Work on Phillies Mural to Finally Begin, Now That the Phillies Stink

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Back in September 2011, the Mural Arts Program and the Phillies announced an eight-story Phillies mural for 24th and Walnut. Our baseball team was riding high then, and everyone was into the Phillies. Now they stink, but the mural — which was supposed to be completed last year — never went up. Problem solved!

But the last-place Phillies just completed a four-game sweep of the best team in the NL, and to celebrate they’re going to finally start work on the mural!

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Jonathan Papelbon: Get Me Off of the Phillies!

Although the Phillies have just taken three in a row from the Milwaukee Brewers, the team with the best record in the National League, they’re still way back in the standings. At 40-51, the Phillies’ playoff odds are less than one percent. And closer Jonathan Papelbon, who saved last night’s win, says he’s ready to move on to another team.

Papelbon has been quite good this season. After a slightly down 2013, Papelbon has has allowed just five earned runs, has walked just nine guys and has the best WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of his Phillies career. He hasn’t even given up a homer! With the Phillies out of it, a reporter asked him post-game if he hoped his performance would lead to a trade to a contender.

“Of course, man,” he replied. “What kind of question is that?” Papelbon is apparently as tired of watching the Phillies as many Philadelphia fans are.

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Chase Utley Named Starting 2nd Baseman on NL All-Star Team

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While the Phillies were swept by the Pirates in Pittsburgh, there was some good news out of this weekend: Chase Utley will start his sixth MLB All-Star Game this year. It’s his first All-Star Game nod since 2010.

Fans vote for the starters in baseball’s All-Star Game. Utley received about 800,000 more votes than the second-place vote getter, Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon. He won the player’s vote, too, over Gordon.

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Phillies Look Likely to Start Fire Sale

Do you like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and other stars of the recent Phillies? Watch them while you can! The Phillies are getting ready to sell.

Before the team’s recently completed eight-game homestand, general manager Ruben Amaro said he’d make a decision on whether the team would attempt to contend this year based on their results. The Phillies lost 6 of 8 and were swept by the Braves in a four-game series for the first time since 1964.

The Phillies almost certainly aren’t going to get rid of all of those players. Lee is hurt and would need to show he can contribute this year to get traded (again). Howard’s trade value is incredibly limited — he’s only slugging .410, and while an AL team might take a shot on him as a DH, his contract is huge and the Phillies would have to eat a lot of money. Closer Jonathan Papelbon is another case of a player whose contract the Phillies would likely have to pay part or most of in order to get anything in return.

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Phillies Fans Give Tony Gwynn Jr. Standing Ovation in First Game Back

Tony Gwynn Jr. returned to the Phillies Tuesday night, eight days after he went on bereavement leave. Gywnn’s dad, the legendary San Diego Padres hitter, died last week at 54.

When Gwynn Jr. pinch-hit for Phillies pitcher Jake Diekman in the eighth inning, Phillies fans gave him a standing ovation. (Fans, spurred on by CSN’s Amy Fadool, attempted to organize this on Twitter during the day.) Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped to the mound during the ovation so it could continue for longer.

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Phillies Fans Boo Video of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett

Photos | Jeff Fusco

Photos | Jeff Fusco

Last night, the Phillies honored Jimmy Rollins for passing Mike Schmidt to become the team’s all-time hits leader. The team gave Rollins and his wife matching Gucci luggage and an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy. (No, not to play baseball there.) They also showed congratulatory messages from Nick Foles, Bernie Parent, Rickey Henderson (who talked a bit about himself), Derek Jeter (which reminded me it’s really a shame how infrequently the Phillies play the Yankees), Jill Biden, and Mayor Michael Nutter.

Also, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, who was booed by the fans. There wasn’t even a reason to boo, as it was a recorded message. He wasn’t there to hear the boos!

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Amaro Open to Trading Hamels to Rebuild Phillies

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said on his show this morning that he’d be willing to trade pitcher Cole Hamels to rebuild the team … but would prefer not to.

“I have to keep my mind open on everything,” Amaro Jr. told Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show on Monday. “Again, some of these guys have limited no-trade clauses. Clearly, we’d like to keep Cole Hamels because I think he’s going to be a part of any transition we might have to make.”

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