Monthly Archives: January 2009

No mo Zo, Feliz, Ruiz, and the Mad Dog

It’s official!  As reported earlier in the week, right here on PhilliePhanatics.org, after nearly ten years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Todd Zolecki is leaving the paper.  Zo says he is, “not going very far.”  Sources have told me he will move to MLB.com to take the spot vacated by Ken Mandel.

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Pedro Feliz has been in town for examinations on his lower back by the Phils training staff.

Everything appears to be good so far.

“We’re pleased with his progress,”  Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He has made good progress.”

Amaro said Feliz probably wouldn’t be ready to play in the team’s first spring training game Feb. 25, but could be ready shortly thereafter.

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Ryan Madson changed his number from 63 to 46.  The likely cause… Madson was always at the other end of the Phil’s clubhouse in Clearwater.  The clubhouse at Brighthouse Networks Field arranges its lockers in numerical order.  Non-roster invitees get high numbers.  Because Madson wore 63, it meant he was situated next to non-roster invitees and minor-leaguers who had little to no chance of making the team. Now he’ll likely be positioned near J.A. Happ (43) and Scott Eyre (47).

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Carlos Ruiz has decided to compete for Panama in the World Baseball Classic. This should make the battle between Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to be his back up a little more interesting because they will be getting more playing time this spring.

Many have said that the job is Paulino’s to lose.  I thought the Phillies would have traded Coste by now.  I guess it will be a real competition going into the spring.  Charlie Manuel has always been fond of Coste, so we’ll see.  I put in a request to Charlie to have him do an interview for the site.  He hasn’t responded yet so we’ll see what happens.  This should be an interesting spring.

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This weekend Anthony Gargano, of 610 WIP-AM, will sit down for an interview with me.  Stay tuned!

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The Great Howard Debate

Does Ryan Howard deserve the 18 Million he’s asking for?

Shay Roddy looks at both sides of the argument:

YES

Despite the fact that Ryan Howard has requested the third largest salary in the history of arbitration after giving less than four seasons of service, he has clearly warranted this salary.  He has far surpassed the first four years of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson, and every other baseball great.  He has won MVPs, HR Derbys, Rookie of the Years, and World Series titles.

He has not only set up Pat Burrell to be a better player, by putting runners in scoring posistion, but he has also forced the opponents to pitch to Utley.  He constantly demonstrates outstanding numbers in RBIs and HRs.

He was the fastest player to reach 100 HRs in the history of baseball.  He’s never caused an uproar in the clubhouse.  He’s a classy guy with a helluva a lot of talent.

Ryan Howard is a valuable part of the Phillies.  His numbers far exceed any put up by any player in the history of the game.  He deserves $18 Million.

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NO

Are you kidding me?  18 milion?  I think $14 million is generous.  There’s no way.  Howard is only 29, he’s spent less than four years in the league.  The whole league is based on service time, that’s why the arbitration process exists.

Howard has an enormously inflated sense of his own value.  He strikes out 200 times a year and is a human sift in the field. He was almost completely dormant during the playoffs, when it counts the most.

Compare him to Albert Pujols, the MVP of the league, who has twice as much time as Howard.  Pujols makes around $14 million a year. And he’s a gold glove caliber first baseman who hits 30 homeruns a year and hits .350 instead of .250 like Howard does.  Howard also frequently starts the season slow.

He’s lucky to be getting $14 million.

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Get ready to meet the phillies

For lack of better news, I will promote Meet the Phillies, which debuts on Comcast SportsNet tommorow.  Tune in at 7:00, in HD, where available.

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Eaton gets Eaten, Alou to Philly?

Phils GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. addressed Adam Eaton at Citizens Bank Park today.  When asked if Eaton could be in competition for the fifth spot Amaro said, “It’s a four-man competition, [Eaton] isn’t involved in it. We just feel the other four would have a better opportunity to help us.”

The other four are Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco and Chan Ho Park. Eaton is 14-18 with a 6.09 ERA in two seasons with the Phillies.

Frankly the statement doesn’t surprise anyone.  Eaton has been one of the biggest busts in franchise history.

Eaton will make $8.5 million this season, plus a $500,000 buyout on a club option for 2010. That contract makes him nearly impossible to trade. The Phillies tried to give him away during the winter meetings, eating all but $1 million of his salary, but found no takers.

If he can’t be traded, Eaton could be released before the season starts.

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The Phillies and Moises Alou have exchanged interests,  Alou, 42, is a terrific career hitter.  Alou however feels he can still start and the Phils certainly can’t offer hma a starting spot.  If Amaro could land him, he’d be a terrific addition to the bench.

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Zolecki leaves Inqy for MLB.com

Philadelelphia Inquirer Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki will leave the Inquirer, The Fightins’ reports.  Zolecki has served as Phils’ beat writer since 2003.  He has consistently written quality columns and kept up a good blog called ‘The Phillies Zone’ (FKA ‘The Zo Zone’)

Zolecki will replace Ken Mandel as Phillies writer for MLB.com.  He will also run a part time blog. That will all start in February. With the loss of Zolecki the Inquirer’s sports section is even worse and another tally is added to the reasons to buy the Daily News column.

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Baseball is back! (almost)

Philadelphia– get ready for baseball!  I got a text this morning from Michael Barkann.  Barkann will host Comcast SportsNet’s Meet the Phillies, along with Leslie Gudel and Tom McCarthy.  The event will be Saturday morning at 11:30 at the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park.  Since the event is sold out it will stream live on CSNPhilly.com.  Guests will include Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Jr.

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A myriad of signings

Wow! What a bad day to take off yesterday.  Here’s the latest on the Phils:

The Phillies have agreed to a  one-year, $5.475 million contract with Joe Blanton. The Phillies also agreed on a one-year, $3.125 million contract with centerfielder Shane Victorino.

Ryan Howard has announced that he would like $18 million next season.  The Phillies have offered him $14 million.  Let the negotiations begin!  I believe the Phils and Howard will again go to arbitration and this year the Phillies will win.  I’d expect a multi year deal to be done at some point during the season or in the  2009-2010 off-season.

The Phillies have also agreed to terms with Jayson Werth and Chad Durbin, Phillie Phanatics has learned.  Werth has signed to a two-year, $10 million.  Werth will receive $2 million in 2009, plus a $1 million signing bonus, and $7 million in 2010. The Phillies aren’t expected to announce the deal until later this week after Werth takes his physical.  Durbin has agreed to a one-year, $1.635 million contract.

This leaves Ryan Howard as the last unsigned arbitration eligible player.  Way to knock ’em down Ruben!

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