Results tagged ‘ Mike Lieberthal ’

The Doc Operates on the Red Birds

It seems like a very long time since we have seen a really good Phillies game.  But with Roy Halladay on the mound last night looking like the ace that he is, it felt like old times again.

After a year of struggles and injury, Halladay appears to be at 100% finally.  Against the World Champion Cardinals Friday night, he pitched 8 innings and allowed only 2 hits, one of which was a solo homer.  That would be the only run of the night for the Cards.

The Phillies are in the process of finding out exactly what they have for next year.  Halladay’s performance was a huge boost in that regard.  They also tooled around in the outfield, moving guys here and there like a roulette wheel to see which one might hit the jackpot.

As a result, Nate Schierholtz played center field for the first time in his MLB career.  Domonic Brown started in right and then both guys got shuffled around later in the game.  Even with all the changes, everyone held their own pretty well.

Brown knocked in the first run for the Phillies with a single in the second that scored Ryan Howard.  The other 2 runs scored on an 8th inning 2-run homer from Chase Utley.  He hit the ball so hard it went into the upper deck of the bullpen in center field.  It looks like Utley has also found his groove again.

The pitching was excellent for both teams, but the Utley homer won the game for the Phillies who walked away with a 3-1 victory.  Game 2 starts tonight at 7:05pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch and try to keep pace with the Doc’s amazing performance.

And a quick congratulations to former catcher Mike Lieberthal who was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame last night!  Lieby looked both humbled and honored as he accepted the award and thanked the fans for their support.  Congrats to him…a well deserved honor!

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Phillies History: Shaving Cream Pies

The post-game shaving cream pie to the face has become a celebratory Phillies tradition over the years.  One reader wanted to know where it all began.  In my own experiences, I have been able to trace the practice as far back as 1993 where it happened on a semi-regular basis.  Here are a few shots from 1993 where Mitch Williams pied Andy Ashby.  You can see the pie in mid-air as Ashby tried to avoid contact during his post-game interview with Harry Kalas:

Ashby Schilling.jpg

Usually when a player gets a game winning, walk-off hit, they can expect to get pied.  However, sometimes this prank is also carried out following any outstanding performance.  For instance, on June 2, 2002, pitcher Robert Person hit two home runs in a game against the Expos, the first of which was a Grand Slam.  The result?  7 RBI for Person, a win for the Phils and yes, a pie to the face.


Howard pied.jpgIn the 1990′s, the pie incidents were sort of random.  But when Tomas Perez joined the Phillies in 2000, he became the “official” Pie Guy and for the next 6 years, he did not miss a beat.  Perez pied everyone.  And his teammates loved him; Perez was riot in the clubhouse, keeping things loose and fun.  And for me personally, Perez was the nicest, most approachable player I had ever met.  I always stood in the same place before games and Perez took notice.  All I had to do was wave at him, and he would run right over.  We spoke before many games and I got countless autographs from him.


Tomas.jpgThe day the Phillies released him in 2006, we had a conversation about his tenure in Philly during batting practice.  I told him how glad everyone was that he was still with the team and that his smile always brightened my day.  Literally, ½ an hour later, he was released.  :O(

Not only was I devastated, but so were Perez’s teammates.  Ryan Howard said after the game, “I will miss the pies in the face.”  And catcher Mike Lieberthal, another frequent pie’ing victim, added, “He is one of my favorite players I ever played with.  He was not only a good player, but he kept everybody loose and is one of the best personalities I have ever been around.”


pies in face.jpgWith the departure of Perez, the torch was passed to Shane Victorino who became the new Pie Guy and has been basically in charge of the prank ever since.  Although, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs and others have been known to help out on occassion.  And these days, no one is safe from the Pie Guy:


Victorino pies.jpgIn fact, some pie pranks are not even reserved for the playing field.  This pie attack occurred during an interview with Brett Myers and Kyle Kendrick on NBC’s Today Show.  The attack starts at about 2 minutes, 45 seconds into the video:

And some players even get double teamed; check out Carlos Ruiz:

There are some varying opinions on the pie pranks.  Some players think it is funny; some are not so thrilled about it.  As for the fans, I have heard everything from how funny it is to how stupid it is.  One fan told me it is annoying because it ruins the post-game interview.  Others wonder if it could be dangerous.  And yet others look forward to it and find it entertaining.  What do you think?  Feel free to comment below.

What I can tell you is this; the Pie Guy is a Phillies tradition that does not appear to be going away any time soon.

 

Photo credits: Ibanez, Howard, Perez by Jenn; Ashby & Williams by Diana Dickerson; Rollins: NY Daily News; Victorino: CBSsports.com; Lieberthal: http://www.usat-rockymountain.org

Nicknames: Past and Present

Shakespeare once posed the question, “What’s in a name?”  In baseball, a player’s nickname can stick like glue, whether they like it or not.  Here is a rundown of some of the Phillies player’s nicknames, past and present.

