Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

What The ___ ??

Go ahead and fill in the blank with whichever word you prefer which best expresses your feelings about the Phillies’ 1-3 start. ;-)

PNC Park = House of Horrors

Why, oh why, is PNC Park such a House of Horrors for the Phillies? After Doc’s gem gave the Phils an Opening Day win over the Pirates, they proceeded to drop the next two contests in painful fashion by giving up the winning run in the final frame. Since its opening in 2001, the Phillies are a paltry 14-24 in that venue, which is one of their worst records in any road park (if not THE worst).

Yet it looks so nice. And this is the Pirates they’re sucking against – they of the 19 straight losing seasons. Again, what the …? Chalk it up as one of life’s mysteries.

 

Who’s On First, Indeed?

Last Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a Phillies Preview under this banner:

An apt question, since the Phillies have used four different first basemen in the first four games – Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, Jim Thome, and John Mayberry, Jr. Hopefully as the season progresses, some sort of continuity will be established, rather than the current revolving door approach.

Ryan Howard, pamper that Achilles and hurry back!

 

Slumbering Lumber

I have a feeling I’ll be using this image frequently this season, or at least in the early going, until Chase Utley and the aforementioned Ryan Howard are back in the lineup.

Currently the Phillies have a collective .198 batting average, ranking them 24th of the 30 major league teams. Yes, it’s only been four games, and yes it’s early in the season, but the Phillies need to start hitting more, and sooner rather than later, or it’s going to be a mighty long season if they dig themselves too big a hole already.

 

Phillies At The Flower Show

Since the theme for last week’s annual Philadelphia International Flower Show was “Hawaii – Islands of Aloha”, it seems only natural that there was a Phillie-themed display inspired by Shane Victorino:

The display, entitled “The Phillies’ Flyin’ Hawaiian”, won an award for outstanding blue ribbon winner in the mailbox classes for the Garden Club of Philadelphia.

It also got me even more impatient for the start of Games That Matter. Spring training games are great if you’re there in person, but watching them on TV just doesn’t cut it for me. Bring on the season!

Musical Musings

In case you missed it earlier this week, a minor kerfuffle arose in the Boston media when the Dropkick Murphys stated that Jonathan Papelbon was no longer welcome to use their song “Shipping Up To Boston” as his entrance music. Later in the week, Papelbon announced that he hadn’t been planning to use that song anyway.

Well, duh.

Why would he? It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to use a song with Boston in the title when he’s pitching for Philadelphia, now would it? Papelbon apparently already has a song in mind, but isn’t saying what it is.

So what would be a good song? If he wanted to stay with the city-of-employment theme, the pickings are pretty slim when it comes to songs with Philadelphia in the title.

There’s Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia”:

A little too mellow. He needs something more upbeat, maybe Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom”:

Nah. Too disco-y. Don’t know about you, but Elton John performing on “Soul Train” just seems like a really odd combo.

Speaking of “Soul Train”, how about a song that was once the “Soul Train” theme? Here’s “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)”:

Way too disco-y. J-Pap might be tempted to do The Hustle on his way in from the bullpen (not a sight I want to see).

On the other hand, so many closer songs all sound similar – AC/DC, Metallica, etc. If we widen our titular horizons (and no, that’s not a naughty word!) to Pennsylvania in general, we could go for a Big Band sound with Glenn Miller’s “Pennsylvania 6-5000″:

Or for something really different, how about “The Pennsylvania Polka”, from America’s Polka King, Frankie Yankovic:

In case you were wondering, he is not related to Weird Al.

One song that would definitely NOT be a good choice, “Bad Nite In Philly”, from Philly’s own Public Service?!:

Certainly not a good idea for the closer’s song to foreshadow a blown save. For the amount he’s being paid, Pap better not have any “bad nites” in Philly. ;-)

So what to choose? Well, Papelbon does say that it will probably be a hard rock song. He also has that whole “Cinco Ocho”, alter ego kind of thing going on, so how about “21st Century Schizoid Man” (here the original by King Crimson, also covered by April Wine and Ozzy Osbourne):

A Phemale Phan’s Baker’s Dozen

Once again, it’s that time of year when I stoop to objectifying the male posterior in order to provide entertainment  for my female readers (see here and here for last year’s installments of eye candy).

While scouring my meager stash of photos from this past season for the ideal buns, I recalled the Baked Goods Rating Scale, hereafter referred to as the BGRS. The BGRS was devised by a very good friend who shall remain nameless (just in case she doesn’t want her name linked in public to my admittedly juvenile undertaking). I hope I’m remembering it correctly.

The BGRS ranges from Crumbs….

…all the way to Kaiser Rolls (with Pancakes, Biscuits, and Buns in between).

[OK, men, the pictures of food are over, so if you want to stop reading now, that’s fine.]

I’m happy to report that most of the Phillies fall within the ideal Biscuit/Bun range, with only one veering dangerously close to Pancake territory.

See if you can identify this baker’s dozen of buns:

Texas buns

2nd Generation buns

Beaver buns

Rule 5 buns

Free Agent buns

Rookie buns - ♫ isn't he...pretty in pink… ♫

Fragile buns

"They're ba-a-a-a-ck!" - Returning buns

Departing buns?

Ace buns

Underperforming buns

Not Quite buns

Razorback buns

Just in case you were wondering, no, I don’t stalk the players around with my big lens. :-)  These are cropped from normal pictures that I took from my seat.

So how many do you know? Let me know in the comments section!

Not A Trivial Mistake

Last year, we had one of those page-a-day calendars, chock full of Phillies trivia, sitting on the windowsill above our kitchen sink. I think somebody had given it to us as a Christmas gift the previous year.

During periods of time when things get busy and hectic, I tend to forget to rip off the pages each day, and end up with a backlog of a week or two to tear off all at once. And so it was at the end of December, what with the holidays and the related holiday shopping, decorating, eating, etc. Still, I would read each page as I tore it off to catch up, hoping to fill my mind with yet more useless knowledge.

And there, on the page for December 15, I found this:

Huh??? Well, the answer is right, but the question is all wrong!

Obviously, the people who wrote the questions for the calendar were not Phillies fans, or they would have known that Eric Hinske struck out swinging to end any hopes the Rays had in 2008. The last time Carl Crawford had been anywhere near the plate was in the top of the 8th, when he led off with a single.

So how do they mess this stuff up? It’s not some obscure thing from the dawn of time, er, the 1900’s. It was only three years prior. Now I’m wondering about the veracity of the information for the other 364 days of the year. Thankfully, no one gave us one of these for this year, so my mind will not be led astray with misinformation.

Then again, mistakes like this provide more grist for this blog. :-)

Will Jimmy Find What He’s Looking For?

As expected, Jimmy Rollins became a free agent on Sunday, along with fellow Phillies Ross Gload, Raul Ibanez, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, and Brian Schneider. The Phillies are in discussions with Rollins’ agent, but it may be tough to reach an agreement that gives him what he’s looking for:

Yep, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he’s not a seeking a five-year contract, but a five-year contact.

I’ve heard of extended wear contacts, but they seem to top out at 30 days, making 5 years seem a bit extreme.

Good luck with that one, Jimmy!  ;-)

Words Fail Me

Family-friendly words, that is. Words that are unfit for public viewing, that would scorch your retinas, are definitely NOT failing me at the moment – not last night, and not today.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will have to rely on my handy alter-ego from last year’s NLCS disaster to convey my true feelings about last night’s display of utter crapitude:

What The -bleep- Happened Last Night?

After Saturday night’s authoritative 11-6 thumping of the Cardinals (which really should have been 11-3 but for three meaningless runs scored in the top of the 9th), I had high hopes for Game 2 of the NLDS on Sunday.

The Phils jumped on Chris Carpenter for four early runs, and I was liking the chances of going up 2 games to none on the Cards. But then the unthinkable happened – Cliff Lee blew a four run lead. Granted, he didn’t seem to be at his sharpest last night – he allowed a leadoff triple in the first, and a leadoff double in the second, but managed to wiggle out of those jams. Things would start to unravel in the fourth, when the Cards pulled to within one run, and go further downhill from there.

In the meantime, Carpenter was yanked after three innings, and the parade of relievers must have lulled the Phillies into one of their all-too-frequent offensive stupors.

The Cardinal bullpen yielded only one hit the rest of the way, a single by Jimmy Rollins, which was quickly nullified when Rollins got picked off to end the seventh.

I should have known better than to get too optimistic. After all, the Cardinals are the only NL team to have a winning record against the Phils this year, so I certainly shouldn’t expect this series to be a cakewalk. Also, I’m a Phillies fan – a member of a group of people known for their pessimistic tendencies. I’m pretty sure it must be a chemical they put in our water ;-).

Today is an off day, so let’s hope the Phillies snap out of it, and get back to hitting (and winning) tomorrow in St. Louis. Especially you, Carlos Ruiz, and you, Placido Polanco, both hitless thus far! Let’s get to work!

Yes, They’ve Clinched, But I Still Don’t Like It When They Lose

As I predicted in my last post, the Phillies did indeed clinch the NL East over the weekend, prior to my attending of Monday night’s game against the Cardinals. By the looks of things during the game, you would have thought they were still hung over two days after the celebration.

It’s not that they didn’t have baserunners all night; in fact, they had the bases loaded in the bottom of the third with one out, but both Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco struck out to eliminate any threat of scoring.

Then, after lulling the crowd into a semi-stupor, the Phils mounted just enough of a comeback in the bottom of the ninth to get our hopes up, only to fall just short of victory (or at least tying the game). Deja vu, this kind of thing happened the last time I was here, on August 26!

Bottom line, Phils lose, 4-3. Bleh!

A few Random Thoughts occurred to me during the game:

  • of the four games I’ve attended this season (a pitiful stat in itself), the Phils are 1-3. The only time they won was when I didn’t have my camera with me, due to rain. Probably just coincidence, but still annoying that my camera seems to bring bad luck.
  • I am never so fortunate as to have a small child seated in front of me; rather, they tend to be taller than average adults (sometimes excessively so).
  • Unlike me, most people seem to be incapable of sitting in their seat for the duration of the game. These people will inevitably step in front of me at the very moment I’m trying to take a picture.
  • With the exception of the people seated in front of me. They never move.

But the evening was not without some pluses. For one thing, I was able to satisfy my desire for more bobbleheads (yeah, I’m a sucker for them).

The newest addition to my bobblehead collection. I'm not sure it really resembles Polanco, though; the head's not nearly round enough. :-)

Due to an apparent surplus of Placido Polanco bobbleheads, one was given away free with each 2011 Phillies Yearbook purchased. Wouldn’t you know, I had gotten a yearbook last time. After some thought, I decided I’d probably be willing to pay 10 bucks for a bobblehead anyway, so I bought it. I now have a brand new 2011 yearbook for sale, a $10 value, half price if anyone’s interested. :-)

But enough of my ranting and raving. Forthwith, my photos from the game.

This Bud's For You - Speaking of Polanco, what's he doing out there with Albert Pujols? Granted, Polanco did spend some time with the Cards, so maybe he and Albert are "buds", as the ad on the outfield wall proclaims. But must he fraternize with the opposition right there in the middle of the field before the game?

"Everybody hands go up" - Shane Victorino seems to be acting out the lyrics to the DJ Khaled song "All I Do Is Win", which has frequently been heard this season at the stadium and during broadcasts. Problem is, they haven't won much lately, dropping 8 of their last 12 games, including four straight since clinching the division.

Update: Phinally! The Phils beat the Mets yesterday to break an eight game (!) losing streak.

The Passing of the Boa - Michael Schwimer is no longer the new kid in the 'pen, and Justin DeFratus now has the honor of wearing the boa-draped backpack. Watch out, Justin, it looks like the Phanatic's eyeing you up!

