Tag Archives: TBOH

Phillies 2015: My Year With the Fightin’ Phils

During the summer of 2014, I applied for a position on the writing staff here at “That Balls Outta Here“, and was happy to be accepted. 
Over the next few months, I set aside writing at my own former blog, something that I had been doing for over a decade, and began putting all of my writing efforts into TBOH.
Sometime during the month of November, it became apparent that the former editorial staff was going to be leaving, and I was asked if I would be interested in taking over the position as Editor for the site.
Flattered as I was, with just a few months on board at that point, I had concerns. The actual writing staff had dwindled to less than a handful. 
The parent organization, the growing entertainment and sports entity known as “Fansided“, had minimum production requirements that would be a challenge for me when considered along with my home life and my full-time profession.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I accepted. I thought of it as a great challenge, a great experience, and a great opportunity. 
I would give it my best, and if it turned out that either I couldn’t fulfill the obligations of the position, or if my home or work life were suffering because of it, then I would thank the folks running the show, and move along.
What has unfolded over the last year has exceeded my own expectations. While it has been a challenge to meet those minimum obligations each month, I’ve made it work. 

A lot of credit for that has to go to the staff at TBOH, which has changed during the course of the year. Those folks will be thanked in a moment.
There was another challenge over this past year – the team itself. 
As any fan knows, the 2015 season was not kind to our Philadelphia Phillies. The ball club  finished in last place in the NL East for a 2nd consecutive season. In fact, they finished with the worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
Team president Pat Gillick, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr, and manager Ryne Sandberg did not survive the season in those roles for various reasons and under a variety of circumstances.
Iconic players Jimmy RollinsCole Hamels, and Chase Utley were all traded away during the last year, marking the official end of that glorious championship era from the previous decade.
Meanwhile, the fans drifted away. Every season from 2007 through 2013, thePhillies drew more than three million fans annually to Citizens Bank Park, including a National League-record 257-game “sellout” streak at one point.
However, as the losing began with no hope of a quick turnaround, the team lost more than a half-million fans in 2014, and then dropped to just over 1.8 million this season, the lowest in the history of the ballpark.
So the challenges were many in taking over the Editor role. Write even more myself. Assemble a stable, reliable staff. Expand the site’s social media presence. Gain more followers for the TBOH website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
Oh, and do it all while the team was sinking to the very bottom of baseball, when fan interest would be at its lowest possible point. Good luck to me.
But somehow, the job got done. Well, not somehow, but instead with a lot of hard work inspired simply by a love of the game and the team. 
Despite the negatives, there were highlights such as the excitement of the Franco and Nola full debuts, the unexpected emergence of Odubel Herrera, and of course, the Hamels no-hitter.
Creatively there were many highlights, but three of those were certainly the one-on-one interviews that I was able to conduct with former Phillies star Mitch Williams, future Phillies star J.P. Crawford, and Phillies Spanish language broadcaster Angel Ibo Castillo. 
Since December 1st, 2014, which was the date that I officially took over editorial responsibilities, until this very article that you are now reading, my staff and I presented our readers 744 original pieces of writing.
Those pieces have included game coverage, trade evaluations, draft analysis, team history, interviews, and much more. We have presented facts, and we have given our opinions, and we have done so as fans.
There are some in the journalistic community, and thankfully they are the minority, who scoff at our ability and our product. 
They have referred to us as untrained bloggers, cranking out articles in our underwear in our parents’ basements. 
I can assure you, I own my home, do indeed have both professional experience and a college degree, and rarely write in my underwear.
