Results tagged ‘ Ruben Amaro Jr. ’
The Phillies season ended today in the same fashion they played throughout the year. There was no offense to be found and lackluster effort. The Phillies were 1 run away from a win with the 2-1 loss to the Braves; pitcher Cole Hamels was 1 win away from double-digit wins for the season; and Ben Revere ended the season 1 base short of 50 stolen bases on the year. Jimmy Rollins spoke before the game, telling fans, “Before we’re done this year, we’d like to say thank you for showing up. We know it was rough, but hopefully we made you guys smile.” Etch that on a tombstone and you have the Phillies 2014 eulogy.
As is tradition for the last home game of the year, today was dubbed “Fan Appreciation Day.” Players signed autographs and jested with fans cheerfully and prizes were given away.
But I’ll tell you when I will feel truly appreciated; when the tickets prices go down to a level worthy of watching a last place team. Don’t worry; I won’t hold my breath.
After all the happy exchanges, the game began and it was more of the same. Poor Cole Hamels did not get even 10 wins this year thanks to an absent offense. Adding insult to injury, Hamels had a team-leading 2 hits in the game but no one could drive him in. He even got whacked on the face with a batted ball and suffered a minor bloody lip. That about summed up his season.
The offense was so bad, players were literally throwing their bats away. Chase Utley, Maikel Franco and Braves pitcher James Russell all tossed their bats mid-swing at different points in the game. I guess they weren’t really using them anyway.
And so ends a dreary Phillies season with little hope for quick recovery. Oh sure, they fired Assistant GM Marti Wolever. But all that really means in Ruben Amaro Jr. keeps his job. And I guess more heads are going to roll, which is appropriate. But how much difference will it make and when? I hope to take a guess at answering some of those questions in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here is my final 2014 Photo Album. Here hoping for a happy off-season!
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Is Jerome Williams for real? After 3 starts with his third team of the year, Williams has 2 wins for the Phillies and a 1.77 ERA. He has out-pitched everyone on the Phils starting staff, including Cole Hamels. And on top of that, he even laid down a perfect safety squeeze in the 2nd inning, collecting only the 2nd RBI of his major league career. Williams has officially resurrected his previously dead career. And the Phillies went on to beat the Cardinals by a score of 7-4, taking 2 outs of 3 games in the series.
Another bright spot in this otherwise miserable season has been Ben Revere. All the Revere haters have now been silenced. Despite his weak arm, Revere worked hard and has improved his defense and is also now batting .314. He is in a 1st place tie for the best average in the National League with Justin Morneau. Although he can be frustrating at times, I had faith in Revere because he is a positive guy who always hustles and gives his best effort. The same cannot be said all of the Phillies outfielders. Keep it up, Ben! I am rooting for you!
Speaking of the outfield, can anyone tell me WHY Domonic Brown is still starting? Have we not yet seen enough? Whether he feels he is or not, Brown appears lazy and distracted in left field. His batting average is down to .226. It is time to give someone else a shot…it has been time for a while now. You have to wonder who is really calling the shots with the line-up; Ryne Sandberg or Ruben Amaro Jr.? If it is Sandberg, I have to seriously question his judgment. If it is Amaro, then Sandberg needs to stand up and explain to his GM that this is HIS team to run. Because this is getting very old.
Aside from that annoyance, the Phillies offense finally put some runs on the board, which was a nice change for a Sunday afternoon. Everyone except Ryan Howard had a hit and Jimmy Rollins smacked a 2-run homer.
The Phillies start a 3-game series with the Nationals Monday night. Maybe they can spoil the Nats 1st place fun? In the meantime, here is the Photo Album from today’s win.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
I hate to state the obvious, but this Phillies team just plain sucks. This fact has been made plainly evident after the Phils lost 4 of 5 games to the Mets in spectacularly bad fashion. The secret is out. When I was at the game on Sunday, the only reason I did not hear crickets in the stands was because of all the Mets fans there.
I cannot think of a single strength on this team. The pitching is impossible to predict, the defense is awful, base running seems like a mystery to these guys and the offense is practically non-existent. Even the attitudes suck. Just in the last week, we have witnessed veteran players making mental mistakes, lazy play, especially in the outfield, and a lot of “that’s baseball” comments after games. This team seems to have accepted that they suck and that is exactly how they are playing; like a defeated group with no hope of recovery.
I do not think the Phillies stand a chance this year. Still, they need to make some moves to, at the very least, appease what fans they have left. First, send Domonic Brown to the minors and bring back Darin Ruf to play left field. Brown has been lazing about in left and needs a reality check. Ruf deserves a shot. It doesn’t matter that his defense is not great because, really, where is this team going anyway? Nowhere. So give this guy some playing time.
Please send Phillippe Aumont back to the minors. Or better yet, give him away to another team for free. He does nothing but walk guys and give up home runs; last night’s grand slam was the final straw for me.
There are many other moves I would like to see, but some are just not possible. I still hear chants of “trade Ryan Howard.” To those people I say, good luck with that. No team would want him with his salary. I’d like to see the Phillies play a centerfielder better than Ben Revere, but who exactly would that be?
There are a few guys in the minors that may help at some point (Ken Giles, Maikel Franko), but why bring them up before they are ready? The team will still suck either way. And you then risk exposing them to what appears to be a negative clubhouse environment where older players are setting very bad examples for younger ones. Do you really want Franco to learn how to play with a total lack of urgency and swing at every pitch regardless of circumstance or location? How about teaching him to get thrown out on the base paths? If this is what you want him to learn, bring him up!
The last thing I’d like to see…fire Ruben Amaro Jr., his staff and all the scouts and START OVER. This team needs a serious reboot with a NEW approach to the draft and scouting. The same old, outdated approach has run this team into the ground. They need to start pouring sabermetrics on top of their traditional scouting cereal for breakfast and get with the times. I am not discounting traditional scouting nor touting sabermetrics as the savior, but a nice combination could maybe get things going in the right direction. And frankly, what do the Phillies have to lose?
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This just plain sucks. The firing of Charlie Manual was announced this afternoon at a 2:30pm press conference. Apparently, Manual was told he was out before Wednesday’s night game in Atlanta. He managed his last game in a Phillies uniform knowing his fate was already sealed.
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. actually cried as he made the announcement. But I do not think anyone in that room or anyone watching at home felt sorry for him. Because much of the demise of this team can be directly linked to many bad moves Amaro has made over the years. While no one was placing blame, some moves speak for themselves.
Manual was offered a job, presumably in the front office, but he had not made any decision on that. Getting canned with only 41 games left in the season seems harsh, so maybe that will weigh into his decision.
Hearing Charlie talk about how he loves coming to the ballpark every day and how he does not know what he will do now when he wakes up in the morning was tough. It was very difficult to listen to and my heart aches for him.
What’s done is done and Ryne Sandberg is the new manager.
But Charlie will always be #1 in my heart! He brought this team out of the darkness and into the light; 1 World Series Championship; 2 NL Pennants; and 5 Division Championships…it is hard to picture this team without him :O(
We love ya, Charlie!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The 6th inning of Sunday’s Phillies – Tigers game was officially the worst baseball I have ever seen in my life. In fact, there is no point in even discussing the rest of the game that resulted in a 4-12 Phillies loss. This team has fallen far into the deepest recesses of hell…
That one hellish inning included 3 Phillies errors, 8 runs scored by the Tigers, all of which were unearned, a Tigers grand slam and 2 runs scored on walks. Rookie Steve Susdorf committed one of the three errors in his first major league start; this was a day he’d probably like to forget, along with the rest of us.
Veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins described it best after the game, telling reporters, “That was embarrassing. … If there’s a bottom, this has to be it. I can’t imagine things getting worse than they have this past week, culminating the way they did today.”
And although the trade deadline is just days away, I cannot imagine the Phillies will get much of a return on anyone they plan to dump. Jonathan Papelbon has done his best to ruin any chances of the Phils getting a good return for him in a trade. His salary is ridiculous, his attitude is deplorable and he has blown 5 saves in the last month and a half. He is worth nothing in a trade at this point, unless a team is desperate.
And frankly, nearly everyone else on this team has rendered themselves useless in a trade after this horrific 8-game losing streak.
So what do the Phillies do in the midst of watching this franchise ship sink? They spend $48 million on an unproven Cuban defector. The Phillies signed right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a six-year deal with incentives that could push the total salary to nearly $60 million.
I liken this move to what someone with a gambling addiction does…keep betting higher, despite a long, ugly string of losses (ie: Ryan Howard’s extension, Chad Qualls, releasing Jason Grilli, trading Cliff Lee, Papelbon, etc…). Ruben Amaro Jr. is still gambling away this team’s future and it is hard to watch. I hope I am wrong. Maybe this guy is worth every penny of that $48 million. But with a track record of contract busts, the odds are not in favor of the Phillies.
Welcome to Hell, Phillies fans.
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
In their 4th consecutive loss on Wednesday night, I do believe the Phillies finally rolled over and died. They did not just lose 4 games, they were slaughtered in the ugliest and most painful manner possible.
