What a weekend already, it’s almost the end of the month, July will be here
in the next few days and Independence Day celebrations will be upon next
weekend. All that to come and we still have this weekend to finish, the staring
role being out in Los Angeles and the headline hungry A-Rod, I am sure the media
make more of it than is there, I am sure we all add to the snowball effect of
hyping up a situation when it really is no big deal. It is difficult to look the
other way when it involves A-Rod, because lets face it, it’s probably not so
innocent, in fact it’s probably far from innocent.
got suckered like so many, way back in 2004 hailing A-Rod as the greatest player
in baseball, stating things about how Jeter should move to 2nd and let the superior
player take up at Short Stop, had someone then said, well it’s A-Roid not A-Rod,
they would have said you had sour grapes, you were a Rangers fan or even a
die-hard Jeterholic, the chances of agreeing with you were as slim as A-Rod
telling the truth to Katie Couric when she asked him point blank if he used any
PED’s, of course he said no, they all do.
He can give it but he can’t take it, ask Ashton Kutcher who punk’d him, ask
Dallas Braden who he dished it out too and finally ask his ex-wife who showed
her thought via a t-shirt at a ballgame. Now it’s Joe Torre’s turn, who A-Rod once
said he preferred playing under Joe than the Rangers organization chose to
ignore Joe at Dodgers stadium this weekend, when it was obvious others wanted to
say hi to Joe, A-Rod was uncomfortable when he got within 10 feet….
…..I didn’t set out to bash A-Rod, it just snow-balled out of
control, it’s just that A-Rod does so much and then denies everything, I am sure even when
he is in his 70’s he will still be saying “I’m young and stupid”
as someone I am sure has already pointed out, getting 1 out of 2 right is okay,
and trust me your not young anymore, and besides you lost that claim when you
chose to father children, I am sure you probably tried to tell everyone, you
didn’t know what you were doing then, the only thing left right now is to see who’ll claim the first use of
A-Fraud and A-Roid.
For those that have been following the FIFA World Cup, you must
have heard by now that the USA is a Ghana from the tourny, beaten by the little
country in Western Africa, a country which is younger than the USA, but one
where the kids play football barefoot from about 3 years old. I have to say I
have found out since being here that the knowledge of international geography in
the United States is somewhat appalling, so here is a map of the world with the
USA and Ghana indicated….
….this is the beauty of the FIFA World Cup, it doesn’t matter
how big you are or how much money you have, it’s a game of skill and talent that
comes about from practice. I am sure some pundits will tell you how the USA was
robbed and should be going through to play Uruguay, but I am here to say, the
USA was lucky to even go to extra time, Donovan almost missed the penalty kick,
which after the USA coach had made a big thing in the press of players that fall
down, there was a lot of it going on from the USA team during the 2nd half of
this game, especially near and in the penalty area. All in all Ghana out played
the USA and deserved the win, congrats to them.
England met with Germany, which is probably the biggest rivalry
between 2 countries in this sport, the young German players showed poise and
maturity, which had been promoted as being the advantage England should have
enjoyed. Germany advances to the next round and will meet the winner of the
Argentina v Mexico game later today. The biggest disappointment of this World
Cup was the over hyped Wayne Rooney who was a total non-issue regardless of who
England played. There wil be those who would say that if the goal England scored
had been allowed then they would not have left the defense so wide open as they
threw caution to the wind to try and win, that unfortunate is the name of the
game and crying won’t change the result, demanding rules change to accommodate
your teams needs is not how sports should be played. The England team will have
to endure the return home and suffer the full weight of the media,
Germany get to advance, well done to them.
The Phillies were on the road in Philadelphia, weird, road grays
at home, even the broadcasters changed locations, yet what of the dug out and
bull pen, why didn’t they change places, one of the mysteries we have to live
with like the rest of the G20 summit. Still not sure why all those countries
spend all that money to tell each other how sucky the world’s finances are
In Philadelphia, we had a weekend that saw….
…. Halladay take game 1 and Moyer take game 3, which put Moyer
over 4,000 innings pitched and the pitcher with the most homers hit off him, I
guess we’re going to see something every time he pitches now, so good and bad
records will be set, since he has pitched in 4 decades and is into his 25th year
in the majors.
It’s the end of inter league play as the Phillies head for a 1
week road trip closing June out in Cinci and opening July in Pittsburgh. I now
get a week of calling MLBTV to tell them I’m not in the blackout area for these
2 clubs, oh joy.
I am trying to understand what makes a pitcher good, great or just very
useful in the rotation to a team hoping to compete for the ultimate prize. There
are some guys pitching that I like, some are my favorites, not because of who
they are or what they can do, but just because they impressed me with something
they did, it may have been small, it may have been huge, but at the time to me
it seemed significant enough to make me believe that this guys is okay and
worthwhile having around any ball club.
There are only 4 current pitchers that fall into the category, in no specific
order are Jamie Moyer, Phil Hughes, Chris Carpenter and Randy
Wolf, as I said
none of them jump up and scream Cy Young, but if anyone has never heard of one of
these guys then, I think your missing something.
It seems some believe this to be the year of the pitcher, with the shut outs
starting to grow, the no hitters and the perfect games all having enjoyed a
growth this season already, there could be some truth in the statement. So, I go back to my original thoughts of what
makes a good, great or one of a kind pitcher and how soon can you tell what the
guy will be, by now you probably can see where I am going, Strasburg, you’d be
We had hype around Lincecum back in 2007 and he has appeared to fill almost
all the hype the media placed on him, my personal opinion, his Cy Young
achievement, at least last year (2009), was awarded to the name and hype, he didn’t
deserve it, there were other pitchers more deserving, in my opinion.
Some people say wins and loses, mean nothing, it’s all about the other stuff,
well here are some other stuff, which guy would you want.?…
….since this ‘year of the pitcher’ isn’t going to go away, I think we need
to know a
few of the ailments that will definitely surface towards October. It could be the
player, but with the way people are acting I think it could also be fans that
suffer, we already have things like ADD, yes the real thing ‘Attention
or for the sports fans, it’s those who can’t follow real football, soccer to
those who have no desire to grasp a sport that the majority of the world’s
children understand and play from about 2 or 3 years old.
There is a NEW one about to strike the world of baseball it’s the Strasburg
Hyper Interest Tension Syndrome, yes you can
tell the baseball fan who is suffering, the day after the Washington
Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to mound, these guys will be paying
too many visits to the little boys room, we’re not sure if it’s due to the
excessive food and drink or a need to find relief from the tension.
Sports the lighter side:
The Marlins fired a manager that was actually doing
his job, but feel they found someone more suited and are considering offering the position to the USA’s national soccer
coach, they said, “if he can find 23 guys in the USA that can play
football that aren’t fat f-cks then he must be able to find 8 players and
someone who knows how to pitch in the Marlins club house that will play baseball
The Phillies go on the road to Philadelphia and play the Toronto Blue Jays,
this will be the hardest road trip the Phillies have ever made, if they win
it’ll be unfair on the Jays, if they lose everyone will have them back in a
The ChiSox have a 9 game winning streak and the Rangers have an 11 game
winning streak and the Rangers get to play the Astros for 3, so it’s possible we
could have a 14 game win streak by the time the weekend is over.
USA soccer star, I use the term loosely, Landon Donovan, is trying to force his
ex to get back with him by spreading rumors of their pending reconciliation and
blowing fake kisses to her via TV, I mean, dude you look really frickin gay, why
would she want you back.
The Cleveland Indians head to Philadelphia, this must be the best chance
Philadelphia is going to have to break out of the ‘anti’hot’ mode and actually
win a series that they should win, yes they won the series at Yankee stadium,
but the Yankees just got the hell knocked out of them by
The Indians are currently number 2 in the
American League‘s bargain basement,
if you don’t understand that expression then check out the standings, basically
it means for National League teams there are just 4
American League teams that
you should expect to either win the series against or even sweep, the prime
number 1 team everyone wants to play are the Orioles, then you have the
then the Royals and finally the Mariners, any other
AL teams would on paper be a
tough opponent for any of the National League teams.
isn’t to say the American League is better than the
National League, because
during inter-league play I am sure there are just 4 NL teams that the AL would
like to play, they being, Pirates, Astros, D’Backs and the
though the alignment of baseball planets and good and bad karma just don’t allow
what should be, to be. Take the Yankees, please take the
Yankees, or at least
prevent them making headlines because of Lady GaGa, for instance, they
should conceivably sweep the D’Backs, lets face most people thought it, most
Yankee fans expected it, but yesterday they got what could only be looked upon
as the playground bully being smacked around by the nerdy loser kid, doesn’t
happen often, but when it does, we all root for the loser nerdy kid, even now I
find myself thinking, wouldn’t it be good if they actually swept the Yankees.
