Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reading the Competition: Jerry Koosman 1985 Topps #15

With the Mets in town this weekend (and then some) we are going to turn our RTC segment to a Mets Icon who happened to finish his career with the Phillies

Jerry Koosman was the Left-Handed Anchor for the 1969 Miracle Mets rotation. I limit Koosman to Left-Handed Anchor, because the team had it’s ace in future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. If you look at the numbers, Koosman was not far behind Tom Terrific. Seaver had a significantly better record (25-7 vs 17-9) but the remaining numbers were close – Pairs with Seaver listed first: 2.21/2.28 ERA, 273/241 IP, 208/180Ks, 165/160 ERA+. For you hip SABR kids, Koosman actually had a better FIP ERA then Seaver with Koosman coming in at 2.67 while Seaver had a much higher 3.11.

1985 Topps #15 Jerry Koosman

Koosman picked up 2 of the Mets 4 Wins during the 69 series including a complete game victory in game 5. He spent 12 seasons with the Mets including a return to the World Series as a member of the 1973 squad. He made 2 all-star squads during his Mets tenure and in 1968 he finished a close 2nd to Johnny Bench for the Rookie of the Year voting. In 1968 Koosman was 19-12 with a 2.08 ERA. Bench posted 15 homers, 82 RBI with a .275 while catching for the Reds. Koosman’s 6.0 WAR was a point higher than Bench. Bench took the award by a point.

A trade prior to the 1979 Season brought Jerry Koosman back to his native Minnesota where he prospered once again. Koosman won 20 games and finished 2nd behind Dennis Eckersley in Pitching WAR, both hurlers lost out in the Cy Young voting to Mike Flanagan who pitched for the AL Champion Orioles. After a couple of seasons in Minnesota and Chicago Koosman was traded to the Phillies

Early in 1984 the Phillies acquired Jerry Koosman from the White Sox in a deal that completed the trade of relief pitcher Ron Reed to Chicago. Most folks probably don’t remember Koosman’s stint with the Phils, it came on the heels of the 1983 NL Championship. I am sure that the team thought that the then 41 year old southpaw would fit right in with the Wheeze kids. Koosman had a productive 1984 posting a 14-15 record with a 3.25 ERA. it was his last significant contribution to MLB Baseball, Koosman returned to the Phillies in 1985 but struggled with injuries pitching his final game on August 21.

Koosman finished his career with 222 Wins (73rd all time) and 2556 strikeouts (28th). The Baseball-ref EloRater system currently ranks Koosman 66th all-time among pitchers - that puts him right between two Hall of Famers Jim Bunning and Bob Lemon

In 2009 Koosman was sent to prison on Tax Evasion charges. According to the IRS, During a 3 year period from 2002-2004 Koosman made over $750,000 and failed to pay as much as $80,000 of that in taxes. The bulk of his earnings were from stock sales totaling over a half million dollars. Koosman’s MLB pension for the period averaged over $40,000 per year.

New York Daily News
New York Post
hardball times

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Conan: May 22 2014

Conan show ticket: 2014 05 22

As part of our recent trip to LA Team Phungo met TeamCoco. TeamCoco is the name for the fine group of folks that put together the Conan O'Brien show aired by TBS.

I think this is the first time I ever got to see a show taping. It was an interesting and fun process. The Guests for our show were Ellen Page (who we knew from "Juno" but was discussing X-Men ), Comedian Bob Saget who was plugging his new biography "Dirty Daddy", and Country artist Jennifer Nettles.

Conan's monologue was solid, timely and he worked well going to the audience to show off some of his improv skills.

The show also included 2 video segments and one featuring Andy putting together his outdoor furnishings for a barbecue (essentially an ad for Lowe's) and a second with Conan (a non-gamer) reviewing the upcoming "Watch Dogs" 

During the show I didn't feel that any segment was outstanding. This is partially because I was watching the workings of the show, also it is a bit disconcerting to see Conan looking into the camera rather than to the audience. But when I re-viewed the show that night I really enjoyed it.

One of the things you don't get to see at home is Jimmy Pardo warm up the audience for the show. What Pardo does is much more similar to what a standup comedian may do during a comedy club gig. He has maybe 15 minutes to make you laugh and really can't bomb.

During his bit he also covers some legalese - no cameras/phones don't be a jackass etc and he also introduces a fire chief who lets you know to behave if there is an emergency. The whole day at Conan struck me as getting ready to board a plane - you stand in a line a lot, go thru a metal detector, and just before take off somebody tells you what to do if there is an emergency.    

