By Bill Campbell
Mo’ne in the News
The Taney Dragons pitching star, Mo’ne Davis, remains in the spotlight even though the Little League World Series has ended. She has said she would like to play professional basketball one day despite her talents on the mound. Having heard of her future plans, the WNBA flew her and her parents to Minneapolis on Sunday for the second game of the Western Conference finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Minnesota Lynx. Davis’ favorite player, UConn graduate Maya Moore, plays for the Lynx. She met the members of both squads and sat with league president, Laurel Richie, during the game. Mo’ne also threw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium before the Los Angeles – Washington Nationals game on Tuesday night. She was introduced by none other than Queen Latifah and took no prisoners as she strode to the mound and threw a perfect strike to the Dodgers catcher, Drew Butera, to bring down the house. All of this followed a parade and celebration at Citizen’s Bank Park here in Philadelphia last week. Miss Davis was heard to say that she’ll be glad to be back in school this week and get back to being a regular kid. Somehow, it doesn’t seem that there is anything “regular” about Mo’ne.
At the start of Labor Day weekend, the Phillies weren’t quite ready to say which players they would call up when rosters were set to expand on September first. It was thought that five or six players might join the Phillies for the remainder of the season. Rumors suggested that the call-ups might include reliever Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, outfielder John Mayberry Jr., infielder Cesar Hernandez and catcher Cameron Rupp. Maikel Franco also was discussed as a possibility for a move up. On Labor Day, we learned that the team was calling seven players for September: Franco, Hernandez, Rupp and Gonzalez are part of the group of expansion players who will join the team. The Phils also added outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. and right-handers Luis Garcia and Mike Adams. Mayberry was traded to Montreal for future prospects. Cliff Lee was transferred to the sixty-day disabled list to make room on the roster for these players. If we’re going to see what these young players can do, now is the time.
Maikel Franco has been hitting really well of late: since July first he’s hit w 11 homers and 47 RBIs for a .321 average. General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. had appeared to be uncertain about Franco late last week but it looks like that hitting streak couldn’t be ignored. Amaro said of Franco, “The biggest thing for him is playing time, and making sure this is the right thing, the right atmosphere and the right time – not atmosphere as much as playing time.” He added that the team didn’t want to bring him up “just to sit around.” He said that the team would like to “assess some other things” when it comes to Franco. It will be interesting to see what he can contribute from now till the end of the season.
On Monday, Phillies pitchers Cole Hamels, left-hander Jake Diekman, right-hander Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a 7-0 no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves. A pleased Hamels, who actually wasn’t throwing his best stuff on Monday night but got the win, said afterwards, “It was nice to see what we could do together. It was fun to watch them and create something very special.” Alongside the pitching quartet we can’t forget catcher Carlos Ruiz who called a near-perfect game against the Braves no matter who was throwing to him. Hats off as well to Ben Revere, who started the game with just 15 RBIs in 125 games, and drove in a career-high 5 runs on Tuesday evening for the win. The Phillies, who haven’t had many reasons to celebrate this year, raised champagne glasses in the locker room to mark the unusual win. The Braves gave the team the home plate as a memento. That was a classy move.
Speaking of those who have class, I have to take a moment to send wishes for a complete recovery to my friend, David Montgomery, who has taken a leave from his job as Phillies’ president and CEO to undergo additional treatment for cancer. There is no better guy than Dave. He will be in my – in our – prayers and thoughts. I hope that he’s feeling better and is back at the helm soon. In the meantime, Pat Gillick has stepped into David’s shoes and was heard to say that both Ryne Sandberg and Ruben Amaro, Jr. will be back next season.
It will be Eagles vs. Jaguars on Sunday at The Linc. The game will start at 1:00p.m. I’ll turn 91 that day. Not my first kickoff.
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