Posts for john middleton

With Klentak and MacPhail the Phillies future looks an awful lot like its past

Coggin Toboggan - October 18, 2019

Two weeks ago I wrote about the IMPROBABLE scenario of Gabe Kapler being relieved of his managerial duties, while Phillies GM Matt Klentak and team President Andy MacPhail were allowed to remain in power. It would’ve be madness to pull the plug on the man handpicked by both Klentak and MacPhail and then allow the two to choose his replacement, while expecting it to work out.

Reason stood if Kapler went, he should have been followed by his two biggest fans, tarred and feathered with the shredding of millions of analytic-based spreadsheets that showed empirical evidence that the Phillies have been abject failures since 2011.

But now Kapler is gone. Klentak and MacPhail are picking his replacement. Both still have their jobs.

John Middleton made sure the insane asylum continued to be open for business, and, baby, business-is-a-boomin’ in South Philadelphia.

In the immortal words of George Costanza: “You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts.”

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For the First Time in Six Seasons, Meaningful Baseball was Played at Citizens Bank Park

Coggin Toboggan - April 1, 2019

I’ll do it. I’ll be the first to eat my words after spewing so much shit about the Phillies for the last five months. I’ll gobble up the vitriol and bile I vomited out of my gob this entire offseason with a soup ladle after this weekend and ask for more if it means an entire season of Bryce Harper bombs and Rhys Hoskins mother-fuckering opposing pitchers for DARING to accidentally hit him with a high and tight pitch.

I’ll let John Middleton shit in his toupee and wear it around as a beard for a week.

I don’t care.

For the first time in six seasons meaningful baseball was played at Citizens Bank Park, and it was electric. Sure, they played a few games here and there from 2013 to 2018, but they never actually MEANT anything. We never had any hope for those teams. Any meaningful series played in that span was always something like, “hey, if the Phillies sweep this series they’ll pull within six games of the second wild card spot!” and they’d promptly drop two of three.

This was absolute domination of the defending NL East champions. The Braves should be placed into the MLB’s concussion protocol after that absolute thumping. The ringing of the Liberty Bell after each home run was only drowned out by the ringing in their ears after each haymaker the Phillies landed to their skull.

We’re being ushered into another golden age of Phillies baseball after suffering through six years of dreck. We earned this upcoming summer and (hopefully) fall for our years of doling out hard-earned money to see Ryne Sandberg over-manage games and Domonic Brown disappoint literally EVERYONE he came in contact with.

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The Phillies are the Bad Boys of Major League Baseball

Coggin Toboggan - March 7, 2019

What a difference a week makes.

Last Thursday morning the city was ready to burn down Citizens Bank Park with the flaming piles of stupid money John Middleton taunted fans with before free agency. We wanted to see the world burn. Reports were streaming in that Bryce Harper and the Phillies were “far apart” in terms of money and other franchises were swarming into the fray like vultures circling a slowly dying zebra on the Serengeti, waiting to pick the bones clean after the deal died on the arid plains.

But at 3 p.m. Jon Heyman dropped the bomb that changed everything with the Phillies’ future:

For the next 13 years the Phillies, the losingest franchise in ALL of professional sports, would have the services of a top five player for the rest of his career. The franchise suddenly had the BEST offseason it had ever had in its history and arguably the best lineup in baseball. Frazzled Phillies interns were relieved of their fruitless duties of finding obscure advanced stats that would SOMEHOW show fans that J.T. Realmuto was just as valuable Harper.

A week later the Phillies have Harper. And Realmuto. And Segura. And McCutchen.

And a week later they’re the bad boys of baseball. With Harper leading the charge, Middleton is now walking into the Clearwater facility wearing beige khakis three sizes too small, showing off the bulge that proved so many doubters (myself included) that he could never land the big fish he promised all of us for years.

A week later Harper is openly telling the media he’ll be courting the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, to play with the Phillies in 2021. What world are we living in? What wormhole did we slip into to come out to this glorious new reality?

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Let’s Improve Ourselves in 2019, Philadelphia

Coggin Toboggan - January 4, 2019

Ahhh it’s a New Year in Philadelphia. The sky is brighter. The people are friendlier. The puke stench from New Year’s Eve is finally dissipating from the 8th and Market PATCO stop, but the urine funk is still holding strong. It’s 2019. It’s a new year with new horizons and new opportunities to better ourselves and our city.

