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Showing posts from February, 2010

Sunday School: History Lesson 52

William "Bucky" Walters was a third baseman who converted to a pitcher, when he played for the Phillies from 1934 to 1938. A native of Philadelphia, Walters played for both the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox before his contract was purchased by the Phillies in June 1934. Phils manager Jimmie Wilson was so impressed with Wilson's strong arm that he began trying to convince Walters that because of his limited hitting abilities, his future in baseball was on the mound. Early on, Walters struggled with his control, but would soon show flashes of things to come. In 1935, Walters started 22 games for the Phillies and posted a 9-9 record with a 4.17 ERA. His performance in the following season was a step backward, as he led the NL in losses that year. He started 33 games in 1936 and posted a record of 11-21 with a 4.26 ERA. He did, however, throw 4 shut outs. In 1937, more frustration set in as Walters could not win back to back games all season and finished with a 14-15

Burrell is Untucked and Lee Has No Balls...

Welcome to PhoulBallz...a place to enjoy random spring training photographs of former and returning Phils, courtesy of the Associated Press and Getty Images. "Pat Burrell, why you wear your clothes like dat?" "For easy access, baby." New Seattle starter Cliff Lee continued work, on Friday, to rehabilitate his surgically repaired foot. He is seen here pretending to throw off the mound, without a ball. Here is a shot of Billy Wagner rocking Braves gear. Billy Wagz is about the only thing in baseball that might annoy phans more than being reminded that Cliff Lee is gone, so I thought I'd toss him in the mix to take your minds off of Clifton. And our last image out of spring training this week, shows that not everyone is all that impressed by and excited about Jayson Werth's beard, as Placido Polanco grew quite tired of all its attention on photo day. -------------------------------------- Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE for stats, trivia

MachoBallz: Wall of Fame Phan Voting is Underway

The following is a guest post direct from Kevin of Macho Row. PhoulBallz.com's own Jay Ballz is posting on the same topic over on Kevin's site, Macho Row . Check that out as well and stick around for all other solid content that his site offers. The Phillies unveiled their list of nominees for the Wall of Fame recently and are asking the fans for their input once again. The ballot will be available to fans until 5pm on March 23 so take the time to research the three players you will vote for and help determine which face in Phillies history will join the likes of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, Chuck Klein and Harry Kalas, who was posthumously inducted last season. Today I am pleased to announce to you the three players I will be voting for and why here on PhoulBallz.com. If you are looking for Jay Ballz 's thoughts, then be sure to check out his guest post on Macho Row . When you get through reading what we have to say go ahead and cast your

Drug Test Expansion Leading to Strike?

On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced an upcoming initiative to test players in its minor leagues for human growth hormone this coming season. In a released statement, MLB declared, "We are consulting with our experts concerning immediate steps for our minor league drug program and the next steps for our Major League program." Random urine testing for banned substances began in 2001 in baseball's minor leagues, but blood testing is required to detect the HGH. And while MLB can institute new blood testing for players in the minor leagues, it would need to reach an agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association to start blood testing for unionized players on the 40-man big league rosters. Looking forward, could this be cause for another baseball strike? Possibly. The HGH testing should be implemented. Ball players are aware of the banned drugs that are detected by the existing urine tests, and there are still players who get suspended for positive te

Spring Training Q&A with Travis D'Arnaud

The combination of blockbuster moves that landed Roy Halladay for the Phillies, in December, included a trio of players being sent from the Phils' minor league teams to Toronto. That trio was top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, 5-tool outfielder Michael Taylor (who was promptly dealt to Oakland for third baseman Brett Wallace) and...who was that other guy ? Well, regular PhoulBallz readers are plenty familiar with that other guy , Travis D'Arnaud. Travis was a big part of the Lakewood BlueClaws team that won the South Atlantic League title in 2009. He was also regarded highly enough to be invited to big league camp with the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida. I recently spoke with Travis about his off-season, his new team and other topics. Continue downward, and read all about it! Travis, how did the big trade effect your off-season? The trade only effected my off-season by having me travel to Florida for a physical at a moment's notice. I got a call the day after all of the t

Rotation Altercation

Have a look over these following descriptions of two pitching rotations and see which is preferable. Option A- #1 starter- 25-year-old lefty who is fresh off one of the best postseason runs in baseball history and won the MVP award for both the League Championship Series and the World Series. #2 starter- 7 year veteran former top draft pick, with 3 winning seasons as a starter and a 21 save season as a reliever. #3 starter- A 28-year-old 5 year veteran right-hander with a career .525 winning percentage and a 4.24 ERA. #4 starter- A veteran 46-year-old who should win his 250th game during the season and just signed a 2 year contract. #5 starter- A 35-year-old journeyman who hasn't seen success as a starter in any of his previous six seasons. Option B- #1 starter- 6 time all-star, Cy Young Award winner, 11 year veteran regarded as one of the top pitchers in the sport with a career win percentage over .660. #2 starter- 26-year-old lefty pitcher who is one year removed from being th

Linkin Blogs 2/22

There's plenty going on in the early going this week with the Phillies down in Clearwater, Florida. Here's a tour of the Phils bloggerhood and links to stuff you shouldn't miss. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki set the internet, around the Philly region, on fire this morning with an image sent out over Twitter featuring Jayson Werth's tremendous beard. Zolecki's Zo Zone Blog can be found at this link . *UPDATE*- Matt Gelb contributes to the Inquirer's Phillies Zone blog. He's nice enough to bring us another shot of Jay-Dubya's beard! More from Gelb & the Phillies Zone here . News broke this morning that Chan Ho Park has signed with the Yankees...a 1 yr, $1.2 million contract, with incentive bonuses. Crashburn Alley has all your information on how badly Park made out by waiting for that deal. The Good Phight has an interview with Baseball Prospectus prospect guru Kevin Goldstein. Check that out here . PhilliesFlow is talking about the Phillies'

Sunday School: History Lesson 51

Frederick Cyrus "Cy" Williams was an outfielder with the Phillies from 1918-1930. Williams was signed out of Notre Dame University by the Cubs and skipped the minor leagues, going straight to the Majors out of college. Following the 1917 season Williams was traded by the Cubs to the Phillies for Dode Paskert. The move to the Phillies was a good one for Williams, as he spent time on Chicago's bench. After locking down a spot as the Phillies' starting centerfielder, Cy Williams excelled. His lefty swing matched up well with the short right field porch in the Phils' home park, the Baker Bowl. Manager Bill McKechnie called Williams, "the most consistent dead right-field hitter I ever saw". He was dubbed "the Babe Ruth of the National League" by some sportswriters, for his penchant for slugging homers. Williams led the NL in homeruns four times during his career. During the decade of the 20's Williams hit 202 homeruns, a huge amount at the ti

Mathieson Comeback Nearly Complete

Scott Mathieson, the one time Phillies pitcher who has been recovering from elbow surgeries for over three years, is finally close to a return to the Majors. Mathieson, a 17th round selection in the 2002 amateur draft, appeared in 9 games, 8 of which were starts, for the Phillies in 2006. Late that season, Mathieson suffered an elbow tear, for which he needed Tommy John surgery. In the recovery process, he felt more arm trouble. A second Tommy John surgery was required, in addition to another arm procedure. Mathieson spent the 2009 season working his way back through the minors and is now in camp with the big club. When I spoke to Mathieson last August , while he was pitching with the Double A level Reading Phillies, Mathieson talked about the things he learned during his rehab process- patience, mental toughness and learning how to pitch...the mechanics & finesse of things, not just throwing. Scott also improved his change up, which he now feels is one of his better pitches. Al

The Spring Training Pictures U Want!

Don't hide, Roy...everyone around Philadelphia wants to see you throwing baseballs while wearing a Phillies uniform. Peek-a-boo... ...I see you! Damn, that's hot. ----------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE for updates, stats and cool stuff! (AP Photos) Share on Facebook

Hamels Ready After Off-season Work

There were plenty of eyes on Cole Hamels down in Clearwater, as spring training got under way with the first official team work out for pitchers and catchers on Thursday. Hamels spoke to the media after the workout session. A key bit of information that Hamels passed along was that he never stopped throwing over the off-season. He reverted to a routine he implemented during off-seasons prior to reaching the majors- 50 throws per day. Busy with the media and banquet hooplah last winter, after being the NLCS and World Series Most Valuable Player, Hamels did not make time to keep his arm in shape, leading into a disappointing 2009 season. Hamels also spoke of how he sought advice from Cliff Lee, Steve Carlton and John Wetteland about each pitcher's cutter pitch. Hamels incorporated a cutter/slider into his repertoire late last year after having issues locating his curveball. With Cole's arm in good shape now, he should be able to spend plenty of time working out kinks in his curv

Let's Get it Started!

