Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Mr. Boehner, the Republican leader in the United States House of Representatives, doesn't believe global warming has been proven, but he thinks some more tax cuts for the top one percent of you would nip that shit in the bud if it were proven. Most people of sound mind usually just shake their heads in disbelief at whatever Mr. Boehner says (notice that I didn't call him an asshole) but today, no, this weekend, whatever doubts I had were tossed out the window. It is not even June first and I have been sweating August kind of sweat.

It isn't supposed to get this hot until after the middle of June, but here we are in the middle of a heat wave in May. What lies ahead scares the shit out of me. If it is is over ninety now we may see a bunch of hundred plus days ahead. I will not be happy, but neither will Roy Halladay. I didn't see the game until I got home from the big cookout. Doc was sweating like a whore in church and gave up three home runs. Doc never does that, but at least the Phillies were able to hang on for the big win. When I got home I took a cold shower which helped for about two minutes. From there I got comfortable and turned on the Phillies game. I was watching and noticed that it was daylight in Washington, but dark here. I truly could not figure it out for a couple of innings, then suddenly it dawned on me. This must be a rebroadcast. I didn't know how the game had turned out so I watched it to the end, and enjoyed seeing Jayson Werth strike out in the bottom of the ninth. He continues to help the Phillies win games and he should be applauded for that. It was a replay, unless of course D.C. was moved to Disney Land.

What's with the hats? Whoever designed them and whoever approved them should be shot for having shitty taste. The wearing of the American flag on a sleeve or on the chest would have been a nice touch, but I suppose MLB didn't want to have to wear the Dominican flag at whatever point in time that there are more Dominicans playing than native born Americans. The hats were hideous, and what about the Nats jerseys? No matter - Modell's already has them in their store windows, and I expect to see people wearing them tomorrow. I expect that I will at some point tonight get an e-mail from the Phillies and MLB advertising and asking me to buy one of them.

The bottom line is that "honoring our fallen" had nothing to do with why all the teams had similar hats. It was about MLB attempting to find out how many people would give then MONEY for one of them! If I see someone wearing one of them I will probably laugh as hard as I do when I see a guy walking around in a really bad toupee. I always want to tell them, "NICE HAIR," but I don't because they might be strapped. It's a dangerous world out there. You need to watch who you mouth off to.

In other news... Congratulations to the U of VA men's lacrosse team for winning the NCAA championship with a 9-7 win over Maryland. If you don't already know, Balls was a pretty good goalie in high school. His team played no defense so he had to learn how to stop bunches of shots in order to stay alive. His team didn't play much offense either, but they played hard.

I usually like to watch the LAX title game (it's just like basketball, except you get to hit people with sticks), but missed it in favor of attending a cookout in the park. There was enough food to feed all of the homeless in Philly, and most of it was delicious - though not recommended by the American Heart Assoc. The mac and cheese was to die for, and the chicken was cooked perfectly by the token white guy in attendance. The key to cooking on the grill is to ignore all of the advice everyone is giving you while you are about to pass out from the heat. There is always the guy, who is trying to be helpful, telling you how he cooks chicken. I wanted to stab Mr. Helpful in the eye, but resisted. Then there are the girls who come up to the grill, look at what is being cooked, and say something like, "don't overcook it." Hey people - if I am the schmuck who is doing the cooking, I'll do it my fucking way, and that includes slathering the ribs with a sauce that has more calories per rib than would be required to keep a person alive for a month.

I have been taught that it is better to smile and say, "yes," so I hold my tongue, and then watch how everything cooked is consumed by the very people who were trying to be "helpful." They left nothing. Like a hoard of locusts destroying Egypt, the folks in attendance ate themselves silly which I suppose is appropriate for a holiday, and is certainly better than drinking yourself silly. Of course, there was the guy wearing a wife beater who was slurping beer like it was going to cool him off. He has seen too many Coors Light train commercials. After he was shitfaced, he was still hot.

I understand that Vance Worley opened his apartment door in Allentown today and yelled to his roomates, "I'm home". Worley, in case you hadn't heard, was sent down (again) after his piss poor outing against the Madoffs on Sunday. He really stunk the place up and I expect, barring injury, we won't see him again until after the September roster expansion. Sometime in the next few days Victorino will be activated giving the Phillies one too many outfielders. Assuming that the Phillies keep Martinez (a rule five player), that means one of either Mayberry, Francisco, or Brown will be sent down. If Ruben calls, asking the LSF to decide, I say adios to Francisco. Brown is starting to hit, and in the clutch. Mayberry is a better athlete and has more upside than Francisco. Mayberry is only hitting .240 something, but Francisco is about to fall below .210. If Francisco turns it around in Allentown they can still do something with him but for now I want to keep the young players.

Ruben, of course, will not call and will probably do something different than I would like, but then that will give me a reason to post some poignant remarks.

I managed to see Gomer Pyle sing "Back Home In Indiana," but didn't watch the race. I saw the highlights, and couldn't have scripted a better ending. The upstart rookie leader hit the wall and another veteran driver won his second Indy. There are racing gods, and they must still be laughing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Well, the unofficial start of the summer season is here and, though summer doesn't really start until the third week in June, Mother Nature has made it feel more like August than the end of May. The LSF hates summer weather and thanks whoever had the intelligence and foresight to invent air-conditioning. Back when I was a kid the only AC was at the movie theaters who all seemed to have a blue sign with snow covered mountains telling you that it was cool inside. The sign beckoned us and we gladly paid our 25 cents so that, for a few hours, we could escape the oppressive heat and humidity. Once inside, we were more than likely treated to a western, filmed in the new technicolor or a WWII story. When the LSF was in his formative years, the "Big One" had only been over for a few years and Hollywood was churning out a gazillion war movies for our entertainment.

I was amazed at how John Wayne could at the same time be wiping out the Japs at Iwo Jima while storming the beaches at Normandy, but he could and did and in his spare time found a way to solve the problem of the non-exploding torpedoes his sub carried. Wayne was portrayed as a man's man, almost single-handedly winning the war. Wayne was a fraud boys and girls. While some of Hollywood's biggest stars served, he ducked putting on a uniform for real and was never in harm's way for real.

Being Memorial Day Weekend, TCM is doing the war movie thing, which pleases me greatly. Tonight is submarine night and I've already watched Run Silent Run Deep, am now listening to Destination Tokyo, starring Cary Grant and John Garfield, and will later watch Torpedo Run, starring James Garner and Edmond O'Brien. I love the old black and white war movies, especially the submarine films. Warner Bros. put out a ton of them with an ensemble cast that always had the same actors in every film. These films were all about good versus evil - black versus white with no shades of gray. We were the good guys and, even though some of the favorite characters never made it back, we always found a way to use American ingenuity and superiority to win the day. If it were only that simple.

I did check in with the Phillies who managed to commit three errors, almost blowing a win against the Madoffs. The good guys held on and won 6-3, but they were sloppy. A win is a win however, and it was nice to see Dom Brown contribute since he has yet to show me that he can hit big league pitching the way we need him to. Perhaps the Phillies were looking past the Madoffs to the trip into Pittsburgh at the end of the road trip where they will have to overcome my newly beloved team - The Pirates. Superstar must have forgot his bats so he struck out twice in what is looking like a quest to set a new single season strikeout record.

Speaking of bats, last night I watched "Jews and Baseball," a history of Jews in the majors, and couldn't help but compare the bat that Hank Greenberg used with what Superstar and others use today. Greenberg's bats look like a telephone pole compared to the toothpicks used today, and it didn't seem to affect his bat speed at all (and he didn't break his bat every other at bat). The Mick was shown striking out against Sandy Koufax in the 1963 World Series, and it took two bat boys to lift his club back to the dugout. In that game, Koufax struck out fifteen Yankees to set a series record. My point is that today's players are pussies compared to those guys. I never saw Mantle wear batting gloves and Willie Mays would have rather died than wear body armor like Superstar does. I never saw anyone back then use leg armor either. If you hit a foul ball off your foot, you shook it off and got back in the box waiting for some chin music - which was expected and part of the game.

