October 10, 2014 |
We interrupt the ongoing dissection of Nick Foles' physical attributes to bring you this sports bulletin: Baseball's playoffs are underway. You might not have been aware because in much the same way its hitters once treated cork and its pitchers pine tar, baseball appears to have gone to great lengths to hide the start of its 2014 postseason. For many fans this October, the wild-card games and both division series were harder to locate than reasonably priced concessions. Some are on channels that many fans don't get (the MLB Network)
October 4, 2012
Major League Baseball has agreed with Fox and Turner Sports on eight-year contracts that will run through 2021 and keep the World Series on Fox. Fox also will retain rights to the All-Star Game and a league championship series every year, and add coverage of two division series starting in 2014. TBS will retain the rights to televise one league championship series, two division series, and one wild-card game. The amount baseball receives from the two networks will double to an average of about $800 million annually, with Fox's share averaging about $500 million.
March 4, 2012 |
TAMPA, Fla. - There is nothing theoretical about playoff expansion for the Phillies. No one understands that, or how precious the opportunities are, better than Roy Halladay. He spent most of a brilliant career playing for a Toronto team that went to spring training every year with little or no chance of reaching the postseason. He came to the Phillies for a chance to change that, to compete on the biggest stage. Two years in a row, he got there. Two years in a row, a supposedly lesser team upset the Phillies and went on to win the World Series.
March 3, 2012 |
NEW YORK - With less than a month to go before opening day, baseball at last decided who's in and who's out come October. Now, even a third-place team can win the World Series. Major League Baseball made it official Friday, expanding the playoff format to 10 teams by adding a second wild-card club to each league. "I hope we get that extra spot," said new Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, whose team is coming off a 56-106 finish that was the worst in the majors.
October 9, 2011 |
The expectations for this Phillies postseason, higher than Billy Penn's hat before the National League division series started, zoomed into the stratosphere when Ryan Howard crushed a three-run home run in Game 1, finished the night with his fourth RBI, then hit a two-run single early in Game 2. In his first four official at-bats, Howard had six RBIs. The bitter memories of his taking a season-ending called third strike in Game 6 of last year's NL Championship Series against the Giants were fading quickly.
October 7, 2011 |
TEAMS THAT hope to be great want to win deciding games. Teams that are great win deciding games. The Phillies' 5-year run needs a second championship to validate it all. They know it. Everybody knows it. Win tonight's Game 5 of the Division Series against St. Louis and they are alive for that second title. Lose it and they get a year's worth of questions. Win it all again and celebrate forever. Lose tonight and the last 4 years looks like this: win World Series, lose World Series, lose championship series, lose division series; not an arc with a positive trajectory.
October 2, 2011 |
Some managers - no, make that most managers - would have pulled the plug on Raul Ibanez a long time ago. The 39-year-old leftfielder hit .161 with one home run in April, .211 with one home run and five RBIs in June, and .210 with one home run and eight RBIs in August. If you're Charlie Manuel, it's easy to stick with a veteran like Ibanez through April. He is a career .280 hitter, and he goes about his business in the right way even when things are going dreadfully wrong.
October 2, 2011 |
Five straight playoff appearances. One hundred two regular-season wins. A starting rotation for the ages. Were Phillies fans complacent after an 11-6 victory in Game 1 of the National League division series on Saturday night? Ho-hum, just another postseason appearance? Not a chance. To the sold-out crowd that packed Citizens Bank Park, every game played in October matters. "This is great, every time," said James Hammerstone, a fan who drove from White Haven, Pa., to see the game.
October 1, 2011 |
NEW YORK - The rainy season rolls on. The playoff opener between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees was suspended because of rain in the second inning Friday night, wiping out the ace of each pitching staff for a few days. Justin Verlander started for Detroit against CC Sabathia in a highly anticipated matchup between two of the game's best pitchers. The score was tied at 1 in the middle of the second inning when play was halted. According to a rule adopted by Major League Baseball after rain wreaked havoc with the 2008 World Series, the game is not postponed.