It was going to happen sooner or later, but today it finally happened. The Miami Marlins' home run doo-dad was used to celebrate a home run, and it goes on forever with spinning dolphins, spouts of water blasts and more. Observe...
With the Phillies down 3-0 early in the game, Jimmy Rollins decided to think outside the box for an out. Enter Josh Thole, catcher for the New York Mets.
Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey was looking for a sacrifice bunt to move Thole up to second. The bunt was laid down fine enough to move Thole to second, but on his way to the base the Phillies shortstop put his hand out, looking as if to say the ball was foul. Hey, maybe Jimmy DID think the ball was foul, but video shows that Rollins motioned to Cliff Lee to throw the ball because Thole was on his way back to first without calling a timeout. Remember, Thole seemed to be under the impression the play was dead due to a foul ball.
Rollins received the lob pass from Lee, and then fired to first, where rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis made the tag on Thole for the third and final out.
Here is a walk-through of the play as it developed, using grainy screenshots from the replay on MLB.com....
It starts with R.A. Dickey grounding out with a bunt attempt. Here Jim Thome is applying the tag along the first base line. In the first image you can see Jimmy Rollins with his right arm slightly elevated. The angle provided by Deadspin shows Rollins looking as though he was holding up his arm for Thole. In the second image, Thole is seen slowing down his momentum as Thome makes the tag.
Now Thome glances at second, to make sure everything is good, and then he will toss the baseball to Lee.no comments
New Phillies closer, hours before picking up his first career save in Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Phillies (and fifth career save in CBP), Jonathan Papelbon was a guest on MLB Network's Intentional Talk, with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar. As expected, it was Papelbon being Papelbon during the interview segment, so it was an enjoyable segment.
Papelbon talked about his closing music, life with a new contract, the possibility of swinging a bat at the plate (he's going to swing "ass to ass"), which ballpark is tougher to pitch in (Fenway or CBP)
"Charlie came up to me after the game and said welcome to the club," Papelbon said of his first home game in Philly, when he gave up a home run to the flower bed.
Oh, and special guest appearances by Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Papelbon also rips on Chris Rose's shoes. Here is the full video, courtesy of MLB.com.
The Washington Nationals picked up a walk-off win off a wild pitch in the tenth inning Thursday afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds. It was a win that was nearly blown by former Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who coughed up a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning, sending the game to extra innings when the Nationals failed to score a run with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the inning.
Washington now sits at 5-2, on top of the rest of the NL East heading in to the second weekend of the season. The solid start may be a sign that this team has a new attitude in the clubhouse. In fact, they have Natitude.
The Nationals have had a few slogans and rally calls since moving from Montreal. This year it is simply centered around the play on words, Natitude.
Dan Steinberg, of the must-read DC Sports Bog, took some time to ask fans and players about Natitude, and let's just say Ian Desmond seems less than enthusiastic about the slogan.
“I mean, good effort,” [Desmond] said. “If it sticks, it’s good. I’m sure there’ll be 10 more [slogans] by the time my career’s down here. It was Get Your Red On when I first got here, and Natitude now. So we’ll see.”
But as Steinberg usually does, he posts pictures of Washington D.C. fans and their unique way of supporting the team. Here is the favorite from opening day...
Photo: DC Sports Bog
The Phillies fans gave long time outfielder and general fan favorite Pat Burrell a fitting sendoff in 2008, cheering the Phillies' 1998 first overall draft pick as he led the parade down Broad Street. He was received graciously when the team reunited for a pregame ceremony to receive their World Series championship rings as Burrell stuck with the game with the Tampa Bay Rays. When Burrell returned with the San Francisco Giants, well, Burrell was not quite as well received.
But today it was announced that Burrell will be given one final moment to be honored by the franchise and their fans that followed his career from start to finish. Burrell will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Phillies and retire, officially, as a member of the team.
Here is the official statement from the Phillies (via The 700 Level):
The 35-year-old will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Phillies, thus officially retiring as a member of the organization that selected him as the very first player in the 1998 draft. He’ll be honored during pregame on Saturday, May 19, by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
Other players to return to the team to retire as a Phillie include Doug Glanville and Mike Lieberthal. According to Paul Hagen of MLB.com, Burrell seemed almost reluctant to go through the same process with the Phillies.
'Hesitant' isn't the right word -- I just don't like to make a big deal about things," Burell explained. "But the more I thought about it, it's the right thing to do. I was with that organization for so long. I have such good memories. You realize it's an honor and I'm very appreciative of the fact they wanted to do this for me. I'm looking forward to it. I really am."
We have good memories of Burrell as well, and we're not just talking about his ride with the Budweiser clydsedales on Halloween in 2008.
He is placed in an unenviable position, filling in for a player deemed one of the top second basemen in the league and a perennial all-star when healthy. Sure, expectations are low, or at least reserved for a minor league prospect under this type of situation. Hold down the fort in the field and the team will make do with whatever happens at the plate. Hey, if he can get on base form time to time it will be a nice little bonus.
|Freddy Galvis won the fans over with a clutch double
off Marlins ace Josh Johnson.
Photo: Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images
Freddy Galvis started the season for the five-time defending NL East champions at second base, rather than with one of the Philadelphia Phillies' farm clubs as he would typically be projected to do. With Chase Utley battling through a knee concern, Michael Martinez unavailable and the team moving Wilson Valdez in the off-season, the Phillies called on Galvis to fill one of the two massive holes on the right side of the infield. Nobody expected Galvis to instantly become Utley, Placido Polanco or Ryne Sandberg, but nobody wanted to see him be Abraham Núñez. For the first three games, Galvis made contact with the ball but always seemed to find a fielder ready to send him back to the dugout.
On Monday, in the Phillies home opener, Galvis was off to another rough start at the plate. A strikeout (looking) and a fly ball to center put Galvis at 0-for-12 in the season, and with the Phillies down 5-0 and two men on in the seventh inning some were surprised manager Charlie Manuel opted to stick with the kid late in the game. Was Manuel just trying to give Galvis some confidence, or was he out of options at second base? Whatever the reason, Galvis came through with his first career Major League Baseball hit, a two-run double in to the gap in left center field.
Last night, with Roy Halladay battling Miami Marlins starter Josh Johnson in one of the top early-season pitching match-ups, the Phillies offense was once again slow out of the gates. Heading to the bottom of the third inning the Phillies were down 1-0 and not really pressuring Johnson on the mound. But that all changed in the third inning when the Phillies put two men on base with just one out. Juan Pierre singled, and Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence all reached second base in the following at-bats, putting the home team in front 2-1. Shane Victorino continued the hit parade with a single, and he stole second base to put two men in scoring position for John Mayberry Jr. Mayberry popped out for the second out of the inning, and after a brief discussion the Marlins decided to intentionally walk catcher Carlos Ruiz to load the bases for Galvis.
Knowing what the Marlins had in mind, the fans around Citizens Bank Park started up chants of "FREDDY! FREDDY! FREDDY!" The vocal support for Galvis was something magical, and of course inspiring. Did the fans will Galvis to hit a double to right field? Was it a coincidence? Does anybody care? No matter what happened in that at bat the message was clear. The 45,000+ that were gathered in the blustery cold stadium in mid-April wanted this 22-year old from Venezuela to know that they were behind him despite his struggles at the plate.
|Ozzie Guillen's spark was not quite
what the Marlins envisioned. Was it?
Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen managed the team to a 6-2 victory in Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon, promising to fly home to address his recent statements about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro as soon as possible. It turns out Guillen will not be returning to Philadelphia until June 1, the next time the Marlins are in town.
The Marlins announced just prior to a news conference in Miami that the club had suspended their new manager, just a week in to his first regular season on the job, for five games. The suspension is effective immediately.
“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” the team said in a statement (via Palm Beach Post). “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.’’
Yesterday Guillen acknowledged that he wanted to address the Cuban community that is populous in Miami.
"I want the people there," Guillen told news reporters before Monday's game (via USA Today). "I feel very guilty, sad and embarrassed. Anyone who wants to be there, feel free. I want the Cuban people to understand what I'm going to say, because everything I'm going to say is true."
The Phillies and Marlins resume their three-game series Wednesday night after a day off. Roy Halladay will take the mound for the Phillies, a week after opening the season with a 1-0 victory in Pittsburgh. Josh Johnson is the scheduled starter for the Marlins.
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After attending one of the Phillies On-Deck Series games last week I was quickly reminded of some of my pet peeves when it comes to attending a baseball game.
|Next time you go to a game, please keep these
suggestions in mind.
Photo: Kevin McGuire/Instagramsby.me
Following is a list of guidelines that should be enforced in order to enhance the game-experience for all. Feel free to suggest your own as well.
1. Never leave or return to your seat in the middle of an at-bat.
Have you ever sat in a movie theater and had to let somebody sitting in the middle of the row out to use the bathroom an hour in to the movie? It's annoying, is it not? There is a time for leaving and returning to your seat, and it is not during the featured attraction. The same applies to baseball. Of course, baseball gives you plenty of opportunities to leave and return to your seat. In fact, a typical baseball game will give you at least 16 appropriate times to move to and from your seat for the bathroom, a hot dog or beverage.
A fan should never, ever decide to leave their seat in the middle of the action. If you decide you want to grab some food, you may wait until the end of the half inning, or for a pitching change, to do so. Be courteous to those around you because just because you want to interrupt your game experience, does not mean those sitting around you should have to sacrifice missing a pitch because you need to step by them.
Preseason NL East favorites look to get on track
First pitch: 1:05 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network
Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP
Pitching Probables: Cole Hamels (Season debut) vs. Anibal Sanchez (Season debut)
The Philadelphia Phillies and new-look Miami Marlins are supposed to be the strongest contenders in the National League East in 2012, but each got off to a slow start in the opening week of the regular season.
Cole Hamels, entering a contract year, will step on the mound at Citizens Bank Park for the 90th time in his career. Fans will be expected to offer a strong show of support, in hopes of helping to play a part in convincing Hamels to stay in Philadelphia for the next few years rather than accept an enticing offer from another club. Hamels will also try to even his career record against the Marlins, entering the Phillies home opener with a career 6-7 record with 3.44 ERA against the Fish. The Phillies altered their preferred starting rotation in order to ensure Hamels would make his debut at home by moving Vance Worley in to the third spot behind Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Whether it was a move to allow one of the team's top pitchers have the honor of pitching the home opener or a ploy to use in contract negotiations in some fashion remains to be seen, but having Hamels open Citizens Bank Park for the regular season just seems right.
“I think it’s always an honor to be in a position to do leading off the season, especially if it’s at home,” Hamels said when he learned he would get this start. “I’ve always wanted to.”
Hamels will be looking to set a different tone for the team, after dropping two of three games on the road in Pittsburgh to open the season. The Phillies were the victims of two walk-off decisions across the state, showing that the Phillies have concerns with relief pitching and offensive woes that many expected to see while Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are out of commission.
While the Phillies were off to a sluggish start in Pittsburgh, the re-branded Miami Marlins were struggling in Cincinnati after a prime time home opener in Miami ended in a defeat to st. Louis. The Marlins made a number of changes in the off-seaosn with their roster, in hopes to build a winning team that will fill the brand new Marlins Park. In addition to bringing in new names like manager Ozzie Guillen, pitchers Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano and shortstop Jose Reyes, the Marlins also welcomed back ace pitcher Josh Johnson, who will pitch in this series in Philadelphia later this week. But on Monday it will be Anibal Sanchez, who has a lowly 3-8 career record and 5.09 ERA in 16 starts against the Phillies. Sanchez has a career 20-24 record with a 4.11 ERA on the road, including a 1-6 mark in Citizens Bank Park (6.58 ERA).
One of the biggest moves the Marlins made in the off season was sign shortstop Jose Reyes, the former Mets shortstop. Reyes is no stranger to the Phillies, of course. He owns a career .333 batting average against Hamels. He also has a .414 batting average against Roy Halladay, who will pitch later in the series. If Reyes gets on base, he can cause some problems, as always. Another player to watch out for is Emilio Bonifacio, who leads the team early on in batting average (.333) and stolen bases (3). Omar Infante has the team's only home run so far.