Archive for April, 2013

The Curse of the Phillies BIG Contracts and Renewals

April 28th, 2013 by Emily Phung | Comments Off on The Curse of the Phillies BIG Contracts and Renewals | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


by Emily Phung

I have always been an avid Philadelphia sports fan, but my frustration began in 2000 when I could not understand why the Philly teams were not winning any games especially the Phillies. That’s when I learned about the curse of Billy Penn. The gist of the story is that when Liberty Place was built in ’87, no Philly sports team won a championship from that point forward. The theory was that the losses were associated with the William Penn statue (which is affixed on top of City Hall). The statue was no longer the tallest object in the Philly skyline. In spring 2007, I decided to take matters into my own hands (what true sports fan wouldn’t?) and try to reverse the curse by setting up an incense-filled shrine filled with all my Philly sports bobbleheads, figurines, jerseys, and autographed pictures to rid of the bad demons that this curse held. That year, the Phils won the NL East after a 14 year draught! I was over joyous so I continued burning incense and building a Philly themed sports shrine the next few years. Coincidentally, for the following 4 years, the Phils continued to clinch the NL East division with one World Series win. I honestly think that the William Penn statue atop the Comcast Center did not reverse the curse, but I did (so I may be a bit biased). 2012 was a busy year personally so I never had the opportunity to hold this annual ritual. To my dismay, the Phils did not continue their winning streak. However, one thing is certain since 2012; the Phillies players have been struggling individually after renewal or extension of a bigger contract. Is the Curse of Billy Penn back?

I honestly think it is back and behind that curse is Rubén Amaro, the general manager responsible for those Phillies contracts. Bold statement you say, well let’s break down the circumstantial evidence in regards to the curse of the Big Phillies contract (aka version of the Curse of Billy Penn). First up is Ryan Howard, the Phillies home run king. 2004 he entered into the Philadelphia scene as a young promising player. He certainly was one of the best rookies that came into the Philly scene. After ’04, Howard began to be on ‘fire’. He was Rookie of the Year in ’05. Then MVP in ’06, contributing to the Phillies World Series in ’08, but after ’10 it seems like downhill. Ironically, 2010 was the year that Howard signed his extension. A whopping $125 million contract was rewarded to Howard, which many claim is too much for a continuously injured-hampered athlete (Achilles heel to groin injuries). Howard is not as an effective power hitter as before and that may be due to his recovery from prior injuries. Amaro threw down a big contract down to keep him, and now he’s stuck with Howard for a while. Is Amaro a bit upset? One might think so since Howard hasn’t had a long of game time and that means Amaro is not getting his money’s worth. It’s unfortunate, but that is the truth at the end of the day. Howard is a great player all around, but that big payday may be haunting Amaro.

The most recent of all contracts is this past summer’s resigning of World Series MVP, Cole Hamels. He has a 6 year contract with an average of $24 million dollars. That is the second highest in baseball after Yankees’ Sabitha. Amaro definitely found a rewarding way to thank Hamels for posting up some great pitching stats during the World Series playoff games. After Hamels signed on for a few more seasons, terrible pitching started to hinder him resulting in many surrendered runs and major game losses. Can Hamels dig himself out of this pitching deficit? I believe so, because it is still early in the season. Hamels is young and still has time to rebound back to his recognizable pitching self.

Cliff Lee was the hottest pitcher at the end of baseball season 2010. The Rangers and Yankees made lucrative contract offers to tempt Cliff to join on board. However, Cliff was ‘PHaith’ful to the Phillies nation, and came back to in December ’12 with a $120 million contract thanks to Amaro. After signing his contract, Lee began swallowing his pride a little bit since he was not posting up the results as prior years. Eventually, Lee got back to his momentum, but one must wonder was he cursed just a bit by signing Amaro’s big contract.

After his contract extension in ’10, it has been somewhat a quick decline for Roy Halladay. Halladay, known as the overachieving double Cy Young winner and pitcher of the perfect game in ‘10, is not pitching like he used due to a shoulder ridden pain that occurred last year. He used to throw ‘fastballs’ and now can barely pitch faster than 90 mph. Roy even claims to be tired and worn out and admits that his strength is not where it used to be. Thankfully, other teammates such as Ruiz has been helping Halladay make some great defensive plays off the pitching mound. Halladay’s age may be showing, and Amaro has to make a decision if to keep Halladay after this season or it’s time to let him go.


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“The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Cardinals Series 6 Recap

April 26th, 2013 by Philly Pressbox | Comments Off on “The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Cardinals Series 6 Recap | Filed in General, Phillies
Erik Kratz

Cardinals Phils Series


In the sixth of our season long series, “The View from the Philly Pressbox” takes a look at the first 4 game series of the season against the St Louis Cardinals. The Phils were lined up with Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick to face Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook. Overall these are good matchups with what should’ve been a slight advantage to the Phillies. The Phils did hit the ball in the series but were still only able to manage a 2-2 split.

Hamels and Wainwright squared off in the opener and didn’t disappoint. Both aces pitched 7 innings allowing 3 runs each. Hamels allowed 5 hits, 2 walks with 8 k’s while Wainwright allowed 9 hits, 0 walks and 4k’s. The Phillies added 4 more hits off Cardinal relievers, for a total of 13 hits in the game but Mike Adams failed to hold the Cards in the 8th and picked up the lose, 4-3. For the Phils Ryan Howard had 3 hits while Chase Utley, Freddie Galvis and Eric Kratz added 2 each. Galvis started the game in left field and played pretty well. Yadier Molina had 3 hits and 2 RBI’s while Carlos Beltran added 2 hits including a home run to lead the Cards.

The Phils bounced back in Game 2 by scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning, 1 in the 2nd and 2 more in the 3rd to allow Halladay a nice cushion to cruise. Doc went 7 innings before the game was called due to rain. He allowed jus 2 hits, both solo homers to Beltran again and Matt Holliday. He walked 2 and struck out 6. It was not Docs most efficient outing throwing 59 strikes and 50 balls but either way he only gave up 2 hits and 2 runs. At the plate the 10 hit attack was led by catcher Humberto Quintero with 2 hits and 2 RBI’s, Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry and Ben Revere all had 2 hits as well. Ryan Howard was given the night off and replaced at 1st base by Kevin Frandsen. This was a good bounce back win with Lee coming up in Game 3.


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“The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Reds Series 5 Recap

April 25th, 2013 by Philly Pressbox | Comments Off on “The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Reds Series 5 Recap | Filed in General, Phillies

Kyle Kenrick

In the fifth of our season long series, “The View from the Philly Pressbox” takes a look at the Cincinnati Reds series. The Reds came in to the series on a 5 game losing streak while the Phillies came out of the Marlins series with cold bats. The cold bats continued and the Phils were swept in Cincinnati, 4-2, 1-0 and 11-2.

In the opener, Cliff Lee threw well for 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, walked 1 and struck out 4. Lee allowed the 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th of a scoreless game and was pitch hit for in the top of the 8th by Chase Utley who responded with a game tying home run. Charlie Manuel went with Jeremy Horst in the 8th and that backfired as Horst allowed 3 hits, 2 runs and a walk while only retiring 1 batter. By the time Michael Adams finished up the Phils were behind 4-2 and the game was over. On the offensive side the Phils had no answers for Branson Arroyo and Aroldis Chapman who combined to allow just 5 hits to the Phils.

In Game 2 of the series Kyle Kendrick threw a gem for 7 innings, allowing 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks and 4 k’s and again the Phils couldn’t score any runs or get any hits. Homer Bailey matched Kendrick allowing just 2 hits through 8 innings of work. This time it was Phillippe Aumont that faltered in the bottom of the 9th, allowing 2 hits, a walk, an error by Ben Revere, and the Phils lost 1-0 in the suspended game that was finished quickly on Wednesday prior to the regularly scheduled game.

Game 3 started out bad for John Lannan and ended up worse. Lannan, who has pitched well, was rocked for 8 hits and 6 runs in just 1.2 innings of work. Following the game he was placed on the disabled list. Raul Valdez came on as the long reliever and things just got worse. The Phils were down 11-0 after 5 innings and went on to lose 11-2.

Again, we go back to the drawing board:


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No Prescription Required

April 24th, 2013 by Mike H. | Comments Off on No Prescription Required | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

What Phillies team with show up?

by Michael Haftman

Through Tuesday night, the Phillies offense has been bipolar. On any given night, the Phillies lineup can make the opposing pitcher look like Nolan Ryan or Chad Durbin. The Phillies have especially putrid at the catcher position, ranking 13th out of 15 in batting average in the NL and dead last in on base percentage. Hopefully, that will all change come Sunday. Barring any delayed games, Carlos Ruiz will make his season debut after serving his 25-game suspension for his non-prescription use of adderol. Will Ruiz’ production be remotely close to 2012? Only time will tell, but for the love of God, someone at least Chooch a prescription for it if he needs it.


A quick statement on behalf of TalkSports Philly regarding the Boston Marathon tragedy

April 23rd, 2013 by Emily Phung | 2 Comments | Filed in General, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly



From the tragedies from the Boston marathon, there’s one thing that is certain. Despite the sports rivalries, at the end of the day, the US cities make up a unified country especially in difficult times. I am proud as an American citizen to see that all the cities can set aside their differences to show their love, respect, and support to Boston. I find it great that people have set up runs to honor those who were hurt or died in the marathon from the action of two senseless individuals. On a personal level, it is upsetting when innocent victims get hurt especially when they are intentions are malicious and violent. I gathered a few images of cities showing their support. On behalf of Talk Sports Philly, I wanted to send some Philly brotherly love to the city of Boston.






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Bryce Brown Autograph Signing

April 23rd, 2013 by Leo | Comments Off on Bryce Brown Autograph Signing | Filed in Eagles, Events, General

Come see Bryce Brown

Come on out on April 25th to see Bryce Brown at Nineteen 19 Bar and Grill  at 1254 West Chester Pike, Havertown PA 19082 (in between McDonald’s and Starbucks, above Giampino’s) at 8pm to 9:30pm for the 2013 NFL Draft Party.  Tickets for autographs are $20 each and can be purchased at the door or online at , for more information, please call (484) 454-5338 or (267) 474-0177.  Hope to see you there.  This benefits The Jon Tancredi Childrens Fund.

Below is some background information on Bryce since coming to the Eagles.

“Brown was drafted in the seventh round (229th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He signed a four-year contract with the team on May 11, 2012.

After starting running back LeSean McCoy was ruled out due to post-concussion symptoms, Brown started against the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football on November 26, 2012—his first start since high school. Brown had over 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone, including a sixty-five yard touchdown run. He finished the game with 178 yards rushing on 19 carries, 2 touchdowns and 4 receptions for 11 yards, and 2 fumbles. Brown’s 178 yards set an Eagles rookie record. The next week on 2 December 2012 against the Dallas Cowboys, Brown rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Brown fumbled late in the fourth quarter, however, and Dallas player Morris Claiborne returned the fumble 50-yards for the deciding score in the game. ” (Info from Wikipedia) (more…)

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Minor Leaguers Of The Week: 4/23

April 23rd, 2013 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Minor Leaguers Of The Week: 4/23 | Filed in General

Lehigh Valley alumnus Jon Pettibone successfully made his major league debut to the tune of two earned runs on six hits over five and a third innings. He struck out six and walked none. While Pettibone didn’t earn his first win this outing, he’ll have plenty of opportunity until John Lannan is on the disabled list.

Pitcher of the week without a doubt goes to Jesse Biddle. Since the last entry, Biddle is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA. Biddle’s strikeout to walk ratio was 4:1, but was capped off with a 16 strikeout performance last night. With both Halladay and Kendrick both potentially being free agents at season’s end, it’ll be interesting to see if Biddle gets a shot next spring.

As far as the position player of the week goes, I’m torn between AAA 3B Cody Asche and A+ OF Cameron Perkins. Over his last ten games, Perkins has hit .359/.381/.513 with three doubles and a homer. Asche, in the same time period has a .342/.390/.395 line with two doubles, albeit at a higher level.

Honorable mention goes to Jesse Biddle, who has been in the zone. When he’s not dominating on the mound, he’s been mashing the ball going 3 for 5 (.600) with two doubles.

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