Game 3 Preview / Bad Parenting 101

UPDATE 12pm:  Game 3 has been postponed due to the bad weather in Colorado.  It will now be played Sunday night at 10:07pm EST, 8:07pm MT.  Game 4 then is moved to Monday, but no time has been announced yet.

AM blog: The most important game in the series, beginning with the Phillies and Rockies tied at 1 game each, will be played under the worst of conditions.  P9139620 Pedro.jpgSnow, sleet and freezing temperatures will likely be the most talked about part of this game which is scheduled for 9:37pm EST, 7:37pm Mountain time.  The late start is likely to add to the chill.

Pedro Martinez will start the game and it is a huge opportunity for him to officially make a comeback at 37 years of age.  Pedro pitched in Boston, so he is used to the cold, but snow may be another thing altogether.  Plus, he has not pitched a full game in almost a month; his last start beyond 4 innings was on 9/13/09.  Then again, Pedro has experience and a good post-season record on his side.  Which Pedro will show up?  The former Cy Young winner or the aging, injury-prone pitcher of the last several years?

As for the offense, anyone who has seen this team play in April knows, they do not like hitting in cold weather.  But the playoffs are a different animal and the Phillies tend to step it up in October.  But will they be swinging at snowflakes or at strikes?

If nothing else, this should be a very interesting game, should Mother Nature allow it to unfold without interruption.  Best of luck to the Phillies!

It’s A Boy!

Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, welcomed their first child into the world yesterday morning.  Caleb Michael Hamels arrived at 9am on Friday morning.  Caleb is a cute name, but most are just happy the poor kid did not get stuck with “Colbert” like his dad ;O)  And no, I am not making that up…his full name is Colbert Michael Hamels.  So congratulations to the Hamels family and best wishes for a healthy, happy baby!

Bad Parenting 101

Speaking of parenting, this kids parents get the Bad Parenting of the Year Award: 12-year old Jennifer Valdivia ended up with Ryan Howard’s 200th home run ball at a game in Miami.  As is the baseball tradition, she was ushered to the clubhouse and exchanged the ball for an autographed one.  ALL players do this and ALL teams do this for milestone balls, it is not an unusual practice.

However, when the girl returned home, her parents decided their child was taken advantage of and sued Ryan Howard to get the ball back.  They were upset that she was given what they termed a $100 ball” in exchange for one worth “thousands.” 

That’s right folks, way to teach your kid how to extort money!  Not to mention, why were a 12-year old girl and her 15-year old brother at a ball game without an adult?  I am sure the opinions here vary, but I can assure you, if my kids were that age, there is NO way they would be on their own.  A ballpark is NOT a safe place to let your kids run free as far as I am concerned. 

And then they have the nerve to complain.  Here’s a question for those parents: what if you child was kidnapped or attacked in the bathroom, or anything of that nature?  Were you going to sue the ballpark for YOUR neglect?  Just sayin’…

Ms. Valdivia was probably thrilled to get an autographed ball, until her parents convinced her otherwise.  At that age, I know I would have been…and still to this day.  The only reason it mattered to them was because of the money.  So, if this kid really is going to keep the ball, like they profess, then why does the money make a difference?  Unless you are going to sell it, the personally autographed ball is a great souvenir.  Maybe they should have thrown in a bat as well or something, but again, the parents sent their kids in there alone, so they obviously felt their kids were old enough to handle any situation that may arise.  If they do not feel that way, then they never should have sent them without an adult.

That ball meant a lot more to Howard than it would to anyone else, unless money was the only objective.  With that 200th home run, Howard became the fastest player in Major League history to reach that milestone.  If the girl’s parents felt she should have been given more in exchange, then ASK.  They would have been happy to send the girl a signed bat, photo or whatever she wanted.  But, no.  These jerks decided to sue.  And rather than argue, the Phillies gave the kid the ball and moved on.

So, way to go Valdivia family; you have not only taught your kids that it is all about the money but now they know, in a sue-happy country, they can get whatever they want in life if they just yell loud enough.  Forget about doing the right thing, it is all about getting your way.  Forget about who you hurt, as long as you claim the cash.  Nicely done.  It is no wonder this country is quickly descending into the dark pit of hell where morals are thrown out the window.  This youth is our future, America.  Start praying.

UPDATE: The above facts were as presented by The Miami Herald and ESPN.  A new report from CNN says the girl’s grandfather was with her, but decided NOT to accompany her to the clubhouse.  So, he chose to let her go alone.  Add bad grandparenting to the story then as well.  The family was also offered VIP ticktes to the next Florida series and they turned it down.  And the law suit was for the amount of $15,000.  Yes, that is 15 thousand dollars.  And this was NOT about the money?  Enough said.

Photo by Jenn


*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*




  1. raysrenegade

    From what I hear from another paper account, it was that a “friend of the family” aka lawyer that began discussing it with the parent, then the bells and whistles went off in their head about a financial future for the child.
    Now having not gone to Law School, I think this premise of even considering to sue over a object that no one has said was not the child’s inherent property for financial gain is just another slap in our faces of the times we are in right now.
    I understand if the Home Run had come at CBP, an entirely different scenario might have happened.
    At fan-vacant Landshark Stadium, you can let your kid patrol the outfield and keep an eye on him with binoculars because of the empty orange seats. Not forgiving the sin of leaving the kids roam,but it did add to the equation in the end.
    I hate to say it, but this situation will ring in our ears for a while before the baseball community can agree within itself to follow certain rules or codes. And the first one on my personal list is “Respect the game, and it will reward you with memories”. Unfortunately, no matter what we do now, this parent has maybe soured the game for that little girl.
    And that is a real crime to me.

    Rays Renegade

  2. Jane Heller

    HAHA on Jeff’s comment! What a disgrace that the girl (and her parents or friends of parents or whoever) sued over that ball. Most of us remember a time when it was a thrill just to BE at a ball game, much less catch a ball. Anyhow, I’m glad Game 3 was postponed and the teams don’t have to play in foul weather. Brrrrr.

  3. muleman

    From the newspaper account of the Howard ball incident, part of the issue involved the kid not getting to meet Howard after the game. The paper stated simply that the “game went into extra innings” which indicated to me that the kid left before the game was over. That relieves the Phillies from any responsibility in my opinion.

    As for the rest, welcome to the real world where parents are free to do what they want in front of their kids, but if any of us do anything we’re bad influences. Parents will rael on athletes who hold out for big contracts while they teach contradictory lessons to their kids.
    It only gets worse.

  4. phasorp

    I’m sorry but that ball was worth a lot. You’re acting like the Phil and Ryan Howard are some kind of charity. They’re not, they are a business that sells autographed “game-used” third bases for $495.
    Ryan Howard has a multimillion dollar contract, an almost guaranteed spot in the Hall of Fame, and the Phillies have more money than God. The rules, created by MLB, clearly state that balls that go into the stands are up for grabs–finders keepers. Therefore the Phils should have offered the girl much more than an autographed baseball. AND an adult should have been present. If you believe it’s kind of ‘tacky’ to monetize the value of the ball (even though all MLB teams do it in the “game-used” store) the Phils should offered the girl something like a free luxury box for her birthday. This is not out of line. The chairman of Papa Johns paid $100,000 to repurchase his first car. The car was a complete clunker, worth about $300 in parts, but it was to him it meant a lot more, and he sure made the current owner of the car was just as happy as he was when he gave him the $100,000 check.

    • phillies_phollowers

      Phasorp – Actually, they did offer her VIP tickets and they turned it down. And yes, they have tons of money and Howard would have been willing to pay, had they given him the chance. But they decided to sue instead. As I said, this is a usual practice in baseball…exchanging milestone balls for other items. They were offered more and had opportunity to ask for more but went for the $15k instead. A TRUE fan would respect the achievment and been happy with the VIP suite and signed ball. ( And, she did have an adult with her who decided NOT to go with the 12-year old. THAT adult made the mistake, not the Phillies. Would you let your 12-year old grandchild be escored away by strangers? So, who made the mistake here? Think about it.

    • phillies_phollowers

      Oh and by the way, those $495 game-used bases are sold by “Phillies Charities”. The money does in fact go to charity. When you buy one, you get a certificate that says so…I know…I have bought many such items and have the certificates to prove it. They make plenty of money for themselves of course, buy are not beyond giving back to their community.

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