Hot Mic! Hot Mic!-Edited

I just had one of the best laughs I’ve had in a while. Baseball Ross tuned in on MiLB.tv to watch the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs versus the Rochester Red Wings.  The logos were on the screen but no announcement of a delay or anything.

So Ross could hear talking but not very loudly, afraid that there was a problem with the computer he asks me to check with the iPad since I have my nice Bose earphones paired to it. I tune into the game….

The game was in a delay, but the announcers didn’t know their mics were still on! As people do when they have time off at work-they we’re goofing around and let’s just say the language could be “colorful”.

I immediately looked up then twittered the team: 

They didn’t notice right away…but then…

“Uh guys, someone just tweeted that they can hear us in here!”

(Everything went silent)

“I think they tuned in to watch the game on MiLB.tv and the mics are on.”

There was some murmuring about whether they were on or not so I twittered:


(Basically a cleaned-up version of the earlier conversation.)

Next thing you hear is that they are scrambling to find the “hot” mic.

They check each mic…with “hello”

I twittered back “hello.”

After a few more minutes of scrambling, it went silent.

Best laugh I’ve had in a long time! 

So when we got the alert that the game was about to start after the rain delay we tuned back in, what do you know—-THE MICS WERE OPEN AGAIN!

Being the benevolent soul I am, I tweet to them to let them know and then…

“Hi Betsy! Hi Baseball Betsy! She’s back, guess she’s the only one listening to us!”

What a hoot!  Best.NightEver!

PHILLIES MINOR LEAGUE CAMP DAYS 1 & 2

This morning I posted the first of the work group lists. For those of you not familiar, the work groups are preseason “rosters” for the minor league organization. It is important to note that they are very fluid at this point as there are still quite a few players still in the major league camp who will be coming down to minor league camp causing a lot of shifting among the rosters as well as some outright releases.

Baseball Ross and I compiled some of our favorite pictures from the first two days of minor league camp. You can see the vlog with pictures of Mickey Moniak, Franklyn Kilome and many others by clicking HERE.

Mickey Moniak

Rank the Phillies Prospects-A Survey by Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle

Again this year, I was privileged to be asked by Reading Eagle Sports Writer Mike Drago to be part of the “Rank the Phillies Prospects” survey. He asked us to “rank the top players in the Phillies organization from No. 1 to No. 25, based on their present value to the organization and their major league ceiling/potential. (A weighted ballot will be used, with first-place votes earning 25 points, second place 24 points, etc.)”

This is one of my favorite things to take part in as it’s so cool to be included with so many other reporters and bloggers whose work I enjoy reading.

So I talked through my list with Baseball Ross and we realized that we have seen so many of the prospects as they have progressed, save for a few that were acquired via trades or the draft.  So here’s “our” list:

Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

1. Jake Thompson

Dylan Cozens

Dylan Cozens

2. Dylan Cozens

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins

3. Rhys Hoskins

Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro

4. Jorge Alfaro

JP Crawford

JP Crawford

5. J P Crawford

Roman Quinn

Roman Quinn

6. Roman Quinn

Mickey Moniak

Mickey Moniak

7. Mickey Moniak

Franklin Kilome

Franklin Kilome

8. Franklyn Kilome

Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia

9. Elniery Garcia

Nick Williams

Nick Williams

10. Nick Williams

Jose Taveras

Jose Taveras

11. Jose Taveras

Scott Kingery

Scott Kingery

12. Scott Kingery

Ben Lively

Ben Lively

13. Ben Lively

Tyler Viza

Tyler Viza

14. Tyler Viza

Jose Pujols

Jose Pujols

15. Jose Pujols

Cornelius Randolph

Cornelius Randolph

16. Cornelius Randolph

Jhailyn Ortiz

Jhailyn Ortiz

17. Jhailyn Ortiz

Andrew Pullin

Andrew Pullin

18. Andrew Pullin

Andrew Knapp

Andrew Knapp

19. Andrew Knapp

Jiandido Tromp

Jiandido Tromp

20. Jiandido Tromp

Alberto Tirado

Alberto Tirado

21. Alberto Tirado

Jimmy Cordero

Jimmy Cordero

22. Jimmy Cordero

23. Sixto Sanchez
24. Nick Fanti

Adonis Medina

Adonis Medina

25. Adonis Medina

As you can see, I have been able to take pictures of all but two, and I have seen all 25 but sadly the two I missed were on days where I didn’t have my camera with me or the battery was dead by the end of the day during spring training. So Ross and I really put a lot of thought into our list.

The list from Drago as complied by all my fellow reporters and bloggers:

Reading Eagle Phillies minor league prospect ranks
(with position, current club)
1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Lehigh Valley
2. Jorge Alfaro, C, Reading
3. Nick Williams, OF, Lehigh Valley
4. Jake Thompson, P, Philadelphia
5. Mickey Moniak, OF, Gulf Coast
6. Dylan Cozens, OF, Reading
7. Roman Quinn, OF, Reading
8. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Lakewood
9. Franklyn Kilome, P, Lakewood
10. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Reading

11. Scott Kingery, 2B, Reading
12. Andrew Knapp, C, Lehigh Valley
13. Adonis Medina, P, Williamsport
14. Nick Pivetta, P, Lehigh Valley
15. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Gulf Coast
16. Ricardo Pinto, P, Reading
17. Elniery Garcia, P, Clearwater
18. Ben Lively, P, Lehigh Valley
19. Kevin Gowdy, P, Gulf Coast
20. Carlos Tocci, OF, Clearwater

Others receiving multiple votes( in order of vote total):
Mark Appel, P, Lehigh Valley
Sixto Sanchez, P, Gulf Coast
Jimmy Cordeo, P, Reading
Cole Stobbe, SS, Gulf Coast
Jose Pujols, OF, Lakewood
Alberto Tirado, P, Lakewood
Alec Asher, P, Lehigh Valley
Thomas Eshelman, P, Reading
Drew Anderson, P, Clearwater
Andrew Pullin, OF, Reading
Cole Irvin, P, Williamsport
Arquimedes Gamboa, Williamsport
JoJo Romero, P, Williamsport
Malquin Canelo, SS, Clearwater
Tyler Viza, P, Reading

It’s enlightening to see where all they players fall per the weighted vote. Of the list, Ross and I could see almost any of them on the list though may be in a different position (as was evidenced by our differences on our list). I will find it interesting to see how this pans out in the future.

My End of Season Top 10 Prospects in the Phillies’ System

Baseball Ross and I have lived in Clearwater for the last two years. We moved here specifically for the baseball. From Spring Training, to Extended Spring Training, to Gulf Coast League, to the Fall Instructional League and the Florida State League Clearwater Threshers, there’s a lot of baseball to see.

For the ten prospects on the list, they are players I have watched and am excited to see progress.

  
1.  Cody Asche. Recently called up to the majors, he has always been a guy that we’ve had our eyes on. He’s a solid third baseman and has the numbers to back that claim. We watched him most of last season with the Threshers before he was moved up to Reading.

  
2. Maikel Franco. He started the season here in Clearwater before moving to Reading. He plays third and what we like about him is that he has soft hands. He will field the ball, taking time to catch it, then will fire it with laser-like precision. He can also hit the long ball.

  
3. Jesse Biddle. This much-touted southpaw certainly has what it takes. During a game in April that we watched on MiLB.tv, he racked up sixteen strike outs in seven innings against Harrisburg. He also lead the Eastern League in strike outs at the all-star break.

  
4. Severino Gonzalez. He’s moved around a lot this season, Extended Spring Training, Lakewood and Clearwater. Gonzalez has been both a reliever and a starter this season and been successful no matter when he’s pitched.

  
5. Kelly Dugan. He started the season on the disabled list but has come back to amaze. He has a bat that most people notice, but what impressed me was his arm. I saw him catch a ball deep in right field and fire it to third with pinpoint accuracy. No bounce.

6. JP Crawford. A first round draft pick this year, he’s already shown why. He started in the Gulf Coast League and has already leap-frogged over Williamsport to Lakewood. This 18 year old short stop was hitting as high as .380 before being sent to Lakewood last week.
  
7. Cameron Rupp. Rupp played in Clearwater last season, started this year in Reading and has already moved up to Lehigh Valley. He’s a solid back stop. He hits and is a great defensive player. While he may not be the replacement for Ruiz next year, could he be a solid back up for the Big Team?