In addition to our original writing pieces, the social media coverage has been greatly expanded at both Facebook and Twitter. 
We try to post all of our original articles and a bunch of other items of interest to the Facebook page regularly. 
Visit us there under our full site name of “That Balls Outta Here“, friend us, and share us with your fellow Phillies fans.
On Twitter we are active from a site standpoint at the @FS_TBOH feed, and I am very active myself under my own @MatthewVeasey feed. Please follow at both, and feel free to interact with me at any time.
We usually simply present the information, articles, history, trivia, and more at the TBOH site Twitter feed, while you are much more likely to get feedback from myself or the other staffers, whose own Twitter handles are always referenced with their pieces at the site feed once published.
That staff needs to be recognized for their hard work. One person in particular needs his own recognition, because he is the one person who was here when I took over, and who has remained to the present day. He also happens to be our most prolific staffer besides myself.
That man would be Ethan Witte (@ethan_witte), our resident staff stats and analytics guru. 
Ethan and his wife had a baby this past year, and despite family and work responsibilities he still manages to provide TBOH readers with roughly a half-dozen pieces each month.
Our current staff works hard, despite each having home, work, and school responsibilities. 
David Mosemann (@FightinsFeed) has been with us since February, and during the regular season he provided most of the series previews. With school limiting him during the off-season, David is now presenting a regular feature looking at potential 2016 bullpen candidates.
Tyler DiSalle (@TyDiSalle13) joined the staff in March, and during the heart of the season from June through September he provided readers with more pieces than any writer aside from myself. 
Ryan Gerstel (@TheRyanGerstel) joined us in June, and provided readers a couple of pieces each week during July and August.
Our newest staffer is our lone female at this time, Alexis Girardo (@lexgirardo), who came on as the season was ending in September. 
Alexis is presenting a regular feature in which she introduces the college and high school prospects whom the Phillies will be considering as they prepare to make the top overall selection in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.
There were others who contributed significantly at various times during the year, and had to leave us for various reasons. 
Aaron McGlohn did a semi-regular fantasy baseball feature between February and July. Gail Dull as ‘Baseball Betsy‘ provided solid minor league coverage between February and May.
Contributing for short periods were Alex Cheremeteff, Michael Stern, Jim Tierney, David Mullen, Matt Hopkins, and our Brit writer Oliver Fisher. Thanks to all of these individuals for their efforts and their time.
Moving into the future, I am expecting to hang around for the immediate future, as long as Fansided will have me. 
I plan on continuing to put out great info for you at the http://www.thatballsouttahere.com website and our Twitter feed, and representative content at Facebook as well.
A big part of making TBOH even better into the future would be, frankly, your increased participation. 
If you enjoy our content, please share us, retweet us, and recommend that your friends follow us regularly. Comment constructively on our pieces, share your own opinions with me on social media.
And there is one other thing that you can do to help make my 2nd year as Editor, and the entire future of TBOH even better. Join us. 
If you feel like you can write a little, and genuinely enjoy the game and the team, drop me an email (matthew.veasey@verizon.net) and I will get you started with the Fansided application process. We’d love to have you with our team.
In the next couple of years, I fully expect that the new ownership/management teamof John Middleton, Andy MacPhail, Matt Klentak, and Pete Mackanin will put together another Phillies winner.
Young players like Aaron NolaKen GilesMaikel FrancoJ.P. CrawfordJake ThompsonNick Williams and more will show up at Citizens Bank Park to lure back the fan base.
We’ll be here at “That Balls Outta Here” bringing it all to you: the continued rebuild, the emergence of the team back to contention, and all the excitement once the Phillies are back where we all want them again, as a winner and regular contender.

Phillies 2015 TBOH Top Moments

As the season came to an end at Citizens Bank Park last weekend, the staff at TBOH was polled on their choices for our TBOH 2015 Phillies Award winners, as well as for their favorite moment from the season.
From among our half-dozen staffers, it was pretty clear that Cole Hamels no-hitter at Wrigley Field  on July 25th was the highlight of the season. 
All of us noted the moment, with writers Ethan WitteRyan Gerstel, and Alexis Girardo actually choosing it as their very favorite moment.
Undoubtedly, my favorite moment was Hamels’ no-hitter. Here he is, knowing it’s probably his last start as a Phillie, and he goes out with one of the best games he’s ever pitched in red pinstripes,” said Ethan.
Then, to go on social media and see the different emotions people had, also knowing it was probably the last start they’d ever get to see him make as a Phillie, and you could see that everyone was just happy it ended the way it did.
That was one of the rare times this season that I was actually glued to my television for an entire game, and once that ninth inning rolled along, well, I went nuts,” said Ryan.
Everything about it was perfect; the fact that it was probably Hamels’ last start in a Phillies uniform, and the fact that a Rule 5 pick caught the final out in wacky fashion. It was a moment I’ll never forget, and undoubtedly the best moment of the season for the 2015 Phillies.
Alexis also highlighted Odubel Herrera‘s pivotal role in the ending to that no-hitter: “Hamels no-hitter against the Cubs in his last game with the Phillies (and the two catches Odubel made to save it).  You couldn’t have written a better ending for such an iconic and awesome pitcher who led the team to the World Series in 2008.
David Mosemann, who did most of the Series Preview write-ups here at TBOH all spring and summer until September, instead chose the much-hyped career debut of rookie righty and top 2014 draft pick Aaron Nola on July 21st, just 4 days prior to Hamels’ gem.
The anticipation leading up to this game was absolutely fantastic,” said David. “Nola did not fail to deliver either. Despite suffering a defeat, the 22-year old went 6 strong innings and allowed just 1 run, and gave both Phillies brass and fans alike a reason to be excited about what the future holds.”
Both Matt Veasey (myself) and staffer Tyler DiSalle chose the same moment from back on May 13th as our favorite from the season. 
That was the game at Citizens Bank Park that saw Jonathan Papelbon set a new franchise Saves record with the 113th of his Phillies career. However, our moment wasn’t so much for the fact that the record was set, as to how it was set.
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur, in one of the first of a number of such moments during the 2015 season, became a fan favorite because of moments like this, moments that led to ‘Frenchy’ being selected by our TBOH staff as our Phillies Surprise Player of the Year.
With one out and the tying run at 3rd, Francoeur caught the 2nd out on a medium fly ball along the right field foul line, then gunned the Pirates’ Steve Lombardozzi out at the plate on a laser beam throw for the final out, clinching the record for Papelbon.
The Philadelphia Phillies came in last place in the NL East in the 2015 season. Worse yet, they finished with the worst record in all of Major League Baseball. 
But even during such an atrocious season in the standings, there were indeed games, players, and moments that brought fans great joy over the course of six months.
Such is the beauty of the long, every day baseball season. Over the course of 162 games, even the worst seasons are going to provide some unforgettable memories. 
As the Phillies begin their climb back towards respectability and then ultimately to contending status, the next few seasons should provide even more of these great moments.
These were our TBOH staff favorite moments. How do they rank with you, and if you had another favorite, what were yours?

Where Have You Gone, Matt Veasey?

A new responsibility has taken Matt Veasey to TBOH

For anyone who stops in here and thinks that I may have stopped writing – not so.

On December 1st, 2014, I accepted the role as Editor and lead writer with “Fansided”, an emerging sports and entertainment site.

I have been running their Philadelphia Phillies coverage ever since. That assignment takes up a lot of time, especially when added to my “real” working life, as well as family responsibilities.

So if you want to continue enjoying my writing, and you are a Fightin’ Phils fan, you can find me right here: http://thatballsouttahere.com/author/mattman3rd/

That is my personal link at the site. The main TBOH site is: http://thatballsouttahere.com/

There is also a ton of information available on Twitter: @FS_TBOH, and you can follow on Facebook as well right here: https://www.facebook.com/thatballsouttahere?ref=br_tf

So, I’m still writing. I’ll be keeping this “mattveasey.com” site alive, just in case that new venture disappears, or once in awhile I feel like coming back and commenting on something outside the baseball world.

Thanks for stopping by, and hope you’ll continue following for now at TBOH…..

Phillies Top 10 Prospects from TBOH

Shortstop J.P. Crawford is the Phils top prospect

The Philadelphia Phillies website “That Ball’s Outta Here” (TBOH) released their Phils Top 10 Prospects list yesterday.

The release came just after the trade of Jimmy Rollins, in which the team received a pair of pitchers, lefty Tom Windle and righty Zach Eflin, each of whom made it onto the ranking.

TBOH named shortstop J.P. Crawford, the heir apparent to Jimmy Rollins as the shortstop of the future, as the Phillies top overall prospects. Crawford has received that same designation by nearly all national outlets. He is considered to be about two years away from the big leagues.

Here are those Top 10 Phillies prospects. You can read the full TBOH article, including an evaluation on each of the prospects, at this link:

TBOH Phillies Top 10 Prospects

1.   J.P. Crawford, SS
2.   Maikel Franco, 3B
3.   Zach Eflin, RHP
4.   Aaron Nola, RHP
5.   Tom Windle, LHP
6.   Carlos Tocci, CF
7.   Dylan Cozens, RF
8.   Matt Imhof, LHP
9.   Roman Quinn, CF
10. Jesse Biddle, LHP