Tag: phillies (page 1 of 414)

Phillies All-Star Jonathan Papelbon Would Still Rather not be a Phillie

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Papelbon is the Phillies’ only All-Star, but he’d rather not be the Phillies’ anything. For the last year or so, Paps has been letting everyone know he’d rather be traded and play for a contender, and being named to the All-Star team hasn’t stopped that at all. According to Ryan Lawrence, Paps passed up the chance to talk about being an All-Star in order to talk about not being a Phillie:

“I would be surprised [not to be traded],” Papelbon said. “Yeah, that would be a pretty valid answer.”

Is it fair to say he’d be disappointed, too?

“Yeah, I would say so,” Papelbon said.

Papelbon repeatedly said it’s on the Phillies front office, which committed to a rebuild this winter, to make a deal happen.

“I don’t make these decisions,” Papelbon said. “The front office knows where my heart is and where my mind is. And that’s to be with a contending ballclub. The ball is in their court, so to speak.”

When he actually did talk about the All-Star game, Paps gave a nice, human answer about his kids being older and getting to experience Fan Fest and all that. But then, he totally squandered all of his niceness by reminding everyone that he’s still Jonathan Papelbon. When asked if this could be his last memorable moment in a Phillies uniform, something he obviously cares very little for, Paps admitted he’s confused: “You know what? Honestly I don’t know what to think anymore. I don’t. I don’t know how to really answer that.”

And if he gets his way, he won’t have to answer it much longer. Thankfully. For all of us.

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Vin Scully Describes the Misery of Watching the Phillies in One Eloquent Soliloquy

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies lost a four-hour and 13-minute game to the Dodgers last night, 10-7, and after leaving starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan out there to throw 123 pitches in what was then a 6-6 tie, the legally recognized business once considered a ball club outrighted their young-ish, half-assed starter to AAA. Thanks for the effort, son. Now, decide if you want to head to the minors of this bastard team or become a free agent.

All that, combined with a bottom of the sixth that featured some of the worst fundamental baseball you’ll ever see, took its toll on longtime baseball man Vin Scully, who had this to say about being forced to watch the Phils, alone, in a booth, with nothing but his soothing voice for comfort:

“You wonder why a team is last, and then you watch them play. And it’s not the great, big egregious things, but the little things that happen throughout the game. Cesar Hernandez will be thinking about [that booted double play ball that extended the inning] all night, not to mention what it does to Pete Mackanin.”

“You know when you watch Philly, and it’s not really a knock – I mean these are young players and they’re gonna make a lot of mistakes – but you realize that Ryne Sandberg, who had such incredible talent, a hall of famer, it had to be so difficult for him to sit there watching these kids kick the ball around, thinking, why can’t they do what was so easy for me? It’s hard for a really great player to understand that. But Galvis and Hernandez are learning. But finally Sandberg said I can’t take this anymore, and he resigned.”

This was night one of a four-game series in LA. I imagine that by the end of the week, Scully will be openly proselytizing for euthanasia.

Sullivan became the first Phillies pitcher to throw 123 pitches in 5.1 innings in OVER 100 YEARS:

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Guess someone forgot to feed Mackaninininin the harvested brains he requires for sustenance.

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Zombie Interim Manager Pete Mackanin Basically Says Phils Are Better off Without Chase

We'll never forget your manly arms, Chase

We’ll never forget your manly arms, Chase

Over at the Philly Voice, Matt Mullin wrote a piece about the emergence of Cesar Hernandez at second-base in the absence of injured Chase Utley, and whether Utley should get his job back when he returns. I find it hard to believe (even thought Chase has a piece of all of our hearts) that there’s anyone out there who thinks this is Chase’s job and Hernandez is just holding it for him. Especially since every plate appearance brings Utley closer to a $15 million payday next year. But the most important part of Mullin’s piece is this quote from the mouth area of the fleshy vessel containing the thoughts and emotions of interim manager Peter Mackanin:

“[Hernandez’s recent play] just goes to show you, when you’re looking at players, and you see part-time players that are not doing as well as you’d like them to do, well, you can see now the benefit of playing on a daily basis, how a player can be a whole different player. Cesar has been fantastic, and this is the kind of thing we’re all excited about, because we knew he had it in him.”

“It’s been a long process. He’s been a young guy coming up and we kind of wrestled with the fact of even having him on the bench as a part-time player because we knew he could develop if he played. But unfortunately we couldn’t do that. Now that we can do it, we’re pretty excited. I, for one, am thrilled about it. I think he’s making a good statement for himself in the future.”

“I would like to think that Cesar has proven that he deserves a chance to be the everyday second baseman. That remains to be seen … I don’t know. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s just wait to see when Chase is healthy and how he feels. We’ll go from there.”

Other than that quick walk-back at the end, this is remarkable. Having someone in charge (for now) admit that the Phillies might be better off without Chase Utley in the lineup? Unheard of.

New guy Andy MacPhail may only be “listening” and by-gollying his way around the clubhouse, but this may become the first page-turn of the unfortunately named MacPhail era.*

*The MacPhailure Years is probably the leading candidate if this all goes south, right?

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Today, We’re All “Cheater!” Guy

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No idea if the Phils won last night. Don’t care. But the guy yelling “cheater!” at Ryan Braun all night is my new hero.

Video after the jump.

H/T to reader Brian

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Daily News Covers Are All Phillies

Voila_Capture 2015-06-30_09-16-31_AMVoila_Capture 2015-06-30_09-16-31_AM2

The owner always gets the front page. Me thinks this was as much about introducing Middleton to the public as it was MacPhail.

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My Takeaways from the Andy MacPhail Press Conference

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Middleton has great billionaire hair, photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So the way I see it there are a few themes to come out of the press conference, including numerous reasons to be upbeat about the MacPhail hiring, and many reasons to be skeptical. Let’s break them all down.

 

John Middleton’s power move

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SO THAT’S WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE!

  • This is pretty much the first time John Middleton has made anything even remotely resembling a public appearance representing the franchise. On one hand, you’ve got to give credit to Howard Eskin for reporting last year that Middleton wanted to take a more active ownership role… on the other, Middleton called Eskin’s report – that he was seeking a majority ownership stake – “erroneous” and said he has a great working relationship with the other, faceless owners. Whether you believe him or not is up to you, but it’s clear that Middleton is becoming the owner of record when the question “Hey, who owns the Phillies?” pops up. Previously that role had been held by Bill Giles and David Montgomery, both of whom had ownership stakes.
  • Why today for Middleton’s coming out party? He said he thought it was important for there to be a face to hold accountable for the hiring of a president. No argument there. But it is strange to see Middleton-MacPhail-Gillick as the power structure, when just a year ago this would’ve been Montgomery and Amaro.
  • Somewhat impressively, Middleton kicked off the press conference with about 4-5 minutes of off-the-cuff remarks, with no notes, during which he mentioned the desire for the organization to better use analytics.
  • Billionaire has a sense of humor. At one point, when Jim Salisbury introduced himself to MacPhail, the new president said, “So you’re the one who broke the story!” Middleton laughed and remarked that Salisbury got him. I like it when billionaires laugh.

 

MacPhail positives

  • MacPhail seems like a genuinely nice man. Like, I want to have lemonade and crumpets with him on a front porch or assorted stoop somewhere. We’d talk about baseball, life, and probably the birds. Not the Eagles– just birds in general.
  • For real, he seems highly approachable, reserved, humble (maybe too much so) and analytical. I made fun of Jerry Crasnick before, but MacPhail truly does seem like a guy who you’d want to work for. He mentions that he’s spent the last three years away from the game with his then-ailing father and traveling the world.
  • As President, it’ll be his job to make the right hires and delegate tasks. From these initial impressions, he seems like the type of guy who would be good at that sort of thing. He talked about patience and how building a team is “like planting a garden– first it leaps, then it creeps, then it leaps.” He also talked a lot about listening. He doesn’t want to just hear you, he wants to listen. I can’t tell if he’d make a better lover or granddad.
  • Most importantly, he talked about embracing advanced statistics. Though he admitted he doesn’t always fully understand them (that’s fine– it’ll be the GM’s job), he said he was responsible for the Orioles’ “greatly expanded use of sabermetrics and statistics in player evaluations.” He believes you have to look at everything and should never leave a stone unturned, and that you have to balance advanced statistics with human intelligence. No argument there. “You hire people, have the young kids come in and explain it to you.”
  • Of using every possible angle, he said he was “amazed that people don’t do this stuff.” Ruben Amaro, who was in the room but not allowed to sit at the big kids’ table, presumably cried at this point.

 

MacPhail concerns

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The Phillies Will Not Fire Ruben Amaro or Replace Manager Today

There are multiple reports now as it leaks out that, at the introduction of Twins hero GM Andy MacPhail, the Phillies will neither fire Ruben Amaro (not yet, at least) nor name a new manager to take the place of interim uber walking dead manager Pete Mackanininininin.

Buster Olney wonders whether MacPhail’s arrival will speed up or slow down trade talks. While Jerry Crasnick, who sounds an awful lot like he’s playing favorites right now, thinks MacPhail will “project an air of calm”:

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GTFO. I don’t care if MacPhail is the Zen Master, the Phils need a lot more than calm and control. Stability is all well and good, but if MacPhail, his eventual replacement for Amaro, and a new manager aren’t substantially more progressive than what we’ve seen from Gillick, Amaro and the brain-dead group in the dugout, then all the steady-handing in the world won’t do any good.

I get the sense longtime baseball people and reporters love MacPhail and are going to treat him like some white knight coming in to save the Phils. Maybe he is. But can someone please ask him if he knows how to compute OPS first?

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DAMMIT I WAS OFF BY 30 MINUTES!

9:14 a.m.:

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9:39 a.m.:

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So close. So, so close.

Can we get a fired Ruben with our helping of MacPhail? I doubt it.

UPDATE: Wowowowowow sounds like we’re getting a John Middleton sighting. Please tell me he’s bringing POWERS with him?

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