Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Phillies Down Dodgers in Game 2

July 18, 2007

The Phillies dished the Dodgers a taste of their own medicine last night in Los Angeles. After the Dodgers blasted the Phillies for 10 runs on 10 hits in Monday’s contest, the most explosive team in the NL reciprocated the goodwill.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard, or the People’s Champ, hit 2 more home runs (24) and collected 4 RBI (72). If he’s the meat, then Chase Utley is the potatoes. He bolstered his league-leading RBI total to 79 with 3 more on the night, while going 3-6 and adding 2 doubles (39).

Chase Utley

Jimmy Rollins was 3-6…Shane Victorino 5-7…Aaron Rowand 5-6…and even J.D. Durbin, who I ridiculed yesterday, was 3-4 with a run scored…wtf?!?

These numbers look like Dwight Howard‘s field goal % at halftime. Except it’s really hard to hit a baseball, unless Mark Hendrickson is winging it in, and really easy for Dwight Howard to crush.

Dwight Howard

Unfortunately, the Phillie staff hasn’t made it hard to hit the ball, but Durbin tossed an unexpected gem. Among all the souvenirs in last night’s bout, only the lucky Dodger Fan behind the backstop saw any love from the rookie.

Alyssa Milano

Lowering his hefty ERA to 9.00, Durbin lasted 6 quality innings allowing only 8 baserunners and 1 earned run in a much needed win. He had this to say after the game,

“Every time I got the ball back, I took a deep breath. The game goes fast, and being in control is how you do things right. Less is more. I’ve always been max effort in terms of delivery. Today, I went out there and controlled myself, didn’t try to do as much. I was 88-92 today, and a couple of years ago, that was nothing. I’m not a thrower anymore. I’m trying to be a pitcher, working the ball in and out, up and down and get ahead of guys. Today, it worked out for me.”

Sounds like an inner sex monologue, but whatever works. I just assume it was a nice precursor to what Durbin would encounter later that night.

J.D. Durbin

At 25-years old, in the City of Angels, for a 3-day stint, after a dismantling of once NL-leading Dodger Faithful, this kid certainly celebrated.

In all, they collected 15 runs on 26 hits–the greatest outburst since I was a wee 9-year old lad in the summer of ’85.

3 paisons
Which wee lad am I do you think?

Fine. So I’m not 9 here (my brother looks adopted for the record), but even at 6-years old I knew Von Hayes would some day hit 2 home runs in the 1st inning of a game. Check the box score, thanks to Baseball Almanac, for the last time the Phils went on a killing spree like last night.

Baseball Almanac Box Scores New York Mets 7, Philadelphia Phillies 26
New York Mets ab   r   h rbi
Backman 2b 4 1 3 1
Johnson 3b 5 0 2 1
Hernandez 1b 2 0 1 0
  Christensen cf 2 0 0 0
Carter c 2 0 1 1
  Reynolds c 3 1 1 0
Heep cf,1b 5 1 1 0
Foster lf 3 1 1 1
Hurdle rf 4 1 1 0
Santana ss 2 1 2 2
Gorman p 0 0 0 0
  Schiraldi p 0 0 0 0
  Sisk p 2 1 0 1
  Staub ph 1 0 0 0
  Sambito p 0 0 0 0
  Knight ph 1 0 0 0
  Orosco p 0 0 0 0
Philadelphia Phillies ab   r   h rbi
Hayes lf 6 4 3 6
Schu 3b 7 2 4 2
Samuel 2b 7 3 5 2
Schmidt 1b 2 2 2 2
  Jeltz ss 4 1 1 1
Wilson rf 6 4 3 3
Diaz c 4 3 3 3
  Rucker p 2 1 2 0
  Andersen p 0 0 0 0
Maddox cf 4 3 2 2
  Thomas cf 1 0 0 0
Aguayo ss 1 1 0 1
  Gross 1b 2 1 1 2
Hudson p 3 1 1 1
  Wockenfuss ph,c 1 0 0 0
New York 0 0 3   2 2 0   0 0 0 7 13 2
Philadelphia 9 7 0   0 5 1   4 0 x 26 27 1
Gorman  L (3-3) 0.1 4 6 6 2 0
  Schiraldi   1.1 10 10 10 0 1
  Sisk   2.1 2 0 0 0 1
  Sambito   3.0 9 10 8 5 0
  Orosco   1.0 2 0 0 0 1







