Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

The Joys Of The Post-Season Media

So, did we all thoroughly enjoy the Phillies TBS TV coverage this post-season?  No?  Oh, come on now, they were mildly entertaining, right?  Let us examine some of the broadcasting highlights:

 - These guys are brilliant; just check out this quote about Raul Ibanez: “He’s not 37 because he started his career late.”  Really?  Wow…the true fountain of youth; late bloomers.

- On a 2-base hit: “It’s an inside-the-park double.”  You know, as opposed to the out-of-the-park double.

- During Game 1 of the NLDS, 2nd inning: “There has been great defense in this ballgame and in this series.”  Yes, all 2 innings of it.

- About the catcher: “All the game calling is to make the pitcher comfortable.”  The catcher calls pitches to make the pitcher comfy?  Not to get outs?  Ok then.  Genius.  Sheer genius.

- During a bunt to the pitcher with a runner on first: “He is thinking about second base because it is right behind the mound.”  Is it?  I never would have noticed…thanks, TBS!  Baseball geography lesson 101.

- On Clayton Kershaw after he gave up a 3-run homer, allowed to 2 more runners on base and was then pitching to Ryan Howard: “This is a grow-up moment (for Kershaw).”  No more little league for you buddy!

But wait, there’s more!  Did you see the main sponsor for TBS during commercial breaks?  Avocados.  Yes, the disgusting, slimy, green fruit is THE big money maker for this station.  Awesome.

And how about the commercials for the new TBS series “Men of a Certain Age.”  It is October – this series is set to begin in December.  Not only will we have forgotten about it by December, but with the thousands of previews shown, we have already seen the series in its entirety.  No need to tune in then in December….we already know that Ray Romano plays a moron with a dirty mind; Scott Bakula is a man-sl*ut; and Andre Braugher is sad because he cannot live up to his daddy’s high expectations.  Think that about covers it.

So how about some media video highlights!  Here ya go; let us begin with Buck Martinez, who has NO idea which team he is watching…he mentions the Yanks and the Red Sox before he figures out it is the Phillies:

Chase Utley is also annoyed with the media coverage…watch his reaction as a media member pulls a Kanye West:

And my favorite clip of the Comcast Sportsnet coverage…Ricky Botallico flips out during the Jimmy Rollins 9th inning game winning hit in Game 4 of the NLCS:

Classic.

Hope you all enjoyed these broadcasts as much as I did :O)

By the way, if anyone is looking to sell a ticket (1) to Game 3 of the World Series (the Saturday game, home opener), please email me.  I cannot afford the Stub Hub prices so I am looking for anyone to take pity on me and sell me a ticket at face value or just above it.  I cannot do standing room, but am open to other seating arrangements.  Thank you and Go Phillies! :O)

Game 3 Preview / Bad Parenting 101

UPDATE 12pm:  Game 3 has been postponed due to the bad weather in Colorado.  It will now be played Sunday night at 10:07pm EST, 8:07pm MT.  Game 4 then is moved to Monday, but no time has been announced yet.

AM blog: The most important game in the series, beginning with the Phillies and Rockies tied at 1 game each, will be played under the worst of conditions.  P9139620 Pedro.jpgSnow, sleet and freezing temperatures will likely be the most talked about part of this game which is scheduled for 9:37pm EST, 7:37pm Mountain time.  The late start is likely to add to the chill.

Pedro Martinez will start the game and it is a huge opportunity for him to officially make a comeback at 37 years of age.  Pedro pitched in Boston, so he is used to the cold, but snow may be another thing altogether.  Plus, he has not pitched a full game in almost a month; his last start beyond 4 innings was on 9/13/09.  Then again, Pedro has experience and a good post-season record on his side.  Which Pedro will show up?  The former Cy Young winner or the aging, injury-prone pitcher of the last several years?

As for the offense, anyone who has seen this team play in April knows, they do not like hitting in cold weather.  But the playoffs are a different animal and the Phillies tend to step it up in October.  But will they be swinging at snowflakes or at strikes?

If nothing else, this should be a very interesting game, should Mother Nature allow it to unfold without interruption.  Best of luck to the Phillies!

It’s A Boy!

Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, welcomed their first child into the world yesterday morning.  Caleb Michael Hamels arrived at 9am on Friday morning.  Caleb is a cute name, but most are just happy the poor kid did not get stuck with “Colbert” like his dad ;O)  And no, I am not making that up…his full name is Colbert Michael Hamels.  So congratulations to the Hamels family and best wishes for a healthy, happy baby!

Bad Parenting 101

Speaking of parenting, this kids parents get the Bad Parenting of the Year Award: 12-year old Jennifer Valdivia ended up with Ryan Howard’s 200th home run ball at a game in Miami.  As is the baseball tradition, she was ushered to the clubhouse and exchanged the ball for an autographed one.  ALL players do this and ALL teams do this for milestone balls, it is not an unusual practice.

However, when the girl returned home, her parents decided their child was taken advantage of and sued Ryan Howard to get the ball back.  They were upset that she was given what they termed a $100 ball” in exchange for one worth “thousands.” 

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That’s right folks, way to teach your kid how to extort money!  Not to mention, why were a 12-year old girl and her 15-year old brother at a ball game without an adult?  I am sure the opinions here vary, but I can assure you, if my kids were that age, there is NO way they would be on their own.  A ballpark is NOT a safe place to let your kids run free as far as I am concerned. 

And then they have the nerve to complain.  Here’s a question for those parents: what if you child was kidnapped or attacked in the bathroom, or anything of that nature?  Were you going to sue the ballpark for YOUR neglect?  Just sayin’…

Ms. Valdivia was probably thrilled to get an autographed ball, until her parents convinced her otherwise.  At that age, I know I would have been…and still to this day.  The only reason it mattered to them was because of the money.  So, if this kid really is going to keep the ball, like they profess, then why does the money make a difference?  Unless you are going to sell it, the personally autographed ball is a great souvenir.  Maybe they should have thrown in a bat as well or something, but again, the parents sent their kids in there alone, so they obviously felt their kids were old enough to handle any situation that may arise.  If they do not feel that way, then they never should have sent them without an adult.

That ball meant a lot more to Howard than it would to anyone else, unless money was the only objective.  With that 200th home run, Howard became the fastest player in Major League history to reach that milestone.  If the girl’s parents felt she should have been given more in exchange, then ASK.  They would have been happy to send the girl a signed bat, photo or whatever she wanted.  But, no.  These jerks decided to sue.  And rather than argue, the Phillies gave the kid the ball and moved on.

So, way to go Valdivia family; you have not only taught your kids that it is all about the money but now they know, in a sue-happy country, they can get whatever they want in life if they just yell loud enough.  Forget about doing the right thing, it is all about getting your way.  Forget about who you hurt, as long as you claim the cash.  Nicely done.  It is no wonder this country is quickly descending into the dark pit of hell where morals are thrown out the window.  This youth is our future, America.  Start praying.

UPDATE: The above facts were as presented by The Miami Herald and ESPN.  A new report from CNN says the girl’s grandfather was with her, but decided NOT to accompany her to the clubhouse.  So, he chose to let her go alone.  Add bad grandparenting to the story then as well.  The family was also offered VIP ticktes to the next Florida series and they turned it down.  And the law suit was for the amount of $15,000.  Yes, that is 15 thousand dollars.  And this was NOT about the money?  Enough said.

Photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

NLDS Roster Announced


Thumbnail image for 208910.jpgThe Phillies announced their playoff roster today and there were a few surprises.  Here is how it played out (courtesy of Phillies.com):

Catchers (2): Paul Bako and Carlos Ruiz

Infielders (6): Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley

Outfielders (5): Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth

Pitchers (12): left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee and right-handers Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers

Miguel Cairo was the right decision over Eric Bruntlett.  And the rest of the bench players are what I expected.

There was one surprise with the pitchers, however.  Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker were left off the roster in favor of Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo.  I did say earlier that Bastardo may be picked over Walker, so that is not too shocking considering the lack of lefties in the pen.  But Kendrick over Condrey, I am a bit surprised about.  Kendrick did pitch well in September, but Condrey is more consistent and has a lot more experience.  I think the nagging back injury did him in; the team must not be convinced that Condrey is healthy.

