June 20, 2014 |
There was a break between innings during a recent Phillies loss, and David Montgomery looked toward second base from the owner's suite at Citizens Bank Park. That is Chase Utley's spot; it was his when this sparkling ballpark opened, and when the Phillies signed Utley to a two-year contract last summer with three option years, Montgomery imagined it was Utley's until he relinquished it. Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins have started 1,129 games together, the most of all active double-play combinations.
June 20, 2014 |
In a historic pact, the city's building-trades unions have agreed to cut their wages and benefits by 20 percent when working on residential construction projects for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Kelvin Jeremiah, PHA chief executive officer and president, said the pact would, on average, reduce PHA's cost of building a house by $50,000, allowing the public housing authority to increase the number of affordable homes it can build. "This is unheard-of," Jeremiah said Wednesday.
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.
June 12, 2014 |
The 76ers appear to be targeting Andrew Wiggins with their first pick in the NBA draft. And they may be willing to trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers to get him. The Cavaliers were awarded the No. 1 overall pick at last month's lottery, and the Sixers reportedly have inquired about trading for that pick. The Milwaukee Bucks are second, and the Sixers have the Nos. 3 and 10 picks in the draft, which will be held June 26. But earlier this month, Fox Sports Ohio reported that another team in the top three called the Cavaliers to measure their interest in trading the pick.
June 11, 2014 |
BARRING A MIRACLE - a major miracle of the proportion of, say, unearthing Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Cy Young and Shoeless Joe Jackson - the Phillies should be highly motived sellers in 7 weeks, when baseball's July 31 trade deadline approaches. Since the gory details are on display on a daily basis, either on your TV screen or here in the paper or online after each game, there's no need to waste space on explaining why the Phillies will be sellers, beyond the obvious fact that they are the worst team in the National League.
June 9, 2014 |
CINCINNATI - With the team in free-fall mode and the trade deadline in the not-so-distant future, several veteran Phillies players will almost certainly be the subjects of a flurry of rumors over the next 8 weeks. A fan base eager for change will probably welcome those rumors, hoping they'll advance beyond the rumor stage. But a lesson in trading established, proven veteran talent for prospects presented itself on the daily baseball transactions report yesterday afternoon. Tyson Gillies cleared waivers and was outrighted off the Phillies' 40-man roster.
June 6, 2014 |
AFTER SUFFERING their seventh shutout in their previous 27 games and with everyone from your barber to a current coach questioning whether the Phillies are even a major league product, the drumbeat to replace Ruben Amaro Jr. as general manager is louder now than any sound emanating from the ballpark these days. Gone are the ebbs and flows of his six-season tenure as the GM, a tenure marked by league-shattering blockbuster trades in both directions, a tenure marked by dozens of minor leaguers being pushed from team to team like poker chips, most becoming little more than tips to a cocktail waitress.
June 5, 2014
THE RELEASE of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a captive of Islamist extremists for almost five years, is good news not only for his family but for all Americans. But the price the Obama administration paid for the 28-year-old soldier's repatriation was freedom for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are hardened Taliban commanders. Critics of the administration say that that price was too high, and they make three other arguments: that the exchange violated a long-standing U.S. policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists; that this country shouldn't negotiate with the Taliban because it might legitimize the group in Afghanistan; and that the swift release of the detainees violated U.S. law. Most of these arguments are invalid or overstated.
May 24, 2014 |
Well-timed gifts of seafood and porn had swayed court decisions Henry Alfano's way before. But this time, facing potential conviction in a wide-ranging judicial corruption case, the Southwest Philadelphia businessman opted not to take his chances. In a last-minute decision, Alfano, 68, pleaded guilty Thursday to 13 federal counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud tied to a long-standing arrangement with then-Traffic Court Judge Fortunato Perri Sr. As Alfano told the court during a 45-minute hearing, from 2008 to 2011 he kept Perri well-fed and helped fulfill his vices.