Tagged: Mitch Williams

Wolf Devours Phils; Baseball 101 For Women

Since the game against our old pal Randy Wolf and the Dodgers was awful, let’s begin today with something fun!  Here is a recap of the Baseball 101 event for women held before the game yesterday:

P5133337 Werth.jpgThis now twice annual event included a behind the scenes tour, coaching from the Phillies staff, many guest speakers and an appearance by Jayson Werth.  Werth walked into the room and you would have thought it was Tom Cruise, judging from the reaction.  Women screamed and flash bulbs popped.  Werth talked openly to the group of 140 female fans and was surprisingly comical.  He talked about stealing home in Tuesday nights’ win over the Dodgers (turns out, it was all his idea and the 3rd base coach had no clue what was happening); Werth also gave us an overview of what it is like to travel as a Major League player, how he felt at the World Series parade, his baseball heritage and what it means to play as a team.  He was very impressive.

We also heard from Phillies broadcaster, Chris Wheeler, who walked us though his embarrassment of the strange dance he did behind Harry Kalas as he called the World Series win.  Wheels said he had no idea that he had actually looked that nuts until an hour and half later when he saw the replay.  Mitch Williams was also exceptionally informative, and very, very funny.  Williams should be a stand-up comic.  He had the room almost in tears as he discussed how we have not lived until we’ve seen John Kruk naked, how he (Williams) does not wear pants during his broadcasts and a variety of other topics.  And Larry Andersen, another former player and current broadcaster, was equally entertaining with his tales of Kalas and honest expressions of dislike for umpires.

Below, you will see Williams, Andersen and a very surreal moment as well; Tom Burgoyne, friend of the Phanatic, with the Phanatic!  A true “out of body” experience :O)


At one point, all the women broke into teams and travelled around the stadium, with stops in the bullpen, the batting cages and on the field to run the bases and work on throwing and fielding with the Phillies coaching staff.  Sam Perlozzo and Davey Lopes directed us on the field; Milt Thompson and Pete Mackanin let us swing away in the cages; and Rich Dubee and Mick Billmeyer let us throw pitches off the mound in the pen.  They gave us the inside scoop, just like we were real major leaguers.  My favorite coach comment of the day came when I asked what changes we could expect to see when JC Romero returns to the team.  Billmeyer chimed in immediately with, “We will get better!”  Well said :O)

And a first for Baseball 101 was the behind the scenes tour of the player areas:  the clubhouse, their kitchen and even the training room.  I can tell you several things from this experience.  First, Chad Durbin has a sweet tooth and likes crossword puzzles; some players seem to have a shoe fetish; Ryan Howard uses the same baby powder that I do; and doing laundry for the Phillies is a very interesting job!  Here are a few sights from the clubhouse:

I took tons of photos and was surprised by a few things I saw just “hanging” around.  I heard myself mutter as I peered into lockers, “Is that…(you fill in the blank)???  Oh my, yes it is.”  Use your imagination.  Nothing out of the baseball realm, but still a bit weird to see up close ;O)

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So after the all-day event which began at 8:45am, we sat down to watch the game which started at 7:05pm.  Sleepy, but it was worth it.  We had a good 3 innings and Jamie Moyer looked like he may knock out every Dodger that faced him, but come the 4th inning, the bottom dropped out and it all went downhill from there.  7 runs allowed in only 4 1/3 innings and Moyer still cannot find his 250th win.  However, I think that was the least of his worries last night.  With the struggles in this starting rotation, I would not be surprised to see some changes very soon.  Charlie Manuel has announced that JA Happ will start one of the games of the double-header on Saturday against the Nats; no word on what will happen after that.  Happ may be pitching that day for his chance to win a spot in the rotation.

On again to more pleasant things:  Here is the Photo Album from my day in baseball-land which includes the photos in this post and more.  And don’t forget to tune in to the game this afternoon, which is an early start of 1:05pm to finish the Dodgers series.  Hoping the Phillies can pull out a winning series!

Photos by Jenn


Opening Day Arrives in Philly

After yesterday’s 4-1 loss to the Braves, the Phillies have now lost 4 straight Opening Day games, three of which have been behind Brett Myers.  The good news is, they lost last year too and still won the World Series.  The slightly bad news is, it appears our left-handed heavy line-up may need some shaking up.  Get to that in a moment; first, some pictures from the Opening Day pomp and circumstance which include the pre-game line-up; cake in the Diamond Club; Mitch Williams joking around with Shane Victorino; Ryan Howard doing an interview; Chase Utley warming up:


More pre-game excitement:  The entire Phillies team actually entered the stadium from OUTSIDE the ballpark, walking in behind a high school marching band.  They wandered through Ashburn Alley above the centerfield seats, walked through the outfield seating section and down a set of very scary looking metal steps while high-fiving the fans they passed by; they were then greeted by more fans on the field, draped along a red carpet leading to mid-field.  The photos below show the Army opening up the American flag; the decent to the outfield stairs; the raising of the World Series flag; the red carpet of fans; Matt Stairs poking himself in the belly and laughing (I guess he thinks he is the Pillsbury DoughBoy?); and finally, Army paratroopers entering the stadium with the game ball.  Fun note – the first parachute guy missed the stadium and landed somewhere in the parking lot – oops!


Before the game, I spoke with our friend Todd Zolecki from The Zo Zone, who was happy to be back in Philly and getting on with the season, as we all are. 
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I also spoke to Larry Shenk from Phillies Insider who was equally excited to get the season started.  To the right is a photo of me with Todd; I also took a picture with Larry, which I cropped myself out of and Photo-shopped him next to me and Todd.  Larry looks great, but I had a really dumb look on my face; besides, we don’t need any more pictures of me ;O)

Anyway, the game did get off to a somewhat ominous start when, after the raising of the World Series flag, manager Charlie Manuel began walking down the aisle towards the outfield steps to make his way onto the field behind the players.  But in a strange turn of events, just as Manuel neared the wobbly looking metal stair case, the CBP employees pulled the steps up from the field!  Yes, they took the stairs right out from under him, leaving him stranded amongst hundreds of excited fans.  Poor Charlie had to hike it back up the aisle and figure out another way onto the field.  A bad omen for the day, perhaps?

The game began with Brett Myers giving up 3 home runs in the first 2 innings for 4 runs total.  Myers has become notorious for his early inning struggles, but after those 2 innings, he settled in and pitched 4 more scoreless innings.  However, Derek Lowe for the Braves was lights out all night, with the Phillies getting only 2 hits off him.  Lowe had a shut-out going into the 9th inning, but much to everyone’s surprise, he was not sent out to finish the game. 

Instead, lefty Mike Gonzalez took over in the 9th and quickly got into trouble against our few right-handed bats.  With 1 out, pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett lined a ball down the left field line for a double and then Jayson Werth sent him home with a single.  And here come the lefties:  Utley managed to draw a walk, but then Ryan Howard got caught looking at strike 3 and newcomer, Raul Ibanez went down swinging; game over.  The left handed bats killed the rally, which is the nightmare Philly fans have been envisioning all off-season.  But again, it is only one game; no need to panic or even be slightly bummed out about it.  Lowe pitched an amazing game and sometimes when that happens, there is not much anyone can do. 

So, Phillies fans are left with the following questions to ponder:  Will this mostly left-handed line-up figure out how to get it done?  Is Ibanez going to have a rough time endearing himself to the fans after starting out 0-4 on Opening Day?  Will Myers solve the early innings puzzle?  Well, we have 161 more games to figure that all out.  Just chill…  :O)

In the meantime, more photos!  Below, you will see Myers pitching; Ibanez catching a fly ball; Utley in mid-air after a quick throw to first; the Phanatic and friend as a cheer squad; and a close-up of the fancy gold-trimmed Opening Day jerseys which you can buy at the park for a who*pping $240 (excuse the * edit as this program thinks it is a bad word)!!


I have put together a photo album with these and many more shots from Opening Day which you can see HERE.  Hope you like them :O)  One more for you though; This is my Photo of the Day.  It is Jayson Werth, apparently, kissing a tree frog; taken from the Phillies Phanavision. :O)P4058289 Werth.jpg

The Phillies have the day off today to recuperate from another disappointing Opening Day and then it is back at it with the Braves on Tuesday night; game time is 7:05pm.

(Photos by Jenn)


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Phillies Players – Strange, Fun & Unique Nicknames

It has always been a tradition in baseball to assign players a nickname.  Whether that be a descriptive one, a play on words, or just plain weird, most guys seem to get one at some point that winds up sticking with them.  I have compiled a list of nicknames for the 2008 Phillies that I could find and then other Phillies from years past.  I tried to avoid any media-given names and just stick to the stuff the players use amongst themselves.  I also put years by some of the older or more obscure player names.  Hope you enjoy it…have a Happy Holiday!!!

2008 Phillies Players

Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge

Carlos Ruiz – Chooch

Charlie Manuel – Chuck

Chase “The Man” Utley or The Model (given to him by J-Roll) or Chutley (ya know, like my Chutley Smurf :O)PA260205 Smurf.jpg

Chris Coste – Chris Clutch

Cole Hamels – Hollywood Hamels

Geoff Jenkins – Jenks or Brett Favre (he is his long-lost twin :o)

Greg Dobbs – Dober (he actually doesn’t like it, but everyone calls him this anyway!)

Jamie Moyer – Grand Pappy or Dyno (for Dinosaur – given to him by J-Roll)

Jayson Werth – J-Dub or Werewolf

Jimmy Rollins – J-Roll or Papa Smurf (I know this one is accurate because Jimmy told me himself that this is what he was called “back in the day.”)

Juan Carlos Romero – JC (did anyone even know his real name was Juan Carlos or did you read this and go, who is this guy??)

Milt Thompson – Uncle Milty

Pat “The Bat” Burrell

Pedro Feliz – Pete Happy (literal translation of his name)

Rudy Seanez – Action Traction (I have NO idea what this is about)

Ryan Howard – The Big Man or Rhino

Ryan Madson – Mad Dog

Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian

Previous Phillies Players:

Antonio Alfonseca – El Pulpo or The Octopus (because he has 6 fingers on each hand….seriously…I have photos)

Bake McBride (1973-83) – Shake n’ Bake

Bobby Abreu – El Comedulce – The Candy Eater

Chuck Klein (1928-44) – The Hoosier Hammerer

Curt Schilling – Schill

Darren Daulton (1983-97) – Dutch

Garry Maddox – The Secretary of Defense

Gary “Sarge” Matthews

Greg Luzinski – The Bull

John Titus – Silent John

Juan Samuel (1983-98) – Sammy

Kevin Saucier – Hot Sauce

Larry Bowa – Gnat (does this mean he is annoying?)

Lenny Dykstra – Nails

Mickey Doolan (1905-18) – Doc

Mickey Morandini – Dandy Little Glove Man (Is it just me, or is this like the gayest nickname ever?)

Mike Lieberthal – Lieby

Mike Schmidt – Iron Mike or Schmidty

Mitch Williams – Wild Thing and Mitchy-Poo (Harry Kalas coined that one)

Otto Knabe (1905-16) – Dutch

Pete Rose – Charlie Hustle

Plácido Polanco – Polly

Steve Bedrosian (1981-95) – Bedrock

Steve Carlton – Lefty

Todd Jones – Roller Coaster

Von Hayes (1981-92) – Five-for-One

Willie Jones – Puddin’ Head


And as always, feel free to add your own here in the comments :o)

Hamels Puts The Brew Crew On Ice

Cole Hamels totally mystified the Brewers tonight.  They looked confused at the plate, and even had a bad defensive game as they were so bleary-eyed from facing Hamels.  After 8 full innings of work, Hamels had not given up a run and only surrendered 2 hits.  He also had 9 strikeouts in his shut-out performance.

The Phillies offense was not much better against the Brewers’ starter.  They had only 3 hits off him and, thanks to a Brewers error in the 3rd, wound up scoring 3 runs that inning, none of them earned.  But that turned out to be all the offense they needed.  Brad Lidge had another tummy turner of an outing as he allowed 2 hits, one walk and one run.  As I stood in the rain, wiping the water from my face, I was so queasy I thought I might pass out.  Well, Lidge did eventually put me out of my misery and escaped with the win.  It was very emotional, as you can see…here is a shot right after the game of Jimmy Rollins and Lidge sharing the moment:
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The pre-game festivities were exciting as well.  Broadcasters and Alumni took the stage to rile up the fans and then a pre-recorded message of thanks from both Pat Gillick and Jamie Moyer was played for the fans on the big screen TV outside the stadium.  On stage, we heard from Greg Luzinski, Larry Anderson, Mitch Williams, Gary Matthews and of course, Harry Kalas who sung “High Hopes” for us again.  Here are some photos from the rally:

Phanatic smashing a Brewers helmet:
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And a few game shots I got before it started pouring!
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I will be at tomorrows’ game as well and hope to bring you more photos and info.  Until then, I must get some sleep!  Go Phillies!

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Brett Myers Needs A Hug

Two pitches into last nights’ game I thought, oh my, this is going to be a long one.  That’s when the first of 3 Braves home runs left the park in a hurry.  And, in the first 2 innings.  Everyone seems to have a different view on what is going on with Myers; Mitch Williams seems to think he lacks attitude; Manuel thinks he is not setting up the batters; others point to pitch velocity.  Me?  I think the man just needs a hug.  Come here baby!  I’ll make it all better :o)

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See?  Now aren’t we all in a better mood?  Ok, ok…well, what else can you do at this point?  Throw the guy under an 18-wheeler?  He obviously does not want to suck.  I assume he does not enjoy getting booed, and believe me, he got his share of that last night.  Brett has what it takes to be a great starter, he just needs to find that energy and channel it in the right direction.  MapQuest anyone?

Losing 8-6, the Phillies did almost pull out an amazing comeback even after all that, with Shane Victorino falling short by a mere 2 feet at the warning track with 2 men on base.  One of those men was super sweet Greg Dobbs who came through, yet again, with huge pinch hit.  This guy SO should be getting more playing time!  Incidentally, Greg was the guest speaker yesterday at the women’s Baseball 101 clinic and was extremely entertaining.  I will be posting video of that, Q&A’s with Assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr., Jen Utley, Harry Kalas, Michael Barkann, plus photos from the day and much more!  I will being posting some of that this evening…stay tuned…

Also, Phillies Phollowers was the featured Blog on MLBlogs this week, in case you missed it.  You can read the feature story on Phillies Phollowers called a Spheroid on the main MLB Community Blog.  My thanks to MLBlogs for the nod!  Have a good day everyone!

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Donde Esta…?

Phillies fans were left wondering after Monday’s performance:  Where is….the bat of Pedro Feliz?  Apparently taking a Siesta… 0 for 4, so sad 😦  Well, I think maybe he was just trying  a bit too hard to impress his new hometown crowd, but have no fear, I saw him in Spring Training and he will come around.  Nappy nap time is over…from Siesta to Fiesta!!!  Let’s go!!!P2272815_final sm.jpg

In other news…where is Mitchy Poo Williams these days?  Well, I spoke to him before the game on Monday…call it my first unofficial interview…and he is busy with, “work, work, work.”  Yes folks, a direct quote.  I congratulated him on his new salsa empire and he showed me the stands at CBP where they are now handing out his Wild Thing Salsa along with the nachos.  The same deal is also set up at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL where I also sampled the salsa and I have to say, the stuff is actually really very good.  In fact, I’m totally hooked.  It’s nicely blended and doesn’t have all those huge, weird chunks of stuff like other brands.  Well done Mitch!  :o)

And where is Wes Helms going to go now that have added another pitcher?  With the arrival of Rudy Seanez, it seems unlikely that Helms will be around for much longer…the clock is ticking…Adios!

Donde esta the aching back of one Cole Hamels?  Gone forever people!  Or we should hope so anyway, now that the team has hired a staff osteopathic physician / chiropractor.  Now someone bring the boy his milk and cookies, lay him down for his nap and sprinkle fairy dust over his eyes for sweet, sweet dreams.  When he wakes, he will throw a no-hitter and lead us to the World Series…  Ahhhhh….oh, wait, I think I accidentally slipped and fell into the fairy dust.  Darn it!  I hate when that happens!

Ah, back to reality…fingers crossed for tonight’s game!  See ya!