Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and delcotimes.com. He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
GALVIS WANTS TO BE A SHORTSTOP; ROLLINS ON BENCH
By the way, he said that on a night that Jimmy Rollins was out of the lineup, and when Charlie Manuel touted Michael Martinez as a perfectly suitable defensive replacement.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Among the topics will be the Penn State situation.
Monday, August 20, 2012
POLANCO BACK, RUIZ CLOSER, PHILS NOTES
But how about his Phillies’ career?
That is what Polanco will hope to protect over the final 41 games of a trying season, during which he’d just spent nearly a month on the disabled list recovering from lower back inflammation.
“I don’t know,” the former All-Star third baseman was saying before the Phillies hosted the Reds. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know. I’ve been here, I like it here, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t know.”
For a relatively reasonable fee – reported to be as low as $500,000, but also up to $1 million – the Phillies could buy out the final year of Polanco’s contract, setting him free after this season. Otherwise, they would owe him $5.5 million.
Polanco, 36, earned $6.25 million this season. He was hitting .255 with two home runs in 82 games when he was reactivated. Hector Luna had been returned to Lehigh Valley Sunday to make roster room.
“You should ask that to the people who have control of the situation,” Polanco said, pointing, as if to suggest upstairs in the front office. “Would I like to be here? I would like to be here. But I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Charlie Manuel said he plans to play Kevin Frandsen Tuesday, then Polanco again Wednesday, then continue the pattern “for a few days” in an effort to keep Polanco healthy.
“I think if he’s healthy and he can play into September and if you see him play good, then if he doesn’t fit in our plans, I’m sure somebody in baseball might have interest in him,” the manager said.
“But I think if he plays good, yeah, I think we’ll definitely talk to him.”
If the Phillies have any remaining urge to keep Polanco, it will be because they believe he can remain functional.
“I think the more he can stay on the field, that’s what makes sense for him,” Manuel said. “He has to show he can stay on the field and stay healthy to be able to play every day, to play enough where somebody thinks he’s an everyday player.”
* * *
With Polanco starting, Frandsen had a string of 20 consecutive starts snapped. He had been hitting .329.
“It is what it is,” Frandsen said. “I hope that people have seen what I’ve done. That’s how I’ve always played, and I’ve asked for the chance to play every day to make that adjustment. I’ve said this to everyone, but my minor league numbers speak for themselves.”
The 30-year-old Frandsen had hit .309 and .302 in the minors in the last two years after previous big-league opportunities in San Francisco and Anaheim.
“Getting that opportunity to play every day and make the adjustment on the fly – as opposed to sporadic – meant the world to me because it showed, maybe myself, that it’s not a lie what I did down there,” he said. “It is what it is here.”
Frandsen insisted he had no intention of discussing his situation with Charlie Manuel.
“With Polly back, you have the All-Star and the guy who has been proven year after year,” he said. “My job is to be ready to play every day and whenever I am called upon.”
Frandsen’s strong audition in Polanco’s absence should boost his chances of remaining with the Phillies next season.
“I think he’s been playing very good,” Manuel said. “Sometimes when you get a chance to play, you take advantage of it. He’s done that. He’s going to continue on getting a chance to play some more. He’s earned the right to play.”
* * *
The therapeutic boot removed from his left foot and having recovered from plantar fasciitis, Carlos Ruiz took some loose, one-handed swings in the cage Monday and hopes to hit on the field as soon as Wednesday. He joined the disabled list August 4.
“I want to come back real bad,” said Ruiz, who was hitting .335 when injured. “I want to finish the season healthy. I don’t want to go home. We’ll see how it goes. I’m happy now because I feel real good. I feel like I’m close.”
Ruiz said he will resume running sometime early next week in advance of a likely rehab assignment. He has been doing some upper body exercises and some biking.
* * *
As the Phillies began a 10-game homestand Monday, Antonio Bastardo had not pitched in 12 days. Jeremy Horst, also a left-handed reliever, had two appearances in the interim.
“I still view him as an option,” Manuel said of Bastardo. “He hasn’t pitched in a while. It’s not because we have overlooked him. But the fact is that times have come up where we have kind of backed away from him with the situation, maybe because it was a righty (at bat). And Horst has been pitching pretty good.
“There’s no way we’re going to give up on Bastardo. He is healthy.”
* * *
Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.83) will oppose Homer Bailey (10-8, 4.16) tonight. Vance Worley (6-8, 4.11) and Bronson Arroyo (9-7, 3.96) will pitch Wednesday. Thursday, it will be Cole Hamels (14-6, 2.94) and fellow Cy Young Award candidate Johnny Cueto (16-6, 2.44) as the Phils and Reds wind up their four-game series.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
POLANCO ALMOST READY ... BUT ARE PHILS?
Polanco is 36 and has been often injured in recent years, most recently with an inflamed lower back. He said Wednesday that he will resume hitting either Thursday or Friday. His recent replacement, Kevin Frandsen, was hitting .281 to Polanco's .255.
For $1 million, the Phils can buy Polanco out after the season, rather than pay him $5.5 million for 2013.
“If he's healthy and can be 100 percent ….,” Charlie Manuel said. “But the last two or three years, he has missed quite a bit of time.”
Sunday, August 5, 2012
VICK: 'WE WILL BE THERE' FOR ANDY
TRANSCRIPTS OF PRESS CONFERENCES AFTER DEATH OF GARRETT REID
General Manager Howie Roseman
“Good morning. I have some heartbreaking news to share with you all. It is with great sadness that I tell you that Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Coach [Andy] Reid, was found dead this morning in his room here at training camp. This is a tough morning for all of us in the Eagles family. Garrett grew up with this team and this makes this news even harder for us to process. Our hearts go out to Andy, [wife] Tammy, [sons] Britt, Spencer, [daughters] Crosby and Drew Ann. Coach has spent the morning informing his family. We ask sincerely that you respect the family’s privacy during this time. The team has been informed of this news, as have [Chairman/CEO] Jeffrey [Lurie] and Christina [Weiss Lurie]. The chief will speak to you in a minute about what is known about this event. From a football perspective, I can tell you that Andy has asked that we go forward with training camp. I’m going to turn it over to [Lehigh University Police] Chief [Edward] Shupp in a minute. On a personal note, we’ve been with Andy for a long time. He’s always been strong for us. We’re going to be strong for him right now. As a father and a friend, we’re all hurting. Thank you.”
Lehigh University Chief of Police Edward Shupp
“Good morning. I am Chief Edward Shupp from Lehigh University Police Department. This morning at approximately 7:20 am, officers received a 9-1-1 call about an unresponsive male in the Sayre Park dormitories. Upon arrival it was observed that attempts were made to revive the individual and it was unsuccessful. The individual, Garrett Reid, was deceased upon the officer’s arrival. There were no suspicious activities. At this time however I will turn it over to the coroner who will be handling that part of the investigation. Coroner Zachary Lysek.”
Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek
“Good morning. What I can tell you is this morning we were contacted by the Lehigh University Police Department and requested to respond for the discovery of a deceased male. We are conducting an investigation with the cooperation of the Lehigh University Police Department, and I personally pronounced Mr. [Garrett] Reid deceased at the scene. The investigation will be ongoing and at this time will be pending the completion of the investigation.”
ANDY REID'S SON FOUND DEAD, POLICE CONFIRM
Saturday, August 4, 2012
REBUILDING ON A CRUMBLING FOUNDATION
Three problems: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. That's because everything the Phillies have done, do and are financially handcuffed into continuing to do will be based on the belief (hope?) that the three former All-Stars will sparkle once again.
Maybe it will happen. But they are all careening into their mid-30s. And they are so overpaid that no one would dare sniff at their salaries.
Can they return to star-level form? Charlie Manuel, for one, thinks so.
Check out my column on the topic in the Daily Times Sunday and, as always, on delcotimes.com