It is October and the Phillies are not playing baseball. So what did I do in response to this devastating turn of events? I fled the country. Seriously. I recently returned from a 2-week excursion to a variety of places including Italy, Egypt, Greece and Israel. If anyone else out there is totally bummed out by the end of the baseball season, I highly recommend this adventure :O)
But it is back to reality now and I arrived just in time to see the start of the World Series last night. It was still depressing, but some baseball is always better than no baseball.
And with former Phillies player and announcer Tim McCarver on the job in the broadcast booth, hilarity is sure to ensue. So even if the game stinks, Mr. McCarver will inevitably, and totally accidentally, spice things up.
He did just that during Game 1. As the crowd chanted, “Barry! Barry! Barry!” for a base hit by San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito, McCarver and partner Joe Buck had a very interesting conversation that went like this (this is not a joke; he actually said all of this):
McCarver: “That’s a sound he has not heard too often in this ballpark. That sound of ‘Barry! Barry!’” (referencing Barry Zito)
Joe Buck: “They used to say it for someone else around here.”
McCarver: “When Barry Manilow was here at concerts.”
Joe Buck: “Or Barry Bonds.”
***McCarver then went silent, in probable humiliation. Eventually, Buck had to coax him back on air…
Joe Buck: “Come back to me over there.”
McCarver: “Sorry, it’s one of those moments.”
Well, at least McCarver recognizes that he has had more than his share of “those moments” over the years. But surely mistaking Barry Manilow for the San Fran Home Run King, Barry Bonds will go down in history as one of McCarver’s biggest gaffes ever.
And for the belly laughter that ensued, we all thank McCarver and his Hall of Fame announcing skills.
Did I forget to mention that the Panda, Pablo Sandoval, hit 3 home runs in the game, tying a record set by Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols and others? I did? Sorry, I was totally distracted by the Manilow thing…I will do better next time ;o)
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Spring has sprung! Pitchers and catchers reported today, Ryan Howard lost the weight of a Thanksgiving turkey, Cole Hamels will start on Opening day (shocking, I know) and JC Romero continues to be persecuted for NOTHING! There certainly are few constants in life, but here are at least a few things in the world of sports and entertainment that we can all count on:
– Brett Favre will retire: over and over and over again.
– Angelina Jolie will keep adopting and popping out babies until someone makes her stop.
– John Madden will never, ever say anything that truly makes sense.
– Chase Utley will always be cuter than the puppies & kitties he tries to save.
– Alec Baldwin will always be creepy.
– Christian Bale is still hot, regardless of how many obscenities fly out of his mouth. He can cuss at me all he wants. :O)
– Joe Buck is incapable of having a good hair day.
– He will also knock the ball out of the stadium….oh, the compromise!
– Eagles fans will always practice their spelling, even during baseball games…E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles! Oh please, make it stop!
– Paris Hilton will never have any real talent; she is totally plastic.
– New Jersey will NOT sink into the Atlantic Ocean, never to be seen again, no matter how hard you wish for it. (I grew up there; I am allowed to say it)
– Charlie Manual is a big, fluffy teddy bear.
And in the “other” category; we will never have enough money, rainbows will always be awesome, you can’t make everyone happy, your health is the most significant thing you own, dreams were made to be realized and finally, the most important things in all our lives are Peace, Love and Baseball :O)
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Is there a doctor in the house? Because by the end of this game, I was positive I would need someone to resuscitate me; Surely, I was going to be rendered unconscious due to the excessive stress. Is there some kind of pill I can take to remain calm during what is going to be a VERY tight series? If so, please pass the pharmaceuticals.
It was looking good in the first inning when Chase Utley nailed a 2 run homer over the right field wall. And in the 4th, Carlos Ruiz manufactured a run, driving in Shane Victorino from third as Ruiz was thrown out at first; the only real productive out of the night. At that point it was 3-0, Phillies. But the Rays slowly started to creep back into the game, giving me a real bad tummy ache L
Cole Hamels seemed disgusted with himself after giving up a solo homer to Carl Crawford in the bottom of the 4th inning, which made the score 3-1, but he has nothing to hang his head over. He did his job tonight and did it well. Hamels continued his post-season dominance by pitching 7 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Ryan Madson came in with a 3-2 Phillies lead and pitched a perfect 8th inning. That was the one point in the game where, thanks to Madson, I did not feel lightheaded or dizzy. Or perhaps it was just the pills kicking in… J
Why the stress? The Phillies squandered many scoring opportunities in this game, which added to my potential heart failure. A few players tried to get rallies started – Utley, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz were all on base 3 times each, but no one could knock them in. By the end of the game, the team had gone 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Jimmy Rollins alone made the last out of an inning 3 times, all with runners on base. Ryan Howard was just as bad, going 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, and again, ALL 3 K’s came with runners on base. Of course, on the other side of the fence, BJ Upton of the Rays hit into 2 double plays in his first 2 at bats. Hey, thanks BJ! You are my favorite Ray of the day…a Ray of sunshine to all Phillies fans J
Essentially what I am saying here is that the Phillies need to do A LOT better with runners on base if they are going to contend. If Howard and Pat Burrell would stop swinging at pitches in the dirt, that would be “a good start,” as Joe Buck likes to say. I actually counted how many times Buck said either “good” or “bad” start at the beginning of an inning tonight and gave up counting after I got to 7. It got boring. Anyway, what would this team do without Brad Lidge?! He came in for the 9th inning and sent the Rays down in order, saving the day once again! Lidge is awesome!
So the Phils come away with the win, doing what they have done all year. When the big guys aren’t getting it done, the rest of the team steps up and makes it happen. This, of course, will not do wonders for anyone’s health, but it does make for some exciting baseball. And I am guessing that, despite the shaky offense, Joe Buck would call this game a “good start” to the series for the Phillies. Ok, I’ll go along. You the man, Mr. Buck! Go Phillies!
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!