Reading Fightin Phils Set To Make Home Debut

The Reading Fightin Phils are off and running – maybe not quite as fast as last season, when they matched the best start in club history by winning their first five games and seven of their first eight, but they’ve gotten off to a positive start.

The Phillies won four times on a season-opening seven-game road trip to New Hampshire and Portland.  Not bad, considering how young the club is and how badly things started, with a 9-0 loss Opening Night.

Reading manager Dusty Wathan, whose roster includes 10 players making their Double-A debuts and 12 who are 23 or younger, said he likes what he’s seen the first week of the season.

“I think we’ve done a great job of being aggressive on the bases, of putting pressure on the defense,” said Wathan. “We, as an organization, want to emphasize that aggressiveness (this year).  We’ve been taking extra bases, our steal attempts are up.  I like the way we’ve been aggressive on the base paths.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=468571

With No Sellout For Opener, Commissioners Pump Up RailRiders Debut

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Opening Day for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders fast approaching, the Lackawanna County commissioners raved about the new PNC Field and plans for the baseball season at their meeting Wednesday.

They said fans will love the new $43.3 million stadium and its amenities, though plenty of tickets remain for the return of minor league baseball to the region on April 4.

Commissioner Jim Wan-sacz said club- and suite-level seats are sold out for the next three years, but conventional seating is still available.

“There’s probably about another 2,000 tickets available for opening day,” Mr. Wansacz said. The stadium seats 10,000.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/with-no-sellout-for-opener-commissioners-pump-up-railriders-debut-1.1464686

Fans Get Look At New RailRiders PNC Field Ballpark Stadium

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joe Mielo has been attending ballgames at the minor league baseball stadium in Lackawanna County since it opened in 1989.

PNC Field, home to the new Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, closed last year for a $43 million rebuilding and will have its much-anticipated season opener April 4.  Mr. Mielo, who will be in his usual spot behind home plate, in Section 22, Row 5, Seat 7, was one of many fans who braved frigid temperatures Saturday to get a first glimpse of the stadium’s overhaul and new look during an open house.

“Oh, it’s going to be nice,” the 77-year-old West Scranton man said of the revamped ballpark.

Gone is the steep, hulking upper deck that had a roof line as high up as the stadium’s lighting towers.  The main gate is now a spacious, open-air corridor into the ballpark. Other new features include a wraparound concourse, a bar, bleachers and lawn seating and a kids’ area.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/fans-get-look-at-new-railriders-pnc-field-ballpark-stadium-1.1435534

Reading Phillies Fans: Leave Our Name Alone

READING, PA – In a city that has taken to calling itself Baseballtown, the sport is more than a pastime.  It’s become something of a lifeline.

The hometown Reading Phillies have come to symbolize endurance and pride for a community that the 2010 U.S. Census ranked No. 1 in the nation in poverty.  The Phillies remained long after the railroad screeched to a halt and the city’s “Outlet Capital” moniker faded. They’ve provided a welcome diversion from financial struggles and an 8 percent unemployment rate.

Given the 46-year love affair with the Philadelphia PhilliesDouble-A farm club, there was an understandable citywide gasp when the team announced it is changing its nickname, logo and jerseys.  The move was an unexpected change-up that is testing tradition and the city’s identity and polarizing a fiercely loyal fan base.

Ed Oswald, a retired hairstylist who lives outside the city, is among many who have balked at the idea.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-reading-phillies-name-change-20121115,0,4165520.story

Reading Phillies Want To Extend Stadium Lease

The Reading Phillies want to extend their lease of the city-owned FirstEnergy Stadium by 16 years to allow the refinancing of a loan that paid in part for the stadium’s recent $10 million makeover.

But City Council first wants to ask R-Phils‘ managing partner Craig Stein if the team is willing to pay more than its current lease that brings the city only $22,000 a year.

The current lease and the loan payments expire in 2021.

Michael Vind, the city’s financial consultant from S&Lutions, told council last week that Fulton Bank had been unwilling to extend the loan beyond the lease, but had to keep the annual payments to what the R-Phils could afford: $278,000 a year.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=390681