thekrisheim’s 2013 Year in Philly Sports

thekrisheim’s 2013 Year in Philly Sports

One of our favorite end of year traditions here at The700Level.com is having one of our longest tenured commenters and friend, thekrisheim, reflect back on the year in Philly sports that was. You can read his look back at 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and today his look back at 2013 below.

No playoffs, new faces, bandwagons gathering dust, the undercurrent of disappointment has returned.  Sure, the year is ending on a high note with the Eagles seemingly headed in the right direction, but don’t fool yourself, eight weeks of Chip Kelly magic and one battle cry doesn’t mask what a downright boring and terrible year 2013 was for Philly sports.

We’ve already covered the biggest wins and losses, so lets look back at some of the bigger stories.

Under New Management

You want new coaches? Philadelphia had you covered in 2013 as all four franchises, five if you give soccer the respect that it is due, turned over the reigns to new faces at some point during the year.

The 2012 Eagles season was a disaster on and off the field and Andy Reid was finally replaced.  Who knows what happened? Who knows why Reid starting making knee jerk changes all over his coaching staff, but what it resulted in was worthy of his dismissal.  Reid deserves a ton of credit for what he achieved with the Eagles and it wont truly be appreciated for a few more seasons.

Charlie Manuel was dumped from his position on a Friday in August in a strange fashion that seemed to have been planned out so he could achieve the most wins in franchise history.  What followed was an emotional press conference where RAJ couldn’t hide back tears, Charlie was Charlie and the Ryne Sanberg era began.

Mr. Snider said it was the worst training camp he had ever seen and the coach who took an 8 seed to the finals was dumped before anyone could see Peter Laviolette's fourth orange tie of the year.

Doug Collins yelled, Doug Collins cried and Doug Collins was canned.  Collins’ firing was only one part of the failed 76ers marketing plan that sent the team into complete rebuilding mode.

Doctor’s Orders

2013 saw the end of Roy Halladay’s career. There isn’t a better athlete that represents just how fantastic and entertaining the last 7 years for Philadelphia fans were than Roy.  He came to the city in the prime of his career to win a Championship, something unheard of before the likes of Howard, Rollins, Hamels and Utley made it a reality.  He was a tireless worker, understood the fans and pitched injured. During the Phillies run it was really easy to get caught up in players wanting to play in Philadelphia, but Halladay was the first and will be beloved forever.

Culture Clash

Fans never really know what it is going on inside a franchise.  Who’s doing what?  Who’s really making the decisions? They signed who?  As the losses added up this year, may fans and writers alike tried to pull back the veil a bit and tried to decipher what was going on.

The Eagles seemed to be the easiest at this point, although following the Giants loss the over analyzing of their roster was at an all-time high.  Chip Kelly coaches, Howie Roseman GM’s.

They Flyers, “Flyered” things up this year by dumping their coach, appointing one of the most beloved goons in team history head coach, dispatched of their “goalie of the future,” got into a line brawl where their backup goalie assaulted the other team and got into arguments over their “culture” with whoever would dare question the franchise.

The Sixers went from talking 24/7 to avoiding the media, trading their best player and enter into full on tank mode except no one told the players.

The Phillies retained their GM, kept their core together, added more old guys, got a stat guy (who may be an intern) and for some fucking reason kept John Mayberry Jr.

The Year In Drugs

Chooch started the year suspended.

Antonio Bastardo destroyed any career momentum he had by getting suspended for his involvement in biogenesis.

No proof that Ilya Bryzgalov acutally uses controlled substances, but he continued to be the most entertaining Philadelphia athlete throughout the year.

There’s nothing funny about what Riley Copper said, and recording and selling the video is a whole different discussion, but if Copper could take some drugs to erase his racist remark made in a drunken stooper you’d imagine he would.

Best GIFs of the Year

5. Snow game for the ages

4. Miss you, Andy

3. Your 2013 Phillies In One GIF

2. For a 3 week stretch Philadelphia actually liked Dom Brown

1. Shady from opening night

The Year In Acquisitions

The rest of the teams don’t matter in this category, only one franchise’s scouts worked overtime to bring these guys to town.  The five best acquisitons this past year are…

5. A guy the fans love to hate? Sure, throw him in the starting rotation and don’t mind his injury history – John Lannan
4. Injury prone set-up man who may or may not have needed surgery before he signed on the dotted line? – Mike Adams
3. 36 year old career 2nd baseman who waived his no trade for a shot at the WS – Michael Young
2. Washed up, bad outfielder with off the field issues – Delmon Young
1. 38 year old journeyman? Who? What? Phillies have them for days – John McDonald

The Year In “What?”

Dom Brown attends professional football game, fans not happy

Claude Giroux hurts himself playing “golf”

The Sixers open the season by beating the Heat

Why You Should Be Positive

5. Scott Laughton

4. Cody Asche

3. The NBA Draft & MCW (tie)

2. Shady

1. “We’re from Philadelphia and we fight”

Best of MLB: Beltre's 2 home runs lift Rangers over A's

Best of MLB: Beltre's 2 home runs lift Rangers over A's

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre hit his second home run of the game with two outs in the ninth inning, a two-run shot that rallied the Texas Rangers past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 on Monday night for their third straight win.

Beltre, who finished with four hits, had two singles in his first three at-bats before hitting a solo homer in the seventh. His game-winning drive came on the first pitch from Ryan Madson (3-4).

Until then, Texas had trailed since Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer for Oakland with two outs in the first. All 13 runs in the game were scored with two outs.

Texas turned three double plays behind starter Martin Perez, who has induced a major league-best 25 in 21 games.

Valencia also had the first of three run-scoring doubles in a three-run third that gave the A's a 5-1 lead (see full recap).

Blue Jays' Sanchez wins 10th straight decision
TORONTO  -- Aaron Sanchez pitched seven shutout innings to win his 10th consecutive decision, Kevin Pillar had three hits and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Monday night.

Sanchez (11-1) became the first Blue Jays pitcher to win 10 straight since Roy Halladay won 15 decisions in a row in 2003. Halladay and Roger Clemens (1998) hold the club record.

Making their first appearance in Toronto, the Padres were held scoreless until Alex Dickerson hit a two-run homer off Bo Schultz in the ninth.

Dickeerson's drive into the fifth deck extended San Diego's team-record streak of games with at least one home run to 23. The 2006 Atlanta Braves were the last National League team to homer in 23 straight games.

Roberto Osuna replaced Schultz and got two outs for his 21st save (see full recap).

Orioles top Rockies for 5th straight win
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones scored the winning run in the 10th inning on a low throw to the plate by pitcher Jordan Lyles, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Jones reached on a one-out single off the third-base bag and took third on a single by Jonathan Schoop. Manny Machado followed with a comebacker to Lyles, who fumbled the ball before throwing home. Catcher Nick Hundley caught the ball near the ground and lost the handle while attempting to tag the sliding Jones.

Lyles (2-3) was charged with an error on the play.

Getting two RBIs from Jones, the Orioles climbed a season-high 18 games over .500 (58-40) and improved to 37-14 at home.

Chaz Roe (1-0) worked the 10th for the win (see full recap).

Trade candidates — especially Jeremy Hellickson — lead Phils to shutout of Marlins

Trade candidates — especially Jeremy Hellickson — lead Phils to shutout of Marlins

BOX SCORE

MIAMI — Jeremy Hellickson was standing in front of his locker speaking with reporters after his second strong outing in a week against the Miami Marlins when Cameron Rupp walked by an offered his take on all the trade talk surrounding the veteran pitcher.

“He’s not going anywhere,” Rupp said loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

Hellickson laughed at his catcher’s commentary.

“I hope not,” he said.

If Hellickson really wants to stay with the Phillies and finish out this rebuilding season instead of moving to a contender for the final two months — and possibly beyond — he did himself a disservice Monday night.

He enhanced his attractiveness to potential buyers by pitching six shutout innings in the Phillies’ 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins (see Instant Replay).

Hellickson, who sports a 3.65 ERA in 21 starts, needed just 70 pitches to get through the six innings. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter with runners on second and third and two outs in a scoreless game in the top of the seventh. Ryan Howard struck out, following Cody Asche and Peter Bourjos, as the Phillies whiffed on a golden scoring chance.

“I hated taking Hellickson out of the game there, but we had an opportunity to score and I had to go for it,” manager Pete Mackanin said.

“After we didn’t score, I didn’t think we had a chance to win this game. I just thought that with their bullpen we were in trouble.”

The Phillies ended up winning with a rally against Miami’s bullpen. Tommy Joseph delivered a clutch, two-out double against Fernando Rodney in the eighth to score Maikel Franco from first. That was the only run the Phillies needed. They tacked on three against the sloppy Marlins in the ninth to finish it off.

Hellickson, David Hernandez, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez then combined to allow just one base runner in three innings to finish off the Phillies’ 11th shutout of the season. That’s the most in the majors.

“Our bullpen did a great job,” Mackanin said.

Three of the four pitchers that the Phillies used in the game — Hellickson, Hernandez and Gomez — are very much available for trades. They all pitched well with a gaggle of scouts sitting behind the backstop. A number of contending clubs — the Cubs, Orioles, Giants, Rangers and Blue Jays — had scouts at the game. Pitching, starting and relief, is high on the needs list for most of those teams.

Of course, the Marlins are looking for pitching, too. They have interest in Hellickson, though it’s not clear whether he is a top target of theirs. Maybe he will become a top target after what he’s done to the Marlins in the last week. Hellickson has pitched 14 innings over two starts against the Marlins. He has given up just six hits and a run.

“Just executing,” said the pitcher, explaining his success. “In my last two games the ball has been down for the most part. I’ve just gotten a lot of easy outs. The ball's down and not missing too many spots right now.”

Hellickson will be a free agent this winter and does not appear to be in the club’s future plan. Nonetheless, he has steadfastly said he would like to remain with the club for the rest of this season. Phillies management is not opposed to keeping Hellickson. He provides veteran stability and innings to a young rotation. But management would move Hellickson for a player that has the potential to help in the future.

Trade rumors can be distracting for a player. But Hellickson, who has been dealt twice in his career, is locked in.

“It doesn't bother me,” he said. “Once I'm in this locker room — obviously you still see it on TV and stuff — my focus is on helping us win today. Now it's on to the next start. It's been like this for a few years now so it's pretty easy to go out there right now.”

Mackanin said he had no idea what will become of Hellickson’s fate. But if the pitcher stays, he won’t complain.

“At this point, I don’t want to lose him,” Mackanin said. “I wish he could stay here. He’s that solid for us. He’s been like that the whole year.”

The Phillies needed a good pitching effort to pull this one out. Their hitters struck out 13 times, left 11 men on base and went just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

“We don’t show plate discipline,” Mackanin lamented. “We’re taking fastballs early in the count that are hittable pitches. If you’re going to take fastballs early in the count that are hittable pitches, you cannot swing at breaking balls in the dirt. That’s all I can say about that. We have to have more plate discipline.”

On the positive side of that, Franco and Rupp both walked three times, and Franco’s two-out walk in the eighth became the biggest run of the game on a night when Jeremy Hellickson and his status with the Phillies was the biggest storyline.

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Marlins 0

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Marlins 0

BOX SCORE

MIAMI — Jeremy Hellickson continued to enhance his trade value and Tommy Joseph had the big hit in the Phillies’ 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.

Hellickson shut down the Marlins for the second time in a week. The next time he pitches, it could be for them. The Marlins are one of the teams interested in the veteran right-hander. Scouts from several other contending teams were in attendance for Hellickson’s strong outing.

Joseph’s two-out double in the top of the eighth broke a scoreless tie.

Phillies pitching held the Marlins to two hits. The Phils have 11 shutouts this season.

Starting pitching report
Hellickson pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just a hit and a walk while striking out one. He exited for a pinch-hitter after just 70 pitches. The right-hander has pitched 14 innings and allowed just one run in his last two starts, both against the Marlins. He has lowered his season ERA to 3.65.

Miami’s Jarred Cosart came up from Triple A and pitched five scoreless innings. However, he threw 92 pitches. He allowed three hits, a walk and struck out one.

Bullpen report 
Trade candidate David Hernandez pitched a strong seventh inning for the Phils, picking up the win. Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez closed it out.

Miami right-hander Kyle Barraclough came up big in the top of the seventh inning. He struck out Cody Asche, Peter Bourjos and pinch-hitter Ryan Howard with runners on second and third to preserve a 0-0 tie.

Marlins right-hander Fernando Rodney struck out the first two batters in the eighth then gave up a four-pitch walk to Maikel Franco before Joseph’s two-out double delivered the game’s first run.

Rodney took the loss.

A.J. Ramos was charged with three runs in the ninth, two unearned.

At the plate
The Phillies survived 13 strikeouts, a 1-for-9 performance with runners in scoring position and 11 men left on base to score the win.

The Phils had just six hits. Joseph had a pair of them and now has 25 RBIs in 54 games.

Cesar Hernandez gave the Phils some cushion with an RBI single in the top of the ninth. Miami’s defense fell apart after that and the Phils scored two more runs to put the game away.

Asche had a hit to break an 0-for-26 skid. Bourjos is 0 for his last 17.

Trade talk
Andres Blanco is out for six weeks so he’s no longer a trade candidate, but others are (see story).

Up next
Jerad Eickhoff (6-11, 3.98) pitches against Miami right-hander Tom Koehler (7-8, 4.42) on Tuesday night. Koehler pitched eight innings of two-run ball in beating the Phillies last week at Citizens Bank Park.