Tag Archives: Cubs

How to deal with a Mets fan you encounter at breakfast on the morning the Phillies-Mets game gets cancelled

After journeying into the savage heart of Bluebell and surviving one of its plastic country clubs – all in the name of Phillies-Mets tickets – I was quite peeved on Sunday when the game was rained out. Why, God? As were my three comrades. We decided that the best way to channel our negative energy would be to go and eat at one of South Philly’s fine establishments, the Black and Brew, a solid coffee shop with excellent food. And all was just honky-dory until an absolute atrocity entered the shop.

A Mets fan.

What madness was afoot here? Who dares to not only enter South Philadelphia donning the Devil’s colors, but decides to patronize one of its businesses? You might as well piss on a cheese steak, pull the plug at Boathouse row and call Rocky a sissy – you’ve already committed the most heinous of acts.

May God take pity upon your soul.

Very quickly, our table became ornery. Eyes slit. Fingers menacingly rolling over the glass-covering of the table. Eggs bitten into with the added emphasis of force and rage. Wisps of steam from hot coffee blown away in measured bursts, an obvious strain of self-control forming upon the face.

“What is he doing here?” Continue reading

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So Brett Favre is retiring, is he? Right…here are a few more things that might actually “happen”

So Mr. Favre is retiring…again. Right. I’ll believe it when the Jets (Editor’s note: Or Vikings and Bears, for that matter) take their first snap without him next season. It’s probably time that Brett “The Gritman” Favre took his leave – his last few years in the league have been clouded by too much controversy and conflict. It kind of hampered the whole “boyish exuberance” thing he had going for him out on the field.

brett-favre-mouth-open12

And that’s why we all loved him, wasn’t it?

So, in honor of Favre’s “retirement,” I’ve come up with some other news of the ol’ double-quote variety. We’ll call it the “Broken News.” In other words, here are some headlines that you would probably be wary of, and likely doubt almost instantly, were you to read them in the paper or on your computer. To the back page!

Pac-Man Jones claims he’s cleaned up act, changed lifestyle

O.J. Simpson swears he’s innocent

Of anything. It doesn’t matter what – you wouldn’t believe him. He could say he was black, and you wouldn’t believe him. Nope,  you would just shake your head at him in disappointed disbelief, the same way your grandparents did when they knew you were lying.

Accused Ballplayer X denies knowing substances were banned, insists everyone was doing it.

Eagles Front Office, Andy Reid says team is “close” Continue reading

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The Pundit is starting to get a familiar feeling, especially after the surprising Cardinals victory…

Take a trip down Memory Lane with me for a second. (Editor’s note: Which I’m fairly certain is in Florida somewhere. Maybe Palm Beach.) I want you to go back to the NLDS,  Phillies vs. Brewers. I think that was a series we all were fairly confident the Phils would win. It wasn’t a guarantee, but it would have been surprising, and pretty friggin’ disappointing, had we lost it. Problem was, even if we won, we were still going to have to face the Cubs – oh, those formidable Cubs – if we wanted to get to the World Series. (Editor’s note: Lions and tigers and…cubs. Oh, brother).

And then a funny, unexpected thing happened: the Dodgers beat them.

Continue reading

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The Pundit’s Power Rankings: Meetings in Vegas, Portis is pissed, and Harrell can just stay home

Unlike traditional Power Rankings, which attempt to rank teams on a week-to-week basis, the Pundit’s Power Rankings avoid such arbitrary silliness. Instead, The Pundit wishes only to rank the pertinence, scope, and conversational value of the top sports stories of the week. Extra points for any stories that lend themselves to relentless mockery and high-horse rhetoric. On to the Rankings!

