To an outsider, there really was no reason for Bill Hall to be standing in the hallway.
The hotel was full of MLB All-Stars, and he wasn’t one. He wasn’t a fan favorite. Nobody was scanning the rosters of the NL squad, shouting “Wait a second… where’s Bill?!” He was just Bill Hall, of the San Francisco Giants. And his heart was filled with revenge.
“Excuse me sir,” a bellhop said.
Bill jumped. As any analyst would tell you, his instincts were starting to fail him. After several moments of silence, he stepped out of the bellhop’s way and waited to see he would ask for an autograph.
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Back in May of ’08, The Fightins proved their love for Phillies color commentator Gary “Sarge” Matthews by debuting The Definitive Sarge Matthews Hat Collection. It was pretty much the greatest blog post of the year, and set us apart as the biggest Sarge fans on Earth. We even have a section of Sarge’s wiki page giving us propers for outing him as such a big hat enthusiast.
And because we continue to grow as a site and don’t rely on the same gimmicks year-after-year, I kind of shied away from posting about Sarge’s hats recently. That doesn’t mean I still don’t marvel at Sarge’s ability to match his Kangols perfectly with his broadcasting attire, because I do, I just thought it could get a bit tiresome and wear out some of the Sarge Hat appeal.
Well, I can’t take it any longer. So we are proud to present to you this TheFightins.com EXXXCLUSIVE of every single hat/cap/fedora that Sarge has sported this year in chronological order. All 95 of them.
Tell ‘em, slideshow:
After the jump, I’ve gone ahead and tallied up how many times Sarge has worn each cap so you can get a sense of which ones are his favorites. Believe me, it was my pleasure.
As mentioned yesterday, Carlos Ruiz is profiled in the current edition of Sports Illustrated. The story has hit the web and trust me when I say you need to drop whatever you’re doing and read this right now. It’s equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking, hopeful, and, uh, hinspirational.
Read it on SI.com (or a newsstand, I guess) or check out some choice excerpts after the jump. But seriously, I’m not screwing around here, read the goddamned article.
You know, I was going to do a running diary of the All Star Game tonight, like the one I did a few years ago, but I was tired, lazy, or some combination of the two, so the potentially 10,000 word post that would have been nothing more than stale punchlines and jokes about Joe Buck is neatly condensed for your reading pleasure. Or displeasure. Whatever.
As I sit here, watching the All Star game, I am reminded of my own experiences playing baseball as a child, and most recently, on a beer league softball team. Winning and losing didn’t matter. It never really did, because we were just kids. Even if we did win, big deal. When I was about eight, my Little League team crushed just about everyone else. We finished with a 19-5 record or something, and didn’t lose more than once to a single opponent. But I was eight, so first place in Little League didn’t really matter.
The older I got, the more winning mattered. By the time I was ten or 11, winning was everything, even though it didn’t mean anything at all. It was all about having fun on the field. Throwing, catching, hitting, all that. I was never really bothered by a loss, and an oh-fer at the plate (there were several) stayed with me for all of 45 minutes. I just didn’t care. And why should I? Even at a young age, I could see how competition could bring out the absolute worst in some people. The ones who were so caught up in winning, even if they were the best players on the field, never actually looked happy.
Even now, as a member of a beer league softball team who has yet to win a game, I find myself at peace with the fact that we aren’t that good. I’m more concerned with enjoying myself and having fun with my teammates who are similarly not affected by not having one in the win column. And to be honest, the last hour of work on days that we have a game are some of the best of the week, just because I get to play baseball.
Conversely, some of the most miserable people in our league are the ones who are routinely part of winning efforts or have the ability to mash the ball at will. Case in point: A couple weeks back, our team was short a man, so we borrowed a guy from another team to fill the roster spot. Having played against this guy a handful of times, I knew what to expect: A big bat and a piss-poor attitude. This guy can hit the ball a mile, but he pitches a fit when it doesn’t go over the fence, because triples are not good enough for this guy. And if you strike out to end the inning? You better watch your head, because a bat or some other object is sure to be tossed about, because that sort of thing is just plain unacceptable to the him. Then guy was miserable the entire game. It didn’t matter if we lost by five or won by ten, he’d have been a pisser just the same. Guy was the best player on the team, but was absolutely not having an ounce of fun. What’s the point? None of it matters, and you are only making yourself look like a massive tool (I mean, assuming the six arm and writs bands didn’t already do that.)
Point is, baseball is about fun. Especially when it’s a rather meaningless game on a random Tuesday night in the middle of summer. For an hour or so, we get to leave it on the field before going home to our crappy jobs and lives of unfulfilled potential. It’s an hour of escape, once a week. What’s the point of being miserable and not enjoying yourself? Hitting three homers won’t make your night any better, but actually having fun just might.
How, exactly, does this tie into the All Star Game? I’m not really sure, except for maybe that those players are similarly having a good time on the field, even though the game “matters.” They are smiling, they are playfully jawing with the other team, and so on and so on. And really, I just wanted to write something about baseball.
Last night’s impromptu Home Run Derby Live Chat was an absolute friggin’ riot so we’re gonna do it again for the All-Star Game. Grab your mind-altering substance of choice and join us at 7:45 PM as we all get fucked up and talk about everything except the actual All-Star Game. Who knows, maybe we can land ourselves on another Big League Stew post tomorrow!
Click Here to launch the chat in a new window, or hit the jump to use the embedded chat window.
Dallas Green once told me while holding Nino Espinosa’s head inside a tub of rattlesnakes: “Being named to the All-Star team only makes you half-good, pudface!”
That was in 19-fucking-80. It might as well have been 19-fucking-80 million years ago, because at least back then when you were named to the All-Star roster for your nice fucking first half of one fucking season you FUCKING SHOWED UP.
Someone told me that 85 players have been named All-Star this year thanks to all the crampy cunts who dropped out. That was half the fucking league before all you pantywaists got your precious Marlins and Rockies thanks to expansion.
In my time, you didn’t miss the All-Star Game because of an ouchy fucking thumb. You did what every blue-collar American did in order to get out there to earn a paycheck: You took a handful of greenies, stuffed them in your cake hole and flew to fucking work! And I don’t want to hear about greenies being outlawed. Spitballs were illegal, but you didn’t see that stop Gaylord Perry from putting enough Vaseline on his person to lube up the starfishes of every one of Derek Jeter’s 3,000 “hits.”
Tell you this much: I’d much rather be the All-Star representative of cheating than the designated fucking hitter.
Anyway, Mooch wants me to do these midseason awards — like any of these candy-asses deserves a prize.
The Phillies were well represented in yesterday’s Futures Game, which saw them send Jarred Cosart and Sebastian Valle to Arizona for the festivities. Neither of them failed to disappoint. Valle, who came on as a pinch-hitter in the top of the 6th, doubled in the game-tying run off Indians farmhand Drew Pomeranz. The World team would eventually take the lead in the same inning.
Even more impressive than Valle, was Jarred Cosart. Cosart entered the top of the 8th inning of a 4-3 game and proceeded to show electric stuff. In only 10 pitches, Cosart managed to strike out two players from the World team, touching up to 97 MPH on the gun while displaying his amazing curveball and changeup. The USA team managed to take a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 8th, giving Cosart the Futures Game win. All in all, a very impressive showing from both Phillies farmhands.
.GIF’s of Cosart’s impressive stuff after the jump.
With a divisional rival in town, its only natural for the internet to turn into a festering Petri dish of insults. Braves suck! Phillies suck! Bobby Cox hates women! Charlie Manuel once killed and devoured a bull moose in front of a kindergarten class!
In response to such remarks, we often see our enemies and ourselves breach the topic of “class.” Often times, the “classiness” of the other team’s fans is brought into question, just prior to an insult that questions the “classiness” of ourselves. It is a neverending cycle with no end, and like a snake eating its own tale, we are doomed to choke to death if this keeps up. But not on snake flesh. On unpleasantness.
So we have compiled a short list of ways to install classiness in every baseball game, so that these intense rivalries become the vacant, lifeless sporting events they were intended to be.
And before you even say, “Hey, asshole. What do you know about class?!” maybe you should read my guide to Meeting a Lady at Citizens Bank Park.