Archive | July, 2006

Buck O’Neil Played Yesterday

20 Jul

He has lived for 94 years, was the grandson of a slave, barnstormed with the likes of Satchel Paige in 1934, first played professionally for the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro American League in 1937, later became a scout and coach in the MLB, and helped to get several Negro League players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a pretty good player, a good scout, and by most accounts a good guy. And most recently he played in the Northern League all-star game, leading off for both sides and ‘drawing’ two intentional walks. Though I’m not exactly the sentimental type when it comes to sports, I still appreciate a good gesture now and then, and this was a good one.

It’s uncertain if he actually is the oldest player ever, though, because a similar stunt was done about 10 years ago with Ted Radcliffe…who was supposedly 96 years old at the time. No doubt baseball historians will have a ball with this one.

Where did Fabio Castro go? And other bullpenisms

19 Jul

When the Phillies dealt Daniel Haigwood for Fabio Castro, everyone got psyched that we got the offspring of Fidel and Fabio.  He debuted in the pinstripes on June 30th against Toronto and went 3 scoreless innings of no-hit ball.  He then pitched a week later,on July 6th, and once again shut down the opposition, this time in one inning.  Since that date 12 days have gone by and your Philadelphia Phillies have played 8 games in that time period.  And yet we haven’t seen Castro’s mug during that entire time.  Charlie Manuel has yet to see one instance in those games where he could bring Castro in to pitch.  Apparently one inning out of about 75 innings played wasn’t avaiable for ol’ Fabs.

Let’s just compare this to the other relievers on the team.  Since July 6th here is the amount of appearances each reliever has racked up:

  • Rheal Cormier – 5
  • Ryan Franklin – 5
  • Geoff Geary – 5
  • Rick White – 5
  • Aaron Fultz – 4
  • Tom Gordon – 2
  • Arthur Rhodes – 2

There are a few interesting things to see from this, besides the fact that they all have more apperances than Castro (who has zero):

One, Rick White, picked up on June 23rd, is tied for the most appearances on the team.  He has already pitched 9 times for the Phillies!  They really do love them some old journeyman relievers.

Two, the best reliever on the team has pitched the second-least amount of times since July 6th.  Why?  Well, he’s the closer and he can’t possibly pitch any other time than the 9th inning and up by 1-3 runs!!!!  If the Phillies deviated from that dogs would bite mailmen, children would shoot up schools, worlds would collide.  And the Phils might have won an extra game or two.  Not using who is by far the best reliever on the team more than two times in the span of 12 days is simply criminal, especially with as many off-days as they have had.

Three, Manuel is gonna wear these guys out, if he hasn’t already. Each one of these pitchers had several good games, but every 3-4 appearances each one of them gave up a run or two.  Use 3-5 relievers every game, and this leads to the bullpen giving up a couple runs almost every time they appear in a game.  With this (horrible) starting rotation it’s hard to completely villify Manuel for overusing the bullpen, but using guys 2 innings at a time or using a guy like Castro more could go a long way in keeping some of these older arms fresher into the dog days of summer.

So, what is the reason Castro hasn’t pitched at all, despite showing some good stuff and a good head in his first two appearances?  He’s only 21, that’s why.  The Phillies have already shown they favor veteranness over performance several times this season, perhaps most notably in the simple fact that they keep trotting Abraham Nunez out there to get his at bats, despite being the worst bench player in the major leagues.  Joe Thurston is tearing it up in Scranton and could at least get a shot. Hell, anyone could probably do better than Nune. ANYONE.

So, my advice to Castro would be to stick around until the off-season and come back next year with some new papers from the Dominican Republic which say you are legally 35 years old.  You may actually get some work in this bullpen then.

You don’t massage the Chancellor

18 Jul

Seems like a bad idea.

Boy Meets World Mondays

17 Jul

Fake montage time!!!! It’s a new one!

Linkage

It will be a sad day in Philadelphia…

14 Jul

a sad sight…when Bobby Abreu is dealt. For all the ire that is thrown at this man by many fans and journalists, it says something when the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, and perhaps Cardinals are all interested in trading for him. The Phillies may actually get some good value back for him because of all this interest, but the end result will be to have traded one of the best hitters this franchise has ever had simply because he costs a lot of money for a team that has made a lot of bad moves. If/when he wins a World Series with one of these teams, Huge Tiny Mistake hopes he is happy and understands that he had many fans in Philadelphia who loved his play, even if the boos and taunts about his defense or ‘walking too much’ were louder than the cheers.

We’re not going to list the stats that show how much of a rock he has been at the plate, and we’re not going to show where he lists all-time on the Phillies’ offensive lists. It’s been re-hashed several times before, and it won’t stop anyone from believing that he’s ‘lazy’ or that somehow fumbling a ball in the outfield once in a while should be an afterthought because of how much he brings with his bat. People blame Bobby unfairly for this team losing throughout his career, as though his entire game is ‘hollow’ or he is some kind of ‘fraud’. For christ’s sake, Luis Sojo has won multiple World Series rings, that is not the way one judges a player.

It almost seems like a forgone conclusion now that Bobby will be dealt. And we will be worse off for it.

The funniest Colbert clip of all-time

14 Jul

Just sit back and enjoy the Rosa Parks of Colbert video clips: here

Billy King Trades John Salmons, Doesn’t Fuck Up

14 Jul

John Salmons, who we believe stunk as a Sixer, has been traded to the Toronto Raptors for a second round pick and a two million dollar trade exception. This is your basic sign-and-trade where the player picked the team, and the Sixers then honored that request and asked for very little in return. The Toronto Raptors, led by Bryan Colangelo, and the Phoenix Suns, headed by Brian Colangelo, both wanted Salmons, obviously for his ability to play several positions and run the floor.  He will sign the 5 year, 23 million dollar contract when the Raptors make another move to free up a space on their roster.

It’s a good move to get rid of a frustrating, offense-first guy like Salmons because he wasn’t that great at said offense. He had no discernable move outside of a decent drive to the basket on smaller guards, and his headband/afro style clashed with the rest of the team’s look. Salmons was a guy who had some ability, but nothing that stood out enough to be all that great at any of the multiple positions he played. The Sixers had him bring the ball up when Iverson sat, but his passing was nothing special, and he tended to hold the ball a long time as well. It is uncertain how this will fit into a Colangelo-style of game, but perhaps Salmons will blossom now that he has left the stagnant Sixers’ organization.

Either way, it’s a smart move for the Sixers club, even if Salmons improves. The Sixers are still looking to deal Allen Iverson, against Huge Tiny Mistake’s wishes, and have a huge logjam at the 1-2-3 positions. The Sixers are definitely not finished this off-season, as usual.

Bobby Jones is blogging

13 Jul

That’s right, the Philadelphia 76ers 2nd round pick is blogging. And it’s pretty good. In his first two entries he discusses how excited he was to be selected in the draft, how he has been catching up on television and current events, and how training camp takes a toll on one’s body, but it’s worth it. Perhaps the best excerpt is when he describes what it takes to become a good NBA basketball player:

“The competition is always tough because everyone is just about the same physically and mentally with the knowledge of the game. The only way to really tell the difference is how hard you play and how hard you do the drills. That’s where I try to stand out from everyone else.”

Beating an (almost) dead horse

13 Jul

Why is Barbaro still alive?  He just underwent a three-hour surgery in Kennett Square.  He is on his sixth cast for his leg.  He’s got 27 screws in his leg now.  And he’s not feeling well.  What kind of life is that?  Why is the horse being forced to live in pain?  Here’s why:

We can’t let go.  Many people sent letters to their local newspapers writing about the courage of Barbaro, how they will miss him, etc.   Others sent him emails…and there was minute after minute of coverage on television, especially locally.  At one point after the Preakness, it led the local Philadelphia news, ESPN’s Sportscenter, and was prominent on all the cable news channels.  No doubt the draw of ratings played a role in this, but people in general also need to transfix on a situtation that does not affect them directly in order to make their own lives feel better in a way, or to focus on something other than their own affairs.  They latch onto a public event such as a famous, beautiful (in our collective view) creature who was trained locally.  None of these even affected us, instead the outcome of Barbaro’s health affected people with a direct interest in it, such as its owners.  They can’t let go either, perhaps rightfully so, but it hurts the animal and creates a spectacle of the prolonged life.

Instead of allowing this animal to die quickly and without pain, we force it to go through several months of pain and degradation because we can’t bear to see it die.  All things change, all things die.  Remember him for his grace or whatever one wants to remember him for, but please let him die in peace.

No one can bowl two 900s

12 Jul

Anyone who has bowled in a league setting for several years understands the simple reason why it is nearly impossible to roll a 900(three consecutive perfect games) in a row. The ability to stay consistent in feet, stroke, and release is rare, let alone the simple luck factor and perhaps mis-spotted pins. So how does one 17 year old boy in Upstate New York bowl TWO 900 series in one league season???

 

The short answer: he didn’t.

The long answer: Bowling is, at its very core, a sport which requires honesty from its participants. No matter how many people are working in a bowling center, the bowler himself, plus one’s fellow participants, must correct and verify any and all honor games. The problem with this is that the amount of honor games and series has greatly increased in the past 20 years, so much so in the past 5 years that 12 year olds have thrown perfect games, 18 year olds have double-digit perfect games, and so on. This has created a culture of expecting honor games, and sometimes people can go too far (i.e. cheat).

The USBC, the ‘governing’ body of bowling, verified the two 900s bowled by Robert Mushtare, despite them being bowled without any witnesses and being pre-bowled (bowled on a different day, by himself). How? They just did.

All of this brings up a possible easy fix to all of this…decrease the amount of honor games by toughening the lanes and not giving out honors for pre-bowled scores. League bowling is about several individuals coming together on a team on the same night, not about individuals bowling on several different nights. This would probably be easy enough to change. Changing the lanes is another matter, because bowlers like high scores. They simply do, and improving oil to compete with the ever improving bowling balls would face a tough fight. It must be done before bowling loses whatever credibility it has left.

Marco Materazzi has never heard of terrorists

11 Jul

In response to charges that he called Zinedine Zidane a ‘dirty terrorist’ or something similar, Marco Materazzi responded with an astounding statement:

It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I’m ignorant. I don’t even know what the word means.

Uh, ok. How can anyone alive not have heard of terrorists, or what the word even means? Putting aside whether the headbutt was disgraceful or justified or what, this response by Materazzi is simply hilarious. Someone who is 33 years old, playing in a cultured city such as Milan since 2001, and playing integral roles in two World Cups has never heard the meaning of the word terrorist?

Adam Carolla has no time for bitches

11 Jul

Up here in the Northeast section of the United States we don’t get a chance to listen to Adam Carolla’s radio program, and are instead treated to Opie and Anthony(and the crash and burn David Lee Roth experiment before that). Opie and Anthony are alright, but it’s a shame Carolla doesn’t beam into this area of the nation because we here at HTM have always found his humor enjoyable and smart, even while his TV talk show on Comedy Central failed. He is obviously his best when paired with Jimmy Kimmel, but still holds his own when able to riff on topics and meander through a subject.

Why that lengthy intro? Because we missed that Adam Carolla told an hour and a half late Ann Coulter that he ‘doesn’t have time for bitches‘ and then proceeded to hang up on her 20 seconds into the call. Pure gold. We find Ann Coulter pointless, and hanging up on her is priceless.

King of Philadelphia: Ryan Howard

10 Jul


As stated previously, Ryan Howard was set to participate in the Home Run Derby tonight… and he just became the second Phillie in a row (Bobby Abreu won it in 2005) to win the damn thing, besting New York Met David Wright in the finals. He had several magestic home runs, a few traveling over 450 feet out of the ballpark and into the river. He also pelted the ESPN broadcast tent with several dingers, getting as close as 8 feet or so to hitting the booth. It was a tremendous night for Ryan and his family, and far more exciting than the All-Star game will be. Great job Ryan, and carry it into the 2nd half of the season.

Does this count as a win over the Mets?

Boy Meets World Monday

10 Jul

It’s cheap, it’s easy, and yet it’s still pretty funny. Brokeback Boy Meets World:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QVmM3fj2TA

The Zidane Headbutt

10 Jul

Well, Italy beat France last night to win the 2006 World Cup…but the BIG stoy is the headbutt heard ’round the world:

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