Category Archives: Phillies

Around the Cooler 6/1/14: Little League All-Stars

EA SportsHere’s what we’re talking about:

  • Ben Revere hit his first home run! We reflect on our little league experiences
  • Ransom stops by to talk the 10th pick and some draft rumors
  • We talk about our favorite EA sports games following the $40 million settlement

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What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Theme done by the amazing Matt Schwalm

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No-Hit? No $hit – The Devolution of the Philadelphia Phillies (Part One)

 

It’s about 2 a.m. on a humid Wednesday morning. My sporadic insomnia has sent me to my comfort zone, YouTube, where I watch the usual—TED talks, WorldStar Vine compilations, and some of the weird stuff, like the effects of a cluster headache. But on this night, as my copy of Turn Blue by The Black Keys uploads to my iTunes, I watched scientist Bill Nye debate author Ken Ham on Evolution versus Creationism.

To keep things as organic and objective as possible, I won’t share my thoughts. But I think there is one theory we can all agree on— the theory of ‘Devolution.’

When it comes to the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers’ right hander Josh Beckett’s no-hitter in a 6-0 win Sunday at Citizens Bank Park completes the Phillies’ transformation from a Major League powerhouse, to a Major League laughing stock.

Devolution: The act of reverse evolution. This word has been coined by the band “Devo”. Devolution is a process which mankind is permanently engaged in, and is irreversible. There’s nothing one can do about it, so enjoy the ride. (Source: Urban Dictionary)

According to Urban Dictionary’s definition, society is devolving at a rate that we can no longer control. While there may be some truth in that—we are a world that went from loving Beethoven, to adoring Led Zeppelin, to current hysteria over Miley Cyrus—we can’t deny the steady downfall that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s reign has awarded the Phillies; one that transitioned the team from a World Series champion, to a team that sits alone at the bottom of the National League East standings.

But how did the team get to the point that it was no-hit for the first time since St. Louis Cardinals’ righty Bob Forsch silenced the Phillies’ bats in 1978?

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Around the Cooler 5/25/14: (Lottery) Ballin’

The oddest things have been the most exciting under Sam Hinkie

The oddest things have been the most exciting under Sam Hinkie

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • We finally know the Sixers draft order! Who do they take with the third overall pick?
  • Feminine Persuasion gets catty
  • Should the NHL be concerned with the KHL’s growth?
  • TWCNN gives us a newsbreak
  • Ruben Amaro is in the running to be the MLB commissioner. Seriously.

Follow us on our iTunes Stream, Right Click to Download, or play on your mobile device!

What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Theme done by the amazing Matt Schwalm

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Follow us on Twitter: @TheWooderCooler

Follow our crew: @VQuinn_TWC     @Dj_Raydio    @Turtle94WIP

 

Ruben Amaro Has the World in His Hands

6a0120a6dde087970b0153923f2efd970b-800wiCarlos Ruiz, Marlon Byrd, AJ Burnett, Roberto Hernandez, and Chase Utley are all in their mid to late 30′s and all signed contracts with the Phillies. They’re also some of the best players on the team. Burnett and Hernandez have been solid performers for third and fifth pitchers with ERAs under 4.0. Utley (.338), Byrd (.296) and Ruiz (.284) have the Phillies top three batting averages.

However, the success of Amaro this first quarter of the season could be his best moment or worst mistake.

The Phillies are considered to be “in the race” and 19-22, but as far as I’m concerned they’ve over-achieved. This team is like watching your formerly badass WWII vet grandpa giggle at cat pictures on the internet. He’s your grandpa, but he’s not the man you knew. Attendance has proven that fans feel the same way with this mirage that Ruben has fielded in 2014.

The worst kept secret in Philadelphia is that the Phillies are averaging over eight thousand less people per game than last year. They’ve officially devolved from local heroes to an unbearable burden.

As a result of this tension between “success” and attendance, Ruben Amaro needs to make a decision: is this year worth it?

Is it worth wasting the trade value of your older players for the sake of loyalty? Is it worth wasting the prime of Cole Hamels? Is it worth alienating your fan base further?

Honestly, to him it may be. There’s nothing that Amaro has done during his tenure to show that he’s interested in the future as he consistently traded prospects for vets. He’s even openly admitted that he doesn’t do five year plans! In baseball! The slowest turn-around sport there is!

Just look at the future of the team and the neglect is apparent. Dom Brown, Ben Revere, Cody Asche, Darin Ruf, Phillippe Aumont, Tommy Joseph: all of these players were expected to lead the Phillies into the future and none of them seem capable. There’s no great new hope that the team can follow into a new era. The Phillies are screwed.

That’s where these recent signings come into play. By virtue of those players carrying the team, Amaro has stumbled upon lots of older players with inflated trade values. Utley Ruiz, Byrd, Burnett: all of these players could contribute to contenders in exchange for prospects. You add Cliff Lee and Jimmy Rollins to the mix of tradable players and suddenly a turd has become fertilizer. There’s hope for the Phillies filling stadiums with screaming fans again.

However, if there is hope for such a future the team needs to be destroyed this season. If they hit the trade deadline without tearing the team apart we won’t have witness just the end of an era, we’ll have witnessed the death of a franchise.

So your move, Ruben. Is this year worth it?

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Remembering Harry Kalas

 

There are certain moments in our lives that we can’t forget no matter how hard we try. That holds true for the happiest of moments and for the most somber moments as well. Many of us still remember where we were on April 13th five years ago today.

On that day we were preparing to enjoy a Phillies vs. Nationals tilt that took a backseat to the passing of a legend.

The Phillies, baseball and the world lost one of its greatest voices when Harry Kalas passed away. The legendary Phillies broadcaster was preparing to call a game when he passed out in the broadcast booth. Since that day, Phillies baseball just has not sounded quite the same.

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Opening Day: 2014

Cliff-Lee

Get it done, big fella.

For the Phillies Time Heals All Wounds

choochI’ve spent some time following the Phillies this preseason it’s fair to say that they’re in line for a fairytale season. That fairytale unfortunately is Humpty Dumpty. The Phillies are a fragile, bumbling, egg seemingly bound to splatter across the city and truly stink up the joint if you’re a pessimist. If you’re not so perpetually hateful of joy, then they’re a wildcard contender firmly swaying on the fence. Either way, no one is comfortable.

At this point, everyone knows the story. A young team raised through the farm system came together and built a truly great era of Phillies baseball that arguably underachieved with one championship. Now that team is old, overpaid, and not nearly as likely to contend in October.

How unlikely are they to contend? ESPN figures the Phillies to be the second worst team in the entire league placing them ahead of only the Sixers-esque Houston Astros with a projected win total of 66 games. If you’d like to go with Vegas odds, the Phillies are projected in the ballpark of 77 wins for the year. In other words, it’s a good time to check out mytopsportsbooks.com.

However, the point of all this is not to discuss the problems of this year. In fact, I’m not interested in next year all that much either. I don’t care if Humpty Dumpty can stay together, I want a different fantasy–and it won’t be soon before long.

Why? The core issue of the Phillies problem isn’t actually age. It’s sentiment. the Phillies are an organization that has supported their beloved veterans to a fault. They’re the anti-Banner Eagles causing a frustrating, yet admirable quandry.

Therefore, the only way to quash the love-fest is to have it die. In 2016, the World Series era will have died a horrible death. Jimmy Rollins will be gone, as will Cliff Lee (likely opt out), Jonathan Papelbon (expiring contract), and Chase Utley (retirement). The Phillies will be left with nothing but Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels, and Ryan Howard (then 38, 33, and 37 respectively) to symbolize a bygone era. Fortunately the Phillies will likely spend the rest

By removing those contracts, the Phillies will have freed up what is $64 million dollars in payroll this season. They’re currently spending $180 million total in 2014. Add in the value that management won’t spend on last ditch effort signings like AJ Burnett ($15 million) and Marlon Byrd ($8 million), they’ll have a ton of money to rebuild with a more stable foundation (and maybe a new GM?).

Also, by virtue of a low likelihood of success, the odds of the organization again hitching their cart to current players is unlikely. They won’t hold the same high-profile cache which leads to over-valuing your own players.

Am I fantasizing here? Yes. But since I can’t push Humpty Dumpty off the wall myself, I’ll dream of a clean slate.

Around the Cooler 3/20/14: Locker Room Politics

rollins200517 Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • The curious cases of DeSean Jackson and Jimmy Rollins (0:00)
  • The Flyers are heating up! How does their next week look? (22:00)
  • March Madness, draft prospects, and the importance of winning (29:30)
  • The viability of two sport athletes in today’s game (39:00)

Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 3-20-14

What are you talking about around the wooder cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Follow us on Twitter @TheWooderCooler

Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.

The Wooder Cooler Presents: The First Annual Golden Gabbys!

Awards have been handed out everywhere you look over the last few weeks in the world of entertainment. The Pro Bowl, The Grammys, The Olympics, The Oscars, The Dundees, and more. And given that we’re a pillar of the community it’s time for The Wooder Cooler to enter into the fray with our first annual presentation of The Gabbys! The Gabbys are intended to represent the most talked about stories from the past year in Philly sports and are made out of solid gold stolen from Fort Knox. It’s a truly special award for an extraordinary set of categories!

And now, what you haven’t been waiting for because you didn’t previously know it existed!

Gabbys

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From the Bench: An Abreu Review

[Note from Vince: This is another installment of From the Bench from new contributor Matt Rankin, who loves the Phillies so much that he bleeds red. Who would have thought?]

BobbyAbreuWhat do Scott Podsednik, Bobby Abreu, Juan Pierre, and Jim Thome all have in common? They are or were old players thought to be on their way out the door. All of whom the Phillies signed and were given an opportunity in spring training.

With no guarantees he’ll make the team. There had been reports of people giving up their season tickets or on the team entirely. Solely on the basis that Rueben Amaro thought it was a good idea to bring Bobby Abreu to spring training. To these people shame on you, first of all who cares? Yea he’s another old player on an old team. But really that’s the move that did it for you? Surely the Phillies aren’t the only team in the league that brings in veterans just to see what’s left.

All indications so far in spring training are that the bat speed is still there and, more importantly, Bobby has historically one of the best batting “eyes,” in the league. How sharp an eye?  He is 56 BB’s short of Chipper Jones (1,512). Even while Chipper played three more years than Abreu has. Listen I am one of the biggest Darin Ruf fans and I know Abreu is taking away a spot on the bench. However, a great baseball man once told me that if you hit, they can’t keep you out of the lineup. Somewhere down the line he’ll get his shot if he earns it.

So what’s the difference? Podsednik and Pierre battled it out. Honestly I still believe Podsednik should have made the team and would have, if it weren’t for Pierre’s performance. Jim Thome was out the door especially with his serious foot and back problems. I think we all rooted for Jim to come back and do it. I think we’re all praying Bobby doesn’t.

Maybe that’s too hasty of a decision.

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