife. You can date a woman for a couple years and get to know her fairly well, but once you get married and she has you locked in, it is a totally different ball game (pun intended). Similarly with Ryne Sandberg, he managed 42 games last season as interim manager, but that was not the real Ryne Sandberg.

We have ascertained some information about the new Phillies skipper in the first week. We learned that he is not afraid to shake up the lineup, moving Howard out of the cleanup spot for the first time in forever (665 games to be exact). We also discovered that Ryno is willing to throw a young player into the fire, giving Mario Hollands his first big league opportunity in the ninth inning of a tie game. And Sandberg also showed that he has tremendous faith in Jake Diekman and zero faith in Brad Lincoln.

Sandberg also explained that he wants to use his entire roster, giving as much rest as possible for his regulars.

"I like to play the whole roster and get everyone in," Sandberg said. "Generally speaking, I believe it takes all 25 guys to get through a baseball season, and to keep everybody fresh and everybody healthy is always a plus to get through the season, especially with our group of core players. For us, we need that."

Sounds smart in theory, but how does it play out in reality?

Keep reading...

Between the seams: scribblings on the Phillies
by Scott Butler 4/6/14

Opening Week is officially over and the Phillies are on the winning side of .500. It was an entertaining week of baseball filled with its fair share of under-the-radar news. Here are a few Phillies tidbits you might find interesting.

Howard abandoned the stretch?

According to Jim Salisbury, Howard "has virtually abandoned the stretch at first. He catches most balls close to his body, costing his infielders valuable inches on close plays. This is something that needs to be addressed."

A first baseman that does not stretch for balls at first? Can't say I heard that one before. To describe it as bizarre would be like saying this winter was a tad chilly with a few snowflakes. I had to double check before writing this to make sure it wasn't an April fools joke.

Keep reading...

Winner announced for Phillies tickets!

We have our winner!

Karen Schumann Seveland Weisenberger is the winner of a pair of tickets to see the Phillies play the Mets on April 30!

By liking us on Facebook this week fans had a chance to win the tickets and Karen is our lucky winner.

Karen, please send your info via the Contact Page or send an email to contact@philsbaseball.com to claim your winnings. Please provide your mailing address and we will mail the tickets to you.

Congratulations Karen!

If you haven't already, you can like us by logging in to your Facebook account and clicking the Like button on our our Facebook page.

Blame Amaro, not Papelbon for his declining performance
by Scott Butler 4/3/14

While it is easy to pile on the Phillies closer for his heinous blown save yesterday, let’s leave Jonathan Papelbon alone for a second.

Papelbon is an easy target right now. Pappy had no command of his pitches yesterday, never found the strike zone, and lacked any mound presence. It's hard not to yell, "I didn't sign up for this" as you toss a bag of Cheetos at the screen and recall his attacks on the clubhouse, the team, and the front office last season. But is that really the proper reaction?

We can blame him personally for not living up to his $50 million contract, but let’s face it, velocity has EVERYTHING to do with his struggles since last season. And is that his fault? If we discover he has not been preparing hard or taking care of his body properly (and I haven't heard any reports of that being the case), his body is doing what most bodies do as they age.

Instead of killing Pappy, I would like to take our blame and redirect it towards the real problem which is the hopefully soon-to-be free agent general manager. 

Keep reading...

One lineup says a lot about Ryne Sandberg
by Scott Butler 3/31/14

In case you didn’t notice, there is a new sheriff in town.  Spring Training, which was previously held at The Charlie Manuel Resort and Spa in Clearwater, moved across the street this season to the Ryne Sandberg Center, a combination boot camp/penitentiary. 

Ryne Sandberg is not Charlie Manuel.  They are about as far apart as Larry Bowa who proceeded Charlie.

When asked about the difference between his style and Charlie Manuel’s, Sandberg avoided mentioning Charlie’s name. “I don’t really need to compare myself to anybody,” Sandberg said on the WIP morning show.

When describing his approach to managing, Sandberg said, “I just have my style, I have my way of doing it and that’s the way it has to be. I have my way of doing things.”

Keep reading...

Like Phils Baseball on Facebook for a chance to win Phillies tickets!

In anticipation of Opening Day, Phils Baseball is giving away a pair of tickets to a Phillies game!

Like us on Facebook between now and 4pm on Friday and your name will be automatically entered into our contest to win a pair of tickets to the Phillies/Mets game at Citizens Bank Park on April 30th. Anyone who has already Liked us is already included.

To Like us, simply log in to your Facebook account and click the Like button on our our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

Phillies Opening Day 2014

Opening Day 2014

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Texas Rangers
March 31, 2014 2:05pm

Get your fix at Phils Baseball with full coverage of Phillies Opening Day 2014

Phillies Opening Day Articles

Phillies Opening Day history

Here's a little Opening Day trivia for the 132nd Opening Day in Phillies history.

Team hitting and pitching stats in Spring Training rarely reflect regular season numbers. Here is some proof.

Cliff Lee is amazingly making only his second career start, showing how underrated the lefty is.

Phillies 2014 Opening Day Lineup

Ben Revere - CF
Jimmy Rollins - SS
Chase Utley - 2B
Ryan Howard - 1B
Marlon Byrd - RF
Domonic Brown - DH
Carlos Ruiz - C
Cody Asche - 3B
Tony Gwynn - LF

Cliff Lee - SP

Opening Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Monday, Mar 31 - at Texas - 2:05pm
Starting Pitcher: Cliff Lee

Tuesday, Apr 1 - at Texas - 8:05pm
Starting Pitcher: AJ Burnett

Wednesday, Apr 2 - at Texas - 8:05pm
Starting Pitcher: Kyle Kendrick

Take a look back at previous opening day rosters

Phillies 2014 Opening Day 25-Man Active Roster

Pitchers

Antonio Bastardo
AJ Burnett
Justin De Fratus
Jake Diekman
Roberto Hernandez
Mario Hollands
Kyle Kendrick
Cliff Lee
Brad Lincoln
Jeff Manship
Jonathan Papelbon
BJ Rosenberg

Catchers

Wil Nieves
Carlos Ruiz

Infielders

Cody Asche
Cesar Hernandez
Ryan Howard
Jayson Nix
Jimmy Rollins
Chase Utley

Outfielders

Domonic Brown
Marlon Byrd
Tony Gwynn
John Mayberry
Ben Revere

Phillies rumors week of March 23-29
by Scott Butler 3/30/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of March 23-29:

Keep reading...

Comcast not to blame for possible surcharges
by Scott Butler 3/30/14

When your cable bill rises soon or you can no longer watch the Phillies because your cable/satellite provider dropped them due a new surcharge Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia is seeking, you might consider dialing 1-800-COMCAST to scream at somebody, anybody. Maybe you will consider sending a nasty email or letter to Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast. I certainly would not discourage you and would applaud your efforts, but your anger will be misplaced.

People and businesses are driven by greed and they will do whatever they can to earn more and more. That is human nature and, more importantly, the obligation of a publicly traded corporation.  Yes, that is right, a publicly traded corporation is legally obligated to put the needs of its stockholders above all else. It might be a scummy move when CSN drives up the cable rates for most customers and pushes providers like Direct TV to drop the network altogether, but plenty of other regional sports networks (RSN's) are doing the same thing and they are technically just fulfilling their legal obligation.

Keep reading...

Cliff Lee shaves naked with rainbow T-shirt before starts
by Scott Butler 3/30/14

According to Spanish translator Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz "witnessed Cliff Lee before one of his starts. He was buck naked shaving in front of the shower with a rainbow t-shirt. He was trimming it with one of those nose hair trimmers."

That's just a little snippet of what fans heard yesterday at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce "Inside Pass to the Phillies" event at Citizens Bank Park yesterday.

Keep reading...

Phillies roster and the many layers to outrighting Kevin Frandsen
by Scott Butler 3/26/14

One of the strangest developments of this long Phillies offseason was the announcement Sunday that Kevin Frandsen had been outrighted to Lehigh Valley. Frandsen elected not to accept the assignment and decided to become a free agent, forfeiting his previously guaranteed $900,000 salary. It was a pretty risky move for Frandsen to forgo nearly a million bucks after all teams passed on him, but the risk paid off. According to the Washington Post, the Nationals will pay him “at least $900,000 and worth up $1.2 million with bonuses, according to a person familiar with the situation.”

