Monday, August 30, 2010

A Ticket to Ride

For those who don’t know, Jay Wrizight is absolutely OBSESSED with the Phillie Bobblehead  giveaways. When I bought my tickets for the Carlos Ruiz Bobblehead game in March, I expected to receive a nice giveaway as I entered Citizens Bank Park. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Roy Oswalt as the Astros would be in town.  But if you told me he’d inserted into the Phillies line-up as a left fielder, I’d tell you to “shut the fuck up, moron.”  The game was an emotional roller coaster on a track of abnormal happenings.
Just a quick recap of the bizarre happenings:
-Ryan Howard went 0 for 7 with 5 k’s and got ejected
-Ross Gload, who is on the DL, also got ejected
-Jimmy Rollins hit a game tying home run with 2 outs in the 9th
-Raul Ibanez played first base
-The Astros walked the tying run to get to the clean up hitter, LF Roy Oswalt

Today, I faded in and out of a sleep coma trying to recover. I’d wake up every so often and watch some of the Little League World Series.   A lot of thoughts ran thru my head as I tried to comprehend what I had seen.  I wondered if Oswalt’s performance would make him an instant cult hero. I debated if Howard would get suspended. I speculated how many times Wheels said “No Doubles defense” in 16 innings.   I was amazed that along with myself there were probably more fans still in their seats to see Roy Oswalt try to come up big at the plate in the 16th than the Marlins or Braves draw on any given night.  Unfortunately, the Fightins couldn’t get the W, but it served as a reminder that the reason baseball is such a special game is because it’s a game of imperfection and perfection at the same time.  Somehow, no matter how fast, big or smart players get 90 feet is still the ideal spacing between bases. Players can succeed just 3 out of 10 times and still be considered great. Earlier this season, BL Chris wrote a story that in a nut shell said you never know when you’ll see something amazing at a ballgame; thankfully, I got the opportunity the other night. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Today's Thoughts

So, we all know the Phils are in quite the slump. And many of the real fans know that they will hit their stride over the coming days/weeks and take over the Braves, win the NL East, and win a few playoff series.

It's been real hard watching these guys play lately. Primarily because the hitting has been nonexistent. Shane Victorino pops up all the friggin' time; Jayson Werth is the most patient guy ever, taking pitch after pitch (too bad he's not their leadoff hitter!); Ryan Howard can't hit ANYTHING right now; etc, etc, etc... Raul and Chooch. That's it, really. They're the only two consistently doing anything in the clutch. Well, Jimmy has had a few big hits, but c'mon- for a leadoff guy, his OBA is horrible and how many times does he swing at the very first pitch of the game??? Way to work the other guys, Jimmy.

We fans are fortunate that the starting pitching has been phenomenal. Who in their right mind would have predicted that Kyle Kendrick would not only still be in the rotation, but also be as reliable as his 8 wins and respectable 4-and-a-half ERA show him to be? We know about Mr. Perfect Roy Halladay. And the addition of Roy Oswalt is one of those shrewd moves that may just make people mumble "...clliff...who...?" Joe Blanton is as capable of eating innings just as he is of eating cheese steak pretzels (which are not-so-surprisingly delicious, people). But, I have to give credit where it is due, and that is to Cole Hamels. Sure, he may sound fruitier than a bag of Skittles. To the astonishment of many, however, Cole is pitching like a man whose set has finally dropped. It really sucks that the team seems to never score for him, but he is gutting out a respectable season in which he'll surely strike out 200 and likely register double-digit wins. Still, I know he walks one of those really tiny, yappy dogs on a long leash. You know, the dogs that may as well be cats. A teacup this or miniature that. Yeah, one of those. To be honest, he can walk whatever he wants, as long as it's not the batter before he serves up one of those meatballs he's notorious for. If he can maintain, the Phillies top three will be damn tough to beat in a short series come October.

So, I'm watching today's game on Fox. Since I've started typing, Victorino hit an RBI triple, and Mike Sweeney (another excellent pick up) beat out a fielder's choice to score a run then stole second base. So things are going well again against the Western Division leading Padres.

But what prompted me to begin writing this in the first place were these two observations from today's game:

First, these announcers are HORRIBLE!!! Seriously, these guys are a joke. Is that Eric Karros? Yeah EK, we're really impressed that you were one of like 4 or 5 Rookies of the Year in a row from the Dodgers back in the late 80s-early 90s. So was Mike Piazza, but you don't see him giving bad commentary and flashing that awful 'stache all over TV. He's probably in Norristown selling cars or some shit like that. Where he belongs. And he's a future Hall of Famer. Karros repeats the same inane drivel over and over again, as though it somehow becomes more insightful each time he says it. It doesn't. All it does is piss me off!!! Good thing the Phils are winning. And I have no idea who this other dude is. But he's bad, bad, bad. Josh Lewin??? What qualifies this ass as a baseball guy? And adding "expert" commentary, Ken Rosenthal. UGH!!! Forgive me, but Josh Lewin, Eric Karros, and Ken Rosenthal, piss off, eat a dick, whatever you must do. Just stop talking. Let me watch the game game in silence. Thank you Jesus, for the mute button.

