Monday, August 10, 2015

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) Mediation Program Designed to Resolve and Settle Employee Discrimination Complaints

If You Have Filed a Charge of Employee Discrimination With the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, You May Receive Notice of a Voluntary Mediation 

In June of 2013, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ("PHRC") launched a pilot Mediation Program designed to expeditiously resolve employment discrimination charges filed by employees.
PHRC Executive Director JoAnn Edwards
PHRC Chairman,
Gerald S. Robinson

The PHRC will investigate all claims made by employees who work in Pennsylvania.  While the EEOC investigates only claims filed by employees of companies with more than 15 employees, the PHRC will investigate claims against employers that have 5 employees or more.

I Work in Pennsylvania, and I Believe I have Been the Victim of Hostile Work Environment and/or Discrimination and/or Illegal Retaliation - Should I File My Charge of Discrimination With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission?

If you work for a company with less than 15 employees, your choice is easy, because it is limited to the PHRC.  EEOC investigates only claims against employers with 15 or more employees.

Have You Been Subjected to Adverse Employment Action Because of Your
Age, Sex, Race, Religion, Disability or National Origin?
If the company has more than 14 employees, you have 3 choices: 1) file only with the EEOC; 2) file only with PHRC; or, 3) file with both EEOC and PHRC (this is referred to as "a dual filing").

What Does it Mean to Dual-File a Charge of Employment Discrimination With Both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission?

The EEOC and the PHRC have completely distinct paperwork that an employee is required to file in order to complete a Charge of Discrimination.  Both Commissions' forms include a box for the employee to check if he/she wants the Charge to be filed with the other Commission.

So, if one uses the EEOC paperwork, one indicates whether he/she wants the Charge to by dual-filed with PHRC by merely checking a box.

If this occurs, no separate paperwork need by filed with PHRC.

The reverse is true if on elects to use PHRC's forms to initiate the Charge.

If You File a Charge of Discrimination With the EEOC, it Will Assert Jurisdiction Over the Charge, and the PHRC Will Defer All Investigatory Responsibilities to EEOC

If you initiate the Charge with EEOC, then PHRC will completely defer all authority and responsibility to the EEOC, and you will not be entitled to the benefits of the PHRC's Mediation Program.

If, on the other hand, you file first with PHRC, then it will assume all responsibility for the Charge, and you will be eligible to participate in the Mediation Program.

Helping Pennsylvania Workers With
Charges of Discrimination Since 1991
Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Villanova, Sprinfield, Blue Bell, Plymouth Meeting, Norristown, Skippack, Langhorne, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.


Thanks for checking in with us.















PHRC Mediation is Free, Confidential  and Expedient - Trained Attorneys Serves as Mediators

The Human Relations Commission employs attorneys as Mediators; these attorneys have been trained on best practices for mediators, and on Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination statute, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.




Monday, August 3, 2015

Top Colleges 2015 From Forbes - Pomona College Number 1, Harvard 6, MIT 10

Forbes Ranking of the Top Colleges of 2015 Has Pomona College Ranked Number One

Perhaps the most renowned College Ranking list is the one published by Forbes Magazine (although perhaps U.S. News and World Report would beg to differ).

Pomona is located in Claremont, California.  It has an enrollment of 1,600, costs $62,000 for out of state students, $42,000 for California residents and bears the nickname "the Sagehens." 

What is a Sagenen?  Glad you asked.  Pomona explains:

A sagehen is a large ground-dwelling bird that can reach up to 30 inches in length and two feet in height. It is distinguished by its long pointed tail. The Greater Sage Grouse is an omnivore and eats mainly insects and sagebrush, hence its name. It is unique for its fierce loyalty to a specific area, and thus its livelihood can be completely reliant on the existence of sagebrush. 
The Inimitable, Indomitable
Cecil the Sagehen
But, I digress.  Without further ado, here is  Forbes.com top 10 ranking for 2015:

1)   Pomona College
2)  Williams College
3)   Stanford University
4)  Princeton University
5)  Yale University  
6)  Harvard University  
7)  Swarthmore College 
8)  Brown University 
9)  Amherst College
10)  Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Although I Did Not Attend Pomona,
I Do Now Know What a Sagehen Is
Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live or work in Malvern, Paoli, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Glenside, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Skippack, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Athyn, Havertown, Pottstown, Coatesville, Haverford, Blue Bell, Plymouth Meeting, Norristown, Media, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, including:

·       wrongful termination
·       wage and overtime claims
·       non-compete or severance agreements
·       discrimination, wrongful discharge and retaliation laws
·       Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.


Thanks for checking in with us.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies at 61 - July 31, 2015

Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Has Died - July 31, 2015


Taking Piper's Pit to Heaven -
Look Out, Dusty Rhodes!
It is, indeed, a sad day.  The kilt-wearing, motor mouthed wrestling icon, Rowdy Roddy Piper (born Roderick Toombs) has died today at age 61. Click Here for an excellent story about Mr. Piper written by Ross Kelly of CBSlocal.com.

I'm Here to Chew Bubble Gum....

Remember.....

"I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick some ass.....

And I'M ALL OUTTA BUBBLE GUM."

Piper's Pit - Memories Through Pictures

How I loved Piper's Pit.  See if these bring back any memories....

"Right Where Hogan Belongs!"


With The Hulkster and Andre


With Paul "Mr. Perfect" Orndorff



With the original "King of Wrestling," Harley Race
and the Weasel, Bobby Heenan



Who Could Ever Forget?
Taking a Coconut to "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka














Disrespecting "The Living Legend," Bruno Sammartino
At Least for a Few Moments...



With Adrian Adonis, The "Mouth of the South"
Jimmy Hart and "Cowboy" Bob Orton




Always the Gentleman -
to Cindi Lauper, Anyway











Brutus Beefcake, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine,
Hercules Hernandz Jim Neihardt and
"The Fashion Plate of Wrestling,"
"Classy" Freddie Blassie






With "Stone Cold" Steve Austin















Interview With  Frankie Williams - Pure Magic
"Why do you always lose?!?!" He Asked with a mix of Frustration and Disdain, Before Kicking the Jobber's Ass













One Mic Not Nearly Enough When the Macho Man Came a Lookin -  YYYeeeeaaahhhh!


Thanks for the memories, Roddy.  May the wind be at your back.  Rest in peace.


Phillies Trade Ben Revere to Blue Jays for Pitchers Jimmy Cordero and Albert Tirado

Toronto Blue Jays Send Two Right Handed Pitchers to Phillies in Trade for Ben Revere

Ben, we hardly knew ye....According to CSNPhilly.com, the Phils traded outfielder Ben Revere to the Toronto Blue Jays for 2 right-handed pitching prospects.

He Did Make Some Spectacular Catches....
and Made Adventures Out of Some Easy Ones!
Who Are Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero? - Statistics, Pictures, Scouting Reports

Jimmy Cordero
Alberto Tirado
Neither Cordero nor Tirado made it onto MLB.com's 2015 Top 30 Blue Jays Prospects list (sigh).

Here is an excerpt from an article about Cordero from JaysProspects.com:

Blue Jays minor leaguer Jimmy Cordero, who has arguably the best fastball in the system and the entire organization as a whole. The right-hander is proud of the fact that he has official readings of 101 miles per hour from 2013.
“My fastball hit 101 mph in 2013. At that point that was the highest I had ever hit,” explained Cordero. “Throwing that hard feels good. I’ve really learned how to command my fastball well and I’m really happy with my velocity.”
The velocity didn’t go down in 2014, as Cordero was consistently hitting 99 and higher as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. As expected with his velocity, Cordero was tough on Midwest League hitters, striking out 34 batters in his 32 1/3 innings of work.
Like many hard throwers, one area of concern is command. The 22-year-old pitcher walked 21 batters and hit four others. Although one would like to see Cordero lower his walk totals in the upcoming seasons, the free passes didn’t hurt him much in Lansing as he maintained a 3.06 ERA despite a 1.732 WHIP.

Here are some excerpts from an extensive 2014 article on Tirado from Rotoscouting:

ALBERTO TIRADO: FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE BLUE JAYS YOUTH MOVEMENT

alberto tirado
Enjoy this piece on Tirado? Click the image and check out the rest of our Blue Jays content.
Entering the 2014 season, few Blue Jays farmhands elicited as much excitement as Alberto Tirado. The Dominican-born right-hander started the season with an aggressive assignment to Single-A Lansing, though his command never materialized (39 walks in 40 innings). A move to Short Season Vancouver came in June, where the 19-year old was still more than two years younger than the average player in the Northwest League. With easy velocity and developing secondary pitches, how did Tirado help his stock this year?
Part of Toronto’s vaunted 2011 international signings class,Alberto Tirado joined fellow “classmates” Jairo Labourt[Scouting Report] and Miguel Castro in the Vancouver Canadians rotation. Labourt went on to lead the Northwest League in ERA, learning how to better harness his powerful arsenal. Castro earned two promotions and ended the year in the Florida State League (though appears ticketed for a return to Lansing in 2015). Tirado, on the other hand, battled with control all season and struggled to pitch deep into games on account of tight pitch counts.
At 6-foot-0, 180 pounds, Tirado presents even lighter. With slender hips and lower half, the Dominican draws on lightening-quick arm speed to generate plus velocity. Tirado’s motion is loose with easy arm action. He adds little power from his stride in the wind up, though the leg lift and stride from the stretch is more pronounced. While the tempo, arm speed, and release points can vary and cause control issues, a high volume of repetitions will help Tirado reduce walk totals. Ultimately, the motion is simple and should prove to be repeatable.

Starting Your Own Business? Here are Some Tips From Forbes, and a Philadelphia Attorney Still Trying to Figure it All Out 8 Years Later!

Entrepreneurship - Hard to Spell - Harder to Accomplish!

Today, I read Part I of an excellent series of articles published by Forbes.com providing insight into how to start, operate, grow and manage your own business.

Some Tips From Me and Forbes!
As someone who started his own business 8+ years ago, and has been constantly engaged in learning how to properly operate it while trying to actually do my job, I have a LOT of thoughts on the challenges of how to be successful when running one's own business.

Universities Can and Should Help Us Learn How to Master the Challenges of Self-Employment

Boy, if I only knew when I started what I know now!  As discussed in the Forbes article, American colleges and universities have been trending towards teaching classes addressing all aspects of self-employment. This is, I am sure, in recognition of several factors.

The Internet Makes Operating One's Own Business "Easier" Than Ever

It's a Small World After All
In my view, the leading catalyst for the trend towards self-employment over the past 25 years or so is unquestionably the Internet.  Even moderately tech savvy people can learn how to effectively locate, manage and store more information than ever before on a small computer. No more requirement for storage rooms containing hundreds of boxes of long-forgotten knowledge and information; now, it's all at your fingertips!

Marketing Your Business Just Takes a Computer and Some Earnest Dedication 

Perhaps of equal importance is the ability to cost-effectively market one's own products and services to a broad (even international) audience - it just takes a lot of sweat equity, and a little time, after all.

Sure, this article is designed to help you, Dear Readers.  But, in addition, writing (with a great deal of passion and effort) and publishing it (with a click of a few buttons) provides me with an opportunity to demonstrate to the public the way in which I think, my attention to detail and my ability to (hopefully) communicate clearly.

Marketing Master!
The Opportunistic Strategies of Corporate America Make Self-Employment More Attractive Than Ever

In more recent years, the shrinking job market and the opportunistic strategies by Corporate America have made self-employment more appealing then it was 30 years ago, when faithful, hard-working employees were paid on a w-2 basis, and commonly permitted to work until retirement.

w-2 or 1099
Misclassifying "True Employees as "Independent Contractors" a Scourge on the American Worker, and an Impetus for Self-Employment

What type of opportunistic strategies am I referring to?  Let's discuss the one that disheartens me most.  The misclassification of people who traditionally were paid on a w-2 basis as "independent contractors" (i.e. people engaged in self-employment) paid on a 1099 basis.

Over the past 15 years or so, American businesses have gone out of their way to deliberately misclassify employees as independent contractors, thereby eliminating their obligation to provide any benefits whatsoever, while completely undermining employees' rights against unlawful workplace activities and depleting the Social Security and Medicare funds.

Boredom and Loneliness Hurdles to Productivity When You Run Your Own Business

Rather than summarize and discuss the Forbes articles, I will instead in this Post (the firms of several I anticipate writing on this topic during the coming months) briefly discuss one of the major hurdles I have encountered as a self-employed businessman.

Boredom and loneliness.

Boredom, Loneliness Among the Biggest Challenges
For 15 years, I worked at 2 different law firms where I interacted with lawyers and support staff on a daily basis.  Since I have become self-employed, I have had as many as 3 lawyers working for me, and multiple support staff.  Due to the nature of my business, and my business model (I try and take only cases I believe have substantial merit), I now do almost all of my core legal work on my own.

A few months ago, I moved from an office I was renting (and thus filled with other people) to my home (I rent space for meetings, etc. in an office complex).

Boy, do I get lonely sometimes.  I miss not having attorneys to mingle with every day. I am interesting (I think), and I do talk to myself (quietly and aloud), but I am simply not that stimulating.

There is no remedy for, nor avoidance of, the tedium of working alone most of the time.  So, the best way to fight these feelings is to keep it moving.  I try and take breaks during my work days (and nights) by taking walks with my wife or dog, I go to the gym, I swim at my local Y on really hot days, I eat lunch out a couple times a week, I go for a ride on my motorcycle, I call my Mom.

She Always Listens to me Ramble, and I Always Feel Better After We Speak
I strongly suggest that, if you work alone, take frequent breaks during the day to take care of yourself and provide some stimulating activities to break up the monotony. You can always get the rest of your work done after dinner!

All Alone Since 2006
 Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Paoli, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Skippack, Langhorne, Haverford, Pottstown, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

Thanks for checking in with us.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Overpayments Under Pennsylvania Unemployment Law - Fraud, Non-Fraud, At Fault, Non-At Fault

I have a Fraud or At Fault Overpayment Notice From the Pennsylvania Unemployment Department of Labor

There are 2 types of overpayments that one can be charged with under Pennsylvania Unemployment Law.  The first, and most troublesome, is denoted a "fraud" or "at fault" overpayment.  We will discuss the most common scenario for such a finding in this Post.

It Will Investigate Why You Are No Longer Employed Every Time

What to Say When You Apply for Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits - Do Not Say You Lost Your Job Due to a Lay Off or Reduction in Force if You Were Terminated from Your Job

Generally, the most common situation that results in a "fraud" or "at fault" overpayment occurs when a person applying for benefits states that the reason they are no longer employed is because of  lay-off, lack of work or reduction in force when in fact he/she was terminated.

If You Were Fired, Say So -
No Matter What You Believe Was the "Real Reason" Your Employment Ended
It is very simple, if you are applying for benefits because your employer decided to end your employment you must honestly state on your application what the employer told you was the reason that you were being let go.

The choices are almost always 1) termination; 2) lay-off; 3) reduction in force ("RIF"); or, 4) lack of work.

Completing an Application for Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation - What is a Lay Off? What is a Reduction in Force? What is a Termination? What Does Lack of Work Mean?

The general rule is that RIFs usually involve a group of people all being permanently separated from employment at the same time.  If you were the only one let go, you were probably not part of a reduction in force.

Usually, employees who are laid-off (a frequent occurrence for union or seasonal workers) are told at the time of lay-off that they are "eligible for rehire" or will be recalled when business picks up. Lay-offs are typically temporary separations due to a downturn in business.

Being let go for lack of work is often like a small scale RIF.  The separation is permanent, and has nothing to do with the employee's performance.

NOTE 1:  The above principles almost always apply to larger companies.  However, with smaller companies (i.e. 10 or so employees or less), employees are sometimes let go due to a financial downturn, merging of job responsibilities or concern over the long-term viability of the company.  

