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What’s the world like without a David Letterman show? What’s it like when the most dependable and consistent comedian heads off into retirement? How much do we lose? OK, this is probably the wrong question to ask a devout non-TV watcher. Sitcoms, dramas, reality TV … sorry, it’s too tough to sit still. Besides, The Wire, Taxi, Barney Miller, Johnny Carson and Cheers are off the air. What’s the point? That’s especially the case now that Letterman is finished. Frankly, it was a perfect show. It had it all, complete with solid interviews, sketch comedy, jokes and jokes and jokes,... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2015 at John Finger dot com
Yes, it's me. As you can tell there have been few updates on this site. However, this will change. Over the next few months the plan is to re-design and overhaul the site and get it back functioning like the old days. In the meantime, visit my Tumblr page for various updates. It's cleverly titled, Thanks. See you soon. Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at John Finger dot com
Comcast SportsNet announced the replacements for Gary Matthews and Chris Wheeler on Tuesday afternoon, and as everyone has heard by now, they are a very well known duo. Jamie Moyer, from Souderton, Pa. and Saint Joseph's University, and folk hero Matt Stairs will take over in the analyst roles for the Phillies broadcast team this season. The pair will join Tom McCarthy and Gregg Murphy on the TV side of things. Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke will continue to call... Continue reading
NEW YORK — Wouldn't you know it ... Anton Krupicka was in New York City today for a screening of In the High Country, a movie I caught at the premier in Boulder, Colo. last July. After the movie I had a chance to talk with Anton and told him about how tough runners don't just scale 14,000-feet of rock. Sometimes the tough guys run in the heat and humidity of Central Park. As it turned out, it was humid in Central Park this afternoon. It was about 92 percent, according to the weather stats, and it would have been... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at John Finger dot com
This was written in November of 2010 after Roy Halladay won the Cy Young Award in his first season with the Phillies. It's always fun to look back and remember the good times when Halladay was the best pitcher in baseball and we got to watch him every five days. Roy Halladay has been away playing golf in Mexico before he reports to Clearwater to begin his Spring Training on Dec. 1, so there’s a pretty good chance he hasn’t... Continue reading
When you decide to run a marathon on low mileage and no long runs, it's difficult to gauge how fast you'll go. The only way to know is to go out there and run it. So that's what I did on Nov. 30 in Sparks, Md. at the Northern Central Trail Marathon. The result was 26 miles in 3:21:13, (almost an hour slower than my best time) which was a good indicator of my fitness. Here is what it looked like: The splits for the race were strangely consistent, despite not training the way I would have liked. I got... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2013 at John Finger dot com
... was to keep this updated frequently. Sometimes, though, life (and work) gets in the way. Such a pain. When is that Powerball gonna pay off? Anyway, if Anton Krupicka and those guys can be the masters of mountain running, I figure I can be the urban runner. You know, the dude who explores cities and tears through neighborhoods most people wouldn't go by car? For the past 16 (or so) months, I've been dashing around cities all over the country in search of interesting running routes. I even documented and recorded some of them and will begin posting stuff... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2013 at John Finger dot com
MIAMI – In an age of advanced metrics and heightened statistical analysis, the triple-double still stands alone. Often it is the pinnacle of all basketball accomplishments. To get double-digits in points, assists and rebounds, or even blocks or steals, is the mark that a ballplayer had a really good game. Actually, a triple-double is a true indicator of the all-around player. Typically, players don’t get them by accident. In other words, all of a sudden a player isn’t going to “get hot” and mess around to get a triple-double. If it could be labeled as such, the triple-double is the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2013 at John Finger dot com
The end of the World Series and another baseball season means just one thing for the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. ... It's time to get to work. Players can begin to file for free agency as early as today and the song and dance between agents and execs will begin in earnest. The Phillies are getting ready for it, having just completed a week of organizational meetings in Clearwater, Fla. to iron out a plan. The hiring... Continue reading
It kind of feels like it was just yesterday. But five years sure does go by quickly ... Your browser does not support iframes. Continue reading
While the World Series between the Cardinals and Red Sox reaches its apex, the Phillies have had a few of their prospects and up-and-comers in action since the season ended. Here's a quick look at how some of the Phillies are doing in Fall and Winter ball action ... Arizona Fall League Seven Phillies prospects are playing for the Peoria Javelinas along with prospects from Seattle, San Diego and Houston. However, at 5-11, Peoria has the worst record in the... Continue reading