My other, equally infuriating point from this game regards the umpires. What the hell was up with home plate ump Laz Diaz staring down Miguel Tejada???? Are these umps on roids now, all angry and looking for a brawl??? Seriously. That dude the other night would have gotten his head bitten off by Ryan Howard. Of all the pro ball players to fuck with, I think Big Brown would be at the bottom of the list. I'd be more apt to confront Ryan Theriot. I can surely whoop a frenchie second baseman. Well, maybe not, but I think you get my drift. And Tejada just looks angry. At least we all know Howard is a typically easy-going dude. "Miggie" looks like he's always thinking "juss gib me a reesson, mu'dafucka." Did all these umps get together and decide they were bad asses? Like anyone gives a shit that they're there? Soon enough, these guys will be obsolete, and games will be presided over by highly-sophisticated cameras and microprocessors. Perhaps they're feeling the dread of an impending economic crunch as they get phased out and simply lashing out at the players they secretly loathe. Whatever the cause, I would love the effect to be a bloody nose or torn ear as one of these players just absolutely whoops an umpire's ass after he steps out of line. For real, umps, stop being so sensitive whenever a player questions a call. We all expect the element of human error to play a factor in the game. Be big boys and take the criticism with a grain of salt. And for real, stop staring down players after bad calls. Or else convenience stores in Philly might mysteriously sell out of C and D cells. Those, by the way, are the best "throwing" batteries for your dollar. We would know. We're (past and present) Drunk Phils Fans.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Phillies Broadcast Drinking Game

Let me start with a disclaimer, like Football Pools say this is 'For Amusement Purposes Only'. If you actually play this game by the book you may pass out by the 4th inning. Please proceed with caution.

Wheels says "Turn the line up over." Chug a beer.

Sarge explains an established vet like Tim Hudson, John Garland, etc. is a young guy trying to prove himself. Take a sip of Colt .45.

TMac tells a long boring story about a coach on the opposing team. Drink your beer for the duration of the story. You will probably need 3 beers.

Wheels gushes about an opposing player in the NL East, Ryan Zimmerman, Brian McCann, Jose Reyes, etc. We know Wheels, we see them 18 times a year. Do a shot.

Sarge mentions Willie Mays, Willie McCovy or Gary Maddox. Polish off the Colt .45.

TMac says 'Tried to get him to go fishing." Chug a beer.

Wheels says "No Doubles Defense." Do a shot of the strongest beverage available.

Sarge talks about BBQ. Have a Corona.

Wheels says "Gotta pay attention to this runner." Drink your beer until pitcher throws over.

TMac says "Blanton, Kendrick, etc. has settled in" after sucking. Do a shot.

Wheels when he talks about an older player says "At this point in his career." Chug an 'Old Milwaukee.'

Wheels complains about a call. Drink a glass of Pinot. Wine. Get it?

During an annoying WB Mason commercial do a shot of rubbing alcohol. It may make you blind, unfortunately it won't make you deaf. Thank God for the 'Mute' button.

Have fun with this people.

Keep it Classy Philly!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Game Time!

After writing last week’s column, I was told by a faithful reader that I haven’t been very positive in my articles. But like my man, Treach, says, “Positive, well positive ain’t where I live.” Fortunately, I don’t live near West Hell or South Shit either, but The Phillies have taken over the Wild Card lead so it’s all fun and games this week.  Literally. This week’s ramblings will be my version of the $25,000 Pyramid. Phillies style.
Just in case you don’t remember or are unfamiliar with the game show, one contestant tries to give clues so another contestant can guess the category.  First, an example:
1.     The Mets
2.     The Phanatic
3.     A-Rod

A.    Things Jay Wrizight hates.
Ok so now that you get the idea we’ll get started.

#1        Mom’s minivan
            A Taxi
            Ryan Howard
#2        Duct Tape
            Wilson Valdez
#3        Independent politicians
            Non-control Pantyhose
            Cole Hamels
#4        A straw
            A vacuum
            Denys Baez
#5        Batteries
            A motor club (that offers roadside assistance)
Greg Dobbs
#6        The Produce stand
            Christina Hendricks
            Placido Polanco
#7        Your little toe
            The Mets efforts to finish above the Phillies
            Chris Wheeler
#8        Cole Hamels’ wife
            Domonic Brown’s arm
#9        Situations
            Jayson Werth
#10      Jessica Biel
            This summer
            Carlos Ruiz’s bat

Please send your answers to by 8/22/10 at midnight. First person with all 10 correct answers will win a DPF T-Shirt!

