February 16, 2014 |
SOCHI - Katie Uhlaender had just been rocketing down a mountain of ice on a tiny piece of steel and fiberglass at more than 70 miles an hour. But the agonizingly slow descent that followed, one rung of the standings at a time, was far more frightening. With just three competitors to go in the fourth and final heat of Friday night's Olympic skeleton event, Uhlaender was in the lead. If only one of that trio failed to top her combined time of 3:54.34, the daughter of Charlie Manuel's late baseball roommate would earn a bronze medal in her third Olympic try. Watching her pursuers in front of the cameras at Sanki Sliding Center's kiss-and-cry area, Uhlaender was briefly buoyed when she saw one sled veer slightly off course.
February 14, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The record shows 42 games of major league experience for Ryne Sandberg, Mgr., but the real beginning arrived yesterday. Yesterday, the coaches and the players were his, along with an authority over the future that he lacked during the interim between Charlie Manuel's firing on Aug. 16 and the end of the Phillies' dreadful 73-89 season. Around 9:30 a.m., the pitchers and catchers walked out into a brisk, chilly wind and began the process of turning the page. "I think for the most part I feel prepared for it," Sandberg said as he sat in front of a gaggle of media members at Bright House Field.
February 13, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Larry Bowa was brought back to the dugout and Charlie Manuel was given a key to the front office. Bobby Abreu had his No. 53 jersey returned to him and Roy Halladay and Brad Lidge also will be back in uniform, as spring-training instructors. The Phillies' winter reunion continued yesterday, a day before camp officially opens in Clearwater, when two members of the 2008 World Series championship team were added to the broadcast team. Former pitcher Jamie Moyer and home run hero Matt Stairs will join play-by-play man Tom McCarthy in the broadcast booth, Comcast SportsNet announced.
February 13, 2014 |
Charlie Manuel has studied the young woman's face and knows where she got it. She is only 29 years old, but Manuel has seen the same face for more than 50 years, going back to when he met Ted Uhlaender at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., during Manuel's first professional instructional league season. They were alike, the rawboned Appalachian kid and the Midwestern farm boy, and they became best friends on their long trek through the Minnesota Twins minor-league system. Both made it to the majors, the friendship endured and tightened through the decades, and Manuel eventually hired Uhlaender as his first-base coach when he managed the Cleveland Indians.
February 11, 2014 |
AS TWILIGHT gathers on the horizon of his career, it is fascinating to consider what the legacy of Jimmy Rollins might become. Not since Richie Ashburn have the Phillies employed a player as charismatic, as universally appreciated . . . to a point. Rollins is poised at a critical point. His decreasing production and his increased salary have eroded his popularity, even though he finds himself a victim of circumstance and poor planning. Often, as stars begin to fade, replacements dovetail into the franchise's framework and either obscure or delay the fading: consider what Robinson Cano did for the Yankees.
February 6, 2014 |
The Phillies will induct Charlie Manuel to the team's wall of fame less than a year after firing the franchise's all-time winningest manager. Manuel will be honored before the Aug. 9 game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park as a part of alumni weekend. In addition, the team will celebrate former pitcher Roy Halladay's career with a ceremony and bobblehead promotion Aug. 8. "It is only fitting that Charlie become the newest member of our wall of fame," Phillies president David Montgomery said in a statement.
February 6, 2014 |
CHARLIE MANUEL will be inducted into the Phillies' Wall of Fame on Aug. 9, according to the team. Manuel was the manager in 2008 as the Phillies won their second World Series title in history. "I am honored to be enshrined on the Wall of Fame with Phillies greats such as Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and, of course, my good friend, Dallas Green," Manuel said in a statement. "I want to thank David Montgomery and the entire Phillies organization. This would not be happening if not for the great players and coaches I had around me. The years I spent in Philadelphia were some of the best of my professional career, and I owe a lot of that to the fans.
January 27, 2014 |
As a Phillies fan, I never really expected my team to land Masahiro Tanaka, the latest Japanese phenom, or pull off a surprise blockbuster trade. If this isn't the year the old gang finally gets it all together - hey, Charlie Manuel is back! - then the most I can hope for is rebuilding, even with the promise of a new $2.5 billion TV pact with Comcast. But there was one deal I was counting on, and the home team sorely disappointed me. The Phils could have insisted that Comcast finally play ball with Dish Network and DirecTV, the satellite services that still can't show viewers the vast majority of home-team games telecast over Comcast's SportsNet channel.
January 23, 2014 |
The Phillies watched with great interest as Bobby Abreu unleashed a recent barrage of home runs in Venezuela. This is, after all, the winter of Phillies reunions - first Larry Bowa, then Marlon Byrd and Charlie Manuel. Abreu, who turns 40 in March, is the latest. He signed a minor-league deal Tuesday to attempt a most unlikely comeback with the Phillies. Abreu did not play in American professional baseball last season. He will compete for a spot as a bench player in spring training.
January 22, 2014 |
WILLIAMSPORT - Sitting on a dais last night in the grand ballroom of the Genetti Hotel in front of a throng of red-clad Phillies fans, Ryne Sandberg recalled his first major league postseason experience in 1984. It was a heartbreaker, as his Chicago Cubs lost the best-of-five NLCS to San Diego after winning the first two games. The Hall of Fame second baseman, preparing for his first full season as the Phillies' manager, took a moment, and a deep breath, and said that series is the reason he is still working in baseball.