Category Archives: Cheap Phillies Jerseys

Zach Eflin Jersey

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Since 2012, the Phillies have non-tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players; Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez could soon join that list.

As Thanksgiving has come and gone, the next important date of the Major League Baseball offseason is just days away: Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline for clubs to decide whether to “non-tender” their arbitration-eligible players.

When an arbitration-eligible player becomes “non-tendered,” their previous club is declining to offer them a contract for the upcoming season; therefore, the player is immediately made a free agent.

Players are up for non-tender consideration if they are on the 40-man roster and have fewer than six years of Major League service time. Reasons players could be no-tendered include that the club believes a salary increase they would receive in arbitration exceeds their on-field value, and/or that the club simply wants to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Phillies have nine players eligible for arbitration this offseason: LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Zach Eflin, 3B Maikel Franco, 2B Cesar Hernandez, C Andrew Knapp, LHP Adam Morgan, RHP Hector Neris, C J.T. Realmuto, and RHP Vince Velasquez.

While Eflin and Realmuto are surely locks to be tendered contracts by Monday’s deadline, the same cannot be said for Franco and Hernandez.

The Phillies have been rumored to be trying to trade either player, and have already explored options for their replacements in the infield, such as Didi Gregorius, Mike Moustakas, and Josh Donaldson, among others.

Click through to see the three most recent players, since 2012, that the Phillies have decided to non-tender and the avoid arbitration process with.

Seranthony Dominguez Jersey

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Once upon a time, Seranthony Dominguez ran rampant on Major League hitters during his rookie season. His season was excellent, but it started out even stronger.

In his first 16 IP, Seranthony didn’t allow a single run. He allowed all of 5 baserunners; 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 hit by pitch. Add 17 strikeouts into the mix and you get sheer dominance.

His first 2 earned runs came at the hand of Adam Morgan who couldn’t secure a 5-3 lead against the Cubs. In what was one of the Phillies’ worst losses of 2018, Morgan allowed a walk-off grand slam to Jason Heyward.

That aside, Dominguez looked like the young bullpen arm the Phillies needed. I was fully convinced of that as I wrote, not one, but two dramatic medieval retellings of Seranthony’s career.

Seranthony would finish 2018 with a 2.95 ERA. If 2019 had finished that way, the Phillies would have one less question mark in the pen.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Seranthony’s first 3 games of 2019 were terrible. In 2.1 IP, he allowed 5 runs, 3 of which were earned. The rest of his season wasn’t nearly as bad. In 22.1 IP, Seranthony recorded a 2.82 ERA.

It was all for naught as Seranthony ended the season on the Injured List. A UCL injury put him out of action for 2019, but he’ll be ready for 2020.

The Phillies need Seranthony back at full capacity for next season. His fastball/ slider combination is as good as any other reliever in the league. He’s shown he’s a sub-3 ERA pitcher, but with potential for more.

New pitching coach Bryan Price should have a fun time working with Seranthonty. Price is noted as focusing on fastball command. In his first 2 seasons, Seranthony has averaged a bb/9 of 3.7. Any improvement on that could be a big factor in the young reliever’s success.

In 2019, the Phillies bullpen put up a 4.38 ERA as a unit, 16th in all of baseball. Only 2 playoff teams had a worse bullpen ERA: the Brewers and the Nationals.

If the Phillies want to see playoffs in 2020, they’ll need to get what they can out of Seranthony Dominguez.

Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

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Davis High once again is seeking candidates in an effort to fill its varsity baseball head-coaching position. A handful of other spring coaching vacancies also are there for the taking, according to DHS Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson.

In addition to baseball, varsity badminton, ninth-grade baseball and junior varsity girls lacrosse coaching positions are open and details can be accessed via the Davis Joint Unified School District’s job postings link at edjoin.com. Postings are updated daily.

Stonegate takes 7th

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Finishing in the top 10 among all 18-under teams competing in this past week’s USTA Junior Nationals, Stonegate Tennis Academy’s 3-2 outing saw the team earn seventh place.

Cruising past the Northern Section squad, 5-0, Mika Hinton won STA’s female singles match (6-2, 6-5), while Connor Tang was tops at male singles (3-6, 6-2, 1-0). In doubles action, Robert Yang and Lingan won (6-3, 6-3) as did Lyna Jiang and Mei McConnell (6-5, 5-6, 1-0), while the mixed duo of Benin and Michaela Guenther also gutted out a mixed doubles win, 6-3, 5-6, 1-0.

