Tagged: Chase Utley

Phun At The Phestival

On Monday, the husband, kids, and myself attended the 21st annual Phillies Phestival at Citizens Bank Park. The Phestival benefits the Philadelphia chapter of the ALS Association, and raised over $800,000 this year. Click here and here for coverage on the Phillies website.

Although it was drizzling slightly when we arrived at the ballpark, it did not last long, and it turned into a pleasant evening. Since we had about an hour until the players would begin signing autographs at their booths, we decided to take a walk around the concourse and get something to eat, rather than stand in line while nothing was going on. Then again, we weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the “big name” booths, i.e. Howard, Utley, Rollins, etc., so there was no burning need to get in line early.

First stop was Brad Lidge’s booth, as all three of us had this ticket. My husband feels no need to get autographs, and really, why would we both need one? So he is the designated bag holder while the kids and myself are in the lines.

So what brilliant thing did I blurt out as I was handing Brad a baseball to sign? “Hi, how’s the elbow?” Like he hadn’t heard that hundreds of times already! Duh! By the way, he said it was feeling great. As I thanked him and moved on, I overheard the guy behind me in line come up to the table – “Hi Brad, how’s the elbow?” I wonder if he got really tired of that question by the end of the evening.

My daughter had a ticket for the Kyle Kendrick/Ben Francisco booth, so my husband went with her while my son followed me around as I was taking pictures of the players at some of the other booths. He didn’t enjoy this part of the evening.

My next stop was the Cuban station, otherwise known as the Danys Baez/Jose Contreras autograph booth. Neither of them was particularly talkative – I can understand Contreras wouldn’t be, as he doesn’t speak much (any?) English and Baez usually acts as his “interpreter”. Maybe Baez wasn’t quite sure what to make of all of it.

My son had a ticket for the Placido Polanco station, but decided not to use it since he already had a Polanco autograph from the first Phestival I took him to about six years ago, during Polanco’s first stint as a Phillie. Since I also had a ball signed back then, I had Placido sign a photo of him that I had taken in Spring Training:

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While I was doing this, my husband took the kids to buy some grab bags, and also go in the clubhouse store. My son wanted to buy a Polanco t-shirt, but being a male, can’t be bothered to look at the tag to see what size it is. So he held one up in front of him, asking dad if he thought he’d “grow into it”. Lord only knows if my husband was actually paying attention, because when we got home, he tried it on and it fit like a dress. I took a look at the tag and said of course it was too big, it was an adult extra-large. So yeah, he’ll grow into it, maybe by the time he graduates high school! So I guess it’s mine for now. 🙂

So here are some photos from the evening, of the players whose booths I could get to. Some were in locations where only people with tickets to those booths could get through, or were not easily accessible, such as Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Howard. Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay were in photo booths, which required purchase of a separate ticket.

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Brad Lidge’s elbow was feeling great, hopefully he didn’t get writer’s cramp!

Chase Utley is much better looking without his hair all gooped back.

Kyle Kendrick has a really big forehead, which I never noticed with his cap on.

 

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Ben Francisco was making his first Phestival appearance.

Why does Milt Thompson look so serious? Milt didn’t smile much in last year’s photo, and he still isn’t in this year’s version.

Since I had my camera turned vertically, J.C. Romero decided to turn his head, too. 🙂

 

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Joe Blanton strikes a no-nonsense look.

Jimmy Rollins always looks like he’s having fun. Jimmy was one of several players on the DL who still chose to participate in the Phestival – kudos to them!

David Herndon signs a card for a fan.

 

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I hope Ryan Madson’s toe was carefully tucked under the table, so no one stepped on it.

I warned Danys Baez I was going to take a picture, but he still doesn’t quite look ready for it.

Jose Contreras signs a baseball for me.

 

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Team president and CEO David Montgomery was on hand to help out. He later walked past my husband while I was at the grab bag table with the kids, and thanked him (and us) for coming out.

Placido Polanco smiles for my camera.

Davey Lopes reaches for a ball from a fan. Davey also looks very serious all the time – he and Milt need to smile more often! 🙂

 

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Jamie Moyer appears to be letting his hair get a little shaggier than usual.

Shane Victorino has a big grin – hmm, what is he up to?

