Results tagged ‘ Harry Kalas ’

Beautiful Tribute, Ugly Game

How do you blow a 6 run lead?  Just ask the Phillies.  No doubt, it was an emotional day for all of us in Phillies-land, as Harry Kalas was remembered before the game and pictures and video of Harry were shown in the park between innings.  Kalas Tribute.jpg

His three sons threw out the first pitch and Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  There were numerous salutes to Harry around the park, including the memorial outside the 3rd base gate at the Mike Schmidt statue.  Schmidt was also in attendance at the game and caught one of the pitches from Harry’s sons as did John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins.

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With all the emotions flying about, it just made you wish even more that the Phillies could have pulled this one out for Harry.  I suppose it was just not meant to be.

The game began for me with multiple bad omens, which I happily ignored as the Phillies jumped to a 5 run lead in the first inning.  I was hit in the head twice before the game even started, and not by a baseball. 


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A man above me in the handicapped section actually dropped his 4-foot metal walking brace on my head; what he could have been doing up there to make this happen, I have NO idea.  One minute, I am in my seat reading, the next minute, I am almost knocked unconscious.  After I regained some semblance of lucidity, I handed the metal rod of death up to him; he said he was sorry and that was that.  No one even came over to see if I was ok.  Unbelievable.


As I rubbed my head, now nursing a major headache, another foreign object whacked me in the back of the head, in the same spot!  I looked up and saw a Comcast employee winding up one of those 1 inch thick TV cables, which is what got me the second time.  This jerk did not even blink; he said nothing, pulled the cable away and left!  As you may imagine, I was quite woozy at this point.  I just sat there dazed and confused and, seriously, you won’t believe what happened next.  Some idiot looking for his seat backed up into my row and stood on my foot while he looked around.  He did not move until I lifted my leg and physically removed him from my foot!  I got a very lame, “oh, sorry” as he wandered off.  Clearly, this was not my day.

The game finally began and the Phillies jumped off to 5 run lead with a Chase Utley 3-run homer and a Chris Coste 2-run double.  Perhaps these bad omens were just some sick cosmic joke?  By the 4th inning, the Phils had a 6-run lead.  How could they possible blow this, especially on Harry’s day?  Well, I’ll tell you how; pitching and managing.  Cole Hamels began to self-destruct in the 5th inning, giving up a 2-run home run to the Padres Scott Hairston.  He also allowed 2 more hits and a walk in that inning and was due to bat 2nd in the line-up.  So, did Charlie Manuel remove the tiring Hamels for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5th?  Nope.  And then he sent Hamels back out for the 6th inning where, as I fully expected, he continued to give the game away; another 2-run home run, just like that.  Now the score is 7-5.

The offense slept through the next few innings as the pen held the Padres down, but then came the 8th inning.  Ryan Madson, who based on last year, appears to be a VERY slow starter, gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk, blowing the save and giving the Padres an 8-7 lead.  This was a disaster and man, did my head really hurt after that.  Greg Dobbs gave us a little hope as he led off the 8th with a single; Rollins bunted him over but then Shane Victorino popped out.  Utley tried to play hero by whacking a single into left field, but then 3rd base coach, Sam Perlozzo, killed the rally by sending the VERY slow Dobbs home, where he was promptly tagged out. 

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Matt Stairs ended the game in the 9th by striking out looking, but to his defense, the last 2 called strikes did not look to be anywhere near the strike zone.


So besides my getting beat up at the game, another Phillies fan had a very similar day; before the game and before the Kalas boys threw their first pitch, an elderly man was invited onto the field to throw a pitch as well.  Just as the announcer told the crowd that this 82-year old man was very brave for attempting to walk out onto the field, obviously because of his health, at that exact moment, this poor guy tripped on the yellow rope the grounds crew laid down for their pre-game preparations and fell flat onto the ground, losing his shoe in the process.


A very scary moment for all of us as we watched him lay there, but he was able to get up with assistance and did still throw the ball, which went about 2 feet.  It was really something to see him even attempt this after such a terrible fall.  Kudos to that fan for toughing it out!  I do hope is okay.  Sorry, I did not catch his name in all the craziness, but I wish him well.man falls on field.jpg


This was a very sad day for the Phillies and their fans all around.  Spirits were lifted though for a while during the 7th inning stretch when all 44,984 people in attendance were invited to sing along to “High Hopes” with Harry Kalas one last time.  The video played on PhanaVision as we all joined in.  It was a beautiful tribute, as I am sure the memorial service will be today as well. 