I also predicted that the Game 1 starter would be Cliff Lee, and that is correct.  Cole Hamels will get Game 2 and Game 3 has yet to be decided.  My feeling is that it should be JA Happ as the Phils want to overload the Rockies with lefties.  But all Charlie Manuel would say is that Happ, Joe Blanton and even Pedro Martinez will be “available” in the pen for the first two games.  I suppose then whoever does not get used will start Game 3.

This may also be a strategic move.  This gives less preparation time to the Rockies since they will not know who to prepare for.

So, if you are actually home tomorrow at game time, tune in at 2:37pm for the first pitch.  The game time still disgusts me.  I understand all teams need air time, but how exactly is it that the reigning World Champions do not get one of the prime time slots?  I’ll tell you why…because MLB cares only about the Yankees and the Red Sox.  It has been and probably will always be about these teams, whether deserving or not.  I root for the Yankees too, so it is not personal.  It is a matter of respect.

Not to mention, normal people have jobs, kids have school and 2:37pm does not allow ANY of these people to enjoy the game, unless they call out sick or skip school.   And how about the poor Rockies fans?  The game time for them is 12:37pm! (Mountain time)  That is just wrong.  But hey, if you are a Yankees or Sox fan, I’ll bet you are happier than a pig in mud, right?  Must be nice. 

Well, best of luck to everyone tomorrow (except the Rockies, of course)!  Go Phillies!

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

Penny Gives Phillies His 2 Cents

After being shut-out 1-0 on Tuesday, the Giants were looking for revenge and they got it in the form of new acquisition, Brad Penny.  Penny struggled with the Red Sox and had an ERA near 6.00, but the move to the National League seems to be the cure.  Phillies hitters looked ridiculous all night long and managed only 5 hits in the game, all singles.

 

But this is nothing new; the Phillies have been in an offensive slump for a while now and there are no signs that it will end anytime soon, especially with Tim Lincecum pitching for the Giants tonight.  When things are going bad, a Cy Young winner is the last person you want to see.  But they have no choice and will need to figure out where the bats have disappeared to.

 

JA Happ has pitched well all year, but is getting no run support at all.  Happ has the third lowest run support of any pitcher in the NL with more than 100 innings and he has still has managed a 2.77 ERA and a 10-4 record.  Last night, he made a few mistakes, including allowing back-to-back homers in the 6th inning which tallied 3 runs for the Giants.  Happ still pitched a good game with just the one bad inning that did him in; but again, no runs = no win.

 

And while it is always nice to see Aaron Rowand back in Philly, he did hit one of those home runs.  And what was this all about exactly?  See Carlos Ruiz pointing?


 

Sorry, could not resist.  It does kind of look like he might pee on the plate, but he hit a home run instead.  Just as effective, I suppose.

 

Here are few non-offensive shots from the game:


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Charlie Manuel needs to start smacking some heads together in that clubhouse.  The inability to score runs, especially those in scoring position, is becoming a major issue in what is usually a breakout month for this team.  Raul Ibanez has not been able to hit the side of a barn since the All-Star break, after what was an amazing first half.  Now, Ibanez is hitting into double plays all the time which is killing the offense. 

 

But everyone is guilty; since the Atlanta series, Shane Victorino has 2 hits in his last 20 at-bats; Jayson Werth is 4 for 16; Jimmy Rollins is 4 for 20.  And just for fun, Ibanez is 1 for his last 21 at-bats.  Ugh.  Someone please find the offense…now!

 

On to more fun topics:  Before the game, Cole Hamels was awarded with the Roberto Clemente award for his community service.  His wife Heidi joined him on the field and if you were not sure before if she was pregnant, it is pretty obvious now.  How cute are these two with all their aspirations to adopt like 500 African babies, plus popping out a few of their own?  All together now…”Awwww!”

 

Here is a Photo Album with more pictures from last nights very depressing game.  It was Latino Heritage night and there are some shots from that as well as the pre-game activities.  Enjoy!

 

 

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Hamels Steals A Base And A Win

It was a tight one, but Cole Hamels pitched the Phillies to a 1-0 win; a complete game shut-out against the Giants.  He has not only found his Mojo, but Hamels also found his curveball and even his fastball location.  Towards the end of the game, Hamels retired 21 batters in a row. 