Pardo is assisted by the very capable Basic Cable Band led by Jimmy Vivino. They do a terrific job firing up the audience. Different members of the band parade through the aisles of the 300 seat theater while playing a rousing version of the Conan theme.      

One odd thing happened during Jimmy Pardo's pre-show bit. He was bonding with the audience and one of the folks he talked to was a rapper, Asoka.  I don't want to accuse him of being a plant but it just so happens that Asoka had a song featured on a Conan Christmas Album

Conan Tickets

Getting tickets for the our show was not a problem. We went on-line picked out a date and filled out a request. A few weeks prior to the show I received an email containing a pdf "voucher" which was used to get the ticket above.

The day of show formalities are a bit of a hassle. You need to get to the lot (actually a parking garage) fairly early in the day - they recommend between 1:30 and 2pm with a hard cap at 2:30. Since we were unfamiliar with the area and LA Traffic is unpredictable at best we got there on the early end. Unfortunately The Conan show doesn't start till 4:30 and a Conan Ticket does not entitle one to get onto the Warner lot. This creates the issue of being stuck in Burbank with nothing to do but wait. As noted LA Traffic is a hassle so you don't want to get to far away, and other entertainment options near the Warner lot are limited.  We did run some errands during the middle couple hours and checked out the scenic LA River.

Post Show
Following the show Pardo returned to introduce a clip from the Pete Holmes show which airs after Conan on TBS. I had never heard of the show but the clip (a fish barrel parody of the Duggar family show) was a) Terrible and b) unbearably long. A Day later I read the Pete Holmes show had been cancelled.

Yes the Pete Holmes Show really did exist - and it shared a parking garage with Conan and "2 Broke Girls". 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Every Picture Tells A Story 1990 Fleer #554 Dennis Cook

Every once in a while you are sorting through junk wax and something catches your eye.

1990 Fleer #554 Dennis Cook

Initially the card was notable because Cook, a pitcher, is shown holding a bat. I was going to add this to my pitchers batting page and then a closer look revealed a goofy bat knob

I was trying to make out Cook's number on the knob. He wore 30 and 39 while playing for the Phillies. I don't see that in there, but maybe maybe his initials DC are written over something else. My invetigation continued:

Looking at the other end of the my eyes decieve me or does that say Floyd Youmans? Ok I will need you to be the judge on that one, perhaps it is some bat company name or model. But bear with me and my belief that it does indeed say "Floyd Youmans"

According to Baseball-ref Dennis Cook was traded to the Phillies on June 18 1989. Youmans started a game for the Phillies on June 24th and was never heard from again. Cook first started for the Phillies versus the Cardinals on June 22nd and took the mound every 5th day for the next two months. Yes Dennis Cook had basically replaced Floyd Youmans in the rotation. Furthemore remember that goofy bat knob - Floyd Youmans wore Uni #15, Remember my DC reference above, is it mre or does that look like a "DC" Scrawled over top of the nuumber 15?

After 1989 Floyd Youmans never pitched in the majors again, Dennis Cook who is actually a year older than Youmans went on to pitch (mostly as a reliever) for 15 years. Cook was a member of the 1997 World Champion Marlins and returned to the Series three years later as a valuable reliever in the New York Mets bullpen.

The careers of Youmans and Cook intersected for less than a week and here a single junk wax baseball card captures that moment in a single photo


Monday, May 26, 2014

Angel Stadium Anaheim CA

Supplementing the game pix from our previous post with a few photos showing off the Angels Ballpark. 

The entrance to Angels Stadium has a brick field that greets fans, you may notice that some of the bricks appear to be a bit different

That is because they are engraved. Each Angels All-Star gets a brick. Here we have the catcher section which shows us a nice string of Bob Boone bricks from the middle 80s. Red Lion PA Butch Wynegar is seen here bookending the Boone string in 1987. 

Collin Cowgill

The Angels use the template from 2014 Topps to introduce the players. 

Collin Cowgill 2 

The template displays the player via video, as we see here - this is a different image then the previous Cowgill pix. Also the name of the player is not displayed initially, but rather added during the intro - notice in the first pix, there is no name, while in the latter photo we have Cowgill's first name Collin. 

More Cards

This wasn't at Angel Stadium, but I thought I would tuck it in here. I spotted these framed Donruss puzzles at a Retro/Vintage store near Berverly Hills. The shop called tini (This Is Not Ikea) was sort of a Kitsch flea market that had a lot of pop culture and movie related items.  

The Big A outside Angel Stadium can be seen from area highways.

Game Tix.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stadium Visit: 2014 05 23 Royals 1 @ Angels 6

Got back from LA and wanted to quick a couple of snapshots from the team Phungo visit to Anaheim Stadium.  The Angels hosted the Royals and won the contest 6-1. CJ Wilson pitched 6 1/3 for the home team scattering four hits, but also walked 4. The Royals however stranded 10 runners and Wilson was able to hold them to the single run. Catcher Chris Iannetta and Mike Trout each homered for the Angels.  

Anaheim Stadium - Royals @ Angels: CJ Wilson vs Nori Aoki

This shot is from late in the game you can see the faux rocks just left of center

Danny Duffy vs Mike Trout

Yes this is the pitch that Mike Trout knocked out for a Home Run in the third inning. If you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can see a streak that is the pitched ball.

CJ Wilson

The Angels had a couple of stars on Friday Night, Trout, Chris Iannetta and CJ Wilson shown above.

Nori Aoki

The Royals got three of their five hits from leadoff man Nori Aoki. Here we see his distinct batting style. 

Louis Coleman vs Albert Pujols

Royals Reliever Louis Coleman faces Albert Pujols late in the game. Coleman eventually K'd Pujols in this AB. 

Albert Pujols HR Meter

The Angels Pujols HR Tracker located beyond centerfield.

Angels Retired Numbers

The Honorees include former Phillies Manager Jim Fregosi (11), Rod Carew (29), Nolan Ryan (30) and of course Jackie Robinson. 

Jill Marie Burke

Anaheim Anthem specialist Jill Burke had a busy night as she also led the fans in "Take me out to the Ball Game" during the stretch

I have a couple of other pix that I will be adding here over the next couple of days, but wanted to get the above shots up in a semi-timely manner


Team Features Index

This is an Index to a couple of Features we have run. Each of the team links has several entries associated with the team mentioned

1964 Phillies (Originally featured in 2014 - 50th Anniversary)
1983 Wheeze Kids (originally featured in 2013 - 30th Anniversary)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

On the Road: LA/Hollywood/Beverly Hills

Had a great time In Los Angeles a few weeks back and I wanted to discuss some of the highlights.

Little Sister  
Dodger Stadium Tour
Largo at the Coronet Comedy Night w/ Tig Notaro Bill Burr Laura Kightllinger
Ink Sack

LA River
Manhattan Beach and Pier
Hermosa Beach
Umani Burger 
UCLA Ballfield - Jackie Robinson Field
Getty Museum
Manhattan Beach PostJuan Two Three
In and Out Burger
Angels stadium with Game Related Posting

Trader Joe's Discount Beers
Manhattan Beach Marriot
Tin Roof Bistro
The Kettle 

Getting to Angels Stadium on a Friday Night

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tig Notaro, Bill Burr and Laura Kightlinger @ Largo at the Coronet 2014 05 22

Pardon my vagueness in the following, the show was six weeks prior to me finally filing the review. 

Last month during our LA trip we got to see an excellent comedy show. Tig Notaro hosts a monthly production at the Largo at the Coronet. She invites other comics to join her as openers for the an evening which is dubbed "Tig has Friends".

Notaro's notoriety ballooned a few years ago when she announced she had cancer during a set at the Largo. The Largo is a small 300 seat theater, but one of the folks watching the show was Louis C.K. who tweeted "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo." Suddenly everyone who followed comedy knew who Notaro was and that she had cancer.

Notraro's guests for the show were Bill Burr and Laura Kightlinger who provided an interesting contrast. Kightlinger's opened the night, much of her set was dedicated to derailed relationship stories and parent-bashing. I found her set to be funny at times, but it was the most wanting of the three - It sort of felt like a "Sex and the City" script read - updated to include Sexting jokes.

Bill Burr dedicated a significant portion of his set to a story about a man who attempted suicide by jumping out of a tour helicopter - yeah I know not so funny stuff, but Burr makes it funny. Beyond that much of his humor dealt with current events and a focus on sports. He did a bit on LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. He also targeted first ladies Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama with a couple of jokes - a tough sell in a room that was there to see Tig Notaro and had a bit of a feminist bent.   

As I mentioned the two opening acts provided an interesting contrast to the Tig Notaro headlining set. Laura Kightlinger interacted with the audience the least and provided personal stories. Burr was more involved with the audience and went to the audience asking us to question our own standards.

