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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Whit: Which Moment in Sports History would You Change?

I had a small clip in this semester’s final issue of the Whit. I want to thank Cody Crusciel for being my first sports editor and congratualtions to Kate Harman for taking his role for next year. Here is my clip. Enjoy:

1993 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies vs Toronto Blue Jays
By John Russo

After taking a commanding 3-1 series lead, Curt Schilling stepped on
the mound for Philadelphia in game five and shut out the Blue Jays 2-0 to pull
Philadelphia within one game. Terry Mulholland took the mound for Philadelphia
and Dave Bush pitched for Toronto, after being down 5-1, Philadelphia scored
five runs in the top of the 7th.

It’s the bottom of the 9th of game six of the 1993 World Series and
Mitch Williams stands on the mound. The Philadelphia Phillies, trailing 3-2 in
the series, are leading the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 in Toronto. All Williams needs
is three more outs and the Phillies take Toronto to game seven.

It’s now the 9th inning. Ricky Henderson steps in and is walked. Devon
White comes up to the plate next and hits a pop fly for out number one. Paul
Molitor then singles to put runners on first and second with one out. Joe Carter
steps up to the plate and has a 2-2 count on him. Carter has been ineffective
all series, and is looking to get a hit off of Williams.

Williams knows Carter is a dangerous hitter, despite his cold spell. He
also has Henderson standing on second, waiting to take third at any given
moment.

Carter steps in. The 2-2 pitch, and a swing and a miss! Williams
strikes out Carter to bring up John Olerud, who will ground out weakly to end
the game and the Phillies hold on to win game six, sending the series back to
Toronto for the final game of the World Series. Williams could potentially
become a hero in Philadelphia.

We all wish that was what happened that late October night in the
SkyDome. Instead, Carter infamously hit a three run home run and Williams was
practically run out of town.

Summary: April

As usual, the Phillies got off to a slow start in April but finished winning 5 of 6, including a sweep of the Marlins in Florida. On a positive note, they are going into May with a record of 11-9 and are only 1.5 games out of first to the Marlins. In this post, I will go into detail of the positives and negatives of the first month in baseball.

POSITIVES
-Utley’s hip: He’s fine everyone! He has been absolutely electric in his first month of play. Utley only played about 10 games of spring ball, a major concern for his effectiveness early in the season. Well worry no more. Utley is batting .342 with 7 homers and 20 RBI’s, making him an early MVP candidate. Will he keep this up? Well barring a phantom hip injury like last year, he should keep up this pace and be in the MVP talks throughout the season.
-Pat who?: Just kidding, we still miss you Pat but all kidding aside, Raul Ibanez is no joke. If there were any doubts that the older and slower Ibanez would fill the hole left by Burrell, they are all gone now. He has been clutch all month, including his go ahead grand slam Friday night versus Washington in Philadelphia’s 13-11 win. His numbers going into May: .379, 7 homers, 17 RBI’s.
*side note: Burrell is currently batting .254 with 1 home run and 8 RBI’s.
-Mad-dog: Ryan Madson has started out the season pitching really well. He even put some velocity on his fast ball as it has topped out at 97 a few times. He isn’t doing anything spectacular but he is reliable and is filling the void left with Brad Lidge’s injury.
-Ryno: Ryan Howard is batting much better to start the season than he has in the past. he’s sitting at .288 with 4 homers and 15 RBI’s. He usually heats up in May and is on fire in June-on. A good start will only mean a ridiculous ending.
-Matt Stairs: He’s batting .308 with 2 pinch hit home runs in 13 AB’s. He may very well be the Greg Dobbs of this year.
NEGATIVES
-Injury bug: Brad Lidge, Carlos Ruiz, and Cole Hamels have been battling injuries to start off the year. They aren’t anything long term but it’s frustrating.
-Cold Hamels: No it isn’t a typo. Only Alex Rodriguez is unluckier than him right now. He’s been hit by batted balls, sprained his ankle, and has pitched the exact opposite of his World Series MVP performance. Look at the bright side, he could have been embarrassed in a book, uncovered in steroid talks, and had embarrassing pictures of him leaked to the public. Way to go A-Rod.
-Home run champions: I’m talking about the starting pitching. They have given up at least one home run in 19 out of 20 games to start the season. Brett Myers is the champion here with 8 home runs in 5 starts (31.2 innings). The team? 40 homers in 20 games. Wow.
-Distractions: Ring ceremonies, rain outs, injuries, and the loss of the greatest broadcaster in Philadelphia history, Harry Kalas. Keep your heads up boys. The season will only get better.
OTHER STUFF
-Series won/lost/split: 3/3/1
-Sweeps: Marlins April 25-27
-Best offensive game: Ibanez 4/27 – 3-5, double, grand slam, 4 RBI’s, 2 runs
-Best pitching start: Jamie Moyer 4/26 – 6 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 6 k’s, 
-Three stars: Utley, Ibanez, Madson