J.A. Happ was another player on the DL who chose to appear at the Phestival.

 

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Is there a rule that coaches don’t smile? Rich Dubee follows the lead of Milt and Davey.

Carlos Ruiz signs a jersey.

I felt kind of bad for Wilson Valdez. Paired with Ruiz at a booth, many people walked right past him without stopping. He’s even holding two pens, ready and waiting to sign something. His photo was in the program, people! He did light up with a smile when I called his name for a photo op.

 

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Is it wise to hand your children over to Larry Andersen and Gary Matthews? And when did L.A. shave his beard?? He just looks so…so…different.

My daughter and I pose with the 2008 World Series trophy and the 2009 National League champion trophy.

Why are my son and husband grinning like that? Certainly not because they’re thinking about all the money we just spent on tickets, grab bags, food, and the gift shop (though it is going towards a good cause). No, apparently my daughter was sticking her fingers up in “rabbit ears” behind my head, unbeknownst to me.

Speaking of the gift shop, one of my purchases was the new Phillies coffee-table book, Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition.


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I’ve only just begun to casually flip through it, but it looks to be a real visual feast, with plenty of photos covering the entire spectrum of Phillies history.

You may have noticed that I haven’t had much to say about the Phillies actual play recently. Well, that’s because I haven’t been too happy with it. The offense again failed to show up last night, as they were shut out 8-0 by the (ugh!) Mets.

Though I may frequently spew negative comments to my family while watching the games, I don’t really like to commit such thoughts to the permanency of the internet. I may be forced to break this self-imposed rule if they don’t start scoring some runs and winning some more games pretty soon! Only three games separate the first- and last-place teams in the NL East right now. Please, Phillies, I don’t deal with stress very well – enlarge that lead or I will eat way too much junk food, and it will be all your fault!

A Busy Baseball Week

The past week was a really busy one for me. In addition to seeing three different levels of Phillies (AA, AAA, and majors), my son had two baseball games, and the cold water valve in my laundry room broke, sending a geyser of water all over, and down through the floor vent into the finished basement. Fortunately, it broke while I was in the act of turning it on, instead of when I was unaware and off doing something else, so I was able to find the main shutoff valve without too much panicking and minimal water damage. On the plus side, the floor behind my washer and dryer is now cleaner than it’s been in years!

This entry is going to be a bit long, so please bear with me.

Tuesday, May 4 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs Indianapolis Indians

The IronPigs held the first of two Education Days scheduled for this month. Education Day just means that the game starts at 10:35 am, and there are lots of school groups in attendance. My own children were, in fact, at school that day; we just had lots of other people’s kids surrounding us.

As they were last year, the IronPigs player head shots were drawings by local school students:

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Leadoff batter Rich Thompson looks very serious in this rendition. In need of a little Prozac?

 

 

Luis Maza, on the other hand, looks quite happy.

 

 

Has John Mayberry been getting the Michael Jackson treatment? He looks a bit pale.

 

 

This artist even included Andy Tracy’s stubble.

 

 

 

Not a bad likeness.

 

 

 

Neil Sellers could be forgiven for going 0-for-4 today, since it looks like he might have trouble seeing straight.

Paul Hoover looks rather demonic. Hoover has just been called up to the parent club to replace backup catcher Brian Schneider, who is currently on the DL.

 

 

Brian Bocock, that is not a good batting average!

 

 

Drew Carpenter, hitless so far this year (he didn’t get one this day, either).

 

 

Dewayne Wise needs a neck reduction!

 

 

 

The IronPigs were hosting the Indianapolis Indians, AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Drew Carpenter started for the ‘Pigs, giving up one run in six innings, striking out five:

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Carpenter was opposed on the mound by Daniel McCutchen (no relation to Andrew – obviously). He makes pitching look almost painful with this expression:

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Paul Hoover is out at second, but the throw from Indians shortstop Argenis Diaz was not in time to turn the double play:

dp.JPGNo IronPigs game is complete without the Pork Racers – Hambone, Chris P. Bacon, and Diggity:

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John Mayberry is safe at second on a steal attempt:

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Mike Zagurski came into the game in relief of Carpenter. I recall listening to the radio broadcast of his major league debut a few years ago, when Larry Andersen described him as looking “a little Kruk-y”:

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Antonio Bastardo was called upon to get the final out of the eighth inning:

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Scott Mathieson came in to close the game and get the save. Mathieson is attempting to come back from not one, but two, Tommy John surgeries. He looked pretty good, hitting 95 and 96 mph on the stadium radar gun (though who knows how accurate those are?):

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Final score: IronPigs 3, Indians 1.

Wednesday, May 5 – Phillies vs Cardinals

Finally, my first Phillies game of the season! Not only that, but we had some amazing seats (thanks, Eric and Michelle!), just past the Phillies dugout in the fifth row. We missed the first inning, however, due to absolutely nightmarish traffic resulting from simultaneous Phillies and Flyers games. I hate when (hmph!) secondary sports like hockey interfere with my plans!

Nonetheless, with adult beverage in hand, we settled in for the start of the second inning. Kyle Kendrick was on the mound, and he pitched masterfully for seven innings, scattering six hits and giving up no runs:

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The Cardinals countered with Brad Penny, shown here rockin’ the high-socks look. The little white blur is the ball going past him:

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Brendan Ryan led off the third for the Cards, and was called out at first on this play:

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I think the Phils got a lucky break here, as it sure doesn’t look like Howard has the ball yet. This brought Tony LaRussa out of the dugout for the second time in the game. He had earlier come out in the second inning to argue Colby Rasmus’ being called out at third on an attempted steal. Unfortunately for LaRussa, both arguments were to no avail:

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Placido Polanco got the Phils on the board in the fourth with a two-run homer. Shane Victorino was on base at the time, and congratulates Polanco as he crosses the plate. Victorino would also hit a solo homer in the sixth:

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Chase Utley prepares to field a ground ball:

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Cards third baseman David Freese tracks down a popup in foul territory. The expressions on the faces of the fans in the vicinity of the play are priceless:

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Is Albert Pujols pondering the Cards’ lack of offense in this game? The Phillies pitchers kept Pujols in check through the first three games of the four-game series, with Pujols going 3-for-13 with no RBIs:

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Chase Utley makes the pivot on a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the seventh:

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Danys Baez and Jose Contreras pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the victory for Kendrick.

Final score: Phillies 4, Cardinals 0.

Saturday, May 8 – Reading Phillies vs Akron Aeros

spam can.jpgThe Reading Phillies were holding their annual Spam carving contest this past Saturday. I had no intention of taking part in this, I just simply planned on snapping a few photos of other people’s Spam creations.

My daughter, motivated by the prospect of the $250 prize, had other plans.

At her urging, I handed over the $5 entry fee (proceeds benefitting a charity called Opportunity House) and we received our can of Spam. What to carve? I was a bit unprepared, as I’ve mentioned, this was not part of my original plan. We decided upon the R-Phils mascot, Screwball.

Step one: figure out how to get the Spam out of the can intact. Eww. My experience with Spam ended many years ago during childhood, when my mom would occasionally serve it. I have never willingly touched Spam since then.

Let’s just say it’s a bit, um, slimy. Best not to think about what’s actually in it. It’s also not the easiest medium to work with. And after your hands are covered with Spam juice, it’s not easy to control your carving utensils (a plastic knife and toothpicks).

Anyway, here is our entry, “Spamball”:

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Here’s the real Screwball for comparison:

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OK, so not a perfect likeness, but like I said, Spam isn’t the easiest thing to work with.

Mmm, a Spamdog!

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These two contestants are working on separate halves of what would eventually be the winning entry, “Screwball’s Spamtastic Opportunity House”:

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Prior to the winner being announced after the seventh inning, judges narrowed the entries to six finalists. Ours was one of the six! Fans then cast their votes for their favorite. The finalists got to walk out on the field accompanying their entry. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of this, since I was on the field and couldn’t very well take a picture of myself.

The winners, pictured above, got the cash, and the rest of the finalists got a cap and t-shirt as consolation prizes. My daughter claimed the cap, since the shirt was extremely large and would have looked like a dress on her.

I only managed a few pictures of the game, as it was incredibly windy and cold, making it hard to hold the camera steady.

R-Phils starter Yohan Flande:

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Aeros starter Eric Berger contorts himself:

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R-Phils centerfielder Quintin Berry reminds me of a t-ball player who needs to use the bathroom:
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The R-Phils lost, 5-2, though we left before then since it was so windy and cold. The kids didn’t even mind missing the post-game fireworks, they were so uncomfortable.

Whew! Now I’m caught up. Hope to be blogging more regularly this month.

(all photos by me, except the can of Spam)

My Spring Training Adventure – Part 2

March 14 – Day 4

The Phillies had a road game today against the Orioles in Sarasota. We opted not to make the drive to Ed Smith Stadium, having been there once a number of years ago. It is not a picturesque ballpark. In fact, the exterior somewhat resembles a motel. I’ll have to dig out a photo from those pre-digital days, and scan it in for tomorrow.

Instead, we decided to take in a Blue Jays – Braves game in Dunedin, with a stop by the Phillies’ Carpenter Complex beforehand to check out some of the minor-league training camp action.

Brandon Duckworth, last with the Phillies in 2003, has returned to the organization on a minor-league contract after stints with Houston and Kansas City. As noted in Larry Shenk’s Phillies Insider blog, and evident in this photo, all the minor-leaguers wear their socks knee-high. No baggy “pajama” pants for these guys!

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Two minor-league shortstops work on fielding drills on one of the four practice fields in the complex:

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Minor-league pitchers wait between the batting cages to take their turn at a bunting drill:

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Prospect Anthony Hewitt, the Phils’ top pick in 2008, awaits his turn in the batting cage (is it just me, or do his feet look really big?):

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After checking out the workouts for about an hour, we made the approximately 10 minute drive to Dunedin, spring home of the Blue Jays. Sometimes going to a game in which I have no rooting interest is a nice break – I can relax and enjoy the game action without getting worked up about the outcome.

Brandon Morrow was on the hill for Toronto. Not a great day for him – he gave up six hits and four earned runs in three innings of work:

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Braves top prospect Jason Heyward makes contact early in the game. He had a good day, going 2 for 4 and scoring a run:

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Kris Medlen started the game for the Braves, pitching two shutout innings:

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The Blue Jays watch from the dugout as Aaron Hill makes contact:

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The Jays’ Jose Bautista was nearly caught in a rundown, but somehow managed to elude the tag of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to make it back safely to first:

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Some people will do just about anything to get a foul ball. Even the umpire seems to be watching the kid, and not the game:

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Blue Jays outfielder Chris Lubanski is out at second. Lubanski is a non-roster invitee to the Jays camp, having been signed to a minor-league deal after spending the past 6 seasons in the Royals organization. I’ve always kind of followed his progress, as he is a local guy from my area. Having signed right out of high school, he’s still pretty young, only 24:

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The Jays ended up dropping this game to the Braves, 8-5. After the game we enjoyed a refreshing postgame brew at the Dunedin Brewery, before enjoying Mexican food for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants when we are in Florida, Casa Tina.

 

March 15 – Day 5

From St. Petersburg, Bradenton is an easy drive of 40 minutes or so south over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The Pirates were hosting the Phillies today, so we made the drive and got there just before the gates opened.

I parked myself in a prime spot right by the end of the Phillies dugout near the backstop. My husband is left to wander around the ballpark carrying my extra stuff while I’m clicking away at all the activity on the field.

The Phillies came out to stretch while the Pirates were finishing up their portion of batting practice. One anonymous Phillie decided to stick out from the crowd during this drill:

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As the players were walking in and out of the dugout, they were mere feet away from me (and everyone else). Most of them seemed to try to not even look up and make eye contact. New Phillie Brian Schneider did come over and sign some autographs for the fans, as did coach Davey Lopes and manager Charlie Manuel – thanks guys! Jayson Werth signed one or two autographs, no more, but I did manage to catch a glimpse of his stylin’ shades:

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ESPN’s Dick Vitale and the Schwab were on hand. Dick seemed to be getting a lesson on gloves from Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. Dick then came over to the dugout and signed autographs for anybody who wanted one:

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Zach Duke was on the mound for the Pirates. Duke gave up one run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four, but also walked three:

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Roy Halladay pitched for the Phils. He gave up three hits and one run (his first of the spring) in five innings. He struck out six, and walked two:

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John Mayberry, Jr., making a start in center field, connects on this pitch to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly:

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Ryan Howard “admires” (not) his mile-high pop-up:

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Placido Polanco is helped off the field after injuring his knee. He stumbled near the mound while tracking down a wind-blown pop-up. Thankfully, the injury was not serious, as Polanco is now back in action after a few days of rest:

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Lastings Milledge is forced out at second, as Jimmy Rollins throws to first to try for the double play (the throw was not in time):

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The Pirate Parrot appears to be using a Phillies fan as a footrest. Yo, Parrot, what’s up with that?

