Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 5:30 PM // 0 comments

Phillies / Astros - April 23, 2007

Phils' Bats Thaw in 11-4 Victory

Philadelphia Phillies - altobelliLast night my daughter Rachel and I saw one of the best baseball games I've seen in a long time. With the first pitch of the game the Astro's Craig Biggio hits a home run. At the bottom of the inning Jimmy Rollins answers right back with a solo dinger of his own. I knew after witnessing those two homers that this was going to be an interesting evening.

Here's the recap from today's Philadelphia Inquirer. By Jim Salisbury
Inquirer Staff Writer

There were two thunderous cracks of the bat in the seventh inning last night at Citizens Bank Park.

First, Chase Utley hit a mammoth, you-wish-you-were-there-to-see-it home run over the batter's eye in dead-center field and onto Ashburn Alley.

Moments later, Ryan Howard struck out for a third consecutive time and turned his huge maple bat into kindling by ferociously smashing it into the hard clay around home plate.

Howard's histrionics were telling - he's hitting just .218 - but his frustration turned out to be just a theatrical footnote to a night Phillies fans had waited too long for.

Finally, everyone had a good time at the ballpark. Warm weather made it feel like baseball season. And the Phillies knocked the yarn out of the ball with a 20-hit outburst en route to an 11-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Jackie Robinson tribute night.


Players on both teams wore No. 42 in Robinson's honor.

"It was great being out there and having a chance to wear that number," said Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies' hitting star with two singles, a triple, a homer and four runs scored. "The atmosphere was great. It was very special."

The slow-starting Phils seem to be experiencing an April thaw as they've improved to 7-11. They have won three in a row for the first time this season. They'd be looking at a five-game winning streak had Tom Gordon been able to close out Friday night's game in Cincinnati.

Tonight, they look to keep it going as the Washington Nationals come to town for three games.

Every member of the Phils' starting lineup - including pitcher Adam Eaton - had at least a hit in the rout of Houston. Ironically, Utley carried an 0-fer to the plate and was the only starter without a hit when he came up with Shane Victorino on second base with two outs in the seventh.

Facing righthander Dave Borkowski, Utley unloaded on a 2-2 pitch. Everyone in the crowd of 32,517 knew it was gone. The only question was which concession stand it would be visiting on Ashburn Alley.

After the blast, Phillies officials pulled out their charts, graphs and protractors and calculated the distance of Utley's homer at 460 feet. That might have been conservative. This ball appeared to go at least 462 feet. Either way you slice it, that's a lot of real estate.

Utley's homer was one of two the Phillies hit in support of Eaton, who coughed up two early leads but ultimately locked it down after the Phils rallied for three runs in the fourth to break a 4-4 tie.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo homer, matching Craig Biggio's feat from the top of the inning.

Before the game, Harold Gould, a former member of the Philadelphia Stars Negro league team, asked Rollins to hit a home run for him.

Rollins, the NL leader with seven, delivered.

Philadelphia Philles - altobelli"They came out banging," Rollins said of the Astros. "We needed to score some runs and we stayed after it. We know we have a good offensive team. Hopefully as the weather gets warmer, we'll see it."

Victorino, Rollins' partner at the top of the lineup, had two singles and an important two-run double in the seventh.

Rollins and Victorino combined for seven hits, six runs and five RBIs. They are fun to watch when they get going like this.

"When Jimmy and I are on the bases, things seem to fall into place," Victorino said. "It seems like everyone swung the bats well.

"Jimmy really gave us a lift. After Biggio's [leadoff] homer, people might have been thinking, 'Here we go again.' Jimmy came right back and the offense took off from there."

Pat Burrell and Wes Helms both added three hits apiece to the Phillies' attack. Burrell was lifted for pinch-runner Michael Bourn in the bottom of the sixth. Manager Charlie Manuel said he will sacrifice Burrell's bat for defense when his team has a late lead.

Over the last two games, the Phils have 32 hits and 20 runs.

Eaton (2-1) worked into the seventh and allowed four runs in helping Manuel pick up his 400th win as a big-league manager. Geoff Geary, Ryan Madson and Francisco Rosario teamed on three scoreless innings to seal the win.

Paul Altobelli, Rachel Altobell

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 6:15 PM // 1 comments

My Brush With Greatness

I Shook Hands With God

Eric Clapton, April 6, 2007A few days ago I was in New York City. My friend Suzanne and I decided to grab a drink at the Four Seasons. As I opened the door a man walked out. As our eyes met I realized it was Eric Clapton. Now, I've met a lot of rock stars that 100 years from now nobody will ever remember (Dee Synder, Meatloaf, and Joan Jett to name just a few). But Eric is different. He's, in my mind, rock royalty. He can be mentioned in the same breath with The Beatles, Stones, The Who, and Zeppelin. I can only think of one other solo artist that is close to Clapton's stature - Neil Young. Dare I say, Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen aren't in the Clapton's league.

As Eric walked out I immediately recognized him and said, "Um. Hi, how are you?" as if we've known each other for years. I stuck my hand out and as he shook it he said, "how are you?" We both then turned and as I walked into the hotel he stepped his limo. Eric was leaving to attend the "Ahmet Ertegun: A Celebration" private memorial service. Ertegun, the chairman of Atlantic Records, died on Dec. 14 at 83. Clapton, leading a band that included the New Orleans pianist Dr. John, played two songs that he said Mr. Ertegun always sang when they would get drunk together: Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone To Love,” a prayer for romance and world peace, and Stick McGhee’s “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-dee-o-dee,” the single that got Atlantic Records off the ground.

