Monday, September 24, 2007

Phillie/Steeler Overlap

Well, we THOUGHT there'd be overlap since the Phillies-Nats game (the final game in the history of RFK Stadium) started at 12:10 and the Steelers-Niners game on FOX was scheduled to begin at 1:00 -- but then both the D.C. and Balt. affiliates chose to show Ravens-Cards (a real game for the birds ... laugh track).
Since there actually WAS no overlap, we had to gut it out with the Phils in their wild-card quest ... wishing, though that we coulda bonded w/ the Steelers, just as we'd done in Week 1 vs. Cleveland and in the home opener last week (w/ throwback jerseys n' helmets) vs. Buffalo.
It would've been a treat to see the new mascot, Bruno McSteel (or whatever his name is) along with the other new '07 faces, such as coach Mike Tomlin (who, when he removes his headset, has "Motorola-'fro") and rookie tight end Matt Spaeth.
Spaeth has caught a TD pass in each of his first two games, yet, a little-known fact re: the young ex-Golden Gopher TE is that some people call him The Spaeth Cowboy ... some call him the Gangster of Love ... and some people call him "Morrrr-reeeece" (woot woo!) ...

So, since we didn't get to see the Steelers exact revenge against Joe Nedney for that OT FG which he nailed as a Tennessee Titan which knocked our boys out of the '02 playoffs (sure, we always coulda gone to a Dave & Buster's or wherever, but, seriously ... ), it was difficult to stay focused.
That's to say, Ryan Howard's MLB-record-tying 195th strikeout was not seen in this household because, hey, that bowl of soup ain't gonna microwave itself.
Special guest star Frank Howard saw Ryan Howard go down and, let's face it, the Capital Punisher could not have been too pleased that his namesake has whiffed so often in '07.

Some of us definitely appreciate the strength of the big kid, but until he gets that K total down a little, we're never going to put him in our Top 3 First Baseman of All-Time (currently reserved for Gehrig, Mattingly and Kluszewski).

Just a fun FYI: In 1934, the Iron Horse had 49 HRs and a .363 avg. -- and struck out only 31 times ... in '36, he had 49 HRs, a .354 avg. and only 46 strikeouts (and there are theories that his condition, due to ALS, might've begun to erode his skills as early as five years before his death in 1941).
Klu, meanwhile, was a 40 HR / .316 avg. / 34 strikeout guy in 1953 -- and went 49 HRs / .326 avg. w/ only 35 whiffs in '54, followed by 47 / .314 / 40 in '55 (with biceps the size of garbage cans ... back in the days before BALCO turned every player into a Kluszewski).
Finally, in '85 and '86, Donnie Baseball had 66 HRs, 258 ribbies, a .338 avg. -- and struck out only 76 times.
Ya gotta love those all-time, first-sackers -- especially since we don't need their full names ... just Iron Horse, Klu and Donnie Baseball ...

Sometimes, stadiums are just as recognizable w/ merely the initials ... such as "RFK."
Some might say it's fitting that it was the Phils who said goodbye to the ol' park ... ever since Philly's JFK Stadium was demolished 10, 15, 20 years ago (some of us are too uninspired to look up the exact date because, well ... there's a rumor goin' 'round that Jack n' Bobby were regularly nailing the same chick whom neither was married to and, well ... neither JFK nor RFK put out any quality punk-rock albums, like, say, the Dead Kennedys did).

For some of us, our only trip to RFK was on Labor Day '05 ... when Gavin Floyd (who hadn't pitched in 2 1/2 mos.) trudged to the mound with his 14.14 ERA.
Gav -- the former hot prospect -- didn't pitch all that poorly (the only runs he allowed in 6 IP came on a 3-run HR by Brian Schneider). Yet, some of us held him in contempt and blamed Gavin Floyd for the Phils missing the playoffs by one game that year.

We can all mock Floyd for his problems this year (when he would've had trouble retiring slo-pitch sluggers), but as of this moment, Gavin is 1-5 with a 5.71 ERA while the player he was traded for (Freddy Garcia) finished his '07 campaign at 1-5 / 5.90.
Eerily similar.
Except that Freakin' Freddy's 1-5 / 5.90 cost the Phils $10 mil.

It'll all be water under the bridge next year when Freddy is leadin' the Dodgers to the World Series.

On the bright side, Phillie Phan HAS to love the way Adm Eaton pitched balls out last night and got his MLB-worst ERA down from 6.36 to 6.33.

ALAS, TODAY didn't work out well for the Fightin's ... as the D.C. crowd saluted their ol' relic of a stadium, punctuated by Chad Cordero's game-ending punchout of Jayson Werth (ya can't get on Werth too much because he hit that HUGE 3-run blast the other night, keeping the playoff hopes alive).
We could pin this one on a sub-standard relief effort from Antonio Alfonsucksmuch.
If only the Big Ol' Yokel Mgr. had a middle-relief guy like a Joe Bisenius, hmmmm ...

No time to play the blame game because even if the Phils DO make the playoffs, who amongst Phillie Phans has one ounce of faith in THAT pitching staff?
That's a rhetorical question for another day because it's time to dispense the congratulatory head taps all around at the Haystack Headquarters ... to the #01 Steeler bobblehead WR atop the fireplace mantel ... to the #1 Steeler bobblehead next to the Michigan State #1 bobblehead on the coffee table ... to the James Farrior Bobbin' Head Doll atop the CD case ... to the Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robot wearing the micro Steeler helmet on the kitchen window sill.

A real team effort in takin' down 'Frisco, 37-16!
Who could go for an icy-cold Olympia right now?

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