Tasers: A Deterrent?

More Like an Invitation to be Awesome.

I don’t really have an opinion on the Taser kid.  I just wanted to point out that someone went on the field again tonight.  So, you’d have to assume that at this point people are collecting bets while drunk to go onto the field and get shot with a Taser?  Welcome to the best sports town in America, baby.  I’m not worried about the kid getting lit up with electricity.  Honestly, maybe there should be a wheel they spin when someone runs out onto the field with various options.  Physical force, Net Gun, Taser, American Gladiator style tennis ball gun, German Shepard, calf roper…it could get pretty exciting.

Did the Phillies play Tuesday night, they did,  I have to flip to something during LOST commercials, and the outcome was quite pleasant.  Two times over.  First Cole Hamels pitched beautifully, handling a very good St. Louis lineup.  He seemed to have command of 3 pitches, and funny how the games go well when that works out.  He got out of a tight spot or two, and then unfortunately was nicked for a run in the ninth, which would cost him the win.  With the go ahead run on second, I pegged the Phillies chances at victory at about 9.759 percent, but Brad Lidge came in and threw an effective slider.  I saw it with these eyes.  It was amazing.  He gets out of the jam, Phils win in extras thanks to Carlos Ruiz, aka Chooch, aka The World’s 2nd Most Interesting Man after the Dos Equis guy.  Those commercials are getting a little Bill Brasky-esque by the way.

I’m going to choose to be optimistic about Brad Lidge.  First, his fastball was a respectable velocity, but more important was the variety and quality of his sliders.  He throws at least three of them.  One he likes to start hitters with, and he throws it for a strike.  Great deterrent to sitting first pitch fastball.  The second breaks out of the zone, and he uses it to get guys to chase or maybe put it in play weakly.  The third is the sharpest, it usually bounces, and the hitters can look foolish.  I think I saw all of those working at one point or another Tuesday night.  Now, you could say Lidge showed signs of being good last season.  That’s true.  He was pretty good about 30 times, and absolutely awful on a dozen occasions.  But honestly, I wasn’t sure if he was going to be good for any solid outings.  So, allow me this rare moment of hope.

Concerning Hamels, he also does this from time to time.  I remember him shutting out the Dodgers last June, and everyone thought he was back.  Not so much, just turned out he was offering a little a smoke up the skirt to keep you quiet for a couple of days.  The good news is Hamels had a better plan out there Tuesday night.  We know he’s kind of mess, and sometimes you look at him and wonder if he has a clue.  Any clue at all?  He seemed at least aware of what was going on.  Much like many people said, give Hamels a month or so, I’m going to wait for a month of solid outings to believe he’s back in any kind of form.  It was a timely performance, though.

In fact, it was probably just enough for me to skip over a post I was going to make about pitchers the Phillies could possibly be looking at the trade deadline.  Nothing like looking forward to the trade deadline on May 4th.  I’ll keep it in the back of my mind, and maybe shift the focus to relievers, now that we know Madson is out at least two months.  He’s soft, his toe bones are soft, I’ve had about enough of the guy.  Lets get Jose Contreras to open the pipeline to Cuba for us.


On Road Rage…

Traffic Can Really Let the Air out of the Balloon.

I’m not a commuter.  I see the traffic reports, though.  I occasionally have no choice but to brave rush hour, so I know what’s out there to some extent.  I’ll be honest, I’m not that great at sitting in traffic of any kind.  I had no choice but to plow through morning commuter activity this morning, though, and I didn’t like what I saw.  It’s all a little too intense for me, the stopping and starting, the nudging, the near side-swiping, the merging or lack thereof…what a nightmare.  Is there anything more depressing than being on an on-ramp for an expressway, rounding the bend and seeing a big line of tail lights in front of you?  I thought I was cruising along this morning when I came to the great clusterbang known as the 276/476/76 everything ’76 merger.  That’ll add some time your trip.  I want to say that not having EZ-Pass actually saved me time in this instance, but I’ll let that go.  As I watched a hundred lanes shrink down to 3, I wondered about doing that every morning, and how many nerves would hold up.

