Only fitting that on 10/10, its time to write about the return of #10.
Yep, Larry Bowa is back in a Phillies uniform again. This time, bench coach for Ryne. Yep, he’ll be #10 again.
It is his fourth stint in Phillies pinstripes. Three others share the honor, Hans Lobert, Tony Taylor and Bowa’s buddy, John Vukovich.
The first ever summer draft took place in 1965 and Bowa, a skinny shortstop from Sacramento, CA, wasn’t selected. 824 amateur players were.
Scout Eddie Bockman, whose territory was northern California, convinced GM
Paul Owens to sign Larry as an amateur free agent. When Owens asked Bockman how much it would take to sign Larry, Eddie replied, “I believe I can get him for $1,000. Would like to kick in a couple hundred more, you know for shoes and a new glove.” That fall, Larry signed for $1,200.00, October 12, 1965.
His first year in the Phillies spring training camp in Clearwater, FL, was 1967. He wore #53. I remember manager Gene Mauch saying, “I can see him run, can see him catch the ball, can see him throw. When he hits, I don’t hear anything.”
After four seasons in the minors, Bowa reached the majors. Bowa did make some noise as a hitter, getting 2,191 career hits.
He spent 12 years as a Phillies shortstop, nine years as a coach and four years as manager.
A kid who was cut from his high school team, wound up wearing a Phillies uniform for 25 years, longest in Phillies history, a number that now is increasing.
Paul Hagen’s “Where Are They Now?” features Tommy Greene, the former Phillies right-hander. You can check out the story on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Tweet of the Day
Jon Heyman, CBS Sports.com: “A possible solution to the Redskins problem. Keep the name. Change the logo from an Indian to a potato.”
Arizona Fall League
You can follow the Phillies prospects playing for Peoria at http://www.MLBFallBall.com.
Time for some notes, none of which are of musical variety……………
Eric Bruntlett, who scored the winning run when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, will be signing autographs at Granite Run Mall, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on November 2 . . . Greg Luzinski is being inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on November 7 . . . Bill Dancy is being inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach on November 12 . . . Chris Coste will take over as the baseball coach at Concordia College in Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN, in 2015.
Dallas Green and Ruly Carpenter will appear at the Delaware Sports Museum at Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium, 3-6 p.m. on October 17.
A bronze statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Elmer Flick was unveiled in his hometown of Bedford, OH, on September 25. Flick began his career with the Phillies in 1898 and jumped to the Philadelphia Athletics in the new American League after the 1901 season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963 and died eight years later, just two days short of his 95th birthday. Flick hit .338 in his four seasons with the Phillies and led the league with 110 RBI in 1900. He hit .313 in his 13-year big league career. According to baseball-reference.com, his 1901 Phillies salary was $3,000.
Came across the following in the October 3 Florida Today newspaper:
Darren Daulton participated in a fund raiser in Melbourne, FL, for Bikers In Need, a non-denominational group that provides food and living expenses to compatriots who are injured or otherwise down on their luck. “I’m very part of it now,” said Daulton of the charity group. “It’s just something that you really don’t hear that much about it. Being part of something like this is family.”
The article included news that Darren and Amanda Dick became engaged a couple of days earlier.
Amanda provided an up-date on Darren’s battle with brain cancer. “He recently completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments. An MRI last week looked good. He’s physically fine, but his speech as been affected. He sometimes has trouble finding words.”
A reminder vintage photos and features of Phillies alumni can be found at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Minor League Notes
Baseball America’s latest edition includes All-Star teams of the various minor league levels. From the Phillies, Cody Ashe is on the AAA team, Maikel Franco, AA and Zach Green, Short-Season. All three are third basemen.
Green (#4) and OF Dylan Cozens (#9) are among the New York-Penn League’s top-10 prospects . . . 18-year-old OF Carlos Tocci was #18 in the South Atlantic League.
Minor league All-Stars: Asche, 2B Cesar Hernandez (International League) . . . OF Aaron Altherr (Florida State League) . . . SS J.P. Crawford, 1B Wilmer Oberto (Gulf Coast League). Oberto was also named the league’s MVP.
Ruben and Ryno continue to discuss a coaching staff this week. Both head to Clearwater early next week to catch a glimpse of the Florida Instructional League which ends October 11. Ruben will oversee an organization meeting in Clearwater at the end of this month (27-30)—scouting, player development, athletic trainers/flexibility trainers, Ryno and his coaches and baseball administration staff will participate.
After being shut down for the month of September, Marti Wolever and his scouting staff are currently watching instructional league games in Florida and Arizona, college scout days, fall showcases and amateur leagues that play in the fall.
First moves in re-shaping the roster came when pitchers Tyler Cloyd (Cleveland) and Raul Valdez (Houston) were claimed on waivers yesterday. It is common for teams to ask waivers on players at this time of the season. Next month, teams will have to finalize their 40-man winter roster.
Everyone knows the Phillies struggled offensively this season. They weren’t alone.
In figures just out……the combined batting average in the majors this season was .253, lowest since .244 in 1972.
Phillies will have six players in the Arizona Fall League–OF Aaron Altherr, OF Kelly Dugan, RHP Ken Giles, RHP Mike Nesseth, RHP Kyle Simon and LHP Austin Wright reported to the Peoria Javelinas yesterday. Schedule runs from October 8 through November 14. You can follow the league on http://www.MLBFallBall.com.
Phillies will also have players in winter leagues in Venezuela (season starts October 10) and the Dominican Republic (October 18). Names will come later.
Around the Park
Maintenance and winterization work has begun throughout the park, including power washing the entire seating bowl. Batting practice for season ticket holders continues the next two days. Once that is out of the way, work will begin on prepping the field for the winter.
Tours of the ballpark, including the clubhouse, will continue during the off season (215 218 5360).
Meetings, wedding receptions, birthday parties, holiday parties can be held at the park. For details, call 215 218-5100.
Never thought I’d root for the Pirates but got to pull for a Pennsylvania team.
Phillies flavor on the Pirates include Marlon Byrd (outfielder), Nick Leyva (third base coach), Bob Walk (broadcaster) and Kent Tekulve (pre- and post-game radio).
Trivia question: Who was the starting centerfielder for the Phillies when Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004?
Day-by-day great moments in Phillies history can be found on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Check it out.
Let’s see. Back when spring training had ended, dusted off the old, doggy crystal ball. Wanted to see what was lying ahead for the Phillies. Here’s what I didn’t see…
Cole would finish with a career-low eight wins and have 11 no decisions.
For 62 innings, from April 7 through May 31, he wouldn’t pitch with a lead while in the game.
Bullpen would turn out to be the strongest part of the pitching staff.
Cliff and Cole would be the only healthy starters.
Cliff would be the first pitcher in modern times to strike out 50 or more batters (54) and walk one in one calendar month (September).
Enemy base runners would steal almost at will. Phillies would struggle on the bases.
So many base hits, including home runs, would come on 0-2 pitches.
J-Roll would be the only regular not to miss a game because of injuries.
15 rookies would appear in at least one game during the season.
OF Casper Wells and INF John McDonald would pitch in the same game for the Phillies.
Domonic would be an All-Star and lead the club in homers, RBI.
Chase would be the club-leader in runs scored.
Ben would break his right foot, not play after July 13 and still lead the outfielders in putouts.
Only three teams—Cubs, White Sox, Marlins–would score fewer runs than the Phillies (610).
The Astros would score as many runs as the Phillies.
Only three teams would drawer fewer walks than the Phillies (417).
Fransden would play 40 games at first base, second to Howard’s 76.
Cody Asche would replace Mike Young at third base.
Cesar Hernandez would play 190 innings in centerfield in September.
There would be so many bad calls by umpires, including two of the worst in one inning.
After being a strong second half team for so many years, Phillies would go 25-41.
Phillies would finish below the Mets for the first time since 2000.
Zach Miner would be the starting pitcher in the season’s final game.
The Delta charter left Atlanta last evening after the Phillies ended a dismal road trip and equally dismal season. Not all players were on the flight as some headed home without returning to Philly. Some won’t be in a Phillies uniform again.
During the season’s last weekend, they lost a game in 2 hours, 7 minutes on Friday and 3 hours, 27 minutes yesterday. Their last win came Saturday with J-Roll making a brilliant game-ending out. It didn’t appear to be a big loss for the Braves but it was. It kept them from having home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They now open with the Dodgers, who have three top starters in their rotation. St. Louis now gets the winner of Cincinnati/Pittsburgh.
Looking back at the first losing season since 2002, there were a lot of deficiencies, hitting, defense, base-running, starting pitching, bullpen, pitch selection and stopping the enemy’s running game but lack luster offense has to rank #1.
They had a winning record at home (43-38) but finished 30-51 on the road, their poorest since they had the same mark in 1997. Overall record was the worst since 2000 (65-97). With their low finish, the Phillies get the seventh selection in the first round of the draft next summer.
Look at it this way, the Phillies won 43 home games. The Eagles haven’t won a home game since a year ago today.
The season is history. Charlie Brown said it best, “Good riddance.”
Packing up the gear until next spring is the chore of the clubhouse staff these next few days. Some players have already packed, other did it after returning to Citizens Bank Park last night and a few will do so today.
Ruben and Ryno face the tough decision in selecting a coaching staff. The re-shaping of the roster will begin quickly.
A new era brings, the era of Ryne Sandberg, a stickler on preparation and organization. Should be an interesting off-season and spring training.
It’s a Fact
Indians lost 94 games a year ago, Red Sox, 93, and both are in the playoffs this season.
September 30, 1951–CF Richie Ashburn goes 4-for-8 in final game to finish with 221 hits, the first Phillie to lead the NL in 18 years. Phillies defeat Brooklyn, 9-8, in 14 innings at Shibe Park.
September 30, 1971–CF Willie Montanez sets a club rookie record with his 30th home run as the Phillies end the season with a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh at the Vet.
September 30, 1978–LHP Randy Lerch (11-8) hits two home runs and picks up the win as the Phillies capture their third straight NL East title, 10-8, at Pittsburgh.
September 30, 2007–Phillies beat Washington, 6-1, at Citizens Bank Park and clinch National League Eastern Division title in last game of season as New York Mets who were tied with Phillies for first place lost to Florida, 8-1.
September 30, 2009–Phillies beat Houston, 10-3, at Citizens Bank Park and clinch National League Eastern Division title with four games left for third straight year and eighth overall.
This blog will swing into the off-season pattern of twice a week, Tuesdays (starting tomorrow) and Thursdays. News events will bring additional posts.
Thanks for following and hopefully, not falling asleep while reading.
The Braves, bidding to win the most games and gain the home field advantage in the playoffs, jumped on Tyler early and coasted last night, 7-1. How important is the home field advantage for Atlanta? The Braves’ 54-24 home record is the best in the NL. On the road, only 40-41.
Four tales of last night’s loss:
**After three innings, Phillies pitchers had thrown 102 pitches, Atlanta’s rookie starter, 38.
**RISP, Atlanta, 6-19; Phillies, 0-12.
**Tyler drove in the Phillies lone run.
**Atlanta had seven extra base hits, including a home run; Phillies, two doubles. They haven’t homered since September 17.
Cliff makes his last start tonight. He’s 3-1 vs. Atlanta this year. Somebody and Miner start the final two games of the season.
Where Are They Now?
Latest Paul Hagen WATN is about Billy Wagner and a new book he’s just published. You can read all about it on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
September 27, 1977–RHP Larry Christenson wins his 18th game and drives in five runs as the Phillies capture their second NL East title, 15-9, over Chicago at Wrigley Field, their 101st win for the second straight year.
September 27, 2003–Phillies beat Atlanta, 7-6, in 10 innings for final win at Veterans Stadium. Jim Thome hits last home run and Rheal Cormier is last Phillies pitcher to win a game at Veterans Stadium.
September 27, 2008–The Phillies beat Washington, 4-3, at Citizens Bank Park to wrap up Eastern Division title with one game left.
September 27, 2010–For first time, Phillies win Eastern Division Crown four consecutive years as they beat Nationals, 8-0, in Washington with five games to go.
September 28, 1919–In the fastest game ever played in the major leagues, it takes the New York Giants 51 minutes to beat the Phillies, 6-1, at the Polo Grounds. Most batters swung at the first pitch and ran the bases at will.
September 28, 1958–CF Richie Ashburn goes 3-for-4 in the final game of the season, a 6-4 win at Pittsburgh, to edge Willie Mays, .350 to .347, for the NL batting title. The Phillies haven’t had a batting champion since.
September 28, 1983–C Bo Diaz has five hits, including two homers, and 2B Joe Morgan, four hits and three RBI, as the Phillies clinch the NL East, 13-6, at Chicago, their 14th win in the last 16 games.
September 28, 2003–Before a sellout crowd of 58,554, the final game in Vet history is won by the Atlanta Braves, 5-2. Following the last out, emotional and memorable closing ceremonies are held featuring the 2003 Phillies and nearly 100 alumni, including Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt and Tug McGraw.
September 28, 2011–Phillies set club record for most wins in a season with 102 as they beat Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in 13 innings. Charlie Manuel sets club record for most wins by a manager with 646, passing Gene Mauch.
September 29, 1907, 1st game–RHP George McQuillan’s consecutive scoreless innings streak ends at 25 innings, a Phillies record for the start of a career.
September 29, 1915–The Phillies clinch first NL pennant with a 5-0 win at Boston, a 1-hitter for RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander, his 30th win. It is his fourth 1-hitter and 12th shutout of the season.
OK. What was a sure bet coming out of spring training? How about Cole needing nine wins to reach 100 in his Phillies career? As Richie Ashburn used to say, “I’ll bet my house on it.”
Well, Whitey, you’ve lost your house. Cole ended up with a career-low 8 wins and a career-high 11 no decisions. Win #100 will have to wait until next April. He pitched better than his 8-14 record but lack of run support was major. Seven times the Phillies scored one or fewer runs.
And, perhaps the most amazing note of the season: Cole did not pitch with a lead in a game from April 7 through May 31, a span of 62 consecutive innings.
The offense again was in low gear last night and the entire three-game series, scoring a total of four runs. A week ago, the Phillies took two of three from Miami at Citizens Bank Park and scored 21 runs. Perplexing, confusing, confounding, mystifying, baffling, bewildering.
On to Atlanta for the final four games of the season.
September 26, 1954–CF Richie Ashburn finishes the season by playing in his 730th straight game, a Phillies all-time record that still stands. The streak began June 7, 1950, and ended when Ashburn failed to make the 1955 opener after getting injured in a collision with LF Del Ennis during a spring training exhibition game at Wilmington, DE.
September 26, 1976, 1st game–After watching a lead of 15 ½ games on August 24, 1976, slip to three games in three weeks, the Phillies clinch their first post-season title in 26 years, 4-1 over the Expos in Jarry Park, the final day for the Montreal park.
September 26, 1998, 2nd game–RHP Curt Schilling strikes out seven Florida batters in his final start to finish with 300 strikeouts, only the fifth big league pitcher with 300 or strikeouts in back-to-back seasons.
Closing Ceremonies at the Vet
Paul Hagen’s written a feature about the emotional closing ceremonies at Veterans Stadium which took place 10 years ago. Check it out on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
They had only five hits (four singles), scored twice in the first inning none on run-scoring hits, didn’t score again and used a five-man bullpen approach in winning 2-1 last night in Miami. It wasn’t pretty or exciting for the Phillies but it is a W and that’s all that counts.
Miner allowed the one run in his four-inning start. He didn’t get credit for the win because he didn’t complete five innings.
A bases-loaded walk and infielder grounder plated the two first-inning runs. Last run-scoring hit by a Phillie was a single by Domonic in the sixth inning on Sunday.
Series ends tonight and Cole is aiming for two things….his 100th win with the Phillies and avoiding being the club’s first 15-game loser since 1997 (Mark Leiter).
The win boosted Tuesday’s record to 14-10, best of the seven days. Perhaps we can have more Tuesday games next year.
Ten years ago an era of baseball ended at Veterans Stadium after 33 years. Read about the history of the Vet on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
September 25, 1955–CF Richie Ashburn is hitless in seven at-bats in a season-ending doubleheader in the Polo Grounds but easily wins his first batting title (.338).
Walks and no runs summed up last night’s loss in Miami, the Phillies 20th road defeat against five wins since July 20. For the fourth time this season, they walked nine or more in a game.
Doc left after three batters (two walks) with a fatigued right arm, something pitchers usually go through during spring training. Basically, he’s in his spring training phase following the shoulder surgery.
Offensively, it was their 14th shutout loss. Relax, the club record for being shut out the most in a season is 23 set in 1908 and matched the following season.
The Florida Instructional League is off to a soggy start. The season opener was rained out yesterday and today’s game has already been postponed. Tomorrow is a camp day with an intrasquad game at Bright House Field, starting time TBA pending weather conditions. Scott Palmer is in Clearwater to provide a video update of the camp, especially Howard.
When the Vet was opened in 1971, a theme tower in the northeast corner of the parking lot made its debut. Messages about the game appeared on the board which eventually went dark. Workers have started to dismantle the tall lower. It will be replaced with another message board, a two-sided fixture that won’t be as tall.
September 24, 1911–St. Louis scores in the sixth inning to break rookie RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 41 consecutive scoreless innings streak, a Phillies record that hasn’t been broken.
First came a 9:47 a.m. e-mail media alert from the communications department saying there would be a “press conference to announce news from the Phillies” at 11:30 a.m. in the Media Room at Citizens Bank Park. Eight minutes later Ruben sent a confidential e-mail to the baseball administration department and vice presidents saying we have reached an agreement to name Ryne Sandberg the manager officially. Announcement would be made later in the morning.
No longer would Ryno carry that interim title. He’s now the 52nd manager in the history of the Phillies. And, he’s the fourth to play, coach and manage the Phillies, joining Gavvy Cravath, Hans Lobert and his close friend, Larry Bowa.
Selecting 23rd in the 1978 draft, the Phillies grabbed RHP Rip Rollins. Not exactly a Hall of Famer but none of the first-round picks that June have landed in Cooperstown.
On the 20th round, the Phillies chose INF Ryne Sandberg, North Central High School, Spokane, WA, where he was a star baseball player and highly recruited quarterback. Three years later, he made his major league debut with the Phillies.
He is the only player selected by the Phillies in the entire draft that year who had any kind of a big league career.
In the minors, he played most of his games at shortstop, a position that was blocked on the major league level by Larry Bowa. With Manny Trillo at second base and Mike Schmidt at third, Ryno faced more road blocks. GM Paul Owens wasn’t sure where Ryno would play in the majors. Begin a gifted athlete, the Pope entertained thoughts of making him a centerfielder. But, Garry Maddox was there, the secretary of Defense.
When Dallas Green went to the Cubs as their president, he traded for Bowa and asked that Ryno also be included in the deal. Ryno played third base in his first full season with the Cubs (1983). He moved to second base the following year and ended as a Hall of Famer.
To Ryno’s credit, he went to the minors to be schooled as a manager, something very few Hall of Famers have ever done. He endured long bus rides for six minor league seasons before starting this season as a big league coach. Five of his teams had winning records.
So, a new era in Phillies baseball officially begins.
While the news off the field was good, on the field wasn’t as the Mets swept all three games. Lack of clutch hitting, pitching mistakes and shaky defense all played a role in the three losses.
For the first time since 2002, the Phillies will finish with a losing record. Once before the Phillies went 10 years without a losing record, 1975-84.
After yesterday’s loss, a Delta charter flight carried the team to Miami and the start of the final road trip and final seven games, three vs. Marlins and four against the division champion Braves.
September 23, 1916–RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander pitches 7-3 and 4-0 complete-game wins over Cincinnati at Baker Bowl and ties a major league record by walking only one batter. Almost a year later (September 3) he does it again, 5-0 and 9-3, at Brooklyn, allowing one walk.
September 23, 1945, 2nd game–Hall of Fame-bound 1B Jimmie Foxx, the Philadelphia A’s all-time home run leader (302) and now with the Phillies, ends his 20-year career in a 4-3 loss at Brooklyn. Foxx also pitches in nine games that season, a first in his career.
September 23, 1965, 1st game–RHP Jim Bunning’s fifth-inning strikeout is his 242nd of the season, breaking the club record held by RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander (241, 1915). Bunning wins, 11-5, at Wrigley Field.
September 23, 1983–A 6-2, 12-strikeout victory at St. Louis gives LHP Steve Carlton his 300th career win, the 16th pitcher in baseball history to reach that milestone.
The NFL is the only pro sport to issue weekly injury reports and fines. Last week the fines for players with illegal hits, blocks and throwing punches totaled a shocking $177,250.
Perhaps the NFL should change its name to National Fine League.