Results tagged ‘ Barack Obama ’

U-S-A!

Last night was an unforgettable one at Citizens Bank Park.

I vivdly remember how I learned about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. (Alarm clock radio went off and Howard Stern told me.) I remember the haze of the rest of the day. (Had a rehab appointment following ACL surgery. Still went. Not sure why.) But last night we finally got some good news. U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden.

My Twitter feed showed President Obama planned to address the nation at 10:30 p.m., so I knew something was up. Something big. Then as time passed the news slowly leaked onto Twitter.

Bin Laden has been killed

Bin Laden is dead …

They were just rumors at one point, but CNN and other places finally confirmed them. It was real. It did not take long for word to spread in the ballpark via smart phones and text messages. In the top of the ninth inning the chants started …

“U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”

The players had no clue what was happening. They learned a few minutes later.

The best quote of the night came from Mets third baseman David Wright:

“I don’t like to give Philadelphia fans too much credit, but they got this one right.

“One of the first things I thought about was coming from Walter Reed, the emotions that those guys must be going through hearing that same news. As proud and as great a moment as it was for me being on a baseball field, you multiply that by a million. That’s probably what they’re feeling at the fire houses, at the police stations, at the places like Walter Reed. It’s just an incredible moment and for a split second, for more than a split second, you kind of come together. You’ve got the New Yorkers, you’ve got the Philadelphians, the city, you kind of come together for a common cause. It put a smile on my face before I even knew what was going on, and then made me feel a lot better after I found out.”

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Phils Look Impressive in the Opener

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It’s just one game, but …

  • Roy Halladay is really, really good.
  • Placido Polanco looks like a nice addition to the lineup.
  • The Phillies offense could be scary this season.
  • There might have been more Nats fans than Phillies fans at Nationals Park, but Phillies fans made sure people knew they were there. They were loud.
  • President Barack Obama is a better basketball player than a baseball player.

What impressed you about the opener?

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Obama Wants A Ring

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obama jersey 2.jpgPresident Barack Obama gets a Phillies jersey from Jimmy Rollins today at the White House.

Obama seems to approve.

“Can I have your ring, too?” Obama asked Rollins.

Rollins politely declined.

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I enjoyed my time today at the White House. I entered the White House grounds around 11:20 a.m. through the northwest gate on Pennsylvania Avenue. Once I cleared security (no problem), I headed in with the Daily News’ David Murphy, who remembered to bring his ID (something he seems to forget or lose every other month).

We did not know where to go, and we had nobody to tell us where to go. So we walked. We quickly noticed a Marine sentry standing in front of a door. We approached, the Marine opened the door and we walked through.

“Uh, can I help you?” a lady asked.

“Yes, we’re here for the Phillies event.”

We got several concerned/confused looks from the people in the room. I also got a you-really-really-really-should-not-be-in-here vibe. We quickly learned we had entered the wrong door, and needed to go elsewhere. I learned much later we had entered the West Wing lobby, and the Marine sentry at the door meant the President was in the West Wing. Thankfully, the Secret Service didn’t rappel from the roof, tackle us and arrest us for suspicious behavior.

We hung out in the briefing room for a few minutes before we were escorted through the Rose Garden to the South Lawn, where we waited for the ceremony to start. Of course, I had no idea we were walking through the Rose Garden at the time. I guess I expected more roses? The ceremony did not last long, but it was sweet.

Not a bad way to spend a Friday.

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.

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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.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Phillies Going to Washington

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 Hi, I’m President Barack Obama, and I’d like to invite the 2008 World Series champion Phillies to meet me,my wife and the Bidens at the White House next Tuesday.

Hope you can make it.

Yours truly,

President Obama

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

No More Nomar?

nomar.jpgThe word is that the Oakland A’s are interested in Nomar Garciaparra.

The Phillies have been interested in Garciaparra for some time, but the feeling I get is that he isn’t coming to Philadelphia.

“We’re not going to get into a bidding war with the A’s,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said today. “He knows what our parameters would be.”

Those parameters are believed to be modest.

But what about free agent lefthanders like Joe Beimel and Will Ohman? They’re still on the market, and the Phillies could use another lefthander.

“If they get to the point where they would take something that is extremely modest, then we’d still be in it,” Amaro said. “But they’d have to take something that’s very, very modest because, frankly, we don’t have any money to play with right now.”

Amaro wouldn’t say what “modest” means, but it’s safe to say it’s less than $1 million.

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If the Phillies are looking for another lefthanded arm to have in camp, lefthander Mike Bacsik is looking for a job. He pitched for triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2005, so he has familiarity with the Phillies’ organization and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who he also knew in Cleveland.

“My connection to Charlie and the organization makes the idea of being part of the Phillies organization enticing,” Bacsik said. “My ability to start or relieve could possibly serve a need the organization has from the left side. I spent most of 2007 pitching in the big leagues with Washington and would welcome a trip back to the NL East.”

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Ryan Madson changed numbers. He wears No. 46 after wearing No. 63.

Why?

“I needed a change,” Madson said. “(President Barack) Obama said it’s time for change.”

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