May 2007

Your thoughts?

Pat_burrell

May 18, 2007

Tonight’s Lineup
Rowand, cf; Victorino, rf; Rollins, ss; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Dobbs, 1b; Helms, 3b; Ruiz, c; Lieber, p.

Weather
Scattered and brief light showers are on tap for this evening and tomorrow.  We expect to play both games as scheduled (7:05).  Ashburn Alley opens at 4:35 p.m. today; all other gates, 5:35 p.m.

Expensive Trip
There have been some instances in which fans have run on to the field during games.  Here’s what fans receive for such foolish acts: a ride in a police car to a police station where they are arrested, bail, a criminal record, a maximum $2,500 fine, up to a year of time in jail for each of three separate charges and the need to hire and pay a lawyer.  Pretty expensive for being foolish.

Numbers
Phillies are 17-11 since starting 3-10 . . . In their last 34 games vs. the NL Central, they are 24-10 . . . Chase Utley’s May 10 bowling tourney raised $150,000 for Philadelphia Futures . . . 262,870 hot dogs have donated their lives to the Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog promotions this season. 

We Have a Winner
Bob Schaumann of Amherst, NH, a transplanted Philadelphian and New Hampshire’s No. 1 Phillies fan, is the winner of yesterday’s Trivia Question: Who was the winning pitcher in the Phillies first interleague game 10 years ago.  Schaumann’s response (Wayne Gomes) was the first one posted and a Cole Hamels autographed baseball is on the way.

Gomes, making his major league debut, pitched a scoreless seventh inning and the Phillies scored two in the bottom of the seventh for an eventual 4-3 win over Toronto at Veterans Stadium.

Five players who were in that game on June 13, 1997 are still playing: Carlos Delgado, Scott Rolen, Mike Lieberthal, Curt Schilling and Woody Williams.

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves doesn’t care for interleague play.  Says it isn’t fair.  He’ll be facing the Red Sox six times, the Twins, Indians and Tigers, three times each. 

To me, Interleague Play creates a new spark during the season.  What are your thoughts?

Hamels Dazzles

May 17, 2007

Today’s Lineup
Rowand, cf; Victorino, rf; Rollins, ss; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Helms, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Barajas, c; Garcia, p.

Cool Cole
What a night at Citizens Bank Park last night.  Cole starts the game with four straight strikeouts, getting the crowd into it right away even though the start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 32 minutes.

As the game progressed, the fans got into it more and more.   You could feel the electricity in the air.  As Cole would start his windup, the crowd would be quiet.  Then, they’d roar as out after out was recorded.  Every time he got two strikes on the batter, the crowd would stand and start roaring.  As Paul Hagen said in the Daily News today, the fans were “living and dying with every pitch.”

“When you get 40,000 fans behind you 100 percent, that excites you.  That’s the kind of adrenaline you need,” Hamels said in Hagen’s article.

The crowd even booed home plate umpire Tony Randazzo on some of his ball-strike calls.  Imagine that.

With the kind of stuff Cole has, a no-hitter could very well be in his future.  It takes not only perfect pitching but luck and generally a defensive gem or two.  Chase Utley’s sliding stop of a second-inning ground ball was a gem that appeared larger and larger as the game progressed.

Lefty Steve Carlton, who won 329 games in his 15-year Hall of Fame career, never pitched a no-no.  He did have six one-hitters.

Interleague Play
The Toronto Blue Jays limp in tomorrow for the start of interleague play for the Phillies.  Limp in that the Jays have nine players on the disabled list, including their closer, #1 starter, another starting pitcher, their starting catcher and a starting outfielder.  That is difficult.

Ten years ago the Phillies and Blue Jays met in the first interleague game.  The Phillies won.

Who was the winning pitcher for the Phillies?

Winner will receive a Cole Hamels autographed baseball. First person to e-mail the correct answer gets the prize.

What A Crowd

May 16, 2007

Tonight’s Lineup
Rowand, cf; Victorino, rf; Rollins, ss; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Dobbs, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Ruiz, c; Hamels, p.

What a Game
There’s nothing more exciting that a walk-off home run, unless it is the opposing team that does it. Then it hits you in the middle of the stomach.  And, there’s nothing more exciting than Harry Kalas calling a walk-off home run.  In case you missed it, you can see and hear it on phillies.com.  Check the home page under “Sights and Sounds.”

Carlos Ruiz came into the season as an unheralded 28-year-old rookie, a product of the Phillies’ Latin American scouting program.  He hit .300 or better in three minor league seasons.  He is taking steps to be the Phillies catcher of the future.

Quote of the Day
“He’s (Carlos) aggressive.  He’s a great game-caller.  He’s a battler.  He likes having fun in the game and that’s what I like about him,” Brett Myers was quoted in Todd Zolecki’s article in the Inquirer this morning.

What a Crowd
Phillies had the largest crowd in the majors (41,258) yesterday, thanks to the largest walk-up (11,300) for the Phillies since the season opener (over 11,800) on April 5, 2002 at Veterans Stadium.

The walk-up crunch started around 4 in the afternoon and continued into the sixth inning. There are 37 ticket windows at three Citizens Back Park locations, First Base Gate, West (Citizens Bank Way) and North (Phillies Drive).  After 6 o’clock, over 1,000 tickets were sold every 15 minutes. 

Because of the anticipated large walk-ups and advance sales in which fans need to pick up their tickets at the Park, the Phillies are installing a pair of ticket kiosks that will be located outside the First Base Gate ticket windows.  The kiosks are similar to those found at airports.  All fans need is the credit card they used in ordering their tickets and the tickets can be printed, thus cutting down the lines at the will call windows.

Part of last night’s attraction was Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog Night, a very popular promotion crafted by the Phillies marketing and promotion staff. 

Great promotions, exciting games, players with fan appeal and a terrific ballpark adds up to Citizens Bank Park being the place to be. 

Oops, I forgot to include Phillie Phanatic as an attraction.  He’ll sulk big time now.  Nothing worse than a sulking mascot.

Warm Reception

May 15, 2007

Tonight’s Lineup
Rowand, cf; Victorino, rf; Rollins, ss; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Dobbs, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Ruiz, c; Eaton, p.

Huge Comeback Win
Twice in four games on this homestand the Phillies have come up with a six-run rally late in games.  Each produced huge wins.  Prior to last night, the Phillies were 1-17 when trailing after seven innings.  Milwaukee, on the other hand, was 21-0 when leading after seven.

Warm Reception
Great to see the fans give Chris Coste such a warm reception when he pinch-hit last night. 

“You know, on my flight back to Philly, I actually thought about what kind of reaction I would get,” said Coste.  “I could hear the fans when I got to the on-deck circle and it grew louder as I walked to the plate.  I had never experienced anything like that before.  In hindsight, I wished I had stepped out and enjoyed it more.  Please thank the fans.”

Alumni Week
Phillies Alumni members are here this week on scouting assignments: Jim Fregosi (Braves), Lee Elia (Devil Rays), Rico Brogna (Diamondbacks) and Scott Reid (Tigers).  Scott was an outfielder who came up through the Phillies system.  He wore a Phillies big league uniform in 1969-70.  He’s currently the VP of Player Personnel for Detroit . . . Brogna will be signing autographs in the Hall of Fame Club tomorrow night for 30 minutes starting at 6 o’clock.

Seeking Advice
Gary Matthews, in his first season as a Phillies broadcaster, took advantage of Tim McCarver (FOX TV broadcaster) being in town on Saturday.  “Sarge” asked Tim to critique a couple of his game tapes.  Tim said he would be more than willing.  “In baseball, you can learn something every day.  Same in broadcasting.  Timmy is so respected in this business it would be foolish for me not to get his input,” explained Gary.  The Sarge brings a lot of experience on the field and enthusiasm to the Phillies telecasts.  He’s a work in progress and to his credit, he recognizes it.
His previous experience in the booth came in 2000-2001 when he was in the Blue Jays radio booth.

Howard Bobble
All fans receive a Ryan Howard Bobble Figurine, courtesy of Toyota, tomorrow night.  Less than 4,000 plus standing room remain for the 7:05 contest.  Five-game winners Jeff Suppan and Cole Hamels face each other.

Philly Connection

May 14, 2007

Tonight’s Lineup
Rowand, cf; Victorino, rf; Rollins, ss; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Dobbs, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Ruiz, c; Moyer, p.

Broom Averted
One of the great things about the game of baseball is that anything can happen.  The Phillies had a chance to sweep the Cubs yesterday but came up short.  From 11 runs and 16 hits on Saturday, the Phillies fell to one run on four hits yesterday.  Jon Lieber gave the Phillies their seventh consecutive quality start.  That pattern (two of three and quality starts) will pay off during the long season.

Big Crowd
Yesterday’s crowd was the largest at Citizens Bank Park this season and pushed the weekend total to 132,628.  Women 15 and over received a Chase Utley blanket.  Unlike some other teams and sports, the Phillies do not limit give-away promotional items to the first 10,000 fans.   As a result, yesterday’s crowd contained more women 15 and over than any other similar Phillies promotion.  For more about yesterday, check out http://brazertime.mlblogs.com/.

More About Women
Tomorrow, the Phillies are hosting their second Baseball 101 Clinic for women.  There will be instructional sessions with Phillies coaches on the field and in the batting cages, a Q&A with Jamie Apody (Channel 6 sports reporter) and Jade McCarthy (Channel 10 sports reporter), an equipment discussion with Frank Coppenbarger (Director, Team Travel and Clubhouse Services), a Q&A with Pat Gillick, a Q&A with Heidi and Cole Hamels and a session with Phillies broadcaster Scott Franzke.  The bad news: the event is sold out.  The good news: another one has been scheduled for August 28.  For more information: www.phillies.com/baseball101.

Philly Connection
There’s a Philadelphia connection sprinkled throughout the Brewers: RHP Derrick Turnbow and C Johnny Estrada were drafted by the Phillies ten years ago; OF Kevin Mench is a University of Delaware product; INF Tony Graffanino is a resident of Hockessin, DE; RHP Dave Bush is a Conestoga (PA) High School grad; third base coach Nick Leyva managed the Phillies, 1989-91, and resides in suburban Philadelphia; pitching coach Mike Maddux pitched for the Phillies for five years; bench coach Dale Sveum played here in 1992 and Hall of Fame announcer Bob Uecker was a Phillie in 1966-67.

Ouch
George Widman, a veteran photographer for the Associated Press (so veteran, he has white hair), was flattened by a foul ball during yesterday’s game.  George was shooting out of the photo well at the end of the third base dugout.  “I got hit in the jaw and went down.  I would have been a lousy boxer because I apparently have a glass jaw,” joked Widman today. Widman got back on his feet yesterday and finished photographing the game like a true gamer.  He reports he’s find today.

Crazy Saturday

May 13, 2007

Today’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Werth, rf; Rowand, cf; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Helms, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Ruiz, c; Lieber, p.

Welcome Back
Chris Coste

Crazy Saturday
Both teams scored six runs in the seventh inning . . . Both teams had two runners thrown out at home plate . . . Shane Victorino had two more assists and flattened a catcher for the second time this season . . . Gregg Dobbs had his first career four-hit game . . . Geoff Geary gave up his first run since April 17 . . . NL MVP Ryan Howard went on the DL . . . AL MVP Justin Morneau broke his nose.

Full House
Today will be the second straight sellout and fifth of the season. Tickets are available for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday against the Brewers with Wednesday night’s Ryan Howard MVP Bobble Figurine close to being another full house.

At-Bat vs. Breast Cancer
The Phillies, along with all of the other 29 teams, today are joining the Susan G. Komen Foundation in “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer,” a program to generate awareness and raise funds to help fight breast cancer.  Players throughout baseball will be using pink bats and wearing pink wrist bands and pink ribbons.  The bats will be autographed and auctioned on MLB.com with proceeds benefiting the Komen Foundation.  More information on the cure can be found on www.komen.org/mlb.

Blanket Relief
Women 15 and over today will receive a fleece blanket featuring Chase Utley, courtesy of Motrin IB.  Promotions are spearheaded by Kurt Funk (Director, Marketing Programs & Events) and Scott Brandreth (Manager, Merchandising).  Both had sleepless nights this week.  A tractor trailer rig driven by a husband and wife, with the family dog as a passenger, drove non-stop from Seattle (55 hours) and arrived at 12 noon yesterday.  The plan was to unload the 19,000 blankets after the 3:45 p.m. game.  The Phillies provided seats for Bob and Sandy in Section 130.  With a 3 hour, 10-minute game plus a 64-minute rain delay, the unloading was delayed until shortly after 8 o’clock.  An hour later, Bob and Sandy were on their way back home to Indiana.

Tailgating Fever
Fans are arriving early and tailgating in the lots east of Citizens Bank Park nearly every day.  Dads can be seen playing catch with their sons/daughters.  Let’s hope moms are treated to the tailgating today rather than doing the work.  One of the early birds today displayed the Phillies red mini-flag that was given to all fans on opening day.

Time Change
FOX has notified the Phillies they are adjusting their schedule and will not televise the Saturday, June 16 game at Citizens Bank Park against the Detroit Tigers. Game time had been scheduled for 3:55 p.m.

The Phillies have moved the game time to 7:05 p.m.  It will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

Yo, Timmy

May 12, 2007

Today’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Victorino, rf; Rowand, cf; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Dobbs, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Ruiz, c; Garcia, p.

Burrell Comes Through
Pat, who has been in a"mixup" as Jim Fregosi used to say, came through big time last night.  With Howard sidelined, it would be a great time for Pat to get on a hot streak.  Sluggers can be streaky.  Pat has been a run producer throughout his career.  Great to see the curtain call for Pat last night.  “The fans here are very good about rewarding us,” he said after the game.

Numbers
Geoff Geary has 11 consecutive scoreless appearances, dropping his ERA fom 4.05 to 1.50 . . . Chase Utley has 23 RBI, 27 hits and a .351 average in his lat 20 games . . . Greg Dobbs shares the major league lead with five pinch hits . . . Cole Hamels is 6-1 in his last nine starts at Citizens Bank Park . . . 2,500 youngsters representing Youth Baseball Day at the Phillies will parade around the field before today’s game.

Mother’s Day
Phillies are saluting Mother’s Day tomorrow.  Every year, the organization asks the players to place their mother’s name in a hat.  A random drawing is made and one of the players’ mothers is flown to Philadelphia for the weekend.  This year Gigi Rollins will be here from Oakland, CA. She’ll be recognized before tomorrow’s game.  How does Jimmy feel about his mother? Check out the Mother’s Day feature on the home page of his site.  If Jimmy is known as J-Roll, is mom known as G-Roll?

Sold Out
Tomorrow’s game is sold out but standing room tickets will go on sale at Citizens Bank Park starting at 9 in the morning. Ashburn Alley gates open at 11:05 a.m.; the rest of the gates 30 minutes later.

Game Called
Clearwater Threshers’ home game was postponed last night because of extremely unhealthy air quality from the wild fires in the Tampa Bay area.  Over in Tampa, the Yankees started but the game was suspended after three innings because of increased smoke.

Yo, Timmy
Tim McCarver is in town for this afternoon’s FOX telecast.  He had his FOX research team check out Yoel Hernandez, the Phillies rookie reliever.  Tim let everyone know: in the history of Major League Baseball, he is the First Yo-El.  Timmy, don’t give up your broadcasting career for a stint as a comedian.

Home Cooking

May 11, 2007, 4 p.m. (EDT)

Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Victorino, rf; Rowand, cf; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; helms, 1b; Nunez, 3b; Barajas, c; Hamels, p.

National TV
Phillies will make their third appearance on FOX Saturday afternoon telecasts tomorrow, game time 3:45.  Brett Myers will be reading the Phillies starting lineup and Shane Victorino will wear a microphone.  Next FOX telecast involving the Phillies will be May 26 at Atlanta.

Home Cooking
Phillies dropped five of their first six games at Citizens Bank Park but have won five of their last seven at home.  Team batting average is .301 at home, as opposed to .247 on the road.

Call To The Pen
Since moving into the bullpen, Myers has given up one run on 12 hits and four walks in 12.1 innings over 11 appearances.  He’s struck out 17 and recorded saves in each of his last three appearances.

Brett is the cover story of the Phillies Magazine (second edition) which is on sale tonight for the first time.   Other Magazine features include Jayson Werth, Gary Matthews and Catching Up With Ricky Bottalico.

Weather Update
While the forecast is for isolated showers and thundershowers, the Phillies will open the gates as normal (4:35 for Ashburn Alley and 5:35 for the other gates). Chances for precipitation decrease as the evening progresses.

Big Weekend Coming Up

Happy Ending
Thanks to Ryan Howard’s dramatic pinch-hit grand slam last night in Phoenix, the Phillies flight home was a happier one.  It looked bleak for the Phillies until the big guy stepped up in the seventh inning and delivered the big blow.   It certainly jump started the offense

Quote of the Day
The reason it looked so bleak for the Phillies was Randy Johnson.  He started out on fire, striking out the first six batters.  He tired in the seventh and said after the game, "I may have been the old Randy for six innings.  Then I just got old."

Day Off
After 23 straight days of playing, the Phillies have a day off today.  Baseball is a difficult game physically, but probably more mentally.  Rich Dubee said it best in Marcus Hayes’ Daily News story today, “The day off is needed, not just from the physical side, but from the mental side.  Just to get away from it for 24 hours.”

Trip Numbers
Howard had the most HR (3) and RBI (11) . . . Shane Victorino, most runs (10) and steals (7) . . . Abraham Nunez, batting average (.409) . . . Jimmy Rollins, hits (14) . . . Pat Burrell, walks (11) . . . Cole Hamels, wins (2) . . . Brett Myers, saves (3).

No Picnic Games
It doesn’t get any easier for the Phillies who start a 10-game homestand tomorrow night against the Cubs.  They are the second-hottest team in the NL.  The hottest?  Milwaukee.  The Brewers follow the Cubs into Citizens Bank Park for four games starting on Monday night.  Someone once said there are no picnic games in a baseball season. 

Big Numbers
Ticket sales indicate a 120,000 weekend against the Cubs. 

Minor Change
FOX has changed the starting time of Saturday’s national telecast from 3:55 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.  Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver will be here in the booth. 

Heading Home

Returning Home
The three-city, three-time zone road trip ends today. Phillies need a win to finish 4-6, which isn’t what we needed.  According to the itinerary, the Phillies are scheduled to land back home at 4:15 Thursday a.m.  Needless to say, tomorrow is a day off. 

Oh Brother!
While the final record on this journey seems bleak, cheer up. The Phillies’ poorest 10-game road trip ever? 1-9, May 22-June 1, 1972, Montreal, Pittsburgh and the Mets.  The Phillies scored a total of 22 runs in the 10 games.  Their only win: 2-1 in 12 innings at Pittsburgh.  Before that win, the Phils lost 10 in a row.  After the win, 9 more losses in a row.  Only consolation for those of us in the front office back then, there was no e-mail.

Battle of Ancient Mariners
Jamie Moyer, 44, and Randy Johnson, 43, two extremely veteran left-handers, hook up in the series finale at 6:40 p.m. (EDT) today in Phoenix.  Ken Mandel on phillies.com has documented the match up as the oldest lefties in big league history.

Moyer has 219 career wins, Johnson 280.

Rematch
Moyer and Johnson are former teammates in Seattle (1996-98) and this evening will be only the second time that the two have faced each other. The other time was September 21, 1989 when Moyer’s (L, 3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB) Rangers were defeated by Johnson’s (W, 8.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO) Mariners. The only other player in that game who is still active is Ken Griffey Jr. Former Phillie Pete Incaviglia batted third and played left field for Texas that day.

Utley Bowling Tourney
Chase is hosting a charitable bowling tournament in center city Philadelphia on Thursday evening to benefit Philadelphia Futures.  Phillies players do well in going to bat for the community.

Minor League Players of the Month
Check out the Official Releases on the home page of this site for the Phillies Minor League Pitcher and Player of April.

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