February 2009

The Phillies have signed catchers Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to split contracts.

Phillies.com has just announced that the Phillies have just signed catchers Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to split contracts for the present season.

If either man makes the main team, Coste would receive $460,000, while Paulino would get $420,000. If either man is sent down to the minors, they would instead receive $249,000 and $201,330 respectively. This leaves only catcher Carlos Ruiz and lefthander Mike Zagurski, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow as the only men on the Phils 40-men roster who are presently unsigned.

With this move, the Phils could increase their payroll up to $132.5 million for Opening Day, including the $3 million still owed Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox, J.C. Romero, as he will be serving his 50-game suspension and Adam Eaton, whom the Phils will surely drop before spring training is over.

Not too bad. Hopefully the Phillies can leave Clearwater in late March with all of their players happy and well paid.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Runs Scored Champs.

In 126 years as a National League team, the Phillies have won the runs scored titled only fifteen times. Eleven Phils have crossed the plate more times than other players in the league, with two of them being shared titles.

The first Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who would cross the plate 141 times in 1891. He would win the title two more times, in 1894 and 1895, when he would cross the plate 192 and 166 times respectively, setting both the Phillies and Major League records for the most runs scored by a player in a season in 1894. The second Phil to win the title would be Roy Thomas, who would score 132 runs in 1900. The next Phillie player to win the crown would be Sherry Magee, who, in 1910, would score 110 times. The fourth Phil, and the six title winner over all, would be Gavvy Cravath, who would do it in 1915 as he would score 89 times. The fifth Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who, in 1930, would score 158 times. Klein would then make it two years in a row as he would tie with fellow Hall of Famer Bill Terry of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants, as he would score 121 runs in 1931. He would make it three years in a row as he would score 152 times in his MVP season of 1932. It would be 32 years before another Phillie player would win the title. Richie Allen would become the sixth Phil to win the team’s tenth runs scored title as he would score 125 runs in his NL Rookie of the Year season of 1964. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt would become Phil number seven to win the title as he would score 78 times in the strike shorten season of 1981. The next Phil to score the most runs in a season would be Von Hayes, as he would tie with Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, as he would cross the plate 107 times in 1986. The ninth Phillie to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra as he would cross the plate 143 times in 1993, as he help lead the Phillies to the National League pennant that year. Phillie number ten to win the title would be Chase Utley, as he would cross the plate 131 times in 2006. A year later, Jimmy Rollins would win the title as he would become the eleventh Phil to win it, as he would touch home plate 139 during his MVP season, while helping to lead the Phils to the National League Eastern Divison pennant.

Of the eleven men to win the title, so far only three are Hall of Famers: Billy Hamilton, Chuck Klein and Mike Schmidt. Hamilton would score the most runs to win the title, setting both the Phillies and Major League records, as he crossed the plate 192 times in 1894, a feat more than like never to be reached. Mike Schmidt would score the least number of runs to win the title, scoring only 78 times in 1981, thanks to the strike. Hamilton and Klein have won the most titles, each winning three titles, although Klein would share one of his titles with another ballplayer. The rest would win the title only one time each.  

Who would most likely be the next Phil to win the title? Utley and Rollins are the most likely candidates to win the title during the next several years, as long as they can stay healthy and get on base in front of the big man, Ryan Howard.

Philadelphia Phillies – Records: Hitting .400.

One of the rarest of hitting accomplishments is batting .400 during the regular season. Not done since 1941, when Hall of Famer Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hit .406 that season, batting .400 has been done only twenty-eight times since 1876. All but six of the men to reach .400 are now members of the Hall of Fame. The first player to do it would be Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs), who would bat .429 in the first National League season of 1876, winning the batting title for that year. Hall of Famer Hugh Duffy of the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) would have the highest .400 average, as he would hit .440 in 1894. Fellow Hall of Famer Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers would have the lowest .400 batting average, hitting .401 in 1922. Cobb is tied with fellow Hall of Famers Ed Delahanty and Rogers Hornsby for the most times a player would have hit over .400 in his career, with all three men doing it three times a piece.

In the history of the Phillies, four Phils have officially hit .400 or better six times, three times by the above mentioned Delahanty, and once each by fellow Hall of Famers Billy Hamilton and Sam Thompson and Tuck Turner. Delahanty would hit .400 for the first time in 1894, as he would hit .407 that season. Hamilton would also reach .400 for the only time in his carrer that same year as he would bat .404, along with fellow outfielders Thompson (.407) and Turner (.416), being the only outfield in baseball history that would bat over .400 during the same season. None of them would win the batting title that year, as they would all be outhit by Duffy’s .440. Delahanty would hit .400 again in 1895, hitting .404 in 1895. Delahanty would become the last Phil batter to hit over .400, as he would hit .410 in 1899, winning his first batting title in the process. Although Delahanty is listed as the Phil with the highest batting average in the team’s history (his .410 in 1895), Turner’s .416 is recognized by major league baseball as a .400 batting average, although he only played part-time in 1894.

Among the 28 .400 hitters, Phillies are ranked at number 9 (Turner, 1894), 11-T (Delahanty, 1899), 16-T (Thompson, 1894), 18 (Delahanty, 1894), 20 (Hamilton, 1894) and 21 (Delahanty, 1895).

Will another Phil ever reach .400? I seriously doubt it, as such a person would have to avoid running into a major slump during the entire season.

The latest MLBlogs leader list is out, and…

My blog is presently no. 42 among the top 50 fan blogs, dropping down two spots. So far, I have made every leader list ever since the first list was released last summer. And this time, there are now three Phillies’ fan blogs among the list, as Phillies Phollowers has landed at number 13, while Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts have made the list for the first time at number 44. Keep up the good work ladies.

Anyway, here’s the entire list of fan blogs, courtesy of the MLBlogshpere:

1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. Julia’s Rants
3. Red State Blue State
4. Eat, Sleep, Baseball
5. Rockpile Rant
6. The 1 Constant…Baseball
7. FutureAngels.com
8. the daily rant
9. Rays Renegade
10. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
11. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
12. The ‘Burgh Blues
13. Phillies Phollowers
14. Ranger Rumors
15. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
16. Hitless Wanderings in Texas
17. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
18. King of Cali
19. Rocky Mountain Way…Outside Coors looking in
20. A Diatribe from a Law Student: Baseball Edition
21. Statistician Magician
22. sittingstill
23. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
24. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
25. 66ers Baby Blue Blog
26. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
27. Life and Indians Baseball through the Eyes of a Clemson Girl
28. Yankees Chick
29. Unfinished Business
30. The Redbird Media
31. Mets’ Main Man
32. Flair For The Dramatic
33. Redbird Chatter
34. Cambios y Curvas
35. I Live for This
36. Yawkey Way Yaker
37. Baseball Bats
38. Plunking Gomez
39. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
40. Bringing Diamond Back(s)
41. Perfect Pitch
42. Phillies Red Pinstripes
43. San Diego Wannabes
44. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
45. Displaced Tribe Fan
46. Red Sox Hen
47. This Fan’s Life
48. King Yankees
49. The Brewer Nation
50. Baby Paul’s Baseball Blog

 

Spring Training: Hmmm, seems somebody is losing weight, and other comments.

Well, spring training has just started, and it seems that a few Phils have decided to show up in better shape then they did when they left Citizen Bank Park after the victory parade last Halloween.

Ryan Howard has shown up at Bright House Field weighing 30 pounds less. Brett Myers has meanwhile lost 20 pounds and Scott Eyre has lost 10. Hhhhmm, 30, 20 and 10? Is someone trying to tell us something? Hopefully, it will all translate into better seasons for all three players.

Also, Ryan has said that he plans to work on his defense this spring, and is working out with third base coach Sam Perlozzo, and that some of the things that he has shown him has clicked. Sam, if you are able to get Ryan to stop leaking balls during the season, I’ll try and see if I can get the other fans to raise a moument in your honor.

Meanwhile, Brett plans to do a lot better this season than he did during the first half of last season. We’ll all be watching you very closely Brett, as the batters won’t be the only ones seeing if you can continue what you did after coming back from the all-star break last season.

