The O Zone…

So there I was in Section 122, right behind the dish on Friday night. Mets/Phils… Santana/Hamels.

I was the envy of my co-workers for having passes to what surely would be a classic pitcher’s battle. Unfortunately only one of the pitchers lived up to the hype. Ok, perhaps I am a bit harsh on Cole Hamels but clearly Johan Santana out pitched him and if this is any indication on the entire season, they might as well hand him (Santana) the Cy Young tomorrow.

Cole did not seem sharp, at least not consistently, and not at all when facing the Mets All-Star 3B, David Wright — who went 4-4 for the night, knocking in 2, scoring one.

Some other observations from this past weekend’s series vs. the Metropolitans.

  • Gotta start off with my boy Ryan Madson. I know pitching in baseball is as rare a commodity as sniper fire on Hilary Clinton in Bosnia is but… you can’t tell me there’s not a pitcher out there somewhere bagging groceries or manning the drive-thru who could do as well or as poorly as Madson for far less money. Our hero entered Saturday’s game in the 7th Inning with the Phils down just 2-0 and proceeded to surrender a 2-run blast to that noted slugger, Jose Reyes. Naturally the Phils would end up losing by 2 thereby making the homer hit by Reyes that more important. Wake up Jody and wake up everybody else: This guy STINKS with a capital S and a capital TINKS.
  • Remember a few years back we were all trying to come up with a catchy nickname for Ryan Howard after he won Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive seasons? Did anyone throw out the name “The Butcher?” Lord almighty is he flat-out out deplorable in the field. Although he is good at one thing, he’s great at butchering the most routine ground balls and taking what should be either double play balls or force outs getting the lead runner and allowing the opposing team to either score runs and/or sustain momentum in a given inning. As MQ astutely pointed out as he sat to my immediate left on Friday night, as long as he’s (Howard) hitting home runs and driving in runs, all sins on the field are forgiven. But when you are hitting a buck-eighty-six with 4 homers and 9 RBIs in 19 games, you damn well better be playing some Gold Glove First Base, and that of course ain’t about to happen. It’s pretty obvious the Phils did the right thing by not signing Howard to a long-term deal but rather keeping him in the fold essentially on a series of one-year deals he will sign following arbitration every year. When he finally does become a free agent, the American League will welcome him with open arms and ask him politely to leave his glove at home.
  • A few weeks ago I watched reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins try and pinch-hit. It was painful to watch as J-Role could not plant nor run on his sore ankle. I wondered aloud then why he was not placed on the DL for clearly his ankle was not well and he was in fact doing more harm than good by playing, albeit in a limited role. Fast-forward to present day and of course the DL is precisely where J-Role finds himself for the first time in his career. No one will ever get me to believe that this was not a case of the player calling the shots and not the team and its medical personnel. Jimmy Rollins knew his ankle was not right and that he needed to sit and let it heal. And you can be damn sure the Phillies did, too. So essentially these past few weeks have been a waste. Instead of having Rollins come off the DL in the next few days, hopefully fully recovered, we now are faced with life without J-Role for 15 MORE days. And whoopee, 15 more days of Eric Bruntlett!

Rest In Peace Johnny Mars. Still in a bit of shock over the passing John Marzano. He was truly a Philadelphian through and through. Way too young to be gone for sure. MQ reminded me of the following stanza from a Dylan song that is quite apropos.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young.

One last thing for today. I was leafing through a magazine the other day and I came across an ad for a golf course. In the copy that described the course and its amenities was this line:

“Greens Fees: $59.99 (which includes a GPS system.)”

Now I am surely no Tiger Woods. I ain’t no Jack Nicklaus. And I’m no Jean Van de Velde, either. But I’m pretty sure I can play a round of golf without needing the assistance of a device that bounces sound waves off satellites millions of miles above the planet.

Now if maybe the GPS can be used to track down the snack guy, that’s a different story.

‘Til next time.

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