Cliff Lee Might Need Surgery — Which Could Mean the End of His Career

Among the great one-game feats by Philadelphia athletes, a few recent ones stand out. Allen Iverson‘s 48 points in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. Keith Primeau going around the net and tying Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals with two minutes left. Terrell Owens122 yards in the Super Bowl on one leg. Ryan Howard‘s 3-homer game against the Braves in his MVP year. Roy Halladay‘s perfect game, followed by his playoff-opening no-hitter.

But one might stand above them all. It was 2009, and Cliff Lee dominated the Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series.

The game was a joke. Lee struck out four of the first seven batters. In the fourth inning, he struck out the side: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada. He struck out 10 for the game. He didn’t give up a run until the ninth inning, when the Phillies had already scored six runs. He only allowed six hits. The run he gave up was unearned. It was incredible. The Phillies, already the reigning World Series champions, had embarrassed the mighty Yankees in that first game. Cliff Lee was on the sandlot, joking around, catching a pop-up without moving off the mound to show how much he was in control. Read more »

Cliff Lee Accurately Sums Up Phillies Season

Cliff Lee returned to pitch for the Phillies Monday night for the first time since May 18th. After Lee won that game against the Reds, the Fightin’ Phils were 19-22 and just 3.5 games back of first in the NL East. Coming into last night’s game, the Phillies were 43-55 and 11 games back.

Lee allowed six runs on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings on Monday as the Phillies lost to the Giants, 7-4, falling to 43-56 and 12 games back.

Read more »

Ex-Daily News Writer Gary Smith to Retire from SI

si-philliesWhen the news came that legendary sportswriter Gary Smith was retiring from Sports Illustrated, I did what any writer would do: I called my dad.

Before I was born, my father worked as the Eagles beat writer for the Bucks County Courier Times. He covered the team during the Dick Vermeil era, the team’s first taste of success since 1960. So did Smith. I asked my father about him on Monday, and he told me two stories:

  • Once, Smith apologized a year later for being unable to attend a party my parents threw.
  • In the late 1970s, at an Eagles banquet at the Union League, Gary Smith arrived late — wearing flip flops. “I can still hear them flapping on the spit-shined floors as Smith arrived late amid gasps from the double-breasted,” my dad wrote decades later in the Daily News.

Read more »

The Phillies’ Amazing Opening-Day Win in 12 GIFs

Baseball is back! And yesterday was an incredible start for the Phillies, as they walloped the Rangers by a football-like 14-10 score. It was an incredible start to a season filled with low expectations.

So, why not recap it with a few animated GIFs! There was plenty to get excited about during Monday’s big win.


Yes, the first big highlight of the season was a walk. Ryan Howard has averaged 81 walks over a 162-game season for his career, so it’s not really surprising he drew a base on balls here. But look what it led to!


Yeah, it led to a run. And to the always-excellent scene of Ryan Howard rounding third base. Maybe Howard could’ve been a two-sport athlete: Get him going in open space and who’s going to tackle him? Howard finished 2-for-5 with 3 strikeouts.

Read more »

Phillies 2014 Preview: Bursting with Experience, or The Walking Dead?

Cliff Lee. Photo | Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Cliff Lee. Photo | Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The white board in the Phillies’ locker room — across from the tubs where the players dump their dirty clothes — was the spring training communications center.

It’s where the daily lineup and travel rosters were posted, along with reminders for players to get their visas and announcements about who had to show up for which practice.

One by one every morning, guys walked over to see if there was anything pertaining to them.

On the last Sunday of spring training, a message was written in green marker.

“Walking Dead Night Sunday,” the message read.  “(See AJ about details).”

I never was able to pin down A.J. about the details, but I am guessing he wasn’t referring to the potential disaster which general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. hath wrought.

Still, Burnett may just have well been forecasting 2014.

Read more »

Property’s Morning Obsession: “Don’t Worry Be Charlie” T-Shirt, a Cliff Lee Favorite

In a recent game against the Cincinnati Reds, Cliff Lee was inexplicably picked off as pinch runner and made a crap ninth-inning mess of it. The Phillies won anyway, but even better than the surprise win was the attention his locally made t-shirt received by national press. The shirt, which reads “Don’t Worry Be Charlie,” is one of a series of Philly-centric beautes by South Philly print shop Hog Island Press. Here’s a Manuel inspirational quote that goes with the shirt:

“You know what they call that? Baseball. I’ve been in baseball for 40-some years and I haven’t been able to figure this game out. That’s what makes you care. That’s what makes you come back the next day and try harder. It’s hard to explain this game. It’s amazing.”

Read more »

Philly Teams Are Paying More Than $50 Million for Bad Knees

The most remarkable thing about the new list of the 25 highest-paid athletes in Philadelphia that it’s an orthopedist’s dream. Phillies pitchers Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay lead the list at $21.5 million and $2o million apiece—deals that made sense when they were signed, even if 2012 was a bit of a bummer for them. But get the next three names on the list:

• Ryan Howard: $20 million.

• Andrew Bynum: $16.889 million.

• Chase Utley: $15.285 million.

So much money. So few healthy knees.

Now, Howard and Utley brought us a World Series championship back in 2008, so Philadelphians are inclined to be patient. Bynum’s another matter—he still hasn’t played his first game for the 76ers, since a trade that many observers hoped would transform Doug Collins’ crew into championship contenders.

Still: What that means is that three of the top-five most expensive athletes spent a huge chunk of 2012 sidelined with knee injuries of various sorts. And come to think of it: The entirety of that top five served up mediocre performances during the year. The worst part? We can’t blame Andy Reid for any of it. [Philadelphia Business Journal]

Phillies Put Cliff Lee on Waivers

The Phillies fire sale might not be over just yet. The team put Cliff Lee on waivers on Thursday. That means that if another team claims Lee, the Phils can allow the team to take his contract or negotiate a trade with that team. If he clears waivers, the Phillies will be able to trade Lee to any team, but would likely have to eat a healthy portion of his contract to get top-tier prospects in return. The whole process is relatively routine and doesn’t necessarily indicate that Cliff Lee is going to be anything other than a Phillie. [CBS 3]

« Older Posts