It seems that several things had occurred as far as the Phils are concerned.
First, on December 2, the Phils tendered contracts to outfielder Ben Francisco and pitcher Kyle Kendrick to keep them from becoming free agents. Kyle Kendrick will likely be fighting with Vance Worley for the fifth starter’s spot during spring training, while Francisco will be involved in a platoon situation with Dom Brown, as…
on the following Sunday, December 5, it was announced that Jayson Werth had signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. Although he was expected to leave, Jayson’s signing with another team within the NL East came as a complete surprise to everyone, including Phils manager Charlie Manuel, as everyone had expected him to sign with an AL team, like the Red Sox or the Tigers. Well, Jayson, congrats on the money, but be prepared for a lot of boos, after being given some respectful cheers the first time you come to town in a Nat uniform. (The Nats? I hope you know what you’re doing Jayson.) As for the Phils’ compensation in draft picks, they will get a player in the draft between the first and second rounds, and then a player from the second round, as the Nats’ first round pick did not fall among the first 15 players of the draft.
The next day, December 6, the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee announced that it had elected ex-Phil General Manager Pat Gillick (2005-2008) to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gillick, who was also the GM for the Blue Jays, who won World Series Championships in 1992-1993, to go along with the Phils’ 2008 World Series Championship, as well as being the GM for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners, in 27 years as a GM, had 11 teams enter the post-season.
The next day, December 7, it was announced that journalist Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News (also formerly on the Philadelphia Bulletin) will receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the BBWAA, for 50 years of meritorious contributions to baseball writing. He will be given the award during the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown, NY, on July 25, 2011.
Then, on December 8, the Phils announced that they had signed former Cardinal relief pitcher Dennys Reyes to a one year deal for $1.1 million, with a $1.35 million option for 2012. Reyes, who has pitched in the major leagues for fourteen seasons out of the bullpen, will be joining his eleventh team when he joins the Phils, as he finished 2010 with a 3-1 record with an ERA of 3.55, as he pitched in 59 games, with a save, as he struck out 25 batters, while walking 21. The Phils will likely be using him as their left handed specialist out of the bullpen, to compliment Antonio Bastardo.
On the 9th, the Phils took three players in the Rule 5 Draft, with the first one, Michael Martinez, an infielder, coming from the Nats organization, via their Syracuse Triple-A affiliate. Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. jokingly commented that picking him up was the Phils way of getting back at the Nats for taking Jayson. (I just hope the last laugh ain’t on the Phils with this one.) The Phils would also pick up Chris Frey from the Rockies organization and Justin Friend from the A’s in the minor league part of the Rule 5 Draft. I guess it’ll be a while before we see if any of these guys pan out with the Phils.
Also during the week, the Phils brought Dom Brown back from the Dominican League, as they did not think that he was getting the seasoning that they thought he would need to be ready for spring training. Instead, they plan to do it during spring training itself, to get him ready for the regular season.
Lastly, the Phils had announced on Saturday that shortstop Jimmy Rollins had on Thursday undergone minor surgery on his left wrist. They also announced that he should be able to participate in spring training next year.
With Manager of the Year, there are two different versions of the Award, one that is given by the newspaper size publication, The Sporting News, which has been awarding the prize since 1936 (to one manager in both leagues, before giving an award to a manager in each league, since 1986) and the award given by the Baseball Writers Association of America to a manager in each league since 1983. Phillie managers have won only three awards, two from the Sporting News and one from the BBWAA. They were won by two Phil managers.
The first Phillie manager to win a Manager of the Year Award was Danny Ozark, who won The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 1976, as he led the Phils to their first National League Eastern Division crown, and their first championship since the 1950 Whiz Kids, as the Phil won the NL East with a record of 101-61 (which is still a team record) with a .623 winning percentage. The second and, so far, only other Phil manager to win a Manager of the Year Award was Larry Bowa, who, in 2001, won both The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award and the BBWAA Manager of the Year Award, as he led the Phil to a second place finish in the NL East, the Phil’s best finish since they had finished in third place in 1999, with a record of 86-76, and a winning percentage of .531.
Phil managers have won one Manager of the Year in the 20th Century and two (both to Larry Bowa) in the 21st Century. Neither manager is in the Hall of Fame, either as a player or as a manager.
Who would be the next Phil manager to win either version of the award? I have no idea, although Charlie Manuel could win it this year, because of how the Phils won the Eastern Division pennant this past season.
During the sixty-three years that the Rookie of the Year has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Associations of America (BBWAA), only four Phils have won the NL version of the award.
The first Phil to win the award was pitcher Jack Sanford in 1957 who in 33 starts complied a win-lost record of 19-8 with a 3.08 ERA, as he struck out 188 batters. The second Phil to win the award was third baseman Dick Allen in 1964, who in that year batted .318, hitting 29 home runs, 19 triples, leading the league in that category, and knocking in 91 RBIs, while scoring 125, the league leader in that category. It would be thirty-three years before another Phil would be voted the NL Rookie of the Year. Third baseman Scott Rolen would win the award in 1997, with a .283 batting average, as he hit 21 home runs, while knocking in 92 RBIs. The fourth, and presently final, Phil to win the award would be first baseman Ryan Howard in 2005, who that year batted .288, as he hit 22 home runs, while knocking in 63 RBIs.
Of the four awards won by a Phil, three were won in the 20th Century and one, so far, in the 21st. Three have been won by position players and one by a pitcher. So far, none of the award has been won by a member of the Hall of Fame, since both Rolen and Howard are still active players, although Allen is presently under consideration by the Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee.
Who will be the next Phil to win the Award? Considering the Phils’ farm system, that is a good question, since the Phils just missed having a fifth award as J.A. Happ ended up second place in 2009.
During the almost 70 years that the award has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), five Phils have won the award a total of seven times.
The first Phil to win the just reformed title (1931) was Hall of Famer Chuck Klein in 1933, the year that he won the batting Triple Crown, by posting a batting average of .368, hitting 28 home runs and knocking in 120 RBIs. The next Phil to win the award would be relief pitcher Jim Konstanty in 1950, as he would appear in 74 regular season games, all in relief, as he had a 16-7 record with a 2.66 ERA, while saving 22 more games, as he help lead the Whiz Kids to the team’s first NL pennant since 1915. The next Phil to be voted MVP by the writers would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in 1980, as he help lead the team to their third NL pennant and their first World Series Championship by batting .286 with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs. He would receive his second MVP, and the team’s fourth, in the strike shortened year of 1981, as he batted .316, hitting 31 home runs, while knocking in 91 RBIs. Schmidt would win his third and final MVP award in 1986, as he batted .290, hitting 37 home runs and knocking in 119 RBIs. The sixth Phil to be elected the NL MVP would be Ryan Howard in 2006, as he hit 58 home runs and knocked in 149 RBIs, while batting .313. The fifth and, at the moment, final Phil to win the award was Jimmy Rollins, who did it in 2007, the year that the Phils made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. In that year, Rollins batted .296, hitting 30 home runs, as he knocked in 94 runs.
Of the seven titles, five were won in the 20th century and two in the 21st. One title was won in the 1930s, one in the 1950s, three in the 1980s and two in the 2000s. Mike Schmidt has won the most MVPs awards won by a Phil player by winning three, with two of them in consecutive seasons. Of the title winners, two are presently in the Hall of Fame. Six of the awards were won by position players, all but one by an infielder, and one by a relief pitcher.
Which Phil will next win the award? Depending on how 2011 shapes up, Ryan Howard could regain the title or Chase Utley could gain his first, if either player can regain their form during the off-season.
Well, some news occurred this weekend and today, both Phillies and non-Phillies related.
