Saturday, August 19, 2006

The (Almost) Fightin' Phils


They’re alive! They have a pulse! They’re ready to fight…well, close but not quite.

In a rare show of good old-fashioned (natural?) testosterone, Team Shook Up collectively considered – gasp – charging the mound and assaulting a pitcher tonight who had plunked the oft-thumped Aaron Rowand after the team ripped him for eight runs in the second inning.

Rowand, who I suppose is used to getting hit by pitches after taking 19 of them this season, started jogging down to first base like a good soldier when Chase Utley – victimized on the thigh by a ball the same inning – came running out of the dugout steps like a fox terrier, yip-barking admonitions to the pitcher.

Utley was but the first almost-Fightin’ Phil out of the dugout. Of all things, there was Baby Girl Burrell, cheeks plump with chaw, making like a lazy bulldog, staring like a guard dog eyein’ up the mailman, tangy drool dribbling down his cheek for added effect.

And there they stood glaring at Washington Nationals pitcher Ramon Ortiz – in foul territory – as home plate umpire Paul Nauert tossed him out of the contest. Utley and Burrell were joined by various beefy Phils and an indignant-looking Chollie as backup. After ten seconds, they went back to their pews, the apostasy answered.

Rowand seemed a little shocked by the whole affair and simply stood on first base, skeptical that Yip-Dog Utley would charge the mound like a little brother spoiling for a fight his big brother decided wasn’t worth his time. Maybe it’s because he’s been hit two more times this season than he has walked and he’s used to it.

Whatever he was thinking, Utley sat down, but the “message” was delivered: The Phillies will fight if you throw at them.

Maybe.

Hey, any signs of life from the 2006 Phillies is a break from the routine. I can’t help but wonder how quickly Bobby Abreu would have bolted from the dugout to join a free-for-all, or if Ryan Franklin would have stayed in the bullpen.

Then again, unlike scab Cory Lidle, at least Franklin would have been watching what was going on from his highchair in the pen as he was developing new pitches in his religious imagination for next season. Lidle would have been back in the clubhouse playing poker online or cruising ice-cream-and-pussy fetish sites.

Now Sal Fasano is someone that would have been good help in a brawl. Fat hairy dudes with garlic breath scare skinny pitchers. So do bald, potbellied relief pitchers who favor the Bluto look like Rick White, and he’s still on the team.

In all seriousness, the Phils should make it a point to continue these pleasantries Sunday. Nats manager Frank Robinson should be more than willing to accommodate. He took his share of balls to the ribs when he was a player (one of the great ones), and just because he’ll be 71 years old in less than two weeks doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.

So here’s the plan, guys. Chollie brings in White when the game’s out of hand tomorrow. The way Team Schizo’s been going, they might even have a big lead. Bluto goes to the mound and starts jawing at Robinson. He’ll take the bait and come out to the field.

Where White hits him with the ball is entirely up to his big ugly self. Then we’ll see what old Frank has left.

5 Comments:

Anonymous ChuckM said...

I can only remember two brawls in recent history. One was a scrap I witnessed at Ball One Ballpark in Phoenix after Larry Bowa retaliated after a D-back swiped a base with a 10 run lead. Our seats were on the right field line next to the Phillies dugout and we got to see the Phillies bullpen charge down into the scrum and then mosey back. Jose Mesa is one big ugly scary looking dude when you see him in person. The other one was the infamous Cincy brawl where Mike Lieberthal did the memorable open field tackle on Adam Dunn, who was charging a Phillies pitcher (Carlos Silva?) who drilled him. This brawl triggered a 11 of 12 run from the Phillies....On another note, kudos to Gillick for picking up Old Man Moyer for two obscure A "prospects". I was at Camden Yards earlier this season and witnessed Moyer flummox the Birds with his slow junk over 7 effective innings. At best, Moyer is capable of giving the Phillies the same boost Maddux has given the Dodgers, and even if not, this low-risk move is a huge upgrade over Mathieson and if Myers cant pull out of the toilet, at least the Phillies have a workable 1-4 rotation. If Myers does get back to form, the Phillies would be going into the final leg of the Stumblebum Sweepstakes with the best rotation of teams contending.

20/8/06 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

I was praying to the Invisible Pink Unicorn that Utley and/or Burrell and/or anyone else didn't charge the mound. They've been playing very well lately and the last thing they need is to be dealt suspensions, especially one with their unofficial captain's name (Chase Utley) on it.

As for Moyer, I love the trade. Wow, did a Phillies fan actually say that? It feels good.

I don't expect anything more from him than five or six average innings. I'll be happy as long as he keeps us in the game. I see him as another Cory Lidle... that doesn't pig out on ice cream in the clubhouse.

20/8/06 12:54 AM  
Anonymous ChuckM said...

I look at the Moyer acquisition as buying around 3 wins. Being that the 5th starter will get 7-8 starts by the end of the season, Moyer can reasonably be expected to throw 5-6 quality starts whereas the Phillies would get maybe 2 quality starts (at best) out of any combination of pitchers currently on the 40 man roster. This also trumps the Mets, especially with the news that Glavine may be shut down for 2006 with a possible bloodclot. Baseball is a funny game as all of a sudden the Mets fans have to be sweating it while us miserable bastards have a reason to keep our chins up (although you dont ever keep it up to high lest you all of a sudden get it sucker punched).

20/8/06 12:07 PM  
Anonymous JG said...

Lou,

I wouldn't shortchange Frank even at 71. He can probably still throwdown. I certainly wouldn't expect a Zimmer'esque' showing if he decided to give er a go.

The one concern I have with the Moyer deal is CBP. I hope he's able to keep the ball down, way down. All in all he's a great addition, the anti-Lidle, if you will. Hopefully he's crafty enough and given his longevity I think he is.

20/8/06 10:20 PM  
Blogger GM-Carson said...

I've been waiting for a good basebrawl for quite some time from the Phillies now. I want them to go apeshit on another team. Howard could really fuck someone up!

21/8/06 8:58 AM  

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