Tagged: Geoff Jenkins

“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.

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!

Myers Tames The Cubs

Whew!  Finally, a win at Wrigley!  Brett Myers pitched a great game again today, going 7 plus innings, giving up only 2 earned runs on 11 hits.  He also struck out 8 batters.  Myers had a lot of base runners, but maintained his cool and worked his way out of most of the jams.  He did leave 2 men on base in the 8th inning before exiting the game, P7266071_romero_cr but JC Romero came in and knocked them down to get out of the 8th without further damage.  Didn’t I say that JC was the 8th inning man?  Yes, I did…maybe Charlie Manuel is taking my advice J  Romero gets a little wild sometimes, but he has the energy and drive to be the set-up guy and today, he proved it.  Brad Lidge came on in the 9th and retired the Cubs in order to earn save #32 and preserve a 5-2 win for the Phillies.

The top of the line-up was back to form today, starting off with Jimmy Rollins who went 3 for 5 with a stolen base.  Chase Utley had 2 hits and scored a run; Ryan Howard was 2 for 4 with a homer.  But the big performance of the day has got to be Jayson Werth who hit 2 solo home runs and a single which scored 2 runs: that brings his total to 4 RBI on the day.  Werth has been a monster since taking over full-time for the injured Geoff Jenkins and is hitting BOTH right and left handed pitching, an area that had been of some question up until now.  He has more than proven that he is a starter and an everyday player.  And don’t you love watching Werth run?  I just can’t get enough of his long, skinny legs rounding the bases…he looks like a Giraffe high on Amphetamines J  Please direct me to the petting zoo…

Oh sorry, the mind is wandering again J  Back to baseball…so right now, it is Cubs 2, Phillies 1.  The Phils will have one more shot to get a series split tomorrow in the final game against the Cubbies; start time is 2:20pm EST and Jamie Moyer will take the mound, hoping to improve upon his last outing which was very short and very scary.  Go Phillies!

Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum! Please check out our 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!

Offense Sputters Again; Phils Lose Another Series

It really looks like the wheels are about to come off the wagon.  Is anyone else out there as frustrated with this team as I am?  One day they score 5 runs, the next day, they look like The Bad News Bears.  And if life were a movie and Walter Matthau were still alive today, and someone handed him this Phillies team to coach, I am sure he’d become a raging alcoholic.  Art imitates life, or something like that.  I know I need a drink….BAD.

So poor Cole Hamels
P7306539 hamels cr.jpgmisses out on win #10 AGAIN, losing to the Fish 3-0 after only giving up 2 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.  Disgusting.  Here a just a few lovely examples of how the team let him down, AGAIN:  6th inning – Eric Bruntlett, who played great yesterday, left 2 men stranded on base with 2 outs as he grounded out.  7th inning –  Bruntlett again, bobbles a ball that should have been a double play ball and gets only one out, which extends the inning and then leads into the following…Another Ryan Howard error!  He overthrows a routine ground ball to Jimmy Rollins at second base to load the bases, further extend the inning and also allow the Marlins to tack on an unearned run.  And how about that 8th inning?  Shane Victorino leads off with a double, Pat Burrell would later walk, but teammates Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins all manage to either pop out or ground out to strand them on base.

How many of you are cowering under your seats right now, clutching a bottle of (Pick Your Poison and fill in the blank)?  I believe this all boils down to two things:  Inconsistency and lack of fire.  The inconsistency is obvious.  What do I mean by lack of fire?  I mean, they just don’t look fired up.  They don’t look excited or motivated; not like they did last year.  There are far too many laid back, quiet players in this clubhouse and it is high time that some of them started to get LOUD.  Start yelling!  Hell, pick a fight if you need to.  Whatever it takes to WAKE this team up and get them HUNGRY to win!  Because right now, I don’t see it.  Do you?  Feel free to leave feedback and let me know if you agree…and feel free to disagree as well J  I take no offense…and right now, the Phillies have no offense…hee, hee J

Maybe they all just need a great BIG HUG!  As always, I am available for hugs anytime.  Please feel free to have the Front Office call me and I’ll be right over!  Put Chase Utley at the front of the line…he looks most distressed out of everyone J  I’ll even hug Rudy Seanez if I have to…and he scares me…truly. L  But I’ll do it if it helps!  Ok, fresh start tomorrow against the Pirates…let’s see if we can put the wheels back on the wagon!

