Monday, November 28, 2011

For Realsies?

A shiny new train wreck debuts this week! This time, it’s with Major League Baseball as the backdrop-- or step and repeat, if you will.

But whether or not MLB is actually a proud promoter of VH1‘s “Baseball Wives” is neither here nor there.
What matters is that there is a new band of MILFs, cougars, and exes on the reality scene. For those of us who miss baseball and will take anything remotely related to it, I believe this is what those in the medical biz call “rock bottom.”

The hot mess, which premieres this Wednesday, November 30th at 9:00, promises to deliver all of your reality show staples: gratuitous scenes shot from inside the plastic surgeon's office blurred out just enough. Teary F-bombs. Themes of adultery, opulence, and back-stabbing. Fabulous parties where people jump into pools fully clothed.

The series follows the lives of six women in Scottsdale, AZ as they attempt to demonstrate they are more than just the woman behind a professional baseball player. (And by “follow” they mean “set appropriate lighting and stage things.”)

OK, the roster… Anna

Anna Benson

“Who? Sorry, I’m not familiar...”
Whatever. [Eye roll...] You know who she is.

Anna is the controversial wife of retired pitcher Kris Benson, former FHM cover girl and “baseball’s hottest wife” of 2004. She also played in the 2005 World Series of Poker in Vegas under the handle “Gold Digger.” Pretty sure she’s going to get a lot of camera time, that one.

“We are not like Basketball Wives,” the former stripper was recently quoted as saying. “We are classy.”


Next up is Brook Villone, wife of relief pitcher Ron Villone. She modeled as a teenager, says the other wives are jealous of her natural beauty, and shed her baby weight in weeks due to her strict workout regimen. Always one of those in the group.

Also on the team is Chantel Kendall, ex-wife of Royals catcher Jason Kendall. This edgier Meg Ryan has a half sleeve of tats and a tabloid romance with Rod Stewart’s son Sean, whom she met in rehab. He is 10 years her junior.

Tanya Grace, ex-wife of retired 1st baseman Mark Grace is single, ready to mingle, and working on a T-shirt line. One of the slogans: "Douchepickle."

We can't forget Erika Monroe Williams (although VH1 did because she is not featured in the group shot.) A former news anchor, she once starred in "Good Evening Arizona." The native Californian now shares a 20,000 square foot home with retired third baseman and husband Matt Williams...

Blah, blah, blah... Do you even care what I’m saying right now?

I've lost you. I should go back to Anna Benson shouldn't I? OK. She believes the reason the Mets traded her husband was because they were scared of her "fun bags."

Here’s where the definition of the word “wife” gets a bit vague. Pop culture already loosened the term's meaning years ago, (along with the word “real.”) But not only is Jordana Lenz not anyone’s wife-- she’s not currently involved with anyone in MLB.

Her claim to fame (another word that's been completely hijacked) is that she once dated a Brewer. (Nyjer Morgan)
Nonetheless, the 23-year-old lives and tends bar in Scottsdale. Maybe she's looking to meet a nice Scottsdale-based accountant.
"She's excited to be single and dating again," her cast bio says, "and she is already fielding advances by a number of players."

If the name of the show sounds familiar, you might remember another "Baseball Wives" that aired on E! in 2009. It featured Heidi Hamels, wife of Cole, and was part of the "True Hollywood Story" series. The program was intended as more of a documentary to show the ladies in their roles as mommies, supportive wives, and community volunteers. It was more respectable; not so sensational.
Besides, Mrs Hamels would never do anything too crazy on camera.

Will you be watching?

Drunk Phils Fans Koozies

We are happy to announce we have opened a PayPal account and now are able to ship the Official DPF Drink Koozies! Please click the below link to order yours today. ALL proceeds will go to charity.


Monday, November 21, 2011

A Very Phillies Christmas

Within hours of last year’s December 14th announcement that Cliff Lee had stuck it to NY and was returning to Philly, I hurried onto the MLB Shop to score a # 33 jersey for my dad. The perfect Christmas present for the man who wants nothing. Clearly I was not the only person with this idea, as six to eight anti-climactic weeks later it arrived.

He stood in the kitchen, turning side to side and checking out his reflection in the window. Smoothing his hands down the 100% polyester moisture wicking performance mesh, he told me that I shouldn’t have. It was too expensive. He’d be just as happy with a jersey from Boscovs or “Clover”…but still there was no question he thought this one was “sharp.”

Later that month, he used the same exact adjective to describe a pair of free “In-quire” sunglasses that came in the bag with the newspaper down at Bright House.

Now THAT was a Christmas present: from my parents, a condo in Clearwater Beach for the week for any of us “kids” who could get the time off and wanted to join them. (Yeah, they’re kinda cool.) Despite it being hot as baseBALLS in our seats along the third base line, that trip was a blast.

Of course not every Phillies-related present has to involve frisbee in knee-deep Gulf water followed by Frenchy’s margaritas at sunset.

One of the best gifts someone ever gave me was for Christmas 2008. That was a very Phillies Christmas for one and all! We were basking in the afterglow, still humming Don’t Stop Believing and We Are The Champions. So when I unwrapped a framed photograph of The Moment, I could have cried. (OK I did.)

I had seen it on TV played over and over for days following, but a still shot capturing this instant was a treasure. The view is from behind Lidge who’s on his knees and just collapsing back on his ankles. His arms are raised in the air and Chooch is barreling towards him. You know the shot.

Uncle Kevin had given these to everyone that year and they were all over the house Christmas night. It was the same photo, but with varied meanings for each of us. Who did you hug first? Did you cry? Yeah you did…yeah ya did! Who did you wish were still here to see it? How good did that champagne taste right outa the bottle? (Thanks, Uncle Kev. All that from a Kinko's reprint.)

With Black Friday and "Cyber Monday" less than a week away, it got me thinking about what we give to the DPF’s in our lives this time of year. What we’d really like to do is wrap up the promise of an incredible season, right?

Since we can’t do that, we offer each other the possibility of great times ahead. Like a couple buying a block of games or buddies going in on season tickets. Nothing to really open on Christmas morning, but there are fireworks and hilarious tailgating moments and dollar dog nights to look forward to. There is hope beyond my Seasonal Affective Disorder, I mean after March.

Sure, these Christmas gifts don't have to be expensive, or even sentimental. There's always the “Crystal Flip Flop necklace,” currently featured in the online Shop for $14.99. While this fancy gem does have an “acrylic inlay with team logo,” …I’d be remiss...guys...if I did not suggest maybe getting that special lady a little something else to go with it. Just don't believe everything you read in those blurbs because she might not go nuts for the “rhinestone accents..."

What am I hoping Santa leaves under my tree this year? (Shh, just pretend you asked me.)

Frankly, I would kill for a Phanatic Pillow Pet. They are ridiculously comfortable and plush… so plush... and it would be the closest I’ll ever get to spooning a member of the Phillies organization.

Also, I think I’d find a cocktail with Phillies Party Cubes in it quite enjoyable. Have you guys seen these things? They light up! “Simply place them in your freezer in preparation for your next game day celebration…”
But I’m just saying: why wait until April? I might have one in a gingerbread-tini this December.
'Tis the off-season!

What is the best Phillies Christmas present you’ve ever gotten or given?

Tying One on, DPF-sytle

With all the excitement surrounding the Phillies move to sign Ty Wiggington, one might be apt to look past the obvious: this guy looks just like me. Well, maybe not. But a friend told me I should get a TW jersey, since I resemble him. Maybe I can finally get that MLB at-bat I always dreamed of.

Surely, there is room on this roster for anther aging utility man with questionable talent. As I peruse TW’s career stats, I can’t help but think that $4 million is a bit much for a career utility guy. He has popped over 20 homers three times (24, 23 and 22 in ’06, ’08 and ’10) but strikes out a good bit, about once every five ABs.

Assuming the aging Phillies can’t stay healthy again in 2012, Wigginton will likely see a good bit of PT. No way Polanco plays more than 130 games at third. We all know #6 is out for at least half the season, no matter what crap we’re fed. Give TW a dozen or more games at first. Chances are he’ll play some left as well. In all, we’re probably looking at about 80 to 100 games played, anywhere from 250-350 at bats. With those numbers, I can definitely slide in there for one AB.

