Bryce Harper Is A Phillie

When I was 12 years old I got a Sports Illustrated subscription for christmas. Every time I got a magazine in the mail I would peruse through it once, maybe twice if it was really gripping, and then toss it to the side never to be read again. 

Then the June 2009 issue arrived in my mailbox.

The cover was captivating. There was this 16 year old kid in Nevada who was hitting 570 foot home runs and throwing 96 mile per hour fastballs. The top right corner had a small photo of Dwight Howard, who, with his Orlando Magic were in the NBA Finals. What an insane magazine cover this was. Who was this 16 year old kid? Who was “the most exciting prodigy since LeBron”? His name was Bryce Harper, and I was hooked instantly by his story. Bryce was about to go play at a community college at 16 years old because he knew how much of a legend he was destined to be. High School ball had nothing for him. I brought the magazine in to school to show my friends because I knew this had to be seen by everyone. Eighth grade was the height of my baseball career and here is this kid who is everything I ever wanted to be. I was dying to see how his career was going to unfold.

And unfold it did, as he was selected first overall in the 2010 MLB draft by the dreary Washington Nationals at the tender age of 17(Fun Fact: Manny Machado was taken third overall in that draft). As a Phillies fan I knew rooting for Harper would be a challenge. I said some hideous things about him in the past that were purely out of frustration at how much he killed the Phillies, specifically in Citizens Bank Park. That said, I’ve always loved his attitude and how he knows how good he is. He doesn’t give a fuck. When he would get hyped up and throw a fit, people would call him a hot head, I call him passionate. He also punched Jonathan Papelbon in the face, who despite being much of the things I described Bryce as being, sucks and should be punched daily. 

Bryce has signed a 13 year contract with the Phillies worth $330 MILLION DOLLARS. The largest professional sports contract in history. It may seem like a lot, but this is what you have to do to make a run. You sign the best available guy in free agency, structure his deal so that it’s easier on the luxury tax threshold, and keep room to sign Mike Trout two seasons from now. Trout’s deal is up in 2021 when the CBA is set to be renegotiated and one of the predicted results of that is a significant heightening of the threshold or even elimination of it all together, so look for Trout to sign for 10 years and probably half a billion or something outrageous. Then we’re cooking with gas, baby. Anyway, not included in Bryce’s contract: opt outs. I very much believed that opt outs early on in the deal would be necessary in order to get it done. I assumed he’d wanna test the waters here all while making $26M a year to do it. But no, he’s here for the long haul. We will see if that is good or bad but for now I’m going with very good. 

All that said, as much as I secretly rooted for him, I always loathed Harper for one thing: not being on my team. I assumed that would last his entire career. It will not. LeBron may not have come to Philly, but the most exciting prospect since him has. for the next 13 years of his career, presumably the rest of it, I get to cheer on Bryce Harper loudly and proudly. It was a long, frustrating journey ten years in the making, but now I get to watch him smash baseballs over the right field fence of CBP, a place where he loves doing just that. I get to watch him play the Mets 234 times. The prodigy that I became enamored with when I was 13 is now mine to enjoy. And when I’m 35, I don’t assume much about my life will be all that different. Ill be fat, bored and alone. but I’ll have 13 years of Bryce harper memories to smile about. Maybe even a ring or two. Welcome to Philly, Bryce. I always knew we were destined for each other and I’ll be watching you in the company of many bud light tallboys.

Ep. 13 – Devin Stark

This show was recorded a week ago and I totally forgot to post it, so I don’t really remember what we talked about. There was some live updates on the LSU vs Miami game which is long over, and some pickup basketball talk. Oh and also Millard Fillmore is discussed at length. Do you remember when we had a resident named Millard Fillmore? Of course you don’t. There most important job in the world, a job that only 45 people have ever had in history, was once held by a man named Millard. Presidents also used to just die from like a cold in office too. All that and more on Episode 13.

