Posted tagged ‘Philadelphia Phillies’

Ballpark Review: Citizens Bank Park

April 23, 2015

Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies

Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 43,651

Games Attended: Too many

Living close to Philadelphia, I have been to my fair share of Phillies games- both at The Vet and The Bank. To me Citizens Bank Park will always be in the top half of Major League ballparks. It doesn’t do anything great, but it doesn’t do anything bad either.

Aesthetics- 19/25

Exterior- 4/5

This is how a modern park should look like on the outside. Beautiful brick gives it a vintage look, yet you can still sense it is a new ballpark. It is also very compact, which I like.

Interior- 8.5/10

The Bank is a very cool place to watch a ballgame. There is the gigantic scoreboard in left, the funky wall in center with Ashburn’s Alley, and the Liberty Bell that lights up in right.

Backdrop- 6.5/10

The one minus is a lack of the city’s skyline as a backdrop, but the stadium is a bit too far away and it’s angled just off from giving you a good view of it unless you are in the upper deck.

2) Seats & View- 16.5/20

Sight lines- 8/10

Citizens Bank Park offers some really cool seats. The field level gives you a great view, however the further along you are towards the foul pole the more you will have to crane your neck. But being that close to the field is worth it. The outfield seats are prime home run territory and the vantage point from Ashburn Alley is one of the more unique center field/outfield views. In the upper deck, you have a bird’s nest view of the stadium and it is one of the better upper decks I have sat in. What is really cool to me is that the top of the upper deck has a chain-link fence all around, so you can look at the surrounding neighborhoods; it’s not much of a sight but something I’ve always found cool.

Best seat- Upper Deck anywhere from 412-419.

Proximity- 4.5/5

These are some of the closest seats in baseball. Especially in the upper deck.

Comfort- 4/5

3) Atmosphere- 13.5/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

Philly fans have a reputation for being loud and obnoxious- which makes watching a game here so great. When the team is good, this place is packed every night. Even now when the team stinks and the place is half full, those there are passionate and into the game. Unless you have a jersey of the opposing team on, you’ll fit right in. And I’ve been to several Mets/Phillies games here- it makes for a fun night.

Attendance- 4/5

This takes a dip because the team sucks and less people show. But from 2006-2013 this place was packed every night.

Fan Knowledge- 4.5/5

Philly fans might be brash, but they live for their teams.

4) Attractions- 6/15

Museum & Team History- 4/10

Despite being one of the longest operating franchises in history, there is little celebration of their history. While the park does celebrate Philadelphia history very nicely, I wish it celebrated their team as well. Ashburn Alley is in center and located there are plaques of Phillies greats. But Ashburn Alley is more of a gathering place for friends and an area to grab food.

Things to See and Do- 2/5

There are plenty of stores, but most of them are small and without great variety. The one exception is a store on the third base concourse. They have merchandise from all different players throughout the league. I almost bought a Roberto Clemente jersey once.

5) Food & Drink- 9/10

Hot Dog- 5/5

Citizens Bank Park has the best hot dog in baseball- bar none. There is nothing like a Phillie frank and Dollar Dog Night is a Citizens Bank Park staple that every Phillies fan must attend. Their dogs are short and plump- the best type of hot dog.

Best of the Rest- 3/5

As for other food, don’t worry, it’s Philadelphia so there will always be good food. There is cheese steak and pizza and other ballpark fare that is high quality for a ballpark. The beer prices and diversity is not great, but you can get a 25oz’er for an average ballpark price.

Bonus Point: Signature Dish- +1

Philly Cheese steaks

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 4.5/5

Two words- Phillie Phanatic. The Phillie Phanatic is legit and for those “purists” out there- you can have fun at a ballgame. The Phanatic does a great job making both kids and adults laugh without taking away from the product on the field. The Bank compliments this with their great use of the video board and you get top notch game entertainment. Also, the PA guy has a great voice.

7) Cleanliness- 3.5/5

It’s been over a decade now since The Bank opened so there is something withering, but overall it feels and looks like a clean ballpark. The seats are clean, the concourse is holding up, and I can’t remember having any issues with the bathrooms.

8) Local Scene & Location- 2/5

The good: The Bank is located next to all the other sport stadia (Lincoln Financial, Wells Fargo Center) and the Xfinity Live bar is supposedly a baller place to go, especially after a game.

The bad: Outside of the sports complex, there is nothing to do. You are in South Philly and if you want to enjoy some cheese steaks or go to a bar, you will have to drive elsewhere in the city.

9) Access & Cost- 3.5/5

The lower level seats will still cost an arm and a leg, even if the team is bad. Expect to pay at least $100 for good field level seats. However, you can find steals in the upper deck for $10-$20 and as I’ve mentioned, the upper deck is a great spot in this joint. As for food and drinks, the prices are run of the mill for a Major League park.

The complex is easily accessible. The local train drops off right the complex and if you are coming by car, it is easy to drive to and from- whether by PA or NJ.

