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We Predict The Outcome to A Phillies Royal Rumble Match

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, January 23, 2015 02:55 PM Comments: 5

This Sunday Night, World Wrestling Entertainment presents its 28th annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view right here in Philadelphia. The main attraction on the card is the always hotly contested Royal Rumble match.

According to the match description “entry numbers, usually via a lottery… … usually staged right before the event begins. The match begins with the two wrestlers who have drawn entry numbers one and two, with the remaining 28 wrestlers entering the ring at regular timed intervals, either 90 seconds or two minutes, according to their entry number.”

The Royal Rumble match is one of the most highly regarded, star making, and historically significant matches in WWE history. For me personally, this will be my second straight Royal Rumble that I will be live in attendance for. My affinity for the Royal Rumble started as a child when imagining who would emerge victorious after all 29 eliminations. Trying to figure out if friend and foe alike would forge alliances or backstab one another for a chance to win the match. Afterall, the winner of the Royal Rumble match is guaranteed a title shot at Wrestlemania, the Super Bowl of American wrestling.

So, I thought I would combine my two favorite distractive hobbies, wrestling and Phillies baseball, and attempt to find the answer to an outrageous scenario: What if the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies were booked to compete in a Royal Rumble match?.

Continue reading We Predict The Outcome to A Phillies Royal Rumble Match

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Phillies Equipment Truck Heads to Clearwater

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, February 12, 2012 01:27 PM Comments: 3

Spring Training is so close you can taste it. Here is the breakdown of everything heading to Clearwater.

According to the Phillies twitter page, it took just over four hours to load a 53-foot trailer with all the gear and equipment. Among the truck contents are:

  • 15 cases of gum (regular and sugarless)
  • 12 cases of sunflower seeds
  • 20 coolers and a half pallet of POWERade mix
  • 250 batting practice tops
  • 300 helmets
  • 350 pair of shorts
  • 450 pair of socks
  • 600 pair of pants
  • 600 hats
  • 200 fleeces
  • 1,200 bats
  • 2,000 t-shirts
  • 10,000 12 oz. cups
  • 15,000 baseballs
  • 150 pairs of batting gloves
  • Hundreds of player autographed items for the Phillies Charities Silent Auctions at Bright House Field on March 17 and March 19
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My Vacation With Shane Victorino

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, January 21, 2012 01:00 PM Comments: 2

I didn’t actually take a vacation with Shane Victorino, but I did go on a cruise with him, Charlie Manuel, John Mayberry Jr, the Phanatic and Rich Dubee. I was surprised with a Christmas gift by my parents with this vacation, booked through AAA. It was a group of almost 400 Phillies fans on a seven day trip to the Bahamas. The destinations were Grand Turk, San Juan Puerto Rico, St Thomas, and Holland America’s private island, Half Moon Cay.

I arrived Philadelphia International Airport a day before the cruise was set to embark. At the terminal, I was greeted by dozens of people wearing Phillies apparel.

After the plane ride, where I wasn’t even able to finish the movie I was watching, we arrived at the hotel, and it was just like the airport. Phillies clothes everywhere. And there is more than one hotel in Fort Lauderdale, too. So I imagine a lot of other hotels were similar.

The next day, we arrived at the dock terminal to the sight of a sea of red. And by sea of red I mean hundreds of people wearing Phillies jerseys, hats, jackets, and pants. Now, this was curious. Why would you wear a heavy jacket in Florida? I was sweating and I was wearing a Cliff Lee shirsey and khaki shorts! Furthermore, I spotted a Brewers shirsey, a Twins hat, and fair amount of Yankees apparel. Even some Cardinals shirts. Obviously not everyone was in the AAA group with the Phillies, but come on, these people had to have felt awkward. I imagine it felt like being a Marlins fan at a Phillies-Marlins game–in Florida. But I digress.

Continue reading My Vacation With Shane Victorino

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Dr. Strangeglove: Nicknames

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, December 16, 2011 12:40 PM Comments: 43

Oil Can Boyd

There’s a lot not to like about baseball in the 1930s and 1940s–no television, racial segregation, and an offensive explosion that would make the Steroid Era look like the Bronze Age, thanks to joke ballparks (258 feet to the right field foul pole at the Polo Grounds!) and a set of strategic norms still adjusting to the live ball era.

But there were some things I wish hadn’t changed from then. Four, to be precise:

  1. No designated hitter
  2. No Atlanta Braves (though I admit that if they were from Boston I might hate them even more)
  3. No New York Mets
  4. Nicknames

Sure, we have nicknames on the Phillies, and while some of them are pretty good (J-Roll, assuming he comes back, Doc, Chooch), others are pretty awful, like “Polly” or “J-Bone,” which is what Steven De Fratus wants us to call his brother, Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus. Intending no undue disrespect to either De Fratus brother, J-Bone is the stupidest goddamn idea for a nickname that I’ve ever heard in my life. We can come up with something better.

That’s what was so great about the interwar years–they put thought into their nicknames, which is how we wound up with The Splendid Splinter, Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons, Goose Goslin, and a litany of awesome sobriquets for Babe Ruth. And because we weren’t afraid of hurting people’s feelings, nicknames weren’t limited to things you might call your golden retriever or the third-line center on the squirt hockey team you coach on the weekend–you couldn’t really be mean, but you didn’t have to be complimentary, either. You could call someone “Losing Pitcher Mulcahy” or “Three Finger Brown” and no one would accuse you of being an insensitive pig. We need to think outside the box here, which is why I’ve been trying so hard to get “Exxon” and “Tony No-Dad” to stick.

It’s also why I need your help.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove: Nicknames

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Dr. Strangeglove: Leonid Brezhnev, GM

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, December 09, 2011 12:26 PM Comments: 24

Because it’s finals week at universities across North America, I’d like to encourage everyone to do the following: if there’s a college professor who impacted your life for the better whom you never thanked, go back and do that. For me, it would be Dr. Gordon Smith, Director of the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies at the University of South Carolina and one of American academia’s foremost experts on Russian politics. My junior year of undergrad, I took his Russian foreign policy class because 1) I needed an international relations elective and 2) my girlfriend, a Russian major, was taking it.

That class was the first impetus for my choosing to attend graduate school for political science–international relations in particular–and Dr. Smith was a fabulous teacher. I wasn’t one of the star students, and I figured that if Dr. Smith remembered me at all, it would be as the sleepy-looking bearded guy who sat next to KTLSF in the back row–she was one of the star students–and thought it was funny to characterize the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko as “in Soviet Russia, tea drinks you!” But more than a year after our last class meeting, he spotted me on the street, called me by name, and we talked for several minutes about life, the universe, and everything.

This post was made possible because of one word–gerontocracy–to which Dr. Smith introduced me that semester. I’d like to dedicate this post to Dr. Gordon Smith, who, I’m sure would be proud to know that one of his students got just enough out of his class to spot the parallels between Ruben Amaro Jr., general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove: Leonid Brezhnev, GM

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Dr. Strangeglove: On the Edge of Your Seat

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, June 28, 2011 03:08 PM Comments: 5

As you may or may not know, I’m a product of the University of South Carolina, home of the defending national champion Gamecock baseball team, which needs to take one of the next two games from the hated Florida Gators to earn that distinction for another year. Along the way, Carolina has engaged in two of the most exciting and harrowing College World Series runs in recent memory–if you heard a loud, high-pitched “meep”ing sound either in D.C. around 11 on Friday or at the same time in South Jersey last night, that was probably me.

I was going to recount the high points of both last year’s and this year’s CWS runs for Carolina, but that’d take a while, and I’m not sure you’d care. Let’s just say that last year, the Gamecocks had two extra-inning walkoff hits in five games, sandwiching a three-hit complete game by their left-handed relief specialist. This year, they’ve walked off twice, beaten the top two seeds a combined three straight games, including back-to-back wins where the Gamecocks got out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in extra innings before scoring the winning run on a throwing error the next frame. It’s been phenomenally exciting and positively unsettling, and since I’ve been so swept up in the college game for the past couple weeks so that I haven’t paid tremendously strict attention to the Phillies, if I’m honest. So for today’s post, I’ll solicit the help of the readership–in the spirit of the Gamecocks’ electrifying weekend, I pose the following question to you: what is the most exciting Phillies game you’ve ever seen? Maybe not the most memorable (otherwise everyone would say one of the two World Series titles), but the one that got you you not only to the edge of your seat, but leaving fingernail marks on the undersides of the armrests?

