Got home from the store in time to catch the end of the Phillies’ ring ceremony prior to today’s game. These rings are some serious bling!
And on TV they looked HUGE! Of course, don’t they always say the camera adds 10 lbs? Ryan Howard put his on and modeled it for the camera, and I swear it took up the whole space between his knuckles.
Check out Todd Zolecki’s ZoZone for some bigger pictures.
Pat Burrell was there to get his, and got a huge ovation from the crowd. I also noticed Adam Eaton on the field – I missed his introduction, but I can imagine his reception wasn’t as warm as Burrell’s.
According to the announcers, the rings are 14 kt white gold, and contain 103 diamonds, to represent the total number of victories last season (including the postseason).
A few questions come to mind:
– How much do they weigh? Like I said, they’re big.
– Just how much does each one cost? A small fortune, I’d imagine.
– And they don’t really look very comfortable, but then again, I doubt they tool around town while wearing them.
So far, though, I’m not holding my breath for that first “W” – the Phils are currently down 9-3 in the top of the seventh.
Though the Braves made it 10-3 after the top of the seventh, the Phillies came back to score 8 runs in the bottom! They added an insurance run in the eighth to make it 12-10. Brad Lidge is about to come in for the top of the ninth for his first save opportunity of the season.
Although Matt Diaz hit a solo homer, the Phils win 12-11! What a wild game! The Phillies Phaithful can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Just a quickie, while I have a moment. I wanted to share an ad that appeared in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer, from Pat Burrell, thanking the fans for their support.
I looked for a copy online, but couldn’t find one, so I tried scanning it. I had to scan it in two sections, my scanner’s not big enough. In case it’s hard to read, here is what is says:
An open letter to the great Philly fans and a great sports franchise from Pat Burrell:
As I prepare for the 2009 season with the Rays, I can’t help but reflect on the time I spent in Philly and I wanted to give you some of my thoughts.
To the Phillies organization, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my dream as a prefessional ball player. It was great to finally share a championship with all the members of the organization from the top down.
To the fans, I write to let you know how much I appreciated your support over the years. Through good times and bad, I never doubted the support that all of you had for my teammates and me. That support was never more evident than in our great run through the playoffs last year where you absolutely played a key role in our championship. The last nine years have been a wild ride, and while at times there were struggles, I realize it was all well worth it every time I think about that memorable ride down Broad Street during the parade, It was great sharing it with you and I will always remember it.
My family and I thank the fans and the organization for all the great memories. You will never be forgotten and I hope to see you in October.
All my best,
Evidently Pat is looking forward to a Phillies/Rays rematch. 🙂
While I won’t miss some of Pat’s batting slumps, or what I call the Burrell Butt Thrust (when he jumps back from pitches he thinks are inside but are really over the plate), I will miss him as a person and player. I think he really did try his hardest, and the fans appreciated his effort. It was great that he got to experience the World Series victory as a Phillie.
Pat, best of luck to you this year as a Ray!
The calendar says that Opening Day is only a little over a month away. But you wouldn’t know it if you looked out my window this morning. This was the lovely view from my blogging chair:
Blechh! Snow – and lots of it.
I’ve discovered that with each passing year, I’m less and less tolerant of things like snow and cold weather. In fact, I fantasize about the day when my children are out of the house, or at least in college, and my husband and I become “snowbirds”. We’ll get a condo in Clearwater Beach, be a couple of retirees working at the ballpark during Spring Training, and not have to deal with those evil white flakes from the sky.
Okay, that’s not happening any time soon, as our youngest is only in second grade. But one can dream! 🙂
Another sure sign that spring is on the way, in addition to the Phillies’ annual migration south, is the Philadelphia Flower Show. Or, as you’ll see in a moment, maybe I should call it the Phlower Show.
Every March, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society puts on what is one of the oldest and largest flower shows in the country. The past few years I have been a volunteer photographer at the show – in exchange for spending a couple hours photographing the blue-ribbon winners in the horticultural society’s competitive classes, I get free admission to the show, a savings of $28! Not a bad deal – after I’m done with the prize winners, I can spend the rest of the day wandering around the show, taking in the sights and smells of spring.
Every year, the show has a different theme. This year’s theme was Bella Italia, so all the major exhibits had a definite Italian flavor. As you can see, they did a great job of transforming the cavernous interior of the Pennsylvania Convention Center into beautiful Roman-style gardens.
One of the exhibitors, though, must be a baseball fan. As I was about to call it a day, I spied this well-attired statue:
Speaking of the Phils, they must have read my plea last Friday to wake up their bats from their winter slumber. They jumped all over the Rays on Saturday to win 12-5, with homers from Ryan Howard, John Mayberry, Jr., and Miguel Cairo. Yesterday, they beat the Braves 7-3 for their second exhibition victory.
Saturday’s game against the Rays was televised, the first one so far this spring. It was kind of weird to see Pat Burrell in another team’s uniform, but it was nice to see him get such a warm welcome from the fans in Clearwater. Burrell got an ovation from the crowd before his first at-bat, and tipped his helmet to the fans. Good luck, Pat, with the Rays this year!
Also of note over the weekend was the signing of Adam Eaton to a minor-league deal by the Baltimore Orioles. I suppose I could say that the Orioles must be really, really desperate for pitching, but I’ll refrain. On second thought, I guess I just said it after all. 😉
I was trying to post this entry last night, but my @#*& browser kept “not responding” and I lost the whole think halfway through its creation. If it happens again today, you’ll hear me screaming all up and down the East Coast. Well, maybe just suburban Philadelphia, but you know what I mean.
So back to what I was writing about last night.
In honor of Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, I’ve come up with a baseball-themed movie quiz. Granted, some of these movies will never be considered Oscar material. Then again, I don’t actually watch the Oscars because, 99% of the time, I’ve never seen any of the movies that are nominated. With two children, ages 10 and 7, the movies I get to see are more along the lines of Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Hotel For Dogs. Not exactly Oscar material.
OK – nine questions, some easy, some not so easy. Let’s see how you do!
1. The Rookie is based on the true story of what former major-league pitcher?
2. Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan, in A League of Their Own, is loosely based on what real-life baseball player?
3. Former Phillies Pat Burrell, Doug Glanville, and Mike Lieberthal make cameo appearances portraying themselves in what movie, which takes place in the Cape Cod Baseball League?
4. In a scene from Fever Pitch, Lindsey (Drew Barrymore) starts naming various Red Sox items found in Ben’s (Jimmy Fallon) apartment. What is the only Yankees item she names?
5. A notably slimmer Barry Bonds makes a cameo appearance striking out against 12-year-old Henry Rowangartner in what movie?
6. In The Sandlot, Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez has a dream featuring what Hall-of-Famer?
7. In Field of Dreams, what is the name of the player that flashes briefly on Fenway Park’s scoreboard?
8. Former major-leaguer Ken Berry, who played 9 seasons for the Chicago White Sox, was a technical adviser for what movie, which also features the White Sox?
9. During the end credits of Bull Durham, a photo of what Yankee great can be seen in Annie Savoy’s baseball shrine?
Check back tomorrow for the answers. In the meantime, if you enjoyed this quiz, check out my music-themed quiz, Take Me Out To The Turntable.
Friday at the Phillies training camp in Clearwater had quite the photo shoot, featuring the team, manager, and coaches decked out in tuxedos, posing with the World Series trophy. Here’s a picture of them that ran in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer, as they get ready for the shoot:
The final shot will grace the cover of Phillies Magazine. To maintain exclusivity, only the official photographer was allowed to participate in the actual shoot. There is a video, parts of which are pretty funny, showing the players getting ready for the photo. Since I don’t know how to link video into my posts, here’s a link to the story on phillies.com.
What’s actually pretty amazing is that 23 out of 25 of the guys on the World Series roster are still Phillies this year. Only Pat Burrell and So Taguchi are no longer with the Phils – Pat of course having signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent, and Taguchi is a non-roster invitee of the Cubs this spring.
Many of the players and coaches had not worn a tux since their wedding day, and for Chris Coste it had been even longer. He last wore a tux to his high school prom, having gotten married while wearing a baseball uniform! Here is a picture of that special moment, from his book The 33-Year-Old Rookie:
Other Spring Training tidbits
Marcus Giles, a non-roster invitee, has been working out at third base. He could get some time there while Pedro Feliz continues to recover from off-season back surgery. Right now, Feliz’s status for opening day is uncertain.
According to pitching coach Rich Dubee, Adam Eaton “will get his time on the mound” even though he is not in the running for the fifth starter’s position. One can only hope that he will pitch well enough this spring to draw some trade interest.
Will Eaton go down as one of the worst Phillies signings ever? Let’s see, a three-year, $24.5 million contract, and what do we have to show for it? A record of 14 wins and 18 losses, an ERA hovering around 6.10. You decide.
On My Reading List
My Amazon shipment finally came on Thursday (yay!), with Jane Heller’s Confessions of a She-Fan and Joe Torre’s The Yankee Years. I have to say that when I was placing my order, it just felt kind of, oh, wrong to be ordering two books about the Yankees, being that I’m not a Yankee fan. But I do have other non-Phillie books, so I got over it.
Hmm, which to read first? I decided on Jane, and cracked open the book as soon as I took it out of the box, while standing in my kitchen. I was laughing (well, snorting – I tend to do that when I laugh) out loud by page 2! I’m trying not to read it too fast – I want to savor it.
If any of you other she-fans out there haven’t gotten it yet – what are you waiting for!? In fact, I think it’s easier to appreciate when you aren’t a Yankee fan – you don’t have to relive all the heartbreak of the 2007 season along with Jane. I’ll give a more in-depth review once I’ve finished it.
(tux photo by Eric Mencher, Philadelphia Inquirer; Coste photo by Julie’s Photography, from The 33-Year-Old Rookie; Eaton photo mine)