Tag Archives: J.C. Romero

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

Advertisements

2 Comments

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

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

1 Comment

Filed under MLB, Phillies

In a strange twist, David Wright knocks in Jimmy Rollins to win game; plus, a quick Tourney note

Hey, I’m not going to act like I watched the U.S. play Puerto Rico – I was too busy yelling at the the TV while the Red Wings came back to beat the Flyers, or standing on my couch and pumping my fist after Iggy knocked down the game-winning three against the Lakers.

But this was a hell of a finish in its own right, and featured a few of our Phillies in prominent roles. Video after the jump. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under College Basketball, Flyers, MLB, NBA, NHL, Phillies, Sixers

Eating Andy’s crow? J.C. – say it ain’t so. The Pundit dishes on the headlines

Listen – I’ve eaten crow from time to time. It’s rare, of course. And no, I don’t mean the way it’s prepared. But if presented with a dish of crow that I deserve, I’ll be the first one to shove it down.

crow

And trust me – it doesn’t taste like chicken. Much tougher.

Now, maybe you’re wondering: Hey guy, what in the hell are you talking about? Fair enough. If you haven’t already read it, Bill Conlin penned this piece admitting that calling for Reid’s head was a mistake. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Eagles, MLB, NFL, Phillies

The Pundit List presents: Things to be thankful for

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Pundit List, so it seemed like time. I decided to list the things I was thankful for both in the spirit of the holiday and because I’ve been so negative about the Eagles lately. My thanks will be primarily directed toward the sporting world, but I will undoubtably stray from time to time.  Obvious things, such as my family, friends, shelter, food, etc. will be left off of the list because they aren’t as much fun to write about. But they would be at the top. Probably. Anyway, on to the list.

8. The Flyers and Sixers – Eventually, I’ll actually start watching their games. I’m thankful I have something to look forward to once football is done for the year.

7. Emmananuelle Chriqui – You probably know her better as Sloan from Entourage. She might be the sexiest woman on this planet, at least in this humble Pundit’s opinion. If you aren’t familiar with the show, take a look– you won’t want to look away.

6. Beer – I don’t really need to go into depth here, do I? Though I will say, I am extremely thankful for my two favorite watering holes, The Pope (Pub on Passyunk East) and the South Philly Tap Room.

5. The BCS – The system blows, and I would like a playoff, but at least it gives me something to constantly bitch about on the site. The BCS, if for nothing else, is great for material. Think about how much has been written aruging that one team should be ranked higher than another, or about how there should be a playoff, and how it would be formatted. It’s a story-generator, and for that, and that alone, I offer my thanks.

4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Entourage, Generation Kill, John Adams, Weeds – After The Wire ended last year, I needed something to fill the gigantic void that was left in my soul from its wake. (Editor’s note: Oh brother). Any show and/or mini-series listed above either helped, or is currently helping, to fill that void. Rest in peace, The Wire – you were the greatest show ever crafted for television. Hell, I’m thankful I ever tuned in.

3. The Eagles – They are driving me absolutely crazy this year – how could I possibly be thankful for them? Well, much like the BCS, they constantly give me something to talk about. I mean, they tied the Bengals. Andy Reid benched Donovan McNabb, and is starting him this week. They blew chances to win close games against the Bears, Redskins, Cowboys and Giants. Honestly, a few clutch plays, and this team could potentially be undeafeted right now. And honestly, that is what makes them so damn frustrating – wasted potential. But success wouldn’t stir conversation, now would it? The Eagles are like the girl in the neighborhood who sleeps around – everyone knows her business, has their own idea of how she should be living, and are constantly gossiping about her. (Editor’s note: So wait…are the Eagles like the town’s bike?) I suppose I’m just thankful for football in general, but as a writer, the Eagles specifically are wonderful for controversy. (Editor’s note: Kind of sad, really).

2. Change – More than everything except for one thing on this list, I am thankful for the possibility, and the hope, of change. It was what made the number one item on this list so very special. I am thankful that “Yes We Can” became “Yes We Did.” I am thankful for the possibility that the Eagles will move in a new direction after this season. I am thankful for the possibility that maybe, just maybe, college football will someday have a playoff. I am thankful that the Sixers brought in Elton Brand, the legitamate big man they haven’t had since Charles Barkley. (Editor’s note: What, no love for Dikembe “Cookie Monster” Mutombo?) I am thankful that, after 25 years of failure, we finally had ourselves a winner. Which brings me to number one:

1. The 2008, World Phucking Champion, Philadelphia Phillies – I mean, what is there to be said that hasn’t already been said? They brought us the parade we had been waiting for so long. They were a team full of players that were easy to embrace. Talented. Team-oriented. Focused. Unflappable. They were led by a manager with the waddle to the mound. The guy who had divine hunches. I offer my thanks to Charlie Manuel, Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Shane Victorino, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, J.C Romero, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins, Chris Coste, Eric Bruntlett, and So Taguchi. On second thought, not So Taguchi. Sorry, pal. I give my thanks to the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies – it was one hell of a ride, and I sure hope to take it with you guys again.

I hope everybody a damn good Thanksgiving. Stuff your faces, take a nap while watching a football game, and enjoy seeing your family. But don’t use it as an excuse to be thankful for the things in your life – we should all be doing that everyday. (Editor’s note: I’m thankful for self-righteous advice!). Oh, and Rant: I’m thankful for you too, man. Rant has been the man. Many thanks go out to him. Now…bring on the feasting!

Leave a comment

Filed under College Football, Eagles, Flyers, NFL, Phillies, Sixers, The Pundit List

The Pundit senses a Phillies postseason run – here’s why…

I don’t know about you, but I just have the feeling that the Phillies are headed to the postseason. Normally, I don’t tend toward such blatant optimism, but this team has “the look.” Here are the reasons I think they’ll make the playoffs.

Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins have been smoking hot this September. If Jimmy sets the table, and Howard keeps clearing it, this lineup is soooo dangerous. Ryan Howard has the look of a guy that can carry his team into the postseason, and the look of a guy who is going to finish his season very close to 50 homers and 150 RBI’s

Brett Myers has been absolutely dominant. He is their stopper. It hasn’t been Hamels, though Cole is always capable of shutting the opponent down. But Myers, suddenly, is the ace of this staff, and unless he randomly melts down, should continue to be a force.

The lineup seems to have found a flow. Rollins-Utley-Werth-Howard-Burrell-Victorino-Feliz-Ruiz/Coste-Pitcher. This lineup seems to work for the Phils. I don’t understand how, after a season of tinkering, the Phillies ended up with this particular lineup, but they’ve been winning with it, so why change now?

Brad Lidge. Honestly, need I say more? He has been, consistently, the most valuable of the Phillies over the course of the entire season. Do I worry that he may blow a save late, and suddenly become the ghost of Brad Lidge in Houston, post Pujols? Yeah, a bit, but anytime you watch a man make Chipper Jones swing as silly at a slider as he did tonight, your confidence in the guy increases.

J.C. Romero. Huh? Romero? Remember how clutch he was last year? How he almost always came in and shut down the opposition in September? He’s only pitched 55.1 innings this year, so he should be fairly fresh, and he’s got the stuff to pitch to both righties and lefties. The back end of the Phils bullpen should be rock solid.

The Mets and Brewers. The likelihood of one of these teams choking, if not both, is almost certain. The Mets not only have to have last year in the back of their mind, they’ve also got four against the Cubs. And the Brewers – I don’t think they’ll ever recover from the sweep against the Phillies. That was a statement. (Editor’s note: “Hey Brewers, could you quiet down? Yeah, the grown teams are talking”)

They always believed. All season long, we heard them saying it: “We’re going to hit.” Well, they’re hitting. But the point here isn’t the fact that they believed they would hit – this team has always believed it would win. They didn’t panic; they didn’t start worrying and losing belief in themselves. Their play-it-cool approach is sometimes frustrating, especially to the passion junkies that are Philly fans, but Charlie Manuel has got these guys playing with something that is absolutely priceless in baseball – an unwavering, cool confidence. They’ve done this before; they’ll do it again.

Leave a comment

Filed under MLB, Phillies