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.
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.
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.
“Phillies co-owner and his sister in inheritance feud” October 4, 2015
“Getting to bottom of why Phillies' LaMar Chucked it” September 9, 2011