Friday, August 26, 2016

Phillies Still Lose Even On A Day Off

GAME RECAP: No Game Yesterday
While there was no action on the field the Phillies there was plenty of action in the front office which had left many Phillies phans at a loss.

  • The Phillies and Class A Lakewood announced a four-year extension to their player development contract. The BlueClaws will remain in the South Atlantic League through the 2020 season. 
The Phillies return to action Friday when they open a three-game series against the Mets at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. ET. Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21 ERA) faces Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.36 ERA) in the series opener.


Ruiz Traded! – The Phillies got a lifetime's worth of memories on an $8,000 investment in Carlos Ruiz in 1998. Ruiz teamed up with Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels to win one World Series, two National League pennants and five consecutive NL East titles from 2007 to 2011. He was not the best player on those teams, but he was one of the most popular, both in the clubhouse and in the stands. Everybody called him Chooch, and Chooch caught the final pitch of the 2008 World Series, running into Brad Lidge's arms to celebrate. He caught Roy Halladay's perfect game and postseason no-hitter in 2010, a combined no-hitter in 2014 and Hamels' no-hitter in 2015, and made the NL All-Star team in 2012. But the Phillies traded him and cash on Thursday to the Dodgers for catcher A.J. Ellis, Class A right-hander Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named. Ruiz had full no-trade rights, so he could have rejected the move, but in the end, the pull of another World Series championship proved too strong. "My heart and everything was in Philly," Ruiz said in a telephone interview with, just a couple hours after the Phillies announced the deal. "I'm definitely going to miss the fans, the city, my teammates, the organization. It was tough to make that decision. It's sad to leave, but another part of me is happy, because I've got an opportunity to go to the postseason and the playoffs and have a chance to go back to the World Series." Chooooooooooch! Fans yelled his nickname, not only at Citizens Bank Park but wherever the Phillies played, no matter how far from home. He served a 25-game suspension in 2013 for Adderall, but it never dimmed his popularity. Chooch hit .266 with 213 doubles, seven triples, 68 home runs and 401 RBIs in 1,069 games with the Phillies. He started eight times on Opening Day (2008-12, 2014-16). He hit .353 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, five RBIs and a 1.194 OPS in 11 World Series games. He also delivered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. He hit a three-run homer odd Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the 2009 NLCS. But Ruiz, 37, said the $8,000 signing bonus he received in 1998 is his most important Phillies moment, because it started everything. "They gave me the opportunity to be a professional player," he said. "That was the biggest thing. They gave me that first step. There definitely were a lot of good memories with the Phillies. They were like a family." Ruiz said the Phillies approached him over the weekend about a possible trade. He spoke to his wife, his family and his agent, Marc Kligman, about it. "I have a lot of good people around me, so I tried to get some different opinions and information about what they think," he said. "Because I was like, I don't know what I'm going to do." Ruiz said the answer finally came to him on Wednesday, when he met with Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and manager Pete Mackanin in Mackanin's office at U.S. Cellular Field. "OK, I'm ready," he said. "Ultimately, this was about doing the right thing for Carlos Ruiz, because he has meant so much to this organization," Klentak said. Klentak said that the Phillies insisted on Ellis in the deal because "it was important as this team parts ways with Carlos, who has been such an important leader for so long, that we add a player with a tremendous reputation as a leader and worker." Ellis, like Ruiz, had spent his entire career with one organization, and he was devastated by the news. "Really, really sad day for me, for my family," Ellis said. "One thing I'm most proud of, being with the Dodgers my entire career. Drafted in '03, being the longest-tenured Dodger is something I'm extremely proud of. It's gone in a blink of the eye, without a chance to feel finality to it. Rips your heart out." Ruiz had mixed emotions, too, but unlike Ellis, he is joining a team that has a chance to win a World Series. "I feel like we made the right decision," Ruiz said. "I cannot wait to go there and do my best to help the Dodgers go to the playoffs. But I'm definitely going to miss Philly." He made a point to recognize Phillies fans before the call ended. "Oh, wow," he said. "They're a big part of my career. They were unbelievable. They were the best. They supported me and my teammates. I always tried to do my best to keep the fans happy by doing my best on the field. I think they knew that. I'm going to miss them, for sure. I'm going to miss the city. They meant a lot to me. I just want to say thank you for their support and everything. I love them, and I'm going to miss them."

