Showing posts from May, 2009

Phillies-Nats:Brad Lidge Goes Clean While Jayson Werth Soils His Drawers

Praise Pete the Phils won. I couldn’t take anymore of my day. First, I had to drive my husband eighty miles north so he could catch a bus to ride eighty miles back to Philly to see the game with thirty people who drink so infrequently they would forget their native tongue by the ninth inning. Why do they do this? Sometimes there is nothing but a stupid question. Then I discovered what was causing the atrocious smell in my son’s room. Don’t ask. Okay, now that you brought it up, let’s just say my son now understands why he can’t shut the cat in his room at night and ignore its meows. Hint: there was more than two number-two’s. And after cleaning them up, the odor embedded in my memory like my selective recall. Then I got back in a car and drove to center city to eat a delicious dinner while sitting next to my nephew who believes that hygiene is an option. Whew! Then I got to sit in section 137 with him and my son. As soon as we sat, a woman in front of us hoisted an umbrella the size

Philadelphia Phillies: What Happens When Baseball Babes Ovulate

By now everyone knows that during the Wednesday night game Brett Myers developed soreness in his hip. I hope it only affects his pitching performance. The same night, tragedy struck again. Flesh-eating bacteria infiltrated the lineup. It ate Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Raul Ibanez. I feel like we’re in the midst of a home field plague. It’s obvious the Citizens Bank gods are not happy. Isn’t there something the Phil’s could sacrifice? Don’t they have a goat? How about an old geezer? I saw a few candidates in section 145. Can we cast ballots to forfeit someone in the broadcaster’s booth? Does a pro bowler count? Then I picked up my Daily News and right there on the back cover was a picture of a guy with a see through skull. Personally, I prefer see through pants but when I read the caption, I was faced with even more bad news: “Sports Can Kill a Brain.” Oh, no, now my husband had more ammunition to fight my Phillies obsession. I couldn’t let him read the article so I di

Philadelphia Phillies: Shane Victorino Proves Size Matters

Shane made a bad decision in the Monday night game against the Marlins. No, he didn’t pass on a Samuel Adams. He tried to steal second after a free pass to first with no outs and power-hitter, Matt Stairs, at the plate. Shane was thrown out by a mile, chewed out in the dugout, and drilled after the game. That’ll cause “bitter beer face.” Oh, well, now he knows. But he did hustle, he did try, and he looked fabulous doing it. I won’t fault him for that. Why? I always go for the underdog, the little guy, the small fry; the diamond in the rough. I liked Shane when stitching Victorino on your shirt was a risky acquisition. You could say, I was country when country wasn’t cool. I’d like to think I “discovered” Shane, but it’s not true. Someone in the Phillies organization saw something in him long before they shared it with me. I just happened to think of checking into his marital status about the time other real baseball babes were. Not that it matters, but a girl can dream… ...of Shane on

Philadelphia Phillies: No Butts About It... No Intensity

A-Rod was back in Texas for the first time since his admission. Alex said he loves Texas; he has a lot of friends and support there. Those supporters chose to encourage him with boo’s. And it worked. He went 5-5 in a 19-hit slugfest that scored 11 runs and squelched the Rangers to 1. Take that, supporters. And the Dodgers aren’t missing Manny as much as they’re missing his m-antics. They’ve won 10 of 16 games since his suspension (from my count). That includes an 8-0 shutout against the Giants, a 9-2 win over the Phillies, a 12-2 trounce of the Marlins, and a 16-6 victory last night. I think it’s more mental than Manny. Don’t get me wrong. Steroids in baseball are wrong. Taking them is wrong. Lying about taking them is wrong. And defending their use is wrong. Okay, are we on the same page before I make my statement? Casting people into hell for their use is wrong. Matt Stairs said it best. You can’t give a guy in the stands steroids and think he’ll hit 400. That’s why I say

Phillies-Yankees Game III: Carlos Ruiz Takes Big Bite Out of Big Apple

Can you hear that? They’re talkin’ ‘bout us. If the 2 to 1 series win is any indication of the prediction Jimmy Rollins made (Phils vs. NYY in the World Series), this could be another banner year. One thing I love about the Bleacher Report is my strong feelings for Carlos Ruiz are well documented. I like being right as much as I like winning. And today I won a double-header. That brings us to my tribute. Ode to Carlos The guy behind home plate Hails from another place Van Halen praised it in a song Our hero’s home’s in Panama How many clich├ęs can we create? The kid from Panama caused some Panam-onium. Carlos KO’ed the Bronx bombers and gave the City of Brotherly Love a Rocky moment. Carlos hurt the Yankee hurlers and sent them for their barf bags. I’m on a roll – and so was he. Defensively, he foiled two steals, sold a bad call to the umpire to send Derek Jeter to the dugout with a K and an attitude, then tagged Johnny Damon out at home – again. I’m sure Chooch’s face is portrayed on J

Philadelphia Phillies: Jayson Werth to Replace Hugh Hefner

Lidge has greasy fingers. And when “grease is the word,” Madson’s the cure. Mark my words. But let’s look on the bright side. JA Happ-y dominated, while namesake, John Mayberry, Jr., made his major league debut and showed up the lineup as a designated hitter. He went 2 for 3 and tidied up the bases with a three-run homer. And Raul Ibanez continued his trek to set the record as the coolest dude ever. That said, I have to come clean. Today I realized I’m Phillies obsessed. I turned on WMGK radio and heard, “We’ll be right back with the Philly 500.” Instantly, I thought this had something to do with the Phil’s winning percentage this season. Then I found out it was a song countdown. Then as I reminisced about the Fightin’s hot bats in the Yank’s series opener, I was reminded I need to buy another stick of Secret Solid for those steamy Sundays in section 145. And as I was spraying my Lysol shower mist about, I recalled the article in the paper that quoted Charlie Manuel saying, “Jimmy (Rol

Phillies-Yankees Opener: Phil's Yank Yankee's Chain As Myer's Throws Gold

This morning, the sign on the Methodist Church read, “Count your blessings, not your problems.” Hell, I’m an equal opportunity sinner. I say we tally them both. Let’s take affirmative action and also exaggerate some facts. How do you think rumors start anyway? It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. Jamie Moyer spoke with Alex Rodriguez before game one of this interleague series. The two former teammates exchanged what bystanders are assuming were words regarding Jamie’s judgment of A-Rod’s steroid use some seven years ago. Jamie’s a God-fearing man and he doesn’t approve of A-Rod breaking the rules. Wait. Rewind. Judgment? God fearing? Did I hear a ‘cast the first stone’ connotation in there somewhere? Now from what I’ve read, Alex Rodriguez was one of 104 names on a super-secret list compiled of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. And somehow, mysteriously, A-Rod’s name slipped from the report and into the hands of stellar reporter, Selena Rober

Phillies-Reds 12-5 Finale: When Charlie's Cooking, Phil's Bats Are Hot

This morning I watched an episode of the Charlie Manuel Show that I’d previously recorded. On that particular day, Charlie was cooking – linguine salad to be exact – and the rule of the day was “no talking baseball.” But watching the Skipper cook made one thing utterly obvious: Charlie cooks like he coaches. Slow, methodical, intentional, and intuitive. He eyes up amounts like an executive chef and follows his nose like he follows a hunch. Without a word of the game spoken, Charlie made it clear why 2008 was the year. Charlie knows what he likes. He knows players like he knows food. If he’s as predictable in the clubhouse as he is in the kitchen, it’s no wonder players like him. They don’t have to concern themselves with a guy who’s indecisive, or even wonder what’s for dinner. Did you know Charlie has lost thirty pounds? No wonder Brett Myers and Ryan Howard lost weight in the off season. It’s embarrassing to be shown up by an old man. I know how they feel. That’s why I fei

Phillies-Reds Game II: Game Goes To Dogs With Harang's K-9

Aaron Harang of the Reds lost seventeen games last year, tying a club record. But last night he was the CEO, and Great American Park was K-Mart. Strike-outs were the blue-light special with deep discounts given on walks back to the bench. It was no game for streakers: the Phillies blew their five game winning streak, the Reds stopped their losing run at four, and Jimmy Rollins let his ‘hit and run’ streak end at eight. And everyone knows if Jimmy’s not hitting, the odds are against winning. Simply put, our team was out pitched and out hit. But we looked damn good doing it. Pitching is a combination of components: the cosmic and the cognitive; the mental and the mechanical. Even though Jamie was the master of most last night, the honorary doctorate was denied his decree, proving the 250th doesn’t come free. Hits were dropping like jaws at a bachelor party; like pants at an MLB drug test, or like Madonna dishes boyfriends. (Hey, is that an A-Rod joke?) Moyer was even called on a ba

Phillies-Reds Opener: Jayson Werth To Be Debriefed?

First, the big announcement: Chan Ho Park’s going to the bullpen and JA’s a Happ-y man. We knew there was a pow-wow on Monday and we knew Charlie would share the secret with us Tuesday. I love secrets. And I loved this one only because Park’s going to a much better place. And Jamie Moyer’s moving up in the rotation to pitch on Wednesday so he doesn’t have to face the Yankees over the weekend. Hmmm. Wondering why we coddle Jamie Moyer when we have other talent to develop is a lot like my cat wondering why I shower when I have a tongue. Answer: because. Because of Rich Dubee, because of Charlie Manuel, because of Ruben Amaro, and because I can’t reach every part of my body with my tongue (although if I could, it would make me quite popular on YouTube). In all seriousness though, it’s about respect. Jamie’s earned it, Jamie gets it, and Charlie will give it to him. Then Dr. Moyer will come back and pitch against Florida – a young team that’s historically been a win for the old-timer. So w

Philadelphia Phillies-What's Really Wrong With Chan Ho Park

On Saturday the Phillies won a double-header in route to a series sweep, and a filly ran the Preakness in route to a sweep of the field. What’s the difference? Nothing really, until you look at the failure of Chan Ho Park. Something has to be true about Chan Ho: he has to have something that comes close to resembling an intangible phenomenon called “talent.” The MLB didn’t go all the way to South Korea to get a pitching prospect because we lack talent right here in the US. Something had to catch someone’s eye and I’m sure it wasn’t because they had money burning a hole in their pocket. Even Charlie Manuel doesn’t look at a prospect and say, “Does he wanna make a load of dough?” No. He says, “Does he have talent?” Because Charlie says, “If you don’t, it’ll be an uphill battle,” (only he won’t say it clearly and he’ll stutter a bit, but you get my point). So what’s up with Chan Ho Park? Well, we’ve established it can’t be lack of talent. The population of the United States is 306.5 mi

Phillies Sweep Nationals But It May Be The End of The Road for Park

Messages come in the most peculiar ways. This morning I sat wondering what makes players hot or sometimes cold when suddenly my son bound from his room firing his fake M-16 rapid-style about the room like we were in battle. So I asked him the logical question. “Is there something I should know?” He simply flipped the gun upside down and started singing a rock song into end of the barrel. Maybe I thought too much of it. Maybe I’m doing the same thing with the Phillies. I think the message is, the Phillies do battle; then the fat lady sings. That’s as simple as it gets. Charlie would say, “Stop talking about it.” I will… starting now. Just before the game, we saw a commercial for a movie called Drag Me To Hell. After the violent, spastic, horror trailer ended, I glanced at my son with my jaw gaped in shock and said, “Wow, you think that’s a comedy?” He replied, “Probably a chick flick. Looks a lot like Bride Wars.” I don’t know where he got his sense of humor but Charlie didn’t hav

Phillies-Nationals Double-Header: Did You Feel That?

An I-Bomb-nez went off in the nation’s capital yesterday. The same thing happened in my son’s room. I knew my child had been busy. While I sat on the couch for nine hours watching HD-TV present an exciting double-header with a Preakness intermission, my son was busy redecorating. So before I even opened the door to his room, I said, “What’s it look like in here anyway?” He said, “Like someone picked it up and shook it really hard!” That doesn’t work for a room, but it worked for a lineup. Charlie shook up the order and it worked like a charm. I think before every game he should put the starter’s names in a cup and shake them, like Yahtzee dice. Over the course of both games we had Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot with Shane Victorino and Chase Utley trading off at number two. But then Raul Ibanez hit in what will now be known as the "preliminary cleanup slot", with Ryan Howard in the "backup cleanup spot". Moving Raul to the third spot redefined the batting o

Phillies-Nationals: Quality Comes With Quantity, 12 Innings of It

It was a long, warm night. It was one where quality came with quantity – twelve innings of it. But it didn’t start out that way. After the first inning, it seemed like it was happening all over again. “We’ve fallen and we can’t get up!” The top of our lineup forgot how to hit and Blanton threw more than 26 pitches to get out of the inning. Then in the second, it became apparent that the top of the lineup really started at the end of the alphabet: Raul IbaneZ, along with Pedro FeliZ and Carlos RuiZ, made offense look E-Z. They each singled like a pack of copycats, with Pedro reaching base in his last eight appearances and Carlos doing it in his last nine. I don’t know the stat on Raul; we’re just used to him doing everything with a capital “Effort” and “Hustle”. Then Pedro Feliz made Davey Lopes proud with his gutsy base running as did Raul Ibanez, Jimmy Rollins, and Jayson Werth. Hey, he’s the base coach who whined that they weren’t aggressive around the diamond so let me pose a wa

