There is not much new to report from the home base here in The Lanc. All is quiet here, which is just the way we like it. Actually, it’s so quiet around here that more than a few folks appear to be worked up about the Phillies’ loss to those wily Washington Nats last night.
Never mind the fact that the Phillies have scored just five runs in two games in Washington, or the fact that the entire lineup appears to have dived into a funk at exactly the same time. No, the play or decision that rankled some folks was manager Charlie Manuel’s determination to use lefty Russ Branyan as a pinch hitter against lefty reliever Ray King with no outs and two on in the seventh inning.
Branyan, needless to say, struck out. Hey, that’s just what he does. But the consensus seems to be that Manuel should have yanked Branyan for a right-handed hitter, which would have been the standard baseball move. But Manuel doesn’t have that option with his rice paper–thin bench. Because of injuries to Chase Utley, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino, Manuel can’t waste too many players in such a situation. Righties Chris Coste, Jayson Werth and Wes Helms were in the game instead of on the bench, where Chris Roberson was the only other option aside from Branyan.
Regardless, Branyan’s whiff, and Jimmy Rollins’ subsequent strike out, was not the main reason why the Phillies lost to the Nats last night. The fact that the Phillies only got three hits off starter Tim Redding through six innings was much more significant.
When former Phillies attack former Phillies…
Meanwhile, I was able to get my hands on a copy of the bat attack by former Phillie Jose Offerman on former Phillie Matt Beach in the Atlantic League game from earlier this week. Check it out:
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Over the past couple of days I have read a few of the remembrances of former Yankees legend Phil Rizzuto, who died this week at age 84. Suffice it to say, Rizzuto lived a charmed life that seemed to transcend mere baseballdom. If I am not mistaken, the Scooter is the only man to win the World Series, and AL MVP Award, be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and win an Grammy Award, which he got for his role in Meat Loaf’s “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.”
Growing up in Washington and Lancaster, I wasn’t privy to Rizzuto’s work with the Yankees’ broadcasts, but I was well aware of his work with Mr. Loaf and the commercials for The Money Store, which were spectacular.
Can you imagine such a place? The Money Store… who would have guessed?
Anyway, from the little bits I was able to piece together and from the stories people tell, Rizzuto was the perfect baseball announcer. Sure, he was probably lacking when it came to in-depth analysis and strategery type stuff, but really, who cares? Instead, Rizzuto entertained listeners with stories about the players, his life and the restaurants he visited. It seemed as if he was just another guy hanging out with the gang to watch the game and talk to his friends… that is the perfect announcer.
Plus, Rizzuto was funny. Who doesn’t use “Holy Cow!” as an exultation? Or, when calling a spectacular play while broadcasting a game on the radio Rizzuto would exclaim, “Did you see that?!”
Uh, no Phil… it’s radio.
The favorite, of course, was one Puerto Rico Day at Yankee Stadium when Scooter was describing the scene to his listeners, poked his head out of the press box window and exclaimed into the microphone, “… and look at all those Puuuuuuuuerto Ricans!”
It would have been neat to have heard Rizzuto call games regularly, but we’ll always have “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
Finally, I believe in the First Amendment. Actually, without the freedom of speech we have nothing. It’s the right that makes all others possible.
Be that as it is, there is one man whose entry to the so-called blogosphere who could push those freedoms to their ever-elastic breaking point.
Yes, Dennis Deitch has a blog.
God bless America. God bless us all.