A blog about the Phillies and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lenny Dykstra and the Power of One

FanGraphs recently hired an attorney named Sheryl Ring out of Chicago. After reading her early posts I made the above request and she followed through and did so soon after.
Sheryl Ring

Ms. Ring stuck to the law in her article - more so then I would have liked - and concluded that from a legal, criminal perspective Dykstra likely committed extortion under the law as it was in1993, but after 2013 probably did not. However, under civil law he would be open to litigation by umpires whom he investigated and threatened with disclosure of private information.

This is always a problem for me, the law. I had assumed that Dykstra would have been in violation of all kinds of statues both state and federal for extortion and blackmail. Ms. Ring stated later that she hoped she had answered my questions about what I was interested in, but actually the legal aspect was my least concern.

The Phillies local telecast is on Comcast. During rain delays they will sometimes broadcast past games of importance in Phillies history. Last year - or the year before - I caught some video of the Phillies/Braves 1993 playoffs, a game in which Greg Maddox in his prime was on the mound for the Braves. I was struck to the point of being slack jawed at how many pitches Maddux was throwing that would definitely be strikes in todays MLB, pitches for which if they were not called would lead to ejections from the Braves dugout. However, there were frequent cutaways to the Braves dugout and no one was upset. This is what slackened my jaw.

Then it got more incredible and my jaw was so slack that I became a mouth breather. Dave Hollins - who drew the most walks of his career in 1993 - took a swing at a Maddux pitch (after having strikes in todays game called balls) and tried to check his swing. Hollins made such an effort that he landed on his face with  his head and torso in fair territory with the barrel of the bat pointing between 2B and 3B.

This was called a check swing. Tim McCarver was doing the color commentary and after the replay finished McCarver explained that this was a good call because "Hollins did not break his wrists". McCarver must have been correct because Bobby Cox did not charge out of the dugout as would certainly happen today if such a call was made. In fact, the Atlanta dugout did not appear to be upset. In 1993, that was a legit check swing.

So how did the strike zone in MLB become so ridiculous that strikes on either side of the plate were called balls and a player could take a swing like Hollins in Game 6 of the NLCS and have it ruled a check swing? Is Lenny Dykstra the answer to this question?

In MLB the players will generally accept any sort of strike zone as long as it is enforced equally for both teams. Dykstra does not claim to be brazen enough to hire private detectives to investigate umpires for sexual and gambling offenses, he even claims to have blackmailed them in the open around home plate in front of the opposing catcher. So again, we're not dealing with secret stuff here. If this happened - and one look at the video I just described should be enough to make a believer out of most - then we're talking about something that had to have become common knowledge throughout at least the National League. Anything that was common knowledge in the N.L. would quickly spread through the A.L. as well.

It must have been really jarring for an umpire with a gambling problem to have Lenny step out of the box after a pitch he wanted to be called a ball and loudly shout at the umpire "So did you cover the spread last night?"There are shotgun microphones on both sides of the infield. It's not hard to imagine an umpire pissing his pants a bit upon hearing this. Another umpire was gay and in the closet. Lenny let him know he knew all about it right there at home plate.

Now, Lenny was a menacing little dude, but he wasn't a loner. Lenny was good friends with Darren "Dutch" Daulton and John Kruk. Those two would have known about this the same day Dykstra first implemented his scheme. These three were at the top of the game in OBP and walks in 1993. I remember Dykstra coming to the plate around the fifth inning and seemingly willing himself onto 1B with a walk soon to be followed by Kruk and Daulton. The 1993 Phillies did this machine like and turned those full bases into runs and chased the starting pitcher while taking the lead.

From the looks of it 1993 was the fruition of a plan that had begun in 1992. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a copy of Dykstra's book and the SNAP card in my wallet that's been active there for six years now won't help me with that, therefore I don't know when Dykstra claims to have begun this scheme. Dykstra was injured for much of 1992 so he didn't enjoy the fun as much as Kruk, Daulton and Hollins did if that is when it started.

If these three were all using Lenny's info on the umps the effects would be felt immediately on the entire lineup. The other team would start arguing with the umps for the same calls and would soon get them. After awhile the calls would spread to both teams quickly as the umps adjusted to their new reality. The opponents of the Phillies would no doubt try to take the shrunken strike zone with them to the next series that did not include the Phillies. Those players would have learned from the mouth of the horse named Lenny what the dirt on which umpire was and would be able to use it themselves when that umpire was behind the plate even if Lenny was not in the other dugout.

What you would get over time is a rapidly shrinking strike zone and check swings that looked like a comedy skit as the hitters worked their verbal magic around home plate.

What, me worry?