Hinton was the lone victor for the locals in their second match. Against host club Austin Tennis Academy’s four-star recruit Alexandra Malysheva, she came out on top, 6-5, 6-5.

Ending things with to a two-set victory against Pennsylvania’s Radley Run in doubles play, Benin and Yang vanquished the representatives of the Middle States Section, 6-4, 6-1. Benin and Hinton’s mixed doubles pairing also topped Radley, 6-4, 6-4.

Coached by STA head pro Lukas Burger, the unit also received the USTA’s Best Banner Award. Each qualifying team designed a custom banner for the event’s opening ceremonies showcasing their section/region pride.

Turkey shoot

Ted Villanueva’s 69 captured the first-flight, low-gross title in the annual Davis Golf Club Turkey Shoot on Saturday. Sean Miller’s adjusted 61 won the net division.

Jorge Rivera, Randy Conner and Jim McCurry crowded the winner’s stand as all stood tall in the second-flight gross competition. Mike Pappa’s 64 took the the net prize.

Jerry Hallee continued his smart tournament golf, shooting a gross 78 for first place in the third flight. Dennis Silva and Dick Hale tied at 61 for that group’s 61.

For fourth-flight gross honors, Jon Adams held the gross trophy high after carding a 76. Dan Herrin, Glen Morris and John Rubio knotted in a first-place net tie.

Mario Landeros was first gross with a fifth-flight 81 while Dina Tinti returned a handicap 66 for the net victory.

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Another Phillies mock trade shakes up the roster

As the FanSided offseason simulation continues, the Phillies continue to spend stupid money in free agency to make this team a World Series contender.

After adding three high-priced players, who we’ll disclose in a future piece outlining the entire offseason, the Phillies needed to dump some salary.
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One of the biggest contracts Philadelphia could move is Jake Arrieta‘s, which has one guaranteed year remaining, plus two team option years, all three worth $20 million each.

We threw the idea out to the other general managers, and the San Diego Padres stepped up to help make a salary dump deal.
Phillies Get
LHP Joey Cantillo
OF EFRAIN CONTRERAS
Padres Get
RHP Jake Arrieta
OF Cornelius Randolph
$5M Cash Considerations

Trading Arrieta opens another spot in the starting rotation, but as we alluded to earlier, the Phillies spent big in our mock free agency, and the rotation will be just fine.

To get San Diego to take on Arrieta’s contract the Phillies sent 2010 first round pick Cornelius Randolph, who the Phillies did not protect from the Rule 5 Draft this week, and cash considerations.

Randolph was drafted 10th overall with a really good bat out of a Georgia high school, but he never materialized into a true prospect. He played in Double-A Reading last year hitting .247 with 15 doubles and 10 home runs.

Philadelphia got two 19-year-old prospects back for Arrieta, including the Padres 16th ranked prospect Joey Cantillo. San Diego drafted Cantillo 468th overall in 2017 out of Kailua High School in Honolulu and signed him away from the University of Kentucky.

Last season playing in Single and Advanced-A Cantillo won 10 games with a 2.26 ERA in 26 starts with 144 strikeouts. Baseball America (subscription required) says Cantillo has a “deceptive delivery and a promising 12-to-6 curveball” but still needs to fine tune his mechanics.

He’s only 19 and will have plenty of time to do that in the minor leagues with no pressure to hurry up the organization.

Efrain Contreras, a right-handed starter signed out of Mexico, turns 20 in January and also has a ways to go. Playing in the Dominican Summer League, Rookie Ball, and Short-A in 2018 he had a 2.11 ERA in 16 games, almost half of which were starts, with 76 strikeouts.

Last season Contreras made 23 starts and two relief apperances in Single-A with a 3.61 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 109.2 innings.

This mock deal is an unlikely one given the Phillies need for starting pitching, but it would boost the organization’s pitching prospect depth and clear them of Arrieta’s $20 million salary to sign better, more controllable players.

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The Phillies are far from knowing what pitchers they will have next season, but they do know who will coach them. They hired Bryan Price on Thursday to be Joe Girardi’s pitching coach.

Price, 57, was the pitching coach for Seattle, Arizona, and Cincinnati before managing the Reds for five seasons. He replaces Chris Young, who was fired in October after just one ill-fated season in the role. The Phillies need to add at least two starting pitchers this offseason and reshape their bullpen after last season’s unit was plagued by injuries. First, they needed a coach.
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Price turned down Arizona’s offer in October to be its pitching coach, perhaps knowing that a chance to work with Girardi would come. The Phillies have 10 coaches in place and still need to hire a hitting coach.

Girardi appointed Price as Team USA’s pitching coach before Girardi left his managerial post with USA Baseball in October to pursue a return to the major leagues. With Team USA, which will play an Olympic qualifying tournament this weekend, Price has worked with Phillies pitching prospects Spencer Howard and Connor Seabold. Both right-handers could reach the majors next season.
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Former Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price is the new Phillies pitching coach. Price’s 2013 Reds pitching staff led the majors in WHIP and the National League in strikeouts.
Former Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price is the new Phillies pitching coach. Price’s 2013 Reds pitching staff led the majors in WHIP and the National League in strikeouts. (The Associated Press)

Hiring Price begins an offseason that will focus on pitching. The Phillies neglected their starting rotation last offseason and then watched it crumble behind Aaron Nola. Their bullpen, which Girardi referenced numerous times at Monday’s introductory news conference, failed to stay healthy, but several of those key relievers already needed to be replaced for 2020. The Phillies have work to do before arriving in Clearwater, Fla.
[More Sports] MLB ignores grassroots with plan to whack minors »

In Seattle, Price coached a 2001 staff that had the lowest ERA in the majors. He coached Arizona’s Brandon Webb to the Cy Young Award in 2006, and his 2007 Diamondbacks staff had the fourth-best ERA in the National League. With Cincinnati, Price’s 2013 staff led the majors in WHIP and the National League in strikeouts.

The Phillies fired Rick Kranitz before last season to promote Young, who was the team’s assistant pitching coach in 2018 and an analytics savant. But the Phillies finished with the fifth-worst ERA in the National League and Kranitz landed with the rival Braves, who finished with the NL’s fifth-best ERA.

Price’s style is closer to Kranitz’s than to Young’s. The pitching coach, Girardi implied Monday, needs to be more than just a numbers cruncher.

“Just as important is a real ability to relate to the pitchers, sometimes the struggles they’re going through, and that there’s a deep relationship there,” Girardi said. “The pitching coach has a tough job because there’s so many pitchers that they deal with. But he has to know each one of them really well, and they have to trust him, and that’s really important.”
[More Sports] Phillies hire Joe Dillon, former Nats assistant, as hitting coach »

Phils acquire reliever: The Phillies made their first move of an offseason that should center around pitching by claiming hard-throwing reliever Robert Stock off waivers Thursday from San Diego.

Stock, who will turn 30 in November, missed the final three months of this past season because of a strained right biceps. The right-hander appeared in 10 games during the season and has a 4.11 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings over the last two years. It was his velocity — Stock’s fastball sits at 98 mph — that made him an appealing waiver claim.

The Phillies begin the offseason needing to rebuild their starting rotation and bring reinforcements to their bullpen. They are expected to be bidders on Houston ace Gerrit Cole and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg if he opts out of his contract with the Nationals. And they will be just as busy in the bullpen, which was ravaged last season by injuries.

Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Juan Nicasio are set to be free agents. David Robertson is expected to miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Adam Morgan, Victor Arano, and Seranthony Dominquez ended the season on the injured list. There is heavy lifting to be done as the Phillies shape their bullpen for 2020. The addition of Stock was a start.

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Since 2012, the Phillies have non-tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players; Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez could soon join that list.

As Thanksgiving has come and gone, the next important date of the Major League Baseball offseason is just days away: Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline for clubs to decide whether to “non-tender” their arbitration-eligible players.

When an arbitration-eligible player becomes “non-tendered,” their previous club is declining to offer them a contract for the upcoming season; therefore, the player is immediately made a free agent.

Players are up for non-tender consideration if they are on the 40-man roster and have fewer than six years of Major League service time. Reasons players could be no-tendered include that the club believes a salary increase they would receive in arbitration exceeds their on-field value, and/or that the club simply wants to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Phillies have nine players eligible for arbitration this offseason: LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Zach Eflin, 3B Maikel Franco, 2B Cesar Hernandez, C Andrew Knapp, LHP Adam Morgan, RHP Hector Neris, C J.T. Realmuto, and RHP Vince Velasquez.

While Eflin and Realmuto are surely locks to be tendered contracts by Monday’s deadline, the same cannot be said for Franco and Hernandez.

The Phillies have been rumored to be trying to trade either player, and have already explored options for their replacements in the infield, such as Didi Gregorius, Mike Moustakas, and Josh Donaldson, among others.

Click through to see the three most recent players, since 2012, that the Phillies have decided to non-tender and the avoid arbitration process with.

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There isn’t much for Blue Jays news today. Heading towards the American Thanksgiving weekend everything slows.

MLB is having voting for a post season All-Star team. I guess they are calling it an All-MLB team. There is only one Jay in the running, Ken Giles. Apparently the fan vote will count for 50% of the selection process, with a panel of ‘experts’ getting the other 50% of the vote. There is going to be a first and second All-MLB team.

Ian Browne at MLB At Bat calls Giles the Jays most attractive trade chip. I’m thinking it depends on how you define trade chip. Our most attractive trade chip would be Vlad, but if you define trade chip as ‘someone who is likely to be traded’ he doesn’t count. I would also say that Danny Jansen is a more attractive trade chip and it is possible that he could be traded, or at least his name could come up in trade talks.

Maybe calling it most attractive trade chip who is likely to be traded would be better.

At Baseball Prospectus, Matthew Trueblood writes about Larry Walker’s “unfortunate timing”

In 1994, he was on the very precipice of national hero status. Despite playing nearly every day with a torn rotator cuff that had forced him to move from right field to first base in late June, he was batting .322/.394/.587 in mid-August, for an Expos team in first place and with its eye fixed firmly on the World Series. Walker is the greatest Canadian baseball player ever, and that was already evident by that season, his fifth full one in the majors. He had a real chance to become the NL MVP, playing for Canada’s senior-circuit team, and to try to lead that team to the Fall Classic for the first time. Along with Chuck Knoblauch and Craig Biggio, he was on pace to challenge the single-season record for doubles, but whereas Knoblauch and Biggio had 11 home runs between them, Walker had 19.

And then the strike/lockout happened.

Matthew talks about other moments of unfortunate timing. I really would like Walker in the Hall of Fame, but I don’t see it happening. Baseball writers are too much into telling us Jeter is the be all and end all of baseball players.

As he says:

Now, it seems dangerously possible that he’ll fall off the ballot with a thud in the same winter that sees Jeter ushered near-unanimously into Cooperstown. At best, that’s a baffling bit of juxtaposition. At worst, it’s dead-ass backward.

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It’s a half-hour before game time on a Sunday afternoon in Bradenton, Florida. Larry Andersen has just finished going through piles of notes — “big-league prep,” he likes to call it — as he gets set to join his friend and partner, Scott Franzke, on his last radio broadcast of spring training. The weather is gorgeous and Andersen steps out of the press box to soak up a little sun. He wants to do more of that this season because he loves the game, the Phillies, the city and, most of all, the fans. The most difficult winter of his life is over. He enters Thursday’s season opener — his 22nd as part of the Phillies broadcast team — with a new, brighter perspective on everything.

“But don’t you worry,” Andersen says as he begins to tell his story. “I’m still going to get on umpires.”

While most of us spent the winter with a raging case of Harper-mania, Andersen was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. The doctors didn’t like what they were seeing in October. The diagnosis confirmed an aggressive form of cancer in November. He had surgery in December and passed the three-month mark during spring training.

“They tell me I’m cancer-free now,” he says, a look of relief sweeping over his face.

He talks of all the people who helped him get through the ordeal, people like Vince Nauss and Jeff Boettcher, his friends from Baseball Chapel, he talks about becoming a Christian in 1980 and how his faith has grown since then, how it carried him through the winter. He talks about the love and support of his wife, Kristi, and his baseball and broadcasting friends, like Franzke. He talks about his children, Angie, Tania and Chase, all adults spread out around the country.

“The hardest thing for me was not having them hear my voice crack when I told them,” he says.

Larry Andersen first encountered mortality on March 10, 1967. He still remembers his sister, Linda, coming into his bedroom and saying, “Dad’s been in an accident.” Dale Andersen was a pilot for a small, West Coast commuter airline. His plane crashed shortly after takeoff in a blinding snowstorm. He was just 38. Larry was just 13 when he lost his best pal and backyard bullpen catcher.

Larry went on to become a seventh-round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians and pitched 17 seasons in the majors, six with the Phillies. He was a member of two Phillies World Series teams and has gained huge post-playing career popularity for his work in the broadcast booth and his familial connection with fans. He loves to share a laugh with them, maybe even a cold one if you catch him around town. And he loves to share his honest opinions about the game to which he has dedicated his life with them.

“No one has ever wanted this team to win more than me, maybe as much, but never more,” Andersen says. “The reason I want this team to win so badly is because of the fans and I’ve said that forever. Some people might say you’re pandering to the fans. I’m not. These fans have been so good to me. I can’t put into words what the fans have shown me over the last 25 years in Philly.”

Andersen is still standing high above home plate, soaking up the sun, watching Phillies players stretch on the field down below.

He says fans approach him often and thank him for “keeping it real,” as the saying goes.

He shrugs pensively and offers that maybe there are times when he keeps it a little too real for some people’s liking. He wouldn’t say who those folks are.

“I would hope people can separate negativity from honesty,” he says.

larry_andersen_scott_franzke.jpg

The game is changing. All sports are changing. Science and analytics and big data have taken their place at the table next to human experience and instinct. In some cases, the former has elbowed the latter from the table and maybe out of the game. Where once old-school baseball men would predict a pitcher like Nick Pivetta is ready for a breakout season because he now has experience to go with a great arm and talent, new-school baseball men predict the same thing by using new-age statistics like fielding-independent pitching, or FIP.

Andersen came up in a time when baseball people kept it real. Once upon a time not long ago, a Phillies general manager talked of releasing a player because “he has a hole in his bat.” That probably would never happen in today’s game, where a premium is kept on keeping the environment ultra-positive. There is really no right or wrong answer in all of this. Times change. Methods change.

A cancer scare at age 65 with a lot of life still to live can make Larry Andersen change.

“This thing has done a lot for my faith,” he says. “I look at it and trust this is the Lord’s plan. This is another way of saying, ‘Get your act together, you’re not going to be on this Earth forever.’

“It’s also helped me from the perspective of stop worrying about stuff that’s out of your control, stuff that’s trivial. Don’t let stuff bother me so much. I look back to my broadcasting, to last year. I know I was critical of the team. I was critical of a lot of things that I didn’t agree with and Scott Franzke, my partner over 10 years, at the end of the season gave me some great advice. He said if you disagree with something, just disagree without anger.

“I’d see our young pitchers be compared to (Justin) Verlander and (Zack) Greinke because of their FIP and I didn’t think it was fair to our pitchers or the fans. Those guys are Cy Young winners and our young guys hadn’t even won 20 games in their careers because they hadn’t been in the big leagues long enough. Those comparisons bothered me so much and I would try to give my side and it would come out with anger because I’m passionate and I care about winning. But with all of this other stuff happening, I was able to look back and say, ‘Why? Why am I letting it bother me so much?’”

So, will Phillies fans be getting a watered-down Larry Andersen this season?

Hell no.

“I’ll still be critical,” he vows. “But I’m not going to be upset.

“I’ll always be honest. You can snow people in San Diego, in Seattle, other places. You can’t do that in Philly. You just can’t BS the fans in Philly. They’re too smart.

“When they’re sitting at home and want to pick up a shoe and throw it at the TV, I know what they’re feeling. I’m a fan, too. I know I work for the organization, but I’m a fan. And that’s where I think I have a rapport with them. They feel frustration in my voice when they’re frustrated watching.

“The last few years have been frustrating. It’s been hard. But I really like this team. I love what they’ve done in the offseason. I’m ready to turn the corner and I think the fans are, too.”

Opening day is Thursday. Regardless of what the weatherman says, there’s sun in Larry Andersen’s forecast.

“I’m going to look at things with brighter eyes,” he said.

