Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Around The Horn

A few years ago the Phillies couldn't buy a victory over the Houston Astros. Welcome back to the future. With last night's 7-5 defeat the Phils missed an opportunity to pick up a game on the Mets and fell to within one game of sea level yet again. The game summary includes the usual suspects, the bullpen. Two bases loaded walks, one each by Brian Sanches and Jose Mesa, provided the margin of difference.

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Ryan Howard has failed to heed my advice (doesn't he read this blog??) and take a few days off during the All Star break. Instead, he accepted the invitation to defend his State Farm Home Run Derby title, surely one of the least important trophies in his already burgeoning case. Did Bud Selig get to the big guy or did the fellows from State Farm promise him a break on his deductible? I just hope he doesn't further ruin his swing, something every Phillies fan who follows the Derby knows all about.

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There was a little news item about A-Rod's wife. Seems Mrs. A-Rod attended a game at The Stadium wearing a tank top that had the words F*** You clearly visible on it. Hard to say who exactly Mrs. A-Rod had in mind for the message, the fans, the press, management or all of the above, but one thing seems clear: a $252 million dollar contract buys a family lots of things but not, evidently, class, originality or eloquence.

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Matt Smith is done for the year. The Phillies announced yesterday he will have Tommy John surgery. Smith is the third Phillies pitcher (Randy Wolf and Scott Mathieson were the others) to have TJ surgery in the last few years. This procedure is becoming routine and the good news is a lot of pitchers who have it can and do come back. Here's hoping the southpaw Smith is among them, for his own sake and for the sake of all those who still cannot forgive Pat Gillick for the Abreu deal.

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Every color analyst and blog commenter has weighed in on the large number of outstanding shortstops currently plying their trade in the National League and on the snubbing, some say, of Jimmy Rollins in this year's All-Star balloting and naming. There is no bigger J-Roll fan than yours truly but it is impossible to argue with the selection of Jose Reyes, who is one of the most exciting players in the game today and a force to be reckoned with every time he comes to the plate and is on base. That said, no one combines leadership, skill, performance and love of the game better than Jimmy. And if all of that sounds a little too stats-lite for some, try this: he already has a quadruple double at the midway point of the season. That is All-Star quality plain and simple but as we all know, there is nothing plain nor simple about All-Star voting.

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One more thing about the All-Star game. I wrote yesterday that players love it for the bonuses that kick in. Well, Alex Rodriguez leads the list of those receiving a bonus for being named to the squad with a cool $200,000. That's an awful lot of tank tops.


Anonymous David said...

Not that I'm being judgmental, but there is something seriously wrong with someone who would wear clothing with the phrase 'f-you' on it. Particularly with a young child in tow. Okay, I'm being judgmental.

So, on to baseball. Phils are well on their way to that 84-win season I called. (What a prophet, eh - who couldn't have seen that coming.) Mike Hargrove sets into motion what will surely be the basis of an inspirational made-for-cable movie by following his heart into the sunset. Oh, and the all-star charade is nearly upon us. Yawwwwwwwwwn. Nah, no one wants to see Rollins and Howard in the AS Game. It's not like they filmed a commercial for the game with those two in it. Everyone knows the world wants to see Dan Uggla instead. And how did Andruw Jones make it?! He's been flirting with the Burrell Line for weeks now.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous kuff6 said...

David - not to be a stickler, but I don't think Uggla or A. Jones made it.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I don't know what roster I was looking at. But it wasn't the right one.

8:06 PM  

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