Something else happened around this time in 1993. I was in Los Angeles then and in the Los Angeles Times there was an article about Lenny Dykstra and his physical transformation. As with all corporate media at that time and even ten years later, there was no mention of PEDS. In the article the author asked Barry Bonds about Dykstra and Bonds offered something very much like this: Ÿou know, I've always wondered what I could do if I took my work outs as seriously as he does. I've always just been natural not really working out at all."

Well, we know how that ended even if we will never know the details as Bonds won't write a tell all.

Did Lenny make a mockery of the strike zone in MLB and inspire the big boppers of MLB to enhance their workouts with some "Lenny's Vitamins"? Could one fiery little guy have caused all that to happen? Is the concept of The Power of One a real thing or just the product of human imagination and paranoia?


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Banned From MLB Trade Rumors

No Shohei Ohtani and the Phillies talk allowed. No mentioning who owns the Phillies baseball team and no discussion whatsoever that might lead someone to discover this blog.

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

This was the opening in a thread about the latest on Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani who will be posted this winter. I had previously noted in Phillies threads that exactly zero articles about Ohtani had ben authored by sports writers who cover the Phillies. When I saw this posted the morning of November 14, 2017 I took note of it.

Immediately the personal attacks began quickly - as within several minutes - the moderators jumped in to stop me from responding and advancing the discussion.

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

What is objectionable about this post that it would go into moderation? There certainly was something because this post went into moderation when I attempted to post it again, but other posts I made before and after the second attempt at posting went through fine. My guess is "John Middleton"was entered into the moderation filter.

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

Then the feces hit the fan. Attacks from new posters who had just made accounts flooded on demanding that something be done about me for exactly what I posted above in the screens and I complained about the censorship and received this response from Jeff Todd:

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors
Sounds pretty nonchalant, however, that post is just for public consumption. Not even a half hour later I tried to make a post and it did not go through or go to moderation. My account was banned from posting entirely.

Here's some of what I recovered from a couple days back when something similar happened when the subject of Shohei Ohtani, the Phillies and the Orioles came up:

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

And the post that blew up the site and sent Jeff Todd and others at MLB Trade Rumors into a tizzy of deletions:

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

So MLBTradeRumors will not allow discussion about why the Phillies and Orioles have no interest whatsoever in the most talented Japanese player ever to be posted. They insist upon maintaining the fiction that all thirty MLB teams are trying to sign him.

Today after being censored and just before being banned I excoriated Jeff Todd for his sites blacklisting of this blog, pointing out that I had over the years made submissions for MLBTradeRumors blog roundup and been ignored. I have also had many posts in the past deleted when I used search terms in my post that would point someone doing so to this blog.

Everyone who writes about MLB professionally knows about me. People in MLB - beyond the Phillies - know about me yet I am totally blacklisted from the game. People who are grossly incompetent to speak about the Phillies are never the less invited onto national podcasts to discuss the Phillies. Those podcasters know about me and this blog but will not even have contact with me.

All the back and forth was removed by Jeff Todd as well. Some of it I pulled out of email notifications sent to my account:

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

It's not as if the years of online blacklisting and site banning in the comments have prevented everyone from finding this blog, a few have and even years after reading this blog they recall it later. There were others who yelled through their keyboard that they knew it was me too (calling me "Free_AEC" or just "Free"). I've never seen another baseball commenter noted and remembered by others like this, yet I am an untouchable with anyone who has any kind of professional relationship with MLB.

Here is another post by "Cat Mando" (someone who just popped up there) and my reply:

Jeff Todd,MLBTradeRumors

How much abuse, imprisonment, beatings, banning, public disrespect and being treated like a leper can one man accept?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Is The Phillies Rebuild a Bomb About To Explode?

After owning the first pick of the 2018 MLB Draft all season long, the Phillies gave it up with about three weeks left in the season, a remarkable achievement for a rebuilding team in this era of draft spending pools.

That wasn't enough for the team of MacPhail/Klentak though, they decided to fire their manager Pete Mackanin and the entire coaching staff as well even though the universal opinion of them is that they were doing a great job. Hitting coach Matt Stairs immediately found new employment with San Diego.

Shortly after Joe Girardi was dismissed by the Yankees the Phillies rushed to announce Gabe Kapler as their new manager. Girardi was immediately a fan favorite for the job and that had to be brought to an end quickly. John Middleton is not about to wrestle for control of the Phillies with a presence like Joe Girardi.

Here is an article about Gabe Kapler talking up the Phillies by Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice. A couple of one sentence quotes from Kapler:

“We’re going to hunt for value at the margins.”

Well, that certainly got the attention of John Middleton and Bill Giles in a big way. Clearly Kapler did his research well. Nobody can squeeze the head off a copper penny like the owners of the Phillies. Kapler even praised Phillies pitcher Luis Garcia, a guy who was stacking shelves in a warehouse for a living and was signed for nothing. Good job telling the bosses what they want to hear.

“This scouting department has done a tremendous job the last couple years”

Really? I share the exact opposite view. Last year the Phillies took a pitcher in the 2nd round who I immediately named “twiggy” and who is now on the shelf with T.J. surgery. I would have jumped the bones of Philly’s own Nolon Jones who ticked all the boxes for me.

This year I recommended to the Phillies  - in order - Jordon Adell, Keston Hiura and Mark Vientos. Again, in the second round Vientos was sitting there for the Phillies. So the Phillies could have had two of those three I flagged. The guy the Phillies took in the first round? I didn’t even look at video of him until after the Phillies picked him. The Phillies first round pick at the top of the first round was sorted out before the part where I look at video of the guy. He couldn’t make it that far with me.

Jon Heyman wrote an article about the Gabe Kapler hire and at the bottom there is a comment left. I too thought the same thing after reading the article, that the Dodgers F.O. was recommending Kapler so enthusiastically in hopes of getting him to move on.

Maybe the article is just slanted due to a small sample size of people who wanted to talk about Kapler. What is clear is that referring to Kapler as "verbose"could be taken as a sardonic comment.

However, more grimly, I could not help but be left with the impression that John Middleton would rather shoot his sister, his wife and his precious son Hollywood Johnny in the head before turning the gun on himself before he would sign Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in December 2018.

Yes Phillies fans, it sounds to me like you're about to be sodomized by John Middleton.....again. Maybe Gabe Kapler will lend Mr. Middleton his coconut oil before the attack from the rear begins?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Phillies already Trading their Future for Today

John Middleton deems Jonathan Arauz too Good to Keep

Jonathan Arauz Astros Phillies
Jonathan Arauz Signs Contract with Phillies

David Price and Zack Greinke got paid big this winter. Not by John Middleton though. In fact the whole pitching market seems to have gone up in price so far. When your team has a $6 Billion TV deal that shouldn't be any problem at all. However, if your team is owned by a balls out criminal like John Middleton who thinks nothing of ripping off $200 million from his own sister it's a completely different ballgame that you're playing.

Fortunately for John Middleton he has the racist Philadelphia media 100% behind him. The player you see pictured above - Jonathan Arauz - doesn't exist anywhere in the corporate media discussion of the Phillies. Kevin Maitan - profiled in my last post - is completely unknown to most Phillies fans and the media in Philadelphia is going to keep it that way. The Braves have an illegal, unenforceable verbal agreement to pay that generational SS talent just $4.5 million when he's easily worth $30 million. Yet you can't find an article or any discussion about Kevin Maitan and John Middleton allowing the Phillies alleged division "rival" to have Maitan at a bargain price.

This is the way things work in the land of "42". The July 2nd market does not exist. Where do all those international star players come from? For the "42" market the answer most give is a shrug of the shoulders and perhaps a comment like "Who knows? We don't have none of those on the Phillies so it don't matter"

So John Middleton's collusion with the Braves against Kevin Maitan continues.

John Middleton's rape of the Phillies fan base also continues unobstructed and with the exception of myself and a few angry commenters on the ever rarer comment sections of corporate media, John Middleton's epic ripoff of the fourth largest market in the USA goes on at an ever more rapid pace.

Jonathan Arauz Astros Phillies
Jonathan Arauz wearing Phillies red in the GCL at age 16

Above you see Jonathan Arauz at the plate, in a Phillies uniform in the Gulf Coast League this past summer. Arauz was still 16 years old. Arauz was playing against some recently drafted four year University grads. Arauz caught the attention of the entire scouting base in MLB. Ben Badler at Baseball America raved about Arauz in a way I had not witnessed by him since he gushed over a teenager named Rougned Odor. 

The Rangers were recently rumored to be offering Odor an eight year deal, trying to buy out some of his early free agent years. This is what John Middleton is going way out of his way to avoid. Any player with the potential to get to free agency by age 27 and get an eight year deal is someone John Middleton does not want on the Phillies.

The Phillies had another GCL player who they paid an additional 100k for in Luis "Hands of Stone" Encarnacion. He is listed to 1B and will fit best as a DH if his bat advances. The fact that the Phillies will have no long term use for such a player is what makes him a keeper for John Middleton, who is already planning his next rebuild.

This is now "The Phillies Way". A brief period of contention followed by a 12 to 15 year rebuild. It's all by design. The Phillies payroll is under $70 million and they take in $200 million minimum before they sell their first ticket. John Middleton's bank accounts are being flooded with new money that should be used to buy players but instead is going to Palm Beach to finish and furnish his mansion and out to Hollywood where his greedy thieving son @johnmiddleton (his Twitter address) is planning the purchase of more film production companies and buying more mansions and beach houses.

@johnmiddleton Phillies
John Powers Middleton
Hollywood Johnny

So what did Phillies fans get for trading the future - during a rebuild! - for today? Well, they didn't get Cliff Lee.

Mark Appel is already a certified bust. Finding a conversation about Appel among prospect ranking media folk is about as scarce as a discussion about Domonic Brown. In fact, being released on waivers is in Appel's future, it's just a matter of how long the process is allowed to run. Unfortunately for Phillies fans that is likely to be quite a long time since Appel is a graduate of Stanford.

You see, Stanford is a very special place for Super Republican John Middleton. Stanford University is an elite university on this planet and it is a Republican University. On this blog you can see John Middleton photographed with international War Criminal Condoleezza Rice, an event that took place in Philadelphia. John Middleton is a big financial contributor to the Republican party.

Why did John Mayberry Jr. last for a part of six seasons with the Phillies? 500 games,  1,370 plate Appearances producing 1.2 WAR. One point two. Not twelve, one point two Wins Above Replacement. Over parts of six seasons. 500 games. 1,370 PA.

John Mayberry Jr. is a Stanford man.

Ruin Tomorrow Junior. I've never used that nick before, but after being horrified at the trashing of the Phillies fans future by including Jonathan Arauz in this deal for a 24 year old certified bust of a number one pick, it seems disturbingly relevant.

Ruben Amaro Jr is a Stanford graduate.

Expect Mark Appel to get a second chance with the Phillies and then a third chance followed by a fourth chance. We know he's a bust right now, but it's going to be years before John Middleton will be willing to cut the cord. During these years John Middleton's stooges Matt Klentak and eventually Andy MacPhail will be assigned the blame for the Appel/Arauz "mistake". It isn't their fault per se. Their blame only goes as far as they are taking John Middleton's money in exchange for being his front men in public. They have no honor to be spoken for, but blaming them is like looking past John Gotti and blaming the pile of dismembered buried corpses on his soldiers.

John Middleton John Gotti Phillies

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is John Middleton just a Bloodsucking Criminal or a Racist as well?

Kevin Maitan, the "next Miguel Cabrera". John Middleton refuses to pay him. Refuses to pay him with such contempt that he is allowing the Phillies division rival the Atlanta Braves to have this once in a generation talent.

Look at this video of Kevin Maitan. If you understand baseball at all you can see the talent immediately. I have looked at video of the top high school and college position players in the upcoming MLB draft in which the Phillies will pick first. Kevin Maitan is better than any of them. It's not even close.

Here is where this gets interesting. The videos of the upcoming MLB Draftees show players who are 17 to 21 years old. Kevin Maitan in the video above and the other videos available is 14 years old.


The last player who resembled Kevin Maitan in terms of talent at an early age was Bryce Harper and he began to generate this kind of spotlight at 16 years old. We have not seen a shortstop talent like Kevin Maitan since Alex Rodriguez was drafted first overall in 1993. However, A-Rod wasn't a switch-hitter.

This is where things begin to get more than perplexing. I've been watching the Phillies for over four decades. Every Phillies fan of this length of time understands the drought in talent from Latin America in the Phillies organization. There was Juan Samuel, Julio Franco and George Bell in a relatively short window of time and then there was nothing for decades.

There's a good explanation for this. An ownership change. Samuel, Franco and Bell were signed under the ownership of Ruly Carpenter who did things a different way. None of Carpenter's players called a press conference as Scott Rolen did and denounced him for having "No commitment to win". When Carpenter signed Pete Rose that contract made Rose the highest paid player in all of professional sports.

The largest contract John Middleton has given out was to Cole Hamels and that contract didn't stay here very long did it? How long did Jim Thome's contract stay here? Bobby Abreu? The only reason Ryan Howard's contract didn't leave almost as soon as it began is Howard's career imploded along with his Achilles tendon. When Middleton signed Howard to that extension he was sure Howard had a floor of 35 HR and 110 RBI and he would be able to dump most of Howard's contract as with so many others.

Have you noticed the sort of Latino players who do come up with the Phillies? Every one of them is flawed in some way. Not a one of them has that "star" look to them. From the time they arrive they have a short shelf life stamped on them. That's the opposite of Kevin Maitan, who looks like he could become a part of a MLB team for 25 years if we count his farm system years.

In 2013 the Red Sox won the World Series. Two years later and the Red Sox are already rebuilt and looking to finish off their team as a WS contender this winter with several young core type talents in their lineup and several more on the way from the farm.

Why do the Phillies - a wealthier franchise than the Red Sox - look like an expansion team going into their second season six years after their last WS appearance while the Red Sox are ready to go and their farm system is loaded as well? The Red Sox didn't acquire Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart or any of their stud prospects on the farm by selling their big league players to another team in the John Middleton style. The Red Sox have a very aggressive farm system that is very well funded. Most of the rules in place capping draft spending and penalties for spending in the July 2nd period are there to inhibit the Red Sox.

