Danny Ozark: Phillies Lose Another Piece Of History

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

It was just yesterday I was surfing on the internet and found an all-time Philadelphia Phillies team. Gene Mauch was selected as the manager on this list.

Not a bad choice, but I posted a comment that suggested Danny Ozark should be the manager. 

Today, God has selected Mr. Ozark.

Philadelphia Phillies’ team officials have reported that Danny Ozark has died in his home in Vero Beach, Florida today. He was 85.

Beginning in 1965, Ozark was a coach for Los Angeles Dodgers under Walter Alston. He served in that capacity until his hiring as manager by the last-place Phillies in October of 1972.

After two losing seasons, Danny Ozark and the Phillies won 86 games in 1975. In 1976, the Phillies broke through by winning 101 games and the NL East title.  Unfortunately, the defending world champion Cincinnati Reds won the NL pennant in three straight games.

The Phillies won the division again in 1977 and 1978, only to lose in the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs both years.

The Phillies thought they found the missing piece in 1979 by signing Pete Rose. However, due to injuries and a lack of pitching depth, the Phillies struggled and Danny Ozark was fired August 3rd. His regular season record with the Philadelphia Phillies was 594-510.

Ozark returned to the Dodgers and coached under Tommy Lasorda from 1980 to 1982. 

In 1983, he joined the San Francisco Giants as a coach and became the interim manager in 1984 when Frank Robinson was fired. The Giants won 24 and lost 32 under Ozark.

Despite his success with the Phillies, some fans remember Ozark more for his malaprops. 

Two of his most famous were “Half this game is 90% mental” and “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.” In 1975, he told a reporter “We’re not out of the race” when the Phillies were seven games out with six to play.

I will always think fondly of Danny Ozark since my beginnings as a Phillies fan corresponded directly with the three consecutive division titles under Ozark’s reign. 

I remember meeting Mr. Ozark several years ago at a Phillies’ alumni game in Clearwater, Florida. I was more excited to get his autograph than I was of the other players that were there.

According to AP wires, Danny Ozark is survived by his wife, Ginny, two children, three granddaughters, and four great-grandchildren. 


Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Chan Ho Park: Next Time, Tell Us When You Are Going To Pitch Well

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

I did it.

I know other Phillies fans did it.

People with no dog in the hunt did it.

We saw that the pitching matchup for the Phillies-Mets game was Chan Ho Park versus Johan Santana, and we looked for something else to watch.  Law & Order must have had tremendous ratings last night.

Earlier in the day, I sent an email to ESPN accusing them of intentionally trying to make the defending World Series champions look bad.  I mailed a letter to the South Korean government inquiring if Chan Ho Park could be deported.

Let’s be honest.  David was less of an underdog compared to Park yesterday.

Like most fans of the Phillies, I was born with the gloom-and-doom gene.  I assumed the worst was going to happen.

However, something amazing happened last night.

Although the Phillies lost 1-0 to the Mets when a Pedro Feliz error scored Carlos Delgado in the seventh inning, Park out-pitched Santana. 

Chan Ho Park only gave up one hit while Santana gave up two.  Santana did edge Park in strikeouts, ten to five.

Now I wished I would have watched.

I don’t feel all that badly.  The Phillies did end up losing, and I always sleep better after viewing a Phillies’ win. 

In addition, I don’t need to watch every game that my favorite baseball team plays.  I don’t wish to wear a straitjacket for the rest of my life.

However, I do believe all major league teams should develop a new policy.  Anytime a team throws a pitcher with an ERA over five, the organization should have an option of guaranteeing a quality start for television viewers.

If the pitcher fails to deliver on the promise, a fan should be able mail in a photo of the game, as proof of viewing, and in return receive a nice gift like a team pennant or a glow-in-the dark bobble head of their favorite player.

This risk and reward system would keep many fans from bailing out before the game even starts.

Until such a system is implemented, I will still be reluctant to watch Chan Ho Park’s next start.  Knowing my luck, Park will give up three homers in the first inning.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies