Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Philadelphia Baseball Review Phillies Mailbag: Volume I

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
January 26, 2014, 10:15 a.m.
@Philabaseball

I receive dozens of interesting Twitter messages and E-mails each week regarding the Phillies and baseball in general, so moving forward I'm going to share the best via a weekly mailbag segment.  If you have a question and would like to see it featured, contact me at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or send me a Tweet. 
"What is RAJ thinking with bringing Abreu back to Philly - is he trying to get himself fired or what?"   - Jim W., Willow Grove
To be honest, I'm not sure what Amaro's plan is.  This entire offseason has been strange and looking at the moves he's made I'm not sure how he believes this team will be better than last year's. Abreu was a solid offensive player when he was previously here, but I fail to see how he can contribute to this club winning more than 75 games. 

I can't take credit for it, but someone on Twitter noted the 2003 Phillies outfield consisted of Abreu, Marlon Byrd, and Pat Burrell.  At this point, would it surprise you at all if Amaro made a run at bringing Burrell back?  

If I were Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels, a player looking to truly win now, I'd be scratching my head with some of these moves.
"Wheels is gone!  Wheels is gone!  I may never have to hear him say a pitch was middle-in ever again, but who's the likely replacement?"   - Pete Palmer, Philadelphia 
True, but what's to say his replacement won't annoy you just as much? Sadly, there are so many annoying broadcasters and sports voices in Philadelphia and Wheeler seemingly led the charge. I kept hearing about Doug Glanville and Mitch Williams for the vacancy, and now I hear Jamie Moyer and Mickey Morandini also are in the running.
"Were the Phillies ever sincere in bidding for Tanaka?"  - Joe Scanlot, Philadelphia
From what I've been told, no. The Phillies knew heading in to the Tanaka frenzy that they were competing with clubs that have deeper pockets, namely the Dodgers and Yankees. You also have to think how conservative the current regime is. Yes, Tanaka put together a historic season in Japan, but he comes to America with all kinds of unknowns. No way would this ownership offer up a huge contract on such a risk type player.
"Why did Temple decide to get rid of several sports, including baseball?"  - Maureen Wald, Ambler
It simply came down to money and facilities. Temple is over matched (looking purely at baseball) when it comes to allotted resources and facilities. Skip Wilson Field is basically a glorified high school ball field, plus it takes players nearly two-hours round trip from the main campus to practice and back. I'll admit, this came out of nowhere and was a shock to everyone in the baseball community. The move to the American Athletic Conference really was the breaking point for the program.
"Are there any Hall of Famers on the Phillies current roster? I see a buncha close misses."  - Todd, Vineland
I think I agree with you, Todd.  I think Cliff Lee has a good shot if he continues on his current trajectory, but I think he may be it. Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins are the only other possibilities and I think all, right now at least, are misses. Rollins needs another two or three solid offensive seasons and I don't think he has that left in him. The same goes for Utley, who appeared to be almost a sure thing before his knees broke down.

Do you agree or disagree with my comments?  Have your voice heard and comment below! 

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news blog in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia-region.

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