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Dec 5, 2012 12:33am
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PHILADELPHIA —Joe Blanton is back on the mound and back on his game. Adam Vinatieri Jersey . His right elbow feels
fine again. Blanton pitched seven strong innings, Shane Victorino and
Ty Wigginton homered, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Miami 3-1 on Thursday
night in the Marlins second game without suspended manager Ozzie Guillen.
Blanton (1-1) allowed three hits and a run in his first start following an
injury-plagued season. Blanton had two lengthy stints on the disabled list and
pitched in only 11 games in 2011, the lowest for a full season in his career.
Blanton is often overlooked in a rotation that boasts three aces. Against the
Marlins, he was as effective as he was during his first two seasons in
Philadelphia. “I wanted to get back to who I was and keep the ball down in the
zone,” Blanton said. He did just that against the Marlins. Blanton outdueled
Mark Buehrle (0-2) to help the five-time NL East champions win their second
straight game and move back to .500. The 31-year-old Blanton made only eight
starts last season because of elbow problems. He was in a groove and had good
command of his fastball while throwing 85 pitches against Miami. He felt strong
enough to keep pitching, but manager Charlie Manuel decided to play it safe.
“Its fun just to be back out there and not have anything weighing on my mind,”
Blanton said. “By the end of spring, I had a feeling my stuff was pretty good. I
had a lot of positives coming out of spring.” Aided by a shutdown bullpen,
Blanton earned his first win since May 9, 2011, also against the Marlins.
Jonathan Papelbon took the mound in the ninth to Marilyn Mansons “Antichrist
Superstar,” and quickly ran into trouble. But he retired John Buck on a
game-ending double play for his second save. The Marlins lost their second
straight game without Guillen. He was suspended five games by the Marlins on
Tuesday for saying he admired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The Phillies know
they can count on Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to help them overcome
an offence weakened by the loss of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. But Vance Worley
and Blanton are rotation wild cards. Lee, Worley and Hamels are the probable
pitchers for this weekends three-game series against the improved New York Mets.
Having Blanton back in the mix as a dependable starter would bolster Phillys
chances to hold off NL East teams on the rise such as the Marlins, Washington
Nationals and Atlanta Braves. “He makes us better,” Manuel said. The Phillies
broke through for seven runs a night earlier against the Marlins after scoring a
combined eight runs over the first four games. They couldnt put together a big
inning against Buehrle—but a team that became annual contenders on the back
of the long ball went deep twice. Buehrle retired the first nine batters before
Victorino led off the fourth with a shot to left for Philadelphias third home
run of the season. John Mayberry Jr. added a run-scoring single later in the
inning for a 2-0 lead. The Marlins made it 2-1 when right fielder Hunter Pence
misplayed Bucks low liner and couldnt come up with the ball, scoring
Omar Infante. That was it for the Marlins, who dropped to 2-5. Chad Qualls
tossed a scoreless eighth, working out of a jam after Miami put runners on first
and second with two outs. He caught Giancarlo Stanton looking at a 92 mph
fastball to end the threat. “Theres only so long you can keep saying that its
early before you just have to start doing it,” Stanton said. “But itll be good
for us to get home, and get a full series in. Itll give us a chance to get
comfortable there, and just start hitting. Because thats how baseball works
sometimes. Youre ripping them all over the place, but youre hitting them right
at someone. Thats been the case for us.” Wigginton homered in the seventh to
make it 3-1. Buehrle allowed eight hits, struck out two and walked none over 6
1-3 innings. “I was making good pitches tonight, they just hit the ball hard and
a few got in there,” he said. “But I threw well, and I thought my location was
there.” NOTES: Former Philadelphia OF Pat Burrell will sign a one-day minor
league contract and retire with the organization. Burrell will officially retire
as a Phillie during the Boston Red Sox series in May at Citizens Bank Park. Hell
be honoured May 19 and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Former Marlins
leadoff hitter Juan Pierre had the night off. Victorino batted first. Robert Mathis Jersey . The star Scottish
midfielder will suit up for his first game with the Vancouver Whitecaps on
Wednesday as they visit the Colorado Rapids. Coby Fleener Jersey . Mourinho says “We are
hard at work preparing because we are well aware of the fact that it is not
going to be easy. The team is almost complete.” His comments to Fox television
during a pre-season tour of the United States were reported on the Madrid
website. http://www.nikeindianapoliscoltsjerseyssale.com/reggie-wayne-jersey
. Walker caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback
Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith handed off five times before calling it a night and
the 49ers wrapped up the preseason with a 35-3 win over the San Diego Chargers
on Thursday. Johnny Unitas Jersey . They had co-owner Will
Smith sitting courtside and playing along to the cameras. They brought Julius
Erving back in the fold. Reggie Wayne Youth Jersey . The 17-year-old
Dumba played the last two seasons for the Red Deer Rebels in Alberta of the
Western Hockey League, leading WHL defencemen in the 2011-12 season with 20
goals in 69 games. NEW YORK —Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended for
three games Tuesday by the Blue Jays for wearing eye-black displaying a
homophobic slur written in Spanish during a game last weekend against Boston.