Hudson  W (2-6) 5.0 13 7 6 0 3
  Rucker   3.0 0 0 0 2 2
  Andersen   1.0 0 0 0 1 1







  E–Johnson (3), Santana (9), Hayes (3).  DP–New York 2, Philadelphia 1.  2B–New York Santana (7,off Hudson); Foster (9,off Hudson); Johnson (2,off Hudson), Philadelphia Diaz 3 (3,off Gorman,off Schiraldi,off Sambito); Wilson 2 (11,off Schiraldi,off Sambito); Schmidt (9,off Schiraldi); Samuel (11,off Sisk); Schu (3,off Sambito); Rucker (1,off Sambito); Jeltz (1,off Sambito).  3B–Philadelphia Schu (2,off Schiraldi); Maddox (1,off Schiraldi).  HR–Philadelphia Hayes 2 (5,1st inning off Gorman 0 on, 0 out,1st inning off Schiraldi 3 on, 2 out).  SF–Santana (1,off Hudson); Foster (2,off Hudson); G Gross (1,off Sambito).  HBP–Aguayo (3,by Schiraldi).  IBB–Maddox (1,by Gorman).  CS–Backman (3,2nd base by Hudson/Diaz).  SB–Samuel 2 (17,2nd base off Gorman/Carter,3rd base off Gorman/Carter).  WP–Schiraldi (2), Rucker (1).  BK–Hudson (1).  HBP–Schiraldi (2,Aguayo).  IBB–Gorman (1,Maddox).  T–3:21.  A–22,591.
Baseball Almanac Box Score

Brad Penny and the Dominant Dodgers

July 17, 2007

In what has become a formality, Brad Penny has dominated for the Dodgers every 5th day. Last night was no different.

Penny & Nomar

He was relentless through 7 innings allowing only 7 baserunners while striking out 8. The Phillies lost their 10,000th game just one night earlier, only to trek across the country to face the best pitcher in baseball.

Brad Penny

After Chase Utley knocked in Jimmy Rollins for an early first-inning Phillies lead, Penny found his form.

But the Dodger bats were waiting as well. In a team effort, L.A. quickly answered with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st. The inning was capped off by the unlikliest of scrubs, Nomar Garciaparra, whose double scored Jeff Kent.

Matt Kemp

The maylay ensued as Kent hit a 3-run bomb in the 3rd, and Matt Kemp blasted another 3-run shot in the 6th that hasn’t landed yet. It was enough for Penny to cruise to a tie for the league lead in wins with 11.

Brad Penny - Florida Marlins

In 2004, Penny was traded from the 2003 World Series Florida Marlins, along with Hee-Seop Choi and scrub Bill Murphy to L.A. for Paul Lo Duca, Juan Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota. Penny moved to L.A., began dating Alyssa Milano, and became part owner in 5 horses bred for racing. Everything seemed to be improving upon winning his first championship.

Penny & Alyssa

Penny even started last year’s All-Star Game and struck out the side. But then he injured his back. And then accused teammate Kenny Lofton of a lack of effort during a game. Things were bad in Tinseltown. When the Dodgers faced the Mets in the playoffs, they were swept as Penny amassed an 18.00 ERA.

Penny and Alyssa broke up.

Eliza Dushku

But thank the heavens above. Now he has Eliza Dushku to toss over his shoulder and the Phailures were in town when Grady Little slated his name. Penny was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA against the Phils last year, and last night, they were just another hot mess.

Jamie Moyer‘s arsenal, as I noted yesterday, is not what the doctor ordered. He had this to say:

“I’ve made over 500 starts, and this just goes into the whole pile with all of them — good ones and bad ones. The score obviously makes it look a lot worse, but that’s baseball. It makes no sense to go home and cry about it. I’ve been in this game too long not to realize that one game doesn’t make a season.”

I agree that your career is a pile. Let’s leave it there.

So tonight, L.A. will feature 6’10” Mark Hendrickson, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers. He has pitched well for Dodger Fan going 4-4 with a 3.92 ERA on the year. He’ll face J.D. Durbin in a spot start featuring an 0-2 record and 13.50 ERA for the Phils.

