New Day Dawning

Those Philly boo birds: Oh where, oh where have they gone? — Ron Costello

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I’ve Offered Some Giveaway Ideas Of My Own

Al Gore Massage Night, for those 50 and over.

Al Gore Massage Day, for those 50 and over.

Sunday  is a huge day in Philadelphia Phillies history. The club announced that it  will give out a Dominic Brown baseball jersey to all children, 14 and under. The shirt will have the following inscription on the back: “Kids, be happy like me.”

After doing some serious thinking about this giveaway — considering the fact that Dom is hitting .218 and has made more outfield blunders then Delmon Young — which nobody in red pinstripes thought possible — I’ve come up with my own list of giveaways as preposterous as Brown’s.

These are giveaways the Phillies brain trust should consider.

1. Al Gore Day. Each fan, 50 and over, will receive one certificate to a massage parlor somewhere in Bucks County, where massage parlors seem to pop up and shut down just after the cops raid them.

Not that I would know anything about that — I Goggled it, of course. The certificate will have environmentalist and climate change expert Gore, his photo and one of his most famous quotes: “A zebra does  not change his spots.”

On Trump Night, kids will get instructions on bankruptcy.

On Trump Night, kids will get instructions on bankruptcy.

2. Donald Trump Night. Upon entering the ballpark, fans 14 and under will receive $100,000 of bogus money, with which they can try to buy games and toys.

Upon finding the money worthless, instructions are enclosed explaining how the kids can sue through bankruptcy court — just like the Donald — and have a shot at the real dough.

Instructions on how to sue their parents will also be included, as well as an IRS informational warning — but only for republican kids.

Kids, your attic is a little rusty.

Kids, your attic is a little dusty.

3. Balloon Boy Day. Children 14 and under will receive a commemorable balloon in honor of 6 year old Falcon Heene, who supposedly circumvented Colorado hidden in a balloon — while the police and Air National Guard searched frantically for him.

Even the North American Aerospace Defense Command took its eyes and ears off Russian missile sites to track the balloon. Inscribed on each balloon is the following:

‘Kids, your attic is a little dusty.’

Below that is another quote, this one from Vladimir Putin:

“Если только я знал”

(If  only I had known)

4. Poster Day. Children 14 and under will receive a unique poster for their bedrooms. Unfortunately, the poster committee was made up of Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots, when they met at Independence Hall to determine if Michael Nutter is an immigrant.

This 6X6 poster — not recyclable, of course — will have two of the most profound quotes ever.

The Earth is the Center of the Universe


Are You Kidding Me? There’s No Climate Change

5. Mr. Terry T-Shirt Day. Inspired by the Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadmill, Mr. Terry goes into the wilderness and hunts with a camera. He lives amongst them, waiting through hurricanes, snow storms, Jane calling him for dinner, you name it, to get the perfect shot of Pennsylvania’s creatures.

Although Treadmill was eventually eaten by a grizzly bear, this doesn’t worry Mr. Terry. Inscribed on the t-shirt will be: Mr. Terry doesn’t have all his dogs barking!

Sent your comments to Ron at: (but only if they are good ones.)

See Ron’s first book.

Read the first two chapters of his second book.

See Mr. Terry’s animal blog — that is, if he’s still speaking to me.



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Phillies Score 20 Runs in Two Games and Look Like a Real Team

Sure, Amaro makes mistakes, but I think he put a good team on the field with what he had to spend.

Sure, Amaro makes mistakes, but I think he put a good team on the field with what he had to spend.

My nephew Drew and I argue about baseball. He’s a smart guy — a Harvard man who played baseball at LaSalle High School and Harvard. He dosen’t like Amaro and thinks he makes mistakes.

I say Drew, you can’t know baseball, have an opinion and be right all of the time. Nobody is right all of the time, not me, not Ruben Amaro, Jr., or any other GM in baseball.

Take me, first.

* I wanted to move Cody Asche back to the minors and get San Diego’s Chase Headley.

* I said the Phillies have enough talent to win the East.

* I thought Papelbon should have closed against the Mets after 21 pitches in two nights.

* I said Amaro, like George McCellan, General of the Army of the Potomac, has a case of the slows.

Sandberg should bat J-Roll first and move Ben Revers to 8th. Platoon Revere with Mayberry and Gwynn until Revere gets it going.

Sandberg should bat J-Roll first and move Ben Revere to 8th. Platoon Revere with  John Mayberry and  TonyGwynn in center until Revere gets it going.

* And 3 years ago I thought Dominic Brown would be a star.

Am I right all of the time? If I was, I’d be precognitive and work for the CIA.

Cody Asche is gaining confidence and taking that beautiful swing — your words, Pete — and creating a spark the Phillies need. On Sunday he hit a  three run  jack that put the game away in the seventh.

Asche is hitting .333 (16 for 48) with five doubles, three home runs and 112 RBIs in 14 games in May.

And leave Asche in the sixth hole.

