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SPORTS
July 25, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jonathan Papelbon stood at the base of the mound at Citizens Bank Park as Giants scurried around the bases Wednesday night. He did not flinch when Hunter Pence dunked a 93-m.p.h. fastball into short right field for the decisive hit in a 3-1 Phillies loss. He did not move to back up home plate, and Chase Utley's throw skipped past Carlos Ruiz and into the San Francisco dugout. "What are you going to do? I don't really worry about it," Papelbon said. "I try to prepare every day and do my best.
SPORTS
July 24, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ON MAY 28 against the Colorado Rockies, Antonio Bastardo walked four of the five batters he faced. He was booed off the mound. (The Phillies still won the game.) Two years ago, on the day Ryan Howard returned from his Achilles' injury, Bastardo entered the eighth inning of a scoreless game against the Atlanta Braves. He walked in a run and then served up a back-breaking grand slam to Brian McCann. Those are the moments most people are able to recall when they think of Bastardo's role in the bullpen in the last few years.
SPORTS
July 24, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
LET'S TAKE A BREAK from the pre-trade-deadline frenzy and consider the very real possibility that the sun rises on Aug. 1 with the vast majority of the Phillies' clubhouse intact. A.J. Burnett is gone, having been traded to the Orioles or the Pirates for a midlevel pitching prospect. Kyle Kendrick is missing, too, given away to a team in need of rotation depth for $1 million or so in savings on the remainder of his 2014 salary. Otherwise, the Phillies are the Phillies. Jonathan Papelbon is suiting up at his locker across the room from Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
SPORTS
July 21, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - The last time the Phillies were pressured into trading Cliff Lee, they emerged with Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and J.C. Ramirez. There is no such mandate to jettison Lee at this moment, not when the lefthander languished for two months with a strained left elbow. But that disturbance in Lee's elbow creates an unsettling dynamic. The Phillies need not hasten a Lee trade because he would hold value this winter; then again, what if Lee returns to the rotation and his flexor tendon or ulnar collateral ligament bursts?
SPORTS
July 15, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
IT IS SO obvious that it does not need to be said. But the nature of the job requires that we say something about this team, so let's get on with it. In wrapping up the unofficial first half of the season with a 10-3 loss to the Nationals, the Phillies offered a tidy summation of their year to date. They are not particularly good at scoring runs, nor are they particularly good at preventing them. In baseball, that is a bad combination. After it was over, a dejected Ryne Sandberg tried to focus on the positive things that he sees from his team heading into the All-Star Break.
TRAVEL
July 14, 2014 | By Michael Schuman, For The Inquirer
The shoemaker explained what made his lasts last, and the tavern public room was set up for a congenial checkers match. But when we saw the tavern owner's wife sitting at a table practicing the art known as fraktur and when we spotted the ceramic tile stoves that heated 200-year-old buildings, we realized that Old Salem in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a living history town unlike Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, or...
SPORTS
July 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - Ruben Amaro Jr. grabbed a pack of jalapeƱo sunflower seeds Thursday afternoon and found a spot on the wooden dugout bench. There were three weeks until the July 31 trade deadline and this was a moment for more reality. Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies' closer, made it clear Wednesday night he would welcome a trade to a contender - his partial no-trade clause will not be an impediment - and questioned why players would want to remain on a losing team. "I think that's a no-brainer," Papelbon said.
SPORTS
July 10, 2014 | By Keith Pompey, Inquirer Staff Writer
ORLANDO - This is the NBA's silly season, when trade rumors fly. As expected, 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie is the most popular guy at the Orlando Pro Summer League. That's what happens when your club is $30 million under the salary cap and teams looking to shed salaries are lining up to make trade offers. "This time of year, there are way more [offers] leaked than real, and way more postured by one team or another than there's any legs to," Hinkie said Tuesday before the Sixers' 92-71 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Amway Center practice court.
SPORTS
July 7, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH - Phillies rightfielder Marlon Byrd was dealt Aug. 27 last year by the New York Mets to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he could be part of another deal this summer. Byrd is among the rumored players on the block by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He is batting .264 with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs after his solo blast in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park. Byrd said he wasn't thinking about getting traded this time around. "You think about it a little bit the first time you go through it, but the second time now, you keep playing and are trying to win games for the Phillies," he said.
SPORTS
July 7, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The incentive to trade Jonathan Papelbon was appealing even before Ken Giles pulled down the brim to his red Phillies hat and confused major-league hitters with his fastball-slider combination. Papelbon, before the 2012 season, signed the richest deal ever awarded to a closer - an anachronistic agreement for a position devalued by the rest of baseball. The Phillies, not surprisingly, explored ways to escape the four-year pact before the second season ended. But Papelbon carried too many red flags, and a trade last summer was never consummated.
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