Posts for Phillies Category

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Phillies Documentary Was Pretty Standard Fare

BWanksCB - July 16, 2018

After weeks of promotion and hype, NBC Sports Philadelphia aired Sunday night its highly anticipated look back at the 2008 Phillies, entitled “World Champions: The Story of the ’08 Phillies.”

As the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 Phillies’ triumph approaches, now seems like the perfect time to chronicle the team that delivered the city of Philadelphia its first major professional sports championship in 25 years. With a natural narrative arc provided by a championship season backdrop that is supported by a beloved cast of eclectic characters given a decade’s time to grow, change, reflect, and gain perspective on their tremendous accomplishments, the program had what I felt were the perfect contextual ingredients for compelling storytelling.

What’s more, I found it encouraging that NBC Sports Philadelphia, a network that has undergone significant changes in personnel and programming in recent years, committed to such an ambitious project. I firmly believe this is the precise type of programming the network should both dedicate itself to and feature. Philadelphia sports fans want to immerse themselves in their teams and feel a connection to the players they come to love (or loathe). Insightful, smart, and anecdotal documentary-style television provides that opportunity, plus it’s a welcomed deviation from the mindless and manufactured quick-hit debate programming that plagues modern sports television.

And that’s why I was a bit underwhelmed by what I watched last night. It felt under-budgeted, underdeveloped, and incomplete.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Crossing Broadcast: The Hunt for Machado and a Disappointing Documentary

JoyOnBroad - July 16, 2018

Crossing Broad Phillies writer BWCrossingBroad joins the pod to discuss the Phillies’ pursuit of Manny Machado, John Middleton’s commitment to winning, the Phillies’ minor league system, Zach Britton rumors, and NBCSN Philadelphia’s disappointing 2008 Phillies documentary.

Please subscribe to the show ([iTunes] [Google Play] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter: @JoyOnBroad @BWCrossingBroad

Audio after the jump:

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

ESPN Writer: John Middleton ‘Has Emerged as a Driving Force in Philly’

BWanksCB - July 15, 2018

I think these remarks from Phillies owner John Middleton found in this February piece from Todd Zolecki seem pretty relevant this Sunday afternoon:

I would tell you, whether we get it done before the start of the season or we do it during the season, I’m hoping we’re playing so damn well by early July that I get to look at Matt and say, ‘Matt [Klentak], we’re in the hunt now. What the hell are you going to do come Trading Deadline to get us over the hump?’ If we’re there, my guess is Matt will probably look at everything a little bit differently, as I think he should.

With the Phillies sputtering a bit this weekend in Miami, but still in sole possession of first-place in the NL East heading into the All-Star break, keep those words in mind as you check out this bit of information from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:

A driving force, you say? I believe it. It would seem that he has a pretty firm desire to win, so I can absolutely imagine the following scenario playing out in Klentak’s office:

Klentak and Andy MacPhail are sitting down to discuss a possible trade package for Machado as Middleton abruptly walks into the room and asks, “Did someone say package?” He then unfurls his, uh, metaphorical package, sternly demanding, “What the hell are you going to do come trading deadline to get us over the hump? Get it done.”

There’s also this follow-up tweet from Crasnick:

A great owner smackdown? My money is on Middleton. Don’t know too much about Mark Attanasio, but if he wants to throw down, I suggest he be careful:

Pure aggression. Wouldn’t mess with it.

MLB Insider: Phillies ‘Running Ahead’ of Other Teams for Manny Machado

BWanksCB - July 14, 2018

Another day, another rumor strongly linking Orioles shortstop Manny Machado to the Phillies. Here’s MLB Network insider Jon Heyman with the latest:

This update follows yesterday’s story from Heyman in which he wrote that the Phillies are interested in “making a huge mark.” More from that story:

The word in circles is that the Phillies would not part with top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and also probably Enyel De Los Santos, who had an impressive MLB debut this week, but the names of several other fine prospects are floating.

This meshes with Jim Salisbury’s story from last night that states the Phillies have gotten “aggressive” in their pursuit of Machado. Salisbury also quoted a source who speculated about which prospects the Phillies could include in a potential deal:

The Phillies’ offer for Machado is not known, but a source said the Orioles were seeking some of the Phillies’ top prospects. Names mentioned by the source were pitchers Adonis Medina, Ranger Suarez and Franklyn Kilome, infielder Arquimedes Gamboa and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz. Pitcher Enyel De Los Santos could also be on the Orioles’ wish list. On the big-league roster, the Phils could part with Maikel Franco and/or Aaron Altherr. The Phillies are reluctant to part with top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez.

