October 8, 2015 |
NEW YORK - It was easy to forget, while watching them outplay the New York Yankees on Tuesday, that the Houston Astros are still only two seasons removed from losing 111 games. The past was a distant memory in the visitors clubhouse at Yankee Stadium on this night. Come Thursday, the ahead-of-schedule Astros will open play in the American League division series against the defending AL-champion Kansas City Royals. Baseball's surprise team advanced from the one-and-done AL wild-card game behind another dominant outing from ace Dallas Keuchel and a few timely hits.
June 9, 2015 |
There has been plenty of political chatter this year about independent candidates for mayor in the Nov. 3 general election. Will former Republican candidate Sam Katz take another shot? He won't. Will former Democratic City Councilman Bill Green get into the race? He's still considering it. Independent candidates also are sizing up two of five City Council at-large seats that are set aside in city charter for the "minority" political party. Those seats have been held for decades by Republicans.
September 9, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - As crazy as it may seem, there were more than a few murmurs in the Phillies clubhouse the last few days about making the almost-impossible run for a second wild-card spot. That's why Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park felt like a punch to the gut. A team with no margin for error saw what it perceived to be some rough calls, not to mention an impressive power display by Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, who hit two solo home runs. The Phillies trail the Pittsburgh Pirates by eight games in the race for the second wild-card spot with 20 games to play.
January 3, 2014 |
James Franklin returned the phone call. No surprise. Franklin had grown up locally, had gone to Neshaminy High, was happy to talk about the resurrection project he had undertaken at Vanderbilt. "Everything about the job, about the program, about how football was perceived at Vanderbilt needed to be changed," Franklin said over the phone. "I realized that. " The timing of that phone call was interesting. It was a little more than two years ago, the week before Christmas, the last time the head coaching job at Penn State was open.
October 2, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Another "phoenix moment" for the Philadelphia Orchestra? That's how Carnegie Hall's director of artistic planning, Jeremy Geffen, describes the orchestra's arrival Wednesday to open the 2013-14 season in New York City's august concert venue, whose audiences and management cheered the orchestra through its bankruptcy. Slots don't come any more prestigious than opening night. The concert promises guaranteed star power with violinist Joshua Bell and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, now in his second season with the Philadelphians.
July 19, 2013 |
THERE ARE a couple ways to look at the second half of the season. One, the Phillies are a collection of role players and stars past their prime. It is time to retool for the future. Two, the Phillies are still within 5 1/2 games of a playoff spot and 6 1/2 of the NL East lead with 66 games to go. If Chico Ruiz taught us anything, it's that 6 1/2-game leads are not insurmountable. From 2006-12, the Phillies have played an average of 16 games over .500 after the All-Star break.
July 12, 2013 |
ALTHOUGH IT'S July and not September, the Phillies are in the thick of the National League wild-card race simply because there is only one team in between them and the team currently holding the league's second card. That team happens to be the one at Citizens Bank Park this week: the Washington Nationals. The Phils entered play yesterday six games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the last NL wild card. The Nats were 4 1/2 back of Cincinnati. Regardless if they make their run within the division or for the wild card, the Phils have to leapfrog Washington at some point.
April 4, 2013 |
ONE GAME in and it's hard not to come to this conclusion: The Phillies are really not playing in the National League East this season. They're playing in a loosely defined subdivision that should be called TheRest. If either Washington or Atlanta do not play to their potential this season, that's great. It's happened before and it will happen again, but the idea both won't is a little too hopeful, even for early April. Yes, there is also that possibility all the question marks the Phillies begin the season with will be answered positively.
March 29, 2013 |
The Phillies went into the season two years ago with four aces and a sense that something special was about to happen. And they were right. The special wasn't quite as special as they had hoped, and they had no idea that Vance Worley, not Roy Oswalt, would be the fourth ace. Worley didn't even get to pose as one of the five aces when it was inexplicably decided that Joe Blanton should be the ace of something, too. Two years later, the...