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October 15, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
JIMMY ROLLINS, who has been in a Phillies uniform long enough to accumulate more hits than any player in franchise history, experienced a first in 2014: He spent the entire season on a team that would finish in last place. "It's not a place anyone wants to be," Rollins said. "But it is the place we ended up. And that's all I can say about it. " Given his team's place in a big market with a big payroll and big expectations, Rollins understands that last place is unacceptable.
SPORTS
October 16, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
WHILE THE Phillies' ruling triumvirate has given itself plenty of votes of confidence during the organization's 3-years-and-counting swan dive, it has yet to offer a compelling reason to believe that its long-term plan involves anything more comprehensive than a new scouting director and a click of the heels. Granted, the public equivocations of David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro Jr. are not definitive evidence of the absence of such a plan. They have their stadium and their cable contract, and thus little motivation to sell the public on their blueprint for the future.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
LAST DECEMBER, 3 days after Roy Halladay announced his retirement, the Phillies signed veteran righthander Roberto Hernandez in an effort to fill the gap and solidify the bottom of their starting rotation. Two months later, not content with the final makeup of that rotation on the eve of the first official workout in Clearwater, the Phils signed another free-agent pitcher. A.J. Burnett joined the starting staff, effectively taking Halladay's place as the older, established righthander with playoff pedigree to plop between lefthanders Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The Phillies ended up paying just under $21 million for Hernandez and Burnett in 2014.
SPORTS
September 22, 1994 | By Jayson Stark, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Once, there may have been no job in America that Lee Thomas would rather have had than general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. But that was nearly a decade ago - in a very different time, before Thomas ever left the Cardinals to become general manager of the Phillies. Yesterday, however, Lee Thomas' onetime dream job opened up again when the Cardinals fired Dal Maxvill after nine years as GM. And one of the first names to pop to the top of the rumor circuit, naturally, was that of James Leroy Thomas.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
REPLACE "DODGERS" with "Phillies" and see how it feels . . . Los Angeles Times : "Dodgers' hiring of executive Andrew Friedman signals a cultural shift. " ESPN.com: "Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman" Baseball Prospectus: "The Rich [Dodgers] Get Smarter" Anyway, heeeere's Johnny. (crickets) Johnny Almaraz. (crickets) You know, the Phillies' new amateur scouting director. Anyone? (crickets) Hey, he might be the best damn scouting director in the history of major league baseball.
SPORTS
August 19, 2013 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's difficult to imagine that at the all-star break, the Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers were on even footing. Now one team is gearing for October, and the other for next season. The differing paths continued with the Dodgers' 5-0 win Saturday night over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, making interim manager Ryne Sandberg 0-2 and waiting for his team to score a run. The Phillies have been shut out 12 times this season. After games played on July 14, the Phillies entered the all-star break 48-48, and the Dodgers were 47-47.
SPORTS
August 19, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The door was open to Charlie Manuel's office, and the manager was fidgety. The summers blend together now because there were many. But this was three years ago, on a weekday morning at Wrigley Field, during happier days for a man who dedicated his life to baseball. Chances are he beat every one of his players to the ancient ballpark. Baseball needed Charlie Manuel. He wanted to talk to someone. Anyone. Manuel radiated in the hours before a game. He told jokes. He taught hitting. He held small children.
SPORTS
September 5, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Phillies pitchers fired eight straight balls with the bases loaded, and that represented the nadir of Tuesday night. A rookie wearing No. 67 relieved them in the next inning, committed a balk, and surrendered two more runs. This is what September baseball looks like for the pitching staff with the National League's worst ERA. Washington permitted four unearned runs to the Phillies and still won, 9-6, because the home team failed at the game's most basic task of throwing strikes.
SPORTS
October 13, 2014 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Columnist
For all their money, fame, and talent, TV play-by-play broadcasters are essentially redundant. They tell us what we already see and what we can easily find out for ourselves. In technology-rich 2014, they have been reduced to background-noise machines, Muzak with a mike. It's almost impossible for these announcers to connect viscerally with their audiences. There are too many layers between us and them, too many statistics and scores, commercials and promos, graphics and noise.
