Dec 31, 2019

The Right Way To End A Decade

The Super Fogeys
Artwork by Marc Lapierre
I'm not sure who's performing in Times Square this year, but they ought to cover I Wanna Be Sedated.

Dec 30, 2019

Arcade Candy Eyeballs

Pac-Man Candy Faces
Fleer (1982)
Back in the 80's, we ate candy out of the eyes of our video game stars and wore their heads around our neck.

Dec 29, 2019

He Has A Toy Whether He Wants To Or Not

British Bulldog Fan Toy
The fifth annual WWF SummerSlam took place at Wembley Stadium in London on August 29th 1992.  Bret "The Hitman" Hart defended the Intercontinental Championship against "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith in the main the main event.  Not only was it one of the greatest matches of the decade, but it inspired one of the most memorable fan moments ever captured by WWF cameras.

Prior to the start of most major shows, the WWF crew interviews fans outside of the venue.  These are usually forgettable clips of excited fans talking about or imitating their favorite wrestlers or talking about how far they had to travel to get to the show.  A kid dressed in a Bret Hart jacket and a Big Bossman hat raised the bar with a comment that has had wrestling fans scratching their head for nearly three decades.

I have no idea who this kid is, but he now has his own action figure.

Dec 28, 2019

Buen Provecho

Beef Quesadilla
Taqueria J. Zapata
Laurel Mall - Hazleton, PA
I spent a few months in El Paso a couple years ago.  I gained about 50 pounds and an appreciation for authentic Mexican food while I was there.  I'm happy to find that the same delicious food I enjoyed while I was there is in my hometown.  It's also nice to see new businesses doing well in our local mall.  Between Cafe Europa and Taqueria J. Zapata, we have tasty Italian and Mexican food.  It's a good thing they're putting a Planet Fitness in the old K-Mart building.  I'm going to need it.

Dec 27, 2019

Alaskan Dinosaur Artifacts

Abandoned McDonald's Restaurant
Adak, Alaska
A user on Imgur named Jarrod Allen Smith has recently shared a few photos of an old McDonald's on the remote island town of Adak, Alaska.  Judging by the drive-in menu signs for the Bobby's World Happy Meal and the Jurassic Park themed Dino-Sized soda and fries (which later became "Super Size"), this restaurant went out of business in March 1994 and has been abandoned ever since.

Dec 26, 2019

Dec 25, 2019

Dec 24, 2019

The Collected Cookies

The Big Book Of Christmas Cookies
Harry & David
For as long as I can remember, my dad has ordered things from Harry & David to give to the family as Christmas presents.  He would get my grandfather a box of gold foil wrapped Royal Riviera pears, and I would get these.  When I was little, it was called "The Collected Cookies by Harry and David" and the box made it look more like a book.  My favorite are the raspberry shortbread cookies.

Dec 23, 2019

Tribbles and Smartphones

Smart Reseller Magazine
December 20, 1999
Writer David Gerrold really nailed it with this prediction.  It was written 20 years ago when the most complicated thing our cell phones could do would be to play Snake and keep a signal long enough to finish your call before it dropped.

This article is making the rounds on Twitter, but without a whole lot of discussion about its author.  David Gerrold isn't just a magazine columnist who predicted the smartphone and the death of personal privacy with shocking detail and accuracy.  He's a sci-fi author whose first professional writing was the Star Trek script for the 1967 episode The Trouble With Tribbles, arguably the most well-known episode of any Star Trek series of all time.  He also wrote episodes of Land Of The Lost, Sliders, Babylon 5, and the 80's Twilight Zone series.  He even wrote two episodes of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series.  That's a pretty cool resume.

Seeing things like this make me want to dig through the predictions that are being made today about what the world will look like 20 years from now.

Dec 22, 2019

The Final Chapter

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Regal Cinema - Hazleton, PA
The story is now complete.  Reviews have been mixed, as is often the case with Star Wars films.  I've now seen it twice and enjoyed it.  I'll always wonder how the sequel trilogy that George Lucas had in mind would have compared to the Disney sequel trilogy that we have, but at the end of the day, these are the movies that we have and I'm very happy that we have them.  There are most certainly things about this movie that I think could have been handled much better.  For example, the Rose Tico character was almost completely disregarded.  She was a breath of fresh air in The Last Jedi, and it's both sad and unfortunate to see her get the Jar Jar Binks treatment in the final chapter of the saga.  Still, I enjoyed this movie for what it was.

Now that the entire story has been told, fans have taken to the internet to rank the Star Wars Universe in order of most to least favorite movies in the series.  I've been watching Star Wars for my entire life, so I have a love and appreciation for all of these films.  With that in mind, here is my ranking after seeing the final chapter.
  1. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    • This is a perfect movie in every way.  Yes, even the part where Leia kisses Luke.  Neither of them knew they were siblings, and it's obvious that she did it just to spite Han Solo, so all of the hand wringing about this scene over the past 40 years has been pointless.
  2. Episode IV: A New Hope
    • The only reason that this sits at #2 is because of the incredible ending of Empire.  Like Episode V, this is a perfect movie in every way... as long as you're watching the original theatrical release, before George Lucas made his ridiculous edits and additions.
  3. Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi
    • This was my favorite Star Wars movie when I was a child.  It came out shortly before my third birthday, and it's the film of the original trilogy that I've seen the most often.  Once again, I refer to the original theatrical release, not the one in which George Lucas destroyed the music and dropped in a bunch of unnecessary and pointless CGI additions.
  4. Rogue One
    • I cannot say enough positive things about this film.  As much as I enjoy the rest of the movies on this list, Rogue One is by far my favorite Star Wars film that came after the original trilogy.  It has a magical and adventurous spirit and fantastic characters which blend perfectly with the time period in which it's set in the universe.  Also, Chirrut Imwe and K-2SO are among my favorite characters in the series.  It's a shame they're only in one movie.
  5. Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
    • This was the dark movie of the prequel trilogy much in the same way that The Empire Strikes Back was the dark part of the original trilogy.  It's far from perfect, but it is by far the best movie in the prequels and does as good of a job as possible to show the transition from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader and the rise of the Empire.
  6. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
    • This was a great film in and of itself, and Rose Tico is one of my favorite characters in any Star Wars film.  I also love the idea that Rey is just a regular girl, not someone's daughter or clone in hiding, and that there is a potential for anyone to be a Jedi.  However, it's hard to ignore the power struggle in the sequel trilogy.  The Force Awakens set a story in motion, then The Last Jedi felt as if it attempted to undo the framework and tell a different story.  Then, the most recent film disregarded and re-wrote the plot points of The Last Jedi.  It's as if each movie in the new trilogy is part sequel and part reboot, and while they're all enjoyable on their own, they don't flow together and they make for a disconnected overall story.
  7. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
    • It's difficult to rank this one.  There are parts of this movie that I absolutely love, including most of the new characters - particularly Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and BB-8.  I especially love how Kylo's conflict is the reverse of his uncle and grandfather - where he feels the temptation of the light, but fights against it to remain with the Dark Side.  However, the overall plot of the First Order was pretty lame.  They could have gone with mind control, a killer virus, some sort of enslavement like The Borg, or anything else.  Instead, they created a bootleg Death Star called Starkiller Base and had it destroy five random planets in a soulless copy of Alderaan.  Additionally, Captain Phasma came across to me as just plain silly and not an intimidating villain in the slightest.  I really do enjoy Episode VII because it brought the Star Wars universe back to life, but they got lazy with the overall story of the First Order vs. The Resistance and it turned what could have been a great film into a pretty good film.
  8. Solo: A Star Wars Story
    • I can understand why this wasn't as big of a hit at the box office as it was expected to be.  The prequel trilogy left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of Star Wars fans, and it's easy to understand how a spinoff movie that takes place before the original trilogy in the timeline could be unfairly associated with them.  Also, it's not easy to accept someone other than Harrison Ford in the titular role.  However, this was a very enjoyable story, and it's unfortunate that it's poor reception has probably killed off any chance at a sequel to see how the story plays out.
  9. Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker
    • The latest film in the series moves very quickly and wraps up most of the stories in the sequel trilogy.  I don't want to give any spoilers so I'm going to keep this short, but I will say that it's not perfect, but most of its problems are a result of the fact that the sequel trilogy isn't a single story, but three disconnected stories that conflict with each other.
  10. Episode I: The Phantom Menace
    • It's impossible to overstate the negative effect that Jar Jar Binks and the other Gungan characters have on this movie.  Binks and Boss Nass drag down every scene that they are a part of with juvenile attempts at humor that stick out like a sore thumb.  Every second they're on the screen yanks me out of the Star Wars universe and into a late 90's Nickelodeon kids show that needlessly panders to the children in the audience.  Despite this, it's a solid foundation of the Anakin Skywalker story and it features one of the most brilliant villains in the universe.  As much as I enjoy the pod race and the battle with Darth Maul, my favorite scene is when Qui-Gon Jinn is sitting outside at night on Tatooine and speaking with Obi-Wan on the communicator about Anakin's midichlorian count.  I wish I could have seen how that part of the story would turn out.
  11. Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
    • I have a hard time ranking this at the bottom because Attack Of The Clones has some of my favorite scenes in the Star Wars universe - particularly those in which Obi-Wan travels around the galaxy as a detective who uncovers the existence of the clone army and Sifo-Dyas.  However, it also has some of the most cringe-worthy scenes in the series and one of the most awkward and poorly written love stories ever told.  There is no reason in the world that Padmé Amidala would fall for those lines or the dork who fed them to her.

