Tag Archives: Raul Ibanez

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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When being a diehard fan is the wrong plan

Sports, and it’s passionate fans, are normally a beautiful thing. They offer camaraderie, entertainment, something to look forward to as we run around this globe like starving rats, ensuring our next meal/premium cable subscription. But from time to time, sports can rear its ugly head, causing an otherwise innocent fan to commit the most heinous and devastating of sins.

And I am guilty as charged.

Here’s the background. Currently, I pick up some supplementary hours working a few nights a week at a pharmacy in the city. This unfortunate predicament causes me to miss the broadcast of several Phillies games, often leaving me with the shakes on the corner after work, begging bewildered strangers for some loose “Phillies.”

I am a tortured soul.

However, I have found one way to, at least partially, resolve this situation. The radio. Doesn’t hurt that Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson are now the best Phillies announcers going. Good interplay, they get out of the way, and they seem to really care about this team and city.

But I digress.

Anyhow, last night I managed to convince my coworkers to let me put the game on, and kept one ear listening while I went about my pharmaceutical duties. And all was peachy keen until the top of the third inning, when disaster struck.

Bases loaded. Myers pressing. Adam Dunn walking to the plate. Two outs, and though its early in the game, tension is nonetheless high. Meanwhile, a young African-American woman, maybe 19, approached the counter. I noticed her, and walked over to offer my assistance, still keeping my ears on the game.

“Hi, how may I help you?”

“This one is pretty well-struck…”

“Do you guys have Plan B?”

“Ibanez is heading toward the wall…”

“Yeah, we keep it behind the counter.”

“…Ibanez goes back to the warning track…”

“Okay, I’ll buy one, please.”

“…And he makes the catch at the wall, and the Phillies survive without any damage done.”

“Well thank God for that.” Continue reading

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Filed under "Broken News", MLB, Phillies

Off at the Ballpark

Get home from work. Long day. Hot. Stinking hot. Head to roof to unwind, take in view of city. Still hot. Come back inside, catch up on the Philly sports reading for the day. Seriously considering nap. Thought interrupted by knock on door.

“What’s up?”

“You want to go to the Phillies game tonight?”

Well, this was a brilliant and marvelous idea and I was out of my chair and on the subway in the blink of an eye. I mean, it was absolutely the perfect evening for a ballgame. Plus, Cole Hamels was pitching, and I had the inkling that this was the night he was going to really get back into form. Double plus, it was Charlie Manuel Bobble-Head Night.

Even though Charlie Manuel Bobble-Belly Night would have been much, much funnier.

So, $19 tickets in hand, my two comrades and I ventured first to acquire some Schmitters and beer, perhaps the quintessential pairing for a Phillies game. Delicious. Plus, the World Series Trophy, aka The Holy Grail, was located right next to the food line. It’s gold shimmered in the eyes of the Phillies Faithfuls like a beacon of truth, hope, and happiness. I wanted to hold it, to cradle it in my arms and serenade it with lullabies before putting it to rest on my mantle, but the thought of being madly chased by 1,000 screaming Philadelphians quickly brought me to my senses.

Supplies in hand, it was off to the heights of the 400 level, nestled in the peaks of Citizens Bank Park. Now, the problem with the 400 level is simple – you never know who will be sitting up there. Continue reading

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Diary of a Sports Lunatic

Stardate 042609. Feeling quite pleased with the Phillies three-game sweep of the Marlins. Truly filleted their bullpen. Opportunistic bats storm to the forefront. Jamie Moyer doesn’t drink cocktails, he sips from the fountain of youth. Cameron Maybin looks like a lost puppy at the plate. Raul Ibanez is the only man on the planet who has my full-fledged support to sport the soul patch. Need – desperately – to get tickets for next weekend’s series against the Mets.

And so our journey begins. Surely, there was no way to get tickets directly through the Phillies. Other mediums had to be explored, and thus, my roommate Lucy and I were forced into the most despicable of predicaments – dealing with online scalpers.

What a depraved, dishonest and dispassionate man the online scalper is. Hording away tickets that otherwise well-intentioned fans might purchase in order to make himself a buck. It’s bad enough that the Phillies have begun to attract teeny-boppers and frat boys who experiment with steroids, all attending in the name of “making the scene”; now, an honest fan can’t even buy a damn ticket at face value. Where were you during the Gregg Jeffries’ years, you bandwagon barbarians? Playing twister with all of the pink-jersey’d Eagles groupies, I’d imagine.

Ridiculous.

Though I will suffer them so long as they yell loudly when the real fans yell, and don’t make a complete mockery of the True Philadelphia Fan by stooping to the level of mindless marauder, feeding into the Exploitative National Media’s stock definition of our people.

That I cannot tolerate.

Continue reading

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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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Pat Burrell to the Rays – The Pundit wonders just how wise the Phillies have been

So, Pat Burrell has finally landed. On the Tampa Bay Rays. Guess Pat’s like one of those cougar widows who only dates money (Editor’s note: Comparable analogy to a middle-aged free agent who signs with the other team in the World Series? You be the judge). Though maybe this wasn’t completely about money, seeing as Burrell only ended up getting a two-year, 16 million dollar deal, both down in years and dinero from his original request. Oh, and he’ll likely DH.

Hmmm.

Meeeeee-owwwww

Meeeeee-owwwww

I wonder…if the Phillies had suspected they could have gotten Burrell back at that contract, would they have given Raul Ibanez three years and 31.5 million? Continue reading

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The Pundit Poll: Have the Phillies improved?

With the free-agent additions of Raul Ibanez and Chan Ho Park, and the resigning of Jamie Moyer, the Phillies have stayed busy this offseason. How do you feel about their moves?

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