Nevertheless, Jon Lieber showed up at camp with a ridiculous looking truck that is 9 feet, 2 inches tall and 25,000 pounds, with six doors, 45-inch wheels, seating for seven, a satellite dish and customized leather interior and takes $500 just to fill the 50-gallon gas tank that gets 12 miles to the gallon.
As Marcus Hayes wrote:
It was an audacious entrance for a player who doesn't really have a spot on the ballclub.
There is no word whether roly-poly Lieber shot a spotted owl or clubbed a baby seal on the ride from his home in Alabama to Clearwater.
Meanwhile, the oft-injured Lieber, who manager Charlie Manuel has told to trim down over the last two season, says he weighs 243 pounds after finishing the 2006 season close to 250. He said he wants to get down to 235 pounds before the season starts though he doesn’t think being out of shape affects an athlete.
“That's been my whole career. When I weighed 215, they were on me about my weight. The weight thing, I've heard it my whole life. I'm not worried about it. If you guys think I'm fat and out of shape, you guys will say it. But I feel great. I'm ready to help.”
Nah… maybe he’s just big-boned.
On another note, Lieber is two-inches taller and 80 pounds heavier than 21-season veteran Jamie Moyer.
More: Reason #56 To Love Philadelphia: Jon Lieber's Truck
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An interesting quote from Pat Burrell in the Inquirer regarding the Phillies desire to get some so-called “protection” for Ryan Howard in the lineup:
“…he had a pretty good year last year, good enough to win the MVP. So something was going on right.”
It’s cold, the roads are icy and I’m salty
Looking to do something related to public relations or marketing or whatever it is companies do to revive a so-called “image problem,” the Inky publicized the addition of two new columnists to its Sunday roster.
One of those columnists is Mark Bowden, a former Inky scribe who worked on the news side and covered the Eagles before becoming the best-selling author of Blackhawk Down and Killing Pablo to name two. Some have offered that Bowden was one of the best investigative journalists working so bringing him back into the fold is quite a boon.
Though some called it a bit pedantic, Bowden’s first offering – on the need for diplomacy with Iran – was something new for paper increasingly concerned with local coverage. The fact that Bowden is also the author of Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War With Militant Islam gave a little more weight to the words.
Adding Bowden was a smart move by the Inquirer.
Meanwhile, the second addition is a man named Michael Smerconish, who is a local radio talk-show host who appears to be a marginalizing figure the way Howard Eskin is for WIP. Smerconish, who also writes a column for the Daily News, plays on the mundane clichés of “liberal” and “conservative” and partisan hackery as if those ideas still have any real meaning.
It’s boring stuff, but another good move by the Inquirer because people might talk about the Smerconish guy. Yes, his scope is purely local and when one gets out here to the far provincial outposts like Lancaster, no one has heard of Smerconish. But it seemed like a good addition nonetheless.
That’s until his “column” appeared. Instead of offering ideas, engaging prose and story-telling, Michael Smerconish offered a litany of “what I believe.” Worse, the Inquirer printed it and posted it to its web site.
And they wonder why people under the age of 50 don’t buy newspapers any more.
After stomaching the first few paragraphs it was clear that the dude wasn’t suited for a column – a blog would be more apt.
Hey, that’s just what I believe.