Notaro had a few set pieces but they were loosely connected by a lot of improv and Questions for the audience. At one point she invited an aspiring actor up on the stage to show off his skills - the two of them had mixed results. At another point Notaro had a large fly buzzing around the stage and worked that into her show.

Notaro concluded the night by relating a story of an excursion she had with her writing partner, Kyle Dunnigan. It involved looking for a Santa Claus impersonator for a short film. Notaro pokes fun at their own glee at finding the perfect Santa, but things don't work out. The interesting thing about the bit is that it is the kind of story that if mishandled turns into a "You needed to be there" moment - an inside joke that is really only funny for the participants.

I had seen Notaro use these writing partner stories on youtube and it makes for an interesting basis for a routine. She does a good job of filling in the details and bringing out the funny aspects of the story.

Overall I highly recommend the Tig has friend shows if your in LA. The comedians are top notch, to some extent they are working through material so it can be a bit hit/miss, but it is enjoyable to see the comedic writing/performance process in motion.

Largo at the Coronet
I really enjoyed the Largo as a venue. The small theater has assigned seats, but you don't get your seats until you arrive. Once you pick up your seating assignment your free to roam elsewhere in or outside the venue. They have a tiny b-stage that has a small service bar - This smaller theater is where the Sarah Silveman HBO special "We Are Miracles" was filmed in front of just 39 people.

We arrived 45 minutes prior to the show and received tix 4 rows from the stage, although they were on the wing of the double aisled theater. Staff was courteous and professional, drinks at a bit of a markup but were not unreasonable.  

Fresh Air
This American Life


Monday, May 19, 2014

1967 Topps #205 Dick Groat

Last week we featured a card Pittsburgh Icon Dick Groat.

1967 Topps #205 Dick Groat

Late in his career Groat was traded by the Cardinals to the Phillies. By the time he got to Philadelphia in 1966 Groat was 35. He was no longer an MVP candidate but did provide the Phils with steady defense at shorstop, Groat finished 3rd in the NL in both Assists and Putouts. Offensively Groat was  less effective batting .260 with a meager .320 Slugging Percentage. Groat's offense further deteriorated in 1967, and he was sent to the Giants. By seasons end he was out of baseball.

1967 Topps
This is Dick Groat's final Topps Card as an active player. For more info on this Groat card as well as the rest of the years set check out the great 1967 Topps Blog.

1967 Topps Blog

Thursday, May 15, 2014

RTC-Reds: 1983 Fleer #631 Pride of Venezuela Concepcion and Trillo

The Phillies are hosting the Reds this weekend and tonight as part of the Reading the Competition (RTC) feature we are featuring a star combo card from the middle 80s.

1983 Fleer Super Star Special #631 Pride of Venezuela Concepcion and Trillo

Dave Concepcion is a Hall of Very Good player who played short for the Big Red Machine for close to two decades. Manny Trillo was, of course, the starting second baseman for the Phillies 1980 World Championship squad.

Assuming there is no pre-phototshop cutting and pasting done in this photo, I believe this picture was taken at Olympic Stadium. Both Concepcion and Trillo are wearing Home Whites and the 1982 All-Star Game appears to be the only mid-summer classic where the duo would have crossed paths as members of the host squad during Trillo's tenure with the Phillies.

1983 Fleer Super Star Special #631 Pride of Venezuela Concepcion and Trillo (b-side)

Fleer put together some nice copy here connecting the two Venezuelan Superstars with their homelands while also noting each players outstanding play in the field.

Dave Conecepcion was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2000 and his #13 was retired by the club on August 25 2007. His name comes up on the Veterans Committe ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but he is not yet inducted. Following his playing career Concepcion returned to his native Venezuela where, despite the countries many troubles, he still resides today.

Manny Trillo stuck around baseball as a coach for at least a little while. He worked in both the Cubs and White Sox organizations, The most recent references found him working with the ChiSox in 2005 during the Ozzie Gulllen era.

Super Star Special was an 18 card subset of 1983 Fleer that ran from #629-#646. The Phillies are represented on 2 other cards in the set, Pete Rose shares a card with the late Willie Stargell while Bo Diaz and Gary Carter who have both passed prematurely are featured on a catchers card.

Manny Trillo Index
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Cincinnati Reds HoF
Cincinnati Reds
SB Nation

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Anniversary Stan Musial 1959 Topps #470

Today we return to our Baseball Thrills series after a bit of a hiatus

1959 Topps #470 Baseball Thrills Stan Musial

Fifty Years ago Stan Musial recorded his 3000th base hit. The hit came in a pinch hitting apperance on May 13 1958 at Historic Wrigley Field. Musial batted with with a man on base and the Cardinals down by a pair of runs to the Cubs. He doubled, recording an RBI that pulled the Cards within 1. Musial was removed for a pinch runner Frank Barnes who eventually scored the tying run. The Cardinals scored two more runs that inning and took home a W.

