Pro Baseball Player Sean Murphy, Fishtown Native, Dead at 27

Sean Murphy. Photo | MLB

Sean Murphy. Photo | MLB

The Oakland Athletics announced today that Sean Murphy, a 27-year-old minor leaguer with the franchise, was found dead yesterday in Arizona. Murphy, a native of Philadelphia, was 27.

“The A’s are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Sean Murphy,” A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

According to Philadelphia Baseball Review, Murphy was a native of Thompson Street in Fishtown. Like his older brother Pat, Murphy was a sports star at Northeast Catholic High School. The Spirit profiled the family just last week. Read more »

Phillies Minor League Squad Will be the Cheesesteaks for One Night

The Phillies farm team will be the Cheesesteaks for one special night.

The Phillies farm team will be the Cheesesteaks for one special night | Via the Lehigh Valley IronPigs

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies AAA minor league affiliate knows the best way to a fan’s heart is through his stomach. On Sundays the team sports bacon themed caps, jerseys and pants. This season the team will change its name to the Cheesesteaks for one night as a salute to the IronPigs Major League parent, the Philadelphia Phillies.

The team is currently holding a contest to decide the on-field cap to wear with their cheesesteaks jerseys; two versions are available to choose from, one with onions and one “witout.” Voting for #TeamWit or #TeamWitOut is being held via social media and on the website, LVcheesesteaks.com.

Read more »

MLB Drops Chase Utley Suspension

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Seems like only a few days since we told you that Major League Baseball is adopting a new “Utley Rule” to prevent hard, injurious slides at second base — you know, the kind former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley used to break Ruben Tejada’s leg last year during the playoffs.

The league said last fall that Utley — now a Dodger —would be suspended two games for the wipeout, but there’s been a change of heart. Baseball officials said Sunday the suspension is being lifted, the  reports. Read more »

MLB Changes Sliding Rules Because Chase Utley

Remember the time Chase Utley left the Philadelphia Phillies to chase the playoffs with the Dodgers, got to the playoffs, then ended Ruben Tejada’s postseason with a really, really hard slide?

Major League Baseball certainly does.

ESPN reports that MLB and its players’ union have agreed to a ban “rolling blocks” meant to break up double plays — a development that will almost certainly be known henceforth as the “Chase Utley Rule.” This, even though Utley’s original slide wasn’t exactly deemed legal; he was suspended two games, after all. Read more »

Dykstra Claims He Blackmailed Umps

Lenny Dykstra, the spark plug of the 1993 Phillies team that went to the World Series, told radio host Colin Cowherd this week that he blackmailed umpires to get favorable treatment while in Philadelphia.

“I had to do what I had to do to win and support my family,” Dykstra said.

The stories have been around for years — Dykstra was coy about them during an interview with Philly radio host Mike Missanelli last year — but Tuesday’s interview appeared to be the first time he directly confirmed the rumors.

A spokesman for Major League Baseball told Philly Mag that officials are aware of Dykstra’s interview, but had no immediate comment on his allegations.
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Cole Hamels Loses Deciding Game for Texas (But It Wasn’t His Fault)

cole hamels texas rangers

Cole Hamels was on the losing end of Wednesday’s ALDS playoff game. | Nick Turchiaro

It was one of the strangest seventh innings of a baseball game you’ll ever see. It ended with a former Phillies pitcher allowing the winning run.

When we last saw Cole Hamels in a Phillies uniform, he was throwing a no-hitter and improving his trade value. He ended up with the Texas Rangers, and pitched pretty well for them. The Rangers ended up passing two teams and winning the AL West.

Hamels allowed 4 runs over 7 innings in a Rangers win in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. He started Wednesday’s deciding Game 5 in Toronto. And… he lost. Unlike his stellar performances in deciding games for the Phils, Hamels gave up 5 runs on 4 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He had a 2-0 lead. The Blue Jays won, 6-3.

It wasn’t his fault, though. Hamels struck out 8 and walked 2. Only 2 of those 5 runs he allowed were earned. All 3 unearned runs scored after he was pulled. Read more »

Utley Suspended for Controversial Slide

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

The Dodgers’ Chase Utley has been suspended two games for a controversial slide that broke the leg of Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada.

He left town at midseason in a trade, but you’d think Chase Utley was still a member of the Phillies, given how much support he received from Philadelphia fans over the weekend after the slide that broke Tejada’s leg. Nationally, a debate raged over whether Utley played dirty or just hard, but Philly consensus seemed solidly on Utley’s side.

Major League Baseball disagrees, announcing that Utley will be suspended Games 3 and 4 of the National League Divisional Series. He’ll appeal, AP reports. “A two-game suspension for a legal baseball play is outrageous and completely unacceptable. Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation — break up the double play,” his agent said. Read more »

First Prospect from Hamels Trade to Make Phillies Debut

Jerad Eickhoff | Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jerad Eickhoff | Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies will are about to put to the test one of the prospects they received in the Cole Hamels deal.

Pitcher Jerad Eickhoff will make his Phillies debut tonight against the Miami Marlins.

Eickhoff came to the Phillies on July 31st, the MLB trade deadline, when the Hamels deal that was originally struck on July 29th was made official. Since then, he has a 2-1 record with a strong 2.49 ERA for the Triple-A IronPigs. He is ranked as the Phillies’ 15th-best prospect. Read more »

Meet the New Phillies Prospects

Photos via USA Today Sports Images and Twitter

Photos via USA Today Sports Images and Twitter

Last week, just ahead of the July 31st Major League Baseball trade deadline, the Phillies made some moves to shore up their farm system. The big haul, of course, came in exchange for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman, but trades sending Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere to Washington and Toronto, respectively, also added potentially useful pieces to the Phillies minor league system.

That’s good and all, especially when the fifth-place Phillies are rebuilding for the future, but prospects are just that: prospects. They are full of potential, but the overwhelming majority don’t end up in All-Star Games, if they even make it to the show.

We know who the Phillies are getting — catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitcher Jake Thompson, and outfielder Nick Willams are the major pieces from the Hamels deal. Now the question is, what are the Phillies getting? Where will these players fit into the Phillies’ bigger plans, and how limitless, or limited, is their potential?

Here, we break down what the major baseball scouting outlets are saying about each fresh face on the Phillies Pharm. Read more »

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