November 14, 2007
NOBODY SAID IT is easy to crack the Forbes magazine list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. And once you crack it, just being a billionaire doesn't always hack it. Eighty-two billionaires were dropped from the 2007 list. Oh, the shame. The cutoff fortune was $1.3 billion. George Steinbrenner was a few bucks from not making the list. The Yankees' said-to-be-ailing owner tied for No. 380 and last with a paltry $1.3 billion, just $100 million more than the current valuation of his ballclub.
September 24, 2014 |
TOO OFTEN we in the public sphere advocate firing as a punitive final measure instead of a necessary first step preceding the decisions that truly matter. On days like yesterday, when the Atlanta Braves fired general manager Frank Wren after seven seasons at the helm, our initial reaction is to compare his track record to that of the embattled general manager of our local squad. We look at the nearly identical winning percentages of the teams they constructed: .536 for Wren, .540 for Ruben Amaro Jr. We look at their recent history, at the 13-win edge Wren's squad held over Amaro's in 2012, and the 23-win edge in 2013, and the five-win edge the Braves carried into yesterday.
July 10, 2011
We have reached the all-star break and the Phillies are on pace to win more than 100 games for only the third time in franchise history. The starting rotation, even with one of its four aces (Roy Oswalt) and the expected fifth wheel (Joe Blanton) on the disabled list, has more than lived up to expectations. The bullpen, despite being on its fourth closer (Antonio Bastardo), has far exceeded expectations. The lineup, rarely intact for the second straight season because of an assortment of injuries, continues its downward spiral from the height of its success, when the team won the World Series in 2008.
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.
October 1, 2014 |
The last gasps of the 2014 Phillies filled the room while Cole Hamels spoke. He stood in the middle of the clubhouse Sunday afternoon as his teammates packed boxes and hugged. The exits for most were quick; no one wanted to dwell on this disaster. Hamels is not a man tasked with making franchise-altering decisions - "I'm glad I don't have to make those changes," he said - but his answers about the current state were more forthcoming than the rhetoric of his bosses. The 30-year-old ace agreed that the last two seasons are evidence of how far the Phillies are from contention.
October 3, 2014 |
CLIFF LEE, arguably the most important player on the 2015 Phillies roster, given his salary and on-field impact, remains on track to be ready to return when the Phillies open camp in Clearwater in February. Lee underwent an MRI on Friday at the Rothman Institute that yielded "positive results," the Phillies said in a news release Wednesday. According to the team medical staff, Lee's flexor tendon is "healing well. " Lee will begin a full throwing program in November. Lee, 36, was limited to 13 starts this season after two separate stints on the disabled list because of an ailing left elbow.
March 21, 2011 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - For $414,000, the Phillies apparently are willing to see what's left in Luis Castillo's 35-year-old body. The Phillies agreed to a minor-league deal with Castillo, the former all-star and Gold Glove second baseman who was unceremoniously cut by the Mets on Friday, according to a report by CSNPhilly.com, citing anonymous sources late Sunday night. Castillo is due $6 million in the final year of a four-year, $25 million deal, but the Mets will be on the hook for everything but the major-league minimum.
January 12, 2012
Here is Rich Hofmann's view on the Ryan Madson signing, posted yesterday on his blog, The Idle Rich, at www.philly.com/theidlerich . NOBODY WILL need to hold a benefit for Ryan Madson. If reports are accurate, he is in the process of doing a 1-year, $8.5 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds. He is safely in the 1 percent. Again, no tears. But how did this happen? How did he and agent Scott Boras miscalculate the market so badly? I still would love to know how the whole Phillies thing went down.
May 9, 2011 |
This was simply a night of missed opportunities for the Phillies. In a game when Atlanta's pitching appeared vulnerable, the Phillies couldn't take advantage of 12 hits in a 5-2 loss to the Braves Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Braves righthander Jair Jurrjens pitched 61/3 innings and allowed one earned run on eight hits while striking out two. In other words, he wasn't his sharpest, but he kept getting out of jams. Jurrjens threw 91 pitches, just 54 for strikes, but he kept his team in the game.
August 12, 2013 |
Plenty of business needs to be resolved in these final seven weeks of the Phillies' season. Some of it is being conducted right now down in Clearwater, Fla., a fitting location, considering the 2013 season has been relegated to a second spring training of sorts. Two players - Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay - making more money than two entire teams - Miami and Houston - are trying to get healthy. The recovery of Howard's surgically repaired left knee is considered as important as any plate appearance the Phillies will have in the big leagues between now and the Sept.