May 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Sports fans love a phenom. They enjoy the buildup and want to see if the player can match the seemingly unbearable hype. That explains so much interest in Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who is now hitting .261 with no home runs, three RBIs and a .378 on-base percentage in barely a week as a big leaguer. Forget the small sample size of statistics. Harper has been in the public consciousness since appearing on the Sports Illustrated cover at the age of 16. Now just 19, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Harper is a player people can't stop watching.
August 13, 2012 |
Charlie Manuel talked about Vance Worley as if he hadn't expected much more than the righthander gave him Sunday during the Phillies' 8-7, 11-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. "He battled," the Phillies manager said. "He stays in there and he usually gives us a chance to win the game. He usually takes you five or six innings. If you're going to be a fourth or fifth starter . . . in the major leagues, that ain't all bad. He definitely guts it out at times. " It could be argued that Worley has been gutting it out for some time.
March 24, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Darin Ruf's road to the big leagues took a detour Friday, but only after he showed once again why he was here in the first place. The 26-year-old slugger stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning and launched a long walk-off home run to left field, giving the Phillies a 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves. As he crossed home plate, Ruf was swarmed by his teammates in what was unquestionably the best moment of his often difficult spring training.
August 15, 2012 |
SEATTLE - Jeff Datz, the Seattle Mariners third-base coach and a graduate of Clearview High in Gloucester County and Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) is completing his 11th season as a major-league coach, and he says he never takes a day for granted. Nor will Datz forget the person who opened the gate to the big leagues. "I will forever be grateful to Charlie Manuel," Datz said about the Phillies manager in an interview last month at Safeco Field. "He gave me the opportunity to coach in the big leagues.
August 29, 2012 |
When your team is either well on its way to a division title or at least still fighting for a playoff spot, the September call-ups from the minor leagues have a far different meaning. In that scenario, you call up the players who give you the best chance to win on a nightly basis even if they're not considered top prospects. A year ago, for example, outfielder Brandon Moss was among the September call-ups for the Phillies because he had the ability to provide left-handed power off the bench.
April 15, 2012
If this season is anything like Ruben Amaro Jr.'s first three as Phillies general manager, there is going to come a time in July when he starts looking for help from another organization. You may not like the fact that the Phillies have failed to win a World Series since Amaro succeeded Hall of Famer Pat Gillick as the team's GM, but that does not change the reality that the current GM has significantly strengthened the team at the trade deadline every year since he took control.
May 21, 1996 |
It's as much a part of Baltimore as crabcakes and the Inner Harbor: Cal Ripken at shortstop for the Orioles. Ripken's streak of 2,168th consecutive games at shortstop could soon end because the former third baseman might be forced to return to his old position to fill in for two injured teammates. B.J. Surhoff is on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, and backup Bobby Bonilla is playing despite being hobbled by a similar injury. Because utility infielder Manny Alexander is better at shortstop than third base, manager Davey Johnson is considering moving Ripken to solidify the defense.
March 16, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It came in the form of a text message from the team a couple of hours after the Phillies' 2-1 Grapefruit League victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it was certainly not a surprise. Still, it's somewhat of a big deal to be named an opening-day starter in the big leagues for the first time in your career, and that's exactly what officially happened for Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels Thursday. Hamels, 29, will pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 1. He was not available for comment, but he downplayed the honor earlier in spring training.
February 22, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A year ago, it seemed a seamless fit. Jayson Werth had vacated rightfield. Domonic Brown, the Phillies' top position prospect, was a rightfielder. A quick study with a swing likened to Darryl Strawberry's and one of those laser arms that make you beg for a play at the plate, Brown would make the Phillies look smart for not re-signing Werth, maybe even make them better. Twelve months and 1,200 doubts later, no one's quite sure where Domonic Brown fits, when he fits or even whether he fits.
February 16, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Somebody asked Domonic Brown Thursday whether this was his last chance to win a job with the Phillies. It's funny because the 25-year-old outfielder who was once considered the best minor-league prospect in the game by Baseball America has just over one year of big-league service time. He has stepped to home plate only 492 times in the big leagues. The numbers - a .236 batting average, 12 home runs, 58 RBIs, and a .703 OPS - have not translated to the superstardom expected from the hype he received earlier in his professional career.