Ep. 11 – Roadshow 1

Welcome to The O Show Roadshow. With very limited time, Owen decides this is a good way to shake things up. He spends the first half of the show making very bland assessments of the winding down Phillies season and upcoming Eagles season. He then bashes people who get angry on the road, followed by a very white problem.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Fireworks Stink

I’m pretty impervious to most things. Make fun of me or insult me? Whatever. Punch me in the face? Eh, it’s hurts but I’m not too beat up over it. Set off a series of loud sudden mini bombs and have them crackle and bang for what seems like hours after? Murderous rage. A lot about this country confuses me but nothing makes me want to take a knee more than Americas obsession with supercharged candles that spit fiery colors. Why does every event in the American summer have to conclude with them? This holiday, July 4th, is the perfect holiday. No matter what day it falls on, it’s an excuse to start drinking at 10am, eat hot dogs and burgers all day long and dress up in red white and blue. I participate in nothing patriotic ever, and every year on this one day I’ll ‘MERICA it up with the rest of you. It’s a truly amazing day. But FUCK whoever decided to ruin it by having it also be an excuse to blow up everything. Are we not in year 17 of a war with the sole purpose of stoping things from blowing up? If we truly want to “Make America Great” let’s do ourselves a favor and save our hands and fingers from being blown up, stick to bud lights and hot dogs, blast some Springsteen and enjoy one of the years great days without any heart attack inducing explosions.

Ep. 10 – Roommate Anthony

We’ve made it to TEN. In this episode, Owen is joined by his roommate Anthony as they discuss raps greatest era, baseballs steroid era, and much more.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Do Not Hug Your Friend After Striking Him Out

*This is apparently a few days old but I just saw it today*

Are you KIDDNG me? I don’t care how good of friends we are, I don’t care what we’ve been through in life together, do not, I repeat, do NOT, EVER, hug me after a strikeout. This could be Game 7 of the world series or a JV scrimmage. The fact that this kid did not beat the pitcher senseless is the truly amazing part here. I don’t wanna hear about sportsmanship, friendship, not a thing. This dickhead pitcher trying to be a good guy has now caused a video of his “friend” standing there in the box with his bat sitting right on his shoulder like a god damn parrot on a pirate. Thats bad enough. Then he’s gotta see himself get hugged in what turned out to be a statewide TV audience. Guess what buddy, you do that to me, we’re no longer friends. You just struck out my state championship dreams, then you gave me the last hug you’ll ever give me. I don’t think theres any way you come back from that as that hitter. Your friendship and now your baseball career are over. Welcome to the real world, bud.

Ep. 9 – PFC Connor Andersen and Roommate Anthony

After a brief hiatus, The O Show is back. On this episode, Owen is joined once again by PFC Connor Andersen as they talk about how Connor is adjusting to life on deployment. It’s the 17th birthday of Blink-182’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, so they pay tribute to one of the bands signature albums and rank the top 3 songs. Later, Roommate Anthony a.k.a the obstructor joins in to talk food and Connor ranks his top 3 microwavable/garbage foods. All that and much, much more. Welcome back.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Another Mental Health PSA

I set up this website and blog and podcast all in the name of comedy, so I won’t spend too much time on this. I just have a few thoughts.

In the wake of two pop culture icons taking their own life this week, your timelines and feeds have most likely been riddled with thoughtful tributes to the departed, most of which follow up with reminders that if you or a loved one seems to be experiencing these emotions, to address it and get the proper help. So allow me to reinforce that, yes you absolutely should do that. It is critical that you do that. Mental health has taken a backseat to physical health for the better part of history, and its been time for that to change. It’s a disease, and I honestly don’t know its cure. I’ve been open about my battles and my successes and, more often, my failures in treating it. I’ve been open about it for a number of reasons. One, it feels good. Not gonna beat around the bush about it. I feel relief in knowing that people know where I stand. I spend the early part of my battle very much bottled up and trying to self medicate, and that only proved to be more damaging. Another reason, and this one I don’t necessarily know if it does what I think it does, but I like to think that sharing my struggles may bring someone peace in knowing they’re not alone. Maybe it’ll give them the courage to speak up and seek the help they need. I don’t know. I like to think so though.

Anyway, enough about me, who is not the point of this piece. I don’t claim to have answers for anyone. It takes time. You need to find the right thing for you. I’ve been through a number of therapists before I finally found one I love and finally felt like I was making progress with, and that took me almost 10 years to do. I can’t even really say “just do what makes you happy and you’ll be fine”, because if you take a look at people like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, they were people who were doing just that. We look at celebrities like these people who are immune to pain or criticize them for struggles because “they have everything, what do they have to be depressed about?”. Maybe they don’t have a particular “thing”, but they have a condition. Something that takes a costly toll on people when its not met head on. Thats not to say they weren’t doing that, but clearly it wasn’t enough in the end.

