September 29, 2014 |
There is $12.75 million reserved for A.J. Burnett, a 37-year-old whose career wages top $135 million, and all he must do is play one more season. That is the stipulation to the contract Burnett signed last February, when the Phillies believed he was the final piece to a contending team. Ryne Sandberg, when asked before a 4-2 loss to Atlanta Saturday night whether he knew anyone who would reject that sort of money, shrugged and smiled. But there was Burnett, motionless during the seventh inning after Justin Upton smashed a pivotal two-run homer, enduring another miserable moment that could force his retirement.
September 28, 2014 |
The boos began as he trotted out from center field to take the mound in the ninth inning. Phillies righthander Jonathan Papelbon was making his first appearance at Citizens Bank Park since the crotch-grabbing incident on Sept. 14 and the fans showed their displeasure. He received a seven-game suspension and fine and since then, Papelbon had rejoined the Phillies, earned one save, but that was on the road. Now he was back home and he turned the boos to cheers by earning the save with a scoreless ninth inning during Friday's 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.
September 24, 2014 |
MIAMI - There will be no "Mission Accomplished" banners hanging from Citizens Bank Park if the Phillies surpass last season's win total with more than two victories in their final six games. Outsiders will see that feat as further proof that a culture of mediocrity has enveloped the franchise. But some team officials, no doubt, will maintain that competitiveness is close. That, after all, is how the Phillies thought after last season's 73 wins. They doubled down on a strategy of augmenting an older core with even older players through free agency.
September 19, 2014 |
JOHN BARTRAM HIGH had just scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:14 remaining last night against Simon Gratz when a Bartram assistant coach uttered prophetic words as the Braves prepared to kick off to Bulldogs senior Shawn Williams. "He's a home-run hitter," James Ockimey said. "He makes me nervous. " Seconds later, Williams fielded the kick at the 6 and motored to the 50. Just one problem: Yellow flags littered the field. A block in the back negated Williams' wheels - temporarily.
September 5, 2014 |
ATLANTA - The conversation on the mound Wednesday lasted longer than usual. Ryne Sandberg asked Phillies catcher Wil Nieves about his strategy with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. "Stay back," Nieves said. "He was rushing. " Sandberg nodded, said something that Nieves translated to the Cuban righthander, and then patted Gonzalez on the back. A 7-4 loss to the Braves deviated from the Phillies' recent brand of sterling baseball. But the wins and losses mean little now; this is a time to gain insight on the possible pieces for next season.
September 3, 2014
PHILLIES NO-HITTERS Sept. 1, 2014: Cole Hamels (6 innings); Jake Diekman (1); Ken Giles (1); Jonathan Papelbon (1) at Atlanta, 7-0 Oct. 6, 2010: Roy Halladay, vs. Cincinnati, 4-0, NLDS May 29, 2010: Roy Halladay, at Florida, 1-0 (y) April 27, 2003: Kevin Millwood, vs. San Francisco, 1-0 May 23, 1991: Tommy Greene at Montreal, 2-0 Aug. 15, 1990: Terry Mulholland vs. San Francisco, 6-0 June 23, 1971: Rick Wise at Cincinnati, 4-0 June 21, 1964: Jim Bunning at New York, 6-0 (y)
August 21, 2014 |
Dear Nancy, So here you are, sending your first son off to college. Such a simple fact. Such huge implications. I certainly don't know where those 18 years went since I first held Samuel Ezra Friedman Zinn in my arms and told you, through tears that wouldn't stop coming, that nothing in your life would ever be the same, because now you were somebody's mother. Exhausted, exhilarated, awed, you couldn't possibly have known what I meant. I wanted to prepare you for what motherhood is: a series of astonishments, delights, sweetness, and tenderness - along with bursts of aggravation, frustration, and anger.
July 22, 2014 |
ATLANTA - It was 3:14 p.m. when Gerry Davis looked to the gray sky. Kyle Kendrick finished his warm-up tosses for the sixth inning, and waited in a downpour. No one wanted to continue, not when the Phillies trailed by five runs and had a plane to catch. Davis, the home-plate umpire, waved the Phillies to their dugout. That is how Kendrick's 20th start in 2014 ended Sunday. The 29-year-old righthander eradicated whatever trade value he possessed with his third straight miserable outing, an 8-2 Phillies loss to the Braves.
July 21, 2014 |
ATLANTA - Jimmy Rollins swatted a 95-m.p.h. fastball, and his eyes widened when the torque forced his head upward. "Finally," Rollins said. He stood near home plate to watch a two-run homer land in the first row of right-field seats at Turner Field. Cole Hamels, with his left arm wrapped in a white towel, had his support. For six innings, the 2-1 win over the first-place Braves resembled the most fitting of Hamels starts. He was electric, throwing near-perfect stuff at Atlanta, while his teammates mounted failure after failure at the plate.