June 16, 2014 |
THE MODEST three-game winning streak the Phillies took into their weekend series with the Chicago Cubs didn't do much to dull the senses of the man in charge of maintaining the team's high-salaried-but-underachieving roster. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr., in his sixth year on the job, is well aware of the advantages of the July 31 trade deadline. He made impactful moves in each of his first 4 years on the job, trading for the likes to Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence, and also trading away Shane Victorino and Pence.
May 21, 2014 |
IT IS May 20 and the Phillies are within four games of first place. They are also dead last in a division of underwhelming teams, which suggests one of two things: * They are not as bad as they at times seem. * They are a whole lot worse than what their current status would suggest. In the spirit of the Phillies' annual ALS philanthropy, let's flip the doomsday talk for a day and look at this thing from the bottom of the hourglass up. Can they make the playoffs? Asked another way, did anyone see the Boston Red Sox winning the whole thing a season after losing 93 games?
April 4, 2014 |
CHICAGO - Thanks to a new pitching coach, a former infielder converted to the outfield, a couple of new teammates and a commitment to improve his overall game, Ben Revere is showing off an improved arm from centerfield in 2014. In his first season with the Phillies, Revere struggled from the plate at the outset of the 2013 season. He hit .200 last April before breaking out and batting .347 in 65 games from May 1 until the time he went on the disabled list in mid-July with a broken foot.
February 25, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ryan Howard calls him "Happy. " It's a perfect nickname, because Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere seems to have a perpetual smile. Only two things wiped it away last year. The first was his horrific start to the season, and the second was a premature end to the season caused by a fractured right ankle that required major surgery just before the all-star break. Revere's injury isn't typically high on the long list of reasons why the 2013 Phillies season spiraled into a monstrous free fall that dropped them to fourth in the National League East, but when you look at the facts, it probably should be. Hoping he would fill the hole left by the departure of centerfielder Shane Victorino at the 2012 trade deadline, Revere instead became the hole at the top of the batting order through the first month of the season.
January 21, 2014 |
ONCE THE PAIN of their two-point loss in the first round of playoffs begins to heal, it will be time for the Eagles to reflect on what could have been, what was and what will be. In October 2007, the Phillies were dealing with a similar pain. Charlie Manuel and the Phillies rallied to first NL East title since 1993 on the final game of the regular season, only to be swept in three games by the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS. The next season, the Phillies became world champions.
November 5, 2013 |
The Phillies held their organizational meetings in Clearwater, Fla. last week and for the first time in more than a decade Charlie Manuel was not present to offer his opinions. The former manager is an outsider now, albeit one with an open invitation to rejoin the organization in a different role. Reached by phone Thursday, Manuel said he was too busy to think about what he might be missing in the conference rooms at Bright House Field and the Carpenter Complex. "I was back in Virginia for a charity event at my high school," Manuel said.
September 3, 2013 |
BOSTON - After a disastrous 69-93 season, the Boston Red Sox are back among the elite in the American League, winning and earning admiration for their scrappy play. The Sox, who lead the American League with 82 wins, are comparable to a team that captivated the Philadelphia region for a five-year period. "This team reminds me of our teams in Philly, grinding it out, never giving up," said Sox rightfielder Shane Victorino, who appeared in all 46 of the Phillies' games during their five straight postseason appearances from 2007 to 2011.
August 15, 2013 |
ATLANTA - This stadium, the one Ethan Martin visited as a kid to watch his favorite team, displayed the promise of his right arm on Tuesday night. His own cheering section formed at Turner Field. He threw his fastball with conviction, but five innings in his third major-league start - a 3-1 Phillies loss - served to point out his inexperience. "The kid stuck in there," Charlie Manuel said. That is why the Phillies manager and others view Martin as an eventual reliever. He has the stuff: 62 of his 96 pitches were fastballs and he showed no fear in throwing it. More and more pitches magnified Martin's flaws.
August 1, 2013 |
The non-waiver trade deadline arrives Wednesday at 4 p.m., and it may prove a handy way for the Phillies to unload additional inventory and rearrange the deck furniture a bit, but it will probably do little to change the direction of the franchise or even indicate what that direction might be. If that is a disappointing fact - that neither buying nor selling is a cure for what ails the franchise - just put it on the tall stack of regrets that have...
July 19, 2013 |
IT'S FUNNY the lengths to which some folks will go to try to convince you that this Phillies team has a legitimate shot at contending for a World Series this season. They will point to the 2011 Cardinals, or the 2007 Rockies, or the 2005 Astros, when all they really need to do is point to a few seasons ago, when the 2010 Phillies were two games over .500 and seven games behind the division lead on July 21. They finished the season on a 48-19 tear and rolled into the postseason with 97 wins and homefield advantage.