 

2010 Phillies Players

 

Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge

Ben Francisco – Scoots

Brian Schneider – Hoops
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Carlos Ruiz – Chooch

Charlie Manuel – Chuck

Chase “The Man” Utley or The Model (given to him by J-Roll) or Chutley

Cole Hamels – Hollywood Hamels

Greg Dobbs – Dober (he actually doesn’t like it, but everyone calls him this anyway!) or Roy Hobbs, from “The Natural”

Jamie Moyer – Grand Pappy or Dyno (for Dinosaur – given to him by J-Roll)
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Jayson Werth – J-Dub or Werewolf

Jimmy Rollins – J-Roll or Papa Smurf (I know this one is accurate because Jimmy told me himself that this is what he was called “back in the day.”)

Juan Carlos Romero – JC (did anyone even know his real name was Juan Carlos or did you read this and go, who is this guy??)

Juan Castro – “Manos de Oro” (means gold hands)

Milt Thompson (current coach)- Uncle Milty

Plácido Polanco – Polly

Roy Halladay – Doc

Ryan Howard – The Big Man or Rhino

Ryan Madson – Mad Dog

Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian

 

Previous Phillies Players:

 

Antonio Alfonseca – El Pulpo or The Octopus (because he has 6 fingers on each hand….seriously…I have photos)

Bake McBride – Shake n’ Bake

Bobby Abreu – El Comedulce (means The Candy Eater)

Chris Coste – Chris Clutch

Chuck Klein  - The Hoosier Hammerer

Curt Schilling – Schill

Darren Daulton – Dutch

Dick “Don’t call me Richie” Allen

Ed Delahanty – Big Ed, Human Grasshopper

Garry Maddox – The Secretary of Defense

Gary “Sarge” Matthews

Geoff Jenkins – Jenks or Brett Favre (he is his long-lost twin :o)

Greg Luzinski - The Bull

Grover Cleveland “Old Pete” Alexander

John Kruk – Krukker

John Titus – Silent John

John Vukovich – Vuk

Juan Samuel – Sammy

Kevin Saucier – Hot Sauce

Larry Bowa – Gnat (does this mean he is annoying?)

Lenny Dykstra – Nails

Mickey Doolan – Doc

Mickey Morandini – Dandy Little Glove Man (Is it just me, or is this like the gayest nickname ever?)

Mike Lieberthal – Lieby

Mike Schmidt – Iron Mike or Schmidty

Mitch Williams – Wild Thing and Mitchy-Poo (Harry Kalas coined that one)

Otto Knabe – Dutch

Pat “The Bat” Burrell

Pat Corrales (manager) – Ike

Pedro Feliz – Pete Happy (literal translation of his name)

Pete Rose – Charlie Hustle

Richie Ashburn – Whitey

Rudy Seanez – Action Traction (I have NO idea what this is about)

Steve Bedrosian – Bedrock

Steve Carlton – Lefty

Todd Jones – Roller Coaster

Von Hayes – Five-for-One

Willie Jones – Puddin’ Head

 

Have any more to add to the list?  Leave your favorites in the comments :O)

Photos by Jenn

 

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Friday the 13th?

It was a real Friday the 13th today for pitcher Blaine Neal, who likely pitched his way into the minors forever, losing the Phillies’ 2 run lead in the 9th against the Pirates.  The Phillies lost 6-5 and Neal, who has not seen action in the majors since 2005, likely will not again.  But really, that is the least of the worries for the Phils.

For the second day in a row, the Phillies could not muster any offense until the 6th inning, when it exploded into a 5 run gain.  Prior to that, it was nappy-nap time for the Phils.  Jason Donald and Ryan Howard led the mini-stampede; Donald went 2 for 5 in the game and Howard whacked a 2 run homer in the 6th.  For the most part though, the offense has been quiet; they are obviously saving it up for April.  Chris Coste, however, needs to get the monkey off his back and soon; Coste has not gotten a hit yet in grapefruit league action.

Injury News

Great news at 3rd base!  Pedro Feliz is back in action and said he is ready to go.  So, Opening Day?  No problem!  And no Friday the 13th woes here either.  As for Chase Utley, he began sliding drills today and so far, so good.  He hopes to get in a live game next week sometime.

Burrell Bleeds Red PinstripesPatBurrell thankyou.jpg

And in former-Phillie Pat Burrell news, Burrell took out a full-page ad in both The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News today to thank the Philadelphia organization and the fans for his 9-year run.  And if you did not love Pat before, you have got to admire him now.  A very classy move; hopefully, once he decides to retire, he will return to Philadelphia and go out as a Phillie, like Mike Lieberthal did last year.  The ad is in the photo to the right; click on it to enlarge and read the whole thing.  Best of luck, Pat!

 

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Phillies Players – Strange, Fun & Unique Nicknames

It has always been a tradition in baseball to assign players a nickname.  Whether that be a descriptive one, a play on words, or just plain weird, most guys seem to get one at some point that winds up sticking with them.  I have compiled a list of nicknames for the 2008 Phillies that I could find and then other Phillies from years past.  I tried to avoid any media-given names and just stick to the stuff the players use amongst themselves.  I also put years by some of the older or more obscure player names.  Hope you enjoy it…have a Happy Holiday!!!

2008 Phillies Players

Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge

Carlos Ruiz – Chooch

Charlie Manuel – Chuck

Chase “The Man” Utley or The Model (given to him by J-Roll) or Chutley (ya know, like my Chutley Smurf :O)PA260205 Smurf.jpg

Chris Coste - Chris Clutch

Cole Hamels – Hollywood Hamels

Geoff Jenkins – Jenks or Brett Favre (he is his long-lost twin :o)

Greg Dobbs – Dober (he actually doesn’t like it, but everyone calls him this anyway!)

Jamie Moyer – Grand Pappy or Dyno (for Dinosaur – given to him by J-Roll)

Jayson Werth – J-Dub or Werewolf

Jimmy Rollins – J-Roll or Papa Smurf (I know this one is accurate because Jimmy told me himself that this is what he was called “back in the day.”)

Juan Carlos Romero – JC (did anyone even know his real name was Juan Carlos or did you read this and go, who is this guy??)

Milt Thompson – Uncle Milty

Pat “The Bat” Burrell

Pedro Feliz – Pete Happy (literal translation of his name)

Rudy Seanez – Action Traction (I have NO idea what this is about)

Ryan Howard - The Big Man or Rhino

Ryan Madson – Mad Dog

Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian

Previous Phillies Players:

Antonio Alfonseca – El Pulpo or The Octopus (because he has 6 fingers on each hand….seriously…I have photos)

Bake McBride (1973-83) – Shake n’ Bake

Bobby Abreu – El Comedulce – The Candy Eater

Chuck Klein (1928-44) – The Hoosier Hammerer

Curt Schilling – Schill

Darren Daulton (1983-97) – Dutch

Garry Maddox – The Secretary of Defense

Gary “Sarge” Matthews

Greg Luzinski - The Bull

John Titus – Silent John

Juan Samuel (1983-98) – Sammy

Kevin Saucier – Hot Sauce

Larry Bowa – Gnat (does this mean he is annoying?)

Lenny Dykstra – Nails

Mickey Doolan (1905-18) – Doc

Mickey Morandini – Dandy Little Glove Man (Is it just me, or is this like the gayest nickname ever?)

Mike Lieberthal - Lieby

Mike Schmidt – Iron Mike or Schmidty

Mitch Williams - Wild Thing and Mitchy-Poo (Harry Kalas coined that one)

Otto Knabe (1905-16) – Dutch

Pete Rose – Charlie Hustle

Plácido Polanco – Polly

Steve Bedrosian (1981-95) – Bedrock

Steve Carlton – Lefty

Todd Jones – Roller Coaster

Von Hayes (1981-92) – Five-for-One

Willie Jones – Puddin’ Head

 

And as always, feel free to add your own here in the comments :o)

Lieberthal is back…

But only for one day…whew!  Kidding aside, Mike Lieberthal, apparently still a big Phillies fan, has decided to retire in Philadelphia.  So, June 1st is the day and I think he should receive a warm welcome back.  In 13 years with the Phillies, Mike put up some good numbers and had 2 All-Star appearances.  The latter half of his career though was plagued with injuries and lacking in RBI production.  I know whenever I attended games, the big joke was that Mike would do just fine at the plate, as long as no one was on base :o)  And remember the days when he’d be in a real funk and Bowa would just refuse to move him down in the batting order so as not to offend him?  Ahhhhh…the sweet frustration of it all still echoes in my brain…

Ok, well let’s just remember the good times and put aside the bad…  In 1999, Mike hit 31 homers and had 96 RBI’s with a batting average of .300 for the year and his first All-Star appearance.  The only other player before him to reach .300 and 30 homers in a season was Mike Schmidt in 1981.  He had another productive season in 2000 and made the All-Star team again.  So, many thanks to Lieby for a long and entertaining career!  And in the spirit of entertainment, I dug through my photo archives and found this one for you…this was taken before I had a “real” camera, but it is not too bad, although I was behind the screen in the home plate section:

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From September 9, 2005:  Where’s the ball?  Where’s my glove?  Where’s my helmet? Ugh! ….By the way, look to the far right…you will see the ball.

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