January 30, 2016 |
Matt Klentak, in his first winter at the head of a baseball operations department, wanted to learn how companies manage information. The 35-year-old Phillies general manager surveyed people in baseball, other sports, and some with zero connections to the game. How, he asked, do you implement analytics into decisions? Those talks led him to Andy Galdi, a 30-year-old Google employee who was hired Thursday as the Phillies' first-ever director of baseball research and development. "He's the perfect guy to help grow us forward in this area," Klentak said.
October 30, 2015 |
Scan the room and you could see some old and familiar faces. Always friendly Joe Giles, the Phillies' longtime director of ballpark enterprises and business development as well as the son of chairman emeritus Bill, had a front-row seat Monday for new general manager Matt Klentak's introductory news conference at Citizens Bank Park. Equally affable father Bill, now 81 and nearly two decades removed from his role as the franchise's chief decision-maker, was a few rows back. He sat next to Pat Gillick, whose time as team president officially expired earlier this month.
September 9, 2015 |
IF A TREE falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If two bad baseball teams get together on a holiday evening for a game, does anyone care? If the Phillies have a home game scheduled at the same time as the Eagles' season opener, will anyone show up? These are the questions you find yourself pondering while the Phillies dropped their 85th loss of the season on Labor Day to the equally awful Atlanta Braves. Freddie Freeman launched Aaron Harang's 10th pitch of the night over the leftfield fence for a home run to help fuel Atlanta to a 7-2 victory over the Phillies last night.
August 26, 2015 |
TO MANY in baseball, Pat Gillick's hire as the Phillies' general manager in late 2005 signaled impending doom for the brief tenure of manager Charlie Manuel. It was just a matter of time before he would be replaced, until the savvy Gillick could get a lay of the land and bring in one of those big-name managers for whom everyone clamored. And when Gillick's first move was to trade Manuel's protégé, Jim Thome, to the White Sox? Well, you probably couldn't even have found a bookie to take a bet on ol' Chuck after that.
August 21, 2015 |
EVERYONE KNOWS Chase Utley has uttered some memorable lines: "World [bleeping] champions," was the way he described his team to the tens of thousands who gathered at the parade for the Phillies in 2008. "Boo? [Bleep] you!" was his response to the jeering welcome he got at Yankee Stadium at the 2008 All-Star Game. But there have been some great quotes about Utley too. No one will ever top Harry Kalas' "Chase Utley you are the man!" But here are some other noteworthy quotes that have been said about Utley over the years: * Charlie Manuel: "You try telling Chase to take a day off and he has this look like you just killed his mother.
August 12, 2015 |
A FEW FRIENDS were speaking excitedly about the Phillies over the weekend and my non-sports-fan wife asked this: "So, can they still make the playoffs?" Not exactly, she was told. But they're not in last place anymore! She was not impressed. "When do the Eagles start?" she asked. And therein lies our collective civic dilemma. What, exactly, are the Phillies playing for? What, exactly, are we watching? The birth of a new, young, exciting team? Or the kind of fool's gold that those good Phillies teams of the last decade often ran into at this time of the year?
August 6, 2015 |
Before the Phillies threw open the gates and granted him his requested release, freeing him to play for a contending team, Jimmy Rollins delivered a dose of reality to Ruben Amaro Jr. that in time Amaro probably tired of hearing. Over his 15 seasons with the Phillies, for all the times he coasted out of the batter's box or arrived late to the ballpark or just let his intrinsic swagger get the better of him, Rollins still came away with the highest respect for his second and third managers in the majors: Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel.
July 21, 2015 |
THE VISUALIZATION wasn't working. Yesterday, the Phillies started their annual "Christmas in July" promotion when they ask fans to bring new, unwrapped toys to be donated to the Police Athletic League and Carson Valley Children's Aid - the toy drive, by the way, continues through the three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays that ends on Wednesday. Still, while Christmas music blared between innings, thoughts of December frost and snowflakes could not erase the fact it was one of the hottest days of the year, 95 degrees and rising.
July 8, 2015 |
LOS ANGELES - Jimmy Rollins entered the first Monday after Independence Day hitting .208. It's the first time he's flirted with the Mendoza line this late into a season since 2009, when he was hitting .212 on the summer holiday, about a week after Charlie Manuel benched him in Toronto in an attempt to wake up his slumping bat. The Phillies went to the World Series that season, however. The Phillies will not be going to the World Series this year. Before playing against his former team for the first time in his 16-year major league career, and hitting ninth in the lineup for first-place Los Angeles, Rollins sat in the dugout at Dodger Stadium and was flooded with questions about his former franchise.
June 29, 2015 |
When the Chicago Cubs bypassed Ryne Sandberg for a managerial vacancy immediately after Sandberg had been voted the triple-A Pacific Coast League's manager of the year for that organization in 2010, the back-channel reason given was that the Cubs didn't want to be in the position of having to fire a franchise legend. What general manager Jim Hendry, a protege of former team president Andy MacPhail, didn't explain, however, was why the Cubs were so sure they would have to. Sandberg never got the opportunity to be a franchise legend with the Phillies, the team that drafted him in 1978, but it is where he did get his chance to manage a major-league team, such as it was. That tenure ended Friday, when Sandberg resigned his position 22 months after replacing Charlie Manuel.