Posts for team

The Reading Phillies Will No Longer Be The “Reading Phillies”, GM Scott Hunsicker Tells Us Why

Kyle Scott - November 5, 2012


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Photo courtesy of the team in Reading

Yesterday, Reading Phillies GM Scott Hunsicker, with the help of a comically large Acme-style crate, announced that, on November 17, the team will unveil the results of its rebranding efforts, which will yield a new name, logo, and uniforms. 

The immediate reaction was largely negative. It came on Twitter, in the comments of this Reading Eagle article, and in the existence of this “Reading Phillies: Do NOT Change Your Club Name” petition on Change.org.

Also, in Hunsicker’s personal email and voicemail.

I heard about the change last night and, like most of you, was confused, since sentiment toward the R-Phils is overwhelmingly positive… largely because of their stellar (and fun) marketing efforts. So, before spewing snarky venom through this here megaphone, I wanted to hear more from Hunsicker.  

I spoke with him this morning, and here’s everything you need (or, may want) to know about the name change and some highlights from our conversation.

 

After 46 years as the Reading Phillies, the longest affiliation with a Major League club in America, the R-Phils, as they began calling themselves in 2008, will change their name, logo and uniforms. Why? Hunsicker says it’s to differentiate the team from the Phillies. But – a very important but – they want to do so without distancing themselves from the big club in any way, shape or form, something Hunsicker admits would be a mistake. 

There are two general reasons for the change. The first one is kind of ridiculous. 

There is the nomenclature issue of the AA affiliate sharing the same name as its nearby parent. Hunsicker says people actually show up to R-Phils games expecting to see the Phillies. Really. Plus, some confusion is created on the radio, presumably on stations closer to Reading than Philadelphia, when scores are given for two different “Phillies” results.

The other reason for the change, the main (real) one, is to create an individual identity for the team. Hunsicker likes to use a box metaphor (and perhaps it’s not just a metaphor– the team will literally pull its new branding elements out of a crate on November 17) to describe it, thusly: Everything about being a fan, of any team, gets put into a box, and while he admits that up to 90% of the stuff in the R-Phils box is tied to the concept of the Phillies, there are some other items – like Baseballtown, America’s Classic Ballpark, and other uniquely Reading items – that separate the R-Phils from the big club. So, they want a new box.

The team is working with California-based Brandiose, a sports marketing firm, on the rebranding process, which represents a culmination of an ongoing internal dialogue the team has been having since as far back as 1992, when Hunsicker first joined the organization. The name and primary logo will change, as will the uniforms. [Hunsicker says the soon-to-be-renamed R-Phils will have the most uniform and cap combinations of any minor league team.]

The mascots, including the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, will remain.

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The organization went halfway in distinguishing itself from the big club in 2008, when they began using the “R-Phils” moniker as a secondary name. But R-Phils is a long way from a brand new (or, new brand) name and logo, and Hunsicker wants to be clear that the move is a way to differentiate, not distance, the Reading Phillies from the Phillies. 

“It has nothing to do with walking away from the Phillies. Quite frankly, people that have called me stupid about the name change would be right if we were just abandoning all that the Phillies represent to us.” 

“But for those people concerned that we’re turing our back on the Phillies or anything like that, nothing can be further from the truth.”

 

It’s an obvious point, but one that Hunsicker reitereated. He assured me that the rebranding will make it clear that the Reading _____ are closely tied to the Phillies.

Still, people are mad.

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How To Fix Our Football Team: Give Us A New One

Kyle Scott - October 22, 2012

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Photo: Lehigh Valley Live

Last year, after the Eagles got out to a 3-6 start, I wrote an almost 3,000-word post on what was wrong with the team and organization as a whole. Almost all of it remains true today. Some details have changed, but the message is the same: the Eagles aren’t capable of winning a Super Bowl as constructed, Andy Reid needs to go, and the team needs an image refresh. Here is that post, originally on this site on November 16, 2011.

