The National League added the designated batter, so there was room for another big bat on the Phillies roster. The problem was, there wasn’t much room in the ledger unless the property was willing to cross the competitive balance tax threshold for the first time in club history.
John Middleton was willing. The Phillies signed Nick Castellanos and pushed the team above the $230 million tax threshold, and the rest is history — even if things didn’t always go to plan, as the Phillies secured the last wildcard spot (another new feature this season) en route to the World Series.
“If you’re in this business to make money, you’re in the wrong business,” said Middleton, who stood on the wet grass in front of the infield Sunday night as the Phillies celebrated winning their first pennant in 13 years. “There is only one reason to be in this business, and that is to win.”
— Maria McIlwain, Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport, [email protected]
Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies’ longest-serving positionalist, felt the pain of four September collapses before enjoying four champagne parties in three weeks in October. He reached the majors in August 2017 and quickly rose to become the face of the Phillies as their rebuilding process tried to gain traction. Hoskins answered the questions, took the criticism and was pulled in all directions by sponsors, marketing and charitable work. Now he is preparing for a World Series. JT Realmuto said: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think anyone deserves this moment more than Rhys.”
Who starts Game 1? “Common sense” says it will be Aaron Nola.
From Grover Cleveland Alexander to Brad Lidge, here are some highlights of the Phillies’ runs in the World Series.
Following: The Phillies open the World Series on Friday at 8:03 PM in Houston.
The Sixers were considered one of the winners of the NBA season with the additions of PJ Tucker, Daniel House Jr. and De’Anthony Melton as headliners of a fruitful summer. While that didn’t go exactly as planned to start the season, much of the Sixers’ property has remained on the sidelines.
Matisse Thybulle, Shake Melton and Furkan Korkmaz have experienced the most drastic swings. All three players played sparingly to start the season, and they spoke to Gina Mizell of The Inquirer about living through that new reality.
Following: The Sixers take on the Toronto Raptors (NBCSP) on the road Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
After their farewell week, the undefeated Eagles welcome the Steelers, who bring with them their 2-5 state record. Looking to avoid his first losing season as a coach, Mike Tomlin faces a “great challenge” in the Eagles, calling out several players by name when dissecting his opponent.
On Sunday night, John Tortorella benched stars Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny for the third period of the Flyers’ 3-0 defeat to the San Jose Sharks. Olivia Reiner writes about the coach’s bold decision to do so and the message it sends to the rest of the team regarding accountability.
A player who is not on the bench for the time being is winger James van Riemsdyk. The veteran left Sunday’s game and did not return and it turns out he is in need of surgery for a broken finger.
Following: The Flyers are back on home ice against the Florida Panthers on Thursday (7:00 PM, NBCSP).
Two constants in the Union’s excellence in recent years have been manager Jim Curtin and captain Alejandro Bedoya.
Curtin has been recognized again for his coaching skills, winning his second Major League Soccer honors for Coach of the Year.
However, Bedoya has failed to make it onto the field for Union playoff action, but he hopes to return for the Eastern Conference final against New York City FC. Bedoya was unable to play in the conference finals last season when the Union was knocked out by NYCFC as one of six Union starters banned from the game due to COVID-19 protocols.
He wants to play on Sunday.
Following: The Union hosts NYCFC in the finals of the MLS Eastern Conference at 8 p.m. Sunday at Subaru Park (FS1, Fox Deportes).
Ryan Carter, Jessie Moses, Taylor Brown and Jezelle Banks are best friends whose lives revolve around basketball. College offers are also starting to roll in.
They are in eighth grade.
As college basketball recruiting trickles down to younger and younger athletes, how do they balance school, hoops and just being a kid?
Latin for boys turns down: The school brings golf — and the doors it can open — to West Philly.
Small World: A pair of high school basketball competitors will soon become next-level teammates.
Tune in: Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford has heard a lot in his six years of college football. He’ll hear even more when the Nittany Lions take it at number 2 in Ohio on Saturday.
A tough decision: Drexel footballer Caroline Thompson faced a crossroads – either focus on school full-time or play one last season with the Dragons after missing two seasons with a torn ACL. She chose the field.
Who was the MVP when the Phillies won the National League Championship Series in 1980?
The answer is B) Manny Trillo. Mark P. was the first with the correct answer.
We asked you: If Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Ranger Suárez are ready for the first three games, who will start Game 4 of the World Series for the Phillies and why?
Zack Wheeler. … When pitchers pitched every fourth day, the number one starter threw 3 games. With the current schedule and pitchers pitching every fifth day today, the best starter on the team cannot make 3 starts. Wheeler is their best starter. I would start it in game 1 and [Aaron] Nola in game 2. Some believe that the Philis must win both of the first two games in order to win the series. Not me, but throwing Wheeler and Nola more often is their best shot. There are two days off in the 7-game schedule. …
With this plan, Wheeler would be set up to pitch game 7 if necessary. That will be the 4th day for him from his last start, which he can complete at least once. Of the three starters to be used, he is the most equipped with this plan, and he is their best pitcher. If not, a 7th game would require a “bullpen” game to decide the series; not preferred. This plan was set up by Wheeler pitching game 1. – John W.
It must be Noah Syndergaard. He has the experience on the big stage and is cunning enough to get through 3 turns. He can be followed by [Bailey] Falter and/or [Zach] eflin. I like Falter, but don’t think he’s ready for the starting pressure. If we are leading 3-0, of course it doesn’t matter who starts. — Pieter S.
Thor with the long blond hair. – Ellen G.
Bailey Falter has earned the #4 spot. He was the unsung hero of September. Yes, he had a rough start in the NLCS and got the quick hook (rightly so) but give him the ball. Syndergaard is beaten. – Scott J.
We’ve put together today’s newsletter using reports from Scott Lauber, Matt Breen, Ed Barkowitz, Gina Mizell, Josh Tolentino, Olivia Reiner, Giana Han, Jonathan Tannenwald, Isabella DiAmore, Aaron Carter, Sam Cohn, and Matt Ryan.