The Phillies, Bryce and Manny, and Reality

The Phillies were last really good in 2011. Since then they’ve won 81 games in 2012, 80 games in 2018, and lost north of 88 games every year in-between. Yes, they got a giant TV deal from Comcast in there, but they’ve seen their once full stadium empty out. They’ve lost the airwaves of talk radio to the Eagles entirely, partially because of who listens, but also because the product fell off. Philadelphia is still one of the better cities for MLB, with passionate fans that make them good money, but it’s not 2009 anymore either. The World Series heroes are gone, the ballpark is turning 16, and at least two other teams in the city are currently getting the attention as real contenders.

All of that could change though, as we saw yesterday. The internet rumors of Bryce Harper’s impending signature on a Phillies contract sent the club trending on Twitter, getting the talk radio talk, and skyrocketing in Vegas as a World Series contender. Was it all just people guessing? Maybe. It did show the Phillies something though- the road back to baseball heavyweight, the evil empire of the NL East.

The Bryce Harper and Manny Machado saga has dragged on too long, and I say this as someone who understands why both sides are fine with it. Yes, Bryce and Manny are making life-changing financial and personal decisions, and yes the Phillies are making a huge investment. I think we’ve reached the point though where both sides know where the other is at. The Phillies know what these players want- and I think it’s time to start offering it closer to them. It’s not often that 26 year olds with multiple All-Star Games or even an MVP are reaching free agency ahead of their prime. It’s not often you can get a player going into their prime that is this good.

I’d argue for going a step further and not just signing one, but even both. Some are making the argument that the Phillies need to keep some money around for a pursuit of Mike Trout in two years. I love the idea of signing Trout, the best player in baseball. Mike Trout is already over a year older though. He will not be a free agent for two years yet. He will cost even more money, for less of his prime years. Ironically, the best way to pay for Trout may be signing at least one of Harper and Machado, and filling the seats every night. Even the Phillies will need the revenue.

Philadelphia is a top five media market and nearly top five metropolitan market, with a multi-billionaire managing partner. Their credibility as one of the “big boys” in MLB is at stake though. The Phillies should go get their superstar(s) now, to start basking in the rewards. Start selling the tickets and jerseys, rake in the cash. Big market teams do big market things, and with the opportunity in front of them, the Phillies should do big market things.

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One Month of Christmas, Day 11

Welcome to the “oops” edition! I missed yesterday, so today gets two posts. Here’s the post for Wednesday, December 5th, 2018…

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Oh, Dubliner

How can I forget thee? I can’t, so I went there last night and had a few drinks and some corned beef and cabbage. I’ve seen plenty a Senator there over the years, but last night it was the Chuckster- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was in and out in about three minutes time, while I was outside on the phone. I guess he was in a rush…

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The Phillies Were Right to Hold the line on Corbin

So the Washington Nationals tried their hardest to remain relevant in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, paying Patrick Corbin the bank, and giving him the desired sixth year. Obviously I would have liked to sign him, but I’m glad the Phillies didn’t go six years to do it.

Obviously this doesn’t look like “spending a little stupid,” and Corbin is good, but even the deepest pockets in the NL East have to pick their battles. Save that extra year to get Harper. The Nats don’t have the fanbase to sustain contracts like Scherzer and Corbin, even though attendance has improved. They’re a stagnant, underachieving team that has an owner who’s very rich, but not richer than John Middleton. Use the cash we didn’t spend on Corbin to bury that team once and for all, and take the face of their franchise.

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Don’t Feed the President’s Ego

Donald Trump thinks he behaved during George W. Bush’s state funeral. No, really, just ask him. By not making a total fool of himself, he thinks he did well. I guess if you ignored his twitter account, maybe- but you can’t do that. And besides that, why are we giving credit for him not attacking Jeb all week. I mean really, the man’s a child. Treat him like one.

One Month of Christmas, Day 9

Happy Monday, December 3rd, 2018. Here’s today’s random thoughts…

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In DC

I’m in DC- it was a lovely night being an Eagles fan in enemy territory. The Eagles and Redskins are playing on Monday Night Football. I must say- nobody gave me an issue. A few beers and some food later, all’s well.

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Compassion for the Homeless? Not Here…

I just walked past a group of homeless people sleeping on Pennsylvania Avenue. They’re just laying on the sidewalk. I’m walking to the Capitol to see a President’s farewell and these people aren’t even treated as people.

Who are we?

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You Have to Cheer for Ewing

I went to see the Georgetown Hoyas beat the Liberty Flames tonight. The Capitol One Arena is nice, and the Hoyas need to start filling it. That will mean tournament wins, Final Fours, and yes, a title. Georgetown expects to win, not just games against Liberty, but big games too. Tonight was an expectation for the Hoyas.

I’m not a fan of the Hoyas, but I’m pulling for Ewing. How many Hall-of-Famers go coach their alma mater? The risk of fraying the relationship is too much for most. That he’s taking it on is enough for me to pull for him.

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May Jean be the First

Jean Segura is coming to Philadelphia. The two-time All-Star will be the Phillies shortstop in 2019. Juan Nicasio and James Pazos will join the Phillies as well.

I’m in a minority that is sorry to see J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana gone, but don’t mistake me as opposing the trade. I think Crawford will blossom, and Santana is still a positive player. I think Segura is good now. If you want to win now, you need players like him.

If you want to sign Bryce and Manny, you do this.

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Paying my Respects to 41

As I said above, I’m going to see George H.W. Bush’s body lie in state at the Capitol- in fact, I’m in line now. It’s not bad, slightly cold, but the line is moving. I’m signing off for tonight to do this.

God speed, sir: God speed.