This type of small scale "restructuring can result in only one employee being RIFfed, laid-off or due to lack of work.

NOTE 2:  Employees who are let go due to a RIF, lack of work or lay-off are deemed to have been let go through no fault of their own, and are thus entitled to unemployment benefits in all cases.  If, on the other hand, one is terminated for "willful misconduct," no benefits will be paid.

If You Were Told You Were Being Let Go Due to Your Performance o Something You Allegedly Did Wrong, You Were Told You Were Terminated 

If the company provides a reason for the separation that relates to the your actions/inactions, or to your alleged qualifications/performance (or perceived lack thereof), you were fired.

I know it hurts to say you were fired, but, it is what it is.

If You Say You Lost Your Job Due to Lay-Off, Lack of Work or Reduction in Force When in Fact You Were Fired, You Will Very Likely be Denied Benefits and Charged With a Fraud or At Fault Overpayment

Pennsylvania's application for unemployment compensation requires applicants to state the reason they were told their employment was ending.  Hence, that is what you must do (as opposed to putting down what you believe to be "the real reason" you were let go).

The most common reason that someone is charged with a fraud or at fault overpayment is because they said on their application that they lost their job due to a lay-off, lack of work or a reduction in force when in fact they were terminated.

Why?

When an applicant for Pennsylvania unemployment claimant loses a job through no possible fault of their own (i.e. part of a RIF, for lack of work or due to lay-off), the applicant is eligible for benefits and will begin to be paid benefits immediately.

However, immediately after the application is processed (i.e. at the same time the first check for benefits is being paid to the applicant) the Pennsylvania Service Center then writes the employer to ask it why the claimant is no longer employed.

Fraud or At Fault Overpayments -
Not a Good Thing
If the employer writes back and says the claimant was fired due to X (willful misconduct), the DOL most often: 1) brands the claimant a liar (based on a false application); 2) denies the claim (finding that the claimant engaged in willful misconduct no matter what because he/she lied on the application) and issues a fraud overpayment finding, seeking all paid benefits back with penalties (because the benefits were paid were made due to the lie on the application).

You Can Still Win Benefits, and Remove the Overpayment Finding, if You Prove at a Pennsylvania Unemployment Referee Hearing That You Were Not Fired for Willful Misconduct

If The Employer Cannot Prove You Engaged in "Willful Misconduct" -
You Become Eligible for Benefits Again and the Overpayment Evaporates
If you are involved in the above scenario, all is not necessarily lost.  That is so because there is no separate penalty for making a "false" statement on your application for benefits.

That means that is you win at the Referee Hearing  (i.e. defeat the employer's claim that you engaged in willful misconduct), you will not only start getting benefits again, but the overpayment finding is wiped out as well.

NOTE 3:  I have found that many employees disbelieve the reasons told to them for why they were being let go, instead choosing to believe that there was some other reason (i.e. they were being let go as a cost-cutting move, due to lack of work, etc.) for the termination.  Thus, when they apply for benefits, they list what they believe to be "the real reason" for their termination (i.e. lack of work or lay-off).

For reasons explained above, this is not a sound idea.  List the reason that the employer told you for your separation of employment on the application.  This will not only increase your chances of winning the initial determination, but will help you avoid an at fault or fraud overpayment determination.   

Click Here to see the Department of Labor's explanation concerning overpayments.

Helping Pennsylvania Employees Since 1991
Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Paoli, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Glenside, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Lansdale, Pottstown, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.


Thanks for checking in with us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Phillies Trade Cole Hamels to Texas Rangers for 5 Prospects - Jorge Alfano, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Alec Asher and Jake Thompson

Philadelphia Phillies Trade Left-Handed Pitcher Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to Rangers for Five Prospects and Big Leagurs Matt Harrison (Injured)  

Well, its done
.  The last, still-thriving, member of the Phillies' great team that won the 2008 World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays is no longer a member of the Phillies.  Colbert Michael Hamels has been traded.

He and Jake Diekman were traded to the Rangers for the following 5 prospects: Jorge Alfano, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Alec Asher and Jake Thompson.

