Are Good Phillies Teams Good for Newspapers?

Our pal Randy LoBasso has an interesting cover story this week at Philadelphia Weekly, suggesting that when the Philadelphia Phillies play poorly — as they are this season — there are economic ramifications:

For many of Citizens Bank Park’s workers, it’s simple trickle-down economics: pay rises and falls with the team’s fortune. These workers, who vend beer section-by-section, aisle-by-aisle, are paid based on tips and commission. Poor teams mean fewer fans. Fewer fans means less product moved. Less product means less pay—and as the team gets worse, for lots of these workers, their wallets get emptier.

Makes sense. And you know who else seems to suffer when the Phillies play poorly? The city’s newspapers.
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Inside Cole Hamels’ $1.55M Newtown Square Home

TREND photo

TREND photo

Is Cole Hamels following in Ryan Howard’s footsteps? Seems he and wife Heidi — who are not building a palatial Florida estate with doorknobs that cost thousands of dollars — are planning a move.

The Phillies pitcher moved to Newtown Square (a significant hike from his former Two Liberty Place residence) in 2009, as philly.com’s Lauren Mennen noted, into a home they bought for $1.53 million. Now they’re selling it for $1.55 million. Amenities include a three-car attached garage; finished basement with second kitchen, bar, game room and play room; and (not surprisingly) a security system with motion detectors and cameras.

Other general highlights are visible in the gallery of TREND real estate photos below, but the generic quality of the rooms make me think the photos must be of the model home in the development and not of the family home itself. Also, the address is slightly different on the deed. So: grain of salt.

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Is Cole Hamels Leaving Town?

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Photo | Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Photo | Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Hamels, of course, should never have to buy a drink in this town again. He was MVP of the 2008 World Series, remember, on a team that was packed with explosive talent. Many of those explosive players are still there — but they’re all a lot older now. The standings show that. So Cole Hamels may have to leave.

Sad, that.

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Philly Owed $2.5M for Policing, Including $276K From the Phillies

Alan Butkovitz

Alan Butkovitz. Photo: Cbrblessing

City Controller Alan Butkovitz said today the City of Philadelphia is owed around $2.5 million in past due balances for police services. A majority of it, $1.8 million, comes from businesses that are more than 90 days late on their bill.

Among the money the city is owed, according to Butkovitz?

  • The State, oldest age of debt 2007: $341,328.73
  • The Phillies, 2008: $275,874.76
  • Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp, 2010: $256,094.63
  • Mann Center Performing Arts, 2013: $108,453.81
  • Tiki Bob’s Cantina, 2007: $68,847.11
  • Chuck E. Cheese, 2006: $21,308.82
  • Lincoln Financial Field, 2009: $19,057.47
  • MMM Model Management, 2008: $643.33
  • AMC Franklin Mills, 2008: $46.70
  • St. Joseph’s University, 2013: 12 cents
  • Wal‐Mart, 2013: 1 cent

Yes, that’s right: Tiki Bob’s, which closed ages ago, still owes the city almost $70 grand. And Chuck E. Cheese better not try to pay the city back with proprietary tokens!

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The Phils Without Ryan Howard Would Be Like Gluten-Free Cat Food

The Joy of a Phillies Game, Even When They Stink: What's nice about baseball is it's a picnic. The Phillies may have given up three home runs to Ryan Braun in a 10-4 loss in their home opener, but I still had a good time at the game yesterday. I tailgated with friends in the parking lot beforehand. I met my uncle, a man who's taken me to scores of Phillies games in my life, and we sat in his season ticket seats. I listened to him wax nostalgic on Phillies teams in games past — "Since the Vet opened, I've only missed about three home openers," he bragged — and we drank beers and sighed as the Brewers scored another run. I ran into friends I hadn't seen in forever. I updated an old boss on my life. I actually walked back to downtown up 10th Street because it was nice out, and a friend suggested we walk. Why has no one asked me to do this before? I wondered aloud. (Dan McQuade)

My husband Doug and I were toggling between preseason football and yet another extra-innings Phillies game the other night when we lighted upon a cat food commercial. We don’t have a cat (though we did recently acquire a grand-kitten), so there was no reason to pause. Yet we did. Because the narrator of the commercial was proudly declaring that the cat food in question was gluten-free.

“Is this a commercial for gluten-free cat food?” Doug asked incredulously, just as I said, “Was that a gluten-free cat food commercial?” Because no matter how you feel about the current human gluten-free craze, it seems off the wall to extend it to our feline friends. The ones I’ve had in my lifetime haven’t been big bread eaters, generally. Nor were they particularly fond of pasta. But I never noticed any ill effects from the occasional noodle or cookie crumb. And I’ve had a lot of cats. Read more »

How Citizens Bank Park Rates in Craft Beer

alley-brewing-co-citizens-bank-park-phillies-940

The Washington Post has compiled a piece on craft beer and Major League ballparks. It’s an interesting look at how many ballparks have embraced craft beer (Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark offers 130 different beers) and that the increase in craft beer sales haven’t really come at the expense of the big macro brewers.

As for the Phillies, they’re faring better in beer than on the field, though Citizens Bank Park is seeing strong competition across the land.

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Phillies Trade Away Pitcher (No, Not One You’re Attached To)

The Phillies traded pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Los Angeles Dodgers this afternoon for two players to be named later. Yes, there’s a very good chance you don’t really know who this guy is.

The Phillies signed Hernandez to a 1-year, $4.5 million contract last December. He went 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 20 starts for the Phillies this year. His last outing was an 8-inning, 5-hit, 0-earned run performance against the Washington Nationals last Friday. The Phillies won that game, 2-1.

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Ryan Howard Spent $80K on Doorknobs

USATSI_Ryan-Howard-Eric-Hartline-USA-Today-Sports-Images-940x540

Days after reporting his Blue Bell home was pending sale and speculating to where the Big Piece was headed, we now find out his beachfront estate, which reportedly rang up to $5.8 million in construction costs, is closer to completion than we imagined.

Situated just 10 miles from the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, the home will include two kitchens, two elevators, three laundry rooms, bowling alley, wine room, two-story library, and (you can take moment to catch your breath now) a trophy room, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

And then there are the doorknobs: Read more »

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