March 6, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Maikel Franco ended last spring training by packing his equipment into a red duffel bag and walking across the Phillies complex to join the other minor-leaguers. Franco was quiet during his four weeks in big-league camp. He was the team's top prospect. But he was just a kid. A season later, Franco, 23, has emerged to become a large presence in a clubhouse filled with young talent. His personality was evident Friday afternoon as he danced while his teammates ate a pregame meal in the clubhouse.
March 5, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Jake Thompson was traded to the Phillies last summer it was the second time in almost exactly a year that he had been dealt. The righthanded pitcher said his first trade - which moved him from Detroit to Texas - forced him to try to prove his worth. He tried to overdo everything. Each fastball was thrown at maximum speed. He was pushing himself, Thompson said, to do things he was not capable of. Thompson wanted to be perfect. Instead, he struggled. The pitcher registered a 4.31 ERA in 23 starts as a Rangers minor-leaguer.
March 3, 2016 |
Filmmaker Gilberto Gonzalez has fond memories of growing up in the 1970s in the Puerto Rican enclave of Spring Garden. On weekends - when he woke up in the morning or fell asleep at night - he listened to men in the nearby park singing and drumming songs from their island home. But those also were tough times in Philadelphia's original barrio , darkened by violence with non-Puerto Ricans and ongoing tension with law enforcement. And it's the reason the 20Gs came to be the protectors of the neighborhood.
February 21, 2016 |
Brett Foster drove the lane and kicked the ball to an open Ryan Bollinger in the left corner. Bollinger swished a three-pointer as the Ridley student section roared. One fan in a Kevin Durant Seattle SuperSonics jersey did push-ups on Ridley's gym floor. Just seconds after Spring-Ford had taken its first lead in a District 1 Class 4A quarterfinal Friday night, Ridley had taken the lead back, 36-35, with five minutes left. Moments later, Foster drove again and lobbed the ball to a wide-open Liam Thompson on the left wing.
February 19, 2016 |
For Garnet Valley on Wednesday night, two players stood above the rest. In a 66-57 victory over visiting Spring-Ford, Maddie Ireland and Emily McAteer powered the Jaguars to the quarterfinals of the District 1 girls' basketball playoffs. Ireland scored a team-high 21 points, adding four assists and nine steals to her line for the night. McAteer was right behind her teammate as far as point totals, scoring 20 points. She also contributed six steals and a pair of rebounds in the second- round matchup.
February 15, 2016 |
40-MAN ROSTER Pitchers Elvis Araujo LHP The rookie pitched his best after the all-star break until a groin injury prematurely ended his season. Alec Asher RHP He is the sort of pitcher who will become familiar with the roads between Philadelphia and Allentown. David Buchanan RHP A 2.01 ERA in his final four starts could not mask the gore. Buchanan's 6.99 ERA was the highest for a Phillies pitcher with at least 15 starts since 1930. Jimmy Cordero RHP He is mentioned as a potential future closer because he throws 100 mph, but the strikeout-to-walk ratio must improve.
February 11, 2016 |
It was a dark day for Pete Mackanin. The Phillies had just finished a disappointing season with a .500 record, ending a run of five straight National League East titles. The misguided initial blame for the fantastic fall was placed on hitting coach Greg Gross, first base coach Sam Perlozzo and Mackanin, who was Charlie Manuel's bench coach that season. All three were immediately fired after the final game of the 2012 season in Washington. "It was disappointing, but I had been fired before for what I felt like was no good reason," Mackanin said last month during a Phillies winter banquet stop in Lakewood, N.J. Stick around baseball for 48 years and you are bound to be fired a time or two for no good reason.
February 9, 2016 |
Larry Bowa is 70 years old and proof that age is just a number. It's a number that makes a lot of us with vibrant memories of the fiery shortstop feel old, but it is still somewhat soothing to know that Bowa, at 70, is in the same place he was at 20. Well, not exactly the same place. At 20, after being signed as an undrafted player by Phillies scout Eddie Bockman, the Sacramento, Calif., native made his first trip to spring training in 1966. At the time, the Phillies' minor-leaguers trained in Leesburg, Fla., a two-hour drive from the big-league camp in Clearwater.
February 6, 2016 |
Seven former Phillies, including Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, have been invited to serve as guest instructors for the team during spring training. Schmidt, an annual presence at camp, will be joined by Larry Andersen, Dave Hollins, Jim Kaat, Greg Luzinski, Charlie Manuel, and Matt Stairs. Manuel remains a front-office employee as a senior adviser to the general manager. Hollins is a special assignment scout for the Phillies. Andersen, Stairs and Schmidt are broadcasters during the season.
February 2, 2016 |
History has shown us that chaos follows the fall of a strongman. A power vacuum sparks competition among the ambitious, who often lack the juice to adequately replace the deposed despot. Which brings us to the first floor of Philadelphia's City Hall, where the three elected officials who supervise the city's elections are enduring their own version of an Arab Spring. It has been four years since Margaret Tartaglione, a politician so well-known that you can still just say "Marge" and everyone in City Hall knows who you're talking about, ended her reign as chairwoman of the City Commissioners after losing her bid for a 10th term.