Medina, who earlier today was named Enyel De Los Santos’ replacement for the World Team in the MLB Futures Game, is rated the Phillies’ No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and an above average slider, but has struggled a bit in Clearwater this season. He’s posted a 4.92 ERA, but has struck out 75 batters in 71.1 innings pitched.

Report: Phillies Have Increased Offer for Manny Machado

BWanksCB - July 13, 2018

The prevailing wisdom is that the Phillies won’t move significant prospects in order to acquire Baltimore’s Manny Machado ahead of Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline. If that is in fact the case, this tweet by Ken Rosenthal serves as one hell of a smokescreen:

While, according to Rosenthal, the Dodgers and Yankees remain front-runners for Machado’s services, it seems the Phillies are getting serious about the idea of adding Machado for a potential pennant chase ahead of this winter’s free agency period when the 26-year-old superstar is sure to cash in on a monster deal. Given the Phillies’ multiple needs, I’ve said for weeks that I’m not crazy about the idea of the team mortgaging significant prospect resources when his addition alone probably won’t make them a legitimate championship contender. At the same time, if Machado gets to the Bronx, I’m not sure that he will ever leave. I have zero interest in watching Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Manny Machado play together for the next five years, and I’m pretty sure that John Middleton doesn’t either. As such, if Machado truly is the cornerstone player the organization wants to build around well into the next decade, the Phillies might have to strike now even without a guarantee of his services beyond this season.

The Phillies currently have less than $70 million guaranteed committed to their 2019 payroll and that figure continues on a downward trajectory into the early 2020s. They have the roster flexibility, prospect resources, and spending power to add whoever they want at virtually any cost, so if they want to make it weird with Machado, they certainly can do it.

It was previously reported by MLB.com’s Jon Morosi the team wouldn’t include Zach Eflin in a potential deal for Machado. I wrote last week about why that’s probably a good idea.

Reports: Chase Utley Will Retire At the END of the Year

Kevin Kinkead - July 13, 2018

Okay, sounds like he’s gonna retire, but not immediately.

Per a couple of guys:

It might be on-brand, but Chase has to know that he’s going to be asked about retirement for the rest of the season now. It’s a half-retirement tour, not exactly Kobe Bryant, but a few months of it. The only difference is that Utley isn’t totally killing his team by chucking up 40 shots a game.

Anyway, the Dodgers come to Philly for a three game series on July 23rd. Might as well just retire the jersey and put him on the Wall of Fame and let him retire as a Phil, because he was the best player during the franchise’s best period in history (my opinion).

Time’s yours.

Is Chase Utley Retiring?

Kevin Kinkead - July 13, 2018

I have no idea, but this just popped up on Twitter:

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Tommy Hunter Is Getting Worse

BWanksCB - July 13, 2018

When a baseball player who has a lengthy and reliable career track record goes through a period where his production wildly deviates from that track record, such variance is often attributed to luck.

Typically for fans surprised by unexpected short-term outcomes, that rationalization will sound something like this:

“This guy sucks. There’s no way he can keep it up.”

Or.

“I want to bathe myself in kerosene and play with matches when I watch this man perform sports-related activities. I thought he was better than this.”

Dramatic, yes. But if that second line sounds familiar, perhaps you’ve watched a Phillies game with me this season while Tommy Hunter has been on the mound.

Baseball, in particular, is a game driven by the collection of data and numbers. Indicators like batting average, for instance, have long been used to evaluate a hitter’s collective performance. Recently, the game’s decision-makers are straying from traditional metrics and increasingly focusing their attention on newer data to make assessments that may not align with what the traditional numbers suggest.

For example, let’s say a hitter is posting a .300 batting average a month into the season. Great, right? Maybe not. If that same hitter has an average exit velocity well south of the league average of 87.3 mph, and that hitter also has an abnormal batting average on balls in play, then that .300 batting average is probably largely thanks to luck.

So how does this relate to Hunter?

Continue Reading

Continue Reading