Go ahead and fill in the blank with whichever word you prefer which best expresses your feelings about the Phillies’ 1-3 start. 😉
PNC Park = House of Horrors
Why, oh why, is PNC Park such a House of Horrors for the Phillies? After Doc’s gem gave the Phils an Opening Day win over the Pirates, they proceeded to drop the next two contests in painful fashion by giving up the winning run in the final frame. Since its opening in 2001, the Phillies are a paltry 14-24 in that venue, which is one of their worst records in any road park (if not THE worst).
Yet it looks so nice. And this is the Pirates they’re sucking against – they of the 19 straight losing seasons. Again, what the …? Chalk it up as one of life’s mysteries.
Who’s On First, Indeed?
Last Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a Phillies Preview under this banner:
An apt question, since the Phillies have used four different first basemen in the first four games – Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, Jim Thome, and John Mayberry, Jr. Hopefully as the season progresses, some sort of continuity will be established, rather than the current revolving door approach.
Ryan Howard, pamper that Achilles and hurry back!
I have a feeling I’ll be using this image frequently this season, or at least in the early going, until Chase Utley and the aforementioned Ryan Howard are back in the lineup.
Currently the Phillies have a collective .198 batting average, ranking them 24th of the 30 major league teams. Yes, it’s only been four games, and yes it’s early in the season, but the Phillies need to start hitting more, and sooner rather than later, or it’s going to be a mighty long season if they dig themselves too big a hole already.
Though first and foremost, I am a Phillies Phan, I do like to travel and experience other ballparks, even if the Phillies are not involved. In fact, my husband and I have an ongoing quest to eventually visit all 30 major league parks. After beginning in earnest in 1996, we have reached the two-thirds mark, just 10 more to go. The first few came rather quickly, but then things like kids threw a monkey-wrench into the plans. Oh well, at least I have a goal!
As part of our quest, we made a cross-state drive in April 2006 to visit the new home of the Pirates, PNC Park. It almost pains me to say this, but I must admit that PNC Park is pretty darn nice. Factoring in the view of the surrounding city and its convenient location, I almost have to give it a slight edge over Citizen’s Bank Park. Here is a photo I took during an extremely pleasant day game:
Note the sunny skies. I have it on good authority from my husband, who spent many childhood weekends and holidays visiting relatives in the Pittsburgh area, that this is highly unusual. I guess the fates were smiling on us after that long drive. They were not, however, smiling on the Pirates, who lost this game to the Dodgers 13-5.
While exploring the stadium prior to the game, we came across this statue of Ralph Kiner’s Hands:
So many questions arise in my mind, just begging for answers. Such as, where is the rest of his body? Why just the hands? Did they run out of bronze? Is Ralph so unattractive they thought people would be repulsed? The plaque on the base does not shed much light on the matter. It simply states that this is a “Bronze Casting of Ralph Kiner’s Hands.” It goes on to recap Ralph’s career in Pittsburgh and his election to the Hall of Fame, but that’s it. I shall have to do some investigating. If anyone reading this has information, please let me know.
Until tomorrow, think Spring (Training, that is)!