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Jim Furtado
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Phillies Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Muñoz’s path to the Phillies doesn’t often happen

Durso had welcomed Muñoz on to the Homers for Hope baseball team, and into his home. He and his wife, Katie, had taught Muñoz some rudimentary English. He had done all of this under the tyranny of the calendar. Whatever hope Muñoz had of remaining in the United States, restarting his pitching career, and extricating his family from the pull of the Dominican Republic’s poverty would run out come Dec.31, when his visa expired, unless a major-league organization threw him a lifeline.

If one did, he had to be ready to catch it. So as the Philadelphia Fall Baseball League’s season wound down, Durso and two of his friends from Homers for Hope, David Olmo and Nick Massaro, volunteered themselves as Muñoz’s personal pitching coaches and catchers. During afternoons, Muñoz often called Olmo to ask if they could play catch for an hour or two, just so Muñoz could get some work in. When Muñoz needed to long-toss to keep his arm limber, Durso took him to the football field at Bonner-Prendergast High School. Muñoz stood in one end zone and heaved the ball to Durso in the opposite end zone, and the field’s artificial turf allowed Durso to skip his return throws, since he didn’t have the arm strength to reach Muñoz on the fly. That exercise was easy enough. There was another that proved more challenging, and dangerous….

November became December. Muñoz had less than a month before he would have to return to his home country, and return a failure. He would step off that plane and try to look his wife in the eye without shame, and his daughter… coming up on 6 months old… having spent not a second in her father’s arms… when she was old enough to understand, to ask her daddy about why he had gone to America and what he had done there, what would he tell her?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2015 at 04:35 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jairo munoz, phillies

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Phillies acquire Jeremy Hellickson from Diamondbacks

The rebuilding Phillies acquired righthander Jeremy Hellickson from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for pitching prospect Sam McWilliams.

ReggieThomasLives Posted: November 15, 2015 at 03:04 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, phillies, phils

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Sullivan: The Worst Division in a Decade

The NL East vexes me … I’m terribly vexed.

If you look at winning percentage outside of the same division, then the NL East slides into fourth-worst. At .428, it’s no match for the 2002 AL Central’s .412, but it does dip past the 1999 AL Central’s .439. I feel like I don’t need to keep hammering this. The division was bad. It was probably the worst in 10 years. In the season ahead, it’s likely the Phillies and Braves will once again struggle. The Nationals will lose some personnel, and the Mets could lose both Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes. It’s way too soon to try to forecast how the division will play in 2016, but the probability is that the best team in it will benefit from a relatively soft schedule.

In case you’re curious about the other side, the NL Central was strong, but it ranks tied for 11th in the interleague era. It was the strongest division in two years, since the 2013 AL East. The No. 1 strongest division was the 2002 AL West, with a very slim lead over the previous season’s AL West. (In third place: a different season’s AL West.) In fact, the top nine divisions all come from the American League, but that’s not a total surprise, given the AL’s run of league superiority. This is of little consolation to the Reds and the Brewers, who are looking up at their rivals and wondering what hope they have. If there are two teams in baseball that could stand to try to start over, it would be those. The Brewers have arguably already begun.

Just for the sake of a few closing thoughts: Over the 19 years, the AL Central has never once been baseball’s strongest division. This past year was the first time in the window that the NL Central ranked No. 1. And this was the first time that the NL East ranked No. 6. A year ago, we saw more parity between divisions than we had since at least 1996. There was very little spread in divisional quality. This year was a bounce-back in that regard. Or an anti-bounce-back, depending on your perspective on parity. There was less parity, basically. That’s all.

So, we’re coming off a recent first for the NL Central. And we’re coming off a recent first for the NL East, which was just the worst overall division baseball has seen in a decade. This has all been a reflection, but in the process of writing this, I saw that the Mariners and Rays completed a six-player trade, so now it’s officially time to look ahead. Contained within is information about the 2015 baseball season. That season won’t be bothering you anymore.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 07, 2015 at 09:10 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: barves, marlins, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chase Utley is coming back — if he can find a team | New York Post

Who are his best options?

Now, Utley’s case could impact if he misses two games next regular season. The Dodgers will decline his $15 million 2016 option, making Utley a free agent. However, he turns 37 in December and is coming off his worst season in which he hit .212 for the Phillies and Dodgers with just a .629 OPS.

The Dodgers could conceivably want him back at decreased pay, but as opposed to what would have been in his prime, Utley will not have a robust market.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2015 at 06:10 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, dodgers, phillies

Monday, October 26, 2015

Phils’ new GM comes highly recommended

Meet the Phillies new Assistant General Manager. Matt Klentak

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2015 at 11:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, matt klentak, phillies

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Phillies to introduce Matt Klentak on Monday

The Phillies and new club president Andy MacPhail will introduce Matt Klentak as their new general manager on Monday in an 11 a.m. press conference.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, phillies

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This year, youth is served in baseball postseason - The Boston Globe

I didn’t remember Brown being so high on a prospect list so I looked it up. Yep, Baseball America had him as the 4th best prospect in baseball in 2011. He was also 15th in 2010. Shocking.

On Monday, the Phillies announced that they’ve outrighted outfielder Domonic Brown off their 40-man roster. The move wasn’t shocking – in his age 27 season, Brown hit .228/.284/.349 with just five homers in 63 games. Yet in another context, the decision to give Brown the right to declare free agency represented a shock, given that Brown – as Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia remembers – once possessed “untouchable” prospect status as a consensus top-five prospect in all of baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2015 at 09:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, phillies, red sox, youth

Phillies outright Domonic Brown off 40-man roster

Its a Brown-out.

Three summers ago, Domonic Brown represented the Phillies and the National League in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.

On Monday, after none of baseball’s other 29 teams deemed him worthy of a waiver claim, the Phillies removed Brown outright from their 40-man roster.

Brown, one of the biggest prospect busts in recent years, can elect free agency immediately and is expected to do so in the coming days. The oft-maligned 28-year-old outfielder was set to be arbitration eligible for a second time this winter. He made $2.6 million this season.

Brown will be remembered most for the vast potential he never reached, save for a torrid six-week stretch in the first half of 2013. He failed to adjust to pitchers’ adjustments after his all-star campaign that season and regressed in 2014 into one of baseball’s worst everyday players. The Phillies’ attempts to trade him were unsuccessful.

A 189-at-bat sample size this season (.228, five homers) didn’t lend any more reason for optimism. The Phillies were not expected to tender Brown a contract in December. Monday’s decision expedited that process, giving Brown more time to attempt to catch on with another organization. The Phillies also removed Tommy Joseph, Kelly Dugan, and Brian Bogusevic outright from their roster.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2015 at 12:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: domonic brown, phillies

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Marlins express interest in Bowa as Phils make coaching changes

Break out the Bushmills!

Bench coach Larry Bowa, hitting coach Steve Henderson, first base coach Juan Samuel and pitching coach Bob McClure were all offered contracts for 2016. Henderson and McClure are expected to accept the offers, but Bowa and Samuel could move on for other opportunities.

According to sources, the Phillies have granted the Miami Marlins permission to speak with Bowa about their manager’s job. The Marlins have already interviewed Bo Porter and Manny Acta for that job.

Bowa managed the Phillies and Padres earlier in his career.

Samuel interviewed for the Phillies’ manager job when Pete Mackanin was hired full-time last month. Samuel has managerial aspirations and hopes to interview with other clubs this fall (see story).

At the very least, the Phillies will have two openings on their staff. It’s possible that Dusty Wathan could move up from his post as Double A manager and serve as bullpen/catching coach. Wathan was the Eastern League manager of the year in 2015 and is a former catcher.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2015 at 10:01 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: bushmills, larry bowa, managerial openings, marlins, phillies

Phillies secure top pick in draft after losing doubleheader sweep

The Phillies are number one!!!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2015 at 07:40 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, draft picks, phillies

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2015

Topeka State Journal, September 30, 1915:


Wild Demonstrations Followed News of Winning of N. L. Pennant
Old and middle aged men who have been faithful rooters for the local club for thirty-two years, hugged each other and even total strangers on city hall plaza did so when the electric lights on the score board, which had told the story of the game to multitudes of spectators, flashed “Compton’s final fruitless swing.”
The news spread rapidly throughout the city, and although baseball followers had felt confident of victory ever since the Philadelphia team left on its last road trip, word that the game needed to clinch the pennant had been won was joyfully received.

Philadelphians were…friendly? Man, that is wild.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 30, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, phillies

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Once Phillies get a GM, new prez expects to be active in free agency

“I’m going to give you a Dwight Eisenhower quote,” MacPhail said. “He found when he went to battle that plans were useless, but planning was indispensable. So we do plan. We have our planning, and our planning at this point is recognizing where we are. There is some talent that we have we think is viable talent, but it needs to come percolate and demonstrate that it’s real. And after that period, you might go forward.

“But do you really want to commit after you’ve just been in that pool and suffered from it? Do you really want to commit at this stage? The only caveat I give you is that if there’s a unique opportunity out there, I wouldn’t want to preclude it from happening . . . particularly when you consider that once we get to ‘17, we are really pretty foot loose and fancy free.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2015 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andy macphail, general managers, phillies

Pete Mackanin extended, will be Phillies manager in 2016

Looks like 2016 will be a Re-Pete for Phillies fans.

When Ryne Sandberg stepped down from his post as Phillies manager earlier this season, Pete Mackanin was named as the interim manager. Tuesday, the Phillies announced that he will be the manager for the 2016 season.

“The Phillies are pleased that Pete has accepted the position of manager for the 2016 season,” said Andy MacPhail, new club president, in a statement. “We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected well with the media and our fans. Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions.”

Taking over a 26-48 team in the midst of a rebuild, Mackanin has gone 30-46.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, pete mackanin, phillies

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Salisbury: Jonathan Papelbon has harsh words about ex-Phillies teammates

Proven dumbass.

“I don’t know if I got a bad rap here or whatever, but I can promise you I was far [from] the bad guy on this team,” Papelbon said before Monday night’s game. “I was one of the few that wanted to actually win, and I was one of the few that competed and posted up every day.”

That’s pretty harsh criticism, accusing former teammates of not wanting to win and of not competing.

Papelbon would not name the teammates that he believed did not “post up” every day. When pressed, he essentially generalized his comments and pointed to the team’s rebuild and the coming and going of young players.

“I say it as a team,” Papelbon said. “If you don’t have a team atmosphere that’s put together that coincides with winning, you know?

“You’ve got one guy going down to Triple A, one guy’s coming back from Triple A next week. You’ve got different positions every week. That to me wasn’t a formula for winning, you know? We just had too many non-regular guys in there, and granted, we did get hurt, but we didn’t have the personnel, the leadership, the A to Z to win. It was felt all throughout the clubhouse and it was felt all throughout the stadium, I believe.”

Who gets the blame for that?

“I think the blame goes all the way from the front office all the way down to the bat boy,” Papelbon said. “When you don’t have an organization that wants to win, it’s pretty evident and they go out and publicly say, ‘We’re not going to win.’ So what more, you know what I mean?”

Papelbon was asked why he did not try to lead more during his time with the Phillies.

“I did. I did. I tried to do certain things,” he said. “I tried to bring certain things to attention that would make us better and it just seemed like everything I brought to attention whether it would be with another veteran or pitcher or infielder or outfielder or another veteran guy, it was like, to me, I was never accepted in that, ‘Hey look, this guy wants to help our team and make us be better,’ way. They just kind of all let it fly by the wayside and never really paid attention to what I had to say.”

JE (Jason) Posted: September 15, 2015 at 12:20 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dumbass, jonathan papelbon, nats, phillies, proven closers

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red Sox? Phillies? Ranking MLB’s 5 GM openings | New York Post

Working for Samson and Loria is a situation covered with warts.

Recently, I was speaking to a well-regarded executive who one day would like to be a general manager about the possibility that the Marlins job might open.

Essentially the discussion boiled down to this: There are just 30 of these jobs, yet would you abstain from, say, even being considered to run the Marlins’ baseball operations — due to the firing, tempestuous, meddling, low-payroll nature of owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson?

The executive acknowledged the problems and said perhaps there were jobs not worth having. But the official also said, “There is no perfect job. If you wait for the perfect one, you will wait forever.

“They all have warts. They also all have positives. You have to figure out how to accentuate the positives and fix or navigate around the warts.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, general managers, mariners, phillies, red sox

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Phillies elect not to extend Amaro’s contract Proefrock named interim GM

And there was much rejoicing!

The Phillies have elected not to extend the contract of senior vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr, the team announced on Thursday. Assistant GM Scott Proefrock was named interim GM, effective immediately.

The Phillies will immediately begin a search for Amaro’s replacement as general manager. The team has scheduled a 3 p.m. ET news conference at Citizens Bank Park to discuss Amaro’s departure. It can be seen live at and

eddieot Posted: September 10, 2015 at 01:11 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ruin tomorrow jr.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

GMs come and go, but Ruben Amaro keeps his job

The question is, did the Phillies hire MacPhail to replace the group or to join it? The assumption in the local and national media was that MacPhail’s hiring was the first step in an inevitable rebuilding of the front office. But when you consider Gillick’s involvement in MacPhail’s hiring and his steadfast defense of Amaro’s job performance as general manager, it is hard to eliminate the possibility that the Phillies ended up hiring a guy whose vision already aligns with their own, and thus a guy who will end up affirming the status quo instead of upsetting it.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 08, 2015 at 10:14 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, phillies

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Race for Last Place

Who will win “The Biggest Loser”?

Miami (54-79, one game out). Other than Oakland and maybe Milwaukee, this was the team on this list that had the highest hopes for 2015 coming in, though, then again, this is Miami, so you never know. Regardless, once Giancarlo Stanton got hurt, this team became impossible to watch. I love Ichiro as much as anyone else, but seeing him play every day in an empty building with a fish statue would make anyone sad. The Marlins might have a little push left in them the rest of the year. Stanton could be back this weekend, and Jose Fernandez should return in mid-September. That’s a positive for Fish fans desperate for a reason to go to the ballpark … but it won’t do their Drive For Last efforts any favors.

Colorado (53-78, one game out). Everyone jumped ship when Troy Tulowitzki was traded, and with good reason. Maybe the saddest thing about this Rockies team that has the second-worst record is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from every other Rockies team of the past six years. It’s only missing Tulo. And they don’t even have LaTroy Hawkins anymore.

Philadelphia (53-80, “first” place). For all the frustrations with Ruben Amaro—and the fact that he’s likely going to be out of a job pretty soon—one must admit: He ended up doing rather well for himself and the franchise with that Cole Hamels trade. There’s some nice young talent in Philadelphia’s system right now. But most of it isn’t on the big league roster—and Aaron Nola is still figuring out how the bigs work—which means there are going to be a lot of Jeff Francoeur and Darin Ruf at-bats over the next month. This is as bad as it’s going to get for the Phillies. But have no doubt: It’s going to be very bad.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 03, 2015 at 06:09 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, brewers, draft, marlins, phillies, reds, rockies

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Madden: It’s panic in the owner’s box season in baseball - NY Daily News

Andrew Friedman is not going anywhere.

And what if the Dodgers, with their $300 million payroll, somehow miss the postseason — or if they somehow don’t make it out of the first round despite having Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke pitching Games 1 & 2? If either happens, Don Mattingly will most surely be fired as manager, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will also have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. Like why, with all his money and prospect resources, didn’t he adequately address the Dodgers’ biggest needs at the deadline — a frontline starting pitcher a la Price or Hamels, and bullpen help for closer Kenley Jansen, instead settling for mediocrities in Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Jim Johnson? And why didn’t he send struggling rookie Joc Pederson back to Triple-A to work on making hitting adjustments and regaining his confidence instead of continuing to force-feed him, hopelessly overmatched, in the majors? And lastly, what was he thinking giving oft-injured Brandon McCarthy four years and $48 million last winter, and why is $87.5 million of that $300M payroll being paid to guys who no longer play for the Dodgers?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Plans for more protective netting already in works in Philly | FOX Sports

Nerf balls and bats. Problem solved!

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, phillies

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Darnell Sweeney, John Richy have potential |

Phillies get a couple of decent prospects.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2015 at 07:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects

Chase Utley: Greatest Phillie of title era |

“He was flanked by league MVPs, left and right,” said Ed Wade, the general manager when Utley was drafted. “But I think if you boil down his decade worth of performance in a Phillies uniform, I don’t think it would be overstating to say he was the MVP of that era. As good as that core nucleus was, what all those guys did, there was sort of a performance and a heartbeat level that was happening at second base.”

That’s not hyperbole. As calculated by, Utley’s WAR is fourth in franchise history. Among position players, it is second only to Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, phillies

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chase Utley Agrees to Dodgers Trade.

Chase Utley, whose 13-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies included five All-Star appearances and the club’s first World Series championship since 1980, agreed to a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade has been agreed upon, but not finalized. The Phillies will receive a pair of mid-level prospects from the Dodgers, who will also receive $2 million to help offset the remainder of the $15 million Utley is paid this season.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 19, 2015 at 07:57 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, phillies, trades

Phillies rookie Maikel Franco has small hand fracture

Franco visited Philadelphia-based hand specialist Dr. Randall Culp and had an MRI that revealed a fracture in his left hand, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday afternoon.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 19, 2015 at 08:35 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, maikel franco, phillies

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

J.P. Crawford

The next big thing in Philly.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2015 at 07:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: j.p. crawford, phillies, prospects

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