One that got away: Much-traveled righthander Ryan Vogelsong, a Downingtown resident and Kutztown University product, is off to a nice start for the defending world champion Giants. And his last five starts have been spectacular: 0.57 earned run average and a .226 opponent's batting average.
Yes, this is the same Ryan Vogelsong who went to spring training with the Phillies a year ago and was released from Triple A Lehigh Valley in July.
It's hard to blame the Phils. He was 2-5, 4.91 for the IronPigs, shuttling between the bullpen and the rotation. He turns 34 next month. It's just another reminder that, in baseball, you really never do know.
Down and up: The Phillies' Lehigh Valley Triple A affiliate had never been above .500 before this season, not even for a game. Now the IronPigs are in first place, 12 games over. First-year manager Ryne Sandberg isn't going to gloat, but you just know he has to be quietly thrilled. He's a Cubs Hall of Famer who got passed over as the team's major league manager when Mike Quade was hired last offseason, even though Sandberg had been successful in the team's minor league system.
"I want to do this at the major league level from a coaching standpoint or a managerial standpoint. Obviously that did not happen in Chicago," he told ESPN.com this week. "People in the minor leagues are trying to get to the major leagues. I felt like I didn't have the opportunity to get to the major leagues [with the Cubs] . . . I felt like it was necessary for me to leave the organization.
"I'm in the minor leagues all over again. How do I want to put it? I look at myself as a minor league manager trying to get to the big leagues as a coach or a manager."
It's just a game: Craig Calcaterra posted an interesting story online recently about a guy named Michael G. Kovacevich, a 58-year-old historian who is replaying the entire 2008 season for all 30 teams with the APBA tabletop game. He has been at it for a couple of years and has almost finished.
And, no, the Phillies don't win the World Series as they did in real life.
In fact, they finish 79-83.