The Definitive Phillies Man Crush Guide

Screen Shot 2011-08-10 at 4.07.42 PM
Photo via Jacqueline Sarricchio

This probably isn’t a post I should write wearing nothing but a double-boxer sitch’ (I’m out of clean shorts) and t-shirt, but plow forward we shall.

Email:

Kyle, 

I need your help, you’re the man crush king.  I seriously have no idea what to do with myself.  This Phillies team is just LOADED with man crush material.  Should I focus all my attention on the original mainstay, Mr. Utley?  Do I let Doc Halladay be my huckleberry? What about Clifton Phifer Lee, the excellent steed? Should I love him? Should I shower Cole Hamels and his beautiful hair with my admiration?  

What do I do about Roy Oswalt and that wonderful grin of his?  There is no way I can forget about Chooch!  Chooch is too important to not care about! Everyone needs a Chooch, I NEED a Chooch! 

But I can’t stop myself from crushing on the most majestically awkward fellow I have ever laid eyes on, Hunter Pence.  He went to the plate WITH the doughnut!  How am I not supposed to love someone who is so geeked to be in Philadelphia?  

What about Madson and his fire he has been breathing this year?  Or the Vanimal, I mean his nickname is, the VANIMAL.  And then there is Stutes and his glorious locks of strikeout, Bastardo and the impossible to hit slider, Lidge and his mole, Howard, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez, Valdez and his goofy blonde goatee.  I mean forget San Fran and that weirdo with the beard…we have the GOAT!

This is a serious problem Kyle, I’m suffering from man crush overload.  Help me….

Adam

 

I feel the best way – the only way – to address these questions is to go line-by-line. Give it a little hop for the response.

I need your help, you’re the man crush king.  

Why thank you. – grins sheepishly –

 

I seriously have no idea what to do with myself.  This Phillies team is just LOADED with man crush material.  Should I focus all my attention on the original mainstay, Mr. Utley?   

Absolutely not, and here’s why: You might be experiencing the best team this city has ever seen (that’s not an overstatement). You have to spread the glory.

Like most, I too crushed on Utley from the moment he jacked a grand slam in his first Major League game. His get dirty, I want to win style quickly caught on and was catapulted to another level with back-to-back October performances, which included World Fucking Champions and five (FIVE!) home runs in the 2009 World Series. Any man who, on a national stage, makes C.C. Sabathia his bitch is deserving of any and all unhealthy man love hurled his way.

In recent years, however, the hysteria surrounding Chase has died down a bit. He’s not nearly as personable as the likes of Hamels, Victorino, or even J-Roll™. He doesn’t do some of those cool, quirky things that the newer guys do. Add to that a couple of injuries, where he is just now getting back to the Chase we know and love, and, boom, you have a void in your heart… even if it’s just a small one.

 

Do I let Doc Halladay be my huckleberry? What about Clifton Phifer Lee, the excellent steed? Should I love him? 

I once said that even after throwing a perfect game and no-hitter, Halladay remains the guy you want to marry, while Cliff is the guy you want to date.

Think about it. You know what you’re going to get from Roy at all times- loving security. With his friendly smile, those big, safe hands, and his amazing work ethic, what’s not to love? At times, however, his tightly-wound demeanor and perceived lack of personality leaves you wanting just a bit more.

Enter Cliff Lee.

With Clifton, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. One day you might see utter mind-blowing baseball sex Cliff, and the next, mediocre, not tonight, honey Lee. It can be frustrating at times, but one thing is for sure: every once in a while and often in October, The Clifton is going to rock your world. He’s not just going to dominate on the mound, he’s also going to get a hit or two- perhaps a home run, swipe a bag, make a ninja-like play in the field, and probably chat it up about Bigfoot in the dugout. How could you possibly not be completely obsessed with that? He’s like that hopped up on Red Bull and vodkas conquest at the bar who keeps looking at you with those fuck-me eyes and ironic smile. You’re never quite sure if she’s being genuine or if she’ll return your phone calls – since she likes the chase more than the prize… and that’s OK by you. In fact, it makes her all the more desirable. That’s Cliff Lee in a nutshell: fuck-me eyes, ironic smile. Figuratively speaking, of course.

 

Should I shower Cole Hamels and his beautiful hair with my admiration? 

Don’t ever say that again. You’re a man, dammit.

 

What do I do about Roy Oswalt and that wonderful grin of his?   

Oh that coy little smile, it’s tough to compete with. The problem with Oswalt – in the man crush department – is that he’s not really one of us. There’s not a whole lot we can relate to and he’ll be gone in a few months or a year. It’s almost like wasted energy.

He’s loved now, but he got started on the wrong foot with his – real or imagined – hesitation to accept a trade. And whether we like it or not, his back injuries and eight-day absence earlier this year haven’t helped. He does have a nice smile, though.

 

There is no way I can forget about Chooch!  Chooch is too important to not care about! Everyone needs a Chooch, I NEED a Chooch! 

This isn’t a crush. It’s the equivalent of loving a puppy. Both guys and girls love Chooch equally. He’s smallish, hispanic (always helps), and dare I say cute. He has a propensity for hitting in the clutch (the SABR nerds cringe) and might be the only person on earth who has a bigger crush on the Aces than fans do. Loving him would just be wrong, even though, if at times, it may feel oh so right. He’s that girl in college who you spooned, but never even got side boob with. For fuck's sake, you just want to snuggle with him. Nothing more. 

Hunter_pence_dougnut

But I can’t stop myself from crushing on the most majestically awkward fellow I have ever laid eyes on, Hunter Pence.  He went to the plate WITH the doughnut!  How am I not supposed to love someone who is so geeked to be in Philadelphia?   

Concur.

He is going to be the guy who seriously challenges Lee for your affection over the next few years. Ultimately, however, Lee is more talented and has a longer history with us. Pence has an oxen, but there’s a steep mountain ahead, and we all know how that usually turns out:

Oregontrail

Yeah, not fun.

HP3 does have a few things going for him, however: He plays every day, is gangly (automatically doubles man crush ceiling), and has a Twitter account- which can be a good thing or a bad thing. If he continues with his snarky, genuine, and marketably self-aware Tweets, it will serve him well. If he goes the Mike Richards exclamation point route and starts to come across as sort of a petulant nerd on the Tweets… well, Lee’s title of Philly’s Ultimate Man Crush will go unchallenged!!!

Pence also may be living with the Lees, the effects of which are not known at this time.

 

What about Madson and his fire he has been breathing this year?  

You can’t crush on relievers. They’re like kickers.

 

Or the Vanimal, I mean his nick name is, the VANIMAL.

That’s precisely why you can’t crush on him. He’s too sweaty, anyway.

 

And then there is Stutes and his glorious locks of strikeout, Bastardo and the impossible to hit slider, Lidge and his mole… 

No- Stutes is for the girls, Bastardo looks like a centaur, and Lidge doesn’t have the mole anymore.

 

…Howard, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez…  

Howard is a difficult choice. There’s an obvious race issue here… but there’s something to it. People genuinely root for (crush on?) those who look like them. It’s human nature. Howard (and J-Roll™) may dominate with the brothas in this town; however, it’s not really their style to “crush” on other men. I think sincere adoration would be a better way to describe that phenomenon.

Beyond the obvious and touchy issues, Howard is a polarizing figure – even though he shouldn’t be – and Rollins has never truly endeared himself to the “Philly fan.” For every one step forward, he usually takes two steps backward. Although, that sentiment is mostly undeserved.

 

Valdez and his goofy blonde goatee.  I mean forget San Fran and that weirdo with the beard…we have the GOAT! 

Just stop.

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38 Comments

  • brandy101 August 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    And yet none of these fine gents has the fantastic, thick, perfectly firm a$$ of Pat Burrell…I still mourn the loss of his heine at 3rd base 🙁

    Reply
  • Ben August 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    this is incredible

    Reply
  • johnnyrockets27 August 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    @brandy101 burrell was in left field not at third base.

    Reply
  • Finch August 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    What about Shane Did-You-Just-Throw-That-At-Me-? Victorino?

    Reply
  • Alpha Chi Tube Steak August 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    This sounds like a conversation drunk fraternity sophmore (the most experimental year of college) boys have as they drink natty bo, standing in a circle. Once a 30-pack deep, the sports talk and gay jokes devolve into a full-fledged circle jerk.

    Reply
  • Tyson August 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    No mention of Shane? WTF?
    Totally understand your overwhelmed feeling. This team is simply filled with beefcakes, and it’s hard to pass so much love around.
    It’s an amazing feeling though, isn’t it? We obsess about this team so much not only because they are insanely good, but because they are just so loveable and fun to watch.
    AND they get along so well that they’re moving in with each other. What’s not to love about that?

