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Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke to call fewer games together in 2018

Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke to call fewer games together in 2018

Next season was starting to look like such a promising year for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans. A young core of players is finally emerging and beginning to excite on a nightly basis. But fans have already been dealt an early blow with news that Larry Andersen will call fewer games in 2018.

The move has reportedly been in the works for some time as L.A.'s desire to travel so often has decreased at the ripe young age of 64.

Exactly how many games he will miss in 2018 remains to be seen, but MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says there is still the potential Andersen only calls games at Citizens Bank Park.

"I really, as much as I love the game, I love the Phillies, I love being out here at the park," Andersen said on CSN's Philly Sports Talk, "I want to be able to do some things in the summer with my wife, with my kids, out west and I guess it was just time.

"I found myself getting a little grumpier on the road when things weren't going well and even with stuff not necessarily pertaining to the game. It got to be kind of a wear on me, but you know, I'm going to be 65 next May — don't tell anybody — and I just … now is a good time.

"Have some days off in the summer, where I can go do the things I want to do. I haven't had any significant time off in the summer in 48 years."

Regular listeners to Phillies radio broadcasts may have noticed some other familiar names and voices pop up during games this season. Doug Glanville, J.C. Romero, Kevin Stocker and Kevin Jordan have all been given a shot to call games, presumably in some sort of tryout-for-the-future capacity.

"It'll be the first time I'll have significant time off in the summer in 48 years," Andersen told MLB.com on Wednesday. "I'm just really getting tired of the travel. More than anything, I catch myself letting little things bother me on the road, even the game. You want to be home. Honestly, I find myself getting grumpy and I don't want to do that. It's not fair to the fans. It's not fair to the organization. I don't like being that way. It's my form of taking a chill pill, really."

L.A. letting little things bother him? Heck, isn't that half the reason many fans tune in to listen to his banter with Franzke in the first place?

Glanville has been praised for his insight on television and in print. But can he read a Home Run Payoff Inning promo with the sardonic beauty of L.A.?

Tune in in 2018 to find out.

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

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MLB

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

Dodgers fans had a reason to be ecstatic on Sunday night after Justin Turner hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cubs, 4-1, and give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.

But not as ecstatic as one fan in particular.

Keith Hupp, a retired police officer and lifelong Dodgers fan, was waiting under the home run ball in the center-field stands and snagged it with his son's glove. He was also wearing a Dodgers Chase Utley jersey.

He even made the catch with his non-preferred hand.

“I’m a lefty,” Hupp said to J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register. “I’ve dislocated my right shoulder so many times, I had to resort to my son’s glove on my left hand. So the last five or six home run balls I’ve caught, I’ve caught with my left hand.”

And the craziest part about this story is that it wasn't the first time it had happened. Hupp caught Turner's sixth-inning solo homer in Game 3 of last year's NLCS against the Cubs in almost the same place, the center-field stands at Dodger Stadium.

Although he has 24 home run balls in his collection, Hupp won't be keeping last night's game-winner. After making the catch, he gave the ball to a security guard, and was escorted underneath the stadium to meet Turner and make a trade with him. 

In a postgame interview with MLB.com, Turner said Hupp couldn't decide what he wanted for the ball right away. They exchanged information and agreed that Hupp will get back to Turner in a few days when he decides what he wants.

Twitter had some good responses to Hupp's memorable home run catch:

Hassan Whiteside responds, doesn't back down from Joel Embiid rivalry

Hassan Whiteside responds, doesn't back down from Joel Embiid rivalry

Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside battled on the court on Friday night and then on social media following the Sixers' victory over the Miami Heat to finish off the preseason.

Embiid seemingly got the better of Whiteside, sending Philadelphia fans into a frenzy when he told Whiteside his "+/- was ass."

It appears as if Whiteside is taking it all in stride and actually has a pretty good level of respect for Embiid. The Miami big man was asked about the trash talk after practice over the weekend.

"It's funny to me," Whiteside said according to the Sun Sentinel. "I'm going to talk trash back if somebody talks trash to me. Maybe when I was younger, I would have been a little more angrier, I would have been a little madder.

"But, you know, that's the kind of guy he is. He makes jokes. He's a good player, so it's all fun to me. I can go all day with it."

Embiid has shown glimpses that he has the potential to be one of the greats of the NBA game on the court, while he's already one of the best at entertaining off of it. Whiteside will clearly have his hands full but he knows a little trash talk on social gets fans excited.

"Yeah, man, you know fans love it, man. Fans get into it. I love it, too," he said. "Because I know the next time we play him, he's going to give it his all, he's going to go as hard as he can. And as a competitor, that's what you want. You want your opponent to play at his maximum speed."

Playing at maximum speed is something Sixers fans hope and pray they get to see out of Embiid this season on a more regular basis. The trash talking is bonus fun.

"It's not him talking about somebody's family," Whiteside said. "It's not nothing crazy. It's just basketball. He called me softee. Come on, man. He knows that's not true. I'll be on his team's scouting report."

The Heat and the Sixers meet again on Feb. 2. Let's just hope both Embiid and Whiteside are out on the court to go another few rounds off of it afterward.