Entourage Still An Awful Show, Bizzaro Cliff Lee & More.

Bizzaro Jerry is now Married to Kelly Kapowski on USA.

Count me among those who thought Ross Gload was going to hit a towering 2-run, game-winning home run this afternoon. My unwavering support of G-Load can get me in some trouble, but you can’t win them all I suppose, even if it feels that way against the Padres.  Cliff Lee put the Phillies in a 5-1 hole and they couldn’t quite make it all the way back, and lost for the first time to San Diego this season.  I guess any time you have a chance to win a game where Drew Carpenter throws the 5th and 6th innings you should be happy, but Lee’s bad starts continue to be too pedestrian for my liking.  There’s no way I’m starting him before game 3 of a playoff series, I don’t care what he did in 2009.  Take a suck of that, Lee fanboys.

The newest concern I’ve heard from Phillies fans, now that the team is scoring a few runs here and there and the Braves have been pushed back to arm’s length, is that the team isn’t good enough to win the World Series.  They’ll coast into the playoffs, have a decent shot at winning the National League, but waiting in the World Series will be an offensive juggernaut.  I think much of this concern stems from Boston’s recent run of torrid offense.  The belief is that the Red Sox, the Yankees, or the Rangers will simply be too strong offensively to hold down.  The Phillies will have to win a couple of games 7-5, 8-6 to achieve the ultimate goal.

To this I say, they better not have to do that.  If that’s the case, then this entire team has been constructed on a faulty premise.  Not only that, but there isn’t a hitter out there that will suddenly turn the Phillies into mashers.  An addition may marginally help the offense, but it’s very unlikely that a new bat will carry the Phillies all the way.  This team has been constructed to out-pitch the opposition.  So, get in bed with it.  And, get some perspective, too.  The Rangers hit .272 last year.  They were 4th in the league in runs scored.  In the World Series they scored 12 runs in 5 games and 7 of those came in game 1.  In their last three losses they scored once, total.

Pitching wins these things.  It’s time to put the focus on the pitchers.  We’re worried about putting too much pressure on them, but that’s what they’re being paid to handle.  That’s Ruben’s plan.  So, they’re going to have to suck it up and out-pitch the other teams when the playoffs come around.  You can’t change the entire philosophy of a team with one deadline deal.  The pitchers will have to pitch and that means Roy Halladay can’t give up 2 homers to a journeyman.  And, Cliff Lee can’t have a bizzaro Cliff Lee start.  That’s the bottom line.  Pence or no Pence.

***

So, I just watched the first episode from the final year of Entourage.  You know a show is terrible when you can’t remember a single thing that was going on, but they can completely catch you up in the 45-second montage before the episode starts.  You can’t watch a 45-second clip of Breaking Bad and get caught up, but with Entourage that is no problem.  The last season of the show was almost watchable, or at least it was compared to the seasons that came before it, but last night’s debut was a cold reminder that this show forgot the formula.

It’s important in bad TV to stick to your formula if it works.  It’s like how Survivor keeps recycling contestants for their seasons, or how the Real World figured out it can’t use people with actual jobs.  I guess it is harder than we think, because Entourage derailed after a couple of years and never came back.  In this episode there was a girl who flashed Vince and they didn’t show anything.  Is this TNT?  Why did I put this show on?  Certainly not to watch Vince struggle with sobriety. The formula was envy.  Everyone wanted the houses, the cars, the lifestyle, the girls.  Keep it superficial.  Everything else is a failure.

***

I’ve got a pretty serious semantics problem.  I feel that chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream should actually be called chocolate chip ice cream with cookie dough.  I’ve got a little mind-blower for you.  Chocolate chip cookie dough (misnomer) ice cream is wildly overrated.  It’s good, it is ice cream after all, but real cookie dough is so good that it really blinds the public here.  Look at your ice cream.  There is no chocolate actually in your fake dough.  It’s just in the ice cream.  Not appropriate.  And, even the fake dough is a lukewarm interpretation.  Yeah, I’ll eat it, but it’s not even in the ball park of actual cookie dough.  That sh*t has raw eggs in it.  It’s dangerous.  You take your chances, dance with the devil, because it’s worth it.  This stuff in the ice cream is like playing with wooden swords.   I can really survive on 3 ice cream flavors.  Vanilla, chocolate and cookies and cream.

