Open Discussion: Week of December 13th

It started out as a quiet week.  The Winter Meetings were relegated to a bunch of zoom sessions, the Phillies had lost all but one candidate for their vacant front office position, an unexciting Rule 5 Draft was on the horizon, and a former Phillies’ great player(and shoulda-been-hall-of-famer) passed.

Then all heck broke loose.

Dick Allen’s passing before he could be voted into the hall of fame is a terrible shame.  Rather than comment on the continued ineptitude of a voting system that should be replaced, I will comment on a different Allen topic – his name change from Richie to Dick.

I was an 8-year-old in third grade when Richie Allen displace Johnny Callison as my favorite Phillie.  (Callison had replaced my first favorite Phillie, Don Demeter, in 1962.)  I have vague recollections of the media reporting negatively about Allen. One story had to do with his cutting his hand while pushing a stalled car.  I didn’t understand why the papers would “attack” a local sports hero that way.

In a few years, Richie Allen would be traded and become Dick Allen with other teams.  In my mind, he has always been Richie.  And, I always referred to him as Richie Allen.  That’s how I remembered him in spite of his brief stint back in Philadelphia in ’75-76.  Until this week.

Among the many articles about Allen that surfaced this week was one that explained why he changed from Richie to Dick.  Turns out he always went by Dick.  He lamented the fact that the local media ignored him and continued to refer to him by what he considered a child’s name, a boy’s name.

So, here’s to you Dick Allen.  Sorry for my continued ignorance all those years.


The Rule 5 Draft was held Thursday.  The Phillies claimed SS Kyle Holder from the Yankees during the major league portion.  Holder will provide some depth at the utility infielder position, a place where the Phillies are particularly thin.  This may preclude them having to pay more to fill this position through free agency.  This acquisition brought their 40-man roster to 39 players.

The Phillies made no selection during the minor league portion, but did lose RHP Reggie McClain to the Yankees.  McClain was listed as being on the Lehigh Valley roster and should have been protected from selection.  However, when selected, it was stated that he was with AA Reading.  Turns out the roster on the IronPigs site is not 100% accurate.  McClain had been removed and others were added.  One such addition we didn’t know about was Kevin Gowdy.


And then, Jayson Stark (one of a few local beat writers for the Athletic) broke the biggest Phillies’ story of the offseason – the Phillies were very close to reaching agreement with David Dombrowski as their President of Baseball Operations.

Within 24 hours, the Phillies had announced his signing and Dombrowski was talking to local reporters in a zoom conference.  I’m still very much amazed that this was conducted with such secrecy when so many other stories get reported.

Like some here, I was a little skeptical about the hiring.  I value my prospects more than I should.  However, I was very impressed with his answers to the media’s questions.  I had also read an article by a Boston writer (written some months ago) that depicted a much different Dombrowski tenure in Boston than the popular depiction of him as a sell the future for a championship guy.

I don’t know what he might do in the coming weeks.  I think he’s savvy enough to NOT tell the media what he’s up to.  I expect that rumors by the national media will abound now that trader Dave is back.  I also expect that when a deal is announced we will be surprised.

I don’t expect a Realmuto signing, but agree that Dombrowski’s presence makes the Phillies a more attractive landing spot.  And with the Mets out of the picture, who knows, maybe.

I’m on the fence regarding Realmuto.  I would like to have him back, but don’t want to mortgage the future.  If the Phillies are really going to ratchet back on spending, I think I would rather address as many gaps as possible rather than one gap and use duct tape on the rest.

The Phillies lost two bats with the free agencies of Didi Gregorious and Realmuto (the second and fourth best WAR on the 2020 team).  So, along with replacing these two players, Dombrowski has a lot of work ahead of him – bullpen, 5th/6th starter, closer at the very minimum.

However, this projection by Eno Sarris of the Athletic would make me sick if it happened.  (https://theathletic.com/2247353/2020/12/10/mlb-free-agents-top-10-fits/)

Contenders for Realmuto: Astros, Rays, Mets, Cardinals, Phillies.  The Cardinals will likely drop out of the running once they commit to signing Yadier Molina.  The Rays are a dark horse, but would likely only enter the picture on a one-year deal due to the prohibitive cost of a longer term contract.  The Phillies are crying poor and they are only on this list because they are the incumbent.

Finalists: Astros, Mets.

Projection: The Astros sign JT Realmuto to a 4/$85M contract with a $15M option/$5M buyout.  Puke.  It’s JT’s choice, but IO would like to think that the Phillies would be willing to do such a deal.


Winter League Baseball

Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, Liga Mexicana del Pacifico, Liga de Beisbol Dominicano, and Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional have all begun play.

Ramon Rosso continues to impress.  Darick Hall is still hitting well.  Victor Arano pitched in 3 games.  Jonathan Guzman is getting more reps with Wander Franco on the IL.  Daniel Brito is holding his own.  A handful of young pitchers are doing well – Joel Cesar, Fernando Lozano, Erubiel Armenta, Carlos Betancourt, and Leonel Aponte.  Note that the kids playing in Puerto Rico are playing against much older players – Cotto, Escalante, J. Sanchez.

Pitchers

NAME W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Ramon Rosso 1 0 1.13 6 5 0 24.0 8 3 3 2 5 29 0.54
Joel Cesar 0 0 0.00 2 0 0 2.1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.43
E. De Los Santos 0 0 11.57 3 0 0 2.1 0 3 3 0 5 5 2.14
Adonis Medina 0 0 6.00 3 1 0 6.0 7 4 4 1 2 4 1.50
C. Sanchez 0 0 13.50 2 0 0 0.2 1 1 1 0 2 0 4.50
Johan Quezada 0 0 3.86 3 0 0 2.1 3 1 1 1 2 1 2.14
Fernando Lozano 3 0 2.04 10 1 0 17.2 14 4 4 1 5 8 1.08
Erubiel Armenta 0 2 2.77 11 0 0 13.0 6 5 4 1 10 13 1.23
Efrain Morales 0 0 4.50 3 0 0 2.0 4 1 1 0 3 2 3.50
Victor Arano 0 1 9.00 3 0 0 3.0 5 3 3 0 1 4 2.00
Carlos Betancourt 0 0 0.00 1 1 0 2.1 0 0 0 0 3 2 1.29
E. Castellano 0 0 12.00 2 0 0 3.0 6 4 4 1 2 1 2.67
Leonel Aponte 0 0 0.00 2 1 0 5.1 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.19
Gabriel Cotto 0 0 3.38 2 0 0 2.2 2 1 1 0 3 1 1.88

Batters

NAME G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SW SB AVG OBP SLG OPS
J.  Guzman 15 21 2 4 2 0 0 1 2 5 0 0.190 0.250 0.286 0.536
R. Duran 3 4 1 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0.500 0.600 0.500 1.100
O. Herrera 2 7 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.286 0.375 0.286 0.661
Austin Listi 6 21 1 4 0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0.190 0.227 0.333 0.561
Darick Hall 16 58 6 15 1 0 4 18 7 20 1 0.259 0.362 0.483 0.845
Daniel Brito 14 51 11 13 3 0 1 9 4 7 2 0.255 0.304 0.373 0.676
S. Muzziotti
E. Barboza 2 5 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 2 0 0.200 0.429 0.400 0.829
Y. Garcia 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
K. Escalante 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.250 0.000 0.250
J. Sanchez 5 15 1 3 1 1 0 0 2 4 1 0.200 0.333 0.400 0.733

 


Australian Baseball League

The four of the six ABL teams start December 17, 2020.  Adelaide and Brisbane won’t start their seasons until January 5th.  The season runs through January 31, 2021.

  • RHP Kyle Glogoski
  • C Mitchell Edwards
  • 1B Rixon Wingrove
  • LHP Jonathan Hennigan
  • RHP Tyler Burch
  • RHP Austin Ross
  • LHP Taylor Lehman
  • C Colby Fitch
  • INF Luke Williams
  • SS Kendall Simmons
  • SS Jamari Baylor
  • OF Cornelius Randolph
  • LHP Josh Tols
  • C Chris Burke
  • RHP Luke Leftwich
  • RHP Josh Gessner
  • LHP Josh Hendrickson

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.


Key Dates:

  • September 30, 2020 – Expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and MiLB
  • October 15, 2020, 5:00 PM EDT – Close of the 2019 international signing period
  • October 28, 2020 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • November 1, 2020 – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
  • November 11, 2020 – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
  • November TBA – GM Meetings (Nov. 11-14, Scottsdale, AZ in 2019)
  • November TBA – Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
  • November 20, 2020 – Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
  • November TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
  • December 2, 2020 – Non-tender Deadline – Last day for teams to offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players (pre-arb and arb eligible) on their 40-man rosters
  • December 6-10, 2020 – Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas, at the Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, held in conjunction with the Baseball Trade Show and PBEO Job Fair.
  • December 10, 2020 – Rule 5 Draft
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
  • January 15, 2021 – Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures to arbiter
  • January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2020 international signing period
  • February 17, 2021 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries
  • February 22, 2021 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for position players
  • February 24, 2021 – Mandatory spring training reporting date
  • February 27, 2021 – First spring training game v. Blue Jays
  • April 1, 2021 – Opening Day for ALL 30 teams
  • June 25, 2021 – Close of the 2020 international signing period
  • July 11-13, 2021 – 2021 Amateur Draft

The rosters and lists are up to date as of December 13th … 318 players in the org


Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

12/10/2020 – Phillies claimed SS Kyle Holder off waivers from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
12/10/2020 – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre claimed RHP Reggie McClain off waivers from Lehigh Valley
12/07/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Ian Hamilton off waivers from Seattle
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Kyle Dohy from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Damon Jones from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of SS Nick Maton from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Francisco Morales from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of CF Simon Muzziotti from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Bailey Falter from Lehigh Valley

154 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 13th

  1. I’ve always been pretty optimistic John Middleton could/would re-sign JT Realmuto. The catcher has just always held the most value to the Phillies. Not only has the club already invested one of the games top young arms into him, but JTR is already a “face of the franchise”.
    The Dombrowski hiring signals the team remains “all in”, and IMO, that means a JT Realmuto extension is that much more likely (maybe even a slam dunk). JTR’s asking price has been absurd (especially during COVID), and Middleton (rightfully) isn’t going to bid against himself. I’ve always felt 5 years/120M was fair for both sides. That figure may have taken a dip with the Mets no longer in the picture. To help the club financially during the pandemic, Middleton can defer some of the money to years two thru five of the deal.

    1. My guess is that speculating from both sides, JTR is signed before Christmas. He and his agent have probably already read the tea leaves and realize his limited market, notwithstanding his hopes of setting the bar for catchers (which he might still, as for AAV). And Dombrowski may break down the projected payroll in a way that eases Middleton’s angst, assumes the vaccine, and reminds him that regardless of the “poor house” scenario, the Phillies PR needs a second shot in the arm, after DD’s hiring which preceded it.

    1. I think its one factor but they are or at least it seems pretty close to the Harpers so that likely keeps us in play. I would think the grind of an MLB season is just as tough on wives with young children as it is on players.

      I had a pretty good guess on the McCann number. I thought 4/$48 would have been reasonable for him.

      I still think the number on JT should be 4/$92 with a 5th year option that would take it up to 5/$117. I don’t think a guaranteed 5th year is a good idea but we’ll see.

      With regard to trader Dave I guess he is not the worst option they could have landed. He at least when he does make trades lands really good players despite giving up a lot to get them.

      Back when he landed Sale I had some insider info on why Sale wasn’t getting an extension from the White Sox when he seemed an obvious candidate to get one. The consensus from the White Sox staff at the time was the arm wasn’t going to hold up and it really didn’t. It did long enough for Dave to get his ring in Boston. They were obviously much closer than the south siders at the time the deal went down.

      In retrospect is my fear that he will strip our minors of any and all talent warranted? Who knows. Dave’s trades over the years certainly proved pretty productive. His signs may leave a lot to be desired.

      The Sale extension is pretty bad, the Cabrera extension pretty bad. I’ll give him a pass on fielder as that was more Illitch and Boras. He did a wonderful job to move Fielder to Texas when he had the chance.

      But it is definitely a new game. Finding other GMs to make the types of trades he likes to make may prove difficult. The new GMs value different metrics then they have in the past and drafting and filling the pipeline with phuture MLBers is still if not more important than it ever was.

      1. If DD is dealing with GM’s similar to Klentak’s analytics, we should have some steals out there.

        The season is long and the Harper/JT connection could be a real building block for a cohesive clubhouse to build on.

        Didn’t McCann sign with the Mets.

        Any updates on the DH in the National League? I hear it will go back to pitchers hitting and might be a bargaining item in next negotiations.

        1. HAHA true but the teams with the really good players probably have GMs a notch or two above Klentak.

        2. National League teams were told to plan as if there would NOT be a DH in the NL in 2021.

          MLB thinks it is something that should be negotiated so they get something back in return.

          I think they view it as creating an extra job for a player and thus something that the Association should “pay” for. News flash owners! The job already exists as a spot on the roster and is filled by a relief pitcher (or maybe a bench player depending on team preference)..

          1. Jim;

            I thought it was the MLBPA that pushed back saying they wouldn’t sign off on a NL DH as a trade for the extra round in the playoffs? The MLBPA thought the extra playoff money was worth more than 14 DH slots and wanted another concession.

            1. Exactly. MLB wants something in return for the DH. You can’t pin this on the Association. It’s the owners who won’t allow the DH without some quid pro quo.

              The delay implementing the DH has long been a small block of NL owners who don’t want the DH.

          2. Yes that spot is already filled by a 13th pitcher-reliever type probably or utility 25th guy…..but the DH spot will command a $10M plus AAV player ….that 13th relief pitcher or 25th guy will be 1/4 or less of that amount.
            Therein lays part of the owner’s mentality…the $$$ aspect.

            1. The DH will not cost more money. It will just shift it around. Teams have fixed budgets. It might make a defensively challenged player like Nelson Cruz or Kyle Schwarber individually more valuable, but all that does is make some other player a little less valuable.

              The owners will continue to set the same budget. We’ll just have more low paid pre-arbitration players or Gosselin types at near the major league minimum taking up the end of the roster.

            2. The 6/7 small market NL teams will have to adjust their budgets upward to accommodate a higher paid bat…..unless they elect to go cheap .
              The roster number remains the same so a DH supplants a pitcher or utility guy most likely.
              How is that not more costly for a team.
              A Gosselin or a Morgan will not make as much as a Cruz.
              The better older veteran DHs cost at least $10M AAV.

  2. Analyzing Dombos trades of David Price. To get him from the Rays he dealt Smyly and Adames and veteran Austin Jackson to complete a 3 team deal with the Mariners.

    When the time came to get something for Price he dealt him to the Jays for Norris Boyd and a kid named Labourt who never really materialized.

    We can talk about his deal for Sale in Boston. We all know Moncada at the time was highly rated and Kopech had a huge arm. Moncada is still very young so he could still become the star he was projected to be. If not a star he is still a pretty good everyday MLB player.

    Kopech is still pretty much an enigma. A kid with anxiety issues which I hope he gets a handle on sooner rather than later.

    So maybe the key with Dombo is not as much about his trades as it is his extensions and long term deals to aging veterans.

    1. Yeah that Sale trade did work out well for the Sox up to last season,
      and Kopech , besides the emotional trauma….had that terrible tear of of UCL and had the TJ surgery two years ago….but he did hit triple digits this spring I read before the COVID shutdown…… coming up on 25-years old so time for him to make his mark. Moncada…….he may always be a high k guy with plus power.

  3. The Astros and JTR????
    Along with a few writers claiming the Yankees involvement, I find that puzzling.
    I expected to hear the Astros attached to most top FAs…..but highly unlikely they sign any of them unless….they’re not attached to the QO and…. fit into their future fiscal
    Pitching would seem to be their priority ….Verlander and Greinke come off the books after 2021, and then there is ss Carlos Correa …soon to be a free agent …so they a have decisions to make outside of going after JTR.
    I would be concerned with the Nats….Rizzo can be unpredictable and always seems to pull a rabbit out of his hat..

    1. Read that the Sox will put him on their 60-day injured list to begin the 2021 campaign…..so NET than June I assume.

            1. oh yeah….’not’ or ‘no’…..we used it back when I was working a real job involving contracts…..using that along with ‘NLT’…’no later than’…and a whole slew of other acronyms..

  4. Long time reader, really appreciate this site and all the insight on our beloved Phillies.
    I was stationed overseas for 7+ years and would get my fix from Phillies Report, I’m sure most of you remember that publication.
    At any rate, just want to chime in on Dick Allen, and I mean no Ill-will towards him or his legacy, he was a phenomenal player.
    The incident involving his cut hand, my step-father was a Philadelphia Police Officer and he told the story numerous times of what happened. He claimed Allen put his hand through a window at a bar, my stepdad was one of the officers called to the scene, if my memory serves me correctly he was involved in a fight. It was reported that he cut his hand pushing a car.
    Either way, take it for what it’s worth, my stepdad was a pretty straight and forward guy, he had a lot of stories and that was one of them. But maybe the media knew the details and that’s why they were harsh towards him.
    Again, I love this site, I read it daily. You are all great posters and there’s a lot of knowledge out there. Hope we can all celebrate success on the field sooner than later. TD

    1. The media called him “Richie” from day one in spite of his requests to be called “Dick. I think that more likely explains why the media treated him the way they did.

      1. Hi Jim, Ya, I think its only ignorance if you have heard the truth and looked the other way. So I don’t think you have to apologize, unless you want to apologize for others ignorance.

        Not sure how old you were back then, but some of these memories are from my 4-8 year old time (1964 – 68). Now that you bring it up I remember him being called Richie. I forgot about that. One thing I struggle with is our present culture really turning on us as if we were responsible for things that happened when we were children or before then. Sure maybe some of our parents or ggggg grand parents are to blame for things but we need to maybe apologize for them and move on and be responsible for actions now.

        After growing up (0-9) in Philly and then in the burbs for the past 51 years there has been lots of stuff that has happened by and with all peoples that needs to be worked on, but ignorance is only when you know that something is wrong and you do nothing to change it. We definitely have some real issues that are happening today that need changing.

        But with that said, thanks for all you do to help enjoy something we both love…the Phillies! Happy holidays my friend!!!!

        1. Well said. I was also in that age range but now hearing the stories and the name discrepancy, maybe the powers to be were using Richie as a synonym for “boy”. Which was and IS utter ignorance and intolerable!

  5. Speaking of Allen, the Richie Allen [that was what he was called when he came up and he played with such incredible youthful exuberance he was always Richie to me] I saw between the years 1964-66 was not only the best player I ever saw in a Phillie uniform [with apologies to Mike Schmidt] but was the best offensive player in the game.

    He was never quite the same after the injury, thought he was still brilliant and a triple I saw him hit at Candlestick Park on July 4, 1964 is still the most lasting memory I have of any game/player I have ever witnessed. It was like I was watching it in slow motion…and the names involved in the play read like a separate wing of the Hall of Fame.

    The game was tied at 2 in the 11th inning, Callison on first, Gaylord Perry on the mound, when Allen absolutely crushes one to right center field with Willie Mays in full pursuit. Given the score and the fact that the Phils needed Callison to score to take the lead you would think would have been watching him but instead my eyes were transfixed on Allen…it was literally poetry in motion as he seemed to almost glide around first, instinctively see where Mays and the ball were as he rounded second [he was an incredible base runner] and majestically slide head first into 3rd base, way ahead of Mays throw, which was cut off by Orlando Cepeda.

    Yes, Callison scored but to me that wasn’t the story, Allen’s fluid and graceful jaunt around the bases was and I knew then that I had witnessed baseball majesty. Wes Covington hit the next pitch into the parking lot and Jim Bunning and the Phils had taken a .5 lead over the Giants on July 4 with a 5-2 win.

    Oh, one more thing and after over 50 years I have finally found someone who SAW Richie Allen’s 2 run inside the park home run against the Braves on the fateful Friday night, Sept 25, 1964. I have talked and written about that home run more than I have eaten Tastycakes whenever I come to Philadelphia but it is a home run largely forgotten or never known about because the Phils went on to lose the game in the 12th and went on to lose 10 games and the pennant a little over a week later.

    BUT, had the Phils won that game, stopping the losing streak at 4, and gone on to win the pennant, which would have been likely since those of us who were around then always felt if they could just win one they would be fine, that inside the park home run by Allen would rank with Sisler in ’50 and Schmidt in ’80 as the greatest and most memorable home runs in Phillie history.

    Picture it…Phils are collapsing before our very eyes, lead down to 3 games, trailing 5-3 with two outs, two strikes and Allen at the plate. He not only got a hit, but raced around the bases, tying the game at 5. I can only imagine what it would have looked like [Dave_A knows!] watching him race around the bases, a game, season and history all hanging in the balance.

    I wish I could have seen Allen’s race around the bases, it must have been absolutely amazing.

    1. I’ll have to talk with my brother (who is 16 years older then me) about what games we went to. I remember two games that he hit home runs in, but again, only saw the backs of people shortly after the balls left the bat.

    2. Reds Chico Ruiz stealing home in the middle of a game, when Frank Robinson was at bat with Art Mahaffey on the mound pitching a gem was a killer. Who steals home on a RHP and one of their best bats at the plate! From that game it went down hill.

      1. ie Davis, Dodgers, Sept. 19, 1964
        Just two days before Ruiz’s back-breaker, Davis broke a 16-inning, 3–3 stalemate between the Phillies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium with a walk-off steal of home. With two outs in the bottom of the 16th, Davis reached on an infield single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch by Philadelphia’s Jack Baldschun, then stole home on reliever Morrie Steevens.

        1. rocco…yeah that also…two stolen home runs in almost back to back games.
          Gene Mauch must have been livid.

    3. Thanks to all for helping me bring back these 1964 memories. Always thought no one else remembered, but am I wrong!

      To this day, I feel that the pessimistic and sometimes fatalistic attitude of Philly sports fans (at least us older ones) stems from that season.

      A few more recollections regarding the 10 game streak:

      It’s the Braves series that really haunts me. Games 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the losing streak.

      Game 4 – my only vivid recall is that OF Adolfo Phillips, recently called up, made a critical error to cost them the game.

      Game 5 – that 7-5 extra inning heartbreaker despite 2 comebacks

      Game 6 – Saturday afternoon game. Phillies fans beginning to panic. I believe Alex Johnson hit a 3 run HR in the 1st (Mahaffey on the mound). They held on until the 9th, when, as expected at this point, the bullpen (Bobby Shantz) blew the lead and game. What I’ll always remember was that the crucial play that inning involved Cookie Rojas, playing CF (not sure why) making a diving catch, which was ruled a trap. Rojas went ballistic, and teammates had to physically restrain him from attacking the ump. Loss #6.

      Game 7 – Sunday afternoon. Bunning just didn’t have it. Lost 15-9, even though Callison hit 3 HRs.

      May as well do the final 5 game road trip while I’m on a roll.

      Games 8, 9 and 10 – 3 losses to the Cards. Only lasting memory was Callison, who was sick that day and couldn’t start, pinch hitting a single and Bill White helping him to button his warmup jacket at 1st base.

      Left STL in 3rd place, 2.5 games behind the Cards and Reds.

      Games 11 and 12 – at Cincinnati. Many do not know that they actually won both games (for some scheduling quirk, they had an off day on Saturday). They won the Sunday game 10-0 behind Bunning. I think Covington (?) hit a couple of HRs.

      But, all not lost yet. The Cards were at home for a 3 game series versus the lowly Mets. Mets beat them on Friday and then clobbered them on Saturday. So going into the final day, Cards were 1 game up with Phils and Reds a game behind. I guess it was asking too much, but the Mets, after hanging in there for about 3 or 4 innings, fell behind in the 5th and the Cards brought in Gibson to finish them off.

      Thus, the onset of our agony officially began. For me, it took the WS victory in 1980 to finally ease the pain.

      Next time I post it will be about the quirky layout of Connie Mack Stadium, including the right field wall, hemongous Ballentine scoreboard in right center along with the many advertisements adorning the left field wall and roof (spoiler alert – Goldberg’s peanut chews, Alpo Dog food, etc.).

      Thanks for listening.
      Dave A.

      1. Dave A, I love this expose’ on that time. The vividness of the writing let’s me imagine watching it, and feeling the angst. Keep it going.

      2. Dave A…loved those Goldenberg’s peanut chews….so much so, decided to write to the company which was in Philly and tell them how much I liked them…and they sent me a whole box of them for free.

          1. Remember the Ballantine jingle?

            Just look for the 3 ring sign, and ask the man for Ballantine!

            And Romus … I still grab a peanut chew whenever I go to Wawa. They are incredible. Right up there with Tastycake tandy takes (the ones with the vanilla, not the peanut butter – sad that they haven’t been around for a while).

  6. My suggestions for off-season…

    Assumption:   Payroll is lowered.  JTR and Gregorius don’t fit that strategy so as much as we want them, we need to have other Plans too.   (At least we get Comp pick if don’t sign JTR.)

    >  Sign Justin Turner: 2 yr, $24m.He’s an OBP machine, clutch, and a champion!   He’s our 1B thru June (assuming Hoskins is out).   He’s still an important asset in 2H at 1B, 3B, & DH@AL.).  In 2022, he or Rhys is our DH.  

    >  Sign Orlando Arcia:  1 yr, $5m.  (Or 2/$10-12m).    Good D and a hitter I believe on the cusp of a breakout!  He was a big time prospect and improving every year.  He’s still just 26!   (I’d give him 1 yr guaranteed w/2nd yr team option.)

    >  Sign Yadi Molina: 2 yr, $18m.  I assume Cards will re-sign him but I’d give him up to $20m to get a veteran competitor/winner like him to help the young Ps and groom the many young C’s! 
    (Casali is good fallback option.  Less $.)

    >  Sign Eddie Rosario: 1 yr, $6-7m.   Power hitting LH!   Figure out platoon between him and Cutch in Left, with Cutch also playing a little CF and one of them DH in 1H vs AL.   
    (Mazara possibly fallback.)

    >  Trade Segura just to get him off the books (may have to eat little salary but mostly dump it.)

    >  Sign Liam Hendricks:  2 yr, $22m (or maybe 3/$30).   …maybe Treinen is fallback for less $.

    >  Sign Archie Bradley.  1 yr, $6m.    …Or Kirby Yates (less $)   …Or both.

    >  Sign Carlos Rodon: 1 yr, $4m.   LHP who was big prospect.  Struggled this year after showing signs of breakout in 2019.  Maybe high BABIP, low LOB% explain 2020 step back. 

    I believe this would fill MANY holes AND give us quality depth.  It brings some needed winning experience and also some players with upside.   And this should fit within budget.   …And all without having to trade prospects!!  🙂

    **Note:  BEST CASE, …IF (big if) we can unload most of Segura salary an d get a lot of these guys above for those pricetags, and if JTR’s asking price comes down to 4/$92 or 5/$110, then maybe we actually can Sign JTR!   (Of course w/o Yadi above, the nums may actually work!   …Saved this pipe dream for last.)

    1. If Trevor May just got 2/15 from the Mets, Liam Hendriks as the TOP reliever in the market will get at least 3/30, which I would do in a heartbeat. I think he gets a bit more than that, though. I’m a big fan of Archie Bradley, too, so I like your pick there. To really convince him to come aboard, I’d be creative and tell him he’d be battling for the 5th spot in the rotation; he’s only recently been pushed into a bullpen role, so he’d probably like the chance to crack back into the starting five. I would definitely go for Rosario as well. It might seem like he doesn’t have a spot at the moment, but I’d take an 8-mil or so gamble on him to replace some of that lefty pop from Didi. I don’t think a player with Rosario’s potential is often available for 8 million a year, so I say jump on it and hope the DH is implemented, or worst-case he splits time with Cutch (as you mentioned). Keeping with guys too expensive for the Twins, I’d pick up Adrianza as a cheap, switch-hitting SS with some decent pop.

  7. Oh DANG! I could have sworn I read he was non-tendered. I see now that hours before deadline he agreed to a contract (w/paycut)! I think I accidentally ref’d an article of expected non-tenders soon before they were announced. I’m a big Arcia fan. Okay… given they have Urias he’s expendable. Maybe VV for Arcia?

  8. John K., A very ambitious list. I don’t see us in on Justin Turner. I don’t see us spending on a fill in for Hoskins who then becomes a part time player. I like the player, but I don’t see the team bringing him in. I believe Molina goes back to St. Louis, and Casali is a legitimate option. I would love Hendriks, and I think he is going to have a lot of interest. I don’t know how far Dombrowski will be allowed to go moneywise. His “autonomy” only goes as far as the budget. I would already have signed Archie Bradley, and I am in on Rodon or Quintana or Paxton. My questions are, if they believe they can sign Realmuto, do they not do anything to “save” cap space? Do they sign players regardless? And, if they don’t get him, what are their plans to replace him at C, and his bat in the lineup? And, how long will they wait to make moves?

  9. I would hold tight to 4/$96M for JT. If he can get more, goodbye but I think it’s a very fair offer. I still want Simmons at SS, and Bradley in CF if possible. We had the worst defensive team in all of baseball last year. Other teams had a 267 BABIP against us on balls hit less than 80 mph. The league avg is 214. We must improve our defense. Casssli is a possible C. Then I’d go after Hand and Bradley plus another middling pen arm plus a SP. that’s a lot to get done but I have more confidence now that it might get done with DD.

  10. I have been probably the biggest sign Realmuto person besides Bryce Harper, but even I have a limit. So, Murray’s number seems very fair. I would even add a 5th year option that vests with certain milestones in year 4. I have no trouble moving Segura, even in a salary dump, because I think his value is much less as a SS than a 2B. Kingery gets another shot at 2B, sign someone like Simmons, and the difference pays for 2 RPs. I asked before, if Dombrowski was hired 3 weeks ago, would we already have Hand or Trevor May? I would like to see a BP arm signed quickly, just to get this started.