And leave Asche in the sixth hole.

Rollins, hitting lead off, also went yard, as did Byrd and backup catcher, Will Nieves, who hit the second. Sandberg shook up the line up for the second day and it paid off.

And, it was Cliff Lee’s first home win this season. More importantly, Lee got run support.

So we’re back on track. Still only 3 and a half games back of Atlanta — nothing that a little win streak wouldn’t take care of.

Isn’t that what you said, Paul?

An off day Monday, then 3 in Miami. Starting Friday, an 11 game home set against the Dodgers, Rockies and Mets.

I think the team is gaining confidence and coming together.

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Why the Phillies Will Win NL East

A Dominic Brown led outfield will play defense, get on base, and drive in runs.

A Dominic Brown led outfield will play defense, get on base, and drive in runs.

Two reasons why the Phillies will win the NL East: Outfield and bullpenI know you’re thinking: “Ron, are you smoking something? They look worse than the ’62 Mets, with a 4-11 spring training record, next to last of 30 major league teams.”

Only Texas stinks worse.

Lookitlifetime.300 hitter John Kruk said, “Spring training should last one day. We should have our golf outing and then go north.” Fine for Kruk to say. He could roll out of bed at 3 a.m. and go 3 for 4.

I’m not smoking anything and haven’t since I bummed one off Dave Sikorski in the Mansfield High School faculty room, back when Michael Jack and the Bull took turns making security deposits in the left field seats.

Wonder where Dave is now. Dave, you readin‘ this?

Hellooo, it’s only spring training. The 2008 Phllies — you might remember them, right? — broke camp in Clearwater heading north, third up from the bottom with a 12-18-8 spring training record. Wait, wait, wasn’t that the team that won it all?

We know he could roll out of bed and hit .300.

We know he could roll out of bed and hit .300.

That’s why they call it spring training…

I love the outfield, and Sandberg is cerebral enough to use a four man platoon, two righties, Ruf and Bryd, and two lefties, Brown and Revere. Since Bryd can play center or right and Ruf can only play right — shakily, at best — Sandberg will have to mix and match, giving each one enough at bats to produce. Mayberry, who can play anywhere, will figure in there too.

Oh, you didn’t read that in the newspapers? You think I get my stuff from newspapers? Hell, I don’t believe anything I read in the newspapers. I’d trust Vladimir Putin before I’d trust newspapers.

Newspapers? Give me a break.

Here’s something else. The 4-5 man platoon will put just enough pressure on each outfielder to produce, or end up a pine-rider. And Sandberg has shown — if he’s not afraid to bench Rollins for three games in spring training,  think what he’d

Bryd will have a good season.

Bryd will have a good season.

Ruf and Brown can go back to back.

Ruf and Brown can go back to back.

do if Brown doesn’t hustle or Revere gets in a slump.

Pine-rider. You like that? I thought that up myself. Go look in the newspaper and see if you find it.

This outfield will get on base and drive in runs, while playing better defense than last year’s Delmon Young led defensive catastrophe. Wonder where ole’ Delmon is this season?

Hey, Delmon, you readin‘ this? He probably reads the newspapers.

Rosenberg will be nasty if he can throw strikes.

Rosenberg will be nasty if he can throw strikes.

Now the bullpen. What’s that you say? Is this a mistake? The Phillies bullpen has had lower approval ratings than Congress. But it’s different, now.


There’s plenty of potential here and plenty of options. These “kids” are ready to take over — left-hander Jake Diekman and righties B. J. Rosenberg and Justin De Fratus.

De Fratus’ 93 MPH fastball and 83 MPH slider will keep Phillies fans smiling all season.

Justin De Fratus, a rising star in the Phililes new bullpen.

Homegrown De Fratus  — it’s time for him  to step it up.

The off season trade (Kratz) for right-hander Brad Lincoln added another good arm (Ron thinks that was a good trade). The 28 year old right-handed Linclon could be a cornerstone  — if he pitches anywhere near how he pitched for the Pirates in the first half of 2013.

And Antonio Bastardo? Is he the eighth inning guy the Phillies have sought since Adams? Who knows, perhaps Adams will come around in the second half and earn the $7 million the Phillies are paying him.

Adams, who’s had more surgeries than Joan Rivers, might be the next Wally Pipp. By the time he’s ready — if ever —  Bastrado will have the 8th sewed up.

Don’t worry about Bastardo getting hammered and blowing games. That’s ancient history.

Jeremy Horst and Ethan Martin will figure into the pen, too, once Martin gets over his sore arm. (Ron thinks Martin is good.)

So here’s what I’m saying. The Phillies outfield and bullpen will be exceptional. Bryd, Brown and Ruf — they can go yard. Revere runs like the wind. He’ll get on base and play stellar defense.  The Papalbon-led bullpen is ready to punch their ticket.

Don’t believe what you see in spring training and don’t believe what you read in the newspapers.

What? What about the rotation?

Okay, all right, one thing at a time.