Phillies Go to Washington

hamels 0514.jpgIt appears I have passed the White House’s background check with flying colors, so I am headed to Washington DC to cover the Phillies’ meet-and-greet today with President Barack Obama.

It is the team’s last ceremony surrounding their 2008 World Series championship. I know some players are excited to meet the President, but I know even more are happy to finally put ’08 behind them.

’09 has been uneven to say the least. The starting pitching remains the worst in baseball with a 6.17 ERA. The offense had been brilliant through the season’s first 24 games, but has hit .190 since May 5. That ranks last in baseball, and is 16 points lower than Chicago White Sox, who are 29th in the league in that span. Closer Brad Lidge is 0-1 with an 8.56 ERA.

This team just can’t seem to get on a roll.

Reasons not to panic?

  • This is just a lull for the offense. They should score plenty of runs before the end of the season.
  • The defense has been nearly flawless. Cole Hamels‘ unearned run in the third inning yesterday was the first unearned run a Phillies starter had allowed this season. Elias Sports Bureau reports the Phillies set a franchise record by going 31 games into the season without a starter allowing an unearned run.
  • Hamels looked good yesterday, which is encouraging.
  • Lidge is struggling, but the rest of the Phillies’ bullpen has a 3.48 ERA.

Some good signs, but the fact is that the most important thing for this team — starting pitching — has been killing them.

It must improve.


I just read about this Brewers fan who caught Florida’s Chris Coghlan‘s first career home run this week at Miller Park. He wanted a Coghlan signed bat and a Hanley Ramirez bat in exchange for the ball.

Unreasonable request? It never hurts to ask. But the Marlins thought so, and I have no problem with that, either. Why? Because why should Ramirez have to give up one of his bats for somebody else’s home run ball? The fan explained that is what he felt was fair, but in reading his blog post, he also sounded like he felt entitled to it. I catch baseballs as a hobby. I work in law enforcement. These guys are millionaires. He seemed shocked — SHOCKED! — that some of the Marlins had a problem with him.

Like I said, I have no problem with him asking for two bats. I just have a problem with the sense of entitlement he had while asking.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.


Congrats on clearing security! Were you worried? Make sure and post some pics on FB.

That Brewer’s fan was a jerk! What did the team wind up giving him?

Who’d thought that folks Dairy state could be so feisty?? First Todd gets in J-Rolls face (reasonable question of course) then this Brewers fan……LOL!!

Wish I could be a fly on the wall when you all meet the President. Enjoy such a wonderful experience. Be sure to post lots of pics!

Who’d thought that folks from the Dairy state could be so feisty?? First Todd gets in J-Rolls face (reasonable question of course) then this Brewers fan……LOL!!

Wish I could be a fly on the wall when you all meet the President. Enjoy such a wonderful experience. Be sure to post lots of pics!

apologies for the duplicate comment….was trying to stop it and edit but I missed.

The Phillies meet Pres. Obama today- perhaps it will inspire them to get a win.

Check out this funny post on my blog!

Actually Karen, you can be a fly on the wall. Zo posted this on his twitter feed:
Phillies fans can watch President Obama welcome the Phillies to the White House at 12:20 Eastern:

Thanks Deb! Unfortunately, I’m at work and can’t access twitter and/or facebook on my work computer (darn security blockouts!)

OK….I’m going out on a limb here. Any other Facebookers here? I’m sure there are! 😉 If you care to join me, here’s my email addy…

Wow…that Brewers post was scary. I agree Todd, he was out of line.


Just read the Brewer’s fan page myself. Kinda a ******. I think asking for something other than from the person who hit the HR is kinda lame. And insulting to the person who hit it! It’s like “yeah, glad I caught it but you’re a nobody so can I have something from someone who is a better player?”

Also as of now, the stream still shows nada.😦

Todd, I’m glad you’re still covering the Phils, although if you were covering your hometown Brewers you definitely would have blogged a lot more. rich609, what makes you think Obama wants to inspire the Phils to win? He’s more likely to implore the Phils to lose the four games for their country!!! Because if the lowly Nats can turn their season around, maybe Washington will be able to turn this economy around.

That Brewers fan wasn’t any worse than Scott Boras. He just doesn’t have Boras’ negotiating skills. He got greedy. The scariest thing about this guy is that he works in law enforcement. If I were working for Internal Affairs in Milwaukee, I would check this guy carefully. He could even be a Dexter!! Be careful people of Milwaukee!!!

I came within an eyelash of catching Edgar Martinez’s first ML homer at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium in the late ’80s. The guy in front of me reached up and caught it at the last second, and the usher came and got him to take him to the clubhouse to trade the ball to Edgar. The guy came back with 4 basesballs (not even autographed) and he bragged about it all night. Finally I told him that you could buy authentic MLB baseballs at K-Mart for $7. Edgar turned out to be a great player, so the guy really got jipped.

Happ can’t catch a break. That blown save Friday night cost him a chance to shine last night, yet he stays focused and is pitching great. It’s only a matter of time till they have to replace the Ancient Mariner, but Chollie is going to give him every chance to turn it around. Happ in the rotation could change everything for this team, IMO.

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