Pence Out with Shoulder Injury as Kendrick Steps in for Lee in 'Zona

Pence Out with Shoulder Injury as Kendrick Steps in for Lee in 'Zona

Not a lot has been going the Phillies way as of late. Toss Hunter Pence onto the growing list of frustrating Phillies items. Pence will not play this evening as he hurt his shoulder at some point in the past week. There seems to be a bit of confussion as to whether it happened when he hit the wall hard in San Fran or while diving for a ball last night at Petco.

That said, it's not exactly like Pence has been producing on the West Coast swing.

If you're looking for a crumb of positive news, Chase Utley took batting practice with the team this afternoon. There has been no updated timetable as to when Utley could return to action, but the fact that he's out there taking cuts for the first time in weeks has to be a good sign. Right? RIGHT?!?

We need something positive to happen to this team sooner or later.

Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.93) tosses tonight against RHP Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12) for the Diamondbacks.

9:40 start time. We may not stay up for the pain.

Ugliness From the Notes: Philadelphia has yet to win a series on the road in 2012 (3 series; 2 losses, 1 tie), which is their longest drought to begin a season since 2007, when they did not pick up a series win until their fourth road series, April 20-22 at Cincinnati (2-1) ... They were also 0-2-1 in their first three road series that season.

The Phillies have scored a total of 43 runs in their 16 games (2.7 runs/game), 2nd-fewest
in the majors this season (PIT – 30) ... They have scored two runs or less 10 times in those 16 games (63%), and one run or none six times (38%) ... The club is batting .239 (129-for-540) and has a .283 OBP … They are 2nd-to-last in the majors in doubles (19), triples (1), HR (7), RBI (40), walks (33), XBH (27), SLG % (.317) and total bases (171).

Penn State fan surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in heartwarming video

Penn State fan surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in heartwarming video

It's been a long road back to relevance for the Penn State football program. 

The Nittany Lions surprised just about everyone this season by finishing 10-2, winning the Big Ten title and claiming a spot in the historic Rose Bowl against USC on Jan. 2. 

For one fan, the surprise season went one step further.

Per ESPN's Instagram account ...

But wait, there's more. 

Not only was he surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in what could be the most touching video of the year, but he even got a personal call from Penn State head coach James Franklin thanking him for his support. 

Not a bad way to close out 2016. 

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

WACO, Texas -- New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state's high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.

Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor's coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

Sean Padden will serve as Baylor's director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.

Rhule didn't immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.

Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.

Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master's degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.

Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn't know yet if he'd be coaching offense or defense.

"Given the opportunity, it's really a unique deal," Wetzel told the newspaper. "I feel like it's God's timing for me to be in the right place at the right time."

When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn't rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn't had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles' staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.

Note
Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor's recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.