Category: Phillies (page 1 of 400)

Phillies Place 2nd in Pre-Season (uniform) Power Rankings

all Phillies uniforms

The second best… uniforms in 2015!

Not all pundits are down on the Phillies this season.  First, FOX Sports said they just might have a chance (remember that when they win 10 of 11 in mid-August… before finishing September 4-a whole lot). Now, ESPN’s and‘s Paul Lukas unveiled his 2015 MLB uniform power rankings, putting the Phillies in the rarefied air of second place, right behind the St. Louis Cardinals who were last year’s top-ranked team…er, uniform. Moving up from last year’s number four finish wasn’t easy. It required the A’s to replace the solid yellow “A’s” on their road hat with a white “A’s” with yellow stroke and plummet five (five!) spots and the Cubs to drop from their #2 spot by committing the ever rare “subtraction by addition” error with a questionably necessary new grey jersey (somewhat of a trend, with the Dodgers also doing that) but pairing it with unquestionably unnecessary alternate pants. As you can tell, uniform ranking is a science, people. Elsewhere in the list, there are no real surprises, though you’ll find some teams with “classic” designs such as the White Sox, Twins, and Astros are placed lower than you might expect if you consider “classic” to be a synonym for “good.”

As for the Phillies #2 placement, I get it, but I’m not sure I agree. Top ten, definitely. Top three, maybe not. They have a similar issue as to what the White Sox face. They chose to go for a classic design in the early 90s and (eventually) had success with it. Sure, it’s a 21st century sports business accomplishment that the Phillies still don’t have a red alternate for the regular season (batting practice jerseys worn in spring training don’t count), and the equally classic cream/no pin stripe day game uniform was a shot in the arm their uniforms needed in 2008, but then we had a World (F’ing) Championship to talk about instead of uniforms. Do they need to be changed or updated? Well, no, not for for the sake of change. They don’t have that “90s smell” that the Eagles put on every week, but is what seems like timelessness a reason to stay the course? No one is saying a full re-design is necessary. How about dropping the pinstripes from the home whites (great up close, useless from any type of distance)? What about an alternate jersey with the current “P” logo on the chest instead of “Phillies?” Hmm… that sounds familiar. What about a throwback to the 70s and 80s maroon/”burgundy” design but with regular appearances on the schedule?  What about a regularly-scheduled forgotten throwback? There’s lots of history to draw from, but their current uniform stakes a claim for huge chunks of time: 1950-1969 and 1992-2015+. Effectively, they’ve worn this same uniform for more than 40 years of their history! That sounds Yankee-esque. We’re not the Yankees, darn it. And that’s reason enough for a change. Argue below.


The Phillies Are the Only Local Major Pro Team Not Present at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

I don't know what I'm doing!

I don’t know what I’m doing!

Congratulations to the Phillies, the most analytically-challenged team in sports, owners of a new computer, who are once again absent from the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference– the preeminent sports analytics gathering on this planet we call Earth. They are the only one of the four major Philly sports teams not present, according to Derek Bodner, who says even Drexel, Pepperdine and Etsy(!!!) have represents there.

Of course, the last time the Phillies attended an analytics conference (that we’re aware of), in 2013, they sent three representatives to the Philly SABR convention– David Montgomery, Gary Matthews and Brad Lidge. It was there that Montgomery talked about “character.” A few months later the team signed Marlon Byrd.

UPDATE: To clarify the headline, which may have been misleading, the Union aren’t present either. I still don’t count them as a major local pro team. Sorry.


Fox Sports Cruelly Says the Phillies Have a Chance this Year

Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Phillies season is going to be a bad one. It’s going to be a long one. It’s going to be a depressing one. But, what if it’s not? I mean, it 100% will be, but Fox Sports suggests that maybe it won’t be.

Just to illustrate how far we’ve fallen, Jeff Sullivan’s Fox Sports piece about teams outperforming expectations is titled “Every Single Team Has a Chance … Yes, Even the Phillies.” It burns. Sullivan used a bunch of methods to grab projections for every team, and then, he found the actual win totals for teams in history projected to win that many games. It’s fairly simple. And what false hope does he have to feed?

No one’s projected for a worse record than the Phillies. But, our sample includes 300 team-seasons. In eight of those, a team exceeded its projected win total by at least 16. That’s just about 3 percent. Another 9 percent have exceeded projected win totals by 11-15. We shouldn’t overstate these magnitudes; most of the time, teams still fall much closer to their projections. But optimism isn’t always balanced and rational. The key to optimism is legitimate hope, and there’s enough for even Phillies fans to grasp onto, if they so desire.

You know what? I don’t desire. This season is going to be long and bad and depressing (I think I said that already) and the last thing I need is any false sense of hope that if they just string like 15 wins or so together right after the All-Star break, they’ll be right back in it. Get outta here. And really, if you need any evidence that this is all smoke and mirrors, check how Sullivan closes his piece:

And if it can be said the Phillies have a chance, it can be said that everyone has a chance, because no one looks worse than the Phillies. Not the Braves, not the Twins, not the Diamondbacks, not anybody else. Jonathan Papelbon might be the most optimistic player in the Philadelphia clubhouse at the moment, but there’s at least some support, beyond it just being forgivable to have a sunny attitude in February.

Bullshit. Papelbon isn’t even the most optimistic player in the room when he’s the only player in the room.


