Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Fearless Leader

Courtesy of Sammy D via the Metro.

- "He Probably just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and said 'I'm gonna get the Haitian guy.' "

Why you gotta pick on the one Haitian we got? For shame Dwight...for shame.

Sixers Got the Magic Stick


Courtesy of dictionary.com, here are some synonyms for the word "Magic":

Alchemy: The Magic are a bunch of medieval shysters trying to convince the world that they can turn lead into gold.

Astrology: The Magic are the Psychic Friends Network.

Augury: The Magic are a drill-like tool used to put holes in people's lawns.

Bewitchment: The Magic are a witch trying to lead the life of a suburban housewife in a 1960's sitcom.

Black Art:
The Magic belong on the wall of Big Firms new house.

Diabolism: The Magic are a Bulgarian death metal band consisting of three members: Agarvaen, Lord Deimos Infernal Frost and Angrist. They took first prize at the 3rd annual Bulgarian National Death Metal Festival in 1996. Critics describe their music as "raw", "cold" and "ungodly".

Hocus Pocus: The Magic are Kazaam.


Illusion: The Magic are fraudulent.

Necromancy:
The Magic like resurrecting corpses from the dead... and then having sex with them.

Occultism: The Magic are a bunch of pale teenagers painting their finger nails black, playing Ouija, and listening to Marilyn Manson.

Taboo: The Magic are an enthralling board game wherein players take turns describing a word or phrase on a drawn card to their partner without using five common additional words or phrases also on the card. Also, the Magic are the gay Indian dude from Black Eyed Peas.

Trickery: The Magic like turning tricks.

Voodoo: The Magic are amateur medicine men powerless under the spell of Sammy D's Haitian Jedi Mind Tricks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Das EFX with the Real Hip-Hop?

As I was perusing the 76ers Dance Team bio page (how is it that they are all in nursing school? Am I missing something?) I came across this fabulous picture of Hip-Hop doing his part to make sure Thursday's game is a sellout by rounding up Philadelphia's homeless population and plying them with free "Run With Us" t shirts. Is there anything that wascally wabbit won't do for the good of the team?

In other news, my cubicle mate here at the CromCastle is telling me that Da-wight Howard will be suspended for Game 6 after is unprovoked assault on Sammy D. Could this mean a breakout game for the Haitian One? Such events are always possible, though I suspect the Sixers will use this suspension as an excuse to uncork an uninspired display of mediocrity, squeezing through to a Game 7 only because, Da-wight-less, the so-called Magic are little more than a group of second-rate hucksters pulling quarters from the ears of toddlers.

At any rate, I plan to be joining Hip-Hop and his homeless brigands at the former FU Center on Thursday, doubtless spending timeouts furiously texting updates to the DR's NBA TV-less Chicago correspondent. I think we'll win.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Like a Fart in the Wind

Does jumping in the air while holding another man's hand make you gay? I think so. If by gay you mean incredibly happy. Gayer than springtime, some might say. But all that glee I felt while frolicking in the hot Mexican sun came to a crashing end when I landed in dreary Chicago on a rain-swept Monday evening earlier this week. Turning on my phone to frantically see alllll the many people who had left voicemails and friendly texts since I left the States five days earlier, I realized I have no friends. Not a single solitary human being called me, you know, wanted to hang out, get a drink, watch a marathon of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Not even my mother. Granted, she knew I was away, but she's old and forgetful, so I expected a text at the very least. I digress... point is my own personal disappointment quickly evolved into shock and awe when I got a text from one Mr. Fine Tone that said the following, or something to this effect: "Way to go to Mexico and kill Harry Kalas." Hmmm. I knew I had gone to Mexico and eaten a lot of Mexican hot dogs, but killed Harry Kalas? Confused, I thought to myself, Harry the K... gone? Would Tone joke about this? Never. And then I got real sad. Not only because there is a greater possibility Gary Matthews will be promoted to a more important cog in the Phillies broadcast machine, but really because I, like so many others, love John Gruden. I mean Harry Kalas. I'm talking Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip love here. Maybe even sprinkle on some Mint Milanos, that was my level of compassion.


Harry Kalas was much more than an admirable man of indulgence who loved the good things in life. Sure his lungs were darker than the deepest jungle in the Congo. Yeah he slugged whisky like it was the DR holiday bash 365 days a year. God bless the man because he in all likelihood took down Chris Wheeler's wife triggering a feud akin to Ricky Vaughn-Roger Dorn. But beyond all those truly great qualities, he was a comforting voice and a friend to millions. When thousands of people line up on Saturday morning to see his 145 lb body lying at home plate at the Bank, undoubtedly most will feel as if they knew the man personally. As though he was their ace rollie. That's pretty dope if you ask this fella.


I remember when the Phils were only on television, at least in my house, on Sunday afternoons. Tuning into Philly 57 (I think was the station at the time) to catch the Harry-Wheels-Musser-Whitey combo was a treasured treat. For some reason I attach his voice with the concrete carpet we called "turf" that covered the Vet for so many years. The one with random wet spots scattered throughout the field, and seams that tripped up everyone from Dickie Thon to Charlie Hayes to Tommy Herr. I remember how the camera would start with H-K and then scroll out to see Andy Musser and his ridiculous Kangol hats. Harry for some reason triggers, in my mind, the old maroon colors, Von Hayes, and the years we sucked. I don't necessarily love him because he was the focal point of my baseball experience. Nah, really, I loved him for just the opposite. Sure his famous calls made him a tri-state phenomenon. But I learned to appreciate the 1.5 minute at-bats when he barely said a damn thing. Harry went hand-in-hand with those miserably humid and hot summer nights when the Phillies were battling it out for last place with Spike Owen & the Expos. Harry was Sil Campusano breaking up Doug Drabek's no-hitter with 2 outs in the 9th inning. Harry was Steve Bedrosian's beard, Steve Jelt'z jerry-curl, Bruce Ruffin's mullet, & Randy Ready's awesome name. Harry made me want to throw sidearm like Kent Tekulve. Shit, Harry added legitimacy to Bobby Munoz's upside, and bite to Wally Richie's slider. Harry was "calls of the game" while stuck in traffic on the way home from the Vet. Plain & simple, Harry was the fuckin man.

So now that I have gone through a box of kleenex, it's time to point forward. Can Wheels hold it down on the dolo? Is Larry Anderson the answer? Do we steal away Harry's son from the Devil Rays? Do we rescue Andy Musser from whatever mundane life he is leading in the random New Jersey town he probably lives in? Do we let the most articulate man this side of the Shenandoah Valley, our beloved Charlie Manuel, take over after we win another title this year? Time will tell. But if D'allesandro's can start selling New England Clam Chowder (those nazis) with a straight face, I suppose the Phils can and will move on without Harry the K. I'll still eat what they be cooking, but it aint gonna be easy.

Sad this is the last time I saw you Harry, but you went out a champion, and I'm glad I got to send you off with a hearty wave and a creepy scream. Go Phils.

video

Monday, April 13, 2009

R.I.P.



I won't lie, it took a lot of self-restraint to not title this post "He's Outttttttta Heeeerrrrrrrrre" but I thought that it may be viewed by some as callous (no pun intended). It of course was intended as homage, but it may have been a bitter pill to swallow nonetheless, especially seen in big, bright letters. My twisted sense of humor/tribute aside, we all lost a great member of the Phillies and NFL Films family when Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away shortly after 1PM this afternoon.

There isn't much I can say in this space that we all have not already thought about or said, and frankly there are far better and accomplished writers than me out there that can offer far more insight into the life of this baseball legend, so I will be very brief. Simply put, watching and listening to the Phillies will never be the same for me. Harry and the Phightens have been synonomous to everyone who ever heard the man call a game, and there is a part of me that never wants to experience a Phillie hit another home run if I am not in the stadium. Well, that's going too far, but there is no question it will be bittersweet at best (NOTE: Shane Victorino hit one at the exact moment I wrote that, and it was indeed a bit sad).

We lost a legend today, but if there is any solace to be taken in it, know that on some alternate plain of existence, Harry and Whitey are finally reunited in the booth.

You will be missed, but never forgotten, Harry. In your honor, I want to play our loyal readers the moment I waited my whole life to hear. Thanks for everything.





Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Ring is The Thing

When the Phillies won the World Series in 1980, the team received the ring above, a heavy-looking ornament that combined the fortress look of Veterans Stadium with an acceptable amount of blood jewels in appropriate colors. Having today glimpsed the 2008 World Series ring bestowed upon the defending champions, I have two observations: 1)championship rings nowadays are roughly the size of a box of Lucky Charms and weigh more than people who eat Lucky Charms, and 2)I think the real reason why teams don't win back-to-back titles in baseball is because the entire roster gets droopy-finger syndrome, a pernicious and debilitating affliction that can kill a pitchers grip, a batters swing, and a managers wave to the bullpen.

Before anyone jumps to false conclusions concerning my opinion on the 2008 World Series ring, let me say they are huge and that's cool. The bigger the better, because as soon as Geoff Jenkins gambles his money away and pawns that tasty ring I'll be there, ready to snatch it up, put it on, and add some serious shine to the next Dalembert Awards Banquet. The real reason I mention the ring is because baseball is back, and the ring is the thing. And the Phils are the team to fucking beat.

What will happen in 2009? Here are some guesses.

The Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth candidate for career year:
Winning the World Series will cover all sorts of warts, facts, and realities, and the fact is that we won it all without a career year almost nearly anyone on the roster, save for the aforementioned outfielders. Yes Cole Hamels was very good and a playoff stud, but Colbert only won 14 games in the regular season. JRoll basically had a bad year, Utley's numbers dropped steadily starting in May, and Ryan Howard made me cry almost every day for the first three months of the season. Burrell was great early but overall had a Burrell year, Pedro Feliz was bad, Geoff Jenkins was awful, Carlos Ruiz stunk, and Chris Coste an afterthought. Our bench doesn't count. Jamie Moyer pitched great but Myers, Kendrick, and Blanton were iffy, leaky, and chubby. You get the point: we have room to improve! Oh wait, Brad Lidge was perfect. Anyway, my candidate for career year is Brett Myers(I'm acting as if the season hasn't already started and he hasn't already given up 10,000 feet worth of home runs). Bottom line is this: contract year!!

The Geoff Jenkins candidate for Disappointing Corner Outfielder:
Since there are only two corner outfielders, and since I'm so drunk on the Ibanez kool-aid(even before today people!) I can barely see straight, I nominate Jayson Werth. Obviously I hope I'm wrong, but Jayson and his disgusting flavor-savor signed a new contract, has injury issues, and more than a little pressure on his lanky frame to represent the right-side of the plate in our line-up. We need the guy to bat fifth and hit 25-30 dingers for our line-up to work. Can he do it? We'll see.

The Crucial Asian Quota candidate for team harmony:
Does anyone think it's a coincidence that the Phillies rosters in 2007(a return to the playoffs) and 2008(a title) were both successful and both contained Japanese players? Hell no! You gotta have Wa, and for proper wa you need some Japaneezy's. I'll even settle for a Korean, which is why Chan Ho Pak(Chop as a nickname?) is the winner here. This dude is the key to everything.

The Charlie Manuel is Actually a Genius And Now We See The Light candidate:
There's only one choice here, and that would be the one and only Richard Peter Dubee, aka Dick Dubee. Our beloved pitching coach is a straight G. Not only did homeboy coax 21 wins out of Kyle Kendrick the past two years, he did it with refreshing bluntness(pun intended). Dubee will make sure our pitching staff stays focused and on point, while acting as consiglieri to Charlie Manuel. Dubee will soon get national props.

The Blessing In Disguise candidate:
JC Romero, forced to miss the first 50 games of the season due to a confusing and unfair suspension, will return angry, motivated, and pumped full of undetectable new steroids, and will strike out Carlos Delgado twelve times in September.

The Talent Wins In the End candidate to lead the team:
I sure hope all the role players and bullpen specialists play great, and the manager sets the right tone, and major injuries are avoided, etc., but I really want to see our Big 3(JRoll, Utley, Howard) mash the ball together this year. Out of the three of them I'm most obsessed with Howard reaching his potential. He had one great month last season and a bunch of terrible/average ones, and he nearly won MVP. Can the big guy stay consistent, avoid 200k's, and bring the average up to .280? If so 60 home runs could be a serious conversation. Did I say 60? I meant 80.

The Subtle Reason To Love Ed Wade candidate:
We've been through this before, but quickly lets recap: Ed Wade was in charge when the Phillies drafted and nurtured Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madsen, and Brett Myers. Then he took over in Houston and gave us Brad Lidge for Michael Bourn. He basically looked at our roster, thought "hey, I love the Phillies and would love to see them win a World Series so I think I'll give them a beast reliever, since they could use one, for a bum", and sent us on our way to the promised land. But the real kicker? Eric Bruntlett is fucking awesome. He came here in the Lidge trade and recovered from a slow start to become my favorite bearded bench player since Aaron Mckie. Bruntlett plays every position except pitcher and catcher and will prove indispensable as this year progresses.

The Reliever Who Will Make Those Jews Among Us Proud candidate:

Gary Majewski of course, even if the w is silent. I plan on Chad Durbin sucking this year, getting shipped down to the minors, and being replaced by the Mighty Majewski. Majewski will then make Sandy Koufax proud and anchor the middle innings like a true mensch.

We will win 92 games and the division of course. That is all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Can't Think of a Funny Title

I had every intention if sitting down, concocting a believable fallacy, and then taking credit for a wonderfully-conceived April's Fool joke. Fact is, however, I am not that creative. And more to the point, I am nowhere near that driven. So, alas, you are stuck with the uninspiring nonsense that clutters my this mind Wednesday evening.

Saturday I am faced with a bit of a dilemma. My Carolina Tar Heels (and I emphasize "my" only to piss Stand Watie off, which is a common theme of my posts) face off against the pride of Rosemont, the monsters of the Main Line, THE Villanova Wildcats. I grew up supporting Villanova, if only because our high school's most esteemed graduate starred on their basketball team in the mid-90s. And I attended basketball camp there. In fact, one fine summer, I rolled off the top bunk of my Villanova dorm room bunk-bed, had a minor collision with the tile floor, and spent a concussed afternoon in Rollie Massimino's office waiting for my parents to pick me up. Ahhhh, memories. But Saturday presents an interesting proposition. Root for Carolina and celebrate ostensibly by myself? Present an outward face of indifference and support the winner against the Big African or Big Marf's key to the big bucks? Root for Nova and, in essence, lie to myself? Well, I've come to terms with a happy approach somewhere in the middle. Let it be known, besides being black and proud, I am also rooting for UNC. However, if Novvvva scraps out a W, I will channel my inner Chuck Kornegay, contemplate naming my next pet Rafal or Bigus, and whip out the Doug West T'wolves jersey for Monday night's likely clash with my third favorite african basketball player.

Besides basketball this weekend, Sunday night ushers in another fabulous spring ritual: baseball season. Amazing that the new year is upon us, but I guess that's what happens when your season ends in November! Although my off-season is easily satisfied keeping up with J Roll's social agenda, Brett Myers' weight loss, and Chase Utley's hip rotation, the real deal is upon us and I'm feeling pretty damn good about it. I had an interesting conversation with a Mets fan over the phone the other day. He started talking shit, in his crafty, Jewy lawyer language, and I simply reminded him: we got rings, player. We got everything your bullpen shit down the drain last year. See, the Phils have had swagger for a number of years. We got confidence oozing all the way up to Flushing. And while that's been a great source of comfort and pride, it's even better knowing that our swagger is deserved, pronounced, and growing by the minute. And frankly, I expect nothing less than a championship AGAIN this year. For god's sake we have a Korean pitching every 5th day. Life can't get much better for this guy.

I also want to report something causing me significant bewilderment. It would appear that - and this might surprise many of you, but in all likelihood, has the entire DR staff shaking their heads in sarcastic agreement - I, well, how do I say this... well, I infuriate people. Something about yours truly compels others into violence, and more specifically, violence directed at me. In the last three weeks, I have been sucker punched by a mohawk sporting, lip ring having "tough" guy from the Chicago suburbs (who hits a guy with glasses anyway?), and victimized by an angry, angry, 6'4'' man intent on destroying my nose with his forehead during a recent YMCA basketball game. Hmmm. I would invite commentary on this issue, but something tells me the Bul Bubak would destroy my sense of self.

Little people have been on my mind recently as well. As a preliminary matter, I'd like to note my minor obsession with a recent, and somewhat disturbing Burger King commercial starring a wee little farmer driving a tractor, hawking adorable little cheeseburgers. Thanks to the NCAA tournament, I've seen this commercial at least fifty times in the last few weeks. Really, it all makes perfect sense. If there is one thing more loveable than a little person, it's cheeseburgers. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that little cheeseburgers are, therefore, the wave of the future. And a quick youtube search later, I'm convinced that Burger King's CEO might be little himself. The King has an inordinate number of little people commercials, strongly indicating a unique solidarity, or a fetish worthy of our collective applause. How often can you watch in horror as a small person is ruthlessly squashed by a falling flame-broiled patty? Not very, Mr., not very.


But my appreciation for little people can't hold a candle to this guy's. Never have I considered driving to Oregon, kidnapping Matt Roloff, his wife, or his little person son (who by the way, must be incredibly bitter). Rarely do I go anywhere with duct tape, a loaded pistol, a shotgun, and a box full of love letters... well not anywhere without a Delaware Avenue address at least. But Shawn Johnson's stalker takes no chances with his affection. Some people might consider him crazzzy. Like a fox, maybe.

God bless you all. GO PHILS! And oh yeah, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer Bernard Hopkins, the executioner himself, went to the Henry School for a year. I'm guessing he robbed the COOP for every fruit leather in the joint at least a handful of times. I like boisonberry, I wonder if he did too.