General Discussion – Week of 12-30-2013

What will 2014 hold for The Phillies? We’re about to find out. *Gets in time machine. Types “2 Days Into The Future” into interface. Gets transported to a distopian future, the date: January 1, 2014. Opens door and reports*

There’s some sort of bizarre parade of folks strutting down Broad Street. I’m really not sure how else to describe it. Wait, I’m getting a closer look now – It’s the 2014 Phillies. And that’s not a strut…IT’S A LIMP!

Because they’re all pretty old and likely to be injured. Get it? And I said they were “strutting” because that’s all I remember of that one time I watched The Mummers Parade on TV when I was like eight years old. Ok, bye.

Well that bit ended abruptly. Anyway, Happy New Year to you all!

Discuss.

117 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 12-30-2013

  1. Yes, Happy New Year to all here. Gird your loins for a rough ride in ’14. The most we realistically hope for is a .500 season…while we can hope that some of our minor leaguers get into good grooves and start really to make us see a better future.

    That #7 draft choice is mucho important; an opportunity (without guarantee) to add a significant piece for the near future……..IMO, a superior college starting pitcher. A righty power hitting RFer is a 2nd good target.

      1. That would be a disappointingly low HR total. Without more starting pitching than is evident, it would take no big injuries and a lot of luck for this team to reach .500. Unless Howard is platooning with Ruf or Franco or someone, 23 HR out of 1B isn’t going to get it done.

      2. Still a .500 team at best. The pitching staff is weak with Kendrick shaping up to be the #3 starter. That should tell you all you need to know.

        I think the team is closer to 100 losses than 81 losses.

  2. If Howard hits 23 HRs our lineup would continue to scare nobody. Add to that he’d probably continue to K vs. lefties and I don’t have much confidence in Ruff’s platooning even though he’d certainly do better than Howard which doesn’t say much. We don’t know how many games these oldies–all of them– would play in a162 game season.

    And then there is the pitching after the first two starters with a completely unknown ‘pen…especially with Paps on the trading block.

    It’s hard to imagine this group being really competitive. Maybe that won’t be so bad: it might encourage the trade of Lee for some good prospect pieces at mid-season. !!!

  3. Ever the optimist I don’t see how they cannot be competitive when they have a rotation that begins with Hamels and Lee, Utley and Rollins and Howard cannot be any worse. I also believe Ryne has the guts to platoon Ruf/Howard.

    I also don’t get all the old talk when we will have Brown, Revere, Asche playing every day, Ruf spelling Howard and Hernandez spelling Utley and probably Byrd to some degree. At some point I expect to see Biddle in the rotation if healthy and off to a decent start in LHV. Of the age that is in the line up they are still very good athletes: Utley, Rollins and Byrd. Ruiz is still very good behind the plate defensively.

    So I don’t expect them to contend for the division but they do have enough pieces to contend for a WC and if they are not they do have movable chips to bring in pieces for the future. I’ll also still give them a shot at adding Tanaka or another low risk high reward starter once Tanaka does make a decision.

    For me baseball seasons come and go and rarely does your team win a WS so if that makes or breaks a season for you why be a fan of any team. I’m excited for 2014.

    1. This is surely an optimist’s view. I tend to be an optimist myself so there are a few scenarios where a WC is a possibility. Age-wise they did it in ’83 with the Wheeze Kids, but we can’t expect that to come together here. What are the chances of this aging core not spending significant time on the DL?

      You look at things like how the Phils went to the WS in 2009 with a nonexistent closer so 10 blown saves might not be as bad as we think, but overall you’re getting into low percentages of success here.

      I think Howard will have a decent year, 30 HRs/110 RBI in 125 games either in a platoon role and/or some DL time. But he must be platooned; he flat out cannot hit most lefties. Unlike CM, Sandberg won’t put up with automatic strikeouts all season.

      Dom Brown: how much of what he did in June and July will we see in 2014?

      Cody Asche is likely to have a breakout year. Franco at best will get a September call up.

      There are wild cards in the rotation. Pettibone optimistically could be a 13 game winner. MAG is a complete unknown. I would not expect much out of Hernandez. Kendrick most likely will continue in his Jekyll and Hyde role. Same with the bullpen: what can we expect out of Adams (healed?), Lincoln, Martin? Can Diekman live up to his promise?

      So many unknowns. Just about everything must come together for this team to contend.

    2. DMAR, I think they’ll be better. Better enough to contend? It’s hard to see.

      Both the hitting and the pitching would have to improve a lot just to be average. The team would have to score 37 more runs, and allow 94 fewer, just to be average in both runs and runs allowed. That most likely would make them a .500 team. And IMO that’s what this team looks like – if you make some optimistic assumptions about health and effectiveness.

    3. “And that’s why they play the games.” How many people picked the Phils in 2008? Not with your heart but with your head. I wrote a piece on a blog site in 2008 before the 2008 season started that essentially said, if this happens and a few other things happen and this or that doesn’t happen then the Phils can get deep into the playoffs. The chances of all those things happening plus a closer who doesn’t blow a save all year were a million to one. But they did. Winning breeds winning. Once you start to win it can become contagious. The problem is getting the attitude that no matter what is happening, you’re never out of the game. That’s what the Phils need in order to succeed. You play all 162 games and see what you’ve got.

    4. An optimist view for sure but you are relying on guys that are past their prime and regressing to suddenly revert back to their primes on the field and stay out of the trainers room.

      The rotation looks nice at the start with Lee and Hamels but the back end is Kendrick, Pettibone, and ????. The team will have to put up runs to backstop those guys on a regular basis.

      The bullpen is a huge question mark.

      If everything breaks their way and that is a big if I can see them at .500 but more than likely they will struggle.

  4. Its going to be a tough year watching this ” over the hill group” playing at Senior Citizens Bank Park in 2014. They should have never resigned Rollins and Utley . The time to rebuild was 2 years ago . It will be tough watching all the young talent on the Nats and the Braves next year while we fight to stay out of the cellar.

        1. remember that the cards were willing to go 9 yrs at well over 20m per. They just didn’t go 10 like the Angels. But the point of not bringing back 2 of the best home grown players towards the end of their careers is a perfectly valid point and after watching the last 2 seasons proven that we should have just moved on. Fans respect winning not loyalty. It was the loyalty that we showed to Jamie Moyer that caused us to have to move Cliff Lee. There was no need to reward him after the WS with that much $ for 3 yrs. People Keep citing Blanton’s contract but he was being paid mkt price for what he was. It was the Moyer deal that was stupid, and I believe that is a mandate from ownership to Amaro as they are still living in an era where people want their players to stay their whole careers. Most of us respect our players enough to know when they are done. To let Rollins and Utley walk is a far cry from being the Pirates or Marlins.

      1. Not if they are no longer productive and are getting overpaid . Baseball is a business , Talent wins . Remember ” nice guys finish last “. I loved Rollins and Utley when they were productive but its time to get younger.

  5. Leandro castro best 2 out hitter with runners in scoring position. If on base percentage goes up he is a lock for a callup.

      1. Want to bet on that? I have a reason to believe your boy revere wont last in centerfield, I also dont see one hustle player in that of revere, mayberry, brown, or capitan crunch who is a first baseman not an outfielder.

        1. Yes, I’ll bet on that . . . . and quite a bit of money too. I’ll bet $100 he never gets 250 at bats in a year for the Phillies. And I’ll further bet another $100 he never is more than a 1.5 WAR player (both fWAR and bWAR) in any major league season. You’re on!

          1. Let me know if you’re taking that bet and we’ll figure out a way to coordinate and have the money put up in some way. If you take that bet, you’re going down fella.

  6. Entertaining article on ESPN about the oddities of the 2013 season. There were a few related to the Phillies. A few that made me do double-takes:

    1) Between April 13 and May 31, Cole Hamels made nine starts for the Phillies in which he threw 927 pitches to 240 hitters. You know what all those pitches had in common? He never threw one of them with his team holding a lead.

    2) And here comes the Strange But True rehab-option note of the year: During Bryce Harper’s June injury-rehab tour of Class A Potomac, the youngest player on the team was — who else? — HIM

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10210242/mlb-strange-true-2013

  7. I appreciate optimism, and love the Phillies. But that should not let them off of the hook for mismanaging this team. There is nothing to suggest that this is a .500 team, let alone a WC possibility. Revere, Brown and Asche have to actually show they can play for a winning team, not just be on a team. And, there is a huge hole after Lee and Hamels. Bullpen still not addressed. Optimism would root for .500, but I would rather they win 70 games than 81 and build a future.

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing if we can finish in the top 5 for the 2015 MLB Draft. But more importantly I’m greatly looking forward to our 2014 Blueclaws and Crosscutters! Forget the Phillies this season, that’s where the actions at!

  9. If the Phils go ,500 they should mount a statue of Ryne on the Art steps

    1. Mounting a statue? That sounds uncomfortable. I would not want to do that in private let alone on the art museum steps.

  10. For the 1st time in 10 years, I’m NOT renewing my season tickets (full). I feel as though they have done nothing to appease the fans appetite.

    1. Happy New Year.
      Why not renew and parcel out the games to different parties….thats what we did.
      You do not want to lose your standing with the seat locations…but then again with the way the team is going currently…that may be a moot point.

    2. Howard, I don’t blame you. I did renew, but only with some reluctance and after improving my seats due to availability caused by other folks not renewing their seats (sitting in the 7th row in right field., down from the 18th row). The team is old, boring and appears to be directionless – a regressive, to-slow-to-react, backward thinking organization. This is a direct result of the approach taken by their thus far incompetent general manager (I say thus far because, as much as I criticize him, I’d like nothing better for Amaro to improve to the point where he can keep his job – I don’t expect that of course, but I’d be more than happy if it happened).

      1. There are plenty of issues with the organization, but I don’t think they’re directionless. You can disagree with the plan they have, but I do think they have one: Be as good as possible while not committing to more high-salaried older players and building up young talent.

        That would explain signing guys like Marlon Byrd. That should keep the team respectable on the field while they try to locate some impact young talent. Whether or not they can execute on that remains to be seen.

        1. I guess the validity of this depends upon your definitions of ‘plan’ and ‘respectable’. RAJ has stated that the Phillies do not have and do not believe in 5-year plans. What RAJ did this year is a repeat of last year, only with longer-term commitments. Last year’s effort did not produce respectability, at least by my definition, and I don’t think the 2014 will be respectable either. Where, or more precisely — exactly who– is this young talent of which you speak? Muddling through year to year is not a plan. It is an annual improvisation, or more accurately a hope and pray and throw up smoke to sell as many tickets as possible.

          1. We know who the young players are to keep an eye on, and we know that they need to find more of them. I just think their focus has shifted to drafting/developing again, and if they do give up serious assets for players from other organizations, they’ll be younger players.

            Giving a ton of money to Choo or Ellsbury just wasn’t the direction the team wanted to go, but they still want to avoid the division’s cellar. They want some people in the seats. They want to transition to another core as painlessly as possible, and they don’t necessarily have to bottom out to accomplish it. It can be done if they have enough success in the draft and maybe make some good trades along the way. It’s not really a 5 year plan if they don’t put a time-frame on it.

        2. Of course they have a plan. It’s just that it’s not a good one. This doesn’t make them any less “directionless”.

          1. Yo guys, that’s why I said they “appear” to be directionless, as folks often do when they are incompetent and don’t know how to move forward. They may have some Ill-conceived plan, but, to knowledgeable outsiders that plan appears foolish.

        3. Byrd isn’t the problem . The two year contract is.

  11. The Phillies were down 500,000 fans in 2013 . With a projected last place finish in 2014 they will lose another million fans . Maybe then they will realize the window has closed and blow up this team.

    1. Phillies home attendance was 3,565,718 in 2012 and 3,012,403 in 2013. I’d say it’s very likely they fail to reach 3mil in 2014 – I’m guessing 2.6-2.7mil but with a wide delta when considering how the team actually performs / under performs. If they don’t draw 2.5mil next year then at least we could look forward to a house cleaning in the front office. This team is setup to lose – and with any significant injury they’ll likely lose badly. At least the Brewers should be worse.

        1. So with the decline in attendance, going hand-in-hand with the teams decline in wins, and ‘then at least we could look forward to a house cleaning in the front office’…this will mean Ruben could be exited in that purging.
          Say it ain’t so! (tic)

          1. Ruben will stay a bit longer. The reasons are easy to see. If you brought in a new GM and said you can’t spend more money, then why do it? Essentially this team is what it is. You can’t get rid of Howard without eating most of his contract. Rollins has a no trade clause and tends to trot it out anytime his name is mentioned as a trade candidate. Lee has been worth his money but the problem is going forward. Is some team thinking he’ll continue to be productive as he ages? Hamels can be traded in less than a minute but he’s one of the guys you want to build with. The minor leagues have a few years to play out before there’s a lot of help from them and by the time they get there they could be a bunch of Hewitts. The time to dump the GM is when the team is a blank slate. The new guy can build from there. That won’t be for a few years.

            The only way for a fan to vote is with their feet. If you feel you have to make a statement then don’t renew your seats.

            1. I beg to differ on Ruben’s staying…nezt year IMO is probabtion for him depending on the finish of the team. In the playoffs he stays; mssing the playoffs by a a few games, he stays; finishing in third or lower and being out of it come Labor Day…adios amigo.
              Monty cannot weather the media blitz by then and the seats filled with empty fans..

      1. It will be really tough for them not to draw 2.5, but 1Million lost tickets in 2 years has to trigger a John Middleton/ Monty sit down. Not drawing 3Million is a disgrace and with proper management of the resources available they should still be a 3.6 Million draw team. Which is why I see a Ruben dismissal when this team has to fight to stay out of last place.

        1. 30K a game is 2.5M…..but that is poor attendance for this market.
          I would think they would need 40K per to anticpate some sort of a profit.

  12. From Beerleaguer on Marlon Byrd’ Impact on Defense:
    ‘Phillies rightfielders were worth negative-19 runs saved in 2013, 28th in baseball ahead of only the Rockies and Astros. Byrd was worth positive-12 runs saved, good for sixth best among MLB rightfielders. He racked up 10 assists, third most at his position behind only Gerardo Parra (15) and Jay Bruce (13), two of the elite outfield arms in the business. To demonstrate the value of defense, consider this: Among the majors last season, the Phillies ranked second-to-last in UZR (minus-42.2). Five of the bottom six teams in UZR — Rockies, Astros, Twins, Phillies, Mariners — finished a combined 335-475 (.414 winning percentage). The other team was the Cardinals, who made up for subpar range by making the routine plays and producing off-the-chart numbers at the plate.
    Winning teams typically are clean in the field, cover ground and limit extra outs. Defense does in fact win games. So yes, Byrd comes with many risks. But defensively, he shores up a glaring weakness.’.
    Now, you have to admit, that is one positive for the new year.

    1. Except that the OF had three weak spots last year and the IF three more. At this rate, in five years the Phils will field a solid defensive team, and they then can turn their attention to offense or maybe the rotation.

      1. You are looking at a seven year plan.Close to my eighth birthday . Good luck to me.

    2. I think Byrd was too old for the contract they handed out. Yes he may be a +12 runs saved but I would rather use this year as a test on Hernandez/Ruff/Revere combination for the last two spots.

      This team is not winning anything so why take away valuable time from young players who need it?

      If they don’t work out fine but if they do it is one less hole to fill.

      Hernandez did well for a quick transition to the outfield from 2B last season. Maybe he improves but if he is on the bench we will never know.

      Same goes for Ruff. Maybe he learns to hit an offspeed pitch in the offseason.

      Revere started slow but came on before getting injured. I want to see a full season from him.

      Byrd does not give this team anything for the future.

      1. I agree, which is my objection to all of the signings of the past two winters. Spending significant $ to simply strive for sub-.500 respectability on a year-to-year basis, while adding no help for the future is simply stupid and evidence of no plan. Really, the past 3 RAJ winters have been disappointing. At least last winter, it was only single year contracts added. Two years for Byrd and 3 for Ruiz negatively impact the future. Again, spend the money somewhere where it helps us become a contender faster. Attendance is going to take about the same hit if we win 80 games as it will if we win 70, particularly if the 70-wins come from a younger team. If ownership is thinking that fans are hoping for 80-win ‘respectability’, then they don’ understand half their fan base.

  13. Thanks to the guys showing optimism, I’m somewhere in between but I’d like to be more optimistic. While its cache to call them a very old team, the reality is somewhere in between. Howard has been hurt and out of shape and I totally expect him to be in shape and healthy next year. There’s no reason to expect him to get hurt this year. Utley has knee problems that aren’t going away. However, he played very well last year even if he is not the player he used to be, showing much less range defensively. If they can get 125 – 140 games out of Utley, that would be terrific. Rollins looked bored more than he looked old last year. He still has great hands and a great arm although his range is certainly down. Offensively, I think having Bowa and Howard back will change JRoll’s game back to what it should be. He looked different (better) in Sept after Ryno read him the riot act. I expect Dom, Revere, and Asche to all improve this year as will several of the relievers plus a rotation of Hamels and Lee is a good start. Lastly, I think Ryno will have the team playing good smart baseball again, hitting the ball the other way and holding guys accountable. If Howard needs to be platooned, Ruf is there (although I doubt it will be needed).
    Its very easy to go negative with this team, and I do often enough but, I’m going to try and stay positive and hope that another starting pitcher is still coming our way and that 86 wins is possible and a wild car chase is at least a possibility.

  14. What? No elation over the big new Comcast contract? Just 2 more seasons at the same monetary level until it kicks in. The somewhat incomplete reports, as of now, say this:
    length of 20-25 years. One report says they might join the teams that get 1 billion on a contract, well, over 25 years, I would hope so. Matt Gelb, in his latest write-up assumes it is “billions”. Might be billions- if it is only 1 billion, that would up it to 40 million a season, instead of the current 35 million, for a whopping 5 million a season in extra money to play around with. Gelb also says that the Phillies new contract would not exceed the 7 billion a season the Dodgers get. So, if you base the 1 billion haul at 40 million per, and that a good number of teams take in around 150 million per season, I would say that if they don’t get, at least, 4 billion in total over 25 years, they will still often get out bid,, so there will not be much appreciable difference.

