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10 Things I’m Already Sick Of

by Ryan Hohman

Let me preface this article with a few disclaimers. First, I love the game of baseball and respect it as America’s Past Time as well as the game that I loved as a kid. Other sports pale in comparison in terms of tradition and history, and it’s really not even close. There’s a purity about the game that, barring the Black Sox Scandal, The Pete Rose Scandal and The Steroid Era, that has not or should not be messed with. Second, I love the Phillies and have since I was a little kid. Last year was surreal and a dream come true especially after having had my nads ripped off as a 13 year-old when the Jays stomped the Fightin’ in the World Series. I’ve never had the feeling that everything was going to work and then have it actually work out…stuff like that just doesn’t happen to someone like me. By some miracle though, it all worked out. Third, I’m a real Philadelphia fan. I love and hate these teams and the people who cover them like no other. When it sucks, I’ll say it sucks, and when it’s great, I can’t be talked down. Lastly, I grew up amid verbal brutality. With my friends no flaw went unnoticed. Any day in which you were not thoroughly embarrassed or in which you survived an attempted character assassination was a good day. So if I am too hyper-critical for your taste you’ll have to get over and grow some thicker skin. “Sh*t and get glad again” is the mantra of the Hohman Family. Learn it, live it, love it.

We’re three games in and there is much to be excited and pissed about in my mind, but for as jacked up as I should be, I still am going to treat this season like Mr. Costanzo treated Festivus. I'll refuse to conform and create my own reality. While most “fans” are poo-pooing the “slow start,” and the national media is writing off the Phillies, I’m going to keep it real. First up, “The Airing of Grievances.” Here are ten things that I’m already sick of and yes I know the season is only 120 hours old, and Brad Lidge may still be trying to get his ring off. Yup, I busted you Brad. Little trouble there huh? Most of these have nothing to do with what’s going on between the lines.

Let’s start with people who cover the team…

10. Michael Barkann and Ricky Bottalico- These two guys are absolutely brutal. Barkann is such a blowhard. There may be no other person on TV besides, Joe Buck of course, who enjoys hearing himself talk more than Barkann. I was done with Barkann for the season when he introduced Bottalico with a deep baritone voice and referred to him as “Ricky Bo.” I can’t take it. Bottalico speaks in wild generalizations and I’m ready for him to make an outrageous claim like he invented the question mark. Ricky (I refuse to call him Bo or Ricky Bo) refuses to use stats, probably because his as a player were so mediocre and numbers keep a reporter from distorting the truth beyond all reason, Rick’s forte. More from these turds later.

9. Leslie Gudel and Marshall Harris- I’ll start with Gudel. On two occasions yesterday I thought she was going to pull a “Drunken Joe Namath.” Once when she was talking to Pat Burrell, whose outfit was of course perfect and priceless, and once when she had Geoff Jenkins cornered in the Phil’s clubhouse. Her close talking is out of control and I was just waiting for her to slip in a, “I want to kiss you,” on the sly between every obvious question she asked. This Marshall Harris character they hired to fill their racial diversity quota is a riot. This nonkster deluxe is threatening Keith Russell of 6 ABC for the title, “The Carlton Banks of Sports Reporters.” I have a couple bits of advice for Carlton, or Marshall, or whatever his name is. First, shave it all off pal. You’re balding up top and the waves on the side are not diverting anyone’s attention from your futile attempt in the front. Check Raul Ibanez as a reference on how it’s done. Second, don’t interview guys from the Northeast. I know that really limits the number of people available but believe me, it’ll pay dividends. The guy you interviewed before the ring ceremony said “you know” eleven times in 35 seconds; yup I counted. It went something like this, “Yeah you know, it’s been nice you know, being able to be here for all three games so far you know, I think you know, the Phils just need to start hittin’ you know…” Yeah, I know buddy, kill me now.

