Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Jayson Werth Goes To The Dark Side

Looking skeevier than ever, Jayson Werth’s two-run walk-off blast capped off a dramatic ninth-inning comeback for the Phillies yesterday. Here he is getting a man-hug from Charlie Manuel:

hairy werth.jpgThere are apparently those women out there who actually find his look attractive, or, as a friend who shall remain nameless put it on Facebook, “dirty hawt”. I personally do not count myself among these women. I think he looks like he just spent 40 days amongst the wolves.

Nonetheless, today comes word that Werth has switched agents, leaving Jeff Borris for the devil himself Scott Boras.

borasdevil_display_image.jpgWith free agency looming after this season, what tiny hope there may have been that the Phillies would be able to re-sign Werth seems to have just gone from infinitely small to totally non-existent. Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino are both under contract for 2011, and Werth’s likely replacement, Domonic Brown, is also a Boras client. I can’t see Boras making much of an effort to deal with the Phillies, when he can probably get Werth a big payday elsewhere, and also get Brown a shot at the starting lineup next year.

Oh well.

To end on an upbeat note, I will be at the game tonight! The Phils open a 3-game series against the Braves, so the atmosphere at the ballpark should be playoff-like. Cole Hamels will be on the mound, so Phillies, remember…

RUN SUPPORT, PLEASE!

Your Wish Is Granted!

jambi.jpgWell, my birthday wishes came true yesterday – the Phillies DID win, and the Braves DID lose, so the Phils are atop the NL East. For the moment, anyway.

Now that three blogs’ worth of wishes in a row have been granted, I think I’d better stop while I’m ahead!

 

Clash of the Crustaceans

Saw this little news item on the Phillies website. Over the weekend, the Phils’ single-A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws, won their South Atlantic League semifinal series over the Hickory Crawdads.

blueclaws logo.jpg
crawdads logo.jpg

Based on the mascots, I would definitely pick Pinchy the Crab in a mascot smackdown over Conrad the Crawdad. Pinchy just has a more determined look about him, and besides, Conrad is hiding behind a giant ‘H’.

The BlueClaws will now face the Greenville Drive for the Sally League title.

For the most part, minor league team names and mascots are a source of great amusement for me. But “Drive”? What kind of team name is “Drive”, anyway? Don’t the execs in Greenville realize that a catchy team name and mascot will provide multitudinous marketing opportunities, with cute little mascot bobbleheads and stuffed mascots for sale in the team store?

Whatever.

Good luck, BlueClaws!

What Should I Wish For?

I noticed something interesting about my last two posts. On Tuesday, I happened to mention that I would like it if the Phillies’ offense were to give Cole Hamels a bit more run support than they had been recently.

Lo and behold, the next day they gave Cole 10 runs worth of support! And they needed it, too, after the bullpen gave 6 runs right back.

In my next post, I asked that the bullpen culprit please be kept away from the mound for the remainder of the season. Later that same day, Nate Robertson was designated for assigment!

Wow! Two wishes asked, two wishes granted. My lucky stars must be perfectly aligned right now!

lucky stars copy.jpgHmm. Coupled with the power of a birthday wish (mine just happens to be tomorrow), who knows what might happen? Let’s see, I wish that the Phillies win the rest of their games, and the Braves lose the rest of theirs!

OK, that might be a bit much to ask for.

I’ll start small. Phils win tomorrow, Braves lose, putting the Phils back into first. Is that too much to ask for? I think not.

Please Keep Nate Robertson Away From The Mound!

Last night, I knew I should be up at the computer, doing some Actual Work. But I really wanted to watch just a little more of the Phillies-Marlins game. The Phillies were actually giving Cole Hamels some run support!

Maybe they saw my little note to them in my last entry. :-)

When the score got to 7-0 in favor of the Phillies, I felt that it was safe to go to work. Cole was pitching really well, and the offense was putting up some crooked numbers. By the time he left the game, after seven shutout innings, the Phils were up 10-0.

Then Nate Robertson entered the game. The same Nate Robertson who had been released by the Marlins earlier this season after posting a 6-8 record in 19 games, with a 5.47 ERA.

Robertson managed to record only two outs before getting lifted, and gave up 6 runs! Yikes! Then again, what should I expect from a pitcher with a career 55-77 record and an ERA hovering around 5, who was apparently better known in Detroit for his gum-chewing than his pitching?

robertson gum.jpg

In 2006, the year of “Gum Time”, the Tigers made it to the World Series after quite a few years of ineptitude. Since the Phillies have their sights set on making it to the Series for the third year in a row, maybe they should use Robertson not as a pitcher, but as a “designated chewer”.

