TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wright could be Phillies 3B “very very soon”

The attempt the land Aramis Ramirez was a bust, leaving the Phillies to settle with Placido Polanco at third base.

But in a new twist of developments, their hunt for a new third baseman may have warmed back up.

According to a very reliable source close to The Philly Phans’ Kevin Kee, “David Wright may be the 3rd baseman very very shortly.”

Kee’s source has been good this year, including the Brian Schneider signing, update on Cole Hamels and the Jimmy Rollins deal.

This story is still developing so keep an eye on @ThePhillyPhans and this site.

Your daily Winter Classic post

It’s the off season so spare me your dramatics. We’ll be back to real news and well thought out content in no time.

So Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) has been a champ at posting photos of Citizens Bank Park as it prepares for hockey. The photos he tweeted today include Ashburn Alley being given a little makeover and the progress being made on the rink.

Rink after the jump…

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Phils hire Wade

The secret agent of the Philadelphia Phillies has returned home.

Former Astros GM Ed Wade, who pretty much dealt three of the organizations top players at the time to the Phillies during his tenure, was hired by the Phillies.

His role in Philadelphia will be a special consultant in the Phillies operations department. That will include some scouting and assisting in the arbitration negotiations.

Seeing as one remark was already technically made, Wade had this to say to his skeptics who felt the Phillies fleeced Wade in their deals for Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.

“I’m prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so Ruben (Amaro, Jr.) would give me a job if I got fired,” Wade said.

Not even a hockey rink gets in Halladay’s way

Photo via @NHLAdamK

This photo needs no explanation.

Coming courtesy of Adam Kimelman via Twitter, that is Roy Halladay throwing in right field while the NHL Winter Classic crew sets up the rink for the game on January 2.

You can watch the rink being built live, here. If you click on this link immediately, you can still see Halladay and another person throwing in right field.

Apparently this isn’t the first time a Phillies player has warmed up while the rink was being built. Players are usually there every day and Kyle Kendrick was reportedly there a couple weeks ago, according to Kevin Kee.

So there we have it: we had snow and we had hurricane conditions for Halladay this past year. Now, it’s with obstacles in his way.

Next thing you know, he’ll be out there during the pre-game skate throwing fastball’s to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from center ice.

Don’t worry Doc, you’ll have your playground back soon enough.

Rollins will continue to represent Philadelphia

That ring alone could have been a reason the Phillies short stop never wanted to leave.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a piece like this was going to be written judging by the name of this website and the logo that graces it ever so beautifully.

That silhouette represents the one person who has played short stop for the Phillies the past 11 seasons. And now, he will continue to man that position for the next three or four years.

Yesterday, the Phillies inked their longest tenured player – and the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia – Jimmy Rollins to a three-year deal with a vesting option for a fourth year. The deal is worth around $33 million.

But the most interesting and rather important aspect of this signing is the fact Rollins apparently turned down more money and years from the Milwaukee Brewers because he had his sights set on staying in Philadelphia.

That sentiment speaks louder than a lot understand. Just over a year ago, Cliff Lee came to a similar fork in the road.

Should he take the big payday from the New York Yankees or follow his heart down the road towards Philly?

It’s pretty obvious which path Lee took and Rollins, who came to the same crossroads this past month, decided to stick in Philadelphia.

There are a number of factors that played into Rollins’ decision. This was the franchise that drafted him in 1996, gave him his first chance in 2000 and made him the starting short stop in 2001.

This was a city that Rollins called home for over a decade. It was a team Rollins became the unofficial leader of and a fanbase that has associated the demise of the New York Mets to Rollins.

There is also recently signed reliever Dontrelle Willis, who Rollins grew up with in Oakland and remained very close friends with during their time in the major leagues. It will be the first time in their careers they will share a clubhouse and it’s understood that Willis played a small part in talking one of his best friends into playing 162 games together.

And finally, there is the baseball aspect of the deal. The Phillies needed a short stop for next season. Their biggest concern wasn’t so much the bat, seeing as they have put up with Rollins’ inconsistency since 2007.

Instead, it was the defense and the leadership. Most importantly the defense.

Rollins is one of the best fielding short stops in all of baseball. His range and arm make him an incredible asset for the Phillies at short, who with two of the best ground ball pitchers in baseball, need those outs on balls put on the ground.

The baseball aspect of it aside, the marriage between Rollins and the fans, who he once called “frontrunners,” will continue.

The love/hate relationship had more love than history suggests. Yes, there were those who couldn’t stand to see Rollins lead off to only pop up the first pitch or were skeptical after his nagging calf injuries in 2010.

But the good will always out-weigh the bad, even in a city known to boo their star players as a sign of displeasure in their lack of success.

The middle of Rollins’ career was labeled the best decade of Phillies baseball. In 2005, the Phillies won 88 games, their highest total since 1993. Granted they didn’t make the playoffs until a couple of years later, that year marked the beginning.

Then 2007 became the turning point. Rollins not only coined the “We are the team to beat” phrase, he backed up his words with his MVP season.

Playing all 162 games, the only time in his career doing so, Rollins batted .296 and 30 homers while leading the league with 139 runs and 20 triples from the lead off spot.

Though numbers were never seen like that again from Rollins, he was still an integral part of their 2008 World Championship, 2009 pennant winning season and the team’s best franchise record in 2011.

Those are the reasons, along with Chase Utley, that Rollins is associated the most with the best era of Phillies baseball. He will have up to four more years to add to his legacy and maybe one day retire wearing red pinstripes.

But for now, Philadelphia will still be the team to beat, and of course, a part of that reason will be because they have Jimmy Rollins playing short stop.

BREAKING: Rollins, Phillies agree on deal

(Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, free agent short stop and Jimmy Rollins agree to a three-year deal with a vesting option for a fourth year.

Crasnick’s report comes via a baseball source according to the ESPN.com writer.

“Rollins didn’t have much leverage with Phillies. Brewers made an offer, but he ultimately wanted to stay home,” said Crasnick in a follow-up tweet.

CSN’s Jim Salisbury confirmed that the deal is worth about $33 million. Matt Gelb specified the vesting option, saying the fourth year relies on plate appearances and Rollins’ health.

For Rollins, Philadelphia is the only home the 33-year old short stop has ever had in the major leagues.

“I’ve been here since 1996. That’s a long time in this organization,” Rollins said shortly after the season ended. “It’s the only one I’ve known. I’ve never thought about having to go anywhere else.”

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The Winter Classic ice truck is in Philly

As per the Flyers official Twitter page:

Photo courtesy of @NHLFlyers

Yep, that is indeed the truck that carries the magical ice for the Winter Classic. It is parked outside of the Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers 1:00 PM showdown with the Boston Bruins.

Today’s game will be the last game in Philadelphia for the Flyers before January 2. The team closes out December on a five-game road trip.

Depressingly enough, the picture includes only one active player for the Flyers as captain Chris Pronger (center) is out for the season with severe post-concussion syndrome and the NHL’s leading scorer Claude Giroux (right) is out indefinitely with a concussion as well.

For more Winter Classic news, check out the official Winter Classic page.

Official Phillies v Rollins Post

This will be a running thread to update on the Jimmy Rollins situation.

Dec. 15

6:30 PM — Newly signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis believes his good friend Jimmy Rollins will re-sign with the Phillies.

“He was probably more excited about the deal than I was,” Willis said of Rollins.

Willis and Rollins grew up together in Oakland.

Dec. 14

4:22 PM — Contrary to reports yesterday, the rumor that the Tigers were having negotiations with Jimmy Rollins’ agent were false and that the Tigers don’t have the money to sign Rollins.

Dec. 13

5:09 — Jimmy Rollins’ agent Dan Lozano told the Phillies there is a second team interested in Rollins, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Stark said that the Tigers are believed to be that second team.

Dece. 10

2:30 — St. Louis’ deal with Furcal could reach $14 million over two years.

Phillies are the last logical team in on Rollins.

12:26 — Ken Rosenthal reports that the St. Louis Cardinals are near a deal with short stop Rafael Furcal. If he signs there, it’s another suitor out of the race for Jimmy Rollins.

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Phils tender their four arbitration-eligible players

The Phillies tendered their four arbitration eligible players at midnight on Tuesday.

Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Valdez will all have contracts for the 2012 season because all four are arbitration eligible.

Many believe that Hamels will have a nice fat contract extension before the start of next season. Pence could find himself in a Phillies uniform a long time too.

As for the two bench players, both Kendrick and Valdez were incredible cogs in the Phillies success last season. Kendrick started and relieved, doing more than enough in both roles while Valdez played a huge part in spelling the injuries to Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.

ORIGINAL: According to sources close to Kevin Kee of the Philly Phans, the Phillies have tendered pitcher Kyle Kendrick.

Yes, Kee is not Jim Salisbury but his sources are very credible. We’ll have more on TTB later.

Phillies sign veteran Willis

Las season, Dontrelle Willis held lefties to a .127 average with a .369 OPS against with a 20-2 K/BB ratio. (Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)

It has been confirmed by Matt Gelb that Dontrelle Willis has signed a one-year deal with the Phillies.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported that the Philadelphia were close to a one-year, $1 million-plus deal (including incentives) with the left-hander pending a physical. Willis will be 30 in January.

The speculation started last night when Shane Victorino tweeted to Willis, “welcome to town homie.”

Willis is by far the most interesting signing of the off season. He could easily be a very effective LOOGY specialist, but that’s a role that Willis has never taken up before in his nine-year career.

The former Rookie of the Year made 13 appearances last season, all of them as a starter. And in 205 career games, 202 of them are starts.

Granted Willis posted a 5.00 ERA in 75 2/3 innings pitched last season with Cincinatti, it’s his splits against the left-handed hitting crowd that impressed the Phillies the most.

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