November 2010

Philadelphia Phillies – Team History: Second Place Finishes.

In the Phillies’ 128-year history as a member of the National League, they have spent most of that time being either a cellar dweller or as a member of the second division. But, the team has spent some time in the first division, winning two World Series Championship, seven National League pennants, with two in consecutive seasons (2008-2009) and ten National League Eastern Division flags, including winning the last four (2007-2010). The team has also finished in second place in either the National League (1883-1968) or in the National League Eastern Division (1969 to the present) a grand total of thirteen time.

The first time they would end up in second place would be in 1887, the fifth year of the team’s existence, as they would finish the season behind the first place Detroit Wolverines with a record of 75-48 for a winning percentage of .610, finishing 3.5 games behind the Wolverines in a league of eight teams, before the expansion to twelve teams in 1892. For the Phils, who were also called the Quakers at the time, this would be their only second place finish in the 19th Century. The next time the Phils would finish in second place, and the first time in the 20th Century, would occur in 1901, as they fell behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were at the beginning of winning three straight NL pennants (1901-1903), as they finish the season with a record of 83-57, with a .593 winning percentage, finishing 7.5 games behind the Bucos. The next time that the Phils would end up in second place would occur in 1913, as they finished behind the New York Giants, who had won their third straight NL pennant (1911-1913), ending the year with a record of 88-63 for a winning percentage of .583, ending up 12.5 games behind the Giants. The Phils would then finished second for the two seasons after they had won their first NL pennant in 1915. The first time, for the fourth time overall, would occur in 1916, when they would finish behind the Brooklyn Robins, now Dodgers, with a 91-62 record, winning one game more than they did the year that they won the pennant, with a winning percentage of .595, finishing 2.5 games behind the Robins. The following season, 1917, they would finish in second place again, this time behind the Giants, with a record of 87-65, with a .572 winning percentage, trailing the Giants by 10 games. The Phils would then spend most of the next 47 years in the second division before once again finishing second. The Phils would then end up tied for second place with the Cincinnati Reds in 1964, after collapsing in September, finishing behind the St. Louis Cardinals with a record of 92-70, with a winning percentage of .568, a game out of first. This would be the sixth and final time that they would finish in second place in the National League before the two major leagues split into divisions in 1969, with the Phils becoming a member of the NL East. The first time the Phils would end up in second place in the NL East would occur in 1975, when they finished second to the Pirates, finishing the year with a record of 86-76, with a .531 winning percentage, finishing 6.5 games before the Pirates. The second time they would end up in second place in the NL East would happen in 1982, as they trail the Cardinals, ending up with a record of 89-73, with a winning percentage of .549, finishing 3 games behind the redbirds. The third time they would finish second in the NL East would be in 1986, as they finished behind the New York Mets with a record of 86-75, with a .534 winning percentage, trailing by 21.5 games. The fourth time they would finish the season in second place in the NL East would not occur until 2001, when they finished behind the Atlanta Braves with an 86-76 record, a winning percentage of .531, ending up 2 games out of first. The Phils will then end up in second place in the East, missing being the wild card winner each season, in 2004, 2005, and 2006, finishing behind the Braves in 2004 and 2005 and then behind the Mets in 2006. In 2004, they finished the season with an 86-76 record, a .531 winning percentage, as they finished 10 games behind the Braves. In 2005, they finished the year with a record of 88-74, with a winning percentage of .543, 2 games behind the Braves. In 2006, they would end the baseball season with a record of 85-77, a winning percentage of .525, 12 games in back of the Mets.

Of their thirteen finishes in second place, six occurred as a member of the NL, and the other seven as a member of the NL East. They would finish in second place once in the 19th Century, eight times in the 20th Century (5 (NL), 3 (NL East)), and four, so far, in the 21st Century as a member of the NL East. Their best record in second place was when they finished second in 1964, when they finished with a record of 91-70. Their worst second place finish was in 1887, the first time they would finish second, as they had a record of 75-48. Their highest winning percentage would be the .610 of 1887, while the worst would be the .525 of 2006. Their best game behind finish was when they ended a game behind (with the Reds) in 1964, while their worst was when they fell 21.5 games behind (the Mets in the East) in 1986.

With the way the Phils are presently structured, they could remain as either a first or a second place team in the NL East for several more seasons.

The Phils have just announced that ex-Phil Mickey Morandini will manage their Class-A team.

Ex-Phil Morandini to manage Class A affiliate

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

Looks like the team has gotten their man again. Welcome back to the red pinstripes, Mick. Hope you’ll do well running the team in Williamsport.

PHILADELPHIA — Mickey Morandini is back with the Phillies.

He told The Northwest Indiana Times on Thursday he will be the Class A Williamsport manager next season. Morandini had talked during Spring  Training in Clearwater, Fla., about coaching professionally in the near future.

Morandini — fans still can hear Harry Kalas drawing out the second baseman’s name during broadcasts — had been the baseball coach at Valparaiso High School in Indiana.

“I’m gonna miss it. I had fun. I really enjoyed working with the kids,” Morandini told the newspaper. “But this is an opportunity to do some good things at the professional level, and it’s something I couldn’t pass up. I’m excited about it. I know the owner and GM very well. It’s a great family-owned organization that’s always taken care of its past players. Its Minor League system is very well-run. I’m excited to be a part of it again.”

Morandini said the Phillies had contacted him about coaching every year since he retired from playing in 2000. “I love to manage,” Morandini said. “I love all the little things that go into teaching kids. Hopefully, I can work my way up through the system kind of like ‘Ryno’ [Ryne Sandberg] and get back to the big leagues some day.”

Morandini played 11 seasons in the big leagues, including nine seasons (1990-97 and 2000) with Philadelphia. He made the National League All-Star team in 1995, and hit .268 in his career with the Phillies, Cubs and Blue Jays.

H/T Phillies.com

Samuel? Check! Sandberg? Check! Morandini? Check! Three fan favorites back in the fold. Here’s to wishing them well in their new positions in the organization, and hoping that the Phils’ management (I’m looking at you, junior) will be doing something this late fall/winter that will help the main ball club.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Cy Young Award.

During the 54-year existence of the Cy Young Award, created a year after the death of the man it was named after, Hall of Famer Cy Young, four Phils have won the award, after it had been spilt in 1967 into separate awards for the NL and AL, for a total of seven times.

The first Phil to win the award was Hall of Famer Steve Cartlon, who won the first of four awards in 1972, when he went 27-10, including 15 wins in a row, as he won around half the games for a last place Phillies team, with an ERA of  1.98. He won his second award in 1977, as he helped lead the Phils to their second of three straight Eastern Division titles, as he went 23-10 with an ERA of 2.64. He won his third Cy Young in 1980, as he lead the Phils to their first World Series crown, with a record of 24-9 and an ERA of 2.34. Carlton would win his fourth and last Cy Young in 1982, as the Phils finished in second place behind the World Champions St. Louis Cardinals, as he went 23-11 with a high ERA (for him) of 3.11. The second Phil to win the award would by John Denny in 1983, as he help lead the ‘Wheeze Kids’ to their fourth NL flag, with a record of 19-6 and an ERA of 2.37. The third Phil to win the team’s sixth Cy Young Award was relief pitcher Steve Bedrosian, who in 1987, would lead the league in saves with 40 of them, while recording a win-lost record of 5-3 with an ERA of 2.83. The seventh, and most recent Cy Young Award was just won this season (2010) by Roy Halladay, who had a win-lost record of 21-10 with an ERA of 2.44.

Among the seven awards, six were won in the 20th Century and one in the 21st century, as six of the awards were won by a starter, while one was won by a relief pitcher. Steve Carlton has won the most awards with four, while the other three winners have so far won one award each. Steve Cartlon had the most wins (27 in 1972) and had the lowest ERA (1.98, also in ’72) as well as won it with the highest ERA (3.11 in 1982) among the four Phils who had won the award, while Steve Bedrosian had the lowest number of wins (5 in 1987) while winning the award, since he won it based on the number of saves that he had recorded that season (40).

Who will win it next? If he continues to pitch well, Halladay should have another Cy Young Award by the time his present contract runs out, unless either Cole Hamels or Roy Oswalt are able to pitch better than him within the next two-three years.

Doc Halladay has won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award, receiving all 32 first place votes.

The BBWAA have just announced that Roy Halladay was voted the National League Cy Young Award, becoming the fifth pitcher to win the award as a pitcher in both league, as he had won the award in 2003 while pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, joining Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.

Roy received all 32 first-place votes for a total of 224 points, beating out Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had received 28 second-place votes, for a total of 122 votes, and Ubaldo Jiminez, who ended third with 90 votes, including 4 second-place votes.

Roy won the votes by going 21-10 as he pitched in 33 games, all starts, as he finished first, second or third in several categories, including finishing first with the most wins in the NL (21), most complete games (9), shutouts (4) and innings pitched (250 2/3), while he finished second in strikeouts (219), behind Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, and third in ERA (2.44), behind Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins and Wainwright. He also pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB History as he threw a no-no against the Marlins on May 29, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, as he pitched the Phils to a 1-0 win.

Halladay became the fourth Phil to win the award, following four-time winner Hall of Famer Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), John Denny (1983), and Steve Bedrosian (1987).

Congratulations, Doc. You deserve this win.

The Phils have signed Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as their new manager at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Sandberg to manage Phils’ Triple-A club

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tab Hall of Fame second baseman

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

Hmm, first Juan, and now Ryne. So far so good, especially with
reports of them trying to sign up fan favorite Mickey Morandini as
well.

