Posts for phillies

The Mike Trout vs. Rob Manfred Non-Controversy

Kevin Kinkead - July 19, 2018

Millville native Mike Trout is a simple person.

He plays baseball, enjoys Philadelphia sports, spends time with his family, and doesn’t seem all that interested in the spotlight.

If he did, he might be a superstar beyond what he does on the field, which includes two American League MVP awards, seven straight All-Star Game appearances, and a .983 career OPS. But he’s twice turned down invitations to play in the World Baseball Classic and has never participated in the Home Run Derby, telling media last week that he’d “rather just have that night with my family, spend time with them.” He doesn’t say outrageous stuff on social media or talk trash. If LaVar Ball has a polar opposite, it’s probably Mike Trout.

So the topic of Trout’s marketability came up during All Star week, resulting in two key quotes from commissioner Rob Manfred:

“Mike is a great great player, and a really nice person, but he’s made certain decisions with what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time,” Manfred said. “That’s up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really really big, but he has to make a decision that he’s prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort.”

And this is the one that apparently angered some people:

“Player marketing requires one thing, for sure: the player. You cannot market a player passively. You can’t market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom are trying to market in order to have effective marketing.”

That seems pretty innocuous to me. I mean, Manfred literally says, “that’s up to him” in the first quote above. I don’t see anything that makes it feel like Manfred is pissed off or that he’s tapping his foot waiting for Trout to budge.

I also don’t sense that here, not in the specific words or the tone or body language:

Yeah, maybe he could have chosen his words more carefully. You always can. He could have also hammered home the point that marketing is up to the player himself, but it doesn’t feel like we’re nearing some irate ultimatum coming down from MLB headquarters. It feels as though Manfred is simply saying, “the ball is in your court.”

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The Sky is Not Falling

Kevin Kinkead - July 18, 2018

Surprise! Sixers Twitter is a hot mess today.

And Phillies Twitter is sort of a mess, but not nearly as bad.

On the basketball side, I think most of this is overreaction to Brett Brown’s “star hunting” quote, the idea that the general manager-less Sixers were ready to go out and sign a big free agent superstar (LeBron) or trade for one (Kawhi Leonard) to complete the Process and leapfrog Boston as the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

So when the Spurs traded Kawhi and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 1st round draft pick, the reactions were predictable:

“Brett Brown sucks! This team needs a GM!”

“Boston is gonna roll the Sixers in the playoffs again!”

“This team isn’t good enough!”

“No one wants to come here!”

“The Process wasn’t worth it!”

So on and so forth.

But let’s start with the trade itself, which is a Hail Mary for Toronto, who just fired Coach of the Year Dwane Casey because his 59-win team couldn’t beat LeBron James in the postseason. LeBron is now in the Western Conference, the Raps have a new coach, and they just made a risky trade for a guy that doesn’t want to play for them. This is their last chance to get it done, win the East, and have the distinction of getting swept by the Warriors in the finals.

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Report: Dodgers Emerge as the “Leading Contender” for Manny Machado

BWanksCB - July 17, 2018

The buzz late last night was that the Phillies, in light of reports that they were willing to include Adonis Medina in a deal for Manny Machado, were emerging as the favorite to land the Orioles superstar third baseman.

Not so fast, says Jon Heyman of FanCred sports:

But nine minutes later, Heyman seemed to back off a bit:

Gut. Punch.

Two things here:

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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.

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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:

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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?

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Rhys Hoskins Will Be In the Home Run Derby

Kyle Scott - July 12, 2018

Back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back back that one is onto the Beltway, into Supreme Court chambers!