June 20, 2015 |
What's the cutest animal? Koalas? Sure. Meerkats? Love 'em. Capybaras? Check. Hippos, prairie dogs, even iguanas - they all make the list. But, sorry guys, the title is all wrapped up once you see a red panda. The endangered, bambooo-eating native of the Himalayas, aka Ailurus fulgens , is about the size of a house cat (well, a big, well-fed one) and has a bushy ringed tail and raccoon-like markings. But it's not related to its namesake, the giant panda (which is a bear - and, yeah, also cute)
June 19, 2015 |
Somewhere in a remote part of Canada, antennae are likely picking up the signals of 100 shorebirds that just weeks ago were on the beaches of Delaware Bay, where they were caught with giant nets and fitted with tiny transmitters. The birds are robin-size creatures called red knots. After precipitous declines in their population on the bay - from about 100,000 birds in the 1990s to about 12,000 a few years ago - federal officials designated them as threatened in December. Researchers know that red knots have one of the longest migrations on the planet - from the tip of South America to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.
June 12, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - Chase Utley appeared to turn a corner in mid-May, when he began a hot streak that persisted through the first game of this month. Lately, though, Utley is struggling again at the plate. In a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday at Great American Ball Park, the Phillies' veteran second baseman was hitless in three more at-bats, extending his latest drought to 0 for 21. Utley, who raised his average 108 points to .207 over 22 games from May 9 to June 2, will enter this weekend's series in Pittsburgh batting a National League-worst .185.
June 11, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - Teams in the summer market for a second-tier starting pitcher will watch closely to see how Aaron Harang bounces back from his worst two starts of the season. The journeyman righthander regressed as last year wore on, and potential trade partners for the Phillies are now likely to be wary of a recurrence. For the second time in six days, the Cincinnati Reds had their way with Harang, their former five-time opening-day starter. The 37-year-old's struggles didn't provide the Phillies much of a chance in an 11-2 loss, their major-league-worst 38th in 60 games.
June 11, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - A young family walked out of the elevator and onto the field level at Great American Ball Park late last night, about a half-hour after the game. A boy held a baseball in his hand. "Which one is that?" a stadium security guard asked in the hallway that leads to the Reds' home clubhouse. "The third one!" the boy said triumphantly, raising the souvenir with one hand and high-fiving the guard with the other. He was off to deliver the ball to the hero of the night.
June 10, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - Thirty-three-and-a-half years ago, the Phillies' front office made one of the more forgettable moves in franchise history. It sent five-time All-Star shortstop Larry Bowa and infield prospect Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs in an offseason trade that netted 29-year-old shortstop Ivan DeJesus. Bowa's career was nearing the finish line - he'd play three more seasons as a starting shortstop - but Sandberg went on to be one of the best-hitting second basemen in baseball history and to earn a place in Cooperstown.
June 5, 2015 |
IT'S KNOWN as "The Buster Posey Rule. " And, though it's not the 2010 NLCS anymore, Buster Posey is still a thorn in the side of the Phillies. Posey, of course, was drilled at the plate by a baserunner in a May 2011 game and had his leg shattered. So the rule, which debuted last season, is appropriately named. Rule 7.13, which prohibits a catcher from blocking the plate unless he has possession of the ball, also doesn't allow a runner to deviate from his pathway to initiate contact with an opposing catcher.
June 4, 2015 |
A DAY off before your baseball team heads to your hometown for a series usually means good, home-cooked food and a night sleeping in your old bed. For Point Pleasant, N.J., native and Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, that food came in the form of The Sawmill pizza on the boardwalk, though the weather prevented a typical June beach day. He did get to sleep in his bed Monday, though, a night before the Reds opened a three-game set at Citizens Bank...
June 4, 2015 |
SOMETIMES IT'S funny the way losing streaks are broken. Last night was certainly that, unless you're a member of the Cincinnati faithful. The weather was abnormal for this time of year. It was cold, wet and blustery. It felt more April than June. And the way the Phillies won was equally weird. The Phillies tallied three runs against the Reds that they probably shouldn't have in helping to snap a seasonlong, seven-game losing streak, winning, 5-4, in front of an announced crowd of 20,209.