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Raising illiteracy awareness

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You Need To Watch This

Best. Commercial. Ever.  I strongly urge everybody to go over to ESPN.com’s fantasy baseball home page and watch all of these videos.  They’re all hilarious.

Memo to Cole Hamels and Prince Fielder: Eat My Ass

So I was enjoying my morning dump with the sports section of the Philadelphia Inquirer today and first thing I see is the Flyers lost but were pleased with their performance. Well not me. I demand victories over the god damn Rangers. Second thing is Cole Hamels is unhappy about his salary, and in the sidebar so is Prince Fielder. Jesus it’s starting to get ridiculous out there in Major League Baseball. Just kidding…it’s been ridiculous for a while now. But all the young stars bitching and moaning about how they’re so underpaid (even ones not arbitration eligible)…put a cork in it will you?

Let’s start off with Princess Fielder. Had a great year last year–50 dingers, lots of RBI’s, blah blah blah. Last year he made $415k; only his second year in the league. The Brew Crew Management gives him a salary boost up to $670, which you’d think would make him at least sort of appeased. Technically the Brewers don’t have to give him any raise at all…I mean lets face it, it’s only his second year in the league and he still has consistency to prove. Players moaning over salary is nothing new, but when you’ve been in the league less than 2 years and groaning over that much money…seriously shut your trap.

Which brings us next to Cole Hamels. When healthy he pitched very well last year. And he might actually have a bit of a bone to pick with Phillies management–Kyle Kendrick has a bit over 100 days more experience than Hamels and is making only $55,000 less. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see Hamels is the drastically better pitcher. Bottom line is he’s still 24 years old making half a million dollars (with monster paydays right around the corner).

What it comes down to is both these guys could go to their respective organizations and say “I’d like to get some security, forego a few years of free agency, and get paid now.” Take a look at what Jose Reyes, David Wright, and most recently Troy Tulowitzki and Curtis Granderson have done. They all decided they enjoyed where they were, wanted the peace of mind to make multi-millions now, and didn’t want a contract squabble every 12 months (although with David Wright I think Minaya pulled a fast one on him and told him if he signed this “piece of paper” he’d give him a new coloring book.)

On a more serious note, best wishes and hopes go out to Davey Lopes with his battle with prostate cancer. Brilliant baseball mind and a great coach. I’m not worried though; rumor has it Chase Utley and Shane Victorino plan on out hustling the cancer until it is in permanent remission. Then Burrell will do bicep curls until it’s hypnotized by his amazing muscles, at which point ManChild will hit it 500 feet and eat 4 Subway sandwiches.

Brad Lidge: I’m Gonna Straight Up Murder Your Ass

And I quote myself exactly ten days ago:

“The only person with a real health issue is Brad Lidge who had off season surgery…but who needs a closer?”

Ha…ha…ha. Of COURSE the Phillies couldn’t have an injury or drama free camp. With the first pitch, THE FIRST GOD DAMN PITCH HE THROWS OFF A MOUND, Brad Lidge winds up getting his cleat stuck and tweaking his knee. Now, he’s getting his knee scoped today.

Is all hope lost? Of course not. In the past two seasons Tom Gordon has collectively thrown one great season of baseball. In ’06 his first half was fantastic (All-star worthy) and in ’07 his second half was just as good (maybe better). It’s just those parts of the other two seasons I’m worried about (you know, where his ERA was somewhere around 37). Like ozziecanseco said earlier: Brad Lidge, this is a good way to have yourself murdered in the city of Philadelphia. And not by the fans, but by your second basemen and center fielder.

Howard satisfied with arbitration ruling; allowance stays the same

Chalk up a victory for Manchild in the courtroom today, as he took the Phillies to the cleaners in arbitration for ten MEEEEELLLLIIIIOOOONNNNN DOLLLARRRSSSS. I for one am happy for him; the Phillies substantially low-balled him last year in doling out a paltry 900k for his services, all the while he stood firm in believing he was worth more. The popular defense from the Phillies for that 900k was, “well that was the same thing they gave Pujols!” Yeah you tight-fisted bastards, in 2004. With baseball inflation (Barry Zito’s contract…hahahahahah), a good faith move by the Phillies to give him even an even million would’ve been the just thing to do (especially after the guy wins ROY and MVP in back to back years!). Continue reading

National League MONSTER SQUAD

If I were to make an uber team of NL talent this year (and I’m not saying All-Star team, I’m talking well rounded team with role players not just huge contracts, *cough* Yankees) this is what it would look like. Mind you, I believe this is based on what they will do THIS season, not based on years past.

SS, Leading off-Jose Reyes Continue reading

Quick Phils Snippet

With the Flyer’s doing a fantastic job of ripping my heart out the past week, thankfully the Phillies pitchers and catchers reported to camp yesterday to temporarily distract me. Quick thoughts:

1) Ryan Howard surprised everybody and showed up early to camp, amidst a contract mini-feud with Phils GM Pat Gillick. This sends a good message to me that no matter what he’s ready to start hitting baseballs mindlessly. What sends an even better message to me is the noticeable vacancy of a gut he’s been sporting in years past. Looks like Manchild ate his Wheaties this winter.

2) A very loose squad. So loose that somebody printed up some of the best tee-shirts I’ve ever seen.

3) Most players are actually coming into camp…healthy. Hamels is operating at full capacity, thank-god-it’s-his-last-year Tom Gordon is 100%, Myers looks like he kept up his off-season workouts, Utley’s inability to stop working out is apparent, and Jamie Moyer is social security eligible in ten years. The only person with a real health issue is Brad Lidge who had off season surgery…but who needs a closer?

Roger Clemens: Innocent…..ARE YOU %&)*&#)($ KIDDING ME???

So I’m watching the Roger Clemens deposition right now. And a great number of things are jumping out at me.

1) Roger Clemens refuses to admit he lied at any time. About anything. The initial depositions he and McNamee gave are full of holes because they had no idea how deep this thing would get. I just watched 10 minutes of Clemens dodging a question about whether or not he ever spoke about or researched HGH in anyway…WHEN HIS WIFE HAS ADMITTED TO TAKING HGH AND HAVING AN ADVERSE REACTION! Ok so lets review. Roger Clemens: major league baseball player, 300+ wins, 7-time Cy Young winner who strangely enough defied all logic and became even MORE dominant through his late 30’s and 40’s (hey…I know a baseball hitter who was JUST like that! wonder if he did any PED’s…). Debra Clemens: wife of Roger Clemens, has to do nothing but pop out babies and keep her husband satisfied, look hot and spend money. Yup, it’s official. That fucking Debra Clemens was DEFINITELY the one who first started doing HGH. Continue reading

Lets Review, Shall We?

With the 2007 MLB season in the books, I can honestly say, “What a season.”

I could pour over endless statistics, go nuts with over personal player acheivements, etc. But rather lets talk about what really matters: Me. This is how I shook down my performance this year.

EARLY SEASON PREDICTIONS:

Florida Marlins: 4th place, 81-81 ACTUAL: 5th place, 71-91

Crapola. Missed this one. Who knew how hard the sophmore slump was gonna hit? Furthermore, who the HELL knew the Nats would be a competent baseball team? Looks like its “trade our awesome players for more sick prospects” time in Florida–adios Miggy C, possibly D-train.

Philadelphia Phillies: 1st place, 93-69 ACTUAL: 1st place, 89-73

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Washington Nationals: 5th place, 59-103 ACTUAL: 4th place, 73-89

Good for the Nats. I’m happy about I was wrong about this team. After watching them play it really made me realize the synergy concept is possible and alive. Dirt low payroll, dirt low stadium, guys that give it their all every night. Manny Acta in my mind is manager of the year. BONUS POINTS: Dmitri Young’s resurgence, something I largely credit to his theme song being “Throw Some D’s” when he comes to the plate.

Atlanta Braves: 3rd place, 86-76 ACTUAL: 3rd place, 84-78

Fairly spot on with this evaluation. With any production from Andruw Jones this past year (sheeeesh!) and contribution from Mike Hampton (rather than pushing Chuck James’ development) this team could’ve been a wild-card threat. Time is winding down for the machine that is John Smoltz…I don’t see the Braves being better next year.

New York Mets: 2nd place, 90-72 ACTUAL: 2nd place, 88-74

Wow. Just wow. Barring some insane wheeling and dealing from Omar Minaya this post season (I’m not putting it past him) this Mets team is in big, big trouble. Pitching in shambles (pen and starters), albatross at 1b, and a few question marks in the outfield. Did I mention the pitching was in trouble?

Contenders and Pretenders Article:

Let’s see. I had the Arizona Diamondbacks as PRETENDERS. Yup…that was wrong. Had the New York Mets as CONTENDERS…uh huh, wrong again. Phillies as…PRETENDERS. Noticing a trend? Los Angeles Dodgers…CONTENDERS. Shit. San Diego Padres…CONTENDERS. Son of a bitch. Hey…I said anybody from the NL Central was a joke! I got that right!

Onto other observations…I said Dice-K was gonna win 15 games, sweet! Coste was called up again this season, and surprise, he produced! All Swings Considered, it was a very fun and enjoyable baseball season. Of course I would’ve loved to see the Sox not win the WS, but what can ya do? They deserve it.

The One in a Million

I don’t even know where to begin. I attended the Phillies-Cardinals game this past Saturday along with ozziecanseco, and our west coast contact, Bob Lucero. He’d flown in from Seattle for the weekend, and had a hankering to see what a real baseball experience was like. On top of all the awesomeness of which going to baseball games is, it was also picture day, so the chances of my head exploding were comparable to the chances of Michael Vick being called a douchebag by any dog lover.

We arrived at the parking lot around 12:40pm for a 4 o’clock start. Soon after, the Yuengling was flowing like water. Bob, ozziecanseco, and I saddled up around the flamingbat mobile and began the process of getting inebriated. It had to be fast; the players were coming on the field at 2 o’clock for pics.

A half hour or so goes by and MoonlightGraham emerges from some cornstalks I had strategically placed a few parking spots away. He joins in on the fun, and before we know it, it’s 2 o’clock. We finish up, and begin our journey to the game.

We arrives in the stadium and to no surprise, the field is packed with fans trying to get pictures with all the players (or as I liked to think of it, holding our spots). As fate would have it…the first Phillie coming around was none other than Chris Coste. Keep in mind, my Coste shirt jersey had arrived from mlb.com the day earlier and there wasn’t a single soul in the stadium rocking the duds I had. So we push to the front, yell out “Chris how bout a picture!” Of course he graciously accepts, and we get this sweet effin pick of me, ozzie, and Coste. Picutre day continues and we get cash/money shots of a ton of players including Michael Bourn, Mike Zagurski, El Pulpo, among many others. Highlight other than the Coste pic? ozziecanseco negotiating with Carlos Ruiz for a pic…en espangol…and wishing him good luck in the game, to which he simply replied with a confused look, “Gracias.”

So time was up, with all of our asses kicked by how awesome picture day was. We head to the gift shop where Bob smartly purchases a Victorino shirt. Get some beers, and head to our great seats, 4th row in left field.

The game is going swimmingly–Phillies killing, dingers for Rowand, ManChild, and Rollins, a grizzled USMC vet heckling us about anything possible, me riding Chris Duncan like Barbaro. And then right before the 6th inning…it happened.

Leftfielder and resident thief Pat Burrell was about 20 feet in front of us, warming up before the inning, as per the norm. As the batter is about to come to the plate, he turns and throws the ball into the stands. He throws…I see it…holy shit it’s coming towards me…bounces off Bob and I catch it.

Let me repeat that. I CAUGHT A BALL AT A BASEBALL GAME.

From the picture you can tell that A) I have a totally dumbfounded look on my face because I can’t believe that just happened and B) I didn’t spill a drop of my beer, because its Sam’s Summer Ale and my skills are on point. Now, not 10 seconds after I catch it, 3 little mongrel kids run up to me with their hands out stretched like its some type of charity event. First of all, how can I chose which kid to give the ball to, and second of all, how can I give a ball to a grubbing little weiner of a kid? It made sense to me.

So I sit down with the ball, and the entire section starts booing me! (I love Philly). I’d give the ball to a kid, but not one of those little leeches…so I turn around, and 2 rows behind me I see a kid not a day older than five, with a big Phillies hat on and his glove. Sitting with his dad, enjoying the game…so I flip him the ball. Immediately as I saw the kids reaction I knew I’d done the right thing. But damn…doing the right thing sometimes is hard. So little Dylan, you’d better not forget that day, because I know I sure won’t.