Three Years Later: Revisiting the Hunter Pence Deal – Phillies Nation

Three Years Later: Revisiting the Hunter Pence Deal

July 29, 2011 will go down as a day that will live in infamy for Phillies fans. July 29, 2011 was the day the Phillies mortgaged the future for a false messiah. It wasn’t Hunter Pence‘s fault. Pence did not force Ruben Amaro to trade Jared Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and eventually Domingo Santana for him. When it became clear that Pence was not the savior the Phillies had been hoping for, Pence did not force Amaro to trade him for a sub par return. Hunter Pence was the golden calf from the Bible. And we are going to be paying for it for a long, long, long time.

2011 was a good year to be a Phillies fan. It was not a question of “if” the Phillies would get to the World Series, but who would they play. Ticket prices on the secondary market were going for as much as $40 for a random Tuesday night game. Philadelphia had “Phillies fever”. But what the Phillies did not have was a solid right fielder. All season long the Phillies had gone with a platoon of Ben Francisco, John Mayberry Jr, and a call-up named Domonic Brown. The team needed more consistency from the position, and a player who preferably could bat from the right side to protect Ryan Howard. Enter the Houston Astros.

The Astros were beginning a rebuilding period in 2011, and had former Phillies GM Ed Wade at the helm. The Astros hottest commodity was a 28-year old right fielder named Hunter Pence, and he was everything the Phillies needed. Pence batted from the right side, was under team control through 2013, and was one hell of a player. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro could almost taste that World Series championship, and was willing to do anything to get the one missing piece. We didnt know it then, but three years later it is clear. The Phillies trade for Hunter Pence was the baseball version of the Herschel Walker trade.

If you trade for four prospects, you are happy if two of them reach the majors. Ed Wade’s parting gift to Houston (before he was fired) can certainly be deemed a win for the Astros as all of the players the Astros received have reached the majors. Jonathan Singleton became the first player in major league history to sign a long term extension before seeing a pitch in the majors. Jared Cosart is the Astros number three starter. Zeid is pitching out of the bullpen, and Santana made his major league debut earlier this month. When Ruben Amaro traded for Hunter Pence it was thought that he was setting up the Phillies to be a dynasty, but in reality he was setting up the Astros to be just that.

The anticipation for Pence’s first game was high. Ticket prices reached $75 for the cheapest ticket on the secondary market, and the actual game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was an after thought. The 28-year old two time All Star played as advertised in his 2011 season with the Phillies. In 54 regular season games Pence had a slash line of .324/.394/.560. The former second round pick hit 11 home runs, and drove in 35 RBI while primarily batting fifth in the order. It was looking as if the price the Phillies had paid for Pence was worth it, and then it happened.

October 7, 2011 the window closed. Hollywood could not have scripted a more fitting ending to a storied run. Phillies slugger Ryan Howard ruptured his Achilles to end the game, the season, and the good times. The Phillies had lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the divisional series. Ace pitcher Roy Halladay pitched a gem, but ended up taking the 1-0 loss. It would be the last time Roy Halladay was dominant. The window had closed, but no one wanted to believe it.

Howard would start the season on the disabled list, leaving a lot of pressure on the savior Hunter Pence. Pence played ok, but the right fielder could not pick up the slack that was left in the absence of Ryan Howard. In 101 games for the Phillies in 2012 Pence had a slash line of .271/.336/.447. He managed to smash 17 home runs, and drove in a respectable 59 RBI, but he just wasn’t enough. Facing a 45-57 record Phillies GM Ruben Amaro decided to sell. The player he bought so high on a year earlier, was sold low.

Rather than pay Pence a projected $13 million in 2013, and then be forced with the decision on weather to sign him to a long term contract, the Phillies decided to move the former All Star right fielder. The Phillies traded Pence to the San Francisco Giants for Nate Schierholtz, Seth Rosin, and Tommy Joseph. I wouldn’t take any of those players over Cosart, Santana, or Singleton. It was a bad deal then, and it is a bad deal now.

