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.
August 26, 2015 |
Ken Giles arrived at spring training in February with his own custom T-shirt. The red sleeveless shirt had "I'm all Fired Up" printed on the front and the Phillies reliever's nickname, "100 Miles Giles" screened on the back. Everyone wanted one, Giles said. His teammates had to wait. Giles purchased a box of the shirts and brought them to the Phillies' clubhouse last week after a nine-game road trip. "I'll tell you one thing, they were like kids in a candy store," Giles said.
August 24, 2015 |
MIAMI - Luis Garcia walked off the mound after a recent outing, having needed only eight pitches to dispatch the opposition in order. Once back in the dugout, the Phillies relief pitcher heard from his manager. "Te vamos a pagar medio dia de trabajo, porque no hiciste nada hoy. " Half a day's pay because you didn't do anything today. "Little stuff like that," Pete Mackanin said, "and they get a kick out of it. " Witty remarks such as that one have been more common in the Phillies dugout in the two months since Mackanin was tabbed as the interim caretaker of baseball's worst team.
August 6, 2015 |
LOS ANGELES Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins arrived at Philadelphia International Airport early Monday morning, less than 72 hours after Texas Rangers lefthander Cole Hamels flew out to Dallas. Rehabbing second baseman Chase Utley could become the next longtime Phillie on his way to a new team if he passes through waivers and a contending team trades for him later this month. As Bob Dylan said, the times, they are a-changin'. "They have [changed] . . . it's crazy," Rollins said yesterday afternoon, before his first game at Citizens Bank Park as a member of a team other than the Phillies.
August 2, 2015 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - Cole Hamels' final magical moment in a Phillies uniform last week was closely watched more than 2,000 miles away in Anaheim, Calif. As the players, coaches and manager of the Texas Rangers awaited the start of their Saturday night game against the Los Angeles Angels, they got caught up in what was going down at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Many of the Rangers knew that the trade talks between their general manager Jon Daniels and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had heated up again.
June 19, 2015 |
BASEBALL PLAYERS are notorious for the practical jokes they play on teammates. During spring training in 2008, former Phillies pitcher Brett Myers famously orchestrated an elaborate ruse on young righthander Kyle Kendrick, convincing him he had been traded to the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League for a player named Kobayashi Iwamura. The stunt, which required the cooperation of many members of the Phillies' staff, including manager Charlie Manuel, worked so well that Kendrick was virtually in tears before Myers giddily screamed Kendrick had "got punked.
March 5, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Few moments unfold as you have dreamt them. Life is too complex. It is not a zero sum endeavor. In any given moment, there are other moments, little things that end up sticking in your mind at the expense of more prominent details, things that must be observed, experienced, things that cannot be anticipated. Take the morning Mario Hollands got the call he'd been anticipating his entire life. He can't immediately recall who was in the office with Ryne Sandberg, and he can't immediately recall what he said when they told him to pack a bag for Texas because he'd made the big-league club.
February 20, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Less than a month ago, Ryne Sandberg stood in the middle of a banquet room at the Woodlake Country Club in Lakewood, N.J., and said he wasn't happy with the Phillies' clubhouse dynamic during the 2014 season. It wasn't a good clubhouse, he said. It wasn't conducive to winning, he continued. Sandberg never pinpointed exactly what it was he didn't like, but said the atmosphere wasn't one in which younger players could thrive and be themselves. The 2015 Phillies clubhouse officially opened up for business yesterday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, when pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report.
January 16, 2014 |
COLE HAMELS does not equal Jonathan Papelbon. There, I got that off my chest. I felt the need, since the two men tend to say things that lump them together. There's a huge abyss between Hamels and Papelbon, though. Hamels is a quirky but intelligent interview. Papelbon is, well, just quirky. And that's being kind. From his rambling defense of gun ownership following the Boston Marathon bombing ("Obama wants to take our guns"), to his "I didn't come here for this" comment amid a slumping July, to his unfavorable comparison of his newer club to his old one on a Boston radio station recently, Papelbon is, in the words of former closer and current Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley, "A whole different kind of crazy.
June 14, 2013 |
IF YOU'VE BEEN monitoring those dreaded weather forecasts, the prospects didn't look very promising for yesterday's opening round of the 113th U.S. Open. The worst-case scenarios bordered on dire. Merion's East Course had already absorbed 6-plus inches of rain since Friday. And most of the weather computer models were predicting even more, from a storm that included threats of hail and perhaps tornadoes. Seriously. Forget about keeping this treasure of a golf course playable for the best players on the planet.