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SPORTS
October 18, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Johnny Almaraz did not plan on taking off his baseball uniform and putting on a scout's hat in his early 20s. No, the plan was to pitch in the big leagues and, if that did not work out, he was going to return to Southwest Texas State and get his degree in health administration. Plan A, as it turned out, was stripped from Almaraz's control in his second minor-league season with the Cincinnati Reds, who had selected the righthanded pitcher in the 14th round of the 1988 draft. The Texas native pitched 14 times for Billings, Mont., in his rookie minor-league season and went 5-5 with a 5.04 ERA. He never pitched again.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The first time his father made the trip for a spring football game, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen warned him about the drive, that it would be a rural one from the airport in Jackson up to Starkville. Mullen told him it would be like traveling in the hills of Pennsylvania "past the Main Line. " The 42-year-old coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the improbable top-ranked college football team in the nation - after the fastest rise to the top in the history of the sport, from unranked to No. 1 in six games - is a Drexel Hill native and Ursinus College graduate.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
  The book chosen for the 2015 One Book, One Philadelphia program is the 2013 novel Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. To be announced by the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Mayor's Office on Thursday morning, Orphan Train will be the focus of more than 100 art installations, films, performances, discussion groups, and other activities in schools throughout the city. The middle-grade book for 2015 is Rodzina by Karen Cushman, and the children's book is Locomotive by Brian Floca.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
REPLACE "DODGERS" with "Phillies" and see how it feels . . . Los Angeles Times : "Dodgers' hiring of executive Andrew Friedman signals a cultural shift. " ESPN.com: "Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman" Baseball Prospectus: "The Rich [Dodgers] Get Smarter" Anyway, heeeere's Johnny. (crickets) Johnny Almaraz. (crickets) You know, the Phillies' new amateur scouting director. Anyone? (crickets) Hey, he might be the best damn scouting director in the history of major league baseball.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
LAST DECEMBER, 3 days after Roy Halladay announced his retirement, the Phillies signed veteran righthander Roberto Hernandez in an effort to fill the gap and solidify the bottom of their starting rotation. Two months later, not content with the final makeup of that rotation on the eve of the first official workout in Clearwater, the Phils signed another free-agent pitcher. A.J. Burnett joined the starting staff, effectively taking Halladay's place as the older, established righthander with playoff pedigree to plop between lefthanders Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The Phillies ended up paying just under $21 million for Hernandez and Burnett in 2014.
NEWS
October 17, 2014
THE TRUCK: Impossible to miss. David Song's Korean-American fusion food truck is basically a rolling mural with stars and stripes, a red-and-blue taegeuk, the Liberty Bell, a ferocious white tiger and the Philadelphia skyline, among other things. Hungry or not, you kind of want to check it out anyway. WHAT TO EAT: The Cheese Steak Korean ($9) caught our attention immediately. We will eat any variation of this sandwich - breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack, whatever. Song's has thinly sliced Korean marinated beef, Cheez Whiz, sauteed kimchi and onions.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THE EBOLA crisis and scare have hit Welleh Taire, a Liberian immigrant who lives in Southwest Philadelphia. Two of her cousins in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, died in August. Her 10-year-old daughter has not yet been allowed to travel here from Liberia. And people have asked her if she has Ebola just because she's from Africa. "Three weeks ago, I was at work and this woman asked me, 'Do you have Ebola?' " Taire said yesterday. "I said, 'What made you think I have Ebola?' I tried to explain to her not all Africans have Ebola.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
SO, WHAT'S harder to fathom: that Mississippi State's football team in 5 weeks went from unranked to No. 1 for the first time ever, or that its coach somehow made it to Starkville by way of beautiful, downtown Collegeville, where some two decades ago he was a tight end for Ursinus College? "I've yet to meet anybody in Mississippi who can pronounce [Ursinus] the first time," said Dan Mullen, whose Bulldogs just became the first team in more than 30 years to beat three Top 10 opponents in succession.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
IF THERE is a lesson to be learned from the Royals' run to the World Series, it is that a dominant bullpen can make up for a lot of deficiencies. Their lineup wasn't any better than the Phillies, who outperformed them at rightfield, third base, shortstop, second base and catcher. Rotation? With a healthy Cliff Lee, the Phillies would have been equal in four of five rotation slots. The bullpen is where the roads diverge. The Phillies were good, but the Royals were dominant. Their closer and two primary setup men each logged at least 62 innings with an ERA under 1.45.
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