For the the first time since Ryan Howard
stood motionless at home plate as the San Francisco Giants celebrated
last October, the Phillies take the field at Citizens Bank Park this
evening to play a baseball game. Granted, not a baseball game that
counts in the standings, but a game that could have meaning for a number
of players still fighting for a spot on the Fightins opening day
Charlie Manuel held his first pregame powwow in the dugout prior to
this evening's On-Deck Series game with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did
not suddenly become shy during the offseason.
Manuel noted how many of the current stars like Utley, Howard, and
Victorino had to wait their turn before turning into stars. Following
that train of thought, Manuel says Ben Francisco will be your opening
day right fielder and said he believes Benny deserves a chance to shine
much like those guys who he'll be playing alongside got.
So what's Charlie most concerned about just days before the 2011
campaign kicks off in earnest? Production from the three and five spots
in the order.
"I'm not saying our guys can't," Manuel noted. But Jayson Werth's
2010 production will be tough to duplicate and the Phillies have plenty
of questions to be answered.
"Gotta change those question marks into exclamation marks," Manuel said.
As for second base, Charlie says he has a guy in mind to start in the
spot all Phillies fans wish Chase Utley were manning, but Chuck won't
name an opening day starter until Wednesday evening or perhaps some
Tonight, Luis Castillo will get another chance to show that he can still play.
They key word in all of this is "play." And that's what the Phillies
will do tonight in South Philly under very chilly conditions. Roy Oswalt
vs. Ross Ohlendorf. Bring your wool caps.
Video of the Phillies new HD scoreboard:
Philly fans have a bad reputation. This isn't going to change anytime soon.
Regardless of which side of the Philly fan debate you fall, you'd probably agree fans shouldn't give the double bird mere feet from the athletes who are playing in front of them.
You've almost assuredly seen it by now, the image and footage of a Sixers fan flipping off Russell Westbrook last night in the highly-anticipated season debut. He was subsequently removed from his seats by security.
The New York Post got to the bottom of it all and even tracked down the fan's response on Facebook:
Dr. Richard Harkaway, a Philadelphia urologist who is originally from Long Island, wrote that it was Westbrook who initiated the confrontation, which ended with Harkaway being tossed from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia during the 76ers’ season-opening loss.
“To all my FB friends who are seeing a picture of me on the Internet giving the finger to Russell Westbrook. Actually two fingers,’’ Harkaway wrote in a private post. “Not as simple as it seems. I love to scream at the players and anyone who has been to a game with me knows this. Part of my charm. What you may not have seen on any of the video clips is what started the whole thing, which was Russell Westbrook saying ‘sit down f—ing fat boy’ when I stood up to boo.”
Do two wrongs make a right? Probably not. Being rude is being rude.
Do you think this fan's actions were justified after reading his response on Facebook?
Two Phillies are in the running for a 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove.
Shortstop Freddy Galvis and centerfielder Odubel Herrera were named National League finalists at their position on Thursday. Winners will be announced on Nov. 9. Galvis and Herrera are both finalists for the first time.
Galvis joins San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford, a Gold Glove winner in 2015, and the Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell as finalists at shortstop.
Herrera is a finalist in center field along with Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton and Atlanta’s Ender Inciarte.
Galvis, who turns 27 in November, committed himself to improving his defense after making 17 errors in 2015 and he did that with a career season in the field in 2016. He led all NL shortstops with a .987 fielding percentage and made just eight errors in 625 total chances while earning praise from Phillies’ infield guru Larry Bowa.
Galvis led the NL with 153 starts at shortstop and had errorless streaks of 51 and 44 games. At the plate, he reached career highs in doubles (26), homers (20), extra-base hits (49) and RBIs (67). On the down side, Galvis hit just .241 and his .274 on-base percentage was the worst in the majors.
Herrera, who turns 25 in December, began his career as an infielder in the Texas system and completed just his second season in the outfield in 2016. His credentials for a Gold Glove are not nearly as good as Galvis’. Herrera’s nine errors were the second-most among major-league outfielders, but he had 11 assists, fourth-most among NL outfielders.
The Phillies selected Herrera in the Rule 5 draft in 2014. They selected Inciarte in the Rule 5 draft in 2012 and he opened the 2013 season on the Phils’ roster, but was shipped back to his original club, Arizona, during the first week of that season.