July 27, 2014 |
After a low, growling storm rolled through South Philly on Wednesday evening, bringing a temporary halt to the game between the Phillies and Giants, the end of the rain delay and the resumption of play was punctuated but not affected by several nearby lightning strikes and the loudest thunder of the night - not to mention most of the rain. That didn't impress the umpiring crew enough to signal for another delay, however - getting the Phillies' season into the books as quickly as possible is everyone's desire at this point - but it did provide a couple of handy metaphors for what has taken place in Citizens Bank Park and elsewhere this year.
July 25, 2014 |
JUST AS the Phillies once made a play for CC Sabathia and ended up with Joe Blanton one summer, and zeroed in on Roy Halladay before trading for Cliff Lee instead the next, major league teams with visions of David Price and Cole Hamels dancing in their heads will likely have to settle for a more gettable starting pitcher before next week's trade deadline. A.J. Burnett fits the description of that kind of very available and very useful starting pitcher. Burnett, 37, has postseason experience - he beat the Phillies in a World Series game 5 years ago. He has a somewhat manageable, short-term contract.
July 16, 2014 |
MINNEAPOLIS - Chase Utley sat in the dugout at Miller Park in Milwaukee last week before pregame batting practice and was asked a rather simple question: "Eleven months ago, this team wasn't playing well and you wanted to stay here anyway, re-signing with the Phillies rather than testing free agency in a few short months," the reporter started. "You wanted to stick around. Has your stance changed?" "No," Utley said. "That's still the case. " Not surprisingly, Utley's stance hasn't changed in the last week, either.
July 15, 2014 |
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon made news last week in Milwaukee when he said he would welcome a trade to a contender. Papelbon hasn't backed off those comments, but there is an addendum. He was asked Sunday how he would feel if he was still with the Phillies after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. "I would be happy," Papelbon said before a 10-3 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. "I am pretty indifferent on the whole situation. " Papelbon, who has a 1.21 ERA and is 22 for 24 in save opportunities, said there are positives to staying or departing.
June 15, 2014 |
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is in the same difficult situation as many of his counterparts in baseball, not knowing whether to buy or to sell by the July 31 trade deadline. The Phillies entered the weekend 61/2 games out of first place in the National League East and 51/2 games out of a wild-card spot with 98 games remaining. Amaro was encouraged by the three-game sweep over San Diego, but he understands it will take more to convince him that the Phillies are contending than defeating a Padres team that entered the weekend with the third-worst record in baseball.
May 23, 2014 |
IF YOU'RE LUCKY, you spend your peak seasons with the same team peaking with you, contending every year, winning a championship or two even. If you're really lucky, you're Jimmy Rollins, playing your entire career with that same team, chasing cool team records, assuring iconic status in your adopted town long after your playing days are over. And if you are neither of these . . . well, then, you're Cliff Lee. One of two things was going to happen for Cliff Lee this season. One was that he would play a key part in a surprising season by the Phillies and their veteran core.
May 7, 2014 |
When the Phillies were mustering up for another postseason run near the trade deadline in 2010, they needed to put a starting pitcher in the trade package to the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt. The Astros were looking to get younger - and looking to shave some salary, which goes hand in hand - and the choices weren't all that many. Houston could go after J.A. Happ, Vance Worley, or Kyle Kendrick. That was the inventory in stock. Pages fall off the calendar, the Phillies eventually fell off the postseason parade at the end of the 2011 season, and two of the guys who were near the epicenter of that trade with the Astros took the mound Monday night in front of friends and family at Citizens Bank Park.
March 20, 2014 |
Luke Schenn says he has been comfortable with all of his defensive partners this season, but the Flyers defenseman seems to have developed a quick chemistry with his latest blue-line mate, Andrew MacDonald. Heading into Tuesday night's win over Chicago, Schenn had been paired with MacDonald for five games since his partner was acquired from the New York Islanders before the trade deadline. Schenn is a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, while MacDonald is a smooth skater and a puck carrier.
March 10, 2014 |
TORONTO - Say what you will about Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, but the man truly believes in the team he has assembled. Need proof? Consider this: With his job possibly hanging in the balance - if the Flyers miss the playoffs for a second straight year, one wonders if the big boss, Ed Snider, will remain patient - Holmgren only tweaked his roster at the trade deadline. In separate deals, he acquired Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders and dealt Andrej Meszaros to Boston.
March 7, 2014 |
ANDREW MACDONALD knew it was coming. After rejecting a 4-year, $16 million contract offer earlier this season, it was only a matter of time before Islanders general manager Garth Snow would find MacDonald a new home. MacDonald just didn't know it would happen Tuesday, a day before the NHL's trade deadline. Or that the call would come while he was enjoying his pregame nap in Winnipeg. Snow woke him up. MacDonald rushed to pack a bag and sprinted to Winnipeg's airport to catch a connecting flight to Philadelphia - where he played his first game as a Flyer in last night's 6-4 victory against the Washington Capitals.