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Writer’s Roundtable

Writer’s Roundtable – Home Run Derby Predictions

Posted by Don M, Mon, July 14, 2014 06:20 PM Comments: 10

The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby is tonight (8 p.m. on ESPN); live from Target Field in Minneapolis. MLB.com explained the new format to this year’s Derby:

…featuring 10 players who will get seven outs per round, with bracketed play after the first round.Five players from each league will bat in the opening round, with seven outs instead of the previous ten. The player who hits the most homers in each league will automatically receive a bye to the third round (semifinals). The next two players from each league with the most homers will square off against one another in a head-to-head matchup in the second round.The winners of these matchups will advance to the third round to compete against the league’s top seed. The final round will feature the winners of the American and National League semifinals going head-to-head to determine the winner of the event, won last year at Citi Field by Yoenis Cespedes of the A’s.

It means a player who has an unconscious first round — and thus a serious workout — will have a nice breather by sitting out the second round.

National League:
Captain: Troy Tulowitzki – COL – 21 HR
Giancarlo Stanton – MIA – 21 HR
Todd Frazier – CIN – 19 HR
Justin Morneau – COL – 13 HR
Yasiel Puig –LAD – 12 HR

American League:
Captain: Jose Bautista – TOR – 17 HR
Josh Donaldson – OAK – 20 HR
Brian Dozier – MIN – 18 HR
Adam Jones – BAL – 16 HR
Yoenis Cespedes – OAK – 14 HR

Our Picks:

Don McGettigan – Jose Bautista over Yasiel Puig
Pat Egan – Giancarlo Stanton over Brian Dozier
Pat Gallen – Giancarlo Stanton over Josh Donaldson
Ian Riccaboni – Yoenis Cespedes
Jon Nisula – Giancarlo Stanton over Yoenis Cespedes
Alex Lee – Justin Morneau over Yasiel Puig
R.C. Cowie – Josh Donaldson over Giancarlo Stanton

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Writer’s Roundtable: Who Should We Blame For This Mess?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, July 10, 2014 11:07 AM Comments: 8

As you’ve probably heard by now Ruben Amaro Jr. was on 97.5 The Fanatic a few days ago with Mike Missanelli and said of the team’s struggles –

“We’re all in this thing together. We all share our equal blame for what’s going on.”

Do you agree with Amaro? If not, who do you think deserves most of the blame for the state of the Phillies organization: Amaro, Dave Montgomery, Ryne Sandberg, Scouts/Development, the players?

Ian Riccaboni: I used to play a lot of cards, which I, thankfully, have put behind me. In gambling, however, one thing I learned was that if you are going to make a bet, put your money on the most likely scenario and avoid betting long shots. In some regards, Amaro did this well, turning prospects into Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. With the benefit of hindsight, these trades are remarkable and show a knack for knowing that prospects don’t always pan out. Amaro was able to do this while replenishing his system through the draft and making smart international signings. But where Amaro got caught was when he let the candle burn at both ends: while he bet on his prospects to not pan out and won, and won big mind you, he cleared the war chest dry and now the Astros are enjoying the fruits of his staff’s labor while simultaneously betting on long shots like Raul Ibanez remaining a productive player through age 40, giving Placido Polanco a three-year deal, and giving extensions to aging core pieces.

Really, I believe that the blood is on Amaro’s hands, even if the moves were made at the directive and with the blessing of David Montgomery. In September 2011, Chuck LaMarr quietly stepped away from the team. There is no coincidence there: all of the top-notch talent he developed had just been traded away. Who signed off on those moves? Amaro. Whether it is right to assign the blame there or not, Montgomery isn’t going anywhere.

Patrick J. Egan: I think Amaro’s statement is a cop out. You can’t blame Ryan Howard because YOU gave him the contract and his ankle/Achilles blew out. You can’t blame scouting because they found good players, you just traded them away (*cough Hunter Pence cough*). And you can’t blame anyone for the fact that when forced to trade talent like Shane Victorino, Pence, & Cliff Lee you got nothing in return. Ruben Amaro has done a masterful job of turning a once proud organization into a black hole of hope for the future. But then again he has managed to turn the Houston Astros into a “team to watch” in the next few years so what the hell do I know.

