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Wigginton and Contreras options declined, Ruiz renewed for 2013

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Mon, October 29, 2012 02:19 PM Comments: 16

If the Philadelphia region survives the onslaught from Hurricane Sandy, Carlos Ruiz will be the Phillies starting catcher in 2013. The team declined options on Ty Wigginton and Jose Contreras, opting to buy out their contracts. A similar fate is expected for Placido Polanco. Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider were granted Free Agency.

From the Phillies:

The Phillies picked up the $5 million club option on [Ruiz's] contract for next season. The Phillies had a $500,000 buyout, but there was no way they were going to take that. Ruiz hit .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .935 OPS in 114 games this season.

The Phillies also have club options for Jose Contreras ($2.5 million or $500,000 buyout) and Ty Wigginton ($4 million or $500,000 buyout), and a $5.5 million mutual option (or a $500,000 buyout) with Placido Polanco. The Phillies are expected to take the buyouts for each of those players.

Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider also became free agents, although neither is likely to be back in Philadelphia.

Sorry for such a short, nondescript mention of these roster moves. But, I felt it necessary to inform you all of this even under more important circumstances.

Stay safe everyone.


Gameday: Philadelphia Phillies (7-7) vs. San Diego Padres (3-12)

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Sat, April 21, 2012 06:56 PM Comments: 25

Philadelphia Phillies (7-7) vs. San Diego Padres (3-12)

Roy Halladay (3-0, 1.17) v. Cory Luebke (1-1, 3.71)

Time: 8:35 PM, Petco Park
TV: PHL 17
Weather: 57, overcast
Media: Twitter and Facebook

BREAKING: Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sportsnet reported that Cliff Lee was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.  Joe Savery was called, and Kyle Kendrick will start in place of Lee.

Today’s Game:

The Phillies go for a franchise-record 14th straight win in a non-home ballpark when they take on the San Diego Padres at Petco Park tonight. The run of success has been remarkable, as the Phillies haven’t lost a game at Petco since August 16th, 2008. Yes, I lifted 99.9 percent of the previous two sentences from Ryan’s gameday post from last night.

Roy Halladay is the man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffell Tower out of metal and brawn. During the 2012 season, he has followed up those Halladayian efforts by giving up more walks (4) than earned runs (3). The Phils offense has come alive – for them anyway – during Halladay starts since Opening Day, putting up a five and seven spot during his last two outings. The Phils are hoping to continue that trend tonight and they are facing the right pitcher to do it.

Continue reading Gameday: Philadelphia Phillies (7-7) vs. San Diego Padres (3-12)


Late Offensive Flurry Backs Another Hamels Win In San Diego

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Sat, April 21, 2012 05:22 AM Comments: 35

Richie Ashburn Award: Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels was victorious again in San Diego thanks to some late inning offense from an unlikely source. The Phils have won two straight in San Diego, and haven’t lost at Petco Park since August 16th, 2008.

- Hamels increased his lifetime record at Petco Park  in 12 starts against the Padres. According to the AP, in his last four starts against the Padres, he’s 4-0 with a 0.60 ERA. He is 7-2 lifetime in San Diego.

Continue reading Late Offensive Flurry Backs Another Hamels Win In San Diego


What Did The Phillies Spend More Than 156 Million Dollars On?

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, June 03, 2011 12:05 PM Comments: 11

Prior to the ratification of the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement, all major league teams had to abide by the 60/40 rule; that is, 60 percent of the teams assets couldn’t eclipse more than 40 percent of its liabilities (team debt). The new CBA signed in 2006 changed that rule from the previous 60/40 provision to debt being capped based on club earnings before interest, taxes, etc.

The rule stated verbatim:

Section 1. The Rule. No Club may maintain more Total Club Debt than can reasonably be supported by its EBITDA. A Club’s Total Club Debt cannot reasonably be supported by its EBITDA if Total Club Debt exceeds the product of the average of that Club’s EBITDA over the most recent two years multiplied by the Cash Flow Multiplier applicable to that Club; provided, however, that a Club may elect, on or before April 1, 2007, to utilize, in both 2007 and 2008, the average of its EBITDA over the most recent three years.

