Sunday, May 28

It's no Veterans Stadium

Yesterday, I managed to attend sporting events at not one, but two of our beautiful stadiums in South Philly. I'd been to Lincoln Financial Field and Citizen's Bank Park before, many times at each, but never in the same day. I saw two lacrosse games, and a horrific loss by the Phillies to the Brewers (0 for 5 on that one boys!), but what I really noticed was that those two stadiums might be the best combination of state of the art venues in the US. Now, the Wachovia Center is pretty great, but when it comes to the new school basketball/hockey venues, they're pretty much all the same. So, I challenge you to name a better combination of baseball and football venues in America. I can think of quite a few non-combinations that are better standing on their own, but not a combo. Dolphins Stadium does not count. Neither does the Metrodome.

Thursday, May 25

My triumphant return to the internet

It's been a long time. I never knew getting internet in the suburbs could be so difficult, but it was.

So where to start. The Phillies are....well they're the Phillies. I know with this team we don't have a contender. But the tough question to answer is this one: are they bad, average, or just mediocre? It's funny watching the Detroit Tigers have their best season of the last 500000 years with the manager we should have. It's funny watching Jimmy Rollins approach the plate the same way he always has, and apparently always will. And of course I love watching the bullpen be the quintessential Phillies bullpen. But this team isn't bad. Obviously the young talent on this team would be gladly accepted on any team in major league baseball. They've got 2 or 3 pitchers who would fit into almost any rotation. But they have an uncanny knack for losing close games, losing games that they were winning, and simply not coming up with clutch hits in late innings. I think that if they hadn't gone on such a tear, the tune I'm singing might have come up more as "send in the clowns," as opposed to the "flight of the valkyries" that I'm singing now. I just can't tell if they play well against bad teams and lose to good ones, or vice versa. I can't tell if by the end of the season they'll be fighting for the division or the wild card, or nothing at all. But I do know that I am finding myself wanting to watch every game, and I guess that's really all you can ask for.

Thursday, May 11

"That ain't no kind of fun"

Standing ovation for Aaron Rowand, who just made the best play by a Phillie I've seen since 93. Two outs, bases loaded, he's on a dead sprint backwards towards the bullpen in right-center, checks the wall for proximity, but heeds the information and plows face-first into the metal fencing. Saves three runs in a game that has a fifty fifty shot of being a rain delay. One hundred percent awesome. Now it's time for 24 other guys to step up. Thanks Aaron.

Tuesday, May 9

Quicker Hits

I thoroughly enjoyed the Barry Bonds experience this weekend, certainly highlighted by his inability to get out of the way of a batted ball, then having to walk face first into an ocean of boos, culminating with a hall of fame helmet slam. In addition to going at him with junk low in the zone, then attempting no less than 5 pickoff throws every time he's on base, I am now campaigning that all middle infielders turn two on his ground balls especially when there are no men on base. If he wants to make a joke of the game, it's your duty to make a joke of him.

In other non-record breaking news, on Inside the NBA last night Charles attempted to beat David Blaine's non-record of 7:08 minutes underwater, coming up only 6:44 short before emerging in a giggling fit. Charles did set the record for greasiest head, as the fishtank he submerged his dome in looked like the Prince Edward sound after the Exxon Valdez crash.

There were two separate Owens Cowboys' jerseys seen at Saturday's Phillies game, and all I really have to say to these dudes is, good luck. It may be a month from now, or a year, or two years, but it's coming. And when it comes, don't say you weren't ready. Don't bother to punish the wicked, for through their own actions, they punish themselves.

If you translate 'The Green Bleeder' into french, then back to english, it becomes 'The Resistance of Green Escape.'

Adios, Kobe. Nothing says 'champion' like 4 points in the second half of a game seven. And for everyone who's upset that we lost Raja, think how happy you'd be if we still had him at 8 years, $67 million. Because that's what Billy King would have given him.

Friday, May 5

You better not pout, I'm telling you why

Barry Bonds is coming to town, and given our pitching, stadium, and connection to major baseball statistics, it seems almost impossible that he won't surpass Babe Ruth's 714 home runs at some point this weekend. This leaves us with a few questions:

Is this important?
If you care about baseball, definitely. If you care about sports, probably. If you don't care about sports, but you care about cheating, pompous, preternaturally talented people, certainly. If you don't care about sports, pompous assholes, or inflammatory remarks, feel free to skim the next few questions.

Why is this important?
Baseball, more than any other sport, is buttressed by its statistical lore. Most likely the first statisticians were looking for something to do in between spitballs, then noticed that comparing players using objective numbers rather than subjective opinions allowed them to make conclusions rather than fighting civil wars all the time (note: baseball is that old). When Kareem passed whoever used to have the career points total in basketball, no one outside of LA and Boston felt the breeze. When Jerry Rice took over the total touchdowns record, Raider fans (or whatever god-awful team he was on at the time) barely blinked. But because baseball is so slow and hardly ever does someone take a forearm to the groin, people need something to distract themselves. This coupled with the real reasons, which I have no idea about, make baseball statistics relevant, which in turn lend credence to Barry's assault.

Wait a minute, so is he gonna break any records or not?
Interestingly, no. The home run record is held by Hank Aaron, who finished up with 755 Ryan Howards. Barry's still a season away from that total, which means he'll need a couple more trips to the pharmacist to refill his steroid prescription.

So if he's not breaking any records, why is this a big deal?

It's a big deal because he's passing the total of the more famous and more white player. Babe Ruth is substantially more famous than Hank Aaron, and much whiter to boot. This sits really well with most Americans. Also, in an informal phone survey of non-sports fans (2 men, 2 women), 75% of those polled thought that the record was in fact held by "Huh? Hal, I don't know anything about baseball. I don't know. uh? Babe Ruth maybe?" So basically it's a big deal because everyone thinks he's breaking the record, and moreover will be satisfied that the record is broken once he passes him.

What records might Barry actually break this weekend?

Well, he just surpassed the Babe for most career extra base hits, which actually is a record, so it's gonna be a little tough. Scott Rolen's boos record and J.D. Drew's 'most batteries thrown at' record are in serious jeopardy.

If he wasn't a jerk, but still did steroids and broke records, would people still hate him?

Yes, but to a lesser degree. Certainly his being a jerk makes it easier to hate him, but the reality is that baseball has a huge problem and badly needed a scapegoat. Remember, nothing burns like an effigy.

Is it worth $20 to see Barry in person?
Three years ago, I would have said maybe not. But having seen him twice in person since then, I'll now say absolutely. Aside from his sideshow, size 12 7/8 head, there are more than a few compelling arguments for Barry Bonds. Like him or not, he's one of the top ten players of all-time and will be remembered as the greatest hitter, both pure and for power, of his generation. He's in direct competition with Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera for greatest player of the era. My favorite Barry nugget is that he is playing what can be definitively considered the worst left field in the history of organized baseball. When I saw him with my Dad in San Francisco, he played nine innings, didn't take his left hand out of his pocket more than twice, never backed up a single play to the shortstop, walked (not jogged) out a double to center, and was every inning the last player back to the dugout, which is conveniently located on the third base line (traditionally the home dugout is on the first base side). He also totaled one flip of the cap to the Giants fans who cheered his name for two and a half hours. Hall of fame performance all the way.

I hate Barry. What should I do?
Wherever you are, you should alternate boos with heavy laughter. Then you should put an asterisk on your boos.

I play for the Phillies. What should I do?
If you're pitching, and you want to go the traditional route, an intentional walk or a hit-by-pitch is acceptable, followed by upwards of fifteen pickoff attempts, basically to the point where he sits down on first base. If you want to try a more progressive approach, and there's no one on the bases, roll four pitches underhand towards home plate. If you're playing the infield, and there's no one on the bases, I recommend turning a double play anyway. Or sprinting from shortstop with the ball to first, still beating him by three steps.

I have left field tickets for Saturday's game. What should I do?

How about cheering for the Phillies? They've won five straight, and just came off of their first sweep of the Braves since 1634. If you can't find it in your heart to do that, try booing Barry. It's fun and easy. If you've ever seen Ty Detmer play quarterback you should be fairly practiced in it. Now just remove the element of disappointment from your boo, and you'll be set. The basic Barry Bonds boo recipe consists of: 1 part vitriol, 1 part contempt, 2 parts anger, and 1/8 part silent awe. This differs from the traditional Philly boo of 1 part tears, 2 parts disappointment, 1 part "I can't believe I have to wait 7 months for another game," and 18 parts "god damn it Donovan, the dude is five yards away, you need a TOUCH pass. Touch. Pass."

Yeah, I know how to boo. What, specifically, should I do?

Media proponents are gaining steam with their walkout idea (whenever Barry comes up to bat, walk to the nearest concourse and stay there for the duration). This to me seems like it would take too much time and coordination. I recommend the backwards silent treatment, wherein everyone in the stadium stands up and turns their back to the field for the at-bat and remains perfectly silent. Chillingly effective.

Wednesday, May 3

A.K.A. Brick James

Through our hit counter I've been keeping a list of all the nonsense phrases that people search on google, msn, etc. which then hit on our site. Since we publish every article and both the archives on the main page, it's not overly remarkable that a bunch of far out words will land you here, but what I can't get my head around is why anyone searching for 'thomas edison salt hire' would see the results and decide that this is the place to come for their salt hiring needs. Anyway, I'll throw these out from time to time on non-rainy days. Here's the most recent bunch:

Basketball cards Kwame Brown 2005-2006 insert rarity
brashear fights
shaky tale of doctor jakey
big and tall shirts – da
poolside tailgating items
knife bleeder
pete webber
bucknasty bow strings
hideki matsui golden shower
football teams sign ups (Columbus, oh)

If you're still bored, check out this glossary of religious terms beginning with the letter 'w.'

Tuesday, May 2

Early Birds

While I'm on my high horse I thought it would be a nice time to unveil my initial Eagles season prediction, mostly for tracking purposes.

Sunday, Sept 10th 1PM @ Texans- W (1-0)
Sunday, Sept 17th 1PM vs Giants- W (2-0)
Sunday, Sept 24th 4:15PM @ 49ers- W (3-0)
Monday, Oct 2nd 8:30PM vs Packers- W (4-0)
Sunday, Oct 8th 4:15PM vs Cowboys- W (5-0)
Sunday, Oct 15th 1PM @ Saints- W (6-0)
Sunday, Oct 22th 1PM @ Bucs- L (6-1)
Sunday, Oct 29th 1PM vs Jags- W (7-1)
Sunday, Nov 5th BYE
Sunday, Nov 12th 1PM vs Redskins- W (8-1)
Sunday, Nov 19th 1PM vs Titans- W (9-1)
Sunday, Nov 26th 1PM @ Colts- L (9-2)
Monday, Dec 4th 8:30PM vs Carolina- W (10-2)
Sunday, Dec 10th 1PM @ Redskins- L (10-3)
Sunday, Dec 17th 1PM @ Giants- W (11-3)
Monday, Dec 25th 5PM @ Cowboys- L (11-4)
Sunday, Dec 31th 1PM vs Falcons- W (12-4)

Also, thanks to Dave the x-intern for the link to the 'Invincible' trailer, it looks tremendous even though Marky Mark somehow won the role of tough guy out from under Greg Kinnear. I guess Marky really knew what he was getting into with 'Hangin' Tough,' which is quickly approaching its 21st birthday.

As for the 12-4 record, I see us starting off strong with some weak opponents and unproven quarterbacks, powering through the bye week, and hitting a bit of a late wall when the tough divisional series hits the road. Christmas night in Dallas is gonna be a bit tough when Owens goes off for 12 for 179, 3 touchdowns, 2 missing front teeth, and a set of broken ribs.

Monday, May 1

Weekend Wrap (Now without Siran Stacey!)

"I can't believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species... But if we continue conducting nuclear tests... it's possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again."
Beautiful draft by the birds. They got a silverback gorilla in round one and two guys that will scare the shit out of buffet owners for years to come with their subsequent picks. And one of them got picked up for soliciting prostitution! Next up, cheerleader combine.

"Any man who crosses me knows nothing of Tuco"
As much as I hate Kobe (he's currently #1 on my list ahead of the guy from Citibank on Laguardia) I've been unable to stay away from him lately, causing me to lose upwards of 10 hours a week watching the NBA playoffs (and you thought they were unwatchable). My previous reasoning was that I wanted to be there every time he lost, but it seems that my old desire has merged with my new feeling that every time out there's a pretty reasonable chance he'll do something you've never seen before. For example, passing, or being a team leader, or killing Sasha Vujacic with a sneaker. The real miracle is that Phil found a way to get these guys to play defense and not kill each other while the player formerly known at #8 (nice one, asshole) put up 30 shots a night. At this point Phil could play Terrell Owens at point guard and get 12 assists and 10 boards out of him on 2 of 4 shooting while catching Kobe's spill.

"You can act like a man!"
Lebron, for your own good please cut out this fingernail biting shit. SATs are over, champ.

"My prediction? Pain"
Eagles look poised to start the season with four straight wins as they face Houston (away), Giants (home), San Fran (away), and Green Bay (home, Monday night). No telling where we go from there, here's to hoping it stars with 'p' and ends with 'layoffs.'

"No matter how far out of first we are, it's cool. You know, it keeps us from getting shut out at our favorite hotels and restaurant-type places."
To the Phils, now filling the standings sheet with a robust 10-14. Here's a few prop bets- more Phils wins or Reggie Brown catches? Who makes the first start, Cole Hamels or Randy Wolf. Next home attendance or total franchise losses?

"I'd be a lot better if you beat my legs with these bamboo reeds."
Don't trade Allen. Just don't.

"Big hitter, the Lama"
Congrats to my buddy Josh and his agency on their terrific draft. 22 of 24 players drafted, and they've already got Sheldon Brown in the stable to boot.