October 31, 2014 |
THE FREE-AGENT season opens for business with the conclusion of the World Series but doesn't begin to pick up until the first 2 weeks of November. Teams have until 5 days after the conclusion of the World Series - which means Monday night - to make qualifying offers to their own free agents. Those players have another week to mull over accepting those offers; players almost never accept, since the free-agent market is very often far more fruitful. The Phillies will know a little bit more about their own free-agent pursuits - their needs and their budget - when another deadline arrives on Monday.
October 23, 2014 |
WITH UNCERTAINTY on the major league staff and no one in the minor league system expected to compete for a starting job this spring, the Phillies re-signed veteran Jerome Williams last night. Williams, who joined the team in August, agreed to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal. The contract also includes performance bonuses. A native of Hawaii, Williams turns 33 in December. He would have been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series. Williams is likely to compete for one of the final slots in the Phillies' starting rotation when he reports to spring training.
October 17, 2014 |
REPLACE "DODGERS" with "Phillies" and see how it feels . . . Los Angeles Times : "Dodgers' hiring of executive Andrew Friedman signals a cultural shift. " ESPN.com: "Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman" Baseball Prospectus: "The Rich [Dodgers] Get Smarter" Anyway, heeeere's Johnny. (crickets) Johnny Almaraz. (crickets) You know, the Phillies' new amateur scouting director. Anyone? (crickets) Hey, he might be the best damn scouting director in the history of major league baseball.
October 10, 2014 |
BUSTER POSEY and Madison Bumgarner. Matt Adams and Trevor Rosenthal. Eric Hosmer and Yordano Ventura. Manny Machado and Zach Britton. The first two already have World Series rings with San Francisco, the second two helped lead a new wave of Cardinals into another World Series appearance 12 months ago, and the last four are all key contributors to the rousing successes in Kansas City and Baltimore this season. While 26 of baseball's 30 teams have hit the road, those eight players are still playing in the postseason.
October 8, 2014 |
Bill Campbell, a broadcaster who covered some of the greatest moments in Philadelphia sports history, died Monday at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. He was 91, and his career touched parts of nine decades. Mr. Campbell was a broadcaster for the Philadelphia Warriors/76ers, Phillies, and Eagles. Among his most famous broadcasts: the Eagles' NFL championship win over Green Bay in 1960 at Franklin Field and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game for the Warriors - still an NBA record - in 1962.
October 6, 2014 |
THREE KEY PLAYERS Ryan Howard. Just about everything the Phillies want to accomplish this winter hinges on Howard's future. He is owed $60 million. The Phillies will look to trade him, but could an outright release serve as a much-needed olive branch to disillusioned fans? Cole Hamels. Three teams have the prospects and the mind-set to execute a Hamels trade: the Cubs, Red Sox, and Dodgers. The Phillies will listen, but that does not make such a deal probable. Trading Hamels would admit a rebuild of at least two seasons, something the Phillies are reluctant to push.
October 3, 2014 |
THE DAMAGE is done, but the wounds are fresh from the Phillies' latest battle with irrelevance. The pain for fans will not fade until they know, finally, what moves the Phillies will make to correct consecutive 73-win seasons. It was their worst 2-year run since 1996-97, when managers Jim Fregosi and Terry Francona dealt with the Gregg Jefferies debacle. The pain will linger for quite a while. The players might expect change; ace Cole Hamels said as much after his last start, on Sunday.
September 30, 2014 |
Jimmy Rollins grabbed a microphone Sunday, minutes before the start of a 2-1 Phillies loss to Atlanta, and scanned Citizens Bank Park. He saw a stadium emptier than usual for a season finale. He saw his teammates, who were paid more than any Phillies team ever. Yet they slogged to a 73-89 season, the team's identical record from last season. The shortstop had to say something at this burial. "Before we're done this year, we'd like to say thank you for showing up," Rollins told the fans.
September 30, 2014 |
COLE HAMELS left Citizens Bank Park for the final time this season with a fat lip. He took a hard one-hopper off his face earlier in the day. "Sometimes," he said, "that happens. " It was the perfect souvenir from a season that was statistically the best of his career, but also forgettable since he had little to show for it when it all mercifully came to an end yesterday afternoon in South Philly. In the midst of retiring 20 straight Braves batters - and 24 of the final 25 he faced - Hamels took a comebacker off the bat of Tommy La Stella off his face to begin the second inning.