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Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies
Danny Ozark was ready to take on the Dodgers
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

From the horse’s mouth: The Fightin’ Ozarks

Come to the Vet, see the Dodgers, and get a poster featuring Danny Ozark while you’re at it

Another week, and still no MLB offseason. But I don’t have that good a handle on current events anyway, so I’ll just provide you with the usual nonsense.

Weekly thought that is at least partly related to the Phillies

I’m of the belief that we’re due for a comeback season from Alec Bohm in 2022...at least at the plate. It felt like getting off to a slow start combined with his fielding struggles got into his head last year, and he never fully recovered. But he’s been such a good hitter all throughout his professional career - and he’s going to be a priority for hitting coach Kevin Long - that I’d wager he more closely resembles the hitter we saw in 2020.

As for his fielding...I’m surprised they didn’t try to see if he could convert to an outfielder. They might be giving him one more season to see if he can rise to the level of adequacy in the infield before making that move, but he may be destined for left field at some point.

Weekly thought that is not at all related to the Phillies

On paper, the Bucs are a really bad matchup for the Eagles. The Eagles have been winning games behind their strong run game, but the Bucs are one of the best teams in the league at stopping the run. And the Eagles have proven incapable of stopping good quarterbacks, a category which Tom Brady unfortunately still belongs to.

But you know what? Screw that. Who cares if the Bucs are good at stopping the run? Other teams were good at stopping the run, and the Eagles ran on them anyway. And it’s not like Tom Brady can’t be beat in the playoffs. If you recall, the Eagles beat him in the Super Bowl a few years ago.

Besides, everyone thought the Eagles were destined to be a last place disaster this season. Who’s to say they can’t continue to defy expectations? Playoff upset, here we come!

Retro commercial

After two weeks of discussing Phillies brawls from yesteryear, I decided to change things up this week and look at an old Phillies commercial.

Here’s the sales pitch the Phillies’ marketers were serving up over the airwaves in the summer of 1979:

The commercial features a woman who is presumably a ball girl. This was before my time, so can any older fans confirm that this was what the ball girls wore back then?

Our hostess announces that the star-studded Dodgers are coming to town, and if that wasn’t enough to get you out to the ballpark, Sunday’s game has the additional bonus of being poster day!

A few thoughts:

  • The sound she makes before saying “You know who?” is a bit frightening. It’s like the script said for her to laugh, and she was incapable of making a sound even slightly resembling a natural laugh.
  • The electronic scoreboard at the Vet used to be massive.
  • The commercial claims that the Phanatic designed the poster, and I won’t lie to you: He did a solid job. However, the poster is centered around manager Danny Ozark, which is an odd choice when the roster featured multiple All-Stars including two future Hall of Famers. The poster likely became even more awkward when Ozark was fired later that season.
  • I don’t know what kind of casting call was made, but the actors playing the roles of “People standing on the Vet turf and clapping as a giant anthropomorphic bird shows us a poster” really nailed it.

Trivia

Last week’s answer: Mike Lieberthal led the 1999 Phillies with 31 home runs. Chappdaddy got it right.

This week’s question: The Phillies actually swept the Dodgers in that 1979 series. The finale was an 8-1 win featuring a four-hit game by a player who made three All-Star teams with the Phillies, including that season. Who was he?

Featured Phillies baseball card

Here’s Danny Ozark’s 1979 Topps card:

Smile, Danny

It isn’t clear if Ozark actually knows his picture is being taken. Or maybe this is the look a manager gets when his team has suffered three straight playoff defeats and is firmly on the hot seat. He might have known just how hot his seat was.

Closing thought

Do the Phillies still have poster giveaway days? I used to have some of those giveaways up on my bedroom walls as a kid. Do kids even put posters up on their walls anymore? Do bedrooms even have walls anymore?

Smarty might be just a bit out of touch with youth culture.

Counting our blessings, and other postseason stats

Smarty’s 2022 Thanksgiving Day post of fun

Rise and Phight: 11/24/2022