October 2008

THIS JUST IN…

BREAKING BILFTASTIC NEWS: My mother just texted me from the Phillies phestivities to tell me that Chase Utley, the man who brought us the famed “Boo?  ***** you!” quote, has just referred to the Phillies as “World ******** Champions” live at the ballpark!  Ooh, Chuttles, you’re such a rebel–I love it!  (I hear this got edited out of the radio broadcast, but did it make its way on TV?  Let’s hope the Phederal Communications Commission didn’t hear it; we wouldn’t want the Chutley to get phined…)

In other news, apparently the censors at MLB.com have figured out that Phillies fans like to spell f-words with ph‘s, which explains the asterisks in this post.  Not only can I not drop the f-bomb, but I can’t even drop it when it begins with a ph.  Sigh.

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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIEND…

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OMG!  ThePhillies just won the 2008 World Series!  First World Series Championship since 1980!  First in my lifetime (I was born in ’81)!  *squealsquealsqueal*

OK, since I can barely think straight and I’m all ADD because, uh, THEY FINALLY FREAKIN’ WON (by a score of 4-3, by the way), let’s do bullet points…

* Cole Hamels was the World Series MVP!  He got a Chevy Camaro for his efforts.  Care to give a cute little blogger a ride, Cole?

* Brad Lidge stayed perfect this year–another save!

* Speaking of pitchers, Grant Balfour is really freakin’ hot.  Now that we beat them, the Rays are not The Enemy anymore.  (Now they’re The Losers.  Ha!  But Balfour’s a hot loser.  Purr.)

* Let’s totally buy stuff to celebrate the World Series Championship!  Click here for fun stuff from MLB.com, and click here to buy one of those crazy “Why Can’t Us?” shirts!

* Baby Chase and Baby Cole have arrived!  Nice names, don’tcha think?

* I LOVE our Phillies!  I love Cole Hamels for being the hotness, Chase Utley for his defensive skills, Jayson Werth because his hair is hot, Greg Dobbs for being the best pinch-hitter in the Majors, Ryan Howard for his cheesy Subway commercial that I sat through 9 million times during WS commercial breaks, Jimmy Rollins for knowing we were the team to beat this year, the Matt Stairs/Joe Blanton/Eric Bruntlett trifecta for hitting Most Unexpected Home Runs Ever, Brett Myers for his bat, Pat Burrell for having the best hair (and a key double tonight!) that left field has ever seen, Jamie Moyer for not playing like he’s an old man, the Flyin’ Hawaiian for being freakin’ awesome, Pedro Feliz for his defensive skills, Ryan Madson/JC Romero/Scott Eyre for kickin’ butt and takin’ names, Brad Lidge for literally being perfect, Pedro Feliz for his glove, Ruiz for his defensive skills, and if I forgot a Phillie or two here, well, I love them too.

* Other things I love: the Mets’ bullpen, the Rays’ defensive skills.

* By the way, I was totally wearing my lucky (filthy) socks and lucky (red lacy) undies tonight.  The Red Panty Brigade strikes again (and tonight–celebrates!).

It’s been a hell of a year for these Phillies, and it’s been a hell of a year for me personally when it comes to baseball.  This year I watched the team I’ve loved all my life win their first championship since I was alive, coined the term BILF, ran my first fantasy baseball team (and did way better than I thought I would), I’ve braved Mets/Phils games at Shea all by myself and have lived to tell the tale, I got to meet Cole/Greggie/Geoff/Jayson/Jamie/Shane at ALS Night this year, I’ve learned stuff about the actual game of baseball and learned lots of cool stuff about box scores, I’ve discovered the American League (which I’d ignored before…but who can ignore BILFs like Josh Hamilton, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Grant Balfour?), and started this fun little baseball blog.  By the way, I’m not going anywhere over the off-season.  I’ll be right here with trade rumors, BILFtastic pictures of our favorite hot baseball players, and more!  I have a lot of fun features in the works for this site…so don’t you go anywhere, ’cause I’m sure as hell not goin’ anywhere!  :)

* And on a final note, I want to mention that my totally awesome parents were at the game tonight, and while I’m insanely jealous of them, I’m SO glad they were there.  They’ve been partial season ticket holders for, like, ever, and they’re suffered plenty of misery at the hands of our boys in red and white.  They so deserved to see this historic win.  One of the best things about this baseball season is that it brought me and my folks a little closer together.  There’s no better person to call than my mother when the Phillies have won and I want to squeal, or Hamels has just looked really hot throwing a pitch and I wanna shriek about it.  We’re over a hundred miles away from one another and I don’t get to see my parents as often as I’d like to (and good lord, this last month has made me so freakin’ homesick), but a shared love for the Phillies helped keep us talking even when we all had very busy lives.  They brought me up a Phillies fan, and it’s one of the best things they could have ever done for me.  I love you, Mom and Dad!

For now, I’m gonna go keep grinnin’ and shriekin’…and I’ll be back soon with more BILFtastic musings.  Yay, Phillies!       

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GAME 5: BRIEF UPDATE

For those of you planning on watching game 5, the first-ever game to get suspended during a World Series, tonight–you’ll have to wait, ’cause it’s not happening yet!  There’s still icky weather in Philly, and so game 5 will happen Wednesday, 10/29, at 8:37 PM at the earliest.  Let’s hope the weather clears up by then, right?

Get answers to all the questions you might have about how the weather/schedule snafu affects the rest of the games in the series (if they’re necessary), how it could affect pitching rotations, the rules behind the suspensions, etc, by clicking here.

Can Hamels still get a win in game 5?  Find out here.

So where’d the Rays stay during a rainy Monday night in Philly?  Uh…Delaware.  Yes, seriously.  Delaware.

What are other bloggers saying about this crazy series?  Find out here.

And finally, for your entertainment…guess who’s got rain in their brains and can’t spell?  That’s right, MLB, I’m lookin’ at you!

 

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THIS IS B.S.

Okay, there’s been a lot of talk about the umps making screwy calls in this World Series (and boy, have they ever made some screwy calls–just ask Jamie Moyer).  But seriously.  It was pouring at Citizens Bank Park tonight.  And they waited until the middle of the sixth inning to delay the game.  It wasn’t really raining much harder then than it was in, say, the bottom of the fifth inning, at which point both teams had had equal opportunities to bat, and the Phillies were in the lead.  Nope–they called it after the Rays tied it up, 2-2.  Hamels pitched spectacularly, but fielding was quite difficult tonight with the wind and the rain, and due to the elements (and, I suppose, a little bit of the Rays’ talent), Upton got on base and Pena got a hit to send him home.  Unbe-freakin’-lievable.  And not in a good way.  For the first time ever in a World Series, they’ve had to suspend the game.  As a result of all of this screwiness, the game will take place at 8 PM Tuesday in Philly, where the weather isn’t supposed to be much better than it was tonight.  Looks like it’ll be a battle of the bullpens at this point.  And both teams have good bullpens, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.  The Rays just got a little momentum back–will they come out on top?  Or will the Phillies, who have not yet lost a postseason game played at home, be so ticked about how tonight’s 6 innings went that they’ll come after the Rays with a vengeance and take the title at home?

Obviously, I’m hoping for the latter.  But I’ve gotta wait another 20 hours or so to find out.  Sigh.

BASEBALL MAGIC IS IN THE AIR!

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Superb pitching and a home run by pitcher Joe Blanton?  The Phillies’ first run walked in?  Ryan Howard–two homers, a bunch of RBIs?  A homer for Jayson Werth?  Runs spread out over quite a few innings instead of just 1 or 2?  A 10-2 win over the Rays?  Baseball magic is in the air at Citizens Bank Park!  (The sight of Blanton chugging around those bases–proof that anything can happen in October baseball!)