The center piece in the trade was Tommy Joseph. A right handed hitting catcher who scouts said would be a good hitter at the Major League level. During his tenure with the Phillies Joseph has dealt with injuries. The former second round pick has dealt with concussion problems that could force him from behind the plate. When he’s not injured, he’s playing just ok. He’s had just 78 at-bats this year for AA Reading, and is currently on a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He has yet to reach the majors, but is only 23.

Tommy  Joseph was the center piece of the Hunter  Pence trade to the Giants

Tommy Joseph was the center piece of the Hunter Pence trade to the Giants

Could Tommy Joseph amount to a productive Major Leaguer? Of course! But the Phillies traded away three of the their top 10 prospects to acquire Pence in 2011, and when it came time to trade him away they received one decent prospect, a fledgling right fielder in Schierholtz, and a minor league reliever in Rosin. What hurts even worse is when you look at the Phillies problems this season.

It is no secret that the Phillies would love to get rid of former MVP Ryan Howard, and his hefty contract. It sure would be nice to have Jonathan Singleton there to replace him. When Cliff Lee went down with an elbow strain injury the Phillies replaced him with David Buchanan. The Phillies thought so highly of Buchanan that they left him unprotected for the Rule-5 Draft. He went undrafted. It sure would have been nice to have Jarred Cosart there to fill in for Lee. Instead of signing Grady Sizemore, who was released by the Red Sox, it would have been nice to be able to call up 22-year old Domingo Santana. This season at AAA Oklahoma City Santana has a slash line of .283/.365/.459. He has 13 home runs, and 55 RBI. He figures into the Astros plans for next season.

Ruben Amaro has proven one thing in his time as the Phillies GM. He can trade prospects for proven talent, but he has trouble when it comes time to trading proven talent for prospects. It started with the Cliff Lee deal when the Phillies received Tyson Gillies, JC Ramirez, and Phillippe Aumont. Next was the Pence deal, and then Amaro traded former All Star Shane Victorino for Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, and Stefan Jarrin.

Amaro is now in the same spot Ed Wade was in three years ago. The Phillies are in last place in the NL East with a 46-50 record and are ready to start their own rebuilding period. Just like in Houston, the Phillies have a very tradeable commodity in Cole Hamels. Hamels is 30-years old and is having a phenomenal season. The Phillies will not be good for a long time. Long after Cole Hamels is out of his prime. It would make logical sense to sell Hamels high, and replenish a farm system that has been decimated recently thanks to poor drafts, and poor trades. If the Phillies trade Hamels, they need to get receive a package similar to what they gave up for Pence. They need to make the fan base forget about the Hunter Pence trade of 2011.



  1. Skylar0201

    July 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    But let’s be real here. You forgot a key closing statement in this story. It should have closed with, ” but it will never happen with Amaro anywhere near this team because he still has the mindset that this is the same winning teams we had from 2007-11.”

    Amaro thinks that Rollins and Utley are still potential MVP candidates, our starters can go deep into games, and our bullpen is strong enough to carry us into the promised land.

    Amaro said if our team were healthy this year, there was no reason why we wouldn’t be a competitive team. Well, Lee is the only one who can use that excuse. WTF is up with everyone else???

    Amaro needs to go ASAP and it can’t be watered down any better than that!

    • schmenkman

      July 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Skylar, no offense, but your first two paragraphs have no basis in reality.

      Being competitive can be as little as .500-ish and in the hunt. He may have thought that was possible, and if a lot of things had gone right (Brown, Howard, Lee’s health), he would have been right.

      • Skylar0201

        July 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        Schmenkman: by competitive, I meant in playoff hunt–you know, a real chance. By this nature, a team like the Angels are competitive this year they just have the A’s in their division. They have also built their farm system intelligently.

        Anyway, I also meant our problems run *so* much deeper than Brown and Howards performance and Lee’s health.

      • wbramh

        July 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        Yes, .500-ish can take you to the World Series (ie: the 2006 Cards at .516 or the ’87 Twins who played at a .525 clip.

        The problem is that they’re one of the 5 worst teams in the league, not one of the 5 best. and Brown is Brown (which Amaro should have realized at the end of last season) and Howard is Howard, circa 2014, not the Howard of 2006. Perhaps a healthy Lee would have won them an extra 2 games – perhaps not since the team has given him no runs in the past and are only a worse run-producing team this year.

        I think it’s also notable that pretty much everybody saw this coming but Ruben.
        Yes, a lot of things could have gone right – Like no injuries and half the team playing over its talent level while the starting rotations (30 pitchers) on at least 5 other teams all under the knife by June.

      • schmenkman

        July 29, 2014 at 3:51 pm

        Skylar, you were quoting Amaro about being competitive, and I was pointing out that a .500 team is competitive (regardless of what any of us might mean by “competitive”). The Phils were 3 games back on June 20th IIRC. A .500 team (and therefore a competitive one) was unlikely but far from impossible this year.

        wb, no one ever said they expected the Phils to be one of the five best — that’s a far higher bar than “competitive”. Brown 2014 is way worse than even end-of-2013 season Brown. Howard is way worse than even 2013 Howard. And obviously no one (even Amaro) would be dumb enough to expect Howard to be the 2006 version, but with once again healthy legs, the 2010-11 Howard was not out of the question.

        Bottom line, no one, not even (IMO) Amaro expected the Phillies to be great. Many of us thought that it was possible (if they got lucky and everything broke right) that they could win 80-85 games and be in the hunt. I remain convinced that that was a real possibility. Not likely, but possible.

      • wbramh

        July 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        Except Ruben wasn’t just talking “competitive.”
        This is what Ruben was saying in February:

        “Listen, I don’t want to be foolhardy,” Amaro tells USA TODAY Sports, “but I do believe we have the talent to make a run at the National League East this year. And if we’re making a run at the National League East, it puts us in position to win the World Series.”

        When you’re not among the top 5 teams in the NL at the end of the season you’re probably not going to sneak into the post season. And again, most fans here and every single professional prognosticator picked them to be out of the running at best. This was no overachieving 1993 team in the making.

        Yes, at the beginning of the season you thought 85 wins was not beyond reach and I thought 72 wins was probably beyond reach (picked them for 67). I’m not happy to be on target but I envisioned almost the exact team we have now. The pen has become a pleasant surprise but the offense is worse and everything else has gone about the way I predicted. Starters go down plenty of them this year! Ask the Yankees who lost their two aces for the season and have received a subpar performance from their high-priced FA catcher. But the Yankees have been making smart moves to keep them in the hunt. Perhaps Cashman has surrounded himself with guys who understand today’s game while Ruben still doesn’t get it.

      • schmenkman

        July 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm

        wb, I disagree on your first sentence. I think that just being competitive is _exactly_ what he was talking about. If you win 80-85, you’re making a run at the NL East. And if you sneak into the postseason, particularly if you win the division, you have as good a chance as anyone to win the WS.

    • wbramh

      July 29, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I know what you’re saying Schmenk but even if Ruben honestly believed that 80-85 wins could take the division or buy a team a wild card slot I have no idea what team he was talking about.

      There are currently 7 NL teams on target to win over 85 games this year, so even if the Phillies overachieved and reached your own best case prognostication they would have fallen short. It seems Ruben was blind to his own team’s abilities but also not very aware of the true quality of the competition this year.

      • schmenkman

        July 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        There have been seasons when 80-85 wins get you in. And even if that’s not the case, if you’re on pace for 80-85 at the trade deadline (i.e. if that’s your “talent level” at that point) then you can be a buyer at the deadline to get better.

        Or even if 80-85 is your talent level at the end of the year, maybe you get hot at the end, or another team falters and you sneak in.

        Point being that if you’re a .500 or a little better team, you have a shot/you’re in the running/you’re contending/whatever phrase for the postseason (and therefore the WS).

      • wbramh

        July 29, 2014 at 7:05 pm

        We’re in total agreement on all of those points.