Alyssa Espionage

At this point, I can only hope that Alyssa’s espionage is effective because the Phils can’t possibly be this bad. But Moyer is ancient and Alyssa is attracted to talent even if the efforts are solely for Dodger wins. So, there should be no way that she had anything to do with Moyer’s perphormance last night. Yet another sad, sad day for Phillie Fan. I feel a sweep coming.

A Penny for Your Thoughts?

July 16, 2007

Brad Penny

The Dodgers continued their winning ways yesterday sweeping the Giants and maintaining their lead on the rest of the NL. Led by Russell Martin‘s signal-calling and 7-game hit streak, the Dodgers have won 4 straight and now host the Phillies for a 3-game set.

Russell Martin blocks the plate

Last night, the Phillies got hammered by Albert Pujols in the ESPN game, notching their 10,000th loss in Philadelphia franchise history. As the ultimate phailures, the Phillies took it in the pujols, allowing 10 runs on 15 hits in a dismal perphormance on all accounts.

Albert Pujols

Their reward…Brad Penny in Dodger Stadium where he is 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 starts this year. Moreover, Penny was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA vs. the Phils last year before suffering a back injury late in the season. He developed a blister in his last outing though, coughing up 6 runs in only 4 innings, placing the odds at a questionable L.A. Dodgers ML -152.

Brad Penny Pissed

For the Phils, the ancient Jamie Moyer will take the hill and try to keep his squad above .500 for the season. This year, Moyer is 7-7 with a 4.43 ERA over 113.2 innings. He’ll feature the changeup/meatball mix in what should be a continuation of last night’s drubbing.

Moyer’s Meatball

Dodger Fan will be hosting the Phillies for 3 and then the Mets for a 4-game set over the weekend where she’ll reunite with her co-host from this past week’s festivities. As if she needed a co-host (especially a Met) for a reason to gather, Alyssa was the Belle of the Ball all week.

Dodger Fan

The last time the Mets came to L.A., Dodger Fan had her broom out. I expect her to infiltrate the Met minds before the series begins with these facts and her natural abilities. She is a team player and will surely do her part. Let’s just hope she doesn’t have any affiliation with the Phillie minds for my sake.

The Dodgers should grab at least 2 of 3 from the Phils though. Penny tonight and Billingsley in Game 3 should be Dodger wins with Game 2 up in the air.

Cole Hamels Grabs 11th Win for Phillies

July 15, 2007

With one more loss, the Phillies will write a new record for losing one stack of high society. That’s right, the ultimate losers of all professional sports franchises everywhere. Naturally, Citizens Bank Park was sold out with 45,050 Phillie Fans expecting the worst.

“Hollywood” Hamels

But, Cole Hamels took the hill Saturday attempting to dodge the history books for the second game in a row. Allowing four runs over six innings, he grabbed his 11th win of the season. Dealing without his A game, “Hollywood” thanked the best offense in the NL for the run support,

“The team definitely helped me out. I think I was more or less giving it away to the other team. The team kept battling back and scoring a lot of runs for me. It definitely makes my job a lot easier.”

“Our team has all sorts of power, and we’re able to hit in the clutch right now. In this ballpark, with the lineup we have, there’s a reason we should and are leading in runs produced.”

Hollywood doesn’t only win on the field, but is winning in life too.

Heidi Strobel

He was told he would never pitch again after bone marrow surgery in his sophomore year of high school. Now he is married to Drexel University and Survivor Alum, but more importantly, Playboy Playmate and Phillie Fan Heidi Strobel.

Heidi Strobel & Jenna Morasca

Phillie Fan is blazing, from Bethesda, MD, and posed with her Survivor castmate, Jenna Morasca, in the August 2003 issue of Playboy. I’d say Hollywood has a bright future in store, already leading the league in wins at 23 years old.

The Phillies have won both games since the All-Star Break and remain four games back in the East. Jimmy Rollins led off with his 18th home run of the year and Ryan Howard connected on his 22nd. Aaron Rowand added his 12th, while he and Pat Burrell were both a perfect 4-4 and 3-3 respectively.

