Welcome back to another edition of Sunday Links and Coffee, a series of links from around the baseball world to enjoy with your Sunday java.
- Andy Martino in the Inquirer writes about the Phearless Phour, a nickname given to the Phillies infield by 3rd base coach Sam Perlozzo, who said: “They don’t back down off of any play, so I call them the Phearless Phour.”
- Matt Gelb on former BlueClaws pitcher Mike Zagurski, who is looking for a shot in the big league bullpen after two long years (08 he was injured, 09 he was recovering from the Tommy John surgery and trying to work his way back up the ladder). Zagurski said: “I think I can help them,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll see that.”
- Dave Murphy of the Daily News on the ultimate cost cutting maneuvers the Phillies will have to undertake: they have $130 million committed to 15 players in 2011. Their Opening Day payroll in 2008 was $110 million.
- Lifelong Phillies fan Gerard Sheilds: Hope is eternal, even for Phillies fans.
Elsewhere in baseball…
- Bill Madden in the Daily News on the never-ending Johnny Damon drama.
- While he is a Met, Adam Rubin in the NY Daily News has a good one-on-one with David Wright worth reading.
- A statistical look at some of the big name upgrades this year around the league, by Cliff Corcoran on SI.com.
- While he is one of the best managers in baseball, with two World Series titles in the last six years, Terry Francona oversees a team in transition, writes Tony Massarotti in the Boston Globe.
- Joe Torre and Sandy Koufax tell stories and an LA gala to raise money for Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation. Great stuff in here. When did the lightbulb go on for Koufax (at one point in his career he was 36-41, believe it or not)? It was Gil Hodges telling him he’d have to go eight innings after two pitchers missed the plane for a B-team spring training game.Koufax decided to ease up on what had been an uncontrollable fastball to be sure he made it the eight innings, which he did, without allowing a hit.