Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Colbert vs. Cowbell (A Ray-ality Check)

What's better than watchin' the Fightin' Phils play a World Series game on your 10th wedding anniversary?

Answer: Watchin' Cole Hamels givin' the Phils a 1-games-to-none lead in the series and then pondering how many other marriages resemble Tampa Bay hitters vs. Hamels.

Impatient ...

Off-balance ...

Destined to fail ...

It's a fascinating exercise ...

Time changes everybody to some extent -- but, it's pretty cool when the gal who was ridin' shotgun with you for the '93 Series (when she seemed more like a sidekick than "a girlfriend") hasn't changed all THAT much since the days when Fregosi's battle plan was a LF righty/lefty platoon of Inky & Milt and a RF righty/lefty platoon of Wes & Eisey.

What a fascinating dichotomy of ))) wait, what does "dichotomy" mean, again? (((

It's a source of amusement to remind people of the landmarks from that sacred wedding season of 10 years ago ... the monumental day after the Yankees concluded a 125-50 season with a 4-game World Series sweep of the Padres (a World Series which nobody remembers) ... in the same month that Jason Priestley left "90210" (a show which we never watched) ... in the same month that "Bride of Chucky" was released in theaters nationwide (a movie which we never saw) ... and scarcely more than a week before the state of Minnesota elected as its governor a guy named Jim Janos (who probably would've been a better legislator if he hadn't been hit across the back with a folding chair when everybody knew him everybody knew as "Jesse Ventura").

The math is simple: When the planets align in such a manner, a guy has to pull the trigger.

Figuratively, of course (for it was in the same courthouse parking lot after our justice-o-the-peace wedding where Wing Wu and her mom, So Shan Chan, were gunned down by the ex-husband/stepfather once the divorce was finalized).

The Mrs. feels reassured when she's told, "You n' me ... we're not gonna end up like Wing Wu and So Shan Chan." (Of course, it doesn't make sense ... yet, sometimes ya gotta put the "ass" in "assurance.")

And, in the "ours-is-not-the-victory-of-might-but-the-vindication-of-right" paradigm, well ... there were always marriages which looked better "on paper" -- but, inevitably, the only papers which matter now feature three prominent words:

"Dissolution of marriage ..."

That's bound to happen when you're spendin' your 10th wedding anniversary gettin' a hummer from a hooker instead of havin' a wife who hummers LIKE a hooker.

That's why this lucky spouse of a Phillie Phan discovered that her hubby was on-line the other day exploring which new Phillie cap would cover her bald melon during these milestone moments (imagine that: a Phillies World Series during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month ... sensory overload!).

With the technological and artistic advances in scarfs and bandanas industry, it remains essential that the ballcap industry keep pace -- and, lookee here, honey-bun! has not only the traditional red Phillie cap w/ the 2008 World Series logo stitched on the left side, but, apparently, there's a model with a purple shell, sky blue brim/bill and a yellow P, not to mention a version which has a lime shell, purple brim/bill and dark green P.

(What if she crossed up everybody and went with the MLB Chocolate Funk: brown shell, pastel circles on the bill/brim and an electric-pink P outlined in electric blue?)

Headware and silly bonnets aside, it is ironic how all that "new ballcap" chatter goes flyin' out the window when Chase Utley sends a deep drive which is flyin' not into the shark tank in RCF but over the wall, nevertheless, in straightaway RF.

Straightaway, Devil Ray!

Kinda makes ya glad that you still have the 7-1/2-size red Phils cap w/ the gray underbill instead of the new 59Fifty, 7-5/8 Phils cap (all red w/ white P or blue w/ red P and red bill) and (gulp) ... the black underbrim.

Some of us have always adhered to an anti-black underbill/underbrim policy -- therefore, we understand why many of the bruthas rebel against The Man by wearin' their 59Fiftys w/ the decals/stickers remaining on outerbill/outerbrim (gangstah tilting and tag-anchored-to-venthole optional, fo shizzle, ma-nizzle ... ).

Ballcap hijinks aside, the Phils hangin' onto a portion of that early 3-0 lead is the bottom line.

As one would expect, Joe Buck's game-summary moments before his sign-off was some blah-blah-blah rhetoric about "the story of the game was the Phils going ohh-for-13 with runners in scoring position ..." blah-blah-blah, time to wake up McCarver, blah blah blah ...

The Disneyland Baseball Channel wasn't much better -- Big Blather Berman was shipped in for "the event" so that he could provide crucial back-back-back-back-back-back ...

When it came time to provide a recap, EspyTime turned it into another adventure of mixing cliches w/ equations in quantum physics instead of ever providing a single highlight of the Phillies' third run.

Would it have killed 'em to furnish the less-than-60-seconds worth of footage to give us a quickie breakdown of the top of the 4th?

Victorino with a leadoff single ... Feliz with a single ... Coste w/ the grounder which advances the runners ... Ruiz with the grounder which scores Victorino for a 3-0 lead ...

Whereas Ruiz's RBI g.o. might never be ranked with the bottom-of-the-9th, walk-off sac fly which ex-Phillie pharmhand Jerry Willard ("5-for-1") hit off of ex-Phillie Steve Bedrosian ("Bedrock") to tie the '91 World Series at two games apiece or the 2-run sac fly which then-phuture-Phillie Tommy Herr hit in the top of the second inning in Milwaukee's County Stadium in Game 4 of the '82 Series (Herr was batting leadoff ... two-time batting champion Willie McGee was batting 8th and Hall of Fame Ozzie Smith, who scampered home from second base on the play, was batting 9th ... and when the frick is Whitey Herzog gonna get inducted in Cooperstown?), however ... WAIT, WHERE WERE WE?

Oh, right right right ... we were discussing why ESPN hates catchers from Panama (or, at least, catchers from Panama named "Carlos Ruiz" ... for all we know, this anti-Panamanian/anti-catcher culture began back in the '70s when Manny Sanguillen became the first Panamanian catcher and then he probably pissed off all of the traditionalists with the way he'd hack at any pitch ... seriously, Sanguillen swung at anything, he never drew a walk, but, he also never struck out, either as his average hovered around .300 and *** WAIT, WHERE WERE WE?

Exactly ... ESPN has demonstrated repeatedly that it is less-meaningful to offer images which Americans may process in order to form their own opinions than it is to suck all the life out of a moment by allowing semi-goateed faces on a big, fat heads tellin' us why we should feel a certain way (which would be OK, in itself, if we needed Krukker to tell us why we need six more ladlefuls of gravy on that meat or if we needed Steve Phillips to walk us through his sex addiction ... ).

It is etched in stone: Baseknocks from the No. 6 and No. 7 hitters followed by two groundouts offer little sex appeal, so here's Peter Gammons w/ Cole Hamels, askin' him how he feels.

"Did you find Chase Utley's home run important and/or necessary?"

It's silly shit, that's what it is -- albeit not as silly as Ryan Howard, in his final AB of the night, swinging and missing at a pitch which bounced off the plate.

At no point was that pitch within two zip codes of home plate, but the big Philly Sixer gave us a 5-dollar, foot-long swing, anyway.

NOTE: In that instance, a better swing might've been provided by B.J. Novak ... the guy who America knows as "Ryan Howard" on "The Office."

No worries, though ... Ryan'll get 'em next time.

That's the large, black Ryan Howard ...

Not the skinny, white Ryan Howard played by B.J. Novak ...

Got that?

True dat ... the Phillies squandered a bunch of opportunities tonight, yet, there's no cause for alarm when you've got Cole Hamels and a full pack of Camels (remember: we reserve our Camels for Hamels ... Marlboros for Myers ... Merit when it's Moyer ... Kent for Kendrick ... crack when it's Eaton ... and, if Joltin' Joe Blanton is on the bump, naturally, it's Smokin Joes -- manufactured by the Tuscarora Indian Nation of Western N.Y. and, you'll be goddammed if ya don't admit that it's a smooth-not-harsh cigarette which belies the retail price of $15/carton).

Cancer sticks notwithstanding, Colbert Hamels made us proud when he "worked" Malcolm Emanuel Upton, inducing that 6-4-3 DP w/ the sacks juiced in the 3rd before coaxing Upton (9 HRs in 531 regular-season ABs; 7 HRs in 46 postseason ABs) into fouling out feebly to end the 5th (after that dude, Iwo Jima, doubled home the run to make it 3-2).

THAT was the story of the game, Numbnuts (oh, that and Ryan Madson striking out Upton to end the 8th ... before Lights Out Lidge punched out Pena and Longoria to open the 9th).

To repeat: The Phillies stranded some baserunners, but so frickin' what.

It's certainly not the first time this season that his teammates have dissed Colbert in such a manner.

Either way, it's not as bad as the frosty manner in which ESPN treats our valuable catcher imports from Panama ...


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