Final Project Pitch

I plan on interviewing a bunch of Rowan Phillies fans, asking them opinionated questions regarding the Phillies from their World Series win up to April’s cold start. I will write a recap from game 5 until this weekend.

 

I will hope to interview atleast 5 people, asking them from 3-5 questions, depending on heir answers, and making sure not to repeat any questions among them. I’ll then use their quotes through out the story. Questions will include feelings toward the championship, off season acquisitions, prospects, Harry Kalas, and the slow start.

Phillies March Madenss: Finals



The best hitter of the 1980 World Champions team will go up against the best hitter of the 2008 World Series team: Mike Schmidt vs. Chase Utley. I went into details about the two superstars here. Here is the updated bracket so you can track to see how Mr. Utley and Michael Jack got here.

Change Is On Its Way…

As some of you may have known, this was a school project for since February. Well once this semester is over, I will NOT be shutting the blog down. Instead I will be changing it completely. I am unhappy with my decision to make it based off of the Rowan Phillies Fans. I know I could have done more and I will try and do more before the semester ends but when it does, I will go strictly to Phillies news, game stories, etc as a practice for my sports journalism endeavors.

Here is an outline for the last few weeks of the “Phillies Prof-ets” and a look at what will be in store for the future:

-I will throw out my pitch here for my final project by Tuesday. I don’t know
what it will be yet but I hope it will actually gain the attention of a lot of
people.

-My goodbye post for the “Phillies Prof-ets” will include a reflection on the
old idea and the introduction of the new idea.

-I will be changing the
back ground, font, and lay out during the course of the summer to make the page
look better and less amateurish.

-And finally and most notably; I will
be changing the name to something more dynamic. Any ideas would be greatly
appreciated. Leave those as a comment or email them to me at spartanc63@yahoo.com and if I chose a
name sent to me, I will credit you in my introduction and elsewhere on the site.

Thank you and go Phils!

Another Whit link.

This didn’t get run in the paper edition of the Whit but was posted online:
New York’s New Homes

Phillies March Madness: Final Four

Here is your Philadelphia Phinal Phour

#1 Chase Utley vs #2 Curt Schilling

Why Utley: Mr. Utley was THE man for the Phillies since 2005. He has a .298 average going into the 2009 season and is one of the few guys producing offensively during the Phillies current slow start. Some of his career achievements in Philly include his grand slam in his MLB debut versus the Rockies and most recently his infamous pump fake to first – throw out at home during game 5 of the World Series which kept the game tied.

Career w/ Phillies: .298 AVG / 130 HR / 492 RBI / 60 SB

Why Schilling: He started his career in Baltimore and then was traded to Philadelphia. he quickly became their ace, most notably during the 1993 NL Pennant team. He posted great numbers throughout his career in Philly but got the 3 rings he owns somewhere else, one in 2001 with Arizona where he and Randy Johnson were one of the greatest pitching duos of all time and two in 2004 and 2007 with Boston. Sure he was successful elsewhere but he became the pitcher he was playing in Philly.
Career w/ Phillies: 16591.1 IP / 101-78 / 3.35 ERA / 1554 K

#1 Mike Schmidt vs #1 Richie Ashburn
Why Schmidt: Michael Jack Schmidt, as we affectionately remember Harry Kalas calling him that, is considered the greatest Phillie of all time and greatest third baseman in the history of baseball. He is the only Phillie on this list to play his entire career in Phillie (we hope guys like Utley, Ryam Howard, and Cole Hamels do so as well) and be great. I could go on for hours as to why the 9 time Gold Glover, 12 time All Star, 6 time Silver Slugger, and 1 time world champion is the best ever. His #20 is also retired in Philly and was inducted into the baseball Hall Of Fame in 1995. 
Career w/ Phillies: .267 AVG / 548 HR / 1,595 RBI / 174 SB

Why Ashburn: Whitey is considered more than just a player. He was also the 2nd half to the greatest broadcast team in Philadelphia history, Harry and Whitey. Ashburn was one of the greatest center fielders of all time and a member of the 1950’s “Whiz Kids” team. He could hit, get on base and steal them. He is 3rd in Phillies history in runs scored. He is a 5 time All Star and has his #1 retired. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame with Schmidt in 1995
Career w/ Phillies: .311 AVG / 22 HR / 499 RBI / 199 SB

Harry Kalas Through the Years

Here is a video tribute by Comcast Sports Net:

Here is a timeline written by Ed Barkowitz and Kerith Gabriel of the Philadelphia Daily News on April 14:

March 26, 1936: Harold Norbert Kalas is born in Chicago. He grew up in the small town of Naperville, Ill., just outside Chicago.

1946: Attends a game at Comiskey Park as a 10-year-old and is befriended by Washington Senators first baseman Mickey Vernon after rain washed out batting practice. It is here Kalas develops his love of baseball.

1954: The caption beneath his Naperville High School senior picture touts Kalas as a “Future Sports Announcer.”

1959: Graduates from the University of Iowa with a degree in speech, radio and television.

1959: Is drafted by the Army immediately out of college and serves in Hawaii for 2 years. Works in the Army information office. It’s also where he becomes a broadcaster for the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Islanders Triple A club in the Pacific Coast League.

April 12, 1965: Makes his major league debut as the lead announcer for the Houston Astros, newly rechristened from the Colt .45s. Coincidentally, the Astros lose to the Phillies, 1-0.

June 18, 1967: Calls Don Wilson’s no-hitter, the first of six no-nos Kalas calls.

1971: Is brought to Philadelphia by Bill Giles and is an unpopular choice to replace Bill Campbell as the Phillies’ lead announcer.

April 10, 1971: The opening of Veterans Stadium also yields Harry’s first home-run call as a Phillies broadcaster, which comes when Don Money connected off Montreal’s Bill Stoneman.

April 15, 1972: Calls the first of Steve Carlton’s Phillies-record 241 wins.

Sept. 16, 1972: Calls the first of Mike Schmidt’s Phillies-record 548 home runs.

Oct. 21, 1980: The Phillies win their first World Series, but a rule granting radio broadcast rights only to national partners – and not individual teams’ flagship broadcasters – prohibits Kalas and his colleagues from calling the series. The groundswell from irate Phillies fans is so great that the policy is changed the following year.

October 1983: Calls Phillies’ World Series loss to Orioles in five games.

April 18, 1987: Calls Schmidt’s 500th career home run (off Pittsburgh’s Don Robinson).

October 1993: Calls Phillies’ World Series loss to Blue Jays in six games.

Sept. 9, 1997: Longtime friend and colleague Richie Ashburn dies in New York, where Phillies are in town for a series with the Mets.

February 1998: Falls while bicycling in Hawaii and breaks his left arm.

July 28, 2002: Is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s broadcaster’s wing.

Sept. 11, 2004: Calls Ryan Howard’s first home run.

Oct. 29, 2008: Finally gets to call the final out of a winning World Series when Brad Lidge fans Tampa Bay’s Eric Hinske in Game 5.

April 12, 2009: Calls his final home run – Matt Stairs’ pinch-hit, ninth-inning blast in a 7-5 win at Colorado.

April 13, 2009: Passes away at age 73 in Washington, before a game against the Nationals.

Phillies March Madness Elite 8

Here is the match ups. Due to a lack of time since I am going to Florida, I couldn’t go into detail on the matchups but I will for the Final 4. There were no upsets but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few #2’s make the Final 4. I will post pictures and summaries of the Finall 4 contestants next week. Here are the matchups:

2008:
#1 Chase Utley vs #2 Ryan Howard

1993:
#1 Lenny Dykstra vs #2 Curt Schilling

1980:
#1 Mike Schmidt vs #2 Steve Carlton

Other Years:
#1 Richie Ashburn vs #2 Robin Roberts

Here is an updated bracket.

How Harry the K Affected the Hearts of Others

I have been reading about Harry Kalas all day. I know I posted my little thing on him but as I was reading the posts of others, the repressed feelings I had came out as they would voice pieces of the sentiments I felt deep inside. I want to post those other memoirs and tributes written in other blogs. 

Again I say: Thank you Harry for being the guiding voice through my 15 years as a Phillies fan. Your beautiful voice, that amazing home run call, and that warm feeling you gave me as I would watch my beloved Fightin’s win or lose will be forever missed.
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