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04/01/2006 Archived Entry: "Phillies Journal-2006"

Phillies Journal - 2006

by Max Blue


The Phils are back in town to take on the Red Sox in two exhibition games before the season gets underway on Monday against Scott Rolen. Okay, I know what day it is; we been heading for this day since we got fooled last October. But listen to this: here in South Jersey, people got things other than baseball on their minds. Yesterday I had to stand in line to check out of the Lowes garden store—I had to go back three times to get all the stuff I needed—Liddy wants flowers and trees planted around our new house which has been here for 18 years without Rhododendron, Azalea, Holly, Dogwood, Japanese Maple, Pansies, a Rose tree. So here I am with a cartful of peat moss, licorice mulch, a new garden hose, triple phosphate—all that stuff, plus what is no doubt the most appropriate symbol of Phillies baseball ever invented—a weeping cherry tree.

It’s hard not to weep when you think of what lay’s ahead. But what can we do? We have to hope. Hope that Charlie Manuel will understand that these two games with the Red Sox are games we have to win. We have to beat Terry Francona. We have to beat Curt Schilling. Send a message, Charlie; this is our turf. Last June the Red Sox came to town and annihilated the Phillies in a three-game sweep; remember that, Charlie. Don’t you dare treat these two games lightly. Got that, Charlie? I am ticked off enough that the Comcast sports network will not televise today’s game.

I am also steamed that Sports Illustrated picks the Phillies to finish third in the NL East behind Atlanta and the Mets when anyone with half a brain can see that position-for-position the matchups favor the Phillies. Mark this down: on April Fools Day, 2006, two days before the season starts, Max Blue fearlessly predicts that Howard, Utley, and Rollins, three fourths of the infield, will be on the National League All-star team. What about the pitching? Look for some surprises from Myers, Mad Dog Madson, and Gavin Floyd. We are told to look for great things from Aaron Rowand in centerfield; he will join Chase Utley in the get-that-wall-out of my way mentality. That’s the stuff, guys, knock down the walls.

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