8. Sarge, his hats, and his analysis- He looked like the black Indiana Jones yesterday. Whether it’s the Indy Hat or the Kangol, Sarge likes to dress like he’s going to the “Playaz Ball.” The hat undoubtedly makes his post-game wardrobe change much easier and more efficient. He just has to swap his Phil’s shirt for a Hawaiian and tell his driver to take him, Barkann, Bottalico, and Franzke to Cheerleaders so they can meet up with Werth and Victorino. Every man has a flaw and Sarge’s is his in-game analysis. He just hasn’t figured out how to jump in and spends a lot of time looking into the stands for inspiration. He can’t tell you Chase’s OPS but he’ll give you a vivid description of the catch and residual celebration of a beer swilling fan in section 124. His shining moment yesterday was this precious nugget after Ruiz almost made a great play on a pop up behind the plate, “You know that catcher’s glove, it’s different from most gloves. It has a lot more padding than your normal glove.” Fascinating stuff and straight up comedy.

7. Wheels- It’s well documented that I can’t stand this clown. Anyone who insults my intelligence by blatantly lying about the game I’m watching deserves a beat-down, in ink and in person. Let me give you some examples…keep in mind that I throw something at my TV every time he does this crap. Apparently Blanton throws a 90 mph change up now. That must have been his focus in Spring Training. The 2-2 “change-up” to Kelly Johnson in the first as well as the 0-1 “change-up” that McCann hit to the moon were both 90 mph. He marveled at the fact that Blanton threw it 2-2 to Johnson and went on about it for 3 minutes…where I’m from (Levittown, Earth) those are called fastballs, because they are thrown fast. The change-up is somewhere in the low 80’s Wheels! Jagoff! Just look at your monitor numb nuts. There’s this neat feature that’s been there since the mid-80’s that tells you how fast the pitch was. He does that all the time…you know ignoring what really happened in the game and reporting total nonsense. After a nice 45 second report from Tom McCarthy in which he gave some pertinent information about Braves starter Javier Vasquez, Wheels tried to belittle him for having an oversized scorebook. Tom just brought more to the table in 45 seconds then Wheels had brought in 35 minutes so Wheels felt he should tear him down. Harry should've hit him with the Vulcan neck pinch to stop the baloney. I punched myself in the face repeatedly after this Wheels jewel, “yeah, you know those are always the toughest ones to get, those two out runs.” No crap Chris, do us all a favor and test your ability to fly one of these days so I don’t have watch in misery as you butcher each inning. I can’t believe Harry hasn’t lost it yet (see It’s Go Time). I’m not done with you yet Wheels

6. Keys to the Game- These are supposed to give the fan insight into what the home team needs to do well to win the game. The keys should be things that are beyond the common fans’ understanding and thus will give them something to look for from the day’s action. Since Wheels is in charge of this portion of the broadcast, it’s a complete joke. Yesterday’s keys to the game: 1. Settle Down After the Pre-Game…brilliant, why didn’t the ten year old who already had his hat inside out hoping for a batting practice rally think of that! 2. Win A Game…I’ve officially slotted Wheels into the number 4 spot on my kill list (see bio) for this stroke of genius. The key to a game can’t be to win the game, it doesn’t make any freakin’ sense. The keys help you win. Winning can’t be a key, it just can’t be. It’s completely infuriated the way this guy steals money. Anyone with a clue would’ve said: Score early, be patient at the plate, or a good outing from Blanton, but that would’ve actually been relevant, so Wheels decided on “win the freakin’ game?” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

5. Hyperbole- I’m al for figurative language and no sport uses it and abuses it like baseball. Where else does a guy get on his horse (idiom), throw a beebee (metaphor), and gun down the runner (metaphor)? The hyperbole used so far this season has been over the top though. Barkann referred to the Phillies 0-2 start as a controversy. No it’s not. Not unless the media tries to make it a controversy. 0-3 would have been a full blown catastrophe in this line of reason. 0-3 would not have been as big a deal as 10 million softies missing Adam Lambert’s performance on Tuesday night because Idol’s producer dropped the ball. (Note: if you have no idea what I’m talking about with this then good for you.) The season is 162 games, take a valium. Wheels and Bottalico, in the same broadcast referred to Blanton as “Homerun Hitter Joe Blanton.” He has three career hits fellas and the sun even shines on a dog a@@. Give it a rest. Jayson Stark of ESPN has written off the Phils and crowned the Braves World Champions already. He also referred to the hump-back liner that Werth hit the other night that was caught by Derek Lowe as a “rocket.” It’s clear he and Werth are in cahoots because they are the only two nerds who spell Jason with a “Y.” Sarge used the word devastating to describe Blanton’s slider yesterday. It’s a nice pitch but devastating is a bit much. The crown jewel from the broadcast was delivered when Bottalico declared that the Phillies will win 90+ games and make the playoffs “without a problem.” We should start tearing our tickets up now like Sonny and his crew in Bronx Tale. “We’ve been mushed!”

4. Commercials- I have a strict “no commercial watching” policy, but when my wife is in the mix I get stuck because my clickety clacking drives her mad. So…I was forced to watch Gus, the Second Most Famous Groundhog in Pennsylvania eat his breakfast while reading the newspaper at a local diner 37 times during the telecast, while I pondered ways to end his and my life, in that order. There’s only one thing I despise more than this fuzzy little mongrel, and that’s Kobe Bryant’s face (2 and 1 on my kill list respectively). If I were the cook, I would’ve put a little cyanide in the salt shakers, and after reviving him, put his head in a vice after breaking both his legs like Nicky Santoro (Pesci) and Frank Marino do to Tony Dogs’ in Casino. Yes, he bothers me that much. The Herr’s commercial with the unathletic pipsqueak leading off of first irks me almost as much as Gus. They couldn’t find a single intern who’d played baseball before? It’s unfathomable that you spend that much money on a commercial and have it be a complete train wreck.

3. The Braves- Thank God this series is over. The Braves haven’t won 90 games since 05’ but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they eclipse 90 wins this year. They got three nice outings from their starters and they seemed to demolish every pitch in the zone. The kid Jordan Schafer is going to be really good and in case you were wondering, yes he has tested positive for and admitted to using HGH…so much for the sanctity of the game and Bud Selig, you’re doing a fantastic job. Schafer also helped the Phils win yesterday misplaying both the Ryan Howard double and the Victorino triple. I’ll add that when the replay showed Schafer taking a bad angle to both balls, Wheels did not use one of his trademark lines, “you know, it looked like he just took a bad angle to that ball.” That’s why he (Wheels) sucks so badly. You know what else bugs me about the Braves, Matt Diaz. Pronounced DI AZ. Why is it that the other 208,907 people with that name in the U.S. say it DEE AZ and Matt decided, “Um, I think I’m gonna go with DI AZ”…it pisses me right off. There’s no good reason for this pronunciation. It’s not like his name is Matt Weiner (Weener) and he needed to convince everyone that it was pronounced “Whiner” just to avoid the obvious and inevitable Weener jokes. It never ends in this world does it?

2. The Phils Starting Rotation- Speaking of sucking, the Phils starters have sucked worse than a zit on picture day…a monster zit that you have no chance of hiding. Their numbers are so crappy, I had to pull the calculator out. No one has made it into the seventh and in 15 innings of work, the starters have given up 15 runs and have a combined ERA of 9.26. My zit analogy may be an understatement. It’s more like a monster hemorrhoid that mocks you each time nature calls and just won’t go away. I trust the Phillies have a good chiropractor on staff and he’s earning his money this week. Hopefully Hamels can stop the whiplash effect in the Rockies, otherwise I’m going to start selling Phillies neck braces so I can turn a healthy profit to put toward my daughter’s college fund.

1. Excuses- I feel like the principal of Nib High School (Billy Madison). If I hear one more person say, “the Phillies always start slow” especially if they have on a championship tee, and a big smile on their goofy mug, and they don’t really know that the Phillies always start slow, but they heard someone else say it, so now they’re saying it to sound like a real fan not just some dweeb who realized that Philadelphia had a baseball team somewhere in mid-October last year, and I am just going to snap. Is it okay that the Phillies always start slow? I am supposed to just accept the slow start excuse? No chance. These guys get paid exorbitant sums of money to play a child’s game; there’s no excuse for not being ready to play. Bottalico blamed it on the fact that the team was waiting for the Ring Ceremony. Shut up! That attitude is exactly why you don’t have a ring you no talent waste of space. These guys ham it up down in sunny Florida for a couple of months while I freeze my buns off waiting for the season to start and this is what I get, an excuse. No freakin’ way, and their lucky the Braves bullpen handed them yesterday’s game or I’d really be pissed.

Maybe next week I’ll have something nice to say and the Phils will certainly help their cause if they can string together a couple of wins, and you fans can help me out by not excusing crappy baseball.

Be careful responding to this one folks or the next article I write might be about you!

Mullet Derby Update:

The Eck Man Cometh (Even) used a late a rally to run down a fading Dude Nails Dickstrap (6-1) who was foaming at the mouth and a weary Nut Krukker (9-1) in the Butch Wax Handicap. Long shot Oh Mickey Your So Fine Morandini (75-1) ran fourth.

If your baffled by this last part, hit older posts until you come to Mullet Derby: Future Wagering. You’ll see the light, I mean the mullets for yourself…they are truly glorious.


  1. I love the RELA talk in 5. Sports is a figurative language hot bed. You bringing it up gave me some great lesson ideas. My all time favorite hyperbole isn't even from a real game. Bob Uecker as Harry Doyle in Major League: "Just a bit outside, I just don't understand how guys can lay off of these pitches when they are that close." and after Willie Mays Hayes hits a dribbler to second "Here is the pitch, and its a rocket to second. Wow he really put is life on the line there. He has a wife and kids to think about."

    I hate Gus, lets catch and skin that land beaver.

  2. "Funny stuff"..."you're completely out of your mind"...

  3. Whoever wrote the above comment, I hate you and have for a while...I don't even know why I have you email address. Thanks for your half-assed support. You're like the Bobby Abreu of supporters. : )

  4. Chadd Bradd MitchApril 10, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    I could not agree more and what a great article. I cannot stand Barkann and Ricky Bottalico.

    Do we have to keep rolling out load mouth hair club for men jerks and ex-phillies who clearly have lost their directions to the gym who show their bitterness that in their whole career they never made the money cole hamels makes in one season. The Rear End Kissing needs to stop on all levels from the media with atheletes.

    You should have included that fraud Ike Reese who is a clown and a closet reds and bengels fan.

  5. Barkann life. "i've seen the way you've treated other closet nonksters, i'm a closet nonkster tonight" (people on the inside get that one, and yes, its hilarious)...nice Nib High reference. very entertaining hohman, not like that crap Christine Cartafalsa is dishing out each week. (trom-o)

  6. You could still have Andy Musser doing games with Wheels!!!! That would be aaah!!!!

  7. Joe Buck is the man Hohman

  8. Joe Buck is not the man anonymous weenie. He's an overblown motormouth who tans and dyes his hair and he's also the poster child for nepotism in broadcasting.

  9. Although I have no idea what your talking about b/c i don't watch the phills... good article and references - "a festivus for the restivous", i love when he says that ish. I get to listen to:

    Kay: "the walking bobblehead"
    Singleton: who loves to say "he who hesitates, does not catch the ball"... incorrect, as we all know, he who hesitates masturbates.
    Flaherty: who has a job because of one hit

    And if im lucky enough to be driving, i get to hear Sterling say "IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IIIISSSSSSSSSSSS.... caught by the third basemen.

    And Suzyn Wald-ive never shagged a-man...... wellll, lllets just sayyy.... i would like to see her not alive anymore.

    So, i guess they all have their problems.


  10. Word. I'd love to see Barkann and Wheels in a kick fight that ended in death. I refuse to watch Comcast before or after a game because the douche makes me want to puncture my eardrums.

  11. Oh yeah. . . Knib High Football Rules!

  12. This discussion gives me a Boner. no joke