You all know how I feel about pitch counts and that kind of pussy shit. Maybe the managers of that era couldn't count, but pitch counts didn't exist when Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson, or Palmer took the mound. There were no guys who only pitched against lefthanders or whatever - you just pitched, and then pitched again in three days. Nobody had to get stretched out either. Today's athletes are bigger stronger, faster, and in better shape from year round training than the guys from back in my day, but it seems as if they spend more time on the DL these days than they do playing.

If you have the chance you ought to watch "Jews and Baseball." Even if you are not Jewish you will marvel at the great players shown, and will see the game before it was fucked up with astro turf, domed stadia, and the dreaded DH. The first DH is profiled in Mike Bloomberg who in 1973 had that distinction while playing for the Yankees. In case you hadn't figured it out, I do not like the DH. Shit, if we had it here, then Cliff Lee would not have had the chance to hit the ground rule double the other night against the Reds and we would have probably lost that game.

Being that it is Memorial Day Weekend, they are having a party out there in Indiana - where men are men and the sheep are just plain scared (Someone from the Hoosier state told me that gem). This is the big one if you are into auto racing, and who will not have a tear in their eye when Gomer Pyle does his rendition of "Back Home In Indiana" just prior to the call of start your engines? After that, be prepared for watching 2,000 left turns as 33 drivers attempt to avoid a fiery crash while trying to win the Borg-Warner cup and the bottle of milk that goes with it. My friend Bob is all excited since his favorite driver, Danica Patrick, is joined by another woman in the quest for the trophy. Bob is a very sick guy in that he, an east coast guy who has never been to an auto race in his life, has a poster of Patrick displayed in his office.

In a previous life, the LSF has been to a few races - sprint cars to be exact. My recollection of watching these races is that they were OK, but the noise level was much too loud for my comfort. I imagine that the noise at the Indy 500 would make the noise from sprint cars seem like a whisper, and that doesn't include the roar of the 1/2 million people packed into the Brickyard. While I am not a fan of these types of things, and want nothing to do with crowds of that size, I appreciate the traditions involved and hope that a Brazilian doesn't win the thing again.

I will be at a traditional barbecue in the park with some nice folks and plenty of good food, including the best mac and cheese on the planet. I'll be watching the true national pastime - gluttony in action, all to the background of some fine r&b music. You may hear country shit at an auto race, but not at a holiday cook out in a city park. Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a great time - don't drink too much and I'll touch base with you on the other side of the weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


So I come home from my Wednesday night line dance class figuring that I would get to see the end of the Phillies game. When I turned it on, the Fightins had a 3-1 lead with Doc on the mound. It turns out I was wrong in my assumption that a stroke mark in the W column was a foregone conclusion. I won't bore you with the details of what you already know but, if I hadn't fell asleep after the 15th inning, I could have seen what amounted to a nine-plus inning contest. I'm sorry I missed the end, but at least the good guys did go on and win.

I ought to get the credit out of the way early in the post - so here goes... As you know, I am quick to be critical of Superstar when he swings at pitches too low and too outside to be strikes in any league, and he had a few of those swings in his seven (!) at-bats. He did manage two hits, including a monster home run that tied the game. It was a no-doubt-about-it shot from the moment the ball hit the bat - and it couldn't have come at a better time in the game. My biggest credit to Superstar is not the home run (he gets paid a lot of money to hit home runs) but for his play at first base. There was a stretch where J-Roll had to make long throws in a hurry and every one of them were balls that Howard had to dig out of the dirt, saving Rollins ass and getting critical outs during the extra inning portion of the game. Superstar obviously gloves low balls better than he hits them and deserves a good looking out from Rollins.

It was not a night where the padding of batting averages took place. Ibanez? 1/8. Ruiz? 1/7. Polanco? 1/8. Rolen? 0/7. Hernandez? 1/7. Brandon (I can't stop chirping) Phillips? 1/7. The big hitter for the good guys was Valdez who came in at 3/6 (more on Valdez in a moment). So, what does that tell us? To me it means that both teams are still suffering from ED of the bats, and that some unlikely heroes emerged from both squads' relief corps.

Herndon got out of a bases-loaded jam and went on to give the Phillies two and a third innings of spotless relief. He was asked to man up and he certainly was up to the task last night. His reward for the great performance was a ticket to Allentown to make room for Contreras, who is being activated today. Nobody ever said life is fair.

I haven't looked this factoid up, but I believe that the last time Danys Baez tossed five innings was when he was playing little league. So much for the need to stretch guys out before having them pitch multiple innings. Baez, who is 33, threw five shut out innings and deserves a big "Yo!" from all Phillies fans. He's got to be feeling it today but, even when Charlie told him his night/morning was over, the guy did not want to come out. His balls were bigger than his brains, but you have to love his heart.

I'm writing this while listening to today's game, so I am pleased to report that Ibanez has just hit a three run shot giving the Phils a 4-0 lead at the end of three.

I must also give some credit to J.C. Romero for his brilliant pick-off of Brandon Phillips. Phillips, who was on second at the time was too busy yapping to notice that he was picked off - it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. That pick-off was the only out Romero was able to get. I could be wrong, but against three batters he managed but one strike, walked two, and hit Phillips with a pitch to the wrist. My only complaint is that he didn't hit the guy in the head. Romero brought nothing last night (apart from another example to prove that he might have the best turn-to-second in baseball) and, if wasn't a southpaw he would be paying the toll at exit 33 instead of Herndon.

I missed the best part of the game, though I have since seen the replays of Wilson Valdez pitching and getting the win. The guy, who has never thrown a single pitch at any level of organized baseball, brought a 90 MPH fastball and a curve to the mound, and managed to hit Scott "Get-me-outta-Philly" Rolen with a pitch, earning Valdez a standing O from those fans still at the park. Valdez ought to retire after getting the win with just four pitches in relief on top of getting three hits. It will forever be his finest hour, and he will be remembered in Philly sports lore for a long time to come.

LIVE UPDATE - I crowed too soon when Ibanez hit his shot. In the top of the fourth, Yanish got his first hit of the series driving in Cairo & Bruce making it 4-2. Somebody needs to break Bruce's kneecap - the guy is a registered Phillie killer.

I'm hoping that today doesn't go into extra innings since I am having facial twitches listening to T-Mac & Wheels. If their play-by-plays were broadcast to Afghanistan or Pakistan, the Taliban would drop their arms and surrender en masse. War crime trials would be called for against the Phillies broadcast team.

Of course, there is more to the world than sports.

I doubt if you ever turn on CNBC in the AM to watch the show Squawk Box, given how you must feel about the market in this era of rampant greed and corporate evil. Given that most of the hosts & guests are assholes with an agenda to push, I don't normally watch it anymore now that I'm no longer in that sleazy business. I did from time to time check the show out when there was news of interest, and to see Mark Haines report it.

Haines, who died last night at the all-too-young age of 65, was the voice of reason and cynicism who could always be counted on to smell out the bullshit being dispensed by money managers or CEO's, and to ask these dickheads the tough questions. Haines had no agenda except getting to the truth. He was not afraid of anyone, including Jack Welch, who was, at the time of Haines hiring, CEO of CNBC's parent company, GE. My favorite Haines story was the time he was interviewing Barney Frank who, like most politicos, would not provide a straight answer to a tough but fair question. Haines kept on asking the same question until an enraged Barney Frank took off his mike and stormed off the set.

The one time KYW-TV anchor will be missed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


So, I'm sitting watching the Phillies and the Reds all tied up at three and my mind starts to wonder even before I've had my bowl of Heavenly Hash. I start thinking about some of the great players who have worn the uniform of the Cincinnati Reds. In my lifetime they have had some marvelous players including Bench, Morgan, Perez, Griffey, and George Foster from the Sparky Anderson-led Big Red Machine, to name but a few. In the '50s they had guys like Ted Kluzewski, Wally Post, Gus Bell, Vada Pinson, and a guy named Frank Robinson who might have been the second best overall player this LSF has ever seen play. The guy could play the game of baseball.

It's been a while since I've cranked up the Wayback Machine so I thought, despite $4.00 a gallon gasoline, I would take a spin back to the time this awesome player came up to the majors.

Robinson hailed from Oakland, where he attended McClymonds, a high school that has produced more than its share of great athletes - in all sports. While there he was a teammate of the great Bill Russell on the school's state championship hoops squad. Baseball was Robinson's calling and he broke in with the Redlegs at the beginning of the 1956 season. He stayed in the majors for a total of twenty years, finishing his career with the then-lowly Indians. As a sample of what was to come, Robinson hit .290, 38 HR's with 83 RBI's as a twenty year-old rookie. Over the next several seasons, he hit 324 HR's in a Reds uniform, was named rookie of the year, and NL MVP in 1961. A perennial all-star, he was right up there with Mays and Aaron as the class of the NL.

After the 1965 season, Reds GM Bill Dewitt, believing Robinson to be an old thirty and on the downswing of his career, traded Robinson to the Orioles for pitchers Milt Pappas, Jack (former Phillie) Baldschun, and outfielder Dick Simpson. Robinson was clearly not finished and he proceed to win the AL MVP in 1966 as well as the Triple Crown - in his first year at Memorial Stadium.

I've documented some horrible trades made by our Phillies over the years but the trade of Robinson to the O's is the worst ever made in my lifetime. Robinson helped the O's to two World Series wins and while there he managed to hit 179 HR's. Not bad for an old guy. He played out the string with the Dodgers, Angels, and finally the Tribe, finishing his career with 586 HR's, 1812 RBI's , and a .294 career average.

After finishing his playing career, Robinson became the first black manager and was selected to the Hall Of Fame.

Since we are in Cincy I'll have a bowl of chili then take the Wayback Machine back to the present where the Phillies and Reds are still in a tie ball game headed into the 9th.

The Phillies slumbering bats have been stirring the past two nights which is nice to see. Ibanez, Ruiz, and even Superstar are starting to hit 'em where they ain't but, unlike Balls, who last night declared the big slump over as he slurped the Red Kool-Aid, I'll be patient before I see blue skies ahead for the candystripers. Winning tonight would be a good omen, but already the Reds have a man on second with nobody out here in the ninth. Madson needs to remain perfect - we'll see how it turns out.

Monday, May 23, 2011


What a weekend. While not a fan of interleague play, the LSF will certainly take a series win from the defending AL champs. I am utterly amazed that the Phillies still have a 2 game lead in the NL East considering how they are not hitting. Yes, Superstar did manage to break an 0/23 slump with a home run in Saturday's Cliff Lee win but, as far as I can remember, the only other hit the guy got was a seeing eye single in today's shut-out loss to the Rangers. None of the starting line-up is doing much at the plate and that includes Polanco who has seen his average plummet nearly 80 points in less than a week. Francisco looks like his average will soon fall below the Mendoza line and, while showing an improvement over April, Ibanez is still stinking up the place.

Fortunately, the team is still getting incredibly great starting pitching and Madson has been lights out in his new role as closer. If and when Lidge gets back he will probably assume the role Durbin filled the past couple of years. Hopefully Worley will continue his great showing when Blanton goes away to the DL, but who knows. One thing is for sure - there will be no easy division repeat this season. The Phillies have been lucky that their rivals haven't exactly lit up the scoreboard either. Hitting in the majors is down across the board allowing lady luck to control the divisions. Actually, it isn't lady luck but rather the gods of baseball who, as we know, control everything and must have their reasons for the paucity of great hitting this season. Since first place is the best place to be, I shouldn't be too critical of our candystripers, but that wouldn't be any fun now, would it?

Superstar's performance continues to suck, and he is still swinging at pitches any little leaguer would not offer at. The way he swings at pitches below the ankle he might want to consider giving Tiger Woods lessons on his golf swing. This is the same guy who a few short years ago was named the NL MVP. With his average now at or below .240 he is on the verge of becoming the new Dave Kingman without Kingman's home run production. The look in his eyes tells me that he is pressing much too hard, and not getting results. I know that he is the man and all that, but perhaps Charlie ought to sit him down for a few games so that he might catch his breath and reflect on the paychecks he is stealing. Shit, with the team down to its last few outs and needing a couple of runs the guy tried to bunt his way on today. DUH! If he came up with that move on his own he needs to be bitch slapped. Did he think he could have legged it out safely? He isn't what I would call a speedster on the basepaths. If Charlie called it then Charlie is ready for a vacation, unless that was Charlie's way of letting the guy know that he has lost his manager's confidence and that he needs to refocus on his game rather than whatever else he is involved in.

When one of your team's highlights is Cliff Lee stealing a base, then you are in trouble no matter what place you are in. This team needs help. Victorino being on the DL has not helped and I hope that when he comes back he can pick up where he left off. Dom Brown is back with the club, a day after Ruben told us that he wasn't ready. Did Ruben lie to us again or did Charlie beg for the kid? The braintrust stated upon his return that he would play only in certain situations. I thought the whole idea for him being in Allentown was so that he could play everyday so that he could regain his confidence and work on his defense since we have all seen that he didn't play any the last time he was here. Now he'll be a part time player, defeating the purpose of being in the minors. I wish Ruben would have been honest and told us that the team is desperate and that was the reason for bringing the kid up at this time.

I read in today's paper an article which stated that Ruben may have to look to do a deal in order to bring in some help for the offense if there was any hope to return to the playoffs. While I don't disagree with the premise, the writer suggested that current Padre Ryan Ludwick might be the righthanded bat with power the Phillies ought to consider. Correct me if I'm wrong but, when the Phillies played the Padres earlier in the season, didn't Ludwick stink up the place as if he was already wearing the candystripes? The guy is hitting well below .250 with decreased power. And who would we give up in return for this hitter? Blanton is damaged goods which makes him all but untradeable. Do you offer Kendrick? Maybe Worley could bring you something, but unless you trade him to a Japanese club he will surely become the next Ferguson Jenkins and bite you in the ass for years to come. And what about Ruben's claim that his checkbook has been taken away from him by the Phillies management? That would preclude him trading for anybody with a big contract, so maybe we are truly fucked and have to hope that the over-the-hill oft injured gang can find a way to make a last run for glory. One can only hope.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Chase Utley is back in Philly. He is scheduled to be examined by a doctor and the team's athletic trainer and could possibly be activated in the next few days. If he can play at anywhere close to his former self he would be a welcome sight to the LSF's eyes since watching Valdez hit into double plays is starting to get old. I for one am not counting on anything from Utley - I'd rather be pleasantly surprised.

Finally, the world did not come to an end as predicted by those religious idiots so I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that you need to pay your cable bill. If you've maxed out your credit cards figuring that you wouldn't have to pay them off, you lose. Visa will shut you down in a New York minute if you don't pay them the minimum requested. If you do pay off the minimum due every month you will owe them big money longer than most marriages last.

Finally, part two. Yesterday, we went to a car collector's show somewhere in Delaware County. I say somewhere because I have no clue where Aldan or Norwood or Prospect Park is. Anyway, there weren't many cars to see that weren't either Corvettes or customized so that the air filter sticks out three feet above the hood. There were two cars that the LSF drooled over. The first droolmobile was a 1964 Impala SS in a metallic light blue that was in cherry condition. Everything about the car was perfect - like it just rolled off the dealer's lot. The vinyl seats matched the exterior color and, though the top was down, you could see that that canvas was white. Wow and double wow, a perfect '64 ragtop which had fake wire wheels with spinners. Number two droolmobile was a 1967 Olds 442 convertible done up in Sahara red. It had black vinyl bucket seats and came with standard a/c, which was not usually found in ragtops of that era. The chrome (real fucking chrome that is) was perfect and the original sticker affixed to the non-power window showed a final price of $4800. That was a lot of money for a car back in that day. You could get a nicely equipped Caddy or Imperial for only a few dollars more. Both of these dream cars had huge V-8's (no pussy 4 cylinders) and probably delivered 8 or nine MPG's on a good day. Not real practical in this day of $4.00 a gallon regular fuel, but they were both cooler than just about anything available today and who of you wouldn't trade your rice burner or SUV for week if you could drive either one of these bad boys. You might end the week believing in AM radio.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Lately the Long Suffering Fan has had to make some tough choices about what to watch on TV. For whatever reason, many of my favorite movies (films, if you prefer) have been shown at the same time as a Phillies game causing me to have to decide if I am going to be entertained or suffer aggravation and stress from watching our favorite team show me that they suck to the max. The other evening I started watching our candystripers but the pain was so intense I switched over to IFC and Once Upon A Time In America, a three and a half hour Sergio Leone classic starring Robert DeNiro, James Woods, Danny Aiello, Elizabeth McGovern, and others. If you haven't seen it - you should. Lots of great music from Ennio Morricone. The other interesting thing is that it's a film about Jewish gangsters that was made by Italians, as opposed to the usual movie about Italian gangsters made by Jews.

