Third inning: Victorino’s grand slam

According to whiz kid Kevin Horan of Phillies.com, Shane Victorino clubbed the first-ever post-season grand slam by a Phillie.

In fact, the Phillies have only hit 45 playoff homers, a list in which Lenny Dykstra tops with six, followed by Gary Matthews and Greg Luzinski with five each.

My partner in crime at CSN.com, Andy Schwartz, pointed out that the chart should show:

Dykstra, 6*

Victorino is quickly climbing the charts with his second post-season blast. He also hit one in Game 3 at Coors Field last season for the Phils’ only run in the deciding game.

Needless to say, the affable (and boisterous) centerfielder will undoubtedly have a lot to chirp about amongst his teammates on the charter to Milwaukee after the game. Better yet, Victorino needs a triple and single for the cycle. In his first two innings he already has a double, stolen base and the slam.

Good move by Charlie for putting Victorino in the No. 2 hole and sliding Jayson Werth down to sixth.

Meanwhile, Myers sailed through the third inning with his second straight perfect frame. Perhaps he needed to shake out the jitters in the first inning in order to settle in? If so, it worked.

CC Sabathia whiffed the next two hitters after Victorino’s slam, but Werth smacked another double and then swiped third . Interestingly, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard account for four of Sabathia’s five strikeouts.

End of 3: Phillies 5, Brewers 1

Vote early and often

OK. I went out and submitted my first of two All-Star ballots of the year. Typically I will vote once after Memorial Day and once in the final week before the balloting ends for the All-Star Game. So, without comment, here are the votes:

American League
c – Victor Martinez, Indians
1b – Justin Morneau, Twins
2b – Ian Kinsler, Rangers
3b – Joe Crede, White Sox
ss – Derek Jeter – Yankees
of – Josh Hamilton, Rangers
of – Magglio Ordonez, White Sox
of – Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
dh – Hideki Matsui, Yankees

National League
c – Brian McCann, Braves
1b – Lance Berkman, Astros
2b – Chase Utley, Phillies
3b – Chipper Jones, Braves
ss – Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
of – Matt Holliday, Rockies
of – Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals
of – Nate McLouth, Pirates

There it is.

Meanwhile, from the “Gee, we didn’t see that coming” file, Lenny Dykstra isn’t paying his freelance writers for his new magazine. Yeah. Shocker.

(Not so) tough as nails

Lenny DykstraIt’s kind of fun to see Lenny Dykstra turning up everywhere as the veritable media dynamo that he has become. By now, most folks have caught the new Lenny on HBO’s Real Sports talking about his career as a day trader with Bernie Goldberg.

There Lenny was again in the pages of The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker), discussing his latest venture called The Players Club, which is a magazine aimed at professional athletes on how they can better invest their high incomes so that they don’t squander it all before their playing days end.

Dykstra says it will be “the world’s best magazine” and throws around such superlatives about nearly everything he has purchased as if he were out for revenge or if he had somehow been shortchanged somewhere along the line. His car, a German Maybach, is “the best car.” He bought a Gulfstream plane because, “it’s the best in the world and there isn’t even a close second.”

It doesn’t stop with the big things, either. He raves about a door in his $17 million house purchased from Wayne Gretzky, as well as about the house itself and the weather in Southern California. It’s all the best and more than mirrors Dykstra’s style as a player that was, needless to say, all about him and “look at me.” Oh sure, Dykstra wanted to win and all of that. But given a choice between running into a fence and injuring himself or remaining healthy and on the field, Dykstra always went for the short-term glory.

But that theory flies in the face of the mission behind his The Players Club. As he said in The New Yorker:

“I’m forty-four, with a lot of mileage, dude. A lot of mileage.” The chaw is gone, and he hasn’t had a drink in years. “When the market opens at six o’clock in the morning out here, I mean, dude, you got to be up,” he says. “You get to a point in your life where, yeah, I loved baseball, but baseball’s a small part. I’m going to build something that can change the fucking outcome of people’s lives.”

Yes, because helping multi-millionaires from separating themselves from their money is soooooo altruistic.

Anyway, in addition to Real Sports and The New Yorker, Dykstra’s name has also appeared in a story in which an accounting firm is suing him for $110,000 for money owed for accounting and tax work.

Then Dykstra’s name showed up a handful of times in The Mitchell Report, which didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. Yet, the Mitchell Report and Dykstra’s physical health is the one issue that seemed to be glossed over during the HBO profile and the magazine story. With Goldberg, Dykstra’s speech was somewhat slurred, a point exemplified in Ben McGrath’s story:

His hands tremble, his back hurts, and his speech, like that of an insomniac or a stroke victim, lags slightly behind his mind. He winks without obvious intent. In his playing days, he had a term for people like this: fossils. Nothing about his physical presence any longer suggests nails, and sometimes, as if in joking recognition of this softening, he answers the phone by saying, “Thumbtacks.”

But that’s it. Dykstra’s health, just like the depth and true worth of his financial portfolio are taken at face value. In fact, the only nuance presented in either story came from Dykstra’s personality. There, Dykstra appears to be in 1993 form.

***
Floyd LandisMeanwhile, the final stop on Floyd Landis’ appeal hearing has planted itself in New York City where the case enters its third day. Landis and the USADA will present cases today and tomorrow before wrapping it all up on Monday. Then they will wait for the panel of three arbitrators with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to make a decision, which will come sometime during the calendar year… probably.

Nevertheless, there has been very little in the way of rumblings from the USADA or Landis camps, which is quite the opposite from last May’s hearing. Plus, Floyd likes to talk and hasn’t said anything to anyone.

But for a preview of the proceedings in NYC, here’s a story from ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford.

***
I don’t like to brag[1], but I went 14-for-16 in the first day of NCAA tournament selections. I tripped up on the UNLV-Kent State and West Virginia-Arizona games.

Still, it’s not too bad for someone convinced that the tournament is nothing more than a lot of hot air until the second weekend begins.

***
Ted LeoFinally, in an interesting development, arena rock stalwarts Pearl Jam announced that they will take Ted Leo and his Pharmacists out with them for the first part of their U.S. tour, which opens in Camden, N.J. on June 19. Certainly such a decision means that Pearl Jam aims to bust their collective asses during the six dates in which Teddy Rock Star opens up the shows. After all, if Eddie Vedder and the gang give just the slightest of inches, Ted + Rx will own them.

Fortunately for the Pearl Jammers, work ethic has never been an issue. That means it will be an action-packed six shows for all involved.

Jun 19 — Camden, N.J. — Susquehanna Bank Center
Jun 22 — Washington, D.C. — Verizon Center

Jun 24 — New York, N.Y. – Madison Square Garden
Jun 25 — New York, N.Y. – Madison Square Garden

Jun 27 — Hartford, Conn. — Dodge Amphitheater
Jun 30 — Mansfield, Mass. — Tweeter Center

The always interesting Kings of Leon will take over the opening duties after Ted Leo leaves the tour.

More: Ted Leo covers Rush on WFMU


[1] Uh, yeah I do.