On Monday, the Phils and Comcast officially announced that Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs will join the broadcast team, starting with spring training games. Jamie Moyers will be in the booth, broadcasting games for Comcast, MLB.TV and WPHL-17 for 109 games, while Stairs will broadcast 108 games, with their first broadcast being today’s opening Grapefruit League game between the Phils and the Blue Jays. A day later, the Phils confirmed that Hall of Famer, Mike Schmidt, will also be in the broadcast booth, broadcasting Sunday home games.
Meanwhile, the people whom Moyers and Stairs have replaced, Garry Matthews and Chris Wheeler, are still with the Phils, planning to act as goodwill ambassadors for the organization during the season, while Matthews is presently involved with the players in Clearwater acting as a guest instructor.
Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins have just won his fourth Gold Glove Award. Jimmy, who have won previous gold gloves in 2007-09, with his win is now ranked third in franchise history with the most gold gloves won by a Phil, trailing only Mike Schmidt (10) and Garry Maddos (8).
During the season, Rollins, who continued to be an outstanding defensive player, only batted .250, with a .427 Slugging Percentage and a very low .316 On-Base Percentage (.743 OPS), as he went 158 for 632, including 33 doubles, 5 triples and 23 home runs, knocking in 68 runs, while scoring 102 times, as he appeared in 156 games. He also had 30 stolen bases, being caught only 5 times during the season.
Carlos Ruiz missed winning a gold glove as he was beaten out by the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina.
As the Phils get ready for their first spring training game, tomorrow, against Florida State, they have made several announcements after the arrival of all of their players to camp:
1) Charlie Manuel announced that the team was going to do some more small ball this season, which was quickly emphasised by him talking to the team’s lead-off man, and one of the leaders of the team, Jimmy Rollins last Thursday. This was followed by announcements that he was going to allow possible Hall of Famer Jim Thome to help some of the hitters improve on their hitting approach, and that he was going to have them bunt more (for base hits). Mike Schmidt, who is now in camp as a special coach, will also be helping the batters’ with their hitting approach, along with fellow Hall of Famer, and Iron Pigs coach Ryne Sandburg, while staying in camp a bit longer. While this is good news, since using small ball, as well as stealing more bases, should give the opposing defenses something to think about, I will not be convinced until the Phils leave Florida in late March with Juan Pierre as one of their players coming off the bench, since he would be a good option to use late in games because of both his speed and bat control.
2) Jose Contreras had another bullpen session, and is continuing to pitch fine with no elbow trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee. This is good news, as it should give the team several good eighth innings options between him, Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls, if all three players make the team out of spring training.
3) And speaking of pitchers, starter Cliff Lee missed a bullpen session last week because of abdominal problems, and was told to skip the session. Lee said that he is feeling fine now and should be able to pitch in a bullpen session today. Hopefully, it was only a temporary problem.
4) Speaking of players’ health, Ryan Howard is right now in Baltimore, having a check-up with foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson, to check on his achilles tendon, to make sure that there’s no problem with it, since it was mentioned during the weekend that Howard was having a delayed reaction to the sutures. GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. later announced that they doubt that it was a major problem. Anyway, it should help the Phils decide how they should continue their approach on Howard’s rehab, although they don’t really expect him back until about late May at the earliest. My opinion is that they should take as much time as they can to get Howard back healthy, as they already have a few options to play first base.
and 5), Chase Utley has announced that he should be able to come back from his leg troubles last year, while it is expected that he will be given the occasional rest, to help his legs, while Placido Polanco has announced that he is ready to go.
Since it was made an official offensive statistic in 1954, a Phil had led the National League in hitting sacrifice flies seven times. It would be accomplished by six different Phils.
