Archive for the ‘Philly Sports’ Category

Welcome Back Guys! Try Not To Suck This Year

Flyers training camp opened today with a few new faces in attendance and some old standbys gone. The biggest addition would be center Danny Briere who will be centering Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. The over-rated Mike Richards will center newcomer Scott Hartnell and Sami Kapanen. Coach John Stevens has organized a three day round robin tournament for his guys, splitting them up into three teams. The new emphasis this year will be on gameplay – something they seemingly didn’t do last year. You know, actually play the game. The tournament will give the coaching staff a good idea of what they have in terms of overall talent and just about everyone will be playing for their job (although some are safer than others).

In other Flyers news, there is now a new all you can eat service at the Wachovia Center (in case you were extra special hungry) and for those that have the scratch to go to some games, individual game tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Phillies and Mets start tonight!

Oh Six Fingers Alfonseca.

He’s not human! He’s an animal! Chucking balls at dude’s heads when his team is up 11 to 4. Crazy.

Maybe he didn’t do it on purpose, or maybe he did. Jables argues that with six fingers, there is no way Alfonseca could let a ball slip that much.

Regardless. It showed something that the Phillies need to show now more than ever.

The Killer Instinct baby!

It’s now officially mid-September. The time of year when we wear hoddies at night and Eagles chants follow everyone around like meter maids in Center City. For the Phillies it is also officially the make-it-or-pack up and time to go home time. No foolishness and no shenanigans. It’s just brass taxes…whatever the hell that means.

The Phillies, after splitting their 4 game series with the Colorado Rockies, are 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card. That is now the goal. The Mets are now far away on top of the NL East and with a important series starting tonight up the road at Shea, the Phillies can ill afford to leave the Big Apple without winning at least 2 of the 3 games. I’m not going to say that this series is what the entire season hinges on, but…well it is. The Phillies need to step up and prove to themselves, Philadelphia, ESPN, and everyone else that they are a legitimate playoff contender. The Rockies are a good team and the team can’t be faulted for dropping 2 games to them. BUT…the team can be faulted for their terrible performances in those two games. They came back strong last night to win, but with a the majority of the team’s wins over the past week or so, there is an over-arching feeling that it could be too little too late. Is it?

Well, we’ll know after this weekend.

Rocket Beers and why it’s time to start rooting for Pat Burrell…

Watching last night’s Phillies’ game, I’m still not entirely sure what happened. I know that the sky looked like it was going to open up at any moment, a slight breeze made the humidity at least bearable, and beers in the aluminum, rocket bottles, stay a lot colder than the beers in the plastic bottles.

Rocket beers!

But as far as the game goes, I feel like I watched two games. The first one was pretty boring, only highlighted by a rocket beer, homerun by Big Ry that was capped off by a nice snag in the bullpen by Six Fingers Fonseca, occasional acts of pitching quality by Kyle Lohse, and the speedy work of SVic on the basepaths. Other than that. up until the 7th inning, I was trapped watching the Phillies losing a game to the Rockies that they desperatly needed to win. The fans around me knew it, they felt it. In the 5th, a Rockie (does it matter which one?) hit a sharp liner out into the leftfield corner, fielded neatly by Pat “Yes I do have Don Henley as my intro music” Burrell, who then tossed it back into the infield. Simple play. Nothing fancy.

“Come on Pat!” A fan a few rows over in left field yelled. “We NEED this one!” The fan wasn’t going to go easy, go through the motions last night and expected Pat to do the same.

Hmmm…

I saw a middle aged cougar and a dude with an outfit that made him look the deceased Crocodile Hunter argue for 15 minutes about the stolen Grand Slam hit by the Rockies and whether or not baseball should inact instant replay.

What I’m trying to say is that in the stands, the mood was tense. But on the field, it looked like we were watching 7 Burrells, 1 The Force That is Chase, and 1 Killing Me Softly Kyle Lohse. Where was the intesity??? It’s almost mid-September and the Rockies, a team only a game or so back in the Wild Card, are in town for a crucial, 4 game homestand.

But then came Prozac Pat to hit a bomb, 3 run homer to tie it up, which then sent the game into extra innings and setting up Big Ry’s 3rd walk off hit this season. LIFE!!! We found it…in the least possible place we thought we would…in the smooth swing and Starting Lineup pose of Mr. Miyagi himself, Pat Burrell. Since the All Star break, Prozac is tied for second in the NL in homeruns and is batting over .350. Despite his awful start, he has almost 80 runs batted in and has a stellar On Base Percentage.

