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?


Anonymous ChuckM said...


I was down at the park yesterday. It is very easy to find somebody who had their tickets given to them by a friend, client or as a work perk and who has an extra ticket to dump. I ended up getting 2nd row fieldside seats for $20. I was close enough that if Ryan Howard let a fart rip, I could have heard it. The Rockies were just smacking the ball all game off of Lieber while the Phillies fell into a familiar rut of chasing junk and they were shut down at the plate from the third on. Good defensive plays by Bell and Utley and Fasano throwing out a basestealer was the only thing that kept the game close. Liebers "pound the zone" approach leaves vulnerable to a team of very good aggressive contact hitters such as the Rockies. The Phillies were lucky that it was 3-3 by the 8th, but alas, Franklin was overdue and that was that.

28/4/06 10:31 AM  
Blogger Tacony Lou said...

Yo Chuck,

I'd much rather have the team playing well and the tickets in short supply. Looks like the Phils are bringing back the glory days of 1973, when the Vet was in its third season and nobody -- not even Carlton -- was having a good year. We went to a lot of games and never got worse seats than Section 215. The Pirates back then were a lot of fun. Manny Sanguillen, who swung at anything, would always chip fouls our way.

Lieber needs to get his shit together, and fast. Not to mention the rest of the roster...

28/4/06 2:03 PM  
Anonymous ChuckM said...


I would gladly trade winning team and having to get SRO tickets anyday. I have gotten a seat in the second row of the LF bleachers for the price of buying the guy with the ticket a beer. Its ridiculously easy to get choice seats for $20 or less just by hanging outside or walking to the park from the subway. It looks like all the pronouncements from the team about the necessity of getting off to a fast start has really backfired now that the Phils are going thru their now perennial April suckdom...advice to all readers; If you do get fieldside seats at the park, keep your heads up for flying bats when Fasano is at the plate. He already sent one bat into the stands and nailed a kid, and yesterday he dropped his bat whiffing....There was some encouraging news yesterday and that would be Cole Hamels jaw-dropping line in Norfolk yesterday. I may be getting ahead of myself, but this team could sure use a D-Train or Zach Duke rookie to burst on the scene.

28/4/06 3:08 PM  

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