Tagged: Gary Matthews

Phillies Shut-Out The Astros

The first four games of 2010 have been very good for the Phillies bats.  As a team, the have at least 10 hits in each game so far which is the first time that has been done by a Phillies team since 1926.  The top 5 batters in the order are on fire, especially Placido Polanco who had 4 hits tonight, 2 RBI and is batting .579 in 4 games.  Those 4 hits helped the Phillies to an 8-0 shut-out win over the Astros.

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is also off to a fast start with 7 hits in the first 4 games, batting .467.  Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are not far behind, batting .438 and .400, respectively.  On Wednesday, Howard moved into 5th place on the Phillies all-time home run leaders list, passing Greg Luzinski.  In today’s game, he racked up 2 hits and an RBI.

Raul Ibanez has struggled, but looks to be coming out of the funk with 3 hits and 3 RBI today.  Shane Victorino, on the other hand, hit several balls really well but still came up empty; he even hit into a double play.  Victorino is batting .111 so far this season.

JA Happ got his first start of the year today and pitched 5 scoreless innings.  He had a lot of base runners, so his pitch count kept rising; as a result, he only made it to the start of the 6th inning.  The thing that stands out about Happ though is that he never gets rattled.  In the 3rd, he had 2 runners on with no outs and still managed to pitch his way out of the jam unscathed.  Happ continues to impress.

David Herndon made his mark today as well, pitching 2 innings in relief of Happ without allowing a run.  Today was his 3rd appearance with the Phils and so far, the rookie has yet to give up a run.  If he keeps this up, the Phils are going to have some tough decisions to make when Brad Lidge and JC Romero return from the DL.

DSCF5052 wheels.jpgSo things are feeling pretty loose around the Phillies this week; even the broadcasters are keeping the mood light.  Gary Matthews and Tom McCarthy presented fellow broadcaster Chris Wheeler with a birthday cake and presents today during the game, even though it is not really his birthday.  Wheels got his own birthday wrong in his new book, “A View From The Booth,” on the very first page of the book.  He wrote April 9th instead of August 9th.  Oops.  So, Happy Un-Birthday, Wheels!  Don’t feel bad…we are all entitled to typos once and a while ;o)


Game two in Houston tomorrow!  First pitch is at 7:05pm.


Photos by Jenn


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




Kendrick Gets Pounded in Atlanta

As the battle for the 5th starting pitching spot continues, Kyle Kendrick appears to be cracking under the pressure.  In 3 innings against the Braves today, Kendrick surrendered 8 runs on 10 hits and a walk, including 2 home runs.  His ERA for the Spring has ballooned to 14.29.  Yikes!  Pitching coach, Rich Dubee is probably about ready to throttle the poor kid.  Not because he is stinking up the place, but because Dubee knows Kendrick is capable of getting the job done; but to this point, Kendrick has just not found a groove.  He is leaving the door wide open for the other 3 guys to take what was his spot to lose, and run with it.  What do you think the outcome will be?  Vote at the end of this blog.

Besides Kendrick, know who else is likely to take a beating?  The Hooters girls.  I have been yapping about this since Spring Training last year; in Clearwater, they stick Hooters girls out on the field to pretend to be ball girls.  They also give these un-athletic, baseball-ignorant chicks lawn chairs and allow them to sit throughout the game and read a book (I am SO not kidding) while line drive go whizzing past their bleach-blonde heads.  While I understand the entertainment value for the men who are apparently bored with the game and prefer to stare at plastic Barbie dolls, it is a dangerous game they are playing in Florida.  At one game, I watched as a line-drive flew so close to a Hooter’s girl’s head, that her hair flew up in the air as the ball went by and she never even looked up until after it was past her and she felt the breeze.

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There was another close call during the game today as well, as announcers Tom McCarthy and Gary “Sarge” Matthews pointed out.  Matthews said he hopes it never happens, but that the day it does, the Hooters girls will be done in Clearwater.  Seriously, one of these girls is going to be killed someday.  Some of them don’t even have gloves…and those that do, have NO idea what to do with them.  Again, I understand the need to entertain the crowd; heck, when I get bored, here is what I start taking photos of:


But I am pretty sure that my photography is unlikely to get my head ripped off.  Plus, I know how to catch a ball.  And besides, who doesn’t want to see photos of Greg Dobbs’ behind? :O)

Ok, that is my rant for the day!  Back to real baseball…and more nice views from the field:  Jason Donald! 

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What a cutie!  And this kid is determined to show off his stuff!  Ok, not that stuff; his hitting skills, of course :O)  Donald went 3 for 4 today and used his speed to score 2 runs.  Another hopeful, John Mayberry Jr., got back into action today, going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI including a solo home run.

Joining the hit party were Ryan Howard with 1 hit and 2 RBI; Raul Ibanez with 2 hits and 2 RBI; and Greg Dobbs with 2 hits and an RBI.  And it looks like no one really felt like pitching today, because the final score was 12-10; Atlanta had 21 hits and the Phillies ended up with 15.

And I am still trying to get hold of more information on Ryan Howard’s new tattoo for everyone.  Waiting patiently…  I have not forgotten :O)

WBC Highlights

I was pretty sure I had cursed Team Italy yesterday after proclaiming that I was rooting for them; well, they fell to Team Venezuela, 10-1.  So, Venezuela will play Team USA tonight for the right to move on to Round 2 in the Classic, and I will only root for the team that I do NOT want to win :O)  Brushing up on my Spanish…  Adiós!



“Phillies Confidential” – Book Review

I just finished reading the new book by Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Phillies beat-writer for the News Journal, Scott Lauber:  “Phillies Confidential – The Untold Story of the 2008 Championship Season.” 
Thumbnail image for Phillies book.jpgAnd as promised, here is my review!  To start with, if you are looking for a total re-cap of the entire Phillies 2008 season, from the moves in the off-season before hand, to Spring Training and through to the World Series, this is the book for you.  It covers just about all the highs and lows of the season.

The book works as sort of a “conversation” between Lauber and Matthews.  Lauber gives his take on the topic at hand and then Matthews comments on it; there are even different type fonts in the book so you can tell who is “speaking” at that particular moment.  I thought this was a really great concept.  The blogger and the announcer going at it, so to speak.  

However, I have to say I was disappointed with the content.  If you are a fan who follows the entire Phillies season each year, pitch by pitch, like I do, there is little new or unknown information here.  As I said, it is a “re-cap” of the season; added to that are some interesting comments by Sarge as he reminisces about the 1980’s.  Matthews also spends a good deal of time talking about his son, “Junior” (Gary Matthews Jr.), Tom Gordon’s son, the decline of African American’s in baseball and has an occasional mention of Barry Bonds.  But beyond that, any information they give on the 2008 season has been written before in newspapers and seen on the television coverage.  There really is no “Untold Inside Story” at all.  And that was the part I was most looking forward to.

Every quote in the book has been published before.  Every story, like the Jimmy Rollins benching and Brett Myers exploding at Charlie Manuel on the mound, have been seen and read before.  There was no insider information, locker room tales or secret conversations.  The book title is deceiving and that was really a huge let down.

If you love Sarge though, you will be entertained by his 80’s flashbacks and unique use of the English language.  For instance, Mr. Matthews seems to be smitten with the word “butt” which he used repeatedly throughout the book.  Phrases like, “booing your butt,” “feast on your butt” (the visual on this one is just great!) and “getting your butt booed” graced the pages, in what seems to mirror Sarge’s usual speaking style.  And as he does when he is in front of a microphone, he repeats himself often.  I read a segment about how Aaron Rowand and Jamie Moyer have great heart, and how Sarge was sad to see Rowand go; then, 2 chapters later, I am reading the exact same thing, some of it word for word.  Same thing with the section on Geoff Jenkins’ batting style and how Sarge used to be his hitting instructor; turn a few chapters and you can read all about it, again.  It’s like Déjà vu.  I’m reading along and saying, “Hey, didn’t I just read this?”  Apparently so.

I searched and searched to find ANY information that was new to me and finally came across exactly ONE story I had not heard before.  Page 65: When Jimmy Rollins was re-habing his bad ankle, he played in a few extended Spring Training games to prepare to come back to the team.  As he walked up to the plate to bat, the young catcher looked up at him and said, “They let you wear a Rollins jersey?”  To which Rollins replied, “Yeah, they say I look like him.”  Typical Jimmy – very cute.

