Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lost? Go Wrizight.

The TV show, Lost, had is series finale and left people just as stunned and confused as when they got hooked on the show six years ago. Although it may have been a good show, I never even so much as attempted to watch it. Mostly because if I was going to debate my friends it would be over important issues like what is the most effective grip for a change-up, but I do know how the shows fans felt. Even when it comes to Major League Baseball, there are many issues I can’t, don’t, or won’t understand.

#1. The DH. I can’t think of another professional league in which there is a different set of rules for each conference. Imagine if the AFC had a pass punt and kick competition to break ties.

#2. Why some Hall of Fame voters will not vote for a candidate on their first year of eligibility. I know Babe Ruth didn’t get in his first year, but let it go.

#3. Interleague Play. I’m not sure why so many complain about it. It brought a lot of people back to the ballparks after the strike in 1994. I think it could be restructured, but I think it should stay.

#4. The All-Star Game deciding home field advantage for the World Series. This may be the dumbest idea in the history of professional sports (well, next to the “glow puck”). Why should a player on a team 15 games out in mid-July who is only there because every team HAS to have a representative be a factor in who gets the advantage?

#5. Why are people in kayaks in the bay behind San Francisco’s ballpark for meaningless games? Historic home runs and playoff games are one thing but the possibility of drowning to retrieve an Aaron Rowand homer is kinda dumb.

#6. Speaking of homers, why do people throw back opposing teams home run balls at Citizens Bank Park? It’s stupid for 2 reasons. First and foremost, it’s Chicago’s tradition. I don’t suppose you’d want to sing Sweet Caroline during the 7th inning stretch, would you? And secondly, the ball girl retrieves it and gives it to a little kid who has better seats than you.

#7(a). Why does anyone wait in line 45 minutes for Chickie and Pete’s Crab Fries? I love them too, but that is ridiculous.
#7(b) Why do the Chickie’s stand only make one basket of fries at a time? Hey retards, the 82 people in line aren’t waiting to buy a coke.

#8. Why does Greg Amzinger have a baseball related job? If you are not familiar, he is one of the hosts for the MLB network. His picture can also be found next to the word, tool, in the dictionary.

#9. Does anyone have video of Nyjer Morgan playing hockey? Pookie, from New Jack City, playing baseball is funny, but hockey? Pure Gold.

#10. Seriously, Can any one tell me why the Hot Pants Patrol has not been permanently resurrected? (No explanation necessary.)

Feel free to comment if you have the answers to any of these questions or a burning one of your own.

Like Cole Hamels’ change up, I’m outta here.

Jay Wrizight

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Rod Booker

Name: Roderick Stewart Booker
Position: Infielder
Born: September 4, 1958 in Los Angeles, California
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on December 14, 1989
Phillies Debut: April 13, 1990
Final Phillies Game: July 14, 1991
Uniform Number: 37
Career Elsewhere: Cardinals (1987-89)

About Rod Booker: All teams in professional sports go through down periods at one time or another. The Philadelphia Phillies have gone through more than their fare share of rough patches over the course of their existence. During those times, the ballclub has employed many players that probably wouldn't have survived on the rosters of most other teams of the day. When looking back on such eras, the mere mention of such a player's name is sure to draw a sarcastic chuckle, a roll of the eyes, or some other unfavorable reaction. One player who fits that mold would have to be Rod Booker, a utility infielder who spent an unmemorable year and a half on the Phillies' roster during what was largely an unmemorable point in the franchise's history.

Rod Booker's professional baseball career began in 1980, when the Minnesota Twins selected him in the fourth round of that year's Draft. He would never make it to The Show in Minnesota, and was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals in a cash deal prior to the 1983 season. Booker spent four more years toiling in the minors for St. Louis, before finally getting the call to the big leagues early in the 1987 season. He would hit .277 in 44 games for the eventual National League Champion Cardinals, but was not included on the postseason roster. The majority of Booker's 1988 and 1989 seasons were spent in the minors, appearing in 28 MLB games during a few cups of coffee with the big club. Shortly after the '89 season ended, the Cardinals released Booker. Prior to being named general manager of the Phillies in 1988, Lee Thomas had been the director of player personnel in St. Louis. During the early days of his tenure, it seemed Thomas couldn't get his fill of former Cardinals. So when the Cards set Booker free, guess who came calling?

On December 14, 1989, the Phillies signed Booker to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. At the time, the Phils were coming off consecutive last place finishes, and weren't exactly deep when it came to utility infielders. A brief (and largely forgotten in light of what happened in 1994) lockout delayed the start of Spring Training in 1990, but Booker impressed enough during the truncated camp to be considered a serious candidate for a spot on the Opening Day roster. When Steve Jeltz was traded to the Kansas City Royals in late March, it became clear that Booker was going to make the club. He would spend the entire '90 season with the Phillies, hitting .221 in 73 games. Though his output was considerably less than impressive, Booker again headed north with the Phils as the 1991 season began. He appeared in just 28 games that season, hitting .226. Shortly after the All-Star break, the Phillies optioned Booker to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Or at least they thought they did. A clerical error on the part of the National League office led the Phils to believe Booker had a minor league option left. He did not. It turned out to be a moot point, as Booker passed through waivers and was outrighted. Perhaps feeling badly about the situation, the Phillies released Booker a couple weeks later. He would sign with the Houston Astros for the 1992 season, but never made it to the parent club in what turned out to be his final pro season.

Personal recollection: I guess one of the many signs that the Phillies were not very good in the late 80s/early 90s was the fact that Rod Booker and Steve Jeltz were once the main competitors for the utility infielder role. Booker didn't get a whole lot of playing time, and didn't do a whole hell of a lot when he did play, but I do have a couple of positive memories. One was a crazy game at Dodger Stadium, when Booker entered the game as part of a double switch in the eighth inning. He ended up going 3-for-3 and hitting a bases-clearing triple in the 11th inning to score the decisive runs in a 15-12 Phillies victory. In that same game, Phillies starting pitcher Dennis Cook homered off Fernando Valenzuela, Don Carman gave up a grand slam to Kal Daniels, and John Kruk made a game-saving sliding catch on a Stan Javier liner to left in the ninth inning, aided by the fact that Alfredo Griffin (who would've scored easily one way or another) didn't tag up at third base on the play. Aside from that, I attended a game against the Astros where Craig Biggio fell down trying to track a Booker drive to center, playing it into a triple. I also remember a Home Companion video highlight with Booker hitting a walkoff single against the Padres at the Vet, scoring Von Hayes with the winning run. Remember, there weren't always a ton of highlights to show on those Home Companion videos back then. Until I did research for this post, I didn't realize Booker's wife was a distant cousin of Jackie Robinson. So he had that going for him, which is nice.

That's my story on Rod Booker. Feel free to share any personal recollections.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Did You Look In the Mirror?

I am always amazed by the fact you can find practically everything on the internet. From Ebay to Wikipedia you can find that rare Pat Combs rookie card you always wanted to finding out that he was a Phillie’s first round pick who was compared to John Keefe. (Who is John Keefe? I don’t know much except he died in 1937, so whoever compared the 2 must have really done their homework…First lesson: don’t believe Homer Simpson, not everything on the internet is true.)

But one of my guilty pleasures on the internet has been checking out two particular sites that deal with the jerseys people wear, and Strightcashhomey is a national site that pokes fun of people wearing lesser known player jerseys. The more obscure the better. Some recent features include Sidney Ponson, Tony Longmire and Dainius Zubrus. They will feature any sport or league as I’ve seen WNBA and Arena League jerseys on the site.  Whodoesheplayfor is a local site that, for the most part, deals with the Phillies. The site typically makes light of custom jerseys and t-shirts.

If you wish to save yourself the embarrassment of being featured here’s a few tips:

Buy jerseys of players who are under a multi-year deal. Last September, the guy who laughed at you as he grabbed the last Cliff Lee jersey at Modell’s and left you with Blanton or Happ kind of regrets that decision now.

Be wary of customizing a jersey. I have no problem with you getting your name and favorite number on a jersey, but nicknames and phrases (i.e. Pop Pop or World Champs on an 08 numbered jersey) are big mistakes and you are asking to be ridiculed.

Don’t shop at Forman Mills.  Those jerseys are inexpensive for a reason: they blow.  They are cheap imitations and have more than their fair share of flaws.

Don’t rush to get jerseys.  Like voting for the All-Star game you need to de research and make an informed decision. Many time players will have a good month or two until scouting catches up to them. There is a guy who I seen several times at the ballpark wearing a Brandon Duckworth jersey.  I’m not sure if he can’t afford a new one or just hasn’t given up hope yet, but it ALWAYS makes me laugh.

“Retire” your jerseys. I happen to like when I see someone wearing an atypical jersey. I respect someone whose favorite player was David Coggin or Marlon Byrd and they buy the jersey, but you should also expect a few comments than usual when they are no longer on the team.

Teams with success can trump all else. Luckily the Phillies have been atop the MLB food chain the past 2 seasons.  So if your favorite player now is not named Utley, Rollins, Halladay or Howard but Ruiz, Madson or Happ now is the time to buy. Don’t believe me? Check out Mitchell & Ness they sell a Dave Hollins throwback jersey. DAVE HOLLINS!

The most important thing though is to support the Phillies. Have fun and hope to see you at the ballpark.

Jay Wrizight

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Ed Vosberg

Name: Edward John Vosberg
Position: Relief Pitcher
Born: September 28, 1961 in Tucson, Arizona
Acquired: From the Colorado Rockies for Sean Fesh on June 28, 2000
Phillies Debut: July 4, 2000
Final Phillies Game: July 23, 2001
Uniform Number: 50
Career Elsewhere: Padres (1986, 1999); Giants (1990); Athletics (1994); Rangers (1995-97); Marlins (1997); Diamondbacks (1999); Expos (2002)

About Ed Vosberg: An old baseball saying claims that if you're lefthanded, you'll always have a job. One person who must have bought into that theory was Ed Vosberg. A classic journeyman if there ever was one, Vosberg wore the uniforms of 26 different teams over the course of 21 professional seasons. Among the uniforms he wore were those of the Philadelphia Phillies. Like pretty much everywhere else he roamed, Vosberg's stay in Philadelphia was relatively short, though it's interesting to note there was only one MLB team that he appeared in more games for.

Vosberg's long and strange pro baseball journey began in 1983, when the San Diego Padres selected him in the third round of that year's Draft. He would reach the majors three years later, appearing in five games for the Padres, including his only three starts at the MLB level. In 1988, Vosberg was traded to the Houston Astros, and the following year was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but never appeared for either organization's parent club. Vosberg would make 18 appearances for the San Francisco Giants in 1990, but it would be another four years before his next MLB stint. His 1991 season was spent in the organizations of the California Angels and Seattle Mariners. Vosberg's strangest journey came in 1992, when he found himself playing in Italy of all places, manning first base when he wasn't pitching. He would return to North America in 1993, spending that season in the Chicago Cubs' system. In 1994, it was off to Oakland, where Vosberg worked his way up to the parent club, appearing in 16 games. It was in 1995, however, that Vosberg finally stuck in the big leagues, working in 44 games for the Texas Rangers, where he would stay until 1997. Late in the '97 season, Vosberg was traded to the Florida Marlins. He'd make just 17 regular season appearances as a Marlin, but he did get a World Series ring out of it. Vosberg was part of the infamous Marlins post-championship fire sale, heading back to the Padres a few weeks after the World Series, but a shoulder injury wiped out his 1998 season. He would make 15 appearances with San Diego in 1999 before being released. Vosberg also had a four-game cameo as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks in '99, then signed with the Colorado Rockies, meaning he was a member of every NL and AL West Division organization over the course of his career. He never appeared in a game for Colorado. On June 28, 2000, the Rockies swung a deal, and Vosberg's next destination was Philadelphia. Heading to Colorado was the famed Player to Be Named Later, who turned out to be pitcher Sean Fesh, a southpaw who never reached the majors.

As you could probably figure, Ed Vosberg's arrival in Philadelphia was not met with much fanfare. The Phillies were fully immersed in a dismal season that would see them lose 97 games, so it was understandably tough to get excited over the acquisition of a 38-year old journeyman lefty. Vosberg made his Phillies debut on the Fourth of July, 2000. He would appear in 31 games for the Phils in 2000, going 1-1 with a 4.13 ERA before returning as a non-roster invitee in 2001. Vosberg didn't make the club out of Spring Training, but he did get recalled in June. He pitched respectably in 18 outings with the big club, maintaining a 2.84 ERA. As the trade deadline approached, the Phillies made a deal with the New York Mets, bringing in Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook in an attempt to bolster the bullpen. Vosberg was the odd man out, and was sent back to the minors. When the rosters expanded in September, Vosberg was not among those who were called up. Granted free agency following the '01 season, Vosberg headed north of the border, signing with the Montreal Expos. He made the Expos out of Spring Training, but was released after appearing in just four games, which ended his MLB career. The remainder of his 2002 season was spent in the Mexican League as a member of Diablos Rojos del Mexico (Mexico City Red Devils). Five years later, Vosberg made a comeback in the Mexican League, appearing as a member of Potros de Tijuana (Tijuana Colts) and Guerreros de Oxaca (Oxaca Warriors).