As you all know, today is the mandatory report date for Phillies pichers and catchers, and as such it's the official first day of spring training. Ahhh, it's like a holiday, but who wants to wait? Let's get the season started. The ballpark looks ready, doesn't it? -------------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE ! Share on Facebook

As Spring Begins, So Will the Questions

Going into spring training, the Phillies have plenty going for them. Back to back World Series appearances, three straight division titles, an outfield full of all stars, a former Cy Young Award winner at the top of the pitching rotation, a former World Series MVP also in the rotation, three different Gold Glove award winners in the field and two different National League MVP award winners. Even with all that, the team still has some questions. Ahead, PhoulBallz will review some topics that phans and team pholks might be concerned with going into the pre-season. "Who will the Phillies' 5th starter be?" Firstly, even though team General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has publicly stated that the last spot in the starting rotation belongs to Jamie Moyer until he loses it, many folks around baseball are still wondering about the rotation. Moyer is recovering from off-season surgeries and runs a risk of not being ready to go by opening day. Kyle Kendrick is the likely option to fi

Sunday School: History Lesson 50

Bill Killefer was a catcher for the Phillies from 1911-1917. Killefer's excellent defense kept him employed in the Major Leagues for over a decade. He led the league in fielding percentage four times. Killefer took over as the Phillies' everyday catcher in 1912 and quickly built a reputation for gunning down opposing baserunners. In 1913, he played 120 games and threw out 130 baserunners. At the plate, Killefer provided minimal offensive pop. During his time with the Phillies, his batting average was .244 or lower in every season except one. In his 13 combined years in the Majors, he hit a grand total of 4 homers and drove in more than 30 runs in a season only once. To top that off, Killefer acquired the nickname "Reindeer Bill" for his lack of speed on the bases. Part of the Phillies' 1915 pennant winning team, it was Killefer's superb handling of the Phils' pitching staff that enhanced his value. He became Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexande

Glavine Trades Uniform For Suit

Former Braves & Metropolitans pitcher Tom Glavine announced his retirement on Thursday. The first thought that popped into my head when I heard that was, "Wasn't Tom Glavine already retired?!" Glavine, a 5-time 20 game winner with Atlanta, will work with the Braves as a special assistant to team president John Schuerholz. Glavine is expected to work with Schuerholz on baseball and business projects and he will occasionally assist team manager Bobby Cox. There are also plans for the 43-year-old Glavine to work on a weekly basis with the Atlanta broadcast team. Many Phillies phans' favorite memory of Glavine is his final effort of the 2007 season with the Metropolitans. That was when NY collapsed in the final weeks of the season and coughed up the division title to our Phillies. On September 30th, 2007 , the final day of the season, the Phillies and Mets were tied for first place. The Mets needed a big game from a big time pitcher, but Glavine had one of his wors

This...Is...Jeopardy (Part 6)!

For $1,000 in the category of foreign MLB players, the answer is: "The Japanese-born former AL Rookie of the Year, single season hit record holder and future Hall of Famer who trains during the off-season while wearing unnecessarily tight Zubaz style fruit-booty shorts." Who is Ichiro Suzuki? Correct! Cliff Lee's new teammate seems to dress questionably while practicing, near home, in the off-season. ------------------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE for updates, games and generally good baseball facts. Share on Facebook

Snow Ballz...

The countdown to Phillies spring training stands at just a week, but our home region is in the midst of a severe winter pounding. Avoiding cabin fever, phriends of PhoulBallz- Lexi, Arianna and Cara took to the yard and proceeded to play a little dress up with the snowman they built. This surely made me smile. Unfortunately, I am not offering prizes to those who build PhoulBallz themed snow sculptures, but the Phillies' single A club, the Lakewood BlueClaws, definitely are doing something like that. Click this link and see about what you could do to get ready for baseball season and win some hot prizes from the South Atlantic League Champions! Speaking of getting ready for a change of seasons, my very own little girl Moose (she's a rabbit, you see?) took to the outdoors this afternoon to check out the snow and to let the world know that baseball season can not start soon enough for her. Check out her pictures below. What else is up on this snowy day, you ask? Well... Sco

CBS Reality Competition Shows to Have Phillies Ties

Phans, with more than 3 weeks until the first televised spring training game, CBS will have your loosely related Phillies programming. Starting Thursday night, the new season of Survivor will feature Kyle Kendrick's lovely fiance Stephenie LaGrossa. Also, beginning on Sunday evening, the new season of The Amazing Race will feature former Phillies third base coach Steve Smith and his daughter. Stephenie will proudly be rocking a Phillies cap on the 20th season of Survivor, which will feature two tribes of previous Survivor contestants, competing against each other, in a "Heroes vs. Villains" format. Previews for the premiere episode tease that there are two injuries in the very first competition, one of which is a dislocated shoulder. Sources inform me that Stephenie suffered a shoulder injury early on (possibly due to a preexisting condition) and that she is certainly one of the injured competitors. No word on how it effects her game play. You'll have to tune i