Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day After...

It's the day after Christmas
and all through my brain
is that Halladay song
And it drives me insane

It's a pretty cool tune
that I almost could love
About a boy who wants
a Roy Halladay glove

I'm humming the melody
cause i don't know the words
For this rocking chick
Country music's absurd

I love Springsteen, The Killers
Red Hot Chiles and Green Day
But it's a country song that was written
for our ace, Roy Halladay

So how do I get this song
outta my head?
I'm just gonna roll over
and go back to bed



Happy New Year Loads

Katie Casey


Not to worry. I woke up and the Sound of Music was on, sew a needle pulling thread...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

‘Tis the Season


Sorry that I’m a little late with this weeks article. The Wriz had some important shopping to do. Everyone knows it’s much better to give than receive. Well, not really, but that’s what they say.  I suspect after this past year, I will end up on most everyone’s naughty list. So, in an attempt to buy forgiveness and friendship, the Wriz will be playing Santa.

Jimmy Rollins. I gift you an injury free year.

Chase Utley. You get a seven second delay. Your potty mouth is costing you endorsements.

Placido Polanco. You get a cool Kangol hat. Unfortunately, it will be a little late as it needed to be special ordered. You understand.

Domonic Brown. You already got your present. Cliff Lee’s signing takes almost all the pressure off of you needing to immediately show why you were baseball’s number one prospect.

Carlos Ruiz. You get the respect you deserve in the form of an All-Star appearance and Gold Glove.

Shane Victorino.  You get as many one-on-one sessions with the Wriz as you’d like. I was born with baseball smarts and hardly a lick of physical ability. You, my friend, are my complete opposite.

Raul Ibanez. My gift to you is I will remind you where that fountain of youth is that you seem to find for 2 months of the season, but then forget about.

The Rotation. Your present is that I will refrain from resorting to calling you by some ridiculous nickname. If I need to refer to you collectively, I will simply say, “The Greatest Rotation ever assembled.”

The Bullpen. I am sending some crossword puzzles and new PSP and DS games. You will have plenty of time to kill as you will have 4 out of 5 days off.

Charlie Manuel. You get a thesaurus.  Nice, delightful, respectable and proficient are just a few suitable substitutions for good.

Jayson Werth.  Even though you took the money and ran and wound up on the naughty list, you still get a gift. Six hundred and seventy nine tissues. That’s one for each loss you’ll suffer through in Washington.

Well, the Wriz’s bag of Christmas cheer is now empty. I didn’t forget Ryan Howard. He gets the bag, so he can sack up and swing when the game is on the line.

Merry Fucking Christmas!

See you at the Yule log.

Jay Wrizight

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Enough with the Nicknames

As a lifelong Phillies fan no one in the Fightin' Phils Nation is more excited about the reacquiring of Cliff Lee. How many years have the Phils started the season with no legitimate number 1 pitcher? Floyd Youmans, Bruce Ruffin, Robert Person ect. Youmans and Ruffin were in back to back years, ouch! Now we have 4! I the words of the great Tom McGinnis "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?". You got to give it up to Tom, anyone that can get that excited about this sorry Sixers team deserves props. We are all excited I get it, but can we stop with the nicknames?

Why is everyone so quick to give this rotation a nickname? Let them earn it like Garry Maddox earned 'Secretary of Defense' or Lindros, LeClair and Rendberg earned 'Legion of Doom'. Let them happen naturally. This staff is going to be amazing but how stupid will you look in August with an R2C2 shirt if they shit the sheets?

About 'R2C2', may be the silliest nickname I have heard. Are all Phils fans Star Wars geeks? Absolutely terrible. Phantastic Phour? The Star Wars geeks make fun of the Comic book geeks. Totally lame. In the euphoria of the Cliff Lee signing I suggested 'Quad Aces'. Most fans aren't hip enough to play poker so having to explain it to someone makes it dumb. Quad Aces is an almost unbeatable hand though, let's just hope the Yankees don't pull a straight flush on us in October.

Keep It Classy Philly!

DB29

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Endings


Man, I can’t tell you how much Jay Wrizight loves a happy ending.  They make you feel soooo good. It’s easier to jump outta bed and go to work. In fact, most any task is easier after a happy ending. You feel alive. Oh wait, c’mon now. This is a baseball blog.

Just last week, our very own Drunk Phils writer, Katie Casey, wrote a great piece. She used the analogy of us fans being the creepy stalker who can’t let go of a vacation fling. I thought it was very fitting. Over the past year, outside of Phillies players, the number one player mentioned to me in person, over the phone or on Facebook was Cliff Lee. Not Tim Lincecum who got busted for pot then helped the Giants bust the Phillies right out of the playoffs. Not Albert Pujols, the best position player in baseball, who played 8 games verses the Phillies. Not David Wright who plays for our mortal archenemies, the Mets.  The Fightins had to deal with Wright 18 times. Nope. Cliff Lee who played exactly ZERO games against the Phillies. Sure, he played here earlier in his career. The year prior, or actually, half the prior year.

Seventeen games are all Cliff Lee played here. Seventeen. Yet, he is a Philadelphia legend. Legend. People will tell their grandkids about the Great Clifton Phifer Lee. How he was pinpoint accurate and a playoff beast. Books will be written about his nonchalant catch in the World Series or how his Phillies cap was missing the metal beanie. (Ok. I know I’m probably gonna have to write that one.) Then, the unthinkable. Ruben Amaro Jr. traded Cliff to Seattle on the same day they acquired Roy Halladay.  I was always able to find comfort in the belief that the Phillies were never going to have both. It wasn’t their intention when the made the move for Halladay. Lee’s contract was up at the end of the year and since Seattle was trying to set the record for most inept offense in history, Cliff was sent to Texas. Texas made the World Series. Two in a row for our boy, Cliff.  It just added to the clamoring for his return, but it was like the time you went to the car show and saw the Bugatti Veyron. You said you wanted one but you had no chance of getting it. It seemed like a two horse race between the Yankees and the Rangers. Then outta nowhere, it gets announced Cliff Lee is taking less money to play for the Phillies. LESS. The legend grows.

So maybe we’re not the creepy stalker but rather the awkward dorks that unrealistically get the smoking hot chick only to lose her. Only to, even more unrealistically, woo her back. Just remember, this is baseball and you still have to play the games. The happy ending comes when the fairy god G.M. slips a huge fucking ring on the fingers of Big Roy, Cole, Little Roy and our high school crush, Cliff.

See ya at the washy-wash……uh I mean ballpark!

Jay Wrizight
jaywrizight@yahoo.com

Friday, December 10, 2010

Top 9 Reasons J-Dub WASN’T overpaid


9. He is a World Fucking Champion.

8. Unlike most mega paid played players, the Nationals won’t have to pay hefty extra baggage fees toting around all his individual player awards.

7. He can play all 3 OF positions. Unfortunately for Washington he can only play one at a time.

6.  The Mets were going to pay him a similar salary but more if he announced he’s actually Hispanic. But then they inexplicably fired Omar Minaya.

5. He will make Bryce Harper feel more at ease since neither one shaves.

4.  The Nationals hope to recoup most of his salary with “My BF plays RF” merchandise.

3. When he is washed up in 3 years, he will continue to earn his salary by carrying Steven Strasburg’s jock.

2. The Nationals are pissed at Ryan Zimmerman’s poor defensive play down the stretch, so they want to stick it to him by letting Jay Werth stick it to his wife a la Jen Utley.

1. They paid him one million for each point of his batting average with RISP.

See ya at the winter meetings!

Jay Wrizight
jaywrizight@yahoo.com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brokenhearted Phils Fans

Okay guys, remember when you were on vacation or maybe just a party weekend out of town? You were relaxed, perhaps partied a bit too much. You met some chick, who you thought was hot, at the time. She came back to your place and you both had a wild night. It was great. You're both loose. You're on vacation, a break from your normal boring daily routine. She hangs with you for the remainder of your time there. It's a great hookup, but let's face it, when you go back home, she'll be a foggy memory. It was a vacation, not your real life. You're normally not that wild at home, at least not on typical weeknights.

Now you're back home, back to the daily grind. You resume your normal routine, you're a responsible, mature adult. Yeah, you still party but not to that extent, into the wee hours of every night. You have a career. You're a professional. Before your tan starts to fade, the phone rings. It's her. That crazy broad has tracked you down via google, facebook, whatever. What does she want? Doesn't she get it. Yeah, you had fun but it's back to real life now. If you wanted to start a "real" relationship with her, you would have exchanged information. You figured it was understood. It was just a vacation fling. The expiration date has past. You wonder how nuts she is for going to all of that trouble to track you down.

So why am I posting this soap opera on a Phillies themed site? Because the studly guy in this tale is Cliff Lee and the crazy broad is you, the Phillies fans. Get over him! He played here for a little over two months. I just don't understand how the fan base has such undying loyalty to a player who was here for such a short time. Sure he was great in his brief stint here. Yeah, Ruben screwed him over in a moment of temporary insanity, but Lee has moved on so why can't you? In fact, he's moved on twice, first to Seattle and then to Texas. Do you think that the Mariner's fans are still going crazy because he's gone or that they are anticipating his triumphant return via free agency during this hot stove period. NO!

Cliff Lee stated that he wanted CC money, once it was his turn for free agency. Lee and Sabathia came up together through the Cleveland Indians organization where they pitched until CC was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 7, 2008. After the 2008 season, CC became a free agent and signed with the New York Yankees for 7 years at $161million, the largest contract for a pitcher in MLB history.

In July 2009, Ruben wanted Roy Halladay but was having difficulty trading for him with the Toronto Blue Jays. He settled for Cliff Lee who won the 2008 Cy Young Award. Lee was to become a free agent after the 2010 season and Cleveland knew that they wouldn't be able to afford him. Cliff Lee pitched brilliantly for the Phillies during the remainder of the season and during his first postseason. The Phillies only won 2 games in the 2009 World Series, both of which Lee started. The fans were in love, sporting 34 Lee jerseys all over CBP. Most fans didn't mind missing out on Halladay since Lee was so dominant on the mound. Not Ruben. He still had a hard-on for Halladay.

After the 2009 Winter Meetings, Ruben got his man. Toronto now had a new GM and a trade was made along with an extension, to keep Roy Halladay in Philly until at least 2013. Wow, what a staff! Huh? Oh, no! Lee gone? Ruben lost his mind. I mean really!!! The Phillies could have had a starting rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Happ and Moyer for the 2010 season. Sure, Lee still would have been a free agent at the end of the season, but who knows. Perhaps he would have loved the city and his teammates so much that he would have forgotten about his goal of CC money. Maybe after winning a World Series, he would be so overwhelmed by the passion of the fans at the parade that he would be willing to give a home town discount. Ah, but we will never know because Ruben prematurely eradicated that opportunity.

