Antler Rant: Why Is Marlon Byrd Still On This Team?

BY PAUL MANCANO—The MLB Winter Meetings have exited the building and taken with them the Phillies’ all-time greatest shortstop. As Rollins is shipped to Hollywood and Bastardo is booted to the Armpit of the Northeast, many of the Phillies’ ancients still lie decaying on the 40-man roster. Though time remains for a deal or two to be made, the first major milestone of the 2014-15 offseason has come and gone, and Ryan Howard, Cole Hamles, Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, and Marlon Byrd are still on the payroll. For a team that claims to have begun the rebuilding process, there hasn’t been a whole lot of rebuilding going on. Continue reading


Phillies Interim President Pat Gillick Put in an Awkward Position

BY PAUL MANCANO—For a while now, Phillies fans have been clamoring for a change in team management. Many have been calling for the temporary installment of Pat Gillick as general manager. As the organization experienced failure at virtually every level, fans looked to the Hall of Famer to restore the team to its former glory. Or at least right the ship and step aside to leave behind a manageable task for a long-term replacement. This is not what they expected. Continue reading

Dummyball, Part II: Big Names, Big Failures

BY PAUL MANCANO—It’s hard to imagine a more tragic end to the Phillies’ Glory Core. The group that gave us five straight years of championship contention is now a rapidly sinking ship, plunging headlong towards the depths of baseball mediocrity. Plus, the fact that Ruben sent absolutely no one away on lifeboats at the trade deadline means that absolutely no one (except Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez) will escape the whirlpool of torment and frustration that comes with such terrible loss.

The worst part is, it was totally avoidable. Continue reading

Nationals vs. Phillies, aka Entertainment vs. Torture

BY PAUL MANCANOYesterday, I made the trip down to Nationals Park in D.C. to catch a good ol’ NL East matchup: Phillies vs. Nationals. I had never seen a game in the District (do they call it that? If they don’t, they should), so NATurally, I was excited (had to sneak at least one Nat pun in there. Yes, I know I suck). Continue reading

The Phillies’ Problems Rated on a Scale of Veterans Stadium’s Player Fan Clubs

BY JIM KELLY—Baseball is a unique sport. The highs are high, but there are some seasons that are painful to watch. Unlike in football or basketball, the draft does not have an immediate impact on team performance, and thus rebuilding can take five or six years, at least. Currently, the Phillies are at the beginning of this rebuilding stage, even though the front office seems unwilling to admit it and is attempting to salvage every last ounce of play from its aged roster. There are four major things that have gone wrong for the Phillies as of late, and I will do my best to rank them on a scale of those 400 level Phillies’ players fan clubs from back in the day. Continue reading

Let’s All Appreciate that Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer Are Doing an OK Job

BY PAUL MANCANO – A season mired in such embarrassing failures as those endured by the 2014 Phillies has few bright spots. With the exceptions of Ken Giles, Cody Asche, and Chase Utley (because, well, he’s Chase Utley), just about every person in the Phillies’ organization can take some portion of the blame for the collapse of the Glory Core. Ruben Amaro Jr. is the primary target (DUH), closely followed by Ryan Howard and Dom Brown. There’s also been some Jimmy Rollins, Antonio Bastardo, Ben Revere, and Kyle Kendrick floating around hate out there, which is good to see. Throw in a general distaste for new manager Ryne Sandberg and an utter loathing for Jonathan Papelbon, and we’ve just about covered all the bases. I’m glad Phils fans are really spreading the wealth. Continue reading

Dummyball: The Sundry Ways Ruben Amaro Jr. Has Ignored Sabermetrics

BY PAUL MANCANO – I’m rather ashamed to admit that I have only recently picked up a copy of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and begun reading it. As a lifelong baseball fan, I really should’ve jumped on this sooner, or at least before I saw the movie. But alas, I will always associate the tubby, gooberish character of Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, with his thin, real-life counterpart, Paul Depodesta. Continue reading

Moose Musings: Sell, or Naw?

BY PAUL MANCANO – The trade deadline rapidly approaches, and the good teams are already starting to get their guys to make a playoff run. On the flip side, the bad teams are already starting to rake in minor leaguers as they prepare for the slow death march to October. In about three weeks, the Phillies will fall into the second category, selling the few players of worth they have left for crappy bench players and minor league maybes. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. Continue reading

Darin Ruf: the Man Ruben Forgot

BY PAUL MANCANO – Darin Ruf. Remember that name? You know, the guy who hit 14 homers in less than half a season last year? The 27-year-old outfielder who could have – who should have – been the cornerstone of the Phillies outfield? I understand if you’ve forgotten about him. Clearly, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has too. Continue reading

Moose Musings: Will Ryan Howard Hit 400 Homers in a Phillies Uniform?

BY PAUL MANCANO – In a season of extreme highs and extreme lows, the Phillies are currently riding a rare hot streak, having won four straight and eight of their last ten. Despite dropping a weekend series to the hapless Cubs, they swept the then-first place Braves and took the first game of a four-game series from the perpetually great Cardinals. While this ridiculously confused team will probably drop into another tailspin any day now, for right now, they’re playing really good baseball. And the biggest reason behind their current streak is Ryan Howard, who has three home runs and nine RBIs in the last four games. Continue reading