Thursday, July 31, 2008

Phillies @ Nationals-PART DUEX

For day two of my two-day trip to DC, I started the day by walking around our nation’s capitol. It was there that I saw the masses of Phillies red taking over the streets. Everywhere I turned there were more Phillies shirts, jerseys and hats then there were business suits walking downtown. Even in the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, a man on a bus pulled his shirt away from his chest thrusting the word PHILLIES toward me, as I gave him the point.

But as for the stadium, we sat down the third base line so we could get a view of the scoreboard this time and it was a nice scoreboard. Great scoreboard in fact, with a huge HD screen. But that’s probably all I can say nice about that stadium. Granted it’s a new stadium, but there was nothing unique about it. Since we arrived two hours early, I had time to walk around the stadium and take in the sights. It was new, yes. But nothing stood out about it. It was just a stadium. I even chatted with a notable journalist from the area, who was at the game. He had the same impression that I had, “I’m not impressed, there’s nothing to it.” While the food was decent, ranging from chili dogs to pizza, to tacos, my brother tried ordering a crab cake sandwich from the menu, and they were out of it. Also, my neighbor ordered a specialty of pulled pork with potato salad and baked beans, and they were out of baked beans. Very disappointing.

The game itself was not as rowdy a crowd as the night before. A few Nationals fans tried cheering, but the Phillies pounded out 8 runs to shut them down, thanks mainly to a Pat Burrell two-run single in the first and a Chase Utley home run. Jamie Moyer pitched decent, giving up only three runs, and Brad Lidge turned the lights out on the stadium again, as usual. It’s nice to see this team beating a team it should beat. Maybe this was the wake-up the offense needed to stay on track for the rest of the season.

Notes: Cole Hamels highlights his hair. That’s gay. Rudy Seanez looks like he might die any minute in person. Brad Lidge could beat anyone I know in a race. Jimmy decided to jog out another ground ball, so that whole thing from yesterday where he ran one out is out the window. Pat Burrell is a better defender then his defensive replacements.

No Time to Act Like a Big Kid

While the media busts a collective load waiting for Brett Favre to report to camp or get traded or do some other asshole thing, there's an offseason issue ESPN and the like have been ignoring but Eagles fans should be paying attention to: the holdout of The Big Kid.

It's a week past reporting time, and two-time Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews is nowhere to be found. The circumstances of his absence are a complete mystery. There has been no word from Andrews, no word from the Eagles and no word from his teammates other than it is not contract related and he'll be here, we're not worried.

Well, that was the line you heard from everyone until John Runyan spoke up, from the Inquirer:

"It's not helping us and it's not helping him [that he's] sitting out," said Andrews' linemate, right tackle Jon Runyan. "The longer he holds out, the longer it'll be before he gets in there. So it's going to be a tough situation. If you keep giving reps to the guy who's backing you up, at some point he's going to pass you."

And Runyan is exactly right. This situation is not helping Andrews or the Eagles. Now, I understand Orlando Pace has made it regular practice to hold out to miss training camp, and that's all well and good. On a talent level, Andrews is every bit as good at his position as Pace has been at his; after all, Andrews is regarded as one of the, if not the, best guards in football. But the mystery surrounding his no-show has opened a huge can of worms.

Andrews is a notorious drama queen. In training camp last year, he got all teary-eyed when he was injured, and the injury turned out to be nothing serious. Andrews has been described as emotional to a fault. And with the bizarre silence from all parties involved, people like Les Bowen and G. Cobb were speculating, to a small degree, that Andrews could be suffering depression on Daily News Live. The longer he stays away and the longer no one says why, the rumors will be flying.

Clearly, by Runyan's statements, it's beginning to affect the team, however slightly. Offensive linemen rely on each other and must have a strong level of communication. Now, Andrews has played with Runyan, Tra Thomas, Todd Herremans and Jamal Jackson long enough where that may not be an issue. However, Andrews has, if you all recall, has had some pretty big issues with his weight and health when he was drafted and had to bust his ass to get in shape for his sophomore year. Over the last two years, Shawn has certainly reported in good shape, but weight issues never truly go away. His best chance of being in top shape is to get to camp.

All of this may be irrelevant. For all I know, Andrews is in great shape and will be ready to go. His mental state could be fine, and everything may be all right. But the silence, especially on his end, is proof that his nickname is no mistake. Right now, Shawn Andrews is acting like a Big Kid. And right now, that's not a good thing.

MJ Speaks the Truth

Great post today over at You Been Blinded of the greatest basketball player ever to walk the earth.

True dat Michael. In his prime, Jordan would own Kobe. There are no comparisons. Enough said.

And here's another hilarious video, again from You Been Blinded of Steve Nash and Baron Davis.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baker, Taylor Kicked Off Penn State

Apparently JoePa and his colleagues watched this video (thanks Wizard of Odds) on ESPN the other day.

According to both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily Collegian, Penn State junior defensive tackles Chris Baker and Phil Taylor have been kicked off the football team. No reasons for the dismissals was given.

As an alumn and season-ticket holder, this sucks big time. Baker was a stud when he wasn't getting in trouble, and Taylor was part of a very deep, very talented defensive line rotation. It really blows that these two couldn't get their heads on straight and stay out of the police blotter.

Oh yeah, and ESPN, FUCK OFF! Joe Paterno has done more good in his life than everyone that has ever worked at ESPN ever has or ever will combined. Assholes!

Why I Love Chad Johnson

I saw this video on Shot Clock Violation via The Big Lead.

Chad Johnson is the man. No knows what he's thinking or what he's going to say/do next. Man do I wish he was an Eagle.

Finally T-Mac May Get Out of the First Round

As if I didn't already have enough reason to make the Rockets my favorite Western Conference team, they go out and get Ron Artest.

According to ESPN, the Rockets gave up a hefty package to get Ron Ron—Bobby Jackson, "You ugly as shit, Donte" Green and a 2009 first-round draft pick. That's a steep price, but certainly one that makes Houston more dangerous than it has been since Hakeem was winning back-to-back titles.

On paper, the Rockets are now, as Shoals pointed out, one of the most complete teams in the league. They have a superstar shooting guard in Tracy McGrady who can simply do it all, a dominant big man who cannot be defended in Yao and a slew of players to play their respective roles. If Yao and T-Mac can stay relatively healthy, especially come playoff time, this team will almost be a lock to get out of the first round for the first time in the duo's respective careers with Artest in the fold. Simply put, Ron Ron is the best defender in the NBA. He can guard just about anyone on court, except truly big centers, and he brings a toughness and swagger that this team completely lacked from its stars. And make no mistake, Ron Artest is a star.

A team that already had the fourth best defense in ppg allowed and second best in opponents fg percentage last season got even better. There isn't another team in the NBA that has two defenders on its roster better than Artest and Shane Battier.

In fact, on paper, this becomes the toughest, scariest team in the West. They can run out a starting lineup of players that include Rafer Alston, T-Mac, Yao, Ron-Ron and Battier. That's pretty frightening. Rafer Alston had a career year in 2007-08, and Skip to My Lou is one never to back down from anyone. The addition of Brent Barry gives Houston a legitimate three-point threat and some much needed playoff and championship experience. Luis Scola developed into a talented banger, Luther Head is fearless chucker, Chuck Hayes is the consummate pro that does anything that's asked of him and Joey Dorsey is the most intimidating rookie in the league. If they can resign Carl Landry, Houston is that much better. Just check out the roster, taking away Bobby Jackson and Donte Green while subbing in Artest. Houston has so many talented players that a few won't make the squad.

Hopefully, Joey Dorsey does make this team. Can you imagine watching him on the floor with Artest? Opponents would have a tough time not shitting the bed. That's a duo that, while not seven feet tall, could go toe-to-toe with the Detroit Bad Boys Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn, especially when you factor in Artest's crazy and Dorsey's intensity.

And picture this: for defensive purposes only, Houston could potentially run out Artest, Battier, Dorsey, Hayes and, if by some miracle he can still hang around and make the squad, Dikembe Mutombo. Shit, even T-Mac (when he wants to), Yao, Landry, Head and Scola can D it up pretty well. Frankly, on paper, this looks like the best team in the West, provided Yao and T-Mac do something they never seem to be able to do—stay healthy. Hopefully this is the year that will happen.

I know that we're in the swing of baseball season and the NFL is right around the corner, but with the acquisitions and meteoric rise of the Sixers, accompanied by the Artest to Houston move, I'm pining for basketball season.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Phillies @ Nationals-One man's real life experience

As I stood waiting for the Metro, DC's version of SEPTA but only 1000 times cleaner and better run, I took on the brutal wrath of the nasty Nationals fans. I was standing, minding my own business in my Cole Hamel t-shirt, when a 20 something man with a Nationals hat walked by me and said with a smirk, "How did Cole Hamels pitch last Friday versus the Braves?" What a stinging comment. It was then and there I realized that every Nationals fan is probably gay. I also quickly pointed out that the Nationals lost and are still in last place. I didn't even bother pointing out that Cole pitched on Saturday and the Phillies actually won that game.

Besides the douchebag's lame attempt at mocking me, my experience at Nationals Park was a win for me. I rode into DC on the Metro with my brother from Maryland. The train/subway made SEPTA look like it was run by a bunch of idiots. Go figure. As we got off the train, which took you directly to the stadium, we walked up and bought tickets twenty minutes before game time. We ended up in centerfield three rows back from the fence.

Entering the park, the first thing I noticed was, there was no security. I was not patted down, no one was checking bags. For the nation's capitol, I was expecting some kind of check coming into the stadium, but I was wayyyyyyy off. We made our way to the concession stand where I purchased a hebrew NATIONAL dog. A very clever pun. My kosher hot dog was delicious to say the least. I'll give them an advantage in hot dogs by far over Citizens Bank.

Once we arrived to our seats, we saw Brett Myers warming up within twenty feet of us. Instead of yelling at him for his horrible start, I gave him a nice pep talk and encouraged him on a strong showing. My pep talk obviously worked cause Brett pitched like someone that was actually good at pitching.

In the beginning of the game, Lastings Milledge set up shop in centerfield. My row consisted of about seven Phillies fans in a row and we right away started heckling the jerk. At one point someone told Milledge that he was playing a road game on the road with all the Phillies fans in the stadium and he turned to us and shrugged his shoulders and nodded. I almost felt bad for him. Upon receiving confirmation that he could hear every word we said, we continued to berate him throughout the rest of the game.

Since we sat in centerfield, we could not see the scoreboard which was located behind us and a tier above us. The Nationals ballpark designers apparently thought that the people below the scoreboard do not need to know any information regarding the game. There was a spot to see the hitters' names and their averages and the score, but there was no complete inning, run, hit, error section. There was no name of the pitcher, and no radar gun. Their fans also decided it was okay to arrive after the first four innings. The stadium was half full until the around the fourth inning, when it settled on being three-quarters of the way full.

With Brett Myers mowing through the Nats order, the game flew by. Thankfully, Chase decided to help everyone out with a two-run shot to right field, giving us the only runs of the game. Scoring ahead of Chase was Jimmy Rollins, who got on base and ACTUALLY RAN out a ground ball at one point in the game. I was stunned. I didn't know he did that anymore.

As the game went on the, "LETS GO PHILLIES" chants grew louder and more frequent. There were no Nationals chants during the entire game and their fans just sat there like a bunch of idiots. At one point after they scored their only run of the game, I heard a girl yell, "We Scored a Point!" The loudest cheers of the game however were for Brett Myers as he walked off the mound after his stellar performance for his first win since May. Which actually isn't that impressive when you realize that the Nationals had no players on the field with over 8 home runs and most of their hitters had lower batting averages then Ryan Howard.

JC and Durbin did a solid job getting the Phillies out of a two on and no out jam in the eighth with only allowing one run, and Brad Lidge came in the game to close the book on the Nationals in the ninth. How great is that guy by the way? Brad Lidge has been amazing. Thank the Lord for him. It's nice to have one of the best closers in the game signed on for the next couple years.

So anyway, what I learned from the game was that the Nationals suck, their fans are piss poor, Brett can pitch well against a bad team, and their subway is not bad. Also, if the Phils lose any game in this series they should fire Charlie Manual cause there are more Phillies fans in that stadium then DC fans and the Nationals are just a pathetic, pathetic team with absolutely no talent.

A True Statement

The Top Five (EdNote: coolest, not necessarily the best, although Aaron Harris was a BEAST before he got hurt.) Running backs in Penn State over the past 15 years are as follows.

5-Curtis Enis

4-Tony Hunt

3-Larry Johnson

2-Ki-Jana Carter

1-Aaron Harris

The Dirty Dozen

In case you haven't heard, the 76ers made two innocuous signings this past week, picking up defensive specialist Royal Ivey and sharp-shooter Kareem Rush. If you don't know who either is, Rush looks like this:

And Ivey did this, which makes him awesome:

I've wanted to punch Pittsburgh people in the balls every day of my life. Welcome to Philadelphia Royal.

To the naked eye, these moves look pretty minor, but I assure you, they are bigger than you think. In Ivey, the Sixers finally have a defensive presence off the bench—one that, at 6-foot-4 and 215 lbs., can defend point guards to small forwards. And Rush is a player that can stretch the defense, giving Philadelphia the three-point shooter they desperately need.

Assuming that Ed Stefanski finds a way to resign restricted free agents Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams, which should be the case, the Sixers, for the first time in a long, long time, have a 12-man rotation of players that can all actually play. It's a nice change of pace. Just check out the potential lineup:
PG—Andre Miller
SG—Andre Iguodala
SF—Thaddeus Young
PF—Elton Brand
C—Samuel Dalembert

Louis Williams, Kareem Rush, Royal Ivey, Marreese Speights, Willie Green, Jason Smith and Reggie Evans

That right there is 12 players that all bring something significant to the table. Starting-wise, Philadelphia has the most underrated floor general in the league in Miller, an exciting, explosive player that could be on the verge of All-Star level in Iggy, a super-talented wing who is a rebounding machine in Thad, one of the best all-around power forwards in Brand and the athletic, quick (if unintelligent) Dalembert blocking shots and hustling.

The bench consists of instant offense in the way of Lou Will and at times Green, lock-down d in Ivey, hustle, rebounding and grit in Reggie, a big man to draw centers away from the basket in Smith, a three-point threat to stretch the d in Rush and the incredible potential that is Speights, a player who down the line could become some version of Elton Brand if he works hard enough.

That is a downright scary team to think about, no matter who you are. In the shortest of time, Stefanski has come home and completely transformed the entire atmosphere of the Sixers. With the incredibly quick work he and his Wachovia Center partner Paul Holmgren have done, it looks as though our best chance at a championship lies in the Sixers and Flyers, not the Phillies and Eagles.

Who would have guessed that just some 12 short months ago?

And just in case you don't know, here's some of what Rush can do.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Greatest News in the History of News

The Phillies have sent Adam Eaton to the minors!

It may not be the greatest news (that would be getting completely rid of his sorry ass), but it is reason to celebrate. Adam Eaton accepted his assignment to the minors, most likely becoming the second exorbitantly expensive pitcher to take the hill for the IronPigs this season.

Taking his place is J.A. Happ, a pitcher that has actually not completely shit the bed this season. This may very well prove to be the greatest move in the history of sports. Too bad it's only, oh I don't know, a year and a half too late.

See ya, Adam! Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Oh wait, let it hit you … just like every batter you've ever faced in your life.

Weird, Wild Stuff

That's really the only way to describe the transgressions of the Phillies this weekend against the Braves. Friday night, I was on hand to take in what turned out to be the best starting pitching performance by the Phils all weekend.

Kyle Kenrick pitched his game, forcing the Braves into contact and surrendering just a single run. You would think I'd be ecstatic by his performance, but the few beers in my system accompanied by the complete lack of anything resembling an offense soured that greatly. Through eight innings, Kendrick had gone through six innings with just one run across while J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin each worked shutout stanzas, yet I was completely pissed. This "incredible" hitting team had three fucking hits. At home. Against the Braves. It was awful.

And just when it looked as though it couldn't get any worse, Brad Lidge completely imploded, yielding five runs without recording an out. When Brian McCann launched his grand slam, I got the fuck out there and hit the bar. It was a shitty game made even shittier by the fact that my friend and I lost $15 apiece in washers to a Braves fan and a Cowboys fan before the game. They were fags.

Saturday, I had the luxury of missing almost the entire game because I was at a party at a golf course. My roommate, who the pleasure of watching Cole Hamels put forth his worst effort of his career, sent me a nice update of just how awful Hamels was. Shit, 9 runs in one inning? That's pretty awful—and baffling for Cole. But really, what the fuck was he in there for that long to give up 9 runs? Seemed suspect.

Oh well, I thought. Glad I missed it. And then … my cousin calls me. I'm baffled because the stupid fuck is at the same party as me. I answer and ask, "Why the hell are you calling me when you have to be in a 50-foot radius of where I'm standing?" He says, "Come upstairs, the Phils are winning 10-9!" What the fuck? There's a TV upstairs in the bar and I'm forced to mingle with the family? I hate family parties. Of course, I ran upstairs and said fuck it about the party. I missed the comeback fireworks, but I watched the Phils close it out. I'm still pissed about it.

After such an incredible comeback, I naturally thought they'd lose on Sunday. After all, I had tickets, which I bought for my cousin, dad and grandfather. It was my grandfather's first trip to Citizens Bank Park, and what do you know? Joe Blanton decides to replicate his first start by completely sucking, giving up two in the first, and then a freakin monsoon descends upon the stadium. Of course. I finally get a chance to repay my grandfather for all the games he's taken me to over the years and we get an almost two-hour rain delay. Awesome.

When the rains finally relent, and a few fans have been arrested for running on the rain-drenched field, we get the great pleasure of watching Adam Eaton complete butcher the craft of pitching. I can't for the life of me figure out why on earth he gets paid so much money to be so bad at his job. Where do I sign up? I would have rather climbed on top of the foul pole with a 10-foot metal rod in my hand during the lightning display than be subjected to Adam Eaton. In just two innings, he gave up three runs and two homers. That's when the locals got restless and I declared, "Third place, here we come!"

Here's where I should I have remembered, oh, I don't know, the game before. Turns out, the Braves bullpen really, really sucks. Like almost an Adam Eaton level of sucktitude. They're awful. All it took was a Chris Coste homer to get back in the game, and three batters later, Shane Victorino continued his assault on Atlanta pitching, tying the game with a three-run jack. As soon as he hit, it started slapping the shit out of my cousin in excitement. Looks like the wait might be worth it after all.

Burrell added a homer in the fifth, and suddenly the Phils were winning. Another five-spot in the sixth, highlighted by Shane Victorino completely blowing up McCann (who left the game with what had to be a concussion—I'd show a clip but everything sucks with RedLasso down) and Jayson Werth's homer to give the Phils outfielders the trifecta on the day, along with a solo shot by Jimmy in the seventh, put the game out of reach … or so it seemed.

Once Rudy Seanez, who made his debut against Babe Ruth in 1925, came in the game, the Braves took a page of Philadelphia's book by posting a five-spot of their own, aided by Ryan Madson, who also sucks quite a bit lately. You've got to be kidding me.

Luckily Lidge continued his perfection in save situation and averted disaster. But another wart for this team reared its ugly head. The Phils have relied on their bullpen far too much this season, and some of them are either starting to wear out or simply aren't as good as they showed early on. Oh yeah, and Adam Eaton still sucks. Even if he did get a win on Saturday. That's why I was really excited to read this.

If it was up to me, this would be a no-brainer. Adam Eaton has been awful since the day he arrived in Philadelphia. Rudy Seanez, while ancient and pretty terrible of late, at least pitched really well early on. Eaton must go. Stat. But hey, he did work a walk yesterday to load the bases. That's something.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Does This Team Need Larry Bowa?

For the record, I was of the mind, back when Larry Bowa was the manager of the Phillies and they absolutely could not beat the Marlins or win in the second half of the year, that Bowa should have been axed much sooner than he actually was. He couldn't get along with this best player (although I blame Scott Rolen's overly sensitive demeanor—see pussy), his players seemed to tire of him and they simply fell off after the All-Star break every year.

However, there was one player that absolutely loved Larry Bowa and one player that Bowa absolutely loved—Jimmy Rollins. Now, maybe it was because like Bowa, J-Roll plays shortstop and had/has quite an impressive glove. That's certainly understandable. No matter what the reason, Jimmy clearly respected Bowa and completely busted his ass for the guy, even when the Phillies didn't quite have the talent they do today.

Now, I bring this all up in light of the recent attitude problems regarding Rollins. I think it's safe to say that Rollins, over the last few years, has been the team's vocal leader. Aaron Rowand may have been the glue in the clubhouse, but Jimmy was the guy who spoke up and his teammates followed. And he was a perfect guy for this—a guy who, yes, swung at too many pitches and popped up too often, but a guy who always, always busted it and played 160 games a year.

Under Charlie Manuel, he blossomed into an MVP last season, and the players' manager created a relaxed, friendly attitude in the clubhouse—a far cry from the tension-filled days of Larry Bowa. But this season, it seems as though all of the Phillies, from Jimmy Rollins to Chase Utley to Ryan Howard and so on, have taken Charlie's lax, player-friendly attitude for granted. Simply put, they've become complacent.

The chorus throughout the year has been, "We're not worried." "It will come around." "We'll be all right." "It's not time to panic." "We'll work it out." Never do you hear, "We've got to play better." "We need to start hitting earlier." Or anything of that nature. There's no urgency with this team whatsoever. And yes, the Phils were, up until yesterday, in first place for almost the entire season. But even then, after the first two months, they were not playing the kind of inspired baseball that winning teams, championship teams display.

The Phillies need a kick in the pants, and I just don't think Charlie Manuel is the guy to provide it. He's tried. He's sat Jimmy not once, but twice. He's sent Brett Myers to the minors. He's benched Shane Victorino for a brief period, made Jayson Werth earn his time back after getting hurt, shuffled the lineup. But nothing seems to really jump-start this squad. It's as if they know, even when Charlie makes a "disciplinary" move, at the end of the day, he's the happy-go-lucky players' manager that will be on their side.

That kind of attitude doesn't work when you have guys like Brett Myers and Adam Eaton on the team. Guys who say they felt good when they just got rocked or struggled to throw strikes. A team like that needs a guy who will call them out. A guy who will hold his players accountable. A guy who will stir the pot, whether the players like it or not. A guy like Larry Bowa.

Charlie has done a heck of a job, and the man has tried his damnedest to drop the hammer, but it's just not in his makeup. He's not a Joe Girardi. He's not a Jim Leyland or a Lou Piniella. All choices that I/most Phillies fans favored over the hiring of Manuel. He's not a Larry Bowa. Certainly, Bowa does not have the track record of the Girardis, Leylands or Piniellas, but he, too, had some success as the Phils' skipper. And with guys like Rollins, Howard and Utley as the leaders, his attitude could work. They aren't sensitive guys who can't take criticism like Rolen or even Bobby Abreu. They can take it, and Bowa wouldn't be afraid to dish it out.

Maybe this is simply an overreaction given the recent struggles of the Phils. After all, the Phils did reach the playoffs last season under the watch of Manuel. They never accomplished that feat with Bowa at the helm. But Bowa also never ran Utley, Howard, Victorino, Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge out to the diamond either.

The Phils' recent struggles haven't exactly been a short-lived experience. They've been constant since the beginning of June. The only reason they hung onto first for so long was because the rest of the division was struggling just as much. But the Mets finally caught up, and they seem to be taking off. The Phillies simply continue to regress. They need a kick in the pants. I just don't think Charlie Manuel is the man capable of winding up hard enough to place his foot squarely in his players' collective ass. Maybe a guy like Larry Bowa is.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Paralleled Sadness of Mark Prior and Brett Myers

The year was 2002. I was a high school senior, about to graduate and head off to college. The talk of baseball, as I remember it, was of these two phenom pitchers in the minor leagues—Mark Prior of the Chicago Cubs and Brett Myers of the Philadelphia Phillies. Myers was the Phils' first-round draft choice (12th overall) in 1999, and Prior the second overall pick in the 2001 draft for the Cubs.

Both were touted as big, strong, firery righties that were ready to take Major League Baseball by storm. Prior finally got his chance on May 22 and didn't disappoint, going six innings, striking out 10, surrendering just two runs and four hits all while picking up the win against the Pirates. Chicago's golden arm had arrived, and the Cubs were poised to dominate the league with Prior and the electric Kerry Wood at the front of their rotation.

While all this was going on, Myers was tearing up in the minors, and became a favorite of mine before he even came to the bigs thanks to an incident involving Drew Henson, the Yankees' highly touted third base prospect at the time. Henson, who I despise due to being a Michigan Wolverine, then a Yankee prospect and later a backup quarterback for the freakin Cowboys, and Myers didn't get along. Apparently, Myers told Henson he was going hit him. Then he hit him. Then Henson charged the mound, and Brett beat the living shit out of him. I love it. Finally, the Phillies had a pitcher that was confident, cocky and supposedly a stud. They hadn't had one of those since Curt Schilling was around.

As luck would have it, Myers finally got called up after I was officially a high school graduate, and debuted against none other than Mark Prior. Here they were, the two best rookie arms in baseball, taking the mound against each other on July 24 at Wrigley Field. I hadn't been as excited for a Phils game since the 1993 season.

And what unfolded before my eyes was nothing short of one of the classic pitching duels between two young thoroughbreds ever to take place. Prior was magnificent, just as he had been since his call up, stifling the Phillies lineup through seven innings, surrendering just four hits, two runs while striking out eight.

On any other day, Prior would have picked up an easy win, but not on this day. No, because the Phils' new ace in waiting, in his debut no less, was even better. Brett went eight innings, relenting just one run and two hits while sitting down five Cubbies to notch a win in his first Major League contest, just as Prior did.

I was convinced the Phillies had their man, and he and Prior would be competing for Cy Youngs for years to come.

We all know that didn't happen, and looking at the situations now, it's eery to see just how far these two superstars of the future have fallen. In his rookie campaign, Prior went 6-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 147 strikeouts in just 116+ innings. He followed that up with an 18-6 record in 2003 with 245 strikeouts and a 2.43 ERA. Any other season, he probably would have won the Cy Young were it not for Eric Gagne in the midst of his record-setting save streak.

Then the wheels came off for Prior. In 2004, the injury bug hit for the first time, as he was only able to make 21 starts. 2005 offered a little more hope, as he did get 27 starts, but lingering injuries limited him still. Then in 2006 he made just nine starts before being lost for the year. He then missed all of 2007, and after signing with San Diego this year, he has yet to pitch and will not due to injury.

The young savior for the Cubs is now nothing more than a sad tale of how devastating injuries can be. They robbed us of one of the greats, or so it seems.

Meanwhile, Myers simply never quite lived up to that promise of his first start. After that brilliant performance, Myers finished his rookie campaign with a 4-5 record, striking out just 34 batters in 72 innings and finishing with a 4.25 ERA. He followed that with a career-best 14 wins in 2003, losing nine while striking out 143 in 193 innings and finishing with a 4.43 ERA. It was a solid year, but not quite what Prior had done with the Cubs.

2004 was a letdown to say the least. Brett became a .500 pitcher, going 11-11 with a 5.52 ERA and just 116 strikeouts in 176 innings. 2005 was far better, and without question his best season to date. He finished 13-8 with a career-best 3.72 ERA, 215 and a third innings pitched (a career high and only time he pitched more than 200 innings), and 208 strikeouts—the only time he has struck out 200 or more batters.

It looked as though Brett was finally coming into his own, especially with a very solid 2006 where he went 12-7 with a 3.91 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 198 innings. Brett looked like, if not an ace, a very good No. 2. And then last year happened. Myers started out completely awful, struggling to get anyone out. Then, he moved to the pen when the Phils needed a closer, and he shined. It was hard to imagine a guy who was touted as the next coming being a closer, but the man did a hell of a job.

In fact, he may have done too good of a job for his own good, because he grew to really enjoy the role. He became a "Rock Star." But that's not what the Phillies had in mind. This was a band-aid move for the 2007 season, which culminated in the first trip to the playoffs since 1993. But when the Phils got a chance to get Brad Lidge, a man with terrifyingly electric "closer" stuff, they did.

Myers moved back to the rotation and simply couldn't readjust back. He's been more than awful this year, getting demoted to the minors. And last night, Brett came back and looked nothing short of lost in the first few innings. He couldn't throw his fastball for a strike. He couldn't throw his curveball for a strike. He couldn't throw his splitter for a strike. Hell, Brett couldn't even have, as they say, hit the broad side of a barn. It was difficult to watch. He seems to have lost all confidence in himself. He looks like a sad, confused little kid.

He looks like a pathetic, somewhat sympathetic figure just like Prior. Here they are, six years to the day after that epic pitching battle, and the two former phenoms are nothing more than mere pedestrians. It's a sad, sad sight indeed. One not even the most sadistic of people would delight in if they watched that duel some six years ago.

Where in the World is Basketball Superiority?

Jesus fucking christ! Another NBAer, this time Carl Landry, is mulling over playing Europe! As Bethlehem Shoals points out on The Sporting Blog, this may be an even bigger deal than Josh Childress going overseas if it were to go down because of the situation.

Paraphrasing what Shoals said, Childress was in a situation in Atlanta where he didn't want to be and got a highly lucrative offer from one of the best teams in Europe. Landry, on the other hand, is coveted by the Houston Rockets, who are actually a pretty competitive team that does not have a history of ineptitude.

This is just starting to get ridiculous. I mean, I can't fault players for going over all their options and whatnot, but didn't the norm used to be that players were dying to come from all over the world to the NBA? Now, it seems, players are getting turned off by the league and jumping ship, literally. What will this mean for the league and how can we stop a mass exitus to the lands of unknown? I know this much, if the Sixers start playing overseas and I can't watch them at normal times, I'm gonna get pissed.

Schiano Next at Penn State?

If the insinuations here by The Wizard of Odds have any validity, then as a Penn State grad, I say FUCK and YES!

Schiano is exactly what Penn State needs when JoePa steps down, which could be as early as 2009, seeing as the dickhead Penn State brass refuses to negotiate with the man. Anyway, I'm not going to get too excited, but at least my dream of Greg Schiano coming back to Penn State is still alive.

"They Hate Me So Much"

So, after the Phillies lost last night, I flipped over to "Baseball Tonight" and was immediately forced to watch this terrible interview by a woman I'd rather see naked than hear chat sports.

Now, I have a few questions here. The first one, can someone help me out here? Did Billy Wagner actually say about the Phillies, "They HATE me so much … they're hoping they can face me."? Or did he say "They HIT me so much …" At first listen, I thought I heard HATE but that it actually meant HIT in West Virginian speak. They are hillbillies after all. But after watching it a few times on DVR, I'm pretty certain he said HATE. It's not often you hear an athlete openly admit another team completely hates him. Pat Burrell agrees.

Second, what the fuck is the matter with Erin Andrews here? The Phillies were all clamoring during BP about whether or not Wags was going to pitch? I bet. The Phils have had their share of success against their former teammate, in case you've forgotten Erin.

I'm sure they were trembling and couldn't sleep the night before wondering if Billy would pitch. What a crock of shit. Seriously, that's why women shouldn't have anything to do with sports except dress up in skimpy outfits with pom-poms.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Damn the Man...and the limited partnership

For all intents and purposes, the Phils should be 2 games out of first place. Last night's ninth inning comeback would have proven much more difficult had they been facing Billy Wags instead of the consistently inept Mets bullpen. Fear not, as expected this evening we saw a much more phils-like performance. One in which they were unable to manufacture runs, were reliant on the long ball and spotted their opponent early runs because their pitching is atrocious. (Brett Myers said he felt good tonight...If I wanted a joke, Brett, I would have followed you into the bathroom and watched you take a piss.)

