Tag Archives: 2010’s

Top 10 Philadelphia Phillies players of the decade

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Cole Hamels tossed a no-hitter during his final start with the Phillies at Wrigley Field in July 2015

 

Despite the fact that this decade technically ends with the year 2020 and not the current year of 2019, many sources are using the turn from the 10’s to the 20’s as an excuse to pop out some “end of the decade” pieces and lists.

Who am I to buck that trend?

With that in mind, over the next few weeks, I am going to take a glance back at the 2010’s in Phillies baseball.

It was a decade that began with such promise, with the Phillies as one of baseball’s best teams. But it all fell apart rapidly, with the club degenerating into one of baseball’s worst by the middle of the decade.

During these final weeks of 2019, I am going to examine how and why that happened. I am also going to present a few lists, including the best individual seasons and games from the last ten seasons.

The first look back today at the 2010’s is a list presenting the top Philadelphia Phillies players of the decade. Rather than make it a subjective list, I decided to consult the folks at Fangraphs.

Using their research tools, I came up with the top WAR figure accumulated by each position player and pitcher between the years 2010-19 while with the Phillies. Those players are presented here in order, from 10-1.

10. Odubel Herrera (10.8 WAR)

Herrera won a starting job with the Phillies out of spring training in 2015. He remained the starting center fielder with the team until his suspension at the end of this past May due to a scandalous domestic violence incident. Herrera slashed .276/.333/.423 and produced 60 home runs, 233 RBIs, 294 runs scored, and 56 stolen bases over 2,492 plate appearances. He was a 2016 National League All-Star.

9. Shane Victorino (10.8 WAR)

Tied with Herrera in WAR, “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” was ranked higher here since he accumulated that WAR total over nearly 800 fewer plate appearances. He was the Phillies starting center fielder as the decade began, a position he held until being dealt away at the July 2012 trade deadline. Victorino slashed .267/.336/.433 with 44 home runs, 170 RBIs, 225 runs scored, and 77 stolen bases over 1,665 plate appearances with the club prior to his trade. He won a 2010 NL Gold Glove and was a 2011 NL All-Star, receiving NL MVP votes that season.

8. Carlos Ruiz (10.9 WAR)

The Phillies primary catcher until being dealt way in August 2016 to the Dodgers, “Chooch” was a fan favorite for a decade. While with the Phillies during the 2010’s he slashed .275/.359/.400 with 46 homers, 263 RBIs, 262 runs scored, and 14 steals over 2,625 plate appearances. Ruiz received NL MVP votes each year from 2010-12 and was a 2012 National League All-Star.

7. Cesar Hernandez (11.6 WAR)

Hernandez has been the Phillies starting second baseman since August 2015, so the entirety of the second half of the decade. He made brief appearances in the two years prior as well. Hernandez has slashed .277/.352/.381 with 46 home runs, 253 RBIs, 407 runs scored, and 80 steals over 3,282 plate appearances during the decade. He scored more runs than any other Phillies player during the 2010’s.

6. Jimmy Rollins (16.0 WAR)

The Phillies all-time hits leader, “JRoll” opened the decade as the club’s starting shortstop, a role he had held since the 2001 season. Prior to his December 2014 trade, Rollins slashed .252/.323/.390 over 2,999 plate appearances with the Phillies during the 2010’s. He also had 70 home runs, 266 RBIs, 380 runs scored, and 127 stolen bases. His steals total was the most of any Phillies player during the decade. In 2012, Rollins won his fourth and final career NL Gold Glove.

5. Roy Halladay (16.8 WAR)

The late ace pitcher is the lone Phillies Wall of Famer on this countdown, though he will undoubtedly be joined in that honor by a number of the others over time. “Doc” won 55 games with the club from 2010 through his injury-forced retirement in 2013. Across 103 starts he registered a 3.25 ERA, 1.119 WHIP, and allowed 649 hits over 702.2 innings with 622 strikeouts. Halladay was the 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner, the runner-up in 2011, and in both seasons was a National League All-Star and received NL MVP votes.

4. Aaron Nola (17.2 WAR)

The new Phillies ace, Nola was the club’s first round pick at seventh overall in the 2014 MLB Draft. He debuted the following season, and became a 2018 NL All-Star during a season in which he finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting and received MVP votes as well. Nola has allowed 669 hits over 771.1 innings across 127 starts while striking out 826 opposition batters. He also has career 3.49 ERA and 1.172 WHIP marks to date.

3. Chase Utley (19.1 WAR)

The top position player on the countdown, “The Man” was the Phillies starting second baseman until an August 2015 trade. He slashed .265/.348/.425 with 72 home runs, 331 RBIs, 347 runs scored, and 59 stolen bases in his 2,804 plate appearances with the club during the decade. He was a National League All-Star in both 2010 and 2014.

