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Oct
25
2008
Posted by at 12:39 pm ET 6 Comments

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“Ageless?” I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that he’s 45, but OK, we get it! Moyer’s old. But only for a baseball player. He’s not a friggin’ sequoia, for God’s sake!

And yes, I’m guilty of this angle, too. But strictly for (allegedly) humorous intent.

Oct
24
2008
Posted by at 9:17 am ET 14 Comments

Yup, it was that kind of night for the Fightin’s.

This handsome devil, Kerwin Danley, decided in the middle of punching out Rocco Baldelli on a check-swing strike three to appeal to first base. The first base umpire ruled that Baldelli had not in fact completed his swing, and instead of heading back to the dugout Baldelli was awarded first base. The Rays would later score in that inning on their way to a 4-2 victory.

Danley’s second screw-up of the night was missing a pitch that brushed Rollins’ jersey, which technically counts as being hit by a pitch. Rollins was not awarded first base and ended his at-bat by flying out to left field. Bad calls and missed opportunities were the order of the day for Game 2.

Whatever. Danley’s mistakes didn’t cause the Phillies to continue their hitless streak with runners in scoring position, nor did it cause a fielding error by Jayson Werth. The biggest cause of their defeat last night was themselves, plain and simple. The hitting has to get better. Howard finally came to life, going 2-for-5, but Rollins, Utley and Burrell went 0-for-14, stranding nine runners between them. The box score shows the Phillies left 26 men stranded on base, many of them in scoring position. That’s just inexcusable, and it’s how series are lost.

Griping aside, the Rays played a hell of a game last night and James Shields came up big in a must-win situation. Those guys deserve to be here, and they’re not about to go down without a fight.

The silver lining to all this is that the Phillies split the first two games at Not Made From Concentrate Field, which is about as well as could be expected. But sooner or later the offense will have to regain their mojo, especially with Garza taking the mound against a shaky Moyer in Game 3.

So in conclusion, the Fightin’s come back to Philly for a three-game set, tied 1-1 with Tampa (Bay). The Rays will be in a hitter-friendly stadium (which doesn’t exactly hurt them, but still). It will be cold. It will be wet. There are no freaky-deaky catwalks coming into play. The pitchers have to hit. The crowd will be INSANE. Let’s hope that provides all the advantages the Phillies will need.

Until tomorrow night (weather permitting)… GO PHILS!

(Read more about last night’s game — if you’re in a masochistic kind of mood — over on Todd Zolecki’s blog.)

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Oct
23
2008
Posted by at 1:59 pm ET 26 Comments

From today’s ESPN.com front page:

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“Honestly Smithers, I don’t know why Philadelphia even bothered to show up. They barely even won.”

Oct
23
2008
Posted by at 12:22 am ET 24 Comments

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(Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Game 1 got off to a promising start when Chase Utley smashed a two-run shot with one out into the right field bleachers at Made From Concentrate Field. Little did we know at the time how important those runs would be later.

Cole Hamels did exactly what we needed him to do: He went mano a mano with Scott Kazmir and emerged with the victory. Madsen and Lidge did sterling work locking down the Tampa Bay offense with a precarious lead going into the eighth and ninth innings.

As for the offense — well, aside from Utley, Werth, Victorino and Feliz, they stunk. WAY too many runners stranded in scoring position, which has been their Achilles’ heel since the first George W. Bush administration.

Rollins’ last two at-bats went surprisingly in the same fashion: Stare at strike one, stare at strike two, swing and miss ball one. Howard looked lost at the plate, as did Burrell. As a designated hitter, Chris Coste had as many hits as I did sitting on my ass watching the game on TV, leaving five runners stranded all by his lonesome.

Burrell, Utley and Howard were responsible for 7 of the Phillies’ 9 strikeouts on the evening. That trend won’t get you far in a best-of-seven series. Regardless, the Phillies won. Time and time again today on various sports-talk radio programs throughout the Delaware Valley, we were reminded that Hamels had to — repeat, HAD TO — win this game, or we were looking at an uphill climb with Myers as our Game 2 stopper.

Other notes from tonight:

  • Victorino trying to score after Rollins’ pop fly to shallow center field. Bad decision, and one that could have come back to haunt the Fightin’s later. We know you’re fast, brah, but don’t let your head write a check your legs can’t cash, OK?
  • Was it me or did Fox … losing their sound … pissed me off … smashed a tree … until the handle broke off … fucking broadcast … all goddamn night …
  • Hamels’ throw to first in the sixth inning: Balk? Not a balk? Discuss.
  • Great catch by Ryan Howard in the stands in the fifth inning. If I saw Howard barreling toward me with his attention fixed elsewhere, I’d get the hell out of the way, too.
  • Howard’s aforementioned catch almost made up for the two defensive screw-ups he had on what should have been easy outs. Almost.
  • Grant Balfour… God DAMN, can he throw a mean fastball.
  • I already hate those stupid fucking cowbells. Now I know what had Red Sox fans so irritated. Bruce Dickinson would be very disappointed in the Tampa Bay fans right now. They’re not even trying to explore the space.
  • I didn’t actually watch the Backstreet Boys sing the National Anthem, but I like to think it went something… like this:

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Well, that’s it for now. The Phillies took the first game of the series in either league’s toughest field for a visiting team to win in. Myers takes the hill for Game 2. Something tells me the Rays won’t let Philly come back to the Bank up two games to none, but that all depends on which Brett Myers shows up tonight.

(That makes me think: In an alternate universe, would “Evil” Brett Myers be clean-shaven?)

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I’m Chamomiles Davis, and I approve this message.

Oct
21
2008
Posted by at 10:03 am ET 3 Comments

Nick Hogan — scion of former ‘roid rager/ televised shitter/ Rays fan Hulk Hogan — has just been released from prison, where he served five months of an eight-month “sentence” for a drunk-driving accident that left his best friend (an Iraq War veteran) paralyzed for life… hey, just in time for Game 1 of the World Series! What luck!

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The Bollea Hogan family, never ones to bring undue attention upon themselves, will no doubt have primo seats at Tropicana Field when the Rays host the Phillies in this year’s Fall Classic. And really, don’t they deserve them after all they’ve been through?

If there is a God, the Phillies sweep this series and Nick Hogan’s brand-new car gets broadsided by an orange juice truck.

Oct
20
2008
Posted by at 1:24 pm ET 3 Comments

It looks like Tampa Bay and Philly have something else in common as of this morning: Their hockey teams are the only two in the NHL that haven’t won a game yet.

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Thank God nobody cares about hockey.

Oct
20
2008
Posted by at 9:57 am ET 12 Comments

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Oct
16
2008
Posted by at 10:14 am ET 13 Comments

Step aside, Gregggggg Doyel: There’s a new pigfucker in town, and his name is TJ Simers. The “TJ” stands for “Terrible Journalist,” in case you were wondering.

By now, many of you are no doubt aware of the excrement that drips out this would-be muckraker’s cranium and onto the pages of the Los Angeles Times. The fact that the Philadelphia fan base has been trashed by far superior writers than TJ has not discouraged his “effort” one bit.

In Simers’ latest pile of word-turds, Sir Bag of Douche spends more time fellating Manny Ramirez than acknowledging his team’s total collapse in Game Five of the NLCS. I’ll spare you the bulk of his blathering nonsense and cherry-pick his last, feeble digs at our FUCKING AWESOME fans…

…THE DODGERS are in a do-or-die situation, Phillies’ fanatics are so obsessed with their baseball team they can’t contain their obscenities, the telephone rings and none of it really matters…

…SEVERAL DODGERS fans e-mailed complaining about the fan experience in the stadium for Game 4.

“I am not sure I will take my son to another Dodger game any time soon,” wrote Ken Gowey. “It makes me absolutely ashamed to be a Dodger fan.”

I was afraid of this, knowing some folks born in Philly have probably moved here and become Dodgers fans over the years.

The thing is, you just can’t take the Angryville out of them, which obviously explains all the problems in Dodger Stadium.

Oh really, fuckface? Because I’m sure this had nothing to do with it. What color is the sky in your world, Mr. Simers?

TODAY’S LAST word comes from Norm Pangracs:

“After the fifth inning I called the number the Dodgers said to call if anyone is causing trouble during the game. I was surprised to get a recorded voice. I thought for sure a live person would answer. I left a message: ‘There’s a group from Philadelphia making me very uncomfortable. They’re the Philadelphia Phillies.’ “

Amen.

T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com. You can take it from here, folks.

Oct
15
2008
Posted by at 11:52 pm ET 3 Comments

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Speaking as the closest thing to a sober member of this website’s group of writers, I just want to thank our Fightin’ Phils for taking care of business and taking this fan base from the depths of gloom eight years ago to the pinnacle of ecstasy right here, RIGHT NOW. I love everybody. I’m a little drunk.

We’re not done yet, people. GO PHILS!

Oct
15
2008
Posted by at 2:27 pm ET 22 Comments

If these two league championship series run their respective natural courses, it will mean that for the third time in five years a team from Tampa Bay (sorry, Andy!) will face a team from Philly en route to a sports title. If you recall the last two times this happened (NFC Championship, 2003; NHL Eastern Conference Championship, 2004), then you might remember it didn’t end well for us.

Should the Rays make the Series and defeat the (for the purposes of avoiding a jinx I’ll just write, “your 2008 National League Champions”), Tampa Bay’s (sorry, Andy!) third and newest sports franchise will have won its third different sports title since 2003, thus completing the Expansion Trifecta. Meanwhile, our fair city — the one with four teams — would remain title-free since ’83. (God damn it, that rhymes. Run with it, haters!)

A city that didn’t even have a baseball or hockey team in ’83, or a football team until 1976, is on the verge of perpetuating our misery. A just and loving God would never let this happen. Of course, He did let the Marlins win it all twice and the Diamondbacks once, so the old bastard does have a sense of humor, doesn’t He?

Needless to say, should Tampa Bay (sorry, Andy!) once again sidestep Philly on its way to immortality, I will finally snap and embark upon a killing spree in three states, which I have chosen at random. Hey, Montana, Wisconsin and Texas? Consider yourselves on notice.

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