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Showing posts from November, 2009

Sunday School: History Lesson 40

Ken Raffensberger was a pitcher for the Phillies from 1943-1947. Raffensberger debuted in the majors with St. Louis in 1939, but went a combined 7-10 over parts of three seasons with Cardinals and Cubs before spending 1942 and most of 1943 in the minors. The Phillies acquired Raffensberger after he won 19 games in the Pacific Coast League in 1943. Raffensberger was a control pitcher who relied heavily on his sweeping curve, and rarely walked the opposition. Raffensberger walked more than 45 batters only one season in his career, while throwing more than 100 innings ten times. In 1944, Raffensberger won 4 of his first 5 starts including a shutout of the Reds in May. Raffensberger got little run support from his team though. His record on the season was 13-20, and the Phillies scored just 2 runs or less in 12 of his defeats. Raffensberger was named an all star that season for the Phils. The following season, Raffensberger pitched in just 5 games before joining the Navy. When R

Moyer Update and More

Jamie Moyer had another surgical procedure on Friday to repair a blood collection detected in an MRI earlier this week. The blood collection was in his groin and lower abdomen area that was repaired by a surgeon earlier this autumn. Dr. Bill Meyers performed the latest surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Moyer may remain hospitalized until Monday. This surgery is not expected to impact his spring training schedule. ------------------------------- For anyone who is not pleased with the Phillies' free agents signings that included Juan Castro, DeWayne Wise and Wilson Valdez this week...I encourage you to wait for better news. These guys won't be the only additions that the team makes. I view the collection of reserve level talent as a positive thing. Last offseason, the Phillies added several lowly regarded infielders (Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles, Pablo Ozuna) to compete for jobs in spring training. Cairo made the roster, got demoted, and returned for the

Happy Thanksgiving Day & News Links

Duke the dog is here to wish you a happy Thanksgiving Day! He is also here to offer some links to Phillies news... Jamie Moyer is dealing with complications with his surgically repaired groin/lower abdomen and was hospitalized. Updates can be found here . The Phillies have signed DeWayne Wise and Wilson Valdez . Click on each player's name for stats and information about him. Wise is widely remembered for his amazing catch that preserved Mark Buehrle's perfect game. Valdez is widely forgotten for not performing well offensively. One more thing from Duke...he wants you all to know that ToysForTots.org can be used to help individuals find their local Toys For Tots drop off destination all throughout the holiday season. ------------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

MVP Voting is a Joke (For Some)

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was awarded his third National League Most Valuable Player award on Tuesday. The honor put Pujols in select company, as only Barry Bonds has won more. Stan Musial, another Cardinal won three NL MVP's also (1943, 1946, 1948). Pujols was also just the sixth player to win the NL MVP by a unanimous vote. Overall, there was no surprise in the announcement of Pujols as MVP. He led the Major Leagues in homers (47), runs (124) and slugging percentage (.658) and he did it while batting .327. Additionally, there were no surprises when Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Troy Tulowitzki finished sprinkled behind Pujols, as their offensive numbers were all deserving of top 5 status, but not quite worthy of the top honor, by comparison. There were, however, stunning aspects relating to the voting announcements...one standout inclusion and one note worthy omission. Would anyone agree with Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that Giants

Mexican Winter League Phillies Update

Last week PhoulBallz updated you on some final numbers from the land of the Arizona Fall League. There's another offseason hot spot for baseball and it's known as the Mexican Pacific League. Phillies minor leaguers John Mayberry Jr., BJ Rosenberg, Michael Taylor and Neil Sellers are playing there for the Yaquis de Obregon. Right now, the Yaquis are 20-18, in 4th place. Sebastian Valle is also playing in the league. In 32 games in the Mexican "Winter" League, Mayberry Jr. is batting .314 with 7 homers, 23 RBI and a .910 OPS. Against lefties, Mayberry Jr. is batting .500 (14-for-28) with a 1.319 OPS. Mayberry Jr., a former first round draft pick of the Rangers, batted .211 with 4 homers in 39 Major League games with the Phillies this season. Sellers, who played third base for double A Reading this year, batted .371 with 3 homeruns, 18 RBI and a .953 OPS in 23 games with Obregon. Taylor, the Phillies' 3rd best prospect (as ranked by Baseball America), batted .308 w

Sunday School: History Lesson 39

Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones was a third baseman with the Phillies from 1947-1959. Jones was a big country boy from South Carolina who combined slick defense with a strong bat. The nickname Puddin' Head came from his childhood friends after a character in a film by the same name. Jones spent more than a decade manning the hot corner and played more games at third base for the Phillies than anyone except Mike Schmidt. At the plate, Jones' strong bat provided a boost on offense for the Phillies lineup. In 1949, Jones took over full time duties at third base for the Phils and early that season, Jones hit four consecutive doubles in one game against the Braves. That same season, in a game against the Reds, he hit a triple and a homer in the same inning. When the Phillies won the National League pennant in 1950, Jones' 25 homeruns and 88 RBI were both second best on the team. He led the league in games played that year also. Jones was an all star in both th

Arizona Fall League Review

On Thursday, the last regular scheduled games were played in the Arizona Fall League. Eight players from the Phillies organization played for the Scottsdale Scorpions, along with prospects from the Giants, Pirates, Rockies and D-Backs. Scottsdale finished 15-16 in the six team league. Pirates minor league coach Jeff Banister managed the team, while Lakewood BlueClaws pitching coach Bob Milacki, who coached in the Pirates system last year, acted as the pitching coach. Listed below are AFL stats for each of the Phillies organization's 8 players... Michael Schwimer, relief pitcher- 10 games, 0-0 record, 0 saves, 4.26 ERA, 12 2/3 IP, 8 K, 8 BB. Scott Mathieson, relief pitcher- 11 games, 0-0 record, 0 saves, 2.84 ERA, 12 2/3 IP, 15 K, 8 BB. Michael Cisco, starting pitcher- 6 starts, 1-2 record, 0 saves, 3.38 ERA, 18 2/3 IP, 13 K, 8 BB. Edgar Garcia, relief pitcher- 10 games, 1 start, 2-2 record, 0 saves, 5.29 ERA, 17 innings, 10 K, 4 BB. Troy Hanzawa, shortstop- 2-for-25 (.080

Journal Register Company: Domonic Brown an Idiot

Be sure to check out Bucks Local News' online story today that calls Domonic Brown an idiot. Matthew Fleishman, the author of the article titled, "Phillies hot stove is heating up", included a note to the editor reading, "(* NFP. DOMONIC IS SPELLED RIGHT. HE'S JUST AN IDIOT *)". NFP means not for publication. A screen capture of the publishing error is below. Link here , until a site editor corrects the oversight. Bucks Local News is a network of publications owned by The Journal Register Company. Their local papers serve the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Fleishman is the editor for Yardley News, which is a paper under The Journal Register Company's banner. Fleishman's blog, On the Edge, found here , contains a version of the article without the remark not intended for publication. No word yet on if the incorrect version made it to print for the Yardley News. In an interview with Brown back in July, I asked him about confusion over the spellin

Rule 5 Draft Blockin'

Outfielder Quintin Berry If you missed the news yesterday, the Phillies added three minor league players to their 40-man roster, increasing the total on the current 40-man roster to 30. 2009 Reading Phillies Quintin Berry and Yohan Flande along with 2009 Lakewood BlueClaw Jesus Sanchez were the players added. Berry was an Eastern League all star in 2009, batting .266 with 48 steals for Reading. Flande was a star in the MLB All Star weekend Futures Game and won 11 games at two levels in the minor leagues this year. Sanchez, a right handed pitcher acquired in the 2006 Bobby Abreu trade, went 9-2 with a 2.57 ERA after May, helping Lakewood win the SAL title. 2009 was Sanchez's first full season as a pitcher, after converting from catching. Sanchez warming up before a September start With the Rule 5 draft coming up at next month's winter meetings, the Phillies saw fit to protect players who might be subjected to picks by other ML organizations. Players are eligible for s

DeRosa the Favorite at 3rd?

The Phillies have reportedly put free agent Mark DeRosa atop their wish list to fill the team's void at third base. Reports state DeRosa could sign with Philadelphia by the end of the week. The 9 year Major League veteran, grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He was originally a 7th round draft selection of the Braves in 1996. DeRosa, a right handed batter, is a career .275 hitter with a .767 OPS. A versatile fielder, he has played 6 different positions in the majors, including all four infield spots. In 311 career games at the hot corner, DeRosa has a .955 fielding percentage. Comparatively, the Phillies' previous third baseman Pedro Feliz had a .254 career batting average and a .715 OPS. He also had a .964 fielding percentage in 899 career games at third base. Great defense aside, Feliz's offensive production has been on a steady decline. Feliz's OPS has dropped in each of his past six seasons. Phillies management obvious

Phillies Buzz

There was plenty of news in Phillies land on Monday. "Jay" Happ finished 2nd in NL Rookie of the Year voting, Eric Bruntlett will officially not return to the team next year and the Phils are reportedly a possibility for Pedro Martinez to return to next year. MLB announced that Chris Coghlan of the Marlins was the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year. Phillies pitcher "Jay" Happ finished second and was the only candidate who appear on all 32 submitted ballots. Coghlan, in fact, did not appear on seven ballots. Coghlan led NL rookies in batting avg. (.321), runs (84), hits (162), on base percentage (.390) and total bases (232). Happ had a 12-4 record and a 2.93 ERA for the National League Champions. Utility player Eric Bruntlett refused a minor league assignment from the Phillies and became a free agent on Monday. Bruntlett will forever have two claims to fame for the Phillies...1- scoring the winning run in the 2008 World Series...2- the unassisted game endin

A FEEL For the Game...

This is an entry by guest blogger Allen Schatz. Allen may be familiar to some of you as "raschatz" on twitter and Facebook. Allen is a fiction writer and is currently shopping a murder mystery set on a baseball canvas. Those in the business may wish to click here , to find out more about Allen's work. Much has been said and written about how the Phillies have turned a corner in recent years, how they finally seem to "get it." I was reminded of that after another day of Eagles football came and went with a hauntingly familiar result. The Birds have taken over as Philadelphia's -- hell, maybe ALL of professional sport's -- Groundhog Day Team. You know, they do the same thing over and over and expect something different to result. Phil Sheridan of the Philly Inquirer hit on it in his assessment of their latest loss... "The veteran head coach has to take some of the heat for the way some very good drives fizzled..." "The Eagles' ina

Sunday School: History Lesson 38

Bernie Friberg was an infielder for the Phillies from 1925-1932. Friberg drove in more than 80 runs twice for the Cubs before coming to Philadelphia in 1925. Friberg's positional versatility kept him active. In 1925, he played all 4 infield positions, the outfield, caught a game and even pitched for the Phillies. In 1926, Friberg spent the entire season at second base, playing 144 games there, but over the next few seasons, he mixed it up all over the infield and played outfield some more. Friberg would fill in where ever he was needed. Phillies manager Burt Shotton called Friberg, "the most valuable man on our team." In 1929, Friberg received some consideration for the league MVP award, finishing 18th in the voting. Offensively, Friberg never became a huge run producer. His best season at the plate was 1929, when hit 7 homers, drove in 55 and had an OPS of .808. In 8 years with the Phillies, Friberg was a .274 hitter in 795 games played. In 1926, Friberg led

Guillermo Interviews Sammy Sosa

With the World Series over, Sammy Sosa's skin color has become the most talked about story related to baseball, so, here is another installment from Jimmy Kimmel Live with Guillermo tackling the biggest news in the sport. Guillermo "interviewed" Sosa to discuss the controversy, en Espanol. ------------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

First Round Drafting Around the NL East

As Brett Myers departs from the Philadelphia Phillies organization, has another bust of a first round draft pick been secured in team history? Myers was the second highest paid Phillie in 2009. With the Phillies locked into the $12 million range on Myers, there was no chance of him returning. I can easily concede that Myers was successful at times and will forever be cemented in team lore for closing down the 2007 East Division title and for his efforts in the 2008 postseason, but were a few shining moments enough to prove him worthy of a top draft spot? This makes two consecutive offseasons where the Phillies will have cut ties with former first round picks, with last year's casualty being 1998 #1 overall pick Pat Burrell. Letting these players go before they could evolve into the faces of the franchise that Phillies phans hoped they'd both become, in the late 90's, got me wondering if they were busts. That then got me reflecting on all the top draft pick busts I grew up

Sosa's New Look and Neighborhood Chatter

If you haven't seen Sammy Sosa lately, have a look at the above video, as The Young Turks discuss his new appearance. Here's are some links to what's hot on some of the pro's blogs... Rumors about Roy Halladay have picked up again over the past couple days. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki hashes out why Halladay still won't be a Phillie here . On his blog, Scott Lauber took a look at free agent rankings and the draft pick compensation system. Click here to check that out. Baseball America's John Manuel gave an interview to BlueClaws Blog about his Phillies prospect rankings. Check that out here . John Finger has no qualms about asserting that Charlie Manuel is the best manager in Phillies history. For that article, click here . ------------------------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