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Anyone have a guess on the players with the 10 best slugging percentages with at least eight games in World Series history? Take a look: Chase Utley .795 Reggie Jackson .755 Hideki Matsui .750 Babe Ruth .744 Lou Gehrig .731 Bobby Brown .707 Carlos Ruiz .706 Lenny Dykstra .700 Johnny Blanchard .690 Jayson Werth .676 Not surprisingly, there are a lot of Yankees on that list. In fact, six of the 10 came from the Yankees. But the other four... Continue reading
With the news that Jim Leyland has called it quits as the manager of the Detroit Tigers, it’s fun to reminisce about what might have been had the Phillies gone the way we all expected in the Fall of 2004. The last time the Phillies had a bona fide managerial search, the job came down to two choices. Either Leyland was going to get the gig as Phils’ manager or it was going to be Charlie Manuel. Sure, there were... Continue reading
Here's what the Phillies have so far ... Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will return to anchor the starting rotation. That's a pretty good starting point and still up there along with the great starting pitching tandems in the major leagues. In 2013, Lee and Hamels were the only tandem in the majors to pile up 220 innings and were one of four pairs to pile up 200-plus innings. Based on the Baseball-Reference WAR numbers, only the Dodgers (Kershaw and... Continue reading
Who could ever forget that game at CitiField in July of 2011 when he hit that three-run home run off Mike Pelfrey to lead the Phillies to a victory over the Mets? Or what about that time the next week in 2011 when he pounded one off Chad Qualls to tie a game up against the Padres? Of course there were all those countless times he was strategically brought in to pinch run and then remained in the game to... Continue reading
The Phillies announced this afternoon that both first/third-base coach Juan Samuel and assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner would be returning to the team in 2014. Samuel returns for a fourth year with the Phillies and has been a coach and manager with the Orioles and Tigers since 1999. He also managed Binghmaton in the Mets' system in 2006. A Wall-of-Fame inductee, Samuel played second base for the Phillies from 1983 to 1989. From 1989 to 1998, he played for the... Continue reading
Five years ago today, the Phillies beat the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1993. It was a momentus day as evidenced by the photo I snapped on the field after the game. Few people remember that Geoff Jenkins (pictured with Ryan Howard) was late to the ballpark that day because his wife was giving birth to a son in a hospital near Dodger Stadium in Pasadena. It's... Continue reading
It seems like it was just yesterday when we were sitting at Dodger Stadium watching Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS from the auxillary press box. When Carlos Ruiz singled with two outs in the eighth to bring Matt Stairs to the plate to face Jonathan Broxton, we had a hunch what was coming. The matchup was too perfect: Your browser does not support iframes. To this day, that home run is the most memorable moment of that 2008 title... Continue reading
... in 1980, the Phillies clinched the 1980 NLCS at the Astrodome in one of the greatest playoff series ever played. The Phillies won it in the 10th on a double from Garry Maddox, but it was the crazy eighth inning where the Phillies overcame a three-run deficit against Nolan Ryan to set the stage for Maddox in the 10th. As the story goes, Pete Rose said to Larry Bowa just as he was getting ready to head to the... Continue reading
Baseball’s final four is set and if the championship series games play out anything like the divisional serieses did, then we’re in for a treat. Plus, with four classic franchises fighting for a spot in the World Series, TV ratings may get a bump. Interestingly, the championship series features four teams that are on the way up (again) as the Phillies turn the page as the proverbial window of opportunity has closed. Now that the most successful era of Phillies’... Continue reading
Unless something peculiar occurs, Carlos Ruiz likely will return to the Phillies in 2014. This isn't to say it's a done deal. The Phillies very well could go in a different direction. But I doubt it. The biggest name on the free-agent list this winter is Brian McCann, who may been a bit too pricey for the Phillies. Plus, McCann is left-handed and has only caught 206 games in the past two seasons. For comparisons sake, Ruiz caught 192 games... Continue reading
When Erik Kratz homered in the fourth inning of the season finale against the Braves, it was the Phillies' first home run in 11 games and the first by a right-handed hitter in 12 games. If that doesn't exemplfy the Phillies' lack of power in 2013 ... Obviously, Ryan Howard's injury hurt the Phillies' run production a lot. Just having Howard in the lineup lent a much-needed jolt into the offense. In the 80 games Howard played with the team... Continue reading
That Roy Halladay made his postseason debut. Your browser does not support iframes. Continue reading
The Phillies announced on Saturday that they would not renew the contract of longtime coach, Mick Billmeyer. In the ultimate scheme of things, it's not a major move. Billmeyer was most recently the catching coach and before that was the bullpen coach. Usually, those are not the positions that make or break the team. He also was the guy who spotted pitcher or baserunner tendencies and suggested pick-offs or hit-and-run plays. More often than not, he was correct. Last season... Continue reading