There is no arguing the value of Chase or JRoooooooooooooooll, but it’s time to give some due to Burrell. It’s not hard. It’s actually pretty easy. He doesn’t strike out much, walks a lot, makes mistakes in the field, but has a decent enough arm that occasionally he can recover. He won’t hit bombs like By Ry or get his uniform dirty like Chase, but he constantly makes solid contact and for many women over 30, he’s the one their keeping their eyes on, not Chase (although The Mighty Cole trumps them both I’m told, but for my money, you really can’t beat the Ball Girls.)

So it’s time.

Yes, dude, it’s time. It’s time to start rooting for Pat.

All you have to do is clap. It’s so easy.

Even Jose Mesa can do without giving up a run, it’s that easy.

E-A-G-L-E-S…P-H-I-L-L-I-E-S…they go hand in hand!

What are you doing? Are you reading this today??? It’s Sunday…

but not just any Sunday. No way. Today is THE Sunday dudes and dudettes across the country have been patiently waiting for…

The MTV Video Music Awards!!! Brittany Spears’ comeback!!! Paris Hilton and maybe even Fall Out Boy!

Oh my god, I am so excited I’ve been crapping watermelons all morning!

No. None of that is true.

Today kicks off the 2007 Eagles’ season. At 1pm, the Birds take on Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. This is the 75th season for the Eagles and hopefully, the most victorious one in some time. McNabb is back, Westbrook is talkative as usual, and word is that Brian Dawkins found religion. It’s an angry, aggressive religion that makes him want to hit people that much harder. Pretty crazy. I think he found it in the mountains of Tibet…or the mountains of Bucks County.

Either way.

So get ready. Get your rocket beers. Get your snack foods. Get your couch or bar stool ready because Sundays won’t be the same until February.

But remember, it is still baseball season, the Phillies are still in the hunt for both the NL East and the Wildcard. Only a few more weeks of J Rooooooooooooll, Svic, The Force That is Chase, and maybe even the Mighty Cole. And yes, only a few more weeks of Big Ry either striking out or hitting the ball so far it disrupts construction on the Comcast Tower. Triples, Verizon? Please, that’s Dobbers job!

So this Sunday, enjoy the Eagles. But remember, the Rockies are in town tomorrow and it’s almost make or break for the Phils. They need your support. They need your cheers. They might even need your money.

Make it happen, Philadelphia! Both Brett Myers and Takeo Spikes want you too.

Eagles Wallpaper Wednesday

eagles%20wallpaper.jpg

Last Thursday evening I took a friend to the airport and on the way back go totally mired in the traffic that was people heading to the Linc for the Eagles preview game. It was just one small reminder of how football crazy folks in this town can get. Local designer John Bilotta, Jr., in honor of this weekend’s season opener, has put up a Wallpaper Wednesday dedicated to the E-A-G-L-E-S.

Just about every Wednesday, Johnny puts up a new design that you can download at will and use as your computer desktop. Add his blog to your reader and go browse his archives. There’s some really neat stuff there, and the accompanying stories of how the designs came to be are frequently just as interesting as the images.

Jimmy Rollins’ Entourage

In honor of Labor Day, I thought I would take a brief moment…before the BBQ’s & beers & lounging about lazily…to pay some mind to Jimmy Rollins, the hardest working player on the Phillies.

Coming into September, with the Phillies four games out of first place and holding a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, the status of the team has to be mildly suprising. I mean, this is a team that looked dead or just plain baffling like John from Cincinnatii. Nothing was working and if not for the glorious array of food at Citizens Bank Park, no one would have cared about the team at all.

But somehow, that all changed.

For most of the season, the latter two thirds at least, the Phillies have been suprisingly competitive and consistent…if nothing else consistent in their inconsistency. They keep us on our toes…like a midget at a urinal.*

That is except for Rollins.

Yes. Jimmy Rollins. Jimmy Rollins who hasn’t missed a game. Jimmy Rollins with the 25 homers, 80 RBI’s, and an avergae that has been hovering around .300 all season long.

Yes, that Jimmy Rollins.

