February 19, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It was a bold prediction on the final day of an unpleasant season. "If we're not the top bullpen in Major League Baseball [next season], we'll definitely be the top in the National League," Jonathan Papelbon said after the Phillies finished 2012 with a lackluster loss to Washington at Nationals Park. Nearly 20 weeks later, the Phillies closer was asked to explain his comment before Sunday's wind-chilled workout at the Carpenter Complex. "The only reason I said that is because I see a very eerily similar bullpen to the one I was in during the 2006 season," Papelbon said.
January 26, 2013 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Phillies have not won the offseason. They have, in fact, finished third in the National League East, the same position they were stuck in when time expired on the 2012 season. The events that have transpired since the Phillies' final game in Nationals Park in October have been fascinating but not at all fulfilling for fans thirsty for one more championship from an aging core of players. With center field identified as their greatest need before the season ended, the Phillies made an offer for free agent B.J. Upton, but it was reportedly $20 million less than the $75 million over five years he'll be paid to play for the Atlanta Braves.
December 18, 2012 |
It has set off a heated debate, a federal lawsuit, and enough documents to fill a couple of phone books. But for the third consecutive year, Valley Forge National Historical Park is proceeding with a deer-culling program designed to thin the herd and encourage new plant growth in the park. And officials at the famed Revolutionary War site say it is working. The deer population has long been a bane of Valley Forge, they say. Before the culling began, the park counted 291 deer per square mile.
October 31, 2012
First in a series examining the Phillies' potential offseason moves. A shocked Hunter Pence left the visitors' clubhouse at Nationals Park after being traded from the Phillies to the San Francisco Giants on the final day of July. "I don't think anyone really anticipated the season that has gone on this year," he said during his final interview with the Philadelphia media. "It was just the perfect storm of injuries, and things didn't go right for us. " It all ended up perfect for Pence, who celebrated a World Series title with his Giants teammates Sunday night after they completed a four-game sweep of the Tigers in chilly Detroit.
October 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Doesn't matter how bad things look for the St. Louis Cardinals. Trailing by a bunch, down to their last strike, they simply stay calm and do what it takes to win. Erasing an early, six-run hole in Game 5, slowly but surely, the defending World Series champion Cardinals got a tying two-out, two-run single from Daniel Descalso and a go-ahead, two-run single from Pete Kozma in the ninth inning and came all the way back to beat the Washington...
October 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Stephen Strasburg joined his teammates for an off-day workout at Nationals Park on Tuesday, red socks pulled nearly up to his knees while tossing baseballs in the outfield a day before the first postseason game in the nation's capital in 79 years. That's about the extent of activity these days for Strasburg as the Washington Nationals carry on without their acknowledged ace, shut down a month ago. The NL East champions' opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals, are very much counting on their returning ace, Chris Carpenter, who has pitched only 17 innings all year.
October 4, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Teddy wins! Teddy wins! For the first time, the Teddy Roosevelt mascot won the Presidents Race in the middle of the fourth inning at Nationals Park - a pursuit that drew attention even from a White House spokesman and Sen. John McCain. Teddy - Mr. Rough Rider, himself - had lost more than 500 times since 2006, when the Washington Nationals baseball team began having races among 10-foot-tall foam renderings of Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln at home games.
October 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Six months ago, the 2012 season began at Nationals Park with a Take Back the Park campaign and a "Natitude" slogan that was decorated everywhere, including on the bathroom door signs. Despite going 8 straight years without a winning season, the franchise was brimming with confidence, even if the optimism wasn't matched with the empty seats at the 5-year-old ballpark. But after a half-year and more than 150 games, Washington fans believe. They filled nearly all of the blue seats in the ballyard by the Navy Yard on Monday night.
October 3, 2012
WASHINGTON - There was a 19-year-old outfielder spraying beer and a 69-year-old manager sipping champagne and a stereo system blasting Kid Cudi as Wolf Blitzer watched with a smile. "It's a little different crowd here," Jayson Werth said later as he walked through an empty clubhouse, weaving through the cans and bottle caps that littered the carpeted floor. Of course, the strangest sight was Werth himself, at least to anybody who watched his rise to prominence a few hours north on I-95.
October 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Phillies shook hands on the infield at Nationals Park and could not help but peer into the home dugout. A raucous celebration had commenced. Nine minutes earlier, in the midst of defeat, the Nationals had been crowned National League East champions. "That's the first time I ever won and got beat," Charlie Manuel said. The manager sat in a quiet office still wearing his heavy Phillies jacket. His team won Monday, 2-0, and was formally dethroned by Washington. There was no loud music played in the visiting clubhouse.