Archive for May, 2013

Fire and Desire

Posted: May 28, 2013 in Sports

This morning, I tweeted Jimmy Rollins and asked him when him and his teammates lost their desire to win, was it after they won the World Series in 08 or after they lost in 09.  Maybe the better question would have been, when did they lose their hunger to win.  I remember being at game 5 of the NLDS in 2011 with my friend Kei and saying to her, “This team doesn’t want this.  They don’t have that hunger in their eyes that they had the last few years.” This was not the first time I had a conversation about this and it hasn’t been the last.  Let me say this, I am only talking about the guys on this team that were here in 2008 and 2009.  I mean, we’re not talking about bench players that really wouldn’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about the core of this team, the players this team basically was built around.  These are the guys who carried the team then and they should be doing the same now.  I know that they are all a few years older now but being older and still wanting to win have nothing to do with each other.  Look at the Yankees, their star players are all in their 50’s now and you still get the sense that they still want to win.

I think this is what has frustrated me the most about this team over the last few years.  There is no excitement, no sense of urgency and no hunger in these players anymore.  Are they satisfied with just winning one World Championship?  I would hope not because the way this team was built, they should have won at least 3 in the last 5 years but maybe 1 was good enough for them.  I remember after that heartbreaking 1-0 in 2011 to the Cardinals,  (No I am not over it yet) that stadium was in shock.  It’s like everyone was confused as to what just happened.  It was one of the worst times for me as a Phillies fan.  About 5 hrs after the game ended, Shane Victorino tweeted about what a beautiful day it was in Philly and how he was already on the golf course.  Oh and if that wasn’t enough, he tweeted pics of him golfing.  Did it not bother Shane that a few hours earlier, he and his team was eliminated in the division series by the team that they let in the playoffs on the last day?  Did it not bother him that his team was probably the favorites to win the WS and they went out in the first round?  Did it not bother him that once again he and his team let the whole city of Philadelphia down? I know, I know, it’s just a business to them, they are not invested like we are but when did they lose their love for the game to the point where it doesn’t matter if they win or lose? 

I know people are going to say, “Well they won 102 games 2 seasons ago.”  Yes they did and so what.  What I remember about that season is (yes I’m bringing it up again), the 1-0 loss to the Cardinals.  I think the only game they really and truly played to win that year was that 102nd game so Charlie could be the winningest coach in franchise history.  Yep, that’s the game they should have lost.  **sigh** 

I look at players like Roy Halladay who pitched his whole career on a losing team and wanted to come to Philly for the chance to win a championship.  This man gave everything he had to win but that hasn’t worked out.  I look at some of these younger players on the team and see guys who want the chance to play everyday and when they do get in a game, they give their all for 9 innings.  Then I see a player like Jimmy Rollins who hits a ground ball and does his best impression of the seniors stroll the bases promotion the team does after games.

Oh well, I guess these players are who they are now and we just have to live with it.  As much as I loved every player who was on that 2008 World F’ing Championship team (except Adam Eaton) and as much as  I still love players like Jimmy, Chase, Ryan, Chooch and Cole, I think it is time to say goodbye to some of them.  This team needs youth.  This team needs players that haven’t been there yet and want the chance to hold up that World Series trophy.  Even if the team isn’t good for a few years, I’d rather watch a bunch of guys every night go out there and hustle, sweat and play hard than watch guys who act like they don’t care one way or the other if they win or not because, well, they’re still going to collect that big paycheck.  The fans of Philadelphia deserve so much better than that.

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This is For the Kids

Posted: May 14, 2013 in Sports

As most of you know, I usually only write about Philly sports but what I am about to write about is more important than any sports team that I devote so much of my time losing my mind over, this is about the kids.

Earlier this year, my friend Hillary Linardopoulos, (@MrsL132 on twitter), a 3rd grade teacher at Julia de Burgos Elementary School tweeted about how some of the kids in her class were coming to school, in the middle of winter, with no coats.  When I read this, it really upset me.  No child should ever go without a warm coat in the winter.  I asked Hillary if I could buy a few coats for these children and she totally went crazy on twitter. lol  The more I thought about it, I decided I was going to enlist the help from my friends who still played for the Eagles or played for them at one time.  My friends, Darryl Tapp and Quintin Mikell stepped up and donated coats for this cause.  I also had another friend, Don Durkin who took the time to go out a buy some coats also for these children.  I will always be grateful to you guys for your help.  Ok anyway, back to the reason for this post.

Hillary recently wrote an opinion piece talking about budget cuts and how her classroom doesn’t  have enough books, paper and other school supplies   This got me to thinking again.  I cannot do anything about books in the classroom but I can make it easier for her and the children in her class by donating school supplies.  I text her today and told her what I wanted to do and once again, she was very excited. 

This is where all of you come in.  I will be collecting backpacks, paper, folders, notebooks, pencils and whatever other kind of supplies these children will need to help get them through the year.  A lot of these children come from very poor homes so being able to help anyway possible would be greatly appreciated.  I will be collecting supplies up until the end of August.  I’m not too good at planning things so I didn’t figure out how I’m going to get the items from people who want to donate but I’ll figure it out like I did before. lol 

Let me just say this to you before I go.  When I saw the pictures of these smiling little boys and girls wearing their new winter coats, that was the best feeling ever.  So yea, help out or I’ll be forced to, ok I won’t bully you guys today. 

 

Is This the End?

Posted: May 6, 2013 in Sports

When I bought my ticket off Stubhub the other day, you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t making out like a bandit. Got a ticket for Mothers’ Appreciation Day for $2.95 and got my free Chase Utley tote bag. (which I am carrying today) As if that wasn’t enough, I was getting to see my favorite Phillies pitcher, Roy Halladay. I know Roy was coming off one of his worst outings as a Phillie. He only went 3.2 innings and gave up 8 runs against Cleveland but there is no way he will have back to back horrible games. No way!!!
I’m sitting in my seat enjoying my hotdog, diet coke and taking in the sun, excited about seeing Halladay pitch. Well that excitement did not last long. The first inning was a sign of things to come in the 3 innings he pitched. Actually the first batter was a sign. At one point during the 3 innings (I wish I could remember when) I saw Roy grab his shoulder and kind of try to stretch it out. It happened very quickly but I said to myself, “Oh no, this is not good.” After the first inning when he gave up 5 runs, I told the lady beside me that I wish Charlie would not send him back out to pitch. Something was not right. It was so hard and hurt my heart to see him struggle those next 2 innings but what hurt my heart even more was listening to thousands of fans boo him as he walked off the mound. There are some players you can boo, (Adam Eaton being one) but Roy Halladay is not one of them.
I didn’t know until I got home that Roy had given a press conference and announced that he indeed had shoulder soreness and would know more when he got to LA to see the doctor. Roy said that he felt this soreness after he pitched against the Pirates almost 2 weeks ago. Let me say this before I go any further. Roy Halladay is one of the greatest pitchers to ever play this game. He has given his blood sweat and tears to this team and city since he’s been here. I remember in 2011 when the Phillies lost to the Cardinals 1-0 in game 5, one of the Phillies beat writers said that Roy Oswalt showered, dressed and was out of the clubhouse in less than 30 minutes after the game was over. He then went on to say that an hour after the game ended, Halladay was still sitting at his locker in full uniform distraught over the loss. If there is one player that I wanted to see win a championship, it was Roy Halladay. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is ever going to happen.
Ok, now I really hate that I have to add this part but I would kind of be a hypocrite if I didn’t. I have jumped on players like Chase Utley for not telling the team he was injured until he got to training camp. I said in my last post that by Chase not revealing these injuries really hurt the team especially last year. I feel the same about Roy. I know he says this soreness only started 2 weeks ago but he has to go to his manager and or training staff and let them know there might be a problem. I understand he wanted to try to pitch through this pain because he is a warrior like that but in his next 2 starts combined, he pitched 6 innings and gave up 17 runs and 4 homeruns. This is unacceptable. I was one of the few that gave Roy the benefit of the doubt because I knew he didn’t pitch much in spring training because of illness. You couldn’t tell me that he was not going to get his form back and pitch the rest of the season like he did in his 2 wins this season. After yesterday, as much as it hurts me to say it, I think we have seen the last of Roy Halladay. I really hope I am wrong because I don’t want to see him go out like this. He deserves to go out on top and be remembered as the great pitcher he was a few years ago. If we never get the chance to see him pitch again in a Phillies uniform, I want to take this time to say, Thank you Doc for May 29, 2010. Thank you Doc for the no hitter in the playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds and thank you for allowing us to watch you pitch in the red pinstripes over the last 4 seasons.

For a while now, I’ve been contemplating if I wanted to write about this topic or not. I know this is a touchy topic in Philadelphia but I think I’m ready to tackle it. Ok, here goes. Why is it that Chase Utley gets a free pass in this city and Ryan Howard cannot do anything right and gets chastised over every little thing (like breathing)? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Chase Utley. Hell, him and Ryan are my favorite Phillies and have been since they’ve come up. I love Chase’s hustle, I love how he goes out there every game and plays it like it should be played. I love his baseball smarts. What I don’t like is how for 2 years in a row, Chase waited til spring training to tell the organization he was hurt. I mean really Chase, you didn’t know after the season that you were hurt? You couldn’t get those injuries taken care of in all those months you were off before spring training started? Two seasons in a row, the Phillies had to start without their starting second basemen and last year it really hurt them.
I’ve tried really hard to ignore the lovefest for Saint Chase and the hatred for Ryan but it got to the point that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Last week when I was at a Phillies game, I got into an argument with basically my whole section. I don’t remember exactly what happened but a ground ball was hit to Ryan and he hesitated throwing it to second base. The whole section started with the “You’re not worth 125 million you damn bum. Sit his ass Charlie”, blah blah blah. An inning earlier, Chase decided to run from 1st to home on a pop up with one out and got doubled up. Not one person said anything, well except me. A few innings later, Chase almost cost the Phils the game with a throwing error to Howard and you know what I heard, “How do you not catch that ball Howard! It’s ok Chase, get em next time”. Wow, really? I see things like this all the time on twitter. Chase makes an error (which he has 5-6 already this season) and people tweet, “We love you Chase, you’ll get em”, or Chase strikes out and you see, “It’s ok Chase, you’ll get a hit next time”. Ryan gets up to bat, strikes out, “Oh look, this bum strikes out again. Remember that bonehead play about 2 weeks ago when the ball went right and Chase went left? Well I do and people had nerve to make up excuses for him after that play. If Ryan would have done some dumb stuff like that, he’d be hanging from a tree right now. When Ryan does do something good, like it a homerun to put the team ahead or just gets an rbi, you hear nothing. Chase does the same exact thing, all hell breaks loose on twitter. You would think he just won the damn World Series for the team. The funny thing is, people seem to forget that Ryan Howard put this team on his back the last few months of the 07, 08 and 09 seasons to get this team in the playoffs. Chase seemed to disappear which is basically what he does at the end of every season. I know, I know, the Chase Utley apologists are probably going to be at my front door with pitchforks ready to kill me for this but hey, it is what it is.
What I’m going to say next is really going to piss people off and once again, I don’t care because if you know me, you know I shoot straight from the hip and don’t bite my tongue. I’ve tried to convince myself over the last few years that this Howard hate is not racial but I really and truly believe that is the biggest reason why he is treated like he is in this city. I got into this argument the other day with someone who said, “Well Philly loved Allen Iverson”. Seeing that over half of NBA fans are black, yea umm, that could be why. Listen I’m not saying that black players are not liked in this city, I mean hell, one of the most beloved to ever play here is black, Brian Dawkins. I’m going to stop right there because this is going to start controversy enough without me going any deeper into it.
Back to Saint Chase and Ryan. You know what makes me sad? I find myself sitting in front of the television at times, hoping Chase does something stupid or strikes out to end the game just so I can say Ha! How about that! (In my Tom McCarthy voice) I hate that! I hate that this is what it’s come to especially because like I said earlier, he is one of my two favorite Phillies. Both of these men have given everything they have to this organization. We would not have won a World Series without them.
I’m just here to let you know, I will criticize Chase just as much as any other player in this city because, well, he deserves it. Some of you need to take off those rose colored glasses and realize too that he is not above being criticized.
I feel so much better getting that off my chest but I know a lot of you probably wish I would have just kept it to myself.