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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Comings and Goings,....


PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies brought back an old friend to give their lineup a fresh look in 2010.

They announced Thursday that Placido Polanco has signed a three-year, $18 million contract to play third base.

"I always wanted to be here," Polanco said. "I never wanted to leave."

Polanco joined the Phillies in 2002, when they traded Scott Rolen to the Cardinals. He left in '05, when the Phils traded him to the Tigers for Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez.

Polanco is back because the Phils declined the $5.5 million club option on Pedro Feliz, who played third base the previous two seasons in Philadelphia. In a free-agent market that included Chone Figgins, Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa and Miguel Tejada, the Phillies focused on Polanco, DeRosa and Beltre, before pushing hard for Polanco.

and Goodbye,....

Paul Holmgren is a grizzled sort, but the Flyers general manager's eyes filled with tears last night as he described visiting with John Stevens earlier in the day at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.

"It was a hard walk for me today to walk to John's office. A hard walk," Holmgren said. "It might have been the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

What he did was fire Stevens, the gentlemanly coach whom detractors thought wasn't emotional enough - or tough enough - with his team. The Flyers, picked by the Hockey News to win the Stanley Cup in the preseason, are 13-11-1 and have lost six of their last seven. They have not scored in the last eight periods and have suffered back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 2003.

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