I was kind of hoping when the schedule was released for 2010 that the
Phillies would actually play the Tribe at the
‘Jake’, yep I am told to call it
that up and coming insurance name is some kind of insult to true Clevelanders, I
am not sure why cause no one actually goes to the games anyway. Maybe if they
could encourage a celebrity to turn up in underwear and flip everyone the bird,
maybe it would draw more fans in Cleveland, probably not, what about if they had
‘King James’ make an appearance, again probably not since he’d show up as the
final pitch was being thrown and then only if there was a chance he’d be
supporting the winning team. Lets face it the great ‘LeBron Day’ that was supposed
to show support for him staying in Cleveland, that was held at the University of
Akron’s campus, was a wash out, some 4,000 people showed up to claim a free
t-shirt and then went double time so it appeared like 8,000 people were in
attendance. Yes, the chances are good once again New York will wield it’s mighty
check book in a different sport and land ‘King James’ although for this sport in
question it does seem as though Chicago’s check book could be bigger than the
Knicks, but it’s all speculation as is the content of the little chat between
James and Curry.
Off track a little, well it is a sporting event and it uses a ball and it has
ties to Cleveland, who are playing the Phillies, in
Philadelphia for 3 days,
whooopi, I get to watch it all happen on some Cleveland Indians
that is about as lame as the Dodgers,
Kansas City and the Astros winning skills at the moment.
Notable occurrences, the Indians got swept by the
Mets, then lost 2 of 3 to
the Pirates and the answer to the Tribe fans prayers during the off season, the
Nationals manager, Manny Acta moving to Cleveland, and after being handed a 5-3
loss Sunday what words of wisdom do the Indians fans get from Acta “We
weren’t able to pick up the ball and throw it to first base. That’s why we
lost.” WOW, I see Manny has come a long way since playing the staring
manager’s role in Washington DC, although you’d think it was
DC Comics with
the way he managers the Tribe.
Lets just hope tonight the Indians are
nothing more than a comedy of errors and the Phillies
are able to use it to their advantage, with the return of J-Roll it
should be an interesting 3 days.
Just a minor gliche in the online voting system, they seem to have Pat
Burrell listed as a DH for the Tampa Bay Rays, when he’s actually in San
Francisco, and his numbers are already better in San Fran than they were in
Tampa, so here’s the dilemma, has anyone got voted onto the AL roster and actually
being playing for an NL team at the time of the All Star game, or visa versa…
As we end a week that has seen the ‘anti-hot’ Phillies
take 2 from 3 off the New York Yankees,
one of the hottest AL teams of the month, we move into the weekend where a
number of people will enjoy the celebrations of Father’s Day or is it Fathers’
Day, it doesn’t really matter, it’s a day to celebrate fatherhood, or it
could be a day to acknowledge that back in 1916 congress saw the future, it
maybe the only time that evidence points in that direction, but it’s true. In
1916 congress resisted the urge of President Wilson, and would not make Father’s
Day an officially observed day in fear that it would be ‘commercialized’ didn’t
see that coming.
This weekend sees the Twins in town,
nope, not referring to Jedward, okay no one was thinking that because
like me you probably didn’t have a clue who they were, but if you ‘google’
them you’ll be glad the man in your house doesn’t have them calling him ‘DAD’
or that there not calling you ‘DAD’. It’s possible you may think
they look okay, or you may find them amusing in a sick kind of way, but that’s
probably because there not your kids. If ever there was a case for free
contraception these would get the staring role, these are simple product of an
age where a Playstation or an X-box was the mainstay of parenting and probably
the parents main means of exercise and entertainment, since these two are
obviously a product of the parents secondary means of entertainment or maybe
even an entertainment mishap.
as a connection as it may be these two are twins and the Phillies
are hosting the Twins this weekend, Friday
got off to a good start with what can only be described as a ‘Twin
Killing’, after having had the worst month of the clubs history, well it
seemed that way, for the second straight game they got to the starting pitcher
early and knocked in enough runs to get them through the rest of the game for
the win. Staying with the twin format, for the second time this week the Phillies
hit back 2 back home runs, but it was the break out of the Howard Twin
that was the best event of the night, Howard went 4 for 4, 2 homers, a Triple
and a Double, he was a single away from the cycle, but honestly I’ll take the twin
homers over a single and a homer any day.
The Phillies ended the evening with a 9-5
win, that was attributed to Blanton, who turned in a good start, throwing
5 shut out innings, until eventually surrendering to the power of the Twins
in the 6th and 7th innings, ending his outing on 7 hits and 3 runs.
hope the Phillies can continue this
onslaught of new found energy and synchronized hitting and move on from the ‘anti-hot‘
period into a much more pleasing ‘anti-cold‘ phase or just a plain old scorcher.
For me this weekend will be a time to remember times past with my father,
the picture is 1973, that’s me, my dad and his mum.
It’s a time to share moments, even if they are via satellite, with my kids
and a time to enjoy hearing how my eldest son is preparing for his step up to
fatherhood, expected to occur sometime this coming September. We have already
sent the first round of Phillies baby
clothes to England to aid my future ‘grandson’ in making those
monstrous decisions as to what teams to follow and what colors to wear in
support of said teams as he grows.
The last time we had a via satellite gathering was for my mother’s 80th
birthday last February, it was kind of funny being on a laptop computer screen
moving around a gathering with a bunch of people gazing in at you as if they
were all blind, must be what a baby feels like, although it’s always good to see
how family members are doing, from nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters and even a
few people I had no idea who they were, these I knew exactly who they were…..
…..from left to right, my eldest son (Dave), daughter-in-law
(Lucy), future daughter-in-law (Toni), Youngest son Tom and me in the
bottom corner on a laptop screen. This weekend won’t be a mass gathering, it
will be like a lot of other weekends where I get to chat to my son’s and maybe
play a few online games too, (Lucy’s the pregnant one).
The Phillies brief residence at Yankee stadium came to an end Thursday night.
It was clear when the Phillies entered Yankee stadium on Tuesday that the
Yankees were in the midst of a ‘anti-cold’ streak and the Phillies still
appeared to be enduring the ‘anti-hot’ period.
Some had heralded this inter-league match-up as a re-duel from the 2009 World
Series, even the front page of MLBlogs endeavored to blast us with images of the
Yankees and Phillies, while hoping to drive us to
blogs that could portray this
match-up as a spill over rivalry from last years post-season. The one thing it
did manage to do was show us that the Yankees enjoy a good comedy, they had
moved on from the normal images that would instill you with the need to label
them as the ‘Evil Empire’, moved on to more humorous aspects of being the
Empire’, it was Rick Moranis batting in the 8 hole for the Yankees. Joking
aside, in this time when appearance is normally more important than comfort or
sensibility, it’s good to see someone throw that out the window for safety,
especially someone in New York.
think to try and conceive some hidden rivalry between these two teams who have a
long way to go before either can even contemplate the possibility of a post season
where it would be a meaningful rivalry. This isn’t a rivalry some were trying to
create it to be, but more it seemed like mutual respect, we did see some firsts during these 3 games.
Lifetime first was game 2 with Jamie Moyer as the winning pitcher, this was a
first because no pitcher this age has beaten the Yankees before, but then as old
as Moyer is, each win is probably going to be a first for the teams that lose.
It was actually on this day 24 years ago that Moyer made his major league debut,
June 16th 1986, where he pitched for the Cubs against the
Phillies and got the win while Steve Carlton took the loss for the
Things weren’t what they seemed at Yankee stadium this week, Tuesday was
supposed to be a pitchers duel, but turned out to be one of Halladay’s worst
starts this year, Sabathia faired a little better for the Yankees, as he faced a
Phillies team that has struggled during the ‘anti-hot’ period. Even with the
lack of offense the Phillies still managed to get some hits, runs and put
Sabathia under some stress, but ultimately the Yankees took the game much to the
delight of the Yankee fans.
This 3 game series saw for the first time this year the return of the man who
hit the longest home run at the NEW Yankee stadium, last year a monster
homer was hit by the Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez, another first this
year was seen during game 2 as the Phillies launched back to back home runs,
something they’ve lacked since September ’09.
Game 3 had Kendrick pitching for the Phillies
and Pettitte for the Yankees, after
the Yankees sneaked a win from Halladay,
I am sure most fans were surprised that Moyer was able to fend off the Yankee
bats and get a win in game 2, game 3 was one that Yankee
fans must have felt confident about, with probably the best Yankee
pitcher taking the mound and the Phillies
default pitcher because Happ is stuck on the DL, anyone that knows
baseball would have given this to the Yankees.
This is still a sporting event and not all things are as we expect them, this
year is a prime example of how normal is not really normal, so much to
the pleasure of the Phillie fans Kendrick
faced off against the Yankees for the very
first time in his short career and got the win.
put my hand up and admit even as a Phillie
fan I was almost sure Pettitte was going to win this one, with the way
the Phillies have been playing and the way
the Yankees have been playing, there were a
number of Yankee fans, even before the first
game, laying it out in the comments section of a number of online articles on
how the Yankees would easily sweep the Phillies,
this ramped up even more after they beat Halladay, with comments telling Phillie
fans they don’t have any other pitchers after Halladay and with the lack
of offense the Phillies may as well concede
and go home without the major embarrassment that the Yankee
hitters will give them. Then after game 2, Yankee
fans seemed confused that a 47 year old had had the audacity to actually
beat them, now after Kendrick held the Yankees
to 4 hits and 1 run there is probably a few Yankee
fans telling Joe how to best re-arrange his line-up so that the Yankees
When it comes right down to it, the Yankees
have an impressive 41 wins which ties them with the Rays,
okay maybe Yankee fans are used to being on
top, but we still have almost a 100 games left and as we have seen anything can
happen. Of those 41 wins 22 are against teams with a below .500 record and 19
are against teams with a better than .500 record, okay so that’s fairly even,
until you look at the 25 loses, only 8 to teams with a below .500 record, which
really means they are almost a .500 club against winning teams. I am sure you
can look at this with any club and see similar things, but when you consider
they can only play the Orioles so
many times and I think they have played them some 12 times already this year, or
it certainly seems like it, and they’ve played the Astros in
inter-league with the D’Backs still
to come, as long as they don’t drown in self pity and lose to the Mets
this weekend they should at least be able to stay on pace with the Rays,
until they have to play a long string of games against winning teams that is,
then who knows.
The Phillies host the Twins
this weekend, but then the Tribe come
to Philadelphia, at least we get 1 club that’s not a winning team
this month, not that it seems to make a difference to the Phillies,
at least during the ‘anti-hot’ run anyone and everyone has a 50/50 chance
Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend and just in case you’ve been traveling
around with your eyes closed or surfing the interwebs with blinkers on, Sunday
is Father’s Day, so don’t forget, unless your the dad, then it’s
customary to act surprised and still have to break out the grill and cook for
everyone that stops by….
Phillies v BoSox ‘Demolition
Derby’ turned out to be just that, Boston
demolished the Phillies in the first 2
games, the Phillies did however manage to
scrape out a win on the final day, by way of a Raul Ibanez homer and some
inventive base running by Jayson Werth.
The crowd continued to express the desires to ‘Beat LA’ even
though they were referencing a different sport. The Phillies
get a day off, before heading to Yankee
stadium, Charlie Manuel managed to play switcheroo with his starting
rotation so that Halladay and CC match up, not sure if this was
all Chuck’s doing or if there were any financial or other compensations
involved. Did I just infer that there may be some kind of bribing going on,
naaaa, I would never do that, but Sony Online Entertainment might
or at least that’s how I read it, might infer that money should make a difference
to official controlling bodies of sports.
How about a headline “World Cup Needs America, Like It Or
Not”, is this just someone trying to encourage the development of a
sport, or encourage the involvement for financial gain.
This head line was the headline of a blog post from the “Senior
Director of Global Public Relations” for “Sony Online
Entertainment”, yep way to go with the public relations there ‘Mr.
Big Shot’ actually I don’t know the guy, he may be a very nice person and
his name isn’t really Mr. Big Shot, it’s Mr. Scott Gulbransen,
and some of what he says maybe perfectly true, but it’s the end of his post that
my concern is with, he says:
“With a global recession, Americans and their wallets –
including the large television networks – throw more money at the
tournament than everyone else combined. FIFA and the World Cup
increasingly need American interest and money to keep the expensive show
afloat. Yes, it might be the world’s most popular sport, but America is
its richest and most important benefactor.”
This is why players of the sport stay in this country to play the game, so
they can benefit from all the big bucks that are invested so readily and easily
into the sport. (note the sarcasm).
I would probably agree that most Americans are going to say, ‘yeah and what’s
wrong with that statement’, to someone who was not born here, who has
experienced how people have over the years perceived Americans, this does
nothing more than play into the typographical role of the rich arrogant American
who believes throwing money at it will get them preferential treatment, the same
way a lot of Americans have seen the Yankee
organization. The humorous part of this post was the closing statement, where he
“For once, this non-soccer fan will be rooting for our US
team to kick some arrogant international soccer booty. Even if that
means I have to wake up at four in the morning to watch it.”
Something like this from an everyday person, would probably be excusable,
even laughable, after all it is a free country with freedom of speech, but let
me remind you this came from someone claiming to work for what could be
considered a very large global corporation and their job is high up in global
public relations for that corporation, so to me this sounds more like a gripe
from a company that wasn’t able to ‘BUY’ it’s own way, or even rights to a FIFA game, say World Cup 2010.
Yes my post also sounds like a gripe, but I am not associated with a large
corporation, my post will not receive preferential promotional treatment from a
website that seems to pay attention to the bigger names, now it’s grown, and
honestly it just goes to show that corporate is in the belief that it can buy whatever
or into whatever it wants whenever it wants. You can read the
full post from the man from Sony Online Entertainment here