Phillies: Buy or Sell?

Phillies: Buy or Sell?

With the Phillies playing a rather unexciting brand of baseball lately, the topic of conversation on the Internet and among Phillie faithful has been whether the Phillies should be buyers or sellers with the trade deadline in sight.

A Citizen's blog, which I agree with a good deal of the time, has this to say:

-I think the Phillies should be active at the trading deadline and make
some deals. Instead of doing their usual thing and deal prospects for
relief pitching, I think the Phillies should deal David Bell (if possible), and Mike Lieberthal.  This team needs help at third base and catcher if it is going to make the playoffs.

I would trade David Bell and Lieberthal in a heartbeat.  The problem is, you probably couldn't get a Von Hayes baseball card for them.  Who wants to take on Lieberthal's contract?  Granted CitBlog noted if possible, I just don't see it being possible.  Where I completely disagree with him are with his comments on Billy Wags:

-Billy Wagner is a terrific, “lights out” closer. But I’d deal him for
those defeatist comments he made. Having someone in your clubhouse
bitching and moaning like that is unacceptable. If you want to play on
a team that doesn’t have a chance, Billy, I’ll give you a plane ticket
to Colorado to play with the Rockies. Pack him off to the Red Sox in
exchange for some prospects to restock the farm system and give Ryan
Madson the job. I think he’ll pick it up with virtually no slack.

While I wouldn't have a problem dealing Mr. Wagner, I disagree that he has a defeatist attitude.  I think he is one of the only Phillies to point out the obvious.  Good for Wags for saying how he really feels.  Somebody in the Phillies organization not trying to make excuses.  Like John Marzano has been saying lately, the players need to be held accountable.

One of my other favorite Phillies sites, Beerleaguer.com, put my thoughts together much better than I could have:

The Phils should seize any opportunity to get younger, and the
easiest way is to keep existing prospects. The latest rumor says the
Phils owners do not want Ed Wade to trade Ryan Howard, and I applaud
that. Players like Howard and Chase Utley are future of this franchise,
plus, they’re attractions on a team that’s grown too stale.

It
seems fans are clamoring for more young guys: Howard, Madson, Utley.
Personally, I’m more likely to buy a ticket now to see Utley and Howard
than Polanco and Thome two months ago, and in my experience reading
other sites and comments from fans, I’m not alone.

There’s
no question, however, the Phils need pitching and won’t make the
playoffs or get very far in the post season with the existing options.
In light of their long-term contract situations, it’s time to bite the
bullet and patch those holes with young players. I get the sense most
fans do not wish to mortgage the future. That means Gavin Floyd,
Madson, Robinson Tejeda or even Cole Hamels are all better options than
Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, etc.

I'm all for the Phillies making any kind of move to get younger and build for the future.  So should the Phillies buy or sell?  Sure, they have a shot at making the playoffs this year.  The East has a good deal of parity and anything could happen.  I said way back in May that "they will linger around for a while and eventually crumble."  And I still feel pretty much the same way.  They are a decent team, but they just don't have what it takes to win a pennant.  Sure it could happen, but I still haven't won the lottery either.

So I say sell for the most part, but there isn't really much to sell.  If Wags can get you some prospects, do it.  I'm with Beerleaguer, the younger the better.

 

Sixers reach respectable spot in ESPN's latest NBA power rankings

Sixers reach respectable spot in ESPN's latest NBA power rankings

Everything seemed status-quo in ESPN’s Marc Stein’s most updated NBA power rankings. As expected the Warriors, Spurs, and Cavaliers occupied the top spots. But when you venture down to number 15, you may gasp. 
  
Yes, the Sixers (15-27) are gracing the middle of the power rankings at number 15. Stein is starting to "trust the process" after the team’s recent 8-2 stint. It isn’t just Joel Embid making headlines with his record-breaking numbers and internet love life, but the team is now getting its due.  
  
“Philly is doing plenty of interesting things,” Stein wrote. “Ersan Ilyasova and Robert Covington have combined to drain 51 threes over the past 10 games. The Sixers, as a team, have moved into the league's top 10 in defensive efficiency.”

Covington and Ilyasova are part of a new-look starting five along with Embiid, and guards T.J. McConnell and Nik Stauskas. McConnell and Stauskas had spent the majority of the season coming off the bench, but Stauskas has started the last 12 and McConnell 10 of the last 11 (McConnell was sidelined for one game with a wrist injury). The Sixers are 7-3 with that starting guard duo.
 
Despite the most recent loss to the Hawks, the Sixers have won four of their last eight victories by one possession. Giving them plenty of momentum to jump up ten spots from the last power ranking. 
 
The Sixers will be at home to play the Clippers this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. They will be without Joel Embid who continues to rest his injured left knee. 
 

Jim Gaffigan warned Pope Francis not to mention Santa Claus in Philly

Jim Gaffigan warned Pope Francis not to mention Santa Claus in Philly

Comedian Jim Gaffigan opened up for Pope Francis when he visited Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families back in 2015.

That would seem like an odd opener for the Supreme Pontiff. And Gaffigan admits as much.

Gaffigan was a guest of Stephen Colbert's on Friday on his Late Show and talked about the surreal experience of warming up the crowd in Philly.

"I'm not a good Catholic," Gaffigan says. "If there was a test for Catholics, I would fail. But most Catholics would fail which is probably why there's not a test."

The comedian also got in a few low level digs at our town.

"'Philadelphia: the City of Brotherly Love,' which if you've been to Philly you know they mean that sarcastically," he says. "I mean, I love Philly but they mean that the same way they say 'Syria: the place for peace.'"

Meh.

"I was nervous at the sound check so I had to come up with some Philadelphia jokes. What do I know about Philadelphia? I know about the Liberty Bell, I know the cheesesteak, and I had just watched this ESPN 30-for-30 about Eagles fans throwing snowballs at Santa. Not on the brand of Brotherly Love. So when I was finally introduced there was still nobody there, I figured I'd just do my set. So I said, 'It's good to be here in Philadelphia,' and I heard a roar from crowd on the highway, so I thought I'd play to the crowd in the highway. 'Philly loves the Pope!' and I got another roar. 'Not that I was worried but you guys weren't that nice to Santa Claus.' Nothing. Silence. And then I heard something that sounded like booing... because it was booing. It wasn't everybody, maybe ten percent, so like 100,000 people booing my Santa joke before they saw their religious leader who was going to talk about mercy."

"Eventually I got a chance to meet the Pope and I was in this room and everybody was saying something to the Pope and I didn't know what to say. So when it finally came my turn, I said, 'Don't bring up the Santa incident.' The Pope didn't say anything but he gave me a look like, 'Dude, I would never bring that up.'"

The ESPN film that Gaffigan mentioned was actually a spoof. It was just kind of okay. You can watch it here.

The Pope part starts around the 5:10 mark in the below video. You can also catch Gaffigan's new standup special titled "Cinco" on Netflix.