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Showing posts from June, 2009

And You Thought Steroids Were No Laughing Matter

Testosterone, steroids, PEDs, or performance enhancers.

Anyway you say it, it means one thing: We can’t stop talking about them—or rather we can’t stop talking about the people who abuse themselves with them.

Honestly, I think the whole “steroids in baseball” thing is a welcome reprieve from reality TV, and a lot more interesting than Who’s Got Kate’s Eight or whatever that show is called, but one thing doesn’t make sense.

I thought baseball players volunteered for the 2003 test that put them on that “list.”

Don’t get me wrong—taking steroids is unacceptable—but a secret list of men on ‘roids is as dangerous as parading the Chippendale dancers past a crowd of desperate housewives.

That “list” is like a who’s who of "men I’d love to…” Well, let’s just say we shall heretofore refer to it as the “MILF list.”

But who’s leaking the names?

It’s not me. I only leak when I sneeze.

My money’s on Dr. Evil. I’ll bet he’s in bed with one of the lawyers who feeds victims from the list to the New York…

Phillies Home Debacle: 'Til Death Do Us Part?

Father’s Day is always tough for me because I have to honor my husband in a way that doesn’t directly benefit me.

But this holiday was easy. He made two requests:

No. 1 - Spend more time with family.

I know where he was heading. That meant he wanted me to back off my blogging fixation and acknowledge that there’s more to life than baseball and the Bleacher Report.

After hours of debate and a long intervention, I had to admit, he had a point.

“Besides,” he said, “you have a son.”

“A son?” I asked. “When did that happen?”

I’m just kidding. My child has been extremely patient, but now that school has ended and baseball is simmering, he’d like to share more of that enthusiasm with me instead of seeing me share it with my laptop.

And he’s pretty easy to please. He thinks I’m cool just because I can talk like Yoda and maneuver any conversation to a punch line ending with “poop.”

And for ten-year-old’s poop rules.

But my husband continued.

“And,” he added, “you’re starting to look like crap.”

“Crap?” I…

Phillies-Orioles: Evolution of a Nickname

There’s one thing the Phillies loss did last night.

It made it easy to find my car.

When Jack Taschner replaced Antonio Bastardo after seven innings of five-hit, four-run baseball, it didn’t take long for the reliever to clear the stands.

My husband, the self-proclaimed Phillies pitching critic, has been known to coin a term here and there to capture his frustration.

So far he’s created “Disturbin’ Durbin” to describe his delight with reliever Chad Durbin, and crafted a catch-all phrase to describe what the bullpen does in poor outings.

He calls it “jack-assing.”

So it’s only fitting that Jack Taschner fell victim to my husband’s wit as well.

Jack ran the gamut of stats. In two innings he struck out one, walked one, earned three runs, and made sure one of the five hits allowed cleared the outfield wall.

My husband says he shall now be known as “Trash-ner.”

I say he was just being efficient. Like a good multitasker, “Trash” was getting more done in less time.

But the batters were getting less do…

Phillies-Blue Jays Finale: The Sequel To Benchwarmers?

First, let’s look on the bright side.

The Phillies came from behind to tie the game twice with the help of home runs by Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry, Jr., and Greg Dobbs. New reliever, Tyler Walker, was once again thrown to the lions in a bases-loaded, one-out situation and survived. Jimmy Rollins was 3-for-5, lending faith to his renewed offensive demeanor. And every starter made it to base – at least once.

And I have a name for my new goat.

I now dub thee Marco Scutero.

I name my goats after Phillie killers and this one certainly has a nice ring to it.

When Scutero scooted around first on a walk and stole second on fielding indifference, my child said, “Wow, that’s embarrassing.”

Then when John Mayberry Jr. was daydreaming in right when he fielded a single as Scott Rolen rounded first and then took second to embarrass the Phils further, my son said, “That’ll put you on the bench.”

Last year Jimmy Rollins was stashed in the dugout for lollygagging to first base, and also for d…

Philadelphia Phillies: Welcome To the Land of Oz

If I had a nickel for every time I said, “What do you plan to do with that booger?”

I’m sorry. I got sidetracked.

I meant, if I had a nickel for every time I said, “The Phillies don’t need another pitcher,” I’d be rich. Okay, maybe rich only from my son’s point of view – when you’re ten, a buck buys a lot of Big League Chew.

But I might be alone in my thinking.

Charlie Manuel announced yesterday that if he only had another A list pitcher…

If I only had a heart I wouldn’t see through Charlie’s words.

I think this is Charlie’s way of booing his starters.

Hey, he’s the one who said Phil’s fans need to start booing their team. I think he thinks they’ve become complacent at home. Well, their home stand record would indicate that.

I’ll admit, our starting pitching has been bad. But what if it’s just been spoiled.

Everyone’s making a big deal of Brett Myers being out for the rest of the season, but if I only had a brain maybe I’d remember he had some other great outing this season besides his dominat…

Phillies-Blue Jays: It Aint the Luck of the Irish

There’s Murphy’s Law, and then there’s Murphy’s game.

Phillies ace Cole Hamels suffered another sub-par start, preempted by two change-ups that kicked up dirt in front of the plate on the first batter of the game. The divots his pitches made were deeper than the ones I made during miniature golf – and that’s bad.

And although Cole would manage to hold the Jays to only three runs when he passed 100 pitches by the bottom of the sixth, it was another indication that foul balls eat up pitches, and pitch counts get high when balls are left hanging.

Then the Phightin’s bullpen fumbled through the game.

Disturbin’ Durbin surprisingly failed to live up to his name as he quickly retired four in the seventh, but then J.C. Romero had a problem getting in the zone. Little did we know, he would walk half of the six batters he’d face and would be spared an earned run only because of a baserunning error by Alex Rios.

Rios failed to tag on a fly ball to left and was stranded on third like an ugly prom dat…

Abstain From Baseball? Watch Your Mouth

Just because the Phillies were off yesterday doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about them. I’m a babe and I’m Irish. That means I can’t stop my obsession with boys and I can’t stop talking – but not necessarily in that order.

But when my husband asked if I could abstain from baseball for just one day, I was speechless.

Abstain?

What kind of question is that?

“When’s the last time you abstained?” I asked.

No answer.

That’s what I thought.

Besides, I don’t think abstinence works. I’ve read that right-wingers are big on it, and I also recently read an article about how “big on that” they are. It said Texas leads the union in funding for abstinence-only education, yet surprisingly it also leads the nation in teenage pregnancies.

I wonder what the point is.

You want to know what I think?

I’ll tell you anyway.

The problem is the campaign is directed at girls. Allow me to explain.

Girls are estrogen mongers. We’re designed to love. Without it, baseball players, coaches, commentators, owners, v…

Phillies-Red Sox: Is That The Swine Pitching Flu or Do I Smell Truffles?

Sunday’s 11-6 Phillies victory over the Red Sox was a welcome change for a number of different reasons.

It was the shortest game Philadelphia has played since the June 9 loss to the Mets in eight and a half innings, it was the first Phils win of the series and it was a game that restored some semblance of faith in our inexperienced pitching staff, thanks to the recovery of J.A. Happ.

The Phillies were already three games up in the NL East when the game started, but I wonder if Charlie Manuel knew that the Met’s Johan Santana had lasted only three complete innings and allowed an amazing nine earned runs against the Yankees when he made the decision to let Happ work it out.

I wonder if he knew Derek Lowe of the Braves allowed seven earned runs in 2.1 innings. And I wonder if he had an inkling that Josh Beckett of the Red Sox, who had allowed only one earned run in his last 28.2 innings, would digress to his slow season start and give up 11 hits to the Phillies.

The swine flu has reportedly …

Phillies Pitching: What Happened To The Six Million Dollar Man?

Pitching.

It’s a simple word with a simple concept: throw the ball into the zone.

Antonio Bastardo was going for his third consecutive win by a pitcher just up from the minors but it must have been too much pressure. Like Jamie Moyer’s elusive 250th win, sometimes it’s not what you’re throwing but what’s on your mind.

Pitching is one part mental, and as Charlie Manuel says about Bastardo, “… that’s a confidence thing.” Charlie thinks he’ll rebound from his Saturday night one-inning disaster, even if some Phil’s fans won’t.

And pitching is also one part mechanical. As we’ve seen with Brad Lidge, the slightest compensation in mechanics is all it takes to tweak a 95 mile an hour pitch into a blown save.

But the whole conglomeration of throwing a baseball can be summed up in what’s commonly called “stuff.” And sometimes a pitcher just doesn’t have it.

Saturday night Bastardo was missing his stuff while Chad Durbin found it for three amazing innings. Jack Taschner may never have the right stuff,…

Phillies-Red Sox Game One: Women Umpires in Baseball

Umpires always have the option of confirming a call with their crew. They also have the option of reviewing a home run call with instant replay.

But they sometimes don’t.

That’s why I should be an umpire.

First of all, I’d wear a little pink. Maybe I’d swipe a streak across my lips or just pin a breast cancer awareness ribbon on my chest.

No, not on my chest. There’s nothing to call attention to there. Maybe on my sleeve, like where the Phillies 2008 World Champion patch is.

Then before each batter, I’d remind myself that you can’t actually touch the players.

Then I’d remember that this is major league baseball. It doesn’t get any bigger than this. What’s the harm in asking for some help?

The problem boils down to one thing: men asking for directions.

Yup. That’s why I propose woman umpires in baseball. We like to keep everyone happy, we bake, and we don’t mind asking for help. Sometimes we even look pretty good doing it.

And if the league’s not considering my proposal for cheerleaders, I thin…

Phillies-Mets Finale: Finally an Allegation Confession

Well, Raul Ibanez isn’t on performance enhancing drugs – he is a performance enhancing drug.

The Phillies won two of three in the series with the Mets and held an archrival to three runs on nine hits. That’s the same number the Phillies used to score six.

What does it take to do that?

Defense. And Raul was a large part of that. He leads the team in outfield assists with six, driving the total for the three starting fielders to 10. He applies effort and hustle to every putout, slide, or dive, and is one of the men responsible for that MLB leading fielding percentage.

And in the sprawling greenery of Citi Field, Ibanez completed the outfield trinity with Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth like a great set of Goodrich tires – we get a lot of mileage out of them. And if you buy three, you get the fourth free.

I’m sorry, that’s at Pep Boys. My mistake.

But you need more than just fancy footwork to beat a team that’s always vying for you.

What else does it take?

Offense. And Raul was a large part of …

Phillies-Mets Game Two: Pssst, Here's Another Allegation

Goodness, gracious.

A blogger from Midwest Sports Fans has set the sports world on fire. Little Jerrod Morris dared to contend that Raul Ibanez is taking PEDs.

Well, the insinuation is false, but “serious journalists” chose to make an example of how dangerous false allegations from feral bloggers can be by trying to make an example of him.

First, remember, serious journalists in Philly have never made a ridiculous allegation—Manny Ramirez was seriously trying to get pregnant.

Second, print journalism is failing at the hands of the internet, so what a great opportunity to call attention to the dangers of making news and opinions available to an astounding number of people with a keystroke.

It’s almost as if they think the general public doesn’t have a brain.

Okay, we did re-elect George W. Bush—but that was before those feral news shows like The Daily Show gave us the opportunity to see him speak.

I think Jerrod just said it for attention. We all know successful blogs are high on read count …

Phillies-Mets Game One: Happy Hour Cancelled at Citi Field

There’s no Happ-y hour at Citi Field.

JA Happ, the recent addition to the Phil’s starting rotation, barely lasted five innings and left pitches hanging that were twice hit over the fence in a park that used to brag an average of 1.4 dingers a game.

That’s all changed. The Metropolitans and the Phil-billies combined to hit a total of seven home runs.

Four were taken from Johan Santana who was possibly the most unhittable starter in baseball – until last night. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back dingers in the fourth, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run shot in the sixth, and Chase Utley hit a solo HR in the eighth to add to the offensive highlights.

But JA Happ tarnished his season record by allowing four earned runs, three of which came from two homers. But the evening wasn’t complete until Chad Durbin, who my husband calls “Disturbin’ Durbin,” held true to his quest and allowed another dinger to soar.

But with this 5-6 loss came some great defensive moments as well.

First, Raul the Great…

The Phils Had An Off Day: That's a Good Time To Strip Down Jayson Werth

An off day is a great time to strip down to facts and do some thinking. You know Charlie Manuel was doing that on Monday. And since I have a lot of time on my hands too, you know one thing's for certain: stripping down Phillies has crossed my mind.

Today I’m taking two completely different topics–both of which are popular with some B/R readers–and meshing them together in a way where one actually enhances the other.

No, I'm not talking about porn and food, although that would make for an interesting cooking show.

I'm talking about baseball and literature.

I'm talking about Jayson Werth and the Kama Sutra.

Wait, was I thinking out loud? I'm so sorry. I meant to say Jayson Werth and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. (Gesh, how embarrassing.)

The Secret is a self-help book intended to describe in detail how to visualize your dreams and manifest your visions. It's a "how to" guide to getting what you want. But it's so much more than hoping what you believe will…

Phillies Game Four Victory Like a Breath of Air Freshener

On Saturday night, the dead silence that crept into the room after our closer’s second blown save was stirred by a familiar sound.

My son ripped a dinger like a pop from a cork gun.

“Do you mind,” I whined. “I’m mourning here!”

It smelled like his gas passed by something dead.

Actually something did die, but it wasn’t stowed within the stinky confines of a ten-year-old. It was the confidence in a man we call, “Lights Out Lidge.”

When it comes to his closer, Charlie Manuel must feel like a frat boy in the wee hours of the morning: drunk and desperate. I’d hate to see him make a coyote-ugly decision but fortunately he wasn’t forced to Sunday night. Most improved pitcher of the game, Chan Ho Park, jogged in from the bullpen and did his job.

How hard was that?

Very, considering the drama that led up to it.

Park’s performance in the past rivaled a reality show. He was promised a shot at a rotation spot that he earned but couldn’t keep. Then to make it clear he intended to start, he stunk in the…

Philadelphia Phillies: To Warm Up On The Road, Try A Good Hot Flash

You can please all of the people none of the time, some of the people none of the time, and none of the people none of the time.

Wait, I think I screwed that up. Let me check my email again.

Nope, that’s right.

In the short time I’ve been posting on The Bleacher Report (moment of silence in respect), my almost 4,000 reads have yielded surprisingly few comments. So when I received an email requesting that I delete a recent post, well… it surprised me like a pee shiver.

My article was, "Phillies-Padres: I Have A Good Joke For You,” and the reviewer let me know it was disrespectful and should be deleted because it was the top article on a Google News search about Chan Ho Park.

Well, you know what first crossed my mind. MY ARTICLE WAS FIRST ON A GOOGLE NEWS SEARCH!!! WOOO HOOO!! THANK YOU BLEACHER REPORT!! Then I put my childishness aside and considered his words with all seriousness. And if you’ve ever read my blogs, you’ll know how hard that is for me.

But first, I couldn’t help but go…

Philadelphia Phillies: No Streaking Allowed at Dodger Stadium

The Phil’s streak was halted. I hate it when a fantasy comes to an end. That’s why I miss the 70’s. You can’t fault an era where everyone took it off and let it dangle in the wind.Now that’s an idea for a promotion at Citizens Bank Park – a different type of giveaway. Trust me, when it comes to hot ballplayers, nothing excites me more than “giving it away,” but what if we didn’t “get” something. What if we gave something up? What if they had retro night at the park and in honor of a lost era, we all took off our clothes? I know some young guys in section 145 who’ll be happy they sit in front of me instead of behind me.Speaking of promotions, there’s a new piece of merchandise already circulating. It’s a pretty plastic bracelet embedded with the initials: WWCD.That's cryptic for, "What Would Charlie Do?"The Skipper has his work cut out for him. And he’s the one who has to steer the ship while the rest of us hold on and hurl.Some of that hurling came in a slow therape…

Phillies-Dodgers: What Do You Get When You Cross A Dollar Dog With...

I bleed red.

I think that’s the silliest way to proclaim your devotion to the Phils.

But my loyalty goes deeper. Not only do I bleed Phillie red, mine’s pinstriped – like a candy cane. And when it pools on the floor it forms a “P” and smells like “dollar dog night.”

But when it comes to a 10pm game after a seven-course French dinner party, my Phillie blood pooled in my belly and pooped me out. Then this morning, I couldn’t watch the game until I pooped.

Sorry, maybe that was too much information.

All these parties are really hard on me having no life. Don’t people understand? My eye candy was pitching last night.

Since I got home late and forgot to set my TiVo to record the start of the game, I asked it to tape the encore at 1:30 in the morning. Personally, I don’t see how the pain of missing the 10pm game is lessened by the knowledge that you won’t be able to see it at 1:30 either. But that’s just me.

To make matters worse, the encore started late too. But that’s okay. Cole Hamels was get…

Phillies-Padres Sweep: California to Pass New Legislation

Those silly Californians will vote on anything. And after the Phils capped a three-game series sweep, the richest state in the nation has initiated legislation to ensure they’re the winning-est. They’ve started Proposition Raul. And unlike other legislation, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has promised to terminate the pesky left fielder.

I can see it now. Dodger fans will show up donning t-shirts with a portrait of the MLB RBI leader outlined in a thick red circle with a line through it. The caption will read:

Vote Yes on Prop R - No more RBI for RI
or
Take away his RBI and what do you get? -aul --anez
or
Without his RBI, -aul --anez is just a shell of a man

Actually, I’m afraid for his life. Really. I think he should hide out somewhere until this animosity blows over. It just so happens, I know of a safe place. My house. It’s secluded, and it’s owned by a completely unknown writer so there’s no danger of drawing attention.

Door’s always open.

Now for the tragic news: Shane Victorin…
Here’s a joke: a South Korean walks into a ballpark…

That's so mean!

Now, I like to keep score but in the seventh inning last night when I heard Chan Ho Park was coming to the mound, I grabbed a brand new sheet of paper. Lucky for me I had plenty of space to record his accomplishments:

A single, a single, a K, a pop fly, and then a walk to load the bases. Then he allowed an RBI single to raise the stakes. And as if walking in another run wasn’t bad enough, Park faced the NL co-player of the week, Adrian Gonzalez, with the bases still loaded.

Gonzalez had already hit a homer for the fourth consecutive game, so when he stepped to the plate, my son said: “Whoop, there he is.”

I guess walking in another run and topping that off with a two-run single wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. Any one of the Padres could have hit a grand slam homer in the seventh and created a crucial save situation, but it took Chad Durbin to make that dream come true.

When he jogged from the bullpen i…

Phillies Immortalized in Beach Boys song

The epic sixty's singing group has agreed to change the lyrics to one of their hits:

"West Coast boys are hip I really love those clothes they wear.
But the East coast boys with the way they hit, they knock me out when they’re out there."

Okay, a lyricist I’m not. And you know I'm kidding.

But my dad is visiting and I’m just so excited he saw the Phils sweep a three game series and win the first game of their west coast stint.

Then he asked me a question to make any mom proud.

"Who’s that centerfielder?"

Well, legally he’s called “Shane Victorino,” but we like to call him TOTALLY AWESOME! Now maybe it isn’t fair to exclaim his Shane-ness when he’s alternating outfield gigs with the Nationals, led by hustle extraordinaire, Adam Dunn–the antithesis of fielding. But honestly, I think he looks good no matter who we’re playing.

Let’s be authentic about it. And not in a roundabout way like, “Does too much of my butt show in this miniskirt?”

“Not if you’re going to be s…

Philadelphia Phillies Starting Rotation: Death by Chocolate?

The series sweep of the Nationals was sweet.

The first game gave JA Happ his third win and boosted the confidence of closer Brad Lidge while Jayson Werth broke his 145 game no-error streak–a National League record. Hopefully, he’ll streak again and not just in my dreams.

Then in game two, Ryan Howard broke Michael Jack’s franchise career grand slam record. Well, it was destined to happen. Ryan’s a show-off. In little league, he was the only player to hit a home run over the Red Lobster. I wonder if he got a free dinner.

Then yesterday, Jamie Moyer reached the elusive 250th win–in almost as many tries.

This calls for a celebration. And I think my sister should be in charge.

I partied at her house on Saturday night (which is obviously why you didn’t hear from me on Sunday). But I have some great insight on celebrating.

First, you start with food. Food’s good and great food’s better, but just having great food isn’t what makes the party. As I rounded the counter to throw away my most certainly…