As I stated earlier, Ruben had a moment of temporary insanity. I don't know how else to explain it. It made absolutely no sense to trade Cliff Lee. Ruben is smooth, very smooth, but no one was buying the restocking the farm excuse. Baseball analysts from every medium questioned this Stanford grad's reasoning. How could you throw away an entire season of Cliff Lee after the effectiveness that he had in the short time that we had him. For what? Prospects? Yeah, like we'll ever see any of these guys. I mean really, it's not like any of them are Ryne Sanberg!

The fans are pissed. Ruben loses some credibility and it's not even Christmas. Snowstorms come, the fans are still complaining. February arrives and I don't think many fans sent Ruben a Valentine. March came in like a lion, with fans still roaring about Lee's sudden departure. The season began and the fans were still bitching: at the ballpark, at the corner bar, at work, down the shore, on talk radio, on the Internet (People, his name is Ruben and although I find him quite yummy looking, he is not a deli sandwich), Fourth of July Barbecues. Wait. What? Seattle traded Lee to the Texas Rangers? OMG! One of MLB's most premiere pitchers has been with four different teams in a one year period, passed around like some down on her luck party girl. Who'd a thunk it?

By July, Seattle was out of contention and intelligently traded Lee to Texas because they knew that they would lose him to free agency after the season. For the second year in a row, Lee lands on a contender at the end of the season. Phillies fans are now rooting for the Rangers. While Roy Halladay is having a terrific year, including a perfect game, fans are thrilled with his professionalism, yet they are still grumbling about Lee and what could have been. Fans who were smitten with Lee's arrival in 2009 are now modifying their jerseys to HAL LEE DAY.

*A little shopping tip: Don't spend major bucks for an authentic MLB jersey unless the player is signed to a long term contract i.e. Ryan Howard, or is in the Hall of Fame i.e. Mike Schmidt. You can also have your own name customized.

During June and July, the Phils were out of first place. The fans were still all over Ruben about Cliff Lee, however the problem was not the pitching but lack of offense and a revolving door to the disabled list. Ruben will never admit that he was wrong, yet he did pull off a major coo by obtaining Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros for JA Happ, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. While it was a good deal, it wouldn't have been necessary had Ruben kept Cliff Lee. It seems that just as things settle down a bit, a trade like this sends all the antiAmaroists into a 'if we only still had Cliff Lee' frenzy.

It looks to be a good deal plus we got some cash. Upon his arrival, Oswalt was undefeated at CBP, and as we've come to find out, he plays a mean left field. My only issue with this is it came at the loss of JA Happ. I love this kid. Yeah, he may walk the bases loaded but he usually gets out of it unscathed. Plus he has dreamy blue eyes and gorgeous eyelashes that a drag queen would covet. There is just something special about him. He's mature, shows no fear and possesses a quiet intensity in those sparkly baby blues. I intend on following his career because there is a nameless quality about him that can't be taught, you have to be born with it. As long as he can remain focused and not get caught up in any of Brett Myers' off-field antics, I think Happ will have a bright future.

The season ends as the Phillies win their fourth consecutive National League East Division title with the best record in the Major Leagues. This is this first time they have accomplished such a feat in their 127 year history. The Texas Rangers win the American League West. Fans are rooting for the Rangers because of Cliff Lee or the Yankees for a rematch. In the end it didn't really matter since the Phillies didn't get passed the Giants after sweeping the Cincinnati Reds.

The Winter Meetings are over and it looks like Cliff Lee will get his CC money. He is handcuffing teams until he signs with someone. He wants a 7 year deal and two teams reportedly have agreed to that. The Yankees supposedly will go no higher than 6 years. Word is that one of 7 year teams is Boston but with a low dollar amount as to drive up the Yankees bid. The other 7 year team could be Washington or Texas. Washington surprised everyone with their acquisition of Jayson Werth on Sunday and Texas is waiting to see if they could land 'Lee or they will go with Zack Greinke. A deal is expected to be made by the weekend.

There has been no recent mention of the Phillies in the pursuit of Cliff Lee but with Ruben Amaro Jr, you just never know. He can be slick. I just don't see it happening mainly because of what it would do our payroll. It would also be a full admission of Ruben being wrong by sending Lee to Seattle in the first place. So come February will Cliff Lee be in Florida or Arizona? Will a 7 year contract finally help Phillies fans get over Cliff Lee? Cmon folks, this obsession can't be healthy. It's like that party girl who went out of her way to track you down, only to find you with your wife.


****If anyone had found Evan Longoria's cap, please return it. Leave your information in the comment section below to claim reward.




Monday, December 6, 2010

Werthless in Philadelphia


While many of you were watching an Eagleless football game, I was settling in for my obligatory Sunday nap. I checked the Twitter on my iPad before laying down on the couch (official naps are on the couch or a recliner, never a bed). I must be really tired because my brain is not processing the information. Jayson Werth signed with the Washington Nationals for 126 million for 7 years. NATIONALS....126....7 YEARS!!! In 2002, the Nationals franchise was purchased for 120 million! Who would have thought that a mere eight years later they would pay more than that for one player.