Dec 21, 2019

Return To The Toy Store

Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi Toys
Kenner (1983)
I was a huge Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember.  My earliest memory of the movies is playing with these toys and watching Return Of The Jedi on VHS.

When Episode VI came out in theaters in May 1983, stores put old stock of toys from the previous films alongside the new Return Of The Jedi toys, so I had a mixture of action figures and playsets from all three films when I was a kid.  I remember that I had the Jabba The Hutt and Rancor toys, and a few of the other action figures in these photos.

Dec 20, 2019

The Toy Aisle Strikes Back

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Toys
Kenner (1980)
The toy explosion really hit full force with the release of The Empire Strikes Back.  The movie first hit theaters a few months after I was born, so I missed out on the craze, but there was plenty of action figures still on store shelves by the time I was a toddler... missed out on that Millennium Falcon toy though.

Dec 19, 2019

I Find Your Lack Of Toys Disturbing

Star Wars Toys
Kenner (1978)
The original Star Wars action figures weren't ready for the Christmas shopping season in 1977 when the movie was first released.  Because of this, Kenner famously shipped over a half million empty boxes to stores that came with a mail-in certificate for action figures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2 and Chewbacca.

The first Star Wars movie was such a massive success that kids didn't mind getting an empty box for Christmas.  The full toy line was ready and shipped to stores in 1978, and it set the standard for merchandising a major motion picture.

Dec 18, 2019

Zira Guards The Treehouse

Planet Of The Apes Treehouse
Mego (1974)
Either Toyland went all out and got Zira to appear in their store for the holidays, or a superfan in cosplay is hoarding all of the Treehouse playsets.

Dec 17, 2019

European Robot Invasion

Transformers and Robo Machines (mid 80's)
At first glance, this looks like it's a photograph from an American toy store in the 1980's.  It definitely is from the 80's, but this photo was taken in Europe - most likely in the UK.  The Transformers toys were sold all over the world, but the Robo Machine toy line was known as GoBots in the States.  You can see a Robo Machine: Armure Battle Suit in the bottom left corner, and a Robo Machine: Wrist Rocket Launcher toward the center on the left.  I wasn't able to find an American version of the Battle Suit toy, but the Wrist Rocket Launcher was definitely one of the GoBots toys.

The Go Bots Wrist Rocket Launcher (US) and the Robo Machine Armure Battle Suit (Europe)

Dec 16, 2019

Too Late For A Real Gobbler

The Gobbler with Sweet Potato
Wawa (2019)
There were three different Gobbler hoagies available this year: traditional, with mashed potatoes and with sweet potatoes.  The traditional one comes with hot turkey, stuffing, cranberries and gravy.  I've wanted to try one for a while, but this was the only one that was available by the time I got to a Wawa this year.  Truth be told, I didn't really get to try this one either.  They were out of hot turkey, so they made it with sweet potatoes and the oven roasted turkey that they use in their regular turkey sandwiches.  It was very good, but I'm looking forward to trying the real thing next year.

Dec 15, 2019

Holiday Inn At Lancaster

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
Dutch Apple Dinner Theater - Lancaster, PA
Going to the Christmas show at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater with my dad has become a holiday tradition this decade.  Holiday Inn was the show this year, and it was very enjoyable.  The star of every show at Dutch Apple is the food.  It's hard to go wrong with roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, vegetable lasagna, prime rib and poached cod in pesto wine sauce (though my dad was disappointed that they changed the fish from last year).

Dec 14, 2019

Joe Strummer Ends The 70's

London Calling
The Clash (1979)
These are the original lyrics handwritten by Joe Strummer for one of the greatest rock songs of all time.  London Calling was the first song off of their third album of the same name.  The single was released on December 7th, 1979 with the full album coming out in the UK forty years ago today.  The album made it to the United States after the new year, which is perfectly appropriate in hindsight.  I can think of no perfect song to represent the end of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's.

Dec 13, 2019

Pennsylvania Dutch

Sir Didi Gregorius
Shortstop - Philadelphia Phillies
They say that there's no such thing as a bad one-year contract in baseball.  While I agree with this philosophy, I can't help but to wish that the Phillies were able to lock Didi up for more than a single season.  He's working to re-establish himself after a 2019 season that was shortened by surgery, and a one-year deal limits the Phillies risk if injuries continue to be a problem.  However, Didi is a special player that doesn't come around everyday, and I would have been very happy to see a long term deal that keeps him in Philadelphia for the rest of his career.

With that being said, here are some fast facts about the 2020 Phillies shortstop:
  • Didi is Dutch.  He was born in Amsterdam in 1990 and raised in Curacao since he was five. He was discovered by scouts when he was playing in a tournament in The Hague when he was 16 years old.
  • The "Sir" before his name on Twitter is not a nickname.  Didi was a member of The Netherlands team that went 11-1 and defeated Cuba to win the 2001 Baseball World Cup.  As a reward, each member of the team was knighted by the Dutch royal family.
  • He speaks five languages: Dutch, Papiamentu, English, French and Spanish.
  • While recovering from Tommy John surgery, Didi bought a piano and taught himself to play by watching YouTube videos.  The first song he learned was John Legend’s “All of Me.”
  • In addition to his musical talents, Didi is a photographer and an artist.

I can't wait to see this dude in the Phillies lineup.  Welcome to Philadelphia, Sir Didi.

Dec 12, 2019

Wacky Wild Watch

Wacky Warehouse Order Form
Kool-Aid (1989)
I liked Kool-Aid when I was a kid, but my grandmother drank a lot more of it than I ever did.  She was diabetic, and she saved all of the points from her Sugar Free Kool-Aid packages.  Over the years, I was able to redeem the points for a lot of pretty cool toys and promo items.  I ordered the wristwatch from this flyer and got the membership card for free.  I don't know if I've ever seen one like it before or since.  It had a LCD display, but it was of traditional watch hands, not numbers like most digital watches.

Dec 11, 2019

Give Darth Vader The Clap

Darth Vader Clapper
I'm not sure if this was an impulse item or if someone changed their mind at the last minute, but I found one of these sitting on a shelf next to the self checkout lane at Wal-Mart.  It reminds me of a night light I've had since I was a kid.

Dec 10, 2019

The Earthers Like Those Fuzzy Things

Star Trek: Too Many Tribbles
Little Golden Book (2019)
The 1967 classic episode, The Trouble With Tribbles has been turned into an adorable children's book.

Dec 9, 2019

Signs Of The Past

Restroom Signs
Genetti Ballrooms - Hazleton, PA
The Best Western Genetti's Lodge has been in business since the 1950's.  These incredible vintage restroom signs in the lobby of their ballroom look as if they've been in use since the place opened.

Dec 8, 2019

The Computer Concerto

GE-115 Computer Concerto
Pietro Grossi (1967)
This is one of the most fascinating recordings I've ever listened to.  Italian composer Pietro Grossi experimented with using computers to make music decades before the days of synthpop and chiptunes.

In 1967, he used a General Electric GE-115 computer to compose three original pieces of music: Mixed Paganini, Permutations Of Five Sounds and Continuous.  These compositions were pressed onto Side B of a 7" vinyl and given to employees of Olivetti as a Christmas present.  It's crazy to think that even though this music sounds like it's from a 1980's arcade, it was actually recorded two years before Woodstock.

