Reviewing 2015

2015 Cole no hit
Hello 2016. Glad you are here.  Glad to bid 2015 goodbye.  Same for Chip Kelly. As Charlie Brown would say,” Good riddance.”

Last year’s Phillies season was one to forget, not remember.  Ditto for the Eagles, 76ers and Flyers.  All this means better days are coming for Philly sports fans.

Selecting the greatest moment of the Phillies season was rather easy, Cole Hamels’ no-hitter on July 25, his last start wearing a Phillies uniform. After giving up 16 hits to his 29 previous batters, Hamels faced 29 Cubs and no-hit them.  Rookie Odubel Herrera made two breath-taking catches to save the gem.

Ten players made their major league debuts with the Phillies, their most since 1996’s 15. Other rookies included the Galapogos Gang, Sid, Iggy, Bessie and Calvin. Didn’t know their names.  Had to look it up in mascots-reference.com, an imaginary branch of baseball-reference.com.

Six million college football bowl games are out of the way as are those new years’ resolutions that were quickly broken. Christmas bills are replacing Christmas bells. W-2s are coming. So is snow, sleet, rain and cold weather. Plus runny noses, sore throats, sniffles, watery eyes, fever.  January. Ugh!

Baseball this month includes the Hall of Fame announcement tomorrow, trades and more free agent signings.  Winter leagues have ended. Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Dominican Republic will compete in the Caribbean World Series next month.  Defending champion Cuba is not in the tournament this year.

MLB’s annual Rookie Career Development Program will be held this Thursday through Sunday in Leesburg, VA. Phillies are sending Alec Asher, Adam Morgan, Nick Williams and Jimmy Cordero.  The Phillies annual Prospect Education Program is scheduled for January 12-15. Ten young prospects will be brought to Citizens Bank Park for the program.

Once the NFL Stuper Bowl is history early next month, baseball will soon return to Florida and Arizona fields, a sure sign that spring will soon be here. For the Phillies, their 70th spring training in Clearwater, FL.

Strange But True Feats
As yearly as a Santa Claus visit, ESPN.com’s Jason Stark pens a yearly end of the year story about strange feats in this wacky game of baseball.  He produced two such stories last month, the regular season and postseason for 2015.  Jason and his research staff do an amazing job.  If you haven’t read the stories, put them on your immediate bucket list.

Among the regular season strange but true feats:
“OF Jeff Francoeur, pitching three scoreless relief innings, actually threw 48 pitches — which was 22 more than his team’s starting pitcher (Jerome Williams) threw that night.”

Franco Nod
Breakout hitters for 2016 is an ESPN.com feature written by Christina Kahril.  Ranking fifth out of her 10 is Maikel Franco:

“Speaking of interrupted introductions, Franco gave the Phillies a half-season taste of what they’ll be getting from the hot corner for years to come, slugging .497 in 80 games after getting his own service time-minded call-up in late May, and then losing a month to a wrist injury, but he’s already showing that he’s fine during winter ball in the Dominican. Healthy, Franco will rip 60 extra-base hits and give Phillies fans something to cheer about beyond getting to see Aaron Nola pitch every five days or so.”

Sneak Preview
The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits is the title of my new book which will be available in book stores and on-line on April 1, no-foolin’. Larry Andersen wrote a hilarious foreword. Publisher again is Triumph Books (triumphbooks.com).

Basically, the Phillies had five ballparks they called home.  Chapter seven deals with historic facts for Recreation Park, Baker Bowl, Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park.  Chapter also includes an interesting New York Times story about opening day at Baker Bowl, April 30, 1887.  Women entered the ballpark at a separate entrance, weren’t charged admission and sat in a certain section.

 

 

12 Comments

Any idea why they have not resigned Francoeur?

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