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It was like something out of a country-music song: Two young adults, one a 21-year-old professional baseball pitcher, the other an 18-year-old aspiring dancer, meeting in a steamy Florida summer amid good times by the pool. Nine months after their summer fling, the dancer gives birth to a son. With the father wanting no part of the child, he turned his back on the baby and his mother to chase dreams of baseball stardom.

But this was no honky-tonk tune about unwanted souls and unfair lives. This is the true story of baseball star Tug McGraw and his first son, country music giant Tim McGraw. And despite the inauspicious beginnings, the two managed to close what could have been an unbridgeable gap and even grow tight before Tug’s fatal illness ended their time together.
Tim his father’s identity after finding his birth certificate

Tim grew up in Start, Louisiana, believing his name was Tim Smith. His mother, Betty, was married to a truck driver named Horace Smith, who installed in Tim a love for country music before their difficult marriage ended in divorce a few years later.

Meanwhile, Tug had emerged as one of the premier relief pitchers in Major League Baseball, celebrated for his hard-to-hit “screwball” and rallying slogan of “Ya gotta believe!” that became the catchphrase of the 1973 Mets. He was also known as something of a screwball himself – his wacky personality earning a legion of young fans that included Tim Smith, who pinned a baseball card of the pitcher to his wall.

As described in Tug’s posthumous memoir, an 11-year-old Tim was rummaging through his mom’s closet for Christmas gifts when he came upon his birth certificate with a scribbled-out section that mentioned a baseball-playing father. He called his mom, who confessed that Tug, now a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, was his father.
Tug agreed to meet but would not acknowledge paternity

Betty then called Tug for the first time since their summer fling and told him what had happened. Anticipating the call, though he had doubts about being the father, Tug agreed to meet when the Phillies traveled to Houston.

Sharing lunch at a hotel bar, Tug recalled Tim as “very shy” and “well mannered,” and although the boy was likeable, the ballplayer was now married with two other children and had no interest in welcoming another into his life. He told Tim to consider him a “buddy,” not his father, and later suggested to Betty that it would be best if they kept their lives separate.

Ignoring his request, Betty tried to get them all to meet again in Houston the following year. Tug left tickets but refused to partake in any private get-together and ignored Tim when the 12-year-old called out to him from the stands.
Tim McGraw and Tug McGraw

Tim and Tug McGraw pose wearing each other’s signature hats.

Photo: Thomas S. England/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images
They forged a relationship by the end of Tim’s high school years

While Betty gave up hope, Tim continued to send his father letters, even as they failed to generate responses. And as he matured into his teen years, his mother struggling to adequately feed and shelter her three children, he began musing on the disconnect between his absent father’s success and the rest of his family’s difficulties.

The resentment didn’t affect him in high school, as he became a star multi-sport athlete and class salutatorian, though the lack of finances threatened to limit his college options. In early 1985, after Tug announced his retirement, Tim suggested to his mom that it was time for his dad to step in and help. Betty agreed, and she soon caught Tug’s attention with a letter from the State of Louisiana demanding $350,000 in back child support.

Tug’s lawyer and Betty negotiated a figure of $42,000 for undergraduate and law school, but as part of the deal – which would finally include a paternity test to settle the matter – Tim would have to cease all attempts at contacting Tug and his family. Tim said he would consider, but only if he could meet his dad face-to-face again.

This time, according to Tug, he took one look at the 6-foot teenager ambling toward him, the facial resemblance undeniable, and said the paternity test was unnecessary. Stretching the day out of the course of lunch, tennis and dinner, the two agreed they would put their rocky past behind them and move forward as father and son.
Tug tried to pay Tim back by helping with his career

Despite the mutual understanding, the years of separation weren’t quickly overcome, with Tug noting they still seemed to be at “arm’s length” when partying at Mardi Gras together during Tim’s sophomore year of college. Tug attempted to give fatherly advice once, in an attempt to discourage Tim from dropping out to pursue a music career, though his argument fell apart when it was pointed out he had also left school to become a baseball player.

But Tim acknowledged the ties by formally changing his last name to McGraw, while Tug realized he could pay his son back a little for all those years of denial. During a 1990 team party for the Phillies, he met an executive from Nashville’s Curb Records, who listened to Tim’s demo tape on the ride home. The younger McGraw soon had a deal with the record label. Tug also bought Tim a van to fit his eight-member band and helped find suitable venues for their performances.