Ryan Howard

Jimmy Rollins’ leadoff knock was the 22nd of his career and the 5th of his season. He surpassed the Phillies benchmark of 4, set by himself, Juan Samuel and Lenny Dykstra, rendering the presence of the history books worthy.

Jimmy Rollins

In what seems like a minor winning streak, the Phillies are quietly competing for their stake this season. The Phillies have scored 23 runs on 37 hits in two games and seem to be performing like Bizarro Mets. The Mets won today though on a 2-hit gem from Tom Glavine, but needed an 8th inning run to notch his 8th win of the season.

As far as history is concerned, let’s hope that no Phillie pitcher wants to be in the record books for this loss. But tomorrow, Adam Eaton will face Adam Wainwright in the twilight, where the Phillie faithful might finally earn their punishment with loss 10,000. So in moments like these, we must simply pay tribute to the greats.

Harry Kalas
Hall of Famer Harry Kalas

South Beach Strippers

July 10, 2007

The Flamingo, oceanside

We missed Top Chef last week due to the holiday, but I wanted to share some of the views I have when I get to visit Miami Beach.

The FlamingoMy Maryland roommate grew up in North Miami Beach and currently resides at The Flamingo in South Beach, so he knows the area very well. This is one of his pools, and those empty chairs are filled daily with South Beach’s most ridiculous strippers.

Last Labor Day was my most recent excursion to South Beach, where The Flamingo did not disappoint. He had just moved in and hadn’t even paid his security deposit yet, so I joined him for a 20 minute meeting with the landlord at around 10 am. After swindling them out of a few months rent, we had breakfast, met his former roommate, and went to the pool.

The Flamingo, North Pool

Now when I say this scene was breathtaking, I don’t mean the immediate view of the ocean 10 feet from the pool, or the clear blue skies overhead. I am talking about the cheeks that all seemed to live in this one complex.


Not only that, but I didn’t look like some dirty scumbag because my brilliant friend had equipped me with a girl for the whole week. For security purposes, we will refer to her as “Next.” 

Shower Girl

It was like never-ending softcore porn. I kid you not. I was seeing spots similar to when you look directly at the sun for too long, except these spots were asscheeks. Even Next was impressed and she is from Los Angeles by way of Miami. These strippers weren’t just on the chairs either. They were playing in the foot shower, on the beach, getting drunk and enjoying the calm before the storm.

This calm before the storm is the Thursday before the Friday of Labor Day weekend. It’s the day where the strippers get to finish up their last details before the weekend’s debauchery begins. For most, that means cleaning up tan lines, relaxing, and finally spending a day dodging dick instead of not.

Elastic Girls

But Next would initiate conversations with these ladies and it always turned back to the U. I was surprised how intelligent the strippers were when their guard was down…oh, and they seemed to be  perennially forming  pony-tails, dipping themselves in and out of the pool for hours on end in what they called a “bikini.” Such solid marketing tactics.

Girls Poolside

Many of them were educated and actually went to the U. How they found time between demonstrating crotch thrust techniques on stage and then sleeping it off is beyond me. But, I couldn’t believe where my pimp friend, let’s call him “P,” was living. No wonder he gets laid so often. It’s a pimper’s paradise.

The U

It didn’t stop there though. At night, it was no different. One of his best friends, we’ll call him “Bare Bones,” was in from New York and was “drunk off his tits” in one story after another. This guy is a modern day miracle and together, these Miami pimps revealed their empire to me.

Crobar, Miami Beach, FL

We went wherever we wanted and got whatever we wanted. The bouncer would greet us personally as he declined $500 tables to the local meatheads and tourists. And this was no small group either. P always rolls with his blazing Russian-American friend, “Red,” and several other friends, with which I had specific interests in common.

Most nights lasted ’til the wee hours of the morning, and some broke dawn like the night before never happened. For the first time, I saw more people partying and dancing at 8 am than at 6 am, each equipped with his or her own designer sunglasses for the obvious reasons.

The Delano, Miami Beach, FL

When it was finally time to leave the beach, the restaurants, the clubs, the hotels, or whathaveyou, I never had any interest. Thank you as always pimps, for I will see you again this year for a repeat performance.