Jon Nisula: Overall, I think Amaro deserves the majority of the blame. You could argue that he was dealt a difficult hand with injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and a career ending one to Roy Halladay, along with a suspension for catcher Carlos Ruiz, and a severely underperforming Domonic Brown. But what he didn’t do was make necessary moves to compensate for these and other things. It’s like he was in denial, not seeing what was happening right in front of him. I think most of us saw the decline coming, and with the lack of moves to avoid it, RAJ simply let it happen, which is why he should take most of the blame.

Robert Cowie: I find it preposterous that Ruben Amaro Jr. surmises that the oft-injured, declining production, core group of players coming into this season are somehow performing at such a low caliber as a surprise to him. Ryan Howard will continue to be a payroll albatross whilst in Philadelphia. When Amaro decided he wanted to keep Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley in Philadelphia well past their prime playing years, the supporting cast he continually surrounds them with has been disappointing. It’s hard to argue against any player, i.e. employee, when management offers you above market value for what you’ve accomplished in the past and not what you’re capable of producing in the present and future. For Amaro, he needed to identify this and provide the aging core with player who can pick up their slack offensively. There is no other reason to explain extending Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley if that wasn’t going to be the plan to begin with. When the contributors at Phillies Nation looked at the 2014 Phillies coming home from Clearwater they predicted an average win total of 76 games. Currently, they are projected to win only 69.

Alex Lee: It’s hard to blame anyone but Ruben without knowing the inner workings of the Phillies front office. I laughed to myself on Monday when the stories were written about how disappointed he is with the offense. Really? Who has performed below expectations on offense? Domonic Brown and…? Dom’s performance has stung, but it hasn’t been close to the difference between contention and their current state. Anyone who thinks Ryan Howard has underperformed this season hasn’t been watching him the past three years. The truth is that they’ve gotten healthy and predictable seasons from most of the lineup and they still rank in the bottom five in the league in all of the meaningful categories. This all goes back to the idea that this Phillies front office has no idea what produces runs. Or wins. That is the problem in South Philadelphia.

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Writers Roundtable: Can Adams, Hamels, Ruf Help?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, April 16, 2014 07:29 AM Comments: 15

mike-adamsQuestion: The Phillies are currently 6-7, do you think they’ll stay around the .500-mark all season or will the return of guys like Mike Adams, Cole Hamels, and Darin Ruf make a real difference?

Don McGettigan (@DonM409): The Phillies have done some unexpected things in the first two weeks of the season: leading the NL in On-Base Percentage, 2nd in the NL in Batting Average, 3rd in Hits, but they’re among the worst teams in many Pitching and Fielding stats. It all balances out in the end and the Phillies will find ways to beat themselves easier than they’ll find ways to beat their opponents. They’re lucky to play in the NL East with the equally sorry Mets and Marlins, but I still think this team has too difficult a road ahead to finish above .500.

Jon Nisula (@JNisula): Baseball is a funny game. A couple years ago, a 6-7 start would’ve been a disappointment. But this year, with the expectations significantly lower, 6-7 is causing some optimism in Philadelphia–especially after a sweep of the Marlins that included a win over José Fernández. The Phillies will get some more help, too, with some important players coming off the DL. However, Chase Utley is going to cool off, and I still don’t trust the guys in this lineup to continue to get on base as much as they have. I think the Phils will struggle to stay at .500 as the season progresses, but I won’t rule it out. Tommy Lasorda once said, “No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.” Taking that wisdom, and remembering that it is a long season, I’ll keep an open mind with this team. Because, hey, baseball is a funny game.

Eric Seidman (@EricSeidman): I’m sticking to my guns on this one – the Phillies will hover around the .500 mark for most of the season, but a key injury or two will cause them to lose a lot of games late in the year. They’ll finish with 74-78 wins even though, for most of the season, they looked like they could potentially compete for a playoff spot.

Continue reading Writers Roundtable: Can Adams, Hamels, Ruf Help?

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Writers Roundtable: Sandberg Over-Managing?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, April 10, 2014 10:45 AM Comments: 5

(MLB photo)

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Phillies Nation is asking our readers to offer suggestions for our weekly “Writer’s Roundtable” series. You can submit your questions to Don McGettigan via Twitter (@DonM409) each Sunday during the 2014 season. If your question is selected you will be the winner of a Phillies Nation Prize Pack and be entered into a drawing for a Shibe Vintage Sports Gift Card! Shibe Vintage Sports is located at 137 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (between Walnut & Chestnut).

——————-

Question: Many fans openly questioned Ryne Sandberg’s handling of the bullpen and the lineup in the first week of the season; is there anything he did that causes you concern? Anything he did you think was a smart move early in the season?

Don McGettigan (@DonM409): I am still baffled by the infield alignment in Jonathan Papelbon’s blown save in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. One out, runners on 1st and 3rd, there is no reason that the middle infield shouldn’t be at double-play depth. I’m not really a Papelbon fan to begin with, and I’m far from a Papelbon defender, but the defensive alignment could’ve helped win that game. I think this was an example of Sandberg over-managing.

Pat Egan (@Pat_Egan): I don’t have a problem with anything he’s done. I actually like that he’s shifted the lineup around. Charlie Manuel had a tendency to stay TOO loyal to guys (Ryan Howard always batting cleanup since ‘08 is an example). By shifting him out, batting him 5th, it sends the message that this is a new team and Sandberg has no ties to these players. The same goes with the bullpen. I don’t mind how he’s handled it because I generally think he wants to see how these guys handle certain situations. It’s somewhat harder to evaluate guys in meaningless games in March, than meaningful situations in April. In Sandberg we trust.

Kenny Ayres (@KennyAyres8): I have no problem with the lineups. It’s not like he is switching things around just for the sake of switching things around. He put in some righties against left-handed pitchers and experimented with some things when Jimmy Rollins was at home. It is early, and he will settle into a more routine lineup when he sees how guys will perform (i.e. leaving Rollins at two, or maybe putting Carlos Ruiz two).

I don’t really have problem with the bullpen use either. It was a bit strange in that Texas series when he put Mario Hollands in and didn’t use any righties those first two games, but aside from that it’s the same type of thing as the lineup- he is seeing what he has in certain situations.

Continue reading Writers Roundtable: Sandberg Over-Managing?

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Writer’s Roundtable: What’s Surprising About the Phillies?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, March 24, 2014 02:04 PM Comments: 29

Chase Utley

Chase hasn’t done much this spring. Is that worrisome? (MLB)

Tweet a question, Win a prize!

Phillies Nation is asking our readers to offer suggestions for our weekly “Writer’s Roundtable” series. You can submit your question to Donald McGettigan via Twitter (@DonM409) each Sunday during the 2014 season. If your question is selected you will be the winner of a Phillies Nation Prize Pack and be entered into a drawing for a Shibe Vintage Sports Gift Card! Shibe Vintage Sports is located at 137 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (between Walnut & Chestnut).

Question: What has surprised you the most about the Phillies thus far in Spring Training?

Don McGettigan (@DonM409): The biggest surprise to me has been the lack of offense from Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard (hitting .211, .196, and .245 respectively). It’s not that I expected great numbers, or some complete rejuvenation, but I anticipated that the heart of the lineup would buy into the plea for better at bats from the coaching staff. The only chance this team has to contend is to get production from the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup, and so far the intended lineup just hasn’t shown anything worth getting excited about.

Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidman): The biggest surprise for me has been Mario Hollands, the Phillies’ towering lefty pitcher who wasn’t even protected in the Rule 5 draft, but who has a genuine shot to make the team out of camp. Hollands could be an X-factor this year because of his versatility. He could be a long reliever, a spot starter, or a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy). Why not give that all-purpose role to a guy like Hollands who has a mid-90s fastball and some upside, rather than a Jeff Manship or a Sean O’Sullivan or a Shawn Camp?

Jon Nisula (@JNisula): My biggest surprise is the Jimmy Rollins saga. One of the best players in Phillies history is being treated like a villain in already one of the worst offseasons in recent history. Regardless of what side you’re on with the J-Roll thing, this is just a horrible way to go into the season.

Pat Gallen (@PatGallen_975): Actually, the most surprising part of Spring Training has been the absolute lack of any mojo or juice pertaining to the team. No one is talking about the team in a positive way. You might say that isn’t surprising given the lack of good baseball over the past two seasons, but it still surprises me.

That falls more on the players. Very few Phillies have given us anything positive to report. But what’s surprising is that normally a player or two will jump off the page at you in a given Spring Training by hitting .400, smashing eight homers, or just being a complete unknown that turns heads. Corey describes Mario Hollands as that guy, but even he has pretty much flown under the radar.

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: What’s Surprising About the Phillies?

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Writer’s Roundtable: Should the Phillies give Chase Utley an extension?

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, July 25, 2013 04:25 PM Comments: 12

Rumors started flying this morning that the Phillies might be nearing a contract extension with Chase Utley. Is this a wise move for the organization? What combination of years-and-dollars would you be comfortable with the Phillies offering Utley?

