Phillies

Rob's Rants: Rhys Hoskins, Eric Lindros, Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor

Rob's Rants: Rhys Hoskins, Eric Lindros, Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor

Here's the latest edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

Rhys is the word
What Rhys Hoskins has done in less than a full month in the majors has been unprecedented. It’s been staggering as a matter of fact. We’re not talking Phillies history. We’re talking history of baseball. Like 1876. He has 11 home runs this month after being called up Aug. 10. He’s a must-watch, whether at the park or on TV. But here’s the thing, we all know he can’t keep this pace up. We get it. Teams and pitchers will make adjustments, there will invariably be struggles, blah, blah, blah.

Can we enjoy it a little before the reality police pull us over for having too much fun? The cries from the “slow the roll” crowd have begun. Domonic Brown's six weeks of glory have been invoked in the conversation. This needs to stop. As dreadful as the last few years have been with this team, when Pat Neshek is your All-Star rep, you deserve to be able to savor a little and live in the here and now. As I’ve mentioned before, Hoskins is a hitter first. He works counts, he can hit from behind in counts. That will make him much less prone to long slumps or fading away like Brown. Here's what Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after Hoskins hurt his club over the weekend:

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young guy look that profound at home plate. That’s the part that tells me he can sustain, not necessarily this pace, but he can sustain because he doesn’t strike out. He will accept his walks. He doesn’t expand the strike zone. He uses the whole field. He’s a big guy with short movements to the ball. Pretty impressive.”

Yes it is.      

No. 88 in the rafters
Eric Lindros will become the sixth Flyers player to have his number retired. The ceremony will take place in January (see story)

Lindros was a phenomenal Flyer. He racked up 659 points in 486 games played with the orange and black. Yes, things got ugly the last couple of years with him and his parents and the Flyers' brass, namely then-general manager Bob Clarke. They gave up a ton for him and it didn’t result in a Cup. But when he was on the ice, he was a great player. The 6-4, 240-pound combo platter of size and speed was rare back in 1992 when Lindros broke into the league. The Flyers were perennial Cup contenders during his prime and through no fault of his own, they never had a good enough goalie.

Much like his Hockey Hall of Fame induction, Lindros' No. 88 being raised to the roof of the Wells Fargo Center is much deserved. 

Cha-ching
The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight was about one thing: money. Not Mayweather's keeping his perfect 49-0 record intact and surpassing Rocky Marciano. It was not about Conor McGregor's showing he could box or bringing MMA to a larger audience.

They were just the by-products.

There’s a reason why Mayweather’s nickname is “Money.” Conservative estimates have Mayweather earning in excess of $200 million when all is said and done with this fight. That will put him north of $1 billion made in his career. McGregor was a plumber less than a decade ago — he could take home $100 million for his work Saturday.

What about the Vegas bookmakers you ask? It was the most-bet fight ever — $85 million was wagered on the bout.

Forget the trash talk, the racial implications, the misogyny. This was a well-orchestrated dance between the two the entire time leading up to the fight. Mayweather may have won the fight on a TKO in the 10th. But both guys were victorious.    

Help
Despite the often ugly times we exist in, we are still a country that rallies around one another and can show incredible depths of kindness and humanity, especially in times of need. The people of Southeast Texas and surrounding areas are in crisis mode. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation will be felt for years to come. Fifty-four counties have been impacted. The videos and still shots are shocking and unbelievable. It’s been dubbed an unprecedented natural disaster. Here’s how you can help.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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AP Images

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.