Thanks for playing and see ya at the ballpark.

Jay Wrizight

Sunday, August 15, 2010

KK Deals, The Mess Reel!

While I am in the afterglow of another Phillies victory over that sorry team known as the New York Mess here a few observations.

Joe Morgan says stupid things then something brilliant in the next breath. He talked about how Jose Reyes was safe on a steal attempt in the first inning for 4 innings. The throw from Chooch beat him. Most umpires will call a runner out if the throw beats them to the bag. You would think Joe would know this since he's a Hall of Fame Player. Just when I think he's a total moron he picks up on the fact that Jimmy Rollins is telling teammates in the dugout he's figured out Mike Pelfrey's move. That is something Wheels and T Mac wouldn't pick up. I didn't miss those clowns tonight.

When Jimmy Rollins is making things happen on the base paths the Phillies win. As JRoll goes so do the Phillies. It was nice to see him running full speed. When the Phillies steal bases they are tough to beat, just wish they would do it more often.

Jeff Francoeur's fly ball in the 7th inning would have killed someone if he hit it in Citizens Bank Park. The poor SOB standing in line at Tony Luke's would be a bloody mess, Roast Pork and Broccoli Rabe everywhere!

Not to beat up Joe Morgan again but I did take exception with something else he said. He said "The Phillies have a swagger, but the Mets are mild mannered". I agree the Phils have a swagger, they should, 2 time NL Champs and all. I take exception with the Mets being 'Mild Mannered'. Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez have swagger out the ass for no reason. KRod has so much swagger he couldn't control it and bopped his Father-In-Law around. Sorry, I must correct myself, he bopped around his Baby Momma's Dad.

Phillies Fans rule! I could hear the 'CHOOOCH' chants clearly. I love how well the Phillies are represented on the road.

Keep It Classy Philly!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What’s Up Doc?

I know many of my loyal readers were pissed off or concerned when there was no Jay Wrizight article last week.  First, I apologize. Secondly, let me explain.  Last Monday, I came home from work, did some yard work, ate dinner and, oh shit, off day for the Fightins. Damn it. What do I do know? I started flipping through the channels and then I started to feel sick to my stomach. By Tuesday night, Jay Wrizight was admitted into the hospital. I was super sick. I couldn’t keep anything down.  All my nutrition was fed thru an I.V. tube.  The doctors ran a bevy of tests with no conclusive answers.  Thursday, I started to feel better.  My main doctor had suggested I write down everything I did and ate starting with Sunday and go up to the current time.  I went through and wrote down everything. EVERYTHING! Nothing was out of the ordinary. But my doctor is one perceptive son of a bitch.
We went through the list 2 times and he asked said we should go though once more before we gave up.  I said, “Monday, I came home from work, cut the lawn, ate some hot dogs, and watched baseball.”  He said, “For three days, you did nothing but talk about the Phillies, they were off, so what did you do?” “I watched baseball. I watched the Braves and Mets,” I replied. “Why’d you do that? You hate the Mets,” The doctor retorted. “Actually, I rooted for them. The Phillies need the Braves to lose” He went on to suggest that my body was confused by me cheering on my mortal arch enemies and it was more of a mental than physical ailment. He said I should write down all the things that really bother me so if this happened again, I’d be able to pinpoint my issue.   After doing so, I realized I will be one grumpy old man as I wrote about 3 pages of stuff.   I won’t bore you with the non-baseball items, but here is the baseball related list of things that make me sick to my stomach:

1.      The Mets.
2.      A-Rod.
3.      The Phillie Phanatic.
4.      People who talk fantasy baseball at the game.
I won’t go into detail as I have mentioned these issues before.

5.      The All-Star game.  Ok, I understand MLB wants it be important and a showcase to interest new fans. This is what I don’t understand, it determines home field advantage for the World Series, and all the experts say the AL has a clear advantage when it has home field due to the stronger line-ups because their teams are built with a DH. According to my calculations (which may not be entirely accurate, I just quickly browed box scores) One pitcher has batted in an All-Star game in the past decade. ONE. To make it fair shouldn’t there be more of an effort to play by NL standards every other year. My suggestion: pitchers MUST bat in the nine hole until the 6th inning.
6.      Tom McCarthy.  I don’t like him one bit but I absolutely hate the fact the Phillies won’t promote Scott Franzke to be the main play-by-play announcer on TV.  Every major call since Harry passed, Franzke has outperformed McCarthy.  The Phillies even know this. Watch the commercials, its Franzke’s calls, not T-Mac's.
7.      Darren Daulton’s tan. It’s ridiculous period.
8.      Ozzie Guillen.  Not because he speaks his mind, but because he’s a dumbass.  Complain all you want that Japanese players get translators and “special privileges” but these are established players who get multi-million dollar deals and their Japanese teams are paid just so an MLB team can negotiate to sign the player.
9.      Pompous ushers at CBP. Escalators are there to transport people. No need to deter people from using them. I have a Sunday plan I have had the same seats for 5 years I can find it better than you. Don’t chase after me so you can see act like you look at my ticket.
10.   The Pretzel lady outside the stadium. I know you are selling pretzels. No need to scream “Pretzels!!” in my ear as I walk by.  How about doing it when I’m five feet away?
See ya at the ballpark!

Jay Wrizight

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Charlie Manuel isn't as Dumb as He Sounds

Uncle Chollie, Chuck, that idiot in the Phillies dugout, he has been called many things. Most are not that flattering, but we must give Charlie credit, he gets the best out of his team. This year may be his best performance yet. I was one of his biggest bashers when he arrived. He couldn't grasp the concept of the double switch that is required in the National League. In 2005 Billy Wagner had 6 at bats. How can that happen? Charlie has gotten better with the strategy of the game but every now and then he forgets. "Now batting for the Phillies, Pitcher Chad Durbin". With his success I will give him a pass. In 2007 he lead the Phillies to their first post season appearance in 14 years. He had a good core of young players coming into their prime. I honestly never expected the Phillies to win a World Series in 2008. Charlie road a shut down bullpen into the playoffs and all the way to a World Series Championship. Most of the pieces from that bullpen are still here, Madson, Romero, Durbin and Lidge. They had career years in 08'. If they were ahead after 8 innings you knew they were going to win. Thanks for the ring Charlie, I guess he could have just been in the right place at the right time. Wrong.
Last year Charlie really showed me something. This team could have coasted like a lot of teams do after winning a championship. He didn't let that happen. His bullpen wasn't nearly as good, Hamels struggled. They did acquire Cliff Lee who was a playoff beast. Two straight World Series appearances. Great job.
This year with all the injuries and distractions with high expectations for this team, he has kept them rolling. He is doing it with the likes of Wilson Valdez, Ross Gload, Mike Sweeney, Ben Francisco ect. His bullpen has been shaky at best. The starters after Halladay and Hamels have been inconsistent. The Roy Oswalt acquisition should help. This year has made me a true Charlie believer. I used to laugh at people who wore 'Manuel' T-shirts or jersey's at the ballpark. Now I think they might be the smartest people there.
Keep it classy Philly!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just Get Me To The Playoffs Boys

As Ryan Howard limped off the field yesterday my first thought was this season,s over. Charlie doesn't call him 'The Big Piece' for nothing. The big guy is an RBI machine on a team that is struggling to score runs. This season has not gone as planned. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Brad Lidge, Placido Polanco, J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Brian Schneider, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, and J.A. Happ have all spent time on the DL. Think about that a second, the only every day players who haven't been hurt are Raul Ibanez, who missed yesterday,s game with a sore wrist and Jayson Werth. They could easily pack it in like the New York Muts did last year and use the injuries as an excuse. Or they can get healthy and keep the train rolling right into the playoffs for a fourth straight year. This team is special and I think they are about to prove it. Here are the reasons I think they can get it done.

The Braves aren't that good. They have some talent in their lineup and a nice starting rotation but they are coming back to earth. Any team that loses 10 straight like they did earlier in the season has holes. They rely on Chipper Jones who we know is always nicked up and Brian McCann for their offense. A catcher is always one foul tip away from the DL. Jason Heyward started out like the next Willie Mays but pitchers have adjusted, he will be a great player but he's not ready to carry his team.

The Phillies will get healthy for the stretch run. If for no other reason there is no one left to get hurt. The one knock on Utley is that he wears down as the season goes on. I don't buy that since he had 5 home runs in last year,s World Series but he may benefit for the time on the DL. Let,s also hope Howard isn't out long, the Cody Ranson/Ross Gload platoon will not scare too many opposing pitchers.

The starting rotation with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt will start to dominate. Halladay has done it all year and to a lesser degree so has Hamels. They have had terrible run support, that should change as players get back in the lineup. Oswalt laid an egg in his first start but the guy is a proven performer. If we had a choice between getting Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt last year at the deadline I would have picked Oswalt. He will step up big for the Phils in the second half.

This can be the sweetest year of this current Phillies run if they can find a way to get to the playoffs. With a playoff rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt I like our chances to get to a third straight World Series. Just get me to the playoffs boys.

Keep it classy Philly!