Chase Utley Jon Nisula: A Chase Utley extension would make sense from Ruben Amaro Jr.’s perspective, but I don’t think it would be right for the club. From Amaro’s point of view, re-signing Utley would mean keeping around the biggest fan favorite and one of the better 2B’s in the league for a few more years. It would do a lot for the PR of the club. But this team needs to rebuild to get back to being perennial contenders, and if trading Utley right now could mean a chance at bringing in the next Jimmy Rollins, that’s the move that’s best for the club.

Pat Gallen: I think it is a wise move, especially knowing that Ruben Amaro will never be a full seller. As our guy Ryan Dinger pointed out on twitter, Utley, if he qualified, would be 5th in baseball among second basemen with a 3.2 WAR. The guy can still flat out play. The hard part is what to offer.

If you re-up Utley, I think you have to trade Jimmy Rollins. You can’t have 3/4 of your infield as aging, breaking-down players making $10 million-plus each. Utley/Howard or Rollins/Howard is enough. That said, I cannot give Utley a third year guarantee. I go 2 years, $32 million with a $10 million vesting option based on plate appearances and not ending up on the DL, similar to what they gave Rollins. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that Amaro has gone overboard on the extra year on deals with several aging players. Now is the time to stay away from that. But overall, bringing Utley back is not a bad thing, provided the price is right. Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: Should the Phillies give Chase Utley an extension?

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Writers Roundtable: How Many All Stars?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, June 12, 2013 01:30 PM Comments: 15

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Which Phillie(s) should make the National League All-Star team?  How would you feel about Domonic Brown potentially participating in the 2013 Home Run Derby?  And lastly, do you have any problem with the Phillies organization asking fans to vote for ALL of the team’s position players, or with fans that vote only for Phillies players?

Eric Seidman: Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown should make the All-Star team from the Phillies, with Jonathan Papelbon being a potential selection as well, as the game means something and there are few closers better. A pitching staff with Chapman, Kimbrel and Pap at the back end would be awfully intimidating. I would have no issue with Brown participating in the home run derby, as my own studies have shown that there is no such thing as ‘the home run derby effect’. Though many Phillies fans will swear that the HRD messed up Bobby Abreu‘s swing, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the derby really impacts player performance moving forward. My personal take on voting is to vote for whoever you want, with the current understanding that if the Phillies somehow made it to the World Series, the All Star Team would be better suited to provide home field advantage if other team’s players were on it.

Ian Riccaboni: There are three no-brainers and one fringe candidate right now, which is kind of strange for a team under .500 but speaks to how top-heavy the talent is. Cliff Lee is a true Cy Young candidate and should absolutely be in the All-Star game, as should closer Jonathan Papelbon. Dom Brown, the NL leader in HR, should be in the game as well. Finally, Kyle Kendrick is on the periphery but likely doesn’t get in. He’s 19th in ERA and 29th in FIP in the NL so he should be in the mix but ultimately shouldn’t get in.
Continue reading Writers Roundtable: How Many All Stars?

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Writer’s Roundtable: Buying or Selling at the Deadline?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 23, 2013 07:36 PM Comments: 16

It might seem a bit early, but the MLB trade market will start developing soon, so imagine for a moment that you are the Phillies General Manager. Which players are you actively shopping at this year’s trade deadline? Are there any players in the organization that you would consider “unavailable” if another team came calling? Or are you waiting until a certain date, or a certain “games behind” point in the standings to determine your team’s fate?

Alex Lee: Assuming the Phillies are still in the mix for a playoff spot, the obvious name to look at is Michael Young. While M.Y. has no doubt been solid for the Phils, he is replaceable between Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis, especially if he can bring you a bullpen piece for the stretch run. If the Phils fade out of the playoff race come July, I would make everyone on the major league roster available except for Cole Hamels and Domonic Brown. Even if this team somehow makes the playoffs, this offense is putrid and needs a complete overhaul.

Jon Nisula: I think that it would be in the Phillies best interest to get value for some of their best players at the trade deadline this year. I would shop Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Michael Young, and anyone else that a contender might be looking for to fill the farm system with some good prospects.

Pat Gallen: It’s hard to pinpoint just one name, but I’m probably shopping Jonathan Papelbon. He can get you a decent haul in return and while the team will likely have to eat a little bit of money on his deal, it shouldn’t be too much. Now, it’s all about finding the right match. Only a handful of teams are in a position to take on big money at the closer spot. Where would that be? Detroit? Could Pap go back to Boston? Would Texas bolster an already strong bullpen? It may not be easy to unload him, but if the Phillies can find a match, he’s the first guy you have to look to move.

Don McGettigan: Regardless of where the Phillies are in the standings in July, I think it’s time to face the reality that this is not a World Series caliber team. Being that they likely can’t win a championship with this current roster, it’s easy to see that it’s time for a complete overhaul. So if I was the GM, I’d be on the phone yesterday letting teams know that any player in the last year of their deal (Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Michael Young, Delmon Young, and Laynce Nix) are readily available at this year’s trade deadline. And I would gauge the interest in anyone on the roster not named Cole Hamels.

Trades my be tough for the Phillies to make though, as I don’t think any team would take on Ryan Howard’s salary, nor do I think that Jimmy Rollins would waive his 10-and-5 no-trade rights (a player with 10 years in Majors, the last 5 with his current team) for any teams other than select few in Southern California (specifically Oakland or San Francisco). Interesting names to follow this July are Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee. Lee is potentially the top starting pitcher available, and Papelbon would likely be the best reliever on the market. The fact that both players are under contract past this season would likely make them more desirable than “rental” players, however, due to their high salaries the Phillies would likely have to eat a hefty portion of their contracts to make any deal work. The other thing to note is that even though a team would have these players for half-a-season less, it might serve the Phillies better to trade Lee and/or Papelbon in the offseason, when their trading partner might be more willing to send MLB-ready talent in return, as opposed to lower-level prospects at the deadline.

If the Phillies are willing to swallow their pride, they might be able to turn this organization into a young, up-and-coming team again in the next few years, but that process needs to starts now.

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Writer’s Roundtable: Players Past and Present

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, April 25, 2013 09:06 PM Comments: 22

(sports.ca)

Q: Who was your favorite non-Phillies player growing up? And who is your favorite non-Phillie today?

Amanda Orr:

Ken Griffey, Jr. was my favorite non-Phillie player as a kid. He was always my top pick in Backyard Baseball on the computer.
Now, my favorite non-Phillie is David Wright. He plays the game the right way. He’s talented. Id say he has been loyal to his team despite how bad the Mets have been.

Jon Nisula:

My favorite non-Phillies player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. He had such a sexy swing and had the numbers to go with it. Whenever I would hit batting practice as a kid, I’d turn my hat backwards to be like Griffey Jr. He’s probably my favorite of all-time as well.My favorite non-Phillie today has got to be Mike Trout. Again, he has somewhat of a local connection, and he absolutely mashed the ball last year. I hope he had a long, successful career.

Don McGettigan:

My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. He was the most exciting player in the game for years, with one of the sweetest swings of all time, and the ability to make a defensive highlight every single night. Injuries robbed Griffey Jr of some of his prime years, but he’ll still be one of the best ever in my mind.

The current player that I love to watch is from a team we love to hate, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. He’s played about an entire extra season worth of postseason games in his career and Jeter always seemed to turn his game up when it mattered most. I’m going to miss him when he’s gone.

Ian Riccaboni:

Ken Griffey Jr. was absolutely my favorite non-Phillies baseball player growing up. He had it all: power, speed, highlight reel catches. He was the man. I used to blow huge Big League Chew bubbles with my hat turned backwards – I wanted to be just like The Kid.

My current favorite non-Phillie? I love watching Craig Kimbrel pitch. There’s not a better closer in the game – he’s fearless! When you see Kimbrel come in the game, you know the game is over. As a Phillie fan, it’s disheartening to watch knowing that a division rival has the best closer in the game since Mariano Rivera.

Eric Seidman:

My favorite player of all-time, regardless of team affiliation, is Greg Maddux. To borrow a wrestling nickname, he was the excellence of execution, and I always enjoyed watching him dissect an opponent with guile and acumen more than brute pitching force.

As for active non-Phillies, I would have to go with Bryce Harper. He seems like the kind of guy we’re supposed to dislike, but he is flat out awesome, plays the game the way it should be played and displays maturity and smarts beyond his years.

Brian Michael:

My favorite player growing up was Roger Clemens. My first little league team at Torresdale Boys Club was the Red Sox, so I started following them and the Rocket was clearly one of their best players. I collected hundreds of his baseball cards and loved how dominating he was as a pitcher. Once he left the Red Sox, I stopped rooting for him so much.

