Found June 18, 2013 on
World Series Dreaming:
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Most of these blog ideas start off with a weird tangent. In today’s case, Roobs made an off-hand statement that Cubs fans seem to prefer Ruben Amaro Jr. as their general manager. Amaro is now the GM of the Philadelphia Phillies, who as recently as a couple years ago were perennial contenders with a strong core that has since faded. The core of that team was built by Pat Gillick, and previously by Ed Wade. As you may know, Pat Gillick‘s core got to the World Series in 2008 and beat the Tampa Bay Rays, and when Amaro took over, the Phillies repeated as National League champions in 2009 before taking a step back each successive year.
If you look at the years leading up to 2008, you can notice that there is a solid group of individuals making up the core of the teams that contributed to a sustained run of success before Amaro’s takeover. Names like Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels. Then Amaro shot his load to land Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, but the window of opportunity slammed shut incredibly quickly. Howard has become a platoon player, Utley is hurt a lot (though is still a superb player when healthy), Halladay was struggling prior to his potential career-ending shoulder surgery, Hamels is struggling after his big extension, and the farm has been decimated.
I think the conversation we had today was eye-opening in that we realized how little Cubs fans, and fans in general, appreciate the process. It’s a lot harder to build a team and sustain it than it is to just throw money at the problem and watch it all fall apart. And perhaps Dale Sveum isn’t the answer, but I guess one of my biggest nightmares is if Ruben Amaro Jr. realizes, “Hey, maybe we should actually refill the farm system again,” hires Ryne Sandberg (currently the Phillies’ 3B coach) to manage in place of Charlie Manuel, and then the kids coming up fill in the blanks as former stars like Howard, Utley and Rollins retire, and the Phillies become good again. The nightmare isn’t that the Phillies could become good again; it’s that the fans won’t realize that it’s because of the behind-the-scenes actions of an enlightened general manager that allowed a manager (be it Ryno or otherwise) to succeed and they’ll use that to blast the current Cubs front office for not doing the same.
Except…they kind of are.
World Series Dreaming can also be found on ChicagoNow.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Big Piece is showing signs of his 2009 form. Photo by: Ian Riccaboni
Pop quiz: Over the last seven days, which Phillie has led the team in on-base percentage? How about the last 14 days? 30 days?
If you guessed Ryan Howard, you cheated. Or figured it out by reading the title.
Over the last 30 days, Howard has reached base at a nearly .400 clip (.398), good for 17th in the MLB...
The Philadelphia Phillies have activated left-handed starter John Lannan from the 15-day disabled list after having missed two months due to a strained left quad. The 28-year-old will return to the Philadelphia rotation.
To make room on the active roster for Lannan, the Phillies have placed left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst on the 15-day disabled list due to a left elbow strain....
*The Phillies are actually closer to the NL East leader than the 2nd Wild Card.*The NL East is the worst division in baseball. *Kevin Frandsen should have been starting at 2nd base all along, not Freddy Galvis. I wonder if he could play right field once Utley returns. *Ryan Howard has his batting average up to .276 and a climbing .796 OPS as well.*It's not fair that Cole...
(April 30, 2013 – Source: Jason Miller/Getty Images North America)
With June wrapping up soon and July on the way, I’ll be looking into some trade targets and rumors surrounding the Giants and A’s until they actually do (or do not) happen.
Cliff Lee is having quite the season.The Giants are short a starting pitcher. Hey, perfect!
This is what I’m assuming most fans are thinking...
Before the Phillies embarked on a 10-game road trip I laid out my expectations if I was to continue to believe this team might be capable of turning things around enough to make a postseason push something worth considering possible. As I reiterated last Monday, that was for the Phillies to pick up no fewer than six wins with stops in Milwaukee, Minnesota and Colorado. Seven wins...
The Phillies were able to get first round pick J.P. Crawford to sign for a bonus right at the slot value, giving them a little bit of wiggle room for other signings. Crawford is a high school shortstop out of Lakewood, California.
At a time the Phillies are in desperate need of a pick-me-up, they are getting one. Carlos Ruiz has been activated from the disabled list. Ruiz appeared in games Saturday and Sunday in Lehigh Valley with the Iron Pigs. Cameron Rupp caught last night's game against the Toledo Mud Hens....
Reports of the Philadelphia Phillies willingness to sell this summer have gone back and fourth. If the team does make some of it's players available in trade, closer Jonathan Papelbon is expected to be one of the more significant pieces shopped. According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Phillies believe there are at least three teams that may have some level of interest...
Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that more than four in five respondents favor the idea of the Red Sox trading to get former closer Jonathan Papelbon. As the chart shows, fully 83% of early voters select the "yes" option, while only 17% say "no" to the proposed trade. You can still vote in this poll HERE.
Ian Desmond hit a grand slam in the 11th inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 Wednesday night, avoiding a three-game sweep.
Jayson Werth's RBI single with two outs in the ninth tied it off Jonathan Papelbon, who blew a save for the second time in three nights after starting the season 13 for 13.
Starters Kyle Kendrick and Gio Gonzalez both...
Domonic Brown hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Monday night.
The Nationals tied it at 4 when Chad Tracy hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth off closer Jonathan Papelbon (1-0). It was the first blown save for Papelbon, who had converted his previous 13 chances.
NewsTags: Allen IversonBrian DawkinsBrian WestbrookChase UtleyCliff LeeJeremiah TrotterJohn LeclairPhiladelphia EaglesRoy HalladayRyan HowardTerrell Owens
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After a walkoff win by Domonic Brown yesterday, more good news. Carlos Ruiz is back. But more bad news, too. The rain is staying, the game is delayed to start, and the showers will likely...