It almost that time when we celebrate the begining of a new year
and invariably a new era in the successes of our teams. Before we jump forward
to what could be in 2011, here’s a small review of how my blog saw the Phillies
Here’s hoping you all have a very happy and safe New Year….
Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate, it was the bottom of the
9th, with 2 outs, A-Rod was the only thing that stood between the Rangers and a
visit to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
The scene was set, A-Rod who couldn’t take the Rangers there got
a chilling reception, the commentators called it poetic justice, A-Rod grabbed
his crutch and adjusted his cup as if to say ‘Suck This’, Neftali Feliz
the Rangers closer looked in, dug deep and threw 3 fast balls all around the 100
mph mark, with 1 strike away from celebration, again Feliz looked in got his
sign and threw, what must have looked like a soft toss to A-Rod, who froze then
flipped his bat from one hand to the other and walked back to the dug out head
held down, while the Rangers went into overdrive on the celebrations….
….there was no doubt the Rangers were happy with the win, they
can celebrate as much as they want, they deserved it. It’s a wait and see game
for the Rangers now as they contemplate their very first World Series, for the
travel manager it’s headaches ahead, as he has to make arrangements for both San
Francisco and Philadelphia, until he knows where they will be headed.
The Phillies host the Giants this evening in the hope of forcing
a game 7 Sunday. Mr. Durable Roy Oswalt takes the mound for the Phillies,
while the Giants counter with Sanchez.
seemed just like any other sporting Sunday in Philadelphia, this one was just a
little more special though. The Phillies had lost the first game of the NLCS to
the San Francisco Giants the day before and so desperately needed the win to
even the series.
The countries premier sporting complex in Philadelphia had
tailgating starting early, the Philadelphia Eagles would be hosting the Atlanta
Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field just a stones throw, or a long toss away from
Citizens Bank Park. Why was this different to any other Sunday when both teams
were playing at home, well the fact that Fox Sports decided the Eagles game
would be the main attraction for the 1 PM ET game slot.
If you didn’t watch the Eagles game or haven’t seen the news
then, you will have missed out on the fact that Ryan Howard made an appearance
at Lincoln Financial during the first quarter of the game. It sparked a flurry
of ‘tweets’ from Phillies fans complaining of his presence when they
thought he should be in the batting cages. Why was did Howard pick this day to
visit the Eagles?
According to inside sources, as part of Fox Sports promotional
efforts, they requested a Phillies player show up. Who’s decision to make it
Howard and not a less prominent player is still a mystery. There may however be
more underlying parts to this story, because while Howard took time out of his
busy schedule and made an appearance on the sidelines there was another prominent
person absent from the sidelines.
Vick the, on again, off again, QB for the Eagles was absent from
the sidelines, Andy Reid dodged the question at the post game news conference
causing speculation as to Vick’s absence. While reports from within the NFL
media and closely connected personnel indicated that it was nothing, speculation
grew about his avoidance of interaction with fans and his old club. In fact he
even kept his old manager waiting in the locker room area.
If the media wasn’t so narrow minded and spotlight focused on
their own sources within the sport they serve, they may have seen a broader
picture with more characters than their lack of multi-tasking NFL minds could
probably handle. Inner circles seem to have suggested that, the very pro animal
rights personnel connected to the Phillies team suggested that if a key Phillies
player was to attend the Eagles game, then that player couldn’t be seen to
interact with Vick, who was scheduled to be on the sidelines. If anyone has any
doubts that Fox Sports has no pull in what happens in the 2 biggest sports in
the country then think again, this was a mere minor manipulation for Fox Sports
to get their live on air promotion.
night finally arrived all the players in where they should be, there was no
Eagles player invasion, since there was nothing NFL related for Fox to reverse
promote. The ‘O’ from the Phillies 3 headed strike force, known as H2O, also
known as Roy Oswalt, was on the mound for the Phillies. The Giants countered
with their second ‘Ace’, Sanchez, who would try and put the Giants in a position
to take a 2-0 series lead.
Sunday saw a different look to the Phillies players, there
wasn’t a different line up, they hadn’t all had anything done to change their
appearance, but from the first at bat through to the final at bat, you could
tell they had the winning attitude. This attitude had been sorely missing during
Saturdays game, in fact it almost appeared like they new the outcome before the
game Saturday. Game 2 was different, they looked like they new there was no
outcome defined, they wanted this win and they did everthing they could to get
it. Oswalt turned in a performance worthy of the H2O status, the Phillies
players all played their part, with bats and gloves. In addition to an excellent
pitching display Oswalt showed he could hit and run the bases, for me he more
than made up for his previous start.
Now it’s off the San Francisco, with the series tied at 1-1, the
shift of home field advantage may well have shifted to the Giants, but if there
is one thing we have learned in this post season, home field advantage isn’t so
much of an advantage.
one of the NLCS was not even close to the hype dispersed by the media, it may
have started with all good intentions of being the overly anticipated duel of
the Cy Youngs, but it turned into another ordinary game between 2 NL teams, one
from the East and one from the West.
I could bitch and complain that the home plate umpire had a bad
call at a critical moment that extended the inning allowing the Giants to add a
couple of runs, but as I said previously umpires are part of the game and it
happens, in fact it was touch and go as to Halladay or Lincecum saying something
to the umpire, in the end Halladay spoke out, which seemed to ease the pain for
the Giants bull pen, but not the Phillies.
The bottom line the Phillies didn’t monopolize on
situations that they should have, they had the chances from the first inning to
the last inning. I am sure that Giants fans are on cloud nine, standing Ross and
Lincecum on pedestals well above the heights they gave Bonds.