Baseball America's Top 10 Prospect List

Baseball America released its list of top 10 Phillies prospects today. The article, found by clicking here , includes a projected future lineup for the Phillies, salary bonus information, a breakdown of best tools throughout the system and a review of the organization's turnaround over the past decade. The author, John Manuel, states that, " No organization transformed its image in the 2000s more than the Phillies," and it was surely for the better. Pitching prospect Justin De Fratus, on the honor of "Best Control" on Baseball America's Phillies prospect tools list, said, "That's pretty cool to be recognized for that. To be considered the best in a certain area, in such an elite organization, is great. Especially because control and command is something I take a lot of pride in." De Fratus always credits his father Terry as being key in helping with his success with location. A while back, Justin told me, "(My dad is) the reason why I thr

Sunday School: History Lesson 37

Clay Dalrymple was a catcher with the Phillies from 1960-1968. Never a huge offensive threat, Dalrymple's defensive skills kept him behind the plate as the Phillies' everyday catcher. It was well known that his signal calling abilities and strong throwing arm were Dalrymple's strengths and made up for any shortcomings at bat. Dalrymple was part of the well-known 1964 Phillies team that is infamous for their collapse down the stretch. That season, the Phillies blew a 6 1/2 game lead with 15 games left to play. Dalrymple's best offensive season came in 1962 when he hit 11 homers, drove in 54 runs with a .276 avg. and an .809 OPS. Over the next 3 seasons, Dalrymple's batting average would drop, plumeting to .213 in 1965. Dalrymple's sliding production with the bat became a source of frustration for many Phillies phans. In 1966, Clay's batting average bounced back up to .245 and he had a streak of 99 straight games without an error, but his .172 batting avera

Offseason Business Begins

It's been a brief offseason so far. But in the two short days since the Phillies' race to repeat ended, there have been a lot of happenings with the team. It was a sure thing that after the Yankees recorded the final out to win their 27th World Series Championship that the 25 men representing the Phillies at that time would never play together again, but as the days pass, the truth in that statement is increasingly clear. Brett Myers was informed on Friday that he will not return to the Phillies. Myers' was not surprised by the news, and looked forward to returning to Philadelphia as an opponent. Myers filed for free agency after being notified. Myers, a former first round draft pick, should draw plenty of interest around baseball. His future is most likely as a reliever. Also filing for free agency on Friday were Miguel Cairo and Pedro Martinez. The official free agency period begins 15 days after the end of the World Series. Two players had contracts who were finished

2009- Still a Great Year

The Phillies came up short in the World Series this time around. However, players and phans alike should all still feel as though 2009 was a hugely succesful year. I got the hate out of the way with my previous post , so, looking back, here are my top '09 reasons that Phillies phans should be pleased with the season that ended 2 wins shy of a World Series repeat... '09- The Phillies won the National League pennant. That is still a big deal. 8- Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels will bounce back. (Right? Won't they...?!) 7- Ruben Amaro Jr. knows what he is doing. Raul Ibanez, Cliff Lee and still having Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek and Dom Brown intact in the Phillies' system are certainly enough proof. 6- Ryan Howard developed himself into a better player. Showing up in Clearwater, the Phillies' spring training facility, slimmer, to work on his defense and focus on being a better hitter, early this year was where it all started. Howard's defense was visably improved

The New Champs are Here

Remember when Phillies phans would have been fully satisfied with a run like this? Remember how the Phillies franchise used to be...with no post season appearances for periods that seemed like lifetimes? Remember that 14 year playoff drought? In 2007, Phillies phaithful were just happy to get into October and, "So what?", when they got swept by the Rockies. That state of mind doesn't exist any longer. After a 2008 run where the Phillies just couldn't be stopped, once they got hot in September, and the team brought home a World Championship, no Philadelphia baseball lover is pleased with anything short of being number 1! But, coming in second isn't that bad. The Phillies were runners up to a cheating performance enhancing drug user (Alex Rodriguez), that other performance enhancing drug user (Andy Pettitte), that "legend" who was shown on camera this postseason making sure the umpire wasn't looking when he wanted to add spit to the baseball he was

World Series Preview, Game 6: Phillies at Yankees

Trying to extend the World Series to a 7th game for the first time since the 2001 postseason, when the Yankees lost to the Diamondbacks, the Phillies head to New York. The Yankees lead the series 3-2 and still stand just 27 outs from their 27th World Series Championship. The pitching match up pits two pitching greats, as Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez look to add to their legendary resumes. Read ahead for pitching match ups and other details from this game. Wednesday, 7:57pm. Pedro Martinez (0-1, 2.08 ERA in postseason) vs. Andy Pettitte (3-0, 3.24 ERA in postseason). On the road this season, Pedro was 3-1 in 4 starts with a 5.66 ERA. Martinez is 11-11 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 career starts against the Yankees. In his lone home start this postseason, Pettitte allowed 1 run over 6 1/3 innings to Anaheim. During the regular season, Pettitte was 6-4 with a 4.59 ERA in 16 road starts. Ryan Howard tied the all time record of 12 strikeouts in a single World Series, matching the record b

It's Election Day...Why Not?

Today's edition of the Philadelphia Daily News features Charlie Manuel in a Barack Obama presidential campaign themed poster. There IS hope. And because there's hope, here's a couple other Phillies in similar posters, that were on the web last year. Get out and VOTE today! ----------------------------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

Time For Some Action

Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown reported , following the Phillies World Series game 5 victory, that Phillies pitchers Cole Hamels and Brett Myers had a confrontation in the team's clubhouse that was only verbal and was defused before it escalated further. The exchange stemmed from Hamels' comments to a reporter after his game 3 loss on Saturday. Hamels, in regards to his rough and rugged season said, "I can't wait for it to end." The remark was taken somewhat out of context, as Hamels meant to speak of his struggles, not necessarily about his team's season. The story Brown reports says that Myers asked Hamels, "What are you doing here? I thought you quit." Hamels then responded with a profane remark. Before the encounter became worse, a team official escorted Myers away. Cole's comment to the media apparently has angered some teammates. Myers was warming up in the bullpen during the ninth inning of Monday night's game 5 win, while Ryan Madson

It's a Whole New Series

The Phillies bounced back in the World Series to force a return to the Bronx with an 8-6 victory at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night. Cliff Lee started the game and held the Yankees to just 2 runs through 7 innings, before running into some problems in the eight and being charged with 3 more runs. Lee's final line was 7 innings, 3 walks, 3 strike outs, 5 earned runs. Those numbers are misleading, as Lee really ran the show for the defending World Champions, and truly settled in after giving up a run on an Alex Rodriguez double in the first inning. Chase Utley was the offensive star for the Phillies. Utley blasted two homeruns, bringing his series total to a World Series record tying 5, and drove in 4 runs. Chase pounded the first homer off AJ Burnett in the first inning with 2 runners on, and the Phillies had a 3-1 lead after just 8 pitches in the bottom of the first inning. The second homer was a solo shot that came off of Phil Coke in the 7th inning. Utley is batting .333 i

Phils Drop Game 4, '2009 Lidge' is Back

It wasn't a save situation, but it was definitely the spot in the game where the home teams uses its closer, because at that stage of the game, the home team can't have a lead without the game ending, so there's no longer a chance for a save situation. Tie score, top of the ninth inning, the Phillies used their guy who locked it down for them all of last year...the same guy who has really struggled this season. Brad Lidge entered the game in the ninth inning and quickly retired the first two batters he faced, with the game tied 4-4. Up came Johnny Damon, who battled and drew pitch after pitch, before working a 2 out single. With Mark Teixeira batting, the Phillies shifted their infield toward the right side. Damon stole second, and third baseman Pedro Feliz fielded the throw from catcher Carlos Ruiz at second base. An alert Damon noticed that no Phillie was covering the third base bag that Feliz abandoned when he shifted, so Damon quickly broke for third, stealing TWO bas

Sunday School: History Lesson 36

Jack Sanford was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1956-1958. After debuting in 1956, appearing in 3 games, Sanford spent the full 1957 season as a member of the Phillies' starting rotation. That season, he won 19 games and was named National League Rookie of the Year. Sanford matured late, as he spent nearly 10 years in the minor leagues before he made the majors at the age of 27. In his ROY campaign season, Sanford was strong...striking out 10 batters in back to back victories over the Cubs and Pirates in May. The next month, Sanford shut out the Dodgers on 2 hits, and followed that up with a 1-0 win against the Cubs in which he allowed only 3 hits and struck out 13. On July 11th, he took a perfect game into the 8th inning against the Cubs before he gave up a hit, eventually winning 3-1. Sanford's early season success got him named to the NL all star team and by late July, his record was 13-3. Sanford finished the 1957 season with a record of 19-8, an ERA of 3.08 and his 188