Phillies to Billy Joel: Not In Our House

Posted in Baseball, decomposing composers at 11:05 am by

Billy Joel (above right) during his less acquiescent period

Billy Joel (above right) during his less acquiescent period

Perhaps overstating the current state of the Phillies vs Mets rivalry, the Phillies and Billy Joel are nonetheless taking no chances of provoking any overeager or fighting drunk Phillies fans during his appearances with Elton John at Citizens Bank Park. from Philly.com

In a bid to keep the peace at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies wanted to cloak or replace the 16-by-16-foot Mets banner at the top of the set decoration at the Billy Joel/Elton John concerts tonight and Saturday.

Alas, they could not find anything suitable.

Joel will wear a Phillies jacket for at least part of the show and will make some sort of joking reference to the Mets and their 10-games-back status

My colleague Bob Ford and I hear that the Phillies had reached out to the “Face 2 Face” concert to express concern about Joel’s New York-theme set.

It’s not that the Phils are worried about any kind of baseball rivalry, we hear; they just don’t want some yahoo having too much to drink and throwing something at it or starting a fight. The Mets banner was visible at recent shows at Nationals Ballpark and Wrigley Field.

Perhaps Joel will sing “Philadelphia State of Mind,” as well.


Vindicated, But Still Winless…

Posted in Baseball, Boxing, It's A Living at 6:27 pm by

..in Philadelphia celebrity boxing matches, the former Bash Brother Jose Canseco will square off against Wing Bowl legend Bill “El Wingador” Simmons From Philly.com:

Bill Simmons, the all-time WIP Wing Bowl champ known as El Wingador, confirms that he’ll head into the boxing ring July 24 against former major leaguer Jose Canseco.
Simmons, who’s 47, 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, acknowledges that he’s getting into the ring for the money and the exposure. He is working on a brand of chicken wings that will hit grocery stores in August.

Canseco, who’s 44, 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, is fresh off a defeat in his mixed martial arts debut. Last month, 7-foot-2 sumo wrestler/kick boxer Hong Man Choi whupped him in 77 seconds in Japan. In previous appearances in the Philly area, Canseco boxed WYSP morning man Danny Bonaduce to a draw in January and lost to NBC10 sports director Vai Sikahema in July 2008.

Simmons, who says he’s a street fighter, boxed a pro wrestler named Smoke to a draw in 2003.

One thing Simmons says he won’t do is go back into competitive eating. “At my age, it’s easier to fight than eat,” he told me.

May the best man win, but I am wondering what Philly local legends/celebrities are left for Josie to take on in the future since Eric Gregg is no longer amongst us. Dave Schultz?…Beanie Sigel?…Matt Geiger?


ACORN to Iggles owner: “Pay Up”

Posted in Greedy Motherfuckers, Gridiron, Money, politics, Ugly New Stadiums at 7:49 pm by

On the heels of the PR hit the Eagles have taken for letting Brian Dawkins walk (which is arguable on both sides), protesters organized by ACORN held a tailgate party outside of Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s mansion to protest the Eagles continuing refusal to pay $8 million (plus interest) to the city of Philadelphia for the citys share of luxury box rental at the municipally owned Veterans Stadium. The Eagles are refusing to pay due to a dispute about lost revenue from the cancellation of a 2001 preseason game due to concerns about the condition of the artificial turf. From the Phila Inquirer:

Twisting a Philadelphia sports slogan, about 30 protesters stood at the gate of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s Wynnewood mansion yesterday and shouted, “Pay, Eagles, pay!”

Under the watch of about a half-dozen Lower Merion Township police officers, members of the activist group ACORN held a half-hour “tailgating” protest, complete with grilled hot dogs, at dusk. The protesters contended that the Eagles still have not shared with the city money from rents on luxury boxes from when the team played at Veterans Stadium.

No one from the house came to the gate during the protest. A telephone call to an Eagles spokesman was not answered.

Pointing out that Mayor Nutter has proposed cutting some city services, ACORN activist Junette Marcano of the Oak Lane section said it was important to look at ways to raise revenue without reducing services. Low- and moderate-income communities, which ACORN works to help, rely heavily on city services, she said.

“These are resources we should look at instead of making cuts,” Marcano said. “There are other ways of getting revenue instead of cutting services such as police and firehouses and libraries and rec centers.”

Chanting “Show me the money,” the protesters, most wearing red baseball caps bearing the ACORN logo, stood outside Lurie’s home on Llanfair Way, the former residence of the publisher and philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg. Amid the chants, they noshed on hot dogs from a portable grill.

