Last night, the web site Deadspin revealed a story claiming that Ryan Madson’s wife Sarah had some awful things to say about Philadelphia fans.
In the original report, Laura Goldman of the Naked Philadelphian stated the comments were made to her after she identified herself as a reporter. Goldman claims that Madson said, “I hate the fans. It is bad enough that they bother us during the season, but they will not leave us alone in December when we go out to eat. We stayed here during the off season last year, but we will be going to California this year. There must be something particularly bad about Phillies fans because all the players leave in the off season.”
Madson allegedly went on to say about female fans, “Can you believe that they have the gall to give my husband their number in front of me?”
Later, the blog Crossing Broad revealed that Goldman has a very checkered past and a history of being a liar. She is on probation currently for stalking a former lover, falsely accusing him of rape and attempting to extort money from the man. She even fled the country to avoid prosecution and was a fugitive from justice for almost nine years before being extradited back to the US from Israel.
Check out the Crossing Broad article for more details.
The only statement given so far by the Madson’s according to the Daily News was from a spokesman for the Madson’s who said, “Ryan and Sarah enjoy playing in Philadelphia and have a great fondness for the city and the fans.” There was no denial.
However, I personally have a difficult time believing that Sarah Madson would say such things. I spent time with her last year on the 2010 Phillies Cruise and can tell you that both she and Ryan are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They were friendly, cordial and spent a lot of time on the cruise chatting with fans, even during non-Phillies related events.
Ryan even handed me his World Series ring and let me and some friends pass it around to try it on and take photos.
And besides, why would they volunteer to attend a week-long cruise with over 200 Phillies fans if Sarah had issues with the fans? It makes no sense.
As for the credibility of Laura Goldman, she has none. The woman is a convicted extortionist and liar. And she very conveniently did not tape the interview. Even I tape every interview I conduct, and I don’t get interviews very often. In fact, when I interviewed Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Dallas Green last summer, I used two digital recorders, just in case.
The facts simply do not add up here. I hope the Madson’s sue this crazy woman and run her out of the country again.
UPDATE: Karen Araiza of NBC Philadelphia has reported that the Phillies sent out a Press Release with a statement on behalf of Ryan and Sarah Madson. It read as follows:
“Sarah did not consent to an interview, but rather was approached by Ms. Goldman who did not identify herself as a reporter. She began to ask many personal questions about the life of a wife of a professional baseball player. The comments reported by Ms. Goldman were taken completely out of context, and as a result, Sarah is extremely upset and feels violated by the situation.
Sarah says, “For every one fan that may upset us, there are 99 Phillies fans that we love. We have lived here for years, have many friends, neighbors and acquaintances — who also happen to be Phillies fans — for whom we have the utmost respect.”
The Madsons would like to dispel this misleading information which indicates that they have anything but admiration for the fans in Philadelphia.”
Based on the new information, it appears Sarah Madson did make the comments, although the true context is unclear.
Goldman’s actions are inexcusable as she took advantage of a woman trying to be friendly at a charity event.
As for the Madson’s, I would be upset too if women were hitting on my husband right in front of me. It is likely the comments were aimed just at that particular group of fans.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The big news out of Phillies camp today was about Jayson Werth, who apparently misses Eric Bruntlett and wanted to carry forward the Grizzly Adams tradition:
And in following with the Phillies Spring Training practical joke tradition, like faking a Kyle Kendrick trade to Japan, this year an office staff member took the brunt of the joke. Phillies director of baseball communications Greg Casterioto made the awful mistake of allowing himself to be interviewed for South Jersey magazine’s story about South Jersey singles. The Phils took the GQ-like posed photo from the article, blew it up and put it not only on tee-shirts which the whole team wore today, but they also stuck it on the outfield wall at Bright House Field to complete the humiliation:
Shane Victorino was busy this off-season; not only did he get married, go on a cruise with me and 274 other crazy fans, he also managed to find time to design a shirt. The Flyin’ Hawaiian style will be available on March 1st, but you can pre-order it on-line right now. I totally see how his nickname goes with a winged skull…don’t you?
And in actual baseball news, Brad Lidge began throwing off a mound today and feels optimistic about being ready for Opening Day. Same goes for JC Romero who will start throwing off the mound soon. Pretty much all the players who had surgery this offseason including Lidge, Romero, Jamie Moyer and Raul Ibanez all say they feel good and are raring to go. We shall see!
Last night, 6-ABC Philadelphia aired a special report on the Phillies Off-Season. The report covered the weddings of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, Jamie Moyer’s charity work, Chad Durbin’s business venture, the Phillies Cruise and Charlie Manuel’s weight loss. The Phillies Cruise coverage is about 3 minutes into the program and you can see five of my photos featured in that portion of the report with my name listed underneath:
And here are still shots of the photos as they aired in the report:
Special thanks to Scott Palmer and Scott Nickle at the Phillies and Beth Widhson at Holland America for including me in this project :O)
Earlier this week, there were a few very “minor” signings that occurred. The Phillies picked up veteran outfielder Freddy Guzman on a Minor League contract. He will not be invited to Spring Training. And veteran right-hander Oscar Villarreal was also given Minor League contract on Thursday. Villareal is coming off Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2009 season. He was with the Astros in 2008, the Braves from 2006-2007 and the D-Backs three years prior to that. With many question marks still in the bullpen, another in inexpensive, yet experienced arm hanging around is a good idea.
And if you have not seen it already, check out my report on the new Fantasy Baseball tools from Bloomberg Sports. The tools are available for pre-order now at mlb.com and will be ready to use on 2/18/10.
So the countdown to Spring Training continues…only 6 days until the truck rolls out and 13 days until pitchers and catchers report!
Photos by Jenn
On Monday night, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association held their 106th annual awards banquet in Cherry Hill, NJ. The PSWA honors athletes in every sport around the Philadelphia area. The event is usually hosted by the great Harry Kalas, but sadly, he is no longer with us. This same event last year was the last time I spoke with Harry. This year, the PSWA invited his son, Todd Kalas, who spoke with great affection and admiration about his father. I have video of the speech that you can watch below.
The tone of the banquet was still very upbeat and in usual PSWA style, many great athletes and coaches from the area were honored in grand fashion. The Phillies were awarded “Team of the Year” which was accepted by Charlie Manuel and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. accepted the award for “Executive of the Year.” Former Phillie and current advisor, Dickie Noles was given the “Humanitarian” award and Von Hayes was there also as a guest.
The next set of photos are of Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr., me with broadcasters Scott Franzke and Tom McCarthy and Phillies PA announcer, Dan Baker.
The following video shows speeches from Todd Kalas, Amaro and Manuel. Note the “jokes” about the Cliff Lee trade; Amaro playfully blamed it on Charlie. Sorry Ruben, I fail to see the humor. Ok, don’t get me started on that…here’s the video:
There were plenty of other sports icons in attendance, including the 76ers Willie Green who got the “Good Guy” award, Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Eagles player Brent Celek who was named the “Outstanding Professional Athlete” of 2009:
We also heard from Andrew Bailey who was given the “Native Son” award; Bailey grew up in the Philly area and won Rookie of the Year for the American League in 2009 as the closer for the Oakland A’s. Ruben asked who his agent was and tried to steal him away…no success I’m afraid.
The MVP of the Army Navy Game, Ricky Dobbs, was also honored as well as Jay Wright, head coach of Villanova basketball, Fran Dunphy of Temple basketball , the 1960 Eagles and many others. The full list of honorees can be seen at the PSWA web site. I also put together a Photo Album from the event which shows many of these people as well.
The highlight of the night may have been comedian Joe Conklin who does impressions of his favorite Philly sports figures. His Cole Hamels impersonation is hysterical. Take a look:
And finally, here is clip of a program that will air this Thursday at 11pm on 6-ABC Philadelphia. The show is about the Phillies Off-Season and will include some photos that I took during the 2010 Phillies Cruise last month :O)
If you live in the Philly area, set the DVR or tune in at 11pm on 2/4/10.
Photos by Jenn
Good things come in three’s for two Phillies players this week; both Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton have been signed for three years each, keeping them in the red pinstripes until the end of the 2012 season. The only other arbitration eligible player not yet signed to a deal is catcher Carlos Ruiz. With the quick progress on the first two, Ruiz may not be far behind.
Victorino had asked for 5.8 million a year prior to this deal. What he wound up getting amounts to an average of over 7 million a year; the total contract amount is 22 million. Obviously, the Phillies were committed to keeping the Flyin’ Hawaiian for some time to have gone well over his offer. Shane told many of us on the Phillies Cruise that he was extremely nervous during trade talks in July of last year where his name kept popping up. He wanted very badly to stay in Philly. He got his wish and I am very, very happy for him and for the Philadelphia fans. Congrats, Shane!
Joe Blanton’s deal was similar; 3 years for 24 million. Blanton, 29, has been a consistent starter for the Phillies, going 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 2009. My only real question about this deal is, if Blanton is getting 8 million a year, was not Cliff Lee worth maybe 9 or 10 million a year? I am happy for Blanton of course, but this does raise more questions about why we could not afford Lee. I understand the baseball aspect and getting the prospects, but prospects can be attained other ways. In fact, if Lee had left after 1 year, the Phillies would have gotten 2 draft picks out of it.
So yes, many of us are still grumbling about Lee. It was, and still is, a bit of a shock to see him traded away after the ½ year he gave us. Manager Charlie Manuel gave an interesting take on the trade as well saying, “As a manager in the big leagues, I look to put the best team on the field that’s possible at that moment. That’s where Lee comes into play. The financial part, I have nothing to do with that. I want to put the best possible team on the field. I don’t know if that makes me selfish, but that’s how you play the game. That’s how the Yankees do it.” Ouch. I think the reference to the Yankees expresses how most of feel. They should have kept Lee and Roy Halladay…the Yankees certainly would have.
It is hard not to dwell on what could have been, especially given the Blanton signing. But, I will try my best. It is either that, or my head might explode. ;o) Wish me luck!
At any rate, I am thrilled to see Victorino get his due and look forward to Blanton eating some innings for us. And now we await word on Ruiz…
Photo by Jenn
I almost forgot to show everyone my favorite photo from the cruise! It is me, wearing Ryan Madson’s World Series ring :O) Ryan was amazing on the cruise; friendly, shaking hands with everyone and chatting away like we were all old buddies. And he gets extra bonus points for this:
If anyone missed my slideshows or Photo Albums from the trip, check out THIS entry for all that fun as well :O)
And now for the video! The first one is the player introductions from the first day of the cruise, an appearance by the Phanatic and part of movie day, which had a few hitches. They could not get the movie to play (Phillies 09 Yearbook), so Tom Burgoyne, friend of the Phanatic, took the stage, more than once, to entertain the crowd during the delay:
The next 2 videos are the Q & A session where Greg Luzinski, JC Romero, Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson and Tom/Phanatic answered questions from the fans:
And finally, this video is the Farewell cocktail party and dinner. The players and a few of the wives each spoke to the fans during the party and the dinner consisted of a waiter parade, “rally towels,” “Let’s go Phillies!” chant and the singing of “Take me out to the Ballgame.”
And for those who have been following the earthquake in Haiti, you may be interested to know that right before the quake, our cruise ship was sailing from Grand Turk to Puerto Rico, right past the island, on the eastern most side closer to the Dominican Republic. DR is the east side of the same island that Haiti is on. That night, the sea was a bit rough, which may have been an indicator of what was about to hit the area.
In a related story, Jimmy Rollins and his fiancée are currently on the island of Grand Cayman, where an earthquake hit this morning. They had to evacuate their hotel for a short time but Rollins texted the Phillies to say they were ok and that the wedding, scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, is still on. If you ask me, there were far too many Phillies far too close to natural disasters this week.
I would like to send my best wishes to Jimmy and Johari; may their wedding go off without a hitch…or an earthquake ;o) On a more serious note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti. This terrible tragedy reminds us all that we need to take better care of our planet and all the people in it. If anyone is able to donate to the cause, please visit UNICEF for details.
One final note regarding Phillies arbitration; Chad Durbin signed a one-year, $2.125 million contract, ensuring he will avoid the hearing next month. No word yet on whether deals were done with the other 3 eligible players, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz.
And if anyone from the former Duck Pond fan group is reading, you will happy to know that your favorite player is back. Brandon Duckworth signed a minor league deal to bring him back to the Phillies organization. They also signed Jason Standridge and Nate Bump to similar deals; none of the 3 will be invited to Spring Training, but do not let that stop you from quacking with delight :O)
Photos / Video by Jenn
I have arrived home from the Phillies Phantastic Voyage and have sorted through most of my photos. Joining me on the cruise were 270 Phillies fans, JC & Erin Romero, Shane & Melissa Victorino, Ryan & Sarah Madson, Greg & Jean Luzinski, Scott Palmer, the Phanatic, the friend of the Phanatic, Tom Burgoyne and his wife and Phillies Sales Manager, Scott Nickle and his wife, Jenny. Everyone had a blast!
I put together a slide show of some key moments from the trip as well as some island shots. In addition, there are also Photos Albums which include these photos plus many more. I put together a Phillies Events album and also an Island Events album, which is non-baseball in nature. Click on either name to view each album.
To view the Photo Slideshow CLICK HERE and it will take you to the video.
As you can see, everyone, even the Smurf, had a great time. I will be posting video later today or tomorrow in addition to the photo slideshows where you will get to listen to the players talk during the Q&A session and the cocktail parties, plus much more!
A few other notes; while I was away, Scott Eyre announced his retirement. He will be missed :O( I wish Scott the best in his future endeavors!
Next up, Brad Lidge had knee surgery…again. He had some loose bodies and debris removed and is expected to make a full recovery within 2-3 weeks. No word on whether he will be ready for opening day or not.
This past Friday, four players filed for arbitration; Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Shane Victorino. Really all this means is they will negotiate their salaries with the team and if no consensus is reached, they will have a hearing to decide the amount next month. Last year, the Phillies avoided arbitration with all 10 players who filed.
Next I would like to address a question I was asked a few times while I was away in regards to JC Romero and his arm surgery. JC is recovering well; he looked healthy and happy all week on the cruise. As for his recovery time, it is too soon to tell. Until he begins a regular throwing routine to see how the arm reacts, it will be difficult to make any educated guesses. However, when he had the surgery in October, he was given a 5-6 month recovery window. This means he likely will not be ready until after the season begins. But as with most injuries and surgeries, anything is possible.
Photos by Jenn