Open Discussion: Week of December 19, 2021

Day 19 of Mister Manfred’s lockout.  No action on the negotiating front.  No likelihood of any for a few weeks, it seems.  The Phillies did sign a few more free agents and invited them to Spring Training. 

I think the following paragraphs from last week’s article bear repeating since I still see player acquisition suggestions that are framed around the potential use of players in a role that may not exist in the National League.

The Designated Hitter:  The longer the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the less likely it is that there will be a designated hitter in the National League next season.  Why?  The Basic Agreement is about economic issues.  Rule changes are not normally discussed during these negotiations.  They are handled separately by a rules committee.  And, Manfred already stated that those negotiations would not be held concurrently with the basic agreement negotiations.  So, figure on no DH this season.

Additionally, the DH would benefit both sides.  For some reason, the owners see it as a bargaining chip and want something in return for it.  The DH is not an additional player added to the 26-man roster.  He is the conversion of an existing player to a DH.  With a limit of 13 pitchers already on the books, teams seemingly committed to 8-man bullpens, and teams drifting away from DH-only type positions, the DH will likely become a hybrid corner infielder/outfielder who can hit with power and field his positions at a not quite so almost average skill level.

The designated hitter and all other rule changes are separate from the CBA.  It is very likely that there will not be a designated hitter in the National League next season.

Since this will be the last article before the holiday other than polls, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.

Rosters and Stuff

Key Dates:

  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
  • December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020-21 international signing period
  • January 28,2022: Caribbean Series
  • TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably late February)
  • April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
  • April 8, 2022:  Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
  • April 8, 2022:  Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
  • April 8, 2022:  Reading season opener at home v. Somerset


12/14/2021 – Phillies signed FA 2B Wendell Rijo to an MiLB contract w/ST invite
12/14/2021 – Phillies signed FA RHP Tyler Cyr to an MiLB contract w/ST invite
12/14/2021 – Phillies signed FA RHP Joe Gatto to an MiLB contract w/ST invite
12/14/2021 – Phillies signed FA RHP Jake Newberry to an MiLB contract w/ST invite
12/14/2021 – Phillies signed FA RHP Cam Bedrosian to an MiLB contract w/ST invite

70 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 19, 2021

  1. Thank You, Jim, for everything that you do to provide us with this forum. You cannot be thanked enough. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too Jim and to all in Phuture Phillies Land.

    I am 100% for the DH and feel that Cam Bedrosian might be an asset this year.

  3. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all Phuture Phillies contributors and readers. And thanks immensely to Jim for making this the most intelligent, informed and informative baseball team-oriented site in existence.

    As I’ve said sometimes in the past, I have had a long career as a news reporter, newspaper editor, newspaper publisher and founder of my own research and e-publishing firm so I know first hand just how much work and care and knowledge go into what Jim creates and maintains. The only two words that suffice and amazing and thanks.

    I look forward to 2022 and all the contributions that Jim and members of the Phuture Phillies community will make.

  4. Merry Christmas to you Jim and to all those who contribute and make this one of the best baseball sites on the web. Thank You ( and may Santa bring us at least a LF this year)

  5. Merry Christmas to all you Phuture Phillies posters and to the guy, (Jim) who makes it all happen. Hope you have a really nice holiday and a Happy New Year!

  6. Merry Christmas everyone especially to Jim for another great year for Phuture Phillies! Special shout out to Larry Shenk, who has posted on PP recently for his great article on Chuck Klein on Phillies official website. Klein put up amazing numbers during his days with the Phillies.

    1. rocco….Seven Fishes Friday nite…..better start cleaning the crabs and get them ready to make that crab gravy with linguine …hmm, hmm, hmm.

  7. I wish everyone here at Phuture Phillies the very best Holiday! Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year! I appreciate all of you, and learn a great deal, and look forward to whatever moves DD can make. I wished the best to Jim in an earlier post. This is the absolute best Phillies site there is. The work he does is incredible, and to all of you who post and make it so much fun, Thank You!