Jimmy Rollins, the Entourage, of the Phillies. Always there. Sometimes a little flat, but most of the time, incredibly entertaining and reliable. Maybe you don’t talk about it like you do the others, but everyone knows about it. While other players like Ryan Howard (the Sopranos,) The Force That is Chase (Curb Your Enthusiasm,) Pat Burrell (Big Love,) Shane Victorino (Sex in the City,) and the Mighty Cole (the Wire) have been either injured, ineffective, or riding the bench, Rollins has stood tall, single-handily keeping the Fightin’ Phils in the race.

The Phillies are doing so well that there has even been talk of Charlie Manuel being named Manager of the Year. Yes. That Charlie Manuel.

But that Jimmy Rollins. He just gets it done. Day in a day out. He gets lost among the other hot NL shortstops, but that’s fine. We don’t need flash. We have Jayson Werth (Extras) for that. What Rollins gives the Phils is a center of balance, a center of gravity. At some point, the rest of the country will realize that.

But until that time comes, Rollins is all ours.

That’s important to remember.

* I’m not making fun of midgets, short people. A) This is a line from Austin Powers and B) I’m 5’6″. Who am I to make fun of little people.

Phillies pound Mets and look to keep fighting

Hmmm…this is a tough one.

The sun is out, and I really want to feel good about everything. But I’ve hit a roadblock. I can’t decide what to possibly feel better about, the Phillies big win over the Mets last night or the addition of a third Genesis concert in Philly.

I can only believe that these are the kind of pickles that really define a person.

Genesis aside, though, it’s tough not to feel at least marginally good about the Phillies right now. Thankfully we’re a nation of short attention spans and short term memories, so we can collectively forget the prior two series in which the Phils lost both games and ground on the Padres in the NL Wild Card race and to the Dodgers, who are right behind them in said Wild Card standings. The Phillies trounced the Padres in the series’ final game and then last night, with the visiting first place Mets in town and The Force That is Chase back in the lineup, the Phillies cranked out nearly twenty hits in a smashing 9-2 win over the Mets.

Granted The Mighty Cole is still on the Disabled List and with the Fightin’ Phils’ porous bullpen, no game is over until we’re out either in the parking drinking warm beers lot or watching the Daily Show and drinking cold beers, but there are bright spots. Yes, Chase is back and so is Shane Victorino. Adam Eaton is back on the mound tonight and while that isn’t exactly the most exciting news, we should all be somewhat relieved that he trimmed his goatee, making him look less like a loser science teacher and more like an average pitcher getting paid above average pitcher money. Jayson Werth is absolutely on fire right now, going 9 for 9 in his last 9 at bats, and Mr. Miyagi, Pat Burrell, has remained consistent, despite the frequent shifts in the lineup and the fact that Charlie Manuel has zero confidence in him after the 6th inning.*

So now the first place Mets are in town until Thursday and while even a sweep won’t pull the Phillies up even with them, it is a chance for them to stay in it. The Padres are back out west, duking it out with the NL West leaders, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Braves are in shambles, wondering why their blockbuster, mid-season trade hasn’t equated itself to more wins. These are desperate times for the Fightin’ Phils. They’re riding on fumes and only a few bucks in their wallet and headed to AC for the weekend. It can work, but it’s going to take a little work.

And a little luck.

Only time will tell. By the end of the week, the Phils will either be passed out drunk on the boardwalk, wondering when their wallet got stolen or hob-nobbin’ with Trump and and taking baths in expensive booze and gold bars.

Then we’ll see how we feel about the team, but for now, it’s all about the traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway and the cops hiding in the trees.

One thing at a time.

* this is something that continues to confuse me. since the all star break, burrell has been one of the team’s hottest hitters, yet in close games or games when the Phillies are up a couple runs going into the seventh, manuel takes burrell out. then, without fail, the bullpen blows the lead and burrell’s hot bat is now absent in the lineup, replaced usually with wes helms, who has hit a mammoth 5 homeruns this year and routinely looks like a lost farmer out looking for his dog that ran away months ago. i know i’m one of the last remaining burrell fans in philly, but even a burrell-hater has to admit that this makes little sense. it’s like entourage. this season has been a little slow and i’ve heard numerous people say their down with it and have moved on to shows like flight of the conchords or even further away to showtime, and weeds. but entourage has remained consistent in it’s on special way and is now regained it’s form. yet everyone has already bailed on it and so now it’s greatness is wasted. now, i’m not saying burrell is great. no. but he is consistent, and that should count for something.

another one bites the crumbling pavement…Hamels on DL

My mom always used to say that with the good comes the bad. Just a fact of life.

I had little to no idea she was talking about the 2007 Phillies.

Today the Philles activated Shane Victorino from the Disabled List, put then placed pitcher Cole Hamels on it. Hamels will likely be out until September 1st. While the return of Victorino will help with the spark that the Phils need, the loss of their only consistent pitcher is a huge one

The Mighty Cole is 14-5 this year and was selected to the NL All Star team. Hamels reportedly has a mild shoulder strain.

But on the flip side, in addition to the return of Victorino, the Fightin Phils moved into a tie for the lead in the NL Wild Card and The Force That is Chase is eyeing up a Monday return, the start of a big series against the division leading Mets.

TOMORROW NIGHT:
G Love & Special Sauce
Slightly Stoopid
Ozomatli

Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing.

Fun.

Time to Man Up: Phils cap off important 10 game homestand TONIGHT

Sorry Philly for the absence…the lack of postings. I decided to check out global warming for myself and headed north…but I got the lost, ended up watching scores of women’s basketball, and setting off fireworks.

Really just all in a day’s work.

Moving on.

It’s Go Time, baby!!! Are you ready? Can you feel it? It’s make or break time for our Fightin’ Phils and this week could very well be the week that either sends the team coasting comfortably like Prom Kings into September or limping miserably like El Grande Blanco after a rough day in Atlantic City. Here come the contenders…the Dodgers, the Padres, the Mets. They’re all coming to town. They’re coming with guns drawn and prickly attitudes. Currently the Phillies are hanging on, trailing the Mets by 5 games in the NL East and only 1 game behind the Padres in the NL Wild Card. The Dodgers, who are in town tonight, are just 1.5 games behind the Phils. This is intense. This is borderline bedlam!

Is it?

Well, the Eagles are in the middle of preseason and Donovan McNabb has successfully galluped through a couple meaningless…yes MEANINGLESS…preseason games….

Right now, we shouldn’t care about football. Don’t let this recent spade of bad weather fool you. It’s not football season yet. There is no need for Eagles chants and nonstop Eagles chatter on the clogged and congested AM airwaves. The Fightin’ Phils are still alive, kicking their way through adversity like Daniel Son and Kevin Costner in Waterworld COMBINED. No The Force That is Chase. No speedy Shane or speedier Bourn Outstanding. Really the only good news involving the Disabled List is Adam Eaton’s name on it. But it seems like he’d be able to lose a game sitting in the trainer’s room, stroking his goatee he stole from Murray from Flight of the Conchords.

But Chase is coming back! He got the okay! Dude’s out there swinging the bat and the word on the street is that he could be back in the lineup for the Mets series. Sleep soundly Philly. Your man, Pat Burrell will no longer have to bat third. Everything will be right again.

But will that be too late?

By next week, the Phils could still be in the thick of things, but they need to man up before the weekend. The Dodgers, stumbling along like hungover Stiflers, are still a dangerous team and the Padres would be atop the NL West if not for the Diamondbacks, who somehow keep winning games, despite scoring negative runs. My suspicion is that they are all remarkable conmen…

So Philly…don’t get down. This weather won’t last and the rain was good for us. It was good for our plants and good for our cars. Tomorrow, the sun is coming back out, the temperature is heading back up north to the 90’s, and the Phillies are home for the next week in what is the most important homestand of the season. I know it’s fun to spell the word Eagles and drool over McNabb, but those bastards can wait. It’s baseball season.

Act accordingly.

If nothing else, do it for Adam Eaton. He’s an overweight, ineffective pitcher with a bad goatee.

He needs all the help he can get.

Tocchet Avoids Jail

With all the sports media attention being centered around Michael Vick, former Philadelphia Flyer Rick Tocchet and his association with a New Jersey gambling ring has been pushed under the rug. Well Friday, Tocchet avoided Jail time in regards to that case, garnering two years probation. He will serve his probation in his home state of Arizona and has said that he hopes to be able to return to the Phoenix Coyotes as an assistant coach, where he has been on indefinite leave since the case began. Tocchet’s return to pro hockey will have to wait until the NHL investigation ends and Commissioner Gary Bettman makes his decision on the future of Tocchet in the NHL.

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