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Around The Horn With The Phloggers

Shallow Center wrote about the movies the other day - how Napoleon Dynamite was some bad junior high school joke he didn't get, but the Big Lebowski will remain a winner forever. Tom Durso, the site's writer, also posted about the auto show - the muscular Audi A4, the sweet Honda S2000 - and wondered why no car he likes gets decent gas mileage in these oil-dependent times. (A commenter - a relative, in fact - replied: "Get a haircut, hippie.")

Around The Horn With The Phloggers

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Picbysi Shallow Center wrote about the movies the other day - how Napoleon Dynamite was some bad junior high school joke he didn't get, but the Big Lebowski will remain a winner forever. Tom Durso, the site's writer, also posted about the auto show - the muscular Audi A4, the sweet Honda S2000 - and wondered why no car he likes gets decent gas mileage in these oil-dependent times. (A commenter - a relative, in fact - replied: "Get a haircut, hippie.")

It's been a long off-season for the Phloggers - the bloggers who chronicle the agate and agita of the Philadelphia Phillies. Today Phanatic Phollow Up is writing about the World Baseball Classic.

But it's time once again to stretch.

Beerleaguer made the point with a short, sweet post this week, headlined: "Did You See It?"

The most significant worlds of 2006. Did you see it this morning in the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer? If you missed it, get ready. Are you reader? You're not ready. Ok, you're ready. Here it is:

CLEARWATER, Fla. -

That's it. A dateline is enough to make a Phillies blogger's day. They are not alone.

No more filling, no more talk of other sports. The past several months have felt like those rainy days at Camp Monomoy, when they'd thread a 1964 World Series recap into the projector, then turn out the lights and walk away. Never mind that we were in Cape Cod, and none among us cared for the St. Louis Cardinals, and it was 1972.

So what have the Phloggers been up to? It's nothing that requires intervention - like someone should arrange for the Boston Dirt Dogs, who have been has been running giant pictures of trucks heading south to Florida where Red Sox pitchers and catchers soon report. (Johnny's gone, guys. Enough.)

Some in Phloggery concede to being a little rusty. Tom Goodman at A Swing and a Miss harvested from an Inquirer article the fact that the Phils will enjoy the home-field advantage for 33 of their first 53 games. He talked about the importance of getting a good start to the season, then paused:

Now if I could only remember who has the advantage in April, pitchers or batters?

The third Tom who Phlogs - Tom Goyne at Balls, Sticks, & Stuff - has been waxing about the new general manager, Pat Gillick, how the regular guy who takes the subway to the ballpark when not just hoofing it down Broad Street, has been working on the team's gestalt.

Goyne noted how the GM told phillyBurb's Randy Miller: "Everybody is looking for us to make a big splash with a star player, but sometimes the smaller moves can work out too. The way I look at our team is our sum is better than the parts." Goyne caught how Gillick dropped a little bomb when he mentioned Vincent Padilla had "other issues" - which helps explain how the pitcher had little trade value.

Phillies Nation is starting the season with a little reality check. The Nation's Brian Michael scoured a Peter Gammons piece in ESPN - one that polled a few dozen baseball minds for who will be the "difference makers" among this years new stars, who will break out, who will have the biggest comebacks. No Phillies rated. Grrrrr:

So after turning an article not about the Phillies into one, I'm left with two related disheartening questions: outside Philadelphia, is there any reason to take notice of the Phils this year?  What is their interesting plot line that is salient to the rest of the major leagues?

GR, who maintains a love-hate relation with the local nine from Arlington, Va., on a site called Caught Looking, does a nice job sifting through the Philadelphia baseball beat writers spring previews for nuggets to gnaw. He labels what is: "Most of the news around the horn lately is little more than the standard crust in pie yet to be baked."

His "About Me" bio states what all of these dutiful bloggers are thinking. He lists his interests this way:

"Mixing baseball, music, city planning and God knows whatever else. When do pitchers and catchers report?"

Thursday. (Not today, like that Web site contends. Some did report today, however. Some are already here. I'll stop now.)

Tom G
Posted 02/16/2006 07:21:40 AM
You're right, today is the day Phillies pitchers and catchers report.  Let's all breathe a sigh of relief...
daniel rubin
Posted 02/16/2006 08:07:53 AM
Road Trip! 
dajafi
Posted 02/18/2006 09:16:11 PM
No love for The Good Phight? Oh, Daniel, Daniel. 

We've been doing features on the Phils and park factors distorting their offense numbers, Community Projections on the team's starting eight (Utley most recently), taken a journey into the mind of Pat Gillick, and even updated the Phuture Phillies Bingo Card awhile back. 

daniel rubin
Posted 02/19/2006 09:00:00 AM
Apologies. It wasn't an all-inclusive list, but you are full-fledged Phloggers, and belonged in the most casual piece. When Springtime comes to park, a Yards on me.  
enrico
Posted 02/19/2006 12:35:38 PM
I demand free beer as well.
daniel rubin
Posted 02/19/2006 12:41:16 PM
I'll order a Schlitz for you, 'Rico. I figured you're too worldly to be considered a Phlogger. While you Phlog, you also bleed Eagle green, and lots of other colors.
enrico
Posted 02/19/2006 12:45:27 PM
I also hate the word "Phlogger" and "Pholgosphere" so you figured well.
Tom G
Posted 02/19/2006 08:34:20 PM
It's interesting, because in general, I dislike the term "blog", but if that is what we have to use, then I think "phloggers" is just perfect.

And Dan, thanks for the write up. I'll buy you a Yards sometime.

Michael Carboni
Posted 02/20/2006 12:03:34 PM
You missed me! I rip the Phils at least once a week. :)
ping: Phloggers Pheatured -->
Posted 02/18/2006 08:01:14 PM
In the Philadelphia Inquirer of all places.
ping: Bitchers and Catchers -->
Posted 02/16/2006 12:02:50 AM
While many Phillies have already arrived in Clearwater, Florida, today is the day pitchers and catcher are to report. The Phillies wasted no time in irking some of their fans. In an article from yesterday's Inqy, Jim Salisbury talked to
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About this blog
Daniel Rubin is a columnist and The Inquirer's director of social media. Since joining newspaper as a staff writer in 1988, Daniel Rubin has reported from Mayfair to Macedonia, 27 countries in all. He has been the European Correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and for two years he sat at home and wrote Blinq, the paper's first daily blog. Dan began newspaper work in Norfolk and Louisville, Ky., after getting his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University. He has lived in all four commonwealths, most recently in Pennsylvania. He teaches urban journalism at the University of Pennsylvania

Email Blinq here. My day job - Inquirer metro columnist - is here.

Reach Daniel at drubin@phillynews.com.

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