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.)