The first Phil to win the honor was Don Demeter, who did it in 1962, as he hit eleven sac flies. The next Phil to lead the NL in sac flies would be Clay Dalrymple, who, in 1964, the year of the infamous late season collapse, hit eight sac flies. The third Phil to be the league’s leader in sac flies would be Willie Montanez, who would hit thirteen of them in 1971. The fourth Phil would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who, in 1979, would finish the season in a three-way tie with Cesar Cedeno of the Houston Astros and Dave Parker of the Pittsburgh Pirates, as all three would hit nine sac files. Schmidt would then lead the league by himself in 1980, the year that the Phils would win their first World Series Championship, as he hit thirteen sac flies. The fifth Phil to lead the league would be Garry Maddox, as he lead the league in the strike-shorten season of 1981 with eight sac flies. The sixth, and so far, last Phil, to lead the NL in sac flies was Rico Brogna, who, in 1998, would end the season in a three-way tie with Derek Bell of the Astros and Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants, who all ended the season with ten sac flies.
Of the six Phils who had led the league in sac flies, only one would be a Hall of Famer (Mike Schmidt). All seven times that a Phil would lead the NL in sac flies would take place in the 20th Century. Of the seven, two would be in a three-way tie (Schmidt in 1979 and Rico Brogna in 1998). The Phil to win with the most sac fies would be Willie Montanez with thirteen in 1971 and Mike Schmidt, also with thirteen, in 1980, while Caly Dalrymple, in 1964, and Garry Maddox, in 1981, would hit the least with eight.
Who would be the next Phil to lead the National League in sacrifice flies? I really have no idea at this point.
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.
In its 128-year history as a member of the National League, the Phillies have won twenty-one on-base percentage titles. Thirteen Phils have won the title, with five of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to win the title was Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who did in it 1891 with a .453 percentage. He would win the second and third title to be won by a Phil player by winning it two years in a row, in 1893 and again in 1894, with on-base percentages of .490 and .521, respectively. Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty would become the second Phil to win the team’s fourth title, the fourth in five years, by winning it in 1895 with an on-base percentage of .500. The next Phil to win the title would be Roy Thomas, who would win the Phil’s fifth and sixth titles in 1902 and 1903, with marks of .414 and .453. The fourth Phil to win the title, the team’s seventh, would be Sherry Magee, who would win it in 1910, with a .445 percentage. The fifth Phil to win the title would be Gavvy Cravath, who won the title in 1915, the year that the Phils won their first National League title and in 1916, with marks of .393 and .379. It would be fourteen years before another Phil would win the team’s tenth title, which would be done by Lefty O’Doul in 1929 with a mark of .465. The seventh Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would win the team’s eleventh title in 1933, the year that he won the batting triple crown, by posting an on-base percentage of .422. The eighth Phil to win the title would be Dolph Camilli, who would win the title in 1937 with a .446 percentage. The next Phil to secure the title would be Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who would win the title in 1954, 1955 and 1958, with percentages of .441, .449 and .440. The tenth Phil to become the on-base percentage leader would be Dick Allen, who would win the title in 1967 with a .404 mark. Pete Rose would become the eleventh Phil to win it, winning the team’s seventeenth title in 1979 with a .418 mark. The twelfth Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who would it in the strike-shortened year of 1981, 1982 and 1983 with marks of .435, .403 and .399. The thirteenth, and at the moment last, Phil to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who won the team’s twenty-first title in 1990 with a .418 mark. No Phil has won the title since then.
Of the twenty-one titles won by the Phils, eleven of them, or almost half of them, have been won by Hall of Famers, with Billy Hamilton, Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt each winning three titles, while Ed Delahanty and Chick Klein would win the other two titles. Roy Thomas and Gavvy Cravath, other than the three Hall of Famers, have won more than one title, with each man winning two titles. The Phil with the highest on-base percentage when he won the title was Hamilton with his .521 mark in 1894, while the Phil with the lowest percentage was Cravath with his .379 mark in 1916. Phils have won the title four times in the 19th Century, seventeen times in the 20th, and so far have not won it in the 21st Century.
Who will be the next Phil to win the title? I have really no idea.
Chase Utley has been awarded his fourth Silver Slugger Award as the best second baseman among National Leaguers, in the process tying Mike Schmidt for the most Silver Slugger Awards won by a Phil (1980-84, ’86). Congratulations Chase.