I feel like whenever the news breaks about a suicide, we all have a somber moment. In all the tragedies we’ve seen, whether its a school shooting or a lunatic driving a truck into a parade, we all get rightfully upset and disgusted, but we don’t feel the pain of that event. We can’t even fathom it so for the most part we’re just starting at the TV screen in disbelief. Particularly with the guns, we’ll even get right into the arguments about it and how we’re going to label it or who’s fault it is. But with something like a suicide, I think we all have this universal moment of reflection. I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade. Or Robin Williams or Kurt Cobain, or any of the beautifully talented people who have lost the battle to themselves. But I know what they went through. I’ve been at the edge that they were ultimately thrusted over by this devastating condition. And we have this moment of somber unity because maybe you or someone you love has been there too. We all feel it when the reason for a tragedy is depression. Because despite your race, political affiliation, religion, etc., we can all relate to feeling hopeless and just thank heavens that we or the person we love had the strength to hold on, at least for now.

I’m proud of the way some of the world seems to be going when it comes to confronting this epidemic. And while I wish there were another way, I think it’s important to take events like these and try to produce a positive change in your life or someone else’s. Until we find a way to make everyone happy, just find a way to make sure people know you love them. And most importantly love yourself. If you don’t, find a way to get the help so you can. Stanley Kubrick once said, in so many words, “however vast the darkness, you must provide your own light”. It starts with you, it starts with everyone. Lets beat this thing.

I hope this made some sense to somebody.

I Almost Caught A Ball At A Baseball Game

For those of you who are loyal listeners of The O Show, you may recall that in episode 8 (if you haven’t listened to that or any of them, head over to iTunes and get on it), I ranted and raved about how I have been going to baseball games all of my life, hundreds at this point, and have never once left with a game ball. Not one of any kind. No foul balls, no pre-inning warmup balls, not even a batting practice ball if I got there early enough. I mean for fucks sake they just pass those things out during batting practice. Not to me though.

So yesterday my roommate and dear friend Anthony approached me with tickets to the upcoming Mets/Orioles game. As a Phillies fan, I had no dog in the fight but I love a good game and I have an Orioles hat that I happen to look really good in, so I happily accept his offer. After a subway ride to the game that included delays and, according to the MTA, “a customer struck by an oncoming train”, we arrived shortly after the first inning began. What got me particularly excited for the game, aside from my appearance in the hat, were our seats. 16 rows behind the third base side dugout. Prime ball territory. Maybe not for every foul ball, but prime territory for a flip into the crowd by a player who made the last out of the concluding half inning. With all the impending possibilities, my senses were heightened.

Fast forward to the third inning. I don’t remember who was hitting or what team it was, but who the fuck cares because thats not what matters. The unidentified batter fouls one up to the third base side. My eyes widen. But the dream quickly dwindles when I soon realize is trajectory is at least 10 rows behind us. But then, as if god himself heard my podcast, no one in the 10 rows behind us caught the ball. It landed in said row, but took a friendly bounce back toward the closer rows. Specifically, row 16, seat 8. Right at me. All of the sudden I was 12 years old again, still having hope for my life and for the world itself. While the ball was in the air time stood still. The stadium fell quiet. All eyes and lights were on me. My heartbeat was incalculable. My time had come. Nothing and nobody was getting in my way.

Until someone did.

My “roommate and dear friend” to my left in seat 9.

The blatant and shameful pass interference caused the ball to skim off my right index finger, plummet in to the seats, and bounce rows forward in to the unworthy hands of some hopeless Mets fan. The ball, gone. My Hope, Gone. I’m 22 again. Overweight, miserable, hopeless. The debate raged on as to who’s ball it actually was, with Anthony believing it was his to make a play on. It was mine, and only mine. And I let it slip through my fingers like a good opportunity.

I will never get that moment back, and I believe that may really have been my only chance. The beauty of life is that you do get those opportunities, with the kicker being they only come once.

So I leave yet another game, ball-less and hopeless, and now I wait for the next big moment life throws me that will inevitably skim off my finger.