Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ryan Madson is acting questionable

I've seen similar types of "poking fun" entries on other Phillies blogs. When this picture came across my desk today, I figured, "Why not...?"

Ryan Madson was out on the town (Manayunk) over the weekend and was photographed acting pretty with a purse slung over his shoulder and being chummy with a friend of mine. Can I really call him a friend, if he's actually my friends' friend, and I only prank called him once? Sure, why the heck not?!

The Market is Still Hot


Did you know...that, even with the $423.5 million that the Yankees just promised to CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and AJ Burnett, that their 2009 payroll is slated to be lower than it was in 2008? With several big contracts (Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano) coming off their books, the Yankees had loads of money to spend.

Speaking of phormer Phillie Bobby Abreu, the latest rumors state that Abreu is being targeted by two California teams...the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Manny Ramirez remains the Dodgers' first choice to play left field, but they can't wait around while other options that appeal to the Dodgers, like Abreu and Adam Dunn, are available. According to the LA Times, Manny's agent Scott Boras has been out of touch with the Dodgers since Mark Teixeira, another Boras client, signed with the Yankees before Christmas. Those hefty commission checks take some time to deposit, I suppose.

Among some mild chatter about the Athletics' interest in Bob Abreu, the LA Daily News also mentions Oakland's interest in Pat Burrell. Apparently the Tampa Bay Rays might be the A's chief competition in signing free agent outfielders Burrell, Garrett Anderson and/or Abreu.

For those wondering, in 2009, the Phillies do play the Rays...in the "On-deck Series" at home right before the regular season starts April 3rd and 4th, and on the road during the regular season, June 23-25. The Phillies face the Dodgers at home May 12-14, then visit LA in early June. The Phillies are not scheduled to play the A's.

In a roster note, our Phils signed reliever Gary Majewski to a minor league contract on Monday. Majewski was with the Nationals franchise before being traded to the Reds organization in the Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns deal, in 2006. Majewski is a righty who will turn 29 during spring training, and has a considerably high WHIP of 1.94 over the past two seasons. Majewski has little chance of making the opening day roster.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

As Hanukkah wraps up, so does the Top 8 Videos list

It's phinally here- The night we've all been waiting for. It is the 8th night of Hanukkah and that means The Phoul Ballz is bringing you The Best Phillies Video of 2008 (that I could find on Youtube).

This video is brought to you straight from the hometown radio broadcast booth. There is a combination of some things that make this one of the greatest clips I have ever seen. The main thing is, of course, the Phillies winning the World Series. Next, is Harry Kalas' classic call of the happenings on the field. And the other is "The Wheeler". Yes, The Wheeler is the party dance performed by Phils color analyst Chris Wheeler as he quietly celebrates, so that Harry can make the call. Fist pumping, near-humping gestures, high fives, arm thrusts and more all add up to the hottest moves this side of Danny Jackson's Hulk Hogan impressions.




*BONUS* These will be your honorable mentions for this list. Consideration could be made for having these videos rank in a tie at #1, since they represent the greatness of a World Championship and two of the videos include Harry Kalas as well.

1st honorable mention...Raising the 2008 World Championship Banner-


2nd honorable mention...Harry Kalas taunts the Phillies' rivals and sings "High Hopes"-


3rd honorable mention...Chase Utley sums up the 2008 season-

Hanukkah weekend!

We're up to #2! This video is classic and would surely we worthy of top status, if the Phillies didn't do what they did this year. If that spoils the number spot for you, keep in mind that here at the Phoul Ballz, you should expect the unexpected.

Anyway, our #2 video is the all time classic prank played by Brett Myers and dozens of cooperatives on rookie Kyle Kendrick. Myers worked with Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr, the media and teammates, during spring training, to convince Kendrick that he had been traded to Japan. Hilarity ensued, and the internet and national TV caught fire with prank-mania!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

THREE!

Hi, again. The countdown is now at #3. This place on the list belongs to Cole Hamels on the Late Show. Colbert became a national celebrity this autumn with his good looks, stellar post season pitching and, of course, his cool name. Here is night #6's entry for "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)".

Friday, December 26, 2008

As we continue on...

Welcome back to "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)". We're up to the final four. Starting off the top half of this list is one of the best plays of the season. It's the play that saved Brad Lidge's perfect season, and clinched the NL East division title for the Phillies. It's that hugely clutch 6-4-3 double play!! It's Jimmy Rollins' diving stop, followed by a flip to Chase Utley, who relays it to Ryan Howard!

The #4 videos on our list are the same play from 3 different angles. The top one here has the most complete view of the play, while the next two may have more intense displays from the crowd. Again, MLB's strict rules limit availability of regular game broadcast footage on Youtube, but that is what makes this list fun...because I've got to post phans' phootage from the stands. These phans-eye-view recordings show wild and amazing scenes as the crowd erupts and the ballpark practically shakes.





Thursday, December 25, 2008

Night 4 entry...& Ho, Ho, Ho!

Happy 4th night of Hannukah...a few hours late. It was a long night of Nintendo Wii playing at the House of Ballz.

It's time for our 4th entry on the list of "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)". Video #5 comes direct from the city of Los Angeles. You may recall Matt Stairs smashing a game winning homerun in the NLCS against LA's best reliever, Jonathan Broxton. Well, since MLB is stingy with their footage being posted and shown on Youtube, the homer itself is not available. However, we do have glorious footage of the Major League Baseball quote of the year. It's Stairs discribing the great feelings that follow such a momentous homerun. Enjoy. Merry Christmas and Happy Ass Hammering!




*BONUS* And since it's Christmas, let's see what the Reading Phillies' endless roster of mascots are placing on their gift wish lists.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Will is big enough to be #6

Happy 3rd night of Hannukah. It's time for the #6 video on "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)" list.

"How big is Will?" was the question that led little toddler Will to rile up an entire block of championship parade goers. In a video shot by his mother Heather, Will turned into a hype man for the excited crowd waiting to see their Phillies. Hundreds of thousands of internet views later, little Will has appeared on national television and will go down in Phillies history as the most famous phan from this season.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Round 2...



Happy second night of Hanukkah. Coming in at #7 on the list of "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)"...is the Phillie Phanatic getting his groove on with Shawn Hill, the dancing flyers phan. Flyers phaithful know Hill as the guy in the top row of the Wachovia Center that is featured on the video board throughout home games "whylen out" and boogying down to all types of music.



*BONUS* Both Shawn Hill videos with the Phanatic are equally as entertaining, so #7 is a two-parter. Let's go, Flyers!

8 Crazy Nights...8 Crazy Videos


Tonight began the fun of our multi-cultural celebrating of holidays in the Fam of Ballz. To go along with the time of year and the 8 night holiday based on a war...or lengthy burning oil, depending on which story you prefer...The Phoul Ballz will be posting a video each night of Hanukkah. This feature will be known as The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube).

Shouts out to my young cousins Eric and Aaron. Happy Hanukkah to you both.



The first entry in the 8 video countdown is from local voice impersonating legend Joe Conklin. It's his Phillies World Series theme song.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All I Want For "the Holidays" is the MLB Network


Ladies and gentlemen, there are 5 days left till Hannukah, 9 days left till Christmas and 16 days left till the premiere of the MLB Network. It's about time. Those of you that enjoy MLB.com's original programming, it may be a while till your favorite hosts appear on The MLB Network. The announced TV schedule is not similar to MLB.com's online schedule. MLB.com's studios are in NYC, and the MLB Network's studios will be in Secaucus NJ...so that's another bump in the road. Cross overs, while possible, might be less likely.

The great internet programming on MLB.com includes morning and afternoon talk shows, a midday fantasy advice call-in show, a lunch time talk show and variety half hour formatted show, and of course the nightly wrap up, as well as other original programming that focuses more on the history of the game. MLB.com's programming started as streaming radio shows, then upgraded to a visual medium when video feeds were provided for the same shows. Podcasts have steadily been available for most programming in recent years also. It remains to be seen if MLB Network will launch any of their internet shows onto television.

The aforementioned Network studios will include a replica baseball field that analysts will use for demonstration purposes. The infield will be half-scale, and the outfield wall will feature an out-of-town scoreboard modeled after the one at Citizens Bank Park.

Phormer Phillie Dan Plesac will be a studio analyst for MLB Network. Plesac, a 3 time all star was the last Phillies pitcher to appear in a game at Veterans Stadium.

For those of you with cable, the MLB Network is slated to be part of the NBA TV and NFL Network package. Satellite customers will have the MLB Network available also.


To touch on some other news from recent posts here....
-Raul Ibanez's deal is actually for 3 years, $31.5 million.
-In last week's Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected RHP Robert Mosebach from the Angels, OF Javis Diaz from the Padres, and IF Kyle Haines from the Giants. Diaz and Haines were selected in the minor league portion of the draft, which means they are not required to stay on the Phillies' ML roster, or be offered back. Brett Harker, Ronald Hill and John Suomi, all Reading Phillies, were taken by other teams during the Rule 5 draft.
-Jamie Moyer's 2 year deal is worth $13 million total, with incentives. $6.5 million each year, with bonuses that could add $1.25 million each year for innings pitched totals and starts made.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coming to CBP in 2009- Chan Ho's Banjos!


Chan Ho Park has signed with the Phillies. Park was quoted in a press conference from his native Korea today saying, "I selected Philadelphia because they are the World Series champions and have high expectations for a playoff berth next season." Park also mentioned that part of the Phillies' pitch to him, was that they viewed him as a starter, which he liked.

Park will make a base salary of $2.5 million with incentives that could double his salary.


Charlie Manuel was interviewed by Comcast Sportsnet at an autograph signing yesterday. Charlie stated that he feels strongly that the Phillies should re-sign Jamie Moyer. There's still no real news on that front. Moyer could still sign with the Phils and be the 4th starter. That would leave Park, JA Happ, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco and possibly Adam Eaton and Joe Bisenius battling for that 5th starter spot. However, if the Phillies really look at Park as a starter, 6 guys trying to earn two spots, might be more ideal for the payroll than those same six duking it out over 1 spot in the rotation, especially when they won't have to pay a 4th starter, like Moyer, $10 million or more.

*BONUS*...
This afternoon, the Phillies and Jamie Moyer have come to terms on a 2-year contract. More details, later, when they are made available.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cole Calling the Kettle Crap AND Bye Bye, Burrell



I guess this is news because of who said it. The statement itself is certainly not news to any of us. National League Championship Series MVP and World Series MVP Cole Hamels appeared on a New York radio show on Thursday, and when asked if the Mets are choke artists, he confirmed it. Colbert told one of the WFAN radio hosts, "That’s kind of what we believe and I think we’re going to always believe it until they prove us wrong." He went on to add, "Yeah, for the past two years they’ve been choke artists."

The statement is undeniable. I am sure Mets players wouldn't object, if they were asked the same thing. But leave it to the sports media to try and bleed a story out of the Phillies/Mets rivalry.


**Breaking news this morning**
Raul Ibanez and the Phillies have agreed on a three year contract. This all but gives Pat Burrell a nice pat on the bottom on his way out of town.

Ibanez, will get a 3 yr, $30 million contract. Ibanez's numbers are similar to, or better than Burrell's, and he will come to Philly at a cheaper price.

Ibanez averages for the past 3 seasons- 25.6 HR, 112.6 RBI, 89.3 runs.
Ibanez career totals- .818 OPS, .286 batting average.

Burrell averages for the past 3 seasons- 30.6 HR, 92.6 RBI, 77 runs.
Burrell career totals- .852 OPS, .257 batting average.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keystone Catch

The Phillies made the first roster alteration at the winter meetings on Wednesday, by trading minor league catcher Jason Jaramillo to the Pirates for Ronny Paulino. This trade deepens the Phillies at the catching position and could have other effects on the 2009 team. The move could unofficially end Chris Coste's run as a Phillie. It could also make Carlos Ruiz or even Lou Marson trade bait.

Another move that happened on Wednesday that could effect the Phillies down the road is the Yankees signing CC Sabathia. $161 million?! Wow. Now let's look forward to the day when Cole Hamels wants that top free agent pitcher money. Enjoy young Colbert while you can, Phillies phans.

New reports about the Phillies' interest in Minnesota's Delmon Young and Chan Ho Park are the buzz today. Park, who was with the Dodgers in 2008, is not the LA pitcher most Phillies phans were hoping for (eh-hem, Derek Lowe!). Park, however, was fairly solid this year posting a 3.40 ERA in over 95 innings of work, mostly in relief. He faired much better in the 1st half than he did after the all star break (4-2, 2.63 ERA before...0-2, 5.04 ERA after). Young was the 1st overall draft pick in 2003 and had his best ML season in 2007 when he hit .288 with 13 homers, 93 RBI and 10 steals.

