Amaro Busy Making Moves – Domonic Brown Recalled

Pence, Victorino Gone – Blanton Next?

Hunter Pence

Hunter Pence

“We are not rebuilding- we are retooling. It is my job to bring a contender every year.”

-Ruben Amaro Jr.

Bucs bolster bench, acquire Sanchez from Miami

Gaby Sanchez

Clint Hurdle has the veteran presence he’s sought for his bench. More»

Marlins send Mujica, Sanchez in separate deals

Gaby Sanchez

The Marlins made two deals as Tuesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline approached, acquiring Minor League third baseman Zack Cox from the Cardinals for reliever Edward Mujica and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Pirates for first baseman Gaby Sanchez. More»

 

Mujica comes to Cards in deal with Marlins

Edward Mujica

The Cardinals’ attempts to fortify their bullpen for the season’s final two months has led them to right-hander Edward Mujica, who the club acquired from the Marlins about an hour before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline. More»

Orioles, Phillies talking again about Blanton

With Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, talks between the Orioles and Phillies regarding pitcher Joe Blanton picked back up. More»

Atlanta addressed weaknesses at Deadline

Paul Maholm.

As Braves general manager Frank Wren spoke to media members just after midnight on Tuesday, he appeared relaxed and deservedly satisfied. One week after gaining the surprising revelation that Ryan Dempster was balking at the chance to come to Atlanta, Wren completed what he and many others view as a better deal. More»

Phils land Schierholtz, prospects

hunter pence

After sending Shane Victorino to the Dodgers, Philadelphia announced they have traded fellow outfielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. The Phillies received catching prospect Tommy Joseph, outfielder Nate Schierholtz and Class A right-hander Seth Rosin in the deal. More»

Pence to the Giants for Schierholtz, prospects

Giants add Pence, send three to Phillies

hunter pence

The Phillies traded right fielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catcher Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin on Tuesday. The Phillies also sent cash considerations to the Giants. More»

Moves multiply as teams try to beat Deadline

Shane Victorino

We’re down to the final few hours before baseball’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and trade talk dominates the game. Talk has given way to action, and the annual flurry of moves is well under way.More»

Cubs complete deal that sends Soto to Rangers

geovany soto

Geovany Soto moved up in the standings on Tuesday, traded by the Cubs to the Rangers for Minor League right-handed pitcher Jake Brigham and a player to be named or cash consideration. More»

Dodgers deal again, get Victorino from Phillies

Shane Victorino

The Dodgers added veteran outfielder and leadoff hitter Shane Victorino to their collection of stars in a trade with the Phillies for reliever Josh Lindblom and Minor League pitcher Ethan Martin on Tuesday.More»

Mariners trade League, Delabar in pair of deals

Brandon League

Right-hander Brandon League was dealt to the Dodgers for a pair of Minor Leaguers, while fellow reliever Steve Delabar was traded to the Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames. More»

 

Pirates acquire Snider from Blue Jays for Lincoln

The Pirates got into the non-waiver Trade Deadline eve action late Monday night, acquiring outfielder Travis Snider from the Blue Jays in exchange for versatile right-hander Brad Lincoln. More»

Courtesy MLB.com

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All Pieces In Place – It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up

Doc’s Return Marks Phils Return To Health

by Charles Oliver aka Bloggo Schloggo

Now that all the major pieces to the Phillies puzzle are back in place and healthy there are no excuses. It’s now or never time to make a strong run in the second half of the season for a chance at the post season. With the addition of a second wild card spot available this year the Phils still have a valid shot at competing in October. It’s going to be quite a chore and an uphill battle requiring lots of winning. Skipper Manuel has had a way of steering the team into playing it’s best baseball after the all-star game while running the Phillies show as recent history shows.

The Phillies logo during their 1950 World Seri...

The Phillies logo during their 1950 World Series year.

The Phils won 102 games last year and had the best record in baseball. This year they are going to have to play their hearts out with little room for error to win 88 games which is probably about what they’ll need to make it in as a wild card.

There has been a lot of chatter about the Phils being sellers before the trading deadline. I for one believe that would be a bad move. Especially dumping Cole Hamel who has been the teams most consistent starter this year. The team basically has the same starting line-up and starting pitching staff as last year which is an array of proven winners. With everyone back and active off the DL there is no reason why with the level of talent they that they have can’t find their way back to becoming consistent winners.

The main issues they now face are crawling out of the deep hole they dug for themselves in the first half of the season and the talent performing up to its capabilities.

As I write this the Phils have won 3 games in a row with Doc on the mound tonight against the Dodgers. Ryan Howard hit his 1st home run of the season last night. It was to left field which is a good sign anytime Howard is projecting his power to the opposite field. Halladay having a strong performance tonight and another Phils win could be the start of something good. Psychologically the club could get a major boost and start playing with the fire we’ve seen in recent past seasons when they were perennial division champs.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard

The Nationals aren’t going away and have proven they are for real. Catching and over taking them at this point is pretty much all but an impossibility. Stranger things have happened though. As we remember last season the Cardinals weren’t on anyone’s radar and we know what they did much to the chagrin of Phillies fans figuring the Phightins were on their way to another World Series and once again being world champions.

The Mets, Marlins and Braves also will have a large say in where the Phillies fortunes take them. It’s a tough division to find yourself 13 games off the pace and sitting in the cellar. The Phils are 10 games behind with an elimination number of 63 with 61 games left to make it as a wild card. There isn’t much wiggle room there. They are ranked 9th in the wild card standings.

The Phillies main weakness is not getting hits when it really counts. They are hitting the ball ranking 2nd only behind the Cardinals with 827 total hits. However they are ranked  6th and 7th in runs scored and RBIs – with 386 and 370 respectively. How many times have we seen runners in scoring position zero to two outs left standing there as an inning or game ends?

PHILLIES 2011 Post All-Star Break Hitting Stats

RK   G     AB    R     H     2B  3B HR SB

6th  977 2473 329 633  120 18  75  35

RBI  BB  SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS

316  232 467 35  13  .256 .323  .410 .733

PHILLIES 2011 Post All-Star Break Pitching Stats

RK    W  L  ERA   G   GS  SV  SVO    IP        H

12th  45 26 3.02  242  71   22   28     645.2  580

R   ER  HR  BB SO  AVG WHIP

234 217 57 178 593 .241   1.17

Post Script—–  Watching tonight’s game and Doc’s return to the mound. Ryan Howard took a 4 pitch walk. Batting .143 it was refreshing not to see the big guy swing at a pitch miles outside of the strike zone. Despite the homer last night he still looks uncomfortable at the plate as he did last season. Letting pitches he should cream float on by and swinging and lunging at pitches he couldn’t reach or hit with the side of a barn.

Through the first 5 innings Halladay has looked very good yielding 2 runs and having good command of his pitches. The Phils batters have managed but one run having left runners on second base in three innings against a rookie making his first MLB start named Fife. His performance thus far has not been Barney Fife like.

Hunter Pence

Hunter Pence

Howard walked again in the 6th. Maybe he should concentrate on walks and let Chooch take care of the clean up duties. Hunter Pence batting .224 with two outs and runners in scoring position punched a single out to Kemp and appeared to have scored Howard. The ump said he was out. It looked like Howard had got his hand on home plate before the tag. Having seen the replay it’s hard to tell. Whatever it was close but, just another zero on the scoreboard.

In the 8th Pence batted with the bases loaded, two out and hit a single up the middle scoring two. Ruiz was cut down sliding into 3rd to end the inning. The Phils had only 4 hits in the game before Pence’s timely two run single. Phils take the lead 3-2.

For the first time in their last 39 games trailing after 7 innings the Phillies turned it around and won the game. Another healthy sign. Papelbon got the save. That’s 4 wins in a row. They are doing what they have to do. Will their winning ways continue? It’s a mighty tough mountain to climb. Time will tell.

Are The Phils Headed For The Geriatric Ward?

Philadelphia Phillies: We aren’t dead yet

PHILLY LIVE APRIL 26, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies: We aren’t dead yet

They’re old. They’re broken down. They’re done.

The Philadelphia Phillies listened to the ridicule all month, as if their AARP cards are waiting in their mailbox, with retirement papers on the way.

“People keep talking about how old we are (30.8 average, second oldest in the major leagues) and how our window is about to close,” general manager Ruben Amaro says. “Maybe I’m delusional, but I really don’t think we’re old. We’re certainly not as old as other people think.

“I don’t believe our careers are over by any means.”

The Phillies might not be the same superpower that won five consecutive National League East titles, but after their 7-2 victory Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, they’re proving they’re not ready to surrender the throne.

The Phillies scored 20 runs in their last 19 innings against the Diamondbacks, and instead of answering questions about whether the end is near, they left town talking as if they’ve finally found themselves.

“The window closes every year, doesn’t it?” says Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, 33. “We’ve had a long window, not as long as the (New York) Yankees or (Atlanta) Braves in their day, but the window closes every year because you have new personnel.

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Am...

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr

“It’s different because of our personnel and the injuries we’ve had, but what makes it a lot different is that the reality is different than the perception. We may have to do things differently now, but we’re going to show the outside world that we still have plenty left in the tank.”

The Phillies, for years the Broad Street Bullies of the NL, suddenly look emaciated next to their former selves. They entered Wednesday having scored the third-fewest runs in baseball, and their 12 homers were three more than Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp. They also had drawn the second-fewest walks, with two NL teams grounding into more double plays.

“We’re going to hear about our offense all year, but it’s going to be a different kind of offense that people are used to seeing,” leadoff hitter Juan Pierre said. “We’re not going to be sitting back hitting home runs. We’re going to scrape and scrap.”

They exemplified their sleeker selves Wednesday by amassing 13 hits (11 singles and two doubles).

The Phillies simply have no choice. They are without two-time home-run champ Ryan Howard (torn Achilles) for likely another month. All-Star second baseman Chase Utley (knee) still has no timetable for his return. They’re without 2008 Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, too.

“Every team has issues,” Amaro says. “Guys have to adjust.”

Rollins, normally the leadoff hitter, has two extra-base hits and three RBI as the No. 3 hitter. Right fielder Hunter Pence, normally the fifth-place hitter, has three hits in his last 24 at-bats as the cleanup hitter. And the Phillies are waiting for outfielder-first baseman John Mayberry Jr. (.200, two RBI) to simply hit.

“We have to keep plugging away and not get frustrated,” says starter Cole Hamels (3-1), who gave up four hits and two runs in eight innings and drove in two runs Wednesday. “We’re trying to play a different game now. Really, I think it’s just a matter of time.”

And when that time comes, the Phillies defiantly say, look out.

“We got knocked down,” Pence says. “We’ve got to keep getting back. And hopefully we get on a roll and start knocking other people down.”
– Copyright 2012 USA TODAY

 

Hunter Signs For $10.4 Million Pence

Pence agrees to one-year deal with Phillies

Slugger was Philly’s lone remaining arbitration-eligible player

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
The Phillies on Friday announced that they’ve agreed to terms with outfielder Hunter Pence, avoiding arbitration with their lone remaining player. Pence received a one-year contract for $10.4 million, plus award bonuses.
Hunter Pence

“We’re always focused on getting a deal done with a player,” said assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. “We think that’s the most productive way to handle these situations.”

Pence, who sparked the Phils’ offense after being acquired from the Houston Astros just before the non-waiver Trade Deadline last July, had been asking for $11.8 million, while the team filed at $9 million, so the agreement came at exactly the midpoint.

The right fielder made $6.9 million last season.

Pence became an almost immediate fan favorite after arriving at Citizens Bank Park and batted .324 with a .954 OPS in 54 games with Philadelphia. When asked after one game what he was thinking while rounding third to score the winning run, Pence responded, “Good game. Let’s go eat.” That phrase soon appeared on T-shirts sold at the stadium.

Hunter Pence

The contract also features the following bonuses: $100,000 each for winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award and World Series MVP Award; $50,000 each for NL Championship Series MVP Award, All-Star Game MVP Award, NL Silver Slugger Award and NL Gold Glove Award.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Prospects and Spring Training On The Horizon

De Fratus, Colvin highlight Phils’ top prospects

By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com

At the start of the 2011 season, MLB.com unveiled Top 10 Prospect lists for all 30 Major League organizations on Prospect Watch. Over the course of the season, those lists changed due to graduations to the big leagues, trades and performances. With the season completed, MLB.com will review how the prospects on those lists fared in 2011.

clearwater

Clearwater, FLA by Ricardo y Marta

Justin De Fratus still can’t believe his timing. The right-handed reliever arrived in the big leagues on the same day that his Philadelphia teammates celebrated their National League East title, and he hopes to have learned enough in September that he can be a part of several stretch drives to come.

“Some people play their entire careers and never get a celebration, and I got to experience it on the first day,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly my celebration to be a part of, so I kind of just stood in the back. I want to experience that type of success forever, as long as I possibly can, and I know I have to work hard. I do feel more a part of the team now because I did help win an important game.”

De Fratus, a former 11th-round draftee, steadily rose through Philadelphia’s organization over the past few seasons and began last year at Double-A Reading. The 24-year-old went 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA and eight saves before a promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he continued to thrive.

De Fratus made 28 appearances at Triple-A before he was summoned to Philadelphia, and he finished the year with five relief outings for the NL East champions. De Fratus even earned his first big league win before shutting it down for the season.

“Obviously, it was my first time in the big leagues,” he said. “And when I got home after spending time in Clearwater during the playoffs, I got to go home and really reflect on the whole experience with my family and good friends. It was a very cool experience. My family was actually there with me when I made my debut in Philadelphia, so they got to experience it, but as far as sitting down and getting a chance to reflect on the whole situation, I didn’t get to until I got home in California.”

De Fratus has controlled the strike zone in the Minor Leagues, notching 85 walks and 379 strikeouts in 160 appearances. He’s also managed to limit home runs — just 12 in 379 2/3 innings — and he said that he began preparing for the big leagues the moment he arrived in Spring Training.

Photograph taken by Googie Man 17:33, 23 March...

Phillies’ top 10 prospects

  A look at how the Phillies’ Top 10 Prospects list looked at the beginning and end of the 2011 season:                               
No. Preseason Postseason
1. Domonic Brown, OF Colvin
2. Jonathan Singleton, 1B Valle
3. Jarred Cosart, RHP Biddle
4. Brody Colvin, RHP May
5. Sebastian Valle, C Altherr
6. Jesse Biddle, LHP Hernandez
7. Trevor May, RHP De Fratus
8. Aaron Altherr, SS Jiwan James, OF
9. Cesar Hernandez, 2B Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
10. Justin De Fratus, RHP Phillippe Aumont, RHP

Players in bold were removed from the list after reaching the rookie eligibility threshold.

“The first taste that I got was actually in Spring Training because I got to go to big league camp,” he said of last year’s Grapefruit League. “I got the taste of what it was like to be part of that organization and what it takes to win, the attitude with the Phillies. So when I got to the big leagues in September for those 12 days, there wasn’t anything different. They go about their business in Spring Training just as hard as they do during the season. It was a really cool thing to see and experience.”

Top 10 review

The Phillies have had their prospect list altered by the trade that brought Hunter Pence to Philadelphia and sent Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart to Houston. Outfielder Domonic Brown was also lost from consideration, but this time due to his graduation to the big leagues.

Brody Colvin, a projectable right-hander who spent last season with Class A Clearwater, ranks as the best prospect remaining in the farm system. Colvin went 3-8 with a 4.71 ERA for Clearwater last season, and the Phillies have been careful not to let him log too many innings.

The team’s best remaining positional prospect is 21-year-old catcher Sebastian Valle, who played in the Futures Game last year. Valle batted .284 with five home runs and 40 RBIs for Clearwater last season, and the Phillies may elect to challenge him with a promotion to Double-A Reading.

Organizational Player of the Year:

MLB.com’s Preseason Picks:

Hitter of the Year — Jonathan Singleton Singleton, who turned 20 in September, is still a massive prospect. The left-handed hitter already has plate discipline beyond his years, and scouts remain convinced that his frame will bring more power as he matures. He’ll have to reach his potential in Houston’s organization.

Pitcher of the Year — Jarred Cosart Cosart went 9-8 with a 3.92 ERA for Class A Clearwater, and the Astros promoted him for a quick test at Double-A Corpus Christi after the Pence trade. The right-hander went 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA in his first exposure to upper-level bats, and he’ll likely go right back to Corpus Christi this season. Cosart will need to iron out his walk rate in order to be successful at the higher levels.

MLB.com’s Postseason Selections

Hitter of the Year —  Matt Rizzotti Rizzotti, a former sixth-round Draft pick, made a positive full-season showing at Double-A Reading one year after laying waste to the circuit’s pitchers. Rizzotti, a first baseman, had batted .361 with a .452 on-base percentage in 77 games at Reading in 2010, foreshadowing his star turn. The 26-year-old hit .292 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs in 139 games for Reading last season.

Pitcher of the Year — Trevor May May repeated the level at Class A Clearwater last year and had a breakout season that saw him lead the Florida State League in strikeouts (208). The 22-year-old right-hander posted a 10-8 record with a 3.63 ERA, and he allowed just eight home runs in 27 starts for Clearwater last season.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Valdez Agrees To 1 Year, $1 Mil Contract

Valdes Agrees To 1 Year Contract

Wilson Valdez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.

Valdez’s $930,000 contract includes award bonuses.

Valdez appeared in 99 games for the Phillies last season, batting .249 with 14 doubles, four triples, one home run and 30 RBI.  With runners in scoring position, the 33-year-old batted .370.  Defensively, Valdez made 33 starts at second base, 21 at third base and 20 at shortstop, while also earning the win in his first career relief appearance on May 25 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Right fielder Hunter Pence is the Phillies’ lone remaining player eligible for salary arbitration.

Inbox: What are the club’s plans for Brown?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers Phils fans’ questions

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
What on earth are the Phillies going to do with Domonic Brown? They have John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in left field, Shane Victorino in center field and Hunter Pence in right field. Where’s the space for Brown? — Brett L., Broomall, Pa.
Domonic Brown

There is none, unless there is an injury or Mayberry and Nix don’t perform. Unless things change, Brown is expected to play the 2012 season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will be looking to regain confidence and learning to play left field.

Nothing really has gone smoothly with Brown the past couple of seasons. The Phillies admittedly erred in the way they have handled him (bringing him up in 2010, only to spend most of the second half of the season sitting on the bench).

Brown performed poorly in winter ball following that season and started slowly in Spring Training 2011 before breaking his hand. He was playing great with Lehigh Valley early last season, when the Phils called him up (after saying they didn’t think he was ready). He did OK, relatively speaking, but once the Phillies acquired Pence and optioned Brown to Lehigh Valley, he struggled.

The Phils are hoping a full season in the Minors will get Brown back on track. Maybe it will, but if Mayberry and Nix perform well in left, I would think Brown could be trade bait at some point.

If Ryan Madson does not come back, where do you think he will sign and why are the Phillies disinterested in him? — Daniel S., Pinellas Park, Fla.

Ryan Madson signing autographs before the Marc...

Who said they’re disinterested in Madson? I’m sure general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would love to have Madson as his setup man, but would Madson come back to set up for Jonathan Papelbon? If I’m Madson, I’m not sure I would. But if Madson can’t get a closer job at closer money, maybe he would come back to a place he’s familiar and set up before hitting the market again next offseason. But I’m betting Madson will take his services elsewhere before Spring Training.

Is Chase Utley healthy this year? — Janet X., Harrisburg, Pa.

Chase Utley

The Phillies said late last season that Utley, who had knee issues last year, will be on a different offseason training program that should allow him to strengthen his legs without causing the tendinitis that forced him to miss the first couple of months of the 2011 season. They said that lack of strength in his lower half contributed to his lack of pop at the plate. Will he be the old Utley in 2012, one of the best offensive performers in the game? I’m not sure, but they certainly need him to play much better than he did last season.

How can you argue the Phillies can only get younger at two positions when they have an aging and oft-injured third baseman? — Bob P., Renovo, Pa.

Got lots of questions over the past week about third base, the David Wright rumors, how much they can expect to get from Polanco. Those are good questions, but some of the questions are almost like, “What’s the Phillies’ problem? Why won’t they get David Wright?” Like it were easy. Like Amaro can get Wright (or another stud third baseman) by just snapping his fingers. The Phils would love Wright at third base, but it’s not going to happen right now. The club has said Polanco should be healthy entering the season. If he is, he’s a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman than hits better than .300. That’s not exactly chopped liver.

Do you think the Phillies will hit a wall and not win the National League East? — Steven B., Cheltenham, Pa.

English: John Mayberry, Jr. of the Philadelphi...

The NL East has improved, but I still think the Phils will] win their sixth straight division title. If everybody is healthy, of course. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will win their fair share of games. The offense, which has flopped the previous two postseasons, has been productive during the season. I just don’t see how anybody could catch them.

The bench seems to have gained some much needed depth this year. What impact will this have on the 2012 Phillies? — Zack K., Clarks Summit, Pa.

Laynce Nix

It gives manager Charlie Manuel more options. If Polanco misses time, Manuel can play Ty Wigginton at third instead of Michael Martinez. When Ryan Howard is out, the Phillies can play Mayberry, Nix, Wigginton or even Jim Thome. They should be able to handle injuries a little better than they have in the past, while not sacrificing as much offense in the process.

Do you see any offensive options the Phillies could pursue at the Trade Deadline, like David Wright or a left fielder? — Jim D., Tabernacle, N.J.

Whoa. We’re already looking at the Trade Deadline? It’s a long way from July 31. Like I mentioned above, I’ve gotten lots of questions about third base, left field, etc. There were similar questions last year at this time about right field, and how the Phillies were going to replace Jayson Werth. The Phils decided they would give Ben Francisco, Brown and Mayberry a shot. If it worked, great. If not, then they could always find somebody else.

I think the same holds true this year. Why not see if Polanco can stay healthy? Why not see if Mayberry and Nix can platoon in left field? If they can’t, they can always try to find somebody else. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be smart emptying the farm system for something that might not happen (Polanco staying healthy, etc.). It would be smarter to see how they do, then reassess midseason.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Philadelphia Phillies: Power Ranking 20 Oddest Moments in Franchise History

By Greg Pinto (Featured Columnist)

Baseball can be a strange game.

Not the kind of strange that forces the casual fan to turn their head away from the action, but the kind of strange that forces the avid fan to lean back, raise an eyebrow and say, “That is something I may never see again in my lifetime.”

Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies are well aware of the meaning of “strange baseball.” Their team has helped to give those simple words a definition over the course of its history. From position players taking the mound, to waiting for an opponent to answer nature’s call, to watching their beloved mascot and a rival’s beloved manager resort to fisticuffs.

In the City of Brotherly Love, you could say that normal situations are strange, and that strange situations, are the norm.

20. The Ryan Madson Saga

127833382_display_image
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Free agency is an odd thing in and of itself.

