Dude, You Should Totally Go to the Penn Relays This Weekend

Dude, You Should Totally Go to the Penn Relays This Weekend


Look,
I hate to be the one who breaks it to ya, but the Phillies stink.
They’re terrible. I mean, one of the guys on their team is named
“Laynce.” Not Lance. Laynce. That’s no way to spell a name. So the fact
that the Phils are playing at 1pm this Saturday doesn’t matter. You
don’t have to watch. Stop wasting your time, stop cheering for a bunch
of losers and go do something productive with your Saturday afternoon
for once in your boring, miserable life. Head down to Franklin Field for
the most awesome, ridiculous, exciting afternoon ever.


Don’t believe me?



Don’t think a track and field meet can be that exciting?



Keep reading, Laynce.



Keep reading.



Nonstop Bonkers Action

It
is IMPOSSIBLE to follow what the hell is going on at a track and field
meet. It’s a total whirlwind as there are approximately 37 events going
on at all times. At one end of the stadium, high school long jumpers
with really dumb haircuts pump up the crowd before launching themselves
for THE MOST IMPORTANT JUMP OF THEIR LIVES. At the other end, a
ridiculously hairy man from a country you’ve never heard of jams A GIANT
POLE INTO THE GROUND and flings himself 20 FEET INTO THE AIR like a
goddamn lunatic. If that’s not enough -- and you find yourself dizzy
from trying to keep up all the activity -- another guy SHOOTS A GUN AT
THE SKY reminding you that the LSU women’s 4x400 team and their
RIDICULOUSLY SHORT SHORTS / BATHING SUITS / WHAT DO YOU EVEN CALL THOSE
THINGS are about to run around the stadium WITH THIGHS SO STRONG THEY
COULD CRUSH YOUR FACE. It’s equal parts terrifying and wonderful. THE
GUN BLASTS COME OUT OF NOWHERE. It’s sort of erotic! You gotta see it to
believe it. I don’t know why you’re still reading this, just buy your
stupid tickets already. Just do it. What are you waiting for? Look here’s a link omg you’re so dumb just do it already, just do itttttt!!!



Tip #1 when attending: Get there early and walk around Penn’s campus.

Not
because it’s supposed to be a nice day or because Penn has a beautiful
campus (which it does), but because you’ll see tons of really really
good-looking incredibly fit athletes walking around in really dope track
suits. Sometimes you can find an entire team stretching in the park in
unbelievably compromising positions -- and even though looking at them
makes you feel horrible because you’re half the man/woman they are, it’s
still nice to stare at what the human form is supposed to look like.



USA vs. The World

All
relay races are exciting. That’s a fact. That’s a medical fact. Even
those ones where you have to carry a stupid egg on a stupid spoon and
everyone yells at you because you can’t do it and your spoon is warped!
Why do I always get a warped one?!?! But these USA vs. The World jawns
are INTENSE. Essentially, the USA enters two teams of olympic-caliber
sprinters (you’ll have heard of maybe three or four of them) to compete
against other teams made up of much more fair-skinned runners. No matter
if you’re a bike messenger from West Philly or a Princeton alum,
American pride will burst inside you as you cheer for eight American
athletes who up until that moment could’ve punched you in the face and
you wouldn’t have know who they were.




Jamaican People

Anyone
who’s not American in the crowd on Saturday will be something called a
“Jamaican.” You might be familiar with Jamaicans -- dreadlocks, Usain
Bolt, funnel cake -- but you’ve never seen ANYTHING like the Jamaicans
at Franklin Field. Screaming, chanting, TUBE TOPS. Let me tell you
something. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. Jamaicans really really really
like sprinting, like REALLY like sprinting, and they’re really really
good at it.



You
know your stupid younger cousin who LOVES chicken fingers? Like, he
can’t get enough, eats them at every meal and completely freaks out
whenever you eat one off his plate even though it had been sitting there
for like 30 minutes and he was totally done with them! Yo, that’s what
Jamaican people are like with sprinting. Except, it has nothing to do
with chicken fingers and that was a horrible analogy, but you get the
point. They go absolutely mental for the sport. Usain Bolt!



High
school Jamaican kids DOMINATE the Penn Relays and they have AMAZING
haircuts. There are colleges from Jamaica, too. Who knew there were
colleges in Jamaica? Why didn’t my stupid high school guidance counselor
tell me there were colleges in Jamaica? I went to college in friggin’
Maryland. MARYLAND. Do you know how dumb that was? Do you have any idea?
Applebee’s. We had an Applebee’s on campus. Have you ever eaten at an
Applebee’s? No, of course you haven’t. It’s the only smart thing you’ve
ever done in your stupid life. Also the Jamaican jerk chicken at
Franklin Field is INCREDIBLE.



Tip #2 when attending: Buy a program.

It
seems ridiculous, I know. Spending 10 bucks on a magazine that you’ll
never look at it again, but it is TOTALLY WORTH IT. The program comes
with a schedule of all the races, so you can see what people are running
when, and when it’s safe to go spend an hour waiting in line for jerk
chicken. That thing will be your HOLY BIBLE, and you’ll feel like the
smartest dude around as you tell everyone in your section, “UP NEXT IS
THE CENTRAL LEAGUE 4X800. MARPLE NEWTOWN WON LAST YEAR IN A PHOTO FINISH
AND RIDLEY’S 1974 TEAM HOLDS THE ALL-TIME RECORD. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I
SPENT 10 DOLLARS ON A MAGAZINE. IT HAS GLOSSY PICTURES AND A COUPON FOR
10% OFF DRY CLEANING. I AM THE KING OF SECTION 237. I AM THE
KINGGGGGG!”




Franklin Field

Built by Ben Franklin himself! The Father of Track and Field! It has a clock!



Admit It, Just Admit It, You Don’t Have Anything to Do on Saturday

Do
you know who the starting pitcher is for the Phillies on Saturday?
Jonathan Pettibone. Yep, Jonathan Pettibone. Not Jonathan Papelbon.
Jonathan Pettibone. That’s a person. A real, live, human person. And
he’s pitching for THE GREATEST STAFF OF ALL TIME on Saturday afternoon.
Ughhghhhh. Is it that hard for Ryan Howard to hit a ground ball down the
third base line??? HOW HARD IS THAT???   



Tip #3: Bring sunscreen!!!


Phillies-Mets 5 things: All the pressure on Mets, Gsellman

Phillies-Mets 5 things: All the pressure on Mets, Gsellman

Phillies (70-85) at Mets (82-73)
1:10 p.m. on CSN

After two rough losses for the Phillies and their pitching staff, the offense picked them up and came through with a 10-8 win. 22-year-old Jake Thompson takes the hill this afternoon while Robert Gsellman starts a crucial game for the Mets.

Here are five things to watch on Sunday.

1. All the pressure on New York, Gsellman
The Mets remain 0.5 games up on the final National League playoff spot. 

While their pitching staff was falling apart at the seams going into (and during) this series, the one saving grace for New York was its soft schedule, facing the Phillies seven times in its last 10. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals have to deal with the MLB best Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants end the year vs. the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, a loss on Saturday (thanks in part to Noah Syndergaard getting scratched with strep throat) puts the Mets in a precarious position. They're tied in the loss column with the Cards and Giants while fighting for one of two playoff spots and their rotation most closely resembles their Triple A team from Opening Day. 

Gsellman is one of those pitchers who started the year never having tasted the major leagues. In fact, he started the year in Double A. His first career start came at Citi Field last month against the Phillies and resulted in his first career loss after he allowed four runs in six innings. 

He's been better since that start, carrying a 3.13 ERA into Sunday. The 23-year-old righty will likely start vs. the Phillies again next weekend, meaning the Mets' season rides in part on a rookie with just 31 2/3 innings in the majors. 

2. Young man on a roll
While Gsellman lost his last start, Thompson has won his last two starts. The young righty is on a hot streak as his season nears an end.

Thompson's ERA has goe down in each of his last five starts, a stat made less impressive by the fact that he began that run with a 9.78 ERA. He has gone at least five innings in his last eight starts and has shown glimpses of why he was such a valued prospects.

In September, Thompson is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA over four starts. He's still allowed 33 baserunners in 23 1/3 innings during that span, but it's been much better than his lackluster August.

While Thompson is in line to start next weekend against the Mets as well, today could be his final start of the season. He has already set a career-high in innings and the Phillies may not want to extend him one more start.

3. What to look for in the season's final week
Including Sunday, the Phillies have just seven games left in their season. They're eliminated from playoff contention, but there's still plenty to watch as the Phils take on Braves and Mets.

Ryan Howard's final fairwell: With his five-year, $125 million deal coming to a close this year, Howard is almost certainly playing his final games in Philadelphia next week. He'll get plenty of starts and may even face the Mets' Bartolo Colon, who he's smacked three home runs off of in his career.

Playing spoiler: As mentioned above, the Mets have everything on the line both today and next weekend in Philadelphia. There are few better ways to end a postseason-less season than knocking a rival out of playoff contention.

More looks at the kids: Roman Quinn's emergence over the last two weeks has been fun to watch and Jorge Alfaro may get more chances in the last seven games. Beyond them, Thompson, Tommy Joseph and others close out a nice first season. 

4. Players to watch
Phillies: Maikel Franco has looked more like his 2015 self over the last few weeks. He's batting .310 in September with three home runs, matching his August total. His 15 RBI this month are his most in a month other than July. 

Mets: Asdrubal Cabrera has been on fire this month as well. After battting .405 in August, he's batting .333 and has five home runs, including the walk-off homer on Thursday. He's slugging .628 this month after putting up a .786 slugging percentage in August. 

5. This and that
• In Gsellman's August start vs. the Phillies, he only allowed one run while he was in the game. However, he left the bases loaded in the 7th with no outs before A.J. Ellis knocked in the decisive two-run double to give the Phils a lead they would not relinquish.

• Six different Phillies batters had hits off Gsellman, including Jimmy Paredes who went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. 

• Despite pitching injuries, the Mets have the eighth-best team ERA in September with a 3.64 average. The Phillies are 15th in baseball with a 4.10 ERA this month.

• The Phillies are 6-9 against the Mets this year. They're already ensured of a better finish than last year's 5-14 mark vs. New York.

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, killed in boating accident

uspresswire-marlins-jose-fernandez.jpg
USA Today Images

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, killed in boating accident

MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez, the ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who escaped Cuba to become one of baseball's brightest stars, was killed in boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez was 24.

The Marlins announced Fernandez's death, and the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that Fernandez was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach.

In the statement, the Marlins say they are "devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later.

Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a "severe impact" with a jetty, said Lorenzo Veloz of the Fish Commission.

A news conference was planned for later Sunday morning.

Fernandez was a two-time All-Star who went 38-17 in his four seasons with the Marlins, winning the NL's Rookie of the Year award in 2013. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba became a U.S. citizen last year.

He tried to defect from Cuba at least three times -- landing in jail after one of those unsuccessful tries -- before eventually getting to the U.S. and going to high school in Tampa, Florida. The Marlins drafted him in 2011 and Fernandez was in the majors two years later.

The Marlins' game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled.