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Phillies will celebrate World Series title with Obama next Friday


Phillies will celebrate World Series title with Obama next Friday
THE Phillies' planned visit to the White House ended before it ever began as the club hastily canceled the April 14 trip in the wake of legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas' death. Next Friday, they will again attempt to make the ceremonial visit in honor of their 2008 World Series title.

The club is scheduled to visit President Obama at the White House at 11 a.m., before departing for the start of a four-game series at Nationals Park in Washington that night.

The original visit was scheduled for an off day that followed the opening game of a three-game series against the Nationals. But when Kalas died of heart disease on April 13, the team elected to postpone the trip.

Utley still soreChase Utley continues to battle through soreness in his right foot, the result of being hit by Mets righthander Mike Pelfrey on May 1. The Phillies second baseman has missed two games since the incident, and is only 2-for-14 in the five games he's played, with only one extra base hit, a home run last night.

"His foot kind of gets tight during the game," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He'll be real loose, he'll be feeling real good, and as he stays on it, it tightens up. He gets sore, he gets tight."

Manuel said he hasn't noticed Utley's being affected in the batter's box.

"I do notice it sometimes when I watch him run the bases or he has to really run hard," Manuel said. "I notice it at times."

Rotation still intactManuel faces daily questions about the composition of his starting rotation, thanks to the recent struggles of his starters, combined with the impressive performance of young lefthander J.A. Happ as a long reliever. But Manuel said he is in no hurry to make changes.

"You guys seem like you are in a hurry for us to freakin do something with our pitching," he said. "Hey, we won a World Series with four of those starters. That was our rotation. And the other guy, in spring training, he pitched very good."

Division rivalryThe Phillies went 14-4 against the Braves last season, but were 27-27 against the rest of the National League East. Currently, wrapping up a 3-week stretch in which 14 of 16 games have come against division opponents, Manuel said he understands the importance of such contests.

"When you are playing each team 18 or 19 times, you need to win the majority of the games," Manuel said. "That definitely helps. That right there means that you are ahead of everyone in your division and when you beat them, you are pushing them back." *


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 9, 2009

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