As if Vosberg's journey wasn't crazy enough, he can also claim this little tidbit: he played in the Little League World Series (Tucson, AZ in 1973), College World Series (Arizona, 1980), and World Series (Florida Marlins, 1997). He also won a Mexican League Championship with Mexico City in 2002. If nothing else, Vosberg had one interesting career.

Personal recollection: Unless you're a fan of the Texas Rangers, you probably don't have too many memories of Ed Vosberg playing for your team. He pitched in 138 games for Texas, but his 49 appearances as a Phillie are his second-most with any one club. Looking at his numbers, he really didn't pitch too badly with the Phils, though the main thing I remember about Vosberg is that he balked home the eventual winning run in an extra-inning game against the New York Yankees at the Vet not too long before he was sent down. I guess in retrospect, the Phillies wouldn't have been any worse off keeping Vosberg as opposed to making that deal with the Mets. Turk Wendell was damaged goods, and Dennis Cook was horrendous down the stretch in 2001. But everyone has 20/20 hindsight. I don't know if Vosberg has any plans to write a book chronicling his pro baseball adventures, but it would make a pretty interesting read, especially the Italy part.

That's my story on Ed Vosberg. Feel free to share any of your own recollections.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Art of Bench-Jockeying

When I wasn’t pitching in High School and College, I loved to rag. ‘Ragging’ or bench jockeying is baseball jargon for verbally abusing another player, coach, umpire, or spectator. Part of why I did it was because I wanted to annoy, harass, and get into the other player or umps head. There are other ways to annoy a player or batter and I will also discuss those in the following paragraphs. The main reason I ragged was because I really enjoyed being hated by the other team. I was the guy who you wanted to punch in the face when you played against, but loved when I was on your team (Ok…maybe not loved, because I ragged the shit out of my own players too sometimes).

I believe ragging is all trial and error. There is a true scientific element to it. I do agree that there are some fool-proof methods of annoying other players or umpires. As much as I loved harassing players, umpires were my true favorite target. There are two things I loved saying to the umps that was guaranteed to get a rise out of them: Say a call was ‘brutal’ or use the work cocksucker when referring to them or a call they made.

The umpire CB Bucknor would be a prime target. He makes at least 10 cock-sucking calls a game. I would bait him for a bit and then pull out a “Get off you knees Blue! You are blowing the game!” This arouses contempt in the umpire. I can recall doing something similar in a game in college. The umpire came over to the bench and said he was going to start tossing players one by one just like a parade. So as he was walking back to the plate someone (me) said “Everybody loves a parade!” In my final college game, I was ragging on the ump the whole game. He had an idea it was me, but I didn’t cross the line…yet. I didn’t expect to pitch that day, but was called on to warm up in the 8th. I came trotting in with a couple runners aboard from the bullpen and asked the ump to dust off he corners because he hasn’t been calling them all game. He tossed me before I threw a pitch. My retort was short, sweet, and classic. “That was the best fucking call you made all game.” It really was the best call.

Another target was the battery of the pitcher and catcher. I will just break it down by position of my favorite rags.
- Fight at the bat rack!
- I’ve seen better arms on snakes!
- Leave him in! (when the manager is coming out to make the change)
- Put some helmets on them worms. (when the pitcher was in the dirt all game)
- You have two pitches. A ball and a strike.
- Get him a bucket. He’s throwing up!
- A compass couldn’t help this kid find the plate.
- Get back in the library Morton. (when the pitcher wore glasses)

- Flintstone Mitt! (when the ball pops in and out of the glove)
- I could time your throw to second with a sundial (when 2nd or 3rd was stolen easily)
- Great call Catch!!! (when the pitcher just game up a homer)

