Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chris Wheeler is excited

That reaction there pretty much sums it up. Sheer madness tempered with fist pumps.

Broad street looked like the Champs Elysees last night, and there weren't even riots. Sure there was a fire here and an overturned car there, but no wanton death or destruction.

Maybe I'll write something more significant at some point, but right now its all about basking the warm glowing glow of the first Philly championship in 25 years.


I cannot wait for Friday's parade.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Running and Screaming

Harry Kalas ladies and gentlemen

I'll be disappointed optimistic if this doesn't turn ugly.


What happened? I blacked out after the Rays tied it up in the top of the sixth on Monday night. Oh, the game still hasn't been finished. Makes sense in a Seligian way, which is to say it makes absolutely no sense at all. All I can think is Why? Why can't things just work out for this fanbase, for once? (Also, how)

Watching old Bud make the announcement yesterday was ... let's say frustrating. Bud Selig is not a man who is known for his public speaking ability. Or his ability to lead a major sports league. Sure he's had some success: The Wild Card, Moving the Brewers to the National League. But these minor triumphs are far outweighed by the bungling. Always with the bungling. Steroids. All-Star game ties. Canceling the World Series. This.

Granted, this was not an ideal situation for baseball -- stuck between Fox TV and mother nature. Sure moving the game's start time up an hour or two makes sense now, but then the game might have ended before the witching hour on the east coast. And it's important to carry the water for Rupert Murdoch, who I assume would turn MLB into a cricket league, or whatever balls and sticks sport they have in Australia, if Selig displeases him.

And it's also worth noting it could have been worse, like say if they called it after the fifth inning and the Phils won a tainted world series. If that happened the air of excitement that existed before Monday would have been sucked out of this town faster than you can say "God hates Philadelphia." So at least there is that.

But still, Selig, you fucking suck dude. Worse leader: Bud Selig or George W. Bush? Discuss.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What it's like

Slow news day. Can't wait for 8:30 ... Must. Not. Hyperventilate. Maybe posting something ... some slapdash odds on who will be the World Series MVP*

500,000:1 Evan Longoria or Carlos Pena
How's that 0-fer the series in the heart of your line-up treating you "Rays fans" who presumably still exist? Good?

30:1 Shane Victorino
Hasn't had the best series (at least compared to the NLDS and NLCS), but inspired possibly my best heckling moment ever. During the ninth inning on Saturday Sunday morning I yelled "It's happy hour in Hawaii, Shane!" It was appropriate at the time, being 1:30 in the morning EST. Although probably not accurate. Still.

25:1 Carl Crawford
Call this the "No Whammies" selection.

10:1 Joe Blanton
Phillies pitchers, the unheralded hitters! Making sense!

6:1 Chutley

4:1 Carlos Ruiz
I bet you didn't know that most, if not all, of Chooch's post-season batting success can be attributed to Gary "Sarge" Matthews. It's true.

3:1 Ryan Howard
He says, "Oppo bitches!" while hitting golf balls in the off-season.

1:1 Cole Hamels
OK I'm hyperventilating now. Post over.

*Written with crossed fingers, legs, and eyes. And arms folded. I actually typed this with my elbows and nose.


Can we add car surf through center city Philadelphia to that list? Because the guy doing just that to celebrate Hot "Cooch" Carl's game winning nubber early Sunday morning looked like he was having a great time. Unfortunately that guy is almost certainly dead now. A tragic life cut short.

Anyway. It's safe to say that not selling the World Series ticket was a smart move. Its going in the permanent file, even if my brain is having trouble grasping the concept of a Phillies championship being just 27 Cole Hamels' pitched outs away.

Jimmy Rollins edit: "Anything can happen when you swing a piece of wood." BAHHHHHHHHHHHH JOE BLANTON.

Heartwarming double edit: The Phils have help from the beyond the grave. Skeleton powers, etc.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stupid liberal reality

So it seems the whole "Obama voter carves B in cheek of McCain campaign worker" narrative was a hoax. In case you don't spend all your time online, there was some 20-year-old texas girl who said some large black man robbed her at an ATM, and upon learning that she worked for the McCain campain, carved a backards "B" on her cheek like she would in a mirror. No word on why it wasn't a far more sensible O.