The Rays’ pitcher, Andy Sonnanstine, proved to not be too much of a threat to the hot-hitting Phillies tonight.  Plus the Rays weren’t particularly up to par defensively (their second baseman had a couple errors, and Eva–oh, yes, you read that right–fumbled a ball as well).  Offensively, they simply weren’t hot.  They weren’t hitting too well off Blanton or, later in the game, Madson or Romero. 

Later tonight, King Cole Hamels takes the mound, and I hope he does as well tonight as he has in all his other postseason starts.  I hope the Rays are nervous and off their game.  I hope they can’t hit off Hamels and that we can hit off Kazmir.   I hope that later tonight, Phillies fans will celebrate like it’s 1980.  I don’t want to see this series go back to Tampa Bay.  I want good things to happen here at home.  And since I’m a superstitious, lucky sock-wearing, lucky underwear-wearing Phillies fan, that’s all I’m gonna say about that.  The Phillies are 1 game away from a World Series championship.  This feel so surreal.

All I have to say for now is, “Let’s go, Phillies!”  Hopefully I’ll have more to say, and shriek/scream/squeal about, in less than 24 hours!

LUCKY SOCKS!

So last night’s game was a real nail-biter.  We were up, and then we were tied, and we were also the victim of a few bad calls, and not long before the game ended, I started feeling like this game was never gonna end (at this point, it was quarter to two in the morning).  It was 4-4 and we were entering the bottom of the ninth, Phils up to bat, and I started fearing that this game was gonna take foreeeeeever, like this year’s All-Star Game did.  Luckily, a few minutes after I’d had that thought, the Phillies had won it 5-4 (thanks to some wild throwing, some intentional base-loading, and a screwy infield configuration, in combination with a walk-off infield hit by Carlos Ruiz), bringing them to a 2-1 lead in the World Series so far.  I was glad to see that in this game, the National League team fared better than they did in the All-Star Game, although I swear the games were of a similar looooong length.  (Perhaps the Phillies game felt longer because it got started late due to rain delays?  Dunno.)

Moyer did a fantastic job pitching last night, giving us 6 and 1/3 innings of solid pitching.  No Lights-Out Lidge last night, because we were tied 4-4 in the top of the 9th–but JC Romero did an excellent job keeping the Rays at bay (ha!).  Ruiz, Utley, and Howard each hit hot home runs, the Phillies didn’t strand as many guys on base tonight as they have been, the crowd’s chants of “Eva!!!” (at Evan Longoria) and “Carla!!!” (at Carl Crawford) were amusing, you couldn’t hear any freakin’ cowbell noises, and it was an exciting game down to the very last moment.  It was great to see the Phillies playing like, well, a team that deserves to be in the World Series–offensively, they fared better tonight than they have been, and they managed to overcome a team of Rays that just would not quit.  Want more details on last night’s game?  Check out the Deadspin.com live blog–it’s always good, snarky, sporty fun!

By the way, I’ve got a new lucky charm besides the red underwear.  It’s my lucky Phillies socks!  Last night I wore my “I (heart) Utley” socks for the first time ever, and the Phillies won.  While the game was tied, I’d declared I was gonna wear these socks for every Phillies World Series game if they won game 3, so…as I write this, my toesies are wrapped snugly in I (heart) Utley goodness.  Let’s hope this new lucky charm helps to do the trick for us tonight…

Oh, and what’s this?  Is this a FAIL…?

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First of all, the guy in the Phillies hat is JC Romero.  I don’t know who the dude in the Tampa Bay hat is, but I do know it isn’t Andy Sonnanstine.  Not only are the pictures switched, but the picture captions are all wrong, too!  Yes, game 4’s starters are Blanton and Sonnanstine, but neither of them are pictured here–and the Blanton label’s under the picture of the unknown Ray and the Sonnanstine label’s under the picture of reliever Romero.  WTF, MLB?  WTF?

