With no game yesterday, you’d might think we’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel for stories today. But luckily, the Phillies beat has some creative guys, so we’ve got a few great stories to share.
Jerad Eickhoff & Cameron Rupp: Two become one
Jim Salisbury at CSNPhilly wrote about Eickhoff and Rupp’s evolving relationship as pitcher and catcher, and it’s excellent. After not being in sync last season, this year they don’t really have a choice. Rupp is the starting catcher, and Eickhoff is the team’s best pitcher (don’t @ me). Salisbury talks about Eickhoff’s March 19 start, where everything fell into place. Here’s a highlight.
Rupp called for a changeup.
Eickhoff shook it off right away.
Rupp called for the pitch again.
Eickhoff shook again -- then caught himself quickly.
"We had been working on the changeup all spring so after a split-second I just decided I was going to trust him," Eickhoff said. "He believed in my changeup and thought it could get him out. I just said to myself, 'OK, let's do it.'"
Eickhoff threw the pitch and struck Miller out swinging.
I love it. *cue “2 Become 1” by The Spice Girls* And if you think I haven’t been listening to that song while I was writing this paragraph, you are sorely mistaken. (Unrelated: The “2 Become 1” video is comically low budget. Also, what are they wearing!? Were we all on drugs in 1996?)
You know what? We’re just going to watch the “2 Become 1” video.
Brock Stassi loves sushi, is still awesome
I don’t think I have to convince you that Brock Stassi is awesome, right? Matt Breen of Philly.com caught up with the walk-drawing rookie to see how he’s been doing since the moving viral video of his teary post call-up interview. Not surprisingly, he’s been doing really well! Unless you count his teammates making fun of him all the time. Well, one teammate in particular.
“It’s been crazy,” Stassi said. “Tommy Joseph has been wearing me out every time. ‘Oh so you just have to cry and you get whatever you want.’ He’s like, ‘Thanks for crying’ because we went to the Flyers game and they put us up in a box. ‘Thanks for that. Thanks for shedding those tears.’ It’s been unbelievable. The feedback I’ve been getting from Philly fans has been incredible.”
So there are two things happening in this quote. First, Tommy Joseph is absolutely That Guy. And he should stop it. If you’re going to reap the benefits of Stassi’s viral fame, then you absolutely need to shut the hell up about his caught-on-camera emotions. Stop it, Tommy Joseph! You’re still our underdog hero, Brock Stassi hasn’t replaced you. We can love both of you! And thing two, Stassi has been bowled over by the response of Philly fans. This should surprise no one. We love a guy like Stassi. He’s 27, been fighting to get to the majors, and he’s getting his chance. This is a guy who belongs here.
If you really want to know how much Stassi belongs with a Philly team, all you need to do is read about how much he’s loving the major league life. Well, at this point, it’s just charter flights. After years of riding buses in the minors, Stassi gets to take a charter flight to cities for games, and he’s LOVING the food. He apparently ate an appalling amount of sushi on the charter flight to Cincinnati. You are all of us, Brock Stassi. Who among us wouldn’t down as much excellent free charter flight food if we had the chance? I’d take two plates of sushi, a medium rare steak, and at least two desserts — cheesecake and something with chocolate. Haha, I’m kidding. I’d actually eat even more than that.
Tweet of the day
Let’s skip right to tweet of the day, and it’s a doozy.
How adorable is that? I know that MLB at large isn’t going nuts over our players yet, but the Phillies are full of guys who are game for anything. Remember when Roy Halladay did that amazing commercial with Pillow Chooch and everyone went insane because it didn’t seem like something Doc would do? This is like that, only Cameron Rupp definitely seems like the kind of guy who would do this. Look at how much fun they’re having!
And it’s so great to see Howie Kendrick getting into it, too. He’s new to the team, he spent years on the Dodgers, and it would be so easy for him to close himself off and say “well, this is just a job, I’m going to do it with a gritty determination that betrays no joy or happiness.” NOT THAT WE’VE HAD GUYS ON THE PHILLIES WHO ARE LIKE THAT OR ANYTHING. But I love that Howie is totally into having fun with these young guys.
Also? Howie Kendrick is jacked. That guy has some impressive arm muscles. I’m going to be the first to say it: I would buy a Phillies calendar. I don’t care what they’re doing. Reading books, playing with puppies and kittens, striking sultry poses. Or reading books and playing with puppies WHILE striking sultry poses. Whatever! I’d hang these dudes on my wall. Make it happen, Phillies marketing!
I have a few more tweets for your reading delight.
That’s former Phillies pitcher David Buchanan, who is now pitching in Japan for the Yakult Swallows. He won his first game, so congratulations to him!
And why not close out this post with some pure, unadulterated crazy?
That’s Sir Topham Hatt from Shining Time Station “throwing” the first pitch to one of the mascots in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. I have no comment, but I felt the need to share this.