Saturday, March 14, 2009

Temple University Sports Update

I think now is a good time to give everyone an update on the Temple University sports scene for the week of March 9th through the 15th, and my first college sports article for BR. First off congrats to the Temple Men's Basketball team. They have clinched a spot in the 2009 NCAA Tournament with a win over the Duquesne Dukes in the A-10 Championship Final.

Temple (22-11, 11-5 A-10) has won there second A-10 title in as many years.The Owls have won back to back A-10 title, ending Duquesne's first NCAA tournament bid since 1977.

Other Temple Basketball facts: Temple is 5-0 against Duquesne in A-10 Tournament action.

In Dionte Christmas news: Dionte Christmas led Temple with 29 points, becoming the fourth Owl in history to score 2,000 career points, just one day after becoming the first Temple player to score 600 points in three straight seasons.

Prior to the Men's A-10 Tournament, Temple had finished fourth in the A-10.

Other Temple University Basketball news: the Women's Basketball team lost to Charlotte in the Women's A-10 Tournament Semifinals.

It is that time of year, the smell of fresh cut grass, the fresh and new aluminum bats, and the the sound of the sizzle of a 95-MPH fastball: it's college baseball time. The boys of summer (and the books) return to the field. Temple's Baseball has got off to a rather slow start.

Temple is in a bit of a slump. This past week, Temple lost to Rutgers: 11-8 in 12, Manhattan: 9-2, and Niagara: 5-3. Their current record is 2-9. They look to rebound this week.

Temple Softball: Temple softball is also in a bit of a slump. They look to rebound this week. Their current record is 2-8.

And that's it for the Temple University sports update.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ten Phillies You Never Knew About: Part Four

Number One: There's a catch, I could not decide on a clear cut number one "unknown" Philadelphia Phillie. So I will leave it up to you, the readers. Which one should be number one? I'll provide you the stats for each ballplayer listed below, en which you can make your decision.

Del Ennis, Outfielder, 1946-1956

About Del Ennis: A natural outfielder from birth. Played the majority of his career in Philadelphia as a Phillie or back in those days, as a Philadelphia "Blue Jay". Born in Philadelphia in 1925, started his career in Philadelphia in 1946. At one point held the Phillies all-time Home Run record with 288 Home Runs, which was later surpassed by the great, Michael Jack Schmidt.

Career numbers with Philadelphia: 1603 Games, 6327 AB, 1809 Hits, .286 BA, 259 HR, 1160 RBI, Three time All-Star.

Career (Overall: 14 seasons): 1903 Games, 7254 AB, 2063 Hits, .284 BA, 288 HR, 1284 RBI,

Billy Hamilton, Outfielder, 1890-1895

About Billy Hamilton: William Robert Hamilton known as "Sliding Billy", invented the modern day stolen base. Played during the "Dead Ball Era" of baseball. Born in 1886, in Newark, New Jersey. Hamilton started his career as an amateur with the Kansas City Cowboys of the now defunct American Association.

Career numbers with Philadelphia (6 seasons): 729 Games, 2993 AB, 1079 Hits, .361 BA, 23 HR, 367 RBI, 508 SB

Career (Overall: 14 seasons): 1591 Games, 6268 AB, 2158 Hits, .344 BA, 40 HR, 736 RBI, 902 SB. Hit over .400 once (.404 in 1894), Hall of Famer (1961)

Ed Delahanty, Second Baseman, 1888-1889, 1891-1901

About Ed Delahanty: Edward James Delahanty known as "Big Ed" started his career with the Phillies in 1888. Played during the "Dead Ball Era" of baseball. Born in 1867, one year after the United States Civil War (or in the South, "The War of Northern Aggression) had ended. Had four other brothers, all of which played baseball.

Career with Philadelphia (13 seasons): 1555 Games, 6359 AB, 2213 Hits, .348 BA, 87 HR, 1286 RBI, 411 SB. Hit over .400 three times with the Phillies (.407 in 1894, .404 in 1895, .410 in 1899). Hit over .370 six times.

Career (Overall 16 seasons): 1835 Games, 7505 AB, 2596 Hits, .346 BA, 101 HR, 1464 RBI, 455 SB. Hall of Famer (1945).

And there you have it. You are now richer in the knowledge of the Philadelphia Phillies history of baseball and their ballplayers.

Of course what do I know? I am just a knuckle headed 19 year old kid.

Thanks for reading.

10 Phillies You Never Knew About: Part Three

Number Three: Lonnie Smith, Outfielder, 1978-1981

I did know a lot about him until now. According to my Pops, he was an "adventure" in the outfield. What mistakes he made in the outfield could be made up by his speed. Could of been more useful if the Phillies allowed him to run.

In four seasons with the Phillies, Smith hit .321 with 163 Hits, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 60 SB

Career Stats: 1613 Games, 5170 AB, 1488 Hits, 98 HR, 533 RBI, 370 SB, 140 CS (73 SB%), .288 BA

Number Two: Dick Stuart, First Baseman/Left Fielder/ Corner Infielder, 1965

Who? Personally, I have never heard of Dick Stuart until now, when I ran out of Phillies to use. Who exactly is Dick Stuart? Known as "Stu" or "Dr. Strangeglove", he was vilified by the Philadelphia sports press for committing 17 errors.

Hitting numbers with the Phillies: 149 Games, 538 AB, 126 Hits, 28 HR, 95 RBI, .234 BA

Fielding numbers with Phillies:143 Games, 1119 PO, 98 A, 17 E, 100 DP, .986 FPCT

Started or part of 100 double plays? And your vilifying him for 17 errors? Those people in the Philadelphia sports press, must have overlooked his 1119 Put Outs and 98 Assists. So according to the Philadelphia sports press, they were mad because of the strikeouts and errors.

Honorable Mentions

Jimmie Foxx, First Baseman/ Pitcher, 1945

Pancho Herrera, First Baseman, 1958-1961 (1958, 1960, 1961)

Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones, Third Baseman, 1947-1959

"Choo Choo" Coleman, Catcher, 1961

The next group of players to don a Phillies uniform are hall of famers (Bender all the way down to Alexander that also includes Foxx and Bender above)

Chief Bender, Pitcher, 1916-1917

Joe Morgan, Second Baseman, 1983

Ferguson Jenkins, Pitcher, 1965, 1966 (non- consecutive years)

Kid Nichols, Pitcher, 1905, 1906 (non- consecutive years)

Nap Lajoie, Outfielder/ Infielder, 1896-1900

Eppa Rixey, Pitcher, 1912-1920

Sparky Anderson, Second Baseman/ Manager, 1959

Dave Bancroft, Short Stop/ Second Baseman, 1915-1919

Casey Stengel, Outfielder, 1920-1921

Hack Wilson, Outfielder, 1934

Chuck Klein, Outfielder, 1928-1933, 1940-1944

Tim Keefe, Pitcher, 1891-1893

Sam Thompson, Outfielder, 1889-1898

Elmer Flick, Outfielder, 1898-1901

Tommy McCarthy, Outfielder, 1886-1887

Tony Perez, Corner Infielder (First Baseman and Third Baseman), 1983

Dan Brouthers, First Baseman, 1896

Hughie Jennings, Infielder, 1901-1902

Llyod Waner, Outfielder, 1943

Hugh Duffy, Outfielder, 1904-1905

Roger Connor, First Baseman/ Outfielder, 1892

Grover Cleveland "Ole Pete" Alexander, Pitcher, 1911-1917, 1930

Granny Hamner and Garvin Hamner, 1944-1959 (Granny); 1945 (Garvin)

10 Phillies You Never Knew About: Part Two

With number eight that brings to our next segment: the brothers of Hall off Fame ballplayers, in which after giving a brief description of their time with the Phillies, I will then compare them to their brother(s) or other family members.

The Brothers/Family Segment

Number seven: Frank Torre, First Baseman, 1962-1963

Yes the Phillies have always had the wrong brother, Torre, Dimaggio, Giambi, Leiter for some odd reason. Number seven brings us to: Frank Torre. Played two seasons with the Phillies. In those two seasons, Torre hit .286 with 1 HR and 30 RBI.

His brother is none other than former Major League catcher, New York Yankee manager and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Joe Torre.

The argument could be made that Phillies had the wrong brother, in this case I do not know the answer.

Comparing the two Torre's career numbers:

Played two seasons with the Phillies. In those two seasons, Torre hit .286 with 1 HR and 30 RBI.

His brother is none other than former Major League catcher, New York Yankee manager and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Joe Torre.

The argument could be made that Phillies had the wrong brother, in this case I do not know the answer.

Comparing the two Torre's career numbers:

Joe Torre (18 Seasons) 3B, 1B, C

2209 Games, 7874 AB, 2342 Hits, 252 HR, 1185 RBI, 779 BB, 1094 SO, .297 BA

Frank Torre (7 Seasons) 1B

714 Games, 1482 AB, 404 Hits, 13 HR, 179 RBI, 155 BB, 64 SO, .273 BA

If you look at the numbers, yes Joe Torre was the better brother. But Joe, struck-out a lot. But Frank only played 7 seasons. (No 1961 season for Frank was given at any place I looked at)

Number six: Vince Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1945-1946

As always in pure Philadelphia Phillies fashion, we brought in the wrong brother. This time it was brother to the Legendary Yankee Clipper, Joltin' Joe Dimaggio; Vince Dimaggio. What? You thought I was going to say Joe or Dom?

Vince was the eldest of the three Dimaggio's of baseball. Vince in two seasons with the Phillies hit .258 with 19 HR and 85 RBI. All of the Dimaggio family were blessed with a thunderous bat.

