Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Whiz Wit'out

I used to live in Philly. I spent a few years among rabid dogs. I mean foaming at the mouth, sharp canined, hounds. That's how I describe Philadelphia sports fans. New Yorkers are loud, obnoxious know-it-alls (I'm proud to be one) but Philly fans, boy......look out. The Eagles could be 7-0 and coming off a 56-3 annhilation of the Cowboys, but lose a close game 20-17 on a late fourth quarter 63-yard field goal against a random AFC team and the fans are looking for blood.

I don't want to say that Philadelphia folks have fair-weather tendencies, but after the magical 1994 run to the World Series the team slipped a bit and in 1996 I found myself at a mid-summer ballgame at Veterans Stadium among a whopping crowd of 4000 people watching Curt Schilling pitch. Ouch. I can't say I blame them, when Curt threw to a 3.19 ERA and a 1.085 WHIP only to get a 9-10 record out of it. Fact is, I learned that baseball and basketball are the ugly stepchildren of the Philadelphia sports market, and that unless either of them looks like a title contender they may as well not exist.

On to the ballgame last night.

Oh, Bernie Williams. How we love thee.....let us count the ways. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 hits last night raised your batting average to .294 on the year and an OPS of Lucky .777 looks mighty fine considering you're hitting .362/.371/.672 in June for a 1.043 OPS. Bern Baby Bern.

Hip Hip Jorge!! Posada hit his 10th home run of the year and simultaneously raised his season average to .300 all in one night. In 59 games this season, Jorge is sporting a .300/.419/.505 line that is mind boggling when considering that his .924 OPS is 3rd among catchers who have caught a majority of their teams' ballgames (Mauer/McCann). Right now, Jorge is on pace for 24 homers and 94 RBIs if he goes a typical 142 games. That would be his best output since his 30 homer season in 2003. AL All Star voting leader Jason Varitek has a lovely .764 OPS and posts a .258/.345/.419 line with the second most GIDP among all catchers (V. Martinez). Keep stuffing those ballots Red Stockings fans.

While Mussina continues to struggle a bit, we had a Ron Villone sighting!! Villone threw 1.2 very effective innings and was charged with an earned run on no hits and no walks. After hitting Chase Utley in his second inning of work and then retiring Bobby Abreu, Torre called on Scott Proctor who promptly walked Pat Burrell on 4 pitches to bring up the blazing hot Ryan Howard who had hit two homers earlier in the game to tie Albert Pujols for the Major League lead. Nice work Scooter. Of course, then Howard laced a triple down the line off Mike Myers to score both runners and smear filth all over Villone's otherwise perfect pitching line. Gotta like what you saw though, and his appearance deserves the patented "'Bout Time!" award.

There were other great storylines in the game from the Yankees side. Melky, Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, and Kevin Reese all produced nicely, and T.J. Beam vultured a win with a one out appearance in the 7th. Mariano worked two nice innings to get the save and keep us even with Boston who won in Washington. Hats off to the Giambino for home run #20. Go get yourself a steak at Jim's on South Street Jason. If the line's too long head on down to Pat's. Don't forget to order a Whiz wit'out. Put a lot of hot sauce and think about mushrooms. You can't go wrong. See you tomorrow. Go Yanks. (By the way, the Giambi Cheesesteak graphic you see isn't my best work, but I didn't have a whole lot of time to put into it. The actual cheesesteak eater in that photo is John Kerry.)


RollingWave said...

I was living in Philly during that time too ;) oh boy did the Phillies sucked after that WS run.

Philly itself seem to be home of the losers teams though, I mean it's been 2 freaken decades without a championship in a big market town with all 4 sports team. The Flyers always make the playoff then lose, the Sixer always suck (even when they made the finals... they were like the last two seed), the Eagles had a few nice runs but also been up and down. and the Phillies... err let's not even go there.

Mike Plugh said...

Did you get yourself any cheesesteaks while you were there? I always went for Pat's over Gino's until I finaly went over to Jim's on South Street.

Good stuff.

vusurfer said...

I live in Philly now, been a Yankee fan all my life, I am 55. Went to the past two games, and going tonight. Last night, was a nail biter, with Howard going off, and Mussina, having a bad stretch, I could see a Phillies sweep with Wright going tonight. That would have made my life unbearable, with my wife being a rabid Phil's Phan. The Philly fans are nuts! Let's go Yanks.
I love your blog. Keep up the good work.

Mike Plugh said...

Thanks vusurfer.

I have a love-hate relationship with Philly fans, because it was so hard to live there as a New Yorker. I didn't like the Eagles before I moved to Philly, but after living there and taking so much crap from the fans, I really despise the Eagles.

I'm a fan of the city itself though. It's a difficult city to know well unless you stay for a longer period of time, but once you start to get the ins and out of Philly's unique rhthym, it's a cool place to be.

James Varghese said...

I'm a transplated NYer in PA as well (Philly now, central PA for the 3 years and 4 college years before that) and you have described Philly fans to a T. It's amazing to me - the team is 2-3 games out of a wildcard spot and all I can hear is doom and gloom. I said to my buddy the other day, I really hope the Phils go into the tank against the Yanks this which he says, wouldn't surprise me - they've been in the tank all season - those bums.

They're 3 back in JUNE and they're BUMS!!! And I thought Yanks fans were demanding...and man, when I would try talking about the Giants during football season...whoo, look out!

Anonymous said...

Dude... what happened to the Matsuzaka watch? I've been waiting for an update... tell me that he's still on track.... I look forward to the post

Mike Plugh said...

Sorry about the lack of Matsuzaka Watch features. I have the data and writing material I need to recap the last 3 starts, but I am going to wait until this weekend to post.

I will post the last 3 starts' recaps, plus this Friday's game, and I'm going to unveil a little surprise at the same time.

Apologies for the delay.

RollingWave said...

Well I was very young when I was there so didn't get to enjoy the sports stuff THAT much ;) mostly just TV stuff... and had to sit through the stupid strike and then watch the Phillies just plain out suck

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