State of the Phils: Sixty Games In

Brett Whitehead
June 18, 2013

Question 1 – How good is this kind-of-shitty team?

Brett: This team is 2005-2006. We have one really awesome player, a few good players, and then a bunch of garbage that sucks. We also have a few guys who used to be heroes who are now at the end of their careers and now fun to boo. There’s no chance we’re making the playoffs and even if we make that bastardized wild card game, we’ll probably lose. I actually felt nostalgic about the game a few weeks ago where it was like, “If we beat the Nationals we’ll be .500 and in second place”, but then we proceeded to get annihilated. I kinda feel like it’s going to be a lot of that.

Justin: I WANT so badly for this team to hit their stride, win a bunch in a row and give us hope. I want to believe that with Hamels pitching less crappy we’d be over .500 and actually in “contention” but the reality is they are and probably will continue to be at or around .500 and give us more heartbreak than excitement. It’s tough to get too excited about a team that has consistently run out 3 AAA players and a AAA pitcher and hope to win. I’ll stay excited for the hope that Utley and Ruiz get back and are healthy and worthwhile, Hamels stops losing as often and they can dump Delmon Young and get an actual rightfielder since, walk-off slams removed, Mayberry is not that.

Brett: I envision we’ve got a few “Sisyphus” games coming up the rest of the season. Sisyphus is the Greek story about the guy who constantly rolled the boulder up the hill, only to watch it roll back down every day and have to do it again and again. We’re going to build up to Wild Card position, only to drift back to .500. I will say that the team has on and off “magic”, which is encouraging. When AAAberry hits two homeruns, you’ve got something going on. Of course, when your pitcher gets picked off second in the 9th inning of a game you lose to the Brewers, you wonder if maybe this isn’t your year.

Justin: I agree, as a baseball fan, I’ll keep rooting since they will probably always be good enough to keep me interested, this isn’t the post ‘83 pre ’93 garbage teams of Steve Jeltz, Dickie Thon, Shane Rawley and Pat Combs which were borderline unwatchable. There is still enjoyment in seeing Dom mash, and that magic as you say is definitely still there, I just don’t think there’s enough for a playoff run or win, right now. I will say that personally I’ll hold out hope until they’re eliminated, but it could be a long summer!

Question 2: How good is Dom Brown? Is he “buy a t-shirt jersey” good?

Justin: Dom Brown right now IS very good. Dom Brown in 2 months could be Dom Brown 2011-2012 again. I would hold off on the shirsey until next year at the earliest. If he can continue his torrid play and shows that he belongs then you know they’ll keep him here and you won’t look like a fool for buying it too early, much like how I ended up with not 1 but 2 Hunter Pence shirts. I however may acquire a Brown shirsey solely because I purchased one for someone who now is too small for said shirt, so it might come full circle, but I don’t advocate the purchase.

Brett: Well I’m glad I got this email now because I’m going to buy a Dom Brown jersey this afternoon at the stadium. I went to Boscovs to see if I could buy one the other day, and it showed two things. One, it is a sad state of affairs for t-shirt jerseys these days. Is there anyone worth buying who hasn’t already been bought? If you’re going to get one, is anyone really going to buy an Utley, Rollins or Howard jersey? There was also an alarming amount of Ruiz jerseys. No Brown though, yet. I want to get it now to be ahead of the curve, which basically means that I am buying Dom Brown’s current form completely. When Ryan Howard’s career died, part of me died. Now you’re the one, Dom Brown.

Question 3: What is “going boner 2 boner” and how do we make that a thing?

Brett: Going #boner2boner is a juvenile way to describe when Jonathan PettiBONE(R) starts a game and Jonathan PapelBON(ER) closes a game. Pettibone is the latest in a long line of rookie pitchers who the Phillies will trade for a crappy outfielder at the end of the season, and Papelbon is a joyless mercenary who I often forget is on the team. This joke is the best thing I’ve liked about him in the past two seasons. I’ve tried to get #boner2boner started on twitter, but aside from following wrestlers and people on Girl Code, the mechanics of twitter elude me.

Justin: I am slightly more well versed in twitter, but not nearly enough to get things “trending.” To get this to catch on you will need to start following and/or tweeting at those who write blogs about the Phillies, beat writers, national Phillies writers, and otherwise snarky Phillies fans. I love the Boner to Boner sentiment, it’s funny, fitting, and provides something to enjoy in this not great season. Another one to start was recommended by friend of the blog Noah C. which was The Parking Authority as the nickname for Brown and Howard. I think we should be able to get SOMETHING trending if we try hard enough!