Ian Phillips, the group’s legislative director, said businesses and other entities owe the city millions.

“We could use that money to cut the budget shortfall,” Phillips said. “We’re going to be calling out other people who owe the city money. We’re moving down the list.”


Skinny White Guy Takes Wing Bowl Crown

Posted in Food, Going To The Zoo, Mob Behavior at 11:25 am by

Darkhorse rookie Jonathan Squibb bested the likes of Glutieus Maximus, Obi Wing, Da Disposal, Frank Da Fraud and Hank the Tank to win this years “locals only” Wing Bowl yesterday at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

From Philly.com:

PHILADELPHIA – Jonathan Squibb, a skinny 23-year-old from Winslow Township, N.J., is the new Wing Bowl champion.

Super Squibb, as he is known, tore through 203 wings – 23 more than second place finisher Not Rich and 50 more than third place eaters Hank the Tank and Da Disposal – while chomping his way to glory and a brand new Mini Cooper automobile.

Going into the competition, the Rutgers University and Winslow Township High School graduate was ranked with 9 to 1 odds by 610 WIP talker Al Morganti, who created Wing Bowl at the sports talk station 17 years ago as a diversion for sports fans mired in a pro sports championship drought.

œNobody believed in me but my family, but I knew I could do it, said Squibb, who is œin career transition.

He planned to celebrate tonight with family and friends. What was his secret?

œIt™s more up here than down here, he explained, pointing first to his brain, then his stomach.


Bash Brother Fails To Beat Danny Partridge

Posted in Baseball, Boxing, The World Of Entertainment at 10:55 am by

From the Associated Press

Jose Canseco was primed for some more bashing.

Instead of grabbing his Louisville Slugger to send a baseball into orbit, Canseco taped his wrists and put on some boxing gloves to try and send former Partridge kid Danny Bonaduce (above) into a daze.

The former Oakland A’s slugger showed he has only warning track power in the ring. He staggered Bonaduce with a couple of big blows in Saturday night’s three-round fight, but failed to deliver the knockout punch and the celebrity boxing match ended in a deflating draw.

“He hit me harder than I’ve ever been hit my entire life,” Bonaduce said.

Bonaduce’s nose was bloodied and the two hugged after the bout. All that was missing in this D-list celebrity boxing bout was the reality TV cameras.

“If there’s a knockout, it’ll probably be me,” Bonaduce said before the bout.

Bonaduce never looked in any serious trouble and Canseco seemed hesitant to go after him with ferocious cuts.

Canseco took his second shot at celebrity boxing after he was whupped by former Philadelphia Eagle Vai Sikahema in his debut boxing match last July. Bonaduce, who played Danny Partridge on the “The Partridge Family,” is like Mike Tyson in his heyday in the outlandish celebrity boxing circuit. He’s beat Barry “Greg Brady” Williams and Donny Osmond.

Maybe those two 1970s TV stars combined have biceps as big as the hulking Canseco’s. The 6-foot-4 Canseco weighed in at 260 pounds. Bonaduce is 5-6, 180 pounds.

“I truly don’t know that I can damage him,” Bonaduce said. “He’s just too big. I can just outpoint him.”

He didn’t much time to play rope-a-dope against Canseco. The bout featured only three, 1-minute rounds. Canseco sparred early Saturday, ran 10 miles and proclaimed himself in top shape to last 3 minutes, if needed.

And no, neither boxer was drug tested.

“Thank God, no,” said promoter Damon Feldman, laughing.


If We Cant Have T.O., Then A Republican Will Do

Posted in Hockey, Mob Behavior, politics at 7:29 pm by

There are many Philadelphians who would normally be irked with the reputation that Philly sports fans have for booing but who will nonetheless be hoping Flyers fans live up to the rep this Saturday at the Wachovia (for now) Center where Gov Sarah Palin was invited by her best Philly pal Ed Snider to drop the ceremonial first puck at the Flyers home opener. From Philly.com’s Decision:November 4 blog:

Sarah Palin will make a center-rink appearance at the Flyers game Saturday, where she will drop the puck at the ceremonial face-off.

My question is how will she be received? This is Philly, and we, don’t forget, boo Santa Claus. Will the GOP buy up all the seats? Are hockey fans all Reagan Democrats?

And are the Flyers taking a risk by doing what appears to be a  political endorsement? As they say, wait and we shall see.

