Monday, April 30

Quick Snip

Adios, Dr. Jones. Eagles today released less-than-worshiped linebacker Dhani Jones today after promoting eventual Hall of Famer Chris Gocong. While Gocong spent last season on the IR, he was far ahead of Dhani in important statistical categories such as tackles missed (0) and bowties worn (0). Gocong, whose name is far easier to pronounce than it is to type, will start aside Trotter and Takeo Spikes in a linebacker core that will certainly benefit from a little addition by subtraction. This move should also allow Dhani more time to garner accolades from People Magazine to place alongside his 2005 '50 hottest bachelors' award.

Sunday, April 22

Ah yes, sweet victory

Hey, they won a series. Not only that, but their first back-to-back victories of the season. Howard hit his second home run. Rowand, Utley, and Helms all hit well.

But come on, it's just the Reds. The positive to be taken from this: maybe the Phils can hang in there all season by beating weaker teams like the Reds. We all remember last year how they would beat a AL powerhouse, and then get swept by a team like the Brewers or the Pirates. Clearly the season is too young to say anything definitive, but if you're looking for hope, maybe this is the place for it. And hey, Freddy Garcia? Looked pretty good if you ask me.

Thursday, April 19

I Was Actually Convinced!

It was a scene of amazing glory. Two titans facing each other down in a mid-April battle for Division supremacy. Yet nine innings weren't enough to decide this furious battle. No, this game would require 13 innings! But in the end, the good guys lost, and the bad guys won.

So there were a couple lies in there. It wasn't a battle for Division supremacy, it was a battle for last place. And I wouldn't call the Phils the good guys either, although I don't think the Nats are any more deserving of that title. But this game was remarkable.

I actually thought the Phillies were going to win! I mean, I want them to win every game, and I root for them, but I very rarely believe that they will win a game. For some reason, this one was different. After they pushed it into extra innings, they had a ton of momentum, but both teams kept stranding runners (no surprise there). I honestly thought that every time they were at bat, they were going to win the game. This sentiment truly surprised me. Yet, the Phillies are now behind every team in Major League Baseball. The ROYALS have more wins than the Phillies. But I really thought they were gonna win.

Tuesday, April 17

Great Day for Rain

Never in Phillies history has there been a more timely rain out. Sixty years to the day that uber-legend Jackie Robinson was honored in every Major League Baseball stadium, the Phillies sat idle, and their #42 jerseys never saw the light of day. While it came at the cost of keeping Ryan Howard, the game's greatest (non-Dominican) black player off the field, it was pure justice against the most hate-ridden organization pro baseball has ever harbored.

Most of the atrocities committed by the Phillies have been washed away from the public psyche since the day Jackie stepped on the field, but no passage of time should allow our organization to forget from the shameful actions of our mid-century ballclub. Not only were the Phillies the last team to play a black athlete when the signed John Kennedy in 1957, they were the undisputed heavyweight champions in the fight to keep Jackie off the diamond and to make every moment he spent on it a 9-inning ordeal.

To their credit, management has taken steps to atone for the team's past, but this is a circumstance when it is important to remember just how atrocious the club's actions were, rather than trying to trot out the p.r. bullpen to patch things up. No one would accuse the modern-day Phillies of running a racist organization, but everyone would be wise to remember just how deep a hole this club was in.

So it was fitting that on Sunday, while the rest of the league donned commemorative jerseys honoring the late hero, the Phillies were left with nothing but their bats in their hands and the horrors of their past.

Wednesday, April 11

16 and Oh Yeah

I'd rather watch Merril Hoge break down our season for three hours than watch the Phils take another beating tonight. Here are my (heavily) biased season predictions for the Birds this year, with game by game details to follow after the draft. Personally, I think the toughest part of the season will be our round robin against Quintana and O'Brien. Those creeps know how to roll.

Sunday, September 9th 1:00 at Packers- W (1-0)
Monday, September 17th 8:30 vs. Redskins- W (2-0)
Sunday, September 23rd 1:00 vs. Lions- W (3-0)
Sunday, September 30th 8:15 at Giants- W (4-0)
Sunday, October 14th 1:00 at Jets- W (5-0)
Sunday, October 21st 4:15 vs. Chicago- W (6-0)
Sunday, October 28th 1:00 at Minnesota- W (7-0)
Sunday, November 4th 8:15 vs. Dallas- W (8-0)
Sunday, November 11th 1:00 at Redskins- W (9-0)
Sunday, November 18th vs. Miami- W (10-0)
Sunday, November 25th at Pats- L (10-1)
Sunday, December 2nd vs. Seattle- W (11-1)
Sunday, December 9th vs. Giants- W (12-1)
Sunday, December 16th at Dallas- W (13-1)
Sunday, December 23rd at Saints- W (14-1)
Sunday, December 30th Buffalo- L (14-2)

Now for Armando's picks. Mine are slightly less homerish, but almost equally unrealistic. Obviously the Phillies sentiments are echoed.

at Packers- W (1-0)
Redskins- W (2-0)
Lions- W (3-0)
at Giants- L (3-1)
at Jets- W (4-1)
Chicago- L (4-2)
at Minnesota- W (5-2)
Dallas- W (6-2)
at Redskins- W (7-2)
Miami- W (8-2)
at Pats- L (8-3)
Seattle- W (9-3)
Giants- W (10-3)
at Dallas- L (10-4)
at Saints- W (11-4)
Buffalo- L (11-5)

Hal has 14-2 and I've got 11-5.

06 Recap (Homer Alert!)

Before getting into this year's stone cold predictions (poorly researched gut feelings), let's take a look at last year's forecasting performance, also known as 'the lost season,' and 'the year i died for your eagles sins.' (Keep in mind all fanning was done remotely from West Africa)

Sunday, Sept 10th 1PM @ Texans- W (1-0) (Hal 1-0, Eagles 1-0)
Off to a rolling start. At this point I was legitimately excited to be listening to Merrill Reese on internet radio.

Sunday, Sept 17th 1PM vs Giants- W (2-0) (Hal 1-1, Eagles 1-1)

Ugh. Uuuuugh. God, was this brutal. Excitement beginning to wane.

Sunday, Sept 24th 4:15PM @ 49ers- W (3-0) (Hal 2-1, Eagles 2-1)
Picking this game was like betting on the sun to rise.

Monday, Oct 2nd 8:30PM vs Packers- W (4-0) (Hal 3-1, Eagles 3-1)
In a programming miracle I actually got to watch this game live. At 3Am. This led to me fainting during a funeral the next day. The lesson: a 'W' is a 'W.' (And eat breakfast if you're going to sleep 2 hours and stand in the 140% humidity for two hours)

Sunday, Oct 8th 4:15PM vs Cowboys- W (5-0) (Hal 4-1, Eagles 4-1)
Another internet radio classic, this time with a rabid Cowboys fan. My clearcut favorite Cowboys backer after the dude who drove me down five one-way streets in the Manhattan snow to pay back a $50 bet on the game. Needless to say, it goes downhill for the birds and my predictions from here.

Sunday, Oct 15th 1PM @ Saints- W (6-0) (Hal 4-2, Eagles 4-2)
When you're listening to a football game and you can still tell that your strong safety is fifteen yards out of position, you've got problems. The Michael Lewis slide begins.

Sunday, Oct 22th 1PM @ Bucs- L (6-1) (Hal 4-3, Eagles 4-3)
I was 400% certain I was going to get killed on the way home from this game. Vivid recollections of Merrill Reese screaming 'It's not over yet!' after Westbrook's TD with fifty seconds left. Thanks.

Sunday, Oct 29th 1PM vs Jags- W (7-1) (Hal 4-4, Eagles 4-4)
How do you say McNabulous in Spanish?

Sunday, Nov 5th BYE

Sunday, Nov 12th 1PM vs Redskins- W (8-1) (Hal 5-4, Eagles 5-4)
Notice the similarity between my record and the Birds'? The don't call us homers for nothing.

Sunday, Nov 19th 1PM vs Titans- W (9-1) (Hal 5-5, Eagles 5-5)
Finding out that Donnie blew his ACL wasn't even the worst part of my day. November was a tough month.

Sunday, Nov 26th 1PM @ Colts- L (9-2) (Hal 6-5, Eagles 5-6)
So nice to play these games on the road. The last time we played the colts there were five plays when there wasn't enough room on the tv screen for Marvin Harrison and our d backs.

Monday, Dec 4th 8:30PM vs Carolina- W (10-2) (Hal 7-5, Eagles 6-6)
The Garcia era officially gets moving. Friends try to convince me that this is a good thing. Friends are unsuccessful.

Sunday, Dec 10th 1PM @ Redskins- L (10-3) (Hal 7-6, Eagles 7-6)
I remember picking this game and feeling like I needed to stick some losses in here or things would get dull. Yikes.

Sunday, Dec 17th 1PM @ Giants- W (11-3) (Hal 8-6, Eagles 8-6)
By now I had long abandoned Merrill's boom and was relying on itunes 10-minute highlight packages. I probably watched this one 15,000 times.

Monday, Dec 25th 5PM @ Cowboys- L (11-4) (Hal 8-7), Eagles 9-6)
Repeat story from the Redskins game. I recall the analysts had us going about 0-400 during this stretch without Donnie.

Sunday, Dec 31th 1PM vs Falcons- W (12-4) (Hal 9-7, Eagles 9-7)
New Years day began with a cake win and my Dad waking up with 'was there a bar fight last night?'

Saturday, April 7

Life Goes On

Should we be surprised? Are we ever surprised?

Wait, there was one surprising thing about that first series. Pat the Bat actually hit the ball pretty well! But before you can give us the “praise him now, but in two months you’ll be back on the hate wagon” speech, don’t forget that we still can’t stand him. We all know three games do not a good player make.

Honestly though, even though I was quietly hopeful for a good Phillies season, and one is certainly still possible, we should have seen this lousy start coming. The Braves, minus last season, are still the Braves. The Phillies are still the Phillies. We still watch the games (for another month or two), we still read the box score in the paper, and we still wear Phillies hats and jerseys all summer.

Ah, but yes! Sweet salvation! The first victory. Will the winning streak start here? How long will it last? Or will they lose all manner of awful games in the next month? This month of April has been the thorn in Philadelphia’s baseball side for the past two years. Is this one any different?

Keep this in mind, though. While we all get caught up in the excitement of a winning streak, and the despair of a losing streak, the Phillies are still the Phillies. Until proven otherwise. Oh yeah, they just lost to the Marlins.

Sunday, April 1

Oh Phillies

The season draws closer and closer every day. Apparently the Phillies paid the Red Sox $50,000 a game for them to come down for these final spring training games, and boy were they exciting. The Greenbleeder went down to the game yesterday, to see Matsuzaka, to enjoy our sweet stadium, and to generally enjoy ourselves.

Can't really say I watched more than 20 total minutes of the game, to be quite honest. But we did get to participate in our favorite pastime, booin Pat Burrell. Added bonus: booing Manny Ramirez, even though I love him. Booing Burrell, though, is one of life's greatest mysteries. I remember one game that Hal and I were at, we sat about five rows back from him in left field. Obviously we gave him work all game, but one inning he managed to hit a homerun. So when he came back to the outfield, everyone cheered him. It didn't take him long to fall out of favor again though, and we were back to booing him soon. The mystery is here though. We all know Burrell isn't the brightest dude, and he seems to have a temper. But how is it that this dude is able to withstand all that brutal treatment for 70-75 games a year? It really kind of intrigues me. Also it intrigues me as to how he manages to get paid so many millions for so little.

Also of note was the laziness of Ramirez's play. Anything even remotely considered center field was completely out of the question. Barry Bonds, eat your heart out.