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The Phillies won on Opening Day for the first time in five years. I just hope, as my grandmother pointed out, that this doesn't jinx them for the rest of the season; despite a history of bad Aprils, they've been NL East division champs for the past three years and made it to the World Series the past two, taking the crown in 2008.

What a game, though... 11 to 1 over the Nationals — not, I grant you, necessarily the biggest threat in baseball, but a win's a win. Our new staff ace Roy Halladay struck out nine in seven innings and even got an RBI base hit; it's a shame that Cliff Lee had to go to bring Halladay in, since his single season with the Phils last year was nothing to sneeze at, but the trade seems to make sense. I was already happy to have former Phillie Placido Palanco and his profoundly protruding browbones back at 3rd base even before he came up with today's insane six RBIs (including a grand slam). And the big man, Ryan Howard, kicked off the offense as always with his first homer of the season. Everybody in the starting lineup hit safely, in fact, and when you look at this lineup, from Howard to Palanco to Chase Utley to Jimmy Rollins to Jayson Werth to Shane Victorino to Raul Ibañez to Carlos Ruiz, man, it looks to be another sizzling summer as long as — say it with me, baseball fans who invoke this same mantra of obviousness every year — the pitching holds up and the team stays healthy. We have a few guys still on the disabled list, including key reliever J.C. Romero and closer Brad Lidge, but Cole Hamels is looking good and, hey, 47-year-old hamish hometown hero Jamie Moyer is back. Given how well last season ended despite some players falling apart it's way too early to panic. Heck, it's Opening Day!

Documentarian Ken Burns appeared on tonight's ABC World News with commentary on the centennial of Presidents throwing out the first pitch Opening Day and how the tradition has changed since 1910. Diane Sawyer said that there was more video with Burns on the ABC News website, but I'm having no luck finding it, apparently purely because it's not among the most popular videos; if anyone reading this happens to dig it up, I'd love to get a link. [Update: The video has been found but it's not loading for me in either Safari or Chrome so the problem's probably with the website.]

8 comments:

Joan Crawford said...

I don't know about all this Phillies talk but I do know that the Pirates are way better then they are. On principle alone. And, of course, the Red Sox are better than all of them.
Did you play baseball as a kid? Was it called baseball back then or was it still called "Whack the Old Roundie with the Stick" at that point?

What? Oh, I'm just glad you're back and I find teasing you is the best way to elicit a response :)

Joan Crawford said...

*better THAN* dammit, Blam, it's like I hand you things to get me on. Like my whole "werido" typo!

Blam said...


Pirates may dig chicks who blog, Joan, at least according to our mutual acquaintance the former pink-Tercel driver, but they ain't got nothin' on my Phillies. I'd consider rooting for them as my home state's other baseball team, when it didn't conflict with the Phils' agenda, if I ever remembered they existed.

The Red Sox, however, are my American League team. Unless they're playing the Phillies, I wish them all the best.

Did you play baseball as a kid? Was it called baseball back then or was it still called "Whack the Old Roundie with the Stick" at that point?

How old do you think I am, Zombie Hag?

Oh, I'm just glad you're back and I find teasing you is the best way to elicit a response :)

That's what she said.

dammit, Blam, it's like I hand you things to get me on

No, wait, that's what she said.

Teebore said...

The Red Sox, however, are my American League team. Unless they're playing the Phillies, I wish them all the best.


Aw, I was gonna give you pass on the Phils, despite them becoming the Yankees of the NL; Chase Utley's on my fantasy team, after all.

But then you had to go and declare an affinity for the BoSox, much hated 'round these parts (MN), considering Boston treats our teams like they're Boston's own personal farm system. It's even reached a bit where, in the battle of Evil Empires, I'll take the Yankees over the Sox.

I'd consider rooting for them as my home state's other baseball team, when it didn't conflict with the Phils' agenda

Yeah, that presumes the Pirates HAVE an agenda, which really doesn't seem to be the case, does it? Aside from putting nine guys (any nine guys, really) on the field for 162 games a year, at least. :)

Blam said...


It's even reached a bit where, in the battle of Evil Empires, I'll take the Yankees over the Sox.

Yeesh! Even if I didn't have affection for former Phils skipper Terry Francona, and despite the Sox being the Phillies' "natural rivals" in interleague play, Boston would be my AL team because I'm old-school in my fan rooting: I grew up outside Philly, hence its teams are my teams through thick or thin — not the only acceptable criterion for being a fan, but the default one and pretty hard to beat. Then you can move on to, say, "I like the town" or "I root for the underdog" or "I really get into their history". I like Boston, and the Sox had that streak going, and they're the Yankees' mortal enemies.

Teebore said...

I was all about the Red Sox back in 2004; their comeback in the ALCS was like watching history unfolding, and that's always exciting (except for, you know, the Yankees...), plus it was nice to see them strike a mighty blow against the Evil Empire.

After that, I dunno...they seemed to get cocky, and for me, the Red Sox/Yankees conflict stopped being a "David vs Goliath" contest and more like a "Goliath vs. Goliath" contest, which is fun and all, except when my team (the Twins) is a David.

Now, the Yankees/Red Sox battle is akin to watching two super-villains fight; no matter what happens, someone you don't like is going to win, and there's not going to be a heroic triumph.

I suppose I can give you a pass, though, considering region does play into your appreciation for the Sox (and that is, indeed, THE significant breeder of fan loyalty, and I can't argue with it).

If you're gonna be a Sox fan, at least you have a good reason for being one. ;)

Blam said...


for me, the Red Sox/Yankees conflict stopped being a "David vs Goliath" contest and more like a "Goliath vs. Goliath" contest

Now I have a better idea of where you're coming from — and I guess I can't entirely disagree. Things do change, as I never thought I'd have more animosity towards the Mets than the Yankees. I'll tell you what: Let's root for a Phillies/Twins Series, and whatever happens, happens.

Teebore said...

Ha! Sounds good!