    But look on the brightside if it is only 1 billion a year over 25 years starting after the 2015 season, the won’t get outbid when Freddy Galvis qualifies for Free Agency. Did I mention it will only be locked in at that rate for the next 25 years.? It would not surprise me , if it was 1 billion over 25 years. Might be right on that, looks like the projections on here of the massive offseason spending and the snagging of Tanaka have not yet come to fruition, so that might have been right.

    Gelb’s article also says to the effect that the Phillies were not a threat to seek other bidders or to start a bidding war. I interpret that to mean they are still on the Comcast plantation, so that may also buttress the 1 billion over 25 years theory.

    By the way, unless one lives in the Comcast viewing area, instead of getting to see the Sunday games and selected games with a projected high viewership (good games(, one will now see zero games (per the Gelb article).

    1. If it is a billion over 25 years then the management has dug this team a 25 year grave. But I can’t believe it will be anything close to that low.

  15. Random comment but I have decided who I want the Phillies to take in the Draft this year, it’s actually outta 3 people . . I’m obviously going to go with Rondon, Hoffman and Beede being off the board by the time the Phillies pick. I’d like to see them Aaron Nola doesn’t seem to having just one outstanding pitch but can do a lot at an above average clip, i’m obsessed with Touki Toussaint breaking ball and Tyler Kolek is a Texas boy who reminds me of Roger Clemens. Either of the 3 would be nice. .

    1. With Kolek you will not see major league results until aprrox. 2018.
      Nola or Beede if there, could be 2016.

    2. I don’t know the names you’re referring to but we need someone who can become a legit #1 starter or a guy who can become a legit #3 hitter (the hardest things to find) and we can’t afford to miss. In fact, we need the 2nd round pick to be very good also in what is supposed to be a deep draft. We need someone to face off with Strasburg, Harvey and Fernandez for years to come.

      1. Back of the first round? He was back of the first round coming out of HS, i think the 21 pick to be exact (where ever the Blue Jays picked). He won’t make it to the Phillie pick, he’s a hands down top 10 guy maybe top 5.

        1. I have seen some mock drafts where beede falls to phillies, but most have phillies taking a high school toolsy shortstop. These things will change a lot until the draft. I have been trying to get a read on this group of draft kids. I am most likely one of the few on here who hopes a stud right hand bats falls to them, most so far seem to want a pitcher,but best availabe is still the way, just hope its a right hand power bat.

          1. Then you would want either Jacob Gatewood or Alex Jackson with our first pick or hope that ,Michael Conforto, Monte Harrison or JD Davis fall to us in the second round.

          2. roccom….the shortstop was in 2013 ..JP Crawford….why go that route again in 2014 at the 7th pick when there will be quality pitchers and other position players available?
            And then there are the Roman Quinn enthusiasts who think he is also a ss candidate.

            1. The SS they could be talking about is Gatewood, he’s a lanky kid 6’4 or 6’5 and only about 180lb but has a ton of power. From reports that I’ve seen he’ll prob move off of SS and over to 3B with one of the corner spots also an option down the road. Just because they are drafted at a certain position doesn’t mean they’ll stick there or even that the Phillies want them at that position (I know you know that but just saying). So he could be the SS he’s talking about.

  16. If this deal is not $80Million a year or more, then the Management of the Phillies just committed the worst mismanagement of all of their bad moves. Forget the Dodgers, but they have to be at least what the Rangers get. I would not think a 25 year deal would be less than $3Billion.

    1. This is the part that is the unkown to Gelb and the public and how much value is tied into it:
      ‘….the Phillies’ deal was unique in (the past) in that they received a cut of advertising revenue from the telecasts because the team was responsible, in part, for selling the ads. It is unclear whether that partnership will continue’.
      This aspect could mean a very substantial monetary gain for the Phillies if it were also included in thsi latest deal. And I can only assume it was since both parties lived with it in the past.

    2. I am going to be cautiously optimistic about this deal and I expect it won’t be a “break the bank” type of deal (like the Dodgers), but it will be very fair and market competitive for both sides. There is an obvious synergy and connection between the Phillies and Comcast – they have a mutual interest in this working out and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Phillies had some type of percentage arrangement that tied adverstising success to greater revenues for the team and I HOPE this is the case so that management is incentivized to improve performance.

      1. Seattle got around $2B for 17 years. Texas got around $3B for 20 years.

        Phillies better not screw this up and end up with a Atlanta Braves type putrid TV deal.

        1. If you forced me to guess, I’d say somewhere between $4-5 billion – this is a huge media market and when the Phillies are good, their viewership is incredibly high. Again, I’m fine with, and in fact would prefer, a deal that was both penalty and incentive laden.

        2. Some people think that cable made the Braves . It is more the opposite . The Team was frequently short changed

          1. Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) and Ted himself helped form and fuel the dynasty starting back in the 90s.

    3. 25 years for $2.5B plus shared ad revenue. Its not a bad deal but let’s see what these additional dollars (in 2 years) mean to the team’s budget.

  17. LAD gets $7B….Phillies in the 4th largest TV market in the US….BUT ONLY TEAM without a second competitor, like Yankees/Mets, Cubs/WSox and LAD/LAA. They get 2.5B. That equity stake in Comcast SportsNet, along with shared ad revenue, has to be more lucrative then anyone can imagine.
    I see a dome coming to CBP! ….. just joking.

    1. I see the owners never selling, and we are stuck with these small minded old people, except for Middleton. they let Montgomery handle all aspects of the team, scouting, trades to save money, They raise ticket prices to highest in the league, They stop drafting in first round, saying there is as much talent in later rounds and don’t need to pay high bonus. then they don’t sign 3 of top ten picks. valet parking will cost 100 dollars a car. beer will be hotter as they stop paying electric bill, and go to solar power, play more day games. Executive now get electric cars to use, trip to Florida with equipment will now start in January, it will take longer as Montgomery and Giles must driver the equipment to spring training. part of ed wade new duties is selling programs in stands to get to know the fans

      1. What the hell are you talking about? This has to be the most off base comment I’ve read on this board.

        1. We stopped drafted in the 1st round because we brought in high priced free agents that many teams coveted, I don’t believe that is being cheap.

        2. They raised ticket prices because they could, it would be extremely dumb to not raise ticket prices if the demand was there for them. Before we had a small TV contract and the ticket sales were a large factor in our ability to have a large payroll. If they did not raise ticket prices, players like Cliff Lee would not be in a Phillies jersey today.

        How the hell are these owners small minded? We went from $90 mil a year in payroll to a top 4 payroll in baseball in less than 5 years. A small minded-owner would never make a move that risky, hell… I don’t know if any owners in baseball would make a move that risky.

        1. You really read what I wrote, do you know what a joke is? But I don’t like Montgomery remark after the deal, we wont raise payroll. that bothers me, if you make mistakes, you have to eat some salary or go over and pay tax, the money is there, so even though I joke, they make it hard to not believe, they wont go the extra mile to win. that is imo disturbing.

            1. I thought I was out but old timer brought me back in, his love of my posting will keep me posting, and since he is so old. I will post more, I read where old people must read more to help memory loss,

  18. I am as usually confused, Seattle got better deal than us and Texas did too. why?. I thought we were fourth largest market or fifth, why take less than Seattle and Texas got.

    1. The equity stake in Comcast SportsNet, along with shared ad revenue, will probably bring in more for them in the long run then the base figure of $2.5B over the length of the entire contract.

    2. Not really when you add in the equity share and ad revenue. Figure on the true value of the deal at closer to $200 million per year rather than the $100 million a year they’re getting up front. And all that extra money isn’t subject to revenue sharing so they’ll probably end up pocketing close to $160-170 million AFTER revenue sharing. There is zero excuse for them to ever not spend again.

      Let’s watch them not though and let’s watch people defend their cheap ways online.

      1. These are all interesting figures, but where did people get the numbers on the ad sharing and equity piece? Is there any source for that? Also, in terms of annual spending, value is not what matters but, rather, cash flow and revenue. Will the comcast equity piece generate serious cash flow? I could give a damn as to what it’s worth – cash flow is what I care about, not capital appreciation.

        1. By the way, if the ad and equity portions have serious revenue upsides, then I like that a lot. I want the Phillies management to be incentivized to perform well and disincentivized to perform poorly. I want GMs like Amaro, who show questionable ability, to be on as short a leash as possible.

          1. IMO, no matter how much trump is projected to come the Phillies way over the next few decades, if the team falters badly in 2014 and plummets to the depths of the NL-East, Ruben is gone as the GM…but probably remains as the Senior VP.
            Him and monty after much deliberation, will come to the conclusion to fire Ruben the GM.

        2. Much like the Yankees with YES, the Phillies will get 25% of any profit that CSN Philly pulls in on top of that $100 Million in revenue from the broadcasts. They’ll also get part of the ad revenue from any advertising they sell for their broadcasts. Those are both fairly nice chunks of change and they are exempt from revenue sharing as its technically not “baseball revenue”.

      2. The Phils revenue-sharing payments will be based on excess local revenue, i.e., the excess of the Phils’ local revenue over the average of the local revenue of all 30 teams. The payment is a percentage of the excess local revenue.

        The largest of the three revenue-sharing components is the Base Plan (The other two are the Supplementary Plan and the Commissioner’s Discretionary Fund.). The Phils’ pay-in under the Base Plan will be 34% of the Phils’ excess local revenue. If the Phils’ excess revenue is $25 million, then the pay-in under the Base Plan would be $8.5 million. If you add in the other components, I don’t think the total pay-in would exceed $12 million in my example.

        In determining their revenue-sharing pay-in, the key question is how much excess local revenue will the Phils have.

      3. Seattle went $2B/17 years and that included becoming the majority shareholder of their regional sports network. I gotta think Comcast Sportsnet is more valuable than Seattle since it has more viewership and more major sports on it (NHL/NBA/MLB).

        I think the 17 years is definitely in Seattle’s favor because while you look at these gigantic numbers and think the TV Deals look massive who knows what we’ll be saying 10 years from now. You always think there’s got to be some kind of ceiling for player salaries and things in sports, but it just keeps going up and up and up.

  19. Per Phillysporst.com:
    The Phillies were the latest Major League Baseball team to sell their lucrative TV rights for billions. Their deal with Comcast SportsNet is commensurate with other recent agreements.

    Team MarketRank AveAnnual Equity
    Dodgers 2 $340 million 0%
    Angels 2 $150 million 25%
    Rangers 5 $150 million 10%
    Mariners 13 $115 million 50%
    Phillies 4 $100 million 25%
    SOURCE: FANGRAPHS.COM

    1. The picture of the Phillies’ deal is slowly coming into focus. Two of the remaining questions: 1) how much of the ad revenue are the Phils getting this time? and 2) what are the dollar values of the equity stakes?

      Is the Mariners’ 50% equity stake smaller than, equal to or larger than the Phils’ 25% equity stake in dollar terms? My guess is that the Phils’ stake is larger. My guess is that the Phils’ equity stake is larger in dollar terms than any of the others’ on the list.

      When the fee, the equity, and the advertising are added together after being converted into revenue streams, how close is the Phils’ deal to the Dodgers’ deal?

      1. Seattle having the majority share of their own RSN is also another added benefit that they can basically TEAR UP the contract whenever they want. In fact that’s what they did to *GET* their new deal. They had 5 or 6 years remaining on their contract, but they purchased the controlling interest of the network which owned their TV rights which allowed them to then negotiate with themselves and give themselves a new TV deal which replaced the remaining years left of their old one.

      2. They will never give you those figures, (ad revenue and equity stake value) knowing how the Phillies operate.
        It would appear they rather keep that stuff scretive to avoid any criticism from the fans and the media whenever they talk ‘budget restraints’ when they miss out on an opportunity for a player or prospect.
        Maybe I am wrong.

      3. How does Seattle command that big a deal? I know they have a big following with the Asian communities but they are only 13th ranked in viewers. It’s disgusting, the Cable companies pay more so they charge us more, the clubs keep raising the tix prices to make more and pay the athletes more. The GMs keep giving old over rated athletes bad contracts with more and more money. Ultimately, the fans get screwed.

    2. At first glance, it looks as though the Dodgers would be taking a huge revenue-sharing hit each year. I recall reading, however, that the Dodger number to be used in the revenue-sharing calculation will include far less than the $340 million from the TV deal; I think the Dodgers and MLB are still negotiating how much less.

  20. We have known that this money was coming. The key will be how the Phils spend their money going forward. It is clear that they are not going to add payroll past what it is now. Which means that they have to get very lucky in the next couple of years with one of the prospects becoming a top player, or they trade Lee or they can do very little to improve the team until the Rollins/Howard/Lee contracts expire. The team does not contend again until they get their next star every day player by some means.

    1. Seems Phillies are behind the Dodgers, Mariners (how is this possible!), LAA and Rangers, along with the Yankees (YES) and probably the Cubs (WGN) and the Red Sox (NESN)
      Without know the value of shared ad revenue and equity, the sit around 8th or 9th as far as ranking TV deals.
      Is this a correct assumption?

      1. Good question. I have no idea what the ‘real’ ranking is. But I’d expect Phillies to be below Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, RedSox. I could see them similar to the ‘secondary teams’ of Angels, Mets, WhiteSox and Rangers, Astros. Appears that Mariners money is somewhat fabricated since they are paying themselves?

        Anyway, it would be great if Phillies deal was above their competition. However, having revenue out of MLB’s hands and tied to team success probably makes it more viable long term. Makes sense to have a win-win deal with the local ties to Comcast though.

        I am happy they seemed to get a good deal, especially to do so before the teams best generation of players ever departs. Who knows what the future brings but the team should at least avoid being financially handicapped like the smaller market teams.

        1. The Phillies are getting enough money from the new TV deal that lack of resources will not be a limiting factor on how much the team chooses to spend on major league salaries and new talent acquisition. There will be more than enough $ to stretch every spending limit laid down by the commissioner.

          1. Spending money to the luxury tax limit will not be a problem. Spending it wisely……..

            We spent $159.585 million on last year’s roster and have $141 million committed to 11 guys.

            The bad contracts on the roster limit us as to how we can move around in terms of trades and free agent signings.

            That bothers me because it entrenches Amaro in his GM role. If you were considering this job as GM the biggest problem would be the dead weight on the roster, not the young players. There is a lack of superstars but some solid pieces in the field to build around.

          2. Personally, I would like them to spend more, or up to their allocation, in the LA market and go to the limit of their boinus allocation in the top ten of the Rule 4 draft.
            That would make me happy.
            And finally, though the market dictates this sometimes, I would like them to avoid those ‘9-year, $200M contracts, for 30-year olds..or no more Ryan Howard contracts. Now Cole Hamel’s contract could be in that category one day.

  21. I still hope that a starting pitcher might come our way. Garza would be nice, Arroyo reasonable and even a lower guy like Maholm adequate but we need another pitcher don’t we?

    1. If we could get an Arroyo or Maholm on a cheap 1-yr deal after the market thins, I would definitely be interested. In any particular order:

      1. Hamels
      2. Lee
      3. Kendrick
      4. Hernandez
      5. Gonzalez
      6. Pettibone

      I’ll still contend that Gonzalez may be best suited for a bullpen role, at least to start. It’s not like he’s going to be able to pitch 180+ innings next season. I actually like the Hernandez signing but as a #5, not a #3 or #4. Our bullpen will be seriously taxed next season – again. Arroyo would slide in nicely as a 3 – I’d take him at 1/10 or even 2/20. At that price he’d likely be a very movable piece at this year’s deadline.

      Even if the offense performs better than expected, if either of Lee or Hamels go down for any considerable length of time we’ll likely be vying for a Top 3 pick in 2015.

      1. I like Bronson Arroyo also for a two year deal @ 20M. The Reds are not likely to re-sign him. And like you say, come July he would be an attractive pitcher for a contender if the phillies are out of it. Plus he would not be a rental.

  22. All this would change is how much money Ruben can waste

    1. Well, I’ve been trying to get details on the deal and it does seem as if the ownership and ad portions of the deal are significant and, most importantly, these deal points are: (a) not taxed 34% under the salary structure as regular TV revenues are; and (b) are probably REALLY significant – constituting another $25-100 million in annual value for the Phillies; and (c) because the Phillies get a cut of ad revenue, they are incentivized to keep that revenue as high as possible by maintaining an excellent product on the field.

      1. It’s not 34% of Comcast fees paid. It’s 34% of the difference between the Phillies’ Local Revenue and the average Local Revenue of all 30 teams (Local Revenue includes TV revenue and other items as well.). There’s a big difference.

        Also, revenue sharing has three parts to it:, a Base Fee, a Supplementary Fee, and the Commissioner’s Discretionary Fund. 34% refers to the Base Fee and is the largest revenue-sharing component.

        (See Article XXIV of the CBA for the provisions on revenue sharing and a precise definition of Local Revenue.).

        1. ‘Scott Boras believes the actual appraisal of the deal is worth some $200 million per year to the Phillies. Boras does not have direct knowledge of the Phillies’ agreement but has examined similar contracts between other teams and networks.
          Boras said the Phillies, like other teams, are taking advantage of a loophole in the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. “Having a percent ownership in the entity prevents them from exposure to revenue-sharing rules,” Boras said, “which hurts other teams in the league from receiving the true payment.” Whether the total value of the deal is worth $4 billion, $5 billion or $6 billion, it is significant. Various sports business analysts said the agreement was comparable to recent ones across baseball. The Dodgers remain an outlier; they signed a deal valued at $8.5 billion after a lengthy bidding war between Time Warner and Fox Sports. (They will pay $2 billion of that toward revenue sharing.)’

      2. I am happy to see you point out the possibility that the equity and advertising revenue may be quite significant.

        It’s obvious that, in the rush to get a story out as quickly as possible, the media are intentionally giving an incomplete report about the Phillies’ new deal.

        Apparently, nobody has told the media how much the equity piece and the advertising stream are worth. This has led some in the media (including some bloggers) to adopt the irrational position that these items must be minor.

        So, we have the media and many fans that follow the media drawing conclusions based on incomplete information about such matters as the Phillies’ somewhat disappointing deal vs. the Dodgers’ spectacular deal, how little additional money the Phils will have to spend on players, etc.

        Funny, isn’t it?

        1. It’s kind of sad really and speaks to today’s individual. In general people have become lazy and fail to do in depth research of their own before running off at the mouth or key board.

          I think State Farm had the commercial a while back “They can’t put it on the internet if it isn’t true”

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