I’m sure he’s being paid enough to cover the ensuing dental bills.

(scan from Detroit Tigers Magazine – 2006 Season, Issue No. 3)

 

***Post-blog update! Robertson will not be near the mound anymore this season. As of yesterday afternoon, he had been designated for assignment. I am not upset about this.***

Juan Almighty

Phillies team yearbooks never fail to provide sources of amusement for me. There isn’t usually a whole lot of substantive writing in them, but lots of color pictures of the players, along with their answers to a number of banal questions regarding favorite things, places they’d like to visit, and so on.

Last year, we learned that Cole Hamels is a fan of the Twilight series of novels. *snicker, snicker*

This year, one of the questions is “What famous person would you like to trade places with for a day?”

While most of the responses were other athletes or musicians, both John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz would like to be President Obama for a day.

Juan Castro, however, is shooting straight for the top.

castro scan0001.jpgHe’d like to be God.

Of course, this begs the question of what would he do with his God-powers for one day? Perhaps heal all the Phillies that are on the DL?

Or, seeing how he has since been released by the Phillies after batting an uninspiring .198 in 54 games, maybe he should start by upgrading his own baseball skills.

(page scanned from Philadelphia Phillies 2010 Yearbook)

Mother-Daughter Minor League Fun; Offensive Phunk Continues

First, the fun part. On Tuesday, my daughter (who usually claims to not like baseball) coerced me into taking her to the Reading Phillies game, at which the first 2,000 kids received a Webkinz “Littlekinz” dog. I should probably have my head examined – like she really needs another stuffed animal! Unfortunately it doesn’t take much coercion to get me to do anything involving a baseball game. She probably knew this, and used it to her advantage.

So while my husband and son were involved in their own activity, we made the drive to Reading on a beautiful evening for a ballgame. The gates opened an hour prior to gametime, and we arrived within a few minutes of them opening. Seeing quite a few people already gathered at the gates, and the parking lot fuller than usual, my daughter started to panic that she would miss out on her Webkinz.

Her: “Mom, what if I’m not one of the first 2,000 kids?”

Me: “2,000 is a lot of kids. You’ll be fine.”

Her: “But what if I’m not? You don’t want me to be unhappy!”

This is very true. After we parked, she leaped out of the car and started running down the sidewalk to the gate. This from a child who seems to try to avoid running at all costs most of the time. Thank goodness no one got in her way, she may have pushed them over in her haste.

Of course, there were plenty of Webkinz to go around (and still were half an hour later). A happy child and her new favorite stuffed animal:
webkinz.jpg

I informed her that just because she now had what she wanted, didn’t mean we were going to leave the game early. Mom wanted to watch some baseball.

It wasn’t such a good night for the R-Phils. Starter Josh Fogg topped out at 82-83 mph (according to the stadium radar gun), and the visiting Trenton Thunder hitters teed off on him. In 3.2 innings of work, Fogg gave up 4 runs on 8 hits.

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Shortstop Freddy Galvis covers second on this steal by Justin Christian:

open your eyes.jpg

Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that Galvis has his eyes closed!

galvis zoom.jpg

I’m pretty sure that this is not considered proper technique.

The R-Phils baserunners were not so successful. Quintin Berry not only is thrown out at second, he loses his helmet in the process:

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In the meantime, the members of the R-Phils bullpen appear less-than-riveted by the on-field action:

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The bullpen was pressed into action in the top of the fourth, and Fogg’s night was done. He seems to be purposely not looking towards the dugout, as the manager is approaching to remove him from the game:

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Or maybe he was simply looking at the scoreboard, wondering what went wrong.

Some excitement was injected into the evening by the nightly vegetable race. Here, Carrot uses a flying finish to edge out Lettuce and Broccoli:

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Cauliflower was a non-factor, finishing well behind and out of the picture.

After eight innings, the R-Phils were only down by two runs, 4-2. But then Trenton tacked on two more in the top of the ninth, a pitching change was made, and it was now 10 pm. Since it was, in fact, a school night, we decided to leave. Two more runs were scored after we left, and the final score was 8-2 in Trenton’s favor.

Nonetheless, I think my daughter was actually absorbing a bit of the game as she sat. After a Trenton batter grounded into a double play to end an inning, she turned to me and asked “Did they just get two outs?” So there’s some hope for her yet. :-)

As for the big Phillies, they were in the process of beating the Marlins, 10-8. Was the offensive funk getting turned around?