So to re-cap the re-cap:  buy this book if you are looking for a re-cap of the 2008 season with some Sarge anecdotes and historical flashbacks thrown in.  If you are only looking for the “Untold Inside Story” part of the book, pass.

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

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World Series Trophy Comes To Town!

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And here it is!  I even touched it :O)  Shhhhh…don’t tell!  Then had my photo taken with it…and you can too!  The Phillies Annual Holiday Sale is running this weekend at Citizens Bank Park and you can see, sneak in a touch, and have your picture taken with it tomorrow (Sunday) from 9am to 2:30pm.  The line today took about ½ an hour to get through and it was VERY cold…dress warmly!  The trophy is inside, but most of the line was not.  If you can still feel your toes by the time you leave, consider yourself lucky.

Also, if you are interested in Holiday Sale items, I can tell you the selection this year is slim and prices are sky high!  A 9 foot Chase Utley banner that I paid $50 for last year will now run you $150!  Yes, the EXACT same one.  Game used bats and balls, jerseys and autograph items were also available if you can afford them, but any key players were gone by the time I got in and I was like the 15th person in line.  Most of the merchandise is NOT from the World Series, but many items from the NLDS and NLCS are available.  I paid (imagine me cringing right now as I tell you this) $100 for an empty champagne bottle from the NLCS celebration.  But the Kyle Kendrick NLCS locker plate (he was the best player left) was only $10.  I also picked up a copy of Gary Matthews’ new book, “Phillies Confidential” and as promised, I will review the book as soon as I have read it.  Can’t wait to see how many Sarge-isms are cluttered throughout the book!  Or did his editor go crazy and remove all the ridiculous, yet charming, selective uses of grammar from Mr. Matthews’ first literary attempt?  That remains to be seen.

Anyway, rumor has it that the Trophy will be on a “tour” of some sort after the Holiday Sale commences tomorrow.  But in the event that the tour does not pass by near you, do get yourself over to CBP tomorrow and check it out!  Who knows when we will ever get to see one up close again?

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages! 

Matthews Pens A Book About The 2008 World Champs!

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You can stop rubbing your eyes now; yes, I am talking about Gary “Sarge” Matthews and new co-author of the book, “Phillies Confidential: The Untold Story of the 2008 Championship Season.”  Has your jaw hit the floor yet?  No?  Well then perhaps you are not familiar with the dulcet tones of Matthews’ voice or his eloquent game commentary?  You all know I love the Sarge, but his announcing sometimes sounds like a young child trying to articulate the proper rules for a game of tag that has gone horribly wrong.  Matthews is, after all, the same guy who brought us such witty and wonderful baseball Sarge-isms like “A Good Athlete” and the “Courtesy Turn” (when an outfielder turns to look at a home run leave the park, even if he knows immediately that he has no shot at catching it). 

But seriously, the Sarge has improved his game calling skills throughout this past year while under the tutelage of the great Hall of Famer, Harry Kalas.  At the beginning of the year, he had difficulty pronouncing some of the last names of the Phillies players; and though I found it hysterical, that does seem to have improved and he became much more comfortable in front of the microphone as the year progressed.  His Sarge-isms and occasional slips of the tongue have made him extremely entertaining to listen to, so I can only imagine what is in store for us beneath the pages of this new book.  Personally, I cannot wait to read it.

Matthews began writing the book in Spring Training, having no idea that the Phillies would become World Champions that very same year.  The Sarge also says he was careful not to reveal too much inside-clubhouse information for fear of alienating anyone, but that the book still gives a comprehensive and behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 Phillies season.  I hope he did not hold back too much because I really, really wanted to know what color and style undies Chase Utley prefers.  I will be sorely disappointed if there are no “undercover” underwear revelations.  And will he answer the question about how long Greg Dobbs really spends on his hair?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Of course, I am joking, although part of me still wonders….

