Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top 10 Dodgers - Phillies Game Five Questions

10) Was the TBS crew contractually unable to mention that the fans were chanting "You Took Steroids" and "Hit the Showers" at Manny Ramirez?

9) Is it really worth a tongue-lashing from the people inside your television if you are lacking avocado, or should we just move straight to capital punishment?

8) Will the Phillies throw at the Dodgers in their first game against them in 2010 for all of the hit batsmen in tonight's clinching game?

7) After 1,500 regular season games, how long will it take for Raul Ibanez to calm down enough to actually play in a World Series game?

6) Why is Ryan Madson only able to bear down after a run scores and people are starting to lose their fudge?

5) Did Brad Lidge find another soul to sell for the 2009 postseason, or is his 2009 to date just part of the deal he made in 2008?

4) Can someone please use the 30+ years of media library to have Harry Kalas call the ninth?

3) Will the Phillies vote for a partial share to ex-teammates and welcome sights Randy Wolf and Vincente Padilla?

2) Do the Dodgers take some comfort in finally holding Ryan Howard without an RBI?

1) If they finish the job in the World Series and become the first repeat winner in the NL in 30 year, will that be enough to make Philadelphia a baseball town?

* * * * *

Some next-morning notes...

> The thing about this Phillies team is that, especially with the relative obscurity of Brett Myers, there really isn't an irritating guy in the bunch. Even your known PED users (JC Romero) are minor and with extenuating circumstances, and the stars are still presumed innocent on the needle use, and don't even fit the profile of sudden power surges and injuries.

More than that, they are downright huggable in interviews, while still retaining humanizing flaws. Ryan Howard can't hit lefties very much and strikes out a lot. Chase Utley had throwing issues in the first couple of games. Jimmy Rollins had a terrible year and has coasted in the past. The outfielders are all streaky, the starting pitchers the same, and the relievers have games where you wouldn't trust them with a 10-run lead. The manager shifts gears and sounds like Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel. The GM brings in spare parts guys like Chan Ho Park and Chad Durbin that seem like cannon fodder.

And yet, they win. Only after it's all done, and you look at the overall numbers, do you realize that they even did so with a large margin for error. They've gone against two closers so far in this post-season that were supposed to be airtight, and they cracked them like walnuts. It's just satisfying, really.

> That love-in extends to the stands now. Regardless of what happens in the Series, Philly Fan has bought in completely to this team, and the sense that the team feeds off that is palpable. I barely recognize the species, really.

To sweep the Dodgers at home and avoid the trip back to the West Coast is just huge, especially if the Angels can extend the ALCS and allow the Phils a chance to go with their preferred rotation against a tired staff. At this level, it's hard to see how home field is more than a marginal advantage, and yet... in this park, with these fans, I think it exists.

> As for the Dodgers, it's a good team and a pretty great franchise, and so long as they remain patient with their young arms and position players, it's hard not to see them back in the postseason again next year. But the guys that let them down -- Raffy Furcal, Manny Ramirez, Hideki Kuroda, Randy Wolf, Vincente Padilla -- are all on the wrong side of the calendar, and probably need to move on. And until Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley are a lockdown 1-2 starting rotation, you can't like their chances in a playoff.

> I realize that I'm prejudiced with my Yankee Hate (from the Freaking Jeremy Giambi series), but it's hard not to see how the general rooting interest of neutral fans don't go for Philly in a PHL-NYY series. It's also hard to imagine how there will be neutral fans watching the series at all. If you root for the Mets, this is the final insult to the worst year of your life. If you are a Red Sox fan, you just watched Manny take it in the neck, and are rooting for a team that could compromise your standing as the best team of the decade. And for the rest of the country that isn't on the East Coast, it's the defending champions with a big payroll against the historic overlords with an ungodly payroll. It's not quite Stalin v. Hitler here, but Philly Fan should realize that he's not exactly rooting for Ewoks, as it were. (And thank heavens for that, really.)

Speaking to that final point, I told the eldest the results of the game this morning. She's not really a sports fan, and keeping her up until midnight on a school night for something she's not that into is a complete no-sell, but she's heard enough to make conversation about it.

She also knows that even though Dad might own the occasional player in his fantasy league, and that some of Dad's friends like the team, The Yankees Are Evil. Maybe not Darth Vader's Empire evil, but more like Firefly's Alliance evil. Which inspired the following, given that she's also watched "Dr. Horrible":

"You should call them the League Of Super Evil, Dad. LOSE."

It's the small moments that let you know you are parenting them right, really...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all the fine baseball analysis, but I was really hoping for a snide remark about Dallas Green's sweater. Did Bill Cosby have a yard sale?

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