November 2008

Baseball’s Strangest Pranks and Bad Jokes

Continuing our Strange Baseball series, here is the latest installment:  Baseball Pranks and Jokes.  Please, do not try these at home J

Atlanta Braves Minor Leagues - a player, who apparently will remain nameless, was told by his teammates that his hotel room in Scranton was haunted and that a ghost was going to try to kill him.  His teammates even got a key to his room and re-arranged things so he would think that the ghost did it.  This poor, gullible player bought into the stories and was so scared, he was ready to change hotels. Before he could, a group of players stormed his room in the middle of the night and scared the pants off him. (events reported by Blaine Boyer)

Jose Contreras, White Sox:  In 2006, Contreras  injured Juan Uribe by giving him a super-atomic wedgie (the waistband of the undies goes over the head).  Uribe actually missed playing time as a result of the prank gone wrong.

Luis Gonzalez, Florida Marlins: Gonzales reportedly filled a jelly donut with mustard and waited for someone to eat it.  Eventually, someone did eat it and then proceeded to ask the clubhouse attendant to call the donut shop and advise them that someone had spiked the donuts.

Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondback: Adam Piatt became a victim of a horrible prank in retaliation for pranks he had played on others in the D-Backs locker room.  Byrnes and company coated both his underwear and his entire suit with Icy-Hot.  Piatt started sweating on his way to the airport and later reported that it was the worst plane ride of his life.

Denny Neagle, Cincinnati Reds: One night the grounds crew went out to sweep up during the fifth inning, and the team mascot, Mr. Red, joined them which was a typical event.  The catch this night was that Neagle was masquerading as Mr. Red.  As he wandered past the Red’s dugout and his identity was discovered, his team had quite a laugh over it.

Larry Bowa, Philadelphia Phillies: When Bowa was playing shortstop with the Phillies his main National League rival was Dave Concepcion of the Reds.  Before a game against the Reds, Bowa asked Concepcion if he had changed his name to Elmer.  When Concepcion replied, “No, why?”  Bowa responded with, “Because I keep seeing E-Concepcion in box score.”  Concepcion had earned a new nickname.

Corey Koskie, Minnesota Twins:  Koskie put peanut butter in the underwear of “Big Papi” David Ortiz.  Ortiz got dressed after his shower like usual and had walked about 10 yards before he noticed something was not right.  He suddenly began screaming, “Who put peanut butter in my underwear? What’s in my underwear?”  What I’d like to know is, how did he know it was peanut butter? J

Jason Schmidt, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Before a game, Schmidt switched his jersey with Clayton Kershaw’s.  Unaware of the switch, Kershaw went out onto the field wearing the wrong jersey, took pictures with fans and was even caught wearing it on the stadium’s Jumbo-Tron during the National Anthem.  Oops!

Trot Nixon, Boston Red Sox:  Nixon decided to torture Kevin Youkilis by super gluing his suitcase shut on a road trip to Texas.  Unable to get it open, Youkilis had to enlist help; they cut the suitcase open and Youkilis had to get a new bag.

Casey Weathers, Colorado Rockies:  As the Rockies’ number 1 draft pick in 2007, Casey Weathers was teased about being a big “star” and forced during camp to carry a Red Carpet around everywhere he went.  This prank occurred after the first day of camp when he was forced to push around a cart containing an elk head. 

Brett Myers, Philadelphia Phillies:  We are all familiar with the awful prank that was pulled on Kyle Kendrick during 2008 Spring Training.  Kendrick was told he had been traded to Japan and everyone, including the manager, his agent, the media, and all the players were in on the prank organized by Myers.  I think a video explains this one best:

Kyle McClellan, St. Louis Cardinals:  McClellan fell victim to a common prank seen all around MLB; as a rookie, McClellan decided to keep the first game ball he threw in the majors.  His teammates replaced it with a ball they had written all over and McClellan was upset, thinking they had actually written on his ball.  Later, his teammates gave him the real ball back, unharmed.

Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves:  Hudson gave Eddie Perez the fright of his life during a stay at a Fort Lauderdale hotel.  Perez entered his room, opened the closet door and Hudson jumped out at him, wearing the Scary Movie costume and mask.  It was all caught on tape and aired on Spike TV.  Perez was so upset, he asked to change rooms.

Henry Blanco, Chicago Cubs:  During Spring Training, Blanco and teammates decided to have some fun with their athletic trainer.  He had an old, beat up car but it was in pretty good shape when compared with how it looked after Blanco and company got through with it.  They took bats to it and smashed it up, broke all the windows, etc…  When the trainer saw what they had done, he was in shock.  Blanco then informed him that they had all gotten together and bought him a new car.  Whew!

Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals:  Third base coach Tony Beasly was very excited about a brand new car he had just bought.  Zimmerman and friends stole his keys while he wasn’t looking and had the security guard move the car.  After the game, Beasly thought his car had been stolen.  His son came in the next day and told players it was the first time he had ever heard his very religious father cuss.

Dave Parker, Cincinnati Reds:  A popular prank in the Reds clubhouse had been named “The Three Man Lift.”  Three players would lie on the ground and lock arms while Parker attempted to “lift” the 3 men.  On the floor, the man in the middle was about to get a surprise.  What they were actually doing was holding the guy down while other players covered him in shaving cream, mustard, ketchup and talcum powder.  Former Red Glenn Sutko reportedly fell for this trick not once, but twice. 

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Strange Baseball.  Please leave any of your favorite pranks in the comment section below to share with everyone.

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Things To Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Here are just a few things that Jenn is thankful for this holiday season:

·        BASEBALL!!!

·        Phillies are WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!

·        The Phillies winning has just made Holiday shopping a WHOLE lot easier!

·        Even on crutches, Chase Utley STILL looks good! J

·        And if Utley’s not in sight, I can still ogle at Greg Dobbs or Shane Victorino J

·        Right after New Year’s, I will be going on a week-long cruise with Shane, JC Romero, Larry Andersen, Greg Luzinski and the Phanatic!!  - you hate me, don’t you?

·        Form fitting baseball pants J

·        Ruben Amaro Jr. is the new GM – he is WAY easier to look at than Pat “Grumpy Face” Gilick

·        Re-runs of the World Championship season on TV this off-season

·        Football – it is the only reason I make it through the baseball off-season without hanging myself from my ceiling fan.

And on a more personal note, I am also thankful for:


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My family and friends being happy & healthy

·        I have a job that I love

·        FREEDOM

·        Music!

·        8 long years of George Bush is OVER!!!

·        Ice cream – whoever invented it is a GENIUS!

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday season! 

Peace, Love & Baseball – Jenn

 

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Utley & Feliz Surgery Update

Chase Utley had surgery on his hip on Monday and according to the Phillies, the outcome was as expected.  He will still have a 4-6 month recovery time.  The procedure was done to trim the labrum and a bony lesion in his right hip and was described as an “arthroscopic debridement .”  GM Ruben Amaro said, “Our early reports are that it was very successful surgery.”  I imagine Utley will not be turning cartwheels anytime soon, but it is possible, although unlikely, that he would be ready to play on Opening Day.  The Phillies have been rumored to be looking for a player to stand in for Utley until he is ready, but I would Bionic.jpgimagine with Eric Bruntlett as a back-up option, they may not put this high on their priority list.

Pedro Feliz had surgery on his back last week and that procedure was also said to have gone very well.  Feliz will complete a rehab program at home which is said to take about 8-12 weeks.  He should be back for Spring Training.  In the meantime, we are all waiting for Bionic Man technology to emerge and get these athletes in top shape right now!  Combine that with the salaries these players earn and it will give a whole new meaning to “The Six Million Dollar Man.”

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Higher Ticket Prices Changing The Fan Base

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The Phillies announced that they will increasing ticket prices for the 2009 season, as demand for tickets is on the rise after the World Series win.  Most seats will cost $2-$3 more, and premium seats will go up $6 each, costing $50 a piece and lower infield seats go from $50 to $60, a $10 increase.  Season ticket packages will range from $1,300 to $ 4,100.  Phillies vice president of sales and ticket operations, John Weber, stated that while they are trying to mirror prices in similar markets, they did keep the current economy in mind.  “I think we could’ve increased it even further based on the demand we have,” Weber said. “I think we definitely kept it (down), keeping the economy and everything in mind.”  He also said that many seats have been the same price since 2004, as further justification.

It could be worse.  Look at the Nationals for example; their ticket prices for some seats are 50% higher than similar seats at Citizens Bank Park, and the Nats are a last place team.  However, while it is true that prices for a Phillies ticket have generally been lower than some other similar markets, this does not soften the blow.  Major League Baseball, in general, has been slowly but surely alienating the average fan.  The ticket prices have gone sky high and when you factor in the cost of ballpark food, drink, souvenirs and parking (and for some of us, gas costs), a family of four will spend anywhere from a minimum of $138 for nose bleed seats without buying any “extras” (4 tickets $88, parking $10, food & drink for 4 – $40 minimum, souvenirs optional) to $250 for decent seats; again, no “extras” (4 tickets $200, parking $10, food & drink for 4 – $40 minimum, souvenirs optional).  Add in the cost of toys for the kids, maybe a hat or tee shirt and other items, and you’ve dropped about $300 on ONE game.  Go to 2 games and you’ve spend the average Joe’s entire paycheck.  Your normal, everyday, hardworking blue collar people simply can’t afford this.  And a team that prides itself on being down to earth, blue-collar types, should be more sensitive to the plight of the average fan.

It was never more evident to me that baseball prices have gone WAY out whack than it was during the playoff run this year.  I was lucky enough to attend at least one game of every series this October at CBP, including game 4 of the World Series.  What I noticed was, as the playoffs progressed, the demographics of the crowd began to change.  The Division series against the Brewers was some of what you’d expect at a Phillies game; lots of families, college kids and generally a nice, friendly atmosphere, with some of the stiff  corporate movers thrown in.  Moving on to the League Championship series and then the World Series, I saw the crowd change even more.  Fewer families, fewer young people and more Corporate-types in suits.  Plus, there were LOTS of people who knew NOTHING about the game or any of the players and were just people with money ready to jump on the bandwagon.  And if you know anything about Philly fans, they KNOW their team.  But those fans are the ones who can’t afford $250 for ONE World Series ticket; and that is if they were lucky enough NOT to get robbed on E-Bay or by other on-line scalpers who were charging anywhere from $500 for a standing room only ticket to thousands of dollars for an actual seat. 

During the World Series game I attended, one man in a suit actually clobbered me, trying to reach over my head during batting practice to get a foul ball for his kid.  The kid asked his Dad who tossed the ball (it was Ryan Howard) and neither the kid nor the Dad knew who he was!  The Dad then instructed the kid (he looked about 10 years old) to climb over the seats and push me out of the way so he could get closer!  So there I am, trying to take pictures, and I have stuck-up, spoiled 10 year old kid kicking at my legs to try to get me to move.  Unbelievable.  You’d all be proud of me though; I didn’t budge.  Now, I let kids in front of me all the time…I am pretty tall and can usually shoot pictures over their heads.  But this behavior was just disgusting.  I looked down at him and told him that he needed to quit kicking me and go back to his father.  The stern look on my face got his attention and he finally moved on.

I am sure that could happen at any game, but the main point is that they were not REAL fans.  These are not the people who follow the team all year long and keeping coming back whether the team is winning or losing.  These people had no idea who Ryan Howard was!  And that was only one of many, many situations I found myself in and conversations I overheard.  People sitting around me were unfriendly and paid more attention to their PDA’s and cell phones than they did to the game.  Usually, I meet really great people and have fun conversations about the game with them, but these crowds were cut from a different cloth.  During the League Championship series, I even saw a woman 2 rows in front of me playing solitaire with a deck of cards on top of the food tray she flipped over onto her lap.  This was right in the middle of the game. 

There were still some of the usual fans, like me, wandering around, but we were sorely outnumbered; those fans who either saved up the money, called in favors or simply made good friends with their credit card companies (guilty!) to buy tickets.  But the invasion of the upper-class, “casual” fan was very apparent.  The prices of a post-season ballgame have driven away the die-hard fans who just can’t manage the finances and invited in Corporate America to take their places and regular-season ticket prices are heading in the same direction.  Big companies buy up tickets and hand them out as gifts or incentives for employees.  The result?  A large population of game-goers who arrive in the 2nd inning and leave in the 7th.  Sound familiar?  The LA Dodgers have followed this model for years.  They attract more casual fans than real ones, because the real fans can’t afford the prices.  Does Philly really want to mirror big cities like LA?  I should hope not. 

And it is not just Philly, it is all of Major League Baseball.  Fans everywhere are being shut-out from their favorite pastime and are forced to choose between a day at the ballpark or feeding their family.  Guess which one will win every time?  No contest.  So, drive us away, but remember, if you alienate enough of us, you run the risk of having long-time, loyal fans become resentful of a team they once loved.  And ultimately, it is the team, the city and the sport of baseball that will suffer the consequences.

By: Jenn Zambri-Dickerson

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Matthews Pens A Book About The 2008 World Champs!

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You can stop rubbing your eyes now; yes, I am talking about Gary “Sarge” Matthews and new co-author of the book, “Phillies Confidential: The Untold Story of the 2008 Championship Season.”  Has your jaw hit the floor yet?  No?  Well then perhaps you are not familiar with the dulcet tones of Matthews’ voice or his eloquent game commentary?  You all know I love the Sarge, but his announcing sometimes sounds like a young child trying to articulate the proper rules for a game of tag that has gone horribly wrong.  Matthews is, after all, the same guy who brought us such witty and wonderful baseball Sarge-isms like “A Good Athlete” and the “Courtesy Turn” (when an outfielder turns to look at a home run leave the park, even if he knows immediately that he has no shot at catching it). 

But seriously, the Sarge has improved his game calling skills throughout this past year while under the tutelage of the great Hall of Famer, Harry Kalas.  At the beginning of the year, he had difficulty pronouncing some of the last names of the Phillies players; and though I found it hysterical, that does seem to have improved and he became much more comfortable in front of the microphone as the year progressed.  His Sarge-isms and occasional slips of the tongue have made him extremely entertaining to listen to, so I can only imagine what is in store for us beneath the pages of this new book.  Personally, I cannot wait to read it.

Matthews began writing the book in Spring Training, having no idea that the Phillies would become World Champions that very same year.  The Sarge also says he was careful not to reveal too much inside-clubhouse information for fear of alienating anyone, but that the book still gives a comprehensive and behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 Phillies season.  I hope he did not hold back too much because I really, really wanted to know what color and style undies Chase Utley prefers.  I will be sorely disappointed if there are no “undercover” underwear revelations.  And will he answer the question about how long Greg Dobbs really spends on his hair?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Of course, I am joking, although part of me still wonders….

Sorry for the temporary hormonal interruption… back on topic now: Matthews does cover in the book how he cautioned Brad Lidge in Spring Training about the finicky Philly fans and about how he believes Jimmy Rollins grew into a leader.  He also discusses the importance of role players like Dobbs, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Pedro Feliz.  The book is 192 pages long and co-written with Scott Lauber, who is beat-writer for the News Journal.  The book should be flying off a store shelf somewhere near you this week.  I will write a review at some point once I get my hands on it.  Happy Reading!

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Utley and Feliz To Have Surgery

Chase Utley, who denied a hip injury for most of the second half of the 2008 season, was apparently fibbing.  After several diagnostic studies on his right hip, it was determined by doctors that he must have surgery, and as a result, he may not be ready for Opening Day 2009.  Utley will have an arthroscopic evaluation with treatment of any labral or bony injury. 
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What this means is (and I know this from personal experience) that doctors are not completely sure what the damage is and what the extent of the injury will be.   They will find out when they open him up and go from there.  Sometimes MRI’s, CAT Scans and X-Rays show parts of the issue, or may suggest an injury, but are not conclusive enough to render a full diagnosis.  And so, if there is enough evidence to suggest something needs repairing, they just go in and figure out what the scans could not show them.  These are the limits of technology.  The good news is, it is not as risky as it sounds…arthroscopic procedures are generally safe, although the hip is one of the more tricky areas.  But he has good doctors and should be fine.  The bad news is that the recovery period is about 3 to 4 months before Utley would be allowed to resume baseball activities, and the total recovery time may be as long as 4 to 6 months.  Not good.  The Phillies will need to have an alternate 2nd baseman in place and ready to go starting in Spring Training. 