What does this mean? Let’s use Forbes franchise estimations for the Phils team value to determine what their debt cap is. Remember, all of these numbers are estimates by Forbes. But, for this purpose I think they will give us the closest actually to what the team is up too.

Figuring Out Operating Cost Over the Last Two Seasons

Let’s average the Phillies operating costs from 2010 and 2009 and multiply by 10. We would get the Phillies debt ceiling for this year.

$14.5 (mil) (2010) + $16.3 (mil) (2009) = 30.8 million

2009-2010 values X 10 = $308 (mil).

The Phillies have an operating cost of $308 (mil) for the 2011 season.

Continue reading What Did The Phillies Spend More Than 156 Million Dollars On?


J-Day: When The Phillies Clashed With Michael Jackson

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, December 10, 2010 01:01 PM Comments: 2

We’ve all experienced the nightmarish scenario of going down to the Sports Complex on a day where more than one venue has been billed for events at nearly the same time. In recent history, the Phillies playoffs and Eagles games on Sunday nights come to mind almost instantly.  But, imagine a situation where a sporting event is going head-to-head against a concert. But not just any concert – a concert featuring Michael Jackson - in 1984.

This was one of many situations that had the city, the Wilson Goode administration, The Phillies, and the concert promoters – Bill Sullivan and Don King – at odds until that fateful weekend in 1984.

Continue reading J-Day: When The Phillies Clashed With Michael Jackson


Pat Gallen Inducted Into The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Thu, December 09, 2010 09:09 PM Comments: 20

I approached Pat Gallen in July of 2009 when Tim Malcolm stepped down as our main scribe here at Phillies Nation. At the time, Pat was the Phillies reporter for the Philadelphia Examiner where I felt his skilled writing and superior analysis were being under utilized and not appreciated. Not only has Pat’s writing informed and entertained all of us since last summer, along with your support, he has grown to become a respected member of the Phillies media community.  Pat Gallen is not just an invaluable member of the Phillies Nation family – he is also my friend.

Today, Pat was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association along with Kevin McAlpin of 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia.

On the behalf of everyone at PhilliesNation.com we are proud to feature the work of premier writers, such as Pat, that you have come to expect from us and ourselves.


Why Do We Celebrate At Frankford And Cottman?

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Tue, November 23, 2010 04:00 PM Comments: 9

I was standing in a crowd of at least 10,000 people with my closest friends during the early morning of October 30th. Hours earlier, the Phillies won their first World Series in 28 years. Instinctively my friends and I rushed to the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues to join in the jubilant celebration with my fellow denizens of Mayfair. Around 3:30 AM the masses showed no signs of slowing down their ‘Let’s Go Phillies’ chants and non-discriminate high fives to perfect strangers.

On any other day the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues is just like any other cross-streets in the city – ordinary. It features a mix of small businesses and national chain stores, a post office and about a half dozen Irish sports bars.

As I was standing on the southwest corner of Cottman Avenue on this magical day, brushing off a police officer’s plea to go home, that intersection was the most magical place on Earth. I thought to myself, “Why do we do this?” “Why do we come to this intersection, in this neighborhood, to celebrate an extraordinary occasion?”

According to Mayfair historian Dr. Harry Silcox, newly elected President George Washington passed through the area and residents gathered to greet him. Silcox adds in the late 1930′s, the Mayfair Movie Theater was built and became the central entertainment location for the neighborhood. The area around the main intersection of Frankford and Cottman avenues was occupied by banks, appliance stores, large food stores, real-estate offices, stationery stores, record shops and television-repair shops. Everything a shopper needed was nearby. A bustling business and entertainment district, Frankford and Cottman naturally became the place to go for everything a person would need.

The promotional film It Happened In Mayfair highlights the attractiveness of the area and the neighborhood as a whole during the late 1930′s.

Silcox states that citizens gathered there after the announcement of the Allies victory in World War II. Whether it was defeating fascism or sporting foes, Frankford and Cottman provided a central location for the residents of Mayfair and the surround neighborhoods to rejoice in their triumphant jubilance.

We continue to go there now because it’s the only place we’ve ever went. Being a resident of Mayfair, it is not only a tradition but it’s also a part of our heritage. I was there in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2009. In those most perfect of times it becomes the most perfect place to share in a moment that means so much to so many people.

As I’m waiting on yet another season to begin, I yearn for a chance for this penultimate celebration once more before our final victory dance down Broad Street..


Here And Gone: Phillies History In The Rule 5 Draft

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Sat, November 20, 2010 06:01 PM Comments: 8

Johnny Gray was selected as the Phillies first ever Rule 5 draftee two years after its inauguration during the 1957 off-season. Gray pitched in 33 games, 24 as a starter with the Philadelphia/Kansas City A’s and Cleveland, compiling a less than stellar 4-18 record. Drafted by the Phillies from Cleveland, he would appear in 16 games as a reliever, pitching his final game in June of 1958.

So goes the Rule 5 draft.

I liken the Rule 5 draft to the analogy of going to Walmart and attempting to find a good movie in the 5 dollar movie bin. Most of the movies you have never heard of. But, from looking at the cover you can guess what the movie will be about by reading the title or summary on the back. You can examine its cover art or see who the title actors are. The movies may or may not turn out to be any good. But, for five dollars and tax you pick up a DVD from the bin because you are more than willing to give the flick a try for its cheap price, even if it’s starring Vin Diesel as the Tooth Fairy.

Luckily for you, a watched DVD can be returned within 30 days to Walmart. You won’t have the burden of embarrassment of your friends seeing you owning a copy of Disney’s ‘The Tooth Fairy.’ For baseball teams, they have to keep their Rule 5 draftee on their major league roster for an entire season. The penalty for not doing so equates to the player being returned to the team from which he came – for free.

The Phillies have drafted 33 players since 1957 and have let 27 unprotected players get scooped up by other clubs. Most of the 60 players in total who have become beneficiaries/victims of the Rule 5 Draft you have never even heard of. Due to the vast amount of cinematic time bombs waiting to go off in the discount bin that is the Rule 5 draft, the potential of retaining a hidden gem or acquiring a blockbuster player on the cheap is the next door neighbor to impossible. Here are some of the Phillies best finds, regrettable retreats and resilient retreads .

Continue reading Here And Gone: Phillies History In The Rule 5 Draft


Possible Playoff Expansion Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, November 19, 2010 07:00 AM Comments: 28

Major League Baseball is always the last professional sports organization to make a progressive move for the betterment of the game. When the Commissioners Office gives the green light to enact such a change they never do enough to ensure its success. Certain things come to mind in this regard, primarily testing for performance-enhancing drugs, instant replay and the inclusion of non-whites to major league rosters. News of a possible playoff realignment is not only exciting but has been in the making since we all realized that playing the World Series in November is a bad idea.

Bud Selig’s plan is to have two Wild Card teams battle it out for the right to face the team with best league record. The only way I can see this working is if  the regular season schedule is shortened to accommodate extra round of postseason play. A league schedule of 154 games would have to be played. Three division winners would get first round byes as two wild card teams would battle it out in a five or seven game Wild Card series during the last week of September. The playoffs would then follow the current format.

Are players going to reconcile getting paid eight days less in order to have an extra week of rest? How will this expansion affect current  television and advertising contracts that are structured on a 162 game season?  Will owners really agree to omitting eight games for the greater chance for their club to make the playoffs?

