New Day Dawning

Those Philly boo birds: Oh where, oh where have they gone? — Ron Costello


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Junior Is Listening Now

Sizemore was once the best centerfielder in the American League.

Sizemore was once the best centerfielder in the American League.

I’m happy!

It only took four months — give a take a day or two — but Junior finally took my advice and added a player.

Actually, I said a player or two, but I’ll take one for now.

Grady Sizemore will be coming down the Northeast Extension this afternoon and be in uniform tonight. He’ll play left, center, or right. He can still hit and might breathe life into the Phillies, who just swept Milwaukee, in case you haven’t been keeping up.

That’s okay, if you abandoned ship, no problem. I’m here to get you back in the boat.

Boat?

Sizemore will uplift the Phillies and it will be a different second half.

Sizemore will uplift the Phillies and it will be a different second half.

The playoffs boat, I’m taking tickets and driving. Junior added a player, Ruf is due back, Lee is starting to throw the heater, Utley found his stroke — hiding beneath the floor mats of his SUV.

The Piece went yard yesterday, his 15th of the season and 55th RBI, and Sizemore threw away his Ez Pass-sun visors-attachable-clip-on somewhere along the 476 — called the Blue Route by us old heads.

Hundred-miles-an-hour Giles and Papelbon and the bullpen young guns have arrived.

Baseball is back in town.

Whether Sizemore hits or not, here’s one thing he will do: Make Dom Brown nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Looking over his shoulder, maybe Dom won’t be so happy coming to the park and will become Dom—May 2013—Brown.

Here’s something else — Sizemore will lead off Friday against the Nationals. That might make Revere nervous as a Shih Tzu in a room full of  unaltered cats. Maybe Revere will start hitting and running and actually catching balls that Victorino and Rowand would eat for lunch.

Could be Revere might not see center again for a while.

I’m so excited.

Do you think they will give out those white towels again?

See where Ron lives.

 See where Mr. Terry lives.


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J-Roll Goes for the Record While Junior Has Time

Will today be the day?

They've been solid for a long time — how much longer will they be together?

They’ve been solid together  — but how much longer?

Rollins is currently tied with Mike Schmidt with most Phillies’ hits: 2,234. The tie breaker could come this afternoon against the Cubs.

Meanwhile, Junior Amaro, in charge of improving the club or tearing it up, has options (what do you mean he already tore it up?)

Buy or sell, what’s it going to be?

But first, look at the numbers: Nine games below .500, 28 — 37. Six and a half games behind Atlanta in the NL East. A month and a half to go before the trade deadline — July 31, when Junior has to decide to buy or bust.

The negatives: Ruf may be DL’d indefinitely with a wrist fracture; Cliff Lee DL’d into the first week of July, maybe longer. Cody Asche DL’d with a hammy, is now at Lakewood on rehab. Could be ready for the fireworks shows — June 26-27, if not sooner.

Asche will be off DL around fireworks nights.

Asche will be off DL around fireworks night.

Fireworks use to be July 3-4 but the team is on the road, then.

Chase Utley still holds a comfortable lead over the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon at second base in the All-Star voting — however, he has just 4 home runs and his average is dropping, now at .309.

Over the final two weeks in June, the club has Atlanta, St. Louis, Miami and Atlanta — no more Padres and Cubs to kick around.

Dom Brown — despite signs of a break out — continues to struggle with 4 home runs and a .218 average.

Phillies need Dom to be the Dom of

Phillies need Dom to be the Dom of May, 2013.

The positives: Junior has time to decide if his club is good enough to compete with Atlanta, Washington and Miami.

Lee will be back in early July. He’s now playing catch, which is what I use to do with my brothers in the yard — what today’s players call major league ballparks: The Yard. Although we called it the backyard.

Revere is starting to hit and get on base. Mayberry has shown he belongs on the bench — if not in a platoon with Howard   (there, I dare said it) —  and has raised his average to .269.

Ryan Howard —  11 home runs and 41 RBIs, but 85 strikeouts and a  .234 average — may break out and carry the team, like he once did.

But don’t hold your breath. I’m not.

Dom Brown has got to be  the 2013 Dom Brown version — at least the May – June version — and hit the ball around the yard, if not out of it.

And more offense from the Big Piece.

And more offense from the Big Piece.

Chase Utley still holds a comfortable lead over the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon at second base in the All-Star voting.

Hamels is looking hot and Kendrick picked up two wins, while Burnett has been steady. But the rotation needs Lee back, and if Junior Amaro decides to buy, another solid arm in the rotation is a must.

The bullpen is settling down and rookie 100-mile-man Giles might pick it up — the bullpen, that is.

Here’s the CliffNotes version: For Amaro to buy, Brown and Howard need to not just show up, but dominate. Utley has to regain his power stroke, and Mayberry must keep coming off the bench to spot start and hit.

Revere needs to get his average over .300 and be an on-base Richie Ashburn. Lee has to return and regain his momentum — and Junior needs to play GM and improve the rotation and bench.

If all that happens, Ron will be a genius!

More good news. Today’s game is at 3  so if you can get it, watch it —  J-Roll breaking Michael Jack Schmidt’s Phillies hit record.

See Ron’s first book

See first two chapters of Ron’s second book