Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Phillies: Window of opportunity not closed yet

CLEARWATER — Mentioning the term "window of opportunity" to the Phillies results in a wide range of reactions.

Some scoff at it. Some accept it. And some want to use it as motivation.

The Phillies are no longer the team to beat in the NL East after capturing five straight division titles between 2007-11. Injuries and inconsistency contributed to an 81-81 finish last year.

With a core of aging players, some entering the final seasons of their contracts, it's natural to wonder if the team's window for winning another world championship is closing.

"You don't want to see it but, you understand the game of baseball is a very small window and you have to do very well for that period of time you have," LHP Cole Hamels said. "Even though you don't want to hear it, it's more or less the knowledge you have to give it everything you can while you can because it's going to be taken away very fast and you don't want to regret anything.

"I think that's the idea behind what we have to do. We have to perfect everything we can. We have to play as hard as we possibly can because it's going to disappear fast and I don't want it to disappear."

But 1B Ryan Howard, 33, sees things differently.

"I don't buy into the old thing," he said. "It's all about how young you feel inside and how well you take care of yourself. Everybody in this clubhouse goes out and works their butt off. Everybody goes out in the offseason, they train and we do what we need to do to come back. If people want to call us old, that's fine, but I think going out there this year we're going to show people that we're not old."

QUOTABLE: "Do we play them anymore before the season starts? Friday? That's good. Maybe they can home run us to death and they won't hit any during the season." Phillies manager Charlie Manuel after the Braves homered four times in a 17-10 win.

Yanks: Hughes okay

TAMPA — Yankees RHP Phil Hughes appeared to escape injury when he was hit in the lower back by a one-hop comebacker in a simulated game.

Hughes was struck in his first simulated game since he was sidelined last month by a bulging disc in his upper back.

"Thank God it didn't have much of an effect," Yankees pitching coach and former Rays manager Larry Rothschild said.

Hughes, expected to pitch in a minor-league game Friday or Saturday, said he was fine.

Jays: Dickey ready

Blue Jays RHP R.A. Dickey, who returned to camp Saturday after his stint with Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, will return to the mound today in a minor-league game.

Dickey and C J.P. Arencibia rejoined Toronto after the United States was eliminated Friday night. The knuckleballer pitched five innings over two Grapefruit League appearances, then pitched another nine innings in two starts for Team USA.

.area camps

Blue Jays

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429, bluejays.com

Today: vs. Astros, 1:05

Phillies

Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457, phillies.com

Today: vs. Yankees, 1:05.

TV: ESPN

Yankees

Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner Martin Luther King and Dale Mabry), Tampa Tickets: (813) 879-2244, yankees.com

Today: at Phillies, 1:05

Phillies: Window of opportunity not closed yet 03/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 18, 2013 8:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.