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Phillies Nation in the News

Recap: Phillies Top Cats, Nation USA Today Top Blog

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, March 19, 2012 07:17 PM Comments: 8

Phillies Nation was named "Best Fan Blog" by USA Today. Thank you, Phillies Nation!

The Phils topped the Tigers today 4-3, ending with a 6.2 innings of dominant bullpen effort. The clock may have struck midnight for Phils’ starter Scott Elarton who allowed 3 ER in 2.1 IP, including a HR to Brennan Boesch in the 3rd. But the resilient Phils clawed back, plating 4 in the fifth, including two on a Freddy Galvis triple. Lefties Raul Valdes, Joe Savery, Jake Diekman, and David Purcey were all sharp as their efforts turn toward being the second lefty out of the ‘pen. The Phillies are in an enviable position of having a surplus of lefty bullpen firepower.

As exciting as the game was to watch today, the events leading up to the game were, for better or worse, more exciting. Pat wrote a piece on how Jim Thome‘s body may hold up after playing the field and then the flood gates opened. In short order, the Phillies released possible emergency starter/staff ace of the Iron Pigs Joel Pineiro, made it clear to the media that Chase Utley would not be ready for Opening Day and that Freddy Galvis is your 2012 Phillies Opening Day second baseman. The news did not phase Galvis, who went 1-3 with a 2-run triple, but it did get a lot of Phillies Nation talking. Head over to that thread for some great discussion; lot of unique takes on the situation.

Continue reading Recap: Phillies Top Cats, Nation USA Today Top Blog

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Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Interview

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, January 26, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 1

This week, the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws hosted their annual Phillies banquet at the Woodlake Country Club in Lakewood, NJ. Prior to the event that raised money for BlueClaws charities, I had the opportunity to sit down with Philadelphia general manager to discuss various organizational subjects. Ruben spoke about the Wilson Valdez for Jeremy Horst trade, highly regarded pitching prospect Jesse Biddle, Domonic Brown’s future, last year’s draft class and plenty more.

Check out the media player below to listen to the full one-on-one interview with Ruben Amaro Jr.

To check out my previous interviews with Ruben, click HERE and HERE.

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Most Valuable Blogger Award – Editor’s Choice

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, September 19, 2011 11:19 AM Comments: 8

Philadelphia's Most Valuable Blogger Awards 2011Last week, Phillies Nation won the Editor’s Choice Award for Sports in CBS Philly’s Inaugural Most Valuable Blogger Awards. The site received the highest average from the judges’ criteria on frequency, presentation and content quality.

A special thanks goes out to the great writers of Phillies Nation – past and present; and of course to your our loyal readers and commenters. Go Phils!

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Kieran Carobine talks with the Pulse Network

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, June 23, 2011 04:20 PM Comments: 1

Yesterday, our own Kieran Carobine spoke with the Pulse Network about the Phillies (what else is there, really?). Kieran goes over the amazing pitching, the struggling bats, and so much more.

Enjoy!

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2 Phillies Nation News Mentions

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, February 28, 2011 08:30 PM Comments: 10

1. Call To Arms For Nats Fans from NBC Washington

The other day, two brave Nationals fans put a video on YouTube, a call to arms for fans to make sure that those pesky Phillies fans don’t intrude on Nationals Park this year. After taking a beating in the comments, they pulled the video.

Fortunately the movement didn’t die with that video. A Twitter rebellion has started with #SaveNatsParkApril14th as the battle cry.

Last year, thousands of Phillies fans loaded up on buses and infiltrated Nationals Park. PhilsFever.com is planning it again, although possibly not in such large numbers.

“Last year, it was the season opener and we knew Roy Halladay was on the hill and that was a catalyst for one of the largest invasions ever,” explains the site’s owner, Quimby. “We should still roll in with 3-400 strong, but a far cry from the 1,500 we had last year.”

Other Phillies fans aren’t quite as realistic. Brian Michael of PhilliesNation.com had this to say about Nationals fan reaction to the invasion:

“They don’t like it one bit. It’s more that Nats fans, in particular, want the rest of baseball to feel sorry for them and give them special treatment like not allowing opposing fans into the stadium.”

Clearly it never dawned on Michael, who actually lives in D.C., that maybe opposing fans with that attitude aren’t wanted there because that line of thinking is obnoxious.
Continue reading 2 Phillies Nation News Mentions

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Why the Phillies WILL Make the Playoffs Again

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, August 31, 2010 04:04 PM Comments: 19

Today, I got the opportunity to write a guest post over on Yahoo! Sports’ great baseball blog, Big League Stew. ‘Duk and the gang let me post a follow-up to yesterday’s post by Alex Remington that the Braves would make the postseason. I felt the need to back up our fair team, even though last night may not have been the perfect time (or maybe it was, who knows).

Here’s a tidbit of what I wrote:

Been There, Done That: In 2007, the Phillies fought tooth and nail until the final day of the season and made the playoffs. In 2008, they rode past the Mets in the latter stages of the season and blew through the playoffs for their first World Series title in 28 years. In 2009, another National League Championship banner was raised.

This club understands what it takes to reach the postseason and what it takes to become a winner when the check comes due. With their backs against the wall, this crew consisting of Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Werth seem to play their best baseball. September is on the doorstep, a month in which the Phils have done some damage.

In each of the past three seasons, the Phils have won 17 games in September. Offensively, there is hope.Ryan Howard is a career .314 hitter in the final month, mashing a total of 52 home runs with 141 RBI in 162 games. Halladay follows suit to end the year; his career ERA is 3.32, but in September that drops nearly a full run to 2.36.

Click here to read the rest of the “Why the Phillies will make the playoffs” on Big League Stew.

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News Mentions from Opening Day in DC

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, April 14, 2010 03:55 PM Comments: 0

As you may have heard, the crush of Phillies fans that traveled to Washington, DC for Opening Day made some headlines – including our bus trip specifically. The Philly media really tried to capture the excitement surrounding the start of a season with high expectations; the tone was much different coming out of DC. The Washington Post as well as Nats bloggers vilified the Nationals organization for allowing the takeover to occur. This only stoked the flames of outrage sparked by Nationals fans who were quick to blame the organization and Phillies fans; but of course, did not consider their own apathy and naivety.

Here are a few of the stories:

Nationals Park infiltrated by Phillies fans on opening dayWashington Post Sports Front Page

Some final thoughts on the Phillies fans from Nationals opening dayWashington Post Nats Blog

Metro Philadelphia: Phils fans hit the road for openerMetro Philadelphia

Phield Trip! Thousands of Phillies fans invade Nationals Park – Big League Stew, Yahoo! Sports, by Michelle O’Malley (bus trip participant)

Oddities on Opening Day in Big Win for Phillies – Notes from the Diamond

The Phillies fan invasion was orchestrated by the Nationals – Yahoo! Front Page, Big League Stew

Phillies Nation story on Yahoo homepage

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Some final thoughts on the Phillies fans from Nationals opening day

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, April 14, 2010 11:51 AM Comments: 8

by Adam Kilgore
Nationals Journal
Washington Post Nationals Blog

The only obvious thing about all those Phillies fans from opening day is the anger. A lot of Nationals fans who attended believe the presence of so many visiting fans spoiled their opening day, and a good number of them are under the impression that the Nationals aided and abetted the interlopers.

Definitely, I can say the Nationals did not discourage them. After that, I think it gets kind of complicated. What should the Nationals have done? Should the Nationals have turned away large groups from Philly? Should they have sold fewer groups seats, period?

There are two viewpoints that probably cut to both sides of those questions. A Nationals fan named Daniel Furth e-mailed the Post yesterday and called Monday, “the worst baseball experience ever.” He’s the fan I talked to for the story in the birdcage liner. He goes to about 20 games each year and he usually brings with him a small group of people.

“I just think that they are really short-sighted about how to build a fan base,” Furth said. “Sure, they’re getting revenue and they’re selling tickets. But building a fan base would have been making sure these tickets were available to people all over the D.C. area.”

Another viewpoint comes from a Phillies fan named Brian Michael, who I also talked to for the story. In 2004 he started a Web site, Phillies Nation, that has turned into one of the more prominent fan blogs. He organized one of the bus trips. He said he doesn’t make much money off of them, he just does it for fun, the same reason he started his site.

“If Nats fans simply organized themselves into a group of 25 people, they can purchase group tickets just like all the other groups (including Phillies groups),” Michael wrote in an e-mail after we spoke on the phone. “So, if you are a fair weather fan that just wants to go to the important games, then you have no right complaining. … The Nats ticket office doesn’t do anything egregiously out of the ordinary. … if you care enough about the team to go to Cincinnati game on July 21, then you’ll find a way to get tickets to Opening Day (e.g. the Nats will offer them). If you don’t care that much, then you can’t complain about not getting to Opening Day. Phillies fans care and we fill stadiums both home and away.”

That’s another way to look at it, which I’m sure will produce more anger. The bottom line is probably this: Whatever the Nationals did or did not do, a lot of their fans left opening day, really, really mad at them, and how can that be good?

For further context, I also wanted to include the e-mail back-and-forth I had with Stan Kasten. The transcript is after the jump.

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Nationals Park infiltrated by Phillies fans on opening day

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, April 14, 2010 11:47 AM Comments: 2

By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 7, 2010; D01

Before the Philadelphia Phillies clobbered the Nationals, 11-1, Monday, their fans scored an even more resounding blow. A significant portion of the 42,190 in attendance for opening day rooted for the away team, creating an adverse atmosphere for Nationals players and making some Nationals fans feel like visitors in their home park.

A Phillies fan named Brian Michael said it “felt like a home game.” Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman called it “a statement of where we’ve got to get to.” And NationalsEnquirer.com, a prominent Nationals fan blog, called the day “one of the low points in the brief history of the Washington Nationals.”

The phenomenon of a visiting team’s fans infiltrating the opposing stadium is not unique to the Nationals, particularly in the cozy Northeast corridor. Camden Yards in Baltimore has earned the nickname “Fenway South” from years of Boston Red Sox fans packing the park for Orioles games. But the raiding of Nationals Park on opening day stung District fans.

“I don’t think any of us care about losing 11-1,” said Daniel Furth, a Nationals fan who attended. “But, really, to me, the atmosphere just ruined opening day. It just completely ruined it.”

The Nationals did not discourage Phillies fans from coming in droves. If anything, the team may have encouraged them.

In December, Michael received a phone call from Bree Parker, a senior account executive in the Nationals group ticket sales office. She wanted to know if Michael needed to reserve tickets so he could watch his favorite team on opening day.

Michael appreciated the call. For the past four years, Michael had been arranging bus trips to Phillies away games through his Web site, PhilliesNation.com. Michael had also tried planning trips to Citi Field in New York for Mets games, and he always found them “annoying” to deal with. Michael already knew Parker from when she helped him the previous year. This winter, he did not even need to call, he said.

“They reached out to us,” Michael said. “They were able to meet our needs for the tickets. It wasn’t too much of a hassle or anything.”

Michael secured about 530 tickets. Monday morning, he packed 275 people on five busses that motored south on Interstate 95. They parked in a lot they had rented thanks to a referral from Parker, who was away from her office Tuesday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.

Nationals Director of Ticket Operations Derek Younger referred questions to a team spokesman.

“We sell season tickets and book groups all winter long,” Nationals President Stan Kasten wrote in an e-mail. “For every game of the season. All of this is before any individual tickets go on sale. Most of our groups are local. Some are from out of town. It’s really that simple.”

The Nationals took deposits for group sales — 25 tickets is the threshold — beginning in November and started selling those tickets Jan. 4. When individual tickets went on sale March 2, seats for opening day — aside from the 400 $5 seats the Nationals hold back for every game — sold out in seven minutes.

The hordes from Philadelphia left many Nationals fans with an impression that the organization had sold droves of tickets to Phillies fans at the expense of Nationals fans who wanted to buy tickets but could not.

“By making them available to fans in Philly, they were no longer available in D.C.,” Furth said. “They have seven minutes worth of tickets available. People in Philly, they had 20,000. They had lots more than seven minutes.”

A sampling of other teams’ policies shows a narrower gap between when group sales and individual sales begin. The Tampa Bay Rays sell put their group and individual tickets on sale on the same day in February. Orioles group tickets went on sale in mid-January, and their individual tickets started selling at the end of January.

The Nationals said the raiding of Nationals Park was not a product of policies that favor opposing fans, but rather another growing pain for a franchise five years old and coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons.

“As anyone who has watched bad teams turn into good teams, in any sport, these problems dissipate as teams improve, as home teams’ followers get more numerous and more enthusiastic,” Kasten said.

Kasten also said the nature of Phillies fans contributed to the feeling Monday at Nationals Park. He said that Red Sox fans had attended in even greater numbers Saturday for an exhibition game, but there was a “tangible, qualitative difference in the two crowds.”

But there also is a difference between how hometown fans feel during an exhibition and their team’s opener. In Baltimore, the Orioles make opening day tickets available only to their own season-tickets holders. Even if the Orioles played the Red Sox, an official in the Orioles ticket office said, their park could not be overrun on opening day.

During pregame introductions at Nationals Park Monday, Phillies fans booed Nationals staff and players and chanted “Sucks!” after the public announcer bellowed each name.

“That was impressive,” Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth said. “It felt like all of right field was only Phillies fans. This kind of started to be our home away from home a little bit.”

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Metro Philadelphia: Phils fans hit the road for opener

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, April 14, 2010 11:44 AM Comments: 2

Metro Philadelphia

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