August 23, 2015 |
MIAMI - Darnell Sweeney was getting ready to lead off and play center field in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night when he learned he was scratched from the lineup of the Dodgers' triple-A club. It didn't take much more than a scroll through Twitter to learn the reason. Sweeney's manager later officially alerted him that he had been traded to the Phillies. If that wasn't enough news, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called 20 minutes later and told Sweeney he was getting his first major-league promotion.
July 29, 2015 |
THE NARRATIVE surrounding Ryne Sandberg since his resignation as Phillies manager a month ago seems to lack the appropriate outrage. After all, how could a man walk away from a once-in-a-lifetime job? Perhaps there was an underlying family issue. Perhaps Sandberg has a personality disorder, or some ingrained shortcoming, that made the daily grind of major league leadership too much to bear. The Phillies visited the Cubs this weekend, the organization with which Sandberg became a Hall of Fame second baseman . . . and the organization that, after four years of watching him do splendid work in the minors, refused to give him a chance at managing in the major leagues.
July 18, 2015 |
The fly ball left Joe Torre's bat and landed in Willie Montanez's glove in Busch Stadium's center field. By then, the astonishing had become routine. This was Aug. 5, 1972, and Montanez's catch completed a 5-0 victory for the Phillies, in a tidy 108 minutes, over the St. Louis Cardinals - Steve Carlton's 17th win that year, his sixth shutout, just another night of brilliance during one of the most brilliant seasons of starting pitching in Major League Baseball history. But there's an interesting footnote to that game that's revealed if you review its box score nearly 43 years later.
July 4, 2015 |
At 73, Dick Allen finally looked his age. Representing the Phillies at a June public event, it was clear the Wampum Walloper's sinewy body was softening at last. The sweatpants he inexplicably wore revealed a slight belly. His hair, now white as a fresh home uniform, resembled Don King's. And though a pair of Jackie O-sized sunglasses obscured much of his face, they couldn't hide the weariness. It seemed that all the "what ifs", which 46 years after he left the Phillies following the 1969 season, still cling like sinkers to his legacy, had become too much to bear.
March 7, 2015 |
TAMPA, Fla. - Larry Bowa tapped his knuckles on the wooden bench in the visitors' dugout at Steinbrenner Field Wednesday morning before answering the question. "For some reason," he said, "I've never had arm problems. I always threw. I remember throwing in Little League with my dad who was an excellent baseball player. The one thing we did every day was throw the baseball. " Bowa, at 69, is still throwing it. In fact, you will not find an older man in baseball still throwing batting practice.
July 3, 2014 |
THE YEAR was 1996. The first full season after baseball's debilitating strike. The Philadelphia Phillies, the last full 162-game season National League champions, sent out a roster of well-regarded thirtysomethings - some holdovers from '93, some not. It was hoped that Benito Santiago, Gregg Jefferies and Todd Zeile would refresh the team that had stumbled in the two previous seasons pockmarked by a baseball strike, a team that still included Darren...
June 18, 2014 |
ATLANTA - All across the Phillies clubhouse Monday afternoon, Tony Gwynn's presence endured. There was Ryne Sandberg, who played alongside Gwynn in 10 All-Star Games. Larry Bowa managed Gwynn for two seasons in San Diego. Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd were tutored there one winter by Gwynn. And the Hall of Famer's son, Tony Jr., is their teammate. He flew Sunday night with the Phillies to Atlanta, was awakened Monday by the message every child dreads, and departed to grieve. The Phillies mourned by celebrating Gwynn's many legacies, one of which is Tony Jr. His No. 19 Phillies jersey hung in the dugout Monday night.
June 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Minutes after Ryne Sandberg held a brief team meeting to emphasize the magnitude of the next week, a Phillies public relations employee handed the manager a cellphone. Sandberg scrolled down the screen. Then he marched to the visitors dugout at Nationals Park to face reporters. He looked irritated. "I'm fired up," Sandberg said. "Ready for another ball game to get ready to move in another direction. There was a lot to be learned from the series we had. " Larry Bowa, Sandberg's bench coach and confidant, agreed.
June 4, 2014
"[The fans are] very frustrated. I think they're more frustrated at the way we lose. And they should be. That's not big-league baseball, what we've been doing at home. That's not big-league baseball. Larry Bowa
February 28, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Before the handshake with Larry Bowa, the oddest thing about the man with two young kids standing near the home dugout at Bright House Field was the piece of paper dangling from his neck. "Scott Rolen, Philadelphia Phillies," read the items under "name" and "affiliation" on the 38-year-old's guest pass. Rolen, the National League Rookie of the Year with the Phillies in 1997, watched his former team take batting practice yesterday morning prior to the first Grapefruit League game of the spring.