When I woke up on Saturday morning, the sun was shining through our bay window. It made for a serene setting in our living room and dining room. There’s enough direct sunlight to make you feel the warmth if you are sitting on the couch at that early hour, but only a few rays reach the dining room table, making it an idyllic spot to have a cup of coffee and catch up on the events of the world.

So as I settled in to my usual spot at the head of the table and started scrolling through the news app on my iPhone to see if Russia was imploding, I was oblivious to the perfect storm that was waiting for me around the corner.

See, my schedule for the day was an easy one – drive down to Citizen Bank Park for the Phillies game against the Mets, come home and maybe grab a bite to eat with Maria before settling in for the night, first with a movie that she would fall asleep to within the first 15 minutes, and then flip over to a TV series or documentary that I am watching (there are several, currently, so none specifically stood out in that moment, although I have been itching to start Season 2 of The Bear on Hulu.)

It was a perfect plan for a lazy Saturday until Saturday turned out to be anything but lazy.

When I finally sluffed off to bed at 2:30 AM Sunday morning, I knew I didn’t have it in me to wake up at the crack of dawn after a short sleep and write two stories for this website – one about the Phillies 4-2 loss to the Mets and one about a pending Flyers blockbuster trade, or two – but in those last moments before Mr. Sandman scolded me for making him wait three hours after he had already visited Maria, a different idea dawned on me – why not just write one story about both items, and share with the reader the play-by-play of an unexpectedly wild day?

I’m doing this, not because I want any sympathy, I’ve had busier and crazier days at my job – hell, the day Chuck Fletcher was fired as GM in March while I was at Spring Training on the day the Andrew Painter injury news was finally going to be updated. all while working on deadline on a third, non-sports related work project immediately comes to mind.

No, I’m doing this because this is Philadelphia, and there are very few places on the planet where this confluence of events are even interesting enough to document, and even fewer where their outcomes matter so damn much.

So, without further ado, for better or worse, here it is, as it happened, on a wild and wooly Saturday.

11:15 AM – I leave for the ballpark as the pre-game Phillies Clubhouse is open to the media at Noon. I want to get down there because I’m working on a story and I need to talk to a couple players and Phillies GM Sam Fuld.

11:25 AM – I’m sitting at a traffic light when I get a text message from Flyers Source No. 1 that Kevin Hayes is going to finally be traded. The message says very little other than that. No specifics about the trade. Not even which team. I had known there were several teams interested, so in my head I was running through the possibilities, but I quickly texted this person back looking for a little more info. And I waited.

12:05 PM – I walk into the Phillies clubhouse. It’s bustling with a little more activity than usual for a pregame. Grergory Soto has his son Yadiel with him. A quiet little guy taking it all in, Yadiel is drawing some attention from some Phillies players. Seranthony Dominguez is talking to him in Spanish. Nick Castellanos walks over to him and asks for a fist pound for good luck (after his day, he should ask Soto to have Yadiel at the park more regularly). There is a real upbeat vibe. I immediately walk over to Dominguez, as he is one of the guys I need to talk to for this future story. As I’m standing there holding my phone up to record him, I see my text messages are going off, and simultaneously feel the buzz on my watch to let me know how many are coming in: three. four. five. Uh oh.

12:15 PM – I start to read the text. It’s not Source No. 1. It’s someone else, someone who is not a source because they don’t work for the Flyers, but is someone who often knows things going on with the Flyers before a lot of people. “Kevin Hayes is being traded to St. Louis and the Flyers are going to get a first round pick, but there’s a lot more to this deal, so don’t report anything yet.” Great. I get a little caught up in this that I forget that I’m supposed to grab Garrett Stubbs to set something up with him for next week. I’m distracted.

12:50 PM – Rob Thomson’s pre-game meeting with the media goes off a little bit earlier than expected. We were originally told 1PM in the dugout, but it was raining, so we were going into his office instead. Rob was aked about managing the All-Star game in a couple weeks. It’s not really on his mind yet, but he did mention that he felt Nick Castellanos and several pitchers – he named Jose Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel, Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, and surprising to most, Aaron Nola, as players who deserved consideration. I asked him about Brandon Marsh suddenly finding his stroke again (On Saturday he would go on to have his fourth consecutive multi-hit game). He said it was as simple as being aggressive in the zone and swinging at strikes and not chasing pitches. He also talked about him seeing the ball better which is evidenced when he is hitting the ball the opposite way. There were a series of questions about managing in the moment and thinking about what lies ahead – specifically with the bullpen. He said about 70% of his decisions are made with winning the game in front of him in mind and 30% are made with thinking ahead for the rest of a series or week ahead. He also conceded that the plan in Friday’s win was not to use all three of Soto, Alvarado and Kimbrel to relieve Walker, but that a log sixth inning and the Mets delaying things with pitching changes and towels for the wet baseballs in the rain prevented them from going back to Walker in the seventh inning s planned because he was sitting too long, which precipitated the chain of events that led to all three being used.