My top three answers are after the jump.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove: On the Edge of Your Seat

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They Are the Eggmen; I Am the Walrond

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, June 03, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 1

As you may or may not be aware, the Phillies are once again the employers of one Les Walrond. Walrond, who was, a week ago, signed out of independent minor league ball, was promoted yesterday to AAA Lehigh Valley. For those of you who are not familiar, Walrond is a 34-year-old left-handed reliever with a career major league ERA of 7.07. In general, if your ERA is going to be the model number of a jet airliner, you tend to want to go with an Airbus, rather than a Boeing (3.40 versus 7.37 and so on). Walrond made his major league debut in 2003, and has played for three major league teams since then, but he’s never had more than the proverbial cup of coffee. In fact, by innings pitched, Walrond is still a rookie. In 2008, he was a roster filler for a few weeks with the Phillies, and we, as fans, gravitated to him because of his funny name. But the more I think about Les Walrond (and yes, I do spend time thinking about Les Walrond), the more I see him as a player of great sociological significance.

Walrond is the exemplar of the itinerant worker of major league baseball, the man who was never a prospect or a star but aimlessly wanders through the underground wasteland that is the high minors for a decade or more, hoping, in his heart of hearts, to catch on for that one last chance at breaking into the show, but expecting only his next paycheck. The high minors and independent ball are full of such players as these men, traipsing aimlessly around like the title character in “Charlie on the MTA” while younger and more promising talents are skyrocketing past him. Continue reading They Are the Eggmen; I Am the Walrond

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Dr. Strangeglove, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Hate the Braves More than the Mets

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, May 27, 2011 12:15 PM Comments: 48

I’m a pretty evangelical Phillies fan. Sometimes I yearn for the days when upper deck tickets could be had for $6, or half a pack of smokes and a Twinkie from the prison commissary. Sometimes, I yearn for the days of trying to talk to myself into the playoff chances of a Millwood/Myers/Wolf/Padilla/Duckworth rotation (which, even now, wouldn’t look too bad) and a Rolen/Brogna/Lieberthal heart of the order. Sometimes, I yearn for the days of wondering how Dan Lauria, the dad from The Wonder Years, knew so much about baseball (I was quite young during the Fregosi era). But on balance, I think the change in the Phillies’ reputation and prominence over the past five years or so has been a good one, and that the bigger tent in which we hold the congregation of Phillies fans today is not even not a necessary evil, but an active good.

That’s probably not a controversial statement. But this might be: If I could change one thing about the recent events that transformed the Phillies franchise and its fan base, it would be to disabuse them of this ridiculous notion that the Mets are somehow the Phillies’ biggest rivals, or are at least the club most worthy of our scorn. The Mets, of course, play the Phillies for a three-game set this weekend, and I can’t be bothered to care. Wake me up when the Braves come to down.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Hate the Braves More than the Mets

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The Triple Gold Club of Baseball

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, May 23, 2011 03:31 PM Comments: 3

Last weekend, as you probably know, was the running of the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing. This weekend, as you probably know, is Memorial Day Weekend, which, as you probably know, means the Indianapolis 500 runs this weekend. What you might not know is that motor racing has its own triple crown of three races: the Indy 500, the Monaco Grand Prix and either the Daytona 500 or the 24 Hours of Le Mans, depending on whether you ask an American or a European. Likewise in hockey, where the Stanley Cup, the World Championship, and the Olympic gold medal comprise the Triple Gold Club.

This got me wondering: what if there were something similar in baseball. This would require a combination of events contested in different countries at what is considered to be the highest possible level. Of course, this conversation has just about nothing to do with the Phillies, or Chase Utley‘s imminent return, so by all means, feel free not to follow to the jump.

Continue reading The Triple Gold Club of Baseball

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Examining “Should of Kept”

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, May 13, 2011 01:48 AM Comments: 16

This is FanSince09. You may have seen him on the comment boards of various Phillies blogs (including this one), or on Twitter. He’s been a vocal critic of the trade that sent J.A. Happ to Houston for Roy Oswalt and argues that Cole Hamels (or “Coal Hammels” as FanSince09 prefers to put it) should have gone to Houston instead.

But his greatest contribution to Phillies internet culture has been the introduction of “should of kept.” FanSince09′s disregard for usage rules or inability to distinguish “of” and “have” has caught on like wildfire. For instance, whenever Cole Hamels screws up, the response would be “should of kept J.A. Happ.” Whenever Chase Utley strikes out, “Should of kept Marlon Anderson,” and so on. It’s become so popular that there’s already a backlash against it. But before this meme becomes completely passe (and I fear I may be too late), I’d like to address the underlying question behind FanSince09 and his catchprase: Should the Phillies of kept J.A. Happ? Should the Phillies of kept everyone? Let’s compare, then, the current team on the field for the Phillies to the best possible team of active players drafted by the Phillies, assuming, for the sake of argument, that everyone is healthy. Results after the jump. Continue reading Examining “Should of Kept”

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