Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Now, you can take this one with a grain of salt, this is hearsay at its finest. A source, who is rather connected, said Charlie Manuel attended dinner with Tommy Lasorda in New York the night before Game 1 of the WORLD SERIES. According to source, who was in attendance, Charlie remained out late (1:30am, really Charlie?) and got very drunk.
Here’s where it becomes the thing legends are made of. When my source said, "Charlie, don't you have a game in like 16 hours?", Charlie replied "Fuck it. I have Lee pitching".
If true, this is my new favorite quote of all-time.
This story comes to you courtesy of www.crossingbroad.com
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Name: Kevin John Sefcik
Born: February 10, 1971 in Tinley Park, Illinois
Acquired: Selected in 33rd round of 1993 Draft
Phillies Debut: September 8, 1995
Final Phillies Game: October 1, 2000
Uniform Numbers: 31, 11
Career Elsewhere: Rockies (2001)
About Kevin Sefcik: There are a variety of reasons for players making it or not making it to the Major Leagues. Talent, physical tools, and work ethic play their role. There's also something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. That last reason could very well apply to a 5'11", 175-pound utility player named Kevin Sefcik. Despite not being selected until the 33rd round of the 1993 Draft, Sefcik made it to the show after just two full seasons in a very barren Phillies farm system. While not possessing a very potent bat or blazing speed, Sefcik was adequate defensively. He managed to spend three full seasons and portions of three others with the Phillies.
Sefcik made his MLB debut on September 8, 1995, taking over for Charlie Hayes at third base in the seventh inning of a 12-3 loss to the Houston Astros at the Vet. He struck out in his only plate appearance that night. Sefcik would appear in just five games in his initial September callup, going hitless in four at-bats. He made it back to the bigs in 1996, hitting a respectable .284 in 44 games, then made the big club out of spring training in 1997. After a slow start, Sefcik was sent to the minors in early May, but returned a month later, and stuck with the Phils through the 2000 season. An infielder by trade, Sefcik learned to play the outfield after the '97 season, and the vast majority of his remaining Phillies tenure was spent backing up the likes of Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Ron Gant, Doug Glanville, and Gregg Jefferies.
Sefcik had his best season in 1998, when he hit .314 in 104 games, and he followed that up by hitting .278 in a career-high 111 games in 1999. Sefcik was far from the most talented player in the world, but it appeared as though he was carving out a niche as a serviceable utility player. Unfortunately, both Sefcik and the Phillies suffered through a poor 2000 season. Expected to be a contender, the team instead was a disaster, going just 65-97. Sefcik didn't fare much better, hitting just .235 in 99 games, and was not offered a contract for the 2001 season. He would sign on with the Colorado Rockies, where he would make his only non-Phillies MLB appearance, a pinch-hit flyout against the San Francisco Giants on June 1. Sefcik was released five days later, then spent the remainder of the '01 season in the Cleveland Indians' system. After spending 2002 in the minors for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sefcik returned to the Phillies in 2003. He hit .280 in 133 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, but was never called up to the big club in what turned out to be his final professional season.
Personal recollection: Every season, I try to get a feel for who is doing what in the Phillies' farm system. I don't like to be caught saying "Who?" whenever a player is called up. I think Kevin Sefcik is the reason for this. We didn't have as much information readily available in 1995, but Sefcik's name pretty much came out of nowhere. Looking at some of his numbers, I came to realize that I witnessed half of Sefcik's six career home runs in person. I also remember a near-miss against the Red Sox at the Vet in 2000, when a would-be grand slam off Tim Wakefield landed inches foul. Two of the homers I didn't see in person were the ones he hit on September 8, 1998 in a 16-4 pounding of the Mets. The Phillies hit seven homers that night, a franchise record that has withstood the challenges of the powerful teams of the current era. I also remember a pretty violent home plate collision where he plowed into Mike Piazza during the 2000 home opener against the Mets. Piazza held on to the ball, but the Phillies did end up winning the game.
If the Phillies had a more abundant farm system in the 90s, Kevin Sefcik may have never been a Major Leaguer, as his talent was considered marginal at best. Among some people, he seems to be one of the poster children for a futile era of Philadelphia Phillies baseball, much like Steve Jeltz a decade earlier. The fact is, there were many players worse than Sefcik to wear a Phillies uniform during his time with the club, which actually might tell you all you need to know about that era.
So that is my story on Kevin Sefcik. If you have any personal recollections of your own, feel free to share.
In the opening of our series of ‘On the Road Load’ the first stop finds us at the Spring Training home of the Philadelphia Phillies Clearwater, FL. The Phillies have made Clearwater their home since 1947, but have only been in Bright House Field since February of 2007. This new ballpark’s most famous feature is the Tiki Bar in left field. Here you will find an open air bar filled with all sorts of liquid concoctions to help burn away the day in the Florida sun. If you’d rather grab a beer at your seats, the Beers of the World stand on the third base side provides a generous bottle selection with up to 70 different suds.
If you’re looking for a drink outside of the ballpark here are few places to check out:
Bar: The Brew Garden
Location: 904 McMullen Booth Road
Distance from Bright House Field: 3.1 mi/7 minutes
On Tap: 30+
If you’re looking for a little slice of Belgium in Clearwater then The Brew Garden is the place to be. Offering over 100 varieties of beer The Brew Garden will keep you coming back for more. The selection favors more to the European side with a hefty offering of Belgian ales and a scattering of German, Irish and British styles. Don’t let that deter you however, because the good old U.S. of A is represented very well throughout. If you’re looking for an American Macro your closest offerings will come in the way of a Sam Adams as nary a Miller or Budweiser is in sight. The food menu seems to be lacking in the sheer amount of variety, as most of it seems to be just appetizers and sandwiches.
Beer Store: World of Beer
Location: 2809 Gulf To Bay Blvd.
Distance from Bright House Field: 1.6 mi/4 minutes
You might stumble upon this beer store on the way to one of Clearwater’s more famous attractions, the original Hooters, but right across the street is aptly named World of Beer. Boasting a huge selection of beer World of Beer also comes with a very knowledgeable staff willing to help you find that right selection. This would be an excellent place to gather your stash for the night game tailgate or post game hotel celebration.
Brewery: Dunedin Brewery
Location: 937 Douglas Avenue, Dunedin, FL 34698-4945
Distance from Bright House Field: 6.4 mi/15 minutes
On Tap: 9 Year-Round 5 Seasonal and more
For all of you yearning for some bagpipes with your beer, head Northwest to the Scottish town of Dunedin for some pints at Dunedin Brewery. Not only can you enjoy some of Dunedin’s own beers like Pipers Pale Ale, but they also have a section for beers not brewed by them called The Nook which opened up this year. They also have various specials and events throughout the week so check their website for details. If you’re headed there on a Monday you’ll find it empty because they are closed. This would also be a good place to stop by if you are planning on attending a game against the Toronto as the Blue Jays make Dunedin their spring training home.
And speaking of Dunedin they will be our next stop during our Spring Training series of On the Road Load. If you have any suggestions for places please feel free to let us know.
Cheers and Play Ball!
I was given the nickname Joey Ballgame by a former manager when I worked at a music/movie/video game/useless product of the week store. I never really understood why I was given this nickname. Maybe it was because I had recently read Moneyball before I started working there and didn't shut up about it.
Having been born in the Year of Our Lord Ninteen Hundred Eighty Three I was part of a throng of Philadelphia-area natives who was never alive when our team won a championship. Thankfully that all came to an end two Octobers ago when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske to win the 2008 World Series and end the "Curse of William Penn." 2008 also happened to be the year I was given the Sunday Game Plan as a birthday gift. Best gift ever? Best gift ever. So I've been following the Phillies for as long back as I can remember. From the end of Mike Schmidt's career to Rookie-of-the-Year Scott Rolen to the Rise of Ryan Howard I've been a Phillies fan.