    Reply
  • brandy101 August 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    It was a subliminal mistake; I was thinking of him and GETTING to third base 🙂 j/k (or not…)
    Haha.
    No, I was thinking of a particular photo a friend took of him in the field once and he was playing so shallow…thus the 3rd base mix-up. My bad.
    That said, I’m really warming to Mr. Pence. Something about the knickers…

    Reply
  • Kyle Scott August 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    To be honest, Shane wasn’t in his email and I forgot about him. there. are. just. so . many. of. them.

    Reply
  • brandy101 August 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I’ll tell you who no one has a crush on: Gload.
    That tobacky-filled cheek grosses me out every time he’s at bat.
    Plus his name is GLOAD. Bleh.

    Reply
  • Tyson August 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Speaking of studs… how about Chase and Ryan bringing us back from the dead and putting us up 9-7 in the top of the 6th?
    Hell yes.

    Reply
  • brandy101 August 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I was just thinking that, Tyson! everyone likes a man (men) who TCB.

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty August 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Hmmmm. Methinks Adam may be racsist. All the non-white players are mentioned at the end of his letter. Just like the back of the busses prior to desegragation. And perhaps he omits Come Back Shane (

    ) Victorino because maybe he can’t figure out what race(s) the Flyin’ Hawaiian has in him. Come Back Shane’s definitly not Polynesian or Samoan (or Maorian). And I can presume then that Adam is not a true Son of Erin, because no real Irishman is a racsist.

    Reply
  • Peter August 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    No love for Oswalt and his sly grin? A waste of energy?? What about the left field incident!? How soon you have forgotten, Kyle. If the argument is that he’s been here for too short of a time, then why don’t we do this analogy:
    You’re at a sleepover camp for six weeks during the summer. You have the girls from home (Utley, Lee, etc.) who you’d go to the end of the earth for, but they’re not at camp. You’re not the most attractive guy there, and you don’t have a chance with the really hot girls at camp, but here is this not-quite-so-attractive (Oswalt), albeit awesome girl you meet in the first week. You two really hit it off, and you have a fling during camp. Alas, the last day of camp comes and you both know, given that you live on opposite sides of the country, that this is the end. You’re both too old to go to camp next year; this is the end of the road. It didn’t last long, and you’ll miss it now that it’s over, but it was a great few weeks and you’ll never forget it.
    So yeah, Oswalt will be gone soon, but camp isn’t quite over yet! Let’s come down to earth… we can’t get Lee or Utley or Halladay, and we know they’ll be here for years to come, so we don’t need to make any desperate moves just yet. Why not make a move on Oswalt while we still can? It’s worth a shot.

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty August 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Oh Tytson and Brandi, be careful. blowing your loads early almost jinxed them today. Thank god Madson et al had some powerful Mojo to curb all bad juju jinxes.
    PS: Did anybody notice that with the beard, the “bulk”, and the perma-mullet that Aaron Miles has now that he looks like Kenny “You’re F*cking Out” Powers?
    Compare:
    http://nimg.sulekha.com/sports/original700/aaron-miles-matt-kemp-2011-8-7-18-10-47.jpg
    and
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PuilEZs64ro/TKTufbupuuI/AAAAAAAABjY/Sezri7t1geg/s1600/kenny+powers.jpg
    Syanora, LA-LA land (You’re all f*cking out):


    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty August 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Oops, wrong link (although Kenny did go south of the border last season)!
    Redo:
    Syanora, LA-LA land (You’re all f*cking out):


    Reply
  • Josh August 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    too good.

    Reply
  • Sherry W August 10, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    “Man” Crushes From A Phemale Phan
    (AKA I’m not going to talk about who has the best ass)
    1) Utley – Love the cool 2nd base flips and the aggressive base running. My trouble is that he’s cool all the time, sometimes to the fans. Also, if you are a woman fan you don’t want to be mistake for the hoards of Utley fan whores who have no idea what a RBI is.
    2)Halladay and Lee – I’ve met Roy and he’s kind and warm in person. So I don’t mistake his scary focus face for anything but. I have to crush on anyone who looks like they will rumble to stay in the game. Lee when he hits the ball though- is anything more crushworthy? I say make a Ace crush sandwich.
    Oz: Just doesn’t seem to want to be one of us. Cole: gets no respect, but have you seen him pitch recently? Crushworthy.
    3) Chooch: agree. He’s like your little brother.
    4) Pence: Agree. The new nerdy kid at school you let make out with you once, but it was it.
    5) Mad Dog: I crush on anyone who goes “fuck you I can too be a closer” and does it. Loses points for using “Don’t stop believing” as his warmup song. Dude.
    6) Vance: I love me some friendly, geektastic, mohawk attack the plate style. I’m a Worleybird.
    7) The girls are happy to have Stutes. Bastardo gets door slammin cred, but Brad who? (kidding. Sort of).
    8)Howard, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez
    Howard is a giant teddy bear with an infectious laugh. The race card is Silly because this white lady loves me some long ball sweetheart. JRoll has the Swagger and base stealing style, and Poly is on the fast hands HOT HOT HOT corner, and Ibanez is the kindest human being and hardest worker anywhere. I scream the loudest for his runs because HE never gives up, when everyone else is calling for his trade. Plus a nice ass. Oh, whoopise there.
    Valdez: The goat is gone, thankfully. I was at his pitching game, so I give him cred, but not a crush.
    VICTORINO: I geta kick out of him, he runs like a wind up toy. Just someone needs to tell him he’s not WFC material.

    Reply
  • Bill August 11, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Didnt burrell come up as a 3rd basemen and thus would have qualified as a “phine heine at 3rd base”?

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty August 11, 2011 at 2:00 am

    (“phine heine”: Something that I had about a hundred years ago but now is long, long, gone… to the floor…)
    Hey! Everyone’s forgetting to blow their “broloads” on the most important figure of them all: The Ultimate Architect; The Chief Designer; The Righteous One Who Is Responsible For Your Nightly Man Crush Debates; The One, The Only, Ruben Amaro, Junior, AKA The Legend:
    http://mobilwi.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a6dde087970b0147e0b7a9b9970b-500wi

    Reply
  • ThePhillyFlash August 11, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Yo, IBM! Didn’t you used to sell computers? But yeah, you got my vote on Ruben! He definitely exudes his own brand of coolness that makes me all giddy inside!

    Reply
  • Adam B August 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I just want to defend myself for omitting Victorino. As Kyle put it so well… There. IS. Just. So. Many. How can I not love his flyin hawaian don’t fuck with me style of play?!?
    But as for being a racist as Iron Balls suggests, well, that sir, is just ridiculous!
    I love Howard and his gigantic moon shots, J-Roll, his swag, and his smoother than a babies ass fielding. How can I not love Big John Mayberry Jr?
    But all kidding aside here, there is a reason why the fan base has not attached themselves to Rollins and Howard the way they have with the other players. J-Roll has a reputation for not ALWAYS hustling i.e. Kyle’s post from the 3-1 loss to the Giants, and Charlie benching him here and there for lack of hustle. That and the fact that Jimmy has NEVER tried to improve his approach at the plate to become a better leadoff hitter have been a reason why people don’t embrace him the way they should.
    Howard has the same issue with the strikeouts. It kills people that he still swings and misses at that awful low and away junk.
    Both of these guys are HUGE parts of the Phillies success and they are deserving of man crushes as well. The problem is they don’t endear themselves to the fans the way the other guys have. J-Roll called us front runners, and while that might be true for some fans (see Kyle’s fan break down from earlier this season) , that pissed a lot of people off. Howard is the same way, in that at times he bitches and moans about how hard the fans are on him (we was on 97.5 the other day complaining about it). Hey, Ryan…you make $125 million! STFU, hit homeruns and most importantly quit listening to what the fans say about you!
    Roy Halladay took less to come here, Cliff Lee took less to come here, Oswalt waived his no trade to come here, Pence is happier than a pig in shit to be here, Chooch, Victorino and most of the bullpen guys were a bunch of NO BODY’s who had to work their asses off to become who they are.
    J-Roll is on record as saying “I’m not from Philly, I’m from Oakland, so there will be no hometown discount to stay here” in regards to free agency next year.
    Those are the reasons why people haven’t fully opened their hearts to Howard and Rollins the way they have with other players. Race has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. It’s simple, Philly is a blue collar, HARD working, mostly middle class city. We want our players to give it their all 100% of the time, and not make excuses, regardless of race, creed or religion.
    Philadelphia LOVED B-Dawk, AI, Westbrook, Barkley and others for that very reason.

    Reply
  • brandy101 August 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

    omg, yes, Ruben is super hot on so many levels. Rico suave!!!
    Good call, Iron Balls.

    Reply
  • Juliet August 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Wow. I love this blog every day, but I think this may be your best post ever. There really is something especially crush-worthy about this Phillies team in in particular — I dare you to try and write a similar post about the ’93 team. Eeew.

    Reply
  • Kyle Scott August 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Phhhh… Juliet, that’s a tall challenge… Maybe.

    Reply
  • Bethann August 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    This has got to be one of the best posts I’ve read in a while.. I second Juliet’s challenge.. I think it might take a while to rank those guys.
    @IBM .. comparing the Beard to Kenny Powers is perfect.. although I think KP is better looking IMO..

    Reply
  • Debs G August 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    omg..love this post and all of the comments.
    Love the Phils, I would definitely kick my husband out of bed for Cliff Lee, that man is so cool and soooo hot and the same time!!!
    I agree with the comment about J-Roll, yeah he’s from Oakland but he needs to show a lot more loyalty to the Phils and the City of Brotherly Love!
    Yesterday’s game was KICK ASS and more to follow!!!

    Reply
  • blove! August 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I am on the train, laughing out loud, tears down my cheeks. Majestically awkward! Mind blowing baseball sex! HP3 living with the Lees! I am copying this and framing it. Writing to the pulitzer committee. Hell, the Nobel committee. This is phine, phine writing.

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty August 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Adam, so let me summerize your followup: You don’t like the black guys as much as the white guys because they’re more lazy and don’t always hustle like the white guys do everytime all the time, and they complain even though they’re being paid well. I don’t think you improved your argument for not being a racsist. In fact you look worse than I first expected.
    Look, I’ve seen everyone have bonehead moments and have “hustle-lapses”, even Chase. And I’ve seen Rollins and Howard play hurt when they were desparatly needed and it would have been better for them in the long run to go on the DL. But I have no doubt that Charlie will call/bench anyone who deserved it. So I wonder why your perseption is diffrent than mine?
    And Bethann, I never said that Dodgers guy is purtier than Kenny Powers. It’s not for me to say, although I guess if I was a broad I’d go the KP way too, even though I know that he’ll only use you, than chew you up and spit you out like spent chaw.
    Flash, why do you always ask me the same question? Is it some sort of joke? Can you tell us where we’re suppossed to be laughing? I’ve already answered you once before and that’s enough. Krikey, you might be more OCP than Laddie Boy.
    And Brandy, speaking of rico sauve, this is for you:



    The full monty here:



    And like him, I eat women raw like sushi too. Muy Rico Suave.

    Reply
  • Adam B August 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    @iron balls…you’re an idiot.

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty August 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Aye, I may be a reform skool flunkie, and I may have partook in a shyteload of mind altering substences back in the day. And even the best shrinks out there will have a field day with me sessions. But what does all that have to do with whether or not you’re a racsist, eh?

    Reply
  • Sean H August 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

    This is the funniest thing you have ever written.

    Reply
  • Sarahsmed August 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    “Stutes and his glorious locks of strikeout” hahaha – this deserves a pulitzer. well done.

    Reply
  • Zaahida August 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Halladay’s big safe hands does it for me.

    Reply
  • that girl August 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Cliff Lee is sexy as all fuck, but Chase has the best ass by far. His wife even said so.

    Reply
  • Christian Louboutin Outlet August 16, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Spent the last few days working bees with Davis, I figure in another decade or so he’ll be able to take over this menagerie I’m creating. He has totally stepped it up with the bees. Last week Davis was giving the tours to the guests who came to visit the trailer at the Napa Valley Museum. He told me he wants to teach them everything he knows about bees. I’m blown at how accurate he is. Check him out.

    Reply
  • Christian Louboutin Outlet August 19, 2011 at 3:38 am

    A great movement is upon the Earth, and we are all finding our way home. Spirit cannot be denied, and the present global systems that seek to keep us separate, desperate, ignorant and in fear are crumbling before our eyes. This time is one of releasing these qualities that keep us distracted in the world of apparent forms. Going to the center of All-That-Is, this is the cosmic moment to re-establish a strength of heart that keeps us connected to all of Life in the eternal Now.

    Reply
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    Reply
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