Abreu! 24! Derby! Cinco Tres!

Abreu! 24! Derby! Cinco Tres!

Alicia Machado must be proud.  Ortiz just choked and Abreu is in the finals against the hometown guy, Pudge Rodriguez.  I missed the first round madness because I was busy at work following the horrible ESPN home run tracker.  Scott called me periodically to tell me of the Abreu insanity.

10:54 - Any movie with Vince Vaughn is probably worth checking out.  I'm just happy Ben Stiller isn't it it.  At least I hope not.  Can you really remake Bad News Bears????!??

10:59 - Chris Berman should be shot.  Bobby steps in.. Ball One.  Ball Two.  Ball Three.  Out1.  Long Fly ball!  Nope.  Damn it Bobby, that guy wants a house!  Back Back Back Gone!  1 Hr, 2 Out.  3 Out.  Damn it!  4 outs.  Damn.  5 outs.  He is looking tired, not looking good for our Phillie.

11:02 - Chris Berman should be shot.  Bobby gets 2 quick ones!  3 homers.  Towering shot!  4 Homers.  ouch. check swing?!  Wally wants that house Bobby!  5 HR!  6!  Bobby is feelin it!  36 on the night!  36!@#!

11:05 - 7!  Gone!  8!  Why can't he do this in the 8th or 9th innings!?!?  7 outs.  Wow that was a long ball, 9 Hrs, 7 outs.  Foul.  8 outs.  Joe Morgan thinks 9 homers will be tough to beat in the finals.  He adjusted to get that barrel out in front.  Good barrel work Bobby.  10 Hrs!  Abreu gets harassed by Miguel Cabrera!  Vamos!  I think that's what he said.  41 Home runs on the night!  Jebus.  Abreu won, this is over.  That sip of Gatorade really helped.  9 outs.  10.

11:09 - Bobby finishes with 41 home runs!  "I do the best that I can do to hit a homer here.  I think this is a beautiful night."  For all the shit Philly fans give Bobby, he really seems like a class act.

11:11 - Jimmy Rollins is shown cheer-leading, good work Jroll.

11:12 - Note to self: Buy a Chevy Truck, use my MasterCard more, buy another Chevy with employee discount.

11:17 - Pudge steps in.. Ball One.  Ball Two.  GONE.  1 Hr.  Gone.  2 Hr.  Uh oh Bobby, uh Oh.  Out1.  Out 2.   Out 3.   Out.  4 outs, 2 Hrs.  5 Outs.  Bobby is starting to look good.  Big Smile on Bobby's face.  6 outs.  GONE!  4 Hrs.

11:20 - Fans are chanting for Pudge, Out 7.  Grounder to Rollins, Out 8.  Gone.  4 HRs.

11:23 - Bobby Wins!  I got lost looking up some stats.  Bobby, the second Phillie ever to compete in the HR Derby (Jim Thome 2004), wins it with a total of 41 HRs.

Hey Bobby, why don't you hustle a little more in the outfield!  Boo! AHAHH I'm just kidding, Congrats to Bobby Abreu for representing Philadelphia and hitting the cover off of the ball in Detroit.  Good work Bobby, at least Phillies fans have one thing to cheer about this baseball season.  Now lead off tomorrow's game with a solo shot!

Editor's Note: All exclamation points in this post are used for embellishment as I am deliriously tired from too much work.  (Hence the lack up solid updates lately.)

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH --- Vince Velasquez wasn’t able to stand the heat Sunday afternoon.

The game-time temperature was 89 degrees with humidity to match at PNC Park. The Phillies' right-hander admitted he didn’t handle the weather well.

"You're going to go through various conditions, and it's something that you've got to really take into consideration -- to really lock in, stay hydrated because it can mentally drain you,” Velasquez said. “It kind of took a toll on me but I have to make the best of what I've got.”