Shake and Bake - While on the basepaths, Rafael Furcal sported what looked like an oven mitt, presumably intended to protect his previously injured thumb. He shook things up enough, leading off the game with a double, moving to third on a passed ball, and scoring on Nick Punto's groundout. All this within the span of five pitches!

When Pigs Fly - Pigs weren't necessarily flying, but dogs were (hot dogs, that is). For the last Hatfield Dollar Dog night of the season, the Phanatic has help from Hatfield's Smiley the Pig on his mission to bombard the crowd with jet-propelled hot dogs. Look out, Chase!

"Vanna, I'd like to buy a vowel" - if I actually tried to pronounce the last name of St. Louis reliever Marc Rzepczynski out loud, I may very well sprain my tongue!

And finally - lest you think there was no game action, here's a shot of Jimmy Rollins sliding into third with an RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth, while Daniel Descalso awaits the throw. Carlos Ruiz scored on the play, and Rollins would score on a Shane Victorino ground out, but that would be it for the scoring, as Hunter Pence grounded out with two men on to end the game. Aaargh!

(all photos by me)

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!

You might think that now that my kids have been back in school for almost two weeks, that I might have found some time to finally post pictures from my latest trip to the ballpark, way back on August 26th. Sadly, you would be mistaken. Inevitably, each day managed to have something else crop up.

Except for today.

So, finally, here is my photographic coverage of that game against the Marlins. The Phillies lost, 6-5, so I won’t go into a whole game recap. That sort of thing is available elsewhere, if you’re so inclined to read it.

I'd always known that there was a marker commemorating the location of Veterans Stadium's home plate somewhere in the parking lot of Citizens Bank Park, but had never actually seen it. Now I know why - it's in the middle of a traffic lane, and sort of looks like a utility cover from a distance.

Unveiled just 10 days prior, this statue of the late Harry Kalas stands on the concourse just outside Harry the K's restaurant. It is amazingly detailed, right down to the "P" on Harry's World Series ring.

"Hey Dave, does this boa make me look fat?" Even if it does, who would actually want to say so to the 6'8", 240 lb Michael Schwimer?

Chase Utley leaps for the high throw as Emilio Bonifacio promptly steals second after singling to lead off the first inning. He ended up scoring the first run of the night for the Marlins, although it was unearned due to a throwing error by Wilson Valdez.

Hope sprang up briefly, and Valdez redeemed himself slightly, when he hit a solo homer in the third to tie the score at 1-1. The Marlins scored again in the fourth, and from that point the Phillies trailed the rest of the game.

Roy Oswalt had a rough night on the mound, giving up 6 runs (5 earned) in 5.2 innings of work. Four of those runs came on a John Buck grand slam, after the Marlins loaded the bases with three straight singles to start the top of the 6th.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of tracking Chase Utley as he runs down a pop fly in foul territory, until...

...just before making the catch, he appears to be running into The Mist (or The Fog, depending on your horror movie preferences). In reality, the person seated in front of me had decided to stand up at that exact moment.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, this vendor stepped into my viewfinder just as Carlos Ruiz puts the ball in play. It was one of those kind of nights.

I'm really liking the style of newest Phillie Hunter Pence. He chokes up on the bat! He wears his socks high! He gets nice and dirty! He got two hits!

Michael Stutes displays the dreaded Inverted W. The jury is still out on whether it is truly "dreaded". Go ahead, Google it and see - some people think it is a harbinger of injuries to come, others think it makes no difference. Let's just check back on Stutes in a few years and see.

What the heck is Cliff Lee doing? I don't really know, and it appears neither does Gaby Sanchez. Lee was inserted as a pinch runner for Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth.

While waiting for the hubby to make a pit-stop after the game, I noticed this little warning at the back of the right field seats. Balls? Well, maybe. But bats? I don't think so.

So the Phillies have now clinched a postseason berth, and could very well clinch the division before my next foray to South Philly on Monday night. Let’s hope I can get those photos posted in a more timely fashion. :-)

(all photos by me)

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