Apparently not, as last night they gave Doc absolutely no run support, wasting a fine performance in which Halladay gave up one run in eight innings. The Phils lost to the Marlins, 2-0, and now head to Boston for interleague games.

This is never good anyway, but especially not when it seems like the Phils’ bats have been replaced by sticks of Swiss cheese. Particularly appalling is Jayson Werth(less), who struck out twice last night, making 19(!) in his last 41 at-bats.

UPDATE: The misery continues. The first game in Boston last night resulted in a 12-2 loss. At this rate, it’s gonna be a long summer….

It’s time for some drastic action.

Note to Phillies: Don’t make me come into the clubhouse and slap you upside the head with your own sweaty jockstraps!

utley jock.jpg

 

(all photos by me)

This Is Not Acceptable!

In the seven-game homestand leading up to Monday night’s Phillies lovefest (aka the annual Phillies Phestival), the Phils went a mediocre 3-4, mustering a mere five runs in the four losses. Yet we all came out Monday and dutifully waited in line for autographs and photos with our favorite Phillies, and no one beat any of the players over the head with a bat (though plenty of bats could be seen among the crowd, ostensibly to be signed).

Yet how has our support been rewarded? The Phils have been shut out two nights in a row by the (ugh!) New York Mets.

**UPDATE** make that three in a row (she types with a shudder).

The Phillies have now lost four in a row, three of them shutouts!

**UPDATE** five in a row, four of them shutouts (feeling apoplectic at the moment)

sleeping bats copy.jpg

Someone please wake up this dormant offense! Preferably before tonight’s game! I want to see somebody on fire!

flaming player.jpg

Not literally. Just figuratively speaking.

Speaking of the (ugh!) Mets, could someone explain what is up with freakin’ Rod Barajas? During his single season with the Phils in 2007, he left a less than indelible impression upon the Phaithful. If one were to think of the 2007 team as a single entity, Barajas would have been the superfluous third nipple.

Yet with the 2010 (ugh!) Mets, Barajas has gone 8 for 15 against the Phils, with 3 homeruns and 8 RBIs.

I hate when this happens.

And no, I can’t write the word “Mets” without writing “(ugh!)” first (except in this sentence for the purpose of explanation).

A Busy Baseball Week

The past week was a really busy one for me. In addition to seeing three different levels of Phillies (AA, AAA, and majors), my son had two baseball games, and the cold water valve in my laundry room broke, sending a geyser of water all over, and down through the floor vent into the finished basement. Fortunately, it broke while I was in the act of turning it on, instead of when I was unaware and off doing something else, so I was able to find the main shutoff valve without too much panicking and minimal water damage. On the plus side, the floor behind my washer and dryer is now cleaner than it’s been in years!

This entry is going to be a bit long, so please bear with me.

Tuesday, May 4 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs Indianapolis Indians

The IronPigs held the first of two Education Days scheduled for this month. Education Day just means that the game starts at 10:35 am, and there are lots of school groups in attendance. My own children were, in fact, at school that day; we just had lots of other people’s kids surrounding us.

As they were last year, the IronPigs player head shots were drawings by local school students:

lv lineup copy.jpg

 

Leadoff batter Rich Thompson looks very serious in this rendition. In need of a little Prozac?

 

 

Luis Maza, on the other hand, looks quite happy.

 

 

Has John Mayberry been getting the Michael Jackson treatment? He looks a bit pale.

 

 

This artist even included Andy Tracy’s stubble.

 

 

 

Not a bad likeness.

 

 

 

Neil Sellers could be forgiven for going 0-for-4 today, since it looks like he might have trouble seeing straight.

Paul Hoover looks rather demonic. Hoover has just been called up to the parent club to replace backup catcher Brian Schneider, who is currently on the DL.

 

 

Brian Bocock, that is not a good batting average!

 

 

Drew Carpenter, hitless so far this year (he didn’t get one this day, either).

 

 

Dewayne Wise needs a neck reduction!

