The Phillies’ plane had a close call on the way home last Friday

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GEORGE: You know Keith, what I’ve always wondered, with all these ball clubs flying around all season don’t you think there would be a plane crash?  If you think about it . . . 26 teams, 162 games a season, you’d think
eventually an entire team would get wiped out.  It’s only a matter of time:

The plane carrying the Phillies back from San Francisco Friday morning had a close call while trying to land at Philadelphia International Airport.

Eyewitness News has learned the Phillies’ chartered Delta 747 was just seconds away from landing when an air traffic controller told another plane to move onto the runway for takeoff. The Phillies’ plane in fact was closer than FAA guidelines generally allow.

Thankfully everything turned out OK.

In other news, how cool is it that a baseball team get a 747? They hold like 400 people. Even if you trick the thing out for maximum luxury with big seats and stuff, they still hold, what, 150 or 200? What’s the size of the team + traveling entourage? Not that big I don’t figure, even for the playoffs.  I guess what I’m driving at here is that the Phillies playoff plane could have had a dance floor in the thing, and unless and until I’m told otherwise, I’m going to assume that it did.

(thanks to Jonny for the heads up)

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.