Sorry for the temporary hormonal interruption… back on topic now: Matthews does cover in the book how he cautioned Brad Lidge in Spring Training about the finicky Philly fans and about how he believes Jimmy Rollins grew into a leader.  He also discusses the importance of role players like Dobbs, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Pedro Feliz.  The book is 192 pages long and co-written with Scott Lauber, who is beat-writer for the News Journal.  The book should be flying off a store shelf somewhere near you this week.  I will write a review at some point once I get my hands on it.  Happy Reading!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Another Happ-Y Day For The Rookie

So I guess we are only going to win games when JA Happ pitches?  Well, let’s hope not.  But we’ll certainly take the much needed win tonight!  And another great start from the rookie Happ was a nice shot in the arm for the still struggling Phillies.  Happ went 6.1 innings with 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 5 strikeouts.  During tonight’s TV broadcast, analyst Gary “Sarge” Matthews so eloquently put it that this team was in need of a “rumble in the clubhouse to get the juices flowing” or that perhaps the players needed some “slaps upside the head.”  Well, like I said yesterday, they certainly need a wake-up call.  I do think that tonight’s win and solid outing by Happ will be a good start to that.

Still a little slow offensively, but scoring 4 runs is better than what they have been putting up lately – zero!  So, again, progress is good! 
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Ryan Howard had a great night, going 2 for 3 with a homer and a walk – his 2 RBI’s on the night gave him the Phillies record for the most RBI’s of any Phillies player in history before the All-Star break, passing Greg Luzinski; Pedro Feliz also homered; Jimmy Rollins hit a triple; Pat Burrell, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz also had hits tonight.  And All-Star Brad Lidge added on to his save record, notching #20 tonight.

And one more time…VOTE FOR PAT!  Time is running out!  We have until tomorrow at 5pm…here are a few people that have come out in support of Pat recently (thanks to Larry Shenk at Phillies Insider for the info!):

“He’s the most deserving among the group of National Leaguers on the Final Vote ballot,” Jayson Stark, ESPN.com.

“Here’s the case for Pat to be elected….he’s the only player in the league’s top 10 in slugging percentage not already on the roster,” Paul White, USA Today.

“Pat is the most notable omission on the team,” Buster Olney, ESPN.com.

So, get those votes in!  Use the link below to vote as many times as you can or you can text the word “VOTE” to 36197 from your mobile phone  to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone and then reply with your choice.  Go Phillies and VOTE PAT!

Why I Love Gary Matthews

Well folks, the current Phillies – Braves game is not looking good so I felt a bit of comic relief might be in order here.  And nothing cheers me up more than a healthy dose of Sarge’s baseball wisdom.  In fact, who has not been endlessly entertained these past 2 years listening to Mr. Matthews cloud the TV airways with his jumbled player name pronunciations and inventive twists on the English language?  I believe he may even have coined a few new phrases.

How about the “Courtesy Turn?”  I first heard this one as Chase Utley smacked a homer out of the park against the Reds on April 4th.  Apparently, Ken Griffey Jr. “turned” to watch the ball leave the park and Sarge referred to this as Griffey giving the knock a “courtesy turn.”  How kind of him, indeed.  Such a gentleman.  Perhaps in their next series, Griffey will present Utley with a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates?

Speaking of Utley, in the book of Matthew-isms, “Professional Hitter” is right there at the top of the list where Mr. Utley is concerned.  He almost cannot have a conversation about Chase Utley without this particular phrase coming into play.  But don’t worry; it is not only reserved for Utley.  He spreads the wealth on this one.  Certainly a favorite of the Sarge, you can hear it at least once or twice per broadcast.  And I giggle every time…

And I have reserved my absolute favorite Matthew-isms  for last!  Drum roll please!!!!  You will know it as soon as you hear it…he says it ALL the time!  Yes, you guessed it, it is “A Good Athlete!”  As in, this guy here is “a real good athlete.”  He says it on average, 3-6 times per broadcast.  Now Sarge, you know I LOVE you, but considering these guys ARE all Major League ball players, I sure hope they are all good athletes!  Hee!  Sarge, you are SO darn cute!  I just want to pinch your cheeks and give you a giant bear hug :o)  And in honor of your adorableness, here is a photo of you toting the BBQ at last years’ BBQ challenge:

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Well, the Phillies have managed to score a few runs so back to watching the game I go…I have a busy day tomorrow too to get ready for!  Look for me on TV too!  I’ll be attending the Phillies Baseball 101 clinic for women and I will be featured on the NBC 10! Show at 2pm as part of a mini-clinic from the day.  I’m staying for the game tomorrow night so I’ll report back on Thursday and let you know how it goes!  Have a good one!