1:10 PM – I head back up to the press box, and while on the elevator I start to compose a text message to Flyers Source No. 2, who I haven’t spoken with yet on this Hayes trade, when another text comes in – it’s from Phillies PR. Fuld is available for our interview in five minutes in the dugout. I turned right back around, never making it to my seat, and went right back down the elevator and made my way to the dugout to talk to Fuld.

1:45PM – I finally hear back from Source #1. I’m still not given a lot of details. But, they do tell me Hayes is going to St. Louis but that there is going to be more to the deal. I ask what more, but am not told. The clock slowly ticks.

3:15PM – Having still not heard back from Source #1, I pivot and try to reach out to a connection in St. Louis. They answer. They’re able to confirm that Hayes is going to St. Louis, but also are hearing the deal is complex and could involve players with a NTC, so things weren’t locked up.

3:45PM – I get a panicked phone call from Maria that I need to leave the ballpark right away and come home. Apparently, there was a flood in our family room. How? I have no idea. This is something I certainly do not need at the moment.

4:00PM – I call my Dad and ask him to go over to the house and assess the issue before I pack up and leave.

4:08PM – Christopher Sanchez throws the first pitch.

4:11PM – Christopher Sanchez throws a bad pitch…

4:15 – I get a DM from someone with a connection to the Flyers telling me the Hayes deal is going to happen.

4:18 – In the middle of sending a text to Source No. 3 (and eventually Source No. 4) I hear from my Dad: Water all over the floor. It leaked in through a door when the rain clogged an exterior drain and it overflowed. It was messy, but it could be cleaned up. My mother went there with him. Between her and Maria, I had two cleaning-obsessed Italian moms in the same place. I knew the place would look immaculate when I got home. I stop worrying about that. I have bigger fish to fry.

4:28 – The first report gets out there about the deal.

4:40 – I hear back from my person in St. Louis. There’s a first round pick in the deal. How? How are the Flyers getting a first round pick for Kevin Hayes? That can’t be right.

5:01 – Castellanos sealed his spot as an NL All-Star, cutting the score to 2-1.

5:04 – I start to lose my mind. I have five Twitter DM’s and four text messages related to the trade coming in simultaneously. I’m trying to watch the Phillies keep score and accidentally scored everything in the wrong inning. Maria calls to tell me that exterior drain is clogged and I need to call a plumber.

5:15 – By the time I read and respond to my messages, one thing is clear. This deal is massive. I have heard that Travis Sanheim, Tony DeAngelo and Scott Laughton could all be involved. And this is coming from both Philly AND St. Louis. Source No. 3 gets back to me. They won’t say who is in the deal or what the deal is, but that all four names are in play. Holy shit.

5:29 – Phillies tie the score. I’m told by Source No. 2 that the St. Louis deal is “practically done” and that they are waiting for a player to waive his no trade clause. I’m told by my STL connection that it wasn’t Nick Leddy, Justin Faulk nor Colton Parayko  who had to waive the NTC. By default, it has to be Krug. Castellanos gits another hit. I don’t even realize that my lemondade is sweating so much that there’s a moisture streak from the cup to my computer.

5:40 – I get another text. I assume it’s related to the trade. It’s not. It’s my Crossed Up partner Bob Wankel. “What do you think about going to Marte here?” NOT NOW, BOB!!!

(Note: Bob was right. It was the wrong call. The Phillies fall behind 4-2. Not that I noticed until 19 minutes later…)

6:47 – It’s been quiet for 45 minutes. The Phillies lose. They can’t hit. No surprise. I head downstairs for postgame with Thomson, Sanchez and Castellanos. While interviewing Castellanos, the phone blows up again. I’m given all the informantion I can possibly publish from three different sources.

7:27 – Back up in the press box, I decide to update the public:

8:15 – I’m walking to the car. Source No. 3 texts me for the final time Saturday night. They tell me nothing is happening and to wait for tomorrow.

And in case you are wondering, I did go to the bar.


Sunday hasn’t been as busy so far. It’s lunch time. Krug has decided not to waive his NTC. That renders the deal, as originally constructed, dead. But, Hayes is still going to go there. Danny Briere is working overtime to try and find a way to make it work that they get another first round pick. This might mean trading Sanheim elsewhere. Since then, DeAngelo is also being shipped to Carolina. There was a report of a snag, but it was cleared up. Nothing has yet been announced. I’ll update if something changes.

But for one Saturday, it was nuts. Really nuts. And I believe Danny Briere is going to keep us on our toes for the next two weeks.