Tag Archives: Brad Lidge

June Swoon to ensure doom? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

It’s been raining a whole lot in Philadelphia lately, and I don’t think it’s only Mother Nature’s doing. Had you looked very carefully toward the sky throughout the week, you would have seen the sun blotted out by arrows of discontent shot heavenly from the Delaware Valley. That pitter-patter of rain was actually quite nice, as it drowned out the harrowing sounds of grown men shrieking, women groaning and children crying well into the night.

So why the dire tone, oh despairing Pundit?

Elementary, my dear friends – the Phillies are slumping. Continue reading

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Filed under MLB, Phillies

A powerful weekend in Philly sports

As a day well-spent brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. – Leonardo da Vinci

First things first: my utmost commendations to the Phillies organization for a wonderful, touching, and heart-wrenching service for Harry Kalas on Saturday afternoon. Unless you are an alien from a planet renowned for its lack of emotion, you probably watched most of the procession through misty eyes. Lord knows this Pundit did.

I think the moment that will always stand out for me from the day, a moment that was just so beautiful and emotional, was watching Harry’s friends, family and members of the Phillies pass his casket down the line, as “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” played over the PA system. A proper send-off to a beloved man.

We’ll always love you, Harry. Do me a favor – ask Whitey if he can smell the rain coming up there in heaven, would you?

One final footnote to the procession – people around the country can say what they want about Philadelphia fans, conjuring up embellished stories of the day we murdered Santa Claus, or whatever the hell it was we did. But they can never say that this city does not love its own with a passion rarely found elsewhere. The key to that sentence, of course, is “its own.” Philly won’t call you its own just because you live here, or work here, or play here. Philly will call you its own if you bust your butt off, displaying a love for what you do and the people you do it with…if you’re good at what you do but never arrogant…if you give everything you have; and if that isn’t enough, you make no excuses, just give a little bit more next time…if you understand that we will ride you when you aren’t performing up to your capabilities, but we will embrace you wholeheartedly when you do…that our energy and excitement will propel you to victory if you put yourself in a position to win.

Harry understood that, embraced it, and embodied it. That fact, as much as his golden pipes, made him one of the most treasured figures this city has ever known.

Because, at the end of the day, this town isn’t for everybody. Let all of those who don’t understand grit, hard work, undying passion, despair in defeat, and unadulterated joy in victory live somewhere else. We will continue to live and die with every pitch, pass and shot. We will continue to heckle the slackers, praise the scrappers, and love our teams through thick and thin, even if that means the boos rain down in a stifling display of tough love.

This is Philadelphia – this is the place for those with a thick skin, a workmanlike attitude, and a heart almost too big for the chest it beats in.

This is our city. And Harry fit right in. You will not be forgotten, HK.

Now to the events on the diamond, ice and court. Continue reading

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Filed under Eagles, Flyers, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Phillies, Sixers

A little bit of last year must have been built right into the rings

The ring ceremony is the last remnant of a World Series – it’s the final gesture, the last bit of hardware, the epilogue in a joyous celebration dating back to late October.

Who expected the Braves bullpen to join in the celebration? Continue reading

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Though Phillies optimism runs rampant, doubt still lurks in the shadows

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

I am inherently fond of polarity. I discover balance by immersing myself in the extremes of any argument or genre, whatever the case may be. The exploration of contradiction in any subject, I find, lends a person an advanced sense of empathy, and facilitates the sort of intellectual antagonism that forges new schools of thought. And I’m fairly certain it explains why I love the Philly sports scene as psychotically as I do.

Because, with optimism at an all-time high for the approaching Phillies season, one question has bullied its way to the forefront of radio shows and newspaper columns.

What should we be worried about? Continue reading

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Everybody say a prayer for Cole Hamels

Oh, boy. I don’t need this nonsense before the season even begins. Apparently, Cole Hamels has a sore left elbow. Crap. Probably nothing serious, but just to be sure, repeat after me.

Dear God,

Please don’t let the elbow of Cole Hamels be seriously injured. C’mon, Big Fella – he’s our star pitcher. I know that You were more than kind to our Phillies last year, especially the pitching staff. You gave Brett Myers a second chance, and You’ve let Jamie Moyer continue to pitch successfully since the day he helped Noah build the ark, and You even blessed Brad Lidge with perfection. We are forever indebted for the parade You gave us last season. We don’t mean to be greedy and ask for another, it’s just that…well, sometimes it seems like the Eagles worship a God of Green, and the Sixers seem to need a bit more than a miracle, and I’ve heard that even You don’t watch hockey much. By the way, when are you going to make Martin Brodeur retire? I mean, he plays on the Devils, for God’s…um, for Pete’s sake. So please, if you could find it in Your divine and giving heart to ensure that his elbow is sore and nothing else, I would really appreciate it. Oh, and, you know, if You get bored or something, maybe have a Saturday afternoon without much to do, could You maybe help a guy to step up and take this fifth-starter spot as well? That would really be great. Thank you for your blessings,

Amen.

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Donovan McNabb, and the “Clutch” Conversation

I spent a lot of time going through Donovan McNabb’s game logs, trying to decipher whether or not it was fair that McNabb is often described as a “choker.”

choker

And it was a truly silly endeavor.

See, losing is so damn easy. An example: week two against Washington in 2007. Eagles trail the ‘Skins 20-12, and march down the field. On fourth and six, McNabb throws a rocket to Kevin Curtis at the first down marker, who gets absolutely drilled by LaRon Landry and drops the pass. Game over.

Now tell me – whose fault was that? Continue reading

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The Pundit hands out some hardware for Philly’s best this year – It’s the first annual Punny Awards!

(Editor’s note: Ah, New Year’s. A time of year for all of the various articles handing out “best-of-the-year” awards to come pouring out. Not to be outdone, The Pundit has joined in the holiday tradition with his first annual “Punny Awards.” One quick note: These awards will not include the current Flyers, Sixers, or any of the college basketball teams. Everything will be from teams that played the majority of their season in 2008. On to the awards!)

Award shows are really where it’s at. I mean, they’re so ridiculous. Famous audience members pretending to not posture for the camera. Cheesy video montages. And, my favorite, the poorly scripted and unenthusiastically delivered introductions to each award by disinterested celebrities who are probably half-tanked. I think that’s how we’ll run the Punnies.

And so, with that in mind, please put your hands together for Samuel L. Jackson, who will be presenting the Punny for Quote of the Year. Continue reading

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Filed under Eagles, Flyers, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Phillies, Sixers, The Punny Awards