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In celebration of MLB playoff race, FanSided and That Balls Outta Here are teaming up with Amazon.com to give you the chance to win a $500 piece of sports memorabilia from the Amazon.com Sports Collectibles store. The Sports Collectibles...
In celebration of MLB playoff race, FanSided and That Balls Outta Here are teaming up with Amazon.com to give you the chance to win a $500 piece of sports memorabilia from the Amazon.com Sports Collectibles store. The Sports Collectibles store offers more than 10 million unique and rare items, with everything from ticket stubs and trading cards to game-used jerseys and autographed helmets. One lucky winner will walk away with a collectible worth up to $500 of their choosing. So whether you’re dying for a Derek Jeter Autographed Baseball, a Autographed photo of Tim Lincecum, or a November 1942 Baseball Digest check out amazon.com/sportscollectibles for the endless possibilities and enter to win today! #contest { width: 90%; color: #333; font-size: 25px; text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #fff; margin: 0 auto; font-family: "Oswald", sans-serif !important; padding: 0 20px; padding-bottom:20px;} #contest p { margin-bottom:10px; margin-top: 10px; font-family: "Oswald", sans-serif !important;font-size: 28px !important;text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #fff; padding-bottom: 10px !important;} #contest p a { text-decoration:underline; color:#333 !important; } #contest p.mobile-apps { width: 320px;margin: 0 auto; } #contest p.mobile-apps a { margin: 0 5px; } #cpntest p.mobile-apps img { border:0; box-shadow: none;-moz-box-shadow: none;-webkit-box-shadow: none;} #contest form { width: 90%; margin: 0 auto; } #contest form br { display:none; }#contest form input { margin-bottom: 5px; border: 0px; line-height: 20px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 9px; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding-bottom: 12px; width: 40%; color: #555; font-family: "Oswald", sans-serif !important; font-size: 14px; padding-left: 10px; background-color: transparent; background-position: left center; outline: none; background: #fff; border-radius: 5px; border: 1px solid #111; float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: -1px; } #contest form select { margin-right: 1.5em; padding: .2em .3em; width: 45%; float: left; z-index: 999; height: 42px; font-size: 14px; border: 1px solid #CCC; border-radius: 3px } #contest form input[type="submit"] { -webkit-appearance: none; width: 92%; height: 50px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; background-color: transparent; border: none; font-size: 24px !important; color: #fff !important; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif !important; font-weight: bold; text-align: center; text-shadow: 1px 1px 0px #000; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: -1px; line-height: 37px; background: #791731; margin-top: 10px; clear: left; float: left; } #contest form input[type="submit"]:hover { background: #8A8A8A; } #contest p.secure { font-size: 10px !important; margin-top: 0; line-height: 12px; font-weight: bold; font-family: "Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif !important; color: #555 !important; text-shadow: 0px 1px 0px #fff; text-align: right; clear: left; padding-top: 10px; padding-right: 25px; } #contest #lucky-url { border: 0px; line-height: 20px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 9px; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding-bottom: 12px; width: 94%; color: #555; text-shadow: none; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif !important; font-size: 17px; padding-left: 10px; background-color: transparent; background-position: left center; outline: none; background: #fff; border-radius: 5px; border: 1px solid #888; margin: 0 auto; } #contest .hidden { background: #233e84; color: #333; display:none; } @media screen and (min-width : 320px) and (max-width : 480px) { #contest form input, #contest form select { width: 100%; } } TO ENTER: Download the FanSided Mobile App: AND: Sign up for Daily Phillies Updates Philadelphia Phillies ** We will NEVER share your email address with anyone. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years and older, who are the owners of the property depicted in the photo. Begins: 9:00 a.m. C.T. on 09/10/13. Ends: 11:59 p.m. C.T. on 1
about 1 hour ago
In Jimmy Rollins' first full season in the big leagues, Larry Bowa was his manager. Bowa was also in his first season as manager of the Phillies. The two formed a bond. By 2004, Bowa's last year on the job, Rollins had grown into a .289 ...
