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 |
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 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 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.
March 27, 2015 |
Most cultures have traditions and rituals that herald spring. Who isn't grateful for signs leading toward a season of abundance and growth after the scarcity of winter? Many of these traditions feature eggs, from traditional Easter egg hunts, to the Cimburijada festival of scrambled eggs in Zenica, Bosnia - where 1,500 eggs will be cooked for the town to share the official moment spring begins - to Egypt's Sham El-Nissim holiday, celebrated back to the time of the pharaohs with spring onions and colored eggs.
March 27, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A spring training experiment is starting to look more and more like the Phillies' opening-day outfield alignment. Each day that manager Ryne Sandberg uses his new-look outfield increases the chances that it will appear that way April 6 against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. Odubel Herrera and Ben Revere spent the last four games in center field and left field, respectively. Only eight games remain on the team's Grapefruit League schedule. "I'll continue to look at different options and different things," Sandberg said.
March 25, 2015 |
Gov. Christie may not make an announcement on running for president until early summer, he said Monday on a radio show, during which he also forecast a tough solution for reviving Atlantic City. Christie said on NJ101.5's Ask the Governor that he would announce whether he would run by "late spring or early summer. " Earlier Monday, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz announced that he would run in 2016, becoming the first major candidate to officially enter the race. Christie said it was "very early" in the race, and dismissed any notion that he would have trouble netting commitments from donors if he waited to declare his intentions.