By the 9th inning, he had a 1 hit shut-out going when Rich Aurilia knocked a single and it looked like things might get scary.  But then Hamels busted out his new and improved pick-off move and nailed the pinch runner trying to steal second base.  He nailed down the final two outs and sent the crowd home happy.P6216377 Hamels.jpg

In 9 innings, Hamels struck out 9 batters and gave up only 2 hits and 1 walk.   All that and he even stole a base in the game; it was the first stolen base of his career.  Is Hamels back?  It certainly looks that way.

Both pitchers were dealing tonight and Jonathan Sanchez shut down the Phillies offense.  Ryan Howard managed to knock in the only run for the Phillies after Shane Victorino singled, stole a base and advanced on a Chase Utley sacrifice.  Howard had 2 hits in the game, but the rest of the offense was mostly anemic.  But all is well that ends well and the Phillies take Game 1 of this series.

Up Next

The series continues with the Giants tomorrow at 7:05pm with JA Happ on the mound.  Tim Lincecum was originally scheduled to start for the Giants, but with the new acquisition of Brad Penny off waivers from the Red Sox, it looks like Penny will get the nod; Lincecum will go on Thursday night.  I will be at the game tomorrow hoping for the Happ-Y outcome :O)

Accolades

Ryan Howard has been named NL Player of the Week right on the heels of Jayson Werth receiving the same honor last week.  Howard batted .393 with 5 homers and 12 RBI.  September is here and Howard is all warmed up!

Photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Take One From The BoSox

In this 3-game series against a very good Red Sox team, the Phillies managed to escape with one win yesterday.  The game did not start out great, as JA Happ struggled in the 2nd inning and gave up 4 runs, including back-to-back homers.  But Happ went to his Happ-Y place and recovered nicely; although he walked 6 and allowed 5 runs total, Happ still managed to pitch though almost 6 innings to give the bullpen a much needed rest.

JROLL surf 2.jpgThe Phillies offense battled back and scored 4 runs in the 5th and then 6 in the 7th inning.  Singles by Pedro Feliz, Chris Coste and Chase Utley and a double from Ryan Howard led the charge in the 5th.  Then in the 7th, Jimmy Rollins emerged from his slump and hit a lead-off home run.  The rest of the team jumped on his back, decided to Hang Ten and ride the wave for 6 more runs which included 2 of those runs scored after Sox pitching hit J-Roll in his 2nd at-bat of the inning and then issued a walk to Shane Victorino all with the bases loaded to force in runs.  The game ended with a score of 11-6; the exact same score of the previous day’s game, but this time, it was in the Phillies favor.

Moyer Foundation

So the Phillies get a break from baseball today, but Jamie Moyer and many other players will do their part for charity tonight at the Philly Celebrity Waiters Dinner at the ballpark.  Benefiting the Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin, which assists children in distress, many players will don aprons and serve food and drink to Philly locals in an effort to raise money for the cause.  It is always nice to see athletes using their free time to help the community.  Now just try not to drop a serving tray on anyone’s head… ;O)

Up Next

Tuesday night, the Phillies will host the Toronto Blue Jays for some more nerve-wracking interleague play.  Cole Hamels will take the mound at 7:05pm and Phillies fans will get to say hello to a few old friends; Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas.  So I know how Philly fans feel about Rolen, who publicly criticized the team years ago when he left, but he is still a cutie.  Please try to be gracious and not boo him…asking too much?  Oh well.

“The Pen”

Last night, the MLB Network premiered its new reality TV series, “The Pen,” which will follow the Phillies bullpen from Spring Training all the way to the All-Star break this year.  Last night’s episode gave a behind the scenes look at how pitchers are evaluated in Spring Training, how the 5th starter was chosen, what some of the players do in their free time with their kids and family, the impact of losing Harry Kalas and everything in between.  They even showed the agony that JA Happ went through when he had to call home to tell his family that Chan Ho Park was given the 5th spot and that he was unsure if he would make the team.  Cameras followed him as he sat on his bed in the hotel and made the phone call.  Gut wrenching, emotion stuff.  It was absolutely outstanding and after the hour was up, I was sad that it had to end.  But luckily, a new episode will air every Sunday night.  Make sure to tune in!

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Rollins Photo – Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

The Interleague Nightmare Continues…

Friday night’s loss after an irresponsible decision by an umpire not to review a home run that was called foul was magnified last night as the Phillies dropped the 2nd game in the series to the Red Sox.  It began to pour as the game began and rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, did not fare well in the rain.  Then again, the defense did little to help him.  The Phillies have had the best defense in baseball thus far, but last night committed 3 errors in the 1st inning.  Between that and the pitching, they were buried in a 5 run deficit after one inning going into a rain delay.061309a.jpg

95 minutes later, play resumed and Chad Durbin took the mound, pitching 3 scoreless innings.  The Phillies offense got the team back in the game, scoring 4 runs.  Chase Utley and Shane Victorino doubled to get 1 in the 3rd and then Raul Ibanez did his usual, knocking a solo shot over the right field wall in the 4th.   Jayson Werth singled next and Pedro Feliz hit a home run behind him to make the score 4-5; it was Feliz’s first home run in 40 games.

But the offensive outburst went for naught as reliever Jack Tashner (or Trashner?) took the mound and quickly gave up 3 more runs to the Sox in one inning.  Rookie Sergio Escalona, who was called up again after Kyle Kendrick was sent back to the minors, pitched 2 innings; Escalona did great in the 6th, but in the 7th got wild and allowed 2 more runs to score.  However, he did nail Phillie-hater, JD Drew very near the head with a pitch, so for that, Phillies fans everywhere thank him ;O) (FYI – this is a JOKE; I do not agree with anyone getting hit…in case that was unclear)

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Werth did hit a solo homer in the 7th, but that would do it for the offense.  The Phillies went down 11-6 in what took 5 hours and 16 minutes with the rain delay.  After 3 games in a row with extra innings, then this delayed game, we can only hope the Phillies can muster the energy today to face Josh Beckett and maybe sneak away with 1 win in the series.  JA Happ will pitch for the Phillies and the tired bullpen is counting on him.  Oh, no pressure man.  No pressure at all…

Here is the Photo Album from the game.  I took some very interesting photos of the dark and ominous Philadelphia skyline during the rain delay, as well as game action.

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Photos – Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

A Lot Of K’s And A “Foul” Ball


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There was so little contact with the ball in last night’s Phillies-Red Sox match-up, that for most of the game, the fielders looked like this:

The Phillies pitchers struck out 14 batters and the Sox struck out 20 batters.  Phillies starter Joe Blanton had a great game, giving up just 2 solo homers in 7 innings.  But Jon Lester of the Sox out-pitched him by 1 run.  It was a classic pitcher’s duel, but left many fans at the park were left wondering if they should have brought their pillows.

The greatest excitement for most of the game was watching the emotional JC Romero pitch against the team that let him go in 2007 (thank you, Sox!).  In his usual style, Romero was all over the zone, but effective.  He pitched part of the 8th and the entire 9th while allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk.  JC, we are SO happy to have you back!

Phillies fans were woken from their slumber though in the bottom of the 9th when Ryan Howard hit a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2.  Extra innings followed, for the 3rd game in a row, but the Phillies were robbed of the win from the umpire (in my opinion anyway). 

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Greg Dobbs
hit what should have been a 2-run homer that was called a foul ball in the 11th inning.  Jim Joyce, who called it foul, refused to check the replay after manager Charlie Manuel requested it.  Tell me why then do we have Instant Replay?  Wasn’t the entire purpose to check on game changing calls? 

Look at the photo to the right; I freeze framed the video right as the ball passes the pole.  If the pole were taller, the ball would have hit it.  Therefore, it is a fair ball – game over.  But either Joyce is a Red Sox fan or he just likes staying up all night into extra innings.  At the very least, he should have reviewed it.  If he did so and still called it foul, fine.  I can live with that.  But the fact that he just flat out refused?  Unacceptable.

But as we all know, umpires can screw with games as often as they like and suffer no consequences.  So, on to the 12th inning they went…

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Kyle Kendrick
was recalled from the minors today after Scott Eyre was placed on the 15-day DL before the game with a calf strain.  This is a big shot to the Phillies bullpen.  Eyre has been great this year with a 2.57 ERA in 25 games.  And Kendrick trying to replace him, clearly was not up to the challenge.  He did fine in the 12th but then allowed 3 runs to the Sox in the 13th, losing the game for the Phillies.

So despite the amazing pitching (except Kendrick), and the 2-run homer that was called foul from Dobbs, the Phillies went down 5-2 in this first game of three.  I am getting ready to go to the game tonight and will be packing an extra set of glasses for Mr. Joyce.  Oh, and if I could somehow impart some common sense and decency onto him, I would gladly do that as well.

In the meantime, keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Kitty – funnyanimalphotos.com

Kendrick – Jenn

Foul or Fair? – mlb.com

 

Ibanez Rocks New York

Raul Ibanez brought the pain to the New York Mets last night with a 3-run shot into the bullpen in the 10th inning.  The Phillies win the series in New York, 2 games to 1 and come home with a 7-3 record on this most recent road trip.

Ibanez has been the biggest surprise of the year for this team, bringing the defense to match his offense.  In the 4th, Ibanez played a hot shot off the wall and nailed David Wright at 2nd who was trying for a double.  From all the way back on the warning track, not only did Ibanez get the ball to Chase Utley without a hop, he placed the toss perfectly so Utley could make an easy tag. 
Thumbnail image for Ibanez Hulk.jpgThis guy has been like the Incredible Hulk for the Phillies (or the Ibanez Hulk), tossing opponents around as if they were small woodland creatures instead of professional ball players.  While leading the majors with 58 RBI’s, slugging percentage (.674) and he is also second in homers with 21, Ibanez has put this team on his back and intends to carry them to the promise land.  Could chants of “MVP!” from the fans at the ball park be far behind?  Just wait; it’s coming.

And the starting pitching continues to improve as well.  Jamie Moyer had another quality start against the Mets, going 6 innings with 3 runs on 8 hits and did not walk anyone.  He looked a bit frustrated at times, but he is the master at buckling down and getting it done.  The bullpen had another great outing too.  Clay Condrey continues to turn heads with his 2.27 ERA and last night he pitched 2 scoreless and hitless innings.  Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre took care of business in the 9th and Ryan Madson saved the game in the 10th.

But just when everything is about to click….the Phillies are getting ready to butt heads with the Boston Red Sox who are coming off a 3-game sweep of the Yankees.  The Phillies have been extraordinarily bad in inter league play historically; will 2009 be different?  Or will the Sox derail the train in Philly?  We shall see…

Save A Pet


Thumbnail image for utley_150x180.jpgIf you are going to the game tonight, stop by the Save A Pet charity booth which will be located at the first base gate and run by the Phillies Wives.  You can adopt an animal in need, donate toys and blankets, and/or purchase a calendar for which the proceeds go to benefit the SPCA.  Phillies players were photographed with either their own animals or adoptable pets from the SPCA and the result is a very adorable calendar.  You can also
buy the calendar online if you are not able to get to the game.  I may need to get about 10 copies… :O)

“Minor” Steroid Issue

Pablo Ozuna signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies on Jan. 22 and has since been playing 2nd base for the AAA Iron Pigs.  Yesterday, he was suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy with an elevated testosterone level.  Prior to this year, he spent a short time with the Dodgers in 2008 and 3 years with the White Sox before that.  The Phillies are the 5th team he has played for.

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Utley photo: Phillies.com

Phillies Opening Day Preview

Quick recap of the last 2 Spring games:  The Phillies beat the Rays yesterday, 3-2, thanks in part to a Jason Donald walk of RBI single.  Today, they lost 9-7.  Cole Hamels, still rehabbing his sore elbow, pitched 5 innings, allowing 6 hits, 6 runs and a walk.  Not a great outing, but he got his work in and should be able to start against the Rockies next week.  Pat Burrell led the game off for the Rays in his only appearance today, greeting former teammate Hamels with a shot to left field that, even against the strong wind, flew into the seats.  A nice exit from Philly for Burrell who was visibly emotional after the rousing applause he received from Phillies fans over the past two days.  We will miss him!

