In hindsight, the Phillies probably didn’t do anything wrong. It just feels that way. And the cowardly way they handled the backlash is what will get them in far more trouble than the actual act itself.
The story: two draft picks of the Phillies in 2013 basically changed their minds. They decided to return to school instead of signing with the Phillies and taking the sizable monetary bonuses that come with it.
Ben Wetzler, the Phillies 5th-round draft pick, and Jason Monda, the team’s 6th-round pick, both declined signing with the Phillies to return to school and play in the NCAA for another season. The Phillies, who were in negotiations with both players, subsequently turned in both athletes for using financial advisors in the negotiation process, a violation of NCAA policy. Wetzler has been suspended for 20 percent of the Oregon State season as a result. Monda was just cleared to play a week ago after the Phillies tried a similar method. Read the rest of this entry »
It has already been a busy week or so at Phillies spring training. Obviously, the Phillies made a splash by signing A.J. Burnett on the same day that pitchers and catchers reported to Clearwater. But many things have happened since the start of spring training worth noting.
It has been a little while since I’ve been able to write about some of the issues. So here’s a brief rundown on some of the news items with my thoughts below. Read the rest of this entry »
Jonathan Papelbon will always be the outspoken member of the Phillies teams in decline. As the team failed through the middle of the season, Papelbon started to struggle on a regular basis. And finally, when the Phillies looked as incompetent as possible, Papelbon snapped.
Papelbon’s now famous quote – “I definitely didn’t come here for this.” – stood out as one of the important moments in the season.
So when Cole Hamels said during the offseason that there was a lack of leadership in the clubhouse last season, it certainly appeared that fingers were being pointed. Somebody wasn’t being a team guy. It was easy to assume that person was Papelbon.
On Monday, Papelbon addressed the media for the first time this spring. His comments started about clubhouse leadership and being a leader to the team. Read the rest of this entry »
The newest member of the Phillies, pitcher A.J. Burnett, arrived in Clearwater on Sunday and reported to Phillies camp for the first time. His one-year, $16 million contract was finalized on Sunday morning.
The deal also includes a mutual option for $15 million in 2015 and also a limited no-trade clause. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if the Phillies choose to decline the mutual option.
On Sunday afternoon, Burnett was introduced alongside GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Ryne Sandberg. Read the rest of this entry »
An iconic leader in Phillies history is gone.
Manager Jim Fregosi, who led the 1993 Phillies to the World Series, suffered a stroke last weekend while on a Major League Baseball alumni cruise. He was hospitalized in the Cayman Islands after being stabilized.
Word of Fregosi’s condition reached the world of baseball earlier this week. On Thursday, Fergosi was taken off life support after multiple strokes and passed away early Friday at the age of 71. Read the rest of this entry »
In the wake of early spring injury news, the Phillies finally made a splash in the offseason. The Phillies and pitcher A.J. Burnett have agreed to a one-year, $16 million deal for the 2014 season.
Burnett has been on the free-agent market for months and was even debating retirement at one point. It was rumored the only team he would pitch for was the Pittsburgh Pirates, Burnett’s 2013 team. However, the Phillies managed to stay in the race for the right-hander, and signed him on Wednesday.
Burnett is a career 147-132 with a 3.99 ERA and 2,180 strikeouts in his 15-year career. The 37-year-old was 10-11 last season with a 3.30 ERA and 209 strikeouts.
Burnett has also pitched for the Marlins, Blue Jays and Yankees in his career.
The signing comes in the wake of news that Cole Hamels will not be ready on Opening Day due to shoulder tendinitis. Hamels hopes to be ready for the first week of the season.
That said, the Phillies, who already lacked starting pitching depth, certainly needed to make a desperate push for another starter, and preferably one that is a household name.
Burnett fits the bill and manages to give the Phillies an additional boost to the rotation.
About a week ago, it was reported that the Phillies could go with two new faces in the broadcast booth to replace Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews. When the pair was re-assigned to other positions within the organization, it was reported that Comcast would choose one person to serve as color analyst with Tom McCarthy in the Phillies television broadcast booth.
It appears that just days before spring training begins, the Phillies have made their decision. Former Phillies and members of the 2008 World Champions Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs will join the broadcast team in 2014 according to Dennis Deitch of the Delco Daily Times. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to actually sit down and write about this, but I’m finally making the time.
The weather has been killing us. Typical of baseball sometimes, the weather has forced us to postpone a few classes. Our second week was finally held last Wednesday but some things have gotten in the way. This week, we had to postpone another week.
Day 2 of Baseball and the American Tradition was all about the origins of the game of baseball.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 1839. As far as many of us know, that is the story of how baseball was born.
However, there is far more to it than that story. Read the rest of this entry »
For anyone who has followed the site faithfully from it’s humble beginnings in 2009, you know that I am a baseball lover, forever a student of the game, with a healthy respect – but often times opinion – on where we’re going, where we’ve been and where we are now.
As the years have progressed, I have shifted many of my articles from being just about the Phillies to being about baseball in general. I am fascinated with the history of the game. I am skeptical of the future, at least until I see it work for the good of baseball, which so far has worked well. And the present, simply being able to watch a game is perfection.
So when this student of the game, working every day to find a career in the sports field, learned of a college course that would allow me to learn about baseball in every form, I was instantly hooked.
That class began on Wednesday, and I’m posting about it here because I can’t help but share my experiences and learnings with everyone who reads the site. My hope is that whatever I can share with you will help you gain a greater understanding for the game of baseball the way I have come to know and love the game while keeping myself open to always learning more. Read the rest of this entry »
Every year, the Baseball Writers Association of America sends out the annual Hall of Fame ballot to esteemed media members who have the privilege of decided who deserves enshrinement in Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In the last two years, the process may have proven more flawed than ever before.
Last year, when the writers elected no players to the Hall in the first year of eligibility for the likes of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, I couldn’t agree more with what they had done.
There is a distinct honor to being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa had garnered too much negative attention to the game to be honored in such a way. The speculation killed everyone else’s chances. Craig Biggio finished his career with 3,000+ hits. How do we know he was clean? Mike Piazza may be the best hitting catcher ever. How do we know he was clean? Curt Schilling may be the greatest postseason pitcher of all-time. How do we know he was clean?
We don’t. That’s where this discussion begins. Read the rest of this entry »