2. Cliff Lee (19.6 WAR)

Lee did not open the decade with the Phillies, having been dealt way to Seattle on the same day in December 2009 that Halladay was acquired. However, he returned as a free agent for the record-setting 2011 campaign and remained with the club until forced into retirement by injuries in 2014. He won 41 games with a 2.89 ERA and 1.085 WHIP, allowing 697 hits over 747.2 innings across 106 starts with 739 strikeouts during the decade. Lee finished third in the 2011 NL Cy Young Award voting and sixth in 2013 and was an NL All-Star in both seasons, also receiving NL MVP votes in 2011.

1. Cole Hamels (25.6 WAR)

Far and away the leader among Phillies players in WAR during the decade, the homegrown Hamels was a primary cog in the starting rotation until being dealt away at the 2015 trade deadline. He won 66 games with a 3.07 ERA over 179 games, 178 of those starts. Hamels allowed 1,038 hits over 1,193.1 innings during the decade while with the club, striking out 1,158 opposing batters. He was a National League All-Star in both 2011 and 2012, and finished among the top eight in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2011, 2012, and 2014.

 

MORE RECENT PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CONTENT:

2016 American of the Year: Kellyanne Conway

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For a decade straight, from 2004-13, this website named an American of the Year.

With my writing emphasis switching to baseball over the last two years or so, that tradition was tabled.


Baseball is still my primary writing subject. But here at my home website, I’ll be getting back to covering political, social, spiritual and other issues once again in the coming weeks and months.


Over the course of those first ten years honoring an American of the Year, nine different men were honored, as well as one heroic group of them. The complete list is available at the end of this piece.


Now, for the first time, a woman is receiving the honor. And this particular woman is a genuine surprise, because when this year began, frankly, I had never heard of her.


In 2016, Kellyanne Conway became the first woman in the history of American politics to run a winning U.S. Presidential campaign. 


She did it in basically two and a half months, not taking over as the head of Donald Trump’s campaign until August 17, at which point the possibility of his election was very much in doubt.



Conway is actually a local girl. She was born in Camden, New Jersey as Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzpatrick on January 20, 1967. She was raised in the Atco, New Jersey area by her single mother and other female family members after her parents divorced when she was just three years old.


“I grew up in a house with my mom and her mom, and two of my mother’s unmarried sisters,” she explained to Ronald Kessler of Newsmax back in 2008. “So four Italian Catholic women raised me.”


At age 15, Conway won the New Jersey Blueberry Princess pageant. She frequently has credited her eight summers working on a blueberry farm for developing her strong work ethic.


Conway graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., graduating magna cum laude with a degree in political science. 


She then studied at Oxford University, and was elected to the prestigious Phi Betta Kappa honors society. Then in 1992, Conway earned her law degree with honors from George Washington University. 


After graduation from law school, Conway served a clerkship with D.C. Superior Court Judge Richard Levie. Conway then got into the research and polling field for a couple of years before finally starting up her own polling company, aptly named ‘The Polling Company’, in 1995.


Over the next couple of decades, Conway made television appearances as a pundit/commentator, and worked for numerous Republican politicians, usually helping those pols efforts to appeal to female voters. One of those politicians was the late actor and Republican U.S. Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee, with whom she was romantically linked for a time.


She also spearheaded numerous high-profile projects with ‘The Polling Company’, doing research and consultancy for major organizations such as ABC News and Major League Baseball.


In 2001, Conway married New York lawyer George Conway. The couple then built a family with four children, including twins. They now live in Alpine borough, New Jersey’s northeastern most situated county and the most expensive ZIP code in the country according to a 2012 Forbes magazine ranking.


In 2005, Conway penned a book titled “What Women Really Want” as co-author with Cellinda Lake, a female Democratic pollster.


Conway worked for the losing presidential campaign of John McCain in 2008, as well as Newt Gingrich’s failed run at the 2012 GOP nomination. In working for McCain, Conway found political inspiration in his running mate choice, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.


Per Kessler, Conway stated that Palin “signaled to many professional women, myself included, that maybe you can have it all, all at the same time; but you just need to be a very organized, time-efficient person who completely strips your life of extracurricular activities.”


In 2006, Conway had been living with her family in one of Donald Trump’s buildings when he first met the future POTUS. While serving on the board at Trump World Tower, the man himself would often show up to meetings in order to hear residents concerns, which made an impression upon her.


When Trump began to organize his run for the Republican nomination, he met with Conway and offered her a job with the campaign in March of 2015, a role that she declined to take on at the time.


Instead, Conway accepted the job of running a super PAC for the Ted Cruz campaign. But the honor and responsibility of the job as Trump’s overall campaign manager was eventually too good to pass up this past summer.


Conway got to work, tirelessly putting together candidate Trump’s schedule and doing her best to keep him on message. She also displayed unwavering loyalty in standing up for Trump when various fires erupted down the stretch that had more to do with personal attacks than the actual political issues.


In the end, all of Conway’s work was vindicated by the voting public. And that was a real key: she, her candidate, and their campaign staff simply outworked the favored Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.


In comments to MSNBC, Conway criticized Clinton for “not campaigning enough” and not having a positive message. “You need to campaign, you need to connect with the people. Hillary Clinton just could not break past that stubborn 45, 46, 48 percent in these states that President Obama carried twice.”
Trump would ultimately capture a decisive Electoral College victory by a 304-227 margin, capturing 30 of the 50 United States. And the new President has never failed to give Conway the credit that she deserves.
Everything that Donald Trump said about the populist uprising, and people really just wanting fairness and an opportunity and a voice, ended up being true,” said Conway to The Wall Street Journal. “We can talk about it being an anti-elitist election. That has some merit. But at its very core, people were talking about security.”
Following his victory, President-elect Trump named Conway to a key role with his transition team, and she will surely have a key role in the Trump administration.

Conway “played a crucial role in my victory,” Trump said in the transition team statement per Reuters. “She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda and has amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message.

For that tireless and tenacious work, especially in clearly communicating the message during one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in American history – especially in light of the ultimate victory – Kellyanne Conway is named as the first woman and the 11th overall American of the Year.
PREVIOUS AMERICANS OF THE YEAR

2004 – Pat Tillman
2005 – Bill O’Reilly
2006 – Rev. Billy Graham
2007 – P/O Chuck Cassidy (for the American police officer)
2008 – George W. Bush
2009 – Glenn Beck
2010 – Ron Paul
2011 – Seal Team 6
2012 – Michael Phelps

2013 – Ted Cruz

2014-15 (none named)

2012 Election Only Just Begun

With the announcement last weekend of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as the Vice-Presidential running mate for Republican Party standard bearer Mitt Romney, the real race towards Election Day 2012 has finally begun.

For American voters, the contrast is stark and the choice is clear: continued big government Democratic Party-led liberalism leaning towards socialism, or Republican Party-led return to traditional American conservative free market principles.

While Americans have lived through a year’s worth of Republican debates and primaries while suffering through the Obama economy and public media debates over the basic nature of America’s future direction, they have also been largely spared a true bombardment of political ideas and exchanges.

That is all about to change, as the coming weeks and months will bring an ever-increasing bombardment of television, radio, and Internet ads, speeches, and endorsements that will likely have most of us thankful on the morning of November 7th no matter which way the election goes.

In Tampa, Florida from August 27th-30th, the Republican National Convention will take place and will take over the news cycle with speeches and policy outlines. America will receive a final, brief vacation from politics over the Labor Day weekend.

This will be quickly followed by the Democratic National Convention in Richmond, Virginia from September 3rd-6th. The two campaigns will outline their policies, highlight their candidates, and point out their direction for America during these two intense weeks.

During the month of September, the two campaigns will take to the cities and towns of America, barnstorming the nation with stump speeches, public appearances, and fundraisers. Dozens of speeches will be delivered, hundreds of chicken dinners will be consumed, thousands of babies will be kissed.

There will be tens of thousands of photos snapped, millions of voters will be telephoned, and tens of millions of dollars will be raised as the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden teams do the public and media circuits, particularly in “swing states” like Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Florida.

October will see the arrival of fall, and the Presidential debates, a series of four scheduled events. It all starts on Wednesday night, October 3rd at the University of Denver where major swing-state Colorado will be in the spotlight with Romney and Obama squaring off on domestic policy issues. On Thursday night, October 11th at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky the Veep candidates Ryan and Biden will square off over both foreign and domestic issues.

Tuesday night, October 16th will see the return of the Presidential candidates for a debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on both foreign and domestic policy. Finally on Monday, October 22nd at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida it will be a Romney-Obama showdown on foreign policy issues.

Following the final debate there will be just two weeks until Election Day 2012. You can be assured that all day, every day, we will be bombarded on every news station imaginable with a steady diet of Presidential politics. Much of the national cable and network news coverage and nightly portions of local news coverage will focus on the candidates, their daily appearances, and any particular items of note that crop up on the campaign trail.

This is all just to focus on the Presidential election. There will be a number of other important elections taking place at state and local levels as well. Republicans need to pickup 4 seats to take over control of the U.S. Senate, and there are at least 5 races currently listed by most watchers as a toss-up.