Philadelphia Phillies Pitching-We Need More Than a Psychologist

I’m a woman and I'm a lover. By design one makes me do the other. So after yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Dodgers, I left all the hating to the man I married, whom we’ll now call “Husband Vader”. The Dark Lord was so distraught at Phillies pitching yesterday, he nicknamed Chad, “Disturbin’ Durbin,” and he said, “Lidge throws balls and strikes in a ratio like kids share candy – one for you, one for me.” He says the problem with Phil’s ball slingers is Ruben Amaro didn’t amend the pitching staff in the off season - like my better half told him too. I hate it when he’s right. So I got to thinking (which is always a little scary). Then I read the article in the Daily News about sports psychologist, Harvey Dorfman, and I got to thinking even harder. Then I went deep, like a Ryan Howard hit. I decided we need that magic back; be it luck, chemistry, or timing, we have to find it. Then I glanced over at the skipper of the Death Star and it came to me. We need to tap into “The Force”. S

Phillies-Dodgers II: If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say...

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This could be a short post. I haven’t even seen the game yet (yeah, that mommy thing) and I’m wondering if I should. My dad already foiled the ending with a late night Facebook post with the result. Is it illegal to un-friend your dad? So I’m warming up to it – a lot like Phillies pitching this year. I haven’t powered up the TV and the pitching staff hasn’t turned on the power. My husband is so discontented with Jamie, before the game he said, “The Dodgers are gonna hit the snot out of Moyer.” “Why, honey,” I said, “that’s awful negative.” He continued, “Remember the playoffs last year?” Remember the Alamo? And he says women have selective recall. I hate it when he's right. So, judging from the stats, it looks like a number of things are certain: Jimmy’s liking the five spot although he says he’s a lead-off man, Raul’s silently chipping away at leading team stats although he says he’s just here to help the ball

Phillies-Dodgers: Jayson Werth's Been a Bad, Bad Boy

I was in NYC yesterday. I know…how could I possibly visit the city of the Phil’s arch-rival so fresh off our losing series with them. But if it’s any consolation, I wore my Phillies World Series jacket—the one with the big “P” over my left fully padded breast. And when a woman approached me and pointed to it, I was sure she wasn’t impressed with my cup size, but I thought maybe she’d compliment me on my team’s banner 2008 season. Instead she thought I played in the World Poker Tour. Oddly enough I didn’t know that existed. Can you tell there’s only one game for me? And did I call it or what! Just as I whined that the Phillies lacked spirit, Jayson Werth ran the bases like the ghost of Phillies present. My dad tells me it was eerily familiar to the baserunning of the ghost of baseball past: Jackie Robinson. In 1954, he was the first player to steal his way around the bases in the NL in 26 years and he stole home 19 times in his career. One theft of the plate is tough, but I won

Everything I Know About Baseball I Learned From "Elf"

My dad visited the cemetery today and he's happy to report that no one's missing. That includes Brad Lidge's adrenalin, Jimmy Rollins' batting average, JC Romero's permission to pitch, Shane Victorino's bat, Greg Dobbs pinch-hitting skills, and Brett Myers mojo. They're all still gone. Heck, Chase Utley hasn't smiled since his last error. And I love smiling; smiling's my favorite. So after four straight losses, I think the Clausometer says it all. We've got no spirit. And everyone knows the best way to spread Phillies cheer is singing loud for all to hear. That's why, no matter what happens in this series, on Thursday I'll be the loudest fan in section 145, singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame . Go Phils!

Phils vs. Braves Recap: Un-happy Mother's Day

It had the makin’s of an off day. First, my son made me a custom card for Mother’s Day so on the way to the game I read it: To Mom Roses are red Violence is blue I can’t wait to hit you. One thing’s for certain: he’s acquired my skills as a poet. Then while driving down interstate 95, the pre-game show reported that Jayson Werth wasn’t playing today. What!! He’s on the blanket!! He can’t ‘not play’! I think that’s illegal. Can I get instant replay on that? Then, just inside the gate, my world fell apart. The boxes of blankets were empty and they were handing out fliers to use for redemption at a later date. Say it ain’t so! The blankets wouldn’t be available until July 24th because the manufacturer screwed up Jayson’s lips. That’s okay! I’ll just suck them off anyway! Doesn’t Phillies management understand there are no rain checks on sex appeal? This isn’t K-Mart Park. Gesh! So the only things I had available to me today were my binoculars and my memories until late in the ga

Forget About Flowers, I'm Bringing Home Jayson Werth

What’s the over-under on my husband forgetting Mother’s Day? I’m just kidding. The only problem is he’ll do something nice and, in return, I’ll have to acknowledge Father’s Day. The hardest thing about that holiday is I can’t think of anything to do for him that will also benefit me. Here’s an idea: if I sat naked on a Phillies rally towel would the emblem emboss in my flesh? I’d sit on it like an old mother hen. It’ll be like laying my own Philly. I’m sorry, was I thinking out loud? Actually it doesn’t matter what my old man gets me because we have tickets to today’s game and they’re handing out Jayson Werth blankets to every mother 15 years of age and older. (It’s kind of creepy how they have to qualify that.) Anyway, I can’t wait to drape myself in him when I admire my Phils on TV, and I - and only I - will know that I’m really fantasizing about being wrapped in the arms of my favorite right fielder. Speaking of Jayson. I don’t think I’ve shown Pat Gillick enough graciousness for br

Phillies vs. Braves - Cole, the Next Precious Metal

Did you hear that last night? That was the sound of Philadelphia starting to breathe again. After Cole Hamels took the mound, one thing was certain—there was no dust on the bottle. He had seven K’s in 95 pitches, sailing 2008-style through the game atop his 80 mile an hour changeup. Then in the sixth, he sent two batters to base on balls when his arm ran out of quarters. That’s when Charlie came to the mound and said, “We’re clean outta change.” And when Charlie says something, he means it. I don’t imagine Charlie’s the type of guy who wastes words (unlike yours truly who’s been known to stretch a 300-word intention to well over the limit). And I’m willing to bet Charlie’s never used Wikipedia. The lower end of the lineup is still looking tough. You know that part—the land of misfit boys. It includes Jayson Werth, a guy who sat out the 2006 season with a bad wrist and didn’t even start when he was signed by the Phils with a cautious one-year contract ‘Werth’ a measly $850,000. Ther

Phils vs. Mets - Werth's Performance Overshadowed By, Well, Everything

My dad said it best. “I went to a drug bust and a baseball game broke out.” Actually I think that’s a twist on an old Rodney Dangerfield line but you get my point. The saddest thing about Manny being Manny is it overshadowed some of the cool things that happened in yesterday’s Phillies loss. Wait, has Flattish lost her mind? Cool things and loss? Can you even use those two words in the same sentence? Yes. I was twenty years old and the guy’s name was Trevor and he had a terrific body. Are you with me so far? Anyway, everyone has said plenty about Manny and we’re about to be inundated with what a bad boy A-Rod’s been, so let’s find something else to talk about. Like ballplayers – more specifically the Philadelphia Phillies. Ahhhhh, I feel better already. Was it just me or was Jayson Werth having a great time last night in spite of everything? He was sliding and catching and hitting and running and scoring. He was like that happy stray dog that runs up to you in the park and sets

The Phils Had a Crypt-o-night and What About Ster-o-mites?

I love fantasies. Before last night’s game I fantasized about donning a skin tight shirt spun of fire engine red, embossed with a superhero diamond, except instead of an S there was a huge power P for “Phillies” plastered across my padded underwire to call attention to the superpower that they are. But even Superman had a weakness and yesterday the Phils had a crypt-o-night. I didn’t see that coming. That game was as much a surprise as a 47-year-old spinster winning Simon Cowell’s heart or a 50 to 1 underdog taking the Kentucky Derby… No wait. It wasn’t quite like that. It was more like getting your period at the grocery store - it wasn’t pretty. Now I haven’t done anything really significant in my life so it’s my nature to find ways to think I’m special. Like Shane continuing his personal hitting streak, I started what I like to call my own Phillies cheer, “C’mon Chase, get on base!” Okay, a poet I’m not. And I’m also not the best singer of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ either, but I’