Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher

Syndicate

Phillies Newsbeat

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The case for Chase Utley as the most important Phillie from 2007-11

There’s no right answer. But there is a best answer. That’s how I feel when asked to compare Howard, Rollins and Utley. Put any one of that trio on a different team and the golden era of Phillies baseball doesn’t happen. It’s as simple as that. Yet, there is a first among equals in that holy trinity of the infield and it’s Utley.

The passage of time can leave a haze, especially when it comes to recalling the value of athletes. It’s natural to remember only the extremes, a player at his apex or his nadir.
A decade removed from their collective primes, it’s tempting to think that Rollins and Howard played to an MVP level every season because they each have one of those trophies on their respective mantles. But that just wasn’t the case. Utley, on the other hand, did sustain a level of excellence over an extended period of time.

There’s something to be said that baseball stats can be twisted any way one wants in the interest of making an argument. But there is one statistical piece of information that clearly demonstrates Utley’s superior value relative to Rollins and Howard.

Here’s a look at each player’s combined WAR (per Baseball-Reference) from the 2007-11 seasons, the entirety of the Phils’ NL East dominance:

Utley: 34.6
Rollins: 18.1
Howard: 10.9

In realistic terms, there isn’t really any other answer, unless we try to count Pat Gillick as a Philly, is there?

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2020 at 01:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, phillies

Monday, March 30, 2020

If 2020 season is cancelled, which teams would be hurt the most?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed his optimistic outlook, saying that he hoped the league would begin “gearing back up” in May. That would put a regular season return potentially at the end of June or at some point in July. He expressed that the league may have to get creative, likely referring to ideas like playing doubleheaders, extending the season deep into fall, and playing some games at neutral parks in warm-weather areas.

Manfred isn’t the only one champing at the bit for a return to normalcy. President Trump recently said he wanted to “open” the economy back up by Easter, meaning that our social isolation plan could be done in two weeks. And, frankly, I’m sure many of us are starting to become a little stir-crazy as we attempt to flatten the curve.

It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal when Coronavirus (COVID-19) is really starting to spread in the United States. It would be ill-advised for us to go back to business as usual. This is a time when we need to put other interests ahead of business interests. Frankly, there’s a very real possibility that there is no MLB season in 2020. Or, at the very least, there may be a point when Manfred has to choose between starting a season or protecting the health of the players and coaches, journalists, fans, and all of the many people that would interact with them and potentially become vectors for the virus.

In the event the 2020 season is cancelled, which teams stand to lose the most? Let’s take a look at some contenders.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 30, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cancellations, dodgers, phillies, reds, shortened season, what if

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Phillies’ Zack Wheeler puts end to insult-slinging with Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

After two days of slinging passive-aggressive insults with New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen, Wheeler put a stop to the back-and-forth Saturday before working out with Phillies pitchers and catchers at the Carpenter Complex.

“He’s taken a couple of things I said to heart, I guess, that I really didn’t mean for him to do,” Wheeler said. “But I don’t care.”

It all began Thursday when Wheeler told a New York Post reporter that he “heard crickets” from the Mets when his agent gave them a chance to match the Phillies’ five-year, $118 million offer.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2020 at 11:06 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets, phillies, zack wheeler

MacPhail says Phillies expect to pay luxury tax this season

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies president Andy MacPhail reiterated that team ownership is willing to go over the luxury tax threshold to make the playoffs.

The Phillies have made several high-profile free-agent signings over the past few seasons, including a $330 million, 13-year deal for outfielder Bryce Harper last year.

Philadelphia signed right-hander Zack Wheeler to a $118 million, five-year contract this offseason and are viewed as a potential trade destination for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who has an $18 million salary.

“Speaking for the Phillies and ownership we’re not reluctant to go over it,” MacPhail said Friday. “It’s my hope, and frankly my expectation, that we’re going to exceed it this year.”

How long before they try to get rid of a certain outfielder?

 

QLE Posted: February 15, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andy macphail, luxury tax, phillies

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Girardi exploring ways to keep Phils healthy for long season

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) —

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi wants to have a healthy team down the stretch this year and says he will be diligent in making sure his players aren’t overworked early in the season.

“I take it personal when a guy gets hurt,” Girardi said. “I think there is enough talent to win.”

The Phillies dealt with a variety of injuries last year, including left fielder Andrew McCutchen missing the final four months of the season with a torn ACL. Reliever David Robertson missed most of 2019 after Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss a large portion of this season, too.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: joe girardi, phillies

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Phillies to retire Doc’s 34 on perfecto anniversary

PHILADELPHIA—Roy Halladay provided some of the greatest moments in Phillies history in a remarkably short period of time.