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Roy Halladay Leaves Team

Kyle Scott - May 3, 2012

According to the scriptuals, Roy Halladay has left the team for “personal family reasons.” 

He apparently informed the team on Tuesday that he would be leaving after the start, according to Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb

As observant reporter (and perhaps informed) Jim Salisbury – who broke the news of Halladay’s departure - noted last night, Halladay was dressed by the time he met with the media following the loss. And, this: 

His face was still red in spots and his eyes appeared sad. When he was done speaking with reporters, he grabbed a leather computer bag and a small rolling suitcase and headed for the door. 

 

We won’t speculate on the specific reason for leaving. Though you can’t help but wonder, since the Phillies are so very secretive about everything.  

Halladay will return to the team tomorrow, in D.C.

Adam Aron Seeks Fantasy Advice… ON THE SIXERS

Kyle Scott - April 18, 2012

image from gcobb.com
Should we ask them. Yeah, let's ask them.

Hey there– is this thing on? Sixers post here. Don’t mind me, just talking about the basketball team.

Earlier, Sixers CEO and Twitter nut Adam Aron solicited fan opinion, as he has done all season long. This time, however, his discussion topic was not about a mascot or anthem singer or asking which color works best for interior drapes at The Well. It was about personnel.

A team president, on Twitter, soliciting fans’ opinions on anticipated offseason moves… before the season is over.

Boy, nothing says I have confidence in you guys for the playoffs like a how do I fix this window-dressing-driven product? plea.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t have a picture of a farmer shooting a horse with an Andre Iguodala head to Tweet at Aron, but perhaps he’ll get that message…

This is crazy on so many levels. Let’s list them:

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The Sad State of Chris Pronger

Kyle Scott - March 30, 2012

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We knew Chris Pronger wasn’t doing so well. When he skipped a charity fashion show, planned by him and his wife Lauren, his significant other informed the media that her husband was still having “good days and bad days.” It’s a sad reality for Pronger, who has rarely even been around the team of late (once since his concussion, I believe).

So, today, when the Flyers posed for their team picture, Pronger was there in spirit… or in the form of a Flyers front office member:

 

Creepy, actually. But sad. Sad, too.

Other news from Flyers practice: Reporters, um, report that Bryz looked sharped in drills. He even got all silly again when he said: "You going to put in newspaper that Bryzgalov is practicing?" Oh Bryz, Russian goaltender so lovable when he stop puck.

Hyper Sixers Hire Broadway Lighting Designers

Kyle Scott - December 14, 2011

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Somewhere, P.T. Barnum is stroking himself to a picture of new Sixers CEO Adam Aron. 

The Sixers front office is like a marketing department on a (perhaps deadly) combination of acid and Red Bull. The team Tweeted 26 updates from today’s media day. 26. They’ve hired a self-proclaimed “social media sponge,” who they sort of threatened in an email. And they’ve put out press releases for nearly everything. 

Mascot hysteria? Check.

900-year-old PA announcer? Check.

New owner running marathon? Check.

Tony Battie, lower ticket fees and Sixers dance team help tip off the season of Philadelphia’s first and only Latino youth basketball league? Check, check and triple fucking comprobar.

All of those announcements just in December. And the latest? Showtuuuuuunes!!!

Sort of.

In continuing their crusade to bring you the greatest show on the hardwood for this 2011-2012 limited engagement, the team announced the hiring of Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhaur, “the most celebrated Broadway lighting designers,” to handle all the lighting duties for the “entertainment portions of the total game experience.”

Earlier in the month, Aron said that the “Lakers-style” lighting seen in Los Angeles wouldn’t be possible right away because of it’s extreme cost. But that reality didn’t stop the team from focusing on some other aesthetic enhancements.

The highly successful duo of Fisher and Eisenhauer have worked with one another for over 25 years, collectively working on over 150 Broadway productions and individually earning 27 Tony Award nominations. As a pair, they have earned Tony Awards for Lighting Design on Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk (1996) and Assassins (2004), while being nominated in the category as a duo six times.

Additionally, Fisher and Eisenhauer have brought their unparalleled experience in the field to feature films. They worked with cinematographer Dion Beebe for the lighting design on Chicago, the Oscar-winning film for Best Picture, They also designed the lighting for Burlesque, School of Rock, Dreamgirls and The Producers, among other films.

 

Good lord, you have to respect the effort (and most of the moves), but this is going to go Jessie Spano in a hurry. At some point, the folks in the Sixers front office are going to come down off this high and realize they actually need to win basketball games. That, or they’re just going to crash. I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m… so… scared!

image from 3.bp.blogspot.com

Our friends from SportsTalk Philadelphia (La Salle University) were down at media day today. They do a nice job covering local sports, so hop it for some video from today's media availability.

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MLB to Add Extra Wild Card Team in Each League

Kyle Scott - November 17, 2011

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Thank you, commish, for watering down the Major League Baseball playoffs and Wild-Card race.

According to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle:

Commissioner Selig confirmed MLB is adding two wild-card teams in 2013. Selig said the additional playoff round likely will be for just one game.

 

He also wants to get this implemented for the 2012 season, according to Justice.

The two Wild-Card teams will face each other head-to-head in a one game playoff, an occurence that creates even more incentive for teams to win their respective divisions.

Perhaps instead of adding two teams, MLB could lengthen the first round series to a best-of-seven, so a 162-game season isn’t decided by a shortened five-game series (and yes, I felt that way before the Phillies shit in the Cardinals' bed).

Also, the Astros were sold to Jim Crane and will move to the AL West in 2013 (Ed Wade gone?).

Flyers Non-News: Jagr Owns a Hockey Team, Bryz May Wear Phillies Helmet For Faux Classic, Sees Cross-Dresser

Kyle Scott - September 1, 2011

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Not Ilya Bryzgalov [Photo: Ego Studios]

Last week, during his introductory press conference, Bryz talked about how Rittenhouse reminded him a lot of… Russia:

“It’s fun; it reminds me of Russia a little bit. It’s very green here – lots of trees. The downtown area by Rittenhouse Square is a beautiful area. The people are very friendly. I like it a lot.”

 

Perhaps he needed just a bit more time here:

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In Democratic Philly, man is girl! Wait until he sees a homeless guy accosting a hooker…

Anyway, speaking of Bryz, Philly Burbs caught up with Franny Drummond, paint-master at Drummond Custom Airbrush, the local shop that produced this helmet for Bryz. Drummond said he's working on a Winter Classic version, too:

Drummond and his wife had agreed that if the Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 they would name their son after Flyers goalie — and friend — Michael Leighton.

“He actually gave me a signed stick after he found out,” Drummond said of Leighton, for whom he designed a mask for the outdoor Winter Classic game in 2010. “He loves it and thinks it’s a great honor.”

Drummond said he is working on a special Phillies-themed mask for Bryzgalov to be used at this year’s Winter Classic, which will likely be held at Citizens Bank Park.

 

We put that first paragraph in there just so you know that there's a human being out there named after Michael Leighton. Poor kid, his peers are just going pass him left and right.

Finally, via Puck Daddy, our 93-year-old forward, Jaromir Jagr, owns the Knights of Kladno in the Czech Republic (I now know what I'm going to name my ultimate team in NHL): [Wall Street Journal]

Mr. Jagr, one of a minority of active Christians in the Czech Republic, said he decided on the name The Knights because of moral and ethical images it conjures up.

"A knight is courageous, honest, and never gives up. Knights respect one another, it's never 'I' but always 'we' and everybody plays fair. I want our players and the whole team to have these qualities," Mr. Jagr said. The club's new logo bears a cross and features a medieval knight with the helmet of Saint Wenceslas, patron of Czechs.

 

Right. Welcome to Philly, guys.