PHILADELPHIA — Nearly 29 years after the Phillies traded Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs, he is rejoining the organization.

The Phillies announced on Monday morning that they’ve hired Sandberg
as the manager for their Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron
Pigs. Sandberg managed the previous four seasons in the Cubs’ Minor
League system, including last season with Triple-A Iowa. He had been a
candidate to become the Cubs’ manager following Lou Piniella’s
midseason retirement, but Chicago retained Mike Quade instead.
Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman and Cubs icon, subsequently
informed the Cubs he would seek employment elsewhere.

The Phillies had an opening and landed Sandberg.

Dallas Green said last week that Sandberg would make a great manager.

Green has a storied history with Sandberg. Green was the Cubs’
general manager when he fleeced the Phillies in one of the worst trades
in franchise history. The Jan. 27, 1982, deal sent Larry Bowa and
Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. The Phillies felt they did not
have a position to play Sandberg, and because they felt compelled to
trade Bowa following a bitter contract dispute, Green astutely demanded
the Phillies include Sandberg in the trade.

Sandberg invited Green to his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005.

“I would think he would make a great fit for us,” Green said last
week. “We raised him. He’s been let down by Chicago a good bit. He’s a
little bit bitter about that. … When he didn’t get the job, I called
him and commiserated with him. I knew he was disappointed. I still
personally think he should be a big league guy if that’s what he really
wants to do.

“I love the guy. He’s got a great work ethic. I haven’t watched him, but I think he’s going to be a good teacher.”

Sandberg earned Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year honors this
past season, when he led the Iowa Cubs (82-62) to a tie for the best
record in the Northern Division.

Sandberg was a 10-time National League All-Star. He also won nine
Gold Glove Awards and seven Silver Slugger Awards during his 16-year
career. The Phillies drafted Sandberg in 1978, and he played 13 games
for the club in ’81 before being traded.

The Phillies said the remainder of their 2011 player development
staff will be announced at a later date, but Mickey Morandini is
expected to be named to the staff in some capacity.

H/T Phillies.com

Welcome back, Ryne. Hope you’ll do well managing over in Lehigh Valley.

Hmm, things seem to be getting even busier around here.

Besides announcing that Juan Samuel would be the team’s new third-base coach and that Sam Perlozzo would be moved to the first-base coaching spot, the Phils have signed to minor league contracts former Tigers pitcher Eddie Bonine (4-1, 4.63 ERA, in 47 appearances (including one start)) and former Pirates catcher Erik Kratz (.118 (4 for 34), 1 RBI). Bonine will probably be competiting for a spot in the bullpen during Spring Training, or be sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, while Katz will likely be sent to either Lehigh Valley or Double-A Reading at the start of the 2011 season.

There are reports that the Phils are close to signing Jose Contreras to a two-year $5 million contract. Contreras, who appeared in 67 games, went 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA. He could receive a third option year based on performance incentives. Contreras was a major part of the bullpen last year, and he could certainly help the team next season, if he pitches just as effectively as he did this past season.

Hmm, things seem to be getting even busier around here.

Besides announcing that Juan Samuel would be the team’s new third-base coach and that Sam Perlozzo would be moved to the first-base coaching spot, the Phils have signed to minor league contracts former Tigers pitcher Eddie Bonine (4-1, 4.63 ERA, in 47 appearances (including one start)) and former Pirates catcher Erik Kratz (.118 (4 for 34), 1 RBI). Bonine will probably be competiting for a spot in the bullpen during Spring Training, or be sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, while Katz will likely be sent to either Lehigh Valley or Double-A Reading at the start of the 2011 season.

There are reports that the Phils are close to signing Jose Contreras to a two-year $5 million contract. Contreras, who appeared in 67 games, went 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA. He could receive a third option year based on performance incentives. Contreras was a major part of the bullpen last year, and he could certainly help the team next season, if he pitches just as effectively as he did this past season.

The Phils have hired Juan Samuel as their new third base coach. Huh?!?

Samuel joins Phillies as third-base coach

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

Wait, I thought that he was going for Davey Lopes’ job???

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies announced on Thursday they have hired  Juan Samuel to be their third-base coach and outfield instructor.

Sam Perlozzo, who served as the team’s third-base coach the previous two  seasons, will move from third to first base and handle the club’s  baserunning instruction. The Phillies hired Samuel because Davey Lopes,  who handled the team’s outfield and baserunning duties as first-base  coach the previous four seasons, left the organization following a  stalemate during contract negotiations.

Samuel and Perlozzo join pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg  Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer on the  2011 coaching staff.

“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to  our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in a  statement. “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of  Phillies history, and I’m looking forward to him passing on his  knowledge of the game to our players. He’s a great addition to our  organization.”