South Beach Nightlife

South Beach is such a spectacle and possesses an amazing aura that DC could only wish to replicate. That being said, my comparative research on the subject will begin this week.

Same Lowe Down Dirty Shame

July 3, 2007

Alyssa Stuff 

Tonight, Dodger Fan hosted John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves in the first of a four-game set. Without his best stuff, Lowe was still dirty allowing only one run over five innings in an 8-2 victory.

Derek Lowe

In what was expected to be a stellar contest, Smoltz flaked out in the follow-up to his shutout performance just five days ago. He struck out six over six innings while earning three of the runs.

But it was the young Dodger nucleus that catapulted the faithful past the Braves tonight. Matt Kemp blasted a 2-run bomb to break the tie in the sixth, and Russell Martin collected a career-high four hits extending his hitting streak to 12. Satisfied, Dodger Fan never looked back.

Matt Kemp launching a bomb

Though L.A. should have expected a win on Sunday after losing the first two to San Diego, tonight was a nice offensive outburst. Martin (.306) is settling into the 3-hole, James Loney (.393) and Matt Kemp (.397) are playing beyond their years, and Luis Gonzalez is on fire with 2 more hits tonight.

Luis Gonzalez

But, Nomar miraculously found a hit tonight which saddens everyone. If Grady Little could just have the balls to bat him 8th, L.A. might just snatch the edge they need to propose a Freeway Series.

But the true story is Russell Martin. This kid commands his entire staff’s attention and has taken on a leadership role. Like Pudge, Martin imposes his will to win on his opponent while instilling it in his own teammates. And Dodger Fan has a crush on him which is what really matters.

Russell Martin has 16 steals

Martin’s success is great but are the Dodgers even the best in the West? or in L.A.? It appears they could acquire another bat before the break for the middle of the lineup, but that is the obvious wish factor.

Derek Lowe on Boston

And it appears to still  be a Lowe down dirty shame for Red Sox Fan, who have been on the skids of late. With every game soldout before the season even starts, wouldn’t RSN just lock down the guys that actually got them their title? It is getting interesting leading into the break…

A Lowe Down Dirty Shame

June 16, 2007

derek lowe 

Last night, Derek Lowe was masterful in a career-high, 11-strikeout performance against the AL West leading Angels. Over seven solid innings, he allowed one run and four hits leading the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory and sole possession of first in the NL West.


We all know Dodger fan was there and loved every second of it. Humbly, Lowe had this to say:

“I think my experience pitching in the American League for so many years definitely helps in Interleague play. You’ve got to go right at American League teams because these guys are potent hitters — especially when they get into pitcher’s counts. If you look at all the strikeouts, none were looking. So it wasn’t like I had strikeout stuff. It happens by accident.”

Everyone remembers Lowe’s effort for RSN in 2005. But, here we have RSN as tops in the Bigs and the Dodgers most likely right behind them by Monday.

It’s not such a bad deal though if the Red Sox now have Beckett, Schilling, and Dice K, and Lowe gets to pitch in Dodger Stadium. Seems as though everyone has made out like bandits in the remnants of one of sports’ greatest stories ever told.

NL West Heats Up

June 14, 2007

Who would have thought the best two teams in the NL would be the Padres and the Dodgers?

Brad Penny and Jake Peavy dominated as their respective teams maintained best in breed status. The problem is they both compete in the NL West and will beat each other up down the stretch.

But, Penny certainly impressed Dodger fan last night after a sweep of the NL East leaders. By issuing no free passes over seven innings for the second consecutive time, Penny confused these paper champions all night long. He stated,

“I thought I threw the ball pretty well. I had no walks, so I’ll take that every time. That’s a great [Mets] lineup. It’s probably one of the toughest lineups in baseball, so it was nice for this team to sweep them.”

Penny’s 97 mph strike out of Shawn Green at the end of the third inning was his fastest pitch all night. Rather than heading directly to the dugout, Penny confronted Green about stealing signs in the first inning. Green acted bewildered, and the Mets followed suit as Penny mowed the rest of them down too.

Penny lowered his ERA to 2.18, the second-best mark in the NL to Jake Peavy’s 1.82. Just three hours earlier though, Peavy was preparing for excellence too. The Devil Rays pounded the Padres for 11 runs the night before, a result Peavy had no interest in replicating.

