He’d just broken the record for cheesesteak consumption in the visitor’s clubhouse at the Phillies’ 11-year-old yard, downing 20 of the massive sandwiches as of Thursday afternoon—and counting. On Wednesday, Hanel broke the previous three-game mark held by Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill when he took the first bite of cheesesteak No. 18. On Thursday, Hanel blew past Marlins right-hander Mat Latos’ four-game record (18), and had already finished No. 20 when it was time to head out to catch Wily Peralta’s pregame bullpen session.
Careful! The Phils don’t want to see Howard’s trade value go down.
Kyle Lohse went from pitcher to hitter to NFL safety in the time it took him to run to first base.
The Milwaukee Brewers righthander had himself a night against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, picking up the win and racking up three hits in a 9-5 victory over the worst team in baseball. One of those hits did not come easy, however, as Lohse wound up running right into the backside of mammoth first baseman Ryan Howard while trying to leg out an infield single.
Lohse is listed as 6’2”, 215 pounds. Ryan Howard is 6’4”, 250 pounds (if you believe that).
Andy brings an uncommon blend of old school experience and new age thinking. … In 1986, Andy was the youngest GM in the history of Major League Baseball when he served in that role for the Twins. The following year, he became the youngest GM to win a World Series title. When the Orioles hired him eight years ago, Andy became the first president of baseball operations in Major League Baseball. During his tenure in Baltimore, he greatly expanded the use of statistical analysis in player evaluations. That’s the new age thinking.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and club president Pat Gillick have been listening to offers on Hamels for months. They have made it clear that they are ready to pull the trigger when they get one they like. By contract, Hamels has already conceded to accept a trade to nine clubs. He can veto 20 other destinations -– but that doesn’t mean he necessarily would do that.
“I have not been approached,” he said. “When I’m approached, then I can make a decision and provide an answer about a team.
“But I’m open-minded on everybody and everything.”
Even Toronto and Houston?
“Yes,” he said. “I’ve always been open-minded. I will think about everything.”
The result was a remarkable press conference that featured a stunned general manager, a silent president, and a gigantic elephant invited by the outgoing manager and ignored by the other two men. The Phillies might be the worst team in the major leagues, but man, do they make it interesting. How strange are these times? When asked one of the most basic questions regarding situations like these - who will be in charge of hiring Sandberg’s replacement - the president of the organization could not answer.
“I can’t really comment on that,” Pat Gillick said.
According to Jon Heyman, the Phillies are expected to name former Twins, Cubs, and Orioles executive Andy MacPhail as the new leader of the club. While current President Pat Gillick will remain with Philadelphia in a consultation role, MacPhail will take over the lion’s share of responsibility when it comes to the Phillies’ future. He’s set to be installed soon, as it will give him ample time to “evaluate the team’s general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Ryne Sandberg”.
“It’s sort of like what they do at private schools,” Gillick told the Inquirer. “They hire a headmaster a year ahead of time. I’m working with ownership and we’ve got some people under consideration. I think probably it’s going to happen somewhere in the not-too-distant future.”
Gillick said the intent is to give his eventual replacement time to observe the remainder of the season and then make decisions concerning general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., manager Ryne Sandberg and player personnel.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Gillick said. “We have some important decisions to make and you don’t want to make those decisions on the fly. This way you can get the feel in which direction you want to go because it is an important decision to make.”
What currency Sandberg still held in the clubhouse and within the organization was spent in those moments, not necessarily because Utley was right, but because his crime against the most hallowed tenet of the game, not showing up the manager, went entirely unpunished and ignored. Outside the walls, it might have been just another blip on a downward arc. Within them, it was a sea change that not a player, coach, nor management official failed to recognize. Fair or not, Sandberg lost his job right then.
And the zinger:
The tragicomic scene of a phone ajar from the hook, causing McClure to resort to sending a towel-waving signal to the bullpen, was a metaphor for an organizational failure that extends far beyond the field. Forget analytics and advanced baseball strategy. This team can’t master a land line. If the Cardinals wanted to hack into the deepest secrets of the Phillies, they would have to research the intricacies of the Commodore 64.
The Orioles set a new franchise record by hitting eight home runs in Tuesday night’s 19-3 victory over the Phillies. Six different Baltimore players clubbed homers as the Orioles became the first team to hit eight or more home runs in a game since the Red Sox did so against Detroit on Sept. 4, 2013.
Last night, CSN Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reported that the Mariners are “checking in” on speedy Phillies outfielder Ben Revere. This makes sense: Revere has been squeezed out of his natural left-field role, and despite a down year, is still miles better than what Seattle has been getting from its leftfielders this season.
This morning, the Tacoma News Tribune’s Bob Dutton reported that trade talks are going nowhere because the Phillies are asking for either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton in exchange. This does not make sense: Walker and Paxton are probably Seattle’s two best young pitchers, and Revere is kind of not good.
ben revere is godawful.
additional fun fact:
the 3 lowest BABIPs in the national league this year were the #1, #3, #5 hitters on last year’s phillies. luckily, only one still gets a paycheck from the phillies.
On this week’s episode of the family sitcom, Adam Goldberg and his dad go to a game in Veteran’s Stadium, where the Phillies played from 1971-2003. You thought it you’d never see it again, but thanks to the magic of TV, look!
The Phillies have levied some complaints about the division rival Nationals, but they don’t have to do with anything done during a game. Rather, they feel that they are afforded less time for on-field batting practice at Nationals Park compared to other road parks, and they’re unhappy with the music selection as well, which has included Linda Rondstadt, Patrick Swayze, and Starland Vocal Band.
Some Roberta Flack might be in order the next time the Phillies visit.
In addition to keeping quiet about a long list of trade possibilities involving veterans, Amaro also remains adamant about not rushing prospects who could replace those veterans.
“I think we’re going to be conservative,” he said (via CSNPhilly.com).
Moreover, he doesn’t care that that won’t sit well with fans who are enduring a 19-28 start after last season’s 73-89 disappointment.
“They don’t understand the game,” Amaro said. “They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they ##### and complain because we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place and we’re sticking with the plan.”
Hamels’ average fastball velocity in May is 93.59 mph, a monthly figure he did not reach last season until August. His strikeout rate, over a full season, would rank among the best of his career.
His walk rate is dropping, and after allowing seven homers in his first three starts, his home run rate also is returning to normal. Hamels has allowed only one homer in his last seven outings, none in his last four.
According to sources, the Blue Jays inquired about Cole Hamels but were told Hamels would not waive his 20-team no-trade clause to go to Toronto, as is his right (Hamels, meantime, has handled things professionally; he hasn’t complained and generally pitched well for the non-contending Phillies). That Hamels call was a blow to the Phillies, who likely saw Toronto, with all its young pitching talent (Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, etc.) as a potential landing spot, especially considering their frustration in landing the marquee prospect they desire and these two teams’ solid trading history.
Meet Chase Utley, the unluckiest man in baseball. The Phillies second baseman is cursed with a .115 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), meaning that about a tenth of the balls he puts on the field get him safely to base. An average BABIP mark is about .300, and while there is some variation between players, it’s usually on the order of a few dozen points, not 200.
Some have argued that Utley ought to be benched. Given his age (36) and the wear and tear second basemen face, Utley could be in a steep decline. Statcast’s batted ball statistics say otherwise. Utley’s batted ball velocity is a little below average, not elite — but below average would be an incredible improvement from Utley’s .389 OPS. (Since I started writing this article, his BABIP has already increased by 12 points and his OPS by 14.)