November 2010

The most recent Latest Leaders lists has been posted, and…

Phillies Red Pinstripes is still among the top 50 fan blogs, although dropping down to 43. Hey, I’m just happy to still be on the list. :-) And that’s the truth.

Anyway, thanks for keeping me on the list, folks.

Enclosed is a copy of the latest fan list:

FAN

1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. Red State Blue State
3. Yankee Yapping
4. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
5. The Closer
6. Rays Renegade
7. Unfinished Business
8. Rockpile Rant
9. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
10. The Three Bs
11. Phillies Phollowers
12. Yankees Chick
13. Random Thoughts About the San Francisco Giants
14. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
15. Julia’s Rants
16. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
17. FutureAngels.com
18. SPANdemonium
19. Cook & Son Bats’ Blog
20. Underneath the Halo
21. Counting Baseballs
22. Well Played Mauer
23. Hands off my Pirates Booty
24. The Pittsburgh Peas
25. The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
26. The Phanatic Addict
27. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
28. Amazine
29. World Series 41, Rangers Fan 1
30. Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World
31. Just a Bit Outside
32. West Coast Fan[girl]
33. White Elephant Parade
34. Perfect Pitch
35. More Cowbell–A Rays Blog
36. Baseball, Apple Pie, and Lobster
37. Perpetual Padres Saga
38. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
39. Sports Propaganda
40. Linea de Primera
41. Art of the Pale Hose
42. (:> Bird Brained
44. The Heirloom
43. Phillies Red Pinstripes
44. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
46. The Red Sox- A Doll’s Point of View
47. METrospection & More
48. Patric’sGiantsBlog
49. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
50. Homer, Blue Jays and MLB

As can be seen, unlike last month, there are only four Phillies related blogs among the top fifty, with Phillies Pollowers at 11, The Phanatic Addict at 26 and Rant, Raves, and Random Thoughts at 27. Hey, at least I still have company. ;-)

Anyway, when you have the chance, read all of the blogs, folks.

The most recent Phillies news…

Last week the Phils’ picked up, via waivers, infielder Carlos Rivero from the Cleveland Indians.

The team is still looking for low price free agents for their bullpen, while pondering whether to give new contracts to either Chad Durbin or Jose Contreras, or to both pitchers. In the meantime, they are in the hunt to resign Jayson Werth, but since his agent Scott Boras is asking for money in the Matt Holliday/Jason Bay range, it is more than likely that he won’t be back in red pinstripes.

It has been announced on Monday that ex-Phil Jamie Moyer has re-injured his left elbow while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic, while trying to prove that he can still pitch. Ouch. Talk about a setback. Hope it wasn’t too bad an injury, Jamie.

It was also announced yesterday that former Phil GM Pat Gillick is on the Hall of Fame ballot that is being sent to the committee to elect those managers, executives and retired players who were not elected originally, who come from Baseball’s Expansion-era (post-1960). Congrats on getting on the Ballot, Pat, and wish you luck getting into the Hall. You deserve it.

Lastly, today, there is speculation that former Phil, ex-Orioles manager and fan favorite, Juan Samuel, is thinking of taking over Davey Lopes’ position as the team’s first base coach. If he does, that should be good news for the team, since he was a very successful base stealer during his days as a ballplayer. Is has also been announced that they are looking at Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as the new manager for their Triple-A Lehigh Valley ballclub, as he is leaving the Cubs Triple-A club after being pass over as the main club’s new manager. He might be another popular move, if the Phils do go after him. Whether the pair will actually get either post is another question.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Manager of the Year Award.

With Manager of the Year, there are two different versions of the Award, one that is given by the newspaper size publication, The Sporting News, which has been awarding the prize since 1936 (to one manager in both leagues, before giving an award to a manager in each league, since 1986) and the award given by the Baseball Writers Association of America to a manager in each league since 1983. Phillie managers have won only three awards, two from the Sporting News and one from the BBWAA. They were won by two Phil managers.

The first Phillie manager to win a Manager of the Year Award was Danny Ozark, who won The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 1976, as he led the Phils to their first National League Eastern Division crown, and their first championship since the 1950 Whiz Kids, as the Phil won the NL East with a record of 101-61 (which is still a team record) with a .623 winning percentage. The second and, so far, only other Phil manager to win a Manager of the Year Award was Larry Bowa, who, in 2001, won both The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award and the BBWAA Manager of the Year Award, as he led the Phil to a second place finish in the NL East, the Phil’s best finish since they had finished in third place in 1999, with a record of  86-76, and a winning percentage of .531.

Phil managers have won one Manager of the Year in the 20th Century and two (both to Larry Bowa) in the 21st Century. Neither manager is in the Hall of Fame, either as a player or as a manager.

Who would be the next Phil manager to win either version of the award? I have no idea, although Charlie Manuel could win it this year, because of how the Phils won the Eastern Division pennant this past season.

Not much is going on among the Phils. But…

Last Friday, the Phils announced that the operation on Placido Polanco’s left elbow, to remove bone spurs and to repair the lateral extensor tendon, was a success and that they expect him to recover in six to eight weeks, in time for him to prepare for spring training.

The Phils are still waiting to hear back from Jayson Werth and his agent, Scott Boras, on what Werth is looking for, contract wise.

Speaking of contracts, the Phils announced on Tuesday that first base coach Davey Lopes is leaving. Lopes says that he’s leaving because the team isn’t offering him what he thinks he is worth, based on what he does for the ballclub, besides his first base duties, as he is the main reason that the team have had a highly successful stolen base percentage. In fact, they have lead the league during the four years that he was with the team. His input will be missed. Good luck wherever you land, Davy.

The Phils, this off-season, will be looking to add some new blood to the bullpen, as well as looking for a strong right handed bat to replace Werth, if they are unable to resign him. They will also be, according to Ruben Amaro, Jr., be looking to improve the way the offense operates. (I hope they do, as that was a major handicap this past season.)

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Rookie of the Year.

During the sixty-three years that the Rookie of the Year has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Associations of America (BBWAA), only four Phils have won the NL version of the award.

The first Phil to win the award was pitcher Jack Sanford in 1957 who in 33 starts complied a win-lost record of 19-8 with a 3.08 ERA, as he struck out 188 batters. The second Phil to win the award was third baseman Dick Allen in 1964, who in that year batted .318, hitting 29 home runs, 19 triples, leading the league in that category, and knocking in 91 RBIs, while scoring 125, the league leader in that category. It would be thirty-three years before another Phil would be voted the NL Rookie of the Year. Third baseman Scott Rolen would win the award in 1997, with a .283 batting average, as he hit 21 home runs, while knocking in 92 RBIs. The fourth, and presently final, Phil to win the award would be first baseman Ryan Howard in 2005, who that year batted .288, as he hit 22 home runs, while knocking in 63 RBIs.

Of the four awards won by a Phil, three were won in the 20th Century and one, so far, in the 21st. Three have been won by position players and one by a pitcher. So far, none of the award has been won by a member of the Hall of Fame, since both Rolen and Howard are still active players, although Allen is presently under consideration by the Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee.

Who will be the next Phil to win the Award? Considering the Phils’ farm system, that is a good question, since the Phils just missed having a fifth award as J.A. Happ ended up second place in 2009.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Most Valuable Player Award.

During the almost 70 years that the award has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), five Phils have won the award a total of seven times.

The first Phil to win the just reformed title (1931) was Hall of Famer Chuck Klein in 1933, the year that he won the batting Triple Crown, by posting a batting average of .368, hitting 28 home runs and knocking in 120 RBIs. The next Phil to win the award would be relief pitcher Jim Konstanty in 1950, as he would appear in 74 regular season games, all in relief, as he had a 16-7 record with a 2.66 ERA, while saving 22 more games, as he help lead the Whiz Kids to the team’s first NL pennant since 1915. The next Phil to be voted MVP by the writers would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in 1980, as he help lead the team to their third NL pennant and their first World Series Championship by batting .286 with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs. He would receive his second MVP, and the team’s fourth, in the strike shortened year of 1981, as he batted .316, hitting 31 home runs, while knocking in 91 RBIs. Schmidt would win his third and final MVP award in 1986, as he batted .290, hitting 37 home runs and knocking in 119 RBIs. The sixth Phil to be elected the NL MVP would be Ryan Howard in 2006, as he hit 58 home runs and knocked in 149 RBIs, while batting .313. The fifth and, at the moment, final Phil to win the award was Jimmy Rollins, who did it in 2007, the year that the Phils made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. In that year, Rollins batted .296, hitting 30 home runs, as he knocked in 94 runs.

Of the seven titles, five were won in the 20th century and two in the 21st. One title was won in the 1930s, one in the 1950s, three in the 1980s and two in the 2000s. Mike Schmidt has won the most MVPs awards won by a Phil player by winning three, with two of them in consecutive seasons. Of the title winners, two are presently in the Hall of Fame. Six of the awards were won by position players, all but one by an infielder, and one by a relief pitcher.

Which Phil will next win the award? Depending on how 2011 shapes up, Ryan Howard could regain the title or Chase Utley could gain his first, if either player can regain their form during the off-season.

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