If the season isn’t shortened to make way for an extra round of playoffs, we may face a situation where the World Series would be played into mid-November. Having an extra playoff round may be great for fans on the surface, the adjusted cost factor of playing less games will force teams to raise prices for admission and at the concession.

Selig favors expansion because he has been at the helm of all of the league’s expansionary measures for almost two decades. The shortening of the season would put more money in the owners pockets by charging more at the gate and paying their players for less games played.  Advertising revenues will increase due to a higher demand with less games being played during the season. Despite the negative financial conodations, the competitiveness of division play would increase. Including a first round bye for division winners would increase the importance of winning the division. Secondly, division winners would get extended time off as the wild cards fight it out for a Division Series berth. The division would have to be realigned in order to give each club a fair shot at a possible division crown (this means you NL Central and AL West). Evenly-teamed divisions coupled with a heavy division opponent-laden schedule  makes the games played even more meaningful in August and September.

Who wouldn’t want to see the Phillies have even more of an opportunity to beat down the Mets in the future?


Gameday: Boston Red Sox (22-20) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (25-15)

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, May 21, 2010 05:00 PM Comments: 293

Boston Red Sox (22-20) at Philadelphia Phillies (25-15)

John Lackey, RHP (4-2, 4.86 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (1-2, 4.29 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park

Weather: Mostly Sunny, 60

TV:Comcast SportsNet

Twitter: @philliesnation

It’s that time of year again. Where the continuity of autonomous league scheduling is altered for an alleged attendance boost in the pursuit of capital revenue gains.

Welcome to Inter-league Play 2010.

Red Sox Nation® (and the Delaware Valley’s bandwagon fans, circa 2004) will be on hand for the final series of this seven game home stand. The Phils have a total of four wins against the Red Sox spanning the last four years. But, this isn’t your ‘Bloody Sock’ or ‘Cowboy Up’ teams from the past. Boston has been plagued by injuries, inconsistency on offense and a lot of bad starting pitching performances.

A model of pitching consistency takes the mound tonight in John Lackey. He won’t over power you, but the veteran has been apt at forcing batted outs away from the strike zone. Lackey is a winner in two of his last three starts despite getting shellacked around in the early innings by Detroit and Toronto. He has been terrific all season and there is no reason to believe he won’t continue to keep the Red Sox in this game tonight.

For the Phillies, Colbert Hamels is looking to build on three stellar outings and continue the clubs successes in May . Pitching more to contact and limiting base runners, the club has been victorious in his last four outings (Hamels 2-0 in that span). Hamels is coming off a 6.2 inning performance in Milwaukee where he scattered two runs on six hits. Hamels pitching to contact has negatively affected him in the later innings in Milwaukee. With the lineup rolled over, a tired Hamels left pitches up resulting in homeruns by Casey McGhee and Corey Hart. While inconsistant throughout the season thus far, the duo of Youkilis and Martinez are riding offense hot streaks coming into this series. They will not miss any mistake Hamels throws at them.

The history of the Phils-Red Sox series has been completely one sided. The Phils need two wins to guarantee a winning home stand while not being able to take two from the Sox since 2003. A sweep?  Not out of the question with this version of the Red Sox; the team hasn’t sweep the Sox since 2000. In that series at Veterans Stadium, two walk off doubles by Alex Arias and Kevin Jordan in extra innings sealed those contests.

Ah, memories…

Red Sox Nation is a ® of the ESPN hype machine.

Today’s Lineup: Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibañez, Victorino, Ruiz, Hamels.

Hop ExplosionYour Gameday Beer – Green Monsta

A feature of the Wachusett Brewing Compnay, Green Monsta is a strong Ale (6.4 % abv) with medium body and a variety of flavor. It pours a copper color getting darker as it settles from bottle to glass. It’s malty, medium-hoppy taste and silky texture make this beer a slow drinker. With its hints of background citris, it is a perfect beer for a perfect night for baseball. Order a cheesesteak stromboli and pour yourself a glass. – By RC


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