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The Philadelphia Phillies’ Best Pitchers of 2010

As we all know, 2010 is being called the “Year of the Pitchers.” With names like Stephen Strasburg and Ubaldo Jimenez popping up all over the place, how are the Philadelphia Phillies pitchers stacking up?

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MLB Draft 2010: Is Cito Culver Next Derek Jeter or Yankees Wasted Pick?

New York Yankees, meet the next Derek Jeter. 17-year-old shortstop Christopher “Cito” Culver was drafted last night by the Yankees as the 32nd overall draft pick.

Rochester native Culver is only the second high school shortstop to get drafted by the Yanks in the first round since Jeter in 1992, and CJ Henry in 2005.

The Yankees will look for the Irondequoit High School senior to develop into the likes of his favorite player: Jeter.

Culver certainly has the tools to accomplish this daunting task. The switch-hitter batted .561, had 9 HR’s, and 38 RBIs in 22 games, according to his high school’s website.

The shortstop also had a .933 fielding percentage, and only committed eight errors in 120 chances.

The multidimensional Culver also seems to have a pitching arm, although he identifies himself as a shortstop. The chameleon pitches righty, and has reached 94 mph on the mound.

Culver has held his high school team’s Most Valuable Player award for the three seasons, and played for the Yankees Area Code Team this past summer. He previously committed to the University of Maryland, but there has been talks about him being willing to forgo that deal.

One person who won’t be celebrating his first round pick is his father, Christopher Culver Sr., who is currently serving prison time. Culver Sr. may be imprisoned for six more years following a guilty plea of multiple charges, including first degree burglary and third degree arson. Culver’s father burnt down their Rochester home on Easter Sunday in 2008.

The pick was a surprising one for the Yankees, as Culver was projected to go in the fourth to sixth round range. Whether this pick will be a bust like the 2005 pick of Henry, or a hit like the 1992 pick of Jeter, we will see.

It seems that Culver has the range and the arm power to keep his favored position at shortstop. Culver lists playing in the MLB as his future plans on his high school website, so keep an eye out for this diamond in the rough.

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Phillies Phestival a ‘Phantastic’ Success

It’s events such as these that proves my frustration towards Philly fan haters is justified. To those who may complain that Philly inhabitants are rude, reckless, and front-runners, read on.

Phillies fans proved they’re just as phanatic as ever at the 26th annual Phillies Phestival Monday night. Over 7,000 fans, the most in phestival history, showed up to Citizen’s Bank Park for the sold out event which raises money for the ALS Association for the fight again Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Though this year’s event could not beat last year’s outstanding total, the phestival successfully raised $801,615 for the ALS Association, according to a press release.

The 2010 team and coaching staff, as well as their wives, and the broadcast crew attended the night’s events to show their support for the cause. In addition, over 30 ALS patients and their families were present, some even lucky enough to have a special meeting with players Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins.

Entertaining phestival-goers was an autograph station, games such as the “Wheel of Phun”, and three photo booths featuring Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and manager Charlie Manuel.

The top bid of the night was for a set of six World Series baseballs which were signed by the 1950, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008, and 2009 teams. The set went for an inspiring $4,100 at a live bidding. Ellyn Phillips, president of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of ALS Association was stunned by the growing support for the cause.

“It has been critical to our success,” Phillips said. “We’ve met sponsors that have become more involved with us, the Phillies help us get sponsorship. Believe me, they could pick other charities. We’re fortunate.”

Since the first phestival in 1984, the charity autograph and auction party has raised over $11.8 million for the cause. All the auction proceeds, ticket sales, and sponsorships go to the ALS.

For those who think that all the ‘phanatics’ are good at is booing other teams, and yes, even sometimes their own, hopefully you can realize that beneath the perceived rough exterior is just another city full of people who love their sports teams, and are eager to lend their hand to a good cause.

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