Phils’ pitching coach Rich Dubee had announced that he sees Kyle Kendrick as the present favorite to win the number five starting job in the Phillies’ starting rotation, when he commented that it was Kyle’s job to lose. Hear that Kyle, that means that only you can pitch yourself out of that position right now. And, I hear that both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park want your job badly, especially Park. So, you better show Dubee and the rest of the brain trust your best stuff while you’re out there pitching this spring, or you might be seeing yourself either heading back to the minors, or being used as trade bait.

The Phillies this weekend have signed Miguel Cairo to a minor league contract and an invite to spring training while they still continue to see if they can get Nomar Garciaparra to signed as their righthanded bench bat. Cairo spent the 2008 season playing the infield for the Seattle Mariners as he batted .249 with no home runs and 23 RBIs in 221 at-bats. A career .266 hitter, Cairo has been a journeyman in the majors for 13 seasons. Well, I’ll say this for the team, they certainly won’t be lacking for players if someone goes down during the season.

Lastly, Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets’ new closer has once again says that the Mets will be the team to beat this season. Yawn!!! Jimmy Rollins, when are you going to defend your copyright against these New Yorkers? But seriously, F-Rod, saying it is one thing. Prove it on the playing field, mister!!! 

Spring Training: Phillies announce their opening day pitcher.

Yesterday, the World Series Champs have announced who will be their opening day pitcher. Their opening day pitcher was a real no-brainer as they announce that their ace, 2008 NL Championship MVP and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels. This will be the first time in his young career that he will be the first Phillie pitcher to be faced by an opposing team batters during the season.

Congratulations on getting the ball first, Cole. Now go out there and start mowing down Braves on Sunday night, April 5. Go Phils!!!!

Spring is almost here. Spring Training, that is….

The Phillies will officially begin their defense of their World Series title tomorrow, as pitchers and catchers will officially report at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Although the team is, for the most part, already set, there will still be some battles for spots on the team. Among them will be, who will be the fifth starter and who will be taking up residence in the bullpen between J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park, and prospect Carlos Carrasco; who will be playing back-up to Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, Chris Coste or Ronny Paulino; and lastly, who will be playing second base, if Chase Utley is not ready by opening day, April 5, Eric Bruntlett or prospect/rookie Jason Donald, or someone else. Other questions to be answered will include: will Raul Ibanez be the improvement to the departed fan favorite Pat Burrell that everyone keep saying that he is; will the Phillies be able to get lefty Will Ohman to replace J.C. Romero during his 50 games suspension, or will they be able to find someone in-house; will they be able to get Nomar Garciaparra to sign on the dotted line to become their right-handed bat off the bench to compliment left-hander Greg Dobbs, or will they be able to do it with left-handers Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins; will the afformentioned Utley actually be ready to start at second base on opening day, or will the Phils tell him to give his right hip the rest that they think it will need for him to be fully ready; will Pedro Feliz’s back be ready to let him play during the spring; will the Phils be able to get somebody to take Adam Eaton off their hands, or will they just let him go; and lastly, will anyone among the invitees be able to get a job with the main team, or will they be spending the season in the minors or with another MLB team.

Those are the questions. They should all be answered by the time the Phillies will start their title defense at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night, April 5, against the Atlanta Braves.

Me, I can’t wait to find out the answers. :)

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Runs Batted In Champs.

During the team’s 126 years existance in the National League, the Phillies would be just as successful producing RBI leaders as they would be creating home run champs. Thirteen Phils would combine to win a total of twenty-three RBI titles for the ballclub, including one title that would be won in a tie with another National Leaguer.

