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Apr
14
2009
Posted by at 10:57 pm ET 5 Comments

Dash: Well done, Sir. I would like to add a few thoughts of my own in reflection on the passing of an institution…

I am a child of Philadelphia. Born on Broad Street, raised on 11th. (until my parents moved us out to the ‘burbs when I was six, but still…). My earliest memories include sitting with my mom, dad and little sister in beach chairs up on the tar-paper roof of our tiny apartment and watching the fireworks display from Veteran’s Stadium, literally right down our street, where the very first baseball game in that lovable old ratbox took place exactly one year after the Beatles broke up and two years before I was born.

For the entirety of my 36 years of existence on this planet, the only voice I’ve ever known which regaled me with the simple beauty of a day at the ballpark was one Harold Norbert Kalas, from Naperville, Illinois. His growly bass, with the remnants of a Houston drawl, entangled itself permanently with the team I would always love, and thus a part of my affection was reserved just for him (and Whitey, without question).

There are certain sounds that I associate with summer. Usually they happen to be musical in nature. Take, for instance, songs like the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey” and the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on A Friend” or “Gimme Shelter.” Whenever I hear these classics, regardless of time or temperature in my mind it immediately becomes 88 degrees, humid and bright with sun.

Harry’s voice, easy like Sunday morning and soothing as a back rub, made me feel the same way. In a sense, his play-by-play announcing was music, with rests and crescendos that hit just the right rhythm, the way an accomplished jazz musician knows that it isn’t how much you play, but when.

Now that wonderful instrument is silenced, forever. Speaking on a strictly selfish note, to whose voice will my own son listen, when he’s old enough to appreciate how therapeutic for the soul a game of baseball can be?

We’ll always have the audio clips, the photographs and the TV footage to go back to whenever we’re jonesing for a fix of Mr. K.’s unique croon. But without him along for the ride, it just won’t be the same. And for that, we are diminished. Godspeed, Harry. Thank you so much.

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Apr
13
2009
Posted by at 1:40 pm ET 16 Comments

Sorry to interrupt our regularly-scheduled jocularity, but this just came in from philly.com:

WASHINGTON – Legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas has been taken by ambulance to a Washington area hospital after he was found passed out in the press box at Nationals Park.

Team president David Montgomery said Kalas, 73, was found at about 12:30 p.m. by Rob Brooks, the Phillies’ director of broadcasting. Emergency medical personnel were called and took Kalas to George Washington University Hospital.

Team president David Montgomery characterized the situation as “serious,” but did not have any further information.

More news to follow as it becomes available (and, we can only hope, encouraging).

[Thanks to AJ Daulerio at Deadspin for the update]

UPDATE: 610 WIP am here in Philadelphia is reporting that Harry Kalas is listed in serious condition. The Phillies are holding a press conference at 2 pm.

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Apr
07
2009
Posted by at 11:10 am ET 15 Comments

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Dude. Nails here. I’m in some deep fuckin’ shit. Ever since that fuckin’ dicknibbler wrote his whiny-bitch piece about me, I’ve been taking it in the ass more times than Jasmine St. Clair.

I’ve got angry investors on my ass, my plane’s been grounded, and the bank might foreclose on Chateau Nails! God damn it, I just hooked up my new multimedia projector in the movie room, too! Fuckin’ figures, you know?

I don’t get it. Everything I know about investment strategies I learned while I was playing for the Mets. Fred Wilpon used to sit me down after a game and tell me how to be careful about who to trust with my money, and he made out OK! Even while the rest of the country is getting hammered by this economic shitstorm, he managed to build himself a brand-fuckin’-new stadium. Sweet!

But enough about him. I’m the one getting hosed all of a sudden. So I guess my only question for you is: Fuckin’… you wanna buy a house?

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Man, just look at this place. Fuckin’ look at it. I bought it from Wayne Gretzky, did you know that? I said he was crazy for wanting to sell it, but he said he had to because Janet needed to pay off some gambling debts. Whatever. None of my business, really. Crazy-assed Canadians.

Seriously, there’s rooms in this fucker that I haven’t even used. I’m like Michael Keaton in Batman, when he tells that chick that he wasn’t sure if he’d ever been in that one room they were in before. That’s me! I’m Batman. Also, I’m a man who used to use a bat, so that’s like a pun or some shit.

Come on man, buy this place. Don’t be a pussy.

Alright, tell you what: Buy my house today so I don’t get kicked out on my fuckin’ ass, and I’ll throw in a free one-year subscription to Players Club magazine. The next issue is coming out in June, or possibly November.

Fuckin’… there it is. Twelve million and I hand you the keys. I’m practically giving this place away. What do you say, dude?

Read more »

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Apr
03
2009
Posted by at 12:09 pm ET 10 Comments

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So this is what awaits the faithful tonight? It’s October 27, all over again: We’re playing the Rays at home, it’s cold and it’s raining like a bastard. My greatest fear is that Bud Selig postpones the Opening Day game against the Braves so that these last few exhibition games can reach their meaningless conclusion.

To all those attending tonight: God bless you dedicated souls. Enjoy your 2 and two-thirds innings of baseball.

      
Mar
17
2009
Posted by at 11:47 am ET 17 Comments

Selected quotes from Chase Utley’s latest interview…

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“SoIwentinCharlie’sofficerightandIwaslikemanI’msoreadytoplayI’msoreadyI’msoFUCKINGreadyandhesaysnow
waitaminutesonyou’restillrehabbingain’tyouandI’mlikefuckthatnoisechiefI’mreadyNOWNOWNOWnownownow
nownownownow!”

“IwasfeelingalittlesluggishfromthepainmedicationrightsoIfoundthisbottleofgreenthingsnearVictorino’slocker
soIthoughthereletmetryoneandI’mlikepopandthenIfeltlikearushyouknowanditwasfuckingintensesoIgrabafist
fulofthemandI’malllikePOPPOPPOPPOPPOPPOPPOPthat’swhyIwenthitlessbecauseallthepitcheskeptcominginso
fuckingSLOWWWWWWWhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.”

“VictorinothinksI’mtalkingtoofastbuthowwouldheknowbecauseheneverfuckinglistensman!

“…Fuck, my head hurts… What happened to my teeth?”

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Mar
11
2009
Posted by at 10:12 am ET 18 Comments

As you may or may not know by now, the Dutch baseball team scored an amazing upset victory over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic last night. Team DR was comprised of some of the best-known and most talented players in professional baseball, including David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and so on. Even wihout A-Rod available, the Dominicans should have cruised easily to the next round.

The Dutch had… Sidney Ponson. Right. To reiterate, this was without question an upset of mammoth proportions.

Another player on the losing squad was Jose Reyes, one of The Fightins favorite Metropolitan punching bags. His in-your-face showmanship, especially when employed against our boys, merely serves to heighten the schadenfreude Philly fans experience when New York suffers its seemingly inevitable annual meltdown.

I have little else to add, except… boy, do those uniforms look awfully familiar.

Oh, and HHR may have found the reason the DR lost.  Reyes fuckin jinxed ‘em.

Mar
04
2009
Posted by at 12:41 pm ET 15 Comments

I’d like to thank my agent for booking me as the guest speaker at a fucking Furry convention. Oh, I’m sorry, you’re all mascots? So I’m not on drugs, then? Good.

Bernie Brewer couldn’t be here tonight. He’s either at an AA meeting or crashing another Irish wake. Either way, he’s surrounded by drunks in mourning, so we wish him the best.

Mr. Met’s here! Boy, it’s been a rough couple of seasons for you, hasn’t it, buddy? Nothing could be worse than having to try and cheer up a bunch of surly, miserable New Yorkers who have to sit around and watch a loser in a Mets uniform. And if that wasn’t shitty enough, then you have to leave your house and go to work!

Raymond from the Rays is here tonight! Good to see you, Raymond. I know you have a busy schedule sneaking up behind people on LSD and scaring the shit out of them.

It’s Screech from the Washington Nationals, everybody! The nice thing about being Screech is that when he screeches during a home game, you can hear a long, beautiful echo inside Nationals Park.

The Padres mascot couldn’t be here tonight. Apparently he’s been reassigned to a new city following what I’ve been told are “unsubstantiated accusations.”

I see Wally the Green Monster is with us. Wally is, for me, a sad reminder that not every Muppet passes the audition. “‘C’ is for… night table? Fuck, I almost had it!” Wally is well-loved by most Boston fans because he’s jolly, entertaining, and not a minority.

But enough about these freaks. I want to share a story with you about my good friend — and our guest of honor tonight — the Phillie Phanatic.

A couple of years ago, the Phanatic and I were up in Alaska hiding from his bookie. One day, we got completely shitfaced because when you’re in Alaska, it seems like the only sensible thing to do.

We staggered up to a convent nearby, and I started whaling on the front door. Sister Mary Whats-her-face answered, and the first thing I said was, “Do you have any midget nuns around here?”

She said, “No, we don’t.”

I turned to the Phanatic and said, “See? You fucked a penguin.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Who wouldn’t be jealous of this guy? Imagine how popular you’d be with the ladies if you had a tongue that doubles as a party favor. Jesus! If I had that, I’d be getting more trim than a fat chick’s wedding dress.

People are always asking the Phanatic, “What do you do with your spare time?” Usually this happens at the free clinic, so he just holds up a tube of Valtrex and says, “Anything that moves, motherfucker. Anything that moves.”

It’s good to be the mascot for a team that wins the World Series. You get fame, money, and the satisfaction of watching your latest sexual conquest trying to spit out a mouthful of green fur. Seriously — it’s called “manscaping,” buddy; check it out.

One thing you do not want to do is stand next to this rank motherfucker on a warm day. I’ve driven past rendering plants with more pleasing aromas. John Kruk laughs at your body odor. I know you can’t help it; you’re Italian, what can you do?

That’s all I’ve got, folks. Thank you and enjoy the rest of the show!

Jan
24
2009
Posted by at 11:43 pm ET 3 Comments

JANUARY 25, 1994:

While clearing snow from his driveway, Phillies catcher Darren Daulton spots what he believes to be an unidentified flying object hovering inside his house.

Immediately Daulton drops his shovel and sprints to a neighbor’s residence, where he calls local authorities. When they arrive to investigate, they discover that what the catcher saw was in fact a poster of a UFO Daulton himself had hung in his bedroom several months before.

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To this day, Darren Daulton insists he’d seen an actual UFO.

Jan
05
2009
Posted by at 10:38 pm ET 28 Comments

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[UPDATE: Well, the suspension is official, and Romero does not plan to appeal. Fuck me sideways.]

Using tactics employed by shady, imperious organizations past and present, the powers that be in Major League Baseball (“Taking Substance Abuse 33% More Seriously!”) have decided to suspend Phillies reliever J.C. Romero for fifty games next season.

Romero’s crime? Not admitting that he knowingly took a banned supplement.

According to Peter Gammons at ESPN.com, Romero tested positive in September for an undisclosed substance which he’d purchased at a local GNC. In Romero’s words:

“The season is a grind. When you’re a middle reliever, you have to be ready to get up and down and pitch every day. Everyone takes something. Some guys drink coffee, others supplements. We try to make sure they’re all legal. I certainly did.”

At his arbitration hearing in October, Romero testified that he had brought the supplement, which came in a bottle with no warning label, first to his personal nutritionist and then Phillies trainer Dong Lien. According to Lien’s testimony he recommended getting a second nutritionist’s opinion. The second nutritionist cleared the supplement for Romero’s use. (Lien also said that he suggested Romero not take the supplement.)

After being informed that he had tested positive for a banned substance late in September and that this supplement was the source of the positive result, Romero stopped taking all supplements and later tested negative before the start of the postseason (October 1).

Now begins the part of the story where Romero gets screwed… Read more »

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Jan
05
2009
Posted by at 10:51 am ET 8 Comments

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When you happen to be a member of the World Fucking Champions™, the earth is your oyster. Shane Victorino, the King Kamehameha of both speed and outfield badassery, took his WFC act on the road to Japan. I love the Japanese because they take every little thing in life, no matter how trivial, very seriously. (And, as if I really needed to mention this, they are quite fucking bizarre.)

A Japanese game show called — what else? — Sportsman Number One gathers famous athletes in various sports from around the world to compete in events involving obstacle courses whose designs can only be described as the result of a drill instructor’s wet dream. One such event is called “The Monster Box.” Don’t believe me? Here it is.

MonsterBox008.jpg

OK, so no actual monsters are used. It’s just a big god-damned box.

According to the standings posted here, the Flyin’ Hawaiian finished fourth overall, two spots behind American Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay (whose own web site refers to him as the “World’s Greatest Athlete“… although I guess when you win gold in the decathlon you’ve earned that right).

Joe Blanton was also seen accompanying Victorino to Japan, where he crushed several buildings and ate a passenger train.

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“RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!”

[From Lost In Ube, via Deadspin.]

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