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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 12, 2015

Utley hits every right note after Asche demotion

After falling,' 4-3, to Pittsburgh Monday, the Phillies chased Cody Asche to the minors, ordering him to learn to play left field.

That inspired a strong blast of leadership from Chase Utley, who made certain to drape his arm around Asche, who said every professionally correct thing, yet clearly was shaken by the move.

With Jeff Francoeur and Darin Ruf, Utley stayed with Asche for a long time, quietly giving him professional counsel and friendship.

This is what Utley, whose locker coincidentally is next to Asche's, said afterward:

“He's a good kid. He's a hard worker. I think he understands the situation and is going to go down there and have a positive outlook and try to be the best left fielder he can be.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to work at it and be a good left fielder. Obviously, we all know that his bat plays at this level. He's still learning, and that's what I like about him. He doesn't think he has it all figured out. He wants to continue to learn and get better.

“So obviously, we are all disappointed that he's not going to be around. And we will see him pretty soon.”

Asked if such leadership is central to his role with the Phillies, Utley said:

"“When you are in the moment, when you are in a situation like that, it can be difficult to see the big picture. As you play this game and be around long enough you can, at some point, see the big picture. So he is a teammate and a good friend. We are locker-mates. I will be disappointed not to see him for a little while, but like I said, he will be OK.”

Friday, May 8, 2015

Where to fight in Delaware County

Want to fight?
Here are three, open-to-the-public gyms in Delaware County where just such behavior is encouraged:

n Delco Boxing Academy, 38 S. MacDade Blvd., Glenolden.
Fee: $30 per month. Hours: 24 hours, with key access; trainers available after 4 p.m.
Owner Jason Rodden: “We have been open since January. Taking over a gym that had a few heavy bags in it and loading it up with boxing equipment and having 90 members in a matter of a few months, I would say, yeah, it has been very successful.”

n Must Fight Boxing Club, 504 Edgmont Ave., Chester
Fee: $50 per month. Hours: 4:30-8 p.m., Monday through Friday; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Owner, Dan Mullarkey Sr.: “You come in, pay the membership fee. It's not rocket science. There can be 100 people in the gym, and two or three of them fight. There is nothing normal about being punched in the face. I have a lot of different people, from all groups. I've got one guy in here, he's 71 years old. I've got seven, eight guys who are 46, 48 years old, or in their 50s. And I have guys 13, 14, 15. I have about 30 members. It depends on the season, kids going down the shore, kids getting out of school. Some guys get a job, or go off to college.”

The Must Fight gym recently was used in the filming of the movie “Creed” the latest in the Rocky series.

n Winners Boxing Club, 2003 W. Third Street, Second Floor, Chester.

Fee: Free. Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Coach Patrick Pernsley: “You don't have to be from Chester. If you are willing to come down there, we will work with you. From 8 to 18, it's free form.”

All three gyms are available for male and female fighters.

Some Delco fighters to keep an eye on

A strong group of amateurs have been making some noise in Delaware County boxing rings.
According to area trainers, these are some of the up-and-comers to watch:
n Steve Barnabei, 29, 160 pounds, Glenolden, Delco Boxing Academy
n Terrell Carroll, 19, Heavyweight, Sharon Hill, Delco Boxing Academy
n Steve Clarke, 24, Darby, 152, Delco Boxing Academy
n Steve Costello, 29, 178 pounds, Havertown, Delco Boxing Academy
n Malik Lee, 23, 140 pounds, Chester, Winners Boxing Club
n Frankie Lynn, 23, Heavyweight, Chester, Winners Boxing Club
n Dan Mullarkey Jr., 20, 141, Ridley, Must Fight Boxing Club
n Andrew McCoy, 23, 165 pounds, Upper Chichester, Must Fight Boxing Club
n Rasheed Pernsley, 20, 140, Chester, Winners Boxing Club
n Jamail Turner, 18, 163, Chester, Winners Boxing Club
n Jeffrey Turner, 18, 185, Chester, Winners Boxing Club