Escobar apologized to his team and “to all those who have been offended” for
what he said was meant to be “just a joke.” Escobar had written under his eyes
“TU ERE MARICON,” which can be translated as “You are a———.” “It was not
something I intended to be offensive,” he said through a translator. “It was not
anything intended to be directed at anyone in particular.” Escobar said he wrote
the message 10 minutes before Saturdays home game on his eye-black, a sticker
players wear under their eyes to reduce sun glare. The 29-year-old Cuban said he
frequently puts messages there—usually inspirational, manager John Farrell
offered—and had never previously written that specific slur. Escobar insisted
the word is often used within teams and by Latinos and “I didnt see it as
something bad at the time.” “For us, it doesnt have the significance to the way
its being interpreted now,” he said. “Its a word without a meaning.” “I dont
have anything against homosexuals,” he said, adding he didnt mean for the term
to be “misinterpreted” by the gay community. The suspension—issued after
input from Commissioner Bud Selig, the players union and team management—was
to have started Tuesday night. The game between Toronto and New York was rained
out. The penalty was announced in a 26-minute news conference at Yankee Stadium.
Escobar wore a jacket and jeans and was joined by Farrell, Toronto general
manager Alex Anthopoulos, coach Luis Rivera and translator Robbie Guerra, a
lawyer from the players union. Escobars lost salary during the ban—about
US$82,000—will be directed to two advocacy groups, the Gay & Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation and You Can Play. Escobar will also take part in an
outreach initiative to promote tolerance to others based on their sexual
orientation, and participate in a sensitivity training program. Pictures posted
online showed Escobar with the message written during the Red Sox-Blue Jays
game. Farrell said Escobars notes are often to the effect of “Lets go today.”
They draw so little attention that nobody caught the change. “There was no
reason to think it was something derogatory,” Farrell said. Farrell said the
slur was written in small letters and “if someone had seen it, I would suspect
someone would have said something.” Major League Baseball regulations prohibit
derogatory words and symbols on uniforms. Writing something of that nature on
eye-black would fall under that category, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. The
NFL and college football have banned eye-black messages. The college ban came
after stars including Tim Tebow, who wrote Bible verses, and Reggie Bush, who
put his hometown area code, began to use the eye-black to send messages. “Mr.
Escobar has admitted that his actions were a mistake and I am hopeful he can use
this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to educate himself and others that
intolerance has no place in our game or society,” Selig said in a statement.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick commended the decision. “Todays actions show
that MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to creating an environment
thhat all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where discriminatory language
and anti-gay attitudes are accepted,” Graddick said in a statement. Andrew Luck Youth Jersey. You Can Play, an
organization dedicated to eliminating homophobia in sports, was founded by
Patrick Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.
Patrick Burke said via Twitter he was satisfied with how the Jays handled the
situation. “(The Jays) combined discipline with education to ensure everyone
learns from this,” he tweeted. Anthopoulos said he had spent most of the day
with Escobar at the commissioners office. “I dont know theres a right way to
deal with these things,” he said. “Youre not going to satisfy everyone.” In May
2011, MLB suspended Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell for two weeks without
pay for inappropriate comments and gestures with homophobic and sexual overtones
he made toward fans before a game in San Francisco. In April, Miami Marlins
manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games by his team because of
comments that he loves Fidel Castro. Many Cuban-Americans were angered by the
remarks. On Tuesday, Guillen said he didnt think Escobar meant to be offensive.
“I think he just did it for fun. I know he didnt mean to hurt anybodys feelings.
Nobody is that stupid,” he said before the Marlins hosted Atlanta. “In my house,
we call (each other) that word every 20 secon