Imagine my delight, your delight, when CSN opened with footage of Hunter Pence arriving in a black Escalade, which rolled beneath the bowels of CBP in a scene that you would have expected to see across the street for the snoochy-flashing arrival of Britney Spears, who was also in town on this Saturday in late July. The Hunter hath arrived.
Couple of things: He was safe at first, you know that. His broken-bat fly out probably would have been a double (or home run) if his wood held up. And, whether it was Pence's presence in the five-hole or some sort of strange coincidence, Ryan Howard had his best game of the year last night, going 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, a single, and a walk. All of a sudden, no one in the lineup is hitting out of place.
On that note, I’m convinced that this team is better with Victorino in the two-spot. Even though Polanco is an uber contact hitter, he’s old, potentially damaged goods (those bulging discs have a habit of lingering), and adds nothing on the base-paths. I’m a firm believer in having two speedsters at the top of the lineup, and since J-Roll™ isn’t exactly your prototypical leadoff hitter, Victo makes all the more sense hitting second… especially when your projected two-hole hitter is strolling through the locker room with heat packs on his back:
Speaking of backs, Jules……. can we mention Pence’s lats? Good Lord, you winged Angel, you. No wonder why he was putting balls in the second deck in left field during batting practice. He sort of has the general posture of an alien from Independence Day, which is a good thing. I think.
In case you haven’t seen it six times yet, here he is talking about his first night as a Phillie. I’m not sure if it’s the mohawks or goofiness, but I’m convinced he and Worley are going to be buds.
Fun with New York continues: check out this article in yesterday’s New York Post (thanks to Nate and Jenna for sending). Respect.
Now Philadelphia is Michael Corleone, underestimated for so long, who in December came out of the bathroom blasting away and hustled Cliff Lee away from the Yankees, who yesterday announced it had “settled all family business” by getting Nnamdi Asomugha to sign his mellifluous collection of vowels and consonants to the bottom of a contract, stealing him clear away from the Jets.
It caps four years of relentless smackdowns and beatdowns (save for the Yankees’ defiant refusal to let the Phillies repeat in 2009), which began in ’07 when the Phillies erased a 71⁄2-game Mets lead in the NL East in the bare space of 17 days, which continued on the last day of the 2010 NHL season when the Flyers beat the Rangers for the last spot in that season’s playoffs, which raged out of control when the Eagles made that impossible comeback on the Giants last season at the Meadowlands.
The Braves traded for Michael Bourn. Ed Wade continues to purge all evidence of a baseball franchise in Houston, while the Phillies and Braves just got much better.
Finally, perhaps because I’m immature, here’s video of the Pirates’ announcers talking about our pitching staff’s balls… Further proving that if you mention Cliff Lee’s genitalia, in any taken-out-of-context way, you will make Morning Wood:
Yeah, we’re reaching.
Make sure to check out HunterPenceBaseball.com.