 It was 4:32pm and no mention of this on any site yet. I texted a fellow season ticket holder, and we exchanged opinions of my sanity and soberness. No, I swear it's true, I told him. I even posted it on facebook. Big mistake. My phones were ringing off the hook, texts were beeping, emails were filling up my inbox. I am supposed to be napping, I have to work tonight. I told everyone to put on the MLB Network at 5:00pm. They have been giving updates every hour on the hour. By 4:50pm, word was on the Internet, and by 5:00 on TV. The baseball world was shocked. The Nationals! Of all of the rumored teams interested in Werth, the Nats were never mentioned. I figured that he'd end up with the Red Sox and I was fine with that.

 Many women were furious. If you listened closely enough,you could hear their hearts breaking all over the tri-state area. I'm sorry. I don't get it. He's too tall, too lanky, too hairy and has no personality. He's just not my type. I did love how he would make a pitcher work with his long at bats, fouling off pitches. This whole popularity with the chicks, I never quite understood.

 Now I was expecting J-Dub to be gone when he hired Scott Boras as his agent. The Phillies made him an offer during the season, he declined and then hired the super agent. If he was planning on staying with the Phillies, there was no need to hire Boras. The amount and length of the contract is what's surprising. He's a good player, but not a superstar. He's been in one All Star Game, and that was because Charlie selected him. He's been in a very potent lineup with MVPs, Silver Sluggers and a Home Run Champion. How will he fare with only Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup? Will they pitch around Werth now?

 Baseball executives cannot be too pleased with this deal. It just raised Carl Crawford's value and he is two years younger and more talented than Werth. What a way to start off the Winter Meetings! You can't blame Ruben for not retaining Werth. What were the Nats' front office thinking? 126 Million dollars is more money than all of the free agents put together in franchise history. I don't want to hear that they're up and coming. They're still a long way off to contend. Strasburg is out for the season with Tommy John surgery. The Nationals need pitching. They always have. Their offense has always done well and their defense is suspect. What was Werth thinking?  
This is what is disappointing, the lack of integrity. It's entirely too obvious, going to the worst team in the division, just for the money. There is no other way to justify him going to Washington. He already has his ring. I guess he doesn't care about winning anymore. Is this the same guy who asked Charlie to play him every day in right field in July 2008? Once the offer was made, Scott Boras didn't even give the other interested teams a chance to make a counter offer.

Many fans are supportive of Werth, stating that if it happened to us, we would take the job with the highest salary. While that may be true, most of us have less commas in our paychecks.

According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, $126,000,000 is an unlucky number, i.e. Barry Zito, Vernon Wells.

 Good luck Jayson, nice playing with you.

 Katie Casey

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ding Dong! Cooperstown Calling!



The US Postal service was inundated with mail this week. While most of it was headed towards the North Pole, Jay Wrizight could care less about Kris Kringle. (By the way, thanks for forgetting my Lonnie Smith Flip-down sunglasses, yet again, Fat Man.) I’m most concerned with the ballots which were mailed out to all 10-year members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) also known as the Hall of Fame Ballot.

Most years, I’m content with finding out casually who made it in. Unless, of course, a player I’m fond of might be getting voted in. But this year is different. Why? Because we should get a clearer (although not definitive) answer how the writers are going to handle the “Steroid Era.” Joining Mark McGwire on the ballot this year are first timers Raul Mondesi, Juan Gonzalez, Brett Boone, Jeff Bagwell and Larry Walker. Bagwell, Walker and Gonzalez all won MVP’s. All have had whispers about steroid use. And, oh yeah, I forgot the crème of the crop, finger-waving Rafael Palmeiro.

Typically, being a member of the 500 Home Run Club or 3000 Hit Club makes you a lock for Cooperstown. Palmeiro has both. He also has a cycle on his record, but his wasn’t for a single, double, triple and home run. It was for sticking a needle in his ass, when he was suspended for steroids in 2005. Of the 48 members of either club (Palmeiro is one of 4 who accomplished both) Mark McGwire is the only one who is HOF eligible and not enshrined.

Also, I’d like to see if Bert Blyleven finally gets in. In my opinion, he is by far the best player not in the HOF. He fell 5 votes shy last year. His downfall is his W/L record, 287-250 for his career. Some say he is merely a .500 pitcher. Only Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens had more in a career.  He ranks 9th all-time in shutouts with 60. Of those who careers started in 1970, his rookie season, or later, Clemens comes closest with 46 or 26th on the all-time list.

Unfortunately, Jay Wrizight no longer gets a HOF ballot as the committee takes exception to doodling Bud Selig and Billy Brewer in compromising positions on the ballot. But if I did here it is (In no particular order):

Bert Blyleven
Lee Smith
Tim Raines
Jack Morris

You may vote for up to ten players.  I, by no means, follow some misguided writer guideline that you cannot vote for a player in their first year of eligibility. I also considered Bagwell, Robbie Alomar, Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. The “character” issue was why I left Alomar and Palmeiro off. Otherwise, I’d have voted for them. Players have 15 years of eligibility, I have more time for details to come to light and make a better informed decision on whether to vote from them at a later date. While Bagwell may or may not have a character issue, both him and Martinez are borderline and I’m not ready say they are hall of famers.

I hope when they have a Bloggers Hall of Fame, Character isn’t one of the criteria as I’d probably be left off the ballot completely.

See ya at the winter meetings!

Jay Wrizight
jaywrizight@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving



Well, it's that time of year again. Holiday sales bombard the TV replacing all of those annoying political ads. Screens are being traded out for windows. Air conditioners are covered. Leaves are raked every weekend. The mower is housed in the shed awaiting springtime. Mall parking lots are beginning to fill. The baseball awards have been distributed. No major deals have gone down yet for the Phillies. The only trade that has cause for concern is Dan Uggla being traded within the division to the Atlanta Braves. That boy can hit however, his defense is questionable. He can't be any worse than Brooks Conrad, and the Braves made it to the wild card with him.

This is the time we spend with family and friends. We give thanks for the love and health of our loved ones. Thanksgiving day means different things to people. We all have our own traditions. There's the parade in the morning, as we recover from the hangover from the night before. Then off to a relatives overheated house for some hair of the dog and football. The food will be good but cold, because there is no way to have that much variety of food for that many people, and have it remain hot. Sorry, that's a little pet peeve of mine. I don't need six different kind  of vegetables. There are 26 of us! By the time the food gets on the table and everyone is seated, the food is cold. As soon as it's polite, I recommend taking your plate to the sink and getting a primo seat in the living room for the remaining football and post feast nap.

I am very thankful because I have a wonderful family. They are always there for you. They volunteer to help you out, so you don't even have to ask. We are very close. We celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations, whatever the occasion, we are always partying. Of course it helps that my cousin has an awesome pool and party garden.

This will be the first Thanksgiving without my father. This will be especially hard for my mother, but we will be surrounded by our family's love. My father was always the first one done eating. He'd sneak outside for a smoke and that back inside to claim the end spot on the couch where he would promptly fade into a glorious snooze. This is one of many things that I learned from him. Being an only child, I always hung with him as a kid. He was very patient and a joy to be around.

I will not mourn him this Thanksgiving. I am just thankful that he was my Daddy. I was so fortunate to grow up receiving his love. He has spoiled me to the point where no man could ever measure up. My wish for you, is that you have a great family and that you could be the type of father to your children that my father was to me.

Back to baseball. I am also thankful for my home team Phillies. They did not make it to the World Series this year however, they were there the past two years in a row. They looked tired in the NLCS and they probably were. Now I'm not making excuses for them but how many teams are repeating in back to back World Series appearances? The postseason has gotten longer and is shortening the winter for baseball's elite teams. The Phillies suffered key injuries to most of their regular players this year. Could it have been to lack of down time? Hopefully we will come back stronger and healthier in 2011.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a great family and my Phils. I can hold my head high because I had the love of a fabulous father and although the Phillies did not make it to the World Series, they did have the best record in Major League Baseball. Think about that. It's the first time in their 127 year history that they had the best record! Back in 1976 and 1977, they had their highest win total with 101. But to recover from an exorbitant amount of injuries, playing with more teams in the Majors than the seventies and still having the best record, I am extremely proud and thankful.

What are you thankful for this year? What is your Thanksgiving tradition? Let us know.
Have a great Thanksgiving. May your bird be big and succulent.

Katie Casey   

Friday, November 19, 2010

Baseball Awards


Most of the major awards have been given out this season. We are only waiting for the MVPs of each league, which will be announced next Monday and Tuesday. I am not surprised by any of the results, so there is no need to go into any long discussion of any controversial winners. I do have a few comments that I will share with you, plus a major idea.

-National League Manager of the Year: Wow, that was close. Bud Black beats out Dusty Baker by only one point. I still have a question for Dusty Baker. How come he didn't start Travis Wood during the NLDS? Wood one hit the Phillies in a complete game shutout back in July, with 8 strike outs. Wood ended up coming in the game, that Edinson Volquez started, and was quite successful. Volquez is still not where he was in 2008 because he is still recovering from injury. Sometimes you just got to go with what brought you there. Travis Wood seems to have the Phillies' number.

-National League Cy Young Award: Wow, a unanimous decision! While I fully expected Roy Halladay to win, I did not expect every writer to agree. To me, this makes it even more special. Doc learned about this honor while in Mexico, golfing with Mike Sweeney, among others, so I'm sure that Sweeney was the first to give Doc a hug.

This brings me to the point and my idea. Why are the players getting phone calls on the golf course? Television airs awards shows all of the time, most of them are utter nonsense. Why not have a post season baseball awards show on TV that distributes all of the awards at the same time rather than over a two week span?

New York would be the obvious choice to hold this event but I don't think so. In all fairness, let whatever city that hosts the All Star Game in that particular year, be the host of the award presentation. Any city that has a major league team, surely has appropriate theatre houses. For example, if the event was to occur here in Philadelphia, we could use the Kimmel Center or the Academy of Music.

It would be a festive red carpet event. Black tied ballplayers could show off their sparkly rings, if they had them, along with their sparkly wives in their designer couture. To host the show, my choice would be Hall of Fame broadcaster, Vin Scully. He's the only one left who can call a decent game. If not him, then the broadcaster of the host city.

The first award would be the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. Have a former Rookie of the Year present this award or better yet, last year's recipient. The top three or five nominees would be announced while video of said nominees were played on background monitors. The winner would go on stage, receive his award, make a short speech thanking me for having this great idea or his teammates...whatever. If the winner is unable to attend, his manager, coach, or teammate may accept it for him.

I firmly believe that the Rookie of the Year needs to be divided into two separate categories: hitters and pitchers. Last year, JA Happ was deserving, but was overlooked due to the fact the he did not play every day. This year it was Jaime Garcia of the Saint Louis Cardinals. When hitters and pitchers are lumped into the same category, it's usually advantage: hitter.

Next up would be the Louisville Silver Slugger awards. This one could take a while because there would be eighteen winners. Have a former winner who is retired from the game present this award, position by position. For example, Don Mattingly (1985-1987) could present the first basemen their awards. Dale Murpy (1982-1985) could present to all of the outfielders.

Time for a break. We've given out twenty awards by now. How about a little musical entertainment? Bronson Arroyo thinks he plays a mean guitar. Maybe not. Bernie Williams?

The next category is the Rawlings Gold Glove. Just like the Silver Sluggers, there will be eighteen winners. They can also be given out in the same format, from former recipients who are retired from the game. This allows the generations to intermingle. As thrilling as it might be to win one of these awards, just imagine receiving it from a legend, like Mike Schmidt or Hank Aaron. This also allows the viewers watching at home to see some of their childhood heros and reminisce these memories with their children.

The rest of the awards would be given to a member in each league: The Hank Aaron Award, Comeback Player of the Year, DHL Delivery Man of the Year, Manager of the Year, and the granddaddies of them all, MVP and Cy Young.

The Roberto Clemente Award is only given out to one player for commitment to the community and understanding the value of helping others.

Having a special evening for these awards would make it more memorable for the players, their families and the fans. It could raise revenue in the host city from hotels and restaurants. Real fans could attend this special evening. C'mon, you know you would go, given the opportunity. So let's go Bud Selig and MLB Network, get on it.



Katie Casey

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Angels in the Outfield



Baseball’s over. Jay Wrizight don’t give two shits about football, politics or the fact LeBron ended up in San Francisco. I’ve got a lot of time on my hands. While everyone is discussing the BCS, lame ass eagles, green tea bag party or some retarded dunk some clown did after take 7 steps, I’m left to ponder the universe and my small part in it. A year ago, I lost a dear friend, Joe or Poppa Squirrel as he was sometimes called. He spent his life as a chef. He fought a long and hard battle against pancreatic cancer. Most people who get pancreatic cancer die within six months. Gene Upshaw and Patrick Swayze were diagnosed after and died before Poppa Squirrel. 

When I’d go to visit him in the hospital, he’d always turn the Phillies game for me. He wasn’t a diehard fan but he could hold an intelligent conversation about the Phillies. I would tell him I can watch the game at home and he’d get all sarcastic and say,” Well, I can watch it here. Look! I got the remote right here!”   Before he was sick, he could make a meal that make you drool thinking about it a week later. One of the things I believe happen when you get to heaven is that you get ALL the answers to the questions you always wondered about like, “Did Lee Harvey Oswald work alone? If Drew Barrymore was walking down the same street as me would I have a chance? Did Courtney or Kurdt write the songs for Hole?”

When I get to see Joe again these are the top nine (baseball related) questions I will be asking:

9. How hard did Walter Johnson actually throw? There are claims he threw over 100MPH but when you see any video, he has and easy and relaxed sidearm toss to the plate.

8. What incriminating photos did Greg Amzinger and Chris Wheeler have to work in baseball as long as they did?

7. Why was Cliff Lee’s Phillies cap missing the metal “beanie” on the top? Most people think I am fucked up because I’d even notice this. I just want to know.

6. If Bartman doesn’t try to make that catch, would it change anything?

5. How great would Bo Jackson have been if he only played baseball?

4. If Babe Ruth remained a pitcher, how many games would he have won? He had 89 wins with the Red Sox in basically 3 seasons. He only pitched in 22 games combined his first and last year in Boston.

3. Did Pete Rose ever bet against his team? I have no problem with Rose being in the Hall of Fame as long as he never bet against his own team.

2. Was Joe Jackson involved in the Black Sox Scandal? He always claimed he was innocent and his batting average was higher during the World Series than the regular season. He is still on baseball’s ineligible list.

1. If steroids were never involved, who would have been the best player of the early 90’s? If it’s Ryne Sandberg I might set the record for the shortest stay in heaven when I find Paul Owens and choke his ass out.  Of course, as I’m being escorted out, Joe, holding a plate of chicken parm will blurt out, “Oh, so you want that to go? Ya shmuck.”


Joe, I’ll see ya in heaven, hopefully later rather than sooner.

Jay Wrizight

This article is dedicated to Joseph D Rifkin, R.I.P.

Monday, November 15, 2010

HOW I GOT HERE


 Grab a Drink, I'm Rambling On...

My parents were quite older than most of my friends' parents. They grew up during the Depression. My father never played sports, he was always working. My father never watched sports on TV, when he wasn't working, he puttered around the house. He always had something to do. He wasn't a workaholic or a neat freak, he took his time. It relaxed him. He did his chores, mowed the lawn, tended his garden with a smile, a smoke and a beer. He wasn't much for TV because he didn't grow up with it. I, however, am an only child and the TV was my best friend!

  This is the mid-'70s, before Cable, when you actually had to get up and turn the knob* to one of the three main channels. Yes, I said (3) three! Well, there were also a few UHF* channels, if you were lucky, but they came in snowy.* This was a big ass television encased in wood. If you were wealthy, you might have had a hi-fi* on either side of the TV, also encased in wood. This was some serious furniture. Society was not disposable during this period. You didn't get a new TV if your current one broke. A repairman came to the house and fixed it. Most frequently, it was a blown tube. (Today's TVs no longer house tubes.)

  My Depression-Era parents were not going to purchase a new TV when there was nothing wrong with the one we had. The problem for me was it was black and white! Yes, I grew up watching a black and white TV. My parents considered this a luxury, not a necessity. I should be grateful to have a TV. They never had a TV, they were happy listening to the radio when they were my age. So this ungrateful child, with a black and white shiny box emitting from a huge clunky credenza prominently displayed in the living room, made a wish. Every year at my aunt's house, surrounded by cousins in damp bathing suits singing loudly and off-key, I would make the same wish as I blew out the candles. Finally, after three years of birthday wishes, Santa brought us a brand new color TV (naturally, it was encased in wood)!

  Go ahead, refresh your cocktail. Go grab another beer. I'll wait for you. I know, I know, I'm rambling on...
 
Okay, now where was I? So I'm enjoying all of my favorite shows 'in living color'. I even enjoyed the summer reruns because I could now watch them for the first time in color. I even saw The Brady Bunch before it was a rerun. As most of you know, the heat and humidity in the summer is brutal. If we were not down the shore or at my aunt's pool, I stayed inside with the cool comforts of the air-conditioning. On Sunday afternoons the only thing to watch on TV were old black and white movies (I don't think so) or the Phillies playing on luminous green AstroTurf. I was hooked! Although I didn't really know anything about baseball, I received an entertaining education from Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn. My father didn't know much about baseball or any of the Phillies' players, so EVERYTHING that I know was from listening to Harry and Whitey. You could feel their love of the game and each other through the TV. Fortunately for me, this was the beginning of what was to be the trifecta of National League East Championships.

  I would sit and listen and watch. At that time not all of the games were televised. I was so addicted that I would never miss a game, even if i had to listen to nine innings on static-y AM radio.

  I was riveted as Harry with his smooth silky tones would lead Richie into one of his  old yarns of his playing days. Not only was I learning the game of the present day, I was learning history from one of baseball's past stars who had first person real accounts of that very history. You could feel the love that they both had for the game and for each other. You could hear the lighters flicking as pipes or cigars were attempting to be lit. You could hear the passion in Harry's voice as he called Davy Lopes out, no, can you believe it!? That was Black Friday but there were many more colorful days and fascinating stories involved in my baseball education.
 
A lot of kids have hopped on the bandwagon over the past four years. It's an exciting time to be a Phillies' fan. But how many will remain once age has caught up with our All Stars? Will the consecutive sellouts in CBP continue as players get traded, retire, become free agents or management suddenly gets cheap? How will the Phillies maintain their new fan base?
 
I hopped on the bandwagon in 1976 and haven't gotten off. I was devastated in 1979 when we were crippled with injuries and finished fourth. By then, I had a true love of the game and rooted for the Pirates in the World Series. Oh, how I miss that cross state rivalry. This season reminded me so much of that year. By the time Ryan Howard hurt his ankle in August, I must admit, I thought that was the final straw. How we came back to have the best record in baseball is beyond me. It's what makes this sport so great.

  By the mid to late 80's, let's face it, the Phillies sucked. I still watched because I fell in love with Harry and Richie. You may see something that you never saw before. You never knew where one of Richie's stories would go. There were also some individual records for players. Some people get emotional or depressed when they have a milestone birthday...30, 40, 50. That never bothered me, well I haven't turned 50 yet. Who cares as long as the party is good and there is plenty of booze. The thing that got to me, that made me feel old, like an official grownup was the retiring of Mike Schmidt. He was the last one left of the team that I called my own. I was no longer a rookie fan. I had followed an entire career of a Hall of Famer. I was now older than some of the players. I could answer most of the trivia questions that Harry asks Richie.

  ...and I could buy my own damn TV!

  So how did you become a fan? How long have you been a fan? Let us know, we all want to know about your first time.

  Katie Casey

  *ask your parents or grandparents.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

George Brett: A Perfect A-Hole


For those of you who have moved onto other sports, there is still plenty of good baseball programming on the MLBNetwork. Now I'm not one to endorse something without getting paid however, the MLBNetwork is the best thing to happen to TV since color (more on that later) and TiVo. On Friday, Inside Studio 42 with Bob Costas, had it's season premiere. Now, I love me some Bob Costas. He's intelligent without being condescending. He asks questions that I would ask. He's smooth. His voice doesn't irritate me. He's still hot as he's aging. My only problem with him is the hair dye. Yeah, I get it, he's on TV and needs to look good. But I prefer a manly man. Hell, I've never dyed my hair so why would I like a guy who does? For the record, I do not have any gray hair and I'm over 40. Then again, I don't have children or keep men around longer than their expiration date.

Hall of Famer, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals, was this week's guest. The current Royals may be the worst team in the American League but back in Brett's day, they were quite successful. They were the American League's mirror image of the Phillies. Both teams were in the playoffs in 1976, 1977, 1978. They both failed to reach the postseason in 1979, but faced each other in the 1980 World Series.  The third basemen of both teams won the MVP in their respective leagues. While I reminisce about both of these Hall of Fame third baseman, I can't stop thinking about their asses.

Mike Schmidt might have had THE best ass in all of MLB!  It wasn't flat. It wasn't bony. It wasn't too fat. It was a perfect bubble butt. For a white guy, he had a sweet ass. That's the only way that I can think to describe it. Check out his statue at the third base entrance at CBP for a quick reminder of his sweet seat.

George Brett discusses his ass with Bob Costas. During the 1980 World Series, Brett developed hemorrhoids while in Philadelphia. I have some inside scoop in the medical community. During the World Series this year, a doctor friend of mine told me a story about these famous hemorrhoids. A colleague of his was the first doctor to examine Brett. As an avid Phillies fan, he was not about to let this ass stand in the way of the Phillies first World Championship. The good doctor told his patient to soak the area and treat it with Preparation H. Brett and the Royals got a second opinion from a doctor who didn't know who he was and treated him with a more aggressive approach...he got snipped.

It's a great interview and Brett freely discusses this topic with genuine humor. The following spring, Brett had them surgically removed. The surgeon told him that he now has a perfect a-hole.

The last two segments, Brett is joined by fellow Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. I thoroughly enjoyed this program and think that most fans will, whether they are reminiscing or learning of this era for the first time. The MLB Network will show this again on Monday, November 15th at 1pm and 4pm, so set your DVRs.

Next Friday, Bob's guests will be Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn.  



Katie Casey

Friday, November 12, 2010

SO, WHATCHA DOIN?


The leaves are falling and blowing in the street. The trees are becoming more bare in each passing day. Oh, and the days are already shorter. We had our extra hour of slumber last weekend. What to do now that baseball season is over.

Most people are already deep into football by now. Not me, it's too barbaric. The players have to wear helmets so they don't get hurt against their opponent. It takes an entire week for their bodies to recover to play another game. No thanks.

Hockey season is also well underway. I remember those special times when Kate Smith sang God Bless America. We were chanting "1, 2, 3, 4, who the hell is Bobby Orr!" Dave Schultz recorded a song titled, "Baby, how long will you keep me in the penalty box?" Why do I still know all of the words to that song? Bad music does that to you. I tried to love the Broad Street Bullies, really I did. It's just too fast for me. I can never seem to follow the puck. It makes me dizzy. It's a total buzz kill trying to find that damned puck, besides, I'm a redhead and don't look good in orange.

That leaves us with basketball. Some prefer college to pro, but March Madness doesn't start until March, and that's when all of the excitement begins. Everyone 'gets' basketball. Mostly everyone has played basketball at one time or another, in gym class at high school or at the local playground. Hell, you got a ball...you can even play with yourself. I used to like basketball but the times and the fashions have changed. Where are they going in those big 'ol drawers? Whatever happened to those tight little shorts that Dr. J filled out so nicely? The buzz kill in basketball: the screeching of sneakers on the wooden floor. The only other sound that is more annoying is Chris Wheeler saying, "No doubles defense."

Let me know what you are up to until pitchers and catchers report in February. Do you watch all sports? Are you a junky for competition? What sport is your true love? Leave me a comment! I tell you about how I got into the Phillies, next time...

Katie Casey

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's a Wrap

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball began handing out its postseason awards, so I’d like to give my thoughts plus take a look at my preseason predictions. First, The playoffs. I said the Rangers, Rays, Yankees and Twins would make the playoffs in the AL. Check, check, check and check. I did, however, qualify my Twins pick saying they’d make it if they went out and got a closer to replace Joe Nathan. They got Matt Capps. In the NL, I said the Phillies, Cardinals, Giants and Braves would pop the champagne. Three out of four ain’t bad. The Cardinals held a slight lead in the Central midway through the season but stunk up the joint in the second half. The Phillies sleeping bats and Cliff Lee ending up in Texas put the kibosh on my Phillies-Rays World Series rematch.

On the individual awards front, I said Roy Halladay would win the NL Cy Young. I see no reason to stray from the opinion now. The same goes with Felix Hernandez in the AL, although his win total may cause some voters to look elsewhere. I’m standing by the King though. I didn’t fare so well with the MVPs. Both Hanley Ramirez and Evan Longoria had sub par years by their standards. I think Joey Votto should win the NL MVP. Josh Hamilton had a great season but a September injury may cost him the award, but he’d get my vote. As for Rookies of the Year, I predicted Jason Heyward and Austin Jackson. Both had solid years, but not spectacular, which may have kept the door open for Buster Posey and Neftali Feliz. As for managers of the year (I did not have preseason predictions for this category) I think the NL awards should go the Charlie Manuel or holding together a team decimated by injuries and putting up the highest win total, but Bud Black will win it with the turn around in San Diego. As for the AL, I’d vote for Ron Gardenhire. Nathan missed the season. Morneau missed the second half. The Twins won the AL Central easily. Besides, I refuse to vote for the junkie in Texas. Buck Showalter deserves some votes, as he managed the Orioles to the best record in the AL East after in the time span after he took over, but he only managed half a season.

The Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards have already been announced. The Phillies only got one award. Shane Victorino won his 3rd Gold Glove. I gave up on Gold Gloves when Bobby Abreu won one. He gave as much effort in the field as a crack head stripper gives for a lap dance when she has a rock in her duffel bag and her rent prepaid for the next two months.

In my miscellaneous section, I said breakout stars would be Billy Butler from KC and Everth Cabrera of SD. Butler started out like gangbusters but cooled off. He had a decent year. Cabrera hurt his hamstring early in the season which isn’t a particularly good thing for a speedster. He never recovered. I, also, said Adrian Beltre would have a monster comeback season. He did. And Edwin Jackson would be a bust in Arizona. He was. I predicted CC Sabathia would succumb to injury and only post 11 wins. He had 21, but did have surgery already this off-season, so I was kinda right. Kind of.

All in all I had a pretty spectacular beat on this season, but I’d trade them all in if I could have just gotten my World Series Champions guess right. (The Fightins)

Don’t forget to check out the Drunk Phils Fans page throughout the winter as I will still be posting.

See ya at the Blog.

Jay Wrizight
jaywrizight@yahoo.com