Hello everybody!  I’ve safely arrived in Philadelphia and I’m very unimpressed by the weather Mother Nature has greeted me with.  She didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet, that’s for sure.  As I write this, it’s 40 degrees outside and raining.  According to weather reports, it’s supposed to be as bad and possibly worse tomorrow, which doesn’t bode well for Game Three of the NLCS.  When I got to the ballpark today, I noticed the Dodgers were on the field in full winter gear taking fly balls and grounders…in the rain.  That’s dedication, and by “dedication,” I mean insanity. 
With today’s off day, there wasn’t a whole lot going on at Citizens Bank Park.  Both teams took batting practice inside, and there were the usual media sessions that both clubs’ managers and tomorrow’s starting pitchers hold in the interview room.  Normally, starting pitchers don’t talk to the media on the days they’re scheduled to pitch, so they hold their media sessions the day before.

Here’s Dodgers Game 3 starter Hiroki Kuroda during today’s media session at Citizens Bank Park.  Kuroda is from Osaka, Japan and isn’t fluent with the King’s English so he uses an interpreter.  It’s interesting to see how this entire process works.  The English-speaking media get to ask the first questions, and when they’re finished, so is the interpreter…but not Kuroda.  He remains on the dais to field questions from the Japanese media members who are on-hand covering Hiroki for his fans back home in Japan.  On the right side of the photograph, you’ll see MLB’s Senior Vice President of Scheduling and Club Relations Katy Feeney moderating the media session.  Katy is one of the most respected people in the game.  She’s also whom I report to while I work here in Philly.


You might recognize this guy…Dodgers skipper Joe Torre.  Little known fact about how legendary Joe is: he doesn’t read books, he just stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who today tabbed Joe Blanton to start Game Four for the Phightin’ Phils.

Cliff Lee, who’ll start tomorrow for Philadelphia.

Here’s Brewers’ PR man John Steinmiller, who is also working the NLCS.  He’s in charge of writing the game notes for each game of the series.  In this photo, John is being bombarded by the press with questions regarding Mike Vassallo’s health.  Mike is John’s immediate superior in Milwaukee and recently had a “minor scare” at McDonald’s.
After I finally landed in Philadelphia today and before I got to the ballpark, I met up with my friend Bill Gluvna from the Washington Nationals’ media relations department.  This marks the second year in a row that Bill and I are in Philly together to work the NLCS.  He and I will be the guys on the field following the games grabbing players and directing them to their on-field interviews.  I’ll be getting players for TBS and Bill will be doing the same for ESPN Radio.  It’s pretty exciting and certainly gets the adrenaline pumping while waiting for that 3rd out before running onto the field.  Anyway, Bill and I went to lunch at Tony Luke’s to get a genuine Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich (Jim’s on South Street was a bit too far away and we were already running late, sorry Hal). 
Tony Luke’s is a pretty popular place and while there, I noticed a guy stationed at a small table in the center of the “room” (Tony’s is partially outdoors, with no walls) eating by himself.  It was a bit strange, but I had just got out of a cab driven by one of the weirdest guys Pennsylvania has to offer, so I wasn’t particularly surprised.  Well, it turns out, this guy was in an eating contest and was trying to put away a 5-pound cheesesteak!  That’s right, 5 pounds.  Just before my name was called to collect my food, a loud cheer erupted from the folks in line.  The guy did it!  He ate the entire 5-pound cheesesteak….and was rewarded with a T-shirt.



In 3 games so far with the Peoria Saguaros, OF Chris Heisey has 6 hits in 12 at-bats and 9 total bases.


Bryan Price today was hired as the new Reds’ pitching coach.  I’ve never met Bryan, but I’ve heard he drinks napalm to quell his heartburn.   Needless to say, I’m impressed…and scared for the rest of the NL Central in 2010.


I hope you all had a chance to check out Jim Misudek’s blog yesterday.  He posted photos of our own Larry “The Inspector” Herms on TV while working the Los Angeles leg of the NLCS.  Herms will return to LA for Games 6 and 7, if necessary, and if so he’ll be joined by colleagues Sally Gunter of the Astros and Adam Liberman of the Braves.


FINALLY!!  I received my first Reds pumpkin pictures today.  These are courtesy of Jessica Blada of Milwaukee…

RedsPumpkin1.jpgTo get your Reds Jack-O-Lanterns posted on Better Off Red, simply email the photos to and I’ll be sure to put the best ones up!


4 songs into the new Port O’Brien album, and I’m really liking it.



More from Philly tomorrow…


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