I Kick, I Stretch, and I Kick. I’m Fifty.

The Phillies are 50, in wins that is. As the first team to 50 wins, I feel we deserve a parade or something. A ‘just for being awesome’ cake is in order. Can we talk about Vance Worley for a second? The man is becoming a small legend in Philadelphia this summer. Filling in for Joe Blanton (and now Oswalt for a brief duration,) Worley is looking like a seasoned veteran on the mound. At only 23, he has produced in 3 of his 4 quality starts opportunities with a 2.43 ERA and 26 Ks. Throwing him into a pile of future Hall-of-Famers is doing wonders for that kid.

Cliff Lee absolutely burned the Red Sox last night. That man just thrives under high-pressure situations. I hate how ESPN prioritizes teams when they have a huge fan-base or few winning years, but I gotta tell ya, I love it when they do it for the Phillies. Unjust as it may be, the Phillies were on Sportscenter and Baseball Tonight for probably a good 20 minutes total. Show a strikeout here, back to analyst for some quick recap, show a strikeout there. I couldn’t get enough. I suppose you just take it while you can.

While our pitching is still the bees-knees of the MLB right now, with Oswalt down, I’m curious…. Where is Joe Blanton? I haven’t heard a single thing about him since he went down in mid-May with his elbow problems. Pop over to Google, type in Joe Blanton, and the first news article that shows up is, “Joe Blanton hoping to throw again.” Ugh. That sounds delightful. Apparently his inflammation is so bad he hasn’t thrown a single pitch since going down in the spring. Though the timeline is vague, it appears he’ll be ready to go by late July. With a 1-2 record and 5.50 ERA, we’re all dying for his return.

One of the cool perks about having the best pitching staff in baseball is how much national airtime the Phillies are getting. It’s cool how the ESPN staff goes to each ballpark to give a pre-game show or post-game show, but can we do something better with the fans?? This goes for all live sports analysis. It’s cool that the fans are there, it’s cool that we can see how excited everyone is for the game, but do they need to be so loud that one of the analysts is stuck yelling at the top of his lungs? The last thing I want to see before a baseball game is John Kruk sweating profusely while screaming about a 3-2 change-up so hard he’s about to have a hernia and collapse.

The fans are cool, just put em farther back or maybe behind a plate glass window like TRL used to do. Hell, I don’t know, just realize that ain’t working.

You know what else ain’t working? The Men’s U.S. Soccer team’s defense. (My transitions are flawless aren’t they?) If you watched the CONCACAF Gold Cup as I mentioned last week, you would’ve seen an epic collapse on so many levels. We finally have some explosive offense and our big boys in the back can’t stop shit.

I managed to find the game finally at the 34′ minute or so, right after we scored our second goal. I joined the game at 2-0 US and ended the game with 4-2 Mexico. It was embarrassing. Giovani Dos Santos looked like a full grown man against a defensive line full of man-babies. He was so quick it was unbelievable.

I sort of feel bad for the back-line though. Playing in front of Tim Howard must be excruciating. When you’re doing bad, he openly yells at you with a barrage of criticism, and if you are doing OK, he openly yells at you with a barrage of criticism. The guy looks like a dick. Granted they did a horrible job, but I’m sure having Tim Howard curse at them every time Mexico threatened didn’t help much.

Plus, you got burned, Howard. There was a moment before the 4th goal that Dos Santos basically juggled the ball in front of you for around 15 seconds while walking around the box full of defenders. Then, Dos Santos calmly arcs the ball perfectly in the top right corner of the net right over the head of one our tallest defenders who was waiting to back up Howard.

Howard also got in some trouble post-game for his criticism of the CONCACAF’s award ceremony. They were held in Spanish, not English. His argument was that the game took place in California, and thus the ceremony should be in English. My argument is, the English-speaking country lost. The Spanish-speaking country won. Who cares? We’re all going to be speaking the same language soon anyway. My opinion of Tim Howard has drastically changed since the Gold Cup.

Funny thing is, 5 players on Mexico’s team were suspended this week. The reason? Not performing enhancing drugs, not crimes, but ladies. A few of the Mexican players brought women into their rooms after one of the international friendlies, which is a violation of CONCACAF rules. If you aren’t supposed to get women after a victory, I don’t know why you play.

Speaking of ladies, how about the U.S. Women’s Soccer team! (Again, my transitions….) I’m actually enjoying this Women’s World Cup quite thoroughly. The play almost seems a tad more organized than men’s soccer and some of them aren’t bad to look at either. There’s a very thin line between sexism and compliments when it comes to women’s sports, but I do my best to abuse that.

The U.S. rolled over North Korea in the first match of their qualifying round. It wasn’t the hardest test for them, but they did what was expected. Just like the men’s soccer team, North Korea’s women’s team looked oppressed more than anything. Communist countries always look uncomfortable during international play. It’s almost as if some foreign leaders are waiting in the locker room with guns threatening to murder everything the players love if they lose. It’s an awkward sight.

Alright, that’s it for the day. Go forth and be merry!

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