(Happily goes and eats Cookie Dough Ice Cream)

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Building Toward Saturday.

Twitter Might Die.

The NFL player reps are allegedly on a phone call right now that will be the last step in ending the NFL lockout.  With a deal expected to be in place by later this afternoon, teams could start signing their own players today, could move on to draft picks by tomorrow and the free agent market will open Friday.  Expect a frenzy.  NFL teams are going to have to cram a months long off-season into about a week.  Of course, we all know that teams have been in contact with players, players have been in contact with other players and there are probably any number of deals already in place by wink and nod agreements.  Try proving the Eagles have talked to the Cardinals already in court.  You can’t.  But, it happened, we know that much, and so when they ring that bell on Friday–it’s going to be like those stampedes you see at Kohl’s at 3 am on Black Friday.

Of course, the MLB trade deadline is also this weekend, so there should be plenty of player movement in baseball this week as well, building toward a crescendo on the weekend.  This could be the first weekend in the history of sports that validates the “ticker,” or any type of “trade tracker.”  It is going to be very difficult to keep track of the movement, especially if you are anything like me and don’t really have any idea which players in the NFL are free agents outside of Nnamdi Asomugha.  A lot of things need to shake out, and we need to absorb all that information.  Your fantasy draft is right around the corner.  Time to learn your sleepers and your handcuffs.

I hate to say it, but you might actually have to pay attention to Twitter this weekend.  Or, you’ll at least have to pay attention to someone who pays attention to Twitter.  Especially since it’s the weekend.  The scribes will be in full tweeting mode, and it’ll take some work to distinguish the informational tweets from the purely speculative ones.   We know how these things can get out of control.  One tweet about Brett Favre coming to Philadelphia has now morphed into an article titled, “Vick wants Favre in Philly.”  I”m thinking about tweeting, “Blake Lively rebounding from Leo with Three Putt Territory. #slummingit”  Someone will run with that, no?

I heard that during the U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Final collapse that Twitter nearly shut down.  Is this hyperbole?  I think Twitter has occasionally crashed.  If  we get a bunch of stuff happening simultaneously this weekend, I think Twitter is going down.  Hard.  What if the Eagles traded Kolb and signed Farve on the same day the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence.  What if the Eagles signed Favre just because the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence (don’t put it past them)?  I’m pretty sure that would crash Twitter Septa.

The real question is where will the focus of the Philly fan be?  Are they more concerned about the deadline or more concerned about their cherished Birds.  I think this little Favre wildfire is a sign that Eagles mania is, if anything, just dormant.  The Phillies are a juggernaut and the town still has that red hue, but the switch is always there ready to be flipped.  Sure, there were sell-out crowds sweating off countless pounds at the Bank this weekend, but everyone had one eye on the NFL lockout.  The real advantage I think the Phillies have is that their deal could have more of an impact, and will likely be better received.

I fear there are still those Eagles fans who are holding out for Asomugha.  Or, they think Patrick Peterson is coming. Or, they think Kolb is going to bring an obscene haul of draft picks.  It’s likely none of that is going to happen, and when the lockout ends and these moves start to happen it’s going to be closure.  No Asomugha.  No Patrick Peterson.  The Eagles will get something for Kolb, but it likely won’t be a name that will create a banner headline.  They’ll sign a back-up quarterback, but that will likely be blah as well.  Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see the Eagles doing a deal that will heighten anticipation for this season very much.  If the Phillies make the right move, people will be absolutely rabid for the post-season, if they aren’t already.