June 19, 2012 |
TORONTO - Jim Thome stood in the center of the room with his white dress shirt still untucked and took one look around as his Phillies teammates dressed for a plane ride home. "We've got winners," Thome said. "We've got guys who have been through it in big, big games. How do you explain that? It's hard to, sometimes. Baseball is a weird game. " That is a season spiraling toward irrelevancy in the middle of June. Sunday spawned more Phillies frustration in the form of a listless 6-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, who capped a three-game sweep at the Rogers Centre.
June 19, 2012 |
TORONTO - It's entirely possible that Jim Thome made his final Phillies start on Sunday. He made it a memorable one. With a second-inning blast to right field as a designated hitter, Thome became the fourth player in baseball history with at least 100 home runs for three teams. Thome homered in the second inning of a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The others who have hit at least 100 homers for three teams are Alex Rodriguez (Seattle, Texas, New York)
June 15, 2012 |
MINNEAPOLIS - For a few innings after Jim Thome clobbered the 607th home run of his Hall of Fame career, fans in right field searched for the ball. It flew so high into the Minnesota sky Thursday that when it landed, it plopped deep into a flower bed at Target Field and vanished. Eventually, once a Twins grounds crew member fetched the ball following a Phillies' 6-1 victory, it would belong to Thome. The slugger tries hard to recover all of his home run balls - he had procured his two previous ones in 2012 after fans threw them back onto the field - and they will forever serve as his souvenirs.
June 11, 2012 |
BALTIMORE - How does anyone sleep when they are headed to the majors the next morning, B.J. Rosenberg wondered, so he didn't. He shut his eyes for maybe three hours Friday night, flew to Baltimore, and made his big-league debut in the 11th inning of a tie game. An "L" will always appear next to Rosenberg's name for June 9, 2012. But that did not discourage him after the Orioles' 6-4 win over the Phillies. "It's still one of the best days of my life," Rosenberg said. "It's a dream come true.
June 8, 2012
THE HOPEFUL offseason talk, of yoga classes and such, is long forgotten. Jim Thome's 41-year-old back cannot take the bending and the strain. More than 5 weeks on the disabled list were not enough to alter that reality. Thome will not play first base anymore. He is beloved in this town because he came here — the first time — before coming here was the fashion. He still has the hard hat that the union electricians gave him when Citizens Bank Park was a construction site. The bond between a man and a people is real.
June 8, 2012 |
Jim Thome and his 604 career home runs are back in the Phillies dugout. Just what that means for the team's sputtering offense, however, remains to be seen. The organization activated Thome from the disabled list Wednesday, putting him back in red pinstripes for the first time since he exited a game with tightness in his lower back on April 29. The slugger's return might provide a much-needed boost for an offense that squeaked out just five runs in its previous three games entering Wednesday.
June 7, 2012 |
Charlie Manuel was not surprised to hear that Carlos Ruiz was trailing in the all-star voting for catchers. Yes, Ruiz led the National League in batting average and ranked fourth in on-base percentage and third in slugging percentage entering Tuesday. But fans had voted more often for St. Louis' Yadier Molina, San Francisco's Buster Posey, and Atlanta's Brian McCann. "From the national standpoint, they probably don't know Chooch is this good," the Phillies manager said. "He probably doesn't have the exposure like the other ones have.
June 5, 2012 |
Charlie Manuel is not so sure that playing a position other than second base will alleviate the pain in Chase Utley's chronically injured knees. "If he's going to have pain, he can have pain at first base, left field, right field, wherever. Just like he would have at second," the Phillies manager said. "Getting him healthy and seeing what he can still do is the big thing. " But then there is this: Manuel would not completely shut the door on Utley's playing left field or first base, however unlikely, upon his return.