Monthly Archives: July 2011

Worley, Bastardo and the Stutes

The 2011 Phillies’ season was supposed to be one for the ages. With the re-acquisition of fan-favorite Cliff Lee, the Phils claimed (on paper) one of the greatest starting pitching rotations in baseball history.

 

To shorten the premise for this piece, three of the four aces have lived up to their billing, but tons of injuries could have derailed this season, if not for the three biggest surprises of this (or any recent) Phillies’ season—pitchers Vance Worley, Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes.

 

 

So, let’s sing their praises with a big assist from Terry Cashman’s Talkin’ Baseball.

 

 

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Tweeter-In-Chief

Now that I’m halfway between shunning the Twittersphere altogether and tweeting like a fool on steroids, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around President Barack Obama’s soccer-induced tweeting yesterday.

 

 

It’s a new universe that we live in—one in which we can virtually rub elbows and send 140-character missives to anybody we want. I haven’t decided as to whether it’s cool that the Prez is that accessible. I would frame this debate—surely, one for another time—like this:

 

We want our leaders, and candidates, to show their human side, but do we want them to be that reach-out and-touchable? Should our elected leaders be as common as the Snookis of the world? (I realize quite well that we live in an era of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Anthony Weiner.)

 

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Thanks, and You’re Kind of Cute, Too

People mean well, they really do. I think they do; I keep telling myself something like that.

 

Yesterday, I was a guest at a business networking luncheon. To the uninitiated, all these clubs have their own rules and secret handshakes, and this group was no different. Blessed with a mercurial psyche, sometimes I’m in the mood to self-promote and help others do the same; other times, not so much. Yesterday, I was feeling pretty self-promotional by my standards.

 

After our orders were taken, members of the group took turns giving their thirty-second elevator pitches about their services and who they would like to do business with. Then it was the guests’ turns; there must have been seven or eight of us newbies who stood up and took our swings.

 

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USA, USA – Soccer at its Fluky Best

USA, USA.

 

Could it be that I was watching one of the most dramatic games of the century disguised as the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal clash between USA and Brazil?

 

Somehow, I forgot to watch it, but happened to tune into one of the ESPNs, only to find that Brazil was beating our ladies 2-1 in about the 105th minute. In international soccer, 2-1 seems to be the equivalent of 54-27 in the NFL.

 

I was now watching and listening, as the broadcasters were bemoaning the fact that this heroic American team—forced to play one “man” down for about an hour because of a terrible call by an official—was running out of time to stay in the tournament.

 

They were now in extra time, which adds 30 more running minutes onto the clock, plus an arbitrary amount of time for  various stoppages due to real injuries, fake injuries, hissy fits (although there are more of these in men’s matches) and broken nails. The beauty of the extra time is that nobody seems to know how much time is really left in the contest, or is it a match, a friendly, or an international incident?

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