As promised, here is the photo album from the Harry Kalas tribute on Friday and the game.  There are two pictures that I think you should all see;  Jimmy Rollins was holding Harry’s favorite white shoes and Chase Utley held his blue jacket while Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  I think those shots really sum up the week. 

Photos by Jenn

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Nats Thank The Phillies For Their First Win

 

After a horrendous 0-7 start, the Washington Nationals were bound to win a game eventually; enter, the Phillies.  Hey Nats, will you be our best friend now?  Gee, thanks.

Although Joe Blanton notched the first “quality start” for the Phillies today, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs, the Phils still lost the game 8-2.  All 3 of Blanton’s runs came in the first inning when he sent a pitch right down the middle for the Nat’s Adam Dunn who repaid him by knocking it out of the ballpark and collecting 3 RBI.  But after that, Blanton settled in and held them to those 3 runs.  Of course, then the bullpen made their grand entrance and let the Nats run away with the game.  Chad Durbin gave up a solo homer and new Phillie, Jack Taschner gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 2/3 of the 8th inning.  Excuse me while I vomit…

P4139481.jpgFeeling better now, as I rest my head on the cool toilet bowl, and think happy thoughts about rookie catcher Lou Marson; making the game slightly bearable, Marson had an outstanding day in his first start of 2009, and only the 2nd start of his major league career.  Marson did not let a ball get past him, even though he had to block a lot of pitches thrown in the dirt.  He even threw out a National’s runner trying to steal in the 7th inning; Chase Utley made the grab and tagged the runner.  And as if his defense were not impressive enough, he went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored.  I was very impressed with Marson when I watched him play in Spring Training and felt he had tremendous potential.  He calls a good game, he is mobile behind the plate, swings for contact and has excellent base running skills.  Today, Marson showed all that and more.  That’s the good news…

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But aside from Marson, 2 more hits from Raul Ibanez with 1 RBI and one hit from Utley, our anemic offense looked like they needed a blood transfusion.  Jimmy Rollins continues to struggle, hitting only .111 on the year so far and Shane Victorino is at .219.  If the top of the order doesn’t wake up tomorrow, it is going to be a long night for me at the ballpark.

Update on Saturday’s Memorial:

A memorial tribute for Harry Kalas will be held at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, April 18 as announced by the Kalas family and the Phillies.  Details were announced today as follows:

- Beginning at 8 am, on a first come, first served basis, fans will have the opportunity to pay their respects on the field as they pass by Kalas’ casket behind home plate.

- Fans will walk by the casket until approximately 12:45 p.m., when everybody will be directed to seats. Beginning at approximately 1 p.m., current and former players, broadcasters, front-office employees, friends and family members will pay their final respects before the on-field tribute begins at 1:30 p.m.

- Please enter CBP through the Third Base Gate at Pattison Avenue and Citizens Bank Way and leave through the First Base Gate.

- Fans bringing flowers or mementos should leave them in the area of the Mike Schmidt statue outside the ballpark.

- Parking is free, and fans are encouraged to park in the lots west of the ballpark.

- Fans in attendance will receive a commemorative program, an 8×10 photograph of Kalas and a poem written by him in 2002 as a fan tribute. 

The plans for tomorrow night’s pre-game memorial can be found here.  The game is sold out and fans should arrive early.  As I mentioned before, I will be attending the game and will bring back photos.  Cole Hamels will get the start for the Phillies.

 

Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

Tributes Scheduled for Harry Kalas / Wed. Game Rained Out

Thanks to Todd Zolecki at The Zo Zone for posting a schedule of events to be held in tribute to the beloved Harry Kalas.  I just bought a ticket to Friday night’s game so I will be there to participate in the tribute.  Here is a brief overview of what will happen on Friday night before and during the 7:05pm against the Padres in Philly:

 

- The TV booth in which Harry broadcast since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004 will be named the Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth, “That ball’s outta here!” A plaque will be hung to officially name the booth.  The neighboring radio booth is named the Richie (“Whitey”) Ashburn Broadcast Booth, “This game’s easy, Harry.” 

- The ceremonial first ball will be thrown by Harry’s three sons, Todd, Brad and Kane

- The ceremonial first ball will be thrown by Harry’s three sons, Todd, Brad and Kane

- Prior to the National Anthem, to be sung by Harry’s son Kane, there will be a moment of silence.

- All fans will receive an 8″x10″ color photograph of Harry.

- Harry’s signature will be displayed on the field during the seven-game home-stand, beginning on Friday.

- Also for the seven-game home-stand, a black drape will appear in front of the Phillies radio and TV booths and the Phillies flag in Ashburn Alley will be hung at half-mast.

