Tonight: Eagles, Sixers, Flyers and Phillies Talk Tech and Fan Engagement

Jun 15, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs defeated the Phillies, 3-0. Photo | Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Technology is changing almost every business — and sports is no different. Learn how the big four professional sports teams in the area are using technology to enhance fan engagement and team operations at the Major League Sports & Tech Meetup held at The Hub Cira Centre at 2929 Arch Street. It starts tonight at 6 p.m. Buy tickets here.

ESPN and Sports Illustrated columnist Andrew Brandt will lead a panel discussion featuring the following guests: Read more »

Pope Gets Phillies Baseball Card

Apparently the only thing that can save the Phillies’ attendance numbers this season is divine intervention.

Head out to the ballpark tonight, and you’ll be able to pick up the Phillies’ rookie baseball card for … Pope Francis. “In honor of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to celebrate the World Meeting of Families Congress, fans may pick up a commemorative Phillies Pope Francis Rookie Card at the First Base and Third Base Kiosks,” the team says on its website. “Other information about his visit to Philadelphia will also be available.” Read more »

Jonathan Papelbon Blows Save in Return to Citizens Bank Park

Papelbon through the years. Photos, from left, Howard Smith,  Steve Mitchell, H. Rumph Jr., all USA Today Sports Images

Papelbon through the years. Photos, from left, Howard Smith, Steve Mitchell, H. Rumph Jr., all USA Today Sports Images

The most important thing to know about yesterday’s Phillies game is this: It was played on the one-year anniversary of Jonathan Papelbon’s crotch-grabbing incident. As coincidence would have it, the Washington Nationals (who the Phillies traded Papelbon to in July) were in town last night. It was Papelbon’s first time back at Citizens Bank Park since the trade.

He gave a media availability in the afternoon, where he said he was one of the few players on the Phillies interested in winning. “I think the blame goes all the way from the front office all the way down to the bat boy,” Papelbon told reporters. “When you don’t have an organization that wants to win, it’s pretty evident, and they go out and publicly say, we’re not going to win. So what more, you know what I mean?” Read more »

The Phillies Are Playing a Real, Olde-Timey Doubleheader Tonight

Shibe Park and Grover Cleveland Alexander

Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium) and Grover Cleveland Alexander photos via the Library of Congress’ George Grantham Bain collection

Put on your finest suit and your new hat from Lit Brothers. Get to Shibe Park at 5:05 sharp today, because the Phillies are playing an honest-to-goodness old-timey doubleheader! Grover Cleveland Alexander is starting both ends for the local baseball nine. Hopefully, Gavvy Cravath will hit a couple of dingers! You all know Sherry Magee is quite reliable!

Okay, the Phillies this year are much worse than they’ve been in ages. The teams with Alexander, Cravath and Magee from more than a century ago were better, relatively, than the 2015 Phillies. (With today’s modern conditioning and sports science, of course, the 2015 Phillies would wipe the floor with the mid-1910s Phils. Ryan Howard would hit like five home runs.) But things are going to be a bit like old-timey baseball at CBP tonight.

Thanks to last night’s rainout against the Cubs, the Phillies will play an honest to goodness two-games-for-the-price-of-one doubleheader against Chicago tonight. The first game starts at 5. Then the teams will take a 20- to 30-minute break and play another one! You might not get home until midnight! (Doubleheaders in the 1910s started in the afternoon; stadiums didn’t have lights until the late 1930s.) Read more »

Ruben Amaro Jr. Out as Phillies GM

Ruben Amaro Jr. pauses during a news conference before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Ruben Amaro Jr. pauses during a news conference before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Ruben Amaro Jr. is no longer general manager of the Phillies.

In a pair of tweets today, the Phillies announced Amaro had been relieved of his duties. Scott Proefrock, the assistant GM, has been named interim general manager. The Phillies will name a new general manager this offseason.

Amaro, a Rhawnhurst native, played eight seasons in the majors — including four with the Phillies. (He even had a brief stint on the 1993 team.) Amaro had been with the Phillies front office since his playing career ended in 1998. He rose through the ranks and became general manager on November 1, 2008, after Pat Gillick retired. Read more »

Hey Philly Mystery Woman: Someone Has Your Camera

Louis CK with the mystery woman in a 2009 photo.

Louis C.K. with the mystery woman in a 2009 photo.

We came across a rather interesting story that’s worth sharing, if for no other reason than to help a Philadelphia-area mystery woman get her camera back after it went missing in 2009 (and it’s full of shots from a variety of Philly entertainment favorites).

A random blogger posted a series of pictures yesterday from a camera that s/he found in the back of a cab on 40th and Spruce back in March 2009. That’s a while ago, so why on earth did the person take so long to post the pictures from the missing camera? Read more »

The Phillies Need to Win 10 More Games to Avoid 100 Losses


The Phillie Phanatic jokes around with Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere (7) before an August game at Citizens Bank Park.


Labor Day 2015 is behind us, and the attention of the Philadelphia sports fan has now turned to the Eagles. A few years ago, though, this would also be the time to watch the Phillies make a run at the playoffs. From 2001 to 2006, the Phillies were generally pretty close. From 2007 to 2011, they made five consecutive trips to the postseason.

In 2015, the Phillies are trying to avoid losses in the triple digits. And fans are clearly focused on other subjects: 15,125 attended last night’s 7-2 loss to the Braves, the smallest crowd in Citizens Bank Park history.

The Phillies now have two dozen games left in the season. They are 53-85. They need to go 10-14 to avoid losing 100 games. That .417 winning percentage is better than the team’s current .384, so they need to actually pick things up a bit. Read more »

Curt Schilling Suspended From ESPN Broadcasts


Former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling won’t appear on ESPN broadcasts the rest of this baseball season, the network has announced.

Schilling was already serving a temporary suspension for an Aug. 25 Tweet that was offensive to Muslims. The longer suspension was imposed after Schilling defended the Tweet in an exchange with writers at the Awful Announcing sports site. Read more »

WATCH: The Phillies Gave Up 8 Home Runs Last Night

Last week, we noted the Phillies had fallen back to earth after their hot second-half start, and mentioned the team had given up two huge homers in just a few days.

Things got worse against the Mets last night. The Phillies actually led in this game, 7-2, after homers by Ryan Howard, Cameron Rupp and Domonic Brown. Then the Mets ended the game on a 14-0 run, hitting eight homers in all during the 16-7 win. New York set team and Citizens Bank Park records for homers and a team record for extra base hits. The 11 combined homers tied a National League record.

The Mets were actually just one short of the NL record for homers in a game, which the Reds set in a 22-3 win against the Phillies in 1999 at Veterans Stadium. Read more »

Missanelli: Chase Utley Fifth Best Player in Modern Phillies History

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley left town the other day as the fifth-best player in modern Phillies history.

Yep. Here’s what I’ve got, in this order: Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Utley. (I apologize to Dick Allen and Del Ennis, and the older Phillies who may have been candidates, Chuck Klein and Nap Lajoie. I have no frame of reference for Chuckie and Nap.)

I’m a baseball dude. I played the game for much of my life (and still play in an adult league, which explains my recent torn meniscus and micro-fracture surgery) and was an avid student of the art of hitting. For a period of five years, I thought Chase Utley was the best hitter I had ever seen. Yes, the best hitter I had ever seen. Utley had an amazing way of staying relaxed, then violently firing that short swing. He kept his bat path in the hitting zone for a loooong time — right on the plane of the incoming pitched ball — and hit every ball on sweet spot of his maple bat.

Utley was also the strangest player I have ever covered or seen in a locker room. Read more »

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