Friday, December 30, 2011
No, The Franchise was not suspended for the use of PEDs. The reports of his death are greatly exaggerated. The Franchise was suspended by BL Chris for one year due to cyber-bullying. I have completed my program, and am now allowed to write again. 11 months served on a 12 month sentence. So, what is The Franchise up to? What is His outlook so far on the Hot Stove Season.
What The Franchise is up to... is getting his swell on today. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve people. This kid hits the gym mad hard today then hits the tanning salon to get my glow on. Then I head over to the Gucci store to get my new sunglasses to wear inside the club tomorrow. Tomorrow night I will be at The Chelsea Hotel in A.C. Platinum VIP bottle service. DJ Go FY will be spinning. I am bringing some fake chested Guidette that I will dump halfway through because her stiletto's scuffed my new Jordan Retros. Probably end up taking home your wife or girlfriend because she needs a real man.
Now on to the Phils. Pitching no longer wins pennants. The big off season acquisition is this ass clown Papelbum. Zzzzzzzz!!! Maybe he can close out 1-0 losses. The Phillies offense is anemic. Polanco is an over the hill bobble-headed bum. Howard will be out until who knows when. The good news with him is, he may strike out under 100 times for the first time in his career. Ibanez is, as of right now, still the starting LF. Way to offer him arbitration Ruben! I am gonna need whatever was in your drink when you did that...to slip into some broad's drink. The Franchise likes Jimmy's swagger, just not the lead off pop-ups. Utley's best years are way behind him. Victorino just doesn't seem to understand the subtle nuances of the game. The Franchise's hope for the 2012 Phils is increasing their pitches seen per at bat. The 2011 Phillies averaged an MLB low 3.5 pitches seen per at bat. They lack discipline and the art of working opposing pitchers. They need to increase the pitches seen by a pitch at bat.
Alright I gotta go splash on some Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris cologne. Don't let the name or the bottle fool you. This is a masculine scent for a sophisticated date-night (you know, club/late night burger/slap n' tickle...).
Boom Boom Pow!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
As Christmas times nears, I often get nostalgic remembering times gone by. The certain smell of a food my Mom makes for Christmas Eve, the Light Show at Wanamaker’s downtown (it still has the Eagle..it will forever be called Wanamaker’s to me), or something as simple and beautiful as a lit tree in the front window with snow falling in the background.
I am a Philadelphian. I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia in Oxford Circle.I appreciate tradition, maybe even thrive on it. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, for 40 years now. Every Christmas Eve I go back to the old neighborhood and pass the bar where I had my first drink, and subsequently 5 years later my first legal drink as well. I see the houses my friends grew up in, the steps I hung on, and the places where my love of baseball flourished.
In the early 1980s my parents built our basement into a family room. The garage door was no more, now a brick wall. I smile every time I see it because, to this day, you can still see the strike zone box I drew on the wall with the large K in the middle. I honed my skills there, tossing any type of ball I could against that wall probably a million times I guess. Countless games of Wiffleball were played against that wall with my brother, Chris, Jason, Rob, Tom, or so many other people. I know the rules still. I bet we all would. Grounder to the garage top was a single. From the garage top to the first floor (kitchen) window was a double. From the top of the window to the cable/electrical wire was a triple and over the wire was a homer. We all emulated the stances of the players. Rod Carew, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Joe Morgan were some of our favorites. I learned to hit left-handed because of the nasty Wiffle curve or slider. The ball came right into my wheelhouse as I sidled up to the left side of the plate (the drain cover) as I stood there with a scowl and crouched just like Pete Rose did. Whizzing a single right by my brother’s ear.
We took it serious. Kept a scorebook, standings, and even collected the plastic baseball helmets of the teams we would wear for that game. Von Hayes led the league in homers that one summer of 1984. Rick Sutcliffe led the league with 22 wins. I would keep each players stats on an index card, transcribing the results from the scorecard to the index card. At the end of the year I would slip the index card into an old Smith Corona typewriter that my Mom used in college and painstakingly type each player and stat from our league onto them. I still have them to this day and actually have them in front of me.
