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Phillies will still give away Hunter Pence bobbleheads despite trade

Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline gave us a Phillies mini-firesale, with the club shipping two-thirds of its starting outfield westward. Not too long after trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers, the last-place Phillies sent right fielder Hunter Pence to the Giants. The latter deal, however, poses a problem to the team’s promotions department, which had scheduled a Pence bobblehead giveaway day for Aug. 21’s game against the Reds.

But, fear not, bobblehead aficionados and Hunter Pence fans:

We’ve seen the A’s do this previously with Jason Giambi. The truth is ball clubs get promotional items weeks, sometimes months, in advance of their distribution date, often long before unforeseen roster transactions happen. So, the Phillies somewhere in the doldrums of Citizens Bank Park have thousands of cheap toys that marginally look like Pence readily stashed away, and they are not just going to throw them in the dumpster.

But it still has to be weird for the Phillies to celebrate a guy they unceremoniously shipped away three weeks prior. The Phillies can’t do anything right when it comes to bobbleheads.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo via Jeff Kolakowski

Hunter Pence runs over third base coach Juan Samuel (Video)

Hunter Pence hilariously ran over Phillies third base coach Juan Samuel while trying to score from second on a double by Juan Pierre during Saturday’s game against the Braves. Pence didn’t loop out before rounding the bag like players are taught, and he was so wide of the base line that he ended up running into Samuel and bowling the coach over.

Samuel stood with his hat knocked off and hands on his waist after the unexpected trucking, and he genuinely seemed to be ticked off with Pence. Pence meanwhile found the entire episode hilarious and tried hiding his laughter in the dugout.

Maybe Samuel needs to start throwing on some catcher’s gear before heading out to the third base coaching box.

Hunter Pence’s New Girlfriend is Playboy Playmate Shannon James (Pictures)

Hunter Pence is just absolutely killing life right now.  One of the better young outfielders in the game, Pence spent the first four seasons of his career with the Astros — a team that quickly became one of the worst in all of baseball.  After a season in which he belted 25 homers and knocked in 91 runs, it was clear Pence was outgrowing his potential in Houston.  Then, Hunter got the phone call every MLB player dreams of when he found out he was being traded from one of the worst franchises in the MLB to one of the best.

Now, Pence plays for the Phillies.  His starting pitching staff is one of the best in the game and the lineup he has been inserted into is stacked.  In 54 games after being traded to Philadelphia, he hit .324.  As Crossing Broad has informed us, he also started dating a Playboy Playmate named Shannon Jones somewhere along the line, who recently tweeted that she is on her way to Cabo with her man.  Simply put: it’s good to be Hunter Pence.

I’ve done my due diligence in adding her to our tremendous list of Steve’s smokin’ hot sports girlfriends, while also rounding up the somewhat SFW photos of the Playboy model.  If you want to venture around the internet for the NSFW pictures, well, she is a Playmate.  Enjoy, because we all know Hunter is.

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Hunter Pence Steps to Plate with Doughnut Weight on Bat (Pictures)

There are a lot of things that could have contributed to Hunter Pence having a mind lapse during Monday night’s Phillies-Rockies game.  For one, Pence is still new to Philadelphia after being traded at the deadline.  Perhaps his nerves are still acting up a bit.  Also, the game had gone to extra innings.  Pence, along with everyone else, may have been tired and ready to call it a night.  Whatever the case, it’s pretty amusing to see someone stroll to the plate with a doughnut still on the bat.

Imagine no one said anything to Pence and he ripped one into the gap? Now that would be impressive. Earlier in the same night we saw a player hit a broken bat home run and another home run leave seam marks on a woman’s knee after it bounced off her and back into play.  No need to feel bad, Hunter.  It was just one of those nights where strange things seem to happen.

Chest bump to Big League Stew for the pictures.

Astros Got Pretty Decent Haul in Hunter Pence Trade

The Houston Astros have been hammered by many folks for trading away All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence at the deadline this year. I’ve always thought Pence was a pretty good player, but nothing special. His All-Star appearances have been more the result of circumstance (playing for the hapless Astros) than stellar performance. Still, he should help the Phillies who could use the offensive boost. The good news for Philly is that Pence is under team control for the next two seasons, so his salary shouldn’t get too ridiculous. But let’s not shrug this off as if it were a bad deal for the Astros.

Houston is the worst team in baseball this year. They’ve been at least 10 games under .500 the last two seasons. There really wasn’t too much upside for keeping Hunter Pence, so why not trade him and get some players in return? The Phillies wanted him and gave up four players, three of whom aren’t bad (the fourth is to-be-determined).

All three prospects Philly gave up are young, low-level guys but they have some promise.

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Hunter Pence Goes Golden Sombrero

It’s been a while since we’ve had an LBS Golden Sombrero sighting, so let me refresh your memory. When a player goes 0-for-4 in a game and does nothing but strikeout each time up, he earns the Golden Sombrero. For the nearly impossible 0-for-5 with five strikeouts, the player receives the rarefied Platinum Sombrero. Well Sunday at Wrigley Field, Astros right fielder Hunter Pence went 0-for-4 with four punch-outs, earning the coveted Golden Sombrero.

Now Houston won the game 6-5 so that should slightly ease the pain for Pence. The good thing about Hunter’s Sombrero is that he was up there hacking, striking out swinging the first three times. By the fourth at-bat, he probably was so discouraged he decided to keep the bat on his shoulders and go down honorably. The one comment I will make is that at least Pence punched out the first three times against a fireballer like Rich Harden, so that’s nothing about which one should be embarrassed. Hunter’s also hitting .323 this year even after the Sombrero, so better days should be expected.

Who is Hunter Pence?

He’s a rookie center fielder for the Houston Astros, and he’s absolutely killing the ball. The 24-year-old former 2nd round draft pick of Houston in 2004 is batting .355 through 16 games this year, with 15 RBI. But check out what the rookie’s done recently — the Giants haven’t gotten him out once this series. Pence is 7 for 7 against San Francisco, and 11 for his last 14. The kid’s OPSing an incredible 1.071 so far. So what gives? Who is this guy?

Well, according to Baseball America, Pence was the Astros top prospect in 2007. In 308 career minor league games, Pence hit .302 and OPS’d .932. He averaged a home run nearly every five games. And in November, despite hitting .339, Hunter was sent home from the Arizona Fall League because of a DUI arrest. Scouts say he’s very competitive player with an infectious makeup, and high energy. Best part is he teared up a bit when his manager Jackie Moore informed him of his call up. So can he keep it up? Only time will tell, but there’s no question that he has the proven track record. We’ll be keeping our eye on this kid to see if he’s the next great thing in Houston. It sure looks that way right now.