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August 27, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
If you put together a pie chart that divvied up the percentage of blame for this hideous Phillies season, you'd have to find a share for Ryne Sandberg. As the losses have mounted, the grumbling about the manager has grown larger and louder inside and outside the clubhouse. "That's just a normal reaction," said Larry Bowa, the manager's bench coach and close friend. How much blame you want to pin on Sandberg is all a matter of opinion. You could argue that he leaves his starters in too long at times or that he has let lefthanded relievers Mario Hollands and Jake Diekman face too many righthanded hitters.
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
August 22, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
IT ALL COMES back to the first baseman. As vehemently as Ruben Amaro Jr. shot down reports that the Phillies had discussed releasing Ryan Howard in the offseason, the organization's immediate and long-term futures are very much tied to their decision-making with regard to their $25 million-a-year slugger. Since his 3-day benching in late July, Howard is hitting just .202/.298/.348 with three home runs and 29 strikeouts in 89 at-bats. With every fastball that he sends to the warning track in leftfield, it becomes increasingly clear that addition by subtraction is something the Phillies will have to seriously contemplate this offseason.
SPORTS
August 30, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Phillies signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez for $12 million last summer, they included performance bonuses for games started and games relieved. Ruben Amaro Jr. proclaimed his Cuban import a starter - the team negotiated a $48 million agreement before a medical examination forced amendments - although the international scouting community was divided on Gonzalez's future role. Some, like the Phillies, saw the potential for a back-of-the-rotation arm. Others envisioned a shutdown reliever.
SPORTS
August 6, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
THE MOST OMINOUS aspect of Ruben Amaro Jr.'s inaction at the trade deadline wasn't his failure to add young talent capable of helping the Phillies compete within the next couple of years. Rather, it was his apparent belief that he had a legitimate chance of doing so, which suggests the sixth-year general manager still does not fully grasp the amount of reconstruction that will be required to turn the Phillies roster into something that doesn't make fans want to spew the folks in front of them with partially digested Schmitter.
SPORTS
August 18, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - Ruben Amaro Jr. asked a small group of reporters to follow him. He found a spot in the empty stands, hours before another Phillies game, and talked for 30 minutes about the missteps that led to another failure. "Listen, I'm the GM of the club, so I fully expect to take heat for it," Amaro said. "I'm the one who is making the decisions on player personnel. I'm accountable for the things that have happened. I have not had a very good year; our team did not have a very good year.
NEWS
August 26, 2014 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
MIKE LeCOMPT, a Holmesburg native son who has been rocking since his Father Judge High School years, is such a legend at Northeast Philly and down-the-Shore pubs that he'll get his first breather on Wednesday after working 74 nights in a row. His long, hair-band locks, which flowed over his shoulders when he was lead singer for Tangier on their 1991 hit, "Stranded," is pulled back now into a Samurai-style ponytail. His open-to-the-navel shirts have given way to tees, and he wears his jeans looser these days.
SPORTS
August 26, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies will use the final 32 games to find solutions, and they must know every revelation cannot be franchise-altering. A team on pace for 90 losses will improve in slow (sometimes painful) increments. That elevates a 32-year-old waiver claim with three quality starts against three contenders to exalted status. This summer, two of the worst teams in baseball jettisoned Jerome Williams. He has carved a successful home in the Phillies rotation, with eight more innings in a 7-1 win over St. Louis as the latest evidence.
SPORTS
December 9, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bold best describes what Ruben Amaro Jr. has done so far in putting together the 2014 Phillies and it sure is appropriate that the word ends with the letters O-L-D. The construction of this team essentially started in August, when the general manager decided the proper course of action was to extend the contract of second baseman Chase Utley, a man who turns 35 this month and missed huge chunks of time in 2011 and 2012 because of a chronic condition that has invaded both of his knees.
SPORTS
March 29, 2013
The Phillies may be dancing to their last waltz this season after winning the World Series in 2008. What the core players did: The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays, four games to one, to win the 2008 title and were led by Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins struggled at the plate, but Series MVP Cole Hamels struck out eight and allowed just four earned runs in 13 innings over two starts. Here is how they fared that season: Hamels: 14-10 regular season; 1-0, 2.77 ERA and World Series MVP. Howard: .251, 48 HRS, 153 RBIs regular season; .286, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs World Series.