Let’s just think about this a minute. Wigginton is 34; I’m 37. Raul was 86 this past year, so I’m still young enough. And the truth is, this Phillies team swings wildly. In contrast, my first season in senior ball, I led the team in both walks (15) and strikeouts (12, 8 of which were “looking”). I will wear the pitcher out. Hell, I might even foul a few off, just for fun. I’ll watch a couple tapes of Boggs or Gwynn, I’ll be all set.

All I need is a roll of duct tape and a distraction. Considering the boozing that takes place at a DPF tailgate, one of my colleagues can more than easily be convinced to sprint onto the field. While security tazes my pal, I'll rush into the dugout, crack TW over the head like I'm back in East Falls, and tape him up in the tunnel.

With him out ofthe way and the game on the line, I'll jump to action when Uncle Charlie turns to me and says, "Wig-uh-wig-uh-wiggingto-uh-n, get out therr."

Before anyone realizes that I’m not Wiggington, I’ll be jogging down to first base. Of course, I’ll promptly get picked off while picking my nose a foot and a half off the base. As long as it ain't Aroldis Chapman, I'll crowd the plate, take my hacks, and ultimately watch ball four breeze on by.

I'll likely join my drunken DPFer in the paddy wagon shortly thereafter. But hey, it'll all be worth it.

Welcome to Philly, Ty. Dreams really do come true. When’s that jersey gonna be ready?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MLB to Begin Testing for H.G.H

Multiple sources are reporting that MLB will become the first professional North American sports league to implement testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH). While the NFL has an agreement in place, the NFLPA has yet to sign off on the details. Players who test positive are looking at a suspension similar to that of a positive steroid test (50 games).

Impact for the Phils? Hopefully non-existent. Don't want another "I didn't know what the kid at the GNC/Vitamin Shoppe was selling me" type of thing (I'm looking at you J.C. Romero).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stark on Realignment

ESPN's Jayson Stark has a great column this morning, check it out if you get a chance: Astros' sale to drastically alter the sport. He touches on a lot of topics, any of them worry you as a Phils fan? The idea of an interleague series in the midst of a September playoff run?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MLB (Almost) Gets the Baby without the Labor Pains

NBA, NBPA, you’re on notice. And you, too, NFL. With little fanfare (and fewer lawsuits), MLB and the MLBPA are closing in on an important labor deal. While this deal wasn’t fraught with disagreement over revenue sharing and other contentious issues, it is anything but a carbon copy of its predecessor. Among the changes we can expect, perhaps as soon as this week, will be the creation of two 15-team leagues, a second wild-card team in each league, and an interleague schedule that will be ever present throughout the regular season.

Not long ago, the notion of realignment at any level was scoffed at by all but a handful of baseball insiders. Think about that for a minute, a team is being moved from the NL to the AL – a fairly significant change – and it’s hardly raising eyebrows. Maybe because the team on the move is Houston, and they’ll probably go from being bad in the NL Central to bad in the AL West? Probably. Regardless, kudos to the MLB/PA if this continues as smoothly as it has gone thus far. (A few things have to fall into place for this to come to bear. The biggest being the sale of the Astros. Expected buyer – Jim Crane – is understandably not thrilled about the idea of playing divisional road games in Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim. The two hour time difference between Houston and each of those three opponents is likely to be a hit in the wallet. I hate when the Phils play in Chicago, much less Colorado or L.A. Maybe this is why Hawaii doesn’t have a ball club?! It’s rumored that Crane would receive an $80-million discount [off the $680-million price] for conceding to the move to the AL West.)

There is a lot to pick apart here, as it hits on everything from the draft to the post season, but I think we’ll just throw some ideas out and see if anything churns up conversation. If it does, we’ll run with it.

With two 15-team divisions, interleague play is going to be an all-season thing…which is fine, I guess. The Phils aren’t particularly adept at interleague play (just 106-129 in 235 games), and I fear an ill-timed series, but I like the change. And, maybe the Phils caught a break in the scheduling department, as their 2012 interleague schedule looks like this: TOR, TB, BOS, BAL and MIN, whereas Atlanta gets TOR, TB, BOS, BAL and NYY (twice). So much for equitable scheduling?

So, with all of this shifting comes an extra wild card team, which means an extra round of playoffs – does that mean a shorter season is looming? Should this round be best-of-three/five? Will Bud Selig lose his award-winning smile if baseball drags into November again?
Here’s my question: Is this realignment plan bold enough? Should we do away with Divisions and just have the top-5 from the NL and AL make the playoffs? What about expanding by two teams – one in each League?

There’s a lot here, hopefully we can kick this down the road a bit and see what comes of it. If you had a chance at adding or subtracting something to the CBA – what would it be?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's get this fancy cocktail party started!

Well I’m not that elegant. [Sheepish giggle, hair flip.] But I do enjoy a chic scarf and a mimosa from time to time. I know. Who the hell do I think I am? Trying to hang out with you guys, bah!
Allow me. We might have more in common than you think.
Harry Kalas was the soundtrack of my childhood too. His voice crackled through the old clock radio on our kitchen windowsill-- in the house where I grew up around a buncha Drunk Phils Fans.
I can still picture the notes my mom sent my brothers to school with the day after the 1980 parade. “Please excuse…” they all began, the word “please” spelled with one big-ass red Phillies P. Wonder what the nuns thought of that.
Baseball and Catholicism were always overlapping themes at our house. Take for example my brother Kevin, who chose the Confirmation name Peter. Shortly after kneeling before the bishop and accepting responsibility for his faith and destiny in the name of St. Peter the Apostle, he told my parents the name was actually in honor of one Peter Rose.
Then there was one of the greatest Phillies fans of all time: my beloved Godmother, Sister John Cecelia, whose rally towel I will treasure for the rest of my life. She was always holding it up to her mouth, biting it and whispering inaudibles. I am pretty sure that thing absorbed just as many curse words as it did prayers.
Sometimes it’s the little things that help honor a great. I can still picture my sister’s Certificate of Attendance for Steve Carlton’s 3000th strikeout displayed on our bedroom mirror. Below that, tucked away in our jewelry box, was a bag of Vet dirt.
As you might have guessed, I’m not big on things like “stats” and “facts.” What I can offer you here are memories, feelings, and pop cultural references that I hope you can identify with. Sure I get mad at Howard in the heat of a moment and ask my half-asleep dog, “What the hell is he swingin’ at!” What I won’t do the next day is blog about the Big Piece’s record against lefties.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also won’t pretend that it didn’t take me years to fully comprehend the balk. I lived a lie by creating the fa├žade I knew what the hell was going on simply by mimicking the reactions around me.
“Whoa whoa whoa he was still on the mound!” someone would yell.
“MOTHER!…I mean…YEAH!”
It was a horrible, shameful secret.
Now, to recover some level of credibility here, I am going to use bullet points to present some stats and facts I am comfortable with:
  • In regards to levels of awesomeness, Dutch’s mullet was second only to McBride’s afro.
  • It is pretty freaking amazing for a pitcher to hit a homer EVER, let alone in the World Series, but more importantly it takes a real man to accentuate a pair of stocky calves with a nice stirrup sock.
  • It is 100% appropriate to change the channel during a Flyers Stanley Cup game when something beautiful and perfect is happening on another channel.
A few weeks ago I sat across a table engaging in painful small talk with some guy. When the conversation went from slightly awkward to eight full seconds of sheer silence, I asked if he was a Phillies fan. (At the time I was thinking the very worst that could happen was that he’d be a Yankees fan.)
He crinkled his nose, shook his head and then looked me directly in the eye to say he wasn't “really into” sports. (Waah-waaaah.) My 10-year-old niece wears legwarmers and is on Team Jacob-- and even she wouldn't make that face about sports. She’ll at least sit on the floor and make glittery signs for the team while unintentionally picking things up. Is this what I would have to do with this dude? Oh GOD no, I interrupted myself, because THIS [framing situation with hands] is not happening again and there will not be a second one of THESE.

“That’s cool,” I responded, politely fake shrugging it off like it was no big deal. Well this is a bust, ya girl.

“I just never got into them.” he added. He must have been picking up some sort of false vibe that I was not completely repulsed because he just kept going. “I don’t have a favorite team or anything. I never understood how--”

“Well, some people just do.” Please stop talking to me now. Where the hell are my keys…

Here on DPF, I feel like I am back hanging out with old friends. After college I worked for a website that is no more, (My God, I just realized that I used to write a blog before it was a word!) Anyway, it was associated with --but not legally affiliated with -- the guys on 610.
“Not legally affiliated with” being the key difference between A Job That Sounds Really Cool and A Great Job. To clarify, I would never take back that time for anything. I mean, I was so close to the action at Wing Bowls IX and X I could smell the hot sauce and vomit.
Eventually I decided to leave behind the glitz and glamour for things like “stability” and “health insurance.” My career now would be categorized in the “finance/ real estate” section of a dropdown box (of which I will spare you the super exciting details.) But now I get to hang out with you guys!

So let’s get this fancy cocktail party started.

I wanna know…If you were a professional baseball player, what would your At-Bat song be?
I'm gonna go with Janis and Another Piece of My Heart….
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I've had enough,
But I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough!
I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby…

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breakfast with Pat the Bat

We had the chance to sit down with Pat the Bat this Sunday morning at The Fountain Restaurant at One Logan Square in Downtown Philly for breakfast.  Pat ordered the 'Taste of Philadelphia" off of the menu, a mix of peppers, eggs, scrapple, pork roll, and cream chipped beef. Pat has recently had to announce that he may have played his last MLB game due to recurrent foot issues. Burrell has a soft spot for Philly and agreed to answer and dispel a few of the legends of the former Mayor of Philadelphia Nightlife.

So Pat, it was said that when you received your 2008 World Series ring that you cried and that you stated the parade was the happiest day of your life. Could you comment on that?

Well I did cry and that's OK man. I was with the Phillies organization since the day I was drafted in 1998. There were some years where we downright stunk. I had my ups and downs with previous managers, went through prolonged slumps, and honestly did not dream in 2000 that in eight years we would be World Champions. The parade was just awesome man. Just a sea of red in the entire city. 

What is the truth behind the 2003 incident at Shea Stadium when you supposedly snubbed manager Larry Bowa after coming into the dugout?

Larry was a hard-nosed no nonsense manager. His tactics with this particular team didn't work well. We just came off of getting swept by the Expos and dealing with getting berated by him on the plane ride from Montreal. We had a player's only meeting and decided to win in spite of Bo. It wasn't pre-meditated to snub him. Tyler Houston didn't tell me or make me snub him. I did it for me. Larry and I have talked about it later on and we are friends now. 

I want to switch gears and talk about the lore of your escapades with the ladies of Philadelphia. I know you are single again, so hopefully you are willing to talk about this. It was reported that in the middle of the action, you stop, look into a girls eyes, and says, "Can you believe it?"
"Believe what?" she replies.
"Can you believe you're f*@%ing Pat Burrell?"

This was kinda my calling card. I am surprised it only came out once to be honest with you. I was single, in my 20s, making great money, and yea sure I was arrogant. I'm guessing the remainder of your questions are going to be about those types of stories huh? Well I'll get another one out of the way for you. After I was with a young lady at West Chester University, I did say to her, 'Go get a camera and take a picture of me. You just got  F*@%ed  by Pat Burrell. I REALLY loved talking about myself in the third person.

Pat, is there any chance you would return to Philadelphia and work for the Phillies in some aspect?

Well that depends. What is the nightlife scene like here now? The Machine is single again.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An Inaugural Post...

A little background on myself, my love of the Phillies and where I hope to take this column.

So, baseball was never my first love. In fact, for years it wouldn't have ranked in the Top 5 (football, basketball, tennis, golf...) Ok, so maybe it would have been number five. It wasn't for lack of interest as a kid, I was plenty interested. I just lacked the requisite skill set to succeed at any of the positions I was thrust into. In all fairness, I was a decent catcher for a number of years. I think I even made a travelling all-star team or two. But what I lack in on-field ability, I make up for in armchair analysis. I'm currently a lawyer, and that'll probably seep into my posts from time to time, hopefully in a creative way and not a "figures that's what the lawyer would say" way.

More than an unabashed love for the Phils, I have a deep appreciation for the baseball euphoria we're currently experiencing. Being 29, I can't commiserate with those who suffered through more than their fair share of our 10,000+ losses, but I can recall - in graphic detail – Toronto, 1993. For at least the past 4 seasons though, we've been serious Series contenders, nabbing the best "win now" talent, creating an environment that breeds success. Whether we've mortgaged our future is a topic for a future post, I'm sure of it, but I like the approach. Baseball is too long a slog to tinker and see what comes of it.

I haven't come up with a catchy name yet for this column, though I'm leaning toward "The Romance of Baseball," as a way to pay homage to the work of sabermetricians, while recognizing that all the statistics in the world can't replace that feeling a manager gets when he realizes his starter may have one more pitch left in him. In the end, I hope to find the right balance of analysis, prediction, criticism and praise. If nothing else, I'd like to generate some discussion, because if I'm confident of one thing, it's that Phils fans are as outspoken as they come...and I love it. Finally, if anything breaks in the intersecting worlds of baseball and law, I'll do my best to cover it here, hopefully in a way that makes sense, and never using the words "aforementioned" or "heretofore."

With that, I look forward to a busy off season, a rowdy 162, and a return to glory in the Postseason.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You gotta believe! (Because I could not make this up.)

Years before any of us jogged alongside a parade float swigging flasks of whiskey, I tried to engage my dad in a conversation about what it must have been like to celebrate a World Series as a younger adult. This type of thing is right up Tom’s alley. The man will chronicle a five-pronged story ending with a twofold message without anyone really asking, so the fact that he was less than enthused was very odd.

“Come on Dad,” I prodded. “You were what, 36? You got to bring your sons to a parade! That had to be amazing.”

“Oh sure, sure. They had a great time. I‘ll never forget that day…” I waited. “I was just absolutely appalled at something one of those players did one time. I took your brothers down, sure, but I had a real problem with one of those guys.”
For the next 20 minutes, I sat bewildered, befuddled, and bemused listening to my father describe one of the most Seinfeldian things I have ever heard in my life.

The year was 1977 and my parents had just purchased a van. No. My parents had just purchased a fire-engine red Dream Machine, fully outfitted with brown shag carpeting, a queen of-hearts spare tire cover, and windows shaped like arrows. Arrow. Shaped. Windows. (In hindsight, I guess she was kind of rad.)

Just off the kitchenette was a table with cushioned benches three ways around. The table could be twisted down and the back cushions could then be placed on top of the table to fashion a bed. (I know. Bow-chicka-wow-wow. Isn’t that how everyone rolled up to soccer practice?)

As part of the transaction, my dad agreed to let the van be featured in an upcoming car show, where a yet-to-be-confirmed professional baseball player would be making an appearance. Sounded like a fair enough deal to Tom.

A few Saturday mornings later, as the Dream Machine turned slowly on a rotating platform in all her fly glory, my dad and three brothers waited in line to get Tug McGraw’s autograph. As they inched closer, my dad noticed a woman at the front of the line nervously rummaging through her purse while Tug and her anxious son looked on.
As a family man, a Teamster, and an all-around standup guy, Tom has never been one to take shit sitting down, or even witness shit sitting down. (He once hurled two guys down three empty rows of 700-level seats after they fell on top of my mom and me…and continued punching each other. But that’s another blog for another day.)

“The kid wasn't getting an autograph because it cost money! It was criminal!” he recounted, still as incensed as he was that very day back in '77. I decided not to point out that maybe the proceeds were going to a charity, not a Maxwell House can on the top of Tug McGraw’s fridge. I mean, he was sitting at a table with people in suits around him, not visiting a terminally ill child in the hospital and propping up a credit card machine on the bed. But this was a decades-long grudge and it was not going to dissolve easily. My dad just needed to have it out.

So I listened as he described the confrontation. “Charging little kids for your autograph! Are you kidding me!”

By the way, I am pretty sure my brothers were hoping the old man would reach for that faded black leather wallet anyway-- but that’s not how lessons are learned, you see. Disgusted head shakes and palpable tension ensued as others began to also realize that in their lifetime they had already spent hundreds cheering on their beloved Phils…and now they were being squeezed for more? To watch someone scribble a “T” followed by a long line?
Because Tom is also a man of his word, he agreed to stay for the rest of the car show. Things had just begun to settle down when across the showroom floor he spotted Tug quickly getting out of the Dream Machine passenger seat with something in his hand.

