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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Phillies can still be a hit

The Phillies completed a 4-4 road trip with a 3-1 victory in Fenway Park when Cliff Lee dominated, Jonathan Papelbon helped, and National League Player of the Week Domonic Brown hit his team-high 11th home run.

What does that mean in May?

It means that Charlie Manuel is not going to be pumping gas any time soon.

“I was seeing today where Maury Wills said something about that Dodgers team that didn't hit," Manuel said. "He was talking about the Dodgers team now that is having trouble hitting. And he remembered that early that year, they were saying that there was no way a team could be worst than that, and that he and John Roseboro were thinking about opening a service station. Well, they waited a few days and they started hitting. Then they ended up winning the World Series. This game can definitely can go that way sometimes. That's why you stay with it. That's why you keep going. And you never know what's going to happen, especially when you put everything you've got into it.”

The Phillies were just OK on the trip. But in Boston, they showed improvement. They fielded better, hit into some bad luck, ran hard and split the series.
Do they look like the 1963 world champion Dodgers?
Not yet. But it's too early to say that they won't.
Check out my column on Dom Brown, who has a chance to be a Philadelphia sports favorite, in the Daily Times Wednesday and, as always, on

Monday, May 27, 2013

Too soon to clean out Howard

The Phillies have lost three of their last four, including a 9-3 beat-down Monday in Boston.

And Charlie Manuel is not --- not, repeat not, is not, will not, shall not, won't --- change cleanup hitters.

Here's why: He knows that the Phillies can salvage this season only if Ryan Howard starts hitting. And if he starts hitting, he might as well be in the four-hole.

Benching him, or even moving him down in the order, won't help ... at least yet. Later, maybe. Maybe. But not in May.

Once more, with feeling: Either Howard hits or the Phillies fail. It's the only card the manager has left, and darn it, he is going to snap it down on the table.

“When I think of Howard, he is kind of different from all those other hitters,” Manuel said. “On nights when he is hitting the ball, he stands a good chance of knocking in runs. I don't really think moving him in the lineup makes a whole lot of difference, really. I think how he is hitting on that day is how he is hitting. Some days, he has bad days. Other days, he is doing good. I don't think moving him would help. If anything, I don't particularly like sending him a message. I don't think it's the time of his career for me to send him a message.”
Howard went 2-for-4 Monday and rattled a double high off the Green Monster --- that, despite achy 33-year-old knees.
For the Phillies, it was as close as anything to an encouraging development in a season with far too few.
Check out my column from Fenway Park in the Daily Times Tuesday and, as always, on

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Phillies notebook

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Get these sports notes

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sixers still considering Bynum

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Yorgey fighting in Valley Forge

Popular area junior middleweight Harry Yorgey will fight Julius Kennedy June 15.

The following is from the promoters:


VALLEY FORGE, PA (MAY 21, 2013)—On Saturday night June 15th, Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Boxing Promotions will present a great night of boxing at the Valley Forge Casino and Resort that will be headlined by an intriguing rematch featuring local favorite Harry Joe Yorgey ans Julius Kennedy in Jr. Middleweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds.
On March 15th, Yorgey and Kennedy battled to a disputed six round split decision for which Yorgey’s hands were raised in victory.  Many in the crowd disagreed and the two will mix it up in the rematch.
Yorgey of Bridgeport, PA has a record of 26-2-1 with 12 knockouts and is looking to get back into title contention.
Yorgey was undefeated in his first twenty three bouts (22-0-1) with big wins over Ronnie Warrior Jr. (11-0-1); Jason LeHoullier (21-0-1) & Ronald Hearns (21-0) before losing to heralded Alfredo Angulo. Yorgey got back with three consecutive victories before being stopped in eight to undefeated Jermell Charlo on January 26th in Las Vegas.  His last bout was the aforementioned draw with Kennedy.
Kennedy of Windsor Mill, Maryland has a record of 7-5-1 with three knockouts.
The thirty-three year old has quality wins over Inka Laley (3-0-1) & Aaron Pryor Jr. (12-1) as well as a draw with Jesse Nicklow (20-2-2). In his last bout, Kennedy dropped a six round unanimous decision to undefeated Alantez Fox on January 12th.
After losing to Yorgey, Kennedy was stopped by DeCarlo Perez in five rounds on April 19th.
In the eight round co-feature, it will be a Lightweight Philadelphia turf war between Tevin Farmer and Victor Vasquez
Farmer of Philadelphia has a record of 10-4-1 with 1 knockout and is riding a three bout winning streak.
Farmer has quality wins over Tim Witherspoon Jr. and Tyrone Luckey and has won six of his last seven with his only blemish losing to hot prospect Jose Pedraza when he took a fight on SHO BOX on just a few days’ notice.  Farmer is coming off a four round unanimous decision over Jesus Bayron on April 26.
Vasquez of Philadelphia has a record of 16-7-1 with seven knockouts and is always in action packed fights.
Vasquez has quality wins over Thomas McCuiston (1-0), Tyric Robinson (9-4-1) and Angel Rios (9-5). The “Blood and Guts” Warrior of Philadelphia has been in many memorable scraps.  He is coming off a six round unanimous decision over Esteban Rodriguez on January 26th at Harrahs Philadelphia. 
Frankie De Alba (7-1-2, 3 KO’s) of Bayamon, PR will take on Jamell Tyson (3-9-2, 1 KO) of Rochester, NY in a six round Lightweight bout.
In a six round Cruiserweight bout, Jeremey Stauffer of Reading, PA (7-2-2, 6 KO’s) takes on returning Kamarah Pasley (5-6, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia, PA
Returning Lightweight Anthony Flores (9-4-1, 6 KO’s) of Philadelphia battles Ramon Ellis (4-8-2, 2 KO’s) in a six round bout.
Todd Unthank-May (6-0, 2 KO’s) will see action in a six round Light Heavyweight bout against an opponent to be named.
Jovantae Starks (6-0, 5 KO’s) of Minneapolis, MN will take part in a six round Jr. Middleweight bout against an opponent to be named.
In a four round Lightweight bout, Travis Thompson (4-9-2, 3 KO’s) of Pottstown, PA will take on an opponent to be named.
Also in a four round Lightweight bout, Damon Allen (1-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will take on an opponent to be named.
In a four round Featherweight bout it will be a battle of pro debuter’s as Tony DuBose will take on John Portillo.
Khalib Whitmore of Philadelphia will make his pro debut against Brian Donahue (2-4-1) of Philadelphia in a four round Light Heavyweight bout
Tickets for this great evening cost $125 (VIP); $75 (Ringside); $45 (General Admission) and can be purchased at the following locations:
Kings Promotions
440 Elm Street
Reading, PA 19601

Valley Forge Casino Resort
1160 1st Ave.
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Empire Surplus Home Center
2741 Bernville, RD
Leesport, PA 19533

Monday, May 20, 2013

Phillies notebook

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Amaro threatens changes to Phillies offense

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Phils: Halladay surgery successful

Roy Halladay had athroscopic surgery done on his pitching shoulder Wednesday in Los Angeles.

This, from the Phillies: “Roy had successful shoulder surgery yesterday. He had an arthroscopic evaluation and underwent debridement of his labrum and rotator cuff as well as removal of an inflamed bursa. He'll begin a progressive rehabilitation program and if all goes well, he may possibly begin a throwing program in 6-8 weeks.”

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Get this: Sports notes

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hardin reacts to joining College Football Hall

Wayne Hardin always was a Hall of Fame-level football coach.

Now, it is official.

Hardin, who coach Temple to a 14-game winning streak, to a bowl appearance and to 80 wins in 12 years, was elected Tuesday to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Hardin will be officially inducted Dec. 10, in New York.

He was such an innovator,” said Steve Joachim, the All-Delco quarterback from Haverford High, who won the Maxwell under Hardin in 1974. “He was different than any coach I had ever seen. He really coached to his talent. He really didn't have just a system, where you had to fit in. He took the players he had and built the system around them.”

Hardin twice led Navy a Top 5 rating in the national polls and coached Heisman Trophy winners Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino. But as impressive as his 38-22-2 record was in six years at Annapolis, Hardin accepted and succeeded in a challenge to bring Temple into some measure of national prominence.

There, he went 80-50-3, including a 28-17 victory over California in the 1979 Garden State Bowl in the Meadowlands. The Owls were ranked No. 17 that season.

Well, I truly look at it this way,” said Hardin, from his winter home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. “When you hear the guys that win the Heisman Trophy say it couldn't happen without their teammates, well this is something that everybody can share. Because getting this award, it wasn't just me doing it. It was the coaches and the athletic director and the doctors and the trainers and the players. They are in this just as well as I am."

Check out the complete coverage of a momentous day for Temple football, along with my column on Joachim's happy reaction, in the Daily Times Wednesday and, as always, on

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Amaro on Phils: 'They need to swng the bats better'

Ruben Amaro is joining the Phillies on a road trip to Arizona and San Francisco, something he was planning to do anyway, even before a 14-2 loss to the Miami Marlins Sunday.

What he sees in the next week could --- no, it should --- determine the short-term future of a roster that should not be 14-18, and which should have scored on more than one of their final 23 innings over the weekend against the Marlins.

“I mean, they need to swing the bats better,” Amaro said, after the Phillies fell behind. 9-0, after three innings and were unable to counterpunch. “That's not good enough. But when we are behind the eight ball that much, it is kind of tough to crawl back. But there is no question: We have to swing the bats better.”

They ... have to swing the bats better.

That, they do.

And if they don't, then there must be changes.

But Amaro said he still has confidence in his assembled players. And that could be at least a small hand-tip about his plans ... particularly considering that Charlie Manuel is without a contract past this season.

“I believe in these guys still,” the general manager said. "I think they are good hitters. They are just not hitting very well. They need to do better. For us to be contenders, they have to hit better.”

If not ...

Check out my column on the aging Phillies, their sputtering offense, and Amaro's diminishing patience in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Get this

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Feldman back in pro boxing

As long as there has been professional boxing, one rule has endured: Heavy hitters succeed.

For that reason, the press conference Thursday at Anthony's in Drexel Hill had the stand-up-and-notice effect of a strong smelling salt.

In attendance were ring legends Tyrell Biggs, Meldrick Taylor and Calvin Grove, political heavyweight Rep. Bob Brady, D-1, of Philadelphia, and newly re-licensed promoter Damon Feldman.

Known for promoting the Octomom's pillow fights, Jose Canseco boxing in a ballpark and his battles in front of individuals brandishing gavels, Feldman is back ... and so is pro boxing in Delaware County. The first installment of Feldman's Champions of Tomorrow series is set for June 20 at The Deck (formerly The Lagoon) in Essington.

“Me and Damon go a long, long, long way back,” said Biggs, who once fought Mike Tyson for three world title belts in Atlantic City. “Damon let me know that he was involved with the Champions of Tomorrow, and I thought it was a good thing. Boxing is a little low. This will be something that can lift it back up, get it in the spotlight.”

With the violence, ironically enough, will be an effort to halt bullying. Also, a cut of the gate will go to fight autism.

Brady: “How can you not be behind a fight against autism? And a lot of it goes hand-in-hand, because these kids who have autism issues get bullied because they are a little different when they are younger. Unfortunately, kids growing up don't have that sense of respect for other kids. They like to tease back and forth. Some kids tease more than others. So it's hand-in-hand, the autism and the bullying. And bullying is a big, big thing now. This is a great thing. When Damon called me and told me he was doing this, I said, 'Absolutely, I will be a part of it.' He is a friend of mine. His family has been friends of mine for years, and it is really good that they are doing something for two causes that can really use the help.”

Floyd Mayweather ... won't be involved.

But popular area pros --- with popular surnames --- Joey Tiberi and Tim Witherspoon Jr. will fight.

Check out my column on the new ring venture in the Daily Times Friday and, as always, on

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Flyers were 'terrific', 'strong'