They've also been showing a bunch of Quentin Tarantino films and, despite having seen them all many times, I ended up doing Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction after being disgusted by the Phillies' moribund bats.

Face it gang, as we head into interleague play, old Looney Tunes cartoons are more entertaining than watching the Phillies line up make mince meat out of excellent outings by our pitching staff. Last night was no exception. I started out with the Phillies and ended up with Master & Commander which is not even Russell Crowe's best effort [Editor's note - That would be Romper Stomper]. I mean, how could I not think of what George Carlin said about guys named Kyle after watching Kendrick make the 78 year old Jason Giambi look like Babe Ruth?

Giambi, who many believed to be already retired, has done nothing this year and was about to be released by the Rockies before he took Kendrick so deep in his first at-bat that NORAD was put on alert. The guy has a white beard and looks like a sausage in his uniform, but Kendrick grooved one and Giambi put it in orbit. By the end of the night he had hit three home runs becoming the second oldest to ever have three HR's in a game. Giambi, who was playing because of an injury to Todd Helton, looked like he had made a trip to BALCO before last nights game. Remember, he was the guy who, with tears in his eyes, apologized for taking performance enhancing drugs while with the A's & the Yankees.

I couldn't help but think that the Phillies could have had Giambi a few years ago. Before he signed a humongous contract with the Yankees we Phillies fans begged the front office to make the guy an offer. We desperately needed a power hitter and he would have fit the bill nicely. Not wanting to let the fan base down the Phillies did indeed sign Giambi - JEREMY Giambi. Jeremy was probably a nice guy. His family probably loved him and his dogs may have always wagged their tails when he walked into the room, but he was not the Giambi brother we wanted. Thinking of how we ended up with the wrong Giambi, I decided to explore other major league brother situations. Sometimes the Phillies had the right brother, but usually we did not.

It won't be long until Greg Maddux is elected to the Hall Of Fame on the first ballot. The guy could flat out pitch, plying his trade for the Cubs and the hated Braves. Not to be outdone by Ted Turner, the Phillies went out and picked up Greg's big brother Mike. Again, Mike is probably a decent guy, but he is not the Maddux sib that we would have liked to see wearing candystripes.

Many baseball fans remember that Joe DiMaggio's brother Dom played for many years with the Red Sox. Dom was a decent player in his own right. Though not of the caliber of his brother Joe, he did make a few all-star teams and would have looked good in a Phillies uniform. Dom never wore the stripes, but the third brother Vince did. Vince DiMaggio played for the Phillies in the '45 & '46 seasons. The only way Vince ever got to the Hall Of Fame was to pay whatever the price of admission was so that he could see his brother's plaque.

Remember George Bell? That man could hit a baseball, but we got his kid brother Juan. Remember him? Didn't think so.

One brother thing the Phillies got right was the signing of a kid out of Wampum, PA. Wampum, basically a crossroads in Western PA, has the distinction of having three of its native sons make it to the show. There was Hank Allen, a long time journey man who played mostly for the Twins. There was also Ron Allen, who had a cup of coffee with the Cards. Most importantly there was Dick (don't call me Richie) Allen, who broke in with the '64 club and could hit with the best of them. Allen broke in as a third baseman and was the best hitting Phillie 3B I have ever seen. The guy could hit for both power and average and took shit from nobody. The early 60's was not a great time to be an angry black player in this town, so Allen wore out his welcome with the last NL team to sign a black player and was shipped to StL. He later played with the Dodgers before coming back here at the end of his career. Why the Phillies have not retired his number fifteen is a mystery to this LSF.

We fans of the Phillies were spared some brother duos. We fortunately missed both Jose and Ozzie Canseco, and never did get to see Henry Aaron's younger brother Tom in a Phils uniform. Billy Ripkin would have been a perfect Phillie and I'll always be grateful that we didn't get Cletus Boyer who would have given Bobby Malkmus a run for his money. I almost forgot that we did get the wrong Leiter brother a few years back, but I'm sure you will forgive me for almost missing him - even if you will not forgive me for other sins and transgressions.

As I have been writing this post, I have been thinking about something positive to say about our candystripers... Well, despite smelling worse than a Marcus Hook refinery they are still clinging to first place in the NL East. I suspect that this hold is about to come to an end now that the Rangers are coming to town but, for now, WE ARE IN FIRST PLACE!. Cole Hamels became the first Phillies starter in two months to get credit for a win the other night when the Phillies bats exploded for TWO runs and D Brown is apparently tearing up the International League. I don't have enough time to review the negative side of the ledger so I'll leave well enough alone - for now.

I only have one thing left to say. If Superstar has a brother - do not sign him. We already have one Howard on the team and don't need another stiff on the roster. The Big Piece has gone something like 0 for his last 20 AB's and is now hitting around .245 with the homer total stuck on eight. I thought I saw him ask the question "why can't I do that" when he saw Giambi's moonshot in the first. The SOB points his bat like Babe Ruth did in the World Series against the Cubs and hits like Dane Sardinha. If you let Howard hit off a tee he would hit the bottom of the pole. I said I wouldn't go negative, but I couldn't help myself. Maybe Superstar will rise to the occasion against AL pitching this weekend. If you believe that, then I have a bridge for you.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


If you are the kind of person who just can't resist a parade, you are in luck. For real! In about two weeks there will be hundreds of parades all over the place celebrating Memorial Day. You can even wear the red white and blue Phillies alternative home jersey if you want because the LSF is beginning to believe that we won't be having a parade come late October.

Last night the Phillies bats continued their spring break, allowing a decent outing by Lee to go to waste. Yes, Lee allowed the most walks ever in a single game by a guy named Cliff Lee, but he still would have won the game had the team scored some runs. I understand that Cardinals pitcher Westbrook pitched a good game, but then many of you might well have done so against the line up Charlie put out there last night.

I read yesterday that the team has been scoring one run for Lee per game over his last six starts. Do you think Lee is beginning to think he should have gone to NY? I don't know what the guy is thinking but he can't be very happy. Even though Lee has not been the dominating lefty that we have seen of him in the past he certainly has pitched better than his current record shows. In that he joins Doc who also hasn't enjoyed the support of his non-hitting teammates.

Have no fear gang. Oswalt is back and he is scheduled to start today under a 65 pitch count. You know how I feel about pitch counts, but the brain trust has decided that to be today's magic number. I hope Oswalt is tossing a no-no after hitting the number. If Charlie pulls him in favor of the bullpen in that situation and they blow it then perhaps we can have an adult conversation about pitch counts. The Phillies are worried about Oswalt's back but, if the guys back is still fucked up, then why not give the ball to Worley who has won both of his starts - looking good in doing so.

Oh, they can't use Worley because, despite his two great starts and excellent relief work, Vance is now sporting a Pig on his shirt having been sent down in order to make room for Oswalt on the roster. The story is that Charlie spoke to Worley on the flight from Miami to St. Louis and blew copious amounts of smoke up the guys ass telling him that there is a spot on the team for him, especially the way he stepped up and did the job over the past few weeks. "You will be part of the equation son". "We want you to go to Allentown and stretch out so that if Oswalt or Blanton can't do the job you can come back and start for us. Now if I'm Vance Worley I'd i've been looking at Charlie like he was speaking Mandarin. I'd have reminded him that I'm a 25 year old kid who doesn't need stretching out - that what I need is the ball in a Phillies uniform. If I was Worley I'd have asked Charlie just what the fuck I have to do to stick with this team, and wonder why Kendrick doesn't make the trip up the turnpike to Iron Pig Land instead of me. If Worley had the stones he would have asked to be released or traded to a team that might appreciate his efforts and performance to date. If I was Worley I'd be both confused and pissed off about my demotion. The baseball gods can't be happy about the demotion either and I suspect they have conjured up something interesting for the Phillies as an example. The gods wanted Worley to be the man for at least another month or two. They wanted the team to be contending with Worley blowing a late September game costing the team the division and more heartbreak for the faithful. There will be payback from the gods for this very stupid move by Charlie and Ruben.

Last night Balls stopped by to bring me four of the largest bagels I have ever seen. For real, I've seen loaves of bread smaller than these things, and I plan to enjoy them. These bad boys are awesome and they will die with cream cheese all over them. The LSF no longer eats packaged white bread, limiting himself to real Jewish rye (with seeds), challah, or bagels. If you want to eat the poison called Wonderbread, or Stroehmans be my guest, but this LSF will resist the buy-one-get-one deals on packaged bread and, if you find a coupon for this shit, you needn't give me a heads up. Coupons are another source of irritation for me and I may speak to this at a later date. For now, just let me point something out about coupons. Has anyone ever seen a coupon for something that is good for you? No, really. I have never seen a coupon for tomatoes or veggies, or fruit, but I have seen a gazillion coupons for salt snacks, cookies, ice cream and even the colored sugar water called Hugs. Hugs will guarantee a lifetime of obesity and diabetes for you and your kids, but what a deal!

So, after the pride of the Athletics left last night, I saw a Dairy Queen commercial. Since it was about the time of night that my thoughts had turned to wanting to eat everything as a result of a severe case of the munchies, the commercial caught my eye. The commercial tried to tell me that DQ made the best milkshakes in the world according to a consumer panel who had taste tested the DQ product against others. Duh! The others must have included McDonalds and Burger King because they obviously didn't give the panel an old fashioned shake.

If you want the joy of a milkshake, you need to find a place that makes the thing from scratch and who does not pour some shit out of a carton into a fucking machine. You need to find a place that makes its shakes in a metal container hooked up to an Oster shake mixer. You need to find a place that uses thick syrup, several scoops of good ice cream and real milk, not some soy shit imitation. You need to find a place that knows exactly how long the shake should be mixed and then serves it to you with both a straw and a spoon. You want to hear the sound that the mixer blades make against the container when that same container is being removed from the mixer. Dairy Queen does not cut it gang, but if you believe the commercial and agree on the quality of their product I'll meet you somewhere and take you shopping for a polyester suit, dacron socks, and a nylon sport shirt made somewhere other than in the USA. If you are the type who consumes DQ shakes, McDonalds anything, or has it your way at Burger King, I know how much you like clothes made from petroleum, but I have bad news - Today's Man and Krass Bros. are not coming back! Deal with it. I don't want you to think that I am a purist by any means since I have over the years consumed my fair share of Dairy Queen cones dipped in either chocolate or jimmies, but don't tell me that they make the best shakes in the world because that insults my intelligence!

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I won't apologize, but I'll accept the blame for the Phillies' abysmal performance in Atlanta the past two games. Hey look, when you need to claim a "my bad," just claim it and move on.

My last post was effusively praiseful of our home town boys. Hell I even spoke kindly of Superstar even though I gag when thinking how the press and the faithful make him out to be in the same league as guys like Willie, Mickey & the Duke. Just as soon as the long suffering fan takes his hat off to the Phillies they decide to put their offense in a coma again. What's that all about?

I wouldn't blame Roy Halladay if he came to the clubhouse and did the going postal thing on the team. What a headline it would make - "Halladay Sends Team To Hell With An Uzi." Sure, Uggla hurt him today, but so did the Phillies' bats. You can't expect to stay in the lead when you lose series to the teams that are chasing you. Maybe these guys aren't hungry enough or maybe they are just getting too old and too rich to have the fire in the belly like guys who haven't tasted the nectar of victory.

Remember, it's been three years now since the team won. The sun is setting on this team, so let's just let some of the younger guys like Mayberry, Brown, and Martinez get plenty of opportunities to show us what they can do.

The long suffering fan took the weekend off as far as watching the games. Sometimes, I need to taste other tidbits of life and this weekend was one of those times. I really had no need to see Bloe Janton get lit up wearing a Philadelphia Stars uniform. Instead, I went downtown to The Sound Of Market where I was able to score some nice music - music that I am listening to as I write tonight. "The Power Of Love" by The Intruders is playing now. The LSF is playing shit from the time he could wake up without anything hurting. Those of you who have earned the appellation "Oldhead" know what I am talking about. Those of you who are still a little damp around the ears will know of what I speak in a few years.

I only caught a couple of innings of today's retro-uniform game. I never did care for the Phillies' powder blue road uniforms, and the Braves retro-uniforms looked almost as silly today as they did when they wore them everyday. Imagine making Hank Aaron wear that uniform. The baseball gods couldn't have liked that. I turned it off after seeing Superstar going down on a called third strike. Whatever happened to "swingbattaswing?"

Enough of thinking and talking about the Phillies. They are still atop the division which is a whole lot better than where the Madoffs are at this point in the season.

Whoever schedules the games broadcast on FOX needs to be either beaten or shot. Seriously, isn't it about time that they show games other than the Yankees-Red Sox every time they play. I for one would actually enjoy seeing some other teams play, like perhaps the Tribe or the Reds. Hey FOX, we the people are sick and tired of the Yanks-Sox.

Next week (I think) begins interleague play. The LSF hates interleague play almost as much as he hates artificial turf, domed stadiums, metal bats, pitch counts, and the designated hitter. Because the Phillies have to play and probably get blown away by the Rangers they can't play as many games against other NL teams. I say more games against the NL West rather than looking bad against the AL. Hell, we know that we beat the Astros and the D-Backs most of the time, and we need those wins since we can no longer count on the Marlins and the Braves to lay down at the sight of the candystripes.

Well, the hour is getting late and the LSF needs his beauty rest so I'll sign off for now and listen to some David Ruffin before retiring. Have a great week!

Friday, May 13, 2011


So, I sit down at the computer because tonights Phillies BIG WIN over the Braves needs to be spoken of before I forget what is on my mind. Papa's delicate condition means that I cannot be held responsible for any misspellings, run on sentences, piss poor grammar or for saying something that offends anyone. Anyhow as I the machine is turning on I see on the MSN home page a story headline that Charlie Sheen is being replaced by some pretty male actor. DUH? Do they thhink that anyone gives a flying fuck about Charlie Sheen? They must. Then it dawns on me that MSN does market research to tell them the kind of stories we the people want to see. My god. If a headline about Charlie Sheen being replaced for a gig that he was already fired from is what attracts us, then our collective brains have finally turned to complete mush and there is no hope. We may as well give in to the oligarchy and thank them for whatever crumbs they choose to give us. Shit, why not put Blankfein on a 100 dollar bill instead of locking him up in a cell with John Boehner and throwing away the key. Boehner, you are full of shit. You speak utter lies and we are not all stupid. Please burn up in the tanning bed!

I digress. Wow, the LSF was really encouraged by the way the Phillies beat the Braves. I didn't watch the whole game because of the BBC mini-marathon of Law & Order U.K., but during commercials I'd tune in to check what was happening. I missed Superstars 1st inning 3 run shot, but I did catch him running his ass off in order to score. The dude was hustling hiss ass off, and this LSF salutes him for that. Of late Superstars game has started to firm up, and it has been noticed. I still don't like his Babe Ruth pointing happy horseshit, and he still swings at too many bad pitches, but if he start hitting home runs at a decent pace he will carry this team.

It is good to see the bats starting to awaken from their April slump, but what I really want to see is something like a 14 run outburst against the Braves this weekend. That would mean another series victory and could be the thing that gives the offense the confidence to start supporting the staff the way the staff has supported them.

