We typically try and steer clear of arguments about which sports city is the "best" or the "center of the universe," but hey, somebody picked us for once. ESPN Page2's DJ Gallo makes an argument for Philly over Boston as the "sports capital of the world." Another guy argues that Beantown, with their plethora of championships over the last 10 years takes the crown, but that's all in the past.
That's why Philadelphia is the current center of the sports universe.
Philadelphia sports are the talk of "next." They're the current hype.
Has Boston won an unprecedented number of titles this decade? Sure. Good
for them. More history for an historic city. Philadelphia's one title
in 27 years -- a span of more than 110 major league seasons -- is just
as relevant as anything Boston has done. Because we're talking about now.
The Bruins' title is old news. The Celtics' and Red Sox's "recent"
titles seem like they happened decades ago. And the Patriots' long-ago
Super Bowl wins may as well have come in the age of leather helmets.
He then goes on to cite the Phillies having the best rotation in baseball, the "mega-superstar" Hunter Pence, the prize of the NFL free agent class, and Jaromir Jagr and a new goalie. All things Boston doesn't have! But, uh, Tim Thomas.
Anyway, it's a fun read, and could make for some good arguments with my buddies from Boston College. Still, you can't argue with championships, but the future seems awfully bright in Philly sports.
>>Which city is sports capital of the world? [ESPN]
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
Don’t worry about the role.
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.
There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
But for now, it’s just these four.
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.
Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”