Monday, August 10, 2009

Weddings, Gambling, Injuries and Opportunities Lost

In the rankings of weekends in my life, this past one sits somewhere between the time I may or may not have had many freedoms and the weekend following when the Phillies became World Fucking Champions. Actually, closer to the first one, because things could have gone better.

See, Friday I had the idea of taking it easy in preparation for my friend's wedding in Avalon, on the beach no less, Saturday. Instead, I went out with some friends after watching Joe Blanton get outdueled by Rick Nolasco. Shots of tequila are not meant to cap off a night; they're meant to begin one. One of my friends fails to realize this, and I paid the price for it.

Saturday, I was given a reprieve from watching Cole Hamels give up untimely home runs seeing as I was at the aforementioned beach wedding, but even that day started off shitty. The beach is an awesome, awesome place. The ocean, the feel of sand beneath your feet, women in bikinis — all good stuff. Driving to the beach, on the other hand, sucks donkey balls because no matter what time of the day, what day of the week, there is going to be a shit ton of traffic when heading to the beach in the summer. Saturday was no exception.

Atlantic City Expressway my ass. There isn't a damn thing express about it. Especially when the person who drove doesn't have E-Z Pass. It's 2009, everyone should have E-Z Pass by now. Took us almost two and half hours to get to Avalon from Philadelphia. That's just not right.

Thankfully, the weather was all sorts of nice, and the ceremony was quick and painless. Onto the boozin, which is always my favorite part. Honestly, with many good friends and their families I know pretty well, the reception was a good time. The bartenders weren't holding back on the mixed drinks, giving me jack and ginger after jack and ginger that were all much, much more whiskey than ginger ale. I was a little agitated when I heard Cole Hamels failed to pitch like Cole circa 2008 yet again, giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits, including 4 walks and 2 home runs in just five and a third. When is this guy gonna get his shit together? That pitch he threw to Cody Ross, the one Ross launched to left field, was just a horrible, horrible pitch (I saw it the next morning on Sportscenter). Oh well, I kept drinking and dancing. Despite Cole's performance, I was feeling all right, so naturally, I headed to AC with one of the groomsmen, Paul "lil' Jon" Runyan to be exact, to keep the good times rolling.

Let's just say things could have gone better in Atlantic City. Sure, there were plenty of scantily dressed women … though always tough to decipher the regular ones from the working girls, and I'm always at home playing cards, but lady luck was not on our side. Blackjack started off poorly, although with the change of dealers, my luck started to turn. I was winning hand after hand there for a good while, but ultimately, some jerk kept hitting on 17 and messing up everyone's cards, mine included.

After losing thanks to this tard, I eventually moved over the poker table, where I waited for my hand patiently. When it came, pocket aces, I bet and bet hard, only to get wiped out on the god damn river. I hate you diamonds. I hate you so very much. Honestly, this hand had so much damn money it, as I was betting hard every chance I had, and some asshole chased a flush all the way to the river. Then caught it, erasing my hopes of gaining back all the prior money I had lost in the night. I wanted to jump across the table and choke him. Instead I took my last $20 to the roulette table and lost it rather quickly. Like I said, that could have gone better.

Once we were out of money save for the cab fare we stashed away for a ride back to our friend's house in Ocean City, we headed outside to hail a cab. There, we saw some older gentleman getting into quite the loud verbal tussle with a beat, overweight woman that I can only assume was a cheap prostitute. It was pretty hilarious.

Finally, we got a cab, made the trip to our friend's house and were ready for sleep. It was roughly 4:30 a.m., and we wanted nothing more than to grab a beer and get some rest only to find out were locked out of the house. Nice. After searching around for a hidden key for a while, Lil Jon finally just said fuck it and banged on the door. To our surprise, someone let us in almost immediately. Finally, time for rest.

Battered, beaten and broke, I got about 2 and half hours of sleep before the rest of the house guests were up and at 'em. Ready for a nice day at the beach, instead we awoke to mounds and mounds of rain. I couldn't sleep, couldn't think and couldn't wait to get home. Luckily, the skies did clear and we took a stroll on the boardwalk, but I was ready to get home.

After another hellish ride back to Philadelphia, which again took entirely too long thanks to stupid traffic, I was in my house, tired, weak and hungry, only to get in the house in time to see the Phillies implode.

I tuned in the bottom the the 6th inning, just to time to watch Ryan Howard strike out looking with two on and two out. Then I watched Shane Victorino get ejected for daring to raise his arms in centerfield, Rodrigo Lopez get lit up and Jayson Werth forget how to play defense. Great, great stuff.

After two close losses, that was just a pathetic display of baseball. It's almost as if the Phillies were content to get swept by the Marlins, and that's really the sad part. The Phillies had a chance to step on the necks of the Marlins and demoralize the rest of the division. Take two out of three from the Marlins, or better yet a sweep, and the Phils are sitting pretty. Instead, they get swept, giving the Marlins (and the Braves) a ton of confidence for the final two months.

And while the loss was not Jamie Moyer's fault, if he can't beat the Marlins, who can he beat? The old man did only surrender three runs, but he gave up 11 hits in just five innings. That's not very good, much like the majority of Jamie Moyer outings this year. If Pedro can show he's healthy and effective, it's officially time to remove Jamie from the rotation, as harsh as that may sound. And hell, given Rodrigo Lopez's two outings as a reliever, it may be even more beneficial to give him the fifth spot in the rotation if Pedro doesn't work out, though that seems incredibly unlikely.

All I know is the Phils have some decisions to make here rather quickly if they have hopes of repeating. This weekend could have helped that bid for another World Series run. Instead it was an opportunity lost.

Thankfully, they still have a 4-game lead, but these guys need to show a little more urgency than they did this weekend. If there's one thing they should know better than anyone after the past two seasons, no lead is safe in the division until the calendar flips to October.

To add to a capper of a less-than-stellar weekend, I find out Cornelius Ingram tore his left ACL, the same injury that kept him out last year at Florida, and is gone for the season. So much for having a talented second tight end and huge red zone target.

At least I fell asleep at 7 p.m. and got 13 hours of shuteye before work this morning.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Dude, that whole weekend story sounds like bs. You just stayed in and flipped your ish to Gilmore Girls, huh?

  2. yeah, but only because it was a marathon

  3. Damn that Red 19...and that pit boss that screwed me out of my $100double down!!! Bastards!

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