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Showing posts from January, 2010

Sunday School: History Lesson 48

George "Dode" Paskert was an outfielder with the Phillies from 1911-1917. The speedy Paskert's career in the Majors began with Cincinnati in 1907, but following a superb season in 1910, when he batted .300 while stealing 51 bases, Paskert was traded to the Phillies in an 8-player trade in which George McQuillan was the key piece on the other side of the deal. In just his second game with Philadelphia, "Dode" displayed a big dose of what could be expected from him in the field. Facing the NY Giants at the oddly shaped Polo Grounds, Paskert tracked down a long fly ball in the outfield gap off the bat of Fred Snodgrass. The ball appeared to be a sure extra base hit, until the swift Paskert closed in quickly, dove parallel to the ground and speared the ball with his bare hand. Teammate Sherry Magee, playing Left field that day, would later call it the greatest catch he had ever seen on a ball field. Paskert's efforts at the plate were generally on pace with

Jose Contreras is the Spawn of J-Roll & Michael Clarke Duncan

Have you ever wondered what the offspring of Jimmy Rollins and Michael Clarke Duncan would look like? If you have, wonder no longer. It would look exactly like Jose Contreras. Contreras, the newest addition to the Phillies' pitching staff, finalized a 1-year $1.5 million deal this week. The 38-year-old Contreras was in Philadelphia on Thursday to meet with the media. Through a translator, Contreras told reporters, "I'm very happy to get the opportunity to come here. I want to give my best to the team. I'm ready. I'm prepared to (start) or be in the bullpen. If I have to carry the bats, I'll carry the bats. I just want to win." General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke also and stated that, in the team's opinion, Contreras is best suited for a relief role. Amaro Jr. went on to describe Contreras as a "low-risk, high-reward type of guy". ----------------------------------------- Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HER

Charlie Hated on Scott Eyre & Chan Ho Park?

If you missed Charlie Manuel's press conference, on Tuesday, that was referred to as his State of the Phillies Address, you can view some of it by clicking here . In the latter portion of that clip, Manuel speaks about the dependable relievers that the Phillies have acquired this offseason...Jose Contreras and Danys Baez, stating, "Let me tell you something. We got two guys, if they're sore, or stiff, or got a headache, or they don't feel good, they'll pitch. And I know they'll pitch. And both of these guys are mentally tough guys. And that makes me feel good and I know both of 'em can pitch at least two innings. And I know they'll take the ball every time I want to give it to them. I know Baez will not turn the ball down." There's no question that Charlie Manuel is pleased with the acquisitions of each of these pitchers. The question remains, who was Manuel so sour toward that he feels like the Phillies have had pitchers who didn't truly

1/26/10 Notebook

Plenty of things going on around Baseball Land that are worth mentioning. Take a look, and catch yourself up. The Rookie Career Development Program is an annual MLB event, held every January, where top prospect are brought together to learn about life in the big leagues. It is designed to allow the young players to prepare for what lies ahead of them off the field...dealing with the media and finances, as well as any pressures that may arise at home or in the clubhouse. The symposium was held last week, and Phillies prospect right handed pitcher Phillippe Aumont, who was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade, was there. In an interview posted on Phillies.com ( here ), the Canadian born Aumont was asked about his language barrier coming from a background where French was his first language, and learning English on his own. He stated that, "It took me a while. It took me a few years to get over my stage where I was shy to speak and make mistakes and everything. And now I feel mor

Detroit's Wilkin Ramirez Picks on Sick Kids, Laughs

"Hello, young man. I am Wilkin Ramirez. Can I play Connect Four with you, while this photographer from our PR department takes a few pictures? What? You haven't heard of me? Pssh...what do you mean? I'm sayin'...I am a rookie, but I am kind of a hot shot, internationally known outfield stud. Who hasn't heard of Wilkin Ramirez ? Ughhh. Well, since you're such a foolish little punk who doesn't know his hospital bracelet from a hole in the ground, how about I just slap a little Connect FIVE on your ass for good measure?! Yeah, how ya like me now? Hahahahahahahah. In yo' FACE!" Yeah, that is what I think happened there when Tigers players visited the Detroit Medical Center Children's Hospital on Friday. All the kid wanted was a famous ballplayer to sit and play a game with him, and, since Wilkin Ramirez is a jerk hole, he showed this poor child what Connect Four is all about. Rather than give a sick child a morale boost, he dominated the youngste

Linkin' You Up

Plenty of news worthy items popped up over the weekend. Here are some nuggets you shouldn't miss. Carlos Ruiz officially signed a multi-year contract with the Phillies, avoiding arbitration. The deal is for 3 years/$8.85 million with a team option for a fifth year at $5 million. More on Ruiz's deal can be found here . The Phillies also signed former White Sox and Rockies pitcher Jose Contreras to a 1 year contract. Info about the signing can be found here . Contreras projects to fill a vacancy out of the bullpen that the absences of Clay Condrey and Chan Ho Park will leave. The addition of Contreras adds to the list of 2005 World Champion White Sox that have gone on to sign with or play in the Philadelphia Phillies organization...Aaron Rowand, Tadahito Iguchi, Freddy Garcia, Ross Gload & Pablo Ozuna are others. Former Phillies #1 draft pick Greg Golson was designated for assignment by the Rangers last week. This move was made necessary as Texas signed Khalil Greene

Sunday School: History Lesson 47

Tony Taylor played with the Phillies from 1960-1971, then again from 1974-1976. Originally signed by the Giants, Taylor was selected by the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft during the 1957-1958 offseason. Taylor made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 1958 and played two full season with Chicago before being traded to the Phillies along with Cal Neeman for Ed Bouchee and Don Cardwell in May 1960. Taylor responded to the trade by batting .287 and stealing 24 bases in 127 games in his first season with the Phillies. He also made the all star team that year. In his time with the Phillies, Taylor would steal over 20 bases in a season four times and he stole home six times. Taylor is the only man to play over 1,000 games at second base with the Phillies. Taylor spent his first five seasons with Philadelphia as the team's everyday second baseman, but came to fill more of a utility role when a young second baseman named Cookie Rojas made an impact with the team. Taylor's versatility wa

Where Will Jim Thome Land?

Some folks around baseball have felt throughout the offseason that Jim Thome would inevitably return to the Chicago White Sox and resume his duties as the team's designated hitter. Thome was traded by the ChiSox prior to last year's trading deadline to the Dodgers for minor league infielder Justin Fuller and cash. Thome appeared only as a pinch hitter for the Dodgers, down the stretch last year, and he managed to get just 5 singles in 20 at bats, including the post season. Thome stated to Chicago reporters, at a White Sox charity function on Wednesday, that he'd come back to the White Sox if they called and wanted him. But, keeping things real, Thome added, "I want to play baseball. Right now, we're talking to a few teams, so we'll see what happens. It's been a slow winter in the market, so we're waiting to see what's going to happen and move forward." So, what teams might Thome be negotiating with? Not the White Sox! Chicago manager Ozzie

Joe Blanton Signs 3-year $24 Million Deal

Arbitration? Nah! The Phillies, who were rumored to be in talks with at least two of the three players they exchanged arbitration numbers with, regarding "long-term" contracts, announced Thursday afternoon that they had come to terms with starting pitcher Joe Blanton on a three-year contract, locking him up through the 2012 season. The contract will reportedly pay Blanton $7 million this coming season, $8.5 million in each of the two following seasons. The $7 million in 2010 is actually less than the Phillies initially offered Blanton, when the two sides exchanged numbers on Monday. Kudos to GM Rube! Nice deal. Blanton, who will be 29 years old for the entire 2010 season, finished the 2009 season with a 12-8 record and a 4.05 ERA. Since he was acquired from Oakland in 2008, Blanton is 18-8 with a 4.10 ERA, including the postseason. --------------------- In other news...I spoke very briefly today (long enough to get my request for an interview with the Shore Sports Report

What the Duck?

I am sure the news that Brandon Duckworth has signed a minor league contract with the Phillies has reached all you phans by now. When I first heard of the impending acquisition last week, I decided to treat it as non-news. The simple fact that Duckworth was not invited to big league spring training makes his signing as low impact as the Phillies could get. However, some phans still remember the former top Phillies pitching prospect fondly and are excited to hear the news. Simply put, Duckworth is not good. With Omaha, the triple A affiliate for the Royals, last season, Duckworth had a 3-6 record with a 5.31 ERA in 20 games. In 8 seasons in the Majors, Duckworth is 23-34 with a 5.28 ERA. This is not an arm worthy of the slightest bit of excitement. In fact, I am so adamantly not interested in this Duckworth signing that I am going to list some guys I would rather the Phillies sign... 1- Steve Carlton, Phillies Hall of Famer. The guy has been retired since the 80's but could offer

Durbin's Deal & Jimmy's Jam

Phillies pitcher Chad Durbin agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. The deal will pay Durbin $2.125 million. In two seasons with the Phillies, Durbin has a 7-6 record with a 3.55 ERA in 130 games. Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton remain as Phillies who are arbitration eligible. ------------------- Jimmy Rollins and his girlfriend, Johari Smith, are planning to be married this coming weekend. It has been a good offseason for Phillies in this aspect, as Shane Victorino also got married . Jimmy was a member of the wedding party for Shane, so expect that Shane will be a member of Jimmy's wedding party. Other Phillies teammates, such as Ryan Howard, are expected to be in attendance for the Rollins nuptuals as well. The wedding is scheduled to be held in the Cayman Islands, where a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck early Tuesday, off the coast. Reports on damage or aftershocks are not available as of this writing. Update- CBS 3 reported shortly after

Sunday School: History Lesson 46

Bobby Wine played with the Phillies for 8 years in the 1960's, but recurring back issues limited him to just 5 full season as the team's everyday shortstop. Originally signed as an amateur free agent in 1957, Wine was a gem of a prospect, hitting well over .300 in each of his first two season in the minor leagues, but he began pulling off on everything inside after he was hit by a pitch. His batting average suffered a considerable amount and it became clear that Wine's defense would be his ticket to the Major Leagues. Initially, Wine spent time playing both shortstop and third base, but a permanent shift to shortstop in 1963 resulted in a Gold Glove Award. Manager Gene Mauch thought so highly of Wine's glove and range that Mauch kept him in the starting lineup despite an anemic performance at the plate. Wine's best season batting average in the Majors was .244 and he only reached 100 hits in a season one time. In 1966 Wine missed time with a back injury, but he re

Mike Schmidt Comments on Mark McGwire's PED Use

This week, Mike Schmidt spoke with West Palm Beach's NBC affiliate, Channel 5, about the recent news relating to Mark McGwire and steroid use. Schmidt was asked what he thought of Mark McGwire's announcement earlier this week that he used illegal drugs during his playing career. "It's good that he is freed up to pursue his new job, which is hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. In that sense it's good. Never good for baseball when one of its all-time great stars, a guy like Mark McGwire who was so big in the late-90's into the early 2000's, helped save the game of baseball along with Sammy Sosa, officially admits to having used steroids, during that period. I think a lot of people were let down." Schmitty, who annually acts as a guest instructor during spring training, was asked what he might say if he runs into McGwire during spring training... "I would be a little nervous. I'm not sure I could say to Mark, 'Hey Mark, ya kn

PhoulBallz Q&A With Travis Mattair, Offseason Edition

This week I had the opportunity to speak with Phillies third base prospect Travis "Moose" Mattair. Moose was a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws team that won the 2009 South Atlantic League Championship. The 21-year-old righty hitter had an up and down season, in 2009. He batted .236 in 126 games last year. I asked Moose several questions about his offseason, how he'll bounce back and plenty more. Check it out... What types of cardio and/or weight training do you do to stay in shape during the offseason? At the end of the season, this past year, I sat down with my strength and conditioning coordinator and we went over what we both thought I needed to improve on the most! That, pretty much, was overall strength. So he put together an awesome workout program that put all of that together. He split up the days for me- upper body lifts, lower body lifts, total body lifts, and agility work! I took that and went to a personal trainer back home with Advanced Fitness Solution

Lidge Has Third Surgery of Offseason

The Phillies have announced that Brad Lidge had arthroscopic (right) knee surgery on Wednesday. It is his third procedure this offseason. In early November Lidge had bone fragments removed from his throwing elbow and had a tendon repaired in his hip. Head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan told the media that Lidge is expected to begin a throwing program in about 10 days. Lidge spent time on the disabled list last season due to issues with this same knee. It is possible that he could miss opening day, but Sheridan did not think it would push Lidge back very far. Other writers and phans are all about reminding others that Lidge was not ready for opening day in 2008, but went on to be perfect in 48 save opportunites. Perhaps this is a sign of great things to come. Hopefully... Here are a few links to complete your Phillies news today... Spring training tickets went on sale today. You can purchase them at this link . Bill Baer over at CrashburnAlley has details on why he'll be roo

Myers Promises to 'Stick It' to the Phillies

Brett Myers finalized his 1-year/$5.1 million contract with the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Myers made clear his desire to return to the Phillies, the team that chose him as a first round draft pick in 1999. However, the Phillies did not make any effort to re-sign Myers, thus he had to seek other options. Myers told the media, "I wanted to go back to Philadelphia, but they didn't show an interest, they had other obligations, which is fine with me." He then asserted that he planned to "stick it" to the Phillies whenever he gets an opportunity. This new rivalry could be quite interesting for the upcoming season. I can't remember the last homegrown player who promised revenge on the Phillies for letting him go. Perhaps it has never happened. Usually when opposing players pledge their desire to beat the Phillies they are guys like Scott Olson or Carlos Beltran, who play for a division rival. The Astros visit Philadelphia in August...Monday the 23rd through Thu

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Sunday School: History Lesson 45

George Chalmers was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1910-1916. Chalmers, born in Scotland, joined the Phillies late in 1910 after winning 25 games for Scranton. He made three starts in the last month of the season, including a 6-1 win over the Giants to earn his first Major League victory. In 1911, Chalmers shut out Brooklyn in his first start. His season stayed solid through much of the summer, when he blanked the Cardinals 2-0 and then shut down the Giants three weeks later by a score of 2-0 also. Things cooled down for Chalmers after that as he won only 2 more starts, finishing the season with a 13-10 record. His season ERA was 3.11. One big plus for Chalmers was that he threw over 200 innings, but he walked as many as he struck out. This was a negative aspect of his game that would stick with him throughout his career. After making 22 starts in 1911, Chalmers would make just 23 starts over the following 3 seasons combined. The dramatic drop in innings led to an increase in losse

A Tip of the Cap to Scott Eyre

Scott Eyre has decided to call it a career...for now. Don't rule out a return, but, right now, Eyre is retired. Originally drafted in the 9th round by the Rangers in 1991, Eyre became the Phillies lefty specialist out of the bullpen in 2009, while another left handed reliever, JC Romero, was serving a suspension for banned substances. Acquired in 2008, prior to the trading deadline for minor league pitcher Brian Schlitter, Eyre helped complete a top level bullpen that would play a major role in the Phillies' World Series title. In 61 games as a Phillie, Eyre had a 5-1 record with a 1.62 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. PhoulBallz.com simply wishes to offer a tip of the proverbial cap to Scott Eyre for his time spent with, and his excellent efforts for, the Philadelphia Phillies. -------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE for Phillies info, stats, trivia and more!

Phillies Announce 13 Non-roster Spring Invitees

A bit of early spring training news landed in the laps of phans everywhere this afternoon when the Phillies announced the names of 13 non-roster invitees to this year's spring training in Clearwater, Florida. Some of the players' names should be familiar to regular PhoulBallz.com readers. Top prospect OF Domonic Brown , relief pitcher BJ Rosenberg and starting pitcher Joe Savery lead the list of prospects invited to train with the big club this spring. Also invited are two of the players that the Phillies acquired in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies. BJ Rosenberg Also invited were 20-year-old infield prospect Freddy Galvis, 26-year-old infielder Ozzie Chavez, catchers Tuffy Gosewich, John Suomi, Dane Sardinha and Kevin Nelson, right handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who GM Ruben Amaro stated has a shot at the 5th starter spot, and right handed reliever Ehren Wasserman. The obvious catching depth is simply so the Phillies have eno

A Call to the Hall Deserved By More (Not Who You Think)

On Tuesday, it was announced that long-time Expos and Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Dawson will be inducted on July 25th, in Cooperstown, NY, along with former Major League manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were both elected by the Veterans Committee in December. The statistic that most people in the media are tossing out there, as pertaining to Dawson, is that he is one of three players in the history of MLB to hit at least 400 homeruns and steal at least 300 bases. The other two men are Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. That is obviously a very exclusive club and Dawson is quite deserving. In his 21-year career, Dawson hit 438 homers, drove in 1591 runs and had 2774 hits. Not to take anything away from those who ARE being honored this year, but I feel as though it's time to honor someone who has been deserving for a long time. If you aren't familia

Baez Introduced as a Phillie, Pitching Staff Not Full

Right-hander Danys Baez is officially a member of the National League champion Phillies today, as he was introduced to the media, and the public, at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Baez's deal is for 2 years, $5.25 million. The contract pays Baez $2.5 million in 2010 and $2.75 million in 2011, and he is said to have opportunities to earn performance based incentive bonuses. Baez is expected to be used in a set up role out of the bullpen, but could easily slide into closer duties if Brad Lidge struggles again or has a delay in recovering from offseason elbow surgery. In 2009 with Baltimore, Baez was 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 games. In his career against the other 4 NL East team, Baez has a 2-1 record with a 2.90 ERA in 27 games. In other team news, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. stated that the Phillies are likely finished negotiating with lefty reliever Scott Eyre. Eyre reportedly had been offered a minor league and did not accept. That leaves the Phillies a left hander short. Wit