A new century should’ve started a winning trend for the Philadelphia Phillies. However, 2000 had been yet another losing season (13th in Philadelphia’s previous 14 seasons).
Fourth-year manager Terry Francona saw his club finish 65-97 (started 7-18), last place in the National League East (30 games out of first). The Phillies were 38-44 at the All-Star break but finished 27-53 (6-17 at one point). By the way, Francona was let go after this season and Larry Bowa would soon take over the reigns.
Pitchers Adam Eaton, Steve Montgomery, and Carlton Loewer were traded to San Diego on Nov. 10, 1999 for pitcher Andy Ashby. Catcher Bobby Estella had been dealt to San Francisco on Dec. 12, 1998 for pitcher Chris Brock. Outfielder Wendell Magee traveled to Detroit on March 10 for pitcher Bobby Sismondo. The Phillies shipped reliever Yorkis Perez to Houston on March 29 for pitcher Trevor Miller.
On July 12, Ashby went to Atlanta for pitchers Bruce Chen and Jimmy Osting. Outfielder Rob Ducey said goodbye to Philadelphia on July 26 when the Phillies traded him to Toronto for pitcher John Sneed. Left-fielder Ron Gant, shortstop Desi Relaford, and second baseman Mickey Morandini were also dealt as the Phillies received pitcher Kent Bottenfield, infielder David Newhan, and Ducey (gone for less than two weeks).
But the big deal during the 2000 campaign also came on July 26. The Phillies traded dominant starting pitcher Curt Schilling to Arizona for first baseman Travis Lee and pitchers Omar Daal, Vicente Padilla, and Nelson Figueroa. While in the City of Brotherly Love (1992-2000), Schilling was 101-78 with a 3.35 Earned Run Average in 242 games (226 starts), 14 shutouts, two saves, and 1,554 strikeouts in 1,659 innings.
The Phillies batted .251 (1,386-for-5,511) with 708 runs, 304 doubles, 40 triples, 144 home runs, 668 runs batted in, and 102 stolen bases. Francona’s lineup card would usually include shortstop Relaford (56-for-253, 29 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs), second baseman Morandini (76-for-302, 31 runs, 13 doubles, three triples, 22 RBIs), right-fielder Bobby Abreu, third baseman Scott Rolen, rookie first baseman Pat Burrell, left-fielder Gant (87-for-343, 54 runs, 16 doubles, two triples, 20 homers, 38 RBIs), center-fielder Doug Glanville, and primary catcher Mike Lieberthal (108-for-389, 55 runs, 30 doubles, 15 homers, 71 RBIs).
Ducey batted .197 in 112 games, Kevub Sefcik mustered 36 hits in 153 at-bats, and Kevin Jordan collected 23 of his 74 hits for extra bases in 109 games. Infielder Alex Arias didn’t take part in a triple play (he started triple plays in 1998 and 1999) as he hit .187 (29-for-155) in 70 games. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins appeared in the first 14 games of his big-league career by going 17-for-53 with five runs, one double, one triple (his first hit), three steals, and five RBIs. Brian R. Hunter posted 29 hits in 138 at-bats (85 games) with 13 runs, five doubles, seven gopher balls, and 22 RBIs. Lee swatted 13 extra-base hits, scored 19 runs, and drove in 14 in 56 games.
Abreu continued carrying a hot bat with his third straight .300 season by batting .316 (182-for-576) with 103 runs, 42 doubles, 10 triples, 25 four-baggers, 79 RBIs, and 28 steals. He became the first Phillie since Juan Samuel in 1987 to post double figures in doubles, triples, sayonaras, and steals. The right-fielder swatted three doubles against Cincinnati on May 4.
Rolen hit .298 (144-for-483) in 128 games with 88 runs, 32 doubles, six triples, 26 goodbye balls, eight steals, and 89 RBIs. He homered on opening day for the second consecutive season. The third baseman hit two triples against Montreal on Sept. 13.
Burrell completed a .260 (106-for-408 ) campaign before transitioning to left field with 57 runs, 27 doubles, a triple, 18 homers, and 79 RBIs. Glanville batted .275 (175-for-637) with 89 runs, 27 doubles, six triples, eight long-balls, 52 RBIs, and 31 steals.
There were still plenty of growing pains on the pitching staff. Twenty-seven pitchers displayed a 4.77 Earned Run Average in 1,439 innings with three shutouts, 34 saves, eight complete games, 1,458 hits, 640 bases on balls, and 1,123 strikeouts.
Randy Wolf became the ace of the safe by showing an 11-9 record in 32 starts with one complete game, 210 hits, 83 walks, 160 strikeouts, and a 4.36 ERA in 206 innings. Robert Person (9-7, 3.63 ERA) continued showing promise as a starter in his 28 starts with one shutout, one complete game, and 164 strikeouts in 173 innings. Paul Byrd (2-9, 6.51 ERA) started 15 of his 17 games with 89 hits, 35 walks, and 53 strikeouts in 83 innings.
Chen was 3-4 in 15 starts with 80 strikeouts and a 3.63 ERA in 94 innings. Daal couldn’t control his pitches by going 2-9 in 12 starts (71 innings) with 81 hits, 30 walks, 51 strikeouts, and a 4.69 ERA. Bottenfield (1-2, eight starts, 44 innings, 4.50 ERA) recorded a shutout, complete one game, walked 21, and punched-out 31.
Ashby (4-7, 16 starts, 5.68 ERA), the opening day starter, completed one game, permitted 113 hits, walked 38, and fanned 51 in 101 innings. Schilling (6-6, 3.91 ERA) departed Philadelphia after one shutout, four complete games, 110 hits, 32 passes, and 96 strikeouts in 113 innings.
Jeff Brantley (2-7, 55 games, 5.86 ERA) served as closer, saving 23 games with 29 free passes and 57 strikeouts in 55 innings. Wayne Goes (4-6, 65 games, 74 innings,4.40 ERA) notched seven saves, allowed 72 hits, permitted 35 walks, and struckout 49. Other bullpen arms were Scott Aldred (1-3, 23 games, 20 innings, 21 strikeouts, 5.75 ERA), Jason Boyd (0-1, 30 games, 34 innings, 32 strikeouts, 6.55 ERA), Brock (7-8, one save, 63 games, five starts, 93 innings, 4.34 ERA), Mark Holzemer (0-1, 25 games, 26 innings, 7.71 ERA), Steve Schrenk (2-3, 20 games, 23 innings, 7.33 ERA), Bryan Ward (0-0, 29 games, 19 innings, 2.33 ERA), Amaury Telemaco (1-3, 13 games, two starts, 24 innings, 6.66 ERA), Ed Vosberg (1-1, 31 games, 24 innings, 4.13 ERA), and Padilla (2-6, two saves, 28 games, 30 innings, 5.34 ERA).
The Phillies displayed the league’s third-ranked defense (.983 fielding percentage) after 100 errors and 136 double plays. Glanville tied the league lead for outfielders with four double plays.
Lieberthal was the Phillies’ sole representative in the 2000 All-Star Game. Veterans Stadium entertained 1,612,769 spectators throughout the season. Tony Perez, a first baseman for the 1973 Phillies, was selected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Garnering the Paul Owens Award for top minor leaguers in the Phillies’ farm system were pitcher Brandon Duckworth and outfielder Marlon Byrd; believe it of not Duckworth and Byrd would repeat as winners in 2001.
Flagship radio station WOGL-FM and television networks Comcast SportsNet and WPSG-UPN broadcasted home and road games. Announcing the games were Harry Kalas, Andy Musser, Chris Wheeler, Larry Andersen, and Scott Graham.
*Information about the 2000 Phillies can be found in “The Phillies Encyclopedia (Third Edition)” by Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky.