Archive for the ‘Philly Sports’ Category

Phillies open today!

And boom baby…like thunder clouds rolling across the plains…the 2008 baseball season is upon us. If only it was sunny…but no, nothing is perfect. Today at 3pm, a little less than an hour from this WORD the Phillies kick off their 2008 season, a hardened defense of the NL East crown. Brett Myers takes the mound against Those Bastards from the South, who last night beat the Braves in their brand spankin’ new ballpark. Only DRob is happy.

And he is very happy.

Let’s just hope that the Fightin’ Phils don’t start of the season like they did last year, or worse…like how Team GFY started their season yesterday under a crisp spring sun out in the burbs.

Who was thatteam? Some Ale House from out near White Marsh and they completely whipped the floor with Team GFY, a bunch of young, eager beavers looking to make their mark in whatever league it was that they happened to be playing in. No Scream’ Jay, he was out of town. And Eddy’s Ice Cream was not around either. The team looked mildly optimistic despite the setbacks…but then the G D game started and it really kind of went down hill from there. The monsters on the Ale House team sent beleaguered softball after softball out deep into the outfield and their ladies – all properly equipped with visors and hats – made GFY’s male players look like they had picked a fight with a polar bear instead of a lifeless manatee.

No good!

Rocket E did her best to quel the offensive firepower and if there were any glimmers of hope for GFY, the team’s defense did as well as a team that loses 19-0 can do. Jables at short stop and El Grande Blanco at the hot corner challenged Jose and Ozzie Canseco as the best brother duo to command a diamond and out in left, DRob – not yet happy about the Nats’ win – displayed mostly text book form…mostly. A few hot dogging plays and it seemed to get the best of him, but hey, this team is working out the kinks, baby! Kinks! By next week, only a few kinks and the week after that…maybe only one or two!

But you know as far as offense goes, as potent as the Fightin’ Phils offense is, GFY’s was as sterile as a newborn. But yes, there was the one time when Katie made it to third, a cause for great celebration – and other notable efforts were made by Nailz, Knife Fight…and Gerard. But hey, at least G has the hip hop thing to fall back on.

A little after 2, the game came to an end when the Slaughter rule was tossed. No worries. I think the hour was almost up anyway and all of the crazy Gladiators had better places to be…like neighboring bars with neighboring deals on wings and pitchers of beer.

Now a rainy, dreary Monday but who cares because it’s Opening Day! Only a half hour to make it home.

Run, baby, run…

Here’s to the Phils’ in ’08!

April showers, mark your calendars!

I’ve been all work, all the time lately, and the weeks are just flying by. It’s sad, really. I need to slow down. But no time for that! I’m leaving Philly for Milan and London, for very important businessy business, in oh, about 9 days, and here are some April things I hope to do and will also miss while I’m away:

1. Philadelphia Film Festival: April 3-15. There are complimentary guides around town. I’m sure you can pick them up at any Ritz theater, the Prince Music Theater, The Bridge: Cinema DeLux, International House, and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute – all venues for the films. TLA stores are selling advance tickets already.

2. April 5 – Philly Spring Cleanup. Join me!

3. April 12 – Roller Derby Double Header at the Sportsplex in NE Philly. $10 advance purchase, $12 at the door. Never seen them; have always wanted to be one – a tough bitch on wheels. I’ll have to watch. They would kill me, I suppose.

4. April 15 – Deadline for filing 2007 income tax returns. Yay.

5. April 15 – reward your possibly last-minute scramble to file the taxes with a Phillies home game. It’s Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog Night! Get yourself some cheap weiners and expensive booze.

6. April 18-20th – Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel. $15 per day, $35 for the weekend. Get marked!

7. April 22 – Pennsylvania 2008 General Election Primaries. 7am-8pm. Here’s a handy guide to finding your polling place. Rock it!

Here’s wishing you a sweet April!

4 Things I know about the Phillies right now…

I don’t know who is right about Iraq – McCain or Obama or Clinton or Rush (the band, not Limbaugh.)
I don’t know what will happen with Randy Moss.
I don’t know how the Sixers keep winning.
I don’t know how Milton Street doesn’t have a radio show.

I do know that it’s incredibly nice outside, The Mighty Cole Hamels is mighty pissed off, the Eagles are still looking for a game-breaking wide reciever, and the Spurs will probably win the NBA title.

This weekend I watched the Phillies Spring Training game on Saturday and then listened to parts of Sunday’s game on the radio. As a result, here are a few things I know about this year’s Phillies:

1.) The Phillies offense might possibly score 3,782 runs this year. The difference is Pedro Feliz, the new-look outfield, and their bench. Even Carlos Ruiz is looking good this year, which is fantastic because that means that we will see even less of Rod Barajas this year. And yes Philadelphia, less Barajas is always a good thing. Always. Even if you’re related to Rod, it’s a good thing.

2.) The Mighty Cole needs to learn to back up his complaining. It’s one thing to complain about money – we all do it, I’ve done it twice this morning. But if you’re going to complain about how much you’re getting paid in a performance-based profession, then dude, you need to back it. And giving up rocket balls to the Yankees is not the way to do it. Cole needs to get his act together and keep his mouth shut. Last year, it was money and the Phillies lack of a chiropractor. This year, the team picked up a chiropractor, but he’s still complaining about money. Keep it up, Cole. Pretty soon we’ll be complaining about your complaining and God forbid, your lack of production if somehow the National League keys in on your curveball and slider. Unless it’s the Nats, those guys couldn’t figure out where there car was if it were parked in front of them.

3.) I love Charlie Manuel and if you don’t right now, you will soon. Trust me. I’ve from Maine, we know country bumpkins and we know that a good ol’ boy who knows the ins and outs of baseball is a valued commodity. Come on, Philly…at least he’s not Andy Reid. Ouch.

4.) Adam Eaton is still terrible. Absolutely terrible. I’m going to go big right now. I’m the pitcher for Team G.F.Y. and I will put Nailz’ cat Izzy on the table that I’ll have a better E.R.A. than Eaton, and if I wanted, a better goatee. Granted G.F.Y. is slow-pitch softball, but I stand by words. Any takers? Anyone? Come on! It’s Adam Eaton!

It’s 27 days until Opening Day, the sun is shining, and it’s almost March Madness. Sure things could be better, but things could be worse. Enjoy the day. 

Soccer…baseball…and the freak

Those blustery winds ripping through Philly today are doing more to the city today than just making it’s residents freezing cold and longing for summer. The winds are bringing some fun and exciting changes to the landscape of Philly sports.

And that, is called a cheesy leed to a story.

1.) Philly awarded Major League Soccer franchise! Finally, after months and months of wild rumors, MLS has officially announced that Philly will be home to the league’s 20th team, opening their season in 2010. The team will play in a new stadium down in Chester, right on the Delaware. The stadium is part of an effort to revitalize the city, just a good chuck down 95 south. For more information, check out the Sons of Ben, a group of supporters of the team, at www.sonsofben.com.

2.) Phillies open Spring Training! The Fightin’ Phils beat the Reds last nite, behind Father Time Jamie Moyer and the Dobbserman, Greg Dobbs. New addition Geoff Jenkins also went 1 for 3. Come on, this is really some kick ass news! Baseball! Baseball means summer! Baseball means hot, sweaty ballparks and over-priced beers! I would think this would be pretty killer to hear about on a frigid day like this.

3.) Eagles cut Kearse. The Eagles cut the Freak and absolutely no one is suprised. Free Agency starts tomorrow and absolutely everyone hopes the team grabs a wide reciever…and maybe some defense…and maybe a kick returner…and maybe another wide reciever…and maybe…

Stay warm.

Snow today, Pitchers & Catchers Thursday

Remember last week?
I do.
It was warm. I had short sleeves on. I wrote a blog, encouraging everyone to go outside.
So now, less than a week later, I write another blog. This blog tells people to stay inside. If you’re reading this right now, nestled up next to the fire like the smart lil’ bear cub you are, then you might be the smartest person in the world. Smarter if you could figure out this nasty BlackBerry thing.
It’s gray outside. Cold gray, depressing gray. The kind of gray that encourages sweatpants and bottomless cups of cocoo. Mmmm…cocoo…Cocooooooooooo.
But hey, want to hear something that may or may not warm you up – and if it doesn’t, I’m sorry. Go to Honey’s and eat some French Toast. Tell ’em French Toast sent you. That will warm you up perfectly.
For others though, here’s something to warm you up.
Phillies’ pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Thursday. We are currently about a month and a half away from Opening Day and the Fightin’ Phils odyssey to defend the NL East championship. A month away from Ryan Howard either being really happy rich or really annoyed rich, Chase Utley saving another dog, and the debuts of Brad Lidge, Pedro Feliz, Geoff Jenkins, So Taguchi, and maybe someone else like Kyle Lohse or Kris Benson. The World’s Oldest Man Jamie Moyer is back and so is Cole Hamels, who along with Brett Myers, will be the anchors of a rotation to be filled out by baby-faced Kyle Kendrick and Adam Eaton, who hopefully will look the highly paid pitcher he is or if anything, be rid of that goatee.
Please.
That goatee grosses me out.
And of course JRoooooooll is back and making wild predictions like the Phils will win 100 games and Pat the Bat Burrell has the majority of the city wondering if he’ll step it up this year, the last year in his contract. I think he will. As long he doesn’t grow a goatee.
Eaton!
I for one, can’t wait for Opening Day. Just thinking about last year’s run makes me giggle like a tipsy toddler and I can only imagine that that excitement will carry over, at least for the first few series. The first month of the season features some wildly exciting series against Johan Santana and the Mets, the Rockies, the Padres, and the Cubbies. Last year, the Phils came out limp, weak and uninspired. By all accounts, they got lucky last year and caught one of those waves in the baseball season that takes you almost to the end. There’s nothing to say that it can’t happen again, but if anything, it’d make April more fun, “more perfect” if they were winning some of those games.
Here’s to ya, Phils. I hope you the best.
For the everyone else, stay warm, and if you’re reading this while you’re driving, maybe put your hazards on. Safety first!

Side Note: Tu Phace of Subliminal Orphans is spinning and getting into some craziness tonight at Silk City on Spring Garden. Cold weather be damned, this is good fun and it’s important.

Super Bowl recap: Oh, but it could be worse…

This morning my stomach hurts. It seriously hurts. It feels empty, cavernous, and even mildly disorientated.

Last night’s Super Bowl was one of the longest and toughest three to four hours in my life. And then when it ended, I couldn’t get out to walk Dugan fast enough.

But then this morning, while driving home, I thought about something.

As much as it’s hard being a Pats fan right now, at least I’m not an Eagles fan.

Eagles fans, you have to admit, that last night was not a good sign for the future of the Eagles. The Giants, those blue bastards up 95, won the Super Bowl and what’s tough is that they already look like they’ll be in the thick of it next year. Couple that with the fact that both the Cowboys (a good young team) and the Redskins (a fiesty somewhat young team) made the playoffs as well, and you’re looking at the lowly Eagles dumpster-divin’ in the NFC East for at least another two years.

So, this morning, sitting here as a Pats fan, I’m comforted by knowing that it could be worse.

I could be an Eagles fan.

How many days until Opening Day?

Chesnut wings second straight Wing Bowl

241 wings.

241. That’s two hundred and forty one. Wings.

That is how many wings that Joey Chesnut ate early this morning to win the 16th WIP Wing Bowl. This is the second straight year that Chesnut won. El Wingador, making a return to competition, finished third with 205 wings.

Chesnut is no slouch on the high-octane competitve eating circuit. Last year, he dethrowned the dangerous Kobayashi to win the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

I wonder though, does this help young Chesnut with the ladies? I mean, usually, winning any kind of title, or being successful at anything, somehow makes your more attractive to certain ladies. Are there certain ladies for Chesnut, drawn to him by his remarkable eating abilities? Are they from the suburbs, Delaware, Jersey? Are the same ladies who cheer for Antonio Alfonseca?

Somethng to think about on a rainy Friday.

Mets land Santana: But everything should still be cool.

How can the sun be out?

I don’t get it. This should a black day for Philly and the Fightin’ Phils, despite the news that Terrell Owens owes the Eagles $700,000.

Yesterday the Mets, those bastards up 95, acquired Johan Santana, arguably the best pitcher of this generation. Immediately after the trade, the Mets, the same Mets who imploded amazingly last year, were annointed favorites in the National League.

Does Pedro Feliz mean nothing?

How about Geoff Jenkins. Or…

Jamie Moyer’s coming back.

There is no doubt that Santana makes the Mets a better team and as fans, we can look forward to some potentially great pitching duels between Santana and the Mighty Cole Hamels. However I’m not sure that landing Santana makes the Mets favorites though. Besides Santana, they are the same team that blew it last year, only this year without steroid-user Paul LaDuca and Tom Glavine.

Besides that?

Granted the Phils lost Aaron Rowand and Abraham Nunez and gasp! possibly Wes Helms, but while the Phils didn’t make the big free agent signing or trade that we were all hoping for, they did make some solid additions, most notably in a new closer Brad Lidge, which now allows that crazy bastard Brett Myers to go back into the rotation. That gives the Phils a rotation of Hamels, Myers, Moyer, and probably Kyle Kendrick. Granted Adam Eaton and his goatee are still around, but Kyle Lohse is still around too in the free agent market and with a reduced demand in years he wants, the Phils now have a chance to resign him and his interesting facial hair.

But this could all just be rationalization.

This could all be a way to say that even though the Mets picked up a super stud, we’ll still be all right down here. We still got Victorino, we still got JRooooooooll, Pat the Bat, and the Force That is Chase, and you know, Pedro Feliz could be pretty kick ass.

We still have Ryan Howard.

What helped the Phillies last year was that undeniable youthful energy that they had. With the majority of those guys still around and good ol’ Charlie Manuel at the helm, it shouldn’t matter whose pitching for the Mets or who the Nationals picked up in the off season or how good the Braves could be or how terrible the Marlins will be.

Until Victorino conceeds defeat, we still gotta believe.

Trust me.

He’s from Hawaii. That should mean something.

Nunez signs with the Brewers

Yesterday, as the Phillies were announcing their promotions schedule for the 2008 season, 2007 NL MVP JRooooooooooll boldly predicted that the Fightin’ Phils would win 100 games this year.

Today, back-up infielder Abraham Nunez signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers.

And so go chances of 100 wins…

No. Come on now. ANu was a good player and a great defensive replacement, especially at third base where he proved to be a reliable late-inning resource for Good ol’ Charlie Manuel. He’ll be missed.

Probably not.

We won’t miss ANu until early July, when Helms is again back on the bench and Dobbserman is our starting third baseman. Then there will be that game where some craziness happens, some mystical baseball-related fracass goes down that somehow results in Brett Myers playing third. Then, in the stands the people will wonder, What happened to Nunez? And at the moment, ANu will be sitting on a bench somewhere, surrounded by Brewers and wondering why it’s so important for the Brewers mascot to slide down the slide everytime a Brewer hits a homerun.

Players like ANu come and go, there transient by nature and when they leave, you don’t notice until months later. Except for you, the person reading this right now. You know that Phillies’ backup infielder Abraham Nunez signed with the Brewers today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

But does that part even matter at this point?

The Big Ry Money Grab pt. 1: $3 Million ways to say I love you…

It’s cold.

Plain and simple, simple and plain.

It’s about twenty right now and has been hovering around that all day here in still sunny Philadelphia. Dude, it’s going to be cold all week. It’s a wool sock week. A soup week. A whiskey week.

It’s winter apparently.

Which means that we are that much closer to baseball! Opening Day is in a shade under three months and then the Chase Utley MVP Campaign begins, the Cole Hamels Cy Young pursuit gets kicking, and Ryan Howard tries to break both 200 strikeouts and 60 homers, all while avoiding anymore Subway commercials with Jared.

But right now, the question down Broad Street doesn’t involve the cold at all. It involves Howard and how much Big Ry is going to make in 2008. Last year, one year after his MVP year, Big Ry made about $500,000. Now he’s asking for a bump. Just a little one.

$10 million.

Sure it’s a stretch. $10 million in an arbitration case is rare and hasn’t happened since Alfonso Soriano got $10 million from the Nats (the goddamn Nationals!) a few years back.

The Phillies countered with $7 million.

Now the story is the $3 million dollar gap that exists and whether or not it will be resolved before Big Ry heads to Arbitration next month. $7 million isn’t that bad and when you look at Big Ry’s numbers, they do seem to run pretty even between good and bad. Plus, he’s eventually going to price himself out of Phillies’ pinstrips anyway, so you’re really just throwing down some loot for a year or two rental. $7 million for that?

Sure.

But wait.

While $7 million, even in through the bloated, disillusionment that we watch and observe player’s salaries, seems pretty reasonable, consider the fact that Adam Eaton will be making about $7.5 million to start ten games at best, losing at least six of them and looking more and more like a sleazy church organist with every game.

The Force That is Chase makes a little under $5, JRooooooooooll a little over $6, and Pat Burrell just a smidge over…$13.

Million.

What???

Nevermind. That isn’t important.

What is important is that the Phillies obviously have no interest in keeping Big Ry around much longer that a year or two more, when they will most likely end up trading him for some prospects. If they did hope – and even plan to keep him around, they would have at least topped the $7.3 million they’re paying Geoff Jenkins, a decent enough corner outfielder who signed with the Phils a month ago. But by throwing only $7, they are saying quite simply, let’s be honest, this doesn’t have much of a future. But for appearances sake, let’s keep it together for a little while longer. It’s political theater, something to cater to the masses. The Phils are lighting the P.R. fires now, getting themselves ready to save face when the break-up finally comes.

Can’t you smell the smoke?

You can even hear the Eagles drunkenly laughing as they roast smores over the open flames being stoked feverishly by Pat Gillick and the Fanatic.

So we’ll see how The Big Ry Money Grab shakes down. Either way, he’ll be there Opening Day, looking like a brick-laying ninja poppin’ a squat in the forest. He’ll move his bat around like a samurai and play the field like a hot dog vendor.

Savor it.

It’s not going to last long. Not nearly as long as Adam Eaton.

Not even close, baby.

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