Shane In Center
Yep, Shane Victorino is back in the lineup tonight:
A new month is here. Last night’s loss kept the Phillies from taking over first place. Last time the Phillies were atop the division on this date was 2001.
The end of April means it is time for the player and pitcher of the month in the American and National Leagues. Chase Utley and Pat Burrell should be among the NL candidates.
Chase leads the league with 11 homers, along “only” 10 came in April.
When checking the league leaders in the world of offense, you will find Chase’s name in average, runs, doubles, hits, total bases, on-base percentage, extra base hits and slugging percentage. That’s pretty heavy.
How are the winners chosen? Glad you asked.
Each home team today will receive 10 ballots for the player and pitcher. The home team PR person will distribute five ballots to the home team media (writers/broadcasters) and five to the visiting team. Results are e-mailed to MLB in New York.
Two Phillies have won April honors: Mike Schmidt in 1976 and Von Hayes in 1989.
Joyful Philly Fans
Last fall, the Phillies were in the playoffs. Now, the 76ers and Flyers are in the playoffs again. Philly fans are buzzing with excitement.
The entire park cheered last night when the Flyers’ final score was posted on the Citizens Bank Park scoreboard. Many of the park’s 700 television sets were tuned in to the hockey playoff game. Same thing will occur tonight with the 76ers playing across the street.
I remember a humorous incident back in 1976. Tommy Underwood was pitching at Veterans Stadium when the Flyers won a playoff game. The Vet erupted, causing Tommy to jump and back off the mound.
Tonight is the 125th anniversary of the Phillies first game. To commemorate the occasion the longest-tenured Phillies employee will throw out the first ball. He first joined the Phillies as a batting practice pitcher in 1947. He’s been a coach (including 1950 Phillies), scout and goodwill ambassador ever since. Say hello to Maje McDonanell.