Thursday, October 30, 2008

See, Obama does hang out with losers

First, there is his connection to domestic terrorist William Ayers, then his 20-year association with his anti-American preacher, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Now, here is more proof that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hangs out with losers. In the above photo, Obama is shown at a rally in Tampa with members of the American League champion Rays, who LOST to the Phillies in the World Series


In the words of Phillies Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas: "THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE THE 2008 WORLD CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL"

Sixers lose opener

Today, who cares?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Of course I'm worried

Monday night I was confident the Phillies, with ace Cole Hamels on the mound, would bring home the World Series title. That's unusual, since I usually have negative thoughts running through me head in regards to my sports teams.

But I was ready to celebrate when the game ended, with my champagne chilled and ready to be drank. And I was set for a parade, whether I'd be there in person, or relegated to watching it on TV.

Then the rain and wind came, and the game was suspended. Now? Well, let's just say I'm one of those who feel there is a conspiracy between Major League Baseball and the baseball gods to keep the Phillies from winning.

Right now I can see a nightmare scenario unfolding that leaves the Phillies without a title.'s Jayson Stark knows the emotions of Philadelphia sports fans and hits it on the head in his most recent column.

I have a lot of nervous energy right now, and the resumption of Game 5 is more than 4 hours away. But I am trying to think positive about tonight: how the Phils have 12 outs to the Rays 9; how the Rays haven't touched the Phillies bullpen; and how resilient this Phillies have been this season.

So let's hope the Phillies can end the World Series tonight and start the celebration after a 25-year drought.


Blame Obama for 8:37 p.m. start

Want to know why the resumption of the suspended Game 5 is at the odd start time of 8:37 p.m.?

Because Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a 30-minute infomercial running on several networks -- including FOX -- at 8 p.m.

Thank goodness FOX is bagging its 30-minute pre-game show.

Stubs for sale

Anyone interested in going to what remains of Game 5 of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park but don't have tickets?

Well, ticket holders who saw the first 5 1/2 innings are selling them, so you still have the chance to see the Phillies win their first World Series title since 1980 and relish in the region's first major crown in 25 years.

On, tickets for the rest of tonight's game are available in prices ranging from $700 to $3,500.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michigan Democrats arouse voters

Here's one way to try to get out the vote.

Michigan Democrats trying to arouse interest in absentee voting have accidentally directed people to a phone-sex line.

According to the Associated Press, state party spokeswoman Liz Kerr says a flier that included two absentee ballot applications had a misprint in the number for a campaign hotline.

The flier came from the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee and featured photos of presidential candidate Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.

The error was first reported by WJBK-TV in Detroit. Kerr says the party apologizes for the misprint.

You blew it, Bud

Too late, Bud.

Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig, at right, blew it Monday night when Game 5 of the World Series was suspended before the bottom of the 6th inning because of bad weather. I had no problem with the decision; the timing of it is what was wrong.

Conditions were just as bad in the fifth inning when Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins dropped a wind-blown pop-up. In his news conference later, Selig said the game was stopped when it was to save its intergrity. The intergrity of the game was already lost by the time the game was called.

It was obvious by the timing that Major League Baseball wanted the Rays to tie the game before stopping play. I agree with Comcast SportsNet analyst and former Phillies hurler Mitch Williams that the Rays had an unfair advantage by being able to bat in the 6th inning as the Phillies had to be in the field during the awful conditions. When play resumes Wednesday night (weather permitting, as Tuesday's planned start has been pushed back), the Rays will be playing on a dry field and their pitcher throwing off of a dry mound.

You call that integrity. On this night, it was not proud to be a Bud.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ready to party

After 25 years of pain and suffering, Philly sports fans are ready to celebrate a Phillies win in the World Series. Just one more win and the Phillies will end 25 years of the region's champsionship frustrations and their own 28-year drought.

Four hours until the first pitch and I have my bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. Hopefully, Cole Hamels, at right, can pitch like he has throughout the postseason (4-0 with a 1.55 earned run average) and the Phillies bats will stay hot after Sunday night's 4-home run effort. Then around 11:30 tonight (weather permitting), the Delaware Valley can party like, well, like it's like 1983......the last time the area celebrated a major sports championship!!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Game 1 win was nice, but...

Yes, it was great that the Phillies rode Cole Hamels' arm to a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night. But there were a couple of negatives that need to be fixed for the team to win the series.

First, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, the 2007 and 2006 NL MVPs, need to get out of their slumps. The pair batted 0-for-9 with five strikeouts in Game 1. Rollins hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the second inning when Shane Victorino was thrown out at home on Rollins' short fly ball to center field. Howard struck out 3 times with a runner on third and less than 2 outs.

And then hitting with runners in scoring position. The Phillies were 0-for-13 in those situations, the worst in World Series history. This has been a problem all year. If it's not fixed, this team won't win

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The dreaded pick

I don't know what to make of the Phillies chances to win the World Series.

One minute, I think that they're a determined group of 25 players and won't be satisfied until they win it all. I think of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels at the top of their games and pushing the team to the title.

The next minute, I think of the Phillies' offensive inconsistency all season and some struggles by the starting rotation. And I look at the young, talented Tampa Bay Rays who won 97 games in the regular season and represent the much-tougher American League.

Will the Phillies feel on their shoulders the collective weight of 25 years of failures by Philadelphia major sports teams and the hopes of a few million people? Will the weeklong layoff help, or hurt?

When the Phillies were Cinderella in 1993, their bubble burst on Joe Carter's series-winning home run. When, or will, the Rays' bubble burst?

Check out who simulators feel will win. And here's what ESPN's analysts think.

I was right about the Phillies beating the Brewers in the National League Division Series, and right about them defeating the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

Will I be right about the World Series? I hope not. I think the layoff will hurt the Phillies. That, and their 4-11 record in interleague play doesn't instill confidence.

I pick with my head instead of my heart: Rays in 6.

If you've got Phillies Phever, send us your photos at

That's a mighty big burger

There are burgers, and then there are burgers.

At just 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Brad Sciullo doesn't appear to be the kind of guy that could put away a 15-pound burger. But the Clearfield, Pa., man managed to eat such a burger in 4 hours and 39 minutes.
According to an Associated Press story, Sciullo is the first person to eat a monstrosity called the Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser: a 15-pound burger with toppings and a bun that brought the total weight to 20.2 pounds. The mountain of beef is the product of Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in Clearfield.

Sciullo, 21, of Uniontown, said he was surprised he finished the sandwich. "About three hours into it, things got tough," he said.

When asked what possessed him to eat a burger that big, Sciullo said: "I wanted to see if I could."

The burger included a bun, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, mild banana peppers and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and relish, pub owner Dennis Liegey said.

For completing the challenge in the under-five-hour time limit, Sciullo won $400, three T-shirts, a certificate "and a burger hangover, as I call it," Liegey said.

It's Evan Longoria, not Eva

Note to anyone watching the World Series who is unfamiliar with the Tampa Bay Rays: the Rays third baseman is rookie Evan Longoria, shown above, not to be confused with "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria Parker, at right.
Evan Longoria will also likely be named American League Rookie of the Year. Eva Longoria likely will NOT be named Mother of the Year on Wisteria Lane.

They are not related.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

28 years ago

Tonight is the 28th anniversary of the Phillies winning their only World Series title.

Tug McGraw struck out Kansas City's Willie Wilson at 11:29 p.m. to set off a wild celebration which began with McGraw leaping into the air in the Associated Press photo at right.
Let's hope the situation repeats next week, with Brad Lidge taking the leap off the mound.

Lame choices for first-game DH

With lefthander Scott Kazmir starting for the Rays in Game 1 of the World Series, Phils manager Charlie Manuel is in a tough spot as to whom to play as designated hitter.

The strength of the Phillies bench is left-handed with Greg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins and Matt Stairs, but it's unlikely any of them will start the game as the DH.

So what are Charlie's options? Outfielder So Taguchi, who hit just .220 on the season and received less than 100 at bats; infielder Eric Bruntlett, who hit a robust .217 and actually spent more time as Pat Burrell's defensive replacement in left field than Taguchi did; or catcher Chris Coste, who did hit .263 with 9 home runs, but would have to get behind the plate if Carlos Ruiz was injured.

What's likely to happen is that Taguchi or Bruntlett gets that start in left field and Burrell is the DH. Either way, it puts a poor hitter into the lineup.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hollywood liberals lose this one

One of the great sidebars to the Phillies winning the National League pennant was to see the dour faces on all of the Hollywood liberals who attended the games.

Penny Marshall, Laverne from "Laverne and Shirley," had seats next to the Dodgers dugout with her brother, producer/director Garry Marshall. Sitting directly behind home plate was Mary Hart of "Entertainment Tonight."

During one game, Fox kept showing Barbara Streisand, above in an Associated Press photo, in her seats.

And though he wasn't shown, Rob Reiner -- Mike Stivic, aka Meathead, from "All in the Family -- is a Dodgers fan as well.

Now if only they could all see one more defeat on Nov. 4....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Glad I was wrong on this one

This time I'm happy I was wrong.

Yes, I picked the Phillies to beat the Dodgers in 6 games in the National League Championship Series. But winning in five games is a lot sweeter.
Cole Hamels was brilliant Wednesday night, and the offense did just enough to win to let manager Charlie Manuel hoist the Warren Giles Trophy as National League champion (shown in the Associated Press photo) and send the Phillies into the World Series for the sixth time.
The only thing wrong is that the Phils have to wait until next Wednesday, Oct. 22, for the World Series to start. Hopefully whatever momentum they've built won't be lost by then. Though momentum in baseball is usually gauged by that day's starting pitching.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FOX may not get its wish

It's painfully obvious while watching the Phillies-Dodgers National League Championship Series that FOX and its lead announcing team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are blatantly rooting for the Dodgers.

FOX will also broadcast the World Series and I'm sure the corporate suits were pulling for a Dodgers-Red Sox clash so they could beat the Manny Ramirez returns to Boston angle to death. I'm surprised FOX hasn't shown Manny taking a bathroom break in the clubhouse.

My friends and I have been particularly upset about it, especially when the announcers said Monday night that the home runs by Phillies Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs were "a devastating turn of events." Devastating for whom? Not Phillies fans.

And while we may see this through Phillies-colored glasses, one member of the media has noticed it, too. Check out this column by Page 2 writer Tim Keown called "Pray for Philly, Tampa Bay and all of us."

Time to get that big money, Cole

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels was upset with the team in spring training after they renewed his contract for $500,000 instead of signing him to a long-term deal. He felt disrespected.

Hamels had just 51 starts and only 315 inning pitched in his major-league career entering the season, so it's hard to understand why he was so upset.

So this year the 24-year-old went out and proved he's worth a lot more money. His 227 innings were second in the National League. He was sixth in the league with 196 strikeouts and his 3.09 earned run average tied him for fifth. Hamels only won 14 games, but that's because of a lack of run support from his teammates.

And he's been stellar in this postseason, too, winning both of his starts and striking out 17 in 15 innings while allowing just 2 runs.

But if Hamels wants to command a big contract, tonight is his night to show it.

Hamels, in an Associated Press photo above, will take the mound in Los Angeles when the Phillies meet the Dodgers in the fifth game of the National League Championship Series. A win sends the Phillies to the World Series for the first time in 15 years; a loss, and Game 6 is at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
So if Hamels wants to establish himself as a money pitcher and deserving of a big new contract from the Phillies, he needs to win tonight.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Improbable Phillies win

By the time the eighth inning rolled around in Monday night's Phillies-Dodgers NLCS Game 4, I had pretty much convinced myself that the series would be tied.

It was a mood-altering game until that point: Phils score 2 runs in the first, and the Dodgers get 1 back. Then the Dodgers take the lead, and the Phillies tie it, but leave the go-ahead run at third base. Then the Dodgers get two more runs for a 5-3 lead after seven innings.

So I was just laying in bed, biding my time until the final out when I could go to sleep. And then it happened.

First, Shane Victorino -- the man Dodgers fans love to hate -- tied the game with a two-run homer. Then an out and a base-hit later, Matt Stairs launched another homer into the right-field bleachers, shown in the photo above, to give the Phillies an improbable 7-5 win, a 3-1 series lead and one victory away from the World Series.

Of course, I was then too excited to sleep, so I watched "Post-Game Live" on Comcast SportsNet, then "Baseball Tonight" on ESPN for their expert analyiss, finally able to turn in at 1:30 this morning.

But it was worth it, capping off a nice two-day stretch of fandom. Why? The Eagles won a game they needed to on Sunday, but it wasn't just the 40-26 comeback win over the 49ers, but everything that came along with it: division rivals Redskins and Cowboys losing Sunday and the Giants losing Monday, all to teams they shouldn't be losing.

Those outcomes kept the Eagles trailing the Giants by 2 games and the Cowboys and Redskins by 1 in the NFC East Division.

The Eagles have a bye this week, and it will probably benefit them since all the talk will be about the Phillies as they look to wrap up a spot in the World Series, then go for the city's first championship in more than 25 years.


Hot dog, wing king now conquers pizza

Joey Chestnut, the Wing Bowl champion and the world's hot-dog eating champion, added another title over the weekend: pizza-eating champ.

Chestnut downed 45 slices in 10 minutes in a contest in New York City over the weekend.

For more details, click here.

Hugh Hefner moves on with twin girlfriends

It didn't take long for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, 82, to find a new girlfriend after his breakup with Holly Madison, shown together in this Associated Press photo.

Hefner actually found two.

According to Madison in an interview with Us magazine, she introduced Hef to 19-year-old twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon.

To read the full story, click here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prediction time

I finally got one right when I picked the Phillies to beat the Brewers in 4 games in their National League Division Series. So I might as well try it again as they meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in the league Championship Series.

The Dodgers had the fewest wins among the playoff teams, but since Sept. 1, they've been among the hottest squads. The acquisition of Manny Ramirez on July 31 stabilized a young lineup and the Dodgers had the National League's best pitching with a 3.68 earned run average.

The Phillies pitching isn't too shabby, either, as the staff posted a 3.88 ERA, good for fourth best in the league; the bullpen was the best in the league, led by closer Brad Lidge, who saved 41 games in 41 chances.

Obviously, both teams have very good pitching. For the Phillies to win, they need Chase Utley, shown above during batting practice, and Ryan Howard to hit. Against Milwaukee, Utley hit just .133, including a two-run double in Game 1, and Howard just .182 with 1 RBI.
It's very simple: if Utley and Howard hit, the Phillies win. I think they will. It won't be easy, but I see the Phillies winning in 6 games in front of a raucous Citizens Bank Park crowd. Or in Game 7 in front of a very nervous home crowd.

Now that's a lot of popcorn

I've heard of movie marathons, but this is a bit ridiculous.

Two people may have set the world record for continuous movie-watching after spending 123 hours glue to a movie screen. I wonder how much popcorn they ate?

According to the Associated Press, Suresh Joachim of Toronto, and Claudia Wavra of Germany claim to have set the record after viewing 57 films in a plastic-glass house in New York's Times Square.

A Guinness World Records spokesman said it will take two weeks to officially verify the record.

The attempt began Oct. 2 when eight challengers started watching "Iron Man." After 72 hours, only two remained. They watched "Thelma and Louise" until the end on 3:10 p.m. Tuesday. Susan Sarandon, a star of that film, dropped off the final film.

The rules: Each movie had to be viewed until the last credit rolled, and competitors couldn't divert their eyes from the screen. They were allowed 10-minute breaks between movies.

Now, I'm not much of a movie watcher, but 123 continuous hours of "The Simpsons" I might be able to do.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No faith in the Phillies

A poll on asks readers who will win the National League Championship Series between the Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Of more than 55,800 votes, 67% think the Dodgers will win the series.

And yes, I was one of the 33% who think the Phillies will win. (Though that could just be wishful thinking.) is asking its readers which World Series matchup would they rather see. Of more than 6,000 respondents, a Red S0x-Dodgers matchup is sought by 47%.

A Phillies-Rays matchup and a Phillies-Red Sox clash have each garnered just 14% of the votes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let's hope I get this one right

Followers of this blog know that my predictions this season regarding the Phillies have, well, been wrong. And for that I am happy.

So now it's time for my prediction on the first-round playoff series against the Brewers.

I believe manager Charlie Manuel this time when he says they will get past the first round. Last year, the team was just happy to get in; this year they want to win.

The Phillies are the better team. The Brewers pitching, save for ace CC Sabathia, is in shambles. The Phillies have a better bullpen.

In this case, I like the Phillies to win the best-of-five series in 4 games. Let's hope this is one prediction I don't get wrong.