The first Phil to win an RBI title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would win the title in 1893 as he knocked in 146 runs. The next Phillie batter to win the crown would be fellow Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would capture the title in 1895 as he would bring home 165 men. Delahanty would regain the title the following year, 1896, as he would send 126 runnerrs home. Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie would become the third Phil player to win the fourth title in the team’s history as he would drive in 127 players in 1898. Delahanty would capture his third RBI title in 1899 by driving in 137 runs. Hall of Famer Elmer Flick would make it three RBI titles in a row by Phillies batters, as he would become the fourth Phil to capture the crown, knocking in 110 runners in 1900. Sherry Magee would become Phils’ RBI champ number five, as he would knock in 85 batters in 1907. He would then win title no. seven for the organization by knocking in 123 runs in 1910. In 1913, Gavvy Cravath would become the sixth Phil RBI champ, as he would knock in 128 players. Magee would win his third RBI title, and title number nine for the Phils, as he would plate 103 runs in 1914. Cravath would win his second title in 1915, making it the second time in the organization’s history that the Phillies would capture the title three years in a row, as he would send home 115 runs, as he would help lead the team to its first National League title. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein would become the seventh Phil to win the title, just one year after knocking in the team’s record 170 RBIs, but falling short to Chicago Cub Hack Wilson, who had knocked in the major league record 191 RBIs in 1930, as he would knock in 121 RBIs in 1931. In 1932, Don Hurst would win the title, becoming the eighth Phil to do so, as he would knock in 143 RBIs that season. Klein would regain the title during his triple crown season of 1933, knocking in 120 runs, as the Phils would win the title for three straight seasons for the third time in the organization’s history. It would be seventeen years before another Phil would win an RBI title. When it is, it would be done in 1950, by Whiz Kid Del Ennis, as he become the ninth Phil to win the title, sending home 126 runners, as he would help lead the Whiz Kids to the National League pennant. The tenth Phil to win the RBI crown, for the sixteenth time in the organization’s history, would be Greg ‘the Bull’ Luzinski, who would knock in 120 runs in 1975. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt would become the eleventh Phil to win the title in 1980, as he would knock in 121 RBIs as he would help lead the Phils to their first World Series Championship. He would recapture the title in the strike-shortened season of 1981, as he would knock in only 91 RBIs. He would regain the title in 1984 as he would tie for the lead with fellow Hall of Famer Gary Carter of the Montreal Expos (now the Washinton Nationals (III)) with 106 ribbies. Schmidt would then win his fourth and final title, the twentieth in the club’s history, in 1986, as he would knock in 119 batters. In 1992, Darren Daulton would become the twelfth Phil to win the RBI crown, as he would knock in 109 runners. Ryan Howard would become the thirteenth Phillie batter to win the RBI title as he would knock in 149 runs during his NL Most Valuable Player season of 2006. He would recapture the title, winning the club’s twenty-third title in the process, in 2008, as he would lead the league by bringing home 146 runners, as he would help lead the Phils to their second World Series title.

Among the thirteen title winners, six would win it at least twice, with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt winning the most titles with four, followed by fellow Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty with three. Six Hall of Famers would win the title while playing for the Phillies (Delahanty, Sam Thompson, Nap Lajoie, Elmer Flick, Chuck Klein, Schmidt). Ryan Howard’s 149 RBIs in 2006 would be the most ribbies knocked in by a Phil who would win the RBI title, while Sherry Magee’s 85 in 1907 would be the least. The Phillies would win five RBI titles in the 19th Century, seventeen in the 20th Century and two so far in the 21st Century. Three times in the team’s history (1898-1900, 1913-1915, 1931-1933), the Phils would win the title three years in a row, with the first time being done by three different players, all now Hall of Famers (Lajoie (1898), Delahanty (1899), Flick (1900)).

Who would be the most likely Phil to win the next RBI title? Like with home runs, it would most likely be the big man, Ryan Howard.

Source: Wikipedia

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Home Runs Champs.

During the team’s 126-year existance as a member of the National League, the Phils would have a lot more success producing home runs hitters than they would have producing batting champs. Eight Phils would win a total of twenty-eight home runs titles, including five titles that would be shared with another National Leaguer.