My favorite non-Phillie currently is Mike Trout. I like watching someone dominate the game and perform new and unique feats, especially in the field. And of course, you always root for the local guys.

Jay Floyd:

As a youngster I watched baseball as much as I could and that meant watching the Mets on New York’s WWOR channel 9. As a fan of hitters, I recall Howard Johnson striking me as a guy that seemed likeable and easy to root for. Johnson was an All-Star slugger and a leader on those Mets teams of the late 80′s and early 90′s.

I don’t particularly have favorite players at this point (curse the media side of things for making me try to act professional!), but a player I would pay money to see is Derek Jeter. He’s a stand out. A class act. A legend. And besides, Jim Thome isn’t considered active right now, so I can’t answer with him, right?

Ryan Dinger:

Growing up, my favorite non-Phillie was The Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. Kids tend to marvel at the long ball, and no one did it better than Thomas in the 90s. As time goes on, and we learn more and more about the era in which he played, Thomas’ name has stayed out of the papers. I cannot recall a single steroid accusation against him. That makes his impressive bat all the more amazing.

Today, my favorite non-Phillie is Mike Trout (I love the local guys). But a close second is Miguel Cabrera. Miggy has put up year after year of Hall of Fame caliber numbers, and, until his Triple Crown last year, he always seemed to be flying under the radar–at least for how good he is.

Alex Lee:

Kirby Puckett for me, without a doubt. I was seven years old for the 1991 World Series, which was an all-time great Fall Classic and the first one I can vividly remember following. Between his amazing catch against the Plexiglas wall and his walk-off home run in Game 6… not to mention beating the hated Atlanta Braves… I was hooked. His reputation was tarnished a bit before his death, but I will always remember him for his playing days.

Today my favorite player is Troy Tulowitzki. The guy just flat out does it all at a premium position. An infielder with that type of power and plate discipline is usually destined for third base. Not only did Tulow stick at shortstop, but he is a plus defender there. If he can get his health in check, he is a perennial MVP candidate.

Corey Seidman:

Favorite non-Phillie ever? The easy answer is Ken Griffey Jr. because every kid born around my time (1989) grew up idolizing Griffey. But for novelty’s sake I’ll go with Roberto Alomar, the smoothest second baseman of his day and one of the best ever. His prime lasted a decade and he hit .315 during it.

Pat Gallen:

My favorite non-Phillie growing up was Edgar Martinez. As a kid, my friends and I would follow the Mariners because of Ken Griffey Jr., but for some reason Edgar Martinez always stood out. It was that smooth stroke and odd batting stance. Martinez being a DH also drew me to him. As a 10 year old kid, that was something cool and different, something we didn’t have in the NL. Weird, I know. But I was 10.

Favorite non-Phillie presently is a two-horse race. Joey Votto doesn’t wow you, but he does everything so well. And Andrew McCutchen is a guy I’d love to see on the Phils. His hard-nosed style stands out to me. Sorry I can’t pick just one.

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Writer’s Roundtable: Favorite Baseball Movies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, April 13, 2013 09:20 AM Comments: 14

Q: “42” a film about the life of Jackie Robinson opens in theaters this weekend, which got me to wondering: What are some of your favorite baseball movies and why?

Amanda Orr: The Sandlot! One of my all time favorite movies. I watched it all the time as a kid. It’s a movie I have to watch at least once every summer. Not only is it funny and has some great lines, but it taught me who Babe Ruth was when I was young.

Eric Seidman: For me it’s a tie.  From a rewatchability standpoint, you can’t beat The Sandlot, which is just a terrific feel-good movie and not a “kids” movie but rather a great baseball movie about kids.  From a technical standpoint I’ll take 61* any and every day of the week over everything else.  It has great performances from Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper and a really informative behind-the-scenes look at that season. This movie doesn’t get a lot of love as it was an HBO original movie, but all non-Sandlot baseball movies I’ve seen pale in comparison.

Pat Gallen: It’s Mr. Baseball with Tom Selleck and it’s not even close. The mustache alone is worthy of 3 stars out of 4. Plus, in the movie, Selleck’s character led the team in 9th inning doubles in the month of August. Quite a feat. And, Dennis Haysbert from Major League is in it!  In all seriousness, it’s Major League, the original. Bob Uecker is hysterical and makes the film what it is. And who wouldn’t want a skip like Lou Brown?
Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: Favorite Baseball Movies

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