Ashburn On A Second Hall of Fame Ballot

Richie Ashburn is already a Hall of Famer as a player. Now, he could head back to the Hall as a broadcaster. Fans can help Ashburn get there by voting for the Ford Frick Award on-line. Plus, news from the AFL and the search for a new General Manager.

There are 182 nominees on the ballot for the Ford C. Frick Award. The award is given annually to a broadcaster who is installed into the broadcasting wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For Phillies fans, the name Richie Ashburn pops out.

Ashburn was a fan favorite in Philadelphia as both a player and broadcaster. His induction into the Hall of Fame in 1995 was a sweet day for Phillies fans as Ashburn and Mike Schmidt entered the Hall of Fame together.

For Ashburn to win the award, he would need to either be voted onto the final ballot by fans or chosen by the Hall of Fame staff. The nominees are narrowed down to ten finalists and a committee of former Frick Award winners and Hall of Fame staff - 20 people in all - decide on the winner. Harry Kalas, Ashburn's sidekick in the booth, has a vote on the finalist and would likely lobby hard for Ashburn's election.

Other former Phillies broadcasters on the list include Tim McCarver and Andy Musser. Current Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler is also on the list of nominees.

To vote, go to the Baseball Hall of Fame Site and click on the link to the Ford C. Frick Award. Fans can vote for upto three nominees at a time and can vote once per day. The ten finalists will be announced on December 5th and the winner will be announced in February.

News from Arizona:

Michael Bourn is seeing a little steadier action with the Surprise Scorpions. The center field prospec is hitting .286 in 15 games and has now driven in a somewhat remarkable 13 runs. He has also pushed his on-base percentage to an even .400 on the season.

Scott Mathieson continues to struggle after a fast start in the AFL. Mathieson has struck out 27 in 18 1/3 innings, which leads the AFL, but his ERA has ballooned to 5.89. Opponents are hitting .288 against the Phils' right-hander.

Brian Sanches continues to be strong, picking up his first save of the season against two earlier losses. Sanches' ERA stands at 2.92 in 8 games.

Travis Minix has had some spotty outings, but hasn't gotten himself into too much trouble. Opponents are hitting .279 against him. Minix has walked just three in 11 2/3 innings with five strikeouts on the season and a 3.86 ERA.

Ryan Cameron started strong, but has run into some struggles of late. Cameron has struck out 12 in 10 1/3 innings, but he's also walked eight hitters and opponents are hitting .279 against him as well. Cameron's ERA now stands at 6.10 on the season.

The Phillies are playing with former Phils' prospect Taylor Buchholz, who is now with the Astros. Buchholz doesn't have enough innings pitched to qualify for league leader status - he's pitched just 14 2/3 innings in five games, four of which have been starts - but his ERA of 1.93 would rank him fourth in the AFL.

Help Wanted

Word is that the Phillies could soon fill the GM vacancy. Some reports say that Phillies Managing General Partner Dave Montgomery has already made an offer to former Toronto, Seattle and Baltimore GM Pat Gillick. Other reports say the offer will be forthcoming very soon.

The speed of the process picked up when the Dodgers joined the fray of teams looking for a new General Manager. The Dodgers job is a high profile one that many of the top names will be interested in and will likely get interviewed for. One potential surprise could be former Dodgers' pitcher Orel Hershiser getting the job without much interest even being shown to other candidates. If you think Tommy Lasorda isn't still helping to pull the strings in L.A., you're being fooled.

Back to the Phillies; The arrival of Theo Epstein on the GM free agent market doesn't seem to have fazed Montgomery in the least. It's likely that Epstein won't even get an interview with the Phils, since they appear headed toward their decision in the next day or two. Epstein could be shut out if he doesn't get the Dodgers job and it's possible that he'll spend a year out of baseball. You hav to wonder if his assistant, Josh Byrnes is regretting his decision to leave the Red Sox for Arizona. Byrnes would have likely been next up for the job in Boston with Epstein's departure.

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