Phillies

Allen Iverson has perfect reaction to Bryce Harper's No. 3 Phillies jersey

Allen Iverson has perfect reaction to Bryce Harper's No. 3 Phillies jersey

Nobody questioned Bryce Harper's decision to wear No. 3.

Especially not "The Answer."

Allen Iverson made No. 3 iconic in these parts.

Imagine what Harper can do to the figure's lore?

Iverson was picturing it Saturday afternoon on the day Harper was introduced and donned the No. 3 for the very first time in red pinstripes.

Dope respect from the Hall of Famer.

Harper also respected a Hall of Famer by choosing No. 3 over No. 34, which he wore during his first seven big-league seasons with the Nationals.

Roy Halladay, elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January, became a legend in Philadelphia while wearing No. 34.

Harper explained why it was so important to honor that and go with No. 3 (see story).

Of course I wore No. 34, but I thought Roy Halladay should be the last one to wear it. He's somebody in this game that is greater than a lot of guys that have ever played it. Hall of Famer, somebody that played the game the right way, was a great person and one was one of the nicest people I've ever met, being able to play across from him in 2012.

So, for me, it's Roy Halladay. He's 34, he is what represents that number in Philly. When you go in there, you see his name on that flagpole in center field, that's something he should be remembered for.

You can bet Iverson and Harper will be seeing each other soon. Hopefully the greeting includes a photo op of the two holding their No. 3 jerseys.

Now that would be cool.

No rush, though — we've got 13 years to make it happen.


(AP Images/USA Today Images)

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Phillies managing partner John Middleton and wife contribute $100K to Eagles Autism Challenge

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USA Today Images

Phillies managing partner John Middleton and wife contribute $100K to Eagles Autism Challenge

Phillies principal owner/managing partner John Middleton and his wife, Leigh, have made a $100,000 donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge.  

Beginning this morning, The Middleton Matching Gift Challenge will match the first $100,000 in online donations dollar for dollar. So the Middletons will match each one-time donation (up to $1,000) until the $100,000 goal is reached. 

“The Eagles are a world-class organization both on and off the field and we are proud to be part of their effort to drive autism research and improve the lives of millions of people around the world,” Middleton said in a statement.

The Eagles Autism Challenge is a huge deal for Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and the franchise. It has become the team’s most notable fundraising effort. 

“On behalf of my family and the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to graciously thank John and Leigh for their extreme generosity and commitment, not just to the Eagles Autism Challenge but to the autism community,” Lurie said in a statement. “A contribution like this says a lot about someone’s character, thoughtfulness and compassion for others. John and Leigh are admired humanitarians who, together, have made a deep and profound philanthropic impact in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Our hope is that the Middleton’s generosity will inspire leadership support and further position our city as a base for autism research.”

The Middleton Matching Gift Challenge is the sixth matching gift this year. In total, it’s expected that $760,000 will be matched by the end of the week. 

The Eagles Autism Challenge is a one-day bike ride and 5K run/walk on Saturday, May 18 that begins and ends at Lincoln Financial Field. The event  also features three cycling routs — the Wawa Junior 15-Mile Ride, Wawa Short 30-Mile Ride and the Wawa Classic 50-Mile Ride. 

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Mets pick an incredibly lame moment to send Rhys Hoskins and Phillies a message

Mets pick an incredibly lame moment to send Rhys Hoskins and Phillies a message

NEW YORK — Two nights in a row, the Phillies have been outclassed by the Mets. Two nights in a row, there's been drama in an otherwise blah game.

The Phillies lost, 9-0, to Zack Wheeler and the Mets in the second game of the series (see observations), 24 hours after dropping a 5-1 decision that included a Bryce Harper ejection and a postgame message from Jake Arrieta to his teammates, through the media (see story).

On Tuesday, with two outs and nobody on in the ninth inning of a blowout, Mets reliever Jacob Rhame decided it was the appropriate time to send a message on behalf of his team after two Mets were hit by pitches the previous night.

The first pitch Rhame threw to Rhys Hoskins was a 96 mph fastball over his head. Hoskins was clearly annoyed by it, taking a few steps toward the mound as both benches slowly began to clear. After about 20 seconds, things cooled down and the at-bat continued.

Five pitches later, Rhame threw another fastball over Hoskins' head, this one at 97 mph, for ball four. Hoskins angrily slammed his bat and Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud quickly stepped in front of him to create a barrier between Hoskins and the mound.

"Oh, he just said they were trying to go inside, and I laughed," Hoskins said.

Clearly intentional. Clearly a retaliatory attempt or message from the Mets a night after two consecutive Mets were unintentionally hit by pitches from Jose Alvarez and Juan Nicasio.

"He didn't miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I'll let you decide," Hoskins said after the game.

When asked if it was lame for a pitcher to choose the potential final at-bat of a blowout to throw at a batter, Hoskins tried to be as diplomatic as possible.

"I would think so," he said. "But I understand baseball. They got hit a couple of times yesterday."

This kind of situation comes up every once in a while across baseball, and hitters always say they understand the deal but that it's not cool to throw at a guy's head. Which it's not. Ever. Especially in the age of high-90s velocity.

"I don't get it," Bryce Harper said. "I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it's baseball and you're going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the ass. Not in the head. You throw 98, it's scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That's bigger than the game."

Harper referenced the time Hunter Strickland hit him with a pitch to retaliate for the two home runs Harper hit off of him in the playoffs three years prior. It was a silly thing for Strickland to do, but at least it was in a safer spot.

"Strick hit me in the butt. I still went and got him," Harper said, referring to his charging the mound. "But, you know, I respected him for it because he hit me in the butt. I understand protecting your guys and two of their really good guys got hit yesterday. You never want to see your star players get hit. If you're going to throw at Rhys right there — I don't know if he did or not. I know he said, 'My bad.' Hopefully, he didn't. But if you're going to, just hit him in the butt."

One could theorize this may wake up a slumping Phillies offense. The same could have been said Monday of Harper's ejection, which did nothing but further deplete a Phils lineup missing two starters and its super-utilityman.

They'll have a chance Wednesday night to get back on track against the constantly hittable Jason Vargas, a soft-tossing lefty with a 9.58 ERA. If they can't, they'll come home totally demoralized from a road trip through Colorado and New York that included injuries and several silent offensive performances.

"We just haven't played good baseball these last couple of days," Hoskins said. "End of a long road trip. It's a big game tomorrow. We'll be excited to go back home, but we've got to take care of business tomorrow against these guys."

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