Yes, Ryan Howard saved some Mets fans from certain death…on TV anyway. Last night both Howard and Chase Utley made guest appearances on the show “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Howard may have gotten the biggest laugh of the night when he stopped one of the characters from attacking a few Mets fans:
Utley did not have many lines, which is probably a good thing. So while a career in acting is out, at least his hair looked terrific. And Howard got the best line of the night with, ” I just saw you bite that dude.”
Crossing Broad has the video of their segment, in case you missed it.
Free Agent News With a Dash of Sarcasm
– Pitcher Kyle Kendrick and outfielder Ben Francisco were both tendered contracts yesterday in order to keep them with the Phillies and out of free agency. Francisco was a no-brainer. And due to a lack of starting pitching depth, signing Kendrick makes sense as well…unless his 27.51 ERA with 2 outs and runners in scoring position bother you.
– The San Francisco Giants have asked Pat Burrell to return and signed him to an undisclosed amount. Apparently his 0 for 13 with 11 strikeouts World Series performance prompted the signing? Here is another fun Burrell fact; Pat “The Bat” has two World Series rings and only one World Series hit. It is good to be The Bat.
– Adam Dunn and his 38 home runs in the 2010 season signed a four-year, $56 million dollar deal with the White Sox. The Washington Nationals collective batting average immediately dropped about 100 points. Attendance will likely drop to a 15 fan per game average.
– Star closer for the Yankees, Mariano Rivera, 41, has been signed to a new two-year deal. As part of the contract negotiation, Rivera will still be allowed to use his Senior Citizen discount at the team gift shop.
– Jayson Werth has still not signed with the Phillies and hell has not yet frozen over. Coincidence?
Have a great weekend!
The World Series is now tied at 1 game each as the Yankees came up with a 3-1 win over the Phillies last night. Starting pitchers Pedro Martinez and AJ Burnett both pitched well, but Burnett did a bit better. Burnett was trying to do his best Cliff Lee impersonation and except for 2 hits and a run in the 2nd inning, he did just that.
Martinez allowed 3 runs over 6 innings, but the 3rd run probably should not have happened. Martinez looked like he was done after 6 innings, but Charlie Manuel sent him out for the 7th where he allowed 2 hits with no outs and then had be to taken out. With a bullpen full of fresh arms that had not pitched in 8 days, plus the fact that Martinez has been sick for several days, he never should have started that inning. A one run lead may have been possible to overcome against the Yanks closer, Mariano Rivera, but two runs were insurmountable. Chan Ho Park allowed that 3rd run to score when he came in to relieve Martinez.
Several Phillies have been taken ill these last few weeks. Greg Dobbs was sent back to Philly early as he has the flu; Scott Eyre and Shane Victorino have both been battling illnesses as well. Eyre was in the hospital Thursday night with the flu. So with Martinez catching the bug as well, why push him?
The Phillies did get to Rivera, who was sent in for a two inning save. They managed 2 hits and a walk, proving that Mo is not untouchable. But the decision to not send the runners with two on and two strikes on Utley, who usually makes contact, cost them. The Yankees turned a double play to end the inning, although the replay showed Utley was safe at first.
Prior to that, Matt Stairs had the only RBI for the Phillies after a Raul Ibanez double. The Phillies never figured out Burnett and Ryan Howard even struck out 4 times. 3 of the top 4 hitters did not get a hit and as a team, the Phillies had 6 hits total.
So the good news is, we do not have to see Burnett again for a while and hopefully, not at all. The other good news is the Phillies are headed home where they have played extremely well this post-season. Cole Hamels will pitch on Saturday, which is Halloween. I think Cole should dress up for Halloween as “Hamels: Version 2008.” Hopefully, he can scare the Yanks right out of that game.
Photos by Jenn
The curse continues for the National League as they lost their 12th consecutive All-Star Game tonight against the American League. And poor Charlie Manuel became the first Phillies manager in history to lose the All-Star game :O( Phils now hold a record of 6-1. No worries Charlie…just bring us another Championship and all will be forgotten :O)
The first inning did not exactly kick the game off right for the National League as Tim Lincecum struggled and allowed one earned run. An unearned run also scored in the inning after an error. Yes folks, as Albert Pujols booted a ball at first base, an angel lost its wings…and the American League took a 2-0 lead. It’s ok though…we still love Albert :O)
The NL battled back and scored 3 in the 2nd inning thanks to hits by David Wright, Shane Victorino (yeah!) and Yadier Molina. After that, offense all around was fairly quiet until the 8th inning. Curtis Granderson tripled, Victor Martinez was given the intentional walk and then Adam Jones hit a sac fly to score Granderson and give the AL a 4-3 lead. The NL got their shot in the bottom half of the inning; Ryan Howard was sent in to pinch hit with 2 outs and 2 on in the 8th and he went down on strikes to end the threat. Ugh. The ever-adorable Mariano Rivera closed out the game for the AL in the 9th and so, the curse goes on.
As for the rest of the Phillies, Chase Utley went hitless, but had several stellar defensive plays. Victorino ended up 1 for2 with a run scored; Jayson Werth struck out after a great at-bat against Jonathan Papelbon and later, made an amazing running catch in centerfield; and Raul Ibanez went 0 for 2, but looked thrilled anyway just to be playing. It was his first All-Star appearance in his 14th major league season at 37 years of age. Congrats to Raul for finally getting there!
As for the broadcast, FOX was annoying as usual. I think I heard more about Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza than I did about the game. And while it was nice to hear the President Obama in the broadcast booth, was it really necessary to see him? Don’t get me wrong; I love Obama and all that, but I already know what he looks like. I’d have been just as happy to hear him speak while the game was showed in its entirety on the TV screen, instead of the annoying flashes back and forth from individual pitches to a visual of Obama in the booth.
Pedro – Say It Ain’t So!
Much to the dismay of Phillies fans everywhere, Pedro Martinez passed his physical and has been signed by the Phillies. Pedro will get 1 million plus another possible 1.5 million in incentives. He will need about 3 weeks of rehab and minor league work to be ready. The good news is that the price is cheap; however, we are all familiar with the saying “you get what you pay for.” If Martinez has some magic left in that arm, then this deal will turn out to be a real bargain; if not, at least they did not overpay.
Personally, I worry more about the clubhouse chemistry being disrupted than anything else. Martinez is notorious for his sandpaper-like personality and penchant for creating controversy. If he does not pitch well, no biggie. It was a small investment. But if he wreaks havoc on the peaceful and serene Phillies-vibe, then the deal will not have been worth the risk. We shall see how it goes…
A Day Without Baseball?
So no baseball tomorrow…except for the Double-A All-Star Game in Trenton, NJ. I will be risking life and limb as I venture into Trenton, the dregs of Jersey, but will be attending the game anyway. ;O) Four Phillies prospects will be in the game, with Michael Taylor participating in the Home Run Derby. I will return (I hope) with photos and all body parts still in place. Wish me luck :O)
Photo by Jenn
Where to begin… First let me say what a thrill it was to return to Yankee Stadium again! I still can’t believe they are going to tear it down. There will never be another one like it. Anyway, as for today’s report, no photos yet as I am far too exhausted to lift the camera to upload them yet…will try to sift through the mess sometime tomorrow I hope. However, here is a recap of what I have done the last 2 days…
How about that Home Run Derby last night? Wow! Josh Hamilton put on a show unlike anything I have ever seen before and, I imagine, will ever see again. 28 home runs in one round, with the longest going 518 feet. From inside the stadium, many of them appeared to leave the park, but after further review (a’la cell phone call home to get the TV call), it was determined that they bounced off the white fencing and did not quite clear the stadium. None the less, it was an eye popping event. The chants of “Ham-il-ton!” echoed throughout the stadium and everyone was on their feet cheering. It was disappointing that he did not win; apparently, by the last round, he had just run out of gas. Pretty understandable after what he did in the first round, but still sad that he could not pull out the win.
As for our boy Chase Utley, he did not make it past the first round, but did hit 5 homers and as always, looked good doing it 🙂 Although he of course defended his man Mick Billmeyer afterwards, I can tell ya, a lot of the pitches he threw to Chase were very low and inside and he was getting jammed. Of course, you don’t have to swing at all of them, buy you can’t just stand there all night either. Poor Mick looked a bit nervous. Actually, Evan Longoria ran into a similar issue as his pitcher kept throwing at his head! Honestly, I did not see Chase winning this thing, but I think he could have gone a bit longer with some better pitching, so that was a shame.
Some other fun at the Derby was the batting practice before the actual contest and just watching the players interact on the field with each other. Manny Ramirez brought his kids and his son kept trying to tackle other players…another Manny in the making. Mariano Rivera’s kids shagged balls in the outfield. David Wright followed Chase Utley around like a lost puppy. Well, to be fair, everyone wanted a piece of Utley! He was very popular and kept getting dragged from one person to the next, but smiled the whole time in very un-Utley like fashion and for once, did not seem to mind the attention.
Earlier that day, I went to the DHL Fan Fest at the Javits Center and took in as much as I could, but there was definitely enough to do that I could have stayed for several days. With limited time though, I chose to do whatever had the shortest lines :o) For instance, there were free autographs from Hall of Famers like Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage and Paul Molitor; but the line for that was FIVE hours long…NO exaggeration. So, I was totally skipping that. Instead, there were some very nice ladies from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (remember the movie “A League of Their Own?) also signing in another room…no line in there! Got two autographs and a free picture from Dolly Brumfield White and Shirley Burkovich. The line to have yourself put on an official Topps baseball card was VERY long, but to get your photo on the not-so-official Taco Bell baseball card was empty…guess which one I got? Mmmmm…taco’s! Also got a free photo of myself with a Derek Jeter stand-up for signing a pledge to wear my seatbelt. Picked up lots of other freebies along the way….a DVD of the history of Yankee Stadium, buttons, posters, etc…
There were a lot of interactive displays too…computers, video games, batting cages, pitching cages, trivia centers…too many to mention…I’ll post a photo later of the event board. There was an awesome display of the All-Star Clubhouse as well, with uniforms of many of the players on display. I managed to get a photo of Utley’s locker which I will also post later. I also attended one of the many clinics held at Fan Fest. This one was a Pitch, Hit and Run Clinic hosted by Yankee captain, Derek Jeter. Now I love Mr. Jeter as much as the next girl, but I have to say, I have never seen so many grown women go nuts like that in all my life. Wow. You’d think they had just seen Elvis, back from the dead. So aside from the screaming, the clinic was well done and the kids all had a good time. In all, Fan Fest was well worth he price of admission…I only wish I had more time and shorter lines!
The Red Carpet Parade today was a blast, aside from the scorching heat and having to stand for 4 hours straight :o) Seriously, it was worth it to see all those Hall of Famers in one place…a truly historic event. The highlight for me though was when Chase drove by, doing his generic smile and wave but, when he spotted me in the front row, the only Phillies jersey in a sea of Yankees with my #26 hat on, he lit up, pointed to me and yelled out, “Hey! How are you?” Got a great photo of him saying hi to me. Everyone around asked if he knew me…funny stuff. Actually, whenever I see Chase, he gives me that same greeting and the same big-eyed look…I figure at this point he probably does recognize me as he sees me so often with the camera in his face. I am like his own personal stalker…and I mean that in the nicest possible way :o) I yelled out to Brad Lidge too and got the wave from him as well. He looked very happy to be there.
Ok, I think I am all typed out for now…I need sleep! Soooooo tired! Did not get to bed until 2:30am yesterday and got up again to go to the parade at 7am. So, I apologize if my writing is not as sharp as usual…I am still a bit fuzzy and exhausted :o) Well, going to watch the game now…hoping to see Chase have a good game and maybe see Brad get some action!