Phillies Trade Michael Young to Dodgers, John McDonald to Red Sox

GM Ruben Amaro failed to clean out his cache of soon-to-be free agent veterans at the July 31 trade deadline, but thankfully did not repeat the same mistake today, the waiver deadline. Two veterans have been shipped out: John McDonald to the Boston Red Sox, and Michael Young to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Let’s start with McDonald. Via Todd Zolecki:

Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 69: Baumann’s Second Law of Social Conduct

There are two great regional food-related battles in American language: soda vs. pop vs. coke and what you call a sandwich on a long roll.

I pay a lot of attention to such things because my own linguistic base is mixed–not only have I split my own life between the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, I’m of mixed parentage, having had ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Which, in general, has led to my not having much of an accent at all, but occasionally leads me to ask people to go to breakfast by saying: “Y’all want to get some cwawfee and begels?” KTLSF not only being a Southerner, but a linguist as well, probably makes me even more aware of regional dialects than I would be otherwise. Side note: when you ask someone what the greatest moment of his life is, the modal answer, I think, is “the birth of my children,” which is great and noble, but I don’t have any. I can’t imagine it being better than being present for the moment KTLSF became aware that she, like most people from the Southeastern U.S., only uses four of the five vowels. Don’t believe me? Find a guy from a state with an SEC school and ask him to say “pin,” and then to say “pen.” This kind of stuff fascinates me, and when that map of dialects came out on Business Insider a couple months back, I spent way too much time dissecting it.

Anyway, I mostly talk like a guy from South Jersey, with the occasional Virginia/Carolinas inflection or colloquialism thrown in. After almost nine months in Wisconsin, I have not to my knowledge picked up any speech habits from the Upper Midwest, but I could be wrong. I say “soda,” and “traffic circles” instead of “roundabouts,” and “sear-up” instead of “sur-up.”

But the more I think about it, the more sure I am that when it comes to the sandwich thing? I don’t say “hoagies.” I say “subs.” I don’t know why, and it causes me deep shame.

You know what else causes me to feel shame? The Phillies. Let’s talk about those.

@asigal22: “Phillies win 4 of the next 6 world series or you win a million dollars??? Greater good of city vs. Greater good of yourself.”

In the early days of Crash Bag, my would-be Liberty Ballers comrade Jake Pavorsky asked how I’d fix the Phillies if I were given $150 million. My answer: I wouldn’t. I’d buy penthouses and sports cars and good food and bourbon and start a magazine and screw you guys.

My answer is the same even with this lesser sum. $1 million? Not enough to live on forever, but certainly enough for me to concentrate on writing full-time for a few years, maybe buy a new car and move someplace more interesting than where I live now…yeah, the hell with you guys. I’m taking the money without a second thought.

Continue reading…

The Right Field Solution

We’re rapidly approaching the point in the season where looking ahead become the norm. It isn’t about scoreboard watching anymore; now, it’s about calendar watching.

Hope for a positive end to this season ended long ago, even with more than 30 games still left to be played. But hey, we still want to be productive with our time, don’t we? There’s work to be done, and now is the time to armchair GM (well, I guess there’s no wrong time for that with this club).

There are a number of positions the Phillies will have to address during the upcoming winter – solidifying third base and the rotation, catcher, detonating the bullpen with a truckload of C-4 – but this particular focus is on right field.

Continue reading…

Hear Me Out: The Phillies Should Keep Casper Wells Around

Casper Wells has had a forgettable 2013 campaign. The Phillies are the third team with which he has actually made a Major League plate appearance, and he has a combined .337 OPS — he is barely out-hitting Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone, for the sake of comparison. And now, as Matt Gelb reported, he is going on the disabled list with vision problems.

Just how bad were the vision problems?

Continue reading…

Ethan Martin Seems Destined for the Bullpen

On August 2, Ethan Martin made his Major League debut starting against the Atlanta Braves. He featured a mid-90’s fastball, a looping curve, and a mid-80’s slider. He pitched well until a five-run fifth inning ended his night.

Over his first five starts, Martin has a 6.33 ERA but it doesn’t speak to how well he has pitched. He has averaged better than a strikeout per inning. The biggest culprits have been a 13 percent walk rate and six home runs allowed over 21 and one-third innings.

Clearly, Martin has the stuff to succeed at the Major League level, but that success may end up coming as a reliever rather than as a starter.

Continue reading…

What to Expect from Roy Halladay

This season has quickly morphed from a macabre, grotesque affair into a fascinating and bizarre one tailored by the baseball gods specifically for ardent sadists and Jayson Stark. Today, August 25th, the season hits its peculiar pinnacle. Less than twelve hours ago we saw two position players, who have played for a combined six teams this year, take the mound at Citizens Bank Park. Both of those players got out a hitter whose name is “Tuffy Gosewisch,” a man who already had an interesting place in recent Phillies history. A player named Adam Eaton got the game winning hit. It was the longest game in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies, the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, as well as the longest game in Diamondbacks history, a team that debuted in 1998 (Travis Lee had 3 hits in their first ever game). All this depravity forces an unwanted spot start from maybe the best pitcher of the last decade, Roy Halladay. Yes, someone in the Phillies front office today uttered the words, “Well, it’s not ideal, but I guess we’ll have to start Halladay today.” It’s all very strange. Based on what’s happened lately I hesitate to post this scouting report on Roy Halladay for fear that he might come out today throwing in the mid nineties. Left handed. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 68: Let Them Sing

I’m about to say something, fully aware of the irony the venue provides. I started doing the Crash Bag last May because I was bored and unemployed, and looking for something steady to contribute. I figured a mailbag would be fun and relatively easy, and a bunch of writers I look up to–Bill Simmons, Katie Baker and Drew Magary in particular–have done it, so why not?

But there are a lot of mailbag columns out there. I don’t think this is a bad thing–mailbags tend to be casual, cover a wide range of topics and encourage community involvement, all of which I like–and even if I did, it’s not like I have an special claim to the format. But right now, I’m reading four of them a week on Deadspin, plus various and sundry other weekly mailbag columns and listener email podcast segments. Counting the Crash Bag, I’m exposed to probably as many as a dozen a week.

I just wonder if we’re in a mailbag column bubble right now. I have no plans of stopping the Crash Bag any time soon, but now might be a good time to short your stock anyway.

@ryne_jones: “what is the best color”

Blue. It’s versatile and brings out the color in my eyes. Next question. Continue reading…