Saturday, August 30, 2008


Wednesday 8/27: Phillies blow 8th inning lead to Mets and lose a winnable game against Johan Santana.

Thursday 8/28: Phillies blow a 4-1 lead in the 8th inning at Wrigley Field wasting another fine effort from Cole Hamels, falling 6-4.

Friday 8/29: Phillies gradually lose a 2-0 lead, and fail to muster any additional runs and fall again to the Cubs, 3-2.

All this on the heels of an improbable win after trailing the Mets 7-0 Tuesday night. You know, the game that was supposed to be so crushing for New York, and a springboard for the rest of the Phillies' season.

Current standings show the Mets are 2 games up on the Phightins this morning after scoring 4 in the 9th to beat Florida last night.

Meanwhile, the Phillies have two more at Wrigley this weekend.

Mommy, make it stop.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Phils Look To Become 'Frontrunners'...Of NL East

Not much has changed in the standings since my post in July, right around the time the Mets struck gold with a 10-game winning streak, to tie the Phillies atop the NL East.

The two teams enter tonight's opener of a two-game series in Philly tied in the loss column, and the Phils a 1/2 game back overall.

This is a brutal stretch for the resurgent Phightin's (they've won 7 out of 8): Two with the Mets, then four here in Chicago against the almighty Cubs, with series' against Florida (still dangerous), the Mets in New York, and Milwaukee (wouldn't hurt to pass them in the wildcard standings) in the near future.

While Jimmy Rollins has been absolutely brutal -- although he did have a nice game last night -- since his infamous "frontrunner" controversy, the team has started clicking a bit since the Dodgers swept them in L.A.

The starting pitching remains eerily solid. Brad Lidge is back to being dominant at closer. Chase Utley is starting to hit again. And, the Mets bullpen woes continue with Billy Wagner possibly out for the season with his inury, and starter John Maine on the DL with a bone spur in his shoulder.

This is still the Phillies, though, and until they're popping champagne corks officially, there's nothing to get too excited about, yet.

I don't even know the purpose of this post, other than it's helping to settle the nerves a bit to letting out some energy banging away at the keyboard for a few minutes on the day of the series opener against the foes from Flushing.

Moyer vs. Pedro tonight seems like a fair fight...Santana vs. Kendrick on Wednesday, not so much.

Should be a great series. I'm looking forward to reading about each game the following morning.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sports Hernia Attacks Another Eagle

An already thin receiving corps was dealt a major blow yesterday when it was revealed Kevin Curtis -- the Eagles No. 1 receiver in 2007 -- will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia.

This is a similar injury to the one suffered in the past few years by teammates Donovan McNabb, L.J. Smith, and former teammate Dirk Johnson.

Curtis will most likely be sidelined for at least 4-6 weeks.

With No. 2 receiver Reggie Brown nursing a hamstring injury, the Eagles are left with rookie Desean Jackson, and the likes of Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett as their top wide receivers.

Further doom and gloom has spread over Iggleland after the proclamation by head coach Andy Reid concerning the wide receiver position, saying, "We'll be fine there."

Reid was asked if they would be looking to bring in a receiver now that Curtis will miss some significant time.

"No," he said.

So, when does hockey season start?

Cool Cub Fan

Prior to a recent game against the Braves, this Cubs fan caught a baseball tossed into the bleachers by a Braves player during batting his full beer cup.

Considering it was probably an Old Style, the dirty baseball certainly enhanced the taste of the beer, so the dude chugged it.

A few extra style points for the brief balancing of the ball on his face following the chug.

This now qualifies as the most memorable moment in the Atlanta Braves' baseball season.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wiffle Ball

I was in the midst of writing this blog about how fun tonight would be because our oldest daughter was going to participate in a park district Wiffle Ball League...only to find out from my wife that the class had been cancelled due to lack of registrations.

There were two.

Hey, Megan and I do just fine playing Wiffle Ball by ourselves in the yard. My brother and I played many a game in the old days one-on-one. But, only two participants isn't enough for this particular league, so they'll try to offer it again in the spring.

I have mixed emotions about this development. My daughter has been a monster hitter for most of her short Wiffle Ball career, routinely raking my underhand pitches all over the yard, and many times over the fence into our neighbors' yard behind us.

I think I've lost about 3 years on the life of my knees from all of the climbing (not so bad) and landing (bad) I've had to do to retrieve the ball over the years.

It was because of her hitting prowess that we signed her up for this league.

My hope was that she'd enjoy it enough to eventually want to play in a softball league. She's only eight, and has never played an organized sport, and so far has been lukewarm on the topic.

However, already enjoying, and excelling at Wiffle Ball -- albeit in the backyard -- this seemed like a natural, and she was pretty excited about it.

But, the last couple of times we went to the backyard to play, all of a sudden, she couldn't hit anything. Swings and misses at an alarming rate. Had she been watching the Phillies' offense lately?

Hard to say if it was something mental tied to the start of the league, or if it was just a stretch of bad days at the plate. "Whiff"le Ball.

She'll turn it around. Just to be safe, though, I've forbidden her from watching any footage of the 2008 Phillies offense.

That's good advice for anyone, really.

Wiffle Ball history

Wiffle Ball pitching grips

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You're About To Be Barack-Rolled

Have you ever been Rickrolled before? You know, you're surfing a website, or a blog like this, and someone offers a link for some cool video clip, or hot news story, only to have that link send you to a Rick Astley song on Youtube.

I'm sure Astley doesn't mind. That clip has been seen over 18 million times.

Which reminds me, have you seen the secret video showing Michael Phelps shooting up steroids before the Olympics?

Okay, so you get the idea. Well, below, you're about to get Barack-Rolled.

The dance moves are eerily similar, and Obama has a lovely singing voice.

France Surrenders (To U.S. Swim Team)

I realize the Olympics are only a few days old, but it's fair to say that the 4 X 100 relay race won by the U.S. men's swim team will live on as one of, if not the most memorable moment.

Almost as shocking as the comeback, is the fact that there is an African-American on the team. Take that Al Campanis!

After bragging about how they were going to defeat the Americans, saying they were "going to smash them", team anchor and blabbermouth Alain Bernard blew a big lead on the final lap and lost by a fingertip.

Gotta love the reactions from the U.S. team after the race was over.

Since NBC seems to be taking down any and all olympic videos from Youtube, I'm only able to post this clip of a camera pointing at a TV showing the race. Better than nothing.

Besides, I think you can put up with a lack of video quality for the chance to see the French get fried.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Phillies' Offense Phading Away

Heading into Saturday, the Phollies have gone 23 consecutive innings without scoring a run.

After wasting a good effort by Cole Hamels Thursday -- getting shutout at home against the Marlins and missing a chance to win that series -- the immortal Paul Maholm shutdown the Phillies last night as the Pirates won 2-0 in 12 innings.

Their lead in the NL Least is down to 1 game. Considering the pitching they've received this year, an unexpectedly nice surprise (especially in the bullpen), the lead should be a half dozen or so by now.

Joe Blanton threw 7 innings of shutout ball last night, allowing just one hit, but has nothing to show for it.

In typical fashion, the Phails were 0-9 with runners in scoring popsition, and left 12 men on base.

Jimmy Rollins is having a mediocre season, Chase Utley's been in a funk for over a month now, Ryan Howard -- although putting up impressive HR and RBI totals -- is hitting better of late, but still could surpass 200 strikeouts this year, and the bottom of the order is brutal.

Still time to turn it around? Of course. But the point is, these guys, unless they improve dramatically, are not good enough to advance in the playoffs. If they get there.

Frustration level rising.

Let's sample some of the thoughts of the fans on the Phillies forum at

"I have little to nothing to say about this team, I am pretty speechless about what to say...I am shocked by the lack of intensity" - LETSGOPHILLY

"This team is simply awful at the plate. If they can't hit a homer, they can't score." - wmontanez27

"I've had enough!!! Shut out by the worst team in baseball. Olympics will carry me for 2 weeks and then football." - 13jrh

"This quickly turning into a F@#$%ING JOKE!!!" - EagleinATL

"watching this offense is like root canal without the novacaine." - bodybaggame

After the Pirates scored two runs in the 12th to take the lead, Slade1955 started a thread entitled, "The Fat Lady is about to sing!" One of the responses was...

"Actually the Fat Lady went into the Phillies dug out and randomly started ##### slapping the Phillies players. She finished by sitting on the Phanatic." - raydiddy

The good news, I guess, is that as bad as the offense has been these last few weeks, somehow, they are still in first place. The bad news, this team is going nowhere if this keeps up.

But, we're Philly fans, we can take it. We've been getting sat on by the fat lady since 1983.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Summer Games Are Here (Yawn)

Just can't get pumped up for these games at all. It's a far cry from my early days of watching the games.

The first Olympics I ever watched were the 1980 winter games in Lake Placid. Kinda hard to top that one, I guess.

But, once Jim McKay and the folks at ABC stopped carrying the games, along with the addition of professionals from the United States being allowed to compete in certain sports, and the lack of someone to root against, like the good 'ol CCCP, or East Germany, it's just not the same.

I'll probably watch a little of the Olympics here and there, but I really could care less.

The fireworks are purdy, though.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday...To Us!

This blog turned two the other day -- is it a birthday, or an anniversary? -- so, as we did last year, it's time to list, in no particular order, the Top 10 Favorite Posts of the past 365 days.

* Before the Super Bowl, we assembled some of the best photo-shopped pictures of Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and Patriots coach Bill Belicheck. The post is funny, and accurate, as the game was close enough, by football standards, to be considered a photo finish, and as our post predicted with this GIF tipping the scales, Eli won thanks to this.

* In September, I attended the Rush concert in Tinley Park, Illinois. For the first, and only time on the blog, I provided a running diary of what transpired.

* After several years of coming close, but never getting it done, the Phillies finally catapulted all other competitors in the National League East, and claimed their first playoff berth in 14 years. Of course, they got swept in the first round -- something I eluded to in the post -- but, for a little while at least, I was very happy.

* Last August, I took our oldest daughter, Megan to her first concert. It was at the Illinois State Fair and it featured two of her favorites, Drake Bell -- a good musician as it turns out -- from Drake and Josh, and Corbin Bleu from High School Musical. I wrote an unofficial diary about it a few days later.

* One of my comedic heroes, George Carlin, passed away in June. A few months earlier I wrote about how he was still going strong. After he died, I posted about it, including a clip talking about death.

* As another fruitless season got underway with a sloppy loss at Green Bay in September, I wrote about the frustrating Iggles ineptitude. The post itself isn't anything special, but I thought the headline was worthy of a gold star.

* In June, we reached the one year anniversary of The Sopranos' finale, and it was then that I discovered an internet article breaking down that finale, and putting me into the camp of believers that Tony got whacked. The article that I link you to is long, but definitely worth the read for any fan of the show.

* Unfortunately, 10 months have passed since I wrote about the Cameron Diaz dream I had, and I have yet to hear from her.

* One of the posts that was the most fun for me to write came back in February. While discussing the popularity of Deal Or No Deal, it gave me a great reason to dig through my memory bank, along with the YouTube archive to unnearth some gems from a couple of my favorite game shows as a kid, Treasure Hunt, and Starcade.

* After a bit of a strange holiday season, as I talk about in the post, I wrote with great anticipation of our family gathering for Christmas, which had to take place at the end of December because my dad was sick. For the majority of the year, I'm a husband and father in his late thirties...At Christmas time, I'm still a kid.

Well, there you have it. I'd love to blog more often, and I'll try to do that over the next 365 days.

Hope you enjoy coming here. And, since I didn't actually write about it, so it didn't qualify as a top post of the year, I'll close with a link to one of my favorite videos of the year.

Keep the speakers low if you're at work, or with young kids nearby. Mr. O'Reilly likes to work blue sometimes.