Pedro Feliz, who missed 26 days this year with back issues is also scheduled to undergo surgery.  He will have a lumbar discectomy, which will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles.  This lower-back procedure has a recovery time of about 8 weeks so, Feliz should be ready for Spring Training.  Feliz will undergo surgery today and Utley is scheduled for next week.  I wish them both the best of luck…our thoughts are with you!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

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Strange Baseball Superstitions

The Definition of Superstition:  is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge. The word is often used pejoratively to refer to supposedly irrational beliefs of others, and its precise meaning is therefore subjective. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the irrational belief that future events can be influenced or foretold by specific, unrelated behaviors or occurrences. (Latin superstitio, literally “standing over”; derived perhaps from standing in awe; used in Latin as a unreasonable or excessive belief in fear or magic, especially foreign or fantastical ideas, and thus came to mean a “cult” in the Roman empire)

So, are the following weird baseball superstitions just plain strange or is it a case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?  You decide:

- Chris Coste smells his bat after hitting a foul ball – he says it is part superstition and partly because he likes the smell of burning wood.

- Ron Wright always shaved his arms, believing it helped him hit.  He was called up to the majors in Seattle in 2002 after 8 years in the minors:  In three at bats, he managed SIX outs with 1 strikeout, and then grounding into a triple play, then a double play his final at bat.  He was sent to AAA never to be seen in the Majors again.  I don’t suggest anyone try the arm shaving anytime soon.

- Wade Boggs (1982-1999) earned the name “Chicken Man” because he religiously ate a whole chicken before every game.

- Turk Wendell (a former Phillie) use to chew exactly 4 pieces of licorice while on the mound and then brush his teeth in between every inning.  He also liked to wave at the centerfielder before pitches – whoever was out there must have really been wondering about Wendell.

- Mark (The Bird) Fidrych (Tigers, 1976-1980) used to talk to the ball after each pitch.  I wonder if it ever spoke back?

- Kevin Rhomberg (Indians, 1982-1984) had some serious issues.  He was obsessed with having to touch a person back if they touched him.  He did this everywhere; the clubhouse, the dugout and even on the field.  If he was tagged when he was on base, Rhomberg would wait until the end of the inning and then chase down the infielder and touch him before he reached the dugout.  Someone please fetch Dr. Phil…

- Barry Bonds always kissed his gold cross necklace after he hit a home run.  Maybe he should try this strategy in court?

- While with the Yankees, Roger Clemens always visited Monument Park to touch the head of the Babe Ruth statue before he pitched in Yankee Stadium.  He also gave all of his children names that began with the letter K.  Maybe now he should send them all to law school.

- Frank Viola (1982-1996), a three-time MLB all-star pitcher and former Cy Young winner, would clean the mound before every inning, kicking up the dirt exactly four times. However, if something went awry, he would try three or five.  Whatever it was, it worked!

- Mel Stottlemyre, the Yankees’ longtime pitching ace (1964-1974), did not like stepping on the foul line.  One day, after a coach teased him about it, he went ahead and stepped on the line.  Immediately following, he gave up 5 runs in one inning.  He never stepped on a foul line again.  Greg Dobbs, current Phillie, once admitted to having this superstition.  He may have been joking at the time, but I was not about to ask.  I would have felt awfully bad if I embarrassed him by insinuating any silliness on his part :o)

- Pitcher Jose Cuellar (AL, 1964-1977) had many superstitions.  He would not allow anyone to throw him the ball to start his warm-up pitches or between batters.  He insisted on picking it up off the ground.  Teammates would roll him the ball and if they didn’t and threw instead, he’d move aside and let the ball drop.  Cuellar also had a ritual of eating Chinese food the night before any game he was going to pitch.  And on the day of that game, he showed up to the clubhouse dressed in all blue – suit, shirt, tie, socks and shoes; all blue.  He even drove a blue car.

- Bobo Newsom (NL & AL, 1929-1953) would never tie his own shoes on a day he was scheduled to pitch.  He literally stood around until someone did it for him.  Really, I think this is just plain laziness J

- Lou “The Mad Russian” Novikoff (NL, 1941-1946) insisted that anytime he batted, his wife Esther, was to taunt him mercilessly from the stands.  Apparently, the shouting of insults from his wife made him angry and he hit better when he was angry.  Marriage counseling anyone?

