Morning Wood: Horses, Birds and Heroes


Photoshop via S Kirb

If Cliff Lee is our beloved, big-hooved pony of pissed excellence, then Roy Halladay is our horse’s ass.

His words, not mine.

After another terrible performance last night, Doc needed some counseling. He found it in the form of the assembled media and escribators, who, just hours earlier, entered the clubhouse with pitchforks and thumbs.

Speaking for over 17 minutes (which would have to be a record for this current group of Phillies starters), Halladay rattled off a series of odd quotes about life, pitching, his son, and baseball mind-fucker Harvey Dorfman– the recently deceased author of The Mental ABCs of Pitching, the book whose philosophies are subscribed to by Halladay and so many other pitchers.

Borrowing a page from Jobu, Halladay spoke of birds… []

“One of my biggest mentors, [sports psychiatrist] Harvey Dorfman, used to always tell me, ‘When you’re trying to catch a bird, if you’re flailing at it, trying to grab for it, you’re never going to catch it. You have to hold your hands out and let it land in your hands.’ And it’s the same way with pitching,” Halladay said. “Especially when you want something so bad you’d do anything to get it. But sometimes the best course of action is to prepare yourself and let it come to you.”

… horses’ asses… []

“I would say 95 percent is mental,” Halladay said. “It’s simplifying, it’s getting to the basics. It’s letting things happen and to trying to force things. It’s a game of failure and I’ve had my fair share. Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass and I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while. It’s something that I’ve dealt a lot with in the past and I feel like I can overcome. The more you want it, the harder it is. You almost have to really back that off and put some perspective in the whole thing.”

… and the text message he received from his oldest son (12- or 13-years-old, according to the interwebs): [NY Times]

“I got a text from my son saying that I am his hero,” Halladay said. “That means a lot.”

That’s touching. But while Halladay might be the hero his son deserves, he’s not the one Philly needs right now.

Doc’s struggles are hard to watch. He doesn’t look right out there. He turns purple when it’s over 70 degrees. He grimaces, not only when he gives up hits, but also when he throws balls and takes buntable pitches for a strikes. That’s not natural. He’s always been wound tight. But look at his face during the seventh inning of his playoff no-hitter (one of the most stressful situations a pitcher could ever expect to face) compared to last night… in the third inning:

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He wears his struggles on his face. Never has a pitcher looked like he was having less fun out there (save for that chunky fuck Chad Qualls). Doc’s stuff wasn’t terrible last night – fastball at 91 – but he can’t find the strike zone. And he’s not going to until he relaxes, which, it sounds like, he is trying to do.

UPDATE: 97.5 The Fanatic has an audio mashup of Doc’s quotes.

Let’s Wood. Reluctantly.

Seemingly timed to prod Philly fans, the (verified) Twitter account of Roy Oswalt’s website (@royoswalt44net), which hadn’t tweeted anything in 248 days, fired the following into the ether:

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That, of course, led to myriad responses from Phillies fans. Here’s just a sample:

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No. No. No no no no no. The last thing the Phillies need is another aging pitcher.

Oswalt sensed an opportunity:

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Now, it’s highly suspect that that was Roy Oswalt. The account is verified, but for the longest time, it was seemingly run by a publicist who just tweeted links to positive articles about Oswalt. The website listed on the account,, no longer exists, so it’s really hard to tell what’s going on here. There’s no reason to think that Oswalt wouldn’t try tweeting – perhaps to get his name back out there… which is working – but these seem too strange to take at face value. I’ll follow up if anything comes of it.

Attendance: 35,393, the lowest since April, 2009. A photo from (@spencerbard):

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Inquirer beat reporter Matt Gelb, who, just hours before the game tweeted this…

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had his heart and mind won over by Roy (or an overzealous Phillies PR person…), and was suddenly all melodramatic about Doc at the end of the dance:

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Rick Pitino ducking when cannons went off is one of my new favorite things.

Tickets for the game tonight start at $18.

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15 Responses

  1. Even if that Twitter account was real – Oswalt sucks cock. We need WAY better than that.

  2. Pfft! The Phillies need another aging pitcher like the Flyers need another suspect goalie. Ruben would be so stupid as to even entertain the possibility of bringing Oswalt back. As for Big Roy, I’m not quite ready to proclaim that Halladay’s cooked, but I’d say he’s closing in on medium-well done. An ERA of nearly 15.00? That’s flat out frightening, and I just don’t know if Doc’s going to get any better. Clearly, we’ve seen the best of Halladay and it’s all downhill from here.

  3. Oswalt wasn’t very good in his stint with Texas, didn’t he get designated for assignment??? He couldn’t do any better than what we have right now! Hell, HIS velocity fell off WHILE HE WAS HERE!

  4. My Mom’s breast milk tastes like stale Pall Malls and Angelo Cataldi’s semen.

  5. In fairness, that empty stadium picture was taken during the (top?) of the ninth of a 7-2 game. (not disagreeing about attendance decreasing, though, not that there’s really anything to disagree about there)

  6. looks like the waiting rooms of many delaware valley hospitals are flooded this morning with countless broken ankles. after 4 years, it would appear the bangwagons are jumping off at alarming rates. good, screw em! i saw some of the posts yesterday about the hipsters and the facebook girls. while they annoy me, they dont irk me as much as the casual fan whose loyalties were est. 2008. they began showing up late that season. i will never forget sitting at game 4 of the world series. a game that the phillies were winning leaving them on the cusp of world series title. it was a game that saw fat joe blanton belt a homer out to left field. there was so much excitement and energy that night. yet, i remember looking down and seeing tons of the causal fans all dashing for the exits in 7th inning. while i agree that traffic sucks donkey dick, how the hell can you let traffic supersede the excitement of a world series! unreal!

    1. What is your point? Why do you care what other people do and think.

      I like how people are not allowed to have a negative opinion about the Phillies (and Flyers) without losers like you calling them “bandwagon fans”, “not real fans”, “fans who don’t watch games”. I’m sorry, maybe everyone should just be ignorant like you and think everything is fine. Seriously, go stifle yourself.

      1. The Phillies have been bad for, I don’t know, 90% of they’re existence. That’s why the real “phans” aren’t jumping off bridges right now.

      2. “go stifle myself?” haha, good onel! where and when did i say a fan couldnt have a negative opinion about their beloved team. thats because i never said it. as a matter of fact, i also respect a fan who can offer constructive criticism. my beef lies with bangwagon fans. yes, those who only appear in times of success only to then quickly run for the hills when they sense there is a demise coming. hence, the sellout streak ended during a mediocre season last year. with a 2-5 start, im sure itll chase away more bandwagoners. so, chill out or its no ILL shirt for you this christmas!

        1. God, those horrible “ill” shirts. They might be the worst product of this era of bandwagon Phillies fans.

  7. Kyle, you clearly wrote there was going to be no more “after the jump” in your post talking about the new format…Why is it still happening than?

  8. “…Halladay, Hamels and Lee sneer and stare…”

    I woke up dismayed and depressed this morning. Then I read Matt Gelb’s tweet and got a mental picture of David Murphy alone in a darkened Phillies Clubhouse, hanging by the band of his tighty whities from a hook in Cliff Lee’s locker. I felt much better.

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