• Jeff Passan, Y! Sports

    ST. LOUIS — Ben Francisco's swing looked good. He stood in the batting cage in the bowels of Busch Stadium hacking away against Ali Modami, same as he'd done thousands of other times. Nobody knows Francisco's swing quite like Modami, the Philadelphia Phillies' batting-practice pitcher and Francisco's personal pitching machine in the offseason.

    "There's a different trajectory when he's hitting it well," Modami said. "More loft. And today was really good."

    Just how good not even Modami could have guessed. Francisco drilled a three-run pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning, and despite some late-game scares from the Phillies' bullpen, it proved the difference in their 3-2 victory against St. Louis that gave Philadelphia a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-five National League Division Series.

    Every offseason, Francisco and Modami drive a few miles from their houses in Scottsdale, Ariz., and meet up at the home of former Cy Young winner Mark Davis, who has a

    Read More »from Familiarity produces Francisco’s winning blast
  • Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

    Phillies sign in South Philly (Mike DeNardo/CBS Philly)

    There's been some activity around the towering, three-sided, Veterans Stadium-era sign in the Phillies' parking lot in South Philadelphia.

    Is the sign going away? No, it's not — it's just getting a facelift.

    That towering sign in the corner of the Citizens Bank Park parking lot along Packer Avenue has got variable-message boards on two of its three sides, easily seen from the Schuylkill Expressway. It's been around since the days of the Vet.

    But when Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, some fans complained that the sign blocked the view of the Center City skyline from the upper-deck seats.

    Fans lately may have noticed that the top part of the column is now exposed metal, as crews used a crane to remove the outer "skin" of the column.

    We asked Mike Stiles, the Phillies' VP of operations, if this was the beginning of demolition of the sign, but he said no — it is just being refurbished.

    There was no immediate word on a timetable for the work or

    Read More »from Eyesore or Landmark, Huge Sign Outside Phillies’ Ballpark Will Remain
  • Erin Wright, Y! Local

    While President Obama and the assorted GOP contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination push their ideas for getting the country back in the black, there are some U.S. cities and counties on the brink.

    An analysis by 24/7 Wall St. examines the nine municipal bodies with the worst credit ratings assigned by Moody's, not including school systems, rated Ba2 and lower. (For perspective, Moody's rates junk bonds as Ba1.)

    Coming in at No. 9 on the list is Camden. The city has been beset with money issues for quite a while, highlighted by a mass layoff of its police officers and firefighters earlier this year. The city collected $181,257,000 in revenue in 2009, but was in debt to the tune of $103,284,000 during that same year.

    >> More from Yahoo! Finance

    Moody's notes that "more than half of Camden's real estate is tax-exempt, hampering already weak tax collections." The city has had a speculative grade credit rating since 1998. And it doesn't help that three

    Read More »from Camden, two other New Jersey towns, among nine U.S. cities going broke

Pagination

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  • 'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Trailer Released – See The Clip!
    'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Trailer Released – See The Clip!

    The trailer for "Downton Abbey" Season 5 is here and from the looks of it, the PBS Masterpiece series will return with plenty of drama!

  • Defending arming of Kurds, Merkel calls Islamic State a threat to Europe
    Defending arming of Kurds, Merkel calls Islamic State a threat to Europe

    By Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her government's taboo-breaking decision to send arms to Kurds fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq, telling parliament on Monday that the group posed a major security threat to Germany and Europe. A day after Berlin announced it would send anti-tank rockets, assault rifles and hand grenades to the Kurds, Merkel said Germany had a responsibility to intervene in the conflict to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, citing evidence of ethnic cleansing by Islamic State fighters.

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    Joan Rivers' daughter: I'm keeping fingers crossed

    NEW YORK (AP) — Joan Rivers' loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.

  • 4 hilariously awful Kickstarters that you will not believe are real
    4 hilariously awful Kickstarters that you will not believe are real

    Kickstarter has become a wonderful way to watch hilariously deluded people fail to achieve their completely ridiculous dreams. Thanks to the dedicated crew at Reddit’s /r/shittykickstarters community, we’ve found for more incredible anti-gems for you to check out that will hopefully never find enough suckers to get successfully funded. Free AC Wow! Free air conditioning! That sounds awesome! Tell me how you do it! Oh wait. You just drilled holes into the top of your fridge and used some tubes to funnel the freezer’s cool air through an air conditioner unit? And you think this is actually going to save you money without completely wrecking your freezer? Oh my. The Free AC Kickstarter project has mercifully been halted, likely after the inventor

  • North Korea tightens grip on phone SIM cards used by tourists

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - In a move that makes it harder for North Koreans to gain illicit access to the global Internet, North Korea now only allows mobile phone SIM cards used by tourists to be active for the duration of their visit, tourism sources told Reuters. Unlike North Koreans, foreigners visiting the isolated country can freely browse social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter using the Koryolink domestic network. Under a change made in July, North Korea deactivates the card when a visitor leaves, ensuring that it can not be left for use by a resident, the sources said. "This basically means in practical terms that if someone leaves the country they can't simply leave their phone with a local friend and have them use the Internet," said one source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of discussing such issues when working in North Korea.

  • ISIS Turning Old Enemies into Awkward Allies
    ISIS Turning Old Enemies into Awkward Allies

    US Attacks Joined With Militia Advised by Iran

  • DAY CARE OPERATOR NEEDS A TIMEOUT FOR HER MOUTH

    DEAR ABBY: My neighbor has a registered day care business, and every day I hear her screaming at young children and infants. They are all 4-year-olds and younger. We live in a rural area outside a small town. She uses profanity and says mean things to them. It makes me want to cry when I think of how scared those kids must be. Who do I contact with this information? I could record her with my phone if evidence was needed to shut down her business. This woman has a really bad anger management problem. She also knows I can hear her because we have spoken about how our voices travel. ...

  • Iran's Zarif 'quite optimistic' of Iran nuclear agreement

    By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced optimism after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program can be resolved by a Nov. 24 deadline. "I am quite optimistic after discussions with Lady Ashton that we can in fact resolve this issue in time," Zarif said after what he described as "good" talks with Ashton. "I hope with the readiness and political will that I see in all parties to this discussion to have a resolution within the next three months," he told a news conference following separate talks with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. Iran and global powers are working to strike a comprehensive agreement by the Nov. 24 deadline, under which Iran would curb its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.

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