In Jimmy Rollins' first full season in the big leagues, Larry Bowa was his manager. Bowa was also in his first season as manager of the Phillies. The two formed a bond. By 2004, Bowa's last year on the job, Rollins had grown into a .289 hitter with an .803 OPS to go along with his speed on the base paths and excellent defense. Rollins has talked fondly of Bowa in the past. The pair will reunite in 2014, with Bowa hired to be bench coach. One of his tasks could be helping Rollins, now 34, with adapting his game for the back-end of his career. "That's going to be Ryno's decision," Bowa said. "If he says, 'I want you to do this with Jimmy,' then that's what I'll do. We work for Ryno. I thought (Rollins) made big improvements in the last month of the season with pitch selection, and his playing in the field." Rollins finished the year with a mediocre .252/.318/.348 slash line, his .667 OPS the worst of his career. He did finish strong, hitting .292 in September with nine doubles. He posted a .797 OPS in that stretch. "There's not a play he can't make, and I think he is a better hitter than .255," Bowa said. "He's probably the least of worries for the staff. I think he has a lot of baseball left in him."
about 3 hours ago
Welcome to the first edition of "this week in dumb off season ideas." Hopefully this will become a recurring piece throughout the off season, where I can shoot down ridiculous trade concepts, conceptual free agent signings, and general ...
Welcome to the first edition of "this week in dumb off season ideas." Hopefully this will become a recurring piece throughout the off season, where I can shoot down ridiculous trade concepts, conceptual free agent signings, and general nonsense related to the fact that baseball doesn't start for 5 months or so, the hot stove won't really get fired up for two months, and everyone and their mother is interested in figuring out the future. My intention is to hopefully have enough juicy content from the media to find something so blatantly dumb that it's super easy to say "ARE YOU INSANE??" Something that regardless of your opinion of the Phillies' future (rebuild/re-tool/trade 'em all and spend to win), this specific idea is so moronic and bad that anyone in any camp will agree. But I don't want to limit the stupidity to just the media. No friends, you are all welcome to get Catz'd if you so choose. Simply tweet you're stupid trade idea or free agent signing to @joecatz with the hashtag #PhilliesIdeas and one lucky winner will get the privilege each week of either being right (in the case that you wow me with something so impressively good that I wish I had thought of it myself) or being so wrong that you'll wish you hadn't tweeted me. Up first: THIS GEM from former Phillies beat writer and current New York Daily news scribe Andy Martino. Most of the article deals with the Yankees, but hidden near the bottom is this nugget of delicious, ridiculous hearsay. Here’s another small tidbit: The Phillies re-hired franchise icon Larry Bowa as bench coach yesterday. Cano was extremely close with Bowa when both were with the Yankees. Ruben Amaro Jr. seems ready to be his swashbuckling offseason self again (and you have to figure Chase Utley would move somewhere for Robinson Freaking Cano). Does this add up to anything? Probably not, because it’s all about the money. But if the money is there, maybe Bowa becomes a secondary factor in a complicated decision. Oh Andy... Look, I know RUBEN SMUGGED YOU HARD A FEW WEEKS AGO and I myself agree that they're gonna do something extremely big and mildly stupid. But Robinson Cano? There are so many reasons why going after Cano is absurd, stupid, and not going to happen that it would take a month to list them all, so I'm going to break it down into ten easy reasons. He's LH and plays 2B, a postion the Phillies just re-signed a franchise icon to play.They need a C, a corner OF and pitching. Preferably of the RH hitting variety!! That guy you want to move to 3B for Cano CAN'T PLAY 3B!! He's gonna cost 25mm a year, minimum, for 8 billion years. Signing Cano would be the only move the team legitimately could make this off season that would cripple them for years. Even if you COULD move Utley to 3B, that's like THE ONE POSITION IN THE SYSTEM where you have decent depth!! He's repped by JAY Z, not Wil Smith. Wrong rapper, wrong city. If the Phillies had any desire to spend the money on Cano, they would not have inked Utley to an extention. If the Phillies really wanted to move Utley to 3B, and sign a 2B there are Better, Cheaper, and younger ways to do it Larry Bowa is the devil. I thought we cleared up that no one likes the old coot yesterday. To sign Robinson Cano, you have to do the following: A) find a taker for Ryan Howard B) get Utey to agree to move to 1B, which is really the only place to move him to, and if you can somehow manage that then the guy you sign isn't Cano, its THIS GUY. Seriously Andy, you never had me at hello, but you lost me at Larry Bowa. No offense here, if you are actually reading this, but did you really just waste valuable space in the NY Daily News pontificating that there is a chance that Robinson Cano could decide who he plays for based on THEIR BENCH COACH??? Robbie Cano is going to follow the scent of the almighty dollar. Plain and simple. He's a gun for hire to the highest bidder. The team that gets him is going to h
about 5 hours ago
Fresh news from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Charlie Manuel is in the middle of making a decision of whether or not he wants to return to the Phillies in an advisory capacity. Gelb spoke to general manager Ruben Amaro, who cit...
