Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Day Without A Schizo

Some say there are no such things as coincidences, everything happens for a reason.

No doubt that explains why the Pittsburgh Pierogis presented an all-Mexican battery today, only the sixth time in American baseball history that has happened. It’s an everyday occurrence in Mexico, of course. Not that the players prefer to stay there – there is mas dinero to be made in El Norte – but it’s uncanny how team owners currently prefer to employ the most talented players.

They are exempt from affirmative action – at least on the playing field – and had an exemption on federal antitrust laws decades before the aforementioned leftist policy was conceived. And why shouldn’t owners be permitted to employ the best players they can find? Wouldn’t it be ridiculous to be compelled by law to have a third baseman in a wheelchair ostensibly to correct discriminatory hiring practices decades past by other businesses against the disabled? Baseball owners learned their lesson back in the 50s, when they stopped ignoring supremely talented Black athletes because they were a collective bunch of jackasses who were afraid to offend some irrational sensibilities rather than field the best product.

In the 21st Century, if the 25 best players in the world were Easter Island aborigines, George Steinbrenner would sign ‘em up.

Baseball has overcome.

That’s why I don’t understand editorialists who suggest that maybe all "Latinos," or, as they define it, all baseball players from Latin America, join tomorrow’s “Great American Boycott” a.k.a. “A Day Without Latinos” to protest the current American policy of enforcing federal law, or at least as it applies to people here who illegally work under the table for pauper’s wages – the vast majority of which come from Mexico, and not from the Domican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and even Cuba, where most of the Latino major leaguers derive, and who invariably have the paperwork to be employed here legally. The hassle to do it right is worth it.

See, ballplayers are different. They do not earn pauper’s wages. They make a king’s ransom to play a game, and to play it in a place that is not run by billionaire oligarchs (see Forbes list of wealthy Mexican industrialists) who don’t even pretend to give a rat’s ass about their Latino brothers and sisters.

At least here in the U.S.A., rich fuckers speak in all the expected phony platitudes that they are good corporate citizens and, at least on the face of it, do not provide the populace with a mountainous supply of cocaine, which an alliance of Mexican government and business was found guilty of having done.

That’s why peckerwoods like Dave Zirin show they don’t have a clue when it comes to understanding the reality of today’s global slave economy, known affectionately by its purveyors as the New World Order. In today’s Los Angeles Times, he writes:

“The growing Latino presence in Major League Baseball is a story of exploitation and opportunity. Club owners set up baseball academies in countries where future prospects can be signed in their early teens for pennies, then fired with little cost if they aren't good enough to play in the big leagues. As one player said to me, ‘The options in the Dominican Republic are jail, the army, the factory or baseball.’"

So how is that different from the way they treat the American-born players – White, Black, Brown and Yellow - and have for decades? The quoted player seems to think that if you invest a buck on a lottery ticket and fail to win a million back, the people who run the numbers owe you a living because it would be unfair working for money.

Go ask the Mafia what kind of sense that makes.

So as I settled in for an afternoon with Team Psycho and saw the stat about Mexican batteries, it dawned on me that maybe it might be self-actualizing for Gavin Floyd if he countered tomorrow’s protest by asserting that today would be “A Day Without a Schizo,” and beg to be left alone by Big Brother to eek out a living as a ballplayer no longer scared shitless by The Show.

Or, as Larry Anderson said as he started the game, “His command has been a problem for all the time he’s been in the big leagues.” Not to mention his 8.50 ERA was nearly the worst in the league after five starts.

Well, all that was about to end today, and as sure as Edward James Olmos and his lunar landscape of a countenance will be on hand tomorrow with all his deprived Chicano friends for a day of shit-disturbance, Floyd went out and finally earned his pay like a Beverly Hills landscaper, handily trimming the Pierogis down to size for 6 2/3 innings until he gave up a meaningless homer and sat down to contemplate his honest day of play. The Phils won, 5-1, despite stranding seven runners in the first five innings.

Anderson had prepared the audience for more futility today after pronouncing that Pittsburgh starter Oliver Perez, from Culiacan, Sinaloa, a violent, notorious headquarters for Mexican narcotrafficantes, entered the game with a 7.20 ERA.

“I don’t know if that bodes too well for the Phils’ offense,” he said, and he meant it. Team Psycho has had one of the weakest schedules in baseball this month, and finished with a 10-14 record, same as last season.

Chollie wrote another bizarre lineup, slotting in Abraham Nunez in the two hole and “AGonz” in the seventh spot behind Ryan Howard. Nunez responded, going 3-for-5 and raising his average above the Mendoza Line to .226. Gonzalez was another story. He went hitless, dipping his average to an incomprehensible .056.

Do we call that the “Gonzalez Gully?” Do the owners owe him a living for that?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Pierogi Conspiracy

Most Phillies fans need no more evidence to convince them that “color man” Chris Wheeler is an inbred retard. But if anyone’s withheld passing that judgment, he only needs to know that the man had his first pierogi only “a few years ago” -- this after living all his life here in Philadelphia, a city that boasts some of the most thoroughly-seeded Polish neighborhoods outside of Warsaw, or, closer to home, Pittsburgh, whose denizens include a plurality of Eastern European types who shove more kielbasa, kraut and other peasant food down their throat than say, your garden variety Boston Irishman.

The topic was broached as his idiot-in-arms Scott Graham was breaking the tension between innings of another gag-inducing Phillies defeat by observing “after all, who doesn’t like a pierogi?” after a crew of potato-encrusted corporate mascots ran a race to the delight of the Pittsburghers, who had to be happy enough to dance the polka while watching their National League-worst team bitch-slap the Fightins’ again, 3-2.

“Backwoods” Chollie set the table for the defeat at the hands of the Evil Pierogis of Pittsburgh, saying yesterday that the players recite a chant of “we’re good, we’re good, we’re good,” yet are quickly sinking in April again, having guaranteed a third straight year of losing records in the opening month and prompting another Sisyphusian struggle the rest of the season.

This team should try another mantra – maybe “We suck” – because the one they are reciting to Chollie doesn’t do them any good. Or maybe that link of ‘basa is too long for their deep throats. What else are the poor, starving Philly fans to think after another lackluster loss at the hands of another pitching nobody, this time 23-year-old whippersnapper Chris Maholm (say it like “Gollum”) who entered the game with a 7.40 ERA yet tonight looked like the second coming of Warren Spahn in his domination of the “We Goodies.”

In all fairness to Country Chuck, it seems as if he’s not buying the team’s reassurance, as they will soon have a fishing pole in his hand if things don’t change soon.

“Your performance proves how good you are,” Chollie said after reporting the club’s new chant, intimating that the recitation was about as effective as Rich Dubee’s sex change operation.

“No truer words were ever spoken,” responded Larry Anderson, a color man that leaves the inanities for the pierogi-deprived, and man enough to admit in so many words that the Phillies do, in fact, suck.

It can be admitted with confidence that while they are busy sucking a bone, the Phils are able to perform high comedy.

Pat Burrell, that vacant stare well short of one thousand yards, had an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1 in the 4th inning, this after Ryan Howard, whose alacrity in the field has made fans pine for the days of Tommy Hutton, failed in the previous inning to glove an errant throw by David Fucking Bell, who, to his credit, made a nice stop on a ball headed into the hole. All hell broke loose, and before you knew it, a man stood on second as Phils pitcher Cory Lidle ran to the shallow outfield to retrieve the precious orb that was either too hot for the other infielders to handle or who were too slothful to give a damn. The run scored on a single by the anonymous, weak-hitting Chris Duffy, and the game was tied, but the damage could have been worse as Duffy, assuming the Phils were still asleep, ran the Bucs out of the inning by getting caught trying to sneak his way to second after the ball was thrown back to Lidle on the mound.

No problem for the Pierogis, though. Mummified Jeremy Burnitz sealed the victory in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer, and he pranced around the bases like a bald chicken on crank. No doubt he was overjoyed. Before the fatal blow, he was 3 for 36.

The top of the fifth witnessed “Clown Boy” Bobby Abreu yucking it up in the dugout, a smile from ear-to-ear. The moron philosophers in the broadcast booth tried to explain Team Psycho’s predicament, disregarding his jocularity.

“A ball club never looks any flatter than when it’s not hitting,” Graham told the world, bringing it down to the level of a child.

“Nothing’s flatter than right turns,” Wheeler retorted, obviously showing the effects of the pierogis laced with strychnine.

