Twin Killing Weekend …..

– PhilliesOutside –

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.

Loose
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.

Let’s
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).

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A Time of Confusion…

 

The last few weeks have been a confusing
time for a lot of people, with talks of players going here and there, we
now have to make sense of the moves that have happened and look to see
if teams will continue to confuse with more moves before
spring training places are set.

Its not just baseball that has had confusion,
lets face it if your not already tired of hearing about Tiger Woods then
you should be, it’s so much what happened as the number of women that
have come out of there hiding places to claim notoriety. Woods has been
crucified more than Clinton, so it seems that we hold sports
personalities to a higher standard than any of our politicians. The
media give no consideration to the truth of anything, if a woman that
can place herself in close proximity to Woods at anytime over the last
few years, lays claim to an affair with him or a one night stand then
she must be telling the truth. Lets face it, nothing is 100%, even voice
messages and text messages are no guarantee, anyone with any ounce of
knowledge can fake any type of electronic transmission as easily as some
of these women are sure to have faked orgasms and stories.

I am sure there would be more women
coming forward if only Google was more positive with the search
responses, because what we haven’t heard of, is those women who googled
Tiger only to find there pending claim to fame would be a character from
a cereal maker.

Yes they’re the women who are confused
why the others who actually came forward would want this character on
their resume of conquests.

There’s confusion in the NFL,
Bill Belichick sent players home for arriving late to practice, yep
that’ll teach ’em, give ’em the day off. The Browns
actually beat the Steelers, how is that not confusing, and if that
wasn’t enough for sports fans in Cleveland, the powers to be decided to
replace the Indians manager with someone no better, in comes Manny Acta,
now there is something very confusing about Manny, allegedly,
according to Roger anyway.

 

 

The Phillies, however haven’t confused me
too much, they seem to have gone through the winter meetings with the
kind of laid back approach we are used to seeing over the last few
years. Its almost a mirror of the way Charlie Manuel has led the ball
club to it’s current high standards and it looks as though Ruben Amaro
Jr, is moving in the right direction to get the Phillies back to the
World Series for the 3rd year in a row.

Yes I know it’s only December and spring
training is some way off, and yes, we have to endure the rants and raves
of the NFL before we even see arrivals at spring training camp, but I
have no doubts at this point that the Phillies will be in a position to
make a run at the ultimate goal again in 2010.

So far they have managed to secure an
excellent player for 3rd base at the expense of the Tigers,

(Detroit Tigers not Tiger Woods or
Tony the Tiger)
the
welcoming back into the Phillies club house of Placido Polanco was a definite
step up, although Pedro Feliz was a good solid 3rd baseman, I believe
Polanco will be better and will definitely produce more offense.

With bench players Ben Francisco and
Gregg Dobbs already proven to be great assets for the Phillies, the
additions of Brian Schneider, Juan Castro and Ross Gload have given the
Phillies a group of bench players that can be called upon when needed
with confidence.

The only confusion would be the lack of
moves to build a bullpen suited to support the strong lineup of
players that are now assembled. Yes, there is still plenty of time, but
players are beginning to become unavailable. I had thought a favorite of
mine may be in a position to return to the Phillies, but it seems the
Brewers have already made a deal to prevent that from happening by
signing Randy Wolf, whom I think would have been worthwhile back
in a Phillies uniform.

The Roy
Halladay
saga continues, with pundits still placing the Phillies
near the top of the list of possibles, personally I still think Halladay is too
pricey and will still be on the trading block come July.

It
looks as though Chan Ho Park will move on to another team, since
talks seem to have stalled with the Phillies and Scott Eyre is doubtful.
The Phillies still have issues with Lidge, Moyer and Romero to resolve
with regard to injuries and performance so they need some assistance in
the bullpen that is not already there.

Some
suggestions for the front office to consider…

Joe
Beimel, Kiko Calero, Josh Fogg, Jon Garland, John Smoltz,
Russ Springer and Luis Vizcaino, all of which have their own issues, but
any of them could be of assistance to the Phillies bullpen which was
badly beaten up at times in 2009. Although non of them jump out at you I
think Beimel is a good lefty and can be used in situations left open by
Eyre and Romero.

(Getty
images)

Smoltz is obviously a good
addition to any pitching staff and I think will have a good 2010 given
the chance, he also has the mentality to start or close given the
chance, he is over his injury and showed good stuff for the Cards at the
end of 2009, the others you could almost just pick a name out of a hat
and get something similar from, although some may be a little more
durable than others.

It’s 2 weeks to Christmas and this
time of year that brings back memories and creates new ones for
everyone, some good and some bad obviously, but I hope everyone can
focus on the good ones. For me one there is always one song that makes
me realize Christmas is actual here, it first hit the UK charts in 1973
and is probably the greatest Christmas single in the UK, has been
re-released every decade since then and covered by a number of different
artists over the years. For those who weren’t even thought of back in
1973 here is a glimpse of the number one music show in the UK in ’73
with what were the two most popular radio DJ’s as presenters. Freaky how
times change, but I still love the song.

Now it feels like Christmas
is getting close….