Every problem this team has had this season was glaring in last night’s 3-11 drubbing, courtesy of the Cardinals. It was a proverbial highlight reel of all that is wrong with the 2013 Phillies. First, the starting pitching has been wildly inconsistent. John Lannan had 2 solid outings in his last few attempts; but last night, he was run out of the game after only 4 innings with 4 runs allowed. In the 4th inning, Lannan walked the opposing pitcher who then proceeded to steal second base and score after a single from the next batter.
Next, the defense was pitiful. John Mayberry Jr. summed up 2013 defense with a Little League play in the 5th inning that allowed 3 runs to score. He dove for a ball that he had zero chance at catching in the air, only to watch the ball sail past him into deep center field.
And then there was the awful bullpen performance. J.C. Ramirez allowed 5 runs in one inning of work. Jake Diekman added 2 more for the Cardinals in the 8th.
And how about that offense? What offense, you may ask yourself. Exactly. The Phillies have scored 4 runs total in their last 3 games.
But the whipped topping on this sh@!! sundae has got to be all of the injuries. Domonic Brown was pulled from the line-up with concussion symptoms. Ben Revere, the hottest hitter in June and July, went down earlier this month with a broken foot due to a foul ball. Ryan Howard is out with knee issues. Roy Halladay is recovering from shoulder surgery. And the list goes on…
The trade deadline is less than a week away. If GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has half a brain, he will begin selling as many players as he can and give this team some hope for the future. And if he wants anyone to attend games for the rest of the year, he should scratch Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee off any possible trade list. Anyone of the other veterans are fair game, in my humble opinion.
In the meantime, all we can do is wait for the hammer to fall…
Remember back on Friday night when the Phillies pounded the Mets to the tune of 13 runs? Remember all those hits and homers? Ah, memories…
Now back to reality…and reality has hit the Phillies hard this weekend as they dropped 2 games out of 3 to the Mets. Saturday’s game was winnable, but Cole Hamels floundered again and the offense blew many opportunities. Sunday’s game was an utter disaster that marked the Phillies 9th time being shut-out this year.
Pitcher Cliff Lee was, once again, killed by the long ball. The 5 Mets’ runs came off 2 homers and both were hit with 2 outs in the inning. With All-Star game starter Matt Harvey on the mound for the Mets, Lee did not stand a chance unless he controlled the long ball, which he did not.
The Phillies offense was just as awful; they managed only 3 hits off Harvey and piled up 12 strikeouts. Domonic Brown got the Golden Sombrero with 4 K’s in the game. Was it not just 2 days ago this team scored 13 runs? After their performance on Sunday, you would never imagine this was the same group of guys.
Granted, Harvey is one of the best pitchers in the game right now. But the 12 K’s tells you that the Phillies could not even manage to make contact with the ball. Zero walks then equals zero patience at the plate as well. It was just plain ugly.
And now the Phillies are once again in limbo as management decides whether or not they have any shot at all at making the playoffs. Personally, I do not see it happening. This team has lacked consistency all season long; they have too many injuries and no sense of urgency. But since both the Braves and the Nationals went cold this weekend as well, the Phillies did not lose or gain any ground in the division. And that will make the decision to buy or sell before the trade deadline even more difficult.
Then again, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. may already have made up his mind after this weekend’s performance. And certainly no one can blame him if he goes into sell-mode. This team has not given anyone any real reason to hope, especially after their 2 best pitchers bombed on back-to-back nights.
The Phillies are off today before starting a 3-game series with the Cardinals on Tuesday. The Cards have the best record in the majors…and that is not good news for the Phillies.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Atlanta Braves did not think it was very sunny in Philadelphia after losing to the Phillies by a score of 7-3. Even in blinding sunshine and near 100 degree temperatures, it was a dark day for the Braves.
Rookie pitcher Jonathan Pettibone was outstanding against a heavy-hitting Braves line-up. Freddie Freeman was so frustrated after striking out at one point that he smashed his bat into the ground, picked it up and then smashed it again. And B.J. Upton was thrown out of the game after mouthing off to the umpire about calling him out on strikes in the 5th inning.
Pettibone went only 5.1 innings, likely due to the excessive heat. It was obvious he was getting tired. But he did manage to leave with only 1 run allowed.
Both the Phillies offense and defense were solid. Domonic Brown had 2 hits, including his 23rd homer of the year. Darren Ruf, starting for Ryan Howard who is now on the DL, had a hit, a walk and scored twice. Carlos Ruiz added 2 hits as well.
The only defensive snafu was when Michael Young, who has been not great at third base lately, nearly ran over Jimmy Rollins going after a pop-up:
And for the most part, the Phillies bullpen held steady. J.C. Ramirez allowed 2 runs in the 6th; those were his first runs allowed since being called up. Aside from that, things were mostly quiet from the 6th inning on.
The Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Braves with this win today. Still, with Howard’s future uncertain and a very young and inexperienced bullpen, this team is going to have to annihilate the Nationals this week to keep GM Ruben Amaro Jr. from breaking up the team.
Here is the Photo Album from today’s game, including shots of Roy Halladay actually throwing pitches before the game! The Doc may not be done just yet…
Game time Monday night is 7:05pm. John Lannan will pitch.
After an abysmal road trip where the Phillies lost 7 out of 10 games, this team had to be relieved to be back in Philadelphia last night. They took an absolute beating from the Brewers, Twins and the Rockies. If you Google the meaning of “bad baseball,” this road trip should be used as an example.
But things looked a tad brighter after last night’s 5-4 walk-off win against the Nationals. John Lannan returned to the rotation after a knee injury and pitched well; Ryan Howard finally broke out of his home run drought; and Domonic Brown seems to be getting hot again. He even delivered the game-winning RBI single in the 9th.
Despite the win though, I simply cannot stop thinking about the awful road trip. In particular, I am greatly disturbed by the events that have taken place at and around third base and home plate lately. Most of these little disasters seem to revolve around veteran third-baseman Michael Young.
I hate to keep picking on Young, who seems like a very nice guy, and maybe some of this is not his fault at all. Did you notice that Young got thrown out at home plate THREE times in the last 6 games of the road trip? My question is, does he run home on his own or is Ryne Sandburg sending him? I understand being aggressive, but Young is one of the older and slower players on this team. This is not the guy you send on a close play.
I have begun leaning towards Sandburg’s lack of experience coaching third base as the issue, especially after last night. Because it appears he got Howard into a similar jam. He was sending Howard home and quickly changed his mind, signaling for Howard to stay at third. But his momentum was already heading home and Howard got tagged out at third. Sandburg is a Hall of Famer…I get that. So he should know that you cannot stop a moving train. Either make the decision quicker or take your chances that Howard will bowl over the catcher at home.
Then again, guys have been getting tossed out on the base paths all over the place all by themselves. Young also got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double last Tuesday. He also had a bad fielding error and hit into 2 more double plays on this road trip.
None the new players Ruben Amaro Jr. brought in this year, including Michael Young, are holding up their end of the bargain. Delmon Young is hitting only .231; Mike Adams has a 4.13 ERA and cannot seem to pitch a clean inning; Ben Revere has started out super slow, although he is improving. And Revere is young so he has a lot to learn yet. Lannan has been ok, but the injury was a huge setback.
As for the returning Phillies, too many of them are hurt or under producing. I hate to be such a downer after a rare Phillies win, but this team is just so frustrating! Who are they? Are they going to get any better? Will some of these guys ever be healthy? Your guesses are all as good as mine.
Maybe another win tonight will improve my mood? Hope so!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The 2013 Phillies Spring Training is turning in a soap opera of sorts. Strange things are afoot. A recent “trade” report may be the strangest of them all.
According to a tweet from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com and a short note in a MLB.com article, the Phillies have literally given away a solid minor league pitcher to the Angels. Right-hander Michael Cisco averaged a 1.70 ERA with a combined 13-3 record over his last 2 seasons in the minors. The 25-year old was sent to Los Angeles without as much as a handshake. I am confused.
Can anyone out there shed some light on why anyone in their right mind would hand over a guy who could be a future major league pitcher for absolutely nothing in return? Did they at least get a fruit basket out of it? Or is this some weird, new baseball Mafia where the Angels will now owe Ruben Amaro Jr. a favor? I guess he made them an offer they could not refuse.
Or worse, did Cisco do something so morally reprehensible that the Phillies would just cut him loose? For a team that signed anger-management frequent flyer, Delmon Young, in the offseason, I find this theory to be highly unlikely.
So if none of the above theories hold water, the only remaining option is sheer stupidity. Either that, or the media did not get the whole story.
And if that story does not make you feel ill, this one will: Roy Halladay went green for St. Patrick’s Day yesterday, and not in a good way. He turned green on the mound and left after only one inning due to an apparent stomach virus. All these little bumps in the road for Halladay this spring are beginning to pile up.
It has not been a good spring thus far for Halladay. He has looked exhausted at times, even without a stomach bug, and his velocity has reportedly dipped. While slow and steady wins the race, all we are seeing so far is the slow part.
This latest illness appears to be legit as teammate Jonathan Papelbon is reportedly sick as well. However, Halladay fell ill a number of times in the last few seasons, plus he seems to tire faster, sweat more and turn red in the face pretty often. And this spring, he has not looked well, even before reports of the stomach issue. One almost has to wonder if there is more to the story here.
But I am not a doctor, so I will not speculate further. Let us hope Halladay is well soon and will be ready for the start of the season. In the meantime, more drama is nearly guaranteed to ensue…stay tuned.