1. The Winter Meetings

They say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. In baseball’s case, what happens in Vegas ends up in New York. The Yankees and the Mets were the biggest players during the Winter meetings, with the Yankees landing free agency’s biggest prize, CC Sabathia. Plus, it looks like they’re going to snag A.J. Burnett. (Editor’s note: Damn Yankees). The Mets added pitching as well, obtaining closer Francisco Rodriguez. Plus, they added one more putz to their roster- setup man J.J. Putz, that is. (Editor’s note: Wow, never saw that first-rate zinger coming). Or, as they’re saying in New York: J.J. Pootz. Hah. Still waiting to see where big-namers like Manny Ramirez, Mark Teixeira and Derek Lowe wind up. And the rest of the National League can breathe a bit easier, as for now, talks between the Cubs and Padres over Jake Peavy are dead. May they rest in peace, and never, ever come back to life. Stay tuned.

2. Clinton Portis vs. Jim Zorn?

Clinton Portis was unhappy about being on the bench in the second half of a loss against the Ravens this past week, and he exclaimed his anger on a local D.C. radio program, going so far as to sarcastically call Zorn a “genius.” Then, it leaked that many of the players weren’t happy with Zorn’s habit of talking to the media about the specific mistakes made by players during games, and apparentely, some of the playcalling. Fun stuff in Washington, especially for a team that has dropped four of their last five games. Though, maybe this type of thing shouldn’t surprise us from Portis anymore…

What in the hell...?

What in the hell...?

3. Heisman Ceremony minus Harrell

Coach Mike Leech was pissed that Harrell wasn’t invited to New York. Many members of the National Media were pissed that Harrell wasn’t invited to New York. Me? Eh, doesn’t bother me – for me, the contest was between the three guys they picked. Though Harrell put up some sick numbers: 4,747 passing yards, 41 passing TD’s, 6 rushing TD’s, 7 INT’s, a 71.5% completion percentage. Let’s be honest: if Texas Tech plays at least a competitive game against Oklahoma, he gets the invite. It’s all about the last impression you leave people, and unfortunetely for Mr. Harrell, his cost him dearly.

4. The Cowboys in disarray

Jerry Jones is calling out Marion Barber for not playing through his injury? TO thinks there is some sort of conspiracy going on between Tony Romo and Jason Witten to get Witten, and not TO, the ball? The Cowboys are the perfect example of why you can look lovely on paper, but if you have no chemistry, all the paper in the world can’t ensure a championship. Jerry Jones, shut your mouth, and let your players play. TO, just shut your mouth, period. Why wouldn’t Romo want to get you, one of the most talented recievers in football, the ball? You normally make him look good – accept the fact that sometimes, the defense will dictate who Romo throws the ball to. It’s common sense, isn’t it? I guess it’s just TO’s world, and we’re polluting it, apparently.

5. Jimmy V Week

“Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.” – Jim Valvano

If you can watch the speech he gave at the 1993 ESPY’s and not get a little choked up, you are probably a robot. Jim Valvano was a great example of how sports can extend beyond the field and impact the lives of so many people. Wins and losses, they fade in time. Some things live on.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

Amen.

6. Injunction suspended for NFL players

Looks like the Vikings and Saints can breathe easy, as they will likely keep their players for the playoff push. This was a bigger story last week, and I still think it’s fishy that the judge who ruled on this presides in Minnesota, but whatever. I mean, is anybody all that scared of the Vikings or Saints, anyway?

Viiiiiiiiiictory!

Viiiiiiiiiictory!

7. Carmelo Anthony goes for 33 in one quarter

I mean, that’s just ridiculous. 33 in a quarter? Unheard of. Melo’s got game, son, for real for real. Let’s put that into perspective: not one Sixer has gone over 33 points in a single game this year! Which is probably as sad for the Sixers as it is impressive of Melo.

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The push to the MLB playoffs: the tale of one city, and the fail of another

I. Philadelphia

Watching the Phillies tonight, I observed in myself a strange phenomenon. (Editor’s note: He wasn’t wearing any pants). I wasn’t concerned. I wasn’t flipping my shit that they were losing 10-4. It wasn’t bothering me that they were about to drop two against the Braves and lose the series. I was watching the entire game in an almost zen-like state, as though there was little in the outside world that was going to shake my unwavering belief that the Phillies were still going to make the playoffs.

This worried me.

This isn’t a Philadelphia attitude. Now, I don’t want to pigeonhole every Philadelphia fan into one attitude – that’s far too simplistic. But I don’t think you can deny that a large population of Philly fans watch every game with a certain amount of tension and doubt; countless failures will do that to a fan base. And truthfully, I have always felt that Philadelphia teams played at their best when they were left for dead and had to play catch-up, especially the Phillies. It was as though they themselves were motivated by the very tension that regularly adds years to the lives of Philly fans.

Some may say that this is a sign of inexperience, and that may be true. In Philly, we call it character. (Editor’s note: And anybody that says otherwise is a frickin’ schmuck, ya know whadda mean?) We’re not used to being the front runner, no matter what J-Roll says. Had I, after the Phillies swept the Brewers and started their hot streak, suddenly been lulled into a false sense of security?

And, more alarming then this, had the Phillies themselves done the same thing? Had they lost their urgency?

This didn’t seem right. I still worry about every game the Phillies play. I don’t take any NL East teams lightly, and I’m certainly worried about the pesky Nationals. I dreaded seeing the Marlins, and though I believed the Phillies would play better against the Braves, I knew they were no joke. So I hadn’t somehow developed the idea that the Phillies, of their own volition, were guaranteed to make the playoffs. Something else was keeping me cool and relaxed.

I didn’t realize what it was until I flipped to ESPN after the Phillies game.

II. New York

I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of the Mets-Cubs game. All I really need to illustrate my point is the bottom of the ninth inning, game tied at six. David Murphy had led off the inning with a triple, and the Mets seemed destined to take the game and slide 1/2 game behind the Phillies. A sacrifice fly or a well-placed hit would score the winning run. And they couldn’t do it. David Wright, in my opinion the Mets best player, and one of the best all-around players in baseball, struck out. After two intentional walks, the Mets only managed a grounder to second for a force at the plate, and another strike-out. The Cubs scored three in the next inning, and won the game.

And suddenly, it hit me – my feeling of zen was completely derived from my complete lack of faith in the Mets ability to win a big game. After Aramis Ramirez hit his two-run homer to extend the lead to 9-6 in the top of the 10th, I literally laughed out loud. (Editor’s note: Lucy, grab the haloperidol, pronto). Not in a mocking sort of way, but more like how you laugh when you have an epiphany and suddenly everything seems right with the world again.

And you know, for the briefest of moments, I truly felt for Mets fans. I know that sinking feeling they have in their gut; that feeling was a fairly regular part of my adolescence supporting Philadelphia teams. Yet this feeling was quickly replaced by a far more sinister realization – I enjoyed watching the Mets blow this game almost as much as I do watching the Phillies win one. Maybe that’s unsportsmanlike, I don’t know, but its also the nature of rivalries, and this has certainly become one.

III. Conclusion

So, in thinking about this, I have decided that I would like to take Mr. Met out to the bars and buy him exactly two beers. Beer one – the “I’m sorry this happened to you” beer. I recognize the plethora of unrecognized potential in the Mets, and how this often leads them toward a spiral of heart-wrenching failure. Cheer up, Mr. Met – someday, somewhere over the rainbow, they may figure it out.

But beer two is an “I appreciate you” beer. You may be trapped in a whirlwind of your own underachievement, but thanks for being such a good friend. When I need something, like a loss that keeps you a game back of the Phillies in the loss column and ties you in the wildcard standings with the Brewers, you always come through. You’re a good friend, Mr. Met, and I drink to you.

Fear the Nationals, Phillies fans. But thank God for the Mets.

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The Rally Cap

So, with The Official 2008 Rally Post already written (Editor’s note: God, I am getting sick of those words), I thought it might be fun to do a quick background post on the rally cap. (Editor’s note: Number two is correct, and number three is hysterical).

Here is the “official” history of the rally cap from Wikipedia. Many people will tell you that it started in the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox, when Mets players flipped their caps in game 6. (Editor’s note: The Sox, of course, had to suffer through 18 years of The Rally Cap Curse). That, however, is not true, as the tradition derived all the way back in 1942, when Tigers fans would flip their caps to root on their teams. The Tigers tried it in game 5 of their 1945 World Series match-up against the Chicago Cubs, and they won that game, 8-4, and the series in 7. (Editor’s note: And the Chicago Cubs have been forced to endure 62 years of their own Rally Cap Curse. Does anybody else find it a bit odd that rally caps famously worked against the Red Sox and the Cubs?).

When does one employ the rally cap? Elect Jeff has a few rules, though I think its a far more complex endeavor. (Editor’s note: Of course he does. Because rally caps are sooooo interesting). Essentially, EJ says that you can’t bust out the rally cap until the 8th inning, it will only work if you are down by a few runs, and the traditional method of wearing the cap is by turning it as inside-out as possible and flipping it unto your head. That’s all fine and good, but I think we can be a bit more precise.

1. The cap should be worn as inside-out as possible and placed on the top of the head. Turning it backwards or sideways is not a rally cap.

2. When in a group or on a team, anybody with the proper hat (see articles 9 and 11) in the group must “rally” it. This is the only way to summon good luck. However, if in a large stadium of people, one group may don the rally cap while another may choose to abstain. (It has been suggested that the quantity of luck bestowed upon a team is directly proportional to the amount of people “rallying” their caps. This has been contested by a second school of thought, whose proponents argue that the quantity of luck is based upon the personal degree of enthusiasm for the rally. They argue that a very small amount of people can will a rally if they possess a highly intense enthusiasm for said rally – thus, the actual number of people wearing rally caps is deemed irrelevant. Neither theory has been proven)

3. If on a team, the cap may only be employed in the dugout. Again, everyone on the team must be rallying the cap (manager and coaches exempt).

4. A cap should not be worn before the 7th inning unless the team trails by more than 5 runs in a very meaningful game (i.e. Any postseason game or late August/early September game with relevance to a Divisional or Wildcard race)

5. It is acceptable to wear the rally cap in the 7th inning if trailing by at least 2 runs.

6. It is always acceptable to wear the rally cap after the 8th inning if your team is losing.

7. The rally cap may be used as a pregame ritual in a postseason series if your team is trailing in games by any of the following scenarios: down 2-0, down 3-0, down 3-1, down 3-2 if team had been down 3-1. However, the rally cap must be removed before the start of the game and only used again during the game if applicable to one of the preceding rules. (This is often viewed as symbolic, though in some circles it is considered to be on a higher plane of luck-summoning)

8. The rally cap has no impact whatsoever on any sport besides baseball.

9. The cap does not have to be the hat of the team being rooted for, but it cannot be a hat of any other baseball team. Any other cap is acceptable except for any hat relating in any way to the city of the opposing team. Thus, if the Phillies are playing the Rockies, and somebody is wearing a Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, or, for whatever reason, Coors Lite hat, that person must not rally their cap.

10. The rally cap must be continuously worn until the team either takes the lead or wins the game. If the team comes back from a deficit and takes the lead in the top of the 9th, for example, the rally caps must be returned to standard cap form. Failing to do so may transfer all luck to the opposing team.

11. Only baseball-style caps may be rallied. Any alterations to the following will fail to summon any luck: bucket hats, fedoras, beanies, visors, beret caps, ivy golf caps, pork pie hats, newsboy caps, anything with ear flaps, straw hats, fisherman hats, cowboy hats, etc.

(Editor’s note: The Pundit really needs to get out more. Actually, scratch that: he wouldn’t even know what to do with himself. Be sure to check in tomorrow for links and Part One of The Pundit’s NFL preview.)

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