        We’re just not in agreement on Ruben’s assessment of his own team nor his assessment of the relative strengths of other teams THIS year. As for the East, every team is not only running in the order I picked them to finish in but also running within a game or two of my W-L projections despite some key injuries.

        I’m no super prognosticator. It just seemed painfully obvious.

        Did Ruben believe back in February that the acquisition of Marlon Byrd was going to translate into 13 more wins than the team won in 2013?

    • Bellkirk

      July 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      No one is tougher than RAJ than me. He’s in the running for worst GM in sports – ever. But I think we need to give him a pass on the (first) Pence deal. The Phillies were the best team in baseball in 2011, a team built to win NOW. Right field/right handed hitter was the only glaring hole on the team. Pence was the only player on the market, and other teams were in hot pursuit. I knew at the time it was a possible overpay, but the move really solidified that 2011 team. Two runs was easily the difference between the brutal loss to the Cardinals and a probably WS win. Unfortunately, the best team doesn’t always (or often, these days) win, but when you have a great chance to win the series, you take it. Would fans be panning the 2008 Joe Blanton trade had the Phillies come up just short and Josh Outman went on to stardom? Yes.

      The return for Pence on the other side was predictable RAJ; he couldn’t have done worse if he tried.I might be tough but I’m fair, give him a pass on the first Pence trade. Plenty of fire RAJ fodder left…

  2. Ken Bland

    July 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    “It sure would be nice to have Jonathan Singleton there to replace him”

    Ya think?

    I might add for the all important, and SO HIGHLY SOUGHT credibility factor that I am HIGHLY aware of a LOT of great players getting off to miserable starts in their careers before blossoming into terrific players.

    And I don’t rule Jon Singleton from joining that long list. But honestly, while he continues gaining valuble experience, I’ve wondered lately if the Astros oughta give him a break, or a return to AAA. He continues to look horrible.

    I’m not one to set new sprint standards to thinking JS was a mistake to give up on. I AM one to double take when someone acts like his performance earns him a place in conversation like he’s already proven himself. About 3 weeks ago, on a Saturday night, RyHo and JS, in 9 official AB’s combined for 7 Ks. If he were in Philly at this point, and getting the chance he is in Htown, with those results, we’d probably already be a little past those reminding of Schmidt’s first year. Give it time, great chance. But for now? Lots to prove.

  3. Jasomm

    July 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    These would be my moves:

    1) Hamels to the Dodgers for Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, and Alex Verdugo (partly based on a Jim Bowden article). include up to $2million/yr of contract if needed.
    2) Byrd and Bastardo to the Reds for Neftali Soto and Sebastian Elizalde.
    3) Utley and $4million to Oakland for Billy Burns.
    4) Brown to the White Sox for Dayan Viciedo (both guys that need a change of scenery).
    5) Papelbon and $7million over 2 yrs to the Angels for Nate Smith.

    off season
    1) Re-sign Kendrick (~$27Million/3Yrs + yr4 Option) and Hernandez(~$10.5M/2Yrs)
    2) Pick up options for Rollins
    3) Offer Howard + $35Million to everyone to see if there are takers. (if not, he platoons at 1st with Ruf in 2015)
    3) sign Nori Aoki (~$6million/2Yrs)
    4) Sign a cheaper starting pitcher (Maholm, Correia, or Volquez)

    Gives you a Phillies 2015 lineup of:

    CF Pederson
    SS Rollins
    C Ruiz
    1st Ruf / Howard
    3rd Soto
    RF Aoki
    LF Viciedo / Revere
    2nd Asche / Hernandez

    SP: Lee, Kendrick, Hernandez, Volquez, Pettibone

    • Jasomm

      July 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Doesn’t look like much, but its about $120 million.
      Viciedo and Revere battle for LF starting job, looser is gone in 2016.
      Asche and Hernandez try to earn starting 2nd base job. loser become utility infielder
      Maikel Franco stays in AAA till September (unless Soto isnt working out)
      JP Crawford comes up in September

      2016 you got a $100million roster if they sign 2 GOOD FA starting pitchers and still have Howard on the books. A solid corp of young guys with Crawford, Ruf, Pederson, Soto, maybe Franco, Asche, Hernandez contribute too. And Billy Burns might be ready to come up to the Majors.

