Category: Phillies (page 1 of 415)

Philly Fans (and Media) and the Fear of Something New

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Hinkie is a fraud. Chip Kelly thinks he’s still in college. Dave Hakstol should still be in college. The Phillies.

These are the loudest and most prevalent(?) gripes about Philly sports today. Many writers echo these sentiments (locally and nationally). The old-timers feel that way. But shouldn’t a town that has felt the joy of victory so infrequently in its history be more willing to accept a different way of doing things as long as the goal is to win championships? David Murphy has a theory:

Maybe the people who complain about Hinkie and Kelly and Dave Hakstol are all the same people, and, if they are, maybe they are indicative of some sort of reactionary ethos that lies deep in the identity of this town, one that opposes anything that is not done the way it is “supposed” to be done, the way it has always been done, the way our fathers and their fathers watched it be done, back when programs cost a nickel, and Concrete Charlie wreaked havoc all over Franklin Field.

And, if they are, maybe the volume and violence of their reaction to the recent upheaval is indicative of the influence that the protectors of the ethos once held, because theirs is the reaction of a power structure that is no longer. And if all of this is true – if the hate of Hinkie and the doubt of Kelly originate with an ideology so strong it once served as a fundamental aspect of selfhood in the city of Philadelphia – then maybe it long served to influence the decision-making of the city’s sports teams, pushing local ownership groups toward the familiar, the comfortable, the traditional in their hiring, prioritizing guys who said “wooder” and “sawff pressle” over guys with newfangled ideas who didn’t really care what the locals thought.

Murphy’s right. For a city born out of dissent and revolution, Philadelphians are a proud, traditional people. In fact, “Phila,” the Greek word for love, might not be what describes us best after all. Maybe it’s “storge,” meant to show “mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in ‘loving’ the tyrant.” Storgedelphia sounds awful though.

The Phillies’ last three managers have been hires from the quasi-inside. The Eagles stuck with Andy Reid for 408 years. The Sixers’ GM history is a list of former coaches and Billy King. And the Flyers finally hired not only someone from outside the Flyers, but also outside the NHL. In dire sports times like these, risk should be greeted with enthusiasm (or at the very least, acceptance), but the capital “w” Writers and first-time, long-timers prefer things to be the way they’ve always been. The way that brought two Stanley Cups to the Flyers (last in 1975), three championships to the Sixers (last in 1983), two World Series wins to the Phillies (’80 and ’08), and exactly zero Super Bowl victories to the Eagles.

But, to many, people who embrace the risks are Kool-Aid drinkers or apologists or don’t know enough about the sport, as if you have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the dead-ball era to want to win. The Flyers have been stagnant, the Sixers have been goal-less, the Eagles hit a wall, and the Phillies have been tumbling down a steep hill, hitting every bump along the way. But instead of really looking at the Sixers’ post-Iverson era or the Eagles’ lack of Super Bowl wins, it’s just: Different is bad. Nerds don’t belong in sports. It’s all a Ponzi scheme. Chip is just going back to college anyway. They’re all frauds*.

But the thing is, it’s easy to know what you’re getting. It’s relaxing to know you’ll get at least 10 wins and make it to the second round of the playoffs. It’s less stressful to know you’ll finish right around .500 and maybe luck into winning a playoff round. But it’s also less fun. And as much as sports here are “business,” they are not serious business. They’re supposed to be fun. And if you can’t have fun because things aren’t the way things were — or even worse, if that makes you angry — then you’re doing sports wrong.

*I challenge every sports writer out there to go a full year without calling someone a fraud. It’s the most overused and hyperbolic word in Philly sports media.


Report: The Phillies are Trying to Trade Ben Revere

Photo Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

You really aren’t a true Phillie this year if your name hasn’t been floated around in trade talks. Cole Hamels? Like a hot air balloon. Jonathan Papelbon? Not a “real Phillie,” but yeah. Aaron Harang? Welcome to Philadelphia, does anyone want him? And the next one on that list? Ben Revere.