No more FAILs for tonight, though–at least not for OUR boys!  Game 4 starts in minutes.  I’m gonna go watch.  Hopefully at the end of tonight we’ll have a 3-1 lead in this Series…  Let’s go, Phillies!

MOVING FORWARD TO GAME 3…

I forgot to mention in Thursday evening’s post that I was so freakin’ tired from work that I fell asleep during one of the early innings of the game.  I napped for about a half-hour or so, during which time I apparently dreamed that the Phillies had tied up the ballgame.  When I awoke and found that it was still 3-0 in favor of the Rays, I was most disappointed.  Sigh.

So where do we go from here?  Today–much, much later today–game 3 of the 2008 World Series happens (as long as the weather cooperates–they’re calling for rain).  It’s the Rays’ Matt Garza against Jamie Moyer, whose previous playoff outings have been…um…not the best.  Then again, Moyer was the pinnacle of consistency this year for the Phillies, and I have confidence that he could kick some butt and take some names.  Unfortunately, Moyer’s a hittable pitcher, and the Rays are a team of great hitters.  But this game will be played in Philly, with 46,000 screaming Phillies fans, and maybe they (and the boo-birds) will help to unnerve the Rays enough to throw them off their game.  But Ryan Howard’s convinced that the Phillies are gonna quit slumping, quit screwing around when there’s runners in scoring position, and will make those Rays go back to Florida feeling very disappointed.  Let’s hope he’s right!

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Me meeting Jamie Moyer at the Phillies’ ALS Night in July.

In other news, I’m on the roster of Waxing Off chickies over at Deadspin.com!  Check out the latest installment of Waxing Off by clicking here.  Make sure to read the post by Nikki (the third one down), ’cause that one’s mine!  :)

Don’t forget to wear some lucky red underwear for game 3.  Let’s go, Phillies!

PLEASE TAKE YOUR COWBELLS AND STUFF ‘EM…

I am sick of hearing those damned cowbell sounds.

I am sick of looking at blue mohawks.

It’s the ninth inning of game 2 of the Series, and while the game’s not over yet, it may as well be.  It’s not that the Phillies aren’t hitting–oh, they’re hitting.  Just not, you know, when anyone else is already on base.  Plus, you know it’s bad when the only Phillie to hit a home run in the game is…Eric Bruntlett.  Sigh.  Tampa Bay has been “on” tonight–and the Phillies, despite the fact that Ryan Howard’s seemingly making his way out of his slump, are “off” tonight.

I think I’m gonna cheer myself up by staring adoringly at Jayson Werth’s hair.  (He’s up to bat right now, and even if he doesn’t get on base, at least his hair still looks hot.)

I’m thinkin’ I need a new Phillies good luck charm to replace the red underwear, which obviously isn’t working so well tonight.  Suggestions, anyone?

By the way, if anyone needs a drink after watching tonight’s game, may I suggest one of these Phillies-themed drinks?  (Thanks to ARJEWTINO for this fun article!)

THE LUCKY RED PANTY BRIGADE

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This is so exciting!  The Phillies have established their dominance early in the 2008 World Series.  Hamels pitched a stellar game last night, and Utley’s 2-run homer was awesome.  It wasn’t a high-scoring game (3-2), and only 2 home runs were hit (the aforementioned dinger by Utley, plus a solo homer by the Rays’ Carl Crawford), but a win is a win is a win.  And now we only need three more of those wins to win this series.

I’ve gotta let you in on a little secret/superstition of mine.  Every time the Phillies are playing a playoff game, I wear red underwear.  For real–every time!  (The game I didn’t do this for was the loss against the Dodgers.  I did laundry shortly thereafter to ensure that I had enough red underwear for the rest of the playoff/World Series games.)  So, ladies, who else wants to be part of the Lucky Red Panty Brigade (and, guys, why not wear your red boxers in a show of support for the Phils)?  I know it’s not as exciting as those Rayhawks or Vajayhawks that folks from Tampa Bay are adopting, but I’m convinced that red underwear-wearing brings our Phillies some luck (or at least lets us display our Phillies pride on some of our best parts, right?). 

On a completely fluff-tastic note, I really love the cowhead ray tank at Tropicana Field, Balfour’s kinda hot (even though right now, he’s part of The Enemy…), and how cool is it that we all get free tacos?  (Click the link to find out how to get yours!)

Tonight it’s game 2 of the Fall Classic–Myers vs. Shields in Tampa Bay, 8 PM.  Wear your red [underwear] for good luck!  ;) 

 

THIS IS YOUR FAULT.

My Phillies fascination (phascination?) is all your fault.  Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you–specifically, you, you, and you.

It’s true that I was brought up on a steady diet of baseball and was going to games at Veterans Stadium when I was little (yes, even back then, I met baseball players all the time, and crushed on ‘em, too–when I was a very little girl, I was quite fond of Von Hayes.  Stop laughing…).  It’s true that I’ve always been a Phillies fan.  But my Phillies fan-dom has increased over the past several years, and that’s not just ’cause the players have gotten cuter.

It’s because of my post-college exes.  This is all their fault.

See, I can be a very competitive person.   I also have made a bad habit of consorting with The Enemy.  And just so you’re aware, The Enemy is any team that’s done something to prevent my Phillies from being particularly victorious in any given season.

I have a confession to make, you guys.  For a really long time…I dated a Mets fan.  I know, I know.  The Enemy of all enemies.  (And then, after that, I was involved with a Rockies fan…which wouldn’t be so appalling except that that happened a mere 8 months after the Rockies trounced all over my Phillies in the playoffs.)

But first, let’s backtrack.  It’s 2004.  I’m a Phillies fan.  I like ‘em, but I don’t love ‘em (yet).  The guy I’m dating, he’s a Red Sox fan.  And he’s effin’ crazy.  I’m not kidding.  Seriously crazy.  He didn’t seem crazy when I started dating him, but when I first met him, the Red Sox had just won the 2004 World Series.  He was a happy dude then.  He wasn’t trying to jump off my balcony at that point.  But then, 2005.  The Sox aren’t doing as well as they were the previous season.  The baseball-induced (seriously) knife-hiding, suicide-attempting, trying-to-bang-my-door-down (oh yes, still serious!) crazy starts to come out.  And I mean really come out.   It’s around this time that I discovered, hey, Pat Burrell’s hot!  And I made the mistake of saying so.  And because the crazy one was severely jealous of my affection toward anything male that wasn’t him, the crazy came out some more.  And by the time I got a nice little restraining order against the Sox fan and his craziness, I swore up and down I didn’t ever want to have to deal with anything Red Sox-related ever again and that I was a National League, Phillies-lovin’ girl through and through.

Not long afterward, I met the Mets fan.  He seemed like Prince Charming at first–hey, he wasn’t a Red Sox fan!  He met my one and only boyfriend requirement!  (Kidding, everyone.  I’m a very choosy girl.)  He didn’t have the self-confidence problems that the Crazy One had, so if I mentioned Pat Burrell’s hotness (or Chase Utley’s hotness, etc), he didn’t freak out.  But we did have an awful lot of arguments about whether or not Cole Hamels has a mullet (he doesn’t, dammit, and never has!).  And we did bicker a lot about whose team was better…and while we were each very adamant about our positions on this topic, it probably didn’t help my cause to end each argument with “well, my team’s better because they’re cuter” (even though it’s true, they are totally cuter than the Mets).  It also didn’t help that I went through a truly abysmal phase where I had a mad crush on Jeff Francoeur, whose good looks could not even begin to make up for the awful stats he produced this year.  Simply put, the Mets fan didn’t particularly take my baseball-related opinions seriously, and I was doing nothing to change that since all I did was talk about how cute all my favorite players are.