10) Misc- 3

Stats & Info- 1

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 1

One of the best in baseball, it spans the right field fence.

Concourse- 1

11) Personal Opinion- 4/5

As I mentioned, there is nothing bad I can say about Citizens Bank Park. I’ve been several times and have always had a great experience. It might not be scenic as PNC, as cheap as Coors, or have a local scene like other parks but it is a clean, beautiful stadium with good food and good fans.

Overall Score: 84.5/115


Phillies Spend Over $40mil in First Week of Free Agency

November 20, 2013

Last week the Philadelphia Phillies were the first team to dip into the free agent market, signing Marlon Byrd to a 2/$16mil contract. Now the Phillies have re-signed catcher Carlos Ruiz to a 3/$26mil deal. That’s 5 years and $42mil to players aged 36 and 34 respectively.

Now, each player on a AAV basis is not getting a lot of money. Byrd is getting $8mil a year and Ruiz is getting slightly more than that. The problem is that an old, mediocre team is giving money and multi-year contracts to old, mediocre players. Steamer projects Marlon Byrd to produce 0.6 fWAR in 2014 and a more respectable but optimistic 3.1 fWAR for Carlos Ruiz. Even worse, in 2015 they will be on the hook for over $16mil between these two and over $8mil in 2016 for a 37 year old catcher.

The real problem I have with these moves is when you frame it this way: the Phillies are shelling out $42mil for two players in their late thirties who are not going to bring a lot of value to the franchise. In 2013 the Phillies payroll was nearly $160mil. So these two players would make up a whopping 25% of that payroll. As of now the Phillies have $104mil in payroll commitments. Add in the $16mil for 2014 they now have to pay for Byrd and Ruiz and those two players currently make up about 33% of the Phillies current payroll. That is not good.

The $42mil should be spent a lot smarter. Use it to keep players through arbitration. Use it to buy younger, cheaper players that may be available. Reinvest in the farm system which has struggled for the Phillies. Do anything but spend it on mediocre players with no value for a projected 2014 Phillies roster.

The best team in baseball just got better

July 30, 2011

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Phillies traded three prospects for Hunter Pence. Yeah, the Phillies just got Hunter Pence. Their team is no joke.

So, the Phillies will be getting Pence for two more arbitration years and of course the two months remaining in the season. They owe him $1.3mil this season, and Pence is projected to make $11mil next year and $15mil in 2012 (Using 40/60/80 I got $19mil, but I think its safe to say he would never be paid that much through arbitration. $15mil sounds a lot more reasonable). For the next 2.2 years, I am projecting Pence to accumulate 8 WAR which would be a value of $41mil. So with the Phillies paying him around $27mil while he is worth $41mil, they get a net value of $14mil. So did the Astros get that back in return?

Well, they got prospects Jon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a PTBNL. In February, BA named Singleton the #39 prospect in baseball and he has been a beast so far in the low minors. So considering his placement in their rankings, I’d say Singleton is a top 25 hitting prospect- which brings a value of $23.4mil. Cosart is also a top 80 prospect according to BA and a top 50 pitching prospect who has been performing well in the minors as well. So that is $15.9mil of value right there. Zeid is a tier-B prospect which is worth $7.3mil. So all in all, as of now the Astros will be getting¬† $46.6mil in value. Subtract the $14mil they are giving up and the Astros walk away with a value return of $32.6mil. That is outstanding.

That also surprises. I was dead against trading Hunter Pence. I know the Astros need to rebuild, especially regards to their farm system, and Pence is their best trade chip. BUT, he is young and he is good. Sometimes it’s better to keep those pieces and let them be apart of that future you want. But I can’t complain about what they got in return.


Cliff Lee is a Philadelphia Phillie

December 14, 2010

WOW. This might be the biggest off-season news story in baseball history. For real.


5 years and $100mil. $20mil per year. Yeah.


Not only is this out of left field, but it’s a STEAL for Philadelphia.


If you recall, I thought he could be worth as much as $147.5mil over five years or around $29mil per season. So Philly is saving ~$9mil per year in projected value or $47.5mil total. This is groundbreaking.

Does this give Philly the best rotation of all-time? Maybe, maybe not. The 1990s Braves had an okay staff. But we’re looking at three Hall of Fame pitchers, still pitching as if in their prime, and a fourth pitcher who could be a Hall of Famer one day. Simply amazing.

I thought Boston was going to be clear World Series favorites, but if Philly doesn’t win it all, they should all have to retire. But for real, I will myself when Boston and Philly play in the World Series.

The thing is, it’s such a good deal. If he signed in Philly for 7/$161mil or whatever deal the Yanks offered, it wouldn’t be so great. But it’s 5/$100mil. That is well below his market value. Wow.

Cliff Lee needs to enter the Witness Protection Program. He is the most hated person in the MLBPU. They  might hire people to do bodily harm to Lee.


As for the Yanks, sell sell sell on 2011. Stock up for 2012 and beyond when the Killer B’s and other top prospects are ready. Trade Nick Swisher while his value is high. 2011 is a lost cause.

We better get Russell Martin so this off-season isn’t a total lost cause. He could regain his past power and become an All-Star again. If not, he is the perfect person to split time with Jesus Montero and since we won’t compete in 2011, it allows us to take it slow with Montero.

Worst off-season ever.

Jayson Werth is a Washington National

December 5, 2010

In what has to be the most surprising news of the off-season, the Washington Nationals have signed Jayson Werth to a 7/$126mil contract. WOW.

This is totally out of nowhere. I really thought Werth would be headed to Detroit, Boston, or stay in Philly. If you recall, I had Werth worth about $99mil over five years. When I project it out further, I think he’ll be worth about $121mil over seven years. So the Nationals are overpaying a little bit. But not by much.

For Washington, I love the move, but hate the contract details. They are relatively close to contending so I like that they are trying to make a splash and bring in a quality player. It keeps the fans happy and makes the current team better as they wait for Strasburg to get healthy and Bryce Harper to develop. BUT, seven years is a long time. By the time the Nationals young talent is ready to aim for a playoff spot, Werth figures to be done as a high impact player. Once those days are over, he will be vastly overpaid for his talent and the contract will handcuff the franchise.

So I give the contract a C+ for the team. They do get better and bring excitement back to the ball club, but by binding themselves to Werth for so long, it could hinder their ability to make moves in the future, which is when they are going to want to make moves as their young talent will be ready for lift-off.Moreover, this seemingly takes them out of the running for Cliff Lee so it appears that FA battle will be a showdown between the Yankees and Rangers.

As for Werth…I’m surprised. I would have thought he would want to go to a team where he could win the World Series. Boston, Philly, or even Los Angeles and San Francisco. But money speaks and more importantly, I take it he likes the security of seven years. But where is the loyalty these days? Juan Uribe went to Los Angeles just weeks after winning in San Fran and now a Phillies favorite is going to a divisional foe. I remember the story of Jackie Robinson retiring because he was traded to the Giants from the Dodgers. Nowadays, players would welcome the trade with open arms.


Valuing the 2011 free agent class: Jayson Werth

November 3, 2010

Victor Martinez

Cliff Lee

Moving the series along, today’s post will focus on Jayson Werth. Werth is coming off his best offensive season where he hit .296/.388/.532/.397/150 over 652 PA. He will no doubt sign a long term deal, but outside that there haven’t been many rumors concerning other details of a possible contract.

His agent Scott Boras likened him to Matt Holliday more than Jason Bay. Bay signed a 4/66mil deal while Holliday signed a 7/120mil deal. Holliday was younger than Werth when he signed his mega deal and had put up better seasons, according to WAR, than Werth in the years leading up to free agency. So I would put Werth somewhere between Holliday and Bay and say he will probably sign for five years wherever he lands.

While Werth had a career year at the dish last season, his defense slipped into the negatives. One year of defensive data is not a lot, but it’s been two years since he was an elite defender according to UZR, so his age might be showing up defensively and he will be an average to below average fielder going forward.

Projecting him over the next six seasons, I will start him at 4.7 WAR and move him down by 0.5 WAR each season. I will start at each WAR being worth $4.5mil and that will increase by $.5mil each season.

If you think he’ll sign a five year deal, he’ll be worth a total of $99.25mil. If you think he’ll sign a four year deal he’ll be worth about $81.7mil. Considering Bay signed for 4/66mil and Werth is better, that sounds about right.

Do the Phillies have the money to sign Werth at 5/82mil? I think they do. However, if they can’t move Ibanez it might not be the smartest move since they already have $143mil in payroll commitment for 2011.

Look for the Angels or Red Sox to sign him. San Francisco remains a long shot, but they could use a right fielder.

When WPA doesn’t work

October 9, 2010

Via fangraphs:

Though Jimmy Rollins was oh-for-the-series, and ‘failed’ once again in a key position (one down, tying runs on base in the 7th inning, the third-highest leverage index moment of the game), his soft flyball to Jay Bruce (a +18.9 Right Fielder this year according to UZR) was muffed about a billion times, and suddenly Rollins looks like a hero to Oswalt’s zero. Seriously, Bruce missed a play he should have had 95+ times out of a 100 (or, rather, 256 in 259 times), then screwed up the throw, the relay was punted, and Rollins stands on second with the crowd roaring. Rollins gets a .352 WPA for the play, Oswalt a -.152 for his five innings, three run effort. Sometimes WPA doesn’t tell the whole story.

I didn’t even think about that during the play. WPA is a nice little story stat, but it too isn’t perfect.

No real reason for this post, just pointing out interesting stuff.


EDIT: I took this down. I’m a chicken. I apologize. It’s back up. My reputation is down. Oh well. At least Rutgers offense finally showed up this week.