Results tagged ‘ J.A. Happ ’

Phun At The Phestival

On Monday, the husband, kids, and myself attended the 21st annual Phillies Phestival at Citizens Bank Park. The Phestival benefits the Philadelphia chapter of the ALS Association, and raised over $800,000 this year. Click here and here for coverage on the Phillies website.

Although it was drizzling slightly when we arrived at the ballpark, it did not last long, and it turned into a pleasant evening. Since we had about an hour until the players would begin signing autographs at their booths, we decided to take a walk around the concourse and get something to eat, rather than stand in line while nothing was going on. Then again, we weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the “big name” booths, i.e. Howard, Utley, Rollins, etc., so there was no burning need to get in line early.

First stop was Brad Lidge’s booth, as all three of us had this ticket. My husband feels no need to get autographs, and really, why would we both need one? So he is the designated bag holder while the kids and myself are in the lines.

So what brilliant thing did I blurt out as I was handing Brad a baseball to sign? “Hi, how’s the elbow?” Like he hadn’t heard that hundreds of times already! Duh! By the way, he said it was feeling great. As I thanked him and moved on, I overheard the guy behind me in line come up to the table – “Hi Brad, how’s the elbow?” I wonder if he got really tired of that question by the end of the evening.

My daughter had a ticket for the Kyle Kendrick/Ben Francisco booth, so my husband went with her while my son followed me around as I was taking pictures of the players at some of the other booths. He didn’t enjoy this part of the evening.

My next stop was the Cuban station, otherwise known as the Danys Baez/Jose Contreras autograph booth. Neither of them was particularly talkative – I can understand Contreras wouldn’t be, as he doesn’t speak much (any?) English and Baez usually acts as his “interpreter”. Maybe Baez wasn’t quite sure what to make of all of it.

My son had a ticket for the Placido Polanco station, but decided not to use it since he already had a Polanco autograph from the first Phestival I took him to about six years ago, during Polanco’s first stint as a Phillie. Since I also had a ball signed back then, I had Placido sign a photo of him that I had taken in Spring Training:

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While I was doing this, my husband took the kids to buy some grab bags, and also go in the clubhouse store. My son wanted to buy a Polanco t-shirt, but being a male, can’t be bothered to look at the tag to see what size it is. So he held one up in front of him, asking dad if he thought he’d “grow into it”. Lord only knows if my husband was actually paying attention, because when we got home, he tried it on and it fit like a dress. I took a look at the tag and said of course it was too big, it was an adult extra-large. So yeah, he’ll grow into it, maybe by the time he graduates high school! So I guess it’s mine for now. :-)

So here are some photos from the evening, of the players whose booths I could get to. Some were in locations where only people with tickets to those booths could get through, or were not easily accessible, such as Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Howard. Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay were in photo booths, which required purchase of a separate ticket.

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Brad Lidge’s elbow was feeling great, hopefully he didn’t get writer’s cramp!

Chase Utley is much better looking without his hair all gooped back.

Kyle Kendrick has a really big forehead, which I never noticed with his cap on.

 

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Ben Francisco was making his first Phestival appearance.

Why does Milt Thompson look so serious? Milt didn’t smile much in last year’s photo, and he still isn’t in this year’s version.

Since I had my camera turned vertically, J.C. Romero decided to turn his head, too. :-)

 

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Joe Blanton strikes a no-nonsense look.

Jimmy Rollins always looks like he’s having fun. Jimmy was one of several players on the DL who still chose to participate in the Phestival – kudos to them!

David Herndon signs a card for a fan.

 

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I hope Ryan Madson’s toe was carefully tucked under the table, so no one stepped on it.

I warned Danys Baez I was going to take a picture, but he still doesn’t quite look ready for it.

Jose Contreras signs a baseball for me.

 

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Team president and CEO David Montgomery was on hand to help out. He later walked past my husband while I was at the grab bag table with the kids, and thanked him (and us) for coming out.

Placido Polanco smiles for my camera.

Davey Lopes reaches for a ball from a fan. Davey also looks very serious all the time – he and Milt need to smile more often! :-)

 

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Jamie Moyer appears to be letting his hair get a little shaggier than usual.

Shane Victorino has a big grin – hmm, what is he up to?

J.A. Happ was another player on the DL who chose to appear at the Phestival.

 

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Is there a rule that coaches don’t smile? Rich Dubee follows the lead of Milt and Davey.

Carlos Ruiz signs a jersey.

