Fire Eric Bruntlett

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NOTHING IS OVER!

Just before midnight on November 1st, the city of Philadelphia let out a collective groan. The inning that Brad Lidge had started so well was ending in flames at the hands of the hated Alex Rodriguez. Just an inning earlier Pedro Feliz had tied the game on a monster home run. Everything seemed right in the world. Brad Lidge came in and quickly got Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter out. He got 2 strikes on Johnny Damon. Then it stayed at two strikes. Damon fouled off pitch after pitch, denying Lidge the redemption he so desperately wanted for his terrible season. Damon fought him off and slapped a single into left field. A few minutes later 3 runs had scored and the city of Philadelphia was in a state of shock and the Yankees took a 3-1 series lead.

Game 4 was one of the most emotionally draining losses that I’ve ever encountered. It temporarily erased all the good Phils vibes that I’ve had over the past year. The thought of watching Game 5 made me physically ill. The old Philly fan neuroticism snuck in and made me question why I even thought the Phillies could repeat in the first place. Was it is a devastating loss? No questions asked. Was it a killing blow? No sir, it was not.

Sure the Phils are down, but they’re sure as hell not out. You need four wins to win the World Series. The Yankees have won 3 in a row, why can’t us?

Our great hope Clifton Phifer Lee pitches tonight against A.J. Burnett, who is going on short rest. This is very winnable.

Pedro Martinez would presumably pitch Game 6 if things play out right. I think Pedro’s here for a reason. A Game 6 victory in New York couldn’t be more appropriate.

If we make it that far Game 7 will be a total team effort against a gassed CC Sabathia.

If anyone can do it, it’s the Phillies.

This is not a series for the weak of heart. I kindly ask that you bandwagoners abandon ship, we have no more room for your kind.

To hell with the celebrities! To hell with the pundits! To hell with New York! Nobody sticks Philly in a corner! LOUD NOISES!!!!!!!!

We can’t sit idly by and let these douche bags take this. If New York wants this title they’ll have to rip it from the Phillies’ cold dead hands! If you’re going to Game 5 you need to be louder than you’ve ever been! Nothing is over! This is a best of seven series for a reason. Keep the phaith folks, ya gotta believe!

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

LEE!

The Phillies came, the Phillies saw, and the Phillies conquered Game 1 of the World Series winning 6-1 over the New York Yankees.  Cliff Lee pitched a complete game and allowed 0 earned runs.  Chase Utley provided all the offense the Phillies needed, hitting two solo shots off of the supposedly unhittable Charles Carsten Sabathia.  While CC was sweating enough to fill a small swimming pool (in 50 degree weather no less!) Cliff Lee absolutely owned everyone not named Jeter in the Yankees lineup.  Amazing win by the Fightin’ Phils and an even better way to start the World Series!

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Stay Classy, New York Media: Part II – The Daily News

While the New York Post, featured in Part I of this post, is almost universally thought of as a rag, I expect a little more from the Daily News, who have had what some might call, “quality contributers,” like Mike Lupica. Now, all you have to do is watch The Sports Reporters to disagreecol_hdr_molloywith that, but nonetheless, it’s the 5th-most circulated paper in New York. But it’s still trash. And that’s because of articles like these. That’s why I would like you to meet Joanna Molloy. She wrote a column that disagreed with me. Maybe it was a headline that read, “Cheesesteak-stinkin’ town poses just a phantom menace to Yankees.” It included great quotes that you could only find in a trash article for a trash newspaper from a female writer who has never stepped inside a sports atmosphere before. Including:

“Believe it or not, people down here in Silly-delphia actually think the Phillies will beat the Yankees in the World Series, which starts tomorrow.”

“Did they also think Sanjaya would beat Jordin Sparks? That would be ‘American Idol,’ in case you watch too much baseball and not enough Stupid TV.”

But it wasn’t her quotes that really irked me. It was the quotes that she decided to use to make a sad attempt to prove her point. “Fan after Philly fan,” she wrote. Yes. While Jeremy Olshan and his band of moron minions may have talked to actual New Yorkers, you know, writing for a New York paper and all, Joanna Malloy went to Philadelphia and talked to Philadelphians to prove that Philadelphia sucks. How did she manage to extract those quotes? “Hi, I’m from the New York Daily News. I’m writing an article about why your city and Phillies fans suck. Would you like to give me a quote?” She then proceeded to perform what appears to be a stand-up routine on why Philly sucks.

“W.C. Fields wanted his epitaph to say: I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia. Well, maybe it’s better than being dead, but I’m not sure.”
“The Philadelphia Art Museum has Picasso’s “Three Musicians” and Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” but New York has just about every other great work of art.”
“Philadelphia produced Bill Cosby, but he lives in New York.”

Stay tuned for more, er… actual, World Series coverage coming up later today.

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies Playlist

The mp3 player has to be one of my favorite inventions ever.  I’m constantly making playlists for it and with all the Phillies madness of late, I’ve been thinking of my perfect Phillies playlist.  I’ve got songs that remind of the awesomeness of the Phils and pump me up for gametime.  I’ve also got songs that I associate with the players.  For the most part with the players I chose their batting music, however with some of them their music wasn’t quite my taste so I chose something I found appropriate for them.  I got most of the imporant players but I got tired of posting stuff and went to bed (no lie, maybe I should have started posting this before midnight…I know I’m brilliant).  I’m still looking for a good Pedro Martinez and J.A. Happ songs among others.  The playlist as it stands is  what I’ll be listening to at work today to bide my time before World Series Game 1.

Post your suggestions/what music you use to get in the perfect mood for the Phils below!

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October 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stay Classy, New York Media

ihatenewyork2What do you do when you’re a New York City tabloid newspaper, and your beloved Yankees are playing in the World Series come tomorrow against a team from a city that everyone loves to hate? Naturally, you get your crack advertisement department on front102709the oh-so-important mission of photo-shopping a skirt onto the said team’s All-Star center-fielder! (By the way, “crack” here does not mean that they’re great. At anything. Or even remotely good. It means that I genuinely think that everyone at the New York Post who wrote, edited, or published this article must be on crack to let this get by and into their newspaper and website.) They could have at least tried to be original! I mean, the guy’s Hawaiian! Everyone knows that! His nickname is The Flyin’ Hawaiian! They couldn’t even go for a grass skirt? Plus, “The Frillies!” Are grass skirts not frilly?

Oh, if only they could stop there… But some Yankee reporter just had to ask Vic to pose with the cover: “”Shane, could you ..?” “No, I’m not holding that up, bro,” he responded, no questions asked.

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"It's only a positive thing to have them focus on you. There's obviously a reason why they put me on the front," Victorino said, referring to the cover of the New York Post.

From Todd Zolecki’s Zo Zone piece:

“Pretty cute,” Chase Utley said. “Shane looks pretty good. I would say Ryan (Howard) might look a little bit better in that skirt than Shane.”

And then there was the article written for the cover. Oh, the article. Such trash. The Post needed 3 people to write this awful headline and by-line: “Frillies are coming to town! Their fans are second-rate & so is their city.” They needed three people to extract quotes like these, this one presumably from a hot-dog stand worker: “‘The Yankees are going to make Philly cream cheese out of them,’ a confident Tommy Bayiokos, 44, predicted yesterday in Midtown.” I particularly enjoyed The Sports Hernia‘s response to Tommy:

“Tommy, if it said you were 16 years old, this might make sense. You’re 44, please do us all a favor and violently tase yourself.”

Other choice quotes from despicable journalists Rich Calder, Erin Calabrese and Jeremy Olshan, with my response following:

1.) “Gotham has been regularly beating the pants off Philly since overtaking the one-horse town as the nation’s economic capital in the early 19th century.”

2.) “Even Benjamin Franklin, Philly’s patron saint, has been described as “the father of all the Yankees.”

3.) “Although Philadelphia doesn’t draw the same ire among New Yorkers as Boston or Los Angeles, it’s mostly because Gothamites consider the city across the Ben Franklin Bridge pretty pathetic, says Bleacher Creature Michael Stewart.”

4.) “‘I don’t have hate for Philly exactly — they are like our redheaded stepchild,” he said. ‘It’s like a nothing city. It’s just insignificant in comparison to New York.'”

5.) “‘The big meal there is a steak with cheese and onions on a hero, but they don’t even call it a hero. It’s a hoagie. What the hell is a hoagie?’ said Ron Montclane, 26.”

6.) “As far as sports go, sure, the Phillies have won two World Series championships compared with the Yankees’ 26, but far sadder is that no one from Philly cares much. ‘Their most famous athlete is Rocky, and he’s fictional,’ sneered Alex Rusu, 23, a building superintendent in Gramercy.”

1.) Isn’t it ironic… that we won the season series 2-1? (Unlike anything Alanis Morissette ever sang, that actually is ironic, which, in a way, is kind of ironic in and of itself.) Also, the 19th century was the 1800s. The Yankees didn’t pkay their first game until 1901. Great fact-checking. So, that’s an advertising department and a research department both on crack?

2.) I’d like proof of this, since, you know, HE DIED ALMOST A CENTURY BEFORE THE FIRST BASEBALL GAME WAS EVER PLAYED!!!

3.) I thought they literally just said how much they love Ben Franklin. So, they love the guy, but hate the bridge?

4.) I have two reasons why Philadelphia is a better city than New York. For the first one let me quote Homer Simpson: “New York is a hellhole. And you know how I feel about hellholes.” Wow, I can’t believe I just agreed with Homer Simpson. Secondly, living in Philly, you wouldn’t have to run into any of these morons – the ones working for the paper, or quoted by the paper.

5.) HOAGIE. CHEESESTEAK. SUB SANDWICH. IDIOT = YOU.

6.) Wow… stupidest statement of the article. We don’t care? We filled our stadium to 102.2% capacity every game! Yankees couldn’t even get 90%!  Also, did they talk to anyone with an actual job?

Updates coming in the morning. Wow, that was longer than I expected it to be. Enjoy what I have so far, and look forward to some more.

Update: Here’s a great anti-Yankees picture that I forgot to add last night. Props to RCinPA and fdoyle11.
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If there are two things that I love in this world, they’re plays on words and the Phillie Phanatic. Suck on that, Tommy Lasorda!

October 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

[BBA]: Most Valuable Player Awards

One of the many awesome things we get to do as a part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance – by the way, if you didn’t know yet,  we are part of an alliance of baseball bloggers called the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. Bill from Crashburn Alley is also a member, so you know it’s good. – is that we can vote on the various baseball awards. “Sure,” you say, “but any blog can do that!” Well, the BBA does them in a manner similar to that of the Baseball Writers Association of America. So, here are the Fire Eric Bruntlett official MVP awards:

Seeing as it’s pretty late right now, and I’m rushed for time, trying to get to bed, to wake up at 6:00 in the morning (I don’t like Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays, either.) I’m just posting our ballot for now – no explanations or stats yet. Hopefully, I can show you the ultra-complex system that I use to come up with these placements tomorrow. It uses a lot of numbers and stats, both sabermetric and mainstream.

In any case, here goes:

10. Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

9. Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago Cubs

8. Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

7. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, San Diego Padres

6. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins

5. Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

4. Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

3. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

2. Mark Reynolds, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies vs. Dodgers, NLCS Game 5: The Clincher?

We are bringing back the Fire Eric Bruntlett live blog for this potential clincher in Philly tonight at 8:00. So, if you’re stuck at home tonight, in fear of being trampled during the riot, join us! It could even be fun!

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October 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Chat of GAME ONE of the NLDS… come join us

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October 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phillies Closer Roundtable

And now for another post that I should have put up weeks ago…

It has probably been the most debatable question regarding the Phillies this season. “Who should be the closer?” Everyone has a different opinion, it seems, and each opinion has its own fair share of valid points. But who is right? (BTW, most of these e-mails were written around September 12, so take that into account, too. We might do another before the playoffs start next week.) Click to read a wide array of thoughts on the hot topic going to the playoffs, at least here in Philly. Continue reading

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When the Spotlight’s On…

The Phillies closer situation is very much in limbo right now. If the Phillies have a 3 run lead or less going into their defensive half of the 9th inning, its anyone’s guess as to who is going to be coming into the game. Four nights ago it was Brad Lidge, but once he loaded the bases Uncle Cholly did the unthinkable and pulled Lidge out. He brought in Ryan “Mad Dog” Madson and the following night, he went to Madson as well.

After the game Charlie hinted to his “Closer by committee” theory, and that he didn’t care who it was in the role as long as they got the win. However, this theory can’t stand if the Phillies want any chance at winning the World Series again.

Last year’s playoff success was due to that amazing bullpen and that each person had a role and succeeded in their role. If the starters struggled is wasn’t that big of a deal. No starter needed to go longer than 6 innings because Romero, Madson, and Lidge each pitched awesomely. The Phillies were able to “shorten the game.” Basically the opposition had 6 innings to take the lead and hold it or they were in for a loss. It was no wonder the Phillies only lost 3 games in the whole 2008 playoffs. But if they want to be back- to-back World Fucking Champions, they are going to have to figure out this closer thing once and for all.

Now, my name is Tommy Weida. I have been a Philadelphia Phillies fans for all of my 23 years of existance. I have sat through closers like Mitch Williams, Heathcliff Slocumb, and Jose Mesa. (Side bar story: I once had Heathcliff Slocumb’s autograph. My dad took me to get it when he came to the area. I loved that thing. I had little baseball display case for it and everything. Then, like 2 weeks after I got it, I must have left it on my bed before going to school in the morning and my dog, Tigger, chewed the ball up. The autograph was ruined. I guess I own the smartest dog in the world. Okay, back to the blog).

I was excited when the Phillies got Billy Wagner and I saw his first save as a Phillie live. He hit 99 mph twice in a row. His 3rd pitch only went 98. This cool old guy in front of me turned around and said, “he must have thrown the change-up.” I was not quite as excited when the Phillies got Lidge, but he quickly proved me wrong.

So what’s my proposed solution to the closer situation? Well let me tell you:

This is MY ideal playoff set up. A four man rotation of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, and right now its a toss up between Martinez and Blanton. As of this moment, I would go with Martinez, but I feel really uncomfortable writing off Blanton, a man I have could argue should have won the 2008 World Series MVP. So whoever loses out will join Moyer, Condrey, Durbin, Park, Eyre, Romero, Madson, Myers and Lidge in the bullpen. I wrote that list in no particular order so don’t think I did.

Moyer, Condrey, Durbin, Park and the loser of the Blanton/Martinez battle will be the mop up guys. you know, the guys that come in the game when down or up by 5 or more runs. If the starter goes 6 innings and the pressure is on in a close game, I’d go with J.C. Romero in the 7th. He held that role last year and did a great job at it. In the 8th I would go with the pairing of Madson/Lidge. They would be used based on matchups with whoever was coming up to bat.

So if you have been keeping track, I have left out two guys. I’m gonna start with Scott Eyre. He hold a very crucial position in the bullpen; left-handed specialist. He’s there to get those tough left handed batters out. He’s earned that position and can be used pretty much anywhere between the 7th and 8th inning.

So now there is one guy left that I haven’t mentioned; Brett Myers. Yes folks, he is my choice for closer. If there is anyone in that bullpen that is only fueled by adrenaline, it’s Brett Myers. no one will get more energy from the spotlight. He’s done it before, and he’s succeeded. Is his hip good enough? Come October, that won’t matter. It won’t effect him once the spotlight is on. Kind of like the old lady lifting the car.

I love Lidge, and thank him for everything he did for us last year, but its clear to see that he just doesn’t have it this year. It is just like it happened to him in Houston, only this time he didn’t give up a monster home run to Pujols. I still feel he can greatly help this team, just so long as he’s not the last line of defense.

So this is how I feel about the closer role. I’m not sure if this is how it will shake up, but one thing I do know is that Charlie needs to set up for the post season and ditch the “closer by committee” theory. It was great to see Uncle Cholly prove he has balls when he pulled Lidge the other night. Now he needs to go one step further and finalize a bullpen without Lidge as the closer.

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment