Sports Tonight: Debate over, Rhys Hoskins is Phillies' first baseman

Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins fields the ball during a game last month.

The jury has concluded its deliberations.

If first baseman Tommy Joseph is going to remain part of the Phillies’ future,  he is going to have to be the one to learn a new position and not rookie Rhys Hoskins.

Hoskins, who has played first base for practically his entire career, was called up and put in left field – partly because he deserved the promotion to the major leagues and partly because the Phillies had a spot open in the outfield.

With Aaron Altherr returning from a strained right hamstring, the Phillies, who play the Miami Marlins at 7:05 tonight (TV: CSN, radio: 94 WIP), are going to use the final 18 games to look at what they hope will be the 2018 outfield of Altherr, Odubel Hererra and Nick Williams.

With Hoskins hitting .298 with 16 home runs and 34 RBI in 32 games, he’s not going to sit often, if at all, in the final three weeks. Joseph is hitting .238 with 21 home runs and 66 RBI in 131 games.

Hoskins started at first base Monday and hit two home runs, including a game-tying one in the 10th inning that set the Phillies up for a 9-8 victory in 15 innings.

This has been a fair competition that Hoskins has won. The Phillies’ first-base job is his.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley (26) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The Dodgers ‘collapse’ themselves into the NL West title

It’s rarely thought about in these terms, but a collapse can come up short just as a comeback can. Those who have thrown fits about the recent play of the Los Angeles Dodgers might want to remember that.

The Dodgers, who play at the San Francisco Giants tonight at 10:15 on ESPN, have been horrible by losing 16 of their last 18 games. Still, when Los Angeles beat San Francisco on Tuesday, it not only ended an 11-game losing streak but also clinched the National League West with 17 games remaining.

The Dodgers’ goal at the beginning of the season was to win the World Series. To have a shot at that, all they had to do was make the playoffs, whether they did it as the top seed in the National League or the last wild-card team.

If L.A. wins the World Series, this so-called collapse will suddenly be cast as championship resilience.

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Eagles coach Doug Pederson (right) and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz watch first-quarter action against the Detroit Lions last October.

What I’m reading

Last week, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was accused in a story on of positioning himself for head coach Doug Pederson’s job. Staff writer Zach Berman gives Schwartz’s response.

Former Eagles coach Andy Reid has not yet won a Super Bowl, but a number of his assistant coaches have gone on to get NFL head-coaching jobs, including Pederson. Staff writer Ed Barkowitz charts how Reid has fared against his former disciples.

As Colin Kaepernick continues to be offered no NFL job, Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie gives his thoughts as to why to columnist Marcus Hayes.

Sixers rookie Joel Embiid took heat for dancing on stage at a Meek Mill concert when he had a bum leg. Now, injured New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr reportedly had a dance-off against Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook nights before missing the season opener.

Eagles fans probably don’t even remember former receiver Steve Smith, who made $2 million in 2011 for catching 11 passes for 124 yards, but he was just nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. The only problem is he is the wrong Steve Smith.

Millennials are so old-school. Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune interviews the 18-year-old the Minnesota Vikings have just hired to help them market themselves to “Gen Z.”


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Jemele Hill attends ESPN: The Party 2017 held in February in Houston.

The riff

Last April, ESPN fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling basically for using social media to make a controversial political statement that many found offensive.

On Monday, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill created a firestorm when she got into a heated tweeter conversation that resulted in her posting, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

Hill also said Trump would not have been elected president if he was anything but white.

Whether you do or do not support Trump — for the record, I don’t — there is no misunderstanding that Hill tweeted a controversial political statement that many found offensive.

Had a white reporter tweeted something similar about President Obama, he/she would have been fired by ESPN – no questions asked.

Hill got a verbal reprimand, a slap on the wrist.

Schilling got shown the door for basically doing the same thing as Hill – just from a different political perspective.

I supported ESPN’s right to fire Schilling. His comments damaged the brand of the company.

How ESPN decided that Hill’s do not damage the brand is difficult to justify.

Tonight’s schedule


White Sox at Royals (joined in progress), 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
Marlins at Phillies, 7 p.m. (CSN; WIP-FM 94.1, WNPV-AM 1440)
Athletics at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Dodgers at Giants, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

Golf on Golf Channel
LPGA: Evian Championship, 5 a.m. Thursday

Local Events

Phillies vs. Marlins, 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park