Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez (16) lays down a bunt in the first inning of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Bright House Field.
Just when you thought the Philadelphia sports landscape couldn’t get any weirder, it does. Yesterday, Ryne Sandberg said the team plans to intentionally make outs in the 2015 season.
No, the Phillies aren’t working on an extreme version of the Sixers’ tanking strategy. Sandberg said the Phillies plan to play small ball this year. “That’s something that I’m stressing this spring,” Sandberg told reporters in Clearwater, Florida. “We’re working on it. We’re practicing it. If it’s not a bunt, it could be a hit and run. Get a baserunner, make something happen — really to set the tone for the season.”
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes the Phillies have six sacrifice bunts this spring — four more than any other team. Yesterday, they sac bunted twice, once with runners on first and second and no outs. They scored one run after those two sac bunt attempts. Read more »
Major League Baseball’s Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean.
When former professional baseball player Billy Bean was appointed Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion last July, the Phillies were among the first teams to invite the openly gay speaker to share his message of inclusivity. According to MLB.com, he showed up this afternoon to speak to members of the Phillies’ Major and Minor League teams on embracing all forms of acceptance.
“There’s a message of complete acceptance. It doesn’t mean that it’s specifically to LGBT people like myself. It’s for women. It’s for every race, every religion,” Bean said.
Bean has been invited to speak to 14 teams, but Philadelphia is the first camp where he spoke to both Major and Minor League Players. When he was finished, he played ball with teammates in the outfield, giving them a chance to answer questions in a one-on-one setting. “Today is a win for the Phillies,” Bean said. “The world didn’t stop spinning.”
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 Owens‘ 122 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 »
We were resigned to the Sixers. Hey, it’s a long-term plan, right? And we’d sort of come around on the Phillies. (Maybe Ryan Howard can make a comeback. Maybe you can build a team on Carlos Ruiz’s 36-year-old knees!) But then this week, we bade farewell to Trent and Cary and Shady and hello to Kiko, and it became dazzlingly clear that our lives were about to change. With no Sixers, Phillies or Eagles worth watching, we’ll all turn off our flat-screens and head outside this spring, summer and fall. We’ll play catch with our kids! We’ll plant tomatoes in the backyard! We’ll reconnect with our neighbors across porches and fences! We’ll have so much more free time! Damn, maybe we’ll even go check out the Union! We hear Chester’s pretty this time of year.
We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.
The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.
ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.
The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last. Read more »
Okay, we know this team doesn’t look like much on paper. (Chad Billingsley? Really?) You know what, though? Neither did the Sixers back in October, and look how much fun they’ve turned out to be! This Phillies team could surprise you. (Ben Revere!) Actually, if it does anything at all, it will surprise everybody. (Domonic Brown!) And how perfectly Philly would that be? A city that’s home to the patron saint of underdogs (“Adrian!”) should never (Aaron Harang!), never (Darren Ruf!), never (Jesse Biddle!) say die until the umpire signals the last out. Ryan Howard, just picture every line drive you hit landing in Cataldi’s big fat mouth.
Ben Davis will be the Phillies’ new color commentator, Comcast SportsNet announced today.
The Malvern Prep graduate was a major leaguer from 1998 to 2004 with the Padres, Mariners and White Sox. He played until 2010 in the minor leagues, and has been a pre- and post-game analyst on CSN for Phillies games for the last four years. He’s also a regular commentator on 94 WIP. Read more »
Philadelphia Phillies new general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. center, is flanked by outgoing GM Pat Gillick, left, and club president Dave Montgomery, right, duirng a news conference in Philadelphia Monday November 3, 2008. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
The Phillies announced today that David Montgomery has returned to the team as chairman. Pat Gillick, who had been interim president in Montgomery’s absence, will now assume the job full-time. Montgomery took a leave of absence this summer while recovering from cancer surgery. Bill Giles moves from chairman to chairman emeritus.
Although Gillick has had the interim removed from his designation as Phillies president, the team says he is only staying on as president “in the short term.”
“I am fortunate to be healthy enough now to resume some of my previous responsibilities,” Montgomery said in a statement. “I am very appreciative that Pat Gillick is willing and available to remain as the club’s President.”