Roy Halladay really is Superman. That is evident after last night’s gutsy, one-legged performance. With what has been diagnosed as a mild to moderate groin strain, Halladay pitched 6 innings against the Giants, holding them to only 2 runs and leading the Phillies to victory. Because of Halladay’s heroics, the Fightin’ Phils live to fight another day.
The Phillies say that Halladay is day-to-day and it is unclear how to injury might affect him going forward. However, that should not be a concern right now because the Phillies have to get to the World Series first before they worry about that. Some have asked if Halladay could pitch out of the bullpen in a possible Game 7, but if it goes that far, Cole Hamels should have it under control.
Halladay’s teammates were impressed with his courage and determination; many of them, like Placido Polanco, had no idea anything was wrong until after the game. Polanco was asked about it in a post-game interview and said, “He didn’t tell anybody. So I didn’t know.” Shane Victorino was aware and said after the game, “After a couple innings I was like, ‘God, this guy is pitching on one leg. Really?’ His velocity wasn’t 92, 93 (mph). It was 89, 90. That shows me what he’s about.”
Hopefully, this act of heroism is what will inspire the team and propel them to their 3rd consecutive World Series. Game 6 tomorrow!
Bigot Offends Entire City
After Game 3 on Tuesday Bruce Newman, whom I will loosely call a “journalist” for the Mercury News in San Jose, posted an article bashing Philadelphia fans. He called it “The City of Brotherly Loathe,” claiming that San Francisco fans are classy and Philly fans are basically trash. He based this on examples like the kid who got tasered, the 40-year old Santa Claus snowball incident and a few interviews in which comments were taken out of context and Phillies fervor was mischaracterized as “shocking behavior.” He made “booing” seem like a cardinal sin.
Like a grade school bully, Newman even went as far as to poke fun at Philly’s “artery-clogging cheesesteaks,” basically calling Philly fans fat. By the way, they serve cheesesteaks in San Fran too. I took this writer to school and sent him a scathing reply to this disgusting, prejudiced piece of trash he wrote. I will share that with you in a moment.
By the way, I have not gotten any response, although I know 3 other people who did hear back and Newman’s comments to them were just as rude as the article. One comment was a sarcastic, “Have a nice winter.” To another letter by a writer at Crossing Broad, he replied by thanking the person for generating more traffic to his web site and said, “If I thought you had something significant to say, I would have sent a more meaningful response.”
Please also note that I do not wish to have my previously undisclosed comments in the letter below to color anyone’s view of San Francisco. These were simply real and telling examples for this idiot to illustrate that every city has good and bad fans, good and bad people. San Fran is a nice town overall, but like all places around the earth, they have their issues as well. Here is the letter I sent him:
You should be ashamed of yourself for the article bashing Philadelphia fans. It was journalistically irresponsible, morally reprehensible and just plain rude. To see a supposed professional writer characterize an entire city by the actions of a few bad people is truly disgusting.
There are good fans and bad fans in every sports town. I do not condone the actions of those who have behaved horribly, but I also do not claim that as a basis for slandering an entire city. I have been to dozens of stadiums all over America and can tell you, every city has their bad apples. Let us examine your own beloved San Francisco as an example.
In 2008, a teenage fan killed another fan outside the park after an argument. Should I then conclude that all Giants fans are murderers? Let’s take a look at my own personal experiences in San Francisco just last year. I was walking outside the ball park taking photos of the stadium and surrounding areas while wearing a Phillies jersey. 3 adult male Giants fans in their own team apparel approached me, a solo, middle-aged woman minding her business, and began screaming at me and shouting obscenities about the Phillies. I ignored them and started to walk away. They not only followed me, they caught up, surrounded me, got right in my face and continued the intimidation up close. Many other Giants fans walked past and did nothing to help. After asking nicely for them to move on, I actually had to shove my way through the group and quickly shuffled into a nearby McDonalds where I waited for them to leave the area.
I certainly did not expect to be accosted in broad daylight with all those other people milling about. Do I now think that all, or even the majority of, Giants fans are horrible? No, that would be illogical. These were 3 jerks trying to frighten a fan of the opposing team. Did I then post this information on either of the 2 Phillies blogs I write for? No. Because it would have been irresponsible for me to portray a city badly based on a few bad people.
I met and spoke to many Giants fans over the course of four games; some were very nice and fun to chat with. Others were jerks, like the 3 idiots I ran into that day, and did nothing but shout obscenities. Many knew very little about baseball and about their team, but they were nice people. However, the scoreboard messages that were allowed to run, in front of the entire stadium crowd during the Phillies series were awful; one of them said, “Utley must die.” Whichever employee accepted money for that should be embarrassed.
You said in your article, “Giants play in a park named after a company that quietly drops your phone calls; the Phillies play in a park sponsored by a bank that forecloses on people’s homes.” Seriously? This sounds like a 3-year old complaining that he did not get the flavor ice cream he wanted. How about PNC Park, Chase Field, Citi Field, Comerica Park, etc… By the way, did you know that AT&T regularly hands out personal customer information due to a lack of web security, paving the way to identity theft and ruining entire lives everywhere? Maybe Citizens Bank had to foreclose on a house due to AT&T identity theft? Did you also hear about the “secret room” in AT&T’s San Francisco office where they spy on people? No? Look it up.
How about, “the intensity level of hate here is probably 30 percent of what it is in Philly.” Wow…that is some truly stunning scientific evidence there. I am pretty sure the thousands of homeless San Francisco “residents” that line the sidewalks outside the stadium and all over the city may tilt the “hate” meter a bit. They have a lot to be angry about. But hey, you are a real journalist; why deal in facts? Slander works just fine, right? Oh sorry, do I sound angry? Quick, add another percentage of anger to Philly!
And did you see the photos of the two young 6-7 year old Giants fans wearing Panda head gear and holding signs that said “***** The Phillies?” No? I can send you a copy if you like. But I suppose you probably thought the “Fix Your Teeth” sign was way more biting than seeing small children being taught to use the “F” word. Classy move, Giants fans.
My point here is simple. Responsible, professional journalists, and people in general with any common sense whatsoever, do not characterize an entire city based on the actions a small sampling of people. There are bad people and bad fans in every city, even San Francisco. Your article was offensive, inaccurate and childish. You owe the entire city of Philadelphia an apology. If you don’t think so, then you are just as bad as the idiot who threw up all over that little girl. Shameful.”
If you feel the same way, please write Mr. Newman and tell him so: email@example.com If you get any nasty replies, please forward them to me and I will be happy to post them: Jenn, firstname.lastname@example.org
This guy makes a joke out the profession of journalism. How some people get these jobs is really a mystery. He has no integrity, no accountability and apparently, no remorse. Mr. Newman tossed journalistic ethics out the window; he is an embarrassment to real news people everywhere.
On a lighter note, see you at the game tomorrow! Go Phillies!
Cliff Lee was welcomed to Philadelphia today by the fans. In his second start for the team, his first at home, Lee pitched extremely well. He went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk. While not as spectacular as his first start in San Francisco where he went a full 9 innings, today’s start was more than acceptable and exactly what the Phillies were hoping to get out of the 2008 Cy Young winner.
Lee had some help; Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 at the plate and was just a home run short of the cycle. J-Roll also scored 2 of the 3 Phillies runs. Paul Bako, the Phillies back-up catcher, hit a solo home run in the game; it was his first homer since June of last year.
There were also several miscues in the game including an error by Lee, a ball missed by Ryan Howard that should have been an error, but was not scored as such, and J-Roll also missed a ball up the middle that he normally gets to. On top of that, the young Ben Francisco drew a walk in the 7th, only to get himself picked off at 1st base. Whoops! But through all the blunders, Lee remained calm and pitched through it. That, more than anything else, was very impressive.
Earlier today, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that JA Happ will stay in the rotation. How this will happen has not been disclosed, although Ruben did mention getting “creative” to solve the dilemma. Could “creative” mean he likes my 5 ½ man rotation idea?? Hmmmmm…..
Whatever the case, good news for Happ! Likely what happens next is Jamie Moyer starts against the Marlins this week and after that, the real fun of juggling these guys begins.
The Fish are coming to town! Tomorrow’s 7:05pm game start time has been pushed back to 7:35pm in order to hold a special ceremony to induct our beloved Harry Kalas into the Phillies Wall of Fame. It is sure to be an emotional day for all as Harry’s sons, friends and family of fans pay tribute to a Philly legend one more time. We still miss you, Harry!
And finally, here is the full Photo Album from today’s Phillies – Rockies match-up and Cliff Lee’s 2nd start.
Photos by Jenn
I have been campaigning for JA Happ all year and tonight, he pitched a 4-hit complete game shut-out against the Rockies in a 7-0 win. It was his second complete game shut-out this year. On top of that, he hit a double in the game as well. What else do the Phillies need from this kid?
With Pedro Martinez lurking in the wings, one of the starters will likely have to go in the pen. Rumor has it that the Phillies will not do that to Jamie Moyer because of his status in the league; Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton are locks. So JA Happ appears to be the odd man out when Martinez arrives from his rehab starts, unless they go with a 6-man rotation.
I have the solution. Go with what I am calling a 5 ½ man rotation; you start Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and on day 5, tell Moyer and Martinez that they will get 4-5 innings a piece and rotate who actually “starts” in the 1st inning each time around the rotation. With the advanced ages of these two guys, they will benefit from the shortened starts. This will mean fewer pitches, less fatigue and fewer opportunities for opponents to make adjustments on each of them.
Plus, this gives the Phillies wiggle room if someone gets hurt or if either Moyer or Martinez starts off the game badly. Pull him out and put in the 2nd guy. They will always be on the same 5 day schedule so no worries about messing up their rhythm either. And there will be less stress on the bullpen as they should get used a bit less. Moyer has gone less than six innings four times in his last 7 starts. This rotation solves that problem.
Especially after tonight’s performance, there is NO way the Phillies can justify putting Happ in the pen. They need a solution and here it is. Now if only someone would actually listen….
Ok, more photos! I have posted the non-baseball photos from my San Francisco trip on Facebook. Photo Album #1 contains Alcatraz, the Golden Gate & Bay bridges, the Aquarium and city photos. Photo Album #2 covers the Farallon Islands whale watch, Marine Mammal Sanctuary, Marin Golden Gate National Park, the Pier & Sea Lions in the city, Seal Rock and the San Francisco Zoo. Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn
I have finished the Photo Albums from the 4-game Phillies – Giants series in San Francisco. The first one covers all around AT&T Park, inside and out. The second album is of all 4 games. Here is a quick summary of what you will see:
Game 1, July30th: Police Appreciation Day; Rodrigo Lopez starts for the Phillies and Jonathan Sanchez for the Giants.
Game 2, July 31st: Cliff Lee’s first game with the Phillies vs. Ryan Sadowski for the Giants; Aaron Rowand’s 1,000 career hit. There is also a photo of an A’s World Series Ring that appears to be a very good replica.
Game 3, Aug. 1st: Giants Family Softball Game; Dog Days at the park; Olympic Gold Medalist Peggy Fleming in a pre-game ceremony; Joe Blanton starts for the Phillies and Tim Lincecum for the Giants.
Game 4, Aug. 2nd: Cole Hamels starts for the Phillies and Barry Zito for the Giants; there is one photo of the Phillies tour group looking very unhappy in the stands. FYI – I was not on the official tour; I went on my own but did talk to many people on the tour who had a great time, except for all the losses :O(
I will be posting more photos from the non-baseball events in a few days and will put up a link to that when it is done for anyone who wants to see the sights from San Francisco. It will include whale watching, the zoo, aquarium, sea lions, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, different areas in the city, Sausalito, a few parks and more.
All photos by Jenn
The following is a review of the Giants ballpark in San Francisco, the fans and the city overall. Yesterday, I took a tour of AT & T Park before departing for home. The park, like most, has its ups and downs. The first thing that strikes you is the view. Sitting on the San Francisco Bay, the water backdrop and city lights behind it make for a stunning effect. The Coke bottle, which is actually a slide inside, and the giant glove in centerfield add to the aura. The photo below of the whole stadium was taken from the upper deck during Fantasy Batting Practice where fans can pay to hit the ball around the field; another nice option at this stadium.
The murals and tributes to players of the past all around the stadium are a very nice touch as well. Quotes from TV, movies, broadcasters and ballplayers line the walls too, which add to the interesting design.
Walking around the stadium is a bit odd, however. The area behind home plate from 1st to 3rd is completely enclosed so you cannot see what is going on outside. There are a plethora of plasma TV’s all around though so you can watch the TV feed of the game. But once you cross into the outfield sections around the concourse, hold on to your hat! The wind gusts are strong enough to carry a small child out to sea. And it is like that all the time.
You would also expect a relatively new stadium to have real bullpens. No such luck in this ballpark as the throwing area is practically on the field and each team needs 2 “lookouts” to protect the guys in the pen from foul balls. I asked about this and was told that when building the park they “ran out of room.”
Lack of space is also why the Home Dugout and clubhouse are on the 3rd base side. That is the more spacious side of the park. The Visitors’ clubhouse is cramped, narrow and looks a bit like it was built in the 1970’s. The unevenness of the park even shows in the seating area. I sat just to the 1st base side of home plate for a few games and my knees were up against the seat in front of me with the cup holder leaving a really fun mark. The exact same seat, same row and location on the 3rd base side had plenty of room; about 6 inches were open in front of my knees. Weird.
The Luxury Suite area is very, very nice. Each suite has comfy chairs, couches, a sink and full cooking area. The only complaint from some fans was that you could not purchase Garlic Fries on that level as management did not want the smell wandering about under the rich folks noses. But if you can live with that, and have about $7,000 to blow, the Suites are the place for you!
And finally, the seat Nazi’s – yes, the staff at this ballpark are serious about people staying in their area. In fact, there is a very unfriendly and unattractive metal railing that runs between the middle of the lower section of seats from 1st to 3rd base. If you do not have a ticket in those first 20 or so rows, you cannot even venture down to watch batting practice. Even Yankee Stadium lets you watch BP from wherever you like, so I was not impressed with that at all. It’s 2 hours before the game, the stadium is empty, but I cannot watch BP up close? Not cool. Of course, I did sneak my way down one day :O)
That whole front section is difficult to navigate as well. There are only TWO ways to get back up to the rest of the stands the entire way from 1st to 3rd. Either that or you have to go through an underground tunnel to change sections or climb over many very annoyed people. This is a very bad design.
So, you be the judge. At & T Park is a nice place to visit, very nice views, but a bit unfriendly overall. As for the fans, some were nice, some not nice, like you expect most places. However, I was not expecting some to be as rude as they were; I mean, this is not New York. But still, I would be standing around quietly minding my own business and some grown man would run over, get in my face and scream, “Phillies suck!!!” But I guess you find those idiots wherever you go.
City of San Francisco – The Good
I have been all over the United States and traveled though 4 Continents, but San Francisco has the weirdest and most interesting topography I have ever seen. This is actually both good and bad. Good, because it is visually a very fun place to see. Bad, because driving up and down all those hills is only fun during car chases in the movies. It is not so much fun while you trying not to wreck a rental car.
But the location on the water is gorgeous and the opportunities to see wildlife is wonderful. There is a lot of very unique architecture around the city, as well as wooded areas and huge, towering trees just outside of the city.
And you will never run out of things to do, if you have the cash. Especially if you love to shop; this place is a shopper’s paradise. From Chinatown to the Union Square upper class stores like Tiffany’s and Louis Vitton, you can literally shop until you drop.
City of San Francisco – The Bad
Everything is very expensive in San Francisco; you know the song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”? Well, I do not know about that, but I am pretty sure I did leave my wallet there. Parking is a nightmare and you will pay around $30 in a garage for just a few hours. But on the street is worse; ever tried to parallel park on a steep hill? Yikes! And then you find out that the meter takes only quarters and costs $3.00 for 20 minutes. The parking garage does not sound too bad after that.
Then there is the weather; cold, wet and soggy. Yuck. The constant mist in the air makes it bone-chilling cold in 55 degrees. The fog, which wanders in and out, is thick and scary and blocks many of the nice views around town. Not to mention, it causes tons of car accidents. My first day in town, I saw three major accidents over a 10 minute drive.
City of San Francisco – The Ugly
Again, I have been all over the world. I grew up 40 minutes south of New York City. I have seen many, many things in my lifetime, but never have I seen so many homeless and destitute people in one place before. It was truly depressing. You walk out of the stadium and are instantly barraged by anywhere from ten to fifteen homeless people begging for food and money. And that is just on one street corner. Keep walking; there are more at the next corner. It does make you thankful for what you have, but my heart simply could not take seeing that every day. I really do not know how people who live there handle this, but better them than me.
So, San Francisco is an interesting place with activities for all tastes, but bring your wallet, hire a driver and do not wander too far from the tourist spots.
I am putting together a Photo Album from the 4-game series with the Giants and shots of the ballpark now. Hoping to have that done later today. Check back for that.
Photos by Jenn