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….
San Francisco Giants managed to overcome all odds and successfully win a World
Series. The first since moving from New York to the bay area, I am sure that
some baseball fans thought they would get through the celebrations of this
years champion with out hearing about New York, well not going to happen.
So now its all over they have to plan the parade so everyone
that isn’t a baseball fan can be inconvenienced and irritated. There are some
things the Giants and organizers have to make sure happens, from getting the
players back from Arlington to ensuring ‘Timmeh’ doesn’t wander over the bay
bridge smoking in his car and get pulled over by an ‘A’s’ fan masquerading as an
The big question will be, will the San Francisco Giants use
the one group who has the most experience in organizing parades in San
Francisco, a quick google of the San Francisco parade enlightened me to San
Francisco Pride. Okay, I thought, the City has an organization that promotes
San Francisco, they’ve been doing parades for 40years, so it should be a good
Especially with pictures like this…
….okay this parade may be
worth watching if it has this sort of eye candy, but then as I further perused
the images I found what is a deal breaker.
Is this what we can expect from
the Giants parade this Wednesday….
I’ll not be watching, remarkably that guy does seem to sport
the Brian Wilson beard and is that a Cody Ross look-a-like behind him….
some images were stolen from
parts of the web, although no animals were hurt in the making of this post,
Giants fans may feel a little pain or not.
Those of us who are baseball addicts are engrossed in the events
of the Worlds Series and as it stands now the thoughts are varied, will the
Giants sweep the Rangers and force their total fade out or will the Rangers go 3 for 3 at home and take it back
to San Francisco, who knows, that’s the beauty of baseball.
While all this headlining play by play unravels the remaining 28
teams have their own soap operas going on, moves being made to set up an off
season of player movements, operations and I am sure controversies.
In Philadelphia some actions involving players have already
taken place and as always the right things are being said, the team says things
like, ‘in order to give the player a chance at free agency’, when they
really mean, ‘we don’t want you back so we’re letting you go as early as we
can’. The players say things like, ‘it was great playing with a good
bunch of guys and a manager like Charlie’, when they really mean, ‘I’ll
miss you guys it was fun and thanks for nothing Amaro’.
So in Philadelphia, we could see Werth buddy up with his new
agent and head to Chicago to try on some White Socks, maybe. We could also see
other players held in a state of frozen animation until the club finds it’s
off-season direction. They have already managed to get the Phillies
beat writer to plant the seed of a return to the Phillies uniform by Cliff Lee.
Pie in the sky? Maybe, but it’s baseball stranger things have happened.
There are obviously a few players in the World Series making
impressions on possible future teams, who’d have thought after his stint in
Tampa Burrell would have found a team willing to give him a shot, and when
Florida unloaded Ross, who would have said by accident the Giants would be
putting him in the outfield every game. So yes strange things do happen in
baseball more often than we realize, who would have guessed back in 1945 that
October 30th would see the Brooklyn Dodgers sign a player from the Kansas City
Monarchs and make a resounding change in history.
With Halloween a day away and mid-term elections 3 days away,
strange things will happen more than ever. Mid term elections actually tend to
bring out even stranger happenings than Halloween, scarier people come to the
surface, it just gets totally weird, all in the name of ‘Vote’ getting. So when
your at the polling booth remember the 5 key issues when making your selections:
There is no Santa Claus.
The WWE may not be real, but the t-shirt’s are and you
can wear them to vote.
You’re not choosing the Cy Young or MVP.
It’s not a Fantasy League.
Politicians LIE, again and again and again and
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.
For some, they would have just finished a late lunch, for others
it would have been the conclusion of a normal lunch, if you were on the west
coast getting ready for the Phillies v Giants game 3. For those of us still out
east it was late afternoon, the October air was cooling off, some where heading
home from work, some trying to wish the final hour or so of work to disappear.
It really didn’t matter where you were or what you were doing,
the game waited for no man, just Fox Sports to say ‘Lets Play Ball’. The game
got underway with another anticipated pitchers duel between Cain and ….
….Hamels. Everything seemed to be going according to
predictions, both pitchers seemed to hold the hitters in a state of
confusion, until that is, Cody Ross, stepped up in the 4th. Ross managed to slap
a ball into left field to score the first run for San Francisco, then Huff
followed Ross with a hit to score the second run. Unfortunately the defense
wasn’t supporting the excellent job Hamels was doing, the stats may not have
been great for Cole, but he pitched better than they show.
The 5th inning saw another attempt by….
….Utley to make a play and support Hamels, again this one ricocheted
off Utley, into centerfield and scored the Giants 3rd run. This was too big a
mountain to climb for the Phillies offense which appears to be lost baggage on
the trip from Philadelphia. There is no one to blame, no umpires to curse at,
okay maybe the 1st base umpire, reality the Phillies have to stop making excuses
an hit the damn ball and score runs. Everyone seems to complaining about Howard
not hitting, but as it stands he’s had the most hits in this series.
Wednesday, is game 4 and the Giants are sending Bumgarner to the
mound, okay that name is too easy to mess with so we’ll show good restraint, the
….Blanton on the mound. Wait Blanton, he hasn’t started a game
since September 20 something, but he’s getting paid to do this, so let him do
it. He may not be a member of the H2O, but with the offense still in lost
baggage what difference will it make.
The Rangers seemed to knock the wind out of the Yankees sails
yesterday with what shows as a blow out win, it wasn’t so much a blow out, more
a nickel and dime win. It seems the Yankees hitters are suffering like the
Phillies, while Guerrero is playing the role of Ross. The Yankees pitchers,
yesterday seemed unable to find the right location, except for Robertson, who
only got to face 2 hitters, which he disposed of with 8 pitches.
The Yankees are in a much more difficult position than the
Phillies, it’s do or die for the Yankees tonight, although by the end of today
the Phillies could also be in the do or die position, or they could be tied
again, its a matter of time before we find out.
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.