April 19, 2015 |
The way James Franklin saw Penn State's second spring practice as the head football coach, he has found it virtually impossible to compare the sessions with his first spring practice. "To me, when you talk about comparing something, you compare things that are similar," Franklin said earlier this week. "This is like night and day. " The Nittany Lions' spring ends Saturday with the Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium. While Franklin said there is still "a lot of work to do . . . a lot of progress we need to make" before his team visits Lincoln Financial Field for its Sept.
April 9, 2015 |
Pitching coach Bob McClure emerged from the dugout Monday and the Phillies' infielders convened at the Citizens Bank Park mound. Jake Diekman's full-count slider to Boston's Mike Napoli had just missed the outside part of the strike zone and loaded the bases in the ninth. Three pitches later, Diekman hung an 0-2 slider over the plate and Hanley Ramirez launched it off the left-field foul pole. The hard-throwing lefthanded reliever's season debut ended with just one out on the scoreboard.
April 9, 2015
SPRING is here, and with it the traditional scramble to get in better shape is also here. Morning, noon and night the gyms are packed with people working out at a frenzied fever pitch. Along with the spring shape-up hysteria, many people are hopping aboard the latest quick-fix fitness fads and or high-intensity workouts. While I'm the first one to encourage anyone to begin a regular exercise program, I do think that newbies should proceed with caution. It is simply foolish for inexperienced exercisers to jump into high-intensity routines, or worse, buy into fads.
April 8, 2015 |
THIS YEAR, they are resigned to their fate. For more than a decade, Phillies fans embraced Opening Day with happier mindsets than they had yesterday. It ranged from vaguely interested, in the days of Scott Rolen, Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins; to mildly hopeful, both with the Jim Thome/Kevin Millwood editions and the Cole Hamels/Chase Utley/Ryan Howard editions; and moved up to downright entitled when they added Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Cliff Lee - Lee, twice.
April 6, 2015 |
Two dozen members of the Riverton Yacht Club filed through the tall metal gate early Saturday morning and lumbered groggily toward the clubhouse. They could hardly hear one another's hellos over the wind's ragged breath, whitecaps slapping rocks, and plastic tarps complaining loudly, trying to break loose from the bungee cords strapping them to boats in dry dock. On either side of the pier, where the small but mighty sailing club has made its home for 150 years, the last stubborn patches of sooty snow had finally receded, leaving a crusty coating of moss crosshatched with broken tree twigs on the banks of the Delaware River.
April 6, 2015 |
A year ago, David Buchanan was rained out of a chance to pitch in the Phillies' final exhibition game at Citizens Bank Park, a start he was anticipating before departing for triple-A Lehigh Valley. Things have turned around for the 25-year-old righthander since then, to the point that pitching at the Phillies ballpark is now old hat. Instead of being the opening-day starter for the IronPigs, as he was a year ago, Buchanan is firmly in the Phillies rotation, although that may say as much about the team's pitching depth as it does Buchanan.
April 2, 2015 |
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Ken Giles walked off the mound Tuesday afternoon alongside a Phillies trainer. The tightness in his back had returned. His outing was finished after just two batters. Giles spent the next half hour in the trainer's room of the visitors clubhouse at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. "Just tightness. It's just stiff," Giles said. "It doesn't hurt. I'm able to move around. I'm not really concerned about it. " Giles, 24, said he expected to be ready for opening day. It is possible that the Phillies will use caution and start their promising reliever on the disabled list.
March 30, 2015 |
Much of baseball's appeal relies on its unchanging nature. The 2015 game, between the lines at least, is virtually indistinguishable from that of 1965 or even 1915. It's a comfortable continuum that fosters, more than any other sport, generational interaction, comparisons between eras, and historical reverence. But baseball's ancient moat isn't so wide that it can exclude change completely. Right now, for example, in Clearwater, Fla., Phillies players are wrapping up a spring training their distant predecessors would have thought impossible.
March 28, 2015 |
Every spring, Philadelphia's cherry blossom trees begin their elegant, temporal bloom. And every spring, the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia hosts the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating all aspects of Japanese culture. The festival takes place April 6 to 12, but officially kicks off with Tamagawa Taiko Drum and Dance Troupe performances, starting Saturday at the Painted Bride Art Center. Many people know about the fest: its observance of ohanami - the picnics beneath the blossoming trees - and events featuring traditional drum ensembles, culinary delights, and decorative celebrations.
March 27, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After five Grapefruit League starts for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the once-high expectations for him are continuing to diminish. On pace for just one more outing before the Phillies head north, the Cuban righthander has yet to pitch into the fifth inning. Opponents are hitting .385 against him. He has surrendered 12 earned runs and a major-league-worst 25 hits over 141/3 innings. The five home runs he has allowed tie him for the most in baseball this spring. Gonzalez, competing for the fifth spot in the Phillies starting rotation, threw about 75 pitches Wednesday in the team's 7-1 loss to the Houston Astros.