September 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - There was Domonic Brown, written into Ryne Sandberg's lineup for the first time in September, smashing a double to left in the second inning. He scored three batters later, and that represented optimism Sunday for these Phillies on another forgettable day. "It felt good," Brown said, although he shook his head. "Excuse my French, but we got our [butts] whooped. " The Phillies, 11-2 losers to Washington, search for another silver lining in the form of a healthy Brown.
July 3, 2013 |
IN 1996, THE Phillies drafted Jimmy Rollins in the second round. In 1998, they took Pat Burrell in the first round. They took Brett Myers in the first in 1999, Chase Utley in the first in 2000, Cole Hamels in the first in 2002. Burrell went first overall, and, arguably, dealt the least return. None of the rest went higher than Myers' 12th slot. The Phillies, then run by Ed Wade and Mike Arbuckle, annually entertained offers for all of those players. They never wavered. All five contributed to the Phillies' World Series title in 2008, as well as their run to the playoffs in 2007, the club's first playoff spot in 14 years.
June 14, 2013 |
MINNEAPOLIS - Ryan Howard has been the Phillies' every day cleanup hitter for most of the last half decade. In fact, Charlie Manuel hasn't penciled Howard's name in any spot but fourth in his starting lineup in nearly 5 years. On June 29, 2008, Manuel slotted the righthanded hitting Pat Burrell in the cleanup spot in between lefties Chase Utley and Howard at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. In the 646 games Howard has started since that night in Texas, he has hit fourth in the Phillies lineup.
May 24, 2013 |
CHICAGO - Shane Victorino can't wait to get back to Philadelphia. It has been nearly 10 months since the Phillies dealt the popular outfielder to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a journey that continued on to Boston when he signed 3-year, $39 million contract in the offseason. Victorino returns to Citizens Bank Park - the scene of memorable personal and team triumphs - for the first time Wednesday when the Red Sox visit for a two-game interleague series. But first, Victorino's Red Sox host the Phillies on Memorial Day and Tuesday at Fenway Park.
March 31, 2013 |
It's no joke: The Phillies are opening on April 1 this year. It will be the third time the season starts on April Fools' Day, and since that history is mostly recent, it's actually pretty good. Plus, because it's April 1, you certainly can prank the ones you love. First some history, then some foolishness to try at home: April 1, 2011, Phillies' home opener vs. Astros It was the baseball gods playing a prank. It had to be. The Phillies came into 2011 with great promise: The team, two years removed from a World Series win, shockingly reacquired Cliff Lee as a free agent in the offseason.
March 29, 2013
The Phillies are due for a pleasant surprise, and Domonic Brown is the perfect candidate. For a few years now, all the surprises have been negative: Chase Utley's months of inaction because of knee trouble, Ryan Howard's Achilles popping, Carlos Ruiz's suspension, Roy Halladay's sudden nosedive. So why not something good for a change? It would be very Philadelphia to retort that 2008 happened too recently for the Phillies to be due anything but continued penance. Championships come once a century around here, franchise-changing players maybe once a generation.
March 4, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Maybe everyone is looking at this Darin Ruf outfield experiment all wrong. The lifelong first baseman is trying to play left field to improve his chances of making the major-league roster. Ruf has looked a bit rough out there, no doubt about it. He misplayed a routine base hit into a three-base gift on Thursday. On Friday, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel penciled him into the lineup as a designated hitter, just to get Ruf some at-bats without the distraction of playing the field.
February 28, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It was the seventh inning of a Grapefruit League game, which meant the household names had been excused from the dugout to shower and change and check out of work early. In the Phillies' clubhouse, Jimmy Rollins sat near his locker chatting with Delmon Young, both of them keeping an eye on a television hanging on the wall of the clubhouse. With one out in the inning, Domonic Brown connected with a fastball and caused the conversation to stop. "Whoa," Young and Rollins howled in unison as the 25-year-old outfielder's bomb cleared the batter's eye in centerfield.
February 27, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - We interrupt the considerable amount of optimism wafting out of Bright House Field with a reminder that the Phillies still have several glaring issues that involve far more than a veteran's ability to stay healthy for the majority of the season. At the top of that list is an issue that was impossible to avoid on Monday afternoon. Against Tigers lefthander Drew Smyly, Charlie Manuel ran out a lineup with seven righthanded hitters, including all four of the players who entered spring training with a legitimate chance at creating some semblance of balance in the Opening Day lineup.
October 10, 2012 |
You would have to go all the way back to November 1997, when Gregg Jefferies was entering the final season of a 4-year, $20 million contract, to find an offseason when the Phillies had as much uncertainty in their outfield. The Phils made a somewhat small, under-the-radar move that would add an anchor to an outfield for the next nine seasons. At Ed Wade's urging, they traded shortstop Kevin Stocker to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Bobby Abreu, who had been drafted away from Houston in the expansion draft on the same day. Coincidentally, the Phils' current outfield situation is the result of the end of another Houston-to-Philadelphia deal: the team bid adieu to former Astro Hunter Pence, who was under contract for 2013, when they shipped him and Shane Victorino out west before the trade deadline this summer.