Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Birthday wishes

By Michael Rushton

Today, I turn the oh so tender age of 24 but gone are the days of birthday parties and cake. Instead, it's replaced by friends buying you drinks and shots so that your next day of work is brutal. But hey, I still get some pretty
good gifts so the occasion can bring some excitement.

And of course, my Philadelphia management brethren ask me every year what I want. I thought this year I would share my list with you.

First, Mr. Billy King. From you Mr. King, all I want is something new. 10 years ago, your club gave me one of the best gifts I have ever gotten in the form of Allen Iverson. But since then, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful
when it comes to gifts, your follow up gifts have been a little sub par. None of the other pieces you gave me ever fit right with Iverson so I've only had the same old thing to play with year after year. So, I just want something new. Don't worry, I sure one of my other friends will put Iverson to good use.

From Mr. Bobby Clarke, I just want you to show me you have learned your lesson. With your gift, I want you to prove to me that you now realize the NHL has changed. I don't want anymore punishing players or hulking
defenders. I want some skaters who can move, create and keep up with the other team. I'm sure you can't top last year's present (Peter Forsberg) and that's okay. You've been consistent over the past years and I thank you for that. Now I just want to know you are wiser and maybe that gift will end up being a Stanley Cup.

From Mr. Joe Banner, I simply want a return to glory. You have the easiest task of all the others. Thankfully, you kept your gift receipt on that wide receiver you got me so now I just want to go back to how it was. I want to
go back to a time before the media circuses, before No. 81 and before losing. I just want a healthy Donovan, a versatile Westbrook, a controlling Trotter and an explosive Dawkins. I know you have those things just lying
around. And if you want specifics, I'll take an extension for Dawks.

And from Mr. Pat Gillick, all I want is a sign. I want you to show me we aren't going anywhere with this club and you know it. I don't need my gift now - I can wait until the trade deadline. I just want, no I need you, to
show me that you're going to blow this thing up. After all, fireworks and dynamite sound like a solid gift idea to me. I just want you to show me that you know Uncle Charlie and our corner outfielders need to go. I'll take some solid arms for the rotation as well, but I know those are hard to come by. And, would it be too much to ask for a new third baseman and catcher for next year?

And for the Phanatic readers, I'm sure you are all asking yourselves what you can get me. Well, I saw Billy Wagner on a TV interview a few days ago and he said the biggest difference between playing in Philly and New York was the booing. He said you'll get booed wherever you go, but in the City of Brotherly Love, it seems to be personal. And you know what, he may be right. Maybe we are so mistreated by our teams and so championship starved that we have gotten a little out of control. So, maybe we can take a step back, root
for the home team and begin to show a little patience.

I know that's asking a lot so if you can't do it, screw it and just get me a Ryan Howard bobble head.

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Copyright 2006 The Phanatic

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