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Ryan Madson is acting questionable

I've seen similar types of "poking fun" entries on other Phillies blogs. When this picture came across my desk today, I figured, "Why not...?" Ryan Madson was out on the town (Manayunk) over the weekend and was photographed acting pretty with a purse slung over his shoulder and being chummy with a friend of mine. Can I really call him a friend, if he's actually my friends' friend , and I only prank called him once? Sure, why the heck not?!

The Market is Still Hot

Did you know...that, even with the $423.5 million that the Yankees just promised to CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and AJ Burnett, that their 2009 payroll is slated to be lower than it was in 2008? With several big contracts (Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano) coming off their books, the Yankees had loads of money to spend. Speaking of phormer Phillie Bobby Abreu, the latest rumors state that Abreu is being targeted by two California teams...the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Manny Ramirez remains the Dodgers' first choice to play left field, but they can't wait around while other options that appeal to the Dodgers, like Abreu and Adam Dunn, are available. According to the LA Times, Manny's agent Scott Boras has been out of touch with the Dodgers since Mark Teixeira, another Boras client, signed with the Yankees before Christmas. Those hefty commission checks take some time to deposit, I suppose. Among some mild c

As Hanukkah wraps up, so does the Top 8 Videos list

It's phinally here- The night we've all been waiting for. It is the 8th night of Hanukkah and that means The Phoul Ballz is bringing you The Best Phillies Video of 2008 (that I could find on Youtube). This video is brought to you straight from the hometown radio broadcast booth. There is a combination of some things that make this one of the greatest clips I have ever seen. The main thing is, of course, the Phillies winning the World Series. Next, is Harry Kalas' classic call of the happenings on the field. And the other is "The Wheeler". Yes, The Wheeler is the party dance performed by Phils color analyst Chris Wheeler as he quietly celebrates, so that Harry can make the call. Fist pumping, near-humping gestures, high fives, arm thrusts and more all add up to the hottest moves this side of Danny Jackson's Hulk Hogan impressions. *BONUS* These will be your honorable mentions for this list. Consideration could be made for having these videos rank in a tie

Hanukkah weekend!

We're up to #2! This video is classic and would surely we worthy of top status, if the Phillies didn't do what they did this year. If that spoils the number spot for you, keep in mind that here at the Phoul Ballz, you should expect the unexpected. Anyway, our #2 video is the all time classic prank played by Brett Myers and dozens of cooperatives on rookie Kyle Kendrick. Myers worked with Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr, the media and teammates, during spring training, to convince Kendrick that he had been traded to Japan. Hilarity ensued, and the internet and national TV caught fire with prank-mania!

THREE!

Hi, again. The countdown is now at #3. This place on the list belongs to Cole Hamels on the Late Show. Colbert became a national celebrity this autumn with his good looks, stellar post season pitching and, of course, his cool name. Here is night #6's entry for "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)".

As we continue on...

Welcome back to "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)". We're up to the final four. Starting off the top half of this list is one of the best plays of the season. It's the play that saved Brad Lidge's perfect season, and clinched the NL East division title for the Phillies. It's that hugely clutch 6-4-3 double play!! It's Jimmy Rollins' diving stop, followed by a flip to Chase Utley, who relays it to Ryan Howard! The #4 videos on our list are the same play from 3 different angles. The top one here has the most complete view of the play, while the next two may have more intense displays from the crowd. Again, MLB's strict rules limit availability of regular game broadcast footage on Youtube, but that is what makes this list fun...because I've got to post phans' phootage from the stands. These phans-eye-view recordings show wild and amazing scenes as the crowd erupts and the ballpark practically shakes.

Night 4 entry...& Ho, Ho, Ho!

Happy 4th night of Hannukah...a few hours late. It was a long night of Nintendo Wii playing at the House of Ballz. It's time for our 4th entry on the list of "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)". Video #5 comes direct from the city of Los Angeles. You may recall Matt Stairs smashing a game winning homerun in the NLCS against LA's best reliever, Jonathan Broxton. Well, since MLB is stingy with their footage being posted and shown on Youtube, the homer itself is not available. However, we do have glorious footage of the Major League Baseball quote of the year. It's Stairs discribing the great feelings that follow such a momentous homerun. Enjoy. Merry Christmas and Happy Ass Hammering! *BONUS* And since it's Christmas, let's see what the Reading Phillies' endless roster of mascots are placing on their gift wish lists.

Will is big enough to be #6

Happy 3rd night of Hannukah. It's time for the #6 video on "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)" list. "How big is Will?" was the question that led little toddler Will to rile up an entire block of championship parade goers. In a video shot by his mother Heather, Will turned into a hype man for the excited crowd waiting to see their Phillies. Hundreds of thousands of internet views later, little Will has appeared on national television and will go down in Phillies history as the most famous phan from this season.

Round 2...

Happy second night of Hanukkah. Coming in at #7 on the list of "The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube)"...is the Phillie Phanatic getting his groove on with Shawn Hill, the dancing flyers phan. Flyers phaithful know Hill as the guy in the top row of the Wachovia Center that is featured on the video board throughout home games "whylen out" and boogying down to all types of music. *BONUS* Both Shawn Hill videos with the Phanatic are equally as entertaining, so #7 is a two-parter. Let's go, Flyers!

8 Crazy Nights...8 Crazy Videos

Tonight began the fun of our multi-cultural celebrating of holidays in the Fam of Ballz. To go along with the time of year and the 8 night holiday based on a war...or lengthy burning oil, depending on which story you prefer...The Phoul Ballz will be posting a video each night of Hanukkah. This feature will be known as The 8 Best Phillies Videos of 2008 (that I can find on Youtube). Shouts out to my young cousins Eric and Aaron. Happy Hanukkah to you both. The first entry in the 8 video countdown is from local voice impersonating legend Joe Conklin. It's his Phillies World Series theme song.

All I Want For "the Holidays" is the MLB Network

Ladies and gentlemen, there are 5 days left till Hannukah, 9 days left till Christmas and 16 days left till the premiere of the MLB Network. It's about time. Those of you that enjoy MLB.com's original programming, it may be a while till your favorite hosts appear on The MLB Network. The announced TV schedule is not similar to MLB.com's online schedule. MLB.com's studios are in NYC, and the MLB Network's studios will be in Secaucus NJ...so that's another bump in the road. Cross overs, while possible, might be less likely. The great internet programming on MLB.com includes morning and afternoon talk shows, a midday fantasy advice call-in show, a lunch time talk show and variety half hour formatted show, and of course the nightly wrap up, as well as other original programming that focuses more on the history of the game. MLB.com's programming started as streaming radio shows, then upgraded to a visual medium when video feeds were provided for the same s

Coming to CBP in 2009- Chan Ho's Banjos!

Chan Ho Park has signed with the Phillies. Park was quoted in a press conference from his native Korea today saying, "I selected Philadelphia because they are the World Series champions and have high expectations for a playoff berth next season." Park also mentioned that part of the Phillies' pitch to him, was that they viewed him as a starter, which he liked. Park will make a base salary of $2.5 million with incentives that could double his salary. Charlie Manuel was interviewed by Comcast Sportsnet at an autograph signing yesterday. Charlie stated that he feels strongly that the Phillies should re-sign Jamie Moyer. There's still no real news on that front. Moyer could still sign with the Phils and be the 4th starter. That would leave Park, JA Happ, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco and possibly Adam Eaton and Joe Bisenius battling for that 5th starter spot. However, if the Phillies really look at Park as a starter, 6 guys trying to earn two spots, might

Cole Calling the Kettle Crap AND Bye Bye, Burrell

I guess this is news because of who said it. The statement itself is certainly not news to any of us. National League Championship Series MVP and World Series MVP Cole Hamels appeared on a New York radio show on Thursday, and when asked if the Mets are choke artists, he confirmed it. Colbert told one of the WFAN radio hosts, "That’s kind of what we believe and I think we’re going to always believe it until they prove us wrong." He went on to add, "Yeah, for the past two years they’ve been choke artists." The statement is undeniable. I am sure Mets players wouldn't object, if they were asked the same thing. But leave it to the sports media to try and bleed a story out of the Phillies/Mets rivalry. **Breaking news this morning** Raul Ibanez and the Phillies have agreed on a three year contract. This all but gives Pat Burrell a nice pat on the bottom on his way out of town. Ibanez, will get a 3 yr, $30 million contract. Ibanez's numbers are similar to, o

Keystone Catch

The Phillies made the first roster alteration at the winter meetings on Wednesday, by trading minor league catcher Jason Jaramillo to the Pirates for Ronny Paulino. This trade deepens the Phillies at the catching position and could have other effects on the 2009 team. The move could unofficially end Chris Coste's run as a Phillie. It could also make Carlos Ruiz or even Lou Marson trade bait. Another move that happened on Wednesday that could effect the Phillies down the road is the Yankees signing CC Sabathia. $161 million?! Wow. Now let's look forward to the day when Cole Hamels wants that top free agent pitcher money. Enjoy young Colbert while you can, Phillies phans. New reports about the Phillies' interest in Minnesota's Delmon Young and Chan Ho Park are the buzz today. Park, who was with the Dodgers in 2008, is not the LA pitcher most Phillies phans were hoping for (eh-hem, Derek Lowe!). Park, however, was fairly solid this year posting a 3.40 ERA in over 95 inni

Charlie smells what the Ballz is cookin'!

Two days into the winter meetings in Las Vegas NV, and the Phillies' have made no additions. On day #2, the Phils retained the services of their manager, Charlie Manuel, for an extra season. Charlie's club option for 2010 will be picked up, and Manuel was extended through 2011. Manuel's 2009 salary will be $1.5 million, and just about double that by 2011. Day 1 of the winter meetings was fairly uneventful in Vegas, at least as far as the team roster and staff goes. There was some fun had here at home though. 2007 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins attended the live World Wrestling Entertainment program Monday Night Raw at the Wachovia Center, where he was seated in the front row. A WWE star nicknamed "MVP", Montel Vontavious Porter, targeted Rollins with a Philadelphia diss-filled rant that saw Porter claim he was a real MVP, unlike the fluke J-Roll. Porter also claimed to be better than Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. It was a classic heel tirade. Insult the home

Season's Meetings

MLB's winter meetings begin this coming Monday. According to new Phillies general manager Rueben Amaro Jr., the Phils' priorities are to add a starting pitcher and to improve the bullpen. Many expected Jamie Moyer to be re-signed by now, but it is likely that the Phillies are only willing to offer a 1-year contract, while Moyer and his agent, Jim Bronner, are wishing for a 2-year dealio. Derek Lowe's name has been in the media this week as a pitcher the Phillies have had talks with. The gift giving season is also upon us. Phillies Phans young and old alike will have the World Series DVD on the wish lists this month. Allow me to give you a tip on where to find the glorious 8-disc set the cheapest. http://www.deepdiscount.com/viewproduct.htm?productId=54055428 DeepDiscount.com offers the full collector's set for the low price of $48.61, no tax, and shipping included. Amazon.com's item description of the bonus features includes this blurb... Alternate aud

Hip Ph'ing Surgery and Gregory Golson is gone!

A few big news stories in World Championsville today. The first is that Chase Utley will undergo surgery next week on his injured hip. This surgery could take as long as 6 months to recover from. The right hip had troubled "ChUtley" for a good portion of the 2008 season. If Utley misses the start of the 2009 season, this could be a window of opportunity for Jason Donald, or this could fully seal the deal on a return to Philadelphia for Tadahito Iguchi. The second story is phormer phirst round drapht pick Greg Golson was traded to Texas for another first round pick John Mayberry. Mayberry, a 24 year old righty slugger, has already been assigned to triple-A Lehigh Valley, and was added to the Phillies' 40 man roster. The loss of Golson should not be a subject to worry about. Last offseason I was stunned to learn that another top draft pick named Mike Costanzo was sent away, and look how that turned out (Eh-hem, BRAD LIDGE). The Phillies were simply at a point wher

No MVP in Philly this season

Albert Pujols won his second National League Most Valuable Player award on Monday. Pujols was the only NL player to appear on every submitted ballot. That's right, pholks. There were writers who did not even place as low as a 10th place vote toward the guy who led the majors in homeruns and RBI. Psst, that's Ryan Howard with 48 homers and 146 RBI, if you don't know who I was speaking of. This breaks the Phillies' streak of two consecutive MVP's. Howard won in 2006 and Jimmy Rollins won in 2007. Brad Lidge was the only NL player to receive a first place MVP vote, besides Pujols and Howard. Lidge finished 8th overall in the voting for the MVP honor. He also finished 4th in the Cy Young Award voting. Luckily, the World Champs are only coming up short when it comes to individual awards. Charlie Manuel finished second in NL manager of the year voting as well. Lou Pinella of the Cubs won that award. Side note...With Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley blocking t

The Phever Spread World Wide!

While this week most Phils phans have begun to cool down from their late October/early November PHEVER, local sports phans currently residing on the other side of the globe are keeping things hot. The 304th Civil Affairs Bridage sent home pictures like this, as they continued to celebrate and offer support to the Phillies from phar away. Mrs. Ballz's cousin Danny, pictured second from left, and his group were treated to 4am start times in Iraq for the World Series telecasts. Replays on the Armed Forces Network enabled viewing at better times also. Here's to the troops who battle for and defend freedom. We are phans of your's too and as Phillies Phever cools down, perhaps the Troop-berculosis (wow, that's bad) will steadily infect us all. ;)

Eagles courting Burrell and Hamels?

Are the Eagles trying to lure Pat Burrell and Cole Hamels to "the Linc" in order to bring a championship across the street? Maybe not. But softening them up with cheerleaders couldn't hurt. When reached for comment about the meeting, my girl Alex (pictured center) said that Colbert's and Patrick's only game is on the baseball diamond. ;)

Still high....thank you, Phillies.

Yes, I am still the happiest boy in B-town. My team won the WORLD SERIES! A few news notes from Phillies-land... NL Gold Glove Awards were announced today. Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins won at their respective positions. Third base coach Steve Smith will not return to the team next season. So Taguchi will also not be back next year, as he was officially released today.

Still Phlyin' High!

What a great year. Ups and downs...highs and lows...plenty of bumps along the road to glory. It was just a perphect season. The last week of the season has easily been one of the greatest of my life. From a national stage for a World Championship voctory, to Cole Hamels appearing on The Late Show, to the huge parade & parties, to Shane Victorino hocking World Series goodies on QVC, to Chase Utley stunning us all once again by using "the ph-word" on live television, to phans becoming internet sensations by doing rowdy things and celebrating, to Charlie Manuel Halloween costumes...this has just been a wild week of immense exposure for all of us. Congratulations again to the Phillies, their phans and the entire region! I am not quite sure what this phan was thinking, but he's offering a unique souvenir from the Phillies' World Series clinching game. Check out this eBay auction . Keep living it up, Phillies phans.

PHEEL IT!

The Philadelphia Phillies won 24 of their last 30 games and became WORLD CHAMPIONS by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 in the 2008 World Series. I have heard Phillies Phans, at the ball park and on TV, say that they don't know what to do. This is what happens when a full generation of Philadelphia sports phans win their very first major sports championship. Cole Hamels was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series. That honor is added to his NLCS MVP hardware. Hamels narrowly missed becoming the first pitcher ever to win 5 starts in a single post season. Game phive was another instance where different players contributed to nail down a victory for the team. Pat Burrell, Pedro Feliz, Geoff Jenkins, Shane Victorino, Brad Lidge....it was classic 2008 Phillies baseball. Speaking of "Lights Out" Lidge, he ended the season perfect in save opportunities. 48 successful saves converted for the phirst year Phillie. Tremendous. Live it up, Phillies phans. This

To be continued...on Wheneversday

Game 5 is suspended till further notice, with a tied score. The commissioner of MLB is not good. The game should have been stopped sooner. The game is tied at 2 after 5 1/2 innings. When the game resumes, the Phillies will have 4 turns at bat against the Rays, who only have 3 turns at bat. That still does not make up for the Phillies and Cole Hamels having to pitch an extra turn on a wet, muddy mound in an extreme down pour. When game 5 is restarted, the Rays will get to pitch off of a dry, nicely groomed mound. That's an advantage for the Rays pitchers that Cole Hamels did not have in the same inning. There were multiple instances where gameplay was proven to not be under normal circumstances. The umpiring crew suspended the infield fly rule early in the game, when the Phillies had multiple runners on, due to the weather, pop flies were no longer routine. When an infield pop up is not routine, due to weather conditions, the game should be halted. Later, Jimmy Rollins,

Cool red socks, big lumber down the Rays

One win away from a world championship. I am so silly-insane-outrageously-excited that I can't stand it. The bats were on fire in game 4 at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies pounded 12 hits, 4 of which were homeruns. Ryan Howard slugged 2 homers and had 5 RBI in the 10-2 victory. Even Phillies winning pitcher Joe "I Wear Cool Socks" Blanton mashed a homerun to left field off of Edwin Jackson. It was Blanton's very first major league homer. Blanton pitched 6 solid innings, striking out 7 and allowing only 2 earned runs. Many players contributed in the game 4 victory. In addition to Howard and Blanton...Ryan Madson, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, JC Romero and even Jayson Werth all chipped in with key efforts. This has become key for this 2008 Phillies squad to have different heroes and varied contributors each night. When some guys fail to get the job done there's usually someone else coming through with a big performance. And in certain games, like th

2-to-1, Good guys lead

Jamie Moyer was one of the Phillies' stars of game 3. He proved many critics wrong, including me. He put forth a very solid effort and gave the Phillies a chance to win the game. Moyer pitched 6 1/3 innings and was charged with 3 runs (only one of which was ligitimate, but I'll get to that later). JC Romero got the win in relief by tossing 1 1/3 innings of perfect baseball. The second star of the game was Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz got the game winning infield single in the 9th inning. Carlos in the last two games is 4-for-5 with 3 walks, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, and 2 runs scored. His OBP in this series is .667. Major shout out to my pal Sarah, who predicted Ruiz would be the key to the Phillies' success in game 3. Ruiz's walk-off dribbler was just the Phillies' second hit with runners in scoring position in this series. The Fightin's are now 2-for-33 (.061 avg) in that situation. Hey, guess what...Jayson Werth still needs to be benched! Werth

1-to-1

Our right fielder sucked. The home plate umpire sucked. Hitting with RISP sucked again. The leadoff hitter's performance at the plate sucked. And game 2 simply sucked. Phillies RF Jayson Werth got the Rays off to a hot start with an error that put two runners in scoring position for the opponents. That led to two RBI ground outs from Rays hitters (Hey, Ryan Howard...take a lesson) and they left the first inning with a 2-0 lead. Then, in the 5th inning, Werth made his second error of the game...this time it was on the bases. He was doubled off first on a fly ball to lucky Rays RF Rocco Baldelli. Later, Baldelli was given a gift by home plate umpire Kerwin "I have the most Caucasian first name on Earth" Danley. In the 2nd inning, Baldelli failed to hold a check swing and, even though Danley gestured to ring Rocco up on a swinging strike, Danley second guessed himself and deferred to the first base umpire on the call. Baldelli clearly did not hold his swing

Hamels is my Cole Pilot...

Game WON of the 2008 World Series is in the books. On this night, the Phillies won their 100th game of the year and lead the series, 1-0. There's nothing much better than Cole Hamels putting all the silly cowbell chimers on the HUSH setting, down in Tropicana Field. Hamels now has 5 earned runs allowed in 29 post season innings this year. That is a 1.55 ERA. I really can't think of anything more phun to watch than Cole Hamels these days. Our Phillies got off to a hot start in the 1st inning when, following a Jayson Werth walk, Chase Utley (AKA- Chutley) hit a blast to deep right field for a homerun. This gave Philadelphia a lead which they would not let up. Utley went on to add another base hit and two steals in his World Series debut. It just wouldn't be the Phoul Ballz if I didn't toss some negativity at you all. I need to take the time to critique the non-move in the top of the 9th inning where, against a right handed pitcher and with 2 runners on

Ready for The Series

Cowbells, mohawks, bad math equations...these things all await the Phillies in St. Petersburg. The Rays' fan base is mostly Johnny Come-Lately's. Their stadium is a mess. But the team has made history. The Rays have 37 more wins this year than they had last year. That is the biggest increase, from one year to the next, in modern baseball history. World Series note of the day #1- Phillies 25th man So Taguchi is the only player on either team to record a base hit in the World Series. Both teams are not required to set their rosters till Wednesday morning. There has been some speculation that catcher Lou Marson would make the World Series roster for the Phils, so that back up catcher Chris Coste could be used as a designated hitter against lefties, and that would cut the risk of leaving the Phillies in a stuck position if starting catcher Carlos Ruiz were to become injured during a game. MLB rules state if your DH plays the field, the team loses their DH, and the pi

We're going to St. Petersburg!

Tampa Bay won the AL championship. The Rays now stand in the way of destiny.

The Phillies win the pennant!

So many possible headlines after this win. "Cole-ywood." "Phall Classic." A "Cole Train" reference. "I'll name my first born Charlie...even if it's a girl." I took the easy route. Who remembers Jimmy Rollins predicting that the Phillies would win 100 games this year? Well, with this NLCS victory, the Phillies are now 1 win short of 100 wins this year. Jimmy leads the Phillies in all time lead off homeruns in the regular season. In addition to that, all 3 of Jimmy's career post season homeruns are of the leadoff persuasion. Dodger shortstop, Rafael Furcal, who is usually tight on defense, made three errors in the 5th inning of game 5. This really took any wind out of the Dodgers' sails and put the Phillies up 5-0 at that point. There was no coming back for LA, as they lost 5-1. Cole Hamels is your NLCS most valuable player. Through 3 post season starts, Cole has surrendered just 3 earned runs in 22 innings pitc

Advantage- Phillies

In the fourth game of the NLCS, the Phillies came from behind in the 8th inning with two 2-run homeruns to take the lead and hold on for a huge victory. Tonight's heroes were Matt Stairs and Shane Victorino again. Shane set a new Phillies record for RBI in one post season with 11. Matt Stairs said in a post game interview that he's made a career of coming off the bench with the approach of swinging for the fences. Stairs has 13 career regular season pinch hit homers and a .938 OPS as a pinch hitter. Shane-o's 2-run homer tied the game, and Stairs' 2-run monster shot put the Phils ahead for good. Matt Stairs had the at bat of his life in this game. Phillies phans will love this guy phorever, based on this one moment. This go ahead homerun was Matt Stairs' Aaron-Rowand-busting-his-face-on-the-outfield-wall moment. A third hero in game 4 was Chase Utley. Chase continues to contribute at the plate and made a very key defensive play in the 7th inning to hold

LA wins one

Yeah, well I guess a sweep isn't the way Philadelphia sports phans are used to operating, so most of us should still feel okay. The Phillies are still in control of this series against the Dodgers. For anyone who might be REALLY bummed after that loss...allow me to toss out something positive for you to hold onto tightly as you wait for game 4. The Phillies bullpen has pitched 12 2/3 innings in this series and has given up only 1 earned run. That is a 0.73 ERA. In the postseason, the Phils bullpen's ERA is 2.03. And in case that actually gave you a boost, let me bring you back down by stating my feelings that Charlie Manuel is making a mistake by not using Cole Hamels in game 4 of this series, on 3 days rest. Using Hamels on Monday would allow Cole to pitch a potential game 7 of the NLCS, on Saturday. Phormer Beast, Jamie Moyer, is no longer an option to start again, versus the Dodgers. Moyer's spot would be up in the rotation for game 7. Joe Blanton is slated

2 wins away from The Series...Destiny?

Brett Myers is having a remarkable post season. 3 hits at the plate in game 2 of the NLCS is historic. He's the very first pitcher ever to collect 3 hits in an LCS game. Brett has as many hits in two post season games as he did the entire 2008 season. He's also 2-0 on the mound this post season, and that's pretty nice also. That one TV sports network referring to Brett as "the Hit Man" might not be the greatest idea, based on his past, but we'll let it slide since he's the freaking man today and that one TV sports network usually spews garbage anyway, so we expect no less. The Phillies learned prior to the game that manager Charlie Manuel's mother had passed away. Brad Lidge and the rest of the team wanted so much to win for Charlie. The team then learned, after the game, that outfielder Shane Victorino's grandmother had died. Shane's father kept the news from Shane until after the game. Victorino updated his blog, on mlblogs.com, an

Happy Birthday to THE BAT

It's Pat the Bat's birthday. In the past two post season games, the birthday boy has hit 3 homers in important situations. In those past 2 games, Burrell is 5-for-7 with 5 RBI. Let's hope he can give all the phans a nice birthday gift today in game 2 of the National League Championship Series. Also ready to heat things up is our boy, Chase Utley. Chase had 2 hits, with a 2 run homer in game 1 of the NLCS. These boys should keep it up. Not a lot of time to give a thorough post here today...was out late last night at the game, and I'll be headed out shortly to game 2. Your stat to ponder...In four of the five post season games this year, the Phillies have scored in only ONE inning. They've scored in just 7 of 42 possible innings on offense. Phillies phans, holler if you hear me! Go, good guys

Cee over Dee

One more day...

Phinal Phour!

Congratulations to the Fightin' Phillies and all you Phans on advancing to the National League Championship Series. A best of seven series begins at 8pm on Thursday, in Philadelphia, against the Dodgers. Game 2, is scheduled for 4pm on Friday, also at home. All NLCS games will be broadcast on FOX. The Dodgers have 3 coaches that are phormer Phillies. Dodgers 3rd base coach, Larry Bowa played as a Phillie and managed the team, of course. Bullpen coach Ken Howell was a Phillies pitcher in 1989 and 1990. And Dodgers first base coach, Mariano Duncan played with the Phils in the early 90's. And on that note, here are some Phillies who used to be Dodgers...Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes is a former Dodger. Jayson Werth was with LA, before he signed with Philadelphia. And Shane Victorino is a product of the Dodgers' minor league system. The Phillies are expecting Chase Utley to improve his performance at the plate in order to stand a chance at making it to

We've got a 2-0 series lead, and little bit of "Cooch"

We're having the opposite experience of what we lived through in the post season of 2007. My collection of rally towels will soon exceed the amount of strike outs that Ryan Howard gets in a season. TBS gave Carlos Ruiz a new nickname (formerly Chooch). I gave that Brewers guy one of my own..."Chokey Choke" Sabathia had gone 31 straight starts without giving up as many as 5 earned runs (he allowed 5 ER in 3 2/3 innings pitched in game 2). Shane Victorino hit the very first post season grand slam in Phillies history. The ESPNews ticker stat of the night that I couldn't ignore was....Utley & Howard combined- 0-for-7 with 6 strikeouts, in game 2. Game 3 of the NLDS in Milwaukee will feature Jamie Moyer vs. Dave Bush. Bush was 9-10 this season with a 4.18 ERA in 31 games. In 6 career starts vs. the Phillies, Bush has no decisions and a 5.88 ERA. Combined against Dave Bush, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are 14-for-36 in their careers (.388 avg),

En El Dee Ess

Happy October to all of you. Baseball playoffs are back in Philadelphia. Hip hip, hooray!! Kole Hamels (yes, it is okay to spell it with a 'K') pitched one hell of a game 1 on Wednesday. 8 innings pitched, 9 strike outs, no runs allowed, 1 walk. As we've grown accustomed, Brad Lidge made the 9th inning quite exciting, but he is still perfect in converting save opportunities this year. Our Phillies have gone up 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs. How 'bout an Ice Cold Brew to celebrate? The Brewers have now lost 5 straight games at Citizens Bank Park over the past 3 weeks. In those 5 games, the Brewers are 25-for-155...that's a .161 batting average. Surely, we all realize the Phils have missed the Brewers' best starting pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, in those 5 games. This evening's match up with Brett Myers facing Sabathia will be interesting. Myers threw a complete game 2 hitter against the Brewers back on September 14th. Sabathia was 2-2 with a 2.11 ERA i

Sunday notes

The Phillies are 2008 NL East Division Champions! Maybe you've heard that already, though. Phormer Phillie Wes Helms hit a homerun on Sunday, for the Marlins, that ended the Metropolitans' season. I like it when that happens. Brett Myers promised that the Phillies will not go "3 and out" this post season. I would like it if that happened. TBS and/or MLB have switched the Phillies game 2 of the division series to a 6pm start time on Thursday. Wednesday's game one is slated for 3pm. No huge pep rally in center city for the Phillies this year. Out of respect for Philadelphia police officer, Patrick McDonald, who was killed last week while on duty, the Phillies have elected to not burden the police dept. with additional duties this week. McDonald's wake and funeral will take place Monday and Tuesday. A smaller event will take place beginning 3 hours prior to game 1, on Citizens Bank Way. Details are forthcoming.

High Hopes...post season schedule and roster

It's a week later and the Phillies have a 1.5 games lead in the NL eastern division. The Fightin' Phillies control their own fate. It's not 2007, where the good guys were trailing. It's 2008 and the bad guys have fallen behind. According to the TBS web site, the first two days of the playoffs will include both National League games. Wednesday October 1st and Thursday October 2nd would be the first two games of the Phillies' post season. The NL wild card winner and the NL east division champ will determine who plays when and where. Should the Phillies win the east, and the Mets win the wild card, the Phillies would play the 2nd of three scheduled TV times for TBS's national broadcasts, against the west division winner. The game times would be 5pm or 6:30pm both days. If the Brewers win the wild card, the Cubs would not be able to play them in the first round, due to the rule of "wild card winners do not face the champ of their own division in the first rou

The Brewers and Mets are great.....for me to SUPPAN!

The Phillies completed a four game SWEEP of the the Brew Crew (by pounding Milwaukee pitcher, Jeff Suppan) on Sunday, the day rally towels returned to Philadelphia. Add to that some help from divisional rivals beating the Mets down, the Phillies have taken a lead in the playoff race. First, it was a tie for the Wild card lead, and after a win to start this week's series in Atlanta, the division lead. A glance at the key competition: The Brewers are now 3-12 in September, and have fired their manager, Ned Yost. The Metropolitans have lost 4 of their past 5 games. And after starting the month on fire, the Astros have scored just 2 runs in their past 3 games, including a no-hitter thrown on Sunday, by Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs. Statement to ponder: Big time NL awards will be in the future for two Phillies this year. The league most valuable player award could reside in Philadelphia for a third straight year, as Ryan Howard makes a huge late season push for this honor. Howard, is

You gotta FLIP IT, so we can kick it!

Phans, your Phillies had some good luck yesterday. Sure, the game was rained out, but the Phillies still won FOUR important match ups yesterday. Tie breaker coin flips were announced and the Phillies won all four of their coin flips that decide the home team for tie breaker scenarios. An NL East tie breaker would have the Phillies hosting the Mets in one game to decide the division winner. A wild card tie with St. Louis, Milwaukee or Houston would all be held in Philadelphia also. Any other potential ties will be decided with flips on an as-needed basis. Flipping topics on ya...I've always meant to devote some blog space to a matter that concerns a lot of baseball purists. The annual Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, NY has been discontinued. I've been to the Hall of Fame game, and it's a great weekend for fans. In addition, local businesses have depended on the Hall of Fame Game weekend's spike in business to succeed. Please check out the link that fol

Boo the Brew?

Well, folks...the Phillies are not helping themselves. 3.5 games behind the division leader. Tied with Houston (this year's "COLORADO ROCKIES!") 4 games behind the wild card leader. And the Phils have a 4-5 record so far in September. By comparison, the Mets are 6-2 this month...the Astros are 8-1 this month...the Brewers however are 3-7 this month, as they head to Philadelphia for a huge 4 game series starting Thursday the 11th. The 5th starter role in the pitching rotation is high up in the air right now. If I had to guess who it will be pitching Sunday's series finale, I'd say Adam Eaton. I don't think that "Jay" Happ has shown enough to get the start. Consider also that the Brewers thrive against lefty starters, and the Phillies already have 2 lefties starting games in this series. The only positive spin I can put on this forecast is that Eaton has never lost to the Brewers. Eaton's career record vs. Milwaukee is 2-0 with a 5.24

Giving myself the Barry Horowitz treatment

From time to time, this guy right here known as Jay Ballz is happy to give himself a little pat on the back. Since my last post, where I suggested that Jimmy Rollins was just about to turn it on for the big playoff push, the reigning league MVP has performed like his old self. In the last 14 games, Rollins is 24 for 60 (.400 batting avg.) with 2 homers, 12 RBI, 8 runs scored and 10 steals. Oh, pat on the back #2...my Brett Myers prediction seems to be holding true also. Tom Gordon not returning from the disabled list, did surprise me, however. A big welcome back shout out goes out to every Phillies phan's phavorite Asian born player..."The Gooch" Tadihito Iguchi. Iguchi batted .304 in 42 games for the NL East Champion Phillies last season. Iguchi was released last week by the Padres, and won't be eligible for the Phillies' post season roster, should they clinch a post season berth. Konichiwa, Gooch. Kyle Kendrick has been making a good case for his o

Dim Shady/Aftermath

Can I get a show of hands....who is tired of Jimmy Rollins right now? In a room full of me, I see everyone's hands raised. The MVP, who last year won all of our hearts by being outspoken with his desire to win the National League east title, has turned many people off with his same big mouth. On Wednesday, August 13th, prior to the Phillies' game in Los Angeles, Rollins appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period and came down on the phans, when a host asked if the phans were as bad as they seem. Rollins called us "front runners". Well if we are phront runners, I suppose Rollins is not surprised that the crowds at CBP are not currently running with him. In 11 games since that statement, Rollins is 4-for-46 (that's a .087 batting avg) with 0 RBI and just 3 runs scored. This month, Rollins is batting .191. Is that poor? Of course, it is. But let's not forget the month of August that Jim-Roll had in 2005. Remember 2005, when Rollins finished the se

Righty loosey, Lefty tighty

Your statement of the week is not really to ponder. It's an assertion that should just be printed out and shoved in the face of Charlie Manual. The Phillies' right handed bats off the bench are lacking, and the team needs help. Eric Bruntlett, who somehow gets starts at 3rd base, for the injured Pedro Feliz, against right handed pitchers instead of Greg Dobbs, is hitting a juicy .218 (41 for 188) this year. Bruntlett has 7 doubles, 2 homers and 13 RBI this season with a .601 OPS. Bruntlett has only 1 RBI since May 8th. Yes, ONE run batted in, in more than 3 months. Bruntlett has a .205 batting average vs. righties. By comparison, Dobbs, a lefty, has already set the Phillies' single season record for pinch hits in a season, with 21. Dobbs against righties is hitting .311. Another righty off the bench is So Taguchi. In 73 games, this year, So is batting .221 (17 for 77) with 5 doubles, no homers, 6 RBI and a .571 OPS. Taguchi has 1 extra base hit since May 26

The Beasts From the East

Folks, your Phillies team is loaded with beasts. That is not a difficult statement to make, based on the all star level talent that is on this Phillies baseball club, but let's exclude those all stars. No Chase, no Ryan, no Jimmy, no Brad, and no Colbert. Think you've still got a team loaded with beasts? You may doubt it, but Jay Ballz is here to assure you that you do. Beast #1...Jamie Moyer. The last time this 45 year old stallwart gave up more than 3 runs in a start was June 1st. Jamie has pitched more than 5 innings in all but 2 of his starts this year. And Moyer has a 2.84 ERA over his last 10 starts, since that June 1st game where he gave up 5 runs in 7 innings. Beast #2...Jayson Werth (vs. left handed pitchers). Tonight, Jay-Dubya tied Chase Utley for the major league lead in homeruns hit against lefties, at 11. He also raised his OPS against lefties over 1.000. Werth has hit exactly half his career homers against left handers, in far less than half the at bats. Beas