Within a few years, Tim no longer needed his dad’s financial support, as his breakout 1994 album Not a Moment Too Soon and 1996 marriage to fellow country crooner Faith Hill cemented his place as an industry star. Ironically, after years of refusing to accept that Tim McGraw was his son, the elder was now known to a large share of the population as Tim McGraw’s dad.
Tim saw his dad through brain cancer treatment

The final act in their shared story came in 2003, after a wobbly Tug was found to have tumors growing in his brain. Told his dad had three weeks to live, Tim declared that outlook “unacceptable” and had him transferred to the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, for an operation and treatment. He found Tug a nice home for recuperation in Tampa and then another back in Philadelphia, checking in with phone calls delivered live from a concert stage.

Later that year, when it became clear that they were running out of options at the Moffitt Center, the McGraws found another facility at Duke Medical Center, with Tim giving the go-ahead for the $5,800-per-month experimental drug. He also bought a motor home for Tug, his brother and two friends to drive across the country.

His health failing, Tug requested to spend his final days at Tim’s cabin outside Nashville. He died there on January 5, 2004, alongside his son with the rest of his family. Tim’s presence was a testament to his own persistence in reaching out to an indifferent father for all those years, as well as to the genuine bond that developed between the two men despite the rough beginnings that could easily have torpedoed any hope of redemption.
Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On

A&E will premiere a two-part definitive documentary highlighting the prolific career of Garth Brooks, the best-selling solo artist of all time. Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On will premiere over two consecutive nights Monday, December 2 and Tuesday, December 3 at 9 pm ET/PT on A&E. The documentary offers an intimate look into Brooks’ life as a musician, father, and man as well as the moments that have defined his decade-spanning career and essential hit songs.

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In the previous three years, six players with Oriole connections have been elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s possible that another with Oriole tied could be elected in 2020.

Curt Schilling, who recorded the first of his 216 major league wins with the Orioles in 1990, is a leading contender for election in the 32-candidate ballot released today by the Hall of Fame.

Voting by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ends on December 31, and Schilling, a controversial candidate because of his outspoken political views, received 60.9 percent of the vote last year, and he’s the top returning candidate. Seventy-five percent is necessary for election.

Longtime Orioles tormentor Derek Jeter is a sure thing for election in his first time on the ballot.

Schilling, who was traded to the Houston Astros along with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis in January 1991 in one of the worst trades in Orioles history, is in his eighth year of eligibility.

Sammy Sosa, who played for the Orioles in 2005, is also on the ballot for his eighth year. Sosa, who like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have been tied by PED allegations, received 8.5 percent of the vote a year ago. Bonds (59.1 percent) and Clemens (59.5) are also on the ballot for the eighth time.

Joining Jeter on the ballot is longtime Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who retired after the 2014 season.

Roberts, who joined the Orioles’ Hall of Fame in 2018, twice led the American League in doubles and stole a league-best 50 bases in 2007.

His best year came in 2005 when he hit .314 with a .903 OPS. He had 18 home runs and 73 RBIs.
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In his 14-year career, Roberts hit .276. He played his first 13 seasons with the Orioles and signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent for the 2014 season but was released on August 9.

During his final four seasons with the Orioles, concussions and hip surgery limited Roberts to 192 games.

Roberts, who lives in Sarasota, Florida, has appeared on MASN telecasts and 105.7 radio broadcasts of Orioles games in recent years.

Two other former Orioles, Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders, played the requisite 10 seasons in the majors but were not added to the Hall of Fame ballot by the screening committee.

Dwight Evans, who played for the Orioles in 1991, could be elected to the Hall by a Modern Baseball era committee at the Winter Meetings in San Diego on December 8.

Former Oriole Harold Baines and Lee Smith were elected last year by the Today’s Baseball era committee. Mike Mussina was elected by the BBWAA in January.

Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome were elected by the BBWAA in 2018. Tim Raines was elected in 2017. Guerrero and Thome ended their careers with the Orioles. Raines played briefly with his son, Tim Jr., in 2001.
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The results of the BBWAA voting will be announced on January 21.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB