I’ve been conditioned to hate the Yankees with every fiber of my being. But excuse me for a moment as I get something out. I’m sorry, it’s been a while and I might get it everywhere: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL.
Sorry about your headboard.
There was a time when my phone autocompleted that. But not anymore. Ibanez is a Yankee now, and only wearing a Yankees jersey would a 40-year-old on the back end of his career hit game-tying and winning home runs in a playoff game while replacing one of the greatest players of all-time. Only in a Yankees jersey. That sort of thing only. fucking. happens. to. the. damn. Yankees.
Anyway, that’s your #dickpunch for this morning: Raul Ibanez, beloved Phillie, now a Yankee, pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning yesterday and tied and won the game for the Yankees. And, if for just a brief moment, you found yourself rooting for the Bronx Bombers. Along with Shane Victorino:
Of course, there’s a silver lining to your confused pain– the complete emasculation of Alex Rodriguez by good guy Ibanez. Look at these New York columnists lining up to bury A-Rod. Raul did that, kids. Raul did that.
Sports Betting Updates
That train we talked about? Well, it hit us. Hard. The Phils are playing it out, trying to delay the inevitable for the Washington Nationals… and giving prospects like Darin Ruf a chance to show if they can play at this level.
Ruf, it seems, can.
Last night, the Phillies minor league player of the year blasted a home run in his first Major League at-bat [edit: first hit] (he went 2-for-3 on the night). The reaction from this teammates? Typical. The silent treatment, done in epic fashion.
The home run:
Nothing gets Chris Wheeler harder than some good camaraderie amongst the boys (drink 4). Unfortunately for Chris, he’s always on the outside looking in. Never was one of the boys.
After the game, Charlie Manuel and Ruf laughed about the extended silent treatment.
Manuel: [slight edits, for readability]
“I think the bat boy did good, really. Ruf was trying to get somebody to say something, so he went over to the bat boy, and the bat boy just kind of really blew him off. He said that made him feel bad when the bat boy blew him off. He blew him off and didn’t even look at him. Some guys took two innings before they talked to him.”
“I knew something was up when I tried to give the bat boy a pound and he didn’t even acknowledge me, so I was like alright, if he’s not going to do anything. Then I tried talking to Cloyd and Steve, and they had nothing.”
Video of their comments after the jump.
(Courtesy: Reading Eagle)
And he did it with a monster August.
Coming into the month, Reading Phillies slugger Darin Ruf had 18 homers spanning April to July.
Last night, he hit his 20th home run in the month of August alone, which was what he needed to surpass Ryan Howard's record in a Reading uniform. With 38 homers in total, Ruf is Reading's new home run king.
Even before he broke the record, he caught the eye of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
“Ruf’s had a big year,” said Manuel, who has always had a thing for hitters. “He’s had an extraordinary year. Ruf is something that pops out at you. He’s trying to hit his way to the big leagues. That’s the way it used to be. You had to do something to get to the big leagues. Evidentally, Ruf is an old throwback.”
“I want to see him whether it’s at the end of the year or spring training. I’m looking forward to seeing him. I saw him on TV and it looked like he’s got a good swing. He’s strong.
He may just get a chance to get to the big leagues in September with this news from yesterday.
INF Hector Luna was outrighted off the Phillies 40-man roster and elected free agency. The Phillies are now at 39 players on the 40-man.
— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) August 30, 2012
Ruf has already been named the MVP of the Eastern League and their rookie of the year. As Corey Seidman of CSN Philly mentions, it's worth noting that Ruf is also fighting for the Triple Crown with 38 homers, 102 RBI, and .321 batting average. The Reading Phillies have four games left in the regular season.
A Thursday recap and a Friday preview:
Jeffrey Lurie said that Andy Reid's job is on the line this year. I think he's full of shit.
Jimmy Rollins was benched yesterday for not hustling. No one anywhere blinked.
The NHL dickishly released their National TV schedule for the… upcoming… season.
The Eagles will cut 22 players from their roster by 9:00 pm tonight.
My Temple Owls will play Kyle's Villanova Wildcats in the Mayor's Cup tonight at Lincoln Financial Field tonight. Spoiler Alert: Temple wins.
Drinker's West is having an NHL '12 tournament on Tuesday, September 11th at 8:00 pm. And to answer some questions, you do have to be 21 and you're playing solo.
Happy Friday, folks! More to come.
To be honest, I didn’t see it live yesterday when Jimmy Rollins grounded out weakly to Jose Reyes in the sixth inning of the Phillies-Marlins game. I used to use this whole work for yourself thing as an excuse to watch day games. But not anymore. I’d rather spend the time writing a blog post or creating an invoice. You know, trying to make money or something.
Anyway, I imagine most of you have joined me on this boat. Part of the reason is because the Phillies are very bad this year and, after watching five straight years (hell, 10) of highly-competitive baseball, seeing this slop product is a real letdown. The other part is that most of the Phillies look like they don’t give a shit. Players who were once young and hungry, that usually played a brand of baseball worth emulating, have now gone the way of so many high-paid athletes before them– through the motions.
My Dad has always loved Rollins. Loved his speed. Loved his defense. Loved the fact that he often stepped up when the lights were brightest. I’ve fought my Dad on this point, citing the fact that Rollins often has a misguided approach at the plate, is stubborn, often too outspoken and, even after being benched a few years back for not running out a groundball, still gives less than 100% effort on his treks to first base. We’ll disagree on those points for the rest of time… but at least I now have a new card to play.
As most of you are aware by now, in the sixth inning yesterday, Rollins grounded to Reyes (who was playing back and not in great position to make a play on a speedy runner) and lazily jogged (even that might be too strong a term) down to first.
As you can see after the jump, J-Roll™ heard about it on his Twitter after the game [includes video of the play, with six different broadcasters having a problem with Rollins’ effort]. Step over with me.
Back in the spring, we told you about Reading’s insane home run derby plans: interns on trampolines, golf carts, flamingos (fake), someone hanging from a crane, fans on the field during the derby. The list goes on.
Last night, it happened. It happened just like they said. And as far as we know, no one died.
Another video after the jump.
As we told you last night, Jonathan Papelbon offered $5,000 to anyone who could bail him out of his first blown save of the season by walking it off in the bottom of the ninth. Enter Jim Thome, who hit his 13th career walk-off home run, the most ever in the Major Leagues (previously, he was tied with Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, and Mickey Mantle, with 12).*
Two items of note: Larry Andersen all but called Thome’s shot just moments before he hit it, saying, “It'd be a nice time for Gentleman Jim to go yard.”
He did just that. And, as noticed by several Phillies writers, when Thome was greeted by his teammates at home plate, he turned to Papelbon and said, “I want that check!”
It’s still unclear if Thome received the check or not (we’ll likely hear more about it today), but it was clearly on his mind as he touched home plate.
Listen to LA’s soothsaying after the jump.
*Thanks to our friends from Hardball Talk for that stat.
He is 41-years-old.