15 October 2008

An Open Letter To the Philadelphia Phillies: Time Running Out

The Philadelphia Phillies have one last chance tonight.

It's Game 5 of a Best of 7 series, and tey're up 3-1, which means that if they win tonight, they go of the World Series against whomever wins the Rays-Sox series in the Junior Circuit. That would be their first World Series berth since 1993, when they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games. So this is it:

They have to lose tonight.

I mean, this is Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly BOOOO!!! What will the city have to complain about if their team goes to the World Series? I mean, sure, they could wait for them to lose the championship to the AL pennant winner in a couple of weeks, and things might get back to normal pretty quickly, but really, why wait?

The Phillies have a chance to blow it tonight and assure themselves of a few more days of solid derision by thier fans and local radio personalities. They will still need, naturally, to lose two more games, and at home, no less, for Philadelphia to retain its identity as one of the nastiest places to be a professional athlete.

These 2008 Phillies are playing with Destiny here, and the Destiny of the sports fans of Philadelphia can be summed up in one word: Disappointment.

Sure, the Phillies won ther division last year, but then were promptly swept out of the playoffs by the surprising NL Wild Card Rockies. They hit .172 as a team in those three games, and amassed a 5.54 ERA, and this against a team that didn't even win its own division! It was embarassing! That's what I'm talking about!

Where's that Defeatist Philly Spirit? This team's already won one playoff series, sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers out in the NLDS in three games, and here they're on the brink of winning a second one! What in the wild, wild world of sports is a-goin' on around here?

The Philadelphia Eagles have got this down-pat. They haven't won an NFL championship since 1960, and have hardly even gotten close since the NFL merged with the AFL! Sure, they've been in the playoffs lots of times, but the NFL lets just about anybody int he playoffs, don't they? And the Eagles always manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of seemigly certain victory every time.

Not that anybody pays any attention to hockey anymore, but I've heard that the Flyers have a pretty solid reputation for choking as well. They won a couple of Stanley Cups before the Carter Administration, but they've choked magnificiently two dozen times since then. They get into the playoffs all the time but heck, they have 26 divisions in hockey and there are only 28 teams, so that's no great accomplishment. Way to go, guys!

But these Phillies are coming dangerously close to screwing things up royally in Philadelphia. Think about it: The Boston Red Sox had a long history of choking at the most opportune of moments, and in some cases, the most dramatic of epic failures. They managed to shed that cloak four years ago by winning a World Series and won another one last year and then what happened? Financial crisis! The housing market, the stock market and the food market around the corner from my house are all in a shambles! Coincidence? I don't think so.

The Dodgers, of course, are not helping here. After having had the best pitching staff in the National League and one of the best rotations in baseball, they've gotten exactly one Quality Start in this series. Chad Billingsley was one of the best pitchers in the majors, and he's now allowed 10 runs in five total innings over two starts. Derek Lowe hasn't been awful, but neither has he escaped the 6th inning in either of his starts.

Joe Torre has been particularly quick with the hook, not just with starters but also with his relievers, which may or may not be some of the reason the Dodgers are coughing it up. The hitters, especially Manny Ramirez, are doing what they can, but the Dodgers' pitchers keep giving up runs - 5 more of them tonight! - and the Dodgers' hitters can't be expected to do everything themselves. The Phillies' pitchers have got to get it done, now! My suggestion is that this would be the perfect time for Brad Lidge to finally cough up a Save, or even a non-Save.

Time is short. Let's get going and lose thins thing!

UPDATE @ 11:35PM: Crap.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: