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De Fratus’s Hobby Lobby Comments Cause Controversy on Twitter

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Wed, July 02, 2014 11:26 AM Comments: 9

Phillies relief pitcher Justin De Fratus took to Twitter to share his opinion on the ground breaking Burwell v. Hobby-Lobby ruling on Tuesday.



De Fratus continues his discourse in the exchange below and received some spirited feedback from some of his 14,500 followers.

Continue reading De Fratus’s Hobby Lobby Comments Cause Controversy on Twitter


Gameday 77: Braves at Phillies

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, June 27, 2014 06:00 PM Comments: 33

Atlanta Braves (40-38) at Philadelphia Phillies (36-42)

Atlanta Braves logo Philadelphia Phillies logo

Starting Pitchers:
ATL: Julio Teheran (6-5, 2.41 ERA)
PHI: Kyle Kendrick (3-7, 4.20 ERA)

Time:  7:05 at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 81
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight: The Braves are back in town after the Phillies swept them out of Atlanta last series. Unfortunately, Phillie-killer Julio Teheran is on the mound and Chase Utley, Ben Revere, Jimmy Rollins, Domonic Brown and Marlon Byrd are a combined 1 for 34 off Teheran this season.  Domonic Brown is out the lineup tonight, while Cameron Rupp gets the nod at backstop.

Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Byrd RF / Asche 3B / Mayberry LF / Rupp C / Kendrick P


Phillies Instagram Account Promotes Photo Day With Kid Wearing Angels Shirt, Holding Mike Trout Sign

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, June 27, 2014 04:03 PM Comments: 0

Photo Day has always been one of my favorite games to attend during the Phillies season. My grandparents would take my younger brother and I every season for most of our adolescence years.  Those experiences down on the Vet turf getting pictures with the likes of Dave Hollins and Gregg Jefferies remain some of my fondest with both my now deceased grandparents and as a Phillies fan in general. This year, will be no exception, as my father and I will be attending the game whilst taking in the atmosphere at field level like I did in my youth.

I was on Instagram today doing what everyone does there, liking pictures of cats in outfits, when I came across this photo on the official Phillies Instagram account:

Continue reading Phillies Instagram Account Promotes Photo Day With Kid Wearing Angels Shirt, Holding Mike Trout Sign


Corey and Topanga Matthews Were The Genesis of Kershaw’s No Hitter

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Thu, June 19, 2014 02:45 PM Comments: 0

Around midnight last night my phone was chiming excessively with no regard to my state of slumber. I choose to ignore the first volley of text messages as I am included in a never-ending group chat with my friends on iMessage with nonsensical topics of no importance. As they kept coming in, I thought something was wrong or someone I knew was in danger. I’d come to find out that Los Angeles Dodger Pitcher Clayon Kershaw was six outs away from throwing a no hitter and that MLB.com was streaming Vin Scully’s call of the remaining moments. While thankful there was no urgent need for concern, I settled in to watch the last six outs of Kershaw’s quest for his eventual no-hitter.

Whilst waking myself up to settle in to watch baseball history I decided to log on to Twitter.  Getting instant reactions from the Phillies Nation followers and following along with the action in real time is a highlight of my participation with PN.  But, that is where my night turned from euphoria to further intrigue. What I was about to see could not be unseen.

Continue reading Corey and Topanga Matthews Were The Genesis of Kershaw’s No Hitter


Howard, Lee, Hamels Make Fortunate 50 List

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Tue, June 17, 2014 04:05 PM Comments: 1

Fortune Magazine in collaboration with Sports Illustrated have just released the 2014 Fortunate 50. According to David Roberts description of the criteria, the list ranks U.S. citizens who play or participate in a U.S.-based league or sport. The monetary accumulations for each athlete are taken from reports of pre-tax salary, endorsement deals and bonuses. The 2014 list is topped by boxer Floyd Mayweather who earned $105,000,000 last year. He was also ranked number one on the Fortunate 50 list last year. The highest earning baseball player, Zach Greinke, ranks 15th,  earning $24,000,000 as a part of his monster deal signed in 2012.

Three Phillies made the Fortunate 50 list, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Howard is ranked 17th overall with $26,100,000 in total earnings. His 25 million dollar salary is supplemented by 1.1 million in endorsements from Subway and Scholastic publishing, where he is set to co-author a children’s book series with his wife.

Cliff Lee lands 23rd overall with total earnings of $25,270,000. Lee’s dollars include his 25 million salary and accumulated endorsement deals from AT&T, Rawlings and Holman Automotive in New Jersey.

Lastly, Cole Hamels comes in at 37 totaling $22,850,000. Hamels earns $350,000 from deals with Big League Chew, New Balance and Marucci on top of his 22.5 million dollar salary.

The Phillies are currently in last place in the National League East. They sit 5.5 games back from the Atlanta Braves, who they will face in game two of a three games series in Atlanta tonight.


Charlie Manuel Is Now On Twitter, Extending His Branding Influence

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Wed, June 04, 2014 07:30 PM Comments: 0

From this day forth, the potpourri of  opines and updates from the professional wrestling and baseball media, carrot facts and Fansince09, will now have to share the soapbox that is my Twitter news feed with former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

From his account, @CMBaseball41, Manuel wrote his first tweet promoting his website and baseball camp at charliemanuelbaseball.com on May 4th.


The feed is flush with inspirational hitting mantras and updates for future camp dates in Dundee, FL. And, it appears that the Manuel brand is still figuring out his branding hashtag, using  both #CMBaseball and #CMB, and settling on neither. Unless Manuel has indulged himself into social media marketing since being let go as manager; or, has become best friends with Darren Rovell, it’s quickly apparent that Manuel is not operating the account himself.

I’m hoping that Manuel mans the control of his Twitter account at least one time in the near future in order to answer questions from his now 785, 982, 1,573 1,774 followers as of 7:25 PM tonight.

If Twitter ever had a purpose of existing this surely would be it.



Utley Amongst Early NL All Star Ballot Leaders

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Wed, May 28, 2014 01:42 PM Comments: 11

Major League Baseball’s Public Relations department released the National League voting leaders for the 2014 All Star Game this afternoon.


Chase Utley is leading all second basemen with 509,390 votes. Utley’s ballot total thus far makes him the fourth highest overall vote getter behind Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki with 745,823, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina with 640,464 and Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon with 549,394 votes respectivly.

Unsurprisingly absent from the early ballot update release are the representation of other Phillies position players.

Through 46 games, Utley is batting .333, a career high .936 OPS, with 4 home runs and 22 RBI’s in 2014. Utley’s last All Star Game appearance was in 2010.


Philly’s Early Baseball Connection To The Emerald Isle

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Mon, March 10, 2014 10:15 AM Comments: 2

This post about famous Irish ballplayers from Philadelphia was originally published on March 17, 2011. Sláinte!

Before Tug McGraw, Connie Mack, Ed Delahanty, or even Chris Wheeler – Philadelphia has seen its fair share of Irishmen associated with Philadelphia baseball.

43 players born in Ireland have played baseball at the professional level starting when Andy Leonard debuted for the Boston Red Stockings on May 5th, 1871. Leonard stared previously with the “champion” Cincinnati Red Stockings which dominated the beginnings of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1869-70.  Philadelphia would debut its first native Irish player only fifteen days later when Fergy Malone would open the season behind the plate for the Philadelphia Athletics, in Boston no less, during an 11-8 loss. That season, Malone and the Athletics would go on to defeat the Chicago White Stockings four games to one in the National Association’s first championship game.

Here comes the tricky part about baseball in the 19th century. How could there be two Irish-born baseball champions, from the same league, when professional baseball didn’t begin until the 1871 season? Baseball in the 19th century was a spider web of non-affiliated amateur leagues whose rules weren’t uniform and can become quite confusing to the most seasoned of baseball historians.

Continue reading Philly’s Early Baseball Connection To The Emerald Isle


Black Friday 1977: How Fate Reminded Philadelphia Of Its Heritage

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, November 23, 2012 12:26 PM Comments: 15

This article was originally posted on Black Friday 2010.

Black Friday is a term that was coined here in Philadelphia during the winter of 1966. It described the congestion of vehicle and foot traffic caused by Christmas shoppers attempting to take advantage of early Christmas sales in the Center City shopping districts. For Philadelphia Phillies fans, it’s an ominous term that describes one of the most disappointing game outcomes in team history.

The Phillies were pitted against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 National League Championship Series. The best-of-five set was tied one game a piece with Steve Carlton waiting in the wings for a possible Game 4 clincher. The Phillies were benefited by their fans who destroyed Burt Hooton from the stands of Veterans Stadium with boos, catcalls and general Philadelphia-type vocal tendencies. Hooton gave up three runs, two of which were bases loaded walks educed by the hostile Vet crowd, in one and two thirds total innings. The Phillies had a 5-3 lead going to the ninth inning. But, in typical Philadelphia fashion, the Phils gave up three runs to lose the game due to a combination of poor outfield defense by Greg Luzinski (or was it bad managing by Danny Ozark?) and eventually the series in four games. The only thing worse than Luzinski’s outfield play was first base umpire Bruce Froemmings eye sight.

In the fateful ninth inning, there were two outs and with  a runner, Manny Mota, at third. Previously, Mota sent a ball deep to left field, which Luzinski goated against the wall and subsequently threw away, allowing a run to score and Mota to advance to third.  Davey Lopes now at bat, rocketed a ball at Mike Schmidt who couldn’t make the play. The ball ricocheted to Larry Bowa from Schmidt’s glove, who threw to first to make the play. Lopes was called safe even though multiple replays showed him out. Manny Mota scored to tie the ball game 5-5. After a botched pickoff attempt to first advanced Lopes to second base, Bill Russel roped a single to center to give the Dodgers a 6-5 lead.

As a child I always thought that the ‘Burt Hooton Game’ and ‘Black Friday’ were separate events in two very different games. When broached about either events, old timers couldn’t reconcile Bruce Froemmings call of ‘safe’ at first and they could never speak to the true volumes of Phillies fans jeering of Hooton on that night at Veterans Stadium. It was incomprehensible to me that a moment so glorious such as the fans interaction with Hooton could have possibly been during the same game as Danny Ozarks personnel mismanagement, shotty fielding and inability to close a team out.

Even though the Flyers won two consecutive Stanley Cup Championships in 1974 and 1975, the Phillies remained the primary focus of Philly’s sporting landscape. Prior to Game 3, Mitchell Nathanson the author of The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team’s Collapse Sank a City’s Spirit, credited the emerging Phillies of the 1970′s for being the face of the city. Being in New York’s geographical shadow since their emergence as the country’s premier city in the early 1800′s, Philadelphia was able to finally shed its inferiority complex due to its sporting success, social and urban renewal, and New York’s civic corruption and financial bankruptcy.

As the city and its fans experiences a rebirth, fate reminded Philadelphia once again of its sports heritage. Every modern generation of Philadelphian can single out an event in sports which makes them hesitant to embrace a team that shows the illusion of dominance. The events of Black Friday jaded the fans who grew up along with the 1970′s Phillies.

Their failure subsequently made the fans hesitant to truly believe in the teams that had prominent success in South Philadelphia during the years of 1976-1983. The four major sporting teams combined for 26 playoff appearances. 8 of those teams made it to the final round of their respective playoffs. Only two of those teams brought the city any championship glory – the 1980 Phillies and 1983 76ers. I happen to be a child of parents who grew up in this era. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is ingrained in me as it is in both my mother and father.

They have 1977. I have 1993 and now 2010. We both can understand the feelings of disappointment that my grandparents, their parents, felt in 1964 – even if we both weren’t alive to experience it.


Wigginton and Contreras options declined, Ruiz renewed for 2013

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Mon, October 29, 2012 02:19 PM Comments: 16

If the Philadelphia region survives the onslaught from Hurricane Sandy, Carlos Ruiz will be the Phillies starting catcher in 2013. The team declined options on Ty Wigginton and Jose Contreras, opting to buy out their contracts. A similar fate is expected for Placido Polanco. Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider were granted Free Agency.

From the Phillies:

The Phillies picked up the $5 million club option on [Ruiz's] contract for next season. The Phillies had a $500,000 buyout, but there was no way they were going to take that. Ruiz hit .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .935 OPS in 114 games this season.

The Phillies also have club options for Jose Contreras ($2.5 million or $500,000 buyout) and Ty Wigginton ($4 million or $500,000 buyout), and a $5.5 million mutual option (or a $500,000 buyout) with Placido Polanco. The Phillies are expected to take the buyouts for each of those players.

Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider also became free agents, although neither is likely to be back in Philadelphia.

Sorry for such a short, nondescript mention of these roster moves. But, I felt it necessary to inform you all of this even under more important circumstances.

Stay safe everyone.

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