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Thursday, September 09, 2010


*from last thread*

Ishamel: To be fair- I was 2 when the Sports album came out for Huey so I was young. However, I don't ever remembering hearing the hyperbole used to describe DMB in the late 90's.

Sophist: You are answering your own questions there.

Firstly, I would venture that many teams are considerably better when they score 5 runs or more. For example, the Pirates (the worst team in MLB) are 27-8 when they score 5 or more runs.

Secondly, let's not just brush aside the fact of their last 25 games. They have scored 136 runs but that is skewed by some big numbers. In 5 of those 25 games they've scored 61 runs or an average of over 12 runs per game. In the other 20 they've scored 77 runs or less than 4 per game- and even that is inflated by a few 9 spots.

It's the same thing we saw in June and July with the Phillies scuffling. If you don't score runs you are not going to win a lot of games. Many said that the Braves were going to hit a rough patch and they are hitting it right now. Luckily for us it's happening at a time that we are surging.

Sorry on the math- I came up with 61 in 5 and 74 in the other 20. I may have skewed a number here or there though as I didn't monitor it real closely.

Carrillo sounds like an interesting project. Kinda an odd choice to clog up a spot on the 40 man but then again, there'll be plenty of spaces available this off-season anyway. He could easily replace a guy like Drew Naylor on it with little loss of talent.

Rasmus is 10 for 21 in his last 7 games...good for a .476 AVG

TTI, it's not just 5 or more really. It comes from just scoring 5. Compare them to the Phils. Braves have an .820+ win pct when they score 5 or 6 runs; Phils have a .640 win pct when they do. Their success when scoring 7+ is similar.

Your point about the blowouts is well taken, and I said as much to a Braves blogger when he argued that their actual record betrays how well they actually played (taking their pythag. W/L as how well they actually played).

RS distribution

0-2: Braves 38 (4-34) -- Phils 47 (11-36)
3-6: Braves 65 (40-25) -- Phils 52 (30-22)
7+: Braves 37 (36-1) -- Phils 42 (40-2)

Braves are 14-3 when they score 5-6 runs, making their W/L win they score 5 or more 50-3 (that's a typo above or I just keep adding it wrong).

Phils are 16-9 win they score 5-6 runs.

I can see why a team might have a particularly good record when they only score 1-2 runs, esp. with Doc and Hamels, but I'm not sure there's any reason for the Braves success when they put 5-6 on the board. Those are the only differences.

With LaRussa's penchant for running people out of town, I'm guessing Rasmus doesn't make it though next season. Just a guess.

So, did Robertson earn a Hold for his 2/3 innng last night? If so, I'd assume that's worth consideration if they hav playoff money to divvy up.

I'm guessing LaRussa doesn't come back next year actually. If they want to sell Rasmus for pennies on the dollar, I'd over them Blanton & Victorino with the caveat that they pick up 100% of the salaries involved.

Can I call this the most stress-free day the Phils have had in a while?

MG: I'm glad you reminded me because I had fallen a few days behind in inputting my data to my spreadsheet. It's updated now and the results are:

Since August 18,

ERA of Phillies Starters: 3.22
ERA of Braves Starters: 5.26

Per the boxscore, Robertson DID NOT record a Hold for his efforts.

****ERA of Phillies Starters: 3.22****

bap, what's our ERA if you take out KK's numbers? Under 2?

What is fascinating is the possibility that LaRussa ends in Cincy if the Reds falter and they decide not to pick up Dusty Baker's option.

I would rather have LaRussa over Baker especially if it meant Duncan followed him. No sense letting Baker have his hands on so many younger decent arms to potentially destroy.

****What is fascinating is the possibility that LaRussa ends in Cincy if the Reds falter and they decide not to pick up Dusty Baker's option. ****

Is Rolen signed through next year? If so, that'd be interesting.

MG: Yeah, if I was worried about young pitchers, I'd take LaRussa over Baker. If I was worried about young hitters, I'd take Baker over LaRussa.

Sophist: My official guess is that it's just one of those quirky baseball things.

Do the Reds have a 4th or 5th OF who is ready to get a massive number of PAs that he doesn't deserve in some sort of byzantine platoon situation that makes no sense to anyone but LaRussa?

NEP: Not quite. But it's 2.45.

Did anyone else just see the mammoth home run Chris Johnson just hit in Houston? If he'd have hit it further to the right he'd have hit the Citgo sign above the train tracks in left.

