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Showing posts from December, 2009

The 2009 Ballzy Awards

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly bring to you the inaugural edition of THE BALLZIES...PhoulBallz.com's annual awards given out for the finest achievements in the Phillies organization as well as related things and stuff. Without any additional delay, let's get this thing rollin'. Major League Player of the Year- Ryan Howard Howard is one of the most consistent hitters in baseball today. He's had four straight seasons with 45 or more homers and over 135 RBI. Howard also won the most valuable player award of the NLCS in 2009. He is one of the greatest Phillies hitters of all time. There's not much else to say. Minor League Player of the Year- Domonic Brown The Phils' #1 prospect hit for a .299 batting average in 106 games while smashing 14 homers, 64 RBI and swiping 23 bags. When watching Brown play it is easy to tell he's got the right tools and he is a pure athlete. Speed on the bases, range in the outfield, an excellent arm, a solid bat...it'

Winter Classic Coming to Another MLB Venue

Folks, the annual NHL Winter Classic is coming up on New Year's Day. Philadelphia's very own Flyers, riding a 4 game win streak, will be participating in the contest as they visit the Bruins in Boston. A couple years ago, the NHL started the tradition of an outdoor game each year on January 1st. The first Winter Classic was hosted by the Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Buffalo Bills normally play, and the second one was held at Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Cubs play, with the Blackhawks hosting. Still in its infancy, the NHL plans to make the Winter Classic bigger and better each year. This year's game being played at one of sports' most storied venues fits right in with that plan. Fenway Park, the usual dwelling of the Red Sox, with be home to the Bruins on New Year's Day. Soccer and football have both been played at Fenway Park in the past, but this will be the first hockey game played there. Fenway will also host a NCAA game when Boston Univers

Bruntlett Signs With Nats, Manager Book Worth Checking Out

Washington Nationals, you just had two consecutive 100+ loss seasons...what are you gonna do now? We're going to Beard-o World! On Monday, the Nationals signed Eric Bruntlett to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Bruntlett batted .172 with a .462 OPS in 72 games for the Phillies in 2009. I hope Santa brought you something good, Nats fans, because your team sure as heck isn't going to. --------------------------------- Looking for a good way to spend those AmEx and Visa gift cards that you got for the holidays? Make sure you check out Chris Jaffe's book Evaluating Baseball's Managers, A History and Analysis of Performance in the Major Leagues, 1876–2008. Jaffe is a writer for HardballTimes.com . The book, just made available to the public, is a remarkable study of Major League managers throughout the history of the sport and applies a sabremetric approach to reviewing the performances of such great skippers as Connie Mack and Tommy Laso

Sunday School: History Lesson 43

Hugh Mulcahy was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1935-1940, then again from 1945-1946. Mulcahy was the first Major League regular to enter the military during World War II. Mulcahy was a converted infielder, whose arm strength earned him a trial on the pitchers mound. Mulcahy was purchased by the Phillies from the Senators in July 1935 and made his Phillies debut that year in a single inning of relief work against the Pirates, the only other Major League team he would ever play for. In that appearance, he faced Lloyd Waner, Paul Waner and Arky Vaughn, three future Hall of Famers, and retired them all in order. Mulcahy then made 5 starts, but failed to win any of them and was sent back to the minors and was urged to abandon his side arm delivery, and raise it to a higher angle. Mulcahy went on to earn 25 wins with Hazleton to lead the Class A New York-Penn League. That would earn him a return trip to the big leagues. Mulcahy's time with the Phillies earned him the unique ni

Best Holiday Wishes From PhoulBallz

Have a holly jolly Christmas! ------------------------------ Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

Christmas Q&A With Justin De Fratus

If you keep up with things here at PhoulBallz.com, you should be familiar with pitching prospect Justin De Fratus . After going 5-6 with a 3.19 ERA in 36 games and making the SAL all star team with the Lakewood BlueClaws this season, the right hander, who will be 22 years old for the entire 2010 season, was declared to have the best control of all pitching prospects in the Phillies' system by Baseball America this offseason. I had the opportunity to ask some questions of Justin this week regarding how he celebrates his holiday, among other Christmas type questions. Here is how that went down... Can I get you to talk about your typical Christmas with relatives? Any good family traditions? My Christmas starts on Christmas Eve. It's been the same schedule for as long as I can remember. Christmas Eve,we head down to Fountain Valley, Ca. to visit with my Dad's side of the family which consists of 17 members. We have dinner, exchange gifts and just visit. We're usually don

