Results tagged ‘ Philadelphia ’

Phillies Honored At The PSWA Awards Banquet

On Monday night, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association held their 107th annual awards banquet in Cherry Hill, NJ.  The PSWA honors athletes in every sport around the Philadelphia area. 


P13162920201.jpgThis year, the PSWA honored Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay as the Outstanding Pro Athlete of 2010.  He was also presented with his 2010 Cy Young award.  Shane Victorino received the Humanitarian Award for his charitable efforts in the community.

A large portion of the Phillies family was in attendance as well, including President Dave Montgomory, the Phanatic, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel.  As a guest speaker, Manuel had the crowd in stitches with his southern humor. 

Manuel spoke about his home state saying, “You know they don’t have Christmas plays in West Virginia, you know that? They cut it out. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.”

The speeches from Victorino, Halladay and Manuel are in the following video:

Also present was comedian Joe Conklin who attends every year to entertain the guests.  He does amazing impersonations of a variety of Philly athletes including Manuel, Cole Hamels and Eagles coach Andy Reid.  Conklin’s routine is the highlight of the banquet:

The full Photo Album from the event includes members of the Phillies, Flyers, Sixers and Eagles, plus college and high school athletes.

 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network* 

5 Big Positives From The Phillies Signing Cliff Lee

December 15th is a historical date.  In 1794, the United States Bill of Rights became law.  In 1933, the 21st Amendment went into effect, legalizing alcohol.  Russians landed on Venus in 1970. And now, in the year 2010, Cliff Lee re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The signing will obviously not impact our society in such way as the Bill of Rights or the 21st Amendment once did.  And it is doubtful that December 15th will be named a national holiday.  However, this is still a historic occasion for the City of Philadelphia.

The following is a list of five ways in which the Cliff Lee deal has made a positive impact on the team, the city and the fans.

Four Aces Are Better Than Three


4 starters.jpgThe entire Phillies team just got a whole lot better.  Adding Cliff Lee to the already dominant rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels has the potential to make the opposition weep like children.

All together, that makes 3 Cy Young awards, 13 All-Star appearances plus an NLCS and a World Series MVP title.  Combining all four starter’s 2010 ERA’s comes out to an average ERA of 2.86.  If they stay healthy, this rotation will be frightening.

Statistics aside, these are four very competitive pitchers who will push each other to do better.  This type of healthy dynamic should inspire the entire team to work harder and expect more from themselves and their teammates. 

Having solid starting pitching also takes a great deal of pressure off the offense.  Players who can relax at the plate will be more productive.  After a down year in 2010, this Phillies offense should be ready to explode.

The City of Philadelphia Finally Gets Some Respect

The City of Philadelphia and their sports fans constantly get a bad rap in the media.  Focusing only on the negative, national press makes Philadelphia look like a war zone. 


240A.jpgYes, some horrible human being threw up on a little girl at a Phillies game.  The Eagles snowballs and Santa disaster begs the question, will the media ever get over it?  That was in 1968.  It is officially time to let it go.

There are idiots everywhere, not just in Philly.  Look at the Cubs fan who threw beer on Shane Victorino during a play in the outfield.  Ask the family of the poor teenager who was killed after a San Francisco Giants game in 2008.  But these are isolated incidents and by no means do they reflect the attitudes or actions of an entire fan base.

About Philadelphia fans, Cliff Lee told the press, “They get excited. They’re passionate fans. They understand what’s going on. They don’t need a teleprompter to tell them to get up and cheer, to do that.”  Lee also stated, ” Yeah, you know, the feeling of playing on the field feels different than anywhere else. I don’t know how to explain it other than you can feel the volume that’s created by the fans and their intensity.”

Lee loves Philadelphia, the team and their fans so much that he took fewer contract years and less money to play here.  Much to the dismay of the national media, Cliff Lee has finally given Philadelphia the respect it deserves.

Philadelphia Just Landed On Every Player’s Wish List

Along with the respect that Cliff Lee’s words and actions have delivered, this signing has also put the Phillies on the wish list of all major league players who are interested in winning. 

The days of JD Drew, who was drafted by the Phillies in 1997 but refused to sign, are long gone.  No more grumblings from the likes of Scott Rolen either, claiming the Phillies have no desire to win.

The Phillies were already on the minds of many players before the Cliff Lee signing.  Roy Halladay made an exception to his no-trade clause last year to come to Philadelphia.  Later in July of 2010, Roy Oswalt did the same.

But the Cliff Lee deal puts the Phillies in a whole new echelon.  They are now able to compete with the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees.  The Yankees lost out on Lee despite offering more money and additional years.  So while the Yankees payroll still far outweighs the Phillies, in terms of status, they are now nearly equals.

Jayson Who?  Losing Werth Is Not So Bad

There was a lot of groaning among Phillies fans when All-Star right fielder Jayson Werth signed a gigantic contract with the Washington Nationals.  Fans having flashbacks to Werth’s monster home runs, a steal of home plate, his rocket arm nailing runners at the plate and the 2008 World Series win, were disappointed that the Phillies did not try harder to sign him.

The facts now show that had the Phillies re-signed Werth, Cliff Lee would not be on the team.  They simply would not have had the money or resources to bring Lee back.

Pitching wins ballgames.  The impact Lee will have on this Phillies team in the long run far outweighs anything that Werth may have delivered.

Werth went where the money was and no one can fault him for that.  But that move further illuminates the magnitude of Lee’s decision to sign with the Phillies for less money.  Lee will be appreciated by Phillies fans everywhere.  Werth will simply fade away into a distant memory.

Ruben Amaro Jr. Is Now A Phillies Legend


P5140472 Amaro2.jpgA Philadelphia native, Ruben Amaro Jr. started out as a Phillies bat boy in 1980.  His father, Ruben Amaro Sr., was the first base coach at that time.  Prior to that, Amaro Sr. played short stop for the Phillies from 1960-1965.  Amaro Jr. also played for the Phillies from 1992 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998 in the outfield.  He became the Assistant GM right after his playing career ended.  Currently the Phillies General Manager, this man has literally spent almost his entire adult life, and part of his teenage years, with the Phillies.

Many were unsure of how Amaro would fare in the GM spotlight, having taken over the job right after the 2008 World Series.  Amaro was doing a pretty average job but did not score big until wrapping up Roy Halladay last offseason.  Most were thrilled with the Halladay signing.  However, the happiness quickly turned to shock when it was announced that Cliff Lee was traded in order to replenish the farm system.

The short half year that Lee spent with the Phillies in 2009 was enough to enamor him to the entire fan base.  His easy-going and unwavering demeanor on the mound combined with his ability to mow down opposing batters made Lee a fan favorite.  He was also the only Phillies pitcher to record a win in that year’s World Series, which they ultimately lost to the Yankees.

To say that trading Lee was a stunning blow to the fans is an understatement.  Even months later and well into the 2010 season, people questioned the move.  Some even went so far as to proclaim it the dumbest move Amaro would ever make.

And while those people may be correct, Amaro created an extreme reversal of fortune by re-signing Lee on December 15, 2010.  The five-year, $120 million dollar dear with a sixth year option completely redeemed Amaro. 

Amaro jumped though a number a very large hoops to make this deal happen.  The biggest of those had to be convincing team ownership, who have been notoriously stingy in the past, to cough up the dough.  This will be the highest payroll carried in Phillies team history.

Respect is not easy to come by in this business, but Amaro has now earned it.  He is a formidable opponent in the eyes of other ball clubs and to his own staff and players, he is a true leader.  More than that, Amaro has earned the trust of this organization.  They know he wants to win both now and in the future.

The Cliff Lee deal has cemented Amaro’s place in Phillies history.  All he is missing now is his very own World Series Championship. 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

There’s A Hole In The Spectrum


Spectrum hole.jpgThere’s a hole in the Spectrum!  How did that happen?  Did no one notice the giant red ball flying towards it this afternoon?  It is a historical Philadelphia landmark!  And why were all those people just standing around watching the destruction?  Oh my!

Wait a second…you say they are tearing it down?  It is a scheduled demolition?  Soooooooo…they did this on purpose?  Oh sorry…my bad.

Just kidding ;o)  It was a surreal moment today, watching the Spectrum meet its demise.  Although apparently, we can relive that moment everyday for the next 4-6 months, which is the time it is going to take to tear it down with this tiny red ball.  Could they not find a larger ball or more efficient means of destruction?  Just sayin’…

When the long, drawn out extraction is complete, a brand new entertainment complex called “PhillyLive!” will take the Spectrum’s place, hopefully, in 2012.  This will give Philly sports fans a place to wander, eat and party before and after games.  Of course the city of St. Louis promised their fans the same type of structure and 4 years later, not a single brick has been laid.  Cross your fingers, Philly…

Chairman of Comcast Spectacor Ed Snider spoke before the demolition today.  He spoke about his mixed emotions about tearing down the Spectrum and then referred to its official replacement next door as the “Wells Fargo or whatever it’s called building.”  The Wells Fargo center has gone though a number of name changes over the years including CoreStates Center, First Union Center (affectionately known as the FU center) and Wachovia Center.

With the Snider name comment and seeing the gaping hole in the side of the Spectrum, my brain began translating the data into an old children’s song.  In my mind, “There’s a Hole In The Bucket” suddenly became “There’s a Hole In The Spectrum.” Not familiar with the song?  Take a look:

Now that you remember the song, sing along with my newly fabricated lyrics:

 

There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,

There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Philly,

There’s a hole.

 

Then trash it Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider,

Then trash it dear Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, trash it.

 

But where will you play now, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,

But there will you play now, dear Philly, play where?

 

In the FU, I mean Wachovia, I mean WtF Center, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider,

WTF is it’s name now, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, it’s name?

 

We cannot remember, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,

The name keeps on changing, dear Philly, keeps changing.

 

Then make up your mind, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider

Make a freaking decision, Mr. Snider, decide!

 

It’s the Wells Fargo Center, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,

It’s the Wells Fargo Center, dear Philly, at least it is for now…

 

We will still miss the Spectrum, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider,

We will still miss the Spectrum, Mr. Snider, miss it.

 

There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,

There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Philly,

Say goodbye.

 

I do hope everyone enjoyed my rendition :O)   And while we are on the subject, what is your favorite memory of the Spectrum?  Mine was seeing Pearl Jam close the lace down officially last October.  Had they rocked any harder, the little red ball may not have been needed at all!

DSCF4820a.jpgShare your Spectrum memoriesin the comments below!

 

Pearl Jam photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Spectrum photo by Philly.com

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Big, Beautiful Baseball

The Phillies are off tonight after sweeping the Braves in three games and winning 10 straight.  Up 6 games in the NL East, the Phillies Magic Number to clinch is down to 4 with 9 games to go.  The month of September has been amazing for this team; they are now poised to not only take the division, but earn home field advantage as well.  It won’t be long now before we see how the playoff picture will work out.

In the meantime, without any baseball to watch tonight, I was a little bored.  I started to think about the word “baseball” which somehow got me on a roll about baseball words that start with the letter “B.”  Have you ever noticed how many “B” words there are in this game?  Oh yes, I feel a list coming on….

“B” words directly related to the game:

·       
DSCF6061A.jpg
Baseball

·        Ballpark

·        Bat

·        Batter

·        Batting helmet

·        Batting cage

·        Batting gloves

·        Bat boy

·        Ball

·        Base

·        Base runner

·        Base hit

·        Box (as in, batter’s box)

·        Baseline

·        Backstop

·        Bullpen

·        Bench

·        Bleachers

·        Bunt

·        Balk

·        Breaking ball

·        Blown save

 

And here are some “B” words you will find around most parks, some specific to Philly.  And some are stretching just a bit:

 

·       
P8188349CG.jpg
Broadcast booth

·        Broadcasters

·        Bell (as in, Liberty Bell in centerfield)

·        Broad Street

·        Billboards

·        Bull’s BBQ

·        Big screen (Phantavision)

·        Banners

·        Brick wall

·        Bobbleheads

·        BEER

·        Bubble gum

·        Buttons (on the uniforms)

·        Buns…as in, hot dog buns…what were YOU thinking?? ;o)

·        Blue (umpires)

·        Bottled water

·        Birds

·        Bugs

·        Beard (THE Beard…as in Jayson Werth)

 

Ok, I have to draw the line at Werth’s Beard.  Can you think of any I missed?  Feel free to comment below.  Also feel free to let me know that I officially have no life, since I had time to think of all that ;o)

 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

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