October 27, 2008
Yes, today may be the day that the Phils finally blow the tinfoil hats off the silly curse promoters. But before we revel in the potential fulfillment of our sports dreams, the weekend just past deserves some celebration all its own.
I started out this weekend hoping for a nearly impossible run–seven for seven from my favorite teams. And this is how it went:
- After just enough of a break to let Flyers fans get home, Penn State beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe in Columbus for the first time in 30 years, keeping hopes of a championship run alive.
- Overlapping the PSU game by only a little, because of the rain, the Phils won an exciting game 3 of the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays, setting off fireworks at 1:47am.
- Sunday started with a stunning Liverpool win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea hadn’t lost in 86 matches. This moved the Reds into first place in the Premiership and legitimizes their league championship hopes. I realize this doesn’t fit an amazing Philadelphia sports weekend. But you’ll note this is MY amazing sports weekend. Sadly, the game was not even available PPV. So of all the events of the weekend, I didn’t get to see this one.
- Then the Eagles beat Atlanta making it hard for Eagles tailgaters to follow instructions and leave immediately after the game, so the parking lots would be ready for Phillies fans.
If you’re anything like me, you are exhausted and happy and looking forward to losing your mind tonight. It couldn’t happen to a more fiercely loyal, frustratingly pessimistic fanbase. None of that curse stuff today. None of the woe is me stuff. No complaining about perceived weaknesses. This is the day to take down the walls around your heart and let it beat for the Phillies. Love them right to a historic victory. Enjoy the ride!
October 9, 2008
Even when I still had Phillies Season Tickets, the purchase of post-season seats included minor annoyances. I’ll never understand charging season ticket holders a fee for buying their season tickets, or for buying post-season tickets. Incorporate the cost of doing business in the ticket, for heaven’s sake.
But now that I have not even a Six-Pack plan, I had decided that the post-season was out of reach. I’d seen the ticket prices on Stub Hub and knew I couldn’t afford to go.
Today, I was jonesing big time for tickets for tonight’s game between the Phillies and the Dodgers. A post season without me? I couldn’t imagine it. But I went to Stub Hub again, to remind myself that the tickets were beyond me. What did I see but a set of three tickets behind the plate in the Hall of Fame Club at an unbelievably low price. I called the agency, asked them if the seller would consider selling a single (leaving them with a very easy-to-sell pair). They called the seller. He said yes. And I’m going to the Phillies game tonight. Read the rest of this entry »
August 22, 2008
It’s been a long time since I collected a new ballpark (two Septembers ago in Kansas City). So it was time to add one. And why not one that is not only new to me, but new?
Friday and Saturday I made my first (and surely not last) visits to Nationals Park in D.C. Conveniently accessible to the Navy Yard Metro stop, the ballpark is plunked down in a rapidly transitioning neighborhood that is soon to be the home of Half Street, a development of retail, entertainment, office, and living space that should make the ballpark more of a destination, even if they don’t manage to make the baseball team a better draw. Read the rest of this entry »
September 30, 2007
“The Phillies are three outs away from becoming National League East champions on this amazing run.”
Ok. Tell me you believed. Tell me that when Jimmie Rollins said the Phillies were “the team to beat” that you didn’t cringe, or smirk, or maybe even laugh out loud.
Tell me that when the Phillies free agent pitchers kept dropping like flies (or allowing big flies) that you didn’t start dreaming of Eagles or Flyers season.
Tell me that when Ryan Howard hit the disabled list, or when Chase Utley broke his hand, or when Cole Hamels elbow ached, that you said it was no problem. Tell me you thought the Phillies would be resilient. Tell me you didn’t think competitive was still the organizational buzzword for mediocrity.
Tell me that when the Phils were 4-11 that you thought Charlie Manuel would still be manager in September. Tell me no matter what you felt about his management of men that you didn’t pull your hair out with his management of the game.
July 26, 2006
“The fish rots from the head.”
Cliches become cliches because they carry such a concentration of truth, their use and reuse is unavoidable.
Isn’t it obvious? We didn’t need Bill Giles to speak up quite so cluelessly to know it, but his remarks that the fans aren’t really unhappy and those who are vocal are basically nut cases offer vivid evidence of the reality. Read the rest of this entry »
September 18, 2005
It was announced this week that former Channel 6 WPVI sportscaster Scott Palmer had been brought on board by the Phillies to help the organization with its image. After giving Mr. Palmer a few days to settle in, I can’t help but offer some observations from the cheap seats.
The Phillies current woes don’t start with the years and years of losing. The Phils had lost for years before the ’93 team. And in that year of blue snow, the team was lovingly, whole-heartedly embraced. No, the Phillies image problems are rooted in three main issues–the Bowa regime, a failure of the corporate communications process within the Phillies organization at all levels, and a structural change in the home crowd created by the design of the seating and pricing at the new ballbark. Read the rest of this entry »
October 3, 2004
Would another manager, a fiery, relaxed guy, who could actually manage the National League game and manage a bullpen, have been able to save the Phillies season?
Read the rest of this entry »
April 3, 2004
Today was Christmas. If you love baseball and you’re a Philadelphian (or from thereabouts) today was Christmas—when you still believed in Santa Claus.
After years of longing, Phillies fans finally got to enter their brand new baseball palace. Read the rest of this entry »
October 21, 2003
Enough. Enough talk of curses and destiny. Enough whining about fate. Guess what. The Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs became long-time losing franchises the old-fashioned way. They earned it. And they continued their sorry records with the same unremarkable ability to find a way to lose.
For the next 100 years we’ll be hearing about curses and goats and the Babe. Why? Not because there really are curses, but because it is much easier to underachieve when you have a nice convenient (no not goat as curse but) curse as a scapegoat.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 14, 2003
You’ll read a lot today about fans and foul balls and interference. You’ll read about pressure and performance. You’ll read about curses and goats and black cats. But none of those things are behind the crushing loss the Chicago Cubs suffered last night at the hands of the Florida Marlins.
The real reason the Cubs lost is karma–simple, unadulterated, never-over-til-it’s-over karma. The Cubs downfall for 2003 began not with a goat and a curse in 1945 or with a black cat or with a fan interfering with what would have been the second out of the eighth inning. No. It all began with one Bernie Mac and the premature celebration. Read the rest of this entry »