- Kevin Elster (Mets) discovered in 1988 that sleeping with his bat was the key to success.  Once the hitting began, he even took the bat out to lunch with him.  Separation anxiety, perhaps?

ODIFEROUS AND OFFENSIVE SUPERSTITIONS:

 - Houston Astros Craig Biggio does not wash his batting helmet for the entire season.  Yuck!

- Former pitcher Charlie Kerfeld (1985-1990) had a lucky “Jetsons” T-shirt.  After winning 6 or so games while wearing it, he decided to wear it every day until the magic wore out.  I am guessing players tried to avoid him in the clubhouse…peeww!

 - Dion James (Braves, 1988); during a 16-game hitting streak, James decided not to wash his underwear for fear that it would break the streak.

- Vida Blue (pitcher, Athletics) believed that the same baseball cap he had worn since Opening Day in 1974 had special powers and brought him good luck for 3 straight seasons.  By the time 1977 rolled around, it was so dirty and faded that umpires refused to let him wear it any longer.  Blue burned the hat on the field and then proceeded to lose 19 games, a league high that year.

VOODOO POWER:

- Tito Fuentes (Giants, 1965-1974) liked to spray “voodoo juice” on his glove, arms, hands and feet.  He also carried a pouch with an eagle’s claw and turtle shells in his back pocket.

- Steve Finley / Darin Erstad; as teammates on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2005, both players have worn a small leather pouch containing a mysterious concoction of minerals around their necks to ward off injury and slumps.  The pouch was given to Finley by Craig Counsel who then passed it to Erstad in his “time of need.”

- Jenn, your happy Phillies blogger: 
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Yes, it is true that I believe Smurfs have magical voodoo powers.  And damn if I wasn’t right!  J-Roll Smurf and friends (photo) beat up on the NL East opponents all year and sent the Phillies straight to a World Series victory!  Yes, J-Roll Smurf takes full credit
J 

And no list would be complete without the old standards in Baseball Superstition:

- Sports Illustrated is a bad magazine to have your picture on apparently.  In a 2002 study, it was found that 37.2 percent of the time (913 out of 2,456 covers to that date), something bad happened to the cover subjects. That includes nearly 12 percent that suffered injuries or death.  The very first SI cover was of Eddie Matthews of the Milwaukee Braves; shortly after the cover ran, Mathews injured his hand, missed 7 games, and the Braves fell out of first place.  Spooky or coincidence?  Hmmm….

- The Curse of the Bambino: Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees and it took the Sox 84 years to overcome the curse.  The Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, ending a lifetime of “bad luck.”

- The Curse of the Billy Goat, a curse on the Chicago Cubs: Tavern owner William “Gus” Sianis was angered when his pet goat was not allowed into a World Series game in 1945. Sianis then announced that Wrigley Field would never see another World Series.  Apparently, this curse is still in effect today.

- The Curse of William Penn on the city of Philadelphia:  Supposedly, when Philadelphia City Hall was built with a statue of William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania) atop it, there was an agreement that no building in the city would rise above the Penn statue.  But in March 1987, a modern steel-and-glass skyscraper called One Liberty Place opened three blocks away which was 397 feet taller than City Hall, thus enacting the curse.  No Philadelphia professional sports team had won a major Championship after that, until just this past October.  It took 100 sports seasons and 25 years to get a win, but the Phillies did it by winning the World Series on October 29, 2008.  And so, the curse is over.  Philly fans everywhere can rest easy.

 

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Holiday Shopping

Check out this week’s edition of the MLB.com Shopper!  Phillies Phollowers has been featured and you can see all of the items on my Holiday Wish List!  And of course, if anyone wants to buy me these things, I always accept donations!  Cash is good too… J

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 In other news, I have designed a MLB logo for the MLBlogs Community Blog, MLBlogoshpere.  It is currently being displayed as the user logo on the front page of the blog.  My thanks to Mark Newman, Enterprise Editor for MLB Advanced Media, for displaying my artwork :o)  I hope you all enjoy it!

