Alumni Weekend for the Phillies is something for fans to look forward to each year. Players of the past come back to be celebrated and adored once again. This year, Brad Lidge retired as a Phillie; Curt Schilling was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame; and the 1993 NL Championship team was honored on their 20-year anniversary.
The following is a photo diary of Sunday’s events and, unfortunately, a few not-so-fun happenings from the Phillies 1-4 loss to the Braves.
Here is a photo of 1993 manager Jim Fregosi signing my championship pennant and another of the joining the celebration:
Players of old joined current Phillies players at their respective positions prior to the game as the National Anthem was played. Having the 1993 and 2013 players together was a very nice touch. And Darren Daulton got a standing ovation for the 3rd consecutive day. Surviving brain cancer surgery and being able to walk out onto the field with his friends was worth at least that, and much more. It was great to see Dutch still fighting.
But the fun ended there. Unless of course, you count the following events: The top photo shows a camera man focusing in on Kevin Fransden’s rear-end. And I can tell you, he lingered there for quite a while. I want that job.
And the photos below the Frandsen camera-rape episode show that Dan Uggla still has a serious man crush on Chase Utley as he tries to get as close to him as possible during the game. Remember my shocking 2008 All-Star photo of Uggla goosing Utley? In case you do not, I of course included it here for your enjoyment:
And then there was the rest of the game, which was horrible. The only events worth mentioning are the 2 times Braves players were caught in a rundown. One ended peacefully, with Carlos Ruiz applying the tag. The other was not so nice. Total jerk Jason Heyward, rather than take getting picked off like a man, decided to ram Frandsen, sending him flying into the air. I had nothing against Heyward (beside him being a Brave) until that moment. That was completely unnecessary, especially with a 3-run lead and the Braves about to sweep the series:
If a picture paints a thousand words, then these shots speak volumes. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley look downright infuriated by the team’s current situation. And manager Charlie Manual just looks defeated:
Defeated is a good word; it covers all of angles of this team. They have been defeated literally, figuratively, emotionally and any other way you can think of. The suspension of pitcher Antonio Bastardo today was just adding salt to the wound.
This is about as ugly as one can imagine for the Phillies. The only thing they can hope for now is maybe to find some new, young talent in the coming weeks. And perhaps they are also hoping for a quick end to this painful season.
Here is the full Photo Album from Sunday’s events.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
It has been an interesting few days for the Phillies. On Sunday, they finished off a four-game sweep of the Padres, scoring only 12 runs total in all of those games. An inside-the-park homer by Shane Victorino helped seal Sunday’s sweep.
That same day, closer Jose Contreras was sent to the DL with a strained right flexor pronator tendon in his elbow. As a result, Michael Stutes joined the club to fill the roster spot and made his major league debut on Monday.
Also on Monday night, the Phillies five-game win streak ended with a 0-4 shut-out loss to the D-Backs. Cliff Lee pitched an odd game where he struck out 12 batters but still allowed four runs in seven innings. However, Lee’s performance was basically rendered obsolete as the Phils offense did absolutely nothing to help out.
The three-hit shutout by the Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy where he struck out 10 batters and did not issue a walk, matched a team record. Only two other pitchers in team history tossed a shutout while allowing three or fewer hits with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks. One was Curt Schilling on April 10, 2001 against the Dodgers (2 hits allowed, 10 SO) and the other, Randy Johnson, when he pitched a perfect game on May 18, 2004 at Atlanta (13 SO).
While that feat by Kennedy is very impressive, the Phillies offense certainly made it a little easier on him by swinging at bad pitches and watching good ones fly by.
The Phils offensive offense has not scored more than four runs in 14 consecutive games this season. They currently rank 28th in baseball for runs scored since April 9th.
The worst offender amongst the starters has been Raul Ibanez, who is hitting just .179. He should be benched in favor of John Mayberry Jr. until he figures things out. Maybe at almost 39-year old, Ibanez needs to be in a platoon with Mayberry to get him more rest.
Team leader Jimmy Rollins is also not producing. He got off to a hot start and has seriously cooled off. Rollins has not had a multi-hit game since April12th. He has batted .182 since that time.
But a few players are not to blame. The entire team is just not hitting, as if they all caught the same virus at once. If the disease continues to spread, who will be the fall guy? Last year it was hitting coach Milt Thompson. Frankly, the players themselves need to be held accountable. Play the bench guys until the starters find their swings.
While the bench is solid, it is not the long-term solution. However, maybe benching a few guys will light a fire under them. Because the Phillies have few other options.
Their payroll is maxed out. The Phillies will never be a team that decides to pay the luxury tax along with the Yankees. So as far as getting new blood into the line-up, they are out of options. Besides, it is only April and no teams are ready to trade anyone yet.
Then again, it is only April. The team is still winning, despite the offense, thanks to a solid starting staff. But even the pitchers are going to get weary of the lack of support very soon.
So choose your most relaxing yoga pose and just keep telling yourself, “It’s only April. Its only April…”
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Earlier this month, I showed you highlights from a 1982 Phillies Magazine. Flash forward ten years later and here are bits from a 1992 Phillies Magazine for you. Curt Schilling is on the cover and the price of the publication (seen on the bottom, left hand side) is only $2.00. In 1982, the same publication sold for $1.00. Today, the magazine / program sells for $4.99.
Inside the magazine are pages very similar to the 2009 editions; team rosters, a score sheet and several informative articles about the team and happenings around Major League Baseball. One page of interest in the 1992 edition is the player fact section, which includes the current Phillies General Manager, Ruben Amaro Jr. Here he is, then and now:
And my favorite part of the old publications is being able to compare ticket prices over the years.
The chart to the left shows prices from 1982, 1992 and this coming year, 2010. The highest priced regular (non-premium seating) ticket in each year were as follows; 1982 – $7.00, 1992 – $12.00, 2010 – $60.00. Ouch!
I was in college in 1992 and remember always buying the cheapest ticket they had; then I was able to sit pretty much wherever I wanted. The Vet was huge and always had plenty of open seats. I miss those days. Now to attend a game, I need to break the bank unless I want to sit all the way up top, where players look more like ants that people. And that still costs $20.00. However, vertigo from sitting in the super high, steeply sloped seats is totally free. ;o)
By the way, I will be attending a special event this Sunday in New York City; the financial company Bloomberg has put together software in conjunction with MLB.com to provide new ways to track baseball statistics. MLBloggers were invited to preview the software and give our feedback. If any other MLBloggers will be attending, please let me know. I would love to meet you!
I will also “attempt” to do a live blog from the event, but I am unsure as to the conditions and internet connection. They said wireless will be provided, but my laptop is old and may or may not cooperate. The event will be between 12pm and 5pm on Sunday, so feel free to stop by my home page and see if I managed to pull this off ;o) Either way, I will be back with details. Wish me luck!
Amaro photo by Jenn
Cole Hamels, the “IN” man of the hour, may be in trouble with the little wifey after she sees this photo; Hamels is on the cover of the April edition of Access Magazine from Direct TV, along with Fox sports reporter, Charissa Thompson. Ok, well, maybe not so much trouble. After all, he spends most of the interview talking about his wife, Heidi. She apparently taught him everything he knows, from dealing with “celebrity” to how to entertain his teammates. You will see a few photos from that article throughout today’s blog. All photos were taken by Jim Wright. Enjoy!
Kyle Kendrick was sent to the minors today, as many anticipated he might be after a very rough spring that has ended with a 9.20 ERA. Kendrick had an outstanding rookie season with the Phillies in 2007 when he went 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA; then in 2008, he began to have trouble, and he finally lost the starting job after a 6 game stretch with an 11.35 ERA beginning in August. The race for the final starting position is now down to JA Happ, Chan Ho Park and possibly Carlos Carrasco.
Curt Schilling, who spent more than 8 years with the Philadelphia Phillies, has officially retired. From playing baseball, that is. No word yet on if he plans to retire from publically voicing his opinion on everything from steroids to which former teammates annoyed him. Phillies fans adore Schilling if not for his fearless opinions, but for his pitching and dedication to his job. With a career record of 216-146, plus 3,116 strikeouts, he will be missed in the baseball world.
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