Back to the SD/SF thing, I say vote for SD to win so we can give us more of a cushion in the WC race (yeah, yeah, I know, we're leading the East but its nice to knock another team to the curb in the overall NL race)

So now I really consider us in first. I didn't before, since we were still tied in the loss column.

bap: Well, we were at least tied for first even when tied in the loss column. You can consider us in sole first place now!

Wow looks like Polly has been playing with a broken elbow, thats tough right there

NEPP: "Robertson DID NOT record a Hold for his efforts"

a gross injustice. The man held them under 10 in the inning - amply succeeding in his appointed task, before turning it over for mop up work. Are they now awarding/ withholding Holds on style points?

Since the trade:

Alex Gonzalez: 101 OPS+ (114 OPS before trade)
Yunel Escobar: 106 OPS+ (70 OPS+ before trade)

Oops...classic case of selling high/buying low by the BlueJays.

(repost) wonder if Chipper Jones' absence makes a serious dent in the Braves' post-season aspirations? Besides Larry, who on this Braves team has even been in a late September race, let alone the playoffs? Sure hope that observation did not jinx the Phils' chances.

Jam bands; Dave Matthews, Phish et al are an acquired taste. Even if Phish don't amuse you as a band, Trey Anastasio is one of the finest guitarists I've ever heard in the past 20 years. Trey's Halloween shows are legendary; he has morphed Phish into bands as diverse as the Beatles (White Album), Talking Heads and the Who (Quadrophenia).

TTI -- I'm amazed that you were so young when that Huey Lewis' album came out. Your posts have a flinty edge to them -- I imagined you were guy in his 40s.

***Wow looks like Polly has been playing with a broken elbow, thats tough right there***

Well, on the toughness scale, its falls just short of the following:

1. Utley playing the final 4 months of 08 on 1 hip.
2. Rowand using the CF fence to perform plastic surgery on his face

Up there though.

**** Are they now awarding/ withholding Holds on style points?****

I think Holds are only awarded in games where its a Save situation. So basically had he given up a couple more runs before Madson nailed it down, he'd have gotten the Hold.

yeah i kind of knew that. i knew he had a chip in there somewhere. happened in april so he's kind of used to it by now. probably the reason he hasn't hit many HR's

NEPP: The day of the trade, I predicted Escobar would have more HRs the rest of the way than Gonzalez. They currently each have 4 (Gonzalez lead Escobar 17-0 pre-trade).

I thought it was a stupid deal for the Braves. Although clearly not their dumbest... Ankiel is the dumbest, followed by Farnsworth, followed by DLee and then Gonzalez.

Oops, not quite right on a "Hold"

Here's the rule: "A hold is earned when a reliever comes into a save situation and gives way to another reliever without giving up the lead"

So, coming into a game with a massive lead won't get you a Hold.

I love Farnsworth...every July, some team falls in love with his hard fastball and thinks, maybe, just maybe he's that final piece to the bullpen puzzle.

Its like watching a kid repeatedly touch a hot stove and burn himself.

NEPP: Odds that there was a discussion on Beerleaguer in a trade thread where someone made a case for Farnsworth?

I don't know Nepp, I think it goes above Rowand, though gruesome when it happened, the Rowand injury was a one night thing. Polly gets to play almost every day with a broken elbow he uses every at bat. Thats my opinion anyway

****I thought it was a stupid deal for the Braves. Although clearly not their dumbest... Ankiel is the dumbest, followed by Farnsworth, followed by DLee and then Gonzalez.****

Its even better because Escobar, despite his brain cramps, is the better defender too so the trade hurt the Braves on both sides of the diamond.

CJ: To be absolutely technical, a tie for 1st means we're in 2nd place.

When 2 teams end up tied for the division title, and both teams are ahead of all other WC competitors, MLB doesn't bother with the one-game tie-breaker; they just award the division title to the team with the better head-to-head record. The other team is then awarded the WC.

The Braves have a 7-5 record against us this year so, if we're tied for the division lead, we're actually in 2nd. But, at least for now, that's all moot.

****NEPP: Odds that there was a discussion on Beerleaguer in a trade thread where someone made a case for Farnsworth?****

I'm sure it exists somewhere between 2007 and PRES.

Hugh: Usually, any player who has made an appearance with the club, no matter how short or terrible, gets voted a partial share or cash reward. In this case, it should be equal to his ERA. That would be $81.00 even.