  8. “According to the AP, each of the Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and Astros ended with payrolls less than $5MM below the first tax threshold. They’ll each be first-time payors if they exceed that mark in 2022.”
    I expect the new CBA to increase the LTT to probably 220M next season. If the new CBA looks like the previous deal, Middleton would have to pay a 20% tax on any payroll that exceeds 220M and is under 240M. So if Dave Dombrowski goes wild, and carries a 240M (AAV) dollar payroll for 2022, the club would get taxed just 4M dollars.
    I may be on an island alone (and I may look like a fool for predicting this), but I still believe Middleton will allow Dombrowski to top the LTT this winter. The team has been out of the postseason for a decade, they don’t have a strong farm system, and I think there may be a Steve Cohen effect on Middleton (Napoleon complex of the wallet).

    1. Hinkie….agree .
      I do think Dombrowski has two big moves coming post lockout….one in free agency and one in a blockbuster trade.
      That one big free agency move may do exactly as you mention….put the team a little over the top.
      Whether it is Kris Bryant, Schwarber or Conforto I have no idea…..but it very well could top the threshold. And Middleton will decide then to pay whatever penalty fee occurs.

      1. Here’s something to chew on…let’s say that the Yankees sign Carlos Correa, making at least one of NYY’s top shortstop prospects available in a trade. Let’s then say that Brian Cashman would love to have Aaron Nola in his starting rotation since they Yankees never seem to have quite enough in that department. Nola to the Yankees for a package including either SS prospect, then flip him in a 3-way trade for Bryan Reynolds. If DD believes in Stott as a SS, this seems to fit what teams need. Spitballing here, of course…but aren’t we all 🤠

      2. PHILLIES get:
        Joey Gallo of
        Bryan Reynolds cf

        PIRATES get:
        Mick Abel rhp
        Johan Rojas cf
        Anthony Volpe ss
        Austin Wells c

        ***YANKEES get:
        Aaron Nola rhp

        ***contingent upon NYY signing FA SS Carlos Correa.

        Hinkie, please run this through your simulator…

        1. And then who are the Phillies going to sign or trade for to replace Nola in the rotation? I’ve never understood the trade Nola arguments when they don’t have his replacement anywhere in the system.

          Trading him for position a player fills one hole and creates another that will require more stoopid $$$ to fill.

          Based on performance, Nola is cheap and his replacement will be more expensive.

          1. From a strictly personal perspective, I don’t think Nola will finish his career in Philadelphia. I don’t think he’ll be re-signed in a couple years when his contract is up. Nor do I believe he wants to. I understand your point, but starting pitching is IMO becoming less of a premium when the industry wide philosophy seems to be shifting toward deploying 4 to 6 pitchers per game instead of placing the bulk of the eggs in one TOR when the team could get much in return now (and for the future) for Nola than to wait and see (a) if he regains his effectiveness, and (b) if he’ll either warrant OR want an extension. Who’s his replacement? Well, it might not be a starting pitcher. Maybe it’s a CF who might anchor our lineup for several years to come.

            1. No matter how good a CF he is, that doesn’t account for 180+ innings pitcher per year. You’re talking about replacing his value, but don’t address the physical need for a pitcher.

              And even if you don’t think Nola finishes his career here, that still leaves us an extra 2-3 years to find someone to fill his spot in the rotation, whereas trading him requires us to scramble to find someone now. 3 years is long enough that one of our prospects could be ready (or we can find a good trade, or we get another relatively good deal on a pitcher like Wheeler). A month means we’re either getting lucky with a minor leaguer or we have to pay someone more than we’re paying Nola, likely to be worse than Nola.

              Also, certain teams rely more heavily on their relievers than their starters. But not the Phils. Imagine how many more losses we’d have had the past two years if we DIDN’T have Nola/Wheeler/Eflin. Even at his worst, Nola is vastly superior to our bullpen. Asking our relievers to cover even MORE innings is just disaster waiting to happen.

            2. I earlier mentioned Friedman and the Dodgers looking for another starter…of quality. Nola, I am sure, would be a favorite target for Freidman.
              But, if that were to happen, also have to assume Dombrowski will ask for younger pitchers in return in the package…ie perhaps a Dustin May and a Bobby Miller….one coming off TJ surgery and the other ready to make his MLB debut. Both risks at this point.

            3. Romus, Cody Bellinger and LAD avoided arbitration by settling on 1/$17M. That’s a $900K raise after a well below replacement level 2021. If DD was entertaining the idea of calling Friedman about CB, I wonder if Nola would be enough to get him AND a young arm.

            4. IMO, yes…easy.
              Dombrowski better get more than just one young arm in the transaction.
              Nola is plenty proven, relatively cheap and still short of 30 years old.
              Bellinger has to come back around, at the plate, like his MVP days or close to them…..and that is still an uncertainty.

            5. But you didn’t answer the question. If Nola is traded, who’s the replacement? I get people are down on him but it’s meaningless if he doesn’t get resigned in 2/3 years. He needs to be replaced for 2022 if traded and I still haven’t seen question answered.

              Roma’s talks about picking up a guy coming off TJ and maybe a mlb ready prospect in a deal but that only makes sense if 2022 is a throwaway season. That’s not happening.

    2. I think it’s possible that JM lets DD exceed the LTT this winter, but I think it’s far more likely that the team emerges from the winter under the LTT and DD has some flexibility to exceed the LTT if the team is in contention at the trading deadline. Now, if anyone could get JM to exceed the LTT it’s DD, but I doubt that would happen before the season starts.

      1. The Phillies are fairly predictable when it comes to certain things. What in their history tells you that they are prepared to break the LTT this winter? I would say, other than vague mumblings about the team not being limited in that way, their history suggests they haven’t done so and will not do so. I hope I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt it. And, again, I do think it’s possible, in the right scenario, for them to go over at the trade deadline.

      2. Catch, I’m on board with the Phillies going over… before start of the season. My reasoning, if you’re going to go over, might as well get the full benefit of being over for the entire season. I don’t believe it’s prorated. Also, if JM is smart, he could get into a mini – NYY/BOS rivalry. Lastly, what’s 4 million … when your paying MVP bonuses! You can’t waste what essentially was a CY Young season and An MVP. The clock is ticking

        1. We are ALL on board with them going over the LTT – it is not MY recommendation that they stay below that threshold – so plead your case to Mr. Middleton, because the next time he does that it will be the first time.

  9. Happy Christmas to all the Phuture Phillies posters and Mr. Jim. As Johnny Carson once said on his show, “May the bird of paradise lay a jingle bell in your jello”.

    Romus – There is a photo of seven different flavors of Goldfish crackers side by side. Got it on FB from an Irish lady who said it was the Irish version of Christmas Eve.

            1. …….but, it’s being served on a bed of mixed greens with 7 goldfish crackers?

              Have a nice Christmas Rocco, good to have you back!

  10. I would echo the holiday sentiments to all who participate on Phuture Phillies and wish all a healthy and Happy New Year. To Jim, thank you for all your efforts in maintaining this despite difficult personal family circumstances and sometimes cantankerous participants. You all make this a wonderful diversion from a sometimes dreary day. Thanks ! and Cheers !!!

  11. Before I forget, blessings to all here. May the Reason for this season shine His light upon all here at Phuture Phillies. His grace and mercy are so compelling, I can only wish a joyful Christmas to Mets fans as well🤣🙌 and a much much better 2022!!

    1. Well said Mark. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to all!

      Jim, thank yoU for all you do for this site. I appreciate all your efforts and insights and I enjoy being a part of a great community who help self-police to keep it respectful, even when we disagree. God bless you all!

  12. Happy holidays everyone! May you experience the joy of your own traditions and have a wonderful new year! Here’s to an interesting 2022. I think this could be the year we finally see the post-season again – and not a moment too soon!

  13. Happy 77th birthday to Lefty! He could probably still pitch a couple innings, what a beast in the training room.

    1. Sign him up! Lefty would laugh at these guys who are impressed with throwing just 200 innings – he’ll pitch 300

  14. Let me add my voice to wish Jim and all of you the happiest of holidays. Although I am an infrequent contributor, I am a constant visitor to this intelligent and invaluable site. Thanks to all who make that way.

    1. Dodgers had to do it….or non-tender him and he becomes a free agent.
      I am sure Friedman would have liked to have him at less than that amount with regards to where they currently stand against the luxury tax threshold.
      But…they were caught between the proverbial rock and hard place and if they went to arbitration and won and lowered his salary from 2020, or maintain the same
      ( then hard feelings develop from the player’s standpoint)….which rarely ever happens….they settled for the $900K increase…all parties are happy.

      1. A -1.5 WAR @ 17 million, better be a heck of a bounce back year, eh? I think I like him on the west coast better than CBP.

  15. Was wondering if some of you older fans might remember this, my dad was telling me about watching a Phillies game in the ’70’s when Larry Bowa came up to the plate and the infield came in, he hit one that went over the infielder’s head and when he got to first base he gave the middle finger on tv to the infielder. He couldn’t remember the team or who he gave the finger to. Also he said that he believes RIchie Ashburn made a funny comment about it but can’t remember it (my dad is 74 after all). Anyway, just wondering if anyone remembers that, tried to look it up on youtube and google but no luck.

  16. Daniel…I will tell you the game I think your dad is referring to, and its the game that convinced me that the 1977 Phillies were going to become an offensive juggernaut [they were!] It was June 22 and the struggling Phillies, 7 games behind the Chicago Cubs, acquired speedy Bake McBride a week before, right at the June 15 trade deadline. This deal really gave that Phillie team an amazing offensive lineup.

    Cincinnati came to town and the Phils and powerful Reds split the first two games. You may recall that at that time the two best shortstops in the NL were Larry Bowa and Davy Concepcion of the Reds and Bowa routinely came out 2nd, something that bugged him no end. Anyways, in what was an incredible slugfest, the Reds walked light hitting Ted Sizemore to load the bases in a 9-9 tie game to get to Bowa and Bowa felt that Concepcion, who had come to the mound before the walk, had something to do with this slight. Bowa, who almost never hit a home run, proceeded to hit a grand slam home run and as he rounded the bases gave the middle finger to the Reds shortstop as he rounded 2nd base.

    By the way, Bowa had a 4-4 night, with 4 runs scored and 4 RBI. His night looked like this: 4, 4, 4, 4. This was also the period when Bowa began referring to Davy Concepcion as Elmer because he said whenever he looked at a Reds box score it said E-Concepcion, which obviously meant Error-Concepcion but Bowa jokingly said he thought it was short for Elmer.

    I still believe, and I have been a phan since 1964, that the 1977 Phillies team was the greatest Phil team I ever witnessed. They went 70-31after acquiring McBride. But for Black Friday against the Dodgers, that team would have likely won the World Series.

      1. I remember a different version of that Larry Bowa incident. I’m younger than Mr Dreamer (I was born in 1963) so it’s possible he may have a better recollection. But I remember watching that game with my dad. I thought the game happened against Montreal, but it could have been Cincinnati. Like Mr Dreamer, I remember the batter in front of Bowa was intentionally walked to load the bases. Unlike Mr Dreamer, I recall Larry followed with a bases clearing triple. After sliding into 3rd base, Bowa popped up, looked right into the 3rd base dugout, and gave the universal “FU” sign (took his left forearm to the joint of his right arm, which raised his right forearm to the air with middle finger extended). My dad loved it.
        Again … I may have been about 13 YO so it’s possible my recollection could be a little fuzzy, but that incident has always stayed with me. It’s so cool you would bring it up here (thanks to your dad). My dad died when I was in my 30s. Some of the greatest memories I have came with watching games with him (Phillies/Flyers/Eagles/Sixers).