      • wbramh

        July 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm

        Not bad. You have a younger team, probably as good the current one at this point and for about 60% of their current price tag.
        Some power and pitching in FA and a few years to keep building the farm and who knows?

    • Johnny Goodtimes

      July 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Re-sign Kendrick? Are you serious? Have you not seen him pitch this year? He is one of the worst starting pitchers in the entire major leagues. That absolutely blows my mind, especially since the other moves you mention make sense. But sign long-term a guy who has the 6th worst ERA in baseball this year? I just don’t get it.

  4. therookie300

    July 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    When these Houston boys do something in the majors let me know.

    Santana – 13AB for 11Ks but he did score a run though
    Singleton – .175 AVG with a 36.2 K% (he’s just a cheaper version of suck)
    Cosart – Looks like a Kendrick Version 2
    Zeid – Why bother

    Small sample sizes I know, but still hardly anything remarkable about these players. I think these players could be more of an indictment of the Phillies inability to develop MLB talent anymore. What are all these players the Phillies traded away actually doing now???

    • Lefty

      July 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I think what the early production of these players shows is that the Phils are in for a long wait to be competitive again. These guys have proven themselves as very good prospects and the potential exists for them to be excellent major leaguers.

      Whether this group of players become stars or not, they are still far ahead most of the Phils ML ready talent.

  5. Andrew from waldorf

    July 29, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    At no point did I think the 2011 team was going to the world series.

    I knew they were going to win about 110 games and win the division with ease and it was perhaps the greatest pitching staff ever assembled.

    But I also knew the lineup was easy to work around and that a good team with a good manager would do just that.

    By 2011 ( before the injury) Howard was already a shell of what he was.
    But was still hitting 4th in this line up.

    The crucial at bat of the 2011 season and the one that told me the team had no chance of winning the world series.

    Was in the 7th inning of game 5 vs the Cardinals.
    The Phillies were down 1-0 and Howard was leading off.

    Everyone ( except Howard?) knew they were never giving him a pitch to hit.

    With a 3-0 count Howard swings at ball 4 and pops up.
    When they needed a base runner so desperately.

    The Cardinals players openly laughed about it.

    I knew it was coming. All my friends I watched the game with knew hed do something like that.

    I guess its for writers and fans to think about how great things were.

    But I never for a second thought that line up could win a WS.
    Including predicting on this blog a 1-0 final score in game 5.

    Howard was the worst offender. But the whole line up was suspect by that time.

    Now the funny part is its 2014 and Rollins and Howard are still occupying 2 of the first 4 spots in the line up every single night.

    That’s the disconnect.

    I haven’t been surprised by any of the loses since 2010 when Howard looked at strike 3 vs the Giants.

    Ive expected just about all of it.

    I used to rant about it but not anymore.

    Here we are this is who we are.

    And Amaro is going to fix everything?


    Disconnect continues.

    When he is gone and a guy with a clue is running the show.
    We can talk seriously about this team improving or being relevant again.
    Until then.
    No shot.

    • Keith

      July 29, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Wow! I was very upset by the taken pitch the year before, but to completely write off a team you thought would win 110 games. Now that’s brilliance. Lol

      • Andrew from waldorf

        July 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm

        Not to tough.

        Howard is great in a regular season setting. A team that wins 110 games especially he had no pressure and faced a lot of mediocre pitchers. A lot of blow out games where he pads numbers.

        In a short series a manager like LaRussa can use a guy with almost nothing left like Arthur Rhodes to completely nullify him.

        Was kind of fitting Rhodes retired after that.

        That team could have won 145 regular season games and wasn’t going to win the world series with that line up.

        Its a different game.

        St Louis didn’t even have a great bull pen that year but it didn’t even matter.

        Lefty and some of the other people who were here for that year can tell you that I said all year long what would happen.

        And it happened exactly as I said it would.

        Was eerie.

        Thanks for the support Kenny Baseball.

        I am still hoping to meet you for the world series parade.

      • Andrew from waldorf

        July 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

        I remember the entire 2011 season.

        Talking about the progression.

        Win world series.
        Lose World Series
        Lose NLCS
        Lose NLDS
        don’t make playoffs
        losing record
        etc etc.

        It is uncanny how I have predicted better than anyone else the fate of this team.

        I used to get hated on a lot about it and I wish I had been wrong about Howard and the team etc etc.

        Now I just embrace the suck.

        Its going to be a very long suck with this current management.

        I cant even work up a rant anymore.

        You don’t rant on the suck.
        You embrace the suck.

    • Double Trouble Del

      July 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      It took enormous prescience to see the collapse of Lee and Oswalt in separate games that they had been handed the lead.

      • Andrew from waldorf

        July 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        Only I have for many years now.

        I didn’t think Oswalt should have gotten that start.

        I didn’t think have 4 aces was ever a very bright idea.

        When you have a line up as vulnerable as the Phillies obviously were.

        Love reliving the past!

        But time to refocus on this team not being able to make basic moves.

        There needs to be 5 trades made in the next 2 days.

        Does anyone think Ruben and the rest can manage it?

        I half way am expecting no moves at this point.

        Sad times.

        The team is truly pathetic.

  6. George

    July 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    It’s unfair to compare the players given up in the trade to get Pence and the players gained when he was sent to the Giants. Circumstances changed in the time between the two trades. The Phils in 2012 were in “win it all” mode, and were willing to pay a little extra to try to do so. They were having a terrible year when Pence was traded, and Pence himself was having a down year, and was also a year and a half closer to free-agency. These just aren’t the same two situations.

    Also, to hear your side of things, they got nothing back. However, at the time T.Joseph was a well regarded prospect playing a position that’s hard to fill. I don’t think even Nostradamus could have predicted the multiple concussions he’s suffered which have quite obviously affected his development.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Absolutely agree with everything here, George, well said

  7. Phillies Fan from Germany

    July 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    AFW, I cant Even work a rant anymore on how ridiculous some of your statements are.

  8. Andrew from waldorf

    July 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Point taken

    I also don’t expect people to understand or appreciate or remember.

    Some do though and know I have been right for many years.

    Here is the point.

    In 2011 with Rollins and Howard occupying 50% of the top of your order.
    You could have the greatest pitching staff ever and it was moot.

    You were not winning a title. And I said that on opening day of the 2011 season.

    Now the kicker? The part I know a lot of you really cant comprehend.

    July 29th 2014 and Howard and Rollins are still 50% of the top half of your.

    Its a disgrace.

    But by no means am I surprised that this is one of the worst teams in the majors.

    The chance to save things passed along time ago though.

    You have one of the worst team in the majors with a 180,000,000.00 pay roll.
    Tough to do.

    Well played Ruben.

    • Phillies Fan from Germany

      July 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Problem is You Dont differentiate at all. Howard contract is terrible and was at the time he signed. Many Teams would Love to Have Rollins as their SS, however (he is outperforming his contract)

      Also, You often deny the facts. Two examples:

      Your Statement: NL East the worst Division.
      Fact: combined Record 2 Games Above .500 with a positive Run differential

      Your Statement: Howard always padding his stats in blowouts.
      Fact: as Provided by schmenk, Howard performing better in “Clutch” situations

      Just some examples why it is rather pointless to discuss with you.

      • Phillies Fan from Germany

        July 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

        By the Way, predicting that phillies would Not Win the Word Series in 2011 is really Cheap because Even 100 Win Teams dont have a higher Chance than 20-25% before the Playoffs. That is why trading for pence was a very Bad idea.

  9. Andrew from waldorf

    July 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I challenge anyone who has watched Howards career to tell me he doesn’t always drive in a run when its 9-1 and almost never when its 1-1 or 2-1.

    You can produce all the stats you want.

    I have watched almost every at bat of his career.
    People I know in real life would never even argue this with me.

    On a blog though it seems like someone needs to bring up a stat and somehow it verifies something?

    Do you watch the games?
    I do.

    Pull any stat out and I say I have watched his career.
    That’s why I don’t really try to discuss things with some people.

    I have been on point about Howard for a very long time.

    If you want to believe Howard is Mr clutch and the NL east is the best division.
    Go ahead.

    For the millionth time I wish I had been wrong for the last 5 years.
    I really do.

    Unfortunately I have been correct an uncanny amount of time.
    I don’t have to quote facts or feel anything else.

    I watch all the games and can get a read on this team.

    Which is going nowhere under current management.

    So its moot.

    • Phillies Fan from Germany

      July 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      As i Said, pointless.

    • schmenkman

      July 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      AFW, human brains aren’t built to systematically remember and categorize things the way you seem to want them to. Not even yours. : )

      Biases creep in, we remember what we want to, or what is surprising or disappointing, etc.

      • Andrew from waldorf

        July 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm

        Schmenk I am a person who has made money betting horses for years.

        It is a very very small minority. Less than 1%

        I do it mostly on memory and looking at things, analyzing and intuition.

        Knowing because I follow and watch.

        If I had biases running deep Id not be showing a profit.

        My hunches about the phils have tended to be correct.

        That’s all I will say.

        Its game time.

        Thanks for the Interest Germany fan and Schenk.

        It is what it is.

        Enjoy the game .

  10. Andrew from waldorf

    July 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    As far as the 2011 playoffs.

    Lefty probably is the only one who can verify and remember form here.

    I predicted a first round loss. Including a 1-0 score in game 5.

    I watched the game and wish I had been wrong .
    But I wasn’t.

    I make a good part of my living off of betting horses and play cards.
    Watching and analyzing things.
    Knowing things instinctively.

    Ive seen it all coming.

    If you think Howard has been a clutch player.
    since 2009 NLCS.

    It is pointless for me to argue with you.

    Which is why I rarely post anymore.

    I was right the whole time.

    Now we get to sit through a terrible disgrace of a team night after night.
    With no hope.

    I wish I was wrong and am wrong about the future.

    • Phillies Fan from Germany

      July 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      As i Said, ridiculous.

    • Lefty

      July 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Let me see if I can do this in a humorous way.

      I don’t have the capability to recall like you.

      I just can’t recall a game 5 prediction.


      I do remember that you correctly predicted a first round loss to the Cardinals.

      As the Phils were beating up the Braves in the final weekend.

      You felt it was a very bad omen.

      You said they’d be much better off losing- tanking- preventing the Cards access to the playoffs.

      Tony LaRussa publicly thanked Charlie Manuel for his good sportsmanship.

      Playing his regulars.

      Going for wins instead of resting them.

      You said for everyone to hear, this is very bad news.

      You said it would have been best to just let the Braves in.

      You assessed them as the weaker opponent

      My memory is nowhere near as good as yours.

      First round was not allowed to play a team in their own division.

      So I think, we could have played the west division team instead.

      You definitely did say the Cardinals would take the Phils out.

      It was a 50-50 shot, and you absolutely nailed it!

      • wbramh

        July 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

        Lefty: To be fair to AFW, finding himself on the winning end of that pure 50-50 odds bet still puts him way ahead of my record when picking wives.

        Next time, I’ll try Andrew’s horses…

        That didn’t sound right.

      • Ken Bland

        July 30, 2014 at 11:42 am

        “That didn’t sound right.”

        Ahem. It sounded TRES right.

        That might be the best setup since Guy Rodgers fed a 7 footer that doesn’t even need to be identified by FIRST name.

        tag: # record level irresistible

      • Lefty

        July 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

        Oh my- I haven’t laughed that hard in quite a while. Thank you WB!

  11. Ken Bland

    July 29, 2014 at 8:04 pm


    Spirited mentality tonight. Rock n’ roll. Should have known the build up of no rant for a while would formulate into Mt. AFW.

    I can’t speak to your 2011 takes on the Phils. I think I dived in over here in 2012. Since that time, whenever exactly it might have been, as I’ve conveyed at times, I’ve enjoyed your perspective. Enjoy probably includes sensing that you’re productively paying attention, but having a sense of humor about it, with enough reality to have been very right about a lot of things.

    I don’t know that you’re doing this…maybe you’re just disgusted, and the salvation is remembering how right you feel you’ve been, but if you’re trying to win a debate over either one, or multiple people around here, I think you’re wasting your time. If your passion stays strong, and you find yourself continuing to follow the Phils regularly, just keep building off what you’ve observed and learned, adjust to the changes in the game, and you should keep coming up with enough intelligent observations to add to the fun. Both here, and IRL as a baseball fan. I suppose there are environments where you might, maybe should be concerned about your thinking being in the mix, even in a fun place like the sports pages, but to me, I’ll just say to each their own on whether this blog is one of them. That might seem harsh. It’s not just this blog, but maybe it’s me, and the way I use the mechanism.

    My man.


    Ken E. Baseball

  12. Andrew from waldorf

    July 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    No Ken

    Gave up on debating many years ago.

    I wish I had not been right is all.
    But I was.

    Yes I have fun with it. Always have.

    Even in some heated things where people really hated me.
    I was having fun.

    the team shouldn’t be this bad.
    It didn’t have to be this way.

    But they choose to be like this.

    Running the team like a fantasy squad. Where your home grown talent is over valued. And a player you got off of waivers you under valued.

    I also have won money this year betting against California Chrome in the Belmont ( a lot ).
    And betting against the USA in the world cup.

    I guess I enjoy the heel persona too.
    Taking advantage of people letting their heart get in the way.

    To my advantage as I have no real attachment to anything but winning.

    Ruiz is my favorite all time Phillie but Id bet against him in a heart beat if I thought it would make me a dollar.

    The decline of the franchise and certain players has been too predictable.

    But I still have fun with it.

    And yes I needed a rant after falling 5 behind the Mets.

    Thanks for the support Ken E. Baseball

    • frank

      July 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      I haven’t responded for quite a while, but my thoughts were always shot down when I absolutely believed the phils needed to do an aggressive rebuild while their core players still had value because I felt their period to win had closed. The response for the most part was no way would Philadelphia fans put up with that. The problem is now we have to go thru a long rebuild. New York is not a patient fan base, but they had no choice losing to rebuild and now analyst say their farm is loaded and the mets will be good in a couple of years. My point is, our rebuild should have been short term and now this team is so messed up, our rebuild could be very long.

  13. jeff orbach

    July 30, 2014 at 10:28 am

    The memory I have is Cliff Lee with a 4 run lead and all of sudden Umpire Jerry Meals started squeezing him. Cliff subsequently blew the lead, with Shane Victorino turning the wrong way on a fly to center to help it along.
    Did it have to do with Meals being one of the worst umpires in Baseball (which I think he is) . Witness the call he blew in the 15 inning game Pittsburgh vs Atlanta.

    Did it have to with Larussa yelling at Meals the whole time before that I don’t know.

    But that is when I knew we weren’t going to win.

  14. Greg Sampson

    July 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    All of this talk about Hamels, Utley, Rollins, Howard, Papelbon, and Byrd being traded. Why not, instead, get rid of the dead weight the Phillies have been waiting to “mature” for many years. Dump Brown, Mayberry, and Kendrick. They have not produced. So, instead, you advocate to get rid of players that HAVE produced. Does that make any sense? The Phillies need more offense out of right and left fields, Sizemore may be a cheap, and diamond in the rough. Now it is time to go out and get a right handed hitter for right field, much like a Pence, and a proven 3b who will hit .270-.280 and drive in runs. Get one more quality starter, and maybe alittle more help in the bullpen. Why fix the parts that aren’t broken?

  15. lew

    July 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Dont trade hamels. The present regime is not capable of getting value for him

  16. Pingback: The Outstanding Hunter Pence

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