Philadelphia Phillies: The Sluggers Of South Philly

August 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

How many of you out there remember the “The Big Red Machine” of the 1970s, the so called “Lumber Company” of the early and mid-’70s, and the “Running Red Birds” of the ’80s?

Those were offensive powerhouses: in the names of the Cincinnatti Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.

The Red Machine was known for its ability to get on base via the walk and single.

High batting averages then gave way to clutch hits from Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, George Foster, and Dave Concepcion. 

The Machine put their bats on the ball, had few strikeouts, and produced more doubles and triples then home runs.

The Red Machine was one of the most prolific offenses in the last 35 years.

The “Lumber Company” was a team made up of 280-290 hitters who were consistent in their ability to line the ball over the field coupled with a little pop.

Al Oliver, Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Richie Hebner, and Richie Zisk led this group of line-drive hitters who scored most of its runs via the single and double.

Although Parker could pop 25 and Stargell could knock 35 home runs during any year, they relied heavily on spraying the ball around the diamond.

The “Running Red Birds”, as the name implies, could score runs at will via the bunt, single, stolen base, and more of the same. 

With the likes of Vince Coleman, Willie McGee, Tom Herr, Andy Van Slyke, Jack Clarke, and Ozzie Smith, it was downright ugly.

Coleman and McGee could steal 100+ bases a season and score 130-140 runs a year. Herr, Van Slyke, and Ozzie would steal another 40 bases and consistently score 100 runs year in and year out.

Clarke added the pop in this lineup, which was as devastating a lineup as any team of the era.

This leaves us with only one; “The Sluggers of South Philly”, aka the Philadelphia Phillies.

The most potent offense of our era, the Phillies rely more heavily on the long ball.

The group of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Pedro Feliz leads this group of sluggers down South Broad Street.

Are they as dominating as those teams above?

They absolutely are. The dominate in slugging percentage and in runs scored via the home run yes.

On-base percentage goes to the “Running Red Birds” since they had six guys who would take walks and hit for a high average. Four of them could get on via the bunt and steal their way home.

If you are asking me who the most feared team is, I would have to say the “Sluggers of South Philly” is.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies: Incrementally and Synergistically Nearing Their Goal

July 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

You can’t argue with how the Phillies have constructed their baseball team.

A combination of three general managers: Ed Wade, Pat Gillick, and now Rueben Amaro, have all had their fingerprints on the makeup of this team.

Let us count the ways to a potential dynasty. It started with bringing up a young, talented core with which to build around. That nucleus is forming the foundation of a dynasty. Although a dynasty is presumptuous, it may not be too far off.

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Shane Victorino (Dodgers organization), and Pat Burrell, now with Tampa Bay, were all brought in by former general manager Ed Wade.

Wade knew and understood talent, as a former disciple of former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas.

Where Ed Wade fell short, however, was adding those strategic incremental pieces to get to that next level.

Spinning in mediocrity from 2001-05, the Phillies decided, despite Wade’s keen ability to draft, nurture, and develop young talent, to relieve Wade of his duties and hire a true tactician and one of baseball’s brilliant baseball minds in Pat Gillick.

It was certainly Gillick who took the Phillies to that level all teams seekwinning a world championship.

How did Gillick and his brain trust propel a bright young nucleus of players with an underachieving complementary cast into the very best in baseball?

He did it by acquiring lower level dollar incremental pieces with which when all added up equated to a greater whole. This is what is known as synergy: The whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts. Some of those parts were in the names of Werth, Dobbs, Feliz, Ruiz, Lidge, Blanton, Bruntlett, Jenkins, Coste, Stairs, Romero, Eyre, Durbin, and Moyer.

It would be fair to say that other than Lidge’s $9 million, Gillick did get the most bang for his buck with this group.

As Gillick stated, “Winning is done by adding smaller pieces, when in summation, can potentially maximize collective chemistry and synergy than a larger deal that may not fit in with your foundation or team philosophy”.

I believe and am a student of Gillick’s teachings and principles. Now Amaro, the protege, takes the baton and puts his relay team together.

Ibanez and Park, are first in line, and who knows what is next. While teams like the Yankees, Boston, Mets, and Dodgers look for major signings, the Phillies strategically add smaller dollar players, that when added up, achieve a greater value.

The Phillies’ front office deserves the credit for having a plan and not veering from it. A combination of tangibility, intangibility, mental toughness, leadership, and grit has created the plausibility for the greatest journey of any professional sports team.

That journey begins with a young core, complementary role players, and a cerebral management.

That journey ends in the form of a dynasty, subjected to just a few who are fortunate enough to have all the pieces come together at just the right time, with just the right formula.




Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies