It’s often been said the baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. So, as we approach the final month mostly everything has been settled and we should just glide to the finish, right?
Not so fast, while the Phillies have played a lot of baseball yet there are still some things to be worked out. Here is what to watch for in September.
The waiver deadline. Today is the final day. The Phillies traded for John Bowker. Yawn. Ross Gload should be afraid, very very afraid. The Fightins could still use another lefty in the bullpen.
September Call ups. With all the injuries the Phillies have seen, when the rosters expand tomorrow we’ll most likely see some familiar faces. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Schwimer is still around tonight because he’ll probably be back; as might Juan Perez, Scott Mathieson, Pete Orr and Mike Zagurski. I’m interested to see what happens with Dom Brown who has struggled since he was sent down. So much so that he is actually getting the business from the Iron Pigs faithful.
Left Field. I don’t see how John Mayberry hasn’t at least earned a platoon spot in Left with Raul Ibanez.
Jimmy Rollins. Will he be healthy?
Joe Blanton. Rich Dubee stated Fat Joe could make a rehab start on Friday and the Phillies hope he can contribute from the bullpen. Where this leaves Kendrick and Blanton, I have no idea. You are going to need someone to start one or two of the doubleheaders as to not over-extend the rotation, but Blanton has been a starter his entire career. I personally would like both to finish the season in the pen. Kendrick will be there for the playoffs but Blanton will need a strong September.
The Postseason Roster. Every year teams must make some crucial decisions as to who will make the postseason roster. Depending on what goes down in September, this could be by far the hardest year to determine the postseason roster. Blanton, Brad Lidge, Ross Gload and Vance Worley all pose question marks. Worley? Yes even the Vanimal. His distain for the bullpen causes a problem as the Phillies only need 4 starters in the playoffs. Unless of course he bumps Oswalt, but do you think the Phillies start Vance Worley game 4 of the World Series? I can’t see it.
I will never, EVER complain about anything weather-related on this blog again.
If you recall, last week I wrote an article called “Reign Delay”, where I basically bitched about the Phils less-than-awesome play amongst a week of constant rain delays (see what I did there??).Since my last submission – a mere SEVEN days ago – the City of Brotherly Love survived both a 5.9 earthquake and Hurricane Irene.
I hope you all are safe and without much damage from one crazy week on the east coast.
Let’s talk baseball.
A weekend series against the Marlins may be counted as one casualty that occurred due to Irene; one game out of three got in before the hurricane made it up the coast, a 6-5 loss to the Fish with Roy Oswalt on the mound.Because of Irene, the Phillies now have a 33 game stretch in their last 31 days of the regular season.
Holy shrimp. There’s only one month left in the regular season.
The Phils (84-46) are in Cincinnati (67-67) for a four game series that kicked off with a 3-2 win last night.
Cole Hamels returned from the DL last night, throwing 76 pitches with a fastball averaging 90.1 mph – not bad for his first outing since August 12th. Doc Halladay finally gets back to action tonight after having two games interrupted because of Mother Nature (one was due to a long rain delay in Washington if you recall).
Shane Victorino helped his bid for candidacy within the NL MVP race last night after an 8th inning bomb that allowed 2 runs and tallied the “W” for the Phils. With only one day remaining in the month of August, it is only natural that national sports media begin its dissection of the MVP candidates. I think I speak loud and clear for the Bunts staff when I say that Shane Victorino deserves to be considered for MVP. I only say “considered” at this point because we do have a month to go and I am trying to be realistic, not biased.
On a team that centers on a filthy pitching rotation, it’s hard not to overlook Victorino as an MVP… at least at first. The most clutch offensive player on a team that offensively struggled early in the season, Victorino is a versatile player that seems to get unfairly overshadowed by his “flashier” teammates. Despite spending 27 days on the DL for two separate injuries, Victorino is having the type of season that has put him amongst the top 10 NL players in a variety of rankings. It’s hard to disregard Victorino’s credentials as an MVP candidate when he is 8th in the league in OPS, second in triples, and first in fielding by outfielders. He is on track for having one of his best seasons of his career. Like flying under the radar in Philadelphia, overshadowed by names like Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, Victorino will be amongst some of the most well known players in all of baseball (Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols) vying for a shot at the NL MVP title. It may be a long shot but you never know. Stranger things have happened during the 2011 season, not to mention having 32 more games to improve his odds.
Shane may be a dark horse candidate, but he is well deserving of all the attention he is getting throughout MLB.
Jamie Moyer is attempting a come back kids! After Tommy John surgery, 48 year old Moyer is rehabbing in Clearwater. If that doesn’t make me feel lazy…. I don’t know what will. Good luck Jamie!!
The Phillies will be making up their postponed games against Florida on September 15.
Since going on the DL, J Roll has gone Twitter crazy. Follow him @JimmyRollins11 (and the Bunts! @philliesbunts) for updates on his injury and his anticipated return date.
Hurricane Irene is here and gone. I hope everyone is well. This mess ruined my normal Sunday home game routine, no tailgate, no game, oh well. The best nugget I heard during the 24/7 Hurricane coverage was "If you see a puddle that looks deep, don't try to drive through it". Please do the world a favor, if you need to be told this, by all means drive through that puddle, don't mess with 'Natural Selection'. I'm so over this Hurricane, let's move on.
How is Chris Wheeler still employed? He is by far the worst 'Analyst' in baseball. Why do the Phillies have a 5'4'', toupee wearing, non baseball playing expert on the broadcast team? We have the best team in baseball and we need to listen to this idiot game after game, season after season. When Harry was alive he made Wheels bearable. Tom McCarthy is ok, but he can't cover for Wheels like Harry did. How many times can we hear 'No Doubles Defense' before we go postal? Every other Major league team has an Analyst that actually played Major League baseball. Why are we stuck with a guy that would be the last one picked at a family softball game? I can usually tune 'Wheels' out. He said something during Fridays broadcast I can't let go.
In the 1st inning Emilo Bonifacio reached 2nd base. A ground ball was hit to Wilson Valdez at short. Bonifacio made a base running mistake and took off on a ball hit to his right. He was a dead duck at 3rd. Valdez made the right play, with a good throw Bonifacio is out by ten feet. Valdez made a poor throw that hit Bonifacio. Wheels went into his whiney spiel about Valdez making the wrong decision. How can anyone respect an 'expert' who never played baseball at any level? I can take his endless use of 'Wheelsisms'. 'Middle In', 'Pitching Backwards', 'This point is his career', etc. I have even learned to deal with his whiney delivery. I can't take his second guessing MLB players. I know Wilson Valdez is not the second coming of Honus Wagner, but where does 'Wheels' get off criticizing his baseball IQ? How does 'Wheels' know what a player is thinking? I would rather listen to Sarge talk about 'Jerking off the ball' all game then anything Wheels has to say. As little as Sarge brings to the table, I listen because I saw him play. He has my respect. We have had a bunch of former players who could do the job. Why do the Phillies stick with this guy?
The next time you are at the ballpark and are thinking of starting an Eagles chant, start a 'Wheels Must Go!' chant. If your sitting at home and Wheels says something that bothers you, call your buddy at the game. Tell him to get a chant going. If I could just hear that moron address that chant once I will die a happy man.
The Wriz owes James Howard Thome a gigantic “Thank You” for several reasons. Initially, his arrival in the City of Brotherly Love made it exciting to go to Phillies games again. Sure, it was always and will always be fun to go to see the Fightins play, but sometimes the “fun” was the astonishment of watching David Palmer out duel Greg Maddux knowing it’s not SUPPOSED to happen but it IS baseball. But now we had one of the games premier players. He was the power hitter who could take over with one swing of the bat. An instant fan favorite. Sure it’s a tad worn, but I still wear my Jim Thome t-shirt with pride.
Thome was signed before the 2003 season, in part, to create an interest to sell tickets for the new ballpark. MLB pundits said we overpaid for The Pride of Peoria, much like the Nationals did for Jayson Werth. Unlike Werth, Thome earned his money hitting 47 bombs and 131 RBI’s and was 4th in MVP voting, but the long range effects are what were important.When the Phillies fired Larry Bowa at the end of the 2004 season, the Phillies brought in Thome’s good friend to replace him as the manager. We now refer to Thome’s friend as Uncle Cholly.With Thome batting clean-up and Good Time Charlie manning the dugout, Philadelphia was a place ball players wanted to be. Over the next few years, the Phillies systematically added and developed the key components of what would become the 2008 World Fucking Champions. This included dealing Thome to make room for a future MVP named Ryan Howard.
So it’s with a heavy heart that the Wriz says, “We don’t need Jim Thome.”
Let me explain. I don’t have a problem with Thome coming back. If he does great but this uproar to bring him back is ludicrous. I will say I liked the idea several weeks ago but that was so I could see #600, BUT THAT’S DONE AND GONE! So what you’re left with is a 40 year old designated hitter who can’t play the field. Don’t the Phillies already have that in Ross Gload? But we need a left handed power hitter off the bench? So, basically Thome will fill the same role he did for the Dodgers in 2009 when he hit .235 with ZERO HR’s and 3 RBI in 17 games.
Pinch hitting is a special ability not everyone can do it. You have to sit around most of the day and be able to pick up a bat at a moments notice and go get a hit. That’s hard enough but to think you can just send someone up to the plate and say “hey, go hit a home run” is just plain dumb. Pinch hitters can go form the best in the league to garbage overnight Just look at Greg Dobbs and So Taguchi. How do you expect someone used to getting 4 AB’s a game to make adjustments, when they see the batter’s box 3-4 times a week?
In about 6 or 7 years, Thome will be enshrined in Cooperstown, I know he won’t be wearing a Phillies cap on his plaque but I will be sitting in the crowd cheering for a guy that did it with class and hard work wearing a frayed pink shirt that used to be maroon that with any luck will still have “Thome’s Homies” legible on the chest.
It was an atypical, rain soaked/storm delayed week in the normally glorious land of the Fightins.
Halladay had a very un-Doc like outing last Tuesday, blowing a game after leading in the ninth against the D-Backs. Ryan Madson blew his second save of the season Friday night in DC, while Brad “Lights Out” Lidge hit a batter with bases loaded on Sunday, giving the series “W” to Jason Werth and the Nationals. The big league debut of reliever Mike Schwimer didn’t go nearly as smoothly as one would have hoped either.
And just like THAT…. the Phillies are now only leading the division by a lowly 6.5 over Atlanta.
The Phils continue to have the best record in baseball (82-44), and their return to form last night by annihilating the lowly 60-67 Mets definitely brightened the mood of Phillies fans. I’ve made a lot of jokes about Baseball gods this season and I think this is just another sign that this is our year: After one-less-than-stellar week, the gods brought in our division rival (sitting 22.5 games back) to allow us to get our swag back. And boy did they! You may say “well, that’s just who was next on the schedule Diamond Girl.” Bunters, in my opinion… it was written.
Baseball season is long and tedious. With 162 regular season games, it is natural for any team to have their ups and downs, no matter how good their staff is. What matters is how a team recovers after a few bad outings. Cliff Lee and the boys commanded early last night, finishing the game with a 10-0 rout. It was the kind of game they needed to bounce back from an unusually frustrating week.
Shit happens I guess. Just don’t let it happen again. We’re almost to September guys… hold onto your hats (or rain slickers). I have a feeling the NL East is about to get a little bumpy.
Pollie is back; J-Roll out with a grade 2 groin sprain. Rollins expects to return September 6th.
Clifton Phifer is currently 4-0 in August, with only 2 runs over in 31 innings. That’s just philthy.
Has the light bulb finally flipped on? It seems like the Phillies have found their left fielder of the future. He has been here the whole time. Well, at least he has been in the system the whole time. After yo-yoing between AAA and the Bigs, John Mayberry Jr. seems to have figured it out. What does that mean? We know Raul will be gone next year. Raul will turn 40 next June, so there is very little chance the Phillies will offer him a contract. Father time may have caught up to RAAAUUUULLLL. He has been nothing but a class guy. Let's hope the Fightin's can win the World Series this year so he can replace his NL Champions ring with a bigger one. I'm not ready to throw Raul on the scrap heap just yet. There is a lot of baseball left. I would like to see Raul against righties and Mayberry against lefties. The time off may help Raul, he's like a 105 in baseball years, how could it hurt? It's not like the Phillies haven't had success with platooning outfielders before. In 1993, they platooned both left and right field. They had Milt Thompson and Pete Incaviglia in left. They had Jim Eisenreich and Wes Chamberlain in right. It worked out for that team. Let's use the Jim Fregosi philosophy, get the most out of the talent you have. This way, Mayberry will get the at bats he needs and Raul will get some rest. Win-win, hopefully it will lead to a few more wins.
What about next year? As much as I'm trying to enjoy this ride, it's tough for me because I know Jimmy Rollins may not be here next year. I may be hoping for Mayberry to pan out for selfish reasons. It looks like Domonic Brown will not be the answer in left next year. If they had Brown in left they could have used some of the money they saved by letting Raul go for Jimmy. If the Phillies don't pick up Roy Oswalt's option for next year and Raul comes off the books, they should have enough money to keep Jimmy and Ryan Madson. That all goes out the window if they need to address left field with a free agent. It's always cheaper to fill your holes from within the organization. I hope Mayberry can find a way to keep the light bulb in the 'On' position.
After last week's Bunts' Made for TV Movies ('Tickets for a Friend', 'HK Memories' & 'Struggles of the Female Fan'), I decided it was time for Hoodwink'd to tug at your heart strings. So, grab some tissues kids.....it's sap time. (cue the Kenny G muzak)
MY MAN DOESN’T OWN NOR WORK AT A CASINO.
-Hamels' couldn't clock the W for Kruk.
-Halladay should not be pitching complete games this far into the season whether we’re winning or losing.
-I was diagnosed with asthma at age 12.
-We would have beaten the Diamondbacks in game 1 if Martinez fielded that ball cleanly.
-I wrote a letter to Samantha Fox asking her to my 8th Grade Dance....she never wrote back.
-I had appendicitis in 5th grade.
-Andy Reid's pants size is Tent.
-I'm not as handsome in real life as some might think I am.
-Polanco's on the DL.
-Hamels has shoulder strain.
-Playgirl turned down DB29.
-Bill’s alimony > America's debt to China
-In 7th grade I fell off my bike and dislocated my knee cap.
-My goldfish died.
-Rain ruined the chances of winning the series against the 'Nats.
ASK DEBBIE GIBSON CHUBBY!
-my wife doesn't let me go out drinking with my friends every night.
-I was at CBP only once this season.
-Paul Lynde is no longer the center square.
-2 other guys are wearing Peter & Aces' makeup.
-JRoll might not get re-signed.
-Kornhole got his own TV show, then he didn't, and then he did, but then he didn't.
-Chooch got hit in the nizzy nutz!
-I can't fly.
-I’ve never been to an Eagles game.
-Shane Victorino has back strain from caring the offense.
-I am not a millionaire.
-the Phils aren't undefeated.
-In 9th grade I went to see Andre the Giant for the first time but Bobby Heenan wrestled in his place.
-This is Raul Ibanez' last season in a Phils uni.
-Donna Martin almost didn't graduate high school.
-D*Brown was a bigger disappointment than New Coke.
You ever have or do something that was really cool and then people over-do and over think it? Like when I was younger, we played hockey at the local playground. It was always a good time. We had the right mix of players. Enough to have subs, but not too many that you didn’t play enough. Everyone was close enough in skill level that you never had to worry about who was on who’s team. It was always a competitive game. I started noticing that things were changing. The normal players weren’t showing up and other guys were coming instead, the game wasn’t as fun.I know, it’s a baseball blog but yesterday’s Harry Kalas statue unveiling made me think of it.The whole reason the hockey game wasn’t fun anymore was because some dude brought his girlfriend to keep stats. The game wasn’t about playing and having a good time. It was about who had the most points. You didn’t laugh and joke about the time someone tripped over his own pants or congratulate and ridicule another player at the same time over a fantastic deke. People just stared at the score sheet.
The basic premise of the statute was fantastic. Fans wanted to honor the man who for so long made watching some terrible teams bearable and made watching the great teams unforgettable. A foundation, Dear Harry Inc, was started and began raising funds. They found a sculptor they liked (Lawrence Nowlan) and the project was underway. In true Wriz fashion, this is where I’d normally say everything went terribly wrong, but not so.Sure the rain and cancellation of Sunday’s game, the original did cause a minor hiccup. The plaque says the statute was dedicated on August 14th, but the man had a tarp on his head for 3 days and wasn’t unveiled until the 16th. A few people had mentioned that they didn’t like the artist rendition. One said he didn’t like the way Harry was represented leaning on a bat. Another said it didn’t look like Harry at all. But I guess you’re never going to make everyone happy. My problem is the way the Phillies organization handled it.
First, I feel a statue paid for by the fans should be OUTSIDE the stadium. If you donated a hundred dollars or even it was only a buck or two, you should be able to go see the statue anytime you want not buy a ticket and go to a game. I also thought it was in bad taste the Phillies listed the unveiling as a “promotion” on their website.
Then, we have the ceremony itself. I guess you have to give those who started and saw the project through to completion their moment in the sun, but YAWN! Did they all have to speak? I’m sure it seemed it was an automatic to have someone sing High Hopes, but that crappy lounge lizard Eddie Bruce sucked ass. I thought playing Harry on the big screen and letting the fans sing along would have been perfect, but if not how about Harry’s son Kane, a professionally trained singer. I’m sure he knows all the words unlike Bruce.
And lastly, how do you not only invite but introduce Chris Wheeler during the ceremony? Harry hates Wheeler more than me and that’s hard to do. And that douche bag had the gumption to stand up and wave to the crowd like Miss America. Sorry Chris, the fans had Harry’s back and booed your pathetic ass.
As we are coming off a 2 day break from our beloved 78-41 Phils, I thought I would take a moment to address something that has been irking my nerve.
Recently, a friend of mine got into an argument with their cousin on FB (what a surprise) about their Phillies fandom. My friend “K” had posted about the great game that just ended and “K’s” cousin replied with the following:
I’ve done my research, u r a new school Phils fan. Grandpop may have been a true Phils fan and u may have even watched games wit him, but what does that prove- that Grandpop was a Phils fan and u watched games with him.
While this may not seem significant to you, it was to me. Why? Well if “K” was a guy, I doubt he would have received this type of response from his cousin. However, “K” is my long time friend Kim, and I can assure you this girl knows her baseball. And she’s been a fan long before 2008.
As the lone chick of this blog, I can freely admit that at times I felt that I wouldn’t be taken seriously with my weekly articles. I tend to shy away from statistics (I HATE numbers) and my pieces aren’t typically a poetic ode to America’s past time. This doesn’t mean I know any less about baseball than any of the other writers on this blog. It just means that I have a different way of expressing my thoughts about the team and sport.
I was introduced to the Wriz, DB29 and CJ Hood through my good friend Kornhole this spring. These guys didn’t know me from any other “chick” sports fan. And while this was NOT my first gig at sports writing (I interned for the Flyers, where one of many responsibilities was to write the nightly trivia questions) I still felt that I had to “prove” myself. This may be a futile effort, that maybe they will never see me as equal as they in their knowledge of sports. I feel that I have gained a few new friends based on our mutual love for Phillies baseball and that’s what is really important in my opinion (cue the corny music, LOL).
I think the comment above really got to me because it’s so relevant to my own love of the game. My grandfather was a huge part in my understanding and passion for the game too. To be honest, I think that is what makes baseball fans so unique – that it has been passed down among the generations. Today, that means daughters and granddaughters are lining the stands in their Utley, Victorino and Howard jerseys with their dads, grandfathers, brothers… even Moms and older sisters.
I’m no feminist, trust me. I understand that men and women experience things in different ways. I’m not saying there isn’t a slightly higher percentage of girl fans who don’t understand diddily squat yet claim to be “Phillies biggest fan”. And sure, I will admit I get a little salty when I see bimbo-like chicks with their “Marry Me Chase” signs (get in line, skank) but who am I to say that she doesn’t know how to throw harder than any guy I know? Sit back and enjoy guys and girls. Everybody could use a little happiness in our lives - so why not over a great game of baseball and a beer?
Speaking of throwing… I think its time Uncle Cholly gives the Aces a break, no? Hamels went for a precautionary MRI. Initial thoughts are that he is suffering from a ‘Dead Arm’.With the lead we have in the division right now, its time to prepare for going the distance in the postseason.
Halladay vs. Collmenter tonight… Lets go Phillies!
Once again the call to the pen came telling me my services were needed for Kornhole’s Alley because Korhan wasn’t available. As I began to warm up and practiced typing ASDF and JKL; repeatedly like the nerd I am I had no idea what to write about. In fact, as I type this sentence I still have no idea. Hmmm????
I’m sure by now we all know about the struggles of Cole Hamels on Friday night. He didn’t have the velocity he normally has. I don’t know about you but I was starting to get worried. Hamels is third in the National League in innings pitched this season with 172 innings pitched. Ahead of him in the NL is Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw at 175.2 and then its Cole and Cliff Lee with 172. The following day the Phillies said that Hamels has dead arm. There are even rumors that Halladay is fighting dead arm himself.
I think the Phillies need to go to a six man rotation down the stretch and let their work horses get the extra days rest here and there. Sure it would be great for the Phillies to match the 101 wins they had in 1976 and 1977. However, I think it would be better for the Phillies to win the World Series like they did in 1980 and 2008. However let’s not dismiss either of those and I’ll explain why.
Every Phillies starter is has an ERA of under 4 except for Joe Blanton. That’s right the Phillies have six starters with an ERA under 4. Obviously the big four in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt. Vance Worley and even Kyle Kendrick is holding his own as well. That’s right I said KYLE KENDRICK. I’m not saying Kendrick should be used as a starter in the post season, but I think it’s fair to say that Kendrick is picking up some good habits from the aces. They’ve helped him pitch well this season, and now it’s his turn to help them. He should be used as the sixth starter for a while to allow for Hamels, Halladay and Lee go into the post season more rested and more importantly more effective.
Many baseball fans understand late in the season that pitchers experience dead arm. Last season Halladay and Oswalt were both dealing with it and turned in pretty successful runs late in the season without the extra days rest. So by using Kendrick he could pick up some innings and the starters could pick up some rest. The rosters can be expanded in September and they’ll have the extra bodies in the bull pen to pick up some of the innings later in the game.
This is where I’m going to get our readers involved. To those who remember the 1980 season I want to get your take in this version of the Phillies. Since I wasn’t around in 1980 because I wasn’t born, I want your opinion. Does this season feel more magical then the 1980 season? Is there something about this team that makes you believe this team is better than the 1980 World Championship team?
On the day when the Harry Kalas statue is to be unveiled, I can finally write about Harry. Even last year was too soon. I had the pleasure of meeting Harry twice in my life. The first time was when I was twelve years old. My Uncle Alan scored primo seats for the first game of the 1980 World Series. He gave them to my Dad to take me. Is it any wonder why my Uncle Alan is still my favorite Uncle? As my Dad and I walked the concourse we ran into Harry Kalas. I still remember my Dad asking Harry why he wasn't in the booth? Back then the National Broadcast took over, even local radio broadcasts were forbidden. When you hear Harry and his Whiteness call the final game of the 1980 series know this, what you are hearing was recorded later. The Phillies put that together so we wouldn't have to listen to Joe Garagiola make the call for the rest of eternity. Looking back, I'm sure Harry was super disappointed not to be calling the game. I know I was only 12 at the time but he could not have been nicer. He signed my ticket, an actual World Series ticket, not the reprints they give us today. That's a blog for another day. Oh, and our seats were 3 rows from the field on the 3rd base side. I also got my ticket signed by a Royals player, maybe you heard of him...George Brett. That's right, I have a World Series ticket stub somewhere in my Mom's basement signed by Hall of Famers Harry Kalas and George Brett. My brother-in-law will be rummaging through boxes after he reads this.
The second time I met Harry was in 2007. I took my kids to Pittsburgh to see the Fightin' Phils take on the Pirates. We stayed in the same hotel as the Phillies so the kids got a bunch of autographs. The players and broadcasters were very accommodating but Harry went above and beyond. He was about to get on the bus to the ballpark and stopped and talked to my kids for a solid 10 minutes. He asked were they were from, what grade they were in, who there favorite players were. He gladly signed for them. He politely excused himself and went back into the hotel. He came back out 5 minutes later, spotted my sons and said in his best broadcast voice, "Ryan and Cole from Mount Laurel New Jersey", I still get goosebumps thinking about that day.
Two encounters separated by almost 30 years and he was exactly the same. He was the most generous, warm and gracious celebrity you could ever meet. We all still miss you Harry and we always will.
My good friend, Chris, went to go see his dad, Bob. During their conversation, Chris had mentioned me.“Jay? I don’t like Jay,” his father said. Shocked and a little amused Chris responded, “What? Why don’t you like Jay?” “He doesn’t share his Phillies tickets,” Bob said. “Don’t you remember Jay gave up his ticket so you could go see the Vet close?” Chris reminded him. “Oh yeah, never mind. I like Jay,” Bob said.
Myself and Chris each had one ticket for the Phillies Sunday game plan in Section 268. Dead centerfield. So, when Chris asked for the second ticket for the final game at the Vet. I was taken back. Even before Stubhub, we could have easily sold those tickets for a nice profit. But it would be history to be at that game and a chance to remember some great times in a shit-ass stadium. One last time to sit with the regulars who sat around us each and every week because who knew where we would sit in the new stadium. The guys who sat in front of us would be there every game, three sheets to the wind and yell, “268! Who loves ya?” But Chris isn’t the type to ask for a favor unless there was a reason. “Who are you going to take?” I asked. “My Dad. It would mean a lot to him,” he answered.
I thought about the story of Chris and his Dad over and over again on the ride home today. Sometimes, it made me laugh because Bob always goes out of his way to make sure he says hello and talk baseball with me. Sometimes, I just thought about it to take my mind off the fact Vance Worley got shelled for a five spot in the first inning. And sometimes it made me teary-eyed because the ride home was from Bob’s funeral.
Chris has always told me how much it meant to his dad to see the final game at the Vet. He described his father’s reaction that day as “a kid in a candy store.”
I was pretty well resigned to the fact the Phillies would lose today. Never before had they had a road trip of 9-1 or better. Billingsley is no slouch on the mound. Twenty games in twenty days. The last 10 out west and finally an off day at home tomorrow. But I really hoped they could send Bob out a “W”. When Blake booted that ball, I wondered if Bob had anything to do with it……nah. But I’m pretty sure he helped Ibanez out on that ball down the line in the 9th, so thanks Bob. Thanks for everything.
By now I am sure you have learned that Shane Victorino has been handed down a three-game suspension after the bench clearing brawl that occurred in San Francisco late Friday. In addition to the suspension, Victorino will have to pay a fine for an undisclosed amount. Three additional players will have to pay undisclosed fines also (Polanco and the Giants’ Ramirez and Whiteside) but will face no further disciplinary action.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is some REAL bullshit. Call me crazy, but MLB’s position that Victorino exhibited “aggressive actions” while not calling out Ramirez or Whiteside also is just plain wrong.
If you watched the same game that I did, then you must undoubtedly be doing some serious SMH-ing after learning that Victorino would be the sole player facing suspension (the Phillies have already announced that the suspension will be going through the appeal process). I think it was obvious that Ramirez hit Shane on purpose. In my book, that alone should have been considered an “aggressive action”. Now I have never been beaned by an intentional pitch before but I’m pretty sure that I would have had the same reaction as Victorino. Who wouldn’t?! But what really gets my goat about the whole thing is the reaction from the Giants players as Victorino angrily walked towards the mound. I swore I saw the Giants’ Whiteside jump right into the melee by tackling Polanco. Somehow, MLB saw something different because neither Ramirez nor Whiteside are facing suspension. Victorino’s reaction while understandable was excessive especially regarding shoving the umpire. That definitely put Victorino in the MLB doghouse and is definitely suspension worthy, as he completely lost control at that point. But to not punish the initial intentional hitting of Victorino by Ramirez or the despicable action by Whiteside in addition to Victorino’s freak out is absolutely mind boggling. If any one of these guys deserves to be suspended, then every one of them should.
In hockey, a third or fourth line may be intentionally put on the ice to start a fight. NHL coaches may see a good brawl as the spark to light up their players’ lackadaisical efforts. However, baseball is not hockey. I appreciate a good goon fight as any other rabid Flyers fan but that kind of crap doesn’t belong in baseball. No matter what reason Ramirez had for intentionally hitting Shane, it’s WRONG.
BTW… I am really sick of this whiney crap by the Giants about Rollins stealing when the Phils were up by 6 runs. Oh Carlos Beltran… you say that wouldn’t have been something you would have done? Well, no shit Sherlock. That’s because YOU are a lazy piece of crap that needs to learn how to keep your damn mouth shut. The San Francisco Giants are the reigning WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.They also had 12 more outs to make as JRoll pointed out. That means that any team who plays them should protect a lead by any means possible, especially when that team is trying to beat them for the chance to play in the next World Series. That’s Baseball 101.
Iambic pentameter is a commonly used metrical line in traditional verse and verse drama. The term describes the particular rhythm that the words establish in that line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called “feet". The word "iambic" describes the type of foot that is used (in English, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable). The word "pentameter" indicates that a line has five of these "feet."
These terms originally applied to the quantitative meter of classical poetry. But for our purposes, fuck poetry. I want to relate it to more like 50 feet and belong to our boys in red pinstripes. Ever since HP3 arrived our "feet" have been circling the bases on a greater level, due in no small part to him and his speed and energy. Tack on his hitting and slugging and voila' it's rubbed off on the entire team down to the bullpen. Seriously, when is the last time any of you remember an adrenaline rush like the one flowing from the dugout now? Result: 9 inna row bitches and a complete game after the beatdown and scrum! LOL!
But more on the "feet"... once again we lead MLB in stolen base percentage. Now, we don't have to lead in steals because we have the best balanced lineup in all of baseball as well. I don't even mind that Perlozzo doesn't hold a stopwatch on the field anymore. Davey Lopes has taught the entire organization the importance of the SB. While I miss him down there and wish we had kept him, at least his philosophy hasn't missed a beat. Once again, I mention HP3 because his presence has brought energy and speed to the entire team. Of all of the last 3 7/29 acquisitions, I consider Pence the best overall and the best fit. We now are playing and acting like the 08 series team. I cannot tell you how important that feels to me being 2500 miles away and still being able to FEEL it daily.
I don't wish predict anything yet, but goddamnit we now have an offense that approaches the BAM offense of 08. Meaning... in any given inning, with any given player, and with any amount of outs, nobody can count out the Phils. Ever. *THAT* is what gave us the edge back then from SB to BAM to 8 run rallys to ring ceremony and parade. And now we have new "feet" to keep us Flyin around the basepaths when the ball isn't flyin outta the park. I feel it out here, I hope to shit you all feel it back there. Fuck it, let's go eat!
Bill S aka/netfather
Bill S is one of Phillies Bunts favorite "Spot Starters"! You too can write for the Bunts just hit up the Wriz @ firstname.lastname@example.org!
Also could HP3 arm candy be the reason behind the pep in the Dugout's step?