  17. The 77 team was very good. I had just started my teaching career.
    The Dodgers were really good as well. I forget the Black Friday reference.
    But I believe that was the series that the Phillies fans were so loud they basically ran Burt Hooton off the mound in one of the games at Philly.

    Merry Christmas to all. I truly enjoy reading everyone on this site.
    Special thanks to Jim for all of his hard work.
    Glad I am allowed to contribute in some small way.

    1. Amazingly I actually was at that game Don53, though I had remembered it as a regular game and not the playoffs Our family had tickets up in the bleachers, Hooten started getting a bit wild and the fans went crazy, yelling (including 9 year old me) “Hooten You’re a bum. BUMMM. Booo,…” And Hooten couldn’t throw a strike. Ever since I have been embarrassed about my behavior. Obviously I had LOTS of company not all of whom where 9 years old, but still…

    2. I believe the Black Friday reference is about the series of events that led to a playoff series loss beginning with a two-out bunt single with the Phillies leading 5-3, Luzinski blowing a catch at the wall (a play that many believe shouldn’t have happened as Jerry Martin had regularly been inserted for the Bull in late-inning situations with the Phils leading), a blown call at first bast with Lopes running that tied the game, an error on a pickoff that allowed Lopes to get into scoring position from which he scored. The Phillies failed to score in the bottom of the ninth and lost in a cold rain Saturday night as Chub Feeney sat in the stands wearing just a suit coat. The game probably should have been postponed.

      Hooten started this game and was driven from the game after 4 consecutive 2-out walks in the second inning, the 2nd thru 4th forcing in runs.

      1. Black Friday was game 3 of the 1977 NLCS aganst the Dodgers. The teams split the 1st 2 games in LA and came to the Vet for games 3 and 4.

        Both the Hooten and events Jim describes above came in the same game (3rd- could have been 2nd – and 9th innings).

        Also, as stated above, game 4 was played in a pouring rain. Carlton lost to Tommy John to eliminate the Phils.

      2. Not as memorable for the world, but I think there MUST have been another, similar game during the regular season, years earlier. In the Fall of 1977(or 1978) I was not in Philadelphia attending games.

  18. Ah, Black Friday…anyone who was a phan of the Phillies late 70’s knows instantly what Black Friday was. It was Friday, Oct. 7 and in a mere 10 minutes [that was how long the 4 batter nightmare lasted] the Dodger-Phillie playoff series turned for good and ended what arguably was the greatest season in Phillies history. Yes, that Phillie team was THAT good. Schmidt/Luzinski combined for 77 home runs and the Phils had power up and down the lineup…Hebner, Maddux, Mcbride, Boone and Johnstone all hit double figure home runs and Davy Johnson just missed.

    Bowa and Ted Sizemore were a scrappy and productive double play combination and the bench was filled with .300 hitters…McCarver, Olllie Brown and Tommy Hutton. Carlton was at the top of his game with 23 wins and lanky Larry Christenson won 19, including a 13-1 finishing run. Jim Lonborg and lefties Jim Kaat and Randy Lerch were the other members of the rotation and the bullpen foursome of Gene Garber, and McGraw, Reed and Brusstar were brilliant. This truly was a powerhouse and had won 70 of their final 103 games.

    Make no mistake, the Dodgers were very good also, to the tune of four 30 HR guys [Garvey, Cey, Baker and Reggie Smith. Tommy John, Don Sutton and Burt Hooten were a solid trio in the rotation and there was little doubt that Tommy Lasorda was much the better manager than Danny Ozark. Still, the Phils were favored and most expected them to win. In fact, they were the favorites to win the World Series. Yes, they were that good!