Aaron Roward homered for show in the Phils half of the eighth, but it wasn’t enough. The ninth was excitement incarnate, as the Phils, happy not to swing, loaded the bases on walks with one out for the immortal Alex Gonzalez, who was called in from the clubhouse where he had been smoking crack.

”AGonz,” signed as a utility infielder and pinch hitter, didn’t disappoint – if you were rooting for the Pierogis. He remained hitless as a pinch hitter, bouncing into a game-ending double play and lowering his average to a stunning .067.

“Can you believe it?!” Voice of God Harry Kalas intoned in his characteristic dulcet tone.

“Hard to believe, Harry,” Richie Ashburn must have deadpanned while turning in his grave.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Old Buc(ket) Jaw The Crankhead

Jim Tracy reminds me of a craggy biker broad I knew in Buttfuck Tucson, Arizona.

Not that he’s so much rough and wrinkled for wear – after all, he doesn’t work, he’s a baseball manager – but he has the same bucket jaw that my meth-mouthed hog-riding acquaintance sported since birth, a feature I took as genetic mischief because each of her coyote-ugly daughters had the same attribute. And the more crank they ingested, the more that monstrous mandible was in motion. It was the family’s identifying feature, as each was spawned with the help of a different denim be-colored father.

Equally uncanny is that the Pirates manager talks in the same insane concentric circles common to most speed addicts. Maybe it was the “clubhouse coffee,” now banned as sure as steroids. But if you had the fortune to live in Aztlan (previously known as Los Angeles) during his tenure as the Dodgers’ manager, you’d know what I mean. For the uninitiated, there are some gems that still rattle around my cerebral cortex, now cleansed by the clean Philadelphia atmosphere and spared the California Eau-de-Taco.

Who can forget his assessment of the Dodgers 2003 season, which saw the team meekly finish the campaign 15 ½ games behind its mortal enemy, the Giants?

“We didn't fail,” Tracy explained. “We just didn't succeed as much as we'd have liked."

Then there’s the cranked-up conversations he has with himself, such as this tidbit from 2004 spring training:

“Right now those five guys have to be the starting pitchers. Am I completely locked in there? I'm not quoted as saying that.”

I had sincerely hoped that the Phillies would somehow find a way to make Tracy the manager here. It would be a barrel of dosed monkeys to hear him talk it up during the post-game show. The writers would have a field day, Chollie notwithstanding.

Instead, now Pittsburgh gets to decode and uncrank him.

Crank and unload is what the Phils wish they could have done tonight against the Buc’s Ian Snell, a Dover, Delaware native, who, as Voice of God Harry Kalas succinctly described, was “dealing” – and we’re not talking about Nazi dope, we’re talking pitching, the type the Phillies, save Brett Myers, his opponent, have been short in supplying this season.

The starting pitching has chloroformed and handicapped what had been projected as an otherwise decent-hitting bunch of greenie-free ne’er-do-wells. Myers has been better than that, but tonight, he wasn’t good enough, despite giving up a mere three runs against the opposition’s unimpressive lineup, which features, among others, two guys named Wilson who drove in two runs and rapidly-mummifying Jeremy Burnitz, who, if he weren’t suspected of injecting steroids, could be confused with my biker hag friend’s ice buddy, considering he mutters to himself and looks toothless and gummy. Tracy managed him in Los Angeles. He has him once again in the Steel City for comic effect, and saw him kill an early rally tonight by grounding into a 1-6-3 double play. He tongued his chops nervously and sat down.

But Herr Snell was never in danger through seven innings, as the Fightins’ could only manage a droll five hits and one run against him in seven innings, not usually enough to win, even with a Hall-of-Famer on the mound. Further compounding tonight’s woes was Jimmy Rollins’ failed attempt at a steal with one out in the Phils’ eighth inning. Chollie, always the loveable father-type, put his arm around poor JRoll and practically kissed him Goodnight, as our struggling shortstop ran on his own and needed a little cuddling before the team went back to their luxurious digs in downtown Pittsburgh to eat their humble pie and drink their warm milk as they contemplated why they couldn’t beat a team that had only five wins before their glorious thrashing of our floundering Phils.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Where Have You Gone, Ollie Brown?

While I have always been a communist sympathizer, I think it’s downright bourgeoisie to conduct off-topic interviews during baseball games.

I do not have the volume raised to hear politicians stumping for votes, Hollywood whores plugging new badfilms or buffoons clowning with the broadcasters in thinly-veiled product pitches. Just ask Smiley the Hatfield Pig.

So here we were today, in the top of the 5th inning, and the Phils were ahead 3-1 after blowing an early 1st inning lead. It’s bad enough that the 5th inning is smack in the middle of the Chris Wheeler-Scott Graham tag team of broadcast idiocy. Worse, it’s typically where Phils starters have blown leads this season. But compounding the misery today was that not only both of the above happened again like a recurring nightmare, it featured, as an added flourish, an interview with Steve Smith that dominated the conversation in an inning when the team began to let yet another game slip away.

Plainly, the players are not the only ones unfocused.

Smith, for those who don’t follow the adventures of gang-age inner city youth faking their way through college, is a college basketball player from LaSalle University, one of the local institutions which exploit athletic talents such as Smith to help fund all the other sports on campus, because we know that LaSalle Lesbian Lacrosse can’t fund itself unless Rosie O’Donnell met the players on one of her gay family cruises and bonded for life.

All this is all fine and good. Smith is making his way to NBA millions and the Lasalle Lesbians are…headed toward government service maybe, ala Janet Reno, Donna Shalala and Condaleeza Rice. They can have their frolic. It’s all good. God Bless America, and all that. But please, Comcast, can you refrain from subjecting baseball fans to the ramblings of under-educated guests without any connection to baseball during the game? Isn’t it bad enough Graham and Wheeler embarrass themselves nightly, or, in today’s “Business Person’s Special,” a sparsely-attended day game?

I mean, how much is the fan’s experience enhanced by such nuances as Wheeler’s observation that “losing a lead is a little deflating to the offense?” Jesus, Wheels, Ya think? Never would’ve occurred to me. Then again, you just spent an inning chatting up quantum physics with Smith -- who, despite his athletic prowess, said he never played baseball -- as the Rockies climbed back into the game, a contest that seemed like an aside to you guys.

With the score still tied, 3-3, as Phils starter Jon Lieber was pulled after seven full innings, Wheeler brought up that Mets fans will soon be heading down for a series in early May, obviously having made a self-memorandum noting the empty blue chairs throughout the park. Somehow, that led to a short discussion of the infamous 1964 Phillies Choke.

“One thing I learned in this town is not even bringing it up,” Graham said about the Phillies 1964 disaster, and, in so doing, violating his local education. Meanwhile, the Rockies, living in 2006, licked their chops and defenestrated the de-steroided Ryan Franklin. Garrett Atkins, hitting .366 with 15 RBIs after today, clocked a two-run homer off the old juicer, and “Backwoods” Chollie came lumbering out of the dugout for the ball. Voice of God Harry Kalas, mercifully allowed to call the last three innings of the broadcast, sounded tired in announcing the move – and it wasn’t that he’s 70 years old and breathing hard.

French-speaking Rheal Cormier put out the fire to end the inning, and in the ninth, Clay Condrey, still up to sub for Julio Santana, who, for all we know, might have acquired the H5N1 virus while bleeding a chicken during a Santeria ceremony, yielded his first run of the year, and now has a 5.40 ERA, which is better than Lieber’s 7.04 -- and he’s our ace.

It should be noted that the Rockies have a nice set of relievers, and the Phillies should be glad they came away with a final 4-3 season record against these purple-wearing fruitcakes. Ray King, the first of the three to finish the final three frames, has a fat gut that hangs stylishly over his belt (if he were a plumber), but stills slings the ball with authority. Ex-Phil Jose Mesa, who made his major league debut in 1987, is relatively svelte and made Pat Burrell look like a homo as he swatted at his eye-high fastball to fly out in the eighth.

Brian Fuentes easily put down the weak back end of the Phils lineup in the ninth, bing-bang-boom.

“Bing,” also known as David Fucking Bell, flied out like a pussy to center. His day was not without success, though. He is now batting .269 and went 2-for-4. “Bang,” a.k.a. Abraham Nunez, pinch hit for weak-hitting Sal Fasano, mired at .231. Unfortunately, Nunez, at .161, is hitting for a weaker average. He struck out swinging and looked like a fool doing it. Finally, “Boom,” a.k.a. Alex Gonzalez, also struck out swinging, and currently is on suicide watch. He is now batting a fear-inspiring .071. The fear ain’t coming from the pitchers.