    1. matt13…perhaps you are correct, if hired three weeks ago the relief arms could be here already.
      I also think he will move Vinny this month, hopefully for a nice piece of the puzzle…the odd irony, Matt Klentak’s first big trade was essentially getting Vinny five years ago this month for Ken Giles

      1. I’ve read a few “Phillies may trade Vince Velasquez” stories. I can understand other teams seeing him as a decent buy-low candidate with the chance to strike gold. He’s only going to make ~4M through his final year of arbitration so any team can afford him. I also am a firm believer that players tend to over perform in their walk years (VV hits free agency after 2021).
        I’ve also been complaining, for months, the Phillies are too top heavy. VV is one of their only depth pieces. For all these reasons, I think it may be better to just hold on to him.
        That said, I do wonder what Velasquez could fetch in a deal to make it worth the Phillies’ while. Probably a reliever with more than one year of team control or maybe even a LHSP with one year of team control to better balance the Phillies’ rotation.
        I’ve been proposing a VV for Daniel Norris trade for a couple of years. Norris (who also has one year left of team control) was good for Detroit out of their BP this season, but he’s spent the bulk of his career as a starter.
        The other possible deal I’ve dreamed up is more exciting. Tampa might be the most perfect fit for VV. The Rays have a history of developing/fixing pitchers. They don’t usually ask their starters for more than five innings. And Velasquez’s salary is right up their alley. I’d ask for two extremely high risk-high reward arms in return: Jose Alvarado and Brent Honeywell. Both guys (especially Honeywell) come with medical question marks, but Alvarado (who Tampa left off their WS roster) has three years of team control, and Honeywell has never thrown in MLB.

        1. Honeywell was one of the top pitching prospects in mlb a year ago before injury. I struggle to think Rays trade him for VV. But if they’d do it I hope DD is reading!

          1. At this point VV is an over-payment for Honeywell…Rays would jump all over it……I’d pass on Honeywell….two elbow surgeries…turns 26 in spring…had to have a decompression procedure on his right ulnar nerve. 7 months ago….threw at their Alt Site in August ….15 pitches…screwball was his plus-plus out pitch…not sure he will be able to ever throw it again.

            1. I would put Vinnie in the closers role day one of ST and ride that train to its final destination.

            2. Dombro said he is making the BP a priority, I assume along with JTR.
              Maybe he has Vinnie in mind as one of the pieces.

            3. Romus … yes, VV for Honeywell is an overpay. My suggestion was VV for both Honeywell, and more importantly Jose Alvarado. When Alvarado is going good (2017 and 2018), he’s dominant. The past couple of seasons, he’s had some arm and control issues. He’s now in his first year of arbitrtation so he’s going to begin making more money (projected for 1M in 2021). You throw in Honeywell as a lottery ticket (hasn’t pitched in a game in three seasons), and you’ve got a deal.

              Truth is … I’ve always had a man crush on Jose Alvarado. Just look how dominant he can be when he’s healthy, and at his best. Filthy!

            4. Hinkie…..Alvarado would be a nice addition to the pen….if he can harness his control , then he is lights out.

        2. A trade of VV makes sense if they can take VV’s unknown status of whether he is a starter or is he a reliever and trade him for a more known commodity. Say trading him for a setup reliever type or a dependable starter who may not have as great an upside as Vinny. A trade could also include other players too.
          The Pirates come to mind for me as a potential trade partner, they may be willing to listen in on proposals for Crick, Musgrove, Brault, and Taillon and possibly more. They usually look to cut salaries so it may take prospects or even someone like Haseley to help swing the deal. But this is the team to keep an eye on as they line up well with the Phillies for trading.

  11. Romus…little known fact about those steals of home. You mentioned two steal of homes in 3 games [Chico Ruiz and Willie Davis]. Actually it was 3 steal of homes in 4 games. In the 2nd game of the Reds series, the night after Ruiz stole home, Pete Rose stole home in the 3rd inning against Chris Short. Since the final score was 9-2 no one mentioned it but it did happen…3 steals of home in 4 games.

    1. Man totally forgot about that also…..I mean how many times in one season does a team have three stolen base of home against them…that must have been a record for that Phillies team……and all within a 4 games stretch.
      .

  12. Philadelphia Phillies
    @Phillies
    ·1h
    General managers who have taken three different teams to the World Series:
    1. Dave Dombrowski
    There are no more names to list.

  13. Dave_A…good memory. indeed Phillips AND Callison misplayed balls in the outfield costing Bunning all 3 of his runs in a 5-3 loss in Game 4. Game 6 was very tough, Phils had early 4-0 lead on Johnson’s 3 run HR and still lead 4-2 till the 8th and, as you mentioned, 4-3 into the 9th. Rojas actually played CF often that year, he platooned with Gonzalez. Final score in Game 7 was 14-8, despite Callison’s 3 home run game.

    As for the final game 10-0 win it was Allen and not Covington who hit the two home runs, Covington’s 13th and final HR that season came on Sept.1 when he, Callison and Thomas hit back to back to back home runs in a 4-3 win over Houston.

    Speaking of Alex Johnson, he was one of only 3 Phillie hitters who did well during the final 12 games, along with Callison and Allen. In fact, Allen was an amazing 21-49 over the final 12 excruciating games.

    1. Wes Covington…hah…some players grumbled at Mauch’s micromanaging. Wes Covington grumbled loudest. As Stan Hochman wrote what Mauch said after one of Wes’s poorer hitting games……..”He pops off….and then he pops up!”

      1. Wes Covington waged war on the Ballentine scoreboard, if the scoreboard had been the same height as the rest of the right field wall he would have doubled his homer output.

    2. Did we ever find out what happened to Wes Covington? I loved his left handed batting crouch with the bat laying straight out like it was balancing something on it

      1. Denny…excerpts on a bio of Wes Covington”

        ……”When World Series tickets went on sale, many of the players, with the team in Houston, went shopping with their anticipated bonus money. Covington bought a rifle and brandished it in the clubhouse, saying “This is for the sportswriters.” ….. that bonus money never came……….After the stunning end to the 1964 season, Covington spent the offseason pointing the finger for the collapse in every direction…….. and then showed up for 1965 spring training 15 days late.23 The Philadelphia Daily News wrote, “(Covington) kept hollering and kept popping up. … Nobody wants to listen to a mean, tough grumbler when that grumbler is hitting .220. The Phillies lost the pennant, and Covington went around town all winter telling people whose fault it was, and never even mentioned Wes Covington’s name.” (Covington was being platooned during the disastrous ten-game losing streak and had hit .150 with no home runs, RBIs, or runs scored.)……..Covington lasted one more contentious season with the Phillies. At the end of the 1965 season he asked to be released”

        1. An 11 year career with a .279 average, best year 1958 with the braves .330. Played for the Braves, Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers, K.C. Athletics noted for being a complainer. Was a decent fielder until he damaged his knees, thereafter his defense went downhill. Operated a sporting goods store in Edmonton, Canada after playing days. Died of cancer at age 79.

      1. Did the Phillies miss out on any minorities because of their ignorance; i.e. Mays, Aaron, Campanella, etc?

        1. Roy Campanella was from Philly of all places and they passed on him.
          The Carpenter family owned the Phillies from 1943 to 1981 and they came on board late in contracting the black athletes.

    1. Hi Skeet – I assume you mean the Phillies were the last NL club to integrate. The last club to integrate was the Boston Red Sox in 1959 (Tigers were next to last in 1958).

  14. Skeet – You mentioned the K.C. A’s. They were often called the Yankees AAA affiliate because they often sent/traded their top players (Roger Maris) to the Yankees.

    I am sure a lot here remember the legendary Harry “Suitcase” Simpson who played for those A’s and many other teams so forth garnering his nickname.

  15. MLBTR just mentioned Phillies are linked to JBJ. I like to hear that. He’d be a solid addition.
    Nothing serious yet but maybe it’ll gain traction.

    Id like to see him, JTR and several BP pieces. Surely $35m would get that and still have a lower payroll than last year. Maybe I’m wrong.

  16. I think that a lefthanded platoon partner for Cutch is also a necessity. If we bring back Realmuto, and add a piece to compliment LF, I can live with Quinn and Haseley battling for CF. We still need someone to play SS, and I am ok with a salary dump of Segura, letting Kingery play 2B and a Simmons at SS on a short term deal. That, of course, is in addition to the BP upgrades and a left handed SP to round out the Pitching staff.

    1. I think that between Haseley, Moniak and Quinn, the Phillies aren’t focused on Cutch’s platoon partner. Bradley is definitely an upgrade in CF, but not a needle mover. The change of scenery might serve him well.

      1. …meaning, cheaper options like the inhouse players are probably enough to back Cutch. Unless of course the DH is employed in 2021.

      2. JBJ’s agent is Scott Boras….JBJ should realize that $11M AAV again is not a realistic goal for him…..now how much lower will he and Boras go in this current fiscal environment?
        Not my money…however if he is willing to go to $6/7M AAV then i would be thinking about it if I were Dombro….who has already had him when he was in Beantown as the GM.

    2. A Salary dump of Segura may end up as the Phils taking back another expensive player but one that will fill a need on roster – say a SP or RP. Segura is a good player so the return could be fairly good.

  17. Just as an FYI for those of you inquiring about Covington. In 1989 the ’64 Phils had their 25 year reunion at the Vet and played a 4 inning exhibition game. It was Reunion Weekend and I followed it closely and really wanted to be there but couldn’t make it in person. But, as mentioned I followed it closely and read all the stories about the weekend [SI had a wonderful story about the weekend written by a writer who loved that team like many of us did and agonized over those last two weeks as we all agonized! His story was touching, poignant and on point.]

    Anyways, almost all the players that could returned for the reunion, as did Mauch, which surprised many. He said he wouldn’t have missed it for the world and waxed poetic at the Friday night dinner when introducing each and every player with a story about said player. The players were amazed at his recall and memory of what each of them had done that year. He called Allen “the greatest talent I ever managed” and remarked about Callison that “the collapse allowed me [Mauch] to still be alive since I would have given 10 years of my life for you [Callison] to get that MVP award in ’64.]

    The only players who chose not to come were Culp and Covington as the players who did attend said they both hated Mauch. Alex Johnson could not be located so he wasn’t there, Dallas Green was managing the Mets, Bunning was attending to senatorial business in Kentucky so he couldn’t make it and Gus Triandos was too sick to attend. John Boozer had passed away. Otherwise, they were all there….Allen, Callison, Thomas, Taylor, Bennett, Wise, Dalrymple, Wine, Amaro, Herrnstein, Cater, Rojas, Gonzalez, Briggs, Baldschun, Roebuck and Sievers.

    Oh, and Art Mahaffey…whose best friend was Chris Short. Short was in a coma in a Philadelphia hospital and Mahaffey set up a golf tournament to raise funds for Short. At the game they showed a video on the big screen of Short in action and it was said there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Short never regained consciousness and died a bit after the reunion.

    By the way, almost to a player [sans Mahaffey, who also hated Mauch] they all said Mauch was the smartest and best manager they ever played for. Rival players like Joe Torre, Dick Groat and Bob Uecker said the same thing.

    1. I tried searching for TV or Radio broadcasts on-line of the 1964 team but only got Radio broadcasts and they were from the opposing teams achieves. I listened to one game but it was from the Mets and it was difficult listening to Lindsey & the others.

    2. Interesting that the 64 Phillies played with a “depleted” roster for the season, since they had to carry 3 “bonus babies – Wise, briggs and Dave Bennett. Wise proved a bit useful (his start in the 2nd game of the double header after Bunning pitched a perfect game) Briggs got a few hits and I don’t recall Dave Bennett getting into a game at all).

      Not a lot of roster flexibility for Mauch that season.

      1. Dave A….Dave Bennett…younger brother of Dennis….got into one solitary game in his MLB career…that ’64 season vs the Mets in the 9th, one inning…. mop up.
        Hung in the minors for pretty long while then put his cleats away for good.

  18. CD, your stories are terrific. I remember reading about that 25 year reunion, and people were surprised that Mauch was so eloquent in his love for the team. The Little General was a great field manager, and there were a few that despised him. I don’t know the story behind Mahaffey’s hatred, but Covington always seemed to have a problem with everyone. I remember when Mauch managed the Expos later on, he was constantly all over Bowa whenever he came to bat. I think he later gave Bowa a lot of credit for making himself into the player he was, but I bet, with Bowa’s temper, he must have wanted to strangle Mauch more than a few times.

    1. Bowa and Mauch were 2 peas in a pod. I’m sure if the roles were reversed it would have had the same outcome. Didn’t Scott Rolen hate Bowa when he was managed by him?

  19. MLBTR mentions owners may want to delay season until earliest May

    If this happens I’d bet
    Phillies hold on to their cash

    1. I’m actually not surprised since owners will be looking for spending less. This likely means Spring training starts a month later in March and they will play 130 games basically cutting out the month of April.

  20. Denny, Rolen may have hated Bowa, but I think he hated Dallas Green more. I believe it was Green who said rRlen was really good, but Green thought he should be even better, or something along those lines.

  21. matt13…Mahaffey disliked Mauch for two reasons, one, he blamed Mauch for his arm woes as he accused Mauch of pitching him in 1963 when he had shoulder pain but the other reason was interesting and a bit more subtle. In 1962, Mahaffey had 19 wins and Mauch started him the final game of the season, hoping to get the tall righty his 20th win. In fact, Mauch used Mahaffey in a bullpen game a few days before trying to get him that win but Mahaffey gave up a 10th inning home run and lost his 13th game.

    Anyway, on the final day of the season Mauch sat Callison because he wanted to preserve Callison’s .300 average and said so publicly. He said he wanted Callison to spend the winter thinking of himself as a “.300 hitter.” All well and good except…Callison was the Phils best player that year and Mahaffey felt Mauch cared more about Callison’s batting average than Mahaffey’s 20 win attempt and thought this was unfair.

    The Phils lineup was not their A lineup, Reds won 4-0, and Mahaffey never forgave Mauch for this. In 1963, Mahaffey struggled all year with a sore arm and a high ankle sprain and finished 7-10 for a team that played well, finishing 87-75.

    In 1964, Mahaffey was healthy all year and actually started well with a 7-2 record by mid May. However he struggled the rest of the year and finished 12-9 though to be fair he was the most effective starting pitcher during the 10 game losing streak, losing the Chico Ruiz game 1-0 and pitching into the 8th inning with a 4-2 lead in Game 6.

    He came to the reunion as much to honor Chris Short as anything else. By the way, Mahaffey is in ill health now but still alive along with Wine, Rojas, Briggs, Gonzalez, Wise, Culp, Thomas, Cater, Dalrymple and amazingly, Bobby Shantz who is 95 years old!

  22. Thanks to everyone for all these great stories. After reading these I had to wipe away a few tears. May all those great Phillies no longer with us Rest In Peace.