The Dodgers have the highest payroll in MLB. They have won their division three straight seasons. Yet the Dodgers are not rumored to be in long term trouble. There are no warning flags about an empty farm and aging MLB players. Indeed, the Dodgers have some of the best young talent in MLB on their big league roster or about to join it. People who keep track of international signings for the current July 2nd period have one chart for the Dodgers signings and another for the rest of MLB. The current expenditure estimate for the Dodgers in the current July 2015 to July 2016 period is $87 million.


In the past thirty-five years combined the Phillies have not spent $87 million in the international markets.

A year ago I was apoplectic about the refusal by John Middleton to pay Yoan Moncada, a 20 year old Cuban switch hitter with power who could play SS and would easily fit at 2B in MLB. Moncada was a perfect fit for the Phillies needs - not that a player with his skill set is or could be someone not in need by any MLB team - and even fit perfectly with their stated desire to "get younger" and "rebuild" a championship team.

So far, since the Phillies actually began their rebuild in October of 2011 and revealing their true intentions publicly on July 31, 2012 by dumping Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence for nothing, the only thing that has been built is John Middleton's $40 million mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.

While watching a Phillies game and grimacing at one of the Phillies propaganda ads in-between innings that has some of their players talking about going to baseball games with dad when they were children it made me wonder how Yoan Moncada would fit in such an ad. Would he speak in broken English or through an interpreter? Would he speak of dad or his excitement at playing in front of Fidel for the first time?

Mostly though I think of how much Yoan Moncada resembles Robbie Cano in his skill set and I think of how long Robbie Cano's contract with the Mariners is and how much John Middleton clearly detests paying baseball players. The fact that a player might not have a lot of ability to star in propaganda ads to tug at the wallets of season ticket holders is a factor as well given that John Middleton is obsessed with his personal fortune and how fast it is growing, and as revealed by his sister Anna Nupson, how controlling of every last dollar John Middleton is.

Anna Nupson John Middleton
Anna Nupson
Raped by her own brother

Two of the Phillies last "big signs" out of the July 2nd market are Luis Encarnacion and Jhailyn Ortiz.  Upon looking at video of Encarnacion I immediately nicknamed him "Hands of Stone". Ortiz looks like a DH, even though he was 16 years old in the video.

If you're John Middleton and you want your players to be controllable for their entire MLB life then you do not want athletic, powerful five tool Latin American players. This type of player as a group has a high incidence of hiring agents like Scott Boras and Jay Z to test the free agent market. Players like this have a very long shelf life in MLB. If they rise quickly they can become free agents at 27 years old and it's not difficult to envision such a player still going strong at 37 so a ten year contract is a possibility.

Not on the Phillies though.

Cole Hamels John Middleton
Cole Hamels
Sold for Free Players

Cole Hamels contract is the largest and longest signed in Phillies history and as noted above it is no longer here. It's pretty safe to say that Max Scherzer's contract will not be traveling to another franchise as Cole Hamel's did. When you sign a player to a contract like that you are going to pay it.

John Middleton has never paid such a contract.

John Middleton has never signed a player like Yoan Moncada and everything written everywhere says that John Middleton will not pay Kevin Maitan. The current rumor has the Braves signing Maitan for just $4.5 million. Note the decimal point. That is not 45 million, it is four point five million dollars.

Kevin Maitan Phillies John Middleton
Kevin Maitan
Future MLB Superstar

Keith Law has pointed out that the current agreement between the Braves and Maitan is illegal under MLB rules and to quote Law "There is nothing stopping another team from giving Maitan another million dollars to sign with them".


I would not have a second thought about giving Kevin Maitan another thirty million dollars to sign with the Phillies. At $35 million he would be a steal. Kevin Maitan is the best SS talent I have ever seen. He has Cooperstown written all over him, even at such an early age. Apparently the prospect of dealing with a player of such talent who would eventually require the largest contract in MLB history at some point down the road is an appalling thought to John Middleton. Of course, he could just use up Maitan's seven years and then let him leave, or sell him before his walk year for some "prospects", but John Middleton insists that he really wants to win. He screams that from the rooftops of his mansions. John Middleton is extremely loud in his shouting of his desire to win.

In 35 years of owning the Yankees, George Steinbrenner never once said he wanted to win. The rest of the baseball world screamed in rage about the continuous actions of George Steinbrenner which made it apparent to everyone that nothing else in his life mattered except seeing the Yankees win another World Series.

It is a Tale of Two Owners. One who never speaks of winning but shakes the MLB world with his spending that makes plain that desire and a different owner in a similarly rich market who screams loudly in public about his desire to make the Phillies a winner but who refuses to buy one player while the Dodgers and Red Sox are buying players by the dozen.