I felt kind of bad for Wilson Valdez. Paired with Ruiz at a booth, many people walked right past him without stopping. He’s even holding two pens, ready and waiting to sign something. His photo was in the program, people! He did light up with a smile when I called his name for a photo op.

 

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Is it wise to hand your children over to Larry Andersen and Gary Matthews? And when did L.A. shave his beard?? He just looks so…so…different.

My daughter and I pose with the 2008 World Series trophy and the 2009 National League champion trophy.

Why are my son and husband grinning like that? Certainly not because they’re thinking about all the money we just spent on tickets, grab bags, food, and the gift shop (though it is going towards a good cause). No, apparently my daughter was sticking her fingers up in “rabbit ears” behind my head, unbeknownst to me.

Speaking of the gift shop, one of my purchases was the new Phillies coffee-table book, Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition.


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I’ve only just begun to casually flip through it, but it looks to be a real visual feast, with plenty of photos covering the entire spectrum of Phillies history.

You may have noticed that I haven’t had much to say about the Phillies actual play recently. Well, that’s because I haven’t been too happy with it. The offense again failed to show up last night, as they were shut out 8-0 by the (ugh!) Mets.

Though I may frequently spew negative comments to my family while watching the games, I don’t really like to commit such thoughts to the permanency of the internet. I may be forced to break this self-imposed rule if they don’t start scoring some runs and winning some more games pretty soon! Only three games separate the first- and last-place teams in the NL East right now. Please, Phillies, I don’t deal with stress very well – enlarge that lead or I will eat way too much junk food, and it will be all your fault!

My Spring Training Adventure – Part 1

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and sort through the many (and I mean MANY) photos that I took during last week’s Florida trip. To make writing about it a less daunting task, I think I will break it apart into at least two, maybe even three, entries.

March 11 – Day 1

Since I’d neglected to go online and print out our boarding passes until very late the previous night, my husband and I were near the back of the line for boarding our Southwest flight from Philadelphia to Tampa. While waiting to board our plane, we realized that the Philadelphia Union soccer team was on our flight with us. Whereas MLB teams have their own charter flights, MLS teams (at least this one) fly on Southwest.

By the time hubby and I got on board, there were no seats left next to each other. So I ended up two rows ahead of him, in the middle seat between two of said soccer players. While soccer players are not exactly behemoths, they are by no means small people. The two I was sandwiched between were both over six feet tall.

OK, so this was going to be a bit cozy.

As there was a very large storm system apparently covering the entire eastern seaboard, we had the bumpiest flight I’ve ever experienced. I am not a fan of flying, especially during turbulence, and most especially when my husband is not next to me so I can squeeze the bejeesus out of his knee. Our approach to Tampa was particularly rough, and since I decided it would be inappropriate to grab the knees of total strangers, I made do with clutching the back of the seat in front of me. After we’d landed, we found out there had actually been tornado warnings in the Tampa Bay area just prior to our arrival. Yikes!

Outside-9838.jpgWe picked up our rental car and proceeded without incident to our lodging for the week, the Inn at the Bay Bed & Breakfast in St. Petersburg. If you’re ever staying in the Tampa/St. Pete area, I highly recommend it. After checking in, we went for a walk around downtown St. Pete, checking out the empty Al Lang Field, former spring home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It must still be used for something, as the field was nice and green and obviously still being maintained. We made it back to the Inn just in time, as it then started to rain. Later on, we enjoyed an ice cream dinner at Cold Stone Creamery (we’d had a really late lunch and weren’t very hungry).

March 12 – Day 2

The Phillies had split squad games today, one in Lakeland against the Tigers and one in Port Charlotte against the Rays. We toyed with the idea of driving to Port Charlotte, but the weather forecast was not very promising. Eventually, we decided not to risk driving an hour and a half, paying for parking and tickets, and getting rained out.

Good thing, too, as both games did end up getting rained out. In fact, it rained just about the entire day.

We opted instead to drive to Bright House Field to do our shopping in the team store on a non-game day, to avoid waiting in the long line that usually forms at games. We also stopped for lunch at the renowned Lenny’s, and left very full.

March 13 – Day 3

Our first game action! Yay! The Phillies were hosting the Twins today at Bright House Field. We arrived nice and early to be there when the gates opened. Here are some of the better pictures from the day.

Former Phillie Clay Condrey stops by to say “hi” during batting practice:

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J.C. Romero peeks out of the clubhouse to check things out during the Twins’ BP. Looks like he’s still eating his dessert:

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After March, Bright House Field is home to the Phillies single-A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. Thresher mascot Phinley was on hand pre-game:

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Catching the ceremonial first pitch from former Phillie, and current announcer, Larry Andersen, was another former Phil, Desi Relaford. It was bubble-blowing time:

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Prior to the game, Shane Victorino tips his cap to the crowd:

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J.A. Happ was on the mound for the Phillies. He pitched four shutout innings, allowing only one hit, and needed just 49 pitches to do so:

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The Twins countered with Carl Pavano, who threw three shutout innings without allowing a hit:

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There’s just a wee bit of a height difference between Jimmy Rollins and Justin Morneau:

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The Phils’ resident caveman, oops, I mean Jayson Werth, makes contact:

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Jose Contreras pitched a shutout inning in relief. How does he stretch his fingers apart like that?

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Gotta keep this ball away from me! Twins reliever Pat Neshek has one of the oddest looking pitching motions around:

neshek.jpgFinal score: Phillies 5, Twins 4

And finally, what better way to cap off a Phils win on a beautiful day at the ballpark, than with a beautiful sunset
?

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That’s it for tonight – Part 2 coming soon!

(all photos by me except for Inn at the Bay)

Timing Is Everything

They say that “hitting is timing”.

According to Warren Spahn, “pitching is upsetting timing”.

Thanks to Cole and Heidi Hamels, we now can surmise that “timing of wife going into labor is upsetting pitching”. Cole was not sharp in yesterday’s 5-4 loss to the Rockies, giving up four runs in five innings.

Ah yes, timing. Cole Hamels, who seems to already have his whole career planned out, was certainly not thinking ahead when he and Heidi decided to engage in some baby-making, presumable back in January. Would it have been that hard to realize that January plus nine months equals new baby smack in the middle of playoffs? Maybe he was assuming the Phillies wouldn’t make it to the postseason?

(alright, yes that last paragraph was typed with tongue planted in cheek, but still…)

As for Baby Hamels, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation this morning that the baby actually arrived. Nonetheless, congrats to the new parents.

Which leads me to wonder why Charlie even decided to have Cole start this game, if labor was that imminent. Sure, we can say that professional athletes should be able to set their personal lives aside while on the field, but who knows how much that might have affected his concentration?

And then there’s Cole’s abysmal record in day games this season: 0-6 with a 5.44 ERA. What’s up with that? His performance in night games is markedly better, at 10-5 with a 3.95 ERA. No wonder he was whining to the press earlier this week about the ridiculous start times of Games 1 and 2.

So why not start Happ or Blanton? Okay, Happ had pitched two innings in the final regular season game on October 4th, but Blanton had last pitched on October 2nd. As it turned out, both Happ and Blanton were used out of the bullpen, so now the Phils have burned through three starters in one game.

That would seem to leave Pedro Martinez as the Game 3 starter, though Charlie has not yet made his decision, saying Blanton is still in the mix, according to phillies.com. Happ says he would be ready too, even though he took a liner off the leg yesterday from the first batter he faced.

Now the series moves to Denver, where the forecast for Game 3 includes temperatures in the 30′s and snow showers (!). That’s football weather, not baseball. At least I’ll be watching from the cozy comfort of my home.

What I’ve Been Up To, Part 2

Ya know, I fully intended to write this post well before now. Didn’t happen. Better late than never, though!

baseball-101.jpgLast Wednesday, I attended the Phillies’ Baseball 101 for Women event, held at Citizen’s Bank Park. This was the fourth year the Phillies have held this event. The first year, 2006, only had a May session, but each year since then has had a May and an August session. Needless to say, every one has been a sellout! I’ve attended one each year, so this was my fourth visit to Phillies Heaven.

I made sure I left my house extra-early, just in case of traffic problems. As my family and friends know, I am not a morning person, so anything that gets me out of bed wide awake at 6:30 in the morning is a minor miracle!

Once we were there and checked in, there was time for a light breakfast. Bagels, muffins, and the like were available, as well as juice, tea and the all-important coffee. Gotta have my coffee! There was also time for a photo op with the World Series trophy before the day’s activities began.

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Unlike the last time I was near the trophy, my kids were not present. No need to worry that my offspring might accidentally knock it over while fighting with each other.

About 150 women were in attendance, and for the morning’s sessions, we were divided into four “teams”. While waiting to get our team photo taken, we got a quick visit to the Phillies’ clubhouse.

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Upon entering the clubhouse, we were greeted by this guy, whose job at the moment involved sorting the socks. Though you can’t see it in this photo, we were prevented from getting too close to the table by a red rope; otherwise, who knows, a few garments may have vanished as souvenirs :-).

Though we couldn’t get up close to the lockers in the back half of the clubhouse, we did get a good look into the lockers of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino, among others. Actually, maybe a bit too much is on display in Chase’s locker.

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Here is Ryan’s locker. Not too messy – he actually has a second one next to it. Apparently the big-name guys (Utley, Howard, Rollins) are afforded this little perk.

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Shane Victorino’s locker is actually quite neat and tidy.

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Even the clubhouse guys get World Series rings! Alas, he didn’t let any of us try it on.

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Once we were done in the clubhouse, we made our way to the seating area behind home plate for a session with the guys who run Phanavision, the large video board in left field. Of course, all the video clips, in-game entertainment, music, etc. are computerized, with a small army of people working to make sure everything runs smoothly.

This same group is also responsible for producing many of the video spots promoting upcoming games and events. We got to see some outakes of Shane Victorino recording a spot for Jewish Heritage Night. It took Shane more than a few tries, and lots of laughing, to finally get the pronunciation of “chutzpah” right.

The four teams then split up for coaching clinics with the Phillies’ coaches. Rich Dubee talked about pitching, and we all got a chance to throw a few pitches in the bullpen. Milt Thompson and Pete Mackanin instructed us in proper hitting technique, and we had a chance to bat (off a tee) in the indoor batting cages. Davey Lopes discussed baserunning, and Sam Perlozzo talked to us about fielding. [no pictures of all this, it wasn't feasible to carry my camera during this portion of the day]

After a break for lunch, we had a Q and A session with J.A. Happ.

happ.jpgHe explained that even though his printed name is two initials, proper pronunciation is “Jay” (J.A. stands for James Anthony, in case you were wondering).

Happ answered all kinds of questions for us, though he was a bit reticent about divulging any inside secrets. He admitted to having pregame rituals, though he wouldn’t say what they were. At one point, someone asked about his time with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. At this, host Scott Palmer produced a J.A. Happ bobblehead that was given away at an IronPigs game. Here’s J.A. coming face to face with his bobble likeness.

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After J.A. left to a standing ovation, it was time to head to the Media Room for our session with Charlie Manuel.

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Though Charlie has a reputation for not being a very eloquent speaker, he seemed pretty comfortable and at ease answering our questions, though when asked which was more intimidating, facing a roomful of reporters or a roomful of us, without hesitation he replied, “A roomful of women!”

Other topics included keeping the team focused on this year’s pennant race and not resting on last year’s laurels, the use of instant replay on disputed home run calls, and Brad Lidge’s problems this year.

Next came a session with umpire Laz Diaz.

laz-diaz.jpgThough it may look like Laz is signaling for a touchdown, he is in fact doing his impersonation of Shane Victorino’s arm-flapping in centerfield prior to being ejected from a recent game. As expected, there were many questions asked about why Shane was ejected, and why the home plate umpire would even be paying that much attention to a fielder (answer: the centerfielder is in direct view of the home plate ump, and all that arm waving is showing up the ump, therefore grounds for ejection). He was also asked what, if anything, catchers and batters talk about, and if there are any sure-fire ways to get ejected from a game.

Finally, the radio broadcasting duo of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen talked about their experiences covering the Phillies. Here, Scott is apparently having a hard time believing something that Larry has just said.

franzke-and-andersen.jpgThough not everyone agrees with me, I have always enjoyed L.A. as a broadcaster. Franzke is slowly growing on me, and these two have a great rapport. Their personalities complement each other very well, and in person you can really see how they play off each other.

Then it was on to our pregame patio party, with complementary food and beverages, and of course a visit from the Phanatic.

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Then it was game time! As an added bonus, it was also Brad Lidge bobblehead night. I was just praying that Brad didn’t have to come into the game and possibly blow a save – who knows how many bobbleheads may have been thrown on the field if that had happened!

game-time.jpgCliff Lee was facing Dan Haren and the Diamondbacks. Lee had a great game; Haren on the other hand did not, giving up 6 earned runs in 5 innings of work. The Phillies bats were alive, with home runs from Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and two from Jayson Werth. The Phillies won, 8-1!

All in all, a great day! I’ll be looking forward to next year’s event so I can do it all over again!

(all photos by me, except obviously the ones with me in them; those were taken by a fellow attendee and one of the ballgirls, using my camera)

I Give My Thanks to Ben Francisco

If not for Ben Francisco’s leadoff homer in the top of the 12th, I would have been doing this today

BangingHeadAgainstKeyboardStreetSig.gif Banging Head on Computer Keyboard image by TheKen08

as I sat writing about Brad Lidge’s seventh blown save of the season.

The Nose Knows

Things had looked bleak back in the sixth, with the Phils down 2-0. I was already envisioning doing the head-banging thing, as Rich Harden had been perfect through 5 1/3. But then Carlos Ruiz walked with one out. J.A. Happ then made a pathetic attempt at a sacrifice bunt, popping out to Derrek Lee and failing to advance Ruiz. So with two outs, Jimmy Rollins comes to the plate, and my husband announced he could “smell” a two-run homer.

Sure enough, Jimmy came through to tie the game!

The Phils went up 3-2 in the eighth, when Ryan Howard walked with the bases loaded. Thank you Ryan, for not striking out!

But darn it, Brad Lidge came on in the bottom of the ninth. Unlike last year, he has been anything but “lights out” this year. As mentioned earlier, he allowed the Cubs to tie the score, for his seventh blown save. Ready…to…tear…hair…out! Guess it’s a good thing Charlie doesn’t have too much of his own hair left, because if he felt like I did, he’d have been yanking it out by the handful.

Fast forward to the top of the 12th, and Francisco’s homer puts the Phils ahead. Heading into the bottom of the 12th, I commented that thankfully Lidge couldn’t come in again to blow another save. Chad Durbin entered the game and did what Lidge could not, preserve a one-run lead to get the save.

Give Me An ‘O’!

Today’s Inquirer had a good write-up about prospect Domonic Brown, who was recently promoted to AA-Reading. According to the story, Brown remains a shy prospect despite the recent attention cast on him by various trade-deadline rumors, and only recently informed the Phillies that they have been spelling his name wrong ever since he was drafted.

So I looked in the 2009 Media Guide, and sure enough it was spelled “Dominic”. I also noted that he had been drafted in 2006! A mere three years ago. Better late than never, I guess.

This Sunday we’ll be heading to Reading for the game, so I hope to get a good look at (and some good photos of) Brown in action.

I Hate My Sinuses!

Today’s entry is going to be a short one, because right now I’m developing a wicked headache. I’m not sure if I’m getting a cold, or my allergies are acting up, but all I know is that my sinuses are doing something which is resulting in post nasal drip, which is causing me to sneeze and cough. The coughing is now unfortunately giving me a headache.

Anyway, a few quick thoughts from the holiday weekend.

Phils Take 2 of 3 From Yankees

Brett Myers pitched well on Friday to lead the Phillies to a 7-3 win, which I recounted in my last entry.

On Saturday, J.A. Happ went 6 innings and would have been in line to get the win, as the Phillies were up 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. Then Brad Lidge entered the game and all hell broke loose. Johnny Damon walked to lead off the inning, and then with one out, A-Rod homered to tie it up. Robinson Cano then singled and subsequently stole second, so that Melky Cabrera’s bloop into short center allowed him to score the winning run. Yanks win, 5-4.

The way the Yankees reacted, you’d have thought they just won the World Series. Heck, even a come-from-behind-in-the-ninth win should be old news for them, as they lead the majors with 17 come-from-behind wins, with nine of those coming in the final at-bat.

Sunday, Cole Hamels allowed two runs in six innings of work. The Phillies had a slim 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, and once again, Brad Lidge blew the save. This time the game went into extra innings, with Carlos Ruiz knocking in the game-winning run in the top of the 11th, giving the Phillies a 4-3 victory.

John Mayberry, Jr. Makes His Debut

Mayberry made his major-league debut in Saturday’s game, and made a splash by hitting a 3-run homer for his first big-league hit. He also added a double, to go 2-for-3 on the day.

Why, just last Tuesday I saw John taking some big cuts at the Lehigh Valley IronPigs game:

mayberry.jpgCongratulations John!

What Is Up With Lidge?

Brad Lidge blew two consecutive save opportunities this weekend. Is his knee more of a factor than he and the Phillies are letting on? Is the pressure of living up to the expectations that resulted from last season’s perfection getting into his head? Is it something else entirely? Whether the issue is physical or mental, I hope the Phillies and Lidge soon figure out what is wrong, and please, please, please take steps to remedy the problem. We need a healthy and effective Lidge!

Monday of the Marlins

Other than Ryan Howard, the Phillies offense was lackluster yesterday in a 5-3 loss to the Marlins. Howard provided all the offense, with a two-run homer in the first, and a solo shot in the sixth. Jamie Moyer allowed 4 runs, with three of them coming on a home run by Wes Helms in the fourth, after Moyer walked the first two batters of the inning. Helms went 3-for-4 on the day with 4 RBIs.

Hey Wes, how come you never had games like that when you were a Phillie?

The Phillies and Marlins meet again tonight, with Joe Blanton facing off against Andrew Miller. Come on, guys, let’s get back on the winning track!

(photo by me)

Phils Pecked By The Jays; “She-Fan” Review

The Phillies dropped their second exhibition game yesterday, losing to the Blue Jays 6-2. The good news from the game was that Carlos Carrasco and J.A. Happ each pitched two scoreless innings. Carrasco struck out three, without giving up any hits, and Happ struck out one while giving up one hit. So it looks like the competition for the fifth starters’ spot is already off to a blazing start.

carrasco.jpgWhat is not off to a blazing start is the Phils’ batting. Rather, the bats still seem to be hibernating. According to Charlie Manuel, “Our hitting is behind. But we haven’t seen a lot of live hitting yet. Our players didn’t get here until the 17th.”

Um, Charlie, wouldn’t the other teams be in the same boat too? The Pirates’ and Blue Jays’ bats apparently aren’t so far behind.

OK, I know these games don’t matter, etc. etc., and the runs have been given up not by the starting rotation guys, but by the non-roster invitees. But the Phils weren’t facing the other teams’ aces either, so let’s wake up those bats, please!

Breaking news! The Phillies have released Adam Eaton. Looks like the team will end up eating $9 million on Eaton: $8.5 million for this season, plus a $500,000 club option for 2010. I’d still love to know why the front office thought that signing a pitcher whose ERA has never been below 4.00 was a good idea. For three years, no less! I will be interested to see if he ends up getting picked up by another team.

Book Review time

confessions.pngEarlier this week, I finished reading Jane Heller’s book Confessions of a She-Fan. Keep in mind that I was only familiar with Jane from her MLBlog of the same name, and then only since the beginning of February when I started this blog.

I was initially taken aback (slightly) by the true depth of Jane’s vitriol towards the Red Sox and their Nation. Of course, Jane can’t use some of the words directed at said players and fans here on the blogs without getting in trouble!

Being neither a Yankees nor a Red Sox fan, I was able to enjoy the book without reliving the heartbreak of the 2007 season (for Yankees fans), or being offended (for Red Sox fans). In fact, quite a few times while reading I was laughing out loud, to the point that my husband or children were asking me what was so funny. I don’t want to give anything away here to any of you who haven’t read the book yet, so I won’t go into specifics, but suffice it to say that she-fans of any team will enjoy it!

The book is more than just a recap of the Yankees’ 2007 season, and Jane’s experiences following the team across the country for the second half of that season. She deftly interweaves stories of her early years of Yankee love, and her personal life as well, into the week by week travelogues.

Also woven into the mix are the various attempts by Jane to gain access to the pressbox and the team, and how she seems to be thwarted at every turn by one Jason Zillo, the Yankees’ media relations director. All she wants is to talk to just one Yankee! By the end of the book, any Yankee will do.

Though the book is subtitled “The Course of True Love With the New York Yankees”, it also touches on the course of true love with her real-life husband, Michael, who has accompanied Jane on this adventure. We see the ups and downs of her relationships with both Michael and the Yankees. As the old quote goes, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

My favorite parts of the story are like bookends – one at the beginning (in the prologue), when Jane sights A-Rod in a Toronto restaurant, and one near the end, when Jane ventures into enemy territory at Fenway Park. After having been told to be on her best behavior and not draw attention to herself as a Yankee fan, what Jane finally does at the end of the game is worthy of a You-Tube moment!

Jane, I have found a comfortable home for your book here on my bookshelf, nestled in between Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth:

IMG_5125.JPGI avoided even putting you on the same shelf as this:

books2.jpgin order to avoid any karmic rage that could come down upon me! :-) 

(Carrasco/Happ photos by Miles Kennedy/Phillies)

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