Phillies related news:
The spring training schedule is out! - philly.com - Pitchers and catchers report February 13th. Mark your calendars
Veteran bullpen/catching/bench coach Mick Billmeyer's contract will not be renewed - philly.com - Billmeyer had been on staff for the last decade, working under managers Bowa, Varsho, Manuel, and Sandberg. Who will steal opponents' signs now?
Ryan Howard to be inducted into the Hall of Fame - philly.com - The Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame, that is.
Arbitration eligible players and their projected awards - MLBtraderumors.com - $6.6 million projection for Kendrick? Eh, I guess that's about market value, but I'm not feeling real great about it.
Tom Tango's take on the recent news about the Phillies move to embrace more sabermetrics - He digs up some interesting quotes from a 1990 article on the Phils stats department. MGL's comment is also salient.
How the 2011 NLDS Game Five Changed Everything - USA Today - A look back at how the 2011 NLDS has sort of defined the fortunes of the two clubs since. (It really didn't, but Nightengale and some of the players interviewed think so, so I'll just let them run with it.) Interesting quotes from various Phillies, like this:
"It would have been completely different if we had won," Phillies starter Cole Hamels said. "They would have kept the same core guys here. We would have had a couple of free agents come our way. They wouldn't have worried about the luxury tax. They would have just kept driving it, paying whatever it took.
"It would have been a Yankee thing. Now, look at us."
Yay, pass the Prozac.
Finally, check out jreed's amazing Fanpost Opus: Taylor Swiftboat Orgy - I don't have the words to describe it and any attempt would grossly undersell its magnificence.
Moving on to some non-Phillies links. Maybe they'll be less depressing.
A really great article on team chemistry - ESPN - Really, read this. From the piece:
After examining five baseball seasons with Rutgers associate professor Chester Spell, she concluded that chemistry is not a magic trick. It's a math problem. Central to her research is the idea of fault lines, the divisions that keep some employees isolated from others. [...]
Bezrukova and Spell tracked every MLB team's demographics: age, race and country of origin, along with salary and position. They found that teams with lots of overlap -- say, the three Venezuelans on the team who play different positions; the high-priced veterans who speak different languages -- outperformed teams with severe fault lines by about three wins per year.
The $ports Guy, Why do so many fans hate Darren Rovell - Buzzfeed - Yeah, I just linked to a Buzzfeed article about Darren Rovell, so Liz would be justified in firing me right about now. Truth be told, the subtitle of the article sucked me in when it referred to Rovell as "nebbishy." Toilet reading.
A season of goodbyes by YES viewers - NYT - Even the Yankees get tuned out when they don't perform up to expectations. Or, the expectations of their fans, at least. Toward the end of the article there was this tidbit which, as the TV deal nerd, I found interesting:
CSN Houston, a partnership of Comcast, the Astros and the N.B.A. Rockets, is in crisis.
Last week, Comcast filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition, saying that the network, which has not received wide distribution in the Houston market, was insolvent. Jim Crane, the Astros’ owner, has vowed to fight Comcast, but he conceded Monday to The Houston Chronicle that the team returned half its rights fees in May and June to keep the network afloat and had received no payments since.
What does a bubble popping sound like, exactly?
On Jeffrey Loria and ownership - Fangraphs - Wendy Thurm's take on the relationship between an owner and his GM, including quotes from ESPN "analyst," former GM and OPSBI proponent Jim Bowden. The gist is that owners can generally do whatever they want with their team and that's the way it should be.
Juxtapose the following two articles:
First: Braves aren't the "Party Police," but want respect - USA Today - A telling excerpt:
And it is never the right time to pimp, prance or parade around the basepaths.
"People say that's how it is in football and basketball," said Braves outfielder Reed Johnson, who was suspended for one game for his role in the Gomez fracas. "But that's why I love baseball. It's not at that point yet.
...and if you try to turn baseball into a place where there is parading around the basepaths Reed Johnson will run onto the field from the dugout and punch you in the face. Can't have baseball becoming like football and basketball, you know?
The changing face of baseball - Sports on Earth - Basically, Latin American players are a part of baseball. Embrace it, haters.
Comedic, and slightly creepy, Boston fan gif interlude:
Speaking of Lana Berry, here's her take on how the Astros ruined their "Ladies Night" promotion - SBNation - It's really sad how this kind of stuff has become almost predicable. Also, lots of parentheticals.
Former Phillies Mike Zagurski outrighted by the Yankees - MLB Trade Rumors - Goodbye, old friend. Zagurski, now 30(?!), fared poorly in a tiny MLB sample but owned bones in the minors. He struck out 14 per 9 over 53.1 innings in AAA. Not sure why I included this other than that I always liked Zagurski, as I often root for rotund players
Also, if you were out of town or a buzzard flew off with your router the past few days and you missed it, Alex Rodriguez has gone scorched Earth and filed lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the Yankees team doctor and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The suit against Major League Baseball is just an amazing read, as his lawyers bring out the big guns against Alan Huber "Bud" Selig. For example, there's an entire section titled, "The Disastrous Tenure of Commissioner Selig." Good stuff. You can read the whole thing here if you like: Click for PDF of the complaint.
And finally, I'll leave you with ZWR's Ozymandius 2013 Phillies season recap video thing which apparently made Deadspin. (h/t to doubleh):