My baseball career was a rather short one. I played in-house Little League ball for most of my childhood as well as two years of CYO baseball. That was it. High school ball made teenagers out of boys and I just didn't have the stuff for even trying out. I was a career outfielder having had one inning at third base and maybe even a whole game at first. I think I was in the outfield because that was where I could do the least damage. Which is odd because I had no arm strength. My only real fielding strengths were that I had a good eye for judging a fly ball as well as the ability to catch. At the plate I don't ever really remember being a superstar. I do remember getting a lot of walks which would probably make Billy Beane proud.
My drinking career is not as legendary as some other people. I've never been on a bender and rarely get drunk. Although when I do get drunk I am usually not noticeably drunk. However I do enjoy having a beer and socializing. I started out with the Miller Lites and Coors of the world and have ventured over to the Yards and Sierra Nevadas. I've even participated in brewing beer and we hope to one day be good enough at it to be able to actually have people pay for it.
For the most part I'll be writing a series called On the Road Load which will help you out with finding beer when following your Philadelphia Phillies on the road.
Cheers and Play Ball!,
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Baseball is an addiction for many the American man. We grew up playing, watching, sleeping, breathing, shitting, pissing, and any other verb-ing the national pastime. You could say it was our first exposure to the world of obsessive, compulsive behavior. I, of course, am no exception. Long before I hid booze by my bedside, I went to sleep with my glove under my pillow, two baseballs inside, rubber bands wrapped tightly, forming the perfect pocket. I would play alone if the situation called for it, seeing no shame in it. And let's not forget the fantasies. Oh, the fantasies. When baseball was on my mind, everything else faded into oblivion and I became someone completely different: I could run, throw, hit, field, and pitch. I knew more about the game than anyone alive. And I was the youngest person to ever play in the major leagues, all with one hand, long before Jim Abbott.
Then there were the baseball cards. For years, we flipped Topps, Donruss and Score cards, perhaps a precursor to heavy drinking games like Asshole, Zuma-Zuma, Circle of Death, and Mexican, among many, many others. The stakes were high, and losing left you feeling nauseous and full of remorse. "How the fuck am I going to recover from this?" I remember losing my coveted '86 Topps Wade Boggs thinking it was the end of the world. My friends teased me, since it was Boggs 3rd or 4th year in the league and worth a grand total of $3.50. They may as well have been standing over me as I puked out my entire dinner after being Asshole for three or four straight hands. This, of course, would come a few years later... So we cruised along, flipping, trading, studying baseball cards.
Topps were the best because they contained the players entire career statistics, whereas the other companies only displayed a few years. I actually wrote a paper in Honors English (Dr. Mecherly, anyone?) comparing Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan using nothing but the latest Topps cards for each pitcher as my sources. I think I got a 90 or better on it! See, my addiction to the game was causing me to lie and cheat, just as would booze soon thereafter. Then, in the summer of 1989, a new company changed the face of collecting. The first time I laid eyes on the 1989 Upper Deck Card #1, Ken Griffey, Jr., I knew my life was about to change. It was just like the first time I saw a 40 of St. Ides. And I had to have both, simply because they were cool. I spent every penny on baseball cards, completely disregarding food, clothing, and shelter. My hierarchy of needs consisted of Rated Rookies and Topps Traded sets. I was a whino, and my beverage of choice was the baseball card.
As was the case for the majority of men, my once-promising (ha!) baseball career ended entirely too prematurely, thus thrusting my drinking career into full-swing, with many bad loads under my belt involving the Game: the one and only Phillies Spring Training game I saw, despite living in Florida for 16 years; sitting alone, bombed, in my room, shouting, "FUUUUUUUCCCCKKK!!!!" as Lenny Dykstra struck out in a key at-bat in the fateful Game 6 against the Blue Jays in '93; yelling, "you think you're better than me?" to that douchebag Barry Bonds during Kevin Millwood's Veterans Stadium no-hitter... The list goes on and on. I was an all-star boozer, and I co-mingled my first two loves with tremendous gusto.
But, like every boy who has to eventually come to grips with the fact that baseball just wasn't going to be his meal-ticket, I too accepted the fact that drinking simply didn't work for me. Despite my clear skill in the field, my tremendous ability to hop bars like superstitious pitchers hop foul lines, I gave up the dream and put down the sauce. I handed it over to the bullpen, and, after a quick shower, I will watch the rest of the game from the dugout. My fellow Drunk Phils Fans have more than enough to carry the load. Consider me the designated driver.
Besides, someone has to be able to tell everyone what really happened.
Dane Sardinha (left, while with Tigers), a catcher in camp on a minor-league contract, was arrested early yesterday in Clearwater and charged with driving under the influence. A team spokesperson said the Phillies were aware of the situation but would not further comment. Sardinha, a 30-year-old native of Hawaii, signed with the Phillies on January 7. He has previously played in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds (2003, 2005) and Detroit Tigers (2008-09)
I reviewed the Phillies All-Time roster to look for the biggest loads either by reputation or because there name was synonymous with booze. Here is your Phillies Bad Load pitching staff and their bullpen catchers:
Chief Bender (16-17) - The bender is a period of at least three days of continued drunkenness. Why three? Because the weekend is two days long. It's that third day (quite possibly a workday) that all bets are off, when eyebrows start to raise, when tongues start to cluck, when the amused laughter turns into whispers of concern.
John Boozer (62-64 and 66-69)- A boozer is a person who is fond of drinking...sounds familiar.
Johnny Lush (04-07) - A lush is one who drinks to excess. Johnny twirled a 6 Inning No-hitter in 1906. No word if he was PUI (Pitching Under the Influence)
Brett Myers (02-09) - Bad Load Brett was the reigning Bad Load of Philly sports for more than 5 years..he narrowly beat out Pat 'The Bat" Burrell in 2006. The drunken hillbilly slapping around of his wife on a Boston corner put him over the top to stay until his departure in the 09 offseason.
Dickie Noles (79-81 and 90) - In 1983, Noles' alcohol problems began to surface. He and a teammate drunkenly assaulted a police officer after a game and Noles severely injured his left knee. Noles spent 16 days in jail, was forced to enter alcohol rehabilitation, and was forced to pay a substantial amount of his baseball earnings in an ensuing civil suit. In 1987, Noles earned a dubious distinction in Major League Baseball history of having been traded for himself. Noles was traded from the Cubs to the Tigers for a player to be name later. Several months later, the teams were unable to agree on what player Chicago would receive, and so Noles was shipped back to the Cubs, completing a deal in which he was traded for himself..
Tug McGraw (75-84) - "Tug McGraw was the epitome of what Philadelphia was all about - a hard worker, dedicated, he never gave up. The picture of him jumping off the mound after the last out (of the 1980 World Series) is one of the most memorable moments in Phillies history. He was truly a great person, and he'll be sorely missed." - Larry Bowa Saint Patrick's Day was one of Tug's most favorite days. Every year I honor him and pour a shot of Jameson for him and leave it on my table or the bar. Just my way of making a tribute to him on a day he and I love.
Kevin Saucier (78-80) - I hear his name and think of two things. One is hitting the sauce and the second is I remember a Roy Roger's (or was it Geno's) 1980 World Series glass with all the Phils' signatures on it. Saucier's was the most elaborate..next to that Nino Espinosa.
Warming the pitchers up in the bullpen will be two well known loads:
Bob Uecker (66-67) - My favorite quote of his was , "One time, I got pulled over at four a.m. I was fined seventy-five dollars for being intoxicated and four-hundred for being with the Phillies."
'Irish' Mike Ryan (68-73 and 80-95) - What I loved and remembered most about Irish Mike was the fact that he was ALWAYS the first man out of the bullpen in the event of a fight. I honestly remember a game where he beat the batter to the mound after a Phillies player was plunked.
So who was left off the list? Do you have any favorite quotes or stories about the above players? Saint Patrick's Day is coming up, so maybe you will throw on that #45 jersey and pour the Tugger a shot of that rare 'ole Mountain Dew?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Name: Ronald Glen Jones
Born: June 11, 1964 in Seguin, Texas
Died: June 4, 2006 in Houston, Texas
Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent in 1984
Phillies debut: August 26, 1988
Final Phillies game: October 6, 1991
Uniform number: 26
About Ron Jones: The history of the Philadelphia Phillies is a long and often tragic one, with countless teams and players suffering their share of misfortune. In the near-quarter century since my obsession with this baseball team began, I'm not sure I've ever seen a more tragic figure than Ron Jones. Signed by the Phillies as an undrafted free agent after the 1984 season, Jones worked his way through the system, and got the call to the big leagues on August 26 of what had long been a lost 1988 season for the club. Jones wasted little time in making an impression, hitting a home run off the Dodgers' Tim Belcher in his second at-bat. Jones would make the most of his '88 callup, hitting .290 with eight homers and 26 RBI in 33 games. Though the Phillies were still quite a ways from being good, it sure seemed like they found their right fielder of the future in the 5'10", 200 pound line drive machine that was Ron Jones. The first dozen games of the 1989 season gave no reason to feel differently, as Jones was again hitting .290 with a couple longballs to boot. Then, disaster struck.
The date was April 18, 1989. In the eighth inning of what would eventually be a 7-1 victory over the Mets at Shea Stadium, Jones made a nice running catch of a deep drive off the bat of Dave Magadan, crashing awkwardly into the then-unpadded (most stadiums did not pad their outfield walls until the early to mid 1990s) right field wall. Jones crumpled down to the warning track, clutching his right knee. The result was a torn patella tendon, ending his season. Such an injury is serious enough today, so you can imagine how crippling it was back then. Jones would rehab the injury, and made it back to the big leagues in May of 1990. The layoff didn't appear to affect Jones's stroke a whole lot over his first 24 games, as he was hitting .276 with three home runs. Once again, disaster would strike.
The date was June 30, 1990. In the seventh inning of what would eventually be a 7-3 loss to the Houston Astros at the Vet, Jones charged in to field a blooper off the bat of Franklin Stubbs. Realizing he would have to play the ball on a hop, Jones slammed on the brakes. This time, his left foot caught in the unforgiving Vet turf, and his knee buckled, shredding the left patella tendon. It didn't take long to realize that the promising career of Ron Jones was basically over. Jones would make it back to the Phillies in 1991, but the damage had been done. He was limited to 28 plate appearances in '91, all as a pinch-hitter, collecting just four hits in 26 official at-bats. Jones was granted his release after the season. He split the 1992 and 1993 seasons between the farm systems of the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves, but never appeared in another Major League game.
After his playing career, Jones spent time coaching youth teams in the Houston area. He was an instructor at the Big League Baseball Academy in Houston, run by his former Phillies teammate Charlie Hayes. Sadly, Ron Jones died of a cerebral hemorrhage on June 4, 2006. He was a week shy of his 42nd birthday.
Personal recollection: I didn't get to see Ron Jones play a whole lot, but I remember being impressed with what I saw. The Phillies had hit the skids in the late 80s, but Jones at least was a guy who provided some hope for the future. I remember the game when Jones suffered his first knee injury, and Harry Kalas kept saying, "Oh, no" as Jones was being taken off the field. Like, we finally have something to look forward to and this happens. I also remember my sister (who is as phanatical a Phillies fan as I am) sent Jones a get-well soon letter, and he sent her an autographed card in return. When he came back from the first knee injury and then went down with the same injury to the opposite knee, you had to feel for the guy.
