Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Did Pat Gillick know that Brad Lidge was not going to blow a single save when he signed him? Because, shit, that's what happened!

Lidge got save number 48 (out of 48) and the Phils TCOB tonight, with Golden Cole taking home some sort of automobile as the 2008 World Series MVP. Sports website had a picture of Ryan Howard, his brawny arms stretched upward hoisting the holy hardware that is the World Series trophy. FOX's postgame interview featured Jeannie (two N's?) Zolasko interviewing a gap-toothed and gangsta-articulate Jimmy Rollins with 45-year-old who-just-lectured-his-daughter-about-the-dangers-of-unprotected-sex Jamie Moyer throwing an arm over his shoulder.

Nothing much was made of Chase Utley, and his fake n' throw to home plate in the 7th, which should be considered the greatest fielding play in modern World Series history when all the dust settles. The dust, of course, being the preoccupation with mafioso Allan "Bud" Selig and Mother "Whore" Nature. Don't let these factors obscure the precious reality:

The Philadelphia Phillies are World Champions. Meaning, we own China, Columbia, Bratislava, and even Spanish Harlem. The word "Phillies" still shows up as misspelled in the blogger type box. Bull SHIT. That will change soon.

Tampa Bay's young players (who they will never be able to sign in 3-4 years) should feel no shame in losing to the true Team of Destiny. The brash Rays got hot and beat the Red Sox, and then choked in the Final, their cockiness undone and their inexperience exposed. More was made of David Price than Sarah Palin's wardrobe in recent weeks, and nincompoops like the oddly employed Fernando Vina on ESPN insisted that the real story in MLB this year was the "emergence" of the Rays.

So with disrespect coming from all sides (Peter Gammons declaring this the worst World Series ever, non-stop coverage about the Rays' "miracle" season), I feel like it's worth noting to everyone in the Chicago, Boston, and Anaheim area codes:

The Phils would have beaten you, too.

Yeah... The Phillies. With their Lights Out closer and their incredibly clutch Ace. Don't forget our #2, Mr. Myers, who spends his off days shooting machine guns to take his mind off shooting moving human targets. But maybe the biggest performance came from Joe Blanton, with his bulldog approach to the mound AND the plate in a crucial Game 4 victory. Blanton, with his Sonic the Hedgehog haircut and differently colored goatee, was the Phillies "prized" mid-season acquisition.

Yes, the quotation marks denote sarcasm. People in Philly were flabbergasted when the Phillies opted to trade for Fat Joe over elite starters Rich Harden and CC Sabathia. Those guys ended up pitching for the Cubs and Brewers respectively, and can currently be found at a golf course or strip club near you.

Speaking of Sabathia.. time to get to the 1st Shane Victorino mention of the night. Here's why Shane Victorino is MVP:

1) Buffalo Solja's grand slam vs CC in Game 2 got the the Phaithful (me included) believing. First grand slam in Fightin' Phils playoff history.

2) His mojo-injecting 2-run homer off Derek Lowe in the 7th inning of Game 4 of the NLCS not only tied the game, but was probably the greatest home run in Phillies history. If Shane doesn't hit that ball out, Manny Ramirez brings the trophy to Hollywood and loses it in a pile of dirty laundry.

3) He drove in the first 2 runs of the clinching Game 5a/5b. Throw in his perfect fielding and jovial spirit and you have yourself the 2008 Playoff MVP.

Others worth mentioning: Chooch Ruiz, Peter Happy, and JC Romero.. Latino contingent getting it done. Jayson Werth, who can now resume his double life as the lead singer of Creed. Ryan Madson, who makes the FOX speedometer sizzle. Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins, who have been in the Illadelph since Y2K. Ryan Howard, who is what every little boy in America should want to be.

The Will of our City overpowered Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Tampa/St.Petersburg, Major League Baseball, News Corp, and Mother Nature. A shadowy curse 25 years in the making is revealed to be nothing more than a prelude, and a ball club 126 years in the record books tastes its second sip of champagne.

Congratulations, Charlie Manuel and the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.

And thank you. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why Can't Us?

When Shane Victorino hit the 2-run homer that tied Game 4 of the NLCS vs. the Dodgers, the exuberant Hawaiian pointed to the sky and at a stunned Dodger Stadium crowd as he rounded first base. Despite the incredible significance of his clutch shot, Victorino was ragged by his teammates for the unnecessary gesture. It was a little too amateur, a little too Jose Reyes, for this polished Phillies group.

So when Jayson Werth launched the cowhide high into the warm October sky, he too spread his pterodactyl wings and pointed up to the stands as he crossed first. Back in the dugout, he was greeted by none other than Victorino, who playfully jabbed a finger in the air and asked, "What's up there?"