So I decided to write a series about games of our youth to keep the tradition alive. The kids today slide in a PS3 baseball disc and let the computer play it out for them. It compiles the stats for them. Walk around any neighborhood in the summer today and I bet you won’t see many, if any, kids playing stepball, wireball, boxball, etc. I intend to wax nostalgic on the blog about those games and more. Games you may have forgotten, games that were called something else in your city/neighborhood/block. What games do you remember? What story do you want to tell?
Friday, December 16, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I consider myself as someone who is smart and has common sense. As a pitcher, I believed the game rested in my hands, not in some silly nonsensical superstition or ritual. So why in the hell did I get wrapped up in a series of ritual and superstitions? The answer is, it’s a baseball thing. Wade Boggs had to eat chicken every day before a game, Reggie Jackson wore the same helmet since he broke into the big leagues (he just had it painted), a whole city of Cubs fans believe they haven’t won a World Series because of the curse of a billy goat. These are some of the tamer beliefs and rituals!
Most of my rituals started because of a good performance I had on the mound or at the plate. When getting dressed, I would always put my left side on first, my left sock, and the left shoe. When warming up, the backup catcher was my guy. I never stepped on the white lines. That was a no no. I meticulously groomed the mound and the rubber. If the opposing pitcher manicured it to his liking, prior to my first warm up pitch I had to re-landscape the mound. It was always the same series of 7 pitches during warm ups: Fastball, fastball, curve, fastball, slider, changeup, sidearm fastball. When the throw went to second and around the horn, the third baseman HAD to throw me a knuckleball. If he didn’t I simply wouldn’t catch it. I’d let it go past me,have the first baseman toss it back to the third sacker and remind him I needed the knuckler goddammit!
All of this folks, and guess what? I am not even close to the craziest. Turk Wendell would brush his teeth in the dugout in between innings, make and exaggerated hop over the foul lines, only chew black licorice during games, and pick up and pound down the rosin bag after he picked it up. Jorge Posada actually pisses on his hands and never uses batting gloves. Roger Clemens was known to bathe in the hottest water tolerable before a game and then put hot liniment on his ball bag. Kevin Rhomberg would have to touch the person who last touched him. No touchbacks! So when he was tug out to end the inning, he had to touch that player back. Greg Swindell, a knuckleball pitcher, would bite off one fingernail and then keep it in his mouth for the rest of the game.
The rituals and superstitions have leeched into my life as a Phillies fan. I am a season ticket holder and I have a long list of do’s and don’ts before any game I attend. I guess it really starts when I leave my house. I have to put the tickets in my center console. I go to the same Wawa and get the same items prior to the game: 3 Iced Teas and 3 Tastykake bars. I park in the same lot and always the same row, fourth spot from the end. Oddly, the booze I bring can differ, but Jameson or Bourbon are my preference. There is always a roadie or walk-up beer, as it has come to be known. I finish it right outside the third base gate. I have to scan my own ticket, the usher may not touch it. There is a particular usher at the bottom of the escalator that I use and I MUST pound fists with him as we both say “Let’s get the W”. Yes, sadly I have enlisted others in my rituals. Off the escalator and a quick right turn into the men’s room, whether I have to go or not. I will always be in my seat before the National Anthem (it is a bad omen if the singers are male or mostly male). I never get up from my seat for the duration of the game. If I have to get up more than twice for any fan, I do get angry and say “Stay the hell up there!!”. After a win, I do the Kirk Gibson move when he hit the one-legged HR in the 1988 NLCS (if you don’t know what I mean, I am not sure we can be friends). After a win, I time it just right and am able to sing “High Hopes” along with Harry on my descent down the escalator. Once, I leave the threshold of Citizens Bank Bark I can act “normal” again.
Rituals and superstitions have been a big part of almost every baseball movie too. In “The Natural”, Roy Hobbs has his bat Wonderboy, that he made from a tree that was struck by lightning. Pedro Cerrano, in “Major League”, has his relic Jobu that he relies on for power and the ability to hit the deuce. “Bull Durham” has a laundry list of superstitions and rituals: Abstinence during a winning streak, sacrifice of a rooster for a cursed glove, rally caps, and wearing a garter belt under the uniform to reorient your head and getting one to pitch out of the proper hemisphere of the brain. (The rose goes in the front)
So what rituals do you have/had as a player or a fan? What are some of the crazier baseball superstitions you have heard of?
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I thought only the over spending desperate NY Yankees made moves like this?
Flying a little bit under the radar of the monumental Albert Pujols signing is the fact that the Angels will be giving CJ Wilson over $15 million a season for the next 5 years. The way it looks, he will be the 3rd starter behind Weaver and Haren.
Don’t get me wrong, Wilson is a very good pitcher, as evidenced by his 16-7 record and 2.94 ERA, but is he worth $15 million a year? I just don’t see how.
2011 was only his 2nd year with over 10 wins (he won 15 in 2010) and only his 2nd as a starter. He has a winning record in the majors (43-35) a career ERA of 3.60 and a pretty impressive 637 K’s in 708 innings. What I didn’t realize though is his age, Wilson turned 31 in November and 2011 was his 7th season with the Rangers, for some reason I thought he was much younger; maybe 27 or 28.
That means that he will be 36 years old by the end of this contract and though he has a winning record in the majors; to say he has the track record to deserve a $77 million contract is pushing it. Now the real concern, Wilson is only 1-5 in his post-season career on a team that made it to the World Series in consecutive seasons. The Rangers, a team that absolutely mashes the ball and plays great defense; yet he has a losing record and a 4.60 career post season ERA.
So I guess the Angels are betting on Wilson continuing his progression and becoming a top of the line starter who will dominate the AL West for the next 5 years. Good luck with that!
Although a very good pitcher, paying $15 million a year for a number 3 starter is ridiculous. Again the Yankees are the only team I know of that does stuff like this. I wasn’t surprised to read that they were in the running for Wilson, but I am surprised that they are the team that didn’t offer him a ridiculously outrageous amount of money.
Good for the Angels, Artie Moreno is flexing his financial might and proving to the rest of the league that the Angels are a force to be reckoned with. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies are no longer the only big boys on the block. They now have a combined $331 million invested in Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. I guess the Anaheim Angels are the new evil empire.
Written by Boogs44
Braun's camp isn't just going with the "I didn't know what it was" camp, but is going with the stronger "I couldn't have known what it was" camp. This is going to be a slog for Braun, as the testosterone found was determined - through the comprehensive test - to be synthetic, meaning the body could not have created it.
In the immediate future, Braun is facing an automatic 50-game suspension. He does have a collectively bargained right to appeal. That ppeal will be heard by an arbitration panel, which will review the Commissioner Selig's "just cause" determination (to suspend), and could possibly overturn the suspension if Braun can prove that his "test result was not due to his fault or negligence." This is, for the lawyer-types, different than the NFL's strict liability policy - and theoretically more favorable for Braun.
Now, Braun can't merely deny that he intentionally used a banned substance, he must provide "objective evidence in support of his denial ... question[ing] the accuracy or reliabilty of the 'positive' test result." Whether he's able to do this or not, who knows, it's still early. A lot has to happen before any of this really matters.
For those wondering about whether or not Braun may have a legit reason to take something that would have led to an increase in testosterone (I doubt it): Either way, players know, or should know, that they MUST consult league drug administrators before taking medication or over-the-counter supplements to ensure they are not unintentionally ingesting a banned substance (see e.g., J.C. Romero).
We'll dig into this more in the coming days!
Oh, and for those wondering about his NL MVP award. Remember, the award is technically the property of the Baseball Writers Association, not MLB. So, BBWAA can decide what it wants to do - if anything - but MLB won't have a role, beyond the suspension.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
- 2 ounces whipped cream vodka
- ½ ounce apple schnapps
- 2 ounces apple cider or juice
- ½ ounce caramel sauce
- Frozen fries of your choice. Might I suggest a crinkle cut?
