Tagged: Philadelphia Phillies

An Extreme Week

This
week seems to be a week of extremes for a lot of teams.  Take the Yankees, for example.  They get to celebrate the well-received opening of a
brand new stadium, but then have to find a way to compensate
for the loss of Xavier Nady.  Or
the Red Sox.  I don’t want to add
fuel to the fire for Sox fans, but they’re having their worst start since
1996.  They did win yesterday, and
it’s the beginning of the season, but still; with such a talented team, I
understand the frustration.

 

There
are also a couple extremes of a different sort.  Extreme grief and sadness.  Nick Adenhart’s death one week ago and the loss of Phillies
broadcaster Harry Kalas on Monday are still fresh in the minds of fans and
players alike.  I’ve only been a
part of MLBlogs for less than a month, but I was amazed to see the huge,
sincere outpouring of support that came from the bloggers.  I enjoyed reading the reflective,
heartfelt tributes and responses to the passing of these two members of the
baseball family. 

 nickadenhart_1_400.jpg


kalas.jpg

On
a lighter note: extreme shock.  The
Mariners are in first place?  The
Padres are in first place (even if it’s a tie)?  The Marlins are in first place?  Wow.  I am
especially surprised about the Mariners; in Ichiro’s first game back from the
DL, he launches a grand slam, which is especially rare for him since he’s more
of a single or double hitter.  I
know, I know, it’s only the second week of the season, but it might be the only
time this season that some fans can celebrate being atop the standings.

 

With
that in mind, how are you feeling about your team’s position so far?  We’re not too far in, so no teams are
facing must-win games, but I’d be interested to hear the reactions of fans
regarding how their team has performed so far, what their team needs to improve
on, and how they see the rest of the season shaping up. 

 

I
have to solicit this information from the dedicated fans because I am not a
die-hard fan of one team.  Portland
doesn’t have a major league club, but we are generally Mariners fans by default
since they’re closest.  So, while
this is a baseball blog, I have to take a few lines to show some hometown pride
for the Blazers!  They’ve made it
to the NBA playoffs and I will be rooting for them!

portland_trail_blazers_logo.jpg

 

And
one final side note…because he will probably be reading this at some point,
happy birthday Dad!  I hope it has
been a great day for you.

 

Happy
almost-Friday, everyone. 


Photo credits: 

Nick Adenhart:  rowlandsoffice.wordpress.com/ 2009/04/

Harry Kalas: http://blogs.phillynews.com/inquirer/zozone/kalas.jpg

Blazers: http://www.apualumni.com/s/43/images/editor/Chapter%20Events/Oregon/portland_trail_blazers_logo.jpg

 

 

Remembering Winter and Anticipating Spring

Spring
is here!  Spring term has begun at
school, which means new classes, new professors…and a new sport.  Baseball, of course!  Here at the University of Oregon, there
hasn’t been a baseball team since 1981: until now.  I’m excited to be here for the first season, and even though
we’re likely not destined for Omaha anytime soon, I’m grateful that I’ll have a
team for all four years.  There’s a
game this afternoon against the University of Portland so I’m praying the rain continues
to hold off!

 

Back
to the real stuff.  The last couple
of days, I was a bit under the weather and wasn’t up on the baseball and
blogging worlds, but I found some time to look over a little baseball news.  With the regular season just days away,
I thought about the offseason and some of the big moves and big names that
made headlines.  Here are just a
few that stood out to me:

 

1)   
Mark
Teixeira:
I will admit that I always thought Teixeira was
overhpyed.  He’s been traded around
a little bit, playing for both the Braves and the Angels last season, but now
he’s in a Yankee uniform and I have come to see what a good player Teixeira
really is.  He’s a really
impressive switch-hitter; in 2005, he set the record for most RBIs by one.  He has a .290 career batting average
and hit .308 last season.  That’s
not to say that Teixeira is surefire MVP material or the sole reason the
Yankees could reach the playoffs; however, after being underwhelmed by Teixeira
for a year or two, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of impact he has on
the Yankees.large_teixeira7.jpg



 

2)   
Scott
Boras
: Boras might not be a baseball player, but he’s
probably got a lot of them on speed dial. 
He is quite possibly the most powerful sports agent out there, or at
least the most powerful in baseball. 
Here are five of his clients: Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Mark
Teixeira, Dice-K, and Matt Holliday. 
Think about how long it took to get Manny signed; it took far too long
in the eyes of many fans, but Boras is good at what he does.  He helped Teixeira get that 8 year,
$180 million deal with the Yankees, and did the same for Holliday with his
one-year, $13.5 million deal with the A’s.  Say what you want about baseball players earning too much,
or about negotiations taking too long; Boras is really good at his job.

 

3)   
Raúl
Ibáñez:
This has absolutely nothing to do with Mark
Teixeira or Scott Boras, but I had to throw Raúl in here because I’ll really
miss seeing him play.  After two
stints with the Seattle Mariners, Ibáñez signed with the Phillies this
offseason.  Mariners games are the
only ones we can get on local coverage in Portland, and every time Ibáñez was
featured, he displayed humility and enthusiasm for the game.  He seemed to be one of the only players
in Seattle who could remain consistent. 
His numbers might not have been MVP-caliber, but he was a fan favorite
who will be missed.  Good luck with
the Phillies, Raúl!

 RAUL-744274.jpg

Those
are just a few brief thoughts of mine, and I’d be interested in hearing
yours.  What about the offseason
stood out to you or surprised you? 
Are there any offseason signings that you think might have big impacts
on the regular season?  

Bloody Socks and The Best Game

As
far as “the greatest game ever played” in each respective sport, there is
sometimes consensus and sometimes debate. 
Football has the 1958 NFL Championship Game that pitted the Baltimore
Colts against the New York Giants and was the first football game ever to go
into sudden-death overtime. 
Baseball has…the “bloody sock” game?

 

The
“Bloody Sock Game,” Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS in which Curt Shilling played with
torn tendons in his ankle, has been all over the news today following Curt
Schilling’s retirement announcement. 
I remember watching it four years ago and thinking it was pretty
cool.  But, how long do you think
it will live on in baseball lore?

 

With
162 games every season, there are a lot to choose from.  It might be easier to identify the
“greatest series ever played.”  They
may have had some especially unique quality; they weren’t necessarily the best
game all-around.

 

There
are a few games that stand out to me. 
It wasn’t one of the greatest games ever played in the history of
baseball, but Game 5 of the 2008 World Series was definitely exciting; rain
poured on the field in Philadelphia and made it basically unplayable.  The perseverance of the players,
continuing to give it their all amid terrible conditions, and the heated debate
about whether or not the game should have been suspended combined to make it an
intriguing game for me. 

 

Also,
the game in which Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run will always be
one of my favorites.  That’s
probably cliché, but he played outside a steroid shadow and advanced the cause
of African-Americans in the game. 
If only for the perseverance displayed by Schilling, the “bloody sock
game” also deserves a little attention in my book.

 

Those
are just a couple of examples.  While
the “Greatest Game Ever Played” has been solidified in football, baseball’s is
still up for debate.  What do you think?  Do you think there is
one game or series that can be labeled as the best?  Or, do you have one game that you found especially interesting,
exciting, or intriguing?  On the
flip side, do you think there is a “worst game” ever played?  I can think of a few, one in particular
dealing with a certain headphone-wearing Cubs fan…but I’ll leave it at
that.  I’m too busy watching this great WBC final to write anything else!