    The Phils and Dodgers split the two games in LA and the Phils, who finished 60-21 at home that year were very confident of winning two of the next three. This all led to Black Friday, the game that had everything, except a Phillie victory. The Dodgers struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the 2nd, though Steve Garvey, who scored the second run, still hasn’t touched home plate, he was out but called safe. This only served to rankle the rowdy crowd and they took it out on a visibly frustrated Hooter, who walked in 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Dodgers tied it at 3 in the fourth but when Phils scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th to take a 5-3 lead the game, and likely the series, seemed over.

    Ace reliever Gene Garber had retired 8 straight hitters [ 3 in the 7th, 3 in the 8th and the first two hitters of the 9th] when the Dodgers brought 41year old Vic Davillio to the plate. A surprise drag bunt got Davillio to first but when another 40 year old pinch hitter, Manny Mota, swung through two sinkers the Phils were one strike from victory. On the next pitch Mota hit a long fly to left, but no problem…defensive wizard Jerry Martin would handle it! Except, inexplicably, Ozark had left the defensively challenged Luzinski in the game…with predictable results. He misplayed it, then threw the ball past Sizemore at second. Suddenly, it was 5-4 and Mota was at third base.

    Leadoff hitter Davy Lopes then smashed one off of Schmidt’s glove and the ball ricocheted right to the bare handed Bowa, who made a brilliant throw to first base. Lopes out by thismuch but the ump said safe and the score was tied. Garber then threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt, Lopes went to second base, and scored when Bill Russell singled to center field. A 5-3 had resolved into a 6-5 deficit in a mere 10 minutes and 5 minutes later the game was over.

    The were stunned and not surprisingly, in a terrible downpour, lost the Saturday night game 4-1. It was gone in a mere 10 minutes, and has forever been referred to by all those phan who remember it…as Black Friday. And while many will say it really didn’t matter since the team would win the World Series 3 years later, for those of us who around then, it mattered a great deal. That ’77 team is now but a mere footnote in Phils history but in reality they are likely the best, and certainly the most powerful Phillie team in history.

    1. Very detailed report….Pope gave them one more year…after another Phillies defeat to the Dodger in ’78, said enough is enough….went out and got Pete Rose.
      Some growing pains at first, but in the long run turned out for the better.

      1. Yes. The black Friday game does refer to a 1977 playoff game with the LADs. Mr Dreamer gives a perfect recap above. I had a dentist appointment that day. When I left for the dentist, things were great (Happy Hooten couldn’t throw the ball over the plate). By the time I got home, Danny Ozark was being vilified for not replacing Greg Luzinski with Jerry Martin in the 9th inning.

        1. Should have mentioned Jim was first with the perfect recap of that black Friday game. Anyway … as a kid, that game helped drive home the point that winning in Philly was sooo difficult. It did make future championships (80 Phillies, 83 Sixers, 2008 Phillies, and 2017 Eagles) all the more sweet though.

  19. You guys are awesome. I remembered Hooton but had forgot that 9th inning over the years.
    I do still remember the 64 collapse. I think 6 1/2 game lead with like 10 games to go and somehow lost. I believe Mauch pitched Bunning and Short every other game or something like that. Of course the Cardinals went on to win the World Series in 64 behind Gibson.
    It seems there are many on here who have been life long Phillies like myself. No idea why on my part. I was just a little kid from central Indiana who was able to pick up Phillies games at night on the radio at my house. I always told people in the 60s that I was the only Phillies fan in Indiana.
    Great stories guys. I so enjoy this site.

    1. Oh man Don….if it were the 60s and on the radio…By Saam and Bill Campbell were the voice you heard during those summer months..

      1. Romus.
        I could get St. Louis, Cincinnatti, and Phillies most nights.
        Think it was WCAU but could be wrong.
        I was just starting to really get into baseball.

        1. I used to hate playing the Cardinals. No matter what lead you had the Cards would come back to beat you.

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