Speaking of the staff. How 'bout the great job that the young guys did when they took over for Hamels. Worley, Stutes, and Bastardo all did what they needed to do giving Madsen the save opportunity. I never think of Madsen as having high heat, but tonight he was tossing some pitches up there at 95! Madsen wouldn't be Madsen without adding some drama, and he did it again tonight. Wasn't looking for any drama tonight, but at least he manned up for the final pitch. Madsen has not a certain killer instinct that I want in my closer, but until Contreras can come back - Madsen has to get the job done.

You all know how the LSF worries, and tonight my worry is about the closers slot. If the three young people can continue to develop, we will have an excellent long, and middle relief contingent. Based on the assumption that we have seen the last of Brad Lidge, I believe that we'll need to acquire a closer. (Do you think the Yankees would give us Rivera for Blanton?) With money being tight the Phillies will be hard pressed to acquire anybody decent without giving up some major league ready talent. To get a stud, Dom Brown might have to be included in a deal. I wouldn't want to be Ruben if he pulls the trigger on that kind of deal and, the Phillies don't win the whole thing and Brown becomes the next Griffey. (Sr. or Jr.) There would be no where on the planet where Amaro could hide. he would be hunted down and brought back for torturing by Dick Cheney.

Another problem I see is that the Phillies need to start having replacements ready to step in as the current guys get past it. Next year we will definitely need a new left fielder, and possibly a shortstop, so I would be careful what we are willing to give up now if the closers slot develops into a season long problem. Now, about Lidge. I believe that only reason that the Phillies continue to have Lidge on the 40 man 'in rehab' does not mean that the braintrust thinks he can come back and contribute. Lidge is making ten plus million this year whether he pitches or not. The Phillies are obligated to pay him, but have insurance written to pay them about 75% of his salary in the event that he is physically un able to perform. The insurance company can refuse to make payment until THEY are convinced that Lidge can't pitch. This forces the Phillies to play the game that he is rehabbing, and not finished.

So despite my fears, the team continues to winn a whole bunch more than they lose, and that is a good thing. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Today started out just fine. I woke up without too many things hurting. When you reach your 63 birthday you will understand what I mean. If you are already there, then you already know. I had a bunch of errands to run, which I knew I wouldn't mind doing because the weather was so perfect. The long suffering fan loves being outdoors especially when his travels take him to Center City around lunch time since the scenery is so awesome. I was meeting a friend for lunch, waiting in front of Wanamaker's. To the LSF it will always be Wanamaker's. There is something not right with the department store at 13th & Market not being Wanamaker's and I will not mention the New York name that hangs from the front of the building like bad graffiti. In the ten minutes I was waiting I must have fallen in love a gazillion times. The scenery, as I said earlier, was nice. I never said that the long suffering fan wasn't a dog - since that would be a lie. All men and most women are dogs.

Anyhow, my friend showed up and we decided to walk towards the Gallery. It was downhill from there. We took a detour to the Reading Terminal and, it being lunch time, it was packed. The problem was, there were a ton of rude assholes in the place. You know the type. How about two fat women who are stopped in the middle of a crowded aisle so they can have a conversation? When you say, "excuse me" in order to get them to let you by, you get the dirty look with extra attitude. Those ladies are perfect examples of what an asshole is. From the time I entered the "Market" the rest of the day was spent bumping into assholes. Gang, they were everywhere.

The nice thing about assholes is that they let you know early that they are an asshole which is very considerate of them. Once you know somebody is an asshole it allows you the choice of either avoiding them or allowing them into your life until they show you directly just how much of an asshole they are. You make the call.

After we had a bite, my friends lunch hour was over and she went back to her job at WANAMAKER'S and I walked to the Gallery where I planned to take the El back to West Philly (where I had to walk the dog). The scenery at the Gallery was just sick but the assholes were all over the place. There were tons of assholes congregating at the bottom of the escalator, which made getting off the thing an adventure. There were the food court assholes who occupy their table for hours after they've finished the food designed to kill them. The aroma of fried foods is everywhere causing one's cholesterol to spike even if you haven't eaten the Gallery fare. And there were the usual idiots working at Modell's who, despite wanting to be helpful, had no clue as to what day it was let alone where the four for $20.00 Russell T-shirts were. At least they have jobs.

Then I hopped on the El at 8th Street and ran into more assholes. A young woman gets on at 11th Street pushing a stroller the size of a Sedan De Ville. This thing had every option available including super large wheels and saddle type bags. The woman may have been eighteen or nineteen and was more interested in the video game she was playing on her i-phone than she was with the baby who was crying. A crying baby in a crowded subway car is a real treat. Of course, she parked the thing so that she was effectively blocking a set doors. Mom is an asshole.

There were the "I smell really funky" assholes as well. These are the folks who either haven't washed their clothes in a minute or believe bathing is for somebody else. It is a double treat when one of them sits down next to you. Sometimes, the funk transferred to you stays with you the rest of the day. If you are really lucky, a double-stuffed funky asshole will sit next to you. When this happens, you are truly fucked because you can't move with this large blob of protoplasm sitting next you and you are slowly asphyxiating because the stink is so bad. A truly fortunate happening is when a double-stuffed funky asshole who is eating fast food (usually fried chicken with hot sauce). This lucky commuter may have to have his/her family notified because fatal events have been known to occur when sitting next to a double-stuffed funky asshole.

I finally dragged my now-weary ass home, made some dinner, fought with the lady whose fucking lap dog I walked (it's name is Munchkin and everybody I know saw me walking it and had a good laugh), and then settled in to watch Halladay go against Josh Johnson.

Both pitchers pitched good baseball - good enough to win. Unfortunately, the rest of the Phillies were, for the most part, PATHETIC! Yes, I saw Superstar's home run, and it was nice to have since the bats went dead after that. When you leave bases loaded in two consecutive innings you don't usually beat good teams, and Florida is a good team. I know that some of the players are starting to hit the ball (which is a good thing) but there seems to be a big void when there are scoring opportunities. The Phillies are getting a lot of useless hits lately - they had some tonight. A useless hit is when someone near the bottom of the order gets a two-out hit with a guy who can't hit even a little bit coming to bat. A useless hit is a hit that doesn't help the team score. What we need that we are not getting on a consistent basis are hits in bunches so that we can score runs and support a strong pitching effort. This is unacceptable because, even against good pitching, teams like the Marlins and the Braves and the Reds will score runs.

Some Phillies faithful believe that all will be well when Chase Utley can finally play. Sounds like a plan to me, but how well he'll be able to play remains to be seen. Facing Josh Johnson is a little trickier than batting in the extended spring training league.

Tonight, it wasn't just the hitting that was pathetic. How 'bout the defense? The defense took the night off and cost the Phils the game when Polanco threw late to Howard, allowing Ramirez to beat out the ground ball and giving the Marlins the opportunity to score their second and winning run.

Well, tomorrow is another night and Cliff Lee takes the mound for the candystripers. The guy needs to pitch a great game and hope that the line-up can provide enough run support. If they can't, the Phillies will lose a second series in a row against a good team in their division before heading to Atlanta for a rematch. The tension and drama with this team is starting to wear on the long suffering fan and when the pain gets more than I can handle I will shut these assholes out. "No more," I will say! "Shut up Wheels," I will scream!. As for you, McCarthy, don't even think about saying something that everybody knows. We are not idiots, you asshole. I already knew that the Phillies needed baserunners in the top of the ninth trailing by a run. You didn't have to offend me by telling me that.

Yes, the LSF is almost at that place when I remove my emotions and enjoy watching teams like the Indians where there is no emotion involved. Not quite there, so I still get my bile up when the Phillies fuck up, but soon...

Sunday, May 8, 2011


OK, so the other night we saw Cliff Lee strikeout sixteen batters and lose. I've done some homework, and can report that Lee did not break the record for most K's by a losing pitcher. There is a beautiful Philly connection with the guy who does have the record, and to the pitcher who ended up winning the game. After you read the facts, please do not tell me that you do not believe that there are gods of baseball, because only those having supernatural powers could set this up.