Bobbleheads logo 1.jpg

 Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Trading Places

Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols have swapped MVP titles:  In 2006, Howard was the MVP winner for the National League while the Phillies missed the playoffs by one game and Pujols was a World Champion.  This year, Pujols snagged the MVP and Howard went home with the World Series ring, coming in 2nd in the MVP voting.  A little ironic though that Pujols won this year, because in 2006, he stated that a player should not get the MVP award if his team did not make the playoffs.  Well, Pujols is now eating those words as his team finished FOURTH in their division and were obviously, nowhere near going to the playoffs.  And still, he won the award.  On the flip side, Howard carried the Phillies into the playoffs during the month of September where he batted .352 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs.  For the season, Howard had a Major League leading 48 home runs and 146 RBI.  But Howard came out on the losing end, likely due to his batting average.  Frankly, I do not care what his average is if he is hitting in key situations.  He was there when this team needed him the most and that, I do believe, is the definition of an MVP.  Nothing taken away from Pujols though; he is also a great player.  And apparently, the voters had a few other players in mind too.  Here is how the voting played out:

2008 NL MVP Award Voting

Player, Club

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

Points

Albert Pujols, STL

18

10

2

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

369

Ryan Howard, PHI

12

8

6

 

1

1

2

 

 

1

308

Ryan Braun, MIL

 

2

3

5

5

2

2

3

2

1

139

Manny Ramirez, LAD

 

2

4

7

2

3

2

 

1

2

138

Lance Berkman, HOU

 

2

4

4

1

3

3

4

1

1

126

CC Sabathia, MIL

 

4

5

1

2

2

3

 

1

2

121

David Wright, NYM

 

2

1

4

3

3

2

5

2

1

115

Brad Lidge, PHI

2

 

2

 

4

3

2

3

1

2

104

Carlos Delgado, NYM

 

 

5

1

2

5

 

2

3

 

96

Aramis Ramirez, CHC

 

 

 

2

4

1

1

4

3

1

66

Hanley Ramirez, FLA

 

 

 

2

2

2

1

2

2

5

55

Chipper Jones, ATL

 

1

 

 

 

2

4

1

2

2

44

Geovany Soto, CHC

 

 

 

3

1

 

3

 

1

 

41

Johan Santana, NYM

 

1

 

1

 

1

1

 

2

1

30

Chase Utley, PHI

 

 

 

1

1

1

1

 

3

2

30

Ryan Ludwick, STL

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

1

17

Brandon Webb, ARI

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

14

Adrian Gonzalez, SD

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

1

4

13

Matt Holliday, COL

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

1

 

1

13

Prince Fielder, MIL

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

1

1

11

Derrek Lee, CHC

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

 

 

10

Carlos Beltran, NYM

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

1

10

Tim Lincecum, SF

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

2

9

Jose Reyes, NYM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

3

Jose Valverde, HOU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

3

Stephen Drew, ARI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

2

Nate McLouth, PIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

Brad Lidge came in 8th place, and I am happy to see him get some recognition.  Chase Utley got some votes and ended up in 15th place.  Some VERY odd choices to even be on this list…Nate McLouth, for instance.  And there are FIVE Mets on the list, which is truly baffling.  This team chokes again and still has 5 potential MVP’s?  Just goes to show you how the New York area is still considered THE big market amongst media people.  So, what are your thoughts?

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Utley Wins Third Straight Silver Slugger

MLB announced yesterday that Chase Utley, who had the highest home run total of all second basemen in the majors this year, has been awarded his third consecutive Silver Slugger award.  Of course, this is just icing on the cake after the World Series win, but still a great honor.  Utley led all NL second basemen in hits (177), runs (113), RBIs (104), on-base percentage (.380), slugging percentage (.583) and extra-base hits (78).  His major leading home run total was 33 and he also racked up 100 RBI’s for the 4th season in a row.  And in those 4 seasons, he has accumulated more homers (112), RBI’s (404), hits (702) and runs scored (433) than any other second baseman in the majors.


P4208109 Utley.jpgUtley joins fellow teammates Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino in the post-season awards-fest.  Rollins and Victorino picked up Gold Gloves for their 2008 Championship season last week.  Ryan Howard was not chosen for a Silver Slugger this year, coming in second to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.  This may be a trend; the NL MVP award will be announced on Monday and many expect that Howard will lose out to Pujols again.  If Howard were to win, it would be the third time in a row that the Phillies took home the award, with Howard winning it twice and Rollins once.  Wishful thinking, but we will find out on Monday!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

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