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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I'm not worried about Pettibone. His next team is already getting ready to do an MRI.

Looking good, Rube!

Feeling good, Ryno!

The 1-10 'concern level' is begging for a creative top 10.

Is '1' a 'World F@cking Champions!' to a '10' being 'Imminent reports of Wade named as interim GM?'

Phils old approach to treating Pettibone's shoulder issue:

Case of Jack Daniels and lots of ice.

New approach:

Oxycontin like Pez.

Modified analytics approach:

1/2 bottle Jack daily, several oxys daily, and enough ice to only fill a 32 oz fountain drink

MG: If they were in NYC, they'd have to drop that down to 16oz.

Isn't Pettibone a righty?

Injury Concern Levels:
1- Rub dirt on it
2- Right on Schedule
3- Everyone has dings
4-It's a long season, there's wear and tear
5- He's day to day
6- Call Moyer, Doc and Roy O. see if they want to un-retire.
7- 15 day DL
8- Long term DL
9- Career ending injury
10- Better get an MRI.

Even if he's shut down until the ASB, I'm not overly concerned with the loss of Pettibone. If he takes his time and comes back mid-season to work in long relief with the occasional spot start, I'd be satisfied.

I'm far more encouraged by the idea of a 7-8-9 that includes a healthy and productive Bastardo-Adams-Papelbon. Additionally, they have a half decent group to choose from to round out the pen with MAG, DeFratus, Diekman, Lincoln and Rosenberg, and some potentially quality bullpen pieces in Aumont, Martin and Stutes (if he can stay healthy).

I said it before and I'll say it again: the biggest upside to the Burnett deal is its impact on the bullpen. It has potential to be the best Phillies bullpen in recent memory.

I have a hard time believing this bullpen can be as good as 2008's..

A combination of lucky career years and lucky lottery ticket acquisitions. The best case scenario for this group of pitchers isn't anywhere close to 2008.

They can be a little above average, maybe.

Matt Gelb hosted an online Q&A chat session today that was pretty interesting. Here are some of his responses.

Q: Is Ethan Martin being stretched out as a starter, or will they use him as a reliever?
A: The plan, for now, is to stretch out Martin. I understand that. They want him seeing as many hitters as he can. And there is a dearth of starting options right now. If both Hamels and Pettibone are not ready in April, Martin could be the fifth guy. But his future is in the bullpen. Bob McClure admitted as much yesterday.

Q: Do you see McClure having a positive influence on Aumont yet this spring?
A: Yes, a thousand times yes.

Q: Any chance for Gwynn to make the club?
A: Yeah, there is. If Abreu stinks in Grapefruit League games, he is the only other lefthanded-hitting outfielder with a shot. And Sandberg said he must have a lefty on the bench.

Q:I know it's early but from what you've seen so far, how would you compare McClure's coaching style to Dubee?
A: Less abrasive.

Q: Regarding your Aumont answer from earlier, what was the main problem with him & Dubee?
A: They disagreed. It happens. Aumont wanted to do one thing; Dubee thought another method was best. The problem with Aumont is he overthinks everything. Dubee tried to crack that. They just didn't mesh.


I'm glad Adams will be in the picture this year for MG to obsess about all season.

I was worried he'd be DOA from the start and we wouldn't get the 'Still think Amaro's worst decision was tying up $20+ million for Papelbon & Adams for 2014' speech a few times per week.

I'm loving some of the comments on that chat. Especially the possum and [insert player here].

I guess due to his shoulder he could become a lefty. Very creative.

Will he wear an ambidextrous glove?

Geez, how would you like to be asked if you'd consider being traded, before the season has even begun? Marshall Harris dove right in there with Jimmy.

The rest of the interview was fun, though. Video here:

I notice now that there are two videos of Marshall talking to Jimmy. One is about being traded, the other is about this spring and this season. Looks like there's at least a 3rd part, too, about Jimmy's place in the lineup.

Also, what does anyone - reporters, fans - expect the players to say? Of course Ryan will say he's capable of being the "big piece" again. Of course Jimmy & Cliff will say that this team can be good.

Doc likes coaching:

Roy Halladay is happy coaching, could make it a full-time gig in the future.

McClure deal is for how long?

I kid. I think Doc should probably be in the minors, if everything we read about him discussing things with "younger guys" is right.

Very few MLB pitchers are as 'teachable' as Kendrick.

Not really based on much besides observations, but Doc seems like he'd make a great pitching coach someday.

If Gwynn Jr. has a good spring, he has a really good shot to make this roster.

Gwynn Jr is a good defensive player, is a valid CF, and would be their PR/basestealer late in games.

Not a good player but in the NL he has some use as a 5th OF/bench player.

Amaro said they needed more OF depth and their minor league signings (Gwynn Jr., C. Thomas, Sappelt). Not great but better than the collective middle utility infielders or starters the Phils signed this offseason to minor league deals.

Abreu isn't foregone conclusion either on this roster. He still has to show he can play the OF capably and not be a real impediment on the bases.

This was my favorite question...

"Lee, Hamels and Burnett should be able to win 2/3 starts... rest goes .500 - that's a 97 win season. Why isn't that possible, and why are the Phillies projected to have a losing record?"


I can't believe Roy is retired honestly. It's something I can't get my head around. 2010-2011 were insane. Started 65 games in the regular season w/ a record of 40-16. 17 CGs. 5 Shutouts including the perfect game. 484.1 IP. 1.04 WHIP. 439 SOs. 6.75 SO/Walk ratio. ERA+ of 167 and 163, respectively. My god. I stopped whatever I was doing to watch the games he pitched. Phillies definitely got their money worth with that guy.

Phils the last 2 years in Hamels/Lee GS:

Lee: 28-33
Hamels: 34-30

Total: 62-63.

Haven't even gone .500. Question is can they even go much better than .500 in Lee/Hamels/Burnett starts.

Good point, MG. Hamels and Lee need some help from the offense, defense and bullpen. They can only do so much, and they're bound to have some slumps.

Either that fan was referring to their actual records (which didn't denote how the team fared in all of their starts), or he was delusional.

True W-L the last two years:

Lee: 20-17
Hamels: 25-20

So the bullpen has gone 17-26 (.395) when Lee and Hamels fail to record a decision. Honestly, I thought it would be worse.

I do believe Amaro and Montgomery and genuinely think this team can contend after signing Burnett. I didn't before the Burnett signing.

MG: By the "Phils" you mean 4 regulars and 4 bench players, which was what the team has been the past two years. I'm surprised the Lee/Hamels records are as good as they are, considering the players behind them.

We're still a long way from the prediction thread, but I'll go on record as predicting that, by June or July, Roy Halladay will announce that his injuries have healed, that he's the healthiest he has been since 2011, and that he wants to pitch in the 2nd half of 2014. If that should happen, some team will definitely sign him.

Iceman - Thanks for posting those numbers and yeah it doesn't surprise me especially given how crappy the bullpen has been.

Gelb basically said that it would be down to Ruf and Mayberry for a bench spot.

I'll predict that the Clearwater Threshers will have Homey Halladay as an available guest pitching instructor this summer.

Cyclic: Murphy wrote today that it will be down to Ruf, Mayberry and Frandsen, with one of them gone, which is more accurate. It may indirectly depend on what hernandez does in ST. If he looks good in CF and hits, it would be easier to let Mayberry go. If both Cesar and Ruf hit, they make Frandsen redundant.

clout - even though I couldn't figure out on what side of the plate Bobby Abreu stood when he batted, b_a_p argued brilliantly on my behalf regarding Abreu blocking Ruf. Hence, I'm coming out of Beerleaguer bankruptcy and refer all further questions to counsel.


Ruf is like the opposite of Mini Mart in terms of how mgmt views him.

Good call, clout. (and Murphy I guess)

I hope someone in the org saw this article, or the original in Popular Mechanics. It's not even fancy stats, just training using newer technology.

Have little doubt that at least one team is going to run with this. And Votto, of course.

Has MG posted his annual "Going to be interesting to see how Howard starts. He'll hear boos at CBP if he strikes out a lot in April, especially with RISP" post yet? Did I miss it?

I can't say I'm very worried about Pettibone. There's really nothing in his track record that indicates he's anything more than a potential #4 or 5 starter.

Put me in the "I'll be worried about Pettibone when he's a viable and consistent big league starter" camp. Yeah, the Hamels injury may have opened a door, but only for a short period of time until he'd be back where he really should be this year - Lehigh Valley.

As for Gwynn, I am curious to see what kind of Spring he puts together. On its face, he's probably not a solution to any real problems. That said, we all remember the funk that Revere got into early last year (Apr/Mar at .200/.234/.222) and Gwynn (career .244/.312/.318) cannot possibly be any worse than that. Hell, Revere's slash through all of last season (.305/.338/.352) isn't a marked improvement, and based on some comments out of the FO this offseason, it sounds as if Revere's still in "prove yourself" mode.

Not that anyone should ever view Gwynn as a threat to replace Revere, but you could make an argument that if a Gwynn hot streak coincided with a "fresh off of injury" Revere slump that the two have virtually no chasm between each other.

"you could make an argument that if a Gwynn hot streak coincided with a "fresh off of injury" Revere slump that the two have virtually no chasm between each other."

This caused my 'dumb comment about Ben Revere' google alert to go off for the first time in months.

Yes, if Gwynn hits a hot streak and Revere slumps, their 'production' would be equal to each other. Doesn't that kind of go without saying?

Gwynn has a 1.5 career oWAR (Revere's 2013 produced 1.4 in an injury-shortened season) and didn't play an inning in the MLB last year.

You could make an argument that if a Ruf hot streak coincided with a "fresh off of injury" Howard slump that the two have virtually no chasm between each other.

Ryan Howard 2010-2013: .816 OPS
Darin Ruf: 2012-2013: .838 OPS

Yeah, that'd be a weird argument to make...

I like that Gelb says, "Gwynn has a shot to make the team."

And then an hour later MG posts, "I think Gwynn has a chance to make this team out of spring training."

"Marson and Gwynn are the first two minor league/spring invites that are actually a bit useful.

Gwynn is a viable defensive CF/5th OF type who might make the team and Marson is as good/better than Nieves.

Just wonder if Mayberry or Ruf gets moved before the start of spring training.

Posted by: MG | Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 02:12 PM"

    I like that Gelb says, "Gwynn has a shot to make the team."

    And then an hour later MG posts, "I think Gwynn has a chance to make this team out of spring training."

    Posted by: cut_fastball | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 09:13 PM

T'aint me.

TTI, Iceman, Redburb; or anyone else who has found my posts controversial - if you're ghosting me - 'fess up. Because you're accelerating the closure of this site. Eventually, Comcast will nuke this place.

Apologies to TTI, Iceman and/or Redburb as I don't believe that you, or any other reputable poster here would hijack a handle. It simply appears that a coward is using a kindergarten-level hack to post anonymously.

I suppose clout's a bigger man than I; I know clout put up with this for a long while. Regardless, I find this board's vulnerabilities reprehensible. Corey, if it makes a difference, put "cut_fastball" on the blocked list.

cut- I think you know by now that if I have an issue with something you say, I'll talk about it under this anonymous Internet name. I don't see the point in making up another.

Just when you thought this organization's front office could sink no lower, you get this. Essentially MLB teams seem to have had a "gentleman's agreement" not to report amateur draftees to the NCAA for having representation during big-money contract negotiations. The Phils appear to have decided that ratting these guys out to the NCAA is a good way to retaliate when they won't sign for the team's asking price. Classy.

It gets better:

In reaction to [Baseball America's] report,'s Kiley McDaniel says the Phillies "destroyed all trust" between teams and agents in the draft process and Baseball America's Jim Callis feels this "should be" cause for non-senior college players and agents to be careful about dealing with Philadelphia.

Curious to what really happened for the Phils to turn these guys in. It's not like these 2 guys were the only 2 players to resist signing with the Phillies. IIRC, The OSU kid was thought of as someone who was close to signing, right?

So if it's against the rules for NCAA players to have agents, why is it OK for MLB teams to conduct negotiations with agents of "amateur" players?
Shouldn't the overall practice be worked out by NCAA and MLB ?
Instead everybody breaks the rules under an unwritten, unenforceable gentleman's agreement ??
"Gentleman's agreement"

Sounds like a scene from 42.

Don't want to learn from history, it's much better to repeat it.

Moreover, the Phils seem like a franchise that would recognize a "gentleman's agreement" to the bitter end, being the last team to do so.

BB, I believe that's correct - likely that the organization thought they had an agreement and then used the NCAA rule either as leverage during the negotiations or punishment after the fact for not signing.

Bubba, the NCAA rule in question (like many of the NCAA's rules) is ridiculous, and MLB's essentially been working around it for years.

The gentleman's agreement is plenty "enforceable" in the aggregate, as the Phils are likely to find when they draft next year. I suspect plenty of players will be telling the Phils not to bother drafting them.

Colonel Tom-
NCAA amateur status rules have been reworked over the decades and this one seems to need to be .

Change is often very slow.
A lot of money and a lot of people with vested interests on all sides.

The only thing that slotted draft was meant to do was prohibit the large bonuses that players got in the late 90s/early 00s.

Selig just hid behind the guise of 'competitiveness' and the same owners who had always cried wolf about profitability.

All this has the makings of an interesting season. Given good health and the right moves, we could be looking at postseason play. Given poor health and poor moves, we could be looking at a whole new team after the trade deadline. I don't pretend to have the answer but, given the wide range of possibilities, it should make it worthwhile season to watch. I'm thankful for that much.

gelb seems pretty high on fausto. he thinks he could be the most surprising story of the season.

high on my list of people to watch is the general himself. every move will be compared to chollie. will be interesting.

Iceman - Thanks, much appreciated. That's the way it should be.

Whoever is cheesed at MG, bug off, OK? I'm not a part of it.

MG - please keep posting. I always read what you write.

Whoever is cheesed at MG, bug off, OK? I'm not a part of it.


You bug off and take your old English insults with you.

cut - I'll echo Iceman's comment above. If I have a problem with something you post, I'll do it out in the open. I would never ghost you. We may disagree on baseball most of the time, but doing things like that are stupid.

Good thing our farm system is so stocked that we don't have to worry too much about this scandal.

It feels like the Phillies shot themselves in the foot with this NCAA thing. Although it does point to a problem. Just let the kids have agents.

CT, that was my first thought too: well now the Phils have limited the pool of players they can draft from. So let's see:

- can't draft players represented by Boras
- can't draft college undergrads
- won't sign international FAs (this one is currently under review. If MAG turns out ok, they will sign more of these. If he's a bust, they'll never sign another.)

Redburb - Thanks, and again, much appreciated. Eventually this will resolve itself.

Hard to see a defense of the Phillies front office on this one.

I find it pretty distasteful myself.

Would be nice if we had some facts, from the Phillies perspective, to work from here, but everyone (national writers in particular) are killing the Phillies.

Honestly, this is more on the NCAA than MLB, in my mind. If the drafted player signs with a team, then there's no concern about the loss of NCAA eligibility - he's not going to be playing college ball anyway. This is all about trying to disincentivize declaring draft eligibility before their senior-year season is over.

They have a minor point (you don't want NFL teams using colleges as de facto practice squads - it'd also be tough if a player who wasn't drafted left their college team mid-season because their agent worked something out with a pro team), but the overarching one is that the NCAA likes to have an excessive degree of control over their players. Even if I'm not totally on-board the "college players need to be paid" bandwagon either.

Unfortunately, short of going the NFL route (slot-based rookie contracts for all!), there isn't a whole lot they can tweak in the rule without the NCAA giving up a lot more control than they think they can afford.

This has nothing to do with the Phillies per se, but I don't watch college sports &, hence, have never understood the rules about hiring agents.

If a non-senior declares for the draft, doesn't it follow that he's going to hire an agent -- especially if a team actually drafts him? So, if it's not against the rules for a junior to declare for the draft, why would it be against the rules for that same junior to hire an agent? And if that same junior ultimately decides to return to school, why would it come as a shock -- and why would it be regarded as illegal -- that he hired an agent after being drafted? I must be missing something here.

Bed's Beard: For what it's worth, I tend to think the real issue should be with the NCAA for this insane and ludicrous rule that serves no purpose but to place 20-year old kids at a disadvantage, which frankly seems to be what most NCAA rules are about these days.

But what the Phillies appear to have done (and sure, I will caveat it with "appear") is just stupid, and representative of a front office that appears to be incompetent in many different ways. To rat a kid out for violating a rule that everyone violates, and that the Phillies are complicit in helping them violate? I mean, surely the Phillies haven't said a word about the plenty of underclassmen they've signed who used agents, right?

Actually, I'll revise. This doesn't make them appear incompetent. It makes them appear intentionally spiteful and willing to mess with a kid's life for failing to agree to their terms of business. That's far worse than incompetence.

It's pretty

Posted without finishing my thought. It's pretty terrible, let's just say that.

And to bring it back to the Phillies' alleged snitching activities, I guess my question is: what are they snitching about that the college wouldn't already have known? If Ben Wetzler declared for the draft as a junior, and was subsequently drafted by a MLB team, did Oregon State really need the Phillies to tell them that he had hired an agent? Wouldn't that just be obvious?

I'm not at all excusing the Phillies' act of snitching off the draftees who spurned them. I'm just trying to wrap my head around why this information would be unknown in the first place.

Bedbeard: Agreed. I'd be surprised if there weren't some mitigating factors involved, since the Phillies tend to do a pretty good job of following MLB tradition (right down to roster construction) even at the seeming expense of their own advantages. Maybe the NCAA was setting up a sting of sorts, and the FO caught wind of it? Still not a lovely thing to do, but it reduces the "rocking the boat" risk more than looking the other way.

That said, I think the only way this likely doesn't hurt the Phillies is if they stick pretty closely to slot. If they make it apparent that's what they're doing, then draftees don't need an agent on retainer to decide yea or nay, and can then sign with one after accepting, if they do (plus, they'll avoid the agent's cut of that rookie contract).

Even then it could, and if the rest of the MLB later presents a unified front on the matter, then it's a different story, but...

At least we signed more HS kids than college anyway.

Both players are from the Pacific Northwest. I wonder if the Phils scout(who they think highly of) had something to do with this. There's gotta be something more to the story than general "incompetence". RAJ does some dumb things, but he's also done some good things, believe it or not. He, and the vets he is flanked by, are not 22-year-olds just out of college, learning on the fly.

BAP: The "legitimate" argument is that they don't want "professional" players at the NCAA level. The degree of legitimacy there comes from the fact that the concern that an NCAA team could bring in pro "ringers," or that a player would presumably be more likely to ditch NCAA events in favor of professional ones if he's tied to both organizations.

Starting it at the "hiring the agent" phase is preemptive, and more important mid-season than around draft time, but you can probably make a pretty solid "slippery slope" argument about letting them sign with agents for set periods of time (plus, agents likely wouldn't love the idea of being forced to sign a 30-day contract).

That legitimacy, however, is a razor-thin veneer for the pretty obvious reasons you already pointed out.

Phillies are one of the teams interested in Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz.

He is 23 so none of the signing restrictions apply.

Make it happen, Rube!

I will report Aledmys Diaz to Immigration and Customs Enforcement if he doesn't sign with us.

Sadly, unless Diaz is actively breaking the law, ICE won't give a damn and will ignore your report...

But is Amaro willing to sacrifice our love? Because if not, I wonder if he's truly as cold as ICE...

Bed's Beard: What legitimate reason do the Phillies have for ratting out a player for doing something that apparently all players do, including plenty of players the Phillies themslves have signed? I mean, from what appears to have happened, it's not like the Phillies ratted him out as soon as he showed up with an agent. They ratted him out after the fact, meaning only after he rejected their offer.

And, sorry, but there's a power imbalance here that makes just "they should follow the rules" an illegitimate justification. The Phillies are a billion dollar corporation. The player is a college junior who was offered $400,000. These are not equivalent parties. It's hard to see a justifcation for the more powerful one making the less powerful one's life miserable because he dared to attempt to remedy the power imbalance. Can you come up with one?

There's clearly something else at play here for the whole NCAA violation thing. There's no way they just suddenly decided to start ratting out guys for breaking rules...especially when its a well-known process throughout the sport and draft process. In order to believe that, you really have to believe that Rube is the dumbest SOB on the planet. He's not so there is something else that happened for them to suddenly do this.

Lets all wait for the other shoe to drop here.

I heard on the radio this morning that the last time a college player was ratted out like this was back in the early '90s.

Philli: But that's like saying, "We're not going to let college kids hire real estate agents because we don't want them owning homes while we're paying for their scholarship." Hiring an agent no more makes you a professional athlete than hiring a real estate agent makes you a home owner. What makes you a professional athlete is signing a contract with a professional team. If it's not against the rules for an underclassman to declare for the draft, I can't wrap my head around why it would be against the rules for an underclassman to hire an agent.

I guess this is probably one of those "don't ask/don't tell" rules. College athletic depts. know it's being violated right and left, and don't go actively looking for violations. But if a violation hits them over the head, they have to enforce it. That's where the Phillies come into play. They've taken it upon themselves to be the ones hitting the college programs over the head.

***I heard on the radio this morning that the last time a college player was ratted out like this was back in the early '90s.***

When was Rube drafted again? 1987 eh? Hmm...we're through the looking glass here, people!

Jack: We have no idea what happened. On the face of it, yes, it appears to be a pretty reprehensible, but can I think of possibilities? Sure.

Option 1: One of the players in question was approached previously by the NCAA to attempt a sting. That could lead to lawsuits by the NCAA and member schools against the Phillies (and the rest of the MLB teams) for not making it known that other players who didn't sign in the past had agents.

This has the dual purpose of potentially putting the squeeze on individual colleges/universities who were complicit with breaking NCAA rules vis-a-vis draftees.

Option 2: The MLB itself was in on it. The owners' group has been doing everything in its power to reduce rookie contract values for years. Perhaps the Phillies were just the unlucky scapegoats of an anonymous call from MLB to the NCAA.

Option 3: Who were the agents involved? 'Cuz, you know, 30-years war.

The Phillies also drafted and signed Pitcher Dan Child from Oregon State, who was a Junior.

The next Commish will deal with it. Did anyone get the name of the Agent?

"The Phillies also drafted and signed Pitcher Dan Child from Oregon State, who was a Junior."

You're damn right he signed. Once the Phillies let it be known what they had done his teammate, Childs accepted the first offer that was made.

Philibuster: How precisely could the NCAA sue major league teams for not enforcing a rule that doesn't apply to them?

NEPP is spot on here. Let's wait for the other shoe to drop to totally rip into the Phillies for this. If it turns out they did this to spite the kid, I will happily rip into them as that is petty and trivial.

BAP: Ok, the real reason "why not an agent?!?!?" has more to do with "favors." These players are getting wined and dined, given cars, getting massive "loans" from sports agents they've never met before...

The argument is that they're being compensated (at the end of the money trail) by organizations that are another level above what the universities can match. "Oh, the Yankees want to see me work out on the field on a day when I'm scheduled to start for Stanford? Well, I'm pretty sure I know which of those things I'm going to do! Especially if the Yankees make it worth my while just to have me there for the day!"

Similarly, "Robinson Cano retired from baseball today, saying he's going back to school to get a degree. He plans to attend Florida State, where he's expected to be the lynchpin of their baseball team's offense for at least a year, making them the favorites to win this year's college world series. In unrelated news, he has retained his agent, who plans to negotiate with the LA Dodgers about obtaining a 9-year, $300MM contract."

Admittedly, all of these issues are much more pronounced in football than baseball, due to the MiLB system and the lack of a "minor league" in the NFL. However, they'd probably hear lots of crying foul from football players unless they included all sports in the rule, so they do it. That's part of why the NFL has standardized all rookie contracts.

Jack: Because the drafting process for college students is an agreement worked out between the MLB and the NCAA. If there is a written contract (protip: there probably is), then they could be found in breach of it if the MLB isn't doing its due diligence in reporting violators.

The news on Adams is great if he can return to pre-2012 form. I thought the Phils should have tried to get him when Texas did (maybe they tried but didn't offer enough, we don't know). Now between the TOS and the multiple injuries he sustained last year I'll be pleasantly surprised if he's a solid set up man again.

Option 4: A scorned Michael Martinez sends his donkey show pics of Rube to the NCAA and they use them to force him to cooperate in their sting.

Dickie: Perhaps MM signed with Boras, and he's perpetuating the 30-years war from the other side of things?

"Ok, the real reason "why not an agent?!?!?" has more to do with "favors." These players are getting wined and dined, given cars, getting massive "loans" from sports agents they've never met before..."

Yeah, that makes a bit more sense. Still . . . I find it nonsensical that it's ok for a junior to declare for the draft but not ok to hire an agent. It's like giving your 16-year old kid permission to drive your car whenever he wants, but telling him that he'll be grounded if he ever removes the car keys from the key rack.

Philibuster: I don't think it works like that, but I don't want really want to go further to drag this into a boring legal discussion. Because the last thing this blog would ever want in its comments section is a bunch of lawyers and wannabe lawyers arguing semantics and minutiae of points only tangentially related to Phillies baseball.

That would be unacceptable.

Yeah, my legal minded post got lost in the aether, but I'm pretty sure draft eligibility is laid out in the Major League Rules and not some agreement with NCAA. Now back to billing hours...

Sophist: Actually, my response to BAP did as well.

Comcast is actively protecting their MLB assets by stifling dissent on the subject! #conspiracy!

My guess is that either these players reneged on a pre-draft deal (which itself is against the rules) and this is the team's reaction, or MLB influenced this in some way. In any case, probably better to reserve judgment on the Phils until there are more facts. No reason to reserve judgment on the NCAA system -- that system is just not right.

It's odd the Phils haven't refuted the reports at all. No damage control.

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