Fresh news from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Charlie Manuel is in the middle of making a decision of whether or not he wants to return to the Phillies in an advisory capacity. Gelb spoke to general manager Ruben Amaro, who cited Dallas Green and Pat Gillick‘s returns to the Phillies after their time with the Phils as manager and general manager, respectively, had expired. Gelb quotes Amaro with the following: “Charlie is in the process of deciding what he wants to do,” Amaro said. “He would be a valuable member of our organization. I think he could help in a variety of ways. Hopefully we can work it out. We have made him an offer. Hopefully it would be something he’d be interested in doing. “Charlie is in a position right now where he doesn’t have to do anything. But I think he’s always been pretty fond of the Phillies and the feeling is mutual. Hopefully we can bring him back. If not, that will certainly be his choice.” Analysis: Great work by Gelb to address an issue that had been hanging since Manuel was let go. The team has a desire to bring its winningingest manager back but you have to wonder if Manuel may pursue one of the vacant MLB managerial availabilities, including but not limited to the Nationals, Cubs, Mariners, and possibly the Yankees.
about 6 hours ago
Jesse Biddle was ranked the #1 prospect in the system by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2013 season and he certainly looked the part in April when I wrote this. As the year progressed, Biddle did not. You’d need a ...
Jesse Biddle was ranked the #1 prospect in the system by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2013 season and he certainly looked the part in April when I wrote this. As the year progressed, Biddle did not. You’d need a harem of interns to keep track of the times I’ve had people in the business utter this sentence: “If you’ve seen it, it’s in there.” With Biddle, I’ve seen plus fastball velocity with plus command and great downhill plane, a plus curveball and a fringe average changeup. If the changeup comes along a little bit and the secondary, less sexy parts of the game mature then you’re looking at a #3 starter. That’s been his ceiling and continues to be his ceiling and you should read the report I filed on Biddle in May because just about all of it still holds true. There are, however, things we saw this season in regards to Biddle that suppress my optimism about him getting to that aforementioned ceiling. As the season wore on Biddle’s control/command came and went. Mostly, it went. Both his fastball and curveball were suddenly wild mustangs instead of the well-trained colts they’d been early in the year. Pitch after pitch from Biddle was up at the throat, well out of the zone. He’d have games where he’d walk half a dozen batters in just a few innings of work before he was mercifully removed. By mid-summer people in the game were asking me if I knew why Biddle kept sweating so much and wanted to know if I’d heard anything about him drinking to excess. I had not heard that and have not heard that. He looked haggard, weak and beaten on the mound. It surfaced that Biddle was diagnosed with whooping cough in late April and pitched through it the rest of the year. By the end of the season things had gotten marginally better. The curveball was back to being a consistently plus pitch and was being thrown for strikes while the fastball control was still poor. He was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis toward the end of the season and, after walking seven batters over three innings in front of me and most of the Phillies front office on August 28th, did not make his final start of the 2013 campaign. It was a tremendously difficult year for Biddle who is as charismatic and gregarious a young man as I’ve encountered in the minors. I have sympathy for him and what he’s had to deal with this year but I have to evaluate what I saw on the field. And, while plantar fasciitis, which is extraordinarily painful, presents a valid explanation for Biddle’s athletic struggles, I just don’t know how whooping cough can impact one’s control/command to such a degree. I’m not saying it didn’t cause problems, nor am I dismissing the idea that it hampered his effectiveness. Rather, it’s a foreign affliction whose impacts on athletic machinations are unbeknownst to me. The reality of Biddle’s struggles as it pertains to his development are this: He was constantly falling behind in the count and failing to get himself into counts where he could work on his changeup, the pitch he really needed to work on coming into this year to take that next developmental step. He also wasn’t able to polish up things like his pitch sequencing and his pacing and everything else hurlers need to grasp before they’re ready for the Majors because he had no choice but to whittle things down to the absolute basics and try to get his fastball over, pitch after pitch. But I have seen it. I’ve seen Biddle pump fastballs at the knees to both corners with impunity. I’ve seen hitters flail at curveballs they knew were coming and I’ve seen weak groundballs induced by a decent changeup that had fastball-sitting hitters out on their front foot. I just saw it in April and haven’t since. So the ceiling is still that of a #3 and I still think he falls a tad short of that, as I did in May, and becomes a workhorse #4 starter. I just think that, after a season of essentially treading water, the latter outcome is more likely than it was before. There’s certai
about 7 hours ago
As a birthday present to me this year, Ruben Amaro decided to sign Chad Durbin. This was just under a week removed from the everlasting Delmon Young signing, capping off a week of deals that amounted to relatively little baseball money b...
As a birthday present to me this year, Ruben Amaro decided to sign Chad Durbin. This was just under a week removed from the everlasting Delmon Young signing, capping off a week of deals that amounted to relatively little baseball money but relatively lots of anguish and gray-hairing. Durbin was inked to a one-year deal plus a club option, and was guaranteed $1.1 million with his $850k salary in ’13 and $250k buyout in ’14, plus games played incentives he never had a prayer of collecting. Durbin had posted a decent ERA with mediocre peripherals in 2012, and in a vacuum, maybe the deal wasn’t so bad. But there were principles and circumstances surrounding this deal that made it an antagonist from the get-go. Entering the season, the Phillies were nothing if not flush with young, reliever-profile pitchers on or capable of being on the 40-man roster, and looked to be able to fill their bullpen needs from within. Instead, Durbin was picked up, and that eventually cost Justin De Fratus a chance to break with the big league club after the spring. Alright, so that’s not a huge deal. And besides, Durbin was probably only going to be used in lower-leverage situations, yeah? Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo and the newly-signed Mike Adams were all certain to have later-inning prerogative. Heck, even Phillippe Aumont had people thinking he was on the cusp of turning into a formidable relief presence. It looked like there were better options, and so all we were to expect of Durbin was mop-up duty. But, naturally, things just don’t work that simply. Amaro’s multi-year contract fetish couldn’t be suppressed enough to forgo the unnecessary second-year option, and Durbin didn’t even need half of the first season to show just how unnecessary it was. Eight times in his second go-round with the Phillies did Durbin enter a game with the score tied or the Phillies within two runs (only once did he enter with a lead, and it was six runs). He allowed five of his own runs in addition to seven of 11 inherited runners. He allowed runs in five of his seven May appearances. He finished his season with a 1.063 OPS allowed. He was bad, and he was jettisoned. I originally gave Durbin a D-, but after going through it all and feeling about as disenchanted as someone going stag on prom night, I’ve got to fall back to the pack with a big, fat F. Thanks for 2008, Chad. Bill Michael Eric Ryan F F F F
about 9 hours ago
Owners may be smiling in 2014 if they pick up Singleton for a 2nd-half surge.Jonathan Singleton was an 8th round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies back in 2009. In 2011, he was traded to Houston along with Jarred Cosart and 2 other prosp...