Velasquez wound up pitching six innings in the blistering heat but did not factor in the decision as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 5-4 on pinch-hitter Adam Frazier’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning, his first in the major leagues, off fellow rookie Edubray Ramos (see Instant Replay).

Velasquez had his worst of his five starts since coming off the disabled list June 26, allowing four runs and seven hits while walking four and striking out five. He threw 107 pitches, 64 for strikes.

In his first four outings after begin activated, he was 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA to raise his record to 8-2.

“Just looking at his body language, he showed that he was struggling to find the strike zone,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He didn't have his best location. He did a good job; he just made a couple bad pitches when they scored the two runs. Obviously, he wasn't at his best, but he kept us in the game.”

While that kind of outing can breed confidence in a 24-year-old pitcher, Velasquez took no consolation in it. He was bothered about not being able to hold a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving up a tying two-run home run to Matt Joyce.

“I knew it was my last inning when I went out there and I have to be able to close it out there,” Velasquez said. “I’m disappointed in that. I need to be better in that situation.”

Joyce’s blast came on pitch after Starling Marte doubled on an 0-2 pitch. That, too, annoyed Velasquez.

“That's just a matter of finishing at-bats,” Velasquez said. “You've got to lock in on 0-2 counts when you're ahead. You've got to finish the at-bat. Knowing that that was my last inning, that's where you have to bear down and give it all you've got.”

Ramos then gave up the game-winning homer to Frazier an inning later, the first long ball given up by the 23-year-old right-hander in 14 career outings. The Phillies wound up losing two of three games in the series and are 3-7 since the All-Star break to drop to 10 games under .500 at 45-55 through 100 games.

“It’s a game we should have won but I put us in position to lose it,” Velasquez said.

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- Four people were killed Sunday when bus carrying Dallas Cowboys staffers but no players collided with a van on a northwestern Arizona highway.

The fatalities were passengers in the van, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr said. But the bus occupants emerged uninjured.

"All on the bus came through OK with some bumps and bruises," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) said in an email.

Dalrymple said the bus was only carrying members of the franchise's staff but would not say how many. There were no players on board.

The two vehicles collided in the afternoon on U.S. 93, about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman, according to DPS.

The crash shut down at least one lane of the highway that serves as the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The bus was on its way to a Dallas Cowboys fan event in Las Vegas. Charles Cooper, manager of GameWorks entertainment center in Vegas, said the session with 50 to 75 fans was scheduled for 3 p.m. PDT. People were already waiting when the president of a Las Vegas Cowboys fan club called to relay news of the accident. The event was subsequently canceled. Cooper says the team mascot was supposed to appear.

After the Las Vegas stop, the bus was scheduled to go on to Oxnard, California for the team's training camp. Members of the organization typically take a bus two weeks before the camp starts and make stops along the way.

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Jeremy Hellickson may be staying in the NL East past the trade deadline. 

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Phillies are scouting the Marlins' minor league teams in advance of a possible Hellickson deal. 

This comes on the heels of a report from a radio host in Miami that Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen may need Tommy John surgery. Chen left with an elbow sprain during Wednesday's loss to the Phillies and was placed on the disabled list. Ironically, Chen was starting against Hellickson, who will face Jarred Cosart in place of Chen on Monday.

Hellickson's value rebounded significantly this season after struggling in Arizona and Tampa Bay the last few seasons. After dealing with a shoulder injury, Hellickson pitched to ERAs above 4.50 in each season from 2013-15, leading to the Diamondbacks trading him to the Phillies for limited value. 

However, in 20 starts, Hellickson, who will be a free agent after the year, has anchored the Phillies' rotation, bringing a 3.84 ERA over 119 ⅔ innings into Monday's scheduled start. He also has a nearly career-best strikeout rate and has regained his signature command that made him a strong performer with the Rays.

The Phillies are aided this trade deadline by a lack of starting pitching options available on the market. With many teams in contention looking for an additional starter, Hellickson is an attractive piece who could help a team in a pennant race.