Archive for March, 2011

On Chase Utley’s Knee and the Origins of Public Panic

Posted by Michael Baumann, Thu, March 31, 2011 02:36 PM Comments: 7

I’m sure you’ve all seen this movie before, but go to about 2:35 in this video and watch until 3:45. The important text is below:

You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan.” But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.

I intend to apply this logic to the effect that Chase Utley‘s knee injury has had on the fan base. You see, what’s bothered me, at least, about Utley’s injury is not that the Phillies will be without the services of Chase Utley, who is fifth all-time in rWAR for the first eight years of a second baseman’s career (the top 4? Jackie Robinson, Eddie Collins, Joe Gordon, and Frankie Frisch, all Hall-of-Famers). Rather, it’s that I don’t know how long he’ll be out. And here’s why.

Continue reading On Chase Utley’s Knee and the Origins of Public Panic


Harry Kalas Statue to Stand at Citizens Bank Park

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, March 31, 2011 10:41 AM Comments: 4

In a press release from the Phillies, they have announced the acceptance of the Harry Kalas statue built by Larry Nolan:

The Phillies have gratefully accepted the fan-funded gift of a 7½-foot bronze statue of Harry Kalas for placement at Citizens Bank Park, Mike Stiles, Senior Vice President, Administration and Operations, announced today.  The statue was presented to the Phillies as a gift from Dear Harry, Inc., a fan-based group organized solely to create a statue dedicated to the memory of the Phillies Hall of Fame broadcaster.  The sculptor, Lawrence J. Nowlan, has received important commissions for public sculpture across the country and overseas.

“A group of us from the Phillies went to the Laran Bronze Foundry in Chester to see the statue for the first time a few weeks ago,” said Stiles.  “We were very impressed.  It’s a wonderful likeness of Harry that really captures his spirit.  There are interesting details that I don’t want to give away.  I think fans will be very excited to see this statue of Harry at the ballpark.

“The Phillies are very grateful to all the fans who contributed to this effort, as well as to Larry Nowlan for his impressive work.  We accept the gift, with gratitude, in honor of the memory of our beloved colleague and friend, Harry Kalas.”

Details about the location of the statue at the ballpark and date and time of the unveiling have yet to be determined.

Continue reading Harry Kalas Statue to Stand at Citizens Bank Park


2011 Staff Standings Predictions

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, March 31, 2011 09:06 AM Comments: 13

Will the Phillies win the Eastern Division? Who will give them a run for their money? Who is the best in the AL? Find out…

CLICK HERE to see the Phillies Nation awards predictions for the 2011 season


NLE: Philadelphia Phillies 95-67
NLC: Chicago Cubs 88-74
NLW: Colorado Rockies 91-71
WC: Atlanta Braves 90-72

Continue reading 2011 Staff Standings Predictions


A Phillies Fan Gone too Soon

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, March 30, 2011 05:30 PM Comments: 11

The Philadelphia Phillies have become our Boys of Fall.

In 2007, they stormed their way past the Mets for a spot in the playoffs. In 2008, Cole Hamels led the charge head on into the early-winter winds of November, helping bring home the Phillies first title since 1980. The following season brought on more autumnal artistry by the team, although they fell short of the ultimate goal. Last season, the Phillies gave us a great ride to the NLCS, but were knocked out by the Giants.

Kenny Kline was one of the Boys of Fall himself. A former football and baseball player at Northeast High School in Philadelphia, and a one-time employee of Citizens Bank Park in the “Phun Zone,” the Phillies were a big part of Kenny’s upbringing, as they are for so many here in the region. In many of his pictures, you’ll see him rocking a red Phillies shirt, supporting his boys.

During the Phillies championship-winning season of ’08, Kenny’s Rhawnhurst Recreation club played in their own championship game at Citizens Bank Park. I was lucky enough to witness the game with Kenny’s oldest sister, Jennifer, and our good friend Jeff. He was able to celebrate with a victory on the same field the big guys did. Thrilling.

Kenny was also on his way to becoming a police officer. He was in the process of taking classes and readying himself for the Philadelphia Police Academy.

Kenny Kline, someone I am, and will always be, honored to call a friend, died Sunday following a motorcycle accident on Saturday in Philadelphia. He was 18-years old. The Kline family decided to use his healthy body to help others, so they donated his organs to prolong the lives of many people throughout region.

Continue reading A Phillies Fan Gone too Soon


Spring Gameday: Phillies vs. Pirates

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Wed, March 30, 2011 12:51 PM Comments: 1

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Philadelphia Phillies

Charlie Morton vs. Cole Hamels

Time: 4:05 pm, Citizens Bank Park
Cloudy, 49
TV: MLB.tv (free)
Radio: 1210 WPHT, Phillies.com
Follow Phillies Nation on Twitter

Continue reading Spring Gameday: Phillies vs. Pirates


Luis Castillo Released, Martinez Makes Team

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, March 30, 2011 11:06 AM Comments: 42

The Luis Castillo era is now over. Ruben Amaro Jr. said moments ago to the media that the team has released the second baseman and they will move forward with what they currently have on the roster.

Castillo was 6-for-22 with the Phillies in seven games this spring, giving him a .273 average. He knocked in one run, stole one base, walked four times, and struck out twice. Castillo’s OBP was .385.

Hard to say what Castillo would have had to do to make the squad coming out of the exhibition season. His numbers were decent over a small sample, but perhaps the Phillies had it in their minds that he would not stick in Philly unless he really wowed them. With Castillo being shown the door, it’s now down to Pete Orr, Michael Martinez, and Delwyn Young, along with darkhorse Michael Stutes, for two roster spots.

UPDATE, 1:29 pm: According to Charlie Manuel, Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez has made the team. Manuel says, according to David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal, Martinez will “get to play a bit.”

UPDATE, 3:43 pm: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com joined Mike Gill and the Sports Bash on 97.3 ESPN FM in South Jersey today. The scribe talked about a number of Phillies related issues including the release of Castillo and what the roster may look like. Take a listen to Salisbury’s interview with Mike Gill.


Moyer to Join ESPN’s Baseball Tonight

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, March 30, 2011 09:34 AM Comments: 7

Jamie Moyer still wants to pitch again. He’ll just have another hobby now as he rehabs his elbow after Tommy John Surgery.

Moyer has joined ESPN’s Baseball Tonight as an analyst and will start tomorrow for Opening Day coverage. The 48-year old had surgery on his left elbow in late November after rehab and throwing routines did not help the ailment.

He’s sometimes known as being rather talky and long-winded, but at the same time is monotone when speaking to the press. Hopefully his knowledge shines through in a TV-friendly manner. We all know Moyer is a good guy, but is seemingly quiet while being talkative. He’ll have to get the juices flowing on the BBTN set.

Nonetheless, a great pickup by ESPN. He’ll bring loads of knowledge and add a new wrinkle to the panel.


Team effort, Phils beat Pirates 8-5

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Tue, March 29, 2011 09:19 PM Comments: 6

It was the kind of game you would like to see only two days before Opening Day.  It was a total team effort from the Phillies tonight against the visiting Pirates in Game 1 of the On Deck Series.  Nine different guys had a hit tonight and Luis Castillo went 2 for 4 with two runs scored to help build an early lead for Roy Oswalt.  And he did need it.

Continue reading Team effort, Phils beat Pirates 8-5


Spring Gameday: Phillies vs. Pirates

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Tue, March 29, 2011 04:30 PM Comments: 2

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Philadelphia Phillies

Ross Ohlendorf vs. Roy Oswalt

Time: 7:05 pm, Citizens Bank Park
Chilly, 46
Radio: 1210 WPHT, Phillies.com
Follow Phillies Nation on Twitter

Continue reading Spring Gameday: Phillies vs. Pirates


Lidge Out 3-6 Weeks, Ben Fran Starting in RF

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, March 29, 2011 03:57 PM Comments: 14

According to Ruben Amaro Jr., Phillies closer Brad Lidge has a posterior rotator cuff strain and will be sidelined up to six weeks. In his place, Jose Contreras will fill the ninth inning duties.

Also, Ben Francisco will be the new starting right fielder on Opening Day against the Astros.

The Lidge news is not a shock – he’s been dealing with this injury for most of the spring and the Phillies felt it was best to shut him down for a while following today’s MRI. What does come as a bit of a shock is the insertion of Jose Contreras into the closers role. Many believe, including me, that it should be Ryan Madson and not Contreras finishing off games for the Phillies. Contreras proved last year he’s good for the role, but over a small sample size, Madson gave the Phillies the impression he was not. Either way, with those two, the bullpen is still strong at the back end.

Who will fill the void? It could very well be Michael Stutes as the final man in the pen or someone like Mike Zagurski or Scott Mathieson.

Congrats are in order for Ben Francisco. He earned his starting spot in the outfield after a stellar spring. Defensively, he still has work to do, but his work with the stick has paid off.

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