Brett: I co-sign the parking authority, although I wish we could put someone else in there other than Howard. How about Galvis?? Is he nickname worthy? I got a hyperbolic text from Pete a few weeks ago predicting Galvis would be an all-star someday, and I admittedly don’t watch enough games not to think that was completely insane. Is that crazy? I genuinely don’t know. Every time I go to the game, Galvis is either on the bench or batting eighth. How about that back-up catcher who slid into first at that game we went to where James ate all that food? Oh, bonus question, is that the most amount of food you’ve ever seen anyone eat at a baseball game? For the record, it was 4 hotdogs, 3 beers, a funnel cake, a cup of coffee, two pieces of fried chicken and a donut.

Justin: Galvis would be an All-Star if All-Star and Gold Glove were the exact same thing, since they are not, and he seems to be a basically .225-.255 hitter with little, but not “Revere-little” pop. I don’t think he is an All-Star. Of this current team I think our only all-star hopefuls are Dom, Clifton and Papelbon. Utley/Rollins/Howard can and will get votes on name recognition only, but they aren’t deserving based on current form. To your second point, that was in fact that most food I have seen consumed in a game. It was insane.

Question 4: What is the best and worst non-Philly baseball stadium you’ve been to and why? Show your work.

Justin: The best stadium that I have been to non-Philly baseball is Wrigley Field. As a pretty big baseball fan I found the ability to watch a game in one of the most historical stadiums to be in itself a great thrill, but Wrigley brings a lot of additional awesomeness to the table. At the time I went there was no digital scoreboard, no phanavision, no mascot, no sausage races, no home run celebratory centerfield monstrosities, just baseball. I believe that my enjoyment of Wrigley stemmed from the ability to get a Chicago hot dog, an Old Style, and just enjoy 9 innings of pure baseball. It helped as well that the game was between the Cubs and their truest rivals the St. Louis Cardinals, which only added to the ambiance and excitement. I have been to games at a plethora of stadiums, and most have great features, be them brand new state of the art beautiful buildings to enjoy a game, or the historical building that makes up for its lack of amenities with the abundance of history, but one stadium had NONE of this, and is easily the worst stadium I have ever attended for any event. This stadium was RFK which was the former home of the Washington Redskins, and was hastily converted into a baseball stadium for the first year of the Washington Nationals rebirth as a franchise. This stadium was set up similar to our Veteran’s Stadium, and many other old cookie cutter circular concrete mounds for football, which never looked or worked as well as a baseball stadium. When the Nationals took over they were already in development of their own baseball-only stadium so RFK did little to remake itself for baseball. There were no concession stands, just concession carts, the concourse looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since Mark Rypien played there. The team, pre Harper, Strasburg, Gonzalez and that turncoat Jayson Werth, was an atrocity as well. The lineup featured Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Brian Schneider, Royce Clayton, Jose Guillen and Marlon Andersen, their pitching staff included Ramon Ortiz, Livan Hernandez, Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch. This was a disaster of a team and a terrible representation of a stadium.

Brett: Ray and I drove across country twelve years ago and we missed going to Chicago because of a snow storm. I went three years ago to Wrigley Field with my dad, and all I could think about was that if I was in Chicago when I was 22, I would have immediately come home and tried to convince you move out there with me. There’s a party outside every game and everyone is attainably good-looking and friendly. Best stadium I’ve ever been to, even though my dad bought seats right in front of a support beam. Worst stadium is unequivocally new Yankees stadium. I admittedly had no idea what to expect, but there’s no ambiance, no kids, nowhere to eat, and no atmosphere if you don’t like the Yankees. They basically just present a baseball game for you to watch, which is fine if that’s what you’re into, but I just didn’t find it very welcoming or interesting. The only plus side is that hanging out all afternoon in the Bronx made me feel like Jennifer Lopez.

Justin: I’ve been to “old” Yankee stadium (I use quotes cause it wasn’t the Original stadium), and it had a similar appeal to Wrigley. Great ambiance, Monument Park was awesome, and the game was fun. I also went to NEW Yankee stadium and had essentially the same experience aside from 2 facts. 1) the game I saw was Phillies vs. Yankees, which made it more exciting in the stadium for a non-yankees fan. 2) I ran into some friends from home that found a weird bar near the stadium for drinks after the game, but agree wholeheartedly that it’s got nothing to offer otherwise!
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