Archive for January, 2008

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?

Photo of the Day

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Catholic Venue, originally uploaded by eskepe.

the fisheye lens really brings out the soaring symmetry in this Manyunk Church in eskepe’s photo.

The Beginning of the End

Next Thursday, January 31, Lost returns for season four! So we only get eight episodes. We can debate the writers’ strike another time… I need my fix. A couple months ago I took over a Lost meetup group and I’m thinking, hey! Didn’t they Troc host a premiere party last year? Is anyone doing anything this year?

I’ve checked Eventful and Upcoming, I’ve googled every search term you can imagine creating with the words Lost, Philadelphia, season four, premiere. Nothing.

While in the car with my brother yesterday, we caught a snippet of information in a commercial on MMR about some kind of party going on at Dave and Busters, but of course, neither of their websites contain any information.

If some venue in Philly is hosting a Lost season premier party, I’ve yet to find it. So what is it, Philly? What’s going on next Thursday?

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.

Phillyskyline.com – go, yo

In a moment, I knew what I was going to do on Sunday night, tonight. The City Paper advertised, for this cold, cold night, a lecture For the Curious, at Johnny Brenda’s, featuring R. Bradley Maule, or B Love, of Phillyskyline.com fame, and two of his cohorts. I took the el, unfortunately, and there was this big fire in the area, apparently, and I ended up on a “charter” shuttle, which didn’t stop at the other el stops, and I found out too late, pulling the string somewhere north of Girard, where I needn’t have been by myself. So, I jogged through about 6 scary, dark blocks to Girard, called my friend for exact directions, suffered a dead cellphone, passed the many firetrucks and emergency vehicles, and made it into the warmth and welcoming arms of Johnny Brenda’s for my Reading Premium.

If you haven’t experienced B Love’s site, and you love Philly, you must see it. I’m not sure if he makes a living from it, but I hope he does. He is a transplant to Philly, as many of us are, but sees himself as a Philadelphian. I feel likewise. I think he and his partners, Nathaniel Popkin and Steve Ives, have set themselves up to be a source of change, or maybe a driving force. I think they aren’t aware of the inspiration they are providing. Their lecture turned into a bit of a public forum for changes that need to be made. Look out for near-future changes in the blog, including comment capability and other technical innovations I know nothing about, as well as a real volunteer initiative. I hope this pans out. I would like to join up! I want to help, and you should too. I left there inspired, hopeful, and dreamy.

first snowfall

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first snowfall, originally uploaded by moocatmoocat.

Nice big flakes falling on Center City. With global warming, this is becoming a rare sight…
I’ve been away but will soon be selecting Photos of the Day from the Metblogging Philly Flickr group. So remember to add your photos to the group pool: http://flickr.com/groups/mb_philadelphia/

Brickbat Books!

This just in: There’s a new bookstore in South Philly! Working in the publishing industry, I’m always keeping my eye out for new places to browse, and I was walking up 4th this weekend, and there was a brightly-lit store, actually opened past 5 p.m. There were 4 or 5 people, hard at work on Saturday night, putting in bookshelves. The new Brickbat Books (709 S. Fourth St.) seems like it may be opened already, what with the only web searches on it leading to a musical performance that took place there on Sunday night. I didn’t see an official site, but it seems they are a sister store to Big Jar Books (55 N. Second St.). I will check it out on my way home for more details. I sure am excited to see a non-chain in my neighborhood!

Ten City Parks

Schukyll%20River.JPG

I was reading the main page of MSN yesterday, because it’s my home page, and there was an article about Top 10 City Parks in the nation. What I can’t figure out, for the life of me, is why Fairmount Park wasn’t on this list. Suspiciously, I can’t find the article, only one day later. I’m not going to rip on the other cities’ parks – some of them are quite nice – but I must say that this is a severe omission. Isn’t it the largest city park in the nation? I believe so! Isn’t it full of history? Check! Aren’t there paths, sculptures, graveyards, a zoo, historic mansions? Definitely! Aren’t things being renovated? Yes! (The old Memorial Hall is going to be the home of the Please Touch Museum. This is just one of many old buildings.) Isn’t there a covered bridge? Absolutely! Concerts? Affirmative! There is so much to shout about Fairmount Park, I’m just going to send you to the website. Please explore your city park. It’s for you!

Michael Nutter is crazy…crazy like a FOX!

What a week!

Incredibly and unseasonably warm temperatures!
A new mayor!
A new mayor’s questionable moves!
A new mayor’s dependence of the phrase “educated workforce”!
The Flyers crushed the Rangers in New York!
Donovan McNabb knows how to type!
…and so much more!

Tomorrow it looks like it’s going to be sunny and fifty, and as Crazy Ray said today at work, “Ah dude, it’s gonna be sick!”
So get outside. Football doesn’t start until 4:30, so that gives everyone plenty of time to stroll around Olde City (watch out for bums,) Center City and the shopping district (watch out for bums,) South Philly (watch out for bums,) and maybe even Northern Liberties (watch out for hip bums.)

Tomorrow night is also the season opener for the Philadelphia Wings, the pro lacrosse team in town. Duuuuuuude, indoor lacrosse is a lot of fun to watch. It’s real fast, high scoring. Just good ol’ American, popped-collar fun. The Wings play the Chicago Shamrox. What a match up! The Shamrox! Not to be confused with the less-menacing Shamrocks.
I have no idea about anything involving this game except that it is tomorrow and it is at around 7ish and it is most likely at the Wachovia Center…but it might be at the Spectrum.
Go! Lacrosse is fun!

And hey, for the Eagles fans mouring the dismal 2007 season, yet still chanting E-A-G-L-E-S at every chance they get, there is some good news.

Brian Westbrook, already named to this year’s Pro Bowl, was named an All Pro, named after LaDanian Tomlinson and Andrian Peterson. You can catch BWest on the NFL Network during the Playoffs.

Picks:
Pats, Colts
Giants, Packers

Pats vs. Giants
Pats 31 Giants 19

Visiting the M.A.N. at City Hall

On January 7, 2008, Philadelphia’s newly elected Mayor, Michael Nutter, hosted an open house at City Hall starting at 4pm, EST. Let me tell you folks – I haven’t seen lines that long since the infamous Tea Cup ride during my trip to Disney World more then a decade ago. I waited 3.5 hours in line to congratulate and shake Mayor Nutter’s hand. It was well worth the wait.
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