Sep 25, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Darin Ruf (18) celebrates hitting a home run during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Phast Phive: Stay Phocused

Justin Klugh

Very soon, Phillies baseball will be complete for the year, and we’ll get back to focusing on normal Philadelphia things, like for instance, a Ben Franklin statue heist.  It turns out the housekeeper did it, by which I mean, was arrested for it.  Ha, ha!  Philadelphia stuff!

No, but there is plenty more to be excited about as the final eight games play out.  For instance, the Phillies could beat up on the Nationals.  That’d be fun.  Cole Hamels notched his 16th win, the highest number of his career thus far.  And look at that Darin Ruf out there, all baby faced and short swinging and hitting homers and getting ignored and tipping his cap to the crowd as they give him a standing ovation up there.

Why, Charlie said yesterday Ruf would be trotted out there again tonight to hit another home run and let us give him the Dom Brown treatment, which includes putting so much pressure and expectations on a guy in his mid-twenties that he buckles so hard he loses control of his basic motor skills.  Prospects!  Weeee!

And remember folks, with baseball ending, it’s heist season!  So find your Philadelphia sports artifacts and get plottin’.

John Stolnis

Roy Halladay was a machine. He was a cyborg. He was sent to us from another country (if you count Canada as another country… and let’s be honest… it’s borderline) to wreak havoc on the National League of the United States just three short years ago.

But the machine is broken. The cyborg’s eyes are cloudy. Whether it’s an injury (which it HAS to be, right?) or simple fatigue (the guy is 35 and has pitched, oh I don’t know, a billion innings the last five years), the old Roy Halladay may be gone forever. So it’s only fitting to look back with some melancholy nostalgia on the career of Mr. Halladay, and worry about his uncertain future.

“So Charlie, Ryne Sandberg is going to spend the last few weeks of the season with you. He’s going to shadow you, get a lay of the land, you know, just observing. You don’t mind showing him the ropes right?” – Ruben Amaro

“Yeah. Whatever.” – Charlie Manuel

“Charlie, it’s an honor. I’m really fortunate that you’d take all this time to…” – Ryne Sandberg

“Hold it right there, punk. This ain’t your job yet.” – Charlie, with southern charm.

I imagine that’s kind of how things went when Ryne Sandberg, a.k.a. “The Heir Apparent,” was introduced to Cholly a couple weeks ago. Well, I’m sure they’d met before, but you get the idea.

Everyone has Ryne pegged as the next Phillies manager, and he’s probably the hottest managerial candidate in baseball. But given Charlie’s history with the team and his past performance, it seems likely he’s going to get another year. Will Ryne wait around until 2014? Will he be satiated with a bench coach’s job and play manager-in-waiting even though other jobs will become available this winter? Seems unlikely to me. Still, Manuel’s earned the right to decide when he’s done. Unless the Phils lose 100 games or something next year.

Remember the night Osama bin Laden was killed? Yeah, of course you do. We all do. It was a big night for Phillies baseball and a great moment for Phils fans, who finally made national headlines for something other than a brawl, batteries, cheering an injured opponent, or any of the other fallacies the rest of the sporting world heaps upon the poor, downtrodden masses. Heck, we’re even featured in a new book about the death of bin Laden. So, yeah, there’s that I guess.

Ethan Seidel

Perhaps fitting before the presidential debates are underway, Bill Baer has laid out a great analysis of the ongoing debate between traditional scouts and sabermetricians (that’s what we call them). No matter where you fall in the spectrum, he makes clear that a lot of journalists are not doing their due diligence when it comes to their “analysis”.

In case you missed it Josh Hamilton is having another bout with controlled substances. This time, however, it’s not drugs or alcohol but caffeine and energy drinks. He has attributed these as the culprits for his recent vision problems. Josh Hamilton’s body must really hate him if it revolts against a strong cup of joe.

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