Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Go to the other site

We're live and kicking over at the new Finger Food site. Click the hypertext or enter the url: http://fingerfood.wordpress.com.

This site will remain as it is, but the archives and everything else is all at the new site, so get going.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sit tight...

Sorry for the delay, folks. I'm still working on the redesign, etc., and I expect it should be finished very soon. In the meantime, thanks for hanging with me and if you want to take a look at the new site, click here and make a note of the change in your list of bookmarks... or don't, it's up to you.

(For non-clickers, the url for the new site is: http://fingerfood.wordpress.com)

Until we get back on track, here are a few tidbits of information that might be useful.

  • Get this: I received a response in an email from the USADA, but NOT Floyd Landis' current media representatives... what's that all about?

  • The Phillies are currently on pace for 87 wins, which means they have to go 7-6 the rest of the way to achieve this. My prediction is that if they go 9-4 in the final 13 games against St. Louis, Washington and Atlanta, they will make the playoffs.

  • That's it for the time being... more shortly.
  • Thursday, September 06, 2007


    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Putting the 'con' in concept

    There used to be a web site on the Internets called “Phillies Clips” in which the author chronicled each day’s worth of stories written about the local ballclub by the local and national press. Occasionally there were some interesting posts from a few bloggers, but only the good ones… we’ll just let that hang there.

    Typically, each entry on the Phillies Clips site started with an introductory essay before diving into the notes on each particular scribe and how they were motivated to compose their stories. Some of the writers are driven by money, and yet others by fame because, as most people have come to realize, there is nothing that rallies popular discourse and society at-large than a 12-inch gamer.

    I think that’s how Brad Pitt got his start.

    Anyway, in my attempt to figure out how to revamp this site and keep it, you know, fresh, I’m going to crib off the Phillies Clips’ site format beginning upon my return on Sept. 7. I talked to the author of the other site and he was pretty cool with it and even offered to write some of the posts and to submit “remixes” of older entries from his site.

    It should be noted that the Phillies Clips guy likes to “work blue” so we will have to make adjustments for a mainstream audience without losing our so-called edge…

    If that’s what one wants to call it.

    So that’s how it’s going to be – a site full of inside jokes, specialized jargon, slack hipsterdom, veiled references to deviant behavior and more cuss words than a Redd Foxx record. When it’s put that way it sounds kind of quaint…

    I can’t wait to get started.

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    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    And we will call him Theodore…

    Or Teddy for short. Ted, which is even shorter.

    Yep, the latest addition to the brood made his much-heralded appearance on Saturday morning (Friday night to others) at 2:41 a.m. This came after we arrived at the hospital on Thursday afternoon so that Ellen (my old lady) could be induced with a veritable cocktail of drugs aimed at tenderizing her cervix like an aged piece of Kobe beef.

    After more than 25 hours of the midwife administering two different drugs three times like The Candy Man or that groovy purple dude from the psychedelic ‘70s cartoons who drove a microbus and wore high-heeled shoes and a hat with a long feather hanging from the side, they finally decided to go in and break her water. In the biz they call it “breaking the bag,” and when it was ruptured it sounded like a water balloon crashing onto the sidewalk.

    Nevertheless, the bag breaking seemed to speed up the proceedings quite a bit and, interestingly enough, when someone says their water has been broken, there really is water… lots of water, in fact – all over the place, too.

    Someone had to go and get a mop.

    So we sat there in a room up to our ankles in water and caught some of the Carlos Ruiz’s dust-up with consummate sulker Marcus Giles, a whiner of such a high proportion that even baseball players say, “Yo, that dude always has the ass…”

    That’s a bit of clubhouse jargon that the scribes lot to trot out amongst themselves and other so-called insiders in order to indicate that they are in the so-called club. It’s not quite a secret handshake, but it might get one into the lobby of the headquarters building.

    Anyway, old pal Matt Yallof and I once had a not-too friendly conversation with whiner Giles back when he was playing for the Braves. If I recall correctly, Whiner was upset that Mark De Rosa got a start against a tough right-hander or something. Either way, we weren’t impressed, but then again, I doubt he was either.

    You should have seen it the time we tried to chat with Josh Beckett about union issues a few years ago… (insert sarcasm font) what a prince!

    After a brief nap and sitting around like we were at Yellowstone waiting for Old Faithful to blow, it was time to push. Well, I didn’t push. I just grabbed a leg and did my best to stay north of the equator. Needless to say it was the fastest, most intense 50 minutes of my life.

    And in the end, a big boy (8 pounds, 4 ounces and 22 inches long) with an even bigger name slid out.

    Fortunately, Teddy’s big brother Michael is extremely pleased with his new role and his little friend. Teddy’s mother is doing very well considering she pushed something the size of a watermelon out of a passage the width of a crazy straw. Somehow she carried it all out with much humor, panache and grace.

    August 25: On this date

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    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    The clown show is on hiatus

    Note: Beginning now this site is going on a two-week hiatus. As most regular readers know, my wife and I are expecting our second child (a boy) any day. But now that we are more than a week past the due date and since her cervix is like one of those old-fashioned steel bear traps, the natural process needs some prodding. Therefore, we go to the hospital on Thursday night with the hope of delivering the big boy on Friday.

    It should be noted that Friday is also the birth day for Yasser Arafat, Vince McMahon, Cal Ripken Jr., Reggie Miller and Dave Chappelle.

    Anyway, I will be checking in from time to time, but I will not return with regular posts until September 7. When we return expect something of a new look, structure and organization… maybe even a redesign, too.

    Like anyone who has devoted time to baseball, I know that statistics are not worth the paper they are printed on. They lie and can be manipulated to prove bogus points. Statistics also cannot quantify health, heart, ability and whether or not someone has put hard workouts to be prepared for a long season. Plus, stats don’t go into the clubhouse and get a feel of the mood of the room or have to go face-to-face with a player it may have lied about.

    Statistics are cowards. Sports are for playing, not watching – we hold these truths to be self evident.

    But sometimes it is difficult to debate the statistics. For instance, in pushing the streak of not winning a series in Pittsburgh since June of 2001, the Phillies were outscored by the Pirates 15-2 from the seventh inning on last weekend at PNC Park or whatever the hell corporation owns the naming rights now.

    Yeah, that’s right, 15-2… against the Pirates… the worst team in the National League.

    So I’m going to cherry pick that one specific statistic to show that the Phillies might not have the pitching needed to get to the playoffs. Then again, it wasn’t like anyone needed a stat for that.

    Pitching aside, the Phillies should have a really good idea of how the last month of the season will play out at the end of the next 10 days. With three games against the Dodgers and three more against both the Padres and the Mets – the two teams the Phillies are chasing in different playoff races – the playoff race is right in front of the team.

    For the Phillies, 5-5 is treading water, 6-4 is reasonable; and 7-3 and better is ideal. But anything worse than .a 500 homestand could be the beginning of the beginning of the end.

    According to Ryan Howard the Phillies control their own destiny... they also take them one game at a time and give 110 percent.

    “This is a big series for us and the good thing is that we control our own destiny,” Howard said before Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers. “There will be a little bit of scoreboard watching going on, but most of it will be us trying to handle our own business.”

    Scoreboard watching, huh?

    “The scoreboard sits right there in front of us so we can’t help but not look at it,” manager Charlie Manuel said on Tuesday. “It’s about that time of the year and that can be good.”

    Meanwhile, Chase Utley could return in a week after being cleared to take some swings with a bat for the first time after breaking his wrist at the end of July.

    “(I) took some swings off the tee – started with the fungo and moved to my regular bat. I didn’t swing 100 percent but it felt pretty good,” Utley offered.

    Based on his recovery from day to day, Utley hopes to add a little more volume to his workouts as he looks to his return.

    But the injury bug has reared its head again… Cole Hamels has been scratched from tomorrow’s start with some left elbow tenderness. From the initial, knee-jerk reaction it doesn’t seem to be anything other than late-season tiredness, but pitchers’ arms are quite mysterious.

    Regardless, Hamels is being diagnosed with a mild elbow strain and will have a precautionary MRI tomorrow.

    “He was up front with us so I hope we got it early,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

    Though one current Dodger pitcher once told me that “sometimes injuries just happen,” I respectfully disagreed. Injuries always happen for a reason – sometimes we can’t figure out what the reason is, but as our boy Floyd said, all it takes is the proper training:

    “There's only one rule: The guy who trains the hardest, the most, wins. Period. Because you won't die. Even though you feel like you'll die, you don't actually die. Like when you're training, you can always do one more. Always. As tired as you might think you are, you can always, always do one more.

    “If you overtrained, it means that you didn't train hard enough to handle that level of training. So you weren't overtrained; you were actually undertrained to begin with. So there's the rule again: The guy who trains the hardest, the most, wins."

    Learn it. Live it. Love it.

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    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Wha' happened?

    The most prolific run-scoring juggernaut in the National League posts six runs in the first two innings of a game against the team with the worst record in the league and the second-worst record in all of baseball and then they go on to lose?

    Wha' happened?

    Seriously, what gives? I saw the early reports from Pittsburgh and reasoned that the Phillies were on the way to a rout against the Pirates, a team that flat-out stinks. That’s pretty evident based on a quick glimpse at the standings.

    So four runs in the first and two more in the second for an 11-6 loss? It sounds like it was a rough night for Jamie Moyer, which, again, appears that way based on the box score. Eight runs and nine hits in four innings aren’t getting it done.

    Nice deduction, Sherlock.

    Nevertheless, the Phillies remain tied with the Padres for the lead in the wild-card race. Certainly that’s a good thing, but completely meaningless at this point of the season when there are still 40 games to go. Better yet, Charlie Manuel knows that being tied for the lead in the wild-card race means nothing, as well.

    “The times I've been in Philly, the times we get close and we win a game or something, and all of a sudden they'll say, ‘Oh you got to win now. Boy, if they don't win, they underachieved, and blah, blah, blah,’” Manuel said.

    “We've just got to keep on winning. Whether it's 85, 86, 88, 90, 92 (wins), somebody's going to win and we've got to make sure it's us.”

    Not that anyone asked, but it will probably take 90 wins for the Phillies to get in. Ninety wins is 25-15 for the final 40 games of the season. Beating Pittsburgh is a pretty good place to start.

    Here’s one: according to a story by Alan Schwarz in The New York Times, Major League umpires are biased.

    The study was conducted by a handful of professors from different universities where they discovered small, yet significant instances of bias by the umpires. However, in games monitored by QuesTec – the computerized camera system that the league uses in ballparks to scrutinize umpire performance – the bias was non-existent.

    After a half-dozen years of it sitting on my teeming shelves, I finally picked up Evan Thomas’ biography of Robert Kennedy. I’m only a few days into it, but so far it’s better than Arthur Schlessinger’s RFK biography published in 1978.

    Yeah, that’s about all I have for today.

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