Friday, April 30, 2004
Well, 4 out of 6 on a road trip is pretty good. I think we can climb past Atlanta this weekend against Arizona: Padilla might have a rough time against Randy Johnson on Saturday, but I think that the Phils pitching staff is a cut above the D-backs staff. I guess expect a lot of homers, particularly if the weather is good.
Thome will hit a few, I'll bet.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
I just noticed that.
Anyway, so far Millwood looks awesome (as I write this, just six hits in 6 2/3 innings work against a dangerous lineup). Nice to see a starter go deep into the game. I don't think that Larry should go to Billy to close this thing out: his arm has got to be tired.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Innings / Baserunners Allowed
Myers: 4 / 9
Madson / Wagner: 5 / 1
Hard not to be impressed, though again I worry that Bowa is resorting to Wagner solution too quickly. Larry, we are going to need Billy in September and October.
The rest of the Phillies lineup seemed to play well: Glanville leading off? I know it worked out well tonight, but Byrd deserves to do more than simply pinch-run. (Note: cagey strategic decision to insert Byrd for Bell in the ninth.)
Hmmm, ever since losing the home-opener the Phils have gone 8-4. Interesting.
Things are looking up…
Michael Lewis' Moneyball is, of course, on my bookshelf, courtesy of my fiancee. I've read the first chapter, a profile of A's GM Billy Beane circa 1980. I'll get around to it one of these days, but probably after I finish studying for the bar exam this summer:
On the downside, Burrell only has five extra-base hits (and two were last night). His slugging percentage hasn’t been that good. He needs to hit a few more dingers.
Today’s Marquis – Myers matchup might be a wild ride. The Phillies may need to score 7-8 runs to have a shot with the way that Myers is pitching.
Give me a minute on my soapbox, fellas: I hope that everyone who is a registered voter with a party got out and voted yesterday. (I presume that most of my readers are Pennsylvanians.) I don’t care who you voted for (I hold my own views on politics close to my vest), but- not to sound like your high school civics teacher -democracy only works when people actually bother to participate. People in South Africa were so excited to have free elections in 1994 that they waited in lines for hours. If we don’t bother to vote then we live in a country like pre-Saddam Iraq, where people are scared into submission and the government is unaccountable and corrupt. I understand that turnout was pretty good (especially due to the Specter – Toomey battle), but I hope that everyone plans to turn out in the fall as well. Alright, thanks indulging in the little speech.
I hope everyone have a great day…
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
April 2003: .227 BA / .347 OBP / 4 HR
May 2003: .297 BA / .418 OBP / 8 HR
April 2002: .210 BA / .363 OBP / 7 HR
May 2002: .330 / .458 OBP / 7 HR
Thome usually builds on his Mays with even stronger Junes. I hope it doesn’t portend for a late-season cool-off.
I thought that the 2002 Mets cured teams of the money-buys-you-love mentality. (Although it is looking like the 2004 Yankees are doing that.)
Yes, dear reader, snow.
I can testify as to how cold it got in the ‘burgh today: it is almost May, and I’m wearing a thick, long-sleeved shirt. After Pittsburgh / Wexford I think Katherine & I might be moving to Phoenix!
Monday, April 26, 2004
Boston Red Sox: they sweep the Yankees and surge 4 ½ games ahead of them. The BoSox look really tough to beat this year.
Close Second: the Marlins. Who would have figured that the fish are this good?
What Blog is having the Best Week Ever?
Redbird Nation. I’m always amazed and impressed by the quality of writing and the insight given to the Cards. The sort of blog I aspire to.
Visit VH1's The Best Week Ever. It is hilarious!
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Reading some of the blogs, and sitting in my school today, I was struck by how many people root (or blog) for out-of-town teams. Technically speaking, I do too: I've lived in Pittsburgh for the last nine years (and I'm likely to continue to do so) but I'm hopelessly devoted to the Phils. One of my classmates, a Pittsburgher, is a Red Sox fan, and has been wearing a beaten up Red Sox cap to class every day for the last three years. One of my best friends is, despite having lived pretty much all of his life in Western Pennsylvania, a huge Red Sox fan. (My fiancée and I went to last June's “turn back the clock” game celebrating the centennial of the first World Series between the Pirates and Red Sox with him and his wife. The previous day's double-header was the first time that he had actually ever seen the Sox play in person.) I've come across three out-of-town bloggers recently: A's Ya'll, Tribescribe and Roses and Rattlers, three terrific blogs done by guys who don't live in same town as the teams they blog for. They root for teams from either their hometown, or places they've never even lived at. Given the transitory nature of American life, this can be taken for granted. (Cable TV helps - thanks to ESPN's West Coast ballgame coverage, I've seen the A's more times this season then I've seen the Phillies and Pirates put together.)
People keep a project a certain identity with teams, which is probably why in Sports Illustrated's "50 states, 50 years" poll, there are more Pirates fans in Pennsylvania because people all throughout the central and northern parts of the state identify themselves culturally with Pittsburgh and not Philadelphia, despite the fact that Philadelphia is a much bigger market.
I think that is the terrific thing about these blogs: they help us interact with our original homes and help us keep connected with our roots. This blog is about the current team, but it is also a little about what made the past, my memories about The Vet and the Phillies, special. (I look at this blog as being two parts The Best Week Ever, and one part I Love the Eighties. Just with baseball ... and not quite as much humor.)
In An Empire Wilderness, Kaplan wrote about how sports teams might bind communities together more than anything else in modern American society. (Off subject, but I highly recommend Kaplan's books, which are usually about his travels in foreign countries. His book Balkan Ghosts is simply amazing to read. Kaplan's dispatches for The Atlantic Monthly are excellant too.) I think that I see what he means: with blogs disparate people have gone out into cyberspace (if that term even used anymore) and they’ve created communities for themselves based on shared interests. It's a good thing for fandom, and a good thing for the game of baseball.
Anyone else out there an out-of-town blogger?
-At least the Phillies have pulled past the Expos and Mets for third. They should be able to catch up with Atlanta this week and make this a two-horse race with the fish.
-Despite being shut down batting-wise, Padilla pitched well: just two runs and three hits. It was a (statistically) good loss.
-Pat needs to start hitting a few more homers. I'm sure they'll come, but he hasn't had an RBI or a home run in six games. His average has also been declining...
-Phillies fan favorite Ryan Madson is hurling well: after Wagner he has the team's lowest BAA: .200 ... hard not to be impressed.
-The Phillies should have some success this week with the Cards. Their BAA is a very high .268, and they've allowed 25 home runs in 19 games. Game one against Matt Morris might be tough, but count on a bunch of Phillies homers tuesday through thursday. (I bet Thome will get two, and Burrell will get one.) I just hope the Phils pitching staff can keep them in the park. I'd figure on a bunch of 10-8 and 9-7 slugfests...
I had better run: I apologize if my posting these next two weeks is a little infrequent. I have law school exams in a week until May 12. I'll post (it is cathartic, especially when you spend four or five hours a day memorizing Pennsylvania's rules on choice of law, to blog a little), it just won't be with my typical volume.