September 15, 2015 |
A game-tying fielding error became secondary when Cesar Hernandez collided with the Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo and tumbled to the ground. Hernandez, the Phillies' 25-year-old second baseman, winced in pain as a trainer ran out to first base to tend to him. A dislocated left thumb forced Hernandez from the Phillies' 7-4 win on Sunday afternoon against the playoff-bound Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. With only 18 games remaining on the Phillies' schedule, it's likely the injury to his catching hand will spell the end of the season for Hernandez.
September 14, 2015 |
A DAY AFTER the Phillies removed Ruben Amaro Jr. as general manager, Jeff Francoeur was up to his usual antics in the team's clubhouse before a doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs, joking with his teammates, old and young, and making them practically fall out of their seats with laughter. Francoeur was all smiles, but he took no pleasure from the exit of Amaro, who gave the 31-year-old outfielder another shot in the big leagues when his career seemed to be fading around this time last year.
September 10, 2015 |
IT IS A funny and pleasant memory for Chooch: that day he got Chase Utley in New York. Lately, for Carlos Ruiz, it's mostly about the memories. The fifth wheel on the home-grown Phillies nucleus that won five NL East titles in a row, Ruiz was the least likely star. Cole Hamels and Chase Utley were first-round picks; Jimmy Rollins, a second-rounder but an obvious star from the outset; and Ryan Howard, a fifth-rounder but the biggest piece of the puzzle in every sense of the phrase.
September 4, 2015 |
A YEAR AGO - on Sept. 2, 2014, the day after Labor Day - Pat Gillick stood in the hallway in between the dugout and the visitor's clubhouse at Turner Field and spoke about one of the most difficult resources in professional sports. He talked about the importance of patience, particularly when running or rooting for a team in transition. Gillick's quasi-state of the franchise address came about 24 hours after four of his pitchers combined for a no-hit win over the Braves. Three of those pitchers - Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and Jonathan Papelbon - have since moved on in trades, while Ken Giles has moved into the closer's role on the suddenly youthful Phillies roster.
August 31, 2015 |
Amid their youth movement, the Phillies have yet to offer extended playing time to their new 24-year-old utility man, Darnell Sweeney. Cesar Hernandez remains the rebuilding team's priority at second base, center field is locked up by Odubel Herrera, and Sweeney's experience at third base - where Maikel Franco's injury has created a void - is minimal. But in his 18 plate appearances since joining the Phillies as part of the return for Chase Utley, Sweeney has made his case for more starts.
August 24, 2015 |
A COUPLE of weeks ago, I was in New York and I went to see the show "Beautiful," a musical about the life of singer/songwriter Carole King. During the show, almost every one of her hits was performed, including one of my favorites, "So Far Away. " One of the lines in the song is "Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?" When I heard Wednesday night that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was traded, it made me think of those lyrics. The trouble with being a sports fan these days is that very few players remain with one team for their entire career.
August 23, 2015 |
MIAMI - Darnell Sweeney was getting ready to lead off and play center field in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night when he learned he was scratched from the lineup of the Dodgers' triple-A club. It didn't take much more than a scroll through Twitter to learn the reason. Sweeney's manager later officially alerted him that he had been traded to the Phillies. If that wasn't enough news, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called 20 minutes later and told Sweeney he was getting his first major-league promotion.
August 23, 2015 |
HOUSTON - Not long after the Dodgers were no-hit by Houston's Mike Fiers on Friday night, their clubhouse was a somber outpost of Minute Maid Park. Chase Utley, 0 for 4 in his debut in blue, dressed quickly. While departing from a silence he couldn't have imagined in the long lead-up to the deal that sent him home, he shrugged. "That's baseball," he said, betraying nothing. The carefully cultivated mask, a mix of cool and concentration that for 13 seasons Utley had donned as if it were a required part of his Phillies uniform, got tested on his first day as a Los Angeles Dodger.
August 22, 2015
ISSUE | GMOS 'Only two decades' In supporting Monsanto's dream bill, the Inquirer Editorial Board is out of touch with the general public ("GMO panic is bad policy," Aug. 14). Polls have consistently shown that Americans support labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. That is because labeling genetically engineered ingredients, which have been on the market for only two decades, just makes sense. Consumers have a right to information about how food was produced before they buy it. The broad-based support for GMO labeling is the reason Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine have passed laws to require it. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and corporations such as Monsanto have bankrolled the effort to pass federal legislation nullifying the state laws.
August 22, 2015 |
MIAMI - The most apparent reminder that Chase Utley no longer plays for the Phillies was found Thursday inside the visiting team's video room at Marlins Park. This room lined with computer monitors - and the other stations like it across major-league baseball - was typically where one would find Utley, poring over immeasurable amounts of film of that night's starting pitcher or of his at-bats from the previous games. The iconic Phillies second baseman's absence was almost eerie. "It is weird," admitted Kevin Camiscioli, the team's longtime manager of video coaching services.