Friday, October 31, 2008

Phillies players will not attend today's parade

Philadelphia Soul players will sit in for Phillies players during today's World Series Championship parade down Broad St. due to a scheduling conflict. The entire team is contractually obligated to attend the taping of a commercial for D'Ambrosio Dodge at the airport auto mall.

"It's unfortunate but we signed a deal with [D'Ambrosio Dodge] to tape a Halloween Phillies commercial back in April," said Phillies president, David Montgomery.

Officials feel that crowds will remain civil during the parade as long as Jon Bon Jovi makes an appearance.

Smart cars targeted during World Series street celebration

Philadelphia's Smart Cars were not immune to the unruly fan behavior that followed the Phillies' second championship in their 126 year history.

Heather Smits, assistant to Mayor Michael Nutter, warned the public days before, that raucous crowds would seek out the ultra-compact automobiles. The city went as far as to offer pick up and short term storage in South Philadelphia.

"Several people took our advice, but instead of us picking up the car, they simply mailed Smart Cars to our facility," said Smits.

One unidentified owner should have taken the city's offer, as the car was left at the intersection of Broad St and Sansom St, nearly in epicenter of the post-game party.

"We tried to push the car over but they are deceivingly stable," said Mike Brezner, 43, of Grays Ferry. "We had about 15 guys pushing and it wouldn't go. The crowd that was watching us started to laugh. It was embarrassing."

Though unsuccessful in overturning the tiny car, Brezner and company attempted to ease their embarrassment with a Louisville Slugger.

"We beat the #$%& out of that thing," said Brezner. "No Smart Car will ever embarrass me like that again. Never!"

Report: Teams were forced to stay in dugout during 2-day rain suspension

The Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays have finally completed the rain-delayed game five of the World Series. The Phillies prevailed and captured baseball's biggest prize. That much we know.

However, reports are surfacing that players from both teams were required to remain in their respective dugouts during the 2-day rain delay from Monday to Wednesday.

One source close to commissioner Bud Selig, who wanted to remain anonymous, reported: "[Bud Selig] ordered the players and coaching staff to stay in the dugout because he feared the game would lose its feel."

Selig offered no comment when questioned about the reports and went on to say that dugouts "were not comfortable places."

Players reportedly slept on the dugout floor in sleeping bags and ate left over hot dogs from sections 117 and 130. Several players used bases and piles of used sunflower seeds as pillows.

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino gave a big smile when asked about the topic.

"Major League Baseball has banned me from commenting on this subject. But I will say it was a cold couple of nights ... wherever I may have spent them."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dominos offers free small Palin pizza for PA

Now you have a reason to save that annoying voting receipt that always gets tossed onto the polling place floor. Bring your receipt to any participating Pennsylvania Dominos Pizza, to prove you voted for McCain, and you will receive one small Palin pizza.

"I love toppings, but as long as its free then I really do like Palin pizza," said Betty Sipes, of Broomall, PA.

Company founder, Tom Monaghan, called the promotion a blessing. "The Palin pizza will help us in the critical swing state. Pennsylvania loves pizza."

Drunk, wet fans attempt to tip over Comcast Center

A group on angry Phillies fans attempted to tip over the Comcast Center, the city's tallest building, following the lengthy rain delay last night.

"It's a solid building, trust me," said Jim Higgins, a fan from Fitler Square. "It's not nearly as easy to tip over as it looks."

Higgins and some friends left a bar at 17th and Chesnut St's and made their way to the glass and steel structure with the intent of toppling the building by "pushing and shoving really hard."

"We thought we could get her to rock back and forth enough to get it to bend quite a bit. If it did go over it would have been empty because it was so late ... so that's one thing," said Higgins.

Comcast security guards caught the group in action and allowed the action to continue after having a good laugh.

"We were going to call the cops, but [the other guards and myself] were just getting such a kick out of it. They pushed and rocked for about an hour before all six fell asleep on the sidewalk," said guard, Dave Allen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rays to wear Steve Irwin patch during series

The Tampa Bay Rays, this year's American League representative in baseball's World Series, have decided to pay tribute to one of the world's great animal lovers. The team has decided to wear a patch of Steve Irwin on the right sleeve of their uniforms during the best-of-seven series.

Irwin, best known as the Crocodile Hunter, was killed just over two years ago off the coast of Australia while filming a documentary. The Australian was the victim of a rare stingray attack, where he suffered a fatal blow to the chest.

"Steve was a big fan of the Devil Rays. Actually, he was a big fan of all teams that have animals as mascots, as he thought it made the public more aware of the creatures and their fragile environments," said Cindy Thomas, a colleague and friend of the Irwin family.

The team did have a moment of silence before their game on the day after Irwin died in 2006. They also retired a jersey with Irwin's favorite number, 64(average number of teeth for a crocodile), at the beginning of the 2007 season.

"I always felt guilty that his life was cut short by a ray. Though it was a stingray and not a devil ray I just never felt right about it. So we want to honor him while participating on baseball's biggest stage," said Rays owner, Stuart Sternberg.

Irwin's death was the reason the team decided to drop devil from their name starting in the fall of 2007. Team officials wanted to distance themselves from what happened near the Great Barrier Reef the year before.

"We considered changing the name completely after the accident. Both the Tampa Bay Flounders and the Tampa Bay Sea Bass were seriously considered, but in the end we settled on just Rays," said the team's marketing director, Kimberly Monnaet.

Notes: This is the second playoff series that the Rays will wear patches. Against the Red Sox in the ALCS the team wore a Ray Romano patch to promote TBS' reruns of Everybody Love Raymond.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bye week lets area connect with fall and the outdoors

"God, I wish every bye week was this nice," said Frank Tollenz, referring to the picture perfect fall weather the Philadelphia area experienced over the weekend. "I can remember one bye week a couple years ago being very rainy and I just hated bye week that year. I was like,'god, I hate bye week.'"

Tollenz, like many other Eagles fans, only gets to enjoy one fall weekend every year due to the team's single week off—usually scheduled around the middle of the season. Though the games are on Sunday's, Tollenz spends Saturdays preparing for the game by watching film and purchasing food for football gatherings. At least twice during the workweek he drives to Lincoln Financial Field and circles the stadium twice before driving the 40 minutes home.

The Bristol,PA native pledged to his family that he would "really enjoy" this year's off-week no matter what the weather. The family, including wife Sharren and twin sons Demp and Donny, 7, took a drive around Bucks and Montgomery Counties to witness the fall foliage at its best and take in a hike.

The four were amazed at what they saw. Each reported having seen pictures of leaves changing colors, but never the real thing.

"A friend told me some years ago about leaves and colors and changing ... it was a real science fiction explanation. Something out of a UFO movie, but today I really saw what my buddy was saying."

The family seemed to be on quite a high as each were looking forward to next year's bye week already. However, the family gave an odd look when asked what they thought if the Eagles had two bye weeks per season.

"If there were two byes, that could allow me to get the old bike out of the shed or take my sons fishing or some other stuff, but that would mean two weekends of Eagle-less football and I don't know if that would work," said Tollenz.

"What a great experience this weekend was. I am truly looking forward to the 2009 bye week. I really mean that."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

'I told Chase that I can't get champagne on my back before a swim meet, but he did not listen. I was upset.'

Above: Chase Utley pours champagne down the back of third baseman Pedro Feliz in celebration of a trip to the World Series. Feliz was under strict orders from his swim coach not to get champagne on his back before a swim meet. Feliz was scheduled to swim in a meet in San Bernadino, CA after the game. Feliz took up swimming shortly after the Beijing Olympics ended in August. Though words were exchanged the two have patched things up since.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One Phils bandwagon fan swears team made it this far in 2001

Philadelphia is savoring last night's NLCS clincher that has put the Phillies in the World Series for only the 6th time in franchise history. Fans filled Broad Street, gathered in Mayfair and near Citizens Bank Park.

"I'm going crazy," said Zack Mendenhall, 36, a fan from Pennsport,"It's like 2001 all over again."

A face-painted Mendenhall admitted that he is a huge Eagles and Flyers fan, but only a very casual Phillies fan. When asked what was the significance of 2001 for the Phillies he gave a confused look.

"Everybody knows the Phils went to the finals in 2001. Remember the great play where Mike Lieberthal stepped over a player on his way to home plate. We're celebrating like it's been a lot longer than seven years, but that's fine with me," said Mendenhall.

When several friends and diehard fans tried to explain to Mendenhall that it was the Sixers who made it to the finals in 2001 and Allen Iverson who stepped over a Los Angeles Laker he became very quiet.

The Pennsport native insisted it was the Phils in the "MLB Finals" that year. There were lots of finger pointing, name calling and some tears during the debate about the Phils 2001 season.

"It's so clear to me because it was a few days after my birthday in June and ... Oh god. Oh %$#@! I'm very embarrassed. You probably can't tell that I'm bright red because of all this red paint I have on my face."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

'I am ________ and this message was approved by me.'

