A Fitting Goodbye

I commented on Julia’s blog the other
day saying “There is no crying in baseball!” Well, this morning at Citizens
Bank Park would be the exception to the rule if there ever was one. Thousands
gathered from 8 a.m. until noon – some camped out as early as midnight — to
pay their respects to a man they might have never met in person, yet invited
him into their living room night after night for 38 years.


http://espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=4079400

The Phillies organization has done a
first-class job in honoring Harry Kalas. I outlined some of the tributes
in my last post and they have been executed perfectly. In addition, his
three sons – Brad, Kane, and Todd — each threw out the first pitch before last
night’s home game to “catchers” John Kruk, Jimmy Rollins, and Mike Schmidt.
Kane performed the National Anthem.

 

The most accurate quote I’ve read was from a
71-year old retired Philadelphia police office
r: “You don’t realize what you got. You just get so used to it.” I
don’t think fans have taken Harry for granted, but the old adage rings true:
“you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.”

HK.jpg

____________________________________________________________

Who knows how much the emotional toll has
taken on the team right now. They won the game on Monday, just hours after
Harry collapsed and died at Nationals Park, but that was likely too soon for
the reality to sink in. The main problem plaguing the team is pitching. Cole
Hamels continued to struggle last night giving up 5 runs in 6 innings of work.
Brad Lidge has extended his saves streak to 47, but has given up runs in two of
his three saves this season.

 

How else
do you explain losing to a 0-7 Nationals ballclub? There is certainly no
sympathy on the field in baseball.

 

Last night was the worst possible scenario
for me on so many levels. First off, rooting for reality always comes before
fantasy baseball. I have Chris Young of the Padres on my team and contemplated
benching him just because he was facing the Phillies and CBP is a hitter’s
paradise. He was dominant in his first two starts, so I started him. Ideally, I
wanted to see a low-scoring Phillies victory.

 

A Chase Utley three-run 1st inning
homer and a 7-1 lead after 4 innings chase Young, but at least the Fightin’s
had the game in the bag, right? Wrong. San Diego slowly chipped away at the
lead and Greg Dobbs was gunned down at home plate in the bottom of the 8th
by Chase Headley to preserve an 8-7 Padres W. To make matters worse, Flyers
hockey dropped Game 2 in overtime to Pittsburgh less than a minute later.

 

Around the Majors

Some run support would be nice: Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren has given up four runs in
19 innings, filling in as ace with Brandon Webb on the DL. His record? 0-3!
Arizona has had exactly ONE runner cross the plate in his three starts. That
offense better wake up or Haren might sneak some diamondback snakes in their
lockers. (Disclaimer: Dan Haren is on this blogger’s fantasy team and he would
like some wins.)

 

Who knew hitting for the cycle was so easy? Orlando Hudson, Ian Kinsler, and now Jason Kubel of the
Twinkies have “re-cycled” and the season is only 12 days old! Kubel did it in
grand fashion, hitting an upper-deck mammoth shot to give Minnesota the 11-9
victory over the Angels. If my math is right, there were only five cycles
all of last season. That should be eclipsed fairly soon.

 

Cool victory song: I watched the end of the Cubs-Cardinals game yesterday
and the Wrigley faithful sing
a pretty catchy song
after the Cubbies get in the win column.

 

The Yankees are very welcoming hosts at new
ballpark:
The Indians lead 22-4 going to the bottom of
the 9th – this after losing 10-2 in the opener. And who can forget
the 22-0 drubbing the Tribe handed New York a few years back. Chien-Ming Wang
has now allowed 23 runs in 6 innings…ouch. The new stadium could be seeing a
lot of high scoring affairs. There have been 17 long balls in only three games,
most of them to right field.

 

Congratulations to Gary Sheffield on hitting
#500!

 

Quick football note: Congrats to Brian Dawkins on winning the Byron White
Award (a former running back and Supreme Court justics), given to the player
who is charitable in the community. This is another reason why he was so
revered in Philly. The Eagles also have the best offensive line in football
after acquiring pro bowler Jason Peters from Buffalo. McNabb is going to have
ALL day to throw!

 

1-0: My
intramural softball team recovered from an exhibition blowout loss to win 15-11
last night. There are seven games on the season, so 7-0 is obviously the goal.

 

Happy 4th birthday MLBlogs! The
b-day is shared with former Phillie Rico Brogna, who is 39 today. Brogna was
one of the names fans loved to hear Kalas pronounce, as he would emphasize
every single syllable.

rico.jpg

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4 comments

  1. juliasrants

    Sometimes a good cry is what we all need. And the Phillies organization did a very classy job in their tributes.

    Hitting the cycle? Youk for the Red Sox was a triple short of the cycle tonight. And what about the number of home runs and grand slams so far? Those numbers seem high also.

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  2. Elizabeth D

    Mark,
    I am glad that all the tributes went well, and great quote by the Philadelphia police officer, it’s very true. He was definitely a huge part of the Phillies, and he just became a part of them.

    I think Hamels will come around, I mean, Jon Lester finally did today! Hitting for the cycle is not as rare as I thought it was. I barely remember it happening last year. And Kevin Youkilis was so close the other night!
    Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

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