The Catcher in the Photo is Cubs Rookie Sammy Taylor, a journeyman who spent six years in the majors with the Cubs, Mets, Reds, and Indians.

The flipside of the card fills in a few additional details about Musials historic hit and his reception upon returning home to St Louis.

1959 Topps #470 Baseball Thrills Stan Musial (b-side)

Over at the one 59 Topps f/g card at a time commishbob has a post which includs a set of b/w photos the Musial Hits. He also links to a nice retrospective article from the St Louis Post dispatch.

1959 Topps Baseball Thrills Series
#467 Hank Aaron
#469 Ernie Banks
#470 Stan Musial

Phungo Stan Musial HoF Profile 
1958 Topps #476 (All-Star)

topps 1959 one f/g card at a time

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Dick Groat 1961 Topps #1

This week Sunday Night Baseball makes a rare visit to Pittsburgh. We are marking the occasion by taking a look at 1960s era Pirate.

1961 Topps #1 Dick Groat

I have been wanting to put together a column on Dick Groat for a while. He is an interesting sports figure who remains a Pittsburgh icon.

Dick Groat was raised in the Pittsburgh area prior to going to Duke on a basketball scholarship. At Duke Groat was a two sport athlete, and he was good enough to be an All-American in both hoop and baseball. During his senior season as a basketball player Groat led the nation in both points and assists per game. That same year Groat helped lead the Blue Devils Baseball team to a berth in the  College World Series.

After college Groat signed with the home town Pirates. The talented shortstop made the immediate jump to the majors and never played a day in the minors.  He debuted with the Pirates as a pinch-hitter on June 18 1952.  That same year Dick Groat was also selected 3rd overall in the NBA draft by the Fort Wayne Pistons. Less than 5 months after playing in his first Professional Baseball Game Groat played his first NBA game. Groat played a single season for Ft Wayne averaging just under 12 points per game.

1961 Topps #1
Dick Groat earned the #1 spot in 1961 Topps by winning NL MVP honors in 1960. His qualifications that year including winning the batting title and leading the Bucos to the NL Pennant. The 1960 Pirates are also the team that upset the Yankees in a seven game World Series despite being outscored 55-27. 1960 was the first of two times that Groat would play for a team that would beat the Yankees in seven - he was also a member of the 1964 Cardinals who were led by Bob Gibson's strong performance.  

Pittsburgher - Cager
Following his baseball playing career Groat returned home and to basketball. He is currently (at age 83) a color analyst for the Pitt Panthers. Despite choosing baseball as his sports playing career, Groat accumulated several hoop related accolades. His #10 was the first number retired by the Duke Blue Devils - thing about that for a second - all the great players to come out of the basketball powerhouse and the first to have their number retired was Dick Groat. In 2007 Groat was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the institutions 2nd class.

Sources & links
Topps #1 Club
Baseball: Past and Present
Pitt Panthers
College Basketball Experience
Duke Report
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
SABR BioProject
The College World Series: A Baseball History 1947-2003

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 Phungo #25 Cody Asche

Another crazy week here at Phungo HQ. The Phillies are in the middle of a home and home series with the Blue Jays, unfortunately the two games in Philadelphia haven't got their way. 

2014 Phungo #25 Cody Asche

We have had a non-Phils card posted all week, today we are going to try and change the team's luck by posting a Phungo Card.

Last night Cody Asche popped a Grand Slam in the bottom of the sixth. Unofortunately it was not enough offense for a team that featured some sloppy play through the early innings. The Blue Jays manufactured a run in the 10th to take the contest 6-5.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: 1984 Topps #456 Fergie Jenkins n Keith Moreland

This week ESPN is taking part in the 100th birthday party for Wrigley Field by broadcasting the Cardinals and Cubs from the classic ballpark.

1984 Topps #456 Cubs Batting and Pitching Leaders Keith Moreland & Fergie Jenkins
 1984T included a subset of team checklists that featured team leaders on the front of the card. In 1983 the Cubs team leaders were two former Phillies.