The Federal Association of Political Advertisements(FAPA) announced today that starting immediately political radio and television ads must reword their candidate approval statements.

Currently political ads either open or close with:"I am _______ and I approve this message." Under the new FAPA requirements ads must use the following format:"I am ______ and this message was approved by me."

"Political ads can grow tiring especially when [the public] is bombarded at a dizzying rate during the final weeks before the election. We feel changing the candidate approval statement format will make the ads much more entertaining and funny," said FAPA president, Steve Dillenger.

Both the Obama and McCain camps praised the move calling it "classy" and "extremely classy and good."

"We just feel changing the format was a real classy move," said an Obama representative.

"Flat out classy and good," said a McCain representative.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stairs and Victorino to team up on Hole in the Wall

Hollywood loves a great story and it's difficult to top last night's two Phillies two-run home runs in the eighth inning to erase a two run deficit to beat the Dodgers, 7-5.

FOX television, which is based in Hollywood and televised the game, decided to ask the two Phillies heroes from game 4 to appear on the network's hit show Hole in the Wall.

The game show challenges contestants to contort their bodies to fit through cutout in a moving wall. If unsuccessful the player is pushed off the platform and into a pool.

Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs, the home run heroes, are huge fans of the show and did not hesitate when FOX executives approached them after the game with the idea.

"It's like it's a moving wall. Just one time I want to see them launch a wall that has no hole at all. You know, just to see the faces of the [contestants]," said Canadian, Stairs.

"We had a game like this in Hawaii when I was growing up, but instead of a wall and a hole we had a backboard and a rim and a basketball," said the native islander, Victorino.

The episode will be taped today as the NLCS takes a day off before game 5 tomorrow. Manager Charlie Manuel and several teammates will attend the taping.

"The show is hilarious. But it could be funnier if the wall was moving away from the players," said Manuel.

The episode will air in late March of 2009 and will contain strong adult language and lots of chewing tobacco.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Comcast Center to allow "light tailgating" in lobby during Phillies games

The new Comcast Center in Philadelphia, home to the country's largest cable and communications company by the same name, has decided to show Phillies playoff games on the lobby TV.

This is no ordinary television. It covers almost the entire north wall of the lobby as it runs 83 long and 25 feet high. It is the world's largest four-millimeter LED screen. The picture is so clear that the images that fill the many panels appear to be three-dimensional.

So special is the screen that it has begun to draw large crowds(many tourists) to view it's in-house programing and now even larger crowds for the Phillies playoff games.

"We've decided to allow light tailgating in the lobby during games. Because we have only two benches we wanted fans to be comfortable," said Comcast representative, Joseph Stills.

Stills went on to define light tailgating as the following: folding chairs, personal sized coolers, cans(no bottles), gas grills(no charcoal) and smaller-size foam fingers.

"I'm really looking forward to light tailgating tomorrow during game 4," said Debbie McShane. "But I must admit that I'm a little confused by the no cans and charcoal rule."

Stills also added: "We will not allow those cheesesteak foam hats. They're really tacky."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Torre threatens Amtrak home if Dodgers don't split in Philly

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre told his team today after workouts that if they did not get at least one victory in Philadelphia they would be taking Amtrak home across the country on Saturday morning.

Torre has informed the league of his decision, which could impact the schedule of the NLCS. If the Dodgers do at least split, the schedule will remain unchanged. If the the team falls behind 2-0 there will be four days off between games two and three to allow for train travel.

"When he said Amtrak I got the chills. But when he said Amtrak and cross-country in the same sentence ... I kind of urinated myself," said Dodger pitcher, Derek Lowe.

It takes roughly two and a half days to travel on Amtrak from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Most trips require two train changes in either Washington,DC or Pittsburgh and Chicago.

"I pulled this stunt back in 2000 during the subway World Series with the Mets and I think it was a hit. Nobody wanted to take Amtrak anywhere, not even from the Bronx to Queens," said Torre.

Though the trip back could be physically draining on the Dodgers one player looked at the positives if they did embark along the rails. "Going through the Rockies could be fun because of the observation car and I hear the dining car serves some of the best M&M's," said the player.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MGM buys movie rights to Bailout plan for $700 billion

MGM Studios(Metro Goldwyn Mayer) has signed a deal with the US government for the movie rights to the Bailout of Wall Street. The deal is reported to be in the area of $700 billion, the most ever to be paid for the rights to produce a film. Only for the production cost of Universal Pictures' Waterworld(1995 at $2.3 trillion) has Hollywood seen such an outlandish sum of money associated with a film.

"It's a great story and we thought it was worth the investment. We think we got it for a steal quite frankly," said MGM CFO, Kyle Shnantz.

Shnantz said that Hollywood would change the story slightly by adding a science fiction-type monster to the film.

"The bailout story is fantastic, don't get me wrong. But we feel that instead of defaulting loans causing mayhem on the markets there should be some type of eight-legged creature descending on Wall Street and Main Street," said Shnantz.

The studio announced that Kevin Costner has been asked to play the role of a Pennsylvania Amish farmer who travels to Wall Street after discovering he holds the secret to defeating the creature.

The government spent $700 billion on the Bailout plan for Wall Street and so the movie deal will help the government balance the deal. Or will it?

"The deal is great for the American people. This is such great timing. You have know idea how this extra cash will help with our planned air and ground invasion of Iran, Pakistan and ... there's a couple countries I'm forgetting and I don't mean any disrespect to them," said Dennis Ramsey, assistant to the Secretary of State.

Shnantz hopes that the movie will be in theaters by Election day on November 4th.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Manuel drives an automatic

Charlie Manuel(above) finally succumbed to the pressure of the Philadelphia media and admitted to driving an automatic transmission automobile. The Philadelphia Phillies manager had denied rumors for several years that he drove a car without a gear shift.

"We saw him get out of the car and not put the parking break on. We confronted him and he admitted it there on the spot. I then looked through the car window to confirm his statement," said Action News correspondent, Gary Smith.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Prince Fielder demands private tour of Tastykake factory

The Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder says he loves coming to Philadelphia. The Ontario, CA native spends his off-seasons in Philadelphia where he recently purchased a Center City apartment.

"It's a city of great food, great snacks and even greater snack cakes. The main reason I began spending my winters here is because of one word ... scrapple. Scrapple, man," said Fielder.

The stout first baseman can regularly be seen at Pat's, Geno's, Jim's and then back at Geno's. Residents of Chester County, the birthplace of scrapple, often report seeing the major leaguer at area diners and hobnobbing with the Amish attempting to uncover the mystery meat's ingredients.

"Though I may have came for the scrapple I stayed for the Tastykakes. And I guess for the cheesesteaks and a little bit for the pretzels ... and I guess the hoagies as well."

Fielder admits that he has a soft spot for Tastykakes and has two vending machines in his Liberty Two apartment stocked with the local treats.

"I know Chase [Utley] does commercials for Tastykake, but I think Prince would be a good spokesperson," said Fielder's public relations agent.

Such a fan of the snack cake company that Fielder requested a tour of the baking facilities. Tastykake discontinued tours of their operations in the early 90's and politely turned the Brewer down.

Fielder threatened to stop eating Krimpets and apple pies if he was not given a tour, but said he would continue eating Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes no matter what the decision.

Tastykake finally issued a statement stating they could not make an exception regarding tours, but would launch a new Krimpet with three layers of icing including Fielder's picture on the wrapper.

"That's a great compromise," said a grinning Fielder. "A delicious compromise."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fan: 'I used to call him Cole Hummels.'

Scott Travis, a diehard Phillies fan from Roxborough, may be the happiest fan in the city after the local nine's opening victory over the Brewers in the NLDS. The victory, the team's first playoff win since 1993, was made possible by the brilliant outing of Cole Hamels.

"I used to call him Cole Hummels because he is so fragile like those Hummel statue things. Now I'll call him Cole Hamels," said Travis, referring to the player's battles with injuries and his resulting overcautiousness.

So frustrated with the pitcher's injury problems and unwillingness to throw deep into games that Travis began collecting Hummels—the ceramic figurines—to send to Hamels as an insult.

"I was going to buy a couple and then send them to him, but honestly they make great collectibles," said Travis.

Though he never did send the figurines, Travis admitted to bringing several to a game where he asked Hamels to autograph the base of each one. Travis had planned to heckle the pitcher, but backed off when he realized his size.

"I do remember the guy," said Hamels when asked about Travis,"he asked me to sign a bunch of these tiny statues. They were real fragile and all. He said they were for charity."

Travis' collection has reached 248 Hummels. He chooses two to bring with him for everyhome game he attends. "I buy them a seat to share, but they're not heavy enough to make the seat stay down so I have to bring a brick with me."

Travis said he would never call Hamels Cole Hummels again, even though the playoff victory could hurt the value of his collection.