October 16, 2014 |
PERHAPS BECAUSE he was (and still is) the greatest player in franchise history, the question of who would take over the reins for Mike Schmidt at third base became an easy story with each passing year since the Hall of Famer retired. With the exception of Scott Rolen, whose own tenure in Philly and ugly exit out only adds to the story line, third base really has been a black hole for the quarter century since Schmidt's retirement. While Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard filled the rest of the infield for the last decade, third base has been a revolving door.
August 1, 2014 |
SO THIS IS how it ends. With a whimper, not a bang. All summer long, and really, late in the spring, today was the day that it all could restart for the Phillies. They would trade that core they held onto for too long, pay off chunks of those big salaries Ruben Amaro Jr. awarded to the aging, homegrown guys and the long-in-tooth veterans he collected and valued like an antiques collector collects and values old lamps. And the refurbishing project long anticipated and long delayed would begin in earnest.
July 25, 2014
COLE HAMELS vs. Shane Victorino on Opening Day in South Philly? The Phillies are slated to begin the 2015 season at home on April 6 against the Boston Red Sox, according to a team source. The current, preliminary schedule likely will become official at some time in the next 6 weeks. It will mark the first time the Phillies open the season at home in 4 years. The most recent season opener at home came in 2011, when Roy Halladay squared off against Brett Myers and the Houston Astros.
July 22, 2014 |
NOT EVERYONE can be Derek Jeter. Chipper Jones won his only world championship as a rookie. Cal Ripken Jr. was in his second season when the Orioles beat the Phillies to win his only World Series in 1983. Tony Gwynn reached the World Series twice, in 1984 and 1998, when his San Diego Padres were beaten in five games by Detroit and swept by the Yankees, respectively. Now in his 11th season with the Mets, his career batting average an even .300, David Wright has played in the postseason just once, when the Mets lost to the Cardinals in a seven-game National League Championship Series, in 2006.
July 2, 2014 |
THE ASSUMPTION that the Phillies needed to win this season or be disassembled is flawed. It makes more sense that the Phillies need to win this season or next season. Mainly, the assumption is flawed because the franchise lacks ready replacements. Even if the Phillies could get rid of the weighty contracts and heavy personalities of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, they could not replace any of them with anything close to a comparable peer.
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.