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High School High Tech students at Port St. Joe High School had a fantastic time learning about career opportunities with music, sports, military, drones, dogs and more from local leaders.

Florida High School High Tech of Gulf County hosted a Career Fair for their students at Port St. Joe High School last week. The HSHT program is a career mentoring program facilitated by the Dyslexia Research Institute.

“Our goal is to expose our students to many varied career options to expand their possibilities,” said Dr. Patricia Hardman, director or Dyslexia Research Institute and HSHT.

During the Career Fair, nine businesses spent two hours with the students presenting information about their career field and answering questions. Students were able to spend 20 minutes or more with two of the businesses as well as listening to all of the presenters in their introduction.

The students learned about many varied careers from professional baseball outfielder, Roman Quinn, who plays for the Philadelphia Phillies. They heard about opportunities in the communications field and the development of drones with Skyborne Technologies, Mike Lawson presenting.

Students interested in nature and animals were treated to “Biscuits” a kitten brought by the staff of St. Joseph Bay Humane Society, Kylie Skoda and several others explain about careers with animals. Sophie Fonseca of the St. Joseph Buffer Preserve rounded out the nature lovers by explaining how a love of nature can transform into a career.

Those students interested in photography were treated to viewing Debbie Hooper’s portfolio and discussing ways to turn a hobby into a career. For our budding vocal artists, Lauren Springs, singer/songwriter explained the many different ways vocal artists work with each other to create art.

Heather Burris, a retired Air Force Pilot and now a reservist, talked about careers in the Air Force. Medical fields of study, particularly in the emergency medical field, were discussed by Houston Whitfield. And not forgetting the little guys, Vanesa Ryan from The Learning Center discussed careers in child care.

It was a busy and information packed day.

This is the 13th year that the Dyslexia Research Institute has facilitated the High School High Tech Club.

Students left the program excited about the possibilities in their future.

This program is funded by The Able Trust, Vocational Rehabilitation and The Alfred L. duPont Foundation. Robyn A. Rennick is the Activities Director. For more information call 527-4671.

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Pat Borders will return as manager of the Williamsport Crosscutters for the 2020 season, the team confirmed Monday. It will be the former World Series MVP’s sixth season at the helm of the Cutters, the longest tenure of any manager in franchise history.

Borders is scheduled to be in Williamsport on Jan. 15 for the Crosscutters’ annual Hot Stove Banquet. He will be appearing at the event along with ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian and former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Greg Luzinski Kurkjian is returning to the banquet for a second consecutive season.

No other member of the Cutters’ coaching staff has been announced.

In five seasons leading the Philadelphia Phillies’ short-season Class A affiliate, Borders has accumulated a 191-185 record and is the franchise’s career leader in managerial wins. In 2019, Williamsport finished 32-43, but was tied for the league’s best record over the season’s final 38 games. The Cutters also finished third in the league in team ERA.

Five former Cutters under the tutelage of Borders have gone on to play Major League Baseball — Adam Haseley, Seranthony Dominguez, Cole Irvin, Ranger Suarez and Jacob Waguespack.

In his first season with Williamsport in 2015, he guided the Crosscutters to the league’s best regular-season record and a Pinckney Division championship. His 46-30 mark that season is the third-best record in club history. It was the team’s first division title since 2001.

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Major League Baseball’s free-agent class is about to get bigger. This year’s deadline for offering arbitration to eligible players is set for Monday, Dec. 2. Teams have a couple choices, barring a trade involving the player in question: they can offer arbitration — thus opening themselves to the possibility of a hearing — or they can pass, relinquishing their rights to the player and setting them free. Those who shake loose tend to then sign one-year pacts, making them attractive targets for other clubs.

In preparation for the tender deadline, we’ve compiled a list of eight players worth watching. That doesn’t mean every player will be non-tendered — indeed, some might be traded; or simply tendered — but it does mean there’s sufficient reason to believe the players in question could be elsewhere come 2020 Opening Day.

Do note that the players are presented in alphabetical order, and that arbitration prize projections are courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.
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Jackie Bradley BOS • CF • 19
BA.225
R69
HR21
RBI62
SB8

Jackie Bradley Jr. (and his projected $11 million arbitration prize) has been an obvious non-tender candidate ever since the Red Sox set their eyes on avoiding the luxury tax. Whomever lands Bradley Jr. will be getting a useful player with one year of team control remaining. He remains an above-average center fielder thanks more to his feel for the position than his athleticism. Meanwhile, at the dish, he’s best used in a platoon role, as he can threaten a league-average on-base percentage and run into 40-plus extra-base hits versus right-handed pitching. The overall package adds up to an average player, albeit one who should serve as someone’s most-days starter.
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C.J. Cron MIN • 1B • 24
BA.253
R51
HR25
RBI78
SB0

You have to feel a little bad for C.J. Cron, who could well end up on his fourth team in four years due to a projected arbitration prize of nearly $8 million. He’s the same player he’s ever been: strong enough to run into 25-plus homers with enough playing time, yet otherwise limited. He doesn’t walk, he hits a lot of pop-ups, and he’s not exactly blessed defensively. Cron will probably end up making it five in five, and perhaps even six in six barring an unexpected turn of events.
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Maikel Franco PHI • 3B • 7
BA.234
R48
HR17
RBI56
SB0

It’s fair to conclude that Maikel Franco’s career has not gone according to plan. Once a top prospect, he’s likely headed for the open market due to a slew of underwhelming performances a projected prize nearing $7 million. He’s been a below-average hitter in three of his four full seasons, and he does himself no favors with subpar glovework. Franco did walk more in 2019, but he’s all but helpless against any pitch with a wrinkle. He’ll get another look because that’s the way the game goes; just don’t be surprised if, based on his larger body of work, it ends up being his last substantive big-league run. (Keep an eye on Franco’s teammate, Cesar Hernandez, as well.)
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Kevin Gausman CIN • SP • 46
ERA5.72
WHIP1.42
IP102.1
BB32
K114

Kevin Gausman would probably be safe on the Reds roster were it not for a projected prize of nearly $11 million. He showed promise late last season as a reliever, posting a 5.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22 innings in Cincinnati (most of which came out of the bullpen). Gausman leaned on his fastball and splitter throughout the year, but could retrieve his mothballed slider if some team wants to give him a look-see in the rotation. He’s not too far removed from being a decent starter, so don’t discount the possibility.
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Corey Knebel MIL • RP • 46

Were these decisions made with only performance in mind, then Corey Knebel (projected prize of more than $5 million) would have nothing to worry about. Over his last two seasons, he’s struck out nearly 15 batters per nine innings while accumulating a 169 ERA+. Yet “his last two seasons” do not include 2019, as he missed the duration of the year due to Tommy John surgery. Our guess is that Knebel will be tendered, but it’s at least possible the Brewers, who have to add multiple starters this winter, could look to save some coin here or elsewhere — especially if they have any concerns about how his rehab is coming.
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Jurickson Profar OAK • 2B • 23
BA.218
R65
HR20
RBI67
SB9

Jurickson Profar looked like a savvy acquisition by the Athletics last winter. He then had a miserable first half, hitting .212/.276/.370 while battling the yips. He was better down the stretch (.228/.342/.479 in the second half), but the Athletics always have to be mindful of their expenses — especially now that they’re no longer receiving revenue-sharing money. Profar is projected to make $5.8 million through arbitration. The A’s could look to move Profar and fill their second-base void with someone else. (Blake Treinen is another arbitration-eligible Athletic who could be on the move.)
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Addison Russell CHC • 2B • 27
BA.237
R25
HR9
RBI23
SB2

The Cubs shouldn’t have tendered Addison Russell last winter. He’s projected for a $5.1 million arbitration prize this go around, and it seems unlikely they repeat their mistake.
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Aaron Sanchez HOU • SP • 18
ERA5.89
WHIP1.62
IP131.1
BB68
K115

Aaron Sanchez (and his $5.6 million projection) probably would have been safe were it not for September shoulder surgery. There’s at least some chance he doesn’t pitch next season, which was slated to be his final under team control. He’ll presumably end up signing a one-year pact with a club option — with Houston, at a reduced rate, or elsewhere.
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The Phillies announced that they’ve acquired lefty Cristopher Sanchez from the Rays in exchange for minor league infielder Curtis Mead. Sanchez has been selected to the 40-man roster, per the team, as have three other players: right-hander Mauricio Llovera and left-handers Garrett Cleavinger and JoJo Romero.

The 22-year-old Sanchez had been with the Rays since they signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He has pitched almost exclusively in the low minors since then, and is now coming off a season in which he threw 34 innings of 1.85 ERA ball with 9.53 K/9, 3.44 BB/9 and a 54.1 percent ground-ball rate at the Single-A level.

The Australian-born Mead, 19, signed with the Phillies since May 2018. He impressed over 175 plate appearances in 2019 at the rookie level, where he batted .285/.351/.462 and hit four home runs.

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NOTE: The BND has endeavored to identify an objective list of the top 100 St. Louis Cardinals players of all time, based on statistical formulas developed through sabermetrics. We’ll count down the list daily, player by player, until April 4, the day of the Cardinals’ 2019 home opener. The running list and player bios can be found at bnd.com.
NO. 61: CURT SIMMONS

Curt Simmons was living the quintessential boyhood dream.

He was the star of the Whitehall, Pennsylvania, High School baseball team and scouts from every major league club wanted to sign him, including the New York Giants, who offered a $125,000 bonus.
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Instead, Simmons signed for $65,000 with his hometown team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Within three years, he was a 17-game winner in the big leagues. Teamed with Bob Miller and future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, the 21-year-old Simmons was the youngest member of a fledgling Phillies rotation known as “The Whiz Kids.”

What’s more, the Phillies won 91 games and their first National League pennant in 35 years.

But with a month to go in the season, and the outbreak of war in Korea, the hometown lefty was called into military service. The Army granted Simmons a 10-day furlough so he could join his team at the World Series, but the commissioner’s office disqualified him since postseason rosters had already been approved.

Philadelphia was swept in four games by the New York Yankees and the frustration of the previous three decades followed the Phillies through the ’50s.

After 13 years, 115 wins and three All-Star Game appearances (not to mention the big toe he lost to a lawn mower) Simmons was unceremoniously released barely a month into the 1960 season.

Three days later, the Cardinals not only signed him, they gave him a $5,000 raise. Simmons rewarded their confidence by winning seven of 11 decisions with a 2.66 ERA, good enough to be named the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year. He won 10 games in 1961 and 15 more to go with a 2.48 ERA in ‘62.

But it was the 1964 season that revived the dreams of that 17-year-old Pennsylvanian bonus baby — with a wrinkle.

On Sept. 21, the Cardinals were in third place, 6 ½ games behind Simmons’ former team with just 13 games left to be played. Simmons went 4-0 for September, including wins at New York and Pittsburgh during a stretch in which the Cardinals won nine of 10 games.

The Phillies, meanwhile, were in free fall, having lost seven straight when they arrived in St. Louis for a three-game series in the season’s final week.

St. Louis starters Bob Gibson and Ray Sedecki won the first two games, putting the Cardinals in a first place tie with Cincinnati and pushing Philadelphia 1 ½ games back into third. Simmons earned the victory in the rubber game, holding the Phillies scoreless through six innings.

With the Reds’ loss at home to Pittsburgh, the Cardinals assumed first place for good.

For Simmons, an 18-game winner, the epic collapse of his boyhood team afforded him, at long last, a shot at a championship. And he was grateful.

“At my age, I was just happy to be involved,” he told the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. “I knew I may not get another shot at a World Series.”

In Game 3, Simmons had allowed the Yankees just four hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth with the scored tied 1-1. He was in the tunnel, headed toward the clubhouse when he heard Yankee Stadium erupt with joy. Leading off the Yankees’ ninth, Mickey Mantle crushed the first pitch he saw from reliever Barney Schultz to end the game.

Then Simmons took the loss in Game 6. Nevertheless, he had pitched well in the series, striking out eight Yankees in 14.1 innings of work with a 2.51 ERA.

In the decisive seventh game, Lou Brock and Ken Boyer hit home runs in support of Gibson and the Cardinals won, 7-5.

Simmons, at 35, had his championship ring.

Read more here: https://www.bnd.com/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals/article225335535.html#storylink=cpy

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Bake McBride was a major piece to the Phillies 1980 championship season.

Former Phillies outfielder Bake McBride has an opportunity to enter the team’s Wall of Fame this summer. A critical piece to the 1980 World Series team, McBride began his career in St Louis. He won Rookie of the Year honors in 1974, batting .309 with 30 stolen bases and 56 RBI.

McBride hit over .300 the next two seasons as well, with a career-high .335 in 1976, earning him his only All-Star appearance.

McBride was hitting .262 with the Cardinals in 1977 through 42 games before being traded to the Phillies for Tom Underwood, Dane Lorg, and Rick Bosetti. McBride finished the season hitting .339 with 11 home runs and 27 stolen bases in 85 games. He went on to be a starter for the Phillies in right field for the next three seasons, posting a career-best 87 RBI along with a .309 average for the 1980 World Series champions.

His biggest moment in a Phillies uniform and perhaps his career was in the first game of the 1980 World Series. After falling behind 4-0 in the third inning against the Royals, the Phillies pulled to within two. McBride then launched a three-run bomb to right field, putting the Phillies up 5-4. The Phillies went on to win 7-6.

If not for McBride’s home run, perhaps the Phillies don’t win that game and the tone of the entire Series could have changed.

McBride remained with the Phillies through the 1981 season and played for the Indians in 1982 and 1983. An eye infection caused him to miss much of 1982 season and knee injuries and surgeries cut McBride’s career short, retiring at the age of 33.

McBride retired with 1153 hits, 63 home runs, 183 stolen bases and a .299 average. In five seasons with the Phillies, McBride hit .292 with 44 home runs and 258 RBI.

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The Philadelphia Phillies have ousted Gabe Kapler as their manager after just two seasons. Where did it all go wrong and where does the team go from here?
When Gabe Kapler took the reigns as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, he faced a frustrated yet hungry fanbase and inherited a young roster with plenty of potential.

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However, he failed to develop promising players like Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez. He struggled to control a clubhouse full of underachieving stars. He made endless mind-boggling managerial decisions that left him to be consumed by the Philadelphia media.

Initially, there was reason to be excited about Kapler. He was a young, fresh new face at the head of an organization that had a reputation for promoting from within.

He brought an unconventional, analytical perspective over from his time as the Director of Player Development with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After years of disappointment in Philadelphia, the Phillies front office was eager to give him the keys to the clubhouse.

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In this decade, the Philadelphia Phillies have been trying to regain the success they found in the second half of the 2000s. They won five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011, including two NL pennants and a World Series title in 2008.

Since 2011, however, they have let each of their division rivals surpass them except for the Marlins.

It looked as if the Phillies’ luck was about to change in 2018. After two unsuccessful hirings from within the organization in Ryne Sandberg and Pete Mackanin, the Phillies finally outsourced and hired Kapler as their manager in the 2017 offseason.

With high-profile free agent signings like former NL Cy Young Jake Arrieta and first baseman Carlos Santana, Kapler’s team looked to contend right away.

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When he was introduced as Philadelphia Phillies manager in 2017, Gabe Kapler said his goal was to bring a World Series title to team owner John Middleton.

After two seasons without a playoff berth, the Phillies on Thursday fired Kapler, whose team (81-81) underachieved even with the addition of big-money free agent Bryce Harper and whose nontraditional, analytical style irritated many of the franchise’s passionate fans.

“Several years ago, I promised our loyal fans that I would do everything in my power to bring a world championship team to our city,” Middleton said in a statement. “I will never waver from that commitment. … I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager.

“I am indebted to Gabe for the steadfast effort, energy and enthusiasm that he brought to our club, and we are unquestionably a better team and organization as a result of his contributions.”

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Kapler is the third consecutive Phillies manager to be fired after no more than two full seasons, joining Pete Mackanin and Ryne Sandberg. Middleton said general manager Matt Klentak will lead the team’s search for a new manager.

The team also announced that pitching coach Chris Young, head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and assistant athletic trainer Chris Mudd will not return. Hitting coach Charlie Manuel will return to his role as a senior adviser. The new manager will inherit the remainder of the coaching staff.

The Phillies have had internal conversations about Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi, among others, as potential replacements for Kapler, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney. Some executives have speculated that former Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon could also be a candidate, according to Olney.

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Showalter used to work under Phillies president Andy MacPhail and with Klentak when all were with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Phillies are the eighth team seeking a new manager this offseason, joining the Angels, Cubs, Giants, Mets, Padres, Pirates and Royals.

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“I have tremendous respect for this organization, this franchise and this city,” Kapler said in a statement. “We came into 2019 with very high hopes. We fell short of those, and that responsibility lies with me. The next Phillies manager will inherit a team of talented, dedicated and committed players. There has been nothing more fulfilling in my professional career than the opportunity to work with the players on this team.

“… As I move on, I know that this organization is in a great spot and will see a lot of success going forward. My hope is that I helped contribute to a developing culture in the organization that flourishes in the years to come.”

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Rival executives have wondered if Kapler might emerge as a managerial candidate with the Giants because of his ties with San Francisco’s Farhan Zaidi, according to Olney. Zaidi, the Giants’ head of baseball operations, used to work with Kapler in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office.

Philly took a gamble when it made Kapler the 54th manager in team history in November 2017, hoping a former big leaguer short on managerial experience — he previously had managed only one season in the minors (2007) — could lead the Phillies back to October baseball for the first time since 2011.

But the Kapler era in Philadelphia never took off.

In his first game, the Atlanta Braves rallied from a five-run deficit, winning on a three-run homer in the ninth inning. Kapler faced immediate scrutiny for lifting starter Aaron Nola with the Phillies up 5-0 and one out in the sixth inning. When Philly returned home after a season-opening 1-4 road trip, Kapler was booed resoundingly by Phillies fans.

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The 2019 Phillies became the third team ever to commit more than $400 million to free agents in a single offseason, but they finished 81-81.

YEAR TEAM FA $
2014 Yankees* $471M
2009 Yankees $441M
2019 Phillies* $401M
2008 Yankees* $396.15M
2019 Padres* $327.4M
* Didn’t make playoffs that season
A historic contract given to Harper and big trades for catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielder Jean Segura didn’t help much in 2019. Although the Phillies spent much of April and May in first place, a seven-game losing skid in June stalled any momentum. And while they stayed in the National League wild-card race, they lost eight of nine in late September and ultimately were eliminated from the postseason by Harper’s former team, the Nationals.

Injuries were a big reason the Phillies couldn’t record their first winning record since 2011. They lost leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen for the season in June, and six of their top seven relievers missed significant time. Free-agent addition David Robertson pitched just 6⅔ innings, and Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter threw a combined 23⅓ innings. Also, starting center fielder Odubel Herrera played just 39 games before he was suspended for the rest of the season under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

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The Phillies finished fourth in the NL East — 16 games behind the first-place Braves and eight games behind Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot. In 2018, the Phillies were third at 80-82, finishing 10 games behind the Braves.

“I want to thank Kap for his tireless commitment to the Phillies over the last two years,” Klentak said in a statement. “When we hired Kap, it was our goal to develop a positive, forward-thinking and collaborative culture throughout the organization that would allow us to compete with the best teams in the league year in and year out.

“While we have fallen short in the win column for the last two years, I can confidently say that Kap’s efforts have established a strong and sustainable foundation for this organization moving forward.”

Kapler, 44, hit .268 in 12 major league seasons as an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and four other clubs. Before managing the Phillies, he spent several years as the Dodgers’ director of player development.

Out of the gates, Kapler and the Phillies looked like they finally found success. Kapler led his squad to a 56-44 record through 100 games. They entered August in first place in the standings. But this is when things started to go awry.

The Phillies ended the 2018 season 21-34 from August to September, leaving them with and underwhelming 80-82 record and outside of the postseason.

However, Kapler still improved the team by 16 games, so the Phillies organization prepared themselves for an aggressive offseason in 2018. They signed prized free agent Bryce Harper to a record-breaking contract and acquired other valuable pieces like Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, Jean Segura, and J.T. Realmuto to solidify their rebuild.

Now, Kapler’s team looked like they could contend.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. While the Phillies started off decently in 2019, they hit a quick decline, highlighted by key injuries mixed with a lack of depth and poor managerial decision.

As a result, they finished in 4th place with 81-81 record, despite spending over $400 million in the offseason. They missed the postseason for the eighth straight season.

Thus, Kapler was ousted. The Phillies organization had no other choice than to move on from Kapler, who was the subject of widespread criticism from both the local and national media. While Kapler was certainly not the answer, the Phillies almost decade-long streak of failure has much deeper roots. Kapler was the third straight manager to be fired after only two seasons of work.

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The Philadelphia Phillies now have an expensive roster and a mess of a clubhouse. If they want to compete in 2020, it is in their best interest to completely clean out their coaching staff and start fresh with an experienced manager. Time will tell if the Phillies are ready to compete now, or if they are doomed for more failure in the near future.