Now let me get one last point across. Nothing is off limits. Height, weight, age, skill level……. This is something that sets baseball apart….the intimacy of the game between the players, fans, spectators, and coaches. There are no guys ‘up in the booth’ calling plays or stealing formations (well maybe the Phils have a mole on the ivy stealing the opposition’s signs). Our game. America’s game. Now get the hell outta here and if you are a guy…have another doughnut. If you are a woman…go do the laundry and don’t starch my shirts too much!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Geoff Jenkins

Name: Geoffrey Scott Jenkins
Position: Outfielder
Born: July 21, 1974 in Olympia, Washington
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on December 20, 2007
Phillies Debut: March 31, 2008
Final Phillies Game: September 28, 2008
Uniform Number: 10
Career Elsewhere: Brewers (1998-2007)

About Geoff Jenkins: "One-hit wonder" is a term we've all heard before. We generally reserve it for the music business, where a singer or band emerges with one massively popular song before fading into obscurity. In sports, it can refer to a player who seemingly comes out of nowhere for one shining moment, only to rarely or never be heard from again. Or it can be a player who had an otherwise disappointing season, but came through when it mattered the most. If you are a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, Geoff Jenkins would certainly have to fit into the latter category. With one memorable swing of the bat during that glorious autumn of 2008, Jenkins made everyone forget about his lackluster regular season, and earned a very special place in the hearts of Phillies fans.

On these Random Past Phillie posts, you will often see obscure players being featured, perhaps players you've never heard of or simply forgot about. With the 2008 World F-ing Championship still fresh in our minds, I'm sure you haven't forgotten about Geoff Jenkins, and it would be a stretch to say he was an obscure player. In fact, Jenkins was a very good player for much of the 2000s. The team that he played for (the Milwaukee Brewers), however, was not. In Jenkins's ten seasons in Milwaukee, the Brewers finished above .500 just once, when they went 83-79 in 2007. As a result, Jenkins didn't get the recognition that he would've gotten playing on a successful team, though many seemed to notice he bore a facial resemblance to a better-known athlete who played his home games in Wisconsin: Brett Favre.

A product of the University of Southern California, Jenkins was selected by the Brewers in the first round (ninth overall) in the 1995 Draft, reaching the majors three years later. He would start to establish himself in 1999, hitting .313 with 21 home runs in 135 games. A year later, Jenkins would hit .303 with 34 homers, and it looked like a star was born. Unfortunately, the injury bug would hit Jenkins hard over the next two seasons. Shoulder woes limited him to 105 games in 2001, and a dislocated ankle shelved him after just 67 games in 2002. Jenkins rebounded strongly in 2003, hitting .296 with 28 homers and career-high 95 RBI in 124 games, but a thumb injury cost him the final month of that season. Finally healthy in 2004, Jenkins saw his average dip to .264 but he still blasted 27 roundtrippers and knocked in 93. The following season, he rebounded to .292 with 25 homers as the Brewers went 81-81, their first non-losing season since 1992. Jenkins's production would drop somewhat during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and the Brewers chose not to re-sign him following the '07 campaign. Looking for a lefthanded bat to platoon with Jayson Werth in right field, the Phillies brought Jenkins on board for the 2008 season.

After spending the better part of a decade starring for mostly poor teams in Milwaukee, Jenkins now found himself in a platoon role on a team that was expected to be a serious contender. While any player would naturally prefer to be a key contributor, Jenkins seemed fine with sacrificing some playing time for more wins. On the field, though, Jenkins didn't seem completely comfortable with his new playing situation, and could never quite find a groove at the plate. As the season wore on, Jayson Werth began to prove he was a legitimate everyday MLB player, which relegated Jenkins to a bench role. Overall, Jenkins hit .246 with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 115 games. The Phillies would win the National League East, meaning Jenkins was part of a playoff team for the first time in his career. However, a late-season hip injury and the acquisition of Matt Stairs had many wondering if Jenkins would be included on the team's postseason roster. He was, and though it took a while, it would pay off in the end.

As luck would have it, the Phillies began their 2008 playoff run against none other than the Brewers, defeating Milwaukee in four games in the best-of-five NLDS. Jenkins made just one appearance against his old team, flying out as a pinch-hitter in Game 3. The Phils would win the NLCS over the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, with Jenkins again making one appearance, a pinch-hit groundout in Game 3. In the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Jenkins had another pinch-hit groundout in Game 3, but he would make his mark two games and one long rain delay later. With the score tied at 2-2, inclement weather forced Game 5 to be suspended prior to the bottom of the sixth inning. Play finally resumed 48 hours later with the pitcher's spot due to lead off for the Phillies. With righty Grant Balfour on the mound for the Rays, Charlie Manuel sent Jenkins to the plate. He responded by doubling deep to right-center, and he would come around to score the go-ahead run when Akinori Iwamura couldn't hang on to Jayson Werth's blooper to shallow right. The Rays would tie the game in the top of the seventh, but the Phils went back ahead in the bottom half of the frame, a lead they wouldn't relinquish en route to the second World Championship in franchise history. Prior to the game's resumption, everyone talked about momentum being on the side of the Rays. Jenkins took care of that with one swing, which likely turned out to be his last as an MLB player. He was released by the Phillies at the end of Spring Training in 2009, and never landed anywhere else. Though he has yet to officially retire as of this writing, it is pretty safe to assume Jenkins has played his final game.

Personal recollection: I saw the Phillies play in Milwaukee in 2004, and when talking to a Brewers fan, I noted that Geoff Jenkins was a pretty solid player. The Brewers fan concurred, saying it was a shame nobody really knew about him. I was pretty excited when he signed with the Phils, thinking he and Jayson Werth would form a pretty productive platoon. It didn't really work out that way, but you had to feel really good for Jenkins when he hit that double in the World Series.

I think what impressed me the most about Jenkins was that he never sulked about his role. Whenever something good happened for the Phils during the 2008 postseason, Jenkins seemed to be one of the first guys up off the bench cheering on his teammates. He put his personal pride aside for the good of the team. You have to respect that. I was surprised nobody else gave him a shot after the Phillies released him. If Game 5 of the '08 World Series does turn out to be the final game of Jenkins's MLB career, that's a hell of a way to go out.

So that's my story on Geoff Jenkins. If you have any stories of your own, feel free to share.

Friday, May 7, 2010

36 in Persective

I'm 36 years old, so I have never seen Robin Roberts pitch in person. I never saw Babe Ruth either, but sometimes it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he was one of the greatest there was. So to demonstrate just how great #36 was, here's just a few numbers:

Robin Roberts 20 win seasons : 6 (consecutive!)
Don Drysdale 20 win seasons : 1
Sandy Koufax 20 win seasons: 3
Whitey Ford 20 win seasons: 1
Don Larson 20 win seasons : 0 (in fact, he never won more than 11)

Robin Roberts complete games : 305!
Drysdale: 167
Koufax: 137
Ford: 156

Robin Roberts career ERA : 2.78
Drysdale: 2.95
Koufax : 2.78
Ford : 2.75

The point I'm trying to make here is that among these contmporaries, Robin is just as good (and in most cases, better). Also keep in mind that he pitched for the Phillies, who had mostly piss-poor teams throughout his career, bad defense, no run support. These other guys won multiple WS championships and their names are mentioned in every baseball story ever told, yet most people outside of Philly never heard of him!! Had Robin pitched for LA or NY he would have the most absurd numbers we've ever seen. So fuck Koufax, fuck Ford, long live 36!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Random Past Phillie: Brad Brink

Name: Bradford Albert Brink
Position: Pitcher
Born: January 20, 1965 in Roseville, California
Acquired: Selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1986 Draft
Phillies Debut: May 17, 1992
Final Phillies Game: September 29, 1993
Uniform Numbers: 23, 31
Career Elsewhere: Giants (1994)

About Brad Brink: When a Major League Baseball team invests a lot in a pitcher, be it a high draft pick or a high-profile acquisition, there is always a leap of faith involved when it comes to health . Sure, no move should be made without due diligence, but there is always that slight bit of uncertainty. If a pitcher of this caliber comes down with even the slightest injury early in his tenure with his new club, two words seem to come to the forefront: Damaged Goods. Every team has been bitten by this, and the Philadelphia Phillies are certainly no exception. In the recent history of the ballclub, Freddy Garcia seems to be the poster boy. In the mid to late 1990s, it was Tyler Green. But in my nearly quarter-century Phillies addiction, the first pitcher I recall carrying this label was a former University of Southern California and Alaska Goldpanners standout by the name of Brad Brink. Considered a "can't-miss" prospect when he was drafted, Brink made all of ten appearances in a Phillies uniform, and never won a game.

Brad Brink's professional baseball career began in 1986 when the Phillies selected him with the seventh overall pick of that year's MLB Draft. It was believed the Phils had found a future ace, but shoulder discomfort ended Brink's first pro season after just five appearances and concern that he had been overworked at USC. Brink would pitch a full season in 1987, splitting time with Reading and Clearwater. Though his overall numbers were rather pedestrian (7-9 with a 4.33 ERA in 29 appearances), the Phillies were still bullish on his future. In 1988, however, Brink's career took an ugly turn. Shoulder woes put Brink on the disabled list twice and limited him to just 17 starts. Initially diagnosed with a slightly torn rotator cuff, Brink tried to pitch through it at the start of the 1989 season. After just three starts in '89, it was revealed that Brink's rotator cuff was completely torn and would require reconstructive surgery. As a result, he would miss the remainder of the 1989 season, the entire 1990 season, and a significant portion of the 1991 season. But the Phils stood by Brink, and after a strong start to the 1992 season, he finally got the call to the big leagues.

On May 17, 1992, nearly six years after he had been a first-round draft pick by the Phillies, Brad Brink finally appeared in an MLB game. He allowed four runs in six innings and got a no-decision in what became a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium. He didn't fare as well in his next start, a 10-0 loss to those same Reds. Overall, Brink would make eight appearances (seven starts) for the Phillies in 1992, going 0-4 with a 4.14 ERA. The remainder of Brink's career as a Phillie consisted of two relief appearances as a September callup in 1993. He would be claimed on waivers by the San Francisco Giants at the end of Spring Training in 1994. He would appear in four games for the Giants in 1994, the last four outings of his MLB career. His pro career ended a year later after spending time in the organizations of the Giants and Oakland Athletics.

Personal recollection: I'm a little bit younger than some of the people who write for and read Drunk Phils Fans, so there's only so far back I can go when citing specific examples. Still, I never remembered hearing the term "damaged goods" regarding any players until Brad Brink came along. To this day, whenever a top Phillies pitching prospect gets hurt, it's only a matter of time until Brink's name is mentioned. I guess given what ultimately happened to Brink and Tyler Green, it's not very surprising that the Phils have only used two first-round picks since 1992 (Carlton Loewer in 1994 and Joe Savery in 2007) on college pitchers.

As far as seeing Brink pitch, it's a small sample size, but I did see him in action a couple times. Once was a Sunday Night game against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he pitched well, allowing three runs in seven innings, but the bullpen coughed it up late. I also saw him start the first game of a doubleheader against the Cards, but that one didn't go so well, as he lost to Donovan Osborne, 8-1. What would a healthy Brad Brink have had to offer? We'll never know.

So that's my story on Brad Brink. Feel free to add any personal recollections.

Don’t Taze me, Bro. Or vomit on me…..or……

In light of recent events, it’s sad but it seems Phillies fans need a refresher course in proper tailgating and stadium etiquette.  I know, for the most part, the majority of fans are just trying to have a good time. And people like Matthew Clemmens and Steve Consalvi (or more spefiaclly the cop that tasered him) are the bad apples and are few and far between.


Playing games while tailgating…….cool.
Laying in your own piss to get your ball for beer pong…….absolutely disgusting.
(I’ve actually seen this happen)

Sharing extra food with fellow tailgaters……cool
Sharing beer with fellow tailgaters…….super fucking cool.

During the game:

Kids that kick the back of your seat…….not cool.
Kids that offer to share their cotton candy or peanuts with you….super cool.

Running on the field…….coolness debatable.
Tasering a minor…………ethics and proper police procedure is debatable.

Giving mouthy Mets fans a hard time……..hilarious.
Throwing things at mouthy Mets fans…….not cool, but still hilarious.

Talking about the cool play you made at softball …….unacceptable (unless you’re twelve)
Talking about your fantasy baseball team……completely unacceptable and dorky.

Starting chants………cool.
Starting the wave…….terrible.


Vomitting……not cool.
Vomitting on another fan……..way not cool.

I hope everyone has a great time each and everytime they visit CBP, but you great time should not be at the expense of others.

Yeah Wrizight!
Jay Wrizight