  23. Amen, Wayne! The end was agonizing, but I followed them so closely that season. I remember making up my own scorecards, and charting the games while listening to my transistor radio. I had turned 10 during the season, and fell asleep listening to a number of West Coast games. The only other season that I followed every game that closely was 2011, when I thought we had the best team in the league. Without the home made scorecards! I was at the last game, and that was also agonizing. I have been waiting for the season to matter again.

  24. Wayne…thank you for the comments! As is obvious, that 1964 team and season was so magical, there really has never been a Phillie year like it to my way of thinking. Yes, the ’77 team was a murder’s row, the ’80 team washed away lots of frustration, the ’93 was great in a macho sort of way and the ’08-11 teams were awesome.

    But NOTHING was ever like the ’64 team and season, how could it be? I still have the entire 1964 Sporting News weeklies and at the beginning of the season the Phils were picked by the sportswriters to finish 5th, behind the Dodgers, Giants, Reds and Cards. Those betting on the Phils were said to have “lots of money in their pockets and rocks in their heads.”

    Yet they started the season 10-2, never lost more than 4 games in a row till the final two weeks, had Bunning toss a perfect game, had Callison win the All-Star game, had Allen as the Rookie of the Year and had been pulling out incredible wins all season.

    I can tell you this and I bet I am not alone in this feeling. NOTHING in my then young life had prepared me for the collapse, nothing! I remember going back to school in early September and being congratulated by all the Giants fans who knew I was the lone Phillie phan as we said good bye for the summer and thought how lucky I was.

    Then starting on Sept 21, as it began to unravel they began to look at me with pity and sorrow. Every night I would go to my radio, hoping and praying that the losing streak would come to and end and until Oct 1, it never did. By then it was too late.

    That said, I feel blessed and fortunate that I was alive then to witness that year, it was unlike any baseball season I have ever experienced.

    1. Can anyone tell me about Costen Shockley?
      He was signed by Phillies as amateur FA in 1960 @18 years of age. In 1st year at low C ball hit .360 with 23 Homer’s and 108 RBIs. Before call up at end of ’64 he hit .281 with 36 Homer’s with 112 rbis. He then went to Angels for Bo Belinsky.

      Also included with Shockley was Rudy May.

      Phiilies had some real arms in the minors. Wise, May, Jenkins, Marcelino Lopez. Any others?

    2. In a way, the 1964 year was a miracle. In addition to the “burden” of carrying Wise, Briggs and Dave Bennett for the season, think about the talent on other NL teams:

      Cards – Boyer, Flood, Gibson, Sadecki +

      Reds – Robinson, Pinson, Coleman, Purkey +

      Giants – Mays, Cepeda, McCovey, Hart, Marichal, Sanford (finished 4th)

      Dodgers – Wills, the Davis’s, Koufax, Drysdale, O’steen (?)

      Braves – Spahn, Burdette, Buhl, Aaron, Mathews, Adcock (also rans)

      Pirates – probably still had a lot of their 1960 WS core

      Even the lowly Cubs had Banks, Billy Williams and Santo(?)

      And of course, our main men were Allen, Callison, Bunning and Short.

      Sure I’m missing others.

      Oddly, the Giants were our main competition throughout the Summer. The Cards and Reds kind of snuck up on us in September.

      1. I do miss the team with the best record in each league playing for the championship. Also no inter league games. I’m very old school. Except for DH. It would have been nice to have Aaron finish out with the Braves, Mantle playing a little longer with the Yanks, and others. Just my reminiscing.

        1. These are great stories. Thanks, all.

          My own story is that I was a senior in high school when the 1964 season began and a freshman in college when it ended. I began to have different interests. I was very politically involved on campus. My friends were guys in their 20s who had been in the military and then went to college. My life changed dramatically. And, by September, I had gone from a kid who hung on every pitch to a person of different interests who checked in on the scores at the end of the day. As such, I do not have the play-by-play memories you are sharing. Thanks for doing so.

          BTW, FWIW, I loved Wes Covington and his short-sleeved shirts that showed off his biceps, and I loved Gene Mauch. Don’t know what I would think of either today as an adult watching them.

          Finally, I remember being at a University of Delaware football game and an already afflicted Chris Short came up the stand and sat nearby. He was greeted warming by his fellow Delawareans and we all knew he had health issues. Not long after, he was gone.

          One more time, thanks for sharing you recollections.

    1. Baseball Prospectus has an informative article on Robinson. To give you a sense of a span of history, he was coached by Tris Speak, who broke into the Major Leagues in 1907 and who, no doubt, was coached by players from the 1870s, 80s and 90s.

      Robinson lent to Babe Ruth the bat that Ruth leaned on while giving his farewell speech.

      Finally, Baseball Prospectus says, Robinson is still an observer of the game and has a podcast, like who doesn’t this days?

  25. I continue to hope for Bradley Jr and Simmons to greatly improve the defense. I also want Archie Bradley in the pen and a 4th or 5th SP. Hard to see that happening if they resign JT and want to reduce money.

    1. If they move Segura’s contract…or at least a portion of it…and also trade Vinny for a prospect or a rookie or 2nd year player…they may be able to all that..
      Though, Corey Seidman seems to think JBJ is in line for a two-year deal vs a one year deal.

  26. I am waiting for DD’s first move just so I can feel that the off season has started for us. The rumors of a delay to ST and the season feel legitimate to me, which means negotiations, through the media, between owners and players. It may be necessary to have a shortened season. I know that will anger the players, but going into November doesn’t make much sense. Not starting ST is going to leave a lot of players unsigned come February and March.

    1. matt13….according to Jim’s Key Dates’ forecast above:
      “February 17, 2021 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries:
      ………I am sticking with that. 🙂

    2. Pfizer and Moderna promise to have 300 million doses of produced for vaccinations by April 1st. It’s hard for me to believe that 10,000 doses can’t go MLB/MILB players, coaches and office staff without people being upset. Time for some normalcy. Feels like an owner negotiating ploy.

      1. The ploy IMO, is their concern of ticket/gate revenue from the fans.
        They already know how to manage the virus from the players stand point.
        If the fans are not confident and do not purchase tixs and show up…they lose revenue again.
        I think part of the reason for the delay is the hope to get the fans to come closer around to normalcy.

      2. Hawkeye, the political crosswinds will determine the staging of fans being admitted into, or willingness to attend, sports arenas over the next few months. Fear versus freedom will battle it out. We can talk about the science of it until we’re all blue in the face, but there’s no scientific consensus, vaccine or no vaccine. Whoever controls the local municipality gets to make the call, largely based on the prevailing narrative of the pandemic. That may swing like a pendulum from month to month.

        1. Can we please quit with the political talk on here?

          There’s finally a vaccine. How the vaccines help or not help will dictate fans in sports, entertainment, etc.

          The science will drive decisions. If an area still has high cases, that’ll dictate the attendance.

  27. Romus, you have been Mr. Optimism all off season, so I am sticking with you. I get close to depression, and you mange to bring me back from the ledge. I appreciate it, and I hope you are correct.

    1. Keep our fingers crossed.
      I think the owners biggest concern is revenue based upon fans showing up for the games. The fans confidence level is key.

      1. Romus You are Mr Optimism why not just write a check for J,T? With your money we could win a championship

  28. This year free agency is being influenced by owners concerns about fan attendance. Wondering if the players union would allow a contract that is tied to thresholds/multipliers based on fan attendance. Might be a solution to the uncertainty.

    1. Wondering if TV revenue increases when attendance goes down at the stadiums. How much does an owner lose without attendance or limited per game? Just wondering if one goes up when other revenue stream goes down.

  29. I believe Scott Boras. I’ve felt this way all along. Unless the owners are willing to open their books, I’m going to keep on believing it.

    1. This stuff from him always makes me laugh. Not for nothing but the owners are the owners if they (players/agents) have issues with it they should become the owners or strike.

      Either way I don’t give a darn what either side wants to whine about.

      1. Romus … thanks for that link. 330M is the average profit for MLB teams. I’d bet the Phillies are higher than the league average. Certainly not as high as the NYY’s (600+M) and the LAD’s (500+M), but I’d guess the Phillies’ profits are ~400M per year. Just think about how much extra money the club pocketed in 2017 and 2018 when the team kept it’s payroll under/at 100M.
        Boras is saying what I’ve felt all along. Middleton/all owners lost profits in 2020, not money. Fans will be back early in 2021. DD should be allowed to spend up to the cap.

        1. “Lost profits” is what I was talking about before when I surmised that owners may be doing a paper loss of profits from one year of profits at $400 million and next year profit of $200 million. They put in a prospectus that they lost $200 million from year to year.

          Figures lie and liars figure!

    1. The Phillies have historically seemed to be opposed to signing high ceiling, high risk talent instead of journeymen veterans and has beens. I hope Dombrowski changes that no risk no reward MO.

  30. For those with an Athletic subscription, check out Stark’s behind the scenes look at the POBO search and process. My two takeaways:

    1 John Middleton is a pushy SOB when he sees what he wants and he knows how to get the person he wants more often than not. I have been very critical of him these past few months but I think a bit more of him after reading this.
    2 Is anyone better than Jayson Stark? No.

  31. Buddy, I agree that Middleton has the ability to get what he wants, and Jayson Stark deserves his spot in the Hall of Fame. I wish Middleton saw that MacPhail and Klentak were doing a poor job a lot sooner. I have heard some criticism of the part about not damaging the future just to win in 2021. I have been very critical of Middleton, but took that to mean we are not trading Stott and Abel, et.al for a 1 year run at the Playoffs, and I have no problem with that.

    1. Jayson Stark = GOAT
      Such a great article. I’ve been reading Jayson since I was in HS, and he was writing for The Inquirer. This was one of his best.
      A couple of things I took from the piece:
      * Neander was on Middleton’s list. Tampa was just not allowing him to be interviewed.
      * Part of Dombrowski’s salary (in the first two years) is being deferred to the back end of his deal to help the team with COVID financial struggles. I’m almost certain this is what the club will look to do with a JTR extension.

      Thank you, Buddy B for alerting me to the story in the Athletic.

  32. This column certainly should give Phillies phans a better view of Middleton going forward for several reasons. One, while he was being openly castigated as a Nero fiddling while Rome burned, he refused to let the maddening crowd influence his time frame. Good for him. Two, it certainly shows him to have a very impressive perseverance streak in him, something would seem to bode for the future of the franchise.

    Three, it indicates that unlike the public perception given that impressive people like Levine, Byrnes and others couldn’t disappear quick enough from a franchise sinking quicker than the Titanic, most of these guys either gave the Phils much more than a cursory look [Levine] or really wanted the job but declined when it became obvious they weren’t going to get it [Byrnes].

    And four, while not in the column, Scott Boras’s positive comments about Middleton and his desire to field a strong team and win, bode well in my mind for the immediate future of the franchise. I have not always been a big fan of Boras and his techniques but have over time come to an uneasy truce where it comes to him and his negotiating tactics BUT one thing I have always appreciated was his honesty when it came to his view of whether or not a team is trying to get better and try to win. If he thought Middleton was trying to pinch pennies he would have said so, especially since his loyalties lie with Harper and not the Phillies.

    I was a big phan of the DD hiring from the beginning and even more so now. Boras has always had a fascinating way with words and his description of Dombrowski as a guy who hopscotches with teams who routinely make it to the World Series was prescient and telling. He obviously has a high regard for Dombrowski and felt Middleton made an outstanding hiring.

  33. Everyone entitled to their opinions but Boras is responsible for making baseball not affordable for many people

  34. Twitter Battle:
    Jon Heyman vs ..who else, Trevor Bauer

    Trevor Bauer
    @BauerOutage
    You know more about the plans of all 30 teams than the person talking to them directly on my behalf? 😱 Bold claim, kiddo. Logicing your way through something is one thing, reporting it as definitive news is another. But I think you are smart enough on your own to understand that
    Quote Tweet
    Jon Heyman
    @JonHeyman
    Replying to @BauerOutage and @AgentRachelLuba
    If your agent knows the plans of all 30 teams you aren’t paying her enough. But I think you are smart enough on your own to understand the Reds, who are talking about trading Sonny Gray ti save $, aren’t going to sign someone at least 2-3 times as expensive to replace him.

    Jon Heyman
    @JonHeyman
    I know enough about many of them to know they can’t afford you. I could expand that list to two-thirds of the teams if you like but the Reds are the newsworthy ones since it’s your most recent team. If you sign with the Reds you are welcome to get back to me.

    1. Great arm. Poor judgement. This is the story of Trevor Bauer’s career. I wouldn’t want the Phillies to sign him even if Middleton did have the cash.

    1. knew he was getting ready to do a 1 vs 2 Gonzaga vs Baylor matchup before it was canceled a couple weeks ago- wonder if its simply him moving up, or older play by play man opting out?

          1. Ok…did not know that.
            I heard him do a Bills game a few years ago on Westwood One…and a game in England with Jax if not mistaken

    2. It’s funny. McCarthy is a decent, I would even say good, local play-by-play guy but he comes across much better doing national work, even nationally broadcast baseball games. Good for him.

      1. I really like Tom Mac. Ok with John Kruk and Ben Davis. So so with Amaro. Larry Anderson is okay but nails it in sometimes. Frandsen is annoying. And I still can’t see or hear what is so great about Scott Frantzke.

        Frantzke sounds disinterested unless game is super exciting. Also he is behind the action on his call. Ball hit to outfield, he doesn’t describe flight, fielders actions or throws. Ball is hit and then you hear about the play when guy reaches the base.

          1. I respect your feelings for Franzke and I hear the same from many others, but I just don’t get it. I’m not “turned off” but I’m so so.

  35. MLB’s recent announcement about the Negro leagues seemed a little strange to me- like one of those things people to do to act like they care or are doing something, but a little hollow and maybe more about making one feel better about themselves, not actually help the wronged party. thought this opinion piece by Howard Bryant was well written:
    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30540089/mlb-add-negro-leagues-official-records-never-change-did-black-players

  36. Payrolls took a big hit under the pandemic crisis:

    ” According to Ronald Blum of the AP, MLB payrolls dropped by nearly $2.5B in 2020, going from $4.22B in 2019 to $1.75B last year.
    Per Blum:
    “Base wages for 40-man rosters tumbled to $1.54B, according to information sent from MLB to teams…… obtained by The AP. That was down from $3.99B in 2019.”

    https://apnews.com/article/mlb-new-york-baseball-new-york-yankees-new-york-mets-cbe3075af430ac57b3968088879a8475

  37. Exactly, so if we are not counting less revenues as “ losing” money, where are the huge losses MLB is claiming? No doubt the pandemic has cost teams money, but no where near the amount claimed.

  38. It’s estimated that 100mil in US will be vaccinated by end of February.

    That should bode well for either an on time start or a small delay.

    It’s safe to assume that at least 70mil won’t be vaccinated (16 and under). Of course there’s probably another 100mil that won’t get the vaccine.

    With that said, I see a scenario where there’s an extended spring training then perhaps a slight delay. No fans in stands until ASB.

    Let them play.

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