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SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - David Buchanan was upset when he was removed from last Saturday's game after 90 pitches in five innings. His comments sparked a meeting with manager Ryne Sandberg. The hook Friday, in a 4-1 Phillies loss to the Mets, arrived at 64 pitches in six sharp innings. The rookie righthander might have seethed again, since Domonic Brown, pinch-hitting for the pitcher, grounded into an inning-ending double play just before New York ripped open the game with three unearned runs on zero hits.
SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | BY JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer kaplanj@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - A little more than 3 hours before last night's first pitch, Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed the players gathered in the visiting team clubhouse at Citi Field. The Phillies' general manager reiterated the developments of Thursday, that in the wake of David Montgomery's medical leave of absence, Pat Gillick will be interim team president. "We'll go about our business status quo," Amaro told a group of reporters a few minutes later. "I'll report to Pat. [Manager Ryne Sandberg]
BUSINESS
August 31, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
This Labor Day weekend, let's consider that excellent and endangered worker benefit, the guaranteed retirement pension. Let's look at the New Jersey state pension system , which more than 750,000 schoolteachers, troopers, and other public servants are counting on to keep them comfortable through their golden decades. The problem with this happy arrangement is that the politicians who promised - and who also collect - state pensions haven't set aside money to pay them all. New Jersey's pension funds have about $80 billion to pay at least $120 billion in future checks.
SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - For the 16th time this season, Ryne Sandberg assembled a lineup designed last winter to keep the Phillies competitive. No team in baseball has employed the same batting order as many times as Sandberg's familiar combination. That unit, after a 7-2 singles-fueled win over the Mets on Saturday, is 5-11. "You look at our lineup on paper, and it's a great lineup," outfielder Marlon Byrd said. "For some reason, some years it just doesn't click. You get two guys hitting and the rest aren't hitting, or you get the rest of the guys hot and it's split up too much in the lineup.
SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than a month later, 35 words spoken on July 23 by Ryne Sandberg have gained significance. They now offer insight into the strategy of a desperate front office and the dynamics of an unusual relationship between a team's executives and its manager. That day, Sandberg benched Ryan Howard for Darin Ruf, and explained his plan. "I know what he can do," Sandberg said of Howard. "I've seen him for 100 games. I know what he can do. I think it's important to see what a guy like Darin Ruf can do also going forward.
SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
ALLENTOWN - Maikel Franco, whose spring training and start to his minor-league season at Lehigh Valley was a dud, is finishing on a tear. The Inquirer's No. 2-ranked Phillies prospect is creating plenty of buzz: He turned 22 on Tuesday and celebrated by hitting a grand slam. Franco insists he hasn't dwelled on whether he will be called up after the minor-league season ends Monday, the same day the major-league rosters expand to 40 players. "No, I haven't thought about Philadelphia," Franco said during a pregame interview Wednesday at Coca-Cola Park.
SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - The Phillies have always considered their potential logjam at third base a good problem, but it is one that still lacks a solution. Cody Asche's future at the position becomes murkier with Maikel Franco's possible arrival later this week. One resolution could be a position switch for Asche, but that is not something the Phillies will explore in September. Manager Ryne Sandberg cited "the unfairness" to Asche. "Right now, he's the third baseman," Sandberg said. "He's doing a good job there.
NEWS
August 30, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
David Montgomery, the Phillies' president and CEO since 1997, will take a medical leave of absence amid a tumultuous time for the franchise. Former general manager Pat Gillick, the architect of the 2008 world-champion Phillies, will assume Montgomery's duties, the team said Thursday. Montgomery, 68, underwent surgery to remove cancer from his jawbone in May. He has maintained an active presence at Citizens Bank Park ever since - even during chemotherapy and radiation treatments - and helped greet Taney Little League players during a pregame ceremony Wednesday at the ballpark.
SPORTS
August 30, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Phillies signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez for $12 million last summer, they included performance bonuses for games started and games relieved. Ruben Amaro Jr. proclaimed his Cuban import a starter - the team negotiated a $48 million agreement before a medical examination forced amendments - although the international scouting community was divided on Gonzalez's future role. Some, like the Phillies, saw the potential for a back-of-the-rotation arm. Others envisioned a shutdown reliever.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
LAST MONTH, it was Ryan Howard who was upset when his name was missing from the Phillies' starting lineup for three straight games. Two weeks ago, it was Kyle Kendrick, ticked that he was given what he thought was an early hook in San Francisco. In spring training, Jimmy Rollins and Ryne Sandberg had to speak after the manager gave the franchise shortstop an oddly timed break from regular playing time in the middle of March. Over the weekend, rookie righthander David Buchanan and struggling leftfielder Domonic Brown both made subtle criticisms of their manager (only to take them back a day later)
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