Dec 7, 2019

It Belongs In A Museum

Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Atari 2600 (1982)
The hot video game of the holiday season 37 years ago was Raiders Of The Lost Ark.  The Howard Scott Warshaw classic was an incredible adventure game filled with puzzles that was many years ahead of its time.

Dec 6, 2019

Dec 5, 2019

Zack Attack

It took all of two days for my off-season projection to get blown all to hell.  I was mildly disappointed to see Mike Moustakas sign with the Reds and Dylan Bundy get traded to the Angels, but that pales in comparison to the heartbreak in seeing what happened with Cole Hamels.  The stage was set for Cole to return to Philadelphia and end his career where it began.  Instead, he'll cash an $18 million dollar check to spend the year pitching for the Braves.

The Phillies did make a splash today in the free agent market, but I'm not sure how to feel about it.  Zack Wheeler is 29 years old and he has a hell of a fastball and has the potential to develop into an ace, but he's also got a history of injuries and giving up big innings.  He's definitely an upgrade over everyone not named Nola in the Phillies 2019 rotation, but five years at $118 million dollars is a lot of money for a guy who has yet to live up to his potential.

This could turn out to be a fantastic deal.  Zack wouldn't be the first guy to get a change of scenery and make that one last adjustment that turns a pitcher from good to great, but it's far from a sure thing.  It's tough to say what will happen, but I've got high hopes... high apple pie in the sky hopes.

Dec 4, 2019

By The Power Of Titan Tower

Masters Of The WWE Universe
Mattel (2019)
If they ever decide to make another live action Masters Of The Universe movie, they ought to consider casting John Cena as He-Man and Triple H as Skeletor.  It can't be any worse than the Gary Goddard film.  Maybe the could even coax B. Brian Blair or Jumpin' Jim Brunzell to come out of retirement as Buzz Off.

Dec 3, 2019

Just Another Gadget

The Tampa Times
December 3, 1977
Within seven years of the publishing of this interview, Milton Bradley formerly the world's largest and oldest game company, was purchased by Hasbro.  I guess their business model was just a passing fad.  Meanwhile, the global video game market is expected to exceed $150 billion dollars this year alone... not too shabby for a passing fad from the late 70's.

Dec 2, 2019

Foresight Is 2020

The Phillies made their most important acquisition for the 2020 season in late October when they signed Joe Girardi to replace Gabe Kapler to manage the team.  However, they have a number of other needs to address if they hope to compete for their first playoff appearance since 2011.

The non-tender deadline is at 9:00 pm tonight, so there's a strong likelihood that a number of moves will be made over the next few weeks.  I had a few thoughts on what those moves should be when the season ended, but now that a couple of months have passed, I've had some time to think it over a bit more.  It would be easy to say that the Phillies should sign Gerrit Cole, Steven Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, but that's not going to happen.  It's possible that they'd be willing to go over the luxury tax threshold this winter with $33 million coming off the books in 2021 (Jake Arrieta and David Robertson), but I don't see them committing to the years and dollars that it would take to get the three biggest fish.  With that being said, here are the moves that I'd like to see the Phillies make this winter.

Non-Tender: I've been a fan of Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez for years, but it appears that the time may have come to move on.  Franco is projected to make over $6 million in arbitration with Hernandez projected to earn almost $12 million.  While I think that both have productive years ahead of them, the team has pitching needs and the almost $20 million that it would cost to retain both in arbitration would be better spent elsewhere.  I'm tempted to say that I'd like to see the Phillies work out more team-friendly contract with each of them, but Franco's bat and Hernandez's defense have been on the decline, so I think it's the right time to move on.

Dylan Bundy: The former first round draft pick hasn't lived up to expectations in Baltimore, but he's made significant improvements in 2019.  He's projected to make $6 million in arbitration this season, and he's under team control through the end of 2021.  There's reason to hope that at age 27, he may begin to put it together and be a valuable piece at the back of the rotation.  I'd like to see if the Orioles would be willing to take Odúbel Herrera.  He's a year older than Bundy, he'll be making similar money over the next two seasons, and he could most certainly benefit from a change of scenery to earn his way back to a starting job in the major leagues.

Mike Moustakas: I once thought that he wasn't a significant enough upgrade over Maikel Franco to make it worth signing Moose to the Phillies, but his 35 home runs in 2019 have changed my mind.  Moustakas is a productive bat in any lineup, and his ability to play second and third base would make him an extremely valuable addition to the Phillies over the next 2 - 3 seasons.

Didi Gregorius: The Phillies have been rumored to have interest in the Yankees shortstop for a few weeks now, and I couldn't be happier.  He spent most of 2019 working his way back from injury, but when he's at the top of his game, he's got good range at shortstop and can hit for average with 20+ HR power.  He's been clutch in the post season, and he's known to be a positive presence in the clubhouse.  Also, like Moustakas, Gregorius doesn't have a qualifying offer attached to him, so it won't cost a draft pick to sign him.  There's always a chance that he isn't able to return to his pre-2019 production, but I'd like to see the Phillies take a chance with a two or three year deal.

Jeff Samardzija: Shark is signed through the end of 2020 at just under $20 million.  He threw over 200 innings for five straight seasons until injuries hampered him in 2018.  He had a decent season last year at age 34, and since the Giants are looking to shed salary, it probably wouldn't take too much to acquire him in a trade.  I don't expect a miracle, but I'd rather see the Phillies overpay a dependable veteran for a single season than to overpay a guy like Zack Wheeler for four years and lose a draft pick.

Cole Hamels: I'm kind of surprised that this hasn't happened already.  Hamels has not only expressed an interest in returning to Philadelphia, but he's come right out and said that he would be willing to take a one year deal.  This would give the Phillies a quality left handed starter, and it would bookend Hamels career where it began.


With each of these moves, here is how I would project the 2020 Philadelphia Phillies 26 man roster:
At a glance, one of the drawbacks of this projection is that it would include three pitchers who are 34 or older and who have had a variety of health concerns over the past few seasons.  However, the upcoming season will see the major league roster size increase from 25 to 26.  Instead of keeping an additional bat on the bench or specialty reliever, I think the best use of this extra man is to go with a six man rotation.  This would give each starter an extra day of rest throughout the entire season and help lessen their workload for a playoff run.  It would also give the Phillies at least two veteran starters who are only signed through the end of 2020 (three if Hamels agrees to a one year deal).  If the first half of the season is rough, they can position themselves as sellers at the deadline without giving up any building blocks for the future.  Even if they're in first place at the at the deadline, it would free them up to move one veteran starter in a trade to make room for a Spencer Howard promotion.

The team would have a similar degree of flexibility for position players.  Scott Kingery would be available to play 2B, SS and 3B and would get plenty of starts in center field.  Additionally, newly acquired Josh Harrison can play 2B, 3B and both corner outfield spots.  More importantly, the Phillies have top prospect Alec Bohm waiting in the wings.  He'll almost certainly start the season at Triple A, but if he continues to be productive and earns a promotion to Philadelphia, the team has a few options:
  • If Bohm can stick at 3B, move Moustakas to 2B and shop Segura in a trade.
  • If Hoskins continues to slump, keep Moustakas at 3B, move Bohm to 1B and shop Hoskins in a trade.
  • If an opportunity comes along for an ace starter, keep the veterans in place and shop Bohm in a trade.
Assuming Rhys Hoskins works through his 2019 offensive struggles and returns to form, I would prefer to see the Phillies trade Jean Segura.  However, he has a full no-trade clause that could potentially be a problem.  Each of these options has pros and cons, but the important fact is that they have options, and if anyone in the infield gets hurt, they can always plug Scott Kingery into a starting job and make adjustments from there.

At the end of the day, I don't think there is a realistic combination of moves that would make the Phillies the favorites to win the 2020 World Series, but there are plenty of adjustments to be made to get them into the playoffs.  After that, anything can happen... just ask a Washington Nationals fan.


UPDATE (7:00 pm): Well, that didn't last long.  This afternoon, Jon Heyman announced that Mike Moustakas signed a 4 year, $64 million dollar deal with the Cincinnati Reds.  The only announcements so far from Philadelphia have been that they came to terms with Andrew Knapp and they claimed a relief pitcher named Trevor Kelley off of waivers from Boston.