Phillies Swat The Nats

It was a scorcher last night as Jamie Moyer got out his bug zapper and whacked the Nats, sending them to bug heaven by a score of 8-5 and putting the Phillies back in first place in the NL East.  The rest of us in the stands whacked the actual gnats buzzing about our faces in the 90 degree humid temperatures so we could see the game through the haze of sweat, thick, hot air and nasty little creatures.  How a 45 year old man can pitch in those conditions is beyond me.  I could barely sit through it.  And yet, Moyer managed to go 6 innings with only 3 earned runs, all in the first inning, on 6 hits and 3 walks.  He made a few adjustments after the rough 1st inning…perhaps a different brand of bug spray? …and then went on to pitch 5 scoreless innings.

The Phillies offense was steaming hot as well!  Chase Utley hit home run #27 last night, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and looked great in the field as well.  Here is a nice shot of him and Jimmy Rollins turning a double play last night. 
P7307178 cr.jpg
Shane Victorino, obviously pumped up over all the buzz about trade rumors, went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and a solo homer.  Even Carlos Ruiz and Geoff Jenkins, who have been struggling lately, both had 2 hit nights.  But what was really most encouraging was not only to see the Phillies jump on a pitcher in the very first inning and score 2 runs, but that pitcher was Tim Redding whom they had not scored on AT ALL in their last two games against him.  This is a great sign that the offensive funk may be well behind us…

And how about Pat Burrell with his league leading 11th outfield assist, throwing out catcher Jesus Flores at 2nd base trying for a double?  And what happens later in the game?  Charlie Manuel takes him out, yet again, and puts in a “defensive” replacement as part of a double switch, which, yet AGAIN, backfires on him.  Now, I understand the double switch and moving the pitchers spot in the line-up, yadda, yadaa…  And I still LOVE Jayson Werth and feel very bad for the guy, because really, it is like a jinx at this point.  Whoever gets put in for Pat is just going to suck.  Period.  The first big play Jayson gets to make, a long fly ball, and instead of catching it, he slips and falls right on his rear!  Poor thing.  But, just one more reason for Pat (and me) to yell…quit taking him out!  And that is all I will say about that, AGAIN, for today J

And a few quick notes about the new Washington Nationals stadium for anyone who has not been or is thinking of going…  First, the scoreboard:
P7301112 sb cr.jpg  WOW!  It is by far, the most impressive, clearest, biggest and most amazing one I have EVER seen!  Here is a shot of it for you.  Next, ticket prices:  outrageous!  In fact, I compared them to Philly and they are, on average, 50% more than the price for the regular seating areas; the Diamond Club seats are more than double the price, and are further back from home plate.  Actually, where I usually sit in Philly, if I sat in the same seat in DC (considered the “Presidents” area), I would have to pay $250.00 MORE for one seat to one game (I am usually in row 14 in the DC section).  Can you say hell no?  Are they nuts?  Ok, and then there is the parking…$40, pre-paid only.  Or, you can walk like 10 blocks through some really not nice areas and pay $20.  Or, you can leave your car at the old RFK Stadium for free and be at the mercy of their bus transportation.  Scoreboard envy aside, all this makes me SO happy to be a Phillies fan!

Here are a few more fun photos for you:
ball 10.jpg  This one of the number 10 is in Centerfield near the scoreboard.  Are they trying to count the number of actual Nationals fans in attendance?  Hee!  And then here is a ball I snagged during BP.  They are specially marked for the inaugural season of the ballpark.  Guess that makes up for the $40 I blew on parking…
J  Oh, and I caught a tee-shirt tossed out by President Lincoln (the racing mascot).  Also got an autograph from Chris Coste before the game.  I never get this lucky in Philly.  Go figure.

A bit off topic here, there was a woman last night a row behind me who got hit right on the top of the head in the 7th inning with a foul ball while standing in the aisle.  She hit the ground like a ton of bricks and without giving the gory details, I can tell you, it did not look good.  I am just wondering if anyone reading this knows how she is doing, I would like to know if she is ok (sec. 113/114).  Please e-mail me; I’d appreciate it.  I looked all over the internet and could not find anything about it.  I just felt very bad for her and wanted to make sure she was ok.  The paramedics did a great job getting to her quickly but you just hate to see those things happen.  Sorry for the bummer, but just wanted to see if anyone knew anything…thanks! 

So, that’s all for now.  Let’s see if the Phillies can sweep a series tonight!  7:10pm start…Kyle Kendrick gets the start…Go Phillies!

Phillies Photo Day 2008

Yesterday, the Phillies held their annual Photo Day at the park where they allow fans on the field to take pictures of the players.  Occasionally, the players will also stop and take photos with you.  It is by far, one of my favorite events every year and one that I was really looking forward to.  I actually got 10 players to stop this year and pose with me, and probably could have gotten a few more but was busy snapping the camera.  9 of the 10 photos actually came out…the one that didn’t was the one with Chase Utley! UGH!  And he was SO nice and had a HUGE smile on his face for me too…I am SOOOO depressed, I cannot even tell you.  I just can’t even talk about it…too sad L

Well, let’s talk about the happy ones…I’ll post a couple of them here.  I am usually opposed to photo’s of myself, but the P7261023 5x7.jpgplayers look awfully cute, so I am going to go ahead and grin and bear it…no pun intended.  Please excuse my bad hair day and goofy smiles…I had been standing in the hot sun for hours and was melting!  First of all, this one of Brad Lidge is hysterical!  Does the man have no concept of exactly how tall he is?  Most guys bend down so they are on you level, but it was his first Photo Day so he is excused.  Now mind you, I am not short…I am 5’7″ which is average for a woman, and he is slouching in the picture.  Scary tall.

Here we have Chris Coste…just a cutie.  We make a nice couple I think J  Hee!  And then below that one, there is Jimmy Rollins withCoste Rollins.jpg his huge grin…he said something silly and I was trying not to laugh.  I also got pictures with Geoff Jenkins, JC Romero, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett and Adam Eaton…there was not a huge demand for poor Adam so I figured I’d bug him J  I almost got Pat Burrell but he just put his arm around me, pat me on the back, asked how I was doing and kept going.  I was happy with that though J  I have also posted a bunch of other photos HERE on my photobucket site for you to see just of the players, coaches and broadcasters as they were walking past me or saying hello.  There are a few pretty funny ones in there…some of these guys give you some really cheesy smiles at this event.  Check out the shot of Clay Condrey…he gets the prize for the most Cheese ever in a pose.

That’s a wrap on Photo Day!  The Phillies are currently in a Rain Delay with the Braves, down 2-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  It was Joe Blanton’s home debut which I assume now, will be cut short.  Hoping they will get the rest of this game in soon and of course, come away with the win!  More later…Go Phillies!

Phillies Drown In South Florida

Someone grab the life preserver!  This ship’s a-sinkin’!  Yesterday, the Phillies were sunk by the Fish after a terrible performance by Kyle Kendrick who only managed to go 4.1 innings and gave up 7 runs on 10 hits and a walk.  Today, with the series tied one a piece, everyone expected
P5040059 cr.jpgCole Hamels to keep the ship afloat and give his team a shot to win.  As usual, he did not disappoint.  Unfortunately, as has been the case many times of late, the offense did, and the Phils fell to the Fish, 3-2.

Another great outing by Hamels wasted again.  How many of these are we going to see this year?  I know I am sick of it…I can only begin to imagine how poor Cole must feel.  He went 8 full innings and gave up only 2 runs while striking out 7 and never looked rattled.  In short, he was awesome!  As for the offense, just pathetic.  Ryan Howard had the only 2 RBI’s in the game, but also left the bases loaded with 2 outs and the game tied.  But really, what can you say about that when he is one of the only guys producing?  You can’t expect him to get a hit every time up.  Chase Utley and Pat Burrell each had a hit and a walk.  Jimmy Rollins, with one hit on the day, is just not getting on base enough and the bottom of the line-up is not producing at all.  Geoff Jenkins, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth and all pinch hitters today all combined for 1 hit TOTAL today and 2 base runners (both Ruiz).  This is NOT going to win games and not going to keep this team in first place.

The Phillies have an off day tomorrow to prepare for a big 3 game series against the New York Mets in a battle for first place in the NL East.  Joe Blanton, the Phillies new acquisition is expected to make his team debut, followed by Brett Myers who will return to the team on Wednesday after his stint in AAA.  Should be a VERY interesting week.  Bust out the Tums people!  It’s going to be a tummy-turner of a week!  Go Phillies!

Phillies Start Second Half In First Place

The Phillies beat the Florida Marlins tonight by a score of 4-2, putting them in sole possession of first place in the NL East.  Jamie Moyer put forth another quality start for the team, going 6 full innings with only 2 runs allowed on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3.  Moyer, despite his advanced years, continues to amaze and show that age is just a number.  This is a man who loves him some Fried Fish – record lifetime against the Marlins now is 10-0.  Pass the tartar sauce, please.  Yum J

Chase Utley looked like he was on a mission tonight, going 2 for 3 and driving in a run.  Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins each hit home runs with Jenkins also going 2 for 3 and looking as if he may snap out of the slumber he has been in.  There was not much else to talk about offensively, but what did happen got the job done.  The big story of the night was Adam Eaton being sent to the bullpen as a result of the trade for starter, Joe Blanton.  You have to wonder how Eaton will react the first time they throw him out there in a relief situation.  I for one, am not anxious to find out.

Ok, as promised, more PHOTOS are now available from my All-Star Week excursion, complete with captions.  Feel free to browse. Just click on the word PHOTOS or follow the link which I have set up along the right side of the home page under “Photo Albums.”  Have a great night!