March 9, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Tommy Joseph was on a fast track to the major leagues, or, as the 23-year-old Arizonan puts it, he was "scootin'. " The San Francisco Giants twice invited him to big-league spring training before he was even of legal drinking age. He was only 21 when he took his first triple-A at-bat with the Phillies organization. Thirty-one months after becoming the centerpiece of the Phillies' return in the Hunter Pence trade, Joseph is just trying to stay on the field. If he manages to remain healthy, the rest will take care of itself, he contends.
April 18, 2014 |
ON A 40-DEGREE day in April while a cruel and relentless wind pummels your body, perhaps the most uncomfortable position on the baseball field is that of the catcher. Sure, maybe your body temperature is helped because you're always involved in the action, but then again - you're always involved in the action. And, the last thing any catcher wants, cold day or hot, is to take a foul ball in a place no foul ball is meant to travel. Chris Hammerstein, a converted infielder/pitcher for Franklin Towne Charter, might have questioned why he agreed to switch positions after a foul tip hit him in the groin yesterday against Northeast High.
September 3, 2012 |
READING, Pa. - When catcher Tommy Joseph was acquired by the Phillies from the San Francisco Giants in the Hunter Pence deal on July 31, his reputation was that of a strong offensive player whose defense needed refinement. Yet during his brief time at double-A Reading, Joseph has opened eyes with his defense while struggling at the plate. Either way, the Phillies are high on Joseph, who turned 21 in July and was rated at the beginning of the year as the Giants' No. 2 prospect by Baseball America.
June 2, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in New York Mets' history Friday night, helped by an umpire's missed call and an outstanding catch in left field in an 8-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. After a string of close calls in their 51-season history, Santana finally finished the job in the Mets' 8,020th game since the team was born in 1962. "Finally, the first one," Santana said. "That is the greatest feeling ever. " He needed a couple of key assists to pull off the majors' third no-hitter this season.
May 27, 2012 |
Don Larsen remembers the Yankees getting new uniforms for the 1956 Series. He wore his in Game 2 against the Dodgers, who chased the righthander after he allowed four runs in 12/3 innings in a 13-8 loss. He wore it again in Game 5, on Oct. 8, 1956, when he pitched the only perfect game in postseason history and the only no-hitter or perfecto in World Series history. "The uniform never got dirty because I didn't wear it very long," Larsen said. "It's still in beautiful condition.
May 25, 2012 |
ST. LOUIS - Chase Utley took two sessions of batting practice before the Phillies' game Thursday night against the St. Louis Cardinals and manager Charlie Manuel liked what he saw. "I was encouraged with the way the ball was jumping off his bat and how nice he was swinging," Manuel said before his team opened a four-game series against the defending World Series champions at Busch Stadium. "And any time he goes out and takes ground balls, I get encouraged by that. " Utley's BP sessions may have been encouraging, but his work in the field was limited and that's the part of the game that causes the second baseman's creaky left knee the most pain.
November 27, 2011
Bill Lyon is the author of Deadlines and Overtimes: Collected Writings on Sports and Life On the weekend we tally up the blessings for all that have passed through our lives, this is one man's list of what my grandmother used to call "our gratitudes. " I am thankful for: Nurses and grandmothers. (There isn't much in this world that they can't make better. Give them an automatic pass through the gates.) Duct tape. (No home, no office, no marriage should be without some.
July 11, 2010 |
It happened in his second rehabilitation game, and Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was expecting it. Heck, the doctors had guaranteed it: The foul tip will come early and it will hit you square in the face. Catching in his second rehab game, this one at single-A Lakewood, Ruiz took a foul tip right off his mask. "It scared me," Ruiz said. But in the minutes after he regained his footing, Ruiz didn't have a headache or feel the pain he had suffered in the weeks following a blow to the head from a broken bat that caused a concussion.
March 29, 2008 |
The door from the steam room opens, and Darren Daulton, leader of The Daulton Gang and of Macho Row, emerges, swathed in towels and fog, walking with the slow, deliberate gait of a sea captain feeling his way across a storm-tossed deck. Daulton's knees make the sound of someone cracking walnuts. He sits heavily and says: "Takes a while to get all the parts back where they belong. " And so it does. Such is the life of a catcher, the toughest position in all of sports. And so it is on this midsummer night in 1993, with the game long over, with everyone else long gone, that only Daulton remains, trying to undo the damage that accumulates from all those knee-crippling frog squats in the dirt, on a steamy 90-degree night, encased in armor, scrambling to block pitches in the dirt, shaking off the foul tips that rip into you like shrapnel.
May 11, 2004 |
The ping of the aluminum bat is one of the sweetest sounds in softball. But the quick thud that sometimes follows makes everyone watching cringe. The dreaded foul tip is a catcher's worst enemy. Camden Catholic's Megan Harper has taken her share of bruises from foul tips, but the senior says the positives of being a catcher outweigh the negatives. "You're right in the middle of the game on every pitch. I love that," Harper said. "It's a tough position, and I like that challenge.