Philadelphia Phillies All-Fan Favorite Team

November 30, 2011 by Avery Maehrer  
Filed under Fan News

Through over a century of play and two World Series championships, the Phillies have had their fair share of athletes at each position. Many we remember. Some we forget. The ones we truly remember, however, are oftentimes the ones we love.

In Philadelphia, oftentimes, love for their athletes is hard to come by. That only serves to make these individuals even more unique and special.

Here is the All-Fan Favorite Team for the Phillies, highlighting the most popular players at each position.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies: 3 Starts in 5 Days in 1950

November 30, 2011 by harold friend  
Filed under Fan News

Let us go back to the thrilling baseball days when pitchers finished what they started. When pitchers weren'’t coddled and when the ace of the staff pitched when his team needed a win, regardless when he last pitched.

Let us go back to one of the most exciting of all pennant races, the one between the Philadelphia Philles and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.

At the close of play on Tuesday, September 26, the Phillies had a seemingly safe five-game lead over Brooklyn, but as experienced baseball fans never seem to learn, no lead is safe.

The Philadelphia Phillies were in New York to play a doubleheader against the Giants on Wednesday.

Now, “doubleheader” meant that fans paid one admission to see two regularly scheduled games. There was about a 20-minute break between games.

Today, “doubleheader” means that one game is played in the afternoon, fans leave the ballpark and then another game is played at night. Those who want to see the second game pay a second admission.

Sometimes, the home team requires fans who want to see both games to remove their cars from the parking lot and then re-park it before the second game. Of course, there is a second parking fee.

Robin Roberts started the opener against the Giants, yielding five runs in four innings. The Phillies lost, 8-7, with Jim Konstanty being charged with loss. Big Giants right-hander Jim Hearn shut out the Phillies in the nightcap, 5-0.

A few miles away, Brooklyn was splitting a twin bill against the Braves to shave a game off the Philadelphia lead, but the Dodgers' loss reduced the Phillies’ magic number to two games.

Any combination of Phillies wins and/or Brooklyn losses totaling two would give the Phillies their second pennant and first since the 1915 glory days of Grover Cleveland Alexander.

The next day, the same things happened. The Phillies lost another doubleheader to the Giants while Brooklyn split a doubleheader with the Braves, cutting the lead to three games. The Phillies were assured of no less than a tie for the pennant.

Who was the Phillies’ starting pitcher in the second game of the second twin bill? Robin Roberts, that’s who.

Phillies manager Eddie Sawyer reasoned that since Roberts had pitched only four innings the previous day and since Friday was an off day, Roberts should be able to pitch. He would have Friday and Saturday to rest.

Roberts pitched effectively, but a Whitey Lockman bloop hit did him in. He lost. What is fascinating is that newspaper accounts do not even mention that Roberts was starting with no days' rest.

Although the Phillies were not scheduled on Friday, September 29, Brooklyn had another doubleheader against Boston. It was the third consecutive doubleheader for the Dodgers and Braves.

Facing elimination with a loss, the Dodgers swept the doubleheader, cutting the Phillies' lead to a mere two games. The Phillies were coming to Brooklyn for the last two games of the season.

Bob Miller started for the Phillies against Brooklyn’s Erv Palica. The Dodgers won, 7-3, which meant that they could force a three-game playoff with a win on Sunday against Phillies’ starter Robin Roberts.

You read that right. Roberts started on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Roberts started the final regular season game. With the Phillies leading 1-0 in the Dodgers’ sixth, PeeWee Reese hit a towering two out fly ball to right field that lodged in the screen. It was ruled a game-tying home run.

The game remained 1-1 until Dick Sisler hit a three-run home run in the 10th inning. Roberts retired the Dodgers in the bottom of the 10th.

Robin Roberts had his 20th win. The Phillies had their pennant.

 

References:

Sheehan, Joseph M. “Giants Turn Back Whiz Kids, 8-7, 5-0, Scoring the Winning Run for the Giants in the Tenth.” New York Times 28 September, 1950: p.52.