On September 15, 1969 the St. Louis Cardinals were hosting the then New York Mets in a day game played in front of 13,086 fans. I thought STL was supposed to be a great baseball town. Maybe they were watching the Mississippi flood instead of attending the game. On the mound for the hometown Redbirds was none other than a young left-hander from Miami Florida named Steve Carlton. The starting pitcher for the visiting Mets was a guy named Gary Gentry who was a pretty fair pitcher.

Carlton proceeded to strikeout nineteen Mets. That is correct, I said nineteen. Carlton lost the game due to some sloppy fielding by the Cards, and because of Ron Swoboda's two home runs. The Cardinals supported Lefty the way the Phillies supported Lee the other night by managing only three hits against Gentry. The guy who pitched three innings of relief ended up with the win. True Phillies fans have probably already figured out the name of the Mets reliever that day since I stated earlier that there was a Philly connection with the winning pitcher. If you haven't figured it out you are either too drunk, too high, or a Johnny-Come-Lately Phillies fan. I'll give you five more seconds to get the name of the reliever. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, sorry times up. The name we are looking for is none other than Phillies 1980 NLCS and World Series hero reliever, Tug McGraw.

While the long suffering fan is not drunk, or high (too early in the day) I am truly freaked out by the fact that both of these guys would later become Phillies and lead the team to its first World Series win. This tells me that the gods of baseball are long term planners, and should thusly be feared a great deal. Hell, they probably have already figured out how the Phillies will break the hearts of their fans in the year 2030, and perhaps beyond.

I can't even imagine how the mood must have been in the Cardinals' locker room after the game. Steve Carlton as you may know is more than a little bit crazy. I'm certain that none of his teammates said anything to him after the game for fear that he would tear them apart limb by limb. Guys probably had heart palpitations from his glare, which could have melted a heat shield on the space shuttle.

To put an exclamation mark on the story, the following season Carlton struck out sixteen Phillies, and lost that game to one of the worst Phillie teams of all time. Another Phillie connection! Rod Serling, I'm sure enjoyed all of those events.

Now that we know that Cliff Lee is not a record holder, we can anxiously await the next great performance by a Phillies pitcher that goes for naught. I trust everyone has had a great day, and remember - there are gods of baseball who will fuck with us again, and again, and again.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


After coming alive last week against the Nats (Battle Of The Bulge) the Phillies have succumbed to a lack of hitting (clutch or otherwise) and have signed an unconditional surrender. Today is the 66th anniversary of the Germans signing an unconditional surrender to the Allies that took effect on May 8, 1945.

In last night's game the locals managed but two hits against Lowe and the Braves, spoiling a sixteen strikeout performance by Cliff Lee. Lee pitched just seven innings and except for his grooving a few pitches in the third was amazing. Even Koufax grooved a few but, when you fan sixteen, you should have the expectation of putting one in the left column. Lee learned last night that expectations mean nothing here in the greatest city in the world.

Lee came within five K's of the MLB record for the most K's in a single game. Tom Cheney K'd 21 Orioles in a 1962 game to set the record, but that was in sixteen innings. I guess nobody was counting pitches in that one. The record for a nine inning game is co-held by Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood at twenty, which is the pace Lee was on when he left the game. Despite leaving early, Lee came within three of the record for most K's by a lefty, held by Randy Johnson at nineteen - who did it twice in a nine inning effort.

MLB keeps records on most everything, but I was unable to find a record for most K's in a losing effort. I can't imagine there have been too many pitchers who have fanned sixteen and still lost. If someone did, I assume it would have been years ago before the era of using relief pitchers the way they do today. Perhaps someone out there could do some research and find out if Lee has set a record because the LSF would like to know and doesn't feel like doing the work.

In one of this morning's papers, Cliff was philosophic about the game and suggested that he wasn't worried by the lack of hitting. The not-being-worried attitude sounds like a good sound bite for a guy not wanting to throw his teammates under a bus but, if that is true, then Lee hasn't noticed that the Phils have scored but ONE run in his last three starts. If it were me, I would DRIVE the frigging bus!

Through it all, our hometown heroes have won 21 games and are still in first place in the division. Being in first place is a good thing despite the lack of production, isn't it? Yes it is, even if the first thirty games were against mostly AAA-caliber opposition. I wonder where the candystripers will be after the next nineteen games against the Braves, Marlins, Cards, Rangers, Rockies, and Reds - most of whom are teams that are either in first or second place in their respective divisions. The Braves are currently in third but can certainly change that after the next two games here and the upcoming series in Atlanta against the Phils.

Somewhere, the baseball gods are smugly sitting and watching the Phillies' troubles while laughing their asses off. They have set us up for the BIG FALL. The gods seemingly blessed us with the BEST ROTATION OF ALL TIME and then arranged for the Phillies' bats to die. They got us singing Four Aces songs even though the lead singer of that 50's elevator music group has been dead for years. Remember all the hoopla? Remember the photos of the guys with capes on? The baseball gods created all of that and then decided to make our disabled list look like an all-star line up. The gods know that injuries are a part of every game but they certainly have "blessed' the Phils with more than their fair share of visits to the DL - especially given how early it is in the season.

With Oswalt joining the ranks of the disabled and Ruiz about to, the Phillies will have no choice but to give Worley at least another two starts, and are even giving Kendrick another start today. That's sort of like trying to draw an inside straight in poker. With Ruiz saying "Oy Mein Back" in Spanish, Schneider and Sardena will have to handle the catching chores, and we can have no expectations of any offensive production from these two if what they have done so far is any indicator of what they will do in the future. Neither one of them seem to know how to hit with anything resembling consistency.

The baseball gods have decided that Polanco was having too much fun and I am convinced they arranged for the foul ball hit off his foot and cause him to have to leave the game last night. He is now on the dreaded day-to-day status ride which, given the way things are working out for the team so far, will mean a trip to the DL, followed by an Ibanez type slump upon his return. In the meantime, I suppose we'll have to watch Valdez, Orr, and Martinez make it onto Charlie's line up cards on an everyday basis.

I am quite proud of myself that I have not spoken ill of Superstar in this posting. This guy needs to pick up his game if the Phils have any shot of surviving the next nineteen games.

There is some good news to report. Former Phillie Lenny Dykstra was indicted for fraud and obstruction relating to his 2009 bankruptcy filing. Dirt is facing up to eighty years if convicted. Shit, just spare us the cost of a trial and send him away since we all know the guy is guilty. It's too bad that they don't have chain gangs any more because Dykstra belongs on a dusty Mississippi highway with a ball chained to his leg. Sorry Dude, no more unhappy maids for you!

I wouldn't be me if I didn't at least mention that hockey season is now over here in Philly. What can I say except, HOW 'BOUT THEM FLYERS!

Friday, May 6, 2011


The Candystripers completed a sweep of Mr. Worthless and his Nationals last night. Very nice, but the Phillies should never lose to the team from the District. The Nats are a work in progress while the Phillies, despite their periods of anemic hitting, are one of the better teams in baseball. However, while the long suffering fan would be very happy if the guys in red took two out of three games every series, a sweep every now and then certainly helps make up for those rare times when they lose to teams they shouldn't lose to.

Given how often I have been critical of Raul Ibanez, and the belief I still have that the guy is essentially finished, I must give credit where credit is due. The guy tore up Nats pitching and, at least for now, is out of his mind-numbing slump of the past few weeks. He punctuated it all with a deep home run last night that was a joy to see. I need to see more production from him before I get on his bandwagon, but again it was nice to see the guy hit for a change.

Let's not forget that he accomplished his heroics against the Nats. This weekend he'll have to take his swings against a real team, and perhaps the results will be different.

Moving Rollins back to the lead-off spot also provided offensive dividends. He isn't the ideal lead-off hitter, but he may still be the best the good guys have for the all important number 1 spot. Rollins needs to think CONTRACT all the time, and maybe he can help the team win it all this year. The so called window is closing on these Phillies for a variety of reasons and Rollins must contribute in order for these guys to win. Yes, we have one of the top two or three pitching staffs in baseball, but even Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt need some run support.

The LSF sees this as a transition year given the age and health issues of the everyday players. It certainly is nice to see Utley about ready to start playing again, but what he'll bring to the table once he returns to the line-up is by no means a sure thing. He won't be the player he was a few years ago, but he'll have to contribute in order for the line-up to produce. If he can do a credible job at the plate it will help Superstar see better pitches, although someone needs to remind him that swinging at pitches that bounce is not helpful. The wannabe Babe has hit a few home runs of late, but in my opinion is still not doing what we need him to do.

So, what will Charlie do once Blanton is ready to come back? Having Worley pitch two nice games in a row certainly is helping Blanton recover from whatever is ailing him, but what happens to Worley once Blanton comes off the DL has caught my interest. Now, two good games certainly doesn't elevate Worley to elite status, but how do you make the guy wear an IronPig shirt after helping the team to two wins? Maybe the team will look to ship Blanton to a team in need of starting pitching - Yankees - and keep Worley as the number five. The kid has shown promise, and I hope he gets the shot to stay here and show us if what we have seen is for real. Then there is the closer's spot. Contreras has done a good job, but what he'll do after he comes back is open to debate considering the fact that he is 74 years old. What Lidge can bring is a huge question mark, so let's not get too carried away yet on the team's chances to get it all done.

Despite all of my concerns, the team is still winning. However, the season has a long way to go, so once again my advice is to forgo the Kool-Aid for a while longer. There will be plenty of time to lose our sanity over the team so, for now, lets just chill out. Just look at what is happening to those fans who overindulged on the orange & black Frozen Kool-Aid.

Speaking of the guys in orange - will tonight be it? They may just prolong the agony of being a Flyers fan by winning one against the Bruins, but who out there is willing to put a chunk of money on the proposition that they will be able to pull a miracle on the ice out of their butts and win four in a row, climbing out of a three game hole for the second year in a row against THE SAME TEAM? Maybe our friend Johnny Dollar will do so but even he will need some long odds to do that. Sorry gang but, while they might win tonight, I see Boston advancing.

Given that tomorrow is the first Saturday in May, there is a horse race being run tomorrow in Louisville. The long suffering fan is not into playing the ponies, but it will be a hoot to see all of those white folks dressed up sipping their mint juleps. One of my friends is into the Sport Of Kings, and he has given me a tip from "tipland" that he swears cannot lose (Haaven't I heard that before?). He is putting his money on a nag named Pants On Fire, claiming that this horse is THE ONE. The horse has a woman in the saddle, which is one of the reasons he is so hot for the horse. He also loves Danica Patrick, who I don't believe has ever won any big races. In any event, he has spent a great deal of time figuring the whole thing out and plans to bet not only on his favorite horse, but also on some trifectas and other such nonsense. Bookies love guys like him because even if he is right on Pants On Fire, he'll give back his winnings on that horse with his other bets. This guy also does the parlays during football season - which is a great way to pay for the bookie's kids' tuition.

May is a great time of the year. Baseball season is in full swing, the NBA playoffs are starting to heat up, and we get a horse race in the beginning and an auto race at the end of the month. I am, of course, speaking of the Indy 500 where they trot out Gomer Pyle to sing the Indiana song - which always produces tears in the eyes of those from the Hoosier state. I do watch the beginning of the 500, but I can't imagine tuning in for the whole thing, when I know that ESPN will show any fiery crashes on every show. Watching red necks and guys from Brazil make left turns all day just isn't my thing.

That's it for now, so have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Let it not be said that the long suffering fan will not give credit when it is deserved. This morning, I must tell of how delighted I was at the performance turned in by Cole Hamels in last night's game against Jayson Worthless and his Washington Nats. Hamels, as many of you know, has been pitching lights-out ever since his first outing when the Madoffs burned him. A few nights at 3rd & Indiana seems to have done the trick.

The LSF must also mention that your favorite left fielder, one Raul Ibanez broke out of his multi-year slump by hitting not one, but two doubles against the Nats. Congratulations, Mr. Ibanez. While I was pleased at his effort last night, I'm still not convinced that his time to retire hasn't come. Please remember that Hernandez was tossing 80 MPH "fast" balls which is just what the slow bat speed of Ibanez could hit. I want to see how he gets the bat around when faced with real heat.

Your 0-2 Flyers take the ice again tonight in an attempt to climb back into their second round series against the Bruins. A loss tonight and the fat lady can sing anything she wants because the jig will be up. I will not watch, but certainly will be pulling for the home town darlings of "The Joke On Ice."

That's it for now, so get out there in the rain and have a great day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


OK, so I'm a smartass. Your fly fly boys either suck big time or they feel sorry for the Bruins and wanted to let them win the first two games here in Philly so they could make a heroic comeback from the 0-2 deficit.

I have yet to see them play since I've already watched 8 1/2 minutes of hockey inaction this year and am afraid that if I watch more guys skating around without scoring I will bore myself to death.

I did watch quite a bit of the NFL draft, and have no problems with the Eagles picks. That probably comes as a surprise to some of you, but how can I be disappointed with an Andy Reid draft? He's always come through in the past. Given how porous the O-line was last year I am not surprised that the fat guy chose Watkins as his first pick. God forbid the Linc ever has a fire, at least the guy can put it out. I would have preferred that he would have chosen Penn State's OL man Wisniewszi who I saw play for four years and watched become a helluva blocker, much like his uncle and father were before him. Perhaps it is fitting that he follows his uncle to Oakland, but he would have looked good in green.

That's it for football, at least for now since there is no football because of the lock-out. It is so hard for me to take sides in this dispute because I either have to root for billionaires or millionaires. I can't decide, so instead I'll root for people who get up in the morning, no matter how they feel, get dressed and go to work. My hat is off for the Septa drivers, trash men, and others like them. If there is no NFL this coming season I'll still have plenty of college games to watch. I can't wait for Penn State to play Indiana State!

Once again, I was criticized the other night for not writing an ode of praise for the Phillies explosion of hits. Once again, I was called on the carpet for not being effusive in praising Superstar for the big bombs he hit over the weekend. I had planned such a post Sunday after the game with the Madoffs. I was going to point out that Superstar had had a good weekend, including a grand slam, but as the game entered the ninth inning (with the hard hitting Phillies having made but two hits), Dan Shulman announced the news about Bin Laden. I turned on MSNBC (I don't even know what channel FOX is on) and forgot about the Phillies. I didn't even know that they had lost until I woke up Monday, as if it mattered.

Yes, the Phillies bats did come awake against the Madoffs in game 1 & 2 of the weekend series. Yes, Superstar did hit some balls into the ionosphere which, I remind you, is what he gets paid to do. Yes, he did show some fancy hitting to drive in the run that tied the game Sunday night. Hopefully his stroke will stay with him for a while because if it doesn't the team will start losing as often as they win.

What I didn't understand about Sunday night's game was Charlie allowing Ibanez to bat in the 8th when the score was tied, the bases were loaded, and with the guy on a 0-33 tear going into the at-bat. None of the guys available to pinch hit for Raul will make anyone forget the '27 Yankees or even the '54 A's, but they are all hitting better than Ibanez. Valdez, Gload, Martinez, and Sardinha were all available, but Charlie let Ibanez pick up the bat so he could hit a weak ground ball to the second baseman, ending the inning and ultimately forcing the game to go into extra innings and a loss in the 14th. I assume that Charlie didn't want to show the guy up, or harm his confidence, but yo - isn't it about winning games? In my opinion, any of the guys available to hit for Ibanez would have given the team a better chance of scoring the go ahead run. Charlie and his girlfriend are looking at property near 3rd & Indiana as this is being written.

Raul Ibanez has been a good player - the operative word being "has," as in past tense. He no longer has the bat speed to hit for average in the majors, and I truly feel sorry for the guy - as he makes a bigger fool of himself every time he picks up a bat. The time has come to sit him down and play Mayberry every day. Ibanez is in the final year of stealing his check and we need to see if Mayberry can get the job done. Thanks for the memories Raul, but now you need to go home.

Ibanez is not the only goat on this year's team. Rollins should not be brought back, and perhaps it is time to make the hard decision about Utley.

OK. Tonight, our friend Jayson Worthless and his Nationals come to town. We need to win at least 2 out of 3. I'm not sure we can do it, but I will watch and hope for the best.