First, Phillies related news. Phillies.com has reported during the weekend that the Phillies are showing some interested in former Dodgers shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Garciaparra, who was only able to play in 55 games during the 2008 season, most of which were played in the second half of the season, after returning from an injury, batting .264 while hitting eight home runs and 28 RBIs, is a career .314 hitter after 13 seasons playing for the Red Sox, the Cubs and the Dodgers, where he has a combine total of 1702 hits for 5426 at-bats in 1369 games, knocking in 920 RBIs while scoring 910 runs. Of his 1702 hits, he has 362 2Bs, 52 3Bs and 226 HRs for a total of 2846 total bases. He also has a .525 slugging percentage and a .363 on-base percenatge. Nomar, beside playing shortstop, has also played third base and first base. If the Phillies do sign him to a deal, which will probably be for no more than one year, he would more than likely be the right handed bat that they’ll be wanting to come off the bench against lefthanded pitching to complement left hander Greg Dobbs. We’ll see if they will be able to get him. But, if they do, and he returns to his earlier form, other teams may not like to face a combo of Dobbs and Garciaparra coming off of the Phillies’ bench (depending on which of the lefties they still have (Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins) that they don’t trade).
Next, the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday afternoon knocked off the NFL Champions New York Giants, 23-11. I am sure that Giants fans are still not believing this. Hate to break it to you guys, but it actually happened. And you can all thank a certain thigh shooter for this lost. 🙂 Anyway, next stop for the Eagles, Phoenix, and a date with those other Cardinals, the ones of the football variety. Hopefully, these Cardinals won’t realize that they’re in a championship game until its over.
And lastly, the votes are in, and the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, via the Writers’ Ballots are….drum roll please ladies and gentlemen….Rickey Henderson, in his first year on the ballot, and Jim Rice, on his 15th and last year on the ballot.
Rickey Henderson, formerly of the A’s, the Yankees, the Blue Jays, the Padres, the Astros, the Mets, the Mariners, the Red Sox and the Dodgers, was elected, on his first year of eligibility, with 94.8 percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, being placed on 511 of the 539 ballots cast. Henderson, who has played from 1979 to 2003, is considered the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history, and is the current leader in stolen bases with 1406 and runs scored with 2995. He also has the record for the most steals in a season, stealing 130 bases in 1982, while also having the most lead-off home runs in Major League history with 81. Henderson, in 25 seasons, has a career batting average of .279, with an on-base percentage of .401 and a slugging percentage of .419, has 3,055 hits, 510 of which were 2Bs, 66 3Bs and 297 HRs. He has won the AL MVP in 1990 and has two world series rings, being a member of the 1989 A’s and the 1993 Blue Jays World Championship teams.
Jim Rice, formerly of the Red Sox, was elected to the Hall in his fifteenth, and final, year of eligibility, with 76.4 percent of the vote, being named on 411 of the ballots. A member of the 1975 American League Champions Red Sox, Rice, who spent his entire 16 years career (1974-1989) with Boston, ended his career with a .298 batting average, with a slugging percentage of .502 and an on-base percentage of .352, has 2452 career hits, knocking in 1451 RBIs, while scoring 1249 runs, hitting 373 2Bs, 79 3Bs and 382 RBIs. His career totals in hits and home runs, along with his 4129 total bases, are all Red Sox career marks for a right handed batter. He won the AL MVP in 1978, as well as being a member of eight AL All-Stars teams. Rice’s selection has been an uphill climb, with him gathering more votes each year he was on the ballot.
Congratulations to both Henderson and Rice on their election, and hoping that the third highest vote getter on the ballot, Andre Dawson, with 67 percent (361) of the votes, will get the nod next year.
Charlie Manuel finishes a distance second to Cubs’ Manager Lou Piniella (103 votes), who has now won his third Manager of the Year Award, the first time as a National League manager. Manuel, whose Phillies team has won its second straight National League Eastern Division pennant during the regular season, before going on to win the 2008 World Series, would receive from the Baseball Writers eight first place ballots, six second place ballots and nine third place ballots for a total of 67 points, putting him in second place in the voting.
|2008 NL Manager of the Year Award Voting|
|Lou Piniella, CHC||15||8||4||103|
|Charlie Manuel, PHI||8||6||9||67|
|Fredi Gonzalez, FLA||5||6||5||48|
|Joe Torre, LAD||3||8||6||45|
|Tony La Russa, STL||1||1||3||11|
|Jerry Manuel, NYM||3||1||10|
|Cecil Cooper, HOU||3||3|
|Dale Sveum, MIL||1||1|
(Ballot: H/T MLB.com)