There's finally some baseball on tonight to give us something to talk about other than pro wrestling, advanced hockey stats, Justin Bieber moms, and Merrill Reese rapping. The Phillies are in action up in New York to kick off a pivotal nine-game road swing that will take them from the Big Apple through St. Louis and finish up in bankrupt Detroit.
Phillies scribe Jim Salisbury laid out all of the story lines surrounding this team at a final crossroads which you should read.
A snippet on the buy or sell conundrum:
But at 6 1/2 games back in the NL East and 5 1/2 back in the wild card -- with 66 to play -- there’s no giving up just yet.
There might not be any serious buying-in -- as in going out and buying talent -- but there’s no giving up, not at least for another 10 days. The Phils have nine games to convince management to stay in it. As we said, it won’t be easy. The first three games come against a fresh Mets team with All-Star ace Matt Harvey set to pitch on Sunday. After that, the Phils have three games at NL Central-leader St. Louis and three at AL Central-leading Detroit. That tough bit of scheduling will take the Phils to July 29. That’s an off day in the schedule, but it won’t be an off day for management. You can bet that Ruben Amaro Jr., who for weeks has been deep in trade discussions, has two files going in his laptop, one marked “sell,” the other marked “buy.” July 29 figures to be the day he puts one of those plans to work.
Which got me thinking... the Phillies only actually have one game at Citizens Bank Park before the 4:00 pm July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The July 30th date with the San Francisco Giants.
Obviously, if the next nine days go very poorly for the Phils, Ruben Amaro Jr. could opt to trade everyone. It's always tough in the immediate term to see longtime fan favorites get traded ala Shane Victorino last season, but nothing would signify the end of the Phillies WFC Era as much as a trade of Chase Utley. It could happen.
If the Phils flounder over the next week, and Ruben gets an offer for Utley he can't refuse or has the framework of a an enticing deal in place on the 30th, it's certainly possible he could hold Chase out of that July 30th game.
If that were to happen, we'd have already seen Chase Utley's final game as a Philadelphia Phillie at Citizens Bank Park.
It's weird just to even think about. But it's possible.
>>One Final Run [CSN]
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.