Top 10 Highlights of the Phillies - Rockies Game

My future mother in law scored box seats to the Phillies game tonight versus the Colorado Rockies. She had two extra tickets and since my fiance had to work tonight, I took one of my friends. I know very little about baseball and he knows even less. Quite the pair we made.

Baseball really is the perfect sport to see live for a casual sports fan. It's easy to follow. There aren't alot of rules. We all know what a homerun is and the team with the most runs wins. Easy. In the meantime, there is plenty of time for beer runs and iPhone surfing. 

We had a great time chatting and talking about baseball. Here are the top 10 moments for me during the game: 

    1. Shirt of the night goes to the young lady wearing an I Heart J. Cole T-Shirt. Not baseball related. Yet extremely hilarious.
    2. Oddly I didn't see any Ryan Howard jersey's. The guy is a hero in this town. Despite all the injuries he's still beloved here. The Howard shirts were noticeably missing. Interesting. 
    3. The first 3 innings were perfectly boring in the only way a baseball game can be. Nothing exciting happened and you are fine with sitting outside and doing absolutely nothing. 
    4. At one point the Philly Fanatic got on top of the Phillies dugout and danced with a little girl to Blurred Lines. To call this highly awkward, is an understatement. My friend and I may or may not have had a 20 minute conversation about how rapey this song is. Also awkward. Thanks Robin Thicke. 
    5. In the 4th inning, John Mayberry Jr. hit a 3 shot homerun. Hey! Baseball is fun! Suck it soccer!
    6. I've decided that the most terrifying thing you can experience at a sporting event is a foul ball coming directly at you. This happened to us in about the 6th inning. Not sure what the correct reaction is. I chose the shield your face and pray you don't have to explain to your co-workers why you have a black eye approach.  Luckily, the ball hit above us and this was avoided.
    7. Philadelphia fans love to boo. Like...really love to boo. That is all.
    8. In the 8th inning, Phillies Pitcher Jake Diekman balked. Like really balked. I've never actually seen anyone do this. It's like a foot fault in tennis or someone renigging in a game of spades. You know it's a rule but know one actually does it. 
    9. I cannot name one member of the Colorado Rockies.  
    10. The Rockies close what was once a 4 run lead for the Phillies to 1. Of course they did. The Phillies bullpen is horrible. Luckily the Phillies were able to close it out and get the win. Good times were had by all.

    Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and Baseball's Serious Problem

    Back in 2007 the NBA found themselves in the midst of a scandal that had the potential to destroy the sport.  Referee Tim Donaghy was found to have been betting on basketball games that he himself had called.  It was discovered that he had made calls in some games that had affected some of the point spreads.  This was a serious problem for the NBA.  More serious than the coverage it received in my opinion.

    Why? Because this scandal challenged the integrity of the sport. If there are people in place that are actively looking to affect the outcomes of games, then what we are watching isn't genuine. It becomes theater. No better than professional wrestling.  The NBA knew this and they acted quickly and removed Donaghy from the league and he has since served 15 months in jail for his crimes.

    Luckily for the NBA this scandal was easily solved. A rogue ref (so we are told...I'm looking at you  Joey Crawford) with a gambling problem isn't a systemic problem. MLB on the other hand has a much bigger problem on its hand. For the past 15 years baseball has had a major problem with PED's. And things just don't seem to be getting any better.

    Both  Alex Rodriguez  and  Ryan Braun  are caught up in intense PED scandals. Two of baseball’s biggest stars have taken PED's. For years I thought this wasn't a big deal. But it is. When players are using any tactic to give themselves an unfair advantage over other players, it's serious.

    I'm not sure what I find more shocking about these stories...The fact that MLB has kind of half-assed the response or the fact that even after 15 years of scrutiny and investigation players are STILL taking PEDs. That says to me they aren't taking the league seriously.

    And to their credit, they shouldn't take the league seriously. MLB sat by and greatly benefited as Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds chased and broke home run records.  The whole time their bodies turning into human bobble heads.  MLB by not cracking down hard on those guys, essentially gave the green light to everyone to juice till their hearts content.

    What's the solution here? MLB is putting in place some harsh suspensions that will include lifelong bans after the 3rd offense. This is a good start. Sadly, I think there are gonna have to be some lifelong bans.  It's gonna take a huge statement to really change the perception that MLB is allowing this to happen.  It's gonna take a big name banned from the sport. Let's all hope it doesn't have to come to that. For A-Rod's and Ryan Braun's sake.