Normally a story like this would be properly vetted before it hit the national press (and it was, heh), but that's not the case in the magical internet world. The Drudge report reportedly busted out numerous sirens on this local story from the lesser Pittsburgh newspaper. So it instantly hit the big time, Muslim photo style. I remember talking about Drudge at Medill more than five years ago.

Here it'd be nice to make some grand point about how the rapid speed that new narratives change is good or bad, but no. Because that would likely devolve into irrelevant bitching about my job. Instead I decided to go out into the world, make some salt-of-the-earth observations and try and get some sort of narrative of my own creation. I failed, but the travels led me to the Square Bar, probably the only pure red drinking establishment within walking distance.

There I listened to some common folk talk about how Obama would halve their paycheck and the inevitable 60K jobs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Then I drank some Kool-Aid and realized that electing a black president would solve all my problems with no effort. But at least I didn't mutilate myself. Ha ha cut-nut.

Will I care when this girl kills herself? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thursday filler?

So last night was great, and I'm not just talking about the latest developments on the new Knight Rider. Did you know that KITT can now transform into a pickup truck? It's true, even though that show is emblematic of everything that is wrong with America. TO THE LINKS!

If I had a car, I'd like to know how to live in it. Useful.

The Onion's done it again, somehow perfectly riffing on the ongoing Wall Street crisis.

Here is a pretty great photo essay about Barack on the campaign trail. And in the interest of equal time, here is an insider look at the highest levels of the McCain campaign.

Finally, Chinese Democracy.

The dudes, they will understand.

Here's an interesting ad campaign from across the pond. There's probably no God.

And I'll leave you with the Phillies theme song from the last time they won a World Series game. No Joe Carter.

Why can't us?

Shark Jesus is rooting for the Phillies. Are you?

Reference and reference.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Book Club: Watchmen

The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!" ... and I'll look down, and whisper "No."
-Rorschach's Journal

This one's been bouncing around the old noggin for a while now.

On first read through Watchmen, you may wonder "Where is all the action?" Sure, the Comedian gets killed right at the beginning, but otherwise it just seems like a bunch of dudes in masks talking about doomsday and conspiracies. You see the pages dwindling down. Suddenly you're at chapter 12 and it's all, what the hell just happened? Mars? Not too mention the whole pirate sub-story.

This is one of those that really rewards repeated readings, even though it has pictures. Second time through you are all like, "ohhhhhh" and slapping your forehead a bunch.

Basic plot is this: Set in an alternate version on the mid-80s where the United States won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president and the doomsday clock is ticking ever closer to midnight -- someone is killing masked heroes (none of which have superpowers, except one). Most of said heroes have hung up their capes after some sort of registration act was passed. There are three exceptions:

The Comedian: Pretty much a badass. Deals with being a fascist evil prick by treating all of society as an elaborate joke. Unfortunately the joke ends up being on him, and not just when he shoots his unborn Vietnamese love-child.

Dr. Manhattan: Obvious play on the Manhattan Project, this big blue bastard is the only one in the book with any powers, which happen to be the god-like ability to manipulate matter and space. He's sulky.

Rorschach: The only non-government sanctioned mask still operating when the book opens. Has a propensity for right-wing literature and breaking peoples fingers. Likes beans.

Oh yeah, and there is a movie coming out next year, not sure if you heard. I would recommended to reading the book beforehand, just so you are in the know. Plus the trailer is way better if you know what's going on.

Political themes: right or left?
How does the pirate stuff relate to the rest of the book?
Does this hold up since the cold war ended?
Alan Moore: Great beard or greatest beard?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked

Yes yes, the World Series is upon us. Facing off Wednesday (that's two days from now!) in the shittiest stadium in baseball are two of the biggest losers in baseball, sports, and human history.

Representing the National League, we've got my beloved Phillies. Who just happen to be notoriously terrible. My only hope for a parade is the players youthful ignorance of their team's long history of losing in hilarious ways. Also, Charlie Manuel beating the shit out of local radio personalities with his colostomy bag.

And on the American League side, there is this team called the Tampa Bay Rays, nee Devils. This is what happens when the Christians run America. You take a perfectly respectable, animal-based mascot, and turn it into something from geometry or astronomy or comic books. Why not just make their name the Tampa Bay Gamma Rays? Riddle me that, majority owner Stuart Sternberg! Oh, "A beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida." Yes a beacon that has shone bright and strong since 1998.

Fucking christ. If Tampa Bay wins this I am going to be really close to giving up on ever seeing a Philadelphia sports championship. So much bitterness. You might think one would be better off sitting back and enjoying the glory that is Victorino. After all, its been a heck of a ride this season, almost as good as the ride one of my fellow season ticket holders got from a stripper he paid over $400 dollars.

Party postponed

I don't know if any of you were actually planning on attending this, but its getting pushed back due to a variety of factors including the World Series, 15 North still inexplicably being open, and misanthropy. It will still happen someday ... like Halloween, or perhaps some Wednesday in November.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reading is fundamental

Friday, October 17, 2008

Victory, no?

If only they still had Urbina.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deathmatch Listoff: Filmmakers

Out of nowhere we have this here list. Harkening back to the halcyon days of July 2007. I was at the local drinking establishment and had what many of its patrons might call a moment of clarity. What better way to cleanse my troubled mental palate than a frivolous list of awesome movies. No responses necessary.

I actually attempted to write down options on my hand while sitting at happy hour, unfortunately they mostly wore off on the handlebars of my bike. But the very act of writing forced a certain level of memory. See top right. Here comes five:

Quentin Tarantino
Seen and of note: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill
Start it off with some stylish ultraviolence. Sure Tarantino is obnoxious as all hell, and his films are pretty derivative, but have you seen Pulp Fiction? Come on.
Also it's worth peeping the last act of Four Rooms.

Coen Brothers
Seen and of note : Big Lebowski, Fargo, O' Brother Where Art Thou, No Country For Old Men
Drawing a blank here, Barton Fink style. TMoney, write something in the comments.

Spike Lee
Seen and of note: Do the Right Thing, The Original Kings of Comedy, Inside Man
I hope Spike likes being the only black on this list. Maybe it will make up for his lack of Oscars. How Do the Right Thing didn't win something is beyond me. Maybe it was the racism.

PT Anderson
Seen and of note: Boogie Nights, There will be Blood
The second best PT in history? I can't imagine what it was like on the set for Blood. BASTARD FROM A BASKET.
And here is possibly the best ever drug deal gone bad in cinema.

Stanley Kubrick
Seen and of note: Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Most of Full Metal Jacket
And end it with more of the old ultraviolence. Took advantage of the NLCS off day to watch A Clockwork Orange for the first time. Take that, Los Angeles! Watching it I realized Kubrick loves him some lines, whatever that means. Dr. Strangelove may well be my favorite film ever. Depressing!

Challenge: Which actor appears most in the films noted above? John Turturro is in three. Alternately, which has the best soundtrack?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Professional hitter

What's the over/under on number of texts sent last night with only the words "professional hitter" (professional hitler? No). I say 15,000, including two on my phone which will be saved probably forever.

Some interesting "facts" I just found via Stairs' wikipedia page:

-The Phillies are his 11th Major League team. Solid joureyman career.

-Once drove in six runs in one inning.

-He's Canadian. Broke into the majors in 1993 with the Expos as all Canadian players were required to due to what has become commonly known as the 49th parallel apartheid rule.

-He was drafted as a pitcher/shortstop.

-At one time Stairs played for Chunichi Dragons in Japan. This is their mascot.

-Noting that he didn't get 500 MLB at bats until age 29, baseball nerds Bill James and Joe Posnanski theorize that Stairs is probably a far more talented hitter than his career stats suggest. James contends, "You put him in the right park, right position early in his career ... he's going to hit a LOT of bombs." Possibly enough to be worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.

-With lines like "Stairs enjoyed a nice 2 years with the Kansas City Royals" it seems his wiki page was edited by a diehard fan. By which I mean me.

Heh. Hall of fame.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The opposite

Thursday, October 09, 2008

NLCS narratives

Here we go. Let's take a look at some story lines that occur to me while I get ready to watch Game 1 -- in lieu of going to see Girl Talk at the Starlight Ballroom. Don't make me regret this you bastards!

It's been a while
Both these teams have gone some time without postseason success. Phils: The 1993 team of Dykstra, Daulton, Kruk, Schilling et al. Dodgers: Kirk Gibson and Jack Buck's call in 1988. Orel Hershiser may or may have not been involved. In fact, the Dodgers hadn't even won a postseason series since then until they beat the Cubs in the NLDS. That's what they get for leaving Brooklyn.

