Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Sampler Platter

Who's Next in the Booth?
Both Jamie "Grand Pappy" Moyer and Matt "Moonshot" Stairs have interviewed for the job of replacing Sarge/Wheels in the Phils tv booth.  Either would be entertaining.  They each played for a lot of organizations, which would give them insight into more than just the Phillies.  Both were important parts of the Phillies 2008 WFC squad.  Moyer seems cerebral and Stairs is Canadian.  Sign 'em both!

Another Ace Anyone?
AJ Burnett has reneged on his word and decided it wasn't Pittsburgh or retirement.  Instead he's coming back for at least one more season and will consider East Coast teams.  The Orioles and Phillies fit that mold, and they each could use Burnett's services.  I'd love to see Amaro throw a 1 year $15M deal his way with an option year.  It would certainly help the rotation that has nothing good aside from Hamels and Lee. Bonus- he'd become a Phucco.

More Drugs?
Phillies minor leaguer Christopher O'Hare has been suspended 50 games to begin the 2014 season.  He's currently on Lakewood BlueClaws roster, so that is where he will remain on the inactive list until his punishment is over.  The lefty was a 23rd round pick in 2013 and pitched in just 5 games.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Who's the Best Phillies Catcher of All Time?

With Spring Training 2014 quickly approaching the boys gathered at the Philly Pressbox for a few cold beverages and some baseball talk. We recently posted a note that it was Mike Lieberthals birthday and received both positive and negative comments about Lieby and him being honored on the Phillies Wall of Fame. That led us to the conversation of Who's the Best Phillies Catcher of All Time. We quickly decided on the four finalists, Bob Boone, Darren Daulton, Leiberthal and Carlos Ruiz. This pretty much covers the last 40 years of full time Phillies catchers.

We're going to provide some statistical information, as Phillies only, on each of the four and allow you, the fans, to vote on your favorite. The players are listed in alphabetical order.

Boonie was the Phillies full-time starting catcher from 1973-1981. He caught 100+ games in 7 seasons.
He ranks 2nd to Lieberthal in games caught in the modern day with 1125. He caught 100+ games 7 times
He is 3rd in Batting Average, .259, behind Lieberthal and Ruiz.
He is 3rd in Home Runs, 65, behind Lieberthal and Daulton.
He ranks 3rd in RBI's with 456.
Boone struck out the least of the four with 365 behind Daulton, Lieberthal and Ruiz.
Boone won 1 World Series with the Phils, made 3 All Star Teams and won 2 Gold Gloves.
Defensively Boone led the NL in these categories during his Phillies career:
1978 - Fielding Percentage, 1973 - Assists, 1974- Putouts, 1973 - Runners Caught Stealing, 1974 & 1980 Errors Committed, 1974 & 1980 Stolen Bases Allowed.
Boone was traded by the Phillies after the 1981 season. He played 9 more seasons, making 1 more all star team and winning 5 more Gold Gloves. He actually played more games after he left the Phils than he did as a Phillie.
He was inducted in to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2005.

"Dutch" was the Phillies starting catcher for the Phils for the most part from 1985-1995 although he only played more that 100 game 4 times in his career. His best 2 seasons came in 1992 and 1993 when he drove in more than 100 runs in both of those seasons helping lead the Phils to the 1993 World Series. 
Daulton ranks 3rd in games caught behind Lieberthal and Boone. 
He ranks 4th in batting average, .245, behind Lieberthal, Ruiz and Boone
He ranks 2nd in Home Runs with 134 behind Lieberthal.
He ranks 2nd in RBI's behind Lieberthal with 567.
Daulton struck out the most of the four with 709 career k's.
Daulton went to one World Series, 1983, was selected to 3 All Star games and won one Silver Slugger Award.
Defensively, Daulton led the NL in the following categories during his Phillies career:
1990- Assists, 1993 - Putouts, 1990 & 1993 - DP's by a catcher, 1992- Runners Caught Stealing.
Dutch was traded to the Florida Marlins in the middle of the 1997 season, his final one. The Marlins went on to win the World Series.
He was inducted in to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2010.

"Lieby" started splitting time behind the plate in 1995 and 96 before becoming the full-time guy in 1997. He caught 100+ games 7 times before his last season with the Phillies in 2006.
He is the Phillies all time leader in games caught with 1174 games.
He leads in batting average with a .275 average.
He leads in Home Runs with 150.
He leads in RBI's with 609.
He is 2nd in strikeouts to Daulton with 560.
"Lieby" made 2 All Star teams and won 1 Gold Glove Award.
Defensively, Lieberthal led the NL in the following categories during his Phillies career:
1999- Assists, 1999- Fielding Percentage, 1997, 99 and 2003 - Passed Balls, 2003 - Stolen Bases Allowed.
Lieby spent the final season of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lieberthal was inducted in to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2012.

"Chooch" took over as the Phillies full time catcher in 2007. He has been a work horse ever since. He's caught more than 100 games in 6 of his 7 seasons. The only time he didn't was last season when he caught 92 games after being suspended. He signed a 3-year contract extension this off-season so his stats are a work in progress.
He is last of the four on the Phillies all time leader in games caught with 825 games.
He is 2nd in batting average to Lieberthal by .001, with a .274 average.
He is last in Home Runs with 57 which is 8 behind Boone.
He is last in RBI's with 336. He is 120 behind Boone for 3rd.
He has struck out the 3rd most behind Daulton and Lieberthal with 325.
"Chooch" has won 1 World Series in 2008, made it to another in 2009 and made 1 All Star team. He has not won any Gold Gloves or Silver Slugger Awards.
Defensively, Chooch has never led the NL in any category.

Now you have some numbers to ponder. Now it's time to cast your vote.

*Written by Bill Furman of Philly Press Box for purpose of use on WSBGMs.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fill with Delight, for it's Barry Enright

Barry Enright might very well be the nicest guy on the planet, but professionally he's bad.  Yet, he's Amaro's latest minor league depth signing.  Over parts of four seasons with the Angels and Diamondbacks, he owns a 7-13 record, in 31 games, 26 of them starts, pitching 148.2 innings with a 5.57 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.  His minor league numbers are underwhelming too, a 4.67 ERA overall, but more pointedly a 5.62 ERA in Triple-A.  As you can see from the picture to the right, he may have pitched for the aces, but sure as hell wasn't one of them.

Enright is 27 years old, right-handed, and is a former 2nd round pick of the Angels backs in 2007.  He's prone to the long ball as well- 114 in 831 minor league innings and 34 in the Majors.

I'd rather give some dude who schlepped for years in the minors without ever getting the call to The Show a shot than this guy.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bobby Abreu is Back!!!

In search of a left-handed bench bat, Ruben Amaro was drawn to an old friend (and I mean old) in the form of Bobby Abreu.  He will earn $800K if he makes the team, and has an opt out clause for March 26th.  He missed all of 2013, because of lack of interest in his services.  He's recently been seen tearing up the Venezuelan Winter League, so interest in him has again been peaked.

Bobby will turn 40 years old in March and was with the Phillies from 1998-2006.  He's also played with the Astros, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers and is a career .292/.873 hitter with 1441 R, 565 DBL, 287 HR, 1349 RBI, and 399 SB.  The one time Homerun Derby champion's power is all but gone, yet he is still able to get on base (never dipping below .350 OBP since '98).

Bench competition:

Utility Infielder- Reid Brignac, Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen, Cesar Hernandez, and Ronny Cedeno.

Outfield- Darin Ruf, John Mayberry Jr., Tony Gwynn Jr., and Bobby Abreu.

Only 4 spots are open with Wil Nieves/C taking one of the 5 bench spots. Frandsen and Mayberry have the inside track, considering both of their deals are guaranteed. Someone capable of playing shortstop is needed, so one of Cedeno, Galvis, Hernandez, and Brignac will likely get a job. That leaves a reserve outfielder, and Amaro wants a left-handed hitting one, meaning Gwynn or Abreu. What to make of Ruf?

One possibility is to let Mayberry go (or trade him for nothing), and have Dom Brown or Marlon Byrd play center field in a pinch.  This would allow both Ruf and Abreu to make the team.  I'm rooting for Abreu, but not at the expense of Ruf, who can help provide power off the bench and a potential platoon partner for Howard at 1st base.

One thing is for sure, the bullpen and the bench competition will something to watch for in Spring Training, and don't count of the Phillies to make the right decision.

En-Grave Mistakes : The Proper Etiquette For Getting Your Personal Items Engraved

Even though a lot of the products out there are similar, we like the ones that we own because they happen to be 'ours.' Well there's a way to turn those cheap bowling balls or mismatched watches into something even more personal and that's with unique engraving. That being said, engraving an item is similar to a body tattoo, once it's on there it is pretty permanent so you want to follow these engraving guidelines to maintain the integrity of your items.

Be Wary of Nicknames:
Even though your friend might be called 'Hoser' by everybody in town doesn't necessarily mean he wants his pens, rings, balls, or towels from adorned with the moniker. If you're going to give a friend an engraved item with a nickname, make sure they're comfortable with the alias otherwise your gift could be a source of resentment every time they pick it up.

Include a Date:
Another engraving tidbit is to include a date. Personal items will always hold memories but it's sometimes a nice touch to include the date or at least year the gift was given. When you find a keepsake item in a drawer dozens of years later, it's nice to know when you received it especially if it's a sports award or a workforce milestone like 15 or 20 years on the job.

Choose Location Wisely:
The engraving location must be thought about on an individual basis depending on the item. For instance a personal, loving message on a ring should be discreet so that only the intended viewer can see it and enjoy it. A name on a bowling ball on the other hand should be in clear sight next to the brand name for an individualized look. An engraving in the wrong spot kind of defeats the purpose of personalizing the item.

Don't Devalue the Product or Void a Warranty:
While it's nice to have personally engraved items, it's not that important as to decrease the value of an item. A nice ring for example loses a lot of value if it says “Scott and Cindy 4ever” on the band. Who knows, someday Scott or Cindy may need the money if their love doesn't last 4ever and a pawn shop will give more for an unpersonalized ring. The same holds true with engraving electronic items like cell phones, it's not worth the personal touch if the warranty becomes void.

Engraving is a timeless gesture that really makes an item personal but the engrave yard can be scary if you don't use some sound decision making.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Welcome Aboard Chris Gaudin

Ruben Amaro has been scouring the free agent market for a cost effective swingman, and he found one in the form of Chad Gaudin.  The 30 year old right-handed pitcher inked a minor league contract with the Phillies and if healthy, is likely to make the squad out of spring training.

Gaudin was great with the Giants last season, before being shutdown due to arm issues.  He made 30 appearances, 12 of them starts, pitching 97 innings with a 3.06 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.  Over his 11 year career with the Nationals, A's, Marlins, Blue Jays, Cubs, Padres, Yankees, Rays, and San Francisco, he's compiled a 45-44 record with a 4.44 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 836.1 innings (344 G, 87 GS).  Walks have hurt him in the past, having issued 4.1 BB/9 in the Majors.

In the Meantime

What a boring offseason to be a Phillies fan (unless you get excited about signing players 35 years and older). Anyway, Spring Training is still weeks away, so in the meantime I'll provide you with a commercial featuring Pete Rose of the Phils and Joe Morgan of the Reds. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Missing Link- Ronny Cedeno

Have no fear, Ronny Cedeno is here!  Added bonus- a phuture Phucco perhaps.  Amaro must have been feeling the pressure of the extra expectations from the extra million from the new tv deal to splurge and make a signing like this.

Ronny Cedeno, age 30, capable of playing 2nd, 3rd, and SS.  A career .246/.644 hitter over 9 seasons and 846 games with the Cubs, Pirates, Mets, Marines, Padres, and Astros.  He can field, but doesn't hit for average, doesn't get on base, doesn't have speed, and doesn't have power.  Essentially, minor league fodder.  Or, he's starting in July for an injured J-Roll as the Phillies stumble further into hell.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Talking Points- Broadcast Booth & HoF

Talking Point 1: Broadcast Booth
Gary "Sarge" Matthews and Chris Wheeler will no longer be in the broadcast booth doing Phillies games.  My quick opinion- Wheels is annoying, but has tremendous knowledge of the game and his memory of events/games is amazing.  He's been in the booth since 1977.  My childhood is officially over, as Wheels is out and both Whitey and Harry have passed away.  Replacing him isn't a horrible idea, but they damn well better put somebody worthy in his place.  Sarge, on the other hand, sucked.  I felt dumber for listening to his inane uttering and insistence on saying "for me" upteen times per telecast.  Thank you Comcast for ridding us of him, my ears thank you.

Weird thing, T-Mac remains.  WTF?!  Seriously, what the h-e-double hockey sticks?!  Tom McCarthy is an ass clown, a no talent, maggot of an ass clown.  Sorry, had to get that off my check.

Talking Point 2: Hall of Fame Results
In- Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas.  All three obviously deserved it. 

Special Notes- Cragin Biggio fell two votes short, and that is bullshit.  Jack Morris failed to gain entry in his 15th and final year on the ballot, which was the correct decision.

Out (but should be in, in my opinion)- Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent and Tim Raines.

Out (and not quite good enough in my opinion)- Larry Walker, Alan Trammell, Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez, and Fred McGriff.

Alright, discuss....

Sunday, January 05, 2014

What Does The Fox Say- Phanactic Remix

I hate it when a horrible song gets stuck in my head, as is the case with Ylvis' What Does The Fox Say? Well, apparently the Phanactic felt a parody was necessary. Enjoy...

Friday, January 03, 2014

Money Ain't a Thang

The Philadelphia Phillies have finalized a 25 year $2.5 billion tv contract in addition to an equity stake and ad revenue.  That's an average annual value of $100 million per year, up from the previous $35 million they were raking in.  Increased payroll?  Probably not.