I don’t consider myself a real road rage guy.  If you have any tales of interesting road rage, please feel free to share, but I’d put myself somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.  I do realize that I don’t put myself in many situations where the blood could boil.  I don’t drive particularly fast, or aggressively, but certain things bother me a good bit.  Mostly tailgating, blindly pulling out of front of me, things like that.   My reaction is usually limited to profane language that I enjoy within the comfy confines of my own vehicle.  I’d say I’m a moderate horn user.  I use in emergencies and when I want to make sure someone knows they are an idiot.  I’m not a finger flipper, although, I have been known to make a random and undefined hand gesture.  Loose translation being, “You’re a mullet.”    Do I have the potential for more than this inside me?  I’m not sure.  I hope not.

I think it has to build, though, right?  No one just gets behind the wheel of a car and is a maniac from the start.  When you start driving you are just happy to be driving.  Road rage?  More like bliss.  The more driving becomes a chore, though, I imagine that is when you get worn down.  People start with the horn and profanity, like me, and next thing you know they’re ramming someone into a guardrail?   I’m not going to come out and condone the road rage, but the little tastes I get of this life sitting in traffic I have to sit through on occasion make me at least able to connect the dots in my mind.  The bottom line is, if you sit in traffic everyday, I feel for you.  Try to channel the anger to a healthy spot, though.  Blogs, talk radio, that kind of thing…

Tiger, Thoughts on Possibly Getting Passed By Mickelson…

"Second Sucks and Third is Worse." Ok, Great.

Golf has some of the most confusing and least accurate rankings in the world of sports.  This isn’t to say the two-year weighted scale gets everything wrong.  It’s had Tiger Woods as the World’s best player for pretty much the last seven years or so, and there wasn’t any doubt about that.  What was happening behind Tiger was always up for debate, but it was stability at the top.  Well, it’s been obvious since last fall that Tiger isn’t the best golfer in the world anymore, not right at this moment he isn’t, and after this week at the TPC the rankings could finally reflect that.  If Phil Mickelson wins the Players and Tiger finishes outside the top-5, Phil will take over the top spot in the World rankings.  Now, it’s a good reflection of their careers that Phil has spent 20 years trying to get to number one, and Tiger has hardly left the spot, but I think the dethroning of Tiger is coming, and it could be this week.  Past Tiger blips haven’t lasted that long, could anyone unseat him for an extended period of time?

Trying to think of new ways to analyze the Phillies terrible pitching.  Today it struck me that their staff is a little like getting an ace and a pile of slop in five-card draw.  I’m pretty sure there is an unwritten rule that you never take four cards.  Just fold, right?  Well, the Phillies can’t fold.  I didn’t get the chance to see the game on Monday night, but I can in the stat line that Joe Blanton wasn’t exactly terrific.  Ten hits in six innings kind of tells the tale.  Here’s an interesting stat for you.  Roy Halladay is on pace to throw 331 innings.  That should give you an idea of the workload he’s taken on this first month, and considering where the Phillies stand despite that?  Well, like I said, I guess we’re keeping the ace, taking our four cards, and hoping for the best.

Anyone up for a Bryce Harper update?  Harper is the baseball phenom who left high school early so he could enter this year’s draft.  There’s an update on him over at Sports Illustrated’s website.   Harper has torn up his college competition this season, and in many people’s eyes has solidified himself as the first pick in the draft.  His otherworldly power is being raved about, but some scouts are questioning his make-up.  He’s cocky.  He’s been ejected for taunting.  He once took a bow after a good throw.  One scout called him the, “Anti-Joe Mauer.”  Pretty harsh criticism, but someone who is going to demand one of, if not the highest signing bonus ever, deserves close scrutiny.  The Nationals have the first pick in the draft again, and after last year’s seemingly successful selection of Stephen Strasburg, the question is will they pony up again for Harper?  A lot of people get labeled can’t miss.  They end up on the spectrum from Mauer to Josh Hamilton and everywhere in between.  What should the Nats do?

Here’s a question.  Is LeBron really hurt?  I mean, what was that performance by the Cavs.  Rajon Rondo looked like the MVP.  How is Cleveland going to beat Boston?  Orland0?  LA?  Whoever?

Lot of fire out of the resident Bruins fans in the comments section.  Do I think the Flyers are done?  Well, I think we all know that expectations have been lowered for quite some time.  I know Boston isn’t dominating the series, but they have a strong grasp on it now.  I think the last change will help the Flyers, and I think they still can make this a long series.  Wednesday will tell the tale.