By Fred Guzman
On the same day that Shane Victorino was placed on the disabled list, another of Maui’s major-league players, Kurt Suzuki, slugged a key home run for his team.
Victorino became the latest member of the Phillies to be bitten by the injury bug when he was deemed out for at least three weeks with an abdominal strain.
Despite a string of injuries to the likes of All-Stars Jimmy Rollins, bruised foot, and Chase Utley, on the DL with a surgically repaired right thumb, the Phillies extended their winning streak to seven games last night with a 7-1 win over Arizona.
Highly-touted prospect Domonic Brown, called up from the minors in the wake of Victorino’s injury, had an impressive debut with two hits and two RBI in support of right-hander Roy Halladay’s complete-game six-hitter.
The victory kept the Phillies within 3.5 games of Atlanta in the National League East and within 2.5 of San Francisco for the wild-card spot.
Suzuki, meantime, crushed his 12th homer of the season – a two-run shot in the sixth inning that lifted the Oakland Athletics to a 3-1 road victory over the American League-West leading Texas Rangers.
Suzuki has been on a tear since signing late last week a new four-year, $16.25 million contract. He’s gone eight for 20 over that span, with two homers, four runs scored and eight RBI, lifting his season average to .267.
PAY PER VIEW: It was a bit of news that produced a generally negative reaction among listeners of our mid-day talk show on ESPN 550. Oceanic Time Warner Cable announced this week that it will be airing 12 of the University of Hawaii football team’s 13 games on pay-per-view. And that includes all of the team’s six road games. In fact, the only game that will be available on free TV is the Sept. 2 opener against national power Southern California. That contest will be carried on ESPN.
At the core of the discontent expressed by our listeners was the rising cost of pay-per-view subscriptions generally and particularly for fans from the Neighbor Islands, who can’t readily – or inexpensively — attend games at Aloha Stadium. The general feeling of our callers was that fans outside of Oahu should be able to subscribe for a sharply reduced rate and some grumbled about road games being included on the PPV package.
Oceanic officials declined to comment on the package or pricing, saying an announcement was expected later this week. The package also will include selected volleyball and basketball events.
Pay-per-view telecasts generated about $3.4 million in sales last season, down from $4.1 million in 2008. UH’s share in 2009 was about $2.5 million, providing a major boost in revenue for the cash-strapped athletic department.