Today in Philly Sports History: Schilling to Southwest, 2000

Today in Philly Sports History: Schilling to Southwest, 2000

The Phillies were having a dismal season in 2000 as the trade deadline approached. They were 11 games under .500 on July 26th, 2000, with more bad news coming down the pipeline--ace pitcher Curt Schilling was on his way out of town. Dissatisfied with the Phillies' performance over the last few seasons, Schill had pushed for a deal to a contender, and GM Ed Wade granted it by sending him to the then 56-44 Arizona Diamondbacks. In return, the Phillies got pitchers Vicente Padilla, Omar Daal and Nelson Figueroa, as well as first baseman Travis Lee. "I will leave here with nothing but the best memories on and off the field," claimed Schilling in his post-trade conference. "I was booed so much less than I probably deserve to be booed here, which I don't think too many people leaving Philly can say."

"The reality of the deal is that we are giving up, obviously, one of the top starting pitchers in all of baseball," Phillies GM Ed Wade said at the time. "In getting these four players, we answer a lot of needs. Did we get Curt Schilling back in this deal? Obviously we didn't." True to say the least, although considering some of the hair-pullingly lopsided deals Wade and Gillick made over the course of the decade, we did at least get back a little value here. Padilla would be one of the team's front-end starters for several years, Lee at least had an above-average 2001, despite ultimately being a disappointment, and Figueroa served OK that season as a fill-in starter as well. (Daal would be less serviceable, leading the league in losses the next year with his 4-19 record).

Schilling, though, went on to combine with D'Backs starter Randy Johnson as the most dominant one-two pitcher punch in 21st century baseball, as the two powered the Diamondbacks to the '01 playoffs (setting the single-season record for combined strikeouts by teammates) and got named co-MVPs in the World Series. Schill would also win a pair of rings after moving to the Red Sox, all while the Phils struggled with Padilla, Randy Wolf, Kevin Milwood and Jon Lieber as their makeshift aces. His time in Philly will likely endure as a somewhat checkered one, but Phils fans certainly didn't know what they had until it was gone with Curt Schilling.

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.