Jason Groome John Middleton
Jason Groome
Future Pawn of John Middleton

Kevin Maitan is in a glass presentation case, ready to be purchased, but John Middleton is not even in the store. No, John Middleton is focused on the upcoming MLB Slave Auction in June. The Phillies pick first and the player they choose really has no choice but to take the slot money offered. John Middleton is focused on Jason Groome, a 17 year old pitcher from across the river in New Jersey. Jason Groome is a white boy who John Middleton believes he can control for his entire Phillies baseball life. John Middleton can sucker Groome with his "Phillies for life" rap and sign him to a very tradable contract if necessary that will net Middleton a bunch of "prospects" as the Phillies ever so slowly begin their next rebuild.

You see, John Middleton is a planner. His sister Anna Nupson and her lawyers have revealed this. John Middleton has a plan for the Phillies that runs through the next twenty years and includes the ascension of his son John Powers Middleton as the next owner of the Phillies. It is John Powers Middleton who will receive Anna Nupson's $200 million inheritance that Middleton and his lawyers tricked her into signing away unless Nupson's lawyers are successful in overturning this injustice.

How did we fans of the Phillies get stuck with this bloodsucker as owner of our team? Why should we continue to tolerate John Middleton's theft of our money? What has John Middleton ever contributed to bettering the Phillies? Why is John Middleton allowed to steal over a hundred and fifty million dollars every year that should be spent on buying players for the Phillies?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

How Large will John Middleton's Ripoff of Phillies Fans Be?

So the press conferences for the Phillies have ended, possibly for years. John Middleton has introduced his latest stooge who appears to be a graduate from the Ed Wade school of Stuffed Shirts. It won't be long before people are missing Ruben Amaro. However, they need not worry. Like any made guy in an ethnic Mafia who gets "pinched", Ruben Amaro has just "gone away" for awhile. When his short sentence is up Ed Wade and the others in the Phillies Mafia (including newly minted members Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak) will be here to welcome Ruben home.

Phillies_Matt Klentak_John Middleton_Andy MacPhail

Of course, the real question that should be generating dozens of articles about the Phillies in and outside of the Philadelphia market is: Why Have the Press Conferences Ended?

The Phillies have a $6 Billion TV deal with Comcast. When you total up the Phillies revenues from this TV deal, the $50 million they get from the National TV deals with ESPN, FOX and TBS, the $25 million from merchandising, the $25 million they get from MLB dot com, when all this is totaled up the Phillies have at least $200 million in revenues before they sell their first ticket or beer at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies starting rotation was awful last year and it will be awful in 2016 unless they sign top-of-the-rotation starters this winter. The Phillies lineup was devoid of any big bats before and after the slot that Maikel Franco hit from.

Phillies Zack Greinke

Phillies David Price

Phillies Yoenis Cespedes

These three guys wouldn't help?

That's what John Middleton's stooges are telling us. Even John Middleton himself before he had his stooges in place said at his first press conference "We're not two or three free agents away". Nothing was made of this comment by Middleton. It is very disturbing. He clearly put a cap on the Phillies signing of free agents at "two or three". Yet the Phillies are a team that can carry six to eight big time free agents on their payroll.

It gets worse.

The Phillies do not have any payroll. Next years payroll stands at approximately $60 million with Howard and Ruiz representing more than half of that. If the Phillies signed Zack Geinke, David Price and Yoenis Cespedes their payroll would be tens of millions of dollars shy of where it was just two years ago. Then Howard and Ruiz come off next year which would give the Phillies room to add free agent Stephen Strasburg, while still leaving their payroll far below where it was two years ago.

Phillies Scott Rolen

This is John Middleton's plan. It is what Scott Rolen - in his unique and historic press conference - labeled as "No Commitment To Win" a decade and half ago. Everything that Scott Rolen said has come to pass. He talked about how if he signed he would watch many of the best players around him disappear and we saw that happen as Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley watched everyone around them disappear. First Jayson Werth, then Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence followed by Cole Hamels (largest contract in Phillies history dumped before half of it was paid). Ryan Howard is only here because John Middleton couldn't dump him.

Everyone in the Philadelphia sports media as well as the MLB media knows that John Middleton pulled the plug on this team after the final out in October of 2011. That is when the rebuild began. We are now going into the fifth year of the Phillies rebuild and we aren't even in the middle of it. There is no plan in action by John Middleton that will see the Phillies in the postseason before 2022. This is why J.P. Crawford will spend all of next season in the minors. Then his debut will be delayed until May of 2017. That will take Crawford through the 2024 season under control of John Middleton. SS is an important position. John Middleton values players "On the Dirt". John Middleton has never signed an outifelder to a real free agent contract. All of his contract offers are for three years, which nets him old men like Raul Ibanez and Marlon Byrd. Real outfielders get six years and up.

John Middleton's sister, Anna K. Nupson is suing her brother for the theft of $200 million that she inherited. The details are available in an article by Matt Gelb in the Philadelphia Inquirer (“Phillies co-owner and his sister in inheritance feud” Oct 4, 2015), an article that has received no attention by the MLB media. It seems that the MLB media is trying to bury this story the same way they have buried Scott Rolen's press conference denouncing John Middleton for having "No Commitment To Win".



