Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harry the K calls the last out

Harry Kalas was my boyhood hero. Although he has been a Phillies announcer since 1971, he had never called a Phillies World Series victory until last night. In 1980, local announcers did not broadcast the World Series, even on local radio; that changed in 1981, in large part because of the Philly fans' vociferous outcry against the policy. Harry is getting up there, and he misses some plays now and then, but his call last night was a classic. A Harry haiku follows below.

You can watch the final out, with Harry's call, by following this link.

There's also a nice article about Harry from this week's NY Times here.

Harry the K's call:
"Swing and a miss! Struck him out!"
A career capstone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phils win the World Series!

Philly fans hardly know how to react. Jenkins got a huge pinch hit, Feliz hit the game-winner, Romero got 4 huge outs, and Lidge slammed the door.

Geoff Jenkins doubled
Bullpen blew, then held, the lead
Phils win World Series!

Prelude to Game 5 -- Part II

I'm tantalized by the fact that today is Cole Hamels's "throw day" and that he is leading off the bottom of the 6th inning. Can you imagine the roar of the crowd if Charlie Manuel sent Cole Hamels up to bat, signaling that he was going to pitch the 7th inning? Still, I think a pinch hitter is required, and I think if he wants a righty it will be Chris Coste. If he wants a lefty, it will be Dobbs, then a LHP will enter the game, and then Dobbs will stay in and hit. I think he will pick Dobbs, then Jimmy Rollins has to bat right-handed, and then Jason Werth hits against the lefty (assuming no pitching change, which would waste a lefty), which is great for the Phils because Werth led the majors in HRs against lefties this year, I think. If either the PH or Rollins is on base, though, I think we'd see a righty to try to get Werth out, and then a lefty for Utley and Howard.

I'm a nervous wreck
Phils need one run and nine outs
Is tonight the night?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Us Was Robbed" -- An Ode to Bud Selig

All was well in Phillies land. Hamels had been given a lead, the Rays were swinging at pitches early in the count and the outs were flying by. Then, Jimmy Rollins dropped a wind-blown popup. Then the infield fly rule wasn't called. Then Upton basically decided to stop standing in the batter's box and ran around all the bases like no one else was around -- and the game was tied, 2-2. Now, with the opportunity to save face, Bud Selig pounced. We will play again at Thanksgiving if we have to, he said. He is a jerk. A series of haikus to the jerk follows.

The rain in Philly
Falls mainly on the ballpark
I hate Bud Selig

Bud brought to his stage
Two umpires and both GMs
To deflect the blame

Baseball's rulebook means
Nothing to Bud Selig, who
Flaunts it openly.

Thanksgiving turkey
At the ballpark? So says Bud.
Thank you, God, for Bud.

Bud Selig is mad
Because we beat the Brewers
He should be ashamed

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Prelude to Game 5

Will anyone in Philly get any work done tomorrow? Cole Hamels takes the ball and will pitch for the title.

In Game 5, at home
Hamels will take the baseball
Phils could win it all

Phils win Game 4

The Phils took out the whuppin' stick in Game 4. Ryan Howard clubbed 2 HRs, and Joe Blanton (Joe Blanton!) went 6 strong innings and added a HR of his own. Jimmy Rollins has reappeared, and even Jason Werth is starting to swing the bat well. I wasn't even nervous at the end.

Beware -- Howard lives
Blanton hit more than Tampa
Phils are nearly there

Phils win Game 3

The Phils won a thriller in Game 3, 5-4. I hereby apologize for Jamie Moyer for implying that he was too washed up to pitch a quality game in the postseason. You just had to be happy for him going 6 strong innings. He may have gotten to 7 IP if the first-base umpire hadn't blown a call.

Moyer went six frames
He nearly went seven and
The Phils won it late

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rays win Game 2

That was ugly. Ugly ugly ugly. Brett Myers deserved better than what he got from the rest of the Philadelphia nine. A bitter haiku follows.

Time to get concerned?
Why can't we hit with men on?
When did Dobbs get bad?

Victorino catches a break in the Second Inning

A commenter has asked for a haiku on the fact that Victorino was out (presumably in the second inning, when he was incorrectly called safe at second, and not in the fourth inning, when he was correctly called out at home). Yes, I take requests.

Shane was called safe, but
The replay showed he was out.
We are living right.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Phils win Game 1

Here's a haiku with all you need to know about Game 1:

Hamels pitched a gem
Utley hit a big homer
But what's with Howard?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Why can't us?"

This article from today's Philly papers explains how a sports radio caller misspoke beautifully, asking, rhetorically, about the Phillies' playoff hopes: "Why can't us?" Sounds like fodder for a haiku, to me.

Other towns have won.
They've made a gigantic fuss.
Phils fans, why can't us?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Prognosticators Choose Rays

This is the thanks the Phillies get for not having played in 5 days -- the members of the national sports intelligensia have begun making their predictions, and they are choosing the Rays to win the World Series. Of course, these prognosticators also chose the Dodgers and the Red Sox to be playing in the World Series, so I'm happy to hear this news.

Pundits choose Tampa.
I'll take the Phillies in six
And then a parade

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Phils World Series Rotation Set

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel revealed his starting rotation for the World Series today. This article from the Philly newspapers says that Manuel will go with Hamels, Myers, Moyer and Blanton in Games 1 through 4. Readers of this blog will notice that this is not what I had suggested yesterday, given my fear of Jamie Moyer pitching Game 3 (the first game at home) and giving up runs in the top of the first inning. A haiku on my unheeded advice:

Well, what do I know?
Moyer would pitch Game Seven.
He's ninety years old!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

World Series Pitching Rotation

Some friends and I have been considering how the Phillies should set up their rotation for the World Series. It's clear that Hamels will pitch games 1 and 5. Normally, Brett Myers would pitch games 2 and 6, but they are both on the road, and Myers normally pitches better at home. I kind of like the idea of giving Joe Blanton games 2 and 6, using Myers in games 3 (at home) and 7. Jamie Moyer gets game 4 at home, which means he won't start game 3 and risk taking the crowd out of the game early by giving up runs in the top of the 1st. It also means that he won't start game 7. Here's a haiku on these points.

Hamels in game 1,
Then Blanton, Myers, Moyer --
A strong rotation

2008 World Series: Phillies vs. ???

Game 6 of the ALCS is tonight. I've been wondering whether it is better for the Phillies to play the Red Sox or the Rays.

Boston or Tampa?
It won't matter with Hamels
On the mound Wednesday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

2007 vs. 2008

Someone told me today that he liked a potential matchup against the Red Sox. He said that the Red Sox are not the team they were a year ago. True, I thought, but, luckily, neither are the Phillies.

The '07 team
Got swept away Rockily
But this year, we'll win

Phillies win series, 4-1

We have seen the future, and he wears number 35. The Phillies ace threw a gem, and the Dodgers went down meekly in Game 5.

A lanky lefty
Has pitched us to the Series
He is Cole Hamels

The Flyin' Hawaiian

Shane Victorino stood tall in the face of Hiroki Kuroda's headhunting fastball in Game 3 of the 2008 NLCS. Here's a haiku homage to that moment.

A victor we know,
He points: "Ribs, not head, pitcher!" --
Shane Victorino

Picture it: The World Series. 1915.

In the third inning of Game 3 of the 1915 World Series, an abomination occurred. Grover Cleveland Alexander, the Phillies' ace pitcher, failed to score from second on Bancroft's single. Boston later scored the winning run in the ninth and won the series in five games.

The entire boxscore of the game (including play-by-play) is online at

Contrast this wimpy baserunning with Brett Myers's chugging around the bases in Game 2 of the 2008 NLCS. A haiku on this contrast follows.

Around third then stop
Grover C. Alexander
Was no Brett Myers

Ode to Matt Stairs

Matt Stairs, at the age of 40, has become a Philadelphia hero with a huge HR that nearly cleared the right-field bleachers at Dodger Stadium. The moment inspired this blog and its first haiku. For video of the HR, follow this link.

Who hit the moon shot
to right? Whose face has gray hairs?
Matthew Freaking Stairs!