  
8. Roman Quinn. This shortstop had an on-base percentage of .669 and 32 stolen bases before being sidelined by a broken left wrist. He’s one of the fastest players we’ve even seen. While he’s been a little error-prone, his speed more than makes up for it.

Cameron Perkins

Cameron Perkins

9. Cameron Perkins. He is a solid outfielder with a very strong arm and bat. He was hit by a pitch during a game and suffered a broken wrist. He’s returned to the team though he is just getting his timing back and looks to finish the season strong.

10. Kenny Giles. This reliever is one to watch. Last season, we saw him hit 101 on the speed gun in Dunedin. While not quite as fast after his injury this year, he still has a fast ball that just can’t be hit.

Honorable Mention:

  
Hobby Milner-This Threshers pitcher is one to watch. He’s one pitcher we will go out of our way to see. After his first three starts of the season, he’s become one of the most consistent pitchers. With 11 wins and is tied for the most wins in the Florida State League.

Finally, our ‘Unsung Hero’ award would go to Carlos Alonso. Alonso is spending his second year in Clearwater. He’s one guy that we truly admire, we can’t think of another player who plays as hard, every single play. He’s a solid second baseman who has only had two errors all season. He also has a knack for getting on base, drawing walks and scoring runs.

Carlos Alonso posing with me after signing his jersey for me.

Carlos Alonso posing with me after signing his jersey for me.

12 Days but not much to say.

I felt the need to just mention that there are 12 days left until pitchers and catchers report.

Last year at this time, I felt excited, full of anticipation of the upcoming season. This year…I’m mixed.

I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite guys, some of whom I feel privileged to call “friend”. Derrick Mitchell, Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright, Perci Garner, Cody Asche, Tyson Gillies, Tyler Knigge and Seth Rosin, I’m anxious to see these guys.

Other than that, I’m just flat.

I’ve been frustrated and disappointed by some of the “deals” that Ruben Amarro Jr. has made. I think the thing that has made me so angry and frustrated is that I truly believe that we have a great wealth of talent in the farm system. Some of these guys, in my opinion, could step into the holes that RAJ just “filled”. Guys who have played well and have been waiting in the wings for a shot at the big time. Instead, RAJ has brought in older, “experienced” players…or in my opinion, past their prime to take the spots.

I’ve written on this several times in the two years that I’ve had my blog. I would rather lose a couple of games due to a young guy’s “Learning Curve” rather than losing because an “experienced” player isn’t in the condition needed to make a play. I see that letting the younger player play builds for the future, helps us long term whereas the older “seasoned” player might do ok now, but they’re not going to be able to help us in the long term.

The best news I’d heard was that Cody Asche and Adam Morgan were invited to the MLB training camp. THAT gives me some hope, but knowing RAJ even these guys will be stuck in the limbo known as Lehigh Valley for years to come.

I’m sorry if I’m sounding down. I should be looking forward to the upcoming season. Instead, I feel like it’s going to be deja vu all over again…

At least I’ll get to see my friends in the upcoming days and that makes me happy. I’ll focus on that.

 

 

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly–Phillies Style

I just don’t know what happened to this season. I don’t. While I never expected the amazing-ness of recreating the 2008 season, I certainly expected that we’d do better than we did.

May be I’ve become spoiled. I mean, had this happened in the late 90s it would have been the norm, what was expected, but since the miracle of the 2008 season, all the seasons that we’ve been in the hunt, a threat to contend with, this season came as a smack to the face.

What or whom is to blame? The injuries? Trades? Lack of production/effort? Bad management?

Does it matter?

There is so much blame to go around. Rabid Ruben Amarro, Jr., Uncle Chuckles…the injury bug…I could go on. So much of the 2012 season with the Phillies was so ugly that I don’t think I can ever look at the season without putting a metaphorical bag over its head.

We all know what made the season Ugly (and I do mean to use the capital U, it was THAT ugly) and over the next four months every pundit will claim to know the cause of this years’ debacle. So why should I rehash it?

The Bad? Hmm. There were some things that I would say were bad, but did not merit being called ugly. Not many because I feel like 2012 was such a craptastic season that almost all the negatives were so strongly negative that really there wasn’t much bad for me, it all turned Ugly. Top it with the cherry that was Ryan Howard breaking his big toe. Does a year any more Ugly than that?

Bad, trading players to other teams…and then they  made contributions for their new teams. Shane Vicotrino, Joe Blanton, Hunter Pence, Scott Posednik and Rich Thompson were traded away.

I liked Posednik and Thompson. I’d watched the two of them last year in Lehigh Valley. I got to talk to Pods in Spring Training and he seemed like a nice guy. Thompson had been with the IronPigs from the beginning and to see him traded away was like a kick in the teeth, especially when they traded away Pence and Victorino just a month later. Thompson at least got traded to his hometown team, but he might have been good to keep here, he’s a decent fielder and considering his salary was considerably lower, it would have given us some more space under the cap to try to find someone for third base.

Bad was Freddy Galvis coming out to a hot and roaring start…giving hope that may be the season could at least be decent…only to have him sidelined by not only a back injury but a fifty game suspension for PEDs.

Bad was also how the front office kept inflating the attendance numbers to try to keep the “sold out” streak at CBP going. I mean any fool with eyes could see the large areas of empty seats. You can’t tell me that THAT many people purchased tickets then didn’t go. I’m sorry. Talk about “massaging” data!

The good. Hmm…when it comes to the big boys, frankly there’s not a lot for me. I look at Darin “Babe” Ruf…that makes me happy. I look at Tyler Cloyd…that’s another bright and shining star. What do these guys have in common? They’re young and offer promise…may be that’s what the big Phils need…HOPE…not another older player signed for a year or two to fill in a gap. Hope can go a long way in inspiring a team to do better.

For me…the things I’ll remember about the 2012 season all had to do with the minor league levels. Granted, I had a lot of contact with the players at this level…but that’s what will shine for me. This year, frankly, I want to forget the majority of the Big Phillies year and focus on the guys who give me hope that may be once management decides to give the younger guys a chance to play that may be, we can become great again.

I look at Jesse Biddle, Austin Wright, Adam Morgan, Tyler Knigge Cody Asche, Tyson Gillies, Darin Ruf, Tyler Cloyd, Jake Deikman and think…that we might just have something there…we have a massive amount of talent and potential that THEY are our future..THEY are the ones to help pull this team up.

This is what keeps me going, the hope that may be these guys that I’ve watched this summer and in some cases, several summers, that these guys can get us to the big game…whether Rabid Ruben and Uncle Chuckles give them the chance before any of them are old enough to qualify for social security remains to be seen.

 

As I read over what I had written, I realize I sound bitter. As a fan who live and dies with her teams, this year has been so hard to take. So much potential seemed to have been squandered. Personally, I lay a lot of the blame with management who seems stuck on bringing in and then keeping in older guys who just don’t seem to be getting it done on a regular basis…which would be understandable, IF there weren’t some kids in the farm system that might just have the potential to get the job done, as well as the veterans are but would also give hope to the future. That’s what makes me bitter.

I’ve said it before and I’l say it again, I’d rather lose because we have younger players learning to play at the Major League level than losing because the players we have are at the end of a great career and can’t manage to keep playing everyday at that same Major League Level.

Now…that I have that rant off my chest…I’ll start blogging about the Fall Instructional League…and my lists of “BEST OF” for this year….so keep reading…I’ll be back soon

 

 

Derrick Mitchell–Back in the Saddle Again

Derrick Mitchell had been on a tear. One Saturday night in June, he hit EIGHT RBIs during a double header, one GRAND SLAM home run and in the second game of the evening, he rustled up four more RBIs. It was one of those nights where it made the future seem limitless…

Then…the next night…

During the 9th inning he was hit on the hand by a pitch.

Pins and surgery followed. It’s been eight weeks since Derrick’s been on the field…but he’s back.

He played yesterday with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in a game in Orlando against the GCL Braves. He hit a home run and had a put out as he played centerfield.

Derrick Mitchell Returns to Play

Today, the team returned to Ashburn field and Derrick was the designated hitter. He went 1 for 5 today…but that one…

Derrick Mitchell hits a double, the ball was just a foot or so away from being a home run.

You can watch video of the hit HERE

It’s good to see him back on the diamond and hopefully back in Lehigh Valley soon.