- A video of Harry’s career will be aired on PhanaVision.

- During the seventh-inning stretch, a video of Harry singing “High Hopes” will be shown on PhanaVision. Fans will be encouraged to join in.  

 

Other acknowledgements include:

-  During the first half-inning of the game televised by Comcast Network Philadelphia (formerly CN8), there will be no announcer commentary.

- Throughout the remainder of the season, a billboard honoring Harry will be displayed on the outfield wall.

- As previously announced, an HK patch will be worn on Phillies uniforms this season, near the heart.  

- Throughout the 2009 season, following every Phillies home run, Harry’s legendary “Outta Here!” home run call will be played over the PA system as the Liberty Bell lights up.

 

**Personally, I LOVE the idea of the home run call and think the Phillies should keep that in for good.  Other teams play corny music after a home run; the Phillies ring a bell.  Adding Harry’s call to the ringing of the bell on a permanent basis would be an outstanding tribute to him, his family and the fans who loved him.

 

Saturday’s Memorial:

A memorial tribute for Harry Kalas will be held at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, April 18 as announced by the Kalas family and the Phillies.  An opportunity to pay respects to the Hall of Fame broadcaster will be given on a first come, first served basis to as many fans as possible from 8:00 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.  At that time, all fans in attendance will be directed to seats for an on-field tribute that will begin at 1:00 p.m.  More details will be announced later.

 

The official cause of dead as reported by the Washington D.C. chief medical examiner’s office was “heart disease” as a result of high blood pressure and specifically, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

 

Here is a video I shot from behind the home plate screen of Harry singing High Hopes after the 9/30/07 NL East clinching game; you will also see Aaron Rowand and then Ryan Howard dumping beer over Harry’s head.  Enjoy!:

 

Appropriately, more rain falls in DC:

The Phillies were supposed to go back to Washington tonight to continue their series with the Nats with Joe Blanton on the mound, hoping to redeem himself after a bad first outing.   However, the game has been rained out; no word yet on a make-up plan.

More Thoughts On Harry

Yesterday was a very emotional day for many of us; and a new day has had little effect.  I began watching the television coverage this morning of Harry Kalas’ passing that I taped yesterday while I was at the game and I have to say, if I see Larry Andersen cry one more time, I do not think I’ll make it.  I finally had to turn the TV off.

I spoke with many friends today about Harry and they all feel the same loss, even those who knew little about him.  I told one friend a story about how Harry let me keep one of his name tags from an event we attended and then even signed it for me as a keepsake.  She then told me that she had a relative who was one of Harry’s doctors and she had him sign a latex-free medical exam glove for her step-father.  Just more proof that Harry would sign or do absolutely anything for a fan.

Later, I began looking at the photo’s I took from the game yesterday.  I had no idea what I had actually shot until today, as most of the game is a blur to me and the camera acted as a simple distraction.  I came across these of Shane Victorino’s home run at-bat; first he points to the outfield, a’la Babe Ruth; then he watches the ball as it flies out of the park; and finally, in a tribute to Harry, Shane points to the press box after he crosses home plate:Victorino HR 041309.jpg

There was a mix of sadness, deep thought and even some joy in remembrance of Harry on the faces of the Phillies yesterday, which is evident in the photos I took. 

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I put together a Photo Album from the game as usual, and I tried to include a few of the lighter moments as a reminder of Harry’s love of the game.

The Phillies are off today and their scheduled visit to the White House has been postponed indefinitely due to Harry’s passing.  Fans continue to visit Citizens Bank Park where a memorial has begun at the feet of the Mike Schmidt statue with flowers, cards, balls and a variety of mementoes.  Photos of that memorial can be seen at Todd Zolecki’s blog, The Zo Zone.

And finally, I would like to leave you with this video that I shot last May, where Harry addressed a group of women at the Phillies yearly Baseball 101 event.  We are all so fortunate to have shared in Harry’s passion and love of baseball over the years.  I will never forget these moments.

Photos by Jenn

We Will Miss You, Harry

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The Phillies and the world of baseball lost a legend today in Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Harry Kalas, 73.  I was at Nationals Park when it happened, unaware of the events going on above me in the broadcast booth.  When I saw the tribute photo on the scoreboard right before the game and realized what had happened, my heart sunk.  Looking quickly at my cell phone which I had apparently left the ringer off, I saw the 8 missed calls from people trying to reach me so I would not be shocked by the news.  But I had been wandering around the ballpark for 2 ½ hours at that point, and since I never looked at the phone, I had no idea.  I sat down in my chair and cried, and much to my own surprise, I was not able to stop.  By the 4th inning, the Nationals fan next to me finally decided to try cracking a few jokes to see if I would snap out of it.  I tried to distract myself by taking photos, but I just couldn’t shake it.

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The Phillies won the game, but I do not remember most of what happened.  Harry had been with the team since 1971 and I just kept thinking, I was born in 1972 and had been listening to this man literally my entire life.  To me, he was baseball.  Not only that, but I have had the great privilege over the last four years or so to have occasionally spent time with Harry, talking about baseball and listening to his stories.  I keep thinking about the last time we spoke this past January after an award dinner, when I teased him about his terrible smoking habit again; and again, he smiled and told me , “I know, I know.”  I keep thinking about all the stories I am never going to hear again; I’ll never hear his signature, “It’s outta here!” or his famous rendition of “High Hopes.”  I thought of Harry as a friend, as did nearly anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.  But that was just Harry; he made even the most casual fan feel like you had known him forever.  The man had a big heart and you could feel it when he entered a room.

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I had a very long two hour car ride home tonight where I tried desperately to drown out the voices in my head and fight back tears, but I am still at a loss.  I know Harry would not want us to be mired in sadness, but how can we not.  Harry touched the lives of everyone he met and anyone who ever heard his voice; baseball will never be the same without him.  The world will never be the same without him.  I try to tell myself that death is a part of life in which we will all someday share; that there is another Angel looking down upon us.  But none of these things will bring comfort right now to the heavy hearts of all who knew Harry.

My heart goes out to Harry’s family and friends.  Let us grieve for today, and tomorrow, celebrate a life that will never be forgotten.  We will miss you, Harry.

Photos by Jenn

Phillies Honored at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Award Banquet

The Philadelphia Phillies, for the second year in a row, won the PSWA’s annual “Team of the Year” award at Monday night’s award dinner.  Charlie Manuel, Brad Lidge and Ruben Amaro Jr. were on hand to accept the award.  Prior to Manuel’s acceptance speech, comedian Joe Conklin
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did an amazing and hysterical impersonation of Charlie, as well as Harry Kalas (MC for the night), Cole Hamels and others.  It was so funny, Amaro was in tears and I thought Manuel might laugh himself right out of his chair.  Lucky for you, I got it on video!  After Conklin, you will see Manuel’s acceptance speech and also Brad Lidge’s acceptance speech for winning the “Outstanding Pro Athlete” award.

Philadelphia Sports Writers Awards Banquet 1/26/09 w/Phillies
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The World Series Trophy was also on-site and photos were being taken and printed on the spot.  However, you were not allowed, for some odd reason, to use your own camera.  But as many of you are aware, I take photos until someone tells me to stop.  So, here ya go: 
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I am a bit perturbed about the “No personal photos” thing as at every other stop on this trophy tour, people have been allowed to take photos.  Why then, at a dinner where you had to PAY to go, do they decided there will be no photos?  Frankly, I do not care what the excuse.  It is ridiculous.  This is just one more annoyance, along with the hike in ticket prices, lack of Winter Tour events (like Kid’s Fest, which was eliminated this year) and even special event prices going up (Baseball 101 will be $20 MORE this year) that have me a tad upset with this World Championship pillaging of the fans.  Ok, ok, I am done whining for now…  Sorry, had to vent :O)

Anyway, among the many highlights of the evening, Bernie Parent, hockey Hall of Famer and Conn Smythe Award winner when the Philadelphia Flyers won Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, gave his own sort of award to Brad Lidge. 
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Back when Parent was a goalie, the saying amongst fans was, “Only The Lord Saves More Than Parent.”  Well, Parent made a new sign that said, “Only The Lord Saves More Than Lidge” with a big baseball on it and presented it to Lidge (see photo) while accepting his own “Living Legend” award from the PSWA.

Also present at the dinner was Philadelphia Eagles defensive back, Sheldon Brown, who took home the media’s “Good Guy” award for his accessibility and friendly manner when dealing with the press.  Former 76er, Darryl Dawkins was also there along with
DSCF0984 ed.jpgSixers current GM, Ed Stefanski, who was seated right next to me at dinner (see photo).   Dionte Christmas of Temple basketball, Steve Sabol of NFL films who won the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” Dan Baker, Phillies announcer, and the list goes on…  The full list of winners and attendees can be seen HERE. 

Also of note, Harvey Pollack, 86, was given a surprise award at the dinner (also for Lifetime Achievement, I think?).  Pollack is an expert NBA statistician, currently with the 76ers, and the ONLY original NBA employee (since 1946) currently working with one of the 30 NBA teams. 
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Pollack is also the only person who has a ring from all four championship years in Philadelphia – the Warriors in 1947 and 1956, and the Sixers in 1967 and 1983.  Here he is with Harry Kalas accepting the award.  Two legends together; truly amazing.

And as always, I have put together a Photo Album of more pictures from the PSWA event.  Hope you like it and, as always, feel free to leave you comments below.

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Audio & Video Phillies NLDS Playoff Highlights

 Here is an audio clip from yesterday’s 10/2/08 win over the Brewers.  What you will hear is the end of the game right after the last out is recorded by Shane Victorino.  Note:  there is at least one cuss word by a fan on this…I don’t care, but thought it only fair to warn you.  You should also hear fireworks, the bell ringing, stadium music, etc…  Just something for fun for those who were not there!  You can download it here:

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Or, just push play to hear it:

And here are a few short video clips put together from the 10/01/08 Phillies Playoff Rally.  You will see a TV broadcast of Pat Gillick and then Jamie Moyer addressing the crowd, then a short part of Harry Kalas singing “High Hopes.”  I used a very small digital camera on “movie” mode and it only lets me record about 15 seconds at a time, so that is why it is broken into small parts.  Still, you will get the highlights!

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!

Hamels Puts The Brew Crew On Ice

Cole Hamels totally mystified the Brewers tonight.  They looked confused at the plate, and even had a bad defensive game as they were so bleary-eyed from facing Hamels.  After 8 full innings of work, Hamels had not given up a run and only surrendered 2 hits.  He also had 9 strikeouts in his shut-out performance.

The Phillies offense was not much better against the Brewers’ starter.  They had only 3 hits off him and, thanks to a Brewers error in the 3rd, wound up scoring 3 runs that inning, none of them earned.  But that turned out to be all the offense they needed.  Brad Lidge had another tummy turner of an outing as he allowed 2 hits, one walk and one run.  As I stood in the rain, wiping the water from my face, I was so queasy I thought I might pass out.  Well, Lidge did eventually put me out of my misery and escaped with the win.  It was very emotional, as you can see…here is a shot right after the game of Jimmy Rollins and Lidge sharing the moment:
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The pre-game festivities were exciting as well.  Broadcasters and Alumni took the stage to rile up the fans and then a pre-recorded message of thanks from both Pat Gillick and Jamie Moyer was played for the fans on the big screen TV outside the stadium.  On stage, we heard from Greg Luzinski, Larry Anderson, Mitch Williams, Gary Matthews and of course, Harry Kalas who sung “High Hopes” for us again.  Here are some photos from the rally:
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Phanatic smashing a Brewers helmet:
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And a few game shots I got before it started pouring!
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I will be at tomorrows’ game as well and hope to bring you more photos and info.  Until then, I must get some sleep!  Go Phillies!

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!

Brett Myers Needs A Hug

Two pitches into last nights’ game I thought, oh my, this is going to be a long one.  That’s when the first of 3 Braves home runs left the park in a hurry.  And, in the first 2 innings.  Everyone seems to have a different view on what is going on with Myers; Mitch Williams seems to think he lacks attitude; Manuel thinks he is not setting up the batters; others point to pitch velocity.  Me?  I think the man just needs a hug.  Come here baby!  I’ll make it all better :o)

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See?  Now aren’t we all in a better mood?  Ok, ok…well, what else can you do at this point?  Throw the guy under an 18-wheeler?  He obviously does not want to suck.  I assume he does not enjoy getting booed, and believe me, he got his share of that last night.  Brett has what it takes to be a great starter, he just needs to find that energy and channel it in the right direction.  MapQuest anyone?

Losing 8-6, the Phillies did almost pull out an amazing comeback even after all that, with Shane Victorino falling short by a mere 2 feet at the warning track with 2 men on base.  One of those men was super sweet Greg Dobbs who came through, yet again, with huge pinch hit.  This guy SO should be getting more playing time!  Incidentally, Greg was the guest speaker yesterday at the women’s Baseball 101 clinic and was extremely entertaining.  I will be posting video of that, Q&A’s with Assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr., Jen Utley, Harry Kalas, Michael Barkann, plus photos from the day and much more!  I will being posting some of that this evening…stay tuned…

Also, Phillies Phollowers was the featured Blog on MLBlogs this week, in case you missed it.  You can read the feature story on Phillies Phollowers called a Spheroid on the main MLB Community Blog.  My thanks to MLBlogs for the nod!  Have a good day everyone!


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