May 20, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Chase Utley found serenity here, at a baseball diamond named for a coach who accepted a $1 salary for 16 years to save his college's team from abolishment. Dante Benedetti Diamond is squeezed into the corner of a sleepy neighborhood at the edge of the University of San Francisco's campus. Large black netting prevents home run balls from littering Golden Gate Avenue. Two freshman dorms overlook the field from behind home plate. An undergraduate student stuck a cardboard cutout of Mitt Romney in the window, so the smiling politician is always watching baseball.
May 21, 2013 |
It was 4:47 p.m. Sunday when a beaming Charlie Manuel sauntered into his team's clubhouse. He found Freddy Galvis, shook the diminutive hero's hand, and disappeared to pack for an eight-game road trip. As Galvis described his elation upon hitting an unbelievable home run that sealed a 3-2 Phillies victory to a throng of reporters, Kevin Frandsen jumped up and down to make Galvis laugh. A few lockers away, Carlos Ruiz struggled to pull green shorts over his wrapped right leg. Across the room, Ryan Howard dismissed the notion that a left knee injury that apparently has afflicted him since spring training was serious.
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.
February 15, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ryan Howard got married in 2012. As for the rest of the year, there wasn't much worth remembering. After undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles' on Oct. 12, 2011, Howard didn't get into a major league game until the year was half over, on July 6, when the Phillies were in last place and 13 games out of first. He played in 71 games in 2012; in his six previous major league seasons as an everyday player, Howard never played in fewer than 143 games.
July 28, 2011 |
MOB TURNCOAT Ralph Natale , recently released from federal prison, is working on a memoir. We hear that Natale, who is still under federal witness protection and lives within two hours of Philadelphia, has been looking for a writer to help him with the book. He's approached retired Daily News mob writer Kitty Caparella , and South Philly author and historian Celeste Morello . Caparella says she has seen Natale's manuscript. "It's a great project. It's his take on the Philadelphia mob from the very beginning.
May 16, 2013 |
The Phillies insisted before the game that revenge wasn't the motive, only the chance to get closer to .500. Afterward, Kevin Frandsen admitted that consecutive routs in Cleveland two weeks ago served as a motivating force. After being outscored by 20-2 by the Indians in two games, the Phillies earned revenge on Tuesday night with a 6-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. "They kicked our butt [in Cleveland] and I hope the guys would realize that and I feel like we did," said Frandsen, who got the Phillies going with a solo home run in the first inning.
May 18, 2013 |
Cliff Lee pitched and hit well enough to earn a win. He had to settle for being picked up by his teammates. Eighth-inning RBIs by Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz broke the tie and led the Phillies to a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday at Citizens Bank Park. "A comeback win like this means a lot and shows the character of this team," Brown said. With the score tied at 3-3, Michael Young drew a one-out walk in the Phillies eighth. Ryan Howard, of all players, then reached base on a check-swinging bunt that reliever Sean Marshall couldn't handle.
February 18, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The last month was uncomfortable, the last day infuriating. After a dozen years as a coach in the Phillies organization, Greg Gross said he knew his job security was in question when he read an early September comment in The Inquirer from manager Charlie Manuel that insinuated it would not be a bad idea to make some changes in the coaching staff. "We knew then that people were gone," Gross said last week by telephone from Scottsdale, Ariz. "We didn't know who or how many, but you knew some guys were not going to be back.
December 31, 2008
What? Ryan Howard, Mr. Phillies, finished fourth in a year when the Phillies won the World Series? Well, yes. So much is made of what Howard does too much of that sometimes what he does do seems underappreciated. It is appreciated exactly the right amount. In a two-horse race, Howard finished second in NL MVP voting, well behind Albert Pujols, mainly because Howard, the 2006 MVP, struck out 199 times and hit .251, lower than any MVP winner. Howard, in his third full season, led the NL in home runs and RBI, but with all the whiffs and the laughable .215 average through June, finishing second was justice served.