The races for Governor in places like North Carolina, Wisconsin and Indiana could prove important to the Presidential race. These races will all garner a certain amount of attention, as will some ballot issues. For instance, typically liberal California will be voting on Proposition 36, which involves major changes to the “Three Strikes” law.

The bottom line for Americans is that their lives are about to be invaded by an onslaught of Presidential and other election coverage that is going to saturate our lives for these next three months. The best advice is to be ready for it, and accept it, because unless you are prepared to head into the hills and disconnect all of your devices, you are going to be subject to this onslaught on a regular basis. This is Democracy in action in the modern technological age.

What’s coming? Just wait until your cellphone starts getting calls from candidates, your email begins getting filled with political messages, and your Facebook page gets taken over by political ads. What? That’s already begun?

Rallying ‘Round Romney

I’ve been a fan of Newt Gingrich for a long time. At the same time that Gingrich was leading the Republicans to victory in the 1994 congressional elections with his “Contract With America“, I was making my own shift from lifelong liberal Democrat to social conservative Republican.

Gingrich is a brilliant man, a superb debater, and perhaps the single most informed individual in the entire Party on the entire range of issues.

His performances in the early candidate debates were outstanding. So it was with hope that I began to support his candidacy for the Presidency last year, and with excitement that I watched him bolt to the polling lead a month or so ago.

But as the weeks pass, the first states begin to cast their primary and caucus ballots, and the candidates are exposed to one another in more focused debates and to the press and public at campaign stops that now matter more than ever, Mitt Romney has taken a commanding lead.

The former Massachusetts Governor became the first Republican in modern primary history to capture both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

Romney’s doubleheader sweep in the Heartland and in New England show that he has a wide range of appeal. That has always been one of Mitt Romney’s strengths.

He has never been considered an ideologue, never been considered a part of the ‘Vast Right Wing Conspiracy’, never been beholden to the ‘Tea Party’ or any other particular group. He appeals to many people on many issues, and makes almost as many wary on almost as many issues.

The problem for Republicans like myself who label ourselves as true Conservatives, and who have been searching for a candidate to face off against Barack Obama in the fall, is that we have been looking for “Super Conservative” – a candidate who fits that label on both social and fiscal policy issues. We want a candidate who paints a stark contrast to Obama’s near-socialist liberalism.

But in our haste to find the perfect candidate, we need to remember two very important things. First, that candidate does not seem to exist. No one is perfect.  When viewed from the standpoint of true Conservatives, all of the contenders who actually want the position as the Republican nominee have weaknesses ranging from personal to experiential to their past legislative and governing records.

The second thing that we need to remember then becomes the single most important – we need to get rid of Obama. As the single most liberal President in American history, Obama has blown the deficit through the roof, stagnated the economy, threatened taxation increases on the very people and businesses that drive that economy, bailed out large corporations with our tax dollars and on the backs of our grandchildren.

God help us all if he actually gets to appoint a Supreme Court Justice this year. The damage that individual is likely to do over the next few decades, for many of us covering the rest of our lives, would be unimaginable.

The most important thing that every Republican across the country, especially every Conservative currently backing Gingrich, or Rick Santorum, or Rick Perry, or Ron Paul needs to remember is that we simply cannot allow ourselves to be pulled apart by our differences. We have far too many more similarities to let that happen. More importantly, we have far too many differences with Obama and his socialist-style cronies to allow our nation to suffer through another four years.

I have backed off my support of Newt Gingrich and thrown my hat fully into the camp of Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination and for the Presidency of the United States because I believe that he legitimately offers the Party the best chance to defeat Obama and socialism. I also believe that, with a Republican congress supporting him, Romney will produce a far more truly Conservative administration than any in the last twenty years.

From his own website comes the Romney vision: Mitt Romney will rebuild the foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation. His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility. It relinquishes power to the states instead of claiming to have the solution to every problem.

Romney is also born again hard on a number of social issues, including continually emphasizing of late that he has become staunchly “pro-life” in his view on abortion. On military matters, Romney has stated publicly that he wants to grow the defense budget to allow for modernization of the aging Navy and Air Force fleets. He has attacked Obama for not doing enough to counter the greatest military threat to ourselves and our allies, a nuclear Iran.

Mitt Romney has earned a record as a ‘moderate’ Republican. However, he is leaning towards more Conservative positions now. I believe that is not simply due to wishing to earn the nomination, but also because he has genuinely grown or been pushed towards those positions. Either way is fine with me, all that matters is where he is now, and where he will take the nation.

I am asking any one of my fellow American Republicans currently supporting another candidate, or currently holding back their support for anyone, to strongly consider throwing your full, outward, vocal, strong support to the campaign of Mitt Romney for President of the United States.