But, before he could even throw a pitch, the Padres had mounted a five-run first inning lead.

“My job is easy when you have to give up nine to lose,” Peavy said. “We just wanted to be aggressive early and slam the door and not let them have any life. They come back and score a few runs, they feel they can chip away at the lead, but we kept them off the board.”

You sure did. Peavy only needed one of those runs. Over seven innings, he allowed only two hits, struck out eight, and lowered his road ERA to 0.87.

So, now we have a tie atop the NL West with the Dodgers off today, and the Padres facing Tampa Bay in an early contest. At least we’ll have a division leader before the Dodgers face the Angels this weekend, and San Diego entertains Chicago.

San Diego and L.A. both pitch in pitcher-friendly parks and have assembled quality staffs. I like the Dodgers because of the young talent like James Loney, Matt Kemp, and Chad Billingsley that they have brought up to help the cause. Russell Martin is exceptional on both sides of the plate and their bullpen is stingy. This is all reminiscent of the 2003 Marlins.

It’s a new Dodger Blue in 2007.

What a Nut!

June 13, 2007

Ok, this could be my worst nightmare. Some people are just nuts!


June 4, 2007

We all perceive daily experiences differently due to a variety of influences from the past and present. Perhaps, our tendencies are dictated more genetically, or more through repetitive processes that form who we are today. Maybe we are affected more by failure than triumph, or more by love than hate. Maybe its more by eBay than Amazon, or Judaism than Christianity, or stocks than bonds. Choices affect us all, but how does the understanding of others’ perceptions assist in building bridges to the future?

Bridge Building

In the past, those lucky enough to have a family, or anything resembling the typical nuclear model, could be perceived as being lucky. But today with so much collaboration available to us from so many inexpensive sources, how important is the role of the “mom” or “dad?”

Suppose a 15-year old boy loses his father and must become the “man” of the house prematurely. Will he quickly learn to become a “father” figure to his younger siblings, or will he remain in a “big brother” role? And how much faster would this transition occur today than compared to 20 years ago?

Now imagine that he has been abused.  Imagine he has been abused by both parents, but with only one parent remaining. Imagine he has been abused by one but not the other. Imagine if the abuse was physical, or emotional, or psychological. Imagine a combination of abusers and effects of abuse.

I am from the school of thought that claims 10% of life is what happens, and 90% is how we react to it. In this situation, if the child matures quickly to better serve a “father” figure role, it could be the result of an ingrained characteristic, or simply a positive reaction to life experience. The child could also mature more slowly though, where the same “loss of a father” would cause an entirely opposite negative reaction.

But suppose the same 15-year old accepted additional responsibilities, helped forge his family forward, while becoming a leader before his time. Suppose he applied these skills to the military for an education, instead of a University system for instance, because his leadership skills were so advanced at such a young age, that he needed to lead others. And suppose he is sent off to war to live or die. And then again a year later. And then again.

But, i’m not talking about life or death from war, which is awful to even think about. I’m talking about the aspects of life that these leaders lose because of war, and because they are so capable of being strong leaders. I’m talking about each patch on their shoulder that represents 15 friends and soldiers killed by someone, or some cause, that they couldn’t trust. How does this same decorated leader, that began supporting his family at 15 years old, experience the beauty of falling in love, the freedom of traveling with a friend, or all the other experiences that shape us even into our 20’s and 30’s.

Sometimes life is what we make it, and other times, life is what is handed to us. But, usually its a hybrid of our past and present influences, and how we manage them. For some, life may never exist again with trust or faith as core components. Then again, maybe trust and faith are the glue that hold the family together in times like these, and are the same core components that the soldier seeks to redeem from past losses or premature expectations.

But soldiers don’t get to check their blogs, or watch LOST, or speed-date every Tuesday night. They don’t get to accept love on their own terms, or at their own pace, or from the same pool that we all enjoy. And, ultimately, they don’t get to naively trust casual encounters in life:  a luxury that allows us to implement our vast perceptions into productive romantic, business, and societal relationships. It is critical that we exhibit the ability to perceive, and understand, similar experiences through the eyes of others, thereby continually building bridges for collaboration and societal evolution.

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