"Wait, when did I... stand... up......?" Chris Morrison-USA TODAY Sports

Phast Phive: Maikel Phranco

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In which the TBOH staff administers the week’s required reading.

John Stolnis

The Phillies are cheap. That much is clear. I mean, who are they trying to kid?

Last year, they entered the season with a payroll of around $170 million, tops in the National League. This year, their opening day payroll would be roughly $158 million. By my math, that’s $12 million LESS than last year. LESS! LESS, PEOPLE!

As we all know, money = wins. It’s that simple. The teams that spend the most, win the most. It’s a tale as old as time. Hell, Ty Cobb lived his entire life by this very principle. If the Phillies don’t spend $12 million more by opening day, no matter who it’s on, it’s obvious they just don’t care about winning. I’m so fed up with their cheap ways.

“And that’s how you turn an entire subculture against you.” Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Spend some money RUBEN!

So, Cody Asche had himself quite a 2012 season. So much so, he’s now considered among the top 10 prospects in the Phillies’ organization by most publications. In fact, he’s such a part of the future that the Phils hired Michael Young to hold down his position for him until he’s ready to make the leap. But what if Cody Asche stinks this year? What then?

CAN YOU SAY, MICHAEL YOUNG CONTRACT EXTENSION???!!! *dunks head in toilet*

And despite a relatively quiet offseason (is there still time to sign someone with a name we recognize??? anyone???), have the Phils still managed to leapfrog the Braves in the NL East?

In a word… no.

And just you wait until Justin Upton is traded to Atlanta. That’ll be fun times.

Justin Klugh

Hey, prospects.  They’re fun.  Let’s take a look at one of them.

**Hurls glass bottles at wall; shatters against the name “Maikel Franco.”**

Hey, okay, great.  Beyond the Box Score’s Spencer Schneier took this one by the horns and has a whole damn profile on the Phillies’ recently ranked #2 prospect.  Apparently he’s a power hitter, which is nice.  While skulking around SB Nation, be sure to check out David S. Cohen’s “Sanctimonious Blowhards,” the signature post on how self-important the whole Hall of Fame business has become.

It also features a picture of Bud Selig doing a spectacular impression of a rat, guarding the carcass of a second rat, as it prepares to cannibalize it.

Ethan Seidel

The Phillies list of top prospects has changed a great deal over the years, even from last season. Most lists find local pitching product Jesse Biddle at the top, but not on Bill Baer’s. That’s because he’s holding off on regurgitating a rapid reaction like most other sources to the Phillies minor league depth. For those anxiously awaiting Bill’s input, stay tuned as he polls the experts of baseball to form his own (well informed) list.

Hey, remember that bigot, John Rocker? Well if you were wondering what he’s up to these days, and who he’s offending now, turn your attention to this report on Hardball Talk. I don’t want to give away too much of this slanderous rant, but it involves gun rights, Nazis, and of course Jews. Haven’t seen you on my morning subway commute lately, John.

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