Effrat, Louis. “Giants Turn Back Whiz Kids, 3-1, 3-1; A Blow That Helped the Giants Beat Phillies Yesterday.” New York Times 59 September, 1950: p.35.

McGowen, Roscoe. “Palica Takes 13th; Snider and Campanella Drive Dodger Homers Against Konstanty; Timely Triple for Reese; Four-Run Fifth Defeats Phils and Catcher’s Four-Bagger in Eighth Adds Three; Dodgers Top Phils, 7-3; Need One to Tie.” New York Times 1 October, 1950: p.159.

McGowen, Roscoe. “Phils Beat Dodgers for Flag; Win 4-1 on Homer in Tenth.” New York Times 2 October 1950: p.1.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Sign Pitchers Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches

November 30, 2011 by Alex Schuhart  
Filed under Fan News

File this one under the “He’s Still In Professional Baseball?” file.

According to The Sports Network, rhe Philadelphia Phillies have signed right-handed pitcher Scott Elarton, who hasn’t played in the major leagues since 2008, to a minor league contract.

They also came to terms with reliever Brian Sanches, also per The Sports Network.

The 35-year-old Elarton, once a very highly-touted prospect, has had a career marred by injuries and inconsistency. He last pitched professionally in 2010 and did not perform well—surely, anyone not named Scott Elarton thought his career was over after his unimpressive showing.

Well, he’s back—at least, until spring training.

The former first-round draft pick began his major league career over a decade ago in 1998 for the Houston Astros.

While with the ‘Stros, he had some pretty impressive seasons—including one in which he won 17 games—before imploding in 2001 by posting an ERA over seven and earning a trade to the Colorado Rockies.

He then missed all of 2002 due to injury and then spent the next six years bouncing around the major and minor leagues, making stops with the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.

2009 was another missed season, and his 2010 was an abominable 16-game spell in the Rockies minor league system in which he posted an 8.24 ERA. He did not pitch in 2011.

Each year, while teams are busily looking to sign the top big name free-agents, they are also sifting through the detritus, seeking a hidden gem, searching for some long-forgotten name to give a look.

Scott Elarton, it appears, is one such name.

The Phils also signed a slightly more-well remembered name in 33-year-old relief pitcher Brian Sanches. The righty pitched for the Florida Marlins in 2011 and went 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA in 39 games, missing a chunk of the season to an elbow injury.

The Texas native, who began his major league career with the Phillies in 2006, had two excellent seasons with the Fish in 2009 and 2010, going a combined 6-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 108 games.

In six big league seasons, he is 13-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 189 games. He might be able to benefit the Phillies’ bullpen, as he has shown a solid strikeout ability in the past.

In other news, pitcher Scott Mathieson, who the Phillies recently released, was signed by the Japanese Yomiuri Giants, according to The Sports Network. It’ll be interesting to see if, like other pitchers before him, he will have success overseas and be able to return to play stateside. 

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies 2012: 5 Notable Prospects Not Protected in Rule 5 Draft

November 30, 2011 by Marilee Gallagher  
Filed under Fan News

The weather in December may be getting colder, but the MLB offseason is heating up by the minute. With baseball Winter Meetings underway and free agent rumors circling every baseball website, the MLB Hot Stove has never been hotter.

Plus, with a star-studded class of Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and the biggest signing so far in Jonathon Papelbon, the potential for big signings this offseason has many excited.

In addition to free agent signings, December also features the Rule 5 Draft in which Triple and Double A players from each organization are available to be traded to a new team. It has been described as rooting through a clearance rack in hopes to find a player who will help your club but knowing that you are not likely to discover an all-star difference maker.

That is not to say you won't get a good player such as Michael Martinez who helped the Phillies in 2011, or rarer yet to find a prospect turned future all-star like Josh Hamilton, Shane Victorino or Dan Uggla, all of whom were selected in the draft.

The Rule 5 Draft does have its stipulations however. Not all of the MLB teams have to select a player and the cost is $50,000 to take a player. If the selected player remains active on his big league club for a minimum of 90 days and stays on the 40- man roster for the entire season, the new team can keep him. If not, he has to be offered back to his old team where they have the option to release of keep the player in addition to returning half of the $50,000 that was offered to them.

While any AA or AAA prospect can be taken, each team has the ability to protect a handful of its players by adding them to their 40-man roster.

As of last week the Phillies made their decisions on who to protect. They added RHP Phillipe Aumont, LHP Jacob Diekman, OF Tyson Gilles and C Sebastian Valle. With the 40-man roster filled and prospects like 2B Freddy Galvis, OF Domonic Brown and pitchers JC Ramirez, Justin De Fratus and Joe Savery already on it, here are some notable names the Phillies chose not to protect from the Rule 5 Draft. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Why They Should Not Trade Cole Hamels

November 30, 2011 by Zak Schmoll  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have been largely criticized for being too focused on the present. However, if the Phillies do indeed want to win right now, Cole Hamels should by no means be traded.

It has been reported by Buster Olney of ESPN and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus that the Phillies front office might decide to shop the 27-year-old left-hander.

In a sense, I do understand what might motivate this. After the 2012 season, Hamels will indeed be a free agent. He is going to get a monster paycheck because whoever signs him will virtually be getting one of the better pitchers in baseball for his prime.

Since most players hit their prime around their late 20s and early 30s, it is kind of scary to think about what Hamels might be able to do. Last season, he went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and an incredibly low 0.99 WHIP.

For those of you like sabermetrics, his 4.9 Wins Above Replacement according to FanGraphs tied for 16th among pitchers. That puts him in pretty elite company.

The Philadelphia Phillies definitely want to win right now, and Hamels could be a very important part of that. Roy Oswalt has already left, so the Phillies could go from the "Four Aces" to the "Two Aces."

However, this should not happen. The Phillies essentially survived last season because of their starting pitching. They helped win many games even when the offense was not producing very well. Hamels was a large part of this success.

If the Phillies trade him away, they are not being consistent with their focus to win now. Granted, I appreciate the fact that he could bring a lot of prospects back to Philadelphia. However, right now is not the time to trade him.

The Phillies are still in a position to compete for the World Series in 2012. Their entire team is not getting any younger, and they will need to rebuild eventually. However, I would argue that they might have one more year before beginning this process.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Potential Roadblocks in the Phillies’ Offseason Plans

November 30, 2011 by Alec Snyder  
Filed under Fan News

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. has quite a bit on his plate this offseason. Having already signed a veteran closer in Jonathan Papelbon, Amaro has one less obligation to worry about.

However, he's still got a few more positions to settle: shortstop, another pinch hitter or two, and a left-handed reliever. Amaro could also look to sign a starting left fielder if he feels that John Mayberry Jr. can't get the job done, or he could sign another starting pitcher if he feels that the rotation is lacking.

The offseason is still just beginning. With the kickoff of the annual Winter Meetings next week in Dallas, there will be signings galore, and most of the remaining free agents will have found their new (or former) team.

The biggest question is not who Amaro could sign, but what could prevent him from doing so for specific players. Signing higher profile free agents, such as Jimmy Rollins, will have more obstacles. Others may have a slight obstacle. Nevertheless, Amaro will have to work around any given roadblocks, and he'll have to settle with the fact that not every deal he wants to do will get done.

But what sorts of roadblocks could persist? In this slideshow, we'll discuss some of the potential targets or target positions for which Amaro may pursue players and what could prevent him from getting who he wants.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Ed Wade: Why Wade Was the Best GM in Phillies History

November 30, 2011 by Eddie Ravert  
Filed under Fan News

Ed Wade has most recently been in the news for being fired as the General Manager of the Houston Astros.  Before his brief stint with the Astros, Wade was the General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies for eight years.

However, Wade is more known for helping out the Phils after he left the City of Brotherly Love.  During his four-year tenure in Houston, Wade traded the Phillies numerous All-Star players getting very little in return.

Many Phillies fans joke Wade never left the Phillies organization.  Click ahead to see the best deals Wade made with the Phillies and why, even after he left the team, he is the best GM in Phillies history.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Sign Pat Misch; Release Scott Mathieson

November 29, 2011 by Alex Schuhart  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have added left-handed pitcher Pat Misch to the organization, while bidding farewell to 27-year-old hurler Scott Mathieson.

