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One simple solution to Phillies front office confusion
by Scott Butler 12/14/14

Phillies 2014 MLB Winter Meetings

Now that Jimmy Rollins has been traded, who is next? Is it Cole Hamels? How about Howard? Or Byrd? Or Papelbon?

I have a better and perhaps more important question. Was John Middleton present at the Winter Meetings and how active was he? Discover that answer and you can begin to carve out a path for the Phillies future.

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Phillies rumors: Winter Meetings Day 3
by Scott Butler 12/10/14

Jimmy Rollins has been traded! And so was Antonio Bastardo. Here is all the chatter from a big day for the Phillies at the Winter Meetings via MLB Trade Rumors:

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Phillies rumors: Winter Meetings edition - through Day 2
by Scott Butler 12/9/14

MLB Trade Rumors is a site which describes themselves as "a clearinghouse for relevant, legitimate baseball rumors." Each week at Phils Baseball, we grab the latest rumors from their Phillies rumors page and put it all together in one weekly post.

Here is the Winter Meetings edition through the second day:

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Four words from Tomas' agent creates many questions
by Scott Butler 12/7/14

I'm a little behind the times on this story (OK, a lot behind), but I wanted to revisit a story last week with comments from Jay Alou, the agent for Yasmany Tomas.

Sometimes the smallest of comments can be the most revealing.  Matt Gelb explained in his post how the Phillies did not make an offer to Yasmany Tomas, the Cuban defector the Phillies were once frontrunners to land as a free agent.

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Traded or not, Marlon Byrd is a good comeback story
by Scott Butler 12/6/14

Marlon Byrd Phillies

I mentioned a couple weeks ago how it is almost a guarantee that Marlon Byrd will be traded. With the Winter Meetings just two days away, it could happen very soon. Before he goes, I think it is important to look back at a player with a pretty remarkable comeback story.

When Ruben Amaro signed Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract with a third year option on November 12 last year, the move seemed destined to fail. At the time of the signing, Byrd was just one season removed from a 2012 campaign in which he was hitting just .210 on June 25, the day his season ended when he was busted for PED's. He tested positive for using a drug that contained Tamoxifen, which supposedly masks the use of steroids.

Byrd was suspended for 50 games and played the rest of the season in Mexico before signing with the Mets for $700,000 the following season. He subsequently posted an .847 OPS in 2013 and ranked 11th in the NL with 24 home runs combined with the Mets and Pirates. 2013 was a breakout season for Byrd, who set career highs in home runs (24), slugging percentage (.511), and OPS (.847).

At the age of 36, when players are typically in decline, Byrd was setting career marks.

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Phillies rumors through December 4
by Scott Butler 12/5/14

MLB Trade Rumors is a site which describes themselves as "a clearinghouse for relevant, legitimate baseball rumors." Each week at Phils Baseball, we grab the latest rumors from their Phillies rumors page and put it all together in one weekly post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the past week:

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The latest from Jayson Stark on the Phillies
by Scott Butler 11/28/14

If you want a national writer with major connections, the craziest stats you can imagine, a good pulse on the Phillies, and an unbiased opinion from a guy very much biased towards the Phils, you want Jayson Stark. And when your home team is involved in major trade rumors, it gets no better than Mr. Stark.

Jayson had some really interesting stuff on the Rollins to Yankees rumors and a lot on Hamels, but let's start with that Cuban jerk who dared not to sign with the Phillies and ruined any chance of the Phillies winning ever again - see that's what we call a biased opinion. Stark didn't have much on Tomas, but I just wanted to get that last line out. Here is one post on twitter:

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The Ruben Grinder

Ruben Amaro Ruben Grinder

We are serving up something deliciously awful here at Phils Baseball and it is called the Ruben Grinder. What is the Ruben Grinder?

Ruben Grinder Menu

In blog form, the Ruben Grinder is a page devoted to everything Ruben Amaro. Let's put him through the grinder and see what comes out.

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Tomas? No thanks, please pass the stuffing
by Scott Butler 11/27/14

Yasmany Tomas

You've been dreading this moment all year. It starts at the head of the table with Uncle Harry giving his 10 minute spiel on all the wonderful things to be thankful for. Then he passes the drumstick around until it finally gets to you at the little kids table where you stand up wearing Gramma's ugly white knitted sweater with the globlet of gravy stain still ever present from 10 years ago. This year, it will be as awkward and painful as ever, but at least now you have one less thing to be thankful for.

No Yasmany Tomas.

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Phillies rumors through November 25
by Scott Butler 11/26/14

MLB Trade Rumors is a site which describes themselves as "a clearinghouse for relevant, legitimate baseball rumors." Each week at Phils Baseball, we grab the latest rumors from their Phillies rumors page and put it all together in one weekly post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors from the past week:

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Howard's family battle hard to imagine
by Scott Butler 11/23/14

Ryan Howard asked us last season if we wanted to switch places with him. If he asked that question now, I might have to say no. OK, well, yeah, I'm totally taking that money, but now that Howard's legal battle has essentially ended his relationship with his brother Corey and his parents, it would certainly cause me to hesitate at least for a second or two.

In the eleven years Howard has been with the Phillies organization, I read plenty of stories about his wonderful upbringing. Take the families of Eric Lindros and Donovan McNabb, remove the whininess and nastiness, and you have the family of Ryan Howard.

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Details of Ryan Howard lawsuit more than disturbing
by Scott Butler 11/23/14

Court documents from Ryan Howard's legal battle reveal sad family details

When Ryan Howard's Phillies contract expires in 2017, he will have amassed a wealth of over $190 million in career earnings. But, as many star athletes have discovered, there is a price for such a fortune. For Ryan Howard, his financial success may have cost him his family.

David Murphy wrote this week about a legal battle in which Ryan Howard's brother Corey sued him for over $2.7 million. Murphy presents the sad and sobering tale, but reading the actual legal documents is far more disturbing. Howard's case is similar to most, filled with lots of legal jargon, but it also gives a surprisingly descriptive and clear account of how everything went down.

So I present to you the key items directly from the legal documents in the exact order they appear along with a few brief comments from myself in italics. I will admit this is a bit long, but the descriptions, especially those in Ryan's Counter Claim, give a solid account of this disappointing case.

We begin with Corey's lawsuit followed by Ryan's Counter Claim and Ryan's Second Counter Claim.

Here is the original lawsuit:

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