As a Phillie fan I see it differently, I see that game as a game
the Phillies lost, not one the Giants won. Halladay of all pitchers should never
have thrown the same pitch, in the same location to Ross in his 2nd at bat,
after he hit the first one for a home run. Ibanez should have caught that ball
at the wall in the 6th, and J-Roll should have at least made contact in the 9th,
not just swung through the pitches like a 5th grader in the playground. Another
place, another time, you’d almost have to call foul and wonder why MLB aren’t
investigating, oh wait, it’s not Chicago, and we’re all more civilized now,
above all that stuff.
The ALCS had an early game on Saturday, game 2 started with the
Yankees having a 1-0 game lead in the series, the Rangers like game 1 came out
swinging and running, after some very normal baseball action, it was the final
pitch of the game with the Rangers winning 7-2. No magical come back, no Texas
meltdown for the Yankees to jump on, it just happened. The ALCS goes to New York
for games 3, 4 and 5 with the series tied 1-1, any single win by the Rangers and
it will force a return to Arlington to decide the series.
All in all Saturday was some very average baseball action, no
edge of the seat will they won’t they stuff. You could almost tell that the
Yankees weren’t going to be able to do enough for a second comeback, it was like
game 1 drained them of their comeback energy and they needed more time to
recharge, had they had a day off Saturday to play Sunday, it may have all been different.
As for the Phillies game being just a 1 run game, at no time did I see anything
from the Phillies players that indicated they were going to get that run back,
it was almost as if they just gave up.
Today is game 2 the Phillies have Oswalt on the mound and the
Giants have Sanchez, I just hope the Phillies offence can actually play some
baseball today. Yankees and Rangers have a travel day and will be back at it
via sattelite, Ryan Howard participated in the David letterman show with the Top
10 reasons to watch the MLB playoffs
10. FOX’s coverage now extends to the post game
9. What are you going to do, watch hockey?
8. One lucky viewer will win a free Tommy John Surgery.
7. We just had the Phillie Phanatic clipped, wormed and neutered.
6. Trips to the mound now include a fabulous “Glee” style dance
5. The crack of the bat replaced by a “boing” sound.
4. Do you really need an excuse to sit on the couch and drink beer?
3. Mention my name and you can rebroadcast the game without express
written consent of Major League Baseball.
2. It’s about time the Yankees got some attention from the national
And the No. 1 reason to watch this year’s postseason: If
you’re watching The Late Show, you’ll watch anything.
addition to David Letterman getting in on the MLB post season action, it seems
the cheesy, we’ll report what ever we think may be connected to whatever our
imaginations tell us they’re connected too, TMZ, decided to get in on the act
and track down Barry Bonds.
Bonds needed no arm twisting, no egging on, to get his name
mentioned with MLB, jumped right in to state his alignment with San Francisco.
wow! there’s a surprise. He managed to tell TMZ he has no fans in San Francisco,
just family. He also managed to blow the Giants a kiss.
So after all this time, Bonds completes the role of the Abuser.
After F*cking San Francisco for so long, he finally gives them a kiss, next
he’ll be trying to leave money on the dresser to help ease his conscience.
Baseball resumes today, with the first game in the ALCS ,
between the Yankees and the Rangers in Texas. The Yankees will be happy that Lee
is not on the mound, which means they could only have to face him once in the
series, unless it goes the full 7 games.
No baseball till Friday, creates spare time, so for the guys out
there, it’s time to refresh your memory on things you forgot at the start of the
baseball season, yes you guessed it, the demands of women….
….so by the time the, non-baseball loving women, have finished
complaining about this, it’ll be game time.
A moment in time: On this day back in 1964, was
the birth of someone, who has become a man that looks at least 10 years older
than he actually is, we offer birthday wishes to Joe Girardi.
night was the decider for the final piece to the LCS puzzle. Tampa Bay Rays,
back home hosting the Texas Rangers for game 5 of the ALDS series. Some had
deemed this a replay of game 1, with the Rays hoping to right the wrongs in the
replay and the Rangers hoping that as with all replays the outcome never
Some might believe that the home field advantage had put the
outcome of this game in the Rays favor, but neither team had won at home this
post season, so the advantage had been cancelled out. It could be that the extra
seats made available by MLB at the Trop would be the deciding factor, if they
were all sold by game time.
The Rays ‘Ace’ David Price was on the mound for this crucial
game, and should be a consideration in the AL Cy Young, the biggest
advantage however was on the mound for the Texas Rangers….
….Cliff Lee. After his taste of post season with the Phillies
last year, Lee obviously thrives in the big game moments. It didn’t take long
last night, the first inning gave the Rangers a lead. Although the Rays would
tie it up in the 3rd, it was the 4th inning on that the Rangers dominated. The
score even ended as if it was a replica of game 1, Lee went the whole 9,
throwing 120 pitches with just 1 run and 6 hits, picking up 11 strike outs.
The Rangers are now in unfamiliar territory, as they write a new
chapter in the Texas Rangers history books. With the opening game at home this
Friday against the New York Yankees, you have to know Lee won’t be on the mound.
I am sure they aren’t thinking too much about this in Texas, for the die hard
….celebrations are still in full flow, if not in body, in
The LCS teams all know who they are playing, where they are
playing and when they are playing. The only thing they don’t know for sure is
how many games they will play and if they’ll get to the big stage.
What’s with the major Yankee promotion on the MLBlogs opening
page? I seem to remember this last year too, does this have anything to do with
the location of MLB media.
A moment in time: It was this day 27 years ago the
first cellular communications was launched, in 1983 it was called Ameritech
Mobile Communications in Chicago, Illinois.