As I sit here wondering when the Philly Nine will turn the corner (as I do 4-5 times weekly) I am realizing (as I do 4-5 times weekly) that they wont, that is, until there is a change in ownership.

My friends, we have found ourselves in a very helpless position and the Phillies ownership is fuckin lovin it. (Gary Papa is currently reminding me about the fact that we are in a dead heat with the Mets. I want to jump through my TV and punch his make-up caked, douche-face.) I digress. People, the Phils ownership has us just where they want us. The team they trot out on the field has MVPs, All-Stars and is all-around exciting. They compete, build hype and attract casual baseball fans. They have a PROFITABLE team. They have managed to do just enough to keep us watching, buying tickets and believing, but at the end of the day this team has no chance of winning anything.

You know the reason why. If you don't, your Phillies Phandom is currently under scrutiny.

PITCHING! That's right. You know, that common thread that all World Series champions have.

This team may have the highest payroll in franchise history, but apparently its not enough. Where is ownership when there is an ace available that can put your team over the top? (See New York Mets/Johan Santana, Milwaukee Brewers/CC Sabathia, Chicago Cubs/Rich Harden.)

I'll tell you where they are, they are laughing their asses off doing backflips in an Duck McScrooge-like pool of cash. These assholes are making money hand-over-fist. You think they really care about winning a World Series? Doubtful, these types care about running a profitable business.

Look, I'm not naive enough to liken David Montgomery, Claire Betz, Tri-Play Associates, Double Play Inc., and Giles Limited to UNICEF, but I have doubts that they are committed to taking this franchise to the top of the mountain. (Now Papa is talking about the Soul and the Arena Bowl...Excuse me while I belt myself in the face with a fucking tac-hammer.)

Yes, I understand that you need to develop pitching from your farm league. Yes, I understand that you can't buy championships.

BUT ...

The phils are chalked full of talent, predominately through the heart of the line-up. They can be an offensive juggernaut. However, these guys aren't getting any younger. The ownership is either going to spend the cheddar to get the pitchers we need to make a serious charge at the whole shabang OR watch a team with all the potential in the world get older and older until the window has closed (see Philadelphia Eagles.) I guess Dave Montgomery and the rest of the useless fucks are taking tips from Jeffrey Lurie.

In the meantime, we'll just keep doing what we do best...Line the pockets of the very people who I curse on a daily basis.

Josh Childress Lika Da Juice

In all my basking in the Phils win last night, I didn't think anything else would be worth writing about, that was until I went on over to SLAM and found this.

Looks like old Standford fro actually showed some balls and did it. A la Brandon Jennings, Josh Childress will be playing pro ball in Europe this upcoming season. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

… Childress is no longer a Hawk. He said he agreed to terms Wednesday morning on a three-year contract with Olympiakos of Greece that is worth far more than $20 million initially reported.

"It's official, I just signed," Childress said by phone Wednesday morning from Athens, where he and agent Jim Tanner will be until Friday. "I think it was . . . a situation where I didn't know who to expect coming in, coming over to Athens. But it's a great city and a great organization. They do whatever they can to make you feel at home."

While my initial feelings were this is no big deal, maybe I'm wrong. With Childress getting such huge bucks, this could lead to more non-superstars heading overseas if the money is right. Either way, I won't miss Josh. I hate Stanford.

Anyway, he'll be playing in Greece. No word on whether the "Lika Da Juice" guys from Saturday Night Live will be there.

Oh So Sweet!

Welcome to the season So Taguchi. It only took you 100 games, but boy are we glad you arrived. You sure do know how to make a grand entrance. I guess you were just being fashionably late.

Heading into the game, Mr. Taguchi was an impressive 0-for-16 as a pinch hitter, but that certainly didn't stop Uncle Charlie Jimmy Williams from putting the Asian sensation in at a critical point in the game. And it turns out Mr. Manuel Mr. Williams had some very good reasons to bring in So, even though he's been less than stellar this season to say the least.

When he stepped to plate with the bases loaded, a staggering statistic flashed before my eyes: So Taguchi was 20-for-40 with the bases loaded in his career, a .500 hitter. Holy balls! Just when you thought So couldn't do anything worse, he goes and does something like this … and totally redeems himself!

I will speak no more ill words about So Taguchi. For now. That was without question the greatest inning, no game, no night of the season. After Joe Blanton looked rather pedestrian in his first start, giving up five runs and two homers, it looked as though hope was lost. Johan was dealing, and the Phils were sputtered.

Until … what seemed like a meaningless home run at the time (Johan was on the mound after all) by Shane Victorino helped bring the Phils closer, and then the game went into the hands of the Mets' bullpen minus our old pal Billy Wagner.

We all know what happened next, and if you missed it: a) you suck; and b) here it is.

Apparently someone told Jose Reyes and the Mets it was September. They tend to play that way in the final month, or so I've heard. What a freakin awesome game. And how great was it watching the Phils fans celebrate and those New Yorkers sulk? Now I will spend the remainder of the day talking shit to my boss who is one of those scum of the earth Mets fans.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A few thoughts on my current baseball outlook

Come on Fat Joe, come on Fat Brett, come on Old J...we need some pitching this series. Come on J "slowing his" Roll, Chase, Ry and Pat, we need the bats going TOGETHER like they haven't all season.

All the cockaroaches far and wide have come completely out of their hiding spots they were so firmly entrenched in but a month ago. We're the ones who started that 10 game streak for them. Lets go up to Shea, swing some bats, hit them in the mouth, and put the scum where they belong.

Set the tone for the second half of the season. Remind me why I believed in this team from the beginning, flaws and all. Win this fucking series.

Normally you hate a team because of what they do on the field, then hate their fans because of how they react. With the Mets, I hate their fans, and then hate their team because they play for Mets fans. That just hints at the level of douchebaggery surely abounding at Shea(t) tonight and over the next couple days.

Fuck the Mets and their mongoloid fans, I hope Fat Joe Blanton hits Santana in the face tonight.

Lets go Phils by the way.

Why Does Andy Reid Hate Rookies?

Just to make my angry day a little more frustrating, I read this on Yahoo.

Today, the Eagles placed rookies Trevor Laws, Bryan Smith and Jack Ikegwuono on the Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning they are all ineligible to play in the first six regular season games of the year. Ikegwuono makes perfect sense. The guy is coming off ACL surgery and was expected to miss the entire season. The Birds knew full well of that situation when they drafted him.

But Laws, the Eagles' first pick in the draft, and Smith are, according to Reid in the article, scheduled to return to practice in the next few days. Laws' injury is listed as a foot injury while Smith has an injured hamstring. The fact that they're both coming back in a few days clearly indicates these are not serious injuries that require any sustained period of inactivity.

Smith I can understand. The Eagles are deep at defensive end with Victor Abiamiri, Chris Clemons, Trent Cole, Juqua "The Artist Formerly Known as Thomas" Parker, and the decaying corpses of Darren Howard and Jerome McDougle. Plus he's an undersized (listed at 217 lbs.) defensive end to say the least. It's hard to make an impact as a rookie when you're giving up that much weight. But he was a third-round pick, which isn't exactly the same as a seventh. Many third-rounders (Brian Westbrook) become impact players. Still, with the depth at DE combined with Smith's size, I can understand not needing him for six weeks, if at all this season.

But Laws? I mean, the guy was the team's first draft choice. He's 295 lbs, and he's been touted for having tremendous strength and drive. Defensive tackle is arguably the easiest position for a rookie to learn, and there have been plenty of defensive linemen that have made major contributions in their first seasons.

So why would Andy Reid put him on the PUP list and lose him for the first six games? Simple. Fatass Andy hates rookies, evident by his reluctance to play them even when they are clearly superior than the players starting in front them (see: Bradley, Stewart : Spikes, Takeo; Lewis, Michael : Bishop, Blaine). Laws was supposed to step right in and be part of a young, talented rotation with Mike "Weedhead" Patterson and Broderick "Andy didn't play me as a rook either" Bunkley. Instead we have to wait until game 7 at the earliest to see the Birds' first draft choice do things like this.

I blame this all on his kids. Those dope-pedaling gingers probably have had Big Red soured on youngsters for a while now. Guess it's hard to blame him.

OK, maybe that's a bit harsh, but come one Andy. What's the deal here? You afraid Trevor will take too much of your share at the buffet line? It's either that or you truly believe you'll get more out of Montae Reagor and Kimo von Oelhoffen (who, oh by the way, made a combined ZERO big plays last season) than Laws.

Get with the times Andy. Second round picks are supposed to not only make the team, but play and contribute as well. Well, that is, as long as their name isn't Matt McCoy. That guy's awful.

Awful Day

The Phillies didn't play last night, I probably can't take off to visit training camp, I'm bombarded with work and I'm pissed about all of it. So what am I to do? Take it all out on this blog right here. I'll make it short and sweet.

Jimmy Rollins sucks. Carlos Ruiz sucks. Brett Myers sucks. Charlie Manuel sucks. Adam Eaton sucks. Tom Gordon sucks. Geoff Jenkins sucks. Chris Gocong sucks. Sean Considine really, really sucks. Andy Reid sucks.

Jeremy Shockey is a homosexual. Jason Taylor is a proven homosexual. And fuck man, the Cowboys are probably the worst thing on the planet. I hate the Mets. I hate the Braves. And I hate the fact the Phillies can't ever just be really good.

This has been nothing but a horrible day. Let's try to find something to distract us from the shittyness.

That's better.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Orleans Shocked!

Breaking news via The700Level, Jeremy Shockey has been traded to the Saints for 2nd and 5th round picks.

Another Jennings Update

If you want a Philly-centric piece in an abstract sort of way, check out Aggrey Sam's article about Brandon Jennings' venture to Italy next season.

Turns out Jennings' new team employed none other than David Hawkins from Temple, Allan Ray from Nova and Ibby Jaaber from Penn, not to mention that former Temple star and 76er Juan Pepe Sanchez played in the league as well.

Also, it's a pretty insightful article. Check it out.

Childress to Greece?

This just seems stupid. Josh Childress, a restricted free agent who is of actual interest to teams in the NBA, is considering taking a big contract in Greece. Maybe I'm just overly patriotic on this one, but why would a player who is born and bred in the States want to leave the varsity for the jv?

I guess the logical answer is money, but really, Childress is not exactly starving over here, and he'd be forced to leave Atlanta or any other U.S. city to be surrounded by Greeks. Sounds suspect to me. Maybe John Stamos is involved.

I will say, though, that losing Childress to Greece would be no big loss. While Josh is a good player that does a lot of things, he's from Standford, which makes him a snob, and his jump shot is completely atrocious looking. Even when it goes in.

This is more like it:

I say, good riddance Josh Childress. You and your rich-kid afro should enjoy yourself in Europe. Standford is the Duke of the West, and any time we can rid the country of Duke or Standford people, things are headed in the right direction (no offense Elton). Although, I seriously doubt you'll actually do it.

Bruntlett Sucks, Says Burrell

Well, not exactly. But Pat is not happy with getting replaced at the end of games for defensive reasons, and neither am I.

From the Inquirer:

"I'm upset, absolutely," Burrell said. "I'm upset, and I have been for a long time. It's not personal. I don't want to ever come out of close games."

"In that situation, we're trying to put more speed out there, so I can't question what the manager is trying to do. He's got confidence in all his guys," Burrell said. "But I can't lie and say I'm not frustrated by it, especially when it's close like that in a low-scoring game. He knows that. We've discussed it.

"Do I wish it was different? Absolutely. I don't know any other way to say that. A lot of games I've come out, it's never an issue, but when it does come back to bite us, it becomes more of a focus."

"Maybe I've got to improve my 60 times," he said.

This whole defensive substitution thing has been bugging the hell out of me for a long time. Sure, Bruntlett covers more ground, but he's really not that much better in the field. Not so much that it justifies taking out Burrell in a tight game. Pat has been one of the few consistent hitters for the Phils this year, and his bat is needed in close games.

For all the wins Manuel has put together with this team, the man is a horrible, I repeat, horrible game situation manager. He may keep the guys loose and do a lot of little things that are invisible to the naked eye, but he sure as shit can't do the things that are obvious to the naked eye very well.

Redskins Welcome Taylor to the Dance

Well, well, well. Look who just joined the ranks of NFC East defensive ends that will try to injury Donovan McNabb. That's right, Jason Taylor got traded to the Skins for a 2nd-round pick and a future 6th-round pick. He doesn't look gay at all.

Somewhere, Winston Justice is praying Tra, wait William, no Tra Thomas can defy the powers of Father Time and remain on the field for all 16 games.

In the grand scheme of things, the Taylor deal isn't really all that concerning to me. Certainly, Taylor is an excellent player who still looks like he has plenty left in the tank. However, the Redskins' season still hinges on having Jason Campbell at quarterback. If No. 5 can stay healthy, that means the Skins still have the worst quarterback in the division. That doesn't bode well for Washington.

The real reason to be concerned with the deal, however, is what this could potentially mean for the health of Donovan McNabb. With Taylor in the fold, that means every NFC East opponent for the Birds has at least one elite pass rusher. That also means that six times this season, McNabb will be forced to run for his life at one point or another, even with a very solid offensive line in front of him.

Let's hope that leg is fully healed, and he can dance out of harm's way this season—kind of like Jason Taylor.

The Spectrum Farewell Tour

As you may have heard (unless you're deaf), the Spectrum will be no more following the 2009 season. I haven't really chimed in on the Spectrum, the memories I've had there or what it all means. That's because the fucking thing isn't closed yet people. We should get more sentimental when the building actually ceases to be in operation.

Anyway, other people have been fawning over their memories, which will be commonplace for the next year, but here's a cool one posted by Puck Daddy, authored by Matt P at The700Level.

Although, no matter how you slice it, this should have been on there:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Putback Dunks Are Sweet

Here's a video I first saw on The Big Lead. It's pretty awesome, and Al is No. 8 for a sick putback as a Sixer. My real questions: How can A.I.'s free throw putback not be on there, and how is Darvin Ham's backboard-shattering putback not No. 1? (It's No. 6.)

Anway, check it out. It's pretty nasty.

Phils Are Fatty-Chasers

I know I'm extremely late in getting to this whole Joe Blanton business, but I was bombarded with work this morning at my real job. Real jobs suck.

Anyway, onto the move. While it's certainly nowhere near the CC/Harden area on the improvement charts, it's a move that absolutely had to be made for the Phils. Of all the pitchers out there, Blanton was the best choice in my opinion. A.J. Burnett, while supremely talented, has a history of injuries and is more streaky than Deebo's underwear. Erik Bedard, another starter with a lot of talent, is currently on the DL and really not that great.

Certainly, Blanton has had his struggles this season. Currently, he's a Eaton/Myers-esque 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA. His strikeout to walk ratio (62 Ks to 35 BBs) is pretty awful, and like Myers, he was the A's opening day starter and has struggled since. It's been a rough year for the hefty right-hander. But, as Tim Kurkjian pointed out on "Baseball Tonight" last night, Blanton pitched very well against the Phils and the Mets this season. If he can keep pitching well against NL East competition, that is a big bonus.

Also, Blanton has had a great deal of success in his career. In his first full season in 2005, The big boy went 12-12 with a 3.53 ERA. Not bad. In '06 he won 16 games, and last year, he was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA and a career-best 140 strikeouts (with only 40 walks). In the last three years, he's averaged more than 200 innings pitched, and he's well on pace for that again this season.

Another plus is he is just 27 years old, which means he should be coming into his prime pretty soon here. Considering the Phils only gave up three minor leaguers, none of which included top prospects Lou Marson, Greg Golson or Carlos Carrasco, the risk was extremely worth taking. This team needed another arm badly. Hopefully, Blanton will regain his form from the last three years. Maybe all he needed was a change of scenery and a chance to compete—like Brad Lidge. Either way, it's a good move by all accounts. And he sure looks good warming up, am I right people?

And as an added bonus, this could mean the incredibly long overdo demotion of Adam Eaton, either to the bullpen or the minor leagues. I hope it's the latter. That guy sucks.

So, as a Phillies fan that desperately wants nothing more than to see the Mets miss out on the playoffs for the second consecutive year, I welcome you Joe Blanton, in all your overweight glory. You'll fit well in the city that is the home of the cheesesteak and soft pretzel. As long as you don't suck.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Because

My infatuation with high school basketball seems to be at an all-time, and I often wonder what it must have been like to see some the game's current pros in the high school ranks. Somehow, seeing teenagers do things I could never even dream of pulling off is freakin awesome.

So, with my day coming to a close, I present you with some of the nastiest dunks in the history of high school basketball, especially the last one, by none other than Vince Carter.

If only he never fell in love with the three. No matter what other people say Vince, I'm still in your corner. And I still hate Duke.

Here We Go Again

Another Philadelphia Eagle that is unhappy with his contract has fired their agent and signed Drew Rosenhaus to represent them. Lito Sheppard who has been unhappy with his contract for some time and his playing time is being questioned with the arrival of pro-bowler Asante Samuels, hired Rosenhaus as his agent. I certainly do not expect any escapades from Lito that occurred with Terrell Owens, but it still leaves me wary of what will happen with Lito. I personally would love nothing more then to keep him, Sheldon, and Asante in the defensive backfield for the next year. With those three healthy and playing, they can shut down any wide receiver corp in football.

Italians Don't Hurt People, But People Get Hurt

Via SLAM, an update on Brandon Jennings. He's off to Rome to play for Pallacanestro Virtus Roma of the Italian pro league.

I don't know anything about the Italian League, but here's an excuse to post another awesome Jennings video.

For a Redskin, He Ain't That Bad

Damn do I wish Chris Cooley was an Eagle. This guy is one of the best tight ends in the league, way better than that homo up north Shockey and Mr. Drop/Fumble L.J. Smith.

And now, just to make him even cooler, he's doing this. That's right, Cooley is having a beard-growing contest. And there are even prizes for the winners, which include family passes to training camp, preseason tickets and a personalized jersey.

psuaar would be so proud. And let me tell you something, between psuaar and myself, we'd stand a great shot at winning. The only problem is those prizes don't mean shit to Eagles fans. But, hey, his wife is all sorts of hot.

The Joys of the Real World

Seeing as psuaar already took care of that whole Brett Favre is a raging douchebag thing, and that there were absolutely no sports of any relevance on last night, I'd like to take this opportunity to really get to the crux of a few things have been bugging the shit out of me lately.

First off, I work in an office building, with offices and cubicles and all the things you expect in a professional setting. Presumably, the people I work with are intelligent human beings, or at least once were, who graduated college and could at least process thoughts quick enough to get hired. Yet, every day when I go to the restroom to take a piss, there is urine all over the floor around the urinals. I shit you not.

Now, my question would be, how fucking hard is it to hit the mammoth target of a urinal from, oh, I don't know, six inches away? Honestly, how bad can your aim be? This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. It's not like we're in a stadium or some public restroom where peeing on the floor may be either funny or necessary or both. It's the place we work. We come here every day. Why the fuck would you want to pee on the floor? If I ever catch someone doing this, I will request their immediate firing and/or start peeing on them directly. Oh, what, you don't like getting piss on your pants? Well I don't like it on my fucking shoes asshole!

Second, every single god damn day, SEPTA sucks just a little bit more. But, surprisingly, I don't blame SEPTA for this. No, I blame all these lazy, fat motherfuckers in this shithole of a city. Ever since gas prices have surpassed $4 a gallon, the el has been flooded with people. It's crowded, it's hot, and many of these people smell rather bad. But that's all to be expected. It's summertime in Philly. It's hot as hell.

The thing that pisses me off? The morbidly obese people that try to shove their way onto crowded cars. Have you ever looked in the mirror before fatty? You aren't going to fit. Not happening. Would it really kill you to stand an extra five minutes to wait for the next train? Oh, it would? Good, fuck you! Normal sized people could then possibly breathe.

It's really pathetic. I apologize for the ranting and raving, but this shit has been pissing me off for a little while now. Anyway, hopefully I won't be very busy at work today and can at least put up some cool videos or something unless, by some miracle, a sports subject comes along of interest. If not, blame it on my feeble attempts to clean the piss off the bottom of my shoes.


Dear Brett Farve,

Enough is enough already. Nobody wants to hear about you anymore. We all have better things to do with our lives, but everywhere I look there you are. I turn on ESPN there you are. I go to ESPN 2 and there you are. ESPN News is another option I turn to and what do I find, Brett Farve!!! I do not care how many passing yards or touchdowns or interceptions you have thrown in your career. You need to be finished. San Fransisco didn't hold onto Joe Montana when his time was up, and you my friend are no Joe Montana. I believe I speak for everybody outside of that little village in Wisconsin when I say, Be Gone!

P.S. I spelled your name the correct way for your benefit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coming Back to Philly

And no, I'm not talking about Eric Desjardins, who I hope doesn't pass along his terrible trait of absolutely sucking in the playoffs (see: turning the puck over in his own zone) onto the young defensemen the Fly Guys are relying on.

No, I'm talking about Myers, Brett Myers.

You all remember Brett don't you? He was that guy that inexplicably got the opening day start ahead of the team's ace, Cole Hamels. The one that took one for the team last year, taking over the closer spot the Phils so desperately needed to solidify, which in turn helped the Phils make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. The guy that was forced to move back to the starting rotation and punished? by getting the opening day start. The one that then decided he hated starting after being a "rock star" in the bullpen, so he pitched like a little girl en route to a 3-9 record and 5.84 ERA in 17 starts so far this season. The one that's getting paid some $8.5 million this season to play in the minors.

Remember him? He's back to "help" the Phils make another run to the playoffs. At least, that's the plan. My only hope is this means Adam Eaton, the most worthless pitcher in all the land, takes Myers' place on the IronPigs roster. If another starter is needed, call up that Happ fellow who, oh by the way, pitched way better in his two starts this year than either of these two wastes of money.

If Myers can't get back on the track and embrace his role as a starter, it's going to get ugly. Like Pat Burrell at his worst ugly. Only uglier. Because for all the struggles Burrell had up until the second half of last year, the man never once complained about his situation or the fans. Myers, on the other hand, has been whining like a baby about leaving the bullpen. Let's hope his fat ass got humbled in Lehigh Valley.

If not, you become public enemy No. 1 (or 2 if Eaton stays around).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Revolution That Was J-Will

For all the hype and fanfare bestowed upon the former Phoenix Suns for starting an aesthetic basketball revolution, everyone seems to forget this all really began with the Sacramento Kings—myself included.

That was, until Skeets brought up the subject of the only true Jason Williams, that of the elbow pass.

For all the joy the Nash-era Suns brought the world, I'll take the J-Will, Peja, C-Webb, Vlade Kings over them any day of the week. And as sad as it was to see J-Will and Webber disband, Bibby picked up where J-Will left off, if not nearly as spectacular, and unlike the Suns, the Kings came ever-so-close to actually winning the whole damn thing. Except they didn't.

Either way, while I thoroughly enjoyed Nash and the Suns, I absolutely love(d) the flawed, spectacular game of the West Virginian white boy who found his way to Florida, then Sactown, then an NBA title in Miami.

This Guy, He's My Kind of Guy

I have NO idea how I missed THIS:

Yeah, fuck you New York. Thank you Matt P. for pointing this out. Chase Utley truly is the man.

See What You Can Do on Drugs

If you didn't watch the Home Run Derby last night, my first question would be what the hell is wrong is with you? There sure as shit wasn't anything else on last night. Secondly, as I'm sure you've all heard by now, you missed one incredible show by everyone's favorite recovering drug addict Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton completely blew away the competition with a record 28 home runs in the first round, the majority of which were moon shots. See what a little cocaine can do for you kids?

Honestly though, it was an unbelievable display, and watching the entire Yankee Stadium crowd give the man a standing ovation was bone-chilling. Even in an exhibition contest, baseball offered up another great moment.

Children everywhere are undoubtedly flocking to the nearest shady street corners to purchase copious amounts of cocaine, heroin and other narcotics in the hope of becoming the next Josh Hamilton.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Andre 2008

All right, the rumors of Andre Iguodala's wooing (and potential flight?) can be found here, here, here and all over the damn place.

The story goes something like this: The Clips are pissed Brand left and now seek revenge in stealing Iggy. Or something like that.

Actually, with Brand out of the mix, and Josh Smith likely returning to Atlanta, maybe, Andre is high on potential suitors lists. However, the Sixers' new golden God says Iggy is staying put. Of course, this is coming from Brand's mouth, and if what Mike Dunleavy is saying is true, we should take it with a grain of salt.

Two things are perfectly clear here: 1) Power forwards who go to Duke are liars; and 2) Duke should be destroyed for the good of the world.

Also, let's be honest here, the Sixers signed Brand to become contenders in the very near future. That includes keeping Iguodala, no matter how you slice it. While Iggy is certainly not a top tier 2 guard in the NBA, he's still a very good one that can shoot at times, get to the hoop whenever he wants, provide highlight-reel dunks and defend. He's a key cog in what the Sixers are doing, and they have the right to match any offer. I expect them to do just that.

But if they don't, at least I can keep calling Elton Brand a liar. I love calling Duke players liars.

Down Goes Canseco

I actually thought that the fight between Jose Canseco and former Eagle/current NBC broadcaster Vai Sikahema already happened and I somehow missed the results. Turns out it was Saturday, and thanks to The700Level I learned that Jose got knocked the fuck out in the first round by our beloved Vai.

And definitely check out Deadspin's morning video montage courtesy of Awful Announcing. It's Philly centric with the Soul, Vai, Stephen A., Bon Jovi and Charles. Looks like Daulerio's influence is hitting the entire site. At least for one day.

A Weekend at the Park

For the first time in a loooonnnnngggggg time, I spent the weekend taking in an entire series for the Phils, and let me tell you something, this three-gamer with the Diamondbacks was a microcosm for the Phillies' season thus far: exciting, frustrating and up and down.

Friday night, after kicking back quite a few in the parking lot (my office closed at 4, so I got there a bit early), I entered CBP expecting a close game. I certainly got that, and it was in typical Phils fashion. Ryan Howard got the Phils on the board first, hitting one of patented opposite field home runs to continue his scorching July.

Then right on cue, the Phils gave it right back in the sixth, but answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning to go up 3-1. But as has been their MO of late, the Phils gave it right back in the seventh, as Kendrick left after six and a third with four across.

After tacking on another in the eighth, it looked as though Arizona was going to steal the opener. I was bitching at some guy for yelling at me for "cursing" when all of the sudden up comes Victorino with two on in the eighth. Shane, who I recently dropped from my fantasy team (sorry), came up clutch, ripping a two-run triple to tie the game. I was pumped.

But, that horrible feeling still overcame me. The Phils have been floundering of late, while the Mets have been tearing it up, and I pictured that extra inning loss to the Mets last week. Luckily for me, Jayson Werth had other plans, getting the game-winning hit in the 12th. A little too close for comfort with some guy named Doug Davis on the hill, but a good start to the series nonetheless.

And then Saturday happened. Now, when my friend called to tell me he had an extra ticket, believe me, I penciled in a loss. Even if Randy Johnson was 85, not 65, I'd still bet on him to outpitch Adam Eaton any day of the week. But shit, I didn't expect this: 3 2/3 IP, 7 hits, 8 runs, all of them earned and three walks. Seriously Charlie, you manned up with Myers. Now it's officially time. Adam Eaton should never, ever, in a million years, see the mound in a major league ballpark again. Last season, he finished with the highest ERA in the majors for any starting pitcher, and this year, he's just as bad, if not worse.

Since the Phils have signed him, he has been the single worst starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Mark my words, if Adam Eaton starts another game for the Phils this season, no matter when, where or how, they will not make the playoffs. He is a disgrace not only to this city, but to the art of pitching. There is no possible way anyone can convince me that there aren't at least two or three arms in Philadelphia's minor league system that could do better than Eaton. He fucking blows. Gillick should be punched in the balls repeatedly every morning for signing this no-talent jerk. Or maybe the Phils should sign this guy.

On another note to Saturday's 10-4 debacle of a loss, Chase Utley should not be sitting with the Mets charging hard and the All Star break right around the corner. That's horrible managing no matter how you look at it. Utley actually hits lefties. Bruntlett actually hits nothing. Ever. Also, how did Swindle ever even get called up? Seriously? I covered high school baseball. Fifty percent of those pitchers, if not more, can throw harder than him. He's nothing more than a batting practice pitcher.

It was fucking hot on Saturday, and watching that game almost caused me a heat stroke. If it wasn't for Shane's 3-for-3 and two homers, I seriously might have done something terrible.

Thank heavens my roommate notified me he was taking me to yesterday's marquee matchup between Cole and Webb. While I did bake in the sun like a lobster in left field, the game was fantastic. Cole, while not on top of his game (see 11 hits), pitched out of jams and kept the Phils close, even when he wasn't hitting all his spots. Webb, through six innings, looked like the NL Cy Young Award winner that he is, only surrendering one run on a, believe it or not, RBI double by Hamels. But in the seventh, Jimmy finally came through with a big hit (one that will hopefully get him rolling), tying the game and chasing Webb off the mound.

With the game tied, and my entire section chanting, "YOU SUCK, JACKSON!" every inning, serenading Conor Jackson in left, the game was getting really fun. Hell, even Jackson was embracing it, laughing and dancing along. And things got even better when Pat showed everyone he deserved to be an All Star, crushing a 3-run home run that put the Phils ahead. Thanks to Pete Happy's solo shot two batters later, Lidge has some wiggle room, and the Phils closed out the series with a 6-3 win to stay a half game ahead of the stinking Mets.

It was a wonderful weekend at The House That Glanville Built, and the Phils somehow remain in first with all eyes on The House That Ruth Built the next few days. Here's hoping Chase can give the Phils yet another home run derby win, and that taking two of three from the Diamondbacks to close out the first half will catapult them back into a hot streak. They'll need it with New York nipping at their heals.

And fuck Adam Eaton. He sucks. Jackass is just stealing money. That is all.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thank You Jeff Carter?

Actually, via Puck Daddy thank you to the guy that was inspired by Jeff Carter for this:

I have nothing to add to that.

A Rock and a Hard Place

Seeing as Ryan Howard is leading all of baseball with 27 home runs and second only to Josh Hamilton in RBIs, not to mention the fact he singlehandedly stopped the Phils' latest skid by winning the last two games, all the Ryan bashers should just shut up. The man is fine. Except he in the field. He still sucks at that.

Now, on to more pressing matters. I'm in a pickle. A major pickle. Today, for my "real" job, I'm supposed to interview someone at The Dallas Morning News about the newspaper's promotion to win Cowboys season tickets for 2008.

Seriously. I'm not making this up. The real question is, as a die hard Eagles fan that truly despises the Cowboys—to the point where, if I find out someone likes the Cowboys, I instantly want to punch them in the face—supposed to talk to a couple people from Dallas who almost definitely like the Cowboys and unquestionably promote them? I've had a DALLAS SUCKS bumper sticker hanging in my bedroom since I was 7 years old, a gift from my grandfather, and last Christmas, my dad got me a DALLAS SUCKS shirt.

This seems like an impossibility. I'm already picturing one of them saying, "Hey, you're from Philadelphia, are you an Eagles fan?" and suddenly the entire nature of the conversation turning toward fandom. This, of course, would be my demise. If the conversation steers that way, I will certainly be fired. No questions asked. The bile I will spew in Dallas' direction will be career suicide.

So, I ask you, what am I to do? Do I simply suck it up, act polite and do my job without the slightest hint of detest in my voice? Or do I become the raving lunatic that inhabits my person when the Birds take on those rat-fuckers from Texas?

I'm not even sure there's a correct answer. I should have just called out sick today.

I'll give you an update, most likely Monday, because I'm sure I'll be too traumatized to tackle it today. What a horrible way to end a work week.