A picture I came across not long ago, reminded me of how close it was that maybe I could have become part of the evil empire, it wasn’t to be, I saw the passage to the good side and followed the light. In defense of the fact that I had managed to wear a Yankees hat without my head burning, it was sometime in the 80’s and I had yet to see my first Phillies game. It wasn’t long after this I was resident down the 1st base line at Veterans Stadium enjoying the sight of the Philadelphia Phillies playing the New York Mets. It was early in my understanding of the game, so I was more into why this or why that, than any rivalry.
The brief visits over the next 10 years gave me more of an understanding of the game and an increased passion for the Phillies, even though during those early years in my baseball life L’s were a premium for the Phillies and the W’s could be something of a rarity. I learned that wins and loses aren’t necessarily what get you hooked to baseball, it definitely helps to have a post season visit at some point in time, but right down to the last game before elimination there is still hope and the knowledge that any team could and at times does collapse giving way to the unexpected.
The National League East is definitely heating up, with both the Phillies and the Braves playing only teams within the division through season end, with a 3 game set against each other in Philadelphia next week, the season will end on a 3 game series in Atlanta between the two clubs. I say tighten your belts it’s going to be an up and down roller coaster final couple of weeks for both Braves and Phillies fans.
Some have already written the Cardinals off, but with a couple of shots at the sCrUBs and the Pirates in the final weeks and the Reds having to play double duty with the Brewers and the LOLstros, in my opinion they could be in for a bumpy season end, it only needs the Reds to continue at the 3-7 pace and the Cards to improve with a spurt of wins, after all this is baseball anything can happen and it could be that Texas is the only team that appears safe at the moment, but even they could collapse and make the final weekend full of games that shape the post season.
Useless stats 101 – The year I got the Yankees hat and ultimately became a Phillies fan, there were just 2 divisions in each league and the Phillies finished 26 games back of the Cardinals, in the NL, with a 75-87 record.
A weekend in Arizona may have been a vacation for some, a daily
routine for others, but for the Phillies it was a disappointing series
loss, we can search through every aspect of each game and pinpoint things that
we all would have done differently, but that won’t change the fact that we lost
the 2 out of 3 and now head into San Francisco, where the Phillies
need to at least take 2 out of 3 to stay the dominant force in the NL East for
the first month of the season.
While we spent 3 days at Chase Field in Arizona, there
was some noticeable things, not unlike the fact that they have to have the team
logo on the pitchers mound so their guys remember they’re at home. I don’t know
if any other teams have done this, all I know is I noticed it here in Arizona,
it could be that I haven’t paid that much attention to other mounds, all I
remember being there is the cleat cleaner and the sack of powder.
There were other things to see and since the Phillies were being
a little less than entertaining this weekend I decided to check out some of the
other sights of the D’backs, for example they, like other teams have fans that
attend the games and cheer when they are winning….
….they also have an owner who attends the games and occasional
invites friends along to entertain them as we see here they look very
….I have it on good authority that that’s the Dbacks owner on
the right, they call him ‘Mr. Excitement’, according to an undisclosed inside
There were more Phillies fans having a little trouble figuring
out which way to look….
….this of course could have been attributed to the fact that
the roof and all was open to the Arizona air, and this may have confused and disorientated
….they certainly made it clear that with all the doors and
roof open a fly ball in the right place catches the jet stream through the
stadium and goes for miles, which is probably why the D’backs have so many
homers this early, I am sure that will even itself out when the temperature
forces the doors and roof to be closed.
With the doors and roof open there was definitely people there
for sun and fun, with Phillie fans there is always going to be fun as I am sure
these guys were having their share….
….although it looks like the cheese could be melting, and the
masked warrior on the end looks like the heat may have gotten to him too.
We also had fans there, for maybe, decoration, I am not sure, but
after a number of captions, of what the 2 guys were saying and some of what she
was thinking, I decided best to leave it alone as I am sure it
could have had serious repercussions….
….here’s hoping San Francisco is little more
I did manage to flip to some other games to catch moments of
what I thought maybe excitement, I switched to the 9th inning of the O’s
and BoSox game yesterday to see if the O’s were
going to lose another, only to see them hold on to win, but what got me was the
commentators for the BoSox, who said ‘that was a disappointing one
to lose’ or words to that effect… wait a minute didn’t you guys just get swept
at home by the Rays and they think this was just disappointing,
why? because the O’s have the worst record in baseball at the
moment or because the BoSox couldn’t complete a come back in the
9th inning, hey BoSox commentators, let me tell you a secret, your
whole season is disappointing, if the O’s had gotten off to an
average .500 start, your team would be sitting at the bottom of the division and
now you have to go to Toronto, which could make you a .500 team or
completely demoralize you and your fans so early in the season.
San Diego Padres had their hopes dashed at being
the first team this season to hit 10 wins in a row, after taking 8 in a row they
were finally beaten by the Reds yesterday in a close game that saw
the Reds get the winner in a 2 run 8th inning.
The Pirates suffered their 6th straight loss,
after sweeping the Reds they got swept back to back and are now 4
games under .500, still lots of time for them to make it a .500 season.
The Cardinals are the only NL Central team above
.500, but lets face it they have only had to face one real competitive team and
they only managed to salvage the 1 win against them, (the Giants),
now they are back home for the Braves, we’ll see if they’re easy
to win games too.
The Phillies played the Blue Jays in two games today. A morning game saw the first outing of Jamie Moyer and a afternoon game saw the first outing of Cole Hamels.
In the morning game Jamie Moyer showed he still has a little something left, after enduring an off-season of operations and hospital visits, Moyer took to the mound Friday morning in a ‘B’ game against the Blue Jays and threw three scoreless innings. Moyer gave up 3 hits and picked up 3 strikeouts in his 3 innings. The Phillies ended up losing this one 3-2, this game doesn’t affect preseason standings.
The afternoon game started by giving the Philadelphia fans a moment of anguish as Hamels second pitch was hit long by Bautista for a home run, then Hamels managed to walk the second batter, Hill, after which Hamels seemed to settle down for the remainder of his 2 innings work, striking out 2 batters. He did manage to mix in some of his newer pitches, which for Hamels is good for his first outing in preseason games. The pitching staff following Hamels didn’t fair quite so well as the 4th inning saw Toronto put 8 runs on the board, Bastardo was the only Phillies pitcher to come away with a clean slate on the day. The Phillies also managed to knock in a few runs as they ended up losing this game 14-9, needless to say both teams had pitchers and players working on the revolving door process, good luck if you kept a full score card on this one.
The Tampa Bay Rays almost threw away a 7 run lead to the Yankees, but ended up holding on to win the game 12-7. For awhile in the middle innings it was touch and go as to whether the Yankees/Rays game or the Phillies/Jays game would have more runs.
The Nats and the Braves were also trying to have the highest scoring game of the day as the Braves beat the Nats 11-8, however the honor of highest score went to the Astros and Tigers as the Tigers beat the Astros 17-7. I am sure the Tigers fans will savor this achievement, since it could be the last this year.
The Mets were playing split squad games today against the Cards and the Marlins. They managed a win against the Cards, but lost to the Fish.
Of course Jose Reyes found a reason not to play in either of the Mets games, but instead flew back to New York with a possible ‘thyroid imbalance’. Speculatively speaking, the blood in his brain could just be dizzy from all the spinning, this claim could be squashed if they prove he’s not brainless, but then who knows, now a ‘roid‘ has been attached to his name the possible outcomes are almost endless.
any sarcasm is not meant to offend, unless it does, then consider the possibilities of more during the season.