Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chests & Chest Pounds

Anna Benson, I barely knew ye. Damn shame too, you would have looked good in a Phils jersey. However, your hubby could never get a full bill of health and has struggled in the the Phillies minor league system all season long and finally was released by the organization yesterday. I wish Kris luck, but it's time to move on.


Chest Pounding Good Time:
I'm not much for big flashy baseball celebrations unless it's a game winning hit or the last out of a game that clinches something meaningful. However, JC Romero's over-the-top chest pound following his execution of 3 Cubs via the strikeout yesterday to preserve the win in the 8th inning was f'n cool!


Call Me!:
Tomorrow, Monday September 1st is when rosters expand from 25 to anybody on the 40 man roster. Potential call-ups for the Phils are pitchers JA Happ, Les Walrond, and Adam Eaton, outfielders TJ Bohn, Brandon Watson, Greg Golson, and Chris Snelling, infielders Mike Cervenak and Brad Harman, and catcher Jason Jaramillo.


Grand Pappy Moyer tries to pitch the Phils to a 2-2 split of the series with the Cubbies against crazy-man Carlos Zambrano. Last day of August, games remaining in the season dwindling, still trailing the Mets, oh it's a huge game today.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Taking Mom's Advice

I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and stay positive in regards to the Phillies. That's proving to be a difficult endeavor. I'd love nothing more than to go off on one of my patented rants and rip everyone from Charlie Manuel's gut, to Cole Hamels' vagina-arm, to the headlights that scared the crap outta Ryan Madson, but I'll refrain. My mother always told me if I had nothing nice to say, then I should say nothing at all. Well, here's what I have to say about the Phils...

I'm Getting A Chubby:
Not only have the Phils added a chubby pitcher in Joe Blanton, they've now added the stocky Matt Stairs. He's known as a professional hitter, meaning he can't field a lick. He's 40 years old and is still under contract for $1 million next season. He's an upgrade to the bench, but I can't see him making that much of a difference. That doesn't mean I'm not happy to seem him come aboard, because I am. The dude is Canadian and that's all I need. Career line- 733 r, 1308 h, 282 dbl, 252 hr, 859 rbi, .266 avg, .840 OPS.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hey Charlie, Quit Counting Pitches

If you're havin' 'pen problems I feel bad for you son,
I got 99 pitches so I can't throw one.

Why the f@#k did Cole Hamels come out of the game last night? Seven innings, 5 hits, no walks, and cruising. But he had thrown 108 pitches and if you look closely at this photo of Hamels during the bottom of the 7th when he threw his 100th pitch you'll notice the spontaneous combustion of his elbow, which is a known risk factor of throwing 100 pitches in a single game. Considering that throwing 110 pitches can lead to auto-amputation and throwing 120 pitches often results in a break of the space time continuum, it just isn't worth leaving your staff ace on the mound with a three run lead in the 8th inning on the road against the team with the best home record in the NL in the final weeks of a playoff chase. I mean, that would have just been stupid. Oh, and the bullpen is overworked, exhausted and collectively pitching like crap, but I'm sure everyone on the team had confidence that Ryan Madson would do just as good of a job as Cole Hamels. When Shane Victorino stood with his arms folded as Ramirez's homer sailed into the stands, I bet he was thinking, "At least Hamels wasn't out here to give that up"

Speaking of the bullpen, why are they still throwing from the mound? At this point, they should just move up to the front of the mound, set up an L screen, grab an entire bucket of balls, wheel a cage over home plate and just throw some BP. As a matter of fact, why even throw at all? I say add a Jugs machine to the forty man roster, throw a jersey on it, and let it pitch the eighth inning.

Also, I don't care if Ryan Madson's ERA is only 3.56, you cannot convince me that this guy doesn't suck. He should never see the 8th inning unless they are losing by at least 5 runs. Basically, if the inning number is higher than Charlie Manuel can count, Madson should be kept in the bullpen.

The Phils face Rich Harden, Ted Lilly, and Carlos Zambrano the next three days. By the end of the weekend, I fully expect the Phils to be 3 full games back of the Mets.


Lazarus Act- Jimmy Rollins

The Phillies split the two game series with the Mets and head to Chicago a half of a game back in the NL East. They won the game they should have lost and lost the game they should have won. 29 games remain to be played this season, and my guess is that every single one will hold importance. The series featured good and bad defense, good and bad relief pitching, and good and bad situational hitting. One thing that stands out though is Jimmy Rollins' Lazarus Act, as he has risen from the dead. Over the past 3 games J-Roll has gone 9-11 (.818) with 3 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homerun, 5 rbi, 3 walks, 5 stolen bases, and has raised his OPS 41 points. Rollins has a career line of .293 avg/.345 ob%/.500 slg% in September/October. He is the spark that ignites the flame of this offense, and as Shane Victorino said, "It's obvious what he does when he gets on base. He changes the whole dynamic for this team."

*Scott Eyre has pitched in 7 games going 7.2 innings while allowing only 3 baserunners and striking out 9 with a 0.00 era since joining the Phils. Damn glad we didn't send prospect Jason Donald to KC for Ron Mahay.

*Andrew Carpenter was a surprise call-up yesterday as a bullpen reinforcement. He made his MLB debut last night pitching a scoreless 9th inning.

*Pat Burrell, notorious "Mets Killer", had a disheartening series going 1-11 with 13 runners left on base. C'mon Burrell, you're our boy!

*Tough 4 game set in the Windy City begins tonight. The Cubs are a very good team. They hit for average and power, and have good starting pitching and relief. This will be a huge test for the Phils to keep pace with the Mets. Pitching match-ups: Thursday- Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.20 era, 1.04 whip) vs. Ryan Dempster (15-5, 2.85, 1.17), Friday- Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.75, 1.42) vs. Rich Harden (9-2, 2.00, 1.03), Saturday- Brett Myers (7-10, 4.49, 1.40) vs. Ted Lilly (13-7, 4.23, 1.31), and Sunday- Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.81, 1.35) vs. Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.53, 1.30). Yikes!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Never Give Up!

Trailing a seemingly insurmountable 7-0 to the NL East leading Mets despair sets in. Phillies should be wearing a dog collar with Mets Bitch stitched on it.

A miraculous comeback finds the Phils victorious after 13 innings with an 8-7 win. Phillies may be dogs, but they're the NL East front-running dogs now. Life lesson- never give up!

Game Notes:
*Ryan Howard was showcasing all of his abilities: the strikeout (2 of them to up his total to 174), the error (15th miscue of the season), and the homerun (NL leading #35).

*Relief pitcher Clay Condrey ignited the comeback with a double, his first hit since 2003.

*Pat Burrell was 0-7 with 10 runners left on base.

*Catcher Carlos Ruiz made an appearance at 3rd base. Maybe Charlie Manuel saw Joe Torre do it with Russell Martin and figured Chooch could pick it at the hot corner too.

*Jimmy Rollins is trying to be the team MVP for the stretch run. He had 3 hits Monday night and had 5 hits last night. Over the past 2 games he's 8-10 with 2 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homerun, 5 rbi, and 3 stolen bases.

*Pitchers Cole Hamels and Brett Myers were pinch hitters, each struck out.

*Chris Coste was 4-4 with the game-winning single and didn't even start the game.

*The Phillies stole 6 bases. On the season they've stolen 105 and only been caught 20 times for a MLB leading 84% success rate. Thank you Davey Lopes.

*Jamie Moyer was just plain awful last night, but every pitcher is entitled to a bad outing once in awhile. He's still the staff Grand Pappy with knowledge beyond any pitching coach in the game today and with more gumption than Colonel Patton.

*Even after allowing 7 runs to the scumbag Mets, the Phils still have the 7th best era (3.84) in the Majors. Heading into the season, I would have never expected to be signing the praises of the pitching staff, yet be perplexed and enraged by the offensive ineptitude.

*Kyle Kendrick toes the rubber for the Phightins tonight against some no-name Johan Santana dude. Gotta say this pitching match-up heavily favors the Phils; this Johan Whatshisname doesn't impress me much. Mets must be desperate for starting pitching if they're sending someone of his stature to the mound. Time for the Phils to short-sweep the Mets butts outta here.


Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love (Sweeping) L.A.

I can't help but think that Brett Myers pulled this game from his ass hat.

Myers didn't allow a run, even though the Dodgers had a total of twelve base runners over his seven innings. The Dodgers failed to score despite Matt Kemp leading off two separate innings with doubles, despite having at least one hit in every inning and outhitting the Phils 13 to 10, despite having multiple base runners in 6 innings and despite loading the bases with one out and Kent and Ramirez due up. Two separate innings ended with Manny Ramirez flying out to the warning track in right. In the end, the Dodgers left fourteen men on.

You might be inclined to say that Myers was lucky to escape unscathed last night, but the way he has been pitching over the last month, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Even though he did give up a bunch of hits and put himself in trouble, he worked out of it every time with key strikeouts or double plays. He was able to spot his fastball, especially on the inner half of the plate and the curve was at time devastating and similar to the big hook he was throwing out of the pen last year.

The change in Myers since his brief minor league stint has been miraculous. [In terms of pitching, that is. He proved a few games ago that he is still a huge prick.] He looks like a completely different pitcher, as his head and shoulders are not flying toward first base and he's not looking into the right field upper deck when he delivers a pitch. And he's now 4-1 since he came back and has lowered his ERA a whole point. Check out the stats from his last five starts (not including last night.)

Like Myers, Carlos Delgado has had quite a turnaround this season. Through June, Delgado was hitting around .230 with few homers and runs batted in. There was a lot of talk in the beginning of the year about getting rid of Delgado. Then July came. He hit .357 with 9 long balls and 24 RBIs. In August he's hit 5 more homers and knocked in another 21. Now, the hot hitting Delgado leads the Mets into CBP for a quick two game set. The Mets will go with Pedro and Johan. The Phils counter with Moyer and Kendrick. These pitching matchups are tough for the Phils and it would be nice to get a win in the opening because getting one against Johan doesn't look promising. I'll be happy with a split...

Walks & Walk-Offs

A 9th inning rally to tie the game then an extra inning win...nice! Last night's game was filled with good, bad, and crazy. First up, the bad.

*Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley trying to turn a double play. I've witnessed too many botched exchanges at 2nd base now in what should be the middle part of a double play. These two together just seem out of sync.

*Ryan Howard getting picked off. First off, he shouldn't have a lead that's bigger than his body. Therefore, instead of diving back, he would just have to flop back to 1st base if a pitcher attempted to pick him off.

*Ryan Howard swinging on a 3-0 count. Take a walk big man, it's way better than an out; and an out is exactly what you made by hitting a weak grounder on that 3-0 pitch.

*Jimmy Rollins bat. J-Roll went 0-5 last night and is mired in a slump so huge that even his own momma started booing him.

*Ryan Madson lowering his era while upping JC Romero's. Last night was classic Madson, in that he didn't allow any runs for himself, rather permitted the runner on base when he came in to score. Madson's stats can be deceiving, because on the surface they look good, but he seems to have the knack for giving up the "big" hit.

*Shane Victorino's defense. I honestly think Vic should get heavy consideration for a Gold Glove. The man tracks down balls and has a rifle for an arm. He's like a trained assassin out there centerfield.

*Pedro Feliz's stick. Feliz, which means happy in Spanish, made the crowd just that with a hit to tie the game in the 9th, then a 3-run walk-off jack in the 11th for the victory which pulled the Phils to .5 back of the Mets in the NL East.

*Ryan Howard's diving catch on a foul ball. I bust on Howard's defense routinely, and deservedly so, but last night he shocked and excited me with that play he made close to the 1st base stands and over his shoulder. Great play!

*Chad Durbin pitching. He now has 5 wins and a 1.98 era in relief work. He has been a terrific addition to the Phils bullpen.

*Joe Blanton's outing. He darted in and out of trouble all night, but the bottom line is he only allowed 1 run in 6 innings, and I'll take that any day.

*Andre Ethier's walk. Ethier had a 5-ball walk in the 1st inning. Blanton was confused, the home plate umpire was lost, Ethier hadn't a clue, and I'm still amazed it was allowed to happen. Never, and I mean never, should that happen between the 4 umpires on the field, the opposing team's dugout, and the batter himself someone should have said something.

*Brett Myers and the Phils go for the rare 4 game sweep against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers tonight. It will be the Phils third straight nationally televised game (Saturday Fox, Sunday ESPN, tonight ESPN 2).

*On this date in 1995 pitcher Jeff Juden hit a grand slam off of Hideo Nomo and Gregg Jefferies hit for the cycle as the Phils beat the Dodgers.

*Carlos Carrasco had a bounce back performance in Triple A yesterday, going 6.1 innings with 8 k's and allowing no earned runs. In 5 starts he has pitched 30 innings, stuck out 37, and has a 2.10 era for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Phils Just Like Costco

The Phillies are just like Costco, dealing ass kicking in bulk. 8 runs Friday, 9 runs Saturday. Do I dare suggest they go double digits tonight? Along with the offense's new groove is solid pitching by Kyle Kendrick, Cole Hamels, and the bullpen. Pat Burrell was Fox's player of the game yesterday, tying a carrer high 5 rbi game, and he thinks the Phils are ready to go on a roll. Hey the Mets lost, Phils won, 1.5 games is a good time to go on that Proverbial roll. Go Phils!

*Geoff Jenkins indeed is banged up enough to warrant a DL stint and Andy Tracy has been summoned from Lehigh Valley to take his spot on the roster. Tracy can hit bombs, 230 minor league homeruns, and he has seen MLB time with Montreal and Colorado is the past. He plays firstbase, but could also be used as an emergency outfielder or thirdbaseman.

*Joe "Don't Call Me Eaton" Blanton takes on Kiroki Kuroda tonight in prime time on ESPN. Because it's ESPN and it's Sunday night, that means the endless droning and self-righteousness of Joe Morgan...ugh!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hangin' Tough- NKOTB Meets Phillies

Everybody's always talking about who's on top.
Don't cross our paths,
'cause you're gonna get stopped.
We ain't gonna give anybody any slack.
And if you try to keep us down,
We're gonna come right back.
And you know it...
Hangin' Tough!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
Just Hangin' Tough!


Turn It On:
*3 homeruns and 8 runs in one game from the Phils...I almost feel spoiled.

*Kyle Kendrick may have only lasted 5.2 innings, but he only allowed 1 run in those 5.2 innings, so that's 5.2 quality innings. Hence, the win he received for his efforts.

*Since August 13 Jimmy Rollins is a putrid 3-37 (.081), ain't no cheering that.

*Geoff Jenkins is a bit banged up and has to go for an MRI today. Although he's producing well below career norms, it would still hurt to have him DL'd.

*Young lefties duel it out for the nation to see this afternoon on Fox, with Cole Hamels set to face off against Clayton Kershaw. Round 2 of Operation Payback starts at 3:55.


Do the Mets ever lose? The Phils are 4-1 over their last 5 games yet are unable to make up any ground on the NL East leading Metropolitans because they're 9-1 over their last 10. Have I ever mentioned that I hate the Mets? Because I HATE the Mets!


Whitey Lives!:
Phillies Hall of Fame Broadcaster Harry Kalas and Dan Stephenson, writer/director of the DVD Richie Ashburn: A Baseball Life (which recently appeared in the Philadelphia Film Festival) will be signing copies of the Ashburn DVD from 11am-12:30pm at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizen Bank Park on August 23rd. DVDs are available at the ballpark. There will also be a special appearance from the Phillie Phanatic!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Phlashback Phriday - Jose Hernandez

I was trying ot think of someone interesting to do a Phlashback on, but no name I could think of seemed very interesting. But then I watched Ryan Howard and Eric Bruntlett both strikeout with a runner on second and nobody out and suddenly my decision was obvious. What better than to reminisce about former Phillie, former Pirate, former Dodger and strikeout wonder Jos-K Hernandez.

Hernandez's time in Phillie was brief. So brief that I could only find this one picture of him. He was purchased from the Buccos (rumor has it, with actual money) in 2006 and played in 18 games. He got 32 at-bats and collected 8 hits. At the end of the year, Hernandez was released and resigned to a minor league deal with the Pirates. He never made it back to the bigs.

In the end, Hernandez played with ten teams over fifteen seasons, earning almost $18 million. He made one All Star game but will be best remembered for his prodigious strikeout numbers. He struck out 1391 times and collected more than 180 in a season twice. The only other players to have more than 180 K's in a season more than once are Jim Thome (2), Adam Dunn (2) and Ryan Howard (2). [Of note, eleven players have K'd at least 180 times in a season, and 5 have played for the Phils: Howard, Hernandez, Thome, Schmidt, Incaviglia.]
Summertime Blues
How about that game last night? As Cool Hand Luke would have said, "What we have here is a failure to execute." Utley's error that allowed the first run to score; Rollins' inability to get Hernandez on the grounder (granted, a tough play on a fast runner); Madson's inability to get anyone out; and Howard and Bruntlett's inability to advance runners to third with less than two out. Many times, little things like this can be overcome. But not for the '08 Phillies. They are mired in such an offensive funk that they have to play fundamentally sound baseball to win, even against teams like the Gnats. Here are some of the ugly numbers for this month.

- The Phils are hitting so poorly this month, their 8 for 34 performance last night actually raised their average to .210 (128 for 607).

- Only two players on the team are hitting over .280 this month. Dobbs is hitting .297 in August, including a two-run homer in the win Wednesday night. (Despite this recent hot streak, the lefty slugger was benched last night in favor of the returning Pedro Feliz.) The other hitter is Shane Victorino, who is hitting .292 in August, which has earned him a trip down the lineup and a few less at-bats. That makes sense...

- The biggest culprits are Ryan Howard at .164, Pat Burrell at .166, and Jimmy Rollins at .210. The rest of the guys are holding steady in the .240 range.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Campaign Cheer: The Recap

Campaign Cheer was my crowning achievement as a Phillies blogger. I had my 15 minutes of fame. ESPN radio out of Philadelphia interviewed me on-air via telephone about my idea, Comcast Sports and Fox 29 did television interviews with me, Deadspin featured the movement of Campaign Cheer, long time Phillies organization employee Larry Shenk emailed me his approval and mentioned it in his blog Phillies Insider, and Rich Hoffman basically wrote an article about Campaign Cheer. All the publicity for the blog has been great, but it's not about that; it's about showing the team you love support.

Campaign Cheer did start out as a half-baked idea formed out of sarcasm, but it evolved into so much more. As it began to pick up momentum around the Internet I decided to nix the negative connotation of cynical cheering, and focus solely on genuine throat-scratching belly-deep cheering. As I passed out fliers around Citizens Bank Park I emphasized that the idea was to drown out the boo-birds and create a positive ball park atmosphere. I was met with mixed reactions. Many people embraced the idea, others looked at me like I was passing out cult propaganda, and a few actually booed me. Inside the stadium I heard exactly what I expected- lots of cheers, but plenty of boos for Jimmy Rollins. Jimmy was met with 1/3 cheers, 1/3 boos, and 1/3 indifference in his first at bat. I gave him a standing ovation and I saw many others doing the same, but I did hear the jeers too. As the game went on, it felt like the crowd was cheering extra hard for every single Phillie with the exception of Jimmy Rollins, as he was the center of many boos to come as he had a very poor night at the plate including grounding into a double play. However, watching the game tonight (Wednesday) Jimmy is getting far more cheers than boos every time he comes to the plate and Harry Kalas even made note of it in J-Roll's second at bat.

So maybe Campaign Cheer wasn't a smashing success in its initial night, but hopefully it's catching on. I can only wish to hear more cheering than boos from now on because I'm sick and tired of all the negativity. I was a culprit of spreading pessimism, and it was draining. Booing, calling the players names, saying they suck, all that nonsense does nothing to help the club. It's time for a change, and I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I plan on focusing on the positives from now on. That doesn't mean I'll sugarcoat things or ignore problems, but I can do so in a much less harsh manner than I have in the past and still keep it lighthearted and amusing. To be completely honest, promoting Campaign Cheer and cheering my butt off in the stands for the entire game made it the most enjoyable experience I've ever had at a baseball game. Instead of getting pissed about Blanton pitching poorly, or the offense sputtering for the first part of the game, I remained upbeat and clapped and shouted reinforcement from the upper deck and it made me a much happier person for it. All in all, I'm extremely happy Campaign Cheer actually came to fruition, and now I dream of the concept growing and living on.

Special thanks goes out to my wife for customizing the Campaign Cheer t-shirt, making the sign, and helping to pass out the fliers (she is a converted Braves fan). Thank you to Hugging Harry Reynolds for printing out a buttload of fliers and distributing them outside the park too. Big shout out to the man and his son (holding the sign above) for giving me and my cohorts 4 dollar dogs for free. Oh, and as I'm typing, Brett Myers finished off the Nationals for a 4-0 complete game shutout. Phillies now 2-0 at home since Campaign Cheer began. Coincidence? I think not. Seen below is a picture of me catching my first small-mouth bass keepers (15+ inch) of the year the day after Campaign Cheer. Coincidence? Nope, lady luck is on both my and the Phils side!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Werth All The Cheers

That gopher ball served up by Gnats pitcher Steven Shell is the definition of a "hanging breaking ball." I had PTSD-like flashbacks of Adam Eaton for the remainder of the game after seeing that...

It was clutch, game-winning hit by Werth, and I know I'm supposed be all positive and crap now, but a zebra can't change his stripes, so I have to complain a little. Specifically, can we please get Werth out of the two-hole against right handed pitching.

Werth has been great for this team, especially with his ability to fill in at center when Vic is injured, and I'm not trying to discount his importance, but his numbers against right handed pitching are not good. They started the season out with a platoon for a reason. Even though Jenkins has been a disappointment and is far below his career numbers, they are still better than Werth's against righties, albeit only slightly. So, I can see playing Werth sometimes versus righties, but when he does, he needs to be down in the order. It's bad enough to have a "black hole" at the bottom of the order, but it's not good to have a 2-hole hitter who needs mistake pitches to get hits.
I was all set to do a little piece on how well Carlos Carrasco has been pitching since he's been moved up to AAA. He made's Prospect Hot Sheet after his first two start. And then he pitched last night. Five innings, nine hits and six earned against the powerful Buffalo Bisons. Ouch. I think I'll wait a little longer to sing the praises of his AAA dominance...
The Rat
From an AP report: "Billy Wagner has more pain and swelling in his pitching elbow, and the New York Mets’ All-Star closer is out indefinitely. Wagner had an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed additional inflammation in his left elbow. Now, the NL East leaders don’t know when he might be able to return to the mound, if at all, this season."

That is just a crying shame. Why do bad things happen to good people alpacas rats?
Hey, I went a whole post without mentioning Jimmy Rollins or Campaign Cheer. Props to me. [Carson will have a full rundown of the "Campaign" tomorrow.]


Monday, August 18, 2008

Game Day: Campaign Cheer In Full Effect

The Philadelphia Phillies begin a 3 game set with the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park tonight at 7:05. Washington is currently in a 10-game losing streak, and the Phils have every intention of upping that gruesome total to 13 by Thursday evening. Starting tonight will be Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.79 era, 1.40 whip) for the Phils and Jason Bergmann (2-9, 4.51, 1.40) for the Nats. WSBGM's will be at the game promoting Campaign Cheer, along with some buddies from Hugging Harry Reynolds and Crashburn Alley, by handing out the flier seen below.

I originally came up with Campaign Cheer as a joke, but before I knew it the movement started and it became a real thing. Some people love the idea, some hate it, and others could care less. Now that this is really going to happen, I need to explain a few things. 1) I really want to get rid of the boo-birds. Booing doesn't help the team win by giving any homefield advantage. Therefore, let's be as loud and full of cheer for our Phils as humanly possible. Give applause and support a chance and we may just be pleasantly pleased with the outcome. 2) Although Campaign Cheer is mildly sarcastic, in no way is it meant to be about negativity. It's designed to set a positive ballpark atmosphere regardless of bad or good. Hence, the cheer for everything aspect of it. 3) Jimmy Rollins is not a villain. Am I upset about his "frontrunner comment"? Yes, but at the same time I'm still a fan of his, and will be rooting for him the rest of his days in Philly. I don't see the purpose in justifying his statement by booing even more than normal. I want to flip the script on him and give him the complete opposite reaction that he is expecting...cheers! 4) Is this a gimmick? Yes, it is, but some gimmicks serve a greater purpose and end up lasting a lifetime (see The Clapper and Chia Pet). 5) I'm doing this out of my deep rooted love for the Phils. I know I can be pessimistic and negative at times, but I want to change that, and what better way than Campaign Cheer.


Ugly Shirts and Ugly Wins

Don't get me wrong, I love America. During the Olympics, I root for the Americans every time (except for women's tennis, there I go for Ana Ivanovic). So naturally I think that honoring our military for their service to our country is a great thing, except when it is done with awful camouflage uniforms. Those camo Padres unis need to go.

So, I started thinking what are the worst uniforms in Phillies history. That list wasn't long enough, so I included other Philadelphia teams. Here are my least favorite uniforms in Philadelphia professional sports history.

1) The "Saturday Night Specials" all maroon outfit of 1979. I wish they would bring this back for another game, much the same way I want Mike Tyson to box again. Fun to watch and nauseating at the same time.

2) The current Phillies uniforms. Actually, I'm being a little unfair to today's uniforms, because they aren't that bad. I just think the color is too bright and the "Phillies" script is a little cartoonish, especially with the stupid blue stars dotting the i's. I wish the Phils had more of a classic look to their uniform, with a muted red color and an old english "P" on the left chest, kind of like they had in the early 1900's. The pinstripes could go too...

3) The "turn ahead the clock" uniforms used in the 1999 season. (You can see most of the jerseys on one page here.) What did these uniforms tell us about the future? There will not be enough material available to make sleeves, uniforms will be made by people with mental disabilities and/or drunks so no logo will ever be centered properly and most people who watch baseball will be legally blind, hence the need for giant logos.

1) The current Eagles uniform. "Midnight green" is ugly. I'm glad Reggie White and Randall Cunningham never had to wear these things. Why would they ever get rid of the regular green and silver?

2) The black alternate Eagles jersey. Not much to say about these except they are just plain ugly. The Eagles aren't black. They aren't midnight green. They are regular-effing-green and silver. Okay, I'm going to have a stroke...

1) The early 90's Sixers. Not only did we have to watch Clarence Weatherspoon, Shawn Bradley, and Sharone Wright steal money, they did it wearing this clown costume. Futuristic? Groundbreaking? No, just crap.

1) The Black Flyers sweater. Not only do I hate black uniforms, but in 2001 they abandoned my favorite hockey sweater since the old Minnesota Northstars set, the standard orange Flyers sweater, and made black the primary home color. The orange sweater was relegated to alternate use. Despicable.

2) The Philadelphia Phantoms sweater. It's orange, it's purple, it's a freaking gay Halloween party on ice. Where's Brian Boitano?
Come On Get Happy
Like they said at over at, it's about time for everybody to help spread the clap. This is just a reminder that tomorrow night is the kickoff of Campaign: Cheer! Representatives of WSBGM's and others will be at the ballpark tomorrow night passing out propaganda to spur this movement on. Carson will have more details tomorrow so please be sure to check back in.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Support Your 2nd Place Team

Losing to a minor leaguer pitcher with an era of over 4 in Triple A, don't sweat it.

Ryan Howard slowing plummeting back down toward the Mendoza Line while his strikeout total reaches 159, he'll be fine.

Fearless clubhouse cheerleader Jimmy Rollins batting average down to .266, he's just waiting to turn it on when the games matter.

C'mon everybody, why so glum? I want you calling the radio stations, writing the newspapers, making huge signs to display with pride for our 2nd place team. Enough of all this negativity, they need our support. I know that's difficult after losing to the Padres 8-3, but the boos aren't helping, so it's time for change.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Campaign Cheer

WSBGM's would like to establish Campaign Cheer to be unleashed upon Citizens Bank Park Tuesday August 19th at 7:05 pm. What we propose is a blind positivity so strong that it reverberates throughout the stadium from the time the Phillies take the field for the first pitch, until the last player walks off into the clubhouse. Everything must be cheered. A base hit- hooray! A stolen base- clap, clap, clap. A homerun- Go Phils! An error by the 1st basemen- yeah! A pop-up on the 1st pitch of the at bat by our shortstop- alright! An inning ending double play with the bases loaded and no runs scored- la de frickin' da! Jimmy Rollins doesn't like boos, he wants to feel like we're rooting for him, so let's cheer our asses off for everything the Phils do, good or bad. No boos allowed, no silence allowed, only throat-scratching belly-deep cheers and applause. Ryan Howard will be stunned when he slinks back to the dugout after a strikeout while in the midst of encouraging "get 'em next time". Carlos Ruiz will scratch his head when he hears "way to make contact" after he grounds out to the secondbaseman killing a rally. Ryan Madson will nervously smile as the fans chant "Mad Dog" while he allows inherited base runners to score. Jimmy Rollins will shed a tear of satisfaction when he ends the game 0-5, but still gets the fans' appreciation with "MVP" being repeated over and over again, louder each time he comes to the plate.

I'm dead serious about this Campaign Cheer. The boos obviously aren't working, so why not go a different route. Rollins wants fan support, well let's give him some support and then some. Win, lose, or suck we'll be behind you every second of every game. Stop and think about how funny it would be to see Jimmy fly out to the centerfielder and get a standing ovation as he trots back to the dugout. I'm telling you, this could really work. Pass the idea along to everyone you know, and maybe, just maybe, Philly will actually be the City of Brotherly Love for just one night.

For a good laugh, check out this video of Batting Stance Guy doing his impersonation of past and present Phillies at the plate.

*Special thanks to Christopher Speakman of Sports Propoganda for the images.