SportsNation Blog Archives Philadelphia Phillies
Manuel out as Phillies manager
Charlie Manuel is the winningest manager in Phillies history, but the 2013 version of the team is a ways removed from the one that broke Philadelphia's 28-year championship drought in 2008. The Phillies fired Manuel on Friday, replacing him with Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. It's tough to justify keeping a manager whose team is more than 20 games out of first place in the NL East, but is Manuel really to blame for the Phillies' woes?
Papelbon calls out reeling Phillies
Just two years removed from the National League Championship Series and three from their second straight World Series trip, the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves 49-56 and on the list of deadline sellers. Think this sits well with outspoken closer Jonathan Papelbon? You guessed it: No. "I definitely didn't come here for this," he said. It's safe to say Phillies fans feel similarly.
The Phillies seemed to be letting their age finally catch up with them, but a 7-3 record in their last 10 games might be giving fans pause. Cliff Lee capped off their excellent run Wednesday with a three-hit shutout, and though it was agains the hapless Marlins, SweetSpot's David Schoenfield is seeing reasons for Philadelphia to be buyers at the trade deadline. They're just below .500, but even a single cold streak from one of the teams ahead of them could make them contenders for a wild-card spot -- or, wonder of wonders, the top spot in the fragile National League East.
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Despite a weak offense and a near-unfathomable 1-7 start from Cole Hamels, the Phillies have managed to keep treading water. If their bats wake up, they could be quite dangerous.
As fans of the comedy series "Portlandia'' know, the secret to merchandising is to slap a bird on it. And apparently, the same holds true for baseball uniforms.
After four rounds of voting, tigers, fish, elephants, snakes, astronauts, seafarers, gun-toting officers of the law, buccaneers, heavenly bodies, Native Americans, pinstriped Northeners and even two pairs of colored socks are all gone. Our Battle of the Uniforms will finish with the Battle of the Birds.
The No. 1-seeded Cardinals, who have as iconic a St. Louis design as the Gateway Arch or a bottle of Bud, beat their longtime rival, the Chicago Cubs, in the final round of the National League voting, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Meanwhile, the Cinderella team of the American League bracket upset yet another higher-seeded team in the AL championship. By a margin of 3,103 votes, fans declared they prefer the orange and black Baltimore Orioles over the traditional uniform worn by everyone from Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter. Or perhaps fans just hate the Yankees' pinstripes.
Whatever the reason, it's the Cardinals versus the Orioles for the title of baseball's best uniform. Bird watchers should get their binoculars out for this ornithological fight, though Toronto fans are probably wondering why their colorful Jay was found wanting.
This is serious business, so to make sure that everyone gets a chance to take a long, careful look at these two uniforms and judge the colors, logos, caps and overall style of both home and road uniforms, our polls will be open throughout the weekend. You can cast your vote up until noon ET Monday, when we will declare the winner.
So good luck Cardinals and Orioles. May the better uniform win. And remember voters, this isn't about who actually wears the uniforms but the uniforms themselves.
Note: Championship-round poll closes at noon ET Monday.
Mobile users: To vote, click here.
Battle of the Uniforms: Championship
(1) Cardinals vs. (13) Orioles
Audubon would have loved this championship.
Battle of the Uniforms seedings