There were indications Samuel would return to Baltimore next season as  its third-base coach, but the sides never finalized a deal, and the  Phillies wooed him to Philadelphia.

Samuel, 49, was the Orioles’ third-base coach from 2007-10. He also  served as interim manager this season after the Orioles dismissed Dave  Trembley. Samuel also served as a first- and third-base coach with the  Detroit Tigers (1999-2005).

Samuel, a three-time National League All-Star, played with the Phillies  from 1983-89 and was inducted into the organization’s Wall of Fame in  2008. He hit .259 with 161 home runs, 703 RBIs and 396 stolen bases in  1,720 games for the Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Reds, Tigers and  Blue Jays.

He is the 34th man in franchise history to both play and coach for the Phillies.

H/T Phillies.com

Okay. Let me get this straight: Juan is joining the staff to replace Davey Lopes, but, he is going to be the team’s third-base, not first-base, coach, and will also work with the outfielders, while Sam Perlozzo will now become the team’s first-base coach and will be handling the baserunning duties?!? Anyone else besides me confused by this arrangement? Okay, guys, you better know what you’re doing since I think Juan should be the one handling the baserunning duties and vice versa. I’ll guess we’ll all see how it works out during the ’11 season.

With that said, welcome back, Juan.

Shane Victorino has been awarded his third Gold Gloves.

For the third season in a row Phils’ centerfielder Shane Victorino has been awarded the Gold Glove Award, winning it for the third year in a row. He is the first Phil outfielder to do so since Garry Maddox won the award from 1975-82. This year, Victorino was tied for the league’s lead in outfield assists with eleven, while finishing fifth in fielding percentage (.995) and range factor per game (2.59). This year he would be the only Phil to win a Gold Glove. Congratulations on winning the award again, Shane.

Philadelphia Phillies – Team History: 90 + wins.

In the team’s 128 years history, the Phils would win 90 games or more only fourteen times.

The team has won 100 games or more only twice in its history, as they would win 101 games twice. The first time occurred in 1976, when the team would win 101 games, losing only 61, as they would win the first of three straight NL Eastern Division titles, before losing to the World Champions Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the NL Championship Series. They would duplicate that record the following year, 1977, as they would win their second straight NL Eastern Division crown, before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1.

Their third highest victory total would be 97 games, which they would do twice. The first time would occur in 1993, when they would unexpectively win the Eastern Division that season with a record of 97-65, then win the NL title by defeating the National League Champions Braves in the NL Championship Series, 4-2, before finally falling to the World Champions Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, 4-2. They would then duplicate the record this year as they would win their fourth straight NL Eastern Division crown, the first time that they would do that in the team’s history, before defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series, 3-0, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Championship Series, 4-2.

The fifth best team was the 1899 Phillies, who finished that season in third place with a 94-58 record, the team’s best record for the 19th Century, ending up nine games behind the first place Brooklyn Superbas. The sixth best team was the 2009 team which finished with a record of 93-69, winning the team’s third straight Eastern Division title, doing so for the second time in the team’s history, before defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Divisional Series, 3-1, then beating the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second straight NL title, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing their World Series crown to the American League Champions New York Yankees in the World Series, 4-2.

The next two teams ended up with identical records of 92-70, giving them both the seventh best winning total. The first one was the 1964 team, the one that had the most infamous late season collapse in baseball history, until the Mets team of 2007. That team would end up being tied for second place with the Reds, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The other team to win 92 games was the 2008 Phils, who would win their second straight Eastern Division title, before defeating first the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Divisional Series, 3-1, then the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, and then the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second World Championship.

The team with the ninth best record was the 1980 Phils, who ended the season with a record of 90-72, finishing first in the Eastern Division, before first defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Championship Series, 3-2, then defeating the American League Champions Kansas City Royal, 4-2, winning the team’s first World Championship. The tenth best team was the 1916 team which ended the season with a 91-62, finishing in second place, two and a half-games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The eleventh team to win at least 90 games was the 1950 ‘Whiz Kid’ who won the pennant in 1950 with record of 91-63, only to lose the World Series to the World Champions Yankees, 4-0. The twelfth team was the 1915 team, which won the Phils’ first National League pennant with a record of 90-62, only to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. The final two teams would end up with identical records of 90-72. The first one was the 1978 team, which won the National League Eastern Division title, the third straight for the team, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing the NL Championship Series to the National League Champions Dodgers, 3-1. The fourteenth, and final team, with 90 or more wins, was the 1983 team, nicknamed the ‘Wheeze Kids’, who would win the NL East, then defeat the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1, before losing the World Series to the American League Champions Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.

Will the 2011 team become the fifteen team to win 90 games or more? Maybe, maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until next year comes and goes.

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