Wonder what “Downtown” Ollie Brown is up to these days?

Flash Gordon, Savior Of The Alpacas

When Billy Wagner bullshitted his way out of Philly and into the cesspool in Flushing, Queens that the Mets call home, we cheesesteakers were left to wonder why he shucked and jived our sylvan populace since the middle of last season, considering that’s when he began to say he would be happy to stay here so long as the team gave him the security to raise a family fat with an infusion of tens of millions in cash and the freedom to fill his alpacas with his ten-millimeter cock in the offseason.

No problem, said the Phils management. We want you. We need you. You got alpacas? Sure, bring ‘em along for the ride. Dick ‘em all you want. Just throw that fastball in the ninth inning and we’ll ship ‘em hay or whatever the hell they eat down to West Virginny.

Like my Old Man used to say, “Don’t trust any bastard in the world.”

If only Pat Gillick was fathered by the same guy.

Let’s face it: Gillick, no youngster, was gamed by Wagner, and I’m sure he’s going to remember it well. After all, when he took the job in Philly the Hillbilly Issue was at the top of the agenda. He really didn’t have a lot of leverage. Billy took his little balls to the Mets, and New York celebrated another in a long line of coups dating back to its assumption of the mantle of the nation’s capital from Billy Penn’s green country towne.

Come we now to Tom “Flash” Gordon and his outstanding April showing in Philadelphia.

Gillick signed Flash in a pinch, having had his closer abscond to the bluer pastures of Shea, and knowing what Gordon could do in the late innings – at least eight years ago in the 90s. Fans were skeptical. Gordon was too old. Gordon hadn’t closed since 1998. Gordon was…what else?

He wasn’t Wagner, for whom Idiot Ed Wade had traded a couple gleaming prospects to bring to the new ballpark. One of them, Taylor Buchholz, is now in the starting rotation in Houston, a team already flush with good pitching.

Tonight, as he has done before in seven of eight tries (six of six were saves, one a win against one loss), Gordon closed out the upstart Rockies easily in order to end the game and seal the deal for the Fightins’. Gillick, who tried like hell to trade for a frontline starter in the offseason, can at least be happy he signed a serviceable closer, and, if Gordon can hold true to form, one that might be able to close a game when it really counts, unlike rich Billy the Hillbilly, who got a giggle when he surrendered a game-winning homer to his old pal Craig Biggio last September when the chips were down and cost the Phillies a wild-card spot.

As for tonight, getting there proved easier than most contests this month.

We headed into the top of the 5th up, 7-1, and yet, that sinking feeling overtook fandom in Philly. Were we gonna blow it again? After starter Ryan Madson surrendered three more runs to make it 7-4 by the end of the frame (and inflate his ERA to an unseemly 8.05), Cholly brought on the middle relief, introducing Clay Condrey (who dat?) to begin the sixth.

Condrey, called up in lieu of Julio Santana’s possession by Satan, proved righteous and pitched a flawless sixth consisting of nine pitches. Five were strikes. So far, so good. Praise the alpaca…er…Lord.

De-steroided Ryan Franklin, solid so far, survived unscathed in the seventh. Light appeared at the end of the tunnel. Arthur Rhodes, somewhat shaky, allowed just one run in the eighth, and in the bottom half of the inning, “Clown Boy” Bobby Abreu and Ryan “The Howitzer” Howard knocked in two more, leaving the game at a most winnable 9-5.

Notable in the offensive onslaught tonight – and last night – was the re-animation of the stiffs at the bottom of the lineup, our beloved David Fucking Bell (the Comcast “Player of the Game”) and Mike “Don’t Fuck With Bubby” Lieberthal, a combined 5-for-8 with four RBIs.

Just goes to show you that when somebody knows their job is on the line, they might show up for work.

Meanwhile, fans should be gratified to know Billy the Alpaca Fucker surrendered a game-tying homer to Barry “Shoot That Cattle-Fattener In My Black Ass” Bonds tonight, although his shithead team bailed him out and won the game in the 11th inning, no thanks to him.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Cause Of His Blindness

Little Boy Lost took the mound for the futile, Fightin' Phils Tuesday night and showed the strain of a wasted youth masturbating to pictures of Barbra Streisand as Yentl.

It sure as shit looks like something has weakened his arm and blinded him.

Whatever the cause, “Scared Shitless” Gavin Floyd has the look of the loser perfected, figuratively and statistically. As "Backwoods" Chollie ended the torture with one out in the fourth inning, our little goofball kid pitcher looked all hangdog moping toward the dugout, the scoreboard blinding him with the crooked numbers he had put up against the Colorado Rockies, a team that could make a surprising run for the NL West Division flag.

By the time Geoff Geary came in and allowed two more of "Goober" Gavin’s runs to cross the plate, it was 7-1 and looked like a lost cause.

But no! The mighty Geary, hitting for himself due to a depleted bullpen, cranked out a double to right, scoring David Fucking Bell, and keeping a rally going in the bottom of the fourth that brought the Phils to within a run, 7-6. Looks like we had ourselves a barnburner. There was hope in South Philly.

But we cheesesteakers have long known the ultimate truth: Whenever there is hope, disaster awaits. Tonight’s finish, while not exactly a calamity, was a dud. The game plodded along for five more innings, two of which were played in a cold rain, others featuring Suzy Kolber selling lesbian cars between stanzas, and then…nothing. A vacuous zero. A Rockies bullpen shutting down the Phils, and a Phils bullpen shutting down the mighty Rockies.

This leads us back to The Lost Boy and his premature ejaculation problem. Or whatever is causing him to lose his concentration. His earned run average is currently an engorged 8.50 over four starts lasting a mere 18 innings. I know the kid needs time to find his groove in the majors, and you don’t want to stunt his confidence, but when is not good enough all the time good enough? How long until we stop dating? Is this some kind of arranged marriage? I don’t care if he’s got the best curveball in the league, if he can’t use it, we need to lose him. What good is having a foot-long dick if you can’t use it? Yentl would never stand for that.

Speaking of dicks, broadcast idiot Scott Graham continues to scratch his fingernails across the chalkboard with the bad similes – if you can even credit him for knowing what one is.

Of the weather, our lyrical friend surmised: “Somehow, in the middle of this, the 'Wizard of Oz' broke out in the weather.” So where was the wizard, Scott? Do you mean a movie broke out in the middle of the wind? Oh! You must mean the twister. I get it! Where’s the twister?

And, in what is becoming the local Italian version of blackface vaudeville, Graham giddily recounted his compulsory Sal Fasano story. You’ll never guess what movie got connected with today’s slapstick…could it be…um…“The Godfather?”

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in,” Graham quoted Fasano as quoting one of the “Godfather” flicks.

What I sincerely hope, Scott, is Sal makes you an offer one day you can’t refuse.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hot Dogs, Pork Chops and Pig Cunts

I love to eat dead pigs.

I don’t care if they consume their own vomit or roll around in their own shit. I love pigflesh, all of it. Matter of fact, even if I didn’t like it, I’d eat it just to piss off the religious lunatics who introduced the idea – Jews and Muslims – that people who eat it are somehow “unclean,” as opposed to the dead animals that have their stamp of approval, such as the more socially-refined cows and horses.

But, hey. Who expects any common sense when all that self-righteousness is brought to you by the same pig cunts who sponsor terrorist acts against each other? Confiscating property at the end of a gun or, as a reaction, blowing up children to protest it is just fine, but eat a pig? Why, you just couldn’t go to heaven after doing that.

I’ll take hell with a side of scrapple, thank you.

That’s why Hatfield Dollar Dog Night at the old ballyard gets me squealing with delight. Pig-eatin’ abounds. Fans gorge on swine parts with abandon and slam them down their gullets with copious amounts of over-priced brew and over-sugared soda. A few fans post a scoreboard detailing the rising numbers ingested (although no figures are available on the actually digested ones after the game).

And then there’s Smiley the Hatfield Pig, the mascot for the Mennonite-dominated company that slaughters and encases all those dollar dogs, who made a guest appearance in the broadcast booth exquisitely timed for the 3rd inning, when the Phils squandered an early lead to the Rockies due to Jimmy Rollins mental lapse on a ball thrown his way, which was jokingly attributed to his being distracted by Smiley way up in the booth.

What else was Harry supposed to say? Get this fucking pig Outta Here?

The game, won by the Fightins’ 6-5, is encouraging insomuch that “Backwoods” Chollie seems to finally have struck upon a productive lineup. He batted Ryan Howard fifth in the order again tonight, and again he produced with two RBI singles. His average hovers high at a lusty .355. Chollie had Howard hitting sixth or seventh for the entire month until Sunday, but considering our league-low average with runners in scoring position, you can only “play the percentages” only so fucking long.

Tonight, Chollie did one better and slotted Chase Ugly into the two-hole. He responded with three hits, an early spark against Rockies starter Josh Fogg, who looks like he has time-traveled from the 1860s with those pork chop sideburns – or maybe it was a subliminal suggestion to eat pig, any kind of pig.

High on the hog about the new batting order, the team seemed to – can you believe it – score runs without having to homer. Corey Lidle had ten strikeouts, Ryan Franklin continues to pitch well without steroids, and Flash Gordon, who is now six-for-six in save opportunities, seems to have answered the vegetarians who questioned his ability to save games at his age while still enjoying a short rack of ribs every now and then.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chollie Kills The Umpire

Baseball managers would sell their children into slavery to get the team out of a slump. Either that or get tossed out of a game by the umpire. Both moves get the team’s attention.

Today, “Backwoods” Chollie employed the latter method.

You could see it coming, because the first base umpire Dan Iassogna (as in Ya-Brogna), completely fucked up a bang-bang play that clearly showed our homey Chase Utley to be safe, thus costing the Phillies a run, a rare commodity for this team in the first inning. Even Voice of God Harry Kalas, whose vision has clouded with age, could tell it was a gigantic flub before the replay verified it for the universe.

Utley slammed down his helmet, got tossed from the game, and out lumbered a cussing Chollie to provide the day’s stimulation for Team Torpor and, as an added bonus, gave him a good cover to steal some whiskey from Rich Dubee’s desk drawer back in the clubhouse.

It’s a good thing nobody from the team grew up here. Otherwise they’d know that every umpire, official and referee employed by all four major sports are bribed to insure close calls always go the other team’s way – especially if the team is from Dallas.

The players think it’s cruel that fans boo them here? They should hear what the legions in Philly would like to do to umpires with various foreign objects.

Also fortunate is that the Fightins didn’t hear The Old Lady mock Marlins phenom Dan Uggla’s pop-up bunt in the top of the frame. If they had, it’d be a smaller part of team offense than it already is.

“That little pussy thing, the bunt,” she said, shriveling her soft skin in disgust. “Why do they do it? Are they’re going, ‘Look at me, I’m so sneaky?’”

Nothing was overheard though, and Chollie and Chase’s strategy worked, because it was in the next inning that Ryan “The Howitzer” Howard punished a first-pitch fastball 496 feet to dead center for the first run of the game, a truly majestic shot. In the next inning, he hit another to the bleachers in left to put the Phils ahead for good, 3-0. It was as if our young behemoth, in two big swings, said, “Fuck this shit. Let me give the umps something they can’t touch.”

“Baldy” Brett Myers – I know, he’s growing hair -- pitched well for the win, and the Marlins flailed away at his stuff like fish out of water. They managed only six hits off him and – will wonders never cease – just one hit over three innings off our relievers. The bad news was that the Phils could muster only six of their own, and, as the emerging pattern of the season remained true, all the runs scored as a result of Howard’s long balls. (The ones that went over the fence.)

David Dellucci, by the way, better raise his average above .111 soon or he’ll never get a fan club in the upper deck. I might have to take him to 9th Street to see the Fish Lady.

In honor of Chollie and Chase’s emerging anger skills, I will offer the following aphorisms sure to endear them to Phillies fans the world over. This is just a start, but I think the idea is pretty clear:

· "You know, I make $8 million a year, but I really do hate those cocksucking Braves."

· "Fuck the Mets, fuck New York."

· "I wish the Rangers were in our league so there was another team in Dallas I could hate as much as the fucking Cowboys."

· "Alcohol's for grownups. There’s something wrong with people who don't drink."

· "A pitcher has the right to throw one at a batter's noggin. I love fighting anyhow. Go ahead and charge the mound, asshole."

· "I like my cheesesteak 'with,' just like my women."

· "If you don't like Philly, leave. I would play here for free, motherfucker."

Now shut the fuck up, all of ya, and keep on winning games.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pussywhipped, Pizza-Eatin' Dagos

As far as I know, I am half Italian. I say as far as I know because I was not there at the conception, at least not all of me, and we know the cool people who grew up in the sixties have instructed us that life does not begin at conception. Life begins when a woman declares she is liberated from Who Knows What and begins to fuck everything in sight.

It then follows that a man is liberated when he agrees with all that feminist bullshit and, on top of that, irrationally concedes she is an oppressed minority and abandons his hope of equal opportunity in all public pursuits. That is considered liberal, secular humanist thinking. But it doesn’t get anybody elected anymore except in big, coastal cities.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that Phillies gum-flapper Scott Graham anointed catcher Sal Fasano as being “in line to become the next folk hero” in Philadelphia. He said it about the same way he would describe Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua, a woman (she’d spell it “womyn” no doubt) who has “liberated” her little doggie with abandonment. And he said it in such a way that implied there’d be an election, just like the type that liberals win in Philly.

Sal was going to be an icon! Just like Frank Rizzo!

I am half Italian…I think…therefore, I have an innate right to demand the guinea-baiting of Sal Fasano stop right now. If for no other reason, so Sal’s Pal’s, his fan club in the upper deck at the ball park, replete with faux Fu Manchu moustaches and long, curly, mullet wigs, can stop reinforcing the pizza-baker stereotype. Worse, Sal bought them what looked like DOZENS of pizzas tonight during the game with the Marlins and had them delivered to his newfound sycophants, something Hizzoner Frank Rizzo would never have done. (He would have sent a fish wrapped in The Daily News.)

That’s bad enough. But what’s making all this worse is Sal Fucking Spaghetti-Bending Scungilli Face Fasano opened the door for an ugly 6th inning to happen in front of a sparse Friday night crowd by allowing somebody named Dan Uggla (he’s Swedish, they tell him) to steal home and, effectively, cost the Phils the game, 4-3.

How’d that happen?

“Looks like he forgot” about the runner on third, Phillies windblower Chris Wheeler said in all seriousness as the replay showed Fasano’s way-wide toss to second base in a vain attempt to nail one of two baserunners. Uggla (“Owl” in Swedish) was, until the throw, standing still near third base. Scarcely believing his eyes, the swaggering Swede sped home and crossed the plate standing up. Marlins 3, Phils 0.

Of course, Fasano’s mistake was compounded because the hitter who was at the plate, Mike Jacobs, proceeded to double home the runner on second to seal the lead at 4 to 0. The Phils came back to score three runs in the 7th and 8th innings, two on fielders’ choices (one on a weak groundout by Our Pal Sal) and the other on a fielding error. Nobody on the team can get a big hit when the money’s down, namely the 9th inning, and that cooked the Phillies, whose penii are flaccid and sphincters tight. Pressure? They wilt like the pussywhipped “liberated” man who has conceded the feminist argument, or, in this case, accepted the stink of Marlin most foul.

“Baseball is such a subtle game,” Graham explained after Jacobs’ double, intimating that if we weren’t paying attention, we’d have no idea how the Marlins scored two sneaky runs that inning. What a douche bag. Scotty boy, nothing about the Phillies is subtle this season. They have not had an easy win the whole month. They are losing to teams like the one in town tonight, whose members, by the way, have a collective payroll of a little more than $14 million, which is slightly more than what Bobby Abreu will get paid this season alone.

And now, the biggest draw in the upper deck is Sal’s Pal’s. Tell you what. As much as I despise Mike Lieberthal, I should make it up to him with a little ethnic love. So I’m getting up early tomorrow to get my outfit at the Jewish “conservative clothing” store up in Bustleton.

Tomorrow night, I’m “Lieby’s Bubby.” Heaven help the feminist Palestinian who lurks on the basepaths!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fuck Iran, Nuke The Phillies!

The game tonight was such a lopsided bore I could barely pay attention to the pukes playing out the final eight innings after getting behind, 5-0, before their first ups and losing 10-4 three agonizing hours later.

The pattern is crystallizing now: Win one, lose one, win two, lose two. Then another two. Go on the road and win four out of six. Come back to Philly and, fearing criticism, fuck up the home stand. Hide overnight in your mini-manse and try not to lash out at the disappointed fans when the microphone gets stuck in your face.

All this got me thinking about Iran and Islam, and how country stupid Muslims can be. Not stupid like Chollie, the bumpkin who manages the Phillies, but country stupid as in literally having the lowly intellectual capabilities of the beasts inside the barnyard.

How else do you explain the medieval doctrine of Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, currently taught as part of a degreed curriculum at Middlesex University in London, which equates non-believers of Islam with “filth” as low as pigs and dogs, less worthy of sharing the same cup with a Muslim than a horse or cow. Think I’m making this up? This is straight doctrine from “The Religion of Peace”:

“The water left over in the container after any type of animal has drunk from it is considered clean and pure apart from the left over of a dog, a pig, and a disbeliever’
‘There are ten types of filth and impurities: urine, faeces, semen, carrion, blood of carrion, dogs, pigs, disbelievers’
‘When a dog, a pig, or a disbeliever touches or comes in contact with the clothes or body [of a Muslim] while he [the disbeliever] is wet, it becomes obligatory- compulsory upon him [the Muslim] to wash and clean that part which came in contact with the disbeliever’”

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be drinking from the same trough as any animal. I may love dogs, but I’m not gonna slurp water from the same dish. Hell, I wouldn’t slurp beer from the same bottle as a human, for that matter. Especially Billy Wagner. (Who knows if he fucks those alpacas he’s raising.)

But if you read into towelhead’s assessment above, it implies he approves of drinking from the same cup as a cow or horse – but that non-Muslim? Forget it. He’d rather die of thirst.

It’s hard to believe these people had the clarity of mind to invent algebra.

These are the kind of thoughts wafting through your host’s agile and puerile mind as Ryan Madson and the boys got their ass kicked and rolled over for a two-and-a-half buttfuck of a finale. Fixing this team will prove to be a difficult calculus. Already, the nuclear option – tearing the whole team apart and starting over – is fair fodder for the talk shows and fan forums. That’s why Iran comes to mind. That’s why the boy and I had a few minutes during the drudgery to talk.

Nothing more was going to happen today, but the end sure seemed near.

“So, Caesar,” I said to my son, “One day when you’re grown up, the gas will be gone and there might not be a lot of people driving. Maybe you can think of a new form of energy to power cars and computers one day. Waddya think?”

“I want a pony,” he demurred. “Can I have a pony?”

“As long as you don’t let it drink with any Muslims,” I advised.

Cousins, Cubans And Dykes

“I want you to stop watching the Phillies for a week,” the boy said. “Your life is too attached to baseball. It really is.”

Is that bad?

“Yeah, you watch the Phillies too much, and you go to the websites too much,” my son, Caesar, continued with the commanding authority that eight-year-olds are wont to assume. “Dad, how many minutes are in a day? Could you tell me?”

“Sure, there are 1,440 minutes in a day.”

“Wow. And how many seconds?”

I was starting to wonder if this was a setup, but it was all innocent. He has a geek’s love of numbers.

“Let’s see…” and I opened up the Windows calculator. “There are 86,400 seconds.”

Duly impressed, he dropped the topic, but as I relinquished control of the computer to His Mini-Me Excellency, I broached the topic with the Old Lady, figuring she’d get a chuckle.

“Why don’t you give the Phillies up for a week?” she asked, honestly, with all the forthrightness of a woman who has to share Her Old Man with somebody or something else, as she does.

“It ain’t happenin’ woman, you know that,” I instructed, or rather re-instructed, as she knows this is the “for worse” part of the relationship.

To be sure, the Phillies have been “for worse” this screamingly ugly month. The team’s inadequacies have been glaring, and maybe if they had studied the websites like the fans, they might not be trying to dig out of the hole they annually begin the season buried inside, as sure an April event as old Polish ladies in Port Richmond tending to their tiny gardens.

A record of 5-8 brings out more than the boobirds. It inspires a torrent of proposed radical solutions from the fans. Worse, some of the worst blustering idiocies come from the broadcast team.

Like this gem from Superwimp Scott Graham on Washington Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez:

“It looks like you should have him in your control, but he’s got you right at the end of his rope.”

Even if you were a casual observer, you could see chubby Livan, who defected from Cuba back in 1997, was painting a picture of what it was like for a pitcher to be in control, not the other way around, and it didn’t look anything other than that. The punch-drunk look on Pat Burrell’s face after Hernandez manipulated his psyche like his daddy and had him looking at a slow, fat third strike said it all.

His exploits were not contained to the mound. In fact, he looked even more in control after his first hit of the evening, a no-doubt-about- it homerun that would make Phils’ slugger Ryan Howard proud. (Howard did, by the way, hit a two-run homer off him in the 2nd inning and later, won the game with a run-scoring single lashed to right off geriatric reliever Mike Stanton.)

Chris Wheeler was not to be outdone by Graham, as the Boy-Who-Was-Once-The-Statistician effused about how Hernandez’s teammates were joyous at his hitting prowess and that, “it’s got to be fun to watch on that side,” and later, after stepping up for his last at-bat having already gone 3-for-3 with two doubles beside the homer that “it’s like a picnic game to him.”

Well, the picnic was over soon after Hernandez was pulled to have his relievers fuck up his Conquista of South Philly by allowing the Fightins’ to tie the game after a two-run homer by “Clown Boy” Abreu and a run-scoring fielder’s choice grounder by pinch-hitting phenom David Dellucci, all .154 of him. Then, after 17 more Chevy commercials hosted by ESPN Dyke Suzy Kolber, Ryan laid all the remnants of Hernandez’s domination to rest.

Phils win, 7-6. The record creeps up to 6-8.

The boy now asleep, and the television liberated for The Old Lady, an endless variety of whore shows chattered in the background as she surfed. Dr. Phil’s show on “Unusual Marriages,” might have featured some of Chollie’s relatives, for all I know. He was interviewing come fornicatin’ cousins from Appalachia.

“We need more freaks in the world anyway,” the Old Lady opined. “Yeah, if Lou was my cousin, I’d marry him”

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Clown Boys Come Home

What’s so funny, Bobby Abreu?

Could it be all those empty seats at your team’s ballpark? Are you listening to Asswipe Chris Wheeler’s “color” analysis under your helmet? Are there Ben Wa balls up your butt hole?

Bobby, is it really appropriate to snicker as you step up to the plate down by three runs with six outs to go? Good Time Chollie the Manager must’ve farted, right? Hey, that’d put a smile on my face, too. You got to be happy he no longer needs the colostomy bag.

And maybe I’d be giggling if I had won a Gold Glove last season and looked like a drunken beer-leaguer getting turned around by two playable flies that landed over my head in right field last night. Was the award for your outstanding defensive prowess a nod to Venezuelan nut job Hugo Chavez? A little olive branch smothered with crude oil and papaya, maybe? Or was that his fat brother standing out there looking helpless as he subbed for you while you fucked his sister?

Please tell me you should look like you care about winning for your $13 million a year.

Jesus Christ.

I had a bad feeling the night was going to be ugly when third base coach Bill Dancy, an uncalculated risk taker, waved Jimmy Rollins home with NO OUTS in the first inning after an Aaron Rowand double. Rollins was gunned down with two crisp throws to the plate, easily snuffed out by the length of two horses’ asses. It’s notable that Washington Nationals shit-disturber Alfonso Soriano notched his league-leading third assist of the year as a left-fielder, a position he adamantly refused to play until his bad-ass manager, Frank Robinson, who never got fucked with as a player, told Soriano in a language common to all the game’s millionaires – money – that if his highness didn’t want to assume a position in the outfield, the team was going to assume he didn’t want to get paid.

Soriano assumed the position.

You got to like Robinson. He doesn’t like the young’ens attytood, and refuses to put up with their childish shit. When he was a player -- and he was one of the all-time greats -- he stood practically over the plate with a heavy bat and dared the pitcher to hit him. He was often obliged. But he didn’t complain, took his lumps, and happily jogged to first. The inside of the plate was his, and if a pitcher saw fit to argue with that, he’d take his base, thank you.

Now Chollie is another story. Born on a bus in West Virginny (cue the banjo, please), this guy wants to be everybody’s buddy. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind drinking some ‘shine with the hillbilly, but for Chrissakes, Chollie, don’t let your guys tell jokes with the catcher during the late innings when you need runs – and start acting like your job depends on it.

Starting pitcher Cory Lidle didn’t do all that bad – seven full innings, four earned runs – but if Chollie or, more importantly, General Manager Pat Gillick is satisfied with a bullpen that bends over and gets fucked for six runs in the last two frames, well, that’s textbook masochism. The grand slam to Ryan Church, who didn’t make his team out of spring training, hurts like a bitch.

The Comcast Yes Men asked Chollie before the game how he projected the 10-game home stand to play out.

“I don’t want to project,” he said. “I don’t want to scare anybody.”

There are three kinds of clowns, Chollie. Happy, sad and scary. If you don’t want to be the scary one, at least advise the millionaires that if they can make pitchers fear them, they’re doing something right. But right now, they're one sad bunch.

Ringling Bros. comes to town Thursday. The team should go see how the pros do it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fuck This Pig

Take a look at this fucking pig. His name is Lee Raymond.

No, he’s no relation to Ryan Howard. But he made in one fell swoop in a "retirement" deal what our power-hitting first baseman could only hope to make in a whole career; more than what Scientology actor-freak Tom Cruise can probably raise in a lifetime of begging on Hollywood Boulevard to help rid the world of the evil Thetans:

Four hundred million dollars.

That’s right – four hundred million simoleans. Pretty good, huh?
Not bad considering what the fat fuck had to do to “earn” his pay. Namely, lording over Exxon, an energy conglomerate that has captive, auto-driving customers sticking his company’s nozzle in the ceaselessly-thirsty vagina (a.k.a. your gas tank) that fuels this fucked-up financialized economy, resplendent with clinically retarded “service workers” taking your order for artery-clogging fast food that you order in the drive-thru between paper-shuffling appointments that determine the well-being of our rapidly-aging work force, soon to be replaced by illegal immigrant workers crying for their “rights” as they labor at half – or less – the wage you got for generating the same elbow grease as a teenager.

You people suck.

And I’m not with it.

So, I want you to enjoy the rare 1-0 victory that Ryan Howard hath brought with his mammoth home run in the rubber match of the series in Colorado. Meditate upon the good feeling with which it has clothed our souls this Easter weekend.

And deep down, ruminate upon the hatred you feel for rich fuckers like Lee Raymond, our heavenly father. Damn him to hell. May his soul rot as surely as the paper his money is printed on.

Fuck Lee Raymond.

Fuck the Mets.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Shut The Fuck Up, Ed Wade

I can think of few people in baseball -- or in the real working world, for that matter -- who are truly objective and fess up to their abject failures after they get fired from a job. Ed Wade is no different, and the pile around him appears to be deepening.

To hear the ex-Phillies General Manager tell it to Fox West, he had a Soviet-style ten-year plan to remake the team in his image. What an arrogant wretch. This guy goes from PR flack to assistant GM, and when he finally pops his cherry with a real GM job, he gets snookered time and again in trades and long-term contracts. That's quite a ten-year plan -- if you secretly worked for the Braves.

You know, as incompetent as the owners are – and that has been detailed ad nauseum by local sportswriter Paul Hagen -- they're also a convenient excuse for every field manager or front office bungler. In Wade's case, he's saying the money rug got pulled out from under him. There's a reason for that. Even the moronic ownership can see how foolishly he spent their capital. To this day, thanks to Wade, we have two automatic outs in the everyday lineup named Lieberthal and Bell who will collectively “earn” $12.2 million for their mediocre efforts. Who did that? The Easter Bunny?

This is not to say that Wade was perpetually unchecked. For all we know, we could have had David Wells tied up in a five-year contract courtesy of that pud, but the inbred owner idiots probably stopped that lunacy.

It’s time for this doofus to shut the fuck up. He’s a scout for the San Diego Padres; the weather’s paradisiacal, the sushi is fresh. IQ is less valued in Southern California than the rate of botox in your lips, so take a healthy dose, Eddie, and watch you don’t get a hook in your mouth the next time you go fishing for answers about what happened in Philly.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hitler Youth Shows Us The Way

This new Pope is a real card.

Here’s a guy who spends his teen years as a Nazi Youth (go look it up) and now Herr Pope-und-Shit wants to ruin the Easter Egg hunt by reminding us that the world is an evil place.

You’d swear he’s been watching his share of Phillies baseball after reading some of his rants for Good Friday:

“Lord, we have lost our sense of sin,” the big Kraut blustered. “Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”

Now I know Gavin Floyd was a little stuck on the Mandisa picture, but that’s overdoing it, doncha think Benedict? I mean, the holy cards from St. Jude’s weren’t working, and it ain’t like that fat broad was Satan…or is it?

“Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time, in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts of poverty?” the Vicar of Hitler asked. “In one room they are concerned about obesity, in the other, they are begging for charity?”

Well, evidently the Phils aren’t a Catholic organization, because not only did they play ball on Good Friday, they hit about as well as they have all season, winners of a 10-8 battle to the bitter end at Coors Field, the home of the team that wears “little girls blouses” according to the Old Lady, who came down from her nap to witness the liberation of Phillies baserunners on homers by Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell and Chase Utley, who had two, one of which was a grand salami.

So much for the pope’s schnitzel.

Friday, April 14, 2006


It occurred to me as Gavin Floyd won his first game last night that the kid must have found something to inspire his confidence.

Most observers agree that the 23-year-old with the “filthy” stuff just needed to get his bearing and use his natural abilities without thinking about it – you know, Zen and the Art of Pitching for the Phillies.

Little did anyone know but prior to last night’s game, dear Gavin took a look at a picture of American Idol contestant Mandisa, which was bookmarking a page in pitching coach Rich Dubee’s dirty little notebook.

For the uninitiated, Mandisa has become a media darling of late, inspiring the type of cross-pollinated racial understanding that is rarely achieved by blowhards like the “Reverends” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

It’s a given that not many men – straight Black Men, at least – admittedly lust after the aforementioned reverends’ fat asses. On the other hand, Mandisa would inspire a new Barry White symphony if he were still alive. Her gargantuan booty has near universal appeal to virile Negro gentlemen the nation over. Conversely, White Men almost unanimously think Mandisa’s monstrous brown bum is about as far away from a turn on as…a struggling young pitcher naked on the mound.

But for the American Brother? Get undressed, woman.

That said, it is obvious someone mentioned to our young hero Gavin after he discovered Mandisa that, besides having somewhat strange, pagan names, they had a lot in common. They were all talent, all ass, all the time. And did Mandisa care what she looked like and what the White Men thought about her? Hell, no. So who cares what he looked like as he was employing his devastating curve? Were the brothers worrying about how Mandisa sang as long as she let them get down on that ass?

Then, the moment of clarity: Just shut up and pitch, bitch.

Lo and behold, as he was grooving with those warm thoughts, the Phils went out against the Atlanta Native Americans and pounded them for five runs before our little warrior had to go to the pitcher’s mound. He was staked to a lead, a rarity this season.

“Five to nothing?” the Old Lady repeated, quizzically, as I perked up from my Ny-Quil. “It’s a miracle.”

“No, sweetheart. It’s Mandisa. It’s Mandisa.”

Stay away, Simon Cowell: The boy is ours.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Flashback, Endlessly Looping

I was a mere three-year-old wood sprite the season the Braves franchise moved from Milwaukee to the Confederacy in Atlanta in 1966.
I have a damn good memory, and I still have a clear mental picture of the hippies across the street scaring my mother and father with their antics, likely fueled by a little LSD, as it still was legal until June 6 that year and evidently very easy for them to get.

“Lookit what the goddamn hippies are doin’!” Mom would hiss as she sneakily parted the curtains to spy on the young buggers. “Jesus Christ!”

I think about the strangest things the teenagers were doing was sitting on their front porch, making tie-dyes and listening to The Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Mom was a little uptight, to say the least. Maybe she should have tried a dose.

The hippies didn’t weird me out back then as much as the screaming, mohawked Indian on the Braves’ uniform sleeves, and when the 2006 team wore them last night to mark the 40th anniversary of the move to the rising-again South, it inspired these flashbacks. This shouldn’t be an uncommon phenomenon when a Phillies fan watches his team play the Braves, because every season since 1995 has been a flashback – and a bummer, at that.

The Braves have had a lock on the National League East Division since they were issued a transfer from the West in 1994. You might remember 1994. That was when the season was washed out by a strike. In effect, nobody won anything that season.

So we’re talking about an endless loop of Braves dominance since 1995.

The 2006 Phillies have been a team verging on a nightmare that might be saved by a little old-fashioned LSD therapy. Or by some clutch hitting. Last night, they won their…ah…second game of the season after the Braves carted out some living relics of 1966: Phil Niekro, Felix Millan, Denis Menke. They found all the old farts they could pile into vintage Corvettes and drove ‘em around the edge of the playing field before the game. Then the team lost to the Phillies, 7-5.

Our heroes finally were able to manage their first four-run inning of the season in the second frame, and that was a minor miracle, because rally-killer David Fucking Bell popped up with two runners on base to make the second out before the four runs scored.

But eight-hole juggernaut Mike Lieberthal saved the day with a lucky two-out double to get the party started. Two runs scored. Hitting is contagious, and even Pat “Vacant Stare” Burrell, who had what Harry Kalas called “the ignominy” of making two outs in the four-run inning, came up later in the game to perform his specialty, the solo homerun. New centerfielder Aaron Rowand, looking more like Ron Cey every day, hit a two-run homer in the same inning for insurance.

Braves catcher Eric McCann hit a solo homer, too. If it were 1966, that crazy Indian Chief Noc-a-homa, the team mascot, would have pounded a drum and jigged a war dance in the left field bleachers to celebrate the occasion. Of course, back then, real Indians weren’t demanding the white guy stop acting like such an ass.

Then again, LSD was still legal 40 years ago.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Vacant Stare Of A Loser

My Co-Defendant e-mailed me yesterday and assailed my sluggishness in hailing our heroes’ brand new losing streak.

Truth be told, I’ve been a little under the weather lately and have been overindulging in Ny-Quil. Not only does it ease the flu symptoms, as an added bonus, it makes the pain of following the Phillies easier to bear.

After a couple swigs of the stuff, I get a vacant look about the face akin to Pat Burrell’s patented blank stare after being struck out, which happened once during the game last night against The Fucking Braves, a disgusting 5-3 loss in which the opposing pitcher collected two hits against Brett “The Bald-Headed Dork” Myers.

Opposing pitchers, by the way, have been the scariest hitters this season for Phillies pitching. They’re batting – get this – a collective .353 so far this campaign, with five RBIs to boot. Meanwhile, our murderer’s row of a lineup is batting .179 with runners in scoring position.

But back to Pat “The Bat.” I used to wonder what was on his mind after his all-too-frequent futile endings, but recently, my curiosity has been sated after some Internet chat about his after-hours exploits at Olde City nightclubs. Or how he includes his phone number on baseballs he autographs for cute girls.

Of course, all that talk inspired in me this limerick:

The team playboy – his name is Pat
And when he’s not swingin’ his bat
Can be found in a bar
Emptyin’ a jar
While his pants a collegiate unwraps

Yes, in the asylum of lunacy that is Phillies fandom, a little levity and Ny-Quil go a long way.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Good Advice From A Nun

Before I came down with a near-fatal illness, I was a workaholic.

The work didn’t always pay grandiose sums, but I had no qualms at all with putting in a 12- or 15-hour day. Even on salary. You would be correct if you think that I was a little nuts. The Catholic clergy, while not sexually abusing me, certainly had left its perverted mark in other places, namely in the work ethic department.

You might remember the maxim “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings” from Sister Mary Bulldog’s greatest hits list. Even if you never heard that one, you get the idea.

Our heroes, the Phillies, need to apply Sister Bulldog’s philosophy if they are to make it through the All-Star break without a case of full-blown Satanic possession.

The bats are far too idle if they expect to enter the afterlife and sit next to their lover, Jesus, astride ole Bulldog. Before yesterday’s doubleheader – a rarity in this baseball era – the team was a winless 0-4. When all was said and done, they came away with a win in the first game, but lay down and played dead for Game Two, which was a reasonable expectation since Chollie The Manager rested half the regular starters. After all, a six-hour work day is asking a lot from the boy millionaires who ply their craft in Major League Baseball. The bullpen was not afforded a like rest – the team had no choice in this department. They got banged around late in the game, the worse for wear.

All of which got me thinking about my old work schedule. Unlike the world of baseball, there was no rest for the weary in my working world. You wanted a day off, you paid for it with a vacation or sick day. After that, you paid for it out-of-pocket.

Baseball is more civilized, humane and obviously closer to Jesus. Ballplayers luxuriate in its grace, in the form of millions of dollars, pouring from a spout drawn from the boatload of dollars team owners collect from television deals, sponsorships and, most pathetically, fans that pay $40 for a single ticket that used to run ten bucks, max.

Not even Hollywood is that greedy at the box office.

Maybe it’s the Scientology.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

One For The Hooker

When you were a kid, did you want to hang out with your favorite ballplayer? And if you got near his rarefied, pulsating aura, did you think about what you would do together?

Me? I just wanted to play ball with them. See if I could hit Steve Carlton’s devastating slider. Maybe strike out Mike Schmidt. Then adjourn to my Irish Mom’s kitchen where Greg Luzinski would have been teaching her how to serve kielbasa. Mom always liked “The Bull” best and she was a terrible cook. She would have loved his kielbasa.

So some disjointed thoughts crossed my mind today after today’s contest with the Dodgers was postponed due to a cold, drenching rain that has since subsided. Since my appointment with our heroes was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader tomorrow, that left a lot of time for the imagination to ponder today’s trivial question:

What would you do with a Phillie on an off day?

Easy. I’d take ‘em to find a hooker under the El. A real winner. The kind without teeth and body odor like a fish salesman. Skanky, crank-addled scum who could proffer our hero a $5 blow job. The Kensington Special. I’d hold his bulging wallet and keep my eye out for the vice squad.

Anything to get the team back on track.

I’d close our brief, special day together with some sage advice.

“Now wipe off your dick and enjoy the off day,” I’d advise. “Get in the fucking cab, go back to Jersey, and win at least one of those goddamn games tomorrow.”

You may not be Ronald Reagan, but win one for the Hooker.”

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Shit Steak With

When I was down and out in Buttfuck Tucson, Arizona, I was instructed by my future Co-Defendant, who was letting me stay on his couch, not to worry about paying half the rent or even a portion of the taco tab.

No, he’d have none of that. After all, we Philadelphians are hospitable, are we not?

“Just get a job – any job,” he exhorted me. I know what that meant. He was being stern with an old friend, and I needed that. So there would be no lard-assing it, and as soon as I had enough money, I’d be compelled to get my own place right away and continue my career as a loser on my own.

The plan worked. Naturally enough, having ample restaurant experience in Philly as cook and customer, I went to a rather unremarkable cheese steak shop and applied for the opening as “kitchen help.” (This was back in the old days when something called a newspaper was printed where you scoured classified ads to look for a job. Craigslist was still years away from doing the same thing over the Net.)

Don’t worry – I’m getting to tonight’s Phillies game. But you have to hear this first:

On my first day on the job, I was told that some 19-year-old druggie dude on parole named Joe would “train” me. He was the “grill manager.” That was funny, I thought. Some kid’s going to teach a grown-up from Philly how to make a cheese steak. I couldn’t wait.

Well, I didn’t have long to wait for the fun to begin. The doors opened for business and Joe wasn’t there. Something about drinking too much tequila. Unfortunately, some dickhead medical supply salesman had ordered 20 cheese steaks at 10 a.m. for a luncheon. And Joe wasn’t there. The owner, who I’ll call Penis Shaft, commanded a flitty 16-year-old to “train” me, but first he needed to make that order. Problem was, he was a “hoagie” guy, and had never made more than two cheese steaks at a time. He was panicked.

“No problem,” I told the kid, who had one of those “Goth” haircuts and later admitted to me he jerked off to Madonna’s “Sex” book in his off hours. “Where’s the meat?”


“Just give me the fucking meat.”

We were in business. I laid out all the meat, chopped it just right, got the rolls ready, and before you could say “Juan Samuel” had the 20 cheese steaks – some with, some without – done to perfection, juicy exemplars of our city’s treasure, my heritage: The Cheese Steak. The owner, a stout Teuton with a flat top, was furious.

“Who told you to make the cheese steaks, Lou?” Penis Shaft screamed.

“Nobody – but if that guy wants to get served, somebody had to take a little initiative,” I explained. “Besides, even when your trainer sobers up and gets here, I have a lot more experience making cheese steaks the right way.”

Suffice it to say, every day at “Philly’s Finest” was a struggle. Penis Shaft was miserable he had real talent on his staff; somebody to tell him, “No, pepper and eggs are not made with jalapenos where I come from.”

Which brings us to the Phillies.

Tonight, we lost to the Boys in Baby Blue, the motherfucking gay-ass Dodgers, and I’m beginning to detect an emerging pattern akin to my experience at the cheese steak shop.

For one, this team needs to show up for the game. They were buried early on Opening Day and they were buried early tonight. Just like my parolee trainer, they have trouble getting out of the gate, and before you know it, you’re 20 cheese steaks behind. Or four runs behind in the second inning, like tonight.

Secondly, you have to admit it isn’t too farfetched to believe Gavin Floyd is a true head case. Maybe he could get a “Goth” haircut and jerk off to Madonna. Whatever it takes to win. But I can see how his hand might be a little sore after tossing 50-odd pitches in less than three innings.

Moreover, although Sal Fasano is a jolly fat Italian, somebody please bitch-slap and implore play-by-play flunky Scott Graham to never, ever, EVER again tag him as “in line to become the new folk hero” for Phillies fans.

If Sally wants to get down, play the accordion and put his monkey on, let him do it on his own, Scotty. Until then, Philly’s got enough folk heroes; just check out the roster of local politicians who have become prisoners lately. Besides, Fasano ain’t gonna get many at-bats with Mike Lieberthal, who, like the girl at the cash register at the cheese steak shop, is more worried about his family in California and his mutual fund portfolio than earning his money. Only in this case, it’s millions more than the dumb chick. And her portfolio is full of pussy deodorizer.

I’ll tell you the most depressing thing about this loss. Since when does the Taiwanese Little League have our lineup’s number? For Chrissakes, who the fuck IS Hong Chih Kuo? I’ll tell you what he is: The Taiwan Terrorist. He ripped up the meat of our order with a meat cleaver of a 90 mph fastball. Say what? Yeah, that’s right: And five of the six outs were strikeouts.

“Hey, what’s wrong with you, asshole? Don’t you love misery?” you’re probably saying about now.

You’re right. I revel in it. But at least make it interesting. I do not like to be BORED.

And don’t fuck up my cheese steak, Penis Shaft.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Oprah vs. The Phillies

Maybe I should have watched Oprah.

At least I could have become engrossed, open-jawed and drooling, with various “secret diets,” which were a lot less mysterious than the 25-year track record of Phillies’ ownership, a ship navigated by jesters and fools on a mission to nowhere.

I promised the Old Lady never again will I saunter creakily down the stairs and demand the remote for something as inane and predictable as a Phillies game, where the bad ending is to be expected, not the least bit an act of surprise.

Oprah doesn't like surprises, in case you haven't noticed. Just ask James Frey, the fake writer, after she publicly undressed him for his trickery. No, this lady doesn't like to lose -- she's not used to it, either.

However, our heroes are a different breed altogether.

The team had a great spring training record and expectations were somewhat high, tempered by the usual “we’ve been there before” sense of impending doom. That in the end, one is never disappointed if nothing is requested. After all, we all know that Franz Kafka writes the Phillies schedule, and John-Paul Sartre prints it: Groove on the nothingness, don’t knock nihilism…can three million Philadelphians be wrong if you build it and they come for no reason?

But even for someone like me who wallows in this culture of misery, I'm starting to wonder how bad it's gonna get this year.

The devil is in the details, so here: A chilly day game was lost this April 6 by a team that will be quickly forgotten and disassembled by a 67-year-old general manager with nothing to lose if they keep up with this pathetic bullshit. That is, unless the owners invite him to join their circle jerk and insist he become their shill for mediocrity (or just plain awfulness), and that is an interesting thought. Will he tell them to shove it and go hang it up in Canada to finger paint with his artist wife? Or will he shuffle the deck and maybe discard a few of the weaker cards, especially the ones who collect millions to entertain us with the art of grounding into a double play? Yes, that's you, David Fucking Bell.

Today’s final score was 4-2 and it was a dreadful bore replete with nothing but a big, empty feeling, a veritable bacchanal for us misery-loving masochists, who wear garish red caps with a “P” on the forehead. That stands for “pecker” if you’d like.

Jimmy Rollins hitting streak is history at 38, and Rookie-of-Last-Year Ryan Howard went humbly down to the bench when it mattered the most. They were not alone. Cardinals relievers held the Phils hitless for the final 3 2/3 innings

If only time travel were available this century.

“Don’t get heavy with a menopausal woman,” the Old Lady warned after the remote had been removed from her hand and Oprah got clicked into oblivion.

“And don’t you abuse a corpse of a team…that’s against the law, you know,” I giggled, settling in to watch the final installment of a three-game set that would leave us 0-for-the-season and starting the long campaign stuck in the usual pothole.

It's The Sickness

Thursday, April 06, 2006

“That’s okay, honey, I understand insanity.”

The wife was at it early today. Comcast is giving us sickos a free feed of its exhaustive coverage. I rolled outta bed and demanded the remote. Ahhhh – Cubs and Reds…goodbye, Old Lady!

She made me my scrambled eggs and scrapple, served it with a smile, and I was set. A long, glorious day was ahead. Here we go again, baseball. Let the misery begin. And don’t vacuum while I’m watching, woman!

For one, I don’t mind Bob Brenly, the Cubs color man, especially during breakfast. He’s not as grating as Phillies “color man” Chris Wheeler – easily the most publicly-hated employee in the team’s organization -- and he used to play the game. But after eating all those dead pig parts, I had to mute the chatter and get ready for my night with the Phillies – you know, the team of destiny and all that. The genesis of all my suffering. The encapsulation of all things Philadelphia.

Really, fuck the Cubs and Reds. Tonight, it was Myers vs. Mulder…

Look. I gotta be honest. The high point of the day was when my son, Caesar, came up with a new name for Chase Utley, our second baseman: Chase Ugly. It would be funny if I didn’t ban him from “Toon Town” to eat his dinner and do his homework and watch the game…but frankly, he couldn’t be bothered. He didn’t care. To him, the Phillies were like a boring video game. Always have been.

“I hate baseball,” he confided in a moan that you could have heard through the front door. “I want to go back on the computer!”

What have I done to my son? Here’s a boy that can pick up his violin and play perfect scales, something that would be considered about the wimpiest thing going, yet he can’t sit and watch the fucking ball game with Dad?

You know, in a way, I can’t blame him. He’s trying to free himself from an obvious mental deficiency that has carried from the gene pool.

As the Old Lady says, “It’s the sickness.”

So the Phillies aren’t good enough for him?

Good boy.

The game was pathetic. Too many walks, too many mistakes. A labor to watch. David Bell – David Fucking Bell – was the star on offense in a losing effort. Tom “Flash” Gordon, our new hero out of the bullpen, was a failure and deserved the loss. David “Contract Year” Lieberthal made the last out with the tying run in scoring position. Two games, two losses. Final score, 4-3.

Why didn’t Charlie Manuel pinch hit for Lieberthal?

Why did I wake up?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Opening Day, April 3, 2006

“I don’t care about your jackass of a team.”

The old lady, who has been in a perpetual pre-menopausal state, finally had enough. It was the middle of the fourth inning, the Phillies were behind 10-0 – TEN TO FUCKING NOTHING! – and I decided to call the billing department of my internet provider. Not to cancel the service, although, if Opening Day was any indication, I might want to refrain from surfing or the home team’s site so as not to exacerbate the pain.

Oh, the pain. The misery. I love it. I love misery.

I’m a Phillies fan.

“You want me to get the ball and chain?” my would-be Madam continued, the schadenfreude showing. My loud moan had filled our comfortable living room in our cozy Philadelphia rowhome. The metaphorical self-flagellation had begun. Or was it really masochism? The wife painted some rather gruff pictures to describe parallel situations.

“Gee, why don’t I just pee or shit on ya?” she queried, noting, painfully, that the game had taken a hopeless turn. “Or how about I get a dildo and ram it up your butt like the Sopranos guy? Really, it’s the same thing. How long is this one gonna last?”

“It’s only the fourth inning.”


She’s a sweetheart. The lady on the phone, that is. She had the fortune of sitting in Virginia and not being a sports fan. We chatted as she corrected the $16 mistake on the bill.

“So is your husband or boyfriend a sports fan?” I asked, you know, friendly-like. Just making conversation.

“Oh yeah. All those New York teams.”

“Oh, no,” I exhaled unhappily. “The evil empire.”

She laughed. Good thing the old lady moved downstairs to do the laundry. Phone lady got talky.

“I get on him all the time with the sports, and he gets on me all the time about the girl movies, and the women’s channel – you know, Lifetime?”

“Oh, Yeah. Ah-huh.”
“He calls that the ‘Man-beatin’ channel,” she revealed.

I changed the topic.

“Hey, the Phillies scored a run! It’s 10-1. You’re lucky for us. How we coming along on the credit?”

“You’re all set.”

Well, the final score was 13-5. Hooray for the Phillies. It rained; they lost. Just another miserable day.

I love being miserable because the Philadelphian knows to fear success, as impending doom waits around the corner. Flee the good, as it only leads to the bad. Look upon the victory with suspicion, because the loss is near. You get the idea.