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Tag Archives: NL East

Werth Has Kind Words For Manuel

Nationals RF Jayson Werth (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

WASHINGTON — Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth irritated Phillies fans last week when he faked a throw into the stands to a couple of children, claiming he was concerned with the drunk fans behind them.

Today, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a piece that should enlighten Phillies fans on Werth’s real emotions on the organization and especially his former manager, Charlie Manuel.

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Game 29: Don’t Get Swept

Phils SP Cole Hamels (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

It’s on the mind of the Phillies.

Don’t get swept.

The message is plain and simple, but it carries a much greater meaning than just not getting swept.

The Phillies are on the verge of getting swept by the Washington Nationals on national TV tonight (ESPN, 8 PM) and sit 6.5 games out of first place while resting in the bottom of the NL East standings.

But more importantly, they are trying to prevent a role reversal. For five years it’s been Philadelphia at the top of the standings while the Nationals sat at the bottom. With a five-year NL East title run on the line, the Phillies don’t want that role reversal to come into effect so soon.

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Season Preview: NL East

Before I begin my NL East season preview, I’d like to take a few sentences to thank John Russo for not assigning me the AL West this year. That division is almost as exciting as a glass of milk. Key word being “almost.” Milk can spoil and that’s exciting.

Expectations: Will lead the league in wheel chairs.
Key Addition: RP Jonathan Papelbon (signed from Boston)
Key Loss: SP Roy Oswalt (free agent)
Projected Record: 100-62 (get 100th win on last day)
Summary: As mentioned in my last column here on TTB, the window is closing. However, it hasn’t shut quite yet. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. While the Nationals and Marlins have certainly gotten better in the off-season, they’re not there yet. The Phils are still the cream of the crop and it’s still their division to lose.

The addition of Jonathan Papelbon gives the Phillies their first closer since the 2008 version of Brad Lidge (the 2009, 2010 and 2011 updates sucked. Thanks, Windows) and Jim Thome gives the Phils a nice bat off the bench and a healthy achilles on first base. Re-signing Jimmy Rollins gives the Phillies a healthy infielder (for now) and guarantees all of us our daily dose of first pitch pop outs.

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The Quest For Six: The Phillies are still favorites this season, but the competition is steeper than ever

Phillies 41-year-old 1B Jim Thome talks hitting with catcher Carlos Ruiz. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

I don’t have a lot in common with the Philadelphia Phillies. I can’t throw a 90 MPH fastball. I can’t hit a homerun. I can’t even hit the ball.But for all our differences, there is one thing the Phillies and I have in common – we’re both going to die.

Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, right?

But it’s true. I’m getting older, and one day I’ll kick the bucket.

The Phillies are getting older too. The average age of the expected everyday lineup is 31.9 years. That’s 223.3 in dog years. And that’s including Ryan Howard, who isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season. Instead, plug in Jim Thome and his 41 years. Somebody call the AARP.

But age isn’t the problem; it’s just part of the problem. You can still be old and be good. When the Yankees beat the Phillies in the 2009 World Series, their average age was 31.3.

The Phillies could win the World Series this year just as easily as anyone else. But the team’s age does show us something: the window is closing. Maybe it won’t slam shut this year or next year, but don’t be fooled, it’s going to happen soon. Just look at the trend.

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Phils Land Pence

After months of talk about adding a right-handed bat, the Phillies have finally added the piece that will put them over the top.

Pence provides the right-handed bat that the Phillies have coveted. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Reports are saying that the Phillies have landed Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. In exchange for Pence, the team will be sending pitching prospect Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton and two lesser prospect to be named later.

The deal was made without parting with Domonic Brown or Vance Worley, two popular fan-favorites.

There had been talk for the last week that the Phillies were interested in acquiring Pence. The pursuit had really kicked up a notch over the last two days as the team had made it clear that they would do just about anything to acquire Pence.

They are getting a player in Pence that is hitting .309 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs. He has also scored 49 runs and added seven stolen bases.

He is a career .290 hitter and has hit 25 home runs each year from 2008-2010. Pence also has 56 outfield assists, proving that he is an above average defender.

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Swag.ger /ˈswagər/: n. A very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive gait or manner.

Ah hell, we all know what swagger is. It’s what Jimmy Rollins eats, sleeps and breaths. It’s that sense of feeling Phillies fans are currently feeling.

And rightfully so, too.

Heading into the first real big series of the season for the Phillies, second meeting with the Atlanta Braves, the fans in the Philadelphia are are confident that the results will be similar to the first go-around.

The Phillies and Braves met early in the season, with Atlanta taking the first of the three-game series and then the Phillies absolutely dominating the next two games. Read more of this post