With the market built to stay open right through the holiday season, nothing illustrates the spirit of giving better than throwing millions of dollars at baseball players to better your team, or in some cases, just keep good players away from your rivals.

Because of the nature of the market, it isn’t unusual to see player linked to a certain team for weeks at a time only to later find out that not only was a deal never close to being completed, but it was never even talked about. With the world of social media growing at a rapid pace, it can lead to a lot of rumors and a lot of hurt feelings.

Regardless of all of that, whatever was going on between the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Madson during the 2012 off-season was strange.

After emerging as the club’s closer in 2011, the Phillies looked as though they were ready to make Madson their closer for the foreseeable future, offering him a four-year, $44 million contract, which the right hander was ready to accept.

Or did they?

In spite of several respectable sources reporting that the deal was finished, the Phillies denied having any deal in place with Madson. A new rumor surfaced that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. needed the approval of team owner David Montgomery, another falsehood.

In the long run, the Phillies never did sign Madson. Instead, they inked Jonathan Papelbon to an even bigger deal, only to leave Madson in a dwindling market for closers and give him the opportunity to accept arbitration and return to the team anyway.

19. The Completely Unnecessary Hunter Pence Slide

Pence_display_image

It didn’t take long for fans to realize what an interesting character Hunter Pence is after he was acquired by the Phillies from the Houston Astros. Not only did he provide some right handed thump in the middle of the batting order, but he’s a great defensive outfielder and a lively guy.
Well, he may be a little too lively for his own good.

In a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011, Pence stood on second base with John Mayberry Jr. at the plate. Mayberry proceeded to hit a sharp single back up the middle, but Pence thought it was going to be flagged down. It wasn’t, but Pence slid into third anyway, as third base coach Juan Samuel waved him around like a mad man.

Pence popped up, scored the run, and the laughter ensued.

The Phillie Phanatic has never refused to taunt someone in the opposing dugout. Simply put, no player, manager, coach, or umpire is off limits to the Phanatic, and the Los Angeles Dodgers found that out the hard way. During a nationally televised game in 1988, the Phanatic took a life-sized dummy, wearing Lasorda’s Dodgers uniform, and beat the stuffing out of him.

Lasorda, never one to back down from a challenge in his own right, did not take kindly to this. He emerged from the visitor’s dugout and chased the Phanatic down, beating the stuffing out of the famous mascot.

After he retired, Lasorda would simply say, “I hate the Phillie Phanatic.”

17. Beer League

89764264_display_image
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Playing baseball isn’t so easy when you’re covered in a full cup of adult beverage.

Shane Victorino found that out first hand in a game against the Chicago Cubs, when the center fielder roamed back towards the ivy to catch a fly ball and instead, caught a full cup of beer right in the face. The Cubs would then proceed to throw the wrong guy out of the ballpark, only to catch the actual beer-throwing-bandit a few days later.

16. Doh! (Nut)

Pence_display_image

At some point, you have to wonder whether or not Hunter Pence has a few screws loose in that noggin of his his, but then again, don’t we all? Just three months into his Phillies’ tenure, Pence has created two of the most strangest moments in the organization’s history.

This moment came in a game against the Colorado Rockies, where Pence went to bat with his weighted, warm-up doughnut still on the barrel of his bat. After wondering why his bat was so heavy, he struggled to get the doughnut off, smashing the bat against the ground, before going back to being a strange player in general.

Photo Credit: The Fightins

15. Man Down!

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Being the fabled Phillie Phanatic is not a simple gig, and apparently, he is safer when he is working at Citizens Bank Park than on his days off.

As the Phillies took to the road during the season, the Phanatic found himself working the crowd for the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. While standing on his usual perch atop the home team’s dugout, a foul ball was lined into the stands, but never made contact with a fan.

That’s because it hit the Phanatic right in the neck!

Though he toppled down for a moment, the Phanatic was treated and released on the same night, ready to go back to work the next day. The man (creature-thing) is a trooper.

Photo Credit: www.egotvonline.com

14. The Flying Tarp: A Showcase of Sportsmanship

Playing baseball on the road isn’t easy. Players have to deal with rowdy fans and conditions that are less than ideal for winning a ball game. Playing baseball on the road, in Colorado, against the Colorado Rockies, during a severe thunderstorm while trying to help the Coors’ Field grounds crew pull a flying tarp onto the infield is even more difficult.

The Phillies managed to just that though in this strange moment, when they emerged from the dugout to aid the struggling grounds crew in pulling the tarp onto the field.

For some reason, however, it is Jimmy Rollins’ socks that stick out like a sore thumb to me in the video.

13. Johnny Callison Puts on Offensive Clinic, but Phillies Lose

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Sometimes, when things are going bad, they’re going terrible. That was the case for the Phillies at the back end of the 1964 season. Trying desperately to help break his team out of a losing streak, Johnny Callison thought he was on to something in a game against the Milwaukee Braves. The Phillies’ outfielder hit three home runs in a single game—and off feat in and of itself.

However, even with three home runs from Callison alone, the Phillies’ pitching staff could not hold a lead! They would give up 14 runs of their own en route to a 14-8 loss in the strangest of fashions.

12. Angel Pagan Takes a Bathroom Break…Before an At-Bat

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When you gotta go, you gotta go.

It just so happens that in a game against the Phillies, New York Mets‘ outfielder Angel Pagan had to go right before an at-bat. After running in from the outfield, Pagan disappeared into the clubhouse, leaving Phillies’ starter Cliff Lee waiting on the mound as the inning progressed for Pagan to appear.

Finally, as the umpires and Lee began to get a bit impatient, Pagan emerged from the clubhouse, into the dugout, and finally, into the batter’s box, feeling much better than he had when he began his sprint towards the restroom.

11. Falling Short, Literally

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The Phillies were supposed to win it all in 2011, but ultimately, fell short of their goal—quite literally. For the second season in a row, they assembled an elite pitching staff that kept them within striking distance of a win in each postseason game they pitched in, but the bats couldn’t get them a sustainable lead. Fast-forward to an out away from playing golf, and Ryan Howard is at the plate once again, down by one.

Perfect symmetry.

After bouncing a simple ground ball, Howard crumpled to the ground to watch the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate around him—but he crumpled for good reason. On the final play of the season, Howard had tore his Achilles tendon!

10. Pedro Martinez to the Rescue

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Pedro Martinez never really seemed like the Phillies’ cup of tea.

Ever since becoming a contending franchise, the Phillies have prided themselves on employing “character guys”—players that are as effective in the clubhouse as they are on the field. Martinez had always been an interesting character, and his playing for a heated rival—the Mets—certainly didn’t improve his standing in the eyes of the fans.

So when Martinez, coming off of a couple of injury riddled seasons, decided that he wouldn’t sign with a team until mid-season, a lot of people scratched the Phillies off of their list of possible destinations right away.

Enter the mystery team!

The Phillies swooped in, signed Martinez, sent him to the Minor Leagues, and called him up to make nine starts during the regular season, all before putting him on the mound in a must-win Game 6 in the World Series against the New York Yankees amidst chants of “Who’s Your Daddy?”

It was a strange signing from day one.

9. Ed Delahanty’s Four Home Run Game…Goes for Naught

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Ed Delahanty was one of the greatest hitters of all time, but he never really hit for power. So when a guy like Delahanty hits four home runs in a single game for your club, a rare and strange feat in and of itself, there is a pretty good chance you’re going to win the ball game, right?

Wrong.

Delahanty managed to hit four home runs against the Chicago Colts as a member of the Phillies, propelling the offense to score eight runs. The pitching staff gave up nine, and the Phillies fell to the Colts 9-8, wasting Delahanty’s four home run effort.

8. Phillies’ Security Team Defuses…Hot Dog Bomb

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Once upon a time, the Phillies weren’t able to fill Citizens Bank Park to the brim each night, and often times, the Phillie Phanatic’s hot dog cannon shot hog dogs into the stands that bounced around without ever reaching a target.

One night, after the Phanatic launched a hot dog into the crowd, it bounced around and found its way under a seat, where the clean-up crew missed it and left it there overnight.

The next day, when the employees arrived to open the ballpark up, someone found a “suspicious looking package,” and security was called in, followed by the bomb squad, who cautiously defused…a hot dog.

Just goes to show you, those hot dog cannons can be dangers. You’ll shoot your eye out kid!

7. Wilson Valdez—Really, Really Late Innings Closer

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There is something extraordinarily odd about looking at Wilson Valdez standing on the pitcher’s mound.

The utility man secured his place in Phillies’ lore in 2011 when the Phillies took on the Cincinnati Reds in a showdown for the ages. Well, that may be a bit over-dramatic, but it was a great game. In the simplest of terms, it was a game started by ace Roy Halladay and finished by utility closer Wilson Valdez.

In a 19-inning affair, the Phillies had stretched Danys Baez for as far as he could go before asking Valdez to ditch his infield position and take the mound. Valdez set down each of the three batters he faced, including Joey Votto, and picked up the win in the bottom half of the inning.

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

6. Ed Delahanty’s Mysterious Death

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There is no disputing the fact that Ed Delahanty was one of the greatest Phillies of all-time. He put up some numbers that cause chronic double-checking when his statistics are mentioned. However, the oddest part about Delahanty’s life was the way in which he passed away.

Not long after his Phillies’ career had ended and while he was still playing baseball, Delahanty was kicked off of a train by its conductor, who cited Delahanty for public drunkenness, claiming that he had stooped so far as to harassing female passengers.

The drunken Delahanty tried to cross back into the United States by himself, returning from Canada, but was swept over Niagara Falls and found days later. To this day, people question his death, wondering if it was an accident, if he committed suicide, or if Delahanty was murdered.

Honorable Mention: While researching Delahanty’s death, I came across another odd story, this one claiming that he was responsible for one of the most shameful home runs of all-time. Delahanty, an outfielder by trade, was tracking down a fly ball that would hit off of a pole and fall into an area of the mechanical scoreboard known as the “dog-house,” used to store the numbers.

The ball was ruled in play, and Delahanty had to struggle to get the ball out of the well. When he was unable to reach over, he decided to try and crawl through a small opening, but he got stuck! The runner scored and the play became known as the “inside the dog-house home run.”

5. Phillies Play the Blue Jays on the Road…at Home

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Finding a decent picture of the Phillies playing the Toronto Blue Jays on the road, at home in Citizens Bank Park was as difficult a task to find as it was to describe in this sentence, so hang with me here.

Due to the G4 Summit that was to be held in Toronto in June of 2010, the Blue Jays were forced to move their three game home series against the Phillies to Citizens Bank Park. Though the Jays would be the home team, the Phillies would actually be the home team.

It was a strange situation. Watching the Phillies bat first and wear their grey uniforms at home was an odd sight, and one you may never see again.

4. The Phold

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“The Phold” was a series of odd moments.

The 1964 Phillies were positioned to make the postseason, and once there, had the tools to win the World Series. The only problem was that manager Gene Mauch severely overworked his starting rotation leading into the stretch run, and though the Phils held a 6.5 game lead with 12 games left to play, all of that was about to change.

The Phillies were a dreadful, exhausted team entering those 12 games, and they would lose 10 of them, effectively knocking themselves out of the postseason picture. To this date, even with the current collapses of the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox fresh in our memories, “The Phold” is known as the most catastrophic baseball collapse of all-time.

3. Rain, Rain…Delays the World Series

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Leading the series three games to one against the Tampa Bay rays, the Phillies were on the verge of winning the second World Series title in franchise history. However, Mother Nature would have none of it. After the Rays managed to tie Game 5 up and everything was equal, the skies opened and commissioner Bug Selig was forced to suspend the game.

It was the first time in the history of the World Series that a game had been suspended, and because rain continued to fall in the city of Philadelphia, the teams would have to wait until Wednesday to finish a game that began on Monday.

The odd suspension of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series led to a rule change in the off-season, but in hindsight, it was well worth the wait for the Phillies, who would capture that championship.

2. Phillies Win 1980 World Series

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Viewing this as an odd moment may take a bit of creativity, but think about this for a moment.

For a long time, it seemed as though the Phillies were never going to win the World Series. After all, though they had come close in 1915 and 1950, neither of those clubs could finish the job, and they were led by Pete Alexander and Robin Roberts, respectively. After the collapse of 1964, it really looked like the Phillies just weren’t meant to be champions.

However, it was just like Tug McGraw said, “You gotta believe.”

The Phillies made believers out of the baseball world in 1980, when on the strength of guys like McGraw, Steve Carlton, and Mike Schmidt, the Phillies became World Champions. It was strange, seeing the Phils on top, especially after coming up short for so long.

1. “Mitchie Poo” Walks It Off

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As strange as it was to see Wilson Valdez pitching, it was even more of an oddity to watch Mitch Williams hit, and the baseball events of the day were even more of a spectacle.

The Phillies were set to host a double header, and the San Diego Padres took Game 1, which included a very long rain delay. The Phillies believed that they were done for the night. They were wrong. With 1am having come and gone, the Phillies and Padres took the field for Game 2—an extra-innings affair.

In a tie game, Williams pitched two scoreless innings—the ninth and tenth—and was due up fourth at the plate in the bottom half of the inning. Manager Jim Fregosi had no intention of pitching Williams should the game continue, but he was out of options on the bench.

With two men on, Darren Daulton stepped to the plate, and the Phils hoped that he could end it before Williams had to bat. That wasn’t the case, as Trevor Hoffman had other plans, striking the catcher out. Now, Williams stepped to plate, and at 4:41am, the oddest Phillies’ moment of all times ensued, as Williams; “Wild Thing;” the closer, singled over the shortstop’s head to end the game.

That walk-off hit spawned one of the most memorable Harry Kalas calls of all-time, who said excitedly, “This game is over on an RBI hit by “Mitchie Poo!”