May 12, 2013 |
A CROSSROADS is no place to get sentimental, and the Phillies have the mother of all of them looming on the horizon. Forget about whether they can claw their way back into contention. What happens on the field over the next couple of months will have little impact on the dire situation that will greet them come November, when they will no longer have three of their most productive hitters in the order under contract. Second base, third base and catcher: Good luck filling them.
May 12, 2013 |
PHOENIX - Jimmy Rollins never shed his batting gloves. With the tying run 90 feet away, he tapped one to first base that sealed a 3-2 Phillies loss. Rollins retreated to the clubhouse with the rest of his downtrodden teammates and went straight to one of the five laptops in the middle of the room. For 16 minutes, Rollins watched. Dressed in full uniform, he moved the mouse with his right glove. He tapped on the keyboard with his left glove. He stood up, pretended to swing, and pulled off his No. 11 jersey.
May 9, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - If it wasn't for Hunter Pence, Cliff Lee may have very well shut out the San Francisco Giants on Monday night. In his first game against his former team, Pence tried to be a one-man wrecking ball in the Giants' lineup. He homered in his first at-bat and attempted to start a rally with an eighth-inning, leadoff double in his last at-bat. He went 3-for-3 and scored the only two runs San Francisco scored in a 6-2 defeat to the Phillies. "He looked good," manager Charlie Manuel said yesterday afternoon at AT&T Park.
April 8, 2013 |
This week's opening of the film 42 , on Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball, brings to mind the dramatic role played by Philadelphia in this seminal event in America's civil rights history. Robinson's integration of Major League Baseball during the 1947 season was revolutionary. The game had been segregated since the 1880s, reflecting the isolation of African Americans in the nation. Even in the years after World War II, America remained a segregated society, with African Americans, save for some entertainers and athletes like Joe Louis, largely invisible.
April 1, 2013 |
The storm clouds gathered early last March. Ryan Howard was fielding ground balls on a stool. Chase Utley was conspicuously absent from Grapefruit League games. Roy Halladay's velocity was down. The Phillies had no obvious leftfielder, no veteran setup man, and an aging third baseman who had struggled to stay on the field the previous season. The fan base was understandably nervous. My answer to all who asked: It wouldn't surprise me if this team won 100 games, and it wouldn't surprise me if it lost 80. This year, the answer is the same, minus the 100 wins part.
May 10, 2013 |
Danny Brown had it made. The foul-mouthed Detroit rapper won acclaim from Spin, which named his XXX the best hip-hop album of 2011. MTV.com called him one of rap's standouts. And he got a number of click-to-pick mentions for his forthcoming album, Old . With his naughty lyrics, throaty yowl, and love of electronics on the house and techno tip, his creds were strong. Brown needed no headlines, then, to pack the Theatre of Living Arts on Wednesday; it would have been a hot ticket no matter what.
October 14, 2008
LOS ANGELES - One working definition of a nanosecond is the interval between a team clinching a playoff and somebody observing, "You can throw everything that happened during the regular season out the window. " That's always comforting to the club that came out on the short end against the opponent it's about to face, and there is plenty of evidence suggesting that past isn't necessarily prelude when it comes to games in October, compared with those earlier on the calendar. Still, it's not entirely true.
May 13, 2013 |
PHOENIX — Every Phillies hitter had to pass Charlie Manuel before stepping into the on-deck circle Saturday. The manager positioned himself at the top of the dugout steps for the entirety of a 3-1 victory over Arizona. He talked strategy with Michael Young. He patted Ryan Howard on the back. He shook his head, slammed his fists together, and watched more offensive futility. "I was thinking there during the game," Manuel said. "We have 125 games left. We're going to hit. " On this night, three runs patched together by walks, singles, stolen bases, wild pitches, and sacrifices were enough despite 11 stranded runners.
May 6, 2013 |
The next time Domonic Brown hits a home run, he will achieve a career high in that department. In his limited playing time in 2011 and 2012, the Phillies outfielder hit five home runs each year. He got to that number a lot quicker this season, driving the ball out of the park in the first two games of the weekend series with the Miami Marlins to reach five in 97 at-bats. If he continues on his current pace, he will flirt with hitting 30 home runs this season. "I don't think that's out of the realm," manager Charlie Manuel said before Saturday night's game against the Marlins.
April 24, 2013 |
Nearly 30 years ago, a 6-foot-4 righthanded pitcher got a call to the big leagues from the Minnesota Twins. Johnny Podres, the Twins' pitching coach, offered some simple advice. "I thought he might pull me aside and tell me how to work a certain hitter," Jay Pettibone said as he recalled the details of his big-league debut. "But, no, he just encouraged me to have a good time and enjoy the moment. He said, 'You worked hard to get here, so go out and have fun.' " It turned out to be great advice.