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Phils Keep Winning, Manuel Makes A Mistake, and Fox Forces Shirts Inside Out

Phour for Phour tackles the good, the bad and the ugly in Philly sports.

Welcome back to another round of Phour for Phour!

This week, we'll look at a Phillies team that just keeps winning, a late inning blunder by Charlie Manuel and the Joe Buck hate being censored during a national broadcast by Fox.

We'll also announce the lucky winner of two tickets to see the Union host Chivas USA, but before we do that, let's break down some baseball.

Batter up!

The Good

Winning!

Despite the injuries, the offensive woes and the recently poor defense, the Phillies continue to win.

Two weeks into June, the Phillies are the first team to 40 wins with a league-leading record of 40-26 after series wins against the Dodgers and Cubs. Sure, neither team is a Goliath, but good teams need to consistently beat the bad ones.

As it stands today, the Phillies pitching staff has a combined 3.15 ERA, which is good for second best in the league, behind only the second-place Braves. Halladay leads the league in wins with nine, and trails only teammate Cliff Lee in strikeouts by one.

Ryan Howard leads the league in go-ahead RBIs with 19, and Polanco seems to have taken a liking to batting out of the fifth hole. Utley seems to be returning to form, and regardless of Ruben Amaro's quote stating there won't be any trades by the deadline, many continue to think the team will look to pick up another bat.

It's been a strange, nail-biting season, but the Phillies have been in first place since day one, and considering the mountains and mole hills, they're simply a team that knows how to win.

Question: With about 100 games to go, what do you make of the 2011 Phillies?

The Bad

Losing!

Outside of outrageous splits, I've never been big on the righty or lefty pitching matchups that slow down the late innings of games. It's worse than the constant fouls at the end of an NBA game and works just about as frequently.

Aside from the obvious overworking of the bullpen, the other drawback is that you may end up running out of pitchers entirely too soon, which is exactly what happened during Thursday night's 4-3 loss to the Cubs.

After Ryan Madson blew his first save of the year, the Phillies found themselves in 3-3 tie with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th. Due up? David Herndon.

When your offense looks to Herndon for a hit, the game is already lost, which is why Manuel should have rolled the dice and pinch hit Valdez in that spot. Best case—Valdez knocks in a game winner. Worst case—Valdez pitches the 11th inning and takes the loss.

Romero, Stutes, Bastardo and Contreras each pitched for less than an inning as the Phillies skipper played the matchup game. In the end, no one aside from Herndon was available to pitch in the 11th.

I would have liked to see Manuel make the gutsy call, but I also would have liked to see more than one pitching option available only one inning into extras.

Question: Would you have rolled the dice with Valdez?

The Ugly

Glass Jaw Buck

The relationship between Philadelphia fans and Joe Buck can be summed up in three words—they hate him.

It's not surprising that a slew of "I Hate Joe Buck" T-shirts made their way around Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon, but what is surprising is that the Fox network had the Phillies event staff ask each person to turn said shirt inside out.

Now hate may be a strong word, but it's not profane in any way. I'm unsure of why, or even how, the Phillies could legally require those fans to flip their shirts. Plus, far worse sayings have aired at stadiums across the country, and Philadelphia isn't the only city with a gripe against Buck.

I'm curious if Buck said something to Fox, or if Fox just decided they didn't want to make their number one announcer look like a villain during a national broadcast. 

Question: Do you hate Joe Buck? If so, go ahead and reply, and we promise not to censor you.

Quote of the Week

"His britches aren't even ... they're kind of like capri pants. They're too short to hike up and really stay up above the calf and not long enough, really, to cover down to the shoe," said Padres play-by-play announcer Mark Grant, addressing a misfit pair of throwback pants, worn by Nationals relief pitcher Todd Coffey.

Video of the Week

This is why women should always bring a glove to the park.

Union Ticket Winner

The winner of last week's contest is... Matthew McMenamin!

Congratulations Matt! I'd also like to point out that saying that I'm your favorite thing about Patch three times had absolutely no bearing on the decision making process.

We'll be in touch within 24 hours to get you squared away for the game June 25. 

Looking Forward

This week, the Phillies will host a four-game series against the Marlins (including a double-header Wednesday), before heading to the left coast for a three game set against the Mariners. Also, the Union will head to Canada as they face the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Here's your Philadelphia sports schedule for the week:

Today

  • No games

Tuesday

  • Phillies vs. Marlins  7:05 p.m. on PHL 17

Wednesday

  • Phillies vs. Marlins  1:05 p.m. on CSN
  • Phillies vs. Marlins  7:05 p.m. on CSN

Thursday

  • Phillies vs. Marlins  1:05 p.m. on CSN

Friday

  • Phillies at Mariners  10:10 p.m. on CSN

Saturday

  • Phillies at Mariners  10:10 p.m. on CSN
  • Union at Vancouver  10 p.m. on TCN

Sunday

  • Phillies at Mariners  4:10 p.m. on PHL 17

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in next week's column, email them to slavetologic@gmail.com. They may now include the words "doop" or "soccer."

Mary Rose June 14, 2011 at 03:26 AM
I am not fond of Buck as a Philly announcer either. I also think Tom & Sarge talk too much during the game. It would be nice to see more of the Philly Phonetic .
Keith Heffintrayer June 14, 2011 at 04:26 AM
I've always hated him as a football announcer, but the 2008 World Series was almost unbearable due to his voice over. Almost :)
Allen Hare June 15, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Each time I watch the Phillies on FOX , and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are the play by play guys, I turn the sound off and listen to the hometown guys on 1210 AM. Fox may think Buck is #l, but I say he and Mccarver are the No. I blabber mouths on the air. The game is actually being played and they find it the "RIGHT TIME" to talk about some game played last week......etc. etc. They are the worst example of Professional Broadcasters I know of. Send em back to the farm club games.

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