Archive | July, 2006

Philadelphia City Hall Rises Above

25 Jul

Who doesn’t love City Hall? The only slight drawbacks are lame Dilworth Plaza, but that’s not even the building itself, and John Street is housed in it. Anyway, the New York Times recently had an article about the tower, which described how it is the quintessential Philadelphia story. It was delayed for years, was thought to have derived from corruption and graft, and people even called for its destruction…they only backed off when no one could figure out how to get rid of all the materials left over.

And now it is one of the best municipial buildings in the nation, if not the world. Massive in size, intricate in detail, it sports over 250 different sculptures, which display messages of government, law, war, history and whatever one wants to decipher. And now the exterior is being brightened day by day, as pigeon feces and other grime is being lifted from its white, somewhat milky, facade. It’s one of the gems of Philadelphia, something that sets the city apart from most every other city in ‘the new world’, and even most other cities around the world: we have an architectural masterpiece which is used every single day. It is a working piece of art, and the heart of the city. Treasure it. Treat it right. And, most of all, go there. Visit it. Don’t be that guy that never visits his own city’s great buildings, because you’ll be missing out.


David Dellucci Should Be A Phillie in 2007

25 Jul

However we get to that result, Dellucci should be wearing the red pinstripes next season for the Philadelphia Phillies. The guy has power, patience, wants to play everyday, and is going to be a very cheap option. Sure, the Phillies could probably get a decent minor leaguer for him if he were dealt before July 31st this year, but whatever we recieve is unlikely to be worth a couple seasons of Dellucci’s likely output. He’s currently hitting 325 with 9 doubles, 3 triples, 6 homers, and 9 walks in 120 at bats for this team. That averages out to a 369 OBP and 608 slugging percentage for a 978 OPS!! If he played full-time that would be the highest OPS in the lineup. Sure, OPS underweights getting on base, so that would tip in the favor of a guy like Bobby Abreu, but it still shows that Dellucci is swinging a good bat for this team.

Trading Aaron Rowand should be the solution to this too many outfielders problem, and would free up playing time for both Victorino and Dellucci. Rowand has been a rather iffy hitter this season, and has finally dipped below David Bell in OPS, which means that he’s now officially the worst hitter on the team with at least 200 at bats. Trading a guy like Burrell, while still a good bat, would also free up playing time and would also allow the Phillies to even use Michael Bourn early in the season, if he continues to light up AAA scoreboards.

And as big of a fan of Bobby Abreu as this blog is, trading Abreu would be preferable to trading a cheap, usable part like Dellucci…provided we get back a viable third base and/or starting pitcher candidate. It’s ridiculous to trade Abreu for a bag of balls, and we would not lose out by not moving him at all, but to allow David Dellucci to leave as a free agent would be a failure to capitalize on perhaps the biggest bargain currently in baseball. The Phillies dealt Rob Tejeda for him, and while Tejeda has floundered with the Texas Rangers, Dellucci has proven himself to be a terrific addition to this lineup, even while he has gotten iffy playing time. And, best of all, he’s been freaking cheap as hell.

Offer him 1.5 mil a year for 2 years, or something that will get him to sign. Trade Rowand, trade Burrell or Abreu if must be, but let’s hope that Pat Gillick realizes what he has in Dave Dellucci.

Plus, the guidos would lose ANOTHER guy with a vowel at the end of his name. And we couldn’t have that.

Lose One Fan Group, Gain Another

24 Jul

Yes folks, the Wolfpack is back. Randy Wolf has been told that he will be starting on July 30th in Philadephia, going up against the Florida Marlins on the doubleheader being played that day. He stated that he was ready to pitch after he pitched in Reading on Friday and threw over 90 pitches in 5 innings. The most important thing was that he said he felt better and trusted throwing his changeup, which is vital to his repertoire. Without a viable changeup his 89-90 mph fastball becomes very hittable to the opposition.

One interesting note about this move is that it won’t be made until the day of the start. This forces the Phillies to make some kind of move before that date to free up a spot on the roster, whether it be by trading one or two of the current starters(Lieber, Lidle) or trading a reliever or two(Cormier, Fultz, Gordon).

In any event, Randy Wolf has always been one of our favorite Phillies, and we hope he does well the rest of the season. He’s always one of the few pitchers on the team that can swing a bat, and as evidenced by last night’s double-play debacle involving Myers (now 1-36, to go along with Lieber’s 1-23 and Lidle’s 3-31) it’s a bit needed on this team. Being a pitcher doesn’t mean one can just slack off with the bat, unless of course said pitcher is bound to be a hall-of-famer or something.

Say Goodbye Sal

24 Jul

Goodbye Sal. And welcome to another backup wonder in 33 year old rookie Chris Coste. The bashing of both has been pretty liberally sprinkled into the analysis of the Phillies on this blog, and so far Coste has proven a little something. He’s currently hitting .333 with 3 doubles, 2 homers, and 868 OPS in 54 at bats. It’s unlikely he’ll keep up this pace, but his ability to also play a little infield and him actually meriting playing time has made the Phillies designate local cult hero Sal Fasano for assignment.

Fasano was a nice guy, had some funny facial hair, a gut like a lot of fans, and that ever important vowel at the end of his last name. He also hit a few bombs in games and batting practice. It’s just too bad he couldn’t really make much contact at all and didn’t exactly come as advertised on the defensive side. Many a ball skipped away from Sal because he couldn’t block it with this ample body. It’s somewhat of a shame that Fasano simply wasn’t that good, but the Phillies could have seen that coming…most career backup catchers get exposed after playing in a starting role and he had to take on this assignment when Lieberthal twice visited the disable list.

It’s time to go forward with Ruiz and Coste for the rest of the year, and hope that someone will take on the rest of Lieberthal’s contract for a stretch run.

On a side note, Chase’s Chicks is much better than Sal’s Pals. Sal’s Pals was always the lamest option in our opinion, as Fasano’s Pasianos told one all they needed to know about both Sal and the fan base. And it was more clever.

Say goodbye to Sal here:

Boy Meets World Mondays

24 Jul

Yes, I love a good montage. Live with it, and enjoy the wonder that is Boy Meets World.


Washington Post Gives Reading, PA The Thumbs Up

21 Jul

For its art, anyway. The thriving Goggle Works, the ever-growing Jazz Fest, the Reading Public Museum and the locally-owned coffee joints all appeal to arts-starved tourists in the Mid-Atlantic region. Paintings, classes, glass-blowing, dancing and art house movies adorn the Goggle Works. Keith Haring’s works fill up the Public Museum, and musicians play at several places through Reading and West Reading (which held its open-air arts festival only a month ago.

Reading is on the way back up, despite worries about crime and trash. These things change in time, but the development of a large arts scene certainly brings cache, dollars and new blood to a city which sorely needs it. The city held its first professional bike race recently, and it was a blistering success. More is expected from next year’s race. The Reading Phillies are widely thought of as one of the best minor league franchises around. The Pagoda, one of the symbols of Reading, is getting a makeover. All of this is coupled with new developments such as the Miller Theater at 2nd and Penn, a new movie theater complex and apartments across from the Goggle Works, and other smaller projects such as townhomes and even a few condos in West Reading.

Things are not finished, of course, but all of these things set a new course for the city. And how coincidental that they are all happening with Ed Rendell as governor, who values cities, and Tom McMahon as mayor, who values the city and its residents.  Many of these projects were started under their wing.

Twenty-Three Words and a Heabutt = 10,000 hits overnight and crazy reactions

20 Jul

It’s all over. Zinedine Zidane has been suspended for three games and fined 4,700 euros(about 6 grand in American dollars). He retired from international competition, so he will also do community service with youngsters to repay his ‘debt’ to the soccer world. Marco Materazzi, who has never heard of terrorists, was suspended for two games and fined 3,100 euros(roughly 4,500 dollars?). And why are we bringing this back up?
Because, Huge Tiny Mistake, the blog that brought you all of a 23 word comment about Zizou’s headbutt in the final game of the 2006 World Cup, recieved over 10,000 hits from this post, rocketing it to the front page of WordPress, and had 245 comments(and several ones rejected for far too much racial and ethnic hatred).

The internet is an unwieldy beast and an unknown entity which propells tiny blurbs to the top and buries far more academic endeavors under thousands of other pages in search engines. The topic also brought the worst out in people, partly because of the anonymity of the internet. Perhaps Chan’s blog summed it up best, and he did it in TWO languages:

“As people were reacting on Zidane’s behaviour at the WorldCup finals, they all started to insult each other, each other countries, comparing which is the most stupid country and people and everything else.”

Yep, a headbutt from a soccer player made before he was going to retire anyway caused a huge internet backlash, from several sides. Funny how things work sometimes, because I personally just found the headbutt perfectly executed, but wrong, and found Materazzi to be an idiot.