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Chase Utley chases down a fly ball in the infield on a very windy day. He made the catch, though it wasn’t particularly graceful:

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The Phils came out on top in this game, winning 5-1. Another Phillies victory on another sunny, though windy, day!

On our way out of McKechnie Field, we stopped for a quick photo op at the large AT&T advertisement with a cutout where Zach Duke’s head would be. How do I look?

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Afterwards, we took a scenic detour to check out the beaches on Anna Maria Island before heading back to St. Pete. We even stopped to stick our feet into the sparkling Gulf waters, but that water is not very warm in March! That explained why we didn’t see anybody actually swimming.

Next up, the third (and final) installment, covering our last two games in Clearwater before we reluctantly had to head home.

(all photos by me)

Random Monday Thoughts

Now that baseball season is over till next year, it’s time to get back to thinking randomly, something I do well. In my last entry, I said I’d be back “tomorrow” – well, that ended up being four days later. I should know by now never to give a concrete time frame, as real life tends to interrupt my blogging on occasion.

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Chase Utley hit five home runs during this year’s World Series, tying the record set by Reggie Jackson, aka “Mr. October”.

mr. octember.jpgSince Derek Jeter is already “Mr. November” (thanks to his heroics in the 2001 World Series), and Chase’s homers occurred in October and November, does that make Chase “Mr. Octember”?

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Is there any rational explanation for having Alanis Morissette sing the National Anthem before Game 5 in Philadelphia last week?

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She’s from Canada, and lives in neither Philadelphia nor New York. Besides, I thought she was into hockey players, not baseball players (rumor had it her hit song “You Oughta Know” was about her relationship with an unnamed hockey player).

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Speaking of singing, for those of you who couldn’t get enough of Tim McCarver during the World Series, here’s an item for your Christmas wish list:

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Tim McCarver Sings Selections From The Great American Songbook, available as a download for a mere $8.99 at Amazon.com ($9.99 on iTunes)! Based on the 30-second preview snippets, all the songs are equally cringeworthy. Whoever thought this was a good idea should be forced to listen to it ad nauseum until baseball season starts anew!

The shocking thing is that of the 12 listener reviews on Amazon.com, eight gave it 5 stars (!). Could they be relatives of McCarver, using fake names? Or are there really that many people out there with tin ears?

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Until next time, I’ll be thinking random thoughts, and making sure to share them with you!

(Utley and Morissette photos: AP)

What I’ve Been Up To, Part 2

Ya know, I fully intended to write this post well before now. Didn’t happen. Better late than never, though!

baseball-101.jpgLast Wednesday, I attended the Phillies’ Baseball 101 for Women event, held at Citizen’s Bank Park. This was the fourth year the Phillies have held this event. The first year, 2006, only had a May session, but each year since then has had a May and an August session. Needless to say, every one has been a sellout! I’ve attended one each year, so this was my fourth visit to Phillies Heaven.

I made sure I left my house extra-early, just in case of traffic problems. As my family and friends know, I am not a morning person, so anything that gets me out of bed wide awake at 6:30 in the morning is a minor miracle!

Once we were there and checked in, there was time for a light breakfast. Bagels, muffins, and the like were available, as well as juice, tea and the all-important coffee. Gotta have my coffee! There was also time for a photo op with the World Series trophy before the day’s activities began.

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Unlike the last time I was near the trophy, my kids were not present. No need to worry that my offspring might accidentally knock it over while fighting with each other.

About 150 women were in attendance, and for the morning’s sessions, we were divided into four “teams”. While waiting to get our team photo taken, we got a quick visit to the Phillies’ clubhouse.

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Upon entering the clubhouse, we were greeted by this guy, whose job at the moment involved sorting the socks. Though you can’t see it in this photo, we were prevented from getting too close to the table by a red rope; otherwise, who knows, a few garments may have vanished as souvenirs :-).

Though we couldn’t get up close to the lockers in the back half of the clubhouse, we did get a good look into the lockers of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino, among others. Actually, maybe a bit too much is on display in Chase’s locker.

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Here is Ryan’s locker. Not too messy – he actually has a second one next to it. Apparently the big-name guys (Utley, Howard, Rollins) are afforded this little perk.

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Shane Victorino’s locker is actually quite neat and tidy.

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Even the clubhouse guys get World Series rings! Alas, he didn’t let any of us try it on.

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Once we were done in the clubhouse, we made our way to the seating area behind home plate for a session with the guys who run Phanavision, the large video board in left field. Of course, all the video clips, in-game entertainment, music, etc. are computerized, with a small army of people working to make sure everything runs smoothly.

This same group is also responsible for producing many of the video spots promoting upcoming games and events. We got to see some outakes of Shane Victorino recording a spot for Jewish Heritage Night. It took Shane more than a few tries, and lots of laughing, to finally get the pronunciation of “chutzpah” right.

The four teams then split up for coaching clinics with the Phillies’ coaches. Rich Dubee talked about pitching, and we all got a chance to throw a few pitches in the bullpen. Milt Thompson and Pete Mackanin instructed us in proper hitting technique, and we had a chance to bat (off a tee) in the indoor batting cages. Davey Lopes discussed baserunning, and Sam Perlozzo talked to us about fielding. [no pictures of all this, it wasn’t feasible to carry my camera during this portion of the day]

After a break for lunch, we had a Q and A session with J.A. Happ.

happ.jpgHe explained that even though his printed name is two initials, proper pronunciation is “Jay” (J.A. stands for James Anthony, in case you were wondering).

Happ answered all kinds of questions for us, though he was a bit reticent about divulging any inside secrets. He admitted to having pregame rituals, though he wouldn’t say what they were. At one point, someone asked about his time with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. At this, host Scott Palmer produced a J.A. Happ bobblehead that was given away at an IronPigs game. Here’s J.A. coming face to face with his bobble likeness.

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After J.A. left to a standing ovation, it was time to head to the Media Room for our session with Charlie Manuel.

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Though Charlie has a reputation for not being a very eloquent speaker, he seemed pretty comfortable and at ease answering our questions, though when asked which was more intimidating, facing a roomful of reporters or a roomful of us, without hesitation he replied, “A roomful of women!”

Other topics included keeping the team focused on this year’s pennant race and not resting on last year’s laurels, the use of instant replay on disputed home run calls, and Brad Lidge’s problems this year.

Next came a session with umpire Laz Diaz.

laz-diaz.jpgThough it may look like Laz is signaling for a touchdown, he is in fact doing his impersonation of Shane Victorino’s arm-flapping in centerfield prior to being ejected from a recent game. As expected, there were many questions asked about why Shane was ejected, and why the home plate umpire would even be paying that much attention to a fielder (answer: the centerfielder is in direct view of the home plate ump, and all that arm waving is showing up the ump, therefore grounds for ejection). He was also asked what, if anything, catchers and batters talk about, and if there are any sure-fire ways to get ejected from a game.

Finally, the radio broadcasting duo of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen talked about their experiences covering the Phillies. Here, Scott is apparently having a hard time believing something that Larry has just said.

franzke-and-andersen.jpgThough not everyone agrees with me, I have always enjoyed L.A. as a broadcaster. Franzke is slowly growing on me, and these two have a great rapport. Their personalities complement each other very well, and in person you can really see how they play off each other.

Then it was on to our pregame patio party, with complementary food and beverages, and of course a visit from the Phanatic.

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Then it was game time! As an added bonus, it was also Brad Lidge bobblehead night. I was just praying that Brad didn’t have to come into the game and possibly blow a save – who knows how many bobbleheads may have been thrown on the field if that had happened!

game-time.jpgCliff Lee was facing Dan Haren and the Diamondbacks. Lee had a great game; Haren on the other hand did not, giving up 6 earned runs in 5 innings of work. The Phillies bats were alive, with home runs from Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and two from Jayson Werth. The Phillies won, 8-1!

All in all, a great day! I’ll be looking forward to next year’s event so I can do it all over again!

(all photos by me, except obviously the ones with me in them; those were taken by a fellow attendee and one of the ballgirls, using my camera)

More Nuggets of Happiness and Fun

Phils Take 3 of 4 From Reds

After Monday’s offensive explosion resulted in a 22-1 demolition of the Reds, as I expected, the Phils sputtered and lost the next game, 4-3. But they bounced back and took the next two, by scores of 3-2 and 9-6. Last night’s victory even included an inside-the-park home run from Chase Utley. He scored standing up, no less! Not even a close play at the plate. Hooray for the Phils and for Chase!

Victorious Victorino

Shane Victorino will be going to the All-Star Game, having overtaken Pablo Sandoval on the final day of voting. Shane will join Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard as the Phillies’ representatives next Tuesday in St. Louis. Hooray for Shane!

I’m Going to the Game Tonight!

I get to go to my first Phillies game of the season. Hooray for me! They will be hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are currently in the cellar of the NL Central. Hopefully that translates into a win tonight. Even if there are no offensive fireworks during the game, we will be staying for the fireworks after the game. Though I have to say, tickets for four of us (me, husband, two kids) cost a small fortune – I informed the kids that they’d better enjoy the game no matter what, and there was no way we were leaving early. I demand that I get my money’s worth!

What a Weiner!

And finally, a little tidbit I saw in yesterday’s newspaper, though I don’t think it’s breaking news. The head of the player’s union next year is going to be a real weiner.

hot_dog_2612.jpgActually, not that kind; his name is Michael Weiner, and judging by this article on ESPN.com, he sounds like a likeable, qualified guy. But you just know that name is going to lead to some really bad puns at some point.

Sweet Victory

In between folding laundry and preventing the kids from seriously maiming each other, I periodically checked the Phillies/Mets game last night. Suffice it to say that Cole Hamels was not sharp. I mean, giving up a lead-off double to the pitcher?? Of course, this led to a run being scored. Thankfully, Chase Utley tied it up in the next inning, with a solo home run.

OK, so far I’m pretty calm. But then Hamels immediately gives a run, and more, right back, by allowing the Mets to score three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Now I’m not a happy camper, and with apologies to CCR, I felt a bad mood on the rise.

Lo and behold, the Phillies tie the game back up with three runs of their own in the top of the seventh. My mood was beginning to brighten. After scoreless eighth, ninth, and tenth innings, who should be leading off the 11th but Chase Utley. In answer to the prayers of Phillies phans everywhere, he obligingly deposited another ball in the right field seats to give the Phils a 5-4 lead. Ryan Madson, in his new role as closer of the moment, recorded a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th for a save.

Like SpongeBob says, it’s sweet, sweet victory, yeah!

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(OK, I’ve got two kids, I’ve seen waaay too much SpongeBob)

 

A fool and his money are soon parted

Is there actually a Mets fan out there who has $35,000 lying around that he/she doesn’t know what to do with? We’ll find out in two days, when bidding ends on eBay item 290322027654, the Shea Stadium Wrecking Ball.

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Just how does one display a wrecking ball in their home? There are so many better things to do with $35,000  – they could always just send some to me, I would put it to good use! 🙂

 

So how many songs did you know?

Kudos to Julia, who identified all the songs my subheadings came from yesterday. For the record, they were:

“She’s mean and she’s evil, like that little old boll weevil…” – Little Sister, Elvis Presley;

“Doctor, doctor, give me the news…” – Bad Case of Lovin’ You (Doctor, Doctor), Robert Palmer;

“Hey now, you’re an all-star…” – All-Star, Smashmouth (an easy one);

“More, more, more…” – I was thinking of More, More, More by Andrea True Connection (yeah, I used to listen to disco back in the day) but my husband pointed out it could have come from Rebel Yell by Billy Idol (a college favorite, so I’m surprised I didn’t think of that myself);

“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands wet on the wheel…” – Radar Love, Golden Earring;

“But you don’t really care for music, do you?…” – Hallelujah. There are several different artists for this one. Leonard Cohen wrote it and recorded it first, though I prefer the version by Jeff Buckley. There is also a version by Rufus Wainwright, which appears in the movie Shrek.