It's Only March 6th and the Phillies and Nationals Are Already Throwing at Each Other

It's Only March 6th and the Phillies and Nationals Are Already Throwing at Each Other

The Phillies dominated the Nationals for a good five-straight seasons prior to the young Washington club showing a little something in 2012. The role reversal was accompanied by plenty of trash talk and a nice little rivalry was born. Jayson Werth going from one side to the other certainly helped. As did the emergence of that cocky kid who is pretty damn good at baseball.

But the Phillies aren't just going to roll over and allow the Nationals to walk all over them in 2013.

Enter a a seemingly meaningless spring training game this afternoon between the two clubs with superstar youngster Stephen Strasburg throwing for the Nats and Roy "This Dude's a Legend" Halladay for the Phils.

As you may or may not be aware, Chase Utley was named the second meanest player in all of baseball according to an SI player poll. So when a guy with great stuff like Strasburg loses a fastball in and drills Utley, it makes you wonder.

Following the game, Strasburg told reporters he had no reason to plunk Utley, but reason or not, Roy Halladay will not let this aggression stand, man.

Halladay threw a ball way behind a guy named Tyler Moore later in the game to show that you can't just go hitting Chase Utley and not pay for it. Or at least shake in the batter's box a bit for it.

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And how fitting. It was Utley who famously told Halladay before the season to drill a couple more guys (video). Halladay said a few weeks back he may have to do just that.

Of course Roy said the ball just got away from him, but then he apparently smiled, according to Matt Gelb who was on the scene to tweet about Roy's facial expressions.

I'm all for it. Halladay is the wily vet who knows when it's okay to waste a base and when it's not. And the Washington Nationals? Nobody likes them. Let's step this rivalry up a few notches this season.

Oh, and Halladay looked like a boss on the hill all day: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 shot fired.*

*Matt Gelb's line

Shady McCoy hung up on the Pittsburgh media after party question

Shady McCoy hung up on the Pittsburgh media after party question

Eagles fans likely yearn for LeSean McCoy's days in Philadelphia. Not only is Shady still beasting on the field for the Buffalo Bills this season, he's also entertaining per usual off of it.

The latest instance comes thanks to the Bills matchup this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the pro team in the city where Shady spent his formative years.

A Pittsburgh reporter on Wednesday's conference call, for some reason, decided to ask Shady about that infamous "females only" party he was going to host. You remember that one, don't you? The "no weird orgy thing" one?

Shady would eventually go on to cancel that party and plan another one DJ'd by Donald Trump -- the dude was ahead of his time.

But that doesn't mean he wants to talk about it all.

To be fair, who really wants to talk to the media anyway?

Phils lose LHP in Rule 5 draft, exit winter meetings balancing present with future

Phils lose LHP in Rule 5 draft, exit winter meetings balancing present with future

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The winter meetings ended Thursday morning with the Phillies sitting out the Rule 5 draft. The Phillies’ roster was at the 40-man limit and that prohibited the team from making a pick.

The Phils did lose one player in the draft as reliever Hoby Milner was selected by the Cleveland Indians. 

Milner, who turns 26 in January, is a left-hander who recently switched to a side-arm delivery. He had a 2.49 ERA in 49 games at Double A and Triple A in 2016.

Milner was eligible for the draft because he was not protected on the 40-man roster last month. The Indians selected him for $50,000. He must stay in the big leagues all season or be offered back to the Phillies for $25,000.

Andrew Pullin was a player the Phillies feared losing, but they hung on to the lefty-hitting outfielder. Pullin, 23, hit .322 with a .885 OPS between Single A and Double A in 2016. A late-season elbow injury prevented Pullin from playing in the Arizona Fall League and factored into the Phillies’ decision to leave him unprotected.

The Phillies selected one player, infielder Jorge Flores, in the minor-league phase of the draft. Flores had been in the Toronto system.

The Phils lost one player, 25-year-old pitcher Jairo Munoz, to Tampa Bay in the minor-league phase. Munoz pitched in the low minors in 2016.

With the winter meetings behind them, Phillies officials will head back to Citizens Bank Park to complete the construction of their 2017 roster. So far this winter, the Phils have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and added outfielder Howie Kendrick and relievers Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek and David Rollins.

Remaining on the Phillies’ to-do list is adding a backup infielder – Andres Blanco could return – and deciding whether to pursue a veteran hitter to play a corner outfield spot or give an opportunity to a young tandem such as Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr. 

General manager Matt Klentak spoke often during the week about that balance he is trying to strike between improving the 2017 club while keeping intact long-range goals.

“Successfully balancing the present and the future is the single greatest challenge that a baseball operations department faces,” Klentak said. “We’ve talked about it all offseason. The decisions that we are making right now about giving playing time to a young player that has cut his teeth in Triple A and needs that opportunity to take the next step as opposed to a shorter-term solution from the outside – that’s one of the main challenges that we’ve run into this offseason.”

Time will tell which way the Phillies go on this matter.