Here’s the opening paragraphs of the press release…

Philadelphia, PA “ October 8, 2008) Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the nation™s most popular hockey mom, will join the winner of the Philadelphia Flyers regional search for the œUltimate Hockey Mom contest and drop the puck at the ceremonial opening face-off as the home team Flyers host the New York Rangers at the Wachovia Center on Saturday, October 11 at 7 p.m.

 œBecause of the tremendous amount of publicity she has brought to our sport, we invited the most popular hockey mom in North America to our home opener to help us get our season started, said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider who founded the Flyers in 1967. œWe are very excited she has accepted our offer and we are very proud of the publicity she is generating for hockey moms and the sport of hockey.
The Flyers have been searching for the ultimate hockey mom in the Greater Philadelphia Region through an on line contest which asked hockey players or hockey moms themselves to submit their hockey mom poster to the team. 
Hockey moms and players were encouraged to submit posters showing their hockey mom pride and their loyalty and dedication to the sport via the team™s website, philadelphiaflyers.com, by October 7.  The team will award all hockey moms entered into the contest with a free “puck-er peach” lipstick and four tickets to a Philadelphia Phantoms hockey game. The winner will appear on the ice with Palin for opening face-off.

The McCain campaign operatives should have thought twice before vetting this appearance as even if Gov Palin is escorted by Bernie Parent and Pelle Lindberghs widow to center ice while waving a BEAT L.A. banner, unless Snider decides to have security confiscate all camera cell-phones, this is only going to lead to yet another embarrassment for the cluelessly flailing McCain campaign that will be all over YouTube.


Phillies Advance To NLCS

Posted in Baseball at 8:29 pm by

(though they couldn’t make the trip to Milwaukee, the Sadistic Exploits bask in the accomplishment of their hometown team’s victory)

The Philadelphia Phillies have erased the memory of their 3 and out playoff loss of 2007 and have advanced to the NLCS for the first time since Team Mullet of 1993 with their 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers today at Miller Park.

The Fightin’s took this series with the “Weaverball” combination of strong pitching and the longball. Jimmy Rollins got the Phillies on the board with a leadoff HR and in the third inning the spirit of Ned Yost was in the Brewers dugout as Dale Sveum elected to intentionally walk Ryan Howard with 2 outs to face Pat Burrell. Sveum was either ignorant of or choose to ignore Burrells excellent career #s vs Jeff Suppan and Burrell made them pay by turning on a 2-2 pitch and launching a 3-run blast. Jayson Werth followed up with a HR in the next at-bat and after a brief torrent of boos from Brewers fans, said fans and their thundersticks were taken out of the game. Phillies starter Joe Blanton kept them silent by efficiently setting down the Brewers through 6 innings and after a leadoff HR by Prince Fielder and single by JJ Hardy in the 7th, Charlie Manuel went to the pen and Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge held on for the win. Before the game there was much concern from Phillies fans over the somewhat anemic offense during the first 3 games. The margins of victory in the first two were a result of a Mike Cameron misplay of a Chase Utley liner in Game 1 and the freakish 9 pitch Brett Myers walk off of CC Sabathia that extended the Phillies inning and helped set the stage for Shane Victorinos grand slam. The Phillies didnt produce anything resembling a real rally during the series (having scored in 3 of 27 innings during the first three games) but the flukes and long ball were sufficient given the strong Phillies pitching this series

I would have to consider the upcoming NLCS to be pretty much of a toss-up. The Phils and Dodgers faced each other 8 times this year (all games post-Manny acquistion) where each team took turns sweeping 4 games from the other in their respective home parks. The Phillies rotation and bullpen looks really strong going into the series, but the Phillies have a long history of being completely handcuffed by Derek Lowe (who will be getting 2 starts this series). The Phillies win today does ensure that Cole Hamels will be matched up against Lowe. The biggest question is what the Phillies bring offensively. Is Chase Utley finally going to show up for his first playoff series? Was todays 2 HR performance by Pat Burrell his final hurrah as a Phillie or will he make the Dodgers pay for pitching around Ryan Howard? Will Rollins, Victorino and Werth follow up on the good series they had and will Feliz/Ruiz be a black hole in the bottom of the order or will they contribute some ancillary production at the plate? And of importance: If Larry Bowa goes ballistic on an umpire at CBP while wearing Dodger blue, will he be booed, bemusedly laughed at or will Phans give him the “Lar-ry..Lar-ry” chant and give him a standing O as he leaves the field for old times sake?