Archive for October, 2008

Ugliest World Series … Ever

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, October 29, 2008 04:16 AM Comments: 40

Simply put, this is the most mangled, ugliest World Series ever.

Before cutting into the bumbling ship of fools that is Major League Baseball, let me first say a word about the Phillies and Rays: They’re sloppy. The Phillies have committed an error in every game. Both teams can’t hit with runners on base. Both teams look bad at the dish. Meanwhile, pitchers aren’t dominating, but are getting weird strike calls.

That takes me to the umpires, who absolutely stink. This is the worst officiating I’ve ever seen in baseball. To think that these are the seven voted on by their peers to get this far is ludicrous. The strike zones are ever-changing, safe-out plays are completely incorrect, calls are too animated to be deciphered. Maybe these guys are feeling the same fright the players are feeling. Maybe, but I doubt it.

Then there’s Major League Baseball. The lunacy of game five’s suspension stands out as one of the league’s worst moments, right alongside the tied 2002 All Star Game. Moreover, Commissioner Bud Selig’s evident slurring and confusion added to the fact that he’s incompetent at his job.

One more special shout-out: The Fox network. MLB worked around Fox’s precious schedule, setting 8 p.m. gametimes to gain ratings. Meanwhile, Fox has done a bad job promoting the series, while spending way too much time on advertising. Notice the seven-minute commercial breaks. That’s insane.

A League Gone South

Jason Weitzel at Beerleaguer covered Fox’s intentions very well. It’s true, Fox is catering to its baseball-watching audience: The 30-plus crowd, especially in the boomer range — the guys throwing around money, buying DirecTV, iPods, Sharp televisions and Chevy trucks. How many more times do I have to see Clark W. Griswold taking off his jeans? Or that pale-skinned physicist? It’s all about the dollar, baby.

And here in this World Series we see where baseball has gone off the deep end, following its uglier, destroyed brother, professional football. By catering to advertisers, Major League Baseball has to fall prey to scheduling conflicts and the damaging of the game’s integrity. And when there’s an absolute idiot leading the game, the problems are easier to spot.

It’s a shame, really, from a Phillies fan’s perspective. Not only are we being blasted for not being part of a fun, ratings-winning World Series, but we’re victims of the obvious pitfalls of a game going south in its practices. And in turn, some might forever associate the 2008 Phillies with the ugliest World Series ever. And that’s not fair at all.


Phillies Nation Updates

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, October 28, 2008 05:01 PM Comments: 5

Some Phillies Nation updates:

  • Photos from Sunday’s Game 4 have been posted, including ones from Michael and Pam receiving their prize for winning our “I’m the Biggest Phillies Fan” Contest.
  • As you can see below, we’ve posted some more audio clips from the playoffs and regular season.  We’ve also created a new Clips Page that will house all of our game calls.
  • Game watching parties for the rest of the World Series will no longer be officially scheduled.  If you want to watch a game with fans outside of Philly, just show up to one of our recommended bars – they’ve all been getting great crowds throughout the series. This means Capitol Lounge or Ventnor Sports Cafe in Washington, DC, Wogie’s, Phebes, or Shorty’s in New York City, and Mad River in Chicago to name a few.
  • On a completely unrelated note, our friend Kristen from the National’s blog We’ve Got Heart is a finalist a Nats pumpkin carving contest – please vote for #1.

More Audio Clips from the Playoffs and Season

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, October 28, 2008 03:35 PM Comments: 10

AudioPat Burrell crushes two homeruns in Game 4 of the NLDS

AudioNLDS Game 2, second inning – Jayson Werth doubles, Brett Myers’ historic at bat.

AudioChris Coste’s game-winning single vs. Mets in the 13th inning – August 26, 2008 (audio from TV broadcast)

AudioChris Coste’s game-winning single vs. Mets in the 13th inning – August 26, 2008 (audio from radio broadcast)

Hat tip to Jamie for the clips


Report: Game Five To Resume Wednesday

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, October 28, 2008 12:54 PM Comments: 57

UPDATE (1:20 p.m.): Major League Baseball reports the game will start at the bottom of the sixth inning at 8:37 p.m. Wednesday. This factors in the Barack Obama campaign commercial originally scheduled for Wednesday.

Games six and seven could take place Thursday and Friday nights, if necessary.


According to sources close to the situation, tonight’s rescheduled continuation of game five of the World Series has been canceled due to heavy storms, including snow, in the Philadelphia region.

A 2 p.m. press conference will be held with a new schedule.

Chances are they’ll play the rest of game five Wednesday.

More when it comes, including official word.


Planning The Last Few Innings

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, October 28, 2008 12:18 PM Comments: 33

So, bottom of the sixth. 9-1-2 up for the Phils. What to do?

Cole Hamels won’t come in for the seventh, so a pinch hitter is due. The whole bench is available. Look for the Rays to stick with Grant Balfour so the Phils make their move. Charlie Manuel will likely announce Geoff Jenkins. That would bring out a lefty, but not David Price, because the Rays would have to pinch hit for him in the seventh.

I would think the Rays instead turn to JP Howell or Trever Miller … or, stay with the right side and bring in Chad Bradford. If the Rays go left, the Phils should counter with So Taguchi, the best leadoff option in a sixth-inning situation. If the Rays go right, stay with Jenkins.

The key to the sixth will be Jimmy Rollins, who could be in position to move a runner to third, or score a runner. He needs to think about a line drive. I believe the layoff here will help him refocus, as he sort of lost that focus in game five.

Bullpen’s Moment

As for the mound, the Rays will lead off the inning with Dioner Navarro, Rocco Baldelli and Jason Bartlett. I say go with Chad Durbin, but on an extremely short leash. Have Scott Eyre or Ryan Madson ready to relieve him. Eyre should be in for Akinori Iwamura and Carl Crawford. Madson for BJ Upton and beyond.

That keeps JC Romero ready for the eighth or later, and keeps the possibility of Madson starting the eighth.

All, of this, hopefully, means 3=W.


Commentary: In Crazy Times, Pragmatism Prevails

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, October 28, 2008 09:01 AM Comments: 115

This morning I wrestled with myself …

My emotional side found the rain delay and game suspension to be exactly the event that occurs against Philadelphia. The 1977 rain that played its part in finishing the Phils against the Dodgers. The Fog Bowl. Etc. Etc.

I thought, “That’s it. This is the moment we look at for years. We had a 3-1 lead, the rain came, it slowed everything down, we lost.”

I thought that the Rays now had momentum, seemed chipper and carefree about the whole charade. And Joe Maddon spoke to the media, while Charlie Manuel refused. Phils players in the locker room cursed Bud Selig. They’re unfocused, I thought. This sucks.

Then my pragmatic side stepped in, and told me that’s utter nonsense. They’ll be focused when they have to play, I thought. And this team is not 1977, or the Fog Bowl Eagles, or whatever. We’ve seen all season that this team gets the job done when they need to.

The Phillies have been in hairy situations before, and while this situation seems the most absurd of them all, it won’t deter the team from doing its deed.

Here’s what we know, for sure: The Phillies and Rays are tied in the bottom of the sixth. Cole Hamels is out of the game (though I don’t know how much longer he would’ve had anyway). The Phils need to score one run in the next 12 outs, while preventing the Rays from scoring one run in their next nine.

We also know the Phillies bullpen has been tremendous all season and postseason. And we can expect a combination of Chad Durbin/Scott Eyre/JC Romero/Ryan Madson/Brad Lidge to get the final outs.

We also know the Rays have Grant Balfour pitching, but can bring in anyone, including David Price. But we know the Phils have hit the Rays bullpen so far, including Price.

Look, things may seem bleak and confusing now. That’s nature. That’s how we’re conditioned to act. But when it gets down to it, the Phils are at the advantage. They have more chances to hit. They have the home field. They can shake off the pressure and play their game as well as possible. So what that Hamels is out? One man does not a 25-man roster make. And if any team has proved it this season, it’s the Phillies.

Let the Rays have their 9=8 philosophy. I got one for us: 3=W. For the next three full innings, play the best damn baseball you can, and you will win. And then we can celebrate the world championship. And I know we will.


Game Five Postponed At 2-2 Tie

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, October 27, 2008 11:24 PM Comments: 134

UPDATE: Game five has been rescheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Phillies had a 2-0 lead. Then the rain came down. 2-1 lead. Harder. Stronger. 2-2. Game stopped.

Major League Baseball has postponed game five due to rain at a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth. Cole Hamels will lead off the game when it’s re-started. Commissioner Bud Selig has not given a time for the game to begin again.

Selig also said he could’ve stopped the game before the bottom of the sixth, meaning the Phils could’ve had a 2-1 lead with the game stopped. (Of course, I don’t want the Phils winning the world championship on a shortened game.) Instead, Hamels and the Phils had to play through the rain, and the Rays scored the tying run, before the game was finally halted.

Frankly, this is a black eye for baseball, and especially for Selig, who has once again proved incompetent as leader of this organization. The game should’ve been stopped before the sixth. Throw out the rulebook. This is the World Series. And it’s ridiculous — absolutely freakin’ ridiculous that this whole charade took place so late.

Forget homerism. The rain created a harsh atmosphere way before the sixth. And now the Phils have a tie game, have little momentum, and complete uncertainty as to when the game will be resumed. Some fans will be shut out of the possible clincher. Hamels may not pitch again this season. And now a huge risk is run — the Phils suddenly find themselves needing to win, and soon, because Tampa awaits. Now it’s confusion ruling the roost, handled horribly by the idiot upstairs. I’m sorry Bud Selig, but you struck out this time.

Associated Press photo


World Series Game 5 : Rays At Phillies (3-1)

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, October 27, 2008 05:00 PM Comments: 416

Game 5 : 2008 World Series
Phillies lead 3-1
Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

8:29 p.m. / 47, light rain
Scott Kazmir (12-8, 3.49 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09 ERA)

If the Phillies win, they are world champions.

News & Notes

Hamels defeated Kazmir in game one of the series. Hamels gave up two runs, while Kazmir surrendered three. … Chase Utley homered off Kazmir in that game. Carl Crawford homerd off Hamels. … Hamels is 1-0 in elimination games and 4-0 in the postseason. … This is just the second game the Phils will play with the chance of eliminating their World Series opponent. The last time that happened was Oct. 21, 1980. The Phillies won. … Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria are a combined 0-for-29 with 15 strikeouts in the series. … If the Phils win tonight, they win their second world championship in 125 years.

The Lineup

Jimmy Rollins / SS
Jayson Werth / RF
Chase Utley / 2B
Ryan Howard / 1B
Pat Burrell / LF
Shane Victorino / CF
Pedro Feliz / 3B
Carlos Ruiz / C
Cole Hamels / P

Your Gamenight Beer

Not that I want to jump the gun, but I was given a recommendation by our own Julie Michael, and it’s fitting. Let’s go with Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Yes, celebrate. Celebrate because tonight may very well be the greatest night in Phillies franchise history. Here we are, everyone, at the climax of an incredible season. Time to do it. Time to win. Just win.

Go Phillies!


Video: ‘Win’

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, October 27, 2008 04:00 PM Comments: 6

Because you all asked for it again:



Tonight, It’s Cole’s Time

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, October 27, 2008 02:57 PM Comments: 31

This was the game Cole Hamels was born to pitch.

Having written that a few times this season, I can honestly say this is the absolute one game Hamels was born to pitch: Win, and the world is yours.

With a win tonight, he would be the first starting pitcher to ever go 5-0 in a postseason. And, debatably, he would have the greatest postseason performance ever. He’d also — in a more invisible sense — etch his name into the history books as one of the franchise’s greatest pitchers. Yes, already.

And of course, he wants to be the guy:

“I hope I’m in that situation, I truly do, because that means we’re one step closer to bringing a World Series to the city of Philadelphia and to our team that’s worked so hard to achieve this.”

You’re in it now, Cole. Now go pitch your brains out.

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