Comparing the three Dimaggio's of baseball:

Joe Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1936-1951

In 13 seasons: 1736 Games, 6821 AB, 2214 Hits, .325 BA, 361 HR, 1537 RBI,

Vince Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1937-1946

In 10 Seasons: 1110 Games, 3849 AB, 959 Hits, .249 BA, 125 HR, 584 RBI

Dom Dimaggio, Outfielder, 1940-1953

In 11 seasons: 1399 Games, 5640 AB, 1680 Hits, .298 BA, 87 HR, 618 RBI

In my own opinion, I'd take all three Dimaggio's. Joltin' Joe in Center, Vince in Right, and Dom in Left.

Number five: Jeremy Giambi

Steroids or no steroids, number five brings us Jeremy Giambi, brother of current Oakland Athletics Designated Hitter: Jason Giambi.

In one season, actually half a season Giambi hit .244 with 12 HR and 28.

His stats don't even compare to his brother, Jason... so it's not even worth an effort on my part to compare the stats, but! I will anyway, because I'm that kind of guy.

Jeremy Giambi, First Baseman/ Designated Hitter, 1995-present

In 14 Seasons: 1850 Games, 6332 AB, 1812 Hits, 396 HR, 1279 RBI, .286 BA

Jason Giambi, Outfielder/ First Baseman, 1998-2005

In 6 seasons: 510 Games, 1417 AB, 372 Hits, 52 HR, 209 RBI, .263 BA

Number four: Mark Leiter, Pitcher, 1997-1998

In two seasons with Philadelphia, Mark went 17-22 with 23 Saves in 271.4 Innings Pitched and a ERA of 4.61. In those two seasons, Mark had an ERA+ of 99 and a WHIP of 1.401 (1.4095 rounded up).

Comparing the two Leiters Career stats:

Al Leiter, Pitcher, 1987-2006

In 19 Seasons: .551 WPCT, 162-132, 2391.0 IP, 1974 SO, 1163 BB, 3.80 ERA, 4.27 lgERA, 112 ERA+, 1.386 WHIP

Mark Leiter, Pitcher, 1990-2001

In 11 seasons: .471 WPCT, 65-73, 1184.1 IP, 892 SO, 424 BB, 4.57 ERA, 4.22 lgERA, 92 ERA+, 1.375 WHIP

(lgERA and ERA+ are adjusted values)

So who is the better pitcher? I'd take Al over Mark any day. Al won a World Series, no wait! TWO World Series rings! One in 1993 and one in 1997.

And that concludes our family segment.

10 (or more) Philadelphia Phillies You Never Knew About: Part One

Since the dawn of the Philadelphia sports in 1883 with the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia has been blessed with great and hall of fame athletes. Many of those athletes who have played for the Phillies, are not known about. Here are ten Phillies you may not of known about.

From the comically bad to the legendary in their own time, these ten should bring to light more about the Phillies past players. So, after hours of tireless research and question asking... without further posturing, here are ten Philadelphia Phillies that you never knew about.

Number Ten: Bob Uecker, Catcher, 1966-1967

That's right the comedic genius of the color commentator from The Major League movies was a Phillie. Was he any good? Uecker makes Mario Mendoza look like a hall of fame caliber hitter. The only thing more funnier than his acting was his hitting.

Career with Philadelphia stats: 96 Games, 242 AB, 49 Hits, 37 RBI, .202 BA

But not all was bad with Uecker. He was a solid defensive player behind the plate. Here's a quote of comedic value by Uecker on catching a knuckleball: "I always thought the knuckleball was the easiest pitch to catch. Wait'll it stops rolling, then go to the backstop and pick it up."

Career fielding with Philadelphia: 73 Games, 481 Total Chances (TC), 435 Put Outs (PO), 8 Errors (E), .972 FPCT

Number Nine: Julio Franco, Short Stop/ Second Baseman/ Infielder, 1982

One of the "5 for 1" players traded for Von Hayes. It was said that Julio Franco had problems turning the double play. But if you look at Franco's career fielding numbers at turning the double play, you will see that he had no problem turning it.

Comparing Von Hayes to Julio Franco

Julio Franco career offensive numbers (23 seasons): 2527 Games, 8677 AB, 2586 Hits, 1194 RBI, 173 Home Runs, 281 SB, .298 BA

Von Hayes career offensive numbers (12 seasons):1495 Games, 5249 AB, 1402 Hits, 143 Home Runs, 696 RBI, 253 SB, .267 BA

You tell me who got the better of that "five for one" deal.

Number Eight: Tito Francona, Outfielder, 1967

Yes, the father of current Red Sox and former Phillies manager, Terry Francona. He did not play many games with the Phillies. Francona was later released by the Phillies in 1967 and his contract was purchased by the Atlanta Braves.

Career with Philadelphia: 27 Games, 73 AB, 15 Hits, 3 RBI, .205 BA

Career (total): 1719 Games, 5121 AB, 1395 Hits, 125 Home Runs, 656 RBI, .272 BA