Philadelphia is a great sports town with arguably the most passionate sports fans in the country, but it sure would be nice to enjoy a few more parades. Watching Boston celebrate its eighth championship in the last 12 years was tough to swallow.
I moved to Philadelphia in 1988 and since, have experienced one championship. The Phillies made 2008 a memorable year, but 25 years between championships in a city of this size is tough to take.
The Red Sox and Patriots both have three titles in the past dozen years and since 2001, the Patriots have lost two Super Bowls, and the Celtics and Bruins each lost once in the championship round of their respective sports.
What is it about Boston that its sports teams continue to win and win big games, and in Philadelphia we are hoping our teams just make the playoffs? The four major sports teams in Philadelphia have won 17 championships, the sixth-most successful city in the country with professional sports titles. However, the city has been shut out of the biggest prize of them all.
The Eagles' three titles all came pre-Super Bowl, and right now a Birds' Super Bowl appearance seems years away. There was time in the late '70s, early '80s that Philadelphia was known as the city of champions. It sure would be nice to have all four teams compete at the highest level at the same time just the way Boston has enjoyed a miraculous run over the past decade.
There will be a parade in Boston on Saturday and after all that city has endured over the past year, the residents deserve the pure joy of celebrating a championship.
Let's hope our day comes soon. It's been five years and counting and our teams are on the clock.
The Phillies tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players on Friday night and set another free.
Reliever Jeanmar Gomez and infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were tendered contracts for the 2017 season while outfielder Cody Asche was let go after four seasons with the club.
The Phillies signaled their intention to let Asche go when they designated him for assignment, a move that removed him from the 40-man roster, on Friday afternoon. The club had the option of trading Asche — and likely had discussions with other clubs — but ultimately decided to non-tender him before the 8 p.m. deadline. The move made Asche a free agent.
The Phils had removed Asche from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for David Rollins, a left-handed reliever who was claimed off waivers from Texas on Friday (see story).
Galvis and Hernandez, the team’s regular shortstop and second baseman, respectively, were certain to receive contracts for 2017. Gomez was less certain. He saved 37 games for the Phils in 2016, but struggled badly late in the season.
Phillies officials will try to negotiate 2017 salaries with all three players. If an agreement cannot be reached with a player, an arbitration hearing will be held later in the winter to determine that player’s salary for the coming season.
Gomez made $1.4 million in 2016, Galvis $2 million and Hernandez $525,000. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Gomez projects to make $4.6 million in arbitration, Galvis $4.4 million and Hernandez $2.5 million.
The Phillies' roster is full at 40.
Cody Asche's time with the Phillies has come to an end.
The Phillies claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, Asche was designated for assignment. The Phillies had until 8 p.m. on Friday to tender a contract to the outfielder, but they instead chose to free up the roster spot for Rollins.
Asche played four seasons with the Phillies from 2013-16 after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. The St. Charles, Mo. native had a .213/.284/.350 batting line this past season over 71 games. His best season with the Phillies came as their starting third baseman in 2014, hitting 10 home runs and driving home 46 runs in 121 games.
Rollins has been on four different rosters this offseason. He pitched 31 games in relief for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons, sporting a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs 15 days after the World Series and then subsequently claimed again by the Rangers.
Rollins was a 24th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft and was traded a year later to the Houston Astros. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners picked Rollins in the Rule 5 draft after the Astros chose not to protect him.