It is the day after Memorial Day and the Phillies have a 21-28 record. They have lost six of their last seven games and are already 11 games behind the front-running Mets.
So of course Joe Girardi is feeling the heat. We asked our loyal Sports Daily readers if they thought it would make a difference if the Phillies moved on from their manager. Some of your responses appear below.
There was another disheartening loss on Monday in 10 innings. But Marcus Hayes found glimmers of hope: In the watered-down wild-card race, the Phillies still have a shot.
For the Eagles and OTAs, less is more
The Eagles begin OTAs today, kicking off what’s expected to be a productive time for the team to voluntarily practice together. Under coach Nick Sirianni, the team is actually limiting these sessions to six on-field workouts over the next two weeks. That’s because he believes that fewer practices will keep players healthier. The formula seemed to work last season, though it’s difficult to measure to what extent practicing less led to the Eagles staying relatively healthy. But we do know which side of the issue Sirianni is on, and that’s to take it easy on the players’ bodies.
Giants knock off Phillies in the 10th
It has not been a good stretch for Phillies closer Corey Knebel. In Monday’s game against San Francisco, Knebel gave up a homer to Evan Longoria in the ninth inning. Andrew Bellatti yielded another home run in the 10th as the Phillies fell, 5-4.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler suspended his gun violence protest and stood on the field for the national anthem before the game at Citizens Bank Park. Kapler said over the weekend that he wouldn’t come out for the anthem in the aftermath of the shooting deaths last week of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
Logan O’Hoppe’s emergence as one of the best-hitting catchers in the minor leagues raises a long list of questions for the Phillies ahead of the trade deadline, David Murphy writes.
Next: The Phillies play the Giants in the second game of their series, with San Francisco right-hander Jakob Junis (2-1, 2.76 ERA) set to pitch against lefty Ranger Suárez (4-3, 4.74). Game time is 6:45 p.m. (NBCSP).
Dupree enters a new phase of her basketball journey
Candice Dupree is a basketball legend in Philly. She played at Temple from 2002-06 and then moved on to 16 years as a professional. But now she has entered a difference phase of her basketball journey after retiring last fall. Through the NBA’s Assistant Coaches Program, Dupree attended the draft combine in Chicago, where she coached prospects and continued to add to her new area of expertise.
Along the way, she learned several tricks of the trade and got to pick up new tools from veterans. “You’re working alongside these people that have been working in the NBA for years,” Dupree said, “so it’s pretty cool to just talk to them and pick their brain and just soak up all the knowledge.”
The good news for the Union is that they have still lost only once this season. The bad news is the team no longer leads the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer. The Union were passed by their playoff nemesis from last season, NYCFC. Sure, NYCFC has lost more than the Union, but the New York squad has also won more. But if moral victories count for anything, perhaps no one is winning more than Union captain Alejandro Bedoya.
However, an added bit of good news for the Union is that the man who scored the goal that earned the team yet another draw, Mikael Uhre, is proving to still be effective even off the bench.
Also, the team is has gotten some excellent minutes of late out of young Paxten Aaronson. He’s following in the footsteps of his brother, Brenden, who is making history abroad, and looking to do so as well with the United States men’s national team.
Worth a look
Made in Brooklyn: Kyle Neptune is moving into a pressure-packed job as head men’s basketball coach at Villanova. Neptune talked about growing up in the New York borough and how the experience shaped the man he is today.
Quakers make a splash: Penn’s women finished 11th in team scoring at the NCAA rowing championships in Sarasota, Fla.
NCAA lacrosse champs: Maryland withstood a furious Cornell rally in the closing minutes to capture the NCAA men’s lacrosse title. With a 9-7 victory, the Terrapins finished a perfect 18-0.
What you’re saying about Joe Girardi
We asked you on Friday: Do you think firing Girardi would make a difference for the Phillies? Many of you answered effusively. Here’s a sampling of your responses:
Firing Joe Girardi isn’t the answer to why the team is playing so poorly. There are many explanations. Perhaps the expectation that the team will score 10+ runs a game is part of the issue. Certainly going over the luxury tax puts extra pressure on players to do well. A shorter spring training and cool damp weather the 1st month of the season also contributed to their slow start. I suspect a bit of complacency (it’s a long season — we’ll be okay) is largely the problem. I do think a sense of urgency is needed. Each member of the team from manager, to coaches to players must dedicate themselves to put forth their best effort each day. Maybe it’s as simple as just playing for fun! — Nancy B.
I agree that Joe Girardi is not the reason the Phillies’ players are losing more games than winning. Girardi is a good baseball man and his moves during the game are not causing losses. No decent manager in MLB has that dramatic of an effect. But that doesn’t mean the Phillies wouldn’t be better off firing Girardi now. In fact, that is the reason the Phillies should fire Girardi now because maybe it will light a fire under the players and make them wake up. The season is still salvageable. Firing Girardi might be the only thing the Phillies’ brass can do. — David H.
... Girardi doesn’t help -- his pitching moves backfire, and he won’t pinch-hit for [Roman] Quinn in the most obvious situations. It’s pathetic. They should have stayed with Gabe Kapler. — Morris O.
Woeful Joe MUST GO!,,He is the most inept, least imaginative, and worst evaluator of talent to lead a major league team that has the starting pitching and potentially explosive lineup (without guys like Roman Quinn) that should be contending to play in the world series, rather than be struggling to stay out of the cellar in their division. — Murray G.
He’s doing the best he can with what he has. — Jack S.
Yes, he makes bad decisions when it comes to the bullpen. he leaves them in too long when they are getting smashed around, example — mets game when they were leading 7-1 in ninth inning and there were others. After 3 batters they should be yanked. [Rhys] Hoskins batting leadoff is one of his dumbest moves, guy can’t hit or run. why not have [Jean] Segura in that spot. I could go on and on. They need to fire him before the season is a total loss. — Spike H.
... Girardi strikes me as a nice guy. ... Alas, Joe’s days as manager of the Phillies have been anything but glorious. I see and hear in his post-games interviews with his current players a certain and disturbing resignation with their uninspiring play, pitching and hitting. Unfortunately, and because Joe is a nice guy, he makes too many excuses for their poor performance. And unfortunately, his players are getting a message that mediocrity is okay playing for Joe; he protects their bruised and fragile egos from the horrid media horde. How dare they question their poor performance and his making excuses for them?! After missing the postseason now for several years in the competitive EAST, perhaps it’s time for the Phillies to part ways with Joe. But thank him for his service because he has done a nice job. But if the Phillies are to return to their own glory days, Joe may not be the guy to take them there. — Sam P.
Joe is no better than the last manager the Phillies fired, why do you think the Yankees let him go! — Ellen G.
Depends on who they replace him with. You can always do better but you can also do worse. For the right guy, yeah go ahead and fire him. — John V.
I like Joe Girardi, a good baseball man. However I can’t help to think this current Phillies team should be better than it’s showing. You can’t fire the whole team so what do you do to shake things up which I think is needed! Look at 1979 Danny Ozark to Dallas Green near season’s end. The next year under Green is legendary in Phillies history. I feel a change might be a wake up call to this team! — Dave S.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Mike Jensen, Jeff McLane, Scott Lauber, Marcus Hayes, Jonathan Tannenwald and Melanie Heller.