The Good Phight brings you a brand new game for 2007: Slamming Pat Burrell (TM).
The goal of Slamming Pat Burrell (TM) is to find all the obvious or backhanded slams directed toward the Phils' incumbent left fielder in each article published in the local media.
It's a fun game you can play alone or with friends, at home or at work! It's also perfect for a snowy day like today!
Come on, let's play.
Let's take a look at today's spring training preview from Jim Salisbury in the Inquirer.
First, we have this not so hidden slight in talking about who has shown up to Clearwater early: "Even Pat Burrell strolled through the clubhouse . . . ." Not direct, but not so hidden - 3 points!
Then Salisbury compares Pat to a hibernating rodent: "Punxsutawney Pat has kept a low profile this winter. He declined to speak with reporters yesterday but promised to come out of hibernation." That's pretty obvious but slightly clever, so that's 2 points.
The obligatory mentions of the Dallas Green and Mike Schmidt off-season criticisms come next. So obvious, only 1 point.
Salisbury follows by linking Pat to Donovan McNabb's plight: "Will Burrell fire back at Green? Will he respond to Schmidt's glass-house criticisms about striking out too much? Is he jealous of Jeff Garcia and angry that Andy Reid didn't let him go to New Orleans? Uh, sorry, wrong guy." That's pretty close to sympathetic to Burrell, so it actually merits negative points on the slam scale. -1 for this one.
Then, finally, we get the really nice comparative backhanded slap: "Burrell did not work out at the ballpark yesterday, as some of the other early-arriving Phillies did. Aaron Rowand and Chase Utley went through the paces. Position players won't have their first official workout until Tuesday, but Rowand and Utley aren't mail-order position players." An excellent use of damning by comparison. 5 points!
Let's add it up and see what we have for the article. 10 points total. Not bad Jim! But in the coming weeks, you're going to need to do better to keep up with big Bill Conlin.
Keep this game in mind in the coming weeks and months. It'll put a fun jolt in your morning newspaper reading!