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Posts Tagged ‘Point/Counterpoint’

Posted by at 12:29 am ET 25 Comments

POINT – Brett Myers: Cole Hamels and I Are Not Fighting With Each Other

brett-myersHi, folks. I’d like to thank the fine men and whatever stage of pre-op tranny Chamomiles Davis is in at the moment for giving me this opportunity to clear up a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, one which has created this unwelcome sub-plot to what has otherwise been an outstanding postseason.

Certain reports have indicated that I confronted my teammate (and good friend) Cole Hamels after last night’s victory over the Yankees. Hamels’ comments after our loss in Game Three were misconstrued by the press to imply that Cole was “quitting” on the team, whether mentally, physically, or both. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I spoke to Cole as he was leaving the clubhouse last night, I made a remark that could have been interpreted as referencing his post-game remarks. I did not say that Cole had quit on his teammates, although I phrased my question in a way that certainly could have invited that interpretation. I’ve since expressed regret for my poorly-chosen words.

Rest assured, however, that both my remarks and those offered by Cole were both taken far out of context, and our friendship is as solid as his commitment to helping our ball club win its second straight World Championship. Thank you for your time and, as always, your support!

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Posted by at 11:50 pm ET 40 Comments

In less than 24 hours, the Phillies will gird up their loins, or something, and take the field of battle in historic Chavez Ravine in front of tens of screaming fans (at least for the first three innings) in game one of the 2009 National League Championship Series. For those of you with a short memory span, these same two squads matched up last season, where the Phillies bested the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games en route to their second World Series Championship in the club’s history.

That series was not without it’s memorable moments: Chase Utley and Pat Burrell going deep in game one to give the Phillies the lead, Brett Myers throwing behind Manny and then knocking in a few runs, Huroki Kuroda throwing at Shane’s head, Shane hitting a two-run, game tying homer in the late innings of game four, Matt Stairs’ folk-lore inducing Moon Shot, Jimmy’s lead off homer in game five and Cole Hamels dominating the big stage.

With so much drama in last year’s series, it’s only natural to expect more of the same out of Philly/LA 2.0.

So come along with us, won’t you, as two of the Fightins Dot Com’s finest engage in a round-table discussion of this year’s NLCS.

Hit it, ATJ…

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Posted by at 2:02 pm ET 47 Comments

You know what’s a fun game sometimes?  Point/counterpoint!  But because nobody likes to talk to me, I never have anyone to argue with.  So today, point/counterpoint will be performed with Patrick McNally, who wrote a nice little commentary piece entitled, “Thank you for not smoking” on yesterday.  The only catch is, Patrick has no idea he’s involved.  In blockquotes are Patrick’s words from his article, afterward is my rebuttal.

Citizens Bank Park is a great place to watch a ballgame. With its terrific sightlines and outstanding amenities, the ballpark and its employees try to please everyone.

Hell yeah!  I totally agree!

Well, almost everyone. During my most recent visit to the park, buoyed by an eight-run Phillies lead and the understanding that no beer would be served after the seventh inning, my companions decided to leave their seats to take advantage of last call and smoke a cigarette. Not wanting to sit alone, I followed along. Having once been a smoker, I sympathize with the urge to light up, even though I know it’s a dangerous habit.

It certainly is a dangerous habit, Patrick.  Part of me wishes I never started when I was still an ignorant young’n unwise to the harmfuls ways of cigarette smoke.  BUT, on the other hand, when you need a 5 minute break from work, or want to unwind after a nice meal, or need the perfect compliment to a beer in your left hand, I say there is nothing better than a nice fresh menthol cigarette.   Jesus, I’m starting to cough just thinking about it.

Now what were you saying again?

Smoking inside public buildings is now illegal, even in an open-air structure such as “The Bank.” So we all walked down to the smoking corral. I call it a corral because it sounds nicer than prison yard, which is about as accurate.

The people held within the area’s makeshift fencing mill about aimlessly, watching the cloud of smoke rise above them and the world revolve around them. The segregated little section is just beyond the entrance to Harry the K’s restaurant, which seemed noteworthy given the late Mr. Kalas’ fondness for cigarettes and cigars. Patrons hustling for the exits barely noticed the group of about 50 puffing away.

What the fuck Patrick, you make us sound like zombies.  True, there are a lot of people in the smoking areas, but we just want a quick nicotine fix in-between innings. 

We don’t just stand there watching clouds of smoke, you asshole! 

And they put us in these little “prison yards” because people like you are complaining pussies.  Next time your friends want to catch a cigarette, stay seated in your comfortable fresh-air seat where our plume of smoke doesn’t reach your precious air-ways.

“They cannot be serious,” I said to my friends from the relative comfort outside the fencing. They just lit up and shrugged. They have become resigned to this sort of treatment, which is now the lot of the American smoker. Their fate was sealed not in a quick way, but as a byproduct of the slow, deliberate process that vilified the tobacco industry.

No one is denying that the vilification is well-earned. This is, after all, the industry that once countered the surgeon general’s warning with the testimonials of smoking doctors. Then the companies equated smoking with fun, hooking a new generation of smokers. Their advertisements touted low-tar products but failed to mention the added addictive nicotine.

You dumb fuck, nobody starts smoking because of a talking camel.  They start smoking because it makes them light-headed.  Eventually, that light-headedness wears off and you’re stuck with a nasty cigarette habit.  And now we are relegated to city sidewalks, back yards, and “prison yards” at The Bank.  WE should be the ones complaining.  But nooooo, Mr. McNally is afraid of someone else’s smoke getting caught in his lungs and developing into cancer.  Boo-hoo.

It’s easy to argue that the tobacco companies got what they deserved. But what about smokers? Have they gotten what they deserve? Or has a campaign to improve America’s health made them an unfairly despised minority?

Yeah, that’s what I was just talking about.

The campaign against tobacco and smoking ultimately grew to encompass secondhand smoke. But a case could be made that, particularly in an open-air stadium – or the New Jersey beaches that are starting to prohibit smoking – this is really about annoyance more than health. Indoor smoking sections disappeared long ago, as have ashtrays from many nightclubs and bars. Now smokers are being huddled into specific areas outside office buildings or within stadiums, like cultural pariahs.

Oh, so let’s just start banning everything that annoys us!  Ummm, kids (besides my own, of course) annoy the shit out of me during a baseball game.  Let’s round ‘em all up and toss ‘em in that Phantic Play Zone!  Listening to their fucking screams for four innings might cause some discomfort in my eardrum which could eventually lead to loss of hearing!

You know what else annoys me?  Shitty editorial columns in my local newspaper.  Ban ‘em!

It is important to note that smoking is still legal. Are smokers weak because they haven’t been able to quit? It doesn’t really matter, because they aren’t doing anything wrong.

Cigarettes are dangerous, but the same could be said of the hot dogs, pretzels, and beer sold in the ballpark. Yet I was able to buy them and walk back to my seat to enjoy my doughy, salty, fatty, alcoholic treats.

If we really care about health risks, why don’t we demand a blood-pressure test before serving salty foods, or count beers before allowing people to toddle along to their cars? The obvious dangers of drinking weren’t policed well enough to stop the killing of a young man in the stadium parking lot earlier this summer, apparently over a spilled beer.

The game ended and the cigarettes were snuffed out. As I walked away, I noticed the blue cloud of smoke drifting into the stadium. Would it have annoyed me as much as the guy screaming at the leftfielder or the couple debating which beer to order while obstructing my view? I doubt it.


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R.I.P Harry Kalas