Misch was signed to a minor league contract, while the right-handed Mathieson has become a free agent. Both pitchers are career minor leaguers, seeing action in only a handful of games at the major league level each season.

Misch, 30, pitched in the New York Mets organization in 2011, making six big-league relief appearances and going 1-0 with a 10.29 ERA in seven innings. At the minor league level, he went 8-9 with a 4.00 ERA in 22 starts for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

He had pitched in the Mets organization since 2009 and previously twirled for the San Francisco Giants. In six big-league seasons, he is 4-15 with a 4.80 ERA.

The Canada-born Mathieson, who had been in the Phillies’ system since 2002, appeared in four games in relief for the big club last season, going decision-less while posting a perfect 0.00 ERA. He spent most of the year with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, going 2-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 30 games, 12 of which he started.

He had spent parts of three seasons with the Phillies, going 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 15 games (eight starts).

In acquiring Misch, the Phillies are obtaining a pitcher who, according to The Sports Network, “is a crafty lefty that has also displayed the ability to dominate hitters in the minors. [He] is versatile enough to relieve or start.”

With the departure of Mathieson, they lose a pitcher who has “the versatility to pitch as a starter or reliever” and who  “can strike batters out,” per The Sports Network.

Misch is one of multiple New York Mets castoffs the Phillies have signed in recent years. Last season, they signed Luis Castillo, Les Walrond, Tim Redding and Aaron Heilman, all of whom had played for, or had been signed by, the Mets since 2008.

Other notable Mets' castoffs they have signed in recent years include Nelson Figueroa, Raul Valdes and Brian Schneider.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

50 Greatest Moments in Philadelphia Phillies Franchise History

November 29, 2011 by Greg Pinto  
Filed under Fan News

Looking for some of the greatest moments in the history of baseball? Well, you are in luck. With 128 yeas of existence, the Philadelphia Phillies have been crafting some of the game's most memorable moments since their inception in 1883.

Though times have not always been good for the Phillies' franchise, when they have been, they've been unforgettable. From Brad Lidge dropping to his knees to celebrate the 2008 World Series win to Tug McGraw going skyward to celebrate his club's victory, the Phillies have tasted victory along with defeat.

It has been the struggle of this franchise that have made those moments memorable. With more than 10,000 losses, who can say that they've endured more hardship? The fans that have stuck with this team through the thick and thin have been rewarded in recent years, and with one of the highest payrolls and greatest ballparks in all of baseball, the days of the "small market" Phillies are long gone.

So as the team hopes to create new memories in the future, let us look to the past to see where this franchise has come from: The 50 greatest moments in franchise history.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Ranking Ruben Amaro’s 6 Best Trades

November 29, 2011 by Joe Iannello  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have gone from perennial cellar-dweller to the year in and year out odds-on favorite to win the World Series under Ruben Amaro's watch.

Amaro took over as GM of the Philies after serving as Assistant GM to Hall of Fame inductee Pat Gillick, who also happened to bring a World Championship to the City of Brotherly Love.

It is incredible to look back at this point and realize that Amaro has been able to bring in the top player(s)  available each year. The man clearly values pitching above all else, but this past year at the trade deadline he showed that he is willing to make a big move for a bat.

There's a famous saying, "Hater's gonna hate," and that clearly applies to Ruben Amaro. He has built a team that is loaded with aces and is solid from the back end of the bullpen.

That rotation will continue to make them extremely difficult to beat in a playoff series, whether they've come up short in the playoffs or not.

Vegas is in the business of making money and they seem to agree that it's smart money to make the Phillies the favorite again in 2012.

If you are still questioning whether or not Ruben Amaro is a force in the MLB, then look no further than the boss to the devil himself. The GM of the New York Yankees Brian Cashman told Ken Rosenthal, "I'm not Ruben Amaro," referring to the Phillies GM and his affinity for blockbuster trades.

Take a look at this ranking of Ruben Amaro's six best trades as GM of the Phillies.

Some of them are in the remember-where-you-were-and-exactly-what-you-were-doing-when-that-trade-happened variety.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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