September 2, 2014 |
Baseball is a game of timeless, repeating patterns, which is part of its charm. A fan from 100 years ago would still recognize the choreography of a double play and still know how well a ball has been hit by listening to the sound of the bat. He would wonder why the game takes so long, but otherwise, baseball is baseball. Ryan Howard, as he endures the downside of a great career, is repeating another pattern that he went through a decade ago from the other side of the looking glass.
August 11, 2014 |
Ryne Sandberg had two chances in his baseball career to earn induction onto the Phillies Wall of Fame, the honor that was bestowed Saturday night on Charlie Manuel, Sandberg's predecessor as manager. Sandberg could have - should have , most would say - gotten in as a Hall of Fame second baseman, a homegrown superstar who didn't say much but let his game expound on his philosophy. Two generations of fans would have marveled that the same template would be repeated at the same position just a few years later as Chase Utley came along and also became capable of leading the league in everything except aimless chatter.
May 15, 2014 |
AS WE ALL know by now, either 4,000 or 6,000 or 8,000 people (depending upon the enthusiasm of the narrator) - perhaps approaching 25 percent of the population of Millville, N.J. - purchased tickets for a ballgame last night. With Mike Trout coming home to play the Phillies for the first time, this fact was well-publicized. As such, any self-respecting professional burglar with an Internet connection was aware of this migration and undoubtedly headed to Millville, a caravan of nondescript panel trucks driving south on Route 55 as a caravan of enthusiastic minivans drove north.
July 4, 2013 |
Detroit righthander Rick Porcello said he wasn't trying to hit Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist on Sunday when he plunked him with a high, inside pitch in the first inning on Sunday. Major League Baseball did not agree, and suspended the Tigers righthander for six games on Tuesday, seeing the errant throw as likely retaliation for an inside pitch Rays closer Fernando Rodney tossed at Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera on Saturday. Porcello's pitch drew a warning, but he was not ejected. Porcello plans to appeal and will stay in the rotation.
July 3, 2013 |
THE PHILLIES had been so sorry for so long that it really seemed their forever fate. Ryan Howard intervened. Your baseball team had been in the playoffs once from 1984 to 2006. They were mostly bad, usually boring and without imagination or inspiration. Ryan Howard intervened. He was the accidental Rookie of the Year in 2005. When Jim Thome got hurt, Howard got called up and went for 22 homers and 63 RBI in just 88 games. You wonder if Phillies management of that era ever would have understood what they had if Thome had not been injured.
May 2, 2013 |
CLEVELAND - Delmon Young awoke Tuesday in Louisville, Ky., knowing his time as a minor-league player was over. A day earlier, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had called and asked Young whether he was ready to play the outfield for the Phillies. "Yes," Young said. He hopped a flight to Baltimore and another to Cleveland, where he was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the middle of Charlie Manuel's lineup. The 27-year-old former No. 1 overall pick arrived as a great unknown.
October 11, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Eleven months ago, he smiled for the cameras at Citizens Bank Park, ready to rejuvenate his career with an old friend, signing a one-year contract to join Charlie Manuel and the Phillies, and perhaps, give first base a try, too. Seven months ago, Jim Thome sat at his corner locker stall inside Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., with an icepack strapped to his jersey in an effort to ease his now-42-year-old back. In June, he hit a walk-off home run against the Tampa Bay Rays to prevent the Phillies from losing for what would have been the 14th time in their last 19 games.
July 1, 2012 |
MIAMI - As the Phillies dressed after another loss Saturday, Jim Thome said his goodbyes. The room was quiet, except for a few players trying to catch up on the news. "Where is he going?" one asked. "Baltimore," another said. They both nodded. "It's bittersweet, to be honest," Chase Utley said. "Jim is a great teammate. I think we're all sorry to see him go, but also we're excited he'll get opportunities to get at-bats daily and still do a lot of damage. " Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. took the same diplomatic stance in discussing Thome's trade to the Orioles for two minor-leaguers.
June 25, 2012 |
Antonio Bastardo had one bad inning. Cliff Lee had two bad innings. As a result, the Phillies suffered through one extremely bad day, and night, suffering a split-doubleheader loss Sunday to the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. Lee allowed three runs in the second inning and two in the sixth during the Phillies' 7-3 evening loss to the Rays. After Cole Hamels had thrown seven shutout innings in Game 1, Bastardo came on in the eighth and allowed two walks and Carlos Pena's three-run home run in a 3-2 defeat.
June 24, 2012 |
Jim Thome and Charlie Manuel have always enjoyed a special relationship, and the slugger felt it was fitting that he and the manager shared more milestones together in an eventful afternoon in South Philadelphia. Thome's solo, pinch-hit home run to lead off the ninth inning off hard-throwing lefthander Jake McGee provided the Phillies with Saturday's 7-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park It was Thome's 609th career home run, tying him with Sammy Sosa for seventh on the all-time list.