So that is my story on Ron Jones. For those of you who have your own recollections, feel free to share in the comments. I'll be posting another Random Past Phillie in the near future.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
First off, my family has had partial season tickets for the Phillies since 1979, which is a year before I was born. Needless to say, I've seen my share of good and bad baseball from the Phils over the years. Most of it was bad growing up, but that has only made me appreciate this current era even more. As far as the screen name is concerned, it goes back to Ricky Jordan's MLB debut. It was in 1988 against the Astros, a Sunday afternoon game. Jordan hit a three-run homer off Bob Knepper in his first at-bat. I was about a month away from my eighth birthday, quite an impressionable age. Jordan instantly became my favorite player (for those of you who remember, there weren't a whole lot of bright spots back then), and remained so throughout his tenure with the club. In fact, I even tried to get Jordan's number 17 each season for the baseball teams that I played for. Jordan never developed into a star, but he'll always hold a special place in my heart.
OK, enough about that. As I mentioned earlier, I was born in 1980, and my obsession with the Phillies goes back to about 1987 or so. There have been countless obscure players to wear the team's pinstripes since then. What I'll often be doing on here (hopefully at least once a week) is listing a random past Phillie, probably little-known, but maybe I'll throw in a bigger name once in a while to mix things up. I'll post my personal recollections of that player, his career before and after the Phillies, and if possible, what they're up to these days. Any personal recollection you have of the player posted is more than welcome. I'll also add thoughts on the current state of the franchise from time to time. Look for a random past player post soon.
As far as drinking is concerned, I don't partake in that activity nearly as much as I once did. But my past exploits have been well-known. Should be a fun season and a fun blog!
1990 Louie Meadows
1991 Doug Lindsey
1992 Julio Peguero
1993 Joe Millette
1994 Tom Marsh
1995 Gary Bennett
1996 Howard Battle
1997 Danny Tartabull
1998 Rex Hudler
1999 Tom Prince
2000 Clemente Alvarez
Now there is a really funny story about Louie Meadows (yes I actually remember him). He was signed by the Phils as a free agent in July of 1990. The above baseball card which says Wes Chamberlain is actually the one and only Louie Meadows.Wes was acquired via a trade in August of 1990. It is the 1991 Topps card #603. They were apparently pulling a prank on the Topps photographer and it did not get caught until after the set came out. It was eventually corrected in the 1991 Topps Traded set as seen here.
Friday, February 19, 2010
So I have mapped out Halladay's probable starts and was looking ahead to see what I thought his win total would be for April. Here is how I see it:
April 5 v. Washington- The Phillies are 58-61 on Opening Day and 2-0 against Washington on Opening Day. The Phils will break the streak of 4 consecutive Opening Day losses.Give the W to Roy right now.
April 11 v. Houston- Roy will show that he is human here and take a tough loss on the road. He will go 6, but the lefty heavy Phils lineup will be stymied by Wandy Rodriguez, who is in a contract year. Ed Wade will look to pick up a Phillies has been or never was during this series (Brian BoCOCK).
April 16 v. Florida- This is the game in which I will be attending and holding court for the first gathering of Gload's Bad Loads fanclub in the Wachovia parking lot at signpost F2. Roy dominates in his first home appearance. Complete game is in order.
April 21 v. Atlanta- The pattern continues here and Roy takes the loss as Phils bats fall silent to Derek Lowe...again.
April 25 v. Arizona- Cy Young winners face off here as Brandon Webb is set to face our boy Roy. Phillies finally play some small ball here and win 3-2.
April 30 v. Stinkin' Mets- It is now a rule that the NL team from NY will always have an adjective before their name. It will always be negative as well. Johan only last 5 innings here and Roy gets his fourth win in April.
So 4-2 for our guy in April is the final prediction. So I ask you...how many combined innings do you expect Roy to throw? What do you think his ERA will be at the end of April? Planned upcoming updates are 'The top names I wish I could hear Harry announce from the 2010 baseball season' and 'The Complete Guide to Tailgaiting and Bad Loading for a Phils Game'.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I am looking to get this site up and running with content by the first Spring Training game. Anyone interested please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking for it to be a Phillies, baseball, and booze blog.