The Phillies Bought a Computer


On the day after ABC aired an episode of Modern Family, a major prime time sitcom, that was set on a Macbook screen and shot entirely on an iPhone, we learned that the Phillies entered the 21st century by buying a computer.

David Murphy, reporting on the most analytically-challenged team in all of major American professional sports:

Perhaps most significant, the Phillies are investing more than a million dollars in the building of a proprietary computer information system they hope will play a similar role to the Red Sox’ well-known Carmine system, serving as a database for scouting reports, medical histories, statistical models, and more.

The Cubs began building their own computer system in 2012, shortly after luring Theo Epstein, the man who built Boston’s formidable analytics prowess, away from the Red Sox and naming him president. One of Epstein’s early moves was to sign Cuban prospect Jorge Soler to a 9-year, $30 million contract. Compared with the $63 million the Red Sox committed to the signing of Yoan Moncada, maybe you can put a price tag on prescience.

“We haven’t gotten to the point where we want to get to yet,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “but we are making that transition and adding to our arsenal, as far as information is concerned. It’s not the first time we’re dealing with it. We’ve utilized analytics in the past, but we’re putting a little bit more emphasis on it and we’re trying to be creative with it.”

Thus far, Ruben hasn’t yet been able to clear the 9×9 cell level of Minesweeper,” added a high-level front office exec with knowledge of Amaro’s computing habits. “But, we’re working on it.”

Joke’s aside, this is a good thing, I guess? Better late than never, right? Problem is: As long as Ruben Amaro and Pat Gillick are in charge (Gillick was quoted as saying “We won five years in a row, and we don’t consider ourselves an analytic organization”), this is never going to become a thing. Just the mindset of we won without them before is flawed, because it fails to consider the fact that, within the last five years, virtually every team has started using analytics, thus putting the Phillies at an extreme disadvantage. Without front office changes, their buying a big, fancy computer is like a phone booth maker adding a cell phone charging station inside its latest model and calling it a day. This should solve our problems! Just need a minor adjustment here. Right back on track!


ABC’s The Goldbergs Paid a Visit to “The Vet” Last Night

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After being denied permission to visit fake Veterans Stadium, getting permission to visit fake Veterans stadium, and tackling Eagles/Cowboys fan love (a lot for one season), ABC’s The Goldbergs finally visited the lovable hell hole last night.

The whole episode was an homage to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as the Goldberg crew visited the Vet (standing in for Wrigley) and caught a foul ball, Bartman-style:

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All in all, it doesn’t specifically scream “Hey, it’s The Vet” other than that guy behind them shoving food into his mouth, but we’ll take it. Video after the jump.

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Pat Burrell Will Be Inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame, Your Woman’s Heart


The Phillies announced today that Pat Burrell will be inducted into their Wall of Fame:

Left fielder Pat Burrell will become the 37th inductee into the Phillies Wall of Fame on Friday, July 31, prior to the 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

“It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to be added to the Wall next to Philly’s all-time greats,” said Burrell. “My family and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support from fans. Their votes are the reason that I will now be enshrined in Phillies history.”

Can’t wait.

Side note: I have it on good authority that the last time Burrell was honored in Philly, in May of 2011 to retire as a Phillie, he invited the guys responsible for the don’t let your girl get Burrelled video to the game… and spent the days and weeks before and after it texting the girl from the video, who was dating one of the guys in the group. So, yeah, Burrell was trying to Burrell (v.) the girl in the video about him Burrelling girls. God he’s a legend.


Chase Utley Opened Spring Training with an F-Bomb and an Ankle Injury

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Note to Chase: Hashtagging emojis doesn’t really work out.

Chase Utley showed up for his press conference – part of the Phillies’ annual ritual of rolling out their aged veterans to the press – at Spring Training in Clearwater today and did two things he’s good at: He cursed and he told people he was injured. Utley stepped on a baseball while fielding grounders in January and is currently still healing from the resulting ankle sprain. But his knees, which are the knees of a 75-year-old man, are doing just fine.

But it’s not just his legs that scream “old man”– it’s also his use of technology. The video after the jump, via CSN, shows Chase trying (and failing) more than once to take a panoramic shot of the assembled media on his iPhone. When he couldn’t, he let out a hearty “fuck,” before asking if they he was on live TV yet. He wasn’t, but it’s not like that mattered before. Hashtag winkyface. Still handsome, though.

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The Red Sox Signed Another Cuban Guy Who the Phillies Ostensibly Had Interest In

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After missing the boat on Yasmany Tomas by not even making him an offer, and doing the same with Rusney Castillo, the Phillies have check-swung and missed on yet another Cuban defector: Yoan Moncada.

Though the players have come with varying levels of hype, Moncada had the “phenom” tag draped over him, and he will join Castillo as a member of the Boston Red Sox as they once again turn their roster over just in time to win another World Series in, like, three years.

Moncada comes with some baggage, however, as signing him would have seen the Phillies incur penalties for going over their “annual international bonus allotment.” But the Red Sox, ready to make deals and actually go for something, also surpassed their bonus allotment in signing Moncada and will just deal with it. Moncada’s contract is believed to be around $30 million, but it will cost the Red Sox $60 million, though they have some time to pay all of that.

It’s not like the goal here is collecting Cuban players (or maybe it is for the Red Sox). But, say, the Red Sox stockpiling Cubans shows that certain organizations — everyone but the Phillies, seemingly — are willing to take risks on youth and talent. While down at Citizens Bank Park, the strategy seems more wait and wait and wait and wait and see now it’s too late.

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