Phillies

Krukcast: All-Star Game memories

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AP Images

Krukcast: All-Star Game memories

On this edition of Krukcast, John Kruk and Gregg Murphy discuss Kruk's All-Star Game memories. Kruk participated in three Midsummer Classics. What goes into them? Why it isn't a break for the players. And the moment everyone remembers when Kruk faced Randy Johnson.

1:30 - The All-Star experience.
4:00 - It isn't a "break" for the players.
8:00 - Uniform issues.
14:30 - Facing Randy Johnson.

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New Phillie Andrew McCutchen is confident he can 'bring the old me back'

New Phillie Andrew McCutchen is confident he can 'bring the old me back'

Andrew McCutchen did some homework before signing with the Phillies.

“I reached out to Shane Victorino to get his insights,” McCutchen said at his introductory news conference Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.

“He said some great things. He loved it here and he felt I would love it, too.”

McCutchen signed a three-year contract with the Phillies last week. The deal guarantees him $50 million. He will play a corner outfield spot and most likely bat in the fifth or sixth spot in manager Gabe Kapler’s lineup. McCutchen will also wear Kapler’s former No. 22. Kapler wore that number last year and gave it up after a conversation with McCutchen, who wore No. 22 during his nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McCutchen was a former first-round draft pick of the Pirates. He embraced the Pittsburgh community, did extensive charity work in the area, married a local girl and still lives in that area. He and his wife, Maria, have a young son named, fittingly enough, Steel. ("We wanted a strong name," McCutchen said.) He was thrilled when the Phillies showed interest because it keeps him close to home.

McCutchen had a four-year peak with the Pirates where he finished third, first, third and fifth in National League MVP voting from 2012 to 2015. His averages across the board over that span: .313 batting average, 35 doubles, 25 homers, 90 RBIs, .926 OPS.

Over the last three seasons, McCutchen’s numbers, while still quite good, are not as gaudy. He has averaged .263, 29 doubles, 24 homers and a .802 OPS. During that time, he was traded twice (to the Giants and then the Yankees) and has moved off center field. The Phillies believe that McCutchen, who turned 32 in October, still has big years in front of him. McCutchen is confident that he does.

“I am the type of guy who doesn’t settle for where I'm at,” he said. “I understand the past few years haven’t been what I wanted them to be and they haven’t been what people expected them to be. And I understand people have an expectation because of something you’ve done previously. So when you don’t meet those expectations that people have, you’ll get the backlash, you may get the, ‘You’re not good,’ and, ‘He’s in decline,’ and I get all that.

“But for me, personally, pushing that to the side, I do realize that I can be better and that I’m going to be better. I’m working to make the adjustments needed to be a better player.

“So I’m looking to come in here and bring the old me back. I know it’s there. I don’t accept what I’ve done. I’m looking forward to coming back and showing what I’m capable of doing and doing great things here.”

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Recent Manny Machado-centric moves made by Yankees and White Sox are meaningless

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USA Today Images

Recent Manny Machado-centric moves made by Yankees and White Sox are meaningless

Baseball, basketball, football, no matter the sport, rarely does a star free agent’s decision come down to anything other than money and winning. 

Manny Machado is making visits this week. He was in Chicago with the White Sox on Monday and will also visit Yankee Stadium before coming to Philly for a visit Thursday. 

And while Machado makes the rounds, speculation is rampant that his other suitors are making moves to entice him. 

First, there was the White Sox trading for first baseman Yonder Alonso, whose sister is Machado's wife and who lives in the same complex as him in Florida.

Then, there was the Yankees’ adding outfielder and future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran to their front office. Beltran shares an agent with Machado. 

Let’s be real. Neither development matters. Machado is not going to turn down extra money or extra years under contract because the White Sox now employ his brother-in-law, or because Beltran is now consulting with the Yankees. 

This is Machado’s chance at a historic, life-changing payday. The money, realism of contending and position he’ll play are what matter most. 

If Machado picks the Yankees, it will be because that’s where he’s always wanted to play. If he picks the White Sox, it will be because he’s a crazy person.

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