Category: Phillies (page 1 of 368)

EXCLUSIVE: Ruben Amaro’s Gmail Inbox Leaked!

Faux Gmail (Ruben)_v2

[Click to enlarge]

By: Kyle Scott, Jim Adair, Dan Hays
Design: Matt MacMillan

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Cliff Lee Could Reportedly be Dealt Past the Trade Deadline, Or You Know, Not at All

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Just extending the misery of not knowing what the hell Ruben is going to do, Buster Olney pointed out that Cliff Lee would likely clear waivers after the trade deadline due to the amount of money he is owed. This also gives Ruben more time to “evaluate” and OH GOD WON’T SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP.


The MLB Could Make the Shift Illegal Just in Time for Ryan Howard to Stop Hitting the Ball Altogether

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Well, could but probably won’t. Over at, Tom Verducci presents his case for the introduction of an “illegal defense” rule:

“Support of an ‘illegal defense’ rule – or at least the consideration of it – is gaining some traction in baseball. Such a rule might stipulate, for instance, that you cannot have three infielders on one side of second base. A shortstop would be able to shift as far as directly behind second base on a lefthanded hitter, but no farther.

Is it time for such a rule? My gut reaction is that it is time to at least think about it. All-fields hitting needs to increase.”

Of course, a change like this would likely take a few years to actually go into effect, and the blame for hitting into the shift could also be placed on one-dimensional hitters who were never taught or told or trained to hit to all-fields. But nahhhh … RULE CHANGE. For once, the most egregious example of the one-dimensional pull-hitter isn’t our boy Ryan (though if Ryan Howard adds that check-swing-opposite-field-bloop above to his repertoire, this won’t even be necessary):

“Because the inverse does not hold true – you can’t put the shortstop in short leftfield because the throw is too long – shifts are killing one type of hitter in particular: the lefthanded pull hitter with little speed. The most obvious example this year is Chris Davis of Baltimore. He hit .402 last year on balls in play to the pull field. This year, with shifts against him becoming more frequent and extreme, he is hitting .186 on balls in play when he pulls them.”

This isn’t all the fault of the shift, as Verducci points out, also placing blame (or credit) at the feet of “increased velocity from pitchers; the popularity of the two seamer/cutter combination; the winking acceptance of substances such as lotion and pine tar to help spin the ball; and the depth of bullpens [which] have helped make hitting harder than at any time in the DH era.”

You can put Ryan Howard’s drop-off in batting average on balls hit into the pull field on injuries or age or whatever you want — Verducci put Howard’s 2010 .364 average against his .207 2014 average — since I’m pretty sure defenses have been shifting on Howard since before 2010. But there is a trend among the other hitters sampled, including Beltran, Teixeira, Choo, Ortiz, and more. “The shift is driving to extinction the lefthanded .300 hitter with power,” Verducci says, “In 1999, 13 lefthanded hitters batted at least .300 with 25 home runs. This year, there is only one such hitter on that pace.”

Verducci sees a bigger problem in pace-of-play (as do many fans) but says the MLB is unlikely to adopt any rules that would significantly impact that. So, is it time to break the shift?

“We can all sit here and pretend nothing is wrong and count on the natural ‘ebbs and flows’ of the game to self-correct the decline in offense. Or we can do what the lords of baseball have done many times when offense was down, such as outlawing the spitball and putting a clean baseball in play (1920), lowering the mound (1969) and introducing the DH (1973): we can update the rules.”

Or, just making Joe Maddon illegal may have the same effect.


Twitter Reacts to Roy Halladay’s Love of Chase Utley

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Roy loves Chase and you love Roy for loving Chase. Your best Tweets, after the jump.

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From Doc, who may seriously be very drunk right now [compiled from a series of Tweets, with mild edits for readability]:

I struggle writing this due to the privacy of a man of integrity and the definition of a baseball player. In the video room in the stadium you will find a row of heart and hustle trophies with Chase’s name. Not because somebody chose to display them but rather a junk drawer of sorts for a man who although appreciates the honor and plays the game for all the right reasons! Not to be seen or heard or for attention. No look at me see how or any of the me-first mentality taking over all parts of baseball, sports, etc. One of my greatest honors was putting my heart and hustle trophy alongside the definition of the award. There must be one on every team. I’ve seen two in my life: Scott Rolen, and most of all, Chase Utley! The award has lost meaning. It’s normally given to the guy having the best year. But if you could somehow measure that in a man, Chase is run away from the pack! What’s really sad is some are busy patting themselves on the back and missing what a true baseball player is! I kid you not when he talked to me on the field I got goosebumps every time! Please encourage your friends, family, most of all your kids to be like chase! #26&chooch!

I have no words. Only tears.

UPDATE: As reader John points out, it’s entirely possible Roy Halladay misread the Chase Headley trade, which would make this all the more adorable:

UPDATE 2: It was in response to Chase winning his fifth Phillies Heart and Hustle Award.


The Phillies are Reportedly Telling Teams That Cole Hamels Isn’t Going Anywhere

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One down, everyone else to go … or … stay. For his part, Ruben Amaro said today that no one is “untouchable,” and he now has nine days to prove that.


Who Passed It Better: Lee or Papelbon?

[Gotta hit the audio button in the corner.]

Strong efforts from both Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon, but I think I got to go with Lee. I don’t know. I feel like his had a nice mix of moisture and depth that is difficult to produce, especially on-command. There’s no doubt that he was aided by the CSN microphone, which has a wider audio spectrum (deeper deeps and wetter wets) than the undisclosed reporter’s recorder on which Papelbon’s expulsion was captured, but Lee’s just had more force. It was perhaps a shart. Papelbon’s sounded like a cardboard box being ripped and lacked bass in the same way the stereo system in your mom’s car lacks bass, because she “just wanted it to sound loud.” You don’t need to be an audiophile to shake your damn head at that approach.

What says you?

Lee Papelbon fart
Who passed it better?


Your 2014 Philadelphia Phillies!


Cliff Lee’s No-Trade List is Revealed, But It Really Doesn’t Mean Much

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Scouts watching Lee last night, via (@M_Coca_COLA)

Jerry Crasnick, writing for, reports on the nine teams Cliff Lee can be traded to without his consent:

Lee’s deal also includes a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to 20 teams. According to a baseball source, Lee has listed Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, the New York Mets, San Diego, Tampa Bay and Washington as the nine teams he can be traded to without his consent.

Against that backdrop, the Tigers, Pirates, Orioles, Mariners, Angels, Royals, Blue Jays and Giants — contenders all — were among a dozen teams that had scouts at Monday’s game. No one can say for sure who was on hand to expressly scout Lee, in part because the Phillies have so many other tradable commodities on their roster.

Good reporting there. These lists often aren’t ever made public. But, it doesn’t mean much. Typically when players have a limited no-trade clause and are able to select teams to which they’d accept a trade, they choose small market franchises and division rivals. Why? Because the small market teams can’t afford them and there’s little chance a franchise would want to see a traded star a dozen times per season. So, with the exception of Cleveland, Lee’s former team, this list basically represents the teams Lee would never get dealt to. But that doesn’t mean Lee couldn’t or wouldn’t waive his NTC to go the Yankees, Giants, Orioles, Angels or whomever else. Listing unlikely suitors just means that he’ll get to have a say in all al this. Hashtag themoreyouknow.

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