This is the year, Philadelphia. Can you feel it? This is the year we pull ourselves up from this stink hole and really make a difference. I’m not saying this city isn’t already great, or its denizens pitch perfect, but we can all stand to improve and better our lives for the benefit of us and the loved ones we hold so dear.

Even the best of us can improve. Take the venerable John Middleton, for instance. Maybe this year he can resolve to stop saying stupid shit before the opening of free agency that gets everyone’s hopes up for the signing of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, while it becomes increasingly obvious that neither of them want to play here. Maybe don’t show your hand before the chips are pushed into the pot, John? And hell, maybe have the doors ready and open to Citizens Bank Park when your #1 target actually deems you worthy of a visit and not leave him and his pissed off wife outside in the cold to be accosted by South Philly electricians, right? What do I know, I’m just spit balling here.

Or hey, even Carson Wentz should have a resolution. He has room for improvement, right? Maybe in 2019 he can resolve to stop getting hurt and force us into this never ending quagmire of a discussion on whether he or Nick Foles is the future of the Eagles franchise. I’ve fucking had it. Carson, either get healthy and take this city by the balls or stay hurt and let Foles and his massive genitalia lead us to the promised land. Mother of God.

But it’s time to look at ourselves in this city, starting first at this site. What can we do better, as people and as fans? What are our resolutions for a better 2019 at Crossing Broad?

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All of a Sudden this Phillies Offseason is a Matter of Pride

Coggin Toboggan - December 5, 2018

Two weeks ago the Phillies pulled themselves up to the top of the Empire State Building and let out a mighty roar, beating their chest and daring all those who oppose them to come and take their self-proclaimed title as the biggest, baddest king of impending free agency spending.

That Manny Machado biplane diving in to the Yankees? Swatted down with ease with the lure of millions that only the Phillies could afford. Bryce Harper setting his sights on the White Sox? Forget it, rended apart by the money bags hurled his way by the newly energized and success-hungry ownership core.

There would be stupid money to be spent. Oh my goodness, how the money would be stupidly spent. The stupidest of money would be used to lure the heavy hitters and make Philadelphia a baseball destination again.

That was the plan until Patrick Corbin flew his Supermarine Spitfire across the Phillies’ bow and unloaded both machine guns into their belly. Corbin left them dazed, woozy and wobbling at the top of the free agency heap, dangerously close to plummeting over the edge, back into the abyss of another 80-win season, and wondering what the hell just happened.

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Dave Montgomery is now Phillies Chairman, Pat Gillick Remains President

Jim Adair - January 28, 2015

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It looks like Howard Eskin was about half-right: After being away from baseball business for a while battling cancer, David Montgomery has returned to the Phillies, but to a new office. Montgomery, the former team President, now has the title of Chairman, while Bill Giles has been named Chairman Emeritus. Acting President (and former GM) Pat Gillick will remain in the role of President.

There is still no word on any change in role from John Middleton — the crux of Eskin’s report — and the Phillies’ release is below.

It is expected that in his role as Phillies Chairman, Montgomery will remain active in Philadelphia civic, business, sports, and charitable endeavors, and also will maintain his close association with Phillies fans, customers, and sponsors. He will continue to be very involved in Major League Baseball committees and projects, as well.

David Montgomery said the following: ‘I am fortunate to be healthy enough now to resume some of my previous responsibilities. I am very appreciative that Pat Gillick is willing and available to remain as the club’s President. Pat and I have become very close since he joined us in the fall of 2005. I look forward to returning to work as Phillies Chairman.’

Phils Come Out Swinging at Howard Eskin’s Report

Jim Adair - October 3, 2014

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Last night, Howard Eskin reported on radio and TV that Phillies President Dave Montgomery’s leave of absence due to cancer was a “convenient story” and he was actually pushed out. Eskin went on to say that limited partner John Middleton was aggressively pursuing a majority ownership of the team. Today, the Phillies came out and just said “Nah dude,” which you can see above.

One source told us of Eskin’s report, “I would very much doubt any of what he just reported was accurate,” and Kevin Cooney took to Twitter today, before and after the Phillies issued their statement, doubting the report. He tweeted that “While Howard was right about Monty working straight thru after surgery, multiple people there wanted him to gear back [and] he continued to push thru- working on Phils and MLB stuff- while getting noticeably thinner during the summer treatment.” And then, Cooney said what we’ve all wanted for a long time:

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We’d all love that Kev, but I don’t think any of us are holding our breath.