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….
It may seem like I have been absent, but in truth I have tried
to migrate my blog from here to ‘philliesoutside.mlblogs.com’, unfortunately
after the first post at my new home I have been locked out unable to
perform any actions on the blog. The tech support dept tell me they are working
on it and that I am not forgotten. Hopefully I will be able to use my new blog
It’s that time of year when the Phillies organization pulls a
shocker out of the hat. Last year it was trading Cliff Lee and signing Roy
Halladay, this year it’s signing Cliff Lee and trading no one.
Now I know everyone was expecting him to be in either a Rangers
uniform or the Yankee pinstripes, but it was those who truly believed (beLEEved)
was always hopeful of his return to the Phillies and this I am sure has left
fans in New York and Texas seeing RED, yep Phillies RED.
Now lots of people will be saying told you so and they can say
that, even I stated in my blogs earlier in the year that Lee would be back with
the Phillies, as much as I would like to take credit for seeing into the future
it was nothing more than wishful thinking by all that made the claim. I know I
am one happy Phillies fan seeing LEE back in the Phillies uniform….
I am sure there will be those that will say we paid too much,
that we are trying to buy a World Series, but the truth be known the Phillies
are just putting together a group of players they believe will WIN the World
Series. Some fans will continue to use this as an excuse to trash the Phillies,
that’s okay they can do that, but to all those Phillies fans that were critical
of the organization for allowing Werth to go to the Nationals, I say before you
gloat about this you should issue a full apology to the Phillies organization,
because LEE on the Phillies team is considerably better than what the Nationals
got in Werth.
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.
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