February 27, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The greatest hitter in Phillies history gripped a red bat Wednesday afternoon. He had just finished overseeing batting practice for his hitting group and was demonstrating for an observer the focus of his work with his most-scrutinized student. Mike Schmidt is trying to rid Domonic Brown of his tendency to fall back and release an uppercut swing. The Hall of Fame third baseman wants the Phillies' oft-maligned rightfielder to "think top half of the ball, line drive, stay in the middle of the field.
November 6, 2014 |
All will be the same in 2015 in terms of leadership in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties following Tuesday's general election. For Camden and Gloucester Counties, that means the all-Democratic freeholder boards will retain their current makeup. In Burlington County, on the other hand, a tense race with the potential to end nearly four decades of GOP control once again ended in another victory for Republicans as an incumbent and a former freeholder were returned to office.
October 20, 2014 |
Its arms outstretched, as if it were pleading to be saved, a faded, white letter-sweater was spread out on a table in the drab conference room of a drab office at a drab South Jersey industrial park. The garment was surrounded by championship rings, by two bats with pine-tarred handles, by various trophies and plaques, photos and balls. In the harsh light and soulless context, the displayed memorabilia looked almost forlorn, like pets abandoned after a lifetime of loyal friendship.
October 16, 2014 |
PERHAPS BECAUSE he was (and still is) the greatest player in franchise history, the question of who would take over the reins for Mike Schmidt at third base became an easy story with each passing year since the Hall of Famer retired. With the exception of Scott Rolen, whose own tenure in Philly and ugly exit out only adds to the story line, third base really has been a black hole for the quarter century since Schmidt's retirement. While Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard filled the rest of the infield for the last decade, third base has been a revolving door.
October 15, 2014 |
While national political attention is fixed on the tense South Jersey race to succeed U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, a sideshow on the ballot may pack a bigger punch for Burlington County voters. The outcome of the battle between Democrat Aimee Belgard and Republican Tom MacArthur for a seat in the House is not expected to change the Republican hold on that chamber. But the results of the less-noisy contest lower on the ballot could end the GOP's nearly four decades of control over the county's governing body.
July 29, 2014 |
There is little doubt Cliff Lee will step onto the Nationals Park mound in Washington on Thursday, just three hours after the non-waiver trade deadline strikes. He has pitched 102/3 innings in two starts and permitted nine runs on 21 hits since his return from a strained left elbow. No contender will add Lee, not until the ace recaptures some dominance. The Phillies could benefit from the short-term uncertainty that surrounds Lee. They will expose him to waivers next month - just as most teams do with their players - and Lee should go unclaimed.
July 14, 2014 |
IT SPEAKS VOLUMES about this all-over-but-the-retching Phillies season that the biggest news the team generated during the winter had absolutely nothing to do with what happens on the field. Instead, the buzz was generated by the out-of-the-blue sacking of Phillies TV analysts Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews and their replacement by three former players, Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs and Mike Schmidt. "Wheels," who had provided color commentary for the Fightin's since 1977, and "Sarge," a member of the 1983 Wheeze Kids squad that won the National League pennant, were victims of the blockbuster 25-year, $2.5 billion deal the team cut with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia right after New Year's.
June 16, 2014 |
Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt stood at first base and lifted the arm of the man who had just broken his longtime Phillies record. Schmidt stood with Jimmy Rollins after the shortstop surpassed Schmidt as the Phillies' all-time hit king on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. It was difficult to tell who was more excited, Schmidt, the proud former record-holder, or Rollins, the new one. With a fifth-inning single off Chicago Cubs righthander Edwin Jackson, Rollins stood on top of the Phillies hit list with 2,235.
May 21, 2014 |
A QUARTER CENTURY ago, Mike Schmidt hit a one-out double off David Cone in the top of the eighth inning at Shea Stadium. Later in the inning, he scored the go-ahead run. In between, the ball Schmidt hit for a double was scooped up and sent into the visiting dugout. Schmidt and then-broadcaster Richie Ashburn, who would one day go into the Hall of Fame together, autographed the ball and it was auctioned off at the Phillies Wives ALS auction. A day after that hit, on April 20, 1989, Schmidt hit another double in his first at-bat in Pittsburgh to pass Ashburn and claim the Phillies' all-time hit record.
May 15, 2014 |
NICK PANTS, aka Luke Dill, is the Picasso of Photoshop. You can check him out on Twitter at @Nick_Pants. The accompanying "photo" of Donald Sterling as the Cowardly Lion may be his best work to date. It is perfect because it makes you laugh at Sterling, not with him. The Clippers' owner, like the character in the "Wizard of Oz," is a sniveling loudmouth. Donald Sterling and the Cowardly Lion. Perfect together. RGIII gets his man Robert Griffin III called an audible during the NFL draft.