August 1, 2014 |
NEW YORK - The Phillies waited Wednesday for the pitching market to settle. Boston dangled Jon Lester while Tampa Bay wavered on David Price's availability. Two consolation prizes - Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett - shuffled through the visitors' clubhouse at Citi Field and accompanied the Phillies to Washington for Thursday's deadline day. St. Louis, a team in desperate need of starting pitchers, acquired Cleveland's Justin Masterson. Before that, the Cardinals emerged as a suitor for Burnett - or even Lee. They could still add another starter, although the chances were slimmer.
July 31, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Cole Hamels owns a TV. Even if he did not, there are several in every major league clubhouse he walks into everyday. And those TVs are almost always tuned into a sports channel broadcasting baseball games and baseball chatter. With less than 48 hours before major league baseball's nonwaiver trade deadline, Hamels took the mound at Citi Field knowing his name had been talked about more than a couple times in the last day. It's safe to say he has been unaffected by it. Hamels hurled eight shutout innings, striking out eight while walking no one, in a 6-0 win over the Mets last night.
July 27, 2014 |
The Phillies billed Friday's game at Citizens Bank Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks as Christmas in July, and the person getting the perfect stocking stuffer was shortstop Jimmy Rollins. With his second plate appearance in the 9-5 Phillies win, Rollins guaranteed his $11 million option for 2015, so long as he is not on the disabled list at the end of the year. He now has 437 plate appearances after going 0 for 5. While Rollins reached a financial mark, a number of his teammates came up big in helping the Phillies earn their second consecutive win. Grady Sizemore led off the bottom of the first inning with a single to center field, his 1,000th career hit. Sizemore would add hits 1,001 and 1,002, both doubles.
July 25, 2014 |
IN THE SHADOW of the old Tastykake factory in Nicetown, there's a greenhouse with an organic vegetable garden and a 170,000 square-foot warehouse owned and operated by the SHARE Food Program. About noon yesterday, Jimmy Rollins and his wife, Johari, prepared a batch of fried green beans for a hungry group of fans and SHARE volunteers outside the greenhouse. "You can't have fries all the time," the Phillies shortstop said. He insisted you try his "green fries" instead. The recipe was simple enough - green beans, olive oil and a dash of salt - but the idea that Philadelphians don't have access to fresh, healthy foods is more complex, and an issue that the Rollins family is invested in. Rollins was outside the SHARE factory to pledge $10,000 from the Rollins Family Foundation and to put a familiar face behind SHARE's initiative to serve healthy and affordable foods to Philadelphians across the city.
July 24, 2014 |
Adversity manifested Tuesday night for Ken Giles when his glove dulled a chopper into a slow roller, one that dribbled toward Chase Utley at second base. It hopped the lip of the outfield grass, skipped past Utley, and permitted a Giants run to score. Giles, the 23-year-old Phillies rookie reliever, confronted the heart of the San Francisco lineup in the seventh inning of a tight game at Citizens Bank Park. These final 63 games are for discovering how players like Giles, integral for the future, respond to tests.
July 24, 2014 |
LET'S TAKE A BREAK from the pre-trade-deadline frenzy and consider the very real possibility that the sun rises on Aug. 1 with the vast majority of the Phillies' clubhouse intact. A.J. Burnett is gone, having been traded to the Orioles or the Pirates for a midlevel pitching prospect. Kyle Kendrick is missing, too, given away to a team in need of rotation depth for $1 million or so in savings on the remainder of his 2014 salary. Otherwise, the Phillies are the Phillies. Jonathan Papelbon is suiting up at his locker across the room from Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
July 21, 2014 |
ATLANTA - Jimmy Rollins swatted a 95-m.p.h. fastball, and his eyes widened when the torque forced his head upward. "Finally," Rollins said. He stood near home plate to watch a two-run homer land in the first row of right-field seats at Turner Field. Cole Hamels, with his left arm wrapped in a white towel, had his support. For six innings, the 2-1 win over the first-place Braves resembled the most fitting of Hamels starts. He was electric, throwing near-perfect stuff at Atlanta, while his teammates mounted failure after failure at the plate.
July 19, 2014 |
This is all beginning to feel familiar, isn't it? If you're of a certain age and have followed the Phillies long enough, it should. If it isn't, take a seat, my young and once-innocent friends, and listen for a little while. You'll have a better understanding of what you're in for. Promise. Let's say you're 19, 20, maybe even as old as 25. The Phillies you've known went 10 years, from 2003 through 2012, without a losing season. They won five division titles, two National League pennants, a World Series.
July 16, 2014 |
MINNEAPOLIS- Benjamin Utley, according to his dad, can do it all. Hit, field, throw, run. The hitting for power will come, surely. "He's an active little guy," the elder Utley said of his 2 ½-year-old son. "He likes to throw everything - not just baseballs. Everything. " As the subject matter changed during a recent conversation, from his own health to his son's baseball activities, Utley couldn't help but break out into a smile. "He's doing everything," Utley said. "Well, it's not like I have him doing drills or anything.
July 14, 2014 |
Jonathan Papelbon said last week that he doesn't understand baseball players who are content to play with a non-contending team. It's not always easy to agree with the worldview of Papelbon, whose perspective rarely includes anyone other than himself, but there's no problem with that one. People here predictably jumped up and down, of course, because Philadelphia is so prone to civic insecurity that the moment someone suggests he might rather be...