 

 

 

The IronPigs were hosting the Indianapolis Indians, AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Drew Carpenter started for the ‘Pigs, giving up one run in six innings, striking out five:

a carpenter.JPG

Carpenter was opposed on the mound by Daniel McCutchen (no relation to Andrew – obviously). He makes pitching look almost painful with this expression:

d mccutchen.JPG

Paul Hoover is out at second, but the throw from Indians shortstop Argenis Diaz was not in time to turn the double play:

dp.JPGNo IronPigs game is complete without the Pork Racers – Hambone, Chris P. Bacon, and Diggity:

pork racers.JPG

John Mayberry is safe at second on a steal attempt:

mayberry steal.JPG

Mike Zagurski came into the game in relief of Carpenter. I recall listening to the radio broadcast of his major league debut a few years ago, when Larry Andersen described him as looking “a little Kruk-y”:

zagurski.JPG

Antonio Bastardo was called upon to get the final out of the eighth inning:

bastardo.JPG

Scott Mathieson came in to close the game and get the save. Mathieson is attempting to come back from not one, but two, Tommy John surgeries. He looked pretty good, hitting 95 and 96 mph on the stadium radar gun (though who knows how accurate those are?):

matheison closer.JPG

Final score: IronPigs 3, Indians 1.

Wednesday, May 5 – Phillies vs Cardinals

Finally, my first Phillies game of the season! Not only that, but we had some amazing seats (thanks, Eric and Michelle!), just past the Phillies dugout in the fifth row. We missed the first inning, however, due to absolutely nightmarish traffic resulting from simultaneous Phillies and Flyers games. I hate when (hmph!) secondary sports like hockey interfere with my plans!

Nonetheless, with adult beverage in hand, we settled in for the start of the second inning. Kyle Kendrick was on the mound, and he pitched masterfully for seven innings, scattering six hits and giving up no runs:

kendrick 5May.JPG

The Cardinals countered with Brad Penny, shown here rockin’ the high-socks look. The little white blur is the ball going past him:

brad penny.JPG

Brendan Ryan led off the third for the Cards, and was called out at first on this play:

howard stretch.JPG

I think the Phils got a lucky break here, as it sure doesn’t look like Howard has the ball yet. This brought Tony LaRussa out of the dugout for the second time in the game. He had earlier come out in the second inning to argue Colby Rasmus’ being called out at third on an attempted steal. Unfortunately for LaRussa, both arguments were to no avail:

larussa argues.JPG

Placido Polanco got the Phils on the board in the fourth with a two-run homer. Shane Victorino was on base at the time, and congratulates Polanco as he crosses the plate. Victorino would also hit a solo homer in the sixth:

polanco homer.JPG

Chase Utley prepares to field a ground ball:

utley 5May.JPG

Cards third baseman David Freese tracks down a popup in foul territory. The expressions on the faces of the fans in the vicinity of the play are priceless:

foul ball caught.JPG

Is Albert Pujols pondering the Cards’ lack of offense in this game? The Phillies pitchers kept Pujols in check through the first three games of the four-game series, with Pujols going 3-for-13 with no RBIs:

pujols 5May.JPG

Chase Utley makes the pivot on a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the seventh:

utley turns two.JPG

Danys Baez and Jose Contreras pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the victory for Kendrick.

Final score: Phillies 4, Cardinals 0.

Saturday, May 8 – Reading Phillies vs Akron Aeros

spam can.jpgThe Reading Phillies were holding their annual Spam carving contest this past Saturday. I had no intention of taking part in this, I just simply planned on snapping a few photos of other people’s Spam creations.

My daughter, motivated by the prospect of the $250 prize, had other plans.

At her urging, I handed over the $5 entry fee (proceeds benefitting a charity called Opportunity House) and we received our can of Spam. What to carve? I was a bit unprepared, as I’ve mentioned, this was not part of my original plan. We decided upon the R-Phils mascot, Screwball.

Step one: figure out how to get the Spam out of the can intact. Eww. My experience with Spam ended many years ago during childhood, when my mom would occasionally serve it. I have never willingly touched Spam since then.

Let’s just say it’s a bit, um, slimy. Best not to think about what’s actually in it. It’s also not the easiest medium to work with. And after your hands are covered with Spam juice, it’s not easy to control your carving utensils (a plastic knife and toothpicks).

Anyway, here is our entry, “Spamball”:

spam3.JPG

Here’s the real Screwball for comparison:

screwball.JPG

OK, so not a perfect likeness, but like I said, Spam isn’t the easiest thing to work with.

Mmm, a Spamdog!

spam2.JPG

These two contestants are working on separate halves of what would eventually be the winning entry, “Screwball’s Spamtastic Opportunity House”:

spam1.JPG

Prior to the winner being announced after the seventh inning, judges narrowed the entries to six finalists. Ours was one of the six! Fans then cast their votes for their favorite. The finalists got to walk out on the field accompanying their entry. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of this, since I was on the field and couldn’t very well take a picture of myself.

The winners, pictured above, got the cash, and the rest of the finalists got a cap and t-shirt as consolation prizes. My daughter claimed the cap, since the shirt was extremely large and would have looked like a dress on her.

I only managed a few pictures of the game, as it was incredibly windy and cold, making it hard to hold the camera steady.

R-Phils starter Yohan Flande:

flande 8May.JPG

Aeros starter Eric Berger contorts himself:

eric berger.JPG

R-Phils centerfielder Quintin Berry reminds me of a t-ball player who needs to use the bathroom:
berry 8May.JPG

The R-Phils lost, 5-2, though we left before then since it was so windy and cold. The kids didn’t even mind missing the post-game fireworks, they were so uncomfortable.

Whew! Now I’m caught up. Hope to be blogging more regularly this month.

(all photos by me, except the can of Spam)

Hallelujah!

After subjecting the fans to a rather uninspiring 4-5 road trip and beginning a weekend series against the freakin’ Mets with a 9-1 loss, the Phillies have thankfully come back to life. A 10-0 complete game shutout from Roy Halladay, followed by a 11-5 thrashing of New York ace Johan Santana, have given me reason for happiness today.

Well, I was basically happy before, but now I’m happier. :-)

And this week will be a busy baseball week for me. Tomorrow my husband and I will spend a child-free day in the Lehigh Valley, at the IronPigs Education Day game, which starts at 10:35. My own kids will be in school, though there will be many other kids in attendance with numerous school groups. We did this last year, too, and had a great time playing hooky from responsible adulthood for the day.

The next day, I will finally get to my first Phillies game of the season, as my husband and I will be attending the Phillies-Cardinals game with another couple. We will be in really good seats, so I must make sure my camera is all charged up.

And then on Saturday, we’ll be going to the Reading Phillies game, where it is League Day for my son’s baseball league. The teams get to walk around the warning track prior to the game, and there are fireworks afterwards. But what I’m really looking forward to checking out that night is the annual Spam carving contest. From the R-Phils website (circled by me):

spam contest.jpgA plethora of activities, packed into one evening. I’ll definitely try to get some good Spam photos to share with you all.

If I Grow It, Will They Come?

Once you sell your soul to the devil give your email address to your favorite team, your inbox is inundated on a daily basis with offers to buy tickets, jerseys, caps, travel packages, World Series gear, Spring Training gear, etc., etc., ad infinitum. A few weeks ago, one popped in that was a bit more curious than the rest:

phillies grass seed copy.jpg

Wow! The very same seeds as those used at Citizens Bank Park! I can grow my own “Field of Dreams”!

The only problem with that plan is that our entire lot is just about half an acre, of which a portion is occupied by our house. I’m pretty sure baseball fields take up a lot more area.

As an alternative, maybe I could grow a little patch to harvest and sell in freeze-dried form, just like the Phillies are doing with their sod:
game used sod copy.jpg

I guess I couldn’t really call it “game-used”, but it would be almost as good, having been grown from the actual grass seed varieties used at Citizens Bank Park! And if I had my kids play on it, it would be game-used, just not the same kind of game the Phillies’ sod was used for.

Hmm.

According to an article on mlb.com, fans of the Red Sox (Fenway Park), Cubs (Wrigley Field), Reds (Great American Ball Park), and Cardinals (Busch Stadium) will also have the opportunity to “grow their own”. Happy harvesting, everyone!

 

A-Rod Being A-Rod

In this morning’s news, the latest A-Rod incident involved A-Rod running across the pitcher’s mound during last night’s Yankees-A’s game. While returning to first base after a foul ball from Robinson Cano, A-Rod apparently ran across the mound, breaking one of those “unwritten rules” we are always hearing about. A’s pitcher Dallas Braden took offense, and started jawing with A-Rod.

While I’m not going to enter the fray regarding whether he was right or wrong, I couldn’t help wondering about this quote in the coverage:

tasting himself.jpg

Tasting himself??? (underlining added by me) What does that mean??? I’m not sure if it’s some kind of typo, or a slang phrase I’m not familiar with.

All I know is that it’s conjured up a rather unpleasant image in my mind, one I desperately need to get rid of. A good stiff gin and tonic would help with that, but it’s still only 10:49 in the morning. Guess I’m stuck with it a few more hours! :-)

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