"A whole lotta people," replied big J Werth, as he rubbed the little bald man's head.

Yes. A whole lotta deliriously happy people who are on the verge of creating national headlines: "PHILADELPHIA IN FLAMES!!!"

The crowd was already on fire after Ryan Howard finally ended the World Series of Choking with his opposite field blast in the 4th and put the Phillies up for good. Howard the ticking time bomb had finally gone off, and the hour of emancipation grew closer yet.

But that's it for this blog post because...... you know.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soak It In

The Philly accents on these guys is classic. The previous sentence is grammatically correct, Philly style. Yep, this is pretty much what it's all about.

Friday, October 24, 2008


This is for you guys! (specifically: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Pat Burrell)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cole Hard Facts

Winning that first World Series game is like getting your first kiss... you wait 15 years, and then when it happens, it's just as good as you dreamt it to be.

The din from the magical '93 playoff run can finally began to fade now as the '08 Phillies seem hell bent on fulfilling their own destiny. Last night was super sweet for sure. The 100th win of the season begin to crystallize before the first pitch, when the remaining sober members of the Backstreet Boys disgraced Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and our national pasttime with their fruity rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Surely, World Series baseball was not meant to be played in western Florida.

Another good sign was when living legend MICHAEL JACK SCHMIDT introduced the Phils' lineup. The hall-of-famer embodies class and and exudes grace, and just the sight of him was enough to give me chills. Then, the Rays lined up for roll call and introduced themselves like it was "Global Guts." It may have been FOX's worst idea since that dancing football robot that everybody hates.

Chutley's 2-run slice job was all Hamels, Madson, and Lidge needed to guide the Fightin's to the ever crucial Game 1 victory. It almost was a bunt single down the left field line, as Joe Scorcese opted to put the Howard shift on for Chase. If he was as smart as his glasses make him look, he would have put his fielders in the right field seats.

The Phils' aggressiveness backfired when Shane Vic was thrown out at home after tagging up on that pop fly, but it sent a message. We came to play. We came to win. And even when he's not hitting grand slams or making leaping catches, Buffalo Soldier still finds a way to lay a hit on somebody. Attaboy Shane.

About the only negative to be drawn from this game was the glaring 0-13 line with runners in scoring position. Ryan Howard looks like he just rolled out of bed, but he still has a few games to find that home run swing that's been missing through 10 playoff games. With righty James Shields on the mound tonight, look for the Big Boy to go Coco Crisp on his ass.

Tonight's score: 8-6 Phillies. Myers hits Longoria in the head (by accident) and then strikes him out 3 times. Pat Butt goes deep. And if you haven't checked ESPN yet, they stole the title from me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why The Phillies Will Win... In 5

Now that I got the obligatory "respect" post out of the way, it's time to reveal what I REALLY think. Like you didn't see this coming.

Here are 5 reasons, descending in order of importance, why the Phillies will win their 2nd World Series title in franchise history. Some of these are fact-based, some are simply naive speculation, and some are omens gleaned from other Philly sports writers.

5. Home field advantage: Cowbells vs. the Liberty Bell. While the Rays "earned" the right to have 4 out of the 7 games played at their concrete encased aquarium, it's more than likely that half of those fans haven't been to a Rays game this season - if ever in their lives. Hardly an advantage. On the other hand, the Rays will be playing in front of 40,000+ of the best fans in all of baseball, who have yet to see the Phillies lose at home this postseason. And if the Rays think that playing in Chicago and Boston prepared them for Philadelphia, well, they're in for a rude introduction.

4. The National League is due: To quote Jim Caple, the self-appointed asshole who writes for, the Rays will win for no other reason than the fact they play in the American League. Seriously, that's the only reason behind his prediction of a Rays sweep: ( ) While the NL has had its ass handed to it repeatedly the last 15 years or so, there's no denying the senior circuit is the "good guy" in this equation. It's still the Pure league, free from the DH, free from evil franchises like the Yankees and Red Sox, and free from the sense of entitlement which will doom the Rays - and the American League - this October.

3. Shane Victorino: When you're from Hawaii, and your official pump-up music is "Buffalo Solder," you tend not to get caught up in the mainland hoopla. Shane delivered big time vs. the Brewers with his TKO grand salami off Sabathia that effectively ended that series. Once again, he came up huge vs. LA with a 2-run shot that tied game 4, and set the stage for Matt Stairs to climb the steps of my heart. Expect nothing less this time around.

2. Omens: The last (and only) time the Phillies won the WS was in '80, and their closer was Tug McGraw, #45. This time around, the year is '08 and their closer is #54 Brad Lidge. In '80, my father sported a mustache. In '08, I have a wicked neckbeard. It all adds up.

1. Cole Hamels: The best pitcher in this World Series series is the dude whose nerdly approach to pitching belies his fashion model looks. There's no way you're 24 years old and left-handed with a playmate wife and DON'T win the World Series. Yes, Cole is truly man-crush worthy.. not that there's anything wrong with that.

There you have it. Five reasons the Phillies will win in 5 and send us running naked down Broad Street.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flo-Rida: Blow-blow-blow-blow-blow-blow-blow-blow-blows

The Phillies are in the World Series for the first time 1993, and this is my first blog post since they clinched the division about 3 weeks ago. I'm feeling a lot of pressure... pressure to write the right thing, pressure not to forget anything, and pressure not to jinx a team on the verge of breaking a 25 year old "curse" in the City of Brotherly Love.

A younger, more emotional Philistine would have flooded blank pages, radio airwaves, and dinnertime conversation with torrents of premature hoopla and mockery of the upcoming opponent. This, apparently, angered the Sports Gods (See: Flyers '08, Eagles '04, Eagles '03, Eagles '02, Eagles '01, Sixers '01, Flyers '97, etc. etc. etc.) So now, while my well-compensated contemporaries write bios on Pat the Bat and King Cole Hamels in Pennsylvania periodicals, I'm going to do the unthinkable and show some love and respect for the Phillies' worthy adversary, the Tampa Bay Gays.

Uhh.. Rays.

The Tampa Bay franchise came into existence in 1998 as the "Devil Rays." Playing their home games in a stadium named after a juice drink, in front of crowds that made Major League Soccer look good, the Rays were annually the worst team in all of baseball. The Red Sox and Yankees reigned atop the American League East every year from 1998 to 2007, and the Tampa / St. Petersburg area did little more than provide beach time and good fishing for opposing players. It seemed Major League Baseball would have been better off letting Mark Cuban build a team in Mexico City.


Then, a funny thing happened. The Devil Rays, consistently near the bottom of the standings and thus atop of the draft order every year, were able to slowly accrue a glut of young talent. Year after year, Tampa Bay filled its minor league system with prodigious weapons at an alarming rate. Boston and New York, accustomed to being able to outspend the competition, could not have foreseen the seismic shift that was about to shake the foundations of baseball's capitalist tradition. In late 2007, Tampa Bay dropped the useless "Devil" prefix and.. BOOM.. all of a sudden, had one of the lowest paid, yet most talented, teams in all of baseball. Sometimes, it's good to be bad.

The RAYS burst out of the gate in 2008, and never looked back. They won 97 games (just like the '93 Phillies) and posted the best home record in all of baseball. (Who knew playing in front of 10,000 retirees and 5th graders on field trips could be an advantage?) The rotation is headed by Red Sox killer Scott Kazmir, James Shields (got his ass beat by a man named after a breakfast cereal, but is actually a very good pitcher), and ALCS MVP Matt Garza. Their lineup features its own version of Philly's Big Four:

* BJ Upton (CF, age 24): The #2 overall pick in 2005 hit 9 homers in 145 regular season games this year. He's already hit 7 dingers in 14 postseason games. Scares me more than any other Ray.

* Carl Crawford (LF, age 27) He has been in Tampa since 2002, and is a Jimmy Rollins-type player for the Rays. Gets on base and wreaks havoc. Could have gone pro in football, basketball, or baseball (was recruited to be the QB at Nebraska). Now that's an athlete.

* Carlos Pena (1B, age 30): The #10 overall pick in 1998 hit 41 homers in 2007, and is the veteran leader of this pre-pubescent team.

* Evan Longoria (3B, age 23): This rookie stud (drafted #3 overall in 2006) is already the best 3B in baseball. Homered in 4 STRAIGHT GAMES in the ALCS. Will one day be more famous than Eva Longoria. Very scary.

Those 4 bats will be counted on to puts runs on the board for the Rays. Then, there is David Price. Drafted #1 overall in 2007, this 6'6 lefty has a devastating arsenal of pitches that turned Red Sox postseason magic into October dust. He will be called upon to get the left-handed hitting Utley and Howard out late in games.

My boozing, baseball-loving brethren: it has come down to this. The Fightin' Phils, our heroes in the red pinstripes, a franchise that dates back to the Chester A. Arthur administration, will take on the "Tampa Bay Rays" for the 2008 World Series - a team that possesses an awesome, if not quite ripe, bunch of talent.

But it takes more than talent to win the World Series. It takes timing, luck, momentum... and good karma.

Good luck, Tampa Bay.. and GAME ON, bitches.