It was a peculiar development for several reasons.

First, the Phillies thought highly enough of Frandsen to guarantee his salary, which is not a common occurrence with arbitration eligible players. It was obviously a cost saving measure, but it also limited their options if he performed poorly or a better option came along in Spring Training.

Keep reading...

Jayson Stark wants to frighten you about the Phillies
by Scott Butler 3/23/14

If injuries to Hamels, Ruf, and Galvis don't get you down, or the team's MLB worst 7-15 record, or the abysmal hitting from nearly everyone, this is sure to put you in a bad mood.

Jayson Stark's latest post provided comments on the Phillies from several scouts, and you may want to look away because this is some scary stuff.

Keep reading...

Phillies rumors week of March 16-22
by Scott Butler 3/23/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of March 16-22:

Keep reading...

With Jimmy Rollins, it’s immaturity for everyone
by Scott Butler 3/22/14

I think I found the perfect way for a regular fan to help the Phillies win. Become a local reporter for the Braves or Nationals. Then pick out a veteran star on that team and post an article about a controversial topic from an anonymous source. Then do nothing and watch as the local media picks up the story, creates an uproar from fans, causes radio shows to discuss it, and forces the player, his teammates, and management to respond to it.  Done correctly, it can tear right through a locker room like an airborne illness.

That is exactly what occurred when Buster Olney masterfully created a mini controversy with the following line from his story last week you all have heard of by now:

Keep reading...

Playing Pepper 2014: Philadelphia Phillies
by Scott Butler 3/20/14

Each year, Daniel Shoptaw from C70 At the Bat asks bloggers from around baseball to do a little Q&A regarding their teams heading into the new season. As much as I truly despise the Cardinals, I didn't hold that against him and offered up my thoughts on the Phils. That's just the kind of stand up guy I am.

Here are my answers and you can click here for the rest of the responses.

Keep reading...

Phillies rumors week of March 10-15
by Scott Butler 3/16/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of March 10-15:

Keep reading...

Enjoy a day with the Phillies
3/9/14

Here is your chance to get up close and personal with the Phillies. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce has sponsored a pretty cool event for Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park on March 28. Your day begins with food and drink service in the Diamond Club at 2:30 pm (included in ticket price). From 2:45 to 3:45 you will attend autograph/photo sessions and a question-and-answer session with Phillies players. At 3:05 you will go on the field at Citizens Bank Park for an on field presentation (weather permitting) until 4:30.

Also included is a game ticket for the On Deck Series exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates beginning at 7:05 pm.

Tickets cost $95 and include the entire pre-game event, game tickets, and free parking in lots T & U off Pattison Avenue for guests who arrive prior to 3:00 pm.  Also, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is offering readers of Phils Baseball $5 off the ticket price. Just enter the code PHILLYBLOG1 on the checkout page before payment and be sure to mention you were referred by PhilsBaseball.com. Click here for full details.

Phillies rumors week of March 2-9
by Scott Butler 3/10/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of March 2-9:

Keep reading...

And the role of Cole Hamels will be played by...
by Scott Butler 3/9/14

If the Phillies somehow win the World Series this season (hey, stop laughing!), stories will abound of how the Phillies proved age is just a number and how the core group once again asserted their dominance and how Ryne Sandberg created a winning atmosphere, yada yada yada. But the real reason for another parade will be the names David Buchanan, Jeff Manship, or Sean O’Sullivan. One of those three pitchers will likely fill the shoes of Cole Hamels in the rotation for who knows how many starts (given the false hope created by Howard, Utley, and Halladay in Springs of Offseason's Past, I'm guessing it's for more than just a couple starts).

These depth signings can often make or break a season. Just imagine 2007 without Tadahito Iguchi or 1993 (if you're old enough) without Kevin Stocker.

Keep reading...

Phillies rumors week of February 23-March 1
by Scott Butler 3/2/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of February 23-March 1:

Keep reading...

Seven months later...Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is real and does exist
by Scott Butler 3/1/14

The eyes of the baseball world were on Steinbrenner Field for the Phillies/Yankees game to watch the debut of the most anticipated international signing...and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez pitched, too.

What once seemed like the highlight of the Phillies Spring schedule, Gonzalez was barely more than a curiosity on a day when the Yankees unveiled for the second time their star international signing, Masahiro Tanaka. Without having seen MAG throw one meaningful pitch, I am close to proclaiming the Gonzalez case closed. Don't expect MAG to become the next MCW or JVR or AI or TO. 

I don’t say that because his mechanics are unsound or his breaking ball doesn’t have enough bite or there isn’t enough zip on his fastball.  That all could be true, totally false, or somewhere in between – nobody knows for sure.  It’s more of a gut feel type of thing based on the way his story has developed.

So let’s recap the story of the 27-year-old Cuban defector.

Keep reading...

MLB's monopolistic blackout rules and a lawsuit that could change everything
by Scott Butler 2/22/14

I recently did the unthinkable and…gasp…cancelled my cable. I watched my Comcast internet and cable bill drop $53 - now all I pay is 8 bucks for Netflix. For a cheap guy like me, there is no greater feeling. 

Of course, I will come crawling back to Comcast in April, begging them to accept my 53 dollars again. Why? Oh, that is simple. If I want to watch the Phillies I have no other choice.

Welcome to Major League Baseball’s blackout rules; a maddening display of how MLB chooses to run their business – preying on the very consumers who pay their bills. Not that this is a surprising revelation. Baseball has conducted business in this fashion all along, taking advantage of an absurd antitrust exemption which allows them to do…well…whatever they want.

Their multi-billion dollar (yes, billion with a ‘b’) TV deals show how easy it is to make money if you don’t need to worry about those burdensome things called ethics.

Baseball is making the kind of cash from their local TV deals to make Scrooge McDuck blush: $8.5 billion for the Dodgers, $3 billion for the Angels, $2.5 billion for the Phillies, and $1.2 billion for the Padres, just to name a few. Don’t mistake these deals as the result of incredible demand – baseball’s attendance, national ratings, and local ratings are actually flat or declining. Instead, these dramatic increases are a response to the reality that live sports are one of the last remaining vestiges in television with a near DVR immunity. The networks and cable companies know this and are trying to reel in the piles of cash while they still can.

Baseball could not reap such rewards without their exploitative broadcast policies which not only affect baseball fans, but every cable and satellite subscriber in America.

So this article is designed to do a few things. I will first give a little background on blackouts and explain how they work. Then I will show how Major League Baseball, with a little help from regional sports networks and cable/satellite providers, is exploiting everyone. Finally, I have the potentially great news of a lawsuit from a bunch of fans that could change everything.

Keep reading...

Phillies rumors week of February 9- 16
by Scott Butler 2/17/14

In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the week of February 9-16:

Keep reading...

Why guarantee Mayberry's contract?
by Scott Butler 2/16/14

I just finished criticizing the player option in Burnett's deal when I realized I almost forgot to mention this headline from a Matt Gelb article that made me want to vomit in a nice, fresh, pile of white snow: John Mayberry Jr., Kevin Frandsen signed guaranteed contracts

Here is a snippet from Gelb's article:

"The majority of contracts for arbitration-eligible players are non-guaranteed, but Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the team extended guarantees to both. Mayberry signed for $1.5875 million this winter while Frandsen agreed to a $900,000 deal. It is possible the Phillies saved money when signing both players by including the guaranteed language."

This has to be a joke. I mean, seriously, the Phillies felt the need to guarantee a contract to John freakin' Mayberry? It is beyond comical at this point. My good buddy Maybuggles hit .227 last season and finished with a -1.1 WAR which ranked him #230 of 237 players with at least 350 plate appearances.

Keep reading...

Burnett's player option could have serious consequences in 2015
by Scott Butler 2/26/14

AJ Burnett's contract is now official at 1 year/$16 million with a $15 million mutual option in 2015. If the Phillies decline the 2015 option, Burnett can exercise a player option for $7.5 million that can escalate to a max of $12.75.

His 2015 player option is troubling.

His option ensures that if Burnett pitches poorly and/or is hurt, the Phillies are guaranteed to pay a 38-year-old pitcher $7.5 million in 2015. Roy Halladay is a likely Hall of Famer who was the runner up for the Cy Young Award just three years ago and at age 36 is still with the Phillies...as a guest instructor. The Phillies have already agreed to pay Burnett a minimum of $7.5 million when he will be two years older than Halladay was last season.

It may sound like I am pinching pennies here. I mean, c'mon, it is $7.5 million for a team that just signed a $2.5 billion TV deal. But $7.5 million severely limits the Phillies options next season.

If Burnett is unable to perform this season, it makes a really, really, bad situation that much worse. Don't believe me? Well consider this:

If the contracts for Rollins and Adams vest and we include the roughly $10 million for player benefits, the Phillies are already locked into $146.5 million towards the luxury tax for 10 players next season. That leaves them with $42.5 million for the remaining 15 players on the active roster before Burnett. But Burnett's $7.5 million drops the Phillies available money under the luxury tax to $35 million for 15 players.

Keep reading...

Burnett signing could have deep ripple effects
by Scott Butler 2/13/14

Hey, it's not our money. Thus concludes my analysis of the AJ Burnett signing.

That is way oversimplifying things, but for a team likely contending for no more than third place, as long as Burnett doesn't cost prospects and won't affect the team after this season, the Phillies can waste their money however they want. That is a big part of why I like the Burnett deal.

The Phillies are better today with the addition of Burnett than they were one day ago. Questions of how much better and does it even matter offer an interesting debate. On the low end of the scale is Keith Law's Phillies Flounder with A.J. Burnett Signing article (requires Insider subscription) in which he thinks the team was so awful to begin with, the signing won't make a hell of a lot of a difference. On the other end is Corey Seidman's opinion that "the addition of Burnett alters the Phillies' entire offseason."

Which opinion is correct doesn't really matter because the Phillies' entire offseason philosophy was little more than hoping to get lucky enough with injuries to keep some fans in the seats.

Keep reading...

Reaction to Moyer and Stairs in Phillies broadcast booth
by Scott Butler 2/12/14

The Phillies have their new broadcast team, adding Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs to the booth. Guess they weren’t old enough for Amaro to add to the Phillies 40-man roster – oh snap!

Here’s my gut reaction to the moves:

Jamie Moyer has forgotten more about pitching than I will ever know. I would love to spend the day/week/month with Jamie Moyer. Wait...don’t laugh...it’s not what you think...I want to talk pitching with him. Anyhow, he brings a lot of smarts to the table. But I remember him as being a nice guy but really, really boring. We’re talking boring enough to plan naps around boring. Some players act completely different when they are no longer playing, but I'm not so sure that is the case with Jamie Moyer.

Matt Stairs is the exact opposite. He is a guy I would love to hang out with for about 4 hours a night/2 days a week/between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am/on the days between Thursday and Sunday. I mean, the dude pounded 2 beers simultaneously at the Wing Bowl. And he smashed quite possibly the biggest home run in Phillies history.

 

Keep reading...

Baseball should be stripped of antitrust exemption
by Scott Butler 2/9/14

With several MLB teams signing multi-billion dollar television contracts, business is good for baseball owners. Despite plummeting national TV ratings and flatlining or declining local ratings last season, local TV money has gone berserk.

How is MLB able to do it? Part of the answer is not something the owners want publicized: it is baseball’s antitrust exemption.

What are antitrust laws?

Antitrust laws are statutes developed by the U.S. Government to protect consumers from monopolistic business practices and ensure fair competition exists. Or, as the Federal Trade Commission describes it, “These laws promote vigorous competition and protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers and business practices.” (2) These laws were made official by Congress through the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

How baseball gained their antitrust exemption

Keep reading...

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2011 Phillies Playoff Central 2011 Phillies Playoff Central