The Five Phillies You Loved The Most

The city of Philadelphia has had a lot to be excited about over the past few years.  In 2006 we had the Great Ed Wade Revival which brought the Phillies closer to the post season than anyone ever expected. In 2007 we saw the team achieve a playoff berth for the first time since 1993. The 2008 season had destiny written all over it, and in 2009 the word “dynasty” wasn’t far from anyone’s lips. But 2010 is different; it’s special. The opening day lineup has been intact only a handful of times this year, and that has forced the fans to look more at the individual parts rather than the whole. There appears to be a distinct divide between the guys we’ve always loved (Rollins, Utley, Howard), the ones we love when given a reason to love them (Ibanez, Werth, Victorino), and the ones we’ll remember for that special something they brought to the table during what has arguably be the greatest era in Phillies history to date. With that, I bring you the five 2010 Phillies you loved the most.

#5 – Mike Sweeney

Mike Sweeney came to Philadelphia as part of a post-deadline transaction that was necessary after Ryan Howard was placed on the disabled list with an injured ankle.  Drafted by the Royals in 1991, Sweeney has played 1,451 games in the majors without experiencing the postseason, and can’t stop talking about how grateful he is to finally have that opportunity with Philadelphia. What the fans seem to like the most about him is that while he may not be the scariest player at the plate, he undeniably plays with the most heart.  Every swing, every dive, every tag is approached with 110% effort, and when he’s not on the field, he is the first player at the top of the dugout steps to give out hugs and high-fives to his teammates. Before games he will sign autographs and hold your baby for a picture, and after games he can be found telling Sarge how “it’s a great gift to be a Philadelphia Phillie,” and that he will do whatever it takes to help get the team to their third consecutive World Series. It’s well known that the relaxed and confident clubhouse atmosphere has played a major role in the Phillies success in recent years, but I’m sure that Sweeney’s child-like optimism and gratitude helped keep the team’s spirits afloat as they scratched and clawed their way back atop not only the NL East, but all of baseball. Continue reading


Cocks in the Hen House: 09.21.10

“Cocks in the Hen House” is a weekly column by friends of the Chicks that aren’t, well, chicks. Stop by every Wednesday to see what the men-folk have to say about the weeks biggest baseball stories.

By Jay Ballz (@PhoulBallz)

If you paid close attention to certain national analysts this season, you probably heard them talk or write about how deep the Phillies low minor league teams are with great prospects. The Phillies’ Class A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws, won the club’s second straight South Atlantic League title and became the first club since Savannah in 1994 to repeat as league champions. They also became the very first team in league history to win their division in the first and second halves and then go on to win the league championship.

Lakewood was loaded with prospects this season. One, short stop Jonathan Villar, was held in high enough regard that he was part of the collection of players that was sent to Houston in a trade for Roy Oswalt in July.

The Phillies had plenty of home grown talent come through their system in the 2000s. Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels are all current Phillies stars who spent time as BlueClaws on their ways to the big show. They were not there at the same time, however. The Phillies stars of tomorrow could very well have gelled together in Lakewood this year.

In a recent poll conducted by The Reading Eagle that ranked the Phillies’ top twenty prospects, four of their top five and six of their top ten ranked prospects were members of this season’s championship Lakewood team.

Singelton, Cosart, James & Hewitt - Photo by Scott Greenwald

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Game Recap 08.04.10 – Phillies 7 Marlins 2

AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Kyle Kendrick (7-4, 4.37 ERA) and Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.50 ERA) had already warmed up before the Marlins ground crew scurried to put the tarp on the field just minutes before the first pitch was to be thrown.  But 58 minutes later Sanchez took the mound and it appeared the game would go on as planned. 

For the second night in a row the Phillies (59-48) struck first, scoring two in the first inning on big hits by both Ross Gload and Domonic Brown.  Brown, who went 1-4 with 3 RBIs, is now batting .273 after six games with the big club with 6 RBIs.  But it isn’t just his bat that’s making waves in the baseball world.  The Marlins (53-54) tested Brown’s arm not once, not twice, but three times in the 7-2 loss to Philadelphia.  

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Some Quick Hitters

A lot of things happened in the past 24 hours regarding the Phillies.  Here are some quick snapshots of the news: Continue reading

Game Recap: 05.04.10 Phillies 2 Cardinals 1

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Cole Hamels showed exactly what he was made of on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals as the Phillies won the second of four games with the birds, evening the series at one each.

Cole pitched 8 innings, gave up 1 earned run on 8 hits, walked two and struck out eight.  He maintained his composure throughout the entire game and did not get rattled until a fan leaped onto the field while he was in his windup and time was called in the middle of his delivery in the top of the eighth inning.  After order was restored, Hamels gave up back to back singles and the tying run scored on a Yadier Molina line drive to right field.  

Cole was visibly upset at the second straight night of fan antics but let’s be real – who wouldn’t be?  Heck, even Roy Halladay would have to restrain himself from throwing a strike right to the guy’s skull, I’m sure.  But I’m not one for excuses, and I am slowly but surely starting to believe that Hamels is getting better at not taking these kind of things so personally, too.  Continue reading

Game Review: 04.25.10

Paul Conners/AP

In a back and forth game with one of the oddest lineups we may see all year, the Phillies fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-6; losing their second series of the year.

The Philles took a quick early lead on the two run home run from Greg Dobbs. Kyle Kendrick cruised through four and seemed to be continuing the success from his last outing. However, Kendrick ran into some trouble in the fifth, giving up five runs; a two run home run to Kelly Johnson and a three run home run to Mark Reynolds. He would walk and strike out four on the day. Continue reading