What I’m Reading: Marshall Connors Series

Dead Ball Series by Allen Schatz

While I hope that I have written blog posts here that have been interesting, informative, silly, smile-inducing, heart-warming, or just plain scathingly brilliant, I have been so busy focusing on certain aspects of my current medical issues that I feel the need every so often to let you know that I do use my time wisely, or at least I use my time.

One activity that I now have time for is reading. I have some books that I brought with me to my new home at my sisters but I had to be prudent in what I brought since space here is at a premium. So, a good angel of a friend, one who is from my Dunder Mifflin days, held a friendly raffle for her older KINDLE when she bought a new one. And guess who won!!!

So, I get to read, though since I have to budget, I either read a hella lotta public domain (love Dickens) or pick and choose some “out of the ordinary” books.

One of those series that I’ve been reading is in the banner piccy above. Go ahead and click it. It won’t bite. Instead it will entertain and make you appreciate the only good umpire in the major leagues.

That would be Marshall Connors. You see, while Marshall is working the World Series between my beloved Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays ( boooooo! ), he connects with people from his past that involve him in a mystery that can destroy a lot of people, Marshall among them.


You should read the books. That is why Allen wrote them. Then you might think twice before you boo an umpire again, except for “Cowboy” Joe West and CJ Buckner. They deserve any boos you can ever bellow.

Check them out and tell Marshall I sent you. It won’t get you crap but I like to have people throw my name around.

Another Phillies Blog Post (Guest Stars: The Philadelphia Eagles Edition) 10/18/10

Well, nothing like a sports packed Fall Sunday to forget your troubles. Well, I didn’t forget my troubles, they still are lurking behind me, doing the evil things lurking troubles do.


However, to banish them for a second, Let’s do ANOTHER PHILLIES BLOG (Special Guest Stars: The Philadelphia Eagles).


Of course, the Eagles took care of the Atlanta DirtyBirds and improved their record to 4-2 . This is extra sweet when you know that the Dallas Cowgirls have 1 win. HaHaHaHa. That huge new palatial stadium, built in the hope that the Super Bowl held there would involve the MooGirlies probably won’t get it’s wish.


Kolb played a great game, DeSean Jackson had two scores before a devastating helmet on helmet hit took him out of the picture, and into our prayers for a safe recovery. Most of the pundits I have talked with or heard from saw the hit as grueling but also legal by definition in the NFofL.


Then the most ludicrous thing happened. Ryan Howard showed up on out HD screens with Tony Siragusa on the sidelines, pumping up the Eagles crowd, playing with the Fox toys, and probably watching his girlfriend perform. He had 4 live shots, at the behest of FOX and MLB, and Scott Palmer made an background extra check.


Afterwards, he rode all the way to Citizens Bank Park on the back of the Phanatics Four Wheeler.  (See phony photo at the end of this wonderful blog post for a fun shot.). No helmet!!! Hasn’t he seen the Phanatic drive?


So, what should explode but a bad case of no one tolerating anyone elses opinion unless it concurred with their own. Many felt that, on a NLCS Game Day, Howard at the Eagles game was time better spent on focusing. Others did not begrudge him being at the game, but had issues with THE RYAN AND TONY SHOW . Others felt that whatever Ryan did was fine, it was his personal time. There were plenty of other opinions.


The ludicrous part was NOT Ryan Howard doing any of this. It was the level of vehemence aimed at anyone who held an opinion differing from their own. Some were idiots, some were mocked hours later, and some were simply dismissed by writers and bloggers and Tweeters who know each other as hoi polloi. ( I was in the camp that time would be better spent elsewhere on an important GameDay that led to a Cross Country flight the next day and an afternoon ballgame on Tuesday.)


What really disappointed me was the level of ridicule that some Tweeps and bloggers used, not on Ryan, but on those who dared to question it. Not everyone reacted like this, but for a few people, this was not a debate or conversation involving two different sides, but a trash talk smackdown that, at times, seemed aimed at directly mocking the fact that someone disagreed with them. Disappointingly, some of this came from bloggers and writers who I respect and still do, but yesterday, they mystified me.


Many of these were pure dismissal of anyone who questioned the appearance. And just when it looked like it had died out, Howard got a hit that night, and the vindicated tweeps felt the need to reopen the case for more ridicule, and to point out how wrong those who questioned Howard were.


That was my disappointment yesterday, and one that I see a bit too often in the Twitter/BookFace/Blogging World. Writers don’t respect bloggers. Bloggers don’t respect writers. Bloggers don’t respect other bloggers. Tweeps get into it, as well. The blurring of lines and qualities of all of theseoutlets then blurs. Twitter goes from a conversation to a chest-thumping exhibition.


I’ll allow you to ridicule now because this blog is not filled with sports math, and I cannot quote averages off the top of my head. I do not have “sources” and “the inside dope” or a chummy relationship with someone somewhere. I’m just a fan, a fan with a right to my opinion.


Deal with it, but when you disagree, deal with it with a nod to discussion, not annhiliation.


So, you all know how the game went. Phillies won 6-1, showed signs of smartly manufacturing runs, showing the thrill of getting more than one run an inning, and a tremendous pitching and hitting performance by Roy Oswalt. He showed what has been lacking the last game, the “go for it now” attitude that this moment counts and you better make it work. Sure he could have stayed on third, and hope to be driven in. However, he smartly sized up the situation and seized that moment, rather than chancing the wait and see. Best move of the night.


So, it is off to Game 3, and the knowledge that we still have 4 games that could be pitched by three amazing pitchers. All is well in PhilliesTown.


And hopefully, all is well in Twitter Town. No problem with differing opinions. Just accept that others will have them as well.





Another Phillies Blog Post (Baseball Math-Free Zone) 2010 NLCS Game 1 10/16/10

Gonna try a Phillies Blog post. Yes, this is about Game 1, NLCS Phillies Vs. Giants 10/16/10 etc.

This is not about stats or WAR or RISP or LSMFT or AEIOU or whatever alphabet soup is out there in the blogosphere. My tiny brain can’t fathom all these numbers and my instinct says that they don’t really play a part in my thought processes anyway.

Actually, it would hard to pinpoint what actually DOES play a part in any of my thought processes.

However, the lack of baseball math acumen does NOT preclude me from some deep observations. Here they come, get your wading boots on.

Last nights game is the kind I hate the most, a close score. Almost just isn’t good enough, not in the NLCS.  I’d rather have lost 4-0, because that score means that one team was markedly better than the other.

4-3 means that the game was there for the taking, and we didn’t grab and stuff our pockets.

It has nothing to do with Raul misplaying Pat Burrell’s double (though I did flash back to Greg Luzinski misplaying the ball in the 8th Inning in the 1978 playoffs with the Dodgers) or with the ump seeming to squeeze the strike zone just before it. It has nothing to do with any one action, because the Phillies have the power to overcome any one action.

However, they need to overcome themselves.

I love Chooch. I think the way he has handled this pitching staff has been nothing short of spectacular. His drive and determination is wonderful. He is my team MVP, and I am not joking.

However, when your most consistent player comes out of the 8 hole right now, that is a problem. You will not win this series with an upside-down batting order.

This team is capable of producing terrorizing results at the plate. They’ve done that with the help of some very shoddy defense on the part of the opposing team recently (miss you, Jay Bruce)

However, this team is also capable of producing that terror through their own bats, not with the help of others. Freaky, aka Timmy Lincecum was not spectacular, not in the least. He was ripe for the taking last night. Most batters did not try to take him. Wasting men on base (how many man on 2nd, no out situations that score no runs can we live through?).

Halladay definitely had a bad game, and you could see the frustration in the trouble Chooch had with some of his pitches. That is passion, and while I hope it doesn’t get out of control, I’d rather see his passion than the looks on some Phillies faces right now as they walk back to the bench after striking out (again).

This team needs production  from the top of the order. Chooch getting home runs is so sweet, but that should be the icing in the cake, not the primary source of run production (and solo run production at that, since no one is on base ahead of him). You listening, Jimmy Rollins?

I’m definitely not in panic mode. If Halladay is going to have a bad game (and he will) , I’d rather it be the first game than the 4th or 5th when you are in either “taking command” mode or on “survival” mode. That was not the story of last nights game.

Nor was it the crowd, who needs to be juiced all the way through, but seemed to ebb and flow too much. Whether it is true or just an old baseball wives’ tale, the adrenaline from a pumped up crowd really does play into on-field performance. It is atmosphere, and atmosphere affects not only the home team, but annoys and disorients the opposition.

Geoff, the kid who played that gorgeous rendition of GOD BLESS AMERICA, gets it. Get out there and do your best on your own.  I hope the Phillies realize that these games need to be won by them, not lost by the other team.

You can read the game summaries elsewhere. This is my own psyche summary. You don’t write these things if you don’t believe in what you are writing about.

I believe in the Phillies and believe we still move onto the World Series. However, I base this belief on what this team can do, not what other teams may give them.  Luck is for lotteries. Playoff ball is won by those who accomplish.