Note: The Phillies have also already won a series, so it's probably all gravy for either team at this point.

Black Friday
So there is some history here. Of the six times the Phillies have gone to the National League Championship, three have been against the Dodgers. Record: 1-2. One of those losses includes a three-run ninth by the Dodgers in a 6-5 game (aka black friday). The lone win came from the "wheeze kids" in 1983 starring Joe Morgan.

Lefty v. Righty
One big key to this series is going to be how well the Phillies lefthanded hitters can knock around a Dodgers staff comprised almost entirely of righthanders. If Victorino bats second the Phils first four hitters will be lefty. Of course this won't matter much if RyHo and Utley continue to hit .200 ... or will it?

LA v. Philly
I can honestly say that LA is a terrible place. I mean, homeless white people. Smog. Entourage. This not to say Philly is not awful. Just less so. At least they have public transportation -- even if you may fear for you life while standing on the platform. Builds character.

Unrelated underrated note: LA people calling Elton Brand a sellout for coming to the city of brotherly love. Seems stupid, but I'm not going to argue with the mythical "Clipper fan."

Manny being an asshole
Hey did you hear that Manny Ramirez is the best hitter in baseball? Me too. Unfortunately sources in my head say Brett Myers is going to bean him in the face during Game 2 and put him in a coma. I will be cheering. Fortunately he will come out of it in two weeks and the brain damage will turn him into even more of a true bat-swinging savant. Too late for the Dodgers though.

Death by Carrier Pigeon

Sorry for no posts this week. I have been tearing my hair out as we try to roll out a third (3rd) new Web site redesign since January '07 here at my paper. I'm pretty sure whoever is making these decisions is also in charge of the McCain campaign. Desperation.

So yeah, the usual schedule of posting goats during downtime at work has been disrupted by the lack of downtime. And Jebus knows the last thing I want to do is stare at more computer screens at home. My eyes hurt. But maybe there will be a NLCS something something something something today or tomorrow. Later.

Monday, October 06, 2008

W. T. F.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pat the Bat, Pat

Geoff Geary: Ladykiller?

Sweet sweet NLCS. Somehow clinching is sweeter because it came within seconds of the Eagles losing to the Redskins. Meaning the fans at the football bar I was at could instantly find another bandwagon to jump on. But hey, no hangover this week!

As an aside: I'm leaning toward saying anyone who wears any kind of sports jersey on a regular basis is a complete jackass. And that includes players. It's tribal.

Anyway. Blanton's fat gives him strength.

Edit of note: Charlie Manuel refers to Burrell as "My Guy" in this article.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Voting is for suckers.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Better than Hot Carl, I guess

The greatest walk of all times has the goats happy and full of life. Really, when a 9-pitch walk seems like the greatest thing to happen to your team in ages, things are bound to get a little wacky. Like when the diminutive best Hawaiian in the majors hits a bomb to all but send the upstart Brewers on their way home. It's almost enough to inspire some sort of weird half-assed narrative here. But not quite yet, maybe later.

Poor Brewers by the way, and not just cause they are from Milwaukee (sorry, couldn't resist). Just a little overmatched on paper, and worn down on the field from a brutal stretch run. You just get the feeling that maybe they are just happy to be there. Except for Craig Counsell, who is a robot made out of plastic and rubber.

Ha ha, Cubs

Yeah, so my enjoyment of the Phillies first playoff win in 15 years is only amplified by schadenfreude from the inevitable Cubs post-season collapse. At least they were treated to the vocal stylings of everyone's favorite living Belushi brother.

What more is there to say? It was a good game. Hamels=Good. I am collecting souvenir rally towels. Hopefully a few more before the season is over.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where the magic happens

Well I was going to try and do some sort of NLDS Phillies-Brewers preview per Charles' request, but meh. I know it's relevant to many of your interests, so if you want something that may or may not contain facts go here, here, or even here.

Maybe there will be something tomorrow regarding the game I will be attending in six hours or so. Until then enjoy the drunken fan brawls. I know I will.

Hey look, they drink and yell in Milwaukee too. Who knew?