To wrap up this post I want to comment on why I wrote "I Shook Hands With God." Back in the mid-sixties when Eric first rose to prominence the phrase “Clapton is God” was spray painted on a wall in the Underground station in Islington in the mid-60s by an admirer.

The graffiti was captured in a now-famous photograph. Helped by the photo, the legend grew. It is now commonly believed that graffiti proclaiming “Clapton is God” could be seen all over the walls of the London Underground system during the mid- to late-60s.

That may be the story. But, here's why I believe Clapton is God. Enjoy.

Listen / Download:
Delaney & Bonnie - Comin' Home

Derek/Dominoes - Got To Get Better In A Little While (live)

Bluesbreakers - Hideaway

Eric Clapton - The Core

Eric Clapton - Mainline Florida

Cream - Crossroads

Clapton/Allman - Mean Old World

Yardbirds - Got To Hurry

Derek/Dominoes - Have You Ever Loved a Woman

Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Clapton is God

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Saturday, April 14, 2007, 2:22 AM // 0 comments

Tom Sawyer

Tom SawyerFile this one under strange but true. Here's a madcap chopped-out piano trio jam version of Rush's Tom Sawyer by The Bad Plus. This Midwestern band is either a pop and rock-influenced jazz trio or a power trio who like to play jazz. I'm not sure. What I am sure about is this cover is treat for anyone who likes the original.

Listen / Download:
Bad Plus - Tom Sawyer
Rush - Tom Sawyer

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Sunday, April 08, 2007, 11:12 AM // 0 comments

My (Easter) Morning Song

Easter 2006

Today I started off my morning on the treadmill listening to The Black Crowes. Their 1992 sophmore effort, The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion, is, what I feel, a perfect album. And from this album comes My Morning Song. It's a song that mentions Easter Sunday but really doesn't have anything to do with Easter Sunday. Nonetheless, I leave you with the studio and the extended live version of My Morning Song. Happy Easter.
Black Crowes
Listen / Download:
Black Crowes - My Morning Song
Black Crowes - My Morning Song (Beacon Theater, 1995)

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Friday, April 06, 2007, 8:39 PM // 0 comments

Jesus Christ RIP Playlist


Tuesday, April 03, 2007, 7:40 PM // 1 comments

Michaels Say the Darndest Things


A recent conversation with my son went something like this...

Michael: Daddy, do you have a pee-pee?
Daddy: Yes, I have a pee-pee.
Michael: You know what Daddy? I have a pee-pee. Joey has a pee-pee too.
Daddy: Yes he does.
Michael: Girls have wieners.
Daddy: What did you say?
Michael: Girls have wieners. Mommy has a wiener.
Daddy: Yes they do.

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Monday, April 02, 2007, 9:12 AM // 3 comments

GaryTheScubaGuy's SEO Checklist

I found this SEO Checklist by GaryTheScubaGuy and thbought I'd share it with you. This is really good stuff. I found this list via Terri Well's article Checking the List: SEO Details on seochat.com

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Metatags and on-page Optimization

  • Are the keywords in the title with a 1-word buffer (Max - 1 keyword phrase)
  • Are Keywords in META keywords? It’s not necessary for Google, but a good habit. Keep the META keywords short (128 characters max, or 10).
  • Are Keywords in META description? Keep keyword close to the left but in a full sentence.
  • Are Keywords in the top portion of the page in first sentence of first full bodied paragraph (plain text: no bold, no italic, no style).
  • Are Keywords in an H2-H4 heading
  • Are Keywords in bold – second paragraph if possible and anywhere but the first usage on page.
  • Are Keywords in italic – anywhere but the first usage?
  • Are Keywords in subscript/superscript?
  • Are Keywords in URL (directory name, filename, or domain name). Do not duplicate the keyword in the URL.
  • Are Keywords in an image filename used on the page?
  • Are Keywords in ALT tag of that previous image mentioned?
  • Are Keywords in the title attribute of that image?
  • Are Keywords in link text to another site?
  • Are Keywords in an internal link’s text?
  • Are Keywords in title attribute of all links targeted in and out of page?
  • Are Keywords in the filename of your external CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) or JavaScript file?
  • Are Keywords in an inbound link on site (preferably from your home page).
  • Are Keywords in an inbound link from offsite (if possible).
  • Are Keywords in an html comment tag?

Technical

  • What is the code-to-text ratio? (text should be at minimum higher than the code)
  • What is the page size?
  • How long does it take to load the page?
  • On each page, is the top keyword density on each page between 3-7%?
  • Are their any redirects? If so do not use 401. 301 redirect is the preferred SEO standard.
  • Is the page W3C Compliant?
  • Is their any duplicate content out on the web?
  • Is the site in the top 10 directories?
  • Is a spider seeing all of the site content?

Other Issues

  • Are there at least 250 words in the content?
  • Is the keyword density for each kw on each page between 3-7%?
  • JavaScript in external files?
  • Alternative navigation on flash or frames?
  • Xml and html sitemap?
  • Are their any broken links?
  • Is there a robots.txt file?
  • Browser Compatibility (IE, Netscape, Opera, Firefox, Mosaic and Safari)

Linking

  • Does the page have rss feeds for fresh on-page content?
  • Does the site have an SEO optimized 404 page?
  • PDF optimized docs in root file with a navigation page listing each doc description and link. Also a separate xml sitemap for these and separate submission.

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About Paul Altobelli

Paul Altobelli is a veteran Internet, marketing and technology professional with considerable expertise in search engine marketing, web site development, design, implementation and project management. [more]

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