According to Todd Zolecki, Revere is the odd man out in a soon-to-be crowded outfield, so he may be shipped off:

Cody Asche is in Triple-A, preparing to become the Phillies’ everyday left fielder. Domonic Brown’s bat is heating up, too.

Both will rejoin the Phillies at some point, possibly soon. Their inevitable arrivals seem to leave Ben Revere as the odd man out in the Phillies’ outfield, with Odubel Herrera in center field, which is why, sources told, the Phillies and Angels have been talking about a trade in recent weeks. The Angels have been scouting Revere for some time and like him, but the Phillies and Angels have not agreed on compensation.

What are you supposed to have, four capable outfielders? That’s just silly. Especially since one has historically been unable to produce major league numbers and the other has played the outfield for all of a week. Ruben would likely want a couple (or one) minor leaguers in return, and if his usual negotiation strategy plays out here, this rumor will die in a week and Revere will remain a Phillie.


Larry Andersen, Not One to Pull Punches, Lays into Ryne Sandberg for Pulling Little-Known Pitcher after 64 Pitches



Some guy named Severino Gonzalez pitched (well) for the Phillies last night. He threw 64 pitches over five innings and gave up only one run. The Phillies, who have now won 7 of their last 8, still stink and probably should’ve just left the 22-year-old in to see how deep he could go. But Ryne Sandberg, who doesn’t seem like a particularly smart man, pulled him in favor of a pinch hitter in the sixth, up 4-1. Larry Andersen no like:

LA: Oh man, is he hurt? Ya think Severino González is hurt?

SF: Doesn’t look like it, in the dugout anyway. He’s getting handshakes all around, he’s gone five innings and he’s done for the night.

LA: Oh man, he must be gassed after 64 pitches. You gotta be kiddin me … You don’t have to go to your bullpen in the sixth inning. I just totally, totally disagree with that move.

SF: … Your biggest problem with the move?

LA: 64 pitches, and we’re not talking about a bullpen that’s been lights out of late. when you’re gonna get four innings out of ’em in a three run game. I know they got more hits out of him the second time through, so is this guy gonna be a five inning pitcher his whole career? Because he can’t go through a lineup a third time? I know you wanna win, but if that was really the case, I think we’d be seeing some other players here, too. I don’t wanna say that they don’t wanna win, but … [sigh]

SF: You’re saying that if the expectation is more about the development of the player …

LA: Right. And if you’re in the pennant race, and the bullpen hasn’t been used and is completely rested and is pitching lights out, then I can see it. But, and this is the complaint I had when I was coaching in the minor leagues when I got yelled at for letting Matt Beech throw over a hundred pitches, because every time he hit the seventh inning, he blew up. He could cruise through six and then when it hit the seventh, he couldn’t get anybody out. I said ‘Well, he’s not gonna get any better until we leave him out there.’ He’s not gonna learn how to do it. So [I said] leave him out there. Let his ERA get up to ten but he’s gotta learn to get people out in the seventh inning. Cause otherwise you’re just conditioning him to be a six inning pitcher. Is that what you want? That’s just opinion though … I’m not the one making the decisions …

I’m not saying they don’t want to win… but I have to sit up here every night and watch this shit and it’s pretty obvious this franchise doesn’t give one big ol’ flying fuck about winning.



Jamie Moyer Has Morphed into Your Grandfather Before Our Very Eyes

Voila_Capture 2015-05-19_05-25-02_PM Voila_Capture 2015-05-19_05-29-29_PM

Voila_Capture 2015-05-19_05-24-36_PM Voila_Capture 2015-05-19_05-28-54_PM

That, or the crazy-ass brother from Bloodline.

