@meechone

Chooch Hits the Big Time on Cover of Sports Illustrated. Carlos Ruiz has had the best seat in baseball all season, catching the Legion of Arms and helping guide the team to the league’s best record. And now, our favorite Panamanian is getting some national love on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated (a great story from Gary Smith that will be online tomorrow).

Technically, as Philly native and Sports Illustrated writer @BryanAGraham (a great Twitter follow as well) points out, it’s Ruiz’s third SI cover, as he appeared twice during the 2008 World Series run.

The20’s @meechone couldn’t contain his excitement, tweeting in all caps:

The Fightins >> CARLOS RUIZ ON THE COVER OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!!!: http://bit.ly/ohYT4R (via @BryanAGraham)

How proud of Chooch are you, Philly?

-LD

[Sports Illustrated, @meechone, The Fightins]

Photo: via Fred Vuich, Sports Illustrated

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I Love the 80s in South Philly. The Fightin’s host the San Diego Padres this weekend down in South Philly, and they’re kicking it off in style tonight with 80s Night. On the field, the Phils will break out the old maroon and white (for the first time ever at Citizens Bank Park) while the Padres bust out the yellow/orange/brown combo. The team is encouraging fans to dress in their 80s finest (which when you consider the record heat hitting the city today, may mean just a headband and tights).

The20’s @meechone posted front and back images (courtesy of Majestic) of the uniforms the teams will be rocking.

All this talk about the 80s made us nostalgic. It brought us back to Eddie Money, Warren Zevon, the Beach Boys and more today at the office (thank you, Spotify). Moreover, conversations centered around Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, and the awesome throwbacks uniforms.

What are your fondest memories of the Phillies in the 80s?

-LD

[Philthy Stuff, @meechone, Facebook]

Photos: courtesy Majestic/@meechone

Who Else in Philly Deserves a Statue? With the unveiling of late Phillies announcer Harry Kalas’ statue at Citizens Bank Park last night, another legend was added to the list of famous Philadelphians emblazoned in bronze. Others include Rocky, Frank Rizzo, Mike Schmidt and more.

From Philly Magazine’s Michael Callahan:

“When you think about it, a statue may be the ultimate honor. You win a big prize—say an Oscar, a Nobel, a People’s Choice Award—and it goes on your mantel, then after you check out it goes to your relatives, and eventually, after a few generations, it goes to either a library or eBay. But a statue is permanent, sitting regally in a town square or venue or museum for generations, seen by passersby for years, even if most of them have no idea it’s actually your likeness they’re weaving around. Statues take up a lot of room and cost a lot of space and money—if you get one after you’ve departed, in a real sense you’ve truly arrived.”

It got us to thinking: what other Philadelphia athlete deserves a statue most? Charles Barkley, Chuck Bednarik, Bobby Clarke, Reggie White, Allen Iverson, Ron Hextall or someone else?

The20’s @meechone weighed in with a jab at the Phillies’ current left-fielder that you’ll have to click to see.

-LD

[The Philly Post, @meechone]

Photo: Getty Images

Is PSU The Biggest Scandal In Modern Sports History? As the alleged sex-abuse scandal continues to unfold at Penn State University involving former coach Jerry Sandusky and many high-ranking school officials, many are beginning to wonder where this scandal ranks all-time not just in terms of sports scandals but overall.

NBCPhiladelphia.com and Deadspin blogger Drew Magary asked ‘Is PSU The Biggest Scandal in Modern History?’ and wrote today:

“Already, I think it’s the second-biggest sports scandal of my lifetime (behind OJ Simpson), well ahead of Tonya Harding, Mike Vick going to jail, Tiger Woods ruining his marriage, the whole big steroid clusterf***, the Baylor murder, and Mike Tyson raping Desiree Washington. In terms of damage inflicted upon both victims and a community as a whole, it’s almost certainly the worst of the bunch. And it’s not even close to being over.”

Magary adds that if Joe Paterno were somehow implicated, it would jump to the top spot. NBC10 Sports Director Vai Sikahema weighed in this afternoon as well, saying:

“In the annals of college sports, this scandal at Penn State ranks near the top, if not the very top. Recruiting violations, point shaving and cheating at many of the major programs in the country pale in comparison. There was a murder at Baylor a few years ago – so it’s right up there with that.

It’s hard to call this a sports scandal because it is much more than that. It’s important not to get wrapped in the football aspect of this scandal and the Joe Paterno angle. There are kids involved, and that remains the story.But in terms of sports scandals, it certainly ranks up there with OJ Simpson, the Black Sox, Pete Rose and more.

From The20’s @meechone:

As far as I’m concerned, everyone associated with Penn State is guilty of harboring a pedophile unless they can prove otherwise.

Where do you think this scandal ranks all-time? Let us know your thoughts.

-LD

[Deadspin, Vai Sikahema, @meechone]

Rejoice, Twitterville: Ryan Howard Officially A Member. This tweet from @RyanHoward6 at 2:48pm on Tuesday will go down in history as the first in history for Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. He followed that up 23 minutes later with another tweet, saying:

“Just want to thank all my fans for the well wishes and prayers. Much love much appreciated.”

With only two tweets and following only 21 other people (including Doug Glanville, Chad Ochocinco, Bernard Hopkins, Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama and more), Howard has already accumulated 10,114 followers (as of 4:24 p.m.) and counting.

Members of The20 weighed in:

@meechone: Hi @RyanHoward6 big fan I like the Phillies can I get a RT?

@toddzolecki: Got confirmation from Clearwater: @RyanHoward6 is on Twitter.

Give him a follow, Phillies fans.

-LD

[@ryanhoward6, @meechone, @toddzolecki]

Photo: Twitter.com

Victorino Needs You, Philly. For the second time in four seasons, the Flyin’ Hawaiian is in the MLB All-Star Game Final Vote Competition, and as of Monday, he’s in the lead.

The Phillies are pushing for more votes around town with the team in the midst of a road trip, with a red “8” topping the Cira Centre Sunday and digital billboards on other roads and highways.

Meanwhile, his Phillies teammates had a little fun with Shane Monday. As The20’s @Meechone details (with video slow-motion) on www.thefightins.com, Victorino’s Sunday faceplant in Toronto resulted in a chalk outline appearing in the outfield prior to last night’s game in Florida.

Voting closes Thursday, so cast your ballot here.

-LD

[Phillies.com, @Meechone, TheFightins.com, MLB.com]

Photo: Getty Images

How Will You Remember Brian Dawkins? One of the most-loved Eagles of all-time officially announced his retirement Monday, though it appears he’s coming back to Philly for one last hurrah. Brian Dawkins, who played 16 seasons in the NFL (13 with the Eagles and the final three in Denver), is officially hanging it up. It took more than the standard 140 characters, but Dawkins announced it on Twitter:

@BrianDawkins: The Lord has blessed me to play in the NFL for 16 years. I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing In me. I would like 2 thank all my teammates & Coaches that I have been blessed 2 go to battle with. Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that i have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL. #BBTB”

Members of The20 began weighing in with their favorite Dawkins moments.

@GeoffMosher: Dawk vs. Vikes in ‘08 Wild Card game: 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 passed knocked down, 5 tackles. Vintage.

@GeoffMosher: Who can forget the INT of Brett Favre in the 2003 NFC divisional win over Green Bay?

@meechone: Retire #20 like tomorrow http://broncotalk.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/brian-dawkins.jpg 

So what are your fondest memories of Dawkins? How will you remember him?

-LD

NBC10, @GeoffMosher, @meechone

Photo: Getty Images