Posted on: September 11, 2009 8:48 am

Forgetting the Past

I think the consensus is that Aikman and Johnson are good analysts, but Irvin and Smith have turned their championship rings into analyst jobs and have shown themselves to be pretty pathetic.  To me the biggest difference between the 2 groups is that Aikman and Johnson have put away their playing days while Irvin and Smith still think they are players. 

First there was Irvin influencing Jones into signing TO, and we've seen where that has gone...  Now I hear Irvin talking about the inclusion of Vick being a potential problem.  Wow, what an insight!  Of course there is the potential that things could turn sour.  But not even Donovan appears to be threatened by Vick.  Vick appears contrite and eager to help the team.  He also has a short leash (no pun intended) with Commissioner Goddell and one of the greatest advisors in Dungy.  I think that Irvin needs to forget about how spineless the Philly fans were when they  cheered at Irvin's apparent paralysis.  This mob move by a bunch of low-lifes does not represent the actual feelings of many Eagles fans during that incident.  But thank God Irvin was fine.

Now I read this about Emmitt Smith's comments on the upcoming Cowboys season.

Anyone still ticked about not wearing the star for his whole career?  Emmitt needs to let go and find new interests.  Carefully crafted thoughts are much more helpful for all fans than emotional tirades.  It's time for Irvin and Smith to either forget the past or get out!
Posted on: May 17, 2009 3:42 pm

ViTal Phorum Wrap 05/10/09 to 05/16/09

Here are the highlights for the week from the Phils.  Find out more at

05/10/09: Myers’ Best Start Goes Unrewarded...because of an opportunity for insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth was on the table in a one-run game.... his first 3 innings featured too many pitches with 3 jams to work out of, and 3 innings were he settled down with efficient use of his pitches….had 94 pitches, and was set to toe the rubber to start the 7th inning….Phils lose 4-2.

05/12/09: Charlie Manuel moved Jimmy Rollins down the line up into the 5 hole, and it started a spark….Chan Ho Park pitched 6 innings, scattering 7 hits….Jason Werth who ran all over his former club.  He was 2-4 with 2 runs scored and 4 stolen bases, including stealing home in the 7th….Phils win 5-3.

05/13/09: For the 3rd time in 3 starts, Jamie got tagged, got pulled, and watched from the dugout as his third chance to win #250 became a fourth chance at that number.  During these 3 games, he has pitched 12.1 innings to yield 22 hits and 19 runs–all earned—with 7 walks and 6 homeruns….Ibombez blasted his 10th tater into the second deck of the bullpen…all Dodgers with 2 homers, producing 5 runs….Phils lose 9-2.

05/14/09: This was 3 games in 1:  a pitcher’s duel, a base-running comedy, and the 2-strike-and-2-out comebacks, mixed with 4 errors….Cole Hamels (110 pitches) and Chad Billingsley (123 pitches) were locked in a 2-1 game…Rafael Furcal ran the Dodgers out of the first inning, Cole Hamels did the same for the Phillies in their fifth inning, and Russell Martin in the sixth was picked-off, as well….both teams were down to their last strike, and they both put up 2 runs.  First, deuces were wild with 2 on, 2 out, and a 0-2 count on Chooch Ruiz, who then hit a 2-bagger to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth….In the top of the 10th inning, Andre Ethier was down to a final strike before walking to start the 2-run rally with doubles by Martin and Matt Kemp…. Phils lose 5-3.

05/15/09: The Phils went to the White House earlier today to accept congratulations from the Leader of the Free World….The Phils offense has been in a funk lately, but tonight there were signs of life….Ryan Howard had one hit, but it was a big one.  His 3-run homer in the 7th gave the Phils a 6-4 lead.  Raul Ibanez was 4-6 tonight with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI.  He also stole 2 bases.  His single in the 12th lead to 4 runs…Joe Blanton threw 102 pitches and lasted only 5 innings tonight, thanks to a 26 pitch 1st inning and a 36 pitch 3rd….struggled in the 3rd when 9 batters came to the plate.  Blanton surrendared 6 walks….Brad Lidge gave up 2 hits and a walk while surrendaring 2 runs and blowing the save….Phils win 10-6.

05/16/09 Game 1: The Phils decided to move Raul Ibanez up to 3rd place in the batting order.  Ibanez rewarded the move with homers in each of his 1st two at bats….So far this season, Ibanez is proving all critics wrong.  Not only are his numbers great, he also plays the game “the right way.”… Brett Myers threw 43 pitches through 2 innings and looked like he might last just 5 innings, but he came back to throw 108 pitches—70 for strikes in 7 innings for his 3rd win of the season….After a shaky 8th by Madson in which he gave up 3 runs, Brad Lidge came in to get the save….Phils win 8-5.

05/16/09 Game 2: Rain Determined Win Ends With 3 Ducks On The Pond…After walks to J-Roll and Chase Utley, Raul Ibombez singled to load the bases for Rynosaur, and the heavens quickly opened…The Phils came into the doubleheader with a used-up bullpen, except for Jack Taschner, with Andy Carpenter from Triple-A Lehigh Valley starting game 2…Is it me or are hitters hitting a lot of big bombs, even in pitcher’s parks, like Citi Field and Nationals Park?  Not just Rynosaur!  Lately, the bomb squad has included Ibombez and J-Dub Werth to go with Rynosaur and Matt Stairs, and the opposition has hit some big shots too.  Maybe the Wheaties is spiked!... In game 2 J-Roll, Chase, Raul and Rynosaur went a total of 9 for 12 with 3 walks, 2 homers and 6 RBI…Phils win 7-5.

Posted on: May 10, 2009 9:11 am

ViTal Phorum Wrap 05/03/09 to 05/09/09

Here are the highlights for the week from the Phils.  Find out more at

As fans of both teams get ready for the second round at Citi Field of dreams (some writers have picked The Mets to win it all), the questions are wet, albeit not wilted or melted.

05/04/09: Arguably, the biggest hit for the Cards was the ball that hit starter and former Phillie, Kyle Lohse in the 3rd....Joe Blanton pitched well tonight.  His ERA went from 8.41 to 6.84.  In his 6 innings, he gave up 4 runs, 2 walks, 2 hit batsman and only 1 run—it was earned....Howard’s 2nd consecutive Monday with a slam gives him 7 for his career, which ties him with Mike Schmidt for the franchise, record....Phils win 6-1.

05/05/09: The Phillies refused to read the script.  By all acconts, including my own, the Phils should have lost this series.  Instead, they swept the red-hot Cardinals thanks to better starting pitching and a potent offense....Jimmy Rollins went 2-5 with 2 runs scored tonight.  The Phils are now 10-1 in games that Rollins has scored. Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 14, including a solo homer in the 1st and 2-run double in the 3rd.  The Phils were able to score in all of the odd frames.  Every starter had at least one hit.  There were plenty of hits tonight, none more important than Jason Werth 3-run homer in the 5th, after the Cards had cut the score to 4-3....Phils win 10-7.

05/06/09: The Phillies came into this game with 4 errors for the season...Chan Ho failed to make a not-impossible-but-difficult play for an error; and it was followed by a infield single with a throwing error, which led to Jason Werth’s pregnant hesitations to throw to the plate late....Johan brought his A runs for 7 innings...Phils lose 1-0.

05/07/09: Sometimes, it’s just not your night as it was for Jamie Moyer, who came nowhere near a clean inning, and didn’t make it out of the third inning....The Mets’ new digs as a homer-free zone, the warm weather gave us a different look with taters by Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Rynosaur and J-Dub Werth....Phils lose 7-5.

05/08/09: The Phils took advantage of 2 errors in the 2nd inning to score 4 unearned runs...Good thing the Braves gave the Phils 4 runs.  They needed it!...The biggest story of the game was the performance of Cole Hamels.  He pitched 6 innings allowing 3 hits, 2 runs—both earned while walking 2.  Hamels also struck out 7 and allowed no homers; his ERA went from 7.27 to 6.17.  It was a good way for Hamels to return to the rotation....Phils pitching allowed the 50th and 51st homers of the season...Jason Werth hit his 4th homer in 5 games, a 2-run laser to left.  Chris Coste looked better playing in the roll of back up by hitting his 1st homer of the season in the bottom of the 4th, a solo homer to left.  Chase Utley also hit a ball in the upper deck in right....Phils win 10-6.

05/09/09: Joe pitched better than his pitching line....There was the opposite-field dong by Chase Utley...Ibombez launched his 9thbomb...Back-to-back doubles followed by a 2-run dinger by Yunel Escobar came with 1 out...after putting up 3.1 more innings of scoreless ball with Chipper Jones on first and two outs in the eighth inning, Brian McCann launched pitch 4 after a 2-1 count–a 75 mph curve ball, aka a deuce– into the right-center-field crowd. Bottom line: a frayed silver lining!...Phils lose 6-2.

Posted on: May 3, 2009 8:06 am

ViTal Phorum Wrap 4/26/09 to 05/02/09

Here are the highlights for the week from the Phils.  Find out more at

04/26/09: For Phils fans, this was a day to relax and enjoy the game.  The Phils were able to win easily over the Marlins, 13-2.... In a blow out like this, there are many offensive stars.  Every starter, including pitcher Jamie Moyer, had a hit except Chris Coste... The Phils have to feel good about their effort this weekend.  Hopefully, they can take this momentum into the next several series.

04/27/09: In no way a vacation after filleting a boatload of Marlins, as in a 3-to-a-boat load,  The Phillies return home with a full belly... Joe Blanton did not pitch well enough to keep the Phillies in the game.... the Phils made a comeback, scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th, highlighted by a Raul Ibanez grand slam, final 13-11 Phils.  This was another gutsy comeback win for the Phils.

04/28/09: Tonight, against the Washington Nationals, Cole Hamels was on a roll until rolling his ankle in the 5th.  Hamels was done for the night after only 4 1/3 innings of work and a no decision.  This was the 2nd start in a row that Cole had to leave because of injury.  Ironically, the man who laid down the bunt, John Lannan, also broke Chase Utley’s hand 2 years ago with a pitched ball.  Lannan is giving new meaning to the term Phillie killer… The Phils scored via the long ball.  Chase Utley exacted some revenge on Lannan by hitting two homers off him, his 6th and 7th of the young season.  Pedro Feliz hit a 2-out, 3-R homer following an error by Nationals Shortstop Alberto Gonzalez and a walk to Raul Ibanez.  Later in the game, Ibanez hit a solo homer, his 7th of the season…. Phils win 7-1.

04/29/09: … the temperature dropped 20°, cooling off the hot Phils, 4-1…. Olsen channeled his feeling for the Phils into a decent effort.  He worked 5 2/3 innings, allowed 6 hits and 1 run on a Shane Victorino homer in the 1st.  This was Olsen’s 1st win as a National after losing 3.  The Nationals bullpen staved off a rally in the 8th to hold the Phils scoreless.

05/01/09: …bitter rivals battle for the first time since last season’s three-way battle for two playoff positions…. Gotham is still aflame as The Mets’ fans are telling fish stories about the two that got away… the new-look, Mets bullpen had a chance to show what they can do, and they delivered…. they scored 7 runs—all earned on Park in his 4 2/3 innings.  A glaring stat for Park was his 6 walks…. The Phils had 2 on with one out when Jimmy Rollins bounced a grounder to Reyes who bobbled the ball and threw it away on an attempt to get Chris Coste at 3rd.  Coste got up to see that he would not be able to advance but Greg Dobbs didn’t. Coste tried to score, but was out at home.  Shane Victorino flied out to center to end the 6th inning.  Instead of the bases loaded with 1 out and a chance for a big inning, the Phils came away with nothing.  Add the fact that Utley lead off the next inning with a home run, and it makes it that much worse…. Phils lose 7-4.

05/02/09: Shane Victorino patiently handled a bases-loaded, 2-out at bat in the bottom of the 10th for a walk and game-winning RBI.  So far this season, the Phillies are handling this situation extremely well.  They are leading the league batting .542, including 3 slams and 40 RBI with the bases loaded…. It was a good win for the Phils.  This was the 5th game that the Phils have won on their last at bat, 6-5.

Posted on: April 5, 2009 2:04 pm

The "Best" Conference in College Basketball

I've been meaning to say something for awhile. But being so superstitious, I decided to wait until 'Nova was out of the tournament, lest I would say something to jinx the Cats. 

I have seen alot of buzz from fans claiming that their respective conference is best based upon how many schools they had sent to the tournament and the record of teams during the tournament.  I was glad to hear Clark Kellogg address this last night during the 'Nova-UNC game.  Teams play one on one, not conference v. conference.  Anyone who saw 'Nova dismantle Duke knows that they would have done that 9 games out of 10.  'Nova was that much superior to Duke.  Last night showed a completely different result.  UNC was the superior team.  They completely controled the game almost from start to finish.  If the ACC is so superior to the Big East or the Big East superior to the ACC, then how can this be explained?  The real explanation is that there are several strong conferences including the Big East, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and PAC 10.  Within those conferences are strong and weak teams, but to say that one conference is superior makes little sense. 



Posted on: February 28, 2009 8:47 am

Brian Dawkins: What Philadelphia has lost

I'm see alot of the comments from Eagles fans on the topic of Brian Dawkins to Denver, and most are from the heart.  Yesterday, when I saw the premature leak of Dawkins to Denver from the San Francisco Chronicle, I felt the same.  I have had 2 Eagles jerseys my whole life, 31 Wilbert Montgomery and #20.  That will be the last Eagles jersey I will ever buy.  Maybe the Eagles front office, a business savvy group, should have thought of how this would affect their bottom line.  They have clearly underestimated the affect of this non-move. 

Most of my web forums and fantasy name included Dawkins in some form.  Now, I feel like I've lost my identity.  There have been plenty of great players who have been sent packing later in their careers,  Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris, Brett Farve, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen to name a few.  But this one is personal.  Brian was a diminutive force (5'10" 210 lbs).  Someone with whom any fan could identify.  He plays with great skill but also uses his emotions to help lead the defense.  As an example, look to the Eagles defeat of the Cowboys.  Sick with the flu, he caused 2 fumbles that directly lead to TD's.

How about the tactical loss to the Eagles?  I read a great piece from Ray Didinger on what Brian Dawkins has meant from as a linebacker/safety.  He singlehandedly has allowed for the "Jimmy Johnson" pressure defense.  My memories of this year's NFC championship game are Demps stumbling around in the 2ndary trying to cover Fitzgerald.  The other starting safety Mikell is good in run defense, but he can't cover.  Dawkins was the most versatile member of the 2ndary.  There are maybe 2 safeties in the league who are better than Dawk, Polamalu and Ed Reed.  I know that Dawkins is at the downside of his career, but he is still productive.  As one of 2 pro bowlers from the Eagles, he has the respect of players and fans alike.

Many Eagles safeties have come and gone, but BDawk has been the one constant.

There must be something more to this story.  I'm wondering if Dawk wanted out.  If he did, that is a strong statement against someone.  With a man of Dawkins character, he won't talk.  We will be left to guess about the reason(s) for his departure. 

My best wishes go out to Brian Dawkins and his family.  He made( past tense) me proud to be an Eagles fan. 


Posted on: February 12, 2009 8:33 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2009 8:34 pm

Putting it in perspective…

I think this is the time that we revisit the removal of Pete Rose from the game of baseball.  I’m not trying to justify what Pete Rose did by any means.  He made bad decisions (mostly as a manager) and paid the ultimate price.  But that man’s numbers were not tainted.  He was the hardest working player of all time.  Now we’re talking about players using steroids to enhance their performance.  Come on already!  At least McGuire, Bonds, and A-Rod will have the chance to be voted in.  If there was ever a time to make a wrong right, it’s now.  Reinstate Pete Rose and give him the chance of being voted into the hall of fame!  We know he earned it.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 9, 2009 1:25 pm

Treat A-Rod equally

I agree with Curt on this one,

"I'd be all for the 104 positives being named, and the game moving on if that is at all possible,"

-Curt Schilling

Sounds like this is going to get ugly, but at least treat all 104 players with anonymity or out them all. 

When this happens, I hope that the players come clean.   Then I hope that we find out who illegally leaked the info and they get theirs.  No one is perfect.  MLB players are competitive, so they are only going to do what will make them competitive.  Let's stop making them the scapegoats.  There have been plenty of mistakes being made to go around.

Category: MLB
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