A Phillies Legacy – Current and former Phillies showed their love for Carlos Ruiz on Thursday, just hours after the Phillies announced they had traded him to the Dodgers. Here is what they said: Pete Mackanin: "I met Chooch in 2009 for the first time and immediately sensed that he was a special player. But more importantly, over the years I grew to know that he is a special person. I'll miss him." Jamie Moyer: "Carlos not only was -- and is -- a good teammate, he learned how to become the leader he needed to be behind the plate running a pitching staff. As a teammate, he always had that Ruiz smile that we all have come to love!" Ruben Amaro Jr.: "Carlos was and is one of my favorite players and people in the game. His story is spectacular. Carlos grew from being a young, shy prospect to being a vital part of what should be regarded as the finest core of Phillies players ever assembled. The memory of Carlos catching the last pitch of the 2008 season and making that dramatic last play in the playoffs against Cincinnati to preserve Doc's [Roy Halladay] postseason no-hitter will forever be imprinted in my mind and in my heart. I hope he gets another chance at October baseball." Cole Hamels: "Carlos was such an important part of my growth as a pitcher. His preparation and instinct as a catcher set him apart as one of the best, and I feel fortunate to have pitched with him while we were teammates in Philadelphia. His positive clubhouse personality was infectious and he had great respect for the Phillies organization and the fans. He will leave behind a legacy for the catchers that come up through the Phillies' system on how to play 'the Phillie Way.'" Brad Lidge: "Chooch's impact on Philly will never be forgotten. He was a legendary catcher and clutch hitter. No catcher took more pride in their pitcher's performances than he did. No one worked harder, no one cared more. He's a Phillie legend and one of the best teammates I've ever had." Rich Dubee: "It is good to see that Chooch got traded to a team that he had so much playoff success against. Carlos was a real leader and backbone of those winning pitching staffs." Charlie Manuel: "Chooch came to the big leagues and worked hard to become a regular, frontline catcher, which is to be commended. He was easy to coach and fun to be around because he loves playing baseball. One of my great joys of managing the Phillies was being at the ballpark with Chooch. I hope he gets to play in the big leagues as long as he wants. We will all miss him in Philadelphia, but continue to root for him no matter what uniform he is in." Chris Coste: "During his time with the Phillies there were plenty of superstars, but you could argue that Chooch was the most valuable. He was the rock, both on the field and in the clubhouse. Those of us behind the scenes were aware of his value, and although it took a few years, it was clear that the 'Phans' also knew what he meant to Philadelphia." Roy Halladay: "Chooch was the little engine that could for a team loaded with big names, but no player was more valuable to the team as a whole then Carlos! He was so humble and grateful you couldn't help but just want to do anything for him including win! He flawlessly handled one of the greatest pitching staffs ever assembled and was just as important offensively, as well. It was nothing short of miraculous that he could handle so many different personalities and approaches on a day-to-day basis the way that he did. "He was the best catcher I've ever thrown to and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball in the years I was with him. It's going to be sad to see him without a Phillies uniform on and not seeing him sitting in his chair in the clubhouse with a smile. And just the way the fans treated Chase last week, Chooch is also deserving of that hero's welcome. They are my two favorite players of all time as well as favorite teammates. I was fortunate to have both of them in the clubhouse. I want to wish good luck to Carlos. Maybe one day when we're old and gray we can come back to Philly!"

Today In Phils History – Phillies manager Kaiser Wilhelm made the final appearance of his career in 1921 at the age of 45. In a doubleheader sweep of the Phillies in 1939 the Cardinals tied a MLB record with their 8th consecutive double header sweep. Niles Jordan pitched a shutout in his MLB debut with the Phillies in 1951 during the second game of a double header. In 1988, Ron Jones hit a homerun in his 2nd MLB at bat. Bobby Abreu became the 3rd Phillie to hit 3 grand slams in a season in 2005 which was also the 6th of his career. 3 years later, Chris Coste went 4 for 4 and drives in the winning run despite not entering until the 8th inning against the Mets. Finally, happy birthday to a whole host of Phillies including Ricky Bottalico (1969), Jayson Nix (1982), Kyle Kendrick (1984), Mario Hollands (1988), and Maikel Franco (1992).   

The Phillies are currently 59-68 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 51-58-0 on this day. I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record.

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