The first Phillie home run champ would be Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win the title in 1889 when he would hit 20 home runs. The second Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would win the crown in 1893 when he would hit 19 roundtrippers. Thompson would win the third Phillie home run title, his second as a Phil, in 1895 when he would hit 18 homers that year. The following year, 1896, would see Delahanty regain the title as he would end the season being tied with Billy Joyce, who would spend the season playing for both the Washington Nationals (II) and the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants), with both men hitting 13 home runs. The next Phil to win the home run title would be Gavvy Cravath, who would run off a string of home runs crowns in the 1910s, winning the title outright in 1913, 1914, 1915, 1918 and 1919, and tying with Dave Robertson of the Giants in 1917, as he would hit 19 (’13 and ’14), 24 (’15), 12 (’17), 8 (’18) and 12 (’19) home runs respectively. The next Phillie player to win the crown (title no. eleven) would be Cy Williams, who would will the title in 1920 by hitting 15 homers. He would win his second home run title as a Phil, the twelfth title for the Phillies organization, in 1923, when he would hit 41 home runs. In 1927, he would win his third Phillie title, and the fourth in his career as he had won one in 1916 as a Chicago Cubs, as he ended the season tied with Hack Wilson of the Cubs, with both men knocking out 30 roundtrippers. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein would become the fifth Phil (winning title no. fourteen) to win the home run title as he would hit 43 home runs in 1929. Two years later, in 1931, Klein would regain the crown, as he would hit 31 balls out of National League ballparks. He would win the title again in 1932, as he would be tied with Mel Ott of the Giants, with both players knocking out 38 home runs. In 1933, the year when he would win the triple crown, Klein would lead the NL in home runs with 28, winning the organization’s seventeenth home run title. It would then be forty-one years before another Phil would win the home run crown. When it finally occurred, it would be done by Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, becoming the sixth Phil to win the crown, as he would win the title outright in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1986 and would be tied with Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves in 1984, as he would hit 36 (’74), 38 (’75 and ’76), 48 (’80), 31 (’81), 40 (’83), 36 (’84) and 37 (’86) home runs, while helping to lead the organization to its first World Series title in 1980. The seventh Phillie home run champ, as he would win home run crown number twenty-sixth for the club, would be Jim Thome, as he would knock out 47 home runs in 2003. The eighth Phil to win the title would do so three years later, as Ryan Howard would knock out 58 home runs, the present Phillies’ team record for home runs hit in a season, in 2006. In 2008, Howard would capture his second home runs title, the twenty-eighth one to be won in the organization’s long existance, as he hit 48 home runs, as he helped lead the Phils to their second World Series Championship.

Oh the eight Phils to win the home run title, all but one (Jim Thome) have won the title at least twice, with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt winning it the most times, doing it eight times in the seventies and eighties, followed by Gavvy Cravath, who would do it six times in the teens. Four of the Phils to win the title (Sam Thompson, Ed Delahanty, Chuck Klein and Mike Schmidt) are now in the Hall of Fame. Ryan Howard has hit the most home runs as a Phils’ home run champ when he knocked out 58 dingers in 2006, while Gavvy Cravath has hit the least when he hit only 8 homers back in 1918. The Phils have won four home runs titles in the 19th Century, twenty-one in the 20th and three, so far, in the 21st.

Who would be the next Phil to win the title? More than likely Ryan Howard will do it again sometime during the next few years.

Sources: Wikipedia

And then there was none: The Phils and Ryan Howard avoid arbitration as Howard signs a three-year contract worth $54 million.

The Phillies and Ryan Howard have both avoided the need to go and meet the three-men arbitration panel, as Howard have just hours ago signed a three-year contract with the Phillies for $54 million. The former NL Rookie of the Year for 2005 and the NL Most Valuable Player for 2006 have had the last three of his arbitration years bought out by the Phillies. This means that Howard will now be wearing Phillies red pinstripes until the end of the 2011 season, when he will become eligible to become a free agent.

Howard will become the highest paid Phil as he will be paid $15 million for this season, $19 million for 2010 and $20 million for 2011, as well as receive $1 million from the Phils if they trade him to another team before the end of his present contract.

With Howard’s signing, the main core of the Phillies will be playing in Philadelphia for the next several years, as they prepare to defend their 2008 World Series Championship. This mean that the Phils now just need to: 1) find a right handed bat to come off the bench, 2) a left handed reliever to take J.C. Romero’s place during his 50 games suspension, 3) find out who will be the fifth member of their starting rotation and who will be heading for the bullpen and 4) who will be the catcher behind Carlos Ruiz.

Nice job, Ruben. Now let see if you can get the right handed bench bat and the left handed reliever that the team needs before the pitchers and catchers arrive for spring training this upcoming Thursday. GO PHILS!!!!

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