Oh Nate Roberts, we hardly knew ye.

Chase Utley leads the Majors in UZR/150 at 2B this year. So, despite all the criticisms of him earlier in the year, he's still getting it done with the leather.

He's 2nd in the Majors in OOZ (Out of Zone plays) to Robinson Cano. Cano leads him 37 to 34 though Utley has played 370 fewer innings at 2B.

So, another season where he's arguably GG worthy but its a guarantee he wont win (I'd bet Phillips wins again personally)

Can we assume that Nate Robertson will be on the back of any potential bootleg NLDS, NLCS, and WS t-shirts that will be available for sale in the parking lot of CBP this October?

They always seem to throw in some off-the-wall player when they produce those things.

Entire post is a hypothetical and not a guarantee of a playoff appearance.

NEPP: That's funny you say that about Ankiel. My one professor over the summer and I were discussing the trade deadline and I said Farnsworth is great because it's like waving a wrapped box in front of a kid at Christmas and they get all excited but then open it and see that what was wrapped was a shirt from a store. No matter how many times you wave that wrapped box someone is always excited to open it because they think it is something special.

Cesar Carrillo, - what an odd waiver claim..
maybe an it's age or lack of exp -- no arb til 2013. Effective pitcher too -- Minor league ERA 13.06

I mean - couldn't R00b consider claiming an old Phila draft pick Taylor Buchholz-who was w/ the CROX, I think he's arb eligible in 2012,, he was claimed by the Blue Jays's...

Don't get it...

Sorry, but this made me bust out laughing:

From's page on Johan Santana

" sponsor(s) this page.

HAHAHAHAHA - The Mets are a joke!!!"

Torre just brought Broxton into the game in the 7th...guess he's not their Closer anymore?

It was pretty fun to watch the Phillies rip his heart out.

CJ, I'd say giving up on Escobar, a good defensive SS with a 112 OPS+ between ages 24-26, was much worse than giving up on a couple of relatively unimportant minor leaguers for Ankiel and Farnsworth.

Yeah, I think the Escobar deal was the coup de grace for their GM.

I dont care how bad a disruption he was in the clubhouse, you HAVE to get real value for him if you deal him.

.308/.346/.406 with a small break in his left elbow almost all year? Pretty impressive.

He's hitting .325/.404/.425 in the team's last 10 games, though he struggled a bit at the end of August, so hopefully he can keep it up.

NEPP that is an awesome find. Laughed out loud, or whatever it is the kids say these days.

So here's a question likely better suited for the phuturephillies crowd: does Carrillo need to stay on the 40 man to remain a Phil? Or can they just assign him to the minors and leave space for a few of the guys needing protection this summer?

How will he do if he's healthy next year? Guys that hit for average like he do tend to age fairly well.

"we’re doomed."
from Talking Chop, the Braves Blog.
Call me a sadist but I have been scrolling through their threads last few days and it puts a smile on my face.
Best comment (from a few days ago)
"The PhillieBeast has awoken"

Nepp, yeah Torre took him out of the closer role right after his meltdown against the Phils

Sophist: That's true. From the "What they gave up" side... Escobar was by far the worst. But if you rank the players they got back starting with the worst, I'd say it's Ankiel, Farnsworth, DLee, Gonzalez.

Yeah, TalkingChop has been almost MetsBlog bad the past week or so.

TalkingChop. Is that a Chan Ho Park blog?

"The PhillieBeast has awoken"

The Phillies are a weird team. Maybe it's just selection bias, or endemic Phan negativity, but for most of the regular season we always feel like a really flawed team. Either our bullpen is a disaster, or large parts of our rotation are a disaster, or the offense is incredibly inconsistent, or the offense is just plain bad, or we can't hit Tim Redding. And then all of a sudden every September we're the hottest team out there. It's like this bizarre inversion of the years when we were the up-and-comer that frittered away every NL East or wildcard lead we had. Of course, back then, we were actually vastly less talented; perhaps because there was so much more to criticize (the black hole, Travis Lee, Jose Mesa, Person/Padilla/Millwood/Myers being the ace) it was harder to zero in every little thing.

Old Phan: That might be more fun these days. It's the SB Nation blog for the Braves. All these SB Nation blogs are pretty similar. It's amazing how much profanity there is in those threads.