Keith Moreland who turned 60 last Friday came up with the Phils in 1978 and was a member of the 1980 World Series team. He had a key hit in game 2 of the 80 Series and served as the first DH in franchise history in game 3

The Cubs 1983 pitching staff included 3 former Phillies: Fergie Jenkins, Dick Ruthven and Dickie Noles. As a Cub Ruthven actually posted a better ERA (4.10) than Jenkins, but He didn't come over to Chicago (from the Phillies) until May 22nd - this caused Ruthven to fall a few innings short of the 162 needed to qualify for ERA leadership. 

As can be seen above the leaders presented for the statistical categories of Batting Average and ERA. Today the leaders would possibly be some SABRmetric category like OBP, WHIP, or very possibly WAR. Had the cards featured OBP and WHIP leaders it would have appeared the same. Leon Durham had a better OBP than Moreland but he fell 100 ABs short of a qualifying season. Jankins trailed Ruthven in WHIP, but as mentioned above Ruthven was short in innings pitched.

WAR is a different story, turns out the 83 Cubs team leader wasn't Moreland, Jenikns, or any other everyday player or starting pitcher. The leader was closer Lee Smith

Fergie Jenkins
Phungo HoF Index


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Snapshots: 2014 05 02 Nationals 5 @ Phillies 3

On Friday Night The Phillies lost to the Nationals 5-3 and took sole possession of last place in the NL East. Marlon Byrd got he Phillies off to a quick 3-0 start with a Home Run in the first, but that was it for the Phillies scoring.  The Phils were up 3-2 going into the 8th but Mike Adams and rest of the bullpen were unable to hold that lead. 


 Cliff Lee vs Tyler Moore

It was a beautiful night - this is a shot of Cliff Lee pitching to Tyler Moore to start the 3rd inning.Unfortunately later in this AB Moore would hit a line drive Home Run to left.  

Cliff Lee Warm Up

Notice anything odd here. This is Lee warming up by doing his fake pitch to towards 2nd base. He does this prior to the start of each inning. I am going to try out a few different angles to see if I can get a good shot of this interesting/odd quirk of Lee's routine.

Stephen Strasburg
Lee wasn't the only star pitcher featured on Friday Night. Stephen Strasburg took the hill for the Nationals.

Cliff Lee and Stephen Strasburg

The bullpens are side by side on different levels at CBP. I had ambitions of getting both Lee and Strasburg throwing pitches in a single picture, but I was too impatient to wait around for the right shot.

Marlon Byrd

All of the Phillies scoring took place on a single swing of the bat by Byrd, This is a photo of the right fielder At Bat later in the game. He is demonstrating his quck high step timing the incoming pitch.  

Ben Revere & Denard Span

Both Centerfielders in the game were members of the same Twins outfield in 2012.  This is the in happy time prior to the game....

Cliff Lee vs Denard Span: Benches Clear

Cliff Lee and Denard Span had a disagreement regarding Span taking an elongated break out of the batters box in the 5th inning. Stephen Strasburg had just batted, and Span may have been trying to extend his pitchers half-inning break.  Benches cleared, names were called, no one got ejected and life continued.

Couple of interesting notes on the melee - Here we see Denard Span is separted from the remaining players by the umpiring crew. Cliff Lee is relatively close to Span with Cody Asche and Ryan Howard doing what they can to keep their pitcher out of trouble. I like how the main participants are on the left of the shot while the onrushing crowd of the benches comes in from the right - creates just a little tension in the photo.

I think the benches were issued warnings and Home Plate Umpire Jim Reynolds who talked to each reliever that entered the game - I am assuming he spoke to them regarding the handling of timeouts. Later in the game when one of the Nats relievers was dawdling he did allow Chase Utley to call a somewhat late time out

 Jayson Werth & Garry Maddox

Garry Maddox was on hand for the game. He was greeting some sort of VIP fan group during BP - here he welcoms Jayson Werth to the group.

  Nats Celebrate

Anthony Rendon caught the last out, a pop out by Freddy (.032 Batting Average) Galvis. Here Rendon shown holding the ball out to give to closer Rafael Soriano. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

2014 Phungo #51 Carlos Ruiz

Crazy busy week hear at Phungo HQ, but I wanted to take a second to honor an accomplishment of the local nine.

2014 Phungo #51 Carlos Ruiz

The Phillies now veteran catcher took home NL player of the week honors. The Phils have hung around in April 2014. This past week the Phils put together a 6-4 West Coast trip and Chooch was a significant contributor to those Ws. Ruiz batted .500 for the week ending April 27th - He led the league in RBIs (7) and Total Bases (20) while his 11 Hits and and eight runs scored ranked 2nd.


a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions