Is It Time for Larry Bowa to Manage the Phillies Again?

Photo by AP/Chris Szagola.

What’s the one thing everybody seems to say about Phillies manager Pete Mackanin? Oh right, he’s a nice guy. How could I forget?

That’s great for Pete, but nice guys finish last — and apparently their baseball teams do too. Back in the day, feisty managers with hair-trigger tempers were the norm in baseball. (All sports, really.) They got under their players’ collective skin and produced results because the guys on the field wanted to win in spite of that rat bastard penciling in the lineup card – not for him.

As the years went on, this style of coaching became less en vogue, with front-office executives opting instead to trust that a “player’s manager” (i.e. a nice guy) would get the most out of their team with soothing tones rather than the more gruff leaders of the past. Those old-school managers never truly went away, carving out more useful roles as the wily bench coach who can press a player’s buttons as needed. Read more »

The Phillie Phanatic Will Haunt This Adorable Baby’s Nightmares Forever

For most kids, the Phillie Phanatic is a cherished piece of the Philadelphia baseball experience. The fuzzy green mascot shoots hot dogs out of a cannon that looks like an actual hot dog while zipping across the field on an ATV. He’s constantly messing with opposing players and serves as the dancing clown to avert your attention from the terrible baseball being played by the home team. Who wouldn’t love him?

But for one young Phils fan (possibly now a Mets convert), the Phanatic was no welcome sight at last night’s game against the Rockies. Read more »

The Phillies’ Latino Uprising

The Phillies’ emerging Latino core (from left): Odubel Herrera, Hector Neris, César Hernández and Maikel Franco. Illustration by Gluekit, photos by AP

For teenage big-league hopefuls at the brand-new baseball academy the Phillies opened (with the Minnesota Twins) in the Dominican Republic this January, the box score from the home team’s April 26th victory over Miami had to provide inspiration.

Vince Velasquez got the win. Joely Rodriguez, Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris provided solid relief work. Maikel Franco slugged a grand slam, and Freddy Galvis hit a solo dinger. The Phils’ fifth straight victory had a distinct Latin flavor. Read more »

Should We Encourage the Idea of Cole Hamels Returning to Phils?

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Texas Rangers completed their sweep of the Phillies on Thursday afternoon, but our old friend Cole Hamels wasn’t the one silencing our bats — he had to sit out the series due to injury. That’s a shame: It would’ve been fun to see Cole pitch, even as an opponent, although a real return to Citizens Bank Park certainly would be even more ideal – as he himself mused to reporters this week. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: The Awakening of Aaron Altherr

Philadelphia Phillies’ Aaron Altherr in action during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Some weeks are so full of hope and wonder that we have a hard time choosing amongst all the Best Things That Happen. Then there are weeks like the one we just had. While the Republic crumbled around us, we stood in the rubble and said to ourselves, “Oh, yeah, right, Best Thing … ” And it’s not as if we could turn to our sports teams to save us (though the Union did win their second straight game). The Phillies got spanked, 10-9 and 11-6, in their abbreviated midweek stand against the Mariners (in the midst of six straight games against the Nats; who makes up these schedules?). They also got beat on Saturday night in the bottom of the ninth by a walk-off homer by—wait for it—Bryce f’ing Harper.

On the other hand — and, yeah, we’re digging deep here — left fielder Aaron Altherr is tearing it up these days. In Wednesday’s game he smacked two home runs and became just the third Phil since 1929 to hit three-run home runs in three straight games. (His company? Mike Schmidt, in 1981, and Whiz Kid catcher Andy Seminick in 1949.) Through Wednesday, he’d had nine extra-base hits in eight games, prompting coach Pete Mackanin to marvel, “He’s turned into a monster.”

Oh, and we got to see Carlos Ruiz again. You see? There’s always something, if you dig deep enough.

Follow @SandyHingston on Twitter.

Ryan Howard Joins Radnor-based Venture Capital Firm As New Partner

Ryan Howard. (Jeff Fusco)

Fresh off his release by the Atlanta Braves organization, SeventySix Capital has announced that former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has signed on to join the Radnor-based venture capital firm as its latest partner.

A news release from the company states that the 2008 World Series champion will “leverage his business acumen and relationships to source new opportunities for the firm and take portfolio companies to the next level.”

Led by managing partners Wayne Kimmel and Jon Powell, SeventySix Capital specializes in investing in innovative seed and early stage consumer-facing tech, retail, sports and wellness companies.  Read more »

The Phillies Were the Most Profitable MLB Team in 2016

Photo by sshepard/iStock

Photo by sshepard/iStock

Believe it or not, the Phillies made more money than any other Major League Baseball team in 2016 despite a lousy fourth-place finish in the National League East, according to Forbes’s latest profit evaluation.

While the Fightins just squeaked in at number nine on the magazine’s top 10 for total appraised value, at $1.65 billion, the team benefitted mightily by posting the league’s largest operating income last year. The Phillies’ $87.7 million profit outmatched the second-place Chicago Cubs by nearly $4 million, or roughly the salary equivalent of shortstop Freddy Galvis this season. Read more »

Pete Rose Named to Phillies Wall of Fame

Phillies first baseman Pete Rose looks over a children's book by teammate Tug McGraw as he sits in the club's locker room at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)

Phillies first baseman Pete Rose looks over a children’s book by teammate Tug McGraw as he sits in the club’s locker room at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)

The Phillies announced on Monday that Pete Rose will be honored on August 12th as the 39th inductee into the franchise’s Wall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility.

In August 1989, then-Major League Baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti (yes, Hollywood actor Paul’s father) placed Rose on the permanently ineligible list amid accusations that the Hit King bet on games while serving as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

That ban had kept Rose from receiving his proper due until a recent change of heart by current commissioner Rob Manfred, who paved the way for Charlie Hustle to be honored by his former teams. Read more »

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