June 28, 2015 |
A stoic, old-school manager, Ryne Sandberg showed some emotion Friday in his last day with the Phillies. Sandberg, 55, arrived at Citizens Bank Park at 10 a.m. and then dropped a bombshell on his bosses: He was walking away from this season of endless frustration and consistent losing. Third base coach Pete Mackanin was named the interim manager, the third time he has been in the position. With a 26-48 record entering Friday, the Phillies had the worst mark in Major League Baseball, and the pain from managing a team that last produced a winning season in 2011 was clearly evident.
June 19, 2015 |
WE'D REACHED the part of the process where we were supposed to ask the manager solemn questions about his future, and Ryne Sandberg seemed to understand that as he sat in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park yesterday. The Phillies were coming off an embarrassment that had been brewing for months, a 19-3 loss in which a starting pitcher strained a hamstring covering home, a reliever gave up five home runs, a rightfielder threw 48 pitches, and a pitching coach was forced to wave the white towel - literally - because the bullpen phone was off the hook.
June 15, 2015 |
A late March baseball game at Griffin High School, about 40 miles south of Atlanta, attracted a gaggle of scouts. Pike County's Tristin English, a righthanded pitcher bound for Georgia Tech in the fall, was on the mound against Griffin's star, the smooth-swinging Cornelius Randolph. Griffin coach Alex Wyche batted Randolph leadoff, so English, whose fastball reaches the mid-90s, couldn't pitch around him. In each of his first two at-bats, the lefthanded-hitting Randolph scorched heaters to left-center field, the second resulting in a double that plated a run with two outs.
June 11, 2015 |
SOON AFTER he was hired to run the Chicago Cubs in the fall of 2011, Theo Epstein named Dale Sveum to be his manager. As the Brewers' hitting coach, Sveum had a reputation not just for developing young hitters, but for being a tough, no-nonsense type and requiring accountability from those who played for him. The Cubs needed that discipline as their organizational philosophy veered toward perennial restocking and patience, much as the Phillies have...
June 8, 2015 |
DAN HERSHBERG, 31, from Northern Liberties, is a diehard Philly sports fan who landed a job right out of college, creating highlight clips for ESPN's late-night shows. But after two years, he was pining for his hometown. "Bristol, Connecticut, is not a place where you want to spend your 20s," Hershberg said. "I'd get out of work at 2 or 3 a.m. when there's not much opportunity to socialize in Bristol. I hadn't seen a living, breathing woman in a long time. " Hershberg had an epiphany.
April 30, 2015 |
A PRETTY good indication that Ruben Amaro Jr. has made the right move in holding on to Cole Hamels is the number of general managers and personnel executives anonymously bellyaching about him in the national press. Amaro starring in "Little Big League 2" is an easy narrative to peddle, and his colleagues seem happy to play it up, but his culpability for the Phillies' current mess does not mean every decision he makes is a terrible one, and the decision to hang on to Hamels has proved to be the smart play.
April 6, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Ryan Howard blooped a single to center field in the final inning of another lost Phillies season late in September, the notion existed that it may have been his final at-bat with the team. But six months later, after a winter in which the club's front office failed to find a taker for the aging slugger and a fraction of the $60 million left on his contract, Howard will find himself back at first base at Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon. This season, the first of the Phillies' daunting rebuild, will differ from its immediate predecessors, but not in terms of who bats cleanup.
April 3, 2015 |
Today, the Daily News begins a four-part preview of the Phillies' 2015 season. The focus of Part 1 is a discussion of a simple question: How exactly did the team get where it is today, seen by most as the worst team in baseball? Part 2 will run tomorrow and answer the question: What is the team's biggest current concern? Staff predictions for the season also will be included. Part 3, in Daily News Weekend, will profile one of the team's legitimate hopes for the future, third baseman Cody Asche.
March 24, 2015 |
FORT MYERS, Fla. - With the three hitters projected to hit in the middle of the batting order past their 35th birthdays, the regular production expected from the Phillies' offense is uncertain at best. With Cliff Lee likely gone for the duration of the season and the likelihood that Cole Hamels could be traded before the end of the summer, the formerly formidable starting rotation is more than vulnerable. It's a 1-2 punch that has led some to believe to Phillies could flirt with 100 losses in 2015.
March 22, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Maikel Franco's belongings were packed in a red duffel bag. His locker was nearly empty. The Phillies prospect clutched three bats in each hand and walked out of the clubhouse Friday morning. His time in major-league camp was up. The Phillies optioned the 22-year-old to minor-league camp after a slow start this spring. Franco hit .200 in 30 at-bats. All six of his hits were singles. He was projected to compete with Cody Asche for the starting job at third base. Franco failed to be much of a threat.