February 2009

Spring Training: The Phillies have won their first Spring Training game as they defeat the Rays, 12-5.

After losing their third straight Spring Training game yesterday, this time to the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, Florida, by the score of 10-3, the Phillies’ bats would come alive today as they would pound the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays for 12 runs on 13 hits at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Rays, 12-5.

Kyle Kendrick, whom pitching coach Rich Dubee had earlier announced as the person who had the fifth starter job to lose, would keep the Rays off the board in the top of the first. In the Phils’ half of the first, the silent bats would finally wake up in an explosive way against Rays’ starter Mitch Talbot. Jimmy Rollins would start the inning off with a double, before scoring on an RBI single by Shane Victorino, making it 1-0 Phils. One out later, Ryan Howard would get his first Spring Training hit, a two-run home run, plating Victorino before him, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The next batter, John Mayberry, Jr., who is playing right field in place of Jayson Werth, who has a sore shoulder, would follow Howard with his own home run, his first for the spring, to make it 4-0 Phils. Two batters later, Miguel Cairo would knock in the last Phils run for the inning, as he would hit a solo home run, the third home run for the Phils in the inning, making it 5-0 Phillies.

In the top of the second inning, the Rays would get one of the runs back, as Ray Sadler would hit a two-out solo home run off of Kendrick, making it a 5-1 Phils lead. The Phillies would not score in their half of the second, nor would either team score a run in the third, although Kendrick would be replaced by Drew Naylor in the top of the inning when he got himself into a jam with two men out. Naylor would turn back the Rays, and then keep them quiet in the fourth. The Phillies would get another run back in their half of the fourth, as Jason Donald had an RBI single, his first hit of the spring, as he knocks in Cairo, who had earlier doubled, to make it 6-1 Phils. Naylor would then give up an RBI single to Justin Ruggiano in the fifth, as he would knock in Ray Olmedo, who has earlier singled and then stole second, as Naylor committeed an error trying to pick him off, making it 6-2 Phillies. 

After neither the Phils, in the bottom of the fifth, or the Rays, in the top of the sixth, as Mike Koplove would pitch an almost clean inning aginst the Rays, would be able to score, the Phillies would increase their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Ronny Paulino would hit a two-out solo shot. The Rays would get the run back in the top of the seventh, as Jon Weber would hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Olmedo, making it a 7-3 Phils lead. The Phillies would get the run back in the bottom of the seventh, to make it 8-3 Phillies. After Clay Condrey would put the Rays down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, the Phillies would finally put the game away in the bottom of the inning as they would score four more runs, with Eric Bruntlett, Andy Tracy and Mayberry each knocking in a run with two men outs.

In the ninth, the Phils would send Jake Woods to the mound. He would give up a two-run home run to Elliot Johnson, with two men out, before finally ending the game, with the Phils winning 12-5.

Pitching-wise, Kendrick, one of the four pitchers trying out for the fifth starer position in the starting rotation, would pitch two and two-thirds innings, giving up one earned run on four hits. Naylor would follow by going two and a third innings, also giving up an earned run on three hits while striking out three batters. Koplove would go to the mound next, pitching a scoreless sixth, although walking a batter, who would later be erased in a double play. Scott Eyre would be the next Phils’ pitcher, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one Ray. Condrey would follow and pitch a 1-2-3 eighth. Woods would pitch the ninth, giving up two earned runs on two hits as he struck out two.

Among the batters, Howard, Cairo and Mayberry would lead the Phils thirteen-hit attack by each getting two hits, with each man hitting a home run, a two-run shot by Howard and solo shots by Cairo and Mayberry, while Mayberry would knock in a second run during the Phillies’ four-run eighth. Rollins, Victorino, Bruntlett, Tracy, Pablo Ozuna, Donald and Paulino would each get one hit.

The victory gives the Phillies a 1-3 record in the Grapefruit League. The next Phillies’ game is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm Eastern, as the Phils play the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

Philadelphia Phillies – The Players: Kid Gleason – Pitcher, Second Baseman, Manager, Coach, Part 1.

Although best known as the betrayed manager of the infamous 1919 Black Sox, Kid Gleason began and ended his baseball career in Philadelphia, first as a pitcher for the Phillies and later as a coach for Connie Mack’s A’s.

William J. Gleason, Jr. was born on October 26, 1866 in Camden, N.J., although at least one biographer claims that he was born in south Philadelphia and that his family would move across the Delaware River to Camden while a toddler. Gleason’s father, William, Sr. worked as a foreman for the Pennsylvania Railroad, working out of the Market Street Ferry Terminal. Growing up, Gleason would play baseball, being nicknamed the ‘Kid’ because of both his short stature and his energetic, youthful play, while also working as a brakeman for the railroad, continuing to perform that duty during the off-season for a short time after becoming a professional ballplayer. After playing for local Camden ballclubs, including the Camden Merrit club in 1885, he would play for a team in Williamsport, PA., in 1887 and then play for a team in Scranton, PA., later that same year. The following year, he would play his first professional ballgame as a member of Harry Wright’s Philadelphia Phillies, making his major league debut on April 20, debuting as the team’s opening day pitcher. Pitching against the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves), the team would lose 4-3.