Cut to an angry Tom discovering things amiss in his family vehicle. In my mind’s version he’s smoking. Obviously I don’t have a detailed breakdown of what exactly was in disarray, but I’m thinking your basic glove compartment what-have-yous are strewn about. A coffee-stained map on the floor; batteries from a flashlight on the passenger seat; a trail of 7-11 napkins leading to the opium den, I mean back of the van.

Despite the mess, however, it’s what wasn't there that officially ignited this bitter (one-sided; cough-cough) feud.

“What the hell?” Tom whispers out of the side of his mouth, the ash protruding from his cigarette entirely too long at this point. “That sonofabitch stole my 8-tracks…”


A good ten seconds go by before I can physically return to the the moment.

“Tug McGraw stole your 8-track tapes.” I declared (more so than asked) so he could hear the absurdity repeated back to him aloud.

“He sure as hell did.”


A few years later, as a montage of one great pitcher’s life and career in Philadelphia passed by on TV, I asked my dad if he had any forgiveness for Tug.

For a moment he said nothing. I watched him watch Tugger leap into the air after striking out Willie Wilson as the murmured cheers of the past hung in the air.

“Yeah,” he answered. “I do.”

Sunday, November 6, 2011

He's Back

Guess who's back? Nope, not Everlast. No idea what that dude's doing. But it ain't rapping. Perhaps Whitey Ford is still singing the blues. But you know what?

MF a Whitey Ford.
MF a Yankees.
MF a St. Louis Cardinal.
And MF Brian Wilson's Taco Bell commercials.

This is DPF, bitches. Drunk Phils Fans.

Yeah, they bailed out early. Yeah, they disappointed an entire region. And yeah, Ryan Howard actually swung at the last pitch. They're still our Phillies. Citizens Bank Park is still the best place to watch a baseball game. And we'll still get all jazzed up when pitchers and catchers report. That's just the way it is.

I'm glad to be back contributing to the coolest friggin' Phillies blog around. The shit that goes on here is just entertaining, plain and simple. Just to remind youse all, I don't even drink anymore. But I still yelled at the TV when Utley got gunned down by Molina. I still thought Howard was faking it. You don't have to down a fifth of Jameson to be a Phillies fan. Sure, it helps. But watching these guys in the late 90's and early 2000's made me bitter enough to expect the worst at all times.

My goal here will be to entertain first; perhaps educate second. After that, all bets are off. Feel free to ask questions, post comments, or--more importantly--pass the site along to a friend or two.

Thanks Chris, I'm happy to be here. Go Phils!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Break out those Number 25 Jerseys!

I can remember the date. December 6, 2002. The first signing of Jim Thome. The date where the Phillies stopped being pretenders and started to make the move to contender. Thome had a HR every 13 at bats during his time with the Phillies. Now I don't expect him to do that at 41, but he his a great stop gap until Howard comes back in late May or early June. He is also a MAJOR upgrade as a lefty off the bench from that slug Ross G-LOAD.

The part of the signing that I think is not being talked about much, but I think Thome will step into the clubhouse leadership role. We really have no idea if Rollins is coming back. I suppose he was the de facto leader. The Phillies need a leader. They haven't had a true leader/captain since Dutch Daulton.

So that is the good..what do I see as the bad? Thome is a below average first basemen and will be counted on for two months to man the first sack for 2-4 times a week. I see him in a platoon situation with John Mayberry at first alternating depending on who the opposing the pitcher is. Defense is a huge part of the Phillies game and Thome will be a liability.

The other part of the bad is...the Phillies are already getting older. Bringing in a 41 year old player doesn't exactly get the Phils any younger. Then I think back to another 40 year old left handed bat off the bench, that with one swing, paid dividends and sent the Phillies on to the Series in 2008. In 2011 we threw slop up there as a lefty pinch hitter. I still think Thome strikes fear in opposing pitchers.

So as I look into the crystal ball, what do I expect? Thome will hit around .250 with 15 HRs and roughly 50 RBIs. He will bring leadership..and hopefully get the message of patience across to the Phillies batters. Hopefully around this time next year, we will be thinking back to November 4, 2011, and relishing how clutch of a signing Thome. I'd like to be relishing it with a backpack full of adult beverages on Broad Street during the parade.