CJ: It's gotta crack you up to see the Phils through a Braves or a Mets fan's eyes: Invincible.... instead of the offensively feeble, defensively challenged, incompetently managed troupe of losers they are sometimes portrayed as here on BL.

callison: Very true... Phils always get a lot more credit from other fans than from Phils phans!

"It's gotta crack you up to see the Phils through a Braves or a Mets fan's eyes: Invincible.... instead of the offensively feeble, defensively challenged, incompetently managed troupe of losers they are sometimes portrayed as here on BL."

Exactly. Is this a baseball thing or just a Phillies thing? Or maybe it's universal to all sports? I've never been a very involved fan of the Eagles or Sixers, but when I was and when they were good, I don't recall fretting about their flaws so much. I believed that the Eagles had a great defense, that McNabb was a pretty good quarterback, that Iverson was a great player, that the fact that none of the other Sixers could score was alright because our defense was just that smothering. With this team it always feels like we're on the verge of disaster, like we're just waiting for our fatal weaknesses to be exploited.

Let's face it the Phils have terrorized the rest of the NL East for the past couple of years. And here they come in '10, DL'd and more or less homerless like some effing zombie back from the dead....
That's gotta suck if you're in this division.

Tray, the funny thing about that is this is a better team than McNabb's Eagles or Iverson's Sixers.
I think most team's fans are like this, but Philly diehards just don't know to handle a team this good.

Tray, I'd bet it's in part because we watch everyday but also because the Phils do make personnel changes as the season progresses (in addition to some prolific late-season performers). Oswalt and Lee being the obvious additions. Howard being the obvious late season performer.

Would be interesting to look at Durbin/Madson/Lidge August and September numbers as well these last few years.

Tray, i live in NYC and the Mets fans are just like Phillies fans, always on the brink of despair cuz they know in their hearts the team will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Yankess fans rarely panic. It's history - ingrained in the historical memory of your sports cells. Even though the Phils are doing it these last few years it's still not so easy to shake off the decades of despair.

Giants lead Padres 4-1.

You know though, if you think about it mathematically, this kind of disregard of a good team is probably particularly endemic to baseball. A great basketball team wins about 80% of its games, maybe a little less; a great football team wins somewhere between 81 and 94% of its games, even 100%; a great baseball team wins about 60%. A great baseball team, then, loses much more often, partly because it's a lot easier for a good team to beat a bad team in baseball, partly because talent is more evenly distributed and virtually any team will have to have some pretty mediocre players. There just aren't that many good hitters or pitchers; in the NBA, practically anyone, big men aside, is capable of being a torrid scorer on occasion. And of course, the nature of hitting and pitching is such that even the best players can have really bad games, whereas the best scorers in basketball are never held scoreless, or even close. Hence, there will always be much more for the fan of a great baseball team to complain about than the fan of a great basketball team. I imagine the same's pretty true of football but I don't know much about the sport.

Apart from a few personal favorites (Ripken, Henderson, Ryan, Fydrich, Bill Lee, etc), I collect only baseball cards of individuals who have played (at some point) for the Phillies (any of their cards, not just those in a Philly uniform).

This makes for an interesting cross section of short-term Phillies, including the likes of Sandberg, Franco, Valenzuela, Santiago, Tartabull and recent short stays, Pedro and C____ L__.

Now, to remain consistent, I have to find a Nate Robertson card and actually give somebody money for it.

I guess the Cardinals aren't rolling over just yet. Good for the Phillies. 1 GA in the division, as another of the heralded unhittable Atlanta starters gets knocked around. If I'm not mistaken, the Cards have Carpenter going tomorrow against Mike Minor, so the Cards, desperate to get back in the race, have a chance to dent the Braves again.

The Phillies, on the other hand, have their ace (Halladay going) against, well, some dude I've never heard of before, so the Phillies will probably get shut out, but the Phillies should win the game. Chance for the Phillies to, dare I say, start looking to build a cusion in the division.

Oh my, how things have changed.

Well the Mets have reason to despair, they're just not that good. They have a couple legitimate stars and a bunch of big names who would have made them a great team about 5-8 years ago. Which isn't to fault Minaya, it's incredibly hard to draw the line between the stars you should go out and acquire and the stars you shouldn't. The Yankees have gotten better at it after a lot of pitfalls in the post-2001 years. Amaro's traded for the right pitchers. Other than that, who's done a good job at playing the superstar market?

If Giants hang on tonight, they'll be just a game behind the Braves for the Wild Card. How quickly a team goes from comfortably in front of the division to the outside looking in.

The Phils would move a full game in front of the Padres for best record in the league (tied in the loss column), as well as being a game in front of Atlanta, 1 1/2 in front of Cincy and 2 in front of San Fran.

Colorado's making their annual run for the playoffs. Watch out for 'em.

If the Cards can pull off a sweep of the Braves... and the Rocks keep winning... they'll both be right there in the WC race considering the Giants and Padres play each other.

I'd love to have the Phils pull away and have the Reds, Cards, Pads, Giants and Rocks fight for 3 spots.

Tray, also remember that in basketball and hockey, half the teams make the playoffs. In football, 37.5% of the teams make the playoffs. In baseball, on the other hand, only 26.67% of teams make the playoffs.

So, in baseball, even if you're a fairly good team, it's still pretty hard to make the playoffs. The fact that at least 2 of the Padres, Giants, Cardinals and Rockies are going to miss the playoffs is testament to this fact. Those are 4 good teams; maybe not elite teams, but certainly good teams that win a lot more than they lose, but 2 of them will miss the playoffs. You don't face this dilemma ever in hockey and basketball, and a lot less in football (the 2008 Patriots notwithstanding).

So, as a baseball fan, your team has to have a good combination of talent, smarts, hard work, and luck to make the season count and get to the second season. This weighs heavily on the committed fan, leading to lots of hand wringing and complaining.

Fatalotti - It's also all about competition. Not a perfect comparison because of schedule changes but in the old NL East the Phils would hold a comfortable lead right now over the Cardinals.

The Rangers, despite some troubles lately, have had the look of a comfortable team cruising confidently to a division title while the Phils and Red Sox seem to have had some problems. The Red Sox and the Phils have a better win pct. than the Rangers.

Carillo sounds like a quality pick-up. Let's see how many runs he will surrender next time we have a double-digit lead. After all, that'll be the only time he sniffs the mound.

Burrell just crushed his 282nd career HR in Petco. Almost roofed the Western Metal Supply building.

Waiver's go through leagues first right? if so that mean's we didn't claim Taylor Buchholz. no NL team did and the jays were the 1st AL to, i'm shocked. a high upside arm for cheap & controllable for 2 years

I don't know...

Buchholz ML innings pitched:
2006: 113.0
2007: 93.2
2008: 66.1
2009: 0
2010: 10.0

Pretty much bombed out as a starter so I suppose if you wanted to take a shot on a RH reliever and hope he replicated his 2008 success...

Why didn't we pick up a middle infielder (or call one up) instead of this guy?

We all knew that Robertson's spot would be where an addition would be made. But for a scrub 26 year old AAA guy, with an ERA north of 5? Don't get that.

I guess we are all comfortable with Rollins, Utley and Valdez as the only 3 players in uniform that can play SS and 2B. Hope nobody gets hurt, I guess. What are the chances of Rollins or Utley getting hurt in 2010?

Maybe Oswalt can play SS too?

From John Finger at

Quote of the week
“We were built around pitching in ’04 and ’05. We have a lot more hitting here, though. We had Lance Berkman, but we didn’t have anything in the middle like we do here. Pitching-wise we had Andy (Pettitte) and Cole reminds me a lot of him, and Halladay is a lot like (Roger) Clemens.”

Roy Oswalt comparing the Phillies with his former championship teams in Houston. We can only assume that Oswalt is a lot like Oswalt in this scenario…

The Giants' pitching would present a problem for anyone, but the NL team that scares me the most is Colorado. Strong lineup, playoff experience, an ace pitcher who can match up with Halladay, & a ballpark that could largely nullify our pitching advantages.

Not that we're incapable of beating them, but they're the team I'd least like to see come playoff time. I'd prefer they not make it.

So if Nate Robertson doesn't hold the Phillies' record for highest ERA as a member of the team, I'd like to know who does.

RSB, he's second to Jack Scheible. 1894, .1 IP, 7 ER.

20,776 fans cared enough about the Braves to show up tonight. Good to see that Atlanta is really fired up about the pennant race.

Atlanta might be the 2nd worst sports town in America, behind Miami.

20,000 fans is pathetic. Hell, Lehigh Valley got half of that, for their games.

Good thing both of these soft markets are in Philly's division.

Don't be too hard on north Georgians, or south Floridians. It is damn hot in Atlanta or Miami during most of baseball season and even going to a 7PM start night game demands going out into 90F plus/90% humidity in the late afternoon where you feel a hot punch in the face with every step you take.

Dome the ball parks in each city and fans will show up simply for the air conditioning.

You know what nobody does anymore? Call Cole Hamels a pansy or a fairy.

kuvasz: Fair point, but game-time tonight in Atlanta was 84 and sunny - perfect baseball weather against one of the best pitchers in the National League, with the chance to move into first place with a win - you would think if anyone cared, they'd draw more than 20,000.

Nice Phils article in the NYT -

Is that the best pic they could find of Hamels? Looks like he's ready to throw a shoryuken.

Having attended a couple games at a packed to the A. Alley CBP during days when the humidity reading seems to be registering too low at 100% in the baking sun, I find weather to be an unconvincing reason why people couldn't show up in Atlanta for a night game in September.

Anyway, BP Postseason Odds dropped almost a full percent after the off day. But dropped more for the Braves. We're only around half a percentage behind their odds now.

Instant Nostalgia: A thread from earlier this year where the season was over due to the BP Postseason Odds post that day.

Ive always called Hamels a pansy. Luckily that has nothing to do with how i view ball players. If i connected the two, i wouldnt be mucf of a fan.

The people who call him a pansy or Werth a jerkoff in effort to evaluate them as ballplayers are just acting on frustration or stupidity.

Altho i guess calling Werth/Vic idiots does cross over slightly since they are more commonly making poor judgements on the field.

EFF - My favorite quote from that thread?

awh (referring to the Phils breaking out) -

"When [they do] the silence of the trolls will be deafening."

It certainly seems like the pessimists have disappeared over the last couple weeks...

haha EFF love that thread. Someone in that thread brought up a point. At that point in the season the Phillies had an ..."15%" chance of making the playoffs. Paraphrasing here he/she basically said something along the lines that they are going to be happy if the Phils make the playoffs but as of right then if they didn't make it it'd be what they are expecting.

Fun. I think the opinion should stand. I think that if the Phillies still don't make the playoffs there shouldn't be any surprise.

You know what though I'll admit I love all the little in-jokes on BL. "reverse"-jynx, Actively hurting, DITHL, The gut. I have to admit though the BP playoffs odds running joke grates on me for some reason. I think we have that thread to thank for it.

Is it too late to get my Nate Robertson authentic Phillies jersey?

"It certainly seems like the pessimists have disappeared over the last couple weeks..."

I don't know if this applies to anyone else, but I know for me when the Phils are winning, I'm happy. I don't need to talk about it with anyone.

OTOH, if the Phils are losing, I'm pissed and need some people to commiserate with (especially since I live a long way from Philly and have no coworkers/friends who are Phans.)

So I do tend to go online much more often when the team is losing, but it's just because I need that social experience when the team is losing. I do not need it as much when the Phils are winning.

If others feel the same, that could be why the traffic is down a bit.

Heather, I feel the same way. But I feel like there is alot more traffic on here when the team isn't cruising because there are alot of reactionary fans that need calming.

But don't fret, there should be alot of traffic when the "Should Kendrick be in the majors?" discussion comes up tomorrow.

Heather - You are, frankly, one of the most negative people on this board. Frequntly quotingthe dwindling playoff odds in late June (with 3 months of the season left), constantly bashing Cholly, harping on Howard's negatives, etc. I understand the need to vent, but it seems like you and many others aren't happy unless you've got something to complain about. It's just stereotypical Phillie fandom...

I lived in Atlanta for 13 years, during their consecutive seasons of Eastern Division domination and even then it was hard to get my buddies to go to see the Braves, and their usual remarks were almost always..."its too damned hot to sit outside for 4 hours."

That attitude reduces over-all attendence even for a night game in September at 84F since going to the ball park regularly during the summer ingrains fans to follow the team and showing up at the ball park.

Having grown up in Philadelphia, I have experienced the stinking hot and humid Augusts on Rufner Street, but that type of weather starts in Georgia in late April/early May and lasts until October. Only mad dogs and Englishmen venture out of the air conditioning during the summer months, and people look at you as if you are an idiot to suggest sitting outside for hours on end, even at night. Just walking to and fro from your car to your office will make you soak your shirt with sweat most days.

When folks would call me a "Yankee" my general response was "Sir, how dare you, I am a Phillies fan, f@#$ the Yankees!" After all, being born in South Philly makes me a Southerner by birth.

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