PBR: The Lonesome Death Of The Lonesome Organist

organistPBR is our regular sports column, wherein our man in the Jersey ‘Burbs calls Philly sports and sports-media as he sees ’em. His name is Patrick Berkery and he plays drums for the Pernice Brothers and, get this, he actually gives a shit about sports. Weird, huh? Born & raised on a steady diet of Birds, Phils, Flyers and boiled potatoes. Phillies season ticket holder since 1978. Longs for the days of Jim Barniak & Spectrum Wrestling on Prism. Thinks all sportwriters dress funny and should stay off TV. Except Phil Sheridan. His feelings on the Philadelphia Eagles are not unlike his stance on Belle & Sebastian and the Grateful Dead: Loves the music, hates most of the fans. Frankly, we could care less. We used to be big-time jocks, but then we discovered girls and pot and rock n’ roll, and suddenly the idea of strapping on forty pounds of gladiator gear in August and rolling around in the grass with other sweaty men and then giving them a smack on the ass afterwards just seemed a little, well, gay. But we realize this is a minority opinion. Over to you, Pat…

More after the jump…

Ah, here we are, just in time for the Phils’ galvanizing playoff push-cum-whiskey dick-esque showing at 2:00 am in Washington against a AAAA team already on the golf course; Ryan Howard‘s home run barrage; T.O.’s not-so-triumphant return to Philly; T.O.’s not-so-triumphant overdose of Flintstones Chewables; the Cory Lidle tragedy; Keith Primeau’s retirement; the opening of the Flyers’ season (or is it just the start of the second round of the playoffs? I’ll tune into Lifetime 2 to find out? ); the red carpet premiere of Comcast SportsNet’s Monday Night Live.

So timeyness is not our thing?

A couple Phillies-related items from yesterday’s Inquirer caught my eye. Jim Salisbury examined the festering acrimony between Scott Rolen (Hey Valania, Rolen used to play third for the Phillies and was viewed as the face of the team for the next decade ’til Larry Bowa came along and looked at him sideways and Dallas Green intimated he was of questionable intestinal fortitude on WIP so we traded him for the fundamentally sound Placido Polanco, who just won the MVP of the ALCS, and a sack of rosin bags, then we traded Polanco for a gassed relief pitcher named Ugeth Urbin who may or may not have tried to take a machete to some landscapers after dousing them with kerosene. We’ll let the always just Venezuelan legal system sort that one out.)

(EDITOR NOTE: That is some run-on sentence, Pat. Man, look at it go!)

I’m schooling Pa Phawker on the finer points as we go along. Why? Because when he caught me on the cell phone en route to a Phils game last month he signed off by saying ‘Well, enjoy the show!’) and Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. Jim wonders if the frosty relations (due to miscommunications over Rolen’s increasingly bum left shoulder, then subsequent ineffectiveness and benching) between the two could bring Rolen back to the home nine, who could really use a more productive third baseman than Honest Abe Nunez, and, most importantly, a potent right-handed stick to protect number 6. Possible, but not likely. Always loved his game, even conversed with the guy at an R.E.M. show some years back and found him to be an extremely pleasant fella (if a little tipsy that particular evening — hey, he was on the D.L. at the time). But it’s becoming clear that all the hard-nosed play and the surgically repaired (twice) shoulder is aging him at a David Bell-like rate. Jim kind of swings and misses by not bringing that up.

The venerable Don McKee gets crazy with the cheese whiz and suggests the Phils trade Pat Burrell-for-A Rod straight up. If the Yanks balk, simply sweeten the deal with a pitcher who just had Tommy John surgery (promising, but currently extremely injured Scott Mathieson) or the latest heir to the Pat Combs-Tyler Green-Brandon Duckworth throne, Gavin Floyd. Ah, Brilliant!!!!. Next week in the Inquirer, Don shows how to spin Kyle Korver into Kobe, and end up with the Knicks first round pick in ’07, too! This is why I say the following: you hit 60, you have to take a road test every year to retain your driver?s license. You write opinion in the Sunday sports page: LAY OFF THE PIPE!

Was sad to see the passing of longtime Phils’ stadium organist Paul Richardson (Oct. 2) a little underreported. Seemed like a very classy gent. Had the pleasure of meeting him once, too. Threw around ‘man’ and ‘far out’ a lot during our 10-minute conversation. When the Phils moved into Citizens Bank Park I stumbled upon Richardson tucked way back in Ashburn Alley, playing for those in line at Tony Luke‘s. Sporting a tux, no less. Like I said, classy.

I miss the good old days when a simple DA-DA-DA DUH DA-DA?. CHARRRRGE! on the stadium Wurlitzer could whip the crowd into frenzy, or a little “Baby Elephant Walk” could help pass the time during a pitching change. Now it’s all Nickelback and Evanescence played louder than bombs in WWE-like fashion, all the time.

God rest ye, happy organist, you’ll be missed.