The Rule 5 draft happens today, on the last day of the winter meetings. I always forget the exact criteria for the draft, as there's a year in between that permits the memory to fade. But the basic outline is to prevent teams from hording too many young players in their minor league systems, if there are other teams willing to give the players a shot in the majors. Once selected, a team must add the player to their 40-man roster immediately and the player must stay on the team's 25-man major league roster for the entire follow season, or else be offered back to the original team. Shane Victorino is the Phillies' most notable rule 5 draft selection. Jeremy Slayden may be a Phillie that other teams will target this time around. Okay, maybe not...I just had a good picture of him messing with Greg Golson's mit that I wanted to post.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Charlie smells what the Ballz is cookin'!


Two days into the winter meetings in Las Vegas NV, and the Phillies' have made no additions.

On day #2, the Phils retained the services of their manager, Charlie Manuel, for an extra season. Charlie's club option for 2010 will be picked up, and Manuel was extended through 2011.

Manuel's 2009 salary will be $1.5 million, and just about double that by 2011.

Day 1 of the winter meetings was fairly uneventful in Vegas, at least as far as the team roster and staff goes. There was some fun had here at home though. 2007 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins attended the live World Wrestling Entertainment program Monday Night Raw at the Wachovia Center, where he was seated in the front row. A WWE star nicknamed "MVP", Montel Vontavious Porter, targeted Rollins with a Philadelphia diss-filled rant that saw Porter claim he was a real MVP, unlike the fluke J-Roll. Porter also claimed to be better than Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. It was a classic heel tirade. Insult the home crowd's sports teams to get some extra heat. It makes the fans that much more interested in "the good guy". "MVP" was jokingly pictured here on The Phoul Ballz last month in an post about the end of the Phillies' streak of most valuable player winners.

To view the segment featuring Rollins, check out the following link. Skip to the 0:58 mark. J-Roll is shown at 5:17, and is also seen celebrating the result of the match around the 6:17 mark. WWE star Charlie Haas, a former Seton Hall wrestling stand out, has an on-air gimmick where he mocks other wrestlers. His persona in this edition of Raw is "Most Valuable Charlie". I'm sorry, but Phillies phans know who the real MVC is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydNIour_ffk



From the Hot Stove rumor mill...There's a 3 or 4 team deal being talked about that might see the Phils giving up lefty "Jay" Happ or righty Kyle Kendrick for infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa. The Phillies and Yankees are reportedly the two main teams targeting free agent starting pitcher Derek Lowe. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed that if the Phillies sign Lowe, then Jamie Moyer would no longer be persued by the Phillies. Amaro continues to state that the 5th starter role will be filled from within with guys like Happ, Kendrick, Joe Bisenius, Adam Eaton, and so on, competing for the job.

In rival news...the New York Mess signed some guy named Francisco. He's supposed to be the best closer from that other league. The Mess sure love signing guys who are supposed to be the best free agent(/player) at their respective positions to huge dollar contracts. Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana and now "K-Rod". I'm sure spending $37 million on a guy who plays in roughly 4.8% of your innings will prove to be money well spent.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Season's Meetings




MLB's winter meetings begin this coming Monday. According to new Phillies general manager Rueben Amaro Jr., the Phils' priorities are to add a starting pitcher and to improve the bullpen. Many expected Jamie Moyer to be re-signed by now, but it is likely that the Phillies are only willing to offer a 1-year contract, while Moyer and his agent, Jim Bronner, are wishing for a 2-year dealio. Derek Lowe's name has been in the media this week as a pitcher the Phillies have had talks with.

The gift giving season is also upon us. Phillies Phans young and old alike will have the World Series DVD on the wish lists this month. Allow me to give you a tip on where to find the glorious 8-disc set the cheapest. http://www.deepdiscount.com/viewproduct.htm?productId=54055428
DeepDiscount.com offers the full collector's set for the low price of $48.61, no tax, and shipping included. Amazon.com's item description of the bonus features includes this blurb...Alternate audio tracks featuring World Series announcers: Harry Kalas, Larry Andersen, Scott Fianzke, and Chris Wheeler (Phillies Radio); Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (Fox); Angel Torres, Miguel Morales, and Cos Villa (Fox Sports); Dave Willis and Andy Freed (Rays Radio) Of course, we realize they meant Scott Franzke and we're all very excited to have the option of listening to our local guys call the games. That is probably the best thing about the set.

And with Harry Kalas in mind, I'd like to assert my opinion that Harry Kalas is more of a Phillie than any of the players or coaches that wear that uniform on game days. Harry has been around longer than all of them, and he deserves to go down in history as one of the greatest Phillies of all time.

Have a great holiday season, everyone.