- Sea salt
- Old Bay seasoning
- Small holiday paper cups
- 1 and ½ cups milk
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I know. I too am slightly repulsed by my inner Paula Deen. But you need this to prevent the cheese sauce from solidifying after it comes off of the heat.)
- 1 cup American cheese (I'm not entirely sure how this translates into flat squares but this is the ratio I feel comfortable providing.)
- 1 lb Roast beef…
- ½ lb salami…
- and ½ lb American Cheese all cut in half or quarters to fit the rolls
- Yellow onion
- Slider rolls (They sell them in stores but if you can't find them, a sturdy dinner roll works too.)
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Admit it. Our beloved Phightins started the offseason free agent dash by making some fairly major deals. Bringing back Paul Bunyon, er, Jim Thome was at minimum a fan-friendly move. Asking him to man first base--even part-time--until #6 returns may be a bit much to ask of his 73-year old body. As long as he has that sweet swing, he'll still wow CBP-goers and tease the Ashburn Alley crowd.
Picking up Papelbon shocked people throughout the league. Granted, he trailed off at the end of 2011. He should pick up at least as many saves as would Ryan Madson. Plus, coming from that zany Red Sox clubhouse, he's a bit of a wildcard in terms of behavior. I'm sure we'll catch his act on Action News a few times during his stint.
The only thing Wigginton's got going for him is his likeness to yours truly. That should translate to some Werth-like attention from the phairer sex.
Orr. That's all I have to say about that.
Lance Nix looks like he can brawl. Swings big. And it signifies that chants of "Rauuuuuuuuulllllll" are all but over at the Bank. "Laaaaaaaaaaannnnnncccceeeee" just doesn't have the same ring, does it?
Here we sit, deep into the second day of the winter meetings, and Ruben's yet to pull the trigger on something big. If I know anything about this GM, it's that he will not be upstaged in this town.
With #7 taking the field again Sunday, the Eagles are still commanding a good bit of attention.
Now that the NBA ended their lockout---or as I like to call it "Who gives a shit?"---the 76ers will begin to garner buzz.
And no matter how well the Flyers play, Philly never bleeds Orange and Black until February; up 'til then, only true fans pay attention.
That leaves Ruben a terrific opportunity to snatch the city's imagination of what-could-be. He did it last year when he signed Cliff Lee on December 15, 2010. A year prior, he traded for superman Roy Halladay. Amaro has a genuine knack for theatrics. He'll surely pull off a blockbuster.
Meanwhile, we wait. We sit back and watch the stinking fish in Miami sign Reyes and Buehrle and offer that caveman Pujols a ten year deal. Chances are, J-Roll will get much of the money he wants and stick around. Declining numbers, schmeclining numbers. Reyes will do what he does, just while wearing teal now. Hopefully, the heat in Miami gets to be too much and he'll cut those nasty-ass dreds off. Sorry, but thosethings just creep me out.
C'mon, Ruben. We're on pins and needles here. Do something we can talk about. Don't let these fishy moves make the only splash in the NL East.
Regardless, the N.L. East is the place to be this off season, and how that will bode for the Phils remains to be seen.
Lest we forget that Pujols' agent also represents J-Roll, so presumably once this drama concludes, we can turn our attention back to our middle infield...and our corner infielders...and an outfielder...and maybe a reliever or two.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Stay tuned, because this could truly shake things up in the Phillies backyard.
What do you think? If the Marlins sign Pujols, do they become the favorite in the NL East? The NL? My first reaction was yes, at least in the NL East. But, if Josh Johnson is dealing with an achy shoulder for any point of the season, that may well neutralize their big bat(s).
Let's not forget about the Nats either...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
December 15, 2010 will be forever remembered in the hearts of Phillies fans. On that day, Cliff Lee erased the worst decision Ruben Amaro Jr. ever made, by making his Ali-like return to the Phillies. Reactively, millions of Phillies fans were thrown into a state of pure ecstasy. As if Ruben could feel our ecstasy trip coming to an end, he called in a favor from an old friend, Ed Wade. In case you aren’t aware, Wade was the director of the Phillies major league affiliate, The Houston Astros. Ed Wade answered the phone and said, “Hunter Pence? Sure thing…No, no, no, Ruben, keep Worley and Brown. Just don’t forget my ring size.”
And just like that, our trip became more enhanced. The rest of the summer was a blur. Then, in a matter of minutes, the ecstatic feeling started to fade away faster than Cliff Lee’s 4-0 lead against St. Louis. A few heart-palpitating days later, it was over. We were tired. We were confused. It was an emotionless feeling. Philadelphia fans did not know how to react. We know how to react when the Eagles make another NFC Championship run and fall short to a team quarterbacked by an old, immobile, white man named Kurt, Brad or Jake. That feeling is in our blood. This 2011 Phillies feeling was foreign. I assume it is what heroin feels like. It’s awesome while you’re on it. When you come off, you’re left cold, broke and sad.
Like Smarty Jones at the Belmont, the “Sure-Thing” 2011 Phillies, were defeated. The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies were as good as any team I could ever imagine. Who could argue? Our third best pitcher received Cy Young votes. Our infield was saturated with MVP’s. It was our year. “Our year,” is a term coined by many sports teams. Every year seems to be “our-year” for every sports franchise but with the Phillies, in 2011, it really was “our-year.” Everything fell into place. Our most feared competition found themselves golfing in San Francisco or Atlanta. Our injuries healed. Our hopes were at an all time high. And then, like Apollo Creed pounding on our broken ribs, some jerk asks that gut-wrenching question, ”When do pitchers and catchers report?”
For Phillies fans, 2011 was over. No job promotion, new baby or winning Powerball ticket could make this year a success for a true Phillies fan. That is, in some weird way, “passion.” Passion has a different definition for Philadelphia sports fans than it does for fans in other cities. Phanatics relate passion to failure. Our natural response to failure is exerting even more passion.
This feeling of ecstasy is good. Just ask Miami Heat fans. They morphed from an average team into the NBA Eastern Conference All Stars during a half-hour special on ESPN. What Happened? Dirk went “Eli Manning” on you. (Eli Manning- verb. – Beating a heavy favorite with improbable play after improbable play while having an ugly face.) Be careful Packers fans. One Ndamukong Suh stomp to Aaron Rodgers right arm and your “sure-thing” is history. This feeling is a drug. Don’t think it can’t happen to you. Your parents try to warn you but you’re too cool to listen. You’re just trying to fit in. I know how it feels. Take it from me, a former user, believing in “sure-things” in sports, is as bad as it gets.
With my past behind me, and my addiction in check, 2012 will be a better year. Bring it on. Sign Pujols. Sign Fielder. Trade for Burrell. It doesn’t faze me, Amaro. I will never be as excited for a team ever again. I am 55 days sober and don’t plan on relapsing until I can get my hands on that feeling I had on October 29, 2008. I can’t wait. So seriously, when do pitchers and catchers report?
P.S. My producer just informed me that the Lebron James Special, “The Decision,” was an hour long. Guess it took an hour to say that famous line, “I should take my talents to Dallas.”
Die-hard Philly fan and cat enthusiast
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I had originally planned on making this a simple "touching base" post, to let everyone know I was still a part of the Drunk Phils Fans family and to introduce myself to those of you who may be new to the blog and unfamiliar with my work. But then, an idea suddenly popped into my head, and if you put two and two together, you'll find it has to do with the picture that goes along with this post. So let's get to it.
The picture in question is the Phillies mural that upon its completion will be displayed at 200 South 24th Street in Philadelphia. The mural will be painted by local artist David McShane and will depict 25 of the franchise's iconic players along with Harry Kalas and the Phillie Phanatic. A full listing of who is included can be found at phillies.com. Additionally, there is currently a voting on the site that runs through December 7 to nominate the final player that will be depicted. The five players who receive the most nominations will then be part of a voting from December 8 to 15, the winner of which will become part of the mural.
Personally, I think this is an excellent idea and should look absolutely spectacular once the finished product is unveiled. Nevertheless, I do have some issues with it. First of all, "online voting" in all likelihood means that current players or ones from the recent past will be receiving a vast majority of the votes, though I've been told by people familiar with these events (this mural and the Wall of Fame especially) that the final winners are generally predetermined and the elections are merely for the purpose of sparking fan interest. Also, the 2012 season will be the 130th in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies. Though they've only really had two eras of sustained success, many outstanding players have worn their uniform and there quite a few left out. Among others, Greg Luzinski, Del Ennis, Johnny Callison, Garry Maddox, and Cy Williams are not part of the group that will be depicted. You could make a strong case to include all of them, but there's obviously only so much room. What I wouldn't mind seeing in addition to this mural are other ones made throughout the city, possibly dedicated to different positions and/or eras. I believe they could serve as a useful teaching tool to younger generations about the long history of the Phillies, both good and bad.
I decided to take part in the voting for the final player on the mural, and went with Del Ennis, who hit .286 with 259 home runs and 1124 RBI for the Phils from 1946-56. Those 259 homers were second in franchise history to Mike Schmidt until this past season, when Ryan Howard surpassed him. Ennis, who died in 1996, was also a Philadelphia native who attended Olney High School. That also played into my decision, as I think it would be cool to have a native son on there.
To my fellow DPFs, I ask you: who would you choose to occupy the last spot on the Phillies Mural? Also, if there were to be other Phillies murals throughout the city, who or what would you like to see on them? A Random Past Phillies mural, perhaps? Just don't ask me to paint that one, I can't even draw a straight line. I look forward to your replies, as I'm sure there will be some pretty funny stuff there!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
With all the excitement surrounding the Phillies move to sign Ty Wiggington, one might be apt to look past the obvious: this guy looks just like me. Well, maybe not. But a friend told me I should get a TW jersey, since I resemble him. Maybe I can finally get that MLB at-bat I always dreamed of.
Surely, there is room on this roster for anther aging utility man with questionable talent. As I peruse TW’s career stats, I can’t help but think that $4 million is a bit much for a career utility guy. He has popped over 20 homers three times (24, 23 and 22 in ’06, ’08 and ’10) but strikes out a good bit, about once every five ABs.
Assuming the aging Phillies can’t stay healthy again in 2012, Wigginton will likely see a good bit of PT. No way Polanco plays more than 130 games at third. We all know #6 is out for at least half the season, no matter what crap we’re fed. Give TW a dozen or more games at first. Chances are he’ll play some left as well. In all, we’re probably looking at about 80 to 100 games played, anywhere from 250-350 at bats. With those numbers, I can definitely slide in there for one AB.
Let’s just think about this a minute. Wigginton is 34; I’m 37. Raul was 86 this past year, so I’m still young enough. And the truth is, this Phillies team swings wildly. In contrast, my first season in senior ball, I led the team in both walks (15) and strikeouts (12, 8 of which were “looking”). I will wear the pitcher out. Hell, I might even foul a few off, just for fun. I’ll watch a couple tapes of Boggs or Gwynn, I’ll be all set.
All I need is a roll of duct tape and a distraction. Considering the boozing that takes place at a DPF tailgate, one of my colleagues can more than easily be convinced to sprint onto the field. While security tazes my pal, I'll rush into the dugout, crack TW over the head like I'm back in East Falls, and tape him up in the tunnel.
With him out ofthe way and the game on the line, I'll jump to action when Uncle Charlie turns to me and says, "Wig-uh-wig-uh-wiggingto-uh-n, get out therr."
Before anyone realizes that I’m not Wiggington, I’ll be jogging down to first base. Of course, I’ll promptly get picked off while picking my nose a foot and a half off the base. As long as it ain't Aroldis Chapman, I'll crowd the plate, take my hacks, and ultimately watch ball four breeze on by.
I'll likely join my drunken DPFer in the paddy wagon shortly thereafter. But hey, it'll all be worth it.
Welcome to Philly, Ty. Dreams really do come true. When’s that jersey gonna be ready?