Halladay threw a perfect game. He threw the second no-hitter in postseason history. He won a National League Cy Young Award in 2010. He led one of the greatest rotations in baseball history in 2011, when the Phillies won a franchise-record 102 games. Halladay made a lasting impression on the Phils and their fans, which is why the organization announced Tuesday morning that it will retire his No. 34 on May 29, the 10th anniversary of his perfect game, in a pregame ceremony at Citizens Bank Park.

Halladay died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico on Nov. 7, 2017. Before he died, he often spoke about his love of Philadelphia. It is why Halladay’s family decided not to put a team logo on Halladay’s cap on the bronze plaque that hangs in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., despite spending the first 12 years of his 16-year career with the Blue Jays.

“That whole first year [in Philadelphia],” Halladay said in an interview with MLB Productions’ Danny Field in 2014, “I had to pinch myself every day sitting on the bench, looking at the packed stands and looking around the field at the guys I’m playing with going, ‘Is this actually real? This can’t be real. I’ve dreamt about this my whole life, there’s no way this can be real.’ So it was one of the most exciting times of my life.”

 

QLE Posted: February 05, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, retired numbers, roy halladay

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Ten Questions for the Unofficial Start of Baseball Season

The most important moment of the Super Bowl had nothing to do with football. When the game clock hit zero, baseball season began.

Sure, there’s plenty of time to get mad in March while watching college basketball, but nothing gets us through the final weeks of winter quite like the anticipation of baseball. We’ve got 10 big questions leading up to the 2020 season.

1. Will the Yankees run away with the AL East?
The Yankees signed Gerrit Cole at the winter meetings and immediately became World Series favorites. Giving $324 million to the best pitcher on the planet is the most Yankees way to fix their rotation, and their lineup should be as good, if not better than it was last season.

Still, the AL East isn’t an easy division to win. The Rays have mastered winning on a small budget and should be good again this year. The Blue Jays should be better in their second season of Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. And the Red Sox will still be a threat as long as they don’t trade Mookie Betts (more on that later).

So, what questions do you have that aren’t asked here?


Thursday, January 30, 2020

MLB rule changes 2020: Phillies most affected by the new 3-batter rule

MLB’s new three-batter rule for relievers should have a fairly significant impact on the way managers manage and pitching coaches handle their bullpens.

To review, the new rule is that a pitcher entering after the starting pitcher must face at least three batters or pitch to the end of the current inning. So, for example, if Adam Morgan comes in with two on and two outs in the sixth inning and gets the third out, he does not need to come back out for the seventh.

This rule will obviously most affect relief specialists. Let’s use Jose Alvarez as an example. Last season, Alvarez was one of the few Phillies pitchers who didn’t take a step back from the prior year. He had a 3.36 ERA in 67 appearances. In 14 of those appearances, Alvarez faced one or two batters. It’s why he amassed just 59 innings in those 67 appearances.

As best as they could, the Phillies tried to avoid having Alvarez face right-handed hitters. But it still happened frequently because there are more righties than lefties and because other teams routinely try to gain the platoon advantage by pinch-hitting.

Wait- this is a bad thing?

 

QLE Posted: January 30, 2020 at 01:32 AM | 126 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, pitching, rule changes

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco liriano, neil walker, phillies

Monday, January 20, 2020

Phillies pitching prospect Zach Warren has a dirty car but a bright future

Every one of the 15 minor-league prospects that the Phillies have invited to big-league spring training camp has a story.

Zach Warren’s is unique because (in his heart) he was a Phillie before he was technically a Phillie.

Warren grew up in Vineland, New Jersey, in the “glory era,” as he correctly called it, when the Phillies were racking up National League East titles, going to two World Series and winning one of them. Young Zach rooted for Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, but his eye always drifted toward the work being done by Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, not surprising because Warren was a left-handed pitcher on the rise in those days.

After successful runs at St. Augustine Prep in South Jersey and the University of Tennessee, Warren is still a pitcher on the rise. Three strong seasons in the Phillies’ minor-league system earned him an invite to major-league spring training camp next month in Clearwater.

Hearing about people growing up to the Ryan Howard-era Phillies makes me feel rather old indeed….

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects, zach warren

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Brian Dawkins schools Phillies prospects on how to handle boos

A group of Phillies prospects was in town this week for the organization’s annual prospects education seminar.

One of those lessons came from a legend.

Brian Dawkins, the most motivational athlete this city has ever seen, shared with the group his thoughts on playing in Philadelphia and responding to the passionate fan base.

“Playing in Philadelphia is different,” Dawkins said. “If you get on the field, there is a 99.99 percent chance you will be booed. The thing I always knew though was that you may boo me that one time but I’m not gonna make the same mistake again.”

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves…..

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:21 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dawkins, fans, phillies

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Explaining MLB’s luxury tax in relation to 2020 Phillies

The conversation around the Phillies last January was all Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

The conversation this January is all about the luxury tax.

The Phillies are approximately $6 million below MLB’s $208 million competitive balance tax, colloquially referred to as the luxury tax.

What is the tax? What are the harms of going over? Here’s a quick explainer

 

 

QLE Posted: January 09, 2020 at 05:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: luxury tax, phillies

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Looking back at the Phillies’ decade of unfulfillment, what-ifs and huge change

Roy Halladay sat with his head buried in his hands and stared for what seemed like an eternity at the floor in front of his locker.

Ryan Howard hobbled gingerly toward the door on a pair of crutches.

And Shane Victorino reached into his locker, grabbed a strip of tickets reserved for the World Series, tore it up and dropped it into the trash.

Though it came just 645 days into a decade that will have lasted 3,652 days by the time it ends next week, no day symbolized the last 10 years of Phillies baseball more than October 7, 2011.

A consideration of a decade in decline, and the transitions that took place during that decade.

 

QLE Posted: December 28, 2019 at 02:13 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, what-ifs

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Phillies to sign Didi Gregorius | MLB.com

The Phillies are in agreement on a contract with free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, sources tell MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. MLB Network insider Joel Sherman was first to report the news. Philadelphia has not announced a deal, which is for one season and worth $14 million, according to multiple reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:31 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: didi gregorius, phillies

Friday, December 06, 2019

Phillies plan to pursue free-agent 3B Anthony Rendon, despite luxury tax implications

The Philadelphia Phillies, luxury tax be damned, plan to strongly pursue free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, with third baseman Josh Donaldson as a potential fall-back plan, two people with direct knowledge told USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Phillies have yet to publicly declare their intentions and have not met face-to-face with Rendon.

The Phillies, who signed Zack Wheeler on Wednesday to a five-year, $118 million deal, would go over the $208 million luxury tax for the first time with the potential signing, but it has not deterred owner John Middleton and the Phillies’ aggressiveness in free agency. The Phillies landed the biggest free agent a year ago with the signing of outfielder Bryce Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million deal.

The Phillies still would like to pursue another starter and relief pitching, but Rendon has become their No. 1 target.

So, what would we make of it if the Phillies did this, given trends within the game?

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, hot stove, phillies

Monday, December 02, 2019


Sunday, December 01, 2019

Red Sox among five teams under pressure for MLB hot-stove splash

Red Sox: They won it all in 2018, missed the playoffs in 2019, fired Dave Dombrowski (head of their baseball operations), have a manager in Alex Cora who might be tied up in the Astros’ electronic pitch-stealing scandal from when he was their bench coach in 2017, owners calling for major pay reductions, and a great, popular homegrown player in his prime in Betts, who has given no indications he will re-sign in Boston before free agency.

So Chaim Bloom, who replaced Dombrowski, has a full plate at what feels like a pivotal moment for the organization to try not to get so caught up in maximizing this year’s team as to mess up the near future. Can Bloom trade Price or Eovaldi? What can be gotten for Betts, whose value is hurt by having just one year of control and a 2020 salary that will at least approach $30 million?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, phillies, red sox, twins

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rox sign Jaime Moyer to Minor League deal

Fun fact: When the Rockies came into existence, Jaime Moyer was in his eighth Major League season.

The Rockies’ search for a veteran for the starting rotation could take them to the ultimate veteran, 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer.

Colorado and Moyer have agreed to a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, the club announced on Wednesday. The agreement is pending a physical.

Moyer underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2010 and didn’t pitch last season. The lefty worked as an analyst for ESPN in 2011 but stated that he intended to try to pitch again in ‘12.

Moyer went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies in 2010.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM | 128 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, phillies, rockies

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jimmy Rollins Travels to Uganda to Play with Kids, Freestyle Raps Along the Way

Shortstopyo: Game Beginning.

ESPN The Magazine’s Steve Wulf wrote about Rollins’ experience with the kids. Not surprisingly, the trip seems to have meant as much to Rollins as it did for the kids, who will hopefully get a nicer ball field due in part to Jimmy’s efforts.

The whole story is worth your time, for sure, but we thoroughly enjoyed one nugget in particular. Jimmy was pulled onto a stage during a lunchtime gathering on Martin Luther King Day and busted out a freestyle rap that went something like this, according to ESPN:

“One two one two, in Uganda baseball comes through

Big D Lee in the house and so is me doing it everyday casually

Because we like to play and get down, Uganda, Nsambya, the big towns

I’m not done, we get it down, we get it too, I stand up and push, it’s on you

And when the ball leave the field I’m gonna clown

Walk down the baseline, throw a pound

To the sky, up high, to my fans, we got a plan

Everybody just say baseball … baseball

Everybody say baseball … baseball”

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 08:47 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: international, music, phillies

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Phillies Top-15 Prospects List

1. Trevor May | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B

2. Jesse Biddle | LHP | Age – 20 | Grade – B

3. Phillippe Aumont | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – B/B-

4. Maikel Franco | 3b | Age – 19 | Grade – B-

5. Justin De Fratus | RHP | Age – 24 | Grade – B-

6. Sebastian Valle | C | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

7. Larry Greene | LF/1b | Age – 19 | Grade – C+

8. Freddy Galvis | SS | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

9. Austin Wright | LHP | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

10. Jon Pettibone | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

11. Brody Colvin | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

12. Lisalberto Bonilla | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

13. Jiwan James | CF | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

14. Tyler Greene | SS | Age – 19 | Grade – C+

15. Adam Morgan | LHP | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

NoVaO Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, minor leagues, phillies, prospect reports, sabermetrics, scouting

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Greatest Animated Sports .GIFs of 2011

32. Cliff Lee declines to run out his own grounder

I’m a firm opponent of the designated hitter rule, because just as I love to watch a punter try to scoop up a bad snap and try to throw it, or see a 7’1” center with no range try to chuck up a last-second three, I love watching pitchers hit.

Never will I come closer to seeing what it would be like if someone with my skill set tried to perform on a professional level. I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it! It’s Dada performance art, and the ubiquity of such comical nonsense—over the course of a game, a season, and the history of baseball—is unrivaled by anything in any other sport.

This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends. It’s beautiful.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, online, phillies, twins

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Roy Halladay helps rescue man after snake attack

The snake apparently bit him on the ass but he was able to free himself before the snake wrapped him up. Instead the snake wrapped around his motor on the back of his little 14 foot dugout canoe and tore it off the back of his boat. Doc and I helped him gather his gear and flip the boat back over and then towed him home. You could definitely see the bite mark on his ass, but he was able to fight it off; amazing.

Halladay lifetime vs. the Snakes: 3-1, 2.73, 32/4 K/BB, and now, one save.

Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 03, 2012 at 05:55 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Deadspin: Legendary Columnist Bill Conlin Resigns Over Forthcoming Philly Inquirer Bombshell

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top investigative reporter, Nancy Phillips, has written a story containing what we’re told are allegations of child molestation against sportswriter Bill Conlin, a longtime columnist at the rival Daily News. Conlin resigned just moments ago, according to a source at the Daily News.

Conlin, who turns 78 this May, won the Ford C. Frick Award last May. The story supposedly will drop soon (the newspapers publish under a joint-operating agreement, sharing some resources and a website but otherwise competing for the same readers). Conlin has hired an attorney to defend himself against the piece. We’ll have more details on this. For now, we can tell you that Conlin is at his condo in Largo, Fla.

And Bill Conlin’s articles on BTF...

Tripon Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:47 PM | 283 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, media, obituaries, phillies, rumors, special topics

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JPWF13
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(4487 - 7:49pm, May 31)
Last: Tony S

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(246 - 7:31pm, May 31)
Last: Pirate Joe

NewsblogSon of Agassi, Graf could be a future ace
(28 - 6:59pm, May 31)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

NewsblogNationals’ Max Scherzer signals union’s rejection of MLB’s proposed salary cuts
(3 - 6:38pm, May 31)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogMLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players
(89 - 5:00pm, May 31)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogMLB teams release hundreds of minor league players, per report
(8 - 4:33pm, May 31)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogMLB Network to celebrate Derek Jeter's career with 64 consecutive hours of Jeter programming
(38 - 3:00pm, May 31)
Last: puck

NewsblogNot in Missouri anymore: Royals move legal home to Delaware
(7 - 9:30pm, May 30)
Last: Zach

NewsblogOT – NBA CoronaThread 2020
(3128 - 7:59pm, May 30)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogRoy Steele, the A’s ‘Voice of God,’ dies
(4 - 6:28pm, May 30)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogA's Tell Minor Leaguers They Won't Be Paid for the Remainder of the Season
(36 - 6:07pm, May 30)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogWe Can Show Baseball Reruns, Too
(64 - 10:39am, May 30)
Last: Hysterical & Useless

NewsblogThe Chinese Professional Baseball League OMNICHATTER
(404 - 6:35am, May 30)
Last: Weekly Journalist_

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-29-2020
(16 - 11:26pm, May 29)
Last: Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome

NewsblogBatting .400? A sub-1.00 ERA? Here are the MLB records that could be threatened in an 82-game season
(48 - 8:38pm, May 29)
Last: McCoy

Page rendered in 1.5527 seconds
166 querie(s) executed