I’m laughing with(?) Jamie here, not at him. These pictures come from a charity event. Him and his wife do a lot for charity and seem like great people. It’s just that Jamie seems like a great… old… man. To think that the person in this here still photograph was pitching in the Major Leagues just a few years ago is kind of remarkable. Like, I’m not even joking when I say it looks like he forgot his dentures for this particular event. Teeth. I’m not even sure if the Phillies Game 4 start in 2008 still has his teeth. And now I feel old. Yuck.


The Phillies Have Won Six-Straight Games

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Here’s how bad the Phillies are: They have just rattled off six consecutive wins, which represents a full 15% of their schedule– that’s almost 1/6 of their season! And yet, they are still the sixth-worst team in baseball.

Oh god, Ruben Amaro is going to be a buyer isn’t he?

Negative. I think Ruben Amaro is very dumb, but I don’t think even he’s that dumb, to think this team is even remotely competitive. If anything, this “success” might actually increase the market value of Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon.

In his last three starts, Hamels has given up only four earned runs in 21.1 innings. He’s struck out 24 while walking only four. He’s 3-0.

Papelbon, who made things interesting last night but still recorded the save, has four saves in the last week and has only given up one earned run since May 8.

Now would be the time to sell high.


Chase Utley Looks Positively FANTASTIC Aboard a Plane

Voila_Capture 2015-05-18_02-08-33_PM

Chase Utley – looking debonair – aboard the Phillies’ charter to Colorado yesterday after their fifth-straight win, pic via Ben Revere

Holy hell. Not since Hillary Clinton took that badass and not-at-all-totally-staged photo aboard an Air Force jet has someone looked so darn good on an airplane. I don’t know many things in life, but I do know that I want to jet-set with Chase Utley. I don’t care where we go, I don’t care why– I just want him to take me to places I’ve only maybe dreamed of. #26shadesofgrey



Chase is still batting .138.


A Helpless Old Woman Received Free Gifts From 97.5 After an A-Hole in Jorts Stole Her Ball…


… which brought the man’s ball total to… one. One ball. He now has one ball.

Over the weekend, Maikel Franco hit his first career home run, to left field. In a (typically) fairly empty section, the ball went right to Joyce Murphy Kiner. The ball hit her glove and dropped into the flowerbeds, and then some asshole checked her out of the way, took the ball, and got out of there. Kiner told the whole story to Anthony Gargano this morning:

“I knew the ball was coming my way. My husband handed me his glove when he left his seat … I put my hand out and it hit my glove or was in my glove but the glove is too big for me. It fell right right in the flowerbed right in front of me … I couldn’t really get up and over the fence without falling in. I had it in my hand and I just tried to get a good grip on it and the guy just ran over, pushed me out of the way, and then took it … He body checked me really.”

She said the guy who stole the ball and his friends (outed as one Jim “Jorts” Bergen, nickname mine) continued to eyeball her while she was talking to the Diamondbacks announcers, like a real scumbag. Kiner said it looked on TV like the guy was escorted out, but really the Phillies certified the ball (presumably taking it for Franco) and sent him back to his seat. 97.5 gave Kiner some future front row seats and a pendant from a jeweler, while also probably giving Jim Bergen a couple of bad days.

It just goes to show you, never trust a guy in jorts and an unbuttoned jersey.

[Editor’s note: Yeah, I know– we’re late on this. Had it scheduled to go this morning, then the Flyers hired a coach from OUT OF LEFT FIELD.]


Game of Thrones’ The Mountain Can’t Hit a Baseball

mountain phanatic

When you’re Icelandic strongman Hafþór Björnsson — 6’9″, 419lbs. — there’s not a lot you don’t look terrifying doing. That’s why the people at Game of Thrones found him to play the terrifying man known as The Mountain. He’s hanging out and taking BP with the Phillies today to promote the Philadelphia Renaissance Faire, and just look at how big he is next to Ben Revere:

thor revere

The man is so big, so strong, so massive, that putting a bat even close to him seems like a bad idea. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be a baseball headed his way. Right?

Oh never mind, he sucks at baseball. But don’t tell him I said that.

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