How Are the Prospects the Phillies Got From the Rangers in the Cole Hamels Trade Ranked?

Click Here to see the MLB.com write up on the Rangers Top Prospects - the Phils got 3 of their top 6 (Alfano, Thnoson and Williams), plus their number 17 (Eickhoff) and 29 (Asher). Pretty good darn haul!

Thompson #4 Prospect
Alfaro #5 Prospect
Williams #6 Prospect
Here is what former GM Jim Bowden had to say about some of these prospects today on ESPN:

The Rangers have an intriguing package they can offer the Phillies, starting with a middle-of-the-rotation starter in Gonzalez or Thompson. They also could provide the Phillies a long-term corner outfielder with a choice of two future stars in Mazara or Williams. Mazara is the higher-profile prospect -- he has a ton of upside -- while Williams is the more sure thing; he's going to rake. The final piece is the key here, though, because Alfaro could be the rare catcher with 25-homer power once he fully develops. His receiving still needs a lot of work, but he has been making progress. Still, it's a strong package that the Phillies would have to consider.

That Magic Moment!
As for Cole, he joins integral former Phils such as Brad Lidge, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins on the other side.

The Fl;yin' Hawaiian Joins the Dogpile
Only Chooch, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley - now shells of their former selves - remain.

I Was Among Them - A Magic Carpet Ride
The City of Brotherly Love had  25 year-old Cole "Hollywood" Hamels, the MVP of both the 2008 League Championship Series and World Series, to thank above all.  The boy from Southern California that some initially perceived might be too soft for the hard-core fan base proved to be tougher than nails when it counted the most.

Thanks, Cole, for Everything
Cole Hamels' Career and Post-Season Statistics

Click Here for Cole Hamels' Career Statistics.  Here is a snapshot of his bona fides:

Career Record:            114-90

Career ERA:                3.30

Career WHIP:             1.14

Career IP:                    1,930

Career Hits:                 1,717

Career Ks:                   1,844

Post-Season Awards:

NLCS MVP - 2008

World Series MVP - 2008

Post-Season Record:  7-4, ERA: 3:09, WHIP 1.14.

I guess you could say that Cole has been a model of consistency.

How Does Cole Hamels Compare to Other Top Major League Baseball Pitchers?

According to this (superb) May 15, 2015 article from Philly.com:


Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Cole Hamels has a 3.03 ERA in 167 games.

Among his peers who have also pitched at least 1,000 innings over that time, only Clayton Kershaw (2.34) and Felix Hernandez (2.74) have better ERAs. Among the same group, only five have thrown more innings or have a lower opponents' OPS.

The deeper you dig into the numbers, the better Hamels looks. ERA-plus, for example, measures ERA against the league average and adjusts for ballpark factors. Since 2010, Hamels has a 128 ERA-plus - again, only Kershaw (157) and Hernandez (138) are ahead of him.
                                                                 .   .   .
Since the beginning of 2013, the team has a 32-39 record in his starts.

But don't let that win-loss total fool you: Hamels has a 3.10 ERA in those 71 games. Hamels is the only major league pitcher who has been getting less than 3.5 runs of support per start in each of the last three seasons.

Entering this week, Hamels had a major league-low 1.9 runs per start in 2015. In the last 20 years, no pitcher with at least 25 starts has ever received less than 2.5 runs per start.

The Phillies have scored three runs or fewer in 59 percent of his starts - and two runs or fewer in 39.4 percent of his starts - since the beginning of 2013.


A Stellar career, Thus Far
The Hamels Foundation Helps Inner City Children Obtain Educational Opportunities



In addition to his on-field successes, Cole Hamels, and his wife Heidi, have been an important part of the Philadelphia Community.  Their Charity, The Hamels Foundation, has helped many children achieve educational successes they would not otherwise had an opportunity to accomplish.  we can only pray that the Foundation continues to thrive even in the absence of Cole and Heidi during the baseball season.

A Heartfelt Thank You to Cole Hamels

Cole, I think I speak for all of Philadelphia when I say, thank you for all that you have done, both on the field and off.  May the wind always be at your back, and that of Heidi, as you undertake all of your future endeavors.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Phillies Trade Jonathon Papelbon for Nick Pivetta

Philadelphia Phillies' Closer Jonathon Papelbon Traded to Washington Nationals for Minor League Pitcher Nick Pivetta


It is confirmed.  Click Here for details.  Papelbon leaves as the Phillies all-time saves leader. Thanks, Paps.


In Happier Times - Paps in Boston


Click Here for  Nick Pivetta's Minor League Statistics.


Nick Pivetta
A recent article from the Washington Post  written by Chelsea Janes had this to say about Nick Pivetta:

Who is Nick Pivetta?  Scouting Report on Nick Pivetta


Among the most promising developers in the Nationals’ organization this season is right-hander Nick Pivetta, a hard-throwing, big-bodied starter who was promoted from Class A Potomac to Class AA Harrisburg earlier this month. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Pivetta has the prime pitcher’s frame the Nationals covet. With a mid-90s fastball and delivery that allows for a downward plane, he has the beginnings of top-of-the-rotation stuff they seek. He is rated as one of the top 10 prospects in the Nationals’ system, the fifth-rated pitcher behind Lucas Giolito, Joe Ross, Reynaldo Lopez and A.J. Cole.
Pivetta will make his second Class AA outing Friday in Harrisburg against the Bowie Baysox, who lead the Eastern League West Division. After pitching to a 2.29 ERA in 15 games with Potomac, he has allowed 10 runs in 10 innings with Harrisburg.
“His first start with us, he didn’t command his fastball real well,” Senators Manager Brian Daubach said. “Might have been a little bit nervous, first time at a new level, trying to impress, it’s human nature. I know he was throwing the ball great down in Potomac. We’re excited to see what happens with him in the second half.”
Despite those recent struggles and the challenge ahead Friday, Pivetta is in the midst of one of the best seasons of any pitcher in the organization. He went 7-4 in Potomac and struck out 72 batters in 86 1/3 innings, pitching to a 1.15 WHIP — progress from last season in Low-A Hagerstown, where he threw to a 4.22 ERA, less a strikeout pitcher than a get-ahead, get-contact type.
“I’m being more consistent than last year with everything: fastball, curveball, changeup, developing those pitches” Pivetta said. “That’s really what’s pushed me through to get a chance at this level.”
The Nationals chose Pivetta in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, and he played in the New York Penn League and the Gulf Coast league. He spent last year in Hagerstown before starting this year in Potomac, pitching well enough to earn quick promotion.
“It was a part of my goal set. I wanted to get (to Harrisburg) by at least the halfway point,” Pivetta said. “I’m here now, and I’m more than happy to be here.”
Part of Pivetta’s progress is keeping his arm slot consistent, something he says allows for greater consistency with his curveball and changeup. He started throwing the changeup more frequently earlier this year to go with a sinking fastball.
“I was working on a grip with my pitching coordinator that really clicked, and the amount it improved has been awesome. Now I’ve incorporated it into my game, and I can throw it in any count and it’s awesome.”
Adding the changeup allows Pivetta to push hitters off his fastball. In fastball counts, particularly when he is behind, Pivetta can still deceive hitters, trusting a pitch that looks like the fastball, but disrupts their timing. A changeup thrown consistently for strikes keeps hitters uncomfortable.
“I threw my first 3-0 changeup the other day and got a ground out out of the inning,” Pivetta said. “That helps.”
Pivetta said he notices more experienced hitters with more experienced approaches in his limited timed in Class AA, a challenge he hopes to meet with improved consistency. A baseball buzzword, to be sure, consistency often boils down to repeating delivery, arm slot and approach.
“It comes along with experience,” Pivetta said. “I’m 2 1/2 years in, and the amount off knowledge that I’ve learned and been able to incorporate into my game has helped me get this far. It’s just experience and playing baseball every single day, going out and improving on each start. Using each start to tell you who you are and how to become a Washington National one day.”