Playing in twenty-five games during that first season with the Phillies, all but one of which would be as a pitcher, Gleason would start in twenty-three games and finished the other one. His record for the year would be 7-16 with a 2.84 ERA, as he would pitch in 199.7 innings, giving up 199 hits, 11 of which would be home runs, leading the team in that category that year, allow 112 runs to score, 63 of which would be earned, as he would also walk 53 batters, strike out 89, hit 12 batters, leading the team in that category, and throw 11 wild pitches. The following year, 1889, Gleason would play in thirty games, pitching in twenty-nine of them. He would start in twenty-one games, completing fifteen, and finishing seven other games, being the team’s leader in that category. His record for the season would be 9-15 with an ERA of 5.58, as he would pitch in 205 innings, giving up 242 hits, including 8 home runs, while allowing 177 runners to score, with 127 of them being earned. He would also walk 97 batters while striking out 64, hit 9 batters, once again leading the team’s pitching staff and throw 14 wild pitches. Gleason would also save one game, putting him in a tie for the team’s lead with Ben Sanders.

1890 would be the Kid’s breakout year as a pitcher as he would become the team’s ace thanks to that year’s Players’ League revolt. He would start the year off as the team’s opening day pitcher, facing future Hall of Famer Amos Rusie of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants on April 19, leading the Phils to a 4-0 victory over the previous season’s National League champ. Appearing in sixty-three games that season, he would play sixty games as a pitcher and two as a second baseman. Gleason would start in fifty-five games, completing all but one, while finishing the other five, placing him third in the NL in all three categories. His record for the season would be 38-17 for a .691 winning percentage, leading the team in wins (while setting the team’s record for wins in a season, which still stands) and winning percentage and placing him second behind Bill Hutchinson of the Chicago Colts in wins and second behind Tom Lovett of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in winning percenatge, with an ERA of 2.63, leading the team and placing him fifth in the league. He would perform six shut outs, placing him second behind Kid Nichols of the Beaneaters. Gleason would also have two saves, tying him for first place in the NL with Dave Foutz of the Bridegrooms and Hutchinson of the Colts. He would pitch in 506 innings (3), giving up 479 hits (3), of which 8 would be for home runs. Gleason would also give up 253 runs, of which 148 were earned (4), walk 167 batters (5), strike out 222 (3T), perform one balk and throw 11 wild pitches. The following season, 1891, he would once again be the Phils’ opening day pitcher, pitching against the Bridegrooms on April 22, as the Phils would lose the game, 1-0. The Kid would have another winning season, but just barely, as his record drops to 24-22 with an ERA of 3.51, although leading the team in wins and ERA, and, sadly, also losses. In sixty-five games, fifty-three of which would be as a pitcher, Gleason would start in forty-four, completing forty games and finishing nine others, leading the team in all four categories, as well as leading the NL in games finished. He would have one shutout, tying him for the team’s lead with Duke Esper and John Thornton and one save. Gleason would pitch in 418 innings, giving up 431 hits, 10 of which would be for home runs, while also giving up 237 runs, 148 of which would be earned, leading the team in innings pitched, hits allowed, home runs allowed and earned runs allowed. He would also walk 165 batters while striking out only 100, and throw 17 wild pitches, leading the team in both walks and wild pitches. This would be his last season as a Phillie as at some point between the 1891 and the 1892 seasons the Phils would either let him go or trade him to the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals) one of the four teams picked up by the National League following the folding of the then second Major League, the American Association.

Among Phillies’ leader, Gleason is presently still 16th in wins (78), 21st in losses (70), 22nd in ERA (3.29), 58th in games pitched (166), tied for 27th in games started (143), 11th in complete games (132), tied for 37th in shut outs (7), tied for 89th in saves (4), 17th in innings pitched (1328.2), 18th in hits allowed (1351), 12th in runs allowed (779), 23rd in earned runs allowed (501), tied for 89th in home runs allowed (37), 9th in walks (482), 34th in strike outs (475), tied for 12th in hit batters (49), 9th in wild pitches (53) and 176th in winning percentage (.527). But, this would not be the last time that Phillies fans would see Gleason as a Phil, but we are presently getting ahead of ourselves.

Gleason would spend two plus seasons with the St. Louis Browns. He would begin the 1892 season as their opening day pitcher, going against the Chicago Colts on April 12, that would end up as a 14-10 lost for the Browns. Gleason would play in sixty-six games, forty-seven of them as a pitcher, of which forty-five would be starts, completing all but two. The rest he would play as either a shortstop or in the outfield. Gleason’s record that season would be 20-24, including two shut outs, with an ERA of 3.33. He would pitch 300 innings that year, giving up 389 hits, 11 of which would be for home runs (7), allow 244 runs to score, of which 148 would be earned (9). Gleason would also walk 151 batters, while striking out 133 and throw 9 wild pitches. He would lead the Browns in all pitching categories mentioned, except for ERA and runs allowed. The following year, 1893, would see him play in fifty-nine games, of which he would pitch in forty-eight games (6T), starting forty-five games (4), completing thirty-seven of them (8), while finishing three, pitching one shut out and saving one game (6T). In 380 and a third innings (7), he would give up 436 hits (5), of which 18 would be for home runs (2), while allowing 276 runs to score, of which 195 were earned, the lead leader in that category. He would also walk 187 batters (3), while striking out 86 and throwing 16 wild pitches (5). He would lead the Browns in wins, games started, home runs allowed, walks, hits allowed, earned runs allowed and wild pitches, while being tied for the lead in games pitched, saves and shut outs.

The 1894 season would see him play for two teams. He would begin the year playing for the Browns, with a record of 2-6 and an ERA of 6.05 in eight games pitched, all starts, with six complete games. Overall, he would play just 9 games with the Browns, playing his other game as a first baseman. He would pitch in only 58 innings, giving up just 75 hits, only two of which would be for home runs, as he would give up 50 runs, only 39 of which would be earned, while walking just 21 batters, striking out 9 and throwing just one wild pitch. On June 23, 1894, the Browns would sell him to the Baltimore Orioles for $2400. Kid would become sort of rejuvenated upon joining the Orioles, as he would end the season with a 15-5 record with a 4.45 ERA, as he would pitch in twenty-one games, playing twenty-six games overall, as he would start twenty games, completing all but one, and finishing one other game. Pitching in 172 innings, he would give up 224 hits, only three of which would be for home runs, allow 111 runs to cross the plate, of which only 85 would be earned. He would also walk 44 batters, while striking out 35 and throwing only three wild pitches, as he would help lead the Orioles to the first of two straight pennants (1894-1895) as a member of their ball club. This would turn out to be his last major year as a pitcher, as the National League, now the only major league in existance, would move the pitcher’s mound to its modern distance of 60′ 6″ from home plate, ending his effectiveness as a pitcher. He would appear in just nine more games as a pitcher in 1895, starting in five, completing three games, and finishing the other four, recording one save, as he would record a 2-4 record with an ERA of 6.97. Gleason would pitch in 50 and a third innings, giving up 77 hits, four of which would be home runs, as he would allow 51 runs to score, of which 39 would be earned. He would also walk 21 batters while striking out 6 and throw one wild pitch.

In nine season as a pitcher, Gleason would compile a record of 138-131 for the Phillies, the Browns and the Orioles for a winning percentage of .513, with a 3.79 ERA. He would pitch in 299 games, starting 266 games and finishing 30 others. Gleason would complete 240 games, while throwing 10 shut outs and saving six. The Kid would pitch in 2389.3 innings, giving up 2552 hits, of which 75 would be home runs, while allowing 1511 runs to score, of which 1007 would be earned. He would also walk 906 batters, strike out 744, hit 21 batters, throw 83 wild pitches and commit one balk.

During the 1895 season, Orioles’ manager, future Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon, would turn Gleason into an everyday player, mainly playing at second base. During that first season as a regular, Gleason would blossom as a player, hitting .309, with a slugging percentage of .399 and an on-base percentage of .366, as he would go 130 for 421 in 112 games. He would knock in 74 runs while scoring 90, as he would collect 14 doubles and 12 triples, while walking 33 times as he would strike out only 18 times. He would also steal 19 bases, as he would help lead the Orioles to their second straight NL pennant. On November 15, the Orioles would send Gleason and $3500 to the Giants, in exchange for catcher Jack Doyle.

I will continue the story on Kid Gleason next week, starting with his years playing for the New York Giants.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org, Delaware Valley Rhythm and Blues Society, Inc.com-Camden Sports Hall of Fame, The Baseball Page.com, Phillies.com

Spring Training: The Phillies have released Adam Eaton. What took them so long???

The Phillies have announced earlier today that they have finally released Adam Eaton. Joining the Phillies as a free agent in 2007 after signing a three-year contract worth $24.5 million, Eaton in two years with the Phillies would pitch in 51 games (49 starts) and would go 14-18 with a high ERA of 6.10. Late in the 2008 season, he would be taken out of the rotation and sent to the minors to see if he could improve his pitching, as was done earlier with fellow Phil Brett Myers. Unlike Myers, who would got his brain back into the game in time to have a stellar second half, thus helping get the team into the playoffs and World Series, Eaton would only get worst in the minors, getting bombed in each of his outings. Although called back up to the team in September, he would make very few mound appearences for the ballclub, and would not be placed on the post-season roster.

Eaton, who has been in the major leagues for nine years with the Padres and Rangers, along with the Phils, has a career record of 68-83 in 197 games (193 starts) with an ERA of 4.80.

With his release, the Phillies will be paying the last year of his contract, worth $8.5 million. Eaton has already expressed during the early part of Spring Training that he is sure that another team will pick him up. Me, I’m not so sure, since no one wanted to take him off of the Phillies hand when they tried to trade him during the off-season. But, anything is possible, but I will state right now that I will feel sorry for whichever team does pick him up and he continues to pitch as badly for them as he has done during the last two seasons while pitching for the Phils.

Goodbye, Eaton. I wish you luck, but I seriously don’t expect to see you with another team until you can prove that you can pitch.

Spring Training: Phillies lose home opener to the Blue Jays.

The Phillies has just finished playing their home opener at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, this afternoon. They ended up on the short end once again, as they lose to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-2.

The Phillies started the game, pitching wise, by sending out Carlos Carrasco, one of the four men trying to land the job of fifth starter in the starting rotation. The pitching prospect was soon aiming to please, as he put down the Blue Jays 1-2-3, getting two straight strikeouts and a ground out, third to first. After the Phils went down in order in their half of the first, Carrasco went back on the mound in the top of the second, once again getting a 1-2-3 innings against the Blue Jays batters by getting a ground out, 5-3, a fly out to right and a third strikeout. Carrasco seems to have set the bar in the battle for the final rotation spot by striking out three, getting two ground outs and a fly out.

After the Phils would go scoreless in their half of the second, J.A. Happ, another contender for the fifth spot, would take the mound. Refusing to give ground to Carassco, Happ would put together a 1-2-3 inning of his own, getting a ground out, 6-3, a fly out to right and a strike out. The Phillies would then proceed to break the scoreless tie, as, with no one out, and runners on first and second via a single and a stolen base (Jason Ellison) and a walk (Carlos Ruiz), Jimmy Rollins would knock in Ellinson with a single to right, while sending Ruiz to third, as he would move up to second on the throw home. Sadly, that would be all that the Phillies would do that inning, as the next three batters would strike out, pop out and strike out. Happ would go back to the mound in the top of the fourth, soon getting the first two men out via a ground out, 4-3 and a pop out to third. He would then give up a single, the first hit of the game for the Blue Jays, before he ended the inning with a fly out to center. In spite of the hit, Happ would do as well as Carrasco, getting two ground outs, two fly outs, a pop out and a strike out. The Phillies would only manage a walk in the bottom of the fourth.

The Phillies would send Justin Lehr to the mound to start the fifth. Lehr would be welcomed by Travis Snider who would hit a lead-off home run on a 2-2 pitch, tying the game up at 1-1. The Blue Jays would then take the lead as Jason Lane would follow Snider with a home run of his own on a 3-2 pitch. Lehr would then get out of the inning by getting two straight ground outs, 4-3 and 3-1 and then a line out to second. The Phils would go down 1-2-3 in their half of the fifth.

Gary Majewski would pitch the sixth for the Phillies. He would pitch a 1-2-3 inning against the Blue Jays, with a strike out, a ground out, 3-1 and another strike out. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, they would tie the score at 2-2 with two men outs as Greg Dobbs singles in John Mayberry, Jr., who has earlier doubled. After the sixth inning ends, Majewski would go back out to pitch the seventh, soon mowing down the Blue Jays again, 1-2-3, as he would get a fly out to left, a ground out, 4-3, and a pop out to third on six pitches. The Phillies would be unable to score in their half of the inning, in spite of getting a man on first via a hit batman, with one out, because of an inning ending double play.

The Phillies would start the eighth inning with Blaine Neal on the pitching rubber. After getting out the first batter with a pop out to second, he would give up a double to David Cooper. The next batter would ground out, 5-3, keeping Cooper at second. After that, everything would go wrong for Neal. He would walk Angel Sanchez, putting runners on first and second, then would throw a wild pitch, sending Cooper to third, putting runners on the corner. He would then walk Bradley Emaus on four pitches, loading up the bases as Sanchez would move over to second. Scott Campbell would then come up and clears the bases with a double, scoring Cooper, Sanchez and Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. That would be it for Neal, as he would be taken out for Yorman Bazardo. Bazardo would hit the first batter he would face, Brian Jeroloman, putting runners on first and second. He would then give up an RBI single to Adam Loewen, scoring Campbell, and sending Jeroloman to third, as the Blue Jays would increase their lead to 6-2. Bazardo would finally end the inning by getting the next batter to ground out, 4-3, but by then the damage had already been done as Neal and Bazardo would combine to give up four runs (all charged to Neal) on three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter. The Phils would be unable to score in their half of the eighth, in spite of starting the inning off with a walk, as the next batter would hit into a double play before the inning would end with a strike out.

Bazardo would be sent back out to pitch the ninth. He would strike out the first batter he would face, before issuing a walk. He would then end the inning by getting the next batter to ground into a double play. The Phillies ninth would begin with a strike out before Andy Tracy would get on base with a single. Pablo Ozuna would follow him with a single, putting runners on first and second with one out. The next batter would then hit into a force out, with Ozuna being out at second while Tracy would move over to third. The next batter would then strike out, ending the game, and giving the Phils their second straight Spring Training lost.

For the Phillies, the two men trying for the fifth starter spot in the rotation, Carrasco and Happ, would both do well today, as between them, they would give up no runs in four innings of work, giving up only a single, while striking out four. Majewski would also do well, as he would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Although he would allow in the fourth and final run to score in the eighth inning, Bazardo would pitch a scoreless inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk and hitting a batter, while striking out one. Lehr would pitch one bad inning, giving up back-to-bat home runs, before getting out of the inning with no further damage. Neal though, would end up being hit the hardest, as he would give up four earned runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning.

Among the batters, the Phils would have only six hits, with Rollins, Mayberry, Dobbs, Tracy, Ozuna and Ellison each getting a hit, while Rollins and Dobbs would be responsible for the Phils two RBIs. The Phillies would only walk three times in the game while striking out nine times.

Neal would be the losing pitching, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with an ERA of 54.00. The winning pitching for the Blue Jays would be Bill Murphy, who, in one inning of work, would give up no runs or hits, while striking out one batter. His Spring Training record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA.

The Phillies next Spring Training game will be played tomorrow afternoon from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida at 1:05 pm Easetrn.  

Money news: Well, we certainly can’t call the Phillies cheap anymore.

The Phillies has extended Carlos Ruiz’s contract to $475,000 for the year, after having given contract increases to both J.A. Happ and Ronny Paulino on Saturday, increasing the team’s possible overall payroll to $132.5 million, with all of their players now signed. I guess the days when we were able to call Phillies management a bunch of cheapskates are for the moment over, thanks to the team winning the World Series last year and rewarding its players for a job well done.

And speaking of players and management, the Phillies announced yesterday that they have advanced some money to reliever Scott Eyre to help with his finances, as his money is presently frozen because of a government investigation of the Stanford Financial Group and the alleged $8 billion fraud of billionaire Robert Allen Stanford. With his account at Stanford frozen, Eyre was unable to pay his bills. The advancement will help him with that, as he and several other major leaguers have no idea when they will once again have access to their accounts. Good move on the part of Phils management. And hopefully this situation will be taken care of soon, and not just for the ballplayers, as there are also just normal joes who, for the moment, will not have access to their money while the government look over Stanford’s finances with a fine tooth comb.

Spring Training: Phillies have played their first game of Spring Training.

The Phillies have earlier this afternoon played their first game of Spring Training, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida. Sadly, they were on the losing end of an 8-2 score, thanks in part to an implosion by pitchers Joe Bisenius and Scott Nestor who gave up a total of seven runs on five hits and four walks, including a three-run home run to Shelby Ford, in the fourth and fifth innings. Those seven runs would give the Pirates a lead that they would never let go.

The Phils took the lead in the top of the third inning after Jamie Moyer’s two-innings of one-hit, two walks, worth of work, as Raul Ibanez showed his usefulness to the Phils early as he knocked in Jimmy Rollins from second after a Rollins’ single and his moving up to second on a Victorino ground out. The Pirates would then tie it in their half of the third, scoring a run off of Joe Blanton, before their seven-run, two-innings explosion against Bisenius and Nestor put them ahead to stay. The Phillies would be unable to score another run until the ninth when John Mayberry knocked in Jeremy Slayden with the Phils’ second and final run of the afternoon.

Other than Bisenius and Nestor’s implosion, Phils pitching did rather well, as Moyer struck out two batters to go along with his two walks; Blanton, also struck out two Bucos, although also giving up two hits and a run. Among the other three pitchers they used, Dave Borkowski pitched a scoreless inning; Jake Woods pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one and walking a batter and Mike Koplove struck out one in an inning of scoreless work. Overall, Phils pitching would give up eight runs on eight hits, including a double and a home run, walk seven batters while striking out eight. 

The Phillies batters would get only seven hits off of nine Pirates pitchers (one pitcher used per inning), while also getting three walks while striking out eight times. Invitee Slayden would lead with two hits, including a double, while Rollins, Ibanez, Mayberry, Greg Dobbs and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit.

Bisenius is the losing pitcher, with his Spring Training record at 0-1, with his ERA at 36.00. Donald Veal is the winning pitcher for the Pirates, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. His Spring Training record is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

The Phillies will play their first home game of Spring Training tomorrow afternoon at home in Clearwater, Florida, as they face the Toronto Blue Jays. Game time will be 1:05 pm Eastern.  

What should my amazed eyes see…

but that my blog has just bounced back into 37th place among the MLBlogs fan blogs. I would like to once again humbly thank everyone who have been visiting my blog during the past week and have read my writings. Hopefully I have kept you folks entertained. :)

Anyway here is the most recent top 50 fan MLBlogs list as posted on MLBlogs.com. Give everyone on the list a look, okay folks:

FAN MLBLOGS

1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. Julia’s Rants
3. Red State Blue State
4. Rockpile Rant
5. FutureAngels.com
6. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
7. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
8. Rays Renegade
9. Eat, Sleep, Baseball
10. The ‘Burgh Blues
11. The 1 Constant…Baseball
12. Phillies Phollowers
13. A Diatribe from a Law Student: Baseball Edition
14. Rocky Mountain Way…Outside Coors looking in
15. Statistician Magician
16. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
17. Flair For The Dramatic
18. Life and Indians Baseball through the Eyes of a Clemson Girl
19. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
20. King of Cali
21. King Yankees
22. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
23. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
24. Mets’ Main Man
25. MLB in the eyes of a 13 year old
26. Plunking Gomez
27. All Baseball All The Time
28. Totally Tribe
29. Up in Section 360
30. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
31. Unfinished Business
32. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
33. The Brewer Nation
34. Rangers Lowlights for Cynics
35. San Diego Wannabes
36. Braving the Diamond
37. Phillies Red Pinstripes
38. Red Sox Faithful
39. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
40. Hitless Wanderings in Texas
41. Baseball Canadiana
42. Yankees Chick
43. Baseball Bats
44. Cambios y Curvas
45. Whistlin’ Past The Ballpark
46. Bringing Diamond Back(s)
47. I Live for This
48. Red Sox Kid Nation Daily
49. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
50. sittingstill

Spring Training: The Phillies’ first Spring Training game is in less than two days.

As the Phillies continue to get ready for their first game of the regular season on Sunday, April 5 against the Atlanta Braves, their first game of Spring Training will take place in less than two days. On Wednesday, February 25, they will play a 1:05 pm Eastern Grapefruit League game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Pirates’ Spring Training home of Bradenton, Florida, at McKechnie Field. The Phillies will open their Spring Training schedule with Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton on the mound.

Meanwhile, Chase Utley has been participating in fielding his position and in batting practice, but not taking any swings while in the cage, although he has taken swings elsewhere, and not on the batting tee, as he tries to get himself ready for opening day, although the Phils will be keeping an eye on him to prevent the possibility of a set-back through Utley’s eagerness to start. At the same time, Pedro Feliz is also taking grounders, but he has not been taking any swings in the batting cage, as the Phils worry about his back. But, with such options as Eric Bruntlett, prospect Jason Donald, Marcus Giles and Miguel Cairo in camp, the Phillies should be able to start the season okay in the infield for a few days if either player isn’t ready for opening day.

Phils’ opening day starter, Cole Hamels, will not pitch in a Grapefruit League game until March 4, as the Phils plan to go slowly with their ace, so that he will be ready to pitch by opening day, as well as to prevent him getting injured during spring training, as last year was his first year in the major leagues that he did not get injured.

Ah, opening day can’t come soon enough for me. GO PHILS!!! REPEAT!!!

Philadelphia Phillies – Year 8: The Phillies finished in third place in the NL, inspite of losing their manager Harry Wright for most of the season as he goes blind.

The Phillies would start the 1890 season with a major problem. Before the season even starts, as they start to officially call themselves the Phillies, the club would lose several of its players to the teams of the Players’ League, including a new team that the rebellious league had set up in Philadelphia, the new Philadelphia Quakers. This new team would challenge not only the Phils but also the American Association’s Philadelphia franchise, the Philadelphia Athletics, to see which team would reign surpreme in the Philadelphia baseball world.

As the National League finds itself unable to destroy the upstart league through the courts, as New York Supreme Court Justice Morgan J. O’Brien rules on January 28 in favor of John Montgomery Ward, formerly a star pitcher for the New York Giants and now a Hall of Famer, in his reserve clause case against the league, they decide to destroy it on the playing field, despite losing half of the people who had played for National League teams the previous season before the start of the regular season. The league would set things up so that they would end up playing most of their games on the same day as would the teams of their Players’ League opponents, beginning with opening day, April 19.

The Phillies’ opponents for 1890 would include the two franchises that had joined the National League from the weakening American Association, after the previous season, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and the Cincinnati Reds, replacing the now defunct Washington Nationals and Indianapolis Hoosiers franchises, along with the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Alleghenys, the Spiders and the Chicago franchise, which has before the season changed its nickname from the White Stockings to the Colts. Every member of the league, except for Cincinnati, would face a challenge from a Players’ League franchise, while only Brooklyn and Philadelphia would also face teams from the more friendly American Association. The Phillies would continue to play their home games at the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, while Harry Wright would begin his seventh season as the team’s manager, trying to see if he can finally pilot the team to a league pennant.

The Phillies would begin their season on the road in April, playing four games against the previous season’s champ, the Giants, and one game against the former American Association champ, the Bridegrooms. The Phillies would win the season opener behind Kid Gleason, defeating the Giants 4-0. They would then lose the next game, 5-3, before winning the four- games series, 3-1, by defeating New York by the scores of 7-3 and 3-1, and landing in a three-way tie for first place with the Beaneaters and the Alleghenys. The Phils would then lose their game with the Bridegrooms, 10-0, ending their road trip with a record of 3-2 and landing in third place, trailing the Beaneaters by a game. They would then go back home to begin an eleven-games home stand with their eastern rivals the Giants (3), the Beaneaters (4) and the Bridegrooms (4). The Phillies would end the month of April by splitting the first two of their three games with the Giants, ending the month with a record of 4-3 while in a three-way tie with the Bridegrooms and Beaneaters for second place, as they all trailed the now leading Colts by half-a-game.

With the start of May, the Phillies would conclude their series with the Giants, winning the final game, and thus winning the series, 3-1, as they would end up in a four-way tie for first place with the Beaneaters, the Colts and the Reds, all four teams a full game ahead of the Alleghenys and the Bridegrooms. The Phils would then sweep their series with the Beaneaters, putting themselves in first place, a game-and-a-half ahead of the second place Colts. The Phillies would then win their sixth game in a row as they would defeat the Bridegrooms in the first game of their four-games series, 6-1. The Phils would then lose their next two games with Brooklyn, before winning the last game of the home stand, and splitting the series 2-2, while winning their home stand, 8-3, still in first place, but now leading the Colts by two full games. The Phils then go to Boston for a one-game series, which they would lose, 14-7, before coming back home for a long twenty-four games series against all of their league opponents that would last the rest of May and the early part of June. The Phillies would begin the home stand by losing their three-games series with the Reds, 1-2, leaving them just a half-game ahead of the Colts, as their western rival come into Philadelphia for a four-games series. The Phils would win the series, 2-1-1, including a suspended final game which had the Colts leading 10-8, which would end up leaving the Phillies still in first place, a game-and-a-half ahead of the Colts, the Bridegrooms and the Giants. The Phils would next face the Alleghenys for four games. They would sweep the series, including a doubleheader sweep on May 28, winning the games by the scores of 12-10 and 7-2, which would leave them still a game-and-a-half ahead of Brooklyn. The Phils would then end the month playing four games with the Spiders, including their second doubleheader of the month, played on May 30. After winning the first game of the series, they would be swept in the doubleheader, losing the two games by the score of 8-4 and 4-1, before winning the final game of the series, thus ending up splitting their series with Cleveland, 2-2. The Phillies would end the month of May with a 17-8 record, and with an overall record of 21-11-1, a game-and-a-half ahead of both the Reds and the Bridegrooms.

The Phillies would start June by winning their series with the Beaneaters, 2-1 and then with the Bridegrooms, also 2-1, before sweeping their three-games series with the Giants, ending the home stand with a winning record of 17-7, leaving them in first, but now only a-half-game ahead of the Reds. The Phillies would then go on the road for seven games with Boston (4) and Brooklyn (3). The Phils would lose the first game in their series with the Beaneaters, 8-5, having their four-games winning streak snapped, before losing the series overall, 1-3. They would then get swept by the Bridegrooms, becoming mired in a five-games losing streak, as they fall into third place, five-and-a-half games behind the Reds. The Phillies would then go back home for a four-games home stand with the Alleghenys. The Phils would win the short home stand 3-1, still in third, but now trailing by three-and-a-half games. The Phillies would then go on an eleven-games road trip to Cleveland (4), Chicago (4) and Cincinnati (3) for the rest of the month and the start of July. The Phils would go to Cleveland, winning the series there, 3-1, as they now stood in second place, still three-and-a-half games behind the Reds. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would lose the first game of their series with the Colts, thus ending the month with a 13-11-1 record, and an overall record of 34-22-1, falling back into third place, but still three-and-a-half games behind the Reds.

The Phillies would start July off by winning two of their next three games with the Colts, ending the series with a split, before going on to Cincinnati for their first visit to the Queen City on the Ohio. The Phils would win their first road series against the Reds, 2-1, which would include a doubleheader split on July 4th, winning the first game 11-2, and then losing the ‘nightcap’, 7-1, thus ending the road trip with a record of 7-4, still trailing the Reds by three-and-a-half games, tied for second with the Bridegrooms. The Phils would then go back home for a fifteen-games home stand against the Reds, the Spiders, the Alleghenys, the Colts and the Alleghenys again, for five three-games series. The Phillies would start the home stand by winning their series with the Reds, 2-1, leaving them now just two-and-a-half games behind the Reds, while staying in third place. They would then sweep the other four series in their home stand, thus ending the home stand with a 14-1 record, returning to first place, now leading the second place Bridegrooms by two-and-a-half games. The Phillies would then go back on the road, for nine games with the Spiders (2), the Colts (3) and the Reds (4). The Phils would begin the road trip by sweeping the Spiders, increasing their winning streak to fifteen games, while increasing their lead over the Bridegrooms to three games. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where their winning streak would be snapped by the Colts, 12-4, before they ended the series losing it, 1-2, with their lead over Brooklyn shrinking down to two games. The Phillies would then go on to Cincinnati, where they promptly lost the first game of their four-games series to the Reds, ending the month with a 21-6 record and an overall record of 55-28-1, now leading the Bridegrooms by just a game-and-a-half.

The Phils would start the month of August by losing two of three to the Reds, thus losing the series, 1-3, and the road trip with a 4-5 record, now in second place and a game behind the Bridegrooms, as the pennant race starts to heat up. The Phillies would then go back home for a short three-games home stand against the Giants (2) and the Beaneaters (1). The Phils would split their short series with the Giants, 1-1, before losing their game with Boston, ending the homestand, 1-2 and now three games behind Brooklyn, as they remain in second place. The Phillies then go back onto the road for nine games with Boston (2), New York (3) and Brooklyn (4). The Phillies go into Boston, where they are swept by the Beaneaters, dropping them into third, still three games behind Brooklyn. The Phils then go to New York, where they would lose the series to the Giants, 1-2, leaving them four games behind the Bridegrooms, before going into Brooklyn. The Phillies would then fall further behind Brooklyn, as they would lose three of their four games with the Bridegrooms, including a doubleheader lost on the 20, by the lopsided scores of 13-2 and 12-7, ending the road trip with a 2-7 record, now six games behind the first place Bridegrooms, as they fall into fourth place. The Phillies would then return home for a long nineteen-games home stand against all of their opponents for four straight three-games series (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago and Cincinnati), two straight two-games series (Boston and New York) and then a final three-games series with Brooklyn. The Phils would start the home stand by redeeming themselves as they would proceed to sweep first the Alleghenys and then the Spiders, putting them back into third place, now three games behind Brooklyn. They then had a setback as they got swept in turn by the Colts, ending August with a losing record of 10-14, and an overall mark of 65-42-1, in a technical tie for third place with the Reds, six games behind the league leading Bridegrooms.

The Phillies would start September off by spliting a doubleheader with the Reds on the 1, winning the first game, 2-1 and then losing the ‘nightcap’, 8-5, before winning the third game of the series to win the series, 2-1. They would then split their two-games series with the Giants, which was a doubleheader split on the 3, losing the first game, 9-6, then winning the ‘nightcap’, 9-5, leaving them in third place, eight games behind the Bridegrooms. The Phillies would then be swept by the Beaneaters in their two-games series, leaving them now eight and a half games behind Brooklyn, still in third place, as the Bridegrooms come to Philadelphia for three-games, giving the Phils one last chance to make up ground on first place Brooklyn. The Phils would proceed to sweep the Bridegrooms, winning the three games by scores of 4-3, 13-6 and 9-3, ending the home stand with a record of 12-7, now trailing the Bridegrooms by five-and-a-half games. The Phillies would then go on the road for the final time, to play fifteen games in Boston (3), Cincinnati (4), Chicago (2), Pittsburgh (2) and Cleveland (4), for the rest of September and the start of October. The Phillies would start the road trip off by taking two of three from the Beaneaters, leaving them still five-and-a-half games behind Brooklyn and now a game behind the second place Beaneaters. The Philles would then lose three of four to the Reds, watching them stay in third place, six-and-a-half games behind Brooklyn, with only an outside chance to win the pennant. The Phils would then go to Chicago, where they would sweep the Colts, seeing them move up into second place over the Colts, six games behind the Bridegrooms. The Phillies would then go to Pittsburgh, where they would split the two-games series with the Alleghenys, losing the second game by the score of 10-1, thus ending the month with a record of 12-9 and an overall record of 77-51-1, now in third place, seven-and-a-half games behind the Bridegrooms, as Brooklyn clinches the pennant on that same day, September 30, by defeating the Spiders, 4-3 while the second place Colts would lose to the Beaneaters, 6-4.

The Phillies would end the season playing four games in October with the Spiders. After tying the first game, 2-2, they would win the next game, 5-4, before ending the season by being swept in an October 4 doubleheader, losing by the scores of 5-1 and 7-3, ending the month with a record of 1-2-1, the road trip with a record of 7-7-1, and ending the season with a record of 78-53-2, two-and-a-half games behind the second place Colts and nine games behind the league champ, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, so far the only Major League franchise to win a championship two years in a row in two difference leagues (AA 1889, NL 1890).

The Phillies would spend most of the year without their manager as Harry Wright would become blind on May 22. He would not be able to distinguish light from dark for ten days and would not return to manage the Phils until August 6. As Wright recovers, the Phillies would originally replace him with catcher Jack Clements, thus making him the fourth manager in Phillies’ history and the team’s second player-manager. Clements would be at the helm for only nineteen games, compling a record of 12-6-1 for a winning percentage of .667. Phillies co-owner, Al Reach, would replace him as the team’s fifth manager, leading the team for eleven games, compling a losing record of 4-7 for a winning percentage of .364. Reach then replaces himself as the team’s manager with shortstop Bob Allen, making him the team’s sixth manager and the third player-manager in franchise’s history. Allen would remain the team’s leader until Wright’s return, compling a record of 25-10 in thirty-five games, for a winning percentage of .714. Wright would return on August 6, leading the team during the final two-plus months of the pennant race, leading the Phils to its third third place finish, as he compiled a record of 36-31-1 in sixty-eight games, for a winning percentage of .537.

The Phillies would end up playing a total of 133 games, with a home/road split of 54-21-1 at home and 24-32-1 on the road, as 148,366 fans would come to watch them play at home. They would face the Spiders, the Reds and the Beaneaters twenty times each, the Colts and the Allghenys nineteen times, the Bridegrooms eighteen times and the Giants only seventeen times. The Phillies had winning records against four of their opponents, with their best record being against the Alleghenys, as they would go 17-2, followed by the Spiders at 14-5-1. They would have losing records with three teams, with their worst record being against the Bridegrooms, as they went 8-10, followed by both the Beaneaters and the Reds at 9-11. The Phillies would be 9-3 in shut outs, 17-9 in 1-run games and 30-17 in blowouts.

During the season, the Phillies would be either at the top, or near the top, in most offensive categories. The team would be first in doubles (220), batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.342), second in hits (1267), walks (522), slugging percentage (.364) and stolen bases (335), third in run scored (823) and triples (78), fifth in at-bats (4707), sixth in home runs (23) and strikeouts (403), while also knocking in 631 RBIs, while 64 batters would be hit by the pitch. Meanwhile, the pitchers would also be near the top in most categories. They would be second in saves (2), shut outs (9), innings pitched (1194), home runs allowed (22) and strikeouts (507), fifth in complete games (122), and sixth in ERA (3.32), hits allowed (1210), runs allowed (707), and walks (486), as well as start 133 games, complete eleven games, allowed 440 earned runs, throw 45 wild pitches and commit two balks.

Team offensive leaders for the season would include Billy Hamilton in batting average (.325), on-base percentage (.430), runs scored (133), stolen bases (102), also leading the league in that category, and singles (137), being tied for the league lead with Cliff Carroll of the Chicago Colts. Clements would lead the team in slugging percentage (.472) and home runs (7). Allen would lead in games played (133), walks (87) and strikeouts (54), while being tied with Eddie Burke for triples with 11 each. Sam Thompson would be the team leader in at-bats (549), total plate appearances (599), hits (172), tied for the league lead with Jack Glasscock of the New York Giants, total bases (243), doubles (41), being the league leader, RBIs (102) and extra-base hits (54). Al Myers would lead in hit by the bat by being plunked 10 times.

Pitching wise, 1890 would be the coming out year for Kid Gleason, as he would be the team leader in most pitching categories. He would have the lowest ERA (2.63), win the most games (38, which is still the team’s single season record), highest win-lost percentage (.691), game played (60), saves (2), tied for the lead in that category with Dave Foutz of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Bill Hutchison of the Chicago Colts, innings pitched (506), strikeouts (222), games started (55), complete games (54), games finished (5), shutouts (6), hits allowed (479), earned runs allowed (148), while being tied with Tom Vickery for the team lead in home runs allowed (6). Vickery would also lead the team in walks (184), losses (22) and wild pitches (23). The Phils would only have two pitchers who would win twenty or more games, Gleason, setting a club record 38 wins and Vickery with 24.

As the Phillies continue to try to claim their first pennant, the National League Champ, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, would face the American Association Champ, the Louisville Colonels in a seven-games post-season series, that would end up as a 3-3-1 tie between the two teams. Meanwhile, the Players’ League folds, as the league’s idea of having a revenue sharing-pool between the players would backfire, as the owners of the league’s eight teams are unable to make enough of a profit to stay in business. This would force the owners to sell the interest of their teams to the owners of the National League, who would in the process regain many of the players that they had lost to the revolt, such as the Phillies regaining Ed Delahanty from the Cleveland Infants. Meanwhile, as the Players’ League dies, the American Association would kick the Athletics out of the fold, for violating the league’s constitution. The Athletics would then be replaced in the AA by the Quakers of the Players’ League, leaving the Phillies with a rival. Noone, however, would have any idea how damaging the players’ revolt would be to the AA until 1891.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.org, Retrosheet.org

Comments from the readers…

As I am sure that most of you who are reading this blog know by now that during the last few months that I’d been uploading several posts on the Phillies’ year-by-year history, players, records, etc. During this time, Julia of Julia’s Rants has been constantly insisting that after I’d finished with this look back at the team’s 126-year history that I should publish it. Well, what do the rest of you think? Should I take these posts, update those that will certainly need updating, and put them into book form? Also, if I did so, would you buy it? Please give me your opinion(s), and when you do, please be serious. Thank you. I will be waiting patiently for your responses while I work on Phillies year number 8.

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