If John Middleton is willing to rape his own sister out of $200 million and will it upon her death to his thieving son John Powers Middleton in Los Angeles, what kind of future can we as Phillies fans expect from this criminal?

It has become more than pointless to discuss the press releases and comments from John Middleton's stooges such as Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak. Doing so makes any member of the corporate media a complicit criminal co-conspirator of John Middleton.

Why was Frank McCourt removed as owner of the Dodgers? All the rhetoric was about how Frank McCourt was taking money from the Dodgers and buying mansions and a private jet with the money instead of buying players for the Dodgers. However, in the eight years that Frank McCourt owned the Dodgers they made the playoffs four times. When McCourt gave up ownership of the Dodgers they had one of the best farm systems in MLB, largely because McCourt spent money to add players to that farm.

In contrast look at what John Middleton has done to the Phillies. Over the past decade the Phillies farm has been the least productive in MLB. It's not difficult to figure out why. When you consistantly overdraft players such as Greg Golson, Anthony Hewitt, Joe Savory and Larry Greene with your first round pick in the MLB draft because they are willing to agree to pre-draft deals for slot money, and you fight an eighteen year long war with the most powerful agent in MLB, Scott Boras, this is the result. To compound the length of this path of destruction, John Middleton has refused to spend money in any of the other open markets in MLB. Look at the signing bonus of Maikel Franco, just $100,000-. That is staggering in its paucity. When a team over spends it's limit in the July 2nd International Signing Period that team is still allowed to sign as many players as it wishes to for a maximum of $300,000, three times what John Middleton was willing to pay Maikel Franco.

The signing of Carlos Ruiz was even more scandalous. Ruiz could not even buy a new Toyota Corolla with what he received from John Middleton to sign out of Panama. Seriously, is it difficult for anyone to figure out why Ruiz and Franco are the only starting level position players from Latin America produced by this Phillies ownership regime in the past 35 years? 

In 2011, Chuck Lamar resigned from the Phillies as their farm director. He made his displeasure known to John Middleton about the selling of the Phillies farm in order to acquire Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt. LaMar did not object to the trades, his objection concerned John Middleton's refusal to compensate for the farm system losses by purchasing players on the open markets. John Middleton fully understood what he was doing. What we have experienced was a deliberate plan by Middleton to burn up the Phillies farm and leave the Phillies in a state like that of an expansion team in their second year of operation.

Is it hard to figure out why John Middleton would do this?

At least $200 million in revenue before the Phillies sell a ticket or a beer at Citizens Bank Park. How much does Maikel Franco make? How much will J.P. Crawford make? Nick Williams? The rest of this bunch of bench players like Galvis, Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, Cody Asche etc?

When Howard and Ruiz come off the payroll next year it is possible the Phillies payroll could be under $40 million in 2017. Without selling a ticket you can see at least $160 million sitting on the table for John Middleton's greedy, thieving hands to scoop up and send off to his thieving son John Powers Middleton in Los Angeles so he can buy more mansions and film production companies.

Every Phillies fan needs to absorb this fact: There is no Phillies Savings Account. No MLB team has a savings account. Whatever is leftover after expenses are paid goes into the owners accounts and never returns to the team.

If Zack Greinke, David Price and Yoenis Cespedes are signed that is our money being used to buy players for the Phillies. If those players are not bought then that money instead goes into the bank accounts of John Middleton and we as Phillies fans never see that money again.

Why do the Philadelphia sports media and the national MLB media refuse to make this fact plain to the fans of the game?

John Middleton is looting the Phillies franchise, and the Philadelphia and MLB media are aiding him in committing these crimes year after year. 

Where is the FBI? Probably busy trying to make a new case against me for telling the truth about this criminal John Middleton and his crimes. 


Thursday, July 30, 2015

JOHN MIDDLETON Deals Cole Hamels for Pile of Dog Feces

So it has happened. He did it again. The bloodsucker who the Philly sports media told you for years was your savior, a "George Steinbrenner" just dealt yet another Cooperstown talent for the standard sack of crap that you always see head for the airport in deals like this.

John Middleton Phillies Hamels to Rangers trade

Let's quickly review the "work" of John Middleton again:

Curt Schilling
Scott Rolen
Bobby Abreu
Cliff Lee
Hunter Pence
Shane Victorino
Vicente Padilla

This is correct. Vicente Padilla is the total return for shipping out all those players. If Schilling was not hated by so many baseball writers he would have gone into Cooperstown on the first ballot. It was his "trade" that brought back Padilla. The rest yielded nothing.

Now we can add Cole Hamels to this list without adding anyone to the sum total of Vicente Padilla.

Jorge Alfaro

The prospect evaluators at Baseball America and their ilk will tell you never to scout a stat line. You know why they say that? Because if you do you don't need to pay for all the verbiage they produce and then they're unemployed. Really, the only time you can't scout the stat line is when everything is good.

That won't be a problem with Alfaro or the rest of this "haul".

Alfaro in AA this year: Nine walks and 61 strikeouts. A ratio of almost seven to one. Take a look around MLB at any successful hitter and see how many you can find with a ratio like that. Then consider that Alfaro is doing this in AA and he's 22 years old.

If you read the work of the prospect guys they'll tell you how Alfaro has awesome power. Well, he has five bombs in 207 plate appearances in AA. What they mean is that in batting practice he can hit the ball a long way. So can many guys in slow pitch softball leagues. The minors are full of guys with big batting practice power who can't connect in games.

The Phillies already have a catcher like this. His name is Cameron Rupp. Now they have two Cameron Rupps.

More bad news, and this is from the prospect guys at Baseball America themselves. They had Alfaro rated as the 54th best prospect in the minors before 2014. This year they downgraded Alfaro to 67th. If asked they will tell you that this is dependant on the talent as a whole, but this is bullshit. If you have followed their work for over a decade as I have then you know that no prospect goes backwards like this on the Top 100 list unless that player failed at the next level or showed no improvement. The later is the case with Alfaro who moved from low-A to high-A ball - not a tremendous jump - aging another year and showing no improvement at all.

Now it gets worse.

Alfaro has moved on to AA this year after 99 plate appearances late last season in AA and he is still the same guy as he was in those 99 plate appearances after aging another year.

In short, Alfaro has horrible plate discipline. He is crippled at the plate. This is a key component of hitting. You can't get better at the higher levels if you can't recognize bad pitches and take them. It's all downhill from here. The difference in this regard between AA and MLB is profound and Alfaro is challenged almost to the point of being overwhelmed in AA.

If Alfaro's defense improves he may have a year or two - on the Phillies - as a backup catcher to Cameron Rupp.

Nick Williams

Williams will turn 22 years old on September 8th. Before last year he made the Baseball America Top 100 list for the first time.

This year he didn't make the cut. Another guy who went south on the list that matters. However, this year he surprised a lot people by making some improvements at the plate in AA and he will likely crack the Top 100 lists this winter.

Williams is a "toolsy" Domonic Brown type of outfielder. He has all of Brown's flaws, maybe some more on defense than Brown does (Williams arm stinks while Brown has a cannon). Nick Williams is a soon to turn 22 year old project. If Nick Williams looked more like Darin Ruf than Domonic Brown he couldn't sniff the bottom of a Top Three Hundred list.

A .836 OPS at AA in 415 plate appearances is nothing to be excited over and in his chats this year Keith Law has not been excited about Nick Williams. Maybe in his writeup behind the pay wall he will try to put a shine on Williams so as not to alienate Phillies fans, but his true opinion on Williams is available in his chat transcripts.

The only other player in this criminal transaction is Jake Thompson, a RHP who the Rangers received in a deal with the Tigers. Thompson is 21 years old and has a decent MLB quality fastball and a good slider. He lacks command though and do I even need to write this for you? He's likely to end up in the bullpen, probably a 7th inning guy.

The others are so bad I won't even mention their names. It's better that way since you will never remember their names three years from today anyway. I'm not sure the Camden Riversharks would have much interest in them. Really, I'm not exaggerating their lack of ability. One of them is going nowhere and he's 24 years old. He has a mother who may still be alive and have an internet connection, why go down that road? None of this is his fault, he's an innocent swept up in the crime wave of John Middleton.

Oh yeah, and the Phillies took on the contract of Matt Harrison. This is a dead contract. Harrison essentially has a broken back. He has had three serious spinal operations. He should just go home and collect his money guaranteed on his deal. However, John Middleton doesn't have the decency to do that. Harrison will be put on the field as a Jerome Williams type of crash dummy to get shelled and help John Middleton get the first pick in the MLB draft - probably for at least the next three years, maybe longer than that (picking first in the draft I mean, Harrison will not be able to take the field for that long).

Putting Matt Harrison on the field should be considered a Human Rights violation. John Middleton is of course proud to have his picture taken with international War Criminal Condoleezza Rice so why would he blanch at putting a man with a broken back out on the field to be shelled?

Did the Rangers have any better prospects than this? ABSOLUTELY! And they told the Phillies to forget about them. So if the Rangers wouldn't give up Joey Gallo or even Nomar Mazara then why would the Phillies do the deal? Why would they not even insist on the lone pitching prospect the Rangers have in Alex Gonzalez?


John Middleton told his underlings who will take the rap for this crime to "Get Hamels out of here."

In 2017 the Phillies had one player under contract for that season. Just one. Can you guess his name?