But then the Mets fan introduced me to fantasy baseball, and all of a sudden, I started paying attention to the game as much as to the players, to the players’ stats as much as to their cute pinstriped butts, to crazy acronyms like WHIP and ERA in addition to the crazy acronym BILF that I was so excited about.  All of a sudden, I started to Understand The Game.  And it couldn’t have happened at a better time, since my Phillies were kickin’ butt and takin’ names.  I started to learn about what they did, and who was legitimately good, and why they were good.  Because yeah, cuteness counts to this girl right here, but in fantasy baseball, cute doesn’t count for squat.  Now all of a sudden, I not only loved that my favorite Phillies were hot–but they were also really, really good.  (So good, in fact, that I’m convinced the reason I came in 2nd in my fantasy league–that’s right, first time doing fantasy baseball, and I got 2nd place out of 10 players…boo-yah!–is because I picked some truly awesome Phillies who ended up really carrying my team: Hamels, Utley, Victorino, and Moyer.)

Despite the fact that the Mets fan did do some really nice things, like help me pick 50% of my fantasy team when my internet punked out on me in the middle of my draft, bought me a Greg Dobbs autographed ball one year for Christmas, actually taught me a few things about baseball and stats, and even tagged along one time when I was at ALS Night meeting Phillies (although I swear he was only there so he could try to touch them and put a hex on them), I ended up breaking up with him (not because he was a Mets fan, either–really, I’m not that petty).  And then, somehow, when my heart was still slightly tender and I’d amazingly managed to forget the thorough trouncing the Rockies gave the Phillies in the 2007 playoffs, I found myself involved with a Rockies fan.  Thankfully, we didn’t talk baseball much, but how I ever managed to deal with a Rockies fan when the part of my heart that wasn’t tender was still black and angry and hateful from thinking back to October 2007’s playoff elimination still amazes me. 

And while I’m grateful to the Mets fan for teaching me some baseball wisdom, and grateful to the Sox fan for making me see that hey, those Yankees are kind of a fun team to like when I feel like rooting for an AL team, and to the Rockies fan for being kind (and wise) enough to never hold it over my head that his team beat mine in a few very crucial games, I can’t help but perpetually want their teams to lose.  As I mentioned, I’m a competitive kind of girl.  Despite the fact that I’m still chummy with 2/3 of these guys, and I sincerely wish them lots of happiness, I want to be the one with the most baseball happiness, dammit.  If, for instance, the Mets fan is happy, then that probably means the Phillies are doing something to make me unhappy.  If the Sox fan is happy, then the Yankees are probably making me a little peeved.  If the Rockies fan is happy…hey, does anyone even pay attention to Colorado baseball anymore?  Just wondering.

With each person I’ve dated, I’ve grown to love my Phillies a little more–it’s a love that’s grown mostly out of genuine affection for my Favorite Team Ever, and a love that’s grown slightly (and amusingly) out of spite.  With every ex, I cheer a little harder for my boys in red and white.  I stare just a little bit longer at their cute pinstriped butts.  I push myself to learn more and more about my favorite team, about the game, and about the hotties on other teams (Justin Morneau, where have you been all my life?!?).  I hope a little harder that my team beats yours–whoever you are, and whoever your team may be.  I blow a few more kisses at Burrell and I squeal just a little more when I see Hamels pitch.

So, dear exes, this is your fault.  You’ve collectively and gradually created a Phillies monster (and a fantasy baseball monster, too).  And thank you–yes,
really
.  Thank you.  Because through all that went wrong and all that went right, I found my one true love, the one who didn’t let me down yet this year…the Philadelphia Phillies (awwww!).

Okay, enough with the mush.  My team’s in the World Series…and yours isn’t.  Woo-hoo!

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