A Glance at 2009 MLB Payrolls

Taking a look at this AP graphic detailing 2009 MLB payrolls, the differences are clear. The fun part of looking over something like this is picking out the underachievers and the surprise performers. The difference between the Detroit Tigers' payroll and the Florida Marlins' total team salary is nearly 102 million dollars. The difference between the Tigers and Marlins in 2009 total wins is 1 (the Marlins has one more win than the Tigers). That is remarkable value from Florida. In fact, the Marlins, with the lowest payroll in MLB, had more wins than 19 teams and the same amount of wins as one other team. 15 of those 19 teams that the Marlins were better than had a payroll that was at least DOUBLE what the Marlins paid their 40 man roster. At 87 wins, the Marlins finished just 6 games out of the division lead and 5 games back in the wild card standings. Imagine if that team actually spent some money and brought in some help for the existing core of young players. Adding vetera

It's Written All Over Your Faces

The following pictures are of former free agent pitchers Jason Marquis and John Lackey. One man just signed with the Washington Nationals, the other man signed with the Boston Red Sox. Judging by their expressions, can you tell who will be playing where? ------------------------------- Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE for more cool content!

Phans Phunding Kalas Statue

Let me start by stating that I absolutely think the Phillies should honor Harry Kalas in as many ways as possible. We know about the restaurant at Citizens Bank Park, we're all aware that the team renamed their television broadcast booth after Harry, and of course it was a big deal when the team honored Harry with a spot on their Wall of Fame (unfortunately with a typographical error ). However, I am still not sure I am in love with the current methods of funding this project. The website HarryKalasStatue.com and the non-profit group Dear Harry Inc. have set out to collect a total of $80,000 in order to complete a 7 feet tall statue, which is slated to be created by local sculptor Lawrence Nolan. The goal, in the end, is for Dear Harry Inc. to present the statue as a gift to the Phillies. Dear Harry Inc. currently stands at roughly $15,000 raised. Check out the web site for full details. My issue is not with the idea or the group trying to make it happen. It's that the team

Sunday School: History Lesson 42

Otto Knabe was the starting second baseman for the Phillies from 1907-1913. For seven seasons, Knabe teamed with shortstop Mickey Doolan as the team's double play combination. In an era where runs were at a premium, Knabe excelled at the art of preventing runners from advancing. Knabe once spoke to a reporter about his playing days and the occasionally rough, aggressive style he and Doolan perfected. "Doolan and I didn't specialize in mayhem, but anything went if the umpire wasn't watching. The Cardinals and Phillies used to have some grand battles." In one game, Cards player-manager Roger Bresnahan had been spiked by Phils third baseman Hans Lobart and instructed his players to go after Lobert in retaliation. Knabe spoke of that game, "Ennis Oakes, a Cardinal outfielder, took it upon himself to avenge his manager. Oakes got to first base this day and shouted to Doolan and me, "I'm coming down!" We told him to come ahead and he did. As

The 8th Crazy Night & the #1 Video

As Hanukkah wraps up, so does the annual PhoulBallz top 8 Phillies videos countdown. There's really no need to explain this video or to elaborate on its ranking in this countdown. All I will say is Phillies phans were very lucky that HARRY KALAS was their guy for all those years. Happy Hanukkah to all. ---------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

Hanukkah Phillies Video Countdown, Night #7

In the annual Best Phillies YouTube Videos of the Year Countdown that we do every Hanukkah, we've reached this year's #2 video...which is actually a pair of clips honoring the Phillies' second straight World Series berth. The first of two here is the post game celebration from the TBS television broadcast of game 5 of the National League Championship Series, when the Phillies clinched a return to the World Series. Obviously, the game is more important than this content but, considering we always run into the issue of MLB being stingy with their game footage, we use the post game celebration instead. There are great moments here, including speeches by team president David Montgomery and series MVP Ryan Howard as well as a perfect moment as Philly phaithful boo broadcaster Ernie Johnson. As an extension to that video, we have the Ron Browz/Jim Jones "Pop Champagne" music video remix featuring Chan Hooooo Park celebrating the NLCS win. It was a tremendous ru

Plenty of Arms Left on the Farm

For those of you out there who are still somewhat displeased about the Phillies giving up Kyle Drabek in the Roy Halladay deal and who are concerned about the depth of starting pitching prospects in the Phillies' organization, I am here to reassure you that there is still a solid collection of pitching prospects on the way up for the defending National League Champions. Here's a rundown of guys who I feel make the system fairly deep with quality arms. Former 1st round draft pick (19th overall, 2007) Joe Savery has progressed nicely. Savery started his 2009 Double A campaign with a 9-1 record. He was 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 21 games at Reading, before being promoted to triple A Lehigh Valley. With the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Savery posted a 4-2 record with a 4.38 ERA in 7 starts. While his ERA's at both levels could use improving, a plus with Savery is that he allowed no homeruns after his promotion. The lefty should start the 2010 season at triple A and could be an op

Halladay is Here!

In one side of a blockbuster tri-fold deal, the Phillies acquired pitching ace Roy Halladay in a long rumored trade with Toronto on Wednesday. The deal sent prospects Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek and Travis D'Arnaud to the Blue Jays. Money was a key factor in the Phillies side of the swap, as the Blue Jays also sent $6 million to the Phillies. Halladay has agreed to sign a contract extension with the Phillies. It is a 3-year $60 million deal with a vesting 4th year option. The $20 million option for 2014 becomes guaranteed if Halladay meets all 3 of the following criteria: he pitches 225 innings in 2013, he pitches 415 combined innings in 2012 and 2013 and is not on the disabled list at the end of the 2013 season. “This is where (my family and I) wanted to be,” Halladay said at an introductory press conference at Citizens Bank Park. “It was an easy decision for me. Once the opportunity came up for me to be part of this, it was something I couldn’t pass up.” It's quite a

Hanukkah Countdown, Night #6/Video #3

Hey, gang. It's the 6th night of Hannukah, and we're getting closer to the top ranked spot on this year's PhoulBallz Top 8 Phillies Videos on YouTube Countdown. The #3 video is this edited clip of Henry Hill in Goodfellas reacting to the Phillies' radio broadcast when Jimmy Rollins slapped the game winning walk-off hit to beat the Dodgers in game 4 of the National League Championship Series. It was the greatest comeback I have ever seen. The creator of the video, "n8productions", did so to win a t-shirt from thefightins.com. So, to the creator and the fightins I offer tips of the proverbial cap, and congrats on creating a tremendous video for all phans. Happy Hanukkah, everyone. ------------------- Hey, follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

More of the 8 Crazy Nights Video Countdown

It's the 5th night of Hanukkah and the PhoulBallz Phillies Video Countdown is still rolling along. The 4th ranked video is FunnyOrDie.com's skit where Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard host a Fantasy Camp. The clip was done in conjunction with the MLB Players Association Players Trust. It was quite funny and encouraged volunteerism. Good stuff. Happy Hanukkah! --------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz on Twitter HERE !

An Insider's Opinions on Shipped Prospects

As the projected Roy Halladay trade continues to draw closer to finality, I wanted to offer some input on the minor leaguers that the Phillies are set to ship to Toronto. In all, the Phillies will have sent away 7 total prospects for Halladay and other pieces. Add the four prospects (Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald) it took to acquire Cliff Lee from the Indians in July, to the group currently being discussed, Travis D'Arnaud, Michael Taylor and Kyle Drabek, and the Phillies will have given up 7 of their 10 best prospects, as ranked by Baseball America in January 2009. Of those seven, I had the chance to watch 4 of them play quite a bit this year, and got to know them a bit through interviews and off the record conversations. The two biggest days in this site's history, traffic-wise, have been on days that Phillies/Cliff Lee trade news has erupted on the baseball world. As baseball fans everywhere search for the big Phillies prospects' names o

Reports: Halladay Acquisition Nearly Complete

It has been reported many ways, with plenty of different names attached. Initial reports, from SI.com, had Cliff Lee going to Seattle as part of a three-way deal. Halladay has a full no-trade clause that would have to be waived for any trade to go through. The Associated Press released details, citing information from an individual close to the negotiations stating that Joe Blanton, "Jay" Happ and minor league OF Domonic Brown would be dealt away. Brown was ranked as the #1 prospect in the Phillies' system by Baseball America this offseason. However, CSN's Jim Salisbury has reported that sources are telling him that pitching prospect Kyle Drabek is in the deal and Brown would stay. Lee is included in the deal, Salisbury reports. Meanwhile, Jayson Stark of ESPN reported that catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud would be included in the players that the Phillies send to Toronto. D'Arnaud was ranked #4 in the Phillies' system by Baseball America. A long