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.
May 31, 2012 |
NEW YORK - For the second straight game, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz wasn't in the starting lineup because of a right hamstring strain. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Ruiz had an ultrasound test on his hamstring Tuesday in Philadelphia. Ruiz was available as a pinch-hitter in Tuesday's game at Citi Field against the New York Mets. "It is a mild hamstring strain, and we wanted to make sure it wasn't anything more serious than that," Proefrock said before the game.
May 3, 2012 |
ATLANTA - Cliff Lee's stay on the disabled list may not be much longer than the mandated 15 days. Lee threw what he termed a pain-free bullpen session Wednesday at Turner Field, taking the next step in his recovery from a strained left side. He is eligible to be activated Friday, but it won't happen then. Still, there is optimism. The lefthander said he is scheduled to throw another bullpen Saturday. If that goes well, he could be activated next week. "It's slowly gotten better," Lee said.
May 1, 2012 |
Reunions can be fun. Watching Brian Dawkins hug his former Eagles teammates and fight back tears as he talked about the late Jim Johnson's profound impact on his career was one more grand moment for the man who used to serve as the needle that inflated the energy level at Lincoln Financial Field. Reunions can be painful. Watching 41-year-old Jim Thome play baseball this season has been excruciating. Thome, of course, was the man who by simply signing a contract restored enthusiasm for a franchise that had fallen into a dark abyss.
April 13, 2012 |
Before Friday's series opener with the visiting New York Mets, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel talked about the importance of being patient against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Easier said than done when confronted with the floater. The Phillies took their hacks but were thrown off rhythm by the righthander, whose previous history at Citizens Bank Park left much to be desired. Dickey surrendered one run over seven innings as the Mets opened the weekend series with a 5-2 win over the Phillies.
April 9, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - The Phillies signed Chad Qualls in the winter because they valued his durability; no pitcher has appeared in more games since 2005 than the 33-year-old righthander. But three games into the season, Qualls is sidelined by a nebulous right heel injury he could barely describe, which only complicated the Phillies' middle-relief puzzle in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Qualls said it felt like a "knife was going at the back of my heel" when he was walking around in his spikes Saturday afternoon.