Owners may be smiling in 2014 if they pick up Singleton for a 2nd-half surge.Jonathan Singleton was an 8th round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies back in 2009. In 2011, he was traded to Houston along with Jarred Cosart and 2 other prospects for outfielder Hunter Pence. In 2013, he was then suspended for 50 games after his second failed drug test for Marijuana (you’d think he would stop smoking pot).For most of his professional career, he’s been in the 30-50 range on most prospect lists and I’m sure his suspension probably dragged him down a few spots this past season. He reached as high as Triple-A this season and has yet to make his Major League debut Read more Hunter Pence news
about 9 hours ago
Welcome to Arizona, where the heat is dry and the heat is dry and also relentless. I wouldn’t know, though. Never been. My sister was once. She found a pistol in a cabin. True story. It wasn’t loaded. But six men who can say ...
Welcome to Arizona, where the heat is dry and the heat is dry and also relentless. I wouldn’t know, though. Never been. My sister was once. She found a pistol in a cabin. True story. It wasn’t loaded. But six men who can say they’ve been there – maybe more than once, at this point – are Cameron Rupp, Aaron Altherr, and a slew of young Phillies pitchers, the likes of whom I barely recognize. Kyle Simon is there. He used to have a cool mustache. I do know that. It’s time for the Arizona Fall League, when the Phillies will send six of their more curious prospects to the Peoria Javelinas to join forces with some of the worst franchises in recent baseball history – the Mariners, Astros, Padres, and Royals – and do battle with other prospects doing the exact same thing, but with different teams. The Phillies’ six could be standing next to some of the better prospects in the game, given the low-standing of their temporary Major League allies and therefore solid draft position over the years. Last year, the Phillies reps were playing on the same team as “Runnin’” Billy Hamilton, who once stole every base, then took off into the air and stole every star in the sky, too. Today, things kicked off with a 12:35, Mountain Time match-up against the  Surprise Saguaros, featuring Orioles, Red Sox, Rangers, Brewers, and Indians. The season will continue through November 14, when Christmas season starts, which is followed by The Dark Time when there is neither baseball or Christmas and everyone at work thinks you are too quiet and distant to not have killed cats as a child, and then you remember the Carribean Winter Leagues and try to get into them but by then it’s too late and you think whatever spring training starts in a few weeks anyway. The Javelinas almost but then did triumph in their AFL opener against the Saguaros in Surprise, a town that does not require an exclamation point in its correct spelling. The Saguaros had two scoring deposits in the first and sixth innings that proved too much for the Javelinas, going up 2-0 early and 7-3 later. The Javelinas clawed to a 3-3 tie in sixth, only to see the Padres’ Adys Portillo give up a hit batsman and two walks before a grand slam from the Brewers’ Mitch Haniger. The Phillies’ Ken Giles pitched the seventh, striking out two (one looking, one flailing like an idiot) and giving up a hit but no runs. The Javelinas came back to make it 7-6 before not coming back any more than that and losing 7-6.  Aaron Altherr was the Phillies’ sole representative in the lineup, starting in center field and generally being in the middle of everything. He bat fifth, from where he went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and RBI singles, at least one of which was heroic. Aaron Altherr (#Phillies) delivers an RBI single to score Stefen Romero (#Mariners) and Peoria ties the game, 3-3, in the 6th. #AFL13 — Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 8, 2013 Altherr is a derfinitive AFL player; a guy who the Phillies like and has proven to be versatile and talented, but needs to be reworked a bit to a point that his fundamentals are more trustworthy. His improvements this year as a 22-year-old in the Florida State League with Clearwater were made visible by his cracking of the FSL Top 20 listing. He was #20. Though Kelly Dugan didn’t make the list after he went insane this year, so. Get excited! **grabs your laptop, smashes it to pieces on table** I SAID GET EXCITED. FUN FACT: Altherr’s fellow center fielder on the Javelinas is Delino DeShields, Jr.! Huh. Well, that actually wasn’t very fun. But it will get better! Think of all that could happen! Aaron Altherr! Cameron Rupp! **consults Javelinas roster**  Mike… Nesseth! And all the rest.
about 10 hours ago
Dom Brown was a breakout star for the Phillies in 2013. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports I’m still not sure what to make of Domonic Brown. Even though he made the NL All-Star team this year, and even though he is the ...
Dom Brown was a breakout star for the Phillies in 2013. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports I’m still not sure what to make of Domonic Brown. Even though he made the NL All-Star team this year, and even though he is the Phillies’ nominee for the Hank Aaron Award this year, and even though he seemed to enjoy a “breakout” campaign in 2013, I’m still not sure exactly how good Dom Brown is. Most power hitters are streaky. I get that. Power streaks will probably always be a part of Brown’s game, and that’s fine. And when you look at his final offensive numbers, you see a player who performed as well, and perhaps a bit better, than even most optimists could have expected. The Phillies head into 2014 with question marks at numerous places, including one of the corner outfield spots. Perhaps the Phils will upgrade in center field and move Ben Revere to a corner spot. Whatever they decide to do, one outfield spot is locked in for next year, and that is Brown’s. But as one takes a closer look at his season, one wonders exactly what kind of player Brown really is. Brown finished the year with a slash line of .272/.324/.494 with an OPS of .818, 27 HRs and 21 2Bs in 139 games (540 PAs). That’s a darn decent season right there. However, Brown, who has been injury-prone during his brief career so far, missed portions of this season due to a concussion as well as a problem with his Achilles. And when looking at his monthly splits, you can see a player whose year-end numbers were due in large part to an insane month-long hot streak in May that inflated his power numbers. Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB BA OBP SLG OPS April/March 26 25 97 86 8 20 3 0 3 11 0 0 9 .233 .309 .372 .681 May 28 27 109 109 17 33 4 1 12 25 3 1 0 .303 .303 .688 .991 June 28 28 121 108 18 30 6 2 6 21 5 0 12 .278 .347 .537 .884 July 17 17 75 70 8 18 4 1 3 12 0 0 4 .257 .293 .471 .765 August 23 20 79 72 7 21 1 0 3 12 0 2 6 .292 .342 .431 .772 Sept/Oct 17 14 59 51 7 13 3 0 0 2 0 0 8 .255 .356 .314 .670 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 10/9/2013. Of course, his May numbers were otherworldly, but were also an oddity. Brown hit 12 HRs that month, but didn’t walk a single time. You might have heard about that. It was in all the papers. And in case you need a refresher, here’s a .gif reminder of Brown’s 12 homers that month (courtesy of Crashburn Alley). I could watch that loop over and over. But from July through the end of the season, in 213 plate appearances, Brown hit just six home runs and batted .269/.329/.415 for an OPS of .743. And from August 16th through the end of the season, in 102 PAs (it was during this time Brown missed games due to his Achilles), he hit .253/.324/.286 for an OPS of .609, with no homers and just 3 doubles. That .286 slugging percentage is particularly galling, although we are looking at a small sample size, here. Some of that may be due to the concussion he suffered at the end of July and early August. But that’s a long stretch of games for a “power hitter” to go without power. Now, it should be noted, no one expected Brown to club 30-35 homers this year. Most expect Brown to be a 25-30 HR guy who gets on base a bit. His numbers this year ended up being pretty much what people thought his ceiling would be, although his on-base percentage and walk rate probably weren’t as high as some would have liked. Obviously, Brown did enough to guarantee himself a spot in the middle of the Phillies’ order next year and a spot in either left or right field. He’s also made himself a virtual must-not-trade commodity, unless the Phils are so blown away by a deal that they have to consider it. I’m not saying that Brown is a fraud and that the Phils should look to deal him while his stock is high. I’m excited about what he did in 2013 and am
about 10 hours ago
When Ryne Sandberg was a mere 22-year-old infielder with an oddly spelled name at Wrigley Field, Larry Bowa was there. They ate lunch before games. They talked about that day's opposing pitcher. Later, once they finished nine innings of ...
When Ryne Sandberg was a mere 22-year-old infielder with an oddly spelled name at Wrigley Field, Larry Bowa was there. They ate lunch before games. They talked about that day's opposing pitcher. Later, once they finished nine innings of work, the two men who were traded together from Philadelphia to Chicago shared a beer.
about 15 hours ago