Sayonara Cinderella, Goodbye Billy Penn Curse!

For all you Red Sox and Cubs fans, skip the next section, it doesn’t apply. For everyone else, keep reading.

The Phillies have finally done it. It has been 28 years since the Phillies were here last, and 25 years since any professional sports team from Philly had won anything. This is called the “Curse of William (or Billy) Penn”. It dates back to the construction of One Liberty Place, which became the tallest building in the city, rising over the height of William Penn’s statue on City Hall. One year and four months ago, the statue was moved to the Comcast center, the new tallest building in Philadelphia. With the Phillie’s fall classic win, it breaks the Curse and frees all Philadelphia sports teams to start winning again.

This is not the only curse to have been broken in the new millennium. The so-called “Curse of the Bambino” (insert eye-roll) ended in 2004 when the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. The “Curse of the Black Sox” ended in 2005 when the ChiSox won their first World Series since 1919 and the Black-Sox scandal. Curses still in effect: The Detroit Lions’ Curse of Bobby Layne and the Chicago Cubs Curse of the Billy Goat (which, by the way, is even more fascinating and superstitious than the Red Sox curse)

Of course, the curse of Billy Penn is the only curse to have an effect on ALL professional teams in a city, the other curses only applied to a specific sport.

Okay, its safe for everyone to read again.

I have a house mate who is a Phillies fan and she is ecstatic today. I gotta say I am glad that game 5 is finally over. I am also glad the Rays are still ring-less, because that means we will not have to hear about how the Rays won game 7 and went on to win the World Series every time they play the Red Sox. Now, its only “they beat the Red Sox and went on to lose to Philly 4 games to 1”. Not as much of an accomplishment. Thank goodness!

It was a series marked by rain storms, and the first time in over a century that a game was suspended. I think the suspension was unfair, because the game should have stopped in the 5th, even if they were going to finish all 9 innings at some point, but it seemed like they waited until the Rays had tied it up. Because a good portion of the country wants to see Cinderella win. Everyone wants to see the little guys do well. For my part, I wanted the Phillies to sweep little Cinderella away with blow-out after blow-out. I’m not sure if that’s bitterness over losing in game 7 or annoyance that the AL East’s power has shifted to a Ménage à trois that I, personally, never wanted. I was happy with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Brad Lidge notched his 48th save in 48 tries to be perfect in the 2008 season. Cole Hamels ended his Becket-like post-season by winning World Series MVP.

All I have to say is congrats Phillies, and now that the World Series is over, we can officially look towards next year, where (hopefully) the red Sox will be in the Phillie’s position. For now, we cheer on the Brady-less Pats, who are tied for division lead with Buffalo (how weird!) and the Celtics, who are calling this season: Unbuntu II: The Return (or repeat?), and I will continue my campaign to keep Jason Varitek and get Dustin Pedroia and/or Kevin Youkilis the honor he deserves: MVP!

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Sayonara Cinderella, Goodbye Billy Penn Curse!

For all you Red Sox and Cubs fans, skip the next section, it doesn’t apply. For everyone else, keep reading.

The Phillies have finally done it. It has been 28 years since the Phillies were here last, and 25 years since any professional sports team from Philly had won anything. This is called the “Curse of William (or Billy) Penn”. It dates back to the construction of One Liberty Place, which became the tallest building in the city, rising over the height of William Penn’s statue on City Hall. One year and four months ago, the statue was moved to the Comcast center, the new tallest building in Philadelphia. With the Phillie’s fall classic win, it breaks the Curse and frees all Philadelphia sports teams to start winning again.

This is not the only curse to have been broken in the new millennium. The so-called “Curse of the Bambino” (insert eye-roll) ended in 2004 when the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. The “Curse of the Black Sox” ended in 2005 when the ChiSox won their first World Series since 1919 and the Black-Sox scandal. Curses still in effect: The Detroit Lions’ Curse of Bobby Layne and the Chicago Cubs Curse of the Billy Goat (which, by the way, is even more fascinating and superstitious than the Red Sox curse)

Of course, the curse of Billy Penn is the only curse to have an effect on ALL professional teams in a city, the other curses only applied to a specific sport.

Okay, its safe for everyone to read again.

I have a house mate who is a Phillies fan and she is ecstatic today. I gotta say I am glad that game 5 is finally over. I am also glad the Rays are still ring-less, because that means we will not have to hear about how the Rays won game 7 and went on to win the World Series every time they play the Red Sox. Now, its only “they beat the Red Sox and went on to lose to Philly 4 games to 1”. Not as much of an accomplishment. Thank goodness!

It was a series marked by rain storms, and the first time in over a century that a game was suspended. I think the suspension was unfair, because the game should have stopped in the 5th, even if they were going to finish all 9 innings at some point, but it seemed like they waited until the Rays had tied it up. Because a good portion of the country wants to see Cinderella win. Everyone wants to see the little guys do well. For my part, I wanted the Phillies to sweep little Cinderella away with blow-out after blow-out. I’m not sure if that’s bitterness over losing in game 7 or annoyance that the AL East’s power has shifted to a Ménage à trois that I, personally, never wanted. I was happy with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Brad Lidge notched his 48th save in 48 tries to be perfect in the 2008 season. Cole Hamels ended his Becket-like post-season by winning World Series MVP.

All I have to say is congrats Phillies, and now that the World Series is over, we can officially look towards next year, where (hopefully) the red Sox will be in the Phillie’s position. For now, we cheer on the Brady-less Pats, who are tied for division lead with Buffalo (how weird!) and the Celtics, who are calling this season: Unbuntu II: The Return (or repeat?), and I will continue my campaign to keep Jason Varitek and get Dustin Pedroia and/or Kevin Youkilis the honor he deserves: MVP!

Frozen Fall Classic

The Phillies and the Rays are held in suspense due to ridiculously wet (and cold) conditions. And the poor Rays had to go to Delaware to spend the night because they had already checked out of their hotel.

Of course, a game suspension is unprecedented, it has not happened in a century, what are the chances that it would happen? They probably should not have played the game at all last night, but they did, so tonight (possibly) we will start in on World Series Game 5 part II. Will is be over tonight or will we have a game 6? Regular stats do not apply. The Ray’s streak when Longoria has an RBI does not count, because that was yesterday. The Phillie’s issues with hitting with runners in scoring position need not carry over, though they have from game to game lately.

Look for a wet game tonight, and cold, which I put in the Phillie’s favor. They play in the cold in March and April and again in September and October, while the Rays play indoors.

For my housemate’s sake, I hope it is over tonight. I switched over from MNF to see what was going on and I was shocked. I can’t believe they played in weather like that, but I also can’t believe they suspended it. How have we made it through 112 World Series without a suspended game for weather? That is a ridiculous feat. Its clearly possible but also somewhat mind-boggling. And Bud Selig…poor Bud Selig and the umpire crew are bearing the brunt of the fan anger. Had they called the game in the 5th, the Phillies would have won. Even if they had suspended the game in the 5th, which, weather-wise, they should have, the Phillies would be going into tonight with the lead, so they are, understandably, angry at the refs and the commish. And had they called the game sooner, perhaps the Rays would have found a hotel in Philly and not in Delaware.

For now, I continue my stint as a Phillies fan. So lets go Phillies!

Frozen Fall Classic

The Phillies and the Rays are held in suspense due to ridiculously wet (and cold) conditions. And the poor Rays had to go to Delaware to spend the night because they had already checked out of their hotel. 

Of course, a game suspension is unprecedented, it has not happened in a century, what are the chances that it would happen? They probably should not have played the game at all last night, but they did, so tonight (possibly) we will start in on World Series Game 5 part II. Will is be over tonight or will we have a game 6? Regular stats do not apply. The Ray’s streak when Longoria has an RBI does  not count, because that was yesterday. The Phillie’s issues with hitting with runners in scoring position need not carry over, though they have from game to game lately.

Look for a wet game tonight, and cold, which I put in the Phillie’s favor. They play in the cold in March and April and again in September and October, while the Rays play indoors.

For my housemate’s sake, I hope it is over tonight. I switched over from MNF to see what was going on and I was shocked. I can’t believe they played in weather like that, but I also can’t believe they suspended it. How have we made it through 112 World Series without a suspended game for weather? That is a ridiculous feat. Its clearly possible but also somewhat mind-boggling. And Bud Selig…poor Bud Selig and the umpire crew are bearing the brunt of the fan anger. Had they called the game in the 5th, the Phillies would have won. Even if they had suspended the game in the 5th, which, weather-wise, they should have, the Phillies would be going into tonight with the lead, so they are, understandably, angry at the refs and the commish. And had they called the game sooner, perhaps the Rays would have found a hotel in Philly and not in Delaware.

For now, I continue my stint as a Phillies fan. So lets go Phillies!

 

Rays Relief is a Relief For the Phillies

Well, the Phillies took game 4 in spectacular style last night, and being that I am temporarily a Phillies fan, this is a good thing.

The game was close-ish until the later innings when Philly just opened up on the Rays ‘pen for homer after homer. It makes me begin to think that maybe the Rays didn’t beat the Red Sox, the Red Sox’s injuries finally caught up to them and they lost. I mean, really, the Rays being in the World Series is really a giant scouting game for the Yankees. They are mostly locked up until 2009, but the next year, the Evil Empire will come calling.

As for the Sox, I hope we rob the Jays of one of their starters, like AJ Burnett or something, keep Tek on a two year deal and phase him into the coaching staff slowly while grooming a young guy. I think bringing in a guy from another team would not be good for the pitching staff, but as all of you who read me regularly know, I’m a Tek supporter. The players have already come out and said they will be shocked, disappointed, sad, worried about the kind of team they are on, etc. if he isn’t signed. Now all we gotta do is keep Boras from being too greedy…(like that’s going to happen)

Without the big money contracts of Manny and Schill, we have a good bit of money to work with and really, not that many holes. We have the Cora-Lowrie-Lugo shortstop debate, and there’s no one we can dump Lugo on at the moment, but this means we don’t need a shortstop. Pedrioa and Youk are solid infielders and even solider bats. If Mikey comes back from the surgery OK, then yay! If not, we should pick up Texiera, maybe we should pick him up anyway, since Mikey might be on the way out at the end of next year…(hopefully retiring… I don’t want him to play for anyone else) Papi will be back to his old self, so no need for a DH, but we’ll probably keep Casey around as a good overall backup. Then we’ve got Bay, Drew, Coco, and Ellsbury in the outfield. The starting rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester and Wake is still pretty potent (I know Wake led the team in losses, but go back and look to see how many of those were 1-run losses where we couldn’t generate the offense)

So, we add a pitcher, maybe an infielder, or a good backup like Kotaras who can play both pretty well, maybe bring up a new guy to work in the ‘pen. We’ll be good. The big question is catcher, and with limited prospects around the league, and Tek meaning so much to the team, it would be a stupid decision on Theo’s part not to keep him around.

Here’s to game 5. May it silence the Cowbells forever.

Also, Congrats to KEVIN YOUKILIS who won the Hank Aaron Award! Yeah! Here’s what he had to say (and it makes me love him even more!)

Well, I don’t think I can ever compare myself to Hank Aaron in any way,” Youkilis said. “I’ll never see myself in that level. So to win this award, I don’t know, I’m a little humbled by it. But it’s great just to be able to have an award that’s named after somebody that exemplified so much in this game and has brought so much history to this game. It’s an honor just to be named in the same sentence. So for me, I’m thrilled.”

Rays Relief is a Relief For the Phillies – And Congrats Youk!

Well, the Phillies took game 4 in spectacular style last night, and being that I am temporarily a Phillies fan, this is a good thing.

The game was close-ish until the later innings when Philly just opened up on the Rays ‘pen for homer after homer. It makes me begin to think that maybe the Rays didn’t beat the Red Sox, the Red Sox’s injuries finally caught up to them and they lost. I mean, really, the Rays being in the World Series is really a giant scouting game for the Yankees. They are mostly locked up until 2009, but the next year, the Evil Empire will come calling.

As for the Sox, I hope we rob the Jays of one of their starters, like AJ Burnett or something, keep Tek on a two year deal and phase him into the coaching staff slowly while grooming a young guy. I think bringing in a guy from another team would not be good for the pitching staff, but as all of you who read me regularly know, I’m a Tek supporter. The players have already come out and said they will be shocked, disappointed, sad, worried about the kind of team they are on, etc. if he isn’t signed. Now all we gotta do is keep Boras from being too greedy…(like that’s going to happen)

Without the big money contracts of Manny and Schill, we have a good bit of money to work with and really, not that many holes. We have the Cora-Lowrie-Lugo shortstop debate, and there’s no one we can dump Lugo on at the moment, but this means we don’t need a shortstop. Pedrioa and Youk are solid infielders and even solider bats. If Mikey comes back from the surgery OK, then yay! If not, we should pick up Texiera, maybe we should pick him up anyway, since Mikey might be on the way out at the end of next year…(hopefully retiring… I don’t want him to play for anyone else) Papi will be back to his old self, so no need for a DH, but we’ll probably keep Casey around as a good overall backup. Then we’ve got Bay, Drew, Coco, and Ellsbury in the outfield. The starting rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester and Wake is still pretty potent (I know Wake led the team in losses, but go back and look to see how many of those were 1-run losses where we couldn’t generate the offense)

So, we add a pitcher, maybe an infielder, or a good backup like Kotaras who can play both pretty well, maybe bring up a new guy to work in the ‘pen. We’ll be good. The big question is catcher, and with limited prospects around the league, and Tek meaning so much to the team, it would be a stupid decision on Theo’s part not to keep him around.

Here’s to game 5. May it silence the Cowbells forever.


Also, Congrats to KEVIN YOUKILIS who won the Hank Aaron Award! Yeah!
Here’s what he had to say (and it makes me love him even more!)

Well, I don’t think I can ever compare myself to Hank Aaron in any
way,” Youkilis said. “I’ll never see myself in that level. So to win
this award, I don’t know, I’m a little humbled by it. But it’s great
just to be able to have an award that’s named after somebody that
exemplified so much in this game and has brought so much history to
this game. It’s an honor just to be named in the same sentence. So for
me, I’m thrilled.”

 

Are Your Ready For Some Football?

The Pats take the field tonight against the high-powered Broncos offense. Good news for the Pats: there is no defense to speak of. On the other hand, the Pats D and the offense have been inconsistent, driving fantasy owners and fans crazy.
My fantasy team tanked this week, but it tanked like a Rockstar. At this point, there is no way I can win, so I concede the week to make myself better in the long run (by not having to get rid of any of my insanely talented RBs.)
Mostly, I just really need the Pats to pull it off tonight because I’m still reeling from last night, as I’m sure most Boston fans are. I can now fully devote myself to the blogging and watching of football, and won’t have to split my time until the NBA season heats up.

On the college front:

JMU is still number one and mercifully had a bye week to nurse all their many injuries. Next week we take on Nova, which should prove to be a difficult game. Nevertheless, I have faith, as I always do.

So go Dukes! and Go Pats!

All Good Things…

…must come to an end. I have to say, in the bright (and cold) light of morning, I am almost glad its over. I would have liked it to be over after another four games and a ring…but my stress level goes down and my number of hours sleeping goes up.

I will watch some of the fall classic, but only when they play in Philly, because if I ever hear another cowbell, it will be too soon. Maybe the Rays should have Christopher Walken throw out the first pitch?

Anywho, the Red Sox are gassed. Last night everyone just looked tired. So I think in a small way, they’re glad its over. Now its time to marvel at the fact that they never should have made it as far as they did, take a few days off to rest, and start figuring out how we can get CC or some other pitcher without giving up anyone we like. I really like our line-up next year. For the first time in my memory, the Red Sox are young. Pedroia, Lowrie, Coco, Ellsbury, Masterson, Lester, Bay, Papelbon, and Youk have many years left in them. If you look back on the Sox, this rarely happens. And these kids are battle tested. There are only two things the Sox must do this off-season: get Tek back, and get another starting pitcher, whether we take one from somewhere else or develop them.

I’m going to take a few days off of hard-core baseball following to catch up on that all-important school work which has fallen by the wayside. I continue my campaign for the Captain, because you can’t just get rid of a captain, even one who has struggled so much at the plate, you have to phase him out, into retirement. Just the reactions from his homer in game 6 proved one thing: they need him. He is the soul of the team, and if we get rid of our soul we’ll turn into the Yankees.

One final note before I head off to get lunch (yum!) Our playing season may be over, but the Nation still has work to do! The 2008 This Year In Baseball Award has several Red Sox on the ballot!

Vote Pedroia for Hitter, Dice-K for Starter, Jacoby for Rookie, Tito for Manager, Paps for Closer, Dustin for Defense, Lester’s No-No for Performance, and Youk’s on-the-wall triple for Oddity (this one is under Damon’s name).

And the best part is you can vote as many times as you want and it’s really very easy! So go vote HERE

All Good Things…

…must come to an end. I have to say, in the bright (and cold) light of morning, I am almost glad its over. I would have liked it to be over after another four games and a ring…but my stress level goes down and my number of hours sleeping goes up.

I will watch some of the fall classic, but only when they play in Philly, because if I ever hear another cowbell, it will be too soon. Maybe the Rays should have Christopher Walken throw out the first pitch?

Anywho, the Red Sox are gassed. Last night everyone just looked tired. So I think in a small way, they’re glad its over. Now its time to marvel at the fact that they never should have made it as far as they did, take a few days off to rest, and start figuring out how we can get CC or some other pitcher without giving up anyone we like. I really like our line-up next year. For the first time in my memory, the Red Sox are young. Pedroia, Lowrie, Coco, Ellsbury, Masterson, Lester, Bay, Papelbon, and Youk have many years left in them. If you look back on the Sox, this rarely happens. And these kids are battle tested. There are only two things the Sox must do this off-season: get Tek back, and get another starting pitcher, whether we take one from somewhere else or develop them.

I’m going to take a few days off of hard-core baseball following to catch up on that all-important school work which has fallen by the wayside. I continue my campaign for the Captain, because you can’t just get rid of a captain, even one who has struggled so much at the plate, you have to phase him out, into retirement. Just the reactions from his homer in game 6 proved one thing: they need him. He is the soul of the team, and if we get rid of our soul we’ll turn into the Yankees.

One final note before I head off to get lunch (yum!) Our playing season may be over, but the Nation still has work to do! The 2008 This Year In Baseball Award has several Red Sox on the ballot!

Vote Pedroia for Hitter, Dice-K for Starter, Jacoby for Rookie, Tito for Manager, Paps for Closer, Dustin for Defense, Lester’s No-No for Performance, and Youk’s on-the-wall triple for Oddity (this one is under Damon’s name).

And the best part is you can vote as many times as you want and it’s really very easy! So go vote HERE

Well, Someone Has To Go

Okay kids. Here it is, game 7 of the ALCS. Anyone else but me incredibly surprised to be here? (Think back to Thursday before the 7th inning and be honest with yourself)

Tonight, Jon Boy takes the mound against Garza.
jonboy.png
We’re putting our best foot forward, I have my lucky shirt, and join my incredibly superstitious friends in keeping my fingers crossed. Look at this survey on the Boston Globe‘s website:

globesurvey.png

See the choices? You gotta love superstitious baseball fans.

So I was all kinds of cursing TBS last night. I don’t care if you have a power outtage, the Steve Harvey show was a BAD CALL. The Office would have been a little less annoying. So I logged in to all the various websites, watching TBS Hotcorner (which I am not a fan of) listening to WRKO (love them!) and watching gameday pitch-by-pitch. So of course I found myself yelling agrily at BJ Upton before long. I called home and my mother, though I love her, occasionally choses the “hometown” boys over the team that the rest of my family is insane about. Not a very nice thing to do in the regular season, but a cardinal sin in the post-season, especially when facing elimination.

Note on the “hometown”: I graduated high school with Justin Upton (DBacks), BJ’s little brother. BJ did not go to my school, he went to a local private school, though I have met him, David Wright (Mets), and Mike Cuddyer (Twins) – all local boys. Thus, he’s a “local” boy and my mother loves it when anyone from our area does well. I usually do too…just not in the postseason when they’re playing my team.

Back to the game. The Rays lead 1-0, but never fear! Youk is here! Youk launches a solo shot to tie the game. Thank goodness, because with the way both Sheilds and Beckett were pitching, it was going to be a tight one.

youkties.png Yay for Youk, because he hits a sac-grounder which scores Pedroia on the go-ahead run in the third. Then Becks gives up a solo homer to Bartlett, and we’re tied again in the 5th. But it could have been worse, had the Rays not put on a hit-and-run which allowed Tek to throw out Navarro at second. So we come to the 6th. Two outs, Tek is up. We love the Captain, and watching him struggle is more painful than most players just in a slump. On a 2-0 pitch, Shields hung a fastball to the corner and bam! Tek hit the go-ahead solo homer and the Sox never looked back.
Tekshot.png
I mean, if you’re going to have only one hit this series, that was a really great time to do it. It got the Sox pumped up even more and the 2-out rally continued, thanks to an E by Bartlet and some clutch hits from Coco, Dustin, and Papi, who, by the way, hit a double and an RBI single last night.

The bull pen, which came in for the 6th, shut it down. Oki went two beastly innings, Masterson settled down marvelously after hitting a batter, and Paps, even though he looks a little gassed (yipes!) got it done in a big way.

papsnumber1.png
So now there’s one game left. Winner goes to the World Series, loser starts shopping for Halloween costumes. Tonight we hand the ball to the de fecto ace of the team, Jon Lester. To be quite honest with you, win or lose, they have done a GREAT job. And I really feel that if we can hit with men on (stranded TWELVE last night!) and Lester can keep the game under control, we’ll be golden. Though I’d like us to blow them out so Paps can rest. We need him and he needs it.

So good luck Sox, the Nation is behind you.