Souvenir Homer

June 28, 2007

Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Victorino, rf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Rowand, cf; Dobbs, lf; Helms, 3b; Ruiz, p; Eaton, p.

Bullpen Woes
It was another tough loss last night because the Phillies had the lead and couldn’t hold on. 

Bullpen issues are more than just a Phillies concern.  Looking around baseball yesterday:  14 games were played, 80 relievers were used, combined they threw 99 innings, allowed 47 runs, lost four games, won three and recorded seven saves.  The numbers could have been a little higher because one of the 14 games yesterday (Cardinals/Mets) was called after five and one-half innings.  Each team used only pitcher.

Souvenir Homer
Ryan Howard’s historic homer was a monster smash that landed in Memory Lane which is located behind the 31-foot high brick batter’s eye wall in center field.  After the ball landed in Memory Lane, it bounced over a Turkey Hill ice cream stand in Ashburn Alley. Ryan became the first player to hit one over that wall a year ago, an estimated 496 feet.  Last night’s was an estimated 505 feet. Distances are estimated off charts of various sections of Citizens Bank Park. It is not an exact science.

The blast was historic because it was Ryan’s 100th career home run.  He got to that number faster than anyone in major league baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.  It came in his 325th game.  Ralph Kiner held the old mark at 385 games in 1948.

Paul Hagen of the Daily News talked to the fan that got the ball, Joe Ruffin of Summit, NJ.  Ruffin agreed to return the souvenir for a Howard autographed baseball.  “If Howard wants the ball, he should have it,” Ruffin was quoted in Hagen’s story.

A fan who is lucky enough to catch or retrieve a home run hit by a Phillies player can turn the baseball into Guest Services during that game and the Phillies will have the player autograph the baseball, compliments of PECO.  Once autographed, the Phillies return the ball to the fan.

Big Weekend
After tonight, the Mets come in for four games in three days.  It all starts with a day/night, separate admission doubleheader tomorrow, 1:35 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. 

Fans will exit the park and parking lots after the 1:35 game.  Cleaning crews and ARAMARK’s staff then take over, getting the park ready for the night game.  Gates will open at 6:05 for the 7:05 p.m. game which is followed by an Independence Blue Cross fireworks show.

For those of you coming to games tomorrow, carpooling or public transportation is recommended.  Variable electronic signage will be located throughout the Sports Complex directing fans to the parking lots.

For those of you watching on TV or you computer or listening on the radio, fill your tummy, brush your teeth, take a snooze and get ready for the night gamer game.  If the Phillies lose the first game, shake off your emotional downer by taking a short, brisk walk.  If the Phillies win the first game, hug someone.

Roster Shuffle
With J. D. Durbin pitching the first game tomorrow, the Phillies will need to make a roster move.  Then, J. A. Happ is scheduled for Saturday’s game, which means another roster move.  Stay tuned.

All-Star deadline
Online balloting ends at 11:59 tonight: www.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2007/ballot_reg.jsp.
If you try to vote after midnight, rumor is you may turn into a pumpkin.

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