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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Howard says he's healthy, but is not in the lineup against a right-hander tonight

Ryan Howard says he is ready to resume playing after recovering from a small knee situation.

The Phillies, though, are saying not-so-fast.

With that, the informally scheduled Howard farewell tour at Citizens Bank Park will not likely resume until the Phils return from a road trip for a three-game series with the Mets starting Sept. 30.

Pete Mackanin, who typically arrives at the ballpark around 1 p.m., was counseled by trainers to provide Howard with additional rest Tuesday, even with the visiting Chicago White Sox starting right-handed pitcher James Shields.

Since the White Sox are scheduled to start left-handed Chris Sale, Howard would not start Wednesday, either. That will have given him a five-day, four-game rest after he'd reported a slight fluid buildup on his left knee Saturday.

“When I originally talked to (trainer) Scott Sheridan he said he thought it would be best to give him another day,” Mackanin said. “It's not in his best interest even to tweak it a little bit, this late in the year.”

The Phillies had planned to start Howard as often as possible, particularly against right-handers, during their late-season home games. They are expected to exercise their option to buy out the final year of Howard's contract at season's end, and they were trying to give their fans as many chances as possible to see the top left-handed home-run hitter in franchise history.

But Howard sat out Saturday and Sunday, and the Phillies were off Monday. By Tuesday, he was ready.

“Why wouldn't I be?” he said. “I said I had a small problem. That's all it was. I had some rest. We isolated the problem and controlled the problem.”

Howard was available to pinch-hit Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, they will take a seven-game, eight-day road trip to visit the Braves and Mets.

“I think the worst thing that could happen is that if it did blow up again,” Mackanin said. “It's not going to help him for next year. He'll play quite a bit on this next road trip and certainly the last three games here.”

Friday, September 16, 2016

JP Crawford has surgery, should be ready for spring training

The No. 1 prospect in the Phillies' minor-league system underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday.

According to the club, shortstop J.P. Crawford had the procedure performed on his left knee by team Dr. Michael Ciccotti.

Through the Phillies, Ciccotti said, the surgery was "successful." Loose bodies were removed from Crawford's knee.

Crawford will need four weeks of rest and, after that, will have a "normal" offseason, according to the report from Ciccotti, who added that Crawford will be "ready for spring training."

In his recently completed season, his fourth as a professional, Crawford hit a combined .250 with seven home runs at Reading and Allentown.

"We challenged him," said Matt Klentak the other day, of Crawford's season. "Even having a 21-year-old at Double-A, but certainly at Triple-A, is aggressive. I think he’s proven at both levels that he still has the ability to control the strike zone as well as anybody in our organization and probably the best in minor-league baseball.

"I think his defense has taken a step forward. He’s still 21 years old. He still needs to get stronger. He still has some things he needs to work on. As I said all along, players are not always going to excel at every turn. There are going to have bumps in the  road and they’re going to have to overcome them. I’m confident JP will."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Haverford School, West Catholic football stats

Haverford School 37, West Catholic 34
Haverford School 8  0 8  21 - 37
West Catholic 2 18 6 8 — 34
First quarter
HS — Hudson 77 pass from Toal (Richards pass from Toal), 11:06
WC — Safety. Twyman tackled in end zone, 3:43
Second quarter
WC — Powell 8 pass from Kidd-Jackson (pass failed), 10:04
WC — Powell 15 pass from Kidd-Jackson (pass intercepted), 4:27
WC — Kidd Jackson 3 run (run failed), 0:18
Third quarter
WC — Kent  21 pass from Kidd-Jackson (kick blocked), 9:19
HS — Twyman 13 run (Twyman run), 3:52
Fourth quartrer
HS — Toal 13 run (McCollum kick), 11:03
HS — Lindner 32 pass from Toal (McCollum kick) 7:40
HS — Twyman 4 run (McCollum kick), 2:04
WC — Kidd-Jackson 14 run (Dasilva pass from Kidd-Jackson), 1:00
First downs  18  18
Rushes-Yards  43-213  27-128
Passing yards  210  269
Total yards 423 397
Passing  6-18-0 17-36-2
Punts-Average  1-31.0 2-32.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards  1-15 8-42
Rushing: Haverford School — Twyman 25-171, Toal 12=19, Stallworth 5-27, Whitaker 1-(minus 4). West Catholic — Kidd-Jackson 8-73, Savoy 7-32, Wortham 7-15, Kemp 4-13, Barry 1-(minus-5).
Passing: Haverford School — Toal 9-18-0, 210. West Catholic — Kidd-Jackson 17-35-2, 269; Barry 0-1-0, 0.
Receiving: Ridley — Haverford School Lindner 3-102, Hudson 2-86, Morrison 2-19, Hampton 1-3, King 1-0. West Catholic — Barry 7-132, Powell 4-46, Kent 3-49, Kemp 2-18, Averett 1-24.
Interceptions: Haverford School — Towle, Mosebrook.