Tomorrow the REAL games begin!!  So, have you seen the Phillies Opening Day/Night Schedule?  Here are the highlights:

5:05 p.m. – All gates open

5:28-6:28 p.m. – Phillies batting practice

6:28 – 7:18 p.m. - Braves batting practice

7:23 p.m.Cardinal O’Hara High School marching band will perform as the 2009 Phillies enter the ballpark, greeted by Mayor Nutter and Charlie Manuel.

7:38 p.m. – America the Beautiful will be sung by the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Chorale, directed by Jeffrey R. Smith, as members of the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard unfurl the American Flag. State Flags will be carried onto the field by the Philadelphia Police and Fire Department personnel.

7:42 p.m. – Introductions start

7:53 p.m. – National Anthem: Will be performed by Katie Stam, Miss America 2009.

7:56 p.m.U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Parachute team will parachute onto the field (weather permitting), bringing the first balls.

8:00 p.m.NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, who wore a Phillies jersey in space, will present the jersey to Charlie Manuel.

8:01 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Will be thrown by former Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick and Ben Lo, representing Modell’s Sporting Goods.

8:09 p.m. – Play Ball!

seal.jpgLet me just note a few things here:  The Phillies, the reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS, are having the Philadelphia Boys Choir sing America The Beautiful, like they do every year.  We will then have Miss America sing the National Anthem; but seriously, should I be excited about a pageant queen?  Maybe some of the men are happy, but I just don’t get it.  The Boston Red Sox, according to our friend Julia at Julia’s Rants are getting Grammy Award winner, Seal, to sing for them on Opening Day!  SEAL!  Where, or where, have the Phillies gone wrong??  I am so depressed. 

Now let us move on to the first pitch:  Former GM, grumpy man and Nationals mascot look-alike, Pat Gillick, Gillick mascot.jpgwill toss the first pitch.  Is this seriously the best the WORLD F*@%# CHAMPIONS could do?  I had heard rumors all week that maybe President Obama would visit Philly for the occasion, but he will toss the first pitch on Wednesday in DC when the Phillies take on the Nationals in their home opener. But what about Will Smith, who is a huge Phillies fan?  Or even Jamie Foxx, who was just in Philly filming a new movie?  Heck, I would settle for Patti LaBelle at this point.  But noooooo…we get Pat freakin’ Gilick!  Don’t get me wrong, I love Grumpy Gillick and all, but this is not exactly a treat for Phillies fans; we see him every day!  We want… no, we deserve, a special treat for Opening Day!  The Phils had no issue with raising the ticket prices, but could not be bothered to get anyone more interesting to toss a pitch??  Again, Gillick brought us a World Championship, but I think even he would agree that his sheer entertainment value is a tad less than Seal.  UGH!

Ok, maybe I am over-reacting.  You know how we redheads get sometimes.  But take a look at a few other teams, who did NOT win the World Series, and see what they are doing for Opening Day:  Both the Yankees and the SF Giants have HERO Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully landed a plane in New York’s Hudson River this past January, saving the lives of everyone on board, to toss their first pitch.  The Reds have musician and former husband of Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey to throw their first pitch.  And they are in OHIO, folks!  That’s right, Ohio out-did Philly.  The Houston Astros have 4-time Grammy winner, Lyle Lovett, to sing the National Anthem.  And of course, the Nats get the Prez.  Okay, I think you get the picture.

Philly will have the traditional Army Parachute Team and the NASA astronaut is a nice touch as well; but is it asking too much to add a little pizzazz to the ceremonies?  Well, if it has to be Pat Gillick, how about we at least dress him up a bit?  You know, just to add some Philly flavor to the guy:

Rapper Gillick.jpg

And then, let’s invite this cute rapper kitty to handle the music for the National Anthem.  Not a Grammy winner, but still entertaining:

KittyRapper.jpg

Well, the show must go on, with or without the Rappin’ Cat, and so it will.  Sunday night, first pitch at 8:09pm – I will be back with photos!  See you there!

Photo Credits:

Seal – http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/images/2007/09/22/arjanwrites_seal2.jpg

Gangsta Dude – http://hoppingintopuddles.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/hip-hop_gangsta-rap_lil_john.jpg

Kitty – http://media.photobucket.com/image/rapper/boo_boo221/KittyRapper.jpg

 

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