'ONE OF the hardest guys I've ever had to send out," Pete Mackanin was saying as the afternoon clouds over Citizens Bank Park darkened. "Outstanding teammate, just a great guy. Always upbeat, pulled for everybody, knew his role and accepted it. Just hated to see him go, but we had to do it."
Pete Mackanin is the perfect person to manage the Phillies because he understands every type of baseball situation and every type of baseball personality, speaks the language of the game and the two dominant languages of those who play it, and understands the game's inherent frustrations both as a former player and talent evaluator.
WITHIN MINUTES of becoming the most important Philadelphia Eagle, Carson Wentz was asked several times about our "passion." It has become our handy buzzword of late, used to describe us, to explain us, to rationalize our notoriously unsavory behavior. Most of all, it is used to pretend that we are not unlike other towns where sports really matter - which clearly, we are.
JUST THREE years ago, Philadelphia sports had as distinct a New England taste as a hot bowl of chowder. The hockey coach was from Massachusetts, the basketball coach was from Maine, and the new, exciting football coach with the new, exciting football scheme was a New Hampshire native.
EARL WEAVER, the late Hall of Fame manager with the Baltimore Orioles, once said he didn't believe in momentum because the next day's starting pitcher could take it from you. You can't find exactly when he said it, or whom he said it to, but there are hundreds of managers out there, if not thousands, who have embraced it as gospel ever since.
THEY'RE GASSED. It shows in the plays they make - or, more accurately, don't make. The puck finally moves around on the power play, the open man gets the cross-ice feed, and instead of firing immediately, Claude Giroux's legs are a half-stride late, delaying the shot, allowing Braden Holtby to position himself.
I LOVE WHAT the University of Connecticut women's basketball team did Tuesday night. Love the idea of a dynasty in any sport, the concept of unselfishness and team play, the thought of authenticating it all via a convincing, lopsided victory in the championship game.
Sam Donnellon's career has spanned four decades and has taken him all over the world. Prior to joining the Daily News in 1992, he worked as a national writer for the short-lived but highly acclaimed National Sports Daily. He has received state and national awards at each stop and has been honored repeatedly by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Associated Press Managing Editors.